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Friday, January 22, 2021

Always Nice To Be Appreciated - MicroMentor Award Is Humbling Experience

Receiving this honor is one thing, but having the annual award designated hereafter in my name is a humbling experience indeed. 

 It has been a pleasure for over a decade to support MircoMentor, a quality, worldwide non-profit organization serving small business that added 35,000 entrepreneurs and 12,000 mentors in 2020.



"This year as a part of Mentoring Month 2021, MicroMentor begins a new tradition of recognizing mentors who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to mentoring.

Our first award recipient, and its namesake, has been an active member of our community for 10 years. In the history of MicroMentor, no other mentor has spent as many hours helping hundreds of entrepreneurs from at least 65 countries. It is safe to say that no other mentor has had such a wide impact on entrepreneurs across the globe as this single mentor—Kenneth Larson.

Ken’s impact on our community has been tremendous. Not only does he have a great depth of business experience, but Ken is especially gifted in the process of mentoring itself. These facts, combined with the tremendous amount of time he’s dedicated to mentoring, are why we were compelled to honor and thank him for his dedication to entrepreneurs on our platform in this way. We are sincerely grateful to Ken's commitment to helping entrepreneurs from around the world.

You can read more about Ken's impact and hear from Ken himself below."

Award For Outstanding Service In Mentorship

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Happy 80th Birthday - Vietnam Veteran Tony Rose - Who Underwent A 4 Year Citizenship Search

Tony Rose recites the Pledge of Allegiance with some of his friends during his naturalization ceremony as a U.S. citizen in Hastings at the Veterans Home where he resides.  (Pioneer Press: Chris Polydoroff)

Editors Note:  After an over four-year battle with the Departments of Immigration, Homeland Security and Social Security, the U.S. government finally conceded Tony Rose, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and worked in this country for 40 years,  never left the country, is an American citizen and could finally draw his Social Security pension.

November 19, 2009

"Tony Rose said he now feels a sense of gratification.  And who can blame him? His over 4-year crusade for Social Security benefits is over — and he won.

Rose, a longtime chef and baker said things started to go his way because of Stella Mednik, a New York immigration attorney who  worked on his behalf at no charge for 17 months"


"At a ceremony at the Hastings Minnesota Veterans Home, where he lives, Rose, was presented with a naturalization certificate and, more important, he said, given the assurance that his benefits would begin.

"I know it took a long time, but congratulations,” Sharon Dooley, director of the St. Paul office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, said to Rose, shortly after she handed him the certificate.

“I’m glad it’s over and done with,” Rose replied.

The certificate, which lists his age and when he entered the United States, is the proof that will get the ball rolling with the St. Paul Social Security office, said staff assistant Jon Norberg, who attended the ceremony.

Rose, a Navy veteran, had been trying to get his benefits through the St. Paul office since 2005 — and getting nowhere.

Rose, who moved to Detroit from Canada in 1941 at age 6, said he initially was told the U.S. government had revoked his citizenship 42 years earlier because of a mysterious, unsigned memo that appeared in his immigration file. The typewritten memo states he voluntarily gave up his U.S. residency in 1963.

Social Security officials contend the memo played no role in the decision to deny Rose benefits.

Rose’s attorney, Stella Mednik, said she sent the St. Paul Social Security office several documents that proved his citizenship, including the visa papers from his entry into the U.S. from Canada and his Navy discharge record.

But it wasn’t enough.

She said Rose’s only mistake was not applying for a naturalization certificate when he was 16 years old, which he was required to do. But, she said that shouldn’t have affected his benefits because his father was a U.S. citizen.

Rose, who was born in England, couldn’t provide a copy of his birth certificate, which further compounded the problem, she said.

Even though Rose was considered a U.S. citizen because of his father, Dooley said, his citizenship status was not official because he was never sworn in.
“Those who are 14 and older have to take an oath,” she said. “That’s part of our procedure.”

The naturalization certificate is not mandatory for certain government benefits, she said. It only speeds up the process.

“We have seen there are a lot of agencies that won’t grant benefits without seeing it,” she said. “That’s the Catch-22.”

Indeed, Rose’s benefits claim was denied in 2005 because there was no evidence of his age and no evidence of U.S. citizenship status, Social Security officials told the Pioneer Press in December.

As to why it took five years to get answers, Dooley could only offer up this explanation: Rose was most likely the victim of poor record keeping.

Immigration files before 1956 are not kept in an electronic database, she said, and must be physically retrieved from storage.

“That can take a long time,” she said.

Mednik said Rose’s accrued benefits total at least $50,000.

Rose, a longtime chef and baker who now works at the Hastings YMCA, said things started to go his way because of Mednik, a New York immigration attorney who has worked on his behalf at no charge for the past 17 months.

“I don’t have the words to say what she has done,” Rose said, adding he wished she could have made the ceremony. “She is what a lawyer is supposed to be. I think she’s more excited than me.”

Veterans Home resident Kevin Johnson said he’s been impressed with how Rose has kept his sense of humor throughout the ordeal.

“It’s been a long time coming for him,” Johnson said. “He learned to be tolerable about the whole thing. Although if you need any bureaucracy jokes, he’ll tell you some.”

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

What Has Happened To All the Great Leaders And What The Next Ones Are Facing

The next great world leaders will be faced with the following:

  • Facing geopolitical and economic realities, stopping war interventions and investing in relationships within and without our country by offering mutual collaboration.
  • Ceasing dwelling on threat and build long term infrastructure, education and international development.  The threats will melt away. 
  • Investing for the long term based on a strategy dealing with challenges in education, communication and society value transitions.
  • Developing government working modes that know how to strike a balance between long and short term actions. We must let them know what we think regularly by communicating with them. 
  • Knowing that most cultures and societies in upheaval today are watching our national models and choosing whether or not to support them, ignore them or attack them. 

Let us hope they are up to the challenge

The world is crying for great leaders. They are out there, but I believe they are hesitant to step forward, from the US to Britain and beyond. It is worth examining why and what has happened to some recent United States great leaders.

This author watched for over 35 years in aerospace as the massive machine of government ground up men of integrity who had a true sense of leadership, purpose and service.

Unknown to the average American is the swinging door of military personnel who enter the defense industrial complex and then move on into government civil positions, lobbying activities or enterprises tapping their former service background for gain and greed.  Statesmanship and integrity have a difficult time surviving in that environment. The potential for waste, fraud and abuse is tremendous:

Oversight organizations such as POGO have highlighted many cases of abuse where former military personnel have been involved. The POGO data base at the link below has public record details regarding these type of occurrences:

Colin Powell had difficulties in a government role because real integrity fares poorly in the big machine and he made the mistake of trusting the NSA and the CIA, as well as Lockheed Martin, SAIC and CSC on Iraq war policy.

Dwight David Eisenhower was one of the last, great, ex-military presidents who led well in government. He warned us at the ink below about the big machine gathering power as he left office:

Harry Truman could not have made the type of hard decisions and "Buck Stops Here" operations in this day in age. The machine would have crippled him.

Jimmy Carter had integrity but did not fare well because the huge gears of government were grinding away by then.

General Schwarzkopf demonstrated true leadership potential in the first Gulf War but very prudently moved away from the government he served as a military officer when he retired. He was a Vietnam vet who knew the machine too well..

I worked in Aerospace through 7 Administrations and all I saw was the machine getting bigger, grinding up leadership principles, young soldiers, creating new enemies and spewing foreign interventions and profits for large corporations.

Our hope for the future is that 
the massive machine of government will be re-sized small enough so a true leader with statesman qualities will be inclined to take the helm and steer it in a direction away from political stagnation while fostering a resumption of the premiere place the US has had in history. 

We found the STRATFOR Article by George Friedman exceptional in its analysis of the limited power of the President and the absolute necessity of anyone holding office to be capable of evolving coalitions effectively in governing domestically and on the world stage: 

U.S. Presidency Designed to Dissapoint

Here are some select extracts: 
*** "The American presidency is designed to disappoint. Each candidate must promise things that are beyond his power to deliver. No candidate could expect to be elected by emphasizing how little power the office actually has and how voters should therefore expect little from him. So candidates promise great, transformative programs. What the winner actually can deliver depends upon what other institutions, nations and reality will allow him." 

*** " The power often ascribed to the U.S. presidency is overblown. But even so, people -- including leaders -- all over the world still take that power very seriously. They want to believe that someone is in control of what is happening. The thought that no one can control something as vast and complex as a country or the world is a frightening thought. Conspiracy theories offer this comfort, too, since they assume that while evil may govern the world, at least the world is governed."