Filed under: Art, Education, History | Tags: Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information
“Making a presentation is a moral act as well as an intellectual activity.
The use of corrupt manipulations and blatant rhetorical ploys in a report
or presentation — outright lying, flagwaving, personal attacks, setting up
phony alternatives, misdirection, jargon-mongering, evading key issues,
feigning disinterested objectivity, willful misunderstanding of other
points of view— suggests that the presenter lacks both credibility and
evidence. To maintain standards of quality, relevance, and integrity for
evidence, consumers of presentation should insist that presenters be held
intellectually and ethically responsible for what they show and tell. Thus
consuming a presentation is also an intellectual and a moral activity.”
Charles Joseph Minard’s data-map describes the successive losses in men of the French Army in the Russian campaign of 1812-1813. Drawn by M. Minard, Inspector General of Bridges and Roads in retirement, Paris, November 20, 1869.
The numbers of men present are represented by the widths of the colored zones at a rate of one millimeter for every ten thousand men. The tan represents the men who enter into Russia, the black those who leave it. The overall toll, French and Russian was approximately 700,000 to 1,000,000. Place names are shown, as are the rivers, and at the bottom a graphic table of the temperature in degrees of the Réaumur thermometer below zero. Moscow, October 18; October 24 –rain; November 9, –9°; November 14 –21° at Smolensk; December 1, –24 ° at Minsk; December 6, –30°. Only one soldier in 42 survived this brutal campaign — six months from start to finish.
At the war’s beginning , the army crossed the Nieman River with 422,000 soldiers. At the end, 10,000 soldiers returned across the Nieman River. The width of the lines accurately represents the numbers. So much information is conveyed by this one beautiful analytical graph, in a combination of beautiful design, true and accurate information, and a long dreadful story. Amazing.
Edward Tufte is a Professor Emeritus at Yale University, where he taught courses on statistical evidence, analytical design and political economy. He has written four books on visual displays: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, Beautiful Evidence. They are incredibly beautiful, true, refined and luscious books, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Tufte is also a sculptor. His works are available through his website: www.tufte.com as is a poster of the above beautiful graphic in either French or English. He includes this analytical graph in each of his books, as probably the best graphic conveyance of information ever made.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Health Care, History, Immigration, Law, Politics | Tags: 12 Million Unemployed, 867 Pages too Long, A Surprisingly Bad Bill
The Senate “Gang of Eight’s” Immigration bill is one of those massive conglomerates of a bill that attempts to do everything all at once and get the issue over and done with. The title of the bill alone is enough to sink the law of its own weight. It is the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization act of 2013,” and it clocks in at 867 pages. This is not the way to make law.
Immigration is complicated. The present immigration rules are not only ignored by a goodly portion of the immigrants, but the president has ordered the Border Patrol to release any illegal immigrant under the age of 31, even if they are guilty of a crime. Executive order. Congress refused to pass the “Dream Act” which gives the children of illegals the opportunity to live here and become citizens and vote for Obama, but Obama wanted the Dream Act anyway, so he issued an Executive Order. He doesn’t like that separation of powers stuff.
So how many immigrants do you let in and from where? What about their wives, husbands, parents, aunts and uncles,and grandparents? This is called chain migration and it can be unending. About half of the illegal immigrants here came over the border, and about half have come here legally, but have overstayed the time they were allowed.
What do you do about the resorts in Tucson, for example, who welcome wealthy pregnant Latino women to come to their resort and have their baby in a Tucson hospital and give the baby American citizenship as a birth gift? Do we want to limit immigration to “your tired and poor, huddled masses yearning to be free,” or do we want highly educated people who are bringing special skills and the desire to build a great company? Or the wealthy person who already has a great company that he wants to bring to America? Democrats want reliable Democrat voters.
Congress voted in 2006 to build 370 miles of triple-layered fence and 500 miles of automobile barriers. It is now 2013, and we have 36.3 miles of border fence. As I said in an earlier piece, we keep doing the same thing over and over.
Senator Schumer (D-NY) persuaded Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to be the public face of the immigration bill because he is the son of immigrants, close to the immigrant community, a Republican, and very popular. He has been everywhere, selling hard.
Politicians and the media are obsessed with two issues: gun control and illegal immigration. Guess what? According to a new Gallup Poll these two issues are at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the president to address.
Illegal border crossings peaked in 2000 and are down my more than 70% since then, net migration from Mexico is currently zero. Anecdotal evidence suggests that illegals are streaming over the border because of so much talk of “amnesty” in the news, and they want some of Obama’s amnesty. The people, and you won’t be surprised, want lawmakers to focus on job creation (86%), economic growth (86%) and making government work more efficiently (81%).
Lawmakers may face some real objections when the people discover that in spite of 12 million Americans who want a job, and countless employed people who have just been dropped to part-time because of ObamaCare — our lawmakers want to invite all sorts of new immigrants. The technology companies want a lot more H-1B immigrants with technology skills. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) points out that we have way more trained STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates than there are jobs. We are scheduled for a massive shortage of physicians when ObamaCare takes full effect next year.
Heritage warns that the new benefits that go to new immigrants, made legal, are hugely expensive. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits add up to $900 billion a year. Public education at a cost of $12,300 per student, and additional civic services like police, fire and so on. The Hoover Institution says additional H-1B workers would add billions to GDP and Federal Tax Revenue, but they’re in Silicon Valley.
So far, 300 amendments have been offered for the Senate immigration bill, but none of the amendments removes the $3,000 incentive it gives to some employers to hire a legalized immigrant over a U.S. Citizen.
Senator Rubio has a spot on his website where he asks citizens to read the bill and suggest things that are wrong and ways to fix them. Just go to Senate.gov, and scroll down to Senator Rubio’s page.
I would like to see the bill broken up into parts to be passed separately. Part One is securing the border. If we cannot secure the border, all the rest of the rules are useless. Part One should be passed, and the border secured, fenced, controlled, and border patrol agents and ICE agents allowed to do the work that they took an oath to do. At present ICE agents are suing Homeland Security because they are not allowed to do the job they swore to do.
Part Two is reforming out assimilation process. It is broken. New immigrants are not learning what it means to be an American. The melting-pot is broken. Fix it.
When those two things are fixed, finished, complete — and if there is the will to do so, it need not take years — then we can decide who gets to come and what the rules are. I welcome immigrants. They bring new skills, new ideas and even new food to our country. I just don’t want to keep doing this over and over and failing to complete the project because of partisan politics.
Simple. It might even pass.
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Freedom, Heartwarming, History, Humor, Science/Technology | Tags: Acrocanthosaurus, Don't Try This At Home, Twenty-Foot Dinosaur
Here’s a time-lapse video of how a 20-foot acrocanthosaurus is made. The Airigami team assembled the dinosaur and its ecosystem, including plants and some crawly insects at the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ancient Life. It took them four days, but it looks like they didn’t have to blow up the balloons, at least not there.
That is without question the best balloon accomplishment I’ve ever seen.
Filed under: History, Economy, Health Care, Energy, Progressivism, Capitalism, Statism, Immigration | Tags: Regulatory Burden on Business, 12 Million Missing Jobs, 63.3% Participation Rate
The preliminary April jobs number has come in at +165,000, on expectations of +140,000. March numbers were revised upward from 88,000 to 138,000. This brought the unemployment rate down from 7.6% to 7.5%.
The number of unemployed — 11.7 million — didn’t change over the month, and the labor participation rate remains flat, only 63.3% — the lowest since 1979. This is the sour spot in the jobs picture.
The rate at which entrepreneurs create new jobs is down significantly. The U.S,lost 8.8 million jobs during the ‘great recession’, we have gained back about 6.8 million leaving a gap of about 2 million. Even if job gains average 180,000 a month to reach a high in about a year, private sector jobs will still be way below the 1990-2007 trend line. That shortfall is nearly 12 million missing jobs.
The numbers of those involuntarily employed part-time increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million. That’s a direct result of ObamaCare. President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.
National Journal expresses concern about the “missing workers”:
So, who are these “missing workers?” Frustratingly, no one knows exactly who they are, why they left, and if they’ll ever return. The size of the pool there and the gap between the potential labor force and the actual working force represents a huge loss of potential productivity.
The answers also have deep political and policy implications over the next decade for the economic and budget outlook: Do we want to pay for the missing workers through programs that help to spur job growth, or through an increased cost in federal benefits?…
Political leaders and policymakers must weigh the economic implications versus the budgetary ones. If no one attacks the jobs crisis with gusto and addresses the issue of the long-term unemployed and the missing workers now, the United States essentially consigns people to rely on government benefits. That will only hurt the budget.
And, if lawmakers decide to attack the problem of the missing workers now, they’ll need to spend more money on job-training programs or infrastructure projects—anything that puts people back into a job, even a temporary one.
Regulatory costs skyrocketed during the first term of the Obama Administration, which added nearly $70 billion to the already excessive annual burden of government do’s and don’ts. Every aspect of American’s lives is controlled to a varying extent by regulation, including how we light our homes, wash our clothes, fuel our cars, feed our families, and obtain our health care.
That’s 131 new major regulations. $1,800 has been added to the average cost of buying a new car. In 2012 alone, we added $23.5 billion to the burden on business with 25 new major rulemakings. Only two rules last year decreased the burden, in spite of initiatives to weed out unnecessary regulations. There are hundreds of rules in the pipeline from Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and from ObamaCare.
The small business organizations have told us over and over that uncertainty is the villain. Nobody knows what the government is going to do next, or how they are going to cope with the added costs, and the added regulations. The federal government does not understand the effects of their grasp for power. The EPA is the source of most of the regulation and most of the cost, yet they have said specifically that they have no need to consider the cost or effect of their rulemaking. When uncertainty is this high, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are more reluctant to take on the risk of a new business, or a major expansion.
The National Journal reporter above quite accurately portrays the leftist response. What new program should government issue? What new job-training programs should we try— if I remember correctly there are some 45 job-training programs duplicating each other and managing to be totally ineffective. What the government needs to do is get out of the way. Stop raising fees, issuing rules and regulations and drastically raising the cost of doing business.
Central planning does not work now, nor has it ever worked. Those “experts” doing the central planning are not expert but just the same old political hacks. They don’t know what they are doing, and they are making a mess of things. Just stop!
Filed under: Communism, Freedom, History, Politics, Pop Culture | Tags: Labor and Illegal Immigrants, May Day Celebrations, Maypoles & Communists
It came to my attention that President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation today, to proclaim that this is Loyalty Day, 2013. Huh? I had never heard of Loyalty Day, but it appears that it began in the Eisenhower administration. How could I have missed it? Presidents issue a proclamation every year. It’s a presidential thing. But let’s go back a little:
May Day in many cultures has marked the beginning of spring, a half-year from All Hallows, celebrating the bringing back of the light, moving the cattle out to the fields, having a big bonfire and parading the cattle around the bonfire decorated with bright yellow may flowers. The Celtic countries called it Beltane, in Germany it was pretty much the same thing except called Walpurgisnacht after an English missionary named Walpurgis, also bonfires and celebration.
Just where and when it became a May Day celebration with maypoles and baskets of flowers, I’m not sure. (I checked with Wikipedia, but didn’t pay too close attention).
In small towns, young people made little may baskets filled with flowers and hung them from a friend’s front door, then rang the bell and ran away, leaving the basket a mystery. That’s all pretty tame, and when the Soviet Union began to take over May Day to show off their military might and their solidarity, maypoles began to seem a little wimpy. Besides those Soviet parades were annoying.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, History, Education, Economy, Media Bias, Democrat Corruption, Capitalism, Statism, The United States | Tags: Politically Incorrect, Gender-Neutrality, Cultural Marxism
I’m so embarrassed. Washington State is in the news again, and the lightweights in the state capitol in Olympia, having nothing better to do in a time of economic downturn and vast unemployment, have secured our new governor’s signature as the final piece of a six-year effort to rewrite state laws using gender-neutral vocabulary. No more crass use of terms such as “fisherman” to describe those hardy souls who head off for northern waters to bring in a load of our iconic salmon. They are now “fishers”, the gender-neutral replacement.
Our colleges and universities will no longer have “freshman classes”, but only “first-year students.” Elementary schools will no longer teach “penmanship” but only “handwriting.” That last is a lie, because our schools aren’t teaching handwriting either. Now that computers are ubiquitous, our education establishment has concluded that cursive writing is no longer necessary, and once kids can print they abandon the penmanship effort entirely. You have probably noticed if you’ve been around kids — they can’t write.
“There’s no good reason for keeping our legal terms anachronistic and with words that do not respect our current contemporary times,” Kohl-Welles, the 475-page bill’s sponsor, told Reuters.
They won’t change “airman” or “seaman” because of objections by the state’s Washington Military Department. They couldn’t find substitutes for “man hole” and “man lock”. We apparently have a 40-
man person Washington Code Reviser’s Office to get all such vocabulary changes into the Washington State Code. The people will go on using the same vocabulary they’ve always used.
This, of course, has nothing to do with “sexism” or “gender-neutrality,” it is political correctness run amok. Or even more accurately — it is cultural Marxism, an effort that has been going on since World War I. It is a tale of the perpetually discontented, the victims in our world. The victims are feminists, gays, blacks, Hispanics, and they rewrite history, invent statistics, embroidered with lies and demands. Americans must be fearful of what they say, of what they write and what they think. If they use the wrong word, they may be denounced as offensive, insensitive, racist, sexist and/or homophobic.
The United States Air Force Academy removed words that stood at the base of a ramp that cadets walked up on their first day at the academy — a symbolic threshold between an old life and a new one. The words had stood for 39 years; 10 letters, each of them two feet tall” “Bring Me Men” — the first words of a poem written in 1894 by Sam Walter Foss, “The Coming American” — “Bring me men to match my mountains, Bring me men to match my plains, Men with empires in their purpose, And new eras in their brains.” Those words were taken down in 2003, so the academy could be more “gender-neutral.” Uni-sex bathrooms? Women in combat? It is all of a piece.
John Steele Gordon recently wrote about the politically correct effort to remove Christ from the calendar and replace the terms AD and BC with CE and BCE. CE stands for ‘common era’ and BCE for ‘before common era,’ since roughly half the world’s population is non-Christian, we shouldn’t use loaded terms such as AD (Anno Domini) and BC (Before Christ).
Mostly we just laugh at this stuff, or are embarrassed when some guy in the office is hauled down to Human Resources for a lecture because he had the nerve to compliment a woman. Or a first-grader is suspended from school for chewing his Pop Tart into a shape that resembles a pistol. The examples are all around us. Officialdom descends on us and tells us that we are — offensive, insensitive, racist, sexist and/or homophobic. Police have been called to deal with little kids that have water-pistols or plastic army-men. People are fired for being politically incorrect. Then it’s no longer a laughing matter.
Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, or Marxism translated from economic terms into cultural terms. It is a totalitarian ideology, and nowhere is the totalitarian nature of political correctness revealed more thoroughly than on our college campuses, where speech codes triumph and legal organizations have been created to protect the civil rights of students and faculty (F.I.R.E.).
Cultural Marxism says that all of history is determined by power, by which groups are defined in terms of race, sex, etc, and have power over other groups. Nothing else matters. Power? When a white student is denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isn’t as well qualified, the student is expropriated. When a contract is denied to a white-owned company because the contract is reserved for a company owned by a Hispanic or a woman, that’s an example of power. When a bankruptcy denies the legal rights of bondholders to first claim on a company’s assets and instead gives a third of the ownership of the company to the unions (whose excessive benefits were largely the cause of bankruptcy) — that’s power, and the goal of political correctness, gender-neutrality, deconstruction of our great books, and the last obstacles to the creation of a Marxist paradise — the end of capitalism and of Western civilization itself.
An Accuracy in Academia address by Bill Lind explains the origins of political correctness clearly and in depth. (It’s not long) Or Bill Whittle explains it, he calls it “the narrative,” in the following video.
Filed under: Freedom, History, Immigration, The United States | Tags: A New Nation, The New Americans, The U.S. Census
In the census of 1790, only 60 percent of the white population of over three million remained English in ancestry. (1,800,000)
700 thousand were of African descent.
Tens of thousands were native Indians;
All the peoples of Europe were present in the country.
- 9 percent German,
- 8 percent were Scots
- 6 percent were Scots-Irish
- 4 percent were Irish
- Over 3 percent Dutch
- the remainder: French, Swedes, Spanish, and people of unknown ethnicity
From Gordon S. Wood: Empire of Liberty
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, History, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: How Did This Happen?, It's the Teleprompter's Fault, Results Don't Measure Up
When Barack Obama first ran in 2008, he claimed his economic policies would “foster economic growth from the bottom up and not just from the top down.” He promised “an immediate rescue plan for the middle class” and would end the “tired, worn-out trickle-down ideologies we’ve been seeing for so many years.”
With a Democrat controlled Senate and a Democrat controlled House, Obama got everything he wanted in his first two years in the White House. He got a massive stimulus, a bailout for the auto industry, temporary tax cuts for the middle class, vast new regulations on business and capped it all off with ObamaCare, the first big step to socialized medicine, the program that is working so well in the United Kingdom.
Didn’t work. Not any of it. Twenty million people cannot find work. Many workers are being cut back to less than 30 hours a week, the ObamaCare cutoff point. More people on food stamps than ever in history, more people on Disability than ever in history. That tired, worn-out trickle-down ideology we’ve been seeing for so many years never had results like this.
The actual results of Obamanomics — the rich get richer
and the poor get poorer!
A new Pew report using Census data on net worth found that from 2009 to 2011, the richest seven percent of Americans found their average net worth climb by $697,651 — a 28% gain.
The rest of you poor souls? The other ninety-three percent of us saw our average net worth drop by an average $6,079 — equal to a 4% loss. Since Obama took office, the average income of the poorest twenty percent of households fell nearly 8% to levels last seen in the Reagan era. The Gini index, which measures income inequality has climbed steadily under Obama, after remaining flat during the Bush administration.
But it’s all the fault of those dastardly Republicans. Not sure how that works, but that’s what Obama keeps saying when he isn’t claiming the opposite of reality.
In the meantime — Ain’t we got fun!
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, History, Law, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Euphemism and Denial, The Absence of Sraight Talk, The War on Terror
The Long War on Terror continues. We practice all kinds of denial and misdirection, disguise it with euphemism, and strangely — attempt to scare people with claims of radical right-wing extremism.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has tied herself in knots attempting to re-define Islamist terrorism out of existence. Her Department has listed Right-Wing Extremist groups as threats to national security, but no one seems to know who they are, or where they are, or what kind of threat they represent. The old ladies and little children who are searched and patted down to avoid “profiling” are beyond absurd.
The Left has long objected to the idea of a “War on Terror.” They don’t like the phrase. They object to calling it Islamist terrorism. NPR counterterrorism reporter Dina Temple-Ralston spoke for the left in the immediate wake of the bombing;
Well, officials told us that they have some promising leads, though no actual smoking gun. They expect this case will take weeks, not months, to solve. The thinking, as we’ve been reporting, is that this is a domestic extremist attack. And officials are leaning that way largely because of the timing of the attack.
April is a big month for anti-government, and right wing, individuals. There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. And the FBI right now is comparing this to the Eric Rudolph case. That’s the 1996 bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta. That involved a relatively simple bomb that was hard to trace.
The Left was determined that the bomber must be domestic, white, racist, and apparently Republican. The denial of the existence of Islamist terrorism is becoming pathological. If there is such a thing as Islamist terrorism, then we might have to admit that the Arab Spring was not a hope for democracy, that overthrowing dictators in Egypt and Libya did not result in peaceful democracies, and that our questions about Benghazi had never been answered.
Once the connection to Islamist terrorism is established, Muslims call in to radio talk shows anxious to deny that — this is not Islam. Islam is a peaceful religion. These people are not Muslims, they are radicals, and so on. And that is undoubtedly true. But Islamist radicalism is a problem within the Islamic religion, and it must be corrected by Muslims. The rest of us can’t fix it. And I don’t see any determined movement within the Muslim religion to disavow the radicals.
We are the object of their jihad, the “Great Satan.” We can make war on the jihadists, we can use our military, we can use drones, we can try to help Moslem countries to modernize, we can send them aid, we can help with modern techniques of agriculture, medicine and education. But that does not solve the problem. Can Muslims address the portion of their faith that seeks jihad against the West? Or are we doomed to carry on until it all blows up?
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Freedom, History, Latin America, Law, National Security, The Constitution | Tags: Manipulating Public Opinion, Open Borders v. Rule of Law, Propaganda and Immigration
Accuracy in Media points out the subtle changes impressed on public perception. A natural human survival strategy mistrusts the unfamiliar. The public must be educated to accept new ideas or now policies, but education can take too much time. Hence, propaganda.
Our society depends on the rule of law for survival, security, stability and prosperity. Giving special privileges to lawbreakers is instinctively rejected. Granting special privileges to criminals subverts the rule of law. If the rule of law becomes meaningless, it is replaced by a society based on political power alone. Propaganda manipulates public perceptions. A starting point can be changing definitions — changing the language in order to change perceptions.
First you have “Immigrants:” Any foreign-born individual, including naturalized U.S. citizens, documented immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. What we used to call Illegal aliens, are now “undocumented immigrants.” Illegal immigrants march in the streets with signs saying that no human being is “illegal.” You have become a bigot, racist, classist if you use the term that simply meant someone who broke the law.
“Foreign born scholars, scientists and engineers make this country more prosperous and more secure.” Well, sure. But how many scholars, scientists and engineers are paying coyotes to take them across the border to rely on forged documents?
The word “Hispanic” does not define a racial, ethnic, linguistic or cultural group. It is a meaningless term to provide political power within a Spanish-speaking minority. The term is defined by the OMB as “a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.” I had a neighbor who was born in Mexico, the daughter of parents who were born in Germany, who married an American, whose children were born in America. She spoke German with parents and grandparents, Spanish with siblings, English with husband and children, and dreamed, she said in all three. And what do you do with Brazilians who speak Portuguese? Or Antonio Banderas who is European? You are only Hispanic or Latino if you are the right kind.
Then there is intimidation. Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund founder Mario Obledo said “California is going to be a Hispanic state, and anyone who doesn’t like it should leave. They should go back to Europe.”
Former La Raza president Raul Yzaguirre called California’s proposition 187 which would have denied budget-busting social services to illegals, “racists:” and “xenophobes” The proposition won, but was blocked by a judge, and California is now bankrupt.
We can get back to a political position where we welcome legal immigrants, help them to become prosperous American citizens, and still recognize the borders of our country, if we have the will. The “Gang of Eight’s” quickly dredged up policy is not an answer. There are more issues in immigration policy than open borders vs. amnesty for anyone who has managed to cross the border. We have always been a nation of laws, we should not allow a lawless administration to change that.
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, History, Law, National Security, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: American Exceptionalism, Multiculturalism, The Melting-Pot
There are two stories going on in the news concurrently that are related. One is the Boston Marathon bombing, and the other is the attempt to pass a new immigration law in Congress.
The American melting-pot is broken. We have traditionally had an outstanding assimilation process for new immigrants that develops them into citizens, and it is broken. Traditionally, our new immigrants, upon completion of the citizenship process and taking the oath of citizenship — became proud Americans, more patriotic and more knowledgeable about American history and the U.S. Constitution than most of the rest of us. Unlike immigrants to many European countries who had no possibility of ever becoming ‘real citizens’, in America there is no difference between a Mayflower descendant and the latest immigrant. That is no longer working.
In his book Plagues of the Mind, Bruce Thornton tackles the problem of false knowledge. “We are subsumed in the ideology of “Multiculturalism”, the dominant narrative used by popular culture and many intellectuals alike to explain our historical moment and public moral goals:”
Despite what we are led to believe by its apologists, Multiculturalism is not about respecting cultural differences or the diversity of ethnic groups in America. Multiculturalism is instead a melodramatic tale of the wickedness of the West and its role in destroying the peaceful paradises in which other peoples (usually “of color”) lived before Europeans and then Americans came along to inflict on them racism, sexism, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, homophobia, technology, and environmental degradation.
Multiculturalism, the ideology — the false knowledge of the left — sees little in Western heritage beyond Western crimes. The Western tradition, “American exceptionalism” is inherently racist, sexist, classist, hegemonic, repressive, and oppressive. It has spread not through any innate quality of the American culture, but simply through the spread of Western power. Of what importance then is patriotism, reverence for tradition, pride in heritage and history?
The high-tech media multiplies the mischief that false knowledge can work, even more insidiously because we are a democracy. Jean-Francois Revel has written:
democracy cannot thrive without a certain diet of truth. It cannot survive if the degree of truth in current circulation falls below a minim al level. A democratic regime, founded on the free determination of important choices made by a majority, condemns itself to death if most of the citizens who have to choose between various options make their decisions in ignorance of reality, blinded by passions or misled by fleeting impressions.
We have two ethnic Chechen brothers, one a naturalized citizen, the other a permanent resident. For whatever reason, America’s patriotic assimilation system didn’t work for them, and that fact is important.
The Hudson Institute has released a new study by John Fonte, examining the differences between native-born American citizens and naturalized citizens. •By a 21 percentage point difference native-born citizens are more likely than immigrant citizens to view America as “better” than other nations. •Native born citizens are significantly more likely to think that Americans share a unique national history based on shared beliefs, values and culture. •Native born citizens think of themselves as American citizens rather than “citizens of the world, by about 30 points •Thirty percent more Native-born Americans believe the U.S. Constitution is a higher legal authority for Americans than international law. There is much more in the study.
The Study concludes that there can be no comprehensive immigration reform without comprehensive assimilation reform. We cannot determine immigration policy unless we seriously examine what our assimilation policy should be.
Why is there a patriotic gap between native-born and naturalized citizens? Undoubtedly there are many different reasons. One in particular, however, strikes us as responsible, at least partially, for this gap. Since the 1970s American elites have altered our “de-facto assimilation policy” from Americanization (or patriotic integration) to a multiculturalism that emphasizes ethnic group consciousness at the expense of American common culture.
In short, we have sent immigrants the wrong message on assimilation. It is our fault, not theirs that this gap exists.
Administrative-legal barriers to patriotic assimilation have developed gradually through a combination of federal bureaucratic policies, congressional activities, executive orders and court decisions. There’s the root cause of the patriotic integration gap. It’s time to stop giggling at how stupid political correctness and multiculturalism are, and start understanding that it is seriously damaging propaganda.
Filed under: Education, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, History, United Kingdom | Tags: The Industrial Revolution, Time Machine: 1880, Transforms Farming
If you have time this weekend, and need a respite from the Boston bombings, I recommend this documentary from the BBC. It is called Victorian Farm, and is an observational series following a team who live the life of Victorian British farmers for a year.
This is not ‘reality TV’. In Britain, the Acton Scott estate in Shropshire is a world frozen in time, the time of Victorian rural England. The buildings and grounds are cluttered with antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family, who have lived on the estate since the 12th century.
The team consists of two archaeologists, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn, and historian Ruth Goodman who go back in time to relive the day-to-day life of a Victorian farmer. The team moves into a Victorian smallholding on the Acton Scott estate that has not been used in nearly half a century. Their first job is restoration of the cottage. As incoming tenants, they help thresh the previous summer’s wheat crop, their first experience of steam-powered machinery. Alex attempts to sow a wheat crop using horse power. Ruth and Peter install a range in the cottage and take a trip to the canals to load up on coal.
They have as a guide, an 1844 guidebook explaining Victorian tools, and local folk knowledgeable in traditional country ways come by to help them with unfamiliar tasks. It is very professionally done, and if you have no interest in history, probably not your cup of tea. The full documentary is six hours long, but broken up into manageable segments. I enjoyed it immensely. Not Kim Kardashian, but serious scholars discovering the past by doing. Watch a little, you’ll get hooked.