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Posts Tagged ‘America’

American History no Longer Required for History Majors

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 26, 2016

Independent Journal Review reports on yet another sign of the disintegration and political tampering in education by the higher-education industry.  According to the report, George Washington University has changed its requirements for history majors, no longer requiring a course in US History to earn the degree.

GW joins approximately one third of the top US universities in omitting the American history requirement, accordunceding to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).  ACTA President-elect Michael Poliakoff correctly says of this radical direction:

Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment.  A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders.  Elite colleges and universities in particular let the nation down when the examples they set devalue the study of United States history.”

It would be bad enough if universities the US history requirement to make way for courses they felt were more important for students, irrespective of how ludicrous that conclusion would be.  No, instead their motivation is far more sinister.  Progressives at universities understand that history teaches lessons that affect graduates’ conclusions and then ultimately future policy decisions that could inhibit the radical Left’s political agenda.

Besides irresponsible curriculums, the cost of services universities offer, i.e. education, are out of control.  While in a free market consumers would ultimately demand improvement and more efficiency, governmental intervention through financing and funding programs has allowed consumers to be pillaged.  This is another example of damage to society as a result of crony capitalism

Posted in Education, Radical Left | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

George Will Speaks of the Present and Future

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 13, 2014

George WIllGeorge F. Will is a well-known brilliant columnist and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.  While Will has a conservative bent, he is a pragmatist.  In a recent interview Will made the following comments concerning important issues facing the United States including the future of America, the breakdown of the American family, the overuse of debt, the abusive government, and immigration.

Future of the United States:

Unlike the Left and its comrades in the mainstream media who demonize the Tea Party as racist and lacking in intelligence, Will correctly sees the Tea Party as a grassroots movement that is the beginning of the Country moving back to its constitutional roots.

Well ever since at about the time of the American founding, Edward Gibbon wrote “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” people have been fascinated by the threat that democracies would decay; that history would be cyclical not linear; that decay and decline was inevitable; that the seeds of destruction were in particular regimes and particularly in democracies.  And clearly the American founders worried about this.  And Lincoln worried about it at Gettysburg, that the question was “Whether we shall long endure this form of government.

“So I think that we’re in a period today comparable to the American founding period in two senses: one, we’re worried about decay — we’re worried about whether we’re squandering our legacy and whether we’re calling into question whether people can really govern themselves — but also because, and this is the heartening part of this, today as never before in my lifetime, Americans have rekindled their interest in the founding era and the founding principles.  Look at the wonderful sales of biographies of the founders: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison.  Look at the Tea Party, which I think frankly is one of the great events of my lifetime.”

Abusive Government:

Perhaps the most significant prognostication made by Will is his belief that Americans will rebel against what he sees as an abusive federal government.

I’m quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government.  I think that, you know Winston Churchill said, ‘The American people invariably do the right thing after they have exhausted all the alternatives.’  And I think we’re beginning to get to the bottom of the list of alternatives, and to realize that arithmetic is inexorable.  You can’t make 2+2 equal 7, and sooner or later arithmetic is going to force realism upon us.”

Biggest Threats to the United States:

Will proffers the view that the greatest threats to America’s long-term success are the breakdown of the family and the Country’s use of debt to fuel this generation’s selfish needs.

The greatest threat to America today – there are two of them and they’re related: one is family disintegration, the fact that Americans’ babies are born to unmarried women.  We know the importance of a father in the home.  We know that the family is the primary transmitter of what’s called social capital, that is the habits, mores, customs, values, dispositions that make for success in a free society.  So that’s one threat to America.  The other is the simple fact that we will not live within our means.  We are piling up debts for other people to pay.  We used to borrow money for the future.  We won wars for the future.  We built roads, highways, bridges, dams, airports for the future.  Now, we’re borrowing from the future, from the rising generations in order to finance our own current consumption of government services, and that just seems to me as fundamentally and self-evidently wrong as can be.  We used to borrow money for the future.”

On Immigration:

While likely to disappoint some conservatives, Will correctly points out that this Country has and will continue to benefit from the resources brought to it by immigrants.  He therefore calls for realistically integrating the 11 million illegal aliens currently in the Country.  To that, this writer would suggest that the problem is not with the immigrants who seek a better life.  Instead, the problem is an out-of-control federal government that gives benefits to immigrants that none of our grandparents had access to nor needed.

Here’s why: there are 11 million people here illegally.  They’re not going home.  The fact that the American people would not tolerate the police measures necessary to extract these people from our communities, something like 40% have been here five years or more, large numbers have been here 10 years or more, they’ve had children here who are American citizens under the Constitution. 7 million of these people are in the workforce, performing jobs for which the market has a demand.  The American workforce as our population ages needs immigrants, needs immigration. “

Furthermore, immigration is an entrepreneurial act.  These are people who uproot themselves, take a risk, come to a strange country and a new culture and a new language in many cases to try and better themselves.  And I want this to be a continued infusion of energy into America.  And I think immigrants make wonderful patriots because they’re grateful to the country that enables them to help themselves and their families.”

Posted in Conservatism, Constitution | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

America’s Education Conundrum

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 8, 2014

Many Americans are concerned with the dumbing-down and poor results from our education system.  America’s ranking in educating its youth has been slipping compared to other countries.  We have gone from a system that focused on rewarding achievement to one is more concerned with making every student feel good and the enrichment of the education industry. 

Some on the Left suggest that the solution to America’s education problem is to throw more money at the education industry.  That response assumes a simple solution to a complex problem and is designed to cut off reasonable debate of alternatives. 

One reader sent in a humorous poke at America’s deficient education system with the “funny” below.  Trouble is it isn’t so funny! 

Evolution in Teaching Math Since the 1950s 

1. Teaching Math in the 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.  What is his profit? 

2. Teaching Math in the 1960s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80.  What is his profit? 

3. Teaching Math in the 1970s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is $80.  Did he make a profit? 

4. Teaching Math in the 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20.  Your assignment: Underline the number 20. 

5. Teaching Math in the 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands.  He does this so he can make a profit of $20.  What do you think of this way of making a living?  Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes?  (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok.) 

6. Teaching Math in the 2009

Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100.  El costo de la producciones es $80.  Cuanto dinero ha hecho? 

7. Teaching Math in the 2014

Who cares, just steal the lumber from your rich neighbor’s property.  The President says it’s OK anyway cuz it’s redistributing the wealth.

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

American Schizophrenia

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 11, 2013

Blog reader John sent in the photographs below.  The questions they raise says a lot about the schizophrenia that is modern America.

isn't it ironic 2

isn't it ironic 1

 

 

Posted in Political Correctness | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

America’s Over Regulated Society

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 13, 2012

Leftists often blame the ills of American society on lack of regulation.  However, fax do not support this assertion.

The federal government publishes some remarkable figures concerning the number of regulations as included on reguations.gov website.  For Tuesday, November 13 alone, the government published 77 new regulations.  In addition, in the past 90 days nearly 5,900 new regulations were posted.  That equals a rate of over 23,000 for the year.  This incredible number is of little surprise given that government bureaucrats are paid to make regulations.  In addition, politicians use the power of government regulations to reward or punish constituents and adversaries.

Typical Obama, when confronted with the problems these regulations cause, he offers rhetoric without substantive action.  On February 7, 2011, Obama promised the US Chamber of Commerce that he would address the issue stating:  “I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them,” as indicated in the video below.

The sheer volume of regulations in America make it nearly impossible for businesses to succeed. This is a significant reason behind American manufacturers moving production outside the United States.  While some regulations benefit society, many are counterproductive.  However, logic concerning regulations is perverted by an out-of-control government, special interests and deficit spending.  Only by limiting Federal powers and forcing the government to balance the budget can sanity he brought back to regulatory powers.

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

Egyptian Pres. Morsi’s Doubletalk

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 23, 2012

The New York Times interviewed Egyptian President Morsi’s just prior to his first visit the United States as Egypt’s leader.  The interview was telling on various fronts.

Morsi justified Egypt’s slow reaction to the recent riots at America’s Cairo embassy stating: “We took our time.  We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely”.  That is but an excuse for allowing Egyptian thugs to attack and damage American property.

Morsi went on to state that it is America’s obligation to repair relations with Arab countries stating: “Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region.”  While there is some truth to the claim of America’s past actions, the fact that he repeated them even though President Obama has been on a charm offensive to the Arab world for over 3 1/2 years indicates what Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood desire is even still much more.  Exactly what it is of the United States and West being demanded was purposely left nebulous by Morsi.

Morsi went on to repeat the often used excuse by Muslims for the dislike of the West blaming the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian matter stating: “as long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled”, referring to the Camp David Accord.”  This is lame on various fronts.  First, how is it America’s responsibility to create a compromise between two Middle Eastern entities and adversaries?  Bill Clinton came close late in his second term only to have a permanent solution rejected by Palestinian Pres. Arafat.  What Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood really desire is for America to impose a solution on Israel that will basically end Israel as a Jewish majority country.

An indication that the Arab-Israeli conflict is but an excuse for perpetrating violence against the United States and other countries are the many acts of violence perpetrated in or by Muslim majority countries that clearly are not related to this issue.  Examples include Iraq invading Iran in the early 1980s, Iraq invading Kuwait in the early 1990s, the Taliban’s brutality in Afghanistan even before 9/11, Pakistan’s backing of terrorists who attack India and other interests, the Muslim-backed conflicts and civil wars in Africa, and the Muslim based attacks and rebellion ongoing in Nigeria.  Clearly, if Israel did not exist these conflicts would be ongoing and the West would continue to be considered infidels as they had been long before Israel came into existence.

An indication of the tilted approach towards mutual understanding was indicated when Morsi said : “a shared objective [between Western and Islamic countries], each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion.”  These words are hollow as shown by the violent reactions by Muslims worldwide to an obscure and tasteless video.  Free speech is a centerpiece of the American Constitution.  The call by many Islamic leaders to curtail free speech in the United States if Islam does not like the words indicates an unwillingness to live by Morsi’s words.

President Morsi earned a PhD from the University of Southern California in the early 1990s.  Evidently, while Morsi came to the US for an education, his experience did not convince him of the attributes of America’s free society.

Morsi was a leader in the radical Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.  During the interview, Morsi said of the Brotherhood: “I grew up with the Muslim Brotherhood.  “I learned my principles in the Muslim Brotherhood.  I learned how to love my country with the Muslim Brotherhood.  I learned politics with the Brotherhood.  I was a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.” A slogan that is at the center of the Brotherhood reads: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”  The fact that the Brotherhood has not repudiated this goal is a clear indication of the incompatibility between the Brotherhood and Western democracies.

The challenge for the United States is to create policies that allows diverse cultures to peacefully coexist.  That approach should begin with a realistic use of Morsi’s own words: “a shared objective [between Western and Islamic countries], each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion.”  This solution demands free speech in the United States and this Country abiding by our Constitution.  The United States must conversely accept Islamic-based countries have the absolute right for their own self determination, whether this be a free society or one ruled by Sharia law.  Those who visit or live in the United States or a Muslim majority country must live by the rules of those countries.  Instead of continuing his apology approach, President Obama would do well to state such a clear understanding.

Posted in Egypt, Radical Islam | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Only in America

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 23, 2012

Blog reader John sent in this list of the top 10 ridiculous realities that is America today.  If the items were a joke they would in fact be quite funny.  Being real, they are quite sad.

1) Only in America could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund raising event.

2) Only in America could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black. 12% of the population is black.

3) Only in America could we have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner, the head of the Treasury Department and Charles Rangel who once ran the Ways and Means Committee, BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

4) Only in America can we have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

5) Only in America would we make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege while we discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just become American citizens.

6) Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as “extremists.”

7) Only in America could you need to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

8) Only in America could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

9) Only in America could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a trillion dollars more than it has per year for total spending of $7 million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.

10) Only in America could the rich people who pay 86% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all.

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

Paul Harvey Speaks of America Decades Ago

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 26, 2012

Paul Harvey, an ABC radio broadcaster for many years, passed away at the age of 90 in 2009.  During his most popular years, Harvey had over 20 million people listening to his radio programs carried in over 1200 stations.  In today’s politically correct world, this type of brutal honesty would unfortunately likely be shunned.

Blog reader John forwarded the YouTube clip below that includes one or Harvey’s commentaries, originally broadcast in 1964, but modified for more modern times in the mid-1990s.  It is interesting commentary that is thought-provoking to those that are concerned with the direction of the Country.

Posted in America, Political Correctness | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The National Debt

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 19, 2012

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

United States Admits it Erred in Pakistani Attack

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 22, 2011

On November 26, American and Afghan commandos were involved in a firefight near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.  During the combat, American air power was used in response to incoming fire being received by the commandos.  The airstrikes resulted in the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The Pakistanis immediately blamed the Americans for the deaths.  However, the Americans military blamed the Pakistanis for supposedly not informing the United States that they had troops in that area.  Today the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. military is modifying its response and now accepting blame for the killings.  According to the report, the U.S. military read a map incorrectly that directly resulted in unfortunate incident.

While serious mistakes occur during wars, the response to this error was mishandled by the United States.  It further magnified the growing rift between the U.S. and Pakistan, a serious issue given America’s dependence on Pakistan to properly prosecute the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s ownership of nuclear weapons.

Early in Barack Obama’s presidency he publicly apologized to the world for many of America’s supposed past sins.  The President, as Commander-in-Chief, has not been as precipitous in apologizing for the killing by the U.S. military of the Pakistani soldiers.  This is in keeping with the President’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for any errors that occur during his administration.

When Barack Obama was running for the presidency, he indicated that he would change the way America interacted with other countries to improve its standing throughout the world.  While the President has made changes that include the apologies and following NATO, instead of leading it, America’s standing in the world has not improved.  The deterioration in our relations with

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