Master CraftsMon

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Was It All A Waste of Time?

So I got up this morning. I was going to do some spring cleaning. I was going to take some of the audio files off my hard drive and burn some CD's. I listened to them and they are all distorted. I mean, the recording device I have recorded all these programs I have been doing... with too much distortion. I had not noticed.

November 28th program is distorted as well. Oh, damn. Ah, well... that is the way it goes. I am just going to have to work on that.

Oh, you don't know what I mean. Distortion is where the wave form of the sound is clipped. Not all the part of a word is recorded except as a buzz. It's pretty awful.

I got this digital recorder a while back and it seemed to do the job. I just had not looked at any of the files from recordings at KEOS in the the audio editor. Somehow or another all of the recordings are outside the ranges I need. Here is where it gets weird. The pilot was recorded using a microphone I bought for home use, those recordings are within correct parameters. I am most upset. Again, you live and learn. I am going to have to figure out how to record the program without distortion from the output of the station. I shall check that on Friday when I go into the station. I may just use the crappy microphone, if I cannot get the output from the station to work. I've done stranger things as a workaround in the past.

This is all rather crazy when you get right down to it.

I need to work on what I am going to say next week.

I still have not checked for comments on the other entries. I'll have to do that tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Kiwanis Speaker was Fred Brown, State Representative

Fred Brown, my Texas state representative, was speaker for my Kiwanis meeting today. Fred's into stopping waste and trying to advocate for higher education. The State of Texas has just in the last few years discovered that they have NO idea how the money Texas spends on state colleges is used. The State of Texas has this big pool of cash that they get from oil revenues on State lands. In the past, they gave the cash to the state colleges and forgot about it. The problem is that too many Texas children want to go to State colleges and too many students in the colleges are not getting through in a timely fashion. Are you getting this? The throughput of kids graduating from colleges, thus allowing more kids to attend, has become a political issue. Because the State suddenly has to deal with the fact that not enough kids are getting through the colleges in a timely fashion, they also noticed that they had no audit of how the colleges were spending the money. Even the Q drop policies are becoming an issue. It's turning into a can of worms. Some of the state colleges and universities are offering golden parachutes to faculty and staff to GO AWAY. Too weird.

I asked Fred about the project I outlined to him a while back. He didn't remember of course. The idea is that dormant accounts in banks are forfeit to the State after a certain period. My idea is to have the money instead go to the county trust for distribution to worthy goals in a given county. My worry is that the money is getting eaten up by costs. I mean, the amount of cost to administrate the money may be so large that the forfeiture may be costing the State money. I want the money to fund local charities not go to the State of Texas to fund God knows what. Fred said that he would really look into it. Ah, maybe he will. I will ask again when I see him. Yeah, I know, you're saying, "So you see this guy a lot do you?" and laughing. Well, kind of. I'm part of the Brazos Valley Republican Club which is a support group for the Republican Party locally, so Fred has to show up occasionally. Fred kind of knows me. Mainly because I'm the one in the group that asks hard questions. Fred's a good politician. He remembers faces.

Anyway. The Robin Hood plan has been struck down by the Texas State Supreme Court for an interesting reason: The Robin Hood plan for funding schools set caps on local property taxes statewide. This is against the Texas Constitution. I find that amusing, because no one noticed that in 1991 when the Robin Hood plan was put into place. Now the State of Texas has to find a new way of funding schools. In addition they will have to consolidate the number of independent school districts. Texas has 10% of all school districts in the United States. We need to move to a countywide school district for administrative purposes. Administrative costs are either too big or small compared to other costs of K-12 education. I do not know. That is how confusing school finance is.

I am hoping, as I said in my show, that one of these days the State of Texas will be out of the school business. Don't know whether that is possible. We shall see.

A Black guy got up and asked whether Fred could help lower the 70% dropout rate in Bryan Independent School District (BISD). Fred said that he could do nothing. Every time the State intervenes locally, they get burned. I ran up to him after the meeting and pointed out that one of our members, Larry Ringer, had become mayor of College Station after my Kiwanis Club sent him to the Parks and Recreation Board back in the late 1970's. I told the guy that if he wanted to run for the BISD School Board, that members of the club would back him. And I meant it. The reason I don't know his name is that as Secretary I have not gotten his membership form. My Board will vote on that at the next meeting two Tuesdays from today. I hope we can get him into the club.

Damn, it's hard to keep Blacks in the club. My Kiwanis Club does so much for Blacks in the area, but a Black comes in and sees all our White faces and decides to go elsewhere. It's a stupid idea not to have input from the people our club is trying to help.

Someone volunteered to take my shift tomorrow, so I do not need to go in and do a music show tomorrow morning. I am ever so glad of that.

The Night and the Morning After the start of Master CraftsMon

Well, maybe someone heard my show last night. I have not checked on the comments yet. I don't think even my friends read this blog or listened to the show.

The show went pretty well. I did it from a script. I had broken the script into segments so that I could put in the breaks that are on the Traffic Logs. We'll get to Traffic Logs in the future. Anyway. I was able to make all the breaks, because of the segments. The FCC requires that you identify your station at the top of the hour plus or minus 5 minutes, then you’re supposed to identify your show 20 minutes after the hour and forty minutes after the hour plus or minus 5 minutes. The 1am break was close. I couldn't get to a stopping point until 1:03am CST. At that point, I did the top of the hour Legal ID, "KEOS 89.1FM College Station", and read the weather. Doing a show is always an adventure.

Without advertising the show, it was mostly me talking to myself. I don't think anyone listened. As I said, I have not checked for comments yet.

Damn, it was cold coming back to my apartment after the show. Or so it seemed to me. No cars around at 2am in Bryan and then College Station. Or rather very few. I think I saw four or five on the way home.

I saw a street light on College Avenue that was in the middle of a tree. I mean, the lamp was surrounded by the branches of the tree. The leaves had turned golden. The light from the lamp was just the right frequency to make the leaves look like a glow. Very beautiful by my standards.

I got up at 8am this morning. I have Kiwanis today. I am Secretary for the Kiwanis Club of College Station. I have to be there all the meetings at the Hilton at noon on Tuesdays. I have to announce trash pickup, Adopt-a-Street, today. Maybe some people will show up for the project. I need ten.

I've spent most of the last hour getting the CD burned for the Weather Notebook. They are going under, as in the Weather Notebook ends this month. I will have to tell the station. That's three shows KEOS broadcasts that are going under this month.

Ah, well, I need to get something to eat before I go off to Kiwanis.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Afternoon Musica Came and Went

I got to the station today and got ready for my classic rock show at 1232 CST. I pulled some vinyl records from some egg crates we have at KEOS. I only chose songs I had heard before, except for group called Roxy Music. I ran across their album last week. Somehow or another they fill in the background better than most rock groups do. I'd never heard of the band before. Doesn't matter. Here is the play list for today.

Artist (Track)
Olivia Newton-John (Suddenly)
Shanana (Yakety Yak)
Ray Lynch (Rhythm of the Pews)
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (Night Moves)
"Weird Al" Yankovic Stuck in a Closet(With Vanna White)
REO Speedwagon (Don't Let Him Go)
Roxy Music (Avalon)
Bill Joel (My Life)
Seals&Crofts (Summer Breeze)
Cyndi Lauper (All through the Night)
Wings (Lady Maddona)
Shandi (He's A Dream)
Boz Scaggs (Slow Dancer)
Olivia Newton-John (If Not For You)
Lionel Richie (Running With the Night)
Heart (These Dreams)
Kool&The Gang (Celebration)
Captain&Tennille (I Write The Songs)
Earth, Wind & Fire (Got to get you into My Life)
Eurhymics (Like a Ball&Chain)
Commodores (Three Times a Lady)
Ray Lynch (No Blue Thing)

Some of those aren't classic rock which is why I wish someone would take the 1400-1600 slot from me and do something with it. My cassette collection is very limited. Nope. No records. And only two or three CD's. I play the CD's on my computer. My cassette player is not very good. Ah, well, I am just doing Afternoon Musica, because no one else can.

KEOS is all volunteer and no one has volunteered. Sayyyy... would you be interested in a music radio show? I can give to you cheap... Really... Twelve visits to the station and you can have it... No?... Well, what about Wednesdays 1000-1200? Or Fridays 1000-1200? Damn! I was hoping someone would take these shows off my hands. 11pm is the only show I want to be doing.

One hour and counting until I have to leave for KEOS.

Launch of Master CraftsMon Minus 3 1/2 Hours

Always those last minute details.

If you are reading this, you are one of the few in the Universe who is. The Chinese have a saying:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

Getting to this point is many years in coming. This last year has had many ups and downs as I got ready to do this project. I kept getting this feeling that no one would care. I mean, the Right and the Left have so screwed up the dialogue that should be what political debate. I am unsure why anyone will listen to someone saying, "Dude, we got problems. Why don't we work together to solve them?" Kind of a naive approach, I suppose. I mean, both sides seem to be having so much "fun" hating each other.

I'm out here in the trenches and I know the approach of the Right will not work, i.e. do nothing and the problem will fix itself. I know the approach of the Left will not Work, i.e. throw enough money at it or involve the government or force people to be good or God knows what else.

All the tools of the Left go against the grain of human existence. The Founding Fathers knew that governments have to take people as they are, not how we want them to be nor how we imagine them to be. The Left is absolutely sure that the New Man can exist, if we just do... something. Damn, they've tried to produce the New Man and have failed. Instead of saying, "Opps, we failed. Let's try something else." They scream, "You scumsucking Republicans are in the way. Get out of the way and the New Man will be born and we shall all live in Utopia." If that was going to happen, then the Europeans would have already achieved Utopia. Instead they are hosting the biggest set of car-b-ques in the history of the world. It will not be too soon before they will go under and the jihadis will rule.

On the other hand, the Right will not accept that people in this country want someone to fix the damned problems. The Left has shown willingness to try. The Right has not made counter proposals that make sense to the vast majority of people. I give the example of Head Start in my program. It doesn't work. It's a stupid idea. Doesn't mean anything. People want to believe that it WILL work. Until the Right comes up with a program that cuts down on the dropout rate of high school students, then people will stay wedded to Head Start.

Ah, well, I discovered that I had to print out a form for the show. I forgot that. For some reason each show has to have a slip of paper describing what each program covers. The comment line is just that... one line. I just have to shake my head.

These series of threads (blog entries) are set up to let you comment on specific portions of the show. I am interested in debating the issues. I just do not know exactly how to get it to work right now. I'll think on it. Something will come to me.

I have bought a digital recorder and gotten an audio editor for my computer. The recorder blows through batteries like they're water. We shall see whether I can do pod casting or not. KEOS is supposed to implement that function, but I am not holding my breath. The whole point of the program was to explore the interface between streaming radio, streaming video, email, blog and website. God knows whether it will come about. I surely do not. I am not even sure where to store the recordings so people can download them. At each step in this project, I have not thought farther ahead than the next step, because I was never sure that I would get the program. I was a bit surprised that my program, Master CraftsMon showed up on the traffic log today. (We'll get to what a traffic log is at some future date.)

I had always assumed that the program would be a series of challenges for the audience. A series of tests that they would undertake, because they wanted to challenge themselves. A master craftsman cannot avoid challenges. If you aspire to be like Benjamin Franklin, then you have to stretch yourself.

Oh, I do have a solution to the dropout rate for high schools. It's a group like the YMCA movement in the 1800's. Look up the history of the YMCA movement in Wikipedia. The three awful questions I would ask teenagers:
o Are your parents having a crappy life?
o Are you having a crappy life?
o Do you want to have a good life?

If you get three yes's, then you simply offer them a chance to join The Deprived. Kids aren't stupid. If someone offers them a way out of their crappy situation, they'll take it. If a teenager joins The Deprived, he or she is saying to the world that your parents are crappy parents and he or she refuses to have a crappy life, because their parents screwed up. The problem is that the project has to get results. I'm still working on the idea. I'll get back to you in the future.

Your expression right now really amuses me. You still haven't gotten the idea through your head that I am not your father's conservative. I want results. I refuse to be bound by the idea that no one cares. I am going to end each show with my poem:

I shall light one candle to the dark,
for I fear that there is real Evil out there where no one can see it
If I do not reveal the Evil and strive to combat it, then who will?

I must be responsible for myself, my community, my state, my country and my planet.
Or give up the right to complain about what is wrong.
I shall light one candle to the Dark.
Will you come share the light with me?

Silly poem. I like it anyway. If you don't, all I can say is, "Party on, dude, I'll catch on the flip side."

Read This First Concerning Master CraftsMon

As I write this, my show, Master CraftsMon has not begun. The show is at 11pm CST. Right now it is about 7:30am. In the future, I will have to do something different to put the show scripts out on the net. We shall see.

Each one of the threads that follow deal with a different segment of the program. A few of the posts are just log entries of how things are going or what I am doing to get ready to put a show on. They are commentary of my getting my show up and running. Look for:
Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

at the top of the thread to differentiate the threads. As you can see, this is a commentary as opposed to being a part of the show. I suggest strongly that you open the following links in different tabs. If you are using Windows Internet Explorer, then you have to open them in different windows. I could tell you how to do that, but I want you to figure it out yourself. Please try. If you're going to help me whitewash this fence, I really need you to learn some things about the Internet. Here are the links to:

An On-line Dictionary Where You Can Look Up Words You Don't Know
Wikipedia: An On-Line Encylopedia to Look Up Articles and Educate Youself on Topics
The Library of Congress: A Starting Point for People Interested in Books

I point these out because the education system in America has failed to educate people. I'm trying to do my bit to alleviate that problem. I know, sounds kind of silly, but that's the way I see it.

Yesterday, I spent all day getting the script for tonight cut up, so that I could get questions and comments and questions on individual topics. Or at least that was the goal. Who knows whether anyone will actually stop by and leave a comment.

I do Afternoon Musica at 2pm on Mondays, then come back to my apartment. At about 10pm, I will leave to go over to KEOS and prepare for Master CraftsMon. I may put the playlist here. I'm not sure. Afternoon Musica is my classic rock formatted show. Most of the time, I just choose stuff out of the cartons of records in the conference room/library at KEOS. We may do something different today.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Some Nuts and Bolts About The Program

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

I probably will not accept phone calls here at the station. I know, that is a radical idea for a talk radio show. I just do not think that having someone call up and scream their defiance to the world makes sense. I mean, why should anyone have to listen to a long string of people spouting expletives and passion, when the goal is to accomplish something. Besides, I don't have a call screener.

Each week I plan to present some ideas on how to fix some of the problems we have in this community... or elsewhere. Something close to a transcript will appear on my blog. You can stop in and make comments and suggestions. Or ask questions. The blog software allows for this.

Some people will disagree with the idea or disagree with the means. The ones who are coherent, I will arrange for them to call me and we shall debate the issues. I surely do not want someone who screams, "The Black Helicopter Alien Abductors will land and destroy the entire operation." That type of person has a certain appeal, but not to me. And I trust... not to you. I wish to educate and actually accomplish something, not simply entertain.

Debate is not what you think it is. Please review the Lincoln-Douglas debate format or rather get my reference to a book that outlines the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. The idea is that the first person makes their case, then the second person makes their case, then the first person gets to rebut. A transcript of the remarks of all three segments will be posted on my blog and both sides will take questions.

If there is enough questions, then another debate will be scheduled, except the roles reverse. The original second person goes first, making their case in light of the questions and answers on the blog, then first person makes their case and finally the second person rebuts. I know, it sounds too complicated.

The original Lincoln-Douglas Debates took place in seven separate Congressional Districts in Illinois in 1858. Their topic was slavery. Douglas, the Democrat, made the case that slavery should be extended into the Western territories. Lincoln, the Republican, made the case that slavery should not be allowed in any of the new territories. Underlying the debate was a Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott Case. Justice Taney writing for the majority ruled that Blacks could never vote in federal elections, because Blacks were inferior to Whites. Justice Taney's thinking was extremely weird, because Blacks had voted in every federal election up until his decision. Plus Blacks had fought in the American military in every war up until that time, including the Revolution. The Founding Fathers had assumed that slavery would wither away, because they outlawed it in the Ohio Territories. Lincoln wanted to extend that ban to all unincorporated territories in the U.S. at the time and any new territories we might acquire in the future. Nothing was resolved and Lincoln lost the election for the Illinois Senate.

Anyway, that's the reason I chose that format. It provides a method of shedding light on a topic, not generating heat. Too many talk show hosts wish to grab face time and to squash their guests and count coup. Plus, too many guests on talk shows, both TV and radio, want to squash the host and count coup. We at KEOS are supposed to educate. What part of "KEOS is owned by Brazos Educational Radio" do you not understand?

An Odd Way of Looking at Things: Why I Think The Various Forms of Communism Cannot Work

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Why won't Communism work?

Well, Communism can work, assuming you want to live in a mud hut. If you want to live in a high tech society, Communism makes that impossible, because it quickly eliminates master craftsmen, people committed to excellence in their craft.

There was this guy named Conner in about 1830. He came over to the U.S. from Scotland with the idea of proving that Communism would work better than Capitalism. Yeah, Communism, predated Marx. Anyway. Conner gave speeches to the entire U.S. government when he arrived in Washington, D.C. He had to give his talk twice, because not all the Congressmen, members of the Supreme Court and the President could make it for the first one. Are you getting this? Conner was able to get the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of the U.S. federal government to come and hear him speak. He made his case and went out to Ohio to set up a Communist utopia.

The problem he had was that the master craftsmen wouldn't work for the same salary as the street sweepers. The best black smiths, window hangers, and whatnots just got tired of getting less than what they could get elsewhere and left town. Very quickly the town started to fall apart physically. Conner tried repeatedly to make the project work and it failed. His son ended up with the property and made a go of it using Capitalism. In short, when a master craftsman has an alternative, he doesn't stick around and allow Communists to exploit him.

What about the Soviet Union?

The Soviet Union was a totally Communist country. Surely the master craftsmen would be required to stay around? Yep, they sure were, but the master craftsmen lost heart and stopped being the best. To be the best you have to have the best tools and resources to explore improvements in your trade. Master craftsmen couldn't get that in the Soviet Union. I mean, if you are a creative person and have to fight bureaucrats for every single nail, you just give up after a while. And that's what you saw in the Soviet Union, their tech base slowly degraded. They were just unable to keep up with the U.S. because their master craftsmen kept giving up and becoming second raters. By the third generation, the Soviet Union was a Third World country with a nuclear arsenal... that probably never would have worked.

What about Socialism?

Surely the Europeans are living in a paradise. Nope, not by my standards. Their master craftsmen are slowly becoming second raters. Their tech base is degrading and they are finding it hard to simply keep things going. Socialism by and large can work, but it causes master craftsmen to give up after a while. I mean, to be the best you have to commit yourself to BEING the best. If you constantly see these lazy layabouts having a good time while you work hard, you slowly lose heart and become a second rater or worse decide that having fun is fantastic so you become a third rater. If you think Europe under Socialism is working, I draw your attention to the fact that few Europeans have won Nobel Prizes in last few years. Where is the innovation? In the arts? Yeah, great, but you can't keep up a high tech society with English majors.

Then there is American Liberalism.

As far as I can tell Liberalism won't work, because it wipes out master craftsmen on many different fronts.

First there is the family. Feminism has the ideal that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Without two parent families, it is difficult to get a master craftsman.

Then there are the Gays. Their goal is to eliminate monogamy in marriage. It is almost impossible to keep a marriage going without sexual fidelity.

And, of course, there is the Liberal creed that everything is relative. Pi is defined as about 3.1415. If you try saying that pi is 3.0 then buildings start falling down. Plus there is the emphasis in Liberalism on government funding of poverty. Under a totally Liberal controlled polity, your master craftsmen finally give up, because they just will not support people they perceives as lazy layabouts. In short, your tech base starts to degrade, slowly, admittedly, but things do indeed start falling apart.

I draw your attention to Detroit. They ran out all the master craftsmen and the city is falling apart. Same thing in New Orleans. Each of these cities has been under Liberal rule for many years. If Liberalism was going to work, wouldn't you see indications that these two cities were more prosperous than places under Republican rule?

In short, Communism, Socialism and Liberalism do not work. If they were going to work, they would have worked by now... somewhere. They cannot work in a high-tech society, because they degrade the tech base to the point that you are living on charity from other countries. Communism and Socialism have been tried in over 70 countries. Liberalism has been implemented in a large number of cities in this country. They have not produced good results. In fact, if you implement a Socialist agenda on a Capitalist state, your economy collapses pretty damned fast. I draw your attention to South Africa under Nelson Madela. I hasten to point out that I know the White South Africans were morally wrong, but you cannot dispute that their present economy is failing.

Ah, but people committed to Communism, Socialism and Liberalism perceive themselves to be more moral than me, because their philosophy is better than Capitalism. I say it is not, because of slavery. Yes, that's pretty harsh, but that's the way I look at it. Taxes are a form of conscription or involuntary servitude, when they are wasted. I say that you waste taxes when you get no results OR worse when the governmental solution makes the social problem bigger. I accept that there has to be some conscription in a society, but I refuse to say that something is moral, if it achieves no real results.

A Simple Example

I was on the local Head Start board of directors for a while. The goal of Head Start is to cut down on the number of at risk kids who drop out of school before they graduate from high school. It doesn't work. There are numerous studies that show kids who were in Head Start are just as likely to drop out of school as those who were not. Why am I paying taxes to support a program that has failed? Ah, the answer from Liberals is that, if we did nothing it would be worse. That's what gets me. The program has failed. All the literature that I have seen, shows that Head Start doesn't affect anything past the 6th grade. If it was up to me, I would privatize Head Start and let volunteers handle the kids. You see, there are some facets of Head Start I agree with, but it should be done with volunteers, not paid staff.

If you are going to conscript me to do something, then you best know that what you are doing will work OR are pretty sure it will work. Why in the world should you conscript me to do something, if you have evidence that the solution achieves no results? By my standards that is a form of slavery. What part of "I am a Republican and I am against slavery." do you not understand?

Tom Sawyer Is a Major Inspiration for This Show

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

I read you some pages from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain on my show. Here is the text. I will be referring to this reading quite a few times, so you should get used to it.

In this segment of book, Tom has been assigned the task of whitewashing the front fence by his Aunt Polly.

Tom realized that his friends would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make a world of fun of him for having to work--the very thought of it burnt him like fire. He got out his worldly wealth and examined it--bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of work, maybe, but not half enough to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom. So he returned his straitened means to his pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.

He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in sight presently--the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been dreading. Ben's gait was the hop - skip - and - jump... proof enough that his heart was light and his anticipations high. He was eating an apple, and giving a long, melodious whoop, at intervals, followed by a deep- toned ding-dong-dong, ding-dong-dong, for he was personating a steamboat. As he drew near, he slackened speed, took the middle of the street, leaned far over to starboard and rounded to ponderously and with laborious pomp and circumstance-for he was personating the Big Missouri, and considered him- self to be drawing nine feet of water. He was boat, and captain, and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself standing on his own hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them:

"Stop her, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling!" The headway ran almost out and he drew up slowly toward the side-walk.

"Ship up to back! Ting-a-ling-ling!" His arms straightened and stiffened down his sides.

"Set her back on the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow! ch-chow-wow! Chow!" His right hand, meantime, describing stately circles... for it was representing a forty-foot wheel.

"Let her go back on the labboard! Ting-a-ling- ling! Chow-ch-chow-chow!" The left hand began to describe circles.

"Stop the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Stop the labboard! Come ahead on the stabboard! Stop her! Let your outside turn over slow! Ting-a- ling-ling! Chow-ow-ow! Get out that head-line! Lively now! Come-out with your spring-line- what're you about there! Take a turn round that stump with the bight of it! Stand by that stage, now... let her go! Done with the engines, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling! Sh't! s'h't! sh't!" (trying the gauge-cocks) .

Tom went on whitewashing... paid no attention to the steamboat. Ben stared a moment and then said: "Hi-yi! You're up a stump, ain't you!"

No answer. Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result, as before. Ben ranged up alongside of him. Tom's mouth watered for the apple, but he stuck to his work.

Ben said: "Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"

Tom wheeled suddenly and said: "Why, it's you, Ben! I warn't noticing."

"Say.. I'm going in a-swimming, I am. Don't you wish you could? But of course you'd druther work... wouldn't you? Course you would!"

Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said: "What do you call work?"

"Why, ain't that work?"

Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly: "Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer."

"Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you like it?"

The brush continued to move. "Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"

That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth-stepped back to note the effect... added a touch here and there... criticized the effect again... Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed.

Presently he said: "Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little."

Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind: "No... no... I reckon it wouldn't hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly's awful particular about this fence... right here on the street, you know... but if it was the back fence I wouldn't mind and she wouldn't. Yes, she's awful particular about this fence; it's got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it's got to be done."

"No... is that so? Oh come, now... lemme just try. Only just a little... I'd let you, if you was me, Tom."

"Ben, I'd like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly... well, Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn't let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn't let Sid. Now don't you see how I'm fixed? If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it"

"Oh, shucks, I'll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say... I'll give you the core of my apple."

"Well, here... No, Ben, now don't. I'm afeard..."

"I'll give you all of it!"

Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of material; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with... and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth. He had beside the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews'-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar... but no dog, the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window-sash.

He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while... plenty of company... and the fence had three of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out of whitewash, he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.

The boy mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place in his worldly circumstances, then wended toward headquarters to report

TOM presented himself before Aunt Polly, who was sitting by an open window in a pleasant rear- ward apartment, which was bed-room, breakfast- room, dining-room, and library, combined. The balmy summer air, the restful quiet, the odor of the flowers, and the drowsing murmur of the bees had had their effect, and she was nodding over her knit- ting-for she had no company but the cat, and it was asleep in her lap. Her spectacles were propped up on her gray head for safety. She had thought that of course Tom had deserted long ago, and she wondered at seeing him place himself in her power again in this intrepid way. He said: "Mayn't I go and play now, aunt?"

"What, a'ready? How much have you done!"

"It's all done, aunt."

"Tom, don't lie to me... I can't bear it."

"I ain't, aunt; it is all done."

Aunt Polly placed small trust in such evidence. She went out to see for herself; and she would have been content to find twenty per cent. of Tom 's statement true. When she found the entire fence whitewashed, and not only whitewashed but elaborately coated and recoated, and even a streak added to the ground, her astonishment was almost unspeakable.

She said: "Well, I never! There's no getting round it, you can work when you're a mind to, Tom." And then she diluted the compliment by adding, "But it's powerful seldom you're a mind to, I'm bound to say. Well, go 'long and play; but mind you get back some time in a week, or I'll tan you."

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action... without knowing it... namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a treadmill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and they would resign.

Now you might ask, "What have these few pages from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer have to do with much of anything?" The answer is that I will be asking you to help me in my projects. I will throw out an idea, we will debate the means of achieving the goals of the project, THENNN we shall attempt to apply them in the real world. Unlike Tom Sawyer, I am telling you up front that I expect you to do some work. I expect you to fund some of the costs of the project. I expect you to be part of the solution, not a part of the problem. In short, I am asking you to volunteer.

Tom tricked people into helping him. I am honorable about it by saying that I want your help and I expect you to pay for the privilege. If you don't want to be involved, then I surely cannot force you to be, because I am just a voice from the velvet black coming to you from the darkest night. I cannot make you do much of anything. I can only make my case and ask for your help.

Just as a matter of interest... Do you know how I changed the above quote, so that it flowed correctly for a radio program? Go get a copy of Tom Sawyer and check it out. The above segment is in the first two chapters. Mark Twain is always worth reading.

Liberal "Victory" #1: The New Deal

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

The rooster gets up before dawn and crows and crows and crows and the sun comes up. Obviously the sun came up because the rooster crowed.

Liberalism has five major moral wins over the last seventy years. Each of them are failures when examined in detail. By my standards, they did not really achieve the moral goals that they set out to achieve. However Liberals view each of the following examples as having achieved their goals. How can it be moral to steal money from everyone and support a project that achieved nothing OR makes the problem worse?

The first of course is the New Deal. The thinking there is that Roosevelt saved Capitalism from itself. By using governmental intervention, the New Deal ended the Depression and things got better and proved that government was a source of positive social change.

By my standards the New Deal did nothing to fix the economy. The government increased taxes and raised tariffs thus cutting off foreign trade. That's what the Republicans did about 1930 by enacting the Smoot-Hawley bill. Democrats then came in and raised taxes and tried to intervene in the economy directly. Roosevelt tinkered. Never before had the government tried to intervene in an economic downturn. The macroeconomics and the microeconomics were screwed up by the government, then the government compounded the error by making sure that investors could not see what was going to happen in five years. If you are an investor, you have to have a stable economy for the five after you invest or it probably isn't worth the risk. I personally do not see how the Depression could have been avoided once the Smoot-Hawley bill was enacted in 1930, but I do not think the New Deal helped. The Depression ended in 1947 after a period where the government eased up on tinkering with the economy.

I suggest that you look up Smoot-Hawley in Wikipedia before you get hot under the collar. I also suggest that you think on these questions: What happens when you raise taxes in an economic downturn? What happens when you make policy that discourages investment? In both cases, would the economy go up or down?

Liberal "Victory" #2: The Implementation of the Cut and Run Option in the Vietnam War

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

The rooster gets up before dawn and crows and crows and crows and the sun comes up. Obviously the sun came up because the rooster crowed.

Liberalism has five major moral wins over the last seventy years. Each of them are failures when examined in detail. By my standards, they did not really achieve the moral goals that they set out to achieve. However Liberals view each of the following examples as having achieved their goals. How can it be moral to steal money from everyone and support a project that achieved nothing OR makes the problem worse?

Then there is Vietnam. Liberals beam with pride that by getting us out of Vietnam, they ended an immoral war and saved a huge number of lives.

The Vietnam War was a war to keep Communism from taking over South Vietnam. Liberals make the point that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a lie, therefore we should never have been there. Once Vietnam fell, the Communists took the surrender of South Vietnamese military then executed 50000 officers. Not a major blood bath as blood baths go, but I would ask some questions of any Liberal: Why do you say that one execution by the United States government is too many, but when Vietnam killed 50000 then put another 1000000 in re-education camps, that seems to be okay with you? Have the last thirty years under Communism been good years for the Vietnamese? Were the Killing Fields in Cambodia a good outcome for the Cambodians? I mention the Killing Fields because I do not think they would have occurred had Vietnam been free in the late 1970's. To me, the Vietnamese were enslaved by the Communists and Liberals in this country helped. Why does that make Liberals morally superior to me? Do you think the Boat People were just ingrates who would not partake of the Stalinist paradise?

Those are the questions that need answering, before I can say whether the Vietnam War was moral or immoral.

Liberal "Victory" #3: Civil Rights Movement

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

The rooster gets up before dawn and crows and crows and crows and the sun comes up. Obviously the sun came up because the rooster crowed.

Liberalism has five major moral wins over the last seventy years. Each of them are failures when examined in detail. By my standards, they did not really achieve the moral goals that they set out to achieve. However Liberals view each of the following examples as having achieved their goals. How can it be moral to steal money from everyone and support a project that achieved nothing OR makes the problem worse?

Third there is the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Movement. Jim Crow was ended and segregation was eliminated by good hearted White Liberals. Blacks should be grateful to these White Liberals forever for this good deed.

By the time the Civil Rights Act was passed, Blacks had won in the South. They didn't need the Freedom Riders to come down and free them. There were mop up operations to be done, but they could have done that themselves. White Liberals like to think they gifted Blacks their freedom. I don't believe it.

By my standards, White Liberals have been the downfall of Blacks in this country. Today, 60-70% of all Blacks are born illegitimate. 50% of Blacks drop out of high school. Supposedly, 70% of all male prisoners in our jails are Black. Very few Black children live in two parent families. Poverty among Blacks is much higher than among Whites. Shouldn't Blacks be better off in cities where the Democratic Party has ruled for a long period of time, compared to cities where Republicans have ruled for a long time? Where are the successes in alleviating poverty among poor Blacks?

If this is a success story, then I surely would hate to see what failure would look like.

I know, too many questions and imponderables. I am going to devote an entire program to race in this country. I just wanted to stake out the position at this early date that race is THE issue that has to handled by the Right if our country is to move forward. For too long Blacks have ignored their responsibility for their own plight. The Right has in the past just said, "Dude, whatever you want. We can lead you to water, but if you won't drink, then that's your fault not ours."

Liberal "Victory" #4: Roe vs Wade

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

The rooster gets up before dawn and crows and crows and crows and the sun comes up. Obviously the sun came up because the rooster crowed.

Liberalism has five major moral wins over the last seventy years. Each of them are failures when examined in detail. By my standards, they did not really achieve the moral goals that they set out to achieve. However Liberals view each of the following examples as having achieved their goals. How can it be moral to steal money from everyone and support a project that achieved nothing OR makes the problem worse?

Fourth is Roe Versus Wade. By decoupling sex from love and marriage, women were freed. No longer would a woman have to have a child if she did not want to.

By my standards, Roe vs Wade did not make life better for women. It just allowed women to act as irresponsibly as men. Has the ability to do bed hopping improved the quality of life for most women? I don't believe that. I do firmly believe that a woman has a right to choose whether she carries a baby to term. I just do not believe that she has a right to kill a baby. Science is overtaking Roe. Very soon, it will be possible to extract babies from women who do not want them and transplant them to women who do OR put the baby on ice until someone adopts them using prenatal adoption. Is it moral to kill a baby when there is an alternative?

Liberal "Victory" #5: The Environmental Movement

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

The rooster gets up before dawn and crows and crows and crows and the sun comes up. Obviously the sun came up because the rooster crowed.

Liberalism has five major moral wins over the last seventy years. Each of them are failures when examined in detail. By my standards, they did not really achieve the moral goals that they set out to achieve. However Liberals view each of the following examples as having achieved their goals. How can it be moral to steal money from everyone and support a project that achieved nothing OR makes the problem worse?

Finally there is the environmental movement. By using the tools of government and law suits, Liberals have forced the corporations to clean up the environment. By eliminating DDT, little birdies were saved. The enactment of the Endangered Species Act has brought endangered species back from the edge of extinction.

Did the government's command and control intervention make the environment better? I don't believe so. I can't prove that, but I just do not believe it. I do know that lack of DDT has killed millions of Africans. A light dusting of DDT kills or drives off malarial mosquitoes. Subsequent studies have shown that the book, Silent Spring, was based on data that can at best be labeled as false thus the assertion that DDT kills little birdies is a lie. The Endangered Species Act has not helped many endangered species. Ecocolonialism has become the scourge of too many Third World nations. The constant suits from environmental lawyers has encouraged property owners to shoot, shovel and shut up. In short, whatever good the environmental movement has done is offset by the evil they have done. There's a book called, The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjørn Lomborg, that sums up what is happening as far as improvements in the environment. I suggest that you go to the library and pick that up.

Capitalism Cannot Work Without Voluntary Charity

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Let's talk a while about Capitalism. When you strip away the rhetoric and posturing of the Left, the core argument against Capitalism is that it has a failure rate of about 20%. By that I mean, 80% of Americans are middle class or above. The top 80% have enough food, clothing and shelter to get by and have a good life. How can a compassionate, enlightened society allow 20% of its citizens have less than what they need to get by? The thinking on the Left is that if the government provides food clothing and shelter to the poor, the poor will be freed from poverty by allowing them enough resources to become part of the middle class. It is totally unacceptable for our society to have anything less than 100% of our citizens being in the middle class or above. Capitalism then stands accused of being imperfect. Only perfection is acceptable. Or so the Left propounds.

Karl Marx wrote a multi-volume book called Das Kapital. If you haven't read it, you need to, whether you are on the Left OR the Right. Marx used the implementation of Capitalism in England as a case study. Das Kapital is a series of horror stories about how awful the people in England were treated as Capitalism came online in the 1800's. Marx's passion makes it understandable why so many people believe that Communism is superior to Capitalism. The sins of Capitalism are legion. At the end of Das Kapital, Marx states his conclusions. First he says that Capitalism is imperfect. There are winners and losers. This is not fair. A compassionate, civilized society should not leave some people behind in the march to prosperity. If all cannot partake of prosperity, then none should be able to do so, because it is just not fair or moral. The rage at the injustices of Capitalism outlined by Marx would cause any sane man or woman to yearn for something better, because Das Kapital makes a good case for this conclusion.

Marx next concludes that since Capitalism is imperfect, it is totally wrong. Das Kapital doesn't make much of a case for this conclusion, but many people like to think it does. I personally don't believe it.

Marx's final conclusion is that since Capitalism is totally wrong, Communism is totally right and morally superior. That leap of faith is not born out by anything in Das Kapital by my standards. Where was his proof? Marx had none.

The Soviet Union pretty much proved that in the third generation, Communism destroys the human spirit and creates a rotten life. By my standards, Communism has a success rate of about 20%. Thus 80% of the people under Communism were in poverty and 20% had a middle class lifestyle or better. Why is that superior to Capitalism? Got the hell beat out if me.

Then there is the moral component. The thinking on the Left appears to be that by forcing all people to give to charity then things will be better. Social programs are a form of forced charity. Forced charity is a form of slavery when the forced charity does nothing to help its intended recipients. Feed and forget is the mode of most government social programs. Feed and forget causes the recipients to become either despondent or dependent or both. That is not morally defensible.

Why has the United States outperformed all the other countries in the world? I say it is because of Capitalism and voluntary charity. I do not think that Capitalism can work without voluntary charity. Without people in a community working together voluntarily to achieve a positive social goal, I do not see how it is possible for Capitalism to work effectively. Marx points out how a Capitalist state can, if unchecked, enslave all the people in the country. Without voluntary charity, that looks to be what happens. Corporate executives who are not connected with a community can, if they want, screw everyone. By being required by their honor to give to charity, they have to take into account the stakeholders, not just the stockholders.

If you explore every Communist track, you will find no mention of voluntary charity as a force for good in a society. I believe, though I cannot prove, that this is because Marx wanted a strong central government and voluntary charities are a source of power outside the control of government. Everywhere I turn it seems that the Left wants to wipe out power centers that might threaten the control of the central government.

Voluntary charity is superior to involuntary charity, because a volunteer can use creativity on his or her own. Under a government program, someone at the top makes a decision and everyone has to toe the line whether the solution works or not. Plus failures under involuntary charity are ignored if not laughed at. Thus we continue to pour money into programs like Head Start that do not work and cannot work.

This is an old debate, i.e. "Is Capitalism better than Communism?". I say, "W'GASA!" The Soviet Union is gone. Every purely Socialist society on earth is dying. Who in his right mind would still fight this battle? If you want to fight this out again, please do. I think it's a stupid fight, but have at it. The floor is now open.

The question I would ask of any hard core Communist is: "Given how evilly all Communist governments have treated their citizens, why are you still loyal to the Cause?"

The Left and the Right Are Talking Past Each Other

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Let me talk a minute about the Right. The Big Government Conservatives have it wrong as well. Bush's ‘No Child Left Behind' is interesting, but should only be a stopgap, not a permanent feature of the political landscape. In fact I am not even in favor of government owning the schools. Why do the Federal, State or Local governments have to own and operate schools? At one point in our history individuals were too poor to buy and operate schools. That is no longer the case. Right now I could start a school and do as good a job as the average school in Texas. Why does the State of Texas have to grapple with funding the Robin Hood plan every year? Why couldn't the State administer a test once a year and the local school Board make sure all the schools in a given area were doing their job by investigating schools that did not pass the tests given by the State? In short, why can't the State of Texas privatize the school systems and then set standards that they must adhere to? Texas could then require results without having to fund it directly. Did I mention that I was a radical? We'll talk about this topic some other day.

The Right wants the government to enforce some kind of standards. Or so it seems. When you get down to it, the Right has a babble of voices about what the Government should NOT be doing, but no coherent message as to what the government SHOULD be doing.

For instance, the Right wants the government to regulate pornography on the web to save the children. Whenever I hear someone say, ‘For the Children', in political discourse, I know I am about to get robbed. Pornography has to be handled, but surely not by the government.

The people on the Left have the perception that the people on the Right want the government to govern on a religious basis. I never have figured out why. The vendetta that the ACLU has with religion in the public square has aroused the religious Right. Why anyone would expect religious people to allow themselves to be stigmatized makes no sense to me. You are not seeing a set of people on the Right trying to impose their beliefs on others. You are seeing people on the Right trying to protect themselves... or so they suppose.

A kid wants to form a Bible study group in his junior high school. The ACLU tries to sue the school for allowing that. That makes sense? Doesn't to me. The religious Right perceives that they are under constant attack. If they wanted to actually install a government based on religion, I would be one of the first to speak out against it. I just do not see a yearning on the Right to install such a government, but then again, my perception may be warped. I am just making the point that I read a lot of blogs and political newspapers. Where are the articles that advocate that position? If a religious based government was the goal, wouldn't there be more explicit advocation pieces in places like National Review or the Wall Street Journal editorial pages? For that matter where are articles in religious magazines that advocate a religious based government for this country? Is this another one of those Da Vinci Code scenarios where the advocacy pieces are in an arcane set of code words only those sufficiently enlightened can discern?

A guy I know contends that anyone who attends church more than once per year must be a religious fanatic and a danger to the community to boot. Many on the Left seem to agree with him. Why does that make sense? Is it so horrible for someone to believe in a religion? Eliminating religion will not eliminate the urge to have something like a religious war.

In short there is paranoia on the Right that the Left wants to eliminate all religion, not just in the public square, but everywhere. I draw your attention to the Boy Scouts. It looks like to the Right that the Boy Scouts are under a constant attack from the ACLU for their religious beliefs. The thinking goes that if the Left will attack the Boy Scouts, they will attack anyone.

Then there is the perception on the Right that there is a constant attack on any religious expression anywhere. How many times have you heard stories of people at work who open their Bible to pass the time during lunch and being required to put it away by their employer? Are such stories true? Who knows? That is the perceived wisdom on the Right.

As far as I can tell the Left perceives the defense of religion by the Right as an advocacy of a religious based government. All of the Conservatives I have run into do not want a theocracy. Stop attacking all expressions of religion in the public square and the religious Right will go away as a force in politics.

If you are on the Left and expect the Right to install a theocracy, I would ask you a question: "How do you do that?" I mean, for the Right to do the deed, there has to be a broad based support for the position. How do you do that without putting out position papers and action plans and political strategy papers? Surely you don't believe that there is a cabal that meets in a room under the Denver International Airport and plots to impose a theocracy on the nation AND expects to succeed? I mean, a person that would believe that would believe that Karl Rove created the Katrina hurricane to make Louisiana more Republican... Wait... I just saw that scenario on DailyKos... or was it MoveOn.Org... Nah, nah... it has to be Democratic Underground. Yeah, they constantly talk about Karl Rove being behind every setback for the Left.

Wait, you have heard of these websites, have you not? Well, you should have. These are the center of the Democratic Party at this moment in time. They fund the anti-war effort. They will set the agenda for the Democratic Party's platform for the coming 2008 elections. By my standards, these sites are cesspools of paranoia, conspiracy theorists and anti-Americanism. I hasten to point out that I do not agree with some on the Right when they say that you cannot criticize America and be a good American. No, what I mean is that these sites have continuously cheered on the jihadis by labeling them freedom fighters. When an American soldier or contractor dies, these sites seem to have people who are dancing in the streets. When there is a successful election in Iraq or Afghanistan, they go into mourning. When Lebanon was freed from Syria, they were unhappy. When Lybia gave up its nuclear program, they expressed gloom. I feel that all these sites are saying "I hate America as it is." without expressing what America could be or should be. I invite you to go to these sites and look over their comments and threads. I have given links to their sites on my blog. Maybe you will find that I am mistaken. I am willing to be persuaded.

Whoaaa... I surely hope you who are reading this do not believe that I would advocate a theocracy just because I talk about God occasionally. Why the hell would I want a theocracy? Theocracies concentrate power in the central government. By my standard, theocracies are a form of slavery. What part of "I am a Republican and I am against slavery." do you not understand?

What was this all about?

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

I just told you my positions of many issues, because it would not be honorable to ask you to help me if you did not know where I stand. What I wanted to point out about you, if you are on the Left, is that you cannot look at what I have said and think that I might be right. What I am getting at is that because I am on the Right, you have GOT to ignore my evidence. You will not accept that I have come to my positions for honorable reasons after much thought AND you cannot bring yourself to double-check my work. The entire point of The Enlightenment was that we as a society would not accept conventional wisdom simply based on who was pushing that conventional wisdom. America has gotten to the point where there are at least two camps and neither side is willing to accept that the other side may have arrived at their conclusions for honorable reasons. Don't you find that astonishing? I do.

I would also point out that I do not care whether you adopt my political positions. I do not care whether you believe in God. I am not out to change your mind about much of anything. I simply do not care where you stand on the issues. What I want is for you to help me make positive social changes, because you agree that my ideas for doing that are good. It is possible to ally yourself with someone who you totally disagree with on all other aspects of life. We have forgotten that somehow. I invite you to reconsider your position on working with someone, like me, who you do not agree with. Come on help me whitewash this fense. It'll be fun... maybe.

Does the Left Have a Set of Policies That Will Produce Positive Social Change?

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

We're getting close to where I actually start this program, but I wanted to show you something else I noticed. KEOS is a far Left organization. Proudly so. The goal of the station is to be an outpost of Progressive thought in Bush country, to give a voice to underserved groups in the community. Listen closely to Democracy Now! in the mornings on KEOS or Free Speech Radio News in the afternoon or Jim Hightower. If I strip away the emotion and outrage, what do I hear them saying when I listen to them? What I hear is, "We hate America as it is." Make sure you understand what I am saying. I do not say these people on these programs are saying, "We hate America." I hear them say, "We hate America as it is." I do not hear them say what they like about America, nor do I hear them say what they would like America to become. Where are their solutions to social problems facing this country?

To me, America is the best country on the face of the earth. We are the most successful country in the history of the World. The Swedish middle class do not have the standard of living of our poorest citizens. Our poorest state were it a nation has a higher GDP than any country in Europe. Every day people literally die to get to this country. Our citizens can move from the bottom rung of society to the top rung in one generation through hard work. Yet the people on the far Left media outlets say, "We hate America as it is."

As near as I can tell the people on these programs want America to be better than it is. I say, "Great. How do you do that?" I don't get a coherent answer except that the Left wants a bigger government that will devote more and more money to social programs that cannot work. By my standards, taxation is a form of involuntary charity when it is used for social programs. Why is it morally correct to force me to donate to a charity, particularly when a given government program produces no positive results?

What I am getting at is that the Left has stopped coming up with solutions that yield results. They have stopped debating and simply done a "Crazy Eddie" on any idea that the Right comes up with. "Crazy Eddie" is a term from a Jerry Pournelle science fiction book. It means that someone is trying to get a solution and a Crazy Eddie gets in the way and will not budge, nor offer a solution. A prime example of Crazy Eddie thinking happened during the Katrina relief effort. In New Orleans, the Super Dome, the Convention Center and this overpass had people needing food and water. Some Crazy Eddie in the state relief effort wouldn't allow the Red Cross or the Salvation Army to come in and feed and water them, NOR would the people in the state relief effort do it themselves. The nation was horrified by the result.

If you are going to have a movement, any type of movement, you have to produce results. You cannot simply say, "Well, we'll appropriate the money and the problem will disappear." I have seen few cases where throwing money at a social problem has yielded positive results. It looks like the only thing the Left has to offer is aggressive hatred of the way America is, without a positive vision of how it could be or should be. Hmm... Or rather the Left does offer a vision of what they want, but will not answer the question, "How do you do that?" The almost religious belief that government can solve all social ills makes no sense to me in the face of so MANY government failures.

The reason I have formulated the above debate is that the Right has no answers as well and the Left's answers are the status quo. Until the Right is willing to step up and try to deal with the problems confronting our nation, there can be no positive social change. The Left's policies have left a backtrail of failure, ruin and heartache. The Right, unfortunately, has to come behind the stinky Liberals and clean up. Until people on the Right clean up the mess that the Liberals have made, things cannot get better. This idea that the Do Nothing option will work is insane to me. Think it through, the Liberals have programs in place that appear to be doing SOMETHING. Until the people on the Right come up with a plan that appears to do something... better, the Liberals have the field to themselves.

On the other hand, I do not think that the government should do the cleanup. Each of us in this society who want to help out should volunteer and do something, instead of asking the government to do it in our name. The problem is that the government AND the shinky Liberals may not want us to even do that. They may still do a Crazy Eddie on us. I have not quite figured out how to get the Crazy Eddies on the either side out of the way. Stay tuned. Something will come to me directly.

In the meantime, please feel free to post your questions, comments and rebuttals.

The Brutal Gallic Summer of August, 2003

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Let me tell you a story or a scenario or whatever. Let's assume that here in East Texas, we had a heat emergency. What I mean is that the temperature crept up from 100 to 130 over a three week period. Let me tell you what I think would happen.

First the United Way would start collecting and distributing fans for the old folks. They do that almost every year anyway. As it crept up past 115, neighbor would call to neighbor say something like, "Hey! Miss Effie, why don't you come on over to my place for a while. Just during the day... For a while... I know you're independent, but I'd hate to see you hurt." The churches would start worrying about their members and there would be action to open the worship areas for people without air conditioning. The emergency management teams would be assessing whether to open the schools. The old folks homes would be making sure their air conditioning was working well. When the temperature crept past 120, the emergency management teams would have to activate their plans and the schools and public buildings would have to be opened for those people who didn't have air conditioning. The church vans would be sent out and there'd be a knock at the door of some stubborn old person and the minister would say, "Miss Effie, Nadine her is coming in to help you pack something. We won't take no for an answer. If something were to happen to you, the whole church would be shamed." If Governor Rick Perry were in Montreal doing something on NAFTA, he'd have to come home. Hell, he'd have to drive, if he couldn't get an airplane. Either that or not come back at all, because his political career would be over particularly if someone had died. St. Joseph's would call everyone back from vacation and you better believe the doctors and nurses would have to show up or be fired. If anyone died in an old folks home from the heat, the State would have to close them down or the newspapers would never stop screaming. Those that did die would get a proper funeral and people would dedicate themselves to making sure it didn't happen again... This has never happened, but that's how I see it unfolding If you're from these parts, your reaction to the scenario I have outlined is, "Yeah, so what?"

Now let's look at what happened during the Brutal Gallic Summer of August, 2003. France had a heat emergency. France goes on vacation in August. The hospitals were understaffed and no one was willing to come back from vacation to help. No one could force them to come back, because their contracts were ironclad. Individual care givers were not willing to come back to help the old folks they were caring for. Neighbor did not call out to neighbor to ask whether they were okay. France doesn't have a very active religious community. Almost all the old folks homes were run by the government. The old folks homes did not have air conditioning. French President Jacque Chirac was in Montreal and refused to come back to supervise. When the heat emergency was over, about 15000 people had died. People on vacation did not come back to bury their dead relatives. They left them on ice in state owned facilities and came back to bury them when it was convenient for them.. In some cases, no one came to claim the bodies, because they did not want to bear the cost of burying their dead. As far as I can tell no one accepted blame and nothing has been done to make sure it does not happen again. Life went on as if nothing had happened.

I ask you, which place would you want to live in?

France and Texas are about the same size on the map. Population wise, Texas has about 2/3's the population of France. What would have been the reaction had 10000 Texans died in a heat emergency in 2003? I believe that there would still be articles being written about it in 2005. In France... business as usual.

By my standards this is what you always get when you have too much reliance on the government to take care of you. Again, I draw your attention to New Orleans. All levels of government failed in an emergency and people died. Not as many as was feared, but one is too many. This is why I cannot support the idea of universal health care, nor reliance on government to do much of anything. Sooner or later there would be a major emergency and we would have a huge die off.

I know, it is a major jump from a heat emergency to universal health care, but that is how I see it. In Bryan, Texas, we have St. Josephs Hospital. I believe that were St. Josephs moved to Europe, it would be one of the best hospitals on that continent. We hear paens to how great health care in Europe is. Forget it. Their tech base is dying. Their hospitals would NEVER pass a medical audit from the State of Texas. When the government takes over, bureaucrats start setting priorities.

Ah, well, this is how I feel. These are the conclusions I have reached based on the Brutal Gallic Summer. I would welcome your comments and questions.

Oh, Brutal Gallic Summer is a joke on the French. The French papers were filled in 2001 about the Brutal Afghan Winter and how our warriors would be killed by the frost and... oh, all manner of things. It was going to be a quagmire. We shouldn't even try. It took us three months to handle Afghanistan. The sophisticates in France were wrong.

They had the gall to criticize us about Katrina, yet they cannot even take care of their old people in an emergency. Johnah Goldberg is correct in popularizing the phrase: The French are Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys. I welcome your thoughts on this as well.

How Do Oathes and Creeds Make a Society Strong?

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

All right, I have told you where I stand on issues of the past. Let us now move into the present and onward to the future.

I started here at KEOS in November, 2004. I moved through the training as fast as I could, given the constraints as to when each training module was offered. I took up the 2-4pm Monday music slot in February of this year. Plus I had agreed to do a Friday slot.

I made my presentation for this program in late February. It got shot down because the Management Team wanted to have a better idea of what the program would do. In short, they wanted a pilot. It has taken me this long to figure out how to do the pilot. What I had expected to do was start the show, fail and stumble about and then get it to work. To organically work on it until it felt correct. To a master craftsman, failure is acceptable, because it is a learning experience. There can be no shame, no guilt associated with failure, if you learn from each failure as you keep pursuing your goal.

To be the best, you must run with the best
You must compete with the best
You must commit yourself to BEING the best
AND... you must fail as many times as is necessary to STAY the best
--- Jesse Owens 1936

To me that is the creed of the master craftsman of any field. The concept of radical egalitarianism is insanity to me. If we as a society wipe out all competition and demand that everyone be average, then sooner or later our tech base fails and our society collapses. Every organism on this planet competes. Even trees compete... violently. The Founding Fathers of the United States knew this Truth. Their position was that we should channel competition into productive areas, not just outlaw every destructive behavior. Too many laws, too many regulations, too many senseless constraints cause master craftsmen to give up, because they can no longer exercise creativity in their chosen field.

If you take the oath of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, then sooner or later the oath becomes just a pursuit of pleasure. Pleasure as a goal leaves you incapable of forming bonds with other people. I mean, if your pleasure is the center of your life, then everyone else in the world is there to make sure you are happy. Other people then are just props in your pursuit of pleasing yourself. Your life becomes one long piece of performance art where others are required to applaud your efforts at pleasing yourself.

To me the oath civilized people should take is:

I shall walk the Line of Honor.
I shall dispense Justice with Balance.
I shall give Mercy, when I can.
And I shall... serve Civilization without reservation.

But... what is the nature of Honor? How can you discern Justice? When does Mercy become a suicide pact? And finally what is Civilization?

It is also my goal to examine each of these concepts as we strive to make society better. Simply fixing the physical condition of someone in need is stupid if the society is so screwed up that all your efforts will be destroyed by riots or social unrest.

A creed is what you live by. It is internal. An oath is what you give to others in your community. It deals with the outside world. If you have both a creed and have given an oath, then others can judge whether you are true to yourself. They can also judge whether you are true to the community. If you live by no creed and have given no oath to the community, then how can people trust you? The default position of all citizens of a polity then becomes that no one can be trusted. Instead of the English Common Law position, ‘Innocent until proven guilty', you have to adopt the French Napoleonic Code's position where you are guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that idea.

Please comment on the creed and the oath above.

Have you thought about this at all? I mean, if the government is the repository of all of our needs and wants, then we cannot trust anyone else. Only the government can be trusted in that situation. We would live lives without caring much of anything about each other because it was not our responsibility to care much of anything about each other. I draw your attention to the ghettos in the US and the ghettos in France. Do the people in the ghettos live good lives? Is it then just racism that causes them to have rotten lives? Or is it a lack of being responsible for themselves and their neighbors? Get back to me with your thoughts.

If you wish to learn more about Jesse Owens, please see his spititual autobiography. Jesse Owens wasn't just a great African-American. He wasn't a great Black American. He was a great American... for reasons that are not apparent to you at this moment. It looks like on the surface that he went to Berlin Olympics in 1936 and defeated Hitler. End of story... Not so fast! What came after Berlin impresses me more than what came before. We shall get into that into another program. One more thing... Jesse Owens competed against himself before he competed against others, because he WAS the best... and again, not just as a great athlete, but as a great American. I am not sure what order he would put the sentences in the creed above. What do you think?

And, no, I do not think Jesse Owens said the above creed. I just think he lived it.

Did the Founding Fathers REALLY Believe that We, The USA, Would Last Greater than 200 Years?

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

During the Constitutional Convention James Madison showed up with a hundred books on the subject of democracy. Let's take a minute to think about that. Do you have any idea how much wealth one hundred books represented in 1787? It means to me that Madison had come prepared to fight. He had armed himself with the knowledge to do the job. The Constitution was a subversive document, because the Constitutional Convention was supposed to revise the Articles of Confederation. By my standards, Madison scared the hell out of all the tough men in that hall in Philadelphia. Make no mistake, these were men who were both tough physically and mentally. They had walked through the fire of the Revolution and had survived with both their Honor and their lives intact. Such men are not easily scared. Yet I believe that Madison did that. He showed that democracies do not work. They stick around for about three generations on average and then fail for various reasons. The longest Democracy that Madison had found had lasted for 200 years. The Articles of Confederation was a document that embodied the ideals in the Declaration of Independence. The Articles could not work with real people for very long. In theory, yes, but in practice, no. These tough men were confronted with the possibility that all the suffering and sorrow they had experienced during the Revolution was for nothing. It had all been a waste of time. At least that is what these books showed.

So these guys struggled to find a solution to each fault in the concept of Democracy. But still they were frightened by the idea that no matter what they did, it was all going to be a waste of time. At one point they reached an impasse... over slavery. There was much disagreement and it looked like the Constitution would be stillborn.

Benjamin Franklin stood up and said, "I think we need to pray on this." And, thus, each morning they prayed before starting their proceedings. In that silence, these men did not hear the voice of God, they heard the voice of Benjamin Franklin. He was telling them that they needed to give it their best shot. He was pointing out that they could only do their best. That God does not require you to be perfect, only that you do your best. The United States might fail at some future date, but they, the men in that hall, could only do their best to make sure that future generations would prosper. To demand perfection was asking too much of mere mortals. So some rotten compromises like ‘the six-tenths of a man for Blacks' provision were put into the Constitution. because it was the best they could do at the time. Benjamin Franklin was the premier master craftsman of his age. He did not ask the kids in that hall to be perfect. Of course, they all looked like kids to him at his age. No, he was just reminding them that he was passing the torch and they better, by God, do their best.

I want to point out a little known fact. When Franklin died in 1790, he said in his will that he wanted 2000 pounds set aside in trust. He wanted his executors to distribute the interest for the betterment of Philadelphia and Boston. He assumed a 5% rate of return. At the end of the codicil, he said that 200 years after his death the executors were to support tradesmen as they started their careers. In the 1990's, they started giving scholarships to people to go to trade school. Franklin had the last laugh. He was the only one of the Founding Fathers who believed that United States would stick around for more than 200 years under the Constitution.

I tell this story as a way of saying that perfection is not possible. If we are to implement a plan of action in any so-called improvement in society, then the question of ‘How do you do that?' has to be answered. The inability to admit that some things cannot be fixed is the major stumbling block to a good outcome. If you do not learn from your failures, then you cannot become the best. I know, those thoughts do not seem to go together. As time goes by maybe your perception will change.

Do you really think that Madison scared the Founding Fathers with his presentation on the history of democracies? I like to believe that I am right, but I may be mistaken.

What of Benjamin Franklin? I perceive him to be the exemplar of what America is all about. Tradesman, inventor, writer, philosopher, philanthropist, statesman, diplomat and much more. He was not a warrior. We are not a warlike people, despite the way it may look to those silly enough to look at the surface. I would pose an interesting question: Who was more revered by his peers in that hall in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin or George Washington?

Even to the present day, we admire our warriors and politicians, but we aspire to be like Benjamin Franklin. Think about it and get back to me.

Pop Quiz: Is America The Best Country on the Face of the Earth?

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

When I said in my program:

America is the only country on earth where we have gotten people of various religions, races and national origins to work together without physically fighting all the time. America is the best country on the face of the earth right now. We have problems. We have sins. We have done evil. To me, the good America has done outweighs the bad. Before America arrived on the scene, most countries had a rich 1% and the rest of the people were in abject poverty many people dying of starvation each year. Most people, at that time, had an average life expectance of 40. We have through our innovation, hard work and charity relieved the suffering of billions of people.

Why is that such an offensive thing to say? Do people like Dr. Norman Borlaug represent America or David Duke? Or both? As I said, we have done evil, but... the good outweighs the bad, by my standards.

Ah, you have heard of David Duke, but Norman Borlaug... nah... no one has heard of him. Look him up in Wikipedia. Arguably Norman Borlaug has saved the lives of hundreds of millions of people who would have died of starvation. He lives here in Bryan/College Station. I haven't met him. I would like to. I have friends who know him. He is said to be a quiet, humble man.

The media spends too much time covering the likes of David Duke and not enough time highlighting people like Norman Borlaug. Read his article in Wikipedia. See if you do not agree.

Again, results count. America is an experiment. So far our way of doing things is better than any in the past. Or so I believe. If you disagree, then prove me wrong.

W'GASA: A Joke

This is someone else's joke. Please search on the net and find the author and I will be happy to link to them.

A repair guy at an African theme park was about to go on vacation. He was rushing around trying to make sure everything was in order so he wouldn't come back from vacation with a lot of tasks to do. Or that some disaster would occur that would require him to cut short his vacation.

One of the suits from the front office cornered him and said smiling an insincere smile, "Frank, you haven't submitted your suggestion for the name for the new ride. We really need your input."

Frank looked at him like he was crazy and said, "Why in hell do you want my input? You haven't ever listened to me before. Why start now?" Then laughed trying to figure this out.

The suit said still smiling, "But, Frank, we're using this as our Total Quality Management project. Everyone has to participate for it to work."

Frank laughed again, "TQM? That's idiocy. That's one of the reasons I scheduled my vacation now, so I wouldn't have to sit through the lectures next week."

The suit said waving a sheet of paper, "Now, Frank, get with the program. Please put your suggestion on this sheet and you can go on your vacation." Frank blinked. Could this suit really mean that he wouldn't be allowed to go on his vacation until he filled out a piece of paper?

Frank looked at the suit angrily, then grabbed the sheet of paper and scrawled WGASA on the form and said, "There. Happy now?"

The suit said, "Frank, it is always a pleasure to have your input. I hope you enjoy your vacation."

So Frank went off on his two weeks vacation. He had a real good time. He and his wife and kids caught the Wrestling Mania tour and a NASCAR race and even got to shop at the Mall of America in Minnesota while visiting her relatives.

When Frank got back from his vacation, he did a walk through of the park to inventory any problems that had cropped up while he was gone. The new ride was up and running. The sign in nice, friendly letters said:

Frank laughed in incomprehension and went on about his business shaking his head.

Toward the end of the day, the same suit ran up and said, "Frank, just the man I wanted to see. Did you notice that we took your suggestion for the name of the new ride?" Frank nodded with an evil grin on his face. "Well, we were wondering what that means. W'GASA is such an appropriate sounding name. We checked around and could not find which one of the African languages you got that from. What does it mean?"

Frank said, "Look, that's silly. African language? Where would I have heard an African language? It's a NASA term. It means Who Gives A Shit Anyway."

I know. I'm not supposed to use profanity. I don't think the joke would have as much impact with 'Sh*t' in it. Could be mistaken. I invite you to make your case one way or another. I mean, my book, The Dark Prince, has way too much profanity. Should the blog associated with such a novel be so hypocritical as to ban such language?

Also, *DOES* NASA use the term W'GASA? I could be mistaken. I invite you to check it out.

By the way, do you know where the phrase, "nice, friendly letters", comes from? Don't you think there should be a font named NiceFriendlyLetters?

What do I think needs to be done?

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Okay, now we get to the meat of the program.

John F. Kennedy in a speech many years ago, said, "People ask, ‘Why?'. I ask, ‘Why Not?'" Kennedy came at each problem with undying optimism that government could solve all problems and thus the ‘Why Not?' question was a dismissive question. In other words, he was saying, "Of course we can solve all these problems with government."

I don't think he was right. I think the correct way to solve social problems is to first identify the problem, then ask, "Why not solve it?" Then ask, "How do you do that?" and finally "Did that work?" As I said, I want your help in solving social problems and I want you to contribute your time and money to do so. If we, you and I, fail, then we start back at the first question until we get something that works. Yet that formulation of the problem solving technique doesn't lend itself to a radio program format.

I would point out that some social problems cannot be solved. They must be handled as a chronic disease with no cure. There are other social problems where it is a bad idea to interfere. I say all this to tell you that the answer to the question "Why not solve it?" may at times come back, "Do nothing." You're just going to have to live with that.

Each week, I am going to propose an audacious project or two or many. Your reaction will probably be an outraged, "You can't do that." My response will be "Why not?", but not the dismissive "Why not?" of JFK, but a reasoned defense of the project, plus the possible pitfalls that I have foreseen. Then, your question should be, "How do you do that?". At that point I will outline my action plan. On this blog you will get to make comments and ask questions about these two steps.

Those people who make a good case against the idea or the means will be invited to submit an MP3 file as the first part of the debate. Then I will send them an MP3 file in rebuttal. They will in turn send me a rebuttal of my rebuttal. At this stage, I am thinking that the first step is 15 minutes, the second step is 10 minutes and the third is five minutes. Again, this is from the Lincoln-Douglas debate format where the total time allotted was subdivided into ½. 1/3 and 1/6 segments. Then you the readers will get a chance to ask questions of me and the person who has criticized the project. That's my thinking right now.

You might ask why I should air any of the debate on the radio. I mean, all the parts of the argument will be on the blog. I haven't got a good reason for that, except to say that for every person that reads the blog, there will be quite a few other people who just listen to the program and who might be moved to support the project with donations. At least that's how it looks to me at this point. In addition, the spoken word is different from the written word. We shall see. As I said, this is a master craftsman thing. I will try something and if it fails, W'GASA.

One Day Before the Launch of The Master CraftsMon

Yesterday was Saturday. The days seem to leak together at times. I wandered up to KEOS at about 4:30pm CST and got ready to load some programs. Yes, KEOS buys programs and someone has to be there to put them on the air. I pulled a couple of VHS tapes from the satellite fed VCR's and rewound them. Alternative Radio comes on at 6pm. Getting a VHS tapes cued is always a hassle. I popped it into the VCR connected to the sound board and messed with it until it cued up. One of the engineers for the station was there and we searched a Macintosh for a document to print out music playlists. No luck. I loaded the CD for Earthsongs in CD#2 and the daily Jim Hightower in CD#1, potted up those devices so I could just push play on the CD players and the program would go out over the air. After the engineer left, I continued to look for the blank playlist document. Like an idiot, I did not watch the time. I rushed in at 1658 and waited for Southwest Stages to end. I cut Southwest Stages off at 15 second before the top of the hour and gave the Legal ID, KEOS 89.1FM College Station and promptly pushed... the wrong button. After moving back and forth between Hightower and Earthsongs, I got Hightower on the air. I said, "Oops" over the air and that was the end of it. Once Hightower was over (about 2 minutes), I played the Earthsongs over the air. I went back to looking for the blank music playlists.

Oh, you don't understand what I'm talking about.

The music playlists

If I play music over the air, I have to write down the artist, song title, album name and music publishing company. I do three music shows in addition to Master CraftsMon:

Afternoon Musica - Monday, 1400-1600 CST - Classic Rock
Music in the Morning - Wednesdays 1000-1200 CST - Celtic Music
Morning Air - Fridays 1000-1200 CST - Blues and Jazz

We're out of blanks ones right now and the engineer was going to go make some copies. KEOS is all volunteer, including the nonexistent secretary. If we had a paid staff, then we would not have to worry about the logistics of the station. BUT that is not the case. No one gets paid at KEOS and where all the stuff we use to keep it going comes from God knows. I surely do not.

I am holding the 3 two hour slots open until someone volunteers to take those slots. We've had less than 10 people get through training since June. It's not hard training. I don't know what the problem is. Thank God, it is not my problem, per se. I mean, if I were charge of training, I would be the pushing the trainees hard to get through and take over these slots, so I can concentrate on Master CraftsMon. Most of them would give up and go away.

By the way, do you want to have a music radio program? I have three you can have... they're cheap... honest... you go through our training program and I will give you one or all of them. Come by the station at 207 E. Carson in Bryan, TX, fill out the application and get the process started. Within 12 weeks you can be on the air. And I do not mean, twelve weeks of training, I mean, 12 individual lectures you have to go through. That's all. The problem we have is that people are not willing to make those 12 trips to the station. Why? Got me.

I must say that I do not like any of the music programs I do. I am just not competent enough in music to put on shows like this. I never bought many tapes or records or CD's, so I do not have a collection of music like some of the music show hosts. I signed on to do an experimental talk show. I'm doing the music shows, because no one else can or will.

The Sound Board

Oh, I will have to post a set of pictures of the sound board. It's just a set of sliding switches hooked up to various sound devices. Our sound board has two cart player (kind of like 8 track tapes), four microphones, 3 CD players, and 2 turntables. In addition there is a tape player (music used to come in these little 4 1/4"X2 3/4" boxes), a VCR, an MP3 player and three satellite feeds.

I've used all of these on shows on KEOS, except the carts. I don't know whether the station still uses those or not. Not my business. I worry about stuff I have to use, not stuff that other people use.

Each device can be connected to the air using a sliding switch on the sound board. The sliders are potentiometers (Wikipedia has a good writeup on this device) with settings from 1 to 10. The goal is to keep the needles on the soundboard out of the red. If the needles on the sound meter peg (go out of the red and become so high that the sound meter cannot measure it), then the listeners are getting a distorted sound. Some recordings on CD's or coming off the satellite feed are too low, so the pot has to go up toward 10. I have to set my microphone to between 2 and 3, because my voice seems to peg the meter easily.

If you are wondering why it is taking me so long to cut up the script and put it on this blog, well, I have to think about it. I have problems starting things. Most of my life I have been working with crisis management situations. Someone would call me in to fix a computer software problem after the project has gone critical. It has not trained me to do startups which Master CraftsMon is. I do not think there is a show like it on the web. I could be mistaken.

That's the one thing you have to get through your head. Failure is an acceptable outcome for a project, if you use the failure as a learning experience. The fear of failure as an excuse not to try is a copout. In times past, when you failed, you died or someone killed you. In America, you can fail ten thousand times and, if on the 10,001st try you succeed, people applaud and the history of failure is a source of pride. People in America admire a man that tries, fails, and tries again. It is the source of our national strength. America is an experiment. We have failed more times than we have succeeded. The reason we are so successful, the only world power, is that our successes are real dillies. We've worked out a method whereby the people that fail do not die or give up. A person who fails enough times and learns from each failure becomes a master craftsman, the best in their field. Something to think about. I gave you the example of Jesse Owens above. We shall be talking about him in depth.

Ah, well. I have other things to put up for the show. I get sidetracked occasionally. Try to keep up.