Richard Eyer Smith's Excellent Adventures in Paradise

Monday, October 17, 2011


I have the answer to all of America’s problems.


I read them in the Good Book when I was a boy growing up in small-town Willmar, Minnesota.

No, not that good book. I’m talking about the Boy Scout Handbook.

In it you can read the following:

Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

You can also read:

Scout Law

A Scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,
Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean, Reverent.

It’s that simple, ladies and gents.

If we – every last one of us – actually followed these basic rules . . . no more, no less . . . our nation would be that shining beacon to the world we aspire to be.

I love simple and true answers to complex issues.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I've been looking into Americans Elect, a digitally inspired take on the democratic process, and, so far I'm intrigued.

Here's the situation: American politics has become polarized and the result is politicians fiddeling while the US burns. At a time in our history when able leadership is required, we get a slew of hack politicians pandering to special interest groups. It's true, we also get a spate of brilliant officials, but some of these fail to take hold as able leaders.

A possible solution might be the addition of more political parties, but won't that just create another target for lobbyists' dollars, idealogues' crusades and crazies' rants?

The links below will shed light on the Americans Elect "virtual" political party. Take a few minutes to examine this new idea and post your thoughts to the Comment section.

Americans Elect

John Avlon

Thomas L. Friedman

Micah L. Sifry

Monday, June 6, 2011


I've lived in Puerto Rico off-and-on since 1988.

I absolutely love the place!

One of the favorite pastimes of locals is politics, and no topic garners more discussion than "status": whether Puerto Rico should become a state, seek independence or stay a territorial Commonwealth.

I believe that most Americans are oblivious to the situation in Puerto Rico - many don't even know where it is.

Furthermore, if you did realize how much of America's wealth is transferred here with little or no gain to the U.S., I believe you'd want to consider setting Puerto Rico on the path to freedom.

Here's a post I wrote for another blog. What do you think?


Puerto Rico is America's reluctant colony. For over 100 years the United States has granted the "Shing Star of the Caribbean" rights and privileges unique in all the world.

Now, we must ask ourselves: How's it working?

I recall a discussion I had with a Puerto Rican friend. Why, I asked, is your beautiful island plagued with so many problems? Why is your economy in tatters? Why are your lovely mountains, rivers and beaches so unkempt? Why is your crime rate so terrible? Why do the people, who clearly love this place and their fellow citizens, do so little to make it better?

My friend thought for a while, then said: We act this way because we are a subjugated, colonized people. The island we love - its mountains, rivers, beaches and even its people - all belong to someone else. America is the father of this place. We Puerto Ricans live here as America's children.

I get it.

As long as another country is seen to act as their father, Puerto Rico will fail to achieve. Like children of a wealthy and powerful family, Puerto Ricans have everything, and yet they have nothing to claim for their own.

Puerto Ricans are wealthier than any of their neighbors. They have better health care, better housing, better transportation, better educational opportunity and better access to goods and services.

But like the rich child, Puerto Ricans are held back by a lack of motivation and the ambition to succeed. Their wealth and comfort, mostly earned by previous generations, have become their trap.

Now, I believe, is the time for "tough love" for our colonized Puerto Rican friends. We need to liberate them from the dependence that weighs them down. We need to set them free.

And what about us? Does America gain by showing Puerto Rico the path to freedom?

We certainly do!

Financially and politically, Puerto Rico is an anchor on the American ship of state. We send boatloads of dollars - approaching $25 billion per year ... that’s $250 Billion in just the past decade - into a Bermuda Triangle of corruption and crime. Crooked politicians, absurd tax breaks to Big Business, Big Cartels and Big Alcohol sap American financial strength. We pay huge sums to keep this tiny island afloat in dollars, while our own economy is sinking.

If we liberate the island, we can hold our heads high in the international community as a nation that leads, not by preaching Democracy, but by practicing it. Our moral authority will no longer be undermined by our blind adherence to unjust past practice.

By setting Puerto Rico free, America becomes free.

This site can be America's place to examine the important issue of our role as "parents" to the people of Puerto Rico. It is a place for both noteamericanos and boriquas to share their ideas and make suggestions for the betterment of both. Take part in the debate!


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Here's the first scene from my book "Radar Contact Lost."


Chapter One

It’s more fun to make love in the tropics than in Pittsburgh.

He looked out over the veranda of their lodge, Hacienda Alta Vista. It was a nineteenth-century coffee estate that had been lovingly restored, then converted into a charming bed-and breakfast. He could smell the fragrance of roasted coffee mixed in with the scent of flowers, fruit trees and the muskiness of their lovemaking. This spot, about thirty-five miles southwest of the steamy, crowded capital city of Nueva Madrid, was the perfect place to be alone and naked with his new bride, high in the tranquil San Miguel rainforest.

“Can I get you another rum?” he asked.

“In a minute.”

He watched as she lazily rocked in the soft-cushioned chair on the secluded veranda. He couldn’t take his eyes off her tussled blond hair and her smooth white skin glowing soft and warm in the flickering candlelight.

He picked out the symphony of birds caroling in the cool night air, singing just for them. In his reverie, he was scarcely aware of the dull whine of a jet, miles away, descending into the island’s main airport.

“Tomorrow, let’s get up early and watch the sunrise.” He eased behind her chair and gently stroked her shoulder, then took another sip from his drink. The dark liquid kindled his passions.

Suddenly, from somewhere on the other side of the mountain, a bright flash of light illuminated the night sky.

The woman shot upright in her chair. “My God! What was that?”

“Storm’s coming in.” He set his glass on the table and walked nude in front of her. “Don’t be afraid of a little lightning.”

A deep rumbling, like a furious blast of dynamite, shook the veranda.
“That’s the loudest noise I’ve ever heard,” he said. “I guess it’s thunder. What else could it be?”

He reached out to her, lifting her gently from the chair. The two lovers eased together. They kissed and their fear slowly subsided. Then it turned to lust.
“Maybe we should sleep in again tomorrow,” she giggled. He knew she was still giddy sensing his excitement. He guided her towards the bedroom. “I didn’t think it was supposed to rain tonight.”

The window behind them rattled loudly once again. “That does sound awfully close,” he said. "It’s going to start pouring any minute.” He looked forward to the gentle sound of rain falling on the metal roof as they made love. “Anyway, I’m sure we can think of something fun to do in our room.”

He felt her face warm. He was charmed by her virginal embarrassment.
“I’m sure we can,” she said.

He slowly eased her down on the soft bed. Within a few moments they were too happily occupied with one another to notice.

Rain never fell outside their bedroom window.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Here's an El D'Rage "Minute Rap" that looks at aging in America. What are you doing to look out for your old age?


It's been fifty years since El D'Rage first picked up a guitar and began strummin' and hummin'. In 1955, his musical tastes ran from "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" to Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons". A lot has changed since back then.

The musical background of El D'Rage is the musical background of many a "Baby Boomer". Caught up in the folk revolution of the late 50s, then Elvis, Motown and the Beatles, he is a product of America's most tumultuous - and exciting - musical era. And "El" has been in the thick of music all his life.

Now, he's done something exciting; something totally different. El D'Rage has created Elder Rap: a new form of music combining the over-the-top rhythms of Hip-Hop with lyrics fun enough to get seniors jumping (carefully) out of their chairs - and sensitive enough to bring tears to the eyes of strong men.

Elder Rap is about three things:

First, it's a celebration of two proud generations: The aptly named "Greatest Generation" and their notoriously funky kids, the "Baby Boomers". These two generations have experienced it all - the Great Depression, wars, peace, poverty and riches - and El D'Rage's rap puts lyrics to their lives.

Second, Elder Rap is all about "unwrapping the rappers." Rap, which originated as a serious attempt to express feelings about life in America's urban ghettoes, has degenerated into a foul-mouthed expression of all that is wrong with America. Much of it is racist, sexist, obscene, hateful and just plain wrong for our kids. Today's rap messages are: crime pays; being disrespectful pays: being offensive pays; do your worst and reap the rewards of a nation growing too fat, dumb and lazy to give a hoot. El D'Rage says, "Enough! Parents, WAKE UP! DO YOUR JOB!"

Third, Elder Rap is about teaching the "Three T's" - teens, twenties and thirties - about the values and experiences of their parents' and grandparents' generations. We've learned a lot of lessons over the past sixty or seventy years. Listen to us. Pick up a few pointers about how to keep America a great place to live.

El D'Rage and his Elder Rap are moving front-and-center on the American stage. People over forty-five are getting their musical voice back. Give a listen, think about what you're hearing . . . and spread the word!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Years ago, Cath and I worked in a nursing home. It was not a happy place. Residents there longed for a connection and for a mission. For many Americans, getting old means becoming irrelevent.

This El D'Rage music video looks into the heart of one old guy coming to grips with his past - and the present.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The media is all over U.S. air traffic control and, in their enthusiasm, are particularly unburdened by the rules of good journalism. That said, there clearly is a deterioration of confidence in the professionalism and competence in the American ATC system. The flying public is coming to regard ATC as yet another reason to hate – even fear - flying.

The resignation of ATO Chief Hank Krakowski was a necessary first step, although he was not the cause of the problem.

The cause is complacency.

Complacency on the part of management, complacency on the part of training providers and most importantly, complacency on the part of controllers. People in the system have become so focused on the wrong things - the "I'm right - they're wrong" mentality - that the important business of providing safe and efficient service is taking a back seat.

To correct this, I suggest the following:

1) Both controllers and first level supervisors must be required to demonstrate technical competence at least every year or two. Professional pilots must constantly hone their skills and demonstrate their competence via regular flight check rides and simulator exercises; controllers need to do the same. As with pilots, no pass = no ticket.

2) Work shifts need to be evaluated on the basis of operational safety and controller health – not what controllers like because of the “long weekend.” Quick turnarounds and “The Rattler” are not working and never have.

3) The system which allows pilots and controllers to report errors (including their own) without fear of punitive action must remain in force. The media must respect that. Making statements such as “the huge increase in reported errors” does not represent the system’s decline, just its new transparency. It is irresponsible to misrepresent these reports.

4) It is in the nature of media these days to make every story a spectacle. A loss of standard separation incident becomes a “frightening near mid-air collision that could have killed hundreds.” By the same token, constantly mouthing the FAA lines about “safety was never an issue” and “we’re still the world’s safest ATC system,” need to be challenged. We won’t fix what we don’t acknowledge.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back to the Beach

DSC00213 by wlatc
DSC00213, a photo by wlatc on Flickr.

Here's a photo of a photo in the making. Fun!

Our Future is Our Past

DSC00212 by wlatc
DSC00212, a photo by wlatc on Flickr.

I see these two quite often. They remind me of Cath and I about 40 years ago!

Happy Kids!

DSC00215 by wlatc
DSC00215, a photo by wlatc on Flickr.

These kids are in front of my condo - the pink building in the background. Do you think they are having a good time?

Cool Guy at Isla Verde Beach

DSC00216 by wlatc
DSC00216, a photo by wlatc on Flickr.

I keep tellin' you - it's the people!

Family Fun!

DSC00218 by wlatc
DSC00218, a photo by wlatc on Flickr.

These folks are having a nice afternon on the beach in front of my place.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'm spoiled. Spoiled rotten. I admit it.

For Christmas, Cath gave me a cool Sony Bloggie Touch camcorder. It's stupid-simple to use and takes excellent vids and photos.

My problem is using my Windows laptop to create stuff out of the pictures I take. There's MovieMaker software on the computer, but it is exquisitely designed by sadistic Microsoft programmers to drive me nuts.

So, Cath, what do you think about a Mac for next Christmas? Can't wait? How about St. Patrick's Day . . .

Here are a couple of videos we made on the old Mac, which was stolen from our trailer in OKC last year:


Monday, March 7, 2011


Here are some posts from my Hypnotherapy blog, Magic Cures. There is a link to the complete blog in the right-hand column. Enjoy!

Magic Cure: Create a New View of Your World
Monday, Jan 14, 2008

There are two competing visions of the world you live in.

One, the more commonly believed, holds that your behavior is the direct result of external events which are happening or have happened in the world around you.

In this world view, your parents' behavior plays a huge role in your own behavior. Past hurts direct your present actions. Past failures nag you into repeating past mistakes. Pent-up angers, fears and sadnesses created in your past dictate how you act today.

As an example, suppose your father abused you when you were a child. Obviously, according to this view, you are going to be seriously messed up today. Your own sexual confusion, angry behavior in a struggling marriage or career failures stem from what your father did to you thirty years ago.

You are a victim. You cannot change the past. Your tears bid a sad farewell to the happy, productive life of your dreams that steadily fades from view. You're screwed!

The other world view, the basis of the Magic Cures, is almost the same; but there is a subtle difference. This view holds that your behavior is the response to your internal perception of events, not the events themselves. It's not what happened to you, but how you think and feel right now about what happened that is controlling your present behavior.

Let's go back to the example of your father abusing you as a child. I maintain that it is not the abuse that is causing all your present difficulties; it is your memories of the abuse and their associated feelings that are responsible.

Your relationship with your own children sucks, not because of the abuse, but rather because of the emotion-charged memories of the abuse that are lodged in your mind. You are angry, not about what happened thirty years ago, but about the horrifying memory that lurks in parts your brain today.

Again, you are a victim, but now you are also the victimizer. True, you cannot change the past. But look, your father is not abusing you today . . . he may not even be alive. So, ask yourself, "Just who is abusing me now?"

Here is the huge difference: you can change your perception of the past. Using the Magic Cures, you can restructure your memories, beliefs, feelings and attitudes. You can reshape your present behavior and you can replace unhappiness and frustration with joy and success.

Incredible as it sounds, you can easily, quickly and permanently turn your life on a dime. It is so simple you're bound to be skeptical. It's so fast you're bound to be disbelieving. But it's so real you're bound to be thrilled when you feel so gosh-darned wonderful!

Magic Cure: Understand that you are not controlled by the unchangeable past. What happened . . . happened. It's over, finished, complete. Your perception of the past, though, is alive within you right now and this is what is driving you. And the really wonderful part: your perceptions, memories, beliefs, feelings and attitudes can be changed.


Magic Cure: Know That Behavior Can Be Changed
Sunday, Nov 25, 2007

You may accept the notion that your brain is a machine that runs your body. The three pound engine of the mind can be compared to a computer that is made up of components that control your body and these components give yet other components feedback. This feedback is registered and used to further modify behavior.
Or you may not accept this notion. You may believe some outside force is at play, or you may believe behavior is quite random. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that regardless of the metaphor you use, certain things are happening that lead you to behave in certain ways. If you determine what these things are and modify them, it follows that you can modify your behavior.

All of this seems pretty obvious. Let’s say you wish to stop an infant from crying. Try giving it food or changing its diapers. If this works, fine. If it doesn't work, try something else. It may be a verbal scolding or praising, it may be a certain look, it may be drugs, it may be electro-shock treatments . . . something will lead to the results you want.

If it is your own behavior you wish to change, the same thing applies. Do something different from what you've been doing that leads to the behavior you want. There is always something that will work, but there are also many things you could try that won’t work. Will power will seldom help you control weight or cancel out a fear of spiders, for example. Additionally, other things might lead to behavior change, but they are impractical. A lobotomy may stop smoking, but no, thank you.

Magic Cure: Know that, even though you may not have discovered it yet, there is a way to change every behavior you are unhappy with. Every single one.


Magic Cure: Seek and You Shall Find
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003

I heard the other day about a woman who had cancer. She underwent various therapies and the cancer went into remission. Then, after being cancer-free for a few years, the illness returned. Predictions were understandably dire.

Then one day the cancer disappeared. It has not returned in the past twenty five years. She credits a self-described “shaman” for her cure.

We all know of stories like this. People with severe illness go to healers, shamans, doctors, chiropractors, priests – whatever – and, in spite of expectations, they are cured. There can be many explanations, but in some of these cases, the person consulted actually knew how to cure the given illness!

Sometimes many people know how to affect a cure for a problem and other times only a few people know. The “savior” may be a trained professional using conventional methods or a “wacko” using nothing but nonsense.

The result is the thing, however.

For whatever problem you are encountering or whatever behavior you wish to change, there is someone, somewhere who knows how to help.

Magic Cure: Find people who know how to solve the problems you have. Don’t be afraid to keep looking and exploring, because someone knows how to create just the change you're looking for.


Magic Cure: Know Yourself to Know How to Change
Monday, Nov 17, 2003

You have promised yourself you'll improve your life. You've promised to lose weight, quit smoking, sleep better or make more money. You've even taken the first steps.

Then you fall right back into your old, unwanted behaviors.

Why is this?

Breaking your promises to yourself is a glaring illustration of the enormous gap that sits between what you want for yourself and what you are able to actually produce.

If you’re overweight, you resolve to change our diet and exercise patterns. If you smoke, you know you ought to quit – right now! If you’re in debt, you tell yourself that you should control your spending. If you’re argumentative, you strive to be more calm and polite.

Yes, finding areas of your life that need improvement is easy as pie. Even your good friends and close relatives are able to spot your imperfections, and they frequently tell you exactly what you need to do to shape up.

So, OK, you get it. You understand what needs doing to improve your life. But why don’t you do it? Why do you go on repeating your mistakes over and over again?

Short answer: Because you don't know how to stop.

Your mind, and its little three-pound engine, the brain, is a buzzing basket of brilliance. Nerve cells fire, chemicals surge, sparks of genius flash and unfettered emotions tingle up and down your spine. Your entire body is a symphony of complex creativity.

Unfortunately, your symphony's conductor can’t read music - and this causes problems by the score!

Let’s do a little science. Your brain is organized into modules of activity. Whenever you see a fish, for example, your brain runs a pattern of recognition and your conscious mind registers “fish”. You are aware (“conscious”) of only a tiny fraction of this mental activity, as most “programs” run unmonitored in the background, out of awareness (“unconscious”). Breathing, for instance. You do it without thinking.

As an example, suppose you decide it’s finally time to stop smoking.

In your conscious mind you run a program that evaluates risk versus benefit and smoking comes out as "off-the-scale" dangerous. You think consciously that you must quit smoking - now!

Meanwhile, back at the hippocampus (a part of your brain - not a school for hippos!), there is another program running and it is out of your awareness. It’s a very powerful program, elegant in its simplicity. It goes, “I want a cigarette, I want a cigarette, I want a cigarette.” It does this over and over again, out of your conscious awareness.

This automatic program, first generated when you were a rebellious teen looking for a way to be cool, runs on a hair-trigger. If you see someone light up, hear the coffee pot percolating, sip on a beer or just get out of bed in the morning, the darned thing is going to fire off. "I'm awake, now where's my cigarettes?"

What’s more, this program has become wired directly to your hands, so before your conscious mind can say, “what the …”, your fingers are wrapped around a butt and you’re puffing like mad. You're making some tobacco company CEO very happy.

And, where is your little "Mental Maestro" during all this? He’s striking up the band in a rousing - but futile - rendition of “All You Need Is Will Power”. Totally useless!

Here's the bottom line: As long as your "I want a cigarette" program is running in the background, you will continue to smoke. If you shut that program down (there are a number of ways to do this - some easy, some not so easy) you will stop smoking. Guaranteed!

Spirit-Mind-Body Healing methods – Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – achieve what your conscious mind cannot accomplish. You can learn how to “go in” and replace the harmful programs with brand new ones that get you where you want to go.

Afterwards, a stimulus that used to trigger the old smoking program – sipping a tall, frosty mug of beer, for example – now fires off a completely different program: “I love and respect myself. I need my body to live and I love doing things that keep me healthy and fit.” Now, this new program runs over and over again in the background, out of your awareness, and guess what? No more smoking.

How long does it take? Quicker than you think! Usually an unwanted habit can be replaced in about 30 days.

Sound difficult? Sorry . . . it's the simplest thing you'll ever do!

Magic Cure: If you want your life to be different: learn how your mind works, then try working with a good Spirit-Mind-Body Healer to reprogram your mind for success.


Magic Cure: Removing the Pain from Painful Memories
Saturday, Nov 15, 2003

Memories can be thought of as traces of activity, both chemical and electrical, in various parts of the brain. Here are a couple of concepts that will be useful for this discussion.

1) Each time a memory is experienced, it is a “firing” of a pattern of neuronal activity that has been somehow reinforced in the past, and this reigniting further strengthens the pattern, making it even quicker to fire in the future. Like walking repeatedly through tall grass and making the pathway easier to navigate, if we mull over a memory of a past event, we make that memory stronger and easier to access.

2) A memory of an event will not be of the event itself, rather it will be a reconstruction of the previous memory of the event. We don't recall original events, rather we replicate (fire off a pattern of neurons) our last memory of that event. Think of a symphony orchestra. Every time they play the 1812 Overture, it requires that the whole orchestra reassemble and play the piece. Our mind "plays" a memory by reassembling all its component parts. Also, when a memory is re-experienced, the possibility exists that it will be modified in some way. The orchestra never plays the music exactly the same.This explains why our memories change over time.

3) An important component of memory is emotion. Memories of events with a strong emotional content are more easily recalled than memories of non-emotional events. Additionally, recalling a past event reactivates the emotion associated with it. If you recall a past trauma you will once again “feel” all the negative emotions linked to it. As an example, remembering an auto wreck generates a strong fear response – trembling, sweaty palms, stomach upset, etc.

4) Fearful situations evoke a "fight or flight" response. If these options are thwarted, your brain may supress the memory and produce a generalized stress response. You may, over time, develop physical symptoms such as back pain, headaches, high blood pressure or cancer that seem to have no cause. Buried memories are not dead and your mind-body complex will continue seeking resolution.

5) You cannot control the “firing” of a memory. Drive past another car crash and it will probably trigger the memory of your own wreck. You can, however, control your emotional response to the memory by unlinking the fear response tied to it. You recall your smash-up, but you don’t get the sweaty palms or other adverse emotional reactions. Whereas these emotions may have been debilitating in the past, you now recall the event without any emotional reaction at all.

Something called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a quick and easy way to “unlink” memories from their associated emotional response. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), the drug Propranodol and certain Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT) also have an effect on breaking the connection between memory and emotion. Watch the movie Try it on Everything to see how one of these techniques works.

Magic Cure: If you are plagued by a memory that is causing emotional distress, techniques exist which are effective in removing your pain. You can be freed quickly, easily and permanently from the links to your past that are keeping you from living the happy life you seek. Your memories remain, but their negative impact vanishes. Cool!


Magic Cure: A Picture is Worth . . .
Monday, Nov 10, 2003

Memories consist of mental images (pictures) or internal dialogue (words) and the associated feelings (emotions).

When you remember a childhood event – a spanking, for example – you generate an image in your mind, frequently associating some dialogue. You also create an emotional response to the memory.

When you remember the spanking, you may see yourself as you imagine you looked when the scene played out. You may hear yourself crying or create internal dialogue – “I hate my father!” - about what you see. You may also notice a physical response – perhaps a tightening in the throat as if you’re about to cry again.

One way to change how you feel is a technique called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). You bring up the image you've created of the spanking and begin “playing” with it in your mind. You move it around in your mental field of vision. You change the color of the image. You run it like a movie, and then put silly background music to it, and then run it backwards. You can even give your sad tale a happy ending – however you chose to manipulate your image.

As you make these changes you do two things: 1) You change how you feel right now in response to the incident, and, 2) you change the way you will remember and feel about the incident in the future. Your tragic memories turn to positive life lessons. You feel happy!

Magic Cure: Locate an NLP practitioner and let her open her bag of tricks to help you feel terrific!


Magic Cure: The Swish Pattern: Overcoming Unwanted Behavior - FAST!
Sunday, Jan 12, 2003

The NLP Swish Pattern is a mental "trick" based on the idea that most unwanted behavior, be it smoking, overeating, getting angry or being late for appointments, has a visual "cue" that occurs just before the behavior happens.

In other words: There is a picture in your mind that acts as a "start button" for the unwanted behavior. For example, in your mind's eye you see your hand move to strike a match just before you feel the craving for a smoke. Once you see/hear/smell/feel that match ignite you are on a sure, automatic path to actually smoking a cigarette.

This visual cue that starts this unwanted behavior - you lighting the match - is going to be your starting point for the Swish pattern.

The second step of the Swish is to identify the picture of "the successful you who no longer feels compelled to do the unwanted behavior." It's how you will look whan you've overcome your nasty smoking habit.

Once both pictures have been identified and you can bring them before your mind's eye at will, you are ready to start the Swish pattern.

Here are the Swish Pattern steps:

1.Identify the visual cue (trigger) of your unwanted behavior.
2.Create a visual representation of your desired behavior.
3.Visualize the picture associated with your unwanted behavior as large and bright, filling your entire field of vision. Simultaneously, visualize the picture associated with your desired behavior as small and dim, somewhere on top of the large picture. (Step 1 in the illustration below)
4.Rapidly (less than a second) decrease the size and brightness of the large image, while increasing the size and brightness of the second. (Step 2 to Step 3 below)
5.Break State: Open your eyes and look around, ending the swish cycle.
6.Repeat step 1-5 at least 5 times, increasing the speed each time.

Things to keep in mind to make the Swish Pattern work for you:

Chose powerful pictures. Spend some time on both your cue picture that triggers your unwanted behavior and the picture of the you who is free of the compulsion to do the behavior. Change the submodalities (color, brightness, etc.) in order to find the version of the picture that has the most power to compel you to do your unwanted behavior (in case of the cue picture) and attract you to a non-compelled state (in case of the picture of the desired you).

Choose the right submodalities. For most people the submodalities of size and brightness work best to intensify and weaken the power of their pictures, but any other pair is fine, too, as long as it works for you. However, make sure you stick with the same pair for the cue picture and the "desired you" picture.

Some finer points: Your cue for the unwanted behavior typically is "associated", i.e. you are looking out through your own eyes (as in lighting a match before smoking). The picture of the you that is free of any compulsion should be "disassociated", i.e. it should be a picture in which you see yourself from outside your body. Like somebody took your photo.

Also, your "free at last!" image should be showing what you look like being that new person, rather than showing you actually doing a new behavior. The focus is on who you are as that new person, rather than on what you do. Experiments have show that this way the picture is more attractive and produces better results.

The Swish should be carried out at least 5 times, initially. The more powerful the pictures you chose, the more powerful the Swish will be. If the Swish is done right, it will start to occur automatically, every time your cue for the unwanted behavior pops up. Think of it as a call forwarding system. As soon as telephone A (your unwanted behavior) starts ringing, a software (your Swish) forwards the call to telephone B (the you who is free of the behavior).

Make it faster each time and interrupt after each cycle. Speed is important. By the time you have done the Swish five times you should be doing it in a blink of an eye.

Make sure you open your eyes and look around after each Swish, to "break state" and interrupt the pattern. Otherwise it becomes a cycle, going from the desired you back to the cue for the unwanted behavior.

Swishes can be done in other representational systems (e.g. audio, kinesthetic, etc.) as well. The structure is the same as with the visual swish. Instead of pictures, you will be working with sounds and sensations of touch, temperature, etc.

The Swish pattern is easy, however, you need to find the right pictures to make it effective. Spend some time finding a cue picture that really draws you into your unwanted behavior and an attractive picture that shows you as a new person without that compulsion. The better your pictures, the better your results with the Swish.

Magic Cure: Try the Swish pattern to put a quick and easy end to unwanted behaviors.


Magic Cure: I Think, Therefore I Ache
Saturday, Jan 11, 2003

Have you ever had a bad dream and then felt rotten all day? Have you ever, for no apparent reason, had an upset stomach or a sore back or a migraine? Worse yet, do you suffer from serious medical problems like ulcers, cancer or heart disease?

A new field of science, Mind-Body Medicine, is finding evidence that your brain plays a huge role in your physical health. I’m not talking about the old “psychosomatic” illnesses that were little more than the creations of a hopeless hypochondriac. No, it is becoming clear that your mind can actually create illness; serious illness.

Let's say you witness a traumatic event. Most of us watched the 9/11 tragedy on TV, for example. A part of your brain (the amygdala) tries to respond with a "Fight/Flight" response, but niether option is available. You are stuck there in front of the television, staring, and you're frozen in disbelief, anger and fear. The situation is unresolved.

Your brain, however, continues to send out low-level F/F commands to your body like: "raise blood pressure" or "reduce imune response" or "reduce insulin production". Over time, these commands result in discomfort and then illness.

This sounds like bad news.

It’s not, however, because your mind can also be channeled to create health. Specific Mind-Body techniques have been developed that enable you to target the previously undetected mental causes of your illness and safely blast them out of your life.

Magic Cure: If you have physical problems, especially ones that aren’t getting better with conventional treatments, seek out a Mind-Body specialist and learn how to give yourself the gift of good health.


Magic Cure: Change Your Mind, One Neuron at a Time
Sunday, Jan 5, 2003

A really cool tool for breaking unwanted habitual behavior is Brief Multi-Sensory Activation (BMSA), based on Psychosensory Therapy, developed by Ronald A. Ruden, M.D., Ph.D.

To understand how BMSA works, imagine we’re looking at a bunch of nerve endings associated with a habit.

Now, think of the electrochemical process at each synapse as a group of tiny arcade basketball players throwing balls across the gap at a bunch of hoops on the other neuron. C'mon, use your imagination!

As the little players start shooting from the first nerve and mount up the score, an action potential is finally reached. Let’s say that when they get to 50 points the second nerve fires. Pow!

Of course, these guys get better over time and they get to 50 points faster and faster. The link (habit) gets stronger.

Next comes a major rule change: the second nerve will now fire when only 2 points are scored. Zap! Now this connection fires at the drop of a hat.

A strong habit is forming.

Now, BMSA is like spraying a huge fiberglass net over all the hoops. The hoops are blocked and the little guys can throw basketballs to their hearts' content, but none are going to go in. No points are scored now and none are scored in the future.

The link is broken, the habit is broken . . . You're free!

Magic Cure: Visit a BMSA practitioner to get rid of bad habits like smoking, overeating, OCDs and stressing out. This actually works, it is permanent, it's easy and it happens really fast!


Magic Cure: EFT on the Beach
Friday, Jan 3, 2003

There is a beautiful, magical beach where you can set aside your problems and begin a new life.

Really! The beach actually exists. It has a physical location: Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. It is a special place of healing for you. Go there if you can. Meet with Rich and Cath Smith. They use Isla Verde Beach as their office.

But don't worry if you're unable to travel. This beach can also be found deep within yourself. It exists for you no matter where you are. This magical place of wellness can be reached if you have the map, and the map is known to many healers.

Magic Cure: Seek out Rich and Cath, the authors of The Magic Cures. Seek out other healers who can help you discover your own magic. Leave your pain behind and walk into a life of health, happiness and success.


Magic Cure: Hypnosis TherapyFriday, Jan 3, 2003

These days it takes only two pilots to manage a huge plane that holds more than 500 passengers. They sit at a high-tech control panel and use a joy stick and a couple of buttons to keep the big thing flying smoothly to its destination.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your brain had a control panel like a big jumbo jet, so you could give the exact commands that would allow you to fly happily through life?

Here’s the great news – it does!

Just like a pilot, you can run your mind to do the things you want. You can control your stress, manage your habits, relieve your pain and change your life. You can use your mind's control panel to reprogram yourself for success in every aspect.

Hypnosis is the wonderful tool that opens the door to your mind and allows you to "put your hands on the controls". In hypnosis, you can "go inside" your brain and change the programs that control your behavior - quickly, easily and permanently.

Remarkably, using hypnosis to make changes requires you do nothing but sit back, relax and listen. Your hypnotist does all the "work", you get all the benefits. Sweet!

Magic Cure: Use the magic of hypnotherapy to take absolute control of your life.

Friday, February 25, 2011




I’ve decided to answer my own question posed in “Shifty Paradigms”. What will the next level of ATC automation bring? I suggest that it will be a system which relies on humans not a wit. The computers can handle all the traffic decisions presently being made by people, and here’s how:

OK, supposing we look at the two elements of ATC separately: separation and traffic management.

The next generation ATC system will use technology in the aircraft to guarantee separation (at least to the degree to which humans now do so) with some sort of advanced TCAS. It will allow aircraft to act much as magnets held like-pole-to-like-pole. This airborne separation software is backed up by a ground-based, automated separation service, much like the one proposed by NewModelATC in the U.K. This way, we needn't be too alarmed if an airborne system or two is on the fritz...the ground-based system will back it up and issue the correct instructions to the aircraft computers. Likewise, if the ground based system is not functioning, the airborne automation is still keeping the planes apart.

Next, we will develop the ability to select optimum routes provided by an automated collaboration between advanced FMS equipment in the aircraft, flight planning software presently used by airline dispatchers and an advanced URET system of ATC automation on the ground. The plane, with help from the dispatch software, picks its own optimum route, taking into account all factors including weather, economics and time to destination, then "runs it by" the URET. If not approved by URET due to whatever reason - traffic, airport congestion at ETA, whatever - the plane's equipment looks for the next best route, and so on and so on.

If either airborne or ground-based equipment fails, be it route selection or separation, the system is not that adversely affected.

See how simple this ATC stuff is?



Air Traffic Control began with fellows waving flags and tending bonfires. We had the human brain paired with limited technology to assist with navigation and separation of airplanes. The first major advance occurred due to the application of an existing technology, radio, to the aviation environment. Bonfires gave way to navaids and controllers replaced their flags with microphones. Radio allowed pilots to navigate on instruments and us in ATC to sit in comfortable chairs and apply our mental powers to the separation of airplanes hundreds of miles away.

The next paradigm shift relied on another technological advance: radar. Building on the earlier systems, radar now allowed controllers to “see” the aircraft they were talking to – again, up to hundreds of miles away. The controller no longer had to keep the entire traffic picture in his head; he could use his eyes to update his mental picture. ADS and GPS navigation and CPDLC are extensions of this particular paradigm. We’re improving our ability to “see” and communicate with planes beyond the limitations of radar and radio.

The introduction of computer technology in the ‘60s brought about the next major paradigm shift in how we work traffic. Up to this point, we used our brains, hands and voices to keep planes safe. Now, a machine – although pretty dumb at first – sat down with us and helped keep track of things. As the machines got smarter over the years, it moved from being just a clerical assistant to becoming an advisor, providing tactical and strategic advice. This particular paradigm will probably continue to the point where the computer is the controller and the human is the advisor.

The next big paradigm shift: well, we know that there will be one (there just about always is, wouldn’t you agree?) and that it will involve heretofore undiscovered technologies or technologies that have not yet been applied to aviation or transportation. Perhaps advances in genetic engineering or molecular physics or something entirely new, who knows. What is certain, though, is that man will continue to war against his own limitations and the results, while not always satisfying, will certainly be interesting!



In the U.S., Flight Service has just been privatized. The existing 58 stations will be reduced to 20, and staffing will be cut accordingly.

This change has left many employees with a difficult choice: find a different job within government to save federal pension benefits (for which they have paid over the years) or change over to the new company, Lockheed Martin.

A similar situation occur ed with the towers that were "contracted out" in the '90s. In that case, however, the FAA (perhaps because of a strong NATCA) made rather generous offers to transfer controllers to other FAA facilities. Although Ms. Blakely, the Administrator, has ruled out further privatization this fiscal year, it is inevitable that more facilities will be privatized in the future.

There are those who support these changes, citing rather large government savings. There are those opposed who say that safety is compromised. My opinion is that it is a symptom of the overall decline in the U.S. economic picture: the country can no longer afford to lavish resources on "the safest ATC system in the world." The new saying will become, "A pretty darned good ATC system, don't ya think?"



In the U.S. we have a Flight Plan. This was reviewed by the Administrator earlier this week and, guess what, we're well on our way to achieving all our goals! It's always heartening to see what good government can accomplish.

Number One, of course, is accident prevention. As luck would have it, there haven't been many deaths due to plane wrecks this past year. Mission accomplished!

In my view, however, the FAA policies had little to do with the low accident rate, and I predict that there will be aircraft accidents in the future - lots of them, unfortunately - and then who is going to accept the blame? Will the Administrator stand before us next year and say that whatever accidents occurred were the result of poor FAA policies? I kinda doubt it.

Two of the prime functions of government, no matter which country, are:

1) patting themselves on the back for past accomplishments that only they can see, and,

2) presenting a "vision" of the future that even they know is - the theme of this thread - merely the latest drivel.



Air traffic control is unnecessary.

Example: Southern California last month -

The ATC radio system shutdown, which lasted more than three hours, left 800 planes in the air without contact to air traffic control, and led to at least five cases where planes came too close to one another, according to comments by the Federal Aviation Administration reported in the LA Times and The New York Times. Air traffic controllers were reduced to using personal mobile phones to pass on warnings to controllers at other facilities, and watched close calls without being able to alert pilots, according to the LA Times report.

An FAA spokesman said the safety was never in jeopardy.

Example: This week in Dallas -

The jets flew 2.78 miles from each other, less than the 3-mile minimum distance required by federal regulations, but officials said there was no risk of collision.


In every situation where the ATC system fails, there will be an official spokesman denying that safety was compromised.

That's dumb!

Of course, the short-term objective of making the responsible government agency look good is served. But what about the real issue: improving safety. If the public perceives that nothing is ever wrong, is it surprising that nothing is ever fixed? Shouldn't the agency response to such incidents be, "Wow, that was close! We need to put all our available resources into solving this problem."

What are your thoughts?



My first 15 years in ATC were spent in En Route Centers. I loved it! As a VFR only private pilot, I'd learned that there was such a thing as ATC and it's to be avoided, but little else. Quite frankly, when I was hired, I knew absolutely nothing about ARTCCs. Nothing. We used broad-band radar and shrimp boats and talked to big jetliners. It was cool! Heck, I was cool! En Route is the best!

For the next 10 years, I went into Approach Radar and that was better yet! Things happen at a whole different pace from En Route. The object is to get 'em close - not too close - and slam-dunk 'em til the tower cries "uncle." What a blast! Approach is the best!

Lastly, I did 4 years in the Tower. Not just slashes and data tags; now it's - my God - airplanes! Little ones, big ones, pretty ones and an AN-2. Talk about fun! Tower is the best!

Now, I'm retired and an instructor for Tower, Approach and En Route. I get to work with everyone from kids right off the street to veteran transferees. Now it's nothing so simple as lining up or separating planes; now it's trying to bring out the absolute best in every controller I work with. And, ya know what? This is the most fun of all!

Whatever option you end up in, I wish you luck and I'll let you in on a little secret: in Air Traffic Control every option is the best!



Deals - system errors and system deviations - happen because people make mistakes.

If you sit in front of a scope long enough or stand in the tower long enough, you will make a mistake. Maybe, lots of mistakes. This is not because you are a bad person or a bad controller - it's because you're human.

Whether your mistakes turn into deals depends on two things: luck (or the lack thereof) and how your mistake relates to what's going on around you and in the air.

Like the girl who gets pregnant her "first time", you may just be unlucky. Your very first mistake may be a whopper - it might even be your last as a controller.

Some mistakes made one day without consequence might be disastrous on another. Ever get a callsign wrong? What were the results? Although I made numerous callsign errors over the years, it never led to a deal. Many deals, however, have happened because of confused callsigns. My mistakes just happened at "the right time."

So, what are we to do? As with any human endeavour, we do the best we can, then hope for a bit of luck. Work your traffic always as if lives depended on it - they do, of course - and when mistakes do crop up, acknowledge them, learn from them and then put them behind you. Don't waste time on self-doubt and stay focused on your task: to provide the best ATC service humanly possible.



"Norwegian Airports Close as Air-Traffic Controllers Halt Work."

Is a strike a legitimate tool for air traffic controllers? I know it's used in many parts of the world by controllers with grievances against their employers - and not allowed (but still used) in others.

Since this blog is my little soap-box, you shall now have my opinion: If the employer is a government, the controllers should not be allowed to strike - if the employer is a private or quasi-private concern which has as one of its aims the generation of a profit, the controllers can and ought to use strikes to maintain decent working conditions.

Any thoughts?



The purpose of this blog has always been: rant constructively about the present state of ATC.

That's a worthy enough objective, but it's pretty boring, so - new goal: simply rant about ATC.

We'll look at what we consider the most interesting topic each week and just throw out bits of (mostly unfounded?) opinion in hopes of stirring up your comments. If you agree with my opinions, please write, "Rich, you're a genius!" If you disagree, you're wrong, but let me know where you think I've gone astray!

See ya - have fun!



Perhaps the greatest threat to aviation - after gravity - is language. There's not much we can do about gravity, but there is something we can do about language to improve aviation safety. The short-term solution is rather simple: we must all agree on a common aviation language, then, we must enforce its use.

Right now, English is favored but not mandated. There's no law preventing a controller from speaking French in Montreal or Finnish in Helsinki. It's perfectly legal, although not necessarily wise, for a pilot to speak Spanish in Miami or English in Havana. It's a polyglot world we live in and aviation is no exception. Globalization is, after all, both the parent and child of aviation. If we fly, we shrink the world and make borders less relevant. Politically, we may oppose globalization; practically, we in aviation have no choice but to embrace it

So, which language shall we use? The obvious first answer is English. It is currently "hot" as the world's second language; although Chinese and Arabic - neither attractive aviation choices for a number of reasons - are starting to make inroads. English has problems, though, which make it a less-than-perfect choice. Esperanto, Latin or a relatively simple Romance language like Spanish might make nice choices, or perhaps we could come up with an entirely new "aviation-exclusive" tongue. The fact is, however, that to change to another language now would require training almost the entire aviation community in the new language, thus insuring an even lower level of proficiency than is presently the case with English. So for now, I suggest we agree with ICAO and accept English as the lingua franca of the skies.

This leaves us with the issue of enforcement. There are no legal penalties for poor phraseology. There is no world body capable of issuing corrective orders to pilots or controllers who use poor English aviation phraseology . . . or use no English at all.

There should be, and it ought to be ICAO.

In the meantime, each nation ought to pass legislation and their aviation authorities (like the FAA and JAA) ought to pass rules and joint aviation requirements mandating that proper English phraseology be used by all pilots and controllers who participate in their airspace. They should identify and correct communication problems in the same way they do pilot deviations and controller errors. Pilots and controllers who fail to meet standards should be banned from use of the airspace. This is a serious problem and it demands rigorous solutions.

The long-term solution is automation. Pilot/controller Data Link programs will be designed that rely on symbols and simple, easily translatable phraseologies. Pilots and controllers will be able to display clearances in the language of their choice and errors will eventually be eliminated. Once again, as with so many endeavors, the best way to serve humanity is to take humans out of the loop.



As this is written, many of the facts surrounding the murder of a Skyguide air traffic controller in Switzerland are not known. What is certain is that a life has been taken and a colleague has been tragically lost.


"TCAS is an accident waiting to happen."

How many of us heard this during the introduction of TCAS? How many of us said it? 80%? 90%? All of us? We spoke out individually and we spoke out collectively through our professional organizations. Again and again, controllers decried the haphazard way TCAS was being introduced. We knew it was a question of "when" and not "if." Few, if any, of us were silent - and our voices were not heeded. A flawed technology was rushed into place. Lives were lost. Lessons went unlearned.

A writer in the PPRuNe board asks what we, air traffic controllers, can do as a community in this tragic time. I offer the following suggestions:

1) Rededicate ourselves to excellence in our profession. The ATC career demands that we perform as near to perfection as is humanly possible. We do so, not out of fear, but out of the knowledge that what we do is vitally important. Being a controller matters. Being an excellent controller matters greatly.

2) Do not accept unsafe working practices or equipment. Although the announced agenda of the agencies and companies each of us work for is air safety; practical, business and political considerations regularly come into play. Do not be naive. If you see unsafe situations developing, it is your duty to speak out and your obligation to intervene. You are the experts: not the ATM managers, scientists and bureaucrats. You know what is safe and what is not safe. It is upon your shoulders that rests the burden to insure that unsafe equipment and dangerous procedures are thrown into the trash bin where they belong!

3) Be kind to one another. It's a tough job we do, and we are all in it together.



I read where the average training time for controllers in the U.S. is increasing. It used to take a year to train on a particular specialty; now it takes two. It used to take passing a graded exam on the first try; now some trainees are given two or three tries to pass. Today there are some trainees sitting in front of simulators who in times past would have been out the door months ago.

What's going on here?

I believe a couple of factors may be at play. One: we're not desperate to get people certified right now. The big exodus of CPCs is still around the corner and staffing is not critically short in most facilities. We've got the time to string trainees along, so, it could be argued, "Why not?"

Another factor may be who we're training these days. Many newbies are from the CTI program (read: off-the-street) and many don't have ATC experience. Logic dictates that they'll need to spend a bit more time in training than an ex-military type. No problem.

The one factor I fear most, however, is that these changes might be because we're making our training programs less intense, less demanding and less time specific. I worry that we're letting some people slide because they whine and complain about the difficulty of the program. (They may not use those words; instead they talk about "fairness" or "consistency," but what they mean is that it's just too darn hard.) Some suggest that we need to lighten up on the new kids. Give 'em a break.

No way!

Your air traffic controller - and if you're flying, you have one - needs to be like your doctor: the best money can buy. I don't want a heart surgeon who only made it through med school because his professors decided to "give the kid a break." I want the best, no matter how incredibly difficult the training was. Same with the controller working my flight into an over-crowded airport in a thunderstorm. Don't give me a whining, no-talent kid with a slick-talking union rep. Give me the guy or gal who poured sweat throughout a demanding training program and learned how to turn chaos into a string of pearls on final - - - not how to mouth a bunch of lame excuses!

Monday, February 14, 2011


My last post was a look at El D'Rage's "Rants" about the then-current (2005) state of the world.

This post is a video I made of my Elder Rap "Warrior Nation". It was put together as a tribute to America's fighting men and women - and the people who have loved them - over the history of our country.

It also offers a caution from El D'Rage about the nature of war.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Welcome to the ElderRap Blog. I wrote this stuff a few years ago as El D'Rage, when I recorded "When We Were Kids". I don't know if I still agree with everything I wrote, or even if I believed it at the time. What do you think?

"During the course of the day, you and I read the newapaper, we read books, we talk with friends, family and colleagues, we watch TV (OK, I don't have a TV), and we learn about the world around us. Then we think about what we've learned.

"Then we get mad.

"El D'Rage's Rants is my little corner of the internet. Like my music, this blog gives me an opportunity to discuss our world, offer suggestions for change and blow off a little steam.

"Enjoy your stay!"


The underlying cause of all religious strife is certainty. Once a man is certain he knows "The Truth" of the universe, then all others must either be converted or destroyed. Here's "The Truth": we're all wrong. The universe is not as it appears! We can no more know "The Truth" than my chihuahua can write a sonnet.

Woof, woof!!


Here's how not to fight a war: go it alone against an enemy you spend years creating, spend a zillion bucks on bombs, do tons of collateral damage and declare victory every six months or so. We've tried this strategy in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afganistan. We've also tried it against the drug lords and even against folks trying to sneak across the border.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Albert Einstein


We learned in the '60s that mind-altering chemicals can be dangerous. Today, the majority of Americans are on perscription mind-altering drugs. Hmmmmmmmm.


If a child preditor knocks at your door, you wouldn't let him in. Well, parents, the predator is on TV, in the movies, the computer and your kid's iPod. Yoohoo! Are you paying attention?


The basic building block of education is this: parent educates child. If that block is missing, no amount of spending, no standardized testing, no magnet school programs - nothing - will allow a child to learn and grow. If our kids are failing to keep up with the rest of the world (and they are), it is because our parents are failing. PARENTS - DO YOUR JOB!


Other than greed on the part of consumers (that's me and you) and big profits for companies' investors (me and you again) and management, why would you take good American jobs and give them to Chinese and Indians?


Our present economic system is a perversion of capitalism. The way capitalism is supposed to work: I give you something of value to you and you give me money in exchange. The way we do it now: You give me money and I'll give you the least I can get away with - and then jack the price even higher. We're mistaking cheap for a good deal ... it is not!


America's institutions are a shambles. Government has become the plaything of special interest money, political campaigns are an overpriced orgy of negative media mania, business leaders rob their shareholders blind, churches are increasingly led by corrupt clergy, our hospitals are now the third leading cause of death and our legal system is a tawdry joke. Anyone for a change?


Self control: trying to cut back on burgers and fries on the morning of your bariatric surgery.


America's new service economy - that's where an underpaid Asian overbooks you on a flight between two cities she's never heard of on a plane maintained in Honduras so the airline's CEO can ride in a private jet.


Used to be, progress was Grandma turning a batch of fresh strawberries into a delicious jam. These days, it's called progress when a money-grubbin' land developer turns a beautiful meadow into a traffic jam.


Abortion as a form of birth control is a disgusting symptom of a sick society. Men and women need to act responsibly. Any unwanted fetus that ends up in a trash can cries out to our culture's moral bankruptcy.


People still want to become Americans. We can use their brains and their brawn. We ought to establish a "Future Citizen Corps" where immigrants can work for a living wage while they learn America's history, values and language. It time, they will become American citizens just as our ancestors did.


Over the past 40 years, America has attempted to lead the world. We have failed. We need to pull back, lick our wounds, rebuild our society and learn from our mistakes - and we need to do it soon!


The vulgar rap that is on the music store shelves is a red warning flag that we are failing our young people. We've let our kids grow fat, they're under-educated and they are surly consumers of tons of trash TV, music, movie and video game violence. The reason? Because we parents are too busy and self-absorbed to raise them properly.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


If you are a pilot, you're going to love this.

To "fly" the helo, just drag your cursor around the screen. I recommend opening it to full screen for the most breath-taking effect.