Two stories today about internecine warfare on the Left:
I am gleefully wallowing in schadenfreude.
Two stories today about internecine warfare on the Left:
I am gleefully wallowing in schadenfreude.
Long-time readers know that I’m hostile to bicyclists. In 2007, I devoted an entire post to mob bicyclists. Although I didn’t blog about bikes after my trip to Amsterdam, one of the things I just hated about the city was the bicyclists. Collectively, the bicyclists make up a brutish mob that controls the streets. Woe betide the unlucky pedestrian or car that tries to cross an intersection when any bicyclists are near. Indeed, even a single cyclist, without the comfort of the mob at his street will take aim at any pedestrian foolish enough to try to cross when a bicyclist is near. They are terrifying in their arrogance and entitlement.
I live near a scenic street that, every weekend throughout the year, and every week day when the sun is shining, is a bike route. There is no bike lane, so the bikes just ride down the middle of the road. The road is extremely curvy so, as I round every curve, I recite to myself “Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle,” so that I don’t get careless and run one down. The speed limit on the road is between 20-25 MPH, depending on how curvy the road is. The speed limit is irrelevant. We drivers go bike speed: 5-10 MPH.
In other parts of Marin, bikes run red lights and stop signs, dart into traffic, block roads, and move in large packs. A few months ago, a bicyclist almost hit my car. I don’t know why. I was in my lane, on a multi-lane road, driving along at the speed limit, and he just swerved into me.
Lucky for the bicyclists, although they arouse anger in me, my dominant emotion is fear. I’m absolutely terrified that, in a run-in between my two-ton car and their bike, even if they’re at fault, I’ll walk away and they’ll be dead. For that reason, I give them an especially wide berth whenever I see them. Some drivers don’t. They act on their anger and come dangerously close to bicyclists, putting those frail bodies at risk — and putting the driver at risk of a lengthy prison sentence and the end of his life as he knows it.
My thinking has always been that the bicyclists believe that their environmental chops mean that they are wrapped in an invincibility cloak, one that allows them to ignore the law of physics. That is, I’ve thought that, in their overweening bicyclist arrogance, they truly believe that, even as they break all known traffic rules, they cannot be hurt because they’re on the side of angels.
How naive I was. They know they can be hurt. But rather than following the rules of the road, they have a different plan: to make cars illegal. More frighteningly, they seem to be succeeding in many communities.
Drivers should strike back. The reason the car took over the road shortly after Henry Ford brought mass production to manufacturing is because they are better than bikes: they’re safer, they carry more people and goods, they’re faster, they protect people from the elements, they bring more traffic to commercial areas, and they more comfortable. Certainly it’s nice if they burn fuel more cleanly, or if drivers make time in their lives to exercise so as to offset sitting, rather than walking, but they’re still better. Bicyclists, however, would have us revert to a pre-industrial time when transportation was limit to a person’s own two feet — whether without wheels, or augmented by two slender ones.
Arne Duncan defended common core by verbally assaulting “white suburban moms.” He’s now issued the standard Obama-era apology, which is to say that he’s not sorry for what he said, he’s just sorry that he got caught saying it: “I used some clumsy phrasing that I regret.”
I was going to ask, “How dumb does Duncan think the American people are?” That’s a stupid question. The American people are dumb enough to have given people like Duncan virtually unfettered power in the halls of academia for upwards of 40 years now.
Dunca is right — he doesn’t owe us a real apology. We had it coming. Americans have had ample evidence that he’s a scorpion and they still held out their arms and said “Sting me.”
It’s we who owe the youth of America a real apology for inflicting these monsters on them.
If you’re looking for a unifying principle of everything, at least everything Democrat, Victor Davis Hanson has it:
What is the common denominator of the Obama administration’s serial scandals — the Justice Department’s spying on AP, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the NSA surveillance, the lies about Benghazi and the ACA — and much of the White House damage-control rhetoric? In a word: the advancement of postmodern notions of justice at the expense of traditional truth.
By the 1980s, in law schools, university social-science departments, and the humanities in general, the old relativist idea of Plato’s noble lies was given a new French facelift. Traditional morality and ethics were dismissed as arbitrary constructs, predicated on privileged notions of race, class, and gender. The new moral architecture did not rely on archaic abidance by the niceties of “truth,” which simply reinforced traditional oppressive hierarchies.
Instead, social justice by definition transcended the sham of traditional ideas of truth and falsity. The true became the advocacy of fairness, while the real lie was the reactionary adherence to a set of oppressive norms. All this was faculty-lounge fluff, but soon it filtered out into the larger culture.
Read the rest here.
In other words, everything Jonah Goldberg said in Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change was true.
Obamacare fails at so many levels it’s hard to count them. It fails because it’s the only piece of significant legislation in American history to be passed on strict partisan lines, using procedural tricks and bribes, and with a majority of American people disapproving of it. It fails because its implementation violates American religious freedom insofar as it forces people of faith to fund abortion and birth control. It fails because the administration knowingly used lies to pass it, a tactic that has a legal name: fraud.
Obamacare fails because it turns people into slaves to the government, making its opponents the new abolitionists. It fails because tens of millions of Americans will lose the insurance they were promised they could keep. It fails because it raises insurance costs for millions of Americans who believed Obama’s blatant lie that their average annual costs would decrease substantially. And of course, it fails because the Obamacare exchanges are so dysfunctional that the only parts that work are the routine breaches of privacy.
Right now, owing to all those failures, Americans are not happy with either Obama or Obamacare. Democrats are unsympathetic. Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) sloughed off American concerns. According to the National Journal, he had a simple message for Americans: “Change is hard. Get over it. Barack Obama is president, and the Affordable Care Act is the law.”
Actually, this is not a new Democrat message. In the years preceding the Civil War, they kept telling Americans to “get used to” slavery, because “it’s the law.” And in the post-Civil War era, when Jim Crow laws depriving blacks of their civil rights were enacted throughout the South, the Democrats had the same message: “Get over it. It’s the law.”
Put another way, whenever slavery is at issue — and this is true whether it shows itself straightforwardly as “slavery,” or masquerades under such euphemisms as “Jim Crow” or “Obamacare” — the Democrat message has been the same for 160 years: “Get over it. It’s the law.”
(I originally wrote this post for Mr. Conservative.)
My liberal friends have been absolutely silent about Obamacare. Not a whisper . . . until today:
I know Obamacare has been totally fucked up. I still feel like i’m gonna puke, though, when i hear republicans blaming democrats and yelling for Sibelius to resign. Where were they when Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld sent thousands of people to their graves in Iraq because of their fuck up?
In comments, the same person makes it clear that, because Sebelius had to testify before Congress and said she took responsibility, justice has been served and no more is required.
Last week, Emily Yoffe, who writes regularly at Slate set of a firestorm when she wrote a post that offered what normal, non-politically correct people, recognize as extremely good advice: Tweens and young women, if you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk. Yoffe wasn’t giving rapists, even drunk rapists, a pass. She was just saying that, as a practical matter, a young woman who is to incapacitated to make rational decisions or to lift a hand in her own defense, is a natural victim:
A 2009 study of campus sexual assault found that by the time they are seniors, almost 20 percent of college women will become victims, overwhelmingly of a fellow classmate. Very few will ever report it to authorities. The same study states that more than 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frequently both the man and the woman have been drinking.
Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.
Honestly, I don’t think Yoffe could have been more clear.
I happen to agree with Yoffe 100%. I agree to the extent that, whether sober or drunk, certain young men see a drunken woman, especially an unconscious drunken woman, as a perfect target for rape.
I also agree to the extent that drunken young women say “yes” when, had they been sober, they would have said “no.” Men aren’t the only ones who wear beer goggles. When the girls or young women wake up the next morning filled with regrets, they tend to whitewash their complicity in drunken sex by claiming “rape.” Those fake cries of rape destroy the men against whom they’re aimed, but in today’s culture, these young women are so brainwashed that they actually convince themselves that their drunken “yes” equaled a rape — and then they go around suffering permanent emotional damage from the mantle of victim-hood that they draped upon themselves.
I know that, on the liberal side of the blogosphere, people went ballistic over Yoffe’s article. I didn’t have to read those posts to know what they were saying. I linked to Yoffe’s post on my Facebook page and got more comments than I’ve gotten on any other thing I’ve ever linked. With the exception of comments from three conservative friends, all of my other liberal friends said variations on exactly the same thing: While Yoffe is correct factually, they cannot approve of her saying what she said because it’s unfair to girls to say that they have a responsibility to protect themselves.
Please think about this for a moment. These liberals agree that girls who drink to excess are vulnerable to rape and other attacks. They simply think that this truism — one with huge practical implications for women’s safety — must go unsaid because its offensive to feminist ideology to state in any way, shape, or form, that young women have a responsibility to protect themselves.
In the comments section, I got all sorts of arguments against warning girls that drunkenness can be their undoing and all of these arguments were premised upon enormous logical fallacies:
There’s no excuse for men to rape. I agreed, but pointed out that there’s a virtue to making it harder for them to do so.
Suggesting that women can take proactive steps to prevent rape will make them feel guilty if they are raped. Yes, maybe, I said, but it will also mean fewer women get raped.
Just because people are drunk doesn’t mean they rape. Huh? Well, no, most drunk young men thankfully don’t rape drunk or unconscious women, but some do. Given that reality, why shouldn’t the women avoid the risks of running across the “bad” drunk guys? And certainly one of the most effective ways to avoid these guys is for you to keep your wits about you.
Men need to be told not to rape, rather than telling women not to drink. But, but . . . can’t we do both? And incidentally, we already tell men not to rape, a proscription that carries with it a heavy legal penalty. Despite that, some still do, whether they are drunk or sober.
Saying that drunken women are essentially willing victims is a free pass for men. Men are always morally responsible for their actions. If a thief robs a house, he’s still morally and legally in the wrong. But it doesn’t mean homeowners are relieved of the obligation to lock their doors.
It’s not fair to tell women not to drink if we also don’t tell other people not to do things that will protect them from crimes. Okay, now they’re really getting desperate. How often are we told to lock our houses, carry our purses so snatchers can’t grab them, check our surroundings before going to the ATM, lock our car doors, etc.? But even if we weren’t told these things, there’s a difference between crimes of property and crimes of person. While having our house broken into feels like a violation (been there, felt that), it’s not the same as having our person violated. That means that the need for warnings about careless behavior with our bodies should demand more attention than for careless behavior with our property.
Since I’ve been working on Mr. Conservative, I’ve spent way too much time writing about rape, sexual assault, and pedophilia. In 90% of those stories, alcohol is a factor. It’s definitely a factor in terms of the malfeasor’s conduct, but it’s equally a factor in terms of the victim’s conduct. This is especially true in the cases of the high school girls who find pictures of themselves on social networks naked or being sexually assaulted. Two things invariably happen: (1) The girls admit, or witnesses confirm, that the teenage victims had drunk themselves insensible; and (2) the other students at the school place more blame on the drunken victim than on the drunken perpetrator(s).
This last isn’t fair. Indeed, it’s absolutely vile. The fact remains, though, that outside of the rarefied world of elite feminism, it’s a reality: On the street, kids know enough about the world to believe that girls shouldn’t drunk themselves to vulnerability and, if they do, they shouldn’t destroy some guy’s life by complaining if he takes advantage of that situation.
The best thing that the feminists can do for girls dealing with the real world, rather than the elite’s dream of a real world, is to issue constant, graphic warnings telling teenage girls not to get drunk. If their body is a house, getting drunk is the equivalent of handing the keys to the guy trolling the neighborhood looking for a house to rob.
Putting aside all the racist rhetoric flying around from the Left, the uncontroverted evidence coming out of the Zimmerman trial proved that (a) a hooded figure was sitting on top of another man brutally beating him and (b) the man being tried for murder showed all the signs of someone who was on the receive end of a severe beating, from the broken nose to the bleeding back of his head. Putting aside the racist rhetoric from the Left, the incontrovertible facts that the court refused to admit (incontrovertible because they came from the dead man’s own phone), showed that the dead man was a drug user and fighter who was fascinated by guns and violence.
Now, Florida’s state capitol has announced that you (and you and you and you and you!) are Trayvon! This assault on American (and Floridan) integrity and decency takes the form of a painting unveiled at the state captiol, purporting to show a hooded figure being shot in the back of the head (which avoids the fact that Trayvon wasn’t running away but was, in fact, intensifying his full front assault) by a man who looks like a cross between George Zimmerman and Stalin. However, instead of seeing Trayvon’s face in the hoodie, it’s a mirror. (This ham-handed propaganda device somehow made me think of “Soylent Green” — you know, the bit where he says “It’s people!”):
In other words, says the State of Florida, we’re all drug addled thugs who try to beat people to death. Even worse, if you look at the wall sign behind the painting, it says that we’re looking at the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
If you’d like to let the State of Florida know that you find this fact-free, racist at of political propaganda offensive, you can contact the capitol building at the building’s website. As always, remember that a polite, firmly worded message is effective. Obscenities, personal attacks, and threats only make you look bad and strengthen the other side’s sense of self-righteousness.
I enjoy reading my Liberal-Lefty friends’ Facebook posts because they are so insightful into the mindsets of the Left.
One insight that I have gained over time is that the differences between us conservatives and the Progressive/Left are so profound that they are unlikely to ever be bridged, barring some cataclysmic, life-changing events. What I have tried to do is understand why this is so. I share this with you because I greatly appreciate the insights that Bookworm group has to offer on such issues – be it “yay” or “nay”.
Our disagreements appear to come down to three levels of separation.
1) First, there are objective facts (OK, I am being deliberately redundant here). These are easy enough to resolve. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock world has arrived: everybody is so overwhelmed with information that we can’t absorb and process all there is to know and we therefore choose our facts selectively.
As Ronald Reagan said, ““It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”
In discussions, factual disputes are easy enough to resolve: my typical response to Liberal /Lefties is simply tell them to “Google it”. Amazingly, many apparently don’t know that you can Google entire texts or sentences. A good example was the recent George Zimmerman trial…many people with whom I disagreed told me outright they were too busy to bother looking up facts. The Left operates on so many facts that just aren’t so.
2) The second level of separation involves our assumptions or premises. These are tougher to resolve, because we assume and presume events based on our past experiences. I suspect that we humans are hard-wired to build assumptions (true or false) as a defense mechanism: for example, my cave ancestors probably assumed that to allow a saber-tooth tiger to stand in their path was not a good thing and that such assumption is one reason why I stand here today.
We go through life building mental templates on how the world works in order to short-circuit decision making and evaluation. Otherwise, we would soon be overwhelmed with indecision. As long as our world templates work for us, we continue to hold onto them. Many formerly Liberals (e.g., David Horowitz, Bookworm) only became conservative when one or more events (e.g., 9/11) rendered their previously comfortable world views untenable. For me it was Reagan’s second term, when his policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and an economic resurgence. I, young man at the time, knew then that my Democrat world template had been very, very wrong.
I use the word “comfortable” deliberately, because our templates represent our comfort zones. Losing that comfort zone is terrifying. Imagine if all of a sudden nothing in the world made any sense to you; you would feel totally deracinated and quite possibly insane. You would also feel a deep sense of personal failure, as in “how in the world could I have been so deluded?”
And, the older you get, the more frightening that sense of loss, confusion and failure would be. So, the older we get, the more desperately we defend our mental templates, selecting and force-fitting “facts” to fit our own perceptions of reality. I believe this is where modern Liberalism and Progressivism are today (Google “Paul Krugman”). As Thomas Sowell put it, people of the Left expect the world to conform to their misperceptions. Eventually, however, reality hits like a 2 x 4 between the brow…as in “Detroit”.
I believe that this dynamic also explains the sheer viciousness expressed by many on the Left when the presumptions of their world templates are threatened (as by Sarah Palin or by black conservatives, for example). This is also the reason why I believe that world Islam will fail, because it doesn’t work and eventually people in Muslim worlds, aided by the internet, will eventually realize this (some of my Middle Eastern friends assure me that many already do). Reality is a harsh mistress.
This level of separation helps to explain why Liberals and Conservatives usually talk past each other. We try to rationalize our positions to each other, but our rationalizations only make sense if the other party shares the same assumptions and understandings of how the world works. We operate from completely different templates.
3) Faith. This the most difficult and potentially dangerous degree of separation, because it addresses fundamental values that are non-negotiable. Our “faith” defines how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world, irrespective of facts, logic and reason. I cannot, for example, “prove” the veracity of my Christian faith. Environmental extremists and atheists cannot “prove” the righteousness of their positions. We just “know” that what we believe to be true is true. There is no logical argument that I know of that can challenge faith-based values. Our values define who we are and how we perceive the world to be. Utopian fascist ideals (Progressivism, Nazism, communism, Islamism, etc.), for example, are defined by a faith in a future to come – they require no proof. Abortion is a similar issue of faith and values – there is no middle-of-the-road compromise if you believe abortion to be murder and that murder is wrong (a value proposition). Psychologists have claimed that only very powerful shocks to the system can challenge faith.
I have no dealing with the first degree of separation. I admit, however, that I am totally stumped on how to address (2) and (3). Any ideas?
Traditionally, one of the things to remember about “justice” is that “justice” isn’t always fair. Sometimes doing the right or “just” thing means that someone gets hurt or left out or punished. A friend of mine sent me an image that tries to pervert language so that “equality” means “unfair,” and “justice” means “equality of outcome.” And really, once you’ve done this, nothing has any meaning at all anyway:
The bottom line is that life is sometimes unfair, and the moment you pretend that fairness and justice have an acceptable meaning only when they are identical to equality of outcome, you’ve cleared the pathway to tyranny. if I had any artistic ability, I’d do another image, showing all the people behind the three boys who can’t see a damn thing with them standing on those stacked boxes in the front row.
With three exceptions, those members of the British public on the scene when jihadists murdered Lee Rigby and then beheaded him showed that they still had the capacity for horror, but that they had lost their ability for action. They tweeted, they photographed, they videotaped, they exclaimed, they emoted . . . and that was all.
The three exceptions were three women. Two were a mother-daughter team, deeply devout (I assume Christian, although the article doesn’t say), who believed that “no man should die alone,” and who therefore sat with Rigby’s poor, mutilated body:
Gemini Donnelly-Martin, 20, and her mother Amanda Donnelly, confronted the suspected killers and asked the attackers if they could be by Drummer Lee Rigby’s side.
Their refusal to be cowed by the terrorists won praise from all quarters, including Downing Street.
Amanda’s son Simeon, 22, said the two women acted out of love.
He said: ‘My mother was just driving past and she saw something and wanted to try and help. ‘She just showed a bit of motherly love. She just did what any mother would have done.
‘She felt that could have been me lying down there in the street. She just felt for the poor guy.
‘No man should have to die like that in the street with no-one around him.
Gemini said that they had simply done what they thought was right.
She told the Daily Mirror: ‘We did what anyone would do. We just wanted to take care of the man. It wasn’t brave. Anyone would have done it. It had to be done. They (the killers) said women could pass.’
‘The only thing people need to worry about is that poor man’s mum. We are grateful, though, for what people are saying about us.’
When it became apparent Drummer Lee Rigby was beyond their help, they shielded his body from further desecration by his savage attackers.
Amanda, 44, insisted she be allowed to pray for the dead man even when confronted by one of the killer. Kneeling at his side, she cradled him gently, seemingly unfazed by his horrific wounds.
Gemini said “we did what anyone would do.” But the fact is that, in today’s England, what anyone would do was . . . nothing.
The other person to act was Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who went right up to one of the killers and just confronted him:
At the same time, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett remonstrated with the fanatics, despite her fears they would attack again.
The Cub Scout leader and mother of two asked them to hand over their bloodstained weapons and listened to their hate-filled tirade about wanting to ignite ‘war in London’.
She selflessly tried to draw the men’s attention, later saying: ‘Better me than a child.’
It’s deeply disturbing that London’s streets could muster so little action. These women’s bravery and compassion — behavior that would be exemplary in any circumstances — stands out especially clearly given the stark, frozen backdrop against which they acted.
In modern Western cultures, people are inundated with “feeling” phrases about fellowship and compassion and diversity and any other navel-gazing term you can say. But they are told — always — don’t act. Feel, but don’t do anything. You might get hurt. You might hurt someone. You might get sued. It might be a cultural misunderstanding. You might be viewed as an overbearing white imperialist, or a sexist, or a racist. Whatever you do, please be sure that your feelings are in accordance with all that is light and good under diversity and political correctness, but for Gaia’s sake, don’t just do something, stand there.
David Remnick, writing at The New Yorker has a very interesting article about “The Brothers Tsarnaev” (and yes, we all appreciated the little Dostoyevsky reference there). It’s interesting at two levels. At the first level, the beginning is an elegant piece of journalism that looks at the region and at Chechens, and acknowledges the region is distinctly Islamic and prone to blowing people up (although the word “Beslan” never appears). Remnick also writes about the boys themselves, noting the mixture of shallowness and venom that characterizes them. I was quite impressed. By George, I thought, I think he’s getting it. Maybe this liberal is having a reality moment.
But sadly, it was not to be. He just couldn’t hang on to enlightenment by the time he got past the first half. There was the reflexive drift towards “banality,” which James Taranto eviscerated so effectively. By the third paragraph from the end, Remnick was blaming social media for the brothers’ killing spree. I’ll agree that social media probably facilitates evil’s spread, but the evil is the particular brand of Islam the boys followed, and that seems to have been a gift to them from Chechen connections and their local radicalized mosque. Facebook was a tool, not a cause.
The second paragraph from the end spoke about their loving families, and how we should feel sympathy for them. The aunts and uncles who disavow the evil and speak of America . . . yes, I guess. The Mom who screams about conspiracies — well, she could be in denial, which is a mom thing; she could be as evil as her sons; or she could be right. As for the Dad, Remnick couldn’t resist a little selective editing. Feel pity for Daddy he writes, because Daddy loved his boys: “The father described Dzhokhar as an ‘angel.’” Somehow Remnick forgot the rest of Daddy’s quote, where he said that, if Dzhokhar died, “all hell would break loose.”
And then, in the final paragraph, Remnick finally gets to his point — it’s the fault of both America and the internet:
The Tsarnaev family had been battered by history before—by empire and the strife of displacement, by exile and emigration. Asylum in a bright new land proved little comfort. When Anzor fell sick, a few years ago, he resolved to return to the Caucasus; he could not imagine dying in America. He had travelled halfway around the world from the harrowed land of his ancestors, but something had drawn him back. The American dream wasn’t for everyone. What they could not anticipate was the abysmal fate of their sons, lives destroyed in a terror of their own making. The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, let alone from the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men. A decade in America already, I want out.
Funnily enough, in all those paragraphs, even though Remnick could acknowledge that the boys were Muslims, he could not make himself acknowledge that Islam is the core problem. Everything else is window-dressing.
I’ve written before about one of my favorite writers, Paul Fussell. He wrote a wonderful essay entitled Thank God for the Atom Bomb, about the righteousness of dropping the atom bomb. He was in the Army when Truman dropped the bomb, so Fussell wholeheartedly approved — and had the data to back up his personal opinion. (More recently released data completely backs up his 30 year old hypothesis.) I also wholeheartedly approve, as my Mom was a few weeks away from dying in a Japanese concentration camp when the bomb dropped.
Fussell also wrote what I think is one of the greatest books ever about WWI, The Great War and Modern Memory. I just bought the Kindle version to reread because my copy, which I bought in college, has disintegrated. It’s a beautifully written book that looks at both the war and concurrent war literature to track a vast paradigm shift in intellectual thought during the four years the war lasted. Young men went in imbued with Victorian ideas of chivalry and honor; they came out jaded, cynical, and completely unable to accept that aggression is sometimes necessary and could have been useful in preventing Hitler’s rise. It is a triumph of both military writing and literary writing.
What you might not know about Fussell was that this iconoclast was a university professor. Nowadays, the phrase iconoclastic professor is an oxymoron. Not so in Fussell’s heyday. Wikipedia sums up his military and academic career:
Fussell attended Pomona College from 1941 until he enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He landed in France in 1944 as a 20 year-old second lieutenant with the 103rd Infantry Division, was wounded while fighting in Alsace, and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged from the army in 1946, returned to Pomona to finish his B.A. degree in 1946-7, married fellow Pomona graduate Betty Harper in 1949, and completed his MA (1949) and Ph.D. (1952) at Harvard University.
He began his teaching career at Connecticut College (1951–55) before moving to Rutgers University in 1955 and finally the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He also taught at the University of Heidelberg (1957–58) and King’s College London (1990–92). As a teacher, he traveled widely with his family throughout Europe from the 1950s to 70s, taking Fulbright and sabbatical years in Germany, England and France.
As his writing shows, Fussell was an entirely original thinker who didn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum. Indeed, he delighted in challenging what was already becoming stifling academic orthodoxy:
Fussell stated that he relished the inevitable controversy of Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (1983) and indulged his increasing public status as a loved or hated “curmudgeon” in the rant called BAD: or, The Dumbing of America (1991). In between, Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays (1988) confirmed his war against government and military doublespeak and prepared the way for Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War (1989). The epiphany of his earlier essay, “My War”, found full expression in his memoir Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic (1996), “My Adolescent illusions, largely intact to that moment, fell away all at once, and I suddenly knew I was not and never would be in a world that was reasonable or just”. The last book by Fussell published while he was alive, The Boys’ Crusade: The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-45 (2003) was once again concerned with the experience of combat in World War II.
Fussell was never petrified or brainwashed by his academic career. I wonder what Fussell would have thought if he’d been a teacher at Bowdoin in the last twenty years or so. Bowdoin found itself in the news lately because of what David Feith calls “The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic World.” It all started when Barry Mills, Bowdoin College’s president, had a golf game with investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein. During the game, the subject of academic diversity came up. Both Mills and Klingenstein would agree that Klingenstein didn’t like it. According to Mills’s retelling at a subsequent graduation ceremony, Klingenstein was hostile and, in a word, dumb. Writes Feith:
In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer’s announcement: “I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons,” said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills’s telling. During Mr. Mills’s next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin’s “misplaced and misguided diversity efforts.” At the end of the round, the college president told the students, “I walked off the course in despair.”
Klingenstein got word of this graduation address, which implied that the anonymous golf-companion was a troglodyte and racist, and knew that Mills was talking about him. Klingenstein decided to set the record straight. Rather than just saying “that’s not what I meant,” or offering his opinion about diversity, Klingenstein took his money and funded a National Association of Scholars project that carefully examined Bowdoin’s curriculum, especially in the last ten years. The results were eye-opening, to say the least — or, saying a little more than the least, eye-opening to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to what’s going on in, and the product (i.e., graduates) coming out of, these academic “gatekeepers of civilization”:
Published Wednesday, the report demonstrates how Bowdoin has become an intellectual monoculture dedicated above all to identity politics.
The school’s ideological pillars would likely be familiar to anyone who has paid attention to American higher education lately. There’s the obsession with race, class, gender and sexuality as the essential forces of history and markers of political identity. There’s the dedication to “sustainability,” or saving the planet from its imminent destruction by the forces of capitalism. And there are the paeans to “global citizenship,” or loving all countries except one’s own.
The Klingenstein report nicely captures the illiberal or fallacious aspects of this campus doctrine, but the paper’s true contribution is in recording some of its absurd manifestations at Bowdoin. For example, the college has “no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation.” Even history majors aren’t required to take a single course in American history. In the History Department, no course is devoted to American political, military, diplomatic or intellectual history—the only ones available are organized around some aspect of race, class, gender or sexuality.
One of the few requirements is that Bowdoin students take a yearlong freshman seminar. Some of the 37 seminars offered this year: “Affirmative Action and U.S. Society,” “Fictions of Freedom,” “Racism,” “Queer Gardens” (which “examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces”), “Sexual Life of Colonialism” and “Modern Western Prostitutes.”
Regarding Bowdoin professors, the report estimates that “four or five out of approximately 182 full-time faculty members might be described as politically conservative.” In the 2012 election cycle, 100% of faculty donations went to President Obama. Not that any of this matters if you have ever asked around the faculty lounge.
“A political imbalance [among faculty] was no more significant than having an imbalance between Red Sox and Yankee fans,” sniffed Henry C.W. Laurence, a Bowdoin professor of government, in 2004. He added that the suggestion that liberal professors cannot fairly reflect conservative views in classroom discussions is “intellectually bankrupt, professionally insulting and, fortunately, wildly inaccurate.”
This is an intellectual, academic paradigm shift of almost incomprehensible magnitude. Since its inception, regardless of the reality on the ground, America’s self-image (which was sold to generations of school children and college students right up until the 1950s) was of an inclusive nation, a melting pot, dedicated to the principle that all American citizens are entitled to equal treatment under the law; have a right to equal access to American opportunities (with it being up to the people whether to take that access); and are subject to the downside risks should they refuse to seize the opportunities or violate the law. With slavery and Jim Crow, we deviated from the principles, but the principles were sound.
At Bowdoin, though, and others like it, the paradigm has shifted. Young people are taught a new, ugly paradigm about their country: America is composed of disparate groups, with a few select groups made up of white men (and, probably, Jews) controlling the nation and doing what they can to exploit, denigrate, and impoverish a never-ending, every-growing list of victim classes, ranging from women, to homosexuals, to non-white races, to Muslims, to fat people, to anything that can be brought under the umbrella of victim. There is no such thing in this world as equality of opportunity. There is only equality of outcome that can be attained by using the government to strong-arm the ruling class of white males (and, possibly, Jews) so that they redistribute their ill-gotten gains to the victims.
I was talking the other day to a friend who works at elementary schools in a large, urban ghetto. These schools have no white children. The schools are dreadful, and the children — innocent victims all — suffer terribly. They grow up in abysmal poverty, and they don’t have role models within their homes showing education or wealth. Their neighborhoods are rife with crime (especially gun fire) and substance abuse. Almost all come from broken homes.Their streets are dangerous because of gangs. The message one receives from those brave enough to work in those neighborhoods is that these children can succeed only if we pour government funds into their schools. And if those funds don’t work, then we need to pour more in, and still more in.
In my mind, I compared these children — and they are so sad, since they are bright little lights that are blinking out — with the immigrants who came to this country between, say, 1850 and 1950. They lived in ghettos; they lived in abysmal poverty; their parents didn’t speak the language of wealth (many didn’t even speak English); the streets were dangerous, not because of gunfire, but because of knives, disease, and starvation; there was significant substance abuse (alcoholism and opium); schools were grossly underfunded, etc. And yet these children became working class, their children became middle class, and their children became upper class. It wasn’t a 100% success rate at every generation, but it was a substantial rate at every generation.
They went from this:
What’s the difference between then and now? I don’t believe that it’s because American blacks (and it’s mostly blacks stuck for generations in ghettos) are forever developmentally disabled by slavery. John McWhorter points out that blacks were ascending rapidly, both socially and economically, before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society enticed them into welfare and single parenthood (welfare pays single mothers better than two parent families). Starting in the 1960s, the increasingly Left-leaning white leadership in America told blacks that, the end of slavery and Jim Crow notwithstanding, they are not created equal and they are not equal under the law. They are different — they are needier. Without Mama and Papa government, they are nothing.
I think it’s this paradigm shift, one that starts in the Ivory Towers by creating infinite victim classes, all of which that can be raised up only by government intervention and control, that trickles down into the streets. In the old days, you had to do it yourself, so you did. Nowadays, the government is supposed to rescue you. Homes don’t emphasize education, self-sufficiency, and upward mobility. They emphasize “Why isn’t the government helping?” This is not about race, or slavery, or poverty — it is about an intellectual environment that explicitly educates future leaders that government needs race-victims, and slave-victims and poverty-victims to fulfill its purpose. Without those classes, government is meaningless and by definition a vehicle of evil.
Paul Fussell, who thought outside the box, would not have approved. (Or at least I like to think he wouldn’t have approved.)
A high school classmate of mine who is a staunch conservative posted this on Facebook:
It’s not hard to see why: Leftism inculcates people with an overarching sense that they are being treated unfairly, stokes their anger, and removes all moral constraints. With that toxic combination, no wonder they kill en masse.
Had an interesting conversation at Church today. One of my friends, a Polish immigrant and self-made millionaire was discussing the immigration issue with a upper-middle class, white-bread soccer mom (let’s call her “Nice Liberal Lady”. My entrepreneur friend and I both agreed that some form of legalized immigration was needed for people with low educational skills because, sadly, too many Americans are unwilling to do jobs that demand physical labor.
But, hold on, said Nice Liberal Lady. Her son, it seemed, lived at home with his unused college degree because working in a fast-food restaurant or other similar menial job would only distract him from his career path. Not so, responded my entrepreneurial friend – “when my father died when I was young, I worked any job that I could get – even two or three jobs at a time, just to get money on the table. We Polish people know that when times are bad, you work extra hard instead of preoccupying yourself with feeling sorry for yourself (I am paraphrasing, but that was pretty much the gist).
Whoa, said Nice Liberal Lady: “I have a problem with that, especially having grown up with a workaholic father. The fact is, I am too exhausted to be constantly looking for a job or working more-than one job.” She let it be known that she really resented the implication that she should be expected to go out and work hard to earn her own financial support. The proper solution, it appeared, was that is was therefore OK to let other people exhaust themselves to pay benefits to the members of our perpetually exhausted non-working classes.
I pointed out to my friend, afterwards, “the reason that you were able to rise up and take on all these jobs is because you did not begin with the assumption that you were owed a certain standard of living.”
We really do live in two very different and irreconcilable worlds.
Ironically, a headline article in today’s Chicago Tribune focused on Polish people in Chicago returning to Poland in search of better opportunities. ’nuff said.
One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in I don’t know how long is Ben Shapiro’s Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV. The book’s beauty rests on two solid pillars. The first is that Ben, who is so sweet-faced he looks as if he couldn’t hurt a fly, got liberal TV producers, writers, and directors to speak openly about the fact that they intended their TV shows — all of which were sold to the public as entertainment and all of which were, indeed, entertaining — to be propaganda vehicles for Leftist ideology.
By getting these detailed quotations, Shapiro ensures that his book cannot be dismissed as the ranting of a conspiracy theorist who sees Communism’s evil hand in Hollywood’s every move. There’s no conspiracy here. Instead, there’s a smiling confession from Hollywood power brokers who detail their goals and the way in which they used our television sets to achieve those goals.
The second pillar on which the book rests is Shapiro’s own writing style: he’s easy to read. His writing style is utterly straight-forward, although never boring. Reading the book, I had the sense that I was a participant in a delightful conversation with an informed, witty friend who was fleshing out for me something I’d only noted vaguely before.
My only problem with Shapiro’s writing — and this reflects badly on me, not on him — is that I’m incredibly jealous that someone so young has such a mature, informed world view, and that he is able to convey it so well to others. Despite having a few decades on him, I’m still a work-in-progress, but he’s a precociously sophisticated, intelligent voice.
I just purchased Shapiro’s latest book, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans. The title, of course, is self-explanatory. I suspect that it will be a perfect companion piece to Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. Intellectual bullying and cheating are, after all, the yin and yang of Leftist discourse.
I have some other books I’ve been meaning to read, so I’d originally put Bullies in the middle of my reading list. I’ve shuffled my list around, though, thanks to Shapiro’s masterful engagement with CNN’s resident bully, Piers Morgan. Currently, the video is one of those autoplay videos, so I won’t include it here. However, now that you’re warned about that autoplay, you can go here to see Shapiro reduce a bully to a quivering mass of incoherence.
Shapiro’s ability to reduce Morgan so completely matters, not just because it’s gratifying to see a bully beaten at his own game, but also because it helps shift the discourse. At Shapiro’s own Breitbart, Joel Pollak articulates Shapiro’s significant victory:
Ben Shapiro’s confident, fact-packed demolition of CNN’s Piers Morgan last night marks the turning point in the gun control debate. Ben showed that when they cannot exploit the deaths of children, gun control advocates are forced to defend their views, which are based on faulty premises. That timely reminder has given new energy and enthusiasm to defenders of the Second Amendment, who are preparing for the mother of all battles.
Ben put into practice something that Andrew Breitbart preached throughout his career of battling the mainstream media: Question the premise, whether it’s an assertion that you don’t care about the victims of Sandy Hook, or a faulty definition of Critical Race Theory, or that Barack Obama is a nice guy who only wants America to succeed. Ben destroyed the faulty premise of the gun control debate last night. And the debate is now changed.
Question the premise. What a great idea. I took that tack in an earlier post I did today challenging the phrase “gun control,” which presupposes that guns should be controlled, and leaves the scope of that control as the only question. The correct premise after Sandy Hook is to examine what steps we can take to make our country safer — and the data shows that depriving law-abiding citizens of their constitutional access to arms not only doesn’t make our country safer, it makes it more dangerous. If you operate from the correct premise, you are able to use the correct information, and reach an accurate conclusion.
Right now, the only problem is that the Left fully understands that Shapiro is a lethal weapon aimed at the heart of shoddy Leftist thinking. They’ve responded in predictable fashion, by burying Shapiro’s appearance on Morgan’s show. They might have celebrated Alex Jones (“Can you believe how unstable this gun advocate is?”), but Shapiro has achieved Voldemortian status, by becoming he who shall not be named. As Rush Limbaugh said just today during the few minutes I was able to catch his show, the media’s overriding ethos is that it’s only news if it harms Republicans. No other news is fit to print.
The fact that Shapiro is not only willing to take on a bully, but also perfectly equipped to do so means that, rather than merely looking forward to reading his book, I’m positively lusting after it (in a purely intellectual way, of course). I suspect that, if it’s as easily accessible as Primetime Propaganda, I’ll be able to read it quickly and review it soon.
The following is the entire text of Frédéric Bastiat’s magnificent Parable of the Broken Window, which is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it in 1850. As you read it, please note carefully the highlighted language:
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—”It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”
Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.
Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.
But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”
It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.
On December 26, I wrote a post entitled “Gun control supporters count those who have died; Second Amendment supporters count those who will live.“ Or, as Bastiat says, gun control advocates’ “theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.” Gun control supporters are able to count those who have died, but they cannot even begin to imagine those whose lives were saved or never threatened. Point them to a story about an off-duty deputy who was able to stop a mall shooter, and they’ll simply say “the shooter’s aim was bad, so he wasn’t going to kill anyone anyway.” To them, a story without dead bodies is no story at all. You and I, however, count the dozens who survived.
Likewise, when I look at crime statistics showing that legally-armed communities have a lower murder rate than gun-controlled communities, I think of all those law-abiding citizens in the first community who sleep safely in their beds at night. Those “not-dead” people are real numbers to me.
The gun control advocates cannot see these non-victims. They have no ability to acknowledge their numbers, let alone tabulate them. For that reason, they are unable to compare “Second Amendment Community A” against “Gun Control Community B.” Since they cannot comprehend that which they cannot see they deny that the first community has an absence of dead that puts the second community to shame. All that Progressives see are the bodies stacked in Community B. They then draw their myopic conclusion: a little gun control didn’t work, so more will be better.
This inability to see beyond their noses doesn’t stop with the Progressive approach to economics or gun control. The same ideological myopia, or failure of imagination, powers abortion. Progressives see the young woman whose education ends abruptly with a pregnancy; the downtrodden wife who doesn’t want a seventh child with her abusive husband; or the high-powered executive who just can’t be bothered to slow down to have a baby. What they refuse to see is the baby (a position that at least had some validity in a pre-modern era when we couldn’t peek into the womb, but that is inexcusable now). Seeing the baby doesn’t automatically mean we should ban all abortions, but it does mean acknowledging that there is another life involved — that even as one life is “saved,” another life is lost.
Illegal immigration? The Progressive’s mental and ideological imagination begins and ends with the pathetic illegal alien, cowering as the cops drag him/her away from weeping children. Perhaps they see as far as the brave dash across the border. What they don’t see are the people who have been patiently waiting in line to come to America, but whose chances diminish as others skip the line entirely. (Me? I love immigrants, being the child of two. But I like ‘em legal, as mine were.)
Progressives also cannot see that governments such as Mexico’s depend upon illegal immigrants to (a) send dollars back to Mexico, although Obamanomics make those dollars worth less (or worthless, depending); and (b) provide a safety valve so that Mexico doesn’t have to deal with its oppressive, corrupt government and the deleterious effect that government has on its people’s inability to raise themselves into wealth.
You can play the same myopia game with all the other Progressive positions too, whether welfare or national security. Invariably, if you drill down into the Progressive world view, and you put aside the usual paranoid delusions that thrive in the absence of clear-eyed evidence, you will see that each Progressive political “theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”
Progressivism is like mental and moral myopia. It’s acolytes can see only the most simple images, provided they are pushed right under their noses. They lack the imagination, curiosity and, yes, the intelligence to look for or even envision a world beyond the crude, stereotypical cartoons that inhabit their immediate line of sight.
Nobody seems to want to admit it, but it’s our culture!
School shootings aren’t new. But, Americans have owned guns aplenty for more-than 200 years of nationhood and it seems that we’ve never had school shootings as we have experienced in the past few years. Neither has the rest of the modern world, but school, church and shopping mall attacks have been occurring even in countries with the strictest gun controls (e.g., Scotland, Germany, Norway, Japan). What has changed?
How about “that which must not be named”?
The old-guard leftists of the Frankfurter and Antonio Gramsci (you can “wiki” those names) school knew that to fundamentally remake society, you first had to destroy the church, society and the family. I would say Gramsci and Frankfurter school alumnae have had a pretty good success record.
Ever since LBJ’s 1960s “War on Poverty”, families have been disintegrating. It started with the most vulnerable (inner city blacks, where now 70% of children have no fathers) and has now spread to white, non-Hispanic families (close-to 30% of children born out of wedlock). Often, children in such families are left largely unsupervised, grow up without good male role models and enjoy ready access to the most depraved pornography, graphic violence, weapons, drugs and other vices through the internet and their peers, starting at a very young and formative age. One can try to prevent their kids’ access to this at home, but how does one prevent them from going down the street to a friends’ house?
I couldn’t help but notice that the first media reports of the shooter (whom I refuse to name and help make more famous) mentioned a mother but didn’t mention a father. Sure enough, the latest reports by a British news outlet, The Daily Mail, are of a boy traumatized by a three-year old divorce. Why did he single out his mother as the first victim? We may never know, but I suspect that the divorce may have had something to do with it. We are also learning that (surprise!) the shooter was a compulsive violent-video gamer.
Youth and adolescence are a time when kids should be learning communication skills and how to interact with adults and peers. Instead, too many kids appear to be devolving into lonely social outcasts and losers (a non-PC term I use for emphasis only). Throw in mental illness, they can become dangerous (the source of much of this mental illness is a worthy topic in and of itself…but think about what hours and hours of sitting in front of a screen does to the developing brain of a young child?). These are the years when their neuro linkages are being formed.
The mass media and punditry immediately started talking about this shooter’s “obvious” mental problems, thereby anointing him a member of “victim” class and providing absolution for his sins. I don’t buy any of it. I can understand someone crazed with rage shooting their mother in the heat of the moment, but the premeditation and time the shooter needed took to travel to a school after killing his own mother and destroying young kids’ lives in psychopathic cold blood point not mental illness but a willing pact made with evil. It is evil, pure and simple, nothing less. At one point, this shooter was confronted with a choice and he chose evil. Why did he make that choice? Here’s a thought:
What are the cultural messages that get hammered into young kids’ brains today? There is no reward in elevation, but there is reward in depravity. Our mass media hammers into their developing brains, over and over again, that to be depraved is to be “famous”, a powerful siren’s song for lonely outcast kids. These kids know that the quickest way to fame and even fortune is to act depraved and to be guaranteed that their depravity will be broadcast widely over the internet and throughout the global media. Some of them grow into mega stars (I’m thinking of Rapper culture, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Jerry Springers as just a few examples), further amplifying the siren’s song. The mass media, vigilantly on the lookout for breaking news 24/7, is complicit in this, for it is the internet and mass media that provide monsters their 15 minutes of fame. Remember that the next time you look at how our TV screens extol depravity. Btw, if you doubt me about just how depraved our culture has become, then Google [game kindergarten killer].
Sorry to have to use the word “depraved” of course. In our Gramsci-Frankfurter culture, such terms are soooooo judgmental and we don’t dare to be judgmental, do we? Why, other people might not like us, a sentence worse than death for too many adults that never outgrew their adolescence.
So what do we do about it? We can start by focusing on our own kids, knowing that our obligation as parents is not just to love them but to build them spiritually into good citizens and to armor them against the bad influences in our imperfect world. We can extend support to single parents, especially those trying to work jobs simply to survive, and we help provide guidance to their kids. These are the days when wolves stalk a land in which too many people have forgotten how to recognize wolves for what they are. And, if you decide to have children, get married and stay married, so that you can nurture, protect and educate your children into solid citizens together. My very brilliant spouse, a middle-school teacher, tells me that she can tell right away when her students’ families are trouble by the way that the kids lash-out in school. She has already lost too many of her former students to drugs and suicide.
Rely on our churches? Maybe, but so many have become such weak tea. My own Episcopal church…part of the Anglican Communion that produced such great theological thinkers and moral stalwarts as C.S. Lewis (our patron saint, in my view)…has been complicit in this. It is so terrified of being perceived as “uncool” that it doesn’t dare attack popular culture or elevate its members above the culture…unless, of course, it is a soft target, such as those really uncool, nagging, square conservatives (a minority group of which I count myself a proud member). The sad fact is that my church, sadly dominated at the top by Frankfurter-Gramsci disciples, spends far too much of its time and effort huffing and puffing to keep up with the latest social trends in its frantic effort to appear cool and contemporary while pushing its “social justice” agenda. I don’t recall my church’s leadership ever raising a peep of protest against the depravity of contemporary culture. Excuses, yes. Protests, no. Quite the opposite.
One of my FB friends just shared an electronic ad from our church’s head bishop that includes scatological epiphets to get the message across. Soooo, soooo cool! So with it! Some churches are great builders of spiritual armor. Not this one. It prefers to be complicit with a depraved culture. It follows, it does not have the courage to lead. You may ask, of course, why I don’t leave this church, so I will answer that: because it is precisely there that I am needed. There are many good people there. I and others do speak out and try to nurture and strengthen our children with spiritual armor.
Is the solution to force honest citizens to surrender their weapons? That is thinking with the heart rather than the head. I am so, so totally against this. The solution to an outbreak of wolves is not to defang the guard dogs. In this age of the wolf, we need more guard dogs, not less.
The Connecticut school shooting could have been stopped right away had there been one or more people on premise with guns, a circumstance that today would land any would-be guard dog in jail without passing “go”. Chances are that, had the shooter known that the school was protected, he would never have dared go there. The only real defense against a gun…is a gun. Mass murderers tend to be cowards that seek out soft, undefended targets like schools and churches. Guns, like drugs, will always be available to psychopaths, criminals and terrorists. If not guns, there are always knives, automobiles, poison gas, molotov cocktails or fertilizer bombs. Taking guns away from civilians only creates a larger pool of defenseless sheep available for slaughter. One of my FB friends also suggested that only government and police should have weapons. Scary thought. Look around the world today: now, that is one very scary thought. Government and law enforcement magnets for wolves. But, then, this is how people who have never had to confront wolves perceive the world. Like the Hobbits of the Shire, content to eat, drink and be merry, free of cares. But, reality eventually intrudes and we cannot magically “wish” wolves away into oblivion.
Finally, there is one particular aspect of this that really, really bothers me: young kids for decades have been getting gunned down, knifed, beaten to death, suffocated and raped in our inner cities. But, other than perfunctory hand-wringing, we never saw an outcry against this compared to what occurred after this most recent shooting in a well-to-do middle class community. Gee, what could the reason for this be? Yup, you’re right.
We won’t change what appears to be happening with increasing frequency to our society until we decide that we will stand up and dare to speak out against the increased depravity of our culture. Definitely “uncool”, but we must do it…for all families, for the kids and for our future. Otherwise, it can only continue to get much, much worse. It is the age of the wolf.
I promise that this post will be about what Sheldon Adelson had to say in an interview with Alana Goodman of Commentary Magazine. Before I get there, though, I need to begin with a little story of my own.
Readers of my newsletter know that I had lunch last week with seven other conservative women here in Marin. We had all found each other more or less by accident, not because any of us in Marin have proudly worn our conservativism in the open (our kids would be ostracized if we did), but because we listened for the little clues in their words that hinted at a conservative orientation. We then risked exposing ourselves by asking, “Uh, are you by any chance . . . um, you know, conserva-mumble, mumble, mumble?”
That shyness, of course, was before the last election. Since the 2012 election, we’ve all made a vow to each other to be more open about our political identity and to challenge liberals who lead with unfounded conclusions that demonize conservatives and their beliefs or that confer saintly virtues on Obama and his cadre.
Interestingly, the eight of us were a microcosm of conservative views, ranging from fiscally conservative but socially liberal conservatives all the way to both fiscally and socially conservatives. Our common denominator, of course, was fiscal conservativism. Dig deeper, and there were two other common denominators: an abiding belief in the Constitution’s continued relevance to modern America and a fierce devotion to individual liberty.
Where we differed was (a) gay marriage and (b) abortion. With regard to abortion, we did have one overarching point of agreement, which was that abortion is not a federal issue and should therefore be returned to the states. When it came to gay marriage, all of us were willing to recognize gay unions, but we differed about whether the answer is to declare gay marriage the law of the land or, instead, to preserve marriage for religious institutions, while making civil unions across the board (both straight and gay) the law of the land. As regular readers know, I hew to the second view, which acknowledges human relationships and state goals, without interfering in any way with religious freedom.
I walked away from the lunch realizing as clearly as I ever have that the strong fiber weaving us together is fiscal conservativism and individual liberty. The frayed strands at the edges are what are commonly called “social issues.”
The Democrats, recognizing that the quickest way to shred a piece of fabric is to tear at the frayed edges, rather than to try to destroy the sturdy center, worked hard during the election to blow the gay-marriage and abortion dog whistles. As the race in Missouri showed, social conservativism is a political landmine that routinely explodes in the face of struggling Republican candidates. Todd Akin could have won that race if he hadn’t been asked about abortion. When thinking about Akin’s repulsive and misinformed answer, which provided a solid Progressive rallying cry, don’t forget Richard Mourdock. His experience proves that, even if Akin had given a principled pro-Life answer, he still would have been pilloried and destroyed.
I’m a big believer that, when it comes to social issues, culture drives politics, rather than politics driving culture. For the past forty years, social liberals have been planted very firmly in the driver’s seat. They have infiltrated both media and education, which has given them the chance to shape a generation’s social views. They have sensitized this generation’s ears so that the dog whistles most people under 55 hear the loudest aren’t “debt” or “fiscal cliff” or “responsibility,” but are, instead, “women haters,” “homophobes” and “racists.”
What this cultural transformation means is that, in the short term, conservatives can win on the fiscal side (and, possibly, on the individual liberties side) because people haven’t been deafened by decades of dog whistles on those subjects. Until we take back the culture, though, which we do exactly the same way the Left did — namely, a slow march through the culture — we will invariably lose on social issues. Significantly as the most recent election shows, losing on social issues inevitably means losing on all issues.
Now, finally, have established my premise about the way in which social issues invariably play against conservatives in national elections, I can get to Sheldon Adelson’s interview in Commentary Magazine. For purposes of this essay, Sheldon Adelson is important for three reasons. First, he is a conservative who is willing to put his money where his mouth is (unlike Warren Buffet, a true-to-form liberal who wants to put other people’s money where his mouth is). The second reason Adelson is important is that, after his emergence as a money-player in this election, the Left has worked as hard to demonize him as they did to demonize the Koch Brothers and Mitt Romney. And the third reason is that Sheldon Adelson agrees with me that conservatives cannot win on social issues:
For someone whose name and face were a regular staple of the election coverage, the public does have many misconceptions about Adelson. His liberal social views rarely received media attention during the campaign season, though he’s certainly never hidden them.
“See that paper on the wall?” he asked, gesturing toward a poster with rows of names on it. “That is a list of some of the scientists that we give a lot of money to conduct collaborative medical research, including stem cell research. What’s wrong if I help stem cell research? I’m all in favor. And if somebody wants to have an abortion, let them have an abortion,” he said.
Adelson has not said whether he will use his influence to try to change the GOP internally. But he does believe social issues cost the Republicans the last election.
“If we took a softer stance on those several issues, social issues, that I referred to, then I think that we would have won the most recent election,” he said. “I think people got the impression that Republicans didn’t care about certain groups of people.”
You should definitely read the whole interview.
Adelson is precisely what my self-admitted conservative friends are: fiscally conservative, socially fairly liberal, very receptive to legal immigration (because a nation, for health, national security, and economic reasons should control its own borders), and supportive of Israel. What’s funny, though, is that Adelson is also pretty close in actual outlook to all the upscale, white collar liberals I know who reflexively vote Democrat because of the conservative issues. These people are also fiscally conservative in their own lives; they what their country safe and fiscally sound for their children; they like immigrants but recognize that illegal immigrants pose risks both for American citizens and legal, Green Card immigrants; and they like Israel’s values.
The problem at the ballot box is that, after forty years of Leftist indoctrination, these educated liberals are unable to harmonize their values with their politics. Despite recognizing the wisdom of fiscal management in their own homes, they think a state can survive indefinitely by spending more than it takes in; despite training their children in self-reliance, they believe that we should destroy self-reliance in “the poor”; despite believing that people should be able to protect themselves and their homes, they are embarrassed when their country tries to defend itself; and despite admiring a pluralist, democratic society, which is what Israel is, they bemoan the plight of the poor Palestinians who have allowed their (now sovereign) territory to devolve in a crazy mix of anarchism and Islamic fundamentalism.
What makes this cognitive dissonance possible for white collar liberals is their unswerving allegiance to unlimited abortions and (of late) to gay marriage. Just as fiscal conservativism, the Constitution, and individual freedom bind conservatives of all stripes together, so too do abortion and gay marriage (with a soupçon of illegal immigration) bind together Progressives of all stripes. We cannot entice Progressives to fiscal conservativism if we insist on a purity test for abortion and gay marriage. It’s just not going to happen. And here’s the kicker: abortion and gay marriage become moot issues if our nation collapses entirely under the weight of debt or if our walls our breached by Islamists or if we become “tuberculosis central” because we cannot assert even a modicum of polite control over our borders.
As a parent, I hew socially conservative, so those are values I want to advance. But I’m a pragmatist who recognizes that the ballot box isn’t the place to make it happen. The ballot box is how we manage issues of sovereignty (including national security and border control) and fiscal health. Our social institutions are where we make headway on social issues. If we can keep those lines from crossing, we can be a resurgent conservative political party and, eventually, a somewhat more traditional America, one that preserves the best and healthiest social policies of the past and the present.
In today’s news, we learned that Muslims in Libya kidnapped twelve men that they claimed were homosexuals in order to execute them:
Extremists say they will execute a dozen men they allege are homosexuals, whom they abducted last Thursday at a private party in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district.
A body calling itself the ‘Private Deterrent Force’, which is believed to be part of the extremist Nawasi militia group, has posted images of the men on their Facebook page. One picture (above) shows them, heads covered, standing with their hands against a wall.
At the time of writing, the picture had received 315 ‘likes’ and had received comments such as “flog them hard”, “lets see the bullets”, and “ride them like camels”.
Accompanying text describes the men as “the third sex” and says that they are to be mutilated and executed.
I posted this on my Facebook page, along with a comment saying that, lately, nothing good has come out of Libya. Within a few minutes, a high school classmate, very gay, commented on this post. Interestingly, he didn’t comment on the post to excoriate a culture that brutally murders his fellow homosexuals. Instead, he said that the Middle East isn’t very gay friendly, but neither are any Christian countries, including the U.S. Before I could take him to task for that manifest idiocy, another friend of mine — a Democrat gay man who is a closet conservative — chimed in to say that this was the stupidest comment he’d ever heard, and that it was impossible to conflate the Muslim’s murderous approach towards gays with any attitude towards gays displayed in a Western, majority-Christian country.
Since my closeted conservative friend had dealt more than adequately with this gay Leftist idiocy, I opted for a different line of thinking. Assuming that, as a Leftist, he’s fairly pro-Israel, even as he supports the same countries that murder gays, I decided to put in a plug for Israel. I therefore pointed out that there’s a sad, funny irony in the fact that the safest place for gay Palestinians is Israel, with accords full civil rights to the LGBT crowd. Since I always like to back up my statements with evidence, I went trolling on Google for news stories about how Palestinian gays find sanctuary in Israel.
What I found, to my surprise, were savage attacks from the Left about the fact that Israel is hospitable to gays. The previous sentence is not the result of a typographical error. The Left finds it absolutely infuriating that Israel treats gays like people (just as it does women and its Arab citizens). As far as the Left is concerned, this is all a despicable trick aimed at hiding the fact that it is an Imperialist Nazi-like nation bound and determined to commit genocide against its Palestinian neighbors. (The Left conveniently ignores the soaring Palestinian population, something inconsistent with decades of alleged genocide, just as it ignores the genocidal, antisemitic rantings emanating from all parts of the Muslim world, rantings that have no anti-Arab corollary in Israel.)
This is not fringe stuff. Perhaps because I was busy with Thanksgiving travel last November (2011), I missed completely a Jewish lesbian’s nasty opinion piece in the New York Times accusing Israel of “pinkwashing”:
After generations of sacrifice and organization, gay people in parts of the world have won protection from discrimination and relationship recognition. But these changes have given rise to a nefarious phenomenon: the co-opting of white gay people by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political forces in Western Europe and Israel.
In the Netherlands, some Dutch gay people have been drawn to the messages of Geert Wilders, who inherited many followers of the assassinated anti-immigration gay leader Pim Fortuyn, and whose Party for Freedom is now the country’s third largest political party. In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who massacred 77 people in July, cited Bruce Bawer, a gay American writer critical of Muslim immigration, as an influence. The Guardian reported last year that the racist English Defense League had 115 members in its gay wing. The German Lesbian and Gay Federation has issued statements citing Muslim immigrants as enemies of gay people.
These depictions of immigrants — usually Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish or African origin — as “homophobic fanatics” opportunistically ignore the existence of Muslim gays and their allies within their communities. They also render invisible the role that fundamentalist Christians, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jews play in perpetuating fear and even hatred of gays. And that cynical message has now spread from its roots in European xenophobia to become a potent tool in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”
Pinkwashing not only manipulates the hard-won gains of Israel’s gay community, but it also ignores the existence of Palestinian gay-rights organizations.
Sarah Schulman, who wrote that putrid little piece, should be given a one-way ticket to Iran or Saudi Arabia or Libya or Gaza to see what kind of “gay rights” exist in those parts of the world. The “rights” usually boil down to “Do you want to be hanged, stoned, flayed, or beheaded for the crime of being a homosexual or lesbian?” Of course, that’s not what would happen if she went to those backwards countries. Backwards they may be, but they know a useful idiot when they see one. Schulman would be feted and stuffed full of propaganda about the love Muslims feel for gays.
What’s just as bad as Schulman’s willful obtuseness is the fact that she’s got a nice platform from which to indoctrinate equally stupid, blind gays here at home. (I’m not saying all gays are stupid and blind. I am saying that those who believe Leftism is more important than human rights are willing vessels for this kind of propaganda.) You see, Schulman is a “Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.” Not just a professor, but a “distinguished” professor. To my mind, she is distinguished only by being either evil, or stupid to the point of being evil.
One of the really icky things about the Left is that it lacks a moral compass. There is no good or evil. There are only evil haves and victimized have-nots.
In a sane moral universe, cultural arbiters would readily be able to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys in the Middle East. The good guys are the ones that give equal rights to all religions, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai, or Atheist. The bad guys are the ones that impose horrific burdens on those who do not follow the bad guys’ faith, with those burdens ranging from increased taxes, exile from the land of their ancestors, beatings, and mass murder.
The good guys are the ones that do not torture or kill people because of their sexual orientation. The bad guys are the ones who routinely torture and hang gay men.
The good guys are the ones who acknowledge that women are fully equal to men, and are therefore entitled to both respect and civil rights. The bad guys are the ones who view women as inherently evil, lascivious, stupid, and dangerous and, to that end segregate them; dehumanize them through clothing; institutionalize pedophilia; mutilate them; deprive them of basic freedoms, liberties, and rights; and turn any of their infractions, whether criminal or social, into capital crimes.
The good guys are the ones who put into place a defense system that allows them to suffer through thousands of rocket attacks before making the decision to retaliate and who, when they retaliate, will abort solid attacks against known targets if they realize that children are in the line of fire. The bad guys are the ones who take land for peace, only to break their bargain immediately and rain rockets down upon the opposite entity in the exchange. And the bad guys are the one who view children as both targets and shields, because they care more about propaganda than lives.
In a sane world, if these two entities went to war because the good guys got tired of years of being the bad guys’ target practice, coverage would be much like the news was in the years leading up to and during WWII: the good guys would be praised and supported, while the bad guys would be excoriated. Back in those days, the media knew that the Allies had some bad individuals amongst them and that there were Axis soldiers who were forced to fight and hated what they did. The media understoid the fundmentak difference, though, between the Axis powers and the Allies — the latter was a healthy society fighting against a sick one before the sick society’s cancer could spread.
Those days of sanity are over. The media hasn’t gone quite so far as to pretend that the bad guys — the Palestinians, the Iranians, and the Islamists — are actually fighting a good fight. They do something much more insidious, because only people who pay attention are aware — as Dennis Prager explains, they pretend that the two sides are the same:
[A]n evil entity made war on a peaceful, decent entity, and the latter responded.
How has the New York Times reported this?
On Friday, on its front page, the Times featured two three-column-wide photos. The top one was of Gaza Muslim mourners alongside the dead body of al-Jabari. The photo below was of Israeli Jews mourning alongside the dead body of Mira Scharf, a 27-year-old mother of three.
What possible reason could there be for the New York Times to give identical space to these two pictures? One of the dead, after all, was a murderer, and the other was one of his victims.
The most plausible reason is that the Times wanted to depict through pictures a sort of moral equivalence: Look, sophisticated Times readers! Virtually identical scenes of death and mourning on both sides of the conflict. How tragic.
If one had no idea what had triggered this war, one would read and see the Times coverage and conclude that two sides killing each other were both equally at fault.
The Times technique works only too well. Just today, one of the women in my mother’s retirement community said that none of this would happen if the Israelis would just give Gaza back to the Palestinians. She was surprised when my mother told her that Israel had already done this years ago, only to be rewarded with a barrage of rockets. The MSM, which this lady watches assiduously, failed to make that point clear.
Prager’s conclusion, after giving more examples of the Times inability to understand moral absolutes, is the same as that with which I started this post:
As the flagship news source of the Left, the New York Times reveals the great moral failing inherent to leftism — its combination of moral relativism and the division of the world between strong and weak, Western and non-Western, and rich and poor rather than between good and evil.
I have recently had some interesting discussions with Liberal friends that got me to mulling a fundamental question of good versus evil. My thoughts on this did not crystallize until a recent [insert superlative, here] “French conversation” dinner with Book and Charles Martel that kept lapping up to the fringes of my swirling thoughts on this question. Here is what happened:
At my church recently (one wherein my parish spans the full political spectrum), I was voicing my opinion to some friends that, of all the people in the world deserving of my sympathies, “the Palestinians are probably last in line”. A woman burst out furiously from the church pantry and scolded me for not knowing anything about what I was talking about, that the Palestinians were oppressed victims of Israeli perfidy. A short conversation with her was enough to demonstrate that she really didn’t know anything about the Palestinian-Israeli situation other than typical Leftwing propaganda. She and others in the conversation, for example, did not know that Israel’s war of independence occurred in 1948, that there was no “Palestine” before 1948, that virtually all Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries upon Israel’s creation, that more Palestinians have been killed by other Arab states than by Israel, that 20% of Israel’s citizens are Muslim, enjoying full political, economic and religious rights and serve in the military and government (the only Middle Eastern country that recognizes such minority rights, btw), etc. However, what shocked me was how incapable these good women were of seeing the evils represented and committed by the Palestinians. In their view, each act of violence and mayhem committed by the Palestinians and Arabs …against each other as much as against Israelis, was excusable as expressions of victimhood. Since then, I have noticed much of this same dynamic at work in many issues embraced by the Left.
Have Liberals (including religious Liberals) lost their capacity to distinguish between Good and Evil? If so, then we truly are living in a time of Biblical prophesy. What say you?
Gay Patriot has a post up about the nasty insults he receives as a gay man. These don’t come from right wing homophobes, though. They come from Leftists. Read his post and you’ll see.
I’ll only add that, aside from being green with envy that he met Glenn Reynolds, I’m not at all surprised. The Most indecent, hate-filled insults always comes from the Left. The names Michelle Malkin gets called are so racist, misogynistic and otherwise filthy, they defy imagination. Same for any conservative black. It’s no surprise to me that Leftists would pile on the bad names for a gay conservative.
There’s a word for these disgusting accusations. Hmmm. Let me think. La-la-la. I know it’ll come to me. Protection? Nooo. Rejection? No, that’s not right either. A-ha! I’ve got it. Projection!
Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings
With the election nearing, the Facebook frenzy is accelerating. I got this from a Facebook acquaintance:
Ryan voted to end funding for Planned Parenthood. Ryan’s vote is completely in line with Romney’s insistence that a broke U.S. government should repeatedly ask itself “Is this program worth going into debt to the Chinese?”
This is an especially good question, when it’s unclear why Planned Parenthood gets special funding status. If we’re saying women’s health care (including or not including) abortion is of transcendent importance, then we should just put aside a pot of money and let all health care programs apply by proving that they provide the best women’s health care for the least money. Alternative, we should give women vouchers entitling them to special services that are unique to women.
Of course, once we stop assuming that Planned Parenthood is automatically entitled to funds, and start questioning the services it provides and the benefits citizens receive, we’d better start giving men vouchers for services that are unique to men. For example, the feds could pay for women’s pap smears, breast exams, and well-baby checkups, and pay for men’s prostate exams, Viagra, and heart disease prevention and treatment (since men die from heart disease in proportionately greater numbers than women). Indeed, since men routinely die earlier than women do (sorry guys), men should get special longevity treatments, or they should get cash payments for those years that they die sooner, thereby saving the government money. And really, if we’re going to break it down this way, by looking at both need and savings, we’d better have special vouchers for African-American men who, sadly, have significantly greater health risks than their white or Asian counterparts. They should get both bigger vouchers and a cash discount for being virtuous enough to die before they cost the government too much money. (And wasn’t it the Progressives who want bat bleep crazy when they learned that a cigarette company argued that smoking is really a benefit for socialized medicine because people die sooner, rather than being a lasting burden on the system?)
This is so confusing. I have a really good idea: How about the government stops funding special interests and starts promoting a competitive market for quality health care?
He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade with no exceptions for rape or incest. All thinking people want to overturn Roe v. Wade because it is a terrible malformation of American law. There is no right to abortion under the Constitution. There is also no federal ban on abortion under the Constitution. Abortion is not a federal issue. It’s a state issue. Roe v. Wade should be overturned, with the abortion question then being returned to the various States. They will do what they will, and each state, by looking at the others’ experiments regarding abortion, will be able to decide what is the best policy, either generally or specifically (i.e., for a given state’s finances or morals).
The Ryan budget plan would dismantle Medicaid.
How often will Ryan have to repeat that Medicaid will be there for those who have vested or who are near vesting? Don’t answer — that’s a hypothetical question. I know that no Progressive will ever believe him or the laws he’s proposed. And how often will Ryan have to repeat that Medicaid will continue to be there for those younger people who want it, but that the government will facilitate market-based insurance for those who don’t? Yup. That’s another hypothetical. [UPDATE: Me being dyslexic and confusing Medicare and Medicaid. Sorry. Medicaid is a state program which is going to get royally reamed under Obama. He's giving short-term benefits now and then transferring the entire burden to the various states, many of which are currently looking for ways to run and hide. I suspect that the Ryan budget plan can't be worse than the current situation, but I have to run now, and cannot confirm that belief. Anyone want to volunteer information?]
He co-sponsored an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill. Here’s what Ryan’s co-sponsored bill states in relevant part:
(1) the Congress declares that–
(A) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and
(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and
(2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.
“Extreme and dangerous”? Really? What the bill states is a biological truth. The real question isn’t when life begins, it’s when each citizen has the power to end another person’s life. For the most part, we all agree that, once someone is born, a fellow citizen cannot arbitrarily and without government due process, terminate that born person’s life. The question is whether an individual can act to terminate a pre-born person’s life and, if so, when. As long as Roe v. Wade exists, does it matter that Congress symbolically affirms that government entities have the right to protect life on their soil? No, because Roe v. Wade gives the faux-constitutional final word to the woman. And if Roe v. Wade is overturned, all that the bill does is say what the Constitution already implies, which is that the individual states have the power to make such laws. So I ask again — “Extreme and dangerous”? Really? Symbolic, maybe; but practically meaningless.
He has repeatedly tried to repeal the “Affordable Care Act,” which banned insurance companies from charging women more than men. Okay, in item one, above, Planned Parenthood implicitly conceded that women’s healthcare is more expensive than men’s, which is why the government (in Planned Parenthood’s view) should subsidize it. So Planned Parenthood is either saying legal businesses should operate at a loss, or that they should arbitrarily increase men’s insurance rates to subsidize women’s. In that vein, I think Congress should also pass a law saying that teenage drivers shouldn’t pay any more for car insurance than a 40-year-old woman. Never mind the statistics showing which driver is more likely to cost the insurance company money.
But while I’m talking about laws, if Planned Parenthood’s only concern about ObamaCare is those “equal” insurance rates, why not repeal ObamaCare, which is a 2,700 page monstrosity that adds an enormous amount to America’s debt load and has seen substantial cost increases for currently insured Americans, and in its place enact a very simple bill? The new bill could say “Women must be charged precisely the same for health insurance as men. Insurance companies may achieve this goal by raising men’s rates or lowering women’s, whichever they prefer. There. That was easy.
If we’re looking for serious government subsidies, I think the federal government should create a subsidy for reason-challenged Progressives. It could fund emergency six-week long classes on Socratic-based logic and reasoning.
Nobody ever accused Joe Biden of being coherent. Peter Heck, however, realized more quickly than I did that Biden was being exceptionally incoherent — or hypocritical or held tightly in the grip of cognitive dissonance — when he was asked to explain the relationship between his faith and his politics. I’ll give you Heck’s summary, but you should read the whole thing to find out how he got there:
It’s an interesting worldview, isn’t it? Government-sponsored theft is legitimate on moral grounds, but government protection of innocent, defenseless life is unreasonable. That’s the modern Democrat Party.