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 25, 2015

Government Schools Provide Poor Education Base For Universities

"An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic." & "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was & never will be." --Thomas Jefferson, Father of the University of Virginia.
In addition to learning about the bad publicity the University of Maryland (UMD) received this spring regarding Muslim students' resistance to the planned showing of the film American Sniper on the College Park campus I also received this URL of a video regarding UMD students unable to identify President Reagan from a famous photograph.  It is safe to say that the problem with showing the film on campus prompted the making of the uncomplimentary video regarding the Reagan photo – a case of piling on.
I worked with a UMD contact I have known for years & a Professor of Government & Politics @ UMD to get some insight into this latest matter. 
My longtime friend @ UMD told me "if one wants to criticize anything it should be the state of American high school political education in general. The university isn't in the business of teaching these students past presidents, that's the job of K-12 schools and parents."
This point was substantially echoed by the G+P professor who wrote to me "the recent recession, and the pressures it has put on higher education to focus on career-oriented skills and knowledge, has been very hard on the disciplines that focus on material considered less germane to securing immediate employment upon graduation.   As a result, the social sciences and humanities are arguably even further in the back of the bus than they have ever been.  I do not see this emphasis changing anytime soon.  Nor do I see much change coming in public secondary education, where social studies is a backwater in the curriculum in most places."
My colleagues make a valid point regarding K-12 & parents but they miss the point that students are a reflection & product of the university they attend.  The countless videos found all over the internet similar to the ones presented in this post are an embarrassing expression of young Americans & their schools.  See this video that was a precursor to the above UMD video.   
I suggested to both of my colleagues that in light of their responses regarding problems with K-12 schools & parents that universities should offer a remedial civics class, @ no credit, much like they do for students who need a refresher course in math. 
Along with a note saying we really didn't need more evidence of ineptitude, the professor also sent me this URL – of a video of Texas Tech students answering general questions.  It is obvious we have this ineptitude & incompetence from one university to another like a plague & until the education system in America improves significantly, from K through graduate school, our country will continue its slide from apathy to dependence back into bondage.
Just look @ the young people interviewed in all of the above videos – how long can a country exist when its youth is not any more enlightened than shown?  Such a country is there for the immediate taking by the barbarians already inside the gate – those positioned & ready to pounce into power to confiscate the wealth of an oblivious apathetic citizenry who has been intentionally poorly educated in government schools for reasons Jefferson warned about 200 years ago.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Socialism - What America Is Fighting & Losing To

"I've always liked what I heard from Bernie Sanders.  I think Bernie Sanders is a great senator, is a great voice for a fair society & a fair economy." – NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking about the socialist Vermont senator who is drawing large crowds as he gears up his 2016 presidential campaign attacking businesses, corporations, Wall Street, & successful people highlighting issues like income inequality, discrimination, & oppression of the poor & helpless.
click on photo to enlarge
One of the big plays of all the 2016 socialist presidential candidates (Hillary, O'Malley, Chaffee, & of course Sanders) is income inequality.  As such, class warfare has increased to the point that far too many Americans have bought into the idea that they are owed a living (& a darn good one) & are supporting anything that makes them think they are putting one over on successful business owners – like government requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who are ill & paid leave to parents of new children and employees caring for sick family members.  A majority of Americans, moreover, continues to support raising the federal minimum wage to BO's target of $10.10 an hour – it shows how pathetic the opposition is if this tinkering around the edges of poverty is all they can offer to their expected voters.
But the pitiful populist strategy is winning & America's confirmation of de Blasio's above fond appraisal of socialism is shown in the results of the below CBS news poll / NY Times poll – May 28 – 31: with the country's free enterprise history no longer being taught in government's schools the results are not surprising.  This poll is not unique – I have seen similar results several times before.
In brief, the results of the poll show the majority of Americans feel that
just a few people at the top have a chance to get ahead & that the money & wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed as more & more people succumb to socialism - an alleged ideal motivated by benevolence that has been tried on every continent on earth with terrifying failure.
Look closely @ the poll questions & responses below to see what we are fighting & losing to.

Which comes closer to your view?  In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run, or in today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead?
35% – anyone can get ahead; 61% just a few people @ the top have a chance to get ahead
Do you feel that the distribution of money & wealth in this country is fair, or do you feel that the money & wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among more people?
27% fair; 66% should be more even; 7% don't know
Do you think the gap between the rich & the poor in the United States is getting larger, getting smaller or has stayed the same?
67% – getting larger; 25% – stayed the same; rest getting smaller or don't know 
Do you think the gap between rich and poor in this country is a problem that needs to be addressed now, a problem but one that does not need to be addressed now or not a problem?
65% – addressed now; 16% – not addressed now; 17% – not a problem; 2% don't know
Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich & the poor in this country or is this something the government should not be doing?
57% – reduce gap; 30% should not
Do you favor or oppose raising taxes on people earning more than $1 million per year?
68% favor: 30% oppose
As you may know, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. Do you favor or oppose raising the minimum wage to $10.10?
71% favor; 26% oppose
Do you favor or oppose requiring employers to offer paid leave to parents of new children & employees caring for sick family members?
80% favor; 17% oppose
Do you favor or oppose requiring employers to offer paid sick leave to employees who are ill?
85% favor; 14% oppose
Do you favor or oppose requiring chain stores & fast-food outlets to give workers at least two weeks' notice of any changes in their work schedules or provide them with extra pay?
72% favor; 25% oppose
Do you think large corporations have too much influence, too little influence, or about the right amount of influence on American life and politics today?
74% too much; 20% right amount; 6% too little or don't know

International Trade

Most Americans continue to say that trade restrictions are necessary to protect domestic industries. But the large majority of Americans haven't heard or read much, or anything @ all, about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Which of the following statements comes closer to your opinion?Trade restrictions are necessary to protect domestic industries.Free trade must be allowed, even if domestic industries are hurt by foreign competition.63% restriction necessary; 30% free trade must be allowed

Do you favor or oppose Nafta — the North American Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the United States, or don't you know enough about NAFTA to say?
22% favor; 14% oppose; 63% don't now enough to say;
As you may know, the Obama administration is negotiating a trade agreement with 11 countries bordering on the Pacific called the Trans–Pacific Partnership. How much have you heard or read about the Trans–Pacific Partnership – a lot, some, not much or nothing at all?
6% a lot; 16% some; 30% not much; 48% nothing @ all

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Police Degradation - Part Of BO's Plan To Undermine America

Following up on the last post that highlighted the action & compassion of a policeman working in his true capacity of protecting communities please click here to learn of a police officer who went far beyond the call of duty after having the assignment of informing a graduating high school senior that his parents had just been killed in a traffic accident.  That is just the beginning of the story of excellent police work for these two people.
I present these accounts of true policing in contrast to the deliberately contrived plan of BO, de Blasio, Sharpton, & the media to show the police as a menace to minorities - the latest example of which is the pool party @ a home in a suburb north of Dallas on Friday June 5 in which the local police (McKinney, Texas) were called by neighbors after 100 teenagers got out of control @ the party. 
Now all of the notorious episodes of the past year in Ferguson, Staten Island, & Baltimore as well as the recent one in McKinney would not have happened if the people who were killed or arrested under force would have simply done what the police asked them to do.   In the McKinney case just imagine trying to control 100 people who do not want to be controlled – or any young man over six feet tall weighing over 200 pounds who is resisting arrest.  Not an easy task or a pretty sight.
The lead officer in the McKinney case was placed on leave & by Tuesday he resigned following death threats.  Six Baltimore police officers are awaiting the results of charges from the Freddie Gray case ranging from second degree murder to involuntary manslaughter to reckless endangerment to performing an illegal arrest – charges that carry prison sentences of 15 to 68 years brought by the Baltimore state's attorney who has been anything but unbiased.  In the Ferguson case the officer who killed Mike Brown resigned citing threats of violence against him & his fellow officers - even after a grand jury voted not to indict him &, facing double jeopardy, a Holder DOJ investigation also found no criminal charges – all this after the man's life has been changed forever.
Police are trending to turning their backs on routine incidents like punk crimes (but not punk to the victims) & if their troubles continue they will just not answer calls like the one in McKinney until the danger is over & all they do for their own safety, including job safety, is show up & investigate a crime after the fact thereby providing no safety @ all for the citizenry – & of course this is all part of BO's design.
But ultimately the larger question is who would want to be a policeman, border patrol agent, or join the military under these conditions?  This is all part of BO's fifth point of citizen control – namely, demoralize the police, border patrol, & military & replace disheartened & depressed officers with malleable people who can be controlled to follow orders to participate in the confiscation of America's wealth – calculated by the Federal Reserve to be a record $84.9 trillion as of March 31.
As one policeman after another loses his job or is tried for a crime for doing his job the undermining of America will continue until it reaches the point it did in Sacramento last year in which an elderly woman asked her brother to live with her after her house had been burglarized.  This resulted in two teenage boys being shot & killed after they broke into the home a second time - the homeowner wound up doing her own police protection work.
I have noticed the disrespect paid to policeman for years & mentioned this to my friend - the local Chief of Police.  I pointed out to the Chief that I always do whatever a policeman tells me to do.  Carol loved it when the Chief responded "so do I."

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Police Story The Way It Was Meant To Be Told

Click here to learn of a police story the way it was meant to be told – a friendly considerate encounter of helpfulness portrayed by a policeman & the generosity of the community he serves.
Robert Wood & his family were returning to Eugene, Oregon from Alaska, short of money & attempting to sleep in their car in a park, when they encountered police Lieutenant David Natt. 
Following the Eugene policy of police discretion regarding such situations Lieutenant Natt offered the family two free nights in a hotel as part of the program financially supported by the University Fellowship Church in Eugene.  This was all the family needed to get on their feet.
The church's congregation decided several years ago to spend less money on themselves @ Christmas so that they could donate to this police discretion program.
"He made me want to be able to do the same kinds of things for other people," Robert said. "He took away the shame & let me know that he's just a person, I'm just a person & things like this happen. It was moving.  I'm still thankful for the kindness this man showed me.  I still try everyday to think of how I can help others."
Funny – this type of story, now an exception, is the way I learned it as a child – people helping people without government bureaucracy.  We should all make it our business to institute similar programs in our communities.  It is up to the family that was helped to return the favor to someone else in trouble whenever they can.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Inability To Talk About What Matters

"If conservatives got the vote of every job creator in the country, we'd still lose.  We must earn a large portion of the votes of jobholders, because there are far more of them." – excerpt from Rick Santorum's 2014 book entitled Blue Collar Conservative.  Santorum launched his 2016 presidential candidacy on Thursday spelling out his new strategy that called for raising the minimum wage, increasing the child tax credit, & reducing legal immigration. 
America has increasingly become plagued with the dangerous symptom that is always prevalent in the apathy to dependence stage of a country's deterioration – namely, the inability to talk about what matters.  Santorum's above strategy for winning the presidency is a good example of not being able to talk about what matters – he would rather pander for votes with populistic giveaways that add no wealth to the country rather than present a solid plan for economic growth based on limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise.
The long list of other examples:
We have a Commander in Chief who will not call the people who have been regularly attacking America since February 26, 1993 by name – Islamic Fascists.  This is an obvious inability to not even start to talk about what matters.
A few weeks ago Pam Geller ran an Islamic cartoon contest in Garland Texas & two would-be murderers showed up hoping to kill scores of people for participating in the contest – but the talk that mattered to most turned to Pam Geller being the person @ fault.  Never mind that her exercise of freedom of speech turned into a death watch.  Even after they thought about it people were more concerned with Geller's "poor judgment" in not exercising the proper self-censorship that would have cancelled the entire cartoon contest.  Far too many Americans were more concerned about not offending people who believe in Sharia Law than they were about supporting our bedrock liberties specified in the First Amendment of the Constitution.  Not having the cartoon contest would have avoided this confrontation but would not have solved the problem that is building under the surface – Geller helped bring it to the surface.  Are Americans ready to accept death sentences or harsh penalties for offending Muslims, even if the offense is not purposely malicious in our society - like women driving cars or just the existence of homosexuals?
The recent riots in Baltimore resulted in distrust of the police rather than condemning the rampant crime on the street.  The police provide a much more inviting target to criticize & talk about than calling out the breakdown of the family structure in the crime ridden zones where the high percentage of out of wedlock pregnancies & the large number of children who can not identify their father is the point that really matters.
Government schools are terrible & politicians tell us they need more money for education despite the enormous cost per student that has been spent for decades.  The bulk of this money goes to the teachers' unions which are more dangerous to America's future than al Qaeda & yet parents will turn their backs to the lackluster results of government schools especially when some survey or another comes out to tell them that their particular town has a "good education system" that they accept simply because they live there.
The showing of the American Sniper movie has drawn protests @ the Universities of Michigan, Maryland, Eastern Michigan, & George Mason University to name a few.  The protests are targeted to stifle debates on college campuses that air many differing viewpoints that can lead to changes in student's perceptions, awarenesses, understandings, beliefs, & judgments – in brief exactly what the enemies of America do not want.  These protests go to the very heart of our First Amendment liberties that the country was founded on.
With regard to the University of Maryland: the school recently received notoriety when the student group Student Entertainment Events (SEE) banned the showing of the film American Sniper on the College Park campus because the 250 student Muslim Students Association (MSA) - out of 30,000 total students - felt showing the film created "a dangerous climate for Muslim students" calling the film "Islamophobic, racist, & nationalistic" – in short MSA members protested because they felt the film was offensive to Muslims around the world & dehumanized Muslim individuals.
In this regard I contacted Breyer Hillegas, President UMD College Republicans, who let me know that after the film's cancellation he successfully arranged for its showing to a packed student audience followed by a panel discussion (hosted by the College Republicans & College Democrats) in which a Muslim representative & two supportive professors on one side debated a combat Marine who also is a current Maryland State Delegate – i.e., a 3 against 1 debate.  Following the debate the original problem was exacerbated because the school newspaper, the Diamondback, recognized & quoted only the pro Muslim panelists & completely ignored the delegate/marine when reporting about the panel discussion.
So this event turned into another episode of political correctness in that according to the Diamondback it quickly morphed into a panel discussion about the Baltimore riots in April, PTSD, & news coverage of war while the original complaint regarding the Muslim Student Association's safety concerns about the film being shown were non existent during the panel discussion. 
But much more important than any of the above was the inability to talk about what matters – in this case the 18 to 22 year old students not hearing all sides of an issue in an unbiased atmosphere.  Specifically, based on the above information, the majority of students may not realize that the First Amendment rights to free speech of the people who wanted to show the film were attempted to be suppressed.  A terrible precedent for our Republic & the future of these students.
I have not seen the movie & don't know whether the MSA protesters have either.  I am sensitive to things that have happened on other campuses such as the serious questions of political correctness and politicization raised by Duke in its treatment & prosecution of lacrosse players in 2006, the Brown University Pie Throwing incident, the Minutemen incident at Columbia University, & campuses with "Speech Codes". 
In the UMD case one interested student who attended both the film showing & panel discussion said the discussion failed to achieve its main goal - "If it was going to be an effective discussion, they should have argued the point of why they were trying not to play it, & I think it failed there."
Take your pick of which poisons in the above examples are the more deadly for America - from not being able to name the enemy who is attacking us in the war on terror, to not defending liberty & our rule of law against the latest attempt to impose Sharia Law in Garland Texas, to not being able to state the reason for the rampant crime on the streets of Baltimore, to tricking ourselves into believing we have top notch government schools when many graduates can barely read @ a fourth grade level, or to the stifling of free speech rights & the expression of ideas on college campuses – we have consistently not been able to talk about what matters in any of these areas as the country descends the stages of the Death Of Democracy.
But getting back to Santorum & the other Republican candidates for president for that matter – economic reports have shown for years that there are not enough jobs for a healthy economy especially in old industrial cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, & Detroit – yet the problem is perceived as the greediness of the business owners & not the regulations & taxes that sent most of the businesses that were able to survive to the suburbs.  More & more politicians, both Democrat & Republican, present raising the minimum wage as the solution to our problems – but there is an inability of politicians to talk about or the citizenry to understand that we don't need minimum wage jobs that will guarantee the continuance of mediocrity & poverty but rather we need an economy capable of producing jobs that pay several times the minimum wage.
The elephant in the room is that the country has not had the economic growth the last six plus years that would help people in their 50s & 60s find jobs after they had been laid off let alone offer any encouragement to recent college graduates who are seeing their futures pass them by before they even get out of the box – all per BO's design.  Someone 25 years old, three years out of college, but unemployed or underemployed, has to compete with new 22 year old graduates & I don't know one personnel manager I ever worked with who would have recommended to me to hire the 25 year old meaning they become more entrenched as excessive baggage every passing month they can't find work they were educated to do.
The reason Santorum & others have not pressed the economic growth message – especially after the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a revised GDP growth rate that was negative in the first quarter of calendar year 2015 on Friday - is because every Republican theory of economic growth centers around lower tax rates – whether it is the FairTax, the flat tax, or just tinkering around the edges of the income tax system by lowering marginal rates.  Republicans know that this will quickly turn to claims of Republicans helping millionaires & billionaires with tax cuts for the wealthy which has been a winning class warfare message for Democrats but against America for several years.  Santorum's new populist strategy clearly shows the corner Republicans have been painted in.
When we find a candidate who can unabashedly & clearly explain that lower tax principles result in more money being invested in profit generating businesses that produce good paying jobs we know we have the chance to turn the corner.  Such a candidate will convince us of the improbability "that the wealth created by government spending will fully compensate for the wealth destroyed by the taxes imposed to pay for that spending."1
All of this gives Republicans an opening if they can develop an agenda they can clearly convey especially by showing they believe it themselves – an agenda based on the libertarian principles the country was founded upon & originally followed.
Step one is for them to simply talk about what really matters.
1 – Economics In One Lesson – Henry Hazlitt – page 37