Category Archives: college

No. 19 Bookworm Podcast – Bookworm Beat 9/26/19: Ukraine stuff and more

In this Bookworm Beat, I cover the motives behind the Ukraine whistleblower kerfuffle, things at college that scare parents, and gender neutral dolls.

(If you prefer listening over reading, the companion podcast to this post is embedded below, or you can listen to it at Libsyn or at Apple podcasts. I’m trying to make a go of my podcasting so, if you like the podcasts, please share them with your friends and on social media. Giving my podcast good ratings helps too.)

Thoughts on the Ukraine whistleblower scam.  As a preliminary matter, I’ve read both the Trump transcript, which was innocuous, and the “whistleblower’s” allegations, which are not only hearsay, but are as ephemeral and meaningless as chalk on a sidewalk before the rains come. Neither document even hints at a quid pro quo. The MSM knows this, which is why it uses ellipses to remove more than 540 words between Trump’s request for a favor and any reference he makes to Biden and his son.

I’ve learned, as others have, that Bill Clinton signed off on a treaty in the 1990s allowing cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine to investigate and prosecute crimes. I’ve seen the growing suspicion that Adam Schiff engineered this whole thing. And I’ve seen that John Solomon reports that he has hundreds of pages of documents showing the remarkable coincidence that the same prosecutor who was investigating Biden’s son was the person Biden demanded be fired – and remember that Biden did so using the weight of U.S. finances as a cudgel and then boasting about it later. I’m also fully cognizant of the fact that Hunter Biden is a morally lost young man who has made himself fabulously wealthy selling his complete lack of expertise to foreign governments such as China and Ukraine, countries that, at the time, hoped for favors from a Veep who claimed to have Obama’s ear.

All that’s the obvious stuff. I bet you know it too. What I find more interesting is the blind hatred and the actual motive driving the Democrats here. A post from Frank Bruni over at msn news exemplifies what I’m talking about. Bruni pretends to be terrified about impeachment, although he assures readers that “President Trump deserves to be impeached.” Bruni then spells out why Trump “deserves” to be impeached:

Arguably, it’s the only move, at least in terms of fidelity to the Constitution and to basic decency. From the moment that Trump stepped into the office of the presidency, he has degraded it — with words that a president has no business speaking (or tweeting); with ceaseless lies; with infantile and often unhinged behavior; with raging conflicts of interest; with managerial ineptitude; with a rapacious ego that’s never sated; and with foreign dealings that compromise America’s values, independence and interests. How can principled lawmakers not tell him, in the most emphatic manner available, that enough is enough?

Reading over the above, with it’s exuberant use of adjectives, I’m reminded that, just today, the Pope warned people away from adjectives. How boring! Also, how Big Brother-ish to limit people’s thoughts by limiting the words available to them.

What does Bruni’s avalanche of words (including adjectives) really mean? Let me run this through the logical translator:

  • When Bruni says “with words that a president has no business speaking (or tweeting)” he means “he hurt our feelings.”
  • When Bruni says “with ceaseless lies” he means “he’s made statements of fact with which we disagree or that we deliberately (and repeatedly) misinterpret.”
  • When Bruni says “with infantile and often unhinged behavior” he means “Trump’s being an ordinary guy who fails to live up to the hip, no-drama Obama cool image we basked in for eight years.”
  • When Bruni says “with raging conflicts of interest” he means “Trump was and is a successful businessman, rather than a Leftist member of the perpetual political class, and his success more than anything exposes the weakness of our policies and the strength of his.
  • When Bruni says “with managerial ineptitude” he means “we hate that Trump gets more done in a week than Obama got done in eight years and, worse, he’s managed to undo most of what Obama did manage to do.
  • When Bruni says “with a rapacious ego that’s never stated” he means “we deeply resent that Trump has figured out a way to circumvent the fact that 90% of the media is Progressive and refuses to acknowledge his accomplishments.”
  • When Bruni says “foreign dealings that compromise America’s values, independence and interests” he means “we can’t stand that Trump has used his Constitutional authority over foreign policy and national security to turn away from Obama’s love affairs with Islamic theocrats, such as Iran’s mullahs, and hardcore communists, such as Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, or Xi Jinping and, instead, has turned towards liberty-loving countries such as Israel, the Central European countries that threw off communism’s yoke, and the East Asian nations worried about a rapacious China.”

In sum, what Bruni really means is that Progressives hate everything Trump stands for, that they don’t trust the voters, those stupid, stupid voters who elected Trump in the first place, and that they must kick Trump out of office in 2020 or sooner, because he’s just a totally icky, white supremacist troglodyte.

Bruni ostensibly worries that impeachment, rather than driving Trump out of office, will solidify his hold on the White House. Moreover, he legitimately worries that the Democrat base will be enraged when, despite the House’s efforts, the whole initiative comes to a dead-end in the Senate.

Still, angry Progressives notwithstanding, when Bruni says he’s terrified he’s being disingenuous. Of course he knows impeachment will fail. Even the squad – that weird sister foursome of Omar, Tlaib, Occasional-Cortex, and what’s her name again –understands this. To the extent he’s Bruni is tapping the brakes here, he does so only to spare the fanatics too much disappointment when impeachment goes down in flames. But Bruni himself still really wants impeachment. Why?

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, nails what’s really going on here:

Impeachment plugs into the same narrative [as Russian collusion] which is not just about winning, but delegitimizing.

Democrats want to win elections. Radicals want to delegitimize the entire idea of elections. Pelosi wants to win an election. The radicals don’t want to win elections. They want to destroy them. Their real goal is to use blind hatred of Republicans to convince Democrats that elections are inherently illegitimate. All their arguments, whether about Russian Facebook bots or the Electoral College circle back to that.

The choosing of governments, it follows, is too important an issue to be left to mere voters whose voting machines and brains are all too easily hacked by disinformation campaigns and FOX News.

And the removal of President Trump from office is also too important to be left to those same voters.

This true motive, to delegitimize both Trump and the entire Constitutional, electoral system is something that I can assure you Bruni supports wholeheartedly.

Put another way, what we’re seeing here is the twin to the motive that Christine Blowsy-Fraud and other Leftists had when making their manifestly false and salacious claims against Justice Brett Kavanaugh – delegitimization. We suspected that, of course, but Blowsy-Fraud’s attorney totally gave the game away:

It will be fascinating to watch this story unfold, although it will be fascinating in the same way one watches a horror movie, frozen with fear as the killer sneaks up on his victim. The best outcome would be for this whole charade to destroy the Democrats.

When I read my Facebook feed, though, which is mostly made up of Democrats who became part of my life during the decades I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I see that they are true believers and will never give up. Instead, they’ll become only more outraged and enraged. This is a scary thought because most of them are college-educated and in positions of power over the culture and over up-and-coming generations. Their children also show every sign of following in their footsteps.

Maybe Democrats are wising up to problems with college. Those who know me know that I have a real bee in my bonnet about American college education. My hostility to higher ed isn’t new. Indeed, it goes back to my days at UC Berkeley, at the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s.

I excelled at Cal as a liberal arts major, which is not a boast. It’s a complaint. I’m not that smart and I didn’t work at all. I ought not to have excelled. The fact that I did so means that standards for liberal arts majors, even back then, were abysmal. Being marginally literate was enough to push you to the head of the class.

I also had a real problem with the Marxist gloss so many of the classes had. I didn’t realize it was Marxist because I was politically uninformed. I did realize, though, that teachers were contorting themselves in ridiculous ways to put a class veneer on medieval, Tudor, Stuart, and Hanover England. Their lessons made no sense, and one thing I do have is a fairly good BS meter.

That was all a long time ago, and things have only gotten worse. In my last Bookworm Beat post, I launched one of my obsessive attacks on today’s colleges and universities as the incubators for every bad idea in America. I’ll spare you and won’t repeat it here. I’ll say only that, if Americans want to return our country to its Constitutional roots, the best way for them to do so is to demand that their congressional representatives enact a bill to withdraw all federal funds (aka taxpayer money) from colleges and universities (although I might be amenable to a tiny, tiny carveout for research directly related to national security issues).

Given that I just went on this rant a few days ago, why am I doing it again? I’m doing it again because a couple of my true believer Progressive Facebook friends have been sharing a June 2019 article entitled “A Very Dangerous Place for a Child is College.” It’s fascinating and worth reading in its entirety.

The author, Louis M. Profeta, is an emergency room physician who decided to take on the road the information he’d learned from seeing college kids head into the ER.  His point, and it’s a good one, is that too many American kids are immature and naïve to the point of death or permanent disability.

Dr. Profeta’s crusade started a couple of years ago when he wrote his first essay on the subject, “A Sunday Talk on Sex, Drugs, Drinking, and Dying with the Frat Boys.” That’s the title. In fact, it’s not just about frat boys. Profeta is talking about young people generally who are drowning in data and who pull all the wrong lessons from what comes their way.

Thanks to that article, Dr. Profeta got a second gig as a college speaker. In his current article, he describes, not just the information he gives the students, but also the questions they ask him. These questions make sense only if you consider that this is the “hey, let’s eat Tide Pods” generation:

I hadn’t held anything back from the students. I warned them beforehand. I was coming from a different place, a place where doctors do rape exams, pump veins full of narcan and epinephrine, look at the clock and pronounce time of death and break horrible news to moms and dads. I had become kind of sick of it (giving out the bad news, I mean). It didn’t seem like much was working to change the tide of opiate abuse, reckless behavior, and other causes of death in young people so I figured I’d start going to the source and begging these students to, well, grow the fuck up.

Most loved the candor, the openness, the willingness of a seasoned ER doctor to answer uncomfortable questions about drugs and alcohol, sexual assault, and hazing, and a whole host of semi-taboo topics. But it was the questions when the “adults” were out of the room that made me say to myself, “Holy shit … so many of these ‘kids’ have absolutely no business being in college.”

“What about whippets, what if I just snorted one xanax, can you really soak a tampon in alcohol and get drunk, is cough syrup OK to mix with vodka, is ecstasy and molly the same thing, can’t you just strap a backpack to them to keep them from rolling over so they don’t choke on their own vomit, what about phenergan, what’s in skittles (not the candy), how many milligrams of THC can you eat and not die, are they starting to add stuff to coke (not the cola) that makes you more hyped, how much does it cost to go to an ER, will you call my parents if I go, how can you tell if your roommate is suicidal, what if you know your roommate is using heroin … should I tell their parents, how do I tell if the ‘bars’ I bought online are not fentanyl, I got raped last year … should I tell someone now, I think my roommate is going to probably kill herself…who do I tell?”

For a long time, Leftists have been assuring us that colleges are the “rapiest” places in the world. (No, this isn’t a non sequitur. Stick with me.) For example, here’s presidential wanna be, and chief groper and hair sniffer, Joe Biden, when he was still Veep, parroting that claim:

Of course, we’ve long known that parents don’t really believe that 20% of all college women will be raped. If they did, they’d never send their daughters to a place that has a higher rape rate than South Africa, a country that annually sees around 95 rapes per every 100,000 people.

Because the sex ratio in South Africa is roughly equal, that means that, out of every 50,000 women in South Africa, 95 of them can expect to be raped (and that includes women from ages 1 day old to 100 years old). If my math is correct, means that roughly .2% of the South African female population risks rape. In other words, I think we can all reasonably believe that Biden and the feminists have been exaggerating by at least a factor of 100 the risk of rape on American college campuses.

What isn’t exaggerated is what Dr. Profeta talks about. Progressive parents know in their heart of hearts that this the risks he describes are the real deal: It’s a youth culture saturated in drugs, depression, and dangerous behavior. Knowing this is what may make these Progressives finally turn their back on these colleges and have their children enter the real world, instead of pushing them into a dystopian Marxist fantasy-land, one that almost proudly assures parents that, by graduation 30% of all the kids could be diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Certainly that’s what Dr. Profeta thinks should happen. He urges parents to save college for when their kids have grown up a bit:

We need to encourage our kids to slow it down, to take a longer path to college, perhaps. Expose our kids to real education—the kind of education that comes with a W-2, a boss, getting up early and working late and interacting with people who can’t afford a higher education. Make them appreciate the life experiences that come with nailing a 2 x 4, washing dishes, wheeling people to X-ray, picking up garbage, answering telephones. Make them earn their spending money BEFORE college and decide on their own if they’d rather use it on alcohol, weed, a four-block Uber ride, or laundry and food.

Teach them these things and send them off to school as adults.

Profeta’s advice is sound no matter how one looks at it. Not only will kids do fewer stupid things, it also means that young people who have indeed seen how the real world works will be less vulnerable to the social justice warrior, victimhood, Marxist politics preached at America’s institutions of so-called “higher education.”

As an aside, or maybe a follow-up, the crazy isn’t just in college. Our K-12 schools are staffed by graduates of these Marxist fantasy lands. That’s why we get stories about 5-year-old autistic boys being accused of sexual harassment for kissing a classmate on the cheek. And that’s why we get stories about a 6-year-old girl being arrested and led off in handcuffs and fingerprinted when she threw a tantrum at school and kicked a classmate. It’s hard for me to imagine the extenuating circumstances that could justify labeling a 5-year-old as a sexual harasser, especially one with autism, or cuffing a 6-year-old girl having a tantrum. The children were reacting, as children do; the adults were overreacting, as progressives do.

Not all college grads go into education, though. Most go into corporate America, which is how we get my next story, about a doll….

What happens when college grads get hold of dolls. Toymaker Mattel has admittedly taken a lot of grief over the years for Barbie, the impossibly voluptuous doll launched in the 1950s. I could never understand the outrage. I adored playing with my Barbies and, to the best of my knowledge, did not fight going to college or law school because of Barbie, nor did I develop a complex because I didn’t get a triple D bust, a 16 inch waist, 32 inch hips, and legs proportionately longer than Wilt Chamberlain’s with feet stuck in permanent high heel mode. To the extent I’m not normal, I blame my parents [joke] and a childhood in San Francisco [sort of a joke], not Barbie.

But as I said, Mattel got the flack. Fortunately, now that it’s fully staffed with woke college graduates, Mattel has a new plan: “Gender neutral dolls.

From that video, I want to focus specifically on the words you heard from Jess Weiner, a 1995 University of Pennsylvania graduate. Let me repeat them for you:

This will be really challenging for a population of people. We will challenge people’s points of view about how they think boys and girls should play. You know, it’s so funny parents often tell me that they want to raise their boys to be really wonderful fathers. How do we expect to raise wonderful, nurturing fathers if we don’t encourage nurturing play when they’re boys?

I raised a boy (and sometimes it seems as if I raised a dozen boys, because so many were always in my house). Asking them to play with dolls was anathema. They wanted to run, roll, tumble, tussle, yell, shoot play guns, do sports, and just about anything but play with dolls.

I raised my son, and my friends raised their sons, to be wonderful, nurturing people by helping them understand that, to be good men, they had to care for those weaker than they are, and that to be good people they had to be kind and, within the family unit, loving. Buying a Mattel doll wouldn’t have reinforced these ethical lessons about being a good man; they would have confused and disgusted the boys.

If you watch the whole video, you’ll see a few other people earnestly assuring parents that the way to raise the best boys and girls (but especially the best boys) is to get them playing with dolls who look like confused refugees from a San Francisco hipster Starbucks. As I  noted above, Weiner is a UPenn grad. Other voices are Lisa McKnight, a Denison University grad; Kim Culmone, a 1992 Louisiana State University grad; Linda Jiang, a 2013 Otis College of Art and Design grad; and Monica Dreger, a Boston University grad from (I’m guessing) the early to mid-1990s.

To give you a little idea about the colleges from which these women graduated, UPenn hosted a toxic masculinity seminar during this past year’s Super Bowl; Boston University just got hit with a $100,000 verdict against it in a lawsuit that John Doe brought because they mishandled sexual assault allegations against him; Denison was home to a professor who felt that the chant “all lives matter” was irritating and showed covert racism; Louisiana State University made news when the administration tampered with photos to remove crosses that students were wearing; Boston University is placing audience size restrictions on Ben Shapiro’s upcoming talk; and at Otis College, to the extent faculty members made political donations, 100% of those faculty members gave money to Maxine Waters.

Did I mention that we need to take federal money out of academia?

The only place in which I find gender confusion even marginally amusing is in the Kinks’ great song, Lola – which I’d like to believe never changed anyone’s sexuality:

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It’s a mixed up, muddled up, sup world, except for Lola
La-la-la-la Lola
Well, I left home just a week before
And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
And said “Dear boy, I’m gonna make you a man”
Well, I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
And so is Lola

The post No. 19 Bookworm Podcast – Bookworm Beat 9/26/19: Ukraine stuff and more appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

De-toxify America by pulling federal funds out of higher education

The best way to get America back on track is to elect a strong conservative federal government in 2020 and withdraw all federal money from higher education.

Would any conservative quarrel with me about the fact that the worst ideas at work in America today were first incubated in academia before integrating themselves into the population at large? Just the other day I noted the straight line between the ethical framework for infanticide as developed in academia and Gov. Ralph Northam’s advocacy for infanticide. (And if you want an insight into the moral inversion that is 21st century American Leftism, think about the fact that, when Leftists realized that ordinary Americans were appalled by Northam’s honesty, the only way they could get their own party to drive him out of office was to accuse him of racism back in 1984.)

Infanticide is only the most recent academic idea to infect the public sphere. The most globally dangerous, of course, is the love affair with socialism. Leftists do not care that socialism, when put into practice, was responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people in the 20th century, as well as decades of poverty and terror for billions in that same benighted century. They’re in love with the idea (“It’s so morally pure!”) and to hell with the reality (“It’s always been done wrong, you know.”).

As I remarked in an older post, the socialist infection was placed in academia as early as WWII and has festered there ever since. Since WWII, this ideological plague has given birth to, or incubated, the following pernicious ideas (and this is an incomplete list, off the top of my head):

  • social justice,
  • multiculturalism,
  • political correctness,
  • trigger warnings,
  • virtue signaling,
  • queer studies,
  • womyn’s studies,
  • gender studies,
  • rampant antisemitism,
  • cultural appropriation,
  • moral relativism,
  • anti-Americanism,
  • transgenderism,
  • gender fluidity,
  • victim status,
  • rape culture,
  • toxic masculinity,
  • toxic whiteness,
  • anthropogenic climate change,
  • allegedly violent Islamophobia,
  • aggressive atheism (usually anti-Christian)

That, as I said, is an incomplete list. I know you all can come up with other examples of Leftist academic madness.

The common thread in all of the above ideas is that they are intended to divide Americans by race and sex, to destroy their bodily integrity and sense of self, to make them hate their country, to turn them away from the traditional morality that creates a stable society, and to advance a totalitarian redistributive socialism that will destroy the free market system responsible for lifting more people out of poverty worldwide than any other political or economic system ever.

Once upon a time — indeed, in my time, more than three decades ago, at the already-crazy University of California, Berkeley — academia still downplayed its radicalism by providing students with some actual education. In the liberal arts — rather than today’s omnipresent social justice, complete with triggering, political correctness, race and gender madness, etc. — we long-ago students still had to learn “Western Civilization” and “Western Literature.” The professors who taught these classes, while Marxists in their private lives (Marxists, that is, living in expensive houses complete with Hispanic maids and gardeners), nevertheless managed to teach a mostly traditional Western canon in a mostly traditional way. That pretense of normalcy is gone now. It’s all Marxism, all the time.

Whether you prefer the incubator or the petri dish analogy, the reality is that America’s bad ideas always start in academia. For decades, students infected with these ideas have graduated and gone on to occupy the cultural institutions that effect the greatest force on our intellectual and political landscapes: (1) the internet/communication titans, (2) the news media, (3) grades K-12, (4) the upper echelons of corporate America, (5) and America’s entertainment complex. And, of course, like the disease vectors they are, a significant subset of these infected graduates go right back into academia to keep the intellectual infection spreading.

Academia’s role in perpetuating the poison of Leftist ideology is most vividly illustrated with Jews and Asians. Both of these groups are deeply committed to higher education and have been for generations. This means that, even as the Democrat Left is more open in its hatred for both groups (with antisemitism now a fixture amongst the new crop of Democrat leaders, and academic quotas against Asians normalized), Jews and Asians embrace the Democrat Party with increasing fervor. Within academia, they’ve been so brainwashed into believing Leftism’s shibboleths — everything from antisemitism to quotas — that they cannot envision ever breaking away. They will continue voting for an increasingly hard Left Democrat Party even as that party speeds its push for policies intended to destroy them.

Kurt Schlichter vividly, amusingly, and compellingly explains in Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy how America’s educated class, even as it grows, is breaking its compact with Americans. Once upon a time, back when only a small percentage of Americans graduated with four-year degrees (see discussion below), these graduates had both the historic literacy and the technical education (math, engineering, science, etc.) to give legitimacy to their belief that they were a leadership elite.

This meant that, back in the day, even though these graduates viewed the proletariat as lesser beings, they nevertheless had a sense of noblesse oblige that saw them feeling responsible for that same hoi polloi. That’s why early Progressivism, which was as steeped in Christianity as it was in a sort of high-brow socialism, advanced such laudatory causes as the eight-hour work day, child-labor laws, and workplace safety rules.

In the past two decades or so, as pure Leftism, unalloyed by even a nod to traditional values, has taken hold in colleges and universities, this sense of noblesse oblige has vanished. The same old institutions are still churning out people who take leadership positions in American society, but these new leaders despise the people over whom they exercise disproportionate control. To dis-empower the masses the self-styled elite hates, and to force them to align with the Leftism taught in academic, these Leftists power brokers are doing everything in their power to undermine our constitutionally free system dedicated to individual liberty.

Hillary was only speaking the self-styled elites’ truth when she characterized as “deplorables” the ordinary people who refuse to get with her hard Left academic program. Or as she explained at greater length:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that.

The new Left no longer wants to lead Americans; it wants to destroy them.

Given the toxic way in which academic Leftism has entangled itself deep into American society, and given its disproportionate power in American politics and over American social issues, many of you may be surprised to learn that academia still serves only a minority of American people. According to the Census Bureau, by 2017, only 30.9% of Americans over 25 had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Still, that’s significantly higher than was the case at the end of WWII, when America embarked upon the most spectacular destruction of poverty in world history.

This fascinating chart shows that, in 1947, only 4.7% of women and 6.2% of men had completed college. Twenty years later, when the Baby Boomers were really starting to change American culture, 7.6% of women and 12.8% of men had four-year college degrees. In 1987, when I started work as a lawyer, 16.5% of women and 23.6% of men boasted those degrees. Thirty years after that, not only had that number risen significantly, but the number of men getting degrees was visibly declining. So it was that, in 2017, 34.6% of women and 33.7% of men had college degrees. (And yes, I know those numbers are higher than the Census Bureau’s 30.9%, and no, I can’t explain the disparity, but they’re still in the same neighborhood.)

As the percentage of college graduates grows, America’s Leftism grows too. I’m sure someone is now thinking “Correlation and causation are not the same thing,” to which I saw “Pshaw!” The changes in our culture that I summarized at the start of this post strongly indicate that yes, in this case correlation and causation are the same thing. Certainly Democrats think so too, because they are desperate to get more Americans into college. One of their favorite platforms is “free” college for everyone. Even as college degrees become more expensive and less useful, given that the “liberal arts” neither create rational thinkers nor useful workers, Democrats know that they must find other ways to perpetuate the indoctrination.

Although only 30% or so of Americans are products of our academic system, vast sums of federal taxpayer money go to this system. We already know that student loan debt is an economic bomb waiting to explode:

Before delving into the nitty-gritty details, it is best to give an overall snapshot of the current student loan debt situation. Here are a few statistics that will give you a better idea of where the nation stands with its second leading form of debt:

· National Student Loan Debt – $1,520,000,000,000 ($1.52 trillion)

· Overall Number of Student Loan Borrowers – 45,000,000 (~70%of college students)

· Student Loan Default Rate – 11.5%

· Student Loan Delinquency Rate – 5.41%

· Average Debt Per Student Borrower – $27,975

(Resource: Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, Federal Student Loan Portfolio)

A lot of Americans who never got an expensive “Gender Studies” degree — a degree that enabled them to work as baristas at Starbucks and plot Howard Schultz’s political demise because he’s insufficiently woke, in addition to being white, male, and Jewish — are funding that 11.5% default and 5.41% delinquency rate.

And what about all the “no strings attached” money that Americans — more than 60% of whom have no connection to four-year colleges and universities — pour into academia? Frankly, it’s extremely difficult to track down all the grants that the federal government hands out because the funds go through myriad unlinked administrative programs. If I spent a lot of time looking, I’m sure I could find that data, but I don’t have that time. Blogging is a hobby, not a job.

Even for those who deal in the business of this data find it hard to calculate how much federal money is in education. Back in 2013, a writer for the hard-Left New America Foundation gave it a try when Obama wanted to spend yet more federal monies on education — and he was just looking at K-12. Regarding that, he said,

most tallies, even official government figures, are incomplete or inaccurate because of the way they treat student loans, refundable tax credits and education programs run by agencies other than the United States Department of Education. Other tallies go too far, lumping veterans’ education benefits and other programs into the mix.

Still, there are a few things we know about how American taxpayers fund that 30% who hate them. For example,

In 2010 federal funding overtook state funding as the main source of public support for universities and colleges throughout the country, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

That same year funding for Pell Grants — grants awarded to college students from low-income families — hit an all time high of about $36 billion. In fact, during the five-year period leading up to 2013, Pell funding increased by 72 percent, and funding of college benefits for veterans tripled.

In 2013 the federal government spent nearly $76 billion on higher education, while states spent about $3 billion less, according to the “Federal and State Funding of Higher Education” study. Federal support include nearly $25 billion in research funding obligations, which are paid over a series of years depending on the length of a research project.

Last year, the Foundation for Economic Education also noted that more no-strings attached federal taxpayer money than ever is flowing into academia:

Support takes different forms with federal money mainly going toward assisting students and specific research projects while state dollars usually fund general operations. But after the Great Recession began in 2007, as states were struggling to keep spending in line with decreased tax revenue, the federal share increased to the point where it exceeded what states were contributing.

Per the Pew analysis,

In 2013, federal spending on major higher education programs totaled $75.6 billion, state spending amounted to $72.7 billion, and local spending was considerably lower at $9.2 billion. These figures exclude student loans and higher education-related tax expenditures.

While the Post directs attention to state reductions totaling $5.7 billion from 2008 to 2016, it fails to reveal the other side of the coin relayed by Pew: Federal “Pell Grant program and veterans’ educational benefits … surged by $13.2 billion (72 percent) and $8.4 billion (225 percent), respectively, in real terms from 2008 to 2013.” In short, increases in federal spending were much greater than decreases in state spending.

Examining the full picture, data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Department of Education shows that inflation-adjusted government spending on higher education increased by 23 percent from 2008 to 2016, hitting a record high of $183 billion in 2016. On a per-student basis in the same period, this spending increased by 16 percent and also reached an all-time high of more than $9,000 per student:

The same Washington Post article states that “educators fear the drop in government spending is making schools harder to afford for low- and middle-income students.” Yet, such funding has actually increased by substantial amounts.

Given that only 37 percent of higher education spending is used for functions that directly contribute to the education of students and the general public, government funding now amounts to 84 percent of higher education spending on these functions. This includes all such spending by public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit institutions.

One of the things to keep in mind regarding federal grant money is that we are no longer living in a Cold War time when the Defense Department needed research from academia to bolster America’s defenses. The Cold War’s end hasn’t stopped the spending spree, though. Following in Sen. Tom Coburn’s esteemed footsteps, Sen. James Lankford has been doing his best to keep track of federal waste both within and outside of academia. In 2018 alone, you, the American taxpayer, helped fund the following:

  • The feds added $1,836,132 to stickleback fish studies, bringing the grand total over 15 years to $2.6 million to study that fish.
  • The NEH gave $74,851 to create a university for utilizing 3-D technology to create electronic versions of puppets that viewers can manipulate themselves. (It’s entirely unclear why the vastly rich virtual reality community couldn’t have done this without government help.)
  • The DOE funded a free law degree to one of its employees, who promptly quit government and went into private practice.
  • The NSF funded a $475,142 grant to create “an extensive digital database of recordings of native experts discussing traditional nomenclature and classification of local flora,” with an emphasis on Mexico.
  • Beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2018, the federal government gave more than $1.1 million in taxpayer dollars to study languages spoken in Pakistan, African, New Guinea, and Nepal.

I suggest you read the whole document to which I linked, because it shows that our federal administrative state, which is staffed by college graduates, has been handing out hundreds of millions of dollars over the past many years to organizations staffed and run by college graduates that engage in research and other programs that could only come from the Leftist minds of college graduates.

If I’ve done this post correctly, I’ve established that

  1. Higher education is Ground Zero for the worst ideas infecting America, whether politically, economically, or socially;
  2. We federal taxpayers spend billions annually on these institutions and hold debt worth over $1 trillion thanks to higher education (and that Leftists desperately wants to increase these amounts); and
  3. Only 30% of Americans experience higher education. In other words, almost 70% of American taxpayers are funding institutions that graduate people who despise the 70% and are doing everything in their power to destroy them.

America’s got a sickness and the diagnosis is higher education. But is there a treatment for this loathsome disease?

Yes! Yes there is!

In 2020, we need to turn out in vast numbers (especially you conservative men, who are not voting in numbers as great as insane Leftist women) so that we can elect strong conservative majorities in Congress and re-elect President Trump. We must then demand legislation that cuts all federal funding, whether in the form of grants or loans, from higher education. I’m willing to make a small exception for core scientific areas, such as research into defense spending and health (cancer treatments, vaccinations, preventing epidemics, etc.), but those exceptions had better be narrowly drawn and tightly supervised.

My prediction is that, if we have the political will to de-fund entirely the academic rot that lies at the heart of most of America’s woes, we can turn America around in five years. Colleges and universities will start firing the overpaid social justice drones in both administrative and faculty positions because, without government funding, no one will pay for them. Those same institutions will also get rid of these pernicious ideologies that are now infecting STEM departments because, again, the free market won’t fund them.

Without this Leftist academic dead weight, tuition will drop and quality academic output of the type that’s useful for society will grow. Meanwhile, to keep these institutions further in line, internet competition will continue to put pressure on traditional academia, forcing it to teach, rather than indoctrinate.

[And a Super Bowl moment: Tom Brady likes Trump. Brady’s team won. Just sayin’.]

The post De-toxify America by pulling federal funds out of higher education appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

[VIDEOS] Advice for conservative students and a fantasy speech from the high school principal

In my last several posts, I’ve been blogging about the horrors of America’s liberal arts colleges. Thankfully, Dennis Prager offers a couple of antidotes, both practical and idealistic.

The first Prager video features Matthew Woessner, a political science professor at Penn State Harrisburg, who offers some tips to those conservative college students who, understanding that not every conservative can attend Hillsdale, have found themselves trying to function happily and effectively in the Leftist cesspools of America’s mainstream colleges:

Watch videos here.

Liberal arts colleges — making young adults mentally ill (Warning: NSFW)

They say that to a hammer everything is a nail. After a full-bore orientation at an obscenely expensive liberal arts college (“OELAC”) in the Midwest, I can say with some confidence that to OELAC’s administrators every incoming freshman is a bundle of pathologies. Really. During one talk, we were assured that around 30% of incoming freshman have mental health issues. It seems to me that OELAC’s administrators see it as their responsibility to make sure that this number grows to 100% by the end of the academic year.

I wrote the other day about the absurd welcoming ceremony that OELAC held, one that managed to feel much like my children’s graduation from preschool only infinitely more creepy. This drive simultaneously to infantilize and pathologize these young adults continued yesterday when we parents were gathered together for a formal orientation talk.

I foolishly thought the talk would be along the lines of “Welcome to OELAC! Your children will learn and grow here. Now go forth and enjoy the delights of this lovely midwestern city before you kiss your kids goodbye.” I could not have been more wrong.

Before I even get to the content, I want to note that, as was the case for the preschool graduation . . . er, parade of the freshman class, four of the five speakers were women. Incidentally, I know that the other person, that one out of the five, not only looked like a man, but identified as a man, because he proudly announced that his pronouns were “he” and “him.”

Disappointingly, the orientation had nothing to do with “Your child will learn and mature here.” Instead, the assembled administrators announced that they were going to talk about “wellness,” which seems to be academic code for cultivating that special snowflake quality in each young person foolish enough to go to OELAC. (And don’t get me started on how Little Bookworm ended up there. It’s a painful tale, best left untouched.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised at this announcement about “wellness.” I’d already noticed earlier that the freshman’s schedule for the day that the freshman did not have a mere “break.” Instead, four hours into the day, the freshman had a “wellness break.” Ordinary breaks of the type these kids all had growing up in preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school, and that we adults still have at work, are inadequate for snowflakes in training.

To my great distress (I think I was actually triggered!), I got to witness the “wellness break” in action later that same afternoon. One couldn’t miss it because at least 20 of these 18- and 19-year-olds, after the rigors of four hours of orientation, were clustered around — I kid you not — an honest-to-goodness” therapy dog.” The kids weren’t even relating to it like a real dog. They were clustered around it trying to suck in wellness. It was unnerving to watch.

(By the way, did you know that anxious dogs also need therapy? Yes, here in America we have treatment for your Triggly Ruff.)

Back to that orientation. . . .

Read more here.

Hillary Clinton: In Her Own Words

HER OWN WORDS

By Bob Shannon King William

Hillary Clinton made an appearance with Brett Baier on Monday evening allowing the Fox News Commentator to ask her questions as well as take questions from the audience. I suspect Clinton knowing she was in a favorable audience added to her confidence she could pull this off without a sweat. Her answers to several questions left me pondering how a nation would ever allow such a person to be even considered for this office.

When asked what she plans to do on health care she ran off the usual slogans, typical defense of the Affordable Care Act and how she wanted to “ lower co-pay’s , deductibles and other out of pocket expenses by “ making insurers provide more free services”

Even low information citizens by now have read the numerous reports of the insurance companies who signed on to participate in these government run exchanges are losing their financial shirts, a number of them deciding to end their participation all together. The cost shifting scheme ( which is what the ACA is ) by the folks who designed this horrible legislation has run its course and the increase in health insurance premiums have been well documented. Yet, here you have a candidate for President openly spouting such utter nonsense. Secretary Clinton knows better but she has a campaign strategy that is designed for a certain type of voter that has little economic intellect and believes in free lunches, her core supporters.

When asked about college tuition she again spouted the same tired lines about the burden of debt college students carry today and how she would promote “debt free tuition” . Secretary Clinton is too clever by half suggesting that tuition costs , born by students for 75 years is now going to be born by just whom , the new Debt Fairy ? Perhaps she has a new cabinet level position in mind….Department of Debt Fairy. Why not , her entire life has been made up of myths , lies, & deception. What harm is there in throwing in a few fairies.

Bob Shannon King William


Article written by: Tom White