BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Month: November 2015

Education Reform and ‘Disruption-omics:’ My Four Part Series for GenFKD

GenFKD (“FKD” standing for “Financial Knowledge and Development”) is a group run by millennials for millennials intently focused on educating peers on the basics of personal finance and economics.

This is a critical project at a time when financial literacy rates among young Americans are low, and the job market is incredibly difficult.

I penned a four-part series for GenFKD on education reform and its pivotal role in both developing America’s human capital and aiding in socioeconomic mobility, thereby driving a flourishing society and dynamic economy.

Check it out below:

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Me to Malzberg: Remove Violent Extremist Right-Wingers and Replace Them With Refugees

Just kidding!

Last night (11/24) I had the opportunity to speak with Newsmax host Steve Malzberg and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) on the topic of Syrian refugees and the global jihad more broadly.

Check out our conversation below:

Watcher of Weasels Honorable Mention: Jihad Versus Terrorism

For my piece on why using “terrorism” instead of “jihadism” is such a consequential error, I received an honorable mention from the essential Watcher’s Council.

Read their round-up of exceptional writings for the week of November 18th here.

Using the Term ‘Terrorist’ to Describe Jihadis Aids and Abets Their Cause

In the wake of the Paris attacks, it is vital to acknowledge that 14 years after 9/11, even the lexicon we use in connection with the slow-motion global jihad continues to be fatally flawed.

Lack of clarity and precision in terminology and definitions indicates a lack of cogency in our own minds; as it pertains to our understanding of the Islamic supremacist enemy — never referred to by our “leaders” as such — incoherence portends failure with respect to defending America against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Take our use of the word “terrorist” for example. I would submit that this term in and of itself misclassifies the enemy, and in effect serves its efforts by witting or unwitting obfuscation.

Terrorism is a tactic; the enemy properly defined consists of adherents to an Islamic supremacist, theopolitical ideology — that is, self-described jihadists. As others have noted, in World War II we did not refer to our enemy as “the blitzkrieg.”

Further, “terrorist” is just a marginally less politically correct term than “violent extremists,” but it similarly lumps animal rights nuts with sophisticated jihadi operatives. By painting with such a broad brush, we in turn dilute the perceived dangerousness of our mortal foe.

As such, the very name “War on Terror” is inapt.

This means of course that our foreign policy Establishment has failed the American people on a bipartisan basis.

How we counterjihadists make this clear to the public after 14 years of mendacious messaging is a monumental challenge as we think about how to turn the tide.

Shocking But True: The New York Times Has Editors Who Oppose Jobs for Illegal Immigrants!?

Jim Epstein’s bombshell reporting for Reason magazine — which poked holes in the New York Timesviral multi-part series on supposed systemic underpayment, exploitation and abuse of primarily young Asian and Hispanic nail salon workers in New York — finally received a response from the Times‘ public editor Margaret Sullivan.

Much can and will be written about what may be the latest chapter in the annals of journalistic malfeasance, this one allegedly consisting of shoddy and/or one-sided reporting in order to meet a favored narrative. And this is no small aside mind you, as as I have argued many times, today narrative is omnipotent — it trumps all else including truth.

But it was a line in Sullivan’s response on behalf of the Times tangential to the nail salon story that might have proved the most shocking revelation of all.

Sullivan wrote:

The [New York Times] editors [involved with the nail salon investigation] objected to many elements of Mr. Epstein’s reporting, including his apparent defense of practices that allow undocumented or illegal immigrants to work in salons.

Could these editors of the New York Times actually be saying what I think they are saying?

The Times opposes jobs for illegal immigrants?

Has the long march for social justice halted?

What in the name of “Pinch” Sulzberger is going on?

Then again, to be fair, Ms. Sullivan does assert that she is particularly heartened when the Times takes up the causes of the “poor and voiceless.” Sullivan also notes that “The [nail salon] series and its author, Sarah Maslin Nir, had admirable intentions in speaking for underpaid or abused workers.”

Assuming that the Times pursues such stories according to actual journalistic standards — following the facts as opposed to shaping some and omitting others to form a predetermined narrative — this would be all well and good. Surely journalism is in part about exposing injustice.

But it appears that the Times feels no such compassion let alone empathy for those incurring significant harm by government due to regulation.

As Sullivan writes:

Until now, The Times has not responded to that [Reason’s] series because editors believe they defended the nail salon investigation fully when they responded to Mr. Bernstein’s complaints, and because they think the magazine [Reason], which generally opposes regulation, is reporting from a biased point of view.

But is not the Times reporting from a biased point of view to the degree to which it feels that by mere dint of a publication’s general opposition to regulation, its reporting is thereby illegitimate or ought to be ignored? What about making the voice of the hyper-regulated heard?

There are millions of other victims of the powers that be who remain voiceless thanks to the Times‘ political bent.

In an ideal journalistic world, victims of all types would be heard, and their stories told based on truth, not narrative.

Featured Image Source: Wikipedia Commons.

Reaction to Tarantino’s Anti-Cop, Black Lives Matter Rhetoric Illustrates Virtue of Free Markets and Free Minds

On Monday 11/2, I sat in as a guest again on Newsmax TV’s “The Daily Wrap.”

During the episode, we had the chance to discuss a variety of issues including Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s continued dominance in the polls, the RNC’s botching of the GOP debates, Quentin Tarantino’s siding with #BlackLivesMatter against cops and the market-driven backlash, our nation’s $43 million gas station in Afghanistan and much more!

You can watch the show in full, along with some particularly pertinent clips below.

Full Episode

Trump v. Carson and Current GOP Polls

The RNC’s Bungling of the GOP Debates

Quentin Tarantino’s Clinton-Like Phony “Apology”

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Winning the War Before a Shot is Fired: How the GOP Establishment Stacked the Deck for 2016

FiveThirtyEight recently published an excellent analysis illustrating how the GOP Establishment machinery has set the rules of the GOP presidential primary process such that more conservative candidates are put at a distinct disadvantage from day one.

The RNC-dictated primary scheme uses dilutive proportionality versus winner-takes-all rules, and lopsided delegate allocation in moderate versus conservative states to in effect give disproportionate sway to more moderate candidates and/or delegates.

I write about this scheme in a new piece over at Newsmax.

Here is a taste:

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