Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economics, Education, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, National Security, Progressives, Progressivism, Statism, The United States | Tags: America's College Campuses, No American History, Undergraduate Ignoramuses
Anybody that has been paying even minimal attention has noticed that all is not well on our college campuses. Safe spaces and hate speech and censoring speakers; renaming streets and buildings that were named long ago for a person who at some time did not have the ideas celebrated by today’s students. Black Lives Matter, and requests for more segregated buildings, more black studies courses, and more diversity intensive courses. Increasing racist hoaxes, and demands for particular administrators to be fired. Protection from offensive speech, or micro-aggressions, or cultural appropriation or racial insensitivity.
I started giving quizzes to my juniors and seniors. I gave them a ten-question American history test… just to see where they are. The vast majority of my students – I’m talking nine out of ten, in every single class, for seven consecutive years – they have no idea that slavery existed anywhere in the world before the United States. Moses, Pharaoh, they know none of it. They’re 100% convinced that slavery is a uniquely American invention… How do you give an adequate view of history and culture to kids when that’s what they think of their own country – that America invented slavery? That’s all they know.
A new report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) reveals that “the overwhelming majority of America’s most prestigious institutions do not require even the students who major in history to take a single course on United States history or government. Disregard for the importance of United States history in the undergraduate history major is matched by the overall disappearance of United States history requirements from general education, the core curriculum that should be part of every student’s education. ACTA’s annual “What will They Learn?” survey shows that only 18% of the over 1.100 four-year colleges and universities in the study, public and private, require a foundational course in United States history or United States history or United States government.”
- Less than half could identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown.
- Only 42% placed the Battle of the Bulge in the history of World War II.
- One-third of college graduates were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal.
- Nearly half did not know that Teddy Roosevelt played a major role in constructing the Panama Canal.
- Less than 20% could accurately identify—in a multiple-choice survey—the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Over one-third of the college graduates surveyed could not place the American Civil War in its correct 20-year time frame.
- Nearly half of the college graduates could not identify correctly the term lengths of U.S. senators and representatives. Reputation and high tuition are no guarantee that students will know the history of their nation.
We expect a certain amount of pure stupidity from college students. That is, after all, why they are there, but that only 18% of four year colleges and universities “require a foundational course in U.S. History or government” is alarming. Parents and alumni should let their schools know that to be unacceptable. They should also demand that the chairman of the history department explain the department’s requirements and rationale for those requirements.
ACTA delved into the requirements and course offerings in the history departments of 76 of the country’s top colleges and universities to see just how American history fit into their programs. Only 23 of the top undergraduate programs require a single course in U.S. history. Pathetic. That’s why we require new citizens to learn something about our history.
I particularly love John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth: The Epic history of American Economic Power, which brings in the inventions and developments that changed not only this country but changed the world. We’ve had adversity and wars, and a nation of diverse ambitious people from all over, striving to make better lives and a better country along the way. Economic developments have consequences and Mr. Gordon’s history provides the answer to why things happened the way they did. It’s a fascinating book.
If the colleges are mistreating your kids, after all the tuition they demand, be prepared to drill some history into them when they get home. The Left may want a generation of malleable nitwits, but our country can’t afford it.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economics, Freedom, Health Care, History, Immigration, Law, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Statism, Terrorism | Tags: Border Walls, History's Exception, Obama's Ideology
Donald Trump got a lot of support from his announced plan to build a “Great Big Wall and make Mexico pay for it.” The commentariat reacted immediately with cries of racism and xenophobia, (the fear of anything new or different), but in fact, countries all over the world are reacting to migrants with new fences or walls. Turkey’s new Syrian border fence will have a smart tower every 1,000 feet featuring “a three-language alarm system and automate firing systems” supported by zeppelin drones.
Israel’s Separation Barrier with the West Bank has been hotly debated. There is a Moroccan Wall in the Western Sahara. The Great Wall of Jordan (costs half a billion dollars), and Kenya has an anti-terror wall on its Somalia border.
Saudi Arabia is building a 600 mile “Great Wall” to protect against border infiltrators from Iraq that begin with sand berms, twin chain link fences with razor wire 100m apart separated by concertina fence, then 40 watchtowers equipped with radar and daylight cameras, command-and-control centers, 38 separate communication towers and 32 military response stations. They are serious, but ISIS regards the capture of Saudi Arabia home to the”Two Holy Mosques” of Mecca and Medina, as a key goal.
Many of the EU states are erecting border fences, but those who consider the nation-state to be a fiction, and who sneer at border fences as attempting to keep the barbarians out, note that “barbarians can be defined however the wall -builders desire.” Technology is dismissed as a leftover Cold War trend. An essay from UPI suggests since the advent of the War on Terror, border barriers have been framed as a state’s response to terrorist acts, but are a distorted mirror image of terrorist intentions. Building a wall is easier for a more authoritarian state, and part of a policy framework that includes state-sanctioned repression. But then Evelyn Gordon reports at Commentary about the 13 year-old Israeli-American who was murdered in her bed this morning, stabbed to death by a Palestinian teenager.
I would submit that people are by nature tribal. The Middle East is deeply divided by tribes who all seem to be fighting each other. People who share a language, a background and customs are apt to stick together. America was settled by tribes or groups who settled together, the British in new England, the Dutch in New Amsterdam, the Germans in Germantown, members of religious sects came together. Many were despised when they first arrived, but assimilated, integrated and intermarried — and then they formed new tribes, barn builders, quilters, musicians and horse breeders and so on and on.
Victor Davis Hanson wrote recently that “The history of nations is mostly characterized by ethnic and racial uniformity, not diversity.”
Most national boundaries reflected linguistic, religious, and ethnic homogeneity. Until the late 20th century, diversity was considered a liability, not a strength. …
Many societies created words to highlight their own racial purity. At times, “Volk” in German and “Raza” in Spanish (and “Razza” in Italian) meant more than just shared language, residence, or culture; those words also included a racial essence. Even today, it would be hard for someone Japanese to be fully accepted as a Mexican citizen, or for a native-born Mexican to migrate and become a Japanese citizen …
America is history’s exception. It began as a republic founded by European migrants. Like the homogenous citizens of most other nations, they were likely on a trajectory to incorporate racial sameness as the mark of citizenship. But the ultimate logic of America’s unique Constitution was different. So the United States steadily evolved to define Americans by their shared values, not by their superficial appearance. Eventually, anyone who was willing to give up his prior identity and assume a new American persona became American.
Consider the agenda of the Obama administration. Diversity is to be enforced, including forcing suburbs to accept people from the inner city, and forcing people from the inner city to relocate to unfamiliar suburbs. Refugees are to be planted in communities across the country. Idaho just got 7 refugees with active Tuberculosis (TB), following seven other states who have reported active TB among refugees resettled in their states. Of 4,650 refugees resettled in Idaho between 2011 and 2015 — 896 tested positive for latent TB infection. TB is a very serious disease. It had been nearly eradicated. And TB is just one of the diseases that Obama is quite deliberately spreading around the country in the name of ideology.
Illegal alien unaccompanied children have been sent to every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. Attempting to reach some ideological goal by forcing diversity of race and ethnicity in the name of achieving “equality” goes against the natural inclinations of the people involved — to solve a solely political goal of the administration. A goal that seems to be mostly about making themselves feel noble and important, because it certainly has nothing to do with the people and what they want.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Law, Media Bias, Middle East, Military, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Statism, Syria, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Iran's Intentions, Radical Islam, The Middle East
Why does Barack Obama refuse to utter the words “Radical Islam?” Why does the phrase in the First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” which has a clear meaning, seem to prohibit our federal agencies from doing necessary background inquiries regarding those who appear to be radicalized Muslims? Major Nidal Hassan who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood and wounded more than 30 others was clearly observed to be radicalized and dangerous, but nobody would do anything about it because he was Muslim.
Omar Mateen was allowed to avoid serious investigation because he was a Muslim. He blamed his actions on Islamophobia. He talked a lot about how he wanted to kill people. Disney reported that Mateen and his wife were casing Disney World back in April. But real investigation stopped because he was a Muslim.
After the deadliest mass shooting in American history. President Obama was angry, impassioned — at Republicans? Huh? David Harsanyi notes the occasion at NRO: (Do read the whole thing)
“That’s the key,” they tell us,” Obama said, eviscerating the GOP. “We can’t beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists. What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?
Victor Davis Hanson wrote about Orlando and “domestic terrorism:”
Most disturbing is the serial inability of the Obama administration — in this case as after the attacks at Fort Hood and in Boston and San Bernardino — even to name the culprits as radical Islamists. Major Hasan shouts “Allahu akbar!” and Omar Mateen calls 911 in mediis interfectis to boast of his ISIS affiliation — and yet the administration can still not utter the name of the catalyst of their attacks: radical Islam. It is hard to envision any clearer Islamist self-identification, other than name tags and uniforms. The Obama team seems to fear the unwelcome public responses to these repeated terrorist operations rather than seeing them as requisites for changing policies to prevent their recurrence.
The current Leftist seems to be consumed by the belief that Michelle Obama derived from her husband. “All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do — that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be,” which seems to be derived from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. They dream of an imagined world that is self-evidently superior to the existing order. Their world is consumed with the glorious future of which they dream and the current battle against the Right.
That leaves little time for reflection or study, so they rely heavily on leftist talking points that are handed down to the press and to Democratic spokesmen. That’s why there are always examples of the entire Democrat apparatus speaking of the same event in exactly the same words. Talking points. And they seem remarkably ill-informed.
Obama clearly was influenced by the years he spent in Muslim Indonesia before he was 10 years old, but there is no evidence that he is Muslim. Many of us believe that his much ballyhooed “Iran Deal” is an absolute disaster and a major danger to the United States, yet the president sees it as a great accomplishment. Why?
I believe he sees the Middle East in a domestic battle between Sunni and Shia for dominance, which we ignited — with the Invasion of Iraq — and made worse with our brutal treatment of the Iraqis, killing Muslims and destroying property. Obama’s closest advisor is Valerie Jarrett who was raised in Iran.
He regards Arab Muslims with their wealth and palaces and yachts as the problem, and the enlightened and educated Persians as a better class to control the Middle East. He believes we should turn the entire area over to the Iranians to manage. He thinks we have no business in the Middle East at all, and believes America should play a smaller role in the world, as just one among many nations. He sees the cries of the Ayatollah for “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” as some sort of rallying cry or public relations, but not anything that is meant seriously. He said, when he was trying to sell his Iran Deal to Americans, that he did not believe that Iran would ever use a nuclear weapon.
Obama, we are told, does not change his mind. Once he believes something, it is set in concrete. He was heavily influenced by Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American firebrand professor of Middle East studies at Columbia, and I assume Obama believes that Israel is the major problem in the Middle East. Obama’s great accomplishment was to create a “two-state solution”, and he is furious that he hasn’t been able to bring it about. Palestinians aren’t ready to stop trying to kill Israelis with rockets and stabbings and tunnels to attack Israelis in their homes, which is somewhat inclined to give the Israelis a jaundiced view of the fabled “Peace Process.”
I have no expertise in the Middle East, never been there, this is only what I have derived from my reading, but I do read a lot. When an enemy leads chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,”and hangs citizens of his own country who disagree with him, I’m inclined to believe him. When they demand the ability to build nuclear plants that are clearly not needed to produce power, and everybody says they are developing nuclear weapons, I’m inclined to believe them. When they are pursing intercontinental ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear weapon, I’m a more than a little skeptical about Mr. Obama’s Iran Deal. That’s why he won’t say “Radical Islam.”