Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Education, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Statism, Taxes | Tags: American K-12 Schools, Cursive Returns!, It's Not the Money
What about America’s public education? There are a lot of complaints about K-12 as well. Many hope that Betsy DeVos, the newly confirmed Secretary of Education, can make a big difference in the schools that are failing our most-at-risk children in poor neighborhoods. She is a big proponent of school choice, which allows parents to choose where their child should go to school—something well-to-do parents do quite naturally without realizing that choice is not available to all. One of the great tragedies of the Obama administration was the president’s failure to support the nation’s capitol’s Opportunity Scholarships which have changed the lives of poor kids.
Most ordinary Americans support their community schools, and believe public education to be a good thing. Yet college professors are complaining that their incoming students don’t know anything. There was a small note of cheer this week when I ran across an article that said “Cursive Writing Is Making a Much- Needed Comeback in Schools.” Alabama and Louisiana passed laws in 2016 that mandate cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest in 14 states that require cursive. Fads, unfortunately, pass through the education system destroying everything in their wake. There is a generation out there who never learned cursive skills. They hold a pencil awkwardly, and write in big block letters.
Penmanship proponents say writing words in an unbroken line of swooshing l’s and three-humped m’s is just a faster, easier way of taking notes. Others say students should be able to understand documents written in cursive, such as, say, a letter from Grandma. And still more say it’s just a good life skill to have, especially when it comes to signing your name.
A remarkable amount of dross comes out of the schools of education. When computers arrived on the scene, they decided everyone would communicate with keyboards, and all kids needed was to learn “keyboarding.” You also have to learn how to read other people’s handwriting. I was lucky in that my father and an aunt had the world’s most execrable handwriting possible, and learning to cope with them made me pretty good at deciphering anyone’s scribbles.
The act of handwriting helps to fix the thought in the mind. You learn better if you write it down. That’s why people intuitively write lists, directions, rules and anything they want to remember. The more you write things down the better you will do in the memory department. This is an actual scientific fact. It’s all very nice to have things in 12 to 15 point type in a clear font, but the teeny keyboards you can pull up on your phone are not an improvement on a pencil and a scrap of paper. (If this kind of thing is of interest to you, try to get your hands on the 4 books by Richard Mitchell, beginning with “Less Than Words Can Say” or simply Google “Richard Mitchell underground grammarian,” and you will have access to his works)
“Diversity” is another fad that swept the schools. Children obviously couldn’t learn properly unless the classroom had a wide array of skin tones, ethnicity, countries of origin, language, etc., etc. That schools were supposed to be about reading, writing and arithmetic, as they used to say, escaped the educators in the education schools. Teachers used to learn how to teach in “Normal Schools.” These were 2-year schools that covered the basics of grammar school. (There was also once a reason why they called it “Grammar” school) By the time kids got to high school, it was a bit more demanding so teachers gradually were required to have a college degree. Departments of Economics, Philosophy, Physics, that sort of thing, were apt to look down on Departments engaged in how to draw the letters of the alphabet on a blackboard, and unimpressed with PhDs in Education, which has made Professors of Education very sensitive, and apt to fall for the latest new thing.
Even more recent is the discovery that many black adolescent boys behave badly in school, and get sent to the principal, sent home or expelled more frequently than white adolescent boys. Obviously racism. And the cure is to just not expel or punish those who misbehave if they are black. If you know anything about kids, this is an invitation for more bad behavior. There is a rash of teachers being attacked in schools across the country. Science says successful students need hours of physical activity every day. They don’t get enough exercise. Boys particularly. But we have to protect children from physical dangers. Did you ever wonder where the teeter-totters went? Or what happened to the swings and the merry-go-round?
Parents trek to the schools for parent-teacher conferences and the teacher tells them how splendidly their kid is doing, and you assume all is well. But you have not learned the basic lesson of the schools. All problems are to be solved with more money. Class size is deemed to be a major problem, if the classes were smaller your kid would get more attention. More money. Even the courts have gotten into the money problem ordering states cough up equally for all districts everywhere. Some of the best schooling I ever had was in a one-room country schoolhouse with a very good teacher, a pump on the front porch, a stove in the classroom and two separate outhouses in the separate back corners of the property. It’s not the money, it’s not the playground (there wasn’t one, just fields) it’s not fancy equipment. It’s a skilled teacher. And the Schools of Education are failing, and it’s not their money either.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Free Markets, Freedom, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Google Censorship, Prager University Videos, YouTube Censorship
YouTube has just censored a video criticizing censorship. Yes, the one just below titled “the Dark Art of Political Intimidation.”
Beginning in 2010, the IRS intentionally targeted conservative nonprofit groups and delayed approving their tax-exempt non-profit status an attempt to render them politically impotent during the 2012 election, Strassel explains.
In Wisconsin, a Democratic prosecutor went after conservatives in a shadow campaign finance investigation. The real reason for the pre-dawn raids on conservative activists’ homes and the subsequent gag orders legally compelling them to stay quiet about it all were to enact revenge for their support of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, she says.
These are two of several examples she highlights in this five-minute-long video decrying censorship of one’s political opponents, which YouTube decided to censor by placing it on “restricted mode.”It’s common for schools and parents to place their YouTube account on restricted mode to keep obscene or graphic content away from children. But PragerU’s videos, including the aforementioned one about censorship, are G-rated, so it’s unclear why the video platform is placing these videos on the naughty list.
Goodness, don’t let children see the short educational videos that Prager University creates. Here’s a list of the naughty and salacious videos from which children must be protected. Sound scary?
The Dark Art of Political Intimidation
Are The Police Racist?
Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?
Why Did America Fight the Korean War?
Who’s More Pro-Choice: Europe or America?
What ISIS Wants
Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees?
Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do
Did Bush Lie About Iraq?
Who NOT to Vote For
Don’t Judge Blacks Differently
Israel: The World’s Most Moral Army
Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology
The Most Important Question About Abortion
Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists?
What is the University Diversity Scam?
He Wants You
Israel’s Legal Founding
Pakistan: Can Sharia and Freedom Coexist?
YouTube is a Google company. Google had many subsidiaries, and last year reorganized with the parent company becoming Alphabet Inc. Visit Wikipedia.org and search for Alphabet Inc.
According to Wikipedia, Larry Page, Google CEO, said that “the establishment of Alphabet was prompted by a desire to make the core Google Internet services business “cleaner and more accountable” while allowing greater autonomy to group companies that operate in businesses other than internet services.”
A new study from SEO Competitive Analysis Company CanIRank finds that, confirming many conservatives suspicions, Google searches favor left-wing content.
It finds that top search results are almost 40 percent more likely to contain pages with a “Left” or “Far Left” slant than they are to contain pages from the right. Searchers are 65 percent more likely to encounter liberal search results than conservative search results among the five first returns to their inquiry.
Moreover, 16 percent of political keywords contain no right-leaning pages at all within the first page of results.
Are these findings the result of politically neutral rules for determining which results appear first? The study concludes they are not.
Google highlights two key determinants for ranking content: (1) the number and quality of links pointing to a page and (2) the content (i.e., relevancy and comprehensiveness). According to the study, pages demonstrating a left or far left political slant made it into the top results with significantly fewer external links compared to pages rated balanced. And pages with a right-leaning slant needed still more links to make it into the top results.
In the case of actual content, conservative websites were more comprehensive, which they measured by number of words, yet they were less highly ranked. The study also considered the secondary factors in Google ranking. Both sides of the political spectrum agreed on where sites ranked in the study. Google appears to be biased towards the left. Voters get much of their information from search engines about elections and campaigns. This is not a minor thing, though many of us know to just keep going down the list until we reach a reliable website.
Go here to sign the petition to Stop YouTube from Blocking Prager U Videos.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2016, Freedom, Junk Science, Liberalism, Politics, Progressives, Taxes | Tags: Fooling the Voters, SEIU, Washington State Ballot Issues
Washington State voters have just received their ballots and the Voter’s Guide. It tells you something when we have already made the national news. The above Venn Diagram comes from economist Mark Perry, writing at AEI.
Over at the Wall Street Journal, we got a full article on “The SEIU’s Ballot Fraud: The union tries to hoodwink voters into protecting its dues.”
That’s the story in Washington state, where the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is funding a ballot measure that advertises itself as the Seniors and Vulnerable Individuals’ Safety and Financial Crimes Prevention Act. What the ballot measure would really do is prevent home-care workers from being informed that they have the right to opt out of the union.
In Harris v. Quinn in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home-care workers have a First Amendment right not to pay fees to a union they don’t wish to join. In Washington state the ruling was taken up by the Freedom Foundation, which sought to inform the members of two unions representing child-care and home health-care workers that they could opt out. …
Under the ballot measure, the Freedom Foundation or other outsiders would be blocked from obtaining the list of union members’ names. The unions know that when workers know they have a right not to pay union dues, they often don’t. According to the Freedom Foundation, of the roughly 7,000 unionized child-care providers notified by the Freedom Foundation, well over 60% have dropped their union membership.
National Review targeted the same ballot measure.
“In Washington State, Unions Advance a Ballot Measure to Keep Members in the Dark.” It is disguised as a measure to protect the elderly from abuse but is simply an aggressive effort to keep home care providers from knowing that they don’t have to belong to the union, nor do they have to pay union dues.
Also on the ballot, but unaddressed at the national level is a state attempt to invalidate the (much hated by the Left) Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, the aforementioned minimum wage issue, a gun bill that attempts to remove guns from the mentally ill or depressed in an ineffective suicide prevention idea. And to top it all off, there’s an attempt to pass a carbon tax that would accomplish nothing, nothing at all, except an increase in taxes.
The Wall Street Journal also points out that “State government revenues have swelled 30% in the last five years. That’s a bigger raise than most workers have received, but public unions and their friends are asking voters for more at the ballot box on November eighth.
So they are, and we should not give them a cent.
Filed under: Humor, Liberalism, News of the Weird, Politics, Pop Culture | Tags: A Vegan Empire, Animal Rights Activists, Cafe Gratitude
Steven Hayward has linked to and written about the “Vegan Green Weenie if the Year” over at Powerline. The whole thing is just so typical of the Left — Posing, posturing, oozing empathy, pretension — to bring in a celebrity following.
The Guardian exposé is to be found here, with descriptions of their restaurants, of the names of the restaurant’s “affirmation” dishes like the “grateful” kale salad, and the “accepting” sushi bowl. Be Love Farm is where they raise their vegetables (and their new beef products). “Their website is named Eternal Presence and they invented a board game called The Abounding River Board Game which they said would train players to embrace “an unfamiliar view of Being Abundant” and develop a “spiritual foundation” for looking at money.” Oh my.
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2016, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Humor, Liberalism, Politics, Television | Tags: A Billionaire?, A Successful Businessman?, Donald Trump
John O’Sullivan is a prominent British conservative political journalist who was once speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher, and is an editor for National Review. Can’t vote here, not a citizen, but a visitor. He remarked “But it’s obvious that this election cycle is about Trump rather than about the other candidates. He has come from nowhere and surged ahead of the pack. My suspicion is that he didn’t originally expect to be a contender for long and was surprised when he established a strong lead. But he overcame his surprise and began to do things candidates do – put out position papers, etc. – while sticking to his unique style of campaigning, namely riffing entertainingly on the day’s news, jabbing opponents with sharp verbal sticks, and treating his audiences like neighborhood friends.” I thought that a particularly sharp observation.
Holman Jenkins said “They say they like Mr. Trump because he tells it like it is, except he doesn’t. They say he is politically incorrect, but he is factually incorrect.”
“The Donald may be as surprised as anybody by the way his campaign has taken fire — his utterances certainly suggest so.”
He likes riding the wave and may be unable or unwilling to get off. He launched this adventure purely to accrue value in his lifelong personal brand-building pursuit.
That doesn’t mean he ever seriously thought about being president, having to do the job. And one way that might become apparent is when, after winning the nomination and celebrating his personal triumph, he turns to the GOP and its donor armies to see what they are willing to do to win him the presidency. If it’s not as much as he would like—if he would actually have to fulfill his promise to finance his own honest-to-goodness presidential campaign, which could cost $1 billion—that’s when things get hinky.
That’s a second observation that Trump was just fooling around with a campaign, and then people took him seriously, so he’s going to see how far it can go.
Have you ever known a real con-man? I have. He was, for a time a new manager in the department where I worked. Everybody liked him because he was so personable. They thought he was great, but one day one of his stories touched on something I actually knew about. It was a complete and deliberate lie, for no reason at all. It wasn’t much longer before he departed, fired for some irregular problems with his expense accounts. That was my first hustler. It’s not comfortable to have been taken for a fool, even though I wasn’t alone.
From Bloomberg Business: 2/26/2016
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., the casino operator founded by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, emerged from bankruptcy court protection on Friday and is now a subsidiary of billionaire Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises LP.
Trump opened the Taj Mahal in 1990. The parent company continually struggled with debt, and Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy court protection in September 2014. The filing coincided with a protracted downturn in betting in Atlantic City that led four of the city’s 12 casinos to close. It was the Trump casino businesses’ fourth time in bankruptcy.
From Jim Geraghty at National Review: “What if Trump Doesn’t Have Billions?” “There’s a good chance we’ll never see his tax returns.”
Trump told Hugh Hewitt on his radio show a year ago that he would release his tax return shortly, as soon as they were completed. A few years ago he refused to release “un-redacted tax returns, even when it could help him win a $5 billion libel lawsuit against a New York Times reporter. Forbes magazine estimated his net worth after 80 interviews and many resources as less than half of what he claimed last year. Others with direct knowledge of his finances think his net worth is closer to $150 -$250 million. Still comfortably wealthy but not a billionaire.
Trump said that was a lie and sued, lost in court, appealed, and lost again. The case dragged on because he would not turn over the tax returns. So the likelihood that they will be released to the public is slim.
Bloomberg Politics, February 24, 2016 “A Look Inside Trump’s Global Deals Exposes Trouble in Many Spots” In Panama, condominium owners are trying to fire him. In Canada and Turkey, his business partners want to cut him loose. In Scotland and Ireland, he claims to be making millions on his golf courses, but so far is losing money. In Toronto the Toronto Tower Owners want Trump out.
“Donald Trump says his organization is in talks on more than 100 deals, 85 percent of them outside the U.S., and that if elected president he will bring to international relations the savvy he has demonstrated as a global deal maker.”
The article suggests that an examination of his operations shows that while he has made millions selling his name, he has chosen inexperienced or questionable partners, and there are legal conflicts amid claims of broken promises and empty apartments. Trump disputes the claims.
- Trump Mortgage (announced 2006, closed 2007)
- Trump Steaks (2007-?)
- Trump Vodka (2006-2011)
- Trump: The Game (1989-1990, 2005)
- Trump Ice (Shut down 2010)
- Go Trump.com (2006-2007)
- Trump Magazine
- The New Jersey Generals (1983-1985)
- Trump Airlines (1989-1992)
- Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. 4 bankruptcies (1991, 2004, 2009, 2014)
- Trump Tower Tampa (2006-2007)
- Trump University (2005 -2011) Current lawsuit for fraud
“Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected” by Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, 2/25/2016
I don’t know. Donald Trump seems to me to be a hustler. Too many lies, too much Big talk. Everything is going to be Great!, Beautiful! He knows how to do that. He knows how to fix that. But he never tells us how, or who is going to pay for it and how. There are some really big problems in the world and we have no hint about how Trump might address them.
Filed under: Blogging, Capitalism, Crime, Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, Immigration, Liberalism, National Security, Progressivism, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Euphemisims, Naming Evil, Speaking Truth
Murder is not a mystery. Its harbinger is the police car, the plane flying low, the smiling man who opens his coat. Evil is not a mystery either. It is moral courage tuned to the destruction of civilization. The murderer can be courageous, but not creative. The ends of evil are power and ruination.
Liberalism is all too often the cult of the poor murderer. The thug who kills over inequality. The terrorist who bombs over bigotry. And it is outrage at the victims of its own Utopian crimes.
Utopia is another name for power. It is an absolute good that negates the humanity of every person on earth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Islamic Caliphate of ISIS or the Socialist gulag. The destruction of the individual is not only necessary, but celebrated as evidence of the triumph of the ideology. Destroying people shows the absolute power and total importance of the creed.
That is the force that destroys civilizations. It’s a moral force, but it’s the moral force of evil.
Civilization is the moral force that resists destruction. It is the speech that dares to name murderers, murderers. As civilization dwindles, streets darken and savages and their lawyers hunt the night. Murderers become victims, destroyers become the future and good is invoked in the name of evil.
Sometimes upholding civilization is a difficult thing. It can mean being a soldier on the front lines or a police officer sitting in a car waiting for a terrorist to strike.
Or sometimes it can simply mean speaking the truth. And that is something that any of us can do.
Even at the best of times, civilization is a fragile thing. At the worst of times, it can be held up with a few words, with a few people reminding each other that truth is worth fighting for.
From Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) Sunday November 22, 2915