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FEBRUARY 20,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

HE'S BACK – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:  Former President Trump will be a keynote speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., a spokesman for the organization confirmed to The Post on Saturday.  Trump is expected to speak on Sunday, Feb 28, the last day of the conference.  Trump has regularly spoken at the annual event during his presidency, but his participation amid the change in administration was uncertain.  The annual conference, which is usually held in Maryland has been moved to the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida this year to escape coronavirus lockdowns.  The event will run from Thursday, Feb 25 to Sunday Feb. 28.  Of course, it will be a major political event.  You may be sure that CNN is already writing its negative reviews.  I hope Trump is tough but elevating.  He should show America what a real leader sounds like.  He should act as if he's running for president again, in the best possible way.

SOMETIMES JUSTICE IS DONE – FROM DAILY MAIL:   Every member of a school board in Northern California resigned on Friday after a video revealed they mocked parents during a virtual public meeting about reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   Lisa Brizendine, president of the Oakley Union Elementary School District, resigned with members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito and Richie Masadas, Fox News reported.  Schools Superintendent Greg Hetrick described the comments as 'truly inappropriate' and issued an apology on Thursday.  'Last night at the Oakley Union Elementary School District Regular Board Meeting there were unfortunate and truly inappropriate comments made that were heard by many. These comments are not typical and more importantly they are not what the community should expect from our school district,' he said.  'The comments made were not in alignment with our Vision and are definitely not what any of us stand for as leaders.'   Some school boards around the country have been among the most reckless institutions in their communities.  We too often get the wrong people on school boards – political activists who rarely have children's interests in mind, but believe themselves to be superior to the people in their neighborhoods.  School boards have been among the most effective weapons of leftist infiltration into the educational system.  Sometimes they're your good neighbors.  Sometimes they're your bad neighbors.

February 20, 2021       Permalink

 

TRAIN WRECK – OVERNIGHT:  The post below explores the wokism that is driving America apart, and driving it downward.  And our downward spiral goes far beyond that.  Our new president, in office for a month today, has brought in the stars from the age of Barack to make things even worse.  From the sharp mind of Michael Goodwin at the New York Post: 

As winners never fail to remind losers, elections have consequences. But rarely is there a  single day where consequences pack as much wallop as Friday, where the irrationality of Joe Biden’s policies came into full view.

From the border with Mexico, where the new administration started opening the doors to at least 25,000 migrants seeking asylum, to the Mideast tinderbox, where it moved to rejoin the misbegotten Iran nuke deal, the new president appears fixated by the desire to turn back the clock to 2016.

It’s as if Biden has been seized by a sentimental longing to try to make the world like it was when the Obama-Biden administration left office. Unfortunately, “The Way We Were” is a nice song but not much of a guide to the future.

Still, trying to recapture the past would be reasonable if those years had created prosperity at home and peace abroad. In fact, the world Donald Trump inherited was bristling with trouble and America’s economy was moving forward at a snail’s pace.

Despite revisionist efforts by the media and the left to erase the achievements of the president they hated, Trump had major policy successes that benefited all Americans. It’s especially unnerving, then, that Biden is choosing to reverse the very policies that produced those benefits.

Trump Derangement Syndrome leads people to do weird things, but Biden’s attempt to cancel Trump’s biggest victories is among the weirdest.

The migrant admittances, through a border crossing in San Diego, came after Biden scrapped his predecessor’s policy of having asylum-seekers wait in Mexico. The “Remain in Mexico” program was an effective solution to the endless stream of caravans of Central Americans that moved north to escape violence and find work in a booming US.

The Obama-Biden policy had been to admit the asylum applicants and turn them loose pending hearings. Naturally, many never showed up because they knew they could not qualify as refugees from persecution. But their ability to stay here illegally served as an incentive for others to follow.
Instead of building on the program that reduced mass migrations, Biden returned to the broken system Trump had fixed. Biden also pledges not to build another foot of border wall and pause nearly all ­deportations for 100 days.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  We are in trouble, and the trouble is just starting.  Every move Biden makes is a move backward.  "Destroy Trump!" seems the only battle cry of this new administration.  The shock may well come when the economy starts to falter and our European "allies" turn to China, not to the United States.  The woke left will love it.  We hope that enough Americans will turn toward the Republican Party to stop the madness.

February 20, 2021       Permalink

 

A BRILLIANT INDICTMENT – AT 11:36 P.M. ET:  Sometimes there comes a piece so strong that it defines the full nature of an issue.  We've noticed a dramatic number of those pieces recently, and all on one side – the fight against the new McCarthyism of the woke crowd.  Is it a coincidence, or our our allies waking up themselves and finally fighting back against what is happening to our country? 

Bari Weiss, who resigned from The New York Times in protest against the racialized, hard-left hostility that she encountered, runs a website.  She is featuring a brave woman at Smith College, a bastion of the feminist establishment, who has risked her financial existence to speak out against the horror in her midst. Please send this around to others.  From Bari Weiss: 

We all know that something morally grotesque is swallowing liberal America. Almost no one wants to risk talking about it out loud.

Every day I get phone calls from anxious Americans complaining about an ideology that wants to pull all of us into the past.

I get calls from parents telling me about the damaging things being taught in schools: so-called antiracist programs that urge children to obsess on the color of their skin.

I get calls from people working in corporate America forced to go to trainings in which they learn that they carry collective, race-based guilt — or benefit from collective, race-based virtue.

I get calls from young people just launching their careers telling me that they feel they have no choice but to profess fealty to this ideology in order to keep their jobs.

Almost no one who calls me is willing to go public. And I understand why. To go public with what’s happening is to risk their jobs and their reputations.

But the hour is very late. It calls for courage. And courage has come in the form of a woman named Jodi Shaw.

Jodi Shaw was, until this afternoon, a staffer at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She made $45,000 a year — less than the yearly tuition at the school.

She is a divorced mother of two children. She is a lifelong liberal and an alumna of the college. And she has had a front-row seat to the illiberal, neo-racist ideology masquerading as progress.

In October 2020, after Shaw felt that she had exhausted all her internal options, she posted a video on YouTube, blowing the whistle on, what she says, is an atmosphere of racial discrimination at the school.

“I ask that Smith College stop reducing my personhood to a racial category. Stop telling me what I must think and feel about myself,” she said. “Stop presuming to know who I am or what my culture is based upon my skin color. Stop asking me to project stereotypes and assumptions onto others based on their skin color.”

Watch the whole thing here:

Now today, she is resigning from the college.

In doing that — and in speaking out — she is turning down a settlement that would have given her a much easier way out. We need more people like her.

Here’s how Shaw put it in her resignation letter to Smith College President Kathleen McCartney, which she sent to me to publish in full:

Dear President McCartney:

I am writing to notify you that effective today, I am resigning from my position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life at Smith College. This has not been an easy decision, as I now face a deeply uncertain future. As a divorced mother of two, the economic uncertainty brought about by this resignation will impact my children as well. But I have no choice.

The racially hostile environment that the college has subjected me to for the past two and a half years has left me physically and mentally debilitated. I can no longer work in this environment, nor can I remain silent about a matter so central to basic human dignity and freedom.

I graduated from Smith College in 1993. Those four years were among the best in my life. Naturally, I was over the moon when, years later, I had the opportunity to join Smith as a staff member. I loved my job and I loved being back at Smith.

But the climate — and my place at the college — changed dramatically when, in July 2018, the culture war arrived at our campus when a student accused a white staff member of calling campus security on her because of racial bias. The student, who is black, shared her account of this incident widely on social media, drawing a lot of attention to the college.

Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating “systemic racism” on campus.
In spite of an independent investigation into the incident that found no evidence of racial bias, the college ramped up its initiatives aimed at dismantling the supposed racism that pervades the campus. This only served to support the now prevailing narrative that the incident had been racially motivated and that Smith staff are racist.

Allowing this narrative to dominate has had a profound impact on the Smith community and on me personally.

COMMENT:  I ask you to read the whole thing, and watch the YouTube video.  I hope you'll be seeing more heroism like this, but I wonder if it will be shut down by the social networks.

Eric Hoffer, the so-called "longshoreman philosopher" of the 1950s, once wrote that all causes become businesses, and then they become rackets.  We are at the racket stage of wokism, a strange blend of racial politics and know-nothingism.  In better times, the American press would be raising its voice in protest against this grotesque and damaging development.  These are not better times.

February 20, 2021       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 19,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

PETTY, PETTY, PETTY – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:  Skaters arriving at Central Park’s two ice rinks are in for a cold awakening next week — the rinks, which are both managed by the Trump Organization, are being shuttered by City Hall to punish the former president for the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, The Post has learned.  The Trump Organization says its last day of operating the iconic Wollman Rink and the smaller Lasker Rink at the park’s northern end will be Sunday.  The rink contracts had been set to expire in April, but Mayor de Blasio has moved to ice Trump out a month early, effective Feb. 26.  The Trump Organization is closing its doors after close of business on Sunday, so it will have time to pack up its belongings — including some 1,700 pairs of ice skates — and move out.  The city is terminating all four of its Trump Organization concession contracts.  “Trump has been impeached from operating the ice rink,” a de Blasio spokesman had said Jan. 31 in announcing the concession terminations for Wollman Rink, along with Lasker Rink, the Central Park Carousel and Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.   Who cares about what's good for the children?  The party line must come first.  New York City is in rapid decline, and this kind of petty thinking is one of the causes.

February 19, 2021       Permalink

 

SOME CREATIVE THINKING – OVERNIGHT:   It is no secret to readers that we take a very dim view of the quality of American higher education.  Much of the mediocrity and anti-Americanism that we see in our colleges is actually financed, or at least partially financed, by taxpayer funds, as well as the savings of students' families.   Can those funds be used as an effective lever for reform?  Maybe so.  Ideas are being put forward.  From College Fix:   

“When enough parents and students decide that colleges are no longer worth it, campuses will start to fail.”

So said John Ellis, chairman of the California Association of Scholars and distinguished professor emeritus of German literature at UC Santa Cruz.

“The most useful thing that critics of higher education can do is to get the public to understand what’s really happening on the campuses,” Ellis said during a Feb. 11 online Heritage Foundation panel discussion titled “University Indoctrination: How it Started and How to Stop it.”

During the hour-long event, the scholars said to prompt higher education reform, a two-fold approach includes informing the public of the leftist indoctrination on campuses and urging parents, lawmakers and stakeholders not to support such institutions or send their kids there.

They also talked about partnering with sympathetic legislatures, mostly in red states, and calling on them to withhold funding until social justice or critical race theory curriculums and programs are eliminated.

Ellis said college campuses are basically irredeemable in their current form, for one because their leaders and scholars don’t see the need for reform.

“It’s very doubtful that you can regulate them into doing their proper job,” he said, “because that won’t change who they are.”

Fellow panelist Katharine Gorka of the Heritage Foundation said higher education has changed for the worse over the decades.

“Throughout my whole undergraduate and graduate experience,” she said, “I never knew any of my professors’ politics. It was considered unprofessional, even unscholarly, for professors to bring their politics into the classroom.”

“I am shocked by the stories I hear from our young interns about professors who talk openly about the idiocy, or the racism, or the white supremacy of conservatives.”

But they cannot challenge those assertions or they themselves will be labeled white supremacists, she said, adding she wonders why parents would allow — and even pay for — such an education.

“For what? To be taught to hate our country? To be taught critical race theory? This must change.”

COMMENT:  Amen.  The market can work in higher education, but many parents and professors are reluctant to challenge the powers that be.  The punishment for speaking out against the deterioration in colleges is being labeled a racist.  Most people fear that price.

Read the whole thing.

February 19, 2021       Permalink

 

OUR WORST FEARS – AT 11:06 P.M. ET:  When Joe Biden was elected, many feared that he would return us to the colossal foreign-policy failures of Barack Obama, whom Biden served as vice president.  As the list of Biden's appointments started to grow, those fears deepened.  We watched as Obama named to his administration virtually the entire Obama team responsible for the horrible Iran nuclear agreement.  Biden made a major speech today about his foreign policy, and it was like turning back every clock in the house.  From The Times of Israel: 

US President Joe Biden said Friday it was imperative that the United States work with other leading global powers to curb Iran’s “destabilizing” ambitions.

Yeah, they've certainly been helpful before.

Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Biden said his administration was “prepared to reengage in negotiations” with the UN Security Council on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iran should have been forced to make concessions to get us to reengage.  Instead, we just jumped back in, and, normal for the Obama crowd, we got nothing.

“We must address Iran’s destabilizing activities across the Middle East,” Biden said. “We will work with our European and other partners as we proceed.”

We sense their enthusiasm.  They'll never give up those Iranian contracts.

Biden’s administration had said Thursday it was ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has demanded that the US lift sanctions before it returns to talks. It has also rejected discussing other issues, such as its regional activities.

Biden was making his first big appearance on the global stage as president, offering allies and other foreign leaders a glimpse into his plans to dramatically reshape US foreign policy even as he deals with a number of international crises that are coming to a head.

Reshape in Bidenland means going back to the losing ways of the foreign-policy establishment.  Biden's record on foreign policy in the US Senate was notably mediocre.  I don't recall him ever being right.

In advance of Biden’s virtual appearances at a G-7 meeting and the Munich Security Conference, the White House sought to underscore that the new administration will move quickly to reorient the US away from Donald Trump’s “America First” mantra by announcing major reversals of Trump administration policies.

COMMENT:  Yeah, America Last is much more attractive to the leftist crowd.  There was not a single major foreign-policy victory during the Obama years.  And America continued to write checks to "allies" who didn't need them.  No wonder they're smiling today. 

February 19,  2021     Permalink

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