Saturday, February 28, 2009

Re-Digging the Wells, Summary of Education Articles

A premise of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign is that education will be the fountainhead of a Texas Renaissance, yet education in Texas being muddled by our state legislature. We citizens of Texas must be more involved. We parents must take the lead, politicians cannot direct education.

I have proposed some projects to rejuvenate education in the public schools and the universities. Here is a list of articles in this blog relating education to the goal of Texas Ascendant:
History and Leadership, the History Project October 25, 2008
Texas, New York, and Universities October 29, 2008
Texas Needs More Tier 1 Universities November 12, 2008
The Texas Journalism Project November 27, 2008
The Speech Writing Project December 3, 2008
The Cicero Project January 1, 2009
The Jefferson Project January 4, 2009
Why UT Dallas Should Be Tier One January 17, 2009
The Democracy Project January 31, 2009
Classics Animated February 5, 2009
The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4 February 7, 2009
The Classics Project February 8, 2009
The Economics Project, Economic Warfare and the Texas 4x4 February 18, 2009
The Texas Economics Project, Part 2 February 21, 2009
Trust Texas: Taking a Stand Against Corruption August 27, 2009
Texas Tier One University Project September 19, 2009
Dallas Morning News and Texas Publishing October 27, 2009
The Speech Writing Project, Part 2 December 5, 2009
The Exploitation of Innovation March 13, 2010
The Texas Software Initiative January 3, 2013
The Texas Software Reliability Project January 3, 2013

Here is a separate blog dealing with education in a more general sense:
Education for the 21st Century

The bureaucrats running the public schools are too slow to change. We cannot wait for them to take action. We must take action by working with our own children now. We can work to take back our schools from self-serving politicians and the entrenched bureaucracy, but that takes time and we cannot put our children's future on hold while we work to change the system.

We must immediately move toward educational excellence within our families while we struggle to improve our schools.

Robert Canright

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TLR: Reconsidering Leadership

America is in an economic crisis because of the decades long American Leadership Crisis. In mapping out how the Texas Leadership Revolution will lead us out of the American Leadership Crisis, we need to consider some weaknesses in American leadership.

When President George W. Bush recommended one of his lawyers, Harriet Miers, to fill a Supreme Court opening, there was such an outcry over lack of appropriate experience for his candidate that he had to withdraw that candidate. He did not go to Washington with a strong, well rounded team.

When President Barack Obama tried to nominate a Commerce Secretary, he struck out with his first two candidates. He did not go to Washington with a strong, well rounded team.

Too many of our leaders simply do not know enough people who are smart and capable. Our politicians know mostly other politicians and people with money. This lack of knowledge is a weakness in our political leadership class. Moreover, we still cling to the myth of the leader as hero. We do not recognize the dependence modern leaders have upon the technical skills of professionals to formulate and execute policies.

Leadership teams are needed to oversee complex endeavors. Organizing, developing, and working within a leadership team environment is a process American corporations are struggling to master. Political leadership still relies on the antiquated myth of the heroic leader who makes all the decisions as though he were an absolute ruler ordained with special powers.

This is the first leadership issue: the leadership team approach is necessary for the complexities of today's problems, but it is poorly understood while the heroic leader is a lingering myth from the past that continues to fail us.

An unnecessary byproduct of our secular society is the loss of faith in higher truths. Even if someone does not believe in God, a belief in a higher order, a sense that there is something greater than oneself, a sense of a natural law that needs to be understood and followed, helps to suppress hubris and steadies the mind in making decisions. There is an old saying, "Off by an inch at the start, off by a mile at the end." Not believing in a higher truth is being off by at least an inch. This lack of a moral compass eventually leads our leaders to be off by miles.

With no moral compass, some believe in rational self-interest. But that has failed with our banks. Here is famous quote from Alan Greenspan: "Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself especially, are in a state of shock and disbelief." If you have heard Thrasymachus in Plato's Republic, you know that rational self-interest boils down to "steal all you can carry."

This is the second leadership issue: leaders without a belief in a higher truth lose their bearing and run the ship of state into the rocks.

As we move forward through this new millennium, we must find ways to work past these two problems that hinder us in solving the American Leadership Crisis:
1.) The leadership team approach is necessary for the complexities of today's problems, but it is poorly understood while the heroic leader is a lingering myth from the past that continues to fail us.

2.) Leaders without a belief in a higher truth lose their bearing and run the ship of state into the rocks.

There are a number of ways to solve these problems, but we must first recognize these problems before we can solve them.

Robert Canright

Sunday, February 22, 2009

TBAR/TLR: The Trust Texas Project

The Trust Texas Project is a key element within the Texas Banking and Finance Project. Honesty can be a discriminator setting Texas banking apart from NY City banking. Since federal regulators have been derelict in their duties, if Texas banking and securities regulators were rigorous and reliable then we could make Texas a haven for people looking for honest banks and investment firms.

I do not believe Texans are considered any more honest than anyone else, but if we did launch a Trust Texas Project that included strong audits and regulation, then we could point to a Texas system that is more honest than the federal system of regulation. Having Texas impose regulation might be tricky, it might be difficult, it might be limited by existing laws giving preference to the federal government, but that is why have leadership, to address and solve these kind of problems. See [1] below for an example of voluntary self-regulation.

"... one of the most important lessons we can learn from an examination of economic life is that a nation's well-being, as well as its ability to compete, is conditioned by a single, pervasive cultural characteristic: the level of trust inherent in the society." [2]

Yet, we could and should still strive to increase the level of honesty within Texas. Elementary education is the time to stress honesty. If we developed a culture of honesty, then that could be a greater selling point than the culture of secrecy the Swiss bankers have developed.

Robert Canright

[1] The Wall Street Journal, Thursday February 26, 2009, ran an article, "Pair Lived Large on Fraud, U.S. Says," by Steve Stecklow, et al, which gives a good example of voluntary self-regulation. The National Futures Association on Feb. 12 suspended Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh, money managers running several financial companies, including WG Trading Investors Co., for failing to cooperate with the NFA and produce books and records for an audit. Shortly after their suspension by the NFA, several investors sued for an asset freeze, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission then filed civil charges. If you do not have the power to bring charges, you can at least put a spotlight on shady business practices with voluntary self-regulation.

[2] Trust by Francis Fukuyama, The Free Press, 1995, ISBN 0-02-910976-0, page 7.

See also:
Friday, January 30, 2009: Faithfulness and America's Economic Collapse

Remember
TBAR = The Texas Business and Arts Renaissance
TLR = The Texas Leadership Revolution

Saturday, February 21, 2009

TBAR: The Texas Economics Project, Part 2

I have said earlier that our children's survival depends upon Texas becoming a world power. Texas needs a Texas Economics Project to become a world power and give our children a chance for a good life.

Improving the quality and reputation of the Schools of Economics within Texas universities will be an important part of the Texas Economics Project.

Below are a few of the top schools in one ranking of Economics Schools. Notice the ranking of the Economics schools in Texas:
1.) Harvard
2.) U. of Chicago
4.) MIT
9.) Yale
10.) Columbia
16.) London School of Economics
18.) U. of Texas Austin (Texas)
40.) Texas A&M University (Texas)
84.) University of Houston (Texas)
106.) SMU (Texas)
123.) Rice University (Texas)

To be a world power we need to do better. New York City is a world class city and Columbia University, located in New York City, is in the top 10. We need the University of Texas, Austin to be ranked in the top 10. Texas A&M needs to be ranked in the top 20, along side the London School of Economics. The Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of Texas, Dallas, needs to break into the top 100.

Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics should some day include someone from a Texas university.

We must recognize the paradigm shift:
Economics is the new science. Finance is the new technology.

Robert Canright

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TBAR: The Economics Project, Economic Warfare and the Texas 4x4

Texas needs an Economics Project to help it become a world power. If Texas is going to be a world class power, we need our own Texas Council of Economic Advisers, after the fashion of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. The economists advising the office of the President of the United States are unreliable, look at what a mess the economy has become. If the federal government cannot protect the American people from economic warfare, then the individual states need to step into the breach and provide the protection the federal government cannot provide.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are in an economic war. Today people think war is always ideologically based, like the Jihadis and the Communists. Historically, massive theft is one of the root causes of war. The Romans would conquer a people for the spoils of war (see book 1 of The Early History of Rome by Livy). Loot has always been one of the benefits of war.

Americans have now suffered the most massive theft in world history. Walter Lippmann referred to the hidden swindles of business as the "invisible environment." We have been warred upon by an invisible enemy. Who paid Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, and Phil Gramm (the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) to change our laws so we could be robbed more effectively? Whoever was their Financial Puppet Master, pulling their strings, has waged war upon America and the entire world community.

The Financial Puppet Masters are out of control. In their unbridled avarice they have brought the world to the brink of financial collapse. The threat of collapse is serious enough that intelligence agencies are beginning to talk about it, as evidenced in the New York Times article, "Unemployment Surges Around the World, Threatening Stability" by Nelson D. Schwartz, page 1 of the Sunday February 15, 2009 edition:

"Just last week, the new United States director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told Congress that instability caused by the global economic crisis had become the biggest security threat facing the United States, outpacing terrorism."

Texas must focus on Economics and Finance to survive a difficult future. After the Russians launched Sputnik in 1957, the U.S. government went nuts. We were then in a Space Race and science and technology became important for national defense. The federal government had funded electronics and computers since World War II and the U.S. economy benefited from these industries.

Now the American economy is crippled from our country's ignorance of Finance and Economics. I have seen one Congressman on C-Span say he did not understand economics, so he had to rely on Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson to tell him what to do. For a Congressman to admit unquestioning obedience to a political lackey like Paulson is heinous.

Economics and Finance will be crucial for our nation's survival in the 21st century, as Science was vital in the 20th century. Economics and Finance will replace Science and Technology in importance.

Economics is the new science. Finance is the new technology. The sooner Texas realizes the paradigm shift, the sooner our children will be on track to survival.

Economics is taught in the Social Science department in Plano Senior High School and it is an elective. The Texas 4x4 graduation requirements passed by the Texas State Legislature forces our children to take out-dated course work in Math and Science at the expense of the course work in Economics and Business that is needed for the future. Shooting ourselves in the foot like this is a perfect example of the Leadership Crisis facing all America.

Texas needs to repeal the disastrous 4x4 graduation requirements and allow our students to study Economics and Finance.

For our children's survival Texas needs to become a world power. Texas needs an Economics Project to become a world power and give our children a chance for a good life.

Robert Canright

Here are more articles related to the Texas Ascendant Economics Project:
The Texas Economics Project, Part 2 Saturday, February 21, 2009
See also
The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4 Saturday, February 7, 2009
Economic Growth Without Population Increase Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday, February 15, 2009

TBAR: Accounting and the Back Office

America needs better leaders for a better future, and those leaders should come from Texas.

Texas needs to acquire power and money, then become a positive influence in American and World affairs. But great leadership accomplishes little without money and power. I've said Texas needs to become a world financial center that Texas is weak in banking and needs to improve. I have said we need to educate our children so more of them can become billionaires, and we need to educate them about the "invisible environment" Walter Lippmann discussed.

After becoming wealthy, our children need good accounting and good back office support to maintain their wealth. But how can Texas companies trust big accounting companies headquartered in New York City or overseas? The Big Four audit companies are now: (1) Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu of New York City, (2) Ernst & Young of New York City, (3) KPMG of the Netherlands, and (4) PricewaterhouseCoopers of London (formerly Price Waterhouse).

The University of Texas, Austin, McComb School of Business has an accounting program ranked first in the nation. Many major corporations have their headquarters in Texas. It is time the Big Four is again the Big Five with the addition of a major accounting firm headquartered in Texas. The Big Five became the Big Four when Arthur Andersen was shut down for shredding its Enron audit records.

The Texas Accounting Project will develop a big auditing firm headquartered in Texas. As part of TBAR, the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance, the Texas Accounting Project will feature integrity as a key feature. Furthermore, the big firm created out of the Texas Accounting Project will be loyal to the interests and welfare of the people, the businesses, the State of Texas, and those states and businesses allied with the interests of Texas.

The back office is usually thought of as the business operations not seen by customers. This might not typically include the strategic services of financiers and economists, but I'll include them for now. Texas businesses need strategic and tactical services from accounting firms, financiers, lawyers, and economists to survive the economic war-zone. Corporations get bushwhacked, Lehman Brothers for example was stabbed in the back and killed off.

Here's one example of economic warfare. A hypothetical group of New York City investors targets Corporation XYZ, headquartered in Irving, Texas. Part of the group acquires a significant share of the company as another part of the group drives the stock price down. The business group interferes with success of the company by persuading customers to drop business with them. Corporation XYZ gets in a financial bind and another part of the business group offers to loan money to Corporation XYZ, but the contract for the loan is full of booby traps. XYZ accepts the loan, being advised by their New York City lawyers that the dangerous provisions of the contract probably won't happen.

Next, some group members owning shares in the corporation dump their shares. Other members of the group still holding shares sue Corporation XYZ, saying the sudden drop in share value must be due to undisclosed business weaknesses. While XYZ prepares their legal defense, the part of the group that leant money now invokes clauses in the loan contract related to sudden drops in share price and shareholder lawsuits and demands immediate and full payment. Corporation XYZ cannot make the payment and the corporation goes into bankruptcy, where the business group finishes carving up the corporation. This is economic warfare.

Our Texas based corporations need to defend themselves against this kind of scheming and it requires a host of experts. If the experts our corporations depend upon are headquartered in New York City, they might be in league with the New York City schemers and give bad advice.

I have not seen a good expose of this type of business manipulation. The key players have not broken ranks, but there are some books on business plotting I will list below.

In addition to strong accounting services, our corporations need strong back office support from lawyers, economists, bankers, and financiers. In this post I have introduced the Texas Accounting Project. In a previous post I introduced the Cicero Project to develop world class lawyers in Texas. The Back Office Project will be the development of strong back office support from economists and everyone else not covered in the other named projects.

We are in an economic war. We have suffered the sneak attack. It is time to plan our defenses.

We need better leaders for a better future, but we need the financial resources to empower our future leaders and we need to safeguard those financial resources.

Robert Canright


Books
"Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins
"A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption" by Steven Hiatt (Editor)
"The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve" by G. Edward Griffin

Related Blog Posts
December 6, 2008, "Texas, a New Financial Center"
December 23, 2008, "The Texas Banking and Finance Project"
January 1, 2009, "The Cicero Project"
February 9, 2009, "The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TBAR: Publishing Business Novels

The February 8, 2008 Dallas Morning News, ran an excellent essay in the Points section, "We Need an Intellectual Stimulus Package," by Walton Muyumba. I am so glad Dr. Muyumba is in town and contributing to the intellectual milieu. Dr. Muyumba's essay referred to this article: "Going Boom, The economic collapse points up how little our literary world has to say about social inequality," By Walter Benn Michaels in the February/March 2009 print edition of Book Forum.

Dr. Muyumba's essay shows what a good critic can do: take something not particularly clear, like Michaels' article, and give it meaning. Dr. Muyumba pointed out a disconnection, a missing relationship, between American literature and the American market economy. Dr. Muyumba wrote, "we need our best artists, our most agile arts critics and our arts aficionados to initiate the reinvigoration of American imagination." He would like to see discussions on "how to invent alternative systems of commerce."

Yes! Bringing business into novels, especially with some of the heroes being businessmen, would be a new and positive development. There are certainly negative portrayals of businessmen in Michael Crichton novels like "Prey", "Timeline," and "Airframe," to name only a few.

Positive novels about business still show an unpleasant side to business. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt starts with a creepy corporate vice-president insulting a plant manager. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is the ultimate business novel, having business executives like Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart as heroes and business executives like James Taggart and Orren Boyle as villains. Any realistic novel about business has to have businessmen villains, but we have a shortage of novels that include businessmen heroes. In a previous post, "Atlas Shrugged" and Texas, I had suggested that Texas writers and publishers might do well by embracing and promoting a business-hero genre.

In The Texas Publishing Project I suggested publishing will be an important industry for Texas.

Dr. Muyumba is absolutely correct in emphasizing the importance of social criticism and a need for writers to include economics and market forces in their novels.

I look forward to further contributions from Dr. Muyumba and also from Dr. Troy Camplin at the Emerson Institute for Freedom and Culture. The intellectual life in DFW is beginning to percolate!

Robert Canright

See:
December 14, 2008: The Texas Publishing Project
January 9, 2009: "Atlas Shrugged" and Texas

Monday, February 9, 2009

TBAR: the Great City Project

The most important cities are called Global Cities or Alpha Cities. The Wikipedia article on Global Cities lists these American cities as being in the top 30 Global Cities: New York (#1), Los Angeles (#6), Chicago (#8), Washington (#11), San Francisco (#15), and Boston (#29). Notice Dallas is not on the list. Dallas does rank 9th in the world for the number of billionaires. Yet Dallas is not considered an important city.

There is something wrong when Dallas has so much money and has so little influence in the world.

We need to gather our wits and be somebody. We need to think big and plan big things.

What should we do to become a great city? We have already written about projects that can uplift Dallas. There is the Texas Banking and Finance Project. There is the Texas Journalism Project. There is the Texas Publishing Project. There is the Cicero Project to develop world class lawyers. There is the DFW University Project to create a Tier One university in DFW, or perhaps becoming a World Class university is a better goal than becoming a Tier One university.

To this I can add the Iconic City Project. Consider how many movies are filmed in New York City (NYC) and think about all the buildings, bridges, and statues that are instantly recognized as belonging to New York City. NYC is indelibly imprinted on the minds of people around the world through iconic images like the Flatiron Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, and the statue of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center, to name just a few.

It is surprisingly easy to develop ugly statues. The Denver airport has an ugly horse statue that has drawn thousands of complaints, as described in the Wall Street Journal article, "A Horse of a Different Color Divides Denver" by Stephanie Simon, page one on Saturday February 7, 2009.

The Dallas skyline is distinctive, but there are no inspiring statues in the city. Statues of cattle or horses might be nostalgic, but they are not inspiring. Dallas needs inspiring iconic images. Even the city of Plano could have an iconic image. For example, if Plano took a stance that it aspires to become a great city after the fashion of ancient Athens, then an attractive and impressive statue of Athena could become an iconic image associated with Plano's ambition. This statue of Athena could look something like the statue of Brittania in the National Armada Memorial in Plymouth, England, but the Athena statue would hold a spear instead of a trident. Statues based on the classics are most likely to succeed in being inspirational. Angels are popular for statues. The City of Westminster, England, has the Anteros statue, also called Eros in the Piccadilly Circus. The city of Plano, Texas, tried to give millions of dollars to a land developer for a plain water fountain on private property (taxpayers objected). What great cities do is build an inspiriational statue, an iconic image, on public property.

Texas cannot be a great state without great cities. The DFW metroplex is the fourth largest in America (after New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago), but is considered an unimportant city with no influence. This is intolerable.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to put on our thinking cap and plan for greatness. It is time to roll up our sleeves and make DFW a great urban center with world wide influence.

Robert Canright

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Education: the Classics Project

Why were America's Founding Fathers brilliant and two hundred years later our leaders are duds? How can it be that farmers in the days of horse drawn plows, candle light, and sailing ships were smarter than the best educated Americans in today's world of jet planes, nuclear power, and computers?

The difference must lie within the education our leaders receive and the impact upon decision making due to the educational differences. We must also surmise that some of the advances made in the theory of education that have contributed to our decline must not be real advances, but unrecognized mistakes.

We can see the positive influences on the Founding Fathers by looking at their own words. Federalist papers were signed "Publius", after the Roman Consul Publius Valerius Publicola. So I've started reading Plutarch's depiction of Publicola's life. Anti-Federalist papers were signed "Cato" and "Brutus." Patrick Henry is famous for shouting, "Give me liberty or give me death," but that was a line from the play, "The Cato."

The Founding Fathers were well versed in Roman history. Abraham Lincoln was one of our most capable Presidents. His Gettysberg Address shows he was familiar with the Funeral Oration of Pericles, meaning he had read Thucydides'masterpiece, History of the Peloponnesian War.

So it seems we should study the classics if we want capable leadership. But, why does reading about dead white men help us today? These books lay out the successes and failures of great civilizations. In Plutarch you can learn about greatness by studying Alexander the Great. Livy's History of Early Rome describes the treachery, the murders, of the ruling class of Rome. Cicero, in the last part of On Duties, lays out a catalog of the frauds and swindles the Roman ruling class perpetrated. Even Plato warns how oligarchs use bad loans to swindle people out of their property and their liberty, which is very pertinent to the sub-prime mortgage swindles in contemporary American finance.

If we are going to make Texas Ascendant, I propose a Classics Project to bring the classics back into public education. To rear up great leaders and restore America to greatness, we need to study the greatest leaders and the greatest civilizations in history, we need to study the classics.

Robert Canright

PS: Remember I have degrees in mathematics and engineering. I am not a history grad. I have used my analytical skills from mathematics and engineering to deduce a solution to our leadership problem.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Education/TBAR: the Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4

Texas needs more billionaires. Money is power, and the children of Texas must acquire power, influence, and a plan to set their own destiny so their future is not destroyed by the politicians in Washington.

The children of Texas need an elective course in high school on starting and growing a business. But we need to think big. We need to provide growth paths for different size businesses. They need to understand what it takes to grow a business to become comfortably wealthy, to become a millionaire, and to become a billionaire. These are different paths.

There is so much our children need to know about business. They need to learn about sole proprietor businesses and the different types of corporations. They need to hear about contracts, lawyers and accountants, bank loans, business plans, venture capital, going public versus staying privately held, and they need to hear about common pitfalls and swindles. There are plenty of billionaires in Texas history who lost their wealth.

(You might enjoy the book review in the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday February 4, 2009, "Piles of Green from Black Gold" by J. Lynn Lunsford, a review of "The Big Rich" by Bryan Burrough. This book is about Texas oil men.)

Our children need to be warned about what Walter Lippmann called "the invisible environment" of business. Our children need to be warned about the corruption that can accompany great wealth, and they must have sufficient moral and historical education to survive the perils to the soul from great wealth. The Texas business community needs to think of the big picture: the future of Texas will be in the hands of our children, so we must educate them for success and provide them with a Texan "invisible environment" to aid their success.

A high school course cannot teach everything one needs to succeed in business, but it can give road maps to different paths in business and point the way for further investigation.

Making money is a talent like making music. Some people have a gift for making money, but everyone can be taught the basics. If more of our children are exposed to the ways of business, those with the talent to make money but not born into a family that teaches the ways of business will have a better opportunity to make use of their talents.

This intersection of education and business is a good way for the Texas business community to contribute practical knowledge to help the schools prepare an elective course on Entrepreneurial Business. This Billionaire Project can contribute to a Texas Business Renaissance.

Now our children's electives are being squeezed out of existence by the Texas State Legislature. Here is a link to a short presentation on the Texas 4x4 program, here is a link to a longer presentation, and here is a link to an Op-Ed piece by Cara Mendelsohn of Plano. Go to the website for the Texas State Legislature, find out who represents you and email or write them to abolish the Texas 4x4. Our state legislators are trying to educate our children for a world that no longer exits. They are like obsolete generals trying to fight the last war instead of today's war.

Our children need a better education than they receive now if they will succeed in the difficult future facing them. Our children must have a better understanding of economics, finance, and business because that is the battlefield of today. We must educate them to win the battle.

Robert Canright

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Education/TBAR: Classics Animated

I remember fondly the Classics Illustrated comic books I read as a child. I think a Classics Animated Project would be a fabulous project tying together education, technology, and business. I had previously mentioned a 3-D programming software tool, Alice, that is free from Carnegie Mellon University. So many classic works of literature are in the public domain, public school students could create animated versions of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Shakespeare's plays. The schools could sell the resulting works to the public and make them available for free to the school students. The students would gain worthwhile job skills, and would contribute to developing an entrepreneurial animation industry. Rooster Teeth in Austin has already gotten national attention.

Creative links between education, the arts, and business will lead to a Texas Business and Arts Renaissance (TBAR) and contribute to making Texas Ascendant.

Robert Canright

PS: There is also a "Story Telling Alice" free software package intended for middle school children.