It occurred to me that we are constantly being asked something about ourselves on paperwork or in person. In an age when no one is supposed to ask anything about your religion, race, family background or political persuasion, I find it interesting that we continue to be asked personal things, regardless. This is quite disturbing to some and others go along with it because they feel there is nothing that can be done about it…so why bother to complain. Why worry?…for it is just one more exasperating part of life. Bureaucracy has always been a pain.
How we deal with our everyday stresses greatly effects our own emotional welfare. From from buying a house, applying for a job, filing out the income tax forms, medical questions and much more, we all feel the pinch…and are glad when it is completed.
Lets look at this more deeply at putting our information on the tiny, little line provided on a form. Actually, what does it matter what race we are, for aren’t we all from the “HUMAN race?” Who really needs to know? If we decided to put “human” next to that line, they probably would reject it…as if they didn’t know what a “human” is.
As for politics, I just go vote for the person I think will be most likely to do the job…and do it when things get tough for all people. Yet, when I vote, I have to tell them that I’m one party or another. If I register in my state as an “Independent,” I have only the national election in which to vote because it is considered a “closed primary” for other local elections. That doesn’t seem fair.
Did I say the word, “FAIR?” The possibility of the unfairness of any election to be a problem is not a new problem. Somehow when the election rolls around, we wade through it because it is the American thing to do. Usually, however, I also have to show some identification that I am an indeed an American, not a dog or cat or illegal immigrant…unless that changes. I know who I plan to have my Golden Retriever vote for in that case. Don’t ask me though, for privacy is an important part of who I am. I would hate to have “protesters”…or worse, outside my house! Unfortunately, violence has become such a part of our nation that simply holding up a sign for any candidate can become deadly. God help us!
You look at the medical records, that are supposed to be private. Does it matter to the doctor that I am male or female…well, maybe… if he is concerned about my ovaries. What does a person do that is not certain if he is female or male in his own thinking? I also suppose that when the form asks “male” or “female”… that there should be a box saying “other” …or “trying to decide.” That might be confusing to the medics unless they have to check.
Yet, “other” might appear on some applications. This is true if you just can’t fit into the category provided. Oh, yes, I jest a bit about things that may not be a laughing matter to some. My apology is in order, for we must not offend or even joke about any serious matter! I do have real concerns about a child that is growing up being told that they can “choose” what sex they want to be. This is happening, as I know you are aware. At least, let them grow up as male or female and then they can decide on this issue…if that is important to them.
This leads me to wonder, who exactly makes out these forms? They must stay up nights trying to figure out what to put down just in case someone might not know how to answer! Correctness is important to those who need to know. It is the RESPONSIBILITY of those who hold the pen or click the key on the internet. Someone on the other side will decide for you IF you have to reapply…so get it right!!
Therefore, I looked up: FORMS Don’t ask me why. It is just one of those quirks I get when I’m laying awake at night thinking. Sometimes the things that pop into my head actually makes me laugh. Laughter is a good thing because it is at a premium these days…unless someone just gets hysterical from worry.
Back to FORMS. Is “form” a noun or a verb? If it is a form you fill out, it is a noun. If it is “form” in making something…like forming a round cookie ball, it is actually to form, which is a verb. That is just extra information in case you just couldn’t live without knowing. The teacher in me comes out.
One of the forms that I came across was from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. I never realized it could get so complicated and sometimes expensive. Tough luck for those who come with almost no money to apply.
Reader,don’t get bored. Stick with me. This part is for those readers who may be thinking of doing it the right way. These are a few, but NOT ALL:
- Job offer Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) Through a Job Offer Form filing fee:
- Granted an Asylee status: Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) Through Asylee Status An asylee is a person who meets the definition of refugee and is already present in the United States or is seeking admission at a port of entry.
- Refugee: Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) Through Refugee Status
- Naturalization: Becoming a U.S. Citizen Through Naturalization Form filing fee: $640 Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth.
- Citizenship through Parents. Citizenship Through Parents Form filing fee: $1,170 Congress has enacted laws that determine how U.S. citizen parents convey citizenship to children born outside of the United States. Generally, you may obtain citizenship through your U.S. citizen parents when you are born, or after your birth but before you turn 18.
- Temporary Workers Visa E Visas (E-1, E-2, and E-3) for Temporary Workers Form filing fee: $460 The E visa category includes treaty traders and investors who come to the United States under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the country of which they are a citizen or national.
- SMART PERSON: You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. EB-2: Employment-Based Immigration– Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability Form filing fee: $460 You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference (EB-2) permanent worker visa if you are a member of a profession and you have an advanced degree or its equivalent, or if you have an exceptional ability.
Well, that was fun. I bet it won’t be fun filling out those forms. If you are busy thinking which category you fall under, just know they will document everything about you. However, because you are willing to be honest, open and agreeable to doing things the “American Way,” you may be able to be an American citizen…but the time of waiting is unknown. A wall won’t be long enough for those who ignore the correct method, but those people will be looking over their shoulder their entire life.
As far as forms go, we, Americans have it all figured out. You can fill out your forms online, in Braille, or various other methods. Don’t forget to read the fine print. It usually tells you “under penalty of law” which means that they will take you away from your family or your firstborn…which ever they can get. I’m teasing, of course. I’m not certain who they will send to get you since the police force might be minimized by the time they read your incorrect form. Oh, bureaucracy, it is the dream…or nightmare… of all who live in this wonderful world!
Perhaps I have been too hard on the ups and downs of filling out forms in our democracy. There are many other forms of government control that would not even ask you to fill out a form…because they don’t care who you are, what you think or why you want something that calls for a form,…for it doesn’t matter to them. You will simply be a speck…without rights or privileges. There are a few governments that incorporate a form of democracy with some form of socialism, such as in Sweden or Norway. Each has inherit dangers to how much control is actually given to the government hierarchy.
Next time I have to fill out a form, I will remember to thank God that I have the opportunity to participate in my own needs that require a form. What if we lived under the tyranny of most of the governments listed below.
Have you ever thought of how many different FORMS of GOVERNMENTS there are? You might want to look up some of these when you have an extra hour or two. Here is the list that I came up with…in alphabetical order.. certainly not in order of the most important to the rights of the average citizen.
- Anarchy Aristocracy Bureaucracy Capitalism Colonialism Communism Democracy Federalism Feudalism Kleptocracy Meritocracy
- Military Dictatorship Monarchy Oligarchy Plutocracy Republicanism
- Socialism Theocracy Totalitarianism Tribalism
Since we have an election coming up, it might be good to see if any of our candidates are leaning toward any one of these forms of government. No person is freer than in a democracy. and it is why we sing…. “I am glad to be an American….where I know I’m free…” Now, if only the American anarchist could learn that song!
Life and all its complications may be difficult to manage IF we try to hold on to them. So much of life, especially now, is filled with personal and national stress. Furthermore, there is not much we can do about most of it. We can’t totally control the virus. We can vote in the election and who will win will be up to the nation as a whole. The police are trying to control the rioting and looting as much as they are given support by local governments. Young Americans need to be taught by family, clergy and teachers the basics of right and wrong. Where this failure happens, the young people will not learn. This should certainly keep us up at night.
Let’s look at the Holy Scripture because there is a lesson here and also in the video below about our stresses and concerns.
To the Samaritan Woman at the well, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4
We, most of all, have to learn to put all things in God’s hands. He knows the beginning from the end. He is all powerful and we must look to Him…personally and nationally. Whether it is filling out a simple form, or a not so simple form…or something much more stressful…we would do well to learn a lesson about A GLASS OF WATER.
Not too many years ago, I was privileged to take a group of senior high students to Eastern Europe. While in Poland, we went to Auschwitz Concentration camp. It was an experience never to be forgotten. I had one Jewish student with our group. He found a flower vendor and I watched as he gently laid the flowers before the wall within the camp where so many were executed. He wore his Bermuda shorts, but carefully dressed in a sports jacket and tie. I could see that his effort was to show honor and respect for those who lost their lives there. I also took him to the spot where the Munich massacre took place at the 1972 Summer Olympics. This was when a Palestinian terrorist group took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with a West German police officer. Most people want to forget such atrocities. Yet history replays itself over and over again as we lose our compassion for one another.
The Israeli Olympic team members’ families tried unsuccessfully to convince the International Olympic Committee to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings by holding a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. The Committee refused. Often people are reluctant to lay the blame where it belongs. Each isolated case of human suffering has its opposing views, but the insanity of it is that the world never seems to learn.
Human suffering comes in many forms. In our present day, we see it all over the world. It is often brought upon people by the corruption of governments and political struggles. More recently, as we watch the long lines of people who are walking hundreds of miles toward the USA border, we know that each has their own story. Some for the search for a better life and some for evil and disruption. A mob gives no indication of what the intentions may be. Many are walking in flip-flops or carrying children. There are motives that most of us here will never know. Regardless of what the reasons may be, our borders must be secured and laws must be reformed to encourage a proper way to emigrate to a better life. The road to legal emigration is often a long one and those taking the proper path should be recognized. Desperation colliding with law and order is, unfortunately, a reality of our times.
If the situation in their countries is so terrifying that they are trying to find a safer place, it is understandable. However, they probably do not want to go to Chicago or to some other parts of our country for we have problems of our own.
If it is work that the people seek, there are ways to find this particular path. During our time in Virginia, we got to know some of the farmers and growers. Each year large groups of workers are brought to our country legally. It was explained to us that the Virginia growers take care of all the legal paperwork, provide transportation to the farm from whatever country they come from, provide a place to live (usually a small trailer), a truck or car to use with a temporary license on the weekends and much more. Multiply this by all the growers in California and Florida. We, in the US, employ large numbers of people…all legally. Are there undocumented workers here? Of course, but their employers should be held accountable to the laws of the land.
When the harvest season is over, the workers return to their country with pay for the family left behind. It is a proper and legal way of doing things. It was our observation that these workers are excellent at their jobs and work long hours. We watched the trucks they loaded with pumpkins, apples, broccoli, cabbages and other products. In fact, I took the picture of the men shown below. Even though we did not speak their language, they often smiled as we came by. After dark, the trucks rolled to the processing plants. It is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination. The farm and orchard owners told us that without the migrant help their farming business would fold. Yes, we need the emigrants and the temporary, migrant workers…but we need all involved to follow the laws…including the farm and business owners.
Countries of Europe have opened their borders to the suffering around the world. In the beginning, it was a noble thing to do, but the problems have been severe as many refused to assimilate into the culture of the country they had chosen. Often the local police would not go into the areas because they had their own laws of living. On a vacation to England, we were told that people who had lived in an area all their lives were basically forced out by the influx. No one wanted to buy their homes, so the emigrants moved in. The worry in the USA is that mass influx will bring on similar situations.
There are many legitimate questions: Where will they live? Who will feed them? What will the drain on our overall economy be with welfare and medical issues? If the border is not secured, when will the next wave come….and the next and the next? There is no easy answer.
Does securing our borders mean that Americans do not have compassion? Of course not. We are probably the most generous people in the world to help out…and to give out needed supplies and support when emergencies arise. We give millions, if not billions, of foreign aid. Just as it is not up to one family to support all families, this country can not support all countries. Neither can our military fight all battles even as they try hard to fight terrorism and the forces of evil in far away places. Now, we are thinking that it may be necessary to use military strength at our own borders?! How bizarre can things get? Probably more than we know.
The emigrants of the past, particularly from all parts of Europe, helped build this country. We have not forgotten our history. Neither should we forget the sins of the past when people were brought here as slaves to work the soil. It is likely that the “sins of the fathers” will always stay with the sons…as the racial unrest continues to this day. Generations to come will feel what we did then and what we do now. Yes, suffering is a very sad thing no matter when it has occurred and to whom.
Our parents who lived through World War II finally saw the sufferings that human beings went through when death camps were opened and surviving prisoners were set free. The millions who did not make it died there and as we think of the problems of today and in the future, we must never forget the history that led up to these terrible atrocities. Suffering has no boundaries.
God must weep in heaven when men harden their hearts to the suffering of others. Yet, He does not treat us like robots. He gives us free will to decide right and wrong. In making tough decisions, our leaders and citizens must never forget what history has taught us about suffering…or we shall live it again. That is an international promise.
Shindler’s List is probably one of the most moving films ever made. The video that you will see took place in 2017 in Budapest at one of the largest synagogues in Europe. It is a concert where Csongor Korossy plays the violin of the music from that film. I believe that John Williams, who composed this piece of music was truly inspired. Notice the faces of the people in the audience… especially the elderly who are most likely remembering someone that they lost. The youth have heard the stories from their families. Those tragic histories must not be lost in our memories. Neither can the fact of how quickly people, of all faiths and heritages, can be tortured or abused for who they are, where they come from or what they believe. Even in our news this week is the tragedy of those killed in their own synagogue of worship while dedicating the names of their little children.
Until God comes with the angels in heaven and with His Son to rid the world of evil and wipe away all tears, there will be suffering. However, we are not left without hope. We have a promise of good things to come.
…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.”… (Berea Study Bible…Revelation 21:4)
Video A Concert…not the movie (Turn up your sound)
Dedicated to the victims at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.
Tomorrow is the beginning of “Early Voting” in my state, USA. Many people think it is important who is in government control (local or national) and others could care less. We better care if we have learned anything from history.
I write about this not to promote one candidate or another, but reflect on what history may teach us on government and control… if we pay attention. The problem is that we rarely connect past history with the potential present or future history and what it may look like. Therefore, we will take a look at past history and hope that our skin does not crawl…but it will.
Did you know that one of the most famous names in our USA Supreme Court was responsible for the cutting off many individual rights during the early 20th century? Here’s his picture…Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Why was this esteemed man important? He had a great deal to do with the philosophy of Eugenics. Here is what he said on the matter of a court case from Virginia entitled Buck v Bell in which he voted Yes to enforce the following:
Buck v. Bell
(from Wikipedia) “In 1927, Holmes wrote the 8–1 majority opinion in Buck v. Bell case that upheld the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924 and the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck who was claimed to be mentally defective. Although later scholarship has shown the suit was collusive and Carrie Buck was probably of normal intelligence. The record before the Supreme Court showed only that she had received a proper hearing in which she was represented by a competent guardian, and was able to press her suit in the federal courts. She apparently had received the procedures required by due process of law in ample measure. The argument made on her behalf was principally that the statute requiring sterilization of institutionalized persons was unconstitutional, itself a violation of what today is called “substantive due process”. Holmes repeated familiar arguments that statutes would not be struck down if they appeared on their face to have a reasonable basis. In support of his argument that the interest of “public welfare” outweighs the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:
(Quote by Judge Holmes) “We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Although the opinion and eugenics remain controversial, the decision in the case still stands. Sterilization rates under eugenics laws in the United States climbed from 1927 until Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). While Skinner v. Oklahoma did not specifically overturn Buck v. Bell, it created enough of a legal quandary to discourage many sterilizations…”
“A historical marker was erected on May 2, 2002 in Charlottesville, Virginia where Carrie Buck was born. Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner offered the “Commonwealth’s sincere apology for Virginia’s participation in eugenics,” noting that “the eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved.” (Paul A Lombardo U of V School of Medicine)
We are hearing words that will make the hair stand on the back of the neck: FORCED STERILIZATION… THE INCOMPETENT or the first use of the word “Moron” (feeble-minded or perhaps mentally ill)
This was what Eugenics was all about…getting rid of the undesirables. It came in the form of our first emigration policies and restrictions, the mental institutions where many ended up whether they were actually insane or not. It also had to do with racism. Even the histories of citizens were stored in locked vaults by the government. These could explain inherited traits and pinpoint those who would be considered “unacceptable”.
Perhaps we should think twice before we give over to any organization our DNA to do with as they like. Any authority may decide to act upon this greatest of our identity. Take for instance the controversy of 23andMe, a DNA test group.
” …23andMe’s Personal Genome Service is much more than a medical device; it is a one-way portal into a world where corporations have access to the innermost contents of your cells and where insurers and pharmaceutical firms and marketers might know more about your body than you know yourself. And as 23andMe warns on its website, “Genetic Information that you share with others could be used against your interests. You should be careful about sharing your Genetic Information with others.” (Charles Siefe in Scientific America)
One may ask, what about the good parts of having DNA used by the police investigators to find killers or rapists who may have been Cold Cases for years? Of course, this technology today can be celebrated for bringing the guilty to justice as we heard about recently on 60 Minutes. However, we must not forget that there are few standards set in the use of DNA and someone who is calling themselves DNA professionals could also make mistakes or prove to be using the knowledge for less than good to an individual…criminal or not. Could these same people be brought in to court as a witness with authority? Caution may be the best word. How important is your lineage to you?
Under President Wilson, the belief in Eugenics for the nation flourished. Some of the terms used are everyday words to us today because of the government efforts in years past to make lawful things that we might question today. The public can be coerced and made from advertisements to think that the government knows best. That is precisely why we should look at the people we put into office very, very carefully. Is individual liberty a priority to a candidate…or does he or she thinks that government knows best and can be the solver of all problems? When would they think, you, the citizen is the problem…for whatever reason.
Shown here is President Wilson, a eugenics sign, and a family that was found to have good lineage…having won a contest as “the best”.
We could go on with many eugenics topics in history: immigration restrictions, unfit individuals, compulsory sterilization, euthanasia programs, fit baby contests and family fitness under eugenics, planned parenthood promotions and how we as a nation promoted racial superiority as did Germany during WWII.
What a nation can do in plain sight can be terrifying if we are looking away or turn a blind eye. (More information on Eugenics)
Yes, it matters who is in power in your local, state, or national setting. Do your homework. Your human rights are at stake…as in past years and in the future. See how they have voted in the past that effects your life and more importantly your freedoms.
“The Eugenics Crusade” The American Experience PBS
In January 2018, I wrote about Ellis Island where so many of our Immigrants saw the new land of hope and promise for the first time. I thought it might be a good thing to look at them again and their struggle. I highly suggest that if you have not seen The Emigrants featured on PBS, that you settle in for a long, but fascinating presentation. If you are a descendant of one of those immigrants, you will never think of them the same.
TO ELLIS ISLAND: The trip was terrible in most cases as the ships came into the New York harbor. Isolated on an Island called Ellis was a building of hope for freedom from about every imaginable circumstance. Yes, this was my relative and possibly yours unless your relatives were brought by force on a slave ship.
The following pictures are from the New York Public Library, photographed by A. Sherman.
Herded off the ships and onto Ellis Island, where they had to answer questions and be examined for diseases, the people were part way to a new life.
What exactly is the history of Ellis Island? (Taken from History by Evan Andrews)
“On November 12, 1954, the once bustling immigration inspection port at Ellis Island was shut down after more than 62 years in operation. Opened in 1892, the small island in New York Harbor served as the processing center and point of entry for more than 12 million new arrivals to the United States. The island has since become a storied and often controversial symbol of the plight of the immigrant, and it is estimated that more than one-third of all Americans can trace their lineage to someone who passed through its doors.”
Even after arriving and allowed to enter the city and the country, living conditions were harsh. Many died. Others faced persecution from others who did not understand them, their language or their culture. For those who managed to adjust to a new way of life, generations would follow them.
A Couple facts of interest about Ellis Island:
- Used for Hangings: Long before it became a way station for people looking for a new beginning, Ellis Island—named for its last private owner, Samuel Ellis—was known as a place where condemned prisoners met their end. For most of the early 19th century, the island was used to hang convicted pirates, criminals and mutinous sailors, and New Yorkers eventually took to calling it “Gibbet Island” after the wooden post, or gibbet, where the bodies of the deceased were displayed. It reverted to the name “Ellis Island” in the years after the last hanging in 1839, and later served as a Navy munitions depot before being repurposed as a federal immigration station.
- Three unaccompanied children were the first immigrants: Ellis Island accepted its first new arrivals on New Year’s Day 1892, when the steamship Nevada arrived with 124 passengers from Europe. The first would-be immigrant to set foot on the island was Annie Moore, a teenager from County Cork, Ireland who had crossed the Atlantic with her 11 and 7-year-old brothers en route to reuniting with family in New York. A U.S. Treasury Department official and a Catholic chaplain were on hand to welcome Moore, and Ellis Island’s commissioner awarded her a $10 gold piece to mark the occasion. Today, a statue of Moore and her brothers is kept on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Moore became the public face of the immigrants who had passed through Ellis Island, but it turned out that the face put forward was a case of mistaken identity.
For years it was thought that Moore had married a descendant of the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell, moved to New Mexico and met a tragic end in a 1923 streetcar accident in Fort Worth, Texas, that left her five children orphaned. For years, the woman’s descendants were invited to ceremonies at both Ellis Island and Ireland. (from History)
Take a look at these pictures and the faces of those who came from all over the globe:
Today we live with concern over illegal immigrants who have not come here legally. We worry that they have a belief that they should overthrow the very country that welcomes them or destroy the American belief of freedom of choice. It is a difficult decision on how and where to limit those who come. It probably was also difficult in the early 1900’s when so many fled persecution, famine, and no future.
Those who first came had to prove themselves that they truly wanted to be Americans and live by the laws of this country. Nothing was perfect in receiving these previous immigrants. Some slipped through and did not contribute to society. Even today we are being forced to make difficult choices concerning the future of many.
Those in charge of immigration during the early years took a chance. Our country and the people of Europe in modern times have taken a chance with some difficult results. It sometimes takes years for people to assimilate into the American way of life and our society. They have to want to do so. It can be done, however, if those who come want to truly be American and give their best efforts and talents to being a part of a free nation even with all its blemishes. Had there not been those in charge of receiving the first immigrants…our ancestors.. and taking a chance on them, we would probably not be living here today.
The American values are not often the values of people of other countries. We may ask ourselves many questions with mostly unknown answers.
- Do the immigrants of today look at the Statue of Liberty or the meaning of Ellis Island the same as those who first came?
- Does it truly stand for Liberty for All?
- Will they be willing to immigrate legally and follow those who do so?
- Will they be grateful for a land of opportunity and contribute to society?
- How do we protect our borders from drug dealers and criminals?
Probably the hardest question of all for us today is: What about the children born here or brought here by illegal means? What to do about the young people who have known no other life but living in America and were taken by the hand to cross the border by an adult who knew they were breaking our laws?
Difficult… most difficult decisions will be coming to our nation. Prayers are needed for our government leaders to have wisdom as we struggle with these issues here in the United States and abroad. Is the Immigrant struggle today different from those of the past?
Click on this link: Tells of the making of the film, The Emigrants