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Darkness

March 24, 2020

It’s quite clear that American cable news programming is biased to the Left and that our major newspapers are disruptive of traditional order.

What then should we read or view on television?

I recommend reading the Spectator of London that recently posted a discussion with the late Sir Roger Scruton, some of a new series of Webcasts that I am organizing on the theme “Loss of Country” and read the Australian journal “Quadrant.”

There is little that isn’t “ideological” in American popular culture and even such stalwarts as National Review are very badly edited by editor Rich Lowry. It is much worse at university with a mere handful of good institutions to consider.

How dark is our darkness?  Very dark.

 

Herb London meet Andrew Cuomo

March 23, 2020

I had a brush with New York State politics when I joined the faculty of the College of New Rochelle. Fortuitously located four miles or about a fifteen minute drive from the office of Arthur Finkelstein in Rye, and another forty-five minutes to Manhattan where Irving Kristol came out of the closet of Democrats, joined the Republican Party and graciously invited me to meet his young acolytes.

Finkelstein was a pollster and campaign consultant responsible for electing Al D’Amato to the U.S. Senate and George Pataki to the Governorship. And I came to know Herb London.

Herb London (1939-2018) was one of those academics who also had a career in politics. Born in Brooklyn, London graduated from NYU and became head of the Gallatin School at NYU. NYU tied London’s career to the politics of New York, something that would not have happened had he gone to the University of Chicago.

London knew everyone in New York State politics, ran for Governor and State Comptroller, broke ranks by opposing Governor Pataki, and was friendly with Governor Mario Cuomo.

All this brings me to my interest in Mario Cuomo’s son, Andrew Cuomo (also New York’s Governor) who is seen regularly on TV giving instructions to New Yorkers about how to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. At first I thought Cuomo’s performance was interesting–even humorous–but now I see its political intent.

Andrew Cuomo will challenge the senile Joe Biden for the Democrat nomination for President. If he becomes the nominee, he’ll defeat fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.

I wonder if Herb London had lived he would break Party ranks and back Andrew Cuomo.

 

Death of 1,000 colleges

March 20, 2020

A book that I published in 2017, predicts what I called The Coming Death and Future Resurrection of American Higher Education. I was writing from the perspective of several battles from 2000 to 2016 with regulations that attempted to block use of the Internet to offer a college education at low cost.

Though I sought the highest form of academic “accreditation” for my solely Internet-based degree programs, that avenue toward acceptance into the community of higher education providers was blocked: regionally accredited colleges and universities must offer a majority of courses from classrooms.

In other words, competition from Internet providers was intentionally blocked.

With a pandemic that is forcing closure of classrooms to avoid contamination–and physical harm–all regionally accredited institutions are now compelled to do what I did for sixteen years–offer online courses for degree credit.

I’m afraid that isn’t easily done and my prediction of “The Coming Death of American Higher Education” is here.

The regional agencies that accredit most colleges and universities must now permit their members to offer courses via the internet–not in classrooms. Federal student loans that support high tuition cost will be a thing of the past. As a consequence, at least one thousand colleges will not reopen in Fall 2020, and their high tuition will be a thing of the past.

My reaction is not sadness at the destruction of a failed system, but I am concerned that leadership taking American higher education into a new era is not present. “They”–the Education Cartel–did a very good job killing off that type of innovative leadership.

 

Our Future as Americans

March 19, 2020

Bill Buckley and Russell Kirk were leaders in a “movement” away from the politics of the New Deal. There have been dozens of intellectuals that followed them, but few informed conservatives sought high office.

Ronald Reagan was an exception.

Not only was he informed, but he entered the political arena and persisted until he won, first the Governorship of California and then the Office of President.

Looking ahead beyond the Trump Administration, it’s hard to see any light in terms of a conservative successor to President Trump or to a future for the Republican Party.

Still, we look for Trump’s successor and find few likely candidates.

Vice President Pence is tarnished forever, if he remains in office and is seen as Trump’s enabler.

Ted Cruz is a conservative favorite, and he won reelection from Texas.

But Sen. Cruz is handicapped by his history as son of an oddball, Protestant street corner preacher and cannot claim Hispanic ethnicity even though his ancestry is Cuban.

To be honest, our ranks are depleted of anyone with even a remote claim to leadership, and that persuades me that we’ll see a deepening of the Deep State over the next ten to twenty years.

Eventually our federal government will be unable to honor all the claims to federal monies with which it will be burdened and we’ll suffer revolution, civil war and military intervention.

That parallels the history of Spain of the 1930’s and why I recall that history in a recent essay published in Modern Age.

 

A National Conservative Party

March 19, 2020

Today’s lead article in the Washington Post for March 18  gives a pretty good summary of the change of heart among Republican leaders toward deficit spending.

This summary, titled “Trump’s $1 trillion stimulus is a gamble for reelection — and a sea change for Republicans once opposed to bailoutsis so “right on target” that I had to go back and see who wrote it.

Robert Costa, a former writer for National Review is co-author. Costa joined the Leftist Washington post in 2014, and is host at the PBS” Washington Week” television program. I’ve liked Costa’s reporting, maybe because of his service at National Review or that he is a University of Notre Dame grad.

But, also, I’m curious about his choice of “journalism” as a profession. Is it because there was no future for a conservative in Academe? He has done so well as a journalist that it is hard to understand his success.

But, mistakes happen, and we should be thankful for small favors.

Who but a former writer for National Review working for the Leftist Washington Post would ask Supply-side economist Art Laffer for his opinion?

Costa reports as follows:

“I’m very worried that this government — or any government — in a panic does stupid things,” Laffer said. “They need to breathe into a brown paper bag a bit, think it through clearly. This is no time to abandon the free market with government interference.”

Wow!

That’s a breath of fresh air when even U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) goes along with Trump’s trillion dollar bailout saying that the pandemic is an act of God. Toomey, elected in 2010 in a wave election that seated Toomey and other “Tea Party” candidates for high office, is quoted as saying “It’s a different thing when a lethal pathogen affects large numbers of Americans.”

Personally, I don’t think we should blame God for our interference in the American economy.

I’m with Art Laffer and worry that “after Trump” we’ll see a more dominant “Deep State” and a terribly weakened private sector. The American constitutional order has been replaced by an American Empire.

If you’re a U.S. Senator and can’t see that, you should visit your ophthalmologist.

When local government in Norfolk placed cameras at an intersection where congestion and speeding cars cause serious accidents, promoters of this form of state scrutiny said that camera would save lives.

At what cost to personal freedom, I asked.

If you don’t believe me, check it out at my blog.

After Trump, the Republican Party–or what it once stood for– is on its way out of power.

It’s now time for a National Conservative Party.

 

After Trump: Death of the Republic

March 17, 2020

Nothing contributes to growth of government more than wars, and pandemics.

The growth of the State may be seen in the Administration of President Donald Trump whose sole purpose is to market his persona and to leave the administration of government to wealthy and career military appointees.

Only a few days ago did I realize that President Trump has placed a flag officer at the controls of HHS.  Adm. Brett GiroirI leads the government’s response to Covid-19.

I don’t care if Adm. Giroir is qualified, his presence in a civilian agency violates a principle of civilian rule. Unfortunately, our President is ignorant of these matters and thus places the long term future of our Constitutional order at risk to military intervention.

Peter Wehner’s essay in the Atlantic for March 12 titled “The Trump Presidency is Over” makes a good case for removal of President Trump, to which the President would respond (if he could read) “Over my dead body.” President Trump should read Jim Whalen’s “Allende: Death of a Marxist Regime.” That’s the likely future of the United States after President Trump.

 

Search for truth in nature

March 15, 2020

The search for truth is associated with “schools” that were first developed in Athens of the time that Socrates and Sophists contended with one another to educate young men of wealthy families.

The concept “Groves of academe” captures the idea of these early schools.

That world was described by Horace, the 1st-century Roman poet, who exhorted seekers of truth: “And seek for truth in the groves of Academe.’

More recently, Simon Schama writes in Landscape and Memory that artistic depiction of groves of Evergreen fir trees were “at the heart of  one of our most powerful yearnings:  the craving to find in nature a consolation for our morality.”

An example of that yearning cited by Dr. Schama is a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, “The Cross and Cathedral in the Mountains.”

The failure of American education to introduce students to those “Groves” and address that yearning is the great tragedy of American higher education in the 21st century.