Category Archives: Education

Chinese Government Propaganda is Being Enthusiastically Embraced at U.S. Universities, by Michael Krieger

The Chinese government has generously endowed Confucius Institutes around the globe at institutions of higher learning. They teach about China…the way the Chinese government wants it taught. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

“Confucius Institute.” It’s a benign sounding name which immediately conjures up visions of enlightenment and ancient Eastern wisdom. Indeed, that appears to be precisely the intent. Effective propaganda always drapes itself in cuddly messaging in order to distract from the nefarious agenda underneath. This is exactly what’s going on with Chinese government funded Confucius Institutes, which have sprung up at 500 universities worldwide, including 100 in the U.S.

Until yesterday, I had never heard of these entities, their direct connection to Chinese government propaganda, or the extent to which they’re multiplying. I’m sure 90% of you are in the same boat. The only reason I know anything about them now is thanks to an excellent article published in Politico titled, How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms.

First, let’s examine the direct links these institutes have to official Chinese efforts to propagandize overseas.

From Politico:

The Confucius Institutes’ goals are a little less wholesome and edifying than they sound—and this is by the Chinese government’s own account. A 2011 speech by a standing member of the Politburo in Beijing laid out the case: “The Confucius Institute is an appealing brand for expanding our culture abroad,” Li Changchun said. “It has made an important contribution toward improving our soft power. The ‘Confucius’ brand has a natural attractiveness. Using the excuse of teaching Chinese language, everything looks reasonable and logical.”

Li, it now seems, was right to exult. More than a decade after they were created, Confucius Institutes have sprouted up at more than 500 college campuses worldwide, with more than 100 of them in the United States—including at The George Washington University, the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa. Overseen by a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education known colloquially as Hanban, the institutes are part of a broader propaganda initiative that the Chinese government is pumping an estimated $10 billion into annually, and they have only been bolstered by growing interest in China among American college students.

“Coordinate the efforts of overseas and domestic propaganda, [and] further create a favorable international environment for us,” Chinese minister of propaganda Liu Yunshan exhorted his compatriots in a 2010 People’s Daily article. “With regard to key issues that influence our sovereignty and safety, we should actively carry out international propaganda battles against issuers such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, human rights and Falun Gong. … We should do well in establishing and operating overseas cultural centers and Confucius Institutes.”

To continue reading: Chinese Government Propaganda is Being Enthusiastically Embraced at U.S. Universities

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I Have A Dream! by Karl Denninger

Karl Denninger imagines a better world, at theburningplatform.com:

That we live in a world where every single move you made was tracked by the government and big corporations. 

There are cameras at every street corner, in every building and even in your own home, all connected to a gigantic cloud that was intentionally compromised by the government so it could see everything you did.

I have a dream!

That in exchange for silently cooperating with the government in putting those cameras and microphones everywhere huge corporations worth hundreds of billions of dollars would be given a pass from privacy laws and allowed to tap into that information too, both to sell you things and to screw you out of thousands of dollars every year by perverting the so-called market.

I have a dream!

That “self-driving” cars will soon make their appearance on the roads, but will always be connected to said cloud by law, with disconnection or independent action being an absolute offense and subject to immediate fines and confiscations. These vehicles will communicate exactly who is in them, where they’re going and where they’ve come from, building an impenetrable and permanent dossier on every single movement everyone in the country makes from birth to death that cannot be evaded or avoided.

I have a dream!

That the people of this nation would be so stupid that they’d fail to recognize that spending money you don’t have is a bankrupt premise and can never work, as it robs the very people who you “give” the money to and drives them further into poverty every single time.

I have a dream!

That the people of this nation would be so easily seduced that they would pay money to buy a microphone that was always on and they did not control, willingly putting it in their living room and, for many, another in their bedroom so on command that examination of their lives could be conducted not only when on the public streets but when they were having their most-intimate moments.

To continue reading: I Have A Dream!

Fascism: The American Way of Life, by Gary D. Barnett

It’s a harsh verdict, but according to Gary D. Bennett, those who warn of impending fascism in America are too late. He makes a strong case. From Bennett at lewrockwell.com:

“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” ~Benito Mussolini

Mussolini was not the originator of hatred of free markets and laissez faire, or of Fascism, a description more suited to Thomas Carlyle, but he was certainly the true father of Fascism. His ideology and opinions are key in any effort to understand real Fascism, the embodiment of the current U.S. political system.

The United States of America, regardless of the misguided belief by the masses that this is the land of the free, is undeniably by strict political definition, a Fascist oligarchy. Yes, there are some aspects of democracy, socialism, communism, and Marxism, but Fascism by the few is the ruling political ideology of today’s America.

This explains the obvious mindset of “American exceptionalism,” and the nonsensical belief America is the epitome of right and good. The root of this arrogant, obnoxious thinking has for generations been by state design. This notion is perpetuated throughout the life of all citizens by state indoctrination and brainwashing, beginning with government controlled schools that claim quasi-ownership of children from infancy to full adulthood. The aim of these institutions is to indoctrinate the masses to produce model citizens in a society that is loyal to community, city, state, and nation, and one opposed to self-interest, self-ownership and individualism.

In order for the State to successfully affect this system, all aspects of society have to function harmoniously with Fascist ideology, including the economy. The U.S. economy has been based upon Keynesianism for decades, a theory developed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1920s and 1930s during the Great Depression. Government intervention is a mainstay of Keynes theory; government interference and partnership with industry is the major tenet of Fascism.

Mussolini’s own description of Fascism was “Fascism is the marriage of corporation and state,” and “Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

To continue reading: Fascism: The American Way of Life

White Men Can’t Jump, by Robert Gore

This article will not go viral.

Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. announces his mission statement to his first-year contracts class at Harvard Law School.

You teach yourselves the law, but I train your mind. You come in here with a skull full of mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer.

Kingsfield is a fictional character, from the novel, 1973 movie, and television series The Paper Chase. John Houseman, as Kingsfield, had as memorable a voice and almost as fearsome a demeanor as Darth Vader, who would appear four years after The Paper Chase movie. Houseman won an Academy Award and became the spokesman for Smith Barney, stating its tag line with aristocratic frost: “They make money the old fashioned way…they earn it.”

Teaching his charges to think like lawyers meant developing and honing their ability to think logically, to analyze, and to present arguments and conclusions with precision and clarity. More’s the pity Kingsfield was fictional; most people would benefit from such instruction. Harvard’s fictional One L’s were a bright lot. If their skulls were full of mush, then skulls today are full of the polluted runoff from TV, internet pornography, texting, and social media.

Garbage in, garbage out, as the computer programmers say. It’s far beyond the scope of this article to examine all the garbage out there that passes as thought. We’ll look at a sliver, what can be termed group attribution. Beyond the quality that defines a large group, it is generally impossible to make a categorically true statement about all of the members of that group. Yet, the fallacy is ubiquitous across the political spectrum, from social justice warriors babbling about white privilege to alt-righters claiming that members of various races are inherently incapable of living together.

White men can’t jump. Except that most of the 16 men who have cleared the 2.4 meter mark (7 ft., 10 1/4 in.) in the high jump have been white, hailing from places like Russia, Eastern Europe, and Sweden. (The world record, 2.45 meters, is held by Javier Sotomayor, a Cuban.) The problem with group generalizations is that a counterexample invalidates them.

What difference does it make? Group generalizations are usually based on an average characteristic within the group. Let’s say the average white man can’t jump 3 feet (that may be too high, given the obesity epidemic). What’s more interesting, the mass of white men who can’t jump that height, or the exceptions who can jump over twice that height? Do you wonder why the average white guy can’t jump very high? Or how men or women of any race can learn and train themselves to jump over a foot higher than their own height? Who would you study if you were trying to improve your own jumping?

Most of our social structures are geared to the average, or worse. Students on the far right side of the intelligence bell curve (yes, there is an intelligence bell curve) are stultified in schools so oriented. Escape and refuge generally involve paying large sums of money for the comparatively few schools ostensibly devoted to educating the bright and brilliant. In higher education, a significant part of the social sciences (a misnomer) are wastelands focused on groups and averages, using that dreariest branch of mathematics, statistics.

Imagine an Olympic training facility that accepted any white male, devoting its resources to raising the average high jump from 36 to 37 inches, though its trainees would win no gold medals. Isn’t that analogous to the education system? The best universities draw applicants from around the world and accept 5 to 10 percent of them, indicating a shortage of high quality institutions relative to the demand. Meanwhile, billions are spent raising average academic performance the equivalent of 36 to 37 inches.

That’s accepting the charitable assumption that our education system accomplishes its stated goals, which it does not. These days, illiterates with no mathematical skills beyond counting on their fingers graduate from high school.

Anomalous individuals, not the average ones, propel civilization. The fixation on groups and their averages is intellectually and practically counterproductive. Even the notion of identifying the exceptional is falling into disrepute, and that has something to do with the present state of the world. Overall quality of life is a reflection of overall quality of thought: garbage in, garbage out.

Muslims are violent, bent on world domination, and are guided by the Koran, which justifies their behavior and goal. One can find that generalization in various forms all over the internet. No denying that it’s true for some Muslims. However find one peace-loving Muslim who doesn’t read or follow the Koran (Do all those who call themselves Christians read and follow the Bible?) and the generalization is invalidated.

What difference does it make? Take the generalization to its logical end, and you can justify a preemptive genocide stretching from Indonesia to Morocco. If every one of 1.3 billion Muslims is bent on ruling the world and killing you, you’d better kill them first. A “Clash of Civilizations” has been invoked to justify US military interventionism in Islamic lands. Except by the warped standards of its promoters, that effort has not gone well: a never ending war on terrorism that begets more terrorism, huge refugee flows, increasing hostility towards the US, destruction, chaos, and a massive waste of blood and treasure for all concerned. Garbage in, garbage out.

Contrast the US effort in the Middle East to Russia’s, which seems to be guided by a more precise and accurate formulation: some Muslims are violent and bent on world domination. Russia identified such a group operating in Syria and Iraq. At the invitation of the Syrian government and allied with Iranian, Iraqi, and Hezbollah militias, it has reversed ISIS’s territorial gains and is in the process of exterminating those members who have not fled. In so doing, Russia has enhanced the security of ordinary people in Syria and Iraq and raised its diplomatic status throughout the Middle East. Smart in, smart out.

One problem with logic, clarity, and precision is that like Professor Kingsfield, they’re not warm, cuddly, fuzzy, and friendly. At the end of The Paper Chase movie, after months of back and forth with Kingsfield, student James T. Hart, played by Timothy Bottoms, tries to tell the professor how much he and his class have meant to him. Kingsfield doesn’t even remember Hart’s name. He‘s so deep into the fascinating nooks, crannies, and interstices of contract law (they are fascinating) that everything else has become secondary or irrelevant.

Logic, clarity, and precision are hard work and won’t get you invited to parties. They are also the foundation of the scientific method, which deals in hypotheses and theories, but never the comforting certainties of prejudice, generalization, and belief. The scientific method can lead to self-induced cognitive dissonance for those who cannot hold in their heads inconsistent hypotheses simultaneously.

If the world appears wildly chaotic, bordering on insane, check the programming. Garbage in, garbage out. The current state of affairs reflects the predominant quantity and quality of thought. What’s true at the individual level—there is no hope of improving life without improving thought—applies to groups, including the group known as humanity.

One hypothesis can be advanced with virtual certainty: among the masses hooked into the internet, exchanging pictures of cute animals and the fascinating details of their fascinating lives, this SLL post will not go viral.

You Owe It To Yourself

AMAZON

KINDLE

NOOK

 

Doug Casey on Why Millennials Favor Communism

Here is the short answer: because they are uneducated and what passes for the education they have received has corrupted them. From Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: Communism is better than capitalism.

At least, that’s what a growing number of young people in the U.S. think.

I wish I were joking. But a recent study from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, found that half of the millennials it surveyed would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist society.

And 22% of those surveyed had favorable views of Karl Marx… while 13% viewed Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong-un as “heroes.”

To figure out what’s behind this disturbing trend, I called Doug Casey…


Justin: So Doug, about half of U.S. millennials would rather live in a socialist or communist country… What’s gotten into the youth?

Doug: The youth are being corrupted, and it’s more serious than ever.

I say that a bit tongue-in-cheek, however.

That’s because one of the two charges against Socrates when he was executed in Ancient Greece was corrupting the youth. Older people always think the youth are foolish, ignorant, lazy, crazy, and generally taking the world to hell in a handbasket. And of course many of their charges are, and always have been, true.

But as kids get older, they generally get wiser, more knowledgeable, harder-working, and more prudent. Nothing new here. The world has survived roughly 250 new generations since civilization began in Sumer 5,000 years ago. And it will likely survive this one too.

That’s the bright side. And, as you know, I always look on the bright side. But, on the other hand, the American university system has been totally captured by Cultural Marxists, socialists, statists, collectivists, promoters of identity politics, and people of that ilk. These people hate Western Civilization and its values, and are actively trying to destroy them.

To continue reading: Doug Casey on Why Millennials Favor Communism

Bitcoin, Terence McKenna and the Future of the Internet, by Michael Krieger

Michael Krieger thinks it’s early days on the internet, cryptocurrencies, and a host of other innovations we don’t know about yet, because they haven’t been invented. He’s bullish on the future. From Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

We have millions of people who are warehoused in almost a larval state in their apartments, watching tv, paying for their medical plans, and glued to this mindless opera of cultural decay that’s recited day after day in front of them. I mean, it’s horrible to imagine — and this is a creation to some degree of the world corporate state, that probably has to be addressed. 

– Terence McKenna, The Internet is the Cure for TV (1994)

I know the title of this post seems strange in light of several factors. First, it’s been nearly twenty years since the dot-com bubble burst and it’s estimated that 3-4 billion people globally, or roughly 50% of the world’s population, already surf the web. Second, it’s become increasingly trendy in 2017 to highlight all the bad things about the internet, with social media typically singled out for the most intense and visceral criticism. Although I acknowledge some very real downsides of social media such as unhealthy obsession and addiction, most of the outrage we’ve seen this year has been focused on “fake news” and “Russia meddling.” In other words, most of the hysteria’s been political in nature, and would barely be registering anywhere near its current decibel level had Hillary Clinton won the election.

All of a sudden, there’s this insistence that social media is especially dangerous because it fosters the creation of echo chambers rife with tribal confirmation bias. Spaces where people with the same views simply talk to one another, and whoever’s willing to be the loudest and most aggressive at signaling to their tribe becomes the most popular. I don’t deny that this phenomenon exists, but like with anything else, you have to accept the bad with the good, and in the long-run the good far outweighs the bad. The main reason so many are having a panic attack right now is because the internet and social media allowed the public to talk to one another directly without being force-fed corporate media narratives and they decided to reject the chosen one, Hillary Clinton.

As such, the “very smart people” and “experts” have concluded the problem is with the voter, as opposed to the terrible candidates on offer or the corrupt system itself. This is the real reason for the current obsession with “fake news” and dangerous social media echo chambers. The elites are simply frustrated that their methods of propaganda no longer work as more and more people talk to each other online.

To continue reading: Bitcoin, Terence McKenna and the Future of the Internet

What Really Happened At Ballou, The D.C. High School Where Every Senior Got Into College, by Kate McGee

At Washington D.C.’s Ballou High School, every student who graduated got into college, even the students who never showed up for school or who couldn’t read or write. From Kate McGee at wamu.org:

DCPS has touted Ballou’s graduation rate as a success story, but a WAMU/NPR investigation has revealed that many students who graduated should have been held back.

Brian Butcher, a history teacher at Ballou High School, sat in the bleachers of the school’s brand new football field last June watching 164 seniors receive diplomas. It was a clear, warm night, and he was surrounded by screaming family and friends snapping photos and cheering.

It was a triumphant moment for the students. For the first time, every Ballou graduate applied and was accepted to college. The school is located in one of D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods; it has struggled academically for years and has had a chronically low graduation rate. In 2016, the school graduated only 57 percent of its seniors according to data from D.C. Public Schools (DCPS), slightly up from 51 percent the year before. For months after June’s commencement, the school received national media attention, including from NPR, celebrating its achievement.

But all the excitement and accomplishment couldn’t shake one question from Butcher’s mind:

How did all these students graduate from high school?

“You saw kids walking across the stage, who, they’re nice young people, but they don’t deserve to be walking across the stage,” Butcher said.

Butcher’s concerns were not unwarranted.

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. WAMU and NPR reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a DCPS employee shared the private documents. The documents showed that half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present — missing more than 90 days of school.

According to DCPS policy, if a student misses a class 30 times, he should fail that course. Research shows that missing 10 percent of school, about two days per month, can negatively affect test scores, reduce academic growth and increase the chances a student will drop out.

https://wamu.org/projects/NPR-Annotations/ballou.html

To continue reading: What Really Happened At Ballou, The D.C. High School Where Every Senior Got Into College