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The “Forgotten” Conservatives

January 23, 2017

Donald Trump has patched together teams of persons assigned to prepare for a transition of governments, and has nominated persons to serve in his cabinet.  But, today a Presidential administration retains some 400 persons for service in positions that require Senate confirmation.

It seems that President Trump is digging into his list of personal business contacts for persons to fill top positions. But, there are a number of very senior, accomplished, conservatives whose names are not to be found in the President’s rolodex.

Here are just a few of these “forgotten” conservatives:

National Security                             Norman Bailey

Finance and economics                  John Rutledge 

Defense                                               John Lenczowski

Justice                                                  Roger Pilon

The States                                           Joseph Bast

Agriculture                                         Ron Williamson

Healthcare                                          Greg Scandlen  

Transportation                                  Nathan A. Benefield

Education                                           Neal McCluskey

Veterans                                              Mackubin Thomas Owens

Terrorism                                            John J. Tierney, Jr.

Environment                                      H. Sterling Burnett



A Former Leftist on Trump

January 22, 2017

Sometimes reformed Leftists say it best. In the case of President Trump’s Inaugural Address, Myron Magnet is one good example.

Here’s a link to an interview with Magnet on C-SPAN in which he talks about the nightmare of the 60s.

Here is a link to Magnet’s commentary on Trump’s Inaugural Address

Robots Got You Worried?

January 21, 2017

Among all the troubling aspects of modern life, some have added worries about robots. Driverless cars, Robots, computers and other gadgets give us the creeps. One company even advertises that it is “bringing robots to life.”

That idea has unleashed a backlash. Uber, for example, was kicked out of San Francisco and moved to Pittsburgh where local regulations permit testing of driverless cars.

The “Burgh.” as it is called by locals. is very proud of Carnegie Mellon University and rightly so. CMU has become the focus of high technology research and attracts the best and the brightest computer Geeks from around the world. And, today, the local paper in Pittsburgh reports that CMU has developed a computer that can beat a human being at the game of poker

Should we worry?  Even if we don’t play Blackjack or Poker, these machines are creeping into areas that are the domain of human beings.

Well, I think not.

There are several forms of reasoning and computers, and their programmers, excel at serial reasoning. That type of reasoning, placing one number after another, requires a special skill and numbness against boredom.

Another type of reasoning is more exciting and involves conceptualizing, the use of concepts to create new realities. Sometimes conceptual reasoning mixes with serial reasoning, usually when a concept is tested against a multitude of variables. The formation of a concept, what we call “thinking” is a superior form of reasoning.

Concepts start enterprises that create entire industries and some people are just plain good at doing that. Steve Jobs is one such person.

The troubling thing about these people is that they usually didn’t go to college and earn a college degree. I don’t think we can conclude that all colleges destroy our ability to “think,” but I’m afraid that most colleges do precisely that. Here’s a link to a report that American universities voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

How Bad is Higher Education?

January 18, 2017

Long ago, I concluded that American colleges and universities were bad for America. The Liberal bias of my professors, and the abuse I took as a conservative activist, led me to learn why this was the case.

In those days, there weren’t many places to go for support.  That has changed a lot in terms of access to information about the intellectual and spiritual rot at the center of American culture in its colleges and universities.  Here are some you can find online, if you want to learn more.

The College Fix         Campus Reform       Accuracy in Academia

Minding the Campus          National Association of Scholars 

Professor Watchlist            “Education” at the Conservative Firing Line

Add to this list such stalwarts as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute

and Young Americans for Freedom.  Browse these websites and you will have a very good sense that conservative values and aspirations have not been dimmed by the growth of the powers of the federal government and mismanagement by Republican Presidents from Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George W.H. Bush and, the biggest disaster for higher education, George W. Bush.

Clearly, American conservatives have not had much success translating their views into political power in the White House. And, maybe that’s the way it will always be. But, in order to sustain college students who affirm their religious faith or who truly want to achieve knowledge from their college studies, there aren’t many places in Academe where they can go.  After this election,  this should change.

Give Trump a Break!

January 14, 2017

Maybe, because I earned a BA and Ph.D. in Government, I pay more attention to news about politics than the average American. But, what I have seen during the recent campaign for a new President and after that election is very troubling.

Major cable news media including CNN, MSNBC, and broadcast programming for ABC and NBC news, were quite simply biased for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. So thoroughly unprofessional is CNN that I cannot bring myself to watch Jake Tapper or Wolf Blitzer. I can’t remember the names of other news anchors except to say that the one and only exception at CNN is John King, chief national correspondent.

And now it is clear that our “professional” media executives intend to bring down this new President of the United States.

Since the 1960s, Time Magazine has always sided with America’s enemies, but now Time simply asserts, attacks and deplores Donald Trump and his supporters. There is no objectivity, no professional courtesy.

But, the worst of them all is MSNBC which is totally out of control. Even “Morning Joe”–hosted by former Florida GOP Congressman, Joe Scarborough, is beyond the pale. How much Joe grovels to please  his corporate employer, Comcast, for the big bucks he is paid is, quite simply, disgusting.

By the way, here’s a link to Comcast’s corporate website where it extols its company values and its statement about “Integrity.”  I watch MSNBC regularly and cannot see one iota of integrity in its news programming.

Needless to say, reading The New York Times or Washington Post is just too painful.

As we enter a new year with a new President of the United States, all I can say is “Give Trump a break.”

The Unmaking of Citizens

January 12, 2017

The National Association of Scholars has released a 525 page report that examines how American colleges engage in the radicalization of college students. This report titled, MAKING CITIZENS: HOW AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES TEACH CIVICS, is a sober reminder that the greatest problem we face is not from abroad, but from within.

If you don’t have the patience to mull over all 525 pages, this summary published at Minding the Campus gives you a sense of the enormity of this problem.

Celebrity America

January 11, 2017

Modem “rock” music, Saturday Night Live, cable television, and the Internet are shaping a “celebrity” culture with a focus on such names as Kardashian, Franken, Trump, Ventura, Prince, Jackson. These are just a few that come to mind.

What’s going on?

Remember when preachers held rallies where they burned the records of Elvis? By comparison to some musicians with sales in the hundreds of millions, Elvis is wholesome.

To some extent, this fascination with celebrity can be traced to a desire for “fame” that has been a feature of modernity and American culture going as far back as President George Washington and others of his generation. They did well for our country but they also were driven by a desire to be remembered.

All human beings comprehend that time is fleeting, so anything that can give permanence to living in time is valued. But, “celebrity”? What about good character, self-sacrifice, obeying the law, loving and caring for family?

Celebrity, being widely known, trumps (no pun intended that) and has commercial value as seen in a proliferation of “swag” marketed at celebrity websites. So, if you’re a celebrity you can enjoy being famous and make a buck on it.

Well, now, it appears you can also gain power by achieving celebrity status. Three of those names mentioned above were elected to high office, most recently, President of the United States. Taking a cue from Donald Trump, Al Franken is rumored to be thinking about a run for President.

Fortunately, there are permanent things and there is a website that promotes them. Take a look at this post from “The Imaginative Conservative.” There are places we can go to learn about what is truly important. Academy of Philosophy and Letters, the Cardinal Newman Society, are just two places I visit occasionally. And I frequently visit the Philadelphia Society’s posting of lectures given at past meetings by some of our great conservative thinkers.  But, for many years the place to go to acquire this knowledge was a college campus.

Today, important academic disciplines such as the Humanities and Social Sciences attract ideologues who reject reality and seek to replace it with better, second, realities of their own concoction. For close to a half century–if you calculate the beginning of our cultural collapse to 1968–colleges and universities are populated by talented intellectuals who despise our country, our market-driven economic system of free enterprise and traditional religion.

Young Americans, fresh out of high school, who enter their world without intellectual defenses or religious faith do so at great peril.

What we’re seeing in the United States today is a consequence of the destructive influence of our colleges and universities and a rebellion, perhaps the last, by Americans who sense that something has gone terribly wrong by reaching out for a solution–from a celebrity.