Thursday, February 22, 2018

Book Review Dream Hoarders

Book Review Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It by Richard V. Reeves
My reaction to this book was “So what?” and “Tell me something I didn’t know.” Least you think I’m one of those upper middleclass folks who is angry Reeves is going after me and thinks my kids need to do worse so someone else’s kids can do better, let me disabuse you. My background and current status is middle to lower middleclass. My dad was a school teacher who always had a PT job to feed the family. My step-mom worked PT for a dentist. In high school I lived with my grandmother for financial reasons, in a one-bedroom apartment. I slept on a pullout couch in the living room. My wife’s dad was a coal miner. Her mom helped manage the apartment building they lived in. After high school, I joined the Marines and volunteered for Vietnam. I earned a BA and an MEd on the GI bill from state schools. I took the SATs when I was getting out of the Corps, and my scores were in the 99th and 95th percentile, but I couldn’t afford private colleges. I had a 31-year professional career, from which I was forced to retire for a lung transplant in 2013. During the last ten years of my career, my salary rose enough to put me into the top 20% of earners. That allowed us to save enough that we have a comfortable retirement, which will last until we die or the money runs out in 10-12 years. I have never lived in a house that cost more than $150. My wife had two children when we married, now in their 40s. Through an endless series of bad decisions, poor choices and a live-for-today attitude, they are in the bottom 10%, probably lower. Their combined net worth wouldn’t buy a ten-year-old car. We have two grandchildren living nearby in their mom’s $5k trailer to whom we try to provide some enrichment such as dance classes and some guidance, but we cannot afford to send them to college.

So, it may be true that the top 20% are getting richer, and that they help their kids stay in the top 20%. That’s always been true. Reeves states that in 1890, only 10% of kids 14-17 were still in school, the rest were working. Want to bet that the 10% mostly had well-to-do parents?

What matters to me is not how others are doing, but how I and my family are doing. Economics, as the brilliant black economist Dr. Thomas Sowell has noted, is not a zero-sum game, even if Reeves and his fellow progressives think it is. It doesn’t matter if some of the lower 80% get into the top 20%, only how many of them are rising relative to their own circumstances, not relative to the upper middle class.

Reeves solution, as always, is to tax more and throw money at the problem. Never mind that billions have been spent in the “War on Poverty” and poverty seems to be willing. Never mind that billions have been spent on the Head Start Program and that by 6th grade there is no difference between head start students and other students. But, it can’t be touched, it’s the “rice bowl” for tens of thousands of administrators and educators.

What the poor and lower middleclass need are parents that care and the ethics to succeed. Dr. Ben Carson grew up in the projects, with a single, illiterate mother. But she made her boys do a book report every week which she pretended to read. He became the world’s leading pediatric neurosurgeon, though he came from the bottom 10%.

New Drones

Fort Carson’s newest weapon is also its most revolutionary, allowing ground-pounding units to strike targets hundreds of miles behind enemy lines and giving commanders an unprecedented view of enemy movements. -Tailhooker
Fort Carson's new, game-changing drones can strike targets deep behind enemy lines:

FBI Failed

7 Things We Can Do to Prevent Another School Massacre, Without Violating the Second Amendment

7 Things We Can Do to Prevent Another School Massacre, Without Violating the Second Amendment
Personally I'd like to see a reward given to anyone who provides a tip about someone owning an illegal gun, and secondly more states with laws that bring extra penalties for anyone using a gun to commit a crime. Plus really active undercover work to find who's distributing illegal guns, and bust them. But none of that will stop the occasional total nutcase from getting guns legally, as this kid and the Las Vegas shooter did, as the super massacre guy in Norway did. All that can be done there is better work with finding nutcases, making sure they don't have any guns. Encouraging but not forcing teachers to get qualified, trained, and have weapons is the answer I like most, with a policy of not letting anyone know who those teachers are. Just knowing that some teachers are armed and trained will tend to make nutcase killers rethink schools as targets. --Del

In MD we have a 5-year mandatory for illegal possession of a gun.
Care to guess what is the first charge plea bargained away? --BE

Gun Deaths?

30,000 gun related deaths per year
There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. The U.S. population is 324,059,091 as of June 22, 2016. Do the math: 0.000000925% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. Statistically speaking, this is insignificant! What is never told, however, is a breakdown of those 30,000 deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:

• 65% of those deaths are by suicide, which would never be prevented by gun laws.
• 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and justified.
• 17% are through criminal activity, gang and drug related or mentally ill persons – better known as gun violence.
• 3% are accidental discharge deaths.

So technically, “gun violence” is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Now lets look at how those deaths spanned across the nation.

• 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago
• 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore
• 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit
• 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C. (a 54% increase over prior years)

So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.

This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation, or about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some States have much higher rates than others. For example, California had 1,169 and Alabama had 1.

Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California, of course, but understand, it is not guns causing this. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equal, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.

Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths? All death is sad and especially so when it is in the commission of a crime but that is the nature of crime. Robbery, death, rape, assault are all done by criminals. It is ludicrous to think that criminals will obey laws. That is why they are called criminals.

But what about other deaths each year?

• 40,000+ die from a drug overdose–THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT!
• 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths.
• 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities(exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide).

Now it gets good:

• 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical errors. You are safer walking in the worst areas of Chicago than you are when you are in a hospital!
• 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. It’s time to stop the double cheeseburgers!

Mental Health

13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids
The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades.

Escaping from North Korea in search of freedom

Escaping from North Korea in search of freedom | Yeonmi Park | One Young World

Watch the video

Cleveland: Imam admits Muhammad married 9-year-old girl, justifies the marriage



John Kelly


Federal Bureau of Incompetence

White Guilt



So much for the past regime's changes to policing to make it "friendly" to blacks and people of color....Don't live in major cities. Period. --Barb


Cries to 'Ban the AR-15' Based on Ignorance and Hysteria Yet another mass shooting has taken place in America – followed by all too predictable cries to ban the AR-15 rifle. The pure ignorance of the people bleating for a ban on America's most popular rifle is appalling. With few exceptions, most of the calls to ban the AR-15 come from liberal, urban women and metrosexual men whose knowledge of firearms comes entirely from watching Rambo movies or playing "Call of Duty." Even some in professional law enforcement know not of what they speak. A local radio station interviewed a retired FBI agent who stated that he "could not understand" why people would want such a rifle. I've shot service rifle competitions for nearly 20 years and held the classification of "Master" for nearly eleven. I've probably put 20,000 rounds through AR-15 rifles. Though I've never been in the military, I have more familiarity and proficiency with the weapon than most active-duty soldiers. So I think I am as qualified as anybody to dispel the common myths about the AR-15. First, the AR-15 is not a machine-gun or an "assault weapon." The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the M-16, which is a machine gun. However, in Vietnam, the military found that troops with early versions of the M-16 were using fully-automatic "spray and pray" fire – and often failing to hit the enemy. So when the M-16 was redesigned in the early 1980s, its fully automatic rate of fire was reduced to three-shot bursts, forcing troops to actually aim rather than hip-fire. But any fully-automatic fire is simply not Cries to 'Ban the AR-15' Based on Ignorance and Hysteria 2/21/18, 12'19 PM Page 2 of 5 an option for the civilian AR-15. Second, the idea that the AR-15 is some kind of horrifically powerful weapon is absurd. In its most common chambering, the 5.56 NATO, the AR-15 is actually underpowered compared to traditional American battle rifles like the M1873 "Trapdoor" in .45-70 or the M1903 Springfield in .30-06. The AR-15 is a .22-caliber centerfire. When its M-16 counterpart was introduced in Vietnam, it was derided as a "mouse gun" and a "poodle-shooter." Many troops were dismayed when their .30-caliber M-14s were replaced with the new rifle. Indeed, the M-16 and AR-15 rifle suffered a poor reputation for a couple of decades after its introduction in Vietnam, in part because ammunition issued by the Army resulted in malfunctions and jams, causing the deaths of a number of troops during firefights with the Viet Cong. Like most technologies, however, the AR-15 has evolved significantly over time. Its popularity today exists for a number of reasons. The AR platform uses space-age materials, such as forged aluminum and plastic, which make it lightweight, durable, and weather-resistant. Today's AR-15 is reliable, ergonomic, and user-friendly. It's easy to maintain, and unlike traditional wood-stocked rifles, which often require custom fitting, it allows an infinite variety of aftermarket options and configurations without expensive professional gunsmithing. To use an analogy that will be understandable to red-state males (but probably unfamiliar to urban blue-staters), the AR-15 has become the "small-block Chevy" of the shooting world. Barrel assemblies (called "uppers") can be switched out in ten seconds or less, and stocks can be easily customized to fit an individual shooter – such as a small-statured female. Because of its inherent accuracy, the AR-15 has been a boon to target Cries to 'Ban the AR-15' Based on Ignorance and Hysteria 2/21/18, 12'19 PM Page 3 of 5 shooters, and its low recoil has enabled females to rank among the top competitors in the nation. One female competitor scored two perfect "cleans" in the most difficult position – 200-yard standing – at the National Rifle Matches. Such a feat would have been difficult to impossible with a .30- caliber bolt-action, the recoil of which can be literally teeth-rattling. Third, those who contend that "no one goes hunting with an assault rifle" have betrayed the fact that they are probably not hunters themselves, or, if they are hunters, they're decades out of date. The modular nature of the AR15 makes it easily adaptable for a variety of hunts in numerous calibers. Short-barreled AR-15s in .450 Bushmaster or 7.62x39 have become the number-one choice for Southern hog-hunters, while Western prairie doghunters can install a 26" "varmint" barrel in .204 Ruger or .223 Remington for unparalleled long-distance accuracy. And calibers such as .223, .300 Blackout, and 6.8 SPC are perfect for Texas deer or medium-sized eastern whitetails. The AR-15 platform is so ideally suited for hunting that in 2015, Remington, the oldest maker of sporting arms in the U.S., discontinued its inferior 7400/750 series of semi-automatics after sixty years in production. The only semi-autos it manufactures for the hunting market today are AR platforms. (By the way... nobody uses a 30-round magazine to hunt; most states limit capacity to four or five rounds while hunting.) Banning the AR-15 to stop school shooters would be like banning Boeing 757s to stop terrorist attacks after 9/11. You've never heard anyone say, "Nobody needs to fly through the air at 600 mph. Look at how many people died because of those dangerous jetliners!" Would liberal journalists, who advocate repealing the Second Amendment and banning guns, agree to a repeal of the First Amendment and impose a ban on computers, digital cameras, and video cameras because child pornographers use them? I doubt it. Cries to 'Ban the AR-15' Based on Ignorance and Hysteria 2/21/18, 12'19 PM Page 4 of 5 Banning AR-15s is not the answer to school shootings. Neither the Columbine killers nor Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, nor University of Texas shooter Charles Whitman, used AR-15s, and all of them managed to commit terrible crimes. It would have been entirely possible in, say, 1875 to murder 17 schoolchildren with 19th-century technology, such as a brace of Colt revolvers and a Winchester lever-action rifle – or, for that matter, with a broadsword or double-bladed axe. Why didn't it happen then? Probably a couple of reasons. As the Supreme Court ruled in 1892, back then, the U.S. was a Christian nation. It isn't any longer, and today we're dealing with the negative consequences of our 21st-century neo-paganism. And back in 1875, children were not compelled under penalty of law to attend government schools (where self-defense is legally forbidden, ensuring that they will be sitting ducks) until late adolescence. School shootings are absolutely unacceptable. But banning modern firearms is equally unacceptable. Nor would it be effective: Norway's stringent gun control failed to stop Anders Breivik from killing 77 people; France's ban on "assault weapons" didn't stop the Bataclan shooters from killing 130; and Egypt's rifle ban didn't stop the massacre of 305 worshipers at a Sinai mosque last year. Britain's total confiscation of handguns and semi-automatic rifles failed to prevent Derrick Bird from shooting 23 people (12 fatally) with a boltaction .22 in 2010. In Federalist #10, James Madison warned us about the tyranny of the majority, in which a faction "united ... by some common impulse of passion ... adverse to the rights of other citizens" vies for power and control. That is exactly what we are seeing today, with emotionally charged teenagers, skillfully manipulated and amplified by the liberal media, braying for a majority of the public to acquiesce to the abridgment of the gun rights of the Cries to 'Ban the AR-15' Based on Ignorance and Hysteria 2/21/18, 12'19 PM Page 5 of 5 sane and the decent. Sorry, I'm not buying it. And anybody who does is a fool. What we need instead is a cool-headed and sober analysis to find out why so many people, in the prime of life, in the wealthiest and most prosperous society in history, are willing to casually murder scores of strangers – and usually kill themselves in the process. Until we answer that question, massacres are going to continue, with or without AR-15s. So long as they do continue, the rest of us need all the selfprotection – and freedom to defend ourselves – that we can get.

I Bought A Military Rifle At Age Nine. That Was Normal, And There Were No Mass Shootings

I Bought A Military Rifle At Age Nine. That Was Normal, And There Were No Mass Shootings

School Shootings

School Shootings Aren’t Due To Toxic Masculinity, But A Lack Of Masculinity

Murder charge filed against nurse seen laughing on video as WWII vet dies gasping for breath

Murder charge filed against nurse seen laughing on video as WWII vet dies gasping for breath
And people complain about the VA ~Bob

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Israel & Guns

Israel proves the NRA's arguments. In reality, Israel's gun policy is living proof of the arguments the American gun lobby has been making for years.
Interesting.... years ago private gun ownership was difficult in Israel, and antigun groups pointed out that they had no 2nd Amendment rights there, and wasn't that a great example for the USA. But after the increase in knife and other attacks started and grew, the ever pragmatic Israelis adapted, and made gun ownership readily available to citizens, with training, and instituted a program of arming and training teachers in particular. Now a lot of people carry, and more attacks are stopped by armed citizens than by police or military. Somehow the antigun groups that praised Israel in the past for their rules don't seem to have caught up on the current situation. Just too busy to notice, I guess. --Del


The alcoholic drink that’s even better for you than wine. In fact, it's so good for you it's basically medicine (you're welcome!). By Calah Alexander
Excerpt: Delightfully, MSN kicked off 2018 with an article about how whiskey is as good for you as red wine — and in fact, it might actually be better. In a speech at the EuroMedLab conference in 2005, Dr. Jim Swan, who, granted, is a consultant to the drinks industry, reported that whiskey contains more ellagic acid (a free-radical fighting antioxidant) than red wine. “There has been much in the news about the health benefits of antioxidants in red wine. By contrast, very little has been said about malt whisky distillery science,” he said. “However, research has shown that there are even greater health benefits to people who drink single malt whiskies. Why? Single malt whiskies have more ellagic acid than red wine.” Okay, so Dr. Swam’s research might be a little biased. But there are plenty of other studies proving that whiskey is good for everything from curing the common cold to preventing ischemic strokes … and the best news is, whiskey is a good choice for everyone (except children, obviously). Whiskey is known to significantly improve your body’s ability to regulate insulin and glucose, making it the ideal choice for diabetics. It also helps prevent dementia, boosts your immune system, and aids in weight loss. (Scotch drinkers will just say this confirms what they always knew. (But does it apply to Irish whisky too?) --Del. Scotch is spelled "whisky." ~Bob)

Ban guns?

San Francisco

Feces, Needles, and Garbage – Welcome to Nicest Sanctuary City in US
Excerpt: For one of the most liberal cities in the United States, the so-called “sanctuary city” of San Francisco looks and smells like a total pigsty, if not worse....a great lesson in Socialism. (What's happened to the city I loved?.... the city that helped me with my success? It has become a shithole third world country~JB).


The Left Is Reaping the Whirlwind of the Culture They Made
I used to take my target rifle to high school, leave it out in the car in the parking lot. People knew I had it there, nobody thought anything much about it. --Del


Gun Free Schools

Monday, February 19, 2018

The problem


Today is Iwo Jima’s 73rd anniversary – here’s a Marine who was there

How the IDF Is Preparing for Multi-Front War

How the IDF Is Preparing for Multi-Front War

Scroll Down For: The Limits of the Assault Weapons Ban

Scroll Down For: The Limits of the Assault Weapons Ban
Unsurprisingly, advocates of gun control insist that one of the best possible responses to the mass shooting in Florida is to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban that was in effect from September 1994 to September 2004. Those of you with long and accurate memories will recall that the Columbine shootings occurred while the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect, as well as another mass shooting in Atlanta the same year that killed 12. In late 2013, Northeastern University criminologists James Alan Fox and Monica J. DeLateur wrote a detailed study that irked a lot of advocates on both sides by using data to dispel a lot of popular theories about mass shooters, from the danger of video games to the value of mental health treatment to the effectiveness of security measures in schools. Among their conclusions: “a comparison of the incidence of mass shootings during the 10-year window when the assault weapon ban was in force against the time periods before implementation and after expiration shows that the legislation had virtually no effect, at least in terms of murder in an extreme form.” Mother Jones calculated that of the 143 weapons used in mass shootings from 1982 to 2012, 48 would be banned under the revised version of the Assault Weapons Ban proposed in 2013. That’s about a third. It is worth recalling that some of the most infamous mass shooters of recent years used just handguns: the Virginia Tech shooter, the Umpqua Community College shooter, the Charleston church shooter, the 2014 Isla Vista shooter.

If Your Voters were Persuaded by Bad Russian Ads, They Were Never Your Voters by Jim Geraghty

If Your Voters were Persuaded by Bad Russian Ads, They Were Never Your Voters by Jim Geraghty
Excerpt: The New York Times looks at Russia’s propaganda efforts and offers an unflattering assessment of how easily Americans could be influenced by foreigners posing as out-of-town activists: Heart of Texas and Blacktivist were phony groups, part of a sweeping Russian disinformation campaign that was funded with millions of dollars and carried out by 80 people operating out of St. Petersburg, Russia. The Russian attempt at long-distance choreography was playing out in many cities across the United States. Facebook has disclosed that about 130 rallies were promoted by 13 of the Russian pages, which reached 126 million Americans with provocative content on race, guns, immigration and other volatile issues. The Russian efforts were pretty devious, planning rallies for and against a particular perspective in the same time and place and hoping the two groups would confront each other. The Heart of Texas group had more success with a Houston rally to “Stop the Islamization of Texas,” which provoked an angry confrontation in May 2016. United Muslims of America, another Russian creation, called its own rally to “Save Islamic Knowledge” for the same time and place, outside the Islamic Da’wah Center. (if you get most of your news from "Social Media and/or you don't bother to check the sources, you are an idiot. In the original sense of the Greek word. ~Bob)

Worth watching: A Scandinavian Paradise

Worth watching: A Scandinavian Paradise

Then & now

Superbowl 13 years ago. How the country has changed--not for the better. US National Anthem by the Academy Choirs

Victor D Hanson Explains The Complete Corruption of the Obama Administration helped Sabotage Hillary

Victor D Hanson Explains The Complete Corruption of the Obama Administration helped Sabotage Hillary

Muslim cleric says Allah has gathered the Jews in Israel to make it easier to “annihilate” them

Muslim cleric says Allah has gathered the Jews in Israel to make it easier to “annihilate” them
Excerpt: Imagine the international uproar of a cleric of any other faith spoke from the pulpit about annihilating Muslims or any other group. But this will get no notice in the establishment media, unless it becomes necessary to explain Ahmad al-Rawashdeh’s words away and compel the Infidels to go back to sleep. This recalls the notorious genocidal hadith: “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim 6985)

Free Speech

Mueller Worked with Lerner to Target Tea Party. By Daniel John Sobieski

Mueller Worked with Lerner to Target Tea Party. By Daniel John Sobieski
OK, I always try to be fair and openminded, and recognize the possibility that someone who's acted one way in the past might act differently now. That Mueller's investigation has wound up with indicting a bunch of Russians and has found zero ties to Trump people for "colluding", indicates that he has tried to do an objective job this time. Kudos for that, and of course now the Left doesn't like him anymore. It's good to be reminded of the facts of blatant persecution of conservative organizations, and the history of what happened to Engelbrecht should impress the hell out of anyone. It was a focused campaign of shocking misuse of power that can't be denied. But that doesn't mean that Mueller really played a part in it personally. That the evidence has become so clear of a whole raft of highly motivated leftists in various federal agencies who do not hesitate to abuse their positions is a tragedy for all of us. We should be able to have confidence in the professionalism of those in these jobs, but now that's been badly shaken. Let's hope it gets a lot better, and soon. --Del

All-gender bathrooms coming to every Madison public school

All-gender bathrooms coming to every Madison public school
Excerpt: Every Madison School District building soon will have at least one easily accessible, single-stall, public bathroom open to students of all genders under a district-wide project now nearing completion, district officials said.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

RAB arrests two JMB militants, thwarts plan to kill converted Christians

RAB arrests two JMB militants, thwarts plan to kill converted Christians
Excerpt: Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested two members of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Dhaka, one of whom was planning to murder Muslims who converted to Christianity.

Sex assault

Doctor ‘sexually assaulted five patients complaining of ear pain, sore throats and a high temperature in 10 days by pressing his groin against their bodies'
Excerpt: A doctor sexually assaulted five female patients over a 10-day period, including a woman who was groped after complaining of a high temperature, a court has heard. Dr Amirul Haque, aged 33, is alleged to have ignored chaperone guidelines while also targeting patients being assessed for ear pain, a sore throat, and an eye problem.


Film zooms in on 8-year-old amputee from Gaza living in an Israeli hospital
In contrast the "Palestinians" consider every Israeli, children included, a soldier, whether in Israel or abroad, and therefore deserving of being murdered. --Larry Greenburg

Here's why the Third World stays the Third World

Here's why the Third World stays the Third World

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Time for a Saturday afternoon rant.

Time for a Saturday afternoon rant.
People are shouting for something to be done about mass shootings in schools. I am too. Somebody’s gotta do something! It’s a natural emotional reaction borne of frustration, heartbreak, and anger. Somebody’s gotta do something. But I don’t hear many people actually coming up with anything that’s going to matter, anything that’s going to make a difference that’s grounded in something even close to reality.
Ban guns? Repeal the 2nd amendment? Really? The population of the United States is more than 320,000,000, and there are over 300,000,000 guns. Probably 98% of them are owned by law abiding citizens who are never going to shoot anyone, except in self defense maybe. Probably 2 % are in the hands of criminals, gangs, and other miscreants, some of whom might harbor dreams of shooting school children, and a few who will actually do it. Or at least try.
So what to do? Schools are one of the few places that are totally unprotected. There are even signs posted that they are 'gun free zones'. That means they are free fire zones.and it's safe to show up and start shooting.
Well, my solution would be to have metal detectors and armed guards at all school entrances. The guards could be retired and off duty police officers, and retired military veterans who would do it for free. I would volunteer! The only real expense would be the cost of the metal detectors.
So set budget priorities. What should take priority over the lives of school children?
Would that prevent all mass shooting? Maybe not, but I bet it would stop 99% of them. Keep the federal government out of it though, that's the surest way to screw things up. Let local governments handle it.
Okay, rant over. Larry W.

We All Live on Campus Now By Andrew Sullivan

We All Live on Campus Now By Andrew Sullivan
Excerpt: And, sure enough, the whole concept of an individual who exists apart from group identity is slipping from the discourse. The idea of individual merit — as opposed to various forms of unearned “privilege” — is increasingly suspect. The Enlightenment principles that formed the bedrock of the American experiment — untrammeled free speech, due process, individual (rather than group) rights — are now routinely understood as mere masks for “white male” power, code words for the oppression of women and nonwhites. Any differences in outcome for various groups must always be a function of “hate,” rather than a function of nature or choice or freedom or individual agency. And anyone who questions these assertions is obviously a white supremacist himself. Polarization has made this worse — because on the left, moderation now seems like a surrender to white nationalism, and because on the right, white identity politics has overwhelmed moderate conservatism. And Trump plays a critical role. His crude, bigoted version of identity politics seems to require an equal and opposite reaction. And I completely understand this impulse. Living in this period is to experience a daily, even hourly, psychological hazing from the bigot-in-chief. And when this white straight man revels in his torment of those unlike him — and does so with utter impunity among his supporters — there’s a huge temptation to respond in kind. A president who has long treated women, in his words, “like shit,” and bragged about it, is enough to provoke rage in any decent person. But anger is rarely a good frame of mind to pursue the imperatives of reason, let alone to defend the norms of liberal democracy.

The Week's Editor’s letter

The Week's Editor’s letter
I’m old enough to remember when Republicans cared about deficits. But then again, so is my toddler. The GOP came to power in the last election in part by promising to end fiscal recklessness in Washington. Once in control, however, they’ve embraced the kind of freewheeling spending they would have excoriated the Democrats for just a few years ago. (See Controversy.) If it feels hypocritical, that’s because it is. So is the Republicans’ collective shrug over the fact that dozens of White House aides don’t have security clearances, given all those “Lock her up!” chants over Hillary Clinton’s sloppy handling of classified information. But Republicans have no monopoly on hypocrisy. Democrats fighting Trump’s proposed immigration reforms happily championed at least some of them under President Obama. And if you are waiting for Democratic leaders to condemn the payoffs and favor-buying that landed their colleague Sen. Robert Menendez on trial for corruption, you’re going to be waiting for a long time. Hypocrisy in politics is nothing new. But public acceptance of it is. In our hyperpartisan atmosphere, we’re increasingly willing to grant “our side” a pass, lest we give aid and comfort to the enemy. Social scientists have noted that Democrats and Republicans tend to flip-flop on certain issues depending on whether their party is in power. That helps explain why fiscal hawks now excuse major increases in the national debt, or why Democrats did a 180 on government surveillance when Obama moved into the White House. Believing “it’s only bad when the other guys do it” is one of the canary-in-the-coal-mine signs that authors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt identify in their new book, How Democracies Die. “If one thing is clear from studying breakdowns throughout history,” they write, “it’s that extreme polarization can kill democracies.” When there are no principles and norms that everyone can agree on, and anything goes in the struggle for power, we’re headed for trouble. --Carolyn O’Hara, Managing editor

More Questions Surface About Shadowy Public Finance Authority

More Questions Surface About Shadowy Public Finance Authority


WHO’S FIGHTING WHOM IN SYRIA? Iranian-sponsored militias clash with the Turkish army. By Joseph Puder
Can't tell the players without a scorecard. Syria has the potential to be the next flashpoint in the world. Too many aggressive players who are not amenable to restraint. Yours truly, Larry Greenberg

Kill the convert

Excerpt: “They threatened to kill me, and had God not protected me, they would have succeeded.” The “they” in *Abdul’s story are not Islamic jihadist group Boko Haram that terrorizes Christians and churches in West Africa, fiercely attempting to eradicate Christianity. “They” are Abdul’s family. When Abdul left his tribal religion of Islam and committed his life to Christ in 2000, his Muslim family felt and acted like he had just pointed a challenging dagger straight at them. Abdul’s family (part of the ethnic Kotoko group spread over Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria) always took pride in the fact that they were one of the few tribes in their region of Cameroon with no known Christians.