35 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-25-17

  1. Left wingers consider Brooks a conservative – every time I read a column in which Brooks criticizes the current administration, there are left wing commenters telling Brooks he was part of the reason Trump was elected. Failing to support Hilary was supporting Trump in their opinion. On the other hand, whenever I read Russell Moore’s writing on current affairs, there are right wing commenters telling him to repent for supporting Hilary. Moore’s criticism of Trump’s candidacy was to them support for Hilary.

    Whenever I see such commenters, their reactions remind me of the mental illness symptom of splitting, also called black-and-white thinking, which is classifying people or things as either good or bad by only focusing on their positive or negative aspects. It is considered a very destructive coping mechanism, and a person who displays splitting has great difficulty functioning in life as it distorts their perception of reality. It is often seen in borderline personality disorder: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml. When I studied mental health, my teacher pointed out that any person may occasionally experience certain symptoms of mental illnesses – when it becomes an illness, is when those symptoms overwhelm the person’s ability to function normally.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That’s the way it is, Phos. No middle ground.
    If you don’t support Hillary, you support Trump.
    If you don’t support Trump, you support Hilary.
    It’s really that simple.


  3. Tychicus, Brooks and Rubin are far to the left of me. However, they are to the right of Trump who now gets to speak at CPAC. They are also honest, open-minded and intelligent, three traits that seem to be in short supply on the right these days.


  4. Haha — you’ve got that right, michelle. 🙂

    I’ve seldom felt so disconnected from the political scene, almost like I’m looking in from far away on the outside and thinking, “hmm. That’s interesting. So when is it going to rain next?”

    The blocking of some news organizations from yesterday’s press ‘gaggle’ had most of my colleagues very upset (and yes, it was a wrong-distrubing-dumb move but I believe other presidents have done something similar in the past; Obama tried to elbow out Fox at one point and the entire media stood in solidarity against that). Yesterday, the Times was printing up and selling online T-shirts with the slogan “We won’t shut up.” That, too, is not the right move, but there you go, it’s the county we live in. The fight is on.

    For the press to engage in this fight via T-shirt slogans, etc., will only hurt their image more. File a firm and well-reasoned complaint (hopefully signed by as many media outlets, both insiders and outsiders, as possible) and just carry on. It’s going to be a long 4 years. Pace yourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to laugh, though, when I heard on last night’s news that there were demonstration planned for today at Republican lawmakers’ offices around the country.

    That will be a tough assignment here in California where there is nary a lone Republican lawmaker to be found. 🙂 Oh well.

    Maybe there’s a Plan B.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting article, Ricky — the ground is shifting and going *somewhere,* we just can’t tell where yet! The next few years under Trump should give us more clues.


    … For analysts and long-time watchers of conservatism, this is a fascinating moment. A true horse race is emerging regarding the future of conservatism, and it is hard for anyone to know for certain how things will turn out. In some ways it is reminiscent of the internecine conservative intellectual squabbles of an earlier era in places like National Review. The arguments that helped define and solidify a movement in the 1960s and 1970s helped move conservatism towards governing and electoral successes in the 1980s.

    As fascinating as these divisions are within the conservative movement, these splits can also have important implications for the future of America. Whichever group wins over conservatism will likely dominate the Republican party for the foreseeable future. With that party controlling the White House, Congress, and a majority of state houses and governors’ mansions, the direction of the GOP will also help determine the policy direction of the country. What seems like an intramural squabble among talking heads and scribblers could emerge as the start of a defining moment in 21st century political history.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For most of my lifetime, William F Buckley was the gatekeeper of conservatism. When he said the Birchers were out, they were no longer welcome among conservatives. He ousted Joseph Sobran (a brilliant writer) from National Review for perceived anti-Semitism. He dedicated most of one issue of NR to making the point that Pat Buchanan was not acceptable to conservatives. Rich Lowry continued Buckley’s role by ousting John Derbyshire from NR after “The Talk” article.

    I probably undervalued Buckley’s gatekeeper role. Someone sure needed to keep Trump locked out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sadly, for some, conservatism come across as “fearful & contemptuous of anyone not like us”. Then again, a lot of liberals come across that way, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Yeah really. They just selected Perez to head the DNC, so I doubt much changes.

    And while there is much outrage being portrayed in the media, they weren’t gonna vote R anyway, so no loss. Most of these districts are gerrymandered by both sides, so good luck unseating the 48 R’s needed. Never Trumper Kristol’s dreaming Dems can do what he and his gang failed at, slowing down Trump.


  10. It really didn’t matter who the Democrats picked. 2018 will be about Trump. The poor Republicans are tied to him just as the Democrats who got voted out in 2010 were tied to Obama. The Tea Party and the passage of Obamacare fueled the rebellion in 2010. Trump himself will give the Dems the fuel they need in 2018. No one needs to slow Trump down. The only place he is going is down the drain, and he will likely take the Republican Party and the country down with him. Enjoy the ride!


  11. If you haven’t seen it before, this is what McLaughlin and Coppin were writing about:

    So it really was all Obama’s fault.


  12. Charles Murray has always been more sympathetic to the white underclass than folks like Bill Kristol or J D Vance.

    The reason is that Murray thinks the divide is primarily caused by differences in intelligence. Vance (like Kevin Williamson) focuses more on the influence of culture. Interestingly, Williamson and Vance came out of that culture.


  13. I hope you all know that was kidding. I’m not a fan of Trump’s, but he’s no Hitler.

    Ricky – I would think it would be a matter of education, or lack thereof, rather than innate intelligence.


  14. Kizzie, Murray would cite studies showing a strong correlation between IQ and income.

    I would concede that intelligence is a factor, but would argue that culture is at least as important. Culture largely determines how people use the education that is available to them.

    Three important steps a parent can take for a child’s future:
    1. Discipline the child so teachers will like the child.
    2. Teach the child to read and do basic math before they enter school.
    3. Insist that the child always take “advanced” or “pre-AP or AP” rather than regular courses.

    The Asians who live around me do these things and their children excel in free public schools leading to economic success later in life. Too many of the poor whites emerge from regular high school classes with a degree, but no marketable skills, no discipline or work ethic, and completely unprepared for a college degree such as engineering, science or finance that leads to a good job.


  15. I think Texas has more stimulating headlines than Silicon Valley, but I guess that means you’re going to have to raise your drawbridge a little higher, Ricky. I just saw that Texas gave the girls wrestling championship win to a 17 year old boy. Can’t ya’ll tell the difference over there any more? :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Debra, We can tell the difference. You saw wrong. It wasn’t a boy. It was some girl taking drugs. We are going to have to start doing “extreme vetting” on those immigrant Ys.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My four children attended public school in four states; six different school districts, and, in total, 14 different schools before they went to college (six different colleges attended, so far). I’ve served on PTA committees, in classrooms, on school board committees and taken innumerable field trips.

    If you’re interested in your child getting a good education, teach them as much as you can at home before you send them to school and enrich the curriculum as much as possible. My children grew up being read to constantly, playing games and limiting TV viewing severely–it was not allowed on in the daylight.

    I tuned on classical music at 6 am and it went off at 10 at night. They had chores, they learned to cook, sew and so forth (see my blog posts on Mrs. Ule’s mean and cruel summer school).

    I sent them outside as much as possible and took them to museums, art exhibits, hiking in forests and all over the United States and the world–we traveled as much as possible on the resources we had (someone of which was thanks to the US Navy and funded by you taxpayers–thank you).

    Because I knew their teachers and the teachers trusted me as a helper, I had inordinate influence in the classrooms and at school. I shelved library books at several different schools, managed money for the band and tried as hard as I could to be encouraging. I was the only parent in three years to read the sexuality curriculum and comment.

    My children, whose father is a nuclear engineer, played a lot of math and science games. I checked enormous piles of books out of the library to suit their interests. We pushed them hard to do well in school–because we didn’t know what school they would attend next and what would be offered. They all either had to sing in a choir or play a musical instrument. They boys were boy scouts and all made Eagle.

    This is the final, and important point that Rickey makes–there are advanced placement classes and everyone else. In California, everyone else is stuck in boring classes that insult their intelligence and force them to watch vile movies instead of reading good books. (Which is not to say the AP classes read particularly good books, but at least the kids are taught how to take them apart for analysis).

    Basic math will not do–your kid will get stuck with too many students who either don’t care or whose parents don’t care and won’t make them do the work. The same is true in science classes and possibly history.

    It’s a nightmare and so very discouraging for those not in those high level classes.

    What to do if you have an average kid–is a question I’ve pondered.

    Work to find their strengths and their interests and give them every opportunity to exploit them. Check those books out of the library, watch those websites TOGETHER, play games and talk about their interests. If you don’t, no one will and you may very well lose them to the black hole of low expectations currently in the public schools.

    Pay close attention if your child is a candidate for a trade–teach them sewing, or get them lessons, electronics, plumbing, machinery (remember, my national merit scholar is a high level machinist who can support his family), etc. Sure, they can play in a guitar band, but make sure they have other skills, learn how to manage money and have experience on the job if at all possible. We actually paid a couple people to hire our kids for a short period of time. They needed to learn the value of a work ethic. 😦

    That doesn’t ever seem to be taught in school.

    But Peter probably can talk about this with even more insight . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  18. My wife and my sister behaved in a way similar to Michelle. In addition to all the other benefits, this behavior tells children that their parents value education. Expectations are set, understanding that every child is different so educational “success” is going to look different for each child. For a few children, scholastics will be their “sport” and they will need little motivation. Most children won’t really understand why their parents pushed hard until they are in their 20s. Then they will wish that the parents had pushed harder and they had listened more.

    Decades of working with youth at church have convinced me that it is generally better for the average kids to be in the advanced classes. The culture in the “regular” classes is not good. In several cases I have encouraged parents with children of below average intelligence to stay in advanced classes. They generally were able to do this, though some had to drop down to “regular” math. In most cases, those students went on to graduate from college with good majors) and now have productive careers.


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