Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

In California, students protest the results of their own liberal voting

Victor Davis Hanson writes about it National Review.

Excerpt:

Here in California, students just marched on Sacramento in outrage that state-subsidized tuition at the UC and CSU campuses keeps climbing. It is true that per-unit tuition costs are rising, despite even greater exploitation of poorly paid part-time teachers and graduate-student TAs. But the protests are sort of surreal. The California legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic. The governor is a Democrat. The faculties and administrative classes are largely Democratic. Who then, in the students’ minds, have established these supposedly unfair budget priorities?

Sales, income, and gas taxes are still among the highest in the nation (and are proposed to rise even higher) — prompting one of the largest out-of-state exoduses of upper-income brackets in the nation. The state budget is pretty much entirely committed to K–12 education (whose state-by-state comparative test scores in math and science hover between 45th and 49th in the nation), prisons, social services, and public-employee salaries and pensions. Whom, then, can the students be angry at?

Are students angry at public-union salaries and pensions that are among the highest in the nation? Do they think the many highly compensated retired Highway patrol officers have shorted students at UC Davis? Are they mad at the 50,000 illegal aliens in the California prison system that might have siphoned off scholarship funds from CSU Monterey Bay? Or is the rub the influx of hundreds of thousands of children of illegal aliens who require all sorts of language remediation and extra instruction in the public schools, and so might in theory divert library funds from UC Santa Cruz?

Perhaps the students don’t want billions to be committed to high-speed rail that might rob Berkeley of needed funding, or environmental efforts to introduce salmon into the San Joaquin River, in which the $70 million spent so far in studies and surveys might have come from nearby CSU Fresno? Are they mad at state social services, whose medical expenses have skyrocketed to address the health-care needs of millions of illegal aliens, and thus in theory could curb the choice of classes at CSU Stanislaus? Are they angry that some $10–15 billion a year probably leaves the state as remittances to Mexico?

If one cannot blame the wealthy for “not paying their fair share” (the top 1 percent of Californians now pay about 37 percent of all income-tax revenue — and their numbers have decreased by one-third in recent years, as the state has come to rely on the income tax for half its revenue), or Republican majorities in government, who, then, is left to blame?

Not only are their tuition costs going UP but their likely salary is going DOWN.

Students majoring in booze and hook-up sex

How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' for ya?

I got that image from a post at the American Enterprise Institute.

Excerpt:

  • Only 35 percent of students starting a four-year degree program will graduate within four years, and less than 60 percent will graduate within six years.
  • The U.S. college dropout rate is about 40 percent, the highest college dropout rate in the industrialized world.
  • Over the past 25 years, the total number of students in college has increased by about 50 percent. But the number of students graduating with degrees in STEM subjects has remained more or less constant.
  • In 2009, the United States graduated 37,994 students with bachelor’s degrees in computer and information science. That’s not bad, but we graduated more students with computer-science degrees 25 years ago!
  • Few disciplines have changed as much in recent years as microbiology, but in 2009 we graduated just 2,480 students with bachelor’s degrees in microbiology—about the same number as 25 years ago. Who will solve the problem of antibiotic resistance?
  • If students aren’t studying science, technology, engineering, and math, what are they studying?
  • In 2009, the United States graduated 89,140 students in the visual and performing arts, more than in computer science, math, and chemical engineering combined and more than double the number of visual-and-performing-arts graduates in 1985.
  • Moreover, more than half of all humanities graduates end up in jobs that don’t require college degrees, and those graduates don’t get a big income boost from having gone to college.

I think this is interesting. What exactly are these students paying for?

If there is one thing I learned from my love of Shakespeare, it’s that it is tragic to be the cause of your own downfall because of your own tragic flaw. Right now, there are a bunch of young people who have been totally brainwashed by the unionized public school teachers and professors to have views on economics that are completely opposite to what works in the real world. They keep voting for bigger and bigger government, which creates more and more debt in order to provide their parents with bigger and bigger benefits. They have lots of self-esteem, but very few marketable skills. Eventually, the bill for all the government spending on “helping the poor”, (e.g. – food stamps for millionaires and bailouts for bankrupt green energy firms), comes due, and it’s the students who will be paying the bill. I wonder if they will look as favorably on socialism and global warming alarmism then?

UPDATE: I noticed that in Quebec, the most liberal province in Canada, students are doing the same thing.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Zeitgeist conspiracy movie had profound impact on Jared Loughner

Robert Stacy McCain is ALL OVER this story. Let’s get caught up.

Here’s Zach Osler, a friend of the Tucson murderer.

That’s an Associated Press video.

Transcript excerpt:

“There was a lot of talk about lucid dreaming and understanding reality. . . . And there were a lot of books and movies . . . things that I never would have heard about or watched — things like Loose Change about the 9/11 conspiracy . . . He watched things like that. . . . He had basically nothing going for him, and I think he just couldn’t deal with reality anymore. . . . I know that he was experimenting with the drug, or herb or whatever it is, salvia divinorum. And from what I hear, he used it quite frequently. . . . It’s like a hallucinogenic type of effect.”

McCain also links to more interesting stuff:

Loughner, now 22, would come over several times a week from 2007 to 2008, the Oslers said.

The boys listened to the heavy-metal band Slipknot and progressive rockers the Mars Volta, studied the form of meditative movement called tai chi and watched and discussed movies.

Loughner’s favorites included little-known conspiracy theory documentaries such as “Zeitgeist” and “Loose Change” as well as bigger studio productions with cult followings and themes of brainwashing, science fiction and altered states of consciousness, including “Donnie Darko” and “A Scanner Darkly.” . . .

Roxanne Osler [said]: “Jared struck me as a young man who craved attention and acceptance.”

In another post McCain summarizes a conspiracy theory movie called “Zeitgeist” in another post.

PART I: Attacking Christianity as a ‘Myth’

This segment has been called “The Da Vinci Code on steroids.” Toward the end, the narrator says, “Christianity, along with all other theistic belief systems, is the fraud of the age. It serves to detach the species from the natural world and likewise, from each other. It supports blind submission to authority. It reduces human responsibility to the effect that God controls everything.”

PART II: 9/11 Was a Conspiracy

Not much to say here. You’ve seen one 9/11 “Truther” documentary, you’ve seen ‘em all. But the guys at Loose Change can’t sue for copyright infringement because, hey, it’s a “documentary,” and you can’t copyright crazy.

PART III: TOTAL FREAKING KOOKINESS!

This is the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test of Zeitgeist where, if you’ve gone along with the Jesus-Was-a-Myth stuff and the 9/11-Was-a-U.S.-Plot stuff, you’re going to find yourself throbbing helplessly in spasms of conspiratorial ecstasy, covered in kook-splooge. The U.S. government and “international bankers” scheme behind the scenes to control every damned thing in the world — and plant computer chips in your brain, to boot!

Guess who liked Zeitgeist? Jared Loughner. He liked Zeitgeist a whole lot.

Does Zeitgeist sound like right-wing Tea Party material? It’s an atheistic, anti-American, anti-capitalist movie. And that’s what Jared believed. That’s why he favorited flag-burning videos. He is the complete opposite of a Tea Party conservative.

I wonder why the left-wing mainstream news media isn’t reporting on what Jared’s friends are saying about his views?

In fact, I wonder what the left-wing media thinks of Zeitgeist? I wonder what the left-wing media thinks of Loose Change? I wonder what the left-wing media thinks of capitalism? I wonder what the left-wing media thinks on the war against Islamic extremism? I wonder what the left-wing media thinks of American exceptionalism? I wonder what the left-wing media thinks of Christian theism?

Can they afford to tell the truth about this story?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MUST-SEE: Condoleezza Rice Takes on Katie Couric Over Iraq Claims

I am not a fan of Condi, but I absolutely cannot stand Katie Couric.

So, my helmet’s off to you, Ms. Rice.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In 2007 Obama preferred genocide in Iraq to victory in Iraq

Here’s the interview from USA Today. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

[...]Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, said it’s likely there would be increased bloodshed if U.S. forces left Iraq.

“Nobody is proposing we leave precipitously. There are still going to be U.S. forces in the region that could intercede, with an international force, on an emergency basis,” Obama said between stops on the first of two days scheduled on the New Hampshire campaign trail. “There’s no doubt there are risks of increased bloodshed in Iraq without a continuing U.S. presence there.”

The greater risk is staying in Iraq, Obama said.

“It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for not only terrorist activity but also irresponsible behavior by Iraqi factions,” he said.

The senator has been a fierce critic of the war in Iraq, speaking out against it even before he was elected to his post in 2004. He was among the senators who tried unsuccessfully earlier this week to force President Bush’s hand and begin to limit the role of U.S. forces there.

“We have not lost a military battle in Iraq. So when people say if we leave, we will lose, they’re asking the wrong question,” he said. “We cannot achieve a stable Iraq with a military. We could be fighting there for the next decade.”

Gateway Pundit adds:

Tonight, when Barack Obama takes credit for the success in Iraq, for a surge that he opposed and for a withdrawal that was agreed upon before he came into office, don’t forget that this president also suggested that genocide would be a better option than victory.

Bush is for victory and liberating Iraqis from a dictator, Obama is for retreat and increased bloodshed. His own words. You don’t learn about war by being a community organizer, teaching people in ACORN how to shake down banks. (ACORN is now being tried for voter fraud, as well). You learn about war by being in the Navy and by listening to generals on the battlefield.

But wasn’t the war in Iraq expensive?

Eight years of war in Iraq cost less than Obama’s job-killing stimulus bill.

Look:

Democrats controlled the House and Senate in January 2007

Democrats controlled the House and Senate in January 2007

And read:

As President Obama prepares to tie a bow on U.S. combat operations in Iraq, Congressional Budget Office numbers show that the total cost of the eight-year war was less than the stimulus bill passed by the Democratic-led Congress in 2009.

According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations.

The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion.

And don’t forget that the Democrats blamed Bush for not regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when videos show them blocking Bush from regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I think that a 5% unemployment rate under Bush is better than a 10% unemployment rate under Obama. It doesn’t matter which of them sounds nicer in speeches – the only thing that matters is facts and results. When government spends too much money, they either have to increase inflation by printing money, or raise taxes. Both take purchasing power away from businesses and investors. Taking money from businesses and investors means fewer jobs. Period.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does the Bible say thou shalt not kill or thou shalt not murder?

Here is an article on it by a prominent Jewish professor of religious studies at the University of Calgary.

His qualifications are here. He is an expert in Hebrew language.

Excerpt:

Those of us who are familiar with the original Hebrew text of the Bible find frequent occasion to whine about inaccuracies and misleading expressions in the translations that are in use among non-Jews. Many of these discrepancies arose out of patently theological motives, as Christian interpreters rewrote passages in the “Old Testament” so as to turn them into predictions or prefigurations of the life of Jesus. Some of the mistranslations, though, are harder to account for.

For me, one of the most irksome cases has always been the rendering of the sixth commandment as “Thou shalt not kill.” In this form, the quote has been conscripted into the service of diverse causes, including those of pacifism, animal rights, the opposition to capital punishment, and the anti-abortion movement.

Indeed, “kill” in English is an all-encompassing verb that covers the taking of life in all forms and for all classes of victims. That kind of generalization is expressed in Hebrew through the verb “harag.” However, the verb that appears in the Torah’s prohibition is a completely different one, ” ratsah” which, it would seem, should be rendered “murder.” This root refers only to criminal acts of killing.

It is, of course, not just a question of etymology. Those ideologies that adduce the commandment in support of their gentle-hearted causes are compelled to feign ignorance of all those other places in the Bible that condone or command warfare, the slaughter of sacrificial animals, and an assortment of methods for inflicting capital punishment.

Not that I don’t agree with this guy about his comments on abortion. I think abortion IS murder, and that Jews always considered it murder. Consider this post at Reason to Stand.

Excerpt:

“The law enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.” -Josephus, 1st century Jewish historian

Regarding the KJV and its translation of the text as “Thou shalt not kill”. The KJV is a poor translation of the Bible. If you know the history of Erasmus and the Textus Receptus, you’ll know it was a rush job done in 1611, and that newer and more manuscripts have emerged since 1611.

Get an NASB. That’s the most literal translation available, except for the original Koine Greek itself. Here’s the relevant verse from Exodus 20 in the NASB. If you want something readable, go for an NIV or and ESV. But to make your case, use an NASB.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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