Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
We are back in Texas, having survived FreedomFest 2016 in Las Vegas. The overall experience was good and the best of it was wonderful. The best of the best was a speech by Andrew Napolitano. His presentation alone was worth the price of admission. Next best was a speech by Yaron Brook. No surprise there as we have heard Dr. Brook before and he is always right on.
Senator Rand Paul made a good speech of the sort that would have made his presidential candidacy much more viable than the teenage-like attempts at smart-mouth behavior he exhibited in the GOP debates. Ex Governors and Libertarian candidates Johnson and Weld made several appearances. While I support and will vote for Gov. Johnson, he comes off as way too laid back to attract the kind of attention needed to get his ball really rolling. And, were there ever a year and a circumstance for getting said ball rolling, this is the time and the situation.
As for Las Vegas itself, it is the most unnecessary creation of mankind that one could imagine. It is hotter than the gates of Hell, everything is grossly overpriced and the main attraction is the opportunity to give your hard earned money away playing “games” that are not even interesting. On the positive side, there is a lot of booby watching available (which I thoroughly enjoy despite being too old to remember why).
Troy L Robinson
I have frequently shared my favorable opinion of Camille Paglia, as my favorite feminist. I have just discovered a worthy competitor for that covetable title. She may not be quite as irreverently feisty; but Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers, is every bit as intelligent, outspoken, and critical of modern feminism and stultifying campus culture. She has the further advantages of being heterosexual and way easier on the eyes. 😉
If you appreciate strong intelligent women, take a break from politics and enjoy this conversation:
One need not agree with all they said, to enjoy the repartee; yet I am in substantial agreement with most of it. I was inspired to look Sommers up in the wiki. She has quite a CV. As an unapologetic male chauvinist, I can’t help but find this sixty-five-year-old lady rather charming, and imagining what she must have looked like as a California girl / ’60s flower child. 😉 ◄Dave►
I am reading article after article making a fuss over the fact that Trump supporters tend to be ‘less-educated,’ and how ‘college-educated’ voters tend to support more moderate or progressive candidates. The tone of most of them clearly shows an elitist bias, against lesser unfortunates lacking a degree. Surely, had we gone to college, we wouldn’t be so dumb as to support Trump.
To me, there is nothing remarkable at all about this statistic. Who do they think is doing the ‘higher education?’ Most college professors haven’t a lick of common sense or real world experience, and are collectivist ideologues. What are the chances that very many of their graduates, manage to escape their corrosive environment as right thinking individualists?
I suspect that most of these articles are written by younger journalists, who haven’t a clue that those of us who got our high school diplomas back in the ’60s or earlier, acquired a far better education in 12 years, than now is achieved in 16. Then, we spent a lifetime learning even more, and accumulating wisdom. When reading such, the best way to contemplate their data, is to substitute the term ‘indoctrinated’ for every occurrence of the word ‘educated.’ 😉 ◄Dave►
Today, I venture to opine on a subject this has been over opined about by people far more qualified to offer opinions than yours truly.
Still, I will offer my own opinions with the hope that my use of simplification and common language might be more palatable than that typically used by the over educated.
In theory, a Free Market, operated in an environment of laissez-faire, is the best, most reliable and most equitable economic model available. So, how could such a system possibly fail? IMHO, partly due to its own accumulated success.
What could I possibly mean by such a silly statement? How can accumulated success lead to systematic failure? Simple, it does so when the economic model (the Free Market) attempts to operate in a vacuum. Said differently, when the economic model operates as if it alone is responsible for long term societal prosperity.
Secondly, this socioeconomic model fails when it is overburdened from without.
Thirdly, a state of “general prosperity” is anathema to those among us who, seemingly unable to control themselves, seek to control everyone else instead.
Still sounds a bit silly, does it not? Not to me.
In the case of the United States of America, a mostly free market economy (what I see as a “free enough” market economy) took a fledgling nation from a condition of national non-entity to super-power status so quickly that it gave us all a mild form of collective whiplash. It also gave us a level of general prosperity never before seen in the world and, by many, thought to be impossible to attain.
Then, almost suddenly, it all seems to be unraveling at the seams.
I have suggested 3 basic reasons for this:
→ Accumulated success
→ Overburdening from without
→ The desire to control acerbated by unbounded greed
Let us now discuss these individually, in simple terms and using common sense language:
These college graduates walk among us…
A report that claims that there is a crisis in civic education in the United States says that nearly 10% of all college graduates think that TV’s ‘Judge Judy’ is on the Supreme Court.
It was one of several alarming statistics from the report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
It commissioned a survey this past summer of recent college graduates. High school civics curricula was used to form the questions.
Among the findings:
• Only 28% of college graduates could identify James Madison as the Father of the Constitution.
• More than half of college graduates didn’t know how the Constitution is amended.
• Almost 40% of college graduates didn’t know that Congress has the power to declare war.
• Almost half could not recognize that senators are elected to six year terms and representatives are elected to two-year terms.
• Less than half of college graduates knew that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate.
The group says it found that less than 20% of liberal arts colleges and universities require students to take an American history or government course to graduate.
This isn’t the first time the group has conducted a survey that shows a lack of knowledge of American history. A 2014 survey found that one-third of college graduates were unaware that FDR spearheaded the New Deal, and nearly half did not know that Teddy Roosevelt played a major role in constructing the Panama Canal.
The non-profit group is advocating required civics classes at U.S. colleges.
…and they not only are permitted to vote, <shudder> they are encouraged to do so! 🙁 ◄Dave►
In the comment section of Robert Ringer’s Post on Trump a couple days ago, one Charles Garret remarked:
You are right. This is going to be a wipe out with Trump. I am 85 and we understand Trump. We are fed up with what’s been going on in our government for the last 50 to 60 years.
This elicited a curious reply from an anonymous ‘Guest’:
Based on your name and age I think you will enjoy (or know) Garet Garrett, The People’s Pottage, available online to read for free.
Mildly intrigued, I did a search and found the book available as a free PDF download from one of my favorite sites, the Mises Institute. It was originally published back in 1953, and their blurb stated:
A time came when the only people who had ever been free began to ask: “What is freedom?”
Who wrote its articles — the strong or the weak? Was it an absolute good? Could there be such a thing as unconditional freedom, short of anarchy?
Given the answer to be “no,” then was freedom an eternal truth or a political formula?
The three essays brought together in this book, entitled respectively, The Revolution Was, Ex America, and Rise of Empire, were first published as separate monographs by The Caxton Printers. They were written in that order, but at different times, as the eventful film unrolled itself. They are mainly descriptive. They purport to tell what it was happened and how it happened, from a point of view in which there is no sickly pretense of neutralism. Why it happened is a further study and belongs to the philosophy of history, if there is such a thing; else to some meaning of experience, dire or saving, that has not yet been revealed.
“What is Freedom? … Could there be such a thing as unconditional freedom, short of anarchy?” Is this in my current mental wheelhouse, or what? 🙂
I started to title this post “Polls on Trump”; but decided that meme needed a rest. 🙂
Besides, my interest in the fascinating LA Times piece entitled, “Polls may actually underestimate Trump’s support, study finds” is to comment on the often mentioned polling difference, between those with and without a college degree. Researchers ran an interesting experiment, to study why Trump’s poll numbers were always higher in online polling, than in traditional telephone surveys:
The most telling part of the experiment, however, was that not all types of people responded the same way. Among blue-collar Republicans, who have formed the core of Trump’s support, the polls were about the same regardless of method. But among college-educated Republicans, a bigger difference appeared, with Trump scoring 9 points better in the online poll.
Social-desirability bias — the well-known tendency of people to hesitate to confess certain unpopular views to a pollster — provides the most likely explanation for that education gap, Dropp and his colleagues believe.
Blue-collar voters don’t feel embarrassed about supporting Trump, who is very popular in their communities. But many college-educated Republicans hesitate to admit their attraction to the blustery New York billionaire, the experiment indicates.
That finding suggests that the online surveys, which show Trump with a larger lead, provide the more accurate measure of what people would do in the anonymity of a voting booth, Dropp said. That might not be as true, however, in a public setting such as the Iowa caucus, where people identify their candidate preference in front of friends and neighbors.
“It’s our sense that a lot of polls are under-reporting Trump’s overall support,” he said.
In other words, college educated folks lie to protect their self-image as sophisticates, while truthful working class folks are not at all embarrassed by their judgements.
Read the rest of this entry »
In political discussions, I generally identify myself as a small (el) libertarian, since it is too time consuming to explain what I mean, when I say I am an objectivist. There are, however, profound differences between some of the various schools of libertarianism, and the specific philosophy of Ayn Rand, which she named objectivism. This will serve as a succinct introduction to the subject, to which I can link in future discussions here and elsewhere.
The Ayn Rand Institute has some superb interactive online courses. They just added a short 15 minute introductory course on objectivism, narrated by Ayn Rand herself. It is very well done, and I highly recommend it. However, although it is free of charge, one must enroll in their online university to watch it. While safe and painless, few would probably bother to do so. Thus, the following is the transcript of Ayn Rand’s voice-over, without the visuals:
At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did, as follows:
1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism
If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:
Read the rest of this entry »
I find myself weary of trying to awaken sheeple, to the perils facing our nation. Most don't want to hear it. I am bored with reading about and commenting on the latest outrageous corruption and scandals emanating from Sodom by the Potomac. They are now coming so 'fast and furious' that it is impossible to keep up with them in any depth anyway.
Yet, I find it impossible to just give up and let the
Pro Retrogressives win a total and final victory, which would bind our posterity in the ancient chains of serfdom, in the land our forefathers fought and died to keep free. I think we need a positive project to focus our energy on, which would at least attempt to save our country for our grandchildren.
It is they, the children, who are the future of America. Yet, presently they are ever increasingly and deliberately being dumbed down. They are indoctrinated in our public schools, to be ashamed of America's past, and view a Marxist utopia as its inevitable future. If we really want to save America, first and foremost this trend must be reversed. Read the rest of this entry »
I am very comfortable with my libertarian philosophy, which propounds individual sovereignty and Liberty for freemen and women, with the natural right to live their lives as they choose to live them, as long as they do not forcefully interfere with or violate the natural rights of others. I have carefully worked out in my head, how such free individuals can live at peace with their neighbors, meeting in the commons for commerce and fraternity, as free traders giving no more than they take, in entirely voluntary value for value exchanges, which enrich each other's lives.
Thus, I regard one's home as his castle, and his real estate as his sovereign domain, where he gets to make the rules, which visitors are bound to abide. When he steps off his private property, however, he must abide by the standards, social customs, and rules of the community. If there were no social compact and universally accepted basic rules, to insure that any vehicle coming around the next bend would be on the other side of the road, it would be chaos. I am fine with that, and wouldn't have it any other way.
Where my philosophy falls completely apart, however, is when it comes to the welfare of children. Having discussed this issue with folks of all political persuasions, I can assure all that empathy for an innocent child is a sincerely held universal human trait, The question becomes, what are parental rights and responsibilities vs. any sort of societal rights and responsibilities vs. children's rights.
I enjoyed reading an “Exclusive Interview With Diapason’s Sean Corrigan” about the world economy, which I highly recommend for the insights provided. Then, near the end, his answer to the following question was so profound that I wanted to memorialize it here for future reference:
We here at Zero Hedge are labelled as fringe lunatics who thrive on bad news. We only take issue with this to the extent that the label allows “others” to dismiss us out of hand, while not debating us on the merits of our ideas and opinions. Central to our platform is the debunking of generally accepted conclusions of mainstream Wall Street Economist and Strategists. We do so, not only because it is sometimes fun, but because we want to encourage our readers and ourselves to think beyond what we are all being spoon fed. We are interested in what advice you would give a 25 year old graduating from University about the future. How should they think about money, how should they be investing, and what do you think their future will look like (10 year time horizon) in a developed nation? Would you give different advice to a 25 year old in an emerging nation?
I used to pity Canadian conservatives their plight, stuck living under the rule of a Progressive majority. It just occurred to me that we have now allowed the bastards to overwhelm us too, and the Canadians have it better than we do. More importantly, their prognosis for the future far exceeds ours. They are energy independent, better educated, and are starting to scale back on failed social programs. We have a long hard row to hoe, before we have experienced enough pain to catch up to their reality. Here is another view from the outside looking in, found in a WTP comment section of six-month-old article I stumbled across. Somebody should send it to the RNC:
Cameron D. MacKay
February 16, 2011 | 9:18 pm
Paul: Thank you for the courtesy of responding to my comments. Allow me to express a few of my frustrations with what appears to be the Republican’s temerity to confront fundamental issues which are eroding America (and hence detrimentally affecting my country)
Have you ever felt like an arrogant cow, running around calling the stupid sheeple black, without noticing the bell around your own neck? Well, neither had I, until I watched the following video – twice – and seriously pondered its implications. It is the best case I have ever encountered for anarchy…