Saturday, January 26, 2008

Immigration Reform

There's a lot of political buzz, especially here in Arizona, over reforming the immigration laws of the United States.

There's a few things I'd like to say that I think could go a long way in creating the kind of immigration reform I'd like to see here.

First of all, we need to do more about securing our borders. This isn't about keeping law abiding neighbors of other countries out, it's about keeping the citizens of other countries who want to kill Americans out. We've already had one 9/11/2001, I do not wish to see another repeat of this.

Unfortunately, this idea is fostering an us vs. them mentality, where people are pushing it to include the law abiding neighbors.

For Mexico, I would love to see another conversation come out of this: what can we as a people (as well as We The People of The United States Government) do to help the people of Mexico create a better Mexico?

If I were the President of Mexico, I would be ashamed to lead a country of people willing to die to leave rather than willing to die to live there.

Personally, I believe the people of Mexico want a better Mexico, they don't know how to go about creating that change. It's all about education, plus some pushing on our Government's part.

In my Church, there is a Perpetual Education Fund. This allows people from all over the world to receive the funds to get a good education, then once they graduate they repay the fund for the money they've used (there's no interest on the loans, however additional donations are always welcome).

I've been reading the book "Age of Turbulence" by Alan Greenspan. One point he brings up is about land ownership. I haven't done the research on this, but are the poor in Mexico able to purchase property of their own in Mexico, or is this reserved for only those wealthy enough to afford it?

As for the news about Bill Gates giving money towards farming in underdeveloped countries, would this be a possibility in Mexico? I honestly do not have an answer to this, but it's worth looking into.

As for our Government, what is the money for the aid to Mexico going towards? I know there is some aid that is slated to go towards stopping the drug trafficking between Mexico and the U.S. I'd like to see more accountability of where that money is going towards, namely towards creating jobs that will pay well in Mexico. In fact, any jobs created by the U.S. Foreign Aid should be subject to the same minimum wages that we have here.

I'd like to see a joint education initiative also come out of this. As it is now, if a family in Mexico cannot afford private schooling, the children do not go to school at all. There are no truancy laws (or at least they are not enforced) to get the children in Mexico educated. This is another area that needs to change, and that can happen with the help of the U.S. Government.

The technology is there for children in Mexico to meet and learn from children in other countries, this technology could also be applied towards teacher development as well. Are we using the technology as well as we can? The wealthiest man in the world comes from Mexico, and just happens to have among his holdings ownership of a telecommunications/cable company. Perhaps some of his money could go towards getting schools in remote areas up and running with the technology to make this happen?

We just celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The principal of the school I work at spoke this week about how Dr. King was all about creating an atmosphere in the U.S. of equal opportunities. The U.S. isn't perfect as far as creating equal opportunities for our own citizens, but we shouldn't forget there are countries where there are no opportunities at all, and no one to assist in the people's fight for those opportunities. One of those countries seems to be Mexico.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Decker Dream

This past weekend I had Decker dream. This is a great sign for me, as this Decker dream was a great one, unlike the one I had before.

The last time I had a Decker dream, it was two weeks before my father died from lung cancer. That dream was not good, as I spent the entire time crying in his arms. He was sad that I was upset and trying to get me to calm down, to show me how much he still loves me. I didn't understand why I was having the dream at the time, as Dad was doing well with his chemo at the time. His right lung collapsed, however, and after a gut-wrenching decision to take Dad off life support, he passed away a few days later. I had lost not only my Dad, but it started a chain of events where it felt as though I was losing everyone else as well.

But this dream was different. Decker was dressed in one of his regular shirts he wore for work, only he was thin and no glasses. He looked great, we talked, hugged, and laughed together (I don't remember over what), and it felt so good to see him again. It felt as though he hadn't left at all, certainly not the 7 years it has been since his unexpected passing.

This is the interesting thing about eternal marriages. This is what they don't tell you in the Holy Temple when you get married. You are still very much connected with your spouse even after they've died. There are things you will feel, dreams you will have, and even some unexpected experiences you will have with your spouse, even though you are on different sides of the veil.

At first, especially because his death was so sudden, the communication was pretty constant. Gradually, though, as time progressed, and as we both became busier with our new lives, the communication has been less and less. The Lord, though, in His infinite goodness, knows couples still need to see one another from time to time and allows for this. He understands the pain of separation, the loneliness that will set in after a time, and continues to allow us time to spend together, just a nice little reminder of a love that will last for all eternity.

A few songs that helped me while I grieved for Decker:

Keep Each Other Warm - Barry Manilow
Weekend In New England - Barry Manilow
To Where You Are - Josh Groban
You Are Not Alone - Michael McLean
Will He Ever Come - Michael McLean
Unchained Melody (this one still makes me cry) - Righteous Brothers and Barry Manilow

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kid Friendly Web Sites

For those reading this who are interested in some kid-friendly web sites (hard to find, I know), I keep a Delicious account for the school I work for: Laird Elementary School.

Here is the link:

I have the kids use this page to locate sites for research on classroom topics as well as some fun.




"To All Who Come To This Happy Place, Welcome." - Walt Disney at the Dedication of Disneyland (now Disneyland Resort, Anaheim)

This is my first try at blogging, so I hope everyone will be patient with me on this.

I'm not intending for this to be a blog about what I've done this week, but rather a way to post ideas and a few experiences (bad and good) here. There are some experiences, though, I will not post, simply because they are too special to just put up on the internet anywhere.

For those of you who do not know me at all, or are barely acquainted with me, my name is Cassandra Dawn Bushman, I usually go by my middle name of Dawn.

There's a lot more about me you will get to know in posts to come.

What I will say now:

I like reading, playing the piano, composing music for the piano, genealogy, technology (more on that later).

For reading it depends upon my mood. I love the scriptures (Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Doctrine and Covenants), and also enjoy some fiction (Jane Austen) and a lot of non-fiction (business & finance) books.

The book I'm currently reading: The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan.

This is a fantastic book if you are into US and World history and politics, even if you are not into finance.

As far as music is concerned, my loves are: Barry Manilow, Mannheim Steamroller, Barry Manilow, Michael McLean, Barry Manilow, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Hilary Weeks, and oh, did I mention Barry Manilow?

Yes, I am a Fanilow and have been for more years than I care to admit. Let me just put it this way, I endured a near miss of a plane crash to go to the one and only (that I've attended) Barry Manilow International Fan Club Convention in Washinton, D.C. It ended up being a great trip, and I met wonderful people from all over the world there. The best part of it, though, was the private concert he gave us, just him and a piano. Now, I am for the most part contented with just listening to his CD's.

Take care,