About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Good Green Game

Below is a message sent to us by a long time member of our group.  His wisdom is always very practical as in the example below he calls "The Green Thing." 
As for me - I moved to NJ in 1969 - the state had been recycling newspapers long before I got here.  In SC you do your own voluntary recycling & of course it is the biggest pseudo-environmentalists (statists) you will ever meet who never take their wine bottles or anything else to the recycling center.  But they sure talk a good green game.

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. 

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today.  The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right; that generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.   The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.

But they didn't have the "green thing" back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building.  They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn't have the "green thing" in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind.

They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. 
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn't have the "green thing" back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room.

And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana .  In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. 
When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.  They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right, they didn't have the "green thing" back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.  They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the "green thing" back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.  They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Responses - Nostalgic Message For America From Malaysia

Last night's subject message brought back many memories such as "I well remember much of what was on the video....feel so blessed to have been part of those wonderful years." I showed a friend who stopped by another - "Hate to admit it but during these years I was married already and my own kids heard this music on Bandstand!! Talk about old!!" The writer is full of life & I never think of her as being older than nostalgia itself.

The two messages below add to the walk down Memory Lane.

---Response #1---

Doug, I loved this. I was born in 1953, and my childhood was very like that depicted.

I miss privacy. I miss modesty. I miss business clothes, men in suits with hats and ties. (If men knew how attractive a well cut suit makes a man look, they'd wear them mowing the lawn.)

I miss the absence of profanity. I can remember my father swearing only once.

I miss getting 200+ Christmas cards - and my Dad worked in the post office and my mom not at all till I was in high school.

I miss libraries that are silent, men that give me their seat on the subway and hold the door open for me.

I miss the assumption of the virtue of honest labor, irrespective of the color of the laborer's collar.

I miss being "Miss Powers" or, for 35+ years, "Mrs. Morrow": speaking to someone using their first name should be a privilege, not an entitlement.

But it's a great comfort knowing that there are quite a few of us who share a number of these sentiments.

Hope you're well. Hugs to Carol!

---Memories From The Historian---

Nostalgic piece was very good. Brings back memories riding NYC subway when the fare was 5 cents & traveling by car using Brooklyn Bridge to NYC from Brooklyn - toll fee -zero (no tolls at that time).

Also I remember going to see "old" movies at local theatre - husband ran the projector and wife took in the money (two cents) from small booth located at entrance to theatre - you could sit there all day seeing same movie several times, which some people did.

You may not recall - at end of World War II General Eisenhower was being groomed to run for president. During the war, he was stationed in London and had a pretty female jeep driver. Whether he had an affair with her is not known but they were close. Ike was told he had to say married. He was to eliminate romance with the driver - if he did not his chances of being Pres. nil.

The rest is history - he ran and won.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nostalgic Message For America From Malaysia

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net - he is the best Chemical Engineer I ever worked with - for sending this link re nostalgia for America from the 1950s. My dear friend & I built sludge incineration portions of sewage treatment plants all over the world in the 1970s - including the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world in Detroit. I am sure he & his wife are nostalgic for the times shown on this link. Even before visiting Carol & me in NJ last fall they accepted an assignment starting this past January to run the operations of a chemical plant in Malaysia. Our messages do get around don't they?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Alison-Weiner Contrast

"I'm deeply regretting what I have done, & I'm not resigning" said NY Congressman Anthony Weiner as matter of factly as possible meaning he does not regret his total lack of character in sexting to tens of thousands of his Twitter followers enough to resign. Weiner's attempts to retrieve one of his inappropriate photos from his account were unsuccessful & it was retweeted in what turned into fodder for late night comedians' jokes & NYC newspapers with headlines like "Weiner Exposed."

Presidential candidate Ron Paul has told us that government is a reflection of the society that elects its reps - this has been a theme of these messages from the beginning. Congressman Paul's thought is true by definition.

In NYC, both the censured Charles Rangel & Weiner are graded "F" @ 5% favorable by NTU - meaning that big government types are exactly what the people there want. In the current budget deficit - debt ceiling debate there is no doubt that the people in these two districts would only be for tax increases (on the rich) to solve the deficit problem (which isn't even the real problem) despite what many Tea Party readers of this blog think.

Pelosi has called for a House Ethics Investigation of a man who has admitted guilt - this can only stall for time waiting to see if the matter blows over while the youth of America wonders what is right or wrong. All the wrong lesson.

In light of this Weiner affair I reread parts of Peter Schweizer's book entitled "Do As I Say (Not As I Do) - Profiles In Liberal Hypocrisy" which profiled Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barbra Streisand, & many others - the theme of the book was how all of these peoples' lives improved because of their hypocrisy in leaving the principles they promote for "others" - other Americans - that is Americans other than themselves.

The saddest part of all of this was the Weiner affair occurred in the same week with the death of Major General John Alison who died earlier in the week @ age 98. General Alison was an unparalleled combat ace in World War II who was an innovator in developing Air Force tactics including the use of gliders to ferry troops on D-Day. What a contrast of the death of this great man who was the deputy commander of the 75th Flying Squadron, part of the successor to the fabled Flying Tigers, with this latest but all too frequent despicable display of arrogance & elitism against the American way of life & all of our founding principles.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Educated Corner Of The World

Another worthwhile response that adds to the discussion, re the recent education messages concerning the problems with America's government schools, has been received from a long time reader of these messages.  This one focuses on the Constitution, parenthood, & the Catholic Church.  A sample - "Doug - Not to mention the fact that the Federal Govt has NO business UNDER THE CONSTITUTION sticking its nose into education.. The General Welfare clause doesn't mean "Welfare check" or "we force you to educate other people's children to the detriment of your own."  See ReturnToExcellence.net comments under June 5, 2011 posting for entire Response. 
I provide the above test scores that got this entire series of messages started.  Please note the corner of the world where the top five in math & science lies.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Responses - Government Schools - An Odd Enterprise

Below are three responses to the subject message from subscribers to ReturnToExcellence.net that add to the discussion.
The first response provides a list that will challenge us all. It also points out that Belgium has one of Europe's most successful economies - the correlation point to me is that I saw Belgian students actually show pity feeling sorry for American students during an international testing program a few years ago.
The second response provides a good list of federal government departments to be eliminated - not a bad list @ all for starters.
The third response is from a parent who pleads for parental involvement in our education system @ this late date.
---Response #1---
The Left continues its myth that we need more education $. However the chart says it all -- there has been no positive correlation between education spending and test scores in the US. This is also true in Greece. Greece has 4 times as many teachers per pupil than Belgium, one of Europe's more successful economies. Source: John Mauldin's new book, 'Endgame - The End of the Debt SuperCycle' - great book about the current world economy.

Greece also has 3 times as many public employees than private. What a near socialist utopia! What about the US? Since the start of the Great Recession Dec 2007, as of a few months ago (last I checked), the US had more public employees in Spring 2011 than Dec 2007. One factor has been the $850 billion stimulus bill which paid back public unions for Democrat support- saving and adding public jobs the market will not support because there is no wealth creation with these jobs. Many of these public jobs the stimulus added or saved are being lost now.

Nevertheless BO and his Left cronies in Congress have been very consequential in their drive to create a near Socialist nation modeled after Greece. What insanity!

So what must free market capitalists do?

1 – Blog to sites dominated by the Left but with fair number of conservatives who will respond and further drive our points. Blog to NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times.

2 – Write to Leftist Congressional reps. Let them know we listen to their myths and will challenge them.

3 – Encourage our weak moderate and conservative representatives to challenge all economic myths.

4 – Be part of a grass roots movement to educate many who are not well informed. Is politics not appropriate at social gatherings? MOST APPROPRIATE in 2011. This is especially true if your friend or neighbor makes a comment supporting any of the Left economic myths. I never restrain and have challenged many friends, neighbors, even relatives – with some success!
---Response #2---
With all the Federal govt proposals out there do you notice not one of them talks about any structural changes? Structural changes like ending Dept of Education?? I would like to nominate the Dept of Education to be closed now. Other Depts. could include Energy, Interior and Agricultural.
---Response #3---
What a sad state of affairs. Public schools are funneling students through like cattle down the ramp to the slaughterhouse. These kids don't stand a chance at success. As I see it, the only ones who have any way of making it are those who are home schooled or whose parents are willing to sacrifice by paying tuition to private or parochial schools or those who are lucky enough to get into charter schools.
Also, there are always some who are truly self motivated and will let nothing stop them but the majority will end up at McDonalds or some other schlock job or, Heaven help us, dealing drugs or robbing banks. If something isn't Done soon to get the federal government out of the education business, this generation of students Will Be a lost generation. Schools need to be back in the hands of local control with parental oversight.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Government Schools - An Odd Enterprise

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net, who is currently working on several higher education projects, for sending along the above graph that shows the tremendous increase in the cost of educating children in government schools from 1970 to the present (& of course the commensurate increases in property taxes) along with the pitiful unchanged results in reading, math, & science over the same period. Math & science scores are actually negative for most of the the time shown on the graph - this only hampers Americans trying to make a living in the global economy & naturally draws our country down.

Just who is going to hire the 9.1% of the unemployed poorly-educated labor force plus the six million of similarly poorly educated people who have given up looking for work & are living with their parents or children or are homeless by now - because there are no jobs to be found? Half of the 54,000 jobs created in May were created by McDonalds - the hamburger flipper. Meanwhile China & the rest of Asia progresses on creating wealth.

These results will change shortly before November 2012 after BO puts in programs he hates but are necessary for him to get re-elected. Thereafter he will trick people totally extinguishing all of our liberties by returning to his program of promoting the above type of results since his goal is to make every citizen a government dependent with absolutely no rights whatsoever other than mindlessly collecting whatever chicken is thrown on front porches once a month.

Mike Antonucci, of the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA), provides insight for the information (explains the paradox) shown on the graph when he writes - "The latest Census Bureau report provides details of the 2008-09 school year as the nation was in the midst of the recession. That year, 48,238,962 students were enrolled in the U.S. K-12 public education system. That was a decline of 157,114 students from the previous year. They were taught by 3,231,487 teachers (full time equivalent). That was an increase of 81,426 teachers from the previous year. This is not new information. We knew last October that the entire public education workforce - teachers, principals, administrators, & support workers - grew by more than 137,000 employees during the recession. What the Census Bureau numbers add to that information is that we almost replaced every lost student with a new employee. Twenty seven states had fewer students in 2009 than in 2008, but 16 of them hired more teachers...It's an odd enterprise that reacts to fewer clients by hiring more employees."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Responses - Heads-Up - Town Hall & Tea Party Meetings

The responses to the subject message pretty much followed #1 below. Response #2 adds to the original message.

---Response #1---

This entire scene you described is appalling - can't even have an honest and fair town hall meeting anymore. Very difficult to make yourself heard unless you are one of the "establishment".

---Response #2---

Hi Doug,

You might be interested to know that there was a letter to the editor in the Hunterdon Democrat last week that complained about the same thing at a Lance town hall meeting somewhere in Hunterdon. Someone asked the writer, Lee Anderson, if she was from MoveON.org and when she replied "Not a chance" an elderly woman said, "I hope you'll be civil." MoveON.org is definitely using older people to monopolize town hall meetings. Lee Anderson went on to say "Their clear message of "shared sacrifice" meant that our money was necessary to further their agenda of "progressive" social programs for those most "in need."

Thanks for getting the word out about this, Doug.

Heads-Up - Town Hall & Tea Party Meetings

Below is a very thoughtful heads-up message sent to us by a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net re an unpleasant experience she had @ a recent Town Hall meeting. It is very similar to one I had @ a Tea Party meeting last fall where the hostess, in her introductory remarks, warned people in the audience to be aware of "plants" @ upcoming Tea Party meetings. Little did we know that I was going to experience one during my FairTax presentation just a few minutes later - the "plant" tried to disrupt my presentation & could only complain about everything until he was virtually booed out of the meeting hall.

In the case of the Town Hall meeting described below we have good reason to believe that MoveON.org or some similar group had the same idea to disrupt or control the meeting to discourage people from coming again to participate in one of the freedoms our Founders fought for. I highlight in red below a sentence that is right out of the Alinsky method that BO epitomizes.

Thanks for such a great write-up that can only encourage us all to fight back against these insidious enemies of America.

Impressions of the Leonard Lance Town Hall

I attended the Lance Town Hall meeting on Monday, May 16 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. I found out about the meeting because I signed up for the Branchburg email newsletter. There wasn't a phone call or email notification from Congressman Lance's office as had been the case with other Town Hall meetings. The time was not very convenient for people who work and that may account for the low turnout. My estimate is about 50 people.

As I was walking to the municipal building I noticed a group of about eight to ten people standing in a group having a discussion. Since I didn't recognize any of them I went inside and sat down. I recognized a handful of Branchburg residents inside and I was joined by a friend from the Somerset County Tea Party who I was not expecting to see. He informed me that MoveON.org was supposed to be attending the Town Hall. I was expecting to see a group of young people with signs, but didn't. The group that had been having a discussion in the parking lot was present, but they did not sit together with the exception of a husband and wife team. They looked pretty middle-aged so I did not suspect them of being MoveON.org.

Congressman Lance spoke for a while and then opened up the question and answer period. The very first person he called on was a woman who went on for what seemed to be 10 minutes or more on why Congress should raise taxes to take care of people and programs who need funding. She seemed to be more interested in making a speech than asking a question. One woman tried to interrupt because the first woman was talking so long, and Congressman Lance shushed her and allowed the first woman to continue. Pretty much all of the questions were addressing the same "tax and spend" theme with the exception of one that my friend from the Tea Party was able to get in. Congressman Lance held his own and in a very calm manner disagreed with pretty much everything they said. Both the husband and wife who, I believe, came from the parking lot group were allowed to ask questions. What was interesting to me was that these questions were not at all what I would expect from a solidly Republican area.

It is my feeling that members of MoveON.org were attending and controlling the meeting. It was easy for them because they did not look like young radicals, and they blended into the audience well. Since Congressman Lance did not allow anyone to interrupt them, it was easy for them to dominate the meeting. Also, there was a policeman present and I think that might have kept some people from calling out. I am not blaming Congressman Lance for this one sided meeting, but am suggesting that when attending a Town Hall meeting in the future it would be good to bring a group of like-minded friends along and scatter them throughout the audience so that there is a better chance of being called on.