Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fighting alinsky

I found this today. You think that these ideas will work?

1) Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
Boycotts have fallen out of favor on the Right because the Left has used that tactic to target conservative radio. This is a mistake. That’s because there are a lot more conservatives than there are liberals and we’re much more capable of using the tactic effectively. There are roughly 120 million people who identify with conservatism in this country and almost twice as many Christians. When there are threats that Christians and conservatives will refuse to go see movies, stop buying products, or cancel subscriptions, it will scare some people straight. That threat should be used and carried out much more often.

2) Never go outside the experience of your people. Want to know why Republicans are so terrible at reaching out to minorities? Because identity politics works really, really well and conservatives tend to oppose it on principle. So, white Republicans are constantly trying to go outside of their experience and reach out to minorities who are generally disinclined to listen to them because they have the wrong skin color. When the GOP accepts reality, adopts the tactics of the Democratic Party, and starts paying off our own Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons to reach out to minority groups and call Democrats racists, we’ll start making inroads with minorities for the first time in decades.

3) Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. The GOP often foolishly retreats from social issues. This is a huge mistake in an era when 76% of the country is Christian and most liberals find sincere Christian beliefs to be repellent. We don’t have to preach at anyone, wag our fingers, or turn into legions of Ned Flanders, but we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about our Christian beliefs, stick up for Christians who are under attack, and hammer the Left for its anti-Christian bigotry. Conservatism is a pro-Christian ideology and liberalism is an anti-Christian ideology. We should never be afraid to drive that point home.

4) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. This is something conservatives have gotten much better at in the last few years, but we seldom take it far enough. If we did, a tax cheat who advocates higher taxes could certainly never be our Treasury Secretary, Barack Obama would be afraid to associate with race hustlers like Al Sharpton or one percenters like Warren Buffet, and Al Gore would have either given up his mansion or his status as the leader of the cult of global warming.

4A) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. Conservatives have a tendency to try to win every debate with logic and recitations of facts which, all too often, fail to get the job done because emotions and mockery are often just as effective as reason. The good news is that liberals almost never have logic on their side; so they’re incapable of rationally making the case for their policies while conservatives can become considerably more effective debaters by simply adding some emotion-based arguments and sheer scorn to their discourse. This has certainly worked on Twitter, where conservatives keep making the Obama campaign look like buffoons by taking over its hashtags.

6) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. Sometimes Republicans get too serious about politics. Why not hold a fund raiser at the gun range? What’s wrong with having Kid Rock or a bunch of popular country musicians play at a massive voter registration drive? How about building some giant puppet heads of our own, featuring Nancy Pelosi injecting botox into her face or Barack Obama punching the Pope in the stomach? A little controversy and a fun draw in the eyeballs and gets people excited.

7) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. This one seems self-explanatory, but in practice, it can be tough to keep things on a timeline. This is what happened to the Occupy Movement, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Republican race for the presidency, too. If it goes on too long, people sour on it whether it’s a war, an election, or a tactic.

8) Keep the pressure on. Conservatives fall down on this one all the time. Just when Obama’s SuperPac was starting to feel real pressure over taking a million dollar donation from Bill Maher, conservatives eased up. This is also why liberal film stars feel so comfortable trashing conservatives, Christians, and Americans — even right before their film comes out. It’s because we get offended, shrug our shoulders, and then almost immediately let it go. Sometimes, an apology doesn’t fix everything. How often do liberals accept an apology at face value and let an issue go?

9) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. How about we treat the Left to some of its own medicine? Libs throw a pie at a conservative author on campus; then we promise to shower every liberal speaker on the same campus with garbage. They post a conservative address online; we post two liberal addresses online. They hold a protest at someone’s house; then we hold a protest at someone’s house. They hit one of our politicians with glitter; we hit one of their politicians with coal dust. Liberals have a mentality that says, “Everything we do is harmless, but everything conservatives do is potentially dangerous.” Yet, we’re usually too well behaved to copy their tactics. Mimic those tactics once or twice and the Libs will freak out so hard that they’ll start declaring it to be off limits for everyone, including their own activists.

10) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. When you launch an attack, tie it in as part of a theme and never stop hammering the theme as long as it’s true and it works. John Kerry is a flip-flopper, Bill Clinton is a liar, Barack Obama is bankrupting the country and wrecking the economy — tie your attacks into themes that can be picked up on social media, talk radio, cable TV, and in the blogosphere over the long haul. Why does McDonald’s keep running ads? Because it may be that 50th ad or 100th ad you see that gets you to go buy a Big Mac, just as it may be the 50th or 100th time someone hears that Obama is bankrupting the country and wrecking the economy before it sticks.

11) If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside. The winner in politics is almost always whoever is on offense. Liberals understand this in an intuitive way that most conservatives don’t. We think because we have this wonderful, honest, logical response to a charge that we’re scoring major points — but, except in rare cases, it’s not true. If you’re spending all of your time refuting the charges that you’re extreme, racist, hate women, and despise the poor — you’re losing. That’s because some people will assume where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and disbelieve you no matter how good your explanation may be. Additionally, if you’re busy defending yourself, you can’t go after the other side. Defend when you absolutely have to, but make sure most of your time is spent attacking relentlessly attacking.

12) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Honestly, this is more of a liberal problem than a conservative one, since liberals always seem to be clamoring to rip out some functional necessity of American society so they can replace it with an ill-defined hodgepodge of ideas that they think will shift power their way or be less “mean.” Our ideas work; so coming up with a constructive alternative is seldom a problem.

13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Conservatives tend to do well with this one until they get to the last part. Polarization is at the core of the Left’s strategy. According to liberals, if you’re conservative, you hate blacks, Hispanics, gays, Jews, Muslims, women, the poor, the middle class, the environment, and probably a half dozen other groups I’ve forgotten. Even when something is in front of our face, conservatives shy away from polarization. What’s wrong with pointing out how hostile the Democratic Party has become to Christianity? Why not point out the truth: that most white liberals are racists who think black Americas are too stupid and incompetent to compete with white Americans, which is why they push Affirmative Action and racial set asides? Why not note that liberals want poor Americans to stay poor and dependent, because as long as they do, they’ll keep voting for the Democrat Party? There’s a reason Barack Obama bows to foreign leaders, is constantly apologizing for America, attended an anti-white, anti-American church for 20 years, and it’s why his wife was proud of the country for the FIRST TIME because she thought it was going to elect her husband. The sad truth is that these are people who hate and despise this country. What do you think “hope and change” appealed so much to Obama that he made it his theme? When you look at America as an evil, racist, unfair, horrible place to live inhabited by ignorant trash and “bitter clingers,” what else would you do other than hope for change? If you love this country and the values it represents, the people in the White House not only don’t share your values, they hold people like you in utter contempt.

Monday, April 09, 2012

20 Phenomenal Fringe Benefits Of Being A Liberal - John Hawkins - printer friendly -

20 Phenomenal Fringe Benefits Of Being A Liberal - John Hawkins - printer friendly -

20 Phenomenal Fringe Benefits Of Being A Liberal

By John Hawkins


You have to give liberalism a certain amount of credit. It doesn’t work, destroys lives, and pits people against each other, but that's not to say that there are no advantages to being a liberal. Sure, you may end up sleeping in a tent in Zuccotti Park, reading Noam Chomsky's laughably ignorant books, or having to watch Rachel Maddow babble incoherent nonsense on MSNBC, but the fringe benefits cannot be beaten!
1) If you're a politician, no matter how dumb you are or how poor your decision-making is, the press will still never question your intelligence.
2) You can claim to personally speak for everyone in your gender or racial group, like you're their leader, and the press will take you seriously.
3) You can feel completely superior to people who are more admired, more influential, richer, happier, more successful, and just generally better than you in almost every way (like Sarah Palin) because they’re conservatives.
4) You can declare that other people should have their money taken away and given to the government and still get credit for being "compassionate" even if you give nothing yourself.
5) You can leave a woman to die at the bottom of a tidal pool, use crack, or have a gay prostitution ring run out of your apartment and other liberals will STILL vote for you.
6) You can suggest that black Americans are too incompetent to handle something as simple as getting a photo ID without being called racist.
7) You can use capitalism to make huge piles of money and then turn right around and score brownie points with your fellow liberals by ripping an economic system that made it possible for you to actually become filthy rich writing, making music, or acting for a living.
8) No matter how many insults you lob at people you disagree with or how determined you are to refuse to listen to their arguments, you will never feel as if you're being uncivil or close minded.
9) You can be a white man who calls himself the first black President without getting in trouble with Al Sharpton and be a serial adulterer who even cheats with an intern without getting in trouble with NOW.
10) You can go an entire lifetime without having a single kind thing to say about America and still consider yourself to be patriotic.
11) Similarly, you can disregard the Bible, ignore slurs aimed at Christianity, and mock people who take their religious beliefs seriously and still consider yourself to be a Christian.
12) You can be perfectly fine with cheating on your own taxes while you call other people "greedy" for not wanting to pay higher taxes themselves.
13) If you're a minority, you can actually hold a prominent media job centered around regularly accusing other people of being racists.
14) You'll be considered "courageous" by your left-wing friends when you get up in front of a group of liberals and say things that all of you believe to be true.
15) If you run for office, you'll get questions like, "(Do you think your opponents are) uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?" from the media while your opponents will be getting asked questions that start with the presumption that they hate half the country or their economic policies couldn't possibly work.
16) You can be a former KKK member who drops the N-bomb on TV and people will still deny you're a racist.
17) You can ride around in an SUV, fly on a private jet, and have a mansion while you lecture other people about the importance of having a small environmental footprint and other liberals won't have a problem with it at all.
18) You can claim to hold the exact same position as conservatives on gay marriage and you won't be called a homophobe.
19) You can regularly call conservative women sluts, whores, tw_ts, and even the C-word and still call yourself a feminist without other people laughing out loud.
20) You get to feel comfortable with lying to other people because you know what's in their own best interests better than they do and if they were a little more enlightened -- like you -- they'd thank you for misleading them into doing the right thing!

John Hawkins

John Hawkins is a professional blogger who runs Right Wing News, Linkiest, and Viral Footage. He's also the co-owner of the The Looking Spoon. You can read more from John Hawkins on Facebook, Twitter, G+, You Tube, & Pajamas Media.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More fun during "Recovery Summer"

July 10, 2011
Progressive Unemployment
By Clarice Feldman

The great political philosopher P. J. O'Rourke said, "You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money." If anyone doubted that, the present inhabitant of the White House has proven it by tossing away trillions of dollars on projects that had no lasting effect on eradicating poverty, creating employment, or improving the nation's purse or infrastructure. Indeed, his initiatives have increased unemployment, will continue to do so, and must be reversed if we are ever to get back on track. He has given us all a clear picture of the devastating effect progressive policies have on employment.

As the week drew to a close, the President and his advisers surely were gasping at the figures. It is what my friend Rick Ballard calls Wreckovery Summer. Most especially 9.2 percent unemployment, a figure significantly higher than what we'd been led to believe, and a figure higher than the 8 percent we were warned we would face if we didn't open the doors of the treasury to create those promised "shovel ready "jobs. Jobs which today the President laughingly admits were not exactly shovel ready.

As Bloomberg reports:

"U.S. employers added 18,000 workers in June, less than forecast and the fewest in nine months, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly climbed, indicating a struggling labor market." Plus this: "The so-called underemployment rate - which includes part- time workers who'd prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking - increased to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent."

Both Obama and his party look like fools or liars. Just last year, then-Speaker of the House Pelosi promised if we passed ObamaCare we would create 400,000 jobs almost immediately.

I'd say she is an economic nincompoop, but for the fact that in the past few years her already lavish financial holdings increased by 63%. Alas, for some reason her economic genius seems to work only for herself and her family.

But, she was certainly not alone in peddling the snake oil Obama was producing. His vice president Joe Biden also promised voters a booming economy. Just last April he said:

"All in all we're going to be creating somewhere between 100[,000] and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict," Biden said, according to a pool report, adding that he "got in trouble" for a job growth prediction last month. "Even some in the White House said, 'Hey, don't get ahead of yourself.' Well, I'm here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month."

"We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down," Biden added. "We're going to catch a few Friday' good breaks because of good planning on the way up."

Friday's jobs report was apparently not the promised "good break." It "stunned" economists, reported the New York Times, who must be talking to different economists than I've been reading:

For the second month in a row, employers added barely any jobs in June, showing that the economic recovery has hit a serious speed bump.

With all levels of government laying off workers, the Labor Department reported that employers eked out just 18,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs in June. The already low number created in May was also revised downward to a dismally small 25,000 new jobs, less than half of what was originally reported last month.

Although the government's survey of employers showed them adding jobs, a separate survey of households showed that more people were out of work than in the previous month, causing the unemployment rate to rise to 9.2 percent.

The President's advisers and spokesmen are trying to brush off this unwelcome news. White House spokesman Carney says most people don't analyze gross domestic product and unemployment numbers.

David Plouffe, Obama's senior political adviser says people won't vote in 2012 based on the unemployment rate.

I think these guys are wrong if they think the failure of the administration to gin up the economy will not hurt Obama's reelection fortunes. People know if they are unemployed or not. And they aren't blind to their children's dim job prospects, and those of their neighbors and other family members.

Professor Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection comments wittily but wisely that:

"The only way for Obama to stimulate the enormous private sector job growth needed to ensure Obama's reelection is for Obama to announce he is not running for reelection, which would unleash a wave of investment and economic activity not seen since the Great Depression."

What Jacobson means in this shorthand way is that the President and his party have brought investment, economic activity and hiring to a standstill by a series of ill-conceived actions, including the unworkable and grandiose ObamaCare, the stifling of almost all conventional domestic energy production, the arbitrary acts of his regulatory agency appointees.

Having studied Soviet Law in my youth I predict the next action of the gang that has no idea how to create wealth, but knows only to demagogue voters with class warfare promises of free stuff grabbed from others, is to start looking for kulaks figuratively to hang. Never mind that it was the action of the government that killed domestic production from farming to manufacturing, they will start attacking the successful farmers and the hard working professionals (engineers, doctors, managers) and accuse them of sabotaging the economic recovery. At this point, America having been successful for so long in helping people climb the ladder, there are still so many of us in the kulak class I suspect it will be a harder sell than it was for Stalin.

The jobs picture will improve when he's out of office and we undo his handiwork (and that of Reid and Pelosi when the Democrats controlled two of the three branches of government and rode roughshod over us all). Still, it's time we understood the chronic nature of this nation's unemployment and start working together to change attitudes and laws to make it possible for unskilled workers to support themselves again if we are to have any hope of reducing poverty.

I was impressed this week, by Walter Russell Mead's article
"Beyond the Big City Blues" in which he says the urban underclass in this country is not hampered as much by race as the left would have us believe, that their serious problems are not racial in nature.

One of these problems, he notes is the lack of jobs. In this case progressive policies are largely at fault and must change, but these are the policies at the heart of Obama's thinking and which given his intellectual rigidity he is unlikely to alter.

Our most important task for returning poor urban neighborhoods to health is "the creation of large numbers of private sector jobs that relatively unskilled people can do," Mead argues. He notes that the "days when domestic manufacturing anchored an emerging urban working class and provided a ladder into the middle class " are dead. Obama's preposterous notion that vast numbers of unskilled urban youths can be gainfully employed on "green projects' like creating solar panels and retrofitting housing is quackery, a delusionary notion that he and his upper class supporters adore just as was the takeover of the auto companies in the belief that they could turn this industry (and with it Detroit and the UAW's fortunes) around.

The idea that manufacturing will return and save us is, I fear, a snare and a delusion. The road is closed. Foreign competition is part of the story, but technology is the real driver. As factories become more automated, you can make more and fancier stuff with fewer people. Ending free trade will wreck our economy and the world economy, put the world on the road to World War Three and give a boost to the robotics industry, but it won't bring back the days of high wage unionized manufacturing labor in the United States.

Generally speaking, manufacturing employment is going to shrink in the US over the medium to long term and large factories for big employers will be shedding workers as they update their technology rather than hiring. GM and GE will not propel the next generation of Americans into the middle class.

No. contrary to the progressives' vision, the urban underclass will find jobs in small businesses (if ObamaCare does not destroy them first) and many will not be "particularly attractive" Mead adds. Such jobs are often "smelly and noxious"; often it will be casual employment with few benefits. These jobs, like those of our grandfathers' time are "bad jobs," but it's the only way for many to get on the ladder out of poverty.

To get these jobs, we have to change the way our cities work. Essentially, we have created urban environments in which the kind of enterprises that often hire the poor - low margin, poorly capitalized, noisy, smelly, dirty, informally managed without a long paper trail - can't exist. The kind of metal bashing repair shops that fill the cities of the developing world are almost impossible to operate here. Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, pushcart vendors and day care operators need licenses; construction work has to comply with elaborate guidelines and city bureaucracies disgorge the required permits slowly and reluctantly.


The combination of a tangled thicket of regulations that interact with one another in unpredictable ways and a bureaucracy that for whatever reasons cannot manage the process in a timely way is a massive job killer. The number of small enterprises that have not started, of small businesses that have given up on expansions or on simple repair jobs deferred is incalculable but large. Our cities are strangling themselves in red tape; we need to a better job of balancing the legitimate need for safety and health regulation with the need to promote enterprise and the kind of jobs that our fellow citizens can actually get.

Changing the way cities work matters a lot. If we want new businesses and new jobs in our inner cities, we are going to have to declare war on the cost structures of cities like New York and Chicago. The tax load must come down drastically, implying both a reduction in government activities and a revolution in the way services are provided. The forest of regulations that makes everything from opening a new business to repairing a building complex and expensive must be dramatically thinned. If we are serious about creating conditions in which workers with poor skills can make a living inside great cities, we have to move away from regulations and practices which make it prohibitively expensive to do business there.

In fact, it's time to challenge the very notion that people who so hamstring development are in any real sense 'progressive." They and the president benefit a certain tier -- upper middle class citizens and overly compensated, well-cushioned public employee union members -- who whether they mean to or not are preventing job creation for all, but most especially for those most in need of work.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This is FUNNY!!!!

May 3, 2011

Coutesy of Judith McGrane

Barack Obama met with the Queen of England.

He asked her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?"

"Well," said the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."

Obama frowned, and then asked, "But how do I know the people around are really intelligent?"

The Queen took a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle."

The Queen pushed a button on her intercom. "Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?"

Tony Blair walked into the room and said, "Yes, Your Majesty?"

The Queen smiled and said, "Answer me this please, Tony , your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"

Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answered, "That would be me."

"Yes! Very good," said the Queen.

Obama went back home to ask Joe Biden , his vice presidential choice the same question. " Joe , answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"

"I'm not sure," said Biden . "Let me get back to you on that one"

He went to his advisors and asked everyone, but none could give him an answer.

Finally, he ran into Sarah Palin out eating one night. Biden asked, " Sarah , can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"

Sarah Palin answered right back, "That's easy, it's me!"

Biden smiled, and said, "Thanks!" Then, he went back to speak with Obama.

"Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Sarah Palin!"

Obama got up, stomped over to Biden , and angrily yelled into his face, "No! You idiot! It's Tony Blair !"

Friday, February 18, 2011

American Thinker: It's the Teachers, Stupid!

Think about what is going on in Wisconsin, as you read this...American Thinker: It's the Teachers, Stupid!

Unionized teachers outnumber other government workers and run the schools in every state; why do we keep on accepting their decades of miserable results?

A careless airline pilot, a lazy waitress, a crash-prone cabdriver, an unproductive salesman, an innumerate cashier will all have to find other work; poor teachers keep teaching and receiving raises as years go by and kids don't learn. Of course; they, with their unions, run the show.

Adam Smith prophesied when he wrote The Wealth of Nations, saying of professors in 1776:

If the authority to which he is subject resides in the body corporate, the college, or university, of which he himself is a member, and in which the greater part of the other members are, like himself, persons who either are, or ought to be, teachers; they are likely to make a common cause, to be all very indulgent to one another, and every man to consent that his neighbor may neglect his duty, provided he himself is allowed to neglect his own.

Professor Smith didn't have to see teachers' unions to comprehend featherbedding.

Public schools are administered as though all teachers were similarly productive, an approach heavily reinforced by the unions. Evaluations of teachers have uniformly avoided including their students' test results; investigations suggest why.

The author's study of Federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) proficiency test data for 2009-2010 showed clearly that teachers aren't uniformly effective. The study included 1019 teachers in the Albuquerque Public Schools district, New Mexico. The three elementary schools listed below reported the highest, the median and the lowest percentages of students who tested proficient.

NCLB Percentages of Students Tested Proficient in Reading and Math by Teacher

Teacher No. At Top School At Median School At Bottom School

1 96% 61% 25%

2 97 62 44

3 100 43 43

4 83 68 23

5 94 46 31

6 92 60 47

7 96 47 30

8 91 73 19

9 77 66 23

10 0

Teachers were listed alphabetically by names, not by results. The maximum differences between teachers were 23 percentage points at the top school, 30 points at the median and 47 points at the bottom school. Teachers with good results were closer together than those with worse results; the differences remain materially significant in all three cases. Such differences between teachers and between schools seem to demand -- but have not received -- public investigation.

These findings were heavily reinforced by data reported by a similar Los Angeles Times study reported in August, 2010 in an article headed: Who's teaching L.A.'s kids?

The Times described its analysis as a look at data largely ignored by L.A. schools, data showing which educators help students learn and which hold them back. The analysis used 7 years of math and English test scores from more than 6,000 3rd through 5th grade teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. What the Times found can be summed up in its own words:

The fifth-graders at Broadous Elementary School come from the same world -- the poorest corner of the San Fernando Valley, a Pacoima neighborhood framed by two freeways where some have lost friends to the stray bullet of rival gangs. Many are the sons and daughters of Latino immigrants who never finished high school, hard-working parents who keep a respectful distance and trust educators to do what's best.

The students study the same lessons. They are often on the same chapter of the same book. Yet year after year, one fifth-grade class learns far more than the other down the hall. The difference has almost nothing to do with the size of the class, the students or their parents. It's the teachers.

With Miguel Aguilar, students have consistently made striking gains on state standardized tests, many of them vaulting from the bottom third of students in Los Angeles schools to well above average...John Smith's pupils next door have started out slightly ahead of Aguilar's but by the end of the year have been far behind.

In Los Angeles and across the country, education officials have long known of the often huge disparities among teachers. They've seen the indelible effects, for good or ill, on children. But rather than analyze and address these disparities, they have opted mostly to ignore them.

A few years ago, New Mexico installed a three-tier teachers' pay scale intended to improve teaching; additional education and training brought higher pay. An attempt to add student test results was quashed during a full-court press from the teachers' union. In 2006 and 2009 when nobody could produce data to correlate the teachers' higher pay with their results, the state's legislature recommended using student tests but again, as the Albuquerque Journal recently editorialized regretfully, that hasn't been done. The teachers getting merit pay can show more seniority but they can't show changes in their students' performances.

The Times, the Journal and the data are clear: There is one controlling reason the schools are as dismal as we see; the reason stated in Adam Smith's 1776 prediction: It's the teachers. There's additional responsibility in the politicians who fund the status quo with tax dollars because they receive services and cash from teachers' unions; they're enablers.

Teacher performance isn't all; administrators fall in here too. To complete the picture for any doubters, add Project Follow Through, a Congressionally-ordered (1967), nearly billion-dollar comparative evaluation of both progressive and old-style education methods in 120 communities involving 10 thousand elementary students for eight years. The study showed that the old-style teaching programs beat progressive education methods unequivocally in teaching the chosen subjects to children. Nevertheless at the requests of administrators, politicians have subsequently ignored the data to fund the less effective (but more expensive) progressive programs and assure the abandonment of the older -- and proven -- methods. Clearly, the efficient and effective education of children has not been the primary goal of U.S. educators at any level.

That makes sense; as Adam Smith also said:

In every profession, the exertion of the greater part of those who exercise it, is always in proportion to the necessity they are under of making that exertion.

The Times and the Albuquerque study found some outstanding teachers who push themselves -- but they're a minority and not in charge. In every state, teachers have the largest government unions; no one else is allowed to run public education. They have to accept responsibility.

If holding this mirror up to the public schools is troubling, take a good look; since it's certainly not the kids, there's only one presence to reflect. It's the teachers.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Gotta love the old rust belt...

Dozens of U.S. Cities Lose Half Their Population In A Generation: A Record Last Set During The European Plague

By Richard A. McCormack

Dozens of American cities throughout the industrial Great Lakes states and Midwest have lost half of their populations over the course of one generation -- places like Cleveland, Youngstown, Detroit, Warren, Buffalo and Flint. This is the first time that so many cities have lost half of their populations in such a short amount of time since the Plague struck Europe in 1348, according to Hunter Morrison, director of Youngstown State University's Office of Planning and Partnerships.

Morrison, former director of the Cleveland City Planning Department for 20 years, has studied the health of global cities over the centuries. He has looked for similar trends worldwide in which such a large number of cities have fallen into despair. He studied what happened in Great Britain when deindustrialization struck places like Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield and Belfast. He looked at what happened when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and tens of millions of people were expected to abandon dilapidated Eastern European cities.

None of those regions experienced what the U.S. Midwest has experienced because other countries understood how vital it was for their cities to remain healthy. They committed themselves and the resources required to keep their old cities vibrant.

No such attitude or policy prevailed in the United States.

In the Great Lakes region, each city and town felt that it was on its own facing its own unique dilemma -- that it was engaged in its own battle for survival -- as well they were, since the cities are not linked in a large megalopolis as they are on the East Coast.

"We all look at these places as separate places and what we are learning now is that it is like being in a family with alcohol or drug dependency," says Morrison. "When you go into intervention and recovery one of the first things you discover is that there are lot of other people who are dealing with the same thing."

That realization is now occurring in many of the "Forgotten Cities" (as they were described by MIT in 2007) or "Weak Market Cities" (as they were described by the Brookings Institute in 2006). But it has been a long time coming and with the current economic downturn it might be too late.

"As I sit in my apartment on Pennsylvania and Park [Avenues in Youngstown, Ohio] until three months ago I was looking out at six abandoned houses," Morrison explains. "Today I am looking out at six vacant lots because in November we had arsonists who burned down all six houses. This is the experience of Youngstown -- disinvestment, destruction of property and values, the weakening of our cultural systems -- the orchestra is struggling because it was dependent on wealthy industrialists and they have disappeared from the scene."

A pandemic of destruction that continues to be rationalized by economists has struck a "nation within a nation -- the entire Great Lakes Nation," says Morrison. This region "grew around a business model that created enormous wealth that rebuilt the postbellum South and built the West, the Northwest and the Southwest. If you go back to the 1930s and Roosevelt, the wealth of the industrial centers was transported via various [WPA] programs to create Charlotte Airport, Atlanta Hartsfield -- the new southern cities were funded by wealth created in the North."

Now that wealth is dissipating, and dozens of cities stretching from upstate New York down the Appalachians to St. Louis through the upper Mississippi to Lake Superior and Duluth, Minn., are in ruin. It is the industrial heartland, the old Northwest Territory -- the alternative to the slave economy of the South and the Anglo-centric economy of the East Coast. It is a section of the country that still maintains a certain class structure that the rest of the country does not have. It grew up around immigrants, industrialization and heavy investment in infrastructure to move products to more densely populated areas of the country: canals, locks, railroads and highways that fostered further industrial investment.

Cities grew up around mills and factories and along rivers. Most of them developed core industries and monocultures. But suburbanization in the 1950s started to drain the cities. Unionization and good wages allowed residents to live the American dream and move to the suburbs away from the smoke. In the 1960s, investment in capital equipment and productivity improvements started replacing workers with machines. Featherbedding rules (hiring more workers than is required) were revoked. The rush of immigrants from places like Poland and Ireland dried up and the cities emptied out. Today, young people leave and are never expected to return.

"I started to read histories of the Plague years and I realized in these accounts that in the course of a year or two, cities would lose half of their populations," says Morrison. "It happened all over Europe, from the Urals all the way to England. Nothing on that scale has occurred since except in the United States."

So Morrison went to England and visited Glasgow and Newcastle, cities that were facing similar difficulties of deindustrialization and abandonment. What he found was significant differences in national policies between those of Britain and the United States. "In the 1980s on a national level, the British government determined that inward investment was essential to keep the population of these cities from flooding into London and coming to the Southwest of England and overwhelming that infrastructure," he explains. "So there was a deliberate effort to make places like Cardiff, Birmingham and Newcastle viable. Is it perfect? No. But there was a clear understanding that the UK existed as a system of communities not as a beggar thy neighbor situation."

Similar policies were implemented by the European Community with the opening of Eastern Europe. Huge investments flowing eastward for more than a decade effectively transformed communities and allowed local people to accept change and "see a new future," says Morrison.

"So when you go to Newcastle and you talk to the Geordies up there, they are still working class, they still have Newcastle Brown Ale and they still speak their own language. They still love to party -- they promote Newcastle as the best party city in Europe. They love their football. They haven't ceased to be working class. They are tough as nails, but they are proud that their biomedical community is one of the best in Europe. They are proud that their universities have been transformed and they have come to a point where the value proposition is they have a proud past and a promising future. It didn't happen in isolation. What you see in the United States is individual communities trying to figure this out on their own. But individual communities can't do it on their own."

America is more interested in building Baghdad and Kabul than it is in assuring the viability of its own cities. "I grew up in Cleveland," says Morrison. "It is disheartening. There is a lot of energy, hope and faith. But it's disheartening. It's like having diabetes or lupus. It's a chronic condition that never seems to get better. You take one step forward and two steps back. If there are going to be another 100 million people in this country by 2050 and they are all going to the coasts and Florida, how are those places going to accommodate that growth in fragile ecosystems? You have to step back and ask if it is in the national interest to continue to pump more people into a place like Florida to accommodate that growth."

What needs to be done to turn the situation around?

"A way to address a problem is to recognize that you have one," says Morrison. "It's not Cleveland's problem or Elyria's problem. It's not saving Cleveland. It's the way we operate as a nation -- a nation of places. What has been brought to the table is that deindustrialization is something that is good because it is cleaner. But it is nothing of the sort. It is a diminution of wealth creation. If deindustrialization was such a good thing, then why is China industrializing? The reason you do manufacturing is to create wealth by adding value. It's real simple. We've gone away from that."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cargo-Cult Keynesians

Cargo-Cult Keynesians
November 23, 2010
Cargo-Cult Keynesians
By J.R. Dunn
For the second time in my life, the U.S. has descended into cargo-cult Keynesianism

Cargo cults were a product of WWII. The centuries-long isolation of the South Pacific's native Melanesian peoples ended with the coming of war. The islanders got along well with American GIs (far better than with the imperious and arrogant Japanese troops), who willingly shared their rations and other items. The Melanesians became used to the good life in the form of Spam, Lucky Strike cigarettes, and beer in the can -- the basic elements of true civilization.

When the war ended, so did the stream of American goods. But the islanders had a plan. Constructing fake airplanes on the abandoned landing strips, they entered the rickety control towers and spoke into objects similar in form to microphones in order to persuade the Gooney Birds to return with their largesse. It was a concrete example of the ancient magical formula that like begets like, and it worked the same as it ever does. For all I know, they're still waiting.

Fast-forward several steps in civilization to John Maynard Keynes. There exists a misunderstanding about Keynes and his economic theories. These comprise no formula for gross evil or the undermining of democracy. In fact, they are serious attempts to create something on the order of a unified field theory for the economic universe. As such, they are marked by serious flaws, the most critical originating in a profound misunderstanding of human nature. As an upper-class Englishman, Keynes had little grasp of the concept that human beings will use any excuse to act badly, even if it's an abstruse economic theory. (The Keynes dictum that our current predicament is derived from, by the way, goes like this: "run surpluses in good times so that you can run deficits in bad times." Nobody but nobody ever pays attention to the first phrase. With modern "Keynesians," it's all deficits, all the time.)

So take these two concepts -- run surpluses and like begets like -- and mingle them. The product is cargo-cult Keynesianism -- the notion, promoted by such witch doctors as Benjamin Bernanke and Paul Krugman, that if you print or otherwise create vast amounts of false money, then the real money (like attracted to like!) will return to the economy, like cans of Spam magically winging their way toward remote Pacific islands.

This is the precise monetary policy now being followed by the Obama administration. At the beginning of the third millennium, with every planet in this solar system reconnoitered and our probes slowly gliding into the galaxy beyond, with a worldwide communications and information network shrinking the globe until it fits into the palm of your hand, with gentech and nanotech promising wonders and horrors beyond the ready imagination, contemporary financial policy is being derived from a desiccated Edwardian economic theory on the one hand and prehistoric sorcery on the other. So don't smirk too widely about our friends in the feather headdresses impatiently tapping their feet down by the old airfield. They're a lot closer to us than you might care to think.

At least the good shamans of the Pacific probably gave up after it failed to work. Not so late-modern America. This particular perversion of liberal economic theory was first inflicted on the country during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, a man who never met a spending bill he didn't like. In 1965, Johnson was faced with a conundrum: he needed to finance both a medium-sized war in Vietnam and a plan for a national welfare state he called the "Great Society." Though often characterized as an attempt to fulfill certain goals first set during the New Deal, the Great Society was in fact an effort to establish a universal nanny state on the European social-democratic model. As such, it required what we would today call an obamiad of ready cash. Johnson was stymied. He had no interest in raising taxes -- for one thing, his immediate predecessor, John F. Kennedy, had triggered a potent boom by doing the exact opposite.

It was here that his economic advisors (among them John Kenneth Galbraith), backed by the contemporary conventional knowledge, stepped in to assure Johnson that deficits were no problem under Keynesian theory. This was all Johnson had to hear. Beginning in the summer of 1965, the Treasury presses began roaring like never before, creating the dollars that would carry us to victory in Vietnam and a social paradise at home.

For a short time, the Johnson deficits heightened the '60s boom. The money was at first taken at face value. For a year or two, everybody felt rich. Then inflation inevitably kicked in, and monetary value started to evaporate. From the public's point of view, "prices began to rise." (It's actually the exact opposite -- monetary value falls, and prices kick up to match it.) The '60s boom faltered and then faded into nostalgia.

Johnson's successor, Richard M. Nixon, complicated things by dumping another batch of cargo-cult money into the economy in 1971 for the express purpose of jolting the economy during the run-up to the 1972 elections. It worked just fine until a mild recession caused by tightening the money supply afterward frightened everyone into opening the spigots once again. That established the status quo for the rest of the decade, resulting in a slumbering economy alongside double-digit inflation -- that two-headed monster, "stagflation," a kind of dynamic stasis in which each distinct economic malady served to reinforce the other. Any attempt to improve matters threatened to unleash economic chaos. Economists were stymied -- most considered such a state an impossibility. And in the natural run of things, they were quite correct. It was continual governmental interference that created the '70s slump.

Ronald Reagan at last bit the bullet, cut off the money flow, and purged the economy by means of the 1982 recession. That brief slump was followed by an unprecedented twenty years of prosperity.

Fast-forward to 2010. We will no more than mention the original "Stimulus," which can be characterized as conventional Keynesianism mismanaged to the point of comedy. The vast bulk of that three-quarters of a trillion (at least, the part that we know about) was handed to the unions and the financial industry, both legendary for their efficiency, economic effectiveness, and public-spiritedness. This money had no measurable effect on the economy. (Obama claims that the slump would have been deeper and unemployment far higher without it. You'll find the salt shaker in the kitchen.) Its failure brings us to QE2, or Stimulus, the Sequel.

QE2, which means Quantitative Easing, is evidently Bernanke-speak for "running a deficit." The current run of liberal economists is more sophisticated than that surrounding poor LBJ (Johnson, depressed and with no idea of what had hit him, essentially drank himself to death by 1973) in the sense that Keynes, with his walking stick and his gentleman's tweeds, was more sophisticated than the Melanesian chief with his grass skirt. Rather than pump up the money supply directly, the government is going through a complex charade of selling Treasury bonds, evidently in the hopes that this will fool the economy into accepting the new money as the real thing. It will, of course, do nothing of the sort. Bernanke and Geithner and company -- with the avid support of Krugman, most of the media, and the financial industry, who will all make out no matter what happens -- are repeating the Johnson administration's mistake. What matters is the infusion of virtual cash flooding the economy, not the means by which it was introduced. It will serve the same role and lead to the same results. (Bernanke claims that there will be no inflationary effect, which is nonsense.)

What will the consequences be? Bernanke has stated that "[w]e have no idea what the hell is going to happen." The hell we don't. The first result will be economic stagnation and serious inflation, and possibly the return of that fearsome, unlikely beast, stagflation, and for the same reasons. I will leave further economic questions to the professionals. (Recent claims that inflation is at "the lowest level since 1957" are simply bizarre. Walmart is only one major company that has already noted inflation in its supplier costs, which means that price jumps are right around the corner for the rest of us.)

For the country as a whole, it means truncated influence and presence on the world stage in both the diplomatic and economic spheres. Numerous problems and difficulties will arise that would not otherwise have arisen, and the American ability to confront and solve them will be unquestionably limited. Consider the rise of fascism in the 1930s. It is easily possible that we will see the millennial equivalent over the next twenty years.

For business, many opportunities will be forgone, much research will not occur, many breakthroughs and new products and services will not reach the market -- at least from the United States.

But the impact on individuals is what matters most. A nation comprises individuals and nothing else. Economists and financial types tend to view the world only through figures -- so we're told that the current recession ended over a year ago, although we can clearly see misery and distress deepening all around us. I was an eyewitness to the years of the Johnson Depression (as it should be called but for some reason is not). What individuals are facing, as we faced and endured in the 1970s, is a lost decade.

Advanced education will become something of a luxury, certainly for those who are financing their own way, and even for those in more privileged groups. (I can testify to this personally -- I was awarded a scholarship for outstanding marks in the state college entry examination, only to be told on registration that the New York State Regents had gone bankrupt.) Fewer educational qualifications means less in the way of opportunity, not to mention a shrinkage of skilled workers in the labor force.

Wages and salaries will stagnate further. Squalid, low-level jobs will be the rule, and people will be happy to get them. It will be an era of small hopes and minor achievements. Possibilities will close; people will give up on dreams and goals, settling for less than they deserve. It will break many people. We will see an inevitable rise in mental illness and suicides. In Japan, the Aokigahara Forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji has long been known as the "Suicide Forest." The number of bodies discovered there nearly tripled after the country's economic slump in the 1990s.

Life will become a little more ragged and less attractive than it has been. People today have no idea how clean and pleasant most American cities were up until the 1970s. Then it got worse, and we never quite recovered. It will get worse again. Less money will be spent on keeping up on all levels, from government through business down to individual homeowners. For some it will be even more desperate -- homelessness first arose as a serious problem in the 1970s.

Crazy fads will appear (both disco and punk arose during the 1970s), along with a rise in strange cults and movements (the 1970s effectively began with the Manson murders and climaxed with the Jonestown massacre). The frenetic and self-destructive will move to the fore, as always occurs when the worthwhile is put out of reach. Think of life in Weimar Germany during the 1920s.

All this and worse occurred during the 1970s. Much of it will be news to younger readers. Those years aren't discussed much, sandwiched as they were between the boom years of the '60s and the '80s. To those of us, the late boomers, who reached our majorities during this period, the claim that this latest slump is the "worst since the Depression" is more than a bit of a joke. There's a reason that the late cohort didn't have the same impact as those who came up during the '60s. We had a decade cut out of our lives, in a society becalmed and adrift.

We can't avoid all of it. We are locked in for the next few years. It's too late to turn back. But we can avoid a full decade of this level of grief if we make the right moves. Because the sad thing is that all this is unnecessary. The formula for ending a slump is well-understood. No massive "stimuli," no QE ad infinitum, no megalomaniacal efforts of any kind. There's nothing magical about it. Merely lower taxes, loosen credit, and above all, provide a secure business environment. Time will do the rest. This is how both Reagan and W accomplished it. The fact that this solution is being ignored for purely ideological reasons is nothing less than shameful. It's the exact equivalent of those odd religious sects that would rather see a child die than be subject to an operation -- with the single difference that the cult preachers can't quit and take up a professorship in one of the Ivies.

This past midterm election is a good sign in more ways than one. It will help assure business leaders that a more stable, less intrusive governmental order has returned. We will witness no more arbitrary takeovers of private companies at the whim of the Oval Office. Now we need to see that the Bush tax cuts -- yet another of his accomplishments that has outlasted him -- is not phased out early in the new year, and scuttle any further Obamite schemes for raising taxes. A less stringent credit regime may well follow (and perhaps already has, if recent signs are any indication). Carried out over the next year to eighteen months, such actions will stabilize the economy and allow it to begin crawling back over a two- to three-year period. This is probably the best we can hope for, and compared to the '70s (which for our purposes lasted from 1969 to 1982), it is not bad at all.

Having lived through it once, I wouldn't wish the Great Inflation on anybody, not even with the knowledge that most of the people in this country have it coming. There's a Spanish proverb that covers this: "Take what you want -- but pay for it." Most of the voters, using the same level of thinking as the poor postwar Melanesians, decided that they wanted an incompetent adolescent narcissist for president. Now that the bill has come due, they've concluded that they don't want to pay for it. They're lucky the rest of us don't, either.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and will edit the forthcoming Military Thinker.

Page Printed from: at November 26, 2010 - 07:28:53 AM CST

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guest Blogger: Re-imagining America’s Business School Curriculums | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Guest Blogger: Re-imagining America’s Business School Curriculums | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Approximately 90 percent of America’s infrastructure is privately owned and yet the primary focus of homeland security educational programs in the U.S. has been directed toward local, state, federal government, and military employees. In addition, most of the homeland security educational programs on college campuses are located within the criminal justice or security studies degree programs. The challenge we must now face is how to best develop a culture of critical infrastructure preparedness within the private sector—one that will allow us to effectively mitigate, prevent, prepare, respond to, and recover from all hazards including acts of terrorism.

The question we must ask ourselves is: Who provides the leadership to direct the spending of resources of the multiple entities that compose our privately owned infrastructure? The answer of course, is the CEOs, CFOs, and COOs of American businesses and nonprofit organizations.

How have they prepared themselves for these traditional roles? Most have earned undergraduate degrees and advanced degrees/MBA’s in business, finance, accounting, IT, and marketing. These academic credentials help them develop the traditional knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in leading a business or nonprofit entity. As an adjunct professor who has taught both business management courses and security courses for over 15 years, I continue to find it shocking to observe that it is still possible to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in business without ever taking a course in business continuity, crisis management, terrorism, security management, or homeland security. Ironically, it is the graduates of these business programs who one day will be the senior decision-makers deciding on how the organization will use its resources and finances to protect the people, properties, profits, and assets of their own organization/segment of America’s infrastructure. How can they be expected to make the proper decisions on infrastructure preparedness without the proper education?

The Department of Homeland Security has attempted to address the issue of critical infrastructure preparedness by sending government liaison employees to the private sector. These employees endeavor to not only make organizations more aware of their responsibilities for emergency preparedness/infrastructure protection, but to discuss how they can best realize this goal. It’s always a challenging role for government employees without any private sector business management experience to advise private business leaders on how to best incorporate security practices into existing business processes and operations. DHS has also advocated the use of ICS/NIMS as the standard emergency response system for both the public and private sectors. The system emphasizes the strategic roles of operations, logistics, planning, finance, and administration. These are the exact elements traditionally addressed in business degree programs. Again, I would challenge anyone to find a business management course that incorporates ICS/NIMS into its course design or business curriculum!

In order to develop a true culture of homeland/hometown security and critical infrastructure preparedness within the private and nonprofit sectors, it is imperative that America’s colleges and universities re-imagine their business school curriculums by integrating business continuity, crisis management, and homeland security courses and modules into existing business courses. Additionally, these curriculums should require a basic understanding of critical infrastructure preparedness prior to graduation.

As an adjunct professor who has taught both business and security management courses I’m recommending that the following courses incorporate emergency preparedness and homeland security content:
1. Strategic management courses must include modules that address threat and vulnerability assessments. SWOT analysis would have a new meaning;
2. International business courses must address the impact of terrorism and all hazards preparation and response in their design;
3. Logistics and supply chain courses must have modules on supply chain security and compliance with U.S. and international security requirements;
4. Human resource courses must integrate security management issues into their curriculum to include workplace violence, domestic and international terrorism, and emergency management;
5. There should be mandatory courses in business continuity, crisis management, and the basic principles of homeland security to include ICS/NIMS. Business schools that do not have qualified faculty members to address these special topic courses should allow business students the opportunity to take these courses within other departments(criminal justice, security studies, and homeland security programs) located either within the university or at nearby educational institutions; and
6. In order to better protect business entities from cyber attacks, students should be required to complete a basic course in IT security/information assurance.

The benefits of requiring America’s business schools to take a leadership role in integrating critical infrastructure preparedness courses into existing business curriculums should be obvious. This return on investment will allow the private sector to develop a new group of leaders who are better prepared to make well-informed decisions on the allocation of corporate resources and monies needed to better protect the private infrastructures of the United States. Leading practitioners from the field of applied behavioral science and organizational development have estimated that it takes approximately 5 years to change the culture of an organization. If we could convince the deans of America’s business schools to take the actions necessary to re-imagine business management curriculums with the previously prescribed homeland security oriented courses we would be well on our way to developing a culture of critical infrastructure preparedness and protection by the year 2020.

Ed Piper is an Adjunct Professor Johns Hopkins University/Carey School of Business.

The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The State-Level Tsunami

The State-Level Tsunami

I really did see November from my house and boy did she look GREAT!! :)

November 06, 2010
The State-Level Tsunami
By Bruce Walker
Was the 2010 midterm election a Republican tsunami? Although pundits waffle because a few Senate races were not won, the clearest proof of a Republican tsunami is found in state legislative elections. On November 2, 2010, Republicans and Democrats vied for seats in 87 state legislative chambers. (Nebraska has a nonpartisan legislature; Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Jersey did not have state legislative elections this year; and Kansas, New Mexico, and South Carolina did not hold elections for seats in the upper chamber of their state legislatures.) There were about 6,115 state legislative elections this November in those 87 chambers.

In those 6,115 state legislative elections, Republicans picked a net gain of 998 seats from Democrats. Republicans captured seats held by Democrats in a mind-boggling 16% of these races. A post-election map from Tim Storey at the National Conference of State Legislatures gives an eye-popping idea of the geographical spread of Republican control in state legislatures. Look at that map. Consider that there were no state legislative elections in Louisiana, Virginia, Mississippi, or New Jersey and that there was no election in the New Mexico Senate. If there had been races in those states, nearly all of America, except for the Northeast and the West Coast, would be red.

Republicans now hold 3,735 state legislative seats to 3,119 state legislative seats held by Democrats, a stunning reversal of power from 2006 and 2008. Republicans have more seats in state legislatures than at any time since Reconstruction. These gains in state legislative seats led to a number of state legislative changes flipping from Democrat to Republican. In those 87 state legislative chambers contested on November 2, Republicans captured control from Democrats in at least nineteen chambers. In stark contrast, Democrats failed to gain a single state legislative chamber from Republicans.

How broad were Republican gains across America? Republicans increased their numbers in 73 state legislative chambers of the 87 up for election. Democrats did get one or two seats in six states: California House (+1), Pennsylvania Senate (+1), Delaware House (+2), Hawaii Senate (+1), Washington State Senate (+1), and West Virginia Senate (+2.)

Compare these tiny gains with the massive Republican gains in many state legislative chambers, like these: Texas House (+24), Pennsylvania House (+14), Ohio House (+14), Ohio Senate (+11), Michigan House (+18) and Michigan Senate (+5), North Carolina House (+15) and North Carolina Senate (+11), Wisconsin House (+26) and Wisconsin Senate (+16), Iowa House (+16) and Iowa Senate (+6), Missouri House (+18), Alabama House (+15) and Alabama Senate (+6), Arkansas House (+12) and Arkansas Senate (+8), Tennessee House (+14), Minnesota House (+26) and Minnesota Senate (+16), New Hampshire House (+117), Maine House (+21) and Maine Senate (6), Connecticut House (+16), Montana House (+18), North Dakota House (+10), and Massachusetts House (+17).

Several of these states in which Republicans won sweeping state legislative victories are vital to Obama's reelection, like Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Some of these states also have Democrat senators who saw Dorgan and Bayh retire and then saw Feingold and Lincoln lose. Some of these states have one or two Democrats in the Senate who will surely feel even more skittish about following doctrinaire leftism. In these states, there are fifteen Senate Democrats who could lose their seats if they are not careful: Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan (two senators), Minnesota (two senators), Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Montana (two senators), and North Dakota.

Political power in state legislatures, as many pundits have already noted, combined with the election of many Republican governors in this vital post-census redistricting legislative session, will mean big Republican gains in the House of Representatives after 2010 redistricting even if the vote in the 2012 congressional elections are exactly the same for every voter as in 2010. This will mean that the 240 or so Republicans in the House rise to 260 or more for most of this decade.

But congressional redistricting is only half of the problem that Democrats will face in the next decade. Republicans in state legislatures will also be drawing state legislative districts. That means the majorities which Republicans enjoy in state legislative chambers will grow even if every American in 2012 voted exactly the same way he did in 2010.

State legislatures are also the farm teams for the two political parties. Principled conservative Republicans will have the chance as majority party members of state legislatures to gain name recognition and to achieve meaningful reforms, providing us with proven and competent candidates for future elections to Congress and to governorships. The State Legislative Republican tsunami was real and massive. At the lowest level of constitutional government, State Legislatures, Democrats faced utter and complete routs. The long-term political consequences for Democrats are profound.

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.

Page Printed from: at November 08, 2010 - 02:29:50 PM CST

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I do not like this Uncle Sam (apologies to the late Theodore Gisel)

This little poem is a winner!!

I do not like this Uncle Sam,

I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like these dirty crooks,

or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,

I do not like their secret deals.

I do not like this speaker Nan ,

I do not like this ‘YES, WE CAN’.

I do not like this spending spree-—

I’m smart, I know that nothing’s free.

I do not like your smug replies,

when I complain about your lies.

I do not like this kind of hope.

I do not like it. Nope, Nope, Nope!

Go green - recycle Congress in 2010!

Monday, July 19, 2010

for those that REALLY don't get it...

Mike Adams
Intellectuals and Human Nature

Recently, several “intellectuals” convened to deal with a problem so serious it could not be tackled by just one college professor. The question was this: How can professors stop an epidemic of students missing their examinations without jeopardizing student grades by resorting to point deductions?

The problem was so serious that the handful of intellectuals who first noticed the problem – and noticed others noticing the problem – sent out a mass email inviting others to attend a “brown bag” luncheon to brainstorm. They were searching for “solutions”, which would stop short of actually punishing students for missing their examinations.

I certainly have no problem with professors getting together to find “solutions” to difficult “problems.” But I do have a “problem” with the way these professors were characterizing their “problem.”

A better description of their “problem” – one that better reflects its magnitude – would sound something like this: How can we retain the secular/ progressive view of human nature, which is needed to justify secular/ progressive policies, in light of a wealth of evidence to the contrary?

The thoughts of the professors responding to the mass email were enlightening. One complained that she wanted to give her students the benefit of the doubt, but they constantly pushed and tested her. The more she withheld punishment, the more prevalent the undesirable behavior.

Another observed that the more often she does nice things for students, the more often they take advantage of her. She seemed perplexed by the fact that rewarding a missed exam with another administration, thus giving the student more time to prepare, led to more missed exams.

The dilemma of the perplexed professors highlights the fundamental difference between the conservative and the progressive views of human motivation. The former suggests that you can sometimes threaten to do bad things to people and expect good things in return. The latter suggests that you can promise to do good things for people and expect good things in return.

In the 1960s, our government began to put the progressive view of human nature to the test. We launched a War on Poverty in an effort to build a Great Society. Soon, we began to see mountains of data refuting the secular/ progressive view of human nature.

By the end of the first decade of our efforts to build a Great Society, crime in America had skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. The 1960s saw record increases in crime rates, which have yet to be broken.

Progressives thought that giving people welfare, food stamps, and huge increases in the minimum wage would all be nice favors, which would be returned in the form of greater citizen conformity. The fact that it didn’t work has done little to shake the foundations of progressive faith in human decency.

Since the failed effort to build a Great Society there have been repeated calls to build more prisons in order to clean up the mess progressives have created. But, for years, progressives have fought tooth and nail to prevent or slow the expansion of prisons.

The result, of course, has been an increase in homicides and gang-rapes in prison due to prison overcrowding. In short, the progressive view of human nature has produced more violence among both free and captive populations. More people are dying everywhere but the progressive vision of human decency is immortal. It cannot be slain by any wealth of empirical evidence.

More recently, we have seen the effects of progressive gun control policies. Like prisons, guns are reminders of human depravity, which the progressive cannot accept. And so the progressive seeks to ban guns. Nonetheless, in 2008, the Supreme Court lifted a ban on handguns in Washington D.C., which resulted in a 25% decrease in homicides the next year.

The D.C. homicide data speak volumes about human nature. The presence of guns is a threat, which helps many depraved individuals conform to the dictates of the law. Nonetheless, progressives still fight the very reforms that have helped preserve innocent lives. They do so because it is more important that they preserve their vision of human decency.

It isn’t surprising that progressives who cannot manage a classroom cannot also manage “society.” It would be better if the progressive would confine her decision to accommodate, rather than punish, irresponsibility to the classroom. But intellectuals rarely keep their ideas to themselves. They are obliged to impose them on “society.”

Replacing the Judeo-Christian view of human nature with the progressive view of human nature has proven to be a bad idea. And bad ideas have bad consequences for fallen human beings. But progressive hope for the secular transformation of human nature springs eternal.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I think the first post of 2010 should look back on that fun year of 2009. Here is a review worth reading and hopefully, folks will be THINKING in 2012: