NFL?

A male cheerleader for the NFL?  Well that’s just perfect.  Somebody’s got to cheer the fellas on.  Isn’t that right girls!

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48 Victims

Something tells me that the Afghani who blew himself up, or herself up, at an education center along with 48 other people, well, it’s extremely unlikely that person was a member of the Afghani government or military, nor the U.S. government including its military, nor NATO military.  It’s a safe bet that most, and perhaps all, of the dead were muslims

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Leading victims

“We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.” ~ Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, at an event Wednesday.

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Why we need Trump’s new Space Force

Excellent article which explains why America needs President Trump’s new Space Force, military in space, just as much as we needed and still benefit from President Kennedy’s race to put a man on the moon, and President Reagan’s “Star Wars” (SDI) .   You will be glad you gained the benefit of David P. Goldman’s thoughts.

How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China

Imprimis

David P. Goldman
Columnist, Asia Times


David P. GoldmanDavid P. Goldman is a columnist for Asia Times. He also writes regularly for PJ Media and the Claremont Review of Books and is the classical music critic for Tablet magazine. He has directed research at investment banks and served as a consultant for the National Security Council and the Department of Defense. A senior fellow of the London Institute for Policy Studies, he is the author of How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam Is Dying Too). In 2017, he was a Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism at Hillsdale College.


The following is adapted from a speech delivered on February 21, 2018, in Bonita Springs, Florida, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.

China poses a formidable strategic challenge to America, but we should keep in mind that it is in large part motivated by insecurity and fear. America has inherent strengths that China does not. And the greatest danger to America is not a lack of strength, but complacency.

China is a phenomenon unlike anything in economic history. The average Chinese consumes 17 times more today than in 1987. This is like the difference between driving a car and riding a bicycle or between indoor plumbing and an outhouse. In an incredibly short period of time, this formerly backward country has lifted itself into the very first rank of world economies.

Over the same period, China has moved approximately 600 million people from the countryside to the cities—the equivalent of moving the entire population of Europe from the Ural Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. To accommodate those people, it built the equivalent of a new London, plus a new Berlin, Rome, Glasgow, Helsinki, Naples, and Lyons. And of course, moving people whose ancestors spent millennia in the monotony of traditional village life and bringing them into the industrial world led to an explosion of productivity.

Where does America stand in respect to China? By a measure economists call purchasing power parity, you can buy a lot more with $100 in China than you can in the United States. Adjusted for that measure, the Chinese economy is already bigger than ours. In terms of dollars, our economy is still bigger. But the Chinese are gaining on us, and in the next eight to ten years their economy—unlike the economies of our previous competitors—will catch up.

China, on the other hand, is an empire based on the coercion of unwilling people. Whereas the United States became a great nation populated by people who chose to be part of it, China conquered peoples of different ethnicities and with different languages and has kept them together by force. Whereas our principle is E Pluribus Unum, the Chinese reality is E Pluribus Pluribus with a dictator at the top.

China once covered a relatively small geographic area. It took about 1,500 years for it to reach its current borders in the ninth century. These borders are natural frontiers. China can’t expand over the Himalayas to India, while to its extreme west is desert and to its east is the ocean. So China is not an inherently expansionist power.

Nor is China unified. It has a written system of several thousand characters that takes seven years of elementary education to learn, working four hours a day with an ink brush, ink pot, and paper. Learning these characters well enough to read a school textbook or a newspaper is how the Chinese are socialized. The current generation is the first where the majority of Chinese understand the common language, due to the centralization of the state and the mass media. But the Chinese still speak very different languages. Cantonese and Mandarin are as different as Finnish and French. In Hong Kong, you’ll see two Chinese screaming at each other in broken English because one speaks Mandarin and the other speaks Cantonese and they don’t have a word in common.

China is inherently unstable because all that holds it together is an imperial culture and the tax collector in Beijing. It is like a collection of very powerful, oppositely charged magnets held together by super glue—it looks stable, but it isn’t.

Within the living memory of older Chinese, China underwent an era of national division, warlordism, civil war, starvation, and degradation. The Century of Humiliation, as the Chinese call it—which began with the opium wars in 1848 and ended with the success of the Communist Revolution in 1949—was a century in which civil war claimed untold millions of lives, and the terror of a return to those conditions is a specter that haunts the Chinese leadership.

China, like Russia, responds to its past humiliation by challenging American power. It would be naïve to expect the Chinese or the Russians to be our friends; the best we can hope for is peaceful competition and occasional cooperation in matters of mutual concern. But it is also important to recognize that American policy errors exacerbate their suspicion and distrust. For example, our decision to impose majority rule in Iraq created a Shi’ite sectarian state now allied to Iran, and it left Iraq’s Sunni minority without a state to protect them. This drove the Sunnis into the hands of non-state actors and unintentionally helped al-Qaeda and ISIS. Sunni jihad is a serious security threat to Russia and China, and Russia’s intervention in Syria is, in part, a response to our mistakes.

The Chinese live a double life. If you walk down the street in Beijing, you see people who dress very drably, who show little emotion and do their best not to draw attention to themselves. But if you go to a Chinese wedding or a restaurant where families gather, the same people are loud and bumptious. Their real existence is a family existence. During the Lunar New Year, the Chinese have the largest migration in history—three billion long-distance journeys are undertaken—because all Chinese will travel long distances to be with their family.

Here in the West, we have a concept of rights and privileges that traces back to the Roman Republic—we serve in the army, we pay taxes, and the state has certain obligations in return. There is no such concept in China. Beijing rules by whim. The Chinese do whatever the emperor—or today, the Communist Party—asks, hoping they will be rewarded. But there is no sense of anything deserved. The idea of the state held together by a common interest as in Cicero, or by a common love as in St. Augustine, is unknown in China. The imperial power is looked on as a necessary evil. The Chinese had an emperor for 3,000 years, and when they didn’t have an emperor they killed one another. It’s all very well to lecture the Chinese about the benefits of Western democracy, but most Chinese believe they need the equivalent of an emperor to prevent a reprise of the Century of Humiliation.

From the standpoint of most Chinese, the Communist Party dynasty that took charge in 1949 has brought about a golden age. It’s the first time in Chinese history when no one is afraid of starving to death or of a warlord coming through and raping the women and burning the crops. So for the time being, the regime has a great deal of support, even though it is more comprehensively totalitarian than Hitler or Stalin could have imagined. As deplorable as the regime looks to us, the prospects for transforming China’s way of governance are for now negligible.

China’s Communist Party government is a merciless meritocracy, which is one reason the Chinese have difficulty understanding American politics. If you’re in the Chinese leadership, you made it there by scoring high on a long series of exams, starting at age twelve—which means you haven’t met a stupid person since you were in junior high school. The fact that democracies can frequently advance stupid people—we are entitled to do that if we wish—doesn’t make sense to the Chinese. The one thing President Xi Jinping cannot do is get his child into Peking University unless that child scores high on his exams. Here in America, you can buy your way into Harvard. You can’t do that in China. So while the Chinese Communist Party is not a particularly efficient organization, and is certainly not a moral one, it has a lot of incredibly smart people in it.

Along with ensuring internal stability at all costs, China’s leaders are determined to make China impregnable from the outside. We hardly hear the term South China Sea these days, because that sea has become a Chinese lake. It has become a Chinese lake because the Chinese have made it clear they will go to war over it. There’s a Chinese proverb: “Kill the chicken for the instruction of the monkey.” China has an even greater concern over Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party is terrified that a rebel province like Taiwan can set in motion centrifugal forces that the Party will be unable to control. So the adhesion of Taiwan to the Chinese state—the imperial center—is for the Chinese government an existential matter. They will go to war over it. By demonstrating their willingness to fight over the South China Sea, they are demonstrating that they will fight all the more viciously over Taiwan.

China Graphs

Turning back to our two economies, consider the three graphs above. China does something that Japan, Korea, and other Asian nations do—it massively subsidizes capital investment in heavy industry. From the Chinese standpoint, a steel mill or a semiconductor fabrication plant are public goods—the Chinese look at these things the way we look at highways and airports. And as a result of Chinese subsidies for heavy industry, America has been pushed out of any major capital-intensive manufacturing. Thirty years ago the Japanese were doing this, which is why the Reagan administration took steps to force the Japanese to build car plants in the U.S. But Japan’s economy was very small compared to ours. Because China’s economy is roughly the same size as ours, the impact of Chinese subsidies is huge.

The first graph shows the capital intensity of the companies in the major Chinese stock index (MSCI) versus their return on equity. The more capital-intensive, the higher the return. In the United States, on the other hand, if you look at the S&P 500 on the second graph, the slope is in the other direction. More capital-intensive industries are less profitable. This distortion of global investment by Chinese subsidies for heavy industry has led to a stripping out of capital from American heavy industry. It’s not that Americans prefer financial assets to real assets—it’s that the Chinese have pushed us out. That’s why we’ve lost so much ground in terms of industry.

As the third graph shows, China’s share of high tech exports has risen from about five percent in 1999 to about 25 percent at present, while America’s has plummeted from about 20 percent to about seven percent. That’s not a sustainable situation. What it means in practical terms is that America can’t build a military aircraft without Chinese chips. That’s a national security issue.

China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy, announced by President Xi in 2013, is a plan to dominate industry throughout Eurasia—both by land (belt) and by sea (road).

As a rule, so-called developing economies don’t develop, because 40 percent of the people are outside of the formal economy—they’re in the “underground” economy, mostly in small villages, and they live relatively unproductive lives. What the Chinese have done is to rip out the social structure of village life.

China’s economy is nothing like Japan’s, because Japan wanted to maintain its social structure. The Japanese protected agriculture, small retail, and small business. So in Japan we see a few great companies with global capacity sitting on top of a protected, inefficient economy. In China, which moved the mass of people from the villages to the cities, their equivalent of Amazon—Alibaba—will manage labor back in the villages. The Chinese have broadband everywhere, so as entrepreneurs figure out what villages can make, the villages will work for them.

The Chinese intentionally dismantled their social structure to avoid Japan’s constraints. And what they propose to do with “One Belt, One Road” is repeat that experiment throughout all of Asia—to Sinofy every country from Turkey to Southeast Asia.

A couple years ago, I visited the headquarters of Huawei, China’s telecommunications company—the biggest in the world—which hardly existed a dozen years ago. It has a campus that makes Stanford look like a swamp. Today it has 70 percent of the world market in telecommunications. How did Huawei do that? It cut prices and got massive subsidies from the government. After a three-hour tour, the Chinese sat the Latin Americans I was with down in a little amphitheater and said, “If you turn your economy over to us, we will make you like China. We’ll put in telecommunications. We’ll put in broadband. We’ll bring in e-commerce. We’ll bring in e-finance. You’ll be advanced like we are.” The Latin Americans didn’t take the deal, but the Turks have taken it.

Turkey plans to be a cash-free society in five years. Chinese telecommunications companies are rebuilding the Turkish broadband network. Turkey has given up on the West and is becoming the western economic province of China.

The impact of what China is doing is felt all over the world. Former allies of the U.S., including former NATO members, are orienting towards China. Russia—which has become totally dependent on China—has quadrupled its energy exports to China, providing China with land-based energy imports in case the U.S. tries interfering with seaborne energy traffic.

China has an extensive high-speed rail network, with trains going 200 miles an hour. This has had huge productivity effects, and the Chinese are proposing to build these trains all over Southeast Asia. Thailand, an agricultural country, sees that with high-speed trains built by China, it can become the source of fresh fruits and vegetables for China. So Thailand—which used to be an American ally—is being absorbed into the Chinese economy. And so on.

One of the most dangerous misconceptions Americans have about the Chinese is that they can’t innovate. Who do you think invented gunpowder, the magnetic compass, the clock, and movable type? Yes, China’s culture is much more conformist than ours. And on average, Chinese are less likely than Americans to be innovators. But there are 1.38 billion Chinese, and their research and development (R&D) spending is quickly catching up with ours. They’re producing four times as many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) bachelor’s degrees and twice as many STEM Ph.D.s as the United States. Granted, some of them are of low quality—but many are excellent.

The single most troublesome deficiency we have in the United States is not the industrial base, which is relatively easy to deal with. It is the lack of scientific and engineering education. Six or seven percent of U.S. college students major in engineering. In China that number is 30-40 percent. That’s our biggest problem. Second to that is the fact, already mentioned, that there is a massive distortion of the global economic system caused by Chinese industrial policy.

The Chinese play very dirty. One of the issues raised in the Trump administration’s recent National Security Strategy is forced technology transfer. That is, if Intel wants to get access to the Chinese market—the biggest chip market in the world—China requires Intel to divulge everything it knows. From the standpoint of Intel stock price over the next five to ten years, that’s a pretty good deal. But it is bad from the standpoint of America’s national interest. If the U.S. government prohibits the transfer of technology to China, the Intels and the Texas Instruments of the world will scream, because it will hurt their stock prices. I’m a free trader, but national security sometimes supersedes the free market. This would be such a case.

Virtually all of American investment in R&D today goes to software. This means that we’ve conceded to Asia, and especially China, the actual manufacturing, to the point that—this bears repeating—we can’t put a warplane in the air without Chinese chips.

So what do we do about China? The answer is not to adopt an industrial policy. As Americans, we believe in individual liberty. We are not good at being collectivists. China and Germany have industrial policies. Culturally they can deal with it. We cannot. If we’re going to compete with China, we’ve got to do it the American way. And what we are best at is innovation.

In the 1970s, all the smart people thought Russia was going to win the Cold War. Economists at the CIA and in the universities believed that Russia had a great economy. But by 1989, we realized that the Russian economy was a piece of junk. It actually had a negative worth, because the cost of environmental cleanup exceeded the value of whatever Russia was producing.

What happened in the interim was the greatest wave of industrial innovation in American history. We invented fast, light, small, inexpensive microchips. We invented sensors that didn’t exist before. We invented the semiconductor laser. And we did virtually all of this through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA, in cooperation with the great corporate laboratories.

The U.S. turned the Russian economy into junk by creating an economy that hadn’t existed before. That was the Reagan economy. During this creation, the Fortune 500 lost employment. The monopolies were all ruined. New companies no one ever heard of sprang up to commercialize the new technologies, and corruption declined because we had challengers taking market share away from the entrenched interests.

In 1983, I wrote a memo for the National Security Council arguing that the Strategic Defense Initiative would pay for itself—that the impact of the new technologies we were researching, once they were commercialized, would generate more tax revenue than we’d spent on R&D. When you do R&D, you don’t know the outcome. Manufacturing using CMOS chip technology came about because the Pentagon thought it would be great for fighter pilots to have a weather forecasting module in the cockpit. The semiconductor laser came about because the Pentagon wanted to light up the battlefield during nighttime warfare. These technologies produced unforeseen consequences that rippled in unimaginable ways through our economy.

We have failed to continue this innovation in recent decades. Starting with the Clinton administration, we came to believe we were so powerful that we didn’t have to invest in national defense and new technologies. Investment went into the Internet bubble of the 1990s, as if downloading movies was going to be the economy of the future.

I’m a free marketer. But the one thing markets cannot do is divorce themselves from culture. It is when we have a national security requirement, forcing us to the frontier of physics to develop weapons that are better than those of our rivals, that we get the best kind of innovation. So the government has a role—a critical role—in meeting the Chinese challenge.

If the Chinese are spending tens of billions of dollars to build chip fabrication plants and we come up with a better way of doing it, suddenly they’ll have a hundred billion dollars’ worth of worthless chip manufacturing plants on their hands. But you can’t predict the outcome in advance. You have to make the commitment and take a leap of faith in American ingenuity and science. We can meet the strategic challenge of China, but we have to meet it as Americans in the American way.

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/how-to-meet-the-strategic-challenge-posed-by-china/

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HEY! Congress.

Robert Mueller has been investigating President Trump for more than a year with no results on the actual target of his “special” prosecution. Meanwhile, over 100 newspapers are clearly and openly colluding to reverse the election of the U.S. President.  It’s textbook sedition. Hey Congress, where’s the “special” investigation followed by prosecution of that?  Where is it?  We really don’t care to know Mueller’s estimation of Trump’s underwear size.  Get on with it.

Prosecute all of those involved in spying on the Trump campaign.  Isn’t that what this tragic episode of Trump derangement has taught us?  What we have learned is that the Obama administration was spying on the Trump Campaign, and much more, but that is plenty enough.  RICO Act stuff.  And now they are just trying to cover it up.

If we don’t prosecute them, then we are complicit in their crimes.

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ET. Call home.

We have drilled down to the sub-atomic here on earth. Evidence going any deeper will be unverifiable. Although that deep science work was called “Big Science” and cost billions of dollars, it’s cheap compared to the cost of going to another star. The cost of going safely from here to Mars would be lost and unrecognizable error far below a hundredth of a percent, a rounding error, in the actual cost of going to a star. I mean at the end of the day, actual cost of going to a star, not a computer model of projected cost, is an number so big that we cannot imagine it now. We will learn as we go along. Are you in? Or, do you want to grow some tomatoes?

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…One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all…

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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“Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems?” by Amy Wax

Appropriate for today’s demonstrations against free speech.

Amy Wax
University of Pennsylvania Law School


Amy WaxAmy L. Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she has received the Harvey Levin Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. She has a B.S. from Yale College, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is a former assistant to the United States Solicitor General, and her most recent book is Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century.

 

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/are-we-free-to-discuss-americas-real-problems/

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on December 12, 2017, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

There is a lot of abstract talk these days on American college campuses about free speech and the values of free inquiry, with plenty of lip service being paid to expansive notions of free expression and the marketplace of ideas. What I’ve learned through my recent experience of writing a controversial op-ed is that most of this talk is not worth much. It is only when people are confronted with speech they don’t like that we see whether these abstractions are real to them. 

The op-ed, which I co-authored with Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego Law School, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on August 9 under the title, “Paying the Price for the Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture.” It began by listing some of the ills afflicting American society: 

Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries. 

We then discussed the “cultural script”—a list of behavioral norms—that was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s: 

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime. 

These norms defined a concept of adult responsibility that was, we wrote, “a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.” The fact that the “bourgeois culture” these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s, we argued, largely explains today’s social pathologies—and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies. 

In what became perhaps the most controversial passage, we pointed out that cultures are not equal in terms of preparing people to be productive citizens in a modern technological society, and we gave some examples of cultures less suited to achieve this: 

The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-‘acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants. 

The reactions to this piece raise the question of how unorthodox opinions should be dealt with in academia—and in American society at large.

It is well documented that American universities today, more than ever before, are dominated by academics on the left end of the political spectrum. How should these academics handle opinions that depart, even quite sharply, from their “politically correct” views? The proper response would be to engage in reasoned debate—to attempt to explain, using logic, evidence, facts, and substantive arguments, why those opinions are wrong. This kind of civil discourse is obviously important at law schools like mine, because law schools are dedicated to teaching students how to think about and argue all sides of a question. But academic institutions in general should also be places where people are free to think and reason about important questions that affect our society and our way of life—something not possible in today’s atmosphere of enforced orthodoxy. 

What those of us in academia should certainly not do is engage in unreasoned speech: hurling slurs and epithets, name-calling, vilification, and mindless labeling. Likewise we should not reject the views of others without providing reasoned arguments. Yet these once common standards of practice have been violated repeatedly at my own and at other academic institutions in recent years—and we increasingly see this trend in society as well.  

One might respond, of course, that unreasoned slurs and outright condemnations are also speech and must be defended. My recent experience has caused me to rethink this position. In debating others, we should have higher standards. Of course one has the right to hurl labels like “racist,” “sexist,” and “xenophobic” without good reason—but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Hurling such labels doesn’t enlighten, inform, edify, or educate. Indeed, it undermines these goals by discouraging or stifling dissent.

So what happened after our op-ed was published last August? A raft of letters, statements, and petitions from students and professors at my university and elsewhere condemned the piece as racist, white supremacist, hate speech, heteropatriarchial, xenophobic, etc. There were demands that I be removed from the classroom and from academic committees. None of these demands even purported to address our arguments in any serious or systematic way. 

A response published in the Daily Pennsylvanian, our school newspaper, and signed by five of my Penn Law School colleagues, charged us with the sin of praising the 1950s—a decade when racial discrimination was openly practiced and opportunities for women were limited. I do not agree with the contention that because a past era is marked by benighted attitudes and practices—attitudes and practices we had acknowledged in our op-ed!—it has nothing to teach us. But at least this response attempted to make an argument. 

Not so an open letter published in the Daily Pennsylvanian and signed by 33 of my colleagues. This letter quoted random passages from the op-ed and from a subsequent interview I gave to the school newspaper, condemned both, and categorically rejected all of my views. It then invited students, in effect, to monitor me and to report any “stereotyping and bias” they might experience or perceive. This letter contained no argument, no substance, no reasoning, no explanation whatsoever as to how our op-ed was in error.

We hear a lot of talk about role models—people to be emulated, who set a positive example for students and others. In my view, the 33 professors who signed this letter are anti-role models. To students and citizens alike I say: don’t emulate them in condemning people for their views without providing a reasoned argument. Reject their example. Not only are they failing to teach you the practice of civil discourse—the sine qua non of liberal education and of democracy—they are sending the message that civil discourse is unnecessary. As Jonathan Haidt of NYU wrote on September 2 on his website Heterodox Academy: “Every open letter you sign to condemn a colleague for his or her words brings us closer to a world in which academic disagreements are resolved by social force and political power, not by argumentation and persuasion.”

It is gratifying to note that the reader comments on the open letter were overwhelmingly critical. The letter has “no counterevidence,” one reader wrote, “no rebuttal to [Wax’s] arguments, just an assertion that she’s wrong. . . . This is embarrassing.” Another wrote: “This letter is an exercise in self-righteous virtue-signaling that utterly fails to deal with the argument so cogently presented by Wax and Alexander. . . . Note to parents, if you want your daughter or son to learn to address an argument, do not send them to Penn Law.”

Shortly after the op-ed appeared, I ran into a colleague I hadn’t seen for a while and asked how his summer was going. He said he’d had a terrible summer, and in saying it he looked so serious I thought someone had died. He then explained that the reason his summer had been ruined was my op-ed, and he accused me of attacking and causing damage to the university, the students, and the faculty. One of my left-leaning friends at Yale Law School found this story funny—who would have guessed an op-ed could ruin someone’s summer? But beyond the absurdity, note the choice of words: “attack” and “damage” are words one uses with one’s enemies, not colleagues or fellow citizens. At the very least, they are not words that encourage the expression of unpopular ideas. They reflect a spirit hostile to such ideas—indeed, a spirit that might seek to punish the expression of such ideas. 

I had a similar conversation with a deputy dean. She had been unable to sign the open letter because of her official position, but she defended it as having been necessary. It needed to be written to get my attention, she told me, so that I would rethink what I had written and understand the hurt I had inflicted and the damage I had done, so that I wouldn’t do it again. The message was clear: cease the heresy.

Only half of my colleagues in the law school signed the open letter. One who didn’t sent me a thoughtful and lawyerly email explaining how and why she disagreed with particular points in the op-ed. We had an amicable email exchange, from which I learned a lot—some of her points stick with me—and we remain cordial colleagues. That is how things should work.

Of the 33 who signed the letter, only one came to talk to me about it—and I am grateful for that. About three minutes into our conversation, he admitted that he didn’t categorically reject everything in the op-ed. Bourgeois values aren’t really so bad, he conceded, nor are all cultures equally worthy. Given that those were the main points of the op-ed, I asked him why he had signed the letter. His answer was that he didn’t like my saying, in my interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, that the tendency of global migrants to flock to white European countries indicates the superiority of some cultures. This struck him as “code,” he said, for Nazism. 

Well, let me state for the record that I don’t endorse Nazism! 

Furthermore, the charge that a statement is “code” for something else, or a “dog whistle” of some kind—we frequently hear this charge leveled, even against people who are stating demonstrable facts—is unanswerable. It is like accusing a speaker of causing emotional injury or feelings of marginalization. Using this kind of language, which students have learned to do all too well, is intended to bring discussion and debate to a stop—to silence speech deemed unacceptable. 

As Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, we can make words mean whatever we want them to mean. And who decides what is code for something else or what qualifies as a dog whistle? Those in power, of course—which in academia means the Left. 

My 33 colleagues might have believed they were protecting students from being injured by harmful opinions, but they were doing those students no favors. Students need the opposite of protection from diverse arguments and points of view. They need exposure to them. This exposure will teach them how to think. As John Stuart Mill said, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” 

I have received more than 1,000 emails from around the country in the months since the op-ed was published—mostly supportive, some critical, and for the most part thoughtful and respectful. Many expressed the thought, “You said what we are thinking but are afraid to say”—a sad commentary on the state of civil discourse in our society. Many urged me not to back down, cower, or apologize. And I agree with them that dissenters apologize far too often.

Democracy thrives on talk and debate, and it is not for the faint of heart. I read things every day in the media and hear things every day at my job that I find exasperating and insulting, including falsehoods and half-truths about people who are my friends. Offense and upset go with the territory; they are part and parcel of an open society. We should be teaching our young people to get used to these things, but instead we are teaching them the opposite.

Disliking, avoiding, and shunning people who don’t share our politics is not good for our country. We live together, and we need to solve our problems together. It is also always possible that people we disagree with have something to offer, something to contribute, something to teach us. We ignore this at our peril. As Heather Mac Donald wrote in National Review on August 29: “What if the progressive analysis of inequality is wrong . . . and a cultural analysis is closest to the truth? If confronting the need to change behavior is punishable ‘hate speech,’ then it is hard to see how the country can resolve its social problems.” In other words, we are at risk of being led astray by received opinion.

The American way is to conduct free and open debate in a civil manner. We should return to doing that on our college campuses and in our society at large.

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Illegal aliens are reducing your vote

Each illegal alien is cutting the power of your vote in half. Gerrymandering is happening as a result of illegal immigration and sanctuary policies.

Congressional voting districts are apportioned every 10 years using census data. Census data is based on the total residents in congressional districts. It is NOT based on the number of citizens. Also, the number of electors in the Electoral College is decided by that same apportionment method.

Democrats fight against inclusion of questions in the census about citizenship, immigration status, etc. And they resist voter ID regulations. And they resist employment ID verification like e-verify. And they resist changes to laws and executive orders and bureacracy policies that would stop federal benefits going ilegally to illegal aliens. Those same Democrats support questions about gender identity and race. But they do not want a count of illegal aliens. They are Gerrymandering the vote.

The net result is each citizen is losing their representation in Congress and in presidential elections. Illegal aliens do not need to vote. The power of your vote is reduced whether they vote or not, but further reduced if they do vote illegally.

Politicians want to be seen supporting programs for illegal aliens such as sanctuary jurisdictions in order to attract illegal aliens to their district. A sanctuary state has proportionally more representatives in the U.S. House and more electors in the Electoral College. More representatives and more electors increase the political power of a political party and its leaders and correspondingly reduces the voting power of citizens and non-sanctuary states.

Doing the trivial arithmetic, each illegal alien cuts your vote in half.  And the next illegal alien cuts your vote in half again, and so forth, even if the illegal alien does not vote. (And we know that millions of illegals do vote.) In other words, sanctuary policies are unconstitutionally disrupting the balance of power between citizens and government.

During the Obama administration, SCOTUS ruled against Texas and a Texas voter who challenged this illegal dilution of a citizens vote. Hopefully, that SCOTUS ruling will be reversed by a SCOTUS which decides cases based on orginal construction and meaning of the Constitution.  It should be reversed before the 2020 census.

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A dream?

A question for those philosophers, string-theory physicists, alternate reality psychologists and any experts who theorize realities different from these empirical things we sense with our various senses:

If this is a dream, what would I wake to?

Reference: “The Passions of the Soul”, a treatise by Descartes.

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