Black Flag

For Andrew

I have writer’s block.

It’s not that I can’t find stuff to write about, but rather that everything that I write ends up in the recycle bin when I proof it. It ends up there not because it lacks substance or the delivery is less than what I set up as a standard for myself, but because I read it and realize that it is a meaningless exercise.

My blog, Boiling Frogs, is the space where I organize my thoughts, where I put down ideas (some complex, many rather simple) in as intelligent a fashion as I can.

Idea … supporting argument/facts … conclusion.

Simple enough.

Right?

That format isn’t working any more.

Sure enough, I can dutifully follow it and an entry appears, but then I proof it, and “delete” just follows naturally. I delete it at that point in the proof reading process where having stopped trying to identify all my spelling and grammatical errors, I read my work and ask myself “does it matter that you wrote this?”

The response these last few weeks has come back “not in the slightest,” ten times out of ten.

I’ve lost my mojo.

Here’s the next thing that has me out of sorts: I don’t read anything that remotely resembles news or political commentary. I don’t watch TV news any longer, and my satellite radio has been pretty solidly stuck on “The Pulse,” with occasional excursions into “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” “Siriously Sinatra”, “BB King’s Bluesville,” and when the day calls for it, “Lithium.”

I just want to shut everything out.

I am so absolutely disgusted with the current state of affairs in this nation, and in the world at large, that I want to stay as far away from both as I possibly can, and when they simply refuse to stay away, I have SiriusXM, one Hell of an audio system in my car, and “Lithium.”

Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us!

That song’s opening line is the best…

Load up on guns and bring your friends
It’s fun to lose and to pretend…

I don’t want to fucking pretend.

THAT is probably the root of my writer’s block … I no longer want to fucking pretend that intelligent debate, logical arguments and opinions grounded on facts and history have any meaning at all.

They don’t, or at least not to people who lack both intelligence and the ability to grasp logic, and who couldn’t give less of a shit about facts and history.

Those people don’t read my blog because reading it probably gives them a headache.

Now, I know that there are a few people out there who do read my blog and Babalu, and I must apologize to you. I appreciate your support and your loyalty, but you need to understand what I’ve come to understand.

We are a small echo chamber of logic and substance trapped inside an insane massive bell tower cacophony of fucking stupid, and the stupid is growing by the day.

Listen, I know what’s supposed to be going on right now: Bloggers and the alternative media are supposed to be leading the fight against stupid, we are supposed to take up the forgotten standard of unbiased journalism, wipe the shit off the canton of intelligent reporting, and lead America back to a place where sanity reigns and “good night and good luck” meant that you had just been enlightened about the world around you, not indoctrinated.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen. It may happen some day in the future, but not right now.

Not the way things stand.

Today we live in a nation divided. A three way split of the entitled, the disinterested and the chattel that pay for it all

We live in a nation where condoms to be used for premarital sex are an entitlement, and should you forget to use them, abortion on demand is a right, but the exercise of our unalienable rights protected by the Second Amendment are subject to the approval of people far too stupid to understand that you cannot possibly be safer by giving up the most effective way to defend yourself from someone who doesn’t give a shit about laws to begin with.

For the record, I would be willing to personally pay for a college to menopause supply of condoms for Sandra Fluke, if that was a guarantee that doing so would mean that she wouldn’t bear children and add to the legions of stupid that we are being overrun by.

We live in a nation where a growing segment of the population wants to label health care and a college education as “rights” to be made available to all for free. Not being able to think sufficiently clear to figure out that the most basic definition of slavery is one person claiming a right to the fruit of another person’s labor, they demand as a right the fruit of the labor of those who must bear the cost of that which they wish to receive for free.

We are a nation divided, shouting at each other from behind our respective barricades, not hearing a thing the other one is saying, and to be fair, not giving any more of a shit about their opinions than they do about ours.

The time for dialogue is over. It’s time for something else.

I remember the day, many years ago, when I had the first of my many political epiphanies. The day when I ran across something so elemental, so damned politically organic and centered that it moved me off the shifting ideological hill where I stood with uncertain footing, and transported me to this mountain of hard-as-granite, indisputable political logic where I still stand today.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.’

Shuttered windows clouding my vision flew open, preconceived notions lay shattered and scattered across the landscape of my juvenile perception of the role of government in the lives of citizens, and understanding assaulted my eyes with the brightness of a midday sun.

It was my time for choosing, and choose I did.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that ‘the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits-not animals.’ And he said, ‘There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.’

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

***

That was then, but this is now. We’ve taken more than just the first step into the darkness, and I don’t want to pretend that there is choosing left to be done by anyone

The time for choosing is done.

Look around you, everything is politicized.

I don’t listen to music I used to love to listen to because the musicians I used to follow are mostly leftist assholes.

I don’t watch movies because so are most actors and directors.

I don’t speak to a significant number of people who I used to be “friendly” with, because they are fucking blind leftists who look at me with their fucking condescension-filled eyes, as if I were some sort of fucking monkey boy just rescued from the deep jungles of Borneo that needs to be taught how to act around civilized people, when we discuss politics.

The time for choosing is done… it’s time for something else now.

I have absolutely nothing in common with the morons who seem to think that they are in charge in this nation at this time, so I choose whatever side it is that they are not on.

H. L. Mencken once said that “every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

I don’t know about the throat slitting part of that, but I am all about hoisting the black flag. I am all about spitting on my hands and getting to it with these fucking morons.

The time for intelligent debate is no more. I don’t give any more of a shit about what they think, than they do about what I think.

We’ve chosen, sides. There are very, very few undecided, and they have labeled themselves insignificant via their indecisiveness.

It’s time to get to it. Time to hoist the black flag, fling the grappling hooks and board their ship.

The time for choosing is done.

The time for “fuck you” has begun.

tattered CJ.1

Andrew Breitbart
February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012

Attack of the Killer (Mexican) Tomatoes

The Obama administration has averted a war.

The New York Times reporting:

The United States and Mexico have reached a tentative agreement on cross-border trade in tomatoes, narrowly averting a trade war that threatened to engulf a swath of American businesses.

The agreement, reached late Saturday, raises the minimum sales price for Mexican tomatoes in the United States, aims to strengthen compliance and enforcement, and increases the types of tomatoes governed by the bilateral pact to four from one.

‘The draft agreement raises reference prices substantially, in some cases more than double the current reference price for certain products, and accounts for changes that have occurred in the tomato market since the signing of the original agreement,’ Francisco J. Sánchez, the United States under secretary of commerce for international trade, said in a statement.

What is that “reference price” mentioned in the article?

In this case, it’s price fixing.

Mexican tomato growers can produce a better tomato, transport it into the U.S. market, and sell it to U.S. customers at a substantially cheaper price than American farmers can charge for an inferior tomato.

Not surprisingly,the administration that never lets a good crisis go to waste played politics with the issue.

Again from the New York Times (ibid):

The new agreement covers all fresh and chilled tomatoes, excluding those intended for use in processing like canning and dehydrating, and in juices, sauces and purées.

It raises the basic floor price for winter tomatoes to 31 cents a pound from 21.69 cents — higher than the price the Mexicans were proposing in October — and establishes even higher prices for specialty tomatoes and tomatoes grown in controlled environments. The Mexicans have invested billions in greenhouses to grow tomatoes, while Florida tomatoes are largely picked green and treated with a gas to change their color.

The Mexican and United States governments will both carry out mechanisms to increase enforcement of the new agreement.

The dispute unfolded in the heated politics surrounding the presidential election, with Mexican growers charging that the Commerce Department was courting voters in the important swing state of Florida. Instead, the timing of the negotiations ensured that the government could win those votes and bring the controversy to a conclusion satisfactory to the Mexicans after the election was over.

Price fixing AND vote buying.

Florida growers accused Mexico of dumping product in the U.S. at a price below their production cost, but they failed to prove their allegations. One must wonder about a business plan that includes selling your product at below production costs year after year, since logic tells you that such a practice would drive you to bankruptcy. One musty also wonder why Florida growers didn’t simply accommodate their Mexican counterparts by simply buying all their produce, thus availing themselves of a superior product, at a significantly lower cost than the product they themselves can produce, then selling THAT into the market.

Why it is so difficult for American farmers to compete with farmers faced with the additional cost of transporting their goods thousands of miles into their markets?

This report may give an insight into the challenges faced by American farmers today:

A case study from a blueberry farming operation in Maine shows that providing health insurance benefits under Obamacare would result in a staggering annual increase of more than $184,000. (Download PDF of full case study here.)

Due to the crushing mandates of Obamacare, this farm would face a whopping 203% increase of in the cost of providing health insurance benefits.

The blueberry farm now pays $90,540 a year to provide health insurance for its full-time employees. Under Obamacare, the farm could pay as much as $274,762 to cover both full-time and seasonal part-time employees—an annual increase of $184,222.

The same case study goes on to illustrate the inherent flaw in Obamacare:

However, if the blueberry farm chose to drop health coverage all together, Obamacare would impose a penalty of $76,250 on the business. That’s a 16 percent drop in what the blueberry farm now pays for health insurance.

Since the penalty would be significantly lower than the cost of providing health insurance under Obamacare, the blueberry farm would most likely choose not to offer health insurance at all.

Also, this case study does not account for the administrative costs the farm would incur to manage Obamacare’s eligibility rules, which in the case of seasonal workers would be significant.

‘This case study of a real business in Maine demonstrates how Obamacare will force higher health insurance costs on employers, which will result in fewer jobs for Maine people,’ said Joel Allumbaugh, author of the case study and director of the Center for Health Reform Initiatives at The Maine Heritage Policy Center. ‘It is shameful that politicians in Washington, D.C. did not investigate the devastating effects Obamacare would have on businesses before enacting it.’

It isn’t difficult to figure out that what ills befall blueberry farmers, fall equally on tomato growers.

To be fair, the tomato war drums have been sounding long before Obamacare was implemented, but that only illustrates that the costs of complying with Federal regulations were already killing American farmers. Obamacare is just the coup de grace to the industry.

Nutshell:

Mexican tomato growers can produce, pick, pack, and transport a better quality tomato at prices far below what their American counterparts can produce locally.

American tomato growers, faced with the costs of overwhelming Federal and State regulations and Obamacare, are getting their asses kicked in their own home turf.

The Obama administration parlayed this situation into an unclean quid pro quo between Florida growers and the Obama campaign prior to the election. The possibility of another similarly unclean quid pro quo deal may have been struck with Mexican growers looking to maintain that “reference price” low enough that it wouldn’t completely destroy their profits post election.

Who loses in this situation?

Americans whose access to better tomatoes at a cheaper price has been blocked as a result of the Obama administration’s implementation of what is effectively price fixing.

Is this a hidden tax?

Arguably it is, since the price fixing has been put in place to help growers cope with the cost of Federal regulations.

Blueberries and tomatoes are only two of the many food items impacted negatively

The implementation of Obamacare is just one Federal policy impacting the cost of our food. Everything you put on your table is being impacted. Everything you put on your table has (or will) increase in cost.

Thanks to Obama administration policies, inferior quality, gassed tomatoes are as expensive to U.S. consumers as superior quality vine-ripened ones.

The Great Mexican-American Tomato War of 2013 has been averted.

We lost.

Mexican_Tomato_by_Esqueleto

It is your fault

You have to have balls and principles.

It is your fault.  All of it.  Let that sink in.  You bought the ticket, strapped yourself into ride and then gave control to the GOP thinking that they would run the rollercoaster better than the tattooed, ex con, junkie, liberal who usually operates the rides.  Wrong.  The Democrats want to control your life and spend every dime they can borrow or steal via taxes.  The Republicans want to control your life and spend every dime they can borrow or steal via taxes.   At least the Republicans do it for profit; the Democrats do it for fun.  Either way, it is your fault.  You voted for these tyrants, alcoholics, pederasts, miscreants and thieves, expecting them to perform, to honor oaths to a document they don’t understand and may never have read, often times re-electing these clowns, thus endorsing their behavior (like giving a crack head some crack and expecting them to bring back the Blu-ray player they stole from you) and yet, you continue to expect them to change, to honor what they say during the campaign.  Honor is the key word here…aside from Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Representative Bridenstine, there isn’t much honor among the thieves in Congress.  But, all of this is your fault.

You allowed the establishment GOP to call the shots, run the elections and determine the candidates. Karl Rove is a loser. Rove has backed the wrong candidates, including Bush over Reagan, but he is called “the architect” not “the joker”…why? The Tea Party darling, Sarah Palin, endorsed a McCain clone, Vaughn Ward, over Idaho Senator Raul Labrador, a man with a one hundred percent conservative voting record in the state senate. Thankfully, the real Tea Party, not the GOP establishment Tea Party Express, put boots on the ground and got a conservative elected. While Palin is more Tea Party than establishment, she has her establishment moments. The chair of the RNC is like the presidential primaries…..trot out a bunch of establishment losers, knowing one of the losers will win. If you are the winner in a field of losers, you are still a loser….it is kind of like winning the Special Olympics. But, year after year, since Reagan busted through the barrier, the GOP has made sure the person whose turn it is wins the nomination for President. It is your fault.

Now that we have established that this is your fault…and mine, what is to be done? It is time to put in work, do the heavy lifting, all the things we ignored before. Never mind that BS about infiltrating the GOP, about taking back the precincts and restoring the party, it is all propaganda and feel good crap. It is time for action. It is time to show up at your counties Central Committee Meetings, protesting, raising hell, burning the GOP in effigy and calling the cops on yourselves for your outlandish behavior. Why? Because it will bring the liberal media, slobbering all over themselves excited about a split in the party. The message will resonate with libertarians and conservatives alike. Recruit them, run with it. The following month, show up for the meeting, attend, disrupt if needed, chant, demand that the establishment be thrown out and free/fair elections be held. Call the cops again. Revel in your new found press, make the most of it…crush the RINO’s. On the way home, have a beer and a slice, you deserve it. All of this is your fault.

You aren’t done yet, in fact, you are just getting started on the road to freedom. It is imperative that you push candidates in the primaries that are not politicians, but are instead, statesmen, people who can articulate the message of liberty over tyranny. Never mind what the Karl Rove’s of the party will tell you….America is ready for candidates who are not politicians, are not wired in, not insiders and are, above all, men and women of honor. Some of these people may have an arrest or two in their past, maybe a bankruptcy, they might even have inhaled (which is the point), but have moved past that and stand for what is right….push these people to run…to speak the truth, call out their opposition, be honest, forceful and funny. These candidates must be real, like the people you have over for a party, tailgate with, fish or hunt with, they need to be liberty minded Americans…they don’t have to be models, politicians or even college graduates. America faces a common sense shortage. A Congress full of college graduates got us here, while the rest of us were at work….not it is time for us to put in work, kick some RINO ass, then kick some liberal, er, communist ass and restore American greatness. You either accept responsibility for your actions and reverse course now, acting in an honorable manner or you hang your head in shame, like a coward, as there is no middle ground on this issue. Freedom needs action. You must go as far as is needed, further than you may imagine. I am with you, I have been from the beginning. I’ve been detained, numerous times, for speaking the truth. Do not fear your government, know your rights and make them fear you. Bow to no man, to no tyrant, bend your knee for no one who does not deserve your respect. Rise my patriots, for you are the new founders, the new patriots, the new freedom fighters in America and your time is now.

Doc Liberty – It is your fault and mine

Amen.

February 26, 1993 (Updated)

Twenty years ago today, I happened to be in New York City on the last day of a consulting gig with a large international bank. As I left the offices of the bank to walk to my hotel to checkout, I decided to stop for a bite to eat on the way to LaGuardia for my flight. It was a little after noon as I was sitting finishing my meal when I heard all hell break out on the street, the most sirens I had ever heard in my trips to NYC — and that’s saying a lot. Dozens of police,  fire trucks, and fire rescue were heading in one direction: downtown. I asked around but nobody seemed to know what was going on; in those pre-internet days the only way to get news was print, radio or TV — and I had a dearth of all three heading to the airport and boarding my flight.

As soon as I was able to, I used a new-fangled toy aboard my flight: an AirFone (remember those?). I called home to find out everybody was worried sick about me and the terrorist attack in New York. Needless to say I was more than a bit shocked and surprised. That terrorist attack was the first attempt to destroy the World Trade Center towers by the blind Sheikh Abdul Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew. I don’t remember visiting New York City after that for a long time. It turned out that that day was my last opportunity to see the Twin Towers in all their glory.

I regret it to this day.

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This says it all

“Why the gun is civilization.”

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

(H/T The Jawa Report)

Sounds like ‘dangerousness’ to me…

A crackdown on ‘irresponsible behavior’? Sounds like Orwellian double-speak, as in here and here. “Dangerousness” anyone?

President Barack Obama pledged this morning in his weekly radio address to continue to crackdown on “irresponsible behavior.”

“Here in America, we know the free market is the greatest force for economic progress the world has ever known.  But we also know the free market works best for everyone when we have smart, commonsense rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior,” Obama began.

“That’s why we passed tough reforms to protect consumers and our financial system from the kind of abuse that nearly brought our economy to its knees.  And that’s why we’ve taken steps to end taxpayer-funded bailouts, and make sure businesses and individuals who do the right thing aren’t undermined by those who don’t.

“But it’s not enough to change the law – we also need cops on the beat to enforce the law.  And that’s why, on Thursday, I nominated Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Richard Cordray to continue leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“Mary Jo White has decades of experience cracking down on white-collar criminals and bringing mobsters and terrorists to justice.  At the SEC, she will help complete the task of reforming Wall Street and keep going after irresponsible behavior in the financial industry so that taxpayers don’t pay the price.” […]

Eat your broccoli, boys and girls…

Let’s remember who they were (and are)

From  FactReal:

Whitewash: The racist history the Democratic Party wants you to forget.

By Bruce Bartlett (December 24, 2007)

In his new book, “The Conscience of a Liberal,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman makes a strong case for his belief that the political success of the Republican Party and the conservative movement over the past 40 years has resulted largely from their co-optation of Southern racists that were the base of the Democratic Party until its embrace of civil rights in the 1960s. A key piece of evidence for Mr. Krugman is that Ronald Reagan gave his first speech after accepting the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 near Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. In the course of this speech, Reagan said he supported “states’ rights.” Mr. Krugman says this was code declaring his secret sympathy for Southern racism.

Others, including Mr. Krugman’s Times colleague David Brooks and Reagan biographer Lou Cannon, have come to Reagan’s defense, denying that he was a racist or had any racist intent in his 1980 speech. That’s fine but unlikely to change the minds of those like Mr. Krugman who are determined to smear the Republican Party with the charge of racism, and who are adept at finding racist code words like “law and order” by Republicans that are completely convincing to liberals and Democrats in support of this accusation, even though they are invisible to those with no political ax to grind.

However, if a single mention of states’ rights 27 years ago is sufficient to damn the Republican Party for racism ever afterwards, what about the 200-year record of prominent Democrats who didn’t bother with code words? They were openly and explicitly for slavery before the Civil War, supported lynching and “Jim Crow” laws after the war, and regularly defended segregation and white supremacy throughout most of the 20th century.

Following are some quotes from prominent Democrats largely drawn from my new book, “Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past.” Even with the exclusion of all quotes that contain the N-word, it is clear that many of the Democratic Party’s most important historical figures have long made statements that reduce Reagan’s alleged transgression to a drop in the ocean. If we are going to hold him and his party accountable for a single mention of states’ rights, then the party of those listed below is far more culpable in promoting and defending racism. […]

Breeding the Low Information Voter

I had a conversation with the parent of one of my rec league basketball team kids last week that was rather insightful, and (in my opinion) indicative of the larger problem facing this country today.

We were having a team meeting after a particularly disheartening loss, and the kids were every bit as frustrated as the coaching staff, so I opted to give them some private time to go work some things out by themselves.

As I sat and watched them get into a couple of agitated discussions, one of the parents approached me and asked what was going on.

“They’re having a team meeting” – I replied. “They’ll be done in a few minutes.”

“Why are they having a team meeting?” – asked the parent.

“They’re working out some issues and trying to figure out why they lost.” – I replied.

This is when the conversation took a hard left turn for me.

“Why does that matter?” – The parent asked. “They’re here to learn and to have fun. Isn’t that why you’re here?”

“No, I am here to win games.”

“That’s silly, you should be happy that you all had fun, and that the kids learned something.”

“They just lost a game to an inferior team.” – I replied, a bit annoyed at this point, then I pointed to the kids. “Does that look like a bunch of kids who just had fun?”

The parent looked at me and made some kind of a comment about my not needing to get angry about the whole thing, then walked away.

I guess I must be a relic from a past era when winning was far more important than showing up and trying, and when performance, not participation, was rewarded. In my rec league everyone gets a trophy, even the players that never showed up for the games, so at this point just simply showing interest in perhaps actually participating in the sport gets you an award.

To me that considerably cheapens the first-place team’s achievement.

Michele Malkin is developing a series of articles exposing the Federal government’s “Common Core State Standards Initiative”, for what is is…a means to “breed’ low-information voters via the creation of no-knowledge students. It’s well worth the read, whether you are a parent with children in the public school system, or simply a befuddled citizen wondering what’s happened to the nation.

America’s downfall doesn’t begin with the “low-information voter.” It starts with the no-knowledge student.

For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. “Progressive” reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multicultural claptrap.

Under President Obama, these top-down mal-formers — empowered by Washington education bureaucrats and backed by misguided liberal philanthropists led by billionaire Bill Gates — are now presiding over a radical makeover of your children’s school curriculum. It’s being done in the name of federal “Common Core” standards that do anything but raise achievement standards.

Common Core was enabled by Obama’s federal stimulus law and his Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” gimmickry. The administration bribed cash-starved states into adopting unseen instructional standards as a condition of winning billions of dollars in grants. Even states that lost their bids for Race to the Top money were required to commit to a dumbed-down and amorphous curricular “alignment.”

In practice, Common Core’s dubious “college- and career”-ready standards undermine local control of education, usurp state autonomy over curricular materials, and foist untested, mediocre and incoherent pedagogical theories on America’s schoolchildren.

You may wonder how this has anything to do with rec league basketball, and may be I am reading far too much into it, but as I read Malkin’s column, I understand the government’s goal here: to make it appear that our children are performing better in school by lowering the standards of teaching.

Malkin goes on:

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The company we keep

It’s and old tried and true axiom, taught to all of us by our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, that the company we keep says a lot about us. Take the case of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama. Stanley Kurtz has reported extensively on the relationship between Obama and William Ayers, a radical domestic terrorist while on an education board in Illinois. (Read Kurtz’s brilliant pieces on National Review:

There is no doubt that Ayers is a Communist. Add Frank Marshall Davis, another mentor, who just happened to be a Communist, as well, and the sundry other radical friends and “mentors,” and you begin to get an interesting, and quite disturbing and frightening, portrait of the man who may be poised to lead America.

I’d like to focus on only one of these: William Ayers. Yesterday, the New York Times published an article written by Scott Shane whitewashing Ayers’s and Obama’s relationship. I blogged about Stanley Kurtz’s response to it here. But putting that post up got me to reading a bit. I found an excellent piece by P. J. Gladnick of NewsBusters, on Ken Burns’s McCain epiphany, where he recommended the documentary that, for the next nine days, I’ll be presenting. This is a documentary series on the domestic terrorist group “The Weather Underground,” in nine parts on YouTube. Why is this relevant today? Ayers, along with his wife, was one of the founders; he remains defiantly unrepentant about his murderous terrorist activities. (As additional nails in the coffin, read this analysis of Ayers relationship with Obama and this piece in The American Thinker.)

Watch the nine-part series and decide for yourself whether a Presidential candidate should have — or should have had — a relationship, regardless of how innocent it may be painted, with someone whose avowed goal was the destruction of this country. Sarah Palin, speaking at rally on Saturday, said this about Obama:

Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country … This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America.

I couldn’t agree more. The past is prologue, ladies and gentlemen, and history can teach us many lessons, if only we want to learn them. So, without further comment, here is Part 1 of The Weather Underground: