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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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OCTOBER 14,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

YOUR EDUCATION DOLLARS AT WORK – FROM LEGAL INSURRECTION:  It looks like not all colleges are worried about finances due to the pandemic. Do you think this was just an impulse purchase?  The College Fix reports:  Rutgers University’s football team may be on a three game losing streak, but its players can sleep easy thanks to a $12,400 napping machine.  At the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Rutgers declared a fiscal emergency and aimed to reduce the budgetary shortfall. The Athletics Department, though, continued spending money largely uninterrupted — purchasing everything from a $12,400 power nap machine, to $470 laser pointers for the football coaches, to a car service for a single track athlete totaling $4,400.

The napZZZ Sport Pod “features a spacious interior with the ability to fully recline,” according to the company’s website. The public New Jersey university said it bypassed the bidding process because napZZZ is the only company that manufactures a sleeping pod for 7-foot tall, 250-pound athletes.  It’s not just sleepy athletes who will benefit from the athletic department’s spending habits — students who want to browse Instagram instead of watching Rutgers get blown-out can get on the WiFi inside the football stadium.  The paper identified other expenditures such as “$385,914 paid in May to SHI International Corp., the corporate sponsor of Rutgers football, to install wifi service in the student section of SHI stadium,” “$2,500 paid to K Sound LLC on Oct. 13, 2020 for generating fake crowd noise for a football team practice” and almost “$4,400 on June 14 for car service for a lone track athlete.”  Look, you gotta have fake crowd noise during practice.  How else can you play the game?  And maybe they can use the fake crowd noise to drown out the anti-American professors.  Sometimes colleges come up with useful stuff.

October 14, 2021       Permalink 

 

ARE AMERICANS GOING BACK TO THEIR GREAT POLITICAL TRADITIONS? – OVERNIGHT:  The Gallup organization suggests that they might be.  From Gallup: 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans have shifted back to favoring a more hands-off approach for government in addressing the nation's problems after a rare endorsement of a more active role last year. Currently, 52% say the government is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, while 43% want the government to do more to solve the country's problems. In contrast, a record-high 54% of U.S. adults last year said the government should do more to solve problems.

Gallup's question on the proper government role is asked as part of its annual Governance survey, conducted Sept. 1-17 this year. The shift toward favoring a more active government role in 2020 was seen among Democrats and independents but not Republicans -- likely a response to the coronavirus pandemic and in particular to then-President Donald Trump's approach to handling it. Trump generally opposed government efforts designed to slow the spread of the virus, such as face mask requirements and business and school closures.

Last year marked only the second time in Gallup's 29-year trend that at least half of Americans endorsed an active role for the government on this item. The other pro-government response came in the weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks amid heightened concern about terrorism and a surge in trust in government.

All party groups are less likely now than a year ago to favor a more active government role, but independents' opinions have changed the most. In 2020, 56% of independents wanted the government to do more to solve problems, compared with 38% now. Independents are even less inclined to want a more active government role today than they were in 2019 before the pandemic began, when 45% held that view. The same is true of Republicans, whose opinions did not show meaningful change last year.

Americans' preference for a limited government role is also evident when they are asked to consider the trade-offs between taxes and government services. Given a choice, half of Americans say they prefer fewer government services and lower taxes, while 19% want higher taxes and more services. Twenty-nine percent want taxes and services as they are now.

In the five times Gallup has asked this question since 1993, the preference for lower taxes and fewer services has consistently prevailed, held either by pluralities or majorities of Americans, including a high of 56% in 2011. Only as many as 25%, in 2019, have said they wanted higher taxes and more services.

Gallup did not ask this "taxes versus government services" question last year, so it is not possible to know how opinions on the issue might have changed in a year when Americans said they wanted government to do more to solve the nation's problems.

Currently, 77% of Republicans prefer fewer services and lower taxes, while 15% want no change and 7% prefer higher taxes and more services. Half of independents prefer lower taxes and fewer services, while 33% want to keep taxes and services where they are now and 16% want increases in both.

Democrats are mostly split between wanting more services and more taxes (37%) and keeping taxes and services where they are now (40%). Nineteen percent of Democrats prefer lower taxes and fewer services.

COMMENT:  Things are heading in our direction, but we must never let up in our efforts.  Always run as if you're 20 points behind.  Our side can take Congress next year, but only if we are relentless, remembering that we will have the media against us, and that the opposition will be extremely well financed.

But it's good to see public opinion moving with us.  Read the rest of the piece.

October 14,  2021     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 13,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

ANOTHER GIANT MOMENT IN EDUCATION – FROM DAILY MAIL:    A Seattle elementary school has canceled its upcoming Halloween parade and will be banning students from dressing in costumes on October 31, claiming that the annual event ‘marginalizes’ students of color who administrators claim do not celebrate the holiday.  Officials at the Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School have discussed axing the annual Pumpkin Parade for five years, but first notified parents about the unilateral decision to cancel it in an October 8 newsletter, according to The Jason Rantz Show on local news station KTTH Radio.  ‘As a school with foundational beliefs around equity for our students and families, we are moving away from our traditional ‘Pumpkin Parade’ event and requesting that students do not come to school in costumes,’ reads the newsletter, seen by the radio host.  The school in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood annually invites students to dress in costume and march through the school with their peers as part of its Pumpkin Parade.   However, it decided to cancel the event this year because it could be upsetting for children who can’t afford a Halloween costume and that the loud noise levels and crowds are triggering to some kids, according to the newsletter.   Are you believing what you're reading?  What will these kids be in 15 years?   

October 13,  2021     Permalink

 

FINE WRITING – OVERNIGHT:  College Fix reviews a fine piece by retired Harvard professor Ruth Wisse in The Wall Street Journal.  Professor Wisse examines a fundamental cause of our loss in Afghanistan.  You will not be surprised by her conclusion, but you will be stimulated by the quality of her argument.  From College Fix: 

Ruth Wisse, a professor emerita at Harvard University, has penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that argues the Ivy League institution’s “40-year ROTC ban sent a deeper message: that American civilization isn’t worth defending.”

Citing the Duke of Wellington’s remark that “the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton,” Wisse argues the presence of ROTC inculcates “respect for military service.”

“The qualities developed in those British schoolboys produced the soldiering that defeated Napoleon’s forces. Since armies are typically made up of young people who go straight from school to the battlefield, the traits and habits necessary for winning wars must be already ingrained in those we expect to fight them. Afghanistan was lost in the halls of Harvard,” Wisse wrote.

ROTC’s absence from Harvard taught its students that they “are too good for military service. Leave national defense to the farm boys and those who don’t make it to an elite college. Forty years of such scorn for the military will bring low any democracy.”

“ROTC is back on Harvard’s campus now. But more than mere acceptance is needed. Students must be offered an education that demonstrates the exceptional merits of their country and civilization, and gives them the intellectual tools to defend it,” Wisse wrote.

COMMENT:  A great truth eloquently presented by one of Harvard's best.  When the draft ended in the early 1970s, even Ted Kennedy, no right winger, worried that the all-volunteer military would become detached from the nation it served, and that civilians would lose appreciation for what the military does.  That has happened.  When I grew up, everyone knew a soldier, or even many soldiers.  On my block we had veterans and battle casualties, one guy who served in both World War II and Korea, and another who was the sole survivor of a B-17 crew.  Universities proudly advertised their ROTC programs.  Armed Forces Day was actively celebrated, and few complained that the military flyovers were threats to the environment.   What a different atmosphere we have now. 

Just before his death, Douglas MacArthur commented that the day might approach when Americans would refuse to fight for their country.  We aren't quite there yet, but we see with horror that many schools openly teach that America is a degraded and racist society, hardly one worth saving.  The question must be asked:  How many years of this can we take before MacArthur's prophecy comes true, and the real America is subjugated by ignorance and spiritual degeneracy?  Think about it.

October 13,  2021     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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