The Second Debate; Education; Lack of air supremacy; and other matters

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.

James Burnham

Rudolph Giuliani: Trump is right about ‘stop and frisk.’ Lester Holt should apologize

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.



We continue to struggle up to normal here, and we’re making progress. Goy a fair amount of work on fiction done. And thanks for the subscriptions, support, and renewals.


The debate went as expected. Whoever won and who lost is not relevant; those watching saw that a very famous politician has not been able to do anything for 30 years, and those who think we are worse off both at home and abroad now than we were 8 years ago were invited to think about that. The Obama Presidency spent more money than any other President, doubled the national debt, and few people are actually working than they were before. Unemployment may be down, but that’s because of the narrow definition of unemployed. The work force is down. There may be an underground economy keeping us afloat, the way the off the books economy kept the Soviet Union going, but that’s a dangerous game that the Obama government will put a stop to – after they raise the minimum wage, forcing ever more people into the underground economy.

One reason Obamacare is in a financial crisis is that employers don’t have the money to pay for the compulsory health care, forcing more and more workers either to pay rising premiums or search for government subsidies – which are paid for with borrowed money. Obamacare is an entitlement and entitlements must be paid for.



Education in America

With respect to Mr. Jordan’s recent report of the PIACC assessment of adult skills, the situation is, if anything, even worse for the vaunted tech-savvy American millennials ages 16-24, including those with college degrees, as this article by the American Educational Testing Service summarizing earlier PIACC data indicates:
Given the regression to twitter and texting in their communications, it’s no surprise that half of these millennials scored below Level 3 on literacy and numeracy, which is considered the minimum international standard for functional literacy and numeracy. The millennials were also well below the average of OECD countries on problem solving with digital technology, and the younger cohorts among these ranked dead last.
This is the culmination of a trend of deterioration in our schools that began in 1964 with the Johnson Administrations “Great Society” programs and has progressed ever since. The SATs that have been used since the early 1950s as perhaps the principal basis for admission to the selective colleges have had to be dumbed down twice since that time, not just to accommodate the expanded population taking the test as the conventional wisdom has it, but also because the percentages of 17 year old Americans scoring at the elite levels on the SAT Verbal declined by over 60% by 1994 (the time of the first SAT dumbing down). SAT Math scores didn’t decline as much over that period, and because the STEM subjects were taken more seriously, the progressive high school STEM curriculum was largely jettisoned and standards tightened up, with the result that SAT Math score bounced back to somewhat above the original 1963 baseline – though it appears from the various educational assessments that they have resumed their decline since.
The other international comparison study for schools is the PISA assessment. Even though the taxpayers in this country are soaked to pay more than 30% more per pupil than the average of the OECD developed countries, our schools rank dead last, 23 out of 23 in educational results in the most recent international PISA assessments:
For example, the unscientific leftist true believers in the thoroughly discredited AGW hypothesis (now renamed “climate change” as an equivocation), are a perfect match for the unscientific rightist true believers in Creationism, and both are indicative of the scientific and mathematical illiteracy of the vast majority of Americans (American 15 year olds ranked 28th in the world in the 2012 PISA assessment of scientific literacy). I don’t mean to imply with these examples that any of the sweeping versions of these theories (the AGW hypothesis, creationism, evolutionism, whether in its classic Darwinian form, or in any of the other far more sophisticated versions that have emerged over the last 100+ years, can be considered scientific hypotheses in the first place, because none of them are subject to clear definition, let alone falsification. Rather, it’s the fact that few Americans, and only a minority of those with science degrees, are even equipped by their education to understand what a scientific hypothesis is, and why it is different from any other assertion of truth.
Then there is the sheer ignorance of most Americans of the basics of the various sciences. Richard Dawkins, in an appendix to his anti-creationism book, The Greatest Show on Earth (2009), reported the results of a poll question presented to various populations annual by the Gallup organization (the %s marking each choice are shown in parentheses):
Which of the following questions comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?
(1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process. (36%)
(2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process. (14%)
(3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. (44%)
The sheer scientific illiteracy indicated by the plurality choice tracks with the results of the PISA assessment.
Then there is the US National NAEP assessment. According to the most recent (2015) NAEP statistics only 37% of high school seniors were proficient in reading at that level, and only 25% were proficient in math.
The intellectual development of most people, and the corresponding plasticity of their brains, comes to an end by age 25, though a tiny minority of people have during their developmental period learned how to learn, and managed to preserve their intellectual curiosity into adulthood. For virtually all societies, though, the only way new more effective modes of thought can possibly emerge is through generational changeover. Thus, thanks to two generations of dumbed down education (starting from a not very impressive level to begin with) cum brainwashing in the government madrassahs, the US is stuck with the population it has, and it would take 10-20 years to begin to make any improvements to the intellectual capabilities of our young people, even if we could immediately jettison the present system and return to the school standards that you and I grew up with.
Glenn Seaborg was right in his 1983 comment that what had been done to our educational system by then was tantamount to an act of war, and now we are a defeated and failing people. You say don’t sell the American people short, but the American people you are referring to are now in their 60s and beyond, and I don’t see them manning the battlements, rejuvenating American industry, or radically revamping American government in their declining years.
John B. Robb
P.S. There are any number of other indexes of the failure of American society over the last many decades. For example, I remember in one of the last National Review theme issues a year or two after Reagan stepped down as president (about the end of the Buckley era when I ended my subscription of some 30 years) undertook to refute the proposition that the 1980s had been a “decade of greed” – a charge that seems quaint in light of subsequent developments. Studies had shown that there was significant socioeconomic mobility among the five quintiles of American society, with rags to riches to rags being a non uncommon pattern. A recent international study of socioeconomic mobility commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trust (and featured in this month’s Hillsdale College Imprimis piece, Restoring America’s Economic Mobility, by Frank Buckley) found that as of today, the US is nearly as stratified a society as the UK. According to an index of economic mobility in which high numbers represent extremes of stratification, while low numbers denote high mobility, the UK was scored at .50, the US at .47, compared with France at .41, Germany .32, Australia .26, Canada .19, and Denmark .15.
When the US ranks below all the European semi-socialist welfare states, and far below our neighbor to the north, in the very social characteristic that was once the most definitive characteristic of America, and the idea of America, you know that something is seriously wrong. Canada today also ranks much higher than the US in measures of economic and personal freedom, and of course has an immigration policy that works, since it’s the same one that we had before the 1965 Ted Kennedy “reform” bill that replaced selectivity for skills with family reunification as the main immigration criterion: Canada allows in only immigrants with work skills and deports illegals.===

Our education system is failing. We clearly do not have a working policy at the federal level. No one has one, We once had a splendid educational system; we left it to the states, they competed, and we had real education without Federal Aid to Education. None. I realize that many of you do not know, but before Sputnik we had no US Department of Education and no Federal aid to education. At a Federal level we funded the District of Columbia and some schools on ,military bases for military dependents. They were pretty good schools, but they competed for military dependents with the local state schools in some areas. The debate over Federal Aid was long and involved and not all that long ago. We tried it, and got union controlled schools, credentialism, workshops, and other embellishments, and went from the best schools in the world to the present mess.

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983


breaking out the long johns for another cold war

Dr. Pournelle,
This epic failure belongs completely at the feet of the current administration and both current and former Secretaries of State:
If you’ll remember, president elect Obama traveled to Russia to talk disarmament with Putin, Secretary Clinton repeatedly discussed nukes with Russia, and Secretary Kerry, at the off (as the British might say) threatened Putin with the irresponsible, uncreditable, and impossible forward deployment of fighter-borne nukes to Eastern Europe if Russia didn’t get out of East Ukraine.
As stated previously, the U.S. is not in a position to play games with nukes. We couldn’t reconstitute our cold war strategic force if we had to, and without a better strategy than MAD, we shouldn’t. If this little legacy of Obama’s doesn’t represent “high crimes” as a cause for impeachment, then sheer incompetence should.

We do not have nuclear superiority and the splendid high morale force that was SAC has been disbanded. We cannot impose no-fly zones in Syria if the Soviets don’t want them; we do not have air supremacy, and we don’t have an Army over there. The days when the US could order the Soviet Union to abandon Tehran ended years ago.

Walter Lippmann observed that diplomatic demands were like a check; they had to be drawn on a reserve of military ability. We can’t write larger checks against the Russians in the Middle East. But we do have Obamacare and other entitlements.


Thought this might have a place on your blog somewhere.

There Is No Room For Hyphenated Americanism Theodore Roosevelt Address to the Knights of Columbus New York City- October 12th, 1915 “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all.”

“This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.”

“But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.”

“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic.”

“The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.”


Immigration without assimilation is invasion.


America’s ‘quiet catastrophe’: Millions of idle men – The Washington Post

After 88 consecutive months of the economic expansion that began in June 2009, a smaller percentage of American males in the prime working years (ages 25 to 54) are working than were working near the end of the Great Depression in 1940, when the unemployment rate was above 14 percent. If the labor-force participation rate were as high today as it was as recently as 2000, nearly 10 million more Americans would have jobs.

The work rate for adult men has plunged 13 percentage points in a half-century. This “work deficit” of “Great Depression-scale underutilization” of male potential workers is the subject of Nicholas Eberstadt’s new monograph “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis,” which explores the economic and moral causes and consequences of this: 

Since 1948, the proportion of men 20 and older without paid work has more than doubled, to almost 32 percent. This “eerie and radical transformation” — men creating an “alternative lifestyle to the age-old male quest for a paying job” — is largely voluntary. Men who have chosen to not seek work are two-and-a-half times more numerous than men who government statistics count as unemployed because they are seeking jobs.

John Harlow



The sea ice is gone – NOT


As I repeatedly say, we just don’t know the climate future; we do know it has been doth warmer and colder in historical times. Probably in Viking times the Arctic was nearly ice free and there was a Northwest Passage. We don’t know about in Roman Warm times.


Subject: r.e. Petronius’ Election Data Point

Dear Jerry,

I’ve encountered the same lack of local organization here in Florida.  Nevertheless my wife and I have been encouraging people to register (this ends October 11 here in Florida) and turn out.   Our interest in The Donald lies solely in the fact that he was the only candidate this year willing to address both trade and immigration.

The Donald’s lack of ground game is reasonably well known now.   This leads into the real reason he’ll lose, if he does lose which seems very possible.   This link has the most significant article of this election in my opinion.

“Here’s a scary stat for Democrats: In 2012, President Obama won re-election by almost 5 million votes, but about 47 million eligible white voters without a college degree — including 24 million men — didn’t bother to vote. In 2016, these nonvoters are part of the demographic that is most strongly in favor of Donald Trump.”

“If Trump rouses even a fraction of these notoriously disaffected Americans — like this grease-smudged, 61-year-old first-time voter in western Pennsylvania — he could surge to victory. There’s just one catch: If we’re on the cusp of a blue-collar Great Awakening, it’s not yet showing up in the registration data.”

These disaffected white people are why John McCain and Mitt Romney lost.  But I don’t see any rationale reason they should have turned out at all for these individuals or anyone else in the GOPe.  All the GOPe ‘ers ever do – at the behest of their Donor Class masters – is work to send their higher paying industrial jobs overseas and also displace them with immigrants in the minimum wage service jobs left over. 

Why the GOPe doesn’t want to mobilize these people is evident, at least to me.  After mobilizing to elect Donald Trump they would certainly primary Paul Ryan and the entire Koch Bros network out of existence in 2018.  As for the Bush and Romney families, they might as well move to Mexico and try reviving their political fortunes there.  Once mobilized these people would prove to be a dynamic, dangerous and uncontrollable political force.  At least not controllable by the Donor Class, their bought GOPe poltroons and their contentless CON ideology.

Think about the Missing 47 Million the next time the New York Times, the Bush Family and the rest of the GOPe come around with their Unlimited Immigration/Unlimited Trade manure and the need for Latino Outreach and cave-in on immigration, etc.

Now why Trump also refused to attempt to mobilize these 47 Million can fuel some interesting speculations.  He certainly had abundant time and opportunity since June 2015 to build a massively entrenched local organization.  But he clearly chose not to do so.

Best Wishes,


I would not say that Mr. Trump refused to mobilize those voters, but I am not privy to his strategic decisions.




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.



Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.