Saturday, May 21, 2011

Il Volo - 'O Sole Mio

Il Volo, three teenage tenors from Italy, are about to take the US by storm with the release of their self-titled debut on Geffen Records May 17th. Already platinum in their native Italy, Il Volo showcases the astonishing vocal talent of Piero Barone (17- years-old), Ignazio Boschetto (16-years-old), and Gianluca Ginoble (16-years-old) as they perform both new and traditional classically influenced pop songs.[...]

How Assimilation Works...

-and how multiculturalism has wrecked it in California
Bruce S. Thornton 17 May 2011
California is a concentrated example of the time-honored idea that America is an immigrant nation. From its beginnings as a territory through the twentieth century, California comprised a riotous variety of ethnic groups, nationalities, and religions. The whole world, it seemed, was coming and contributing to the state’s ethnic tapestry: Mexicans, Irish, Australians, South Sea Islanders, Italians, Basques, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Armenians, Volga Germans, Filipinos, Hmong, Laotians, Punjabis, Vietnamese. And for a long time, immigration worked, because everyone was expected to assimilate, more or less, to the American paradigm.

For an example of how that assimilation took place, consider the rural San Joaquin Valley, where I grew up. Since it offered plenty of opportunities to own farmland and to find agricultural work, the valley became a place where the theory of assimilation met the practice. Assimilation didn’t mean that an immigrant had to discard his native culture or language. Indeed, most immigrants took pride in their origins, as evidenced by fraternal organizations, religious guilds, holidays, festivals, recipes, native costumes, and scores of other ways of honoring their homelands. Some, like my Italian grandmother, kept their native tongues and never became fluent in English. Some, like my wife’s Volga German grandfather, never even became citizens. Yet whatever the degree of assimilation, most accepted a fundamental truth: that whatever affection they had for their homes, for their native tongue, or for their old ways and customs, those cultures had in some significant way failed them. Thus they had made a difficult, costly choice: to become Americans. If America’s core principles—such as individual rights, freedom of speech, the rule of law, and religious tolerance—conflicted with those of the old country, then the latter had to be modified or abandoned.

The choice was hard, at times even brutal. Racism, ethnocentrism, and prejudice could make the work of becoming American notoriously difficult. But people understood that to have a nation composed of immigrants, there had to be a unifying common culture in the public sphere. Transmitting that common culture was the job of the schools. My mother’s mother came from Maschito, an Albanian village in southern Italy. Many Maschitans settled in Fresno, where every year they celebrated the feast of their ancestral village’s patron saint, Santa Elia. But I never heard a word about any of this in school. We were busy learning about George Washington and the Constitution, Valley Forge and the Gettysburg Address, the nation’s history and heroes, its virtues and ideals—and, crucially, those core American principles. It was at school that the immigrant learned American history and celebrated the leaders who had created the country, fought in its defense, and embodied its most cherished values. In short, he learned how to be what he or his parents had freely chosen to become: American.

This process has been compromised over the past 40 years as the ideology of multiculturalism has colonized schools, government, and popular culture. Today, immigrants learn to embrace a sense of entitlement and grievance and to demand that schools and government acknowledge and atone for America’s sins. School curricula have degenerated into ethnic cheerleading and feel-good symbolism. The effect is to divide, not unify, to pit group against group as each tries to out-victim the other in a zero-sum competition for political clout and slices of the public fisc.

Unfortunately, California has taken a leading role in this malign process. Senate Bill 48, sponsored by San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno and currently pending in Sacramento, would require “instruction in social sciences to also include a study of the role and contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and other ethnic and cultural groups, to the development of California and the United States.” And to make the therapeutic intent clear, Leno’s bill also mandates that “the state board or any governing board shall not adopt any textbooks or other instructional materials for use in the public schools that contain any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation.” The result of this social engineering is to reduce the essence of being an American to a flabby tolerance. (continue reading here)

Students Fired Up About Anti-American "History"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bibi Gently Offers Reality Check

On The Culture

Poster Boy for Growing Dependency Cult

Just when you think you've seen it all:


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unions: Then and Now

Gassing Up with Obama

Scaremongering On Steroids

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Defacement "Art"

- On the sad spectacle of graffiti in the musuem.
Of all spurious forms of contemporary art, perhaps the most ostentatiously disagreeable is so-called “graffiti art.” What it represents is the elevation of a public nuisance into a protected and adulated form of creative endeavor. Because it has its origin in an activity that involves a contempt for private property, its rebirth as art—a specially venerated species of property—involves all manner of contradictions, not to say hypocritical evasions, on the part of those who practice and those who hawk and display the stuff. In the Spring issue of City Journal, Heather Mac Donald, taking off from an exhibition of such “street art” at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, provides a long and patient demolition of this form of urban squalor masquerading as art.

What’s particularly irritating about graffiti art is the way it enshrines something that is both hideous to look at and offensive to contemplate. Épater la bourgeois: shocking the middle class has been a cherished goal of the avant garde since the birth of the movement in the nineteenth century. The fact that the middle class long ago enlisted themselves as co-collaborators in this project of rote titillation transformed the avant garde into a reactionary force in everything but posture and rhetoric. The amazing thing has been the longevity of this new incarnation of Salon art: year after year, decade after decade, “artists” and their eager if jaded public rehearse the tired old pantomime: the party of the first part recycles some bit of Dada while the party of the second pretends to be shocked or at least interested. How can they keep it up? The energizing lubrication, we suspect, is not surprise, novelty, or shock; it certainly isn’t aesthetic interest. Perhaps it is the large supply of cash that seems still, even now, to circulate around these performances—cash and that other enlivening if illiquid currency, celebrity. The thing that makes graffiti or (a perhaps more accurate term) defacement art so viscerally unappealing is the element of effrontery it involves. You cannot see the stencil-like scrawls without thinking of the perfectly innocent public structure that was marred by some spray-paint-wielding hooligan.

Ms. Mac Donald provides an expert anatomy of this species of psychopathology. She guys the wretched (if lavishly compensated) dealers who traffic in this form of defacement and dissects “the hypocrisy of the graffiti vandals themselves, who wage war on property rights until presented with the opportunity to sell their work or license it to a corporation. At that point, they grab all the profits they can stuff into their bank accounts.” That little dialectic—rail against capitalism, “greed,” and corporate interests while assiduously lining your bank account with the lucre such disquisitions elicit—is by now a hoary old standby in the metabolism of left-liberal dissimulation. [...] Read more

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Arab Spring Fraud

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manipulating Info Gathering

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Smokie Norful