Category Archives: America

The Data Are In: Even American PhDs Are … Dumber

America, Education, Literature, Science, Technology

I’ve been saying it for years, based on my encounters with a relatively smart cohort, through this column. My husband, a South African PhD (received at the age of 24), has been saying it for a long time based on encounters in his field. Barely A Blog correspondent Myron Pauli, a physics PhD from MIT (of which he thinks poorly), has been saying it over these pixelated pages:

American millennials, in general—but even with masters degrees and doctorates—are unimpressive, to put it charitably. They do, however, score high in self-esteem, which is part of the problem. From a 2007, Ottawa Citizen article I wrote:

Paradoxically, while our high school students score near the bottom in international competitions, when asked to rate themselves, they consistently give themselves top marks. But then so do their parents and teachers. Thanks to constant, unwarranted worship, and no moral or rigorous intellectual instruction, American schools are full of lame and lazy megalomaniacs.

The Washington Post cites a recent report by “the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, better known as the OECDU.S,” according to which “millennials with master’s degrees and doctorates did better than their peers in only three countries, Ireland, Poland and Spain. Those in Finland, Sweden and Japan seemed to be on a different planet.”

Top-scoring U.S. millennials – the 90th percentile on the PIAAC test – were at the bottom internationally, ranking higher only than their peers in Spain. The bottom percentile (10th percentile) also lagged behind their peers. And the gap between America’s best and worst was greater than the gap in 14 other countries. This, the study authors said, signaled America’s high degree of inequality.

The “daunting” PIAAC Test showed that “U.S. millennials performed horribly.”

That might even be an understatement, given the extent of the American shortcomings. No matter how you sliced the data – by class, by race, by education – young Americans were laggards compared to their international peers. In every subject, U.S. millennials ranked at the bottom or very close to it, according to a new study by testing company ETS.

“We were taken aback,” said ETS researcher Anita Sands. “We tend to think millennials are really savvy in this area. But that’s not what we are seeing.”

By the way, note how forthrightly readers of the liberal WaPo discuss the well-documented racial differences in scholarly achievement. Alas, could the “dumbassery” documented in the WaPo article be manifesting in the reading and comprehension skills of its readers? For the article explicitly states that results were consistent across “class” and “race.” Yet many readers missed this crucial tidbit.

The information comes courtesy of Vox Day, who also quips as follows about the findings:

This isn’t surprising to me. Generation X had to understand its toys in order to play with them. There is nothing creative about a tablet or a smartphone. You can’t do anything on it. It’s basically a dumb terminal on the mainframe of the Internet. These digital natives are actually digital cargo cultists, comfortably familiar using things they don’t actually know the first thing about. As far as they’re concerned, it might as well be magic.


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Islam Enmeshed In America Since Founding? More Lies!

America, Founding Fathers, History, Islam, Judaism & Jews

Written mostly at an eighth-grade level (as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test), Barack Obama’s ramblings are getting harder and harder to address seriously. The ISIS-is-un-Islamic absurdity overwhelmed all else in his latest address on “extremism”—so much so that another of Obama’s absurdities on that occasion has been neglected. Said the ass with ears: “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”

That’s news to this writer. It’s true about the Jews of America, to whom George Washington promised peace and goodwill in a 1790 address to a synagogue congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. “The highest ranking Jewish officer of the Colonial forces was Colonel Mordecai Sheftall.” Why we Jews even had a Confederate colonel, Abraham Charles Myers.

In any event, “[a]fter President Barack Obama said this week that ‘Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,’ Glenn Beck asked historian David Barton to come on his radio program” and get to the bottom of this fiction:

“In all the reading I’ve done, thousands of books, there’s nothing there,” Barton said on Friday. “I mean, we know that Muslims were the folks who captured the slaves sent to America, largely out of Africa. … The Muslims did the slave hunting and the slave trading, et cetera. The first Muslims came to America as a result of the Muslims capturing them and sending them to the Dutch traders.”

Barton said that beyond their heavy involvement in the slave trade, America was at war with the Barbary pirates shortly after the founding of the country, but those were “the two biggest contributions.”

“This is the fabric,” Beck said with heavy sarcasm. “I mean, it’s practically the whole blanket.”

Barton added that there were a number of Muslims whose activities were recorded in the 1800?s, but it might be a stretch to say they are part of the “fabric of the country.” One such Muslim helped the American military raise camels, he said.

MORE.

RELATED:

“Obama Says That ‘Islam Has Been Woven Into The Fabric Of Our Country Since Its Founding.’ Yes, Its Called The Barbary Pirate Wars, The First War America Every Fought Against Jihad” By Walid Shoebat.

Timeline in American Jewish History

History of the Jews in the United States


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Yalta: Where Franklin D. Roosevelt Conceded To Communism

America, Britain, History, Left-Liberalism, Russia, UN, War

Richard Ebeling at Target Liberty (TL) reminded us in advance that “February 4th mark[ed] the 70th anniversary of the most famous and infamous Yalta Conference between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin during February 4-11 of 1945,” who

… determined the fates of hundreds of millions of human beings:
All the people of Eastern Europe who were turned into the “captive nations” in the direct grip of Stalin behind the “Iron Curtain.” The destiny of mass of the Chinese population, as Stalin was given an entrée into Manchuria that opened the door for Mao’s communist conquest of China.
The division of Korea into North and South, that handed over the people of the North to a totalitarianism on a Stalinist model that stills rules today, and set the stage for the three-year Korean War that cost the lives of 50,000 American service men, and more than a million Koreans.
And FDR’s “dream” of the United Nations as a U.S. and Soviet-led organization to manage and redesign the world through the use of economic sanctions and global policemen using force to put down rebellions or disagreements with what the “Great Powers” believed was good for mankind.

At least in the excerpt provided at TL, Dr. Ebeling may have been hasty in lumping Winston Churchill with Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Yes, Churchill rolled over, because he was desperate for FDR’s financial support. But not before he attempted he save Greece, admittedly at a cost to the “rest of the Balkans.”

Franklin Roosevelt, in particular, like many pseudo-intellectuals of his time, explains historian Paul Johnson, regarded the Soviet Union as a “peace loving democracy, with an earnest desire to better the conditions of the working peoples of the world.” FDR’s advisers in Moscow considered Stalin a benevolent, genial democrat. “This monster, who was responsible for the death of 30 million of his own people,” was regarded by the American administration as “exceedingly wise and gentle.” “Grotesquely Stalinist” too were Harold Denny and Walter Duranty, the New York Times’ reporters in Moscow.

In his defense, Churchill was avowedly anti-communist and detested Stalin, which is why FDR thought of him as a “reactionary … an old incorrigible imperialist, incapable of understanding [Stalin’s] ideological idealism.” Against the wishes of Winston Churchill did FDR agree to “give Stalin what was not his to give.”

(A History of The American People by Paul Johnson, pp. 790-791.)


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Valor, Honor, Courage, Thy Name Is … Robert E. Lee

America, History, States' Rights

“The attacks on his name and fame in recent years coincide exactly with the progressive deterioration of all the higher values of American tradition,” laments Clyde Wilson about one of the great heroes of this nation, and certainly of mine: Robert E. Lee. (I admire Stonewall Jackson, but, if I’m not mistaken, he executed deserters. Can’t abide that.)

Your host outside “the plantation office building where Stonewall Jackson died in Guinea Station, Virginia.”
Outside the plantation office building where Stonewall Jackson died, Guinea Station, Virginia.

On January 19, “the birthday of one of the greatest of all Americans,” Clyde wrote the following:

… Robert E. Lee was born in Tidewater Virginia in 1807. Two uncles signed the Declaration of Independence and his father was a notable cavalry officer in the War for Independence. He was later to wed the granddaughter of Martha Washington.

He was graduated second in his class at West Point, an institution of which he was later a distinguished superintendent. As an army officer he worked on many useful engineering projects and was distinguished under fire in the Mexican War and later on the Texas frontier. Unlike the greatest figure on the other side of the great sectional conflict of 1861—1865, who was an inveterate office-seeker but never performed any service for his fellow citizens.

In 1861 he was offered command of all the armies of the United States, the height of a soldier’s ambition. But the path of honour commanded him to choose to defend his own people from invasion rather than do the bidding of the politicians who controlled the federal machinery in Washington.

His command of the Army of Northern Virginia is one of the greatest military epics of human history. By genius, daring, and the valour of his men he again and again defeated immensely larger and better supplied armies. He was aided by a lieutenant whose birthday is only two days later: “Stonewall,” born of January 21 in 1824. In the last days of the war his army inflicted casualties on the enemy that were greater than its own numbers, but he succumbed finally to an enemy commander willing to make any sacrifice of his men to exhaust the dwindling numbers of Confederates.

His actions after the war illustrate his nobility. …

MORE from Professor Wilson (whose review of my book is excerpted here).


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Will The Arabs Fight Or Turn Tail?

America, Middle East, Military

Having grown up in Israel, I confess to harboring a bias about the mettle of the Arab fighting force. We grew up seeing images of army boots piled up high in the Sinai desert, where in 1967, Egyptians shed those shoes and fled before the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Al Qaeda and ISIS reversed my bias; they’re fierce fighters. But the old preconception is creeping back again.

Reports DEBKAfile:

US officials disclosed Wednesday that the UAE [United Arab Emirates] had suspended air attacks against the Islamic State in Syria over concerns about their pilots’ safety, after the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive a month ago was captured in early December. The UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain joined the US-led coalition against ISIS in September.

The UAE appears to want guarantees that if downed, their pilots will be rescue by our guys. The Emiratis are demanding that American Ospreys “be located in northern Iraq, near the site of most raids,” to mount rescue operations. You’d think they’re doing the US a favor by protecting their neighborhood from the advancing demons.

I realize there’s more to it than cowardice: Many in the Arab world see “the Islamic State not as an Arab but as a US-European war. This line resonates widely in the other Arab countries aligned with the coalition.”

The Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Judeh, talks a good game: “You have to target them wherever they are,” he says. No doubt, King Abdullah, like his father, is a man of action. But for rest, could it be that Brian Williams, the NBC anchor who made up self-aggrandizing war stories, is not the only high-powered person who’s lying? Hints DEBKAfile:

It is noteworthy that neither Washington nor Amman has disclosed the scope of Jordan’s aerial activity since the pilot was captured …
… Although the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Bahrain joined the coalition from the start, most observers believe their participation was more symbolic than active. Iraq has no air force to speak of and its army turned tail against Islamic State forces; the Saudis allotted a trifling number of planes to the effort; while Bahrain doesn’t have an air force at all. The UAE has the biggest and most modern air force in the Gulf region and so its withdrawal is a major blow to Washington’s war effort, such as it is.

RELATED:

* “ISIS plots terror offensive in Iran, starting with Damascus bus blast.”

* “ISIS in full swing under ex-Iraqi general with 70 deaths in a month.”

* Chucky Krauthammer is unhappy about Jordan’s apparent enthusiasm for the battle against ISIS. As always, Chucky wants the US to lead and dominate, because that means he assumes his rightful place in the world. Behold:


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‘Ow My Balls!’

America, Critique, Hollywood, Pop-Culture, Pseudo-intellectualism, Sport

The satire “Idiocracy” predicted that in 2505, the age of the idiot, America would be enthralled by one of two seconds-long “films.” The first is “Ow my Balls!”

The Age of the Idiot, however, is already upon us. Witness the endless, empty, obsessive yakking about deflated footballs. For heaven’s sake, order a rematch between the alleged offenders, the New England Patriots, and the Indianapolis Colts. Check and store the balls before every future match. Case closed. There is good reason for calling “Idiocracy” a documentary—except that The Age of the Idiot is upon us:

To fully appreciate what afflicts America—the people, the presidency, the academy, the media, Hollywood—watch “Idiocracy.” The film is a product of Mike Judge’s genius (Beavis and Butthead, anyone?), and was backed and then spiked by the idiots at 20th Century Fox. It is easily one of the smartest and darkest satires.
Luke Wilson plays Joe Bowers, frozen by the military in 2005, “who accidentally wakes up in 2505 to find a broken-down, thuggish America where language has become a patois of football chants, hip-hop slang and grunts denoting rage, pleasure and priapic longing, where citizens are obese, violent, ever-horny and narcotised by consumerism,” to quote the Guardian.
The “dumb-ass dystopia” depicted in “Idiocracy” has evolved because the robust retarded have out-bred the intelligent (yes, Judge openly references IQ as a measure of intelligence). Consequently, nothing gets fixed. There are garbage avalanches. A Gatorade-like drink has replaced water for irrigation, so nothing grows. The most watched show on the “Violence Channel” is “Ow, My Balls!” The “highest grossing movie of all time is called ‘Ass,’ and consists of 90 minutes of the same naked, hairy butt on screen.” All enterprises are sexualized; Starbucks offers a “full body latte.” Costco is an Ivy-League law school. If you’ve watched Ann Coulter trying to explain to Bill O’Reilly what a syllogism is, you’ll appreciate “Idiocracy” for the cultural barometer it is.

From “2 Movie Gems Amid A Lot Of Hollywood Hooey.” (July 2007)


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