Category Archives: America

A new citizenship program for the USA (proposed)

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It is so annoying what foreigners have to go through to get their green cards and citizenship here in the USA. It is a pain in the neck, and just not fair. America needs lots of new blood, and there is no reason why the immigration process shouldn’t be a whole lot easier. On the converse side, I am upset that the USA gives citizenship to people who refuse to blend in at all. Sure, it is natural that we prefer to socialize with people from our own group. But, does that mean immigrants and their children should have a strictly enforced policy of excluding people who are not like them? America lets in many people who refuse to interact with others. Koreans are typical examples of this. Even their English speaking children often refuse to socialize with anyone who is not Korean or Korean-American. If America accepts them, why can’t they accept America and those who live here who don’t look exactly like them?

Immigration for work vs. immigration for joining our nation
Most people come to the United States as immigrants seeking a brighter future, or perhaps as refugees. Some are looking for money, some are coming to escape the social restrictions of their motherlands, while others come because they like it here and like the people. I feel that someone who comes to America, lives here for 20 years, gets their citizenship, and still calls themselves “Chinese” — not “Chinese-American,” but just “Chinese” should not be given American citizenship. American citizenship should be reserved for people who really want to be American in my opinion. Sure, it is okay if they still love the culture from their country of origin. That is not a problem. But, if they don’t identify themselves as a part of a whole, then they are more of an invader than an immigrant. Think about it!

Immigration for work — a new system
For those who don’t want to join our happy family, we still need them and they still need us. It makes sense to create special economic zones in strategically located parts of the USA. I am not smart enough to figure out where these areas should be. But, these special areas should allow anyone from anywhere in the world to come and work with no special paperwork. It would be a little like Dubai, except that people would be allowed to come for a few months to look for work. In Dubai, you often have to already have a job to be allowed in the country. There would be no minimum wage, so we could compete economically with foreign countries. There would be very low taxes to attract international businesses. These zones would be a place where it is easy to get started, and anyone can make it. There would be schools for each language group in the zone as well. Immigrants to this area would not be given citizenship no matter how long they stayed in the zone. However, as long as they were working, they could stay. Their children would be schooled in the language of the motherland because they would be expected to leave after they were done with however long they wanted to work.

America loves to let workers in our country. We love giving them citizenship after a while too. The problem is that their children are not always as good workers as their immigrant parents who risked their lives to come here. Their children and grandchildren often have significantly higher crime rates as well. The economic zone idea solves this problem. Since nobody is given citizenship there, the minute you or your children cause trouble — out you go. No paying $45,000 per year of tax payer money to keep someone locked up. Let their home country worry about that instead.

Immigration for joining our nation
When my ancestors came to the United States, they mostly already knew English and joined mainstream society right away. Immigrants coming these days are more like invaders. They come in huge groups, they continue speaking their language, and generally don’t want anything to do with anyone who is not part of their group. Not everybody is like this, but the majority are: and it is un-American! If immigrants want to come to join our wonderful nation, they should want to fit in to a particular extent. When I went to India, Taiwan, France, and other countries, I didn’t hide in a cultural bubble. I mixed with whomever I met and behaved like a member of humanity. I propose having an assimilation program

The assimilation program (proposed)
Since most immigrants are extremely opposed to having anything to do with assimilated Americans, by requiring an assimilation program, those not interested in mingling with the locals would weed themselves out and not come here. But, for those who really do want to interact with “real” Americans (whatever that means,) here is my idea. Every American is a descendant of immigrants. The oldest group of Americans are Native Americans. But, even the natives came from Siberia or perhaps on a boat from the Pacific Islands at one point in time. The next oldest group of Americans are those that came in the 16 or 1700’s such as many of the Blacks and Southern Whites. The Hispanics with ancestry in New Mexico also have a four or five hundred year lineage in the land which is currently the United States. I would define someone who is purely American as someone having all of their ancestors being here for at least seven generations, and having their cultural identification being purely associated with the United States. Even fourth generation Americans still have a moderate connection with their countries of origin.

The assimilation program would have friendship programs between immigrants and Americans with long lineages in the United States. The purpose of this would be to fully integrate people into mainstream society before they were given citizenship instead of waiting for five or six generations to have their descendants integrate. Participants might live with families, or engage in regular social activities. I’m not sure how the program would find Americans who would want to socialize with strangers without being paid. But, if people could be paired with others who they liked a lot, then the program might be very successful. The program might also involved living in communities where there was no presence of the immigrant’s national group, making it a place where they would have to assimilate fast. Language training would be another important facet of the program.

On the other hand, after several years of this program, the Americans would probably become expert at making tamales and egg chow foon. It is unclear who would be assimilating to whom, unless the people chosen for the program were Americans with absolutely no interest in foreign cultures — but, why would such people volunteer for such a program if they were so closed to foreign culture? A paradox is unveiled.

What if there were no IRS and we paid taxes to our state instead?

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Imagine the USA with no IRS. Do we really need them?
The states can collect taxes and could collect self-employment tax or social security tax too. The states could hand over money to the central government monthly based on the size of their population as well. Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler to only pay tax to one entity? Your accounting procedure would be a lot easier.

If your state charged too much tax, you could move to another state. You might not want to move, but at least you would have the right. If you have had trouble with the IRS, you have nowhere to run. Even if you leave the USA, if you have assets here or are planning to come back, you cannot hide.

I am a person who likes choices. I prefer having good choices, but bad choices are better than no choices. I like the idea of having states to choose from. Better yet, imagine that the USA was comprised of 400 states, each with a different philosophy. You could have a state for solar energy lovers. Another for organic food fanatics. You could have a vegan state, and a pot smoking state. This way you would have the right to live with people who think like you do. For those who are Republicans, they would probably have a lot of states, but there could be different breeds of Republican states. Even if you lived in a state that wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, you could sleep soundly knowing that you had the choice to move to a state that suited your fancy!

With all of this crazy behavior in congress, I am beginning to think that my idea of the states being the sole entity collecting taxes might come to fruition. Our Federal government could be dissolved any day now. I think that realistically, it won’t last more than another 10 years. Sad, but with this crushing debt, they will default. On the other hand, what if the idea of globalism comes into play? Then we would all be citizens of the world! Hmmm. That sounds really scary.

(1) What if we paid taxes only to our state, but not to the Federal Government?

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The safest city in the USA & the most dangerous city in Mexico

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It is an irony that the safest city in the USA and the most dangerous city in Mexico are right across a river from each other. El Paso is the most crime-free city in the USA. If you disregard the fact that many of the locals are the worst drivers in the country, it is a very safe place. On the other hand Ciudad Juarez is right across the river from downtown El Paso and is the most dangerous city in Mexico. Prostitutes are routinely murdered, and the cartels do plenty of shootings there as well.

It is interesting to note that many companies outsource to Mexico. Mexico does not have the cheapest manufacturing costs, but they do have the fastest turnaround for truck shipments to destinations in the USA. The average trucking time from central Mexico to the focal point of the continental United States is 17 hours. If you want to get goods from China, Malaysia, or Costa Rica to the United States, they have to be put on a truck, then a boat, then unloaded, then customs, then a train, then a truck, and it could take months to deliver your goods.

Mexico is a great outsourcing destination for manufacturing and not bad for call centers either. If only they could control their horrible drug war. Mexico could become a much more popular spot for future manufacturing operations, resorts and more. It is sad that the government is not in control of their own country. Personally, I feel that Mexico was governed more efficiently by the Aztecs — although their culture was based on routine slaughter of neighboring tribes who they sought to conquest! I guess some things never change.

(1) El Paso, the safest city the US is right across the river from Ciudad Juarez, the most dangerous city in Mexico!
(2) If you disregard the fact that half the residents have road rage, El Paso is the safest city in the USA!
(3) The Aztec culture was based on routine slaughters. Sounds like the cartel culture!
(4) Safest USA city is across from most dangerous Mexico city. Yin-ville and Yang-ville.
(5) Mexico is good for call centers. If only they’d call an end to the drug war.

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How the U.S. Can Survive as a Nation:

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The way things are going, it looks as if the U.S. will either default on its debt because of disagreements in Congress or will keep raising its debt ceiling, eventually getting to the point where it can no longer pay–sometime in the next twelve years. Putting aside late fees and annual fees, the minimum payments will be more than the government can afford, and the U.S. government will be forced to default.

If the government does default, creditors will be unwilling to lend money to the U.S. Also, all of the money U.S. citizens put into Social Security, for example, they may never see again, and all kinds of federal funding (schools, prisons, veterans’ pensions) might not exist. The citizens of the U.S. will suffer to a greater or lesser extent depending on how effectively the government deals with the situation. One way or another, the issues being decided because of the U.S. government shutdown are not light and transient, and will affect us positively or devastatingly for the rest of our lives.

If the government folds or becomes insolvent, there will not be a national military, Social Security, or national food safety and regulatory agencies: the states will have to fend for themselves. Larger states like California or Texas will probably be able to manage, but how will smaller states survive? What would we use for money, and how would “the Fed” be regulated? There are so many disturbing variables. The states might still band together to create military alliances or military organizations, but we might have 50 separate states with no official central government forcing them to act as a whole. The U.S. might not be a nation as it is today.

The Alternative?

The U.S. government learns to live within its means, and, over three decades, we could balance the budget, pay off all our debts, and develop savings. To accomplish this, the government would need to become more of a regulatory agency and less of a financier.

The three biggest national expenses for the U.S.– the military, prisons, and the debt:

The military would have to be cut by 80%; the U.S. might have a military base in Kuwait and Cuba, but other foreign bases need to be dismantled or drastically reduced. The military should be for defense purposes, not to control the world. If countries are willing to pay a portion of the expense to have a U.S. military base in their country, fine. The U.S. would have only what is necessary to protect itself and its interests. This way, the U.S. could afford to pay off its debt–currently $16,749, 632, 792,721.39.

In the military, everyone would be a volunteer, and everyone would be paid based on what they were willing to do. What is a human life worth? It depends on the market rate. If some were willing to go to the front lines in a hot war, for example, those enlisted men would get paid more. Furthermore, a country would have to pay the U.S. for the U.S. to have a military base in that country (with the exception of Kuwait, for example). If they want protection–let them pay for it, at least a percentage of the cost. Other countries would pay for the U.S. military–if they wanted America’s help.

U.S. Prisons

According to a 2012 CBS news report, the United States accounts for “about 5 percent of the world’s population, but we have 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.” Over 2.4 million people are in prison in the U.S.–despite the fact that the crime rate has dropped by over 40% in the last 20 years. Why so many in prison? A response to drug use and urban violence in the 1970’s. Does the current prison system decrease the drug problem and make our society safe enough to justify its existence? The cost? Between $40,000 and $60,000 per year per inmate.

In order to justify the high costs of their existence, prisons should be financially self-sustaining, and would need to create significant income through manufacturing, for example. The inmates would work long days and would be expected to create value; prisoners would have to pay for their own keep as well as some of the legal and court costs involved in apprehending and convicting them. The cost of prisons would also have to be reduced so that the taxpayers would not be responsible for the burden. How luxurious the prisons would be would depend on how much work the prisoners accomplish. Prisons would also have programs to help prisoners with their mental and spiritual problems, as well as educational programs, so that prisoners could in fact be a more valuable part of the U.S. workforce.

A Related Issue: Drugs

Have prisons solved the drug problem, and are they cost-effective? Maybe not. Instead, there could be drug colonies for people who use marijuana, with severe penalties for users who move outside these colonies. The purchase of marijuana (and all drugs) would be regulated by the state or the federal government, and the sale of drugs would raise money. Each of these communities would have its own tax base, police, jails…and could make it as expensive a community as its residents want.

In fact, there could be a large state–one big state for hardcore drug users–with a wall around it, with guards, for serious drug users–and this state would have to handle its own financial issues. If they had crime, they would have to be motivated to make things better. This state would eventually oust, incarcerate, or put to death the most violent or mentally ill drug users. Since they might be on a tight budget (being self-sustaining), they might resort to more quick and dirty ways of resolving serious problems involving crime.

These communities might in fact serve to resolve drug problems and do away with heavy drug use–because it would cost the drug users too much money to run the community. This solution would almost do away with prisons, and would most likely solve the drug problems in a few years, while making money because the state or federal government would make a profit from the sale of the drugs. This alone would give the U.S. a great deal of money with which to pay off the national debt. By the way–the penalty for using drugs outside this area would be severe.


We should spend more on education for those who demonstrate that they are learning–students who show promise, according to national standardized tests–so that when we spend money on education, we get a return on that investment. Students should be judged only on how much improvement they make during a certain time period. We should reward for improvement, and not on the basis of race or an unusually high starting level of accomplishment or aptitude.

Having the states take a larger responsibility for education would reduce the financial burden on the federal government. Yet whatever money the federal government did put in would be based on return on investment (ROI): each student would have to improve, based on yearly test scores, and any government funding or scholarships would be distributed accordingly. Private foundations and colleges in each state could choose to fund students according to other criteria.

A Good Start

With our military, prison, and education budgets reduced, we could focus on paying the debt. Our expenditures would already be down by 80%.

The Post Office, National Parks, Social Security,
and the Oil Companies

The Post Office would also have to be self-sustaining; it can charge whatever it needs to sustain itself, and would have to raise its prices.

The national parks would also have to be self-sustaining, and would have to charge enough to stay open. Each park would have to be as self-sustaining as possible, with additional monies coming from donations.

Social Security, in the long-run, would be replaced by mandatory individual retirement accounts. It’s cleaner, and each person takes responsibility for himself; you know what you have to retire on. The money is at least in your name–whereas if you let the government invest it, the money might disappear if the government becomes insolvent. Then, we monitor those organizations that are monitoring the funds.

Instead of oil companies lobbying the government, the oil companies could pay the government so that their rigs are protected overseas. The oil companies would pay based on how much protection they want and for how long. The U.S. government would use volunteers (mercenaries) to protect its investment.

And what about war?

Given the reduction in military bases and military spending, what happens, for example, if two countries in the Middle East go to war and use nuclear weapons?
It’s their business.

The U.S. could invade countries that have developed nuclear weapons, and could be involved in quick wars to disable nuclear programs, but would not maintain a presence in those countries for years and years.

We are not in charge of the world, and if other countries choose to end the world–we will do better to provide a good example, rather than maintaining a military presence everywhere and dispensing huge amounts of aid.

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A free economic zone in America?

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A “meritocrac​y” with a level playing field at least!

I fantasize about this idea. What would America be like if there was a free economic zone somewhere on the coast in Washington or California, or North Carolina. The zone could have its own airport. The zone would be cut off from the rest of the country, but would have certain freedoms unheard of in the rest of the United States. People from anywhere in the world could come to that zone with NO visa and NO permission. They could work for whomever would hire them at ANY WAGE that they agreed to. There would be no minimum wage, no unemployment tax, no state tax and no complicated paperwork. It would be so easy to run a business there that businesses would flock there.

China has implemented the “Free economic zone” idea for decades and prospered. Their ingenuity and flexibility made their country prosperous while America in its rigidity is broke. China has also created a few IT zones which are also growing nicely. The Chinese government has programs to assist businesses in their growth. America has restrictions, paperwork, legal liabilities and taxes to stifle the growth of companies. No wonder companies are FORCED to outsource overseas.

I run an outsourcing directory and am neither for or against outsourcing. However, I would note that life is easier when you can get your functions done in your country. People these days are outsourcing NOT because they choose to, but because they are FORCED TO if they wish to get anything done — at all. A free outsourcing zone or zones in the continental United States would be such a boon to domestic business that miracles would happen. It would finally create a truly free marketplace that is functioning on a LEVEL playing field! This would be what India calls a Meritocracy!

Small talk, Indians, and attracting US clients

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I remember that a year ago I wrote a blog entry calledAre Indians too uptight in business?

The answer is that they are.
However, I just read an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review blog about American Culture. Since I live in America, I am oblivious to American Culture. It is just around me and I don’t notice it. It just seems “normal”. But, Americans have a culture of making small talk. People are usually informal here. We are not British after all. Other cultures have too many rules for us, and might seem uptight. Even hispanic cultures have too many restrictions about what you can talk about for our standards. Despite how open the Latinos seem, they are quite restricted socially in many ways. Many just clam up when something is wrong, and they refuse to talk about it.

Indians are great at small talk. Wherever I go in India, people like to chat. Kerela and Mumbai are the friendliest places in the country, but even in less friendly places, people still chat and make small talk. So, what is the problem then? Indians are good at small talk, right? Sometimes — only!

Indians are great when you meet them on the street — assuming they can speak English. Okay, they might be great TO YOU if they only speak Marathi with a Thane accent, but to me, they are only great if they speak a language that I also know — at least enough to chat! Indians are fun at parties, unless they are the snobby types. Indians can sometimes be fun to work with too, if they know you a bit. But, when doing business, the best characteristcs of Indian culture get swallowed up by their uptightness.

When doing business, Indians become rigid. Social butterflies suddenly feel awkward when entering the workplace and don’t dare say anything. Information about their company becomes impersonal and is reduced to a list of percentages of various inconsequential statistics which are supposed to make them look business like. To Americans this is distasteful. We don’t want to hear a bunch of empty statistics that can’t be backed up. We don’t like uptight people either. We like Indians when they are NOT trying to be businesslike.

If Indians who catered to American clients were told that they could meet with the Americans, but ONLY if it were off the clock, they would be a different person. They would loosen up. They would unbutton the top button of their shirt. They would sit a little bit more relaxedly. They would become so much more pleasant to be around now that they are not trying to impress upon you how “businesslike” and professional they are. In short, they would suddenly become exactly the type of people that Americans would LOVE to hire — assuming their technical skills were up to par which is another serious issue often lacking in India.

So, when you are talking to American clients, pretend that you are not at work. Pretend you are meeting them for a beer. Of course, while you are discussing the beer, make sure that you can give professional sounding answers to all of their questions without delay, so that they know you are someone hireable. But, be a little bit friendly and casual — and we will like you more — perhaps we will like you a lot!

Now America works for India!

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I always thought that China would take over the world, and we would have to undergo repression, discrimination, and work for them.  But, the reality is much nicer — for those of us who like samosa and chai.  Infosys of India is training American workers.  American recent graduates will fly to India for six months of training, and then go back to their back offices in the states.  Everything in outsourcing is reversed now. 
But, India leads the world of spirituality and technology to some extent now.  Many salaries for programmers are actually higher in India than in America.  Many Lucky (smart) Indians are returning home to enjoy salaries in excess of US$100,000 per year.  Of course, most salaries are nowhere near that amount in the IT industry, but these high paying jobs are sprouting up in India more and more.
Meanwhile, at Tata, another huge Indian company, they have 5000 workers in Brazil, Chile and Uruguay of all places. Cognizant has opened back offices in Phoenix and Shanghai.  A few companies in India have opened call centers in the Philippines too. 
When I talk to narrow-minded people who are anti-outsourcing, I always stress that any small store in India sells 80% American products.  Shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent, and other small items sold in mini-stores in India seem to be made by American companies. Try spending an hour in Bangalore without seeing a Citibank, Subway, KFC, and other American businesses.  We are part of a global economy and currents flow both ways.
Japan has also capitalized on American labor with Toyota opening many plants throughout the United States. So, reverse outsourcing is a way of the future.  There is hope for America.  India will give us a job — and hopefully a samosa break too.

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Do Americans Need To Worry About Losing Their Job?

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Do Americans Need to Worry About Losing Their Job?

Americans have become a fearful people in the last few years. Unemployment is high, and outsourcing is an industry that continues to grow. If your job is not automized in the next six months, it could be shipped to India, China, or the Philippines.

What Americans need to realize is that “American” jobs have been shipped overseas since the 80’s and if there were a finite number of jobs in the world, our job loss would leave 80% of us unemployed by now. This is simply not the case. With all of the new labor saving technology and outsourcing, Americans are busier now than we ever have been. So, why the high amount of jobless individuals?

Many news articles blame unemployement on internal domestic issues. However, if you take a closer look, the factors might be more specific than you think. If a company is forced to offer benefits to a new employee, the cost of hiring someone with unknown potential suddenly gets very expensive. If there are legal issues or risks involved in firing someone, then companies might be skeptical about hiring in-house employees. Many unemployed individuals have personality issues that make it hard for them to work with others, which is why American companies often find it easier to outsource work overseas. Many of the unemployed in America have skills which are no longer marketable in the current economy, and those individuals need to learn some new skills that meet the current technological needs (which keep changing every two years). Some workers are so slow, that its not cost effective to pay the overhead for renting the square feet they occupy plus the management costs for managing them. The cost of hiring someone and processing payroll for them in the U.S. is sky high. If a job can be outsourced, it doesn’t make sense to have it done here.

In the long run, if we keep losing jobs, the labor rate will go down. We have already seen that salaries for programmers have come down a bit in many cases due to stiff competition from India. Minimum wage has not gone up that much in the United States in the last decade and has not kept up with inflation, making our standard of living lower. If Americans would work for less, and work a little faster (with a shorter lunch break) then outsourcing wouldn’t be such an attractive option in the first place.

The fact is that Americans who are capable of doing work that is marketable in today’s economy are really busy. They don’t have time to return phone calls and will keep you waiting a long time to get work done. Additionally, people in America rarely give me the impression that they are willing to fight for my business. If you want work done in a hurry, you have no choice but to outsource because Americans simply don’t have time to help you on short notice.

As time rolls on, India has hit some roadblocks to its expansion of its outsourcing empire. Labor costs are sky high, attrition rates are out of control, workspaces are really expensive, overpriced, and in short supply, and roads are so crammed, that companies can not realistically relocate to the outskirts of their metro unless their workers live nearby. India’s rates for outsourcing will become so expensive that outsourcing will eventually slow down, or so I think. Additionally, a crisis with Pakistan is inevitable and could shut the whole country down if it got out of hand.

America is the land of infinite road capacity, large buildings with elbow room for employees, political stability. If America decides to lower its rates, it can easily reduce outsourcing in a flash. If America decides to find a way to employ its unemployed, or to make incentives to give unemployed individuals even a part time job, our jobless rate would reduce overnight with or without outsourcing or automation.

Additionally in the future, as India and China get richer, they will need more American soap, cars, beef, and other commonly exported products which means more jobs for Americans! Outsourcing karma comes back to you. What you lose, you gain back in another form in no time at all!

Americans need to fear the internal domestic inflexibilities that cause unemployment and not outsourcing.

What does it mean to be an American?

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What we call current American culture is not really American at all, but a derivative of the fusion of Western European cultures transplanted in North America with some African and Native American influences — and more recently some Latino and Asian influences as well. The early Americans were mainly British, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish, with a population of African slaves who numbered only about 5% of the total population around the time of the Declaration of Independence. Germans and Irish came in large numbers in the early and mid 1800’s, and then many other groups followed. The language we speak is NOT American — but, English which is a language that originated and evolved in England and has its roots in France, Netherlands, Germany, with many borrowed words from Latin and Greek. Real American languages might include Native American languages such as Hopi, Cherokee, Iroquois, etc. In Native times, there were hundreds of tribes with very different languages and cultures populating America. Today in America, there are also dozens of highly populated cultural groups. In one sense things have changed, but in another sense, we are still a quiltwork of diversity.

So, what is American culture, and how does diversity fit into the scheme of things? It is hard to say what is American culture. Is it the culture associated with the current government? Or, is it the culture associated with the majority of the people who live here now? In fifty years, the majority will be Hispanic, so will it be “un-American” to not eat tacos? Or, is the real American culture the culture of the people who lived here the longest. Sure, there were dozens of tribes, but they did have common roots in Siberia and Shamanistic culture. Am I being less American by taking an interest in Asian culture? Or is Asian culture no less American than the mainstream Anglo culture?

Here are some ways that you could be a “real american”

Connection to the land

Not all in our great land share the same culture. I am always criticized by my patriotic “paisanos” (Italian word for countrymen), but being too international, and not American enough. But, I have a tremendous connection to the land. Additionally, I have done past life revisions, and roughly 25% of my past incarnations were on American soil — mostly as a Native American, but three lives in white American society on the land as well. I feel that the Anglo-Americans who consider themselves to be “real” Americans probably have much fewer past lives on the land than I do (not that I am competing). There is something very special about America, and its natural places: The National Parks, the trees, the coast — everything!

Connection to the mainstream culture

Some people don’t like having other language groups in America and believe that everyone should speak English. However, English is very un-American in my opinion. After all, it originated in Europe which is a place that is not even remotely related to the Americans until 1492 if you discount earlier Viking and prehistoric expeditions from Western Europe to North America. Historically, there were several different language families of Native American languages, each with many languages and dialects. Although Native Americans derive from Siberia perhaps 3000 to 25000 years ago, their language familes are very distinct from each other — much less related to each other than the European languages are related to each other. I can not say more since I have not studied any native languages.

Modern American cuisine is mainly Western European with some Mexican dishes that have become staples (Nachos and Taquitos) and a few Chinese restaurants popping up in even the most remote American towns. Real American food is hard to define, but foods like Squash (etymological roots in America by the way), Squirrels (also an American word), Corn, Beans, Chili, and Chocolate (from the Mayan Xaco-Atl meaning foaming water since cocoa cooked in water foamed a lot). From what it looks like, the Mexican culture seems to be a lot closer to real American culture since they eat foods that are indiginous to our land as staples.

Association with the government

Although the Native Americans have been associated with the land currently governed by the USA for a long time, they have not been associated without government for that long unless they were from the East Coast. Native Americans have their own land — leftover land that our government didn’t want because it wasn’t very good. An unfair deal for the native people. But, none-the-less, the Native Americans have a great degree of self-autonomy and are their own nations in a sense. Regular Americans may not live on any reservation without permission from the tribes. So, in terms of association with our government, the descendants of the early English settlers do have claim as being the most American people in the country, as do descendents of the slaves, many of whom were here since the sixteen and seventeen hundreds.

Being born and raised

The difference between America and other lands, is that you can have your roots in a different culture, and still be accepted. You should speak English as your native language and not discriminate against the mainstream as well as prerequisites for acceptance. If you meet the above stated four conditions, you would most likely be at least 70% accepted in this fair land! In places like India, the Parsis have been there for around 1000 years and are still a separate community — maybe in another 1000 years they will be more accepted and absorbed into the mainstream.

Just being here

What I noticed from traveling, is that you become connected with a country just by being there. You look at the map all the time, and become connected with the consciousness of the people very quickly. I believe that people who are in America are connected to American consciousness in many ways even if they are completely disconnected from the culture or heritage of the land.

But, what about new immigrants who don’t want to learn English, and don’t want to learn to blend in with the others who live in this land? Often times, the children of these immigrants also don’t want anything to do with you if you are not from their particular minority group. This brings tremendous divisiveness. Is a divided America healthy? After all, we have enough divisions already. We have divisions between Native Americans and descendants of immigrants. There is a division between North and South which sort of faded away in the 80’s, but is still there. There are Republicans and Democrats with very different ideas. There are those who speak English at home and others who speak Spanish, Korean, Filipino, Chinese and many other tongues. Diversity brings tremendous strength to America making us more agile about doing more types of tasks that any single ethnic group would not be able to do a satisfactory job of. But, what about the division — will it come back to haunt us like it did during the Civil War?


After long thought, I have decided that there is no definative line to draw for who is an American. Some people are American in some ways and not in others. Some people are MORE American than others. But, the most American people in my opinion would be people with some Native American blood which gives them longevity on the land — and then also have ancestry going back to the early European settlers in the U.S. which would give them a multi-generational connection to the current administration. How many people besides our local coffee barrista in my neighborhood meet that description?

US is training IT workers in Sri Lanka

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I’m reading an article in informationweek that is stating that the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka.  Java, Java EE, general BPO and Call Center skills will be taught to the workers there.   English improvement classes will also be part of the program. 
President Obama made a promise to retain more hi-tech jobs in America, but now there is a $36,000,000 program to train thousands of workers overseas. 
Many feel that the cost of employing workers in the United States is staggering.  Wages are high, and then accounting fees for payroll are not cheap either.  Social security tax and unemployment tax do further damage. Medical plans are yet another nightmare to deal with. Our U.S. government is stifling our own economy with all of these taxes and policies. There must be an easier way.  If we learned to think like the Chinese do, we would set up our own special economic zones that have different taxation rules. Workers could pay their own social security, and not have unemployment insurance.  If you are serious about work, you can live without the frills.  We could set up one zone in Oklahoma where land and labor are cheap, and businesses would flock there to outsource within our borders instead of to Sri Lanka.  Workers would also flock to this new economic miracle in Oklahoma to live in compounds and work long hours.  People could work for a few years and then go back to their home towns, or areas of choice.  I don’t forsee America gaining consciousness and doing anything like this for at least a few decades, and only if we get into devestating economic shape.
On a brighter note, the recipients of the training program in Sri Lanka are mostly underemployed, or unemployed individuals. They will benefit greatly, and their families will enjoy a much better level of prosperity (getting out of poverty).

Outsourcing Notary Work

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Outsourcing Notary Work
Many people think of outsourcing as hiring a company in another country to handle some of your back office tasks, and sometimes it is.  Companies overseas also hire American companies to do all types of tasks as well, generally tasks involving a higher level of technology since our labor rate is expensive.  But, hiring another company in your same town to do tasks that your own company can not efficiently do, is another type of outsourcing.
Notary Outsourcing
Mortgage documents used to be signed at banks, and lender’s offices throughout the nation.  California and Florida have led the nationwide trend towards mobile notaries that the rest of the states are now engaging in as well.  For the last decade or more, independent mobile notaries trained in loan signing have been outsourced to take over what used to be the jobs of employees.  Its easier.  You don’t have to do payroll, pay benefits, or even pay at all in many cases.
Free labor?
Notaries beware!  Background checks are an absolute necessity.  No!  Not companies background checking you. You have to background check them to make sure they feel a responsibility to pay notaries for their work.  Otherwise, you will end up a statistic.  I could estimate that 5% of loan signing jobs go unpaid.  The non-paying company might have gone belly-up, or perhaps the notary made a mistake.  In some cases, the loan didn’t go through, the signing company didn’t get paid, and they decided to take the liberty to not pay the notary.  “Notaries Ye Be Warned!!!”  There are pirates out there!
No Responsibilities
If business is slow, you just don’t hire anyone.  If you have bank employees, the salaries have to be paid every week of every month whether their is business or not. Loan signing business is typically faster during the last week of the month, and some months are faster than others.
Outsourcing can often save a company a lot of money.  However, by outsourcing your notary work, you lose control of who is doing the work.  Independent notaries are not always the best trained.  Most are not certified by any agency, and lack the experience and suaveness to handle sticky situations.  The highly experienced notaries generally want to get paid very handsomely.  So, outsourcing has its pros and cons, but its the standard way of business in the notary world today!

What if America were tribal?

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America used to be tribal, and so did the rest of the world. Many parts of the world still are tribal. But, those parts have bloody tribal rivalries, horrible social divisions, and poverty. We don’t want to be like them, do we? On the other hand, having tribes creates a sense of social security, family, social closeness, and belonging. So, maybe we want the good parts of tribal life without the bad.

How would modern day American tribes function? Well, the ladies could get together and do nesting activities. In this age, that might include some high tech tasks, and work at home tasks. But, the point of tribal living is partly so that children would be taken care of. If all of the ladies are in the nest either taking care of the young, or doing nest tasks (whatever modern nest tasks would be) that might be a lot better for the kids. They wouldn’t be abandoned like they are now.

But, how would tribes form, and what would that mean financially? Would each tribe have their own social security system? If you were old, would the tribe take care of you? Large societies like America make people feel uncared for, especially old people. Would tribes be more warm and caring? And how large would each tribe be, or would there be sub-tribes? Is 1000 people average per tribe good, or should there be more like 100,000 or a million? Would people join a tribe for a few years and then move on to some other tribe? That would confuse the social security system. If you were paying in at one location and taking out at another, boy would that be complicated.

Would tribes be based on family ties, race, or what type of person you are. Personally, I mix more with the yoga, music and spiritual crowd. I wouldn’t want a tribe of narrow minded Christians or Jews — not that there is anything bad about being narrow-minded. Would there be a tribe for me? If tribes are based on what type of person you are, it should be based also on what type of person you would raise your children and grandchildren to be assuming you would have them. It would be a long-term or permanent thing. Perhaps people could belong to more than one tribe. One for family, and another based on interests, beliefs, or lifestyle.

I don’t know if a voluntary tribalization of America would be good or bad, but it might be nice to feel you belong somewhere because modern society is very alienating!