Today, a guy I know (an Aide to Shelia Jackson Lee), asked me my stance on Immigration Reform because of a post I made.  Here are the excerpts of the conversation which included two other individuals.

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Ivan Sanchez Do you align yourself with Cruz in Immigration Reform?

Trebor Gordon Really Ivan? I guess you don’t really know much about me, I’m a “Conservative” through and through!

Trebor Gordon …and my “Conservative” values are unwavering. I have had this conversation with many from the “Left”, I’m surprised you haven’t been apprised.

Ivan Sanchez What does “Conservative through and through” mean on your stance on immigration reform?

Unnamed Friend:   *Gets popcorn*

Trebor Gordon     Come, on Ivan, you’ve been around long enough to know what “Conservative” means. I’m a strong opponent against “Amnesty” . The point that I would make this post, should tell you where I stand. I don’t believe in ANY “Liberal” or “Progressive” ideologies. I’m quite sure my stance on various subjects is touched on in many conversational circles. Anyone who knows me will surely explain to you, I am not at all quiet or short on words about my convictions or beliefs. Additionally, MANY from the “Left” will express to you how much they love and respect me despite our different points of view.

Trebor Gordon    Great comment,  Unnamed Friend:  !…lol

Then, along comes a “Spider”

Durrel K. Douglas     So Trebor Gordon you still didn’t answer Ivan Sanchez‘s question: What are your views on Immigration Reform? I didn’t see an answer yet, just talking points of sorts. I’ve attached a Wikipedia link to assist you in coming up with a position.Durrel K. Douglas So Trebor Gordon you still didn’t answer Ivan Sanchez’s question: What are your views on Immigration Reform? I didn’t see an answer yet, just talking points of sorts. I’ve attached a Wikipedia link to assist you in coming up with a position. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_reform ( Awh, he wanted to educate me or give me a little help, thanks Durrel)

Unnamed Friend:   In his defense: He says he doesn’t believe in ANY liberal ideologies.

Durrel K. Douglas     What does “liberal ideologies” imply? I’m confused? What does liberal or conservative have to do with Immigration Reform? This isn’t about party, this is about America. What say you, Trebor?

Walter Cole     Can someone explain why we need “Immigration Reform”? Why not uphold and enforce the current, and pretty fair, current immigration laws?

Unnamed Friend:   Walter you must not understand the current situation with immigration. Both parties agree on reforms, it’s just a matter of policy and implementation that is ethical, moral, benefits our economy, and benefits newcomers and current citizens. At this point it’s a matter of which of what I named above is the priority and, of course, Liberals and Conservatives disagree on priorities.

Trebor Gordon     Oh wow, Mr Durrel K. Douglas. You are part of the “ranks” who don’t know where I stand. Resolving illegal immigration isn’t easy. For example, most people, even immigration reform advocates, would agree that denying anyone emergency medical care is morally wrong. Yet, they would also agree that access to American medical care shouldn’t be a perk for illegal immigrants — and yet it is. Illegal laborers injured during the course of a menial job are treated by top notch American physicians.

Separating families is also morally wrong, yet when two illegal aliens have a child in America, the child becomes a US citizen, which means deporting the parents creates an American orphan. Here’s an example of illegal aliens accessing US medical facilities, and also creating an avenue to permanent US residency without the necessity of becoming an American citizen.

Americans consider things like medical care and family unity basic human rights, but for many immigrants who aren’t afforded the same rights in their countries of origin, these rights are often seen as rewards for making it to America.

While rewarding people who come to America illegally only encourages more people to come illegally, the solution is not to deny them their basic human rights.

If the giant moat we call the Atlantic Ocean isn’t enough to deter illegal immigration, building bigger and stronger fences at the US/Mexico border won’t be either.

About the only viable solution to the problem of illegal immigration is removing the incentive to emigrate to America. If people have no reason to leave home, they won’t. Poverty, persecution and opportunity are the main reasons people flee their country of origin. Better foreign aid and a more engaged foreign policy may be the only options to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

Unnamed Friend:   Trebor… we just agreed on something my friend!! However, there is still an issue of what we do with the undocumented individuals and families that are already here.

Trebor Gordon     People who receive US citizenship through amnesty have no reason to follow US laws, considering they’ve just been rewarded for their illegal immigration activities, which, beyond just their illegal status, could include associated crimes ranging from forgery to fraud. While many illegal laborers are honest and hardworking, others may learn the wrong lessons.

For example, their condition as illegal laborers teaches them that to run a business employers must hire cheap illegal labor and pay poverty-level wages. Their reward of amnesty teaches them that it’s OK to create false documents to get what you want like welfare checks.

This may seem far-fetched, but these are actual problems associated with amnesty and illegal immigration.

Perhaps the most harmful aspect of illegal immigration is the misinformation spread by its advocates. Their push for “multiculturalism” is really a push for amnesty. Their calls for things like bilingual education, foreign language election ballots and racial quotas in the work-place only serve to undermine the legitimate immigration process. Even the most open-minded of Americans tend to feel threatened by the idea of cultural dominance by a foreign influence.

Most conservatives support immigration reform that combines the elements of increased border patrol, workplace enforcement and a guest worker system for legal resident aliens seeking citizenship.

Just as important, from a conservative perspective, is the idea of a multi-year path to citizenship for resident illegals requiring them to pay taxes, live crime free and learn English.

Trebor Gordon     I knew it, my Unnamed Friend:  ! lol. The answers are in my last

Unnamed Friend:  Well I need to analyze your last comments. I definitely agree with more foreign aid though. Americans shouldn’t feel threatened by “multiculturalism” and if most of them are, that still doesn’t make it right. I’m not rebutting, just thinking out loud.

Trebor Gordon     “He don’t know me very well, do he?” (quote taken from an old Warner Brothers cartoon, Bugs Bunny)

Trebor Gordon    Walter, great question! Part of the reason we need “Immigration Reform” is: Employers capitalized on cheap labor prior to the last gift of amnesty in 1986 and before the ink was dry (Ragan’s ink) the influx of more allains was already in motion. In less than 30 years, depending on who you listen to, the numbers have climbed to nearly 12 million. With the increased dream of being blessed with the same short-sighted gift, many have made their way across the borders. Now we are at a point where this influx has affected our economy and even many conservatives are concerned about the affects. In short, we ALL have created a monster ( just like the movie, with a defective brain) and no one knows the exact prescription to fix the problem.

Trebor Gordon      Ivan?!    Where’d you go?

Live “Stats” From The United States

Overall, highest ranking in popularity in the United States is clearly, Sports. Sadly, ImageAmerican troops overseas are not properly ranked or appreciated. It seems as if popularity rankings are: Sports, the Kardashian’s, the President and then the Troops. I have not noticed more focus on sports any other place in the world. Americans love their sports totally and completely. They analyze them they worship them, they watch the game before the game, the game after the game, they talk about what might happen in the game, talk about what’s happening in the game and what could have happened and what should have happened but didn’t happen in the game. Its the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. All the statistics are so eloquently and completely stated and presented. I’ve seen people that follow certain beliefs that are more knowledgeable about sports statistics than their faith. I know parents who know more about sports statistics than their child’s grade point average, they know more about the history of sports and what has happened with certain teams than the history of their Constitutional Rights or the history of political party they follow. Don’t get me wrong I played sports from age 11 through 24. But come on, give me a break. At the end of the day what will this bring you? What could the statistical knowledge/data of sports do for the economy, provide for your family, feeding the poor or perhaps even bringing clean water to those who don’t have it?

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I guess it’s a great thing to be “uber”-physically fit and be able to physically outperform many others in a competition. As mentioned previously, I spent about 13 years (more than half while training in the military, that might be considered “double duty”) playing sports. I understand the competitive mindset and also what it takes to prepare to be greatly successful on the field. While it is a great feather in ones cap to express the level of global competitiveness, it doesn’t speak to issues that affect Americans where they live and work.
The American Economy is in turmoil , the American Political System is Dysfunctional and Paralyzed.

Around the world, many are baffled by what’s happening to the United States. It seems that all at once the wheels are going off the cart. The American economy is in the pits, the American political system is dysfunctional and paralyzed, and a series of elective, far away foreign wars is ruining the country.

The U.S. economy used to be an engine of economic growth and the American political system used to be a well-oiled checks-and-balances machine that was geared toward progress and that could accommodate both leadership and compromise. Americans can be proud that their constitution, at least on paper, is one of the best in the world, having been crafted by enlightened founders who believed in individual and democratic freedom. It’s just a shame the excellence in “sports” doesn’t have an affect on these important mundane issues. Perhaps the ability to perform on the sports field and the proliferation of Americans who can quote stats (subject matter experts, in their own right) can inspire others who are not performing at the level of professional athletes. Perhaps the world will recognize America’s exceptional psyche. All Americans are called to be patriots, all Americans are called to stand, fight, speak up, to teach and the freedoms and foundational principles that made this great country. Please don’t think that only a few are responsible for carrying the torch of ensuring our rights are not forgotten or over legislated. My friend, being an American is much more than showing global competitiveness through athletics .

Aside  —  Posted: January 7, 2014 in What's going on?
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ImageAfter hearing this African proverb over and over, I decide to do some research to see exactly where this idea originated and why so many have chosen to except this particular mindset.  In my research, I discovered a couple of people who decided to open their thoughts on the topic.  The first is Mr Warren E. Berkley

It Takes a village, From his “Expository Files 4.1″; January 1997

A mantra is defined as — “…simply a word or phrase which, when repeated, influences the human mind.” 1 In keeping with this, advertising slogans and jingles are mantras. The term is more generally used to describe those chants used in yoga or Oriental mystery religions.

Transcendental Meditation is essentially a mantric art. When you are taught TM, you are given a personal mantra – a couple of words, or a phrase that may or may not have meaning. The alleged purpose is to get in tune with your “personal vibrations.” Various phrases are associated with Buddhism; one common mantra is translated, “Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus.” In the Islamic religion, there is the common mantra: “Hua allahu alazi lailaha illa Hua,” which is translated, “He is God and there is no other God than He.” Mantras became popular because of their usefulness in creating alleged changes in consciousness. They are an integral part of Eastern religions and the current New Age school of thought.

In our society, there are certain sayings or slogans that take on great power and influence merely through repetition. For Example …

“It Takes A Village”.  About a year ago (1996) a new book was released by Mrs. Hillary Clinton. It is about children, and what she believes it takes to raise them. In her view, “It Takes A Village.”

Actually, she did not coin the phrase. It is an oft-repeated African proverb which has become the mantra of every international women’s conference (Cairo, Beijing). The phrase captures the view championed by feminists and the “politically correct police.”

The original African slogan was offered from the context of the ideal group of people surrounding a child and contributing to his early education and training: grandparents, friends, teachers and others who in many ways supplement the primary care and oversight of the parents. Mrs. Clinton grants that “parents bear the first and primary responsibility for their sons and daughters.” Then, in her description of this “village,” she goes far beyond friends, neighbors and extended family to include all the agencies, government projects and social institutions she advocates. One reviewer said, “By the end of the book, it appears that Mrs. Clinton has never met a government program she didn’t like,” (Kerby Anderson). 2

What is needed to raise children? Must parents depend upon day care centers, educrats, bureacrats and humanistic programs?

There is more in Mr Warren’s article.  Feel free to read it here:  http://www.bible.ca/ef/topical-it-takes-a-village.htm

The second article I discovered is by Diane Flynn Keith, titled:

It does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a nurturing family. Period.

I am distressed by this latest rhetoric that implies that a family is incapable of taking care of its own. Who thinks this stuff up – the village idiot? “Hmmm, let’s see…maybe if we use an old African proverb in a catch-phrase we can convince people to subscribe to our agenda: the government should raise, educate and maintain all children.” Excuse me. The “village” should not be responsible for us or for our children from cradle to grave. Just because some people – for a thousand different reasons – are not able to properly provide for their children doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be condemned to institutionalizing and warehousing our kids. Nor does it mean that we should have to subscribe to government social programs designed “for our own good.” Slowly but surely our personal and parental authority and freedom have been chipped away. In many instances we have been duped into giving it away under the auspices of “the common good.” The “village” is just another way to say more government. Enough!

I believe that you are capable of raising your own children. I think that you have more concern for your children’s welfare, more knowledge of what they need emotionally, socially, spiritually, and academically than anyone else in the world. You have lovingly invested more time, energy, and effort to provide for your children, to nurture them, to cuddle them, to educate them, to understand them, to help them grow into the capable, loving, responsible people that you know they can be, than any teacher, day-care provider, social service agency, school, church, pediatrician, child psychologist, parent-teacher association, department of education, National Education Association, brain research specialist, lobbyist, congressman, senator, or First Lady.

No one else in the world cares as much about your children as you do. You are the best authority on your own children. Your heart provides better guidance as to what your children need than any consensus opinion by a panel of experts anywhere. Trust it.

Parents are the best people for the job of raising children. Parents make good teachers. Why do we doubt this? Why do we seem so willing and eager to give up our parental authority and responsibility? Why do we want to abdicate our freedom to parent our own children – to turn over their lives to government institutions and social programs? I wonder if it’s because personal freedom requires personal responsibility. Personal responsibility equates to hard work in some people’s minds. Responsibility requires thought, creativity, care, expenditure of effort, relentless determination, optimism, perseverance, trust, hope, tolerance and respect for other people, their views, and their property. Does that sound like hard work? If it does, is that an undesirable thing? Have we come to view hard work as disagreeable – something to be avoided? Why? When the truth is, it is a thrilling, invigorating, empowering, self-perpetuating opus that makes the journey of life worth living. I implore you to reconsider the idea of personal responsibility and the freedom it perpetuates. Embrace it, and teach your children to embrace it, while you still can.

Copyright 1996-2003, All Rights Reserved, Diane Flynn Keith

It would be unfair to simply site these two articles without sharing my opinion.  The truth is, I believe God has given parents more than an adequate amount of skill and “complete” ability to accomplish the task of raising helpless, unknowing, unlearned, new to life “little person” (baby) into a mature, fully grown, responsible, respectful, moral “big person” (adult)  (Merriam-Webster definition-  be or act as a mother or father to (someone)  “the warmth and attention that are the hallmarks of good parenting” raise, bring up, look after, take care of, rear, hand rear  “those who parent young children”) 

Let’s go back to a time in which “New age” thinking and proverbial phrases from distant lands did not impact our thinking as much. Considering this mindset alone for the moment (“It takes a village to raise a child.”), are we saying children have not been raised properly unless they have been adequately influenced by those outside our immediately family?  I think we dare not.  In the early years of the United States and other countries, family homes in the 1800′s could be several miles apart.  It was not uncommon at all for families to only visit the nearby town only once a month.  This would definitely make contact outside the immediate family sparse and even rare.  If it takes a “village”, I’m not sure people raised in the 1800′s received adequate exposure to “outside” assistance to properly raise their children.

Before becoming parents, adults have a responsibility to become acquainted with the possible hurdles of child rearing.  Family is a vital link to the knowledge needed.  Prospective grandparents are always helpful and in many situations and stand ready to impart wisdom.  But this has not always been or will it ever be a guaranteed asset available.

“New Age” thinking has ruined many lives in an effort to instill the belief that evolutionary change is a vital part of progress. The bottom line is, just because “it” sounds good or has a catchy ring, doesn’t make it “true”.

Image  —  Posted: December 11, 2013 in Houston

Pay Day Loan pic 1No, you can’t get a “Pay Day or Auto Title” loan at Houston’s City Hall, but today’s public speaker portion of the City Council meeting was overflowing with supporters of amendments to an ordinance in chapter 28 of our City Charter.  Item 26 on tomorrow’s agenda covers “Payday Loan” and “Auto Title” loan companies.  Several attorneys and organizations spoke in favor of the ordinance and The United Way was well represented.  City Controller, Ronald Green first at bat in today’s discussion, speaking of the urgent need for the amendments to chapter 28 of Houston’s code of ordinances.  Green mentioned existing legislation (pinned by stakeholders of this loan industry), which is a “watered-down” version of the proposed amendments to the current ordinance.  He also mentioned there are several “Sister Cities” who have already passed ordinances of this nature (San Antonio, Austin, & Dallas).  When asked about funding, Green responded, “We have plenty of time to figure out the funding.”  It was clear to everyone in the room, funding had not been considered.  (we heard a similar response months ago that went something like this, “we have to pass it to see what’s in it”)  There’s no question as to whether there is a need for regulation.  Something I find very interesting, council-members are representative of Houstonians.  The proposal for this amendment has not yet been made public, so how does the average citizen speak to situations like this if there is no way to be informed.  Councilman Bradford mentioned that only two weeks before today was this proposal made available to council-members.  Councilman Burks stated there were two proposals and this is the proposal that made the agenda.  There is a huge disconnect in communication from the drafting of ordinances and then informing the people of Houston of the propositions.

Today, I heard more stories or should I say nightmares of payday loans and auto title loans.  Some who choose to Pay Day Loan pic 2
utilize the services ha
ve been charged up to 500% interest on their original principal.  I also heard stories of payments being made only to the interest until the lump-sum principle is paid.  These are nightmares indeed!  Questions were presented from several council-members about funding for the new changes.  Where will the funding come from in the city budget to pay for the personnel who will monitor the new changes?  I am a proponent of the amendments needed in chapter 28 however,  I stand behind the council members who will not vote in favor of this ordinance until the funding is presented.  Council-members Burks and Bradford both posed questions about funding but there was no valid response.  Actually, the proposed amendments will not take place until July 1 of 2014.  I commend the council members who are concerned about the tax payer’s dollar and would like to see a full presentation that includes funding for this endeavor.  Aren’t we all constantly asking council-members to represent our best interest?  Yes!  There is no definitive need of urgency for an amendment of the ordinance in chapter 28 to be passed tomorrow.  Please note, I am definitely in favor of amendments to chapter 28 to help protect consumers.  Again, with an effective date as far away as six months from now, proves there is no urgency.  I vote for putting this button back into the oven and allowing it to bake a while.

Image  —  Posted: December 10, 2013 in What's going on?
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imageThe last nine months have been extremely enlightening and educating.  As candidate after candidate has announced a desire to run for public office.  The anticipation of the outcome has had both an exciting and somewhat frightening affect.  Candidates raise money for campaigns in very aggressive manners to obtain as much as possible in their coffers (which is ok, I guess).  The government monitors and ensures that these funds are properly spent.  It has been my observation, that elected officials are entrusted with taxpayer’s hard earned dollars and in turn, tax payers expect frugality and creativity (or that’s the way it should be).  While I must admit marketing for a political campaign can be a very expensive endeavor, if we are to place our trust in elected officials, why is there not a requirement to show an ability and effectiveness of wise spending of campaign dollars.  This campaign season has shown that millions of dollars have been raised in a municipal election.  Many campaigns are exercising good spending habits however, the question comes to mind regarding the amount of funds raised, how much is actually being spent on marketing?  Even in municipal races there are PACs (Political Action Committees) and Super PACs.  Many of these committees require a candidate to make donations in order to obtain their support and some don’t.  This in turn becomes a “pay to play” requirement or a “pay to be my friend” situation.  Because PACs and Super PACs are funded so well they have an ability to catapult or smash the candidate’s campaign.  In the interest of fairness when will the people of this country demand accountability on the part of campaign spending?  In the interest of fairness limits should be set in political campaigns on spending.  Obviously there have been candidates in the past who are not greatly funded.  This does not mean however that they were not viable candidates.  If we as responsible citizens do not demand a fairness or perhaps a spending cap on funds expended on campaigns, only the rich, only the affluent will be making the decisions for our cities, states and this country we call the United States of America.  We are very capable of making demands on what is fair and equal.  We are very capable of making demands on inclusion and opportunity.  In a world where the rich continue to become richer and the poor continue to become poorer, the need to focus on what is best for all people must become our priority.

We must reprioritize our efforts, reprioritize our focus and begin to educate “every day citizens” on the issues at hand.  Many cast their vote based on what they read or hear from the media.  This has proven to be not only irresponsible but ineffective.  The people of our country/state/city deserve leadership that will educate them on the details of complicated matters.  This is not to “make small” any issue, but to provide every voter with the proper education of issues so that they may make informed decisions.  The more complicated a process, the less likely a person is to make a wise decision based on their beliefs or convictions.  If all voters were in fact informed voters and all voters were educated properly on all of the issues, our elected officials would without a doubt be a direct reflection of our voters and not the money spent or expended on their campaigns.  I propose a resolution for all people to require more of our elected officials. I propose a resolution that we hold elected officials accountable as public servants and not superstars.  In the interest of our future it is my most humble opinion that we set higher standards for those who represent us in the federal, state and city government before we are faced with a world in which we are unfamiliar.

Trebor Gordon

I was scheduled to meet a good friend for dinner yesterday. As a matter of habit, I always try to arrive early to any and all appointments (on this occasion, only by 15-20 min). After selecting the best parking space available, I simply texted the word “arrived”. The response was not at all what I expected. “Punctuality is the politeness of kings”, was the response. Not that I feel like “royalty” nor was this my friend’s opinion. This text helped me to remember the great value time holds. Time is such a valuable commodity regardless of your status, profession or your level of financial worth. Time is even more valuable when it belongs to someone else. But these days, it seems as if our society has forgotten the courtesy of being on time. I hope to never take for granted the time that belongs to others by casually showing up to an appointment that was set well ahead of time. I think possibly in this very famous quote, it very well describes that Kings understand the great value of being punctual.

20130603-143029.jpgThe City of Houston Elections are fast approaching.  Now is the time to get registered to vote.  Many people find themselves putting off registration until the last minute and some don’t make it.  There are answers to some common questions below and a few links to point you in the right direction to register.  Don’t wait, PARTICIPATE!  Election Day is Tuesday November 5th, 2013.

You are eligible to register to vote if:

  • You are a United States citizen;
  • You are a resident of the county where you submit the application;
  • You are at least 18 years old on Election Day;
  • You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole); and
  • You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

Register to Vote!

To vote in Texas, you must be registered.  Simply pick up a voter registration application, fill it out and mail it at least 30 days before the election date  Get your application here.

You are eligible to register to vote if:

  • You are a United States citizen
  • You are a resident of the county where you submit the application
  • You are at least 18 years old on election day
  • You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence)
  • You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

Are you already registered?

To confirm your voter registration status, you may select one of three methods to perform a search:

•             Your Texas driver’s license number, if you provided it when you applied for voter registration;

•             Your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate;

•             Your first and last name.

Find out if you are already registered by:  Clicking Here.

7 18 mtg