Education, the United Nations, and Getting Married

December 27, 2017 In America

Today some of the more interesting  stories (at least to me) were on the Townhall website. First is a no-holds-barred essay on the (low) state of educators and education in the U.S. by one of my favorite writers, Walter. E. Williams. Next Ben Shapiro makes the case for defunding the United Nations. Last is a refreshingly honest essay by Dennis Prager on marriage and why no one is really every “ready for marriage” until they marry (and approaching my 31st anniversary with my first and only wife I find this rings very true). Good reading for December 27, 2017 InAmerica.

Educational Rot

 With but a few exceptions, schools of education represent the academic slums of colleges. They tend to be home to students who have the lowest academic test scores — for example, SAT scores — when they enter college. They also tend to have the lowest scores when they graduate and choose to take postgraduate admissions tests — such as the GRE, the MCAT and the LSAT. Professors at schools of education tend to have the lowest level of academic respectability. American education could benefit from eliminating schools of education.  

-Walter E. Williams, READ MORE at Townhall

Time to Defund the United Nations

 Herein lies the great irony of the United Nations: While it’s the Mos Eisley of international politics — a hive of scum and villainy — and it votes repeatedly to condemn the United States and Israel, the tyrannies that constitute the body continue to oppress their own peoples.

The U.N. has always been a foolish fantasy, a League of Nations knockoff that’s been about as productive and twice as irritating. It’s an outmoded organization that’s outlived whatever small usefulness it once had. There’s no reason for us to continue cutting checks to prop up regimes that condemn us publicly for exercising the most basic standards of morality.  

-Ben Shapiro, READ MORE at Townhall

‘I’m Not Ready to Get Married’

 In every age, people say and believe things that aren’t true but somehow become accepted as “conventional wisdom.”

The statement “I’m not ready to get married” is a current example. Said by more and more Americans between the ages of 21 and 40 (and some who are older than that), it usually qualifies as both meaningless and untrue. And it is one reason a smaller percentage of Americans are marrying than ever before.

So, here’s a truth that young Americans need to hear:

Most people become “ready to get married” when they get married. Throughout history most people got married at a much younger age than people today. They were hardly “ready.” They got married because society and/or their religion expected them to. And then, once married, people tended to rise to the occasion.  

-Dennis Prager, READ MORE at Townhall

December 27, 2017 InAmerica

The Modern American Witch-Hunt

More often than not the daily drum beat of the mainstream media is coming to look like an old fashioned witch-hunt aimed against Conservatives, MAGA folks, and those who are a threat to the Establishment (Democrat & Republican). The  most famous witch-hunt in America was the Salem Witch Trials:

“The episode is one of Colonial America’s most notorious cases of mass hysteria. It has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process.” –Wikipedia

I don’t think the Antifa folks on the Left who label anybody they disagree with as “Fascists” (while they act like true Fascists using violence and threats of violence) have too much problem with the idea of suspending any pretense of “due process” for Conservatives. At the same time we see the media, the new Inquisition, hounding anti-establishment Judge Roy Moore for supposedly offending some women over 38 years ago while largely ignoring the serial rapes and assaults of former President Bill Clinton:

“[Juanita] Broaddrick stated that Clinton raped her and that Hillary Clinton knew about it, and tried to threaten Broaddrick into remaining silent.” -Wikipedia

We can see the modern witch-hunt by Leftists most vividly on many modern college campuses. A speech by Milo Yiannopoulous, a gay Conservative activist, was canceled after Leftist violence erupted at UC-Berkely in California. Fox News has documented a number of similar incidents. Free speech by Conservatives is becoming more and more perilous. Many Leftists are now repeating the meme that just having Conservative ideas “creates a hostile space” for them.

According to the Washington Post, “A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes ‘offensive and hurtful statements.'” So I guess today many college students believe they have a right to be the “judge, jury, and executioner” of those who’s statements and beliefs they perceive as “hurtful” to their world view.

The real problem today is that more and more there is no “safe space” for civil disagreement in America and those who are largely responsible appear to be on the Left side of the political spectrum.

Racism & The Hard Wired Brain

Racism & The Hard Wired Brain
Somewhere on the Appalachian Trail in America

Racism is inherent in the human condition. Humans are hard wired to see differences and draw conclusions about the meaning of those differences based on experience. Humans are wired to identify “us” and “them” and differences of race are just too big for the human brain to ignore.

There is nothing immoral or inhuman about naturally drawing such conclusions. The mechanisms are largely below the conscious threshold. This is true of all human beings regardless of their skin color. All are born natural racists.

The point of education is to bring the rational mind and the heart into the conversation and help them see the evidence that there is more that unites than divides, to see the humanity in all that underlies the differences. There is nothing inherently awful about starting out life as a racist. It is the human condition. The tragedy is is not in how we start, but in how we end.

We can choose to focus either on differences, or we can choose to focus on those things we have in common. Our brain is hard wired in many respects, but we have the ability – if we choose – to step outside that hard wiring and place our focus not on differences, but on what we share, and as humans we share a great deal when we can see it.

We cannot cure racism without making the conscious choice to do so. This is true of all people, regardless of the color of their skin. The ability to make choices is one of our greatest talents if we choose to use it.

Racism is not the legacy of just one set of people. If you are a human being the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of  you having at some time held some views that had some vestiges of racism, some vestige of making automatic judgments about some people based on their race.

The solution is not guilt. That has never been a good solution.

The solution is to engage all of our faculties to find what unites, not what divides. More often than not those things that divide are largely superficial. The difficulty  is in our nature, the human condition, but we do have the power if we choose to override the hard wiring.