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August 26, 2016
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A new idea for screening prospective immigrants, one that combines insight, accuracy, extreme vetting, and entertainment!

After a tough day, I went to my local watering hole and joined up with my buddy Dickie, who was, as usual, watching news on the bar television. The topic of the day was immigration.

So,“ I said, "the question is how you let the good ones in, and keep the bad ones out. Or do you just keep everyone out just as a matter of principle? Maybe a wall, or drones, or vetting, or extreme vetting., or ultra-extreme vetting. What do you think?”

“I think we’re missing the boat here,” he said. “I think we should make it into a contest, with qualifiers, pre-lims, semis, finals, ratings, tiers and judges, just like the Rio Olympics.”

“Ok, I’m with you,” I said. “How would that work?”

“Well,” he said, “the first thing you have to do is decide on the categories. What do we want our new Americans to do, think and care about when they’re here? Then you come up with contest for each of the categories, and a rating system where they accumulate points.”

“Such as….”

“If you watch all the conventions, it’s obvious we’re into flags, so for the first contest, you’d have the contestants run around and wave flags. Then you’d rate them on things like enthusiasm, endurance, expression and maybe waving design.”

“And who would judge such a thing?” I asked.

“A panel of really good Americans, obviously, as indicated by their professed love of country as proven by their bumper stickers, patriotic clothing, and viewing of fireworks.”

“Also, since we’re a diverse nation, we’d include some corporate weenies, a black, a Latino, and an American Indian.”

“What about a Muslim, a liberal, a lesbian, or a transvestite?”

“Are you nuts?,” he said. “None of those are true Americans. Show me one liberal with a gun rack on the back of his truck.”

“Ok, ok, I’m getting the drift,” I said. What other events are we going to include in our Immigration Olympics?“

"Gun identification, assembly and shooting,” he replied. “If you’re going to be a real patriotic American, you have to be able to identify gun types, millimeters, gauges, and all that stuff.”

“And why is that?”

“Because guns make us free. They are the equivalent to patriotism because we have the means to fight back against the communists, the socialists, the Arabs, the Mexicans, the blacks and the Puerto Ricans. All of these groups want to take us over and our guns keep that from happening. If you’re going to live here, you have to be able to defend yourself.

"Also, we all know that their are going to invaded, and every man, woman and child needs to be armed. Don’t you know that is why the Russians and the Japanese never came after us?”

“Hmmm,” I noted, “I always thought it was that ocean thing. But go on.”

“Then,” he said, “the next event would be a vehicle-selection contest, where they have to pick the type of vehicle they drive.

"The idea being…”, I asked.

“That real Americans know how to get around, be real men, or women I guess, and express their independence by what they drive. Haven’t you seen the commercials with Sam Eliot, or one of those guys talking about American individuality? You drive a truck, you’re tough; ride a Harley, you’re tougher; ride a horse and then you’re a real man. Or woman I suppose.

"So,” I pondered, what would the contest be?“

"Easy.” he continued, “Have the prospective immigrants go into a garage with all of these vehicles around, along with some others. If they pick a foreign car, a bicycle, a scooter, or a hybrid, ship ‘em out.”

“You’re thought process,” I guessed, “is that the car makes the man, woman, or child. Makes sense. they’ve been telling us that for years. Look at the Mathew McConaughey ads.”

“The next contest,” he continued, “would be symbol identification. We would show a picture and they’d have to identify what it means.”

“Ill bite,” said I. “And he point there….”

“Easy. If you live here, you’ve got to understand what this country stands for and the symbols that represent different things. Don’t you know anything about marketing?”

“Guess not. What would that include?”

“We show pictures and they have to say the first thing that comes to mind. If they don’t give the right answer, then they’re obviously not American material. For instance:

- Statue of Liberty: Freedom, welcome to immigrants, as long as they pass the test.
- Constitution: Mostly, the have to recognize the second amendment; oh, and the other stuff there
too, but a lot of it is up for debate, such as the freedom of religion thing.
- Freedom Hall: Place in Philadelphia where they signed the Declaration of Independence; not
to be confused with Freedom Fries, Freedom burgers, Freedom beer, anything by Ralph Lauren, or local automobile ads in July.
- Iwo Jima Landing statue; Signified tremendous bravery and sacrifice for those who fought in the Pacific during WWII; was actually a staged photo, then we pranced the participants around the U.S. afterward to sell war bonds.
- American Eagle: Tough-ass bird; doesn’t take any crap; we tried to kill most of them off, but then the tree-huggers stepped in and stopped us. Look good on the back of Harley leather.

"I guess that’s pretty American stuff there,” I followed. “

"Then another event could be a test, where they have to identify all the things that it means to be an American.”

“That could be quite a test,” I replied. “How would you ever put together such a thing?”

“Easy,” he said. “First, the test needs to include questions about our heritage, things like Presidents, the Constitution, the Revolutionary War, and our branches of government.”

“Ok,” I said, “but my guess is that quite a few Americans couldn’t pass something like that.”

“That’s not the point. This is for immigrants.” he continued, “But then you’d ask questions that really get to the heart of being American. Questions like:

- Which book is correct: the Bible or the Koran?
- Who would win in a fight: John Wayne or the Ayatollah Khomeni?
- What is the most patriotic organization: the Clinton Foundation or the NRA?
- List all of the benefits of the Tax Relief Act of 2002 for middle class workers.
- Explain the Affordable Health Care Act in 20 words or less.
- Explain how the American taxation system works, in one paragraph.
- Who is your favorite American hero: Caitlin Jenner; Omarosa: Paris Hilton; or Ryan Lochte?
- If you ran into a Muslim terrorist, would you: (a) shake hands and thank him for his service (b) run like hell © pray to Jesus (d) pray to Allah.
- What’s a better American movie: Birdman; The Black Swan; Brokeback Mountain; The Sniper.
- Which is the most American way to celebrate the Fourth of July: Eat a lot; blow things up;drink heavily; all of the above.

"That’s it,” he said. “Then we would know how Americanized they are.”

“I’m not sure,” I replied, “that you’re version of what is American here is politically correct.”

“That may be,” he finished, “but it’s sure as hell what I see. And I guarantee it’ll be better than what they come up with.”

“You could be right,” I noted. “Plus maybe we could find a way to make it a reality show. It’d be great television.”

“And,” he finished, “imagine the sponsors. This could bring in some big bucks. I wonder who we could get to host the games? Anybody you know of with reality show experience?”

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