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The Real Steve Moore

April 5, 2019

President Donald Trump has nominated economist Steve Moore to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. That immediately aroused a scandalous attack on Steve Moore that questioned his credentials as an economist, his past economic predictions, his ability to serve in government and the grip on reason of President Trump.

I first met Steve Moore at an event conducted at his home in 1999 when he launched the Club for Growth. That organization became “the” advocate for what we know as “Supply-side Economics” and continues today to hold the feet of elected officials and aspirants to public office to the fire of economic common sense.

In 2009, Yorktown University organized a day-long presentation on the topic of Supply-side Economics at “FreedomFest,” on July 9-11, 2009, at Bally’s Events Center in Las Vegas.  Steve Moore, Alan Reynolds, Richard Rahn, Steve Entin, George Gilder and Mark Skousen explained economics from the Supply-side to an audience of seventeen hundred attendees.

This link will take you to a recording of what these two stellar economists, Richard Rahn and Steve Moore, said at FreedomFest a decade ago.

Traditional Order vs. Loss of Country

April 1, 2019

Political stability in free societies is not only valued, but a necessary condition of life. For that reason, American government is grounded in a Constitution designed to assure stability by means of principles of limited government.

James Madison succinctly summarized the problem in The Federalist, #51.

It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

The “enlightened” ideas that most of the Framers of the Constitution shared, rooted in the liberal, “Social Contract,” ideas of John Locke were sufficient to establish s stable representative government in the United States until the Civil War. That political crisis accompanied by Darwin’s Origins of Species and the introduction of German idealist humanism by the American “Transcendentalists,” challenged a dominant political order founded on Protestant Christianity. Once that shared theological system was broken, the America of the 18th Century was flung into a cauldron of intellectual currents shaped by political ideologies.

American political conservatives sought ways to preserve and disseminate the principles of traditional order that preserve political and economic freedom. Many were believing Christians who understood that “salvation” was not to be found in this life, and thus they shared a philosophy of limited government that rejected political and economic “final solutions” of the Progressive and totalitarian movements.

World War I and the Great Depression changed the balance of power and wiped away the restraints placed on national government by such 19th century institutions as the Protestant churches and the many private colleges and universities established to shape the character of Americans, train the Protestant clergy, establish a class of attorneys committed to the rule of law, and prepare a military elite to protect the nation and preserve the principle of civilian rule.

In mid-twentieth century, each of the pillars of a former political culture that sought to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” had been destroyed or shaken. The States were dominated by an aggressive, centralized, bureaucratic, administrative State. The Protestant and Catholic churches were motivated to assure salvation in this life. American colleges and universities became a system of indoctrination in “Progressive” political ideology.

By mid-Twentieth century, the free and classical liberal order that the Framers sought to preserve in a Constitution of the United States no longer existed. The task that confronted political and economic “conservatives” was to establish ways by which to recover what was left of traditional order.

For at least three quarters of a century, a “movement” was developed that was political, intellectual and spiritual. Identified by three leaders–Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Barry Goldwater–a community of like-minded defenders of traditional order commenced recovery.

That recovery aimed to influence American government by means of elections, education and assertion of principles of traditional order of Western civilization. Protestant “Evangelical” leaders joined the “movement” and appealed to a “moral majority.” A flurry of new journals and magazines were founded. Attempts to counter the Progressive domination of newspapers were made. New colleges were founded. “Think Tanks” were founded to shape public “policy.”

Looking back, much was accomplished, but something essential in the character of ordinary citizens had changed. To begin with education, though more Americans entered college, few colleges sustained a curriculum that prepared those they educated for responsibilities of citizenship in a self-government democracy. Americans had been “dumbed down.”

The growth of media Empires that utilized broadcast and cable television and new digital means of disseminating information and ideas dominated public life. “Journalists” who once were taught the basis of “reporting” were transformed by training in “communication theory” into advocates of a Progressive agenda. All who sought elective office, and especially Republican office seekers, were subjected to intensive scrutiny of their personal lives. Their policies were subjected to analysis designed to expose their “racism,” misogyny, sexual activity, business interests and religious beliefs.

The price we paid for this unbridled “journalism” was rejection of public service. To be sure, many of our college educated sought employment in government, but fewer and fewer put themselves at risk and sought elective office. The end result is absence of true leadership in our State governments and the Congress of the United States.

Unfortunately, the administration of government is not like administration of a business enterprise. Lessons must be learned about economics, taxation, America’s foreign policy, American history of government and the national interest. Those lessons are best learned in service in elective office. If none but the morally calloused, or persons ignorant of how government actually works, seek political office, the end result will be a failed government and ultimately loss of country. That is why the academy has launched a series of three seminars in June, September and November on the subject “Loss of Country.”

 

Loss of Our Country

March 24, 2019

Date: TBA

Where: Washington, DC

Panel Theme:   Loss of Country

Panelists:
Richard Bishirjian, The Artful Recluse (Chinese arts and intellectuals during crisis)
Jack Tierney, To Lose a Country: France 1940

Loss of Country: Countries can be “lost” by invasion and by changes in the beliefs of members of society. Due to the influence of “Progressive” educators beginning at the end of the 19th century college education in the United States effectively changed the manners and mores of American higher education and those changes seeped into the lives of the American people. The principal cause of loss of our country today is our failure to educate college students in their responsibilities as citizens of a self-governing democracy. This self-inflicted wound began many years ago but accelerated during the 1960s and early ’70s when required core curricula were removed from colleges and universities.

Future Presentations: We hope to follow these presentations with a Webcast with Dr. Angelo Codevilla that examines Immigration Before 1965.

Since 1965, Americans have been living with an immigration system very different from any in U.S. history. To appreciate how different, it is useful to look at what it replaced. Since ’65 was a long time ago, and most who lived under prior immigration law are dead, there is very little direct knowledge of the previous system among us. I, who emigrated to America on August 8, 1955 into New York  harbor past the Statue of Liberty as a thirteen year old, and cursed as I am with a good memory, am one of the few remaining who experienced the kind of immigration that helped to make America great. I propose to give recollections of the process I underwent to qualify for entry, of the trip, of the country I found,  and of the adjustments I had to make. I propose also to share my adult reflections on the differences between immigration then, and now.

If your organization would like to host a discussion of the topic “Loss of Country,” please contact the American Academy of Distance Learning by e-mail: academydl@gmail.com

 

 

Paul Reveres of Education Reform

March 22, 2019

In January 2018 and February 2019, the American Academy of Distance Learning, led by Dr. Richard Bishirjian, conducted two conference calls with conservative intellectuals and instructors. Their purpose was to discuss how to reverse a crisis in higher education that threatens to destroy our country. As twenty-four of us took time to participate in these conference calls, we call ourselves the “Committee of Twenty-Four.”

Committees of Correspondence were formed during the years leading up to the War of Independence in order to disseminate information and plan the Rebellion. We conservative writers and teachers stand in, and are successors to, that honorable tradition of American patriots–glorious still and enhanced by digital technology.

Today, none of us—or at least not many–keep horses and ride with the purpose of a Paul Revere. But, we are driven by concern for the damage done to our country by our system of higher education.

During our conference calls, it became clear that there are three views about how to address this deepening crisis in higher education. Bob Paquette, Steve Balch and I represent those three distinct views: Here is a summary of our views of how to address the damage done by our “colleagues” at American colleges and universities.

Steve Balch–Dr. Steve Balch founded the National Association of Scholars in 1987as a way to recall higher education to its genuine principles, the recovery of our ability to think seriously about of our civilization and place of education, properly organized, in sustaining higher culture. At its peak, NAS attracted 4,000 members.

NAS is the successor to two former academic groups, University Professors for Academic Order (UPAO), founded in 1970 and The University Centers for A Rational Alternative founded (UCRA) in 1972.

UPAO was founded by the late Dr. Charles Moser, a Professor at George Washington University, as a conservative response to the politicization of higher education during the disruptions brought about by the anti-Vietnam war movement. UCRA was founded and led by Sidney Hook, Paul Kurtz and Miro Todorovich.

NAS published the journal, Academic Questions, for 32 years, and also publishes studies of higher education problems and issues; files amicus curiae briefs and holds conferences. On November 22, 2016, the Family Research Council  conducted a Webcast of a presentation by Dr. Balch on the decline of required courses in the history of Western civilization. That event was webcast by C-SPAN

Also, Dr. Balch was responsible for the insertion of a provision in Title 8, Section 805 in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 titled “American History for Freedom.” Dr. Balch is now requesting that the U.S. Department of Education in the Trump Administration help establish and support programs that are dedicated to the study of free institutions, traditional American history and the history of Western Civilization.

Without any federal funding, Steve Balch founded The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Texas Tech in 2012.

Bob Paquette–In 2001, Dr. Robert Paquette founded the Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York by negotiating the placing of the Institute on the campus of Hamilton College. When Hamilton College faculty objected.  that agreement was rescinded. Undeterred, he established the Institute off campus, but remained a member of the history Faculty until last year. At some point,  “enough is enough,” he said, and decided his talents were best utilized at his Hamilton Institute.

In our conference calls, Dr. Paquette lamented the decline of the liberal arts at his institution and the plight of aspiring scholars for whom no university appointments have been found. Many  who,  in the past, might have entered college teaching are now not entering graduate programs to qualify for college teaching positions.. They understand that there is little opportunity for employment in Academe, especially if you are not inclined to teach “Politically Correct” subjects.

If they hold unpopular views, those views will be discovered, they will not be hired, or if their views are discovered later, they will not be tenured..For that reason, the Hamilton Institute supports new scholars by providing honoraria and payment of fees for recruiting students to read the Great Books.

Bob Paquette believes that we should challenge the “brands” of colleges that have betrayed their mission. This year he will attempt to put together a program for recovery of the Liberal Arts at colleges where those subjects are in decline.

 Dr. Richard Bishirjian–In 2000, this education entrepreneur founded Yorktown University as an Internet, for profit, university and attained national accreditation in 2008.  Four years later that accreditation was rescinded for failing to meet the financial standards of the accreditation agency. Though Dr. Bishirjian was able to raise $4 million dollars via direct mail over the life of the company, half of that amount was expended on costs related to compliance with state and federal regulations and accreditation agency standards.

Since, there is also a long learning curve that is involved in developing effective courses for distance learning, experience in classroom teaching does not prepare you to start an Internet university and design effective “distance learning” courses. It took eight years to learn how to do that.

Now that he knows how it is done. he would like to start new colleges, but he has found that none of the well-known wealthy conservative donors has entered higher education by starting their own university. If they earned their money in business, they know that they should stick to what they know, which is business. Business skills do not help find conservative faculty nor keep them focused and “conservative.”

A major obstacle to starting a new college is a requirement of “regional accreditation” that courses be offered from classrooms on a physical campus,

Each course offered today from a classroom on a college campus is burdened by high “overhead” costs that push tuition cost to between $900 and $1,000 per course. Absent that high overhead, a quality education product can be offered via the Internet for no more than $350 per course.

Of course, in order to design a degree program costing $350 per course, you must have mastered the principles for instructional design for distance learning. You must be able to raise a minimum of $1 million dollars in the first two years of operating your college startup and raise whatever is required to sustain operations in future years until you are profitable. Also, you must master the marketing of education products and be prepared to invest a minimum of $200,000 in advertising about the time you are ready to enroll your first students and half that amount each subsequent year..

Because these “new” colleges will challenge the survival of all the high cost colleges in the United States, formidable obstacles stand in the way of a startup college. Not the least of these challenges are the two committees of Congress with oversight of higher education whose Republican members are “liberals.”

But, some good changes are underway at the Department of Education in the Trump Administration, so there may be hope for reversing the damage done to higher education during the last fifty years. President Trump’s people better hurry those changes before it is too late!

 

 

 

“Best Practices” for Selecting a College

March 20, 2019

Bribing your way into a prestigious university is not good. So here are some “Best Practices” to keep in mind while choosing a college that is best for you.

 

Facebook is Forever

March 19, 2019

I have a Facebook page and some 327 “friends.” Most are friends I’ve known professionally or met in the Conservative movement. I learn from Facebook aspects of their personal and professional lives and view pictures of them and family members. And some are deceased. One very nice person died in 2018 but recently received birthday wishes. So, in a way, Facebook is forever though I wonder if I can remove my Facebook page after I’m dead and gone. I suppose I should do that before, but I don’t want to rush things. All suggestions are welcome.

 

Charles Sykes’ Bulwark and “B.S.”

March 14, 2019

B.S. is an abbreviation of Bachelor of Science, but in the case of Charles Sykes, that abbreviation stands for that smelly stuff that bulls in fields drop with abandon.

To be fair, I do not like Charles Sykes who gave every appearance of being a traditional conservative when, in 1990, he published The Hollow Men: Politics and Corruption In Higher Education.

During the 27 years from publication of The Hollow Men and his participation in a conference organized by University Professors for Academic Order to his latest book, How the Right Lost Its Mind, Sykes has gone soft. I detected Sykes’ true colors when I asked him to mention my new conservative university in his daily radio program on Milwaukee’s WTMJ. No interest.

During his career, Sykes has kept his distance from himself and political conservatives and is now firmly in the Progressive Left orbit of MSNBC where he appears daily and is described as a “Conservative talk show host and self-professed ‘Never Trump’ crusader.” MSNBC and CNN apply the word “conservative” to negative anti-GOP commentary in order make it palatable.

Charles Sykes has now launched “The Bulwark” which gives the impression that this is a sequel to The Weekly Standard. The Bulwark is a project of Defending Democracy Together whose directors include Bill Kristol, Mona Charen, Linda Chavez and others with Republican credentials. I’m glad for Bill Kristol that he has been able to get Sykes to make a commitment–to something other than himself. But, Sykes’ participation in a third formulation of Neo-conservatism from its origination in the 1970s to the publication of The Weekly Standard in 1995 places the Neconservative banner on weak ground. But, at least now there’s a place we can track the ideas of pseudo-political conservatives like Charles Sykes.