Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Prager University Video: Were the Middle Ages Dark?

The latest course from Prager University:

There is no period in history more misunderstood than the Middle Ages. Providence College Professor of English, Anthony Esolen, vividly demonstrates why the "Dark Ages" would be better described as the "Brilliant Ages."

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Prager University Video: Separation of Church and State

The latest from Prager University:


"The Separation of Church and State." Probably no phrase has had more impact on American history in the last fifty years than this one. Where did it come from? Who coined it? And, what does it mean? Distinguished law professor, John Eastman, has some surprising answers.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New Prager University Video - Did FDR End or Extend the Great Depression?


The latest from Prager University:
President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal," has long been credited with rescuing the nation from the Great Depression of the 1930's. Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics at UCLA, challenges this conventional wisdom in a provocative examination of FDR's economic policies.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Exercises in Libertarian Uselessness

So apparently Ron Paul's putting out his very own homeschooling curriculum, with the help of noted hack Tom Woods. Rather than reiterating my innate distrust of getting an education from anything either man is attached to (though parents really should ask themselves how much isolationism and secession apologetics they want for their kids), I'll just stick to why this won't be part of any successful 'revolution": the children of parents who not only home-school but are clued in to conservative or libertarian circles enough to even consider something like this are already going to get a classical education and comprehension of center-right philosophy one way or the other, and giving them more of the same just packaged differently or more conveniently isn't going to transform the next generation. The far hard task - and the one nobody in any faction of the Right seems willing to tackle - is how to reform public education and reach the students still ensnared in it.

They Don't Give a Damn About the Children, Exhibit #3,972

It's now been revealed that James Holmes' psychiatrist warned school authorities he was dangerous a month before the Aurora theater massacre. Every time one of these massacres takes place, it turns out that someone recognized the killer's derangement and tried to warn officials (often academic) - only to be ignored. Every time.

If our leaders really cared about "the children," this is what they'd be screaming about, not how to take even more guns from normal Americans.

The Truth About the Wisconsin Jobs Picture

At National Review, Christian Schneider has an informative piece on why Wisconsin's job numbers have yet to reach Scott Walker's promised 250,000 new jobs during his first term, and the truth should challenge the assumptions of Walker's liberal haters. In particular, he notes that Wisconsin still has the fifth worst business climate in America, thanks to high personal and corporate income taxes. In other words, Walker and the legislature haven't gone far enough in the direction that liberals blame for our woes...not that they'll adjust either their positions or their invective accordingly.

However, that's not to say there isn't criticism Walker deserves. For one thing, this is why politicians should be very wary of pledging to deliver certain numbers by a particular date. It doesn't matter if some wonk worked it all out on paper for you; there are always variables you can't foresee and intentions that won't pan out. Aren't conservatives supposed to be the ones with the Hayekian appreciation that economies are too dynamic for total centralized comprehension?

For another, this is also why if Walker thinks he can gain anything by moderating, as he's been signaling, he's dangerously mistaken. Not only have his foes not given Walker any credit for not being as hard-right on taxes as he could be, now he also has moderation's negative policy fallout to deal with.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Obnoxious Laziness of Pro-Gay Marriage "Conservatives"

If the facts that same-sex marriage is a profoundly un-conservative cause or that embracing it would devastate the Republican base aren't enough to make the Right's moderates and libertarian types think twice about jumping on the redefinition bandwagon, the caliber of redefiners' arguments should be. At PJ Media, Roger Simon argues for conservatives to concede that same-sex marriage isn't a big deal. But rather than being particularly original or insightful, his argument perfectly demonstrates his faction's intellectual laziness on the subject and apparent disinterest in taking it seriously.

Nowhere does he even try to refute the actual arguments against same-sex marriage -- primarily, that it would completely sever procreation from marriage's meaning, leaving future generations with a flawed conception of the institution's societal purpose, which is to bind men and women together for the sake of whatever future citizens they create.

Instead, Simon deploys straw man after straw man: "traditional lifestyle that conservatives normally admire and advocate" (leaving "traditional lifestyle" undefined in any useful way), "those heterosexuals deserting" marriage (which nobody's disputing), and "I know that the Bible says this and that" (theology's not the issue -- marriage's social purpose to maintaining a society capable of self-government is).

Most significantly, the straw men go from shoddy to shameful when he talks about how much he listens to his professed good friends Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt arguing against same-sex marriage. Here he is claiming to have substantial familiarity with the position he disagrees with, from people he respects and takes seriously, yet he still shadow-boxes with lazy caricatures of traditional marriage talking points rather than the arguments Prager and Hewitt actually make. 

Is it plausible that Simon could be that familiar with their arguments yet still sincerely believe that he's fairly presented them in today's post? Do true friends treat each other's beliefs and the effort they put into advocating them with such dishonesty and disrespect? And is this the caliber of argument that conservatives are content to do battle against the Left with?

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Prager University Video: What Matters Most

The latest from Prager University:
What's the most important thing you can have? Is it money? Is it love? Is it happiness? Or is it something else? Best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio host Dennis Prager has the answer. It may change the way you look at and, ultimately, lead your life.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Prager University Video: The President Who Shrank Government

New from Prager University:

In terms of reducing the size of the Federal government, which 20th century President most advanced the cause? Most people today would probably answer, "Ronald Reagan." Well, they would be wrong. In fact, it was a little-known President...one with a very "cool" name.

Calvin Coolidge was the single most effective politician in 20th century America at shrinking government and enlarging liberty and thus prosperity. Watch our newest free 5-minute video course to find out how he did it. With his famous Coolidgism, "“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones," Silent Cal was courageous, refusing in most instances to give handouts and subsidies, and rightly trusting that people left to their own devices were the best guarantors of wealth creation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Prager University Video: The UN vs. Israel


From Prager University: 
Which country has the ugliest record of human rights? North Korea? Syria? Iran? Nope. In fact, if you went by what the United Nations says, the most abusive country in the world is also the only free society in the entire Middle East. The UN, the supposed best hope for world peace, condemns Israel more than any other country. The UN Human Rights Council routinely singles out Israel for criticism.

In the newest Prager University course, "Israel vs. the UN," scholar Anne Bayefsky clearly proves that the UN has an anti-Israel bias. Why is this? That's for another video, but in short, since the 1940s, the UN has moved from a pro-Western orientation to an anti-Western and anti-Israel orientation.
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