War Unwinnable — New Enemy Offensive

War Unwinnable In Face Of Renewed German Offensive,” Transterrestrial Musings, http://www.transterrestrial.com/archives/004711.html#004711, 17 December 2004 (from Instapundit).

December 17th, 1944

PARIS (Routers) Long-time critics of the Roosevelt administration declared themselves vindicated today, as the Germans began a renewed offensive yesterday in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, opening a huge hole in the “Allied” lines and throwing back troops for miles, with previously unimaginable US casualties.

It all came as a complete shock to the Roosevelt administration who, rumor has it, had been informed by the head of OSS that the imminent collapse of the German army was a “lead-pipe cinch.” This only confirmed reasonable pre-election suspicions that the administration and General Eisenhower were operating on flawed intelligence, and led the nation into an invasion of Europe on clearly false pretenses.

This new setback came amidst continuing problems with the new government in France, installed by the “Allies.” Many consider it a puppet, lacking legitimacy, and it has proven itself inept. The situation is chaotic, and “President” De Gaulle has shown himself to be unable to control food riots, or prevent the commission of massacres of former regime loyalists and the German troops who had supported the overthrown legitimate Vichy government. Though elections are promised sometime in the future, there is widespread doubt, given the infighting between FRLs, communists, and Gaullists, that peaceful and orderly elections can be held any time soon or that civil war can be prevented.

Many have pointed out that the troop strength on the continent has been inadequate since the invasion at Normandy last June, and that this only confirmed that. In addition, they say, it didn’t help that, due to incompetence at the highest levels, up to the newly installed Secretary of War Hull, many troops died as a result of our own bombs.

As a result, the new setback has renewed rumbling among some that the time has come to seek an accord with the Nazi regime that could allow a withdrawal from Europe with honor, and not lose any more American troops in a hopeless cause, let alone bog them down for an unforeseeable period of time. “It was Japan that attacked us, not Germany,” pointed out a Senate staffer. “We need to focus our resources on the true enemy in the Pacific.”

The above is funny. MSM news on Iraqi is too, but unintentionally.

Terrible Back Then, Too

A Textbook Case,” Donald Luskin, The Conspiracy to Keep you Poor and Stupid, http://www.poorandstupid.com/2004_12_12_chronArchive.asp#110330112002118015, 17 December 2004.

C.I.O Luskin relates a history of corrupt government, socialist education, and always terrible U.S. Public Schools

Not just college texts. At a meeting of the nuns who chose elementary reading texts for the diocese schools in Chicago some decades ago, the head honcho nun praised a look-say basal reading series that nearly destroyed American literacy, and a voice from the back of the room quipped, “C’mon Sister, we know they buy you a new car every year!”

Or take Indiana, where I convinced a then-very-young aide to the governor named Dan Quayle to give the new Open Court (phonics) reading program a special test (in some of the worst schools in Indianapolis) after the OC sales manager told me the state bidding process was rigged. OC offered to train the schools’ teachers and provide all the textbook materials; if the test scores at the end of the first year were good, Dan said he would go to bat for us with the state textbook Commission. The results were spectacular, the “broken window schools” outperforming even many of the better city schools in first grade reading.

Dan did a great job monitoring the test, and securing the agreement of a majority of the Commission members. “It’s a done deal,” he in effect told me prior to the formal vote; a closed-door meeting was held; OC was not selected as one of the five publishers whose elementary reading products could be paid for by state funds; afterwards those who had promised Dan a vote for OC all said to him the same thing: “You did not tell me that if I voted for that OC my [brother, sister, aunt, etc.] would lose his state job!” It turned out one of the textbook salesmen (for a very prominent publisher) was also the head of patronage for the Republican Party in Indiana. When the Democrats were in, the same situation obtained.

That is how textbooks are often sold — rarely on the merits — at the elementary and secondary school level, in “adoption” states. It’s one of the most disgusting scandals in America, and no one in the mainstream media will touch it — despite my efforts and those of others over the last thirty years to steer education writers and investigative reporters into this maw –apparently because most MSM companies also have textbook subsidiaries or affiliates.

Back in the fifties, in Mississippi, when schools were “separate but [allegedly] equal,” the publisher mentioned above “influenced” itself into a statewide adoption of their look-say (also known as “sight reading,” or “word recognition/word memorization” pedagogy) texts, but for the white schools only. The black schools got the hand-me-down traditional Lippincott (I think it was) phonics-based texts. And so for a several years black reading scores in Mississippi were higher than white scores. Did the white schools change back? Of course not — the administrators were all “influenced.”

U.S. public schools are terrible. It’s not a new development. It’s not something that can be gently mended.

The vampires — public teacher unions, monopolistic textbook publishers, anyone advocating mass conformity — don’t care about the students. Someone should.

Only a Trillion

Bush Says Social Security Accounts to Ease Deficits (Update2),” Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=af_7nCvb9Rm4&refer=top_world_news, 16 December 2004 (from Daily Kos)

The net savings of around $10 trillian (about $12 trillian saved, $2 trillian borrowed) may be based on suspect math

Bush’s contention that spending $1 trillion to $2 trillion now to establish the accounts is better than dealing with a $10.4 trillion shortfall in the future is misleading, said Jason Furman, former economic policy director for Democratic Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

The $10.4 trillion is an estimate over the infinite life of Social Security, he said on a conference call with reporters earlier this week. A more realistic assessment of the system’s deficit is $3.7 trillion over 75 years, the conventional time span for Social Security estimates, he said. Reducing the figure is a “manageable challenge,” Furman said.

So, the majority of Bush’s savings come in the distant future. It’s nice to see some long-rang planning in Washington. But the ex-Kerry staffer’s comments are revealing. There are a lot of numbers flying around, but assuming the very best about the current system, and the very worst about Bush’s plan, the savings are only a trillion dollars.

Only a trillion.

FDR Says: Reform Social Security Now

FDR is Dead: Time to Move On,” by Jonah Goldberg, National Review, http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200412170916.asp, 17 December 2004.

FDR, Destroyer of the American Economy and negligent to the loss of million of lives worldwide, might be on President Bush’s side in the pension wars:

Of course, liberal mythology about the New Deal legend is, uh, legendary. Still, it’s worth noting that the New Deal surely prolonged the Depression and did far less for poverty than the textbooks claim. The first point is not even particularly controversial. The second is debatable. But what isn’t in dispute among scholars is that it was World War II, not the New Deal, that served to pull America out of its economic doldrums.

But in all the propaganda about FDR, a more salient point has been conveniently lost. It would be entirely in keeping with FDR’s legacy to rip apart the Social Security system if there was even a chance that it could be improved. The overarching theme of FDR’s entire governing philosophy, constantly touted by virtually his entire Brain Trust, was “experimentalism.”

When Raymond Moley, a leading early Brain Truster, was asked to provide a philosophical justification for FDR’s approach to government, he — along with nearly all of the New Dealers — cited Pragmatism. Moley even noted that FDR had studied under William James, the founder of Pragmatism, at Harvard. The historian Eric Goldman wrote of FDR, “he trusted no system except the system of endless experimentation.” FDR himself made this point time and time again. “I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat,” he explained in a fireside chat. At Oglethorpe University, FDR declared, “this country needs bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” And always and everywhere, FDR emphasized the important thing was to take action first, and fix the problems later.

First, we might only save a trillion or so, and now President Roosevelt is on board. SS Reform is looking worse and worse all the time…