August 2017

Top US general: Trump ended second guessing of commanders in the field

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend offered a vote of thanks to President Trump, for ending the micromanagement of the Obama administration as he prepares to turn over his command of the U.S.-led counter-ISIS coalition, he

"We don't get second-guessed a lot. Our judgment here on the battlefield in the forward areas is trusted. And we don't get 20 questions with every action that happens on the battlefield and every action that we take," Townsend said. "I don't know of a commander in our armed forces that doesn't appreciate that.

One of Trump's first tweaks to the strategy designed to defeat ISIS more quickly was to delegate more authority to commanders in the field to make tactical decisions, without having to call back to Washington for permission.

Military commanders privately grumbled that the review process for even simple requests, such as moving forces around on the battlefield, could take days and required the submission of lengthy decision memos for the President Obama's appraisal.


When Quality Drops, Customers Stop Coming

A startling decline in U.S. college enrollment reflects growing doubts about the value of a degree at a time when tuition is surging, grads are strapped with crushing student loan debt and financial aid awards are shrinking.

The number of Americans enrolled in colleges and universities has dropped every year since 2011, to a low of 19.1 million in 2015, the most recent year tallied, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 That’s a full 1.2 million fewer students than were enrolled in 2011.

WHY I’M LEAVING THE POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION

Today, APSA has become barely distinguishable from the Democratic Party and its far-left wing. Its web page runs a constant stream of anti-Trump or anti-Republican news. This year, it issued a statement supporting the anti-Trump “March for Science” held in DC in April and another against the Executive Order on a temporary ban for travelers from several Middle Eastern countries. It also felt the need to issue a Letter to Members after the 2016 election (there was no letter issued after the 2012 or 2008 elections) saying the election had “cast into sharp relief an array of issues” for political scientists. I used to think that’s what elections were supposed to do.

Of course, for political scientists for whom every professional endeavor is a pitched battle for social justice waged against the dark forces of tradition and privilege, the takeover of APSA is just another point on the road to total victory. But, like Saigon when the Vietcong arrived, they may find that others have abandoned the city, leaving them with nothing but a Pyrrhic Victory.

The “boat people” fleeing APSA now include me. As it happened, this year’s APSA was on the theme of political legitimacy, one of my major research areas. I proposed a methods workshop on measuring legitimacy along with another scholar who, like me, has spent a lot of time on data and measurement issues. It was accepted, but alas is now canceled as I have chosen not to attend. I will continue to research, teach, and engage policy-makers about legitimacy, but not at APSA.

Maybe this does not matter. As Weissberg noted: “Transforming the profession into scholarly agitprop is lamentable, but hardly catastrophic in the grand scheme of things. At worst, intellectual corruption will render APSA publicly irrelevant.”

But for that shrinking pool of political scientists for whom a vibrant and pluralistic professional association still matters, it may be time for a reckoning. So here is my challenge: make “political and viewpoint diversity” the theme for a future APSA annual conference. 

Getting Great Again

 Big rigs, trucking, GDP growinng, US economy
Q2 GDP (revised) up 3.0% vs. 2.8% est.  15 Hours Ago | 02:49

The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its quickest pace in more than two years, and there are signs that the momentum was sustained at the start of the third quarter.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate on Wednesday. The upward revision from the 2.6 percent pace reported last month reflected robust consumer spending as well as strong business investment.

Growth last quarter was the best since the first quarter of 2015 and followed a 1.2 percent pace in the January-March period. Economists had expected that second-quarter GDP growth would be raised to a 2.7 percent rate.

 

Retail sales and business spending data so far suggest the economy maintained its stamina early in the third quarter. Economists saw a limited impact on growth from Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas.

"The impact on the national economy will be minor," said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh. "While some output will be lost in the wake of the storm, most of the difference will be made up in the months ahead."

Growth estimates for the third quarter are as high as a 3.4 percent rate. Other data on Wednesday showed private employers ramped up hiring in August, adding 237,000 jobs to their payrolls. That was up from 201,000 jobs in July.

Evergreen State College faces $2.1M budget shortfall,

dministrators at The Evergreen State College have announced that the embattled school faces a massive $2.1 million budget shortfall due in part to a drop in enrollment, and the institution has already handed out some temporary layoff notices as officials grapple with balancing the books.

In an Aug. 28 memo to the campus community titled “Enrollment and Budget Update,” officials report that fall 2017-18 registration is down about 5 percent, from 3,922 students to 3,713. But the problem is nearly all of the students they lost are nonresidents, who traditionally pay a much higher tuition to attend, officials explained in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix.

Combined with a shortfall in funding from state coffers to shoulder a mandatory cost-of-living salary increase and a rise in the general cost of operations, and the school must find a way to resolve a $2.1 million shortfall for the fiscal year that began July 1, according to the memo.

“This creates the need for significant budget cuts in the immediate future,” the memo states, adding that the university late last month already handed out temporary layoff notices to 17 facilities staff members.

(SJWs not only destory everything they touch, their own institutions self-destruct)

It’s Not Trump Supporters Who Are Beating Journalists

Numerous journalists are worried sick that President Donald Trump incited violence against them during his raucous rally in Phoenix last week.

The New York Times published an article reporting that Trump’s claim reporters are “sick people” shook the media.

The article noted several journalists who claimed the president was going to get them murdered due to his comments. The very apparent concern among journalists led Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to author a sanctimonious piece declaring, “We’re Journalists, Mr. Trump, Not the Enemy.”

With all the worry over Trump supporters coming to kill them, it may come as a surprise to the press that some of their colleagues were beaten and harassed over the weekend by the president’s most violent opponents.

On Saturday, a man simply recording a demonstration by leftists against a cancelled pro-Trump rally resulted in protesters surrounding him and forcibly taking his phone from him.

He had to plead he was just a reporter and that he was definitely not a Nazi in order to persuade organizers to try to retrieve his phone.

Worse things happened for a photographer at the Antifa riot in Berkeley the following day. As black-clad anarchists swarmed the city to attack anyone they thought might be a Trump supporter, they set their sights on a cameraman for the offense of taking their picture.

Antifa chased the man down and beat him bloody with clubs. Police eventually came to his aid and had to help him stand up and walk after the thrashing.

The two incidents both arose over the fact that the target of abuse was recording Antifa. That alone justified violence against both reporters.

The 1 Percent Solution

We are scholars and teachers at Princeton, Harvard, and Yale who have some thoughts to share and advice to offer students who are headed off to colleges around the country. Our advice can be distilled to three words:

Think for yourself.

Now, that might sound easy. But you will find—as you may have discovered already in high school—that thinking for yourself can be a challenge. It always demands self-discipline and these days can require courage.

In today’s climate, it’s all-too-easy to allow your views and outlook to be shaped by dominant opinion on your campus or in the broader academic culture. The danger any student—or faculty member—faces today is falling into the vice of conformism, yielding to groupthink.

At many colleges and universities what John Stuart Mill called “the tyranny of public opinion” does more than merely discourage students from dissenting from prevailing views on moral, political, and other types of questions. It leads them to suppose that dominant views are so obviously correct that only a bigot or a crank could question them.

Since no one wants to be, or be thought of as, a bigot or a crank, the easy, lazy way to proceed is simply by falling into line with campus orthodoxies.

Don’t do that. Think for yourself.

Thinking for yourself means questioning dominant ideas even when others insist on their being treated as unquestionable. It means deciding what one believes not by conforming to fashionable opinions, but by taking the trouble to learn and honestly consider the strongest arguments to be advanced on both or all sides of questions—including arguments for positions that others revile and want to stigmatize and against positions others seek to immunize from critical scrutiny.

The love of truth and the desire to attain it should motivate you to think for yourself. The central point of a college education is to seek truth and to learn the skills and acquire the virtues necessary to be a lifelong truth-seeker. Open-mindedness, critical thinking, and debate are essential to discovering the truth. Moreover, they are our best antidotes to bigotry. 

Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word “bigot” is a person “who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.” The only people who need fear open-minded inquiry and robust debate are the actual bigots, including those on campuses or in the broader society who seek to protect the hegemony of their opinions by claiming that to question those opinions is itself bigotry.

So don’t be tyrannized by public opinion. Don’t get trapped in an echo chamber. Whether you in the end reject or embrace a view, make sure you decide where you stand by critically assessing the arguments for the competing positions.


(OF course they will be accused or racism and hate speech.)

Not Surprising but Amusing

 
   

Christians, Moderate Muslims Sue SPLC

he Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has long listed Christian organizations and activists for reform in the Muslim world along with racists like the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC's "hate group" lists and "hate map" have unfairly targeted mainstream conservatives, and even some liberals. Now, some of the groups slandered by this organization have begun to fight back — and it's not just Christian groups like D. James Kennedy Ministries and Liberty Counsel.

"The SPLC, who made their money suing the KKK, were set up to defend people like me, but now they've become the monster that they claimed they wanted to defeat," Maajid Nawaz, a British politician and founder of the anti-Islamist organization the Quilliam foundation, declared in a video announcing his lawsuit against the SPLC for defamation.

"They have named me, alongside Ayaan Hirsi Ali, on a list of 'Anti-Muslim Extremists,'" Nawaz said. "I am suing the SPLC for defamation and I need your help to win."

The Quilliam founder announced his lawsuit in late July. He admitted that "suing the SPLC will be very expensive," adding, "I can't fund it on my own." Therefore, he launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to carry out the lawsuit.

Following the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, the SPLC — which already had a massive fundraising operation — picked up more supporters and publicity. George Clooney and his wife Amal pledged $1 million to the group, as did the company J.P. Morgan.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was even more generous. Cook announced his company would give $1 million to the SPLC, that it would match any donations from employees at a two-to-one rate by September 30, and that Apple would set up a system in iTunes software to let consumers directly donate to the organization.

 In June, the charity navigation website GuideStar adopted the SPLC "hate group" list, marking each profile of the targeted organizations as a "hate group." ABC and NBC  parroted the SPLC's "hate group" label against Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) last month, and CNN published the group's "hate map" online.

The group also attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman's rights activist who has focused on the treatment of women in the Islamic world. Ali has received many death threats, one of which came after the murder of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker she worked with.

Rod Dremer, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., called Ali "one of the world's greatest champions of freedom, pluralism, and tolerance." Chillingly, he added, "Yet in an Orwellian version of reality, a woman whose life is threatened every day by extremist Muslims is labeled by the SPLC an anti-Muslim extremist."


Leftists: Enjoy Antifa Protests While You Can

It’s very obvious what next year will be like.   The worst footage from protest demonstrations will be put on display in campaign advertising and all the claims that Democratic pundits and authors have made claiming America is festooned with 64 million gas-chamber-murdering Nazis.   Everyone who voted for Donald Trump is a Nazi.  They’re all Nazis.  Every fucking last one of them is a motherfucking Nazi.

There are few Republicans up for re-election in 2018 who are really vulnerable.  Those 64 million Trump voters still have access to ballot machines and they can still vote.   Calling every Trump voter a Nazi, as so many of you have done, is not going to be forgotten.  That projection is going to come back to haunt people.   It terrifies people who actually do politics as part of their career; namely pundits, campaign strategists and party officials.