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Free Markets, Free People

The updated version of “you reap what you sow”

The subject is academia.   The writer, Bret Stephens at the WSJ prefaces his results with this:

“Liberal Parents, Radical Children,” was the title of a 1975 book by Midge Decter, which tried to make sense of how a generation of munificent parents raised that self-obsessed, politically spastic generation known as the Baby Boomers. The book was a case study in the tragedy of good intentions.

“We proclaimed you sound when you were foolish in order to avoid taking part in the long, slow, slogging effort that is the only route to genuine maturity of mind and feeling,” Miss Decter told the Boomers. “While you were the most indulged generation, you were also in many ways the most abandoned to your own meager devices.”

To say that as a generation, Boomers were over indulged, is a bit of an understatement.  And the indulgence that has done the most damage to the fabric of this country is tolerating leftist orthodoxy.  That orthodoxy, of course, found its unchallenged home in academia.


For almost 50 years universities have adopted racialist policies in the name of equality, repressive speech codes in the name of tolerance, ideological orthodoxy in the name of intellectual freedom. Sooner or later, Orwellian methods will lead to Orwellian outcomes. Those coddled, bullying undergrads shouting their demands for safer spaces, easier classes, and additional racial set-asides are exactly what the campus faculty and administrators deserve.

In other words, the radical children who grew up to run the universities have duplicated the achievement of their parents, and taken it a step further. In three generations, the campuses have moved from indulgent liberalism to destructive radicalism to the raised-fist racialism of the present—with each generation left to its increasingly meager devices. Why should anyone want to see this farce repeated as tragedy 10 or 20 years down the road?

No, because this is the idiocy it has spawned.  Like this:

One of the panelists at the event was black Columbia student Nissy Aya. Aya was supposed to graduate in 2014, but instead is only on track to receive her degree in 2016. That, Aya says, demonstrates “how hard it has been for me to get through this institution,” though it’s worth noting she is an exceptional case, as Columbia has one of the highest four-year graduation rates in the country.

Aya attributed some of her academic troubles to the trauma of having to take Columbia’s current Core Curriculum, which requires students to take a series of six classes with a focus on the culture and history of Western, European civilization. Aya says this focus on the West was highly mentally stressful for her.

“It’s traumatizing to sit in Core classes,” she said. “We are looking at history through the lens of these powerful, white men. I have no power or agency as a black woman, so where do I fit in?”

As an example, Aya cited her art class, where she complained that Congolese artwork was repeatedly characterized as “primitive.” She wanted to object to that characterization but, in the Spectator’s words, was “tired of already having worked that day to address so many other instances of racism and discrimination.”

And this:



Yes, in terms of today, Lincoln was racist.  But this campus protester in Missouri likely has no idea Lincoln also sacrificed very heavily politically to do what was done to abolish slavery.  Historical context, however, is another victim of this nonsense.

This is what academia has become.

“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.” -Professor Thomas Sowell

And it’s even unravelling there.

Pretty, isn’t it?


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Redefining language to reap an unjust reward

An article sampling how some words used today by SJWs have been redefined from a more positive sense to a negative one which supports victim hood.  The article then asks:

What Has Happened to Language?

This tiny vocabulary sampling reflects another recent epidemic of victimhood, as the English language is further squeezed and massaged to create reality from fantasy.

First, over a half-century of institutionalized equal opportunity has not led to an equality of result. Particular self-identified groups feel collectively that they are less well off than others and are bewildered that this is still possible, since they can point to no law or custom that precludes their opportunity by race, class, or gender. Therefore, inventing a vocabulary of grievances is far more effective in gaining concessions than self-criticism and self-reliance are in winning parity.

Second, in an affluent, leisured and postmodern society of $300 Jordan-label sneakers that sell out in hours, big-screen televisions at Walmart that become prizes for warring consumers on Black Friday, and over 50% of the population exempt from income taxes, it is becoming harder to define, in the material sense, oppression-driven victimhood. In such a world, even multi-billionaire Oprah has difficulty finding discrimination and so becomes reduced to whining about a perceived snub in a Swiss boutique that sells six-figure purses. Language is pressed into service to create victims where there are few, but where many are sorely needed, psychologically — and on the chance such a prized status might lead to a profitable trajectory otherwise impossible by passé notions of work and achievement.

Point one – this is what “1984” talked about.  The subversion of language to fit an ideology or agenda.  The SJWs of today do have a difficult job of assigning blame, so they’re twisted words to enable that.  “Privilege”, which used to be a positive word, is now coupled with “white” in a decidedly negative way.  The entire point, of course, is to “gain concessions” by producing guilt in the target audience. In this way they remain the “victim” class and it is the responsibility of the victimizers to subsidize or ensure advantage in life to the “victims”.  It’s one of the reasons we see so many grievance movements popping up now … it works.

The second point – as we’ve all been made aware, our “poor” live at a level that would be considered middle class in Europe (speaking of “privilege”). But the world evolved now where equality in opportunity, at  least in Western countries, isn’t at all hard to find.  But, of course, that means “work and achievement”.  Why do that when you can “suffer” as a “victim” and be forever subsidized in some way or another in the name of “equality” or whatever “ism” you prefer.  That shaming and guilt production produces rewards from those who buy into the guilt and shame.  And often they are politicians who are quite happy to use your money to assuage this assumed guilt.  And, as we all know, we get less of the behavior we punish and more of that which we reward.

Guess which form of behavior we’re getting now, and why?


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Forget the extremes on the Syrian refugee crisis

On the one extreme:

“We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic,” [Obama] said. “We don’t make good decisions if they’re based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.”

There you have it, folks: If you doubt any portion of our current refugee policy, you’re “hysterical.” Never mind that a recent poll showed 13 percent of Syrian refugees declaring a “positive” or “somewhat positive” view of ISIS, or that at least one of the Paris attackers apparently arrived in France posing as a refugee. Never mind the 26 charges of terrorism brought up against foreign-born individuals in the U.S. in the past year, as Sen. Jeff Sessions documented this week, or the fact that in October, FBI Director James Comey testified that our current system likely can’t effectively vet Syrian refugees.

More importantly, never mind the fact that opposition to current refugee protocols doesn’t necessarily translate into opposition to helping refugees altogether; had Obama led with an acknowledgment of the system’s weaknesses and showed genuine concern towards fixing them, we might be in a different situation today.  As it is, a new Bloomberg poll shows 53 percent of Americans opposing the current settlement plan.

Yes, that’s right, our President is on extreme.  And of course he considers the GOP to be the real extreme, characterizing them as wanting no refugees from Syria at all.  Granted there are certainly those who do indeed want that.  But broad brushes are a little, well, broad.

In effect, no one is saying turn away “widows and 3 year old orphans”, as some on the left have characterized the attitude on the right.

What is concerning everyone is the number and percentage of young, military age men in this mix.  Are they jihadists that ISIS is trying to smuggle into the US. Despite their claims, the administration has no idea.  That’s a national security issue and the safety of the citizens of the US take priority over a bunch of refugees.  Of course that’s how the job description of President goes, but apparently, Obama is trying to rewrite that.  Risk is a matter of opinion, and a good leader would develop a process that would be transparent and assure the public of its safety.  But then, we have Obama …

And what most want is a “pause” before wholesale importing of refugees, to review the vetting process and tighten it up if necessary.  In the meantime, I’m sure, if the US asked nicely, these refugees could be placed in a neutral middle Eastern country until that process is complete. That would assure their safety.

But to hear Obama and his supporters, it is as if the right is just so damned racist and xenophobic that they can’t tolerate the thought of helping any foreign refugees by placing them here (of course, history tells a different story).

Tell you what.  To show your good faith Mr. Obama, let’s first start by giving refugee and immigration status to our Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who are at daily risk for helping us and many on the right have been trying to get here for years.  That’s been a hill the left just doesn’t seem to have been able to climb.

Then they can again assume their superior attitude and lecture the rest of us on our “responsibility” to others.

Seem fair?


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Economic Statistics for 19 Nov 15

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey moved back into positive territory in November, rising from -4.5 to 1.9.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% in October.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 5,000 to 271,000. The 4-week average rose 3,000 to 270,750. Continuing claims rose 2,000 to 2.167 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.4 points to 41.2 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-5.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.487 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $7.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-13.4 billion in the latest week.

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Liberals in Wonderland

As exemplified by Margaret Carlson on “Morning Joe”:

Carlson said of assimilating immigrants, “we do know how to do it. Europe doesn’t know how to do it. France especially doesn’t know how to do it. England not very good at it. And so, we have less of a problem. You know, those people who have snuck in, that, I don’t know if they’ve snuck in, but maybe they become Americanized, maybe the anger goes away. Maybe what they snuck in to do they’re not going to do, because we do have an acceptance of these people, as Congressman [Keith] Ellison (D-MN) said. They’re more patriotic because they’re here and they work harder.”

Because that’s why jihadists came here – to assimilate, get jobs, work harder.

Remember when we were told that all the members of ISIS needed were jobs?  If we’d provide that, well, they’d just settle down and quit trying to impose a 7th Century caliphate on the world.  And then there’s Mohammed Atta, who basically came here, hung around, tasted the “good life”, learned to fly and shopped at Walmart and ate at Pizza Hut the day before he flew a hijacked plane into one of the twin towers.  He “assimilated” quite well didn’t he, Margaret?

The fact that the left will not admit to or recognize the fact that this is a war of ideologies and the radical Islamist ideology isn’t about “assimilation”, any more than was the Nazi ideology, is dangerous.  They also apparently  can’t admit that there is evil in the world and in this case, it is epitomized in ISIS, and one must confront evil head on.  If they did any of that they’d have to admit their “tolerance” and “multicultural” arguments are nonsense. Admitting all of that would also demand they take action.

None of that is going to happen with this crowd.  Just look at the man in the White House.  He’s all about pretending.  He’s pretended for quite some time that ISIS isn’t really a threat.  His failure to admit, recognize and confront the evil that is radical Islam has helped lead us to this point.  And he still won’t take action.  But he’s not going to.  In a recent speech, he as much as said that:

But what we do not do, what I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow, in the abstract, make America look tough, or make me look tough. And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed, and I see a 25-year-old kid who’s paralyzed or has lost his limbs, and some of those are people I’ve ordered into battle. And so I can’t afford to play some of the political games that others may.

Whether or not he goes to Walter Reed, this is just an excuse leveraged off of the military.  My first thought was if he’s not able to make the hard decisions that will keep the American people safe, he needs to resign from the job. The second thing I thought was, just as I did, these young men and women were willing to pay the price necessary to keep this country safe, and he’s just made that effort worthless.  It has been all OJT for him anyway, and he has failed miserably.  As to playing “political games”, that’s all the man does. This play on wounded military is just that.

We’ll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it’s entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I’m too busy for that.

Of course the CJCS have presented numerous proposals that he wouldn’t even entertain, much less approve and none of which included the dreaded “boots on the ground”.  He’s simply not going to do anything serious.  The above is politics.  He no more wants to meet and debate than he wants to strike ISIS.  He’s “too busy” being arrogant and inept and leaving a huge mess for whomever it is that has to fill the vacancy we’ve actually had for 7, going on 8, years. As for doing “what’s required to keep the American people safe”, apparently importing possible jihadis from a hot bed of them how this is done.

This is the legacy of liberalism

Beautiful, ain’t it?



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Economic Statistics for 18 Nov 15

Today’s release of the minutes of the October FOMC meeting hint strongly that an interest rate hike may be in the cards for December.

The Atlanta Fed reports that annual inflation expectations for business were unchanged for November at 1.8%.

Housing starts fell sharply in October, down -11.0% to a 1.060 million annual rate.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 6.2% last week, with purchases up 12.0% and refis up 2.0%.

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Economic Statistics for 17 Nov 15

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey improved a bit, but still stayed deeply negative at -10.74 in November.

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% at both the headline and core rate in October. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 0.2% overall, but 1.9% less food and energy.

The Fed reports industrial production fell -0.2% in October, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories was unchanged at 77.5%. The production drop is misleading, since it includes big drops in mining and utilities. Manufacturing actually rose 0.4%.

The NAHB’s Housing Market index declined -2 points to 62 in November, signaling some weakness in home construction.

Growth in e-commerce sales remained strong in the 3rd quarter of 2015, up 4.2%.

Net foreign demand for US long-term securities rose to $33.6 billion in September vs a revised $20.8 billion in August.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose very slightly to a weak 1.2% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.1%.

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Mother Jones: Quit mocking GOP over Syrian refugee stance

Even Mother Jones know the Democrats are on the wrong side of this issue:

Here’s the thing: to the average person, it seems perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to the country. We know that ISIS would like to attack the US. We know that ISIS probably has the wherewithal to infiltrate a few of its people into the flood of refugees. And most voters have no idea how easy it is to get past US screening. They probably figure it’s pretty easy.

So it doesn’t seem xenophobic or crazy to call for an end to accepting Syrian refugees. It seems like simple common sense. After all, things changed after Paris.

Mocking Republicans over this—as liberals spent much of yesterday doing on my Twitter stream—seems absurdly out of touch to a lot of people. Not just wingnut tea partiers, either, but plenty of ordinary centrists too. It makes them wonder if Democrats seriously see no problem here? Do they care at all about national security? Are they really that detached from reality?

They just cancelled a soccer game in Germany due to very hard intelligence that terrorists planned to bomb it.  And, of course, Paris.

Why wouldn’t it be “reasonable” to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to those who are supposedly intellectually above average on the left?

That, my friend, remains the question, doesn’t it?


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