If you have pre-teens at home, buy good books and make sure they read them.
The chances they’ll be called upon at the college of their choice to acquaint themselves with serious works of the Western canon have dwindled for a half-century. Ask yourself whether someone turning 18 next fall has better prospects of learning how the world works—and how it ought to work—by going to college and occupying his or her time for four or more years with whatever goes on there, or by skipping that and reading what actual, accomplished people have thought and done.
Until very recently, this was believed to be no choice at all: An American without a college degree was presumed condemned to a bleak future of menial work and social impoverishment. Nobody thought about the genuinely bleak future of a nation without plumbers, or a nation lacking educators with the spine to differentiate wisdom from stupidity, and thus we are becoming both.
Sad to say, the roots lie principally in political alliances; specifically, alliances between multiple, pampered generations unable to cope with challenges to their personal whims, and a sophisticated Left alert to the opportunity inherent in offering the blunt instrument of government to beat down inconvenient questions and people who might ask them.
And so in a fantasy world where open disagreement is the worst thing imaginable, “tolerance” takes the form of an aversion to differences. Proselytizing by means of bumper stickers, the Left celebrate[s] diversity by defaming anyone suspected of harboring nonconformist ideas.
George Will is right, that the institutions have put themselves in their current predicament, but to an embarrassing degree it’s because we as a society have insisted they do so. The way to fix this is to cease supporting what we’ve made of them.
It’s one thing when skeptics of human-induced climate catastrophe assert that the whole, thinly-evidenced crisis is stagecraft, fronting for plans to loot the U.S. economy and advance the cause of international collectivism.
It’s another thing when the would-be looters tell you about it themselves.
Ordinarily they’re more discreet. Last week enthusiasm took over. Friday wrapped up “New Economy Week” and the “New Economy Coalition” spent five festive days loading our inbox—unwittingly, we think—with spam email celebrating a future in which people the coalition likes get to take whatever they want from people the coalition doesn’t like.
Maybe we’re paranoid or maybe it was the clenched-fist logo, but that’s how we interpreted the question the coalition posed to its followers last Friday: “How can we claim access and control over what we need to live full and prosperous lives?”
The week was highlighted by screenings of “This Changes Everything,” a documentary the coalition describes as leftist author Naomi Klein making her arguments that “we can seize the existential threat of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.” Here’s a glimpse of “radically better.” Medford, MA, University City, MO, Bend, OR,
The United Nations’ Paris climate summit opens in two weeks. The hyperventilating mainstream media coverage—guaranteed to be copious—will focus on “world leaders” struggling to commit to carbon dioxide reductions, which is to say, to commit their people to unending poverty.
Less conventional media sources will reveal an army of New Economy Coalition-style groups hovering around the UN gabfest like an immense flock of optimistic seagulls, maneuvering to pluck scraps from the wake of a rusted tramp steamer.
They, and proponents of boundless government, are the ones who expect to gain from global warming panic. They told us about it all last week.
Most likely, Joanne Kloppenburg expected to run for an open state Supreme Court seat in the upcoming April election. Instead, she faces incumbent Rebecca Bradley, recently appointed following the death, rather than the anticipated retirement, of Justice Patrick Crooks.
By removing Bradley (not to be confused with Liberal incumbent Ann Walsh Bradley,) a Kloppenburg win would restore the 4-3 Conservative-Liberal split that sometimes brought a measure of suspense to the court’s decisions. But the Kloppenburg campaign appears intent on purging the voters’ decision of any suspense whatsoever, issuing bizarre announcements that to normal ears seem calculated to alienate almost anyone paying attention.
Last Wednesday Kloppenburg endorsed the judicial candidacy of Everett Mitchell, most recently the University of Wisconsin’s Director of Community Relations.
Three months ago, Mr. Mitchell put the university in an awkward spot by publicly suggesting law enforcement stop responding to shoplifting complaints, which he characterized as “over-polic[ing] our children.”
Days before endorsing Mitchell, Kloppenburg demanded her opponent, Justice Bradley, disavow support from Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
The destruction of Sheriff Clarke has been a major preoccupation of Wisconsin leftists since Clarke aired radio ads urging citizens to receive training in safe handling of firearms so they might have a chance to defend themselves in the long minutes between calling 911 and help arriving. The same Pavlovian conditioning that renders Liberals incapable of controlling their instinct to attack Clarke evidently also rendered Kloppenburg incapable of understanding the downside of trashing the state’s most popular Black elected official, or of spotlighting her opponent’s association with him.
Kloppenburg lost a nail-biting 2011 race for the Court, simultaneously helped and hindered by her implicit pledge to overturn that year’s legislation curbing the power of government employee unions. Tone-deaf then, tone-deaf now, still no cure in sight.