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JUNE 3-4,  2023

KAMMY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE:  The race for president heats up a bit each day.  But there's one prospect that creates genuine dread.    It's the nightmare scenario.  From Fox: 

A New York Post writer is sounding the alarm about Vice President Kamala Harris’s chances of becoming president. 

Opinion writer Michael Goodwin warned that Harris is a ‘Biden fall away’ from entering the White House. 

Critics say the prospect of a Harris presidency is worrisome due to her constant word salads and low approval ratings.

A mid-May Monmouth poll saw Harris’s approval rating at 37%. An April Fox News poll found 43% of voters approve of her job performance. 

Fox News’s Tom Shillue argued on "The Big Weekend Show" that Democrats are "stuck" with the vice president. 

"Nobody could have seen this coming because we knew that voters didn't really like Kamala Harris too much. She never really had much support. You know, and she attacked Joe Biden and then he made her his vice president. And then she came into office. We thought, well, she'll grow into the role. She's gotten worse. She has gotten worse," he said. 

"Originally, she talked to children like she was talking to children. Then she started talking to adults the way that she talks to children. So I don't know what she's doing, but I don't know that her presidency would be much different from Joe Biden's," he continued.

Co-host Anita Vogel highlighted Harris’s impressive resume but questioned what happens once the vice president gets in front of the camera. 

"She is an accomplished person. Right? She has a law degree from UC Hastings. I mean, the woman has an amazing resume. She was a district attorney in Alameda, California. She was elected as district attorney to the city and county of San Francisco. She was the first African-American woman to serve as the California attorney general. She went on to be elected to the Senate representing the state of California. And now she is vice president. She is a seemingly very accomplished and smart woman," Vogel said. "But when she gets in front of the cameras and in front of people, I don't know what happens." 

COMMENT:  Maybe they should have thought of that problem before they made her a vice-presidential candidate.  But that's not how identity politics works.  All that counts is group affiliation.  Handling World War III is not on the agenda. 

Geez, could you see her trying to handle a serious threat of World War III?

I'm rushing to my backyard shelter.

June 4,  2023     Permalink

 

PLEASE READ THIS.  HARVEY MANSFIELD, HARVARD'S LEADING CONSERVATIVE, IS ABOUT TO RETIRE.  AND HE HAS SOME ADVICE FOR THE STUDENT BODY.  FROM THE HARVARD CRIMSON: 

Not long ago, an Iranian woman in my class told me that in her country, one had to be careful about what you said in public, but could say what you wanted in private.

“At Harvard, however, it’s the reverse,” she said.

This is the self-censorship some Harvard students complain of. Only some complain because the complaint is directed against the rest who dominate conversation and do not want to hear opposition. These dominant students may not begin as a majority, but the activist few create the majority who accept their view and then impose it on those who disagree, forcing them to censor themselves.

The punishment for not censoring yourself is to lose the company of fellow students and to be disregarded and shunned. You are not put in jail, as happens in Iran and other countries, but you are deprived of the fellowship you want from college life.

I don’t know how widespread the necessity to censor oneself is felt, but I think the judgment behind it is pretty accurate. In practice, Harvard is a one-party spot, much more so than even the practically one-party state and one-party city in which it resides. But is this such an unhappy fact?

Self-censorship might seem to be a part of self-control based on the need to respect others. Everyone knows what tact is, and as one matures one gains experience of the great truth that it often pays to keep your mouth shut. You may be proud of the many wise and witty things you say, but with your mouth shut you will not be embarrassed by the few foolish remarks you let slip. From the standpoint of tact, self-censorship might seem to be an education in prudence and responsibility.

Perhaps the complainers about self-censorship should be boasting of their ability to exercise prudence. They are getting a better education than the many who live unprotesting and almost unconscious in the Harvard bubble. Conservatives, I like to say, get more from Harvard by having to be critical of its boring, politicized conformity — and by being forced into self-censorship. Upon graduation they can go elsewhere and enjoy a freedom they have prepared for themselves.

Yet if self-censorship is a benefit, should it not be made more general than it is? All should experience the feeling of taking a course where one sits in silence as an unaddressed minority. Why should genuine education be reserved for conservatives? But this reasoning might suggest that everyone should spend a term in jail to learn what it’s like. Then let’s move from the benefit to the harm of self-censorship.

Today, self-expression has much greater sway than self-control. To be free, it is said, you must be able to express yourself and be safe while doing so. To express yourself fully means to fashion your own identity. And to do that, the danger of being offended in your identity becomes a vital point: You must be free both to take offense when you are disrespected and to give offense when your own identity demands it.

COMMENT:  Please read the whole thing.  It is well worth it – the conservative argument presented, with appropriate restraint, by a master.  Harvard may not miss Harvey Mansfield.  But Harvard doesn't understand what it's losing.

June 3, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

JUNE 1-2,  2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

NOT EXACTLY THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN:   Think of the great history, then think of this.  From Fox:   The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force is being pressured to filter out "useless white male pilots" in an effort to hit diversity targets, according to leaked emails obtained by local media.  The messages seen by Sky News also show that a number of selection boards used to place new recruits were canceled if they didn't include women or minorities.  The RAF maintains its standards have not been lowered to increase the number or diverse applicants.  "Selection standards were not and have not been altered and there was no compromise of entry standards and no impact on the frontline or operational effectiveness," an RAF spokesperson told the news outlet.  The military branch is also paying more than $123,000 to 31 White men who it found had been disadvantaged by the new policy. The payments contradict statements by Air Chief Marshal Wigston that the diversity push would not discriminate against White men, sources told the news station.  Imagine if Winston Churchill had been confronted with the word "diversity" when Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany.   How might he have reacted?  If you have any suggestions, send them here, to comments@urgentagenda.com

June 2, 2023       Permalink

 

A TERRIFIC STORY:  We've all watched, with appropriate horror, as the WOKE movement has infiltrated medical schools, trying to replace excellence with equity in the training of physicians.  But now there's pushback, and it shows what first-class professionals can accomplish if they have the guts and discipline to fight the monster.  From the New York Post: 

Conservative activist Kenny Xu, who’s fighting what he says are harmful diversity, equity and inclusion practices at US medical schools, says he’s notched another anti-DEI win at the University of North Carolina — with the help of a renowned, African-born, US-based heart surgeon.

Xu persuaded Harvard-trained Dr. Nche Zama, 66, who was born in the Republic of Cameroon and immigrated alone to the US at age 14 with just $20, to speak at one of the anti-DEI events Xu organized in Chapel Hill in February aimed at getting the UNC medical school to back off its policies.

Now UNC’s medical school says it has disbanded its DEI task force, adding that it has no plans to implement its recommendations now or in the future.

“The most important issue should be educational excellence but it’s the one thing missing in all these DEI policies,” Zama, 66, a Pennsylvania-based cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who was raised in a grass hut in Cameroon, told The Post about why he spoke on behalf of Xu’s campaign.

“I’m all for diversity and inclusion but I believe these issues should be grounded in excellence in education.”

Zama and Xu, the founder of Color Us United, had objected to recommendations made by a DEI task force set up by the school.

They had been supported by FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression), which wrote to the UNC Medical School to say the organization was concerned about possible First Amendment violations incurred by the school’s DEI policies.

But the school revealed it was backing off of many of its 84 DEI task force recommendations in response to the letter from FIRE.

“The recommendations have not been operationalized and the task force has concluded its work,” the school said in its response to FIRE, sent in May.

The letter also said there is no plan to implement the task force’s recommendations now or in the future.

The school emailed The Post a statement that the task force, which was formed in 2019, had actually completed its work in 2020.

Xu, however, disputed the claim and said the school has been carrying out taskforce-recommended policies such as “unconscious bias training” and “racially-preferential admissions” since at least 2020.

Xu, the son of highly-educated Chinese immigrants, has been on a mission with his group, Color Us United, to end what he sees as dangerous DEI policies in medical schools and bring back academic meritocracy.

In February, after Xu’s lobbying efforts, the board of governors at the University of North Carolina voted to ban diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements from hiring and tenure decisions.

Xu told The Post Thursday that what he called the medical school’s recent “public reversal” of its plan to implement the task force’s plans was the first of its kind among American universities which have been ramping up DEI policies since the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

“We needed a win at UNC medical school to go to Harvard and Stanford medical schools and say what you guys are doing is not scientifically necessary,” Xu said. “It doesn’t help the quality of patient care.”

Zama, the author of “Mommy Please Don’t Die,” which details how he watched his mother bleed out in childbirth and die when he was only 10 and then how he later came to the US with almost no money and became a surgeon, said that racism is a reality but lowering standards in medical school for minority students is a bad idea.

COMMENT:  Please read the whole thing.  It's well worth it.  And send it to friends.  We can win the fight against mediocrity and socialist absurdity, but the battle will be bitter and long.  Recruiting more people like Dr. Zama is a huge step.

June 2, 2023       Permalink

 

DEBT BILL CLEARS:  The bipartisan bill funding the U.S. Government so it doesn't default at the end of the week, and containing other provisions, passed the U.S. Senate tonight.  It had already passed the House, and now goes to the president for his certain signature. 

So this "crisis" is over.  The Government won't run out of money, and, of course, the next generation will pay the bill for the loans that make solvency possible.  What a way to run a country!  From Fox: 

The Senate passed a bill to raise the government's borrowing limit late Thursday night, sending it to President Biden’s desk with just days to spare before the government was set to run out of money to pay its obligations on June 5.

The bill, which implements the deal struck by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending, passed in a 63-36 vote. Four Democrats, 31 Republicans and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, voted "no."

House lawmakers sent the bill to the Senate on Wednesday in a bipartisan 314-117 vote after weeks of intense negotiations between McCarthy and Biden. The Senate's inability to pass its own bill made it a bystander in those talks and gave senators no realistic option other than approving the deal. 

The bipartisan deal suspends the debt limit with no cap through Jan. 1, 2025, cuts non-defense spending to near fiscal 2022 levels, caps spending increases at 1% the following year and sets non-mandatory caps for the four years after. It also claws back some money aimed at the Internal Revenue Service and some unspent COVID-19 pandemic funds.

Defense spending would rise by about 3% in the first year of the deal, below the rate of inflation. That drew complaints from several Republicans senators who warned on the floor that the deal would harm U.S. national security.

"To my House colleagues, I can't believe you did this," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on the Senate floor. "To the Speaker, I know you’ve got a tough job. I like you. But the party of Ronald Reagan is dying. Don't tell me that a defense budget that’s $42 billion below inflation fully funds the military."

Graham and others threatened to hold up the bill until assurances were given that defense spending would not be limited by the deal, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered those assurances.

"The agreement includes a commitment that the Senate will not be limited in its ability to respond to emerging or ongoing national security threats, including Russia’s unjust and unprovoked war in Ukraine, challenges posed by China with respect to our economy and the growing threat to Taiwan, and protecting vital interests and partners in the Middle East," Graham's office said in a statement released as the Senate was considering the bill.

COMMENT:  This all occurred at the very time when the race for the GOP presidential nomination is heating up, with many more candidates joining than had been expected.  It also occurs at a time of growing concern in the Democratic Party that President Biden might not be able to make the run.  The Dems do not have a deep bench, and the name Kamala Harris is not greeted with unbounded enthusiasm.-2

June 1,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
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