Lowered Standards, Lowered Expectations

Most kids these days who graduate from public high schools seem to only want to earn enough money to provide toys and games and entertainment for their own amusement.  Most of them, in my opinion, don't have any plans or any intention of making the world a better place, and very few have a realistic idea of success.  This is the natural result of a system that teaches young people to do whatever it takes to make themselves happy.

Some of the material on this page is included in Cultural and political bias in the movies and on television.

Stop dressing so tacky for church.  If the Rev. John DeBonville could preach a sermon to lift the souls of churchgoers across America, his message would be simple:  Stop dressing so tacky for church.  DeBonville has heard about the "come as you are" approach to dressing down for Sunday service, but he says the Sabbath is getting too sloppy.  When he scans the pews of churches, DeBonville sees rows of people dressed in their Sunday worst.  They saunter into church in baggy shorts, flip-flop sandals, tennis shoes and grubby T-shirts.  Some even slide into the pews carrying coffee in plastic foam containers as if they're going to Starbucks.

A U.S. ambassador was just sworn in on a Kindle.  On Monday [6/2/2014], Suzi LeVine became the first U.S. ambassador (she's the American representative to Switzerland) to be sworn in on an e-reader:  [Photo]v LeVine took the oath on a digital copy of the U.S. Constitution stored on a Kindle Touch.  But that's not the only time a digital device has replaced its dead-tree predecessor.  In February, New Jersey firefighters were sworn in on an iPad edition of the Bible when nobody could find a version in print.

Government Agency Scraps Employee Ratings To Avoid 'Discrimination'.  One government agency has decided that the results of employee ratings are too discriminatory, and eliminated the process entirely.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Monday that it will now award all employees the highest rating regardless of performance reviews.  The CFPB, which oversees transactions in the financial sector for the federal government, decided to no longer conduct employee reviews because there were just too many apparent "significant disparities" between the races, ages, and locations of its employees.

Federal Judges Question Constitutionality Of Obama's Prized Consumer Agency.  A federal appeals court appears ready to declare the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unconstitutional, a major blow to the first new agency created under President Barack Obama.  The possibility of dramatic action against CFPB arose in an oral argument Tuesday [4/12/2016] before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Everyone gets a perfect score! Federal financial agency ditches employee performance ratings.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog department created in 2011 to create a level financial playing field for American consumers, has scrapped its internal employee performance review process following revelations that nonunion workers and caucasians routinely scored better than unionized employees and minorities in 2013.  The annual performance reviews award scores on a scale from 1 to 5 and are closely tied to salary raises, bonuses and career advancement.  Instead of keeping the scores in place, agency leaders have decided to award all of their 1,100 employees ratings of '5.'

Groan ranger.  [Scroll down]  But the tired idea that Indians were ecologists, right down to their allegedly noble killing habits, is itself an early-'70s myth that doesn't stand up to historical scrutiny, so this would-be daring film gets stuck in PC quicksand.  In fact, the Indians used any wasteful methods they could to kill buffalo (including driving them off cliffs or setting fire to the land on all four sides), then left most of the meat to rot in the sun.

Companies Sued For Trying To Avoid Hiring Convicts.  In 1963, the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King said it was his hope that black Americans would no longer be judged on their color of their skin, but on the content of their character.  Fifty years later, the Obama administration's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says King got it wrong.  The EEOC launched two lawsuits against private companies this week over their use of criminal background checks, claiming that in rejecting applicants with proven criminal records, they somehow discriminated against minorities under a disparate impact clause in their guidelines.

Restaurant Tells Woman who Ran into Cross-Dresser in Ladies Room to Try Men's Room.  A Nashville woman who found herself face-to-face with a "big, burly" cross-dresser in the ladies room of a family restaurant felt her horror turn to anger after a restaurant manager suggested she try the men's room.  Transgendered people in several states have been fighting for the right to use public restrooms that correspond with whatever sex they consider themselves, with lawmakers in California and Massachusetts providing support for the idea.

You are among the last weeds in the Marxist Garden.  If we do not eradicate the parasites from our Society, then our society will collapse.  We can tolerate some quantity of parasitic leeching, but not the level we have today.  According to recent reports half of the households in America receive some sort of parasitic benefit, and a third of our population are suffering one STD or another, half of all marriages end in divorce, our literacy rate and cognitive abilities of our young are in the toilet, homosexuality is accepted to be on the same moral plane as matrimony, and the number of Americans today who genuinely subscribe to Jefferson's Rightful Liberty is probably under 3% of the population.

Federal Prisons Plan to Release More Inmates on 'Compassionate' Grounds.  To reduce the growing prison population and escalating prison costs, the U.S Bureau of Prisons says it is now revising its "compassionate release" rules so more ailing and aging inmates can be freed.  A report from the Justice Department's inspector general says the revised rules will expand the compassionate release program by making inmates with a life expectancy of up to 18 months eligible for consideration (versus the current 12 months).

Only the finest!
Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops.  A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court's decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

Labor Dep't. Spending $26M to Help Juvenile Delinquents Get Jobs, Pass Background Checks.  The U.S. Labor Department on Monday [4/1/2013] announced the availability of $26 million in grants to improve the job prospects -- and expunge the court records -- of young people who have spent time in juvenile detention centers.  The "Face Forward" grants will support job-training and skills-development to help people ages 16-24 overcome the stigma of a juvenile arrest record, which can be a lifelong barrier to advancement in the workforce.

Today's public library could be mistaken for a halfway house, homeless shelter, or federal penetentiary.
Shush!  I write from the public library, which doubles as my city's daytime homeless shelter.  I spend four hours a day there reading and writing.  Other patrons, often accompanied by all of their worldly possessions, go there to sleep, masturbate, and stare blankly at the lights.  Isn't this what the local Greyhound terminal is for?  A diversion program for juvenile delinquents apparently meets daily on the first floor. [...] A visit to the Boston Public Library invites the question:  what good is a beautiful building that smells like urine?

Bad at Their Jobs, and Loving It.  A company's best employees should also be its happiest and most engaged, but that's not always the case.  A new study finds that, in 42% of companies, low performers actually report being more engaged — more motivated and more likely to enjoy working at their organization, for example — than middle and high performers do.

The Presidency Loses Its Final Traces of Dignity. The desecration of the presidency under Obama has been so methodical and obvious.  We've watched Obama literally — not figuratively — bow to foreign leaders, chew gum at the ASEAN Summit and elsewhere, inhabit the Oval Office in Casual Friday outfits, put his feet up on every piece of furniture in sight — historic or not — host entertainers in the Situation Room, and wonder aloud "whose a-- to kick."  Meanwhile, his wife stages potato sack races in the East Room and his vice president suggests Republicans will put African Americans back in chains and giggles through his debate with GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Why Is Obama so Nasty and Vulgar?  Rude, insulting language about Romney from the president.  Vulgar sexual innuendo, aimed at seducing young women to vote for him.  The vice president asking a bereaved parent about the size of his murdered son's testicles.  It's quite a spectacle.  We're a fractious people, and our politics have always been full of colorful language, but I can't recall the current depth of vulgarity.  The "politics of personal destruction" have gotten uglier.

Debasing the Presidency.  Critics are harping that Barack Obama is running a campaign that in its coarseness, smallness, and pettiness marks a new low in American politics.  Why are they so outraged?  He has behaved this way ever since he moved into the Oval Office.  Many people have criticized Barack Obama for his failures as president. [...] The list goes on and on, with nary a word of criticism from the journalists, professors, and pundits who would decry such steps as dictatorial actions of an imperial president had they been undertaken by a Republican.  The New York Times would be calling for impeachment by now.

Federal Judge Imposes Racial Quota on FDNY, Responding to Minorities Who Failed Entrance Exams.  A federal judge is ordering the New York City Fire Department to implement racial quotas to address grievances from minorities who failed entrance exams.  On July 5 in Brooklyn, Nicholas G. Garaufis, a Clinton-appointed judge for the Eastern District of New York, issued a ruling that requires two of every five newly hired fireman to be black and one of every five, Hispanic — until the department has fulfilled the court-ordered quota of 186 black and 107 Hispanic hires.

Racial Arsonists' New Target: FICO Credit Scoring.  It was bad enough the government pressured banks to rubberstamp home loans for folks with poor credit scores.  Now there's a more dangerous push to attack the credit-scoring system itself.

8 New Ways You Might Be Insane.  "Psychiatrists manufacture mental diagnoses the way the Vatican manufactures saints," says Dr. Thomas Szasz, an outspoken critic of modern psychiatry and author of Psychiatry: The Science of Lies.  This view may be extreme, but some of the new "mental illnesses" under consideration for the new edition nonetheless sound a little... crazy.  Here are eight you may already be suffering from, whether you knew it or not.

America's One True Religion:  If fewer folks celebrate Mass, then they certainly celebrate themselves.  But if they don't celebrate themselves, they celebrate other mortals.  We call these other mortals "celebrities."  Indeed, America has a culture of celebrity.  Some of our celebrities are celebrated for nothing more than their celebrity; they're "famous for being famous," and they seem to have no redeeming qualities.  We're celebrating the wrong celebrities.  There've been only twelve men who have trod the Moon.  Yet we ignore them and celebrate Eminem and Snoop Dog.

Academic conference seeks to normalize pedophilia.  Researchers from several prominent U.S. universities will participate tomorrow in a Baltimore conference reportedly aiming to normalize pedophilia.  According to the sponsoring organization's website, the event will examine ways in which "minor-attracted persons" can be involved in a revision of the American Psychological Association (APA) classification of pedophilia.

Are Mental Health Professionals Working to Normalize Pedophilia?  As law enforcement agencies around the world continue to round up adults who prey on children, a small group of mental health professionals appears to be trying to facilitate a change in how pedophilia is defined and diagnosed.

A Nation That Honors Sin.  The increasingly intrusive apparatus of bureaucratic control forces many people to act as if they approve of sins they oppose.  Think of the college professor who would suffer professionally if his companions knew that he opposed "gay rights," of the nurse who would be fired if it were known that she opposed "reproductive rights" (i.e, abortion); of the college student whose grade would be arbitrarily lowered if he expressed opposition to the favoring of nonwhites at the expense of whites.  The mandatory approval of sin forces many people to hide their true beliefs, and they often become demoralized at this erosion of their integrity.

Why Political Perversions Get a Pass.  There is no excuse for the sins of our politicians but what is even more disturbing is the absence of any sense of morality in the voters who keep these corrupt perverts in office.

Accusation that Voter ID Is Racist Demeans Blacks.  The left, which dominates our culture and educational institutions, has too often lowered standards for black Americans.  Even worse, it has declared that if you are black, "they isn't" is not only not to be corrected, but many in academia have declared it an acceptable form of English, i.e., Ebonics, or Black English.

Liberalism is Destroying Christian Churches.  The National leadership of many of our Protestant churches has long been far to the left in political ideology.  The same is true of the National Council of Churches.  Some of their liberalism has even filtered down into some of the churches at the local level.  They have continually pursued many leftist causes over the years — some of which have been communist.  Many have adopted all of the current leftist ideologies, including same-sex marriage, acceptance of sodomy as commendable, amnesty for illegal aliens and open borders, global warming propaganda, government controlled medical care, and the treating of Islam as an equal and acceptable religion.

Narcissism is No Longer a Psychiatric Disorder.  Narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and the need for constant attention, has been eliminated from the upcoming manual of mental disorders, which psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness.

The Editor says...
Narcissism may be rampant, but that doesn't mean it's normal.

Jesus And Obama Tie In Recent Poll.  Who are the role models for today's 13-17 year olds?  That's the question recently posed by Barna Group in his annual YouthPoll.  The way youths answer this question has great import.  According to the study, ["]Teenagers' preferences and tastes greatly influence America's cultural identity.  The people teenagers look up to as their role models matter a great deal in determining the shape and substance of the next generation of churchgoers, consumers and citizens.["]  Youth were not permitted to identify their parents as role models.  Yet, family members were still listed as the chief role models by 37% of respondents.
[Italics added.]

Flying the friendly skies ought to be friendlier.  When I got on an airplane for the first time — to fly from Boston to New York, around 1970 — I got all dressed up. ... I really hate sounding like an old timer, even if I am becoming one, but the truth is that not only did people used to "dress" to fly, but everyone was generally on good behavior.  Someone might flirt with a flight attendant, but I never saw anyone berate one; I rarely saw bad behavior at the gates; I can't remember a single screaming match at a ticket counter.

The Editor says...
People used to get dressed up to be part of the audience at a television show.  Today, the people on camera often dress like slobs or prostitutes.  Years earlier, people would dress up to go to a radio station — as part of the cast or even the audience.  When I was a child, adults used to dress rather formally just to go to the bank.  These days, people don't even dress up to go to church, if they go at all.  Decorum and propriety are rare commodities.

More about the TSA's abusive and invasive searches.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

The Racism of Diversity.  Let's go over what the Naval Academy sees as an artificial achievement barrier.  A black candidate with B and C grades, with no particular leadership qualities, and 500 on both portions of the SAT, is virtually guaranteed admittance.  A white student, who's not an athlete, with such scores is deemed not qualified.  Many black students are admitted to the Naval Academy through remedial training at the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, R.I., which is a one-year post-secondary school.  Finishing the year with a 2.0 GPA, a C average, almost guarantees admission to the academy.  A C average for remedial work is nothing to write home about.  Occasionally, when students don't make the 2.0 GPA target, the target is renegotiated downward.

Is literature the canary in the mine?  If we in the 21st century stand on the shoulders of giants, it must be a particularly light load for the giants — as there seems to be a dearth of intellectual weight in the current era.  Can you think of any writer as essential as Charles Dickens alive today?  Or Tolstoy?  Or Emily Dickinson?  Or Hemingway? ... Or Mark Twain?

One in three recent Atlanta Police Academy graduates have criminal records.  Keovongsa Siharath was arrested in Henry County on charges he punched his stepfather.  Jeffrey Churchill was charged with assault in an altercation with a woman in a mall parking lot.  Calvin Thomas was taken into custody in DeKalb County on a concealed weapons charge.  All three are now officers with the Atlanta Police Department.

Spring break:  hazardous to your health?  Spring break should be known as the anti-Lent.  Sex, alcohol, outrageous misbehavior — every indulgence is mandatory, and magnified live on MTV.

Whatever Happened to the Family Film?  Of the top 20 moneymaking films of all time, not a single one is rated R, and of the top 50, only five are rated R — with the remainder being G or PG.  Don"t these figures make you wonder what"s wrong with Hollywood just from a business point of view?  Why, in the face of these statistics, does Hollywood keep putting out so many non-family oriented movies?

TV Watchdog:  FCC Ruling "One Great Mish-Mash of Imprecision".  A pro-family spokesman says the FCC's decision yesterday to dismiss more than 30 complaints against indecent programming points to the need for a new kind of leadership at the federal agency.  The Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday [1/24/2005] that it had turned aside 36 complaints that various television stations had aired indecent material during a variety of programs.

An obituary for qualities:  The year-end obituaries have paid due homage to the national icons, the rich and famous, the talented and not so.  But there really ought to be obituaries not just for people but for the qualities they represented.  For traditions, customs, styles that have faded.

Study says "Language police" are harming children.  Activist groups acting as "language police" are exerting increasing control over American schools, resulting in bored, cynical and "dumbed down" children, according to a three-year study of education policy.

Behar: Baptism = Waterboarding.  An ancient Christian religious ritual is apparently comparable to a controversial interrogation technique, according to Joy Behar of ABC's "The View." ... Behar, of course, had to add in her usual quip.  "Isn't it like water boarding — when they dump your head under there like that?"  Fellow host Elisabeth Hasselbeck quickly replied with, "no."

These New (York) Times — Inherent Contradiction Of Modern Dogma.  As Chuck Colson notes, "It may be fashionable to dismiss moral truth claims, but the absence of truth leads to chaos, and we find we can't live with it.  The Times can't live with a reporter carrying its own philosophy to its logical conclusion."

We're all victims.  Critics have noticed that nobody is responsible for anything anymore, since almost everyone is a victim.  Here are the top 10 victim stories of 2005.

Coddling Criminals:  Drown Your Babies, Walk Away Free.  This has happened at least twice in Texas in this decade — practically the liberal's definition of an epidemic.  But it's a liberal approach to crime and punishment that defined Lisa Diaz as "crazy" and allowed her to walk out of a mental hospital "cured" after drowning her two little girls just three years ago.

A World without Adversity:  There was once a time when parents pointed out bums on the streets and told their children that this was what could happen to you if you didn't bother to learn the things you needed to know, and do the things you needed to do, to make it in life.  Today, children are taught to be "non-judgmental" and the media keep saying that these drug-ridden derelicts are "people just like us" who happened to fall on hard times -- even though study after study shows what a pious lie that is.

A World Without "F's":  Whiny parents wonder why public schools have abandoned standards, forsaken accountability and adopted appeasement as their primary educational mission.

The End Of America's Prestige:  A friend of mine once told a college class that nobody ever woke up in 476 A.D. (the date historians define as the fall of the Roman Empire) and said, "Gosh, I'm in the Dark Ages."  His point is plain enough.  Transitions happen gradually, and the people who live through them never realize what is happening.  So it is with Americans.  We are living in the ruins of a once-great republic.  Now an empire utterly devoid of moral authority, the United States has nothing left but its military power and its capacity to consume on credit.

Weakened Culture, Weakened Schools:  As both sides of the Atlantic reel from the latest bout of school shootings, this time in Erfurt, Germany, fundamental questions about our society and its institutions are tragically brought to the forefront.

One Man's Dung is Another Man's Art:  When it comes to art, I'm a Norman Rockwell kind of guy.  Maybe that's partially why I'm so shocked by what has been labeled as "art" by our federal government.

A Kindler, Gentler... Less-Fit Military:  Walk, don't run.  That's an order for the service men and women of U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami.  Their weekly fitness runs were terminated recently when a female officer claimed they were "demeaning."  According to media reports, the officer objected that the Friday jogs "subjected slow runners to ridicule from faster runners."  And you thought war was hell.  Let the social scientists worry about verbal interaction among "ability groups."  But let the administration and Congress put national security ahead of political correctness.

A Mom Reflects on Dodge Ball Bans:  Adults should once again allow kids to play cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, Batman, or dodge ball on school playgrounds without fear of expulsion.  There is nothing more fun than watching children play.  This is how they learn to develop social skills and their imaginations.

Bread and Circuses:  In his book Bread and Circuses, Patrick Brantlinger analyzes the idea of "bread and circuses" as a narcotic for the masses throughout history.  Brantlinger defines as "negative classicism" the idea that Rome was decadent and that our society is sliding downhill to a Roman-style decadence.  "The shade of Rome," says Brantlinger, "looms up to suggest the fate of societies that fail to elevate their masses to something better than welfare checks and mass entertainments."

Cultural SewageIt's the Law of Dilution:  If you add a cup of water to a barrel of sewage, you get a barrel of sewage; but if you add a cup of sewage to a barrel of water, you still get a barrel of sewage.

The Virtue of Individualism:  The committee gave me an ultimatum:  change the speech topic completely and write about what the committee wanted me to write about, or "resign" from the speaking position.  I remained firm to my decision not to change the idea of my speech.

When the Chips Are Off:  If Americans overwhelmingly favor the V-chip, why don't they use it?  In his 1996 State of the Union address, President Clinton urged Congress "to pass the requirement for a "V" chip in TV sets, so that parents can screen out programs they believe are inappropriate for their children."  He said the technology would enable parents "to assume more personal responsibility for their children"s upbringing."  This was an odd way to characterize the V-chip, which actually represented an abdication of parental responsibility.  Instead of monitoring what their kids watch and deciding for themselves what was appropriate, parents would rely on ratings assigned by the networks.  There would be no need for active supervision or discussion:  Once the V-chip was programmed, everything would be automatic.

More discussion of the V-Chip can be seen here.

The Pope says Heaven is open to everyone.  Certain restrictions apply.  For example, you must be Catholic.

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Updated April 19, 2016.

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