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Tag Archives: Opinion

Reprinted from The Daily Signal Daily Signal 5.3.18

cropped-quill-pen-300x3001.jpgAmerica is suffering through a crisis in education, especially when it comes to history.

Many were horrified when a poll, released in April, showed that two-thirds of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is, despite the fact that it was the most notorious Nazi death camp in World War II.

That was hardly the only worrisome poll of late.

Americans should be outraged that our schools have failed to teach even the most basic historical facts to the younger generations. Worse, the education they receive has often only turned into a justification for superficial social activism, lacking in depth and veracity.

Throughout history violence and war only creates more of itself for example WWI->WWII->Cold War ->Korean War->Vietnam and up to today. While nonviolent moments like Gandhi’s, the suffrage movement or Civil Rights movement lead to peace and long lasting change. Ours will too.

This is little more than bumper sticker history, demonstrative of Hogg’s historical illiteracy.

For one thing, it’s unlikely that Gandhi’s pacifism would have been of much use against the Nazi war machine. People willing to put other humans in ovens are unlikely to be moved by passionate pleas for peace.

It should be noted, too, that Hogg’s two examples of nonviolent movements succeeding—Gandhi’s Indian independence movement and the U.S. civil rights movement—were not exactly nonviolent.

The Partition of India was incredibly violent, and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people. And the civil rights movement certainly wasn’t an entirely nonviolent affair, either. The rights of many black Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were secured almost entirely by gun ownership.

These so-called nonviolent movements occurred in countries with a tradition of respecting the rule of law and individual rights, giving them an actual chance to succeed through ballots instead of bullets.

In China, nonviolent student protests in the 1980s were crushed by the state—literally in the case of the Tiananmen Square protest. Historically, repression has been the norm, not the exception.

For Americans, the right to speak freely and protest was only secured because young men, mostly teenagers, were willing to take up arms—arms that Hogg and others have so relentlessly crusaded against—and risk their lives to fight for their God-given liberties against the British Crown.

At one time, every American would have known this and would have acknowledged the blood and suffering of the Revolution that secured our freedom and independence.

War is a terrible thing, but it is often just and necessary, and it has certainly served to stop tremendous evil in this world.

To deny that is absurd.

Despite the clear gaps in his historical knowledge, Hogg hasn’t shied away from insulting the civic acumen of others and hectoring them. He once said, “Our parents don’t know how to use a f—ing democracy, so we have to.”

Not content to simply insult his parents’ generation, he then followed up in a later interview claiming that those who were against him were on the wrong side of history—a history that his generation would presumably be writing.

“Regardless of what your opinions are or where you come from, you need to realize we are the future of America,” Hogg said in an NPR interview. “And if you choose not to stand with us, that’s OK, because you’ll be on the wrong side of the history textbooks that we write.”

If that’s so, then future history textbooks will look more ideological and baseless than accurate portrayals of the historical record. But perhaps that’s because many current textbooks are, too.

Americans are free, regardless of their education or knowledge level, to use a public platform to espouse their views. At the same time, it’s hard to have a substantive and productive debate on the issues of the day when even the most basic facts of history are unknown to those doing the debating.

Platitudes begin to sound like profound insights when one has an extremely narrow view of history and world events.

It would be nice to see a little more humility from those who have such an incomplete understanding of that history.

Nevertheless, we have only ourselves to blame if we are not doing more to fix the increasingly deplorable state of American schools.

We must admit that the public school education model is failing our youths,despite how much money we’ve pumped into the system.

We should take it upon ourselves to improve our republic through better schools—perhaps charter schools, or even better, private schools funded by caring parents who increasingly can use vouchers or education savings accounts to escape the current institutions that have failed them.

Currently, many of our schools don’t meet even the basic requirements of what Americans need to be informed citizens. Worse, the education students are receiving, especially in civics, is heavily skewed toward left-wing politics.

As my wife, Inez Stepman, wrote for The Federalist:

 If education reform is going to be about more than ticking up the United States’ score on international exams, and if school choice is also our only opportunity to break a left-wing ideological monopoly on public education, we must deliver meaningful, universal education choice to parents now, while Generation X parents are still the majority of those with school-age children.

We must give all parents the opportunity now to choose education options that align with their values, or the values we cherish will continue their slide into extinction.

Historical ignorance and cultural disintegration are only going to become more pronounced until we find a way to expand the net of education that works for the youngest generation.

School choice can no longer be treated as a back-burner issue.

Our future and our freedom depend on it.

Coming Shortly

The first volume of Fiction Outtakes, Bill Wynn: The First Hundred will be available on Amazon soon.  Thank you all for following the series and the blog.

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Please do pick up a copy of my already published works here: 

Books by Peter Weiss.

All of the outtakes are autobiographical fiction. The workhouse outtakes are especially autobiographical. Bill Wynn first appears as the main character of  The Kitchen Stories in 1979. The Kitchen Stories will be released later this year.

Enjoy!

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shoes 1shoes 2

America is more divided than ever before. We hear this statement made over and over. Actually we hear a lot of things nowadays, especially with 24/7 cable news channels which not only say a lot of things, but say them over and over and over. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it is a fact of our life.

I wonder: are we more divided than we were during the Civil War times? Than during the Viet Nam War times? What do they mean by divided? Do they, whoever they are, mean divided politically? Racially? By religion? Culture? By economics?

Which station(s) do you watch? Which newspapers do you read? Do you get your news from social media? Do you pay any attention to the news at all? I mean, one of my friends recently said that now that marijuana was legal in his state he was just gonna chill out for the rest of his life and not pay any attention to this ridiculous stuff.

Your answers to the questions above tend to define which shoes you wear, especially if you subscribe exclusively to one grouping of any of them. Our shoes are determined, very often, by where we’re born, to whom we’re born, our parents’ experiences and beliefs and their socio-economic status.

No matter which shoes you wear, however, on some level what’s going on in this country is ridiculous, even in the realm of the absurd. Actually it’s in the realm of the theater of the absurd. But on another level it is very real, especially if the effects of what’s going on impact your income, benefits, taxes, services or education.

Once again, as said before, this is tough stuff. Remember, about fifty per cent of the American population doesn’t pay taxes and many of these people get money back from the government. They wear one set of shoes. Those who pay taxes wear a different set of shoes. Those people who have children benefit from free public education. Those with no children who pay taxes pay for the public education of people with children. These groups wear different sets of shoes. In America, such groupings are numerous and varied. Some people in America aren’t here legally and still get money and benefits from the government, this despite what the government would have you believe. These people wear a different set of shoes. If you’ve been waiting to immigrate here legally and have tried to do it the right way, you wear one pair of shoes. If you’re the illegal collecting benefits, you wear a different set.

Different points of view, depending upon which shoes you wear is a characteristic trademark of America. It is one of our greatest strengths. It can also be one of our greatest weaknesses, especially when we let the priorities our country was founded upon deteriorate into ridiculousness. For example, in certain states one can be fined, even put in jail for using the wrong pronoun. Imagine that! For another example, during the last administration if one’s findings on climate change contradicted theirs, one could be prosecuted. Imagine that! When our rights are suppressed because of the shoes we wear, our country’s values have been diminished and we as a free country are in peril.

Which shoes do you wear? Maybe you wear many different shoes. Maybe not. Whichever shoes you wear though, you should be free to wear them without fear of being suppressed for wearing them.

Coming Soon

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Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


quill-pen-300x300What the hell are we doing? We like to think our teachers and our leaders know better, whatever better means. We like to think they know what they are doing and we try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Very often, because we are busy or simply interested in other things, we defer to their judgment, again with the notion that we trust their judgment.

But what the hell are we doing? Really?

So let’s start here. Many of the key executives of the major internet and computer companies don’t allow their own children to have unrestricted use of electronic equipment in their lives, or, these parents carefully determine what use their kids will have from computers, tablets, cell-phones, calculators and other electronics. Their rationale is that they want their children to use their minds, use their brains, develop their brains. If their children rely upon computers and calculators to do things for them without knowing how to do them themselves, these parents think, their children’s brains will not develop as they were meant to and their children will not learn the things they need to learn to get along well in this world. These parents, of all parents, have the research on these matters. They use the research to benefit themselves and their children and then use it not to benefit us, the consumers who buy their products.

As business people and computer developers whose livelihoods depend upon sales of computers and software, etc., they go into their daily business lives and push the sale of these machines and their software which encourage people, including other people’s kids, to use them all the time. In fact, they build into these machines and into the social media on them devices that will capture and retain choices made and footprints taken such that the machines will continue offering new choices the executives know with a high degree of certainty will be exercised. Or, these same people who restrict their own children’s use of machines build machines that continually lead people to disregard their minds and follow what are often subconscious messages to continue usage.

On some level it is called mind control.

So a teacher was standing in the hall in a high school in the Bronx, NY during a change of periods. The teacher was watching the kids go by, ushering them on to their next classes  and welcoming the kids coming into her classroom. A kid that the teacher didn’t know, maybe fifteen or sixteen, stopped by her and asked her what time it was. Across the hall and maybe five feet away was the clock on the wall, a prominent clock that stood out over the doorways.

“There’s the clock,” the teacher said.

“I can’t read it,” the child said.

It was an analog clock and like so many children nowadays this child had never learned to tell time. This was a  child of the digital, electronic world. This child could not spell whole words but this child could text in text code where you is u and love is luv and things are said with abbreviations. DGMW BTW LOL IOW WTF.

Got it? They can’t read, they can’t write, they can’t tell time, they can’t multiply, divide or figure out the right amount of change without a machine. And those same people who don’t permit their own kids to end up like this and without a context of real basic knowledge push our kids and us too to become dependent upon their machines.

What the hell are we doing?

TBC

Coming Soon

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


broken governmentOriginally posted 7/14/17

Somewhere in the neighborhood of seven thousand military personnel have been killed since 9/11 and the number of wounded is conservatively about thirty-three thousand. Some estimates are a lot higher. But the government-run VA is broken, its leaders corrupt, and the politicians capable of effecting change are inept and themselves more devoted to special interest groups than to the Vets. To think the VA can go on as it is and fix itself from within is insanity.

Even more insane is our having gone into Afghanistan. The Russians fought there for some nine years and we experienced the long, protracted Viet Nam war. Insanity to think we could have done better in Afghanistan.

Ditto education. Our education system is broken. We let special interest groups contribute vast sums of money to our legislators to maintain the status quo. In turn, we throw more and more money into a system that has continually shown it does not work as it is supposed to. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: insanity.

Our inner cities are broken. From one to the next to the next, they are crime-ridden, drug-infested and steeped in poverty. If one states the facts as they are, one is branded a racist. The same Democratic leadership has run these cities the same way for more than fifty years and it keeps getting elected. Insanity.

Social Security funding was supposed to be tucked away and left only to fund Social Security. Nevertheless our leaders have dipped into those dedicated funds repeatedly. Any wonder the system is going broke? Insanity. Even if we refund it, would it be reasonable to expect our leaders not to break it again? Have our leaders ever shown themselves to be fiscally responsible? If we believe they suddenly will become so now, aren’t we being insane?

There’s no limit to the insanity which abounds today. You have to sign it to see what’s in it was a new height in crazy. Hug a terrorist, however, seems to give it a run for the top position. Yes, that’s what we should do. We should offer the terrorists who are hell-bent upon destroying our way of life hugs, money, jobs and counseling. Insanity.

Dare we talk about the bathroom laws? the identity laws?  the medical laws? A doctor is now expected to treat a patient in accordance with the gender s/he identifies with on the day of treatment as opposed to the biological status. Beyond insanity, honestly. Apparently those self-identification rules are all good except on April fifteenth when one wants to identify him/herself as being poor to avoid paying taxes. They break down there, when it comes to paying taxes. Even if you identify as poor you still have to pay up.

Ditto HHS. Ditto CPS, IRS, Medicare, Medicaid and on and on. These days, even the FBI is broken.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. One would like to think that the government really does want to take care of our veterans and that overall it has good intentions toward its citizens. But in today’s United States, that thought reflects a certain insanity. With the advent of career politicians and their overwhelming support of virtually unregulated super PACs and lobbyists, it is clear that our leaders’ goal is only reelection. Taking care of the country, even particular constituents, is merely a by-product, and more often lip service.

We are now locked into a government comprised of politicians whose only purpose is sustaining their position and maintaining their power. This is Social Darwinism (On Social Darwinism). And that has led us to insanity.

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.

Coming Soon

Bill Wynn: The First Hundred


 

stupidityThis was originally posted on July 11, 2017.

How stupid are we?

Talking about America, there seems to be no limit to the depth of our stupidity, the depth of the pit of stupidity we have fallen into. It’s rather amazing actually. Think about it. When the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin wall came down, the United States was the only world power. In the thirty years since then we have allowed Russia to regain its world-power status and we have allowed China to become a world power. China’s economy has overtaken ours and just recently, for the first time ever, the dollar is no longer the world currency.

So how stupid are we? Well, how stupid can you be?

The war on poverty has been going on for fifty-two years, since 1965. We’ve poured  twenty-three billion dollars into it. That’s 23,000,000,000. For that money there has been no real noticeable change in the poverty rate and no real change in the demographics of the people in poverty. Yet we continue down the same road. Stupid?

As regards education, we spend more per capita than any other country and yet we rank a whopping twenty-seventh in the world in education. Now that’s a big bang for the buck. Furthermore, segregation was outlawed in 1954 and yet our schools are becoming more and more segregated. The rate at which segregation is occurring continues to increase.

Stupid?

It gets better. There are those who fought against segregation who now insist they have a right to their own spaces, or they insist that whites not be allowed into certain spaces. Well then…

Stupid? You bet

Just as stupid and actually most dangerous to our society is the disregard shown for logic and facts. Replacing logic and facts are feelings and subjectivity. The gender identity laws exemplify this. But that raises a controversial issue and God forbid that should happen. So let’s put it this way. Mr. X doesn’t have any cash and can’t buy that five-dollar super mochaccino he wants because he left his wallet in his Porsche. He feels poor. He identifies with poor people at that moment. In accordance with the gender identity rules, he is poor. He identifies himself as poor, ergo, by the new rules, he is poor. If that happened on April 15th, Mr. X should be eligible for not paying taxes and even getting an earned income credit.

Stupid? Beyond stupid. How stupid can we be?

Let’s see. Remember “you have to sign it to see what’s in it?” Stupid? Well, what’s even more stupid is that she’s still in office and the head of her party. She’s not stupid. She didn’t have to read it because she doesn’t have to deal with it. She and her cronies voted themselves an exception so they could stay on the government congressional plan. That’s the Cadillac of Cadillacs plan.

Stupid? Not them! Us. More than half of them are millionaires And they way their positions work, they don’t really have to pay for anything. Our tax dollars pay for everything. Or, they’re having a great, self-enriching time on our dime. So how stupid can we be?

Russia. Russia’s goal is to create chaos here in America. Well, look at what our media has been pushing for the last eight months or so. Look at what the party of opposition has done. How stupid are we as a people and as a nation? Haven’t we played right into Putin’s hands? Stupid.

Well, aren’t we stupid for allowing all this to go on? Aren’t we more stupid for continuing to fund it?

Finally, as the liberals push left toward the welfare state and socialism, history tells us that capitalism and the free market pay for the bulk of all charity work done throughout the world. It also tells us that no socialist government thus far has ever managed to succeed. Why would we push toward that which we know will fail?

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Really, how stupid are we? Pretty damn stupid.

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.

Coming Soon

Bill Wynn: The First Hundred


Soup Company: Chicken Stock, Beef Stock and Laughing Stock,

We were the only remaining super power in the world in the late 1980s. Ronald Reagan did that, a Republican. Of course it wasn’t just him. It was economics as much as politics. The Soviet Union was going broke, yet another sign, even back then, that socialism didn’t work.

It’s thirty years later. We have let ourselves be surpassed economically by China and we have let Russia return to world power status. Really, how stupid are we? Like him or not, President Trump is right. The world is laughing at us. It should be. As a country, the United States is acting like an idiot. Our leaders say and do the stupidest stuff and then tell us how great they are. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

So let’s get a couple of things straight. The news and news media are no longer unbiased. A simple look at who owns what there and what their political leanings are demonstrates this. Any paper who hires twenty reporters to get dirt on President Trump clearly has an agenda.

Next, to listen to the Hollywood elite and believe those elites are looking out for anyone other than themselves is at best naive and more likely simply misguided. That’s putting it nicely. Those who know anything about socialism know it really sounds great on paper. But in reality there are only two classes: the rich (very few in number) and the poor (the vast majority who pay for everything and do all the work). Which ones are those Hollywood elites and what do they get from their positions? Easy for them to promote strict gun laws. They have armed bodyguards and live in gated communities. Easy for them to promote conservation and green energy since not only can they afford green energy, but they are exempt from their own preachings. It’s like Obamacare. Good for us, but not for Congress who snuck in their exemptions.

So we, the regular American people, are the laughing stock. Look at Al Gore’s carbon footprint. Look at DiCaprio’s. I’m really glad Geraldo’s family in Puerto Rico is okay, truly, but the regular people who don’t have that kind of support got decimated. Same hypocrisy. Did Whoopi leave yet? She’s worth about 80 million. She could afford to go. Why should we believe any of them? If we do, we’re worthy of being laughed at.

Capitalism and the United States pay for almost all the charitable and philanthropic work throughout the world. While we give, give, give, they laugh, laugh, laugh. Excuse me, but I haven’t heard the Clinton foundation doing anything for these latest disasters. You know, Obama and Clinton, those who would move us toward socialist ways: sixty million dollar book deal for Obama and more than 250K per speech to Wall Street, and Hillary’s book deal isn’t being disclosed, but she and Bill have earned 250 million in about ten years. Yeah, they were broke.

Iran deal? They’re laughing at us.

Paris Accord? UN? TPP? Obama’s trade deals? They’re laughing at us.

Our Congress? Schumer, Pelosi, Ryan, and McConnell, they’re all laughing stock. In fact, it would be funny if it weren’t funny. And we’re laughing stock because we keep them in power.

So look at   The Hunger Games  and   Resident Evil. That’s where we’re going unless we take our heads out of the sand. The world is laughing at us, and we keep acting stupid. We let Hitler take all of Europe before acting. Haven’t we learned that appeasement doesn’t work? We let China surpass us and Russia come back. We let North Korea and Iran get nuclear weapons and funded Iran so it could fund Radical Islamic Terrorism. We are the laughing stock of the world and we are truly stupid.

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.

Coming Soon

Bill Wynn: The First Hundred


A-Different-WorldIf you’ve made it into adulthood with both parents still alive, you’re pretty lucky. If you were born into a family that is fairly well-to-do, where both parents are in the home and where church values prevail at least somewhat, you’re pretty lucky. If your family actually goes to church, or synagogue, or wherever your faith takes you to pray, you’re even more lucky.   But if you’ve had a parent die overnight without any warning or any inclination that such a thing would happen, it’s a different world. If your parents are divorced or you’re born into a single-parent family that is struggling financially, it’s a different world. When all is said and done, everyone’s reality is somewhat different, and although there are certain similarities and certain patterns which tend to prevail among  the different groupings, there are also certain statistical realities which go along with the group to which you belong.

The studies are pretty convincing. Children in families with both parents in the home and a middle-class income tend to fare better than those in single-parent families that struggle financially. In general, the kids in two-parent families do better than the kids in single-parent families altogether. This applies across the board. It means they do better in school, they are more likely to get post-secondary education to establish themselves as middle-class wage earners, and they tend to have less teenage pregnancy as well as a lower crime rate. When you add in going to church at least once a week, these children do even better making the achievement gap even greater. On top of all of that, their substance-abuse rate is much lower too.

Overall then, on the other hand, those kids who come from non-traditional families, no matter which way their family is non-traditional, who come from families that struggle on a daily basis just to make ends meet, where there is no father in the house and the mother is working-class with little education, tend to have much more difficult lives. Their substance-abuse rates are much higher, their high school dropout rates are much higher, their likelihood to be arrested is much higher and their likelihood to make it into the middle class is much lower. Their suicide rates are higher and their life expectancy rates are much lower.

Did you know that the nuclear family is dying? Well, not really, but did you know that nearly forty percent of all children are born to single mothers? Would it surprise you to discover that the rate is much higher or lower based upon your ethnicity? For example, whites have about a twenty-five percent rate, Hispanics about a forty percent rate and non-Hispanic blacks about a seventy percent rate. It’s a different world.

What does all this mean? Altogether, it’s nothing new. It’s nothing that’s not common knowledge. It’s nothing that can generally be disputed since it is factual, at least as presented here. Where the difficulty enters into it is in the interpretation of the facts. Pretty much no surprises there. One finds that the Democrats and the Republicans interpret these facts quite differently. One also finds that the lefties and righties depict the effects of these facts on our society differently as well. So, who’s to be believed?

Therein lies the real problem. Rather than arguing over the interpretation of facts and the effects on our society both sides should be working together to find ways to lessen the apparent gaps so that for the one and for the other it’s not such a different world.

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.