November 24, 2015

The Dismal Future of the American Academy

Radical Parents, Despotic Children  Bret Stephens
Sooner or later, Orwellian methods on campus will lead to Orwellian outcomes.

For almost 50 years universities have adopted racialist policies in the name of equality, repressive speech codes in the name of tolerance, ideological orthodoxy in the name of intellectual freedom. Sooner or later, Orwellian methods will lead to Orwellian outcomes. Those coddled, bullying undergrads shouting their demands for safer spaces, easier classes, and additional racial set-asides are exactly what the campus faculty and administrators deserve.

In other words, the radical children who grew up to run the universities have duplicated the achievement of their parents, and taken it a step further. In three generations, the campuses have moved from indulgent liberalism to destructive radicalism to the raised-fist racialism of the present—with each generation left to its increasingly meager devices. Why should anyone want to see this farce repeated as tragedy 10 or 20 years down the road?
Education entrepreneurs have long been trying to find a new way forward, without much success. For-profit schools could help—if they weren’t the constant target of liberal invective and government investigations. It might help, too, if concerned alumni could apply greater pressure on their alma maters in the face of these campus uprisings. But as the Bass family discovered when they tried to establish a Western Civilization program at Yale some 25 years ago, rich schools can afford to blow off rich alumni.

A better way might be to found great new universities ...or adopted the model of Hillsdale College in Michigan (where there are no protests) by refusing to accept federal subsidies, thus relieving them of the strictures and mandates by which the government enforces political correctness.

The campus uprisings of 2015 are the latest symptom of the disease of the American academy. Nobody should be surprised by it. Whether the disease of the academy also becomes the disease of the American mind depends on how far we are willing to let this go. Another generation shouldn’t be incubated in idiocy before we try something new.

Alan Dershowitz,  a former Harvard Law School professor of 50 years is speaking out, warning that students are “moving to the absurd,” and faculty and administrators are doing nothing to stop it.  ‘These Are Tyrannical Students’

“It’s gotten to the point where it is so abused and so hypocritical, and yet nobody is concerned.  After 50 years of teaching at Harvard, I have never met a less courageous group of people than tenured faculty.”

The last thing administrators or faculty want to do is get into fights with minority students, because then they’re perceived as being racists and sexists and homophobes, and these are epithets that are hard to respond to. So it’s much easier to go with the flow and be popular, particularly with the most vocal students.
“It’s time for some brave administrators to stand up to these student hypocrites, and these are tyrannical students who think the truth is on their side and there’s no reason to hear opposing points of view,” Dershowitz said.

But that, he added, would require a “brave administrator or a brave faculty member.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:19 PM | Permalink
Categories: Education

November 23, 2015

Not serious about protecting Americans

Why cook the books?  New claims Pentagon doctors ISIS intelligence to suit the White House as probe widens into 'manipulation'

A small-scale internal investigation has been expanded within the Defense Department into claims that U.S. intelligence about the Islamic State terror army has been censored by senior officials to reflect a rosier-than-reality viewpoint.

Dozens of intelligence analysts came forward in July to complain of the situation, even taking the unusual step of writing and signing their complaints to the DOD Office of the Inspector General, which opened a relatively low-key probe.  With the added unease created by the recent ISIS attacks in Paris, that probe has now gained more investigators and more documents. Yet it has also generated more concern from Congress because U.S. officials say some intelligence may have been deleted before investigators could seize it, according to a report over the weekend in The New York Times.

The bombing raids against ISIS turn out to be shams.  Why?  The Obama White House is giving ISIS a 45 minute warning before bombing their oil tankers by dropping leaflets advising potential jihadists to flee before air strikes in Syria.

While it took the U.S. fifteen months to even begin targeting ISIS’ oil refineries and tankers, air strikes by Moscow destroyed more than 1,000 tankers in a period of just five days.  In comparison, Col. Steve Warren said that the U.S. had taken out only 116 tanker trucks, the “first strike” to target ISIS’ lucrative black market oil business, which funds over 50 per cent of the terror group’s activities.

U.S. air strikes targeting ISIS oil assets are so rare that PBS was caught using footage of Russian fighter jets bombing an oil storage facility in Syria and passing it off as evidence of the U.S. targeting the Islamic State’s oil infrastructure.
U.S. military pilots have also confirmed that they were ordered not to drop 75 per cent of their ordnance on ISIS targets because they could not get clearance from their superiors.

Americans believe the government's first responsibility is to protect the national security and Americans at home and abroad. The traditional screening of immigrants to keep out those with a serious communicable disease like TB,  a violent criminal record, were apt to become a charge on the public purse and those who who advocate the overthrow of the US government.    Since there is no database that can corroborate the personal testimony of those who state they are Syrian refugees (Are they really Syrians?  Are they really refugees? ), and given the attack in Paris,  I don't understand why a pause in their resettlement is 'UnAmerican' as the President claims.  Besides, isn't it better to shelter them in a safe space, a refugee camp in their own country that we can create and protect?

Obama Administration refuses to give 27 states where Syrian refugees are being resettled any law enforcement information about them

In a call with senior Obama administration officials Tuesday evening, several governors demanded they be given access to information about Syrian refugees about to be resettled by the federal government in their states. Top White House officials refused...

On the call several Republican governors and two Democrats -- New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and California’s Jerry Brown -- repeatedly pressed administration officials to share more information about Syrian refugees entering the United States. The governors wanted notifications whenever refugees were resettled in their states, as well as access to classified information collected when the refugees were vetted...

McDonough responded to Brown that there was currently no process in place to give states such information and the administration saw no reason to change the status quo.


We've already accepted 1.6 million immigrants from predominately Muslim countries since 9/11

There’s no doubt that some Muslims come here to seek better economic opportunity, just like any other group that has immigrated in recent years.  But, if even 10% of these immigrants have radical Jihadist tendencies, that is 160,000 new ticking time bombs – all brought here after 9/11. ….A 2007 Pew survey found that 26% of young Muslims in America support suicide bombing in pursuit of Jihad (see p. 60).  This is a very ominous statistic given the increased share of young Muslims and the growth of cyber-jihad since 2007. 

No wonder respected commentators like Raymond Ibrahim writes such devastating articles as Exposed: Obama's Love for Jihadis and Hate for Christians

For starters, the overwhelming majority of "refugees" [98%] being brought into the United States are not just Muslim, but Sunnis – the one Muslim sect that the Islamic State is not persecuting and displacing....The real victims are Christians...Obama should further prioritize Christian refugees simply because his own policies in the Middle East have directly exacerbated their plight....  (Unlike Muslims or even Yazidis, Christians are easily assimilated into Western nations due to the shared Christian heritage, and they bring trustworthy language and cultural skills that are beneficial to the "war on terror.")
these recent revelations of the Obama administration's pro-Muslim and anti-Christian policies.. fit a clear and established pattern of religious bias within his administration.  For example.....

In Obama Wants to Defeat America Not ISIS, Daniel Greenfield writes:

The unspoken idea that informs his strategy is that American power is the root cause of the problems in the region. Destroying ISIS would solve nothing. Containing American power is the real answer.......
He doesn’t see the Caliph of the Islamic State as the real threat, but the average American who watches the latest beheading on the news and wonders why his government doesn’t do something about it. To the left it isn’t the Caliph of ISIS who starts the wars we ought to worry about, but Joe in Tennessee, Bill in California or Pete in Minnesota.

That is why Obama sounds bored when talking about beating ISIS, but heats up when the conversation turns to fighting Republicans. It’s why Hillary Clinton named Republicans, not ISIS, as her enemy.

Even the liberal Democrat Walter Russell Mead who supported Obama writes about the President's Cynical Refugee Ploy

The collapse of President Obama’s Syria policy is hardly a partisan issue. He has repeatedly overruled his own national security officials, top diplomats, and advisors, many of whom have been horrified by the President’s passivity in the face of onrushing disaster. His abrupt policy switch on airstrikes left many senior Democrats who had supported his apparent determination to enforce his “red line” against Assad twisting in the wind.
For no one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama. No one has committed more sins of omission, no one has so ruthlessly sacrificed the well-being of Syria’s people for his own ends, as the man in the White House. In all the world, only President Obama had the ability to do anything significant to prevent this catastrophe; in all the world no one turned his back so coldly and resolutely on the suffering Syrians as the man who sits in the White House today—a man who is now lecturing his fellow citizens on what he insists is their moral inferiority before his own high self-esteem.
From the standpoint of American interests and of the well being of the Syrians, the primary responsibility that the United States has toward the people of Syria is not to offer asylum to something like 0.25 percent of its refugee population. The primary duty of this country was to prevent such a disaster from happening and, failing that, to support in-country safe havens and relief operations. No doubt President Obama and the unthinking press zealots who applaud his every move prefer a conversation about why ordinary Americans are racist xenophobes to one about why President Obama’s Syria policy has created an immense and still expanding disaster.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:58 PM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It? | Categories: Government

"Worse. It’s going to get much, much worse over the next couple years"

From an interview with Jonathan Haidt at First Things, The Revenge of the Coddled

Recently, he wrote a landmark article for The Atlantic with Greg Lukianoff, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” about the culture of oversensitivity on university campuses.

JH: The vast majority on the left are not illiberal, and these tendencies are very illiberal. It involves the shouting-down of speakers, disinviting speakers, telling people what they can say, telling people what they can wear. The new political correctness is extremely illiberal and most liberals are uncomfortable. The liberal left is much larger, but the illiberal left is much angrier and much more vocal.
JH: There was a time when racial diversity and gender diversity were the most pressing issues, when many institutions were all-white and all-male. . . . [But] with each passing year, racial diversity and gender diversity, I believe, while still important, should become lower priorities, and with each passing year political diversity becomes more and more important: our nation becomes more and more paralyzed. . . . In higher education, we have a lot of race and gender diversity and we have essentially no political diversity. In social psychology we have virtually no one, there is only one conservative in the whole field that I know of.
Fear reigns on campuses now. (See the recent essay on Vox entitled, “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me.”) Haidt relates his reticence to speak openly about the coddled culture:

JH: I would not want to lead a conversation on this topic with students here at NYU. Not because NYU is more PC than other top schools—it’s not. But professors are much safer these days speaking at other campuses than on their own because it’s only on your own campus that students are going to file harassment charges and drag you before the Equal Opportunity Commission if you say one word that offends someone. So I must heavily self-censor when I speak on my home campus. I can be more provocative and honest when I’m speaking at other schools.
JH: Children are anti-fragile. They have to have many, many experiences of failure, fear, and being challenged. Then they have to figure out ways to get themselves through it. If you deprive children of those experiences for eighteen years and then send them to college, they cannot cope. They don’t know what to do. The first time a romantic relationship fails or they get a low grade, they are not prepared because they have been rendered fragile by their childhoods. So until we can change childhood in America, we won’t be able to roll this back and make room of open debate.

JH: My biggest prescription is that in every hospital delivery room, along with that first set of free diapers, should come the book: Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy.  If everyone in America read the book Free-Range Kids the problem would be over in 21 years, when the first set of tougher kids filled our universities.
Dr. Haidt, do you think it’s going to get better or worse?

JH: Worse. It’s going to get much, much worse over the next couple years and at that point some universities may start changing policies. By that point, many or maybe most American parents won’t want to send their children to the top universities, and there will be an enormous market opportunity for second-level universities that offer a much less coddled campus culture. over the next couple years and at that point some universities may start changing policies. By that point, many or maybe most American parents won’t want to send their children to the top universities, and there will be an enormous market opportunity for second-level universities that offer a much less coddled campus culture.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:37 PM | Permalink
Categories: Culture and Society | Categories: Education | Categories: Parenting

"The discredit that applies to all political parties today isn’t just huge; it is legitimate."

In the New York Times Michel Houellebecq: How France’s Leaders Failed Its People

Who exactly weakened the capacities of the police forces until they were totally on edge and almost incapable of fulfilling their mission? Who exactly drilled into our heads for years the notion that borders were a quaint absurdity, and evidence of a foul and rancid nationalism?
The obvious conclusion is scathing, unfortunately. For 10 (20? 30?) years, our successive governments have pathetically, systematically, deplorably failed in their essential mission: to protect the population under their responsibility.....The discredit that applies to all political parties today isn’t just huge; it is legitimate.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:21 PM | Permalink
Categories: Wise Words and Quotations

"Narcissism disguised as strategy" in the advertising industry and at Apple

Demographic Cleansing Of Ad Industry  A milestone in marketing stupidity has been reached.

According to a September report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, a majority of consumer spending (51%) is now done by people over 50. These people are the target for 10% of marketing activity.

On the other hand, marketers spend five times as much money marketing to millennials, the moronic obsession of every marketer on the planet, than any other group.......
There is almost no one over 50 left in the advertising business. They have been the target of demographic cleansing -- and eliminated from agencies.

The result is a generation of advertising people with enormous self-regard and no hint as to the true nature of "the consumer" they are all so sure they know everything about.
It is marketing by selfie-stick - narcissism disguised as strategy.

Another example of narcissism disguised as strategy is Apple.  For more than 3 months, I've been transferring data from an old iMac (OS 10.7.5) to a newer one with the El Capitan (OS 10.11.1).  In almost every case, the older design was far more useful, more legible and easier to use.  So now, I'll keep both.  The new one mainly for storage and surfing and the old one for doing everyday tasks and serious work.

I've been using Apple products since 1986.  I will no longer recommend Apple even though I'm now stuck with it.  Does Apple have any idea of how many customers it's alienating?

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name.  No more user-centered design principles.

Once upon a time, Apple was known for designing easy-to-use, easy-to-understand products. It was a champion of the graphical user interface......

No more. Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.
What kind of design philosophy requires millions of its users to have to pretend they are disabled in order to be able to use the product?
The new generation of software has made gigantic leaps forward in attractiveness and computational power while simultaneously getting harder for people to use.  The problem is not restricted to Apple. Google maps become more attractive and more confusing with each iteration.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:09 PM | Permalink
Categories: Idiocies

"What the hell, why not?"

NPR had a fascinating story about the novelist Anne Bernays who teaches writing at Harvard University, Gray-Haired Granny? An 85-Year-Old Writer Goes Punk Rock Instead

Along about the time I became a great-grandmother I dyed my white hair blue. Not a wussy "blue-rinse" blue, but eye-stabbing, punk-kid blue. At the time, I didn't do any soul-searching. I just thought, What the hell, why not?

I was surprised by how this turn went over; everyone seemed to approve it. Grouchy people smiled at me....
I always looked younger than I actually was — a lucky throw of the genetic dice. But even if you do happen to look your age, why spend your hard-earned money getting sliced and diced, shot in the forehead with embalming fluid and contributing to the cosmetic surgery industry — worth $11 billion last year? Because we're all afraid to show our age.

A few years ago someone asked me if I'd just had a face-lift, and I was thrilled. Hard-headed, realistic I may be, but I'm fundamentally as vain as the next woman. I won't go to the market without first putting on lipstick.

Is this fixation wired into the human female? If so, then we don't have to feel guilty about it. If not, then why do we behave as if our appearance trumps kindness, intelligence, imagination, enthusiasm and humor

 Anne Bernays

I was lumpy at 11; at 85 I'm lumpy again. Of course I mind — but not all that much. I consider myself ahead of the game: I can still make the bed, walk around without mechanical assistance and instruct a roomful of students. And I just bought a second jar of hair dye, "Lagoon Blue," and plan to have it in place for the holidays.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:38 PM | Permalink
Categories: Aging with Grace and Grit

November 21, 2015


Bleached Woodpulp + Ink + Glue = A Mature Information Retrieval System

 Bleached Woodpulp+Glue

“You did what with my life?”.. Young Man Interviews His Older Self 38 Years Later

It takes someone with an incredible knack for planning ahead to create a "self interview" video project then pick it up and finish it 38 years later, it takes someone like Peter "Stoney" Emshwiller.  Stoney (who should have won an award by now for his amazing name) shot a video at age 18 in which he interviews his older self, and then he played interviewee at age 56 and finished the "self interview" video 38 years in the making.

Watch it on YouTube under the title Later That Same Life

The Coywolf  is a new species that emerged in the Northeast, -  a hybrid of the coyote and the wolf that is also known as the Eastern coyote. According to a new article from The Economist, their population seems to have reached more than a million.


These animals have a completely new genetic makeup: Their genes are about one-quarter wolf DNA and two-thirds coyote DNA; the rest is from domesticated dogs. A 2013 study suggests this dog DNA is mostly from a few specific breeds, including German Shepherds and Doberman Pincers.

Don't miss this.  In a comic, the amazing story of the young Gene Roddenberry: It’s going to be okay 

 Rodenberrry Okay

Something Wonderful: One Thousand Gifts

Nigerians Are Building Fireproof, Bulletproof, And Eco-Friendly Homes With Plastic Bottles And Mud


These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. They also maintain a comfortable temperature, produce zero carbon emissions, and are powered by solar and methane gas from recycled waste.

Animal Balaclavas Turn Skiers Into Cats And Lions


Cool video that explains why people in old movies talked funny

There’s a distinct accent that American actors and broadcasters used in the early days of radio and in pre-World War II movies. It’s most obvious in old newsreel footage where the announcer speaks in a high-pitched tone, omits his “Rs” at the end of words, and sounds like a New Yorker who just returned from a summer holiday with the British royal family. This speaking style is also heard in the speeches of Franklin D. Roosevelt and just about any performance by Orson Welles. But today, this accent is all but nonexistent, prompting the question: Did Americans speak differently before the advent of television?

The True Story of Paul Newman's Salad Dressing

Paul Newman passed on on September 26, 2008. But his smiling face lives on, not only in his wonderful movies, but in grocery aisles across America. And with  what other Hollywood legend can we not only enjoy one of his classic films, but dine on his delicious food and drink while we do so?

 Newman's Own

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:19 PM | Permalink

November 14, 2015

Lessons from history: “Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly”

Born in Austria, Kitty Werthman remembers the transition from the chaos of post-WWI Austria to the take-over by Hitler, and what followed.  Now president of the South Dakota Eagle Forum, she is hated by the Left because she is trying to warn the world that they are sliding into totalitarianism.

I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide – 98% of the vote..

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates….We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.
Equal Rights Hits Home: All food was rationed and ration cards only for those who worked.  Both girls and boys drafted for the labor corps for one year. "During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. "

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare: ….The state raised a whole generation of children.. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had…..

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls: As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing….We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners.

“Mercy Killing” Redefined: Mentally retarded adults taken away from their homes and villages and euthanized

The Final Steps – Gun Laws: First registration, then confiscation

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

“Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly. It took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:06 PM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It?

November 12, 2015

Beauty and Peace

Msgr Charles Pope on the Simple, Objective Definitions of Beauty and Peace by the Ancient Philosophers. 

Beauty is the splendor of order. Yes, order is magnificent. Sometimes we speak of symmetry (Greek for “same measure”). Sometimes we speak of proportion (from a Latin word meaning that something is properly divided or shared). Musically, we speak of harmony (from the Greek harmonia, meaning agreement of sound) or of “concerts” (from the Latin concertare, meaning “to bring into agreement”). Yes, order is a beautiful thing that points beyond itself to purpose and design. Things in creation are not just here on earth haphazardly. They are not chaotically strewn about. Rather, things are intricately interrelated in multiple ways and at every level: atomically, molecularly, organically, ecologically, and cosmically. Such order, such beauty! Beauty is truly the splendor of order.

Peace is the rest of order. This definition is even more mysterious. We all know that order brings peace, but why? When our lives are in order we sleep well. When chaos wounds order we are in distress and seek to restore order. The perception of order bestows a kind of satisfaction and fulfillment. For a moment we can stop and say, “It is well; things are as they should be.” This sense of well-being ushers in peace and serenity. Yes, peace is the rest of order.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:37 AM | Permalink
Categories: Wise Words and Quotations

Some of the creepiest photos ever

Antoine Geiger thinks phones are almost literally soul-sucking.


Soul-Sucking Photos By French Artist Show How Phones Are Stealing Our Identities Creepy

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:38 AM | Permalink
Categories: Art

November 11, 2015

Distressing news of the despair of the middle-aged working class whites. Why?

First report in the Washington Post  A group of middle-aged whites in the U.S. is dying at a startling rate

“This is the first indicator that the plane has crashed,” said Jonathan Skinner, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, who reviewed the study and co-authored a commentary that appears with it. “I don’t know what’s going on, but the plane has definitely crashed. ….“High school graduates [and] high school dropouts [are] 40 percent of the population,” he added. “It’s not just the 10 percent who didn’t finish high school. It’s a much bigger group.”

Working-Class–White Deaths Are a Cultural Problem writes David French

Middle-aged, working-class white Americans are killing themselves — committing suicide and dying of drug- and alcohol-related illnesses at such a staggering pace that the overall mortality rate for white men and women without a college degree actually increased from 1999 to 2013, an outcome that the Washington Post notes is “unheard of in recent decades” for such a large demographic in such an advanced nation, “with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
Charles Murray’s Coming Apart documented the decline of America’s white working class in excruciating detail. While college-educated white families remained relatively intact, prosperous, and connected to church and their communities, the white working class suffered from family fragmentation, job loss, and declining religious and civic engagement.
I grew up on the edge of the “Big White Ghetto” that my colleague Kevin Williamson described so beautifully early last year. I’ve seen the decline with my own eyes — the men and women hooked on opiates while living off questionable disability claims, parents slowly drinking themselves to death to escape failure and loss, and revolving-door relationships where neither partner can trust the other to remain faithful — much less to build a life and family together.
While the economic challenges of working-class voters are well documented, the cultural challenges are just as notable. At every turn, the cultural aristocrats cause harm. Mocking poor whites is among the last acceptable forms of bigotry. Even the white working-class voters struggling with declining wages, declining health, and increasing despair are derided as somehow “privileged.” Those who speak for them are labeled bigots. Meanwhile, people keep dying, and families fracture.
Self-indulgence is the animating force behind the sexual revolution, and the sexual revolution is gutting the working class. As Murray notes in his book, cultural progressives flood the nation with messages celebrating hedonism and sexual experimentation even as they tend to preserve their own wealth and power through remarkably restrained and disciplined personal lives — getting married, remaining faithful, and investing in their children. They don’t practice the hedonism they so loudly preach.

Decline and Fall of America's Working Class.  Noah Smith at Bloomberg

Something very troubling and very unique is happening to American working-class whites.
The immediate causes of the increase are not hard to identify. Drugs and suicide are the culprits…..But this doesn’t give us a real answer. Why are working-class whites turning to drugs and alcohol? Why are they killing themselves in record numbers? The trend started long before the 2009 recession, so that can’t be the main explanation. Falling household wealth isn’t the reason either, since mortality kept on increasing during the housing boom in the early 2000s. Nor is obesity the obvious cause….What about economic insecurity and falling wages? ….economic insecurity and wage stagnation have been an even bigger problem for blacks and Hispanics, and yet those groups are seeing their mortality fall.

In other words, none of the easy economic or health explanations are very persuasive.This may simply be one of those times when economic theory isn't that useful. After all, there exists no good economic model of drug abuse and suicide in the first place. The roots must be somehow sociological and psychological.

In fact, the deterioration of the American white working class is evident in other areas. Divorce rates have risen dramatically for this demographic group, even as they have fallen for the more educated. In other words, family breakdown is now as severe among the white working class as it was among the black working class in the 1960s, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote his famous report.

Is family breakdown the cause of alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide? Possibly -- after all, families are an incredibly important source of emotional support. But that merely leads us to the question of why family breakdown is occurring in the first place.

Here’s a possible explanation that takes us back to economic factors. Beginning in the 1980s, the U.S. economy started trending toward greater inequality. The less-educated lost the semi-skilled jobs that they had held in previous decades. The uneducated class became a floating low-skilled labor force, which decreased the marriageability of white working-class men. That impaired family formation. A couple of decades later, the lack of family support started to take a big bite out of the emotional health of working-class whites, causing them to turn to alcohol, drugs and suicide once they reached middle age.

The Privileged vs. the White Working Class Truck drivers, trappers, farmers don’t rate in the eyes of our elites.

The authors, Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton and his wife, Anne Case, found their study rejected by several prestigious medical journals. Again, their conclusions are explosive — given that they raise questions about the conventional wisdom that “white privilege” trumps class
The vast majority of so-called working-class whites with whom I graduated from high school did not go to college. Yet they started off their working lives in 1971 with good prospects at the nearby trailer-manufacturing plant, the fruit processor, the man-lift factory, and an array of high-paying welding and fabrication jobs. All such employment has now disappeared through globalization.

R.R. Reno says Deadly Progressivism

The crisis, however, has been plain to see. It’s a judgment on the moral myopia of today’s academic culture and mainstream media that anyone would be blind-sided by this report of rising death rates among poor whites. The meth epidemic has been killing people in poor white, small-town America for two decades. Earlier this year, Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, declared a public health emergency in a southern Indiana county. Reason: the rapid spread of HIV caused by needle sharing by heroin users who are poor and white. The collapse of working class culture among whites is old news. It’s laid out in detail by Charles Murray in his 2012 book, Coming Apart. We’ve known that the results are deadly. A few years ago the Times itself reported a dramatic decline in life-expectancy among whites who have failed to finish high school.

The experts are at a loss. Some point to “financial stress,” pointing to the fact that wages for working class Americans has been stagnant during the last few decades. One expert observed that whites are more likely than blacks to get prescriptions for opium-based painkillers.

I don't find myself baffled. For the last few decades, cultural leaders have been waging a war on the weak. Their goal is to dismantle traditional norms and rules for family life. They push to dismantle gender roles and other foundational categories that ordinary people use to orient themselves and make sense out of their lives. They advocate for drug legalization and doctor-assisted suicide as well. The upshot: reliable guides toward a normal life are removed, and potentially destructive behaviors that rich people either avoid or discretely manage are normalized. The most vulnerable pay the cost.
To a great extent, our progressive culture strips ordinary people of almost all settled roles, other than economic ones. This heightens the existential pain of the already harsh economic realities of our globalized economy, which can be very punitive to the poorly educated. Two generations ago, a working class man was often poor or nearly poor, but he could be respected in his neighborhood as a provider for his family, father to his children, law-abiding citizen, coach of a Little League team, and usher in church. The culture that made such a life possible has disintegrated, partly due to large-scale trends in our post-industrial society, but also because of a sustained and ongoing ideological assault on the basic norms for family and community. Death rates are likely to continue to rise for poor Americans. I see no signs that the war on the weak will abate.

The Crisis Of The American Working Class 

The American working class is losing the things that make life worth living, replaced by dependency and hopelessness.
The numbers clearly indicate that these Americans are increasingly likely to kill themselves – whether on purpose or through the slow gradual death of addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. The rate of mortality increased most dramatically for white Americans lacking any more than a high school education.

…Imagine entering your fifties and looking back on your life and seeing substance abuse, disintegrated families, distance from kids, limited neighborhoods where connections have frayed, and the humility of economic dependence as far as the eye can see, and you start to understand how the slow and the quick roads to destruction seem more tempting than dealing with the pain of life.
That lack of hope is exacerbated by the absence of belief in a higher purpose or involvement in a community of religious believers.

.For all too many Americans in this segment of the population, the things that make life not only endurable but happy are faith, now lost to us; family, which is fractured; community, which is disintegrated; and work, which most find hard to come by. The TV screen flickers with images of people living lives you could never hope to emulate. Your situation is bleak, and while our soma is better, it is still not a replacement for the pursuit of happiness.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:58 PM | Permalink
Categories: Culture and Society

Veterans Day 2015 in the midst of the 'Cultural Revolution' on campus

Believers, agnostics and atheists, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, all must recognize that their lives are founded on the blood and sacrifices of those now dead.  Yet, many of the freedoms they fought and died for are now imperiled by student 'cry bullies' and spineless college administrators who capitulate to them. 

 Sacrifice Veterans

The little tyrants dubbed the ‘Yale snowflakes’ are the bastard offspring of older radicals who created "the unhinged, unfree climate currently crippling daring thought and open debate across the Western world."

Today's  college students, older than many of those who went to war on our behalf in years past, demand safe spaces, trigger warnings and written rules to help them negotiate sexual relations,  Raised in an emotional cocoon by politically correct parents who micro-managed their play time, they are 'smart, kind and very  fragile' writes Jonah Goldberg, " We are raising fragile kids who to to become "the generation the mandarins of political correctness have been waiting for"

David French argues these PC student police aren't fragile, they are vengeful and malicious

Fragile people don’t form political movements, tote around mattresses as works of “performance art,” engage in civil disobedience, or shriek at the top of their lungs for the destruction of their enemies. Fragile people don’t try to sweep away all opposition, dominate the culture, and impose new legal and cultural norms. No, this is the work of vengeful and malicious political activists, people who’ve forsaken true debate and dialogue to try to impose their will through fear and intimidation. They are trying (and succeeding) at scaring people into silence

The Campus Lunacy Spreads

at Vanderbilt, where an online student petition demanding the suspension of Professor of Law and Political Science Carol Swain for being “hateful” toward minorities has gotten more than 1,000 signatures. The fact that Professor Swain is black is no insulation from these charges.

Swain’s apostasy is that she has made politically incorrect statements about radical Islam and her traditional Christian beliefs, statements that the petitioners deem intolerant and which the University, therefore, must  not tolerate — tolerance, of course, being a one-way street.

Without any apparent sense of irony, the petitioners make the inevitable demand that Swain be sent to diversity training camp (along with the rest of the faculty) so that she will think and speak in a manner approved by the commissars of political correctness.

Heather McDonald looks at this racial hysteria and writes

... this shocking video [at Yale]  is a glimpse of the future—the boorish, hate-filled Cultural Revolution come to America. Colleges have capitulated completely to delusional victimology; unless employers are willing to stand up against the coddled products of the academic hothouse, we may all soon be living in a world of screaming, monomaniacal victims.,

Political correctness is the strategy to preserve the dominant 'narrative'.  For heretics, there are loss of privileges, shaming, training camps, inquisitions and imprisonment. 

To end with my favorite quote from Theodore Dalrymple.  For 'communist' you could substitute fascist or totalitarian

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:15 PM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It? | Categories: Culture and Society
About Business of Life™
About the Author
Contact Us
Companion Weblogs
Legacy Matters™
Estate Legacy Vaults (ELV)

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

Google Reader or Homepage Business of Life
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Add to My AOL
Subscribe in Furl
Subscribe in Rojo
Subscribe with Bloglines

Aging with Grace and Grit
Brave New World
Civilization - Can We Keep It?
Culture and Society
Death and Dying
Disasters, natural and manmade
Divorced or Widowed
Financial Planning, Wealth
Giving and Philanthropy
Identity and Security
Integrating Mind, Body, Spirit
Just for Fun
Legal Matters
Love, Marriage and Weddings
Meaning, Passion and Purpose
Movies, Videos
New words for emotions and new words
Organizing and Practical Tips
Personal Development
Preparedness/What Every Adult Should Have
Rules of Life/Lessons Learned
Science/ wonders
Signs of the Times
Spirituality and Religion
The Sexes
Wise Words and Quotations
Why Legacy Matters
Women of a Certain Age
Latest Entries
The Dismal Future of the American Academy
Not serious about protecting Americans
"Worse. It’s going to get much, much worse over the next couple years"
"The discredit that applies to all political parties today isn’t just huge; it is legitimate."
"Narcissism disguised as strategy" in the advertising industry and at Apple
"What the hell, why not?"
Lessons from history: “Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly”
Beauty and Peace
Some of the creepiest photos ever
Distressing news of the despair of the middle-aged working class whites. Why?
Veterans Day 2015 in the midst of the 'Cultural Revolution' on campus
"We don’t ask questions. Questions are offensive”
Idiocies on campus
The Final Hijrah
ISIS executes 200 captive Syrians, many of whom may be children
The federal agency still running on paper
"What progressive ideas have in common is that when put into practice they seem to cause people to be miserable."
To the real threat of an EMP, Obama proposes a plan to develop a plan
Medical Quarterbacking
"He was a farmer who spread his side far and wide"
"I see firsthand in my company why not enough people are signing up and premiums are rising."
“You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human history to find [such a] mad obsession”
A few practical tips
Living in recognition of reality
Blogger and Editor's Note
Musical medicine
Heart Health Roundup: Hearts older than bodies, Rx, intermittent fasting, vitamin C, pros and cons of statins
"The people hate the elites, which is not new, and very American. The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new. "
Middle Class Serfdom and Shadow Work
Health roundup: Naps, steak or salmon daily, aspirin, antibiotics + type 2 diabetes, mutant head lice + selfies
Unharmed and intact after fire
Health Roundup: Programming cancer cells, stomach bug and lung disease, coffee and tea
What happens when a whole way of life disintegrates before your eyes?
Secret to a lasting marriage: Being happy for one another
American heroes on French train. "Fear is contagious. But so is courage."
Advice for parents
Watermelon molasses
Health Roundup: Universal plaque-busting drug, saturated fat and fish oil for psychosis
Food Hacks
Roundup: Eating and drinking
Links to interesting stories that I don't have the time to blog
“The 2016 election is simple; the person who runs on the platform ‘Who do they think they are?’ will win.”
Quotes of Note

If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life. -Abraham Maslow

Growth in wisdom may be exactly measured by decrease in bitterness. -Friedrich Nietzsche

How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world? -Anne Frank

November 2015
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
Marriage Movement a grass-roots movement to strengthen marriage, it’s civil and intellectual with good links
Independent Means Joline Godfrey on raising financially fit and good kids
Spiritual Parenting Mimi Doe on raising kind, honorable children connected to their spirit
American Baby Preconception, Adoption, Pregnancy, Baby, Toddlers and Kids and lots of ads
Blogging Baby Covering what they think is interesting
Daddy Types for new dads
Dad Talk news for serious parents
Dot Moms all sorts
Dooce rhymes with juice
Testosterhome stay at home writer with four young sons
raising grandchildren when parents can’t
Halley’s Comment Halley Suitt is a writer, editor, mom and all-purpose provocateur from Boston, as well as the blog czarina at Worthwhile
emergency divorce blog for women
Divorce Transitions Information and support community
Widows Resource Help for widows as they solve financial and legal problems despite their grief
Worthwhile Work with purpose, passion and profit
Occupational Adventure - On having a career that lights your fire
Womens’ Wall Street Because it’s your money: Tools, columns and ask Jane Dough Motley Fool To educate, amuse and enrich
William Bridges Transitions are the inner work we do to come to terms with change. Personal and corporate transitions, he understands them better than anyone and how to make the most of change
The Paper Room my friend Sydney Rice’s Choices for career and life enrichment
Home and Moving
This Old House - Homeowner know-how
Monthly Home Maintenance Checklists
Moving Lady - Transform relocation into a creative life transition
What retirement? boomer approaches retirement
ACOR Association of Cancer Online Resources. Lots of links, many online support groups
After Abortion Life after abortion: news, opinion, personal experience, resources
Health Facts and Fears From the American Council on Science and Health
Your Disease Risk From Harvard, rate your personal risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis and get personalized tips for prevention
Your Health Record Maintaining a Treasure Chest
Nutrition Navigator Rating nutrition sites
Medline Plus Your first stop in any Internet health search. NIH’s National Library of Medicine. 650 topics
HealthWeb Linking you to the Best in Health Information
Dr. Green An online pediatrician, with a daily dose, daily chats and over 5000 pages of info
Living with Illness
Tumor diary living with brain cancer
I will survive living with breast cancer
Cancer Blog

Aging and Caregiving
As Time Goes By - What it’s really like to get older
Aging Solutions Aging parents and elder care, good checklists, resources, elder care 101, independent living and more
Benefits Checkup Over 55? From the National Council on Aging, a free service to find what benefits you may be entitled to
What’s It All About
Integral Naked Stimulating, provocative and spiritual
Pause Living without a Net
Lifestylism Creating the life you want
You already know this stuff
Zaadz Do what you do best…better
Experience Designer how do you learn the things you value most
Foundation for a Better Life good news
Beliefnet Everyone believes in something
Surprise Gifts The best gift ideas on the Web. Great categories
Cool Tools Kevin Kelly’s on all sorts of tools that work
Date Archives
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
February 2004
January 2004
Recommended Reading
Personal Development
Losing Loved Ones
Powered by
Movable Type 3.33