Monday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’m still clearing out the inbox, but I’ve also got some current stuff in here, so I consider this a round-up. I’ll just dive in, with the stuff presented here in pretty random order:

Last Sunday, a New York Times op-ed addressed “Why People Don’t Donate Their Kidneys.” Sally Satel, the author, recognized that we don’t want to pay people for body parts, but thinks that she’s figured out a clever way around it by giving them non-cash rewards. Frankly, that strikes me as the same immorality, just wearing different clothes.

I suspect people don’t donate their kidneys for the same reason I haven’t: People like having a back-up system. They like knowing that, if one kidney fails, they’ve got another one available, instead of having to depend on the kindness of strangers. That investment in a back-up changes when the kidney donation becomes personal.  That happens when the kidney donee is a family member, close friend, or even a stranger who touched a chord in the donor. Without that personal touch, people kind of like to hang on to the spare.

***

Have you heard of Archbishop John Joseph Hughes, aka “Dagger” John, aka the first Catholic Archbishop of New York?  I hadn’t, so I found absolutely fascinating this City Journal article about the way in which he brought discipline and purpose to the vast cadre of lawless, self-destructive Irish immigrants who had been so deeply traumatized by the horrors of the famine in Ireland and the societal disintegration that followed in its wake:

Hughes’s solution for his flock’s social ills was to re-spiritualize them. He wanted to bring about an inner, moral transformation in them, which he believed would solve their social problems in the end. He put the ultimate blame for their condition squarely on the historical oppression they had suffered at the hands of the English, which he said had caused them “to pass away from the faith of their ancestors,” robbing them of the cultural heritage that should have guided their behavior. But that was in the past: now it was time for them to regain what they had lost. So he bought abandoned Protestant church buildings in Irish wards, formed parish churches, and sent in parish priests on a mission of urban evangelization aimed at giving the immigrants a faith-based system of values.

With unerring psychological insight, Hughes had his priests emphasize religious teachings perfectly attuned to re-socializing the Irish and helping them succeed in their new lives. It was a religion of personal responsibility that they taught, stressing the importance of confession, a sacrament not widely popular today—and unknown to many of the Irish who emigrated during the famine, most of whom had never received any religious education. The practice had powerful psychological consequences. You cannot send a friend to confess for you, nor can you bring an advocate into the confessional. Once inside the confessional, you cannot discuss what others have done to you but must clearly state what you yourself have done wrong. It is the ultimate taking of responsibility for one’s actions; and it taught the Irish to focus on their own role in creating their misfortune.

How do we respiritualize a society that seems, lately, to concern itself solely with sexual license? It can be done, you know. Hughes did it with the Irish immigrants. The Victorians (especially the Evangelical movement) did it as a response to the worst excesses of the Georgian and Regency eras. Presumably, we can do it too.

***

The Daily Mail’s profile of Lt. John Randall, the first member of the Allied troops to enter Bergen Belsen is a useful reminder that “Holocaust denial” means denying the reality of the past, one that was experienced by millions, witnessed by thousands, and proudly documented by its perpetrators. In this regard, it differs from “climate change denial,” which involves rejecting a predictive theory that, so far, has been wrong approximately 90% of the time.

***

Apropos that whole climate change thing, you can get a good insight here into the hoax that serial liar Michael Mann perpetrated with his famed hockey stick graph, a graph to which the Left still clings to “prove” that climate change is real.

***

When Hillary came to the Bay Area in early April, John, of The City Square, was there to record the protests. Should Hillary run in 2016, she will face a lot of opposition, based upon a long history of dubious, frequently immoral, and possibly criminal behavior. Benghazi is just the exclamation point to a long, unsavory career.

***

The reliably Leftist, tax-payer funded NPR just hired a new, reliably Leftist CEO. What I found so amusing was the WaPo’s article about his hiring, which expressed surprise and dismay that NPR had problems sticking to its budget (emphasis mine):

[Jarl] Mohn, who has a reputation as a turnaround specialist, will inherit an organization that has been battling persistent operating deficits. It is projecting a deficit of $6.1 million in its current fiscal year, or a little more than 3 percent of its projected revenue of $178 million. The gap between revenue and expenses led NPR to offer buyouts to its 840 employees in September, in an effort to pare about 10 percent of its staff.

Could it be that NPR has operating deficits because it knows that, unlike an actual business, its deficits are meaningless? A real business goes under when it has chronic deficits. A government-funded business simply gets more money from the government. And yes, NPR likes to point out that it gets a large part of its budget from corporate and individual donations, but the fact is, it knows that the government will always be there to bail it out.

***

The Left is all about its fealty to science . . . until that fealty clashes with political correctness. When that happens, it’s under the bus for you. In this case, the sinner is long-time New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade, who looks at differing genetic data in sub-Saharan Africans and reaches non-PC conclusions. His conclusions could be entirely wrong, of course, but Leftists won’t debate him, they’ll just erase him.  (Remember, on the Left, the debate is always over.)

As someone who believes in evolution, I’ve also assumed that certain tribes have, over the centuries, encouraged certain traits. For example, in societies where hunting prey (and running fast so as not to become prey) are necessary for survival, those who successfully passed their DNA down would have been the fast runners, not the slow. With the DNA inheritance, you would soon have a tribe composed of very fast people. Jews, when viewed as a tribe, have always centered their lives around the Bible.  It therefore makes sense that those with a certain academic bent would be most successful in passing on their DNA. The result would be that Jews would excel at tasks requiring an academic bent.  Even Hollywood is an example of genetic selection. For decades, starting in the 1920s, many of the most attractive people in America poured into that city. Most never ended up in pictures. Instead, they married each other and created generations of good-looking Southern California kids with straight noses, good jaw lines, and great figures.

***

In case you didn’t know, Ambassador Christopher Stevens wasn’t “murdered.” Nope. According to “journalist” and Democrat party shill Eleanor Clift, he died of smoke inhalation after a movie review ran amok. You and I are now thinking, “How can anyone still parrot that line after the revelation about the Ben Rhodes Benghazi email? She must be really stupid.” She’s not. We’re stupid. Clift understands the whole concept of the Big Lie, and recognizes that it will still work if you’re the party that controls the media.

***

I know nothing about football, but I posited yesterday that Michael Sam was going to be trouble for the Rams. Jazz Shaw, who does know something about football, agrees. Moreover, he does so for the same reason I gave: unless the Rams treat Sam like the crown prince of the game, they’re going to get raked over the coals in the media (which, after all, is their conduit to the money people pay).  As it is, the “re-education” has already started.

***

Ruth Wisse, one of the few conservative professors at Harvard, writes a powerful opinion piece about the closing of the academic mind. Today’s students will not speak out. They’ve been taught that they’re worthless (“check your privilege at the door”), and their professors are impenetrably wrapped up in their self-righteous and invariably vindictive Leftism.

***

I’ve stated repeatedly that one of the things that turned me away from my staunch pro-choice position was the pro-death attitude that permeates the abortion rights movement. Andrew Klavan, another former pro-abortion person, comments on the same thing, but more powerfully than I could.

***

My friend Gary Buslik has written two hysterically funny books: Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood and A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean: A Grump in Paradise Discovers that Anyplace it’s Legal to Carry a Machete is Comedy Just Waiting to Happen. He recently got interviewed over at “Divorced Girl Smiling” and, as you can probably guess, the interview is laugh out loud funny. I found especially amusing the bit about cats and high heels, in part because of this picture, which has been making the rounds on Facebook:

Dog in heels

***

And finally, from Prager University, a short lesson about forgiveness. There was nothing new in it for me, but I liked how well-organized it was, and I especially liked the reminder that forgiveness is psychology important, not just for the person seeking forgiveness but, in certain circumstances, for the one doing the forgiving:

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Comments

  1. JKB says

    Well, you never know when you’ll need that spare kidney.  A couple years ago my aunt, 84 years old, went to the eye doctor.  Her BP was high, not objectively, but for her.  Well, lots of poking a prodding later, they still can’t find one of her kidneys.  It seems to have dried up.  She’s doing well but has to keep checking her BP and taking a pill to try to balance things out.  Thank God for the auto BP machines.  
     
    Interesting, I believe, according to US law, if you start a fire during an unlawful act and someone dies from smoke inhalation, it’s prosecuted as murder.   So a “journalist”, whose job is words, is being a bit unskilled with her words.  
     
    Don’t miss this from Richard Fernandez over at PJMedia   The Day Obama’s Presidency Died 
     
    I thought it was a bit wild-eyed speculation but I’ve seen reports today Sen. Grassley is looking into an Obama admin Terrorist Do Not Touch list that let some travel the US with impunity.   

    • says

      A journalist is merely a vendetta prone vigilante that is authorized to execute people via indirect means. This is a better position than militias, which are considered unauthorized vigilante groups on the border.

  2. lee says

    We desperately need a Dagger John!

    Gay Patriot has a good write up on Michael Sam: http://www.gaypatriot.net/2014/05/11/nfl-drafts-gay-player-whoopty-freakin-do/

    NPR couldn’t exist without a sizable chunk of gift-change, because if it could, it would. If that sort of radio model was a money maker, someone would have spun it off. I used to listen to NPR religiously, and I enjoyed it. Now, the only thing I enjoy about it is the memory of Gene Simmons skewering Terry Gross on her show….

     
     
     

  3. says

    “Instead, they married each other and created generations of good-looking Southern California kids with straight noses, good jaw lines, and great figures.”
     
    Yea, but how are their fighting skills? How good are their interrogation resistance abilities? Can they shoot a bow using the tri arrow technique, rapid firing 3 arrows in serial succession by holding 3 arrows in the bow hand.
     
    Warrior virtues or skills, also tie directly into survival against con artists, shapeshifters, poison using human snakes, and so forth. So if one’s resistance is low because they’ve lived in a forever warm Eden, they aren’t going to do well in war or treachery. Hollywood’s money brings in a lot of rapists, sadists, and power mad fools too.
     
    “In this case, the sinner is long-time New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade,”
     
    Remember the names of John Scalzi and David Brin. They are on the Left, up against Vox, John Wright, Baen, Michael Z Williamson, Monster INternational author, etc. War is being waged on multiple fronts. Although often, it’s a sitzkrieg, with people throwing stuff over the trenches.
     
    “Hughes did it with the Irish immigrants.”
     
    You should see the Japanese social controls. Their language is really the lynch pin of the Japanese soul and culture. There’s a reason why cognitive mind controllers like that linguistics boy forgot what his name was, attempts to control the English language.
     
    Hughes knew that in a confession, people’s internal guilt can be absolved by funneling it into productive activities. Rather than rape, blaming the Man, or hating their neighbors. This requires authority. Hence, Religious Authority. Something that surpasses parental authority, if only sometimes. Something that surpasses blood feuds and political conflicts. An authority, overriding other authorities. The idea that blacks under welfare are “free”, mistakes slavery for physical chains. Slavery isn’t physical chains. The highest form is slavery is when the slaves think they are free. Only mind controlling necromancers can accomplish such a feat. It’s not anybody’s normal evil.
     
    Revenge is a duty owed to the dead. If you owe a debt to someone, and they get killed unjustly or even justly, then you still have this debt to discharge but nobody to discharge it for you. It forms a kind of guilt. Western civilization has replaced vendetta and revenge, with social justice and the court system. But that merely transfers the guilt to a sight unseen, where lawyers and journalists can sentence people to death and torture, and the people who forsook revenge can merely say, “well, ain’t my problem”.
     
    Guess what happens to a society in that situation. Revenge doesn’t save people, it saves society. And the US Justice system under HOlder, doesn’t save society. And doesn’t save individuals either.

  4. jj says

    Speaking to two of yours:  Hughes had an enormous positive effect on the whole society – and a lasting somewhat negative one as well.  The Irish and British would fight with each other just as readily outside bars in New York as they would in the dark streets of Armagh, right through the 1960s.  This was funny in a way – but it wasn’t funny, really.  Most of the funding of the ancestors of the IRA – and the IRA itself – came from the US.  The Archdiocese of New York was a permanent fundraiser for them in my youth, as was Boston, and even Palm Beach.  And far too many of the priests visiting from the ould sod – again, right up until the 1970s – were really on the lam, not just visiting.  They were wanted men back home.  And not for parking tickets, either: they were wanted for things like harboring murderers, gunrunning, and in at least one case I remember quite well, for outright murder.  (I remember it quite well because I confessed to him one Saturday afternoon.  “On duty in the confessional this weekend will be Father Slit-yer-t’roat, visitin’ here from Dundalk.”  Uh-huh.  A holy man.)  They were sent to this country for a few months or years to cool off.
     
    Some of that probably would have happened anyway, just in the natural course of things.  Hughes turbocharged it when he settled on England in his search for a classical unifying scapegoat to rally the folks.  (It would have been England anyway, ’tis true.)  Doesn’t make him a bad guy: he did what was needed to housebreak them, but he should have remembered that the Irish are crazy, and will carry a grudge for centuries.  This also led to a certain lack of sympathy on the part of the Irish population for the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s.  (“You been second-class citizens and slaves for t’ree hundred years, have ye?  And so?  What are ye complainin’ about?  We been second-class citizens and slaves – in our own land, no less – for eight hundred!  Tell it to somebody who cares, Sonny!”) 
     
    Second topic:  As I’ve noted before: you have to have been in the industry to know what a shuck and den of outright thieves NPR/PBS really is.  You think you do know?  No, you don’t.  You have no idea.

    • says

      I echo Charles Martel’s request, jj.  Don’t leave us hanging about the cesspool that is NPR/PBS.  Your longer comments always leave me wishing that I was a better writer with greater knowledge about the world.  Charles nails it with that wonderful phrase “popcorn-worthy.”  Yes, there I am in the front row, eyes wide open, munching popcorn, knowing I’ll be entertained.

  5. Charles Martel says

    jj, please don’t dangle tantalizers before us like that. When you’re in the mood, please say some more about your experiences with NPR/PBS. Your stuff is always popcorn-worthy.

  6. says

    I will never forgive the Left their evil. No matter what they do. They can bow down on hands and kneels before me, and I would not forgive them. They can cut off their hands, ears, poke out their eyes, and eviscerate themselves before me, and I would not forgive me.
     
    They are unforgivable. Only humans are entitled to forgiveness. And if that “hurts” them on some level by stripping away their ability to manage their guilt, all the better.
     
    Psychological manipulation is not merely a tool used to weaponize attacks against others. It’s something you can use on yourself as well.
     
    The Japanese even have a term for this.

    • says

      “and I would not forgive me.”
       
      Correction, double meaning there. I would not forgive them, but I would also not forgive myself for forgiving so easily their crimes against humanity for the last 2 hundred years or more. That requires a higher power, a higher divine level, to handle.
       
      Those that watched the “positive abortion video” noted that it might be traumatic or is traumatic for pro lifers. How easy they have it, if such a low level video can “traumatize” them, the enemies of the Left. I have to wonder if they truly understand the depths of the Left’s evil, if such a low level video would “traumatize” them. I have seen worse. Can they imagine what I have seen? If not, then what or who do they think they should forgive…
       
      Christians can only forgive their neighbor because of their belief in the ultimate authority of God and God’s forgiveness of Christian original sin. If God chooses to side with the Left, that would make God my enemy, an existence that must be destroyed for the good of humanity. If God chooses not to interfere, cannot interfere, or has been killed, then neutrality requires no action on my part. If God is against the Left, then God must wipe the Leftist alliance from the face of existence or forever neutralize their harm to humanity. There’s my pascal light wager.
       
      A lot of people, whether Christians or not, think like this. We should forgive the Left’s evil, because God forgave original sin. Or rather, we should forgive the harm our neighbors do and turn the other cheek.
       
      The thing is, the only person you are authorized to forgive is the one that has hurt you. You’re not authorized to forgive the killers and Leftist rapists in Vietnam for the harm they did to people you never knew existed. That, if anything, is an authority relegated only to divine level beings. And far as I know, there are No Divine Level beings on here or in humanity. (Hussein and Z fallen angel boy included)
       
       

  7. Libby says

    I’ll add that I’d love to hear more dirt about NPR/PBS. IIRC, Bill Moyers had set himself with a sweet deal where his (for profit) company produced his PBS-funded show,  retaining the rights to the show so that it could profit from sales of the show videos, etc. Bet there’s a lot of that kind of stuff going on with the NPR & PBS on-air “talent.”
    I’m guessing that NPR’s swanky new $201 million DC headquarters contributed to their financial problems: http://preview.tinyurl.com/k44z3wf
    You’d think NPR might have taken a break from fundraising after they received $200 million from the estate of philanthropist Joan B. Kroc in 2003, but of course they just kept on begging for more money.
     

  8. jj says

    I’m off to an MRI in about ten minutes.  The magic words re: PBS/NPR are “crony capitalism” and “licensing.” 
     
    Crony capitalism.  Their crony capitalism has made millionaires out of their favored pals – on your dime, of course.  The way that works is simple.  Say you are a newspaper columnist, and occasionally even make an early morning appearance on your town’s local radio station to blather about something.  (As a local columnist you’re as close to an Authority as right here in River City has on offer.)  You are Harry Flanagan (name chosen to avoid a lawsuit) the columnist.  You have something of an idea.  You take it to your local PBS station, and your local PBS station thinks it’s kind of cool.  They say: “put together a budget” and you look into hiring a writer, and all the tech people, and whatever equipment you think you’ll need.  (And of course you hire your wife, your mother, your kids, et al to be “staff” of the newly formed Harry Flanagan Production Company.)  You put together a budget, submit it to your PBS folks, they submit it to headquarters, and they give you the money.  It’s money they swiped from us, the taxpayers, of course, so zero risk for them.
     
    Off you go, and you make your little documentary.  Note that it’s cost you nothing to do this, and you and yours have in fact been on salary to get it done.  It airs, on PBS.  It airs a couple of times over the next few months, and it seems to do pretty well.  So you do what everybody with a somewhat interesting/vaguely popular show does: you grind out DVDs, and you stick them on the shelves in video outlets, Barnes & Noble, and in the Wireless catalog, etc.  And money comes rolling in – which is fine.  Except it isn’t, is it?  Because PBS is supposed to be a not-for-profit operation, and here’s a pile of money coming in the door.  What do we do with it?  Well, we split it: between the Flanagan Production Company, and PBS.  Do we pay back the taxpayers?  Are you kidding?  And lo and behold, in a pretty short time you, Harry Flanagan (and a bunch of other Favored Friends of PBS, whose names you all know) are (a) Name Players, and (b) millionaires.  And the taxpayers, who fronted the money for all this, and could have been easily paid back?  Oh well, who ever pays back the taxpayers?  That would be un-American.
     
    Licensing will have to be fast – I must go.  Just think about where all the money from all those puppets, toy trains, oddly-colored dinosaurs, etc., etc. goes.  Does it go to pay back the financiers – you and me?  Does it go on the books of PBS, making it plain they don’t need a nickel from you and me because they make more money (with less down-side) than any other network?  Or does it just get quietly split between PBS itself and the owners of the oddly-colored dinosaurs and large birds, making of them very wealthy people?  How many Barneys have been sold?  How many Thomas’?  
     
    PBS is the wealthiest network in the history of television – and we’re still subsidizing them.  It is beyond nuts, and is an edifice carved of solid bullshit, scented to make you think it’s pink cotton candy.And yes, they are completely biased, and if we had an FCC with live brain cells anywhere in the building, there would be a problem about that, too.  But we don’t.  (And that’s Reagan’s fault, sad to say.)
     
     

  9. Jose says

    A relative lost his kidney before he was 12 years old.  He complained of back pain and the doctors finally decided to check his kidneys.  By then he only had one.  

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