Ethics Quote Of The Week: John Hinderaker

“It is almost unbelievable how ignorant and ill-educated America’s college students are. They are well below average in every material way. For all my life I have been an advocate for higher education, but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that college is generally a mistake, as young people are mostly misinformed there, rather than educated. There are a few technical fields–medicine, engineering, possibly law–where such education is actually useful. Otherwise, we and our young people would be better off if they eschewed institutions like Colgate in favor of trade and technical schools, or immediate entry into the labor market. They couldn’t possibly do worse than to pursue the typical four-year liberal arts degree.”

—-Attorney-blogger John Hinderaker, in a Powerline post about the  hostile treatment conservative  author Heather McDonald received from Colgate students when she was invited to speak there.

The reason this seems almost unbelievable to Hinderaker, and the reason I chose this as an ethics quote, is that his painful conclusion that nobody wants to admit is true. I don’t want to admit it, and I was becoming convinced of this decades ago, when I  was part of the administration of Georgetown Law Center and discovered that we had Yale graduates who couldn’t write a coherent sentence, and later, when I had Stanford interns who thought Jane Fonda was an aerobics instructor and who looked at me blankly when I mentioned the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and still later, when a smart young woman who had graduated from Hofsta didn’t know who Jackie Robinson was, and when a Skadden Arps attorney with a Cornell degree guessed that the Civil War was fought sometime in the 1930s.

This is why I was not disappointed when my son, scion of a family with three Harvard graduates and a career Harvard employee, announced that he saw no point in going to college.

Yet still I had a hard time accepting that it was as bad as, deep down, I knew it was. One more factor that convinced me was the dynamics of social media. I have watched as people who were once capable of independent thought and intelligent analysis have been cowed, and bullied and brainwashed into mouthing, and perhaps even believing, the Facebook Borg’s official cant regarding the President of the United States, which requires absorption at the cellular level of the tenets of “the resistance” cult, fertilized, as they must be, by the eight Big Lies that have been the mission of the mainstream media to indoctrinate the duller members of the public into accepting.

I imagine, indeed I am certain, that this is what college is like for most 18-year-olds. They are quickly made aware of the official political viewpoints that will get them friends, dates, sex and A’s, and the subversive, meaning non-conforming, opinions that will make them lonely pariahs. So they adapt, most of them. They don’t have principles; most can’t define “integrity.”  They have no role models who embody ethical values; they aren’t proud of their country, and they don’t know its history. So they capitulate, and like our corporations and school administrators, they take the path of least resistance. Maybe this is why the Left is so hot to make it cheap and easy to get into college: the next generation will get its brains washed there. Obviously, a lot of washing has been going on.

Not education, however. When I challenge a member of the Facebook Borg to back up theur reflex ant-Trump slogans with facts, they whiff, badly. They can’t explain why Trump should be impeached, they just know he should be. They repeat buzz words: he was looking for “dirt” on Joe Biden. If you ask how they know he’s a white supremacist, they say that he described Nazis as “good people.” (He didn’t, but that’s what they have been told.) If you ask why they are so sure Trump colluded with Russia, all they can say is that he’s horrible, and that means that he must of done horrible things. Then they’ll say that the Times and the Post has documented 15,000 lies. It’s sad and embarrassing: this level of advocacy and analysis would have failed in my sixth grade AP class, though to be fair, Mrs. Penwarden was demanding. But you see, the victims of social media  couldn’t stand being ganged up on, and berated, and left out of the mean girls clique. It is so much easier to be part of the club than to fight with the club: you don’t really have to understand much, all you have to do is nod and click on “like.”

Fortunately, I was raised by a father who was a lifetime iconoclast  who didn’t care who was annoyed by his non-conforming opinions and a mother who instinctively refused to knuckle under to anyone, like her mother. My reaction to any  mob, cult or movement has always been to move in the opposite direction. I went through the Sixties never touching pot,  seldom taking a drink and crossing protest lines. When I was told by my law school professors that not making a law journal would doom me to poverty and shame, I started  a theater company. Like Dad, when my bosses wanted me to violate my principles, I quit, or got fired. College indoctrination wouldn’t work on me.

But, as my friends and family members constantly remind me, most people aren’t like me, and a good thing that is. Nevertheless,  it means that college, which was once supposed to teach our young to learn to think for themselves, now does the opposite, and intentionally too. This reality, which shatters an ideal that we all so want to believe, that college makes successful human beings, more productive citizens and better Americans, has to be faced and dealt with.  College is making our young and our country worse.

Now what?

50 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: John Hinderaker

  1. If Bernie wins and implements his “free” per-K program, the indoctrination of youth will begin at the cradle. But, then, isn’t that what the Democrats want? Brother Dave Garner ( a Southern comedian in the 50’s and 60’s) said it best. “You’re from the South; you must be a Democrat.” “Nah, I learned to read.”

  2. The irony of all of this is that an education is more widly available (and at a lower cost) than ever. I recently discovered that as a Maryland resident I could get a library card from the Enoch Pratt library, online, for free, and through that get access to the streaming service Kanopy that has a selection of the Great Courses (video lectures by college professors on a variety of subjects,) free of charge. There are also some great ebook borrowing services through my local library — don’t even have to remember to return them! Not to mention free public domain books from Project Gutenburg, free streams of courses from MIT and other top tier schools, and of course the internet is full of people who’d love to teach you anything you wanted to know about computers.

    There are a million ways to learn, check sources, and engage in discussion online if you want an education.

    (Spoilers: very few people actually want a education, even if you offer it delivered to their house for free.)

  3. And to expand a bit on Emily, the internet has instruction on all kinds of stuff. I may be off-base here but I bet she hasn’t spent much time learning how to rebuild the motors on her chain saws or wee-eaters, or put new brake pads on her car. But it is all there. Also carpentry, plumbing, landscaping, not to mention math and science. There are people on there who explain calculus and physics better than most I had to deal with nearly 60 years ago…And all free.

    • True. I did all the electrical for my new house with some basic knowledge I got from my dad and lots of videos, blog posts and online fora. Heck, I probably know more about residential electrical codes than some journeymen electricians (not bragging, just noting it). And, as mentioned by both previous comments, all for free.

  4. Much has been said about local community colleges being a great option but I can attest that they only differ from the Ivy league schools described here is the cost and the fact they don’t cap the number of brainwashing victims each semester.

    In many ways the inmates are running the asylum. The ratio of full time to part time faculty grows each year and the best adjuncts learn if they want to be called back to teach again they must get great evaluations from students. This means they must prep students to take “what’s on the test” instead of being able to evaluate a set of circumstances and postulate a reasoned response. Failure to make students happy by creating tests that result in most getting A’s and B’s will make that faculty member persona non grata with deans of instruction and department chairs.

    Tenured faculty tend to focus on petty grievances about money and workload. Professional development rarely is given for subject matter or teaching development but instead for various “institutional learning opportunities” (read inclusion, diversity, sensitivity training). The growth in personnel costs results from more non-teaching staff being supported by a smaller ratio of academic personnel to line and staff functions. Employees routinely recieved 3 to 4 percent annual increases with no corresponding production increases.

    I must give credit to the the technical faculty whose students must pass licensure boards – Nursing and allied health fields. In those programs academic rigor takes second place to anything.

    The growth in community college enrollments is not creating a more educated populace just a lot more students learning progressive ideology.

    To get back to really educating students any student loan should be a full recourse loan. That means if the student defaults the schools must pay back the funds recieved.

    • Technical schools and community colleges are not bad. We need more tradesman in the world (try to get a plumber in any urban area on short notice). However, we do really need people with a deeper understanding of how everything works. How complicated is the entire production chain from hydraulic fracturing to oil refinery to secondary refinery to chemical modification to purification to FD&C standards to bulk packaging to shipping (at all stages) to production of a drug to packaging the drug with the proper dose to the pharmacy to prescribing it to the pharmacy to repackaging for use? Each step involves how much machinery, maintenance, consumables (that are manufactured by other complicated processes), and shipping that all must meet acceptable standards? If you wanted to manufacture a drug from scratch with no built-in infrastructure, how much would it cost to make it all? How many people and how much time would it take? If one step breaks down, it all stops. If one step no longer has people who know how to do it safely to the proper standards, it all breaks down. Our society depends on a lot of highly educated people in a lot of specialties to make even simple things happen. Playing politics with education (which is what the left has done) puts all that at risk. I still haven’t decided if it is because none of them actually do anything and don’t understand this or because they do understand this and destroying a society that makes people individually free and powerful (and thus difficult to control) is their goal.

  5. Whew. Watched the video of Heather McDonald at Colgate. Depressing. I wonder if all the Whoo-whooing in the audience and all the inanity at colleges is the preponderance of women undergrads? Girl power seems a little over the top.

  6. Higher education was lost part of the way when they didn’t clamp down HARD on the constant protests of the 1960s, and the rest of the way when it went totally co-ed (except a few places that were allowed to remain all female) in the 1970s. Now it’s just about getting drunk, getting high, and getting into co-eds’ panties, and learning is far back on the list.

    P.S. Bernie Sanders, University of Chicago ’64, was a CHARTER member of all of this. He self-describes as a “mediocre” college student because the classroom stuff was “boring and irrelevant” while non-stop activism, sit-ins, and so forth, were waaaaay more important. He also applied to be a “conscientious objector” during Vietnam. His application was eventually turned down, but by then he was too old to be drafted. This man is EVERYTHING that this country is supposed to have moved past and that the Democratic Party is supposed to have moved past with Obama, the young, hip, cool guy who DIDN’T come to be in the civil rights/Vietnam era (he was 3 when the Civil Rights Act was passed, and graduated college in 1983, when Reagan was president).

    Did we deal with that era, defeat Communism, and fight the war on terror just to invite all of the worst parts of all those times to come through the front door and take over? The vast majority on the left (and anyone in his right mind on the right) would be justifiably horrified at the idea of someone who sympathized with the Nazis being elected president. Yet they’re just fine with someone who sympathized the next worst regime in this world being elected. If that’s not messed up, I don’t know what is.

  7. “It is almost unbelievable how ignorant and ill-educated America’s college students are. They are well below average in every material way. For all my life I have been an advocate for higher education, but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that college is generally a mistake, as young people are mostly misinformed there, rather than educated. There are a few technical fields–medicine, engineering, possibly law–where such education is actually useful. Otherwise, we and our young people would be better off if they eschewed institutions like Colgate in favor of trade and technical schools, or immediate entry into the labor market. They couldn’t possibly do worse than to pursue the typical four-year liberal arts degree.”

    Obviously, the country is facing a crisis. The more one studies it, the larger and more difficult it seems. Strangely, either no one really knows and can say what is going on and why, or they seem to take what might be called interpretive guesses. When they merely *guess*, the opinion or assessment they offer always seems to reflect their own preferred and pet view of reality. I notice this often on this blog among the quasi-Republicans or post-Republicans: those living in a kind of fading nostalgia for an *America* that in truth no longer exists. An *America* that in truth no longer exists. It is depressing to observe people cling to their dreams and hopes and illusions however. But, life is cruel in this way.

    It is true though that *out there* on the intellectual landscape there is a rolling debate as the NYTs put it as theorists and idea-handlers — some radical and unwelcome — forge a forum to communicate and spread their views and ideas. I’m thinking of the Weinstein brothers (Eric and Bret) and certainly Jordan Peterson. But the fact is there is a roiling & boiling conversation going on about *what is going on and why* that never, ever, seems to arrive in the comments on this blog.

    The question is: What happened? And one must prepare oneself somewhat brutally to get an answer, receive the truth, and then to begin to develop some sort of strategy to deal with the harsh realizations that are inevitable. If the questions is narrowed to *What happened to education?* and if one comments that *people have been reduced, speaking generally, to idiocy*, you have to be willing to abandon bias and steel your self to face the facts.

    I think that the answer to the question is: the origin of this cultural problem is a creation of and a direct outcome of an entire system that was constructed in America in the Postwar, and which veered away from genuine Republican values into a perverse ‘consumer culture’ and an Americanopolis (the *America* that is exported to the detriment of all who are cursed to receive it). Who did this? The directors and the managers of the culture. Those who had responsibility. It really was a ‘sell-out’. It really was (and is) a classically decadent phase in a weakening Republic.

    But the sell-out has other dimensions that are extraordinarily difficult to face. I’ve referred to The Dispossessed Majority numerous times. With that you have the sell-out of the country through a demographic-importation and *replacement* process. The thesis of the book — highly lucid — is simply inconsiderable and non-conversable among quasi-Republicans and post-Conservatives. There is no platform anywhere, in any media, where a realistic conversation can take place. Because this seems to be so one has to state, honestly, that ‘free speech’ is not only impossible, but that many make a decision to accept its parameters without argument (or thought).

    They prefer their tired, fading dreams to ‘truth’ of any sort and at any level. They prefer their tired, fading dreams to ‘truth’. What a horrifying thought! Reminds me of someone who stays home and drinks . . . The bottle is an easier solution than to face reality and truth.

    Right. So there is where the problem is. In order to have this New America, and this Americanopolis, one has to — one must! — agree to accept a whole range is mis-truths, of lies, of distortions, and to achieve that one has to effectively shut down free thinking. To accept *America* today is to agree to shut down thinking processes that just 50-60 years back were normal. The more complicity in this Clown World one chooses to become, the more compromised on is.

    I watched the *debates* last night and what I think I heard, basically, was an entire group of politicians pandering to a ‘black & brown’ demographic in the most extraordinary and sickening way. What does that say? And if there is something to be said about it who will say it? And if they did speak what would they say?

    So it seems tome — as it often seems to me — that one cannot only focus on the smallish issue and problem (college kids that are not properly trained to think and who receive strange training in civics and history) but that the Entire System, as it functions, demands a sort of narcotization of the intellectual self. It is not unlike those citizens of China that we see and say are living under a ‘regime’ that controls their thought. In all likelihood, now at least, in Russia there is likely a wider circulation of meaningful ideas within the general media system than is allowed in America in the ‘standard channels’. But in those standard channels, in the MSM, opinion & idea are extremely tightly controlled.

    In this sense America seems held together not by a strong set of ideas, but rather by a fragile system of lies. But I am not referring to the genuine Republicanism of former times but to the perverse Neo-America that had been created as a result of perversion of principles.

    • All I can do is try to hold the line as best I can. All I can do is train people to understand science, to write clearly, and who are able to reason. If I can teach a few dozen people a year to be competent in their field, I have done as much as I can. The whole educational establishment is against me. How can I convince a large number of students to do four times the work other students do just to get lower grades and the same degree? If I and my colleagues can convince a few dozen students each year, we are doing the best we can to keep back the barbarians at the gates. Remember, we need people with knowledge and understanding of how this whole technological society works. We have built an incredibly complex society dependent upon dozens of technologies that are all interwoven. When the ‘old timers’ retire and there is no one left who knows how the machines work, what do we do then?

  8. Steve writes: P.S. Bernie Sanders, University of Chicago ’64, was a CHARTER member of all of this. He self-describes as a “mediocre” college student because the classroom stuff was “boring and irrelevant” while non-stop activism, sit-ins, and so forth, were waaaaay more important. He also applied to be a “conscientious objector” during Vietnam. His application was eventually turned down, but by then he was too old to be drafted. This man is EVERYTHING that this country is supposed to have moved past and that the Democratic Party is supposed to have moved past with Obama, the young, hip, cool guy who DIDN’T come to be in the civil rights/Vietnam era (he was 3 when the Civil Rights Act was passed, and graduated college in 1983, when Reagan was president).

    I see this as *complaint*. It’s just a complaint though. It is merely someone saying “I am so angry that things turned out this way!*

    The fact of the matter is that those students, and those intellectuals, who protested against Vietnam did the right thing. The position of a thinking, moral person — the sort of citizen that our liberalism fought to create — could not merely have agreed to the premise of that war. The problem, therefore, is that US policy turned to enterprises and in directions that went 100% against its *declared Republican values*.

    The horror of those bad choices became obvious to anyone with two eyes in their head at that time. The conflict between forms of avarice and mechanical world-management decisions, and the social and also religious values of a people who had been raised to think in genuine Republican terms and who received all the bounty of Western humanism, ripped into the open. It ripped into the social fabric. And through that war, and then successive wars, a wound has opened that will not close.

    In that context then one must stop lying! What you present is a binary choice and it is an unrealistic binary: you either get back in the bus of Conventional Quasi-Republicanism, or you become some sort of Extreme Chomskite Sandersite and go A las Barricadas in a fight to tear down the system. Your analysis does not leave any other option. But I suggest that this is what patriotic Americanism does: it closes down the options because it cannot allow dissent. But dissent is required in order to recover and reclaim Republicanism in a more genuine sense.

    The other aspect here which you clear see but cannot offer any sort of commentary about is simply that in the 1960s and 1970s there was set in motion a demographic war against the ‘original population’. Sanders serves *that America* absolutely. And to bring that *America* forward, to empower it and to strengthen it, involves a sort of low-level civil war. And all of this *you-plural* agreed to. And you agree to it now. You have no alternative. Just complaint.

    • The U.S. was morally wrong to try to help the South Vietnamese fend off Ho Chi Minh, but the Soviets and the Chinese were morally correct to back him in taking over the south? You’re cocksure about that? Have you ever spoken to any Vietnamese refugees or their children?

      • Adj. 1. cocksure — marked by excessive confidence; “an arrogant and cocksure materialist”; “so overconfident and impudent as to speak to the queen”; “the less he knows the more positive he gets”.

        overconfident, positive

        confident — having or marked by confidence or assurance; “a confident speaker”; “a confident reply”; “his manner is more confident these days”; “confident of fulfillment”.

        I’d heard that word but was afraid to find out what it meant!

        I explained to you why a ‘concerned citizen’ would oppose that war. There are all sorts of reasons for their arguments. I have read many of them. They have a very strong case. Is there any possible caveat to their case? Yes, of course, there always is. Nevertheless: that war tore the fabric of the civil society of the United States. The *ripping* still reverberates.

        I also suggested why that particular war-enterprise (adventure it is commonly known as) was undertaken by extremely cynical and avaricious elements within government with its ‘swampy’ connections to the war-materiel manufacture industries. This has also been written extensively about: the development of the Pentagon System and the so-called Military-Industrial Complex.

        These issues point to solid reasons for ‘moral opposition’.

        Now, you-plural who function within absolutely polarized binaries cannot approach these questions except through an either/or. Either you support 100% the war and make that your *patriotic position* . . . or you go completely to the other camp.

        I argue that real conservatism must reclaim all of that ground between those two tendentious poles.

        Whether you-plural see it or not is not my concern: if you wish to stay home with a nostalgic bottle of old liquor you will do that despite anything I say. But I suggest paying attention to a larger, developing narrative that allows a critical posture. For the sake of *real Republican values* and for the sake of the Republic, whatever happens to it in the coming years.

        • You’re kind of schizophrenic, Alizia. One moment you’re convinced the Jews control the world, the next moment you’re Noam Chomsky, a Jew intent on controlling the world.

          You don’t think the Soviets were involved in enthusiastically funding and propping up the U.S. anti-war movement? A war was wrong because some members of the society opposed it? That’s preposterous.

          • Do you know that I get pretty tired of *your-plural* insults? I mean, I put up with it of course. You insult me by implying schizophrenia and then you outrageously misstate me with a wild paraphrase.

            I never once said that *Jews control the world*. But I did say that Chomsky’s analysis of power is more-or-less a Machiavellian analysis. And I relate that to a Platonic argument about power. I clearly stated that Chomsky is a communist (anarcho-syndicalist is a camouflage-term) and that I do not support communism at all.

            Is it possible that you simply cannot read well? And if so, Why is this?!?

            It is quite possible that Soviets did work to support radical activists in the US. But the opening to radicalism came because of breaches opened within the US system by our own irresponsibilities.

            That Soviets interfered does not change the moral equation.

            You-plural have all these devious tricks to avoid critical analysis. And this is your undoing.

            • Alizia, don’t you think it’s possible to get lost in the weeds when “researching?” You’re in search of the truth by looking for experts who will provide you the answer, the truth. You’re looking for definitive authority and think the only thing that’s kept you from finding it is you haven’t looked long enough and hard enough and in all the right places. It ain’t out there. You’ll find facts and other people’s takes on those facts. None of them are authoritative. You need to come to your own conclusions. You’re confusing the thrill of the hunt with actually getting anywhere. There will always be another book to read, another expert to consult. You’re on a treadmill. Take a breather. Ever read “Don Quixote?” Try more Panza, less Quixote.

              • Bill, you are imaginatively inventing a paraphrase of what you think I am doing.

                Are you saying that ‘research’ is unnecessary? Are you saying that we should not rely on authorities? Are you saying that arriving at truthful perspectives is not possible? Do you accept any authority? And if so, why? If not, why?

                You are making a whole series of epistemological assertions!

                You’re on a treadmill. Take a breather.

                Are you suggesting Transcendental Mediation®? 🙂

                • Having just looked up “epistemological,” why yes, I believe I am! (Kind of like Tartuffe realizing he’s been speaking prose all his life!”) I think it’s a peculiarly American trait to believe one can make one’s own observations and come to one’s own conclusions. In case you have not yet noticed, there’s a deep and wide vein of anti-intellectualism in your adopted country.

                  TM isn’t my thing but it works for some. A college classmate is a meditation trainer.

                  The smartest guy in my college class, two years younger than the rest of us, once said to me in passing, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” A Yiddish expression, I think.

                  • I think it’s a peculiarly American trait to believe one can make one’s own observations and come to one’s own conclusions. In case you have not yet noticed, there’s a deep and wide vein of anti-intellectualism in your adopted country.

                    Here is what I have to say about this: it has not worked and it is not working now. Whatever peculiarity of American anti-intellectualism has operated for so long, and is even something many seem to have pride in, now needs to be challenged and overturned: thinking is now demanded!

                    And that is why when I first appeared here, like a black dove descending from a grey-black cloud to spend time among ye, I kept mentioning the European Dissident Right. There has to be a mental and intellectual framework to approach the issues of the day. One has to turn to theory to one degree or another. Not merely some limited, parochial, old-time non-reasoning based on a situation that no longer exists.

                    It is true that many Americans do not take the time to read & study. I admit this. This is known the world over. Yet they want to speak and they also want to *pronounce* (say grandly impressive, encompassing things that explain what is happening, even though they don’t have enough information to make such statements) (Steve Witherspoon is a chemically pure example of this, bless his Tennessee heart now relocated in Madison).

                    This no longer is sufficient. Many people who write on this blog also are not reading and studying enough, in my often humble (for 20-30 minutes each morning and evening) opinion. 🙂

                    • A very lucid and concise statement of your position. Clearly, you fart in our general direction from the heights. That’s okay.

                      By the way, I don’t give a rat’s ass about a single thing Noam Chomsky has to say. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool America hater. An avowed enemy of everything the country stands for. Bites the hand that feeds him every single day of his life. An awful human being. Bernie Sanders is cut from the same cloth.

  9. And by the way, “cocksure” is a very useful word. It describes the attitude of the left on almost every issue. Being cocksure is something we should all avoid. Good word to know.

    • Because I am a researcher, and research and examination must always go one, and one must be ready to challenge one’s own positions and certainties, a ‘cocksure’ attitude certainty cannot help.

      I wish to suggest, with as much humility as I can scrape up from off the floor or from the walls & ceiling, that perhaps *you* could do well to examine cocksurity.

      What I notice is a battle (if you will) to redefine the Political Center. The structures of established politics seem to be teetering. And I can suggest the most visible face of this (that I am aware of): Both Rubin and Carlson. I am curious if you are aware of a right-leaning somewhat-republican critical argument of ‘the establishment’? Are you aware how some of my arguments mirror some of what they are dealing with and discussing?

      • Allow me to humbly interject that one good thing coming out of this bareknuckle brawl is finding that cocksurEty is an actual word.

        I can’t begin to describe the great personal benefit I expect to accrue, and how I eagerly await slack-awed gasps and flustered scurrying for the dictionary, brazenly smug cocksurety both intact and on full display, from the scrabble board….

          • Usual kid gloves…HAH!

            Word to the wise, OB, while that Gotchberg feller may have a small and deeply disturbed following, he’s not held in high regard in the career Lefty circles that darken the 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality; far from it I’m loathe to report…

    • I am also curious if you are aware, or even if you care to be aware, that there is now developing a sort of rational and reasonable critique of some aspects of things that some notable Jews are involved in? I know about such things because I have very good reasons to research in these areas. For example, I have wide reading experience in the study of anti-semitism, long before I came to right-leaning and traditional right politics. More than anyone on this blog. And I am also very aware of a developing critical posture that does what *you* (as Gentiles) are 100% prohibited to do: question at any level general Jewish machinations (machinations being a word I borrow from Heidegger). You are not allowed to *think* in this area.

      Do you realize that?

      This is an example of Tucker Carlson speaking about a peculiar issue:

  10. I got a lot of education from my participation in Usenet discussion groups starting in college. By participating in debates, I honed my reasoning skills.

    One man, Christopher Charles Morton, who was a United States Army veteran, greatly influenced my own political views.

  11. Since this is related to this blog post and I’ve been frustrated over the last six months about this I’ll share some of it.

    Let me start with I’m really sick and tired of being sick and tired just so you know up front that I’m frustrated.

    As some of you know I’ve been auditing some professional development courses at a local college. I went to this college back in the early 1990’s and it’s time to update some very specific knowledge base.

    “It is almost unbelievable how ignorant and ill-educated America’s college students are. They are well below average in every material way.”
    Attorney-blogger John Hinderaker

    I completely agree with this statement.

    I wasn’t exactly a young pup when I attended this same college back in the early 1990’s but what I’m seeing in the college today is vastly different than it was in the early 1990’s. I described what I was seeing to one of my professors that I’ve known since 1993 as being in a building full of ignorant entitled High School students that really don’t give a shit to learn what they’re there for. The words “entitled students” came up more times than I can count in the last six months of conversing with instructors. I’m hearing things from students like, “I can’t get a job doing what I want to do so I’ll try this next”, when asked what they want to do you get a resounding “I don’t know”, ask further why they are taking this particular course you get “I don’t know, looks like it might be fun.” Yes fun! These students have no clue what work is like! There are absolutely no plans, no goals, just blank dumb stares from ignorant fools wasting their future money or their parents current dollars.

    “I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that college is generally a mistake, as young people are mostly misinformed there, rather than educated. “
    Attorney-blogger John Hinderaker

    The knowledge base some of these students have is so bad that the grade curves are really low, and the instructors are frustrated. There are a few students that have purpose but it appears to be few and far between, which is nothing like it was in the early 1990’s. The work these students are turning in is D or lower level but the curve raises it another grade level for most; I’d be flunking them but I’m not the instructor facing the social justice administrations wanting to pass everyone for whatever reason they have. Luckily for the other students I’m not part of the pool of students being graded or the curve would rapidly climb, I’m always a 100% student in technical Engineering related classes.

    “There are a few technical fields–medicine, engineering, possibly law–where such education is actually useful.”
    Attorney-blogger John Hinderaker

    I’ll state this right now; yes college is highly recommended for these kinds of fields but from what I can see the outcome knowledge of the students graduating is going to be low to very low regardless of the field. There are of course exceptional students in any college, but I’ve only met one that’s above average in the last 6 months. A secondary reason I’m taking these courses is to see what the crop of students is like, see how they’re being taught, see what they are being taught, see how they learn, see how they adapt, because I’m going to have to hire my replacement and do the on-the-job-training before I retire. Unfortunately what I’m seeing is what I thought would be maybe a year or two of OTJ training will likely turn into 4-5 years before they will be relatively competent enough to make informed decisions on their own. The crop of “good” students is BAD! This indirectly affect everyone where I work because I wear so many hats, if there isn’t a competent person in my position when I leave and that person makes bad decisions it could cost everyone in a small company their jobs; these people are not just co-workers some are long term are friends. This is eventually going to put me in an ethical dilemma, work till I’m dead to help maintain a business that employs fiends and provides a valuable service or retire with my wife and enjoy our retirement years doing all those things we worked our ass off for and planned ahead for.

    “we and our young people would be better off if they eschewed institutions like Colgate in favor of trade and technical schools, or immediate entry into the labor market. They couldn’t possibly do worse than to pursue the typical four-year liberal arts degree.”
    Attorney-blogger John Hinderaker

    Yes I agree; however, technical colleges have the exact same problem that Universities are having, poor crops of students and students that feel entitled to good grades whether they do the work correctly or not. They have dumbed-down the standards to make it easier to get into colleges and now blithering idiots straight out of High School are given a seat in classes that they’ll likely never have the intellect to comprehend; and what happens, the grade curve is lowered so they can pass on the blithering idiots to another level to flunk out.

    I think they need to raise the standards back up to at least where they were at the end of the 20th century, flunk out the idiots in their first classes, and send them packing to the labor market. We have a real shortage of people working in labor fields because pompous ass entitled people that have earned participation trophies galore want the six or seven figure CEO positions with an 8th grade equivalent education.

    Just wait for a few more years and the United States will be in a free fall of competent people to fill positions across the United States because the baby-boomers that actually did the things required to obtain jobs that would support their families are going to retire an there are a bunch of sniveling entitled boneheads that won’t do shit to earn a living, won’t stay in a position long enough to gain any kind of seniority, and jump from job to job because they don’t “like” their job; well I say, “I ain’t gonna take it, ’cause I can’t take no more!”, in other words tough shit you melting snowflakes, either you do what’s necessary to put the food on the table and support you and your family or you’re going to go hungry and get cold sleeping in the car – your choices, your consequences! After being around that college for six months I’m really pissed off at our public education system and society for allowing stupidity to flourish. The dumbing-down of America that was foretold to us has already happened.

    Sometimes “I ain’t gonna take it, ’cause I can’t take no more!” just isn’t enough said…

    The entitled generation better get their shit together really soon because we as a society don’t owe you a damn thing!

    You know what excuses are like… everyone’s got one and they all stink.

    Fight for your own American Dream! No more fucking excuses!

    P.S. I’m in too bad a mood from all sorts of things to read through this multiple times to fix typos and tag errors, I hope it turns out readable.

  12. Other Bill writes:

    A very lucid and concise statement of your position. Clearly, you fart in our general direction from the heights. That’s okay.

    A couple of additional comments. It’s as if you want to glorify and establish as normal and also ‘ethical’ a provincial attitude toward knowledge. I’ve heard this before: Americans don’t care about intellectual topics, the question they ask is “Can the dog hunt?” That’s how somebody put it somewhere and the image stuck in my mind.

    Since this blog-entry has to do with education, and since everyone writing here feels there is a problem, and the problem is getting worse, I think that what I am suggesting is not at all unreasonable.

    And while I can say that I respect the opinions and ideas of those who write on this blog, those who describe themselves as Conservative, I think I make some fair and reasonable criticisms of the standard American Conservative position. Many American Conservatives have more intellectual preparation than the lower levels of the Left-Progressives, and yet these Conservatives also suffer from a kind of intellectual isolation. I do not appreciate it when you and others begin to speak of your selves as a unified plural: “You fart in our general direction” and “OK, now tell us why we should believe you…” and other sorts of phrasings. It set up a ‘Us vs You’ or ‘You vs Us’ which augments the polarities.

    As to taking a position *above* or from a *height*, can you explain the alternative? I have an approach which seeks to define a position that is by nature and declaration *from a height*. My object is *clear seeing*. My premise is often that those who write are writing from within specific circumstances, about a specific and limited problem, but lack a breadth of vision and also a historical context: that of grasping the ‘causal chain’ in history, in ideas, in social and political processes. I came to have this perspective because I spent time in study of Shakespeare and to understand Shakespeare on has to understand the 17th century. I may not pull it off very well but what I desire to do, and the perspective I desire to have, is one where I can *see* and also explain what is going on in our present in a similar way that Basil Willey describes Shakespeare’s seventeenth century in his wonderful book on the topic.

    By the way, I don’t give a rat’s ass about a single thing Noam Chomsky has to say. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool America hater. An avowed enemy of everything the country stands for. Bites the hand that feeds him every single day of his life. An awful human being. Bernie Sanders is cut from the same cloth.

    As I said before, you and many others set up a ‘patriotic position’ that is rather absolutist. Your patriotism does not allow you to have a critical posture. What you have just said is more or less the same as America, love it or leave it! You establish this polarization as a moral and ethical position, and then you *work out your agreements* within a closed-off group. The problem here is that this can become an *echo chamber*.

    What I want to suggest to you is that right now, in this strange present and what really does seem to be a weird juncture in American politics, is that the political center of America is rapidly undergoing a sort of revision-process. The American Center is being remodeled. I do not think you are aware of it but there is a ‘rolling conversation’ going on outside of the MSM channels in which a whole range of ideas and topics are being discussed which hinge on the Left-Right dichotomy.

    I am aware of this conversation because it is being carried out by people who have gravitated to the political right because they have become appalled by what goes on within the political left (as we all are appalled). Leftists, or former leftists and progressives (take Bret Weinstein as an example) have been forced by circumstances to take hard, thoughtful positions against the totalizing ideologies of a Borg-like left. Bret is a life-long and dedicated progressive, according to his own self-definition. And he was forced to come back into the center. And this group of intellectuals and academics are hashing out their perspectives within a wide-ranging public conversation which is attracting and influencing hundreds and thousands of people. The topics are of vital interest because of a certain inanition within the populace itself. Jordan Peterson is the very picture of this sort of intellectual and his following is composed of people who are essentially trying to define a new centrist position.

    It is not exclusively of the (traditional) Left nor of the (traditional) Right. There is blending and shifting. Tucker Carlson is a perfect example. More especially if you listen to the interviews done of him when he expresses his general views.

    I do not know how to respond to someone who says, as you said, that you totally dismiss someone in such a totalized manner. Out of politeness I have to say *I respect your view*. But it makes no sense to have such a view. But I can tell you what I think and I have said it dozens of times: Chomsky employs a Machiavellian perspective in an analysis of power-systems. That is, economic and industrial power-systems with their necessary ideological concomitants. I suppose that that phrase, put in that way, is totally suspect from your perspective? But the way I look at it is that such a perspective — a critical perspective of power — is the very basis of the American Revolution! That is exactly what the founding generation did. They turned their eye to an examination of the existing political system which they felt abused authority and they established new definitions about ‘rights’. I can use Chomsky’s method, as it were, which is a branch of Machiavellian-analysis, to serve my traditionalist and conservative inclinations. But I do not have to serve all his other related goals and objectives.

    But, truth be told, all of you as Extreme Progressives (and you are that more than you are Extreme Conservatives because you incorporate all the tents of Progressivism — all of them! — into your political and social views) have a great deal in common with the desired social ends of Noam Chomsky.

    So, with that said, tell me what you as American Conservative you do. You see and define a threat (Left-Progressives, the Democrats, etc.) and you circle your wagons to defend against that threat (so far so good) but you have absolutely no platform to understand how it is and why it is that this Progressive Left has developed a critical posture of aspects of power-systems and their operation within the Republic. You can’t be considered critical intellectuals like the Founders were. In a sense you are counter-revolutionaries! You would take the side of the existing power-structure. You cannot even participate in the ‘critical conversation’. And you shut down those who try to pursue those avenues.

    This is what I notice. And this is what I write about. And what do I get? (sometimes): scorn, abuse, insult and my favorite one is accusations of mental illness. These are your-plural *defensive strategies*. It’s a very bad showing in my opinion.

    When you use the term America Hater you make a mistake in terminology. There is not one America but numerous americas. Chomsky loves one of those very much. It is a total mistake on your part not to see and understand where his *heart* is located and why his heart resonates with millions of people who share a similar *heart*. But you cannot see and will not understand any of this because you’ve set you will not to.

    To will not to see, to will not to understand: this is a fascinating topic!

        • Alizia Tyler wrote, “Man, that was brilliant.”

          So glad you like it. I created it in Photoshop this morning just for this occasion because, in my opinion, it was a creative way of addressing the underlying hypocrisy that I perceived in the phrase quoted.

            • Alizia Tyler wrote, “prove by coherent argument how this applies to what I write”

              I’m seriously not going to rehash the plethora of your blurred and muddied piling on of generalities, tangents, cosmic puzzles, dancing angels and navel-gazing exercise comments over the last 4+ years. If you truly cannot see yourself in the statement “to will not to see, to will not to understand” I’ll accept that that is not your vision of yourself but I think you’re being blind to yourself.

              This is for you to think about not for us to debate.

  13. Michael Ejercito wrote: I still remember what Chomsky said in response to “Russian Collusion”.

    OK, so let me start again: One this blog composed of hard-thinking Conservatives — true American patriots in fact, those who define what real patriotism is, who have the proper background in American history and who have studied the Constitution of the United States and are its adamantine defenders, and who have the moral and ethical right to ruthlessly dismiss those who they determine are not on the proper side — her on this blog those who have never read Chomsky condemn him in the most absolute terms.

    Let’s see: Spartan once said “I don’t have to read him to know that sh*t stinks”. Everyone else follows Spartan, more or less. Chomsky is a symbol, a sort of Satanic Emblem, for people who cannot and will not think fairly and evenly. And *you* are going to criticize others for *bad thinking* or defects in how you approach knowledge & understanding in our present? You are going to refer to the deterioration in the Academy? And you expect me to respect you? Are you kidding?

    Now, I do not want to involve Michael in my various battles, but he did say the above without himself making a statement about what Chomsky actually said about *Russian Collusion*. And what did Chomsky say? He said that the whole idea of it is A JOKE. And then he explained why it is a joke and makes reference to the reasons why this type of LYING and MISREPRESENTATION is common. The Big Lies that circulate. The general structure of lies and partial truths in which we receive our view of things. If there is a meaning here it is that these things must be seen and understood! And it takes intellectual fortitude to do this.

    Chomsky in this interview goes right to the heart of the matter. Who interferes in American elections and in American policy? That is, who really does it? I mean, put aside the incredibly stooooopid assertion that *Russia* has done it or does it and look at the true facts and the real truth. Israel did this in the most brazen & outrageous way. Is there any person here who can *see* this? Is there any person who can actually *see straight*? Is there any person who will report the truth and not some ultra-ridiculous, tendentious, bias-infested version of it?

    No, there is not. Because you are *American Conservatives* and that means something quite specific and which corresponds to what those on the Left-Progressive side do: shut down the possibility of seeing fairly and accurately. Shut-up those who speak unpleasant truths. Define a ‘false-patriotism’ that has an Orwellian tinge in it.

    The answer I have included is largely “no”. I cannot rely on *you* to get good information. I cannot rely on you to *tell me the truth*. You have no idea how frustrating this is!

    But, that’s OK. Because *you* dedicate yourself to and invest yourself in partial truths and sometimes-lies about your own country, about your own place in it, about your influence as an educated, influential and ‘leading’ class, you FORCE ME to go further in an investigation of truth.

    True it is that if you lose me — and people like me who are well-disposed toward you — as an ally to your pseudo-conservatism you do *the cause* a huge disservice. But the actual truth is that you do not care! Because you are not responsible! You do not take real responsibility. You are part of the process of degeneration and you are no solution to it.

    What I think Chomsky essentially says, and what his larger point is, is to indicate the degree that politics and elections are determined by powerful interests within the country. This is counter-democratic in a genuine sense. It is also counter-Republican in a Constitutional sense. Chomsky situated himself on the Progressive-Left with hidden communistic tendencies. But I assert that the essential critique can be and should be talked about, thought about, written about, discussed and acted upon by real Conservatives who are genuinely concerned for the direction and fate of the nation.

    As I have said dozens of times: All of you are progressives wearing masks of conservatism! No one of you is a genuine conservative. You have adopted all of the policy positions of American Progressives in all areas. You serve Progressivism. You have far more in common with Chomsky’s general platform than you are capable of seeing. In order to counter-propose to Chomsky’s platform one has to genuinely become a Conservative, and that involves difficult moral and ethical work.

    Does a reference to Chomsky or his method-of-analysis (an analysis of power and how power operates: the essential concern of the Founders of the country) indicate siding with him? It does not!

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