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Friday, May 30, 2014

Smart States, Dumb States

Yahoo had a fascinating headline, “Ten Dumbest States”.  What they did was rank states by the proportion of population with Bachelor’s degrees.  Hey, I have one of those, except that I wasn’t a very good bachelor.  Did better after I was married.  Apparently Massachusetts was the “Smartest” with Colorado #2 and Maryland #3. Oklahoma was 9th dumbest but KY and WV were dumb and dumber or should I say dumbest. The smartest states are mostly in New England and the dumbest are in the South and Mid-South. And they show that median income bears a rough correlation to smartness, while SAT scores don’t seem to correlate too much.  Why not IQ?  Is it really right to say that some states are dumb and some smart?

            Why are we stopping at states?  Why not countries?  Britain and Germany I am sure have more degreed and pedigreed people. Switzerland and Norway have higher incomes.  And concerning test scores, USA is behind Slovenia at about #28.  But then I ask, when America came into being, were its people a lot smarter than other countries?  I have my doubts.  It’s worse, if you believe eugenically that smart people have smart kids and vice versa.  America has taken the tack of advertising for the dumb. 

            “Give me your tired your poor,

            Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

            The wretched refuse of your teaming shore.

            Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.

            I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

How then do we explain our success?  Luck and corrupt gain, like Obama claims in his books? Cheats, colonials and slave owners? Or did American exceptionalism have to do with freedom?  Perhaps we have taken the dumbest people in the world, given them opportunities and the freedom to make something of it.  Success resulted and we became a superpower.  Again, this violates the Obama Doctrine of Illegitimate Superpower.

            Thus if we were true to our ideals, we should rank the states not in smarts but freedoms.  It occurs to me that New England is just so rule-bond economically, that you have to have credentialization in order to get a good job.  You have to go to college to get a decent job.  It ranks very low in entrepreneurship.  After all, both MA and CA we first to recognize the importance of personal computers, but Silicon Valley wound up around San Fran Bay, not Boston Bay.  And do Maryland and Colorado just represent what happens when an area is recognized as a good place to lure skilled workers? Maryland is close to credentialization of Emerald City.  If you believe that Washington bureaucrats are the smartest people on the planet, please raise you right hand and repeat the Oath of the Veterans Administration led by the guy over there with the coffee cup. And Colorado lures young people who want the recreation paradise that just a few years earlier made the guys at the frat house go rapt. It wasn’t cowboys and miners who got all those degrees.

            So then if you asked for freedom, what state?  It surely looks a lot like Texas or Oklahoma and a lot of states in flyover land.  Few government regulations, low taxes, easy to start a business. “We like living right and bein’ free” Merle Haggard sang, “Okie from Muskogee”. Or maybe it’s Montana.  If we looked at which states produce the most new millionaires per capita, Montana would win.  Perhaps freedom trumps a balmy climate and makes more opportunities.

            Bottom line, I’m okay living in a dumb state.  Just as long as it’s free and welcomes the tempest-tossed. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

History Chanel's World Wars

            “World Wars”, the new miniseries on History Channel is a good tale.  It’s a look at famous people and how they were affected by the two world wars.  FDR, McArthur, Patton, Churchill, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini are each followed in how they came to be major players.  The first episode takes us through WW I.  Of course the sketches are brief and things are left out.  For example, no mention of George Patton killing Pancho Villa and throwing the body over a fender like a deer-kill to bring it back to headquarters.  General Blackjack Pershing came out and Patton was not around his car.  Pershing reportedly said, “I don’t know this guy at all but I love his style.” (see Ladislas Farago’s biography of Patton)

            More to the point of missing info, however is the matter of Hitler and Mussolini.  There was no note of how fascism came about, nor how Hitler came to hate Jews.  Jonah Goldberg in “Liberal Fascism” has a good synopsis of details.  Mussolini was an ambitious patriotic journalist who took over Italy, as the series showed.  But they didn’t mention that he was a Marxist atheist and best friends with Vladymir Illyrich Ulayanov, otherwise known as Lenin, during the time that Benito was in Milan and Lenin was in Switzerland.  Mussolini was Europe’s leading writer of communist articles, books and papers from 1910 to 1914.  Just as the series shows, through war experiences, he became patriotic to Italy rather than the international ideal of “workers of the world unite.”  Thereupon, he told Lenin good luck with the Revolution, but I don’t think it will work.  Italian workers will surely not join arms with Austrian workers after what has happened in this war.  Mussolini then proposed”the middle way” (between capitalism and communism) based on group politics and government simply owning part of the economy while controlling most of the rest of it through crony capitalism.  He called this “Fascism” from the Italian fasci, meaning “union”.  Finally he renamed his philosophy, National Socialism, to distinguish it from International socialism.

            So how did Hitler become so anti-Semitic? His parents were dead, and Adolph wanted to be an artist or an architect in beautiful Wien (Vienna).  But being a penniless orphan, he couldn’t pay his way or get accepted into the art and architecture schools.  So he had to paint starving artist paintings in Vienna.  He was part Jewish and was forced to watch other Jewish rich kids get into art school, while he suffered.  He was a misfit, a loner and dreamer, and when he volunteered for the Austrian Army patriotically, they turned him down.  But Austrians are Germans too, so he applied to the German army and was accepted.  Here Hitler found acceptance, a patriotism for German-ness and rejected the rich and the Jews back home in Austria.  The war ended with Hitler in a military hospital.  The Allies signed an armistice, temporary truce, but dishonestly kept a blockade in place, starving the Germans into submission.  A year and a half later, when the treaty was finally signed, the German delegation at Versailles was primarily Jewish bankers—they being the ones most desperate for peace and an improved economy.  Hitler’s disgust for the Jewish bankers was complete contempt.  Like many Germans he felt they had sold the country down the river.  And since he thereupon turned to Mussolini’s admiration and writings, the first order of fascism is to take control of the banks.  This played perfectly with Hitler’s hatred for the Jews and for the Rich since 90% of Germany’s bankers were Jewish.  Hence Hitler’s adoption of fascism was a warped version overprinted with a hatred of Jews. 

            Neither were Christians. Mussolini was an atheist like his father and a Marxist.  Hitler was raised Catholic but rejected that faith for it’s gilded cathedrals and vestments.  He detested the rich.  Nazism developed a kind of occultism with Christian symbolism for poltical acceptability.  How could two non-believers hold sway over the most Christian countries in Europe? They devised what is called the Complete Separation of Church and State.  That is, no faith talk was allowed outside the walls of the church and no politics was allowed within.  Bonhoeffer violated both these standards.  Both Lutheran and Catholic churches were cowed, however, and to this day, disaffection with the churches that did nothing to protest the disaster of fascist dictatorship has ruined the faith in the minds of many Germans and Italians. 

            So why did these key details get left out of World Wars?  Despite being well known, I think an admission bothers many historians who are quite a left-leaning bunch.  Fascism is still falsely declared “right-wing”, even though it is just one step away from Marxism.  (The “right” label can be traced to Goebbels’ propaganda where he and Hitler were trying to make a sharp division with communists.)  That Jews get associated with hatred of the rich, one of the cherished tenants of the left, is an embarrassment.  Many historians perhaps wish another explanation might come along.

            We shall see how this series goes.  Will they note how FDR gushed over “uncle Joe” Stalin, fellow reformer, while Stalin was killing 20 million of his own people in 1930’s purges?  Will they tell about how Billy Mitchell and Patton were in the doghouse because they championed airplanes and tanks to the disdain of other generals? 

“World Wars” portrayed Wilson as a reluctant warrior but we now know that he was secretly, enormously pro-British and had all sorts of clandestine groups charged with the goal of “talking up war” even though the American people were not in favor. And thereafter, he cranked up a marshal law/propaganda machine that USA had never seen. Nor is it noted, as just about every European historian claims, that Wilson was so preachy and insufferable, it ruined and prolonged Versailles.  Eventually Austria was divided into balkanized nations of genocided minorities when central authority was banished (because Wilson insisted on nationalism).  The Ottoman Empire became colonialized.  Germans were removed from Germany  to satisfy territory lust of victor nations. The German people, thinking they would get applause from the West for getting rid of their disliked king, found retribution instead.  It collapsed their governance and the table was set for a rematch.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Name the philosophy

2007 Seung Hui Cho killed 32 at Virginia Tech
2008 and 2009 Two more mass murders. I forgot who the killers were.
2010 Jared Loughner killed 4 and wounded Congressman Gabriel Giffords, Tucson, AZ
2011 James Holmes killed 16 at a movie theatre in Aurora, CO
2012 Andrew Engeldinger killed 7 in Minneapolis Mall
2013 Adam Lanza killed 36 at a CN school
2014 Elliot Rodger  Just killed 7 in Santa Barbara, CA

What do all these people have in common other than being mass murders? Hint.  The Left always yells about how conservatives with guns are kooks who might, at any minute, do heinous killings.  The media always tries to make connection to NRA and Tea Party movements when a mass killing occurs.  But these guys all share a common trait with Ted Kazinski, the Unabomber.  They were strange leftists.   All were registered Democrats.

teacher pay

I may be a bit off in the projections of this exercise but it illustrates the problem.

I happen to know the rough spending of our parochial school.  80% of the budget is salaries, but deducting janitor, cook, secretary and principal salaries, it leaves teacher salaries about 67-70% of total budget.  The school gets $3600 in tuition and fees per student.  Students who belong to the congregation pay no tuition and they represent 20% of the students.  

So do the math.  If a class has 20 students, 16 of them paying, it garners $57,600.  Then 2/3 of that represents a teacher salary of  $38,300.  Indeed this is about 85% of the Oklahoma average teacher salary of $44,500. 

Turn the problem around do it again if you are a public school teacher.  Oklahoma and federal governments pay about $9000 per student to the public school.  20 students garner $180,000.  If teacher salaries represented 67% of the school’s budget this works out to $120,000 for an average teacher’s pay.  Do you make that much?

This illustrates that teacher salaries are an also-ran in school district expenditures.  We spend a lot of money on sports and activities, busing and on administrative duties.  Combine this with the testing mandates and the lack of freedom to teach and you can see why our public school is doing well to make grade but our parochial school puts out an average 8th grader with 11.6 grade level skills. I don’t mean to rag on admin too much.  The parents and community demand the games and plays and musical events.  The feds demand the lunches and mainstreamed kids who disrupt class.  The State demands testing for achievement. 

But the bottom line is that teachers would make a lot more money if there was a voucher system paying $9K per student for education to the best school.  And those public schools would revamp to a system much like the 60’s and the parochial schools, thus paying teachers better.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Change in the Middle

            Just when the campaign manager in me thinks Obama’s scandals will blow over by November, here comes another wave.  36,007 illegals who have committed crimes were released.  193 were homicide convictions and 426 were sexual assaults.  Hunh?!  Then Judicial Watch uncovered emails that surely show Washington was directing the IRS to target conservatives and tea parties.  And yet another Islamic organization has done a terrorist act by kidnapping 276 Nigerian girls while our Prez naps. Claims he is a Christian but was raised a Muslim.  Wouldn’t that make him especially canny to discern Islamic terrorist activity? And then there is Geitner telling us about how he was told to lie about Social Security. 

            It seems there is no end to the shenanigans of Obama.  I hope years from now we can ask each other, “Where were you and what event spurred you to horrify over where our country was headed.”  I know this isn’t happening on the coasts but here in middle America it has caught almost everyone.  Obama’s approval rating in Oklahoma is 27%.  Gosh, I thought there were at least that many yellow dog Democrats hearing his dog whistle.

            A constitutional conservative won the R Senate primary in Nebraska.  A constitutional conservative, Fisher won the last Senate seat.  Now what’s stunning about this is that Nebraska isn’t traditionally a red, red state.  They have had Dem Senators and Cornhusker kickbacks for a long time.  That judge who was blocking the Keystone pipeline was from Nebraska.  But Sasse is highly favored to take the seat in November. 

            Ditto  the Dakotas.  Remember Democrat Tom Dashcle?  Kent Conrad?  These guys are next door to Minnesota and the comedian Senator.  Dakota ain’t a bunch of bible belt rednecks.  These are mellow Lutheran and Catholic yankees.  But now  they are seeing and voting red. 

            From Louisiana to Montana the polls are turning Republican.  The coastal media has missed this story entirely.  Flyover country, they call us. We don’t count. Except that we do.  There are ten states in the Great Plains down to Texas and Louisiana with 20 Senators.  That used to be 1/3 Democrats but is threatening to become pure Republican.  There’s most of your Senate margin—Prior in trouble in Arkansas, Landrieu in trouble in LA, R’s taking empty Dem seats in NB and MT.  Doesn’t some journalist seem just a bit curious about what is happening? 

            The Shock is Obama’s socialism.  I started keeping a list of impeachable offenses, things no American defend -the -constitution-oath President would ever do but he did them anyway.  Changing duly passed laws at will, suing church schools for the ministers they hire, telling military chaplains not to share the gospel, arming Mexican drug cartels, abrogating bankruptcy and contract laws, telling private companies where they could and couldn’t locate a plant.  Sheesh! I got to 50 and stopped writing the horrors down. This is not America and we want our country back!

 This is where we begin—elections. The Obama era has transformed our local Republican party.  It used to be half a dozen people, mostly elderly ladies holding somnolent meetings—one would lead the pledge of allegiance, another would preside, another do the invocation. Now it is about 50 strong followers in our county and probably 30 activists volunteering 5-20 hours a week.  We’ve still got a long way to go, educating the public, getting strong candidates, doing Karl Rove micro-targetting of neighborhoods, but we are having loads of fun.  I suggested we need a bus or a 5th wheeler with a big red, white and blue banner announcing ourselves, with a large inflatable elephant on top.  We could take it around to all the fairs, civic festivals and such.  Immediately our Chair dialed up the internet on her phone and announced that all she could find was a 20-foot pink elephant.  Aw, we decided against it. You’d never know when a crabby Dem will go postal and get a gun and shoot our inflatable elephant.

Still we will campaign this fall in full force.  Let ‘er rip for  the Cherokee Strip!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What difference does it make?

            Ah yes, 1998, the year of Lewinsky, Lupinski and Kaczinski.  Comes now Monica and she is retelling her story of Slick Willie and their tryst.  Apparently no one will hire her and her life is in ruins.  Hmm.  Do I remember that happening to all the other Clinton women?

            Here’s my question.  Why do these things always ruin the women involved?  Why not Slick?  He goes on to be the grand elder statesman of the Dems and she has no job.  Both made bad decisions.  But Willie gets off scot free. I guess HIll says it, " At this point, what difference does it make?" 

            When a leader has a mistress, it is bad news unless it is in France or Italy.  The only effect there is that the public justs gets a bad case of the yawns.  But think about this.  If a US President sleeps with a spy, the potential for espionage, blackmail, or arrest of his leadership during an event is disastrous.  Such was the case when Jack Kennedy slept with an East German spy and a Senate committee got wind of it and was going to release information about it.. But J Edgar Hoover saw his opportunity.  He knew the Kennedys were FBI haters.  He called Bobby K and asked if, from this point foreward, he would have his blessings if he could stop the scandal.  Hoover did it by blackmailing many of the Senators with scandals the FBI had dug up and which could well have swung an election or two.  Thereafter the Kennedy’s gave Hoover anything he asked for.  But our lib-media never broadcast the story even long after JFK’s death.

            Maybe Monica, with her London School of Economics degree, can get a job at the Dept. of Internal Affairs.

Friday, May 2, 2014

More Random Brainology

Okay, so whose death would you like to have, Stephanie Nieman or Clayton Lockett? 

            Who would you like to have for a crazy uncle, Sterling, Bundy or Harry Reid?  We used to have an uncle that was bigoted and refused to eat with “them niggers” when we were in Kansas City.  We just thought he was stupid and missing some of the best barbecue ever.  While one tended to try to change the conversation when race became involved, I wouldn’t say that his comments should deprive him of his livelihood and property.  But this seems to be what they are trying to do to Sterling.  Property rights are guarded by the 4th and 5th Amendments.  You can’t have unreasonable seizure or be deprived of property without due process of law.  So where in the Constitution is unreasonable prejudice forbidden?  Or where in the Ten Commandments is it? (I could perhaps make a case for this and say that Thou shalt not kill refers to hate since Jesus said that hate is as bad as killing.)  Id Est, you can be an idiot and spout off about it via the 1st amendment if you want. If the NBA wants to preserve its image, just make Sterling put his ownership into a blind trust and not participate in the game.

            Dems claim that Republican policies are racist.  If you challenge this, they piously say that they are not accusing All Republicans of being racist (Implied benevolence towards you) but that must mean that a majority of R’s are bigoted since that is their policy.  And if you voted for Obama simply because he had African ancestry, isn’t that racist as well?  So here we have a fine thing—over half of each party is racist! But psychological studies suggest it is actually about ½ %.  Seriously, if there were a big faction who were racist in the USA, they would have come out to defend Sterling.  Not a peep.

            Barack keeps saying that if Russia doesn’t stop taking over Ukraine, there will be serious consequences.  Sounds like a parent who says they will count to three and is really having trouble going past 2 and a half.  Now we find out from emails that Mr. Foreign Policy had the video excuse thought up prior to 9-11-12 when Benghazi happened.  Most logical explanation is that they had this excuse ready if there were riots anywhere in the Middle East.  But no one on the ground there had ever heard about the video or met a Muslim who was energized over it.  The video thing seems to have come out of the State Dept. in Washington.  Hillary???

            Now the UN says we have 15 years to do something about Global Warming or it will be too late!  Is that when all the grant money runs out? Seems like I rubbed elbows with some guys called paleo-geographers at Conoco.  They use geologic stratigraphy and analysis of deposits to understand climates going back say, 400 million years ago.  One guy told me the earth has been 16 degrees hotter and 45 degrees cooler than today.  And then back 12,000 years ago we cooled down by 17 degrees after warming post ice age. But it warmed back up because Fred Flintstone loved his gas guzzler rock automobile.

            If Jake “Baghdad Bob” Carney gave an explanation in the woods and no one heard it, would he still fib?

            If women were actually paid only 77% of what men make, wouldn’t companies just hire women to cut down on labor costs?

Senate Dems want a minimum wage increase.  How about we pass a worker’s rights law that demands interns have to be paid and protected from sexual harassment.  Call it the Lewinsky Law. Chelsea’s pregnancy was the first time ever that Bill didn’t have to look Hill in the eye and swear it wasn’t him.

You know they could fix this minimum wage thing forever by passing a Cost of Living Adjustment and it would be automatic.  But that would take all the fun out of it for Democrats who only want to gin up their base every election over a big minimum wage vote.   

            I was asking a candidate about rural charter schools at her campaign stop.  She flipped the question around and asked what I thought.  “Well the Dems and School admin guys say it will take away their students and their money so they are vituperatively against it,” I noted. "Here’s what I think. Our Superintendent had a blow out on the interstate the other day.  Big gash in his tire.  He began to flag people over and they handed him money.  He would then take the bills and stuff them into the gash in his tire.  My car mechanic came along about that time, puzzled over the strange behavior, and got out of his truck, “Hey, do you know how to solve your problem?”  “Sure!” said the Superintendent, “More Money!!!”