4 Reasons People Assume I’m Smarter Than My Contractor

In “Don’t Assume I’m Smarter Than My Contractor,” I recalled an incident where my contractor, Tom, asked me a question prefaced with, “You’re smarter than I am, so….”

It led me to think about how our culture tells us that intelligence means having academic smarts and being well schooled, which devalues other kinds of smarts. The article was well received and seems to have struck a collective nerve. It also elicited one common follow-up question: Why does our culture lead us to assume that I, a PhD, am smarter than my contractor?

A number of factors are involved in this cultural message. I want to highlight a few of them.

1. The Comprehensive High School

Before the mid-19th century, there were no public high schools. There were private academies, and their job was primarily to prepare well-to-do and middle-class kids for college and the learned professions. Public high schools started appearing in the 1860s, and by the turn of the century, they were common. Compulsory education laws and other factors led more and more teens to attend these public high schools.

Our culture tells us that intelligence means having academic smarts and being well schooled, which devalues other kinds of smarts.

But there was a problem. These academically focused high schools saw a big influx of immigrants and poor children in the early 20th century. What was society to do with these students, who seemed ill suited to academic pursuits? Reformers argued about this. Some believed these students should receive the same academic curriculum as everyone else; others believed they needed a different curriculum and maybe even should attend a “vocational” school.

The compromise was the comprehensive high school — a model everyone who’s attended high school in the past century or so is familiar with.


California gun-control laws wrench leftward

California Gov. Jerry Brown has not voiced an opinion on the state's right-to-die legislation, which was approved in a 42-33 state Assembly vote on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015.

California Gov. Jerry Brown

California’s gun laws are some of the strictest in the U.S., but Gov. Jerry Brown still managed to wrench them tighter over the weekend.

The Democrat signed Senate Bill 707 on Saturday, which expanded a current ban on having firearms within 1,000 feet of a school without permission of administrators. Concealed-carry permit holders no longer have an exemption.

The legislation was introduced by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, months ago, and was signed by Brown without comment, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday.

“California’s college campuses and K-12 schools should be sanctuaries for learning, free from the fear of gun violence,” Peggy McCrum, president of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.

The Golden State is now the 20th state to ban campus carry.

“This bill puts control of firearms on campus grounds squarely where it belongs, with those public safety officials responsible for the safety of our students and staff on school or college campuses,” Democratic Assemblyman Bill Dodd, said in a statement following the State Assembly’s vote on Sept. 1, the Washington Times reported.

This infallible argument for armed self-defense presents real stories of Americans fighting back against criminals – and surviving because they were armed. “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense In A Violent Age” is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if concealed carry can actually save and protect.

Brown’s signature comes less than two weeks after the Oct. 1 massacre in a gun-free zone in Roseburg, Oregon, where 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer killed nine and injured seven at Umpqua Community College.

The school’s lone security officer was unarmed.

Harper-Mercer committed suicide after an exchange of gunfire with cops responding to the first 9-1-1 calls at 10:38 a.m. PST.

“This bill will put thousands of innocent lives at risk. Criminals will know that their intended victims are totally vulnerable when they’re on California school grounds because SB 707 will ensure that they’re defenseless against a violent attack,” Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, told the Los Angeles Times.

Active law enforcement officers are not subject to SB 707. The bill also includes an exemption for retired law officers and reserve officers, provided their former agency gives authorization.

School officials do have leeway to grant permission to individuals with concealed-weapons permits.

Who Exactly Is Government Helping?

Almost everyone believes that government is an essential institution, necessary to protect us from those threats we cannot counter on our own. But even if we accept that justification, it rarely describes what American government actually does, whether at the local, state, or federal level.

What exactly is the government protecting — and from whom?

Local Protection from Food Trucks

Late last year, Rachel Kennedy wanted to bring a Cuban food truck to North Kansas City, Missouri, a town of four square miles and 4,500 people. That shouldn’t have been controversial. The city agreed to allow the trucks to operate during lunchtime, and several other operators came, too. There was no reason to restrict the trucks to lunchtime, but never mind. At least for one meal a day, consumers enjoyed more choices at less cost. What could possibly go wrong?

The restaurant owners might lobby to expel the food trucks, that’s what. Choice and competition are good, except when you are an incumbent provider. Monte Martello, a local Dairy Queen operator, complained, “They bring the truck in, they compete against us for four hours, and then they drive away.” Outrageous!

Choice and competition are good, except when you are an incumbent provider. 

Worse, Martello went on, “They don’t actually contribute to the community in any way.” All the food trucks do is provide hungry people with lunch, and nothing more. If that’s all, who needs them? City Councilman Gene Bruns asked, “Why are we trying to rob our local businesses with vendors that come in from outside?”

Once the protest got going, city officials ran for cover. The community development director who helped arrange the pilot program refused to take a position. The executive director of the business council refused to be quoted on the issue. Another city councilman suggested allowing in the trucks once a week as a “compromise.” Even that would…

Bill ‘rapist,’ Hillary ‘enforcer,’ new book charges

war-on-womenNEW YORK – Roger Stone and Robert Morrow’s new book, “The Clintons’ War on Women,” could rock Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign with further evidence that former President Bill Clinton is a serial rapist and that the former first lady and secretary of state has worked behind the scenes to silence the victims.

“This book doesn’t focus on Monica Lewinsky, Whitewater, or the Clinton pardons. Instead, it’s about the many, many ways in which the Clintons have been tied to sexual abuse, cover-ups, strong-arm tactics, drugs, lies, and the intimidation of victims,” Stone wrote in the introduction, laying out the case against the Clintons.

“As Bill and Hillary have climbed to power, the people left in their wake have been silenced – until now.”

Stone says the Clintons’ activities “have not only included Bill’s physical rape of women, but also Hillary’s degradation and psychological rape of women whom Bill has assaulted.”

“The Clintons’ War on Women” is available now at the WND Superstore

In the forward, Kathleen Willey, author of the 2007 WND Books expose “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton,” wrote: “Every woman Hillary has found to be a threat to her and her husband’s political capital has been subjected to choreographed investigations and terror campaigns.”

Willey claims Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in the Oval Office, only to have Hillary Clinton attempt to discredit and intimidate her after she was subpoenaed to testify in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment case.

‘Lip-biting trademark’

“The Clintons’ War on Women” begins with the alarming allegations of Eileen Wellstone, the 19-year-old English woman who claims then 23-year-old Clinton met her at a pub at Oxford in 1969 and raped her. The scandal, Stone and Morrow claim, was the reason Clinton is one of the few Rhodes scholars to have left Oxford without a degree.

Stone and Morrow recount Juanita Broaddrick’s claim that Clinton raped her April 25, 1978. Broaddrick was a county coordinator for Clinton and a volunteer in his 1978 gubernatorial campaign. She claims Clinton, the Arkansas attorney general, savagely bit her top lip to subdue her.

“In what would become a trademark of his sexual assaults, Clinton violently bit Juanita’s upper lip and threw her on the bed,” Stone and Morrow write, citing Candice Jackson’s 2005 WND book, “Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine.”

Broddrick recalled:

“I was just very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him ‘no,’ that I didn’t want this to happen but he wouldn’t listen to me.” Clinton “was such a different person at the moment, he was just a vicious awful person. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to ‘please stop.’ And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip.”

The authors comment that Broaddrick says Clinton raped her a second time, within the span of 30 minutes, after the first time biting her lip “so hard he almost severed it.”

‘Orgy Island’

Stone and Morrow also detail Bill Clinton’s escapades with billionaire “pedophile ringmaster” Jeffrey Epstein on escape vacations to Epstein’s “Orgy Island.”

“Bill Clinton in the early 2000s became quite personally close to Epstein, whom he had met while he was still president in the 1990s,” Stone and Morrow note.

“Clinton took eighteen trips on Epstein’s plane (which was known as the ‘Lolita Express’ for orgies with underage girls),” the authors continue. “He also gave Epstein twenty-one ways to contact him, basically sharing the phone numbers of all key people close to him.”

Stone and Morrow also note that Epstein’s “little black book” contains the phone number and email of Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s senior advisor for her 2008 presidential campaign and her chief of staff at the State Department.

“Dubbed Hillary’s ‘henchwoman,’ Mills is thought to have obstructed the Benghazi investigation into the death of four Americans, vetted and erased Hillary’s emails, and – incredibly – sat on the Clinton Foundation Board while she was a State Department employee,” Stone and Morrow write. “This was a stunning conflict of interest considering the staggering level of largesse the foundation took from companies and interests doing business in the armament business.”

The book also alleges Bill and Hillary Clinton have used the Clinton Foundation as a personal piggybank, providing additional support to the series of articles published by WND reporting Wall Street analyst and investor Charles Ortel’s research alleging the Clinton Foundation is a “vast criminal conspiracy.”

‘A smooth-running money machine’

“In fact, the Clinton Foundation is a slush fund for grifters,” Stone and Morrow charge. “Both Clintons are notorious moochers. The pizza delivery boy who recalled delivering pizza to Hillary’s dorm room at Wellesley College recalled being stiffed on any tips, and Bill Clinton notoriously carried no cash, leaning on friends and associates to pick up the tabs for his meals, drinks, and revelry.”

The Clinton Foundation, however, is “a smooth-running money machine envisioned and built initially by Doug Band, Clinton’s body man who would become like a son to the former president and use the position to reap hundreds of millions for himself while still on the Foundation payroll,” Stone and Morrow write.

The authors’ narrative also supports a key conclusion of Ed Klein’s new book on Hillary Clinton, “Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary,” in which Klein provided anecdotal evidence that while secretary of state, Hillary Clinton continued to conduct Clinton Foundation business.

Stone and Morrow spotlight Sid Blumenthal, a political operative that the authors characterize as a Clinton “dirty trickster.” They say it was Blumenthal, “Hillary’s henchman in the media’s effort to demonize Bill’s sexual assault victims,” who leaked the allegation during the 2008 presidential campaign that Barack Obama was involved in the murder of two gay members of Rev. Wright’s Trinity United Church in Chicago.

The authors claim Bill Clinton demanded that the Clinton Foundation pay Blumenthal $10,000 per month.

“Why would a charity need a hitman?” Stone and Morrow ask. “[Blumenthal’s] real job was to coach Hillary, serving as a backchannel spin doctor. His freelancing as a Clinton flunky on Libya created the false narrative about why Americans had given their lives – pinning their murders on the notorious anti-Islamic YouTube video.”

Agreeing with the allegations Peter Schweizer made in his recent book, “Clinton Cash,” Stone and Morrow note that at least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during Hillary’s tenure donated a total of more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Family secrets

Among the “family secrets” that Stone and Morrow discuss is the “strong circumstantial evidence” that Chelsea Clinton is not the biological daughter of Bill. The authors publish photographs of Chelsea that appear to show “extensive plastic surgery to rebuild her face in her 20s” to make her appear physically less like Webb Hubbell, the Arkansas attorney who was a colleague of Hillary at the Rose law firm in Little Rock who went to prison for tax fraud in relation to his billing.

Stone and Morrow take Chelsea to task over her ties to the Clinton Foundation.

“One arms contractor that got millions from Hillary was General Electric. General Electric owned 49 percent of NBC,” they write.

NBC hired Chelsea Clinton for $600,000 just prior to their enormous contract, approved by the State Department.

“Chelsea, who is a fully matured adult, has become a grifter like her mother,” they write.

“Those who are shocked by the likelihood that she is Webb Hubbell’s daughter, must also realize that she is in on the scam,” they continue. “Loud and demanding, she has offended top staff at the Clinton Foundation, causing substantial turnover. She is opinionated and aggressive. Staffers call her “’the Princess’ behind her back.”

Stone and Morrow allege that after he dropped out of the presidential race in 1987, Bill entered drug rehabilitation for cocaine addiction, followed by an even more salacious charge first published by Matt Drudge on Jan. 6, 1999, that Bill Clinton is the father to Danny Williams, an African-American child born out of wedlock to an underage black mother that Clinton abandoned, refusing to acknowledge his paternity and pay child support.

“The Clintons’ War on Women” will remind voters of the ongoing scandals involving sex, drugs and money that have plagued the Clintons since Bill first decided to make politics his career.

“So what drives the Clintons’ comeback attempt to win the White House for a sixty-seven-year-old grandmother?” Stone and Morrow ask.

“The answer is greed and power lust,” the authors insist. “They can’t resist another grab for the trappings and opportunities of power, and Hillary feels that the prize that eluded her in 2012 is rightfully hers.”

Newly uncovered letters could change Kim Davis story

(Western Journalism) Anticipating a Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis wrote Kentucky state lawmakers early in 2015 requesting they exempt country clerks who had religious objections from being required to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Davis sent the letters about two weeks after she took office in January VICE News reports. In the letter (which VICE obtained through an open records request), she noted that county clerks could be exempted from issuing hunting and fishing licences under Kentucky law, and she asked that legislators allow her to “have the option, as a person who has deep moral convictions to choose not to discriminate any party, by applying for an exemption for the issuance of a marriage license.”

Trump: ‘I’m never getting out’

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presidential front-runner, made light of media headlines that ran with the idea he might drop out of the race if his polls ever tanked, telling a “Morning Joe” MSNBC panel: I’m never leaving, he joked.

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Trump referred to statements he made to the press about how he’d exit the race if his poll numbers tumbled dramatically, and poked fun at how the headlines read.

“The next-day headlines [read] ‘Trump considering maybe getting out,’” he said, on MSNBC. “It was so ridiculous. So you know what I say right now? I give more of a political answer. I’m never getting out.”

Who do you love? Get your favorite presidential bumper sticker here! Check out WND Superstore’s mind-blowing and hilarious selection

His quip sent the panel into laughter.

But his comments come on the heels of recent polls that show he’s maintained his front-runner status, same as for the past few weeks.

“The Winner Always Has a Program”

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

Baseless prejudice sooner or later meets its match when it runs into raw talent and indomitable willpower. Jackie Robinson proved it in baseball, as did Joe Louis in boxing and Jesse Owens in track.

In the world of tennis, the biggest winner of note was a black woman named Althea Gibson. Life’s victories don’t always go to the stronger or faster woman, to paraphrase an old adage, but Gibson demonstrated that sooner or later, the woman who wins is the one who thinks she can.

Gibson was three years old in 1930 when her family moved from a sharecropper’s shack on a cotton farm in South Carolina to New York City’s Harlem in search of a better life. At her elementary public school (with the uninspiring moniker, “PS 136”), playing hooky was her first love. “School was too confining and boring to be worthy of more than cameo appearances,” according to her biographers Francis Clayton Gray and Yanick Rice Lamb in Born to Win.

The Beaumont Country Club in Texas let her play its course but refused to permit her to use the clubhouse or the bathrooms.

When she wasn’t fidgeting in the classroom, Gibson was exploring the Big Apple — riding the subway, shooting hoops, sneaking into movie theaters, and beating the pants off anybody who dared to play her at ping-pong. At the age of 12 in 1939, she was New York City’s female table tennis champion, and tennis on the big courts beckoned. Her Harlem neighbors went door to door, raisin…

Voters shrug off ‘typical politician’ Jeb

(BLOOMBERG) Jeb Bush’s presidential prospects are not looking good in the two states that will cast the first votes of the 2016 election.

Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann conducted simultaneous focus groups with Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire on Monday, at a crucial juncture in the presidential race when horserace numbers show “outsider” candidates surging and a candidates prepare for a third televised debate just around the corner.

When asked to describe the former Florida governor, participants called the one-time front-runner an “underdog” and described his prospects as an “uphill battle.” Others described the candidate as “over-rated,” “typical politician,” “way out of touch” and “a lot of baggage.”

How Amazon Made Me Place 2,419 Orders

The last time I called customer service at Amazon, I was greeted by a cheerful employee who said, “Thank you for being a loyal Amazon customer. You have placed 2,419 orders with Amazon. How can I help you?”

My jaw dropped: 2,419 orders? I have been shopping at Amazon since 1997, but who knew then how Amazon would change our shopping habits?

My initial orders were for books, but Amazon anticipated that I and other consumers would be open to shopping for others things, too. Over the years, I’ve also bought televisions, computers, electric shavers, printer ink, shoes, food, and many other items from Amazon.

In Human Action, Ludwig von Mises writes,

The ultimate source of profits is always the foresight of future conditions. Those who succeeded better than others in anticipating future events and in adjusting their activities to the future state of the market reap profits because they are in a position to satisfy the most urgent needs of the public.

Amazon has saved me a lot of money. It has saved me hours of shopping time, gasoline, and wear and tear on my car. As crowded as roads are in urban areas, the growth of online shopping has made them less crowded, reducing automobile emissions. Perhaps I have avoided car accidents by shopping from home.

What is the secret behind the success of companies that serve consumers better than others? Perhaps it is empathy.

Because of Amazon, my light-selling book, The Inner-Work of Leadership,will be available indefinitely even if it sells only a couple of hundred copies a year. Had I to rely on traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores, my book would have long since become unavailable…