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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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I appeared on Silvio Canto Jr's talk show from Dallas.  It's here.

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 5-6,  2023

RON SCORING AGAINST DON IN IOWA?  Some polls say that DeSantis is narrowing former President Trump's lead among fiercely independent Iowa voters.  At the very least, the Republican race is becoming more and more interesting.  From the New York Post: 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is closing the gap on former President Donald Trump in the early nominating state of Iowa, according to an internal poll out this week.

The survey by WPA Intelligence for the DeSantis-supporting Never Back Down super PAC showed the 44-year-old governor in a virtual tie with the 76-year-old Trump in a head-to-head contest.

Trump had 45% support, while DeSantis had 43% support and 12% were undecided.
An early May head-to-head poll, taken before the Florida governor formally entered the race, showed Trump with 53% support, DeSantis on 39% and 8% undecided.

DeSantis also made up ground on Trump in an Iowa survey that incorporated the full field.
In that poll, Trump had 39% support, DeSantis had 29%, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) had 7%, and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had 6% support.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy each had 4% support, while none of the other contenders cracked 1%.

In early May, the same survey found Trump had 48% support, DeSantis had 24% and Haley had 10% support, with no other candidate topping double figures.

“The Republican presidential caucus is a two-person race between Governor Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump,” wrote WPA CEO Chris Wilson and managing director Conor Maguire, both advisers to Never Back Down.

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.  There are many other fascinating statistics.  Clearly, polls at this point reflect very early opinions and are not predictive.  But they are fun, and a truly competitive race will draw more attention to the Republican cause. 

As for the Democrats, I sense they're approaching panic mode.  They are totally dependent on a president whose re-election race is dominated by serious questions about his physical ability to serve.  If he has to drop out, or is forced out of the race, will the Dems actually turn to Kamala?  Stay tuned.  This is getting as good as old-time radio.

June 6, 2023       Permalink

 

ANGRY BLACK PARENTS.  GOOD, GOOD, GOOD!  I've always wondered when black parents would rise up and finally complain about the condition of their kids' schools.  We're seeing some action.  From Fox: 

The Maryland NAACP called on state and local school leaders to save the dire situation unfolding in public schools, announcing plans to hold a conference later this month focused on developing strategies to help African-American students across the state.

"Although African American children have the potential to learn as others, the situation of African American students in public schools in Maryland continues to be intolerable. It has been a concern of the Maryland NAACP for some time," a June 1 press release read. 

"Lagging academic achievement, students graduating without necessary proficiency, breakdown in school discipline, inappropriate treatment of special education students, and school to prison pipeline are among ongoing issues plaguing too many of these students as well as others," it continued.

The press release detailed plans for the statewide conference set to take place on June 15 and 16 at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights and said its goal is to bring together educational experts in from the local, state and federal levels to provide solutions for "dreadful" outcomes schools currently exhibit.

The organization said it has already tried to work with state and local education agencies to remedy education problems, but to no avail.

"The consequences are becoming more evident beyond schools in communities throughout the state," the press release continued, later concluding by saying, if no progress is made to improve outcomes for Maryland's African-American students, "other actions may be necessary and will have to be pursued."

Concerns follow dismal education statistics from students across The Old Line State, including several that point to high schoolers scoring below proficiency in both reading and math. 

At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, 77% of students tested at an elementary-school reading level at Patterson High School in Baltimore, according to local FOX 45 news.

Seventy-one of the 480 students who scored at an elementary level on the iReady reading test were reading at the kindergarten level.

Earlier this year, the Baltimore public school system earned a dismal grade in math and took heat for reporting that zero students across 23 schools were proficient in the subject.
"Failed leadership in our schools diminishes their opportunity for a brighter future," Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., tweeted at the time.

COMMENT:  I'm glad to see black parents speaking out.  It's much too late, but maybe some good will come of it.  What is needed, though, is a revolution, where the schools are run for the students and families, not for the teachers' unions and political machines.  That will require the kind of leadership given by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, who made education the core of his election campaign.

Forget the Dems.  They are hopeless, and generally owned by the unions.

June 6,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "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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