A quick google search turns up the statistic that 70% of lottery winners go broke within just a few years. As the recent Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots got up over $1 Billion a few weeks ago, I confess I bought a couple of tickets and allowed my mind to wander to what I might do with the winnings (while assuring myself that I would definitely be in the 30%). Right around this time, the immigration discussion started involving the Visa Lottery and it got me thinking.

I recalled the Uber driver I met down in DC who came to our country by winning the Visa Lottery. This fellow was industrious, friendly, spoke English very well and was going to college as well as driving. My first instinct on meeting him, was that the Visa Lottery was a great program if it brought over folks like him to the US. But actually, the program would only serve the interests of the US if everyone who came through the Visa Lottery were as hard working as this guy. Sadly, that is not the case, nor is it even possible when visas are allotted by chance. Unfortunately, this is one lottery where the “house” loses.

I happen to agree with Bobby Jindal who said in the 2016 campaign that “Immigration without assimilation is invasion.” The biggest difference I’ve noticed in immigration between now and earlier generations is that back then, immigrants came to this country to be Americans. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. On Ellis Island, within sight of the Statue of Liberty (the same one that Chuck Shumer and Nancy Pelosi think is crying because Donald Trump is president), immigrants who risked more than just money and time to come here from overseas were often denied entry due to disease or other criteria which basically boiled down to whether they would benefit the US or would be a burden on our society. Why is that now a bad thing? And how could allowing such a burden to then bring over his relatives – and their relatives – who will simply be a larger burden, be a good idea?

Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. But we’re a nation of Americans too. Our nation was founded on the ideas of equality, God-given rights and limited government. Our founding documents were written in English. Yes, there’s plenty of room for diversity of all kinds, including opinion, in our society, but is it too much to ask that immigrants who want to come here be equally committed to our founding principles and contribute to the General Welfare? I’m sure that a rational immigration system would allow folks like that Uber driver to be at the head of the line and I’d be right there to welcome him to his new home.

It’s Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, giving you a unique opportunity to simultaneously atone and celebrate if you have a significant other, or just atone.

Among the gloomy Libs, “celebrating” Valentine’s Day with the Vagina Monologues was a “thing” for a while. Now the Vagina Monologues is canceled due to inclusivity issues, since apparently the play does not provide enough opportunity for “all races, sexualities and genders” to kvetch in public. I have sat through the play, and it was once too many.

If you are on Facebook, you’ll find lots of Valentine-related posts. This one popped up,

Men are threatened by intelligent women, study finds. The yet-to-be-released study reports that men ‘showed less attraction toward women who outsmarted them’

immediately followed by this,

Children inherit their intelligence from their mother not their father.

But never fear, brains or lack thereof, AI is there for you,

Tongue-tied this Valentine’s Day? Let artificial intelligence help.

You’ll even find romance on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, tying in Valentine’s and the Olympics,

Lovers? Spouses? Just Good Friends? On the Olympic Ice, It’s Getting Hard to Tell. Some couples say their relationship is a boon. Others have broken up to preserve their teamwork. Then there’s the guessing over Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

This year I’ve only watched curling, and the article explains the curling couples‘ dilemma,

The Norwegian curling lovebirds say maintaining separation between their relationships is essential. In curling, Mr. Nedregotten plays the role of sweeper, using a broom to reduce friction on the ice in front of the stone pushed by Ms. Skalsien. In their Oslo apartment, Ms. Skalsien makes sure to reciprocate.

“He does all the sweeping on the ice,” she said, “so I have to do that at home.”

You can’t escape Valentine’s Day ads, try as you may, unless you are entirely unplugged from all media, but just to be on the safe side, don’t show up with a broom for Valentine’s Day gift.

Even if you are in a mixed-doubles curling team.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

Today is Ash Wednesday and that means that one of my favorite passages in scripture is going to be highlighted:

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

If you go to a Catholic Mass today that reading from the book of Joel Chapter  2 verses 12-18 is the first scripture you’ll hear and it emphases one of the most important themes of Christianity and that’s this:

It doesn’t matter how bad your sins have been, how far down the path you’ve gone or what any person thinks of you and your sins. Even now at this very moment God will forgive and forget if you sincerely repent your sins.

Will the path be easy? Probably not, the other side is not going to let you go all that easy, and in modern society if you choose to turn to Christ without a question the Joy Behars of the world will ridicule you.

But in terms of eternity it pays dividends that the world doesn’t offer.

Lent is a time for repentance but in truth the time to take the first step in the right direction is always NOW!