Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Victor Davis Hanson at National Review:
Obama has . . . taught us that a president’s name, his father’s religion, his ethnic background, loud denunciations of his predecessor, discomforting efforts to apologize, bow, and contextualize past American actions -- none of that does anything to lead to greater peace in the world or security for the United States. And by the same token, George Bush’s drawl, Texas identification, and Christianity did not magically turn allies into neutrals and neutrals into enemies.

Israel, Britain, and Eastern Europe are not closer allies now than they were in 2008. Iran is still Iran -- and may be even a more dangerous adversary after the failed Obama outreach. Putin’s Russia, despite "reset" (a word we no longer much hear), is still Putin’s Russia. China still despises the U.S., and feels in 2011 that it is in a far better position to act on its contempt than it was in 2009. North Korea never got the "hope and change" message. Europe is collapsing, reminding the world where the United States is headed if it does not change course. Outreach didn’t seem to do much for the Castro brothers, Hugo Chávez, or Daniel Ortega. . . In other words, Professor Obama reminds future presidents that the world will transcend their rhetoric, their pretensions, and their heritage. Other nations always calibrate their relations with the United States either by their own perceived self-interest, or by centuries-old American values and power, or both.


KitWistar said...

I would have guessed you were an economist, not an int’l telecom lawyer.
(Low pressure weather today, take it slow)

Re: the Steve Sailer article ---
Although overall, this piece you linked me to is fascinating and the best kind of this info in one place I’ve seen in a while, I’d like to add some thoughts.

“(Investing = spending more on teacher salaries).”
I think this is an oversimplification on Sailer’s part, unless he thinks that teachers should be paid like lawyers or investment bankers ( well maybe Middle School teachers should be) We’ve already seen----DC being a prime example---that merely throwing more money at a problem doesn’t change it. I’m not an educator, but it has often struck me that the way in which the US regards, trains and pays its teachers is, well, reflective of a curious disregard for the real value of education. ( Compare this to Teach for America teachers , where the majority are/were not
education majors.)
Sadly, this hasn’t always been the case either. What went wrong and why somewhere in the 60s(?) 70s(?)
(I wonder what the stats are on teachers who leave education because they are drowning in bureaucratic crap?)
I also believe I told you in an earlier post that I heard Chester Finn at the Thomas Fordham Foundation this past October where he lead a panel on how American education is failing its high performers, in addition to those on the bottom. Finn is a compelling speaker. My own --- rather simplistic---take from that panel, as I wrote on NOFP, is that the current US ed system doesn’t allow for students to fail ( particularly at the upper levels), therefore they are quite likely to.
Some of Sailer’s statements seem a bit inconcise:

“It took me two days of looking through the voluminous PISA results to create the simple graph below. It shows what the Great and Good don't want you to know about the 2009 PISA results: When broken down by ethnicity, American students did reasonably well compared to the countries from which their ancestors came.”
But except for the Chinese , Hispanics and Blacks , he doesn’t say which nations these are, even in generalities.

“Hispanic Americans beat all eight Latin American countries.”
MOST of the Hipanics in this country do NOT come from the Latin American nations
on the PISA graph, with the one exception of Mexico.

As I’ve just started reading Colin Woodard's “American Nation” I’ve began to ponder these questions :
(PISA scores and data aside)
Is a national curriculum/education system really possible--or even realistic----in this country?
Is there any large nation---what are the comparable big ones here? China, Canada, Brasil, Russia, Australia, India?----which thoroughly & evenly educates all its young people with one system?
Interestingly, in the graph of the PISA scores which Sailer compiled, Canada---
(shown undivided into particular geographic or ethnic categories) is the sole large nation in the top 10. Australia is #11. The US as a whole checks in at #19.
Interestingly, both Canada & Australia, unlike Finland ( but like the US), have large and varied ethnic populations along side their basic white majorities. Also interestingly ----think about population versus geography of Canada, the US and Australia:
All three are “proteges” of the UK; all three are vast, with population densities on the coasts , a few cities in the middle & a lot of sparsely populated, often harsh,
areas. I am asking the-–perhaps rash---question here that
since Australia and Canada remained British commonwealths for far longer than the US, the backbones of their education systems are inherited from the British, rather than weirdly evolved from an agricultural society as ours is, what can the US learn from Canada & Australia?

Gosh, sorry, I sorta got carried away here, but much to think about.

OBloodyHell said...

>>> Sadly, this hasn’t always been the case either. What went wrong and why somewhere in the 60s(?) 70s(?)

1860s or 1870s, maybe :-D

I blame Horace Mann -- if you offer to allow me to go back in time to strangle one person in their crib, he'd be high on my list.

The problem is the Germanic System of Education...

Bring back the "Little Red Schoolhouse"!!

All in all, it's part and parcel of the postmodernist agenda, to wit: Destroy everything associated with the inheritance the West has gained from the Greeks and the Renaissance. If you look closely and consider all the elements of "postmodernism" -- "deconstruction", and so forth -- this is the best description as to purpose.

I believe what happened is what happened after WWI -- the classical Liberals, formerly so arrogant and presumptuous about modern society and oh-so-proud of its having left behind Man's animal nature, looked at what was done with all that technology, all that power over nature. Seeing the "blood, death, devastation, and horror" of WWI, they turned on those abilities and what granted them like a spurned lover, and with a vengeance. Self-hatred resulted, but then got projected onto The West and its culture, and, as the leader of its ideals, America, esp. following WWII when they fully took over the mantle of World Leader for the West and its precepts, became the primary target. The result is the cultural suicidal memes we call postmodern liberalism, and its many different aspects of liberal control over the narrative -- education, media, and so forth.

This American Heritage piece, now almost 20 years old, I think covers it, albeit very indirectly... you have to read between the lines to see what I'm getting at:
What We Lost In The Great War