Since last fall, I have given some 17 PowerPoint presentations dealing with health care and the uninsured to organizations across Long Island. Never have I seen as much confusion and fear coming from such a broad cross section of audiences. It is no wonder, with both House and Senate bills more than 2,000 pages.
This piece is being written after giving a great deal of thought to how businesses are managed today. With texting, email, cell phones and other methods for immediate communication, the days of face-to-face management are fading. And that is too bad.
Hardly a day goes by without a news report about more foreclosures on homes across the country. On Long Island, there is one ray of sunshine – the Long Island Housing Partnership. The Partnership was formed back in 1987 and has built thousands of homes for working families in Nassau and Suffolk. I was privileged to participate in the creation of the Partnership and was the first board chairman. Membership and the board are from the business community, labor unions, religious organizations, and other not-for-profits.
If you are like me, your family could be scattered across the country or even around the globe. For that reason, we have broken down the family gatherings into two separate events – Thanksgiving in Florida with our clan down there and Christmas with those on or near Long Island.
Right now, we have a trade imbalance of around $480 billion. Many people argue that we should close our doors to imports so all of the products can be made at home. The argument is that more Americans would be employed if we barred imports. That sounds good, but would that really be the result? I do not think so. And there is also an advantage for consumers who can purchase needed products at lower prices.
A few weeks ago, I spoke about healthcare and the uninsured to a group of students and professors at Queens Borough Community College. There was a good question and answer period after the presentation. Then, as I was packing up my PowerPoint equipment, a young woman approached me and asked a thought provoking question, “What are the four most important things in life?”
Starting on Dec. 2 and running through January 2010, Adelphi University will have a display entitled “Global Passage: Selections from the Robert R. McMillan Panama Canal Collection.” The materials were collected over the years and a direct result of my serving on the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Commission. The exhibit will be in the Gallery of the Ruth S. Harley University Center.
Today, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States is anywhere – depending on who you believe – from 12 million to 20 million. The 12 million figure is from the Pew Hispanic Center. Whatever the figure, these people are here illegally and are breaking the law. In addition, any children of illegal immigrants born here become United States citizens.
When I first started writing this column, over 22 years ago, I found that I really need a dictionary and a thesaurus to use correct spelling and to substitute words so the same word was not duplicated too many times. And so I could be “modern”, I got electronic versions – one for my office and a smaller one for travel.
The smaller version for my briefcase was called Wordmaster and 1987 was the latest copyright. The office unit was called Language Master. It has a copyright date of 1989. Those dates make a difference which I will refer to later in this piece.
There is an old saying that goes something like this – one should never live in the past, but it is nice to reflect on it once in a while. As I was thinking about my next column, a series of events came to my mind.
For over 22 years, I have written a column every week. Today, I am going to highlight a few of those columns as I reflect on the past.
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