It was a small valley, mostly grassy with a few trees, with what appeared to be a perennial stream on the other side.  On the right was a small wetland, perhaps a half acre in size, connected to the stream by a slender strip of willows and cattails.

To the left was an ancient, field grown American beech tree, at the bottom of the toe slope of a finger ridge.  There were several large stones under the tree, apparently placed there intentionally.   A short distance away lay the remnants of a stone fence, and also what appeared to be the remains of a chimney.

As I was admiring the massive branches of the beech tree, I noticed a  man briskly striding down a faint trail on the hillside.  He was tall and lanky, with hard English features.  His blue eyes met mine, and a broad smile creased his face.  “I’m an old soldier,” he smiled, offering his hand.  “I’m Oscar,” I replied, “Oscar Stilley.”    “Have a seat,” he began, “I came to talk to you.  You’ve been having a tough time, and your friends thought you needed a bit of cheering up, amongst other things.”

Oscar:    I couldn’t deny that.

Soldier:    What’s troubling you?   What’s on your mind?

Oscar:    I’m in a criminal trial.  I’m a lawyer, but this time it’s me on trial.  I’m eating candy out of my own store, and I really can’t afford it.

Soldier:    For what?

Oscar:    That’s part of the problem.  For one thing, I am accused of conspiring the violate a law, but any time I ask what law I was allegedly conspiring to violate, they say that I was conspiring to “defraud” the United States. Every time I get close to getting answers, the government clams up.

Soldier:    Sounds to me a lot like a common law crime.   Such a thing is not supposed to exist in the United States.

Oscar:    We’re on the same page on that issue.

Soldier:    Anything else?

Oscar:    I am also charged with two counts of assisting Lindsey Springer in the evasion of his…

Soldier:    STOP!!!

Oscar:    What do you mean, stop?

Soldier:    You were about to use a word that starts with “t,” ends with “x” and rhymes with “flax,” weren’t you?

Oscar:     What’s wrong with that?

Soldier:     You won’t understand now but you’ll understand later.

Oscar:     I can’t even explain it to you without your word, uh, how did you say that?

Soldier:     Starts with “t,” ends with “x” and rhymes with “flax.”  The nice thing about this conversation is that just about any other word is fair game.

Oscar:     But I can’t explain anything to you without using that word!!  That’s what the whole case is about!

Soldier:     No it’s not.  You are wrong.  Matter of fact the main reason you are in the mess you’re in is that you’ve fallen into the problem of imprecise and unfocused thinking and communication.  You think your problem relates to a concept that starts with a  “t,” ends with “x” and rhymes with “flax.”  The enemies of liberty have deceived you about the true root of your problem.

Oscar:     Then what is our problem?

Soldier:     You have a symptom is known by a word with three letters, starting with “t,” ending with “x,” and rhyming with “flax.”

Now technically you didn’t ask for the symptom.  You asked for the problem, so I’ll tell you.  You have a hearts and minds problem.  You’ve lost the hearts and minds of your countrymen.