Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Story of "Alice In Wanterland"

I had an interesting experience this evening - I attended a hearing conducted by the Oregon State Ways and Means Committee, who are considering 118 new ways to milk working Oregonians via new taxes and "fees". Here are a few of the things that I thought made the hearing "interesting":

1. The hearing was held in Ashland, OR in the Student Union Building of Southern Oregon University, a 42 mile drive one-way. After finding the campus it took another 15 minutes to find a place to park, then it was a ½ mile trek to the Student Union.

2. Everybody had to sign in at the door, which was no big deal.

3. The room seated about 400 people, with another 75 or so standing along the inner walls, and about 20 outside on the adjacent patio. Let's call it 500 people just for a round number.

4. The hearing was scheduled to last 3 hours, but after the moderators explanation of what was desired ("2 minutes time allotted for each speaker vs. 3 minutes advertised, no applause", and the how total hearing time had been reduced to 2½ hours), and the introductions of each of the Senators and Representatives on the committee, there was only an hour and 45 minutes left.

5. If only 1 in 5 wished to be heard that would be 100 potential speakers. But, at 2 minutes per speaker, only 52.5 people (105/2=52.5) could be heard, and the remaining 47.5 would just be mad as hell.

6. Somehow they allowed "chain testimony", where one person was called upon to speak, and then they passed the microphone to as many as 3 of their allies. The representatives of the Developmentally Disabled took full advantage of this tactic, knowing full-well that nobody would dare to call them on it for fear of being labeled insensitive. This display was an obvious emotional ploy to gain sympathy for their cause, burning up precious minutes while the DD attempted to express themselves as they stumbled and were coached through their talk. It was an improper use of extremely critical time, but their handlers are battling for limited available funds. Can you blame them?

Now, here's how I saw the process of our government at work for us:

1. There were undoubtedly other venues available in which the hearings could have been held. However, by insuring limited available parking, and holding the hearings on a University campus
the odds of sympathetic support for the "tax and spend government" were significantly enhanced.

2. Okay.

3. Approximations - (insert old adage of "close enough for government work" here).

4. Reducing the available time for citizen comments served at least two purposes:
a. Insured more people were provided an opportunity to be heard.
b. Insured that nothing of any real significance could be brought to the attention of the committee.

5. My math is good.

6. Poopoo propagates.

What did 95% of the people who spoke want? They brought emotional pleas wanting Oregon to save their program. "I represent the...", "I'm from the...", "Our program is vital because...", Whine, whine, whine - want, want, want! Only one person actually asked for fiscal responsibility from the government! Do what is necessary in these difficult economic times, when Oregon unemployment is the second highest in the nation - make those cuts in the areas that give us the least return on our tax dollar! Eliminate pork! The citizens cannot be taxed into prosperity, nor can the government spend its way to a balanced budget.

I was not that person. Although I was prepared to talk along a similar line, I was one of that group of 47.5 previously mentioned.

The entitlement whores were out in force with their beggar bowls, asking the government to save their program. Where do they think the money for those programs comes from? Is there a money tree arboretum in Salem? Does the State Legislature have a paper route? NO! It's TAX money! And, the only way to save all the giveaway programs is to increase taxes. Are these people out of their minds? (I should probably define the adjective "entitlement whore" about now. In my mind, an "entitlement whore" is somebody who would trade any of our freedoms for a handout from the government. They believe that they are entitled to the same things that most people have worked to acquire. Most career welfare recipients are glaring examples of "entitlement whores".)

Basically, I got the feeling that the entire hearing was simply a box to be checked off, indicating that the illusion of concern for citizen input was maintained. Call it a "feel good" exercise. I'm sure some people felt that there was a genuine concern for their input, and that it would be seriously considered in the decision making process. I also doubt that any of those people were members of the committee.

I could be wrong about this... what do you think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Does Obama Continue to Dodge The Issue of The "Natural Born Citizen" Clause?

Here's one of the multitude of things I don't seem to understand... why is there such a fuss over the possibility that Barack Hussein Obama may not even have been qualified to run for the office of President, much less occupy that office?

The question has been asked many times: "Where is the official, legally acceptable record of live birth for Barack Obama?" The courts have been petitioned by at least a dozen different entities seeking an answer to that question, and each request has been stonewalled. If Obama is, in fact, a natural born citizen of the United States of America, all that he would have to do is provide that document - a document which we, as private citizens, must produce in order to just get a passport (and in some states even to get a drivers license) -and that would end the discussions. Yet, he has not done so, which reinforces the doubt of the legitimacy of his claim to the Office of President. Just break out the papers, Barack! Or would that be detrimental to your success?

Those doubts naturally bring up more questions, such as:
1. Does his administration have the best interests of our country at heart?
2. Was his campaign backed by some shadowy foreign - or not so foreign (a la George Soros) - entity?
3. Inasmuch as he was raised by a single mother, and a financially struggling grandmother, yet graduated from some very prestigious institutes of higher learning, is it possible that he was being finacially supported and groomed for this usurpation of power by his Islamic roommate bretheren?
4. Is he intentionally undermining our Constitution to benefit a foreign power? Is he ignorant of the impact of his actions upon the rights of the citizenry, or does he just simply not care?

Those are the main issues surrounding his Presidential legitimacy, as I see them.

Fortune Favors the Strong in Negotiations - Personal and International

If there is only one lesson to be learned from history, it is this: those who try to negotiate from a position of weakness are - generally - the less successful of the parties involved. Those in the stronger position always determine the outcome... one way or the other.

The apologetic, radically leftist President of the United States has, in his first 100 days, traveled the globe apologizing for our country, and osculating upon the derrieres of his anti-American pals! He has also labeled those who may disagree with his radical left-wing agenda as "radical right-wing extremists" - a label which I am proud to wear!

Those of us who are gravely concerned about the direction in which Mr. Obama is taking our country seem to have an understanding that he and his political cronies/advisers lack:
We cannot negotiate successfully from a position of weakness.
a. Obama has weakened us by
(1) declassifying, and releasing, Top Secret documents from the files of the CIA. An agency whose charter responsibility is to gather information from around the world that is considered vital to the security of the free world.
(2) restricting our intelligence gathering people to specific, non-threatening behaviors when interrogating captured enemy combatants ... and PUBLICIZING the fact!
(3) delivering an embarrassing performance during a State visit to the United Kingdom by laying hands upon Queen Elizabeth's person - which she was gracious enough to ignore.
(4) compounding that error by accepting from Hugo Chavez, de facto dictator of Venezuela, the virulently anti-American/anti-Western book, "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," by Eduardo Galeano, which Obama was naive enough to smilingly accept. Chavez probably could have gotten the same ignorant "ain't got a clue" response from Obama if he had presented him with a copy of Mein Kampf!
(5) making feeble, half-hearted attempts at correcting the financial distress in which the USA - and most of the world - now find themselves. Essentially nationalizing several large corporations and banks through the "bailout" process, and taking one more step toward creating the socialist state he desires from the United States of America.
b. Obama also desires to reduce our standing army and creat something that resembles the Hitler Youth Corps, or Mao Tse Tung's Red Brigades, thereby making us more vulnerable from the outside and less secure on the inside of our borders.
I could go on about his for some time, but I tire of this exercise, as it makes my soul weary.

Is it entirely the fault of the left-wing entitlement whores? No, it most definitely is not. Conservatives in this country have been the backbone of that which has been called "the silent majority", and we have been far too silent for far too long! Here's a quote from a man who saw our situation quite clearly - more than 200 years ago:

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." —John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790. (Speeches. Dublin, 1808.)

What is costing us so dearly now, is our own complacency, and, in this case, to be complacent is to be complicit! In the words of that great philosopher, Pogo Possum, "We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo, 1971

We have failed to exercise that "eternal vigilance", and that which we value so highly - our Constitutional Rights - is about to be taken from us by The Great Usurper. The left cannot allow themselves to admit to what is happening because it would require them to admit that they were taken in - duped by The Great Usurper!

I could be wrong about this... but it's highly doubtful!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bogus Tea Party Statistics - The Left Marginalizes Freedom of Speech

Looking back over the government- and media-reported Tax Day Tea Party counts, it seems that there were only "thousands" or "tens of thousands" disgusted American citizens participating in the event. I have been unable to find any realistic total figure published anywhere.

The closest figure I have been able to find was "15% of the parties have reported, and their total is 400,000", which extrapolates to 2,666,666 at 100%. That's TWO POINT SIX MILLION participants nationwide! However, the left-wing media is obviously unwilling to legitimize the movement by accurately reporting the total national number. If my math is only half correct it would still be 1.3 million angry Americans. Does a number that large deserve to be ignored... and labeled as "right-wing extremists who bear close watching"?

If the Government continues to ignore the voice of fiscal responsibility and conservatism, who knows what the final response will be? I doubt that these Americans will simply roll over and play dead, as the left desires, but available options are severely limited. A government that is unresponsive to the will of the people is a dictatorship.

I suppose I could be wrong about this, but it would require a much more active imagination than mine to convince me I was wrong.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mich. High School Senior Aces ACT, SAT and PSAT

Talk about a supporting coincidence! Above is one of today's on-line headlines from the Associated Press, and the article begins -

"CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Willa Chen has a knack for tough tests. The Detroit News reported Saturday that the 17-year-old senior at southeast Michigan's Canton High School got perfect scores on the ACT — and the SAT — and the PSAT."

Miss Chen provides one specific example of the Asian-Americans drive for excellence in intellectual pursuits. Will she be accepted by Princeton? It would be foolish, bordering on criminal, to not accept her application. Luckily, she is not applying to the University of California.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New UC Admissions Policy Angers Asian-Americans

The above title is an Associated Press headline, and the issue is that the new standard "will greatly expand the applicant pool, eliminate the requirement that applicants take two SAT subject tests and reduce the number of students guaranteed admission based on grades and test scores alone. It takes effect for the freshman class of fall 2012."

Excuse me, but I apparently have failed to understand something here. Whatever happened to the requirements of :

Are these archaic concepts now? Should our universities no longer accept those students who have proven their desire and ability to complete programs of higher education? Or, has the University of California Regents decided that it is easier to indoctrinate the less intelligent with the fervor of leftist philosophies?

The issue of Asian-American ethnicity aside, ethnicity of any kind should not be THE determining consideration in ones acquiring access to higher education. What should be the only consideration is the prospects proven ability to satisfactorily complete the course(s) of study leading up to a particular degree. The only way to do that is with a standard, and the only universally accepted standard is the SAT.

There is no entitlement to a university degree... the only entitlement is that each applicant has had an opportunity to compete for available placements. Permitting preferential placement, based purely upon ethnicity, eliminates "equal opportunity and treatment" from the academic culture, and deprives those in the category of "other than" from their rightful educational opportunity.

Asian-American students, as an ethnic group - and I know this is broad-brushing - are historically more academically inclined than any other ethnic group. There is greater emphasis and support within the Asian home and the Asian community for excellence in intellectual endeavors. The result is highly motivated students who perform better on the SAT than most others - hence, the unusually high attendance figures for Asian students on UC campuses.

The assignment of available spaces on UC, or any other campus, should go to those best qualified - period. If identical SAT scores are posted by multiple students then perhaps ethnicity should become a consideration at that point. To do otherwise is a disservice to the nation as a whole by diluting the meaning of a degree from the University of California.

As always, there is a chance I could be wrong about this. What do you think?

Have The Members of Our Congress Not Heard of The CONSTITUTION?

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed, and forwarded to the U.S. Senate, "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (LLEHCPA), H.R. 1913." As I have said before, the concept of "hate crimes" creates special punishments for the state of mind of individual(s) at the time of committing an otherwise already identified and punishable crime! It also has the potential to allow the courts to ignore the First Amendment of our Constitution -

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (Emphases added for clarification)

In H.R. 1913 there exists language which will allow the prosecution of Christian, and perhaps other clergy, for speaking out against homosexual behavior, which would, in effect, be prohibiting the "free exercise of religion" and "abridging the freedom of speech". Apparently the desired result by the present Administration is the rapid marginalization of the Constitution of the United States of America, by removing our Constitutional guarantees one-by-one under the guise of "equal protection". Perhaps the politicians in Washington D.C. have redefined the meaning of the word "equal", to something other than "as it is for one, so it is for all".

The recent attitudes expressed by the Administration and left-wing liberal media toward the peaceable Tax Day Tea Party assembly of over two million people across the nation - with absolutely NO reported "incidents", is strongly indicative of their willingness to ignore the rights of the people to engage in peaceable assembly and to petition the government for redress of grievances. The participants therein have been improperly labeled as "anti-tax" and "right-wing extremists", and in some instances "racists" who resent a black man being elected President. The government fears a grassroots movement that dares to point out the abuses of American taxpayers hard-earned money. Anybody who is not in total agreement with the Marxist Administrations every edict and action is obviously a right-wing extremist. As for the "racist" accusations... our local Tea Party, in Grants Pass OR, stifled a small neo-Nazi group after one outburst of "White Power" from them. However, this was done in a peaceful manner, and neither side became obnoxious or aggressive. Few people have a problem with a gray man in the Oval Office, but many have a problem with a man holding the office who may not be Constitutionally eligible to even run for the office - a man who continues to refuse to provide indisputable legal documentation regarding his place of birth.

The general attitude of the current Administration notwithstanding, the point is that they are attempting to circumvent both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. Chip away a bit here, and a bit there, modify this, "correct" that, and the next thing you know... there is NO MORE CONSTITUTION!

I could be wrong about this... oh, my error... NO WAY COULD I BE WRONG ABOUT THIS!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Okay - I'm going to make this a simple as I can.

"Marriage" is a religious concept. The only reason the government is involved in marriage is for record keeping purposes. There is no law requiring anybody to get married.

Most religions have some prohibitions against homosexual conduct, either biblical or doctrinal. Some have more severe restrictions and prescribed corrective actions than others - Islam, for example, prescribes death for homosexual practices.

Two thousand years of history supports a cross-cultural belief that "marriage" is a contract between members of the opposite sex.

Perez Hilton is a whiny little fag who, knowing Miss California's religious background, posed a question designed to put her in a morally uncomfortable position. Her choices at that time were to (a) lie, and maintain her chances of winning the competition, or (b) tell the truth as she saw it, and lose the competition. Inasmuch as she was asked for her opinion, she chose the latter. Then the immoral little weasel punished her for answering his question honestly by giving her a ZERO score! As William Shakespeare so profoundly stated:

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

My biggest question is, "Why was a well-known homosexual (in circles that recognize homosexuals as "special") asked to be a judge of anything involving women?" Hilton would have sooner been the judge at a Mr. Universe contest. Oh no! On second thought, that contest is among MEN, one of which Hilton obviously is not! I guess he should judge only fashion shows ... with male models.

I could be wrong about this... but not in this lifetime on this planet!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FLASH!! 9th Circuit Court Extends Second Amendment Protections

The following was copied from The Supreme Court of the United States Blog, reporting on this historic ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court and is brought to you as a public service - in case you hadn't heard:


The Constitution’s protection of an individual right to have guns for personal use restricts the powers of state and local government as much as it does those of the federal government, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled Monday. The opinion by the three-judge panel can be found here. This is the first ruling by a federal appeals court to extend the Second Amendment to the state and local level. Several cases on the same issue are now awaiting a ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court.

Ruling on an issue that is certain to reach the Supreme Court, the Circuit Court concluded “that the right to keep and bear arms” as a personal right has become a part of the Constitution as it applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause.

That right, it said, “is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’ Colonial revolutionaries, the Founders, and a host of commentators and lawmakers living during the first one hundred years of the Republic all insisted on the fundamental nature of the right. It has long been regarded as the ‘true palladium of liberty.’

“Colonists relied on it to assert and to win their independence, and the victorious Union sought to prevent a recalcitrant South from abridging it less than a century later. The crucial role this deeply rooted right has played in our birth and history compels us to recognize that it is indeed fundamental, that it is necessary to the Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty that we have inherited. We are therefore persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment and applies it against the states and local governments.”

But, following the lead of the Supreme Court’s decision last June in District of Columbia v. Heller, finding a personal right in the Second Amendment for the first time, the Circuit Court concluded that the right as interpreted by the Justices is limited to “armed self-defense” in the home.

Thus, the Circuit Court refused to strike down an Alameda County ordinance that makes it a crime to bring onto county property a gun or ammunition, or to possess them on that property. A county supervisor who sponsored the ordinance cited “a rash of gun violence” in an apparent reference to the school shootings in the late 1990s, including the one at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

The Alameda ordinance, the Circuit Court said, does not involve the kind of armed self-defense that the Supreme Court had in mind in Heller. “It regulates gun possession in public places that are County property,” it concluded.

The ordinance had been challenged by Russell and Sallie Nordye, who operate a business that promotes gun shows in California. They contended that the Alameda County ordinance burdens their Second Amendment right because it makes it more difficult to buy guns.

Before the gun ordinance was adopted, gun shows had been staged at the Alameda County fairgrounds, drawing up to 4,000 people. The Nordykes said that some county officials wanted to drive gunshows out of the county, and that is what led to the ordinance’s enactment.

The Circuit Court, however, said the ordinance “does not meaningfully impede the ability of individuals to defend themselves in their homes with usable firearms, the core of the right as Heller analyzed it. The ordinance falls on the lawful side of the division, familiar from other areas of substantive due process doctrine, between unconstitutional interference with individual rights and permissible government nonfacilitation of their exercise.”

Finally, it said, banning guns from municipal property “fits within the exception from the Second Amendment for ’sensitive places’ that Heller recognized,” the Circuit Court said.

The Court also rejected a First Amendment challenge to the ordinance, based on the Nordykes’ claim that the local law was designed to silence those who promote gun rights. “The language of the ordinance,” the Court said, “suggests that gun violence, not gun culture, motivated its passage.”

It also rejected a claim of discriminatory application of the law, because of some exceptions the county wrote into its ordinance.

The ruling was written by Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain and joined by Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcon. Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould joined the opinion, but also wrote separately to discuss the doctrine of incorporating rights selectively to apply to state and local government.


There is no way the 9th CC is wrong! Without the Second Amendment ALL OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WOULD BE IN JEOPARDY!

Corporate Bailout Problem? Just Throw MORE Money At It!

The biggest problem in the corporate bailouts seems to be the corporate mindset, from which has come the "Corporate Culture". Lavish parties, excessive - and frequent - bonuses, Golden Parachutes, private jets, corporate cars, and out-of-control expense accounts, are just a few of the perks offered by most major corporations.

As enjoyable as these things may be to the recipients, they are extravagances that few major corporations can realistically afford in these hard economic times. If we are to save the economy, and the jobs of the wage earning employees (as opposed to the salaried white-collar management-types), we must change the Corporate Culture. Without the workers there is nothing to support the upper level liabilities. But, here's the rub - everybody wants those perks! Where does the wanting begin? That's hard to say. The marketing department wants to offer "incentives" to prospective customers, as do the outside sales people. Whether it's a pair of pantyhose given to the manager of a 7-11 by a vendor for better exposure space in the store, or a new car given to a fleet buyer for - say Hertz or Enterprise - it is nonetheless something that both buyers and sellers have come to expect. It's just a different part of the "entitlement culture" that has been growing like an insidious cancer since the 1960's. They see such incentives as investments rather than expenses. These things are given with the implied understanding that they will result in increased sales and productivity for the company providing them. Interestingly, our culture does not seem to see this as corruption. "Corruption" is an all-inclusive concept:

a: impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity
b: inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)
c: a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct

What is "pure or correct" in a free-market economy is that a product either succeeds or fails on its own merit. It must be of sufficient quality and affordability to attract a large percentage of buyers, thereby generating enough income to survive in the marketplace... that would apply primarily to tools and other practical merchandise. When it comes to unnecessary, but desirable items (cars, clothing, entertainment items) you can add "attractiveness" to the short list of characteristics a "pure or correct" item should have. (I realize that these are substantially idealistic thoughts on my part.) Retailers - when left to their own devices - can easily determine which products/services are generating the most profit, and assign available exposure space accordingly.

The most egregious corruption comes from the ranks of "lobbyists" - people who are armed with corporate money for graft, and are paid primarily to pimp products and services to various government officials and agencies. Why is that? Because the best place to peddle corruption is to those who find corruption not only an acceptable business practice, but a desirable one! This practice gave us some amazing government issue items, such as: $800 toilets seats, $400 glass ashtrays, and $200 screws.

Eliminating the "Corporate Culture" may be impossible, for as long as there are people involved - and people are fallible - who prefer those outrageous benefits to the rewards of a solid work ethic, there will always be corruption, mismanagement, malfeasance, and backroom deals in both the corporate and political worlds. I should probably stop now... I'm beginning to convince myself that there are some benefits to a Marxist government-controlled society, and I know the trade-offs make that untrue!

I could be totally wrong about this... what do you think? Or, is thinking an activity you prefer to avoid?

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Obama continues to function as President just as he functioned as Senator - spending little time where he belongs, basically voting "Present" on the Presidency, and kissing every anti-American political derriere he can find globally!

No "leader" of any nation should apologize for it... not even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran (although if anyone ever should have, he would be the one). All national leaders seem to understand that, with one notable exception. While, without exception, the leaders of other countries are extolling their virtuous behaviors and meaningful accomplishments, it seems Barack Obama can only see the negative in our American culture. He is truly a "post turtle". For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term post turtle, here's a short story that explains it:
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President.

The old rancher said, “Well, ya know, Obama is a “post turtle.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a “post turtle”was.

The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a “post turtle”.

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I understand that not everything that is wrong with our government is Obama's fault... he hasn't spent enough time in the office to claim that... yet. Most of what is wrong is the fault of the Congress, and the system that allows them to run amok, collectively and individually, in some cases for decades, building political dynastys - like the Kennedy's of Massachusetts and the Dodd's of Connecticut. Spending those tax dollars which WE labor to earn as if the money were their own personal slush fund! Unlimited consecutive terms not only support corruption, the concept seems to encourage corruption. But, I digress...

When our Chief Executive travels abroad he is, in effect, also our top salesman. What would you buy from a salesman that told you his product sucked? If you were the employer of that salesman, would you not fire him? We are the employers of all elected officials, including Congress and the President. How happy are you with their job performance? In about 18 months it will be time to vote for members of the House and Senate. Whom will you choose to fire? If they were limited to one term, we wouldn't have to worry about "the incumbent" - there would be no such thing! Replacing the Congress is the only way we will be able to impeach the un-American in the White House. It's something that needs to be done.

I could be wrong about this...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Somali Pirates Are Slow Learners ... or Are WE The Slow Learners?

Apparently it will take the full power of an International military assault on Somalia to halt their criminal acts upon the high seas. These seagoing thieves have stepped up attacks since their recent loss of the Maersk Alabama and its Captain. What, short of a full-scale, International military invasion, can be done to reduce the attacks on shipping in International waters?

A very expensive solution would be to increase the number of battle-ready naval ships in the Indian Ocean/Gulf of Aden. Although the sailors and marines aboard these ships are being paid for their service 24-7, keeping a ship in motion takes a lot of expensive fuel.

Another possible solution would definitely be a money-saver ... interrupt all foreign and humanitarian aid from the USA to African nations for as long as there is piracy in the area. This would put the recipients of the humanitarian aid in the position of having to deal with the pirate problem. Our Government is borrowing money so we can afford to give away food, clothing and medical supplies to other countries! I'm sorry, but where is the sense in that? If we don't have the cash we should just say "NO!"

I could be wrong about this... but I'm not!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

(Hate) Crime and Punishment - Do The Math

The Associated Press headline reads: "Trial set to begin in slaying of transgender woman". The murder took place recently in Denver, Colorado and the article goes on to say that the victim was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. Then the potential seriousness of punishment for the crime is explained - "Andrade, 32, of Thorton, is scheduled to go on trial Tuesday on charges including first-degree murder and a bias-motivated crime, which could add three years to his prison sentence if convicted."

As I recall, the punishment for first-degree murder is either death or life in prison... exactly how does the court add three years to either of those punishments? Do they hold a semi-execution and then pause for three years before finishing the job? Or perhaps, after the prisoner dies of old age, they hold onto the body for an additional three years? Sound silly to you? It's no sillier than adding time to a capital crime based on the fact that you didn't particularly like something about that person. The crime is that the act of murder was committed, not the thought of committing murder! If we were to be imprisoned for our thoughts of doing something against the law, there would be few people walking around our streets. The second crime was committed by the government... in that they created such a stupid law.

I could be wrong about this... and the Constitution could be wrong about "equal protection under the law". Our government, in their infinite wisdom, has created a class that now receives special protection under the law, which is itself a violation of the Constitution.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

GIVE Act - How Much Sense Does The Phrase MANDATORY VOLUNTEERISM Make To YOU?

Can you say "oxymoron"? The Obama administration is doing everything it can to insure that our upcoming generations are as left-wing as he and his cohorts can possibly make them. GIVE (Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education) expands the Clinton administrations AmeriCorps program to something approximating the Hitler Youth Corps and the Red Guard of Communist China.

The GIVE Act, which has already passed the House, will also create additional "corps" to expand the reach of "volunteerism" into new sectors, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps and Veterans Service Corps, and it expands the National Civilian Community Corps to focus on additional areas like disaster relief and energy conservation. There will probably also be the Attitude Corps, the Thought Corps, and the Inform on Your Family, Friends, and Neighbors Corps! The Senate is mulling over a similar piece of legislation, the "Serve America Act," sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

These bills mandate volunteerism! Doesn't that smack of "involuntary servitude"... something that is outlawed by our Constitution (I assume the Constitution has not yet been rescinded by the Obama administration)? Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1584, makes it a Federal crime or offense for anyone to willfully hold another person in involuntary servitude. If and when it is mandated, people will do less voluntarily than they do today. The understandable attitude will be, "I was required to 'volunteer' before. I'm finished now."

The GIVE Act is popularly known as "The National Enslavement Bill", but it's not a popular title among those who wish to be the masters! Can "Cultural Re-Education Camps" be far behind for those who dare to resist?

Section 120 of GIVE discusses the “Youth Engagement Zone Program” and states that “service learning” will be “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” This part remains in the version passed by the Senate.
Roles which will be staffed by members of the programs, labeled “Required National Service Corps,” include “criminal justice,” “environmental stewardship,” and “public safety”. How foreign does this all sound to a "free" people? Indoctrination is not the same thing as education. The goal of education has, in the past, been to teach one how to think, while the goal of indoctrination has always been to teach one what to think!

I fear for my country - and the country of my children, and their children. I love the country in which I grew up, but I now fear the government of the country in which I live. And the really strange part is... I HAVEN'T MOVED!

I'm also afraid that I'm not wrong about this!
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke (Attrib)

Somali Pirates - Part III - "Learn From Your Mistakes"

We have an old saying in the United States - "There's no such thing as a free lunch." What that means is there is a cost for everything one does - even earning an honest living! Working for wages to acquire the things you and your family need (or just want) requires a forfeiture of family time. Threatening innocent, unarmed people at gunpoint to get that which you desire is considered a supreme act of cowardice. But then, the Somalis are well-known for their cowardly acts!

On October 3rd, 1993, Somali cowards killed 18 American soldiers and wounded 73 - American soldiers who were there on a mission of mercy! Deployed to bring food to starving Somalis, they were greeted with hostility and small arms fire.

Piracy has become big business for Somalians, who are currently hiding 17 ships of various nations, and holding over 200 seamen from those ships as hostages. Where is the International pressure? Where is the International cooperation? Where is the Toothless Tiger of the United Nations? Why is this criminal practice of piracy allowed to continue? Why have the nations whose ships have been captured, not banded together to present a united military front, telling the Somalis, "Release our ships and our people today, or tomorrow will be your last day." Where is it written that the world must coddle thieves, thugs, terrorists and other assorted ne'er do wells?

In closing, I have only this to say... Somali cowards, learn from your mistake. If you feel like a free lunch don't look for it on board a ship flying the American flag... the cost is too dear!

"Obama Sees Signs of Economic Progress" (Reuters)

And, what would we expect him to say? "I see the entire country going down the tubes, and I haven't the slightest idea what to do about it?" Perhaps, but that would require him telling the truth - an act with which he is entirely unfamiliar.

In Chapter 1 of 'Acting Presidential for Dummies' it plainly states, "Never let the people see you sweat. Especially if you are The Messiah... The One! Put on those rose-colored glasses, and view the world not as it actually is, but as you think it should be! Thy serfs will change it for You!"

An AP headline shouts"Obama Has Hundreds of Important Jobs Still Open". Could Obama have run out of tax-dodging incompetents - but loyal supporters - to reward with political plums already? Limiting ones acquaintances to politicians, terrorists, tax dodgers and white-collar criminals certainly can leave one at a loss when it comes to filling important cabinet-level and directorship positions. The Freedonian Government (Duck Soup, Marx Bros, 1933) administered by President Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) was better organized and more capable!

I could be wrong about this... show me!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Somali Pirates - Part II

The Somali Pirates are not a baseball team... they aren't even a romanticized version of swashbuckling seamen on deck beneath billowing sails... but rather, they are thieves and thugs! Their successes should be an embarrassment to the shipping countries of the entire world, and to the naval forces of those countries patrolling the shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean.

The gravity of the situation was compounded by the thugs' use of the Maersk Alabama's Captain as a bargaining chip for both financial reward and freedom. There are several problems arising from this single act of piracy:

1. Piracy itself is a violation of the United Nations Maritime Law (International Maritime Law) which was signed by 150 nations.

2. Merchant vessels are currently prohibited from arming themselves, which makes them relatively easy targets for the Somali sea thieves.

3. Although 150 nations signed the UN's Maritime Law in 1982, there are only about a dozen countries providing naval patrols along the shipping routes. Another fine example of the effectiveness of the United Nations. This extremely limited response should be a major embarrassment to the United Nations.

4. Four Somali thieves - with a hostage in a lifeboat - are holding a ship of the line from the United States Navy at bay, while the thugs try to negotiate their way out of the problem they have created for themselves. This must be an embarrassment for the US Navy, if not for your doesn't-have-a-clue President! There are a couple of ways of looking at it:

a. The USS Bainbridge and the USS Halyburton have been instructed not to attempt a rescue of the freighter's Captain for humanitarian reasons. These would include bringing the power of a US Naval Destroyer to bear on four ingnorant, thieving natives in a lifeboat, or accepting that the pirates would, as threatened, kill their hostage should any rescue attempt be made.
b. These four Somali thugs are extremely threatening to the US Navy combat vessels, and the ship's Captains are afraid that the thugs will sink their ships ... yeah - right.
c. The entire standoff is to preserve the life of the Maersk Alabama's Captain. This one is my personal choice - simply because if it were not for his presence on that lifeboat, it would have already been converted to a deathboat!

My suggestion would be to send 5 Navy Seals over the side after dark, and simply have them kill the pirates, and rescue the hostage, in one single synchronized movement. End of standoff, and everybody except the bad guys goes on about their business. But, perhaps that's an oversimplification of how to deal with thugs.

I could be wrong about this... but not as wrong as choosing to let this standoff go on for an extended period. Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Outrageous Taxes Levied on Smokers and Drinkers

As of April 1st, 2009, Oregon State taxes on cigarettes increased by 59¢ per pack, and Federal taxes added another $1.01 per pack! This means that a pack of cigarettes will have a median price of about $6.00 per pack. Federal taxes on loose bulk tobacco, the kind used by the "roll your own" crowd, jumped from $1.09 per pound to $23.48 per pound! Statistically, this will create a new "class" of person. The working-class, low-income person is, statistically, far more likely to be the user of tobacco products, than are the middle- and upper-income persons. Assuming that "statistic" (I have not heard an exact percentage) is accurate, the new class will be the "well-to-do" working-class, lower-income person, who, regardless of the cost will refuse to surrender their tobacco habit, thereby making him or her the envy of his or her working-class neighbors. There's also an additional 50¢ per bottle tax on alcoholic beverages. This has been referred to as a "sin tax" for years, but it is, in fact, a pleasure tax. Tax those things that people enjoy, and you will reap greater profits for the Government than if you taxed things like cauliflower, vasectomies, or root canals! Certainly not everyone enjoys either or both of the aforementioned "sins", but enough people do enjoy them to make it very profitable for the Government. "So what?" you say "I don't smoke or drink, so it's no skin off my nose!" Well what do you enjoy? Fishing? Already taxed via "license fees". Boating? Already taxed via "registration fees". If you look at it from a practical standpoint, permits and fees are nothing more than a means of taxing people who enjoy certain activities. The "bowling fee" is probably coming soon, along with "golf permits", "softball licenses" and "Frisbee fees". Neither the Federal nor State Government "owns" the wild game of the USA, but the State sells you a "hunting license". Suppose that deer you just shot wandered over from one of the neighboring states just this morning? Does Oregon have the right to charge you a license fee to shoot a non-resident animal from the state of Washington or California? It's not like Oregon had anything invested in the maintenance of that animal. It's wild game! "Wild" implies that it belongs to nobody... "hunting license" is just a Government euphemism for another tax. And those "game tags"... one more tax!

The Obama administration seems to believe that we can be taxed into prosperity by adopting a more European tax standard - like 40+%. If that works so well, why are the Europeans experiencing the same kinds of difficulties the USA is having? We are not the Europeans!!
We are the United States of America, and there is no apology necessary for our ability to succeed in a free-market economy or to overcome adversity! Most Europeans envy us our successes, many resent us - not because we acted "superior", but because they felt inferior
after we saved their collective asses in WWII. Yet even those that resent us still respect American technology, American creativeness, Americas willingness to help, and our military power.

Personally, I refuse to support his taxes, and smoked my last cigarette at 2pm, on April 3rd 2009! So far, so good.

There's an outside chance that I could be wrong about this... about the same chance that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has of becoming the Grand Ayatollah of Iran!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Somali Pirates Operating Unchecked By International Naval Forces

A very confusing day in the media - "Pirates Capture US Freighter" ... oops, correction: "American Crew Retakes Freighter From Pirates" ... no, wait a minute: "American Freighter Captain Held By Pirates". There must be a story there somewhere, although the media has done an excellent job of obscuring it.

So, what's new about this particular story of piracy on the high seas? Nothing really. The Somali pirates "attacked" the huge freighter with their little rubber boats. Why were they able to do so, successfully? Because on their little rubber boats they had fully automatic assault weapons, RPGs and rocket launchers. Little did they know that the fearless crew of the ship they were attacking had been trained to defend themselves against pirate attacks at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy... using fire hoses! Now, I don't know about you folks, but if I were forced to confront armed pirates, a fire hose would not be my weapon of choice! What do you call a man who brings a fire hose to a gunfight? The loser!

I don't suppose anybody has considered narrowing the shipping lanes to a manageable width, like say ... 10 miles wide, and then have ships of the international naval contingency every 25 miles (or so) along that Indian Ocean route beginning about 400 miles outside Somali waters?
Or, alternatively, arm those merchant ships to the point that an attack would be foolish beyond belief! Twin .50s fore, aft and amidships, with shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles at each station. Perhaps that would inspire the pirates to have second thoughts about their chosen field of endeavor.

I could be wrong about this, but it's highly unlikely!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Unemployment in the USA in February of 2009 was at 8.1% - it is now 8.5%. If you think .4% isn't a big deal, then you don't realize that the .4% equates to 633,000 workers. As of the end of March 2009 we have 13,200,000 unemployed American workers! That's THIRTEEN MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND idled Americans, not counting the underemployed and those who have consumed their entire unemployment benefit entitlement.

How does our government respond to this American employment crisis? By issuing 138,000 work permits to foreign workers!

Wondering how that happened? There are primarily two organizations supporting such inequities - the Soros Foundations Network, and the Carnegie Corporation. What is most interesting about that, is the fact that both organizations are captained by immigrants. Properly documented immigrants, who have personally benefited from the freedom to capitalize on their abilities - a freedom that American tradition has afforded to them. Their way of saying "Thank you, America", is to support amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens with an $18,000,000 war chest and the best lobbyists and lawyers (and politicians?) that money can buy. There goes another 12 million American jobs ... or 3 million jobs and 9 million more welfare recipients. Who are these multi-millionaire ingrates? George Soros, Head Monkey In Charge of the Soros Foundations Network, and Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation - which works to establish an open-borders policy for the USA.

It is the old adage brought to reality - money talks! Well, with all those unemployed americans, "we the people" don't have much money, so we can either howl at the moon, or complain to our elected officials - which is redundant. Our elected officials have plenty of money! Millionaires have no idea of what it requires from the working class to provide even the basic necessities for a family of 5 - and 40% of our Congress are millionaires several times over.

I will not be surprised, in the near future, to see massive demonstrations against a myriad of irresponsible government policies. Should these demonstrations be improperly recieved by our government, and if the government response is unsympathetic to the plight of the American people, it is not unimaginable that things will get extremely nasty shortly thereafter.

What would I recommend you do about it? Contact ALL your elected representatives, from the City Council to your State Legislature by email, postal letter, FAX and/or telephone and register your dissatisfaction with the path our government is presently on. Or, you could just remain complacent ... and, by that complacency, you become COMPLICIT in the destruction of our country!

I could be wrong about this ... on second thought ... not a snowballs chance!

Unusual Situation - Interesting Solution

Today there was an online Associated Press news article heading proclaiming, "Shelters slowly adapt to help transgender homeless". In the body of the story, it goes on to explain,"From Phoenix to New York, shelters have fine-tuned policies to recognize preferred gender over birth gender, as they balance the needs of their mainstream clients with those of an unconventional segment of the homeless."

Excuse me? Somewhere along the line I apparently failed to get the memo declaring that personal choice overrides chromosomal, anatomical, and hormonal determination of gender? It must be wherever the memo that said we get to select our skin color disappeared to... perhaps they're both hanging out with the one that requires us to ignore all proof to the contrary of what we personally believe!

Getting back to that AP article - "Having seen few such cases, however, and with limited space that winter night, she wasn't sure where to place the transgender woman. The shelter has space for homeless men and women but not anyone in between."

"Anyone in between?" Perhaps because in nature, there is nothing "in between" male and female. There is an overlap of genders in hermaphrodites, but that really isn't "in between"... it's more of a biological confusion of gender. Anatomically speaking, perhaps people in this category would be more correctly called "intersexual", and if scientific gender examination provides indeterminate results then the choice should be left to the parents (IF they choose to make that selection for their child, within 6 months of the date of birth), or to the individual upon reaching his/her majority if such selection has not been previously made for them. I arbitrarily say "6 months" to insure that such actions are taken prior to the individual psyche developing a personal preference. This would allow the individual to progress through their life in a "more natural" gender identity, and hopefully, avoid gender-related psychological crises later on in their life.

This is one I really could be wrong about. But, thankfully, it's a fight in which I, personally, have no dog ...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Epitome of Ignorance and Poor Judgment!

It seems your President and First Lady did a marvelous job of embarrassing our country upon meeting with Queen Elizabeth II of England. I have never experienced that opportunity myself, but my peasants' understanding of the protocols is:

1. Upon meeting the Queen, women curtsy and men bow. One does not shake hands with the Queen unless she offers her hand first. Then the handshake should be brief and light of touch. One does not squeeze the hand of the Queen!

2. One does not lay hands upon the Queen at any time (other than perhaps to remove her from immediate danger).

3. All persons granted an audience with the Queen are fully briefed on protocols prior to the meeting. In the case of your President and First Lady, they should have been briefed twice - once by his protocol staff, and once by the Queen's attendants.

Those are the main protocols. I would deign to suggest two more:

1. The President of the United States of America should not give the Queen of England a crappy Ipod as a gift. It shows little thoughtfulness, and even less respect for Her Majesty!

2. The President of the United States of America should not refer to the Queen of England as "Your typical white Grandmother."

The fact that the Queen is primarily a figurehead ruler, she is, nonetheless, The Ruler of a great nation that is - or at least was - one of our staunchest allies. The lack of class and buffoonery displayed by your President should be an embarrassment to us all! And this right on the heels of presenting her Prime Minister with 25 DVDs of American movies ...
From the Cleveland (OH) Leader: "The list of offenses is quite long. First, Obama is said to have cancelled a planned, podium-to-podium news conference with Brown, and also recently removed a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. Adding further insult to the PM's visit were the cheap and thoughtless gifts that the President gave Mr. Brown and his family." The article goes on, "Brown clearly took care in choosing his gift for President Obama, presenting him with a pen holder crafted from the timbers of the 19th century British warship HMS President. The HMS President's sister ship, the HMS Resolute had previously provided the wood for the Oval Office's desk. Therefore the PM's gift was clearly not a last minute thought."

Perhaps your President believes, deep down, that our British friends are too white for him to show any respect.

Queen Elizabeth is too gracious to publicly display any feelings of insult to, or intrusion upon, her person. I, on the other hand, am not. But then, I still call a terrorist a terrorist - they are neither 'misunderstood allies,' nor 'friends-in-waiting.'

I could be completely wrong about this... and Barack Obama could be the Imperial Wizard of the KKK! The chances of either are pretty slim.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"States Rights" Is What Keeps America Free... Along with the 2nd Amendment

At last count, 30 states had reminded the Federal Government that the feds could not dictate to them, and that they were sovereign powers within the united structure. The only thing better than that would be if all 50 states perform that same act of sovereignty. Now, don't make the mistake some people have and confuse a declaration of sovereignty with secession. There has been no act of secession by any state .... yet.

What are "States Rights"? The first ten amendments to the Constitution are collectively known as "The Bill of Rights", and the Tenth Amendment proclaims: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

As you can see, although it doesn't jump right out at you, that short sentence says that unless it is specified in the constitution as a Federal power, that power, by default, belongs to the States, or the people! Of course, the Constitution isn't worth the paper it's written upon if we, the people, don't insist on its application in all government affairs. If we do not "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic" we deserve to wear the yoke and chains of socialist enslavement!

We have a definite and obvious threat to all our founding documents in Washington D.C. - a left-wing, socialist administration (which was put there primarily by a complacent "silent majority"), coupled with a left-leaning, socialist-inclined Congress. Disaster is imminent when there are no checks and balances between the legislative and the executive branches of Government.

The President's Cabinet consists primarily of tax dodgers, inexperienced incompetents heading critical Federal functions (CIA, Treasury, Homeland Security, etc.) and those who embrace the "One World" fantasy. As much as you may like to believe in the "One World" concept, it is nothing more than a fantasy. We are not all brothers and sisters riding this big blue marble. There are many millions of people around the world who either envy, resent, or simply hate the United States for reasons frequently beyond our understanding. Reasons - real or imagined - which reinforce their desire to bring about our failure and/or demise as a Democratic Republic. Remember that our individual reality is based on how we personally interpret what we see going on in our world. Reality has nothing to do with what the person on either side of us, or the person standing across the street from us sees - reality and truth are individual concepts!

As a "Conservative-Traditionalist" this is the basis of my reality:

1. The United States has accomplished more in 233 years than any other culture has in 2,000+ years, yet our left-wing Government wants us to emulate the great left-wing socialist countries of Europe. (Yeah... that makes sense, considering how successful they've been! Without our assistance, Europe would have been a territory of Germanys Third Reich for the past 60+ years! And their socialized health care works well too... for those who live long enough to actually get some medical care.)

2. Our foundational documents - the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States of America - and the ideals and well thought out philosophies contained therein, are responsible for the aforementioned success, and have stood us in good stead since their creation. (I believe in the axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and that protecting those ideals and philosophies is a personal responsibility, and one well-worth fulfilling.)

3. I see no need, nor any Constitutional authority for any Government - Federal or State - to create "hate crimes". Relatively few crimes are committed out of a sense of love, or even mild fondness. The crime is in the act, not in the motivation or thought behind it. All true "crimes" are already covered by a myriad of Federal and State laws, and local ordinances. Why would "hate crimes" not fall under the existing category of "crimes of passion":

"Usage: When any feeling or emotion completely masters the mind, we call it a passion; as, a passion for music, dress, etc.; especially is anger (when thus extreme) called passion. The mind, in such cases, is considered as having lost its self-control, and become the passive instrument of the feeling in question." Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

Hatred and rage are simply anger in extremis - at the far negative end of the "love-hate continuum".

4. The use of the word "homophobe". Along the same line as "hate crimes" homophobe is a misnomer in most instances. I would suggest that word be replaced by homocontemnor, one who finds homosexual behavior to be contemptible or viewed with great disdain. Although homosexual behavior was once tolerated in some ancient societies, it is generally regarded as sexually deviant behavior in the American culture.

5. Our Government, in its passage of legislation, rarely reflects the expressed will of "we the people", but, rather, the expressed will of corporations and other moneyed interests. Essentially, we have "the best government that money can buy." We need to resurrect our Constitution, and replace our legislators in a manner that best serves the people of our once great nation. This is supposedly taken care of at the voting booth... but that only happens when every eligible voter actually votes! We are at that juncture in history where personal and collective indecisiveness and complacency will destroy us from within our own borders.

6. Tax abuse by our Government is rampant. We can tell there are few Jews in our Government by the proliferation of PORK! "Pork" another euphemism for the euphemistic "earmarks" that Barack Obama pledged to eliminate if he was elected as our President. "Earmarks" are nothing less than uncontrolled Government waste of our tax dollars. Yet one of his first actions was to rubber stamp an Omnibus Spending Bill with around 9,000 various cuts of swine in it! Is it the will of the people that failed banks and corporations be "bailed out" with our tax dollars? No, it's not - 74% of the people are against such actions, but our Government - in its infinite wisdom - has chosen to ignore what we the people want.

7. As for the Second Amendment, it pretty much speaks for itself... and in plain English. An armed people are a free people - citizens - an unarmed people are more properly called "subjects".

I could go on for a very long time about the insufficiencies of our current government, and I may do that in a future posting, but, for now this seems sufficient.

There is a possibility that I could be completely wrong about this... but I'm not an illegal alien who doesn't read and comprehend the English language. I was born and raised in this country, and educated - as opposed to indoctrinated - in that language. I consider myself fortunate to have received my education while the youth of our country were still being taught HOW to think, instead of WHAT to think... as they are today.