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History & Culture

UCLA’s Intellectual Castration of English Majors

Heather Mac Donald opines on how UCLA ” decimated its English major” under the banner of ““alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class” in our excellent article The Humanities and Us | City Journal:

[T]he UCLA English department—like so many others—is more concerned that its students encounter race, gender, and disability studies than that they plunge headlong into the overflowing riches of actual English literature—whether Milton, Wordsworth, Thackeray, George Eliot, or dozens of other great artists closer to our own day. How is this possible? The UCLA coup represents the characteristic academic traits of our time: narcissism, an obsession with victimhood, and a relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to the shallow categories of identity and class politics. Sitting atop an entire civilization of aesthetic wonders, the contemporary academic wants only to study oppression, preferably his own, defined reductively according to gonads and melanin.

[…]

W. E. B. Du Bois would have been stunned to learn how narrow is the contemporary multiculturalist’s self-definition and sphere of interest. Du Bois, living during America’s darkest period of hate, nevertheless heartbreakingly affirmed in 1903 his intellectual and spiritual affinity with all of Western civilization: “I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas. . . . I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension.”

[…]

[T]he only true justification for the humanities is that they provide the thing that Faust sold his soul for: knowledge. It is knowledge of a particular kind, concerning what men have done and created over the ages. The American Founders drew on an astonishingly wide range of historical sources and an appropriately jaundiced view of human nature to craft the world’s most stable and free republic. They invoked lessons learned from the Greek city-states, the Carolingian Dynasty, and the Ottoman Empire in the Constitution’s defense. And they assumed that the new nation’s citizens would themselves be versed in history and political philosophy. Indeed, a closer knowledge among the electorate of Hobbes and the fragility of social order might have prevented the more brazen social experiments that we’ve undergone in recent years. Ignorance of the intellectual trajectory that led to the rule of law and the West’s astounding prosperity puts those achievements at risk.

For those wish to understand what is wrong with today’s universities The Humanities and Us is a must-read.

C. Bradley Thompson: Trump Won Because of the “Forgotten Men and Women”

C. Bradley Thompson, professor of political philosophy and executive director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, explains why Trump won the election in his essay Donald Trump and the Revolt of the Unseen. (Hint: It was not because of the Russians.)

For better or worse, November 8, 2016, will go down in American history as a watershed election. Donald J. Trump’s victory represents a profound realignment in American politics. This much seems certain: the ancien régime is dead.

Our challenge is not to praise Trump’s virtues or to condemn his vices, but to understand why tens of millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump—the unlikeliest of candidates—to become the president of the United States.

In his inaugural address, President Trump voiced a theme that ran throughout his campaign:The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Trump’s political genius was to find the lost, the forgotten, the dispossessed, and the invisible.

Ironically, the billionaire from Manhattan became the voice of the Forgotten Man—the man who works hard, pays his taxes, supports his family, and volunteers in his community as a soccer coach and a Boy Scout leader. When Trump said “We will make America great again,” he spoke to the deepest aspirations of ordinary Americans who love their country but see it crumbling all around them. He waged war on their behalf.

And now his supporters have fundamentally altered the traditional left-right political spectrum. A social-political-ideological realignment is underway, transitioning the country to a new party system that has been developing, mostly unseen, for two or three decades. The new political spectrum is less ideological and more cultural. It is divided between the Ruling Elite and the Deplorables. […]

Read the rest of Donald Trump and the Revolt of the Unseen.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Sharia Law

Writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali on How do you solve a problem like sharia? in The Austrailian:

As a moral and legal code, sharia law is among the most dehumanising, demeaning and degrading for women ever devised by man:

  • Under sharia law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s testimony in court (Koran 2:282).
  • Under sharia law, men are the “guardians” of women; women are to be obedient to men, and husbands may beat their wives for disobedience (Koran 4:34).
  • Under sharia law, a woman may not refuse sexual access to her husband unless she is medically incapable or menstruating, a teaching based partly on Allah himself saying in the Koran, “Your women are a tillage for you; so come unto your tillage as you wish” (Koran 2:223)
  • Under sharia law, a woman inherits less than a man, generally half as much, again based on holy writ: “Allah enjoins you concerning your children: the male shall have the equal of the portion of two females” (Koran 4.11, 4.12).
  • Under sharia law, men and women who commit fornication are to be flogged. As to the punishment for fornicators, the Koran says: “Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment” (Koran 24:2).
  • Under sharia law, a man may unilaterally divorce his wife through talaq, whereas women are limited to divorce either under specific circumstances, such as the husband’s impotence, or with the husband’s consent and payment of a certain amount of money (khul).
  • Sharia law permits fathers to contract binding marriages for their children so long as they are minors; and although a boy married against his wishes may exercise his power to divorce his wife unilaterally once he matures, a girl’s exit from such an unwanted marriage is much more difficult.
  • Under sharia law, the custody of children is generally granted to ­fathers, and mothers lose custody if they remarry because their attention is supposed to go to their new husbands.

Although majority-Muslim countries have in practice abolished slavery (Saudi Arabia did so mainly as a result of foreign pressure in 1962), slavery still has not been abolished in sharia law. Sexual slavery was common in Islamic history and is accepted by sharia law.

Defenders of sharia note that in some respects, Islamic law improved the position of women in 7th century tribal Arabia, for instance by categorically banning female infanticide. Yet surely, in the 21st century, we can set the bar higher than that?

Hirsi Ali also brings up the dangers of the “privately enforced” sharia-lite where Muslims:

…sharia lite is informally enforced within Muslim communities in Western countries, including Australia. In Australia, Islamists rely on sharia law to arbitrate divorces and inheritance disagreements. In 2015, a journalist writing in this newspaper observed that “given the undercover application of sharia law, often within mosques, there is little scrutiny of the process and the fairness of the adjudications”.

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Trump’s Immigration Ban

Writes former Muslim, Somali born immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali in The Huffington Post:

I was a Muslim refugee once. I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to gamble your entire future on a one-way ticket to a foreign land, what it’s like to fill in the forms, not knowing for sure what the right answers are. I know what it’s like to fear rejection, deportation and the dangers that await you back home.

[…]

….it was my high expectations that made last Friday’s executive order on immigration so puzzling. It was, apart from anything else, clumsy. It caught border protection agents and customs officials by surprise. It sowed confusion and fear among travelers, immigrants and legal permanent residents. Its poor execution was a gift to the president’s critics.

In halting the entry of all refugees, and in appearing to be directed against Muslims — including even those who had worked for the U.S. military as interpreters — it was much too broad. In temporarily banning citizens from just seven countries, however, it was also too narrow (citizens from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and several North African countries have also been implicated in terrorism).

True, the president had made clear back in August that this was part of what he intended to do. “We will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism,” he said. “As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.”

But what got lost in the hysteria that followed last Friday’s announcement was that these are temporary measures, not the foundation for future policy. As Trump said in August, his administration “will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people … In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles — or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country — and to embrace a tolerant American society — should be issued immigrant visas.”

If that is still the Trump administration’s plan, then it has my support.

Let me explain why.

Read the entire article: Trump’s Immigration Ban Was Clumsy But He’s Right About Radical Islam

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Trump’s Immigration Ban

Writes former Muslim, Somali born immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali in The Huffington Post:

I was a Muslim refugee once. I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to gamble your entire future on a one-way ticket to a foreign land, what it’s like to fill in the forms, not knowing for sure what the right answers are. I know what it’s like to fear rejection, deportation and the dangers that await you back home.

[…]

….it was my high expectations that made last Friday’s executive order on immigration so puzzling. It was, apart from anything else, clumsy. It caught border protection agents and customs officials by surprise. It sowed confusion and fear among travelers, immigrants and legal permanent residents. Its poor execution was a gift to the president’s critics.

In halting the entry of all refugees, and in appearing to be directed against Muslims — including even those who had worked for the U.S. military as interpreters — it was much too broad. In temporarily banning citizens from just seven countries, however, it was also too narrow (citizens from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and several North African countries have also been implicated in terrorism).

True, the president had made clear back in August that this was part of what he intended to do. “We will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism,” he said. “As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.”

But what got lost in the hysteria that followed last Friday’s announcement was that these are temporary measures, not the foundation for future policy. As Trump said in August, his administration “will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people … In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles — or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country — and to embrace a tolerant American society — should be issued immigrant visas.”

If that is still the Trump administration’s plan, then it has my support.

Let me explain why.

Read the entire article: Trump’s Immigration Ban Was Clumsy But He’s Right About Radical Islam

David Harriman’s Fundamentals of Physical Science: A Historical Inductive Approach

by Lisa VanDamme

One of the most formative courses in my educational history was David Harriman’s “Fundamentals of Physical Science” – formative of my knowledge of science, formative of my views on education, formative of my very ability to think. It taught me what it really means to learn science, and by extension, what it really means to learn.

Let me illustrate the difference between science as it is conventionally taught and science as it is taught by David Harriman, using Newton’s law of universal gravitation as a striking case in point.

If your education was like mine, this law was presented as a commandment to be memorized—as knowledge that, along with Newton’s apple, fell from the sky. You had no knowledge of the prior discoveries that were the “shoulders” on which Newton famously declared he stood, no awareness of the questions that remained and that Newton sought to answer, and therefore no substantive understanding of the meaning, the explanatory power, and the monumental importance of Newton’s achievement.

When, in Harriman’s course, you arrive at Newton’s law of universal gravitation, it comes as a page-turning, climactic chapter in an epic story of discovery.

You will have already learned about Galileo’s principle of inertia, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, and Newton’s own law of circular acceleration. You will see how these discoveries made possible the question Newton asked himself when the apple fell.

You will have already learned Galileo’s law of fall, Eratosthenes’ calculation of the size of the Earth, and Aristarchus’ calculation of the distance to the moon. You will see how these discoveries made possible Newton’s answer to the question.

When guided through the ingenious process by which Newton integrated this knowledge and built upon it, you are able to thoroughly grasp the principle of universal gravitation: to see that it is true and why it must be true. The law of gravitation becomes connected to and explanatory of the things you see around you every day. It is real knowledge.

Harriman teaches all of the great achievements in the history of physics, from the heliocentric theory, to optics, to electromagnetism and more, in this historical, inductive manner.

The value of a course that takes this approach to teaching science is inestimable. It provided me with a clear filter for distinguishing “knowledge” I had memorized from sincere, independently held, fully-formed knowledge. It helped me to see that complex, abstract principles of science are not the province only of geniuses, but are, if properly taught, accessible to all. It inspired me with epic stories of world-changing discoveries that have made life as we know it possible. And it modeled, and helped me to develop, real intellectual self-discipline.

That is why I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

David Harriman’s “Fundamentals of Physical Science” is now available in the VanDamme Academy Store.

Special Offer: Reduced price for the first 100 buyers!

David Harriman’s Fundamentals of Physical Science: A Historical Inductive Approach

by Lisa VanDamme

One of the most formative courses in my educational history was David Harriman’s “Fundamentals of Physical Science” – formative of my knowledge of science, formative of my views on education, formative of my very ability to think. It taught me what it really means to learn science, and by extension, what it really means to learn.

Let me illustrate the difference between science as it is conventionally taught and science as it is taught by David Harriman, using Newton’s law of universal gravitation as a striking case in point.

If your education was like mine, this law was presented as a commandment to be memorized—as knowledge that, along with Newton’s apple, fell from the sky. You had no knowledge of the prior discoveries that were the “shoulders” on which Newton famously declared he stood, no awareness of the questions that remained and that Newton sought to answer, and therefore no substantive understanding of the meaning, the explanatory power, and the monumental importance of Newton’s achievement.

When, in Harriman’s course, you arrive at Newton’s law of universal gravitation, it comes as a page-turning, climactic chapter in an epic story of discovery.

You will have already learned about Galileo’s principle of inertia, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, and Newton’s own law of circular acceleration. You will see how these discoveries made possible the question Newton asked himself when the apple fell.

You will have already learned Galileo’s law of fall, Eratosthenes’ calculation of the size of the Earth, and Aristarchus’ calculation of the distance to the moon. You will see how these discoveries made possible Newton’s answer to the question.

When guided through the ingenious process by which Newton integrated this knowledge and built upon it, you are able to thoroughly grasp the principle of universal gravitation: to see that it is true and why it must be true. The law of gravitation becomes connected to and explanatory of the things you see around you every day. It is real knowledge.

Harriman teaches all of the great achievements in the history of physics, from the heliocentric theory, to optics, to electromagnetism and more, in this historical, inductive manner.

The value of a course that takes this approach to teaching science is inestimable. It provided me with a clear filter for distinguishing “knowledge” I had memorized from sincere, independently held, fully-formed knowledge. It helped me to see that complex, abstract principles of science are not the province only of geniuses, but are, if properly taught, accessible to all. It inspired me with epic stories of world-changing discoveries that have made life as we know it possible. And it modeled, and helped me to develop, real intellectual self-discipline.

That is why I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

David Harriman’s “Fundamentals of Physical Science” is now available in the VanDamme Academy Store.

Special Offer: Reduced price for the first 100 buyers!

 

Vaccination: An Essentialized History of a Life Saving Technology

Amesh Adalja, M.D., discusses the history of vaccination with special attention to the heroic figures who developed this technology. Particular consideration is given to the chain of reasoning leading to the first vaccine, as well as how the germ theory of disease led to a plethora of vaccines that allowed humans to experience a rapid improvement in lifespan and quality of life.

Adalja is a board-certified physician in infectious disease, critical care medicine, emergency medicine and internal medicine, specializing in the intersection of national security with catastrophic health events. He publishes and lectures on bioterrorism, pandemic preparedness and emerging infectious diseases and appears as a guest on national radio and television programs. This talk was delivered on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at Objectivist Summer Conference 2016 in Bellevue, Washington.

Save The Arts: End the National Endowment for the Arts

Dear Artist:

I urge you to consider this argument for the dissolution of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The United States was founded on the principle of individual rights: life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has a right to pursue the arts or enjoy them, provided he does so with his own time and money. To force an individual to pay for someone else’s art is a violation of the individual’s right.

I have acted, and I have written and produced plays; nothing would be more shameful to me than to force others to pay for my work whether they valued it or not.

We will never know the great and revolutionary creations in art, science, and all other fields that were aborted by the government’s looting of the creators of wealth in the name of the looters’ idea of creativeness. We will never know what private joys every hard-working individual was forced to forego to finance someone else’s notion of good art.

Confiscating individuals’ hard-earned money to finance the welfare state is bad enough when the money goes for material goods such as food and shelter; but to use the money to subsidize intellectual products is especially destructive of freedom, because it destroys our means of preserving freedom: it destroys the freedom of ideas. Government funding of the arts is as deadly as government funding of religion or the press.

Not by rational persuasion but rather through the physical threat behind the tax collector, the NEA has enforced a nationwide orthodoxy of thought in the arts; and it has suppressed ideas that are not favored by that arm of the government.

A theater company, for example, that is not “endowed” by the NEA is at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. The “endowed” companies can charge less for tickets, have more elaborate facilities—while bidding up the prices every company must pay—and offer more to its actors. Taxpayers, who are already paying for the “endowed” companies, are less able to pay again for the unendowed. Is this the way to safeguard freedom in the arts?

I have written a play that shows the evil of government funding of art, science, and medicine. Will my work be considered fairly by the NEA, or by theater companies that receive NEA funding; or by producers, who nowadays—to siphon subsidies their way—try to have their projects presented by subsidized theaters before beginning a commercial run?

That individuals today are forced to pay for art they abhor is a moral outrage. It is spiritual rape.

NEA Chairman Jane Alexander recently told Congress, “We are jumpstart money, the only national measure of recognizing excellence. We exist to leverage the other public and private monies, and we do our job well­—on average, leveraging $11 for every dollar we award.” (Testimony on April 5, 1995 before the House Appropriations Committee, quoted in Backstage.) Thus, an agency of government force presents itself as the only means available to private funding sources for selecting the best art nationwide. And the NEA’s goal is to “leverage”—that is, to direct, to direct lots of—private money in the direction the NEA chooses. Is this the role of government in a free society?

The introduction of force always has insidious and far-reaching destructive effects too numerous to catalog. The money spent by government on art may seem like a relatively small amount to some, but this “leveraged money” has gone far toward making artistic funding a matter for political edict rather than freedom.

Most people recognize how destructive it would be for the government to “endow” the Catholic Church or some fringe religious group—or The New York Times or some political newsletter. It is just as destructive for government to endow Lincoln Center or some Off-off Broadway troupe.

Advocates for the NEA claim that its opponents are fanatics for censorship. But the NEA, funded through government force, is itself by nature a censor. Any work of art that does not meet the NEA’s criteria—whatever the criteria, stated or implicit—is to an extent censored. Moreover, advocates for the NEA are the most useful—though often unwitting—intellectual allies that any would-be book-burner could have prayed for. The NEA established the premise that government can decide what art is good and will be forcibly supported. It is merely the logical extension of that premise to claim that government can decide what art is bad and will be forcibly shunned. Government propaganda and censorship go hand in hand.

Because it is the only arts ‘advocate’ with the power of force behind it, government thus becomes the only means of recognizing art as good or bad, and the NEA Chairman gets her wish. Advocacy by force is a contradiction in terms. Force preempts advocacy. Government is an arts enforcer.

Art and force do not mix, just as force does not mix with any kind of thought. Art is addressed to the mind; a mind must be free to think, to evaluate, to respond emotionally—or not. An artist can show, persuade, evoke; he cannot force. You cannot hold a gun to someone and command him to enjoy your idea of beauty.

Some ‘artists’ argue that once people are exposed to their work, even if by force, then these people will realize how good the work is. This argument is the rationalization of a rapist: “My victim does not yet realize how desirable I am, and so I will have to take the matter into my own hands, for my victim’s own ultimate good and enjoyment.”

That individuals today are forced to pay for art they abhor is a moral outrage. It is spiritual rape.

It is no wonder that so many of the new works awarded NEA money are expressions of nihilism. Mind-hating motives are consistent with mind-killing means. Government did not cause nihilism in art, but government has helped spread nihilism from the pseudo-intellectual fringes of a few cities to the mainstream of every American community. And government has made it more difficult for real innovators in art to reach an audience. The best artistic minds—the minds that understand and respect the creative potential of every mind when not forced—must struggle even harder, if they stay in their bureaucratized profession at all, or go into the profession in the first place.

Please help save the arts by restoring artistic freedom. Fight for the artist’s freedom by defending freedom as a universal principle, which holds for every individual mind. Speak out for the termination of the NEA and every other means of government force in the arts, including state and local arts agencies, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and government licensing of television and radio stations.

Sincerely,
Ron Pisaturo

P.S. To anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of individual rights, freedom, and art, I recommend the work of arguably the greatest artist in history: novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand.

The above is a slightly edited version of an open letter written by the author in May, 1995, and was first published on the author’s blog. Ron Pisaturo is a writer and philosopher. He has written a screenplay, The Merchant of Mars and is author of Masculine Power, Feminine Beauty. Visit his blog at ronpisaturo.com.

I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump

Asra Q. Nomani, has written an interesting perspective in The Washington Post on how “… a 51-year-old, a Muslim, an immigrant woman ‘of color’ — am one of those silent voters for Donald Trump. And I’m not a “bigot,” “racist,” “chauvinist” or “white supremacist,” as Trump voters are being called, nor part of some “whitelash.”

Writes Nomani:

Days before the election, a journalist from India emailed me, asking: What are your thoughts being a Muslim in “Trump’s America”?

I wrote that as a child of India, arriving in the United States at the age of 4 in the summer of 1969, I have absolutely no fears about being a Muslim in a “Trump America.” The checks and balances in America and our rich history of social justice and civil rights will never allow the fear-mongering that has been attached to candidate Trump’s rhetoric to come to fruition.

What worried me the most were my concerns about the influence of theocratic Muslim dictatorships, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in a Hillary Clinton America. These dictatorships are no shining examples of progressive society with their failure to offer fundamental human rights and pathways to citizenship to immigrants from India, refugees from Syria and the entire class of de facto slaves that live in those dictatorships.

We have to stand up with moral courage against not just hate against Muslims, but hate by Muslims, so that everyone can live with sukhun, or peace of mind, I finished in my reflections to the journalist in India. [I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump.]

How Did Hillary Clinton Lose The Election?

Every poll except the IBD/TIPP one predicted a Clinton victory. From Why Hillary Clinton Lost: An Election Post-Mortem:

1. Eight years of President Obama operating dictatorially by executive order and edict

[Obama] signed ObamaCare into law without bothering to get even one Republican vote. He almost entirely ignored GOP input on the Dodd-Frank bill that he signed into law — and it’s now blamed by many prominent economists for the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

Even after losing control of Congress in 2012, Obama chose not to work with Republicans, despite his comments to the contrary. Instead, he issued edicts, executive orders that enabled him to act in some cases like a petty dictator without consulting Congress at all.

2. Hillary went from a centrist position against Bernie Sanders in the primaries to the Left in the general election

The typical pattern for a Democratic candidate in a presidential election is to run to the left in the primaries, then move toward the center in the main campaign. Hillary reversed that — and alienated millions of potential voters by doing so.

She talked about tax hikes, about a war on coal and other forms of cheap energy, about a complete government takeover of health care, about further regulating the financial system, and about making the top 1% “pay their fair share.” She promised to hit the American industrial economy hard with new rules to halt the hypothetical evils of climate change.

3. She was the darling of the media the his held in contempt by the average America.

…recent polls [show] that the media is now the most loathed national institution in American civic life. The media are perceived as filled with people who have contempt for average people, along with a profound liberal bias.

4. A history of corruption and scandal

… the Clinton email scandal, the Clinton Family Foundation scandal, and the weird goings-on with former Congressman Anthony Weiner,  the estranged husband of Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, who was found to have thousands of official emails from Hillary’s server on his own unprotected computer.

5. Women voters did not fully support Hillary

What was interesting was how it broke down. Men overwhelmingly supported Trump, 46% to 38% for Hillary. But even women, supposedly Hillary’s most ardent base voters, supported her by just 48% to 44% for Trump. She never really closed the deal.

Read the full article: Why Hillary Clinton Lost: An Election Post-Mortem.

Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity

“In this book, we will reveal how and why the calamitous clash of civilizations between the Romans and the Jews brought into existence a new religion. For the first time, we will present astonishing new evidence proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the Roman government, in direct response to this bitter clash of cultures, created the religion known today as ‘Christianity.’

“Although we will in the course of this book agree with nearly all of the accepted factual conclusions of historians who have covered the subject of Christianity’s origins, we will require no conspiracy-theory-like leaps of faith or logic to establish what we are suggesting—quite the opposite. The theory presented reconciles all of the seemingly contradictory evidence of Christianity’s origins for the first time with none of the convolutions employed by scholars and historians for centuries.” –– James S. Valliant and C.W. Fahy, Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity

Exhaustively annotated and illustrated, this explosive work of history unearths clues that finally demonstrate the truth about one of the world’s great religions: that it was born out of the conflict between the Romans and messianic Jews who fought a bitter war with each other during the 1st Century.

The Romans employed a tactic they routinely used to conquer and absorb other nations: they grafted their imperial rule onto the religion of the conquered.

After 30 years of research, authors James S. Valliant and C.W. Fahy present irrefutable archaeological and textual evidence that proves Christianity was created by Roman Caesars in this book that breaks new ground in Christian scholarship and is destined to change the way the world looks at ancient religions forever.

Inherited from a long-past era of tyranny, war and deliberate religious fraud, could Christianity have been created for an entirely different purpose than we have been lead to believe?

Praised by scholars like Dead Sea Scrolls translator Robert Eisenman (James the Brother of Jesus), this exhaustive synthesis of historical detective work integrates all of the ancient sources about the earliest Christians and reveals new archaeological evidence for the first time. And, despite the fable presented in current bestsellers like Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus, the evidence presented in Creating Christ is irrefutable: Christianity was invented by Roman Emperors.

Order Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity

Revolutionary for Education: Maria Montessori

From EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN: Maria Montessori | KPBS:

“Maria Montessori was a woman of vision. In a remarkable life spanning eight decades, Maria Montessori, challenged convention to pioneer a radical new system of education; one which focused on the child as an independent learner and which spread to all corners of the world, affecting the schooling of millions. Her visionary method of education has helped produce some of the most creative and successful people on the planet including the founders of Amazon.com, Wikipedia and Google. But Montessori’s revolution might never have occurred had she not had the tenacity to confront prejudice head on.”

You can watch the full video of her life here: http://bbcbentomatics.lunchbox.pbs.org/extraordinary-women/

Time To Bring Native Americans The Foundation of the American Dream: Property Rights

Native Americans in the U.S. and Property Rights: A Comparative Look at Canada’s First Nations Property Ownership Act – The Atlantic:

The 2 million Natives in the U.S. have the highest rate of poverty of any racial group—almost twice the national average. This deprivation seems to contribute not only to higher rates of crime but also to higher rates of suicide, alcoholism, gang membership, and sexual abuse. As of 2011, the suicide rate for Native American men aged 15 to 34 was 1.5 times higher than for the general population. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Natives aged 10 to 34.

Alcohol-use disorders are more likely among American Indian youths than among any other ethnic group. Involvement in gang activity is more prevalent among Native Americans than it is among Latinos and African Americans. Native American women report being raped two-and-a-half times as often as the national average. 
The rate of child abuse among Native Americans is twice as high as the national average. And each of these problems is worse among the half of Natives who live on reservations.

[…]

The economic devastation in American Indian communities is not simply a result of their history as victims of forced assimilation, war, and mass murder; it’s a result of the federal government’s current policies, and particularly its restrictions on Natives’ property rights.

Reservation land is held “in trust” for Indians by the federal government. The goal of this policy was originally to keep Indians contained to certain lands. Now, it has shifted to preserving these lands for indigenous peoples. But the effect is the same. Indians can’t own land, so they can’t build equity. This prevents American Indians from reaping numerous benefits.

[…]

Indian reservations, Terry Anderson and Shawn Regan wrote in Louisiana State University’s Journal of Energy Law and Resources, “contain almost 30 percent of the nation’s coal reserves west of the Mississippi, 50 percent of potential uranium reserves, and 20 percent of known oil and gas reserves”—resources worth nearly $1.5 trillion, or $290,000 per tribal member. Tragically, “86 percent of Indian lands with energy or mineral potential remain undeveloped because of federal control of reservations that keeps Indians from fully capitalizing on their natural resources if they desire.”

[…]

The people I met on reservations were not suffering because others don’t understand their heritage or know their tribal language. What American Indians need are real property rights.

Progressive Education: Why They Support Bernie Sanders

A friend wrote us:

I have heard many young people describe why they support Bernie Sanders, and I empathize.

They believe they are being screwed by our government, and their futures are being robbed, and that is true.

They believe that cronyism and Washington picking winners and losers, is unjust, and that is true.

They believe that an outsider, an anti-establishment candidate, someone not beholden to special interests or to corrupt political parties, is our only hope, and that is true.

They believe what’s fundamentally missing is values and integrity, that politicians are immoral thieves and power-lusters, and that is true.

Regrettably, these youth are so uneducated and ignorant that they believe a socialist—the very essence of future-robbing, cronyism, corruption, immorality and power-lusting—is their salvation. It’s really the perfection of Progressive education we are witnessing: for 50 years our children have been indoctrinated instead of educated.

This slow journey by the Left is how all “cultural revolutions”—and destruction and war, and death camps, arise from formerly civilized societies. But that’s superficial. Leftist propaganda is ineffective, so blatantly vacuous and stupid, that the only way it works is that our culture has already instilled the moral code of altruism into our youth. Conservatives and their religious values, included.

Everyone (almost) is pro-altruism and no one (almost) dares to question it. Declare you are against selfishness and for the needy, and you get a blank check to rewrite history and facts, defy logic, blame scapegoats, and commit the worst atrocities in the name of “the oppressed.”

Victims of Communism in Cuba: 73,000

From Victims of Communism in Cuba: 73,000 (CNSNews):

As President Barack Obama currently visits Cuba, it merits noting that the Communist regime south of Florida has killed an estimated 73,000 people since the dictator Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, according to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which was established by an act of Congress in 1993.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which runs the Museum of Communism, is a non-profit group created “to educate this generation and future generations about the ideology, history, and legacy of communism,” reads its website. It also is building a memorial “to commemorate the more than 100 million victims of communism” worldwide.