I’ve been somewhat housebound since my surgery. I can still drive but I really don’t have many places to go. I’m a complete failure when it comes to crutches, hampered by a bad shoulder, poor balance, and arthritis in the “strong” leg that is exacerbated by all the work that leg is doing. Those failings make most destinations more effort than they’re worth.
The driving came in handy tonight, though, as I drove my son to a meeting of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) organization. Unlike most SAR organizations, this one accepts, trains, and really uses teenagers. For a teen who takes self-involvement and selfishness to impressive heights (in other words, a fairly typical suburban teen), it would be a great thing if he could be involved in an organization that taps into his incredible athleticism, while teaching him to be more disciplined, responsible, and outer-directive.
Since it wasn’t worth my while to drop him off drive around for 90 minutes and then return to pick him up (especially since I try to avoid too much night driving), I simply stuck around for the meeting, and was very glad I did. In addition to reviewing that SAR operations since the last meeting, the organization had a special 40 minute presentation by a fireman who is an SAR volunteer and a recognized authority on searching for kids and women who have been snatched by predators. (Sadly, if the kids are snatched by predators, most of the search efforts are for bodies, not for living children.)
The talk was absolutely fascinating, despite the grim subject matter. It was also the kind of thing that makes you want to hold your children very close to you and to be thankful that they’re alive and well.
My evening’s activities, while fascinating, left little time for writing. Nevertheless, I do have a few interesting things to pass on.
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but it still deserves mention: School officials in Chicago are so anti-gun that they’re now opposed to Gun-Free Zone signs showing drawings of guns. Is there any hope for a society that’s become this stupid?
Speaking of stupid, when it comes to believing in astrology and being ignorant about the Earth’s rotation, Democrats win hands down. Some are saying that this study blows to pieces the stereotype about dumb Republicans, but I wasn’t at all surprised. Growing up in the Bay Area in the 1960s and 1970s, every hippie I knew was into astrology and some form of mysticism. Those old hippies are today’s Leftist establishment, and there’s no reason to believe that they’ve outgrown their interest in astrology. The scientific ignorance about the Earth is just as easy to explain: public schools.
I jokingly suggested that our kids, rather than looking to Ivy Leagues (which I’m loath to pay for), look to Hillsdale, a college that works hard to keep politics out of its classrooms and, instead, focuses on a classic education. A certain person who shall not be named was horrified and went searching on the internet for information about Hillsdale. He came back and announced that the college’s president had made racist remarks about dark-skinned people at the college.
Given that Hillsdale was one of the first colleges in America to admit blacks, that didn’t sound right to me. To the extent Hillsdale may have a small black population, it strikes me that the issue is self-selection (there are few black conservatives, so only few black kids would apply to Hillsdale), not prejudice.
I did some of my own research and discovered that, as is always the case, context is everything. The Hillsdale president wasn’t making racist comments about black or Hispanic students. Instead, he was claiming that the federal government’s obsession with race is racist and divisive. He noted that federal funds would mean that federal bureaucrats would start swarming his campus and, rather than looking at the quality of education and the availability of openings for students of all races, would simply count dark colored faces. And voila, with an anti-racist statement that used an unfortunate phrase (“dark ones”) a slander about racism was born.
My friend and fellow council member Rob Miller, who blogs at JoshuaPundit, has another superb article at the Times of Israel, this one about the 150 American Jews who signed an open letter to Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to accede to John Kerry’s wishes and, essentially, to turn Israel’s security over to the Palestinians.
We’ve always understood that the Left would attack Christmas and Easter. But really, who expected it to wage wholesale war on Valentine’s Day? But wage a war it did, at least on college campuses, with the romantic holiday turned into a celebration of women’s sexual organs. Even that seems rather innocuous now that a new movement has come along: “1 Billion Rising,” which posits that rape victims should dance in the street on Valentine’s Day. Huh? Apparently I’m not the only one who finds this a quixotic response to address rape. Of course, it may be the perfect response to the rising prevalence of “gray rape,” which occurs when a young woman regrets her drugged or drunken hook-up and blames the equally drunk or drugged man for her predicament. I find gray rape perfectly appalling, since it reduces the seriousness of real rape by drowning the real statistics in a sea of sorry hook-ups. According to Zombie, I’m not the only one having a problem with the whole 1 Billion Rising thing.