Archive for the ‘indoctrination’ Category

College Degree? Great. What Can You DO?

August 23, 2012

Any pug can go to college, but don’t bet on impressing employers unless you can do something they need.

As a college-educated retiree, I can tell you that a four-year college degree is not now, and for decades has not been, a reliable path to high-paying employment.

The scandal of tuition inflation (fueled in part by government subsidies) is only compounded by the lack of capacity for independent research and analytical thinking a typical graduate has when the cap and gown get tossed into the closet, and the grad gets tossed into the job market.

(To be fair, most of them enter college without those skills, or with those skills seriously underdeveloped, because their K-12 public education has concentrated on sociopolitical indoctrination at the expense of basic skills — reading, writing, math, reasoning and research.)

The rapid pace of change in Information Technology, and its pervasive effect at every level of everyday life, certainly changing the way business is done, means that a specific skill set that is in demand halfway through a college student’s four-year education track, and which may influence his choice of major, may well be obsolete by the time that same student graduates.

In fact, a technology in high demand when this year’s crop of freshmen graduate from college in 2017, may not even have a name, now, much less a defined curriculum that makes a grad attractive to a prospective employer. How many incoming freshmen in the fall of 2007 thought they should be learning how to write smart phone apps?

While the four-year graduate is still flying a touch-screen cash register for Apu, at the Springfield Kwik-E-Mart, living in Mom’s basement, and wondering where the money to pay his hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans is coming from, his more-adaptive contemporary, a student who left college in his sophomore year — or even with high-school diploma — has entered the job market with the ability to adapt as the job market changes, and to TEACH HIMSELF new skills ,as well as to absorb new developments in his existing skills.

By the time the “dropout” is a successful entrepreneur, or well up the ladder in a thriving business, the college grad will just be showing up on his doorstep, asking for an entry-level job, and not bringing much to recommend him. And, his student loan payments will still be due.

While he works nights in Apu’s emporium, he will need to struggle through some shady online college, incurring even more student loan debt,  and hope that he can use those skills before they go obsolete, to make better money, someday.

“So, you’ve got a BA in Poly Sci, with a minor in Women’s Lit? Great. Set me up for $30 on Pump 4, will ya? Is that coffee fresh?”

Kwik-E-Mart

“So, college grad, huh? Hang up that cap and gown, and get me some coffee.” (Photo Courtesy of The Simpsons at Wikipedia — Thanks, Apu!)

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A Kinder, Gentler Martial Law

May 29, 2012
A kindler, gentler martial Law

GOP senators have appealed to President Obama to soften the impact of martial law imposed before the national election.

Republican Senators Offer Alternative Plan for Martial Law

(Washington, October 29th, 2012)

In the wake of President Obama’s declaration of martial law last week, just weeks before the 2012 general election, moderate Senate Republicans have proposed some alternatives to the President’s executive orders authorizing indefinite detention without trial and civil asset forfeiture.

The measures were described as “draconian” by former talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has not been heard from in several days. Senate Republicans Olympia Snow, John  McCain and minority leader Mitch McConnell came forward today with what they call “a reasonable alternative” to the emergency measures. They say they have met with Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin to negotiate the release on recognizance of several Republican senators, congressmen, and state governors, all of whom had been “very critical” of the emergency measures.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell spoke for the group:

“In this time of crisis, we must reach across the aisle to our colleagues and come to some sort of compromise on these executive orders. While we appreciate the urgency and severity of the situation that faces the President, we believe it is possible to deal with our unfortunate circumstances with a more moderate, measured approach.”

“We propose to allow those thousands of Americans being held incommunicado and without legal representation or charges being filed, to be released on their own recognizance from the detention camps around the country, after signing an agreement not to participate in political activity.

“They should be allowed to return to their homes, if they have not been demolished or re-assigned to needy immigrant families. They should wear a GPS-enabled house arrest ankle bracelet and keep authorities advised of their whereabouts at all times.

“Of course, we would expect the President’s National Stability Police Force to continue to hold anyone who is a real security threat, but we expect that such detainees would be tried and convicted or released within a reasonable period.”

Saying they were trying to reach missing Congressional colleagues to get a consensus in support of the compromise, McConnell expects to be allowed to meet with the President’s chief of staff to present the proposal “within the next few weeks.”

RINOs — Always Ready to Surrender

July 24, 2011

This way to Prison Camp. "Not just for the summer anymore!" http://federalprisoncamptour.com/

Republican Senators Offer Alternative Plan for Martial Law

Washington, October 29th, 2012

In the wake of President Obama’s declaration of martial law last week, just weeks before the 2012 general election, moderate Senate Republicans have proposed some alternatives to the President’s executive orders authorizing indefinite detention without trial and civil asset forfeiture.

The measures were described as “draconian” by former talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has not been heard from in several days. Senate Republicans Olympia Snow, John McCain and minority leader Mitch McConnell came forward today with what they call “a reasonable alternative” to the emergency measures. They say they have met with Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin to negotiate the release on recognizance of several Republican senators, congressmen, and state governors, all of whom had been “very critical” of the emergency measures.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell spoke for the group:

“In this time of crisis, we must reach across the aisle to our colleagues and come to some sort of compromise on these executive orders. While we appreciate the urgency and severity of the situation that faces the President, we believe it is possible to deal with our unfortunate circumstances with a more moderate, measured approach.”

“We propose to allow those thousands of Americans being held incommunicado and without legal representation or charges being filed, to be released on their own recognizance from the detention camps around the country, after signing an agreement not to participate in political activity. They should be allowed to return to their homes, if they have not been demolished or re-assigned to needy immigrant families. They should wear a GPS-enabled house arrest ankle bracelet and keep authorities apprised of their whereabouts at all times.

“Of course, we would expect the President’s National Stability Police Force to continue to hold anyone who is a real security threat, but we expect that such detainees would be tried and convicted or released within a reasonable period.”

Saying they were trying to reach missing Congressional colleagues to get a consensus in support of the compromise, McConnell expects to be allowed to meet with the President’s chief of staff to present the proposal “within the next few weeks.”

{Note — like my “euthanasia letter” of a while back, I started this out as satire, but, as in that letter,  the events described are not nearly as fanciful or funny as most of us wish they were. The best I can manage is a strong sense of irony. From irony to irons, you might say. — TC}

AndersonVille POW Camp -- Mass Grave

We've done it before -- Andersonville POW Camp, circa 1864 -- Mass Grave http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/11andersonville/11visual3.htm

A Jury of Peers; A Jury of Idiots

July 7, 2011
Caylee

Rest in Peace, Caylee Anthony

Why do “juries of our peers” render idiotic verdicts? Because they are our peers.

Is anyone surprised that a jury of Casey Anthony’s peers acquitted her of murder? 

I confess, I didn’t follow the case. There were approximately 16,272 murders reported in the USA in 2008

I would like to know what caused the media (especially CNN, apparently), to focus on this particular tragedy. However, the explanation for this obsessive focus is a topic for another day. What matters to me is the flash of outrage I’ve seen on the Web against the verdict.

Really, why is anyone surprised? Why was anyone surprised that O. J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman?

Did any of us honestly expect that the quality of juries would have improved since then? Why? Have our peers gotten smarter over the last sixteen years? Hardly.

The dismal and deliberate failure of the public education monopoly was bound to result in the failure of any system that relies on the integrity, discernment and decency of the individual, for that system to function properly.

We saw in ’08 what it did to the electoral system, and now, not for the first time, we are seeing the toxic effect of institutionalized ignorance on the principle of “a jury of one’s peers.” This failure is nothing but more evidence of the success of Cultural Marxism.

How did the “public education monopoly” get so bad, despite the billions of local, state and federal tax dollars that have been spent on it? Because it was meant to fail. Cultural Marxism has as its goal the destruction of American society, so the former United States of America can be turned into a socialist utopia, and, eventually, into a communist dictatorship. This goal outlasted the Soviet Union, showing us how patient and dedicated the Cultural Marxists are.

One of the pillars of the Cultural Marxists’ plan, along with co-opting religion, the family, feminism, the arts and the media, is the dumbing-down of Americans. By removing the study of substantive subjects from the curriculum, and substituting political indoctrination, aggressive sexualization, and discrediting parental authority, Cultural Marxists, working through university teacher certification programs and teacher unions, have been largely successful.

A jury of one’s peers, these days, includes a lot of people who never were taught the classic “Three Rs,” or rigorous analytical thought. In other words, they were deprived of the ability to reason and reach conclusions based on facts they could find on their own.

Why? Because, as Forrest Gump was wont to say, “stupid is as stupid does,” and stupid people are more easily manipulated than skeptical thinkers who are capable of finding out the truth on their own. In other words, they are reliant on government and media to understand and deal with their world. In other words, they are ready-made Democrat voters and government dependents.

When you randomly select twelve of these products of public education to serve on a jury, you are likely to get people who can’t think for themselves, and will believe whatever emotional manipulation, lies and half-truths they heard last, most often, and loudest.

You are likely to get the OJ and Anthony verdicts. You are likely to get a majority of voters who are persuaded to support “Hope and Change,” because the words are nice, and because they mean whatever voters want them to mean. You are likely to get big audiences for “reality” television and sensational criminal trials. You are not likely to get people who will turn off their televisions and ask their children, “You learned WHAT in school today?!

Rest in peace, Caylee Anthony.

LAUNCELOT
Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son
may, but at the length truth will out.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene II


Show Me Your Criminal’s License!

January 18, 2011

Would it have helped if he had a license?

It was inevitable.

Mindless, reflexive calls for the abridgment of the Second Amend rights of law-abiding Americans arise like dandelions in spring, right after a high-profile shooting. It’s time to get uncivil (that means, “honest”) and call these proposals what they are.

They are fraudulent, unconstitutional efforts to limit the possession of firearms to government-approved persons, and to disarm citizens. While most of these proposed laws will make it more difficult to own or carry a handgun legally, they will do nothing to limit the use of handguns in the commission of crimes. The gun-control fetishists  know this, and it doesn’t matter to them. Making the lawful possession of firearms by citizens impossible is exactly what they intend.

Here’s my counter-proposal to these useless measures.

Let’s license violent criminals. Any criminal must obtain a picture ID from the federal government that certifies he (or she, or “other” —  let’s be inclusive) is a government-licensed criminal.

Before committing any violent crime involving a firearm, the criminal must present a valid Criminal’s License to the intended victim. Failure to do so would subject the criminal (if caught, if prosecuted, and if convicted) to severe penalties, such as denial of all but basic cable service while in prison.

Skeptics will heap scorn on my proposal.

They will call it naive.

Why would a violent criminal go to the trouble to obtain a license to commit crimes, when he (or she, or “other,” of course) is completely capable of committing crimes without it? Why would a criminal intentionally incriminate himself (or herself) by applying to the government for a license to commit crimes?

Why would any criminal, even a complete idiot, tip his (or her) hand to his intended victim(s) by presenting his (or her)criminal credentials before his attack?

I submit that any criminal stupid enough to abide by burdensome gun laws is stupid enough to apply for a criminal’s license. Law-abiding people will not commit crimes, because they are — well — non-criminals.

A restriction on the Second Amendment has nothing to do with “fighting crime,” and everything to do with depriving non-criminals of the right of self-defense, which is neither granted by, nor can be revoked by, government.

What happens when the federal government decides to quit pussyfooting around, and makes any private citizen without government connections a criminal, simply because he or she owns a (formerly) legal firearm? Why, all the local law enforcement agency has to do is print out a list of gun owners, and send the SWAT team out to knock on your door.

If you don’t answer your door, and let the troops walk off with your firearms, they can kill you, put your spouse in prison, condemn your house and auction it off, and put your children in (“gun-free”) foster homes.

Why? Because you’re a criminal. And, an unlicensed criminal, to boot.

The panting opportunists and jackals who want to capitalize on the Arizona massacre to curtail our rights are contemptible.

They should be scorned and defeated at every opportunity.

Socialism, the Perpetual Money Machine

November 11, 2010
Fludd's Perpetual Motion Machine (Wikipedia)

Fludd’s Perpetual Motion machine, circa 1600, courtesy of Wikipedia

Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, whether they might operate indefinitely or not.

There is undisputed scientific consensus that perpetual motion would violate either the first law of thermodynamics, the second law of thermodynamics, or both. Machines which comply with both laws of thermodynamics but access energy from obscure sources are sometimes referred to as perpetual motion machines, although they do not meet the standard criteria for the name.

Despite the fact that successful perpetual motion devices are physically impossible in terms of our current understanding of the laws of physics, the pursuit of perpetual motion remains popular.”

WIKIPEDIA

Yes, it does. Several inventors claim to have developed machines that take a small amount of energy input, and put out a much larger amount of energy, usually in the form of electricity. None of these inventions has resulted in a marketable product that has been shown to work.

Of course, the fundamentals of conventional physics don’t allow for more energy to be produced by a closed system than is put into it, period. Grumpy and intractable physical limitations like entropy and friction keep perpetual motion in the realm of fantasy, wishful thinking and investment scams. Barring the discovery of utterly new physical principles, perpetual motion remains in that realm. Energy and mass are conserved. All of the energy in the universe eventually degenerates to heat.

Most people understand that, at least intuitively, if not intellectually. Of course, there are enough credulous customers to draw scammers and opportunists to the smell of money. After all, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Why then, do so many people accept without question the existence of  a perpetual money machine, also known as socialism? Too many of the people who know better than to believe there is a way to something for nothing from a perpetual motion machine, willingly accept that government can somehow produce wealth without consuming wealth — a perpetual money machine.

Yes, taxpayers furnish the energy input to government’s machinery, but there is only so much taxpayers’ money. When government pays out more than it collects, debt ensues.

Margaret Thatcher painted a neat bulls eye on the fundamental flaw of the perpetual money machine when she was describing in an interview the damage a socialist government in Britain had done to the economy:

Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people. — (Thames TV Interview, February 5, 1976. Emphasis added)

Does this ring a bell with anybody?

When the taxpayers are paying all they can, many modern governments just keep on paying it out, and damn the debt torpedoes. When it becomes difficult to borrow money from individuals, organizations and other countries, some governments just invent money out of thin air, or try to. They fire up a perpetual money machine.

Our government has just issued bonds (borrowing from lenders with the promise of repayment with interest), and then issued “money” to buy those bonds back from the lenders. The “money” is “money” in quotation marks, because it has no inherent value, like gold or land, and it is only worth what the government can convince people it is worth.

It is also referred to as “fiat money,” not because it can only be used to buy one brand of Italian car (whose name has been said to be an acronym for, “Fix It Again, Tony!”), but because “fiat” is Latin for, “Let it be done.”

When a government issues a fiat, questioning its validity draws the same answer a child may get from its parent, in lieu of a rational explanation:

“Because I said so!”

Parents sometimes exercise such autocratic power over their children, when there is not time for a rational explanation, or when they assume that the child needs to believe the parental pronouncement regardless of the child’s capacity to understand the explanation. Autocratic governments often exercise the same sort of authority over their subjects – uh, citizens.

“This dollar will buy you a loaf of bread, because the government said so.”

When individuals issue “money” to pay debts, it’s called “counterfeiting,” and it is regarded as a crime, because… because… only governments are allowed to issue worthless money. The whole sum of money in circulation is reduced in value because of the loss of faith in its value. Faith is all that supports the value of fiat money.

Counterfeiting, in other words, is a government monopoly.

Sooner or later, the worthless money becomes recognized as such, and it no longer will buy anything, or anything much. Where a “dollar” used to buy a loaf of bread, inflated “dollars” will only buy a slice. When potential sellers of goods and services realize that money is, in fact, “fiat money,” hyperinflation may result, and a wheel barrow full of dollars may only buy breadcrumbs, if anything at all.

People holding a lot of “fiat money” in cash may find the best use of it is to burn it to keep warm.

This has happened in modern times, in places like the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe

50-million mark Bank Note, Weimar Republic (Wikipedia)

The problem with “perpetual money machines,” socialist governments that hand out monetary favors to favored constituents without regard to where the money will come from, is a law as intractable and grumpy as entropy and friction – the law of scarcity.

Scarcity is a sophisticated name for a simple truth, which is what all natural laws are, at heart. That simple truth is: There is a greater demand for some things among humans than there is a supply of those things.

Rather than strive to understand the implications of this truth, politicians, as Thomas Sowell has said much more eloquently (and with far greater street cred), here, and, in a second installment, here, prefer to hide behind the elements of fiction that have driven public interest in drama for centuries: heroes, villains and victims.

Discussing scarcity requires an attention span and an understanding of logic that following reality television does not. Politicians are competing for an audience with “Dancing with the Stars” and the Comedy Channel, and they know that emotion and contrived drama trump rational analysis every time.

Politicians set up “big oil” as a villain, for example, casting people at the pump as victims, and themselves as heroes, with their congressional committee rooms as the backdrop. By calling oil company executives on the carpet before their committees, the politicians can compete among themselves for face time on television with stupid questions and self-important speeches, interrupting and drowning out potentially rational replies from the oil executives.

The perpetual money machine keeps cranking out dollars, passing them to favored constituents. The debt keeps rising, as do the prices of gas and groceries. Politicians keep on casting themselves as heroes, while the victims go from bad to worse.

Meanwhile, the inefficiency of government, as measured by the small fraction of each tax dollar supposedly aimed at solving problem X that actually gets to problem X, is as stubborn an impediment to the efficiency of the perpetual money machine as is friction to Fludd’s perpetual motion machine. Regulatory bureaucrats, campaign finance committees, favored contractors and unions all peel off their take before the money arrives at the people, pavement or endangered species it is supposed to be helping.

Meanwhile, the diminishing value of each dollar from the perpetual money machine is a tax on everyone who earns, saves or spends that money.

Retirees are caught in a vise. The value of their pension dollars shrinks, as the prices of the things they must buy continue to rise.

Minimum-wage employees find themselves unable to afford the gas to get them to their minimum-wage jobs, making government unemployment “compensation” more attractive, even though the money behind that “compensation” is cranked out by the same machine, with the same, ultimate cost to the unemployed and to everyone else.

The “rich,” those who have enough money left over after they pay for the essentials of life to be willing to put that left-over money to work making more money, become uneasy with the diminishing value of their wealth. They pull back the ‘extra” money, and put it where they think its value will drop as slowly as possible, so as to have more of it left when the prices of essentials rise even more. The “rich” include small business owners, and these “rich” people employ about 70% of all employed Americans. Employees the “rich” suddenly find they cannot afford, are laid off. New employees they might have hired, remain unemployed.

Crank that perpetual money machine up! There is more “money” needed to pay the unemployment benefits of those who are laid off or not hired as a result of the decreased value of fiat money. More, less-valuable money hits the street, and the value of all the money in circulation drops. Inflation continues. Economic friction continues to convert the “money” cranked out by the perpetual money machine into wasted heat.

Am I way off-base, here, to think socialism is no more sustainable than a perpetual motion machine? I don’t think so. Both are fictions based in the ignorance of the public as to immutable laws, and neither has ever worked, nor will ever work.

Perpetual motion machine scams may cause fools and their money to be parted, but socialism is a stepping stone to economic disaster.

Governments that run perpetual motion machines either fall and are replaced with fiscally conservative leadership, or they degenerate into dictatorships, like those in the last century, that were responsible for the murder and enslavement of hundreds of millions of people.

History, like immutable laws, is a dispassionate, but brutally honest teacher. Socialism, the perpetual money machine, is a scam and an inevitable, costly failure.

“They always run out of other peoples’ money.”

Zimbabwe Z$100 Trillion

$100 Trillion Dollar Bill, Zimbabwe (Courtesy Wikipedia)