Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Victimized High School Triumphed where Olympics Failed

​The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

After the poor showing by the U.S. men’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics, it was inspiring that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas boys’ hockey team captured the state championship on Sunday and will represent Florida at the national championship next month.  The sister of one of the team’s hockey players was among the recent shooting victims at the high school in Parkland, Florida.

Boys’ hockey is thriving at the high school level, and this remarkable victory by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas team brings welcome relief amid the tragedy.  Medals from this championship team were added to the memorial site of the shooting victims.

But boys’ hockey stars will find limited opportunities to play when they get to college.  There are only a few dozen competitive college men’s hockey teams, not enough to develop the talent needed to compete with the rest of the world. 
As a result, a ragtag team of Russians humiliated the U.S. men’s hockey team with a 4-0 drubbing in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  The American team fared slightly better for its final game prior to its elimination in an overtime shootout against Slovenia, but NBC failed even to broadcast that exciting finish.

When the U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold in a victory against Canada, there was praise but none of the national excitement that occurred when our men’s hockey players defeated the Soviet Union at Lake Placid in 1980.  Men’s hockey is far more popular than women’s hockey, for both men and women spectators.

Unfortunately, federal regulators who implement Title IX against college sports refuse to recognize this fundamental difference between men’s and women’s sports.  Regulators require colleges to provide more athletic opportunities for women than for men, simply because there are now more women than men attending college.

Under the so-called proportionality test, which ignores the greater interest in men’s sports than in women’s, colleges have eliminated hundreds of men’s sports teams, many in Olympic sports.  This hurts our national competitiveness and induces many young men to opt out of going to college where they are prevented from competing in the sport they love.

The Title IX regulators’ quota that limits men’s sports to their proportional enrollment in the college is senseless and not part of the law that Congress enacted in 1972.  It’s based on a regulatory interpretation first imposed by President Jimmy Carter to appease the feminists, and President Trump could repeal it along with the many others he has been properly rescinding.

Many colleges have been unjustly sued when they do not comply with the feminists’ distorted view of Title IX.  To avoid costly litigation, colleges have repeatedly eliminated men’s sports programs while adding women’s programs that they then have difficulty filling.

The Title IX regulations created a vicious cycle, discouraging men from matriculating to colleges that eliminated their sport.  In 1980, equal numbers of men and women obtained college degrees, but now nearly 60% of college degrees are awarded to women and only 40% to men. 

The hockey competition won by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas team in the Sunshine State of Florida illustrates how much boys’ hockey has grown in popularity.  Colleges, however, are generally forbidden from having more sports teams for men than women, so if there is not enough interest in women’s hockey or another large team sport for women, the college is not likely to start a men’s hockey team.

In the traditional Olympic events of alpine and cross-country skiing, the United States men won a grand total of zero medals.  Today there are more college women’s ski teams than there are men’s, perhaps again due to the impact of the proportionality test under Title IX.

Olympic sports themselves have been emasculated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which even tried to eliminate men’s wrestling from the 2020 Olympics.  The IOC reinstated wrestling after an uproar but cut 56 positions, replacing them with events that “include more women” in the summer games.

Women’s figure skating remains popular to watch, but in a continuation of political correctness the public heard more about the men’s figure skating instead.   Despite this, a large crowd did stay up past midnight on the East Coast to watch the exciting finale of the women’s figure skating competition.

Downplaying the overall nosedive in interest in the Olympics, some commentators say this is merely part of a more general trend.  But the decline in viewership of football, still as masculine as ever, has been small compared with the bottom falling out for the Olympics.

When Phyllis Schlafly spoke for her last time at Harvard, she was greeted afterwards by Professor Harvey Mansfield, author of a book entitled “Manliness.”  If NBC executives hope to recoup the billions they invested in exclusive rights for the Olympics then they might pick up a copy, and the Title IX regulators would also benefit from recognizing the greater demand for men’s sports.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Courage Under Fire Award

The National Rifle Association (NRA) today gave its Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award to Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. ...

After Schneider spoke, Meadows told Pai that "the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire award is sponsored by the National Rifle Association" in honor of the former NRA president, and it's not given every year. It is only awarded "when someone has stood up under pressure with grace and dignity and principled discipline," she said.

Previous awardees included Rush Limbaugh, Phyllis Schlafly, Vice President Mike Pence, Roy Innis, and Sheriff David Clarke, she said.

"We are honored to have you as part of this distinguished pantheon," Meadows told Pai.
Pai worked to roll back regulations that the Obama administration put on the internet in the last couple of years. The regulations, called "net neutrality", were promoted by Google in order to enhance Google's control of internet control. The regulations applied to internet service providers like Comcast, but exempted Google.

Meanwhile, the NY Times has another article saying that Google and Facebook should do more in order to censor right-wingers who are skeptical of leftist media narratives:
SAN FRANCISCO — On Wednesday, one week after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Facebook and YouTube vowed to crack down on the trolls.

Thousands of posts and videos had popped up on the sites, falsely claiming that survivors of the shooting were paid actors or part of various conspiracy theories. Facebook called the posts “abhorrent.” YouTube, which is owned by Google, said it needed to do better. Both promised to remove the content.

The companies have since aggressively pulled down many posts and videos and reduced the visibility of others. Yet on Friday, spot searches of the sites revealed that the noxious content was far from eradicated.
There are indeed a lot of fishy things about the Parkland anti-gun activists. See Vox Day on YouTube threatening InfoWars and on David Hogg.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Social Media Monopolies Advance Leftist Agenda

by John and Andy Schlafly

Despite his headline-grabbing indictment of Russian nationals for interfering with the U.S. election, special counsel Robert Mueller has still found no evidence of collusion between any Russians and the Trump campaign.  Mueller indicted 13 Russians who apparently operated a “troll farm” in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, purchasing ads on Facebook and sending provocative messages to Americans through Twitter and other forms of social media.

According to the indictment, the Russian effort to sow turmoil, confusion and division started in 2014, well before Trump announced he was running for president.  Even after the 2016 election was over, the Russian trolls promoted a “not my president” rally featuring Michael Moore in New York City on November 12.  

The 13 Russians will never be extradited to face trial in the United States; the indictments are apparently merely a political ploy by Mueller.  The bigger question is whether our social media services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter will respond to the indictments by ramping up their own censoring of political speech on their platforms.

Already Facebook has announced it will hire 10,000 employees tasked with policing “hate speech” on its pages.  But the toxic label “hate speech” is likely to be used as a pretext to impose a politically correct ideology on millions of unsuspecting users.

No one denies that Facebook, Google and Twitter are among the most liberal corporations in America.  Virtually all their executives and most of their senior staff were avid supporters of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, and detested Donald Trump.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg chairs a pro-amnesty lobbying group called Fwd.us whose primary mission is to oppose Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the border.  Facebook’s number two executive, Sheryl Sandberg, was spotted in John Podesta’s leaked emails writing that “I still want HRC to win badly.  I am still here to help as I can.” 

The only prominent figure in tech who is known to have supported Trump for president is Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook and a member of its board of directors.  After beating back an effort to remove him from Facebook’s board for the heresy of supporting Trump, Peter Thiel announced he is moving both his home and his investment company to Los Angeles because he can no longer tolerate the suffocating politics of the Bay Area.

Google fired one of its highly paid engineers, James Damore, merely for raising questions about his company’s “diversity and inclusion” programs and policies.  In a thoughtful essay he shared with fellow Googlers last year, Damore slammed the Silicon Valley “monoculture” with its “ideological echo chamber” where contrary viewpoints are shamed into silence.

Other tech workers have told the Wall Street Journal that the echo chamber extends beyond Google to the entire industry whose “groupthink and homogeneity” make it a worse place to live and work.  Among tech workers polled in a survey quoted in the Journal, 59 percent of conservative respondents said they know someone who left the industry because they felt conservative views were unwelcome.

Two of the devious ways a social media platform can penalize conservatives are demonetizing and shadow banning.  Demonetizing a site means that it is prevented from carrying the advertising it needs to defray its costs, while shadow banning means that the service provider is throttling back access to recent posts or systematically hiding them from viewers. 

Cartoonist Scott Adams, a Trump supporter who draws the Dilbert comic strip, wrote last year that “hundreds of my Twitter followers have reported that I am being shadow banned on Twitter.”  Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denied it, but Scott Adams insisted that “anecdotally, the evidence is overwhelming” and that “a number of other high-profile Twitter users report the same problem.”

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, pointed out last year that Twitter “appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or deverifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users.”  He cited the case of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn whose campaign announcement was blocked because it featured a pro-life message.

The highest-profile Twitter user, of course, is Donald Trump, whose account was blocked (supposedly by accident) and threatened with deactivation for his politically incorrect tweets.  The company finally said it would allow Trump to continue using Twitter, not because Twitter believes in free speech but merely because Trump is a world leader whose statements are inherently newsworthy.

Facebook and Google dominate their industries just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did, which were broken up under the antitrust laws.  Why are Facebook and Google being given preferential treatment while they monopolize the market?

More than half of all advertising spending is now collected by Facebook and Google, which exceeds that of newspapers, television channels and other media combined.  Competition and accountability are badly needed for these social media monopolies.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Right and Wrong Approaches to Immigration

by John and Andy Schlafly

“This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity!” to protect Dreamers, President Trump properly tweeted as the U.S. Senate plunged into a debate about immigration policy. The Left wants amnesty for Dreamers, who are illegal aliens who entered our country many as teenagers.

President Trump is right to insist on funding for a border wall, which would cost less than 1% of our national budget, and an end to chain migration whereby relatives of immigrants are brought in with little or no screening. President Trump’s approach is welcome relief to the failed, open-door policies of the prior Republican leadership.

Meanwhile, an unexpected voice weighed in from the other side of the world. In Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich emirate in the Persian Gulf, former President George W. Bush was speaking at a conference organized by Michael Milken, the junk bond king of the 1980s.
“Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees,” Bush said in response to a question, “but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”

Bush was right that Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, as we can tell you from personal experience. But he was wrong to say we ought to welcome people from other lands so poor that they are willing to do that kind of work to put food on their family’s tables.

When we were teenagers, we spent a memorable summer vacation working on a cotton farm in the Mississippi delta east of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It was a miserable experience, but fortunately for us, it lasted only about two weeks.

It was too early to pick the cotton when we were there around the Fourth of July, but we learned how to chop it. Chopping cotton means chopping weeds with a hoe without damaging the cotton plant.

After awhile, we wondered why we saw no one else doing this backbreaking work in the 100-degree heat of the Mississippi delta, where cotton fields extend as far as the eye can see. That’s when we realized that chopping and picking cotton were already being done by machines, and the people who used to do it by hand had moved on to better jobs.

Once upon a time, more than 200 years ago, Americans imported African slaves to do the unpleasant work of cultivating cotton. Slavery was abolished in 1865, but African Americans continued to toil on cotton farms in conditions of extreme poverty that prevailed in the defeated Southern states.

About 75 years after the Civil War, some inventors finally made a successful cotton-picking machine. This invention came years later than the famous harvester invented by Cyrus McCormick, because cotton is so much harder to pick than wheat, corn or soybeans.

During the same period in which mechanization swept the cotton fields of the South, millions of African Americans moved north in search of economic opportunity and greater freedom. During this period known as the “great migration,” many black Americans found higher paying jobs in the factories of Chicago and Detroit, while others achieved success and fame in sports and entertainment.

Thanks to a legal and economic system that rewards invention and innovation, our high standard of living means that no American of any race has to chop or pick cotton at 105 degrees anymore. Bush grew up in Texas, which grows more cotton than any other state, and he should know that.

Bush’s foolish comment combined two of the worst slogans of the pro-amnesty movement, the myth of “jobs Americans won’t do” and the myth of “crops rotting in the fields.” On the contrary, the enormous growth of computer-aided automation, robots, artificial intelligence, and driverless vehicles is eliminating whatever opportunity there used to be for poor people from other countries to earn a living here.

While the debate rages in Washington, another debate is roiling the state of California, which has more immigrants (10 million) and more illegal aliens (2.4 million) than any other state. California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, is warning that state’s employers not to cooperate with the federal government.

“Businesses are increasingly caught between California and Washington,” the Wall Street Journal reports. A new state law imposes fines of up to $10,000 on employers who provide information about their employees to federal immigration officials.

In the last presidential election, California went in a markedly different direction from the rest of our Nation. But the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution requires that California obey the same federal laws on immigration with which the other 49 states must comply in protecting American workers against illegal aliens.

In the end, Californians might thank President Trump for taking a strong stand against illegal immigration, which is estimated to be costing that state about $30 billion per year. That’s far more than the costs of building a border wall to permanently solve the problem.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Trump Keeps Winning on Immigration

by John and Andy Schlafly

President Trump’s approval rating jumped 10 points in January, rising to the highest level since soon after he was inaugurated. As Congressman Steve Stivers noted, “No president in their second year has seen their approval rating go up except this one.”

Many were surprised that Trump has managed to break through the incessant opposition of a hostile media. Our explanation is that Trump lured the Democrats into a high-profile debate on the immigration issue, and the president won the debate because the public agrees with him.

Democrats proved they are so committed to the principle of amnesty for illegal immigrants that they would even shut down the government over it. To the surprise of many Democrats, the public is not buying it.

Immigration is a subject on which there is the greatest disconnect between what ordinary Americans want and what our government delivers. We allowed about 1.5 million immigrants a year to settle in America in 2014 and 2015, the latest year such figures are available, but a new poll shows that Americans think that number is way too high.

According to the respected Harvard-Harris poll, 72 percent of Americans think we should admit fewer than 1 million immigrants a year. Of those, 54 percent think we should have fewer than 500,000 immigrants a year, and 35 percent think the number should be 250,000 or even less.

“Americans are Dreamers too,” President Trump declared in the best line of his superb State of the Union address. The president holds a winning hand, and the news on immigration keeps supporting him.

On Super Bowl Sunday, football fans awoke to the sad news that Edwin Jackson, a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, and his Uber driver were killed by a drunk-driving illegal immigrant from Guatemala, Manuel Orrego-Savala. The culprit, who had twice been previously deported, fled the scene on foot, but was later caught and found to have three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood as he drove his pickup truck without a license.

Near San Diego last month, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two illegal immigrant Dreamers with DACA privileges who had been making a living by smuggling other illegals into the United States from Mexico. The 20-year-old Dreamer was caught driving two illegals in his car, while the 22-year-old was acting as a scouter to warn another smuggler when Border Patrol agents were sighted in the area.

While President Trump has been acting as “good cop” with his extremely generous offer of eventual citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, his essential “bad cop,” Acting ICE Director Tom Homan, has been enforcing the law in sanctuary cities and states. Homan raided 77 businesses in Northern California last week, looking for employers who harm American workers by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

The Obama administration had essentially allowed San Francisco and other liberal areas to opt out of federal immigration law, but that is changing under Director Homan, who promised a 400 percent increase in workplace enforcement. “We’ve got to take these sanctuary cities on,” Homan declared, even suggesting that local officials could be criminally punished for harboring illegal aliens in their jurisdictions.

Americans sympathize with immigrants who were brought here as young children (although that’s not really true of many who would receive amnesty under the bipartisan Dreamer legislation), but not the adults who illegally brought them here. Still less do Americans want the Dreamers to import their distant relatives under the process known as chain migration.

How that works was explained by the eminent Harvard Professor George Borjas, himself an immigrant, in the New York Times. “Our current system lets a new immigrant eventually sponsor the entry of her brother, who can then sponsor the entry of his wife, who can sponsor her father, who can sponsor his sister, and so on.”

Professor Borjas continued, “Does it really make sense for one entry today to eventually lead to a visa for the immigrant’s sister-in-law’s aunt?” Obviously not, which is why Americans oppose letting new immigrants import relatives beyond members of their immediate family.

President Trump has insisted that any deal for DACA must include provisions limiting family reunification to an immigrant’s spouse and minor children. Democrats have refused to accept that reasonable restriction, which means there likely won’t be a deal anytime soon.

The Harvard-Harris poll shows that most Americans not only think total immigration should be reduced, but also that we should give preference to immigrants with something to contribute to our country, based on their education and skills. That opinion was shared by all demographic groups polled, and was especially high among African Americans.

That opinion used to be shared by Democrats, too, including Bill Clinton who praised the late Barbara Jordan during his 1995 State of the Union address. “It is wrong,” Bill Clinton said then, “to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.