The Venerable Victor Davis Hanson on Obama and What He Is Doing to America.


Today, An Excellent Spirit read two articles by Victor Davis Hanson that must be read by every American who wants the trajectory of our nation reversed and the nation taken back. To God!

We start by apologizing to Professor Hanson for the “venerable” tag. We were not suggesting that he or his wisdom was old, rather that both have stood the tests to time and “progressive”, leftist opposition from academia, politics and polemics well. Thank you, Professor Hanson. Like your colleague Professor Thomas Sowell, America is in your eternal debt, whether Americans know your name or not. An Excellent Spirit, for our part, will continue to do what we can to bring your wisdom to the public.


The first is a scathing article on President Barack Obama. Hanson begins by celebrating the obvious “strengths of Barack Hussein Obama, 38th President of the United States of America: “If only Barack Obama had something to say… After all, we have never had a president who descended the steps of Air Force One with such catlike agility, hands almost as paws lightly bouncing in synchronization with each elfish footstep. Never has a commander in chief so casually, so confidently approached the podium as if he were popping open his own laptop, his jaw almost in Mussolini style thrust out, with eyes fixed three feet above the heads of the audience — all with just the right mixture of self-assurance and canned humility. No wonder that after all that we expect a “four score and seven years ago” that will match the perfect choreography.”

That accomplished, Hanson gets to the meat of Obama: “In short, Obama is the most impressive sophist of his age. In classical rhetoric, when the speaker was about to equivocate, he added an emphatic adjective or parenthetical that he was never more candid and sincere. Sometimes he inserted “on the one hand / on the other hand” to show his awareness of every point of view other than his own. Rhetoricians often projected their own base motives onto others, using straw men like “some will say” or “there are those who…”, as if illiberal enemies were so ubiquitous that there was no mundane need to name them all.  Obama has mastered all that and more.”


An Excellent Spirit needed to look up “Sophists” and sophistry, so we turned to a dictionary. They define sophist and sophistry as follows: Sophist: Philosophy) (often capital) one of the pre-Socratic philosophers who were itinerant professional teachers of oratory and argument and who were prepared to enter into debate on any matter however specious; a person who uses clever or quibbling arguments that are fundamentally unsound Plausible but fallacious argumentation. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument. An instance of this; sophism”. Sophistry is no less to be applauded: a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading; the art of using such arguments; subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning; an instance of this; sophism. With that in mind, we return to Professor Hanson’s brilliant analysis of the sophistry of Barack Obama: “Sophists tip their hand in jest — and none better than Barack Obama. Beware when he jokes that he will send the IRS after you, or that Predators will guard his daughters. And be even more vigilant of the preemptory denial. Barack Obama can brag ad nauseam about killing Osama bin Laden, because he first swore that he would never “spike the ball” by referencing the hit.”

To get things done, first-person pronouns breed to show both concern and control where there is often neither: I just appointed my new team that reports to me about my concerns that I share with advisors of mine. In the world of rhetoric, the more “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine” appear in the abstract, the more we suspect that the over-referenced speaker has been usually absent in the concrete. There is no “us” or “we” or “our” in Washington these days — although lots of “they” and “them,” the existential enemies of “I” and “me.”

Finally, Victor Davis Hanson points out that in Obama language, “Teachable moments are everywhere: yes, it is regrettable about tapping phone records, but the slip at least offers occasion to revisit the shield laws. Yes, the IRS has gone rogue, but just maybe some of these right-wing organizations are not really organizations at all. Yes, Benghazi was full of miscommunications, but that is what happens when David Petraeus’s CIA and Hillary Clinton’s State Department work at cross-purposes.”

The second article is this Jewish World Review piece by the same Victor Davis Hanson today, aptly entitled “The Old Order is Dying”. In it, Professor Hanson reviews the affects and consequences of time and changes in culture, especially when sophistry is factored into the equation: “Ideas of the 1960s have now grown reactionary in our world that is vastly different from a half-century ago. Take well-meaning subsidies for those over age 62. Why are there still senior discounts, vast expansions in Social Security and Medicare, and generous public pensions? Five decades ago all that made sense. There was no such thing as double-dipping. Seniors often were physically worn out from blue-collar jobs. They were usually poorer and frequently sicker than society in general. The aged usually died not long after they retired.”

Hanson opines that the cultural and legal affects of “progressive”, leftists in academia, government, media and religion have swayed our nation to a dangerous precipice: “Even if the 21st-century state could define who is a minority, on what moral grounds does the targeted beneficiary deserve special consideration? Is his disadvantage defined by being poorer, by lingering trauma from his grandparents’ long-ago ordeals, or by yesterday’s experience with routine racial prejudice?

If Latinos are underrepresented at the University of California, Berkeley, is it because of the stubborn institutional prejudices that also somehow have been trumped by Asian-Americans enrolling at three times their numbers in the state’s general population? Are women so oppressed by men that they graduate from college in higher numbers than their chauvinist male counterparts?”

Next Hanson takes on the terrible lot of today’s students, loaded with student loan debt and finding no jobs upon graduation. “Consider also the calcified assumptions about college education. The expanding 1960s campus was touted as the future gateway to a smarter, fairer, richer and more ethical America. Is that dream still valid? Today, the college-educated owe a collective $1 trillion in unpaid student loans. Millions of recent graduates cannot find jobs that offer much chance of paying off their crushing student debts. College itself has become a sort of five- to six-year lifestyle choice. Debt, joblessness or occasional part-time employment and coursework eat up a youth’s 20s — in a way that military service or vocational training does not.”

So we have covered the seniors and the young. What is left? Why, thank you for asking! It is the government and the “progressive” mind-set that permeates our national discourse, if you pay attention to the media (lamestream, as we call it) and those who testify before Congress or go to the White House to be wined, dined and influenced. “Scan the government grandees caught up in the current administration’s ballooning IRS, Associated Press and Benghazi scandals. In each case, a blue-chip Ivy League degree was no guarantee that our best and brightest technocrats would prove transparent or act honorably. What difference did it make that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had degrees from prestigious universities when they misled the American people or Congress? The now-aging idealists of the 1960s long ago promised us that a uniformly degreed citizenry — shepherded by Ivy League-branded technocrats — would make America better by sorting us out by differences in age, gender, education and race. It is now past time to end that ossified dream before it becomes our collective nightmare.”

There you have it, America. What we have wrought by our inattention to elections and by leaving our decisions to a few media creations and “progressive” sophists is now threatening nightmarish futures for our children and grandchildren, if we can survive terror and nuclear Iran and the Arab Spring. What is to be done?  If you listen to Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell and others of their “ilk”, the truth would be requisite. Unfortunately for America, the man in the White House and those he has appointed to his administration do not hold the truth in high esteem.

What is desperately needed is for all Americans to pay close attention. After that is prayer, hearing God Almighty speak to us and then, obeying God! It is time to become informed; to pray and hear; to obey: Stand up! Speak out! Get involved and stay involved! Teach our children by showing our children that our values, like our freedoms, come from our God! If we do not defend what is right, there will be no one righteous in God’s eyes and our nation will cease to exist. That is what the sophists want! That is what the people who hate America, God and the people want! That is what we, the people of the United States must defend. Every day for the rest of our lives! Stay tuned. There will be more. For now, we are indebted to Victor Davis Hanson, once again. Pray for America! Pray God bless America!

Update on Youth Voters

In the last three general elections – 2004, 2006, and 2008 — young voters have given the Democratic Party a majority of their votes, and for all three cycles they have been the party’s most supportive age group. In 2008, 66% of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972, according to Pew.  The President received a whopping 66% of the youth vote and, in 2008, more youth turned out to vote than ever before. “(T)he exit polls indicate that mobilization efforts aimed at young people may have paid off. Voters ages 18-29 turned out at a higher rate in 2008 than in 2004 in several battleground states. Young voters increased their share of the total electorate by five points in Indiana, four points in North Carolina and Virginia — all of which experienced sizeable increases in overall voter turnout — and by lesser amounts in six other key states.”

An Excellent Spirit has closely followed the youth vote in this Election. We have numerous posts on their deficits in education, jobs, debt and more. Here. Our Chief Operating Officer and Editor, Blake Sanders has contributed his generation’s perspective. We expect more to come. Brietbart has this piece on President Obama’s failure to connect with huge numbers of young voters this time around. “According to the Harvard Institute of Politics, Americans aged 18-29 favor President Obama by a 31 point margin. The same study, however, suggests that young people who like Mitt Romney in the 2012 election will show up to the polls in far greater percentages than those who like Obama. Romney voters who will “definitely vote” in this election cycle outnumber such Obama voters by a ten percent margin. No wonder young people aren’t showing up to vote for President Obama. Their chances of finding employment under the Obama economy are extraordinarily low. Why bother showing up to back a candidate who wants to prolong that agony for another four years?” Read the whole thing. 

Youth voters are not only turned off and much less likely to vote at all in 2012, but this poll shows that a surprising number plan to vote for Mitt Romney. “Obama, now more than ever, can’t sit comfortably. Mitt Romney now holds 40% of the youth vote in America — a cause for alarm for the Democratic incumbent, and a milestone for his Republican opponent. What accounts for this sudden shift, and how can Obama recapture his former popularity? John Zogby of JZ Analytics reports that more citizens between the ages of 18-29 are favoring the conservative podium. He proclaims that these “CENGAS” (“college-educated, not going anywhere” folks) are noteworthy voters in the 2012 Election. The frustration of 1.5 million unemployed B.A. graduates is rising, pushing them away from Obama and towards Romney. Four years ago, the situation was reversed. Obama’s 2008 campaign will be remembered not just because of his skin color, but also because of his massive appeal to young adults. The Hope posters, the “Change We Can Believe In” slogan, the endorsements by Hollywood icons like — all contributed to Obama’s tenacity. More than half of Americans under 29 (66%) picked Obama over John McCain. But it’s been four years. Obama’s historic campaign is becoming just that: history.”

As An Excellent Spirit’s youthful Mr. Sanders has told us, the problem is not the youth, it is the politicians. “Obama’s biggest problem is our generation’s disillusionment.” When Shepard Fairey designed the Obama posters, he, like thousands of young adults, thought that change would come. Come quickly, that is.” The change that came was change for the worse and the youth are responding to what they are experiencing, not rhetoric. Stay tuned. 


The Presidential Debates Are About My Generation’s Future by Blake Sanders

Last week’s town hall presidential debate marked another important event in this historic Presidential race. The significance of events is often marked by the way in which they begin; and as far as I am concerned nothing is more significant to me than the first question asked to the candidates. Jeremy Epstein, a young college student asked this question:

Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. Can — what can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate? Here is an article that illustrates.

My generation is the silent casualty of this (national) economic nightmare. We are the helpless bystander if there ever was one. We had no investments to loose when the stock market crashed; we had no mortgages to loose when they went underwater and we could not pay them. (Just cars and car loans, the ability to get more education, if we could justify that path and the money to dull the pain of our non-prospects for our non-futures.) That is what is the worst thing about all this. My generation is losing the destinies we were told we had. We are losing an inheritance that has been guaranteed to every generation of Americans (until ours)-one of unlimited opportunity. Today, as we sit in our college classrooms, study halls, and at library desks we prepare for jobs that we now know that we may not get. We are like a soldier training for a war that may not ever come.

Then we have the student loan avalanche about to bury many, if not most, of us. Whether you call them Pell Grants, loans, guaranteed loans, or some other government program in a sea of failed government programs, the total we must pay back is nearly one trillion dollars in student loan debt. Now, we see that the loans we gladly took because we thought couldn’t get anywhere without a college degree make absolutely no sense at all if you cannot get a job and repay those loans while working and earning a decent living. At the same time, we see others of our friends, people we sometimes looked down upon, who now have better prospects than we do. They spent their time and much less money on training for a skill or technical education that invariably led to a job. We did not want those skills or the jobs they led to a half-generation ago. Now, we would kill to be qualified to earn 50-75.000 a year with little or no debt. 

This President has to answer to my generation for the state that we are in. In 2008, then candidate Obama took 66% of the youth vote (Here) with his promise of fundamental transformation of our society. Four years later all this support has turned into 53% unemployment for recent college graduates (Here) and the change we hoped for, relied upon is “welcome to hard times”. The youth unemployment crisis is especially cruel, hitting young African Americans and Hispanics hard. These demographics voted overwhelmingly for the President in ’08.

All these numbers were really brought home while watching the debate with a friend of mine. My friend works for the College of Business at the University I attend. He was asked to survey recent graduates with BBA’s in marketing, finances, etc. Of the 30 people thus far he has contacted, 4 have jobs. These jobs include server, a barista, and several other jobs that these individuals easily could have gotten before their four-year degrees. I find it interesting that on the same night of the debate; MTV premiered a show entitled Underemployed, a new sitcom about resent college graduates forced to work far below their skill level and the salary they expected to make.

For so long we believed that politics didn’t affect us; that we were powerful enough to make our own breaks and future if we worked hard and made the right choices. Today’s reality is that come January, either Barak Obama or Mitt Romney will play a large part in shaping your future and we really have no choice in the matter and are nowhere near as powerful in contributing to our own destiny. Something is fundamentally wrong about that. The young people we see in the streets of Greece and France and Belgium look like us. We understand why they are there. Like us, they don’t understand what has happened to them.

Blake Sanders is the Chief Operating Officer and Technical Editor of An Excellent Spirit and a young American leader.

They Will Call This Racist

 The Black Republican PAC, an African-American, pro-Republican PAC, will be running this spot in Wisconsin when President Obama comes to town this weekend. “When President Obama arrives in Wisconsin on Saturday, he’ll be greeted by a cable ad buy aimed at black voters in Milwaukee. The spot, funded by the Black Republican PAC, intersperses statistics on the economic well-being of African Americans in the Obama era — “unemployment, home foreclosures and food security” — with clips from Obama’s speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, in which he famously urged his audience to “quit complaining.” The cable ad buy is for $100,000, according to the group, which will cover spots on BET, ESPN, MSNBC, The Oprah Winfrey Network and Oxygen. See the spot here. There are thousands of African Americans who do not agree with or support President Obama. Some are great men and women. Most of these patriotic people are regularly vilified by their own African-American colleagues, politicians and pundits. They number among them leaders like Former US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, Professor Thomas Sowell, Walter J. Williams, Rep. Alan West and hundreds of others with similar credentials and experience. They have earned both the right and the duty to speak to all Americans.Their opinions are of great interest to An Excellent Spirit. With Black unemployment at over 14% and Black youth unemployment over three times higher, all African-Americans should consider what these leaders have to say and why they are saying it in the face of such virulent opposition. That is American and they are Americans.

War on Everybody!

For months Americans have been told that Republicans and Romney are waging War on Women. This is despite the fact that the Obama recession has put almost eight hundred thousand women out of work since he took office!  Now, the Obama Administration has turned on Senior Citizens. QE 3, or Quantitative Easing 3, will have the effect of decimating savings accounts, affecting seniors like no others. “A consumer complaint is ricocheting around the world: Low interest rates are eating away at savings. Bill Taren, a retiree near Orlando, Fla., discovered in August that his credit union would pay only 0.4 percent annual interest on his savings account, even though inflation averaged 2.8 percent over the last year. So he and his wife decided to just stuff their money in the mattress, he says, because at least there “we can see the cash when we want.” Read the whole thing. Even AARP with its ultra-liberal leadership is beginning to complain. “Across America, retirees like Haynes are expressing similar worries as the Federal Reserve has flooded the nation’s banks with money in a successful move to drive interest rates near zero and stave off the collapse of the nation’s financial system. Now, banks have enough capital that they don’t have to compete aggressively to win a saver’s deposits. The near-zero rates they’re offering on deposits are injuring retired Americans who need higher returns on their accrued savings to pay the bills.”

The government’s desperate attempt to cover its calamitous economic policies has devastated American youth.  An Excellent Spirit has reported that minority unemployment is at historic and dangerous levels. QE 3 has consequences for the young. “Because of the senior squeeze mentioned earlier, older “gray-collar” workers are staying in, or re-entering, the jobs market to make up for the income they’re losing due to lower interest rates, and to offset higher costs of living. These older workers, because of their already established track records, might be out-competing younger workers even in such entry-level areas as food-service jobs. The old plan was that older workers would be able to leave the workforce for a comfortable retirement, opening up opportunities for younger workers. That plan isn’t surviving the realities of $4 gasoline, fractional-percentage interest rates, and surging food and medicine prices. With the older workers not leaving, the jobs just aren’t there for younger workers.” Read the whole thing.

It seems that no one, other than President Obama’s Wall St. and Hollywood campaign “bundlers” who reap the windfall of lower interest rates and easy money, is exempt from the fallout of QE 3 and the Obama elitist fiscal policy that has failed America so badly over the last four years. Seniors, youth, the parents of our youth, even women must wake up to what is happening to America. Hopefully, they will do so before these policies take America over the Fiscal Cliff! Stay tuned for more. 

The Promise of My Generation

This past graduation season caused me to do a great deal of thinking about my future and that of my generation. Who exactly are my generation? Technically, we would be Americans between the ages of approximately 17-25. It is somewhat sad to think that, perhaps a more fitting description is that we are the generation that collectively spent millions on Pokémon cards, the generation that wanted to grow up to be Tony Hawk or even the generation that first hand witnessed “sexy” being brought back? (Or any of these)

When I was “growing up”, the formula provided to us for success was all too simple. Work hard in school. Make yourself into the “well rounded” student that colleges want so you will get in. Work hard some more and graduate. Then get a job. This was the “American Dream” my generation, like the others before us was promised. This was our roadmap to prosperity. Too bad that, somewhere in the course of our adolescence, something changed. We did not understand and were powerless to change the things we began to see and experience. No one had ever prepared us for failure. All we knew was that this new reality made our parents uneasy, the news reporters frantic and our grandparents very angry. The real and to a great extent unanswered question remains, how does this unforeseen reality make us feel?

As we prepare for and enter into our “adult life” we are slowly but surely realizing that “their” distant and ignored political problems of our high school days are now our reality. Our future is here and it is now! The jobs we want and seek are not there. The jobs we can find, the ones left to those who care to look long and hard, pay much lower than what we were told they would. My generation has learned, perhaps too late, that we have become incapable of paying off the debts which we acquired in order to get the education that we believed would get us those jobs we can no longer get. More and more, we are learning that the debt we accrued was inflated and bloated by government and our schools skyrocketing the cost of our education. We have learned to our utter dismay that anything government gets involved with costs more for everyone. Including us. The government’s hapless impotence to remedy the out of sight debt of our student loan program now hangs over our heads. Likewise, we see that the economic quagmire looming over Medicare, Social Security, our parent’s retirement accounts and the healthcare industry seems even darker. Our nation has become more and more divisive while the world around us becomes more and more dangerous and hostile. We know that there is no one cause for these problems.  Likewise there is no one solution.

We ask, “Is this is simply just the world we live in?” “Is this is just a part of growing up?” “Will we always have problems like this?” Many believe that the American ship of state is sinking. Those of us raised in church wonder whether God’s judgment has begun. Maybe what we are going through is just a bad dream. Some of my confreres even say there is no point in trying to save any of it. I do not agree! 

I believe that this world will always be filled with tribulation and hardship for so long as it is filled with sin. I firmly believe in a coming Messiah who will judge the nations of the Earth  and usher in an eternal, abundant life! What I do not believe in is a fatalistic mindsetThat attitude has too long gripped my generation. That attitude must end if we are to surmount what lies before us. My generation will have little promise and less to pass on to our children if we do not meet these challenges and meet them now!

I want to tell my generation that passivity is our biggest adversary. If we are to accomplish anything, we must not quit. We have to take ourselves to a new level of awareness, education, and determination. To succeed in the current climate, our generation must not stretch our hands out for more from government or to our parents. Revolution is often birthed in young, passionate people. I ask my generation, “why not us and why not now?”

As for me, I will continue to research the issues and write on them in hopes of mobilizing my and future generations of Americans. The promise of my generation, the highest mountain for my and future generations, must be to surmount the challenges we face with humility, prayer, participation and action!  My questions to every member of my generation are: What about you? What is your part?

Blake Sanders is the Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Editor of An Excellent Spirit. 

The “Crossroads Generation” (Video)

Following up on Blake’s timely article, this YouTube video also speaks to all youths. See it here. God’s blessing on our children has a lot to do with our prayers, teaching them Godly values and loving them enough to listen to who they are and what they think and desire. An Excellent Spirit knows that If we do not invest in, listen to and pray for our young people, we will have abandoned the future of America!

A Conversation With A Recent Graduate

This is more tragic than funny, and it is a little funny. (LinkThe Village Idiot by Jim Mullen recounts this fictional discourse between a recent college graduate and his friends: “Where did all the good, high-paying jobs for B.A.’s in English Lit go all of a sudden? Four years of my life, wasted.” said our grad. 

Then, talking with a few fellow college graduates: “That’s the whole college experience — doing things that make you miserable. My cousin Billy wouldn’t do it. He and I are exactly the same age, and he spent the last four years learning how to be an electrician with my granddad. He could have gone to college, but he’d rather do something he likes. It’s going to hold him back the rest of his life.” “Wait a minute,” Faberge said. “Didn’t he just get married and buy a house?” “Yeah, a little one.” “You’ve seen it?” “No, but he said there wasn’t enough room for me to move in with them.” Read the whole thing.

An Excellent Spirit cannot laugh at our youth’s predicament. Neither do we fail to understand what it is doing to them and their families.

We can just post information that will point the way to some solution. Our youth are our future! We must trust our youth! And we must trust our God who said, “let the children come to Me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”.

Our Children’s Education And The Deficit

We have reported on the sad state of our children’s education. (Link) (Link)  Now comes this claim by Jack Kelly in Jewish World Review “If our kids learned as much in school as Canadian kids do, we’d increase our gross domestic product by about $50 trillion over the next 80 years, estimates Eric Hanushek of the Hoover Institution.” Kelly writes that the increase would be enough to wipe out our $1.2 trillion deficit!

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a most prestigious school. They note how far our children’s education has fallen: “Not so many years ago, our schools were the best in the world. But in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s rankings in 2010, the United States was 17th in reading, 22nd in science, 29th in math. In every other OECD country, 25- to 34-year-olds are better educated than 55- to 64 year-olds. But not in the United States. Today we lead the world only in how much we spend per pupil.” Read the whole thing.

What is America to believe? What if what we read here is right?  Our children are our most important resource, as individuals and as a nation. This article makes the point that the fault is with our system and the teacher’s unions. Maybe we had better start listening. We might even get out of debt in the process of getting our children a good education.

Thanks for the head’s up, Mr. Kelly!


American Gulags: Academia’s Re-education Of Our Children

An Excellent Spirit believes it is tragic that each year we parents send our children to American Gulags. We begin in September and deliver our children to academia’s socialist, “progressive”, anti-Christian, anti- everything that made America great and prosperous “schools” in early June. This, from Mike Adams in would be humorous, if it were not tragically accurate. (Link)

“In one week, it starts all over again. Thousands of young people will enroll in classes in the sixteen-campus University of North Carolina system. Before the first day of class is over, the professors and administrators will begin the assault on students and their Judeo-Christian values. Parents will have spent their entire lives saving money that will ultimately be used to turn their children against them. Students will unlearn everything they were taught about the foundations of liberty, the basis of morality, and will even begin questioning the very existence of truth. Before long, many parents will realize they have risked bankruptcy funding a legacy of intellectual and moral impoverishment.

I realized the situation was bad when a military officer wrote me a few years ago. While he was off serving his country, his twin teenaged girls were enrolling at Rice University. During “O” week, Rice orientation week, their orientation leader told them it was time to “experiment with their sexual liberty” now that they were off at college and away from their parents. The military officer was outraged over the incident – as he should have been. More parents would be outraged if only they were paying attention.”

Read the whole thing. If American parents do not know the truth, neither we nor our children will remain free. Mike Adams has a humorous, but authoritative way of telling us how the academic culture really operates and affects our children. Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts “Womyn” On Campus. He writes serious and frequently hilarious columns in An Excellent Spirit also recommends these recent Townhall pieces by Professor Mike. Read them, we bet you will like them:

Link Link and Link

The Disillusion Of Our Youth

An Excellent Spirit has posted about the uncertain future and the anxiety that our youth face today. Whether the subject is the abysmal state of the educational system that now un-prepares them for job, marriage, children and career (Link), or an economy that teaches debt as a way of life and bondage, it is as if we have abandoned our youth. Many, of today’s young people contemplate a future that promises grim economic impossibilities to pay off trillions in student loans, sub-standard education that has little value in the “no-jobs market” our youth are forced into or the limited prospects that today have almost a third of those under 30 moved back into their parent’s house. We have left our children a hard, if not impossible, future.  (Link)

This article from Jewish World Review by Robert J. Samuelson Link has more to say on the subject. “It is an axiom of American folklore that every generation should live better than its predecessors. But this is not a constitutional right or even an entitlement, and I am skeptical that today’s young will do so. Nor am I alone. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds that nearly 60 percent of Americans are also doubters. I meet many parents who fear the future that awaits their children.” If we, their parents see things like this, how do you imagine our youth see their future? Read the whole thing.

Samuelson says that the damage, despair and disillusionment while tragic, has not yet reached its zenith. “In a Pew survey last year, a quarter of 18-to-34-year-olds said they’d moved back with parents to save money. Getting a job has been time-consuming and often futile. In July, the unemployment rate among 18-to-29-year-olds was 12.7 percent. Counting people who dropped out of the labor market raises that to 16.7 percent, says Generation Opportunity, an advocacy group for the young. Among recent high-school graduates, unemployment rates are near half for African Americans, a third for Hispanics and a quarter for whites, notes the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.”

The contentious, partisan and less than credible atmosphere that pervades almost every institution upon which our youth have traditionally relied has driven most Americans to pessimism (Link) Nevertheless, it is not all negative. In fact, our youth may well be more positive than we parents. (Link) (Link)

It is clear is that our institutions have failed our youth. They sought to offer what they could  not deliver at these once great, now pretentious and failing establishments. Our elected and appointed representatives have enacted policies that will not leave this generation better off than we were by our parents. America must change that. The only path that An Excellent Spirit can see is that we, all of us, all of our generations, must trust our young people and trust God! 

Our older generations can pray, give advice, counsel and fellowship. They are the past. We, the parents must equip, inspire and encourage our children. We are the present. We must be with our children in these tough times with everything we have to give.  We must all get behind our young people. They are the future. Of our families and of America.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) We must trust our youth, trust their destiny, trust their integrity and trust GOD! Our generations may have let them down. God never will!

Student Loans and Congress

The trillion dollar plus student loan debt that our children have incurred to get an education is on a lot of minds lately. After all, it’s an election year and despite the fact that our children cannot find work, they still have to pay their loan payments. Or we have to do it for them.

Into this tale of woe comes something called “HR 4628”. This is a House of Representatives bill that extends the current Stafford Loan interest rate for another year, averting a $6 per month increase due to the programmed increase in the interest rate the students are paying.  Congress tells us that this would be a disaster to student loan holders and their parents and must be fixed, by them.

If you are a student with a loan or the parent of such a person, you should be paying attention. And asking questions. Such as why a monthly increase of $6 would be such a disaster? And what is so bad that Congress has to get all exorcized about $6 a month. They spend that much of our money in a millisecond.

There is always a hitch, however. Why is it that we have to read the small print to have a clue about those darned “hitches”?

Answer: In addition to keeping the interest rate at 3.2%, this legislation does something much more significant: it repeals the so-called Prevention Fund. The Prevention Fund is a multi-billion-dollar fund created by President Obama’s stimulus bill when the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, during his first two years in office. Soon after that, Congress expanded and funded the Prevention Fund more lavishly and automatically, without annual appropriations. This was accomplished, without our being told, by anyone,  by the President’s health care law. That is the law that was just declared constitutional by our Supreme Court.

The Prevention Fund is the most egregious type of federal spending because it uses our federal tax dollars to raise our taxes and limit our freedoms at the state and local levels. Specifically, it provides taxpayer-funded grants for television advertising, lobbying campaigns, and other activities aimed at raising taxes on soft drinks, imposing zoning restrictions on fast food restaurants, imposing smoking bans, and other such nanny-state favorites.”

The above quote is from a article by Phil Kerpen:

“The Stafford Loan interest rate is a phony political issue. The 6.8 percent interest rate was slashed – at taxpayer expense – to 3.4 percent last year. Now Democrats in Congress say that the interest rate slash ending and returning to 6.8 per cent is an economic catastrophe for students. The actual difference in any student loan would be about of $6 per month on new loans. Existing loans are unaffected. The trillion dollar plus student debt problem is a real problem and requires a real solution. The legislation on the Stafford Loan interest rate issue is not.”

What is most interesting is that the issue looks like it should be near the top of any American’s concern in this election year. Many voters are either students with loans or parents of children with loans or about to get a loan to help finance their education.

Then, too, the ending or paring down of The Prevention Fund seems like a good thing. It looks like a slam dunk. Until you read the fine print of the Senate version of what the House has already passed.

The Senate bill would enact an outrageous use of taxpayer dollars. It contains a tax hike on small businesses.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bill, S. 2343, has identical language to the House-passed bill extending the 3.4 percent rate on Stafford Loans for one more year.

When you read the fine print, you discover it perpetuates the Prevention Fund. Read further and you will also discover that it adds a new tax: a $9 billion tax hike on the business income of S-corporations and partnerships by applying a self-employment tax if the owners of those businesses are also employees. There are already IRS rules that ensure those individuals are already paying themselves fair market wages, which are subject to payroll taxes.

This is bad tax policy and a terrible precedent. Meanwhile those in the Senate, intent on protecting the Prevention Fund and keeping the phony interest rate issue alive, are refusing to vote on the House bill – even though the House rejected the Senate version last week.

The fine print discloses that the battle is really about whether we should hike taxes on small businesses (in the middle of a recession) or cut irresponsible, wasteful spending. That’s a fight worth having, even if the $6 per month that started it is inconsequential.

It really pays to read the fine print. It might even pay to keep an eye on your Senators to see how they vote on this one before Election Day. Then, consider telling them by email, Facebook or Twitter that you are watching and will vote accordingly.

Perhaps those so-called “just say NO!” House members have got something here.

Youth in Crises

It is an election year and a principal promise of  An Excellent Spirit is to be non-partisan, wherever that is possible. Sometimes, however, a story comes to our attention that we would be derelict if we did not post it. Here

The reason that we post this story is that the references contained in the story should be read by every young person over the age of 16 and all parents. The information is compelling and should elicit a response by all, election year or not.

“According to the Wall Street Journal, “The U.S. labor market is in a malaise, but young adults are in crisis.”

“For young workers with only a high school degree, unemployment is “astonishingly high” according to the Economic Policy Institute. EPI reports that the unemployment rate for young high school graduates jumped from 17.5 percent in 2007 to 32.7 percent in 2010, “dwarfing the increases in prior recessions,” and remains above 31% still today. A staggering one-out-of-two black high school graduates (49.1%) are unemployed. For Hispanics, it is 33.8%.”

This article by Mike Shedlock references a Pew research Opinion Survey  that says it all:

According to Pew, by huge margins, Americans of all ages believe reaching some basic financial goals is harder for today’s young adults than it was for their parents. Whether the objective is finding a job (82%), saving for the future (75%), paying for college (71%), or buying a home (69%), Americans believe that today’s younger generation has a tougher row-to-hoe. The prolonged bad economy has affected the personal lives of young Americans, too, and the nation’s culture and future as a result; 31% say they have postponed getting married or having a baby. Nationally, the birthrate has fallen every year since 2007. Pew also found that 24% of young adults moved back in with their parents for economic reasons after living on their own.”

An Excellent Spirit recommends that you carefully read all the links and give them to your children or to your parents. We will post regular updates on this crises, as we find them.

How this will translate in November is anyone’s guess. It should be the subject of much prayer, thought and attention by everyone, especially our youth.