The Thing that Used to Be Conservatism…

continues its transition into the party of lunacy. Here’s the mysteriously popular Rick Santorum denouncing Obama’s evil desire for American to get a college education:

It’s this kind of insanity that makes me wonder how anybody in his five wits can trumpet this guy as Mr. Catholic.

Yeah, I’m aware of the dangers of the academy. So what? Grow up and learn how to think. This moronic notion Santorum puts forward that Obama is the President of All Colleges and is engaged in a some sort of conspiracy to oversee the indoctrination of Your Precious Child into his image and likeness via the university system is pure atavist red meat.

Yes, of *course* there is honorable work to be found without a college degree and of *course* those who do not have a college education are of equal dignity with those who have one. But Santorum makes it sound like it is despicable and disgusting for the Prez to desire a college education for as many people as possible. He comes off sounding like a champion for ignorance–because he *is* championing ignorance and playing to the very worst atavist instincts of, yes, class envy and resentment in his audience.

Time was when Catholics (who, you know, *invented* the university) worked and saved and struggled so that their kids could get through college. Now you have guys like Santorum talking like dimestore Protestant preachers denouncing them fancy pants college boys with their degrees and championing the glories of Know Nothingism as a moral virtue.

Being learned and proud is a grave spiritual danger, as the Pharisees show. But the cure for it is not to be ignorant and proud, and that is what Santorum is encouraging. And for what? To truckle to his audience’s burning sense of resentment in order to grab for power.

No thanks. Obama is a lousy president. But it does not follow that “If Obama’s for it, I’m agin it.” A President who advocates an educated population is just doing what any normal President does. A demagogue who declares education to be evil just to whip up the mob is, alas, also doing what any normal demagogue does.

What an embarrassment this guy is. But, as ever, he will get, not merely a pass for this–as for his endorsement of cold-blooded murder, pre-emptive war, and torture–because “conservative” Catholics have embraced the false soteriology that opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world. Indeed, the rot now goes so deep that Santorum can even *support* abortion (in the form of forcing you to pay for abortifacients) and we *still* have to give him a pass (and even enthusiastic support) because he’s Mr. Catholic.

And, of course, such is the tribal nature of our politics that I can bet somebody will read what I write here as an endorsement of Obama, merely because I don’t think saying any damn fool thing in opposition to him, no matter how idiotic, is legitimated by the fact that it is in opposition to him.

This political system can’t self-destruct fast enough. What a grotesque set of choices before us.

Speak, God. There is no hope in our human leaders.

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  • Well, if Obama wants all Americans to get a college education, he’s doing a piss poor job of it, as, every year, less and less Americans can afford it.

    From a pure cost-benefit analysis, it is no longer very clear that a college education is worth it (depending on one’s chosen profession of course)

    Still, yeah, it’s a strange position for Santorum to take aim at.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes and no, it’s strange. It’s strange when seen from outside the Bubble of Thing that Used to be Conservatism. Out there, where normal people live, it’s not just strange, it’s bizarre for a conservative candidate to talk as though “wanting people to get a college education” is part of a conspiracy by damn libruls to brainwash our children into the image and likeness of Evil Obama.

      But *inside* the Bubble of the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism this sort of reactionary crazy talk is welcomed as perfectly sane and normal and a surefire vote-getter (as the enthusiastic response of the red meat eating audience of culture warriors demonstrates. If the GOP is crazy enough to reward this kind of idiocy, they will deserve the trouncing they get this fall. It takes a special kind of stupidity to lose to a president this terrible. But the party seems to be laboring to destroy itself, driven on by fools who think it is more important to cathartically hate Obama than to beat him.

      • I dunno. A lot of people were cheering, but it also looked like quite a few were not quite sure of what was being said.

        At any rate, it is just foolish of Santorum. His point (I think) was to try to rile up a crowd of mostly non-college educated folks by saying that Obama, by his comments about college education, was calling them stupid, but Santorum just made himself look stupid to most people.

        Back in the real world, a better complaint might be that college costs are skyrocketing so much that less and less people can afford it.

        • Rock
          • I’m pretty sure that piece is satire or was that your point?

        • The Deuce

          But the primary reason for the prices skyrocketing is that too many people are going. Paradox.

          • False. The primary reason prices are skyrocketing is because of government subsidization of college education. The result is that colleges need to be less competitive but simultaneously are making more money and the consumer (student) loses.

            • Mike Petrik

              That is exactly right. And the truth is that while higher education is often a good investment, our system of concentrating our higher education on academic rather than trade areas of study is serving us and our young people poorly. Many, perhaps most, of the young people going to college have little real interest in academic things — it is just their next phase of life. Many of these students would be enriched by directing their education to technical and trade areas. Colleges have become havens for rotten scholars and the politically correct. There is a difference between being “educated” and “learned.”

              Also, the idea that every kid should get a college education may not be evil, but it is definitely stupid and counter-productive.

    • LiberalOne

      How do you expect a president to impact the cost of college education? Magically lower their costs? You are expecting miracles from a politician.

      • Mike Petrik

        Easy. Stop easy access to loans. Demand will decrease, which will lower the price. The only reason college education is so ridiculously expensive today is the easy access to money. We have saddled hundreds of thousands of young people with outrageous debt burdens in exchange for virtually worthless degrees and mediocre scholastic training.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    Well said, Mr. Shea.

    What I think we are seeing with Mr. Santorum is the same thing we have seen in the past with lots of politicians. You have people who get into politics with sincere values that really do want to serve the public. But years in the political machine makes them lose their minds. It’s the corruption of power.

    Santorum certainly is not alone in this, but he is certainly falling victim to it. The poor man needs our prayers.

  • Sean O

    Idiocy. Seems to share something with the notion of protecting those w/o health insurance from public healthcare b/c it might not be less than gold plated.

  • Juan

    I am not a Santorum supporter but I would like to point out some rambling thoughts here.

    I think that a college is not for everybody, more knowledge or better employment opportunities don’t necessarily lead to a full and happy life. So I would argue that college is not something one would want to wish on everyone.

    For example many crafts are not taught in college. If I want to be a craftsman why should I go to college? I think a valid point (that Santorum may or may not be implying) is that the value of a person is not dependent on a college degree.

    If you want to take it further I would think it a violation of my liberties if the State forced me to go to college.
    But what about primary education…

    Spot on Mr Shea on the learning how to think part!

    • In an ideal world, college would not be for everybody. A liberal arts education would attract those whose calling is academic and/or focused on public service. Meanwhile, craftspeople would train under masters of their chosen crafts, merchants would learn tricks of the trade from their fellows, and workers would be hired based on their strength and skill rather than on their credentials.

      But this is America in the 21st century. A bachelor’s degree is seen by most employers (outside those hiring very basic unskilled labor) as a sort of basic educational foundation, rather like a high school diploma was in the mid-twentieth century. It is not seen as a liberal arts education, aimed at refining the mind. It is seen as an entry-level vocational credential.

      I agree that the educational system needs a great deal of reform – at every level. I also agree that neither education nor a great career are necessary for happiness, and moreover that a college degree does not guarantee any of the above. But for most people, most of the time, a basic ability to provide for oneself and one’s family is part of happiness. And for the present, a college degree is almost a necessity to attain basic self-sustenance.

      • Great post….I think this is the crux of the problem; well, this, and the related fact that education has devolved more into paying a princely sum for a needed credential, rather than any sort of ACTUAL education. Critical thinking skills are definitely not being taught with any effectiveness.

        • LiberalOne

          Need to realize that the current college students are far different than the students 30 years ago. The current crop have different (mostly lower) abilities with math, writing, reading, science than students in the past. Part of this is just that a higher percent of population is now attending college.

    • If I remember correctly, Pres. Obama did not specifically say that students should all go to the evil 4-year liberal arts schools to be indoctrinated in post modernism.

      What he said is that it would be good for everyone to get some form of higher education past high school–INCLUDING things like trade schools and technical colleges that teach direct hand-on skills and the like.

      Thus.. to turn this into “Obama being a liberal arts snob” is not only a stretch–it’s a downright lie based on what Obama actually said.

      And I think lying is a sin, if I remember correctly…

      • eswierk

        This is what Obama actually said in his State of the Union Address:

        It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

        What a snob!

    • I think Obama was going for community college (he’s obsessed with it), trade school, certification programs and the like. I really think the American use of “college” as interchangeable with “university” sometimes causes confusion. Santorum took this a step further and seemed to think “college” = Liberal Arts Hoity-Toity.

      I agree with Obama on this, in fact if anything is the drag it would be the Sr Year of high school for those who have no intention of attending a 4-year university. I think the high school drop out rate would be lowered and employable skills increased if those who were more community college/technical school material could forgo a Senior Year learning English Lit and French alongside their university-bound peers and get their teeth into a useful and exciting skill-set. Setting an 18 year old who isn’t university-bound into the world with NO direction does seem like something Republicans and Democrats could get behind.

    • Colleen

      I don’t think that is all that accurate anymore. Auto mechanics go to a two year program run by community colleges, particularly if you want to become a certified mechanic for a particular auto manufacturer. Truckers and even corrections and police officer are now expected to get an associates degree before going to the police academy. Medical field is now entirely 2 year minimum entry, even phleb techs and home health aids. Plumbing is one of the last professions you learn entirely on the job though apprenticeship, but that probably has more to do with unions than anything else. Yes, with only a high school degree you can get a job waiting tables, working in the service or hospitality industry. But it is very hard to make those jobs your life long career. They often don’t provide insurance, have variable hours and are quick to pare back hours in an economic downturn. I have a friend that is in the marketing industry and she is in her 40s. She has always been incredibly successful wherever she worked, but she is having a very tough time finding a job because she never went to college. Despite having fantastic references and lots of experience, she can’t even get interviewed because her application doesn’t check all the right boxes needed for positions at her level. She lost her job because the company she worked for (Polaroid) was bought by venture capitalist and stripped for parts. They went from a company of 800 in two states to an office of about five people that just sell the name.

  • kenneth

    It sounds like he’s championing ignorance because that’s what religious fundamentalists do. They are one of the few groups (apart from the advertising industry), which celebrate ignorance as a virtue. Though the RCC doesn’t believe in such nonsense as an institution, many of Santorum’s adoring fan base still believes in 6-day creationism. The last thing Santorum wants is an educated populace with critical thinking skills (not the same thing, I know). In any thinking and truly educated society, he would not be a serious contender for mosquito abatement comissioner, let alone president.

    • Not sure about that, kenneth. I’m far from a Santorum supporter, but I want to be fair to him. I think Santorum would say that he wants people to have critical thinking skills. Whether he HIMSELF has them is another matter.

      I think a valid complaint about most education today (public, but also much of private education) is that it is more indoctrination than critical thinking skills, and I think that is part of what he is trying to say. However, he said it so poorly, and for the purpose of scoring cheap political points. Such a discussion about education doesn’t really lend itself to soundbites, and goes beyond a liberal/conservative paradigm.

      • He said it so poorly. That’s a problem I’ve had with Santorum for quite a while. Even if I agree with him, he has a way of saying things that comes across in the worst possible way. It isn’t as if the MSM will be there to smooth things over. You had best say things as close to perfectly as possible if going against the values cherished by mainstream journalists. There is something behind all his strange and awkward talk, but he goes too far and says it, as you point out, poorly.

      • Just so. I have taught, and continue to tutor on a private basis. More and more I am amazed by the number of students that lack basic skills and whose science classes are riddled with examples about global warming and so on. Our modern education system seems more bent on making students feel educated than on actually educating them.

    • kenneth – ignorance amongst the electorate is not a new phenomena. Many can argue 2008 was proof of that.

      Sadly I think the dumb masses (products of public education and most colleges and universities) will re-elect Obama because TMZ and free candy+ is more important than liberty and freedom. And people who make over $200K should pay for it all.

      • Yankee free thinker

        Yes, when I think of all the liberties I’ve lost in the past 4 years … well I can’t really think of any, but when I think of the higher taxes I’m paying … actually I’m paying less, but when I think of how much better we off the world would be if Sarah Palin was VP … but at least I have all this free candy.

        • Thanks for proving my point.

          • bulaboy

            Well, your point seems to be that you reside in an irony-free zone.

  • Consistency

    When that is the lesser of two evils you can be sure things are not going to end well…

  • tom

    Your animus towards Santorum seems outsized in comparision to what you are saying you dislike about him and that makes it a bit mystifying. Whereas with others you disagree with, such as Obama, you give the max benefit of the doubt as to his intentions, with Santorum you seem to assume the worst, even to the point of illogic.

    Where in that segment does Santorum come off as championing ignorance? I do see him scoffing at the creeping credentialism and expertophilia that consumes the left.

    Do you know of evidence to suggest that sending an even larger percentage of Americans to college would decrease ignorance? Perhaps you have missed the latest evidence on the actual efficacy of current higher education :

    Either way I am suggesting that you owe Santorum at least the same charity towards his intentions that you give to his opponents.
    Is it your contention, like Obama, that only credentialed, formal education counts? I’d find that odd for a putative supporter of homeschools.

    • MarieLouise

      I agree, Mark’s hatred for Santorum does not seem to be in proportion to his supposed failings. Nor does it seem in proportion to his dislike of Obama, who surely has given him more cause for concern. It seems, based on Mark’s writing, that he would be happier with an Obama victory than a Santorum one, and that is concerning to me.

      • Mark Shea

        “And, of course, such is the tribal nature of our politics that I can bet somebody will read what I write here as an endorsement of Obama”

    • Davin

      That’s exactly right. Sanatorium is not championing ignorance, only the idea that 100% of people need a college degree, which is flawed just like the idea that every American needs to own a house led to unqualified people getting approved for mortgages they couldn’t afford, leading to a mortgage crises. I wouldn’t have articulated the problem the way Santorum did, but it is not loony (just not pc) to recognize that each person should be allowed to achieve their potential, even if for 20% of the population, a trade school would suffice. I’d much prefer money spent on ensuring those graduating high schools have a sufficient primary education and enabling only those who could benefit from higher education to get one.

    • bulaboy

      I am suggesting that you check out the excerpt from the SOTU above from Eswierk, and maybe you might want to revise your comment to square with the facts. Obama is clearly on record here and elsewhere and in actual policies which are quite different from how you characterize him.

  • Dale Price

    At a rally I attended on Saturday, he emphasized the fact that not everyone wants to go to college, and we need to do a better job helping our citizens who want to work with their hands, to do something other than get degrees which are increasingly unsuited to the world around us. In general, to stop looking down on vocational education. The idea that a college education is the only path to a fulfilling life in this country is worth questioning. I recall some minor sensation about “Shop Class As Soul Craft” not so long ago.

    And since 6 in 10 of the likely Republican voters in Michigan do not have college degrees, it’s not as “damn fool” as it sounds. My dad didn’t, and he made a good life nonetheless.

    And, no, I don’t think abortion washes away all sins, nor do I find him an ideal candidate. He’s not as good on immigration, much less torture, as I’d like. However, in my fallible judgment, he’s the best of a bad lot, feels the assault on the Church in his guts and is nowhere near the demagoguing jackass he’s being portrayed as here. Mileage, as they say, varies.

    • I think if he had said what he said closer to how you said it, only those he was talking about in the first place would have had a problem.

      • Dale Price

        And I can assure you that he has said just that. 1 minute and 11 seconds on Talking Points Media might be too limited a frame of reference.

        The Detroit News account of the rally I attended focused on two and a half minutes in a fifty minute presentation, and did not bring up anything other an easy “process” angle talking about Romney and Paul.

    • Mark Shea


      All you say could have been said intelligently by Santorum. But as is his custom, he did not say that. Instead he pulled this stupid crap about how terrible it is that Obama wants people to go to college. It was a moronic thing to say.

  • Easy, Mr. Shea.

    There is a perfectly valid reason for not everyone to get a college degree: not everyone needs them. Another second perfectly good reason for not everyone to get a college degree: the economy cannot sustain them.

    Government programs aimed at sending people to college inevitably end up giving universities (the friends of Mr. Obama) lots of risk-free money based only on enrollment. This is the primary cause of the inflation of education costs. Just like a two-income family, its increase tends to force others to participate or lose out. The days are long-gone when most folks can have any degree of prosperity without leaving their children with strangers. Likewise, the days are departing in which most people can have a hope of going to college without incurring crippling debt; and more and more, a crippling debt to the federal government or its approved intermediaries.

    There is another effect. In an economy in which everyone has a college degree, or which even most people have college degrees, college degrees become a minimum standard for admission into the economy. Why on earth does a secretary need a college degree? And yet, more and more, they do. I’ve worked as a secretary and know perfectly well that I did not need a college degree for it. And how many of those college-degree holding secretaries feel entitled to more because they were promised more and took out massive loans to get more?

    A far better solution would be to shore up our primary and secondary education system so that, as in places like Germany, a secondary degree actually really represents qualification for all sorts of work and for trade schools. These are valuable jobs that our economy needs and should not be relegated to a second place because they don’t leave your fingernails clean and your collar white. I think that is closer to the heart of what Mr. Santorum is getting at. It’s hard to tell because the video you posted is very brief. In any event, the benefit of the doubt is in order.

    • Your theory sound very Distributist…which is fine….was that intentional?

      • I’m not sure. I wasn’t intending to sound Distributist, but I find myself thinking like one more and more.

        Lest any casual reader confuse a Distributist with a Socialist, let me say that I do not want any government help to get me started in my own house on my own land with my own means of support. None at all. All I want is for the government to stop taking the stuff that I earn and giving it to other people (either through the dole, or through finance and union bailouts, which are much the same thing) in return for votes. I do not want the government to continue underwriting the purchase of third and fourth homes while passing measures (I flinch at calling them Law, for that has, to any Christian, a savor of the divine) that make first-time home purchasing more and more difficult.

        If that makes me a Distributist, than that’s what I am. But whatever I am, please God, I am always subject to Jesus Christ first and finally, and never hitch my wagon to some ideology.

        That’s why I hesitate to call myself an anything-ist.

  • Consistency


    I’m guessing that is because Santorum insists on presenting himself as Mr. Catholic… Before falling in line with whatever the GOP demands.

    Obama is frank about his immoral positions.

  • Scott

    We are doomed for four more years of Obama, and, he will definitely finish the job he has started: the destruction of the U.S. economy, the total take over of our nation’s health care, and in the next term, the take over of education. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe this. Just listen to what the guy says and look at what he has done. He isn’t trying to fool anyone! He does what he says he is going to do. Check the record. Yeah, I would vote for Santorum, Newt, Romney or Elmer Fudd over this guy.

  • College isn’t for everyone. I find it laughable that as I look at job postings in my field that many of the qualifications they require is a degree of some sort (which is fine) but the job descriptions make it sound like the applicant must be the person who invented the product or was the pioneer of the industry.

    My parents were both college educated. I had some college but never finished. Don’t plan to, either. My profession doesn’t require it, although it doesn’t frown on it. But I can say that I’ve worked with many “hot shots” who were hired because they had college degrees from “this school” or “that school” that didn’t last a year.
    My brother went to school at night to get his Bachelor’s Degree so he could be considered for promotion. To date, he’s been passed up, even though he’s passed his seargants exam for his PD.
    I didn’t take offence to Santorum’s statement, and as stated above, it didn’t seem like it was anything more than what Dale Price was saying.

    • Mike Petrik

      I agree. Mark is overreacting, which is hardly shocking.

  • John Gruber

    Obama’s a lousy president? Not quite; he saved the auto industry and turned a 6k DOW into a 13k one.

    I am disappointed he is not the socialist everyone claims he is, but I will definitely vote for him over the theocratic Santorum and the plutocratic Romney.

    • LOL! He doubled the value of the DOW all by himself! And he saved the auto industry, banking industry, etc.

      And all it took was $5,000,000,000,000. Don’t worry, it’s not that much.

    • Mark Shea

      Why vote for any of them? Obama has made war on habeas corpus, moved to smash Catholic conscience, and voted himself the power to indefinitely detain and murder Americans. So long as the Dow is fine, you are willing to be a slave?

      • “So long as the Dow is fine, you are willing to be a slave?”

        Erm…yep…sounds like that’s what he means. Socialists are socialists first….even Catholic ones….

      • Dan C

        “Why vote for any of them? Obama has made war on habeas corpus, moved to smash Catholic conscience, and voted himself the power to indefinitely detain and murder Americans. So long as the Dow is fine, you are willing to be a slave?”

        That should be aggravating everyone left-of-center. But sadly, it does not.

        As for “saving” the banking industry, he saved the bankers, and made no substantive changes otherwise. Poor accountability of these banks and the limited accountability demanded of those whose ineptitude and greed caused such tremendous disruption in the lives of millions of Americans has resulted in unanswered crimes. Since they were wealthy, everyone gave them a “pass.”

        Obama is no leftist, no socialist, because such disgraces were permitted, encouraged, and promoted.

  • Dan C

    Santorum says it directly in this manner to score in a number of different ways.
    1) He gets to feed the anti-expert/anti-educated strain of thought that is a common thread among populist conservatives (like Palin and Limbaugh).
    2) He gets to feed the “worker populism” that is a feature of some Tea Party adherents.
    3) He gets to try to connect with that group of folks in Western Michigan (or the middle of Pennsylvania) who, due to educational disadvantage and lack of resources, will never have an opportunity to go to college.

    The change in the economy that first most dramatically affected a retiring generation in the 1980’s and then minorities is now affecting all walks of life. Counties make plans to figure out ways to increase the number of educated people in their boundaries to ensure the attraction of high tech companies to a region. No high tech company is likely to move to a county with a population with less than 30% college degrees, because its potential employee recruits will be worried about the quality of the education. Student educational performance tracks with the educational advancement of the parents in a school district.

    This overflows into, then, the livelihoods of the non-college educated. This, for whom one is discussing “crafts” really means “construction.” There are no highly skilled cabinet-makers in every county. “Craft” means, in America, construction mostly. These are services that survive in a secondary means on the larger livelihoods of a population. In America, with few manufacturing opportunities, this routinely means universities and high-tech companies that provide employment for a highly skilled population.

    Global free trade has not surprisingly resulted in the loss of employment for the less educated in the US. This includes agricultural employment.

    A serious discussion about increasing the manufacturing class in America is beginning. Many suggest that tariffs are an answer to this. In such an environment, local agriculture is at an advantage also. Factory work is more available. While I don’t agree with too many tariffs, I am willing to entertain some of this to enhance agriculture more in this country, so that at least 50% of the calories I consume a day are from US origins.

    I think that higher education should be promoted. It is an act of wisdom to suggest an educated class will improve the US. Mr. Santorum has a number of unusual thoughts. Accompanying the “say ‘no’ to college” campaign is an additional campaign that suggests that the economy fell apart because of higher gas prices. Not really. Back to the discussion of “who does what work,” the less educated class was struck harshly in this economy because of the mortgage debacle. The “crafters” were construction workers and they lost work. Areas with the greatest building and growth in the 5 years prior to 2008 were hardest hit economically (again no surprise).

    Instead of demagoguing for the promotion of “less education,” I would like a more serious discussion of how he intends to alter the economy so that the populace whose buttons he is pushing, does actually have opportunity.

    • He did not say anything about “less education”, nor was he advocating it. Where do you get that?

      I took his statement to mean that college isn’t for everyone. It wasn’t for me, it was for my brother. I expect my daughter, who is a HS senior to go to college. But I also expect that if it isn’t for her to not continue pissing the money away on something she will never use.

      Your statement seems very condescending towards people who do choose not to go to college, as if they would piss in their pants if they didn’t get an advanced degree. There are many successful people who did not get a college degree…Bill Gate and Steve Jobs come to mind…

  • I work in eduction. Santorum is right that there is too much emphasis on getting everyone to college. In the past, there was value in a “liberal arts” college education. That is no longer the case. “Liberal arts” is now liberal political indoctrination and critical thinking is that last thing a young adult will learn at a university.

    The over-emphasis of sending kids to college has led to the collapse in skilled trades in this country. Mike Rowe gave some testimony to congress about problems we face in this country about the lack of skilled tradesmen.

    Trades have been undervalued for too long in favor of trying to force unprepared and unqualified high school students into college.

    • Martin Snigg

      Hear hear Jason.

    • Well said. As a college professor for 28 years, I can attest to what you say.
      We’re advising our children to get a trade. And you’re so right, in that we’re forced to dumb down our college curriculum so that all may succeed. Consequently, the degree means less and less.

    • Joseph

      I had a 4.0 throughout my 5 years of study at the university. I can assure you that it wasn’t because I’m intelligent.

  • Ted Seeber

    Today’s right-wing American Catholic Michael Voris Vortex Rant might shed some light on this for you:
    Liberal Catholic Education is not Catholic

    But even better yet- is this post from Before It’s News:
    8 Reasons to say NO to College.

    That suggests maybe, for some people, college is NOT the answer to a happy life, that ignorance really is bliss- or that in some cases, like high tech jobs like mine, college is really ignorance (because by the time you get out, everything you learned Freshman year is 4-6-10 years out of date).

    And that’s just from my e-mail TODAY- both that “Catholic” high schools and universities are failing to teach authentic church teaching, and that for a good many jobs, a college education is a detriment.

    • Mark Shea

      Voris never saw a red meat culture war narrative he didn’t love and hasn’t tried to transform into Real Catholic[TM] dogma.

      • Ted Seeber

        That’s for sure- but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a point when a 24 year old woman can go through 16 years of supposedly “Catholic” education and come out still thinking chemical abortificants like the “emergency contraception” are morally licit.

        Likewise the point in the 8 reasons not to go to college article on high-tech is one I’ve lived myself. In the 6 years it took me to get my 4 year degree, *every single one of the computer languages and technologies I studied was outdated by the time I graduated*- and I’ve even made my career in a totally different development stack that I learned on the job.

        In addition to that, I’ve had many *bosses* who were less educated than I am. Significantly so. NOTICEABLY SO. And that’s only for a bachelor’s degree.

        And that doesn’t even include the self-study I’ve done in philosophy and theology, because the state-run “technical” school I went to didn’t offer anything resembling the liberal arts- and even downgraded me in one required creative writing class for “imitating Dante’s style”.

        • Joseph

          Ted – I’m in the same boat here. Received my Bachelor’s in Business Admin/Business Computer Systems.

          Yes, the langagues I was taught in school I have yet to use in the real world, but it’s the logic of programming that using the outdated languages helped you obtain (at least that’s the way I’ve looked at it). Once you grasp logic, learning a new language is merely learning syntax… you can program in any language. The other courses I took that actually were valuable to me were the Systems Analysis courses. They taught me the fundamentals of the SDLC and how to manage a project. So, I hear ya, but it wasn’t all worthless.

          Now, one thing I do lament is the obvious lack of liberal arts courses. Universities have become mere trade schools as you and I have experienced. At the university I attended, the Business college was adjacent to the Education college. So, I’d bump into the future teachers of America and would even attend their parties. They were pretty much all stoners who claimed that they went into education because they thought it would be easy. When I asked them why they wanted to teach, they’d laugh and say, “so that I can get the summer and winter holidays off, dude”. They didn’t seem phased that the current public school system doesn’t really give the freedom to teachers to actually teach. In fact, they didn’t mind that their future was to inevitably be a human robot handing out state mandated curriculums without actually participating in their students’ lives (other than to recommend drugs for them if they make their “teaching” uncomfortable). The main reason why I’m bagging on them is because their particular degree had more Liberal Arts instruction than most. Their Philosophy courses focused primarily on the philosophers of the 19th centuries and 20th centuries. They didn’t even know who Aquinas was. Their History had the same amount of tunnel vision.

          The point I’m making is, even if you choose to go Liberal Arts at an American university, the quality of your education will be restricted to a narrow “modern” focus. Classics and moral reasoning are out the window.

  • Claire

    Well said. Unfortunately, there have been similar anti-college rumblings among so-called conservatives for some time. I guess if you want to return this country to the worst excesses of the Industrial Revolution, or to create an oligarchy in which all power is concentrated in the hands of a very few people, then discouraging education is a good start.

    What he could have said is that the current university system, in which parents are expected to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a degree and a “college experience” (which seems to consist of 4 or more alcohol-soaked years of “hooking up”) does not serve students or families well, and that more students should look at alternatives like community college for the first two years, online education, and a year or two of work between high school and college. Instead, he sounded like an anti-intellectual yahoo, inciting wrath against “eggheads”. I’m sure others have mentioned it, but Santorum has two post-graduate degrees. I don’t know much about his children, but I’d be willing to bet money that his plans for them include college. Al Kresta for President.

    • I dont’ know. More people than ever are going to college, and yet many would argue we are headed for those very things. Perhaps the problem isn’t just ‘get’em into college’, but taking a long, hard look at just what they are learning once they get there.

  • John C

    My daughter is in the process of choosing a college and applying for financial aid. It is very clear to me that colleges are businesses. I have been receiving 30 e-mails a day for the last 6 months from colleges all over the country, soliciting my daughter’s tuition fees. The colleges will play you for a sap, just like the credit card companies, if you let them. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a college is whether you can graduate without a mountain of oppressive debt. All else is bullshit.

  • Spastic Hedgehog

    I don’t think any of the Santorum critics here are saying that everyone ought to have a college education to function in society or needs one to have a fulfilling life. I do think we have a system that requires most entry level workers to receive a college education to work.

    NPR did a fascinating story a few months ago on Iceland and how the emphasis on everyone going to college destroyed their economy which had been built on fishing
    Here’s the link, it’s somewhere in the middle of that 5 minute block:

    • Joseph

      No, it was the EU fishing restrictions and regulations that brought the Irish fishing industry to its knees.

  • Marcus Letz

    Conservatism has, for the past two decades at least, disdained academia. College professors and other higher education staff are said to be “elites” dishing out liberal indoctrination; if you can’t send your kid to Bob Jones University, it’s best not to send them at all. Of course this has been a self-fulfilling prophecy: academia has become more leftist as conservatives have evacuated its realm.

    Santorum is just playing to the base, unfounded feelings of a conservative movement that has long been suspicious of higher education.

    • If it’s been 20 years, it couldn’t have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. That would place their ‘disdain’ sometime around 1991. I went to college in the 1980s. Even then, as a proud liberal agnostic from a family of Democrats, I shuddered at the almost universal disdain that virtually the entire faculty I encountered had for traditional values, morals, and religious beliefs. There were actually time I felt sorry for students who were clearly more conservative or of a traditional Christian leaning. So if the disdain is 20 years old, it can’t have been anything but a reaction to the clear reality of American academia in the later part of the 20th century.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    It used to be that to get a decent job you needed a high school education.

    That’s still true today; but you have to go to college to get one.

    • Dan C

      This is untrue. I have met many very smart high school students well-served by their high schools. I know of phenomenal high schools and their performance and quality, as I noted previously, is correlated strongly by the district’s average parental educational achievement.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        Um, I simply don’t follow, Dan.

        Were you responding to someone besides YOS?

    • Joseph

      Haha… nice one.

  • Dan C

    Once, political campaigns were to increase the number of folks who appealed to the candidate. Now its about slicing the electorate just right to grab the constituency one desires. I don’t know for sure, but I think the number of people that Republicans are “against” is imcreasing in number and may become critical at some point.

    Republicans have a problem with minorities, with Hispanics and this will be problematic in key states. Republicans are against auto workers, unions, state employees, univerisities, against college, against fire workers in unions, against teachers in unions, against poilice in unions.

    At some point, this will reach a critical mass, if it hasn’t already.

    • Dan C

      I don’t know this…but does an anti-university message play in Birmingham?

  • Santorum has been in the cross-fire with the gay establishment. In fact for years, the first google definition you could find of him has the definition of Santorum, as defined by the gay folks. Now I think it’s the third definition down. Read it. Think of how you would feel if you’re name is synonymous with such. Now comes this column, which is nearly as hate-filled but’s it’s written by a devout Catholic. Everything Santorum says is hyper- scrutinized and deliberately misunderstood in this blog. My real point of writing now is that I’m amazed at how badly fellow Catholics treat each other. As a relatively new Catholic convert, why are we not standing up for our fellow Catholics? Or at least, being kind to them? You make him sound worse than Obama. He perceives certain things differently than you, Mark Shea. Plus there is a umbrella under which all Catholics can function. No one is perfect, not you, not even your candidate.

    • Jared

      If Santorum starts behaving like a Catholic who happens to be Republican, instead of a Republican who happens to be Catholic, he’ll get my vote. People are already confused enough by cafeteria “catholicism”, I don’t really want a Catholic president unless he is in line with Church teaching.

    • Mark Shea

      Criticism of a candidate for saying something stupid =/= “hate” (the most overused word in American political discourse).

      Nor is “everything” Santorum says scrutinized on this blog. I only bleat when he says something so embarrassing (murder is “wonderful”, pre=emptive war is justified, torture is good, I’m proud to have voted for abortifacients, I’m not going to apologize for standing up for freedom (meaning “Installing the Shah of Iran is something I’m proud of”) etc.) These are repulsive and ridiculous things for somebody trumpeting themselves as Mr. Catholic to say. I see no reason why a Catholic should “stand up” for them. Nor do I think any candidate, including the one I support with lots of reservations and caveats, is “perfect”. You, however, seem to think I am supposed to pretend that Santorum’s repellent departures from obvious Catholic morality are all supposed to get a pass because he’s prolife and gays are, as is their custom, nasty to him. Why?

    • Joseph

      Hitler was a baptized Catholic. So was Mussolini. So is Pelosi, Biden, Sebellius, and Santorum. I think Mark has pointed out in several previous posts where Santorum, like his Democrat counterparts, falls short in believing what the Church teaches on fundamental issues.

      What Hilter and Mussolini proved is that the worst possible leader a nation can have is a bad Catholic. Even Stalin had at one time gone to Orthodox seminary. One cannot be truly evil unless they come from a real Christian tradition and abandon the faith or denied some of its basic tenets.

      At this point, I am not willing to vote for Santorum.

      • Kirt Higdon

        I’m curious as to whether or not Mussolini was a baptized Catholic. I’ve read a couple of biographies of him that never mentioned a Baptism and his father was an atheistic and extremely anti-Catholic socialist. Of course his mother (Italian women being generally more pious than the men) may have had him baptized or baptized him herself on the sly.

        • Joseph

          He was baptized. He had himself publicly baptized to help deceive the Catholic population that he was one of them, though he obviously didn’t agree with the Church’s teachings. This is no different than…

          • Kirt Higdon

            Interesting. If Mussolini had himself baptized just to deceive Catholics, was the Baptism just sacreligious or was it even valid? Of course infants do not “intend” to be baptized but they are also not capable of forming what I think is referred to in theological jargon as “a positive contrary intent”. Certainly a marriage performed only to deceive others would not be considered valid and would be grounds for a declaration of nullity once the deception was discovered. What about an ordination performed only to deceive others?

            • Joseph

              If Mussolini had himself baptized just to deceive Catholics, was the Baptism just sacreligious or was it even valid?

              It would definitely be sacreligious, but I’m not sure if it would be invalid. If anyone knows who is reading this thread, maybe they can chime in.

  • Clare Krishan

    re: DOW @John Gruber:

    be very careful with equity valuations – they are not a valid metric of the industrial health, they are more ‘bubble’ blowing from crazy-mad liquidity, consider (I am not a broker or offering advice, just reporting freely available charts, you make your own conclusion:
    Adding all the shares outstanding of all the microelectronic gadgetry you can recall ONE COMPANY APPLE INC is now market-capped greater than the whole kit-and-cabboodle of chips etc in the panoply of gizmos the world uses _ right? you get that? ONE SINGLE company that makes some laps tops, bookreaders and cell phones as sub-segment of a market named ‘personal electronics’ is now to be believed to be fiduciarily-strong enough to sustain the value of all the mutal-investment insurance and retirement funds of a couple of million people? This is bad ass logic — get real!
    If geekish industrials is too erudite for a meaningful pop-the-bubble monent, then try this comparison on for size: add all shares outstanding for all the retailers you can think of (and what their P-to-E corresponds to as far as we can know its “real”) — irrational exhuberance (inflation) in Apple stock now tops almost the commercial might of everything on sale in America? This is a big fat accounting error (lie). Those of you who entrust your savings on the rollercoaster right now are in for a surprise but its not going to be a nice one.

    Our economy is on the precipice …. but Santorum won’t go there because Ron Paul’s already staked out that constituency, and has decades of credibility telling it like it is. And he’s a prolife ObGyn. What’s not to like?

    • Ted Seeber

      Because, to some of us Catholics, the only thing worse than Atheistic Communism is Atheistic Libertarianism. Both cases break down to crony capitalistic oligarchy, eventually, they just use different lies to do it.

      • Ron Paul is atheistic?!?

      • Joseph

        Well, he’s a bona fide Evangelical Protestant, actually. But, that doesn’t really shake the nervousness I have about him either. His position of “personally opposed… but…” on the issue of same sex “marriage” is a bit troublesome. Since he is a Protestant though, it’s not inconsistent with his worldview. If Santorum held that position, yeah, I’d be pissed.

        Still, I’m not totally convinced Paul is “the guy” either. Libertarianism bothers me a bit as well.

        • That’s not really his position, exactly.

          I’d refer you to this post
          for more.

  • Clare Krishan

    Oh, and chew on this — after Bethlehem Steeel, ENRON, the USPS found they could no longer cover their retiree costs, now the DoD is looking a little wobbly – all those highly paid civilian regimey-changey-green-zoney-contractors need to be covered for ooh, say, at least another 40-50 yrs (if they’re 30-40 yr olds now) on a cost-plus basis per contract, regardless of how well their investment fund managers manages (their private pensions if underfunded are actually bailout, a taxpayer liability)

  • Lizzie

    Here is the only reason anyone needs NOT to vote for Rick Santorum: He cannot beat Obama. Not in a million years, not on your life, even if Obama came out and killed his own mother Santorum still couldn’t beat him. Whoever wins this election is going to win it on the strength of the Independent vote. Every time Santorum opens his mouth, blue state independents (you know, where all the people live) run for the hills. Why on earth any Catholic would vote for this guy is beyond me. Everything he claims to oppose he supported while in office. And the idea that anyone votes for a presidential candidate because of his position on abortion is ludicrous. You think people would have noticed by now that every single Republican president since Roe v. Wade has campaigned against abortion and yet not a single one of them has done anything about it. You want to end abortion. Turn the decision over to the states. There is only ONE candidate who supports this view, but he is the candidate for peace, for lower taxes, for balanced budgets, for freedom, for the Constitution, and for all those reasons, he is considered unelectable by Republicans, who USED to believe in small government, but not only believe in it when a Democrat is in the White House. How far will America have to sink before people wake up and smell the coffee. Pope Benedict said that the very structure of the universe is freedom. The holiest government you are going to get is the one that maximizes freedom. Judging by the taste of the average Republican in politicians, we are doomed to the unholiest of governments imaginable.

    • Ted Seeber

      Pope Benedict’s idea of freedom is not the same as the average American’s idea of freedom. Worlds apart.

  • trespinos

    A half-hour after midnight Eastern time, and I think the specter of Rick Santorum representing the GOP has been silver-staked pretty well by Michigan voters and Arizona voters. It will be a relief for me to see him dematerialize in the way that Bachmann, Cain, and Gingrich have done. For a variety of reasons, I’m more comfortable with Mitt than Rick. His non-Catholicism is certainly one of them. What an unhelpful distraction religious affiliation turns out to be. I finally “unfriended” the CatholicVote organization today, because I couldn’t stand any more of their puffing for Santorum.

    So, the spotlight will now focus in on Romney, the candidate who does stand a chance of winning Independent votes. Let the hit jobs begin. Oh, I see his November opponent has already begun.

    • Faith Roberts

      I’m going to unfriend Catholic Vote too. There are nothing but a schill for the Republican party and they vastly prefer Neocons to anything else. Did they get permission to use Catholic in their name???? Because they do not represent me. And they certainly don’t represent the Church except when it come to abortion.

    • Joseph

      Yep, I’ve been appalled at CatholicVote as well. A pity, since I’ve loved their blog up until the last few months. I even gave them a pass for their support of Live Action, though I don’t agree that one can do evil (lie) that good may come of it. But, they are propping up Santorum as a model Catholic while not taking the time to highlight where he deviates from important Catholic teachings and his inconsistencies.

      They’re Tea Party coverage and rabid defense of the total moron Palin also bothered me, by the way.

      Therefore, it has become clear to me that the only explanation is that CatholicVote is a shill for the Republican party. I wish I hadn’t come to that conclusion.

  • Andy

    For me the real problem with Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney and actually most. all perhaps politicians, is that they were for it before they were against it. In his current remarks about going to college, Rick Santorum ignores that in the 90s he supported legislation designed so that all kids could go to college. Romney morphed more times than the Transformers in their past two movies. Even Ron Paul has morphed to a certain degree. Obama changes with the wind it seems.
    We really need a candidate who actually has a set of values that s/he has lived and stands by them. Until this happens we will continue to be taken – all I can think of is the song by the who that contains the lyrics, “new boss, same as the old boss.” (I paraphrased)

  • Tominellay

    …btw I heard Geithner say last week that wealthier people should be o.k. with paying higher taxes for what he said is the “privilege of being Americans”…

  • For all that Romney had a good night, he doesn’t have it in the bag either. He is going to have a very hard time winning any states in the southern U.S., other than the two that he’s already won. Romney will probably win California and the Northeast.

    Everything else is going to be tough for him. He barely won Michigan and that’s his home state! The “not Romney” vote has still been higher than the Romney vote in every state.

    Paul is trying to position himself as the most viable non-Romney candidate, and to me it seems obvious that he is. Santorum is definitely on the wane, and every time he opens his mouth, his support drops.

    • Tominellay

      I think you’re right; I think that Paul’s attacks, first on Gingrich’s record and now on Santorum’s record, are designed to make the Not-Romney voters rethink before settling on either of those two. I think once Paul gets to second place among the GOP candidates, he’ll ramp it up against Romney. He might have enough time left to make it work…

  • I’m no believer in the schooling system, and I think the entire conversation on education misses the point. Do you think workers are not being indoctrinated? Whether you go to school or whether you go to work, you are going to be indoctrinated. “People in general are targets of big money markets, and are all disposal unless you come ready to work, fully poseable, with suit and tie ready to buy into the bullshit images of people claiming that money’s what their religion is” (Mr. Lif).

    When Newt Gingrich denounces President Obama as “the food stamp president” he thinks he’s speaking truth to power. What he’s really doing is preferring wage slavery welfare slavery. I’m not saying that it’s not preferable…just saying that Gingrich isn’t as different from Obama as he might think.

    The person who opened my eyes to the nature of schooling as an institution was Ivan Illich in his book “Deschooling Society.” Schooling is a rat race in an imposed system. It’s a mythopoetic ritual where everyone goes through the process to get a result, like indians rain dancing. What many discover (including myself) once they finish the ritual, is that it does not work ex opere operato. There’s no right to a job when you get a degree. There’s no guarantee that you are qualified for real life. But, because society has set up this ritual, you have to jump through the hoops. Our youth are squeezed into the system’s assumptions and rituals, just as people were once squeezed into the factory routine and suffocation.

    Learning should be an act of leisure, not an imposed system. And the same is true of work. Santorum is probably right that the young are under the spell of certain ideologies in the schooling system…but if they go out into the real world, they are going to be under the spell of the industrial technocratic commercial system that Santorum’s economic hopes depend on.

  • Thanks for saying this, Mark. I didn’t bother reading the 75 comments that came before me, because that just makes me crazy.

    I’ll just assume that this is as controversial as you thought it would be, and good for you for posting it anyway.

  • The Deuce

    Actually, I’m in complete agreement with Santorum on this, and whether he said it well or not, I’m glad that *someone* is directly taking on this “all Americans should go to college” mantra. The idea that every American should go to college *IS* crazy.

    This mistaken idea is the whole reason that college tuitions have more than quadrupled over the past 30 years! It’s the simple, unavoidable law of supply and demand at work. As the government deliberately tries to get more people going to college, it increases the demand for college, so the price goes up. It’s also a large part of the reason Americans are so deeply in debt. The only way to get that many people going to college, particularly given the rising prices that are caused by it, is via rampant usury!

    And Santorum is absolutely right about the driving force behind all this insanity: snobbish elite sensibilities that disdain non-academic professions and knowledge gained on one’s own outside the “consensus.”

    I agree that people should try to get themselves educated within reason, but that is not tantamount to going to college. As jarring as it might sound, Santorum is right on this and Obama is wrong.

    • The Deuce

      I should add that snobbish elite sensibilities aren’t the *only* driving force behind the “everyone should go to college” insanity. There’s also greedy college professors and administrators who benefit from rising tuitions and increasing numbers of “customers,” and greedy bankers who make out big when families are forced to take out loans (which are government-backed and can’t be disposed of in bankruptcy) due to rising prices.

      • Andy

        Be careful about greedy college professors. The vast majority do not make high salaries. The “stars” do – those in medicine, some business programs and some engineering. The rest not so much. The current conservative whipping boy for college professors is actually the president of the college. Administrators are overpaid because the business world says the managers should make the most. Most college administrators are at best caretakers who are at worried about their retiements and deferred salaries – sound familiar? It should because it is the wall street model

        • C’mon. These profs only care about getting tenure and scoring on the co-eds when they’re not indoctrinating them in their Woodstock ways.

          • Andy

            As a professor I hope you are kidding. I don’t indoctrinate the students I teach nor do I score co-eds. It is that type of remark that demonstrates why conservatives eschew higher ed – it required work.

  • Martial Artist


    You write

    It’s this kind of insanity that makes me wonder how anybody in his five wits can trumpet this guy as Mr. Catholic.

    Since the ansswer is that no one fitting the specified conditions can do so. Ergo, I conclude that your chosen conditions are, at best, inapt.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

    • Jared

      “Acts like a Catholic” are inapt conditions for being recognized as “Mr. Catholic”?

  • Clare Krishan

    First DOE bamboozled and left with cost-plus shortfalls (the new gravy train – work for the gummint not in the gummint, while they don’t know the difference you pocket the difference)
    Now here’s the specifics on DOD contractors’ pension unfunded liabilities
    liabilities ranged from $2.9 billion to $13.5 billion.

    Lockheed Martin’s plan assets, for example, are $13.5 billion short of future liabilities, meaning it is about 33 percent short of being fully funded. Northrop Grumman is $2.9 billion short on assets for its projected benefit costs, or 13 percent underfunded. General Dynamics’ plan assets are $3.9 billion below projected benefits costs, or 40 percent short of fully funded. Raytheon’s plan assets are $6.1 billion short of future benefit costs, or 28 percent underfunded.

    THAT MEANS WE FOUGHT THE WARS BUT HAVEN’T PAID FOR EITHER OF ‘EM YET – every evil empire collapses under the consequences of its fatal conceit, that wishes grow on trees, reality is for dupes with a rather recondite conception of greatness: that’s its eternally bigger than we are not within in our greedy temporal grasp.

  • John C

    Wow, what a refreshing conversation. Reading the comments to this post shows that there is still civility in disagreements. It gives me the feeling that it is “being worked out,” through thoughtful and clear argument. While I am an Obama supporter, though disappointed for different reasons that most of the lot here, I appreciate the humility in your responses. Great find here. Thanks!

  • Egypt Steve

    Let’s not forget that Santorum just flat lied about what Obama said. He did not say he wanted every child in America to go to college. What he said was, he wanted every person in America to have some post-secondary training, and he specifically referenced community colleges and technical schools as alternatives for young people who want the training they needed for good jobs.

  • What would a presidential candidate whose entire platform reflected Catholic moral and social principles? Would that person be a Democrat? A Republican? Neither. You would have Joe Schriner, U.S. Presidential candidate for 2012. Yes, he is completely serious.

  • Evan

    Not everyone needs to go to college now, based on what colleges currently teach, but that field itself has always been expanding. There was a time when being a lawyer, surgeon, or engineer required only an apprenticeship. Now they all require education, and sometimes lots of it. You might laugh at the idea of hiring someone with an MS in Plumbing, but increasingly I think that’s where these kinds of fields are going. There is a much higher demand for the services they provide than is currently being supplied, and there probably aren’t even enough plumbers to train the next generation of apprentices. An A.S. or B.S. in Plumbing Technology that focused on coursework with an applied practicum might be just what we need.

    • It’s interesting to compare the U.S. education system with the European education system (the one that some suspect that Obama secretly wants to impose on us). Many European countries grant free education to students – but only to a limited number of students. The idea that everyone should go to college is…um…foreign to the Europeans. Perhaps such a haves/have nots system would be offensive to U.S. sensibilities, but it is a different way of doing things.

      Regarding Catholic views of higher education – while Tip O’Neill was no Rick Santorum, O’Neill had negative views of Harvard in the 1920s and 1930s. I'[ll grant that this was a different time, but O’Neill was angry at the Harvard grads who kept the Irish Catholics down while ignoring Prohibition laws. (Read his autobiography if you ever get the chance.) However, O’Neill had a different response to the Harvard people, and dedicated his life to providing opportunities to everyone. And, of course, he befriended Harvard people such as John Kennedy later in life.

  • Jack Reylan

    If securities rules applied to research grants, half the professulas would be in jail! Professulas, trial lawyers and union organizers are Obama’s core constituencies. Universities, libraries, museums and other public beneficiaries extort their patrons to lobby on their behalf with taxpayer resources. They even encourage students to max out their loans and invest the proceeds so the school can up its total. Obama learned when he worked for Don Kent at tuition-funded Arms Race Alternatives, while denying admission to Young Americans for Freedom and the Social Democrats. Ted Markowitz used the Xerox 9700 to make fliers for the 1982 June 12th nuclear freezers, but persecuted students for smaller infractions. They destroyed a supply side hero like Jeff Bell! “UPI June 6, 1992 Sovern took over at Columbia after student protests of 1968 and New York’s fiscal problems in the ’70s resulted in less financial support for the school, a situation made more dire by recent federal government budget cuts. . . But Columbia will be looking for a new president in a period troubled by criticism for destroying records that were being reviewed for improprieties. Universities in general have been under greater scrutiny for how they charge the government for federally sponsored research.” When Obama falls in 2010, we should go through the grant-grubbing Ivy Leagues with a flame thrower! Ivy League universities are not good at getting students jobs, only grants to be commie nutty organizers. If you are liberal, anything you do is inherently ethical for the cause, but if you are a conservative, and believe in GOD, family or business, your very moral fiber, even down to trivial autonomic responses, is subject to persecution as either dangerously criminal or the result of clinical illness. Bush 43 had two Ivy degrees and they treated him as stupid because he was conservative even though he had better grades and entrance scores and took a lot tougher courses than Gore. Professors are the ultimate molestor high priests because they extort and control your transcripts and your grants if you turn them in. Like a cult, they will make your children denounce you and everything you stand for as unworthy. The lowest level university bureaucrats offer the worst affectations. No business ever trusts such left wing graduates who don’t believe in capitalism and become crooks because they are taught the only way business makes money is crooked so they seek to avenge their unemployability through their own crookedness. The universities consider real jobs and competition beneath them, so they want their little sissies to live off grants, even in the hard sciences or business. How many of their engineering professors have Professional Engineering certification? Almost none! They love foreign students who slave up and don’t expect professors to actually work for the tuition, like Americans do. (Surely You Are Joking Feynman p 215 “If I ask you a question during the lecture, afterwards everybody will be telling me, ‘What are you wasting our time for in the class? We’re trying to learn something. And you’re stopping him by asking a question’.” ) No middle class parent should consider sending their kids there, because these schools will destroy your entire family. See Zac Bissonnette’s Debt-Free U. In his 2010 book on universities (p35) columbia provost Jonathan Cole brags that undergarduates and their parents are suckers who fund the platform from which professulas can then rape taxpayers with grants. This is why they created Obama – to rape the taxpayer. It is high time to force the professulas to only have corporate support for their research, then we wouldn’t be gouged like global warming and nuclear winter.

  • Nick R

    Well said. Disdaining college education as “snobbery” comes off as massively anti intellectual. Your response was excellent.