"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Obama's idiotic suggestion that all our kids should learn Spanish is, amongst other things (this is multi-dimensional stupidity) an illustration of educational romanticism run amok. The cold fact is that absent exceptional circumstances — the most common of which is, total immersion at a receptive age — not many human beings can learn another language. Oh, you can learn enough to stumble along and get by on a trip abroad, but if you can attain fluency in a language not your own, without those exceptional circumstances, you are an unusually smart and gifted person. (For my own sad track record, see here.)
The pointlessness of foreign-language learning is obscured for English-speakers by all those foreigners we meet who have good English. (Scandinavians are especially humiliating in this regard.) We should remember, though, that (a) the foreigners we meet are mostly smart upper-middle-class types who travel a lot (try finding an English-speaker on a Paris street), and (b) the whole world is bathed in English, so that if you are born in, say, Finland, and want to do anything with your life more ambitious than running an autobody shop in Ylikiiminki, you can't help but learn some English, and (c) for teenagers the world over, English is cool.
Obama suffers from the fallacy — extremely common among high-IQ lefties — that everyone else is just as smart as he is, or could easily be made so with a few educational reforms. In fact, below some cutoff point, which I'd guess at around minus one standard deviation in IQ (that would encompass sixteen percent of the population), education beyond the three R's is a waste of time, and foreign-language instruction a total waste of time.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
A shining city on a hill
Where if someone in authority doesn't like the way you look, you can disappear. Civil rights? Buddy, you ain't got no civil rights. In fact, according to our records, you don't even exist.
Italy in the 1930's? Germany in the 1940's? Argentina in the 1970's? ---Nope, the United States of America, now.
"But wait," you say "this only applies to suspected terrorists, you know--bad guys."
"Yeah" says I, "and who knows how one might becomes suspected of being a bad guy?"
Monday, July 14, 2008
This just in: Satire still dead
Obviously some stereotypes have roots in imagination and legend, others walk among us.
"Blessed are the (Colt) Peacemakers"
(hat tip to Tbogg)
and special thanks to Frank Frink for the video