Monday, July 18, 2011

Reports from the Culture Wars

I'm passing along a few of the most remarkable "points to ponder" from my weekend web surfing. Have at 'em.

* Dumbing Down America:

From Power Line, John Hinderaker writes:

Colleges are evolving toward a pass-fail system. Actually, they are pretty much there, as a new study cited by the Tax Prof finds that 43% of all college grades are A’s. (Via InstaPundit.) So in today’s academia, an A basically means “pass.” And you thought your kids were doing well…

This is, presumably, a symptom of the higher education bubble. Professors and administrators don’t want to rock the boat lest someone start questioning the value of what they are doing.

* Pro-Life Initiatives in Eastern Europe: 

There seems to be something in the air in Central and Eastern Europe.  Country after country is coming up with new pro-life initiatives and legislation. We have seen governments in Poland, Hungary, Russia and Lithuania embrace pro-life proposals. Croatia and Slovakia are on the edge of delivering pro-life initiatives as well.  And it seems like everywhere in the former Communist countries of Europe, there is a ferment that is pushing forward different pro-life, pro-family initiatives.  It is really beautiful to see.

We saw Hungary pass a new pro-life constitution this year that protects like from conception, and recognizes Hungary’s Christian Roots. Poland, a country with a strong Catholic culture, is on the verge of making abortion illegal in all circumstances. Russia’s government, with the strong support of the Orthodox Church, is considering laws to severely limit abortions, and a new law signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev mandates that 10 percent of the space used in abortion ads must carry a list of possible negative consequences for women...

Here's more from HLI. 

* Assisted Suicide in Great Britain: 

The UK is falling off a vertical moral cliff on the assisted suicide issue.  It remains a crime.  But the Public Prosecutor of England and Wales has stated that if, after a complete investigation, it is determined that family or others who assist suicides did it for an altruistic reason, there will be no prosecution.  Indeed, the death could even by accomplished by the assister, and nothing will be done.

What is the message of that directive?  That the assisted suicides of people with disabilities and serious illnesses don’t matter as much as those of others–so long as the motive is “compassion.”  And now, police in Scotland have so absorbed that insidious message that at least in one case, they aren’t even bothering with the police investigation...

Here's more from Wesley J. Smith.

* White House Caught Lying...Again:

Here's an item from Judicial Watch (way to go, guys) who found documents proving that the Obama administration did indeed have a vendetta going against Fox News...and then lied through their teeth when they denied it. Good job, JW!

* "Americans Are Too Dumb to Know Obama Is Always Right"

When President Obama started talking at his news conference Monday, I listened intently for 15 minutes or so. Then I got fidgety as his half-truths about the debt grew into full-blown whoppers. As he droned on, I did something I never did before during an Obama appearance: I turned off the TV.

Enough. He is the Man Who Won't Listen to Anybody, so why should anybody listen to him?

Tuning out and turning off the president does not fill me with gladness. He cannot be ignored.

But for now, I will leave that unhappy duty to others. I am tired of Barack Obama. There's nothing new there. His speeches are like "Groundhog Day."

His presidency is a spectacular failure, his historic mandate squandered by adherence to leftist ideology and relentless partisanship. His policies are crushing the prospects for growth and dooming the hopes of 24 million Americans who are unemployed or working part-time.

Yet he is not going to change. He listens only to his own voice, which is why he has lost virtually his entire economic team.

The biggest media myth is that he is a centrist. Oh, please. It's a theory without evidence, for there is not a single example on domestic issues where he voluntarily staked out a spot in the American middle.

Sure, on occasion, Obama will be to the right of the far, far left, but that is not the center. That just means he's not Michael Moore...

(Michael Goodwin, New York Post)

* California's Suicidal Tax Policies

Over on Sister Toldjah, Phineas posted a list of 39 businesses that have ended their affiliate programs in California since " the shortsighted stupidity shown by Governor Brown and the Democrat-dominated legislature when they passed a bill forcing Amazon to collect sales tax on sales made through California-based affiliates."

Phineas goes on to comment, "Golden State, stupid state.Not only will Sacramento not collect any new sales tax money from these companies, but it has lost all the income tax revenue it was already collecting from the affiliates at a time when California is suffering from record debt and deficits. And it will hurt those families and small businesses making a bit of money from their affiliate relationships. As the great Strother Martin said in Butch Cassidy, 'Morons! I’ve got morons on my team!'"