VIDEO: Trump’s Great Wall of America

It is time to build “The Wall” as a symbol to the world that the United States of America is still run by free men and women!

eu pessimists by country chart

RELATED ARTICLES:

Swiss Vote on Expelling Foreigners for Petty Crimes

23 Years Ago the World Trade Center was Bombed Because of Illegal Alien Amnesty | Daniel Greenfield

The Next Syrian Refugee Crisis: Child Brides

European ship headed to Asia to help rescue Rohingya (why you should care)

Elected Criminals to be Reelected by Incarcerated Criminals

Hawaii lawmakers are expected to make a decision on House Bill 2773 on Thursday.  The bill would allow prisoners to retain their right to vote, even while incarcerated.

(Airhead) Representative Kaniela Ing introduced the bill.  He says denying convicts voting rights undermines democratic ideals.  Ing believes the process helps inmates learn about the system and helps them feel like they are part of the process and not against it.

“Feel like they’re part of the system and they can help create it and shape it,” says Ing.

But critics say convicted criminals have many constitutional rights taken away while they’re serving time, and this one shouldn’t be an exception.

“You’re punished.  You forfeit those rights,” says Representative Bob McDermott, “It’s a foolish idea and it won’t pass. It will embarrass members in an election year.”

Meanwhile: Sentencing set for ex-state senator in racketeering case

HB2773: Text, Status

read … Birds of a Feather

GOP Baffled as Voters Rally to Popular Candidate

Ann Coulter writes:

Donald Trump’s latest bombshell, claiming the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to get us into the Iraq War, is just him doing wheelies on the way to the nomination. He’s apparently decided it would be fun to taunt the entire GOP by demonstrating that he can say anything and his voters won’t care.

I wish he’d stop showing off, the little scamp, but maybe the GOP establishment will finally get the message that voters have been waiting a really long time for a candidate who would put Americans first. Not donors, not plutocrats, not foreigners, and certainly not foreign plutocrats (i.e., Fox News).

Trump is the first presidential candidate in 50 years who might conceivably: (1) deport illegal aliens, (2) build a wall, (3) block Muslim immigration, (4) flout political correctness, (5) bring manufacturing home, and (6) end the GOP’s neurotic compulsion to start wars in some godforsaken part of the world.

That’s all that matters! Are you listening yet, RNC?

Read more.

people who hate trump cartoonIn my column “The Trump Insurgency” I noted:

If you Google the words “Trump” and “insurgency” you will get over 650,000 links to articles and commentary. I recently said to a friend that Donald Trump has gone from being a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President to the leader of a movement.

Can this movement be called an insurgency?

The definition of an insurgency is a “rebellion against an existing government by a group not recognized as a belligerent.”

Is it Trump who created an insurgency or is Trump following the lead of a growing insurgency that was already taking place? I have written that Trump leads his followers by following their lead. The movement began during the Presidency of Bill Clinton and continues today. It is a struggle between the individualist and the collectivist.

Ayn Rand wrote a short nineteen page paper asking: What is the basic issue facing the world today? Rand, in her paper makes the case that, “The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism.” Rand defines these two principles as follows:

  • Individualism – Each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.
  • Collectivism – Each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.

Donald Trump has tapped into the “Individualism Movement.” Trump’s life is the embodiment of the individualist. Trump has been rich, then poor and then rich again. He has done this not with government handouts, but rather despite the government.

It appears Ann and I agree. The GOPe is baffled, the people are not.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Donald Trump has America’s pulse: Rick Scott

Swiss Vote on Expelling Foreigners for Petty Crimes

Journalist doesn’t report Islamic State sympathizer to police because ‘he was so nice’

“Also, considering the state we now find ourselves in, we cannot go crying to the police about every little IS sympathizer we come across on the high street. The system wouldn’t be able to cope.” That should have set off warning alarms for her and others in Britain, but it didn’t, and won’t. And so Britain will go gently into its good night, happy that its new Islamic supremacist masters are such very decent fellows.

Do you think Melissa Kite would have been this conflicted if the kind, helpful man at the tire shop had been a member of a counter-jihad group? If he had been a member of, say, LibertyGB, she might not have gone to the police, since, after all, it isn’t illegal in Britain (yet) to belong to such a group, but it is highly unlikely she would have written about him so sympathetically, no matter how kind he had been.

“There’s a guy works down the tyre shop swears he’s Isis: But he had done me a great service and an incredible deal so I decided not to go to the police,” by Melissa Kite, The Spectator, February 27, 2016:

The last time I bought a set of tyres in south London I came away not quite knowing whether I had just been asked to become a jihadi bride.

Of course, it was only the merest suspicion. If I had had hard evidence I might have gone to the police. Or I might not. These days, one is likely to get done for a hate crime if one complains about a member of the opposite religion. If I had gone to the police what would I have said?

‘Excuse me, I’ve just had a set of tyres fitted to my Volvo by a man who tried to persuade me that IS fighters don’t deserve the bad press.’

Would I have sounded hysterical, or delusional, or just plain prejudiced? And what was my suspicion based on? Not that much.

I thought about it a lot but really all I had was the fact that, as I sat in the waiting room with the spaniel as my tyres were fitted, a very handsome young man sitting at his desk beneath a huge gold-framed excerpt from the Koran told me I shouldn’t listen to ‘the hype’ about Isis, who weren’t the barbarians they were made out to be. He knew this, he said, because he was just back from a top-secret mission in the Middle East, which he couldn’t elaborate on.

He said I should consider converting and marrying a man like him because I would find that my life really took off at that point. I gulped and nodded. I thought it unlikely that going under the veil would make me happy but he had me in a bind.

I was sitting in his waiting room and my car was up on his ramp with no wheels. I could hardly shout, ‘Now look here, matey! I’m a Roman Catholic. Jesus saves! And while we’re at it, the suffragettes chained themselves to railings for my right to vote, and to tell you to naff off!’

I had to nod and say please and thank you and ‘oh, now that is interesting!’ The whole situation was complicated by the fact that his men went to the most enormous trouble to fit me the best set of affordable quality tyres I have ever had on my Volvo. Truly, within seconds of driving away it was obvious that the car was driving better than ever. Much better than the way it drove after the last set was fitted, when the builder boyfriend took it to one of his mates under the arches who whacked some retreads on it.

Life is terribly confusing at times like these. I realised that I could have a guy who was on the side of the angels fit deathtrap tyres to my car and not even balance them properly.

Or a guy who was cheerleading for the worst terror group in the history of mankind could fit four stupendously good-value Continentals.

What’s a girl to do?

I drove around pondering what evidence I should take to the police and eventually concluded that I would go with my mum’s old maxim: you have to take people how you find them. The guy in the tyre shop had been courteous, kind, patient, honest, trustworthy, efficient, skilful and reliable. He had done me a great service and an incredible deal.

He might have been an IS fighter just arrived back from jihad. Or he might have been shooting his mouth off to impress me. It is, after all, entirely possible that our country is in such a weird mess that boasting you’re connected to Isis has become a chat-up line to which increasing numbers of men are resorting to impress the ladies.

Also, considering the state we now find ourselves in, we cannot go crying to the police about every little IS sympathiser we come across on the high street. The system wouldn’t be able to cope….

RELATED ARTICLES:

Florida man could get life in prison for mosque bacon attack

Video: Kerry on Gitmo detainee who returned to jihad: “He’s not supposed to be doing that”

Britain Bristles, Canada Bows to Islamic Multiculturalism

Britain appears to be cracking down on deportations of terrorists as well as hard-core criminals, while Canada, with its new liberal administration, dons kid gloves to deal with terrorists. Although in the case mentioned below, it took  the United Kingdom an eternity to wake up.

An article in the Independent reports on the Home Secretary, the British cabinet level position that deals with immigration, citizenship, and crime policy,

“Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is planning to significantly increase her department’s use of legal powers that allow serious criminals with dual nationality to have their British citizenship withdrawn.”

This action is in response to the gang rapes, and assaults perpetrated by what the article claims as “Asian” sex abuse gangs. You have to laugh at the media that will use any  kind of word to describe people from Muslim countries. Yes, Pakistan is part of South-West Asia, but how about just naming the country.

The particular case being discussed in the article deals with a gang of six men and women recently convicted of involvement in rape, prostitution, false imprisonment, and indecent assault. Three brothers with British/ Pakistani citizenship: Arshid, Basharat, and Bannaras Hussain were named in the case. They are not your average Anglo-Saxon names, so I’m assuming they are Muslim. The number of abused in Rotherham England, an area contolled by the culturally  Muslim sensitive Labour Party, 1,400 children over the past 16 years.

According to the Telegraph,

“Men of Pakistani heritage treated white girls like toilet paper. They picked children up from schools and care homes and trafficked them across northern cities for other men to join in the fun. They doused a 15-year-old in petrol and threatened to set her alight should she dare to report them. They menaced entire families and made young girls watch as they raped other children.”

Vinesh Mandalia, the counsel for the Home Office, stated,

“… the hearing that the decision by Home Secretary to deprive the men of their British citizenships was based on the need to express “society’s condemnation of those who have gained the benefits and privileges of British citizenship, but go on to become involved in serious organised crime”

On the flip-side, Canadian Immigration Minister, John McCallum announced new legislation that basically would prevent known terrorists in their country from being deported. No surprise here since the country just elected a “wet behind the ears’  Prime Minister who wants 50,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this year.

According to the National Post,

“…the Liberal plan promises to be controversial in its own right, since it would, if passed, restore the Canadian citizenship of Zakaria Amara — sentenced in 2010 for his role as a member of the so-called Toronto 18.”

So, the very first piece of legislation pushed out by this liberal Canadian government will restore citizenship to the lead al Qaeda terrorist, Amara,  involved in a plot to blow up a large truck bomb parked outside of the Toronto Stock Exchange at rush hour in 2006. In addition, an Ontario military base was also to be attacked, essentially creating their own Canadian 9/11.

Personally, I’m wondering why he is still six feet above ground, but then we have our own Blind Sheik who is being waited on hand and foot at Club Gitmo, awaiting his pardon at the end of the Obama regime. (That is just my opinion.)

The National Post goes on to state,

“In addition, the department will take no further action against nine terrorists who had received notices informing them their citizenship was being revoked. They include an Iranian-Canadian and a Pakistani-Canadian imprisoned for a 2010 plan to bomb military bases in Canada.”

It continues,

“Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian imprisoned in California over his role in a plot to decapitate employees of a Danish newspaper and throw their heads onto the street, will also be allowed to keep his Canadian citizenship.”

What does this legislation say to terrorists worldwide? It is the very same message our government broadcasts to any illegal immigrant desiring to come to our country for numerous reasons.  And that is…Have no fear of prosecution or of being deported. Canada and America are open-wide, multiculturally speaking, to those who intend harm.

Interestingly, Canada just reported a total of 240 of its model citizens are or have been engaged in terror groups fighting overseas. Sixty have returned home with the remaining 180 still abroad. With the administration’s bent, Trudeau may just arrange a ticker tape parade to welcome them all home.

RELATED ARTICLE: Swiss Vote on Expelling Foreigners for Petty Crimes

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron during a bilateral visit to London, on November 25, 2015.

Bloomberg and Murdoch (rich globalists) working to control your communities

This morning we learned from a New York Times story that Fox News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch failed in 2013 to persuade you that Marco Rubio’s ‘Gang of Eight’ Amnesty bill would be good for America.

However, having failed through Fox News propaganda, he and other rich globalists (they need cheap labor!) created a new way to change your minds about how, by ‘welcoming’ more immigrants to town, you would benefit and created a special grant program called ‘Gateways to Growth.’

They are coming for you one town at a time!

Here is what I said at American Resistance 2016! a month ago:

Welcoming America and the Partnership for a New American Economy have partnered in a grant giveaway program—Gateways for Growthdesigned to get your town or county softened up to accept MORE immigrants and refugees!  [Since I first wrote about this last month, you can no longer see the grant requirements without a password — typical secretive creeps!—ed]

The gist of the program is that Lefty Open Borders groups would ‘partner’ with business interests and local government to create a kind of political juggernaut that would bring Republicans and Democrats together against you, average citizens who do not want to change the social and cultural make-up of your towns, and who believe Americans should get the first shot at well-paying jobs.

The Twin Falls, Idaho target!

Longtime readers know that we have written a great deal about the ‘Pocket of Resistance’ in Twin Falls, Idaho (where Chobani Yogurt has built its largest plant in the world).  Click here for our extensive Twin Falls archive.

So, now check this out!  Here is Murdoch’s (and former NY Mayor Bloomberg’s) Gateways for Growth trying to go operational in Twin Falls.  In order to get the Murdoch/Bloomberg payola, the Open borders advocates must “partner” with the supposed ‘other side’—local government, Chambers of Commerce etc.

This is our first news of how the globalists and the do-gooders are working together in your towns!

Be sure to see ‘Gateways for Growth challenge’ to see what they hope to gain.  It is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about “integration” (not assimilation!).  They will really simply be propagandists.

From Magic Valley.com where we learn that the Murdoch groupies got ahead of themselves and listed the local government on their grant application.

TWIN FALLS | The City Council is entering the refugee issue after unanimously voting Monday to appoint a liaison to a local advocate group.

The Council heard from the Magic Valley Refugee Advocates, a fledgling group that intends to establish services for refugees in Twin Falls if it’s able to land a grant and hire staff.

While council members did not offer support for the group’s efforts — and in fact were opposed to being listed as a “supporter” in a letter of intent for the grant being sought — they agreed an exchange of information with the group was appropriate. It marks the first time the city has formally engaged in a months-long heated debate over refugee resettlement in the Magic Valley.

[….]

Several Council members were not pleased, however, the city was listed as a partner agency in a grant being pursued by the local advocacy group from the Partnership for a New American Economy, an immigration advocacy organization formed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Vice Mayor Suzanne Hawkins noted the Magic Valley Refugee Advocates listed the city as a supporter before it had agreed to be a partner.

More here! Read it all!

The leader of the Magic Valley Refugee Advocates is Erika Willsey.  Here she makes a presentation of her support of the resettlement contractor in Twin Falls—the College of Southern Idaho.  Ms. Willsey is carrying the water for globalists Bloomberg, Murdoch and Hamdi Ulukaya/Chobani Yogurt (whether she knows it or not).

I urge all of you to be on the lookout for a similar attempt being made in your towns to use globalists’ grant money to put the business community in concert with the Leftist do-gooders to change your community and to work against your interests.

By the way, the next time you hear some big company boss moaning that they can’t find American workers—tell them they need to pay a decent wage and they will get them!

RELATED ARTICLES:

23 Years Ago the World Trade Center was Bombed Because of Illegal Alien Amnesty | Daniel Greenfield

News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch tried to manipulate you during 2013 ‘Gang of Eight’ battle

China takes no Syrian refugees for several important (sensible!) reasons

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Rupert Murdoch (left) and Michael Bloomberg (Josh Reynolds/AP Photo).

The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism by Corey Iacono

Bernie Sanders has single-handedly brought the term “democratic socialism” into the contemporary American political lexicon and shaken millions of Millennials out of their apathy towards politics. Even if he does not win the Democratic nomination, his impact on American politics will be evident for years to come.

Sanders has convinced a great number of people that things have been going very badly for the great majority of people in the United States, for a very long time. His solution? America must embrace “democratic socialism,” a socioeconomic system that seemingly works very well in the Scandinavian countries, like Sweden, which are, by some measures, better off than the United States.

Democratic socialism purports to combine majority rule with state control of the means of production. However, the Scandinavian countries are not good examples of democratic socialism in action because they aren’t socialist.

In the Scandinavian countries, like all other developed nations, the means of production are primarily owned by private individuals, not the community or the government, and resources are allocated to their respective uses by the market, not government or community planning.

While it is true that the Scandinavian countries provide things like a generous social safety net and universal healthcare, an extensive welfare state is not the same thing as socialism. What Sanders and his supporters confuse as socialism is actually social democracy, a system in which the government aims to promote the public welfare through heavy taxation and spending, within the framework of a capitalist economy. This is what the Scandinavians practice.

In response to Americans frequently referring to his country as socialist, the prime minister of Denmark recently remarked in a lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,

I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.

The Scandinavians embrace a brand of free-market capitalism that exists in conjunction with a large welfare state, known as the “Nordic Model,” which includes many policies that democratic socialists would likely abhor.

For example, democratic socialists are generally opponents of global capitalism and free trade, but the Scandinavian countries have fully embraced these things. The Economist magazine describes the Scandinavian countries as “stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies.” Perhaps this is why Denmark, Norway, and Sweden rank among the most globalized countries in the entire world. These countries all also rank in the top 10 easiest countries to do business in.

How do supporters of Bernie Sanders feel about the minimum wage? You will find no such government-imposed floors on labor in Sweden, Norway, or Denmark. Instead, minimum wages are decided by collective-bargaining agreements between unions and employers; they typically vary on an occupational or industrial basis. Union-imposed wages lock out the least skilled and do their own damage to an economy, but such a decentralized system is still arguably a much better way of doing things than having the central government set a one-size fits all wage policy that covers every occupation nationwide.

In a move that would be considered radically pro-capitalist by young Americans who #FeelTheBern, Sweden adopted a universal school choice system in the 1990s that is nearly identical to the system proposed by libertarian economist Milton Friedman his 1955 essay, “The Role of Government in Education.”

In practice, the Swedish system involves local governments allowing families to use public funds, in the form of vouchers, to finance their child’s education at a private school, including schools run by the dreaded for-profit corporation.

Far from being a failure, as the socialists thought it would be, Sweden’s reforms were a considerable success. According to a study published by the Institute for the Study of Labor, the expansion of private schooling and competition brought about by the Swedish free-market educational reforms “improved average educational performance both at the end of compulsory school and in the long run in terms of high school grades, university attendance, and years of schooling.”

Overall, it is clear that the Scandinavian countries are not in fact archetypes of successful democratic socialism. Sanders has convinced a great deal of people that socialism is something it is not, and he has used the Scandinavian countries to prove its efficacy, while ignoring the many ways they deviate, sometimes dramatically, from what Sanders himself advocates.

Corey IaconoCorey Iacono

Corey Iacono is a student at the University of Rhode Island majoring in pharmaceutical science and minoring in economics.

Will a ‘Socialist’ Government Make Us Freer? by Jason Kuznicki

“Socialism” is a weasel word.

Consider that the adjective “socialist” applies commonly — even plausibly — to countries with vastly different ex ante institutions and with vastly different social and economic outcomes. Yet Canada, Norway, Venezuela, and Cuba can’t all be one thing. Does socialism mean substantial freedom of the press, as in Norway? Or does it mean the vicious suppression of dissent, as in Venezuela?

We need more clarity here before we decide whether socialism is a worthwhile social system, and whether, as Will Wilkinson recommends, we ought to support a socialist candidate for president.

An approach that clearly will not do is to apply the term “socialism” to virtually all foreign countries. Shabby as that definition may be, some do seem to use it, both favorably and not. The result is that “socialism” has grown popular largely because a lot of people have concluded that the American status quo stinks. Maybe it does stink, but that doesn’t endow “socialism” with a proper definition.

Let’s see what happens when we drill down to the level of institutions.

Now, we might personally wish that the word “socialism” meant “the social system in which the state owns the means of production and runs the major industries of the nation.”

This is a workable definition: It has a clear genus and differentia; it includes some systems, while excluding others; and it’s not obviously self-referential. It’s also the definition preferred by many important political actors in the twentieth century, including Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin’s definition was not a bad one. But it’s far from the only current, taxonomically proper definition of socialism. As Will Wilkinson rightly notes, socialism also commonly means “the social system in which the state uses taxation to provide an extensive social safety net.”

And yet, as Will also notes, “ownership of the means of production” and “provision of a social safety net” are logically independent policies. A state can do one, the other, both, or neither. Of these four possibilities, there’s only one that can’t plausibly be called a socialism — and not a single state on earth behaves this way!

Better terms are in order, but I know that whatever I propose here isn’t going to stick, so I’m not going to try. Instead I want to look at some of the consequences that may arise from our fuzzy terminology.

One danger is that we may believe and support one conception of “socialism” —only to find that the agents we’ve tasked with supplying it have had other ideas all along: We may want Norway but get Venezuela. Wittingly or unwittingly.

Before we say “oh please, of course we’ll end up in Norway,” let’s recall how eager our leftist intelligentsia has been to praise Chavez’s Venezuela — and even declare it an “economic miracle” — until the truth became unavoidable: The “miracle” of socialism in Venezuela turned out to be nothing more than a transient oil boom. Yet leftist intellectuals are the very sorts of people who will be drawn, by self-selection, to an administration that is proud to call itself socialist.

There’s some resemblance to a “motte-and-bailey” process here: they cultivate the rich, desirable fields of the bailey, until they are attacked, at which point they retreat to the well-fortified motte. The easily defensible motte is the comfortable social democracy of northern Europe, which we all agree is pretty nice and happens to have quite a few free-market features. The bailey is the Cuban revolution.

This motte-and-bailey process does not need to be deliberate; it may be the result of a genuinely patchwork socialist coalition. No one in the coalition needs to have bad faith. An equivocal word is all that’s needed, and one is already on hand.

Even when we look only at one country, the problem remains: We may only want some institutional parts of Denmark — and we may want them for good reasons, such as Denmark’s relatively loose regulatory environment. But what we get may only be the other institutional parts of Denmark — such as its high personal income taxes. (Worth noting: Bernie Sanders has explicitly promised the higher personal income taxes, while his views on regulation are anything but Danish.)

Will thinks that electing someone on the far left of the American political spectrum could be somewhat good for liberty, but I’m far from convinced. Remember what happened the last time we put just a center-leftist in the White House: By the very same measures of economic freedom that Will uses to tout Denmark’s success, America’s economic freedom ranking sharply declined. And that decline was the direct result of Barack Obama’s left-wing economic policies. We got a larger welfare state and higher taxes, but we also got much more command-and-control regulation.

Faced with similar objections from others, Will has already performed a nice sidestep: He has replied that voting for Sanders is — obviously — just a strategic move: “Obviously,” he writes, “President Bernie Sanders wouldn’t get to implement his economic policy.” Emphasis his.

To which I’d ask: Do you really mean that Sanders would achieve none of his economic agenda? At all? Because I can name at least two items that seem like safe bets: more protectionism and stricter controls on immigration. A lot of Sanders’s ideas will indeed be dead on arrival, but these two won’t, and he would be delighted to make a bipartisan deal that cuts against most everything that Will, the Niskanen Center, and libertarians generally claim to stand for. Cheering for a guy who would happily bury your legislative agenda, and who stands a good chance of actually doing it seems… well, odd.

There is also a frank inconsistency to Will’s argument: The claim that Sanders will make us more like Denmark can’t be squared with the claim that Sanders will be totally ineffective. Arguing both is just throwing spaghetti on the wall — and hoping the result looks like libertarianism.

Would Sanders decriminalize marijuana? Or reform the criminal justice system? Or start fewer wars? Or spend less on defense? Or give us all puppies? I don’t know. Obama promised to close Guantanamo. He promised to be much better on civil liberties. He promised not to start “dumb wars” or bomb new and exotic countries. He even promised accountability for torture.

In 2008, I made the terrible mistake of counting those promises in his favor. We’ve seen how well that worked out.

It’s completely beyond me why I should trust similarly tangential promises this time around — particularly from a candidate like Sanders, whose record on foreign policy is already disturbingly clear. None of the rest of these desiderata have anything to do with state control over our economic life, which would appear to be the one thing the left wants most of all. (Marijuana: illegal in Cuba. Legal in North Korea. Yay freedom?)

Ultimately, I think that electing someone significantly further left than Obama will not help matters in any sense at all, except maybe that it will show how little trust we should put in anyone who willingly wears the socialist label. The only good outcome of a Sanders administration may be that we’ll all say to ourselves afterward: “Well, we won’t be trying that again!”

Now, I am prepared to believe, exactly as Will writes, that “‘social democracy,’ as it actually exists, is sometimes more ‘libertarian’ than the good old U.S. of A.” That’s true, at least in a few senses. Consider, for instance, that Denmark isn’t drone bombing unknown persons in Pakistan using a type of algorithm that can’t seem to deliver interesting Facebook ads. (One could say that, as usual, Denmark is letting us do their dirty work for them, with their full approval, but I won’t press the point.)

Either way, that’s still a pretty low bar, no? Meanwhile, there remains plenty of room for us to imitate some other bad things — things that we aren’t doing now, but that Denmark is doing, like taxing its citizens way, way too much. The fact that these things are a part of the complex conglomerate known as northern European social democracy doesn’t necessarily make them good, exactly as remote control assassination doesn’t become good merely by virtue of being American.

In short: Point taken about social democracy. At times, some of it isn’t completely terrible. But that only gets us so far, and not quite to the Sanders slot in the ballot box.

Jason KuznickiJason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is the editor of Cato Unbound.

The Reprobate Mind of America

In what will most likely be known to historians as the last greatest friendship between a conservative and a liberal, Americans will forever memorialize the snapshot in time of Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia and his longtime friend Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the back of an elephant waving to a nearby crowd.

It is Justice Scalia’s sudden and unexpected death that has escalated anxiety among Americans of what is yet to come. The Scalia-Ginsburg friendship could very well be the last living generation given over to civility in which agreeing to disagree is simply a stimulating conversation piece among friends.  The issues have become far too vile, as the American sliding scale has gradually redefined right and wrong.  We have walked in hatred one to another. We have made other gods our God. We have made ourselves our God.

We now face the final precipice in which America is now at the point of no return, unable to reconcile our stark differences without the strong and loving hands of divine intervention. Signs and wonders in the skies, ancient prophecies unfolding, earthquakes, and cataclysmic events all point to the end of an era now that America has succumbed to a reprobate mind, with one final chance to change directions and charter a new course.

Ancient teachings have long predicted the perilous times in the last days when it has been foretold that the evidence of such a culture will show people to be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, lacking self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…having a form of godliness but denying its power.  These are the descriptions as described by Paul, known for writing over half of New Testament.

Perhaps teacher Don Koenig developed some of the most thought-provoking ideas, when he posed poignant questions that act as a litmus test of the modern American mindset:  Why is almost everything on TV about sex, violence, and the abnormal?  Why is porn half the Internet traffic that is not marked as Spam?  Why does America have the highest incarceration rate in the world?  Why do Americans use illegal and legal mind-altering drugs more than any other nation on Earth?  The list goes on in his essay aptly entitled, “Many Exhibit Insanity Because God Gave Them Over to a Reprobate Mind“.

Where there is a reprobate mind, otherwise reputable men and women, no longer conform to sound doctrine, but alter it to suit their selfish desires. The reprobate mind turns away from truth and turns towards myths.  The reprobate society is one in which truth is censored and suppressed by wickedness.  The reprobate man says he knows God, but neither glorifies Him, nor gives thanks to Him.  Instead his thinking has become futile, his foolish heart darkened.  He claims to be wise, but has become a fool, exchanging the glory of an immortal God for mortal things.

The reprobate society is filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, depravity. It is plagued by envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. It is filled with gossips, slanderers, God-haters, those who are insolent, arrogant and boastful and invent ways of doing evil.  They do all of these things as well as condone those who practice them.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s leadership and presence in the Supreme Court was representative of one of America’s final vestiges of hope, a protective shield from forces of darkness and an anchor that secured a once great society from being overcome by the reprobate abyss.

Without an adequate replacement to fill Justice Scalia’s seat in the judicial branch of government and principled leadership in the executive branch, both currently at stake, we risk even further departing from the Judeo-Christian benchmark that has established America’s rule of law throughout the generations, and civilization as we know it will cease to exist.

No matter what our particular shortcomings as a nation and as individuals may be, let us never deny the existence of our one true Creator. Let us always uphold Truth, even when we are far from making good choices in our own power. Let us continue to put our hope in the God of our fathers and halt the impending destruction of our beloved America, one in which our children can experience kindness, joy, peace, and the other freedoms that have been the bedrock of the greatest nation on Earth.  It is then, and only then, that America will be released from the invisible choke-hold that is threatening our future and currently destroying us from within.

European pressure cooker set to explode as countries unilaterally close borders

A major crisis is at hand as the Balkan countries close their borders (following Austria’s lead).

Because there is no serious will to do so, there is nothing to effectively stop the flow of illegal migrants into Greece from Turkey. Greek leaders fear their country will become one big refugee camp as the migrants cannot move toward Germany (the country whose streets they believe are paved with gold!).

Here is the story at the Malta Independent.  And below is a screen shot of the flow yesterday showing 2,972 came in from Turkey but the flow northward has all but stopped.

Go to the interactive map and move the courser back over the last month to see the astounding numbers that were moving into Austria and then Germany in recent weeks.

Screenshot (26)

eu pessimists by country chart

The Independent:

The rift over how to handle Europe’s immigration crisis ripped wide open Friday. As nations along the Balkans migrant route took more unilateral actions to shut down their borders, diplomats from EU nations bordering the Mediterranean rallied around Greece, the epicenter of the crisis.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides – speaking on behalf of colleagues from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta and Greece – said decisions on how to deal with the migrant influx that have already been made by the 28-nation bloc cannot be implemented selectively by some countries.

“This issue is testing our unity and ability to handle it,” Kasoulides told a news conference after an EU Mediterranean Group meeting. “The EU Med Group are the front-line states and we all share the view that unilateral actions cannot be a solution to this crisis.”

[….]

The Greek government is blaming Austria – a fellow member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen Area – for the flare-up in the crisis. Austria imposed strict border restrictions last week, creating a domino effect as those controls were also implemented by Balkan countries further south along the Balkans migration route.

[….]

Thousands of migrants are pouring into Greece every day and officials fear the country could turn into “a giant refugee camp” if they are unable to move north due to borders closures.

Continue reading here.  What a mess!

Go here for all of our ‘Invasion of Europe’ news.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Swiss Vote on Expelling Foreigners for Petty Crimes

23 Years Ago the World Trade Center was Bombed Because of Illegal Alien Amnesty | Daniel Greenfield

The Next Syrian Refugee Crisis: Child Brides

European ship headed to Asia to help rescue Rohingya (why you should care)

Trump and Sanders Win Presidential Bumper Sticker Poll

TREVOSE, Pa. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and  Republican Donald Trump should sweep Super Tuesday primaries, according to the Presidential Promo Polls on bumper sticker preferences released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI).

With an eye on Tuesday’s primaries and how promotional products are used in elections, ASI asked residents in primary states this question: If you received a bumper sticker from each of the presidential candidates, which one would you be most willing to put on your car?

“We purposely chose to ask people about bumper stickers because it is an iconic election promotional product that’s also very personal,” said ASI Editorial Director Andy Cohen. “While you might accept and use a branded pen from a candidate you don’t necessarily support, no way would you put a bumper sticker on your car if you didn’t really endorse a candidate.”

In the lead-up to Super Tuesday, ASI released results from voter polls taken in nine, non-caucus states participating in primaries. More than 600 people from each state participated in each survey that was fielded among the Google Consumer Survey Network. All responses were collected between February 20-25.

In all nine states, voters ASI polled chose Trump and Sanders by wide margins.

When asked about the popularity, in particular, of the Vermont senator with Democrats, versus former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ASI’s Director of Market Research Nate Kucsma said, come Tuesday, voters ASI polled may end up voting with their heads instead of their hearts. “Although our poll tells us lots of people love Sanders enough to put his bumper sticker on their car, they may end up voting for Hillary because they think she has the best chance to win in November,” Kucsma said. “Whereas Republican voters truly believe that Trump, or whomever else they support, can win it all in November.”

Below are results from ASI’s Presidential Promo Poll:

  • Alabama: Trump 53%, Sanders 58%
  • Arkansas: Trump 51%, Sanders 59%
  • Georgia: Trump 46%, Sanders 61%
  • Massachusetts: Trump 50%, Sanders 62%
  • Oklahoma: Trump 43%, Sanders 64%
  • Tennessee: Trump 50%, Sanders 56%
  • Texas: Trump: 40%, Sanders 53%
  • Vermont:  Trump 45%, Sanders 91%
  • Virginia: Trump 43%, Sanders 58%

Promo products, also known as swag, freebies and giveaways, are items like pens, T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs and high-tech electronics imprinted with a logo or slogan used by companies, schools and non-profits to advertise their brand and events and to thank employees and clients.

In 2012, ASI estimated total election-related promo product spending fueled by giveaways like bumper stickers, yard signs and candidate brochures hit $870 million.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $22 billion promotional products industry.

Voters Rate Key Attributes Necessary For a Commander-In-Chief

LOS ANGELES, CA /PRNewswire/ — A new national survey from E-Poll Market Research measures perceptions of the current Presidential candidates among members of each political party along 46 personality and behavioral attributes. Among Democrats, results show Clinton and Sanders splitting the ballot on many attributes, with Clinton owning the traits most associated with statesmanship (Experienced, Influential and Confident) while Sanders wins on attributes associated with likeability (Sincere and Trustworthy).

Among Republicans, Trump is perceived as most Confident and Influential. Carson is the anti-Trump, perceived as the most Appealing, Intelligent, Sincere and Trustworthy. Rubio is noted as most Articulate, while Kasich is most Experienced. Cruz does not lead in any of the presidential attributes.

Evolving Perception of Clinton

Since her last presidential campaign in 2008, Clinton has increased her appeal, especially among women, and held very strong or grown in the presidential attributes including Experienced, Influential and Confident. Since 2008 she is considered less Sincere and Trustworthy by Democrats, and particularly male Democrats.

2016 Presidential Candidates: Perceptions Among Democrats

FEMALE DEMOCRATS

MALE DEMOCRATS

Attribute

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

Attribute

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

E-Score

82

87

E-Score

82

87

Appeal

64

63

Appeal

51

66

Articulate

44

34

Articulate

26

49

Confident

57

33

Confident

36

36

Experienced

54

43

Experienced

49

48

Intelligent

62

54

Intelligent

43

52

Sincere

18

42

Sincere

13

38

Trustworthy

17

30

Trustworthy

8

41

Source: E-Score

 

Perceptions of Hilary Clinton: Then and Now

FEMALE DEMOCRATS

MALE DEMOCRATS

 Attribute

2008

2016

 Attribute

2008

2016

E-Score

75

82

E-Score

75

82

Appeal

55

64

Appeal

49

51

Experienced

54

54

Experienced

49

49

Influential

50

55

Influential

55

30

Confident

58

57

Confident

53

36

Sincere

24

18

Sincere

21

13

Trustworthy

23

17

Trustworthy

21

8

Source: E-Score

 

2016 Presidential Candidates: Perceptions Among Republicans

Attribute

Donald Trump

Ben Carson

Ted Cruz

Marco Rubio

John Kasich

E-Score

76

82

49

60

40

Appeal

46

67

46

60

33

Articulate

14

32

28

37

35

Confident

45

35

43

43

35

Experienced

36

36

27

28

44

Influential

41

26

29

32

18

Intelligent

38

68

49

56

48

Sincere

9

42

20

22

24

Trustworthy

10

34

22

31

26

Source: E-Score

Methodology:

E-Score surveys conducted among 1,000 persons aged 18+with general representation across income, age, education and geographic demographics to represent a cross-section of the U.S. population. 2016 Surveys conducted February 5, 2016. 2008 Survey conducted June 9, 2008. All numerical figures except E-Score represent % of respondents.

About E-Score:

E-Score has been the leader in personality ratings for more than 15 years, and tracks public opinion on more than 9,000 entertainers, athletes, politicians and newsmakers. E-Score is a product of E-Poll Market Research, a full-service consumer research company. More information is available at www.epollresearch.com.

No, It’s Not Your 1st Amendment Right to ‘Talk Dirty’ to a Child by Dani Bianculli

Criminal laws must be updated to adapt to the new Internet community.

Like any other community the Internet is a place for business, relationships, dating and unfortunately criminal activity, including the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has filed an amicus brief for a court case in Georgia stating that it should not be legal to “talk dirty” to a child.

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on February 22ndregarding this First Amendment challenge to a Georgia statute criminalizing obscene Internet contact with a child. NCOSE believes that Georgia’s statute is necessary to protect children from harm because the First Amendment does not protect sexually exploitive speech to children. The person challenging the statute, states in his brief to the Court that he has a First Amendment right to “talk dirty to a child.” We at NCOSE, think absolutely not. This is not harmless chatting but rather child exploitation. And the most frightening aspect of this case is that a very similar statute in Texas[1] has already been struck down on First Amendment grounds led by the same defense attorney challenging the statute in this case.

The sad and scary reality is that child sexual abuse and exploitation has moved online. And due to the nature of the Internet the problem is only growing. A child predator has instant, anonymous access to children all over the country, and even the world. Meanwhile, young adolescents looking to make friends while both curious and naïve about sex are virtually all online, all the time.[2] And this is not on the family computer under the watchful eyes of mom and dad but on tablets and smartphones, which are carried around with the child everywhere they go.[3] This means those who would mean to harm these children can find them on social media platforms and chat rooms any time, anywhere, and children of these young ages tend to share too much information and actively seek out online friendships. Especially, those children who are most vulnerable to sexual abuse.

States have been trying to protect children from predators since the dawn of the Internet ageabuse moved online child but there is still much left unaddressed and technology has changed faster than laws have been updated. Most States have laws against online solicitation of minors. And most States have laws against exposing oneself to a minor in person or selling minors obscene or indecent materials. But what if an adult uses a webcam to expose himself/herself to minor online? Or what if he/she describes in graphic detail sexual encounters, or sexual acts he/she would like to perform on the child he/she is speaking to via online messaging? And even more disturbing, what if the adult instructs the child to touch themselves sexually, directing and commanding their movements? These are real examples of the activities which have been prosecuted under this Georgia statute. And without this statute such activity would considered legal. This activity does not fall under other statutes aimed at prohibiting child abuse and exploitation. But because these actions, which amount to cybersex, and sometimes even remote child molestation, are occurring via Internet chat there is a real possibility that it could be given a pass under the guise of First Amendment freedom.

This serious confusion over the First Amendment’s role in the Internet space could cause serious consequences for children who are being victimized and traumatized by predators online. And it would be completely inconsistent with First Amendment jurisprudence. The First Amendment does not protect child exploitation and has always restricted a minor’s access to material that is harmful to them. And the content of these communications meet the standard for material that is harmful to minors. But because harmful to minors laws do not encompass live online communications this statute is needed to cover this ground.

The Supreme Court of the United States has already held that material, such as magazines, books, pictures, or videos containing sexually explicit nudity or sex acts appealing to the prurient interest of a child may be restricted to children, even material that would not be obscene as to adults, without offending the First Amendment. In fact, the Supreme Court has placed the protection of children from sexual exploitation as the highest priority of the States and material that is harmful to them receives no First Amendment protection in its distribution to children. The Georgia state legislature used the same language that has been upheld in harmful to minors laws and merely applied these restrictions to live streaming video or instant message conversations online. Further, we argue that these online communications are even more harmful than obscene magazines or videos, and therefore the State has an even greater interest in protecting children, because it is not simply mass produced and available to children, but created for a specific targeted child by an adult. The exposure is intentional and crafted around that particular child’s vulnerabilities and inexperience with sexual matters.

Furthermore, freedom of speech does not protect criminal speech. For example, conspiracy, which amounts to criminal conversations, obscenity, and advertisements and solicitations for child pornography are all “speech” and yet completely excluded from First Amendment protection. Similarly, there is no reason why conversations or webcam video which would be rightfully restricted if printed in a book or contained on a DVD cannot be restricted merely because they occur in real-time through the medium of Internet communications. Such harmful material does not become transformed into political speech imbued with value simply because it takes place online.

And this statute is careful to prohibit only conversations between an adult and a child online which intentionally exploit and abuse a child. The statute requires belief by the adult that he/she is speaking to a child and the intention to sexually arouse either himself/herself or the child. Any doubt or concerns about overbreadth are dispelled in looking at the statute’s real world application. It reveals that what is in fact prohibited is the grooming of children for sexual abuse and/or exposing them to sexually explicit language and images. Such actions are harmful to children and inherently exploitive.

States must be able to extend the protections for children that already exist in the physical world to the realm of the Internet. And the State of Georgia has properly done so with this statute. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has written and filed an amicus brief to inform the Georgia Supreme Court on the exploitive nature of the content restricted in this statute, how such exposure to sexually explicit material is harmful to children, how the sexualization of children is harmful to them, and that such explicit conversations are a well recognized tool by researchers and law enforcement in the grooming of a child for further sexual abuse by child predators and should therefore receive no First Amendment protection.

Read the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Brief Here

END NOTES:

[1] See Ex Parte Lo, 424 S.W.3d 10, 24–25 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013).

[2] “Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online.” http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teens-fact-sheet/

[3] Id. “Three-quarters (74%) of teens have accessed the internet through a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.  One-quarter of teens (25%) access the internet mostly on a cell phone.”

Dani Bianculli

Dani BianculliEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LAW CENTER

Dani Bianculli joined the NCOSE team as Director of the Law Center in August of 2015. Dani has a passion for human rights issues especially those affecting women and children. This passion is what led to her decision to attend law school. Dani received the Wilberforce Award, a full academic scholarship for those with human rights interests, to attend Regent University School of Law. While at Regent, Dani was in the Honors Program, a member of the Moot Court Board, the Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy, and the Student Bar Association. During her studies Dani interned with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Prior to law school Dani worked as a government relations intern for multiple DC policy organizations and graduated from the University of Central Florida with dual degrees in Psychology and Marketing.

Cupcake Kasich is a (Rather Dull) Tyrant Enabler

When Governor John Kasich said recently that he probably should be running in the Democrat Party, he wasn’t kidding. Although seeking office in Cuba might be even more fitting.

Taking a break from lecturing us on how we must accept amnesty, the presidential contender recently weighed in on the case of the Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a faux wedding. Mentioned briefly in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, here are his comments, made on Monday at the University of Virginia:

I think, frankly, our churches should not be forced to do anything that’s not consistent with them. But if you’re a cupcake maker and somebody wants a cupcake, make them a cupcake. Let’s not have a big lawsuit or argument over all this stuff — move on. The next thing, you know, they might be saying, if you’re divorced you shouldn’t get a cupcake.

Now, Kasich is a man who just loves the idea of moving on. After the Obergefell v. Hodges decision last June, he said that recognition of faux marriage was “the law of the land and we’ll abide by it” and that now “it’s time to move on.” It’s no wonder Republicans long ago move on from the idea of him as president.

Kasich managed to squeeze a remarkable number of misconceptions into his three sentences. First, while the cupcake lines may be cute to some and possess rhetorical flair, they’re nonsense. There’s not one Christian baker persecuted by governments recently who said he wouldn’t bake “cupcakes” or anything else for a given group; in fact, these businessmen have made clear that they serve homosexuals all the time. This isn’t about serving a certain type of people.

It’s about servicing a certain type of event.

Only someone who hasn’t bothered to ponder the matter deeply or who’s intellectually dishonest could miss this simple fact. And I’ll put it to you, Governor Kasich: can you cite any other time in American history when the government compelled a businessman to service an event he found morally objectionable? This is unprecedented. And is it really a road we want to go down?

If so, can the government compel a Jewish or black businessman to cater, respectively, a Nazi or KKK affair? How about a forcing a Muslim restaurateur to serve pork at an event for the National Pork Producers Council? Or is this another situation where government gets to pick winners and losers, this time in matters of conscience?

Of course, this is already happening, which brings us to Kasich’s divorcé cupcake eater. The proper analogy here doesn’t involve serving such a person because, again, the bakers in question serve homosexuals.

The proper analogy involves servicing an event celebrating a divorce.

Government wouldn’t even consider compelling participation in the above, or in events celebrating adultery, fornication, polygamy (yet) or auto-eroticism. So why the double standard? Well, homosexuals have very effective lobbying groups and millions of enablers — such as Cupcake Kasich.

Kasich‘s “churches should not be forced to do anything that’s not consistent with them. But…” comment is also interesting. Our First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. For those who say this is only meant to restrain the central government’s legislature (and I’m sympathetic to this view), note that the constitution of Kasich’s own state dictates that no “interference with the rights of conscience be permitted.” And since he was commenting on a case involving Oregon residents, consider that the Beaver State’s constitution likewise reads, “No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.”

Now, “exercise” is action; thus, at issue here isn’t just the freedom of religious belief, but of acting on that belief. Of course, there are limits in that we don’t allow practices such as human sacrifice. But anything considered legitimate action under these constitutions is allowed in churches. And here’s the point: none of these constitutions limit this free exercise to church property.

Thus, any type of exercise allowable in church is allowable outside of it.

So for this reason alone, the action against the Oregon bakers was unconstitutional. Since a person can refuse to be party to a faux wedding within a church, he can also refuse to be party to a faux wedding outside of it.

Interestingly, Kasich and others seem to be espousing a kind of “dual truth” philosophy, which I understand is part of Islamic theology. This basically states what what’s “religiously true” may not be true beyond the religious realm (whatever that’s supposed to be). But a moral issue doesn’t cease to be a moral issue because it moves down the block.

The action against the bakers is unconstitutional for another reason. Perhaps invariably, part of creating a wedding cake is placing a written message on it; in the case of faux weddings, this message would relate to faux marriage. Even two male figurines placed on top of the cake relate a message; note here that the courts have rule that symbolic speech is covered under the First Amendment. And where does the government have the constitutional power to compel people to be party to a message they find morally objectionable? Forced speech is not free speech.

Of course, none of this would be an issue if we accepted a principle even many conservatives today reject: freedom of association. Think about it: you have a right to include in or exclude from your home whomever you please, for any reason whatsoever, whether it’s because the person is a smoker, non-smoker, black, white, Catholic, Protestant, or because you simply don’t like his face.

Why should you lose this right merely because you erect a few more tables and sell food?

Or because you bake cakes, take pictures, plan weddings or conduct some other kind of commerce?

It’s still your property, paid for with your own money and created by the sweat of your own brow. Is a man’s home not his castle?

Of course, this all goes back to a Supreme Court ruling stating that private businesses can be viewed as “public accommodations,” which was a huge step toward the Marxist standard disallowing private property. And it has led to endless litigation, with the Boy Scouts sued by homosexuals, atheists and a girl (who wanted to be a “boy” scout); the PGA Tour sued by a handicapped golfer who wanted a dispensation from the rules; Abercrombie & Fitch sued by a Muslim woman who wanted to wear her hijab on the job; and Barnes & Noble sued by a male employee who claimed he suddenly was a female employee, just to name a few cases. It has also led, now, to some Americans being confronted with a Hobson’s choice: cast the exercise of your faith to the winds and bow before the government’s agenda, or kiss making a living goodbye.

Is all of this worth it just to stop less than one percent of the population from discriminating in unfashionable ways? And remember, freedom of association is like any other freedom: it’s only the unpopular exercise of it that needs protection. As for popular exercise, its popularity is usually protection enough.

As for Kasich’s desire for popularity, it’s pretty hard to achieve when your implied campaign slogan is “A chicken-hearted politician in every office and a coerced cupcake in every cupboard.”

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

School Is About Freedom, Marco Rubio, Not Just Money

Republicans including Marco Rubio parrot leftist lines about how education’s ultimate goal is money. It needs to be a great deal more than that if our republic is to survive.

Once again, presidential candidate Marco Rubio, when asked a question about education, disparaged liberal learning by repeating his well-rehearsed lines about preparing students for careers in a “global” and “twenty-first-century” economy.

During the CNN town hall last week, he said that rather than teaching philosophy (“Roman philosophy,” no less), colleges should teach practical things—like welding. Sadly, Rubio is not alone. Many Republicans, forgetting their conservative roots, have joined Democrats in advancing a utilitarian view of education.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being a welder. My father, an immigrant, was one. And there is nothing wrong with philosophy—for the student in a technical school. In fact, it was our Founders’ belief that only a literate, well-educated citizenry could govern themselves. Even the tradesman should be versed in the basics of literature, history, and ancient philosophy, they thought. “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people,” said James Madison.

Modern Philosophy Is Merely Cynicism

Rubio, however, does not distinguish between legitimate philosophy and what philosophy, like the rest of the humanities, has become under the regime of tenured radicals. The problem is that philosophy professors no longer teach their subjects or, if they do, it is to cast suspicion upon the very enterprise, as I learned in graduate school in the 1990s.

Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience.
My seminar on ancient rhetoric consisted of the professor elevating the sophists, the teachers who for fees taught the art of persuasion by making the worse case seem better. The ends were practical: so citizens could defend themselves in court. To my amazement, my professor ridiculed the traditional philosophical goals of searching for the truth.

In the intervening decades, the situation has become worse. Consider Emory University philosophy professor George Yancy. This full professor, according to the university’s website, specializes in “Critical Philosophy of Race (phenomenology of racial embodiment, social ontology of race),” “Critical Whiteness Studies (white subject formation, white racist ambush, white opacity and embeddedness. . .),” and “African-American Philosophy and Philosophy of the Black Experience (resistance, Black identity formation . . .).”

Yancy received national attention in December for penning the screed “Dear White America” in The New York Times. He began, “I have a weighty request. As you read this letter, I want you to listen with love, a sort of love that demands that you look at parts of yourself that might cause pain and terror, as James Baldwin would say. Did you hear that? You may have missed it. I repeat: I want you to listen with love. Well, at least try.”

Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience (“Did you hear that?” “Well, at least try.”). Behind such appeals like Yancy’s is an implied threat. Invoking the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and other allegedly innocent victims of police violence, he accused “White America” of being racist through and through. Such rhetoric presages and justifies the angry mobs on our campuses and in our streets.

Philosophy Doesn’t Mean Grievance-Mongering

College campuses, once the places where the civilized arts of debate and the pursuit of truth were taught, have become places where the PhDs, doctors of philosophy, lead mobs of students in pursuit of retribution against some “systemic” wrong, usually in reference to race, ethnicity, or gender. Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, supporter of the Black Lives Matter mob movement, is promising to make such education free.

Our presidential candidates should consider what philosophy, rightly understood, could do. Indeed, by studying Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” students would be able to distinguish between different rhetorical appeals and learn the legitimate arts of persuasion—those that allow us to live in a civilized manner, where we resolve our differences through debate, not violence.

Were students to study Plato’s “Republic,” they might understand the dangers of a popular democracy and why the American Founders rejected one. They would consider Thrasymachus’s contention that justice is synonymous with strength, with being a “winner,” regardless of the methods. They might decide to evaluate such rhetoric carefully when it comes from a political candidate, like Donald Trump.

They would consider whether it is good for the government to put people in certain classes, as craftsmen or “guardians,” instead of allowing them to choose for themselves, or whether government should raise children rather than parents. What has been the historical outcome of such societies with centralized government, five-year economic plans, government-assigned jobs, and child-rearing from infancy? Are there any similarities to what Sanders is proposing?

Education Is Ultimately about Self-Governance

This is not to say that a class discussion should center on current political candidates. Indeed, the truly philosophical professor will keep the discussion largely away from the immediate. If the lesson is taught well, the student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education, not regimented job training and political molding.

The student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education.
The responses to Rubio’s statements in November, by such leftist outlets as ThinkProgress, CNN, and Huffington Post, were quite telling. They replied in kind to his materialist arguments. “Philosophers make more money than welders!” they said. In this they betrayed their utilitarian view of education, one that dominates the Obama administration, specifically through Common Core, a federally coerced program designed to produce compliant workers in the global economy.

The job training part has lured some short-sighted or corrupt Republicans. In higher education, too, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker advanced short-sighted “careerism,” as if he had forgotten, as Peter Lawler pointed out, Alexis de Tocqueville’s argument for studying the Greek and Roman classics. Earlier this year, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin suggested that electrical engineering was worthy of support, while French literature was not.

The other part of the progressive vision for education is to produce graduates who adhere to the state’s status quo. Students are trained to work collectively, focus on emotions, refrain from making independent judgments, and read in a way that does not go beyond ferreting out snippets of information. They are not asked to read an entire Platonic dialogue or novel. They do not get the big picture, from the dawn of civilization.

Our current educational methods are a far cry from the Founders’ robust views, of preparing citizens who are literate, logical, and knowledgeable; citizens capable of voting intelligently.

We Need Cultural Renewal, Not Materialism

We should embrace this conservative view of education. Although it is extremely rare in today’s college classrooms, it is being advanced in more than 150 privately funded academic centers on and off campuses. According to the John William Pope Center for Education Renewal, these centers “preserve and promote the knowledge and perspectives that are disappearing from the academy.”

One of these is the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, where I am a resident fellow. It was founded by three Hamilton College professors in 2007, and is located in the village of Clinton.

AHI offers students the option to read the classics in a manner that is increasingly difficult to find in the typically highly politicized open curriculum. AHI-sponsored reading groups have focused on the works of such important figures as Leo Strauss, St. Augustine, and Josef Pieper. This semester Dr. Elizabeth D’Arrivee is leading a discussion group on Plato’s “Republic.”

Political candidates would do well to explain how they will support such efforts for educational renewal, instead of disparaging philosophy and literature.

RELATED ARTICLE: Campus Protesters Try to Silence Conservative Speaker, Demand College President’s Resignation

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Federalist. Photo Crush Rush / Shutterstock.com