Progressive indoctrination in US schools has reached dangerous levels

It is difficult to pinpoint just when progressive indoctrination began at the college level in this country, it began slowly and under the radar at first.  What is abundantly clear today is that indoctrination has reached levels that are hazardous to our constitutional republic.  You can see just how dangerous the level of indoctrination has become from the Federalist article 4 Reasons Socialism Is More Popular Among Americans Now Than Ever Before

The supporters of socialism are not simply the young, but they’re disproportionately young people who are college-educated. The more college they have, the hotter for socialism they get. According to a 2015 poll, support for socialism grows from 48 percent among those with a high school diploma or less, to 62 percent among college graduates, to 78 percent among those with post-graduate degrees.

Those on the left probably jump immediately to the conclusion that support for socialism is just a natural outgrowth of big brains and elite educations. But there is, in fact, a less obvious but ultimately far more compelling explanation: Something — something bad — is happening at universities to pull students toward the (far) left.

We have already seen above that what’s not happening at even elite universities today is a whole lot of education in important subjects such as history. What we are getting instead is a lot of groupthink and indoctrination. Universities have always skewed a bit left. But beginning in the early to mid 1990s (for reasons I’ve explained in some detail elsewhere), ideological diversity began to vanish entirely, as the leftward deviation turned tidal.

Unfortunately the progressive indoctrination has spread down to high schools and grade schools because progressives infected teaching colleges.  The indoctrination has also been spread down to this level by teacher unions. 

Multiculturalism has always been a vehicle used to spread progressive indoctrination. Here is a particularly ridiculous example I found on Breitbart  Seattle Schools Plan Curriculum to ‘Explore’ Cultural Appropriation of Math.

The Seattle school district is putting into place a K-12 curriculum that encourages students “to explore how math has been ‘appropriated’ by Western culture and used in systems of power and oppression.”

Here is a quote from the Breitbart article that was originally from an article in Education Week

In most places, if schools offer ethnic studies at all, it’s usually in a stand-alone course in high school. But increasingly, schools and districts are starting to sprinkle ethnic studies across the K-12 spectrum. Seattle is taking a highly unusual approach by weaving the field’s multicultural and political questions not just through all grade levels, but into all subjects.

Politically correct revisionist history has been a mainstay of progressive indoctrination.  It is a particularly dangerous one because it is meant to undermine the entire foundation of our constitutional republic.  This Daily Signal article Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools chronicles the spread of this revisionist history.

Two years ago, the Indiana Legislature mandated that high schools offer an ethnic studies elective. As approved by the state’s Education Department, the class teaches about the contributions of ethnic and racial groups, various cultural practices, as well as such concepts as privilege, systematic oppression, and implicit bias. And now three states—California, Oregon, and Vermont—are trying to create authoritative statewide templates that, advocates hope, will make it easier for schools to adopt ethnic studies.

The statewide California ethnic studies curriculum was proposed in June by an advisory committee, composed of ethnic studies teachers and professors, and met with public outcry that such classes are designed to recruit students into political activism, indoctrinate them with ideological jargon, and promote the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Multiculturalism may seem warm and fuzzy on the surface however it is meant to tear down one particular culture, the culture of the United States.  Here are two great Thomas Sowell Quotes which sum up this sham.

Much of what is promoted as “critical thinking” in our public schools is in fact uncritical negativism towards the history and institutions of America and an uncritical praise of the cultures of foreign countries and domestic minorities.

What “multiculturalism” boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.

It will be extremely difficult to turn the tide back on this progressive indoctrination but it is something we must do to save our constitutional republic.  Ending Common Core and all other federal intrusions, while taking local control of K-12 schools, are important steps in the process, along with completely relaxing the iron grip of teacher unions.

Senator Warren’s Wealth Tax Plan would be hazardous to the US economy

During the last presidential debate Senator Elizabeth Warren talked about her plan to punish those who are the most success in this country.  Of course she did not use the word punish, preferring to use one of the usual progressive platitudes.  I’m sure you can guess which one in a microsecond.  Warren is not the only democratic presidential candidate pushing a wealth confiscation scheme, at least two others are.

This type of wealth confiscation has been tried in several states and a great many countries with the same disastrous results.  The Mises Institute article The Problem with Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth-Tax Plan discusses Senator Warren’s plan in great detail.   

The central argument of Warren’s the wealth-tax proposal is this: through a progressive wealth tax system — which means those with more wealth will pay higher tax rates — the wealthiest people in America will pay their “fair share” and that fair share will enable the equal redistribution of wealth.

As you can see from the first component of her proposal, this is not just a tax increases of 2 percent on income, this is a tax on assets and wealth.  Components two and three prove that this is just the beginning,

First, households would pay an annual 2 percent tax on all assets for net worth equal or less than $50 million. Individuals and families who are worth more than a $1 billion would pay a 3 percent tax . Second, the Warren forecasts a revenue of $2.75 trillion, and that would be allocated in the creation of new government programs such as universal child care for every child age zero to five; universal pre-k for every three- and four-year-old; student-loan forgiveness; free tuition and fees for all public technical schools, two-year colleges and four-year colleges. Third, the Warren proposal aims to heavily tax corporations so that they would pay their so-called “fair share.”

The proposed 2 percent tax on the wealthy will only fund a tiny fraction of those new programs and there is no mention of the flagship progressive pipe dream, Medicare for All.  A massive amount of federal bureaucracy and regulation will be needed to ensure corporations pay their fair share.  This is discussed in the next quote.

The first consequence will be the significant expansion of federal authority over the economy. Even if, in theory, the Warren wealth-tax plan targets only the super wealthy at first, this does not mean that the middle-class is exempted from a potential rise in income tax. For Elizabeth Warren to fund all the programs that she wants to implement, taxing the billionaires — even at a very high level — won’t be enough. The middle-class will eventually be forced to contribute to the funding of these programs, which means that the plan, instead of alleviating the wealth gap, will reduce the purchasing power of the middle-class. This means that ordinary citizens will have a hard time saving for their retirement or to invest in business ventures. Moreover, the plan gives the federal government more extensive power and authority over the allocation of resources and the economy as a whole.

How bad will results of the plan be?  Check out the next quote.

As a result, federal agencies will have far greater control over how resources will be allocated and invested throughout the broader economy. Yet, experience suggests government allocates resources inadequately and inefficiently, while distorting markets, and leading to bubbles and malinvestments.

The second consequence will be a great decrease in productivity for the economy overall. Indeed, those who already own large amounts of assets often own those assets because they have managed to put them to good use expanding the economy and increasing employment.  The wealth tax, meanwhile, is built on the premise that government agents can convert that wealth into cash payments, and that the government knows better how to distribute it. 

Mass exoduses of those who produce always occur when these wealth redistribution schemes are  implemented which result in a large scale decrease in wealth and standard of living.  This will happen here because:

The Warren wealth tax plan may confiscate the material wealth of wealthy persons and families. But those same people can take their know-how and move elsewhere. The impact on American productivity would not be positive.

At first the negative consequences of Senator Warren’s plan may only affect the wealthy.  This won’t last long.  Very quickly the negative effects will spread down to the middle class.  This conclusion was reached by the author of the Mises article.

Senator Warren’s wealth tax plan, despite the well-intended programs that it will generate; will end up as merely a tool to increase the power of Washington policymakers. Over time, taxes will creep down the income scale as the income tax did, eventually hiking the tax burden for the middle class, while also cutting productivity which will drive down wages and wealth for everyone.

Very rapidly the negative consequences of the Warren wealth confiscation plan will ripple through the economy, eventually turning into a tidal wave of destruction.  This has happened wherever this type of plan has been implemented.

Sorry Liz and Bernie—For a country to be free and prosperous private property rights must be sacred

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and most other Democratic presidential candidates  proclaim support for either outright socialism or policies that are very much like socialism in nature.  At the very heart of all of these policies is a diminishment of private property rights. 

The founding fathers of the United States understood that the right to acquire property and the right to use that property as wished where two of the most important God-given natural rights, rights that were essential for this nation to be both prosperous and free. That was a frequent topic found in their writing.

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the founding fathers of the United States received a great deal of their education about the essential nature of private property rights from John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government.  Here is a quote from Ch. V, sec. 27.  As you can see from this quote, money earned in the form of wages is one of the most crucial forms of private property.  It was written in 1689 and it is also the work that influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution the most.

Every individual man has a property in his own person.  this is something that nobody else has any right to. The labour of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are strictly his. So when he takes something from the state that nature has provided and left it in, he mixes his labour with it, thus joining to it something that is his own; and in that way he makes it his property. He has removed the item from the common state that nature has placed it in, and through this labour the item has had annexed to it something that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour is unquestionably the property of the labourer, so no other man can have a right to anything the labour is joined to—at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others

This quote from chapter 5 of Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith makes it absolutely clear that the money paid to an individual to perform work is the same as the labor itself and both are the property solely of the individual.  Progressives do not understand that at all. 

Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased; and its value, to those who possess it, and who want to exchange it for some new productions, is precisely equal to the quantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or command.

John Adams had this to say about the importance of private property when he wrote The Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States in1787.

Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

Thomas Jefferson wrote this about property in a letter to Samuel Kercheval

The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen, in his person and property, and in their management.

In this quote from a letter to Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours, Thomas Jefferson echoes John Locke.

A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.

Milton Friedman had this to say about private property in the interview “Free to Choose”: A Conversation with Milton Friedman

I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual’s natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they’re responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of

Here is one last quote on this subject, this one from the essay Will Property Rights Return? written by my favorite author Thomas Sowell

Both free speech rights and property rights belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.

Tlaib makes a bigoted statement and gets a pass, Blackhawks announcer gets pilloried for innocent remark

Blogger on the left, as broadcast on WGN-TV Chicago during a Blackhawks game in Nashville in 2018

By John Ruberry

Oh, the things the left gets away with…

Unless you are consumer of conservative media, or news sources from Detroit–I’m both of those things—you probably missed a piece of awful offal from US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a member of “the Squad.”

If you live in the Chicago area, as I do, you probably heard about the “racially insensitive” comments made by longtime Chicago Blackhawks announcer Pat Foley during a preseason game against a German team.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, was touring Detroit’s Real Time Crime center, which utilizes facial recognition technology to identify criminal suspects. Tlaib has her issues with facial recognition forensics, She Tweeted in August, “@detroitpolice You should probably rethink this whole facial recognition bulls**t.”

In a tour last Tuesday of the center with Detroit’s police chief, James Craig, one that the Detroit News described as “tense,” the freshman congresswoman told Craig that only blacks should be employed as facial recognition analysists at the center. Yep. She said that. Her actual comments were, “Analysts need to be African Americans, not people that are not. I think non-African Americans think African Americans all look the same.”

Wow.

Craig, who is black, took the high ground by replying, “I trust people who are trained, regardless of race; regardless of gender. It’s about the training.”

Of course it is.

Craig later condemned Tlaib’s remarks. “If I had made a similar comment people would be outraged,” he told Detroit’s ABC affiliate, “they would be calling for my resignation.”

CNN.com covered the Tlaib facial recognition comments, as did Fox News, but the national media otherwise ignored her obnoxious remarks, although a Washington Post technology writer covered some practical issues with facial recognition in response to what she said.

In short, Tlaib got a pass because she is woke. She’s also a Democratic Socialist.

Not so Pat Foley, the television voice of the Chicago Blackhawks. I don’t know Foley’s politics. Perhaps he’s apolitical. But Foley, who is white, is not woke. He has not spoken of the glories of Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. He does not make large contributions to left-wing organizations. He has not apologized for his “white privilege.”

Oh, what did Foley say that got the left so upset? During that ‘Hawks preseason game against Eisbären Berlin, while opposing forward Austin Ortega handled the puck, Foley said, “Ortega, who sounds like he ought to be a shortstop.”

Yep, that’s it. A Chicago Tribune writer deemed Foley’s quip “racially insensitive.” The Blackhawks, in their apology stopped short of that, calling what he said only “insensitive.” Sports Illustrated covered the kerfuffle.

The Blackhawks in that statement noted that Foley, a recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame, apologized to the Berlin team.

What appears to have ignited the controversy was a Tweet from an Hispanic hockey fan, Ghostchant, who distorted Foley’s words. “‘Ortega, sounds like he should be a shortstop’ instead of hockey.” Yep, “instead of hockey.”

But there is something else. Foley didn’t say “instead of hockey.” The Tweeter, who, if he has a sense of honor would place himself into his personal penalty box for a spell, added those words.

Here’s the entire Tweet along that “insensitive” comment from Foley.

In this split-second-glance-at-my-smartphone world, it’s easy to see why Ghostchant’s dishonest Tweet went viral. Many people look, get outraged, then re-Tweet or post on Facebook, without digging into the veracity of information on that puny screen, or, as I suspect in this instance, bothering to play the accompanying video clip.

Foley’s reputation has taken an undeserved dirty hit.

Tlaib, on the other hand, just keeps going.

What happened to Foley reminds me of a comment made by Nixon White House thug, Charles Colson, who later redeemed himself post-prison. “Anyone who opposes us, we’ll destroy,” he said, “as a matter of fact, anyone who doesn’t support us, we’ll destroy.”

That’s today’s left. Destroy first. Ask questions later. If at all.

There’s a lesson here. If you are a prominent person, unless you are deemed woke, you cannot comment on race or ethnicity, according to the rules of the high priests of the left.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Monopoly Socialism, A Surprisingly Nuanced Game of Wits

There is a lot of talk about the game Monopoly Socialism from Hasbro. Leftists are upset and folks like me are delighted that the game pokes fun at Socialism, but let’s forget that for a moment as a gamer and ask the basic questions one might ask about a game, namely.

  1. Is it playable?
  2. Is it challenging?
  3. Is it fun
  4. Weaknesses
  5.  Is it worth your time?

1.  As to the first question the game is very easy to play, the setup is not complicated because only the community fund gets any cash, the mechanics of the game are relatively easy and it tends to move quickly, sometimes VERY quickly.  The one real issue with the game is that you’re a monopoly player you have to make sure you don’t use a monopoly mindset because that’s an easy way to lose.  Which brings us to question 2

2.  Is it Challenging.  I was quite surprised that this game take a lot of thought.  you are playing both against your opponents and the game itself.  the nature of the game means that you have to take advantage of community handouts early to get power,

but to rely too much on it leads to everybody losing.  In addition while wealth can help make a difference in winning, it’s not really the determining factor, particularly when there are so many cards that can counter you.  Furthermore if you are too far in the lead it’s an incentive for the others to let the community fund run dry and everyone loses.  Like socialism you have to boil the frog so to speak to make sure that those who can bring you down don’t understand how you are manipulating the system.  Against strong players it takes an awful lot of skill to come out ahead…just like in socialism.

3.  Is it fun?   Well this depends.  if you are a person of the right you will likely find it fun and funny right from the start simply because of the cards and effects like this one:

The fact that the game is challenging and requires wits is a bonus extra.

Now if you are a person on the left who has made socialism and politics their religion then you are likely going to be so pissed off that no amount of challenge and nuance will compensate for the great insult to your religion, however if you are a person with an open mind who likes a skillful challenge then you might still enjoy this game as it takes quite a bit of wits to win.

4.  Weaknesses.  Three come to mind, firstly it’s actually fairly easy to rumble the game in one respect.   If the players right from the start decide not to take advantage of the system to get ahead in theory you can build up the community fund to a point where it might possible to advance on your own.  However that might take a half hour of not trying to win, so depending on who you are playing with that doesn’t work.

There are some ambiguities in the rules, ,for example, while it suggest that all should contribute to the general fund it’s not clear that people can do it voluntarily.  If you are a rich player it might be worth while to pay off the debts of the community to keep the game going and I think there should be a mechanism to do that.

We have also added a house rule that would be a good addition to the game in general.  There are cards that remove your chits from project due to offenses against socialism, however in real life what tends to happen in real life that such a person commuting such an offense can usually be shaken down to buy forgiveness, so we added a rule where a person can buy forgiveness from the community with a contribution to the community fund and a partial payment to the person playing the card.  Basically it’s the Al Sharpton rule and it adds another aspect to the game, both interesting and real.

Finally I’d like it if  you could play with six rather than just four, because my gut tells me a larger group would be more interesting but much harder to win.

5.  Finally is it worth your time.  I think so, it’s a challenging game that can be finished in under an hour, even quicker if people aren’t careful.  I don’t know if I’d pay the prices I’m seeing on Amazon right now but if you want a game that is fun to play, well designed, requires some wits and has just enough luck to not make it a forgone conclusion this game is it.

My congratulations to the design team, well done  4 1/2 out of five.