Reading List

I thought Townhall had some interesting columns recently:

Dick Morris on the 14% approval rating of Congress:

The results are hardly surprising when you look at how little the House and Senate actually work, their minimal accomplishments and their generosity to themselves and their families. They have not been able to pass important legislation on minimum wage, immigration reform, or anything else of importance. Instead, they spend their time raising money for themselves, bickering and passing bills to change the names of courthouses and post offices, commending winning sports teams, and suggesting that the flag be flown on Father's Day. These are their weighty concerns.
Star Parker on "Sicko." On Michael Moore:

Is he a social commentator? A man who lives to reform?

No, this is an entrepreneur from the far political left with a business model that is serving him very well. The usual left wing Hollywood con artist, who talks socialism and gets rich off capitalism.

Moore's films are to social commentary what pornography is to human relations.

Find vulnerabilities and hot buttons, stimulate, provoke, exploit and sell tickets.

I've had a chance to see "Sicko" because I was on a TV panel that hosted Moore as part of his promotion campaign.

The film, which cost $9 million to produce, and likely will generate nine figure revenues, is out of the usual mold. It pitches socialized medicine by cherry picking stories that allegedly testify to the success of the government-run systems in Great Britain, France, Canada, and even Cuba, and then finds horror stories to show how bad things are in the U.S.

Mike Adams on sociologists:

But, recently, a respected political science journal published a study asserting that there really is no liberal hegemony in American higher education. The study says there is also a recent trend towards greater political moderation among professors at American universities. Why does the study contradict what Horowitz has been saying? The answer is simple: It relies on a survey of the professors’ subjective evaluations of their political leanings relative to others, rather than objective data regarding their partisan political affiliations. (“I’m not really an extremist. In fact, I feel that I’m middle of the road. Just ask me and I’ll tell you!”).

When the study of the subjective feelings of American professors was published a Democrat in the Political Science Department forwarded it to a Democrat in the Sociology Department. The Democrat/Sociologist then forwarded it to another Democrat/Sociologist. (But he wasn’t engaging in political discrimination because there are no Republicans in the Department of Sociology to whom he could forward it in order to ensure a more balanced critique of the study).

Next, one of the Democrat/Sociologists forwarded the study to a Marxist/Sociologist who sent it around to the whole Department. Then, a Democrat/Sociologist hit “reply all” in order to tell the whole department that he agreed with the results of the study, which claimed that there is no liberal hegemony in American higher education. That’s when the soon-to-be-retired Democrat/Sociologist Gary Faulkner responded.

Faulkner’s response was very simple. He said that there was nothing like “the cool hand of the empiricist” to quiet the “ravings” of the “ranters.” It is not surprising
that Faulkner dismisses people like David Horowitz and Mike Adams as “ranters” for asserting that there is a leftist bias in higher education. This is because, a) Sociologists are a well below the professorial average in IQ – that is, if you buy into the use of objective indicators - and, b) those below the average in workplace IQ are prone to resort to name-calling when their culturally acquired beliefs are challenged.

Paul Jacob on "The Two Americas":

There is the vibrant America . . . and the stagnant one.

There is the America of ever-increasing wealth, innovation, creativity, of a dynamic economy, new jobs, new products and services. Choices galore. Information overload. The abundant work product of freedom.

And there is the politician's America: The regulated America, the subsidized America, the earmarked America. The failing America.

In one America it is what you produce that gets you ahead. In the other it's who you know. In one America, to earmark some money means setting aside funds (into savings) for a purchase — a car, house, college.

In the other America, to earmark is to grab from taxpayers to give to cronies. It is the highest rite of career politicians: buying their votes with other people's money. Oh, there have been reforms, sure. But a recent bill in the House contained 32,000 earmark requests.


Anonymous said...

RE: Mike Adams ~ "It relies on a survey of the professors’ subjective evaluations of their political leanings relative to others, rather than objective data regarding their partisan political affiliations. (“I’m not really an extremist. In fact, I feel that I’m middle of the road. Just ask me and I’ll tell you!”)."

That is the attitude I am hearing from too many in power from Helena to Great Falls. And it has been that way for years.

RE: Dick Morris article "It's true that Aspen does not lobby, but it does develop public policy initiatives on a wide range of issues and even has a special conference for legislative staff. So, it definitely has a point of view"

Another reason to look at who surrounds, then influences policy decisions for a candidate/elected official.

Anonymous said...

Source: Newt Gingrich, To Renew America, p. 7,33-34

Culture of irresponsibility began in 1965

We must reassert and renew American civilization. From the arrival of English-speaking colonists in 1607 until 1965, there was one continuous civilization built around a set of commonly accepted legal and cultural principles. From the Jamestown colony and the Pilgrims, through de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, up to Norman Rockwell’s paintings of the 1940s and 1950s, there was a clear sense of what it meant to be an American. Our civilization is based on a spiritual and moral dimension. It emphasizes personal responsibility as much as individual rights. Since 1965, however, there has been a calculated effort by cultural elites to discredit this civilization and replace it with a culture of irresponsibility that is incompatible with American freedoms as we have known them. Our first task is to return to teaching Americans about America and teaching immigrants how to become Americans. Until we re-establish a legitimate moral-cultural standard, our civilization is at risk.
Source: To Renew America, p. 7

Our civilization is a shared opportunity to pursue happiness

We have gone from being a strong, self-reliant, vigorous society to a pessimistic one that celebrates soreheads and losers jealous of others’ successes. I came out of my two years of reviewing American history convinced that our first need is to rediscover the values we have lost. In my reading, I found five basic principles that I believe form the heart of our civilization:

1. The common understanding we share about who we are and how we came to be
2. The ethic of individual responsibility
3. The spirit of entrepreneurial free enterprise
4. The spirit of invention and discovery Pragmatism and the concern for craft and excellence.

We stand on the shoulders of Western European civilization, but we are far more futuristic, more populist, and more inclusive. American civilization is not merely a subset of Western Europe’s. We have drawn people and cultures from across the planet and integrated them into an extraordinary shared opportunity to pursue happiness.
Source: To Renew America, p. 33-34

GeeGuy said...

Um, that's only 4.

Anonymous said...

5. Pragmatism and the concern for craft and excellence.

Sorry 'bout that...