The college scam I REALLY HATE!

Abandon hope, all ye who enter…

Not the ones you are thinking of, though.

From Townhall.com., by Stephen Moore (italics): “The worst idea of all is student loan forgiveness of up to $1 trillion. This would only shift the costs of expensive colleges onto the back of taxpayers — many of whom never even went to college. There are two glaring problems with free college. First, instituting free college tuition does nothing to incentivize college administrators to lower costs. Instead, it simply transfers the burden of paying for higher education from kids whose families have relatively high incomes to general taxpayers, many of whom didn’t go to college at all.

College endowments are massive storehouses of tax-deductible funds.It turns out that endowments have exactly the opposite effects on tuition that one might expect: The higher the endowment, the higher the tuition. The feds have the leverage to reverse this. The forthcoming 2019 oversight report of the U.S. Department of Education, conducted by nonprofit OpenTheBooks.com, discovered that “the 25 colleges and universities with the largest endowments in the country reaped $6.9 billion in Department of Education (ED) funding despite holding a quarter-trillion in existing assets, collectively. This is totally unconscionable!!!

“Without any new gifts, most if not all Ivy League endowments could fund full-ride scholarships for all financially needy undergraduate students for the next half-century. With continued gifts to universities, tuition could practically be free to students forever without the endowments running dry. The way to cut tuition, starting with the most expensive colleges, is to require these schools to lower its tuition each year by 5-10% and make up the difference by either cutting costs (that’s easy) or using endowments to subsidize the out-of-pocket costs paid by students and/or taxpayers.

If universities are going to rely on taxpayers to subsidize its exorbitant costs, it makes sense for the public to hold these schools to the high standards it says it holds its students to. If the institution doesn’t take federal money, it can do as it wishes. Lower college tuition are easily achievable for every family in America, and unlike our failed multi-billion-dollar student loan programs or populist slogans such as “free college tuition,” this strategy won’t cost taxpayers a dime.” Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks.

College itself has become a scam. The most prestigious colleges, and I use prestigious in the most cynical fashion possible, constantly importune their alumni for money, with endless fundraising campaigns, to build endowments worth billions, while extorting huge tuition and fee increases from taxpayers and students in the form of marketing the idea that employers place such an emphasis on a college degree that you are lost without such “education”. All the while using a tiny fraction of the endowment money for students, but more for the endowment arms race to increase their bragging rights and their donors’ tax deductions!

Maybe if a college education actually taught students the value of knowledge and diligence, and contributed to the welfare of the country, I could countenance this ripoff. Then why do two of the best educational institutions in the country—Hillsdale College in Michigan and Grove City College in Pennsylvania—refuse government financial aid? The lesson of being truly independent and free from PC bullshit starts with the college administration itself; so does the lesson of being greedy and mendacious.

Solving problems at the root.

This post is almost entirely from Erick Erickson, writing in theresurgent.com.

“In 2017, speaking to a group of leaders from Central America, Vice President Pence declared, “To further stem the flow of illegal immigration and illegal drugs into the United States, President Trump knows, as do all of you, that we must confront these problems at their source. We must meet them – and we must solve them – in Central and South America.” What Vice President Pence said then was correct.

“Fifteen years ago, Colombia was on the verge of collapse. The nation was overrun with drug traffickers, cartels, and local gangs. Crime and violence were rampant, people were fleeing the nation, and the government of Colombia teetered on the edge. The United States deployed its foreign aid budget and military resources to help the Colombian government stabilize, fight its domestic drug war, and beat the cartels. The nation went from the brink to being a stable leader in South America and a strategic ally of the United States. In the past decade, trade with Colombia has tripled to $14 billion, benefiting American businesses.

“Since 2016, American assistance to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador has declined 20% and, concurrent with that decline in American assistance, those countries have seen an increase in domestic crime, corruption, and flight of refugees headed towards the United States. What is notable is that the last time the United States worked in concert with Central American countries to fund internal projects related to fighting crime, corruption, and abuse, those governments committed ten times as many resources and, with our dollars and direction, saw crime go down and population flight decrease. In 2014, for example, we spent $420 million in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to help and those countries combined spent $5.4 billion of their own resources, but let the U.S. take the lead in a partnership that benefited us all.

“As former White House Chief of Staff and SOUTHCOM Commander, General John Kelly, has noted, “If we can improve the conditions, the lot in life of Hondurans, Guatemalans, Central Americans, we can do an awful lot to protect the southwest border.” If we just build a wall, we are going to see an increase in violence, drug trafficking, and nation-state collapse. Those problems will eventually penetrate our border with or without a wall. On top of that, these countries are, in many cases, desperate. By ignoring them, we are seeding the ground for China to lay down roots in the Western Hemisphere as it and Russia have tried to do in places like Venezuela. We risk undermining our longterm national interests by cutting foreign aid. We should, instead, spend it wisely in those countries to ensure stable governments that view us as allies and work with them to root out crime, corruption, and cartels.”

I agree with him, and written a number of previous posts about the futility of a wall along our southern border and the need for these Central American countries to solve their own problems or their people to take matters into their own hands in a way the autodefensas have in parts of Mexico. The rule of law is better than vigilantism, but vigilantism is better than the rule of cartels and gangs.

Is the evil on men’s hearts or on the pages?

Righteous living is not humanly possible. Only with Christ.

I love the Bible, including the Old Testament, even including the book of Judges, which is chock full of really evil, disgusting acts and customs. Judges is a great opportunity for those who hate Jesus Christ to denigrate the Bible. All they have to do is conflate the evil with the scripture itself instead of putting the onus where it belongs….in the hearts of the doers of evil, in my heart, and yours. With such a plethora of evil acts and customs to choose from, one incident in particular disgusted me the most.

A Levite–of the priesthood clan–had a concubine, a woman he was cohabitating with without marriage. She was stepping out on him, so he sent her away, back to her father’s house. After 4 months he wanted her back, so he journeyed to her father’s house. After a number of days there, he took her with him and started back home. But the hour was late, and they stopped in a town called Gibeah, which was inhabited by Israelites of the clan of Benjamin. They were going to camp out in the town square, thinking that was safe, when an old man returning from the fields saw them. The custom of hospitality was strong in him, and he invited the Levite, his concubine, and his servant to stay with him, because the town was not safe.

“So he brought him into his house and gave the donkeys feed. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank. As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, ‘Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.’ And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, ‘No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.’But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go.” Judges 19:21-25

Note that the prohibition on homosexual acts was so strong that the old man was willing to sacrifice two innocent women to the crowd. The abuse of the concubine was so awful that she was dead when they opened the door in the morning. How did the Levite–remember, the clan of priests–react? If you think the preceding part was bad, and it was, it gets worse. “And her master rose up in the morning, and when he opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, behold, there was his concubine lying at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up, let us be going.’ But there was no answer. Then he put her on the donkey, and the man rose up and went away to his home.” Judges 19:27-28

Her master” makes it sound like she was a slave, but the text referred to the Levite, when he was with her father, as the father’s son-in-law. I don’t know the significance of those different designations. Was she a slave, concubine, or wife? I think the point may be that everyone was confused in that time, we will see that everyone just did as they pleased. The next act is shocking to our modern sensibilities. “And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his concubine he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. And all who saw it said, ‘Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak‘.”- Judges 19:29-30

The upshot of that atrocity and his (to us) grotesque message to the 12 tribes of Israel was war, of 11 of the tribes against the 12th, Benjamin. The people of Benjamin were asked to give up the offenders. “And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, ‘What evil is this that has taken place among you? Now therefore give up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and purge evil from Israel.’ But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the people of Israel.”– Judges 20:12-13. Tribalism at its finest! It might be that the Lord was judging Benjamin and using the rest of the tribes to purge the evil, but if so, it cost the other tribes at least 40,000 dead soldiers. The cost for Benjamin was even greater. “So all who fell that day of Benjamin were 25,000 men who drew the sword, all of them men of valor. But 600 men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon and remained at the rock of Rimmon four months. And the men of Israel turned back against the people of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, the city, men and beasts and all that they found. And all the towns that they found they set on fire.” Judges 20:46-48. 25,000 soldiers and the inhabitants of the towns of Benjamin!!

Whew, you would hope that’s the end of atrocities and customs which turn our modern stomachs. But it isn’t. The whole congregation of the remaining tribes met in a conclave, “an assembly to the Lord” they called it, though it doesn’t look likely that the Lord would bless this assembly. They decided to find wives for the 600 survivors of Benjamin army. But how? When the congregation was assembled, it was found that the inhabitants of one town had not sent any delegates. That furnished the excuse justification. “So the congregation sent 12,000 of their bravest men there and commanded them, ‘Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword; also the women and the little ones. This is what you shall do: every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall devote to destruction.’ And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.” Judges 21:10-12.

There’s more, if you have the stomach for it. Does all this make the Bible, or those who believe in it evil? Was God in any of this, or was it a lesson of what happens when God is not guiding human beings? The last verse of Judges is, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”- Judges 21:25. The king is the Lord.