Posted by on Friday, February 15, 2013 | 21 comments


After hearing President Obama’s SOTU (State of the Union) address last night, I am reminded of a lesson I gave when I taught high school:

I drew four shapes on the whiteboard.  A circle, a square, a triangle, and a rectangle.  I then covered up the shapes by sliding the front white board over them.


Cirlce in David Bowman Blog Post        Image of a Triangle in David Bowman's Blog post




At the beginning of class, I asked one of my students to go to the office and get something for me.  As soon as he left (we’ll call this student Steve), I slid back the front white board to reveal the four hidden shapes.  “Okay, guys,” I said, “We’re going to try a little experiment later in the class.  If I call on you, I need you to call this last shape an oval… not a rectangle.  Got it?”  A little perplexed, they all agreed.  I covered up the shapes again and Steve returned from the office.

Halfway through class, I uncovered the shapes and announced we that were going to have a little pop quiz—“NAME THE SHAPES!” (Oooh, difficult. I know).  I called on a Senior football player to go first.  He correctly named all the shapes, calling the rectangle an oval (per my request).  I then invited a popular, senior cheerleader girl to do the same, which she did.  A few kids later, guess who I called on?

“Steve!  Why don’t you give it a try?” I smiled.  Can I just say?  I had no idea the pressure I was putting on Steve.  You would have thought I just asked him to swim in a pool of piranha.  He was terrified.  But after some persuasion, he agreed to have a go at it.

“Circle.  Square.  Triangle.”  And then a long pause… followed by a tiny, barely audible,


The point:  What would make a high school kid, who has known from age two that that shape was a rectangle, go against all logic and reason, and call it an oval?  Had that rectangle ceased to be a rectangle because a cute, blond cheerleader called it an oval?  Is reality altered simply because certain people refuse to recognize it as so?  Does truth bow to the whims of popular opinion?  I think you get the point.

On a national stage, can a government continue to ignore its debt, pretending that if it just doesn’t recognize it for what it is (a pending crisis of catastrophic proportions), it will magically go away?  Does reality cease to be reality all because a handsome, articulate individual (who happens to be POTUS) proposes to defy logic and history by spending/taxing our way back to prosperity?  How can politicians believe we can just keep going the way we are, not taking the National debt seriously enough to take drastic steps towards its reduction, and still come out on top?

National Debt graphic from What Would the Founding Father's Thing by David Bowman

National Debt graphic from What Would the Founding Father’s Thing by David Bowman

To me, President Obama’s address felt like a continued denial of reality.  Deficit Reduction through reduced government spending IS the paramount issue of our day!  Period.  It is the devastating rectangle of reality for us.  Everything else is secondary.  It is no longer just “Well, it would be nice to reduce that pesky deficit, but government can’t possibly cut this program or do without that entitlement.”  When will we have a majority of elected officials (including a president) who truly (in ACTION, not just in word) put that as their number one priority?

Are we really going to continue to “spend our way to prosperity” (uh huh… right, Mr. President), just to turn around and pass that crippling burden of debt on to our kids?  That is, if its weight hasn’t already crushed us.

Shame on us.


Oval, Oval, Oval, Oval, Oval, Oval, Oval…


What do you think?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month  February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book What Would the Founding Father’s Think  in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win?

I will pick a winner once a month and you can pick one copy in eBook or Print.

David Bowman

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  1. I wasn’t intending to comment on your blog post…..but you had me at the end with the hat technique! when I have time I will have to use your blog post as an example for pure seo benefits.

    On the subject of your blog post….I watched and listened the address and I was in shock at all of the rainbows he proposed and said at the end we would could do it all…….and stamp out the debt. Really? Does everyone really believe that or do they just choose to believe it because thinking the other would be to scary?

    PS. I am glad I was not in one of your classes because that was a lot of STRESS! And I have always been one to call it like I see it so I probably would have thought the other two kids needed glasses.

  2. David, that was an awesome parallel that everyone can relate to, and spot on:) Thanks for the inspiration and wisdom through your facebook page.

    I have been watching the Senate channel, researching facebook topics and posts and so surprised at the number of people who flock to the president and support him, but there is nothing tangible they can say to justify that “our economy is making progress”, just that Republicans (Conservatives) are going down and are history.

    P.S. It is interesting to watch the discussions, and you can surely see the animosity between many of the Senators; and why we are where we are, they are close-minded. The president is simply aligning allies, with his constant campaigning and spending. He should be at the White House.

    We need to do more than write and pray, we need to act. It would be nice to know what we can do that will actually make a difference.

    Thanks for this!

  3. Well written, David! It breaks my heart to think of the future we are leaving our children. May The Lord have mercy on us all. Shared my review of your book on my blog! We loved it! Sharing your post on FB!

  4. I agree with you David however when our government calls my SS an entitlement I see red. Why? Because over all the years I worked and paid into it to the maximum for each year BTW the approximate total I paid into my SS was well over $200,000.00. Now my husband also paid his every year from age 17 thru his 64th year, he was killed at 64 years 9 months. Other than his first 10 years of employment (due to being in Navy) he also paid his up to the MAX! No one is collecting his SS.
    Take into consideration how many of us have paid into it all of our working years and how many die before collecting a cent. Where is that money now?
    SS is NOT and entitlement at all we the workers bought and paid for the small monthly amount our government doles out of OUR funds. Yes a small percentage of the population is quite old and perhaps never paid in full as we did BUT that is a small percentage. So when our government refers to our SS as being an entitlement they need to cut it just burns my grits.

    There is far too much wasteful spending going on, every “pork” project added to a bill for instance, an important bill at that, costs us the taxpayer 3 or 4 times what that “pork” was. Look at the “pork” added that calls for expensive studies of fish, why? Those fish will still be there in the West, why are we studying them?
    OK I’ll hush now.

  5. Oh and David I forgot to tell you I purchased your book for my granddaughter and my son also…will let you know how they enjoyed it. (What would the Founding Fathers Think?)

  6. I heard a saying once some time ago that if you tell yourself a lie enough times you’ll eventually believe it to be the truth. I don’t know if politicians now-a-days think they have dumbed Americans down enough for us to believe this stuff or if they just believe it themselves. I don’t believe the latter to be true, however, we as Americans haven’t shown the politicians that we are sick of them and their antics. We don’t vote them out when we catch them in their lies or see their corruption. There are plenty of people in the USA that can run our country right and according to the Constitution, but special interest groups and corporations don’t want a smaller government that will cut their funds off. If you’re getting free money and all you have to do is pay some people off with a small slice of it, why would you want that to go away? Some people just want free stuff and as long as they get it, they will continue to vote for and support the person that will give it to them without question.

    The real question here is this…when will we as Americans say enough is enough? We know less today about the government than at any other time in our history. We’re the smartest dumb people alive. We have every bit of information we could ever hope for at our finger tips, and porn is what is running rampant on the net. Until that changes and people educate themselves, most will never go after that change. And we need to show people why they need to care. By we I means those that do care.

  7. Exactly. We have to start holding them accountable for their actions and vote them out of office when they don’t execute what they say they will. Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts Marc.

  8. Why thank you for purchasing What Would the Founding Father’s Think Jackie. No need to hush. I appreciate your feedback. And I empathize with your SS frustration. I had a woman I know who is 31 now tell me she had enough work credits to qualify for SS benefits by the time she was 21. She had started working at 13 but none of them counted because they don’t start counting for her until 21. She doesn’t even expect to see any Social Security.

  9. Michele, again thank you for all your support and sharing. It means so much.

  10. Wow! Sandee you hit the nail on the head too concerning the president staying in the White House. Thanks for commenting and offering your input. Great observations I agree with.

  11. Haha! Thanks Marie.

  12. Great post! Unfortunately, that seems to be exactly what HAS happened. Just like your student, despite hesitation, still called the rectangle something it wasn’t so many people listen to eloquent speech and echo what they hear. You’re exactly right, though, he’s not calling it what it is, and it’s a BIG problem. We need to raise more awareness to help people recognize it IS a problem despite all the fancy words!

  13. Thanks for the analogy. It’s perfect and frustrating. I refuse to say oval! Hated and dumb I may be labelled but truth is truth.

  14. Wonderful post! Praying for our children and our leaders. Wish they would start leading :(.

  15. Hi David,

    Great write up. It’s hard for me to believe that our Gov’t thinks “We the People” are so ignorant. But with so many people going along to get along it makes it easy for them. As long as each person thinks only of what they “are getting” it’s not such a “bid deal”, I guess-to them. But when we add all those “get alongs” together we end up with a debt that will never be re-paid the way our Leaders tell us. Shame on them and shame on us. At first I didn’t want to pray for our Leaders, more out of spite I guess. But with conviction and deep sorrow my heart has changed and I do pray for our learders. That they would hear and see the truth. Then have the courage to follow the truth. I can not imagine the pressure they are under to give in and follow the wide road instead of the narrow winding road that leads to life. I guess it’s just easy to give in and go along. I pray they will hear, see and follow the truth. I pray that we continue to tell them and live it out. We’re walking the narrow, winding road that leads to life. Maybe someone will see, hear and follow. I also pray for revival for our land. We are turning our backs on God he is not turning his back on us. I hope that we as a nation have not turned to far away. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for helping our children understand the truth. Keep up the good work. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord God Almighty.

  16. David not only to I find myself agreeing with you but with Sandee here also. I’m quite fed up with our president and his “road to stardom” antics. As I see it this president has been paving his way to Hollywood ever since he took his oath the first time.
    The first 2 years he had a Democratic majority and what did he do with it? He galavanted all over out country and was on late night shows as well touting his social health care reform. Then Pelosi had the audacity to tell congress just sign it and then read it! They wasted 2 years on a broken program when those 2 years could have been put to better use saving our country.
    What did we all hear as he stomped for re-election? Not my fault all the fault for getting nothing done is the Republicans fault! I am a member of neither party as I am an Independent thinker here. Quite frankly I’ve been extremely disappointed in the candidates both parties have put up over the last 4 years.
    Obama spent his first 4 years blaming it all on JW, now he’s blaming all our countries ills on the Republicans and their 2 years of “power” in the House but he’ll never understand how much he could have accomplished in his first 2 years of office had he not wasted them on 1 bill.
    It will be interesting to see who is at fault when this term ends, who he blames for his failures.
    I for one was quite dumb his first bid as I believed he was speaking of GOOD change, not what he gave us. I felt Senator McCain was too old and quite frankly did not feel his running mate could handle the office of presidency should anything happen to him. Have been very sorry about my vote since. Made up for it this time even though I honestly did not care for him, however I do like Ryan and hope one day he runs for the top office.
    I’m quite sick of those elected by we the people following party lines even when they must declare a rectangle to be an oval.

  17. Love this article! Love the example you give about your class. My daughter and I both loved your book and I’ve recommended it on my blog! I think everyone should read it, young and old!!

  18. That means the world to me Christine! Thanks! I’m glad you and your daughter like it.

  19. Yes indeed it is deeply frustrating and quite frankly ridiculous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

  20. James,

    You are not alone in those prayers my friend. Thank you for sharing your own thoughts and ideas. It means a lot.

  21. What an incredible objet lesson. (Oval) I got chills reading your thoughts about our national debt. Maybe I am wrong, but the thought popped into my head that this is why we have been counseled to have a years supply if food and water. I always assumed a natural disaster was the reason for this command, and it very well may be. But when our nation’s reckless disregard for public spending catches up to us, I can only imagine chaos that will erupt.
    Thank you for sharing and giving me renewed motivation to make my family’s temporal preparation a high priority.

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