Monday, February 22, 2010

OFFICIALS SEEK TALIBAN RECRUITER - Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!

According to the Sunday paper headlines officials are searching for a Taliban recruiter.  As a good card-carrying conservative, I decided rather than actually reading the article, I'd just go ahead and go off on a rant if that's okay with you.

The economy sucks.  Nearly one in five of us is out of work if you count the guys that flat gave it up and are hibernating for the winter. I saw that headline about them needing a Taliban recruiter and I thought, "You know, I could do that."

I could send those boys some real prizes to trick out as suicide bombers.  America is such a fertile ground for finding candidates for a job as a one way mystery shopper. I can imagine the interviews with the fellers I'd send old Achmed the Terrorist Human Resources Director.

SCENE: A Cave in Afghanistan

(Achmacrankypants the Terrorist Human Resources Director enters and seats himself behind a dead water buffalo that is serving as a desk.)

Achmacrankypants:  Miss Farouch, send in first Amerikan jihadist applicant!  And bring me coffee – extra goat milk.  My stomach is making noise like camel.

Miss Farouch:  Infidel number 1. Approach!

Cletus: “Howdy there.”

Achmacrankypants: You are Mr. Cletus Hogwallow

Cletus: Yup!

Achmacrankypants: You wish to join the Taliban and kill imperialist Yankee dogs?

Cletus: Jest point me toward them rascals.

Achmacrankypants: You will wage jihad!

Cletus: Yeeha!

Achmacrankypants: It is called Jihad!

Cletus: Yeeha!

Achmacrankypants: No, it is Jihad!

Cletus: That's what I said. Yeeha!

Achmacrankypants: I am admiring your spirits.  Let's try on special vest.
(Hands vest with dynamite and detonators to Cletus)

Cletus: Hey, I like this outfit there Mr. :Poopypants.  Hoo, boy, that there's some big old shotgun shells on this thang.

Achmacrankypants: Now, we just plug this wire in here like this.  Now you hold this little box like this.....

Cletus: I gotcha. This is one o' them radio thangs or somethin' ain't it?

Achmacrankypants:    Yes, Mr. Cletus. You must go and stand in the Yankee Imperialist Swine Market and push this button when I say to push it.

Cletus: Like this?

Achmacrankypants: No, no, no.  You must wait until I say “Push” on the radio.

Cletus: Push?

Achmacrankypants: Push

Cletus: Push?

Achmacrankypants: Yes, Push!

Cletus: Okay................


I bet I can find a bunch of really exciting new Taliban recruits for 'em.

Tom King – Flint, TX

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Screwworm Letters #2

"with apologies to C.S. Lewis"

Uncle Screwworm - Administrative Assistant
Office of Grand Marshall Goebbeleninstalin.
Bulgea 1313 Fifth Circle
Attila the Hun Memorial Administrative Complex, Hell

President Wormtongue
The Whitehouse
Nation Whose Name is not Spoken Among Us, Earth

My Dear Nephew Wormtongue,

I am disappointed to say the least in your performance.  I believe I warned you of the consequences of allowing unfettered discussion of your policies in the media by certain elements over which you have limited fiduciary and technical control.  Your failure to enact legislation to create a "fair" regulatory system for the news and entertainment media is, perhaps, the greatest failure of your already miserable career.

Did you really think that passing out a few tax rebate trinkets would distract the plebian class from the fact that there are 6 unemployed workers for every available job including the ones flipping burgers?  Did you really think that you could get away with continuing to blame your predecessor for everything that goes on for the rest of your administration without somebody catching on?

We gave you that one years ago and it served you well right up until it became obvious that you were the one in charge.  To hear you talk about how it's all his fault, you'd think HE was still the president instead of you!

And why, for Lucifer's sake, did you waste a bulletproof majority in the Senate? Did you not realize that even a Kennedy cannot hold a senate seat once he is dead? You have nearly lost the opportunity to collapse the economy. This is essential. If you do not do it before the next election cycle, all may be lost and you will become about as useful as an East Texas Democrat!

And did you actually say, in front of a live microphone, that you weren't aware of the Tea Party movement? Are you deliberately trying to look incompetent.  One slip like that and you can spin it with a centrifuge and it won't help. 

Ah, but enough coaching.  All is not lost. Let me suggest how you recover (short of "accidentally" blowing up a couple of dozen Republicans as that ham-fisted idiot you hired as your chief of staff suggested - you really need to do something about that situation, you really do).

(1) Shut up!  The more you say, the easier it is to quote you. Gone are the halcyon days when a politician could give speeches in 3 separate states and say 3 contradictory things and get away with it. Since the invention of the camera cell phone, digital recorders, pocket video taping and YouTube, people can compare your speeches side by side and pick out the exact points where you are obviously adapting the facts to suit the audience.  Sadly most of the cretins in your country cannot understand the need for nuance in public speaking.  Of course, the sycophantic amateur philosophers we have trained to use that extremely valuable word, "nuance" do understand that.  All the 'best schools' teach that you have to "adjust" facts for the consumption of the weak-minded masses. We have had great success promoting the idea that college trained minds are capable of nuanced thought. Our colleges of journalism and marketing are chocked with arrogant youth who believe absolutely the most useful idea that their ideology (which is actually our ideology) is correct and that it is the ideological ends that justify the means.  So while they believe that they cannot themselves be fooled by their own propaganda, the untutored masses certainly can be. When you speak doublespeak, they understand that you do so for the sake of the unwashed proletariat and that, since they are not fooled by the lie, they are privvy to the over-arching truth and therefore, above it all.

Unfortunately for you, you great booby, simple people, simply think you're lying!  If you are going to outright lie, for Our Father Below's sake, make sure the damned cameras are off! Security concerns and metal detectors are useful in this regard.  Did you not learn at Harvard that if you remain silent, people will assume you are wise.  You cannot be ridiculed for what you have not said.  You may believe your tongue is still golden, but just about no one else still does. Even those who worship you in the media have been hard pressed to continue that faltering ad campaign.

(2) Move faster.  Stop apologizing for your failings.  Remember, you have the power. You are the power. You are incapable of failure!  They must inevitably fall before you.  Remember to keep pushing that sense of inevitably.  Make it happen.  Nothing can stop you, even now. 

(3) Keep hammering the Republicans:   Remember, the Republicans want desperately to be liked. Stroke them when they are well behaved. As it is when you are training your dog, reward anything that is even close to the behavior you want from them. Reward them with praise and special backdoor rewards that their constituents back home know nothing about.  Punish them when they are naughty, but make it come from everywhere else. Then offer them treats if they will sit for you.

(4) Ignore the Tea Parties:  This technique worked well to isolate and eliminate dangerous conservatives from being nominated in the last election. Do not talk about them. Do not respond to them.  Pretend they do not exist and they will tire and go away.  If they do not, you always have the internment camps after the revolution. FEMA has all those nice tents and trailers and Guantanamo will be cleared out.

(5) When the great collapse and revolution comes, remember that, though you personally may not survive, you will have served the greater good.  And we will have a special spot for you where you can watch the action. Who knows, if you keep on the way you have been, you might get to "be" the action.


Uncle Screwworm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Deconstructing Lincoln - Are There Progressive Double Agents in Our Midst?

The Socialist Sappers Prepare for the Invasion

I just read a vicious diatribe against Abraham Lincoln, complete with footnotes, condemning him as the worst president ever, a threat to the constitution and war-monger. The guy professes to be a conservative, but I wonder sometimes.

I read a lot of history and I've read Lincoln's speeches and writings and I do not find the man this guy describes. If one quotes Southern newspapers, Copperhead Democrats and their allies, sure, you get the message that Lincoln was just as evil as this guy portrays him. But then if you pick and choose your "authorities" you can make a case for any private belief about those terrible days in our history. There were a few honorable men in those days and often they were surrounded by an impossibly corrupt body politic.  These honorable men and women were placed there by God, I believe, to stand in the breach and defend us from the true enemy of all mankind.

What Lincoln did do, for all his perceived failings, was by his words instill generations of men and women with the dedication to the idea that all men are created equal. The South clung desperately to the idea that some men were created more equal than others for more than two hundred years - even long after the Civil War and into the 20th century.  Rags of that belief about the inherent inferiority of people of color still drift on the political winds in the South and even in the North where the culture is supposed to be above all that.  I doubt seriously the South would ever have given up that idea of racial superiority on their own. I know, because I grew up in the South and I witnessed the stupid blind racial prejudice of my own forbears first hand, bred into them when they ought to have known better.

It's odd that someone like my friend, who argues from the far right on most occasions, would choose at this time to make Lincoln the evil one in 19th century history, as though all those poor slave-holding Democrats were simply misunderstood. It's odd that the new anti-Lincoln conservatives argue that Lincoln should have negotiated more with the South and that would have worked. Odd for a conservative to favor negotiation as the cure-all for slavery. This guy even suggests that if Congress had simply expanded slave territory as the Southern planters politely requested, the good-hearted slave owners would have had more room to relieve over-crowding in the slave pens and bought time for them to end slavery in an orderly fashion (as though the Southern gentlemen were working busily to end slavery all on their own).

If the writer had any experience of the South at its cultural pinnacle, he too would recognize what a flying load of horse excrement that idea is. The South wanted to expand slave-holding territory so they could insure there were enough votes in the Senate and House to stave off something like the Emancipation Proclamation. Negotiation only prolonged the agony. We should be ashamed we did not put an end to slavery sooner than we did - on principle!


Do these guys honestly think negotiation would have ended slavery? Were they not paying attention in 6th grade history? You don't end an evil by compromising with it. I think the far right blogosphere has been seeded by the progressives with counter-insurgents. You can tell who they are because of how much they sound like Obama when you get them heated up.

Extend that same rationale that my friend has suggested be applied to the slave states to our Middle East policy and we should just go talk things out with the nice Islamo-Facist states and all would be well. No pre-conditions, just a nice chat on the porch, maybe some lemonade and mint juleps..... I'm just certain that would work so much better than us blowing up terrorist bases willy nilly. I mean, somebody could get hurt with all those nasty guns and things. If we negotiate with them and stop shooting, then that would make them like us, wouldn't it?

I have an idea! Let's let them have Europe so they have room to relieve over-crowding in Palestine and Yemen and the Sudan. That will give them time to put an end to terrorism voluntarily. You know they really don't want to be terrorists and if we just give them a chance and show them how nice we really are, they'll come around and be nice to us!


Great flying buckets of penguin poop, would you read something besides the revisionist progressive/socialist/Marxist history please?

The Civil War was frightfully bloody BECAUSE it was preceded by decades of brilliant negotiation by Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and the like. The result of all this brilliant negotiation was that Southern gentlemen did decades more of further slave-based profit-taking and brutalized hundreds of thousands of slaves in the process, locking them more firmly into the slave system than ever and damaging their culture so badly that the effects are still to be seen today in the ghettos and 'hoods of our major cities where millions wait passively for Massa Obama to bring them something from his magical Obama stash.

It was about damned time someone stood up and said ENOUGH. As it was, to get the thing done required every ounce of negotiation, compromise, double talk and conniving President Lincoln could do, to stand up to the planterocracy. He bent the hell out of the constitution, that's certain, but he saved a nation and freed a whole race of people in the process.

If a group of the states decide to go Marxist and began marching guys like me off to the gulags for not going along, I rather hope we get a president as willing as Lincoln to do what it takes. Somewhere it says that "All men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The founding fathers changed that last line. It started out "life, liberty and property" but they wanted to eventually end slavery and didn't want to lock the new government into protecting slaves as "property". Four score and seven years later they were still "negotiating" to free those slaves and nowhere nearer to achieving that goal.

Now, we face a new kind of slavery - slavery to an ideology that views man as a mass and not as individuals and demands service to an elite leadership and not to the ideal of liberty. We are up against an ideology willing to lie, cheat and commit mass murder to insure, not equality, but sameness of all. It is a great evil come upon us and this is not the time to start denigrating the very heroes who have stood in the breach in our past and fought for freedom. That is what the enemy sappers will do to prepare our nation for conquest - blow up our icons and knock down the very symbols that teach us to do right.  The idea is to leave us without heroes and heroic stories so that we may be left wandering aimlessly about without direction or purpose when the invasion comes.

The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.
- Abraham Lincoln

"It is always requires the voluntary shedding of the blood of good men to purge an entrenched evil from the world."

You can quote me on that one.

Tom King - Flint, TX

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Screwworm Letters #1

"with apologies to C.S. Lewis"

Uncle Screwworm - Administrative Assistant
Office of Grand Marshall Goebbeleninstalin.
Bulgea 1313 Fifth Circle
Attila the Hun Memorial Administrative Complex, Hell

President Wormtongue
The Whitehouse
Nation Whose Name is not Spoken Among Us, Earth

September 2009

My Dear Nephew Wormtongue,

Are you surprised, then, that your attempts to generate support for your reforms through open forums have been such a dismal failure. Have you actually begun to believe your own propaganda? Never assume the Americans are so completely asleep that you cannot disturb their slumber. I agree that the window of opportunity to initiate real reforms in this abysmally chaotic land is absurdly narrow, but you must remember the words of Caesar Augustus, one of the best reform leaders we ever had, "Make haste slowly." Using this method Augustus finished the Roman Republic once and for all and built an empire that lasted half a millennium.

Of course, it is obvious that intellectuals like yourself are best suited to lead the drooling masses. Our educational reforms have, over the past century, successfully reduced the intellectual capacity of the average American by some 20%. These sheep are so much more easily led these days. Most wander through life practically asleep, their minds fuddled with worrying over who is going to get kicked off the island, which girl the Bachelor is going to pick and who Brad, Jen and Angelina are dating lately.

Nonetheless, there are still large numbers of individuals in this plaguey country who slip through the educational system with the inexplicable ability to think independently. I blame that Andrew Carnegie fellow who tried to assuage his personal guilt for some small excesses as an industrial baron by building all those libraries. A nation with all those books lying about in the open is damnably hard to entirely control. Some of its citizens actually read for fun if you can imagine it!

If you overreach, grab for power too quickly, before you've adequately anesthetized the intellectuals, you may stir some of them to action. And by intellectuals, I don't mean the degree festooned boobs we've trained to run things down there. I mean the real intellectuals - the free thinkers; the ones that read things that weren't on our reading lists; the ones that don't ask what everyone else's thinking before they think themselves. If you wake these people up they will cause you no end of grief as you have discovered at your poorly planned health care forums!

Before the next phase of the transformation, you must move forward with the seizure of control of all sources of information. It must happen quickly, before an alarm can be sounded effectively. Remember, this useful argument. "The constitution is not a suicide pact!" You must escalate the climate of fear and urgency by fanning your two major smoke screens.

Catastrophic global climate change legislation needs a couple of good catastrophes to get it pushed through. The boys in disaster promotions are working on that, but you need to remember to insure that your people not don't call it global "warming". It's far too inflexible a term and leaves you no wiggle room. Stick with global climate change, then whatever happens, up or down, you can call you subjects greedy, blame them for the problem and give up some liberties to save themselves.

You've just about blown the health care ploy by moving too quickly without the proper preparation. Your plans to enlist children to help sell the idea is only going to rouse thinking Americans even further.  For now, I suggest you spend the rest of the month shopping with the missus, sailing and building sand castles with your daughters and let the home office see if we can salvage something from this mess you've made.

And since it's too late to cancel the public school speech, at least try to say something soothing and innocuous - preferably something Rush Limbaugh won't quote you on. And for goodness sake get some new communists for the Czar program - some that have the brains not to have admitted it on camera! We're really pushing fried foods with Glenn Beck, but he just won't die. In the meantime, tell your people to try and clean up all the embarrassing video, old books and tax problems before you have 100,000 farmers and truck drivers on the White House lawn with pitchforks and torches.

We won't be able to help you then.

Your loving uncle,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Debra Medina Takes a Swan Dive on Glenn Beck


That was the sound of Texas gubernatorial candidate, Debra Medina's landing after she took a swan dive off the high platform that is the Glenn Beck show this morning.

I very much respect Glenn Beck. He and his team do very thorough research and analysis. Glenn doesn't adopt the latest theories willy nilly and he gives even his opponents a pretty fair shake. He gave the White House a hot-line to come on his show and debunk anything he was saying; a hotline, I might add, that they have yet to have the courage to use.

So, I really looked forward to this morning's interview with Debra Medina.  I figured that if she had any chance at all, the Beck interview would be the springboard to victory. 

Imagine my disappoint when Ms. Medina landed in the kiddy pool.

Beck asked her about rumors that she was a 9/11 truther.  The answer should have been, "Absolutely not."  That would have been that except for a few ruffled Ron Paul acolytes. 

Instead, she looked back over her shoulder at all the kook fringe supporters that had brought her this far and she caved.

I don't think all the evidence is in to state unequivocally......

She waffled badly, not wanting to offend her "Truther" base.  She lost my vote in that 10 seconds. I don't imagine I am alone.  I'm sick about it because I really wanted a conservative in the governor's mansion this time.  I see now that with Medina, we'd have the same problem that we have with Obama.  We'd have a leader who is beholden to the lunatic fringe of his or her base.  I don't think she could issue a retraction fast enough to avoid the kind of damage she did to herself this morning. Her answer to Glenn revealed one of three things about Medina:  (1) A lack of courage to disagree with her own supporters, (2) A lack of preparedness for the big stage (she had to know Glenn would go there and she should have been ready to answer the question directly) and (3) A serious gullibility factor if she really is a "Truther".

You needn't send me hate mail, it will have no effect.  George Bush did NOT allow the destruction of the World Trade Center in order to have an excuse to invade Iraq and erase his father's humiliation or for whatever B spy movie plot line you care to pitch. 

There are bad people in this world who want to run things their way and they hate us because we are so hard to manipulate - or at least were. They are evil and manipulative and want us dead or under the thumb of their religion. They wanted to hit symbolic targets.  They tried to hit the WTC during the Clinton Adminstration.  GWB was back in Texas then, unless he was funneling evil oil profits to the blind sheik so they could do a test attack in preparation for the big one when the Illuminati got him elected president.

Give it a rest, okay?

The struggle here is simple.  We want four basic things:

(1) Lower taxes
(2) Smaller government
(3) Less spending
(4) Strong defense

The kook fringes on both sides are a distraction to that agenda. They lead us to overcompensate by electing overly cautious men and women who are so afraid of doing or saying anything spectacular that they wind up going along and doing nothing.  The kook fringe hurts us, no matter which side the fringe dangles from.

Dear God (and I'm praying here), please give us men and women of true courage and conviction, who say what is true and damn the consequences.  Remember Ronald Reagan.  They said, "Don't walk away from the arms talks in Reykjavik - it's political suicide."  The Russians counted on that, but they reckoned without the intestinal fortitude of America's Cowboy in Chief.  He walked away.  In a year they were begging him to come back on his own terms.

All of Reagan's advisers told him not to challenge the Soviets at the Berlin Wall. They wanted the "tear down this wall" line removed from his speech.  When his speech writer asked if he should take out the line, Reagan told him, better leave it in. "It's the right thing to do!"  He was right!

Where can we find such men and women?  Certainly not in mainstream politics..

I'm going to write in a candidate for governor in the primaries.  He doesn't want to run for governor, which recommends him all the more for the job to my way of thinking.  My own state senator, Robert Nichols is just the man I'd like to see run for governor and because he is, it's highly unlikely that he will. Check his record. The man is a savvy, get things done legislator who came late to politics after a successful career in business.  If the Tea Party were to throw its support behind someone like him, I think we'd bust this election wide open.  It's probably too late, but I'd love to see us elect, not only a conservative, but a guy with courage who isn't beholden to anyone.

Once again, I'm throwing my vote away in a futile gesture. I'll probably vote for whoever the Republican is next time. I'm mean who needs one of the dingbats the Dems will throw up.  At least let us resolve to set fire to the feet of whatever Republican is elected if they go stray!

Just one man's opinion....

Tom King

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tancredo's Civics Test for Voters

Vanessa, a black conservative blogger, wrote a strong reaction to Tom Tancredo's apparent call for a "civics test" for voters in his opening speech at the Tea Party last weekend. Given this country's history with the Jim Crow laws, I understand her reaction - while at the same time remembering that it was Democrats by and large who passed and staunchly defended such laws.

While I think Tancredo is something of a political opportunist and that he was saying stuff to appeal to the jingoist elements of the tea party movement (and thereby earn himself some gratifying applause), at the same time, to be fair, he wasn't quite proposing a return to Jim Crow laws. Jim Crow was about organized financial and racial voter discrimination, not about discrimination based on understanding of how our government works. Ironically, Jim Crow depended on ignorance of the constitution for its long life in the South. Voter laws have historically been discriminatory to the poor, uneducated and to people who are of a certain race or who are "foreign".

I think Tancredo meant to point out that the Democrats focused their appeals for support toward uneducated and illiterate people and did a con-job on them and he is right. The Democrat message is not intellectual but a "feel good" message against which no amount of reason can prevail with folks who cannot because of language barriers or intellect or cultural bias, respond to reason. They don't know where the money is going to come from, but they are certain Obama has a "stash" of it somewhere because they trust him and no amount of logic will ever convince them their feelings are wrong on that.  Unless we can find a more powerful emotional argument, we are, in effect, trying to play a phonograph record with an I-pod.  It ain't gonna work!

It is important that we teach civic responsibility to our kids and we do a miserable job of it. Because we do, we have a very real problem, in that, a quite large segment on both the right and left respond only to gut level emotional appeals. They avoid what does not appeal to their emotions. Besides living by your emotion's is easier than living by your wits. Tancredo's sin is using the Democrat's emotionally based tactics to appeal to our own right wing kook fringe for quick applause.

We really need to do emotional appeals, don't get me wrong.  Without a powerful emotional element, we cannot reach half the voters in America who live primarily by their unexamined emotional beliefs. BUT lets make our appeals based on emotions like pride in country, love of freedom or fear of tyranny and NOT on fear of foreigners or of people not of our color or religion or culture.

I don't think Tancredo was really proposing intellectual Jim Crow laws. I think he was pointing out that a lot of Obama voter's weren't really thinking about what they were doing, just voting emotionally.  Also, he was flattering the audience that, of course, we all know you Tea-Party folks are smarter than those stupid Obama voters. Tancredo was right that much of Obama's support came from the emotional and ignorant, but in appealing to that visceral element of the movement that fears "furriners" he is repeating the very process by which such outlandish laws get written in a moment of high collective emotion.

Don't take Tancredo's awkward attempt to get a big cheer from the kook fringe as evidence that the Tea Party is a bunch of nuts.  The Tea Party is new. As it grows it will adopt leaders who reflect its values and slough off ones who discredit the movement. There are too many people who do think and who did study civics in this movement and they are from all races, creeds, religions and social levels. What they share is a deep love of freedom and the collective intelligence to see what the President and Congress are up to.

Think of a self-cleaning oven. That's pretty much what the Tea Party is and will be - right up until we "organize", then some political interest will try to take it over in order to co-opt the movement to protect their own wealth or political power or social position and then we'll have to start over.

But's that's another blog for another day.

I'm just sayin'


Monday, February 8, 2010

Education's Role in the Coming Crisis (it's not what you think)!

Chris Brogan's blog this morning pointed out the importance of focusing on goals and not on process.  It generated a lot of defensive comments from people who love their process and are really nervous about stepping outside the methodologies carved into their very souls by their years of public education.

Chris's point is well taken. I've come to believe the problem started when the United States adopted the German scheme of education at the close of the 19th century. I think it was a mistake. Americans, by and large, are not like Germans.  The German-inspired system teaches method almost exclusively. Of course, it was designed to.  The point of the graded, class level system was to produce Kruppwerks factory workers who could sit down, shut up, do repetitive work and produce what someone instructed them to produce in a manner virtually identical to the person next to them. We have taken a stab over the past three decades at retasking our education system, but, so far, all I can see that we have accomplished is an abortive attempt to take away the grades and the classes while still focusing on method with disastrous results.

Chris made a passing mention of an individual with ADD who struggled unsuccessfully in a series of "process" jobs, something for which he was constitutionally unsuited.  He's right that we're not suited for "method" work. Americans need clear goals or we pretty much diddle around doing nothing.  We have the highest percentage of ADD people of virtually any country in the world. That's because this country was settled and pioneered by ADD people who were kicked out of every "civilized" country in the world. We became great because, once in America all these ADD folks found a goal. That goal was to insure long-lasting freedom and to create something new and better than the regimented, liberty impaired societies from which they came. They carved out homes in the wilderness, built cities and tamed the wilderness. Sadly, the Old World eventually followed on their heels, landing in New York (once the ADD people had cleared the forests, built nice towns and made it safe for them to come here).  They began marching from the East to the West, like locusts, putting as much of America as they could into little tick off boxes as they went. They gave us the IRS, the department of motor vehicles and now health care reform.

And while they were at it, they created an education system that is almost hostile to ADD kids. Not surprising since the Germans do more intensive ADD research than almost any other country. They seemed obsessed with curing or eliminating this noxious condition in their own country. AND they have sympathizers in America's education system - ready with tubs of Ritalin, tens of thousands of tight-skirted school psychologists and "special" education programs designed to make them sit still, shut up and do repetitive work like everyone else.

Before you get all defensive of teachers, I know there are teachers who aren't like this at all.  They teach children to think, to discover and to excel.  The school system fires them in droves every year.

Yes, ADD kids have a tough time in school.  But I would argue that school has precious little to do with real life.  Having high energy levels and a restless spirit as ADD folks do, doesn't mean you cannot succeed in the real world. Many do so brilliantly.  It's about goals. When we set ourselves clear goals (defeat the Nazis, build an Interstate Highway System or go to the Moon), we Americans have proved we can accomplish anything. Why?  Because we are adept at using the methodological skills we have learned to get what we want.  In those cases where the goals are clear, we're very effective.  When the goals our leaders set for us become about administration and maintenance rather than about exploration and achievement, we inevitably stagnate. 

Our education system's fault lies not in that they have taught us to be socialists. It's that they were too lazy to teach us more than dry methodologies - enough so that it seems like socialism is the answer to all our problems. We missed out on learning how to choose a goal and marshal our resources to achieve that goal.  It's as though they taught us to identify all the crayons in the box, the technique for applying the colors to paper, but left out the part about how to decide why we would want to use crayons in the first place - as thought crayons were the end unto themselves.

Is it any wonder that so many of us run around trying to find uses for crayons instead of looking for crayons to put to good use in accomplishing worthwhile goals and striving toward grand visions?  We have raised a generation with wonderful tools, but without anything to build with them.  Instead we look for ways to number, catalog and store our tools so that we don't use or damage them. Inevitably, we begin to restrict access to those tools.

Too often we develop goals as a reason to use the methodologies we have perfected. We get so enamored with our ability to put everything into boxes with our computers, for instance, that we go looking for a task that lets us use our favorite software instead of looking for software to help us accomplish our task. We don't always ask whether the money and expense we put into developing those applications is well spent. It explains why so many government sponsored projects become dead ends. It's inevitably because some process-obsessed bunch of bureaucrats were looking for a task that gave them an excuse for some process they liked.

Case in point:  Every day, modern retail giants can tell you in detail how much they sold that day by the stroke of midnight after close. They can generate figures for how sales are going this week, this month and this quarter with projections of future sales. They can tell you how many widgets sold and which colors sold best. As a result management often becomes so focused on tweaking the "bottom line", the short term reward or the daily sales numbers that it seems unable to lift its head from the charts and graphs on the computer monitor and look really deep into the future. They become obsessed with the question, how much is my very expensive accounting and inventory control system telling me that I am making and what can I do to tweak those numbers to improve them. They should be thinking, what do I want my company to be in the future?  Is this where we want to go?

To steal a fire department metaphor, are we wandering all over putting out small fires to show off our skills at extinguishing fires instead of getting in front of the big one to cut fire breaks and soak down the trees with flame retardant.

Folks who are enslaved to method tend to focus more closely on immediate outcomes and not on long term goals. The banking industry took itself to collapse because legions of vice-presidents were given loan approval goals that encouraged the approval of high risk loans in order to satisfy a mandate under the Community Reinvestment Act to meet arbitrary target numbers of loans in specific communities and populations with no regard for the consequences of churning out that many risky loans. To keep the numbers high, so that the efficacy of the method might be validated, the loans were guaranteed to quell worries about long term risk.That's how you get Barney Franks and Maxine Waters extolling the virtues of the very programs that were to collapse the housing market within mere months. They were focused on the data they were collecting that showed the programs were accomplishing the Congress's objective, not on whether or not the program was sustainable or, in the long run, good for the country. They were more interested in numbers that would make specific voting blocks happy and that would support their own reelection campaigns.

Such tunnel vision makes it inevitable that such a system should collapse. It's like driving a car while looking out the side window or down at the instrument panel only. If you can't see where you are going, you're going to hit something hard that will bring you to a halt.  Of course, you'll never convince the people who focus on method rather than goal. They think we're all nuts and want to cure us with Ritalin and re-education.

Time to buckle up folks.  I do believe the folks in the drivers seat are more worried about the color of the upholstery and making sure we don't exceed optimal RPM's than they are about where we all are going.

As Dr. Jerry Harvey, author of the brilliant article, "Organizations as Phrog Farms" once described it something like this.  To many organizations spend all their energy in maintaining the swamp, forgetting that their original purpose was to drain it.

Just one man's opinion.

Tom King

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The False Premise

Progressives love to start an argument with a false premise.  "Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Yes or no?"  Rigged questions are the tools of the con man and flim-flam artist.  Take the argument against the existence of God, for instance.

The Argument Begins

"You can show me no direct proof that God exists, therefore, God does not exist!"

This statement depends entirely on the false premise that a thing cannot exist unless it can be seen and touched or directly observed.  Plenty of things we know to exist based on indirect observation.  Black holes, for instance, cannot be seen, but only inferred from theories about gravity and astro-physics and by their effect on nearby objects in space.

It is almost axiomatic in the news media that the health care system in America is badly broken. I believe this to be a false premise.  From this false premise, the left makes the Socratic argument that "If the health care system is badly broken, then we must fix it and that if we must fix it, the government is the only entity that can do the job.

The flaw in that argument is three-fold.  (1) The US health care system is not broken, only oppressed by too much government regulation and interference.  (2) We must NOT fix it because attempts by central planners to fix things like health care only results in disaster again and again.  (3) The government is NOT the only entity that can fix the problem.  Government is, in fact, THE PROBLEM ITSELF.  Government diddling through Medicaid and Medicare is largely responsible for the bureaucratic tangle the health care system faces.

Then there is the cry for a national energy policy.  Why?  Have we not messed up our energy delivery system already.  We killed nuclear power plants - an excellent source of clean energy by regulating it to death. We have hamstrung oil, gas and coal producers so they cannot even prospect for oil off our own shores, but must give way to China and Brazil and the like. I can give you an energy policy.  Do not let the government diddle with energy production!

We must save the planet!  Another false premise.  Who says.  For one thing, we do not have the ability to save the planet and there is precious little evidence that we are the reason it is heating up anyway. Jupiter, Venus and Mars are all heating up too.  I don't think humans had anything to do with that. Besides, if we bankrupt ourselves, turn the US into a third world country and destroy Western civilization, we aren't going to make more than a fraction of a degree's impact on the world's temperature anyway.  And who says putting San Francisco and New York underwater is such a bad thing anyway?

Sometimes what we MUST do to fix problems is to stop meddling.  An ancient proverb says too many cooks spoil the stew. That applies to governments.  Why do we need endless task forces and select committees aided by battalions of politicians and legions of bureaucrats to do what we can do individually in our own communities, quite without help from the feds?

When I had a wound that had scabbed over, my Mom always told me "Don't pick at it or it will never heal!"

Good advice for the current administration and congress when faced with a bad economy.  Leave it alone or it will never heal.

I'm just sayin'

Tom King - Flint, TX

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Prepare for the Worst

What's going to happen on February 12 and why should we worry about it? President Ahmadenijad, the wild-haired president of Iran has announced that they are going to deal a blow to the evil old west on that .

Not sure what he's up to, but it's never anything good. A mushroom cloud rising over the desert will not be a good thing if that's what he's up to. I figure if that happens we'll have a window of about 30 minutes before the current administration starts blaming ourselves for the problem and gets so wrapped up in trying to figure out how to prove it's own leftist ideology really works that they'll dither till it's too late to stop the explosion of a nuclear device somewhere within the continental United States.  I look for such an event sometime with the next few years. I hope the Israelis make the "go" decision and do what needs to be done and the heck with what the US does.  I also hope US fighter pilots are prepared to disobey orders from the White House to shoot down Israeli bombers.

The Pres just got through telling us he was going to freeze spending and be fiscally responsible, but then he glossed over the part where he said, "but not till next year" and proceeded to plop a spending bill for this year that overspends in one month by more than what George Bush did in a whole year at the height of the Iran War.

I can't afford to pay my electric bill now and the President is talking about a Cap and Trade bill that will, according to him, “.....necessarily cause electric prices to skyrocket.” I'm quoting here.

Probably need to prepare for life in a post-electricity world.

I can't find a job in my chosen field. The President has sucked billions of dollars out of the pockets of wealthy philanthropists and caused a nationwide funding shortage among the smaller nonprofits that provide the services and supports our communities need that fall into the gaps with massive government and big nonprofit programs. When the President decided to take 170 billion dollars out of the philanthropists' pockets through taxation, he assumed that they would just find those dollars elsewhere. Instead grantmakers pulled in their tent stakes and largely stopped funding new programs for new and smaller nonprofits and cut their funding for their regular charities.

In case that might happen, the President put about 25 or 30 million in the budget for “emergency support” for nonprofits.

A friend of mine attempted to track down where the local stimulus money was going and how to get some for their nonprofit program Turns out that before the ink was dry on Obama's signature, the county judge had prepared a list of who would get the dollars from the stimulus – a rogue's list of campaign contributors, old buddies and family members all lined up for lucrative contracts to supply materials and carry out contracts. Any wonder the 750 billion dollar stimulus is evaporating as fast as checks can be written -curling skyward in thin wisps of steam.

Those clouds you see floating by – they're our children's futures because they will be the ones who have to pay for those clouds.

And those are some mighty expensive clouds.

Prepare to bunch up with your kinfolk to be able to afford to go on eating regularly. Maybe plant a garden or something.. My church is planting a communal vegetable garden this year. I figure we'll need it.

Keep your head down and your powder dry.