Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

The Weekly Standard podcasts on Democrats’ terrorists for traitor swap

I listened to these 4 podcasts on the weekend, and I thought there was a lot in there that I had not heard in the news. The Weekly Standard is my favorite political podcast.

June 2nd:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was recently traded for five Taliban prisoners from terrorist captivity.

The MP3 file is here.

June 3rd:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and frequent contributor on why the Bergdahl swap is a terrible deal for American Security.

The MP3 file is here.

June 4th:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with editor William Kristol on the Obama administration’s changing explanations of the Bergdahl prisoner swap.

The MP3 file is here.

June 6th:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was recently traded for five Taliban prisoners from terrorist captivity.

The MP3 file is here.

June 9th:

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on his recent story about  how many White House statements about the Bergdahl/Taliban 5 swap have been contradicted either by facts or by testimony.

The MP3 file is here.

I recommend listening to all of them. The VA scandal was bad, because it was basically the Democrats killing off wounded soldiers. But the release of these 5 terrorist commanders goes beyond that – endangering our men and women in the military and just encouraging our enemies to kidnap more Americans and bargain with them. If you want the bad guys to stop being bad, you kill them. You don’t reward them. That just makes them act more badly.

 

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

Army told soldiers who served with Bergdahl told to lie about his desertion

Left-wing Mediaite reports.

Excerpt:

In an appearance on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, retired Army Spc. Josh Fuller, a soldier who served with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahlsince 2008, said that the military informed him and other soldiers that the “narrative” they should maintain is that Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban rather than that he intentionally left his base. When asked if he believed he was told not to “tell the truth” about Bergdahl by military authorities, Fuller said that he did.

“The sentiment that everybody knew was that he walked off the base in the middle of the night, left all his gear there, and went – just walked off the post,” Fuller said. “So, we had all known that it was — that he had deserted his post, and there was never anything about him getting captured or POW until a little while later whenever it came down from the chain of command that we needed to keep quiet and not say anything.”

“We’re going with the narrative that he was captured,” Fuller said of the military’s position on Bergdahl’s alleged desertion.

“So, they basically told you not to tell the truth,” Fox host Brian Kilmeade said.

“Yes, sir,” Fuller replied.

Fuller concluded by corroborating the claims of Bergdahl’s former team leader, Sgt. Evan Buetow,who told CNN on Tuesday that the Taliban’s attacks became more directed after Bergdahl was captured.

“The ambushes we use, the certain tactics we use, the Taliban was picking up on those things,” Fuller said. “You could tell it was from somebody on the inside that had that info.”

Wow. So we gave away five Taliban commanders not just for a deserter, but for a traitor. Is this supposed to make us safer?

 

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Obama trades five senior Taliban commanders for an American soldier who deserted

The Weekly Standard reports on a prisoner exchange that only a traitor could approve of.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration is facing mounting questions about the controversial prisoner swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from jihadists in Pakistan in exchange for the transfer and ultimate release of five senior Taliban commanders previously held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lawmakers are questioning the wisdom and legality of the move. Intelligence officials are expressing deep concerns about its ramifications. And those who served with Bergdahl—or took risks in the efforts to rescue him—are directly challenging the Obama administration’s characterization of the former captive and his actions.

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl “wasn’t simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, taken on the battlefield.” She added: “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

“That’s not true,” says Specialist Cody Full, who served in the same platoon as Bergdahl, and whose tweets over the weekend as @CodyFNfootball offered an early firsthand account of Bergdahl’s departure. “He was not a hero. What he did was not honorable. He knowingly deserted and put thousands of people in danger because he did. We swore to an oath and we upheld ours. He did not.”

“He walked off—and ‘walked off’ is a nice way to put it,” says Specialist Josh Cornelison, the medic in Bergdahl’s platoon. “He was accounted for late that afternoon. He very specifically planned to walk out in the middle of the night.”

“He was a deserter,” says Specialist Full. “There’s no question in the minds of anyone in our platoon.”

But Susan Rice says this 5 for 1 trade is a good deal. Should we take her word over the word of the soldiers who served with Bergdahl? I think we shouldn’t, because we know she lied about the Benghazi terrorist attack being a “protest” caused by a Youtube video.

The Washington Times points out that other soldiers lost their lives trying to search for the deserter.

Excerpt:

At least six soldiers died while searching for Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal in hostile Taliban territory when he went missing in Afghanistan five years ago.

And now, those who served with those six say Mr. Bergdhal is at fault for their deaths because he abandoned his military post, the New York Post reported.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Mr. Bergdahl’s platoon, to CNN. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

I think the release of 5 Taliban commanders is probably going to cost even more American lives than the 6 already lost. But judging from the administration’s actions with the VA scandal and Benghazi, we seem to be more concerned with helping our enemies than with helping our own soldiers and diplomats. And I’m sure on the left they would think that this was a good thing, somehow. I don’t think it’s a good thing.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Apprenticeship programs help boys develop maturity and job skills

If you have boys, or if you know any, then this article in the left-leaning Atlantic is a must-read for you.

Excerpt:

Young men are more likely to drop out of high school and are less likely to aspire to college than their female peers. Young men who are poor, live in a city, and are black or Latino are at even higher risk of unemployment and unplanned teen fatherhood than their peers in other demographics. As men’s earnings have stagnated, marriage has declined. It’s a vicious cycle: Being unmarried weakens men’s commitment to the work force, but a stagnation in earnings is contributing to the decline in marriage.

Robert Lerman—an economist at American University and fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research center in Washington, D.C.—has a solution. He believes bringing apprentice-based learning to America’s schools would both raise earnings and give young men the skills they need to be good husbands and fathers. Put boys in a real-world situation outside the classroom, with skilled adults as mentors, Lerman says, and students have a chance to engage in on-the-job training in a wide range of fields from baking to boat-building, farming to architecture, public health to civil engineering. This is learning in context and it’s what young men (and women) crave: It feels immediate and real. It is not isolated or abstract; it is refreshingly relevant, and it is taking place in real time, in real space, and among adults who take young people seriously. Youth apprenticeship has an immediacy that engages students who have trouble paying attention in class; instead, they are being given the time and the means to develop genuine mastery in a given field. At the very same time, they are cultivating skills—such as how to communicate effectively, problem-solve, work in teams, and maintain a positive attitude—that help them be reliable partners to their spouses and present, stable fathers to their children.

“If we teach everything entirely in a classroom context, we’re not going to be as effective—even when it comes to academics,” Lerman tells me. “The reality is that people learn best—whether it’s cognitive or technical skills or even how to get along with others—in context.”

Although skill-based training is in decline, the article convincingly show how boys learn better when their education includes real-world skills and real-world behaviors.

Here’s just one snippet:

Robert Halpern, a professor of education at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, whose research focuses on after-school programs for poor children and their families, argues that the best schooling for adolescent developmental needs goes beyond the classroom. During a 30-month investigation of one afterschool apprenticeship program, After School Matters in Chicago, Halpern found that participating youth, who attend the program a mere three afternoons a week for one school year, became more flexible thinkers and undertook tasks with more care. The youngsters learned to persevere and understand the value of working through problems. They became more self-responsible and more patient. Notably, their public behavior changed; they became “more mature, more appropriately assertive,” Halpern explains in his book The Means to Grow Up: Reinventing Apprenticeship as a Developmental Support in Adolescence. These are all skills that serve young people well when they enter the workforce, and when they start families of their own.

These apprenticeships, according to Halpern, gave youth “a sense of different ways of being an adult, what it means to be passionate about a discipline, and what it takes to become good at thinking.” Not only were students learning actively rather than passively for the first time in their lives, the experience enabled many of them to begin to overcome years of thinking of themselves as subpar learners. In so doing, their experiences opened up a future that would otherwise have remained closed, and influenced them at a critical time in their lives. These “very specific learning and work experiences leave a deep imprint on still malleable selves.”

You need to read the whole thing if this is relevant to you. It’s no use complaining about “man up” and other nonsense. The real causes of male decline are systemic. Find the policies that work and implement them. Throw out the failed ideology of feminism from the classroom and do what works for our young men.

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

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on basic economics

Here is a podcast on basic economics from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.

About the speaker:

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the founder and President of the Ruth Institute — a project of the National Organization for Marriage — which seeks to promote life-long married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage.

She is also the Senior Research Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

She is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World, (2005) and Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn’t Work (2001), recently reissued in paperback, as Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village.

Dr. Morse served as a Research Fellow for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1997-2005. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester in 1980 and spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago during 1979-80. She taught economics at Yale University and George Mason University for 15 years.

The MP3 file is here.

Topics:

  • The study of economics is anti-postmodern – there is objective truth independent of what people think
  • The study of economics believes in fixed principles of human nature
  • Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses
  • Economics studies how people exchange resources
  • How both people who engage in a voluntary trade always believe that they will be better off
  • How both people who engage in a voluntary trade both benefit from the exchange
  • How incentives motivate people to act
  • Understanding supply and demand
  • Understanding how “free” government services are rationed
  • Understanding opportunity costs
  • How prices signal producers to produce more or less, and consumers to buy or not buy
  • Market-driven prices versus price controls
  • The role of substitution
  • The necessity of allowing failure in a free market

The requirements of economic growth:

  • private property
  • contracts
  • the profit motive
  • competition
  • free trade
  • entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation
  • the rule of law

If you want to learn more about basic economics, I recommend picking up a book or two by Thomas Sowell – the first book I usually give away is “Intellectuals and Society”, and then next “Basic Economics”.

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