The Whitehouse

The Whitehouse

28 May 2011

Part 2 - Education in the Land of the Fruits and Nuts

“Public Schools Charge Kids for Basics, Frills” was a front page article in the May 25, 2011 edition of The Wall Street Journal. The article noted that public schools are “underfunded” and to increase their funding, they are now imposing fees on students who enroll in many academic classes and extracurricular activities. The article reported that one family’s tab for these fees for one academic year of public education was $4,446.50. The article noted that the fees are often waived for “low income families”, which in some states, such as California, generally means those living there illegally.

My father-in-law was a teacher and thereafter an administrator in the public high school system. As an administrator he would often express frustration that the school district preferred to rent a warehouse to store supplies and other inventory instead of building a warehouse on land it already owned. He would provide the math showing that the school district would actually save considerable sums of money if it would build instead of rent. He made this same observation regarding the many portable classrooms that the district rented.

When I asked him why the district made the financial choices it did, his answer was that they claimed they lacked the funding. He would also often add that in reality it was because being government funded and not subject to competition, they truly did not need to be fiscally responsible or innovative. They were the only game in town.

I understood this because my wife then also worked for the same school district. Her boss was responsible for making sure government designated funds were used for the designated purpose. Toward the end of each fiscal year the game was to make sure you spent your budget, even if you didn’t need to, otherwise your budget would be reduced in the next fiscal year. She often expressed frustration that some programs were underfunded while others were over funded and even though a responsible allocation of the funds would have improved the school’s ability to educate – government restrictions prohibited this.

My wife continues to work in education. She’s employed in a very large school district. She understands that over 1/3 if not more of the schools in the district of her employment, would be closed if illegal immigrants were not entitled to attend. The schools are strictly prohibited from determining if a student is here legally.

At the start of each academic year the schools are instructed to advise all of the parents about the many free programs, including meals, after school programs, and health care assistance available to those with low income. The benefactors are primarily illegal immigrants. I understand the estimated cost for these programs statewide is in the billions of dollars.

As long as I can remember the quality of public education has been dismal and of course the answer always advanced is – they need more money.

My wife and I sent our children to school. They received an excellent education and when in college, they excelled. Did I mention that we sent them to private school from Kindergarten through 12th grade?

My wife was adamant that we do whatever was required in order to pay for the private school tuition. Which, by the way, was lower per student than what the state was paying per student for public school. So, our children received a significantly better education at a lower per student cost. The private school needed to be financially competitive because it was not the only game in town.

“Choice” is a term used often particularly when it comes to decisions deemed personal and fundamental. Apparently educating one’s child is not personal nor fundamental, because choice is not an option. A parent is not permitted to make a choice as to where to invest the tax dollars allocated for his or her child’s education that the parent is forced to pay. The unions certainly are appalled at this concept. Their dues income would decline and their power base would be eroded. I am also aware of this game because our mailbox and e-mail are flooded with the union “talking points” they want us to advance. Their agenda is clear. Quality education is not the motivator nor the end goal.

If the objective is a quality education, the why isn’t a parent allowed to choose? Public or private, religious or not. Provide the parents with a voucher that they can use. Stop telling the schools how they must spend their money so the school has a chance to be fiscally responsible. Let the parent decide what school is best for their child.

But, we wouldn’t want to do this, because it would result in higher quality education at a lower cost. God forbid – this option would also result in a diminishment of union dues, union power, and shockingly – students would not be indoctrinated in the state religion. After all, it is important that they learn how to put condoms on banana’s and embrace the same sex agenda!
Welcome to the land of the fruits and nuts.

16 May 2011

Part I – Welcome to California. Senator Kehoe and the Land of the Fruits and Nuts

“AgAlert” is a weekly newspaper for California Agriculture published by the California Farm Bureau Federation. If you didn’t know, Agriculture is a major economic factor in California, a state that at one time was proud to be the land of the fruits and nuts.

In the May 11, 2011 edition of AgAlert, Kim Stone recited the following California stats: 12 percent unemployment; 4.7 businesses leaving California per week, up from 3.9 per week last year; $25 billion budget deficit; and over the last 3 years California has lost 1.2 million jobs. Her article addresses deficiencies in the California civil justice system that she contends negatively impact the business community. Deficiencies which she suggests have contributed to the mass exodus of businesses from the “Golden State”. She presents a very persuasive argument in case you are interested.

When I was reading her article I recalled other stories of governmental action that negatively impact another important California business community, namely, rental housing. Recently California Senator Christine Kehoe introduced a bill (SB 337) that will forbid a landlord from prohibiting a tenant from posting or displaying noncommercial political signs, posters, flags, or banners on or within any portion of a dwelling unit leased by the tenant. 12 percent unemployment, businesses fleeing California, and Senator Kehoe wants to interfere with property owners’ rights to set standards at their own property to impose community rules necessary to prevent visual blight and to prevent tenants from posting signs or banners that could very likely be offensive to other residents and the surrounding community.

I assume Senator Kehoe wants to protect a pro-Taliban supporter’s rights to post on his or her apartment a political banner depicting dead U.S. Service members with the motto “Death to the American Butchers”. Or, perhaps she is concerned about a neo-Nazi’s right to fly a flag depicting the swastika with perhaps a political slogan saying “Death to Mexicans”. I’m sure that those owning apartment communities, particularly those located near military establishments or near Hispanic families will welcome such political expressions. And I am sure that the military or Hispanic families living in the complex will not be offended. If they are offended then they should move. After all, only an intolerant bigot would find such expressions offensive. It is commendable that Senator Kehoe wants to devote time and effort to this cause. Fortunately for her she is not alone - the American Civil Liberties Union is sponsoring this legislation.

In addition to Senator Kehoe’s commendable cause, other efforts by California legislative members to impact rental housing now include efforts to reintroduce rent control in California (SB 184); expand the time a non-paying tenant has to pay rent due from 3 days to 14 days; and, expand lawsuit exposure to the property owners. Oh yes, let us not forget the ongoing efforts to increase real property taxes through split tax rolls.

If you are considering investing or living in California, you may want to reconsider. Businesses and individuals are leaving, and not coming to California for a reason.

09 May 2011

President Obama, California State Bar and the Beast

I recently read that the “California Attorney Guidelines of Civility and Professionalism” promulgated by the California State Bar provides that “an attorney should avoid hostile, demeaning or humiliating words”. In addition, “an Attorney’s communications about the legal system should at all times reflect civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, and respect for the legal system.”

On the surface this seems reasonable enough. But then what words are considered hostile, demeaning or humiliating? Is “homophobia” one such word? What about “Christian extremist”?

What if the California attorney is offended by a legal system that does not recognize marriage between an individual and multiple partners regardless of their sexual orientation? Is it improper for that attorney to communicate either orally or in writing – such as in an editorial – that the attorney does not respect the legal system for taking this position? What if this California attorney described those opposing his or her view as being homophobic Bible thumping Christian extremists?

What if the California attorney believes that a legal system that permits terminating the life of the unborn, whether as a matter of family planning “choice” or for embryonic cell research, is a repulsive and disgusting system that is no different from the system that permitted the butchering of humans in Nazi Germany? Is it improper for that attorney to communicate this personal opinion?

What if the California attorney believes the judge hearing a case exhibits bias and bigotry toward Muslims or Mexicans? Or, opines that one of the lawyers he or she is dealing with on a case cannot be trusted? Perhaps the California attorney opines that the other party is dishonest, lazy, or perhaps is an entitlement minded “bottom feeder”. Is it improper for that attorney to communicate such opinions?

It appears that the California State Bar is of the opinion that communicating such opinions is improper. It appears that in order to practice law in the State of California the individual must give up his or her first amendment protection for freedom of speech. Or do so at least as to communications that the California courts might consider to be hostile, demeaning or humiliating, or show a lack of respect for the legal system. It is the courts who would answer these questions because it is the California courts that the California attorney would ultimately answer to.

According to the framers of the United States Constitution an individual’s right to freedom of expression is one of the rights protected “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” It appears the California State Bar doesn’t fully share this view. The California State Bar is clearly trying to limit an attorney’s right to freedom of expression.

It is my opinion that the California legal system is a perverse misguided biased system that deserves no respect for many of its legal opinions including those embracing the sexual perversion of same sex relationships, or the slaughtering of human life in the name of choice or “scientific” research. And, in my opinion some of the litigants and some of their legal counsel are individuals lacking personal integrity. Now that I have “communicated” these opinions, should my ability to express these opinions be treated differently if I am a California lawyer or someone else such as a California union employee? The California State Bar apparently believes so.

Now, what does this have to do with “the Beast”? To comment on this, let me tell you a little about what the future holds. This is not a hypothetical. This is not a story. You too can read about the future. And, whether you want to accept it or not, believe it or not, scoff at it or not, the future as described in a book commonly known as the Bible - is going to take place exactly as the Bible says it will.

There is coming a point in time, space and history where one individual is going to be given authority over every nation and every individual. This individual will suffer and survive what is perceived to be a fatal wound. In order for any man or woman to be able to buy or sell (i.e. participate in one’s financial livelihood and ability to survive) will be conditioned on receiving permission from this ruler. At some point this individual will demand to be worshipped. This individual is described in the Bible as the “Beast”.

I use to find this picture of the future a difficult concept to believe. If you have been paying attention not only to President Obama, but also to some of our prior Presidents including Carter, Clinton and “Bush 1”, you will have heard them refer to the “International Community” as a worthy goal toward which the United States would go. Now President Obama clearly looks to the “International Community” for guidance.

It is clear that the world is undergoing dramatic political and economic change. Globalization is taking place all around us. If you are open minded and want to hear what a leading Christian teacher suggests is taking place, then listen to Dr. David Jeremiah’s series entitled “The Coming Economic Armageddon – What Bible Prophecy Warns about the New Global Economy”. After examining that series I believe you too will find the Bible’s description of the future as not being that farfetched.

As for the California Attorney, I suggest that freedom is often lost in small increments. Telling a California Attorney that he or she should avoid what a judge might consider to be hostile, demeaning or humiliating words or communications that reflect a lack of civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, or disrespect for the legal system, is clearly a step away from permitting unabridged freedom of expression and one step toward obedience to whatever those in power impose.

“Hate crime”, “Muslim-phobia” (a phrase used by a recent news caster), “Homo-phobia” are all examples of terms used to cast in a negative light those that opine that same sex relationships are not consistent with human flourishing, and, contrary to some opinions, Islam is a religion that is inconsistent with the values that gave birth to this nation. There is a reason the values the U.S. Constitution seeks to advance are not values present in the Muslim countries. There is a reason protestors in Syria, Iran and other Muslim nations are shot or disappear. There is a reason why Christian churches in Egypt, Iraq and other Muslim regions are burned and Christ followers are murdered. The worldview that will give rise to the Beast, is already in place. It is a worldview that is intolerant there – as here.

For this writer, I intend to communicate my view whether the State Bar likes it or not. At least for this fleeting moment – it is called freedom of expression and it is indeed one of the pillars that has enabled this nation “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. I don’t intend to give this up. Nor should you.

27 April 2010

Road Crews, Pigs and Taxes

I have lived in the same city for most of my life. When I was younger, the government road maintenance would each year bring a road grader by my family property to remove dirt and debris from the water drainage ditches lining the public roadways. One man operating 1 piece of equipment. Sometimes he would make two passes before the ditch was clean. The project was quick and efficient.

Today, I was driving by that same property and I came upon a Caltrans crew cleaning the same ditch. Two flagmen, 2 large pieces of equipment with 2 operators, and 3 laborers - one carrying a shovel, the other two walking and pointing. 7 workers and multiple pieces of equipment doing today, what 1 man and 1 piece of equipment previously did. All of this being paid for with our tax dollars. This is the same government that now is taking over our health care and is trying to take control of our financial markets. The same government that has so effectively managed our school systems. The same government that previously so effectively managed our financial systems.

When I was growing up in the time of the 1 operator on the 1 road grader, my mother was able to stay home and do what she wanted to do - raise her family, care for her home, and be a partner and wife to her husband. My father's income was moderate. My parents could afford to have my mother be there for her family and husband because my father's paycheck was available for their living expenses. It was their's to invest. As WalMart's slogan goes "Save Money - Live Better".

Today, both parents most often have to work in order to pay their bills, a significant portion of which is taxes. The government's response - it wants to raise taxes. After all, it needs to pay for the 7 workers and multiple pieces of equipment! It needs to fund the same failing schools - and why are they failing? Of course - the schools need more money!

At one time my father raised some pigs. When he would fill their feeding troughs the larger pigs would climb into the troughs - sometimes covered with mud and on occasion their fecal waste - to prevent the other pigs from eating. Today, when I see our current government leaders, they look strikingly similar to the pigs in the trough. A trough filled with our tax dollars.

As I was waiting for the 7 workers to allow traffic to pass, I thought - it is time to stop filling the trough. Its time to send the pigs to the packing house.

02 September 2009

Obama In The Classroom

On September 8, 2009, President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a national address at 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, via live streaming internet video, to the children of America.

Promotional materials at a school site represent that:

".. the President will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning."

A link to the website provided a copy of the classroom activities materials. This included questions the teachers are to discuss with the students before Mr. Obama begins his speech. Personally, I did not find that the questions the teachers are directed to ask their students to consider and discuss, are questions directed toward the goal of challenging "... students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning." In my opinion, the materials are not student oriented. Indeed, the questions appear to be focused on elevating the importance of Mr. Obama and other "elected officials" such as "the congress".

Questions emphasized the "importance" of the students listening and doing what the President "and other elected officials say" are "important". I thought the parents were the primary voice the children should hear and obey. I thought elected officials were suppose to listen to the voice of the people, not vice versa. But after hearing many of our elected officials comments about those participating in Townhalls and other forums, I recognize that those voicing opinions contrary to Mr. Obama’s agenda, are in fact extremists and un-American.

If you are a parent and you too have concerns about Mr. Obama’s forced intrusion into the life of your child, may I encourage you to act. Keep your student(s) out of school on September 8. Or, if you cannot keep your students out of school then you may demand that your students not be required to participate in this program. It is suppose to be voluntary.

At a minimum, if you object, may I encourage you to voice your objections to the school superintendent, and voice your objections to Mr. Obama and your elected officials. Let your voice be heard - for what you have to say is important.

17 June 2009

Human Life - Commodity or Sacred?

In a recent article entitled “Test Poses Challenge for OB-GYNs”, Dr. Adam Wolfberg noted that “... there is indirect evidence that the (CVS procedure) is more likely to cause a miscarriage when it is performed by a less-experienced doctor. ... several reports from individual hospitals demonstrate that the miscarriage rate declined over time as the hospital's staff became more experienced.” He noted that the CVS procedure requires the individual performing it to “... place a needle into a pea-sized target three inches below the skin using a grainy ultrasound image as a guide.” He further wrote that “estimates of the risk of miscarriage vary, but the rate is thought to be around 1%. That is higher than the miscarriage risk associated with amniocentesis, a similar procedure. But amniocentesis can't be performed until well into the second trimester, while CVS can be performed by the third month of pregnancy -- an important factor for many women.”

To gain experience in performing the CVS procedure, Dr. Wolfberg noted that “mechanical structures, pregnant pigs, computer simulators, and a grocery aisle worth of fruits, vegetables and cuts of meat have all been punctured by doctors honing their skills.”

The troubling part of the article was when he noted that: “In some cities, women who are about to undergo an elective abortion are asked whether, after receiving anesthesia, they are willing to allow a doctor in training to perform a CVS just before the abortion. Elsewhere, trainees are allowed to perform the CVS if ultrasound findings place the pregnancy at particularly high risk for a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome.” But then, why not? After all, isn’t human life a disposable commodity? Why shouldn’t the child selected to die by abortion, or the “inferior” child who might have Down syndrome, be treated like a lab rat suitable for experimentation?

As President Obama noted when he treated human life as a disposable commodity in the area of embryonic stem cell research, “We certainly do not want to make a false choice between sound science and moral values”. As he also commented, “don’t we have a duty to care for others to ease human suffering?” Unless of course you are the down syndrome child, or the soon to be murdered child through abortion, or perhaps the elderly person whose quality of life is no longer financially justifiable, or perhaps you were Jewish in Nazi Germany.

When our nation was formed, the founders in part noted in the Declaration of Independence that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words in part express a world view where human life is sacred. It is special. It should be protected and nurtured, even if it is inconvenient, or may have down syndrome, or is disabled and requires extraordinary care.

For me, I do not want someone holding President Obama’s worldview to be my health care provider. World views do matter.

31 May 2009

Dr. George Tiller

In his article entitled “Let Nothing that Breathes Remain Alive” - On the Problem of Divinely Commanded Genocide, Randall Rauser quotes David Neff and writes: “the effects of violence and abuse on children are some of the most persuasive evidence that any language short of the vocabulary of evil is bankrupt”. Mr. Rauser goes on to observe that “If evil is to have any meaning, then we will apply it naturally and without qualification to the intentional killing of healthy children, as in the 1994 Rwandan genocide when Hutus slaughtered approximately four hundred thousand Tutsi and moderate Hutu children."

Dr. George Tiller was recently killed while at his church. Dr. Tiller was an abortionist who is reported as having been videotaped talking about babies slipping out of the womb alive during abortions and calling that “sloppy medicine.” Dr. Tiller had admitted to having aborted babies a day before the mother’s due date. It is reported that Dr. Tillers murder “... has drawn condemnation and outrage from the president (Obama) and stirred strong emotions across the nation.”

I do not know what Dr. Tiller or President Obama or those opposing the pro-life world view would answer if asked if they share Mr. Rauser’s opinion that “If evil is to have any meaning, then (it should be applied) naturally and without qualification to the intentional killing of healthy children.” If they share this view, then why would they be “outraged” over the death of a man who has spent his career killing children?

18 May 2009

World Views Do Matter - President Obama and Abortion

During his recent commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, President Obama called for “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words”. He asked if “... it is possible for us to join hands in common effort?” He was talking about the abortion issue.

I wonder what President Obama would say if the issue involved black slavery and it was someone close to him that was being subjected to slavery and to physical abuse. Would he call for “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words”?

I wonder what President Obama would say if the issue involved someone close to him, such as one of his daughters, being trafficked and held in forced servitude, often in the sex trade. Would he call for “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words”?

The Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates that approximately 1,200,000 unborn children are killed each year through abortion. The National Right to Life web site estimates that nearly 50,000,000 abortions have occurred since the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade. Contrast this against the estimate that came out of the Nuremberg Tribunal that approximately 6,000,000 jews were killed in the holocaust. The holocaust pales in comparison to the slaughter resulting from abortion. Would President Obama call for “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words” regarding the holocaust?

President Obama’s world view is clear. He supports the slaughter of unborn children. This is the path he is following.

I share the sentiment expressed by La Shawn Barber in her recent blog post where in part she wrote:

“Sorry, Barack. When it comes to abortion, there is no “common effort,” “good will,” or “vigorous debate” for me. Unlike you, a supporter of child killing, whether it means tearing the baby from the womb via vacuum suction or partially delivering the baby then sucking out its brain, I think it’s heinous, deplorable, and reprehensible. No amount of double-talk or can’t-we-all-just-get-along rhetoric will ever change the horrible facts of snuffing out innocent life.”

Nearly 3,300 unborn children are killed each day through abortion. Nearly 50,000,000 lives lost to date, in part the result of the cold hearts, the closed minds, and the empty rhetoric of those such as President Obama.

09 May 2009

World Views Do Matter - Stem Cell Research

On June 22, 2007, former President George W. Bush, signed Executive Order 13435, titled “Expanding Approved Stem Cell Lines in Ethically Responsible Ways”. In part, this Executive Order was intended “... to provide leadership with respect to research on pluripotent stem cells derived by ethically responsible techniques so that the potential of pluripotent stem cells can be explored without violating human dignity or demeaning human life.” During his presidency, George W. Bush became the first president to provide federal funds for stem cell research.

Executive Order 13435 instructed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “... conduct and support research on the isolation, derivation, production, and testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of or treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions, but are derived without creating a human embryo for research purposes or destroying, discarding, or subjecting to harm a human embryo or fetus.”

The order set parameters designed “... to establish moral and ethical boundaries to allow the Nation to move forward vigorously with medical research, while also maintaining the highest ethical standards and respecting human life and human dignity.” It recognized a moral argument that “... the destruction of nascent life for research violates the principle that no life should be used as a mere means for achieving the medical benefit of another.”

It further treated with humanity and dignity, human embryos and fetuses, recognizing them “... as living members of the human species” and not “... raw materials to be exploited or commodities to be bought and sold.”

This Executive Order also identified limits on the role of the government noting a “... moral obligation of the government to exercise responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds, both supporting important medical research and respecting ethical and moral boundaries.”

This Executive Order reflected a world view where human life is respected and precious. The result, dignity and respect for humanity.

On March 9, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order and stated that he was lifting “... the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research.” This was a disturbing misrepresentation by President Obama. No ban then existed. In fact, there never has been any ban from using federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.

In addition to his misrepresentation about the alleged ban, President Obama contended that “... in recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced ... a false choice between sound science and moral values.” He characterized himself as “... as a person of faith” with a duty to care for others to “... ease human suffering”. Toward that objective, he repealed Executive Order 13435. He stated that he was making “... scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

When considering the “science”, the established research shows stunning results. There are two types of stem cells being used in research, embryonic and adult. Embryonic research generally requires the destruction of human life. Adult stem cell research does not. Adult stem cell research has resulted in multiple treatments currently in use, saving and prolonging lives. The results have been stunning. On the other hand, no new therapies exist from embryonic stem cell research. The failures from embryonic stem cell research are almost as stunning as the unsupported promises of this type of research. President Obama is promoting the research that scientifically to date, has resulted in failure. Perhaps President Obama is ignorant of the scientific results.

The scientific results and the moral arguments both support adult stem cell research and oppose embryonic stem cell research. Interestingly, this supports a world view where life is treated with respect and dignity, which is also the world view rejected by President Obama. His choice is to proceed in contradiction of the current scientific evidence and embrace a world view that rejects the dignity and sanctity of life.

A May 4, 2009 blog post by La Shawn Barber entitled “Abort-able”, in part contains some spectacular images of a young child in the “safety” of his mother’s womb. In reality, as Ms. Barber clearly points out, this child could be killed at any of the stages shown, including having its skull drilled pre delivery so the child’s brain can be extracted. This step is required to avoid a charge of murder. It is not good to “murder” but of course “aborting” is good and acceptable and should be protected. Drilling the child’s head outside of the womb is murder but drilling its head while in the process of birthing, isn’t? The absurdity of this position is almost as astounding and disturbing as the inhumanity of those embracing this world view, the world view embraced by President Obama.

When President Obama rescinded President Bush’s Executive Order, he further proclaimed: “... let’s be clear: promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

From the world view embraced by President Obama, we need to provide “resources”, namely human life, for experimental purposes. From his world view, human life is a disposable commodity that is nothing more then the product of chance and is therefore no greater then the world it inhabits. Therefore, it is acceptable to “let scientists do their jobs” and experiment away by exploiting and destroying human life and by doing so, add to the loss of humanity and human dignity. As President Obama further illustrates in his comments and actions, from a world view where intentional misrepresentation is an acceptable means to an end, it is acceptable to distort reality to advance a political agenda.