EDUCATION

September 30, 2016

Is Trump Snake Oil or the Medicine we Need?

TrumpMy article as originally published in American Thinker:             

The United States is deathly ill from fighting a century-long chronic infection (call it Bacterium Progressivism) that Americans can no longer afford to ignore. Donald Trump claims he has (or is) the cure for what currently plagues this nation, but a number of conservative intellectuals are horrified by the idea and point out that Trump is no conservative at all and would be merely a dose of snake oil. As Ben Shapiro outlines at Breitbart, to whatever extent Trump is conservative, his record shows he’s at best a very recent convert. Of course, the symptom-free D.C. establishment want to see both Trump and Cruz dumped so constituents can be force-fed another useless placebo disguised as the next blockbuster cure.

I don’t know the appropriate length of time for an individual to be held in quarantine after having claimed to have been cured of some or all their formerly progressive contagion. I’m sure a Thomas Sowell or David Horowitz could better provide guidance here. What I do know is that to date, Trump has gained support by blasting through a wall of political correctness and successfully delivering certain messages that resonate with a large number of people who are justly concerned about the survival of the United States. But this is true only because Trump is seen as a D.C. outsider and his supporters believe (rightly or wrongly) that he will actually help deliver needed medicine to at least one or more areas of this terrible infection.

Perhaps a better analogy for the Trump phenomenon is that he more resembles what is called a liposome than any form of medicine. A liposome is a microscopic membrane shell that can be used to encapsulate things such as antibiotics and deliver them more effectively to specifically targeted areas of infection (I only know this because I’m invested in a biotech that’s using liposomes to deliver a common antibiotic directly to serious lung infections). What’s the use in administering a known effective drug (even a superior one) if it has little chance of ever reaching its intended target?

When certain infections are left untreated for too long, the bacteria can form a slime-like protective barrier called a biofilm that is extremely resistant to antibiotics. By using liposomes to carry medicine with an electric charge opposite that of the biofilm, instead of getting hung up in the biofilm (opposite charges attract), some of the same (previously ineffective) antibiotic is able to slip past the biofilm before being released where the bacteria are hiding, giving the drug a much higher chance of eradicating the disease.

While the Republican establishment occasionally pays lip-service to prescribing the medicine needed to save the U.S., it is clear that they have no interest in actually administering it, as the GOPe is part of what is in essence a biofilm. A biofilm protecting big-government in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere that is made up of politicians of both parties, media elites, cronies, big-education, Hollywood and scores of political pundits. This slime-barrier is tightly bound together with propaganda, political correctness, unlimited excuses, fabulous social gatherings and bundles and bundles of other people’s money.

Sure, a controlled dose of liberty-saving medicine may occasionally be permitted to bypass the biofilm and briefly slow down the progression of the disease to pacify the masses. But the establishment — human nature being what it is — mostly disallows anything other than placebo from penetrating the biofilm and reaching the steadily growing abscess that is Washington D.C. Trump’s seeming ability to penetrate this D.C. biofilm (as an outsider), while promising to use medicine that is positive (+) America, is why so many are willing to take a chance with him. And why the establishment of both parties are so terrified of him.

Trump clearly has a mixed ideological record and I certainly find many of his past (and recent) statements troubling and contradictory. But I do recognize and admire his ability to penetrate this D.C. biofilm. The thing is, if Trump truly wants to “make America great again” — a goal I suspect is as genuine as Obama’s successful negative (-) plan to “fundamentally transform” the U.S. was — he will have no choice but to expand upon his apparent new-found conservatism and embrace the limited-government (including separation of powers), free-market medicine as prescribed by our Founders more than two centuries ago. And if he doesn’t and ends up just getting stuck in the biofilm, well, we’ll essentially have what we have now.

Most Americans who recognize the rapidly fading health of this nation are intelligent enough to read and understand the Trump warning label with its list of possible side-effects. The Trump phenomenon shows just how desperate Americans are in that so many are willing to accept these potential side-effects for the possibility of seeing a cure delivered to even one area of this progressive disease.

A one-term presidency in which much of the immigration problem is cured (although I personally don’t think a wall would be as necessary if the giant red carpet were removed through entitlement reform) and ObamaCare repealed, minus any other major reforms would be an enormous success.

While Donald Trump isn’t the candidate that I’ve been supporting throughout this race, I’ve come to the realization that prescribing the needed liberty-saving medicine is mostly pointless without the ability to penetrate and break up the biofilm currently protecting Washington, D.C. With that said, at some point certain conservatives may want to stop trying to destroy the liposome and instead begin preparing to help influence what types of medicine go into it.

 


‘Free’ cars from Bernie

BernieMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

While the Hillary campaign is headed toward the ditch, more and more vehicles are appearing on the roads and in parking lots displaying “Bernie 2016” or “Feel the Bern” bumper stickers.  By showing support for a socialist/Marxist, it’s as if the owners of these cars are in essence exclaiming: “I have a right to your stuff!”  It’s like looking at tiny billboards that flash the message: “I have zero respect for your liberty and property rights.”

So why, pray tell, should we in turn show respect for their property?  Couldn’t the tables easily be turned on these Bernie supporters by instead reading the bumper stickers to mean “free car for the taking” or “community car”?

Now, I’m not suggesting people take arms and demand Bernie supporters give up their autos at gunpoint.  That’s something only our benevolent government can pull off unscathed.  But these Bernie stickers could make for some great conversation-starters.  So if you encounter a car sporting one of these anti-American stickers and you (or someone you know) don’t own a car or you just spot one that you really, really, really like (notice many are on much nicer cars than one would normally expect to see on lefty-mobiles) because it’s way cooler than the one you own, why not politely ask the “privileged” owner to redistribute it to you in the name of fairness and equality (of outcome)?

Now, if a Bernie fan suddenly comes down with a case of “socialism for thee, but not for me” syndrome and flat-out refuses to give you ____ (insert preferred gender identity here) car, before you give up and call ____ a spoiled hypocrite, at the very least request that ____ give you a “free” ride somewhere.  And ask ____ to stop and throw in a “free” cup of coffee or perhaps even a “free” lunch while _____ is at it.  We could call it the “Bernie Car-Share Program” or simply “The People’s Cars.”

While Uber perfectly exemplifies the superiority of the capitalist system and the redundancy of most government regulation (think unnecessary, high-paying cushy jobs for bureaucrats and rampant cronyism), why call up an Uber driver and waste your own resources when you can hitch a ride with an idealistic Bernie driver – for “free”?

The support of an open socialist (read: honest Democrat) by so many young hipsters highlights the dismal failure of our education system, including esteemed institutions of higher learning (and no, not because college isn’t “free”).  Socialism in all its forms (Marxism, Communism, Nazism, et al.) has always failed, yet the left continues to prop it up like the corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s.  And yes, Bernie Sanders is confused, as even Scandinavian nations are not good examples of socialism “working.”

Like him or not, Trump has awakened a pro-America sleeping giant, while on the other hand, Sanders has awakened sleeping tyrants.  The sad irony is that if Bernie supporters were to get what they wish for and he is elected president, they and the rest of us will in fact “Feel the Bern” and end up with a nasty (and possibly incurable) case of VD (Venezuela Disease).

 

 


Minimum Wage Destroys Education for the Poor

My article as originally published in American Thinker:  

While President Obama may still possess the ability to bedazzle a certain segment of the population with his haughty rhetoric, his policies, coupled with his economic ignorance, continue to wreak havoc upon the U.S. economy. Case in point: his persistent and injudicious push for an increase in minimum wage that, if achieved, would only further the economic carnage. Without a doubt, minimum wage laws hurt entry-level workers and ultimately the whole economy, as Thomas Sowell and Ron Ross clearly demonstrate. But perhaps the cruelest consequence of minimum-wage law is the fact that it denies poor Americans access to a truly affordable education. With overall teen unemployment already at 21% and sky-high black teen unemployment at 38% under Obama’s watch, his proposal would only exacerbate this problem.

Merely highlighting the hourly wage rate as the singular measure of value received from working in an entry level capacity conveniently ignores one of the most important aspects of the story — education. When an individual has zero work experience and very little in the way of skills to offer, it is imperative to somehow gain such experience. The ability to do just that represents the highest level of value for the entry-level employee. Others think nothing of paying to receive a similar level of instruction in the classroom or taking an unpaid internship to develop new skills. But that’s often just not an option for the poor.

Given the exorbitant costs of higher education (due in part to the ever-reaching tentacles of government), a paid entry-level position appears to be one of the better educational options available for some within the ranks of the poor and middle class. But misguided minimum-wage laws, in effect, price many of these would-be students out of a quality education and a chance to get ahead in life. Employers are willing to give (hire and train) these “students” a paid education in exchange for their labor when it makes good economic sense, but when “tuitions” are raised by government mandated wage controls, only the highest skilled “students” will be accepted, effectively outlawing this form of education for those who possess the lowest level of skills.

President Obama said: “Americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. And that is why I firmly believe it’s time to give America a raise.” But wage rates are for the market to decide and no one should expect to raise a family on the wages an entry-level position provides. As it is with any form of education, it is up to the individual as to whether or not something is actually gained during the process. Some will, of course, be complacent in their low-level position or lack the capacity to move up the corporate ladder, much like the proverbial college student-for-life or dropout. But that is certainly no reason for government to effectively bar entry for those who lack other choices but have the ability and ambition to acquire skills using this approach. While the full monetary value of such employment doesn’t appear on one’s paycheck at first, once an individual develops marketable skills, employers will be forced to compete for their labor within the marketplace.

President Obama will no doubt be given accolades from the Left for all of his faux compassion. But his proposal is anything but compassionate and is more than a job-killer — it’s an education-killer for the poor he claims to be trying to help. This will only breed more dependence upon government, which may actually be the point.

By the way, who wants to actually work (and learn) for a ten-plus dollar per hour minimum wage when, on average, welfare pays much more and requires absolutely zero effort? And that’s even before factoring in ObamaCare’s disincentives to continue working as hailed by the Left.

 


Are Public Schools to Blame for Student Loan Bubble?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

The  potentially explosive student loan bubble  in the U.S. has been attributed to the pursuit of certain useless degrees, the  urging of some to attend college where doing so may not be  warranted, rent seeking on the part of universities and of course —  government intervention. But does blame for the more than one trillion  dollars in outstanding debt rest squarely on the above causes? Or can a sizable  portion of this massive debt be traced further back to failures within our  public education system?

We  can gain a little perspective on a portion of this student loan bubble if we  take a peek through Frederic Bastiat’s “broken window” and focus on one of the byproducts of our “broken”  public education system — the need for remedial college  courses.

Our  already overpriced (talk about a misallocation of resources) public  school system is sending students off into the world who lack many of the basic  skills that they should have acquired before being allowed to exit high school,  diploma in hand. Once in college, these undereducated students must take  remedial courses in order to be brought up to college  entrance level, wasting valuable time and resources.

Seeing  that society had already paid a hefty price to educate these students once on  these subjects, the need for such remedial catch-up courses shows that a portion (we can debate how much) of their public  education is in effect “broken” and therefore, must be “fixed” (paid for again)  just as in Bastiat’s lesson. As a consequence of this failure, the cost of  remedial education is adding billions in wasted dollars to the overall cost of college  education, much of it financed with debt.

Apart  from the obvious damage to the students, Paul Krugman’s Keynesian cult  would surely argue that while society may have already paid once for this  education, these colleges (and society as a whole) will miraculously prosper  from having all of this additional money spent on repeated classes. After  all, colleges receive this enormous sum of money which in turn pays the salaries  of professors and others who ultimately go on to purchase any number of products  or services, “stimulating” the economy into the Keynesian world of unicorns and  rainbows.

But  back in the real world, no new wealth is actually created during this process  and society is no better off than it was before. Just as in Bastiat’s  lesson, where society was short one new suit (what the shop owner would have  purchased) because the window that had already existed (wealth) was destroyed  and needed to be replaced, society is now short whatever those wasted education  dollars could have more productively been used for.

And  I would argue that society is in fact much worse off. Students who must retake  these classes are wasting valuable time that ultimately takes away from future  earnings by keeping them out of the job market longer. Also, all these billions  being diverted from productive use actually destroy future job  opportunities for students as well as for the lower-skilled among us.  Further, the future wages and purchasing power of these students are in effect  lowered by the cost to service that portion of their student loan  debt.

So  while it may be correct to blame government intervention for this massive  student loan bubble, to be fair, part of  the blame needs to be assigned to — you guessed it — earlier government  failures in yet one more arena. I guess one of the lessons here is that, be it  education, housing, green energy, or “stimulating” the economy, big government  has the antithesis of the Midas touch.

But  don’t dare attempt a free-market solution to a big government created problem,  as you can rest assured that your efforts will be crushed by statists such as President  Obama.

      


Some Clown

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

Some  clown heads an administration plagued by numerous scandals including: IRSgate, Benghazigate, Fast and  Furiousgate, Pressgate and Pigfordgate to name just a few.

Some  clown claims the above mentioned are nothing but “phony  scandals.”

Some  clown fails to comprehend that raising the minimum wage would be a disaster.

Some clown claims the United States needs to be “fundamentally  transformed.”

Some  clown continues to do an end run around the Constitution in order to protect a chosen few from the  harmful effects of ObamaCare.

Some  clown’s economic policy is (predictably) failing.

Some  clown has overseen the lowest labor participation rate since  1979.

Some  clown has been charge while food stamp usage has reached an all time high, all  while the USDA attempts to recruit even more users into the system.

Some  clown continues to get a free pass from the mainstream media.

I  could go on and on because this clown’s resume contains even more  highlights.
Unfortunately, this happens to be this particular clown’s  first non-theoretical rodeo.

So does anyone  really give a rat’s behind what the skin color of the above mentioned clown is?

Meanwhile,  a rodeo clown has been banned for life for carrying on the comedic tradition of having a little bit of fun (even if in bad taste)  at the expense of a certain president.

 


Kill the Rich Says head of Teachers Union

Kill the rich Have we really moved this far to the Left?  From Thomas Lifson over at American Thinker:

In a December 2nd speech just recently made public, Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, placed mass murder on the table as a political tactic for union movement. Carefully steering clear of actually calling for violence, Ms. Lewis noted that in the past, union leaders had not shied away from advocating killing the rich. She also noted that conditions today, in her view, are reminiscent of that same era. But the time is not ready, yet.

Read the rest at American Thinker:       

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Time To Reform Public Education?

school-indoctrinationSome food for thought by Daren Jonescu over at American Thinker:

If public education is allowed to survive, all efforts to resuscitate the inert husk of modern civilization will fail. It is time to unravel the most wasteful and destructive entitlement program of all. Cancer cells do not divide into healthy cells. A corrupted, power-intoxicated political class will not willingly raise a freedom-loving, self-reliant populace. Governments must no longer be allowed to pre-determine their nations´ fates, by mass producing the populace that serves their interests.

Read the rest at American Thinker:    

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New Video From the California Federation of Teachers

From California Federation of Teachers:  Tax The Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale

Nice propaganda piece staring the one and only Ed Asner.

 

 And the rebuttal (hat tip: Red State ):

 

Wonder no more why we have so many low information voters out there.

 


A Time to Choose

My article as originally published in American Thinker:    

America is at a crossroads and it’s time to choose a path forward. Will we continue to move “Forward” along Obama’s path of “fundamental transformation” and unsustainable big-government? Or will we rediscover our Constitutional compass and chart a path back towards a sustainable, limited government?

While trying to comprehend how it is that anyone could be undecided in this current presidential election, the movie A Time to Kill came to mind.

In short:

Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) takes the law into his own hands after the legal system fails to adequately punish the men who brutally raped and beat his daughter, leaving her for dead. Normally, a distraught father could count on some judicial sympathy in those circumstances. Unfortunately, Carl and his daughter are black, and the assailants are white, and all the events take place in the South.

The scene that stood out was the one in which Hailey’s lawyer, Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) struggled to find a way to persuade the white jury to look beyond race, see the true horror of the situation and acquit a black man. His solution was to deliver a powerful closing argument designed to get the jurors to set aside their personal biases, visualize what it would be like if the tables were turned and then do the right thing.

Jake asked the jury to close their eyes and picture Carl Lee Hailey’s young daughter. He then described, in brutal detail, the horrendous abuse she had suffered at the hands of her white attackers. In conclusion, he asked the white jury to then imagine that this young black girl was instead white.

Are some undecided voters paralyzed from doing the right thing in this election due to being hung-up on race, though certainly not for the same reasons as in the movie?

Many Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 understand that the last four years have been an unmitigated disaster, yet surprisingly, President Obama still enjoys relatively decent poll numbers. Among the conflicted are surely African-Americans who gave 95% of their support to Obama in the 2008 election and will mostly continue to do so based largely upon race. Others, independent voters, who thought that Obama was a moderate, were ready for a “change” and wanted to partake in the historic election of this nation’s first African-American president, but may now feel guilty or be fearful of being labeled as racist if they don’t vote the same way in this election.

President Obama took office during uncertain economic times with the promise of “hope and change.” He came disguised as a moderate and promised to bring all Americans together, fix the economy and to heal all that ailed this nation.

Those who are still undecided should take a moment to really think about and visualize what President Obama has instead given us:

• Five trillion dollars added to our national debt in just four years.

• Yearly trillion-plus dollar deficits.

• Trillions of dollars printed right out of thin air.

• The first U.S. credit downgrade in history.

• Unemployment that is higher now than when he took office.

• Black unemployment that has risen to 14.3% from 13.4%.

• Millions of workers are no longer participating in the workforce due to a lack of opportunity.

• Household incomes that have declined by 8.2% since he took office.

• Gas prices that have more than doubled while permits to drill for oil and natural gas on public lands have been reduced under Obama.

• Billions lost on green energy boondoggles after his wealthy campaign donors received green energy loans to prop up failing companies.

• Food stamp usage that has exploded to more than 47 million recipients.

• Tax dollars used to advertize for even more food stamp users.

• Half of college graduates can’t find full-time jobs.

• Obamacare will cost at least three times more than promised.

• Waivers were given to many Obama donors to protect them from Obamacare.

• $716 billion was cut from Medicare to fund Obamacare.

• Demonization of job creators.

• Terminated the pensions of nonunion Delphi workers to protect unionized GM workers.

• Demonization of a diverse group of Americans who call for fiscal responsibility.

• Bypassed the law to enact a variation of the DREAM Act.

• A fake war on women.

• Women earning less then men in Obama’s own administration.

• Jobless rate among women up 15.5% under Obama.

• A cover up over the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.

• A massive cover-up over the Benghazi terrorist attack.

I could go on.

Imagine what your future would be like if this were to continue.

Imagine what your children and grandchildren’s future would be like if this were to continue.

Now, imagine that the President who was responsible for all of the above was instead a Republican. Would he still deserve to be reelected?

This election isn’t about one man or the color of his skin; it’s about the future of our nation. It’s not about voting for “revenge” but it is about voting for “love of country.” It’s about a return to and maintenance of the limited the roll of government. Our republic was designed this way because we can’t fully trust any one man, or any one-thousand men — of any party.

Please do the right thing this Election Day.


Time to Rethink UC Education? (UPDATED)

Indoctrination centers?  This Big Government piece will come as no surprise to many:

Think a University of California degree is worth its weight in gold? Think again. According to a new study, you might want to rethink that second mortgage needed to send junior to a UC campus.

The California Association of Scholars, a division of the National Association of Scholars, have just released an incendiary report showing that all nine of the University of California’s campuses have been compromised by too many politicized courses and radical faculty members. CAS members include a number of current or past professors from the UC system who have taught at UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Santa Cruz, and UC-San Diego.

Conservatives have long complained of a strong liberal bias in college classrooms, and this new study shows just how far off track it has gone in one of the most prestigious public university systems in the country. You can read the full CAS 81-page report here.

Read the whole thing at Big Government   

(UPDATE)

Zombie at Pj Media attended an educators lecture at U.C. Berkeley titled: “Teaching as a Subversive Activity — Revisited.”

I nearly fell out of my chair when he first said that he wished conservatives didn’t have freedom of speech, and then practically the very next phrase out of his mouth was that people like him believe in “a culture of open-mindedness.” I mean c’mon, does he have any self-awareness? How could someone say that with a straight face? And the audience just laughed, ha ha ha. This only confirms what I have long suspected: That liberals have banished overt conservative thought from many college campuses with “speech codes,” and that given half a chance they would implement the same thing society-wide, and feel sanctimonious and justified in doing so.

Read the whole thing at Pj Media

And more from Big Government: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/21/From-Education-To-Indoctrination-At-U-C

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