About theartfuldilettante

The Artful Dilettante is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and a graduate of Penn State University. He is a lover of liberty and a lifelong and passionate student of the same. He is voracious reader of books on the Enlightenment and the American colonial and revolutionary periods. He is a student of libertarian and Objectivist philosophies. He collects revolutionary war and period currency, books, and newspapers. He is married and the father of one teenage son. He is kind, witty, generous to a fault, and unjustifiably proud of himself. He is the life of the party and an unparalleled raconteur.

White Americans are More Demonized than the Jews During the Holocaust

After 55 years of special privileges and special pleading for black Americans, where do we stand? Integration has failed. Black Americans, or more correctly, those who speak for them, want black-only towns, black-only college dorms, black-only dining halls, and a black national anthem. Except for the black anthem, that’s what they had a half century ago prior to “affirmative action.”

How is it that when blacks demand segregation, it is not racism?

As Lawrence Stratton and I demonstrated in our book The New Color Line (1), racial quotas were strictly prohibited by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Nevertheless, the law was stood upside down and quotas were imposed. As a result many young whites, especially males, had their careers foreclosed. Less qualified people took their place in universities, in employment and in promotions. New wrongs against whites were justified by white liberals as compensation for past wrongs against blacks. The sins of the fathers were visited upon the sons.

This is the New Justice.

The insouciance of white Americans makes it easy for them to be brainwashed and indoctrinated. And they are. So many of them have been imbued with guilt that white city governments are unable to protect white businesses from looting and arson. The Democrat Party is so infused with white guilt that its response to rioting and looting is to defund the police. Yet, according to the press prostitutes, the Biden/Kamala duo are leading the presidential race. The Democrats know that Biden will be removed as medically unfit and Kamala, an anti-white racist, will become president if guilt-ridden Democrats win.

What will be the future of white America if Kamala is in the White House? This is something that all Americans need to contemplate.

White Americans, being essentially an insouciant people, have no comprehension of how demonized white people are. Of course, no one tells them, and they are too busy with their golf game, watching their college football team, and remodeling the kitchen to care. Whiteness is so demonized that it is destroying science, “a white construct” and thereby racist. Physics itself has been declared to be “a mirror of colonial patterns and social inequality” (2).

Even mathematics is now declared to be racist by white mathematicians themselves—the Mathematical Association of America. Mathematics, the brainwashed mathematicians say, is polluted with racism. Apparantly even 2+2=4 is a white racist construct.

Nonsense, you say. If only. You can read about it here: (3).

(1) https://www.amazon.com/New-Color-Line-Paul-Roberts/dp/0895264625/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=The+New+Color+Line&qid=1602630401&s=books&sr=1-3

(2) https://www.rt.com/op-ed/498873-decolonizing-light-physics-racism/

(3) https://www.rt.com/op-ed/503367-thought-crime-mathematics-fear/

Paul Craig Roberts

America Lives under Two Constitutions

What is seem in the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett is yet another example of the left’s ongoing attempt to displace the written Constitution of 1787 with an unwritten one based on progressive dogma.  This has been a continuing process for more than fifty years.  According to Christopher Caldwell in his Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, it began with the civil rights movement, when the Democrats and many of the leading institutions of America started to force a de facto constitution on America.  Caldwell calls it the  “Constitution of 1964.”  That was also when the civil rights movement become America’s defining principle, and everything — history, written law, attitudes, and even science  — has to be interpreted from its perspective.

The 1787 constitution focused on liberty and ordered rights.  It also limited the scope of the federal government.  In contrast, the Constitution of 1964 is centered on equality, but equality in a revolutionary sense.  At first, this equality was sold to the country at removing discrimination toward blacks and providing them with equal opportunity.  When that did not meet progressive objectives, the push went to demands for equal outcomes.  Affirmative action became racial quotas by another name.

Having achieved that objective, the progressives moved ahead.  Under the banner of equality, space had to be created for any group that thought itself marginalized.  This included not just racial minorities, but also homosexuals, women, illegal aliens, Muslims, and now what’s called transsexuals.  This is the Rainbow Coalition of the Democrat Party.  In the view of the progressive left, the only group not deemed marginalized is Christian, white, straight males.  And a group not marginalized in a country of marginalized groups is “privileged.”  In the progressive mind, it is therefore a moral necessity to discriminate against white males under the rationale that this will then make everyone equal.  By necessity and design, the progressive idea of equality results in gross inequality in the form of special privileges and preferential treatment for some and disfavor for others.  This is an affront to the Constitution of 1787…and the Civil Rights laws as written.

The progressive view on equality also helps explain why anti-Americanism is so prevalent in the Democrat Party and on the left.  As R.R. Reno explains, coming together as a nation is invariably cast as an act of discrimination by those groups and individuals who do not subscribe to the majority view.  The complaint is that they are not sufficiently included.  And since complete inclusion is a progressive requirement for equality, patriotism is akin to Jim Crow laws and has to go.  Nationalism, too, and for the same reason.

The progressive project flies in the face of human nature.  Therefore, to push its agenda, the left must rely on government coercion to achieve its objectives.  This brings us to a second aspect of the Constitution of 1964.  Governance by principles of the republic as founded has to be replaced by the administrative state, where “expertise” and efficiency take priority over the people’s will.  The experts and bureaucrats will decide what is good for society, not the people through their elected representatives.  This results in bigger and non-responsive government accompanied by reams of bureaucratic regulations and red tape.  To sustain this type of system, the progressives need judges who are in accord with it.  ACB is not.

Right now, America operates under two constitutions — the written one of 1787 and the implicit progressive Constitution of 1964.  Neither one is strong enough to completely displace the other.  In my opinion, the progressive constitution seems to have the upper hand.  America would not have Roe v. Wade, homosexual “marriage,” and Obamacare otherwise.  This will be especially true if the Democrats sweep in November. 

The Barrett confirmation hearings has nothing to do with her qualifications.  Looking at the matter objectively, Barrett could run legal and intellectual circles around any woman and most men who ever sat on the Supreme Court.  This certainly includes the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The sole reason for the Democrat resistance to Amy Coney Barrett is that she supports the original constitution as written and not the faux one the progressives need to move their agenda forward.

Peter Sturkiss, American Thinker

Singin’ in the Rain: This Movie Scene Epitomizes the America I Knew and Loved….

This iconic movie scene just about perfectly depicts and epitomizes the America I knew and loved—brimming with optimism, boundless energy, a nation with neither obstacles nor challenges that could not be overcome, a nation unshackled by guilt nor doubt, and a nation proud of its unparalleled accomplishments.

America was truly singin’ in the rain.

The Artful Dilettante

This is War

This unspeakable creep stated in his “town hall” several days ago that he will make vaccinations mandatory. What happened to “my body, my choice”? Leftists ONLY apply this to abortion, and pot smoking. Virtually nothing else. What does this tell you about their priorities? This is really momentous, that Biden said this. Because he also hinted at banning “certain activities” to compel people to take vaccinations. What “certain activities” would those be? He won’t tell us. Dictators never tell. One is left to assume the only possible ways: turning off your water, Internet or electricity; preventing you from getting food; preventing you from getting the Social Security or Medicare benefits you were forced to pay for (assuming you work).

This is totalitarianism. This is for real. I don’t care if Donald Trump hurts your feelings. I don’t care if you don’t think he fits your image of what a President should be. We are talking here about the brutality of a Communist, fascist state. President Trump is the ONLY THING standing in the way at the moment. If you vote for Biden, I am holding YOU personally responsible for whatever happens if he wins. I encourage those who agree with me to do the same with their family members and associates. This is war, like it or not. It’s a war being initiated by leftists like Biden: against the most basic, most fundamental and precious of individual rights. Right now, the good guys are losing. Everyone is wearing masks, everyone’s economic stability is on hold, and nothing is as it was. But the good guys have to win. Otherwise, you will be living in a darkness like this country has never known.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Let’s Defend Capitalism

The World is locked today in a fierce war of ideologies, in some ways strangely resembling the wars of religion in the Middle Ages. The doctrinal points at issue in those wars have become unintelligible to most of us today, and there are some equally strange paradoxes in the present ideological war.

The Communists, who started it, not only know precisely what they are against — Capitalism — but precisely what they are for. On both questions the party line is laid down for them from the top. There can be no deviation, on pain of ostracism, penal servitude, torture, or death. But on the other side, most of those who do not accept Communism did not realize, until belatedly, that there even was an ideological war going on; and that no appeasement, no conciliation, no mutual attitude of live-and-let-live, was possible, because the Communists were determined from the start not to permit it. The non-Communists had no idea that they were engaged in a life-or-death struggle.

But this brings us to other paradoxes. The non-Communists are still not even united as anti-Communists. For there is still an influential group who say: “True, we should not allow the Russians to impose Communism on us, but neither should we try to impose our system on the Russians. Capitalism (or Democracy) is probably the best system for us, and Communism for them. If we stop arming against the Communists and talking against them, their suspicions will gradually dissolve, and each of us can live peaceably in his own way.” This view persists, in spite of its untenability, mainly because it is a wish-fulfillment.

Disunited Anti-communists

Moreover, even the anti-Communists are not united. They are all “against Communism.” But they have no common definition or concept of Communism. Few of them realize that Communism is primarily an economic doctrine. Most of them regard it primarily as a political or a cultural system. What they hate about it is the despotism, the total suppression of freedom — political, religious, or artistic; the cruelties, the forced confessions, the systematic lying, spying, and plotting, the relentless campaigns of calumny, the existence or threat of military aggression.

All these things are indeed hateful. But what most anti-Communists still fail to see is that they are merely the inevitable consequences of the basic economic doctrine of Communism. These are what Karl Marx, writing of Capitalism, would have called the “superstructure.”

The anti-Communists are also deeply divided in their ideas of the economic system they would prefer to Communism. They range from champions of the free market to left-wing Socialists, with every variety of New Dealer, planner, and statist in between. The New Dealers seem as eager to repudiate “laissez faire Capitalism” as they do Communism. And when it comes to the basic economic organization they propose, the Socialists are actually at one with the Communists against Capitalism.

These violent divisions within the ranks of the anti-Communists have led to conflicting ideas concerning the proper “strategy” against Communism. There are those who think that “anti-Communism” is itself a sufficient ground for unity. Communism, they say, is not a doctrine that needs to be dissected, but a conspiracy that needs to be suppressed. What we must do is to ferret out the Communists — in the government, in the armed forces, in the U.N., in the schools and colleges — expose them and get rid of them. Anything else, they contend, is either unimportant or a diversion.

Is “Democracy” Enough?

There is another group that is not satisfied merely with being against Communism, which concedes that the opponents of Communism must have a common positive philosophy, but which thinks that belief in “Democracy” is enough. This has been substantially the position of the State Department and the Voice of America under Truman. It is the position of the major part of the American press.

What Is Democracy?

It does not stand up under serious analysis. “Democracy” is one of those sweepingly vague words that mean too many things to different minds. It can be stretched or compressed, like an accordion, to meet the controversial needs of the moment. “Democracy” as a unifying concept has come to be, in fact, little better than a semantic evasion. To some it means a political system under which the government depends upon the uncoerced will of the people in such a way that it can be peaceably changed whenever the will of the people changes. To others it means anything down to a system of unrestrained mob rule in which everyone is declared by fiat to be equal in merit and influence to everyone else; in which a minority has no rights that a majority is bound to respect; in which anyone’s property can be confiscated at will, and distributed to those who did nothing to earn it; in which incomes are to be equalized in spite of glaring inequalities in ability, effort, and contribution. This second concept of Democracy must lead inevitably into a Communist system and not toward a free one.

“Democracy,” therefore, has not only come to be so vague as to be almost meaningless; it has lost nearly all its value even as a semantic weapon. The enemy has taken it over and used it for his own purposes. The Communists call their own system (tautologically but beguilingly) a “people’s democracy,” and argue that capitalist democracy is a contradiction in terms.

Even if the concept of “Democracy” did not suffer from a fatal ambiguity, it would still refer primarily to a political system. But Communism stands primarily for an economic system, of which the political accompaniment is mainly a consequent or superstructure. Therefore “Democracy” is in any case a false antithesis to Communism. It is like declaring west to be the opposite of north, or cold to be the opposite of black.

Communism vs. Capitalism

The true opposite of Communism is Capitalism. The Communists know it, but most of the rest of us don’t.

This is the real reason for the ideological weakness of the opposition to Communism, and for the ineffectiveness of most of the propaganda against it — particularly the official propaganda, up to now, of the State Department and the Voice of America, and of the Western governments generally. All these set up “Democracy” as the antithesis of Communism, partly because they are confused enough to believe it is, and partly because they have neither the will nor the courage to defend Capitalism.

There are several reasons behind this reluctance. To begin with, the very word “Capitalism” was coined and given currency by Marx and Engels. It was deliberately devised as a smear word. It was meant to suggest what it probably still does suggest to most minds — a system developed by and for the capitalists.

The overwhelming majority of bureaucrats in the Western countries do not really believe in the basic principles of Capitalism. The economic freedom it involves is alien to their minds. It is not natural for the people in power in government to believe in less governmental power. Moreover, they do not really understand what makes Capitalism work, or what measures are conformable with it. Their natural tendency is to favor the incompatible system of the government handout. Hence they plump for huge foreign aid programs, Point Four, the International Monetary Fund, and interminable United Nations meddling. They do not realize that these measures and institutions actually retard or prevent the freedom of trade and the free international flow of private investment upon which real recovery, economic growth and productivity depend.

Finally, even when an American official understands and favors Capitalism, he is embarrassed by the fact that several of our most important European allies are addicted to Socialism. Therefore he does not dare to praise Capitalism in specific terms for fear of offending our Socialist allies by implication. The real case against Communism hardly even gets itself officially stated.

What Freedom Does

It is in large part because of the connotations built into the smear word “Capitalism” that, while millions are willing to die for Communist delusions, nobody has been willing to die for Capitalism — certainly not under that name. But Capitalism is merely the Marxist epithet for the system of the free market, for competitive private enterprise, for the system under which each is permitted to earn and keep the product of his labor — in brief, for economic freedom.

It is because of its freedoms and securities that Capitalism is incomparably the most productive system in the world. It does not have to “prove” its superiority to Socialism or Communism. It has already proved that a thousand times over, whether the standard of comparison is productivity or personal freedom. Capitalism is not the best system because it is best for the employer or for the rich. It is the best system precisely for the worker and for the poor. Under it the status, wages, and welfare of the worker have improved historically at a rate and to an extent that before the Industrial Revolution would have been considered incredible. They are still improving, at, if anything, an accelerative rate.

The answer to Communism, in brief, is Capitalism. And once we understand this, the problems of “ideological strategy” which we have been confusedly debating begin to melt away. We do not have to discuss whether we have been “merely talking to ourselves” or not. The very question is based on a false analogy — the analogy of the lawsuit, of “our side” versus “their side.” This analogy unconsciously swallows the Marxist theory of a real clash of interest between economic “classes” — employers versus workers or rich versus poor. But once we recognize that the system of Capitalism is the only workable one, the only one that promotes the interest of both employers and workers, while it provides the maximum of opportunity for the poor to conquer their poverty, then the real distinction is between those who understand the system and those who do not. A man who is known to understand a problem is never merely talking to himself; all those who sincerely wish to understand it can be counted on to listen.

Another problem which melts away is whether we should confine ourselves to combating Communism, because it is a conspiracy and a military menace, or whether we can disregard Communism, on the ground that it has been sufficiently exposed, and concentrate on combating socialist measures because there is so much more real likelihood of their being adopted at home.

The solution is simple. There is only one right answer to the sum of 2 and 2, and an infinite number of wrong answers. Once we have shown that 2 and 2 make 4, we do not have to provide separate proof that every other answer is wrong. Communism is just one wrong answer to the basic social problem — though the worst and most dangerous. Socialism (which proposes the same basic economic measures as Communism) is merely another wrong answer, in the long run only a little less bad and a little less dangerous. “Planning,” price control, inflation, Keynesianism, are still other wrong answers. As in arithmetic, there are an infinite number of such wrong answers. But once we have found the right answer, we can explain what is wrong with the other solutions from that basis.

In the social and economic realm, we must base our criticisms on a positive program. That program is the improvement and purification of Capitalism.

Henry Hazlett, author of the classic “Economics in One Lesson”

It’s Starting to Look Ugly for the Democrats

It’s crunch time for the challenging Democrats.  We’re coming down to blastoff-like countdown numbers ’til November 3.  The real leaders of the Dem Party — not those shock troops carrying placards in the streets, but the real mavens of policy, who call the shots from behind their desks — are starting to sweat.  They have smarts.  How long before their candidate goes completely off the wall and is no longer able to be protected by the accommodating media?  Biden has already twice repeatedly claimed to nationwide audiences that he’s running for a Senate seat.  His behavior to both fans and interviewers has increasingly shown his mean side.  He’s ready to implode under the pressure.  In addition, Trump’s almost miraculous recovery from the coronavirus and the massive crowds cheering him on at his open-air rallies indicate another 2016-like disaster for the left.  Leftists know it.  And this frightens them.

Throw in the exposure of Hunter’s exploits that have his dad’s fingerprints all over the scandals that are slowly leaking out and raising the awareness to those who have yet to cast their ballots.  The laughably rigged “polls” reminiscent of those in 2016 are fading in relevance.  It’s clear to the left’s top brass that the Donald Trump of today is nothing like what he was when he faced off against Hillary.  He was then a big question mark in the mind of every citizen.  He had no political history at all.  He ran solely on promises, which politicians rarely keep once they attain office.  Trump kept his — every one.  People noticed.  Not only did blue-collar Democrat workers retain their jobs, but employment opportunities increased.  America became not onlyenergy independent, but the major producer and exporter of such power sources.  Trump lowered taxes, made peace in the Middle East, rebargained trade agreements in our favor, sent shivers down the spines of dictators, hung Putin out to dry, and is pulling out of our age-old wars.  All this and much more in less than four years with the Democrat jackals at his throat 24/7.  Throw in the ludicrous spectacle of his impeachment by the House, which began a few days before his swearing in — which, unfortunately for the left, raised his stature as a winner. 

The unruly and unprofessional recent handling of the NBC Miami “town hall” by Savannah Guthrie, that went off the wall, did not sit well with the crucial voters on the fringe.  Amy Barrett’s hearings unveiled the bias of the left toward her Christian beliefs.  Christian voters, especially those millions who sat out 2012 because of Trump’s brashness, noticed, nodded, and have been inspired to vote.

The foundation of Biden’s campaign is cracking.  Something drastic has to be done, now at the finish line, to panic the voters, to short-circuit the voting process, to divert voters’ attention, to basically destroy the election and eventually declare the outcome null and void.  How to do this and what to expect in the days ahead?  Nothing’s off the table for the radical left.

Look for those vandalous thugs in the armies of the BLM and Antifa, who, in recent years, were in Spring Training, to be called out in the next two weeks to strike fear into the hearts of America.  If polling places were to be vandalized and destroyed prior to November 3, could there not be a demand by the Schumers and Pelosis to call the election null and void due to “the denial of voting opportunities”?  If vehicles toting completed ballots were hijacked, what then of a reliable count?  Do you recall the two Black Panthers in Philadelphia during the 2008 voting process who physically and verbally intimidated voters in front of a polling station to vote in support of Barack Obama?  They were exonerated by Obama’s wing man, Eric Holder.  It worked then for the Democrats, and look for more like that to happen before November 3rd.

The Democrats cannot afford to lose this election. If they do, they have no one else to blame but their leaders.  The effrontery to all of us to put an obviously ailing and incoherent Joe Biden for the top spot and for the V.P., Kamala Harris, who couldn’t even carry her own state in the primaries, indicates their lack of judgment.  They are at wit’s end and will risk the destruction of the nation to regain power.  They are capable of anything.  And that’s scary.  Watch out!

Alan Bernstein, American Thinker

Your Marxist Revolutionary Sons and Daughters

The violent riots, looting, arson, and even public execution of Trump supporters over the past six months has been primarily the work of the self-described communist revolutionaries associated with “Antifa” and Black Lives Matter (BLM).  Mug shots of some of the Antifa/BLM criminals that have appeared in the news and online show that some of them are seriously mentally deranged; some are hardened criminals with long criminal records; there seems to be a preponderance of convicted sex offenders and pedophiles among them; and what seems to be hundreds of pyromaniacs.  They are always accompanied by mobs of rather ordinary, run-of-the-mill, urban underclass looters, the products of the state’s life-destroying and crime-infested inner-city government schools, its family- and work-incentive-destroying welfare state, and its war on drugs.

Then there is the large army of useful idiots – the thousands of mostly white college-age or slightly-older kids.  They don’t seem to dominate the criminal mug shots published by urban police departments, but they appear to have comprised at least half of many of the mob scenes broadcast on American television over the past several months.  I lost count how many times I watched the boob tube as a chubby white girl dressed like a masked homeless person screamed in the faces of black police officers about “white supremacy” and racism, as though these mostly middle-aged black men were unaware of racial discrimination.  Then there’s that Ivy League co-ed whose parents own several multi-million dollar homes who was arrested for setting fire to police cars during one of the riots in New York City.  One suspects that she was not the only one who fit that description.

The criminals and the underclass looters are in it (rioting) for fun and profit, but the white college kids are there because they think they are being good Marxist revolutionaries by associating themselves with BLM, whose founders have proudly proclaimed that “we are trained Marxists” (and who also advocate the abolition of the family, as did Karl Marx himself).   How on earth, one may ask, have so many college students and graduates been convinced that totalitarian communism, of all things, is what they want for their future?

I am not speaking of all college students and recent graduates, of course, but a very large and vocal segment of that population – the so-called social justice snowflakes.  The answer to this question is obvious:  They have been thoroughly indoctrinated by the socialist indoctrination academies known as “American colleges and universities,” and also by their middle-school and high school teachers who themselves were indoctrinated there first.  They have been indoctrinated in textbook Marxism, in techniques and ideologies that were pioneered by Marx, Engels, Lenin and others, and carried forward first by the “60s Marxist radicals” and then by the radicals’ students who now dominate nearly every university.

Socialism Means Destructionism

Ludwig von Mises wrote in his 1922 classic, Socialism, that “the socialist idea is nothing but a grandiose rationalization of petty resentments” and “destruction is the essence of it,” the “spoiler of what thousands of years of civilization have created.”  Private property, free enterprise, the rule of law, the civil society, constitutionalism, religion, the family, tradition, history, are all today routinely denounced and destroyed by the useful idiots rioting in American streets.  What else would one call the riots, looting, arson and mayhem in certain American cities but Marxist destructionism?

Everything Mises said about the “revolutionary Marxists” of the early twentieth century applies to the American Left today.  “Instead of refuting” his critics, Mises said of Marx and Marxists, “his disciples have faithfully imitated the master’s example, reviling their opponents but never attempting to refute them by argument.”  This is one Marxist creed that today’s college students are very well schooled in indeed.  It is now almost routine that if a student group invites a conservative or libertarian speaker to campus he will be met with a loud mob shouting insults at him, prohibiting him from speaking, and, in the case of the University of California at Berkeley, home of “the free speech movement,” setting campus buildings on fire.  Consequently, very few dissenting voices are ever invited to campus in the first place.  Only the “oppressed” classes deserve the right of free speech, today’s college students are taught from the writings of twentieth-century Marxist academic crank, Herbert Marcuse.  Everyone else is to be smeared, libeled, and slandered as a “racist, “sexist,” “fascist,” etc., etc.  The “oppressed” classes are defined by today’s academic Marxists as everyone except  white heterosexual males who are not outspoken Leftists.  All white people are assumed to be inherent racists according to today’s Left, but being an outspoken campus commie earns one a get-out-of-jail card.

The “socialist parties” of Mises’ time perfected “the technique of agitation, the cadging for votes and for souls, the stirring up of electoral excitement, the street demonstrations, and terrorism.”  There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to being a Marxist revolutionary, in other words.  The purpose of “revolutionary socialism,” wrote Mises, “is primarily concerned to clear the ground for building up a new civilization by liquidating the older one.”  Of course, the whole history of Marxist revolutions is that the older civilization, which may have evolved over centuries, is in fact destroyed and then replaced with nothing but totalitarian thuggery, corruption, violence, and mass killing.  Today’s college students learn little or nothing about this – the real history of socialism – but are well schooled in utopian pipe dreams such as The Communist Manifesto.  I once used the Manifesto in a class called “Capitalism and its Critics” where I treated it as an historical artifact.  One student complained that it was the fourth time he was assigned to read it during his college career, but the first time it was not portrayed as a roadmap for the future.

Many Americans were not surprised when the revolutionary Marxist rioters, looters and arsonists (RMRLA) began toppling statues of Confederate soldiers and said nothing.  Many mocked President Trump when he predicted that the mob will move on to Thomas Jefferson and other founders. They were (and are) befuddled, however, when the same gang began destroying statues of Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, New England abolitionists, and just about every other kind of statue commemorating America’s past.  They have chopped off the heads of Virgin Mary statues at Catholic churches and spray painted vulgar graffiti on countless churches.  Once again, this is all textbook Marxism as taught to your sons and daughters in the institutions of “higher education.”  Tradition is merely “a tool of the bourgeoisie,” said Marx.  “In bourgeois society the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”  Marxists will have none of that business about learning from the mistakes of history for they – and only they – know all the answers.

Marx and Engels called for the “Abolition of Religion” in The Communist Manifesto along with a plea to “abolish the present state of things.”  “The forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions” was their goal.  “Communists everywhere support the revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things,” they said, something that was probably said many times over in American university classrooms in the past year.

“Ruthless criticism of all that exists” was also called for by Marx, who bloviated that “the ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.”  Communism “abolishes eternal truths,” Marx boasted, and “acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”  As F.A. Hayek wrote in The Road to Serfdom, in a totalitarian society truth is not determined by research, investigation, discussion, debate, and education but is handed down by the state in the form of statist platitudes.

Today this is called “critical theory” in the academic world and is quite prevalent.  When a business school professor (actually a lawyer hired to preach left-wing politics to business students) initiated a new course called “Critical Thinking” at my former university I asked her what academic discipline she would be drawing on – philosophy, logic, political philosophy, economics, etc.  Her answer was “Oh none of that; we will just criticize people like you.”

Talking with many of her students over the years I have learned that they were taught nothing about how to structure a criticism by using logic, facts, and theory.  Instead, they are taught to condemn, slander, libel, denounce, and smear anyone who voices disagreements with any of the standard leftist platitudes that all college students are bombarded with and have been since elementary school.  Ruthless criticism, in other words, just as Marx himself advocated.

“Communism begins where atheism begins,” wrote Marx and Engels, and “communism is incompatible with religious faith.”  Marx would be proud indeed of his contemporary American minions.  A June 1 Catholic News Agency article reported that “churches in 6 states were damaged by violent protests.”  Cathedrals were defaced and damaged and spray painted with “God is Dead” and “There is No God.”  In Europe, some 3,000 Christian churches and other buildings were vandalized, looted and defaced in 2019.

While American parents slept, university Leftists have turned millions of their children into uneducated, empty-headed, slogan-chanting useful idiots for the most despicable political tyrants and would-be dictators on the planet.  Way to go, American parents.

Thomas DiLorenzo

Why Johnny Still Can’t Read

Public schools are passing students who can’t read at any level — all to avoid blaming teachers, lawmakers, and bureaucrats.

Public schools from coast to coast are failing to teach young students the most basic skill they need to succeed in school and life: reading. This failure is widespread, tragic, and mostly unnecessary. We know how to teach reading, but many school administrators refuse to use the proven methods.

The extent of this self-inflicted catastrophe, which has ruined countless lives, was driven home to me again when the new school year began several weeks ago.Top Ar

Some 20 years ago I founded the Roger Bacon Academy (RBA), which manages a family of four charter schools in southeastern North Carolina. This year, for the first time in RBA’s history, the schools enrolled large numbers of students who transferred from the traditional county public schools.

Of the 168 first- and second-grade transfer students, 75 (approx. 45 percent) could not pass the basic readiness assessment to begin kindergarten-level reading instruction. Not only could they not read at any level, but their spoken vocabularies were insufficient to understand reading instruction if it were taught to them. Therefore, the 51 first-graders and 24 second-graders are now taking a kindergarten preparatory course called Language for Learning (L4L) that must be mastered before effective reading instruction can begin.

Unfortunately, the prevalence of nonreaders moving through our public-school systems is widespread. Here in North Carolina, in a typical year such as 2017–18, 55.7 percent of public-school students in grades three through eight fail North Carolina’s end-of-grade reading test. On the most recent reading tests administered by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), our so-called Nation’s Report Card, just 36 percent of North Carolina fourth-graders “performed at or above the NAEP proficient level.” Sixty-seven percent performed at the basic level — meaning that a third of all students did not. Lest you think this is a North Carolina problem alone, both measures were on par with, and in fact a little above, the national average.

The significance of this can’t be overstated. If students haven’t learned how to read proficiently (or in some cases read at all) by the time they enter fourth grade, it may be all over for them. As the National Conference of State Legislatures pointed out in a report at the end of last year, citing research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “third grade has been identified as important to reading literacy because it is the final year children are learning to read, after which students are ‘reading to learn.’”Biden Says He Will Not Release Supreme Court List to Avoid Politicizing Court 

North Carolina Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, in the course of his oversight of a 20-year education lawsuit (Leandro v. State of North Carolina), made a determination that such failures amount to “committing academic genocide.”

“Everybody seems to agree if you are not reading by the third grade, you’re screwed,” Judge Manning told TV news anchor David Crabtree on WRAL in Raleigh on August 26. “From the evidence, there is no reason in the world — if teachers and principals follow the assessments as they are supposed to — that a child should not be reading by third grade. . . . I get mad about this.”

We Know How to Teach Reading

It is not as if teaching reading has been ignored in the United States. Teaching reading successfully is a straightforward, well-documented process, and most children, given proper instruction, should be successful readers by the end of kindergarten.

The federal government began a ten-year, billion-dollar effort called Project Follow Through in 1968 that tested various methods for teaching reading to at-risk children in grades K–3. It compared 22 curriculum models in 178 communities with 200,000 children. The Direct Instruction (DI) model, the study found, “produced the best results in all areas: basic skills, problem solving, and self-esteem.”

In 1997, after 20 years of ignoring Project Follow Though results, Congress asked the director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), in consultation with the secretary of education, to convene a national panel to evaluate existing research and evidence to find the best ways of teaching children to read.

The panel was chaired by the late Dr. Donald N. Langenberg, then chancellor of the University of Maryland. The resulting National Reading Panel report of 2000 identified the five key skills that must be taught for reading, all of which are integral to the Reading Mastery (RM)/L4L curriculum our schools use — which, it should be noted, has been widely available since the 1970s.GET THE CAPITAL LETTER

A weekly digest on business and economics from an NR sensibility.

Instead of embracing these methods, most of the education establishment — superintendents, principals, schools of education, and, as they are taught, the teachers — snub them. The result: Year after year, significant numbers of nonreaders advance through the public schools. I’m not talking about students who aren’t reading at grade level; I’m talking about students who can’t read at any level.

Reading Mastery provides a carefully sequenced series of 160 lessons that teach beginning nonreading kindergarten students to read connected text fluently. Each fifth lesson has a built-in assessment to ensure that the student has mastered the material before moving on. Before beginning the series at RM-1, Lesson 1, Language for Learning is sometimes required to teach young children the basic vocabulary, concepts, and sentence forms used in typical classroom instruction. L4L also is carefully sequenced to introduce simple concepts at the beginning, building up to more advanced concepts later. Because children come in with widely differing levels of oral vocabulary, L4L has a placement test that allows teachers to start the program at a lesson matching each student’s readiness level.

The placement test uses 45 simple verbal instructions, such as “Show me your nose” or “Point to the wall” or “Put your hand on your head.” Some refer to pictures the student is shown and ask such questions as, “What is the person doing?” If a student can correctly answer at least 73 percent of the simple questions (33 of the 45 questions) the student is allowed to proceed to Reading Mastery 1, Lesson 1. Scoring below 73 percent requires the child to start L4L before reading instruction begins.

The fact that 24 second-grade transfer students — students who already had spent two years in local public schools — were unable to pass (that is, score 73 percent or better) the kindergarten L4L Placement Test should raise profound concerns among parents, public officials, taxpayers, and the media. What are North Carolina citizens getting for their investments in education?  How can school-district officials tolerate such outcomes? And remember, North Carolina fourth-graders scored slightly above the national average in the most recent NAEP national reading exam.

This is not to say that the Language for Learning/Reading Mastery curriculum and other available direct instruction programs provide a magic bullet. Some students, although fluent readers, still struggle with comprehension. At our four schools, for example, the overall percentage of students in third grade and above whose reading comprehension is at or above their grade level are 74.4 percent, 67.3 percent, 75.2 percent, and 56 percent. The statewide average is 57.2 percent. But I’ll add a defensive footnote: Even in our poorest-performing school, Wilmington’s inner-city Douglass Academy, the percentage was 73.3 percent among students who have been with us since kindergarten, while neighboring inner-city schools had passing percentages in the 20s and 30s.

I became involved in education by accident. I’m an electrical engineer by profession. After establishing and leading the bioengineering section at the University of Texas’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and later starting (and selling) a business, I retired and volunteered as a science teacher at Wesley Elementary School, a low-income, predominantly African-American school in Houston.

Wesley’s then principal, the late Thaddeus Lott, taught me what works in education: the proper curriculum executed with discipline, order, high expectations, and committed teachers and administrators.

I later moved to Wilmington, N.C., where — inspired by Dr. Lott — I helped establish the four Roger Bacon Academy schools, which currently have 2,500 students. All four are Title 1 schools, meaning 40 percent or more of their students are economically disadvantaged. Three of the four schools are among the top-ranked in their respective counties — despite the fact that the state tests our students are required to take are based on the Common Core standards used in most traditional public schools, not the classical, direct-instruction curriculum our schools use. Douglass Academy — named for 19th-century civil-rights icon Frederick Douglass — has been outperforming neighboring public schools, and I’m confident it’s on the way to becoming a top-ranked school as well.

Before writing the application for Charter Day School, the first school we opened, a colleague and I visited two other charter schools using direct-instruction methods and the Reading Mastery program: Franklin Academy, in Wake Forest, and Rocky Mount Charter.

Rocky Mount was, and is, an inner-city minority school, and the board was very gracious in hosting a tour for us. During the tour, our escort was called away, and we were left by ourselves in a hallway. We stopped a passing teacher and introduced ourselves and asked about her experiences at Rocky Mount with direct instruction.

She seemed flustered at the question. She took a breath and, pointing toward a window, said she had taught first and second grade for 14 years at a nearby public elementary school. Every year, she said, many students would be promoted to the next grade though they couldn’t read. She always had assumed it was a developmental issue about which she couldn’t do anything. At Rocky Mount, where direct instruction is used, she said every child was reading.

She began to tear up and, barely managing to talk while weeping, explained that these were just like the children she had passed along as nonreaders at her previous school. She told us how guilty she felt when she realized that she’d needlessly failed to teach so many students to read those many years. She hurried away down the hall as our escort returned.

Why Are the Successful Methods Ignored?

The establishment ignores Language for Learning (L4L), Reading Mastery (RM), and other proven reading curricula because to do otherwise would shift blame for nonreaders to teachers, administrators, the schools of education, and the lawmakers who ignore or make excuses for the public schools’ failings.

To understand the depth of the problem, look no further than the fate of a law passed here in North Carolina in 1996, General Statute 115C-81.2., “Comprehensive Plan for Reading Achievement.”

The law states:

The plan shall be based on reading instructional practices for which there is strong evidence of effectiveness in existing empirical scientific research studies on reading development.

It states further:

The General Assembly believes that the first, essential step in the complex process of learning to read is the accurate pronunciation of written words and that phonics, which is the knowledge of relationships of the symbols of the written language and the sounds of the spoken language, is the most reliable approach to arriving at the accurate pronunciation of a printed word. Therefore, these programs shall include early and systematic phonics instruction.

The law directed the State Board of Education to modify “the standard course of study and to emphasize balanced, integrated, and effective programs of reading instruction that include early and systematic phonics instruction” and to “review, evaluate, and revise current teacher certification standards and teacher education programs within the institutions of higher education that provide coursework in reading instruction.” The law contained no penalties or sanctions for noncompliance and after being ignored by the State Board of Education for ten years was repealed in 2017.

We’ll rescue the 75 nonreaders who escaped from the local district schools this fall. Millions of others around the country aren’t so lucky.

Baker Mitchell

Biden: America’s Lenin ?

COMMUNISM.

“It depends on the state of the nature of the vaccine when it comes out and how it’s being distributed,” Biden said.

“But I think that we should be talking about, depending on the continuation of the spread of the virus, we should be thinking about making it mandatory,” Biden said.

He admitted it is not enforceable but hinted at banning Americans from certain activities unless they comply with the mandate.
[Breitbart]

What the hell happened to “my body, my choice”? Evidently it applies to abortion … and absolutely nothing else.

Joe Biden not even asked about Hunter Biden’s incriminating emails by leftist media in the propaganda exercise labeled a “town hall.” More evidence that the Democratic Communist media is acting EXACTLY as state-run media would behave under a dictatorship. WILLINGLY. The people who watch CNN, MSNBC and all the others for “objective journalism” are begging to be lied to — and ruled. In America? It’s shameful beyond expression.

Michael J. Hurd

Affirmative Action: The Systemic Racism no One Wants to Talk About

Some Americans are discriminated against because of their race, but it is not who you think. 

The clearest definition of “racism” is treating people differently according to their race. Systemic or institutional racism is racism “expressed in the practice of social and political institutions.” null

Many American policies and laws are designed to ensure that people of all races, creeds, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities are treated equally, such as the Sixth Amendment, guaranteeing the right to “a fair and speedy public trial by jury,” the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, the Fifteenth Amendment, prohibiting the denial of the right to vote based on race, the Nineteenth Amendment prohibiting the denial of the right to vote on the basis of gender.

President Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925, following up similar earlier orders by Presidents Roosevelt and Eisenhower, required government contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” It established the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity (PCEEO). Title IX of the Education Amendments Act forbids unequal treatment based on sex (gender) in federally funded programs. 

But everything changed with subsequent orders, such as President Johnson’s, that required “contractors with 51 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace if a workforce analysis demonstrates their under-representation, meaning that there are fewer minorities and women than would be expected given the numbers of minorities and women qualified to hold the positions available.”

President Obama followed, and upped the ante, with “Executive Order 13583– Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce.” null

Notice the transition from “without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin” to “increase the participation of minorities and women,” from color-blind to race and gender preferences. Between the Johnson and Obama directives, specification of qualifications—“qualified to hold the positions”—disappeared, and in its place, the unlimited instruction “to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a more diverse workforce.”

Today “underrepresented” is not based upon the pool of capable applicants, but in relation to the percentage of the general population. What this means in practice is that people of certain races and genders are given preferences and benefits, and are thus “more equal” than people of other races and genders.

During the eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, “diversity and inclusion” became the guiding principle of governments, federal, state, and municipal, of industry, and of colleges and universities. It was an ideological tsunami, washing away the universalistic standards, such as the colorblind assessment of achievement and merit, in favor of racial, gender, sexuality, and ethnic preferences.

The Supreme Court refused to stand for principle, and waffled about educational benefits, allowing preferences to remain. Sixty-five percent of Americans disagree with this decision. Sixty-three percent of blacks and sixty-five percent of Hispanics disagree with the Supreme Court decision. 

In Canada too, preferences and special benefits were justified for particular racial, gender, sexuality, and ethnic populations. While according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 15(1), “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”null

This principle is negated in the following section of the Charter, in the interests of preferred sections of the population, for whom special privileges and benefits are granted,

Section 15(2), “Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” Canada has Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals that prosecute any complaint about discrimination in housing, employment, and commercial service, and also suppresses any speech that offends someone. 

What “affirmative action” and “diversity and inclusion” mean in practice is that in university admissions, hiring, promotions, funding, and organizational activities (living arrangements, social gathering, eating, and ceremonial activities), in government and business hiring, funding, and promoting, certain races and genders are given preference while others are low priority or excluded totally.

In a perfect example of the bigotry of low expectations, African American and Hispanic applicants with poor academic records are given university places, while whites and Asians with much stronger academic records are refused places. It is well established that in the sciences female hires are preferred, which of course means that male candidates are excluded. White male applicants and candidates, whatever their merits, are at the bottom of everyone’s list. For every “inclusion” based upon race and gender, there is an exclusion based upon race and gender. This seems a pretty clear case of official, systemic racism and sexism. null

Americans dislike racial and gender preferences. According to the Gallup poll, “Americans continue to believe colleges should admit applicants based solely on merit (70%), rather than taking into account applicants’ race and ethnicity in order to promote diversity (26%).” Fifty percent of blacks and 61% of Hispanics say that college admissions should be based on merit alone. It seems likely that hiring, funding, and other functions would reflect similar views. 

Previously marginalized minorities, who suffered under prejudice, discrimination, and legal restraint, are no longer welcome in the fields in which they excelled. Jews and Asians, highly “overrepresented” in medical, professional, and academic fields, are now no longer welcome. Jews today are deemed to be “white,” now that being white is regarded as a bad thing.

Asians, themselves people of color, have offended by being too successful, and have to be excluded to make room for preferred minorities. The new marginalization of Jews is reminiscent of the 1930s when elite universities excluded Jews through strict quotas, because they were not “Christian gentlemen” and they studied too hard. As for white men, you are the wrong sex and the wrong race, so good luck trying to get a place or post or funding in our feminist dominated universities. 

What justifies the establishment of two classes of citizenship, the preferred and protected and the unpreferred and excluded? In one discussion of “systemic racism,” the justification is disparities regarding wealthincomecriminal justiceemploymenthousinghealth carepolitical power and education, among other factors. The assumption is that “disparities” are unjust and intolerable, that we must jettison ideas of equality before the law and equality of opportunity in favor of equality of results and outcomes, so that every individual, group, and category of people is exactly the same.null

Why are “disparities” unjust? According to race and gender theorists and activists, disparities are unjust because they are the result of prejudice and discrimination. Furthermore, these theorists and activists believe that no further evidence of prejudice and discrimination is necessary; the disparities themselves prove discrimination, because without discrimination everyone would be represented according to their percentage of the population. 

There are many reasons that disparities–individual, group, and category–exist. People differ from one another, have different capabilities and interests. If people do different things, it is not usually because of discrimination. For example, Asian-Americans are “underrepresented” in the jobs of forest ranger, lumberjack, and truck driver, not because they are discriminated against in these occupations, but because they are motivated to pursue higher education and enter professions. Females are “underrepresented” in the jobs of fisherman, telephone and utility pole workers, and roofing, not because they are discriminated against, but because they prefer safer, cleaner, and more comfortable jobs in offices.

Females work fewer hours, fewer days, and fewer years than men, not because they are discriminated against, but because they prefer to spend more time with their children. Whites and Asian-Americans are heavily “underrepresented” in some professional sports, the NFL and NBA, not because they are discriminated against, but because African Americans have successfully competed for those jobs.null

Females are “underrepresented” in engineering, the physical sciences, and mathematics, not because they are discriminated against, but because they prefer academic fields that deal with people, such as the social sciences, humanities, education, and social work, where they are vastly “overrepresented.” 

Different groups and categories of people also have different community and family cultures and family structures. Some communities are highly education-oriented and push their children to gain educational attainment, while others are less so. Some communities have strong, two-parent family structures, while others have weak, one-parent family structures. Weak families lead to detrimental consequences for children in academic performance and risks of crime and incarceration. 

To claim “discrimination” as an explanation for individual and group outcomes is to ignore individual and group differences. “Discrimination” becomes an excuse artificially to impose equality where no equality exists other than in basic humanity. The imposition of “affirmative action,” in which members of some categories of people are favored, and members of other categories unfavored and excluded, is a clear case of systemic racism and sexism. In this system, population statistics determine the outcomes, and no individual receives his due, what he has earned. They can call racial and gender preferences “social justice,” but there is no clearer case of injustice. 

Philip Carl Saltzman, PJMedia