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MARCH 13-14,  2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

MEET THE FINANCIAL WIZARDS:  From the New York Post:   One is a Hillary Clinton mega-donor who went to a Shinto shrine to pray after Donald Trump won the White House. Another worked for President Barack Obama before her own political career spectacularly failed. A third is a prolific contributor to Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi — who owns a Napa Valley vineyard just 15 minutes from the former House speaker’s.  There’s even an improv performer.  The 12 directors who were supposed to oversee fallen Silicon Valley Bank — and prevent the catastrophic errors that threw the entire banking system into jeopardy on Friday — might not be household names.  But they are facing a series of investigations into their collective role in its collapse.   A Post examination of the board reveals it did not jibe with Silicon Valley’s young image: Only one independent director is under 60, while the oldest is 78.  I'm sure that each will be eligible for free psychiatric services and a medicinal massage.  That's only fair, right?

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT:  from NBC CHICAGO:  A new poll of more than 800 likely Chicago mayoral election voters found that former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas is holding a lead over Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, and several key voting blocs could play a significant role in determining the outcome of the race.  The poll, conducted by Victory Research, asked 806 likely runoff voters about their preferences in the upcoming election, with Vallas collecting 44.9% of the vote. Johnson grabbed 39.1% of the vote, with 16% of respondents saying they are still undecided for the April 4 runoff.  The margin of error in the poll was 3.45%, with a mix of respondents on land lines and cell phones, according to the polling company.  Adding some intrigue to the proceedings was the number of voters who said that their choices could change. According to the poll, 18% of respondents said they could change their minds prior to Election Day, meaning that one-third of the voters either haven’t settled on a candidate or could move to the other in the two-man race.  It should be an easy choice for voters.  Johnson is owned and operated by the teachers union, and will carry on the mediocrity of Lori Lightfoot.  Vallas has the right ideas to raise Chicago from the crime-ridden wreck that it's become.  He is pro-police and pro-school reform.  You'd expect Vallas to run away with it, but, like everything else in Chicago, race is in the air.  Vallas is white, Johnson is black. 

March 14, 2023       Permalink 

 

THIS IS WHAT WE LIKE TO SEE:  Kids from our side fighting back, on an "elite" college campus.  Cheer them!  Send packets of Milky Ways!  From RedState:

Stanford Law School students savagely criticized the school and one of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion deans in a piece in the school’s publication, “Stanford Review,” with this simple but powerful headline atop its front page: “Fire Tirien Steinbach.”

— The Stanford Review (@StanfordReview)

As RedState’s Jim Thompson reported, Steinbach, Stanford Law’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, joined students in heckling and screaming at 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Kyle Duncan, who was attempting to deliver a speech. When the judge asked for an administrator to intervene, Steinbach instead piled on and launched into a 6-minute tirade claiming Duncan was “literally denying the humanity of people.”

His crime? He refused to retroactively change court records to reflect that child porn enthusiast and repeated sex offender Norman Varner decided after his trial to identify as female and demanded to be referred to as “Kathy Jett.” Duncan refused.

Although the university belatedly delivered a written apology to the jurist, many felt that it was a weak one at best, and there seem to have been very few consequences for Steinbach for her outrageous behavior. As SisterToldjah reported, the university then compounded its mistakes by issuing a letter to students who were upset about the interruptions to seek mental health help…from Tirien Steinbach.

The Stanford Review bills itself as a student-run independent newspaper. The outlet’s article, credited to “multiple authors,” described their disgust with how the situation went down at a school that touts its commitment to free speech:

Perhaps the only thing uglier than the Stanford Law School building is the events that took place there on Thursday. The Stanford Federalist Society’s event with Kyle Duncan, a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was disrupted by a mob of unruly law students and a Stanford DEI Dean who prevented the judge from speaking entirely.

They point out that she was just as much to blame for the circus as the rowdy students.

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.  The good guys at Stanford Law are leading the way.  If we start having regular counter-revolutions like this, I have no doubt that our side will emerge from the culture wars victorious.  But each victory must be won by itself, and there will be setbacks along the way.  And the way will take years

The election of a Republican president would be more than helpful.  We need a major cleanup in the U.S. government.  We need new people at the Department of Education, or maybe the abolition of that department.  I sense from the trends that I see each week that things are moving in our direction.  Ron DeSantis, after all, has become a major figure by taking on the wokesters. 

In the 1960s we saw that, underneath the leftist shouting and the takeover of college campuses there was a true silent majority of solid citizens who refused to go along.  That silent majority is still there, and many of its members are silent no more.

March 14, 2023       Permalink

 

PRESIDENTIAL GAMES:  Didn't we just have a national election?  I'm told there was one in November.  I distinctly remember buying my popcorn and sitting in front of my TV watching the returns.

But, so be it.  We have another one next year, for the presidency, and the campaigns are already underway.  In Britain a national campaign lasts, maybe, six weeks.  Here it's starting to look like a two-year sprint.

It's an unusual campaign.  A former president, defeated for re-election, is running to get back to the Oval Office.  I'm sure someone has told Donald Trump that only one president in American history has done this successfully.  It was Grover Cleveland, tossed out by the voters after one term, re-elected four years later.  Others have tried, without much success.  Republican President Herbert Hoover, defeated by FDR in 1932, tried for the nomination in 1940, but his party turned him down, seeing Hoover as an embittered man of the past, seeking revenge. 

Trump is starting to make his moves.  He clearly sees Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida as his greatest obstacle.  From The Hill:  

Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, using his 2024 debut speech in Iowa to rehash his longtime 2020 campaign claims and attack his would-be political rival days after the Florida Republican made an appearance in the Hawkeye State.

In a campaign event in Davenport that was billed by Trump’s campaign as an address on education policy, the former president appeared preoccupied by just about anything other than America’s schools. 

He boasted about the work he did to “save” the ethanol industry, bragged about how he moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and rehashed his baseless claim that he was robbed of a second term in the White House by widespread voter fraud.
“What they do to those machines — what they’re doing, our country is really being hurt very badly,” Trump told the friendly crowd. 

He went after DeSantis, a rising Republican star who’s preparing for a likely 2024 presidential bid, accusing the Florida governor of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare, and comparing him to Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee and a vocal Trump critic.

He also called DeSantis a “disciple” of former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who served as Romney’s running mate in 2012.

“You have to remember, Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan, who is a RINO loser who currently is destroying Fox [News] and would constantly vote against entitlements,” Trump said, using an acronym for “Republican in name only.” 

“But Ryan, Paul Ryan is a big reason Mitt Romney … lost his election,” the former president continued. “And to be honest with you, Ron reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney, so I don’t think you’re going to be doing so well here.”

Trump’s remarks came during the first Iowa stop of his 2024 presidential bid. He’s been officially seeking the Republican nomination since November, but has largely stayed off the campaign trail. 

His trip to Davenport came just three days after DeSantis stopped in the same city. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of Iowa Republicans released on Friday showed Trump’s standing in the Hawkeye State on the decline, with 47 percent saying they would definitely vote for the former president if he is the party’s nominee in 2024, a 22-point decline since June 2021.

COMMENT:  I'm not sure that attacking Ron DeSantis, even before DeSantis declares his candidacy, is a good idea.  First, it makes Trump look small and frightened.  Second, he's a former president, and it diminishes his stature. A little needling at this stage, yes.  Reagan did that brilliantly.  ("Well, there you go again.")  But an all-out attack?  Recall, as noted above, that Herbert Hoover failed in his bid to return to the White House in part because he sounded bitter.

Trump should recall Reagan's "11th Commandment" for his party:  "Thou shalt not speak ill of any other Republican."  If he is seen as out only for himself, and for revenge, he'll lose, either at the nomination stage or in the general election. If that happens, he risks going down as a divisive figure who damaged his party, not something he would welcome.

March 14, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

MARCH 11-12,  2023

I WOULD NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH TRIVIA, SO HERE IS SOMETHING OF IMPORTANCE AND DEPTH.  PUT EVERYTHING ELSE ASIDE, PLEASE:  From College Fix: 

What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions robots? “The Terminator”? “The Matrix”? Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”?

Most normal folk likely would offer one of those … and perhaps “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and Isaac Asimov’s books.

Will they become self-aware and take us over,  we wonder.

But if you’re on staff at a women’s, gender & sexuality studies department, mechanical beings might have you ponder how they “intersect with race, patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism.”

On March 2, Brown University’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America hosted two professors from such departments (University of Maryland-College Park, and Yale) who did just that.

According to the event’s description, Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora (pictured) “trace[d] the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy.”

They also noted “while these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation.”

In an interview before the event, Atanasoski said it’s important to make sure advances in technology don’t just keep “reproducing what we already have.” As an example, Vora noted the U.S. military’s Atlas Robot which can “independently navigate complex terrain, lift heavy objects and recover itself after falling.”

As such, Vora alleged that Atlas “employs fantasies of human autonomy and command, together […] values that we identify with the often violent history of globalism. These robots […] fulfill the fantasy for (a perpetuation) of enslaved labor. They cannot rebel.”

Vora, a “History of Consciousness” PhD who once ran UC Davis’s Feminist Research Institute, was dubbed a “spectacular” hire by Yale last year where she taught the course “Science and Technology Studies: Anti-racist and Feminist Approaches to Technoscience.”

COMMENT:  I just thought you'd like to know.  Your federal education dollars at work. 

March 12, 2023       Permalink

 

A REMARKABLE CHANGE:  COLLEGES ARE LOSING THEIR APPEAL TO AMERICAN STUDENTS:  From Legal Insurrection:

A new trend in education is taking shape. In post-pandemic America, more students are opting to skip college and enter the workforce instead.

Who can blame these students for wanting to earn money rather than go into debt, especially at a time when so many schools are still making COVID-related demands?

The Associated Press reports:

When he looked to the future, Grayson Hart always saw a college degree. He was a good student at a good high school. He wanted to be an actor, or maybe a teacher. Growing up, he believed college was the only route to a good job, stability and a happy life.

The pandemic changed his mind.

A year after high school, Hart is directing a youth theater program in Jackson, Tennessee. He got into every college he applied to but turned them all down. Cost was a big factor, but a year of remote learning also gave him the time and confidence to forge his own path…

Hart is among hundreds of thousands of young people who came of age during the pandemic but didn’t go to college. Many have turned to hourly jobs or careers that don’t require a degree, while others have been deterred by high tuition and the prospect of student debt.

What first looked like a pandemic blip has turned into a crisis. Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8% from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The slide in the college-going rate since 2018 is the steepest on record, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists say the impact could be dire.

At worst, it could signal a new generation with little faith in the value of a college degree.

At minimum, it appears those who passed on college during the pandemic are opting out for good. Predictions that they would enroll after a year or two haven’t borne out.

The Associated Press seems almost panicked about this. Why? When did it become a rule that absolutely everyone has to go to college?

COMMENT:  And that's the right question.  It's a good thing to be skeptical of the cult of the college graduate.   I'm all for education, and especially a true education in the liberal arts.  But that's rarely given these days.  There are many routes to success and happiness.  Four years in a college is only one of them, and for many students it seems to be a di

appointment.

March 12, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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