The Left's 1942
By J.R. Dunn
Nineteen forty-two was the critical year of WWII. During that year, four battles were fought that turned the fortunes of war in favor of the Allies. At the beginning of the year, the Allies, reeling from the collapse of France and the ensuing Blitz, the loss of Greece and Crete, Hitler's invasion of Russia, Pearl Harbor, and the string of ensuing defeats across Asia and the Pacific, were facing universal catastrophe. By the end of the year, the tide had turned on virtually all fronts, and the Allied cause was well on its way to victory.
At Midway in early June, the U.S. Navy reversed the previous six months of unbroken Japanese victories by sinking the core of the Japanese carrier fleet. Four Imperial Navy fleet-carriers were sunk in two days and hundreds of seasoned pilots killed. The Japanese Navy was never again to go on the offensive in the Central Pacific.
At Guadalcanal two months later, a Marine landing triggered a seesaw campaign that lasted into 1943, climaxing with the capping of the Japanese Army's advance across the Southwest Pacific and the beginning of the island-hopping campaign that returned the Pacific to Allied control.
In Russia, an idiotic German attempt to take Stalingrad for P.R. reasons began in late August. It was to culminate in February 1943 with the complete destruction of the Wehrmacht's Sixth Army and the beginning of the Russian offensive that was to end only when Soviet tanks reached Berlin.
In October, the Second Battle of El Alamein sent Rommel's Afrika Korps fleeing Egypt in complete disarray, never to return. At the opposite end of the North African littoral, a U.S. invasion code-named "Operation Torch" created a pincer that was to force the Axis out of Africa by the middle of next year.
Few epochs in history have ever witnessed such a cumulative change of fortunes in such a short time. But in times to come, 2017 may well be looked upon in the same way as regards the defeat of leftism in the Western world.
While certainly not as dramatic as the events of WWII, the political defeat of leftism may well be just as decisive. It is, after all, the last surviving remnant of what historian John Lukacs called the "social-nationalist" ideologies, which include fascism, Nazism, Communism, and state Shinto. Leftism is a survival of the politically diseased 20th century, remaining only due to social inertia and rabid indoctrination through education and the media.
It may finally be coming to the end of its string. It's a fact easily drawn from recent history that these ideologies can maintain themselves only through brutal and unrelenting coercion. Both fascism and communism ruled only through the pistol and barbed wire. Liberalism, thanks to the rule of law and the checks and balances that constitute our political system, could not resort to these resources except in limited cases that immediately provoked mass revulsion. So, unlike its brother ideologies, liberalism failed to maintain its rule over the long haul. Even though it persuaded millions – perhaps even the majority of this country's citizenry – a large minority refused to accept it. With ideologies, anything less than total acceptance is complete failure, followed by inevitable collapse.
The past year may have marked the beginning of that collapse. It's both worthwhile and a serious pleasure to list liberalism's defeats in 2017.
The destruction of Clintonism – By far the greatest threat to American democracy is the national criminal organization created by the Clintons. Bill Clinton leveraged what he had learned from his mother's friends among the Hot Springs criminal syndicates to jump-start his political career. His wife proved to be an avid student, extending this criminal behavior to the international sphere through the Clinton Foundation. The end result of these activities would eventually have matched Rome's Julio-Claudians or the Borgias of Renaissance Italy. Hillarious Clinton's self-destruction in the 2016 election, reinforced by her self-parodying behavior over the past year, has freed America from this threat for the first time in a quarter-century.
The destruction of the dynasty principle in American politics – The Clinton attempt to create a political dynasty imitated the Kennedys. With heavy support from media and the political elites, the Kennedy family attempted to exert dynastic control over national politics following the 1960s. Success by either of these clans (along with the Bushes) would have reverted the U.S. to a European aristocratic system, with ensuing corruption and loss of liberties. The collapse of Clintonism, along with Jeb Bush's pathetic showing in the 2016 election, has curtailed this – at least for the moment.
The undermining of Obamacare – Obamacare marked the first attempt by the federal government to seize control of the elements of the day-to-day life of the citizenry. Fortunately, Democratic incompetence created a system that could not conceivably work. The elimination of the individual mandate in the tax reform of 2017 has effectively gutted Obamacare, to the relief of everyone but the bureaucracy.
The sidelining of the hard leftist resistance in the form of Antifa – Antifa is only the latest effort to create a revolutionary vanguard in the Leninist mode to crush all opposition to the left by means of unbridled violence. This attempt to create an American Red Guard died with a whimper last November 4, when a widely promoted"national uprising" failed to materialize, clearly demonstrating that the U.S. is not Weimar.
The abandonment of the Paris Accord – Even as repeated winters of record-breaking subzero temperatures show that we may well be entering another solar minimum era like that of the 17th century, the "global warming" fraud limps on. But it will have to do so without the crutch of international political support, since Donald Trump unilaterally yanked the U.S. from the "agreement" that was intended to serve as a basis for a global warmist bureaucracy.
The Jerusalem embassy – Trump also ended the multi-decade kabuki theater piece regarding the status of Jerusalem as Israel's capital with a bold move that humiliated not only the Palestinians, but also the U.N. and anti-Semitic Europe. Discussions can move on with no further questions concerning Israel's legitimacy.
The exposure of Barack Obama – Obama once again ended up on "ten most admired" lists late last year, something that might make you believe you'd slipped into a universe where humans evolved from Hobbits. In truth, it's worse than even the biggest Obama-hater ever imagined. Obama is no longer the Light-Bringer, the Alpha and Omega. He's Keyser Söze.
The collapse of the Mueller investigation – Some commentators have asserted that Mueller is in fact "friendly" to Donald Trump. Call me unconvinced. It seems to me that they're mistaking incompetence for benevolence, as familiarity with Mueller's unimpressive previous record would suggest. Whatever the case, the revelations that the Steele dossier was a Clinton concoction and that many of Mueller's "disinterested" staff were effectively Hillarious's political operatives have gutted this investigation. Expect no more from this corner.
The #MeToo movement – In an outburst of uncontrolled social hysteria, the ladies succeeded in taking down a 9-to-1 or more majority of Democrats and leftists, including such power figures as Harvey Weinstein, a major leftist bagman; John Conyers, a deeply corrupt career leftist; and Al Franken. The appointment of Anita Hill as leader of the movement guarantees that it will peter out into sheer ineffectuality in short order, before it begins to harm the innocent. As it stands, it must be counted as a victory not only in the number of creeps it took down, but in the way it revealed left-wing hypocrisy.
The complete turnaround of the economy – Obama's lame "recovery" is now a memory. This year saw the markets switching to afterburner and a GDP growth rate exceeding 3% The next year should be even better. This is the second time in thirty years that market principles have proven out as infinitely superior to the dregs of New Deal-type Keynesianism. Has the lesson been learned?
Last but not least, the exposure of traditional conservatives – In the past, I have termed as "Northeast Corridor conservatives," as abject elitists, effectively the right tendency of this country's left-wing elite. Many of them, including William Kristol and Peter Wehner, tied themselves in knots over Donald Trump's ascension to power, going so far as to dabble in supporting Hillarious, the greatest internal enemy of American freedom in my lifetime. Max Boot has proudly announced his shame over his "white privilege," and John Podhoretz is pontificating on Twitter concerning the sacredness of "diversity." It seems clear that the contempt for modern America, its popular culture, the working man, and everything west and south of E. 35th St. has once again seized traditional conservatism after decades of hibernation during the Buckley era. We can do better without it.
These victories are all unprecedented and unmatched. They leave the political chessboard entirely transformed, changed so utterly that we have only an unclear vision of the what the endgame might be.
Never in my memory has leftism been so disarrayed and subdued. The Democrats have no leadership; no money; no issues; and little more than psychotics, phonies, fanatics, and freaks in positions of power. They appear to be basing their political strategy on the destruction of their bête noire, Donald Trump, the first great leader of this millennium, and so blind that they fail to see that it hasn't worked.
Never have opportunities for restoring full representative government been so promising. Nothing is guaranteed. Some of these victories may be turned around. Some may be fumbled by an inept GOP or a clumsy conservative base (as in the case of Roy Moore).
But make no mistake: this is the left's worst nightmare. Leftists' carriers have been sunk, their panzers abandoned and burning amid the desert sands and the snows of the steppes. They have awoken from their fantasy world to find themselves on a darkling plain, alone and without friends.
Winston Churchill said, "Before El Alamein, we never had a victory. Afterward, we never had a defeat." This was an exaggeration that held within it a great truth. We can look forward to plenty of Churchill's blood, toil, tears, and sweat, but now we can see clearly what victory over the dead hand of the left might look like.
For the first time in many decades, we can turn our eyes toward the bright sunlit uplands, where liberty reigns, and where each may abide by his vine and fig tree and be not afraid.
JANUARY 3, 2018
K-12: Killing Democracy
By Bruce Deitrick Price
Rudolf Flesch, in his 1955 book, noted that "things have changed in the last 10, 20 years. For the first time in history, American parents see their children getting less education than they got themselves. Their sons and daughters come home from school and they can't read the newspaper; they can't spell simple words like February or Wednesday; they don't know the difference between Austria and Australia. The fathers and mothers don't know the reason for this, but they know that something terrible has happened to their most precious dreams and aspirations[.]"
Isn't it beautiful – the way Flesch perceives the decline of American civilization from two tiny examples? Austria and Australia look alike. What's the big deal about telling them apart? Such casual imprecision is how students think today and is the essence of our problem. Flesch remains The Man in American education. Early on, he grasped the garish symptoms of the country's intellectual death spiral. A school system that doesn't teach children the difference between days of the week and months of the year? Well, there's little hope for it.
Even as the Education Establishment insisted that American children read, write, and spell better than ever, Flesch proved the absurdity of this claim. He saw the country's academic decline; he saw the intellectual fabric of the country start to unravel. "The American dream is, essentially, equal opportunity through free education for all. This dream is beginning to vanish in a country where the public schools are falling down on the job[.]"
Please read that three times. There should be symphonic accompaniment with big drums. The American dream is vanishing; equal opportunity through free education is fading. All of this was stated back in 1955, in Flesch's famous book, Why Johnny Can't Read. Writing ostensibly on competing theories about reading, Flesch exposes competing theories of who shall control the country. Flesch is talking about power. With sight-words, people don't have any.
You do not need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. If hostile forces want to subvert the country, the simplest technique is to subvert reading. Australia-Austria become part of the same blur. Words and language, reading and comprehension – these touch every aspect of every life every day. Poison reading, and you poison everything else. (And the victims are made to pay for it all, in ever higher education budgets!)
Rudolf Flesch, who had both a law degree and a Ph.D. in library science, was the sharpest knife in the drawer. He saw this attempted coup directed against reading. He saw that the use of sight-words (also known as the whole word method) was nothing less than an attempt to destroy reading as traditionally understood and replace it with a crippled sort of faux reading. He saw the grand significance of this coup: "I say, therefore, that the word method is gradually destroying democracy in this country; it returns to the upper middle class the privileges that public education was supposed to distribute evenly among the people." Everyone who has a good patriotic heart should feel sick reading that.
The Founding Fathers saw public education as the means for fulfilling the country's big dreams. Public education was supposed to give everyone an even shot. Without fair, efficient education, however, the benefits could not be distributed. Those in the upper middle class could hold on to their privileges and expand them. People cynically calling themselves liberals and Democrats would assist this illiberal, anti-democratic operation.
Flesch's chronology starts in the middle 1930s, a few years after sight-words were made the dominant instructional method. He notes sarcastically that the educators "trot out all sorts of data and statistics to show that American children read, write, spell much better than they used to." In fact, there were many illiteracy problems, including dyslexia.
The Education Establishment knew that sight-words are not an actual way to read or to teach reading. What, then? Sight-words were more like a psy-ops directed at the enemy's weakest point. This salient, wide and powerful, exists to this day. The majority of children in the United States learn to read with sight-words. Nothing has changed since the 1930s. This is a remarkable victory for the dark side.
As a practical matter, the victims of sight-words are given a severely limited vocabulary. You might think of it as a worker's or slave's vocabulary. Instead of the 100,000 or 200,000 words that most educated people speak and read without much effort, you have people who are painfully confined to a reading vocabulary of only 500 or 1,000 sight-words. These people are called functional illiterates, and they are not a tiny minority. This is 50 million people. Illiteracy and sight-words go together like love and marriage.
Flesch is such a keen observer and thinker that he seems to be a prophet. In fact, anyone could see who wanted to. The Education Establishment was committed to dumbing down the country. Its operatives went with the method that would do that. Anyone seriously interested in turning the situation around has to go back to the beginning, circa 1935, when things started to fall apart. Eliminate the big change at that time: the introduction of sight-words. Return to the traditional teaching of reading by phonics. Presto. We are reborn.
Why Johnny Can't Read can be purchased on Amazon for under $10. Every educated person should read Chapter 1, about 22 pages. Indeed, you understand our educational problems only when you have read this. Flesch wrote a second book in 1981 called Why Johnny Still Can't Read. If you have time to read an entire book, this is the best choice. It's built around the ten alibis, and they haven't changed in forty years. The main one is "We do teach phonics."
As that claim shows, K-12 is a swamp of sophistry and insincerity. There's not much you can trust. Flesch and phonics – trust them.
Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is Saving K-12. He deconstructs educational theories and methods at Improve-Education.org.