America's New Caste System
Observations on conservatism, politics, education, cosmology, astrobiology, evolution and the environment
In my last article I briefly described the monumental economic and social problems that have been so brilliantly discussed, respectively, by Walter Russell Mead in a series of articles for “The American Interest, and by Charles Murray in his groundbreaking book “Coming Apart: the State of White America, 1960-2010.”
Everyone seems to have an opinion, but one thing is agreed: America is in a bad way. The economy is in the dumper. Over 15% of the work force is either unemployed or working part time while searching for a full time job. Housing prices are depressed and home foreclosures continue at historic rates. Strong majorities say that the country is heading in the wrong direction. The approval rating of congress is in the single digits. And, from our political leaders, all we receive is cognitive dissonance. The president says jobs are “job one,” yet he stops construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, thereby killing thousands of good new jobs.
Just who is Sandra Fluke and why does she matter? The third year law student at Georgetown, a Jesuit university, testified last week before Nancy Pelosi’s House committee in support of the Obamacare mandate to provide free contraceptive products to one and all. The 30 yr old Miss Fluke was no neophyte to this cause. At Georgetown, she has served as president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, as vice president of the Women’s Legal Alliance, and as editor of the Journal of Gender and the Law. Today she is the re-born Joan of Arc, having testified, in essence, that “Congress should gut the First Amendment because it economically inconveniences the nation’s elite law students.” (Ben Johnson, Lifesitenews.com)
“…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
He walked into the room to the chorus of 300 kazoos playing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Michael Reagan is truly loved in these parts. The Republican Women luncheon was sold out, and we were not disappointed. Michael shared some of his childhood experiences here on the Hill. -- He attended Chadwick School because Ron and Jane did not want their adopted son to be exposed to the temptations of Beverly Hills High (and they wanted him out of the house).
Imagine your teenage son and his cheerleader girlfriend hopping into his brand new jazzy sports scar for its maiden spin. OK, I know this merely reinforces the Palos Verdes stereotype of indulgent parents and spoiled kids. But, hey, the kid is an honor student who will be attending Stanford U. in the fall. Anyway, the car enters the 405 freeway and carefully moves across toward the HOV speed lane. Suddenly the unimaginable happens: the throttle opens wide, the engine revs into the red zone, the brakes cease to function and the steering wheel locks tight. A disaster is imminent.
"We don't serve faster than light neutrinos in here" said the bartender. A neutrino walks into a bar.
You may recall the catchphrase “Billions and Billions” (of stars) that was associated with astronomer Carl Sagan’s popular TV show Cosmos.(1) It seemed like an enormous number, commensurate with the vastness of the universe. Now, however, Billion is passe’, Trillion has become the new Billion –- such as in the US Federal budget deficit for 2011 is more than a Trillion dollars – and we need to recalibrate our mental calculators. So much has changed.
Imagine there's no Heaven
The Western world, as I recently noted (“The Abolition of America,” 7/4/11) is in the process of rejecting the natural tradition of objective right and wrong. One of the sad consequences has been a cultural and moral decay that has infected the greater part of old Europe. Now, only a month or so later, we have witnessed riots in the streets of London and throughout England. Many observers of the British scene have commented on the root causes of the senseless destruction. Three of my favorites - Mark Steyn, Theodore Dalrymple, Ann Coulter - plus Prime Minister David Cameron -- contributed their wisdom to the following analysis.
As Americans celebrate our Independence, it behooves us to heed the warning of a man who did not live in freedom. “To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots,” said Alexander Solzhenitzyn. You sever a people’s roots by destroying the memory of their historical past. Today, too many Americans, particularly young people, are ignorant of our past, or believe a distorted version of it.