Saturday, June 30, 2012

Things to Know - 1 July

Antonin Scalia, Rush Limbaugh


Related photos »

1.  Well it was bound to happen.  There are fissures in the façade of the Republicans (starting with the Ron Paul faction), that maybe Willard Mitt Romney was not the wisest choice to run against Obama.  Look for more of this to distract Romney, and further disorient the internal gyroscope of his etch-a-sketch tablet.  If the subject gets any traction, there might even be a bit of drama in Tampa at the GOP convention:

2.  The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act is not just something that popped in with President Obama.  This article goes back to the beginnings, in Europe, and the early concepts at the Federal level with FDR, and Truman.  When you look at the totality of what came to fruition as a result of the SCOTUS ruling, you can appreciate the dynamics of the "momentous decision":
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/3/399.full

3.  Mitt Romney has an interesting invitation from an expert tax accountant to lay bare his IRS tax returns from 1984 to 1999, the years he was at Bain Capital.  A series of 5-questions could reveal to what extent Romney complied or purposely avoided taxes.  Sure, tax avoidance happens all the time, we all know that.  However, it is behavior that is acceptable by one who is running for the highest office in the land.  Let's get Mitt to show us his returns...all of them.  His dad did, and so did Bush, and Cheney, and Obama:

4.  This is an interesting article which shows you just how much things can change in a matter of days.  Yes, the ACA was supported by a majority of the Supreme Court, and yes the Transportation Bill and the Flood Insurance Bill, and an extension of low-interest student loans   were all approved.  Yes...stuff changes.  I am dreaming, but maybe we've reached bottom and are starting back.   Heck the Eurozone looks like it might actually function, housing is up, and the GOP is squabbling as to whether Mitt is their guy or not.  Bottom is something that you don't know where it was until you look back from a higher elevation.  Maybe we can see where forward is now.  Ya think?:

5. You may wonder why I have included this piece on the Security Housing Unit of Pelican Bay Prison.  It's not necessarily to bring you up to speed on how California tries to house and correct prisoners.  I bring it to you, to show you that...yes, the USA does a greater job of any other country in getting more people incarcerated than any other country.  We do not have the best educational or health care system - pretty mediocre now, but we sure can cram people into prisons.  This article is presented to show you one aspect of the correctional system (it applies to all states), and what it is that we as a nation are doing, how much it costs, and the extent of the resources expended.  If we spent more resources keeping people out of the prison system, and less on the actual incarceration, we may be a better place to live.   Sweeping the problems we create under the rug is dumb.  We spend more money on making the rug bigger, than the stability of the floor upon which it lays:

6.  Thomas Friedman gives Obama credit for thinking big and making the political gamble to make health care for all the big signature achievement a reality.  He now urges him to keep the ball rolling on thinking big and pushing for the big leadership ideas on the other issues in need of big political capital investment.  The country is starved for real leadership in moving the country forward.  Mealy-mouthed gestures and safe moves on the part of whoever is in charge just is not cutting it:

7.  This NY times editorial is putting a reality check on all of the print and praise about how how Chief Justice has turned the corner and legitimized the reputation and legacy of "His" court.   Nothing has really changed, and the court is still the same collection of 5 conservative boobs that were there before.  Don't be looking for any forward-looking changes any time soon:

8.  It's been a long time in coming, but I think that San Pedro's Ports of Call is finally getting back on track.   With the recent Crafted at Port of Los Angeles art center, and the opening of the WW II Battleship Iowa near Ports of Call, a revitalized community and tourist destination is about to change for the better.  Check it out next time you visit Los Angeles:

--
Juan

"One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways." 
       -- Bertrand Russell
"In heaven all the interesting people are missing." 
       -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"With Epcot Center the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life." 
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too." 
       -- Oscar Levant
"If there's nobody in your way, it's because you're not going anywhere."
       -- Robert F. Kennedy


Fwd: ObamaTax: What is next? Is it Good or Bad? Where to go from here.

I think the Tea Party effort to question the nomination of Mitt Romney, and to work to actually nominate Ron Paul at the convention in Tampa, would be a better use of our time and money.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tea Party Patriots <newsletter@teapartypatriots.org>
Date: Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 9:15 AM
Subject: ObamaTax: What is next? Is it Good or Bad? Where to go from here.
To: juanma2t@gmail.com


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Patriots,

Since the Supreme Court just created or verified ObamaCare is indeed ObamaTax, we have a lot of work to do and very little time to get it done. The country we went to sleep in on Sunday night is not the same country we woke up in this morning.  With this week's Supreme Court ruling, we slid further down the slippery slope to socialism and the loss of liberty.  Our fight for freedom is going to be a long, hard struggle but Tea Party Patriots are going to keep fighting!! We will not surrender! We will not give up!
 
Tomorrow night, Sunday, July 1, we are having another tele town hall at 7:30 pm eastern time. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and I will answer your questions about the legal aspects of the ruling, the next legislative action, and where we as Patriots and citizens go from here. This will not be a fundraising call, it will be informational. 
 
Remember the Democrats who passed government takeover of our health care did so in the Senate on Christmas Eve. They were willing to do whatever it took to get their way and to make sacrifices from their family and friends to control more of our lives. 
 
While it is the beginning of a holiday week and you probably want to spend time with your family and friends, it is our time to show the same level of commitment to our cause. If Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and President Obama were willing to do their work in taking over our lives on Christmas Eve, we must be prepared to do our part to take it back. Our time is short, please make every effort to be on this call.
 
While Congressmen and Senators are home this week for the Fourth of July vacation, we also need you to work this week to get your Congressman, 2 Senators, and any candidates for those offices on the record and on video answering 2 questions:
 
If elected or re-elected will this person vote to repeal this law COMPLETELY?
 
and
 
If elected or re-elected will this person vote to balance our budget in 5 years without raising taxes and stick to those spending levels for 5 years?  
Tea Party Patriots Local Coordinators, State Coordinators, and Support Team will work with you to distribute the information you collect this week to our fellow voters. Over the next 4 months we must sway hearts and minds to understand the importance of our core values: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets and to ensure our fellow Americans vote to uphold  and restore our core values.  
 
We have proven that we are not going away and we are in this fight for the long haul.  As a reminder of what we have done so far, here is a video encapsulating our efforts for the last 3 years on ObamaTAX.  
 
 
I look forward to talking with you tomorrow night.

This is not over,
Jenny Beth Martin and Tea Party Patriots National Support Team
Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.
Copyright © Tea Party Patriots, Inc. 2012
Tea Party Patriots
1025 Rose Creek Drive | Ste 620-322 | Woodstock, GA  30189
Support: 404-593-0877
websupport@teapartypatriots.org




--
Juan

"One of the best things about directing movies, as opposed to merely writing them, is that there's no confusion about who's to blame: you are."
       -- Nora Ephron
"I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents." 
       -- Sir Winston Churchill
"I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home." 
       -- Robert Orben
"The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers." 
       -- Scott Adams
"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon." 
       -- Napoleon Bonaparte


Friday, June 29, 2012

Things to Know - 30 June

mike070112

1.  A characteristic of the extreme right wing of the Republicans is that they seem to enjoy the benefits of a democracy, but are unable to adjust policy that does not suit them.  Heck the Democrats are not always happy when they don't get their way, as well.  However the mindset of the right appears to think that they can operate on a selective participatory basis - do what it likes, and reject what it does not like.  The extreme thoughts of the right get delusional, and in this piece, a responsible elected official is actually contemplating an armed rebellion - yeah ---guns in the street - to make things like they want:

2.  Yesterday, we had on record that Bill O'Reilly is step up and "apologize for the idiot I am", and now we have evidence that Rush is supposed to make good on his promise to move to Costa Rica.  Keep them coming - where's Hannity going?   Maybe Roger Ailes can join with Rupert Murdoch and take all of his loud-mouthed cabal of Fox and move to a large estate in Yemen......where there is very limited government  (actually, none), and no universal health care:

3.   If it is necessary to engage in conversation with someone who continues to mouth the Romney banner of "repealing Obamacare", it might be timely to ask what it is going to replace it?  There is no answer, other than nothing:

4.  A link that I posted a few days ago has been asked to be re-sent or repeated.  It is the listing of the specifics of the PATIENT PROTECTION AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.  Here it is:

5.  Change the discussion landscape and talk about something that is all Romney's concern, and the only thing he can effectively discuss - who he (or his etch-a-sketch knob turners) will pick for VP.  Here are the conventional wisdom myths:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-veepstakes/2012/06/29/gJQAaSyTBW_print.html

6.  Time out for a brief break.  If you are a Nora Ephron fan this is for you.  Same if you are a Dick Cavett fan.   If you appreciate both, then this is all you need to read today.  It you do not know or care for either, skip this whole #6:

7.  Moving forward (you are going to be hearing that a lot), the ACA provides for each state to set up exchanges for consumers who need to go out and select the best insurance coverage available from a menu of providers.   My theory is that as the health care system gets moving, employers will probably start dumping this benefit, but will have to provide the means for employees to pick their own provider, rather than something run or contracted by the employer.   At this juncture, in addition to private insurance companies, you may see the start of the "Public Option", so that the consumer could actually opt into something like the VA hospital or Medicare if they want:

8.  It is ludicrous and ridiculous the path that Romney taking on bad-mouthing Europe, and saying that the US is on the way to the same problem unless we elect his Mittness.  First of all, he is dead wrong.  The problems that are responsible for the pickle that the Eurozone is in now are the result of the strategy that the Paul Ryan gang are trying to pull here.  Second, you do not bode yourself as a good neighbor and a possible negotiator in world peace and harmony by pissing all over your European allies:

9.  For dessert we have this.  While all the attention and acrimony was focused on the Supreme's decision of the day before, and the contempt on the Attorney General (which is going nowhere), Congress passed the Transportation Bill, Flood Insurance Bill, and a measure to extend the continued low interest rates for student loans.   Ç Que Paso ?:
--
Juan

"Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be 'constitutional' does not make it so.   The whole thing remains unconstitutional"
       -- Senator Rand Paul
"History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind." 
       -- Edward Gibbon
"What happens when the future has come and gone?" 
       -- Robert Half
"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure." 
       -- Samuel Johnson
"The trouble with America is that there are far too many wide-open spaces surrounded by teeth." 
       -- Charles Luckman


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things to Know - 29 June

Signe Wilkinson
1.  Columns and articles by the most articulate of pundits and thinkers are wonderful.  However, the problem with their contributions is that they are either read or only understood by a small audience (usually only those who operate at their intellectual level).  Entertainers in the form of sarcasm and comedians are often the most effective (Will Rogers, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, George Carlin, etc.).   Here is a short comic strip format that does a great job of getting the message across:

2.  Occasionally, in a moment of giddy glee, we are allowed to stoop to the tabloid journalism of the loud and rude right-wing blowhards.   I'm waiting for Rush to expire as a result of violent saliva-spattering tirades, but by his own promise, Bill O'Reilly is due to show up and apologize "for being an idiot":

3.  If you are paying attention to the "Fast and Furious" issue and the contempt of congress citation issued by the GOP to the Attorney General, you need to read this, which I saw on The Rachel Maddow Show last night.  The Republicans are grasping for anything to give themselves legitimacy, but their congenital DNA deficiency always takes charge when rational processes and sanity are required:

4.  Paul Krugman, ever persistent and every knowledgeable, is trying once again through his new book to impart the information needed to end the current Depression, yes that is what he calls it.   He says we've been through this stuff before, and we know what it takes (austerity in boom times, and stimulus in down times), but our leadership opts to just play games with politically convenient issues:

5.  Thom Hartmann has some of the other stuff:

6.  One way to reflect on the Supreme's ruling on the Affordable Care Act is to check in with several who are interested spectators whose views you might support or deny, depending on your preconceived agenda.  Personally, I think that knowing exactly what is in the ACA is the best selling point of this decision than just rhetoric that it is "Obama Care":

7.  Paul Krugman does an excellent job on who won or lost on today's Supremes decision.  There is a lot of gnashing and snarking about commerce vs. tax basis, and narrowing future cases on the merits of regulating commerce, etc, which is basically conjecture or bull shit.  The real winners are described in the first few paragraphs.  Those in opposition ignore the fact that we now join with all of the other countries in the world in providing at least some basic coverage for ALL:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/opinion/the-real-winners.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

8.  The LA Times editorial is entered here to summarize the ACA decision.  Every paper and pundit is on this subject now, in one way or another.   I truly believe that if the Republicans decide to stake their political fortunes on repealing the action taken today, that they will further stick themselves into a hole so deep that no force of labor - illegal or not - would ever be able to dig them out:
--
Juan

"One of the best things about directing movies, as opposed to merely writing them, is that there's no confusion about who's to blame: you are."
       -- Nora Ephron
"I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents." 
       -- Sir Winston Churchill
"I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home." 
       -- Robert Orben
"The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers." 
       -- Scott Adams
"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon." 
       -- Napoleon Bonaparte


Something to Know

 
JUNE 28, 2012

Romney Blasts Supreme Court, Calling Healthcare Act 'Worst Idea I Ever Had'

Vows to Repeal Own Law

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Just minutes after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's Affordable Care Act, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed the Court, calling the law "the worst idea I ever had."

"I vow to repeal this law on my first day in office," he told a crowd at a campaign rally.  "Until then, I will work tirelessly to make people forget that I used to totally love it."

At the White House, President Obama greeted the news of the Court's decision in muted fashion: "I haven't been this pumped since I smoked bin Laden."

Dissenters in the 5-4 decision included Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote, "The only medical procedures the government should pay for are forced transvaginal ultrasounds and exorcisms."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also had harsh words for the healthcare law, telling reporters, "Under Obamacare, you will be forced to marry a gay doctor."

But perhaps the most negative appraisal came from Speaker of the House John Boehner: "This is a dark day for America. If we are forced to have healthcare, it's only a matter of time before we have education." 


--
Juan


Fwd: The Supreme Court Ruled Against the American People Today

I would suggest that you fold the tent and give up and find something else to crusade on.  The only ones who agree with this position are the folks on the right, and those to the right of them.   Pissing off the independents and acting in the model that the left is predicting is damaging.   Tilting at windmills is great for the base, but useless any more.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tea Party Patriots <newsletter@teapartypatriots.org>
Date: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Subject: The Supreme Court Ruled Against the American People Today
To: juanma2t@gmail.com


You are receiving this email on behalf of Tea Party Patriots. 100% Grassroots, 100% of the Time.
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Dear Patriot,

The Supreme Court ruled against the American people today.

Now, our only hope to save America from government rationing of health care and certain bankruptcy is to force Congress to repeal this horrific law.

Will you please make a EMERGENCY contribution of  $15, $25, $35, $50, $100, $250 or more to help our campaign to repeal ObamaCare?

We must force both the Senate and the House to vote to repeal this monstrosity right away.  And if this Congress won't do what is right, we must make sure the next one does when it takes office in January.

Mr. Romney, Mr. Boehner: the American people are putting you  on notice.  We will not rest until this law is overturned it's in entirety.

This Supreme Court ruling is a slap in the face to the majority of the American people who want ObamaCare fully repealed.  The Tea Party Patriots stand with the American people and say: fully repeal ObamaCare.

And, let there be no doubt, we will vote out any politician who does not commit to respect the will of the American people and fully repeal ObamaCare.

ObamaCare must be the number one issue during the fall's election.  We must rally tea party volunteers like never before.  The fate of our country truly is at stake.

Please.   This is very urgent.  Make the most generous contribution can now.

And please pray for America. 
 


For Liberty,

Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder and National Coordinator
And the National Coordinator Team
Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

Paid for by Tea Party Patriots, Inc., Debbie Dooley (Treasurer)
and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's agent or committee.
Copyright © Tea Party Patriots, Inc. 2011
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Support: 404-593-0877
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--
Juan

"Rules are just helpful guidelines for stupid people who can't make up their own minds." 
       -- Seth Hoffman
"You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there." 
       -- George Burns
"Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity." 
       -- Christopher Morley
"A little more moderation would be good. Of course, my life hasn't exactly been one of moderation." 
       -- Donald Trump
"By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out." 
       -- Richard Dawkins


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Things to Know - 28 June


Pat Oliphant
1.  EJ Dionne is on a tear to denounce Justice Antonin Scalia for his post Supreme Court Ruling on the Arizona Immigration case.  He cannot be sitting as a judge on the Supreme Court and mettle in partisan politics at the same time:

2.  Senator Bernie Sanders is doing what he can to fight the infestation of creepy corruption of political money via the Citizens United into our system of life:
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10021-bernie-sanders-thanks-to-citizens-united-the-top-1-can-buy-the-government

3.  Listen Up!   It's time to be vigilant, aware, concerned, or whatever you want to call it to concentrate on the upcoming Transportation Bill in Congress.   It needs to be passed, to start building and repairing our infrastructure, while at the same time creating the impetus for jobs and improving the economic state.  Now, are the Republicans going to work to help pass this.....or are they going to bypass the welfare of this nation to concentrate on their task to make "Obama a one-tern president".  Let's stay focused on this now:

4.  Thom Hartmann on other stuff you need to know:

5.  It's no secret, a Dana Milbank points out.  The Republican's job plan is jobs......yes, the Attorney General's and the Presidents.  For those who are unemployed all across this nation, you are not included in the GOP agenda:

6.  Nicholas Kristof has one of those quizes that political junkies just love to play with.  He has one here.  You have to think long and hard on every one of them to get the correct answer.  I hate to brag, but I got all of them right.  You try it:

7.  Charles Blow points out that Romney has so hamstrung himself with what he has said he was in his previous life as a guy running for the nomination, to being hemmed in with all of his recorded sound bytes and his etch-a-sketch reputation that he is now only able to mumble stuff without specifics and avoiding all he can.  It's not a very smart way to run a campaign.  The only thing he will have going for him is a billion dollars in advertising time that would normally go to selling Ginzu knives, medicine, and shampoo in a non-election year:

8.  Doyle McManus points out with all of the give and take of attacks and gotchas so far in the campaign, Obama still lead Romney in the polls - why...?...you may ask.   Team Obama is making charges that Romney is a heartless Capitalist....and that is sticking:
--
Juan

"Rules are just helpful guidelines for stupid people who can't make up their own minds." 
       -- Seth Hoffman
"You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there." 
       -- George Burns
"Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity." 
       -- Christopher Morley
"A little more moderation would be good. Of course, my life hasn't exactly been one of moderation." 
       -- Donald Trump
"By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out." 
       -- Richard Dawkins


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Things to Know - 27 June


Mike Luckovich
1.  To be honest, I have to admit that I was really in a down mood last night.  I capped off the evening last night at a meeting where a spokesperson from Common Cause put the impact of the Citizen's United in perspective and what/how the plan to take back our Democracy needs to work.  Only the pain from two ailing hips and a knee kept me from additional despair.   So, to rebound, and start putting the pieces back together, this piece from National Memo got me feeling better - so here it is.  Forget about the creepy morality of the Robert's court, or the obscene and corrupt money in the political system (if it were all that easy....hmmm).   Take the important issues and argue them on the basis of what is morally right.   Take that argument with everything that you hold dear, and run with it.  That is all we can do.  You should be able to sleep better:

2.  An admission by the Republicans that the actions of Voter Identification are really to suppress the opposition.   What a great democracy we live in.  The Constitution is for fools, or is to to fool us....is it?:

3.  Here is an example of how the Republicans really do not care about their job.  A bill to extend flood insurance to people in the flood plains was tagged by Senator Rand Paul with an abortion bill rider.  Really?....yup.   Either you do one or the other, but not both on the same bill.  The end result is that there is no action on having flood insurance available:

4.  Allowing the Industries that profit mightily from selling energy to sit at the table and directly and indirectly set our nation's energy policy is dangerous and wrong.  We need to be taking steps ro firmly remove ourselves from their grip and run a different course:
http://truth-out.org/news/item/9976-do-the-koch-brothers-determine-our-energy-dependence

5.  The WashPost's Kathleen Parker sums up Romney's problem with the Hispanic community.  He's stuck himself in a hole, and it is very obvious.  He's got very, if any wiggle room, and any effort to change will obviously draw the etch-a-sketch criticism:

6.  Thomas Friedman is here with something of interest.   What I really want to say is that the punditry world of all the major newspapers have been almost silent today on their opinions of what the Supreme Court did yesterday in their decisions.  Is it because it was confusing, or is it because no one really knows and dare not commit to an op-ed on what is going to happen as a result?   Funny, there was all kind of attention and print on what they thought was going to happen.  Now that it is almost over.....almost nada:

7.  What does it say about our nation's health when a big city like Stockton, California declares bankruptcy?   There have been others in this country, but Stockton is the biggest one so far.   Is this the beginning for others to follow?

8.  Contrary to what I wrote in #6 above, the LA Times actually has an editorial that supports the decision on the unconstitutional Arizona law.  It also takes exception to the one provision still in tact ("the so-called show-your-papers rule, under which police are required to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain or arrest on a legitimate basis").   However, having to coordinate this with ICE before going beyond this action, could be burdensome, and it has to be done without the appearance of profiling.  Local cops will find this too ornerus to follow, and local cities may be opening themselves up to law suits for unlawful pre-deteriminations:
-- 


Juan

"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." 
       -- Richard Feynman
"The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any." 
       -- Katharine Whitehorn
"A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top ." 
       -- Unknown
"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them." 
       -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery