Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Way I Will Remember It

During Spring Break of 2003, the fetching Mrs. and I spent a couple of days in New Orleans. I snapped that picture in the French Quarter on, I believe, Dauphine Street. We had a great time, and we spoke tonight of how happy we are that we got a chance to go before Hurricane Katrina paid her costly visit. I am sure that for the Big Easy, life in that town will now be divided between "before Katrina", and "after Katrina". We are glad we were there before Katrina.
If you care to see New Orleans immortalized on celluloid, I recommend these movies:

The Big Easy (Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, 1987)
Tightrope (Clint Eastwood, 1984)
JFK (Kevin Costner, 1991)
Double Jeopardy (Ashley Judd, 1999)

If New Orleans is never the same again, at least you can see these films to remember how it once was.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

How to Solve the Looting Problem

Today during dinner, I watched on Hannity and Colmes, videotaped footage of the rampant looting taking place in the swamp that was New Orleans. These people didn't even care that they were being filmed. They smugly mugged for the cameras, and did little dances and waved. It made me sick. Looting peoples' possessions when they are already at their most vulnerable is one of the most cowardly and maddening things a person can do. It is because of this that once upon a time, the standing order in a situation like this used to be that looters would be shot on sight. The most recent example of this I can think of was the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

I actually saw policemen in the video footage trying to deal with the looters. They would yell at the looters, strip the looters of their ill-gotten gains and throw the merchandise on the ground, push some of the looters out the door of the stores from which they were stealing. Aside from shooting them, there is really nothing else the police or National Guard can do to stop the looters. They can't really arrest them; there are so many of them and where would you put the prisoners anyway? No, start shooting them, and the looting would end right quick. But once again, we come up against what a local radio talk show host here in Sacramento calls the "pussification of America". Shooting looters just isn't done anymore. This would be especially true in New Orleans considering that 99% of the looters I saw on the film were black. You can just hear the shrieks of racism.

The funniest part of the Hannity and Colmes broadcast was when they mentioned the looting to the Attorney General of Louisiana, whom they were interviewing. Louisiana's AG just shrugged it off as people trying to survive in a desperate situation. Hmm; I saw some looting of food, but what about the clothes, shoes, and electronics. They must be desperate to watch some TV down in da Big Easy on da bayou.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Inside 9/11: The National Geographic Special

I will continue explaining my philosophy of politics very soon, but this is more important.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my wife and I had just gotten out of bed and begun our daily ritual of getting ready for work. We always had the TV on in our room as we got ready (no kid yet back then), so we could catch the five-day weather forecast. So we were watching the local news, and they announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, and they were turning over their broadcast to the local NBC affiliate in NYC. At that point, only the north tower had been hit, and it was still logically probable that it was a horrible accident. While I was watching the live coverage, with the cameras focused on the burning north tower, I saw the very quick flash of another airliner on the TV screen, and then BOOM! There was a gigantic fireball that filled the screen, and the reporter who was giving an account of what was going on at that moment went - I can only think of one way to describe it - apeshit. Very soon after that, the Pentagon was hit, and that is when it occured to me to call my parents and tell them to turn on the TV. I drove to work, and it was during my commute, while listening to the radio, that the south tower collapsed. I got to work and we turned on the TV just in time to watch the north tower collapse live as we watched. About an hour later, our boss sent everyone home. I spent the rest of the day, sitting on my living room couch watching wall to wall coverage as I got angrier, and angrier. Finally, when a reporter said that upwards of 10,000 people could have possibly been killed, I burst into tears. I did not cry again about 9/11 until tonight, when I watched a truly amazing show on television.

I just finished watching the 9/11 documentary on the National Geographic Channel which is called Inside 9/11. What a magnificent piece of filmmaking that was. The producers need a handshake and a friendly chuck to the shoulder. It would have been so easy to politicize a show like this, and they didn't do it. They stuck to the facts and made a heart-wrenching and tear producing documentary. This was the first one I have seen where they actually showed jumpers falling from the World Trade Center, played an audio of a flight attendant talking to American Airline Headquarters, played the audio of Mohammad Atta speaking to the passengers on the intercom (it was also picked up over the plane's radio). All these images that have barely been shown in the four years since that fateful day, and they were all highlighted in what I consider the best film/documentary yet produced about the Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The American people need to see this. They need to see it often. The national media has practically had a blackout of the images of September 11 for a few years now. Seriously, when is the last time one of the major networks showed the planes crashing into the towers? When have they ever shown the jumpers period? I was listening tonight to a talk show host named Dennis Prager and he mentioned an interesting point: Regarding the war in Iraq, disregard for a second all the arguments about WMDs, no WMDs, yellow cake uranium, no yellow cake uranium, Bush lied, kids died, no link to Saddam and Al Qaeda, and every other argument out there - fallacious or not - and answer just one question. Are the people we are fighting in Iraq evil people? Even if you don't support the war, just ask yourself: are we fighting evil people who want to do harm to every American who exists? You would be surprised at the number of people I have talked to who can't admit to me that evil exists in this world. These are the same people who have more or less forgotton, or don't really care, that 9/11 happened in the first place.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My Political Philosophy

Now that you know my exposure to politics in my 33 years of life, now its time to explain my political worldview. My political philosophy has been shaped by people like my father, certain teachers and friends, and the writings by minds that are greater than mine, but ultimately, I claim my philosophy as my own. If everyone followed my philosophy, the country (and the world) would be a much smoother running place.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is, You cannot give what is not yours to give. There is a hierarchy in life and goes like this: God created the people, the people created our Constitution, the Constitution created government, and government creates corporations. The way a hierarchy works is that what one creates, he controls. That means government does not control the people; people control the government because they created it. The only power government has is the power that was given to it by the people. Keep in mind that the only powers that the people can give to the government are powers that the people can possess in the first place. Let me give you an example. Every year on April 15, you hand over a good portion of your annual income to the government. The government took this money by force. If you don't believe me, then don't pay your taxes and see where you end up. If you tried to escape from where you end up, you would be shot. That means government takes your taxes by force. The government then takes this tax money and hands it to someone else, whether it be in the form of welfare, foodstamps, grants, and through thousands of other wealth redistribution programs the government currently runs. Now ask yourself, where did the government get the power to take money (by force) from one person and hand it to another? You might think that, well of course, the people gave the government that power. Seems simple enough; but the problem is if you as an individual do not have that power, then how can you possibly delegate that very power to the government that YOU created? Think about it - can you walk over to your neighbor's house, hold a gun to your neighbor's head, take money from him and then donate it to your favorite charity? Of course not, you would be arrested and go to jail. The fact that you stole the money for a supposedly good cause is immaterial. So if you cannot do this, how can the government do it either? Because remember, the only power the government has is the power that was delegated to it by the people. People cannot give what is not theirs to give.

In our time, most people just take it for granted that Congress can pass any kind of wealth redistribution legislation, or any other legislation that controls other people's lives, and think it is all perfectly legal. Well, legal it may be, but it isn't lawful. The law is the Constitution, and if you read Article I Section 8 of that august document, you will see the exact areas where Congress may legislate. Redistributing people's income is not on that list, nor is regulating our educational system, nor is paying farmers not to grow crops, nor is paying people to rebuild their homes after a hurricane, no is regulating how much water our toilets may use to flush. Again, can you put a gun to your neighbor's head and tell him how much water his toilet is going to use? Apply that standard to every law Congress passes, and see if it works.

I will continue this post because I have more to say about all this, but that is all for now.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Political History

I start a new Masters Degree class tomorrow, so my blogging time will become more limited. I will still post new blogs, but maybe not as consistently. With the time I had left, I thought I would explain my personal political evolution.

I grew up in a conservative household. As a kid at the dinner table, I watched my Dad rant at the nightly news on T.V. as they presented their left-wing bias rather unapolegetically to the American audience. Remember, in the 1980s, there was no Internet or alternative media worth mentioning, the word of Brokaw/Jennings/Rather was more or less divine to most people. Let's face it, there are exceptions of course, but quite often, children retain the politics of their parents, and I am one who did. I always hear how K-12 teachers are supposed to be politically neutral when teaching, but some of my fondest memories of elementary school involve my political arguments with Mr. Livie, my 7th grade history teacher. It was 1984 - He was voting for Mondale, and I of course supported Reagan (as much as a 7th grader could). We argued back and forth about the election, and I loved every minute of it. When I attended Junior College in the early '90s, I stuck to my conservative guns, but I do remember being "pro-choice" regarding abortion. That is the only issue I can think of where I ever could have been considered a liberal. What are my views on abortion now? I am still "pro-choice", but in a different way: You made your choice when you chose to have sex. If the result is a baby, then you live with the consequences. If you don't want the baby, there are plenty of couples out there who are dying to adopt. Yes, yes - I know there is always the rape, incest, health of the mother contingency. This represents about 1% or so of abortion cases. You can deal with those on an individual basis as they arise. As for the other 99% of unwanted pregnancies out there, why should the baby suffer the consequences of someone else's behavior? But I digress....

As I grew older, my conservative bent did not straighten out, and I actually reached the point where left the Republican party in my mid-20s because I decided they were becoming too liberal. I actually still think that way, but I am now older and pragmatic enough to compromise my principles and vote for Republicans from time to time. Voting Democrat is simply out of the question. There used to be conservative Democrats, such as Congressmen Larry MacDonald, Sam Nunn, and Zell Miller (all from Georgia by the way), but they are now dead or retired. Nowadays, I defy you to show me a conservative Democrat who has any influence in their party.

After leaving the Republicans, I registered with the Libertarian Party. I was pretty happy with them but for two issues that finally caused me to leave them too. The LP believes in totally open borders, a position with which I totally disagree. And while I agree with their positions on the drug war and legalization, they are so totally obsessed about marijuana that it is all they talk about. Now, everyone looks at the LP as those guys who want to smoke pot all the time. Find another issue as your anchor folks! I left the LP just in time for the 2004 national elections. I decided that it was so important that the ghoulish and socialist John Kerry not become President, that I registered as a Republican so I could take part in the California primaries.

So I am currently a Republican in Name Only, but on the conservative side instead of the liberal side. If you were to match me up with a political party that most reflects my views, I think I would be a member of the Constitution Party, but they strike me as this little private club where a bunch of guys in pocket protectors sit around and congratulate themselves for being so exclusive rather than trying to make an impact on the national political scene. What needs to happen is that all these different conservative third parties (Libertarian, Constitution, Independent, Reform, etc.), need to put aside their differences, hammer out a platform they can all compromise and agree upon, and officially join forces. As long as they continue to hold on to their little third party fiefdoms, they are all dead in the water.

So here I sit, essentially a man without a party. The Republicans are spending more money now than Clinton ever did, they are doing nothing about our southern border problem, and the spineless leadership in Congress gives in to the Democrats at every turn, even though they are in the majority. How am I supposed to support that? However, like I said earlier, unless the third parties unite, divided they will stay, and conquered they will remain.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Illegal Immigration Problem Kicks it Up a Notch

Here is a story I found about the other day, and it has me so angry, I have trouble seeing straight when I think about it. I will let the NY Times article do the talking, but let me say that this might be one of the turning points in the ongoing situation with our open borders. When the government fails to act, and regular people start having to take control of the situation themselves, that is bad enough; the Constitution specifically states that it is the job of the federal government to protect us from invasion. The worm turns when the government begins punishing people for doing the job that the government refuses to do, and that is what happened in this case. The end result is that a multi-acre ranch was taken from some American citizens and handed over to two illegal aliens from El Salvador. Okay, my blood is beginning to boil again. If you are not able to bring up the NY Times article because of the registration requirements that sometimes accompany newspaper websites, here is a link to the very same article that was posted on Jeff Rense's website. Rense is a lefty, but that doesn't change the content of the posted article.

And Hey! While we are on the subject of illegal immigration, read here, the uplifting story out of Spotsylvania, Virginia of another illegal alien from El Salvador who beat a 15 year old girl to a pulp because she didn't respond to his wolf whistle.

This gives you an idea of why according to the Urban Institute, 17% of inmates in our federal prisons are illegal aliens, and why according to City Journal, 95% of homicide warrants in Los Angeles County list an illegal alien as the perpetrator. Sorry to rain on the parade of bleeding hearts out there, but many of these illegal aliens do not come here to work and live an honest life. They come here to commit crime and suck off the system. It's easy to see how they wouldn't have a problem doing this seeing as how they broke our laws the second they crossed the border.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sequel to God's Country

My photo collection has become my most popular feature for my reader(s). So here is more. I don't mean to brag (well, maybe just a little), but this is one of the best photos I have ever taken. This is a photo taken not where I grew up, but where my parents live now. It is drier, higher, and in the middle of volcanic country. This area of California is on my top three list of most beautiful areas on Earth. Am I going to tell you where this is? Some of you who read my blog would know, but we don't want these places being discovered now do we? There is no need to Yosemitize every beautiful location is there?

BTW, I don't know if anyone has noticed yet, but if you click on the picture, it will enlarge. Click on it again, and it will enlarge one more time. That goes for the other two photos I have posted.

Good Day to You, Sir

The Great Raid

In 2003, a friend of my wife's gave me a book for my birthday called Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides. The book chronicled a rescue mission that even I, a history nut and history teacher, had never heard of. In January of 1945, the American military had landed on the Phillippines and were in the process of taking them back from the Japanese. As the Americans moved inland, the Japanese began liquidating its Allied prisoners of war being held in the Phillippines. A good number of these POWs had been part of the Bataan Death March and had been in brutal captivity for three years. Ghost Soldiers begins with an account of a true incident where Japanese soldiers killed 139 American POWs from the camp at Palawan by shoving them into small air raid shelters, then burning them to death by trapping them in there then setting off barrels of gasoline. Any prisoner who managed to get out was machine gunned. Incredibly, 11 prisoners survived to spread the word of what happened. There was another POW camp at Cabanatuan, and it quickly became apparent to the Americans that the 500 POWs held there would have to be rescued or they would meet the same fate as the prisoners from Palawan. So a rescue mission was drawn up and executed by Rangers and Phillippine guerillas. Soon after I was given Ghost Soldiers, my wife and I went on a month-long vacation to Europe, and the book became one of my beach reads. I will be more candid than I should be here. The description of the rescue and the reaction of the prisoners and their sudden knowledge that they were going home made me cry as I read it. What a moving tale it was, and it was all true; it really happened!

Imagine my joy when I found out that a film was coming out about this rescue mission at Cabanatuan Prison Camp. This past Wednesday, I went to the theater after work and watched The Great Raid. The movie was everything I hoped it would be. What really struck me about it was that it was in the vein of all the rah rah patriotic World War II movies that came out during or right after the war itself. The good part was that at the same time, the film wasn't heavy handed and corny like those John Wayne movies of the 1940s with all the horrible overacting and unrealistic verbosity that took place in the heat of battle. The great thing about war movies nowadays is that they are so much more realistic and historically accurate than before, and fewer punches are pulled in the violence department. I hate watching the old b/w war movies where when a guy is shot, he squints his face, grabs his bloodless chest, and falls in grand and dramatic fashion. Compare that to Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers where a guy who gets shot jerks slightly then collapses like a rag doll. That is what really happens when someone is shot. The Great Raid enjoyed the same level of authenticity. What was also wonderful about this movie was that, while it wasn't pro-war, it was pro-American. It showed us as the good guys we truly were, and it showed how wantonly brutal and sadistic the Japanese really were. The brutality of the Japanese in the Pacific War is one of the truly overlooked crimes in history. Yes, there is plenty of knowledge about it, but it is not in the forefront of peoples minds like the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Try to think of a movie that focuses on the atrocities of the Japanese like Schindler's List chronicled the crimes of the Nazis. The Great Raid did a respectable effort, even though there were a lot of other stories going on in the movie. If you compare the mortality rates of Allied POWs in Japanese camps compared to Nazi camps, you will see quite a disparity. In Japanese camps, 27% of Allied POWs died. In Nazi camps, the death rate was only 4%. Geography did play a role, since the jungle, with its unique diseases and harsh environments, is more unforgiving a place than Europe, but the Japanese purposely withheld treatment, medicine, food, and supplies from sick prisoners that could have saved untold numbers of them. Much of this disparity has to do with the difference between attitudes of the Germans and the Japanese toward the concept of surrender. The Germans soldiers were just as likely to surrender as anyone else they were fighting. The Japanese, with their code of Bushido, looked at surrender as being worse than death, and they fought as such. When they took prisoners, you can imagine how they felt toward these men who had surrendered. The Japanese essentially had little motivation to treat prisoners humanely since the Japanese believed these prisoners should have fought to the death to begin with. The atrocities didn't stop with POWs. If you ever get the time, read about what the Japanese did to Chinese civilians at Nanking and other cities, or what the Japanese did to the Filipinos. It will make you literally nauseous.

I am not going to break down all the elements of The Great Raid. I have said enough already. My advice is to see the movie because it refreshingly paints our soldiers in a good light as they should be, and it unambiguously points out who were the good guys and who were the bad guys in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It made me proud to be an American.

Good Day to You, Sir

Obsessing about Che Again

Another update in the ongoing saga of the Che Guevara-worshipping teacher who occupies the room next to mine. He sent an email to all the teachers today about something... doesn't matter what. What is important was his little standard signoff at the end of the email. You know how people do that, right? Heck, I do it. You have probably noticed that I end every blog entry with "Good Day to You, Sir". Anyway, this teacher's signoff said "Hasta la Victoria Siempre".

When I saw that, I had a thought. So I went to Google and typed in that quote along with the word "Che", and look out! Entry after entry of t-shirts, memorial websites, you name it - All with Che's image with that quote next to it.

Excuse me, I am going to retch a bit as I think about some of the agitprop crap that Mr. Che-Phile is teaching to those students in his classroom.

Good Day to You, Sir... and why not...? Hasta la Victoria Siempre!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wisdom from Dr. Laura

Let's put one thing to rest right now: I am not a listener of Dr. Laura's show. I can't stand to listen to the woman, with her uncomfortable pauses, and her squeaky voice, and her annoying smacks in the microphone like she's sucking on a piece of candy while she's doing the show. Bottom line, the woman gets on my nerves. With that said, last night, I was running an errand and I turned on the radio to check what was on the AM dial. My first stop is always 1380, but they were running a damn baseball game. So, I switched to 650 and Dr. Laura was on. She was just starting to read an email from one of her listeners, so I left the dial there. I turned out to be happy that I listened, because this email recounted an incident that had quite a satisfying ending. I am going to paraphrase the email as best I can, and I am going to tell it in the first person to better replicate the listening experience I had while hearing Dr. Laura read this listener's email on the air. Here goes -

Dear Dr. Laura,
The other night, I attended a meeting at my child's school where some of the faculty were going to preview the school's new sex education curriculum for any parents who were interested. I arrived and looked at some of the material prior to the start of the meeting. After looking and looking, it quickly became obvious that the mention of abstinence was not part of this curriculum. After the meeting started, I raised my hand and asked why abstinence was not a part of the curriculum. I was immediately met with much hostility and condescencion from the other parents who were there. I was caught totally off guard by this, and I didn't say anything in response to their vitriol. The meeting continued as I sat there totally cowed by what had just occured. After the staff introduced themselves to us, they invited the parents to take a break and go to the back of the room where there were nametags set up. The staff instructed the parents to take that time to apply their nametags, introduce themselves to one another, shake hands, do a little meet and greet. As the rest of the parents did so, I remained in my chair, still very embarassed about what had happened earlier. One of the instructors came up to me and invited me to go back there and join the others. I told the instructor that I probably wasn't the most popular person in the room right now, so I would rather stay put. The instructor left it at that and walked off. I sat there praying about what I should do. All I wanted to do was leave this uncomfortable situation, but I had too much pride to just walk out. I prayed and prayed, and finally, this little voice in my head told me to stay put and do nothing. A couple of minutes later, the other parents were ushered back to their seats. Once they were seated, one of the instructors said,
"Now, what we are going to do is teach a sample class to you in the exact same way we would teach your children. Everyone take off your nametags and turn them over. One of you has a flower drawn on the back of it. This flower represents an STD. Whoever has that nametag, please identify yourself."
A man raised his hand and identified himself as the flower nametag. The instructor then asked the man whose hands he shook during the meet and greet. He identified them, then the instructor asked them whose hands they shook, and so on and so on.... The instructor then said, "So as you can see, from this one person, all of you caught an STD." It was then that something in my brain clicked. I stood up and said,
"Excuse me, I want to apologize for any disruption I caused earlier with my questions, and I am going to leave now. But there is one thing I want to point out before I leave. Not quite everyone in here has an STD. You see, while you were all shaking hands, I abstained. Goodnight."

And Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

OK, One More (For Now)

By popular demand, here is another photo I took of the area in which I grew up. Where I am standing is also just a stone's throw from the actual Buckhorn Road. I took this photo on an old logging road that is cut into the side of a mountain. There is a bend in the road with a large wide spot that overlooks the entire canyon near the town. This is just one of MANY pictures I took that day. I drove up to this spot with my digital camera and a six pack of Fat Tire Amber Ale. I cranked up the 80's tunes on the car stereo, opened the car doors to let the music reverberate, and watched the sunset as I reminisced about this beautiful place in which I grew up. Yes, very sappy, but what a fun experience.

Good Day to You, Sir.

Education Blogs

I wanted to direct my reader(s) to the first two blogs on my links list: EducatioNation and Instructivist. These are the two best blogs I have found so far that are dedicated to the loony world of progressive education. In fact, Instructivist describes his blog as, "A critical look at the progressive education cult." EducatioNation is written by one Professor Plum, who is an actual professor of education in a college back east somewhere. Forgive me if my details are off about these two bloggers, as I found them pretty late in the game, and I am still sifting through untold numbers of their posts, trying to catch up. I love EducatioNation because not only does the good professor give his take on some of the crazy stuff going on in the world of American Education, but he is actually supplementing my professional development by giving away his knowledge of how to really teach students. He has written a multitude of posts whereby he tells exactly how to teach with the use of direct instruction. I actually used his lesson on the Greeks vs. the Persians when I taught about ancient Greece to my sixth graders last school year. I am forever grateful that I am receiving a quality education from Professor Plum that other people are paying thousands of dollars to receive, yet I am receiving free of charge. Lord knows I need his tutelage, seeing as how I have logged many hours in the brainwashing factory known as a school of education. I had to endure all that progressive constructivist crap when I got my teaching credential, and now I have returned for some more of the same as I began a Masters Degree program this summer in Curriculum and Instruction. I just finished my first two classes last week, and I start my new class next week. After my first two classes, I have plenty to say already, but I will save that for another post. I will say this: I cannot believe that they are still teaching the philosophies of John Dewey with a straight face.

If you get a chance, get a taste of the musings of Professor Plum at EducatioNation and the Instructivist. You'll be glad you did.

Good Day to You, Sir.

God's Country

I just found out today that the host site for this blog made it easier to post photos. So I thought I would give you a taste of what God's Country looks like. This is Indian Creek, and it is but a scant few miles from none other than the actual Buckhorn Road.

I can't begin to describe how lucky I feel that I got to grow up in a place that most people only see as a tourist passing through. I sometimes lament the fact that my one year old son is going to grow up as a city boy in Sacramento. The lucky thing for him is that his hick father is going to do his utmost to ensure that the love of nature will be instilled at every opportunity.

Good Day to You, Sir.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Thomas Sowell... Genius.

I am rather eclectic when it comes to the politically oriented reading I do. There are only a few writers and media types for whose work I go out of my way to read at all costs. A few of these people include Ann Coulter, Larry Elder, Joseph Sobran, Dr. Walter Williams, and above all, Dr. Thomas Sowell. Dr. Sowell is a fellow at the Hoover Institution on the campus of Stanford University, and he received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. For a full accounting of his academic and professional career, here is his resume' and while you are at it, check out the rest of his website when you have the chance. I have read every one of Dr. Sowell's syndicated columns, and several of his books, such as Inside American Education, The Vision of the Anointed, Ethnic America, Basic Economics, and his latest masterpiece, Black Rednecks and White Liberals. As a teacher in a semi-urban school district, I tolerate on a daily basis the experience of teaching students (mostly black, I'm afraid), who ape the "ghetto" culture, with the ebonic-esque street patois, the belligerent and defiant attitudes, the over-the-top mannerisms and ways of dress, the anti-intellectualism where trying hard academically is deemed as "acting white," the obsession with sports (especially basketball) and forms of useless recreation. Yes, I see it all. And all these characteristics are considered by many if not most in the black community as being "authentically" black, and "keeping it real". Oh the humanity. Then along comes one Dr. Thomas Sowell who puts a blowtorch to what most people - black, white, or otherwise - regard as the common wisdom of what defines "blackness". By the way, it is at this time that it becomes relevant to inform you that Dr. Sowell is black.

You see, in Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Dr. Sowell presents a thesis so astounding, and yet so logical, that my head is still swimming as I think about it. According to Dr. Sowell, all these traits of the black "ghetto" culture were inherited from their southern slavemasters of old. Yes, when black people act "ghetto", they are imitating white people from the antebellum South. Since nine tenths of blacks in America lived in the south until about the 1920s, it stands to reason that they were bound to imitate the only culture to which the vast majority were exposed. Oh, but it gets better: the culture of the antebellum South was brought over by the Europeans who settled the American south. The vast majority of those Europeans came from a few select areas in northern England, Scotland, and a couple counties in Ireland - commonly known as the Scots-Irish. So not only is the black "ghetto" culture imitating southern Confederate whites, they are imitating a culture from the United Kingdom, which is about as white as white can get. It's kind of hard to be considered "authentically black" when this "authentically black" culture is based on a dysfunctional culture that died out in the lily-white United Kingdom quite a while ago, and is currently dead or dying in our southern states. The only place where this particular culture is still alive and well is in our ghettos and inner cities. And when I say that these cultures are similar, I'm not just whistlin' Dixie (insert rimshot here). The speech patterns were almost exactly the same in northern England as in our current ghettos, right down to saying "axe" instead of "ask", and "dis and dat" instead of "this and that". The emigrants from these areas of the United Kingdom also brought with them all the very same social pathologies that you hear Bill Cosby railing against on a regular basis. The bad part of about the current state of Black America is that this poisonous "ghetto" culture is not just in the ghetto anymore. Black youth from the middle class are also picking it up due to peer pressure. If you don't believe me, just put the term "acting white" into Google and enjoy hours of educational reading. Or get your hands on the book, Losing the Race by John McWhorter, who is a black linguistics professor at UC Berkeley. He will tell you all about this absolute tragedy where academic achievement is often looked down upon among our black youth because to succeed is considered to be "selling out" to the Man. What an absolute tragedy.

What is also a tragedy is that some knee-jerk leftist could read this post of mine, and instantly surmise that I am some sort of racist. The reality is that I am far from it. I WANT black Americans to succeed just as much as anyone else, and thankfully, most already are. The black middle and upper classes are larger in this country than ever before, and I say, "Awesome!" But the problem is that on a daily basis, I see the other side of black America that still needs a lot of work, because the side I see has embraced this poisonous ghetto culture that came out of the South during the great northern migration in the first half of the 20th century when southern blacks (and whites) began moving to our northern cities looking for work, and they brought their dysfunctional culture with them, much to the chagrin of northern whites... and blacks. Intrigued? Then I highly suggest you get your hands on Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Dr. Thomas Sowell. It will be your best read all year.

Good Day to You, Sir.