Do you care about the race of your doctor, or the gender of the person who built the bridge you drive across? The latest trend across STEM fields claims you should. Heather Mac Donald, Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Diversity Delusion, explains where these destructive ideas are coming from.
First, I want to start with a video from a Prager University flashback to the giant named Charles Krauthammer:
A compatriot on Facebook who is a #NeverTrumper posted a link to this article at the biased*WASHINGTON POST, entitled, “Trump’s wall is a monument to vanity and bigotry,” and then asked for the following:
Read this and THEN tell me why a wall (as described by Trump) makes sense. Feel free to comment if you have read the piece here by Michael J. Gerson.
I read the article and commented on it… here are some of my thoughts (I will add to the original comments for my site).
There are many issues with the article. A few being as follows, that Trump long ago said the Border Patrol wanted something different in parts and he would listen to them. He has also said a while back (during the campaign) that the BARRIER would be about a 1,000 miles long, again – some wall, and reinforcing fencing etc. Here, NPR (January 26, 2017) interviews the Border Patrol’s union leader Brandon Judd >>>
JUDD:I don’t think it’s going to be – well, OK, it’s going to be a lot more secure. But what we’re talking about is we’re talking about a wall in strategic locations. We’re not talking about a great wall of the United States. We’re not talking about a continuous wall from California down to Texas. We’re talking about a wall in strategic locations which then helps the Border Patrol agents do their job better.
INSKEEP:Because there are some places that are so sparsely populated and the ground is so fierce or so harsh you really don’t need…
JUDD: Correct, correct.
INSKEEP: So you’ve told us when you were on the program last time that about 10 to 15 percent of the border has serious fences in your view and maybe you’d double that under this proposal.
JUDD:That’s what I’m thinking. Again, I don’t have the exact specifics of what they’re going to do, but I do know that they’re looking in specific places like Laredo, Texas, where we have very, very little walls. Yet, the state that Laredo, Texas, borders is extremely violent. And so we’re looking in locations like that. They’re looking in locations like that, but I think it’s going to be very effective.
I post this clarification of the political hyperbole (on both sides) because the WaPo article refers to AN MIT ARTICLE discussing the cost of a 1,000 mile 50-foot wall. For all of Trump’s bluster, which the Left and #NeverTrumper’s take literally, like skeptics insist literalness in all places of the Bible instead of understanding hyperbole, and texts that do and do not incorporate it, such as: law text, history texts, wisdom literature, Hebrew poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic writing, and war texts. It would be like me reading EXODUS 15:8 and positing that God has a BIG nose, or reading PSALM 91:4 and saying God is a giant chicken. Many Christians would reject a skeptics misunderstanding in these areas (at least Christians true to a healthy hermeneutical approach to the Word).
Here is Brandon Judd in a more recent interview. Notice his position is the same, and in alignment with Trump:
First, understand the problem. In California, the migrants are targeting a part of the border where there is a barrier. But much of the border’s 1,954 miles remains uncovered. According to the Border Patrol, 354 of those 1,954 miles are protected by what is called a pedestrian primary fence, which is a single-layer fence. Another 37 miles are a pedestrian secondary fence, that is, double-layer fencing. And 14 miles are pedestrian tertiary, or a triple-layer fence. In addition, 300 miles are covered by vehicle fencing, which will stop a truck but allow anyone to walk through with no problem.
That is a total of 705 miles — 405 miles of some kind of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing.
No one, or almost no one, says a fence should cover all 1,954 miles of the border. A significant part of the border is terrain so dangerous and imposing that it would be very difficult for migrants to cross. During the campaign, and during his presidency, Trump called for a wall along about 1,000 miles.
“We have 2,000 miles [of border], of which we really need 1,000 miles, because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Trump said in August 2016.
But Democrats oppose even that. And since Republicans could not pass wall funding when they controlled all of Congress and the White House, how could they possibly do it now, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in charge of the House?
Still, there is one possible course for Republicans. It is Public Law 109-367, better known as the Secure Fence Act.
The Act was passed by big, bipartisan majorities in 2006, receiving 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate. It required the federal government to build reinforced fencing, at least two layers deep, along about 700 miles of the border. It specified the areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas where fencing would be installed.
If the law had been followed, many vulnerable parts of the border would now be secured. But the very next year, 2007, after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, Congress amended the Secure Fence Act. The amendment said that “nothing in [the original legislation] shall require” the installation of fencing if the government determines that a fence is not the “most appropriate” way to secure the border……
Do I wish Donald Trump would communicate his ideas more thoughtfully and cogently? Of course. I am also an adult who realizes he must excoriate language to get to the real meaning of the points made by this administration — not use hyperbole to make an embroidered political statement back at Trump (a hyperbolic position). Something our border residents do not need.
In another section of the WaPo article,
The era of limited government is emphatically over in the only political party where it once had some appeal. …. This is the strange case of a political metaphor slipping off the page and trying to break into reality. The images and symbols of political rhetoric can assume an importance beyond language. Ronald Reagan’s evocation of a “shining city on a hill” rooted his appeal in the American exceptionalism of our Pilgrim parents. …. But no one actually proposed getting the building permits for Reagan’s city…
The facile mantra I often hear is that “Reagan wanted to tear down walls; Trump wants to build.” WHAT NONSENSE!
For the record, liberals often falsely and inaccurately quote Reagan’s farewell address, in which he explained what he meant about the “shining city.” Yes, America was a nation of immigrants, but liberals fail to note his city had “walls” and “a door.” …. Reagan believed in borders, in earned American citizenship. He did not believe in breaking the law to get ahead.
It is a rejection of our broader concepts involved in our political history and battles thereof. In this regard, I have no idea why Michael Gerson would invoke Reagan? He wanted to spend money to reinforce the border along his Shining City. This is the most unlearned portion of the article. History is not the forte of the Left. Here is a reminder of Reagan regretting trying to make a deal with the Democrats from another post of mine. Reagan didn’t regret “amnesty,” he regretted TRUSTING THE DEMOCRATS who did not live up to securing the border ….. sound familiar? Larry speaks with John Heubusch of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute:
What Trump Could Learn From The Reagan Immigration Amnesty: The Reagan Amnesty Of 2.7 Million Illegal Immigrants Was Paired With The Promise Of Controlling The Border
Of which I excerpt a portion of:
…In his book, Reagan: The Life, H.W. Brands writes about the president’s interpretation of a 1986 immigration bill at the time.
“Al Simpson came by to see if he had my support,” Reagan recorded in October 1986, shortly after the measure cleared the House. “They have one or two amendments we could do without, but even if the Senate conference can’t get them out, I’ll sign it. It’s high time we regained control of our borders, and this bill will do it.”
The legislation at the time was widely viewed as an enforcement-first measure, said then-Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who advised Reagan on the matter along with other Cabinet officials.
“It is very definitely a teachable moment,” Meese, the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow emeritus at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal, when asked how the 1986 legislation might inform President Donald Trump in his negotiations with congressional Democrats on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), implemented by his predecessor.
The Reagan amnesty of 2.7 million illegal immigrants was paired with the promise of controlling the border and penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants. The legislation was better known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, named for its sponsors, Simpson and then-Rep. Romano Mazzoli, D-Ky.
The problem with the 1986 law was that the promised enforcement didn’t occur, but the amnesty did, Meese said….
President Reagan’s Remarks at Signing Ceremony for Immigration Reform and Control Act in Roosevelt Room. November 6, 1986
Steven Hayward, a historian and Reagan biographer, continues the idea in a DAILY SIGNAL, .
“I think President Trump has to insist that employment E-Verify, funding for serious border security, not necessarily a wall, and an end to chain migration have to be non-negotiable conditions of any deal,” Hayward said. “Reagan should have applied to immigration what he said about arms control with the Soviet Union, ‘Trust, but verify,’ or in this case, ‘Trust, but E-Verify.’ That’s the lesson Trump should take.”
The article mentioned that a better law for seasonal workers would work. Trump is not saying he doesn’t want this? Dumb. However, that would work better with the barrier.
Another glaring misstatement by the WaPo article is based off of this claim:
“Never mind that violent crime rates among migrants are significantly lower than among the native-born.”
This just is not true. The WASHINGTON TIMESnotes a more thorough study when they say conclusively that the “crime rate among illegal immigrants in Arizona is twice that of other residents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday, citing a new report based on conviction data.” NATIONAL REVIEWrightly notes that John Lott used “more recent and comprehensive state data, found that illegal immigrants are far more likely to commit crimes than lawful residents.”
A SSRN STUDY by John R. Lott published in February 2018 found that from 1985-2017 illegal aliens had a 163% greater chance of being convicted of 1st degree murder than Arizona citizens. Illegals had a 168% greater chance of being convicted of 2nd degree murder than an Arizona citizen.
John Lott recently published a study that examines the incarceration of illegal immigrants in Arizona. Lott found that over the past 33 years, illegal immigrants have constituted an average of 4.8 percent of Arizona’s population. Yet during that same 33-year period, illegal immigrants constituted 11.2 percent of those convicted of crimes in Arizona — more than twice their share of the population. Lott found that illegal immigrants were dramatically more likely to be convicted of a homicide-related offense than either native-born Americans or legal immigrants during that 33-year period — 163 percent more likely to be convicted of first-degree murder and 168 percent more likely to be convicted of second-degree murder. “Undocumented immigrants were also consistently more likely to be convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, sexual assault of a minor, sexual assault, DUI or DWI, and kidnapping.” Lott also found that illegal immigrants who met the age requirements for DACA were overrepresented in the prison population.
The Washington Post and the Left and #NeverTrumpers like to quote CATO Institutes study and Snope’s study refuting John Lott’s work. However, he has thoroughly responded to these works. Here are two examples — followed by others:
Between 4,000 and 6,000 people are murdered a year by illegal aliens (THE HILL & TIGER DROPPINGS). Remember, Obama declared a State of Emergency and stopped immigration over 4,000 deaths from H1N1.
When Gerson says the following,
Proposing a wall is really an argument that America can protect itself from the dangers of the world at its national boundaries. But this theory failed to contain the disorders of Europe and East Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.
He goes on to note the Cold War and terrorism. Even going so far as saying to end his article, “putting our faith in a wall requires us to unlearn the bloodiest lessons of the last century. And to repeat them.” WTH?
This is just silly.
First, walls throughout history have worked. Even during the Cold War. For instance, the wall built by Communists in Germany… worked. The wall and the “rampart” slashed defections to just 185 people per year. (All of the following comes from AMERICAN RENAISSANCE):
The reinforcing of the border barrier (16-foot-tall barrier [barbed wire fence] ran 152-miles) between Egypt and Israel worked as well. The 2013 upgrade reduced illegal incursions at the border by an average of 99.4 percent. The improvements completed in January 2017 cut illegal immigration to zero. As of June 2017, not a single person had breached the fence. Here is a graph noting the drop:
The wall separating the West Bank and Israel worked as well. By 2012, 63 percent (277 miles) of the border was walled (25 feet high) or fenced. They have not built past the 63% mark:
In July 2015, Hungary began building a 13-foot-tall fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia. This barbed wire enforced fence accomplished it’s goal:
LIKEWISE, as the length of the southwest barrier increased—evidence that even a limited barrier can deter illegal immigration:
Simply put, Walls Work:
Michael Gerson basically said wall don’t work. But they do. That is, if you look to the real world and not “experts.” The Border Patrol say they work. Again [sigh],
When charges of “racism” and “xenophobia” fail, Democrats’ fallback argument against President Trump’s proposed border wall is that it simply “won’t work,” so why waste billions building it? Tell that to the residents of El Paso, Texas.
Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration — already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez.
In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, ……..
The Border Patrol wants the same thing Trump does. An NBPC’s survey of more than 600 agents in two of the Border Patrol’s busiest sectors confirmed this: A stunning 89 percent of line agents say a “wall system in strategic locations is necessary to securing the border.” Just 7 percent disagreed.
To conclude my comments, I would have to say that only someone who has a bad taste for reality would say this is a good article. From using Reagan, to saying barriers don’t work, to not understanding what Democrats really want, etc., This is the low bar the Washington Post sets.
Sad. Sad that thinking Reaganite’s fall for it.
*Financial and readership decisions + dislike of Trump: “trump” civility and truth.
…former executive editor of the New York Times says the paper’s news pages, the home of its straight-news coverage, have become “unmistakably anti-Trump.”
Jill Abramson, the veteran journalist who led the newspaper from 2011 to 2014, says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility.
“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson writes, adding that she believes the same is true of the Washington Post. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
What’s more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”
Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. “The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she writes.
Trump claims he is keeping the “failing” Times in business—an obvious exaggeration—but the former editor acknowledges a “Trump bump” that saw digital subscriptions during his first six months in office jump by 600,000, to more than 2 million….
Do humans have free will or are our decisions entirely products of chemistry, physics, and genetics? Is there a difference between the brain and the mind? Could a neuroscientist with enough knowledge of our brains know every decision that we’ll make? The answers to these questions cut to the heart of what it means to be human.
When writing The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx thought he was providing a road to utopia, but everywhere his ideas were tried, they resulted in catastrophe and mass murder. In this video, Paul Kengor, Professor of Political Science at Grove City College, illuminates the life of the mild-mannered 19th Century German whose ideas led to the rise of some of the most brutal dictators in world history.
President Obama made many promises to the American people regarding health care reform — but the Affordable Care Act was destined to fail. Why? Lanhee Chen of the Hoover Institute explains why government-run health care is not the answer.
Can one man change the world? The life and work of Martin Luther prove the answer to that question is an unqualified, “yes.” Stephen Cornils of the Wartburg Theological Seminary details the rebellion that fractured a centuries-old religion and changed the course of history.
Think of all the horrors of the 20th Century: The Holocaust. The Bolshevik Revolution. The Cold War. Were it not for the assassination of one Austro-Hungarian archduke in 1914, none of those events would have ever happened. Historian and author Andrew Roberts explains.
It’s undeniable: Around the world, nationalism is on the march, and the media and reigning political elites would have you believe this is a dangerous disaster in the making. So, why is Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of Nationalism, unafraid? Watch to understand.
Back in Virginia in 1788, Madison led the fight for ratification of the Constitution at the state’s convention, oratorically dueling with Patrick Henry and other Anti-Federalists who tried to block the nationalistic document. The compromise reached was ratification together with the promise of a Bill of Rights that would be promptly added. All 13 states ratified the new Constitution and it took effect in 1789, as Washington was sworn in as president.
By late 1815, however, Madison asked Congress for a new bank, which had strong support from the younger, nationalistic republicans such as John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay, as well as Federalist Daniel Webster. Madison signed it into law in 1816 and appointed William Jones as its president.
Like other nationalists Madison was disgusted with the weak national government of the 1780s—it was badly organized (with no president and no courts), and lacked the power to raise taxes. It would be unable to defend the new nation in a major war. Hamilton therefore was a strong proponent of powerful national government at this point. (He changed his mind in the 1790s.)
(Originally posted in 2016 — UPDATED) What’s a greater leap of faith: God or the Multiverse? What’s the multiverse? Brian Keating, Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego, explains in this video.
Here are a couple of great articles to read on the “Multiverse” and the war on science, ala cultural atheism — I love Denyse O’Leary’s title of the first article excerpted:
Until recently, many were reluctant to accept this idea of the “multiverse”, or were even belligerent towards it. However, recent progress in both cosmology and string theory is bringing about a major shift in thinking. Gone is the grudging acceptance or outright loathing of the multiverse. Instead, physicists are starting to look at ways of working with it, and maybe even trying to prove its existence.
Maybe even trying to prove its existence? Yes because, remember, evidence is now superfluous. Methodological naturalism produced the Copernican Principle, which is an axiom. It axiomatically accounts for our universe’s apparent fine tuning by postulating — without the need for evidence — an infinity of flops. And cosmologists’ acceptance makes the multiverse orthodoxy.
…Ian Sample, science writer for Britain’s Guardian, asked Hawking in 2011, “What is the value in knowing ‘Why are we here?'” Hawking replied:
The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can’t solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those Societies most likely to survive. We assign them a higher value.
Sample had no idea what Hawking meant. But we can discern this much: Philosophy and religion may not matter, but Darwin does.
How far has the multiverse penetrated our culture? Tegmark observes, “Parallel universes are now all the rage, cropping up in books, movies and even jokes.” Indeed, multiverse models can hardly be invented fast enough, with or without science. Cosmologist Andrei Linde has commented that a scenario that is “very popular among journalists” has remained rather unpopular among scientists. In short, popular science culture needs that scenario.
Multiverse cosmologists look out on a bright future, freed from the demands of evidence. Leonard Susskind writes, “I would bet that at the turn of the 22nd century philosophers and physicists will look nostalgically at the present and recall a golden age in which the narrow provincial 20th century concept of the universe gave way to a bigger better [multiverse] … of mind-boggling proportions.” Physicists Alejandro Jenkins and Gilad Perez say their computer program shows that “universes with different physical laws might still be habitable.” And reviewing theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss’s Universe From Nothing (2012), science writer Michael Brooks notes that the multiverse puts laws of physics “beyond science — for now, at least.” Before methodological naturalism really sank in, undemonstrable universes, not the laws of physics, were beyond science….
War on science? Well, we hear about it more often than we see it. People—particularly naturalist atheists involved with progressive causes, who are flogging up some unverifiable thesis—are prone to claiming that their opponents are creationists (whether they are or not, in any meaningful sense), or else some other type of warriors against science.
There is, as it happens, an assault on the science concept of falsifiability as explained at PBS:
Does Science Need Falsifiablity?
Meanwhile, cosmologists have found themselves at a similar impasse. We live in a universe that is, by some estimations, too good to be true. The fundamental constants of nature and the cosmological constant, which drives the accelerating expansion of the universe, seem “fine-tuned” to allow galaxies and stars to form. As Anil Ananthaswamy wrote elsewhere on this blog, “Tweak the charge on an electron, for instance, or change the strength of the gravitational force or the strong nuclear force just a smidgen, and the universe would look very different, and likely be lifeless.”
Why do these numbers, which are essential features of the universe and cannot be derived from more fundamental quantities, appear to conspire for our comfort?
In fact, you can reason your way to the “multiverse” in at least four different ways, according to MIT physicist Max Tegmark’s accounting. The tricky part is testing the idea. You can’t send or receive messages from neighboring universes, and most formulations of multiverse theory don’t make any testable predictions. Yet the theory provides a neat solution to the fine-tuning problem. Must we throw it out because it fails the falsifiability test?
“It would be completely non-scientific to ignore that possibility just because it doesn’t conform with some preexisting philosophical prejudices,” says Sean Carroll, a physicist at Caltech, who called for the “retirement” of the falsifiability principle in a controversial essay for Edge last year. Falsifiability is “just a simple motto that non-philosophically-trained scientists have latched onto,” argues Carroll. He also bristles at the notion that this viewpoint can be summed up as “elegance will suffice,” as Ellis put it in a stinging Nature comment written with cosmologist Joe Silk.
“I think falsifiability is not a perfect criterion, but it’s much less pernicious than what’s being served up by the ‘post-empirical’ faction,” says Frank Wilczek, a physicist at MIT. “Falsifiability is too impatient, in some sense,” putting immediate demands on theories that are not yet mature enough to meet them. “It’s an important discipline, but if it is applied too rigorously and too early, it can be stifling.”
Astronomers are arguing about whether they can trust this untested—and potentially untestable—idea
Detailing the objections of those who want evidence, she then explains,
Other scientists say that the definitions of “evidence” and “proof” need an upgrade. Richard Dawid of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy believes scientists could support their hypotheses, like the multiverse—without actually finding physical support. He laid out his ideas in a book called String Theory and the Scientific Method. Inside is a kind of rubric, called “Non-Empirical Theory Assessment,” that is like a science-fair judging sheet for professional physicists. If a theory fulfills three criteria, it is probably true.
First, if scientists have tried, and failed, to come up with an alternative theory that explains a phenomenon well, that counts as evidence in favor of the original theory. Second, if a theory keeps seeming like a better idea the more you study it, that’s another plus-one. And if a line of thought produced a theory that evidence later supported, chances are it will again.
Radin Dardashti, also of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, thinks Dawid is straddling the right track. “The most basic idea undergirding all of this is that if we have a theory that seems like it works, and we have come up with nothing that works better, chances are our idea is right,” he says.
But, historically, that undergirding has often collapsed, and scientists haven’t been able to see the obvious alternatives to dogmatic ideas. For example, the Sun, in its rising and setting, seems to go around Earth. People, therefore, long thought that our star orbited the Earth. More.
With so many people rethinking evolution, the Darwinians could use a theory that doesn’t require physical support too.
Smug Lawrence Krauss taken back to school by physicist David Gross.
Should Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude? Or should they mourn it as a day of guilt? Michael Medved, author of The American Miracle, shares the fascinating story of the first Thanksgiving. (See also my MAIN THANKSGIVING DAY POST)
Dennis Prager interviews Eric Metaxas about his article entitled “The Miracle of Squanto’s Path to Plymouth.” In the discussion what becomes clear is that America had a divine hand in its founding and ultimately the reasoning for this was the overwhelming good in influencing other nations in her history. He has written a book on this a while back: