Day: November 28, 2017

Repealing Obama's Net Neutrality a Blow for Freedom


The FCC is expected to vote and approve on December 14 Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to end the so-called “net neutrality” rules imposed by President Obama’s FCC in 2015. This has provoked howls from liberals and tech giants that this is a blow for Internet freedom and another boon for big business. It is exactly the opposite. It is in fact a boon for economic and political freedom as are all the other Obama-era regulations rescinded by the Trump administration that have promoted economic growth and lessened our dependency on big government. As the Washington Examiner notes:

Sometimes you have to wonder how sincere people are when they gnash their teeth and pull out their hair over President Trump blocking or reversing an Obama-era regulation.


The latest cries of distress about anarchy and market apocalypse can be heard about an announcement by the Federal Communications Commission that it will roll back “net neutrality.”


Net neutrality’s dubious value is made obvious by the misleading way Democrats and many news outlets reported the decision. “F.C.C. plans net neutrality repeal in a victory for telecoms,” wrote the New York Times. Missing from the headline or lede was that the decision was a loss for Netflix, Amazon, Google, and other corporate giants that provide content.

Liberals oppose the free flow of information they can’t control and in the name of providing equal access to all they sought to regulate the access of everybody. They., in effect, sought to put toll booths and speed bumps on the information superhighway. As the Daily Signal reported:

On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai revealed his most important change yet: eliminating the spectacularly nonsensical “net neutrality” rules imposed by President Barack Obama’s FCC in 2015.


The 2015 rules deemed internet service providers such as Verizon and Comcast to be “common carriers” under the 80-year-old Communications Act.


This allowed the FCC to subject those companies to meticulous FCC control over how they provide service –specifically, net neutrality rules requiring providers to treat all internet transmissions equally, even if the sender or consumer would prefer customized service.


Not surprisingly, investment in broadband networks subsequently declined, and innovation — such as certain free data service plans — was threatened.


But Wednesday, the FCC chairman revealed plans to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order and return to what he described as “the light-touch regulatory framework that served our nation so well.”

President Obama feared the free flow of information as a threat to his power grabs and attempt to fundamentally transform the United States. Just as cable news eliminated the old guard network’s role as gatekeepers of what we saw and heard, the Internet freed information consumers to seek the truth and speak their minds in an unfettered environment.

Under net neutrality, the FCC took for itself the power to regulate how Internet providers manage their networks and how they serve their customers. The FCC would decide how and what information could flow through the Internet, all in the name of providing access to the alleged victims of corporate greed.

The Internet, perhaps as much as the first printing press, has freed the minds of men from the tyranny of those gatekeepers who know that if you can control what people say and know, you can control the people themselves. And that is what President Obama feared. In a May 2010 commencement speech to graduates at Hampton University in Virginia, President Obama complained that too much information is actually a threat to democracy.

Obama’s fear of Internet freedom and the free flow of information was noted by Investor’s Business Daily when it editorialized in 2014:

We would suggest that it is because Obama has long opposed the free flow of information as a hindrance to his ambitious big-government agenda, an animus that started with diatribes against cable outlets such as Fox News and conservative talk radio.


In a 2010 speech to graduates at Hampton University in Virginia, Obama complained that too much information is a threat to democracy.


“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a means of emancipation,” he opined.


“All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”


We said at the time that we disagreed with his views. Dissent, we argued, doesn’t threaten our republic. But free speech restrains the tyrants and socialists who would steal our freedoms. The Internet is the direct descendant of the pamphleteers who energized the American Revolution. This time it’s not the British coming as tyrants, but Obama and the FCC.

In George Orwell’s classic 1984, the control of information and its flow was critical to “Big Brother” maintaining is control over the people and in manipulating their passions. Authoritarian governments and dictators worldwide know that lesson well. Now the Obama administration wants globalists to be the “Big Brother” of the Internet.

The ability to see how others live and the ability to exchange ideas is a catalyst to dissent and unrest. It is the preserver of freedom. The ability to choke off that flow is a necessity for authoritarian governments. That is why the Obama administration so hated outlets like Fox News and talk radio. The Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have helped fuel democratic movements from our own Tea Party to the Iranian dissidents.

It used to be three networks controlled the information we saw and heard. Thanks to the Internet, talk radio, and cable news, we have access to formerly unheard and suppressed voices. News and commentary no longer has to get past the gatekeepers at CBS, ABC, NBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

The Founding Fathers wisely provided for freedom of speech and of the press as a means of guaranteeing our freedom and our democracy. The Internet is the new free press and an outlet for or free speech.

As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized in January 2011, an unfettered Internet is exactly what the Founders had in mind and what tyrants fear most:

Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but if Thomas Jefferson could have he would have. The Internet, with its Facebooks and Twitters, is the perfect venue for and example of the free speech the Founding Fathers enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment….


The issue is not access, but control. In February 2008, FCC Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd, an admirer of what Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez did to silence his country’s media, wrote about net neutrality in an article, “Net Neutrality Is A Civil Rights Issue,” published by CommonDreams.org.


“Unfortunately, the powerful cable and telecom industry doesn’t value the Internet for its public interest benefits,” Lloyd wrote. “Instead, these companies too often believe that to safeguard their profits, they must control what content you see and how you get it.” Lloyd feels government should be the voice controlling what you see and hear.

Like the “control voice” on the old Outer Limits series, Obama and the liberals wanted to control everything you say and hear. Senator Ted Cruz, who opposed giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the United Nations or any foreign regulatory body, in 2014 rightly compared net neutrality to ObamaCare:

Cruz, who is mulling a run for president in 2016, compared the entire concept of “net neutrality” — which posits that internet companies should not be allowed to speed or slow down their services for certain users — to Obama’s much-maligned healthcare reform.'”Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government,” Cruz wrote on Twitter. Cruz’s spokeswoman, Amanda Carpenter, added that net neutrality would place the government “in charge of determining pricing, terms of service, and what products can be delivered. Sound like Obamacare much?”

Net neutrality was not designed to liberate but to suppress. It is the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet that like Obama’s war on Fox News and conservative talk radio is designed to marginalize and silence those who disagree with those in power.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.        

The FCC is expected to vote and approve on December 14 Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to end the so-called “net neutrality” rules imposed by President Obama’s FCC in 2015. This has provoked howls from liberals and tech giants that this is a blow for Internet freedom and another boon for big business. It is exactly the opposite. It is in fact a boon for economic and political freedom as are all the other Obama-era regulations rescinded by the Trump administration that have promoted economic growth and lessened our dependency on big government. As the Washington Examiner notes:

Sometimes you have to wonder how sincere people are when they gnash their teeth and pull out their hair over President Trump blocking or reversing an Obama-era regulation.


The latest cries of distress about anarchy and market apocalypse can be heard about an announcement by the Federal Communications Commission that it will roll back “net neutrality.”


Net neutrality’s dubious value is made obvious by the misleading way Democrats and many news outlets reported the decision. “F.C.C. plans net neutrality repeal in a victory for telecoms,” wrote the New York Times. Missing from the headline or lede was that the decision was a loss for Netflix, Amazon, Google, and other corporate giants that provide content.

Liberals oppose the free flow of information they can’t control and in the name of providing equal access to all they sought to regulate the access of everybody. They., in effect, sought to put toll booths and speed bumps on the information superhighway. As the Daily Signal reported:

On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai revealed his most important change yet: eliminating the spectacularly nonsensical “net neutrality” rules imposed by President Barack Obama’s FCC in 2015.


The 2015 rules deemed internet service providers such as Verizon and Comcast to be “common carriers” under the 80-year-old Communications Act.


This allowed the FCC to subject those companies to meticulous FCC control over how they provide service –specifically, net neutrality rules requiring providers to treat all internet transmissions equally, even if the sender or consumer would prefer customized service.


Not surprisingly, investment in broadband networks subsequently declined, and innovation — such as certain free data service plans — was threatened.


But Wednesday, the FCC chairman revealed plans to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order and return to what he described as “the light-touch regulatory framework that served our nation so well.”

President Obama feared the free flow of information as a threat to his power grabs and attempt to fundamentally transform the United States. Just as cable news eliminated the old guard network’s role as gatekeepers of what we saw and heard, the Internet freed information consumers to seek the truth and speak their minds in an unfettered environment.

Under net neutrality, the FCC took for itself the power to regulate how Internet providers manage their networks and how they serve their customers. The FCC would decide how and what information could flow through the Internet, all in the name of providing access to the alleged victims of corporate greed.

The Internet, perhaps as much as the first printing press, has freed the minds of men from the tyranny of those gatekeepers who know that if you can control what people say and know, you can control the people themselves. And that is what President Obama feared. In a May 2010 commencement speech to graduates at Hampton University in Virginia, President Obama complained that too much information is actually a threat to democracy.

Obama’s fear of Internet freedom and the free flow of information was noted by Investor’s Business Daily when it editorialized in 2014:

We would suggest that it is because Obama has long opposed the free flow of information as a hindrance to his ambitious big-government agenda, an animus that started with diatribes against cable outlets such as Fox News and conservative talk radio.


In a 2010 speech to graduates at Hampton University in Virginia, Obama complained that too much information is a threat to democracy.


“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a means of emancipation,” he opined.


“All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”


We said at the time that we disagreed with his views. Dissent, we argued, doesn’t threaten our republic. But free speech restrains the tyrants and socialists who would steal our freedoms. The Internet is the direct descendant of the pamphleteers who energized the American Revolution. This time it’s not the British coming as tyrants, but Obama and the FCC.

In George Orwell’s classic 1984, the control of information and its flow was critical to “Big Brother” maintaining is control over the people and in manipulating their passions. Authoritarian governments and dictators worldwide know that lesson well. Now the Obama administration wants globalists to be the “Big Brother” of the Internet.

The ability to see how others live and the ability to exchange ideas is a catalyst to dissent and unrest. It is the preserver of freedom. The ability to choke off that flow is a necessity for authoritarian governments. That is why the Obama administration so hated outlets like Fox News and talk radio. The Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have helped fuel democratic movements from our own Tea Party to the Iranian dissidents.

It used to be three networks controlled the information we saw and heard. Thanks to the Internet, talk radio, and cable news, we have access to formerly unheard and suppressed voices. News and commentary no longer has to get past the gatekeepers at CBS, ABC, NBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

The Founding Fathers wisely provided for freedom of speech and of the press as a means of guaranteeing our freedom and our democracy. The Internet is the new free press and an outlet for or free speech.

As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized in January 2011, an unfettered Internet is exactly what the Founders had in mind and what tyrants fear most:

Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but if Thomas Jefferson could have he would have. The Internet, with its Facebooks and Twitters, is the perfect venue for and example of the free speech the Founding Fathers enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment….


The issue is not access, but control. In February 2008, FCC Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd, an admirer of what Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez did to silence his country’s media, wrote about net neutrality in an article, “Net Neutrality Is A Civil Rights Issue,” published by CommonDreams.org.


“Unfortunately, the powerful cable and telecom industry doesn’t value the Internet for its public interest benefits,” Lloyd wrote. “Instead, these companies too often believe that to safeguard their profits, they must control what content you see and how you get it.” Lloyd feels government should be the voice controlling what you see and hear.

Like the “control voice” on the old Outer Limits series, Obama and the liberals wanted to control everything you say and hear. Senator Ted Cruz, who opposed giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the United Nations or any foreign regulatory body, in 2014 rightly compared net neutrality to ObamaCare:

Cruz, who is mulling a run for president in 2016, compared the entire concept of “net neutrality” — which posits that internet companies should not be allowed to speed or slow down their services for certain users — to Obama’s much-maligned healthcare reform.'”Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government,” Cruz wrote on Twitter. Cruz’s spokeswoman, Amanda Carpenter, added that net neutrality would place the government “in charge of determining pricing, terms of service, and what products can be delivered. Sound like Obamacare much?”

Net neutrality was not designed to liberate but to suppress. It is the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet that like Obama’s war on Fox News and conservative talk radio is designed to marginalize and silence those who disagree with those in power.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.        



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Health Care Could Take a Lesson from the Airlines


Despite endless promises from Republican members of Congress over the past seven years to repeal and replace Obamacare, our mess of a healthcare payment and delivery system remains the law of the land. It’s afflicted with a terminal illness in terms of rising premiums and fewer plans to choose from, with no sign of relief from Congress, other than consigning Obamacare to hospice care.

Except that hospice care means dying pain-free and with dignity. When Obamacare dies, patients and providers will share the pain. Congress keeps its dignity as they exempted themselves from the clutches of Obamacare.

Can the airline industry provide a pathway ameliorating one of the more notorious aspects of Obamacare? No I don’t mean dragging patients out of hospitals and physician offices as United Airlines did earlier this year. Instead, I mean offering a lower cost option for air travel. And for healthcare insurance.

President Trump must like this approach as his recent executive order does just that, allowing insurers to offer less comprehensive benefit plans compared to Obamacare-mandated plans. How does this work in the airline industry?

United this year started offering a lower cost “basic economy” fare class in addition to its “standard economy” ticket. How can this apply to healthcare insurance?

Under Obamacare, all insurance plans must cover ten essential health benefits. Aside from outpatient, emergency and hospital care, which should be standard in any insurance plan, other services must be covered as well. These include pregnancy, maternity and newborn care. Mental health and substance abuse treatment. Pediatric services too.

A fifty-year-old man neither wants nor needs pregnancy and maternity coverage. A middle-aged couple with grown children doesn’t need pediatric care. Yet everyone is forced to purchase insurance coverage they don’t want and won’t use, and they still must pay for it. Like forcing me, living in Denver, to purchase hurricane insurance.

United’s standard economy fare gives passengers benefits that are appreciated by some but are just an added cost for others. For example, their standard fare earns miles toward premier status whereas the basic economy fare does not. For frequent fliers climbing the premier ladder, this benefit might be worth the added cost. Not so for the infrequent traveler, or one who normally flies another airline. So why make them pay for it?

Standard economy tickets are upgrade-eligible whereas basic economy fares are not. Most people don’t care about an upgrade and don’t want to pay extra to join a long upgrade queue, still never getting bumped to first class. The basic economy fare doesn’t allow passengers to choose their seats or sit with their family, unlike the standard fare. If for a two-hour flight, you don’t care where you sit or don’t mind if your travel companion is in a different row, why not save the money?

The point is that United is providing an alternative to their more expensive fares, the airline version of “essential benefits”, allowing passengers to forgo the more expensive perks that they don’t want or need for their flight. Giving passengers a choice.

Which is what President Trump’s executive order does.

Aside from the absurdity of the government telling a private business what it can and can’t sell, and forcing Americans to buy what the government decrees, United, by offering a discounted fare with fewer benefits, is better able to meet the needs and budgets of travelers.

It turns out that United, a few months after implementation of basic economy, is paring it back. Mainly because passengers, when purchasing their tickets, never paid attention to the details, not realizing the restrictions on choosing seats or carry-on luggage. In essence, creating “a circus” at the gate with confused and disgruntled passengers.

Sound familiar? How many people purchased Obamacare plans believing, as they were told, that they could keep their insurance, their doctor, their hospital. Instead being informed at the gate of their healthcare encounter that they couldn’t see the doctor they wanted, or that that they had all these extra fees to pay. Just like United’s passengers not having the money for their carry-on bag and realizing that they can’t sit next to their child.

There will likely be surprises for those purchasing scaled down insurance plans, but it gives consumers an affordable choice, unlike what they have now. As Republicans have done nothing, it was left to President Trump to make this happen. The only alternative being Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare For All”, already garnering the support of 17 Democrat Senators, a third of their caucus.

Common sense solutions, like United’s basic economy fare, are out there. Unfortunately, political will and pragmatism are in short supply in Congress. With the President leaving his party in their Congressional playpen, taking matters into his own hands.

 

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

Despite endless promises from Republican members of Congress over the past seven years to repeal and replace Obamacare, our mess of a healthcare payment and delivery system remains the law of the land. It’s afflicted with a terminal illness in terms of rising premiums and fewer plans to choose from, with no sign of relief from Congress, other than consigning Obamacare to hospice care.

Except that hospice care means dying pain-free and with dignity. When Obamacare dies, patients and providers will share the pain. Congress keeps its dignity as they exempted themselves from the clutches of Obamacare.

Can the airline industry provide a pathway ameliorating one of the more notorious aspects of Obamacare? No I don’t mean dragging patients out of hospitals and physician offices as United Airlines did earlier this year. Instead, I mean offering a lower cost option for air travel. And for healthcare insurance.

President Trump must like this approach as his recent executive order does just that, allowing insurers to offer less comprehensive benefit plans compared to Obamacare-mandated plans. How does this work in the airline industry?

United this year started offering a lower cost “basic economy” fare class in addition to its “standard economy” ticket. How can this apply to healthcare insurance?

Under Obamacare, all insurance plans must cover ten essential health benefits. Aside from outpatient, emergency and hospital care, which should be standard in any insurance plan, other services must be covered as well. These include pregnancy, maternity and newborn care. Mental health and substance abuse treatment. Pediatric services too.

A fifty-year-old man neither wants nor needs pregnancy and maternity coverage. A middle-aged couple with grown children doesn’t need pediatric care. Yet everyone is forced to purchase insurance coverage they don’t want and won’t use, and they still must pay for it. Like forcing me, living in Denver, to purchase hurricane insurance.

United’s standard economy fare gives passengers benefits that are appreciated by some but are just an added cost for others. For example, their standard fare earns miles toward premier status whereas the basic economy fare does not. For frequent fliers climbing the premier ladder, this benefit might be worth the added cost. Not so for the infrequent traveler, or one who normally flies another airline. So why make them pay for it?

Standard economy tickets are upgrade-eligible whereas basic economy fares are not. Most people don’t care about an upgrade and don’t want to pay extra to join a long upgrade queue, still never getting bumped to first class. The basic economy fare doesn’t allow passengers to choose their seats or sit with their family, unlike the standard fare. If for a two-hour flight, you don’t care where you sit or don’t mind if your travel companion is in a different row, why not save the money?

The point is that United is providing an alternative to their more expensive fares, the airline version of “essential benefits”, allowing passengers to forgo the more expensive perks that they don’t want or need for their flight. Giving passengers a choice.

Which is what President Trump’s executive order does.

Aside from the absurdity of the government telling a private business what it can and can’t sell, and forcing Americans to buy what the government decrees, United, by offering a discounted fare with fewer benefits, is better able to meet the needs and budgets of travelers.

It turns out that United, a few months after implementation of basic economy, is paring it back. Mainly because passengers, when purchasing their tickets, never paid attention to the details, not realizing the restrictions on choosing seats or carry-on luggage. In essence, creating “a circus” at the gate with confused and disgruntled passengers.

Sound familiar? How many people purchased Obamacare plans believing, as they were told, that they could keep their insurance, their doctor, their hospital. Instead being informed at the gate of their healthcare encounter that they couldn’t see the doctor they wanted, or that that they had all these extra fees to pay. Just like United’s passengers not having the money for their carry-on bag and realizing that they can’t sit next to their child.

There will likely be surprises for those purchasing scaled down insurance plans, but it gives consumers an affordable choice, unlike what they have now. As Republicans have done nothing, it was left to President Trump to make this happen. The only alternative being Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare For All”, already garnering the support of 17 Democrat Senators, a third of their caucus.

Common sense solutions, like United’s basic economy fare, are out there. Unfortunately, political will and pragmatism are in short supply in Congress. With the President leaving his party in their Congressional playpen, taking matters into his own hands.

 

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.



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Let's Put an End to the Left's Myths about the Liberal Arts


The study of the liberal arts is increasingly becoming passé. Schools are encouraged by government grants to infiltrate the classrooms with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and computer science instruction, creating a generation of programmable techies who are proficient at clicking but not at thinking.

As a frequent cellphone and computer user, I certainly do appreciate technological advances. What bothers me, however, is that government is involved in persuading schools what to teach and telling students what to study. I’m also disturbed by the consistent naysayers who dismiss studying the humanities as some frivolous, artistic venture that contains about as much value as Kim Kardashian’s views on the Gulf War. As someone who majored in the liberal arts, I can say that’s absolutely not true.

The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal just published a very interesting piece titled, “Liberal Arts Education Is Not (Necessarily) a Waste of Time.” In the article, George Leef points out, “The liberal arts can be a practical education, but at too many schools there isn’t much education going on in their programs.”

Leef retells a story of a student who was considering studying history at Harvard, but when the student’s parents found out, was told the liberal arts are “a house of pain.” Leef explains there is a prevailing perception that those students who study “history, literature, philosophy or anything else that doesn’t have a clear occupational path is just throwing away years of school time and a great deal of money. Focus instead,” people say, “on practical subjects that might at least lead to a job after college.”

My theory is that the “liberal arts is a waste of time” rumor was started by a bunch of progressive elites afraid of what might happen when people, especially young ones, started to develop their own conclusions instead of drinking the Kool-Aid served to them at government schools controlled by liberal, big-government types.

You may think such a claim is right-wing nonsense, or even silly, but before completely dismissing the idea, consider the following: First, liberals control the overwhelming majority of higher-education institutions in America, and yet many of them are the ones dismissing liberal arts and suggesting it’s useless. Second, liberals’ philosophy hinges on everyone working together like little cogs in a giant machine, an idea that fits well with advancing STEM, but doesn’t make much sense with the liberal arts. Third, liberal arts hinges on studying the classic thinkers of Western Civilization, most of whom the left has dismissed as racist, misogynistic, greedy, or homophobic.

In short, the liberal arts is a giant roadblock on the path to socialism, so why wouldn’t the left want to undermine it?

What about the claim there isn’t “much education going on” in most liberal arts programs anymore? What’s happened? I attended (shameless plug alert) the University of Dallas (UD), a small liberal arts Catholic college known for its core curriculum. At UD, for about two years students don’t choose any of their own classes. They’re required to complete pretty much all the same courses in literature, theology, philosophy, art, science, history, and language before they can begin to focus on higher-level classes specific to their majors.

“Our curriculum,” UD’s website says, “is based on a core that emphasizes the pursuit of truth and virtue in the classical Western tradition and the importance of academic rigor.”

How can the “pursuit of truth and virtue” have been diluted to such a point that those who make it their focus in college are, upon graduation, considered virtually unemployable? Philosophy is the “love of wisdom,” theology the study of God, yet these studies — once considered the purpose of human existence — are now looked at as mere frippery that’s not worth anyone’s time (unless you went to Stanford).

How can someone who has mastered the theories of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, as well as the history of Gaul, the nuances of Shakespeare, and other similar topics once considered to be essential, be worthless? Surely such a mind is capable of more than a narrow focus, yet such is the predominant and well-crafted misconception about liberal arts majors.

The truth is, liberal arts majors are not ill-equipped as employees and doomed to a life on food stamps. Wilson Peden wrote in Fortune magazine in 2015 (and backed his excellent article up with lots of data), “For the last time: No, earning a degree in English, philosophy, art history, name-your-humanities-discipline will not condemn you to a lifetime of unemployment and poverty… Persistent or not, the myth of the unemployed humanities major is just that: a myth, and an easily disproven one at that.”

A 2014 report from InsideHigherEd similarly reported, “Over the arc of a career, humanities and social science graduates earn as much or more than those in professional fields, new study shows, and are equally employed.”

The Wall Street Journal agreed. As did Time. And CNN. Fareed Zakaria wrote in the Washington Post in 2015, “America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous,” proclaiming, “This dismissal of broad-based learning… comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future.”

“Broad-based learning” is being dismissed because of an ever-deepening infiltration of left-wing radicals, who, like the public K–12 teachers unions folks, see academia as the perfect place to sink their teeth and finagle the future to their evil wills. Liberal professors outnumber conservative ones 12 to one. Even the straightforward, fact-based realm of engineering is not safe from these rabid manipulators.

The bottom line is this: The liberal arts are valuable. They’re beautiful and necessary. They have, however, at many colleges and universities, been perverted by people looking to advance their own ideological agenda — one that is nihilist at best and fascist at worst. But students drawn to the examination of truth, beauty, and goodness ought not to fear. You’ll enjoy college. You’ll find a job. You’ll make good money. You won’t be liberal. And you’ll be just fine.

Teresa Mull (tmull@heartland.org) is a research fellow in education policy at The Heartland Institute. 

The study of the liberal arts is increasingly becoming passé. Schools are encouraged by government grants to infiltrate the classrooms with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and computer science instruction, creating a generation of programmable techies who are proficient at clicking but not at thinking.

As a frequent cellphone and computer user, I certainly do appreciate technological advances. What bothers me, however, is that government is involved in persuading schools what to teach and telling students what to study. I’m also disturbed by the consistent naysayers who dismiss studying the humanities as some frivolous, artistic venture that contains about as much value as Kim Kardashian’s views on the Gulf War. As someone who majored in the liberal arts, I can say that’s absolutely not true.

The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal just published a very interesting piece titled, “Liberal Arts Education Is Not (Necessarily) a Waste of Time.” In the article, George Leef points out, “The liberal arts can be a practical education, but at too many schools there isn’t much education going on in their programs.”

Leef retells a story of a student who was considering studying history at Harvard, but when the student’s parents found out, was told the liberal arts are “a house of pain.” Leef explains there is a prevailing perception that those students who study “history, literature, philosophy or anything else that doesn’t have a clear occupational path is just throwing away years of school time and a great deal of money. Focus instead,” people say, “on practical subjects that might at least lead to a job after college.”

My theory is that the “liberal arts is a waste of time” rumor was started by a bunch of progressive elites afraid of what might happen when people, especially young ones, started to develop their own conclusions instead of drinking the Kool-Aid served to them at government schools controlled by liberal, big-government types.

You may think such a claim is right-wing nonsense, or even silly, but before completely dismissing the idea, consider the following: First, liberals control the overwhelming majority of higher-education institutions in America, and yet many of them are the ones dismissing liberal arts and suggesting it’s useless. Second, liberals’ philosophy hinges on everyone working together like little cogs in a giant machine, an idea that fits well with advancing STEM, but doesn’t make much sense with the liberal arts. Third, liberal arts hinges on studying the classic thinkers of Western Civilization, most of whom the left has dismissed as racist, misogynistic, greedy, or homophobic.

In short, the liberal arts is a giant roadblock on the path to socialism, so why wouldn’t the left want to undermine it?

What about the claim there isn’t “much education going on” in most liberal arts programs anymore? What’s happened? I attended (shameless plug alert) the University of Dallas (UD), a small liberal arts Catholic college known for its core curriculum. At UD, for about two years students don’t choose any of their own classes. They’re required to complete pretty much all the same courses in literature, theology, philosophy, art, science, history, and language before they can begin to focus on higher-level classes specific to their majors.

“Our curriculum,” UD’s website says, “is based on a core that emphasizes the pursuit of truth and virtue in the classical Western tradition and the importance of academic rigor.”

How can the “pursuit of truth and virtue” have been diluted to such a point that those who make it their focus in college are, upon graduation, considered virtually unemployable? Philosophy is the “love of wisdom,” theology the study of God, yet these studies — once considered the purpose of human existence — are now looked at as mere frippery that’s not worth anyone’s time (unless you went to Stanford).

How can someone who has mastered the theories of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, as well as the history of Gaul, the nuances of Shakespeare, and other similar topics once considered to be essential, be worthless? Surely such a mind is capable of more than a narrow focus, yet such is the predominant and well-crafted misconception about liberal arts majors.

The truth is, liberal arts majors are not ill-equipped as employees and doomed to a life on food stamps. Wilson Peden wrote in Fortune magazine in 2015 (and backed his excellent article up with lots of data), “For the last time: No, earning a degree in English, philosophy, art history, name-your-humanities-discipline will not condemn you to a lifetime of unemployment and poverty… Persistent or not, the myth of the unemployed humanities major is just that: a myth, and an easily disproven one at that.”

A 2014 report from InsideHigherEd similarly reported, “Over the arc of a career, humanities and social science graduates earn as much or more than those in professional fields, new study shows, and are equally employed.”

The Wall Street Journal agreed. As did Time. And CNN. Fareed Zakaria wrote in the Washington Post in 2015, “America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous,” proclaiming, “This dismissal of broad-based learning… comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future.”

“Broad-based learning” is being dismissed because of an ever-deepening infiltration of left-wing radicals, who, like the public K–12 teachers unions folks, see academia as the perfect place to sink their teeth and finagle the future to their evil wills. Liberal professors outnumber conservative ones 12 to one. Even the straightforward, fact-based realm of engineering is not safe from these rabid manipulators.

The bottom line is this: The liberal arts are valuable. They’re beautiful and necessary. They have, however, at many colleges and universities, been perverted by people looking to advance their own ideological agenda — one that is nihilist at best and fascist at worst. But students drawn to the examination of truth, beauty, and goodness ought not to fear. You’ll enjoy college. You’ll find a job. You’ll make good money. You won’t be liberal. And you’ll be just fine.

Teresa Mull (tmull@heartland.org) is a research fellow in education policy at The Heartland Institute. 



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Accusing Moore's Accusers


By way of full disclosure, I will tell you that I support Roy Moore, I have known him a long time, and have contributed to his campaign. I recommended to then-Governor Robert Bentley that he appoint him to fill the unexpired term of Senator Jeff Sessions when the latter was appointed attorney general. I was in the company of Moore within the last week. With all that said, I will proceed to offer you my opinion on the accusations against him presently jamming the American electromagnetic spectrum.

First of all, I think it important to make clear exactly what, true or false, the accusations are. The accusations first came from four middle-age women who claim that Moore dated them when they were at a tender age.

Three of the four can be dealt with summarily. Yes, they were young, in their teens, but they only allege that Moore hugged and kissed them, nothing more. Further, these girls, or some of them, had the consent of their parents to date Moore. These three in no way should even be called “accusers.” They are just telling some innocent reminiscences.

The fourth lady, Leigh Corfman, says that Moore took off some of their clothes, but did not engage in sex. She asked him to take her home, and he did. None of this is a crime, even if it happened. But did it?

According to the records, the accuser has been divorced three times, has declared bankruptcy more than once, and has accused three ministers of sexual abuse.

Now, who are you going to believe? The respected gentleman lawyer in the small town where “everyone knows everyone,” or this lady with this rough biography? This story has not sold well, so Moore’s enemies have doubled down. And in doing so they have shot themselves in the foot. They have produced a story so preposterous that Moore’s supporters should vote them a resolution of thanks. Here is their story:

Gloria Allred, the feminist lawyer who champions transgender females, and who frequently pummels Trump, found, or had sent to her, one 57-year-old lady by name of Beverly Young Nelson. Allred brought her to New York — at what expense and by whom paid unknown — and before a dozen microphones, with Allred beside her with her arm around her, she told a fabulous story about Moore. She says that one night as she left the restaurant where she worked, Moore offered to take her home, and as soon as she got in the car he swung around to the back of the restaurant, stopped, and immediately attacked her by groping and squeezing her neck. He then put her out of the car. Now, let’s just stop right here for a moment.

Is this the way a sane, intelligent man, with no record of violence, nor even any misdemeanor, goes about winning the favor of a girl? And a few questions for Ms. Nelson flood the mind. She alleges that this happened 40 years ago. She says that she’s still traumatized today by the memory of this horrible act. Why would that be? If it did happen as she alleges, it would amount to no more than a man getting fresh with her. She could have screamed if necessary, and probably been heard by some in the restaurant, or she could simply have walked around to the front of the restaurant and gone in. She was not harmed, so why would a stable lady of 57 years be in emotional trauma after so long a time? The YouTube video of this press conference is well worth viewing. Here is the pitiful Ms. Nelson, oh, so much in pain, dabbing the tears in her eyes with a tissue, convincing perhaps to the naïve or unobservant. But where were the tears? Not one was visible. 

On the very face of it we can see that this is a puerile farce. But there is much more. The Still Report has done an excellent job in analyzing this claim. I will just mention one of his seven points, then hand you off to his video for the others.

Allred exhibited an old high-school annual of Ms. Nelson’s, which purports to contain a glowing inscription written by Judge Moore. But the writing was in two different color inks, and was written by two different people. The Still Report is devastating, and you must see the whole thing.   

In sum, by frantically trying to defend their case, the malevolent persons have sailed far out from shore into turbulent water, and are likely to suffer their ruin.

The most disappointing aspect of this case, for me and other conservatives of my kind, is the judgmental behavior of Senator Richard Shelby and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, heretofore admired sons of Alabama. Both have abandoned Moore, our duly nominated Republican candidate for the Senate, and joined forces with the infamous Gloria Allred. I can only hypothesize that, through their years in Washington, they have been captured by the enemy, and now are exhibiting the well-known symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome.

My longtime friend, and the man who is my congressman, Mo Brooks, deserves special accolades. He alone among the Alabama congressional delegation has resisted the blitzkrieg of Democrats and Republicans accepting the accusations of the infamous Gloria Allred, and pronouncing judgement without any considering of the facts. Bless him!

Huntsville, Alabama resident Hugh McInnish is a retired engineer who worked for the Army in the missile business. Send him email.

By way of full disclosure, I will tell you that I support Roy Moore, I have known him a long time, and have contributed to his campaign. I recommended to then-Governor Robert Bentley that he appoint him to fill the unexpired term of Senator Jeff Sessions when the latter was appointed attorney general. I was in the company of Moore within the last week. With all that said, I will proceed to offer you my opinion on the accusations against him presently jamming the American electromagnetic spectrum.

First of all, I think it important to make clear exactly what, true or false, the accusations are. The accusations first came from four middle-age women who claim that Moore dated them when they were at a tender age.

Three of the four can be dealt with summarily. Yes, they were young, in their teens, but they only allege that Moore hugged and kissed them, nothing more. Further, these girls, or some of them, had the consent of their parents to date Moore. These three in no way should even be called “accusers.” They are just telling some innocent reminiscences.

The fourth lady, Leigh Corfman, says that Moore took off some of their clothes, but did not engage in sex. She asked him to take her home, and he did. None of this is a crime, even if it happened. But did it?

According to the records, the accuser has been divorced three times, has declared bankruptcy more than once, and has accused three ministers of sexual abuse.

Now, who are you going to believe? The respected gentleman lawyer in the small town where “everyone knows everyone,” or this lady with this rough biography? This story has not sold well, so Moore’s enemies have doubled down. And in doing so they have shot themselves in the foot. They have produced a story so preposterous that Moore’s supporters should vote them a resolution of thanks. Here is their story:

Gloria Allred, the feminist lawyer who champions transgender females, and who frequently pummels Trump, found, or had sent to her, one 57-year-old lady by name of Beverly Young Nelson. Allred brought her to New York — at what expense and by whom paid unknown — and before a dozen microphones, with Allred beside her with her arm around her, she told a fabulous story about Moore. She says that one night as she left the restaurant where she worked, Moore offered to take her home, and as soon as she got in the car he swung around to the back of the restaurant, stopped, and immediately attacked her by groping and squeezing her neck. He then put her out of the car. Now, let’s just stop right here for a moment.

Is this the way a sane, intelligent man, with no record of violence, nor even any misdemeanor, goes about winning the favor of a girl? And a few questions for Ms. Nelson flood the mind. She alleges that this happened 40 years ago. She says that she’s still traumatized today by the memory of this horrible act. Why would that be? If it did happen as she alleges, it would amount to no more than a man getting fresh with her. She could have screamed if necessary, and probably been heard by some in the restaurant, or she could simply have walked around to the front of the restaurant and gone in. She was not harmed, so why would a stable lady of 57 years be in emotional trauma after so long a time? The YouTube video of this press conference is well worth viewing. Here is the pitiful Ms. Nelson, oh, so much in pain, dabbing the tears in her eyes with a tissue, convincing perhaps to the naïve or unobservant. But where were the tears? Not one was visible. 

On the very face of it we can see that this is a puerile farce. But there is much more. The Still Report has done an excellent job in analyzing this claim. I will just mention one of his seven points, then hand you off to his video for the others.

Allred exhibited an old high-school annual of Ms. Nelson’s, which purports to contain a glowing inscription written by Judge Moore. But the writing was in two different color inks, and was written by two different people. The Still Report is devastating, and you must see the whole thing.   

In sum, by frantically trying to defend their case, the malevolent persons have sailed far out from shore into turbulent water, and are likely to suffer their ruin.

The most disappointing aspect of this case, for me and other conservatives of my kind, is the judgmental behavior of Senator Richard Shelby and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, heretofore admired sons of Alabama. Both have abandoned Moore, our duly nominated Republican candidate for the Senate, and joined forces with the infamous Gloria Allred. I can only hypothesize that, through their years in Washington, they have been captured by the enemy, and now are exhibiting the well-known symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome.

My longtime friend, and the man who is my congressman, Mo Brooks, deserves special accolades. He alone among the Alabama congressional delegation has resisted the blitzkrieg of Democrats and Republicans accepting the accusations of the infamous Gloria Allred, and pronouncing judgement without any considering of the facts. Bless him!

Huntsville, Alabama resident Hugh McInnish is a retired engineer who worked for the Army in the missile business. Send him email.



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After Harvey and Al and Charlie, the Left Still Does Not Get It


There’s a lot of people wagging their fingers just now at the 1990s. If you want to understand the 2010s and HarveyFrankengate, they say, it all started with Bill Clinton’s One Free Grope.

How do we solve the problem? Let’s do an Ike and make the problem bigger, with Hillary Clinton.

I haven’t read Hillary Clinton’s majestic political thriller What Happened, but I understand that page 114 contains the following gem:

This has to be said: sexism and misogyny played a role in the 2016 presidential election. Exhibit A is that the flagrantly sexist candidate won.

How could this be, 50 years after the Civil Rights Acts, in a half century where the only thing that liberals cared about was racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Now we know. It turns out that the supporters of Hillary Clinton, in Hollywood, in Congress, in broadcasting, are the most sexist and misogynistic people on the planet! So that’s what she means by “sexism and misogyny played a role!” Who knew!

Sexism and misogyny are what Harvey Weinstein does. And Al Franken. And Charlie Rose too. Because in my book, sexism is getting a girl into a restaurant for champagne and caviar, hustling her out a side door over to the office, and misogyny is bringing her back “much the worse for wear.” Or thrusting your tongue into her mouth. Or parading around naked. Talk about the power of the patriarchy, feminist approved, because “choice.”

But this is very bad. If the liberal champions of the rights of women are nothing but gap-toothed sexists and misogynists then what hope is there for a world in which women are safe and respected?

It gets worse. If women are being harassed six ways from Sunday in the workplace, maybe that means that women are too fragile and helpless to look after themselves without the protection of fathers and brothers and husbands near at hand, especially considering that the police are too busy killing blacks to lend a hand.

It is clear from the actions of the Harveys and the Als and the Charlies that their thing is power. They like power and they like to use it on women. But if this is a problem with liberal notables, imagine how bad the problem must be for poor Julia, faithfully living her Life of Julia consuming government programs. She’s the kind of girl that works in an administrative bureaucracy like a hospital, or a congressional office, or a corporation, in which workers do the will of the organization supervised by administrative power from above. This means that any woman is at risk from any man supervising her. Because power.

The message from the campus rape crisis and sexual harassment in the workplace is that women expect, nay demand, to be protected. And they get very angry if they are not protected, like this snowflake at The New Republic who says that the snowflakers were right all along: it isn’t safe! Therefore:

Really making our spaces safe will require much more, though. It will require a real redistribution of power throughout the workplace, the campus, the economy, the world. Until then, the blathering class is right on one point: There is no such thing as a safe space.

Notice the passive voice. To Sarah Jaffe, “redistribution of power” is something that just gets done, no doubt by government’s men with guns, properly supervised by diversity and inclusion administrators.

So here we are, with the wages of a century of liberals redistributing power and loot:

  • The sexual revolution has made college women into booty calls.
  • Careers for women has meant subordinating them to the slavering Harveys of the world.
  • Blacks are so pissed off that they believe that the cops are trying to kill them.

And the liberal response is to demand more “redistribution of power.”

You know, if Sarah Jaffe got out more she might discover that there is a whole universe of thinkers out there dedicated to the proposition that the problem is power, and the solution is the separation of powers. To these thinkers, the redistribution of power means nothing, just the replacement of one set of thugs by another. But if you separate power, within government and between government and the private sector and religion, then you can set up the bleachers to watch the powerful duke it out with each other. And while the powerful are doing their power thing with each other the rest of us can create safe spaces where people that are not that interested in power can wive and thrive without kowtowing every morning to the local power yokel.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

There’s a lot of people wagging their fingers just now at the 1990s. If you want to understand the 2010s and HarveyFrankengate, they say, it all started with Bill Clinton’s One Free Grope.

How do we solve the problem? Let’s do an Ike and make the problem bigger, with Hillary Clinton.

I haven’t read Hillary Clinton’s majestic political thriller What Happened, but I understand that page 114 contains the following gem:

This has to be said: sexism and misogyny played a role in the 2016 presidential election. Exhibit A is that the flagrantly sexist candidate won.

How could this be, 50 years after the Civil Rights Acts, in a half century where the only thing that liberals cared about was racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Now we know. It turns out that the supporters of Hillary Clinton, in Hollywood, in Congress, in broadcasting, are the most sexist and misogynistic people on the planet! So that’s what she means by “sexism and misogyny played a role!” Who knew!

Sexism and misogyny are what Harvey Weinstein does. And Al Franken. And Charlie Rose too. Because in my book, sexism is getting a girl into a restaurant for champagne and caviar, hustling her out a side door over to the office, and misogyny is bringing her back “much the worse for wear.” Or thrusting your tongue into her mouth. Or parading around naked. Talk about the power of the patriarchy, feminist approved, because “choice.”

But this is very bad. If the liberal champions of the rights of women are nothing but gap-toothed sexists and misogynists then what hope is there for a world in which women are safe and respected?

It gets worse. If women are being harassed six ways from Sunday in the workplace, maybe that means that women are too fragile and helpless to look after themselves without the protection of fathers and brothers and husbands near at hand, especially considering that the police are too busy killing blacks to lend a hand.

It is clear from the actions of the Harveys and the Als and the Charlies that their thing is power. They like power and they like to use it on women. But if this is a problem with liberal notables, imagine how bad the problem must be for poor Julia, faithfully living her Life of Julia consuming government programs. She’s the kind of girl that works in an administrative bureaucracy like a hospital, or a congressional office, or a corporation, in which workers do the will of the organization supervised by administrative power from above. This means that any woman is at risk from any man supervising her. Because power.

The message from the campus rape crisis and sexual harassment in the workplace is that women expect, nay demand, to be protected. And they get very angry if they are not protected, like this snowflake at The New Republic who says that the snowflakers were right all along: it isn’t safe! Therefore:

Really making our spaces safe will require much more, though. It will require a real redistribution of power throughout the workplace, the campus, the economy, the world. Until then, the blathering class is right on one point: There is no such thing as a safe space.

Notice the passive voice. To Sarah Jaffe, “redistribution of power” is something that just gets done, no doubt by government’s men with guns, properly supervised by diversity and inclusion administrators.

So here we are, with the wages of a century of liberals redistributing power and loot:

  • The sexual revolution has made college women into booty calls.
  • Careers for women has meant subordinating them to the slavering Harveys of the world.
  • Blacks are so pissed off that they believe that the cops are trying to kill them.

And the liberal response is to demand more “redistribution of power.”

You know, if Sarah Jaffe got out more she might discover that there is a whole universe of thinkers out there dedicated to the proposition that the problem is power, and the solution is the separation of powers. To these thinkers, the redistribution of power means nothing, just the replacement of one set of thugs by another. But if you separate power, within government and between government and the private sector and religion, then you can set up the bleachers to watch the powerful duke it out with each other. And while the powerful are doing their power thing with each other the rest of us can create safe spaces where people that are not that interested in power can wive and thrive without kowtowing every morning to the local power yokel.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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