Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Decline and Fall of Higher Education - By Michael Thau

Nearly everyone outside academia knows that America’s colleges and universities are doing a poor job of preparing their charges for adult life.  Undergraduate education, nonetheless, continues to enjoy tremendous prestige. Few upper middle class parents would prefer a gainfully employed child to one attending university; indeed, for most affluent parents, the former would be a source of embarrassment. Higher education’s social esteem makes it hard to fully assimilate its well-known failings but it also completely hides the worst. For, you see, the biggest problem isn’t the facts and skills students don’t learn, it’s the bad habits they do.

I was a philosophy professor for 13 years and, at the beginning, I noticed that my colleagues weren’t requiring much from students and the deleterious effect of this on the latter’s work habits. So, I tried making my students work to get good grades. But, regardless of the penalties I imposed, it was impossible to get all but a tiny minority to seriously apply themselves. The most active response I got from students was extreme resentment. Most students stared at me incredulously when I explained that they’d have to work hard to get a decent grade. A few times I heard a shocked student complain – without intending or even noticing any irony – “But this is harder than high school!”

I tried telling my classes that some work was required even though I wouldn’t be checking it and, literally, almost no one could comprehend what this meant. They immediately heard “won’t be checked” as “isn’t required” because almost all of them prioritized entertainment and socializing far above learning. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of students who major in the humanities do so precisely because they have no reason for being in college besides avoiding work and because humanities classes require far less of it than the sciences. But, even outside the humanities, the typical student views the person in front of the classroom, not as a teacher, but merely as an obstacle to getting a B or better.

Of course, students couldn’t stay in college with no desire to learn if their professors weren’t cooperating. And here we come to the second reason that college is such a crippling experience for so many: virtually no professors at an even minimally distinguished college or university regard their real job as teaching. Indeed, if you work at a prestigious college or university, you do so little teaching that it would be almost impossible to do so. I was an assistant professor in UCLA’s philosophy department from 1996-2004. Philosophy faculty taught four ten‑week courses a year, each meeting four hours a week. Salaries, however, by no means reflected our minimal teaching duties. Upon leaving, my annual salary – one of the lowest in the department – was $65,000 plus about $4,000 a year in (untaxed) “research” money for travel; the most senior department members had six figure salaries plus five figure travel budgets. Teaching loads and salaries at Princeton, where I earned my PhD, and Temple, where I worked next, and similar institutions are comparable. For a successful academic, teaching is just a cover story – it’s what you say you do to justify your generous pay. What you really do – what gives you self-respect, pride of accomplishment and takes up most of your time – is produce “research.”

Academic research calls to mind beneficial technological advancements. But, even most scientific research has no practical value. It’s mostly, at best, the accumulation of tiny facts that will never affect anyone outside a handful of aficionados. Even in the sciences academic research is mostly academic. But research in the humanities is entirely academic. That’s not to say that the great humanist texts have no value; the humanities’ canon does have very important things to say about how to live a good, productive, and happy life. But these practical lessons don’t generate the kind of papers required for success in academia. The writing of a successful professor must be couched in the most abstract terms – it must be completely inaccessible to all but a few like-minded colleagues. Accessibility and practical import are the hug and kiss of professional death; they mark your work as unsophisticated and you as not very clever. 

After a few years as a philosophy professor, I began to wonder how anyone could find a life fulfilling, devoted to topics so abstract, specialized, and lacking in practical value. I also became alarmed as I saw students accumulating huge debts while graduating with a diminished capacity for real world work; and dismayed when, upon relating my concerns to colleagues, they neither disagreed nor cared. It took me a while to see that my wonder, alarm, and dismay were related. The overwhelming majority of university professors are people who were very good at school but not much else. Almost none of my colleagues had ever had a job outside of school; almost to a person, an academic career was a way of staying in school and avoiding the difficulties of having to work with others to achieve real world results. In school, we excelled at writing papers that served no purpose besides being testaments to our cleverness. Eventually, I began to see that academic research is largely just a continuation of these meaningless scholastic exercises for those who lack the wherewithal to do anything else.

Now, I don’t think much of anything that I’ve said should really surprise anyone. After all, films about college life concern themselves almost exclusively with partying – the image of a student puking in a toilet is much more likely to appear in their ads than a book. We all know that most students are more concerned with having a four-year holiday than learning anything. And, though you may have been surprised at how little teaching successful professors do, I think everyone knows that administrators and professors view their main job as producing research – the slogan, after all, is “publish or perish”, not “pedagogy or perish.”

And we all think we know one result of the misplaced values found at every level of higher education – namely, that a large proportion of students don’t learn anything. However, this isn’t the worst result and, indeed, my point is that it’s not even true! A person can’t spend four years in an environment without learning anything and all the focus on what college doesn’t teach obscures the more serious problem of what it does. Any students who enter college lacking self-motivation and a precise knowledge of what they’re trying to accomplish – and in my experience, that includes virtually all humanities majors – learns a lot of negative lessons. Here’s a far from complete list.
1. They learn to work only for rewards, do the absolute minimum required for the reward sought, and that doing the very best you can has no intrinsic value.
2. They learn that it’s okay to show up to daily responsibilities unprepared, unkempt, exhausted, and late.
3. They learn to never admit their errors and to complain and invent excuses when things don’t go the way they want.
4. They learn that skipping out on one’s daily responsibilities a tenth of the time counts as outstanding attendance to them.
5. They learn that doing a bad job has no negative consequences so long as the average of all the jobs you do isn’t too much worse than mediocre.

The above lessons obviously won’t lead anyone to success. All but the most committed undergraduates acquire habits that weaken them and, hence, must be unlearned if they’re to have any chance of a good life. But that’s to be expected when students enter college to avoid work and faculty don’t regard teaching as their real jobs and, in any event, themselves lack the dispositions of thought and action necessary for functioning in the non-scholastic world and, hence, couldn’t teach anyone to do so even if they wished. And nothing will change until it’s more embarrassing to affluent parents to have a child spend four lackluster years at university than it is to have one gainfully employed.

Populist-Nationalist Tide Rolls On - By Patrick J. Buchanan

Now that the British have voted to secede from the European Union and America has chosen a president who has never before held public office, the French appear to be following suit.
In Sunday’s runoff to choose a candidate to face Marine Le Pen of the National Front in next spring’s presidential election, the center-right Republicans chose Francois Fillon in a landslide.
While Fillon sees Margaret Thatcher as a role model in fiscal policy, he is a socially conservative Catholic who supports family values, wants to confront Islamist extremism, control immigration, restore France’s historic identity and end sanctions on Russia.
“Russia poses no threat to the West,” says Fillon. But if not, the question arises, why NATO? Why are U.S. troops in Europe?
As Le Pen is favored to win the first round of the presidential election and Fillon the second in May, closer Paris-Putin ties seem certain. Europeans themselves are pulling Russia back into Europe, and separating from the Americans.

Next Sunday, Italy holds a referendum on constitutional reforms backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. If the referendum, trailing in the polls, fails, says Renzi, he will resign.
Opposing Renzi is the secessionist Northern League, the Five Star Movement of former comedian Beppe Grillo, and the Forza Italia of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a pal of Putin’s.
“Up to eight of Italy’s troubled banks risk failure,” if Renzi’s government falls, says the Financial Times. One week from today, the front pages of the Western press could be splashing the newest crisis of the EU.
In Holland, the Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders, on trial for hate speech for urging fewer Moroccan immigrants, is running first or close to it in polls for the national election next March.
Meanwhile, the door to the EU appears to be closing for Muslim Turkey, as the European Parliament voted to end accession talks with Ankara and its autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In welcoming Muslim immigrants, Germany’s Angela Merkel no longer speaks for Europe, even as she is about to lose her greatest ally, Barack Obama.
Not only Europe but the whole world President-elect Trump is about to inherit seems in turmoil, with old regimes and parties losing their hold, and nationalist, populist and rightist forces rising.

Early this year, Brazil’s Senate voted to remove leftist President Dilma Rousseff. In September, her predecessor, popular ex-President Lula da Silva, was indicted in a corruption investigation. President Michel Temer, who, as vice president, succeeded Rousseff, is now under investigation for corruption. There is talk of impeaching him.
Venezuela, endowed with more oil than almost any country on earth, is now, thanks to the Castroism of Hugo Chavez and successor Nicolas Maduro, close to collapse and anarchy.
NATO’s Turkey and our Arab ally, Egypt, both ruled by repressive regimes, are less responsive to U.S. leadership.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye, her approval rating in single digits, is facing impeachment and prosecution for corruption.
Meanwhile, North Korea, under Kim Jong Un, continues to test nuclear warheads and missiles that can hit all of South Korea and Japan and reach all U.S. bases in East Asia and the Western Pacific.
The U.S. is obligated by treaty to defend South Korea, where we still have 28,500 troops, and Japan, as well as the Philippines, where new populist President Rodrigo Duterte, cursing the West, is pivoting toward Beijing. Malaysia and Australia are also moving closer to China, as they become ever more dependent on the China trade.

Responding to our moving NATO troops into Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Putin has begun a buildup of nuclear-capable offensive and defensive missiles in Kaliningrad, its enclave between Poland and Lithuania.
Should we get into a confrontation with the Russians in the Eastern Baltic, how many of our NATO allies, some now openly pro-Putin, would stand beside us?
The point: Not only is the Cold War over, the post-Cold War is over. We are living in a changed and changing world. Regimes are falling. Old parties are dying, new parties rising. Old allegiances are fraying, and old allies drifting away.
The forces of nationalism and populism have been unleashed all over the West and all over the world. There is no going back.
Yet U.S. policy seems set in concrete by war guarantees and treaty commitments dating back to the time of Truman and Stalin and Ike and John Foster Dulles.
America emerged from the Cold War, a quarter century ago, as the sole superpower. Yet, it seems clear that we are not today so dominant a nation as we were in 1989 and 1991.
We have great rivals and adversaries. We are deeper in debt. We are more divided. We’ve fought wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen that availed us nothing. What we had, we kicked away.
America is at a plastic moment in history.
And America needs nothing so much as reflective thought about a quarter century of failures — and fresh thinking about her future.

MSM Help Foment Wars - LewRockwell

November 30, 2016

The press has been routinely creating fake news reports to start a war. This is a serious issue for the press is conspiring against the people to create war, sell climate change, and rig elections. This is by no means something new. They taught me in high school history class about how the press started the Spanish-American War by reporting that the Spanish attacked a US ship, which never happened.

We have fallen into a cycle of yellow journalism that Pulitzer began. Pulitzer created the Spanish-American War by making up shit to sell newspapers. The famous Pulitzer Prize given by Columbia University is named after the father of yellow journalism – go figure! This is why the press and the Republican elite supported Hillary. They need to rig the game.
The most fascinating aspect of war has been the government’s consistent lies to the American people to move the nation to war with every single event. This has won them the ability to wage every single war up until Obama’s attempt to invade Syria. It did not fly. This was really the beginning of the collapse in public confidence for the peak in government on our 224-Year Cycle of Political Change was 2013 — the second swearing in of Obama.

The sinking of the Lusitania is very disturbing. The U.S. was smuggling arms to Europe on passenger ships, and putting civilian lives in harm’s way for political reasons. The Germans even took an advertisement in the NY newspapers warning civilians DO NOT TRAVEL on the Lusitania. When they sank that ship, the U.S. turned and said how cruel the Germans were to attack a passenger ship.
Then there was the Operation Northwoodwhich was a proposal of the Department of Defense. The Joint Chiefs of Staff would have employed CIA operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians. They would then blame the Cuban government to justify a war against Cuba. The proposals were rejected by the Kennedy administration and have long been part of the reason people support the theory that the CIA is responsible for the killing of Kennedy.

Obama, who has made a mockery out of the Nobel Peace Prize, attempted the standard lie to invade Syria, but the American people rejected it because they became tired of the lies. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack even in fake allegations. The failure of Obama to “sell” the Syrian war to the American people noted the shift in confidence from public (trust everything) to private (trust nothing).
Wherever there is military action involved, there are lies to further another agenda. The benefit of a private wave is that people begin to distrust government. However, when the war cycle turns up it warns of a rise in civil unrest that can go as far as a new age of revolution if government does not stop trying to manipulate the people for nonsense.

Make no mistake, the political manipulations for wars and elections are pervasive. The EU staged a coup in Italy to get rid of Berlusconi because he wanted to take Italy out of the EU. Not only is the press is conspiring with government, of course the bankers are as well. The bankers all said they would leave Scotland if it voted to exit the UK. Republicans were trying to rig the primary to stop Trump. The evidence has poured in how Hillary manipulated the Republican primary to ensure Trump would win because she thought she could beat him and ran a very divisive campaign.

The movie “Wag the Dog” was based on how things really operate. They used the press as a co-conspirator to manipulate the public. This is also why this election has resulted in the collapse in public confidence in the mainstream press. True, the New York Times has admitted they were biased, but they have protected the bankers and reported fake news on Syria.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Challenge: Which institution would I de-fund 100%? - The Public Schools by Gary North

Challenge: Which institution would I de-fund 100%?

I would eliminate all funding for education, including all of the military academies.
Most people would probably choose a federal program to eliminate. I wouldn't. I think all government begins with self-government, and then extends to three institutions: family, church, and state.

My slogan is "Politics fourth."

Judicial sovereignty lies with the individual. Why? Because the individual is responsible for his own actions. If individuals do not govern themselves, there is not sufficient power anywhere else in society to force all men to do the right thing, or the predictable thing, or the sensible thing. The only reason why any institutional government works is because the vast majority of people under some governmental administration govern themselves on the basis of agreed-upon ethical and practical principles. In other words, if self-government breaks down, we are faced with either tyranny or chaos. Because people will not live in chaos, they will choose to submit to tyranny.

Second, I am a traditional conservative. I am therefore a disciple of Edmund Burke. I think most government in life is not political. I think most government has to do with voluntary associations, personal commitments on a face-to-face basis, and local organizations that deal with local problems.

Third, if I wanted to call myself a liberal, I would call myself a disciple of Alexis de Tocqueville, who took pretty much the same approach that Edmund Burke did when Tocqueville analyzed and described the American commonwealth of 1830.


I am convinced that the American public school system is a humanistic attempt to substitute the state for the church. This has certainly been the case in American history. Massachusetts was the last state to get rid of tax funded churches, which it did in 1833. Four years later, it created the state Board of Education, and began pursuing the tax funding of primary education.

The main goal of the Yankees in 1837 was essentially the goal of the Puritans in 1642, namely, to create the city on a hill that would serve as an operational model for the rest of the world. The Yankees were driven by the lust for money, social position, and political power, whereas the Puritans were driven by the fear of God and the conviction that men, if left to their own devices, would run to sin and destruction with all deliberate speed. The Puritans wanted to achieve a decent society by means of controlling the impulses of sinful men. The Yankees wanted to achieve a decent society by not only controlling the impulses of sin, but also by promoting righteous causes by means of state funding. The public school system was the first great Yankee experiment in this regard.

There were always opponents of the Yankees, but, region by region, state by state, county by county, municipality by municipality, they all adopted the Yankees' central institution, the public school system. By hook or by crook -- and in the case of the Civil War, by means of military conquest -- the Yankees exported the public school system, and then, in alliance with New York City publishers, took over the production of textbooks that would be used to reshape the rest of the country along Yankee lines. New York publishers were in it for the money. The Yankees were in it for the reform possibilities. Of course, Yankee authors were always happy to get book royalties for their textbooks. They were content to let the New York publishers keep 90% of the revenues.

If you look at the history of textbook production, begin with the place of publication. You probably won't know the names of the publishing houses, beginning in the 19th century, but you will recognize the cities. The cities are these: New York and Boston. This was not random. Also, it has not changed much over the years. You don't see major textbook publishing houses located in Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, St. Louis, or Denver. Maybe an occasional Los Angeles or Chicago firm sneaks in.

The public school system from day one has been run by Boston and New York. Educators earn their Ph.D. degrees from Harvard or Columbia. Columbia has the most influential of all the graduate programs in education. This has been true for over a century. Columbia Teachers College has been by far the most important training institution for public school teachers from the end of the 19th century until today. Its USP (unique selling proposition) is straightforward:

Teachers College, Columbia University is the first and largest graduate school of education in the United States and is also perennially ranked among the nation's best. Its name notwithstanding, the College is committed to a vision of education writ large, encompassing our four core areas of expertise: health, education, leadership, and psychology.

The key figure was John Dewey. He taught at Columbia University. He set the pattern for Columbia Teachers College. Wikipedia correctly describes his position:

Known for his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements--schools and civil society--to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.

We are also informed of the following: "From 1904 until his retirement in 1930 he was professor of philosophy at both Columbia University and Columbia University's Teachers College. In 1905 he became president of the American Philosophical Association. He was a longtime member of the American Federation of Teachers."
For anybody who wants to understand the history of American education, there are three authors to consider. One, Lawrence Cremin, is almost universally regarded by the academic community as the official expert in the history of American education. His books will give you the names and places. Second, you would be wise to read R. J. Rushdoony's book, The Messianic Character American Education. It takes you through the writings of the two dozen founders of American progressive education. The title tells all: the public school system was the humanists' self-conscious replacement of the churches. The third, written by one of the great public school teachers in modern times, John Taylor Gatto, is titled The Underground History of American Education. Gatto quit teaching in the public schools of New York City after he had won teacher of the year three times. His book shows you why American manufacturers wanted to control the public schools.

Americans think it astounding that people in Massachusetts in 1832 and people in Connecticut in 1815 still believed that tax money should be used to subsidize local Congregational churches. Yet the vast majority of Americans do not blink an eye at the idea that tax money should be used to fund the institution that correctly has been identified as America's only established church. This is what Rushdoony called it in 1963, and this is what liberal historian Sidney Mead also called it in 1963 in his book, The Lively Experiment: The Shaping of Christianity in America. But the churches only really shaped the thinking of the public on Sundays, and only for a few hours. Attendance was not compulsory. The modern humanist state has established its church, and attendance is compulsory in most cases, five days a week, eight hours a day. They even send out yellow buses to bring the parishioners' children into the churches.


The reason why I think this would be the starting point of any serious shrinking of the federal Leviathan is this: the opinions of the next generation of voters are set in the public schools. To imagine the tax-funded schools will produce anything except taxpayers who are committed to the messianic power of the state would be naïve. The government gets what it pays for. Since the late 1830's, it has paid for docile citizens who are ready, willing, and able to provide the funding of the modern messianic state.

You can fight the IRS. You can fight some regulatory agency. You can fight any cabinet-level agency. You can fight them all, but if you let state-certified teachers educate the next generation, the state's agencies of control will sprout once again. Ideas have consequences, and the ideas taught in the public school system are the central ideas of the modern messianic state.

Around the world, the last institution that national governments are willing to surrender to the private sector is the public school system. In most countries, attendance at such government schools is compulsory. The United States is an exception, and about 15% of the population opts out of the public schools. Don't try this in Germany.

The great philosopher of the public schools in the United States was Lester Frank Ward. He was a self-taught polymath who is an expert in several fields. He was a senior government statistician, but he was the philosopher of government interventionism on a comprehensive scale. He was a Darwinist. He was a Left-wing social Darwinist. He was an educator. He recognized early that the key institution that social Darwinist performers had to gain control of is the public school system, precisely because it is here that students can be kept away from ideas that threaten central planners. He realized that it was not possible in the United States to control the population by burning books. So, he recommended an alternative program, namely, screening out rival ideas in the public schools, so as to immunize students in their formative years from rival opinions. He outlined all this in his two-volume work, published in 1883, Dynamic Sociology. In 1907, he was elected president of the American Sociological Association.

He hated two things in life: Christianity and free market social Darwinism. He was a defender of Left-wing social Darwinism, which was the Darwinism of state planning. More than any other intellectual in American history, he was the great defender of the concept of central planning.

I devoted a long section in Appendix A of my economic commentary on Genesis to Lester Frank Ward.


I agree with former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill: all politics is local.

Here, at the local level, Americans once had the power to abolish the single greatest institution against liberty. But state regulations have long since mandated compulsory attendance, and these regulations are enforced locally. The federal courts would not allow such legislation to pass today. But the schools of done their work. No political figure has launched a successful career based on this platform: the de-funding of all education.

By law, Christianity may not be taught in the public schools. But the religion of humanism is not only taught in the public schools, it is required. We get occasional stories about some witchcraft group or some Muslim group that gets the right to participate on campus, but no textbooks are written in terms of Wicca or Islam.

Students and parents do not perceive the nature of the religious catechisms that are imposed on all participants in the public school systems. The theology of the catechisms is so ingrained in the thinking of the vast majority of Americans that, by the age of 18, they no longer sense just how religious these confessional statements are. 

They do not begin with the doctrine that God is the creator. They begin with the doctrine that the universe was originally autonomous and without purpose. Then, lo and behold, life evolved out of out of non-life on earth, 3.6 billion years ago. Then mankind evolved out of life in general. And it is man, because of the power of his brain, who now exercises sovereignty in history. Man has become God, but it took 13.7 billion years, more or less. (Actually, it is never less, always more.)

So, my target for 100% de-funding is the public school system. Your target may be on some other institution. But I warn you: in all projects of wholesale reform, don't start at the top. Start at the bottom. Significant reform is always bottom-up. When it starts at the top, it too often winds up as a revolution. 

The revolution soon eats its children.

If you complain that your taxes are too high, but you turn over your children to the state to be educated, politicians will not take your tax protest seriously.

When the Tea Party movement adopts this slogan, it will be serious: "No more school taxes!"

Monday, November 28, 2016

Next Steps on the Right - By David Prentice

I think we have witnessed a national miracle in the past year.  Against all odds, the Clinton machine, the corrupt Democrat juggernaut, the media, what I used to call the Democrat-media complex has been defeated.  Donald Trump is president-elect.  Our so-called media has been undressed as collaborative frauds (Democrats with by lines), the #NeverTrump media on the right as well.  The “rigged system” was beat.

My take: We need to exhale and give thanks for this miracle, the alternative we just dodged, meaning another four to eight years of the corrupt Democrat machine along with the capitulating embarrassment the Republicans had become, would have sealed our fate as a nation.  If you don’t think we were on our way to becoming a combination of old Europe, Venezuela, and England rolled into one bad horror sequel, then you haven’t had your eyes open, you haven’t been paying attention.

The past weeks since the election have shown us one more horrifying set of facts.  The left is not going away.  Not only are they not going away, but they are more banal, more shrill, more dangerous, and more juvenile than we’ve ever seen.  As that great sage, Captain Barbossa in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean so aptly said:  “You’d best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner.  Because now you’re in one.”    

Yes, it feels as if we are in a sequel of a bad horror film – one where our political opposition is using its entire bag of tricks to delegitimize an election, delegitimize an entire administration before it assumes power, along with delegitimizing every one of us who oppose the left, every one of us who wants a better direction for this country.  They have been rioting for almost three weeks now, having petulant hissy fits on Facebook, hiding and pouting in safe rooms on college campuses, and putting forth the most awful lies and slanders in our media.  Make no mistake: they are pulling out the entire Alinsky playbook, fomenting pressure, unrest, and relentlessly attacking everything the incoming administration is doing in order to delegitimize them.

They have successfully destroyed two presidents in my lifetime.  Both Bush presidencies were done in by these tactics (along with the Bushes’ own feckless response to them).  The tactics work, the left knows how to use its playbook, and we need to figure how to keep defeating them.  Now.  Our job is not finished just because Trump won and the Clinton machine was broken.  Far from it.  As I write, they are salivating at the ways they can divide us, destroy us, and regain their power.  The media, in spite of making fools of themselves with their partisan Democrat nature, are doubling down to help with this destruction, and for the foreseeable future, we need to be vigilant, be smart, and unify, or this great chance we have to reset our country’s direction will be stillborn.

In the words of Ben Franklin: “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”  To those on the right who were #NeverTrump, you need to turn and apologize and get on board or just go away in shame never to return.  To those on the right who I call  #AlmostNeverTrump, you need to stop sniping, stop shooting your own side in the back.  It’s unseemly and does not help one bit.  To those of you who need some hand-holding because our president-elect is a bit rough on the edges, a bit uncouth, and imperfect, get over yourselves.  The time to be a Stockholm syndrome Republican is gone, and there are important things to accomplish.  To those Reagan Democrats who showed up, welcome back.  To those of us who supported Trump, thought he would win, and got behind him early, it’s time to bury the hatchet.  It’s time to let all of the above factions of the center-right back in, time to unify.  There are important things to be done.

Without a modicum of unity we cannot succeed in this great chance to turn our country away from the certain destruction the left will bring.  For the sake of our posterity, we need to form a pact to unify for this next year – actually, the next two.  Eight years would be better, but let’s start with the first two.  We have an agenda to implement, and it’s a multi-front war for all of us. 

We have to stop the left from delegitimizing our president, our movement, and literally our country.  There are some correct ways to upset the left and keep them off balance – that’s for another article – but the best one is simple, and that is to unify behind the Trump administration as best we can.

Is Trump going to make mistakes, and do some things some of us won’t like?  You betcha he is.  He’s human, he’s fallible, and he has his issues (as all of us do).  He’s going to also make mistakes.  I’m not suggesting that we don’t continue to push for a conservative agenda, or become thoughtless robots nodding our heads to everything he does. 

What I’m suggesting is that we put those things we don’t care for aside during the next two years as the agenda we know is needed so sorely for our country is put in place. 

The undoing and replacement of Obamacare, the reset of our economy and businesses, the Supreme Court nominees, the repatriation of business money, the repairing of our immigration system, the restoration of integrity in our federal agencies, the ongoing war against Islamic extremism, the resetting as an energy-rich and energy-independent nation, the restoration of our military, making our education system great again, respecting the lives of the unborn.  Yes, that’s a mouthful – one that could have included many more items.  It’s a huge undertaking to do all these things simultaneously, yet it’s what we have to do right now. 

I’m suggesting that all of us on the right remember who our opponents are and what they have become.  They have become power-mad, and more than slightly crazy.  They must stay defeated by our unity.  That list of things I just mentioned, they’re all important, and all necessary, and they have to begin to be implemented from day one, which is today.  It’s the Trump agenda, it’s our agenda, and it needs to be given a chance to succeed.  We have to do our part during this one great opportunity to reset the direction of this country, and I urge all of us to get to work.  Do your part to make this happen.  Think before sniping; consider the consequences of not succeeding.  Unify.  Help.  Be thoughtfully involved.  Fight the good fight.  Help make America great again.

Or we will assuredly hang separately.

NATO cannot stop Russia - Vox Day comments on Rand Study

NATO cannot stop Russia
A RAND Corporation wargame reveals that NATO is in absolutely no shape to even slow down Russia in its near-abroad:

Assuming NATO has a week to detect a coming invasion, the alliance could deploy an equivalent of 12 maneuver battalions in the Baltic states. This includes the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team rushed from Vicenza, Italy, but no main battle tanks. Poland — which has the largest tank force in Europe west of the Bug River — would be "assumed to be committed to defend the [Polish] national territory" and blocking Russian forces from moving south from Kaliningrad.

However, Russia could mass the equivalent of 22 maneuver battalions, including four tank battalions and large amounts of artillery from its Western Military District. Russia would also have an advantage in the air, with 27 squadrons of fighters and bombers compared to 18.5 NATO squadrons. While able to challenge Russian aircraft, the NATO planes could not quickly establish air superiority. Russian combat planes would then create "bubbles" of undefended airspace to launch "massed waves of air attacks."

There's an important lesson here — though Russia cannot challenge the United States or NATO globally, it can do so locally … and win.

To be sure, NATO has additional forces including at least two-dozen M-1 Abrams tanks and 30 M-2 Bradley fighting vehicles stored in Grafenwoehr, Germany. But RAND estimates those tanks need at least 10 days to organize and travel. Not enough time before a Russian victory.

This is why Trump's election was so important. All of the neocons, Republicans, and Democrats pounding the drum for direct conflict with Russia over Syria or Ukraine are completely ignoring the grim reality of the situation for their so-called allies. Russia has not taken Georgia, Ukraine, or the Baltics because Putin does not want the increased expense and trouble of occupying them.

But if he has to in order to keep NATO from establishing bases and missiles on Russia's doorstep, I very much doubt he will hesitate.

The USA still possesses the most powerful military on Earth, but it is no longer a true superpower. And it won't be too long, perhaps 20 years, before a joint Russian-Chinese alliance will be more militarily powerful than NATO even if the USA does not politically disintegrate before then.
Full text at:

The party of Reagan is dead - Vox Day comments on speech to GOP by Stephen Moore

The party of Reagan is dead
The Republican party is a white populist Trump party now, so get used to it:

Donald Trump’s economic adviser Stephen Moore told a group of top Republicans last week that they now belong to a fundamentally different political party. Moore surprised some of the Republican lawmakers assembled at their closed-door whip meeting last Tuesday when he told them they should no longer think of themselves as belonging to the conservative party of Ronald Reagan.

They now belong to Trump’s populist working-class party, he said. A source briefed on the House GOP whip meeting — which Moore attended as a guest of Majority Whip Steve Scalise — said several lawmakers told him they were taken aback by the economist’s comments.

“For God’s sake, it’s Stephen Moore!” the source said, explaining some of the lawmakers’ reactions to Moore’s statement. “He’s the guy who started Club for Growth. He’s Mr. Supply Side economics. I think it’s going to take them a little time to process what does this all mean,” the source added of the lawmakers. “The vast majority of them were on the wrong side. They didn’t think this was going to happen.”

Asked about his comments to the GOP lawmakers, Moore told The Hill he was giving them a dose of reality.

“Just as Reagan converted the GOP into a conservative party, Trump has converted the GOP into a populist working-class party,” Moore said in an interview Wednesday. “In some ways this will be good for conservatives and in other ways possibly frustrating.”

Moore has spent much of his career advocating for huge tax and spending cuts and free trade. He’s been as close to a purist ideological conservative as they come, but he says the experience of traveling around Rust Belt states to support Trump has altered his politics.

“It turned me more into a populist,” he said, expressing frustration with the way some in the Beltway media dismissed the economic concerns of voters in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“Having spent the last three or four months on the campaign trail, it opens your eyes to the everyday anxieties and financial stress people are facing,” Moore added. “I’m pro-immigration and pro-trade, but we better make sure as we pursue these policies we’re not creating economic undertow in these areas.”

This is good news. Even the hardcore economic-growth-at-all-costs conservatives are finally beginning to understand that their politics are a non-starter. Moore is smart enough that he'll likely come around completely before long.

Conservatism and Constitutionalism are both dead because both completely failed in their primary duty of protecting the nation and securing the blessings of liberty for the posterity of the Founders. That is why Trump came to power, that is why the Alt-Right is on the rise, and that is why identity politics are now the order of the day.

This is something both conservatives and constitutionalists very much need to understand. You CANNOT and you WILL NOT avoid domestic conflict, quite possibly on a civil war-scale level, by clinging to ideals that have already failed in almost every possible way. You have ONE CHANCE to avoid the balkanization scenario, and that is by adopting the Alt-Right program and aggressively pushing the God-Emperor Ascendant to adopt it. There is absolutely NOTHING about the conservative and constitutional programs that will relieve the internal stresses that are already pushing the USA to the snapping point.

Some of you whine that there are Nazis and ultras and neos and extremists in the Alt-Right. That's right. There are. And those are precisely the radicals who will rapidly come to the fore if Trump, the nationalist elite, and the Alt-Right fail to reduce the internal stress, the globalists return to power, and the balkanization scenario begins to play out. Look at Ukraine. Look at Hungary. Look at Yugoslavia. Which of those three political entities is in the best shape, and why?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Death - Was Fidel Castro! - by PAUL KENGOR

Fidel Castro is dead. To say those words is so strange. I’ve never known a moment when he wasn’t alive.
Castro came to power seven years before I was born, and I’m almost 50. I’ve been lecturing on the man every fall semester for 20 years, spending two or three weeks on him, his ideology, and the beautiful country he destroyed. It’s ironic that the day he died I finished two long chapters on him for a book manuscript, and a family friend (whose mother escaped Cuba) visiting for Thanksgiving just happened to ask how much longer I thought the 90-year-old despot might continue to live. The answer, it turned out, was a mere few hours more.
What to say in a few hundred words about a man like Fidel Castro at his death? Where to start? Where to end?
I think the answer is easy: The focus on Castro at his death must be just that: Castro and death. First, there’s the death he was responsible for since seizing Cuba in January 1959, and then, second, there are the incalculable millions more who would have died — not just in Cuba but in America and worldwide — had he gotten his way in October 1962.
So, for starters how many people were killed by Fidel and his communist dystopia?
Unfortunately, no one truly knows, akin to how no one knows how many poor souls he tossed into his jails, from political dissidents to priests to homosexuals. Fidel’s prison-state has never permitted human-rights observers, reminiscent of how he never permitted the elections he repeatedly promised in the 1950s. That said, many sources have tried to pin down numbers and have generated some common estimates:
The Black Book of Communism, the seminal Harvard University Press work, which specialized in trying to get accurate data on the enormous volume of deaths produced by communist tyrants, states that in the 1960s alone, when Fidel and his brother Raul (Cuba’s current leader) established their complete control, with the help of their murdering buddy Che Guevara, an estimated 30,000 people were arrested in Cuba for political reasons and 7,000 to 10,000 were believed to have been executed. Even then, that was merely the start.
From the late 1950s to the late 1990s, it’s estimated that Castro killed between 15,000 to 18,000 people, whether victims of long-term imprisonment or outright execution by bullets.
That is a lot of people for a small island. And it isn’t all.
Cuba is a surreal island of no boats, where boats are banned — because people with boats flee. Thus, untold numbers of citizens have attempted the treacherous nearly 100-mile swim to Florida in shark-infested waters. An estimated 100,000 have risked the journey. Of those, perhaps as many as 30,000 to 40,000 died from drowning. As they bob for breath, the Castro government sends military helicopters to drop large bags of sand on them from high above.
Yes, actually drop sandbags on them.
So, Fidel Castro is responsible for a lot of death.
But here, too, these numbers do not capture the level of Fidel’s brutal madness. Consider the actual millions he badly wanted to kill, especially here in America.
If Fidel Castro had his way in October 1962, the United States would have been leveled by atomic bombs and so would little Cuba, which would’ve ceased to exist. The fact is that Fidel recommended to Nikita Khrushchev that Cuba and the USSR together launch an all-out nuclear attack upon the United States, literally igniting Armageddon.
This is no secret. Castro admitted it. In an open forum discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis 30 years later, Castro told Robert McNamara, JFK’s secretary of defense: “Bob, I did recommend they [the nuclear missiles] were to be used.”
In total, said McNamara, there were 162 Soviet missiles on the island. The firing of those missiles alone would have led to (according to McNamara) at least 80 million dead Americans, which would have been half the population, plus added tens of millions of casualties.
That, however, is a conservative estimate, given that 162 missiles was far the sum total that would have been subsequently launched. The United States in turn would have launched on Cuba, and also on the USSR. President Kennedy made that commitment clear in his nationally televised speech on October 22, 1962: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” In response, of course, the Soviets would have automatically launched on America from Soviet soil. Even then, the fireworks would just be starting: Under the terms of their NATO and Warsaw Pact charters, the territories of Western and Eastern Europe would also erupt.
Once the smoke cleared, hundreds of millions to possibly over a billion people could have perished, with Western civilization in its death throes. If Fidel Castro had gotten his way, he would have precipitated the greatest slaughter in human history. (Che Guevara also wanted to launch the nukes.)
The Soviets were horrified. Their ambassador to Cuba, Alexander Alekseyev, was so stunned at what Castro told him that he stood frozen, speechless, crushed. Without waiting for an answer from the numb ambassador, Castro started writing his feelings on paper, which Alekseyev saw as a kind of “last testament, a farewell.”
Fidel was ready to go — go up in a giant mushroom cloud for Marxism. As McNamara learned, this was Fidel’s big chance to die as a “martyr” for Marxism-Leninism. He was ready to “pull the temple down on his head.”
A shocked Nikita Khrushchev realized he was dealing with madmen. Khrushchev’s son Sergei, in his three-volume biography of his father, said that the Soviet general secretary huddled with top officials in the “code room” of the Foreign Ministry late on a Sunday night and repeatedly ordered, “Remove them, and as quickly as possible.”
Khrushchev urged Andrei Gromyko to instantly get in touch with Washington in order “to save the world from those pushing us toward war.”
As for Fidel, he was “furious” with Khrushchev. “Castro was mortally offended,” recorded Sergei. “He had not managed to engage in a fight with the Americans. He had made up his mind to die a hero, and to have it end that way.” He had been ready to “die beautifully,” as one Soviet official put it. Denied his glorious opportunity, he now considered Khrushchev “a traitor.”
Thankfully, the world averted nuclear war, through the leadership of Khrushchev and Kennedy, and no thanks to bloodthirsty lunatics like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who were ready to blow up the world in the name of their Marxist-Leninist nightmare.
This, alas, was Fidel Castro. And for the record (and not surprisingly), not a word of it is found in the awful press release by President Barack Obama acknowledging Castro’s death, a statement that Marco Rubio rightly called “pathetic,” with “no mention of [the] thousands he killed & imprisoned.”
Pathetic, indeed.
Fidel Castro is dead. And death was Fidel Castro.

After Trump University, Why Not Sue All Colleges? - by Brian C Joondeph

………….Looking closer at the complaints against Trump University, the primary allegation is fraud. According to students and instructors, “Some of whom described the program as a scheme to cheat customers out of thousands of dollars.” Also high pressure tactics, “Tapping into the roller coaster of emotions to get students to sign up.”

Let’s compare all of this to “real universities” and colleges and other institutions of higher learning across the US. Counting both two and four year institutions, public and private, just over 4700 such institutions dot the US landscape.

Why attend college? Several reasons. Job opportunities, security in a changing economy, higher income, and family stability. Similar to the promises of Trump University?

This current academic year, nearly 4 million will graduate with degrees ranging from associate to doctor. What are their prospects in an anemic economy with a record low labor participation rate of under 63 percent? Never mind the media-touted unemployment rate which only counts those actively looking for a job. The market that college graduates find themselves in is one where a third of those who could be working are not. The new grads join 94 million Americans currently outside the labor force.

How are the millennial grads faring in the workplace? They make up 40 percent of the unemployed, about 14 percent of them without a job. Of those employed, how many are on a career path versus just working a job to pay the bills? Was this their expectation when signing up for college?

Waiting tables, brewing lattes, or driving an Uber are jobs but not careers. Not providing the higher income, job opportunities, and family security we are repeatedly told only a college degree can provide.

College tuition is not cheap. Everyone complains about rising healthcare costs but the reality is that college tuition is increasing at twice the rate of healthcare costs. 44 million Americans have student loan debt, $37,000 on average with a total of $1.26 trillion in outstanding loan debt. The average loan payment per graduate is $351 per month.

Assume a starting salary, for those lucky enough to land a real job after graduation, of $40,000 a year. After tax this translates to about $2600 a month. That student loan payment will take a sizable chunk of that paycheck. Don’t forget rent, food, transportation and some entertainment. And good luck if your first job is an unpaid internship. What about supporting a family, buying a house? Tough to do along with those loan payments..

How many college grads are working a job where a college diploma was not needed? According to Forbes, half of college graduates are working jobs that don’t require a degree. Meaning those four plus years at school, tuition, and loan debt provided little more than a fun social experience and a chance to suffer micro-aggressions over the latest social justice outrage.

Even the Washington Post acknowledges, “More than 4 of 5 new grads leaving college without a job.” They correctly observe, “that the entry-level job market has changed, but colleges have not adapted.”

In other words, the vaunted American institutions of higher learning are failing their students, those paying hefty tuition based on promises of jobs, income and security. Sound familiar? Aren’t these the same allegations made against Trump University?
Two solutions. For Trump U and the rest of US universities. Let the market work. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. Students can do their own research and due diligence before spending money on any university, whether Trump or Cornell. What will their return on investment be? Could their money be better spent on other forms of education?

If potential college students decide trade school is a better deal, then colleges can adjust to the reduced demand. 

plumber can earn $50,000 a year without the time and expense of a college degree.

The other option is the Trump University lawsuit approach, a class action lawsuit against American universities. Same tactics used against Trump U, false claims and fraud. Classes taught not by the Nobel laureate on campus but instead by some grad student. Classes of several hundred in a lecture hall, not the group of ten students sitting around the table with the professor. Online classes with students interacting with their laptop rather than a professor and fellow students.

A potential fortune to be earned by the class action lawyers chasing a piece of the $400 billion spent annually on tuition in the US.

The worst outcome would be for the government to take over higher education as they have done in other countries. We know how that works. Government regulates and controls healthcare here in the US. If you like your professor you can keep your professor. How has that worked out?

Trump University is simply a microcosm of a much larger problem with American higher education. A low value proposition, luring students via fear and unrealistic expectations, followed by a failure to deliver on promises, leaving students holding an expensive bag of loans with low prospects of paying them off.

Any hungry lawyers out there?