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God Help Us — Now Obama Wants Gov’t to Rate Colleges — but SO DO AMERICANS? WHAT?

28 Jun

So Rasmussen reveals today, in its “Daily Update” of survey results, that

77% of Likely U.S. Voters who gave yes/no responses agree that a “world-class education is the single most important factor in determining whether our kids can compete for the best jobs and whether America can out-compete countries around the world”, that

69% (probably at least 75% of yes/no respondents) think U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS do NOT provide a world-class education, and that

64% (of yes/no respondents) favor a government college rating system.

 

Can we not see the problem here?  A major part of the reason why we are not getting world-class educations through our public schools is because of government intervention – yet – YET – people are willing to continue to think that giving government more control is a big part of the solution.  Can you not just anticipate what the rating system will look like that our government comes up with?  Will it have ANYthing to do with academic prowess?

Institutions of higher education are already rated by – who is it? Forbes? U.S. News and World Report? Others? – and colleges and universities have gamed these rating systems unmercifully, and created some degree of havoc in the school-seeking segment of our society.  And a strong majority of America’s voters think that a government system will be better?  When was a government system ever better in the mid- to long-term?

We deserve what we get.

The Answer to Bad Government

30 May

Mona Charen, in a recent column titled “Why VA Service Won’t Improve”, points out the pitfalls of thinking that firing and hiring at the VA will fix the problems there.  Her last sentence is a classic.

The entire column can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/mona-charen/why-va-service-wont-improve.html

 

Excerpts:  [Bolding and caps are added by me]

Here’s a not-so-bold prediction: After the press loses interest in the Veterans Affairs scandal, after the investigations have been completed and one or two officials have resigned, nothing will change.

Is this cynicism? Not really. It comes down to one’s view of how much government can achieve by bureaucratic, top-down management.

The progressive project has limitless faith in the capacity of wise managers to run complex systems for the benefit of all. Untainted by the profit motive, bureaucrats can deliver services equitably and efficiently. Every liberal/progressive program has the effect of taking decision-making away from individuals, communities and local governments, and centralizing it in Washington.

President Barack Obama has doggedly championed this approach.

. . . .

Progressives respond that the IHS is simply underfunded — as they regard every federal program except the military. But even Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana found when he examined problems with the IHS that at least one provider was seeing only one patient per day.

It isn’t management; it’s a matter of incentives. No central authority can make a system like the VA or the IHS or Britain’s National Health Service run efficiently. Competition is the only system that gives the power to consumers to reward good service and punish bad. But progressives cannot shed their faith that MORE government is the answer to BAD government, so this story is sure to be repeated.

[End of excerpts]

I feel that the theory that “MORE government is the answer to BAD government” is responsible for most of the truly serious problems we now face in this country.  Everyone should understand that the government should only provide solutions of last resort.  When faced with a problem, its prime directive should be, “How can this problem be solved in the private sector, with minimal regulation and oversight by the government?”  But I fear that ship has sailed . . . .

The More Things Change, . . . .

28 Mar

“How easily men satisfy themselves that the Constitution is exactly what they wish it to be.”

— Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1845

If he could only see us now.  Treading on the Constitution is not a new phenomenon, just one that seems to be gaining momentum.

On Evil

19 Mar

“Know what is evil, however much worshipped it may be.  Let the man of intelligence not fail to recognize it, . . . because it cannot . . . hide its core;  slavery does not lose its infamy, however noble the master.”

— Baltasar Graciàn, Spanish Jesuit (1601-1658)

Not a new thought — rather, a timeless one, as demonstrated by this 400-year-old proverb.  Very similar instruction found in the Bible.  Be vigilant in identifying evil for what it is.

Drip, Drip, Drip . . . The Sound of Freedom Slowly Being Lost — and It’s Our Own Fault

5 Mar

From a Dr. Thomas Sowell column titled “Freedom Is Not Free”, warning us against a government that continually pushes the Constitution aside to achieve ideological goals.  The full column can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/freedom-is-not-free.html

Excerpt: [bracketed material is mine]

It doesn’t matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States, if the government can punish you for exercising those rights [through IRS, FCC, and NSA targeting, indoctrination through Common Core, through nitpicking prosecutions of opposition, etc].

And it doesn’t matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials’ power, if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences [as in effectively making and changing laws within the Executive Branch].

In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you, if you don’t protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped.

As long as millions of Americans vote on the basis of who gives them free stuff, look for their freedom — and all our freedom — to be eroded away, bit by bit. Our children and grandchildren may yet come to see the Constitution as just some quaint words from the past that people once took seriously.

[End of excerpt]

On Mixing War and Politics

19 Feb

From the pen of Dr. Thomas Sowell, my favorite writer – an excerpt from a recent column of his titled “Another Galling Betrayal”.  The entire column can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/another-galling-betrayal.html

Excerpt:

. . . .

If we learn nothing else from the bitter tragedy of the war in Afghanistan, it should be that we should put an end forever to the self-indulgence of thinking that we can engage in “nation-building” and creating “democracy” in countries where nothing resembling democracy has ever existed. . . .

F.A. Hayek said, “We shall not grow wiser until we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.” Nothing is more foolish — and immoral — than sending men into battle to risk their lives winning victories that are later lost by politicians for political reasons.

That started long before the war in Afghanistan. Vietnam was a classic example. Years after that war was over, the Communist victors themselves admitted that they lost militarily in Vietnam, as they knew they would. But they won politically in America, with the help of Americans, including the media — as they also knew they would.

The war in Iraq was more of the same. American troops won that war but our politicians lost the peace. Terrorists have now taken over, and raised Al Qaeda flags, in some Iraqi towns that American troops liberated at the cost of many lives.

How did this happen? It happened much the same way it happened in Afghanistan. We insisted on trying to create a “democracy” in the Middle East — a place with a history going back thousands of years, without a single democracy.

[End of excerpt]

Liberal Sensibilities — a Definition

8 Feb

From Mark Levy, in a recent “Ask Mark” column:

“[L]iberal sensibilities are far different from the sensibilities of mainstream Americans. For instance, we’ve been told by liberals how great Obamacare would be, yet this week the CBO reported that 30 million people will remain uninsured after Obamacare is fully implemented.

“So after all this economic upheaval, we’re left with the same number of uninsured we began with. That is like cutting off the end of a blanket, sewing it onto the other end and claiming that it’s a larger blanket. That, my friend, is an example of sensible as defined by liberals.”

This complete column can be found at http://www.creators.com/opinion/mark-levy/obamacare-job-loss-liberal-sensibilities-and-jay-leno.html