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.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Mayflower Compact

This Thanksgiving post is a little bit different from recent ones where I posted presidential proclamations honoring our marvelous holiday.  And of course the presidents who wrote the proclamations.

This post is based on historical documentation presented in Professor Peter W. Wood's book, 1620 - A Critical Response To The 1619 Project, regarding "the proper starting point for the American story in 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness."

The signing of the Mayflower Compact, on November 11, 1620, demonstrates how free people of all walks of life, real pioneers aboard ship, came together to create a society based on freedom & equality after they disembarked.

There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower - 50 men, 19 women, & 33 young adults & children.  There were 37 Separatists, later called Pilgrims, who were seeking freedom from the Church of England.  The Pilgrims called the nonreligious passengers "Strangers" - but they all came together out of the desire for self preservation in a new world looking to form "a civil body politic."

Of the 41 who signed the Mayflower Compact several were in the early 20s & some were underage.  But the signed document was "the first time in European settlement of the New World (that the) ideal of self-government based on justice" was attempted.  It "ignored class, wealth, & other marks of status" that were prevalent @ the time & as such showed the libertarianism of people who wanted to come to America.

Now the Mayflower Compact & the Declaration of Independence differ in many ways.  Jefferson's Declaration is "an explanation, a statement of principles, a list of complaints, & a bold assertion of a new authority of a new sovereignty," while the Mayflower Compact "is a bare statement of purpose" simply written for the people who signed it with a pledge to join together.

What both documents have in common is that they recognize that governments derive their just powers "from the consent of the governed."  

Professor Wood explains that the signing of the Mayflower Compact was "the moment when an idea of true self-government began to take root."

The full text of the Mayflower Compact is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.:

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

ACTA's College Evaluations 2021-2022

On September 29, the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) released their annual assessment of the core academic requirements of 1,133 of our nation's colleges & universities entitled What Will They Learn? 2021-2022.  This link will take you directly to the school evaluations - just plug in a school or click on a state & you'll learn all you need to know to get started in a college selection.  This is an invaluable resource.

ACTA works with college & university leaders on campuses around the country to strengthen curricula & raise academic standards.  What Will They Learn? is the only rating system that examines the course catalogs of each school evaluated to provide an alternative assessment based on a school's core curriculum, the program of study that all students share. 

ACTA reports that general education makes up one-quarter to one-third of a student's educational program @ most universities whether the student is taking engineering or accounting or anything in between.  A well designed core curriculum helps students develop the skills & abilities that employers prize, including mathematics, critical thinking, & written communication skills. 

For instance just a few years ago the University of Georgia was graded "F" by ACTA.  After working with ACTA Georgia achieved an "A" grade & a charter member of this blog's daughter graduated from the University of Georgia & commands an annual six figure salary while still in her twenties.  This Georgia graduate could have easily gone to a school with twice the cost & way less than half the earning power punch.

ACTA grades the schools based on what students actually learn in the classroom & every year there are surprises in that schools with big reputations & even bigger tuition bills receive poor grades.  This year I mention Stanford, graded "D" with a $56,169 tuition, & the usual leader in many surveys, Harvard, still graded "D" with a $54,002 tuition. 

Only 24 (2.1%) of the schools evaluated earned an "A" while 423 schools (37.4%) received a "D" or an "F".  The list of "A" graded schools is shown on the website.

Just 3.1% of U.S. colleges and universities require a course in economics & this woeful statistic becomes very apparent when you talk to new graduates or look @ the poor financial decisions that people make.  Just a few years ago ACTA found that only two schools required a course in economics in order to graduate - the U.S. Military Academy @ West Point & the University of Alaska @ Fairbanks.

The graphic below gives the entire grade breakdown for this school year.



Research shows that only 13% of Americans strongly agree that "college graduates in this country are well-prepared for the workforce" so this post could be the most important one you read all year.

Fourteen schools added a foundational course in U.S. government or history to their general education program in the past year.  But don't rest there but rather be prepared to fight back because the forces against America have never been greater.  Critical Race Theory (CRT), American Marxism, & false claims from the 1619 Project are being taught @ every academic level & you surely don't want your child, whether 4 or 22, being indoctrinated in school with ways that you know not to be true & go against everything you taught them @ home.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Progressive Democrats Lead Biden To Transform America

 "A house divided against itself cannot stand." -  Abraham Lincoln


"We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America." - BO, five days before the 2008 presidential election - a corollary to the above Lincoln quote, in that the natural consequence of a divided country is its fundamental transformation into something else.

"We the People of the United States" - the first seven words of the Constitution that signifies for whom the Constitution was written.  Alexander Hamilton called the Constitution the fundamental law in the Federalist Papers.  In fact it is so fundamental that the Constitution requires all persons holding an office of trust under the United States to take an oath to support it - not divide the People or try to fundamentally transform the country. 

***

Even the least discerning among us are starting to realize that "We the People of the United States" are being torn apart more & more every day by Progressive Democrats led by Bernie Sanders, AOC & her Squad, & BO.  Biden is merely following their lead.

Biden assumed the presidency on January 20 to find, in Mike Huckabee's words, "the most secure southwest border in history, a strong recovering economy, energy independence, a vaccine for Covid-19, a return to manufacturing, an uptick in wages for the working class, a stronger NATO & military, & protection for unborn babies."

After just a few hours in office it appeared that Biden was determined to reverse many of the above positions of strength & accomplishment.  But after a few days it couldn't have been more obvious that Biden intended to reverse every single one of the positions he found as he purposely divided the nation by changing (transforming) it completely from a prosperous free enterprise economy to a government dependent one where the weak outnumber the strong - which they already did.  

In the first few hours after the January 20 inauguration, in an opening bid to reverse America's energy independence, Biden canceled the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline putting thousands of people out of work, while later working out an agreement with Germany that allows the Russian Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to be completed in a boon to Moscow.  

Very shortly thereafter Biden incentivized tens of thousands of the poorest, lowest skilled, least educated people from Central America, all originally wearing Biden T-shirts (with virtually none of them even knowing who he was), to come to our southwest border to pursue admission to the U.S. to take advantage of the 126 welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute - & to vote Democrat out of appreciation for being allowed entry into the country.  

Just look @ the blue line & the below statistics (click on image to enlarge) from the U.S. Custom & Border Protection (USCBP) for the past four fiscal years to see the dramatic uptick that started immediately upon Biden's inauguration.  The past two recorded months have each shown over 200,000 illegal immigrants being encountered with August representing the highest August in 21 years.  Over 1.2 million illegal immigrants have been caught attempting to cross the border since Biden took office.  Of course there is no word as to how many evaded capture & are now illegally in the country carrying Covid or are terrorists.


The border problem was graphically displayed by the photos below of up to fifteen thousand migrants being housed under unsanitary conditions below the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas.  A few thousand were flown back to Haiti but the majority were flown under the cover of darkness to small airports across the country & left to blend in - source NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.  Texas authorities had been concerned that these people were spreading COVID or had terrorists mixed in with the masses.  The area under the bridge is currently vacant for now.




Now the migrants, who are in need of skills & education, seen under the bridge above, have been encouraged by the Biden/Harris administration to come to America but the spontaneous Cuban anti communist government protesters of last summer who escaped the tyrannical government & braved the 90 mile ocean trip to America were told by Biden to return to Cuba & almost certain death.  These Cubans were people in the spiritual faith to great courage to liberty & abundance stages of a free country's development - just the opposite of the resource draining poor people welcomed by Biden - a sure anti American sign against freedom & liberty.

But despite all the information presented above Biden looks @ the soaring number of border crossings in Texas as merely "seasonal."  We can believe this with the same confidence that we have in Kamala Harris being the person in charge of protecting our southwest border.  Absolutely none.

No matter how tired you may have become of our military presence in Afghanistan (the majority of people had forgotten we were even there so they never gave it a thought), a fair minded person must admit the withdrawal on August 31 was awful.  But it does go right along with Biden's socialist purposeful plan to destroy the independence & free market capitalist system America was built upon.

Once the Taliban came back to power in control of the country on August 15, the entire American evacuation procedure was exactly backwards from what any failing sophomore Cadet @ West Point would have planned - before he was thrown out of the Academy.

Our evacuation occurred during the summer fighting season; we closed down Bagram Air Base with our troops stealthily leaving the base in the middle of the night without telling the new Afghan commander; we held only the Kabul airport while relying on the Taliban, our enemy, for security around the airport that resulted in thirteen servicemen & women being killed in a terrorist bombing; & worst of all we evacuated civilians last. 

On August 15 the Taliban released thousands of terrorist inmates from the Bagram prison including Abdul Rehman who masterminded the attack on August 26 that killed ten U.S. Marines, two Army soldiers, & one Navy corpsman; wounded twenty other U.S. service members; & killed over 100 Afghan civilians.  Source - California Congressman Ken Calvert.

Below is a photo of Biden looking @ his wristwatch during the return of the remains to the Dover Air Force Base of the aforementioned 13 military personnel needlessly killed.  Since it is documented that Biden looked @ his watch in between virtually every one of the caskets that passed before him, you have to ask yourself - "how much less interest could this Commander in Chief have shown?"

The answer to that question can be found in Biden's response to the 13 murders - he authorized a U.S. drone strike that mistakenly killed ten civilians including many children without a word of explanation.




The American retreat from Afghanistan was so shocking to the significant portion of the Afghan population that had never lived under Taliban rule that just the thought of the Taliban's reputation & return caused many to hide or flee - like the people who held onto the exteriors of airplanes, such as landing gears, as the planes started to take off only to fall to their deaths once the planes reached a speed of hundreds of miles per hour.   See photo below of young Zaki Anwari & another unidentified Afghan, who were so desperate that they saw no hope under Taliban rule, that during their escape, after holding on to the exterior of a plane during take off, they fell to their deaths from a plane that reached altitude.  One other Afghan was crushed in the right wing retracting landing gear of another plane.



Biden was so anxious to leave Afghanistan that the military left approximately $80 B worth of equipment that armed the Taliban & gave them an air force.  See graphic below.  I know of many people who think the 16,035 pairs of night vision goggles was the most harmful to America of all the equipment on the list.  We used to "own the night," thanks to this equipment before we gave it away.

What has been determined by Forbes is that those costs do, however, involve 75,898 vehicles, 208 aircraft, and at least 600,000 infantry weapons.  





At least some of this equipment could have been given to the National Resistance Front (NRF) - it has been verified by Oryx, a blog that uses photos & videos (as reported in the WSJ), that 38 airplanes, 13 helicopters, & seven unmanned aerial vehicles that the Taliban captured are in working order. 

The NRF held up in Panjshir province, under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud - whose father, Ahmad Shah Massoud, had been regarded as America's best friend in Afghanistan.  The elder Mr. Massoud was assassinated on September 10, 2001 - many, like me, think this was part of the plan highlighted by the Muslim fascist terrorists flying airplanes into buildings in America less than 24 hours later.

But add up all the above incidents in Afghanistan, that are clearly a result of the policies & practices of the Biden/Harris administration, & they pale in comparison to the atrocities that have been inflicted or will be inflicted upon the women & girls remaining in the country under the Taliban's rule.  In addition to what Americans would consider civil rights loses, Afghan women, under the Taliban, suffer forced obedience & are subject to honor killings if they are victims of rape.  The Taliban has banned girls from schools beyond the sixth grade.  Yet not a word on this from Biden or the Democrats - supposed & self proclaimed champions of women, except when it really counts.

It should be remembered that the Afghanistan conflict was a 20 year NATO mission with the United States being the country our allies came to help after the September 11, 2001 Muslim fascist terrorist attacks.  Biden largely ignored our allies as he focused on an arbitrary evacuation deadline he set up to make himself look good, as the president who ended America's longest war, on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 - this never materialized because Biden was overshadowed by much stronger people on the anniversary of those terrorist attacks.  The allies wanted to extend the August 31 withdrawal deadline to give them more time to airlift their citizens & Afghan allies out of Kabul.  

But ignoring the allies was hurtful to Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.K. Parliament, who had served as an Army officer in Afghanistan.  Tugendhat called Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan shameful & said the experience should prompt Britain to rethink the terms of its relationship with the U.S. in future security operations.  In short, in Tugendhat's view the U.S. betrayed its allies, that it will need again one day, in order to rapidly proceed with a plan thought to politically help the American president - Biden.

Relationships with our allies also hit lows when Australia cancelled a multibillion dollar submarine deal with France in order to procure similar equipment with the U.S. & the U.K.   France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. & Australia calling the matter a "stab in the back."  Was Biden this oblivious & insensitive to the relationships he was affecting?  My answer is: yes & he doesn't care because it all falls in line with making America weaker.

The Medicare & Social Security Trustees annual reports, released on August 31, project exhaustion of the Medicare hospital trust fund by 2026 & the two Social Security trust funds by 2034.  This means that the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund will be able to pay only 91% of the hospital & related expenses it is responsible for under the Medicare program & Social Security beneficiaries could be cut 22%.  And yet Democrats want to expand Social Security & Biden wants to expand Medicare to include dental, hearing, & vision benefits in addition to lowering the age of eligibility to 60 from 65.  These are two great examples of the financial irresponsibility that socialism represents - & why it is destined to fail.

Biden's Build Back Better plan consists of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill (that is 80% not infrastructure) & a 2,465 page, $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that includes up to $4,000 per month federal government paid family & medical leave, free universal pre-K for 3 & 4 year olds, two years of free community college for all students regardless of family income, child care assistance for children up to age 5, fully refundable child tax credits - meaning you get cash whether or not you pay income tax - of $300 per month for each child under 6 & $250 per month for each child 6 to 18 which have been sent out since July 15, & expanded Medicare as described in the paragraph above.  These benefits become part of permanent universal new middle class entitlements, as opposed to being part of a temporary social safety net only for people in need, that are not linked to any work requirement such as other permanent middle class entitlement programs like Social Security & Medicare.

In addition, Build Back Better includes ample funding to get the Green New Deal started before it overwhelms everything.

In short, every Biden program & policy is detrimental to the well being of the American citizenry.

This post illustrates how the agenda the Progressive Democrats are planning (with Biden coming along for the ride & holding on for dear life @ that) is not in America's interest.  Progressive Democrats are not about economic growth & prosperity.  They are about tax hikes & government dependent spending on welfare programs that secure votes for the Democrat Party thereby turning America socialist & then communist.

Biden blames border agents on horses & finds no fault with illegal aliens, takes people who have broken our laws & releases them into the country with no systematic Covid-19 checking or quarantines while mandating masks & vaccinations for the citizenry, & spits in the face of U.S. Afghan vets & gives $85 billion in military equipment to the Taliban.  Democrats defund the police but Biden gives billions of dollars to the Iranians, & has no problem killing a baby a day before birth & yet doesn't want to test shampoo on bunny fur.  This list of contradictions was presented by Tennessee Congressman Mark Green to Governor Huckabee - Green called the contradictions "exactly backwards" regarding America's General Welfare.

And "exactly backwards" is what Biden has when he says that the cost of the Progressive Democrat's agenda that he is following is "zero."