Smart Talk #24

A few days back, the “March for Israel” took place in Washington, D.C.  Almost 290,000 American Jews made it to D.C. for this event, setting the record for the “largest rally ever by American Jews, and the largest ever gathering against Islamic terror.” Accounting for old and young who likely couldn’t have made the trip, 1 in 10 American Jews made it to D.C. and on very short notice.  This impressive showing took place in the face of seemingly endless pro-Palestinian demonstrations in America and within several European capitals, making this gathering in support of Israel welcome relief for all of those who know full well that it was brutal Palestinian Hamas gangsters who stormed an Israeli music festival near the border with Gaza, killing an estimated 1,200 attendees as they tried to escape the carnage and about 200 persons in addition were taken captive.  To clarify Hamas propaganda claims, it was NOT the Israeli army that started this encounter and caused those festival night murders.  While we’d all like to see the killing by both sides stopped, reacting to the unprovoked attack, in national self-defense, it is Israel that in this instance is unquestionably on the right in their dramatic armed reaction to the Hamas attack.

In early November, Texas voters approved the Texas Energy Fund by a vote of 65% to 35%.   The energy industry there was strongly in support of the measure, while environmentalists were opposed.  The head of the Texas Oil and Gas Association indicated that this important measure will help “strengthen the reliability of our electric grid by ensuring it performs no matter the weather as well as increase the supply of electricity by encouraging additional generation.” There is little question that the last part of that statement referred to freeing up more drilling and production by U.S. oil and gas exploration companies.  Wind and solar continue to be underperforming, and unreliable, sources of electricity.  America will be primarily dependent upon fossil fuels for power generation for a great many years in the future. That is, unless objectors suddenly become supporters of nuclear energy, the one current, reliable source of renewable energy.

And the wind power story grows even less robust. Earlier this month, a Danish global energy company announced that it was immediately ending development of two planned wind arrays that were to have been build off the coast of New Jersey.  The principal issues: high inflation, supply chain delays, and rising interest rates. Prior to the announced cessation of construction, a White House spokesperson had this glowing assessment of the project: “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, the United States will keep seizing opportunities for offshore wind and other clean energy technologies, strengthening our energy security and advancing our climate goals…”  Handily skating around the available and reliable production from onshore and offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, hiding per the script behind “clean energy,” which to date, is just unreliable off-shore wind. And then, of course, there’s our inevitable “climate goals,” which in most cases are both extremely expensive and downright mythical and foolish.  Atlantic fishing fleets are, however, very happy about this one wind farm cessation announcement, a positive step in the preservation of their jobs and industry, which ocean wind developments have put their livelihoods at risk.

The State of Iowa has now joined six others (Utah, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina) in providing Universal School Choice, a state grant that enables students in those states with funds (educational savings account) to attend private school, rather than being forced into public schools or having to opt for home schooling.  This year, the ESA amount in Iowa is $7,500 per student. Additionally in Iowa, in public schools there, instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity are now no longer permitted in Grades K-6.  “Parents continue to witness their children being taught divisive, radical ideologies that portray their country as intrinsically racist, place social justice above fundamental subjects such as reading and math, and even divide children by race. All this while academic proficiency drops off the cliff,” say authors Kevin Roberts and Lindsey Burke.  These and other school reforms in Iowa enabled the state to win The Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Education Freedom Award. No question, very Smart moves in Iowa, and the other six Smart states, to assist both their students and, importantly, their understandably concerned parents!

Continuing on the subject of education, students at a high school in Loudoun County, Virginia walked out of their classes one day earlier this month, appealing to the School Board to “go back to a traditional gender policy on who uses which bathrooms and lockers rooms.” The student protect is against the current Board policy allowing “nonbinary, gender fluid, and transgender students to use the facilities of their choice.”  “We express these concerns, and they ignore us and write us off as right-wing crazies” said one Loudon County female student. A Smart move on the part of the safety-conscious young people, with hopes that their voices (and those of their parents) will result in the necessary policy changes.

Meanwhile, the Gen Z age-category of young people is discovering the relationship of work and money, and it isn’t liking what they’ve discovered. Wrote a Gen Z’er on TikTok: “I have to shower, eat my dinner and go to sleep.  I don’t have time or energy to cook my dinner either. Like, I don’t have energy to work out, like that’s out the window. Like I’m so upset. Like the 9-to-5 schedule in general is crazy.”  Well, “like” congratulations on discovering, at last, the real world of work.  Work is how money is made.  It’s not handed to you, as most of your parents once likely did. Generating personal revenue is one of the many tasks (and opportunities) that adults must learn to deal with, and quickly!  Some blame this sudden realization about 9-to-5 work on the pandemic.  Said the Washington Examiner’s article editor: “I call them the COVID kids, where the last couple of years of their high school, or even college, was all spent remote. Kids just expect to be handed remote jobs because that’s the world they got used to for two to three years. You’ve got to put some skin in the game.  Developing a work ethic is instrumental to being successful later on in life.”  Hopefully this advice sinks into the minds and efforts of our impacted Gen Z young people.  Frankly, there are very few feasible alternatives, regardless of one’s age or expectations!  Accepting the work world’s requirements is simply being Smart.


(Factual Sources:  Almost 300,000 American Jews came to D.C. to stand strong for Israel via frontpage, Daniel Greenfield, 11-17-23; Texas voters approve a pro-fossil fuel measure via, Thomas Catenacci, 11-8-23; Off shore New Jersey win mill construction project cancelled via, Olivia Murray, 11-2-23; Offshore wind projects do put fishing jobs at risk via, Thomas Catenacci, 11-1-23;  Education freedom improvements in Iowa and six other states via, Levin Roberts & Lindsey Burke, 11-13-23; Loudoun County, Virginia high school students walk out for safety changes via, Mike LaChance, 11-2-23; Gen Z young people have difficulty adapting to an actual work schedule to generate money via, Kristen Altus, 10-31-23).