Monday, January 16, 2017

Education is Not For Political Activism

If a young person comes to believe that education is to be valued as preparation for political action—if his English teachers choose novels not for their beauty and their insight into the human condition, but for their usefulness in advancing a political cause; if his history teachers encourage not that forbearance that tends to forgive the faults of those who have come before us or who lived under conditions whereof we have no experience, but rather an easy and self-confident judgment of their moral darkness because they were not like us in all things; if his art teachers foster contempt for the patient and heart-breaking quest for precision, and substitute for it indulgence in what is supposedly “edgy” but is merely tiresome and politically tendentious—then I fear that he will be, strictly speaking, ineducable, a monolith of manufactured stolidity.

Anthony Esolen, Higher Education in Hell

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Forcing a Republic to Be a Democracy

By the late 19th century, the idea was gaining ground that United States was a democracy, or that it ought to be anyway.  Reformers began to latch on to democracy in the latter part of the 19th century, pushed for popular control over government to be expanded, and linked this to progress and progressivism.  They linked it to broader and deeper reform, too, by identifying democracy with equality, and proposing to use the power of government to make men more nearly equal.  The expansion of the power of the central government and the use of that power to transform not only America but the world setting as well was a part of the progressive ethos.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 4: The Growth of America 1878-1928, pg.117-118

[Our current horrid social situation in the USA is a direct result of this ideology.]

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Government is Force

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force!  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

George Washington

Friday, January 13, 2017

Defense of a Cause

A cause defended by nasty language deserves suspicion.  Truth needs no such weapons.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Ideas of the LEFT Do Not Work

The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

Thomas Sowell, The survival of the left

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Liberals' False Assumptions

Liberals seem to assume that, if you don’t believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help.

Thomas Sowell

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Academic Politician

The builder of railroads has a clear enough idea of the utility whereby he judges the value of his education; it is made manifest in rails that do not warp and axles that do not crack. He is still bound to a salutary though severely constricted truth. The political player—the man who falls in adoration before the cloaked vacuity of politics as the summum bonum—can have no such clear idea, because man will always frustrate anyone who demands perfection on earth, or even reliable prosperity and peace. The builder of railroads, when a gear turns up worn or toothless, alters the design of the gear or seeks a more durable alloy. The political player, when he meets with inevitable disappointments and reversals, turns in anger against his opponents, who must be wicked, or against the very mankind whom he purports to raise up.

The builder of railroads is interested in railroads; the academic politician is interested in victory. He has the moral code of Machiavelli, but, because he is too impatient to submit to the instruction of history, he has not the old master’s shrewd sense of human limitations and contradictions. He makes the worst of rulers: he is neither a lover of truth, nor a practical man of the world, nor an habitual examiner of his all-too-human and persistent failings.

Anthony Esolen, Higher Education in Hell

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Unhappy Childhood Is NOT an Excuse

Murderers may in some cases have had unhappy childhoods, but there is absolutely nothing that anybody can do to change their childhoods after they are adults. The most that can be done is to keep murderers from committing more murders, and to deter others from committing murder. People on the left who want to give murderers “another chance” are gambling with the lives of innocent people. That is one of many other examples of the cruel consequences of seemingly compassionate decisions and policies.

Ironically, people on the left who are preoccupied with the presumably unhappy childhoods of murderers, which they can do nothing about, seldom show similar concern about the present and future unhappy childhoods of the orphans of people who have been murdered.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bad College Admissions Policies

There are people who urge college-admissions committees to let disadvantaged students be admitted with lower test scores or other academic indicators. Those who say such things seldom even attempt to see what the actual consequences of such policies have been. The prevailing preconceptions — sometimes called what “everybody knows” — are sufficient for them. Factual studies show that admitting students to institutions whose standards they do not meet often leads to needless academic failures, even among students with above-average ability, who could have succeeded at other institutions whose standards they do meet.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Man Is Not an Animal

Many a sensible modern man must have abandoned Christianity under the pressure of three such converging convictions as these:  first, that men, with their shape, structure, and sexuality, are, after all, very much like beasts, a mere variety of the animal kingdom; second, that primeval religion arose in ignorance and fear; third, that priests have blighted societies with bitterness and gloom. Those three anti-Christian arguments are very different; but they are all quite logical and legitimate; and they all converge.  The only objection to them (I discover) is that they are all untrue.  If you leave off looking at books about beasts and men, if you begin to look at beasts and men then (if you have any humour or imagination, any sense of the frantic or the farcical) you will observe that the startling thing is not how like man is to the brutes, but how unlike he is.  It is the monstrous scale of his divergence that requires an explanation.  That man and brute are like is, in a sense, a truism; but that being so like they should then be so insanely unlike, that is the shock and the enigma.  That an ape has hands is far less interesting to the philosopher than the fact that having hands he does next to nothing with them; does not play knuckle-bones or the violin; does not carve marble or carve mutton.  People talk of barbaric architecture and debased art.  But elephants do not build colossal temples of ivory even in a rococo style; camels do not paint even bad pictures, though equipped with the material of many camel’s-hair brushes.  Certain modern dreamers say that ants and bees have a society superior to ours.  They have, indeed, a civilization; but that very truth only reminds us that it is an inferior civilization.  Who ever found an ant-hill decorated with the statues of celebrated ants?  Who has seen a bee-hive carved with the images of gorgeous queens of old?  No; the chasm between man and other creatures may have a natural explanation, but it is a chasm.  We talk of wild animals; but man is the only wild animal.  It is man that has broken out.  All other animals are tame animals; following the rugged respectability of the tribe or type.  All other animals are domestic animals; man alone is ever undomestic, either as a profligate or a monk.

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pg.141-142

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Liberals Deny Reality

Many of the dangerous errors that have crept into our legal system arose from a progressive desire to pursue equality by denying reality.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Death of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.  No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.  

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple and sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

Common sense went on life-support when the schools could no longer discipline a trouble-making kid; when the schools could not give an aspirin for a headache and did not have to inform parents about the abortion for their daughter; when churches became more secular in structure and went out of the Bible-teaching business; when criminals were better treated than the victims; when you could not defend your home from the robber.  Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman was awarded millions of dollars because she spilled hot coffee on herself and sued the restaurant.

Common Sense is survived by his four stepbrothers: (1) I Know My Rights, (2) I Want It Now, (3) It Is Someone Else’s Fault, and (4) I’m A Victim!

Not Many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.  If you still remember him, pass this on. 

Author unknown