Suggested Readings: Beware!

November 30, 2018

Two important articles, both from the American Spectator, warning us of disturbing trends that threaten our prosperity and freedom.

In North Korea, students learn that the United States started the Korean War. In Stalin’s Russia, the commissar vanishes from the photograph. In China, the Chinese Communists, not the Americans, deserve most of the credit for defeating Japan in World War II. And in San Francisco, techies with the social skills of Napoleon Dynamite regulate social behavior for the rest of us by insisting not only that men are indeed women but that any contention to the contrary amounts to beyond-the-pale hate speech. Falsehood, not truth, requires censorship to thrive. – Censorship, Alas, Works

According to the YouGov survey, one-third of all Americans would prefer to live under socialism rather than capitalism. Why? Is it idealism — the desire for a classless society in which everyone is equal and envy does not exist because everything is owned in common? Is it a lack of knowledge? When asked how many people have died under communism, only 31 percent of Americans could provide the correct answer — “Over 100 million.” About seven in ten Americans could not define communism.  Commented one millennial about his peers, “They don’t recognize that much of what they enjoy in life is a result of capitalism and would disappear if socialism were to be implemented. They haven’t seen socialism’s failures firsthand.” – What Americans Must Know About Socialism

On a lighter note, here is a very entertaining satire piece on how we can address the concerns above, starting with the nation’s second-most-famous budding socialist leader – Aides Force Ocasio-Cortez To Watch Entire Run Of ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’

(Actually, I highly recommend ‘Schoolhouse Rock” as a primer of American governance.  You’ll find select videos from the series throughout this blog .)

The unemployment rate among those with a high school education is 3.9 percent. The poorest quintile of Americans have seen their post-tax incomes increase 80 percent since 1979, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and post-tax and transfer income for that quintile has skyrocketed 32 percent since 2000. The upper-middle class in America constituted 13 percent of the population in 1979; as of 2014, it constituted 30 percent. According to Pew Research from 2015, when it comes to standard of living, “The U.S. stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world. More than half (56 percent) of Americans were high income by the global standard … and 2 percent were poor.” – Ben Shapiro, The Ungrateful Nation

The overall crime rate for 2018, meanwhile, is projected to fall by 2.9 percent compared to 2017. “If this estimate holds, this group of cities will experience the lowest crime rate this year since at least 1990,” – German Lopez, So far this year, crime and murder are trending down in America’s biggest cities

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.  – Read The Bill of Rights (Constitutional Amendments 1-10) courtesy National Center for Constitutional Studies

Recently, a cable news personality made provocative claims about who the “real” terrorists are threatening this country.  So I decided to review the data.

In the last 20 years, over 3000 Americans have been killed on US soil by radical Islamists. The number killed by white “right-wing extremists” is less than 100. (The worst attack committed by a right-wing terrorist is the Oklahoma City bombing from the 90’s, when 168 people were killed.) It is true that the numbers killed by these groups are much closer during the Trump years, but that’s because there are far fewer terrorist attacks under Trump than Obama. 70 Americans were killed on US soil by radicalized Muslims between 2013 and 2016. That’s many more IN TOTAL than have been killed in the US by terrorists of any type since then.

Of course, any terrorist act committed by any criminal is to be condemned.  Terrorists and violent criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law regardless of their motivations, background or race.  (That’s how the law is supposed to work.)  And journalists should do their job and use facts when presenting news about terrorism, not just their feelings or political views.

If you would like to check my numbers, here are some good resources:  US Terrorist Attacks Fast Facts (CNN), Countering Violent Extremism (US GAO), Terrorism in the United States (Wikipedia)Note that none of these includes the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting where 11 people were murdered.  Details here.