Are Socialists Ingrates?

h/t Steve Bartin

I really enjoyed this talk from Tom Woods.  Loved, first, Joe Salerno’s introduction of Tom Woods.  Woods’ point is not so much to silence lefties but for Lefties to examine some of their assumptions on topics like child labor.  Tom puts this question into context, showing how child labor is not the function of bad parenting but of survival.  Children and their families would starve or die otherwise.  And yet we have the do-gooders, brave as they are, calling unfortunate circumstances bad, bad, just bad.  What courage these lefties display, eh?  I just found Bill Kaufman’s book, The Child Amendment Debate of the 1920’s or Catholics, Mugwumps, and Farmers, and I am using a few of its opening quotations to further the sound economic answer to the Progressives’ cry against child labor.  His book opens with a poem, “Child Labor,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman whose Progressive tract, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” was one in a score of required reading for English [or Humanities] majors.   

No fledgling feeds the father bird,
No chicken feeds the hen

No kitten mouses for the cat,
This glory is for men.
We are the Wisest, Strongest Race–
Loud may our praise be sung!
The only animal alive
That lives upon its young.                       

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

So there you have it.  Man lives upon its young.  What monstrous people we are.  So socialists believe, without thinking one or two steps beyond their fervently formed and indignantly held positions, that children worked to help feed their families and supporting their standard of living.  And yet Progressives want to get the government to ban children from helping their poor families and prefer to sentence them to a life of starvation.  Huh.  What bravery these socialists display, eh?  My own father worked for a nickel.  But with that nickel, he was able to buy milk and bread for his family.  That was his role in the division of labor.  He shared stories with me how he’d have to sweep the store’s floor.  And that he’d have to work after hours if he wanted to get paid at all.  There was no time and a half.

Then there are these observations:

[This is] a communistic effort to nationalize children, making them primarily responsible to the government instead of to their parents. It strikes at the home. It appears to be a definite positive plan to destroy the Republic and substitute a
social democracy.

Clarence E. Martin
President, American Bar Association)

Then there is this . . .

When the right of a father to govern his own family is taken
away from him, God pity our Nation.

D.H.Petree
Florida legislator

Socialists’ main goal is to interpose between parent and child.  

socialists whose reconstructionist dreams included the interposition of the
state between the parent and the child.

The “gaunt goblin army”5 of teenaged workers was cashiered by a series of laws prohibiting employment and prescribing schooling. While the mission was ostensibly accomplished, the triumph was incomplete: The Child Labor Amendment to the Constitution was rejected. Thwarted were what Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler called “more far-reaching . . . changes in our family, social, economic, and political life than have heretofore been dreamed of by the most ardent revolutionary.”

This is incredible.

Nascent American industries frequently employed families of the working class. Alexander Hamilton had remarked, in his “Report on Manufactures,” that “children are rendered more useful . . . by manufacturing establishments than they would otherwise be.”‘

As the mill towns grew, so did the conviction of many genteel ladies that
boys and girls ought to be scholars, not mill doffers.  [In her “The Children of the Mills,” 1902] Ella Wheeler Wilcox keened:

In this boasted land of freedom, there are bonded baby slaves,
And the busy world goes by and does not heed.
They are driven to the mill, just to glut and overfill
Bursting coffers of the mighty monarch, Greed.
When they perish we are told it is God’s will,
Oh, the roaring of the mill, of the
Contrasting views of child labor can be found.

MY NOTES ON TOM’S PRESENTATION
Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, has a section on ingratitude.  What life was like before the modern market economy as we know it.  1) pre-industrial, pre-market society.  Burgundy, French peasants working in the vineyards, the 1840s, from Deidre McCloskey.  After the crop was in in the fall, these poor folks would go to bed and huddle together in order to stay warm and they would actually hibernate for months in that state.  That’s how poor they were–they couldn’t afford the heat nor could they afford the food they would need to consume if they got up and expended energy.  Now that is not an existence that befits a human being.  And that was normal.  Now today that is so preposterous that we can’t even imagine that.  And, yet, how many generations ago did that?  Not very many.  Think about child labor.  Child labor has been ubiquitous throughout history.  People say that child labor is a fruit of capitalism, that capitalism yielded you child labor because before you had capitalism the kids were just skipping through meadows all day, whistling a tune.  And then capitalism came along and they all had to go in a coal mine and have their limbs blown off.  That’s not so.  Children have worked since the beginning of time.  And the reason children have worked is not that they have terrible parents.  There’s a profound lack of curiosity when you hear westerners talk about child labor.  they know they’re against it, and they’re going to make sure that we know they’re against something everybody hates.  Super brave!  Because without child labor, families in poor countries starve to death.  That’s why.  The International Labor Organization, ILO, not exactly a laissez-faire outfit, said in their report about 20 years ago, “Poverty emerges as the most compelling why children work.  Poor households need the work, and children commonly contribute to around 20% to 25% of family income.  Since by definition, poor households spend the bulk of their income on food, it is clear that the income provided by working children is critical to their survival.”  There are two ways that you could approach the child labor question.  You could say, “a lack of food and a lack of labor productivity, if their parents’ work could produce more, then their children wouldn’t also have to work, maybe we could work on that–get the parents’ labor to be more productive, then they can produce enough stuff to buy more food, to buy more things.  The kids won’t have to work.”  Or, you could just say “Let’s pass a law against this, and unfortunately, there are enough low IQ people in the world, that they go for the second one.  Let’s pass a law against kids working.  We just learned that the kids [are] working because the family will starve if they don’t, so let’s ban them from doing it.  That’s not the best way to go about it, and Oxfam actually did a study of what happened when Bangladesh tried to get rid of child labor [Benjamin Powell is really good on child labor].  Answer: the children starved to death or went into prostitution, which is exactly what all the Libertarians tried to say at the time but none of the do-gooders could manage to fo fit into their busy schedules to think about it.  What’s gotten rid of child labor is the market economy because it makes people’s labor more productive.  Tools allow you to make a greater demand on your wage.  Children being so poor, they had to hibernate.  At the 17:20 mark, Woods mentions Hans Rosling‘s Gapminder, a site on statistics [he does terrific presentations].  12,000 people spread over 14 countries as the following multiple choice question, “Do you believe that the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty over the last 20 years has a) doubled, b) stayed roughly the same, or c) been cut in half?”  The answer is C, it’s been cut in half.  95% of Americans got this question wrong.  They don’t even know.  Imagine being that ignorant about what must be one of the most momentous achievements in all of economic history.  It’s happening all around you, and you don’t even know it?  Which means that Americans are being gassed to think that our country, the great U.S.A., is richer and better than all of the other countries without knowing that the other half of the world is simply catching up.  In the early 1800’s, 45% of all children died before age 5; that’s now 4%.  In 1800, people living in what economists call “extreme poverty” was 90%; it’s under 10% today.  If you force socialists to acknowledge this improvement, “Oh, it’s because of redistribution” they’ll say.  “Governments are responsible for that.”  Where did the increase in social spending take place?  That took place in the rich countries, where they’d already gotten rid of extreme poverty.  Poverty reduction took place in the poor countries that can’t afford a welfare state.  Extreme poverty was gone in the western world long before there was a welfare state.  Since 1960, literacy is up 43.6%.  Caloric intake is up by 688%.  Over 21 years in life expectancy, and over 3 inches in height . . . and you realize that’s just an average; it doesn’t apply to every individual.  Scrolling through HumanProgress.org, Tom finds the following headlines almost at random. 

“75% of SubSarharan Africa now has access to clean drinking water.” 

“French family becomes the first to move into 3-D printed home.” 

“Infant mortality in Asia has fallen 74% since 1969.” 

“App [Be My Eyes] lets you be a blind person’s eyes from anywhere in the world.” 

“Since 1970, the global rate of child mortality fell from 13 to 3.1%.” 

“No, We are not running out of forests.  This device can turn desert air into drinkable water.” 

“Technology helps those with dementia live independently.”  

“Every village in India now has electricity.”

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The U.S. and Norway are not democractic socialist nations but nor are we Singapore or Hong Kong

h/t to Robert Wenzel and hisAin’t No Way Norway Is a Model for Democratic Socialism

By Daniel J. Mitchell

Earlier this yearI explained why Nordic nations are not socialist. Or, to be more precise, I wrote that if they are socialist, then so is the United States.

My slam dunk evidence was this chart from the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World, which shows there is almost no difference in overall economic liberty when comparing the United States with Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

This doesn’t mean, incidentally, that we have identical policies. I pointed out that the United States gets a better (or at least less bad) score on fiscal policy but also reiterated that Nordic nations are more market-oriented than America when looking at other variables (especially rule of law).

The net effect, though, is that we wind up with nearly identical scores.

THE FALSE PROMISE OF “DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM”
I’m rehashing this old data because there’s a column in The Week that celebrates Norway as an example of “democratic socialism”:

The spectacular upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her recent New York congressional primary election has catapulted the topic of democratic socialism to the top of America’s political discussion. …we have a country that very closely approximates the democratic socialist ideal. It’s a place that is…considerably more successful than the United States on virtually every social metric one can name. I’m talking about Norway. …Norwegian workers are heavily protected, with 70 percent of workers covered by union contracts, and over a third directly employed by the government. The Norwegian state operates a gigantic sovereign wealth fund, and its financial assets total 331 percent of its GDP… Meanwhile, its state-owned enterprises are worth 87 percent of GDP. Of all the domestic wealth in Norway, the government owns 59 percent, and fully three-quarters of the non-home wealth.

I don’t know if those specific statistics are true, but I certainly don’t disagree with the assertion that Norway has a large public sector.

However, here are a couple of passages that don’t pass the laugh test:

Norway is unquestionably more socialist than Venezuela… Indeed, it is considerably more socialist than supposedly-communist China.

This is absurdly inaccurate. If there was a thermonuclear version of wrong, you would be seeing a giant mushroom cloud.

Here’s the data on overall economic freedom for Norway, Venezuela, and China. As you can see, Norway is far more market-oriented.

So how does the author, Ryan Cooper, rationalize his fantastical assertion of Norwegian super-socialism?

THE REAL REASONS BEHIND NORWAY’S WEALTH
If you read the article, he has a tortured definition of democratic socialism. One of his variables is government ownership, which normally would be a reasonable piece of data to include.

But it’s an artificial number when looking at Norway because the government controls the nation’s oil and also has a big sovereign wealth fund that was financed by oil revenue.

In other words, Norway is geographically lucky because all that oil boosts Norwegian GDP. It makes Norwegians relatively prosperous, and it definitely helps partially offset the economic damage of big government.

But it’s nonsensical to argue that oil-rich Norway somehow provides evidence for the overall notion of democratic socialism. It’s sort of like looking at data for Kuwait and asserting that the best economic system is hereditary sheikdom.

Yet he wants people to support socialism simply because of Norway, as illustrated by this final excerpt:

…when it comes to building a decent place to live, Norway is completely blowing America out of the water. So while conservatives have been pointedly ignoring the most obvious and relevant piece of evidence in their spittle-flecked tirades against socialism, Norwegians can and do point to the United States as an example of what happens when you let capitalism run wild.

But there’s one itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem. As you can see from the chart, Norway and the United States have almost identical levels of economic liberty.

So if America is “capitalism run wild,” then so is Norway. Or, if Norway is “socialism,” then so is the United States.

The bottom line is that both the United States and Norway are admirable nations by global standards. We both rank in the top 20 percent for overall economic freedom.

But we’re not Hong Kong or Singapore, so we both obviously should do a better job of following the recipe for greater prosperity.

For additional information about what’s good and bad about Norway and other countries in the region, I recommend these columns from January 2015 and June 2015.

For additional information about why socialism is bad (both democratic and totalitarian versions), just open your eyes and look at world evidence. Or you can also peruse these columns from June 2017 and August 2017.

(The above originally appeared at International Liberty and is reprinted via FEE.org)

“To make your life better, you have to better the lives of others”

No natural resources in Hong Kong, so they have to rely on foreign imports. Friedman says that Hong Kong is the freest market in the world.

11:25  If they fail, they bare the costs; if they succeed, they get the benefits.  It’s that atmosphere of incentive that has induced them to work, to adjust, to save, and to produce a miracle.  

More skyscrapers in Hong Kong than in all of New York City.  

The complete absence of tariffs or restrictions on trade is one of the main reasons why Hong Kong has been able to provide such a rising standard of [living] for its people.  To get out of the stagnation of the 1970s, the U.S. and Western Europe began to return to the ideals of free competition.  Taxes were lowered, tariffs reduced, and regulations slashed.  In Eastern Europe, economies collapsed because communism could never satisfy the needs of the people.  And they were longing for freedom. 

Enter Estonia.  In 1991, the Baltic country of Estonia, Prime Minister, Mart Laar, took inspiration from Milton Friedman’s book, Free to Choose.  He decided to imitate the Hong Kong model with zero tariffs, a flat tax, and a minimum of government regulation.  Estonia is the most successful of the former communist countries. 

Human and political freedom cannot exist and has never existed without a large measure of economic freedom.  Those of us who’ve been so fortunate to have been born in a free society, tend to take freedom for granted as a natural state of mankind.  And it is not.  It is a rare and precious thing.                      –Milton Friedman

He thought that economic freedom would directly lead to political freedom.  

At the 19:33-mark, Johan Norberg explains that . . .

To make your life better, you have to better the lives of others.            

19:40 to 21:17

something that we take for granted and use every day is the result of complex interaction between thousands of people. 

Friedman offers the pencil example, from Leonard Reed’s 1958 essay, I, PencilI, Smartphone is a modern version of I, Pencil.  It’s a story about the division of labor and mutual incentives in a free marketplace as each of the participants involved in the products of the manufacture of a pencil come to it voluntarily out of a mutual benefit.    

“. . . despotic incursions on man’s rights in this century, before, during and after the New Deal, have received the official stamp of Constitutional blessing.”

Conservatives and Libertarians seem to be pleased with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  The Left seems to be downright fiery.  What’s new?  But Robert Wenzel spells out how bad this guy is for us all.

Rove and Kavanaugh
Karl Rove with Brett Kavanaugh in 2014.

One of the arguments has been used by libertarian Trump fanboys is that President Trump would pick good judges for the Supreme Court.

I have never been excited about this argument.

As I pointed out after Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court:

Libertarians should understand that the essence of the job of a Supreme Court justice is to rule on law as written in the Constitution. That is, the fundamental role of a justice is not to advance liberty but to interpret the Constitution as it applies to specific judicial cases.

This is in direct conflict with libertarianism. Murray Rothbard wrote in 1961:

[T]here can be no really firmly grounded and consistent defense of freedom unless that defense is rooted in moral principle….

I regard Madison as a weak trimmer and fuzzy compromiser, rather than a sagacious combiner. Without the unnecessary Madisonian concessions to the profoundly statist programs and conceptions of Hamilton, the Constitution would have been a far more libertarian and a far more lasting instrument than it has proved to be. But there is more involved here…From any libertarian, or even conservative, point of view, [the Constitution] has failed and failed abysmally; for let us never forget that every one of the despotic incursions on man’s rights in this century, before, during and after the New Deal, have received the official stamp of Constitutional blessing. The Constitution has been stretched a very long way.

…the instruments set up by the Constitution – in particular, the erection of a monopoly Supreme Court with the final power to decide what is Constitutional – embody a fatal flaw in any constitutional attempt to limit the State. In short, when you give the State itself the final power to interpret the very instrument that is supposed to limit the State, you will inevitably find the Constitution being stretched and distorted, until it becomes merely a means of lending an unjustified aura of prestige to the State’s despotic actions.

To be sure, some justices can be worse than others. Activist justices can contort and twist the Constitution in all types manner for particularly totalitarian outcomes and it is indeed better that a justice be on the bench that is not such a twister.

However, because a justice is not an activist, it does not mean he is, as Rothbard would have it, a firmly grounded defender of freedom. He is a defender of the Constitution as he sees it and that is the problem.

Indeed, we recently saw the dangers of non-libertarian readings of the Constitution when Gorsuch voted with the majority in ruling that states and local governments can impose sales taxes from internet retailers even when the retailers are located in different jurisdictions than the taxer.

And more recently, in the minority, Gorsuch supported cell phone location surveillance without the necessity of a warrant.

Not good.

And now Trump wants to add Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh would probably be worse than Gorsuch and he is much more of a political insider, a Bush family connected insider.

Get a load of his thought process on Obamacare via Vox:

Of particular note is his dissent in the case of Seven-Sky v. Holder, a constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act decided by the DC Circuit in 2011. By a 2-1 margin, the DC Circuit upheld the law as legitimate under the Commerce Clause (which empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce), but Kavanaugh dissented, not because he thought the law was unconstitutional but because he thought the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the question, under 1867’s Anti-Injunction Act. That law bars people from challenging taxes until after they’ve paid them, and because Kavanaugh viewed the individual mandate as a tax, he thought it could not be challenged until the first mandate penalties were levied in the spring of 2015.

This, naturally, infuriates conservatives considering his nomination today, because the argument that the mandate is a tax ultimately enabled John Roberts to rule it constitutional and save most of the law in 2012. Roberts denied that the Anti-Injunction Act applied, but accepted the tax argument for considering the mandate’s constitutionality.

“In Kavanaugh’s view, the mandate could fit ‘comfortably’ within Congress’ constitutional powers,” Christopher Jacobs, a prominent critic of Obamacare, writes in The Federalist. “Even as he ‘do[es] not take a position here on whether the statute as currently written is justifiable,’ Kavanaugh concludes that ‘the only potential Taxing Clause shortcoming in the current individual mandate provision appears to be relatively slight.’”

Worse still from Jacobs’s perspective, Kavanaugh even suggested language tweaks Congress could adopt that he thought would shore up the law’s constitutionality. “Conservatives might argue amongst themselves about which is worse: An unelected judge opining on how a mandate to purchase a product could meet constitutional muster, or that same unelected judge giving Congress instructions on how to ensure it will,” Jacobs concludes.

Then there is this via Vox:

Kavanaugh interpreted the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling as saying that the government has “a compelling interest in facilitating women’s access to contraception.”

And he is worse than Gorsuch on national surveillance:

Kavanaugh has also ruled in favor of the National Security Agency’s expansive call record surveillance operation, arguing that collecting these records did not constitute a “search,” and that even if it did, the government can take such records if it has a “special need” to prevent terrorism, even if this burdens the constitutional rights of those searched. That’s a truly expansive rationale that makes even many conservatives uneasy. He also worked to limit challenges to detention for terror suspects…

Kavanaugh is not an enemy of big government. He is part of big government and just has his particular horrific spin on it.

RW 

UPDATE

Read the rest of Wenzel’s excellent article

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of  EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is the author of “Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person” and also The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on Twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. The Robert Wenzel podcast is on iphone and stitcher.

And be sure to check out what Judge Andrew Napolitano said of Kavanaugh.

And here is Ron Paul’s assessment, which is absolutely spot on.  He’s coined a terrific insight, the “Radical Center.”  It’s where everyone who is concerned by the street riots and campus rebellions turns to.  

Germany didn’t start WWI; the British did. Germany was the only country standing in the way of the British elite creating a new world order.

Lew Rockwell interviews John V. Denson [see his books here].  Here is the full and complete transcript

How do you get a world war over the assassination of Archduke of Ferdinand?  

Germany didn’t start WWI; the British did.  Germany was the only country standing in their way of the British elite [Cecil Rhodes, Milner, and others] creating a new world order. 

1870, John Ruskin at Oxford: Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner created a group that started the Boer War against the Dutch farmers in South Africa.  Their farmland happened to control the world’s best supply of gold and diamonds. Country of Rhodesia is named for Cecil Rhodes.  So is the Rhodes Scholar.  Rhodes made Milner the executor of his 7th will, and that’s when he created the Rhodes Scholarships, 1902.  Ruskin thought that the British Empire was the greatest political organization that had ever been in the world, created by the most intelligent, wealthy people and that needed to be expanded into reclaiming America into the Anglo-American establishment or secret elite. 

Both books contain a diagram of who exactly these people are.  It shows you an inner circle of about 7 people.  Wow.  Tragedy and Hope, this group had a terrible effect on the 20th century by causing WWI and WWII.  Wars are not natural events.  They’re man=made.  The way to end wars is to learn of these mistakes.  The sources they went to were phenomenal, all over the world.  Rothschild was a member and financed many wars.  Control the academia, politics, and international finance.  JP Morgan and Rockefellers became members.  For getting into WWI, they needed America and needed a central bank.  they went secretly to Jekyll Island and created the federal reserve.  First, the bill was opposed by President Taft.  They had to get rid of Taft, so they promoted Teddy Roosevelt.  Colonel House went to promote Woodrow Wilson to New Jersey Governorship who wanted to create the federal reserve and get America into the war. 

Here’s their plan: the only way they could create a new world order with English speaking hierarchy in control was to get rid of Germany.  Germany had progressed to the point economically and other ways to even surpass the British Empire in some ways and was a real threat to their idea of English speaking Anglo-Saxon world government.  So they planned this war.  And they knew that they had to get Russia and France, their land armies, to squeeze Germany, and there was a lot of behind-the-scenes talking to Russia and France back as early as 1904 about the war.  None of this was known to Parliament all secretly done.  So they promised the Russians that if they get into this war, they would get Constantinople.  And get your war port and get into the Mediterranean.  When in reality they never intended Russia to be successful with that.  And they promised Alsace Lorraine to the French [that the French lost in the Franco-Prussian War].  

England is more of an Atlantic state than a European one.  

They were waiting for a spark to fan the flames to get Germany into war.  There was an incident in Morroco that looked promising but the Germans didn’t take the bait.  But the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, they took that spark by putting in representatives inside the Austrian gov’t and in Serbia to make sure that they did not settle that incident.  The demand that Austria made was we want to come into Serbians and make our own investigation, and the Serbians were instructed not to agree to that.  And the Kaiser had indicated to the Austrians that he would support them.  And then when he saw how bad it was getting, he tried to talk them out of the conditions, and Austria then declares war. 

Edward VII, related to the Russian Czar, he was considered a ne’er do well by Victoria and she had him on a very strict allowance.  But he was traveling, going around on pleasure trips.  But Lord Rothschild created an unlimited expense account for him.  And he would talk to heads of government.  The Russians were convinced that they needed to mobilize and go to war.  So then the Treaty with France brought France in.  So Russia and France mobilized before Germany did anything.  Germany had to act to protect itself.  So that’s how they got WWI started, using the Archduke as the spark, but they had all these other plans to get the war going.  

16:32
Lusitania. 

A MUST-READ: “They won’t fight against anyone, because that’s not seemly, but they won’t fight for anyone or anything either. They are living in a perpetual Truman Show . . .”

h/t Charles Burris @ LewRockwell.com [Find more on Burris here]

High School Graduates

By Patrick Deneen

My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.

It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them:  they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes. They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.

But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks. Who fought in the Peloponnesian War? Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach? How did Socrates die? Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Canterbury TalesParadise Lost? The Inferno?

Who was Saul of Tarsus? What were the 95 theses, who wrote them, and what was their effect? Why does the Magna Carta matter? How and where did Thomas Becket die? Who was Guy Fawkes, and why is there a day named after him? What did Lincoln say in his Second Inaugural? His first Inaugural? How about his third Inaugural? What are the Federalist Papers?

Some students, due most often to serendipitous class choices or a quirky old-fashioned teacher, might know a few of these answers. But most students have not been educated to know them. At best, they possess accidental knowledge, but otherwise are masters of systematic ignorance. It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.

Keep reading . . . [it’s short and powerful]

Patrick Deneen is David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies at Notre Dame.

 

“Black Kidnappers Matter”

The title mocks Ricky’s narration of how the police handle the arrest of Amber Neal.

The story in this clip is not that the woman is getting arrested at gunpoint by LAPD. The story in this video is the commentary from Ricky, the owner of the video.  The woman being arrested is Amber Neal, one of three suspects who kidnapped two people back in May 2017.

The Associated Press writes

LOS ANGELES — Three suspects were charged Tuesday with kidnapping two people from a Los Angeles home and holding one of them naked in a bathtub for 30 hours while demanding the other pay a $10,000 ransom, prosecutors said.

Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones, and Amber Neal were charged with kidnapping, assault with a firearm and other offense in connection with the May 3 incident. It was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.

Who did they kidnap?  Daisy McCrackin and Joseph Capone.  

daisy-mccrackin

Neal’s arrest at gunpoint by Los Angeles police officers on Monday was captured on video by a bystander and had been viewed more than 2.4 million times on Twitter. It wasn’t immediately known when the others were taken into custody.

 

Prosecutors allege the trio went to Daisy McCrackin’s home in South Los Angeles on May 3, where they say Stewart pistol-whipped a man who was in the home, Joseph Capone. The three then placed bags over the two victims’ heads and drove them several miles to Jones’ home in Compton, prosecutors said.

Once they were at Jones’ home, the suspects forced Capone to strip naked and then held him in a bathtub for 30 hours without food, prosecutors allege.

Investigators said Jones and Neal then took McCrackin’s car and drove her to several different banks while demanding she pay $10,000 for Capone’s release. Eventually, she was forced to write a $10,000 check to Neal, prosecutors said.

The next day, they brought McCrackin — an actress who has appeared in several films, including the horror flick “Halloween: Resurrection” — back to her home, where she escaped from them and called police, authorities said.

Jones and Neil were being held on $1 million each, and Steward was being held on more than $2 million bail, according to prosecutors. If convicted, they each potentially face sentences of up to life in prison.

In his “Black Kidnappers Matter,” Robert Wenzel made a great point–that Ricky immediately assigns aggression to the police because Amber Neal is unarmed.  And so he blames the police first without knowing the facts.  That is Cultural Marxism in action, where after a few years’ long of media race coverage has yielded blame on police first before facts come to light.  This is pre-crime in reverse . . . for certain groups.  And this type of thinking is the direct result of Cultural Marxism to soften judgment on one group while condemning another.  Amber Neal is a violent thug.

This is a typical case of cultural Marxism on display. Without any knowledge of the facts, it is deemed inappropriate for coppers to show firepower against a black, when in fact this woman is alleged to be a serious, violent, violator of the non-aggression principle.