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Category ArchiveCulture wars

2008 Election &Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 01 Nov 2008

Jim Boulet’s “Evita Peron Obama”

Conservatives in Maryland and Virginia already know Jim Boulet’s tireless on-the-ground work in behalf of strengthening our culture, highlighting the importance of our common language, and never letting us forget the goal of assimilation for new Americans.

Today Jim looks at Barack Obama through a fresh prism  — one based on a Broadway musical. Continue Reading »

2008 Election &Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 30 Oct 2008

The Culture Wars and Today’s Obama Peril

Lisa Schiffren in her “The Long March Next Time” here yesterday in NRO gives us a useful outline of the crucial importance of what are called “the culture wars.”

“Yes, it was always a leftist strategy — to permeate and influence society beyond its official political offices to the obvious end of across the board power. Even when they were faced with what looked like the semi-permanent triumph of Reaganism, the Left knew to burrow into the bureacracies, many mainstream churches, the big foundations (Annenberg!) and, of course, the universities. (Our team burrowed into the investment banks, of which there are no more…) That’s not to mention the mainstream media and Hollywood. With the triumph of Obama and the new revelation that Bill Ayers is a highly influential authority in the heretofore easily dismissed education departments, it seems clear that they that have succeeded pretty well.

Under the best of circumstances a president can only do so much about the liberal, self-perpetuating “permanent government.” Ronald Reagan, who had fought communism in the union he headed, (the Screen Actors Guild) understood the problems of internal subversion perfectly well. He destroyed the liberal nexus in a few key government agencies by use of “R.I.F.s” — reduction in force — a putatively budget cutting process. Political appointees who shared his vision knew to keep files and carefully follow protocol to get rid of government employees who would impede his agenda.(Underscoring Forum’s.)

And she spells out the cluelessness of the two Bush presidents on this — Continue Reading »

2008 Election &Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 19 Oct 2008

Will Class Help Obama?’Elite’ vs. Conservative Cocoons.

Where would we be, in these tumultuous times, without Mark Steyn?
Yesterday Steyn invited us to read Sam Schulman’s revealing Weekly Standard article here “Class Will Tell |Why is Bill Ayers a respectable member of the upper middle class and Sarah Palin contemptible?”
Continue Reading »

Conservatives &Culture wars &Illegal Immigration Richard Falknor on 18 Sep 2008

“One of the Worst Ideas I’ve Ever Heard in Public Policy”

Illegal-immigration watchers will want to pay special attention to the material Mark Krikorian developed and organized here on non-citizen voting.  From National Review on Line today:

‘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.”

Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 12 Sep 2008

Heather MacDonald Urges “Homework, Por Favor”

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 »

2008 Election &Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 06 Sep 2008

Growing Up with Obama – Veteran Journalists Dig Deeper

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.

In July, we wrote here about the dangers of “Ignoring Obama’s Appeal as ‘Regenerative Healer'” and the following week we asked here “Will Obama Bring the ‘End of Politics?'”

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 »

Conservatives &Culture wars &Fiscal Policy Richard Falknor on 05 Sep 2008

Palin’s Gift of Conservative Governance

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 »

2008 Election &Conservatives &Culture wars &Virginia politics Richard Falknor on 26 Aug 2008

Beyond the convention(al) . . .

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 »

2008 Election &Common Defense &Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 23 Aug 2008

Joe Biden | More Bush Legacies | RNC’s Hispanic Radio Ad

Readings and short takes for a late August weekend . . . Continue Reading »

Common Defense &Conservatives &Culture wars &Fiscal Policy Richard Falknor on 16 Aug 2008

“Our Gang” Blunders| Strategic Partner?|VDH: “Patience”

Readings and short takes for an August weekend . . . Continue Reading »

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