I did not like Bill Clinton’s 1993 class-warfare tax hike, and I also opposed Barack Obama’s 2012 fiscal-cliff tax increase on the so-called rich. But those were incremental measures. Today’s leftist politicians have much more grandiose schemes, such as 70 percent tax rates, wealth taxes, and extortionary death taxes. And even those proposals may not be enough. Abolish Billionaires In a column for the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo actually suggests that billionaires should be taxed out of existence. Literally, not just figuratively. …if we aimed, through public and social policy, simply to discourage people from attaining and possessing more than a billion in lucre, just about everyone would be better off. …Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are floating new taxes aimed at the...
Parents who neglect to teach learning-thinking-choosing and socialization skills should not be surprised when their high school and/or college age children become immature, emotionally-driven progressives unable to rationally judge the worth of almost anything they encounter along the prickly path to adulthood. Life-serving values — reason, honesty, integrity, responsibility, discipline, self-reliance, purpose, and pride in achievement — must be encouraged as early as possible and continually reinforced at home to help young individuals survive America’s rising tsunami-level tide of politically correct authoritarianism. Learning-thinking-choosing skills can begin very early by reading books to toddlers. This activity cannot be overemphasized. It is vital to add colorful stories to their little lives at the very same time when curiosity about everything tangible in the outer world is so new and fascinating to them. Nap or bedtime reading by parents to children not only cements close bonding and trust but also opens young minds to the inner world of imagination and to the pleasure of learning, helping to facilitate their development into the realm of conceptual thinking. Tales with positive, moral characters and exciting events that perk inquisitiveness and project life as a purposeful and affirmative adventure can serve to offer role models, values, and behavior patterns that teach while they entertain.* Along with new stories, reading the same one multiple times offers another...
Are we fighting postmodernists with one hand tied behind our backs? Intellectual battles are the cognitive lifeblood of a healthy society. Life is complicated and the  stakes are high, so thoughtful and passionate people have lots of arguments. Only by argument can we sort out complicated matters. Only by putting our ideas to the evidence test and being willing to change our minds can we make progress. Intellectual fighting is better than settling our differences by physical fighting. The advantage of being an intelligent species, noted Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, is that we let our theories die in our place. But productive argument needs principles of civility to guide it. And we need our leading institutions––especially universities dedicated to truth-seeking––to make those principles explicit and instil them in the next generation. Postmodernists don’t fight by the same rules we do. When everything is subjective narratives, subversion goes all the way down. Our classic rules are: Approach discussion with benevolence and give the initial benefit of the doubt. The goal is the mutual advancement of understanding. Hear out both sides. Be civil in giving and receiving criticism. Don’t make stuff up. Believe that truth matters. But postmoderns cast a jaded eye upon “truth” and see words as weapons in a battle between adversarial groups. In that battle, only power matters and “truth” is merely the most ruthless survivor.  American postmodernist Richard Rorty...
Editor’s Note: Tal Tsfany’s  2017 young adult novelSophie is the third installment of our Writers Series. Sophie is the story of Syrian refugee Sophie Anwar’s experiences living with her mother in an American town. Now that she has the freedoms that America protects, Sophie reads, works a part-time job, studies, and plans for her future. When she meets Leo Weckl, her work ethic and self-esteem jumpstart him out of his bored adolescent aimlessness.  Not everyone in town is happy with Sophie’s self-determination, however, and when local government officials get involved, Sophie’s life and liberty are threatened. In the excerpt below, Leo accompanies Sophie to the local library, where they get to know each other better. Although young, Sophie and Leo connect on a deep level. They trust each other enough to begin to talk matter-of-factly and affectionately about their best selves and their loftiest ambitions. Sophie reveals her intellectual goals, and Leo reveals a secret talent. Sophie asked a lot of questions and wanted to know everything about me. It felt good to have someone so interested in me, my thoughts, and my feelings. Sophie and I got a little closer every day. From time to time, my bike buddies rode past us, making not-so-funny comments about my being with Sophie all the time, but I didn’t care. Being with Sophie was much more interesting than riding around with them, looking for trouble. “Picking up another physics book?” I asked her...
My topic is environmental philosophy and hazardous wastes. There are lots of benefits to living in a high-tech society—but there are also many risks, including dangerous waste products. How do we handle the risky chemicals that much of our lifestyle depends upon, and, at the same time, keep our human environment safe and beautiful? I want to discuss the disaster at Love Canal, New York. It is, I think, the most famous toxic waste scare in American history. It’s also a case that shaped environmental thinking and activism hugely for two generations now. So what’s the lesson of history here? I want to start with some good news about the Love Canal case. It was in the 1970s, and there have been a number of long-term studies. Fortunately, they have shown there has been no increase in rates of cancer or birth defects among the Love Canal area’s residents. That’s very welcome news, even though there were toxic chemicals released into the environment, hundreds of homeowners and their families were frightened, dislocated, and on top of that, there was a huge loss of property value. Now here is the bad news: the Love Canal case is a classic example of unfortunately bad journalism combined with bad philosophy. Almost five decades...

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