My blog entries (posts) are erratic - because (1) there are too many things competing for my time and (2) I prefer essays to the shorter blog format.  But in this case I think I can put the matter to my thinking in little words.

My thought for why the fFederal Government wants to look into the Puckett resignation has to do with trying to enable a Democrat replacing Puckett rather than a Republican.  If enough innuendos can be made that Republicans are illegally doing something that might lead to an additional State Senate seat then that would stir up the Democrat base in that district and cause substantial Democrat money into the race
.   QED - the Democrat candidate wins. 
 
 
                                             U. S. University STEM-Educated Foreign Students
                                              (Do We Need Them to fill Positions in American STEM Businesses?)

According to REPORT: REPORT: No shortage of high-tech worker in US... and Scholars hit Silicon Valley for abusing guest worker program... the answer is NO.  Two people, Michael Teitelbaum and Hal Salzman, have, in the past several weeks, written much that shows Silicon Valley’s insistence on the need for U.S. Educated Foreign Students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professions is possibly entirely fabricated to meet those high-tech businesses own agendas.  Salzman in particular has used data from many sources to show that there are far more U.S. citizen STEM students and graduated professionals to fill the need – as much as two times – each year!  Salzman, Teitelbaum, and others have also shown that major organizations, such as RAND and the National Research Council, have reached the same conclusions.

So why has the Silicon Valley industry said the need exists for H-1B VISA-enabled foreign STEM professionals?  Salzman, Teitelbaum, and others, such as Norm Matloff and Ron Hira, are essentially telling everyone, “Follow the money.”   And, to be fair, Silicon Valley types may have simply not done their homework.  But the ones who really may not have done their homework are the drafters of H. R. 2131, Congressman Darrell Issa’s “SKILLS Visa Act.”

This is going to have a major effect on whether or not there is anything done on immigration by August 2014.  This is going to have a major effect on whether or not Issa’s bill is brought to the floor.  This will have a major effect on Congressman Goodlatte’s effort for a systematic treatment of immigration.

 
 
                                                                                 It’s a Fracking Matter

This week there was an entry on the American Thinker Blog entitled Hollywood biggies caught on tape agreeing to hide Middle East funding for anti-fracking film.  James O’keefe, the conservative audio/video sting master who has exposed numerous scumbag endeavors by the left, unions, and Democrat politicians has scored big on this latest.  He has documented the likes of actor Ed Bagley, actress Mariel Hemingway, and director Josh Tickell and wife willingness to make an anti-fracking movie to destroy the use of fracking in America, to cancel any opportunity for U. S. energy independence, and to deny any hope of fuel for warmth and chemicals for medicine and other everyday products.  All those big shot Hollywood types want is the money they can make and the egotistical enjoyment of forcing ruin on a country they hate, all at the expense of ordinary people.  Go to the linked headline above, or click the following for the Breitbart article, James O'Keefe Dupes Hollywood with Fake Anti-Fracking Film, to see the report and a 20-minute video that captures live the hypocrisy of Hollywood environmentalists.

 
 
Where Does the Republican Party Stand on Immigration?
For over a year I have been probing where Congressman Goodlatte stands on Immigration.  I have spoken with him at length many times, the latest being for about an hour this past March.  I have watched the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, markup four Immigration Bills.  I have listened to that Committee hold hearings on Immigration.   I have repeatedly been impressed that Goodlatte is determined to protect our borders and our interior against illegal aliens.  He has convinced me that this, and solving the overall immigration issues, comes before we look at some process to legally employ aliens for Agriculture and American-educated foreign brain power for our high technology industries.  Recently there was a news article that cast some doubt that Goodlatte's position was as I have been convinced, click HERE.  I followed up on that article and seemed to have found that article was more intended to sell news and the author, see my May 4th posting.  But even with this I am not certain that this is the position of the Republican Party. 

The reason for this uncertainty is in news articles, such as click HERE, in which Congressman Paul Labrador
offered a potential immigration deal to the White House, saying the GOP would agree to loosen penalties on illegal immigrants if President Obama would agree to increase visas for foreigners who work in high-tech fields.  This appears to go hand-in-hand with Boehner's apparent determination to move on Immigration, click HERE.  On the other hand there are those, such as Congressman Gohmert, who take firm opposite postion by stating there’s no reason to believe President Obama will enforce new border security provisions when he’s ignoring the existing ones, and Gohmert contends that extending any sort of amnesty will be economically crippling to the U.S. and politically lethal to the Republican Party, click HERE.

So my realistic take is that the reason for my uncertainty is that there appears to be one h--- of a battle going on in the Congressional Republican Party Caucus, one led by Boehner, Cantor, and other leaders who want an Immigration deal that leans towards a Democrat position AND one led by Gohmert, Steven King, Trey Goudy, Chaffetz, and others who oppose any measure that offers amnesty.  And where does Goodlatte stand?  I hope it is where he has been telling me, otherwise I loose a lot of Face.  My slogan is "Never trust, always verify" and for over a year I have earnestly attempted to 'verify'.  I hope it is with the Gohmerts of the world.  As one of my close associates in the Tea Party said, "We'll assume that what he says he stands is where he stands and if he does not then we deal with him." 
Then I suppose I'll know if I should trust.


 
 
What Does Congressman Goodlate Mean in Reference to Immigration

by the Words  “Grand Bargain”

Edward R. Long, Ph.D.

Lets begin with a clear understanding.  There is no intention here to support, or not, Congressman Goodlatte.  There is no attempt to interpret what is in his mind or what is happening behind the scenes.  You will have to form your own opinion and decide what trust you have.

Two days ago, May 2, Jonathan Karl of ABC tweeted, click HERE: Goodlatte to @jonkarl: still searching for "grand bargain" on status of undocumented immigrants. "Believe it will happen."  This tweet was picked up and reported by Matthew Boyle of Breitbart, click HERE, and by Hot Air, click HERE.

Both Breitbart and Hot Air stated “ABC News’s Rick Klein Tweeted that Goodlatte told ABC reporter Jon Karl at the event that he is “still searching for ‘grand bargain’ on status of undocumented immigrants,” and that Goodlatte does “believe it will happen.”  Needless to say, those are fighting words.  And since I have spent a lot of time talking to Congressman Goodlatte about his intents and position on Immigration and reporting what I think he means my first reaction was ‘I have been sold out.’

But before first screaming ‘foul’, or something stronger, I dug around.  The following is what I found.  It is a May 2 article by Erin Dooley, ABC, click HERE. The title is “Top Republican Refuses to Predict When Congress Will Vote on Immigration.”:

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., declined to predict today whether comprehensive immigration overhaul will get a vote in Congress anytime soon.

“My job isn’t to predict when it’s going to happen. My job is to build the consensus that we need to have immigration reform,” the congressman told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl during a live interview at the Newseum today during the second annual Creativity Conference.

But Goodlatte acknowledged that fixing the country’s broken immigration system could help bolster the nation’s vibrant creative community.
Congress must address immigration “starting with enforcement [and] going to legal immigration reform,” he said.

“Our immigration laws are not being enforced in many ways. … We’re blurring the distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration, and the longer we wait, the worse that’s going to be,” he added. “And there are new laws that are needed.”
He added, “The grand bargain here is, we need to have an agreement that if we find the appropriate status for people who have been here a long time and pay back taxes and pay a fine and do some other things … allow them to stay here, but for the future, there would be zero tolerance of illegal immigration.”

The United States should also focus on attracting skilled foreign workers, who are often educated at U.S. colleges and universities, Goodlatte told Karl.

“We want them to stay here and create jobs here,” he said.

Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, touted the proposed Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM (SKILLS) Visa Act, which would eliminate visas granted via lottery through the Diversity Visa program and instead grant them to STEM workers.


So, to paraphrase Paul Harvey, this is the rest of the story.  It appears Jonathan Karl tweeted a few words for the purpose of stirring up matters.  Certainly Breitbart and Hot Air did not do their homework.

Nothing here is new.  This is exactly what Goodlatte has been saying all along.  NOW UNDERSTAND, I am NOT covering up for Goodlatte.  NOR am I saying that the man has my implicit trust – no politician has that.  But fact is this is what he has been saying all along.  He wants to pass two of the four immigration bills that have been marked up in the House Judiciary Committee ‘that starts with enforcement and going to legal immigration reform’.  Then he appears to want to pass the other two bills, one dealing with agriculture workers and the other with taking advantage of foreign nations educated in American university/colleges in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, STEM.     If you wish to read more about this then click on the following: ReportOn032814ConversationWithGoodlatte-Part1of3-040414.

As I stated in the article, Goodlatte includes determining what can be offered to the children brought into the U. S. by their illegal alien parents.  And he is also asking what is to be done with the 11+ million illegal immigrants, i.e. as he states in the ABC article: “The grand bargain here is, we need to have an agreement that if we find the appropriate status for people who have been here a long time and pay back taxes and pay a fine and do some other things … allow them to stay here, but for the future, there would be zero tolerance of illegal immigration.”  Is this palatable?  Not entirely, if for no other reason than I have no assurances what it exactly ends up being, what it means for jobs for Americans, what is means in terms of a voter base for Democrats, and a host of other related matters.  Do I understand this isn’t simple – yes I do.

There is pressure by Silicon Valley companies on Goodlatte to make foreign national STEM workers.  There is pressure on Goodlatte to make foreign nationals, presently illegally in the U. S., available for agriculture work.  You have heard the words: “American workers will not take low-paying, agriculture jobs”, “there are not enough American graduates in STEM professions to meet the needs of high-technology industries.  Yes, American companies want to pay as little as they can get away with.  If they have to pay a lot more then they will pass the cost to the buyer in the form of higher food and other product prices.

The choice of whether or not any of this will happen is up to you the reader.  If you do not want Goodlatte doing any thing, such as passing the four bills, if you do not trust Boehner and cantor, or Goodlatte, then send them an email or go to their web sites and use their web mail or phone their offices or make an appointment with them and tell them what you want and do not want.  But understand what I am saying here – nothing in that which Goodlatte said is any different than what he has been saying. 

Yes, there are more important and more immediate matters that congress should be focusing on: Benghazi, the NSA, and the IRS to name a few.  THE IMPORTANT MATTER HERE IS WHAT DO YOU WANT HIM TO DO AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL EXPEND THE ENRGY TO TELL HIOM WHAT YOU WANT

 
 
John Houbolt died this week, click HERE for the announcement.  I suspect many of you, if not all, will ask, "Who was he?"
I'm not surprised at the question, but he is an extremely important part of United States Space Flight History.  I had the honor of knowing the man because he was on my performance review committee.

John Houbolt was the engineer who came up with the idea of having the spacecraft going to the moon to be a 3-part assembly, a Command Module, a Service Module, and a Lunar Module.  The Command Module was the portion we think of which, on return from the moon, reentered the Earth's atmosphere and splashed down in the ocean.  The Service Module was the portion that provided the propellant and rockets for leaving Earth orbit, trajectory to the Moon, insertion into Lunar Orbit, return to Earth, and reinsertion into Earth orbit.  The Lunar Module was the portion that separated from the other two modules, after Lunar orbit was established, and landed on the Moon's surface.  Actually it consisted of two parts, one which acted as a launch pad and left on the lunar surface when the 2 astronauts rejoined the Command and Service Modules.  (Originally the Lunar Module was called the Lunar Excursion Module, LEM.  But since it did not move once landing the name was shortened.  When I arrived at NASA as a fresh-hired, junior engineer/scientist it was stilled called the LEM, and that is how I will always remember it.

I came to know Dr. Houbolt (John as he was called by his equals) because when I arrived at Langley Research Center, LaRC, I was assigned to the Guidance and Control Branch
of the Space Mechanics Division, where I had worked the prior Summer as a Summer Student.  G&C was responsible for the full-size simulation of the Gemini and Apollo Capsule maneuvering in space called the Rendezvous and Docking Simulator, click HERE.  This was the group that studied and developed the core components, rendezvous and docking, of  John Houbolt's idea into reality.  For some of the detail, click HERE.  (SMD and G&C was led by some of the best of NASA: Hewitt Phillips, Art Vogeley, Max Kurbjun, Lindsay Lina, and Roy Brissenden.)

John Hoibolt was a member of the committee of senior engineers/scientists who followed, reviewed, and graded my performance for the first year I was at LaRC, June, 1963- June, 1964.  As a junior engineer I admired, enjoyed, and clicked my heels, as I did for all the other men listed above.  He gave me a high recommendation at the end of that year.  I have always hoped I earned it, then and in the remainder of the years I worked in NASA 
 
 
The following was emailed on 040214 to every member of the Virginia General Assembly:



Comments in regards to the Senate Finance Committee Meeting on 040114
 
Before I begin:  Several hundreds individuals (citizens, tax payers) are BCced to this email.  Hopefully they will forward it to their family members, friends, business partners, and other acquaintances.
 
Comments:
 
The Senate Finance Committee held a meeting yesterday (040114).  They said it was to hear public input.  But of course that was not the case because it was April Fools Day.  I suppose that the Committee assumes Virginia Citizens are fools given their agenda.
 
The meeting began at 1400 hours (2 P. M.).  The first 45 minutes were spent on the details of the Governor's Budget.  At approximately 1445 hours the Committee began to hear from speakers.  BUT THEY WERE NOT THE PUBLIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They were "invited" speakers.  Darn, isn't it a surprise - the "invited" speakers, all but three, were all in favor of Medicaid expansion.  I and others from the Shenandoah Valley had to leave at 1600 hours because the several buses provided by the Americans for Prosperity were scheduled to leave at that time.  (We ordinary little ole folks had been told the Committee meeting would be from 1400 to 1600 hours.)  As we left the list of "invited" speakers were still going strong.  So possibly no one from the public ever had an opportunity to speak.
 
So Senators - you made one fine and truthful impression on us.  The meeting was an April Fools Special, just as is your entire agenda is to push Medicaid Expansion.  Hopefully it will also be a day of April Fool when you are up for re-election.
 
I was struck by one aspect of many of the statements made by many of the "invited" speakers.  They said negative things about the Unaffordable Care Act, even as they expounded on their expectations of blessings from Medicaid Expansion.  Apparently they do not understand that Medicaid Expansion is just one part of the Unaffordable Care Act.  So why would they not realize they are promoting the very Act itself?  That makes me think that the Committee and its "invited" speakers are one and the same in that they are progressively confused and misguided.
 
The Senate originally agreed to let the MIRC to first do its job.  The Commonwealth's Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the one before Governor McAuliffe came to be, reported that at least 30 % of the Medicaid money spent in Virginia was due to waste (actual waste, fraud, unnecessary government regulation paperwork, etc.)  Think about that.  There are approximately 1 million Virginians presently on Medicaid.  If that waste were eliminated then an additional 300,000 individuals could be added to Medicaid with no increase in Medicaid spending.  So if the MIRC business could be attended to, as the Senate originally agreed to do, then most, if not all, of that Medicaid Expansion could be accomplished without spending additional money.  Instead of letting MIRC work the Senate is set on their Fraudulent path.  Indeed  - it would be April Fools Day every day if the Senate were to have its way.
 
 
Where are the Minds and Attention of the American People?
I was listening a few moments ago to Glenn beck.  He was talking about the fact that Barack Obama has blatantly lied as to what he and the Pope discussed.  What the Vatican reported as the subject content of the conversation between the Pope and Obama was exactly opposite.  Glenn's surmise was that Obama knows the People are not paying attention and really do not care.  I think he may be correct.

A little over one week ago the Augusta County School Board held a budget-reporting meeting.  The audience consisted of school teachers and a few parents who objected to the closing of a particular school.  There were only three people who were not either teachers or parents.  In other words the tax payer, the ordinary citizen was not interested.  But a consequence of the new school budget is that the Board of Supervisors now plan to raise Real Estate Taxes 10 %.  I can almost guarantee the People will not turn up at the County Budget hearings to express their opinions, other than the teachers and the parents who agree with the School Board's argument that "it is for the children and they deserve that money being spent."

But it is not only this local matter for which the general public, the People, is disengaged.  Most people do not know or care what happens in the annual Virginia General Assembly Sessions.  They are not aware and could care less there are some 3000 bills introduced each year and that many of those bills end up as State Code which regulates, controls, and taxes the People. 

Most People are not paying attention to what is happening in Washington D. C.  Most people are more involved with "Dancing with the Stars" or "Idol" or "The Walking Dead."  In many respects We the People are the Walking Dead.   You do not agree?  That makes you angry?  If it is not the case then why do we have these circumstances at Local, State, and Federal levels?   And no, the number of us who listen to talk radio, watch FOX TV, or read Breitbart are a small minority of the American population.  You do not believe that either?  Then go to Wal Mart and ask the woman or man in the aisle their opinion on some of the matters for which you may be concerned.

Rush Limbaugh said some years ago he it is not the fact that governments have gone awry that concerned him.  He was concerned with whether or not a majority or more of the People agreed with government.  I read recently, within the past several days, read the same said by someone else of more a historical sense.  Well Folks be concerned.

There was a time in which i held faith that the American People would not allow or support what is happening in our governments.  That time has past.  The People do not seem to care or be concerned.  And the reason may be they agree with what is happening in government.  I hope I am wrong. I sincerely fear I am correct.
 
 
Augusta County Board of Supervisors Increase Real Estate Tax 5 Cents, a 10 % Increase
(Its for the Children)

The Augusta County Budget increase is primarily due to the School Board's insatiable dollar hunger.  Thus the following.

This past Thursday, 032014, the Augusta County School Board (ACSB) held a Budget Meeting during which they voted to submit a balanced Operation Budget to the BoS.  The amount submitted was $97,523,417 for 10,305 students, or $9027 per student.  The ACSB members said this was a “bare-bones” budget.  They stated they want at least an additional $2.5 million to take care of things such at cracked concrete sidewalks, etc.  Moreover, they want another $3 million so they can put MacBook Airs in all the schools so, in their words, ‘the children will have the proper introduction to the world of computers when they go out into the real world where computer technology is being used as part of the job.’  They said they had spent an entire month putting together the budget.   It was obvious from their discussion they are hoping taxes will be raised so, in their words, "the children can have what they deserve."

There are aspects of what was stated by the ACSB members that should cause us pause.  For example, Apple computers are not the platform used in the business and technical job market.  The platform is Windows-based.  Why then were MacBook Airs chosen?  Moreover, MacBook Airs cost, at a minimum, from $1000 - $1100 each.  A Windows laptop of similar capacity and functionality costs $300 - $400 each.  Even if there is a discount for MacBook Airs, a similar discount for a Windows laptop would mean a lot less cost and a computer that is far more related to the real world of the jobs.   So there is no good justification for using MacBook Airs.

During the Budget Meeting one of the ACSB members stated that teachers are the most important aspect of education of children.  I entirely agree.  But what that individual added was perhaps more relevant than they understood.  They stated, ‘a good teacher could educate students even if they and the students were in the school parking lot.’  Whether or not the ACSB member(s) realized it or not, they were saying that the key to a good education is not the building and its ancillary fancy and exciting technology.  So why then is so much money spent on construction and technology?  Perhaps it has more to do with the excitement and feel-good it generates in the ACSB members because they think the name ‘Mac’ is impressive and glamorous.  Perhaps it has more to do with what the ACSB members ‘want’ than it does with the ‘needs’ in order to meet the challenges of education.

The ACSB members stated they spent ‘an entire month’ on this almost $100 Million Budget.  One of the individuals in the audience stated to the ACSB at the end of the meeting that  their dollar arguments had no business basis of justification but rather was based on ‘Mom and Apple Pie.’  No doubt the attendee was referring to members of the ACSB making the argument that the budget should be more because ‘the children deserved it.’

There were only two SVTPP members at the Meeting.  Whether or not there were tax payers present other than parents of children and teachers was not obvious.  As long as that is the case we can expect that the ACSB, and the Augusta County BoS will assume they can spend as much they want in what ever way they chose because the taxpayers of Augusta County have no interest and they sanction being taxed to what ever extent the ACSB and the BoS chose.  So, get our your pocket book and pay up.

 
 
                                                            Augusta County School Board Budget for 2014-2015

This past Thursday, 032014, I attended the Augusta County School Board Budget Meeting at which the ACSB voted to submit a balanced Operation Budget to the BoS.  The amount submitted was $97,523,417 for 10,305 students, or $9027 per student.  The ACSB members said this was  bare-bones budget and they would like to have at least an additional $2.5 million to take care of things such at cracked concrete sidewalks, etc.  Moreover, they want another $3 million so they can put MacBook Airs in all the schools so that the children will have the proper introduction to the world of computers when they go out into the real world where computer technology is being used as part of the job.  They said they had spent an entire month putting together the budget.   It was obvious from their discussion they are hoping taxes will be raised so, in their words, "the children can have what they deserve."

Almost $100 million for about 10,305 students is a lot of "deserving".  One month of planning to come up with almost $100 million in spending suggests the 'planning' was shallow and hastily done.

For the most part, 95% or more, Mac computers are not the platform used in the business and technical job market.  The platform of Windows-based.  Mac Book Airs cost from $1000 - $1100 each.  A Windows laptop of similar capacity and functionality costs $300 - $400 each.  So not only are they using computers that are not frequently used in the job market they are using ones that cost 3 times that which they should be using.  It sounds as though the school system is caught up in what they think is impressive and glamorous rather then cost-effective and realistic in the job market.

So I have to wonder if much of the almost $100 million is similar poor planning and not cost effective?  If you are a tax payer in Augusta county you might want to get involved.
  Just a thought.  Its your money.