Category ArchiveCulture wars
‘One of the Worst Ideas I’ve Ever Heard in Public Policy’ [Mark Krikorian]
That’s how John Fund described the push for non-citizen voting at a panel I organized this week; Michael Barone spoke as well. (Here’s the paper we released, the panel transcript, and a news story.) To dispel the notion that non-citizen voting is so outlandish that it’s not worth discussing (like this blogger’s complaint), Fund said this:
But to make the point that this is a live decision, San Francisco Board of Supervisors supported this measure [an unsuccessful 2004 measure to allow non-citizen voting in local elections], put it on the ballot. Other cities have come close to putting this on the ballot and supporting it. This will become a live issue when some large city other than San Francisco puts it on the ballot. And it’s inevitable because just as Mr. Gonzalez [a San Francisco official] has said that given the changing composition of the city of San Francisco and more and more legal immigrants entering the city, he believes it would pass today because the rejection of it was not overwhelming.”
Heather MacDonald here in today’s National Review on Line sets out a “basic strategy for Hispanic-student science success. In English.”
“Unless the educational achievement of non-Asian minorities in the U.S. improves, America’s imminent demographic changes do not bode particularly well for its technological competitiveness. By 2023, the majority of youth under 18 will be non-white, and the greatest portion of non-whites will be Hispanic. The number of college-aged Latinos is expected to nearly triple, from 3 million today to 8 million by 2040, but the number of Hispanics actually enrolled in college will just double — to 2 million. Once in college, few of those students will graduate with a science or engineering degree. In 2006, only 7 percent of bachelors degrees in science, math, and technology were awarded to Hispanics, and the trends are not promising. In 2007, the math SAT scores of Hispanic students in California, home to the largest proportion of Hispanics in the country, dropped to 450, while rising for whites and Asians to 549 and 564, respectively.
Here’s a suggestion to college presidents and their vast retinue of bureaucratic non-entities: If you want to preserve America’s scientific edge, shut down your school’s MEChA student chapters, your Latino-freshmen orientations, and your Chicano-studies majors. Participation in ‘diversity functions,’ it turns out, torpedoes the grades of Hispanic science majors. Hispanic science students who spend time hanging out at Aztlan-empowerment clubs and the like have significantly lower grades than Hispanic science students who stay away from the multicultural ghetto. What improves Hispanic college students’ science GPAs? Make sure you’re sitting down: doing homework. Such are the findings of a study published in the July/August Journal of College Student Development, proving that there is no piece of common sense too self-evident not to startle our pedagogical elites.” (Underscoring Forum’s.) Continue Reading »
We certainly don’t believe that senator Barack Obama has the right stuff to run a constitutional democracy properly – - – not one like ours.
But we believe some of our conservative brethren make a serious mistake when they blind themselves to the good senator’s political and near-religious skills. Even if Mr. Obama goes down to a McGovern-like defeat in November, the senator has, by virtue of his extraordinary nomination, already shown himself a world-class political organizer.
With the addition of governor Palin, prospects for the Republican ticket have considerably improved since then.
Mr. Obama, nonetheless, has a seemingly indestructible core of support in the university (and likely in many philanthropic) communities as well as in the MSM and high-brow media. Many Ivy graduates, in our view, find he appeals to not just their policy but some of their spiritual needs.
Even if defeated in November, senator Obama will likely remain a powerful national voice.
For all these reasons, we believe it is particularly important to understand the senator’s upbringing and the players who helped shape him. Continue Reading »
We have often worried who the emerging generation of conservative leaders would be – - – and whether they could bring vision and force and coherence to a movement that the last Bush years and the bruising nomination battle left in disarray.
Our own non-scientific impression- – -participating in both local and national movement conservative meetings – - – is that the more outspoken and innovative voices are increasingly those of women. (One can speculate endlessly whether late-boomer-generation men are over-socialized or whether there is simply a better mix of the sexes among younger conservative leaders.)
Whatever the social forces in play, Sarah Palin has brought the cultural faithful back to participating life. But Mrs. Palin also understands effective governing and free markets.
Maryland conservatives inveigh against Federal spending and crony capitalism, but often turn a blind eye to the same practices in Annapolis. Virginia conservatives (at least those we talk with in the northern part of the Old Dominion) muster laudable energy in behalf of traditional values. Few, however, are able to get a handle on the connections between out-of-control county spending and public-employee unions, and on the dangers of “smart growth.” Few conservatives in either state are developing marketable alternatives for conducting state and local public business, and demanding that candidates for public office get behind them.
Now that the pageantry of the conventions is over, let’s consider some helpful insights on the Palin nomination and what it means to American conservatives. Continue Reading »
As Bruce Walker’s American Thinker post yesterday below explains, our country has a largely conservative (or center-right) orientation.
“Sixty percent of Americans considered themselves conservative. Does this mean that most Americans do not know what ‘conservative’ means? No: The question specifically provides an out to people who are not sure about their ideology; it provides an out to people who want to be considered ‘moderate.’ Americans reject those choices. They overwhelmingly define themselves as ‘conservative.’ This is a huge political story – except that it is not ‘new’ at all.”
Many Americans may indeed be well disposed toward conservative principles. Yet without concrete ways and means to implement them and to pass them on to coming generations, this advantage for conservative leadership will likely soon disappear. Continue Reading »
Readings and short takes for a late August weekend . . . Continue Reading »
Readings and short takes for an August weekend . . . Continue Reading »
Readers are invited to review center-right commentary on what the Home School Legal Defense Association here termed Friday “A Great Victory for California Homeschoolers.”
Here is the decision itself.
“The California Court of Appeal has reversed its earlier decision that home-schooling is generally illegal in California. I criticized the decision banning home-schooling here. (The decision really st[r]uck a nerve among California’s 166,000 homeschoolers, thousands of whom signed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to depublish the decision to deprive it of precedential significance. Few of my blog posts get as many hits as that one did, although the bulk of my criticism is contained in the first comment to that blog post, not the blog post itself).” Continue Reading »