EnduringSense

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

  • Daily Quote:

    "Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit."

    Mahatma Gandh

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 92 other followers

  • Subscribe

Bowe Bergdahl Pleads Guilty to Desertion

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 24, 2017

In June 2009, US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his Afghan military base.  After spending five years in captivity, the Obama Administration traded five high-value terrorists for Bergdahl’s release.

Arguments were then made for and against the trade, especially given evidence that Bergdahl deserted his base and fellow soldiers.  In addition, some soldiers charged with searching for Bergdahl were wounding and reportedly at least one killed.

CNN reported earlier this month that Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion stating: “I left my observation post on my own,” and “I understand leaving was against the law.”  It is telling to compare the actual facts with the false narrative the Obama Administration created at the time of the trade.  As seen in the video below, Susan Rice then claimed that Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction”.  This was more than a fabrication; it was an outright lie.  It is an example of why the American people no longer trust government.  It is an example of one factor behind the election of Donald Trump.

Advertisements

Posted in Government Ineptness | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hollywood’s Complicity in the Weinstein Scandal

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 20, 2017

The rich and famous in Hollywood make a habit of lecturing America on values.  Most often these values are Progressive and far left of center in a political context.  The recent outing of one of Hollywood most significant elitist, Harvey Weinstein as a serial sex predator demonstrates hypocrisy in that wealthy community.

Inappropriate behavior is not limited to any political view.  It is an equal opportunity affliction.  However, Hollywood’s cone of silence and cover-up to protect Weinstein over many years is an indication of deep-seated dishonesty within that community.  The fact that Hollywood’s strong Leftist’s leanings that include suppose concern for women’s rights were trumped to protect one of its own is deeply troubling.

Since the Weinstein scandal went public, the number of women who claim to have been mistreated by the movie mogul over many years continually increases.  The sheer number involved, many who are now powerful figures, make it difficult to understand how this cover-up occurred.  More troubling are the number of Hollywood males who were aware of Weinstein’s proclivities and only did not go public, but heaped praise on Weinstein for years.  This group includes famed Quentin Tarantino who admitted to the New York Times that “I knew enough to do more than I did.

Tarantino’s confession is too little, too late.  It will be followed by many others from Hollywood elitists.  Without their complicity, many young women would have been spared trauma caused by one of their own.

Posted in Hollywood | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Affirmative Action’s Failure in Higher Education

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 25, 2017

In the 1970s concerns grew that people of color were inappropriately represented in America’s institutions of higher education.  Social engineers and the judicial branch of government determined that this inequity could be addressed by programs that became known as Affirmative Action.  While the inequity was real, evidence indicates the corrective actions have failed.

The New York Times published an article whose headline speaks of Affirmative-Action’s failure:  “Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges than 35 Years Ago”.  The article includes data indicating that since 1980 the percentage of African-American students in America’s top 100 schools has remain “virtually unchanged”.  The Times indicated, however, that there have been gains for African-American and Hispanic in “less selective colleges”.

The Times only offered snippets of potential reasons behind the Affirmative-Action’s failure in America’s top 100 schools.  This includes what the Times refers to as “equity issues that begin earlier” and “distinct disadvantage to begin with”.  A deeper dive into these issues could have been informative and point towards corrective actions.  Did the Times avoid such discussion in fear of who may be to blame for the failure of the Affirmative Action Programs?

The Times indicated that the number of white students enrolled in the top 100 universities has declined since 1980.  During this same period there has been an increase in the number of Asian students.  The reasons behind these changes deserve study, but were ignored by the Times.

Social engineering is at best a soft science with a record of success that has been spotty.  It is often riddled with crony-capitalism.  Programs that fail to successfully meet the goals set up when they were created need to be canceled or radically changed.

Social engineering programs should be judges based on results, not emotion.  Programs that have proven successful should be considered for expansion.  Those that have failed should be eliminated.  Unfortunately this type of results-based performance evaluation are rarely used by social engineers and their partners in the government.

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bernie Sanders Pushes Healthcare that Failed in Vermont

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 9, 2017

Politicians of both political parties promote programs to satisfy their political base to ensure reelection.  Unfortunately, the tests of efficacy or reasonableness for programs are not based on hard facts or economic realities, but instead on how they could affect politicians’ reelection chances.  This perversion of logic typically results in programs that cause more harm than benefit, especially in the long-run.

Recently, Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent-Socialist from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, promoted a single-payer healthcare system that is long been popular with the political Left, who Sanders counts on for reelection.  This is overly simplistic solution to America’s significant healthcare problems avoids addressing the real issue, the high cost of healthcare.  Instead, single-payer systems merely move costs around like a shell game, promising Americans more for less.  Politicians make a career out of playing this same broken record.

During a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Sanders indicated he will introduce new single-payer health care legislation.  Tapper then asked Sanders why his own state of Vermont, or California, both Democratic states, could not be successful passing single-payer health care: “Let’s talk about single-payer, because it was attempted in your home state of Vermont, and it didn’t work because they couldn’t get the funding, because it would be too expensive, the Democratic governor said.”  Tapper concluded his question by stating that both Democratic governors admitted they could not find funding for single-payer systems in their states.

Tapper then concluded with the following question: “How do you make it national if you can’t even get it in Vermont and California?”  Sanders got uncomfortable and merely answered that it was “difficult”.

Bernie Sanders’ position on single-payer health care is a textbook example of how politicians serve special interests to ensure their reelections.  It also helps demonstrate how flawed programs continue to be promoted, irrespective of efficacy.  In this case, even though the single-payer system could not pass in staunchly Democratic states of Vermont and California due to economic constraints, Sanders would inflict this unviable program on entire Country.

Since the election, Donald Trump has shown significant character flaws that are difficult to support.  However, his suggestion last week to have senators and congressmen live under the same healthcare plans that most Americans do, strikes a chord.

Posted in Healthcare | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Al Gore Changes Climate Goalposts

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 25, 2017

Former Vice President Al Gore is one poster child of what’s wrong with Washington.  After being a career politician, Gore became very wealthy, including a stint with investment bankers Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers.  He is reportedly worth in excess of $100 million and owns mansions, as well as flies in private jets.  Not a bad gig for a public servant.

Gore has not been shy about tooting his own horn.  During a 1999 interview, Gore took credit for the development of the Internet stating: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

Gore is most known for his positions on man-made global warming and climate change.  In 2006 he released the famous documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.  It included bold predictions of imminent worldwide calamities due to climate change, stating that, “the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years” without worldwide “drastic measures” significantly diminish man-made global warming.  Given we are 11 years post Gore’s prediction, it is reasonable to ask where he went wrong.  Certainly the world has not taken drastic measures.  At best, there have been baby steps.  Therefore, either we have not yet reached the point of no return, meaning Gore was wrong, or we have passed the point of no return and further corrective actions will be ineffective.

Gore, like most Progressives who promise to save the world from imminent catastrophes, is unrepentant by his failed prediction.  He is releasing a sequel titled “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

During a promotion for the sequel, Gore was asked in an interview: “Looking back on that prediction, why did you make the prediction at the time and are you making a new one right now given the current circumstances?”  While his answer was evasive, video below, it was also telling when he said: “Well, first of all, we’ve seen a lot of progress since the first movie came out.  We have the Paris agreement now.  The cost of renewable energy has come down so quickly that people are switching over.  Unfortunately, some elements of the Earth system have crossed a point of no return.”  First he claims some nebulous progress and then moves the goalpost by of creating multiple points of no return.

Irrespective of where one stands on the theory man-made global warming, it is evident that what Gore promotes is not science, but a neo-religious movement.  The fact that he is become wealthy off of these efforts and is a huge user of carbon-based energy, indicates a charlatan.

Posted in Climate Change | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria Castigates Liberal Intolerance

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 1, 2017

This Blogger has often discussed with associates on the Left concerns about the media’s and educational industry’s strong Leftists tilt.  Many of these Liberals respond by either denying this bias or incredibly stating that they see just the opposite, the media’s tilt towards the Right.  They ignore the educational industry’s Liberal bias since this bias is unarguable by any interpretation.

Liberals choose to ignore the clear evidence of the bias of both the media and educational industry since this strong bias goes against what used to be a main tenant of Liberalism, open and unhindered discussion on any issue.

Recently, there have been signs that even some of the Left have become concerned by the intolerance by Progressives.  CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who has often been strongly criticized towards President Trump, recently castigated fellow liberals for intolerance, as shown in the video below.

Zakaria starts by comparing his reception while giving a Bucknell commencement speech to that VP Mike Pence received while giving a commencement speech at Notre Dame University.  Pence was rudely interrupted as 100 students turn their back and walked out of the speech.

Zakaria went on to share another example where U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos was rudely booed while giving a commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University.  In concluding, Zakaria said:

  • “American universities these days seem to be committed to every kind of diversity – except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views, already a besieged minority, are being
  • “Freedom of speech and thought is not just for warm, fuzzy ideas that we find comfortable. It’s for ideas that we find offensive”.
  • “There is, as we all know, a kind of anti-intellectualism on the right these days. Denial of facts, of reason, of science.  But there is also an anti-intellectualism on the left.  An attitude of self-righteousness that says we are so pure, we are so morally superior, we cannot bear to hear an idea with which we disagree.”
  • Liberals think they are tolerant, but often they aren’t”.

While it is comforting that some Left-leaning intellects like Zakaria are finally speaking out on the intolerance of Progressives, the fact that they allowed the Fascist behavior to go on for decades questions their motivation.  The damage done to American society and free speech as a result of the intolerance may not be repairable.  It is difficult to put a genie back in a bottle once the cork is pulled.  It will be difficult for Leftists who so strongly believe in their moral superiority to start listening to others’ points of view.

Posted in Liberals | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Political Doubletalk

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 11, 2017

Washington DC is a remarkable place with mystical powers to turn people who once seemed sane into blabbering fools.  These powers have no political boundaries, affecting politicians on the Left and the Right; Democrats and Republicans.

This week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters became the poster child for the Washington derangement-related illness.  During an interview with MSNBC’s Peter Alexander, Ms. Waters went bizarre, even by Washington standards.  The exchange started with a video clip from late last year showing Waters declaring that former FBI director James Comey had “no credibility”.  After showing this video, Alexander asked Waters if he could assume that she supported President Trump’s decision to fire Comey.  To that, Waters responded in the negative.  It is hard to understand why the Congresswoman would not support the firing of one of the most important federal law enforcement officials who she previously indicated had “no credibility”.

After further exchange included in the video below, Waters went full circle into the bizarre when Alexander asked: “So if Hillary Clinton had won the White House would you have recommended that she fire FBI Director James Comey?”  To that Waters incredibly responds: “Well let me tell you something.  If she had won the White House, I believe that given what he did to her, and what he tried to do, she should have fired him, yes!”

While Congresswoman Waters twisted logic has a humorous side, its underlying logic is dangerous, inflicting many politicians.  To these politicians the law is not blind, but instead a tool to be used to promote a political agenda against political opponents.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Liars and Politicians

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 19, 2017

Politicians are generally a slippery bunch. While initially they may enter the field to improve cities, states or the federal government, they are often corrupted by the lure of reelection and the power and money that flow from it.

Prior to modern digital media, changing and ridiculous politicians’ statements were often lost in time. Now, with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., a politician’s statements are memorialized forever. This brings about a daily litany of political doubletalk, lies and/or stupid statements in clear view.

This week we can thank Congresswoman Maxine Waters for the entertainment within a two minute interview on MSNBC, as included in the video below. First, Waters confirms that she called for impeachment of President Trump. Then, almost immediately said: “I have not called for impeachment.” Ms. Waters’ flip-flop would be comical if one could forget that she is involved in writing the Country’s laws.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Failing Progressive Policies

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 30, 2017

One of my Progressive friends and I recently discussed the pros and cons of Liberal socio-economic policies. During that discussion my friend questioned my empathy for the less fortunate stating: “”There are a lot of arguments as to why we are short and where the jobs are but the fact remains we have people who cannot survive. I simply don’t understand how making people’s lives miserable somehow makes my life better. Their plan (conservatives) is akin to just yelling ‘Get a Job.’”

It is disappointing that liberals believe, or at least profess to believe, that those with different policy opinions are somehow less empathetic than they are. Inherent in their view is the belief that government and governmental programs improve the lives of the less fortunate. This decades old view had the potential for being correct during the 1960s when the great experiments were initiated. But history has since made its judgment and it concludes the programs have been a failure.

Posted is a graph of the US poverty rate since 1960, but prior to Obama and Trump. Going back a few years helps remove the current partisan political rancor. These numbers and the trajectory of this graph indicate that the poor have fared worse under Progressive policies initiated in the 1960s through the Great Society programs. Many these programs continue to this today.

While this graph does not answer the question of cause and effect, it at least raises a red light. At best, these unacceptable results emanated from bad socio-economic policy. The alternative is that things have turned out just as the political-elites designed. Conclusion; those who promoted the feel-good economic policies of the past five decades, both Democrats and Republicans, own the results. Continuing these Progressive policies will offer the same trends, which will also give the political class the ability to grab more power through offering economic solutions for problems their policies created.

It is time for society use object results instead of feel good talking points to determine public policies. However, this logical approach would usurp power from the ruling political class, which they will not give up easily.

Posted in economics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Liberalism Fails Society and Those Most in Need

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 7, 2017

Since the early 1960s liberals have promoted the narrative that people on the Left are more compassionate than those on the Right. This proposition was based on a motion, not empirical evidence. It emotionally seems right that the government should give to those in need. Conversely, those who would withhold government’s largess from the less fortunate lack compassion.

While a governmental safety net has been a part of American society since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration, it advanced significantly under President Lyndon Johnson. Given we are now a half-century into Johnson’s Great Society, it is reasonable to determine efficacy of the programs.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley recently published some important statistics since the initiation of the Great Society:

  • In 1962 the percentage of the Americans receiving government assistance in the form of cash transfers was about 12%. Today this has nearly doubled to 21%.
  • In 2012 over 48% of Americans resided in households receiving some form of government benefits. This number was only 30% in 1983.
  • By 2011 the US published property rate remained flat compared to 1965. During the same period, US governmental expenditures on poverty rose by 900% per receiving person (after inflation adjustments).
  • The Heritage Foundation marks 2014 as the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s Great Society. They calculated that federal government spending increased by 16 times, adjusted for inflation, for means tested welfare during this period.

Cause and effect are often difficult to prove. However, in the case of the Great Society Programs and their offspring, the evidence seems convincing that at the very least, much of the spending was wasteful and have not benefited those most in need over the long-term. At the same time, these programs significantly benefited certain industries that serve the programs and distributed their benefits. Those industries offer significant resistance to fundamentally changing governmental spending habits.


 

Posted in Progressives | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »