Category Archives: Education

The Life Of Julia

Part of the overwhelming feeling of relief after the election was that it offered an opportunity to escape from it, something that I had feared was lost, and would have been under continued Democrat rule:

In a state in which central planners call the shots, we are less and less free to choose. Individual enterprise becomes desperately unrewarding, or even illegal. Freedom fades, and bureaucratic dictates supplant the information and incentives that are part of free markets. Economic growth declines, and people fight over access to the favors of the state elite and their bureaucratic retinue, the overlords who decide who gets what slice of the shrinking vegetarian meatloaf.

That’s the real life of Julia, the direction in which the country has been heading for too many years now, while Obama has scolded Americans that whatever they earn, or achieve, or invent, belongs — cradle-to-grave — to someone else: “You didn’t build that.”

To watch America in recent years spiraling down into the life of Julia has been excruciating. This is a country made great not by conquest, or constraints, or cross-subsidies, but by freedom and free enterprise. Long before the welfare state offered free amenities (courtesy of American taxpayers), it was freedom that drew people to America, and fueled the melting pot — the real form of “inclusivity” — once they arrived. Our true iconic figures — if you plumb the American spirit — are not Julia and Pajama Boy, but sharpshooter Annie Oakley and that out-sized folklore lumberjack of the Western frontier, Paul Bunyan. This is the country that led the way to victory in World War II, and during the Cold War stood — and in some places fought — as a bulwark of freedom.

And here’s what the real Life of Julia would be under government “care.”

And a reminder: if you want to know what “single payer” health care would like like, you need look no further than the VA:

Nearly 600 veterans could have been infected with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C at a Veterans Affairs facility in Tomah, Wis. because a dentist didn’t properly clean his instruments.

The Tomah VA is investigating the dentist, who has not been fired but was removed from patient care.

No accountability.

Millennials’ Political Views

don’t make any sense:

Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They’re for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they’ve heard of. They’d like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn’t run anything.

Hardly surprising, considering that they were “educated” in a government-school system, and then went to colleges infested with mindless leftist professors. And I hate that the pollsters say they’re more “liberal” than older people. No, they’re more leftist.

Che

I know what I’m going to get my college-age niece for Christmas.

Che Is A Douche Shirt

[Update a couple minutes later]

Fidel Castro dies, Justin Troudeau hardest hit:

And so, from far-off Antananarivo, Madagascar, where he was attending the 80-government gathering of La Francophonie, Trudeau’s lament for the last of the Cold War dictators ended up confirming every wicked caricature of his own vacuity and every lampoon of the Trudeau government’s foreign-policy lack of seriousness.

Twitter lit up with hilarious mockeries under the hashtag #trudeaueulogies. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wanted to know whether Trudeau’s statement came from a parody account. The impeccably liberal Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic magazine, called Trudeau’s praise of Castro “a sad statement for the leader of a democracy to make.”

Whether or not Trudeau saw any of this coming, he didn’t appear to notice that he was delivering a speech to La Francophonie delegates in Madagascar that emphasized justice for lesbian, gay and transgender people, while from the other side of his mouth he was praising the legacy of a caudillo who spent the first decade of his rule rounding up gay people for “re-education” in labour camps. Homosexuals were irredeemably bourgeois maricones and agents of imperialism, Castro once explained.

To be perfectly fair, Trudeau did allow that Castro was a “controversial figure,” and nothing in his remarks was as explicit as the minor classic in the genre of dictator-worship that his brother Alexandre composed for the Toronto Star 10 years ago. Alexandre described Castro as “something of a superman. . . an expert on genetics, on automobile combustion engines, on stock markets. On everything.” As for the Cuban people: “They do occasionally complain, often as an adolescent might complain about a too strict and demanding father.”

This kind of Disco Generation stupidity about Castro has been commonplace in establishment circles in Canada since Pierre’s time, and neither Alexandre’s gringo-splaining nor Justin’s aptitude for eulogy are sufficient to gloss over the many things Cubans have every right to complain about.

….For all the parochial Canadian susceptibility to the propaganda myth that pits a shabby-bearded rebel in olive fatigues against the imperialist American hegemon, by the time he died on Friday night Castro was one of the richest men in Latin America. Ten years ago, when he was handing the presidency to Raúl, Forbes magazine calculated that Fidel’s personal wealth was already nearly a billion dollars.

In his twilight years, Castro was enjoying himself at his gaudy 30-hectare Punto Cero estate in Havana’s suburban Jaimanitas district, or occasionally retreating to his private yacht, or to his beachside house in Cayo Piedra, or to his house at La Caleta del Rosario with its private marina, or to his duck-hunting chalet at La Deseada.

Fidel Castro was not merely the “controversial figure” of Justin Trudeau’s encomium. He was first and foremost a traitor to the Cuban revolution. On that count alone, Castro’s death should not be mourned. It should be celebrated, loudly and happily.

Indeed. I’ve found the Trudeau worship even more ridiculous than the adulation of the God Obama. I’d be profoundly embarrassed to be a Canadian.

Political Ignorance

It’s time to start taking it seriously:

You don’t have to be a libertarian skeptic about government to worry about political ignorance. Indeed, the greater the role you want democratic government to play in society, the more you have reason to worry about the quality of voter decision-making. The more powerful the state is, the greater the harm it can cause if ignorant voters entrust that power to the wrong hands. Here too, the rise of Trump is a warning we should take seriously. He is not the first or (most likely) the last demagogue of his kind.

I have long argued that we can best alleviate the dangers of political ignorance by limiting and decentralizing the power of government, and enabling people to make more decisions by “voting with their feet” rather than at the ballot box. Foot voters deciding where they want to live or making choices in the private sector have much stronger incentives to become well-informed than ballot box voters do. There is much we can do to enhance opportunities for foot voting, particularly among the poor and disadvantaged. Limiting and decentralizing government power could also reduce the enormous scope and complexity of the modern state, which make it virtually impossible for voters to keep track of more than a small fraction of its activities.

But I am open to considering a variety of other possible strategies for addressing the problem, including voter education initiatives, and “sortition,” directly incentivizing citizens to increase their knowledge, among others. Perhaps the best approach to is a combination of different measures, not relying on some one silver bullet.

A large part of the problem is the public-education system (and academia), which is doing a terrible job of explaining civics (and history), because the Left finds an ignorant populace not only convenient, but essential.

Viewpoint Diversity On Campus

Heterodox U has put together a guide. My alma mater in Ann Arbor doesn’t fare well, but at least it’s not Missouri or Oregon. Keep it in mind both in sending your kid there, or hiring.

[Late-morning update]

Related: Are colleges making our young men sick? Despite all the blather about “rape culture,” the real war on campus is against them. And it starts in public schools, before they even get there.

The Childishness Sweeping America

Thoughts from Bob Zimmerman:

The worst aspect of all these stories is how this childish intolerant behavior is becoming increasingly violent and aggressive. Unfortunately, our society does not seem to know how to stop it, and thus I expect it to only grow worse in the coming years, no matter who wins this coming election.

Like related things, it won’t end well.