AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM: GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE,FOR THE PEOPLE -- ECONOMIC FREEDOM BASED ON FREE MARKET INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURISM -- WEALTH CREATION AS A SOURCE OF GREAT GOOD FOR THE DISADVANTAGED -- IMMIGRANTS PROVIDING UNPARALELLED ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS, RACIAL DIVERSITY -- OUR MILITARY PROVIDING AND PROTECTING WORLDWIDE INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
You Won't See These Rational Discussion Points re: Guns In Schools Discussed In Left Coast - Right Coast Elitist Circles
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Trump's Tariffs - Is It Remotely Possible That The Establishment Elite Media Talking Heads (a.k.a. WSJ) Predicting Economic Disaster Could Yet Again Be Wrong?
Salvatore Babones - Associate professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney.
When U.S. president Donald Trump announced sweeping new tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum Thursday, the world’s commentariat broke out in a frenzy of condemnation. Trump was accused of playing politics in a way that could “destabilize the global economy.” It was said that Trump’s actions could “bring global trade growth to a halt” (notwithstanding the fact that levels of global trade have already been declining since 2011). His critics screamed “trade war.” Canadian and European leaders immediately threatened retaliation. China didn’t, but American China experts predicted that Beijing soon would.
It is likely that few, if any, of these experts have read the two detailed Commerce Department reports that prompted the tariff decision, or the Defense Department memo endorsing their findings. The goal of the tariffs proposed by Commerce and endorsed by the president isn’t to punish Chinese dumping or put an end to free trade. It’s to ensure that the United States retains any domestic steel and aluminum production at all. Like President Barack Obama’s controversial auto industry bailout in 2009, these tariffs are about keeping an industry for the future, not about making it profitable today.
If China has merely expressed concern over Trump’s plans, it’s because China is not really the target of the planned tariffs. China’s massive state-owned steel and aluminum firms may ultimately lie behind the world’s glutted markets, but Chinese products account for only a fraction of U.S. imports (2.2 percent for steel and 10.6 percent for aluminum). The real problem is that other countries—including allies like Canada and the European Union—have responded to years of Chinese dumping by subsidizing their own industries and imposing broad tariffs on Chinese steel. American antidumping measures have traditionally been more narrowly focused. In a sense, Trump is only catching up with what the rest of the world is doing already.
The simple fact is that the world produces much more steel and aluminum than it needs. A global shakeout is inevitable, and every country wants to make sure that its own industries are the ones that survive. The only question is: who will blink first? If one country has done a lot of blinking over the last twenty years, it’s the United States, as the Commerce Department report amply documents. Embracing a free-market approach, being reluctant to provide subsidies, applying very selective tariffs and never even thinking about nationalizing its strategic industries, the United States has consistently ceded market share to its statist rivals overseas. The Trump tariffs bluntly but effectively draw a line under twenty years of creeping retreat.
In its evaluation of the Commerce Department reports, the Defense Department flatly concluded that “the systematic use of unfair trade practices to intentionally erode our innovation and manufacturing industrial base poses a risk to our national security” and agreed with the Commerce Department’s conclusion “that imports of foreign steel and aluminum based on unfair trading practices impair the national security.” Of the three national-security responses offered by Commerce, DoD preferred the second option, targeted tariffs, over the first (global tariffs) and third (global quotas). But that’s a question of strategy, not principle.
The DoD is, obviously, a military organization, not an economic one. It is “concerned about the negative impact on our key allies” of a broad, uniform tariff. So the DoD prefers targeted tariffs on countries that, except for South Korea, are not U.S. allies. But as the DoD memo admits, targeted tariffs raise complicated enforcement challenges due to the international transshipment of steel and other jurisdiction-shifting exercises. The Commerce report estimated that targeted tariffs would have to be at least 53 percent on steel and 23.6 percent on aluminum to be effective. Trump’s flat tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent would be easier to implement and harder to avoid.
A single, global tariff also sends a simple, universally understood message that this time, the United States is not going to blink first. This dispute is not about the World Trade Organization, playing by the rules, commitment to globalization or the much-hyped international liberal order. It’s about the fact that some countries are going to have to give up their steel and aluminum industries. The United States should not be one of them. Countries that have historically made high steel and aluminum output a matter of national policy should act responsibly to dismantle their bloated industrial bases. Until they do (and there are no signs that they will), the U.S. government should act to ensure a fair price for those few American producers that remain.
Salvatore Babones is an associate professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney.
Monday, February 26, 2018
To each is given a box of tools, a soul to save, and a set of rules.
And each must fashion, 'ere life has flown, a stumbling block - or a stepping stone.
COMMON SENSE: In America, kids have been going to school since the Pilgrims and Puritans settled in Massachusetts nearly four hundred years ago, and guns have always been part of our culture. If weapons are the problem, then why hasn't there been shootings in schools since the beginning? Why is this a recent phenomenon of the past quarter century and not a consistent problem throughout our history?The answer is simple, but our politically-correct Progressive leaders do not want to hear it. From the 1620s forward, schools inculcated the virtues of patriotism, moral rectitude, and American exceptionalism into students. It was foundational to our entire educational system, and all of this was based on the value of the Judeo-Christian ethic. It worked well for more than three-and-a-half centuries, as evidenced by the fact that there were never mass shootings at schools until recently.
In the twenty-first century, the Judeo-Christian model is no longer taught. In fact, it is being repudiated daily in favor of Progressive values that eschew patriotism, mock traditional morality, and repudiate the value of American leadership. More than half of Millennials are ashamed of being an American, which is a complete reversal from what earlier generations of kids believed.
We are producing disconnected, alienated kids by the millions, while simultaneously being clueless about why they are so narcissistic. We have created an entire generation of self-serving brats who have few work skills but believe they are entitled to wealth without earning it The ones that aren't drugged up have no coping skills, while those who are drugged up live in a perpetual fog.
Because we are unable, or unwilling, to place the blame where it belongs—on our flawed and broken educational system—we blame guns instead. The fools in our Progressive media insist that the problem will be solved by disarming Americans, but that will only make it worse. Instead, what we need to do is return to the model that worked for centuries, but that's not going to happen—not unless there is a complete transformation of our societal values. Christians have a word for this—repentance, but repentance requires virtues the Progressives do not possess.
I have painted a bleak picture because our future will be bleak without such a transformation.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Monday, January 22, 2018
We Are A Nation of Immigrants --American Exceptionalism At Work!! ---- But, No Doubt The System is Broken
Victor Davis Hanson
Recently added accents would be dropped. Hyphenated names would disappear. Trilled r’s would become rare. La Raza/Chicano/Latino Studies programs would become about as popular as Basque or Portuguese. If immigrants from Mexico came in measured numbers, legally, with high-school diplomas, and along with diverse immigrants from all over the world, then rapid assimilation and integration would soon render them politically individuals, not tribes. Someone like California Senate Leader Kevin de León (born Kevin Alexander Leon) would never have needed a preposition and an accent mark.
But the “Dreamers”!
Weaponizing the Language
Political Epithets: Racism and Xenophobia
Is America Great or Not?
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Ginny Thomas The Daily Caller
From a life that launched from economic deprivation, illiteracy, family dysfunction, and even time as a radical leftist, his accomplishments now reach to the U.S. Supreme Court—where he faces constant vilification and defamation. He says he learned the value of humility, patience, and persistence, but the bedrock of his rules for living came from simple aphorisms from his illiterate grandfather.
At a young age, he learned how to build bridges and find something in common with other people, be it sports, a hobby, religion or experiences, rather than focusing on differences and divisions. “Everyone has inherent value and is worth listening to,” he believes.
Looking back, he credits divine providence for path of his life. From the burning of a house, to being raised by his grandparents, to the nuns who taught in Savannah’s inner city, to attending the seminary and to getting his first job with Missouri A
Attorney General Jack Danforth, who was interviewing at Yale. Nothing could have foreseen his sitting on the Supreme Court today.
Faith, he says, gives him “the strength to do what I have to do every day, to assert the independence, to be willing to take the beatings, the criticism, the unfairness.” When he attends daily mass, he says, it helps him do his “job, a secular job, in the right way and for the right reasons.” It reminds him that his work has nothing to do with what is said about him, but is rather about doing what he took an oath to do.
“Everyone has inherent value and is worth listening to,” says Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas frequently turns to the “Litany of Humility,” which helps focus and insulate him from the distractions, criticisms, or praise that can come from this world. In his view, what really matters is whether you do what you are called to do.
As we talked about the biggest blessings of his life, he named being born in America, (editor emphasis) his faith, his son, and our marriage. He also spoke of his love of University of Nebraska athletics, motor homing over the last 18 years through “flyover country,” and the gift of being able to read. When you grow up surrounded by illiteracy with adults asking, “What this paper say?” reading becomes a true blessing. “It is like Christmas every day” when he reads.
On interracial marriage, he says, “If I were more progressive or liberal, [our marriage] would be considered progressive to be in an interracial marriage, but if you are not, then you are selling out.” He adds, “I don’t think of it as some statement. You’re my wife.”
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Analysis: Is Scapegoating Charter Schools on Segregation Actually a Stealth Attack on Educational Excellence for African-American Students?
January 9, 2018
You don’t have to look far to find cogent rebuttals to a recent Associated Press story on charter schools and segregation. That analysis — which blames charter schools for intensifying segregation in public schools — is reminiscent of a political campaign where, running from a suspect track record, an incumbent blames the challenger for something he himself has done.
In this case, in a country that is deeply segregated, and whose public schools are deeply segregated both because of changing demographics and the precondition of residential assignment that pervades the public system, charter schools are being scapegoated for creating the racially divided and isolated world that the public schools themselves have given us. It’s the sort of pablum only a politico could offer.
The arguments many have made to counter this are spot-on, in particular about the difference between being assigned to racial isolation versus minorities making affirmative choices to be with people who share their skin color and, perhaps, their values. But there’s a piece that’s missing, and so much turns on understanding it that we gloss over it at our own peril.
The truth is, the attack on charters and their perceived role in segregation reveals a deep and troubling double standard. It’s powered by a desire to destroy black academic excellence — along with those who seek it out and those who seek to provide it — in the name of some other set of democratic fundamentals that, at this point, don’t exist even on paper, let alone in reality. This line of attack illuminates the preferential treatment non-black minorities and, of course, white Americans receive in the realm of public education as a framework for schooling. A framework that doesn’t work for millions of black and brown children but is valorized over those we see having life-changing effects, particularly in our large urban centers.
You can see this bias clearly when you examine how traditional district loyalists and anti-charter activists defend underperforming and overwhelmingly black neighborhood schools. These folks have held these schools blameless during their destructive reign even as black futures have been squandered within them.
They’ve been messaging test cases for the limits of what schools can do (overcome poverty and now segregation) even while they’ve remained central to arguments for more dollars and more people in the system. While in the ’burbs, testing is an evil visited upon stressed-out swizzle-stick-loving toddlers, in the ’hood — where learning is incidental — they’ve been used as a crucible no teacher should have to bear. These schools are the Jeanne d’Arc of “community” even as they rip communities apart, their existence crucial to the overall notion of democratic rule even when that rule is ruinous.
A shining and ironic example of this can perhaps be seen in New York, where the Bloomberg-era school closure and restart strategy — which has ultimately been proven beneficial — was attacked by the United Federation of Teachers and its then-handmaiden the NAACP (a relationship that has only metastasized). Consider Paul Robeson High School. The school, named for the civil rights activist who was ultimately blacklisted for his advocacy, undermined the very promise of his life of service even as it failed to pass on his brilliance to its students. On his opposition to closing the school, UFT President Michael Mulgrew offered, “We cannot continue with policies that allow inequality not only to exist, but to flourish.”
One must wonder to which policies he referred. The residential assignment policies that ensure schools like Robeson are racially isolated? The adult deployment policies that result in the students within them getting the least-experienced teachers who also have the least support (an inequity now fully present as those in New York City’s Absent Teacher Reserve pool are reassigned to low-income, high-minority schools)? These are the sorts of policies we expect black families to support in the name of democracy and community?
The policy menu of black academic oppression is too long to list. But its record of ravaging the black community is one that must not be lengthened in the name of an oppressive view that holds student achievement among its lowest priorities.
Conversely (and courtesy of the charter segregation lobby) we also see what these folks would have us attack: schools working for black families that exist because those same families have made the affirmative decision to attend them.
Depending on what cocktail parties you attended this holiday season, you likely heard any number of derisive characterizations of today’s modern-day Freedom Schools. Some outright condescending (those families don’t know how to choose a school) to counterintuitive (those schools cream the best families). The latter is particularly destructive because it penalizes black families — some foreign-born, some the home-grown descendants of slaves, but all of whom want a better future for their children — for that quality we value most in every other race and creed in the American patchwork: ambition.
Consider how this same ambition is handled in some of America’s other numerous racial tranches. White urbane families who like cities but still want accelerated education have an entire network of segregated academies within the public schools, most commonly known as gifted and talented, fostered for them. It’s widely known that these programs pass over black kids, but no one seems to care, even as cries for the expansion of these programs continue to grow.
Or look at the selective high school admissions process in New York, where Stuyvesant High School — arguably the crown jewel of the network — is overwhelmingly Asian (annually, the combined black and Hispanic student cohort numbers in the single digits). Conservatives defend the hard-work ethic of Asian families. Liberals cite Stuyvesant as a bastion of excellence to which many other races should have access, even if it means lowering the bar for entry.
This excellence is prized and sought after even as Success Academy Charter Schools — among the state’s best schools of any type — which brim over with black and brown kids, battles building by building to get necessary space for its families. It is indeed easier for a store that caters to “adult” interests to open in New York than it is to expand opportunity for minority kids in charter schools. What’s the message being sent here?
Black folks are unique in America because we are often asked to sacrifice some notion of personal agency or sovereignty “for the greater good” in manners that other groups are not asked to and would never be expected to. Don’t protest police shootings because law and order matter more than living and breathing. Give up school choice because democratic school boards are more fundamental than if your kid is educated. Don’t seek a school that may mirror your values and affirm your racial and ethnic identity because integration and assimilation are more important, even if the former is a problem of white preference and the latter potentially undermines your child’s sense of self.
In this round of “segregationist” attacks on charters (a line of reasoning now also core to union opposition against charters as well), we see the latest in a long line of American school policies that all amount to the same thing: a raucous and callous shout of “get to the back of the line” to the country’s black families.
It’s a command to which no family, charter or otherwise, should assent. Now or ever.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018
Global Warming Dealt Death Blow as Sahara Desert Gets 16 Inches of Snow
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, this is only the third time in nearly 40 years that snow has fallen in and around the Algerian town of Ain Sefra, a place known for hot weather and reddish-colored sand dunes — not blinding white snowscapes.
The last time this town, dubbed “The Gateway to the Desert,” received a a few inches of snow was in December of 2016 and again in January of 2017. Prior to that, the town last saw snow flurries for about a half hour in February of 1979.