Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sailing Good Bye: In Memory of Marilyn Drew Bennett

I lost my aunt Marilyn this month. Her full name was Marilyn Drew Bennett and she died of cancer on November 15, 2018. I don't know how, if at all, the world will remember her. But I know how I will remember her.

Marilyn Drew Bennett with her son, Larry Bennett, 
aboard the Nightengale, a 34 ft. ketch, in 1968
Even as a child, I appreciated her conscientiousness. I must have been five when we celebrated my birthday at her house. I don’t remember the meal…only the decorated cake. She lit it up with five little candles. I remember her outstanding qualities as perfectionism, kindness, warmth and encouragement. I never heard an unkind word from her. My earliest memories of her are surrounded by my awareness that she saw me as a child of wonder. I knew I was precious and loved by her.

As I grew older, she displayed the wisdom we get from aunts and uncles, the advice that is too risky for our parents to release. With less responsibility - and perhaps greater objectivity - I have found that my aunts and uncles have been the people in my life who have been most supportive of my big plans, my willingness to take large risks, and my eagerness to pursue my dreams.

Her encouragement, of course, had a special authority. In 1968, she and her second husband, Tom Bennett moved with their son, Larry, onto the Nightengale, a 34 ft. ketch and cast off for a major Pacific cruise. Without the aid of modern satellite and navigation technology, they sailed down the coast of California into Mexican waters where they harbor-hopped for about three months before
venturing west into the broad Pacific. For the next several months they visited many of the most famous South Pacific Island groups including the Galapagos Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Tuamotus Islands, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and Touga.

As I understand it, some of her last words included a suggestion to her husband that they buy a boat and just sail away. 

During the moments when I was frustrated with my own parents, I saw Marilyn as a useful example of a bold, confident and adventurous life that I hoped to lead myself. I saw her as more sophisticated, intelligent, and worldly than any of my other relatives on either side of my family. I have said before that I considered her son Larry, who she adopted in 1962, to be a fifth brother. What I have left out previously is that when I was most eager to run away from home my fervent wish was that she and Tom would adopt me too. 

Like me, Marilyn valued an active, meaningful social life. While she lived in Paso Robles, CA participated in the Paso Robles Women's Club, the American Association of University Women, the Paso Robles Art Association, and the Republican Women's Club. She held senior office positions in these organizations from time to time. As an adult, she and I shared a commitment to conservative politics. We both hoped for Romney to win and were ecstatic at the election of Donald J. Trump.

I knew more of her back story than most. I think her willingness to take on risky adventures was born, in part, from a chaotic childhood and a series of close calls with death. I knew from my father, Richard Drew, the stories of how their mother was deeply depressed and impulsive. The worst of it, as I remember, is that their mother made suicide attempts in front of my dad. According to him, he once held the car door closed as his mother tried to jump out of the car. To compound the discomfort, my dad never understood why his father did not just stop the car.

Married right out of high school to her first husband, Marilyn survived a car accident in which the vehicle rolled over. She emerged unscathed despite the fact that there were no seat belts in the car. She almost died herself from a miscarriage in which she lost twin children. I cannot imagine the pain she suffered. 

Marilyn also touched my heart because she was something of a spiritualist. She reportedly once saw the ghost of Tom Mix outside her parent's house in Glendale. (It was next to a cemetery.) According to my Grandpa Drew, the neighbors were quite. Later on, she told me she saw the ghost of her mother too, shortly after her death. 

This other-worldly sensitivity was perhaps somewhat genetic in origin. I remember I broke away from a post-graduate program in statistics at the University of Michigan to visit with her relatives. Half were down to earth skeptics. The other half, however, were as odd as the characters in a Harry Potter book. Many of Marilyn's mid-west relatives were extraordinary mystics, open to the world of coincidence, unconventional spiritual beliefs, witnesses to extraordinary psychic experiences. They brought to my attention an element of my own father's faith. As I recall, he once prayed for God to give him $20,000. Sure enough, he received a check in the mail for that exact amount about two weeks later.

As a child, of course, I was shielded from the complete story of her life. As an adult, however, I had to take into account that her second marriage was associated with some considerable damage as her new husband, Tom, left behind three children aged 4, 8 and 11. At the funeral, one of her stepchildren, Tom, called her heroic for her willingness to take on these step-children, care for them on an extended vacations, and contentiously remember to send presents for their birthdays and at Christmas. 

Even with this qualification, I don't think you can conclude she was some reckless libertine. She was devoted to her husband. They were, as Larry said, joined at the hip. I see a large measure of atonement in the fact that the second marriage took and she spent 56 years with her new husband. Likewise, her son Larry said: "She always had my back." 

Earlier this week, I stood at her grave side as a man of 61. I'm far older now than she was when she made me my favorite and most memorable birthday cake. It was a white frosted steamboat, complete with two decks, a paddle wheel and little windows made of silver sugary beads. For me, the past is not dead. It is not even past. I wish I could hold her and tell her how much I loved her and how much I will miss her.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dr. Drew's MAGA Voter Guide for California 2018

California Statewide Ballot Propositions 

Proposition 1:
BOND for specified housing assistance programs.
Dr. Drew says NO. 

Proposition 2: 
BOND for housing of homeless with mental illness.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 3:
BOND for water supply, wildlife and groundwater sustainability.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 4:
BOND for children’s health care hospital improvements.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 5:
Transfers of property tax base to replacement property.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 6:
Gas Tax Repeal - Repeals 2017 road repair and transportation tax increase.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 7: 
Allows legislature to adopt yearlong daylight saving time.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 8:
Regulates outpatient kidney dialysis clinic charges.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 10:
Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 11:
Requires private-sector EMT/paramedics to be on call during work breaks.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 12:
New standards for confinement of farm animals.
Dr. Drew says NO.

California State Office Recommendations


LT GOVERNOR: no recommendation; musings instead...

Obviously both of the candidates are leftist Democrats. Ed Hernandez, however, might the slightly better choice.






Tuck is open to charter schools.

U.S. SENATOR: No recommendation; musings instead...

Feinstein is somewhat more moderate. The 85-year old Sen. Feinstein is clearly already out of it mentally as the Kavanaugh hearing demonstrated. For example, she didn't even understand the meaning of Sen. Flake's last minute deal. Strategically, an old, worn-out Democrat dog is better than a young Democrat puppy.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Not Too Sad to Laugh: Funniest Jokes About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat
candidate for Congress.
We don't need farmers, we have grocery stores.

Nothing is built in America anymore. My new TV says "Built in Antenna." Where the hell is that?

If owning a gun was a right, it would be in the Constitution.

I don't like the Electoral College and I would never send my kids there.

BREAKING: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she will consider debating Ben Shapiro if he doubles his offer from $10,000 to $15,000.
"If free speech was a right, it would be in the Constitution." 
“I’m against studying civics in school unless we also study other cars.”
"I promise I'll fight for ALL illegal immigrants. Especially those who came here legally."
“If you are a teacher you should keep your security clearance.”

AOC was fired from the M&M factory. She kept throwing out all the Ws.

Note: If you have any that really make you laugh, please add them in the comment section below.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Did Trump Really Save America from Socialism?

There is a lot of material out there right now encouraging folks to check out Dinesh D’Souza claims in Death of a Nation. I have already seen the film and I probably need to go back and watch it again to make sure I got all the details.

Among the pieces promoting the movie is a terrific article by Steve Baldwin, a former California assemblyman (1994-2000) and minority whip, which appeared in The American Spectator called, "Did Trump Really Save America From Socialism? This article makes a comprehensive and convincing case that ties together a number of stories to leave us with the stone cold truth: Barack Obama was attempting to turn the U.S. into a socialist utopia. Frighteningly, his major goal was to turn the U.S. into a one party state where a Republican would never again win the office of president.

Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice.
Baldwin asserts that the key element of this strategy was bringing in illegal immigrants to vote for Hillary Clinton. It is scary to reflect the extent to which Obama almost achieve his objective if not for the surprising, seemingly impossible election of Donald Trump. This article appeared came to attention through an old Google alert which scans for on-line articles that mention both my name and Obama's. Below, I have marked the part in bold where Baldwin uses my little data point to help nail down a key point about Obama's long-standing commitment to socialism.

However, Americans were so propagandized by the media concerning Obama’s “mainstream Democrat” background that very few know the real truth about who he really is. But the evidence of Obama’s socialist background is overwhelming.
Researchers have dug up quite a bit about him since he burst onto the national political scene over a decade ago. Four books in particular have ripped off the propaganda cover: Aaron Klein’s The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and other Anti-American Extremists; Paul Kengor’s The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, the Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor; Trevor Loudon’s Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, and lastly, Stanley Kurtz’s excellent Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. These authors have exhaustedly documented Obama’s involvement with numerous groups dominated by communists and socialists.
(Note: My take on young Obama is featured in the works by Kengor, Loudon and Kurtz.) 
Indeed, Obama launched his political career at the house of former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who calls himself a “small c communist.” Obama’s mentor at Harvard was Charles Ogletree, a radical Marxist professor, former Black Panther, and leader of the nutty “reparations” movement.
We now know his father was a socialist economist and that his boyhood mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying Communist Party member who, according to his FBI file, was engaged in espionage. Davis even appears on the FBI’s Cold War era “watch list” of people to be rounded up should the Soviets launch a war against the USA.
We also know that Obama spoke at the funeral of leading Marxist theoretician Saul Mendelson. We know that in the 1996 he actually joined the New Party, a Marxist party in Illinois. And we know the Communist Party itself lavished praise on Obama, boasting of how they “actively supported Obama during the primary election.” Upon Obama’s 2008 victory, Sam Webb, the president of the U.S. Communist Party, announced we “now have a friend, a people’s advocate and the first African American in the White House.”
Former Communist activist John Drew attended Occidental with Obama and says not only that Obama was a well-known “Marxist-Leninist” on campus but that he actually said “There’s going to be a revolution” in the USA. And there has been of sorts.
One cannot dig into Obama’s background without stumbling into Communists and other assorted socialist revolutionaries everywhere one looks. And much of the media knew this when Obama ran for the presidency in 2008 but decided Americans didn’t need to know. But they covered every mistake and every shady relationship that Donald Trump ever had. Nor is there any evidence Obama ever modified his views. His background and his legislative legacy demonstrates contempt for America; its history, culture, constitution, and political system. All of this is consistent with Obama’s Marxist worldview that he took great pains to disguise. As Stanley Kurtz wrote, “Obama has made concerted efforts to hide his socialist convictions from the voters who put him into office.”
Although I think it is over-the-top to say I was a Communist at the time, I have to admit that I was well versed in Marxism and had been rooting for the USSR to win the Cold War. Nevertheless, this is a really helpful article for making sense of the Obama legacy and the story of how we barely escaped losing our country for good. You can read the entire article by clicking on this link to Baldwin's article, Did Trump Really Save America From Socialism? If I was hired to teach a political science class, this article would be on the syllabus. 

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Big on Quora: Do You Know Any Pro-Trump Comedian?

Clearly, the best of the best is Evan Sayet. He is a former writer for Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect. Evan was born in New York and went to school in Rochester, New York. He moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian, television writer, and eventually video producer. However, post 9-11, he rethought his political and social beliefs and became a conservative. In this video, you see him at his funniest.

He’s a genius. Sayet is at his best when he tears into liberals who get into to liberal professions, all of which require they "do nothing". Sayet asks: “Why does the liberal flock to academia? Because "the academic doesn't do anything."
"The job of the academic," Sayet says, "Is for someone who doesn't do anything to lecture to children, who don't do anything, about the people who do things and did things, and the things that they did and they do."
The situation, according to Sayet is evident in Hollywood too. "The job of the actor is to pretend to be doing things," Sayet says, " The actor is all talk, but no action, which is interesting, because in order to get the actor to start talking, the director yells 'action', but the second there's any action, they send the actor to his trailer to talk with his entourage and they bring in the stuntman." Sayet then pointed out that stuntmen are overwhelmingly conservative in Hollywood, because they work in a job that requires them to do something.”
Evan has become the nation’s leading conservative, political comedian, an in-demand Master of Ceremony for Republican and conservative events. Evan Sayet also has a serious side that is worth listening to. He is the author of The KinderGarden Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.
Probably his most famous contribution to our politics was his speech to the Heritage Foundation.

It is so good that Andrew Breitbart said Sayet’s Heritage Foundation Speech was ‘one of the five most important conservative speeches ever given.’
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Big on Quora: Why Would a Middle-Class, Blue Collar Union Member Vote Republican?

A lot of this is due to the failure of Communism and the collapse of the USSR. However, I think that there is more we need to understand.
In my view, I think we are now voting for our tribes and not our ideology. The Democrat party has built itself up on an approach that vilifies whites and especially white men. If you are a white guy, then you have received clear signals that there is no place for you in the modern Democrat party even though you are a middle-class, blue collar union member type of voter.
The Democrats cemented their anti-white positions into place with their new focus on white privilege. One of the benefits of white privilege ideology is that it can be used to justify racial discrimination against whites through various affirmative action programs, minority set-asides, and reduced emphasis on the skills and tests on which whites outperform non-whites, particularly Latinos and blacks.
If you are a a middle-class, blue collar union member type of voter, then you know full well that the ideology that unifies the Democrat party will be used to harm you and especially your young children or grandchildren. The Democrats, in a sense, have forced whites to participate in the arena of identity politics.
Accordingly, we can expect whites to double down on their support for efforts that will preserve their tribe as the dominant racial group in the nation. These efforts include restrictions on non-white immigration, complete moratoriums on immigration in general, and the phasing out of pro-minority policies including affirmative action and special preferences for non-white students in college and university applications.
In addition to the tribalism argument, I think it is also fair to observe that the Democrat party is moving very far to the left, so far that it is coming to emphasize socialism as an issue to attract minority and younger voters. In this regard, a middle-class, blue collar union member type of voter may very well be voting in their own economic interest by opposing anything which would lead the U.S. into becoming a more socialist country. For these savvy voters, the are making the correct choice for themselves and their families by voting against candidates who might turn the U.S. into another Cuba or Venezuela.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Big on Quora: What Sites Do Conservatives Use for Fact Checking?

Whenever there is a hot issue, I naturally go to the main websites where I find knowledgeable conservatives offering objective information.
First, I go to Power Line. This is a website that is largely run by conservative, commonsense attorneys. It is particularly helpful in understanding constitutional issues like whether or not Trump has absolute power regarding whether or not illegal immigrants should even be allowed to stay in t he country.
Next, I recommend This site includes a number of Harvard trained, Ivy league analysts, former CIA agents, and business school types who offer profoundly insightful, politically incorrect articles focused on the most important issues of the day including Jack Cashill and Thomas Lipson, the editor.
I also usually turn to Breitbart News Network. I have friends who write for them and they are serious journalists who I can count on to provide accurate information.
I’m also very interested in the free speech movement on college campuses. Accordingly, I spend time at The College Fix and Campus Reform to learn about the excesses of our leftist college and university professors. Although I’m retired from politics, you can also find useful and truthful information regarding Barack Obama at my blogsite, Anonymous Political Scientist.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Dr. Drew's Conservative Voting Guide for California

This year's ballot was so disappointing. It is sad we did not have a strong Republican running for the U.S. Senate seat. Nevertheless, I thought I should get this out to those going to the polls tomorrow, or those, like me, who will hand in their mail-in ballot at the polls to save time.

Governor - John H. Cox
Lieutenant Governor - Cole Harris
Secretary of State - Mark Meuser
Controller - Konstantinos Roditis
Treasurer - Jack M. Guerrero
Attorney General - Steven C. Bailey
Insurance Commissioner - Steve Poizner
State Board of Equalization - Joel Anderson
Senator - Don J. Grundmann
U.S. Representative 48th District - Dana Rohrabacher
State Senate - Patricia Bates
State Assembly - Ed Sachs
Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 13 - Theodore R. Howard
Superintendent of Public Instruction - Marshall Tuck
County Superintendent of Schools - Al Mijares
County Board of Education Trustee Area 5 - Lisa Sparks
County Supervisor 5th District - Lisa Bartlett
Assessor - Claude Parrish
Auditor-Controller - Eric H. Woolery
Clerk-Recorder - Hugh Nguyen
District Attorney-Public Administrator - Tony Rackauckas
Sheriff-Coroner - Don Barnes
Treasurer-Tax Collector - Shari L. Freidenrich

Measures Submitted to the Voters - CA

68 - Authorizes Bonds Funding Parks - NO
69 - Required Transportation Revenues - NO
70 - Requires Legislative Super-majority - NO
71 - Sets Effective Date for Ballot Measures - YES
72 - Permits Legislature to Exclude - YES

If anyone thinks I have made an eggregious error on any of these picks, please let me know and I will reconsider them. Instead of ducking issues or races I have made a choice no matter what even if the alternatives were not quite up to conventional standards.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Four Star Plumbing Orange County: Lights On, No One Home

Four Star Plumbing Orange County just ripped me off for $165 dollars. They charged me for a service call that produced nothing of real value. Later, they sent me a bid e-mail that got the facts of our situation completely wrong even though they had sent out their own plumber, Angel, to assess our situation. I'm going to ask the property management lady who recommended Four Star Plumbing Orange County to us to see if she can help us get our money back. 

After we sent Kelli Frank, co-owner of Four Star Plumbing Orange County, photos of our issues and described our problems in a detailed e-mail she charged us $165.00 for the privilege of waiting around for two hours and then watching her plumber, Angel, inspect our kitchen and write out his notes for a bid.

What did I get for the $165.00? Angel looked under our sink and behind our refrigerator. He advised us to save money by buying our own disposer and faucet. He advised us to use another company to fix the angle stops. My wife and I watched him as he did some paperwork. He said that he could not do any work at all that day. 

As I remember it, he said he would not install the disposer unless the water was hooked up to test it. He would not have the water running because he would not use the plastic angle stops used by our PEX installers. He said that we needed to get another company to come in and replace the angle stops and then he would go ahead and do the disposer. 

Angel could have done at least a little work for us for $165.00. For example, he could have taken out the old disposer. 

Even worse, when I finally got a bid back from Four Star Plumbing Orange County it was as if Angel had never even visited our property. The bid made it sound as if the existing angle stops were embedded in dry wall (an extra charge to fix) and suggested we may need to install a refrigerator icemaker outlet box, this is that box between the wall studs that keeps the water valves out of the way yet accessible. This was bizarre. Angel had inspected behind our refrigerator and clearly saw we already had a refrigerator icemaker outlet box. 

Even worse, the bid said that they would charge us $185.00 per hour and that the hours they spent on the project would go from any where from 4 to 8 hours, or $740.00 to $1,480.00. I'm not joking. I have all this in their dated e-mail. The wildly variable bid was due to the supposedly unknowable expenses surrounding the question of whether or not they would need to remove drywall or, I suppose, install a refrigerator icemaker outlet box, and tear out some drywall back there too. 

I called Kelli up the next day to see if we could get a more detailed, precise bid. 

Once I'm on the phone she explains to me that the e-mail containing their most recent, widely ranging bid, was created with the knowledge of Angel, another lady and Kelli. I pointed out, innocently enough, that their email bid didn't really show any signs of the benefits I imagined we would be receiving after paying Angel $165.00 to inspect our situation. 

After all, there were no dry wall issues at all, and we already had a clearly visible recessed ice machine water supply box. At this point, Kelli reacted with surprising anger and didn't seem to even want me to have an opportunity to talk back. She seemed especially concerned that I was suggesting that she did not know her own internal procedures or business. She also suggested that my comments where somehow due to the fact that she was a female. (Trust me, if she recorded this conversation, then this is all on their audio tapes.)

I can see that from her perspective she wants to make sure she makes $165.00 every single time one of her Four Star Plumbing Orange County plumbers goes out into the field. 

From my perspective, however, I think that is a huge rip-off. Frankly, if I thought there was a chance a guy would come out and charge me $165.00 and not even remove the old disposer, I would have said to forget it. I only paid Angel the $165.00 in the first place because I thought - erroneously - that this bill would be deducted from future work he performed for us. It is interesting to me that at least another person writing at their Yelp site - Jon C. - had a somewhat similar experience with Four Star Plumbing Orange County.

I feel cheated. I can't believe that they charged me $165.00 for an inspection and then produced a bid that was so negligent and sloppy that it failed to reveal that I already owned a refrigerator icemaker outlet box.  

I will send Four Star Plumbing Orange County a formal letter asking for my money back since Angel didn't do any work at all and because the results of the inspection we paid for were not accurately incorporated in their later bid. I'll let you know how that works out. 

Meanwhile, it would have been nice for Angel to let me know that it was probably a bad idea to work with Four Star Plumbing Orange County. After all, if they can't get three people together to create an accurate bid, one which reflects the facts of the situation, then what else is going wrong at their second generation, family-run plumbing business?

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hot On Quora: How Much Effect Does Affirmative Action Have on College Admissions?

Affirmative action has a huge impact on a young person, especially if they are Asian. For example, a 2009 study found - at Harvard - that the average Asian American applicant needed a 1460 SAT score to be admitted, a white student with similar GPA and other qualifications only needed a 1320 SAT score, while blacks needed scores of only 1010 and Hispanics 1190.
The situation has gotten so bad at Harvard that some of the rejected Asian students are suing them. They are arguing that Harvard is violating the latest U.S. Supreme Court standard which states that schools have to implement race-neutral techniques to achieve diversity before turning to racial classifications and preferences.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hot on Quora: Why do Marxists Get Upset When You Mention the Horrific Failure of 20th Century Communism?

As an ex-Marxist, I think it is fair to say that being a Marxist is more of a religion than a scientific pursuit. Although you can, with great effort, change a scientific consensus, it is almost impossible to change someone’s religious beliefs. This is particularly true when traditional contemporary religions are in decline.

As a Marxist, you can enjoy all the freedom of being an atheist (sex, drugs, libertine attitudes) while at the same time enjoying the fellowship and group activities organized by your peers including the nearly constant planning sessions, anti-war protests, and pre-revolutionary activities of the day. The mix gives you a meaning to what is probably an already depressing, exceedingly shallow and unaccomplished life. For insight into the life of a young Marxist, please check out my article below.
The best part is that even though history has demonstrated the utter failure of Marxism as a philosophy, witness the hundreds of millions mass murdered by Communist regimes in the 20th Century, Marxists can pretend to themselves that these earlier regimes were “not really socialist.” The same is true of the horrifying modern examples of the failure of Communism in say Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
At any rate, when you confront Marxists with the evidence of their fecklessness they react negatively because you are, in effect, challenging their whole identity, their social group, their career choices and so on. You aren’t just knocking the ridiculousness of their untenable beliefs you’re knocking everything about them.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hot on Quora: What Was Barack Obama's GPA in College?

I met Barack Obama and got to know him while he was a student at Occidental College. My memories of young Obama have appeared in a number of historical books including David Garrow’s Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. This is a 1,460 page pre-presidential biography published by HarperCollins in May 2017.

At the time I met the young Obama, I was a graduate student at Cornell University, doing my first work as a teaching assistant in political science. My sense of him at the time is that he was of average intelligence. I don’t remember him making any particularly insightful comments when we spoke. I think it is safe to say that he was most likely a solid B student.

To be fair, the Barack Obama I met in 1980–1981 was more interested in parties, cocaine and radical politics than his academic record. I think it is only common sense to assert that the only reason his Occidental College GPA has not been released is that it would have been bad news for him.
I’m writing this to counter-act some of the extreme Barack Obama sycophantic comments suggesting he is some sort of genius. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no record of him being particularly talented at math, statistics, or any of the hard sciences. He served as the editor of the law review at Harvard, but didn’t bother to produce any articles of his own for it.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Is Your College Professor Autistic? This May Explain a Lot

One of my friends, who is a dean of instruction, recently brought to my attention the prevalence of
Mary Temple Grandin 
(born August 29, 
1947) is an American 
consultant to the livestock 
industry on animal behavior, 
and autism spokesperson.
faculty members on the Autism Spectrum. She thinks this explains a lot of the interpersonal and communication problems she see among them.

It might be fun for the conservative students everywhere to do a quick survey of where their liberal professors stand on the Autism Spectrum. They can code for problems in social communication and social interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Off the top of my head, I would think at least 20% of the professors I know are probably on the Autism Spectrum.

It may be that a peaceful, quiet, low stress college campus is the ideal environment for a high functioning individual. Check out this article from CBS News for more details.

Is Your College Professor Autistic?

There is also some evidence that some of our top geniuses would have been on the Autism Spectrum too including Albert Einstein, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, and Michelangelo.

Here's some more tips. Look for people who are unusually uncomfortable with loud noises, go without food or have odd eating habits, and those who find it difficult to establish friendships or romantic relationships.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Hot On Quora: Is Trump Sorry the Issues He Ran On Are Not More Firmly Based on Facts or Science?

Trump appears to want to be "popular". Do you think Trump now wishes he had campaigned on policy positions that were more soundly grounded on science and fact? Or, could he have been elected otherwise?

Trump won by leading a political realignment. In short, he argued for policy positions which pealed off white working class voters who had previously been voting for Barack Obama. Among the issues which attracted these voters to the new Republican party were 1) a crack down on illegal immigration, 2) a promise to end the federal government’s hostility to coal mining, and 3) a focus on using U.S. tariffs to protect U.S. workers and bargain for better treatment in international markets.

The Democrats made things worse for themselves by leaning so hard on their standard identity politics agenda that they ended up suggesting with great seriousness that all white people, including the white working class, was benefiting unfairly from “white privilege.”

In the mouths of some Democratic party stalwarts, this white privilege message appeared to be little more than an expression of anti-white hate. I have no doubt that apparent Democrat party hostility to the white working class, particularly white working class men, was a major motivating factor among the late deciding swing voters in the upper Mid-West who tipped the Electoral College to Donald J. Trump. Frankly, if you have ever spent much time hanging out with identity politics activists or leftist college professors, then I think you will understand that white, working class swing voters where perhaps right to reject a political party which contains many people who view them with contempt and disdain. In this sense, Hillary’s campaign was a high flying car wreck like that pictured below.

Your question seems to imply that the key issues which are at the heart of this political realignment are not properly grounded in fact or science. As a practical matter, I cannot imagine that Trump is second guessing himself on the worthiness of these policy questions. I’m sure he is just happy to be president. Moreover, there are a ton of Republicans who are also really happy that he is president too. Thanks to his victory, the Republicans have their highest level of dominance in our government since the 1920s.

Many of them, no doubt, greatly feared a second Democrat party president in a row. This is because Hillary would have never appointed to the Supreme Court someone who actually took the constitution seriously and made their decisions based on an originalist interpretation of the document. For many of them, this last election appeared to be an existential crisis for both white dominance in the U.S. and the survival of our U.S. constitutional system. The fear I heard expressed at Republican functions was that a Clinton victory would lead to an influx of immigrants - both legal and illegal - who would vote for socialism, affirmative action, redistribution, and efforts to undermine “white privilege” broadly and unfairly understood. The result would be a nation that looked like California, a state where the Republican party and white evangelical Christians have virtually no say in the laws (or taxes) which seem designed to humiliate and financially harm them, harm them enough at least to cause them to exit the state and move to TX.

That being said, I’m not so sure that the policy positions that Trump used to bring about this historic electoral realignment are all that bad from the view point of either science or fact. For example, there can be no doubt that increased immigration (legal or not) reduces the wages of the white working class. Moreover, increased immigration means that white working class voters will find themselves increasingly surrounded by people of different races and nationalities who do not share traditionally common American beliefs including the elevation of the Bible over the Qu’ran. Increase immigration harms the white working class by surrounding them with people from different cultures who are in fact hostile to their received American culture. Upper class whites, in contrast, are not face-to-face with the immigrant population since they can afford to move to relatively white enclaves where they are safely insulated from the downside of massive and often illegal immigration.

For that matter, I’m not sure that ending restrictions on coal mining is somehow anti-science or anti-fact. Obviously we have new ways of burning coal that make it a better quality fuel - i.e. clean coal. I have to admit that all the scientific evidence shows that tariffs will make things worse for the white working class.

Nevertheless, this is an approach that Trump (along with Ross Perot) has believed in for many years. It was not, on his part, a sudden decision to embrace this policy. As a practical matter, many other counties also make similar efforts to protect their domestic employers. Usually, these are smaller countries where they are highly dependent on the success of local champions. It maybe that the U.S. is now in a similar position. Also, conventional wisdom may be too bleak about the actual implementation of tariffs. Potentially, these tariffs may not go into effect because Trump will us them or the threat of using them to encourage other countries to lower their tariffs and permit more U.S. companies to fairly compete in their markets.

Some, of course, will argue that Trump colluded with the Russians to bring about his victory. Truthfully, I just don’t buy this. I don’t think you can cause an electoral realignment simply by having the Russian government spend a relatively trivial amount of money on social media or by leaking the e-mails of Hillary’s campaign manager. An electoral realignment is based on real issues, and tough decisions about the direction of the nation. The leadership needed to cause an electoral realignment comes from the candidates themselves…not some foreign government. Trump was that kind of leader and he scored an amazing victory by historical standards.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hot or Not: Williams College Names Average Rated Teacher as the New Assistant Dean of the Faculty

Katarzyna Pieprzak
I just got this little bit of news from the famous Ephblog. It turns out that Williams College has given the job of assistant dean of the faculty to a 43 year-old single woman, from the department of Romance Language and Literatures, Katarzyna Pieprzak. What is shocking about her is that she receives a very low rating from the popular Rate My Professor website. She is a 3.9 in a school where the average rating is 4.02.

Kashia Pieprzak Professor in the Languages department at Williams College, Williamstown, MA

According to the four students who reviewed her teaching, her courses have a level of difficulty of 2.8. She is not, as I take it, hot. I suppose I take these ratings more seriously than most because I know that people are less likely to lie when they are making anonymous written comments and that more popular professors also tend to have a larger number of raters. Moreover, even a flawed rating system is useful as a comparative standard.

To see the contrast between her ranking and that of an above average faculty member it is useful to review the comments of a truly outstanding Williams College professor, Christian Thorne. He scores a perfect 5.0 with seven reviews. He is hot. His level of difficulty is a still modest 3.9. Check out what one of his students wrote about him:

Equally at home discussing Videodrone and Jane Austen, curious about every novel ever written (he should try Etched City next) a brilliant professor, a fellow punk rocker with an endless variety of interpretation and a devious skill of extracting the best out of everyone in the classroom.

Professor Pieprzak is, according to Rate My Professor at least, a below average faculty member. She is also a sign of how deeply the school is invested in promoting women to positions of leadership even though they lack the most basic requirements for successful service including outstanding teaching records, prior business experience, or a commitment to freedom of speech. Moreover, she displays what Williams College is looking for right now. She is the school's Director of Arabic Studies and a member of its Africana Studies department.

In this particular case, the new hire, Katarzyna Pieprzak, is an expert on the Middle East. Accordingly, I think her role is part of a larger virtue signaling effort in which young impressionable students are brainwashed into thinking it is safe to live around Muslims and that we should pay no attention to what Muslims actually believe or the fearful words and directions they receive from their dangerous religious texts.

I'm sure that the administration is confident that they will never find her teaching race realism on the side or discussing the extent to which converting Muslims to Christianity, confining them to their traditional shit hole countries, and fighting the rest of them to death is probably our last best hope for civilization in Europe.

Her research, as I understand it, is based on the apparent oddness that Morocco does not have much in the way of museums of art or antiquities. I'm still laughing at this. I don't think you need to spend more that five minutes in Morocco to realize the low priority that Muslims place on either art or historic antiquities. It is part of their religion to disregard them. For her to suggest that this weakness in Muslim culture is a side effect of imperialism, white racism, or anything other than the sheer cretinism of Muslim culture is a sign of the bias and madness which has infected our formerly prestigious liberal arts colleges.

I remember that when I taught at Williams College I was ranked among the top 10% of faculty members for my teaching skill. My doctoral dissertation was the best in the nation in my field. It was later published almost word for word without revisions. When I taught my last class I had about 50 students who were in tears, men and women, as I made my final remarks.

I doubt that the students of the below average Ms. Pieprzak will be shedding any tears as she moves on to her new administrative responsibilities.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hands Too Big: Bad Art for a Bad President

I think my interest in oil painting is starting to pay-off.

I know enough, for example, to see that Obama’s hands are out of proportion to his body (too large). There is also a severe anatomical problem with this left hand. Notice the weird fold of skin and muscle next to his pinky finger. No normal human hand looks like that.

This is the work of a seriously inadequate artist named Kehinde Wiley. It looks to me like the artist was trying to draw a thumb tucked under there.

Also notice the color of the light. It is different on Obama’s head versus his hands. This is just inexcusable, low-quality work.

I don’t see how you can justify annoying mistakes like this…even if they are supposed to be part of some over arching message like it is cool and significant to have deviant, dopey looking portraits of America’s first (half) black president.

The portrait of Mrs. Obama has also been condemned, rightfully, for failing to provide an accurate portrayal of her…except, perhaps, for her arms. This one was painted by Amy Sherald.

If the Obamas were so unsophisticated to commission and accept this poorly executed art, then their liberal/leftist supporters should ask what else have this couple been completely mistaken about?

Below, I'm offering up my own version of an official presidential oil painting for the Obamas. It is based on a real life car accident that occurred in Santa Ana, CA on January 14, 2018. I call it "Flying to the Dentist." It is 9" x 12" on canvas and available for sale.

For my take on young Obama and the recent David J. Garrow presidential biography, see

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Hot Potato: Should I Try to Transfer from Williams College to Stanford?

I was a little surprised I created a stir on Quora by answering a question posed by an anonymous student at Williams College who asked whether or not it would be a good idea to bail out on Williams and hope for a transfer to Stanford University. I ended up getting a startling 19,100 views. The specific question was: "Should I try to transfer from Williams College to Stanford?" The same author posted the following additional comment:

Maybe it isn’t really that I want to go to Stanford specifically, but that I feel like I don’t fit in at Williams (I would try to transfer to some other schools too). It’s only my first year, so I know it’s still early, but I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunity.
I applied ED to Williams, not thinking that I would get in. I wasn’t confident in my resume/applications, even though I did relatively well at a rigorous high school in Silicon Valley. Williams has so many opportunities for me as a student interested in medical school - I’m already sort of performing research in a lab, all my profs know me, and I did fine in my pre-med weeder courses first semester (3.87 GPA).
I don’t know whether it’s just feeling geographically isolated, but I also feel like the opportunities at Williams don’t really fit me. I like the idea of smaller class sizes, but the classes here are too small for me to feel comfortable in. The music department (which I am heavily involved in) pays too much attention to me as a freshman and I’m overwhelmed with how many groups I’ve been asked to play in. People are so liberal that I’m sometimes scared that I might say something inappropriate (even though I’m also liberal).
It probably seems like I’m complaining about everything that’s good about Williams, but I think I would honestly thrive more if classes were a bit bigger and there were more musicians to compete with.

My response went like this:

I feel your pain. I never heard about Williams College until I got the invitation to interview there for a job as an assistant professor in the political science department. I didn’t know it was the top ranked school in the nation.

As a native Californian, nothing prepared me for life at a New England liberal arts college, and I quickly figured out that being there was a mistake. It was so cold and lonely when I arrived that I knew, almost immediately, that I had hit a dead end in my life.

I wish I would say that things got better there overtime, but they did not. In my experience, Williams College is just way too small and far too geographically isolated to be a good choice for your undergraduate education. If you have an opportunity to transfer to Stanford, I would take it in a heart beat.

From your anonymous comment, it appears that you are objective about the school’s strengths and weaknesses. I imagine that the question is whether or not things will get better if you stick around or if you should trust your gut feelings and bailout now.

I suppose the first thing I would recommend is that you should trust your gut instincts. Whether you fully appreciate it or not, Williams College is a very unusual place. Most recently, it was listed as one of the top ten worst schools in the U.S. for freedom of speech. A while back, it also made the list for the top ten druggiest schools in the nation.

The fact of the matter is that you are not the first person to think it was situated in a rotten part of the country. Many years ago, students and faculty who thought just like you bailed out on the school and founded Amherst College instead. The smallness of the school, which they spin as part of its success, coupled with the geographic isolation make it the sort of place where you do not have much anonymity or privacy.

In my experience, the campus leftists have a polarizing “you are with us or against us” attitude which, in the end, leaves pockets of undergraduates hating each others guts after four years of claustrophobic conflict. It doesn’t sound to me like you are bailing out because you are falling behind or failing in your classes.

I would close by saying that no one will judge you harshly for testing out Williams College and then finding out that it is too small, too cold, too myopic and too leftist for your tastes. In fact, it might mark you as a particularly insightful and objective person if you bail out as soon as possible. You will, after all, be in good company.

I ended up with a four year contract there and I left after three years myself. My college sweetheart lived near Stanford and I grew to really love that area even as that relationship died off. As I say, trust your instincts.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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