Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Dust Bowl

I just saw that PBS is airing a documentary on the Dust Bowl on Nov. 18th 2012. (see: link at bottom)

My mother was in the middle of it of all. She grew up in Commerce Oklahoma and her daddy was a coal miner who died of "Black Lung" when she was around 10. Her family took part in what was referred to by Steinbeck as the "Grapes of Wrath". During the "Dust Bowl" her mom, three older brothers, and her migrated to California to find work.

She told us stories about staying in camps along the way and about her mom crying because she had to leave her favorite rocking chair that was tied to the roof of the car along the side of the road. A bunch of their things they had attached to the car had to be left along the way. When they tried to cross the mountains the car kept overheating and could not make it up the grade because of the extra weight of all the things they were carrying.

It was a very difficult time for my mom's family, and all the rest of the "Okies" that left and went west to find work, dignity, and a better future. I am hoping this documentary will help give me an even better perspective on what they had to go through. Although mom did tell us some things about that time in her life, she never went into much details, I think because it was hard for her to talk about.

But the fact is that I would not be here if that had not happened. After moving to California mom met dad there when he was brought home during WWII for a leave from the Navy by a shipmate who was mom's cousin.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We’ve lost another one of us!

He probably never received many accolades in his lifetime, but Dean HuneyCutt was one of those great American unsung heroes that are often overlooked, one of those so called “little people” that no one hears much about but who are actually the backbone of what makes a country like ours so great. A lot of people believe there are basically two types of people, thinkers, and doers. But Dean was one of those who was both kinds, a thinker and a doer. He was raised from humble beginnings and throughout his life he never really aspired to rise to any socially excepted heights of respect, but never the less he was highly respected by his peers and fellow workers for his ability to decipher and build some of the most difficult steel fabrication designs ever seen.

Those who live in the Charlotte North Carolina area might have seen one of his creations without even knowing it. If you have ever been to Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte, you’ve probably walked on the huge spiral staircase that winds around the lobby. I watched Dean take crude drawings and piece by piece carefully measure, calculate, and clamp together the entire two story 8 foot wide spiral staircase within the confines of a fabrication shop, and then take it all apart and put it up permanently in the Discovery Place lobby. Dean also fabricated the huge spinning disk sculptures that are sitting in the median of Trade Street in downtown Charlotte. Dean’s fabrications are scattered all over the Charlotte area, with a stairs here or a sculpture there, including many frame facades for store fronts.

But his most important qualities were his kindness and generosity. He was the original “help your neighbor” kind of person. I have no doubt that he would have literally given you the shirt off his back if he thought you really needed it!. I have watched over the years as he not only gave money to help others, but more important he gave his time to those who he felt needed his help. He never hesitated to give of himself to both friends and strangers alike. A lot like his belief in a simple life, he had a belief in the simply philosophy that said we should treat other people the way we wanted to be treated. He truly lived by the Golden Rule and not many people can honestly say that about themselves!

One of the greatest people I have ever known passed away Wednesday April 4th 2012. Dean Huneycutt will be greatly missed by his friends and family. However, it is the world that did not know him who has lost the most because it is this world that will miss the love, kindness, and creativity he contributed to it!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Great American Divide

It's probably not PC, and it may even tick some people off by saying it, but in my opinion we have reached the point in America where we have developed almost too much diversity in our quest to give everyone the right to hold their opinions scared. Before you say anything, let me point out that we currently have a government of elected officials that can't even agree on a single issue, and instead each defends their own point of view with no options allowed for compromise. I understand the need for those who hold their opinions as truth to vehemently defend what they believe. But there needs to be a point when they do what is best for the good of everyone instead focusing on what is best for the highly vocal and politically active few.

Being an American, and supported by our constitution, we each have to right to live as we want in our own lifestyle, as long as we do not interfere with the rights of others. What this means is that we should be able to live as we want without fear of interference from others who disagree with our lifestyle or beliefs. It does NOT mean that we can impose our opinions on the majority because we believe we are right. When it comes to the good of everyone, we need to realize that our opinions and beliefs should not be the deciding factor in whether we do something together as a country or not. What should be the primary consideration is whether an action is positive and serves the people while furthering our country's position, or is it negative and does it damage our people and our position.

In order to obtain desired freedoms, this country was built around diversity. People from many different faiths, lifestyles, and opinions came together and formed a union that was based on the good of all, and developed through compromise and cooperation. Over the years this direction has been diverted by those who would have us go back to become the type of country we broke away from in the first place. The American revolution took place because the people came together to fight for a place where everyone could follow their own direction while uniting as a fellowship of freedom seekers. Diversity is highly desirable and a positive contribution to the fullness and depth of our collective American ancestry. It should never be used as a heavy handed tool to divide and separate those who make up this union of freedom. But ultimately the choice is ours. We can either work together or fall apart!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Should cannabis prohibition be repealed?

The primary problem with cannabis prohibition is basically the same problem we had with alcohol prohibition. When a majority of the people in a country want something, whether it is legal or not, they will find ways to obtain it even if it has to be obtained through underground means.  The fact is that most people really don’t care how they obtain something they want as long as they can get it, and if they want it bad enough they will go to great lengths to get it.  As a result, the more people want something the greater lengths business oriented people will go to supply it for a profit. It is the law of supply and demand.

According to a United Nations survey there are over 90 million regular users of cannabis. That large of a number does not necessarily mean that those people are right about the use of something that is illegal in most all countries, it only means that they will do whatever is necessary to obtain it. This fact leaves the criminal element to step in and fill the gap between a country’s prohibition laws and those wanting a substance like cannabis that is illegal in their country. The shining example of this is the mob organizations that became so powerful in this country during alcohol prohibition. One has to wonder if we could have avoided all the violence that developed out of organized crime syndicates that came into being then if prohibition had not been enacted.

It seems reasonable to me that instead of spending billions on “The War on Drugs” and still not stemming the tide of cannabis use, we could instead possible be making billions from a controlled and taxed industry of cannabis production.  When we put a young person in prison for cannabis possession we only serve to make them more criminalized and they seem to only learn skills that make them better criminals. When we spend billions on housing, feeding, and maintaining those incarcerated for cannabis possession, we take billions away from those who are starving and living in cardboard shacks, those who could really use our assistance.  In my opinion, we need to re-evaluate our priorities and consider the needs of the many over the prohibition objections of the few.

Finally, hemp, the generic form of cannabis, can be used to make a lot of other products, as they were in the past before prohibition. The fact is that our American classic “Blue Jeans” were originally made from hemp fabric because it is much more resilient and stronger than cotton weaves.  Once cannabis prohibition was enacted, a lot of things that were originally made from hemp were changed and produced from other resources because prohibition made it very difficult to get a permit to grow hemp for commercial uses. Even our founding fathers knew the value of hemp production for raw materials. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had large hemp fields and often referred to them in letters and other writings as being very productive.

Now I realize there is a lot of debate about this issue and that I haven't even touched on the medical side of this issue, and that there are many who will disagree with me vehemently no matter what reasons I may have. However, in my opinion if like those who were against alcohol legalization for ethical or moral reason, you are against cannabis legalization, then my advice to you is don’t use it and avoid any moral dilemmas for yourself. What I would hope that you don’t do is what would be in my opinion costing us more young lives and billions more in tax dollars by keeping it illegal for others who do use cannabis.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

There's a good reason why they say power corrupts.

I'm sure you have heard the phrase: "power corrupts" which is usually followed by: "and absolute power corrupts absolutely". There is a reason why this rings so true. The fact is power can be addictive for most people and that addition can lead to setting no limits in gaining more power. The more powerful a person become, the more power they want to achieve. But when it comes to groups or organizations, that thrust for power tends to grow beyond the people behind it and can become a force in itself. The longer this force is allowed to grow the less control an organization has over its reach. In the end the organization becomes more powerful than its members.

I believe a good example of this can be found in the former religious entertainment and television organization of the PTL Club. It started originally by what I believe to be a naive country bred young couple as an outreach christian ministry. It turned into a power monster that needed to be constantly fed. The reason I understand this situation better than most is because in the 80s I actually lived on the PTL property and worked for the construction company Jim Baker had hired to build his empire. I saw then that those closest to the leadership stood by and watched as the focus changed and the organization's morals were corrupted by the greed of the powerful machine they had built. It had become more important to keep the machine fed than to fulfill the intended purpose the christian organization had been created for in the first place. It was now more important to keep the organization alive than any other goal. The good of the people had been abandoned for to the good of the organization.

In contemplating world politics, it is also a rather sad commentary on the state of our world's governments when a majority of citizens want peace but governments continue to wage war supposedly on their behalf. It really emphasizes the fact that most governments as a form of organization have also grown to become so large and powerful that they believe the opinions of those they represent do not really matter anymore. Whether or not a government represents and serves it citizens no longer matters. What matters is that the government must be fed and maintained. That goal becomes the prime focus of the government and all other goals become secondary. The problem is once this direction has been given some headway, it becomes very difficult to change that direction. The only way I know to change this direction is for one person at a time to stand up and point out the the injustice they have experienced so that together we can take back control of our lives.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It is time for a good house cleaning in Washington!

It really doesn't matter if they call themselves Republicans or Democrats, either way Washington politicians have been running our government like it was their own personal business without regard to those who put them into office. It appears to me that an attitude has developed among our elected officials that they are smarter than we are and know better than we do what is good for us. After all we are the "Masses" and everyone knows the "Masses" are not smart enough to make decisions for themselves. The problem with this attitude is that while a mob may be ignorant of the total truth and driven by questionable motives, today in this time of constant connections to millions of information sources, most individuals on the other hand, are fairly intelligent, knowledgeable about the issues, and have goals that are constructive and reasonable.

Even with all the political spin the big media sources put on things, whether conservative or liberal, we have all been watching what has been going on in Washington these days and can see the truth for ourselves. One party wants to control various aspects of our life, while another wants to place the interest of businesses above the interest of the people. Both sides are serving their own personal interests and motives. Every day we see them either refusing to act on important issues, or creating laws that benefit those funding their political career while ignoring the real needs of the people they represent. We the people are being ignored while politicians continue to help themselves and grow richer.

I believe it is time to clean house in Washington as well as on the state level too.  In my opinion it is time to get rid of the old guard that have set the current status quo. We can not take them at their word and trust them to do as they say because they have proven they are not really interested in serving the people by their actions. I feel the only way we can fix this problem is to start over with new people that do not owe any political favors. I truly believe we should vote out all of the old guard politicians and only retain those fresh faces that have a record of representing the people correctly. In turn we should vote in a new regime of representatives with the understanding that if they don't represent us correctly we will throw them out too. This may be the only way to save our country from reaching a depth so low that no one will be able to get us out of it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Big Oil ... Come Get It While We've Got It

I understand the need for oil products at this time in history, but personally, I think we have done far too much to keep the oil industry comfortable in its earnings. The problem is we have known for decades that oil is eventually going to run out, yet we keep on exploiting it. It may not affect us, our children, or our grandchildren, but our great-grandchildren may have to deal with it when the oil runs out, and eventually it will.

The limited oil resources we have now are forcing prices higher and higher while promoting what I believe to be possibly dangerous explorations. In light of the discovery that some earthquakes in Ohio were linked to fracking operations, and with all the loss of income by the fishing industry in the gulf recently, I believe further uncontrolled oil exploration could damage the income of hundreds of thousands while employing just a few thousand just because the demand is so high and the financial return for a few is so great.

The fact is, oil is a limited resource and is also partially responsible for air, water, and earth pollution. If we don't start looking for other cleaner energy resources and try to discover alternative means for producing those things we now make from oil and its by products, I believe we will be contributing to the development of a serious disaster for all of mankind. If we wait until the oil runs out before we start seeking to employing viable solutions, it will be too late to do anything. I do not want future generations saying that it was our generation's fault for not doing something sooner.

Monday, January 30, 2012

We can escape our programming.

It would have been easy for me to have ended up in prison or maybe even dead at a young age. From an early point in my life I was headed down the path of might makes right in my understanding of how the world works. The examples I saw of how the people closet to me dealt with life only seemed to bear this out. My father was a hard man who was raised by an even harder man. My grandfather’s outlook on rising children was based solely on discipline. As a result of his attitude my father basically believed that the strongest person was always the right person. 

One of my earliest experiences with the concept that physical prowess was the answer to any conflict was when I was 7. I had come home crying because some bullies had knocked the books out of my hands and pushed me down on my way home from school. My father was home and asked me what happened. When I told him about the bullies he decided to take me in the garage and "teach" me how to fight by basically smacking the crap out of me. When he had finished “teaching me”, he said “If you ever come home again crying I will give you a lot worse.”

I am sure that this attitude that I eventually adopted in self defense was responsible for me getting suspended from school for fighting a number of times before I graduated. What sticks in my mind is that my father never said a negative thing about being suspended, except for one occasion. I had gotten into a fight and almost broken the nose of the Sheriff's son. All my father said was "I understand that you have to defend yourself, but the next time, can you make sure it is not the kid of someone who can cause us problems!”

Before I came to see where I was headed, I could have gone a direction that might have ended up in disaster. I had accepted the programming I was exposed to and didn't understand that the direction I had taken in life was really not my choice and thereby not something I had to accept. You have to recognize that you are responsible for your own life and do not need to follow any programming, either intentional or accidental, that you might have been exposed to. The problem is you also have to be totally honest with yourself and look closely at your attitudes in life. That is not something most people are willing to do because it can challenge who you think you are. But if you really want to be confident and comfortable with yourself it's the only way to change your programming and be who you really want to be.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Some reputations are not earned but created.

I was reminded by a friend recently that a reputation is not always something we honestly earn or even actually try to achieve. It can instead develop as a response to perceptions people may get from things they have heard others say and not actually from things they have witnessed for themselves. It's a lot like the game called "Telephone" where people pass something they are told on to others down the line. By the time it gets to the end person what was passed on has usually changed drastically.

I once got into a physical altercation for which I have no idea why it started. It happened in a hamburger joint parking lot of  the city where I graduated from high school. I had been taking Karate classes at the time and word spread that I used my Karate training to defeat three guys at the same time by myself. The truth was a guy who had been drinking a lot was standing with two friends in the parking lot when for some unknown reason he took a swing at me with his fist as I walked by their car. I got lucky by using my forearm to glance off his attempt and instead grabbed him and sat him on the ground, which wasn't that hard to do in his condition. His two friends, not being as tipped, just got him up from where he was sitting and helped him back into their car.

Even though I did go on to study Karate for several more years and earned my belt, with the exception of sparing matches in class, I don't recall ever having used Karate to defeat anyone, defend myself, or defend anyone else for that matter. In some cases a reputation is just a colony of artists painting the picture of a reality that they may believe to be greater than one they can achieve for themselves. When this happens it is usually not something that is available to them in their own life so they embellish on the picture. But the real point is after all, it's not about who other people believe you are, it's about who you believe you are!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some lessons come late and have to be repeated!

I was in my 30's before I realized that life wasn't like I thought it should be and people didn't treat others like I thought they should. But it wasn't until I was in my 40's before I actually accepted those facts and realized I couldn't change others, but could only change myself and do the best I could to show kindness toward others.

I also realized later in life that most people only care about themselves unless you provide them with something they want either emotionally, financially, or physically, and then they only care as long as it fits their needs. Very few people will care about you because of who you are rather then what you can do for them. I realized at that time that you can not count on most people when you need them, most people will only be available when they need you. That's when I began paying more attention to people's actions rather then what they tell you about themselves.

Another thing I have learned is a person's perspective only changes when they allow themselves to grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Unless we are open and willing to grow, we stay the same all our life and never become anything more, wasting all the potential we had to make a positive contribution to anyone, including ourselves.

Finally, I came to realize late in life that when you don't pay attention to the signs and messages you are being given to help guide you to a better life, you miss out on fantastic opportunities, and will always look back in regret once you realize what you have missed. Along with that realization came the painful reality that you will have to repeat some lessons over when you don't learn them correctly the first time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What I call "Gutter Lauguage" ...

While buying lunch today I was standing in line behind two men and overheard them talking. While I do not make it a habit of listening in on what people around me are saying, I couldn't help hearing their conversation since they were talking rather loudly and standing about a foot in front of me. I might expect some people to curse a lot while at home or out of ear shot of others, but I was surprised to hear the two of them cursing so much and doing it so loudly that I believe practically everyone in the place could hear them.

While I personally try not to use curse words, I do not get offended if another person does. However in this situation, I believe that continued cursing and dropping the F-bomb every third word is out of line. When I looked around I noticed that there were parents in the seating area with young children, and several elderly couples, as well as probably others within hearing range who actually might have been offended by their language. It appeared to me that they had total disregard for anyone who could hear them, and they really didn't care who might be offended.

This reminded me of something my mother used to say: "When you use foul language all the time it appears to others that you are not intelligent enough to have acquired a good vocabulary and express yourself properly". While I am not saying that I assume these two men were lacking in intelligence, I am saying that constant cursing in a general conversation does tend to make a person sound less intelligent. I suppose that sounding intelligent really doesn't matter to some people, but for most of us, I believe we would like to appear as if we have some brains in our noggin and not just an empty shell sitting on our shoulders. I believe when we refrain from peppering our everyday conversations with vulgarity and cursing, and instead choose more appropriate and descriptive words from the vast reservoir of the English language, it appears to others that we express our thoughts much more intelligently.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why does Dave Dilley have a Blog?

Someone asked me the other day why I have a Blog I call "The Everyday American" when I look like a hippie and why I post links to it's articles on Facebook instead of just posting my comments directly on the Facebook news feed. First let me say that even though I look the way I do and hold some rather liberal points of view, I still consider myself to be an "Everyday American". I work every day, I pay taxes every day, I live everyday in American, so I believe I AM an "Everyday American". Second, many of the things I post on my Blog are rather involved and may be considered somewhat long for a Facebook wall post.

But the primary reason I have a blog that I post articles to Facebook from is because I want to make sure I am not filling up the news feed with long drawn out comments that maybe only 5 or 10 people are interested in. By putting my comments in a blog, and then posting a blog subject link on Facebook, people can choose whether they want to read my personal rantings or not and they can reply with a comment in the Blog if they want rather than on Facebook limiting the amount of comment traffic my friends need to sort through to find something that interests them. I believe it is a matter of politeness that I want to maintain ... and I don't want to have people saying: "When does he ever shut up? Now I have to sort through all of his crap to get to something I like". 

So the next time you see a link I posted to an article from "The Everyday American", it's just me making some comment on my Blog that I felt was either too long or too involved to gum up the entire Facebook news feed with.

What is Politically Correct?

For several decades now we have heard the words "politically correct" being used to describe an attitude that we are told we should have about others that are different from us. The rules of PC deal with the socially acceptable things we are permitted to say about people with physical, ethnic, or personal lifestyles that are different than our own. The supposed purpose for this PC attitude is to prevent us from saying things that might offend others that do not share our own physical makeup, lifestyle, standards, or values. The problem is that when you setup rules about what people can say, you start down the path of censorship and begin to diminish the promise of free speech our constitution guarantees for all citizens.

I personally feel offended by hate speech. In my opinion it is heinous and leads to violent actions by those who engage in it. However, I am sure that in just about any conversation being spoken today there are things being said that could possible offend someone who is listening. The main premise of free speech is that it allows us to voice our opinions, even when they are not popular, without fear of retribution from the government or those who disagree. This brings me to my question: "What is politically correct?". Who sets the standards for what is and isn't PC? If I say that I don't like the Indian spice curry, and that offends a person from India who is listening, should my taste in spices be considered not PC? I believe there is a fine line between what we embrace as a personal opinion and what PC proponents consider offensive.

In the past we have always had a type of PC in our society that guides what people say to others, and it was called politeness. Common sense plays a big part and gives us direction in that area. Being polite and having good manners can go a long way to helping us not offend others if we are really concerned about it. What it appears to me is that PC is an attempt by certain parties to make politeness a law and not an attitude. The truth is YOU CANNOT legislate morality! All you can do is take a stand yourself and use politeness to color you conversation with others. By setting an example yourself, you may be able to show others how to be polite, but you can NEVER change people by trying to force them to be polite.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Amble on over here partner ...

A recent comment thread on Facebook motivated me to look closer at four words related to describing forms of walking. The four words are amble, mosey, saunter, and sashay. Having watched a lot of westerns growing up (my dad controlled the TV), I often heard phrases on those shows like "Mosey on up to the bar cowboy" or "Amble on over here partner". I decided to look them all up and I was surprised to find that although there were a few slight differences in their descriptions among the various sources I used, basically all four have pretty specific definitions. Here's what I found:

Amble - To walk slowly or leisurely
Mosey - To wander or shuffle casually
Saunter - To walk relaxed, without hurry or effort, in an idle manner
Sashay - To walk in an ostentatious yet casual manner, typically with exaggerated movements of the hips and shoulders.

So an amble is slow and easy, a mosey involves wandering or shuffling,
a saunter is idled or relaxed and unhurried, and a sashay ... well as a friend put it: "May West had a pretty good sashay!"

Should a politician's faith be considered when voting?

In a recent news article it was revealed that a group of over 150 influential conservative evangelical christian leaders have decided to throw their support behind Rick Santorum for president, primarily because he has declared himself to be a evangelical Christian politician. It made me think about the part religion plays in the politics of our leaders these days when making decision that effect us all. I suppose it has always been on the mind of the American public, from the time questions were raised about John Kennedy being a Catholic and whether our country would be run by the Pope if he were elected. What concerns me is that just because a person claims to be an evangelical Christian, does it also mean they are a good leader or have good ideas that will benefit everyone? I am not sure that holding the label of evangelical Christian really qualifies you for public office unless your political record shows that you are doing a good job where you are now. I could say the same for almost any faith. If a person holds values that are a higher standard than others, then they are expected to have a higher moral life and set an example for others.

The problem is that no one is perfect. We have seen top evangelical leaders drop to great lows and commit wrong deeds that even most athiest people would refrain from. We have experienced the fall of many christian leaders and lay people simply because they are people and not gods. People make mistakes, that is a natural fact of human life. As a result we should never place a person on a certain level of acceptability just because they claim to be of one faith or another. Faith is a personal thing that each person has to deal with on their own. What "We the People" have to deal with are the decisions politicians make that affect us when we vote them into office. It is our responsibility to make sure we are voting for the people who will serve us the best and not just those who claim to be of one faith or another. Before you go to the polls this fall, do your homework. If a candidate has shown that they can be trusted and are doing their best to serve the people they represent then cast your vote for them. As it says: "By their works you shall know them".


Friday, January 13, 2012

Can Science Be Trusted?

I am just about as tech connected as most people, and maybe more than others. I have always embraced new technologies and have usually been one of the first of my friends and family to experiment with new gadgets. In the past I have sort of trusted technology to provide me with the advantages of an organized life and have leaned heavily on technological advances to help make my life more consistent and easier to navigate.

During a recent trip to purchase repair materials for a job, I realized that I was beginning to become way too reliant on technology for the simple act of mental calculations. I was attempting to determine how many 10 foot 2X4s I would need to buy in order to cover the specific distance I needed to make the repairs. Instead of mentally dividing the total number of feet I needed by 10, I pulled out my phone and started to open the calculator. I realized that I had succumbed to a form of automatic behavior brought on by habit. Then I thought: “What if I wanted 8 foot 2X4s instead, how many would that be?" I found that I could also quickly calculate the required number in my head. This situation lead me to consider how dependent I have become on technology to lead the way in life instead on relying the things I have learned and experienced for myself.

It also made me think about science through the ages and how much has changed since the apple fell on Newton’s head. We have gone from a flat earth that everything revolves around it, to looking for a Higgs Bosom in sub-atomic particles.  Standard physics couldn’t explain sub-atomic reactions so we came up with quantum physics.  Now we realize that quantum physics also breaks down when you begin to consider the mathematics of a black hole and the singularity that is said to be residing at its center.  I am not sure there will ever be an end to new discoveries that append to or even negate the current “laws” of physics.

So what’s my point? I guess all I am saying is that when we rely on material technologies that can break down, we leave ourselves open to loosing our ability to do simple mental tasks that are necessary to survive in this world. There is a story I read in early college that really sums up the point I am making pretty well. It is called “The Feeling of power” by Isaac Asimov. It tells of a future time when the two last countries on earth are engaged in a war that neither can win because the conflict is controlled by computers. By virtue of their ability to calculate quickly, the two computers are unable to outsmart each other. The unforeseen consequence of this is that the war has continued for years without any resolution while taking more and more of the two countries resources. While most citizens believe rumors that the government is testing children for intelligence and taking the dumb ones from their parents, the truth is they are really looking for the ones that can think and do calculations in their head. The government plans to use young people who can think and do math in their head to spearhead the attacks on the other country because they believe it is the only way they can defeat the enemy’s smart computer that is in a stalemate with their own. Makes you think huh? … and it was written back in 1958!