2.14.2010

A trio of must-read columns, or Who says the conservative movement lacks intellectuals?

Over the weekend there have been three outstanding columns by three of the best conservative writers. The first is Charles Krauthammer's stinging indictment of the administration's retreat from space:
By the end of this year, there will be no shuttle, no U.S. manned space program, no way for us to get into space. We're not talking about Mars or the moon here. We're talking about low-Earth orbit, which the U.S. has dominated for nearly half a century and from which it is now retiring with nary a whimper...
At the peak of the Apollo program, NASA was consuming almost 4 percent of the federal budget, which in terms of the 2011 budget is about $150 billion. Today the manned space program will die for want of $3 billion a year -- 1/300th of last year's stimulus package with its endless make-work projects that will leave not a trace on the national consciousness.
The second is George Will on the Progressive "dependency agenda:"
Democrats, in their canine devotion to teachers unions, oppose empowering poor children to escape dependency on even terrible government schools. Unions and their poodles say school choice siphons money from public schools. But federal money funds the D.C. program, so killing it denies education money to the District while increasing the number of pupils the District must support....
Subordination is dependency seen from above. Today, it is seen approvingly by progressives imposing, from above, their dependency agenda.
There is no school choice here; no voucher will enable Americans to escape from enveloping dependency on this "government as school." The dependency agenda is progressive education for children of all ages, meaning all ages treated as children.

And the third, piece de resistance, is the third installment of Thomas Sowell's "Society and the Fallacy of Fairness:"
Most of us want to be fair, in the sense of treating everyone equally. We want laws to be applied the same to everyone. We want educational, economic or other criteria for rewards to be the same as well. But this concept of fairness is not only different from prevailing ideas of fairness among many of the intelligentsia, it contradicts their idea of fairness....
It is certainly a great misfortune to be born into families or communities whose values make educational or economic success less likely. But to have intellectuals and others come along and misstate the problem does not help to produce better results, even if it produces a better image.
Political correctness may make it hard for anyone to challenge the image of helpless victims of an evil society. But those who are lagging do not need a better public relations image. They need the ability to produce better results for themselves-- and a romantic image is an obstacle to directing their efforts toward developing that ability.
Go and read them all. Trust me, they are worth it.