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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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JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 1

AND IN THE REAL WORLD:  International tensions are growing, especially in the Pacific, as China builds a huge military force.  Will they use it?  That is the question of the decade.  From Fox:   

The United States intends to ramp up its military presence in the Philippines amid escalating tensions between China and the island of Taiwan, authorities for the U.S. and the Philippines announced Thursday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has agreed to allow American military troops to be stationed at several bases on the Philippine islands to expand its presence in the region to ensure stability and to increase "interoperability" with regional allies.

Under the agreement, which was announced by the senior leaders at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Manila, Philippines, U.S. forces will be granted access to four more Philippine military camps, giving them areas to provide troops, training and military resources as the countries look to deter an increasingly aggressive China. 

During a joint press conference, Marcos commented on the "complicated" situation in the Pacific and said his country was reliant on the strength of the U.S. and the partnership between the two countries to prevent tensions from escalating into a potential military conflict.

It is "something we can only navigate properly with the help our allies and partners," he said.

Austin echoed these remarks, calling the Philippines "a key and an important ally" and said the American global policy was to continue strengthening this relationship in every way possible.

"And so from the defense perspective, we will continue to work together with our great partners to build and modernize your capability as well as increase our interoperability. So we are very, very happy to be here once again, and I look forward to a great discussion," the defense secretary said.

The Philippines and the U.S. also said in a joint statement that "substantial" progress has been made in projects at five Philippine military camps, where U.S. military personnel were earlier granted access by Filipino officials under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA.

COMMENT:  Ah, back in the Philippines, as in the old days.  All we need now are John Wayne and Paulette Goddard.

February 1, 2023       Permalink

 

BRAVE WOMEN:  Amidst the darkness on college campuses, there are rays of light – brave women who are bucking the system.  FROM COLLEGE FIX:  

The demands of social justice at many universities nationwide impose intolerable limits on a scholar, who must be free to pursue knowledge unfettered by groupthink or political dogma. 

Contrarian thinkers at universities are few and far between. We also may have heard from fewer women with unpopular opinions, in part because women are more likely to hold progressive views, polls find.

Nonetheless, many female academics still hold to the ideals of their profession and refuse to be silenced in their pursuit of truth and intellectual freedom. These scholars represent a wide range of views, but each woman has argued, often at great personal cost, against one or more of the dominant perspectives in academia.

We should watch their future work for reasoned critiques of ideas that may be erroneous but have hardened into dogma. We should also emulate them as exemplars of independence and intellectual integrity in a climate that discourages both.

COMMENT:  Please read this piece.  It's inspiring, even though we must be apprehensive about the academic future of brave female scholars.  The odds are against them getting anywhere, which is why we must applaud them whenever we can.

February 1,  2023     Permalink

 

ANOTHER SINKING SHIP:  The State University of New York system is one of the best college systems in the nation...or at least it was.   The low-standards WOKE crowd took dead aim at these schools, and has apparently won.  From the New York Post: 

The 64-campus SUNY college system is turning into the Woke University of New York — ordering incoming freshman at all of its colleges they will have to pass a new “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice”-themed class to earn a diploma.

The new college racial equity courses must, according to State University of New York documents:

• Describe the historical and contemporary societal factors that shape the development of individual and group identity involving race, class and gender.

• Analyze the role that complex networks of social structures and systems play in the creation and perpetuation of the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression and opportunity.

• Apply the principles of rights, access, equity, and autonomous participation to past, current, or future social justice action.

While the primary focus is on equity and social justice in the US, courses can also look at what has happened or is currently happening in other countries for comparison, the mandate reads.

Critics say such mandated “equity” training actually flies in the face of goals for racial “equality.”

“This is nuts,” Nicholas Giordano, a political science professor at SUNY’s Suffolk Community College told The Post. “SUNY is one of the best university systems in the country. Why are they doing this?!

“DEISJ is a cultural movement, not based on academics. Unfortunately, SUNY responded to the mob.”

Giordano, a fellow at the conservative watchdog group Campus Reform, said the new DEISJ coursework seeks to portray the US as “inherently racist” and tries to undermine the American identity that unifies all citizens by “creating groups and pitting them against each other.”

He said the curriculum seeks to have students “defined by the color of their skin.

“To tell [minority students] they can’t compete with a white person is insulting and racist.”

And...

The diversity and equity curriculum was approved by SUNY under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s then hand-picked chancellor James Malatras, a former aide.

COMMENT:   Wow, what a recommendation.  Andy Cuomo's guy.  This is a disaster for SUNY, and will only lead to conflict, hatred and mediocrity.  But, of course, that's the objective, isn't it?

New York is now experiencing a stunning outmigration of its citizens to other states.  New Yorkers are fed up with high taxes, high crime, and ridiculous expenses.  The capture of SUNY by the WOKESTERS will simply increase the flow, to places like Florida, Texas, and Tennessee.

January 31-February 1, 2023       Permalink



 

 

JANUARY 30,  2023

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN.  CNN apparently can do no right.  It keeps on sinking.  Attempts to straighten out its problems appear ineffective.  From Townhall:   

It's not news, necessarily, that CNN is not keeping up with the post-Trump administration times we live in — despite a change in course directed by new boss Chris Licht following a merger between CNN's parent company and Discovery. But when tanking ratings continue to sink to levels not seen in nearly a decade, there's bound to be some talk of whether the network is salvageable at all. 

Enter a new dispatch from TheWrap noting CNN "notched its lowest ratings in nine years across all its day parts for the week of Jan. 16 through Jan. 22, 2023," per ratings data from Nielsen: "just 444,000 viewers in primetime, 93,000 in the all-important age 25-54 news demographic and 417,000 in viewers and 80,000 in the demo for total day."

As TheWrap noted, last week was "the first time since May 2014" that saw CNN stay below 450,000 viewers. And it's not like there was a industry-wide dip in viewers last week. It turns out Fox News Channel, the leader in cable news for almost too many consecutive weeks to track at this point, had 1.4 million total viewers and 176,000 in the 25-54 demographic during the same timeframe. Their primetime shows brought in two million viewers and 256,000 in the 25-54 range.

Apparently not caring to hold back in evaluating Licht's programming success or lack thereof, TheWrap outlined the ratings woes on the fresh "CNN This Morning" with hosts he hand-picked to try competing with Morning Joe on MSNBC and Fox and Friends:

Some especially troublesome news out of this week’s Nielsen numbers is that Licht’s primary programming move, “CNN This Morning,” also suffered the lowest week since its launch just three months ago. It averaged just 331,000 viewers while “Fox & Friends” had nearly 1 million and “Morning Joe” drew 760,000.

COMMENT:  Will someone please say what needs to be said – that the culture of CNN is left-wing, and has been since its inception.  It became much worse during the Trump era when CNN almost became the official anti-Trump network.  Without Trump to destroy, what is CNN's mission?  There are lots of conservatives in this country, and CNN loses them before it goes on the air.

I've watched the "new" CNN recently.   There are some good things.  Its Ukraine coverage is superior, and professionally reported.  But, overall, the leftist tilt remains.  The journalism is lacking in detail and background, and history is rarely mentioned.  The depth that a 24-hour news network can bring is rare.  A viewer sometimes gets the feeling that the hosts have little interest in the news, little curiosity, and little vitality.  And some of them seem to feel that liberalism is the one true faith.

CNN should be revamped into a serious news network with the tightest standards, and a high regard for what is actually happening on American streets and in America's schools.  Its morning show should be a model of what a viewer would need and want to get through the day.  

I don't know if CNN can do it. 

January 30, 2023       Permalink 

 

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

I KNEW SHAKESPEARE WAS A BAD GUY:  FROM LEGAL INSURRECTION:   British universities have reportedly begun putting trigger warnings on great Greek and Shakespearean tragedies for students who may be sensitive to their dark content.  U.K. outlet The Telegraph reported Wednesday that the University of Derby and several other British universities have deemed celebrated tragedies like Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as “potentially upsetting” for students.  As such, university staff have attached “trigger warnings” to a school literature module that covers classic tragedies, cautioning students that the works are “obsessed” with suffering.  The Telegraph added, “Athenian dramas concerning the deaths of mythical kings, and Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman, are also on the reading list for the module, which has been given a blanket advisory on how the tragic could be troubling.”  The outlet provided the text of the warning provided by professors for their students, which stated, “Tragedy is a genre obsessed with violence and suffering, often of a sexual or graphic kind, and so some of the content might be triggering for some students.”  Great Britain was once the country that stood alone against the Nazis.  Can you imagine if their new generation of students had to face a similar challenge?  But you may be sure that some American universities will embrace this same madness as well.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL:  FROM FOX:   Champion of justice "The Lone Ranger" and trusty steed Silver rode across the Wild West and into American lore for the first time on this day in history, Jan. 30, 1933.  Lone Ranger was soon joined by Native American sidekick Tonto to become the original crime-fighting dynamic duo of multimedia fame.  The program debuted on WXYZ in Detroit — the first of more than 3,000 radio episodes over the next two decades.  "'The Lone Ranger' was an instant success, and the character became known for his black domino mask, code of honor, signature silver bullets, and horse Silver," the Smithsonian Institution notes. 
"According to his moral code, the Lone Ranger attempts to avoid violence, shooting only to disarm, not kill, and using silver bullets as a reminder of the value of human life."  The radio show soon found a nationwide audience of millions of listeners. Meant for children, it enjoyed equal appeal among adults.  "During the next 80 years, ‘The Lone Ranger’ would appear in comic strips, television shows and movies, not to mention a vast array of merchandise including action figures, costumes, books and toy guns," writes Indian Country Times, a news site of indigenous American culture.   One of my childhood favorites.  The opening, featuring music from "The William Tell Overture," became famous.  As far as I was concerned, any American boy who couldn't recite the entire opening from memory was unfit for citizenship. 

January 30, 2023       Permalink

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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