Going Nuts In La La Land….


I successfully navigated my presentation on Global Migration last Monday. More than 100 denizens of Harbour Ridge politely listened to TTG and by all accounts I was a tad more than presentable. At least nobody threw anything.

images.jpegKathy asked me what was next and I have been cogitating about that all week. But there is nagging voice in my head. I started to recreate my talk for you but in truth it was far too wordy. I have been frustrated by my inability to come up with a pithy solution to migration. Maybe like many of you. 

Migration has gone on for millennia. It is a force of nature. A wall, short of putting out 10,000 volts upon touching, is not going to stop anyone. in my humble estimation, bringing new people to our shores should not be curtailed . It is what keeps us vibrant, creative and in may cases alive. God forbid that we admit we need help in everything from the sciences to cutting our lawns.

Yuval Harari in his book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” puts it best in his chapter on immigration. First we must decide are we going to let people in ? If we vote yes then is it a privilege we are bestowing or a moral right open to all? Antis will claim we are being invaded and we have worked hard to make our country what it is. You can’t just come in here and screw it up. 

Fair enough but are we all willing to look the other way when it comes to cleaning our houses, serving our restaurants and making construction projects more affordable? We want to have our cake and eat it too. Okay, you can bus tables but does that mean I have to educate you and take care of you if you are sick? Interesting question.

Secondly, if I do let you in, then you should have to play by my rules. You have a responsibility to assimilate. That is not as obsequious as it may sound. We have some sort of identity as Americans even though I am hard pressed to define what it is. imagesYou cannot have Sharia Law in your neighborhood. You should learn the language. You should work to fit in no matter how hard we make it. More on that later. 

Lastly we have to decide how long am I going to give you to meet some sort of standards? Five years? A generation? Please don’t forget the Little Italies, Germantowns and Chinatowns we have not only endured but embraced. They did not happen overnight. 

Living in Harbour Ridge or Palm Desert or Denver is not all that different. We as a nation have created habitats over many generations. Cities, neighborhoods and parishes. And the pure and simple truth is we don’t like outsiders and we don’t want change. We reminisce about the good old days and yearn for Ozzie and Harriet or some other look alike to move in next door. Sorry kids, those days are gone. 

Give me that old time religion? How many of us go to church? Muslims scare the crap out of us. Anyone named Muhammed has to be wearing a suicide belt. What is that lady under the hijab looking at? What really goes on inside those mosques? They eat funny food even though we wolf down sushi, Thai food and and Indian cuisine is not exactly from the Navajos. . 

We abhor new things but our world and our tastes have completely turned over since the sixties and seventies. We just have never paid attention to it. Remember when Swanson TV dinners were an acceptable cuisine? Point being? Change is good as long as it is gradual. If you don’t believe we have made changes for the better in food, medicine, transportation et al, then enjoy your own little part of the world. The rest of us have to move on in some sort of sane way. 

The point about transitions happening at a moderate pace should not be looked at askance. The left wants it tomorrow. The right never wants it. Their extreme positions although terribly popular today are untenable. We wind up getting nowhere. I don’t know about you but nowhere is not my desired destination. 

Migration is a microcosm of our world. To get it right we have to be deliberative, compromising and above all cognizant of our fellow man or woman. Yes, we should reach out to the people that need it but we can’t run over those that are already here. I guess this winner take all attitude or high ground positions are what is making me Nuts in La La Land.

What if these burrs in our saddles became itches we have to scratch? Not to be ignored but worthy of thought. Can’t we take entitlements, healthcare, infrastructure, and education in the same vein. Maybe that is naive on my part but I am not willing to let it go just yet. How about you? Have you quit in disgust or arrogance or is there room for negotiation somewhere? I hope so.

As always 

Ted The Great


We have 15 million illegals in the country. 3/4 of them are here by overstaying visas not sneaking across the border. A majority have been here over 10 years. Can we deport all of them or should we just look the other way?

The southern border is 2000 miles long.181026-border-wall-ew-212p_78529e537eb99a58988c3cce50f6ef97.fit-760w We have secured 650 miles of it. If you drew a straight line from San Diego to Cleveland, Ohio that would come in at 2000 miles. Should we build, man and maintain that distance for years to come?

People come here for a better life and  that translates into work. There is a system called EVerify which if used by companies in our country would make it impossible for an illegal to get a job. UnknownCorporate America loves the cheap labor to increase bottom lines. The ACLU thinks it is an invasion of privacy. Lovely!

As the result of a 1952 convention that we as a nation signed off on an asylum seeker has a RIGHT to come to our door and ask for refuge. We have the RIGHT to say no. They have the RIGHT to appeal.That is the law!  We have 825,000 asylum seekers waiting to be heard by 394 judges. Most of the people appearing at our southern border are seeking asylum. 

Immigrants of all sorts (non native born) number 45 million which is 15% of our population and they account for:

45% of our domestic work force

36% of manufacturing

33% of agricultural

32% hotel



Have We Lost It?

Have We Lost It ?

UnknownMass shootings. Rich people bribing their kid’s way into school. Stars of note staging their beating to acquire more fame and fortune. Woman being attacked by a Jaguar while trying to take a selfie…inside the jungle cat’s cage. All of the above and plenty more would attest to our sanity or lack thereof. Today I am thinking about something else.

I am going to do a presentation before our Foreign Policy group here at Harbour Ridge. My topic is Global Migration. I am sure several of you are asking what the hell does TTG know about wandering whomevers and you might be right. Many of the speakers throughout the season are learned. I am not. I have no alphabet soup behind my name. But of I do share a relentless desire for knowledge and I have done my homework. 

During the process I have been tossed hither and yon on the seas of public opinion. Today our news is not exactly factual or at least it only brings up the more salacious details. As a result one day I am for it and the next not quite so avid. You have to dig deep and although I have not looked at the 4 million responses  on Google in 3.9 seconds, I have delved below the surface. 

I don’t give my talk until next Monday and I don’t prerelease my speech to the press beforehand. Would probably ensure that no one but my beloved wife would show up. I will share with you the entire topic of migration and by extension immigration both legal and illegal tells one there is more than meets the eye.

Beyond the sensationalism of babies being torn from their mother’s breast or Eritreans drowning in the Mediterranean, there are several truths of our globalized world. Most importantly it brings to the fore our total inadequacy of handling 20th century problems with 19th century solutions. images-4

In the US, the bureaucratic nightmare for entry is a testament to our ability to make a relatively straightforward process immensely complex. We have 180 different types of visas. The asylum process involves two or three different agencies, each with their own particular needs and agendas. We have no real way to track and apprehend those who have overstayed. Yet combined we have over 100,000 government employees hard at work to fix things. With more money we could get it right. Sure.

When I was in the Navy I would see this rule, reg or requisition and be amazed at its innate insanity. I used to shake my head in disbelief and then realize I was on a ship among hundreds in the Navy, that was part of the Department of Defense, that was part of the U.S Government. Yikes, my one example of waste and inefficiency was everywhere. 

The immigration process in this country has been under consideration for over 33 years. The last time we overhauled it was back in the Reagan Era before many today were even born. We have had Republican and Democratic presidents. Each side has had majorities in the Senate and House and several times combined. Yet we get nowhere. 

Ditto our crumbling infrastructure. Ditto schools. Ditto entitlement reform. Ditto our deficit. The battle cry is “Wait until we have power!” And when they do they fritter away time on investigations, hearings and every bit of grandstanding available. That is both sides mind you. No one has a monopoly on idiocy. images-1

People decry the push to the extreme left and right. Marie La Pen or AOC? Take your pick. My God, democracy is crumbling. We are going to become a socialist or totalitarian state. We have lost our minds. Really? Maybe the solution is far simpler than that. 

I think we have lost it. The faith that government can run this company that keeps us alive, protected and fed. People aren’t flocking to radicals. They are embracing anything but what we have now because our status quo is incompetent. Joe six pack voted for Trump because he was a totally off the charts challenge to the establishment. The Warrens, Bookers and Sanders are the antidotes to the rich. It is not political ideology but crowd psychology. Voters don’t read party platforms. They read bios and watch sound bites. Perhaps it is not a swing to the left or right but merely to different. 

I think we have to boil so much down to yes and no answers. I think we have become infatuated by being all things to all people lest we offend. The subtleties get you those extra votes to get you reelected. Yes or no, are we going to let people immigrate to this country? Yes or no, are we going to let the illegals become legal? Have plebiscite and be done with it. Next?

Reading this you might be tempted to think I have lost it. No I haven’t and that is what is irksome. After doing my research, there are answers to immigration as there are to so many other of our burning questions. The answers require guts and political will. That’s what I think we have lost. 

As always

Ted the Great 


The 115th Congress ending 1/3/2019 enacted over 400 bills but many were ceremonial like naming post offices. The bills all told ran to almost 8,000 pages of blather. 

There are 248 million people on the go throughout the world. 59 million don’t want to be. The are “displaced” persons by war, persecution, famine and drought. They come from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. 

Unknown-1“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.   Winston Churchill

One of the closest issues where Republicans and Democrats place it as a top priority is immigration. By 75% to 14% Americans believe immigration is good for the country. 81% to 17% Americans favor figuring out a way for illegals to become legal.

Go figure!

Different Ain’t Bad…..

Am sitting here in LaLa Land with my feet up. Not planned. Broke my ankle last Friday and had surgery yesterday. On limited duty for next 6-8 weeks. Kathy is filing for divorce. Can you blame her?IMG_0002

I have been on crutches this last week and your perspective changes. You have to be aware of your surroundings and especially people around you.You are needy and for me that sucks.  Some are of immense help and others not so. The other day a woman slammed the door in my face as I was trying to go through. Probably didn’t like my bald head or something. Hellooooo!

A wonderful friend stopped by the other day to keep me company. It took us about fifteen seconds to discuss the weather and then we got down to the nitty gritty. This guy is as bad as me with meandering thoughts. In the first fifteen minutes we went down about nine dark alleys. One struck in my mind. 

It centered around the fact that we all look at things differently. I happen to like contrary thought and isms. Reductio ad absurdum, we should all live in 7 billion worlds. Yet we crave definition. I am liberal. I am conservative. I am from the North. I am from the South. I am white. I am black. I belong to this club. Is that inclusion or separation?Is this an integral part of our rancorous nature today? 

images-1The trend seems to be taking sides. To say we are going to extremes is not an exaggeration. We are setting more and more rules and if you don’t adhere, you are not one of us. Whatever club we are in we want the members to be pure. Elitism can be the gang at the country club or the gang in the hood. We hate whatever we ain’t. We want to be in this hermetically sealed room of conformity to our ideas. 

Sitting in a waiting room for a preop exam you look around at all types. This one is pleasant. That one is disgusting. Why? Because they either do or do not adhere to my standards. I gravitate towards the ones that are like me. I shun the others. Natural? Probably, but the thought occurs to me that I don’t even give them a chance. 

I am open to all sides. I didn’t say I agree but it is fascinating to hear other lines of thinking. Do I feel threatened? No. It is my way to reach out to others. I want to know and I guess I want to help. The young woman who took my blood told me she had been at this job since June. Doris went to school after 12 years in retail. She was so proud to be dong what she was doing. I told her what a great job she had done and thanked her. I could tell she felt good and so did I. What if I sat there placidly and never asked?. 

My buddy and I continued down the road and thought about this thing called “Do Unto Others”. Simple, but I hope not trite. He expressed it as just love for one another. He felt perhaps “Giving” best describe it. No, the anesthesia has not made me delirious but just think about it. We all want everyone to be just like us. Have we ever thought about being like them? Have we looked at life from their perspective? Beyond tough but really provocative and satisfying.

Every so oftenI have tried doing nothing but give for an entire day. I probably get through the first hour at best but at least I give it a try. Walk down the street or into a store and worry about that other person and not me. Say, How are you dong? And mean it. Have a conversation and elicit response. As an old friend said, hit the receive button and not transmit on your radio. 

We try to build ourselves up. We say we want to be better people but aren’t we in some way saying I just want to be better than you? I want to be richer, skinnier and a better golfer than you. The more exclusive I am the more in control of the situation. I can dictate rather than be subservient to outside influences. I am moved by a song or a movie but then I go back into my cocoon. My own gated community with my own gated thoughts. On either side of the tracks.

Well gang, so much for my reverie. UnknownI will go back to my reading and yes, probably do more writing. My world looks a little different right now and that is cool. I will let you know how I am doing. Most of all. I wonder about all of you and your lives. I hope they are different too. Come on in, the water is fine.

As always

Ted The Great


In a two hour out patient surgery yesterday I had contact with fifteen human beings I never met before. At our club for a dinner meal there are at least 30 servers, bussers, cooks and dishwashers that go to make my meal. Never thought of that before. 

A Cigna report stated:Only around half of Americans (53%) say they have meaningful, daily face-to-face social interactions, including an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family.images-2

Additionally, the survey found that younger American are hit harder by loneliness. The generation born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s especially

Ted Talks as a non profit began in 1984. There are over 93,000 Ted Talk videos. They are all by rule 18 minutes or less. Think of all the topics we can discover that present different ideas. In your own home and no one will ever know.