Trump Flip Flops … Or Does He?

The Weekly Standard shouts You Won’t Believe What Donald Trump Thinks The Federal Government’s Top 3 Roles Are.

Indeed, in one breath, Trump says education is one of the top 3 functions of the federal government, in the next he agrees that yes, he wants to push education down to the states. It’s as if he doesn’t see the conflict.

I can come up with 3 possible explanations:
  1. This is one of the many things he is lying about to get elected and momentarily lost where he is in the campaign. Perhaps he wasn’t planning on backtracking on this issue until the nomination was in the bag at which time he will be pursuing Dem voters.
  2. He believes in pushing the responsibility down to the states but keeping oversight at the federal level (which will be the same as it is now, just different verbiage shrouding the truth).
  3. He a pathological liar and the only reason to vote for him is to destroy the GOP that has betrayed us.
I’m good with number 3 because that’s my primary motivation for supporting him anyway. I hope that he will change things but after Obama, I’m quite cynical on that front.
Watch and judge for yourself:
Posted March 30th, 2016 Filed in Education, Trump, Donald

Why So Many Millennials Are Socialists

Fascinating analysis from The Federalist into why so many are “feeling the Bern” these days. It’s because these voters are just plain ignorant:

First, millennials don’t seem to know what socialism is, and how it’s different from other styles of government. The definition of socialism is government ownership of the means of production—in other words, true socialism requires that government run the businesses. However, a CBS/New York Times survey found that only 16 percent of millennials could accurately define socialism, while 30 percent of Americans over 30 could. (Incidentally, 56 percent of Tea Partiers accurately defined it. In fact, those most concerned about socialism are those best able to explain it.)

With so few able to define socialism, perhaps less surprisingly a Reason-Rupe national survey found college-aged millennials were about as likely to have a favorable view of socialism (58 percent) as they were about capitalism (56 percent). While attitudes toward capitalism remain fairly constant across age groups, support for socialism drops off significantly when moving to older age cohorts. Only about a quarter of Americans older than 55 have a favorable view of socialism.


Conservatives often use the word “socialist” like an epithet, but they don’t realize that neither their audience nor even their political opponents really know what the word even means. This may help explain the inability of free-market advocates to communicate with them using phrases like “big government,” “socialism,” and “collectivism.”

So what do millennials think socialism is? A 2014 Reason-Rupe survey asked respondents to use their own words to describe socialism and found millennials who viewed it favorably were more likely to think of it as just people being kind or “being together,” as one millennial put it. Others thought of socialism as just a more generous social safety net where “the government pays for our own needs,” as another explained it.

So once again, we fall victim to the failure of the American education system. Socialism is a kinder gentler society, nothing to do with the failed states of every socialist government over past 94 years.

I wonder which of these 35 countries the students would like for us to emulate (via Wikipedia’s List of Socialist States):

Country From Until
Soviet Union 30-Dec-22 26-Dec-91
Mongolia 24-Nov-24 12-Feb-92
Yugoslavia 29-Nov-43 29-Nov-45
Albania 29-Nov-44 11-Jan-46
Poland 28-Jun-45 30-Dec-89
North Vietnam 2-Sep-45 30-Apr-75
Yugoslavia 29-Nov-45 7-Apr-63
Albania 11-Jan-46 28-Dec-76
Bulgaria 15-Sep-46 7-Dec-90
Romania 30-Dec-47 21-Aug-65
Czechoslovakia 9-Jun-48 11-Jul-60
North Korea 9-Sep-48 19-Feb-92
Hungary 20-Aug-49 23-Oct-89
People’s Republic of China 1-Oct-49 Present
East Germany 7-Oct-49 3-Oct-90
Czechoslovakia 11-Jul-60 29-Mar-90
Yugoslavia 7-Apr-63 27-Apr-92
Romania 21-Aug-65 30-Dec-89
Republic of Cuba 1-Jul-66 Present
South Yemen 30-Nov-67 1-Dec-70
Somalia 21-Oct-69 26-Jan-91
Congo-Brazzaville 3-Jan-70 15-Mar-92
South Yemen 1-Dec-70 22-May-90
Ethiopia 28-Jun-74 22-Feb-87
Cambodia 17-Apr-75 10-Jan-79
Mozambique 25-Jun-75 1-Dec-90
Angola 11-Nov-75 27-Aug-92
Benin 30-Nov-75 1-Mar-90
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2-Dec-75 Present
Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2-Jul-76 Present
Albania 28-Dec-76 22-Mar-92
Afghanistan 27-Apr-78 30-Nov-87
Cambodia 10-Jan-79 1-May-89
Ethiopia 22-Feb-87 27-May-91
Afghanistan 30-Nov-87 28-Apr-92


Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Thirty-five tries. Of those, 31 have already been resigned to history’s dustbin, 3 of the 4 current socialist states are clearly outright failures (Cuba, Laos, N. Vietnam) and China (not exactly socialist given the number of very, very rich party members and more than 82 million people living below the poverty line on just $1/day) is circling the drain while we hope that we don’t go down with it.

Education fail.

Posted February 23rd, 2016 Filed in Education, Government

Dept. of Education Buying . . . 27 Shotguns?

Say Uncle reports: US Department of Education Needs 27 Short-Barreled Shotguns.

Now that is one tough school.

Speaking of tough schools, Memphis City Schools wants its own police force:

Memphis City Schools already spends $10 million dollars a year on school security. And now, a resolution is on the table to expand that.

“Further expand Memphis City Schools security force and eliminate Memphis Police from all campuses,” says Kenneth Whalum, a MCS Board Commissioner.

The elimination of MPD officers from campuses is a controversial idea. Dr. Cash has been pushing to change state law in order to have his own “peace keeping force” since he took over as head of schools.

What is happening to our country?

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Posted March 10th, 2010 Filed in Education, Memphis

Federal Education: a Stunning Failure Charted

Ever since the epic failure Missouri v. Jenkins (in which the federal courts ordered St. Louis taxpayers to throw billions of dollars at their defective school system), it has become clear that money is not the answer to fixing our broken educational system.

Now CATO points out that decades of throwing money at education at the national level has done nothing except provide jobs for educators:

Throwing almost $100 billion at education sure as heck ought to have kept teachers in their jobs, and the unemployment numbers suggest teachers have had a pretty good deal relative to the folks paying their salaries. While unemployment in “educational services” – which consists predominantly of teachers, but also includes other education-related occupations – hasn’t returned to its recent, April 2008 low of 2.2 percent, in January 2010 it was well below the national 9.7 percent rate, sitting at 5.9 percent. . . .

As the following chart makes clear, we have added teachers in droves for decades without improving ultimate achievement at all:

At what point will our politicians admit their failures and return control of education back to the states? Probably never, given the seemingly endless supply of tax dollars. Or perhaps until the taxpayers, and parents, demand it.

Note: For more on Missouri v. Jenkins, read CATO’s analysis Money And School Performance: Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment.

Posted February 18th, 2010 Filed in Education

Utah: Eliminate 12th Grade

Utah Sen. Chris Buttars is proposing incentives for high school students in his state to encourage them to graduate early. While 12th grade is already optional for those students who have completed all required classes, Buttars’ wants more encouragement for them to do so:

. . . Buttars is proposing that students who graduate from high school early be allowed to pay the same amount of money to take college classes during their first year of college as they would have paid to take concurrent enrollment, Advanced Placement and distance learning classes in high school.

Buttars says his idea will save the state $60 million per year. I say it’s a good thing to get these kids off the public radar as soon as possible and get them into the work force early. More workers, more tax payers. Now if we could only lower taxes and encourage businesses to actually offer jobs . . .

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Posted February 18th, 2010 Filed in Education

Obama Goes After Chump Change

B. Hussein Obama, not happy with spending in the trillion dollar range, wants another $12 billion to give to 2-year colleges.

But don’t worry, he hasn’t said where the money is coming from so he must be planning on just taxing the rich.

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Posted July 28th, 2009 Filed in Education

Apply ObamaCare Spending to Education

Economist Martin Feldstein writes:

A recent report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers claims that the government can cut the projected level of health spending by 15 percent over the next decade and by 30 percent over the next 20 years. Although the reduced spending would result from fewer services rather than lower payments to providers, we are told that this can be done without lowering the quality of care or diminishing our health. I don’t believe it.

I don’t believe it either, Marty.

But this raises an interesting question. If Democrats believe that we can reduce spending for health care without lowering the quality, why has no one thought to apply the same thinking to another Big Government failure: education?

Numerous studies clearly demonstrate that increased spending has not improved student performance. Isn’t it time to try and save some money where we’ve already wasted it, rather than believing Big Government bureaucrats when they say they will save money on a program that isn’t even in place yet? Stop spending $10K per student, or even $5K, and improve education by doing what makes sense: give it back to the local governments and the parents.

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Posted July 28th, 2009 Filed in Education

Nashville Considers English Only

Early voting has begun in Nashville on a proposed amendment to the city charter that would prevent the city from “translating written materials into other languages or using interpreters for people who don’t speak English well.”

This would, of course, save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars every year. But, as always, there are those who would waste taxpayer money on babying immigrants (illegal or otherwise):

Last week, presidents of 8 Nashville universities wrote a letter to The Tennessean newspaper opposing the amendment, saying its passage would have a literal and symbolic affect on the schools’ mission of teaching and learning.

Hey, here’s a thought. How about supporting the school’s mission by actually teaching them English! Ever think of that?

Besides that, it’s “effect”, not “affect”. So much for education in this country.

Posted January 3rd, 2009 Filed in Education

British Educational Failure

A survey of 3,000 under-twenties Britians found that:

  • 20 percent thought Sir Winston Churchill is a fictional character
  • 47 percent believe that the 12th-century crusading English king Richard the Lionheart is fictional
  • 27 percent thought Florence Nightingale, the pioneering nurse who coaxed injured soldiers back to health in the Crimean War, was a mythical figure
  • 65 percent) believe that King Arthur existed and led a round table of knights at Camelot
  • 58 percent believe that Sherlock Holmes was real, and actually lived at 221B Baker Street
  • 51 percent believe that Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest, robbing the rich to give to the poor
  • 47 percent believed Eleanor Rigby was a real person rather than a creation of The Beatles

When you get all your information from television, movies and video games, there’s no telling what you’ll end up believing.

Posted February 5th, 2008 Filed in Britain and the UK, Education

Letter to Dr. Daniel Robinson, Oxford University

Dear Dr. Robinson,

I am writing to you to convey my profound thanks to you for having entered into an agreement with The Teaching Company. I have just finished your 60-lecture series, The Great Ideas of Philosophy.

I must admit that I purchased these lectures with more than a little trepidation, as I am a middle-aged American conservative with some distrust of the academic world. But the lure of the subject was too much for me to resist and so I purchased your course.

My fears were groundless as I found you to be thoughtful, thorough and balanced. While your knowledge of philosophy is remarkable, I was more impressed by your perception. My favorite lectures were Justice and Just Wars (I listened to the whole thing twice) and your thoughts in God – Really? (I listened to the final two chapters three times).

I also enjoyed the smattering of dry humor that all too occasionally made their way into your teachings (my favorite, “God could have limited the creation to angels – or beagles, comparably delightful.”)

So thoroughly pleasant was the experience that I look forward with great anticipation to listening to your series, American Ideals: Founding a “Republic of Virtue”. Your students are luckier than they can imagine. If this were a just world then you would be more famous than a rock star. You are certainly far more interesting.

With Gratitude and Deep Respect

I urge everyone who commutes, spends a half-hour on the treadmill, or otherwise has a few minutes a day to immediately click over to The Teaching Company. A half-hour lecture is a rewarding way to spend otherwise wasted minutes of the day. The Teaching Company finds the most gifted educators and offers courses on everything from ancient history to particle physics for non-physicists. They even offer courses on fuzzy subjects like art and music.

Go now, there’s a bundle of courses currently on sale.

Now you will have to excuse me. On the theory that you cannot understand that which comes later without understanding the origin, I am about to start Introduction to Judaism. See ya.

Posted July 2nd, 2007 Filed in AlphaPatriot, Education