The EU

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Donald Trump and Andrew Johnson

For John, BLUFA review, and comparison, with the first Impeachment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog Chicago Boyz, posted by Mr Michael Kennedy, 29 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

I think I see some similarities between the Democrats’ apparent efforts to try to impeach President Trump and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868.

Andrew Johnson was a “war Democrat,” meaning that he was a Democrat who supported the Union.  He was Governor of the border state of Tennessee.  Lincoln considered the border states critical in saving the Union.

“I hope to have God on my side,” Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said early in the war, “but I must have Kentucky.”  Unlike most of his contemporaries, Lincoln hesitated to invoke divine sanction of human causes, but his wry comment unerringly acknowledged the critical importance of the border states to the Union cause.  Following the attack on Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops in April 1861, public opinion in Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri was sharply divided and these states’ ultimate allegiance uncertain.  The residents of the border were torn between their close cultural ties with the South, on the one hand, and their long tradition of Unionism and political moderation on the other.

My thought is that while Impeachment of President Donald Trump might be good for Republicans, it would be bad for the nation as a whole.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Immigration Nonsense

For John, BLUFThe linked OpEd is very dishonest.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Immigration quotas should be based on how much the host country has ruined other countries.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Suketu Mehta (Mr. Mehta is the author of This Land Is Our Land:  An Immigrant’s Manifesto.), 7 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

There is a lot of debate these days about whether the United States owes its African-American citizens reparations for slavery.  It does.  But there is a far bigger bill that the United States and Europe have run up:  what they owe to other countries for their colonial adventures, for the wars they imposed on them, for the inequality they have built into the world order, for the excess carbon they have dumped into the atmosphere.

The creditor countries aren’t seriously suggesting that the West send sacks of gold bullion every year to India or Nigeria.  Their people are asking for fairness:  for the borders of the rich countries to be opened to goods and people, to Indian textiles as well as Nigerian doctors.  In seeking to move, they are asking for immigration as reparations.

Today, a quarter of a billion people are migrants.  They are moving because the rich countries have stolen the future of the poor countries.  Whether it is Iraqis and Syrians fleeing the effects of illegal American wars, or Africans seeking to work for their former European colonial masters, or Guatemalans and Hondurans trying to get into the country that peddles them guns and buys their drugs:  They are coming here because we were there.

Before you ask them to respect our borders, ask yourself:  Has the West ever respected anyone’s borders?

Monday last, on City Life, Mr George Zaharoolis, talking about the Greek Orthodox Church, kept saying Constantinople.  But, today it is Istanbul.  So why does the author not reference that non-respect of borders, some 566 years ago (1453AD).  No mention by the Writer of the Armenians, or the Ukrainians or the Baltics.  Maybe it is not PC.

I wonder where he comes down on the Reconquista?  Who was in the wrong?  Were reparations owed?  And perhaps most interesting, when does a conquest stop being a conquest and becomes accepted social reality?  Have we accepted and adapted to the Norman Conquest of 1066?  On the other hand, do we accept the Roman conquest of the Holy Land, and all that flows from it as fait accompli?

This is rubbish.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting Religious Freedom

For John, BLUFActually more than religious freedom.  It is freedom of conscience.  Even atheists and agnostics have a sense of right and wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

What this administration has finally done is to take the long-standing conscience laws seriously, defining key terms and establishing an effective complaint and enforcement process.

From The Boston Pilot, by Mr Richard Doerfliinger, 7 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Our political life has become such a war of words that many may not notice that the Trump administration has done something very good and long overdue -- and is being condemned for it.

The very good thing is a regulation to implement numerous federal laws on conscience rights in health care, chiefly on conscientious objection to abortion.

One law, called the Church amendment (after sponsor Sen. Frank Church of Idaho), has been in effect since 1973.  Another, the Weldon amendment (after sponsor Rep. Dave Weldon of Florida), has been signed into law as part of the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services by every president of both parties since 2004.

Yet no regulation has been in place to clarify key terms in the laws or ensure effective enforcement.

President George W. Bush had proposed such a regulation.  But that was reversed by President Obama, who left all matters of interpretation and enforcement to the HHS Office for Civil Rights.  That office then proceeded to distort the laws' meaning so they would seldom do much good.

For example, the Weldon amendment clearly forbids state governments receiving federal funds to force private health plans to provide abortion coverage.  But when California issued just such a coercive mandate, the Obama administration found no violation, saying that no insurance company had claimed a moral or religious objection to such coverage.

I am saddened that the Obama Administration failed to move forward on this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 14, 2019

Abortion's Possible Future

For John, BLUFAt this point in time we had a compromise that seemed to work.  Unacceptable, but it provided access to abortion, if you are paying attention to your body, but discouraged abortion for all, at any point in the pregnancy.  Moves by both sides look to destroy that compromise.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Yorker, by Harvard Law School Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, 5 June 2019.

Here is the concluding paragraph:

When Republican lawmakers consider the fact of rape or incest irrelevant to a decision to terminate a pregnancy, and when Thomas invokes the spectre of discrimination against a fetus, they are making the same point—that every “unborn child” is entitled to the same dignity as you or me.  And, if fetuses are thought to have basic rights as persons do, then a future ruling might reach beyond overturning Roe.  It might hold that it is unconstitutional for any state to allow abortions at all. This position—the constitutionalization of abortion abolition—would go far beyond what either liberals and conservatives have imagined possible, but it is where the ambitions of fetal personhood now entering the legal mainstream are headed.
There will be abortions, as long as men and women are having sex.  What is created, if there is creation, is a human (something some are blindly unwilling to admit).  At the same time, most of us have no stomach for putting in jail those who decide, early on, that their pregnancy is too much of a burden.

We are a diverse democracy.  Thus we must look for a compromise.

Regards  —  Cliff

Foreign Sources in Political Campaigns

For John, BLUFDid the President set up Reporter George Stephanopolis in answering the question about opponent information from another country?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, 14 June 2019.

Here is the Professor Althouse excerpt from Mr John Hinderaker's blog post: />

"But what is blindingly obvious, yet absent from every Democratic Party news account feigning horror at the ABC interview, is that the Hillary Clinton campaign didn’t just receive 'foreign dirt' on the Trump campaign.  It paid for foreign sources to fabricate lies about Trump, which it then disseminated to the press.  Listen to 'foreign dirt'?  The Clinton [campaign] paid for it!"
Yes, I agree.  But it is a case of tunnel vision, target fixation.  In the flying dodge the problem with target fixation is that the aircraft impacts unscorable at twelve.

One thing to think about is that information wants to be free.  So, should we be locking it up?  Should the salacious "information" in the Steele Dossier have been locked away?

What I worry about is summed up in this Blog Comment:

whitney said...
Doesn't matter.  Everyone's locked into their positions now.  You're either in the Trump evil crowd or Trump not evil crowd. Perhaps the structure can survive past Trump but the divisions will remain.  The gulf is too wide, violence is going to be met with violence and Chaos will ensue.  All the symptoms of late-stage Empire are around us.  It will be different than the other falls but there will be similarities.  No amount of preparation will save you because preparation is based on predicting the future and predictability will be lost first.

6/14/19, 6:44 AM

Unlike Whitney, I don't think we are there yet, but we could get there.

What gives me hope is talking to people.  On City Life this morning we had myself, the Co-Host, Jim Peters, and three guests, plus the Producer.  We had 2016 voters for Mrs Clinton and for Mr Trump, but we were civil in our discussion.  And, there was little to no interest in Impeachment.  If we can maintain that civility we will get through this.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bernie Sanders Explains Socilalism, As He Understands It

For John, BLUFDemocratic Party Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders believes in Unicorns and Democratic Socialism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Atlantic, by Writer Yascha Mounk, 13 June 2019.

Here is what Professir Althouse excerpted:

If Sanders was coy about the details of a “socialist” economy, he was downright disdainful of the notion that a speech on socialism and authoritarianism should seriously grapple with the long history of socialist movements that have ended in dictatorship.  In his view, the threat of autocracy comes exclusively from the right.  Just as in the 1930s, “America and the world are once again moving towards authoritarianism.”  This danger is driven by “right-wing forces of oligarchy, corporatism, nationalism, racism, and xenophobia.”  The only answer that will stave off fascism is, you guessed it, “democratic socialism.”

Thus Sanders name-checked Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini but remained silent about Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.  And while he rightly decried the autocratic tendencies of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, he neglected to mention leftist autocrats such as Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Cuba’s Raúl Castro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, or North Korea’s Kim Jung Un.  Indeed, the only connection between socialism and autocracy that Sanders was willing to acknowledge is the one that exists in the feverish imagination of the ignorant right:  He decried the “red-baiting” in which Republicans have long engaged.

The implication was obvious.  Anybody who was hoping for a clear account of the differences between Sanders’s political ambitions and those of autocratic socialist regimes is a fellow traveler of Richard Nixon, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Donald Trump, and the Heritage Foundation....

The speech Sanders gave was not serious.

When, as a Democrat, you have lost The Atlantic, you are in trouble.  Notwithstanding, "Socialism" polls well amongst younger voters.  That, however, is on the heads of school teachers and textbook writers.  Shame on you.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Cuba Goes For Rationing

For John, BLUFWe have a couple of examples of socialism right here in our own hemisphere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

It’s clear that price controls are in the Cuban state’s toolbox of economic tricks and won’t be going away anytime soon.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by Writer José Niño, 12 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

While it is fashionable to talk about Venezuela and its notorious shortage of basic goods such as toilet paper, flour, and milk, Cuba is now implementing a rationing program to combat its very own shortages of basic goods.  A CBC report indicates this program would cover basic items such as chicken, eggs, rice, beans, and soap.

What has caused these shortages has been a subject of debate. Cuban Minister of Commerce Betsy Diaz Velazquez blames the Trump administration’s stiffening of the trade embargo with the island nation.  Others contend that decreasing aid from Venezuela has contributed to Cuba’s newly emerging rationing dilemma.  Over the past few years, Venezuela has provided Cuba with subsidized fuel and other forms of aid in order to keep its basic infrastructure intact.

Although these explanations do have validity and will be touched upon later, there is another factor that is not being considered. The lowest common denominator in the Cuban economy during the past five decades is excessive government control.

I guess when socialism fails it is always someone else's fault, although the Venezuela theory means socialism failing socialism.  Has anyone told Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders or Congresswoman AOC?

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course if Bernie becomes President it will fix the illegal immigration problem as he turns America into a socialist nation.

Trafficking People

For John, BLUFIs anyone surprised that there is criminal activity on our Southern Border.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: AFN TJ (TIJUANA News), 10 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) confirmed the arrest of Irineo Mújica, activist and leader of the organization "Pueblos Sin Fronteras", as well as Cristóbal Sánchez, in compliance with an arrest warrant for related crimes in immigration matters.

The federal agency reported that in April and May, Honduran nationals filed several complaints against the now detained, accused of asking for money in exchange for illegally intern them in Mexico and take them to the Federal Public Ministry at the northern border of the country, in order to cross them, also illegally, to the United States.

The Office of the Prosecutor stated that Irineo Mújica, detained in Sonora, would be involved in the commission of the crime of transporting migrants, with the aggravating circumstance that such conduct was carried out with minors, while Cristóbal Sánchez, apprehended at his home in Mexico City , would have illegally introduced people of Central American origin to the national territory.

I wonder if District Attorney Rachel Rollins would indict?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

"Existential Threat"

For John, BLUFThings are heating up already for 2020.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, by Professor Ann Althouse, 12 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

uoted in "Biden and Trump exchange fire in Iowa, ignoring others in the field" (WaPo), teased on the front page as "In Iowa, the feud between Trump and Biden gains strength/President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden ridiculed one another in the harshest terms they’ve used so far."
Then Professor Althouse plays the Professor and asks us about what Mr Biden is saying:
What, if anything, do you think Biden is trying to say when he calls Trump an "existential threat"?  Underscored with "literally," it should mean that, with Trump, there's a danger that America will cease to exist.  I think he's trying to say the America we know and love is threatened by Trump.  But to find that meaning, we can't take "literally" literally.
To me a literal existential threat means Impeachment today with Conviction immediately following.

Ms Althouse quotes Ms Susan B. Glasser! From the 26 April 2019 issue of The New Yorker, April 26, 2019:

In his launch video, which is three minutes and thirty seconds of Biden mostly talking into the camera, he calls Trump a “threat to this nation . . . unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime” and an existential challenge to the very idea of American democracy.  The election of 2020 is “the battle for the soul of the nation,” Biden says, and, if Trump is reëlected, “he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of” the country.  In short, Biden adds, “Everything that has made America America is at stake.”
That is it.  He has rolled his dice.  There is nothing stronger he can say, unless we have an Edwin Edwards moment:  From 1983:  "The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." (He won!)

I believe the former Veep peaked too soon.  Plus are are going to have the Princess Bride moment, repeated, where Inigo Montoya says "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means."

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

American Schooling, Part II

For John, BLUFThe American approach to elementary and secondary education is failing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This work is published by the Foundation for Economic Education and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE.  This article was originally published on the web site.

Here is the sub-headline:

All across the nation, students are being prodded like cattle into classrooms, and the one-size-fits-all approach is failing them.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by High School Teacher Justin Spears, 27 May 2019

There is a popular saying that “the proof is in the pudding.”  In the first part of this article set, my colleague Mike Margeson spelled out the historical roots of the American schooling system.  He clearly laid out the blueprint that men like Horace Mann used to build a system that does anything but “educates.”  Factor in that trillions of dollars have been spent on schooling, and it makes it even harder to justify.

A Broken System

Yet we continue to hear the “Red for Ed” crowd scream for more funding.  Here in the state of Indiana, the superintendent of public education is leading an assault on the state legislature for a meager 2 percent increase in state funding.  Many educators are characterizing this as a decrease in funding!  In no other walk of life would we continue to pour so many resources into a failed system.  If you had any doubt about this after reading Part One, let me present you with some facts.

In what was one of many fiery speaking engagements, the late John Taylor Gatto delivered a line that has resonated with me as I have studied the effects the public schooling system has on children.  In this particular speech, Gatto was recounting the story of Jaime Escalante, the educator who successfully taught calculus at Garfield High School in Los Angeles yet was forced to resign.

As he finishes describing the trials and fate of Escalante, Gatto explains that above racism and other forms of bigotry is the embedded idea that what really occurred was a deliberate attempt to stop genuine learning.  Earlier in the speech, Gatto laid out a compelling case of how and why schooling is meant to keep citizens ignorant.  This success at an inner city school was not going to be tolerated by the establishment.  He implored his listeners to understand the real problem and to quit “fencing with shadows.”

Flushing Money Down the Drain

So what does this mean?  Throughout history, compulsory schooling has consistently been viewed as not only progressive but also in need of reform.  The most common method of reform has been to throw piles of money at the problem. According to the Department of Education’s (DOE) website, the DOE spent an estimated $69.4 billion in 2017.  Compare that to the initial $2.9 billion ($23 billion adjusted for inflation) budgeted under the Elementary and Secondary School Act of 1965.

To put this into context, education spending as a percent of gross domestic product has gone from 2.6 percent in the 1950s to 6.1 percent as recently as 2010.  This is just a look at federal spending; each state also allocates a portion of their budget to education, with California leading the way at over $72 million.  Finally, we have seen a tremendous amount of private capital injected to help reform schools.  Institutions such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have invested billions of dollars in education.  All this spending must be yielding better results, right?  Let’s take a look.

Contrary to what those in public education will tell you, the system is flush with cash, which generates very few positive results.  Take New York as an example.  The state was front and center in the reform battle during President Obama’s Race to the Top (RTT) initiative.  Leading up to the controversial dash for cash, the city had been experiencing an education overhaul, including battles over charters and a knock-down fight with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Board of Education chief, Joel Klein, and the powerful unions.  The state was seeing an infusion of Wall Street cash backing charters, which were being throttled by state Democrats and union bosses.

In addition to the almost $700 million in RTT funds and the $61.4 million spent at the state level, the city of New York saw millions of dollars invested from groups like Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).  So what are the results of these investments?  According to Cornell University’s NYC Education Data program, less than half of all eighth graders in the state are proficient in English language arts and math.  We see this same type of result across the country.

Indeed, these results do not stack up well internationally, either.  A 2015 Organization for Economic Cooperation Development report shows just how far behind American students are falling.  The average score for 15-year-olds in math, language, and science on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test for the US was 470.  Only Mexico (402), Chile (423) and Turkey (420) had lower scores.  Thirty-one other nations had scores higher than the US, with Japan leading the way at 532.

Where to Look for Solutions

Why, in 2019, after all the money spent and all the reforms that have been instituted, are we still seeing such horrific results in our schools?  The answer is much simpler than it has been made out to be:  The system is broken.  There is no remedy to fix this system.  It is fundamentally flawed.  The famous saying that you cannot fix a problem with the same mind that created it rings so true.  So if reform will not work, what are we to do?

Again, the answer is simple:  unschool.  First, let’s be clear—charters and virtual schools are not desired long-term outcomes.  They are soft variants of the current system, and while they may show growth in the short-term, in the long run, they still stifle learning due to government regulation.  There are many methods for accomplishing the goal of unschooling.  Some systems are already in place, such as homeschooling.  Another great model is the Sudbury School.  This is a democratic system of education that allows students the autonomy to determine their own paths of learning.

We need more educators to speak up and have the courage to buck the system.  Until that time, we will keep fencing with shadows.

All across the nation, students are being prodded like cattle into classrooms, and the one-size-fits-all approach is failing them.  They are bored and uninterested, and we blame them.  We tell them and their parents that there is something medically wrong with them—that they need medication and counseling.  This ought to weigh on the minds of every adult in America as cruel and abusive.  Only systems that return power, and ultimately the desire to learn in children, will suffice.  We need more educators like John Taylor Gatto to speak up and have the courage to buck the system.  We need more leaders like Kerry McDonald and Dr. Peter Gray, who have led the charge in researching and promoting the unschooling model.  Until that time, we will keep fencing with shadows.

Justin Spears

Justin Spears is a high school social studies teacher in Indiana. He has been in education for over a decade but has a background in business.  He holds a Bachelors in Marketing from Butler University and a Masters in Secondary Education from Indiana University.  He is currently working to co-author a book; Failure:  The History and Results of a Broken School System

American Schooling, Part I

For John, BLUFThe American approach to elementary and secondary education is failing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This work is published by the Foundation for Economic Education and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE.  This article was originally published on the web site.

Here is the sub-headline:

The earliest ancestor to our system of government-mandated schooling comes from 16th-century Germany.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by High School Teachers Mike Margeson and Justin Spears, 13 May 2019.

While it’s almost universally understood that the American school system is underperforming, “reform,” too, is almost universally prescribed as the solution. Yet in other walks of life, bad ideas are not reformed—they are eliminated and replaced with better ones. Our school system is rarely identified as a bad idea.

The system is reflexively left alone while the methods are the bad ideas that get cycled in and out: open concept schools, multiple intelligences, project-based learning, universal design for learning, merit-based pay, vouchers, charters, and most recently, educational neuroscience. Every decade or so we are told by the pedagogic experts that they have found an answer to our school’s problems. The trouble is, they’re looking right past the problem.

The problem is the monopoly that schooling has gained over education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 97 percent of kids go through traditional schooling (as opposed to homeschooling or unschooling), and just over 90 percent of those attend government schools. That is to say, there is basically one accepted way to educate kids today: school them.

Given the relatively poor performance of American students on international achievement tests, you would think schooling might receive a second look. Quite the opposite, actually. It is instead made mandatory, and taxpayers are forced to subsidize it. This begs the question: Why would the government continue to propagate a system that produces such questionable results? The answer lies in their motives, and their motives are best understood by reviewing a brief history of compulsory schooling.

The earliest ancestor to our system of government-mandated schooling comes from 16th-century Germany. Martin Luther was a fierce advocate for state-mandated public schooling, not because he wanted kids to become educated, but because he wanted them to become educated in the ways of Lutheranism. Luther was resourceful and understood the power of the state in his quest to reform Jews, Catholics, and other non-believers. No less significant was fellow reformist John Calvin, who also advocated heavily for forced schooling. Calvin was particularly influential among the later Puritans of New England (Rothbard, 1979).

Considering compulsory schooling has such deep roots in Germany, it should be no surprise that the precursor to our American government school system came directly from the German state of Prussia. In 1807, fresh off a humiliating defeat by the French during the War of the Fourth Coalition, the Germans instituted a series of vast, sweeping societal reforms. Key within this movement was education reform, and one of the most influential educational reformers in Germany at the time was a man named Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Like Luther before him, Fichte saw compulsory schooling as a tool to indoctrinate kids, not educate them. Fichte describes his aim for Germany’s “new education” this way:

Then, in order to define more clearly the new education which I propose, I should reply that that very recognition of, and reliance upon, free will in the pupil is the first mistake of the old system and the clear confession of its impotence and futility.

But actual education is an organic process and requires free will; this was not an attempt at education. Schools were to be factories that would churn out the type of obedient, compliant workers the state preferred. Here’s Fichte again explaining the desired interaction between teachers and students:

[Y]ou must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than you wish him to will.

Fichte understood full well that a statist vision could most easily be realized if governments were given kids’ minds early on:

Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished ... When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.

If such a totalitarian vision were quietly isolated in Germany, or even Europe, it might be of very little consequence. But it would be this Prussian model of control-by-schooling that 19th-century American politicians would bring to our nation—and the one that is still with us today.

Referred to as the first great American advocate of public education, Horace Mann embarked on a journey to Europe in 1843 to evaluate national school systems. He toured several western European states, but Prussia left the most impressionable impact on him (see his 7th Annual Report of the Board of Education, 1843). Once back in the United States, Mann began to lobby heavily for a taxpayer-funded government school system that largely mirrored that of Prussia’s.

Mann was no ordinary, grassroots American activist; he was an extremely influential public figure. He had been a part of the Massachusetts State Legislature, he was the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and he later became a United States congressman. He had enormous reach. In short, Mann’s influence worked. His “common school movement,” as it would be known, began to spread across the Northeast, with government schooling taking root in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

By the end of the decade, all states had public schools. Unsatisfied with forcing taxpayers to fund a government school system, Massachusetts also wanted to force everyone to go. What good would an organized system of indoctrination be if people could simply ignore it? They instituted the first compulsory attendance laws in the 1850s, and neighboring states began to follow suit; by the end of the 19th century, 34 states had compulsory school laws.

By 1918, they all did. Over the decades, the number of years kids were forced to go to school slowly increased, as did the number of required school days per year. Fines and penalties would be imposed nationwide for school truancy. Within decades, the federal government passed the ESEA, which thrust the national government into education and shortly thereafter established a federal Department of Education. Mann’s vision for a truly national school system would be realized just a little over a century after his initial visits to Prussia.

It is impossible to discuss, or even understand, the failures of our school system without understanding its origins. The motivations were not pure; they were never to educate. That need not be speculation—it is directly from the mouths of the reformers themselves. The objective was to nationalize the youth in a particular mold.

From Luther to Fichte, the idea to use the coercive power of the state to force kids into schools and indoctrinate them was clear. Horace Mann became instrumental in importing this system and helping it spread throughout the United States. Attempts to reform this system amount to an incredible waste of time and resources; discussions of reform are a waste of breath. The system is rotten at its foundation and must be abolished completely.

Mike Margeson
Mike Margeson

Mike Margeson is a high school social studies teacher in Indiana; he has 15 years experience in the classroom. He holds a bachelor’s in Political Science from UC Irvine and a master’s from Butler University in educational administration. He is currently working to co-author a book, Failure: The History and Results of a Broken School System.

Justin Spears Justin Spears Justin Spears is a high school social studies teacher in Indiana. He has been in education for over a decade but has a background in business. He holds a Bachelors in Marketing from Butler University and a Masters in Secondary Education from Indiana University. He is currently working to co-author a book; Failure: The History and Results of a Broken School System.

This article was originally published on Read the original article.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Freedom of Press

For John, BLUFMr Julian Assange, who used to be a Press darling, and is now a pariah, is in danger of becoming a tool for destroying the "Freedom of the Press" guarantee in the First Amendment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The continued persecution of Manning and Assange shows that while actual war criminals are showered with praise and given lucrative sinecures, those who reveal their crimes are the ones who will face punishment.

From Nation of Change, by Reporter Derek Royden, 7 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

On April 11th, within hours of Julian Assange being taken into custody on charges of jumping bail in the U.K., the United States released an indictment calling for the Australian publisher to be extradited there to face trial on hacking charges related to the 2010 leaks that first brought him and Wikileaks to the world’s attention. The whistle-blower who provided those leaks, Chelsea Manning, has also been returned to jail indefinitely for the second time this year.

While the price to be paid by Assange if found guilty of this initial charge seemed relatively small (about five years maximum) and didn’t seem to infringe on the United States’ First Amendment protections, much of the press, at least in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, seemed almost gleeful as images of the disheveled, obviously psychologically distressed Wikileaks co-founder being pulled out of Ecuador’s London embassy by police were broadcast around the globe.

The Manning leaks, just short of three quarters of a million documents and other materials that revealed, among many other things, U.S. complicity in brutal torture by Iraqi authorities and the murder of dozens of innocent civilians at checkpoints during the war, are of vital historical importance. They not only revealed the carnage that was being wreaked in Iraq and Afghanistan but a separate cache showed a U.S. diplomatic corps drowning in cynicism and often dedicated to impeding social and political progress in other countries, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Obama administration, perhaps in part to let what the 2010 leaks revealed lie, eventually decided after years of investigative work that Wikileaks and its publisher could not be prosecuted for making them public, especially considering the fact that many mainstream outlets, from the New York Times to the U.K. Guardian to Der Spiegal, vetted and published many of the same documents.

I have little sympathy for former soldier Chelsea Manning.  At the time he released his large number of documents his action went passed whistle blowing and into temper tantrum, a temper tantrum that risked people's lives.

But Julian Assange is a different matter.  He is a member of the Press.  Taking him down is putting an ax to the root of Press Freedom, to the root of New YorkTimes Co v United States, the landmark 1971 Freedom of the Press Supreme Court Decision.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 8, 2019


For John, BLUFIs VEEP Joe Biden going to go the distance?  If he does, will he take a dive for Hillary at the Convention?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Columnist Matt Margolis, 7 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Joe Biden was in favor of the Hyde Amendment before he was against it.  At least, that’s his position now.  There’s no telling what it might be later today or tomorrow.

Hey Joe!  John Kerry called, he wants his campaign strategy back.

As someone who has mocked the media’s attempt to paint Joe Biden as a centrist candidate, when Biden announced earlier this week he still supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion, I was quite shocked.  Last month I wrote that to survive the primary, Joe Biden will “embrace the most radical positions necessary to hold on to his lead in the polls.”  As his party has moved further to the extreme left on the issue of abortion, affirming his support of the Hyde Amendment seemed like he was shooting his campaign in the foot with a silver bullet.  Biden, the current frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination, was actually taking a moderate stance.  Could it be he might actually attempt to take a few centrist positions during his third presidential campaign?

His past support for the Hyde Amendment is well documented.  If there was ever a time to announce that he’d simply evolved on the issue over time and now opposed it, the moment had come.  But he didn’t.  He essentially challenged the extremist wing of his party and took a stance more in line with America’s mainstream.

But, it turns out my prediction about Biden came true.  Within 48 hours of announcing support for the Hyde Amendment, Biden changed his mind.

This is not his first major flip-flop during his presidential campaign.  Last month, Joe Biden walked back his call for a “middle ground” approach to climate policy after criticism from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

I think the Hyde Amendment represents where America is.  I was sorry to see Vice President Biden change positions on the Hyde Amendment, but his staff must have calculated he needed to change where he stands to get the nomination.  Then the staff calculated it wouldn't be a big issue in the General Election, and they are likely correct.  Unless the abortion issue goes off the rails.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump to Jail?

For John, BLUFHis crime?  Beating Hillary in 2016?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

She also clashed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who pressed her to begin impeachment proceedings.She also clashed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who pressed her to begin impeachment proceedings.

From Politico, by Ms Heather Caygle, 5 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told senior Democrats that she’d like to see President Donald Trump “in prison” as she clashed with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler in a meeting on Tuesday night over whether to launch impeachment proceedings.

Pelosi met with Nadler (D-N.Y.) and several other top Democrats who are aggressively pursuing investigations against the president, according to multiple sources.  Nadler and other committee leaders have been embroiled in a behind-the-scenes turf battle for weeks over ownership of the Democrats’ sprawling investigation into Trump.

Nadler pressed Pelosi to allow his committee to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump — the second such request he’s made in recent weeks only to be rebuffed by the California Democrat and other senior leaders.  Pelosi stood firm, reiterating that she isn’t open to the idea of impeaching Trump at this time.

“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, according to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting.  Instead of impeachment, Pelosi still prefers to see Trump defeated at the ballot box and then prosecuted for his alleged crimes, according to the sources.

Notwithstanding what is happening, I still see Representative Nancy Pelosi as a shrewd player and think she is dealing with a very challenging caucus.  A caucus that would as soon engage in self-immolation as give President Trump an inch.

I am hoping the DOJ counter-Investigations will help cool the ardor of some of the more excitable Democrats, and do it without burning the house down, so to speak.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tarrifs Work

For John, BLUFI realize that President Trump makes both Democrat and Republican leaders nervous, but he seems to be getting things done..  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, by Jazz Shaw, 6 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

While the President is overseas honoring D-Day, the cable news talking heads back home have been busy critiquing his recently announced plan to impose an increasing series of tariffs on Mexico unless that nation stops the flood of migrants passing through their country toward the United States.  The plan has been described in the press with a variety of terms ranging from reckless to impossible.  After all, even if Mexico was willing to consider such a deal, how could they possibly stop the human tide from flowing across their own southern border?

Well, the tariffs must have gotten their attention.  I don’t know if they can shut down their border entirely, but as of this morning, they seem to be giving it the good old college try. (Reuters)

We have cooperation with Mexico.  That is good news.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 7, 2019

Bob Kerrey on Politics Today

For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Mr Michael Goodwin, 6 April 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska senator and governor, was always one of my favorite politicians in part because his politics weren’t perfectly polished. Among other free-wheeling moments, he called fellow Democrat Bill Clinton an “uncommonly good liar” and said a requirement for becoming president is that you must “want it more than life itself.”

Kerrey moved on to academia and now to an investment bank, but hasn’t lost the willingness to break ranks with his party. The habit surfaces in a withering criticism of current Democrats, in which he says they are suffering from two major “delusions.”

“The first,” he writes in an op-ed in the Omaha World-Herald, “is that Americans long for a president who will ask us to pay more for the pleasure of increasing the role of the federal government in our lives.”

He cites as examples the foolish push for the Green New Deal, wealth taxes and Medicare-for-all, all of which are being embraced by 2020 candidates.

The Dems’ second delusion, he says, “is that Americans were robbed of the truth when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr concluded that President Trump did not collude with Russia in 2016.” He goes on to say there is no reason to think the full report will change the finding that Trump is an innocent man.

Those are remarkable observations — but Kerrey isn’t finished. He also supports the movement to find out what the FBI was up to in 2016, and why it led the nation down the Russia rabbit hole.

“Congress needs to investigate how the Department of Justice got this one so wrong,” he writes. “If the president of the United States is vulnerable to prosecutorial abuse, then God help all the rest of us.”

It is too bad that Democrat Bob Kerrey felt the need to leave the field of politics.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Germany Fights Anti-Semitism

For John, BLUFGermany needs to fight harder.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Samizdata, by Mr Niall Kilmartin, 26 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Germany resists islamophobia. German law seeks to purge the public domain of such offensive views.

Germany also resists anti-semitism. The German government’s anti-semitism commissioner has warned Jews to avoid being Jewish in public.

The BBC sees the German far right behind the rise in anti-semitism that prompted the commissioner’s advice.  Is it just me or are they ignoring a rival explanation?

Also, is it just me, or is the German method for resisting anti-semitism rather different from the German method for resisting islamophobia – so different, in fact, that their advice to Jews resembles what their law demands of ‘islamophobes’: become invisible in the public domain lest you cause offence?

I wrote a poem about this a while back.

Do please feel free to say that it’s just me and there is really nothing more to see here. After all, I expect that’s what the German government’s anti-semitism commissioner would say – but he might be only obeying orders, or only obeying the anti-islamophobia law.

And here is the view of Jonathan Tobin, in National Review.

It is a mess.  I wish Chancellor Angela Merkel had started wearing a kappa (skullcap), as a sign of unity and support, as the Danish King did during the German occupation during WWII, wearing a yellow six pointed star on his outer garment.

On the other hand, the editors of the German dail y Bild gets it.  The News Agency France 24 has this headline:  "German paper prints cut-out kippa to fight anti-Semitism".

Regards  —  Cliff

Common Core Sucks

For John, BLUFOur education system is failing us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

In several cases student achievement reversed under Common Core, and in every subject studied students would have been better off if states had not adopted Common Core.

From TheFederalist, by Reporter Joy Pullmann, 30 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Researchers the Obama administration funded to assist Common Core’s rollout recently found, to their surprise, that under Common Core U.S. student achievement has sunk (h/t Lance Izumi).

“Contrary to our expectation, we found that [Common Core] had significant negative effects on 4th graders’ reading achievement during the 7 years after the adoption of the new standards, and had a significant negative effect on 8th graders’ math achievement 7 years after adoption based on analyses of NAEP composite scores,” the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction and Learning (C-SAIL) preliminary study said.  “The size of these negative effects, however, was generally small.”

The study found not only lower student achievement since Common Core, but also performed data analysis suggesting students would have done better if Common Core had never existed.  The achievement declines also grew worse over time, study coauthor Mengli Song told Chalkbeat, an education news website:  “That’s a little troubling.”

I am not advocating unschooling, but I do think we need to be teaching for success after graduation and in later life.  That may involve tailoring courses for individual students, or groups of students.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Church Speaks Up

For John, BLUFDoes the church have the right, does it have the responsibility, to call out members who are advocating for sin?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Pilot! by the CNA Staff, 6 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

Springfield, Ill., Jun 6, 2019 CNA.- The Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, has decreed that state legislative leaders may not be admitted to Holy Communion within his diocese, because of their work to pass the state Reproductive Health Act.  The bishop also directed the Catholic legislators who have voted legislation promoting abortion should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion until they have first gone to confession.

“In accord with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law...Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, who facilitated the passage of the Act Concerning Abortion of 2017 (House Bill 40) as well as the Reproductive Health Act of 2019 (Senate Bill 25), are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois because they have obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion as evidenced by the influence they exerted in their leadership roles and their repeated votes and obdurate public support for abortion rights over an extended period of time,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki wrote in a June 2 decree.

“These persons may be readmitted to Holy Communion only after they have truly repented these grave sins and furthermore have made suitable reparation for damages and scandal, or at least have seriously promised to do so, as determined in my judgment or in the judgment of their diocesan bishop in consultation with me or my successor,” the bishop added.

Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act was passed by the state’s House and Senate just days ago, and observers credited the advocacy of Cullerton and Madigan with helping to secure passage.  It is expected to be signed by Illinois’ Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The bill declares abortion to be a “fundamental right” in the state and would remove regulations on abortion clinics and doctors.

Among the provisions that the bill would remove are regulations for abortion clinics, required waiting periods to obtain an abortion, and a ban on partial-birth abortion.  In addition, it would lift criminal penalties for performing abortions and would prevent any further state regulation of abortion.

The legislation would require all private health insurance plans to cover elective abortions, and eliminate reporting requirements as well as regulations requiring the investigation of maternal deaths due to abortio.

How tough is too tough?  My Middle Brother gave me a lot of verbiage to say this was too much, but, he didn't cough up a way for Holy Mother the Church to respond to people, people in civil authority, who trashed Church Teachings, thus leading Church Members to believe that what is wrong is OK.  Or, worse, giving cover to people who know what is right but want to do what is wrong, because they are weak.

I am not advocating for Congress to abolish the right to abortion.  Given the plurality of our nation, Roe v Wade seems reasonable.  I do think those who wish for abortion up to, or even past the point of birth should be asked to acknowledge that the rights of one human being are being sacrifice for the rights of another (the right to life of one sacrificed for the right to happiness for another).

Regards  —  Cliff

Economy Helping People

For John, BLUFI think Democrats running on the economy will lose votes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The NY Post, by Mr John Aidan Byrne, 18 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

US employers are stepping on the accelerator — and that’s lifting average salaries and fueling record raises across many sectors.  For the typical American worker, pay increases could soon surge past 4 percent or 5 percent for the year, according to labor experts.

By any stretch, the number crunchers say, it’s a big jump to catch up on the anemic salary growth over the past 10 years, thanks to the law of supply and demand and a booming economy.  Job openings recently surpassed the number of unemployed by 1.3 million. And it’s starting to trigger bottlenecks.

For example, a trucker shortage — precipitated in part by a surge in factory orders — is forcing one company to grease the wheels with some of the industry’s largest payouts of as much as $3,100 in weekly take-home pay.

I am blaming President Trump for this problem.  He has created a psychology where in people who create jobs believe that the economy is expanding and the reduction in restrictive rules is making business easier.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Veterans Affairs Adjustment

For John, BLUFThis seems like a reasonable accommodation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Military Times, by Reporter Leo Shane III, 31 May 2019.

Here is the Key paragraph:

Under the changes, Veterans who live more than 30 minutes from a Veterans Affairs medical clinic or face a wait of more than 20 days for most health care appointments would be eligible for expanded community care programs.  [Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert] Wilkie and VA officials argue those standards fall in line with military health care and private sector benchmarks
Even so, the VA budget is going up next year, unlike many Federal Departments.

Regards  —  Cliff

High Cost of Higher Education

For John, BLUFI question the value of the large administrative staff, whose mere existence runs up the cost of college education.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Like most other prestigious universities, Georgetown is forever expanding its costly and corrosive diversity initiatives.

Heather Mac Donald May 30, 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

A billionaire tech investor made headlines last week with his pledge to pay off the student loans held by Morehouse College’s graduating Class of 2019.  Unfortunately, Robert Smith’s multimillion-dollar gift, however admirable philanthropically, is as irrelevant to the problem of student debt as the recent policy proposals from the Democratic presidential field.  Whether it’s Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan to use taxpayer dollars to cancel most outstanding student loans for the majority of borrowers, or Senator Bernie Sanders’s promise of “free” (i.e., fully taxpayer-subsidized) tuition for public universities, all such proposals treat ballooning college costs as a naturally occurring phenomenon, outside the reach of human action.  The discourse around student debt—which now stands at $1.5 trillion—holds colleges harmless in causing that debt.  The sole focus of discussion is instead how best to underwrite rising tuitions with public or private money.

But college tuition is not an act of God, beyond human control.  It is a result of decisions taken by colleges themselves—above all, decisions to bulk up their bureaucracies.  Bureaucratic outlays rose at nearly twice the rate as teaching outlays from 1993 to 2007, according to the Goldwater Institute.  From 1997 to 2012, colleges hired new administrators at twice the rate of any student-body increase, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting found.  Colleges inevitably claim that government mandates force this administrative bloat upon them.  But the vast majority of administrative hires are voluntary:  for every dollar in mandated bureaucratic spending from 1987 to 2011, public universities added an additional $2 in discretionary bureaucracy, and private universities added $3, according to economists Robert Martin and Carter Hill.  Fiefdoms focused on diversity and student services grew at the fastest clip, in the name of fighting the campus oppression to which minority and female students are allegedly subjected.

Last month, Georgetown University provided a striking example of such unforced diversity accretion.  President John DeGioia proudly announced a new diversity position:  Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  No government mandate required this new vice presidency.  Instead, it was an expressive choice that, in DeGioia’s words, would demonstrate Georgetown’s commitment to “racial justice” and “educational equity.”

The high cost of higher education will turn many colleges into "trade schools" with an emphasis on post graduation employment.  Liberal Arts will suffer.  That will not be good for Western Civilization.  but, maybe that is the plan.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Censur the President?

For John, BLUFThe Democrats in the House of Representatives are frustrated by the lack of a plan to deal with Vice President Pence.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, by Mr Ed Morrissey, 4 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Color me surprised that it took this long for this option to emerge.  The Hill reports that House Democrats have begun considering a step short of impeachment to “put a permanent mark” on Donald Trump’s record without taking the risk of infuriating voters
Dirty up the President?  What a worthy goal.

It is all about 2016.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Socialism in the Plymouth Bay Colony

For John, BLUFI blame High Schools, for not teaching history.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

On Tuesday’s episode of “The Michael Knowles Show,” the host shares insights from the United States' own history to show how communism and socialism do not work.

From The Daily Wire, by Mr Michael Knowles, 1 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

You have people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders and now the entire Democrat field, telling us that private property is bad, it's wrong, we need to take away private property.  In the extreme case, we need socialism and we need socialist programs.  That is the line and so people feel shame for owning private property.  Why do you have the right to own something if that guy on the street doesn't have the right to own it?  Why do I have the right to own my car when the bum drinking booze out of a plastic bottle on the street doesn't own a car?

According to the radical egalitarians, there is something unfair about that.  That's an example of social injustice.  Actually, though, private property is great.  Private property is one of the best things ever. And shared property is not that great.  We are told in this culture that private property is bad and primitive — that in an advanced society, we will give up some of our private ownership of property and then we'll all just hold things in common, like the mythical people in the beautiful paradise that we envision before the social contract.  That's what we are being told.

And then he gets around to talking about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Governor William Bradford, who, after two years of dismal productivity, went from property held in common to private property.  After that the Plymouth Colony flourished.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

President Obama on Russia Gate before November 2016

For John, BLUFDo you think they were trying to stitch up LTG (ret) Michael Flynn, who was probably a pain in the rear?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From American Greatness, by Professor Victor Davis Hanson, 26 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Before the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the idea that the Russians or anyone else could warp or tamper with our elections in any serious manner was laughed off by President Obama.  “There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections,” Obama said in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

Obama was anxious that the sure-to-be-sore-loser Trump would not blame his defeat on voting impropriety in a fashion that might call into question Clinton’s victory.  After Clinton’s stunning defeat,  Russian “collusion”—thanks initially to efforts by Obama holdover Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to go after Michael Flynn and the successful attempts of the CIA and FBI to seed the bogus Steele dossier among the government elite—became a club to destroy the incoming Trump Administration.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, June 3, 2019

Corbyn Is Ignorant

For John, BLUFBritish Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbynization is either too young to remember or he is an ignorant toad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

  • Pro-Palestine activists have been conducting a 'campaign of intimidation' against Jewish shops that sell products from Israel for years
  • The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which is supported by Corbyn, has forced two Jewish businesses to close and activists have threatened others
  • Other groups targeted a British Jewish shopkeeper in Ireland and Scotland, forcing him to relocate three times and eventually flee Britain
  • A new film, Hounded, has been released by anti-racist campaigners to draw attention to how British Jewish shopkeepers have been living in fear for years

From The Daily Mail, by Associate Global Editor Jake Wallis Simons, 31 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

British Jews have spoken of their fear after a pro-Palestine group supported by Jeremy Corbyn forced Jewish-owned shops to close by staging aggressive rallies outside them.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), of which Mr Corbyn is patron, targeted shops selling Israeli products in Brighton, London and Manchester, forcing two businesses to fold.

Earlier this month, it organised a rally in London which saw ‘open anti-Semitism from attendees’, according to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. A statement from the Labour leader was read out to the crowd.

It comes as Labour became the only party after the BNP to be formally investigated for racism by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

And our own Democratic Party seems to be following Jeremy Corbyn's lead.  Sad.  Very sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Neanderthal Extinction

For John, BLUFMaybe the Neanderthals learned what caused pregnancy and decided to stop it, not yet having learned its importance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From United Press International, by Reporter Brooks Hays, 31 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

May 31 (UPI) -- To better understand the decline of Neanderthals, researchers in France developed a population model and used simulations to determine which demographic factors had the largest effect on Neanderthal numbers.

Their analysis, published this week in the journal PLOS One, showed declining fertility offers the likeliest explanation for the disappearance of the Neanderthals.

The headline is a little too definitive, but the evidence is there for the possibility demise by lack of fertility.

So, is it climate change or declining birth rates that will result in human extinction?  Imagine the collapse of the human population from near ten billion to extinction.  It would be a downward spiral that just feeds on itself.

Lets see how China does with its period of reduced fertility.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Democrats Slide Toward Impeachment

For John, BLUFThe House Majority Whip is not an insignificant person on the leadership team..  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Matt Margolis, 2 June 2019.

Here is the lede:

On Sunday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper and declared that he believes Trump will be impeached “at some point.”  However, before that can happen, Democrats must build a solid case for it.
We know the crime—Trump defeated Mrs Clinton in 2016.

So, as in the words of InstaPundit Writer Ed Driscoll, the House Democrats are playing the Lavrentiy Beria game of "SHOW ME THE MAN AND I’LL SHOW YOU THE CRIME".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 1, 2019

"We Had to Destroy the Village In Order to Save It"

For John, BLUFThe Democrats seem to have suffered some sort mental collapse over Ms Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Reporter Jess Bidgood, 31 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for an end to the longstanding policy that bars presidents from being indicted, aiming squarely at Justice Department rules cited by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller this week in reviewing his decision not to criminally charge President Trump.

“No matter what he may think, Donald Trump is not a King. No President is,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote.  “And our democracy only works if everyone can be held accountable.”

The once-obscure policy, issued by the Justice Department during Watergate and reaffirmed in 2000, holds that indicting a sitting president would unconstitutionally interfere with the duties of the executive branch.

Writing in a Medium post, Warren called on Congress to pass laws clarifying that a president can be indicted by the Justice Department and to amend obstruction of justice statutes to ensure they can be applied to presidents who abuse their power.  She also vowed to appoint Justice Department officials, including an attorney general, who share her belief that a president can be indicted and who would reverse the department’s opinion on the issue.

“If Donald Trump were anyone other than the President of the United States, he would be in handcuffs and indicted,” Warren wrote.  She added, with a nod to her presidential campaign’s signature tagline:  “That’s why I’ve got a plan to make sure that no president is above the law.”

In the mind of Senator Warren it is acceptable for a Cabinet level Department in the Executive Branch to make war on the President.  Does she realize how that will hyper-politicize the Department of Justice?

She hasn't thought this through.

The Democrats can't get over Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton in 2016, and will tear down our way of Government to reverse that outcome.  They are unable to comprehend that a big chunk of people don't agree with them.  In the extreme it could lead to succession, civil war or the reduction of certain parts of the nation to the status of serfs.  This is not a good thing.

Senator Warren is showing a certain lack of couth with her "in handcuffs" comment.  Does she lack faith in the Impeachment process?  Or lack faith in the Constitution?

Here is a Wyoming rancher's summary of the Mueller report and Democrats' ongoing efforts, in one sentence:

While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it.
Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 31, 2019

Shredding Our Norms

For John, BLUFTrust in a process, once lost, may be hard to regain.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Politics, by Mr Tim Hains, 31 May 2019.  Based on 31 May Interview of Attorney General William Barr by CBS News legal correspondent Jan Crawford.

Here is a key excerpt:

In an interview aired Friday on “CBS This Morning,” Attorney General William Barr explains why he opened an investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.  He doesn’t say what the evidence is, but Barr tells CBS News legal correspondent Jan Crawford that there is evidence that makes him believe senior government officials may have acted improperly to authorize surveillance of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.  He says that led to “spying” on the campaign.

He said the hyper-politicized nature of politics today is a danger to longstanding institutions and he took the job of attorney general because he is at the end of his career. . . .

“One of the ironies today is that people are saying it is President Trump who is shredding our institutions.  I really see no evidence of that.  From my perspective, the idea of ‘resisting’ a Democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him, and really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president.  That’s where the shredding of our norms and institutions is occurring,” Barr said.

The inability of Democrats to accept the outcome of the 2016 election, resisting in various ways, including talking of Impeachment, trying to subvert the Electoral College, or characterizing the President as a liar, will not end well.  It could cost them the election in 2020.  It could lead to a tit-for-tat retaliation against a Democrat President.  It could lead to the unraveling of the ties that band together this very diverse nation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ego v Humility

For John, BLUFThis looks like people who abrogate to themselves the authority to do things for which they would condemn others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Ace of Spades, 31 May 2019.

At InstaPundit Mr Ed Driscoll declares this as the Quote of the Day.  This is from Attorney General William Barr being interviewed by CBS’s Jan Crawford:

I’m amused by people who make a living disclosing classified information including the names of intelligence operative wringing their hands about whether I can handle classified information….  Sometimes people can convince themselves that what they’re doing is in the higher interest, the better good.  They don’t realize that what they’re doing is really antithetical to the democratic system that we have.  They start viewing themselves as the guardians of the people that are more informed and insensitive than everybody else.  They can– in their own mind, they can have those kinds of motives.  And sometimes they can look at evidence and facts through a biased prism that they themselves don’t realize.
Would this include former FBI Director James Comey?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Origins of Russiagate

For John, BLUFThere are hints that people inside the US Intelligence Community, American Citizens, were trying to prevent the election of Candidate Trump, and after the election, the Presidency of Donald Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Times, by Mr Bailey Vogt, 31 May 2019.

Here are two nteresting paragraphs:

“Like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on.  I assumed when I went in, I would get answers, and I got no answers that are satisfactory and, in fact, probably have more questions and some of the facts I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened,” he said.

When asked to clarify, Mr. Barr said, “That’s all I really will say.  Things are just not jiving.”

This is of concern to me  I fear that certain Americans were interested in subverting the electoral process and outcome of the United States in 2016.  This would be Un-American.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The True University

For John, BLUFCamille Paglia is a true intellectual, capable of critical thinking.  Her opponents, the SJWs, not so much.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The answer to this cloddish, arrogant, self-righteous, ideological twaddle — the lexicon of social-justice hollow-heads everywhere — is: 'Just who do you think you are?'

From the Canadian National Post, by Mr Rex Murphy, 3 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Applying for university enrolment is obligingly confessional and constitutes a noble act of candour and an absence of stifling ego.  It says, in effect, “I recognize that I am ignorant of very much, have a real desire to escape immaturity of thought and to fit my mind as much as I can to expand my sensibility to the appreciation of the works of intellect and imagination.  Above all I want to encounter new ideas, escape the sludge of teenage thought, and expand my range of opinion.”
She is superbly intelligent; she is an excellent cultural scrutineer; and most of all, she is a woman who understands scholarship, rebukes its stand-ins and counterfeits, is never a servant to the fads and fashion of our mediocre present, and is a rare genuine warrior for classic education.  For 30 years she has been on the faculty of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (UArts); she is tenured; she has written a succession of enlightening and enlightened books.
Recently there was a cabal of students who demanded she be fired, to be replaced by a "queer person of colour".

Fortunately, the University stood up to the mob, something economics is making more rare each semester.

The good news from this petty outrage that UArts actually stood up to these nuisances, refused their ludicrous demands, and — probably to no effect —President David Yager reminded them that universities are not censor-shops, that different ideas are good, and freedom of expression is the very heart of all intellectual exchange.  “Across our nation it is all too common that opinions expressed that differ from one another’s — especially those that are controversial — can spark passion and even outrage, often resulting in calls to suppress that speech. That simply cannot be allowed to happen,” wrote Yager, capturing the point succinctly.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Getting It Wrong

For John, BLUFWhen you are locked into using a hammer, every problem is treated like a nail.  Public Education needs to fish around in the tool bag for some alternative tools.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Powerline Blog, by Mr John Hinderaker, 27 May 2019.

This is about New York City public Schools.

Here is the lede plus one:

The success of Asian-Americans is a severe embarrassment to the race industry.  Race hustlers focus on “gaps” between whites and blacks with regard to income and educational attainment, which they attribute to “systemic” racism.  But what about the gaps between Asian-Americans and whites?  Asians, on average, earn considerably more than whites and as a group they do better in school.  Is their superior performance due to “systemic” racism directed against whites?

Presumably not.  But then, what becomes of the assumption that “gaps” between ethnic groups must necessarily be the result of racism?  There is no answer to this question, which is why race hustlers generally ignore Asians.

Explaining institutional failure is hard, especially when it is something like public schools.  And given past US institutional racism it is tempting to pull that out as an excuse, but it is not solving the problem, and may be making it worse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 27, 2019

Confronting the FBI

For John, BLUFFrankly the Security State has gotten a little out of hand and needs to be reigned in.  Normally we would expect the Democrats to do that, but today it isn't politically expedient for them to do so.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

While the revelations in the article may be important in helping us understand the limits we wish to place on our intelligence agencies, including the FBI, they do dishonor to some who have gone before us, and whom we have, in the past, honored.

From the [salacious] UK Daily Mail, by Reporter Jack Newman, 26 May 2019.

The actions of the FBI in wiretapping folks like Dr Martin Luther King, Charlie Chaplin, Malcolm X, Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda, John Lennon, Paul Robeson, while perhaps important in a few cases, became too wide spread to be supportive of the First Amendment.  What we do in private should be allowed to stay private.  If we are doing wrong in private it is not the job of the police to vet each of us for all possible crime, but for the person harmed to stand up and say so, allowing a legitimate investigation  This goes along with that quaint Common Law belief in "innocent until proven guilty".

The story is that President Nixon was afraid to fire FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, for what Secrets Director Hoover might hold.

But, back to the article, we need to confront the assertion of Lord Acton:

Great men are almost always bad men.

Lord Acton, Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 3 April 1887.
We believe President George Washington was a great man and also a good man.  And we think the same of President Abraham Lincoln.  When I was in Grade School, in the late 1940s and early 1950s we thought the same of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt.  Today, President Woodrow Wilson not so much.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Releasing Federal Government Information

For John, BLUFThis is about getting out the facts favorable to my side, but not the facts favorable to your side.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CNN, by Reporter Katelyn Polantz, 27 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Sought-after parts of the Mueller investigation may be made public this week, thanks to a federal judge who's taken an unusual approach in former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's case.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court in DC set a Friday deadline for the Justice Department to make public unredacted portions of the Mueller report that pertain to Flynn, plus transcripts of Flynn's calls with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and of a voicemail during which someone connected to Trump referenced Flynn's cooperation.

Taken together, the judge's orders look like a shortcut to transparency in a moment of executive branch stonewalling.

My question is, why are people, on the one hand, screaming for release of redacted parts of the Mueller Report, and on the other hand, screaming about President Trump giving Attorney General William Barr authority to declassify relevant documents relating to RussiaGate, such as FISA Court subpoena requests?

Hat tip to the Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff