Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top 11 Things I'd Like to See in 2011

Christmas may be over, but I’m breaking out my new wish list now, because it enumerates the things a lot of us would like to see happen in 2011. Some of these wishes may seem pure fantasy, but all of them have action steps that will move our country forward – action steps that require us to be brave, strong, and in many cases vocal.

1. Stop the indoctrination of America’s children

The Left has a stranglehold on education. They have infiltrated teacher training, and no more beautiful example of this exists than the fact that former domestic terrorist and Weather Underground member Bill Ayers spent a number of years as an “education expert” and professor of education at the University of Illinois. How many teachers have absorbed Ayers’ ideas that education is all about “teaching against oppression” in light of “America’s evil history of racism”? And Ayers is hardly alone. Because the Left dominates (with an iron hand) academia, the vast majority of schoolteachers must wallow through a whole lot of Leftism in order to get their teaching credentials.

The Left has been smart this way; we have not. It’s time to take back education, because all the rest of the changes America needs will be a lot easier to make with a populace that is free of pre-wired Leftist tendencies now being inculcated at your local public school and/or college. Imagine a populace that actually understands the beauty of the American system of government, and the unique genius of the Constitution. How can we get there?

One no-brainer is to immediately eliminate the federal Department of Education. This will save money, take the feds out of what should be a local issue, and eliminate a whole raft of nonsensical regulation. Win-win-win. Plus, can anyone argue that education is better now than it was pre-Jimmy Carter (the dope who made Education a cabinet level department)? No, no one can. End of that discussion.

States and municipalities should have the right to hire non-union teachers and completely eliminate tenure (and that includes at the college/university level).

This isn’t a 2011 goal, but I’d like to see the elimination of government-run schools altogether. It is far too easy for one elite or another to get control of the education system (Exhibit A: Now) and push an agenda that is contrary to liberty. Privatize the whole thing! Generally speaking, private schools do a far superior job at far less expense. Plus, homeschoolers are on to something, especially when they band together to give their children experiences and education outside the parents’ own expertise. But in any event, there is no reason in the world that education has to be public – and the fact that the teacher unions fight against private/homeschooling so vociferously makes this point crystal clear.

Bonus: with no public schools comes no arguments over public school lunches! Michelle Obama will have to concentrate on brainwashing parents instead of school administrators!

Wresting control away from the Leftists will be an even more challenging and daunting task within higher education, but it has to be faced.  So much of what is wrong in this country is starting, and being cultivated, on our university campuses. Nobody is doing more important work on this topic than David Horowitz – his book Reforming Our Universities: The Campaign for an Academic Bill of Rights is a must-read.

Next: Islam is not a religion of peace…

2. Educate the public on the true nature of Islam
This may end up meaning that we need to educate American Muslims on the true nature of Islam. Many of them – the ones who are not among the recently publicized homegrown jihadist movement – seem to be unaware of what their own religion teaches. If they are Americans first, with no desire to see Islam play a role in our government, that’s a different story than we’re getting from many American Muslims, who will (gently) denounce terrorists but not the terrorists’ end goals, which are to see Islam take over America and the West.

So many Leftists painstakingly attempt to draw a line between Islam and so-called Radical Islam – but that line is nonexistent, as is proven on an almost daily basis with just a cursory look at the day’s headlines. Despite Leftist whining and wishful thinking, there are no Christian terrorists, and even if Timothy McVeigh had blown up that building while shouting “Christ is Lord” – which he most certainly did not – that one act of terror would pale in comparison, on sheer numbers, with the carnage left behind in the name of Allah. Islam is not a religion of peace, and in 2011 we should take every opportunity to expose its hateful, anti-Israel, anti-America underpinnings.

Speaking of Israel – while we are educating on the dangers of Islam, I hope we see a resurgence of support for Israel as both an irreplaceable contributor to world culture, and as America’s staunchest ally. When your allies are attacked, you have to respond. That will be an important point to remember in the next few years, I am afraid.

Next: knocking back the leftstream media…

3. Hold the media’s feet to the fire
We are making great progress on this, but 2011 is no time to retreat – in fact, it’s time to ramp it up. No Leftist media bias should go unchallenged – ever. Whether it’s a media giant like CNN or our local weekly newspapers, we must call out any and all examples of bias in reporting – or in lack of reporting. This is often how bias shows itself – in the stories the media chooses not to cover. But we can write letters to the editor, post on blogs, and support the websites that are doing the reporting the (mainstream) media is failing to undertake.

As author Stanley Kurtz noted in his blockbuster Radical-in-Chief, many Americans find the truth (for instance, that Obama’s a socialist) a little hard to believe. This is because they have simply never heard the truth. It’s up to each of us, individually, to speak up and defend what we know to be right and true so that our less-educated friends and neighbors can see that these opinions are valid and fact-based.

I encounter this a lot, personally, with the great straw man that the MSM has made of Fox News. “Everyone” knows that Fox is an evil, partisan organization, right? That’s just common knowledge, so that people who have never watched it are under the mistaken impression that they know what it’s all about. They think they have it figured out – MSNBC is liberal, and Fox is conservative (many conservatives mistakenly state this too). A bright, intelligent friend of mine made a comment about this just the other night, somewhat mockingly questioning my assertion that I saw “both sides” on Fox News. As a trained journalist, it pains me that anyone would not give Fox News a chance, since it clearly does give voice to many varied opinions, which is a good part of the reason why it slaughters the other news channels ratings-wise. So the next time someone snidely refers to Fox News, don’t let it pass. Ask them why they support news organizations that actively seek to suppress part of the story. Or ask them to compare election night coverage from 2010. That was a pretty good microcosm of who’s really reporting news. Just like the false Muslims vs. Tim McVeigh analogy, the MSNBC vs. Fox analogy crumbles under any perusal whatsoever. (It’s helpful if critics can differentiate between news and opinion, as well.)

Here’s hoping 2011 brings at least a few more young people into the media profession who will actually hold to the high standards of the Fourth Estate – acting as our watchdog on the institutions of government and politics, asking the hard questions, and reporting the answers so that the populace is actually better-educated.

Next: back to the foundations…

4. Return to the Constitutional principles of limited government

Some might say that this was a big part of 2010, what with the rise of Tea Party calls for smaller government. But 2010 was only a beginning, and as the Republicans in Congress are showing us right now, winning elections does not always translate to positive action in Washington, DC.

The first step in restoring an appreciation for limited government involves – again – education. Americans need to understand what the Constitution says, and perhaps even more importantly, WHY the Founders crafted our system the way they did. (Hint: the Founders had an excellent understanding of human nature; without grasping that, it’s difficult to fully appreciate the genius of our founding documents.) A few recently authored books have provided excellent (re)introductions to these topics – check out Glenn Beck’s Common Sense or Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny.

The next step involves holding feet to the fire, again, but this time the feet are attached to elected representatives. If they were elected under the banner of limiting government, we must make sure they vote accordingly. Compromise is (vastly) overrated. We didn’t elect them to compromise, or “get things done.” We elected them to get things reined in. Nothing less than that – or more to the point, more than that – is acceptable. Emailing, picking up the phone, or even personally visiting our representatives may all be required in order to ensure that those Congressmen or Senators remember their promises. This is not the year to let the GOP backslide into mediocrity and RINO-ism.

The standard should be: NO SPENDING. Even things that sound really nifty, like paying for medical expenses for 9/11 responders – NOTHING should be spent without a full and transparent discussion open to all citizens.

As for a balanced budget – this is so obvious that it should go without saying.

Next: death and taxes…

5. Revolutionize our system of taxation

I wish that America’s citizens, back about a hundred years ago, had paid closer attention to what their leaders were up to. We’ve had an income tax since 1913, and it’s never been Constitutional. In 2011, it’s time for a revolutionary repeal of the IRS and all its onerous regulations. It’s time to repeal the 16th Amendment and eliminate the possibility of tax code being used to punish political opponents (it does happen – talk to Joe the Plumber). But a flat tax does not go far enough in dismantling this corrupt, complicated mess.

It’s time for the Fair Tax. The folks pushing for this ask us to imagine the economic BOOM that would result from the demise of the IRS. I just like to imagine the boomin’ party we’d all have to celebrate. A national sales tax that replaces income tax would be unarguably more fair and far, far less prone to abuse. This is a proposal worth our most serious consideration.

Next: hey racists, this one’s for you…

6. End race- and class-baiting

Stanley Kurtz’ masterpiece Radical-in-Chief details how socialists (like Obama) manipulate race and class distinctions in order to sow seeds of resentment and cultivate anti-capitalist sentiment. It is particularly offensive that the president who sold the country on his post-racial post-partisan leadership abilities (which the media should have been questioning all along, had it been doing its job) would actually surround himself with virulent race-obsessed demagogues.

I would go so far as to suggest that Obama was in fact elected BECAUSE he was not white, by voters eager to prove that they were not racist. Prove it they did. And that should have been the end of loose talk about racism in this country. The problem is, nobody is more racist than the Leftists. They will never let the issue die, because it suits their purposes to foment racial discord.

That’s why it is crucially important to call out nonsense like that currently being trumpeted by Al Sharpton against Rush Limbaugh. Sharpton and his cronies are doing nothing more than trying to stifle free speech, and it is nauseating that anyone (*coughEdSchultzcough*) is giving Sharpton any credence at all. Has no one learned from his previous debacles (*coughTawanaBrawleycough*)?

Class-baiting is an even more direct assault on America, as it cuts to the heart of our system of free enterprise, attempting to discredit and punish those who succeed. That is why we must seize the terms of this debate. Do not let phrases like “tax cuts for the rich” go unchallenged. Our case is solid – fostering a positive business climate helps everyone. We must never tire of making this argument.

The amazing thing is, this idea is out there even among people who the Leftists think are on “their side,” as I recently discovered. I help feed homeless folks on the weekends, and a group of them were talking just before the recent election about California’s economic woes. Some of them were losing out on certain benefits, and the discussion turned to which gubernatorial candidate would help. In the long run, the group agreed that Meg Whitman would be much better than Jerry Brown. As one of them said, “We don’t need more unemployment; we need jobs!” Too bad the homeless vote wasn’t enough to carry the day for Ms. Whitman.

Next: border patrol…

7. Enforce our borders and deport illegals before any “immigration reform” is undertaken

We have borders. We need to enforce them. We also need to send back the illegals who are here. Nobody should be discussing “reforming” immigration until we solve the problems caused by the lack of attention to our existing immigration laws. And the problems, in border states, are absolutely devastating, in some cases resulting in near-Third World conditions.

Talk of any type of amnesty, whether it goes by the name of “Dream Act” or anything else, is a slap in the face to every immigrant who came here legally. Demanding enforcement of our immigration laws is not anti-immigrant and it is certainly not racist. Again, this is a case that needs to be patiently but continually made in the public arena.

What’s more, we need to reach out to the Hispanic population that is here legally and demonstrate how illegal immigration hurts them as well. There are plenty of conservative and right-thinking Hispanic families in this country, and we should be partnering with them to further respect for the American way of life that is under direct attack from Leftists who again are manipulating the illegal immigration issue for their own political ends.

Next: she blinded me with science…

8. Support real science

On all topics of controversy, but particularly those related to environmental concerns, the Left has utterly dominated the discussion by co-opting science as its lapdog. This has to stop. Even when the climate fearmongers were exposed as liars and cheats, the media still managed to either make excuses for them, or simply ignore the story.

The connection that the general public needs to understand more clearly is that between research and funding. Who is paying for that study that proves (fill in the blank) is just as important to know as the results of said study. Demand to know the source of so-called scientific stories.

It’s also important to know the methodology used by scientists, and this applies to the social sciences as well. Earlier this year, a prominent university trumpeted study findings that supposedly proved that religious people are more likely to be racists. The religious group most likely to be racists? Conservative Christians, of course. I challenged the author of the study to explain the methodology behind this inflammatory finding. I wanted to know how they tested for this. Did groups of Christians shun or attack black people more than groups of other folks? How exactly was this determined? The professor in charge of the study responded to me by getting angry and insisting that she had used “generally accepted social science definitions” in order to reach her conclusions – definitions that I, as a layman, could not understand. In other words, she could not defend her findings (I have a degree in sociology, so one might think I could have taken a crack at her methodology, if she had been willing to share it.)

Next: sex, lies, and the truth…WARNING! Controversial territory ahead!

9. Tell the truth about the “social issues”

And by truth I mean – the truth.

Abortion kills a baby. It does not kill a blob of tissue, or a potential human – any more than a newborn is a “potential human.” Thousands of parents in this country are waiting and longing to adopt, so that bogus argument about “every child a wanted child” is just so much bull poo. However, even if America were overflowing with orphanages packed with “unwanted” children – that still would not excuse killing a baby. This lack of respect for life can only progress in one direction, and that is toward now unthinkable practices like infanticide. What’s more, abortion is, in this country, racial genocide. The percentage of minority babies aborted is vastly greater than white babies. If it is possible to smile from hell, Margaret Sanger, that champion of eugenics who got Planned Parenthood going, is surely grinning from ear to ear. (By the way – being pro-choice is not a libertarian position; it’s an anarchical position. It is only if you support liberty to commit murder that you can in good faith support liberty to conduct abortions.)

Another truth – homosexuality is not a healthy lifestyle. Surely a country that is so convinced of the dangers of smoking can at least acknowledge that homosexual sex is detrimental to the human body. Long before the advent of AIDS, homosexuals had astronomically higher rates of other diseases, like hepatitis. Only a rudimentary knowledge of (male) homosexual practices is necessary in order to understand why this is so. This is but one reason why we should not be condoning gay marriage. It is not a reason to deny the personal rights of any people to pursue their sexual deviations privately (well, at least this particular sexual deviation. There are others, like pedophilia, that really must stay illegal). But it must be kept in mind that it is, indeed, a sexual deviation. It should not be a point of pride, nor should it be celebrated. Your right to indulge in unhealthy behavior does not strip me of my (or society’s) right to disapprove.

Here’s one more. Pornography (and for that matter prostitution, which is closely related) is not a free speech issue. Pornography is also a sexual deviation, and abundant evidence suggests that it is mostly coercive and violent, as well. Do you know any women (or men, for that matter) who wanted to grow up to be porn stars? Do daughters of affluent families choose to become porn stars? There’s a reason why virtually all porn performers are druggies. It’s an ugly, degrading lifestyle to which the participant must numb herself. If you use porn, stop. You are supporting something that is intrinsically evil, and particularly toxic to young men (and the young women who will eventually be in relationships with them). Again, the idea that society frowning on pornography is equivalent to society frowning on free speech is ludicrous. These distinctions need to be made, and made loudly.

Isn’t it great that we have free speech, so we can talk about these things? Speaking of that...

Next: silence is not golden…

10. Show zero tolerance for attacks on free speech

Real speech, of course. The kind of dialogue where ideas about the world and how it should work are discussed and debated. That is what the 1st Amendment protects, and this is a precious gift to us from the Founders. We need to literally guard it with our lives.

This year, that may well include battling back against attempts to censor internet discussion. It certainly includes vocal opposition to Leftist tyrants attempting to suppress opinion that they don’t like (see #6, above… or Sharpton, Al). And it includes taking on every smart aleck who tries to silence the Right by mocking us as uneducated or stupid. Unfortunately, sometimes the best defense on this issue is a good offense, which requires shining a nice bright laser spotlight on Leftist stupidity.

And last, but certainly not least: packin’…

11. Carry a gun

And fight for your right to do so, especially in those states where carrying a gun is discouraged. The 2nd Amendment indeed gives you the right – but more of us need to arm ourselves. No, not because the end of the world is coming. But because a well-armed family is a protected family. Teach your children respect for all weapons, and when they’re old enough, how to use them. Hunting is a wonderful pastime for young men in particular. Young people who have been taught to hunt, properly, grow up with respect for both firearms and nature. Win-win.

This is a case where using the right more often will probably help preserve it. So sometime in 2011, take the whole family for a fun outing at the shooting range!

Happy 2011!

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