Sunday, May 27, 2007

Two Thousand and Nine Words on Michael Moore

Michael Moore brought down by young Republican in Alabama.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Jimmy Carter is unbelievable – literally. The only people stupider than those who voted for him for President are the ones who now believe his lies about President Bush.

This past weekend Carter claimed that President Bush’s administration is “the worst in history”. It is particularly shameful that this unfounded and ridiculous claim comes from the mouth of the man who truly did preside over the worst American administration in History. Admittedly Clinton set out to give Carter a run for his money – but Billy’s blunders prevented him from doing the same degree of harm that four years of Carter brought on the world.

Carter is among the most subtle and consistent liars in history. This particular calculated lie by Jimmy Carter is on a par with Adolph Hitler, the only other democratically elected leader of the twentieth century to be responsible for as much death and misery as Carter.

Americans of the twenty-first century are venerable to Carter’s lies because they are abominably ignorant of history. A partial list of the foreign policy disasters precipitated by Carter includes:

Communist expansion in Africa, Asia, and America:

Nicaragua was handed over to the Communists and Guatemala and El Salvador placed on a slippery slide to disaster from which only Ronald Reagan could save them.

The USSR invaded Afghanistan and established a Communist dictatorship.

Panama Canal handed over to Manuel Noriega.

The Shah of Iran was deserted and overthrown by Khomeini – and the world’s greatest terrorist exporter nation was born.

The Killing Fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot reached full effect.

Iraq / Iran War

Terrorists hijacked airplanes and even ships at will.

Carter tries to this day to take credit for Anwar Sadat’s courageous efforts to end war in the Middle East, but stood by and did nothing as Islamic terror reached out to control the Levant.
Oil embargos crippled the American economy and put enormous power in the hands of Islamic fanatics.

Carter’s entire Presidency was a deception. On the domestic front he presided over double digit inflation, double digit interest rates, and coined the word stagflation and dragged America into malaise. In other words Carter made America sick and the world almost died.

By the time Carter was done with America the world was looking to the USSR for leadership and his administration was ready to announce that America was through.

Because of the obvious and utter failure of Carter's Presidency he has spent years trying to redeem himself. He has the blood of millions on his hands, and he can do nothing about it but lie. The farce that is a type of the entire Carter phenomena is the “agreement” he worked out with North Korea to end their development of nuclear weapons. Kim must have felt he had found a kindred spirit as he spun the lies that would allow him to develop an A bomb. It is easy to see them in one's mind, sitting around one of Kim Ill’s pleasure palaces; (Carter allowing himself to be tempted) as he spins the lies he hopes will buy his redemption. It does not matter, to him, whose or how much blood it will take. Had it not been for the vigilance of the Bush administration the nuclear ambitions of North Korea would have remained unchecked. What is particularly telling is that Carter was nominated (even received) a Nobel Peace prize for this tissue of lies. This is an honor he shares with Yasir Arafat - who likewise lied to get a Nobel Prize for Peace while his hands dripped with the blood of the innocent. Carter and Arafat share the dubious distinction of being nominated for the Noble Peace Prize with Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, North Vietnamese liar murderer Le Duc Tho (actual winner) Henry Kissinger (also a winner), Criminal General of the Oil for Food scandal – Kofi Annan (who also won) and Al Gore!!!!

Now Carter plays into the hands of the American enemies and the terrorists by attempting to paper over his own failures by savaging the reputation of President Bush. It is outrageous

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I can’t motivate you – other than perhaps make you angry. I have long realized that one can no more motivate people to do things they do not want to do than one can get a movie star to be your lover. So when asked to speak to my colleagues on their “attitude” for the new Advisory Program at our school I found myself facing a rather dismal prospect. Still, it mattered to me, and I thought perhaps I could get my fellow teachers to at least think a new thought; reaching into their own experience to find the desire to do this new and difficult thing.

The speech outline that follows attempted to use my experiences to remind them of their own, my reasons for wanting to succeed to help them find their own.

I. I began by admitting that I would probably get emotional because, I explained, I can remember when I didn’t have a job. I remember when being a teacher was a dream. There are 2 and ½ accredited Social Studies teachers for every open position in Utah, and prospects are better now than they were years ago; and for all these years I have lived my dream come true. (Earlier in the morning a gentleman from Ken Garff Auto Dealership had given us all a nice coupon for auto service and a discount on a car – but, I pointed, out that I did not become a teacher to get a new car.)

II. I asked them all to remember why they became teachers. How wonderful it is to be paid – and quite well - to study, to actually live, in the field one is interested in. But that is not my motivation. I want to share my love for history with others. There is a universal truth, we get greater joy from giving to others the things we love than in keeping them to ourselves. How many times I have reminded myself of the pleasure of looking at Union Falls for the first time – and how soon the sixteen mile hike to that place became more of a price than I wanted to pay for that pleasure. But the joy of seeing someone I love see the falls for the first time – that is worth hikes and much more.

III. I pointed out that I remembered when one of my colleagues didn’t have a job. How he was willing to take over the supervision of the auditorium and the sound and light crew in order to get into the school.

IV. I told them I first taught at a Jr. High. There, my Principal required a faculty meeting every week and a mandatory after school party once a month. I taught the same forty-five minute lecture six times a day. Then one day the choir from the very high school I now work at came to sing Christmas carols at my school. I was so impressed with the beauty and talent of the young men and women who performed that I turned in a transfer request at the district office – asking for a high school – any high school. Some weeks later I got a note in my box to call Paul Smith. I had never heard of Paul Smith, I assumed he was an angry parent. I failed 49 of my 200 students my first quarter as a teacher – I was accustomed to calls from angry parents. Of course, Mr. Smith is still the principal at the high school at which I work. In my interview he asked if I would be the debate coach. “I’ll be the best debate coach you’ve ever had.” I confidently replied. The truth is I knew nothing about debate. The interview was in late February, and I was promised a response within two weeks. It was May before I got the call. During that time I am sure many far more impressive applicants to the job were interviewed. After making every effort to do better – the boss settled for me, perhaps because I was the only one who said yes to the debate coach job.

The previous debate coach is still at our high school. I would never have made it that first year had it not been for him. He is my hero forever. I remember when I first found out about the job, I told it to one of my staffers who had worked for me for several years, a beautiful, brilliant student from Davis High. When I had told him how I hoped to make our team a winning team, he laughed at me. There was no way Davis could ever be beaten in Debate. It took a couple of years to get there but I took great pleasure in beating Davis High nine times at the region and NFL district level.

I pointed out to my colleagues that only the other former debate coaches in the room (and there were five – including my mentor) could understand the difficulty of that task.

V. I really enjoy attending our school musicals – they are nothing short of marvelous. But I must confess I often sit in the audience burning with jealously for our school Drama Coach. To be able to make such an important and lasting impact on all those students – to bring out so much excellence in all of them. That is truly something I want – MY ADVISORY will give me such an opportunity.

VI. I have had five of my own children pass through my high school. I am grateful to all the teachers who have made them better people. My second son came to the school a rather chubby child looking for himself. He joined the wrestling team. Our wrestling coach changed his life for the better, and pretty quickly too. Coach didn’t keep my son long – because my boy is such a pacifist that he didn’t like fighting, and especially not beating other kids. Still the awareness of health and the fitness inspired by those few weeks on the wrestling team are manifest today in his healthy life style. I am amazed at what coaches have, that bring students to sweat and struggle through the long summer months – through the year - in a myriad of sports and activities. I use the coaches and the sports at our school as examples of how to suffer for success to my students all the time. I pointed out that my son had written a paper for one of the English teachers in the audience entitled – My Father Never Played Catch with Me – What is catch- too complicated a sport for me. But coaches do this all the time for so many kids. I want to use my advisory to touch lives like that, but in my own way and with my own talents.

VII. I held up a newspaper with a picture of a derailed train on it; a train carrying the components to the Space Shuttle; I pointed out that none of the assembly parts had been damaged and that the protective structures on the railroad cars were my son’s job to inspect. How he had become a mechanical engineer and a mathematics master. In Jr. High he had been tested and assigned to a basic math class – he wanted to take Algebra so he could get on the “math track” at high school. One of my fellow teachers had actually called the Jr. High and promised to help my son if they would let him into the Algebra class. He went on to take the most demanding math classes. It was not always easy. I remember nights of intense homework frustration. But he went on to master. Another teacher in the room had inspired my daughter in her Chemistry class – had taught her that she could do the most difficult things if she worked very hard at it. That same daughter has gone on to study sign language – has built her life goals around the inspiration given her by the sign language teacher at our school.

There were so many other teachers I could have mentioned – the great English teachers, the history, the LITE team advisors, the internship director that sent my one son to work with camels and yaks, a daughter, now working in the University Special Collections, to her first experience in a bookstore, and my other daughter to help with sign language interpretation in another high school working with a deaf student.

Time was more than up. I pointed to the two “handouts” I had prepared:

The first was given to us years ago by a Vice Principal, who left our school to become an LDS mission president, and later a principal at another school

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make a life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”


I read the first line. Then asked them to read and consider the rest.

On the back was Edward Sill’s poem “Opportunity”. As a teacher I must always explain poetry before I recite. In this story a man sees a battle field – either in a dream or for real. Along one side of the battlefield the banner of the king’s son is going down, collapsing in defeat. On the other side of the battle field there was a craven, that’s a coward or a quitter. He wants to help his prince – but he looks at his sword, and thinks what a piece of junk. If I only had a better sword, [if I was only drama director, the football coach], but this piece of junk! He breaks his sword and sneaks off the battle field leaving his prince to die. Now let me give you the poem.

Opportunity by Edward R. Sill

“This I beheld or dreamed it in a dream.
There spread a cloud of dust across a plain,
And underneath the cloud, or in it,
A furious battle raged; swords shocked upon swords and shields.
A prince’s banner wavered then staggered backward,
Hemmed by foes.

A craven hung along the battle’s edge and thought,
Had I a sword of keener steel, that blue blade the king’s son bears,
But this blunt thing, he snapped; and throwing it from his hand,
He loweringly crept away and left the field.

Then came the kings son, wounded, sore bested and weaponless,
And saw the broken sword, lying hilt buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran; and snatched it up.
And with battle shout lifted afresh, he hued his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

Right now this Advisory Program is indeed a broken sword lying buried in the dry and trodden sand. Which will we be; a craven or a king?

Two other presenters followed my efforts. One presented the what an advisory is and what it is not material, and the other introduced the actual mechanics of our program. They did a wonderful job, but the young teacher who spoke of structure did preface his remarks by what must have been a sentiment in the room. He pointed out how he had been brought up on a farm and that my speech had reminded him of a spreading manure. That got a laugh. But the first liar never has a chance you know – he soon had to turn the time back to me for a short presentation on Rituals and Routines and I was able to point out that as a historian I would like to remind him that before the farmers started spreading the manure THE WORLD STARVED.