Posts Tagged ‘Heinlein’


Young people today have large and disturbing gap in their knowledge of history and civics.

  • One-third of fourth graders do not know what it means to “pledge allegiance to the flag.”
  • Twenty-eight percent of eighth graders do not know the reason why the Civil War was fought.
  • Nearly one in five high school seniors think that Germany was an ally of the United States in World War II.
  • A little over a third of young Americans can’t tell you the length of a term of a member of the House of Representatives.
  • Graduating seniors at some of our leading colleges and universities cannot correctly identify words from the Gettysburg Address, or do not know that James Madison is the father of the Constitution.
  • Fewer than one in two young people (18-24) bothered to vote in the 2004 presidential election.

These findings are disturbing and threaten the future of our democracy. Our schools have greatly diminished the emphasis on history, social studies and civics. These subjects have lost out to rote preparation for high-stakes tests. Civics education, once a mainstay of the grade school experience, is now just a quaint idea.George W. Bush is not one you will hear me quoting often, but we actually agree in this area:

“American children are not born knowing what they should cherish — are not born knowing why they should cherish American values. A love of democratic principles must be taught.” – George W. Bush (Speech Introducing Civics Initiatives, 9/2002)

The Heinlein Maneuver will address this disparity, study the rights and duties of citizenship, and prepare the young men we touch to be informed and active citizens.The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) has an online History & Civics Quiz. Check out your civics IQ, and help us develop a civics curriculum.


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I was asked, by an educated adult, why my blog is called, Veni, Vidi, Voce. I replied that it was a play on Caesar’s “Veni, vidi, vici”, “I came, I saw, I conquered”. My reply was met with a blank stare and further conversation revealed that the individual had never heard the phrase before. I hope I don’t sound snobbish when I say, I was astonished.

Maybe I have stumbled upon another item for the Heinlein Maneuver: Latin You Should Know. This could prove to be a valuable addition because Latin lives on in plenty of English words and phrases. Following is my starting list.

Ad hoc: Literally meaning “for this,” best translated as “for this purpose” and generally used to mean improvised.

Ad infinitum: “To infinity, without end.” In context, it usually means continue forever.

Caveat emptor: “Let the buyer beware.”

Citius altius fortius: “Faster, higher, stronger” – the motto of the modern Olympics.

Et cetera: Means “and other things”, or “and so on”.

Exempli gratia: “For example,” often abbreviated “e.g.”

Id est: “That is,” often abbreviated “i.e.”

Ipso facto: “By the very fact,” i.e., “absolutely, regardless of circumstances.”

Nolo contendere: When you want to enter a plea of “No contest” in as fancy a way as possible.

Quod erat demonstrandum: “That which was to be demonstrated.” Abbreviated QED, often the end of a mathematical proof.

Subpoena: “Under penalty,” as in “Do this or you’re in trouble.”

Veni, vidi, vici: “I came, I saw, I conquered,” and the inspiration for a very interesting blog, Veni, Vidi, Voce. ☺

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Boys & Cars What Should They Know?

The first knowledge/skill category in the Heinlein Maneuver program is the automobile.

Midway through the 20th century, cars became a central feature of life for young people. The automobile provides mobility, status, challenge, and social freedom. Nearly every aspect of our lives has developed around this technology. Without a drastic change in our thinking the automobile will continue to dominate our lives. The Heinlein Maneuver would be remiss, if it did not prepare its charges for their lifelong relationship with the automobile.

Basic Knowledge of Automotive Systems & Technology. This is geared towards answering the question, “How does my car work?” This knowledge should include basic understanding of: Engine, Cooling System, Charging System, Ignition System, Automatic Transmissions, Brakes, Wheel Alignment, Hybrid Power Systems, Dashboard Gauges, Air Conditioner, Electrical Systems, Fuel System, Emissions System, Battery, Starting System, On Board Diagnostics, and Timing Belt.

Driver’s Education. Everyone should know how to drive and the rules of the road. This is the kind of knowledge and skills acquired in a good Driver’s Education course.

Specialty/Emergency Driving. Driving a manual transmission vehicle. Maneuvering a car out of a skid. Getting a car unstuck. Pulling and backing up a trailer.

Preventive Maintenance. In its simplest form, preventive maintenance can be reading and following the service schedule in the automobile manual. A Heinlein Maneuver preventive maintenance program will include the ability to:

  • Perform non-destructive testing
  • Perform periodic inspection
  • Schedule preplanned activities and maintenance to correct deficiencies found through testing or inspections.

Emergency Repair. Change a flat. Jump Start a car.

That should get a young man started tooling around as well as provide the ability to speak knowledgeably to a repair professional.

What do you think? Enough or too much? What needs to be added?

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My goal is to create a Heinlein Maneuver Program for young men. The program should be achievable in four years (high school) with actual quantifiable achievements (i.e. you really can change a diaper).

To that end I have reviewed Heilein’s Quote, the Popular Mechanics article 25 Skills Every Man Should Know and the book 30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30 by Siobhan Adcock as well as spent a number of “thinking room” moments pondering.

With this “exhaustive research”, I have developed 20 categories of skills and/or knowledge that form the foundation for the Heinlein Maneuver Program.

The Heinlein Maneuver Categories

1) Automobile
2) Citizenship
3) Dress & Clothing
4) Ethics
5) Fathering
6) First Aid
7) Fitness & Exercise
8) Food & Nutrition
9) Foundational Knowledge
10) Health & Hygiene
11) Home & House
12) Husbandry
13) Leadership
14) Management & Analysis
15) Manners & Etiquette
16) Money & Finances
17) Savoir-faire
18) Spirituality & Self-Reflection
19) Survival
20) Water Safety

I think most things can be indexed into one of these categories. I am going to take the next month or two and flesh out each category via posts. My hope is that the Heinlein Maneuver Program have about 100 skills/knowledge elements.

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There has been a recent spate of things written here, there and everywhere about real boys and real men. It is a reaction to the feminization of the male that has infected American culture. These days boys are to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and drugged into stupor and men are to be taught to cry in public at the whim of any female. Violence of any kind is to be roundly condemned and we are told that the only thing worth studying in college is Peace Studies with a minor in Lesbian Poetry.

Real men—military guys, cowboys, meat eaters, gun owners and whiskey drinkers—are to be substituted with metrosexual-men—queer eyes for straight guys, public pouters, vegetarians, Chablis drinkers, lisping and swishy sorts and Oprah watchers. READ FULL POST

From the Blog: The Return of Scipio

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This task seems to make everyone’s list of essential skills. It is one that most guys go through great lengths to avoid. My wife on the other hand states that she loves “changing infant’s poopy diapers”. Whether you love it or try to avoid it, you better know how to do it.

My GOTO site, About.com offers some advice in the article How to Change a Diaper, while BabyCenter.com‘s Diapering Guide provides step-by-step instructions with pictures!

My favorite is A Diaper Changing Primer for New Fathers by Ron Harper. Harper approaches it from a man’s perspective and keeps it light.

Explore and get this one under your belt.

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What words or minimum vocabulary should be mastered by everyone?

The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled the 100 Words Series of books. The books include titles such as, 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know and 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart.

Speaking about 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know:

“The words we suggest,” says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, “are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language.”

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