Following the release of the IG report, people are agog over the FBI’s oozing contempt for Trump and his supporters. You’ll see that “agog-ness” here.
Newly obsessed with a spike in suicide, Leftists argue that Americans are mean. I contend that the suicide spike is because Leftists have denied us hope.
The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have brought suicide into the American spotlight. Although an “N” of two is not a trend, the CDC says that there is, in fact, an unpleasant suicide trend in America. According to the CDC, since 1999, America’s suicide rate has increased on average by 30%, with the steepest climbs in the upper Midwest, where suicide has increased by as much as 57%.
Strikingly, the CDC also asserts that more than half of these suicides did not have known mental health risks. All of which forces one to ask “Why are Americans killing themselves in greater numbers?”
As someone who has suffered in the past from serious depression, I suspect hopelessness is a significant factor. When you’re deeply depressed, not only are things bad, they are hopeless.
Moreover, from the depressed person’s point of view, they will never get better. Nothing will change. The depressed person knows deep inside that grim, dark, and awful is a permanent, unchanging condition.
That’s why it doesn’t help if friends say things such as “You just have to get through this bad patch,” or “If you would (get a new job, get out of a bad relationship, etc.), you’d feel better.” Anything that friends tell the depressed person in an effort to steer them away from that blackness is premised on hope. Part of depression, though, is that hope is a delusion. The reality is that it is absolutely inconceivable that things will get better.
I’m fortunate in that I was never depressed to the point of feeling suicidal. Instead, I was a slogger. I slogged through may day, doing what needed to be done, but was deeply unhappy. Moreover, I was unable to make changes that would have increased my happiness because the depression told me (quite falsely) that change was useless. Nothing would improve . . . ever.
Fortunately, the three times that I found myself in one of those dead-end funks, external events happened that forced changes on me. I graduated from the school in which I was unhappy, I recovered from a serious illness that made me unhappy, and a different serious illness allowed me to step back from a job that made me unhappy. In other words, I was always the lucky recipient of a deus ex machina event that broke the depression cycle.
I’ve sometimes wondered how things would have ended up if I hadn’t had an external force to save me from Churchill’s “black dog.” I’d like to think that, like Churchill, I might never have quite abandoned that little spark of hope that keeps one going, no matter how bad things get. In that regard, one of my favorite Churchill quotations comes from a time when he was struggling with depression. As I heard it, he was at a dinner party and, instead of talking to the young woman seated next to him, spent most of the dinner staring unhappily at his plate. Suddenly, he turned to her and said, “We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm.” No matter his mood, he never lost faith that he had something to offer.
Others, however, lack that little spark, whether because of nature, nurture, or whatever else combines to make each individual’s psyche. For those people, the thinking is brutally clear: if nothing will ever get better, if life will always be, not just hedged about with failure and isolation, but also drab, pointless, and meaningless, why live?
All of the above describes individual hopelessness. This essay asks whether there be societal hopelessness too?
I think there can be. Of course, we know that, no matter the circumstances, there are people whose will to live always burns, offsetting situational despair. That’s why people survive concentration camps and gulags. That’s why they survive poverty and totalitarianism. That’s why they survive pain and fear. We are hardwired, for the most part, to survive. That hard-wiring can break down, though, and that’s where I want to go with the rest of this post — I want to discuss a society in which the hard wiring has broken down or, more accurately, a society in which the dominant culture has deliberately broken the hard-wiring. [Read more…]
In the battle for California governor, a surprisingly even-handed pro-Gavin Newsom flyer makes an incredibly strong case for voting for Republican John Cox.
In an ideal world, on June 5, when California voters go to the polls, members of the various political parties would have a chance to select which of the candidates affiliated with their party should end up on the ticket in November. But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in California, which several years ago chose to become an “open-primary” state.
What “open primary” means is “no primary” — party members cannot choose their candidate. Instead, an open primary is a “pre-election election,” with the top two winners facing off against each other in November. As I detailed in a post dedicated to the whole misbegotten scheme, the purpose is to remove Republicans entirely from the California ballot every November.
Sometimes, though, even the best-laid Democrat schemes go awry. In this case, two factors are creating the serious possibility that the Democrat front-runner, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, will find himself running, not against a less popular Democrat, but against an actual Republo-Libertarian, businessman John Cox.
The first factor behind this unexpected scenario is that there are a ton of Democrat candidates, ranging from hard Left to harder Left to hardest Left, and they are literally tearing each other apart. While Newsom will undoubtedly end up on the ballot’s top spot, it appears that the other Democrats will divide the vote so much that none will take second place — which leads us to the second factor: The mini-conservative rebellion in California seems to be consolidating around John Cox.
I have to admit that, of the two top Republican candidates, I prefer Travis Allen. This is not meant as a cut at Cox, whom I’d be very happy to see in the California governor’s mansion. I just like Allen’s energy more.
The numbers, however, seem to be supporting Cox, which is, I assume, the reason why Trump just endorsed him. I don’t see Trump’s endorsement as an actual personal preference for one candidate over the other. I think he’s being a pragmatist and is throwing his weight behind the candidate currently most likely to prevail over Democrats other than Newsom for a spot on the November ballot.
What’s clear is that, now that Trump has endorsed Cox, Democrats are worried. How worried? I received an interesting flyer in today’s mail from the Citizens Supporting Gavin Newsom for Governor 2018, which I reproduce below. So that you can understand it, the flyer is a single sheet of 11 x 17 paper, folded in half. If you were holding the flyer in your hand, you would open it and see pages two and three facing each other: [Read more…]
Last week saw Trump almost completely erase the Obama legacy — an event that, peculiarly enough, coincided perfectly with delightful benefits for America.
A Proggie-run first aid class reveals the shocking level of ignorance, innumeracy, and illogical thinking behind their anti-Second Amendment stance.
I’ve always liked the Boy Scouts’ motto: “Be Prepared.” Because I’ve been fortunate enough that I seldom have to put my first aid techniques into use, I always forget them, so my part of being prepared is to take a refresher class every four or five years. Even if my memory were better, I’d still take the classes because the protocols constantly change, as is the case with CPR. (Nowadays, you need to remember your BeeGees.“)
In terms of first aid, this class was time well spent. I’m now up to date on conducting a basic examination on a conscious or unconscious person, using pressure or tourniquets to stop bleeding, making slings out of anything handy, doing CPR, and using an AED. As always, I hope that I go several years without having to put into use the skills I learned.
But all was not perfect in this friendly and helpful class. The subject of gun violence came up several times and both the teachers (MDs, RNs, and EMTS) and the students showed really shocking ignorance and a complete lack of logical — and perhaps moral — thinking on the subject of guns and death in America.
My past California-based classes have always revolved around specific emergency scenarios: earthquakes, fires, car accidents, and every day emergencies, ranging from heart attacks, to drowning, to accidental knife wounds. This time, though, the teachers said that the single most important emergency we can prepare for is a mass shooting, as well as generalized shootings, because guns are the primary danger facing us.
“When was the last school shooting?” a teacher asked, clearly expecting people to talk about the Valentine’s Day mass murder in Broward County Florida. But this is Marin and the class knew better.
“Yesterday, in Michigan. Two died.”
“That’s right,” said the teacher. “How many people are killed every day in America with guns?”
A moment of silence, before someone called out her best guess.
“No,” said the teacher, “ninety. Ninety people die every day.”
How does one begin to unpack all the fallacies, innumeracy, and illogical thinking in the above interactions?
Fallacy #1: For a first aid class, mass shootings are currently the most important thing to need to prepare for.
The claim that our greatest risk in Marin comes from guns is so very wrong and to worry about our schools getting shot up is so paranoid. There are two things going on here, one of which is the likelihood of an event occurring and the other is the magnitude of the event should it occur.
Take earthquakes, for example. It is true that earthquakes happen infrequently even here in California, so maybe we’re being overly cautious preparing for one. But the thing is that we know, we absolutely know that a big one will hit here in Northern California, and when it does, it will make a mass murder look like small potatoes. If we’re preparing for unlikely, but possible events, we should definitely be preparing for that earthquake — although it’s good to know that the same skills will apply to other unforeseen events, including that unlikely mass shooting.
And how unlikely is a mass shooting? It turns out, according to a recent study from a source Proggies should find reputable (Northeastern University), that overall American schools are safer than they’ve been in the past few decades:
Four times the number of children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today, Fox said.
“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” he said, adding that more kids are killed each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents. There are around 55 million school children in the United States, and on average over the past 25 years, about 10 students per year were killed by gunfire at school, according to Fox and Fridel’s research.
It’s not just that mass murders at school are decreasing. All violent crime has been decreasing over the past 25 years — subject, of course, to the bump that can be tied directly to the Black Lives Matter movement causing police to retreat from America’s most violent communities. (There may also be a legalized marijuana bump in crime.) [Read more…]
Today’s middle-class parents have a unique cohort of obsessively loved children. No wonder they’re attractive targets to young men intent on inflicting pain.
In America, we are experiencing something unique: For the first time in history, the clear majority of children die after their parents, not before. Before the modern era, half of all children died before they turned 5. That’s why Jane Austen’s parents, who could afford to do so, farmed all their children out to a wet-nurse until the children were three. Not only did this process get the parents past the midnight feedings and dirty diapers in an age before indoor plumbing, it also prevented the parents from bonding with children who were likely to die.
Even if children survived to five, life for everyone in the pre-modern era was so Hobbesian that there was still no guarantee that parents would predecease their children. A young woman’s mother might have survived childbirth, but there was no saying that the young woman would. People died young constantly, from viruses, infectious diseases, infections, food poisoning, internal maladies, and accidents. Death was always “Just around the corner.”
Nor is this what I’ve described long-dead history. I’m only middle-aged, but my parents still came from the generation in which you stayed home if you had a cold, because a cold was never just a cold. It was a doorway to pneumonia, pleurisy, and all sorts of other nasty diseases. My father had scarlet fever and measles, and my mother had diphtheria and tuberculosis. A family friend dragged his legs behind him from polio.
Daddy was born within just three decades of the “Golden Age of Germ Theory.” He and Mom were the first generation of children that routinely got pasteurized milk (although given the Weimar-era Berlin slum into which my Dad was born, while he may technically have been of that generation, he probably wasn’t one pasteurization’s beneficiaries). My parents were children when Fleming made his accidental breakthrough with penicillin. They were adults before antibiotics became a part of every doctor’s arsenal.
If antibiotics had existed during WWI, Rupert Brooke might have lived long enough to walk away from his youthful Victorian romance with chivalric war and have become a more jaded poet, a la Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon. As it was, he died early in the war, not from a bullet, but from an infected mosquito bite he got during the Gallipoli campaign. Something we would treat with a smear of Neosporin and a clean Band-Aid killed him.
One of my friends, a man in his early 60s, boasts of being one of the first people in America to survive a ruptured appendix. It’s true that operations had become common in the first half of the 20th century, before he was born, thanks both to the Golden Age of Germ Theory and the development of anesthetics. However, without antibiotics, once someone’s appendix ruptured, spreading infection throughout the abdominal area, no surgeon could stop death. Only antibiotic’s advent changed that, allowing my friend to live.
It wasn’t until 1955, just six years before I was born, that the First World wiped out polio. Before Jonas Salk’s vaccine, polio was a scourge that routinely savaged children. As I noted above, I still knew one of the survivors. Because my children have not been to Africa, they’ve never seen someone showing polio’s effects.
It’s therefore only since 1955 that the norm in America is for children to survive their parents. We bury them; they don’t bury us. [Read more…]
Watching the differing responses from Left and Right to the Florida school shooting perfectly captures fundamental differences in Left and Right thinking.
After the school shooting news broke yesterday, I quickly pounded out a few thoughts based in large part on data from and reactions to past shootings. Now that there is more data available, and I’ve had more time to think about things, I’d like to add a larger, more philosophical point.
In my mind, I categorized what happened as a terrible tragedy. A Progressive friend, however, called the shooting a disaster and was upset that I preferred to say tragedy. I understand why my friend was upset, because there’s a world of difference in the way in which we view bad things in the world.
To explain this, I need to pull back and point to a practically prescient article Dennis Prager wrote earlier this week, riffing off his regular inquiries into the nature of happiness, about the different ways in which conservatives and Progressives view the world:
Unhappy conservatives generally believe they are unhappy because life is inherently difficult and tragic, and because they have made some unwise decisions in life.
But unhappy liberals generally believe they are unhappy because they have been persecuted.
From these simple statements, one can deduce that conservatives have a grimmer view of the world, but feel a greater sense of control. That latter point matters because the most frustrating thing in the world is responsibility without control.
Meanwhile, Progressives, even as they ostensibly believe the world and mankind can be perfected, also believe that, when this perfection fails to manifest itself, there is nothing they, as individuals can do. Even in times of peace and plenty, when people should mostly be happy, they feel victimized and abandoned. Talk about a frustrating loss of control.
These philosophical differences inevitably lead to different responses, not just to happiness, but to shattering events. Before I proceed with this idea, let me point out again that I am talking about times of peace and plenty. The person who can be happy and in control in a Nazi or North Korean concentration camp, in an ISIS-controlled village, or while being eaten by a bear is a rare person indeed. No, what I’m talking about is ordinary life, with its ordinary ups and downs and its ordinary tragedies.
When I see what happened in Florida, as a parent I naturally think “there but for the grace of God go I,” and I hope devoutly that something like this never befalls my children. I have the deepest sympathy for the victims and their families. I’d like to have empathy, but my imagination is limited and I truly cannot grasp the immensity of losing one’s child in such a senseless way.
However, I do not see what happened as a disaster. To me, a disaster is something of greater scope than this: a disaster is 3,000 Americans dying over the course of an hour in targeted terror attacks; a disaster is thousands of acres and homes burning across the West; a disaster is a hurricane wiping out the levees allowing the Gulf to inundate a major American citizen; a slow-moving disaster is the scourge of opiates killing Americans in unprecedented numbers; and the endless body count in Democrat-run inner cities. Maybe I’m being an English-language obsessive, but tragedies play out on a smaller, more personal scale.
It is possible that foresight could have prevented the tragedy in Florida. The perpetrator turns out to have been so many things we know are dangerous: He’d experienced profound, traumatic loss in life, because his adoptive father died before he hit his teens and his adoptive mother died unexpected from the flu just months ago; he may have been on psychotropic drugs; he was obsessed with any kind of violence and killing and flirted with both Antifa and the Alt-Right [a very rude Leftist advises me that the Antifa photo is not this Cruz, so I’m passing that assertion on to y’all]; people were aware of his propensities and were afraid of him; and even the FBI had been warned about him but, despite having his name, couldn’t figure out who he was.
(As an aside, we know that he was not affiliated with local white supremacists which didn’t surprise me because most of his victims were white. Cruz was an equal opportunity hater. Still, a credulous media desperately wanted him to be a white supremacist and reported an unsourced claim as actual news, because that’s what the modern media does.)
In any event, the tragedy wasn’t avoided, and 17 vital young people on the cusp of life died.
With those poor, broken bodies still lying on the ground, Democrats began demanding more gun control. They did this despite not knowing the facts and despite the fact that I’m struggling to think of any mass shooting that gun control (as opposed to nationwide gun confiscation) could have prevented. This is the typical Progressive victim mindset: You demand protection. It’s the weapons; it’s the NRA; it’s the racial hate. It’s all stuff that we can perfect through more legislation and government control.
Meanwhile, conservatives are looking deeper, and what they’re looking at isn’t government ukases, which always promise protection, but never provide it. Instead, they’re looking at societal changes that only individuals can effectuate. [Read more…]
From Trump’s epic response to Jay-Z, to Dennis Prager’s surprise admission, to Daniel Greenfield’s Leftist exposé, and more — there’s lots of brilliance here.
Trump’s genius approach to Jay-Z’s “superbug” attack. I am getting wise to the ways of Trump. That’s why I know that the war into which he’s entered with Jay-Z is one of his more brilliant moments. I’m sure, without looking, that some “higher minded” #NeverTrumpers are horrified that, after Jay-Z insulted him, Trump decided to go on the attack. I, on the other hand, am delighted. Let me go back to the beginning to explain why.
First, you might want to know who Jay-Z is. He’s a rapper, he’s black, he’s married to super star Beyoncé, and he’s sold more than 100 million records. He’s big. Really, really big. His demographic, as a rapper, is young people, especially black young people. Jay-Z’s real name is Shawn Corey Carter, so his twitter handle is Mr. Carter (@S_C). He has 3.34 million followers, at least some of whom are not bots.
Jay-Z was a guest on Van Jones’s new CNN show. Van Jones is a self-admitted black communist who got a gig in the Obama administration. When that ended, he found his natural home at CNN. When Van Jones contended that Trump called “every African country” a “shithole” (something Trump and others at the meeting strongly contest), and then asked his guest Jay-Z to comment, Jay-Z had this to say:
You don’t take the trash out, you keep spraying whatever over it to make it acceptable. As those things grow, you create a superbug. And then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug.
George W. Bush would have ignored that insult in dignified silence. Trump is smarter than George W. Bush. He sent out this tweet:
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
The only thing that would have made that tweet better is if Trump had included Jay-Z’s twitter name it to ensure that the tweet hit Jay-Z’s feed. But maybe that would have been too obvious.
As it is, though, one can make a reasonable guess that some part of Jay-Z’s 3.3 million Twitter followers are being exposed for the first time to data that the MSM hoped would never enter their worlds. Moreover, the media, because it’s as incapable of resisting Trump’s tasty treats as a mouse is incapable of resisting cheese in a snap trap, is now headlining black unemployment:
Dig down into that article, and you will discover that, despite the headline, CNN is scared to touch Trump’s data point . . . because it cannot. There’s no mention in the article of actual employment rates.
The reality, however, is that anyone with a smidgen of curiosity, especially those aching to prove Trump wrong, will search up “black unemployment,” and come with data like this:
Unemployment among black workers is at its lowest since at least the early 1970s, when the government began tracking the data.
The black unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in December was the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking it in 1972, a year in which the rate ranged from 11.2 percent to 9.4 percent. In the 45 years the data has been tracked, the unemployment rate for black or African-American workers aged 16 years and older has never fallen below 7 percent.
Trump is rapidly proving himself to be the smartest president in my lifetime, perhaps in the last 100 years, perhaps ever. Thanks to Van Jones (communist) and Jay-Z (shallow thinker), with one tweet Trump brought to an otherwise misinformed public accurate data about something that’s very important. Bravo, Mr. President! Bravo! [Read more…]
If the House releases the Nunes memo proving an Obama scandal, but the media refuses to cover it, will Americans believe that no scandal ever happened?
Unlike many of my readers, who seem to live in more conservative communities and have like-minded friends, I’ve spent my entire life in Democrat enclaves. Whether I meet the gals for coffee, walk the dogs with a friend, or open my Facebook feed, I am inundated with Progressive-think — everything from Trump-Hitler (an amped-up of version of Bush-Hitler), to “we must open our border to third world immigrants” (or, as some wit called them “Turd world” immigrants), to the fact that we are in imminent danger of freezing, drowning, boiling, dehydrating, etc. to death because of anthropogenic climate change.
Because of my social circles, I’m also aware that I inhabit a very different factual universe than my friends do. In my view, the government shutdown occurred because Democrats, a Senate minority, refused to give Republicans, the majority, the votes needed to pass a budget unless Republicans gave amnesty to over 3 million illegal aliens (or, as we can more accurately call them, future Democrat voters). In other words, Democrats are putting illegal aliens’ interests ahead of American interests.
It’s an entirely different story on the other side of the aisle, though. According to my Progressive friends, the shutdown came about because Republicans stubbornly refused to provide healthcare for poor children. As always, even when talking about abortion, the Democrats doing it for the children.
Two different universes.
Which gets me to the Nunes memo. The memo, which is highly classified, purportedly contains Rep. Devin Nunes’ conclusions, based upon viewing other classified material, that the Obama administration, the Hillary campaign, and the DNC, were up to their eyeballs in highly illegal surveillance activity directed against Donald Trump, all in an effort to destroy his candidacy and place Hillary in the White House. If true, the Obama scandal instantly turns Watergate into Nothing-gate, and reveals an attack on America’s representative democracy the likes of which we’ve never seen before. [Read more…]
A conversation with a young college student revealed that the Progressive abortion obsession has changed little since the early 20th Century.
I’ve been brooding for a few days now about a conversation I had last week with a student attending Oberlin. During the course of our talk, the student earnestly told me that, thanks to his Anthropology 101 class, he fully understands why it is imperative that we keep abortion entirely legal throughout a pregnancy. (Thankfully, he did not try to argue, as this college student did, that abortion ought to be extended into a child’s second year out of the womb.)
As best as I could tell what the young man was arguing, his teacher showed the class statistics for prison populations in America. Most of these prisoners came from damaged communities. Apparently the teacher taught, or the student concluded on his own initiative (or the zeitgeist at Oberlin holds), that the best way to shrink the American prison population is to abort potential children in poor, damaged communities (which I understood to mean inner city black communities).
This argument, of course, is the ultimate utilitarian take on the Freakonomics assertion that the reason we’ve seen an overall drop in crime since 1973 is that multiple generations of would-be criminals were terminated ab initio thanks to Roe v. Wade. If past abortion reduced present crime, the Oberlin student seemed to be saying in his muddled way, we can pretty much eliminate future crime with more present-day abortions!
I was shocked spitless and, indeed, suffered a terrible attack of l’esprit de l’escalier (or, in Yiddish, treverter) — that is, the perfect responses to this eugenics worldview didn’t strike me until the student was gone. You’ll notice I said “responses” (plural) because there are so many.
I did manage to choke out the first argument in the list below, but the remainder came to my mind later, as I was brooding about this discussion. The first three arguments are the quick and easy ones. The fourth argument provided the title for this post.
1. It’s entirely possible that young people in those damaged communities have grown up to be violent criminals because the prevalence of abortion in their community tells them that life has no value. To support this argument, I told the student something he did not know: Planned Parenthood clinics are most common in poor communities. PP supporters would say that’s because they go where the need is greatest; PP opponents argue that PP is targeting vulnerable populations.
2. The criminal problems in poor neighborhoods may arise because, at the same time that legalized abortion came along, single motherhood started climbing. Children raised by a single mother do not fare well. Boys without fathers are more likely to engage in crime. Girls without fathers are more likely to become promiscuous and depressed. And both boys and girls unlucky enough to have a mother who is not particular about the quality of the men who roll through her life, are at extreme risk of abuse and death. While these statistics hold true for fatherless children of all races, the reality is that the scourge is worst in the black community — the same black community that abortionists target and in which Democrats continue to push government welfare over fathers.
3. A continuation of the last clause in the previous paragraph — “in which Democrats continue to push government welfare over fathers” — is that all of these damaged communities have had generations of Democrat politicians and their policies. Perhaps before we take more lives in abortion clinics, those communities should give different political ideologies a try. Trump’s policies, for example, have seen the best black employment in decades, which may well benefit all those damaged communities.
As an aside about Trump, it’s ironic that the president who is presiding over a rising tide lifting black-owned boats and who is protesting abortion policies that are most likely to destroy black babies, is relentlessly castigated as a racist. The Democrat narrative may be false, but it sure is strong. [Read more…]
This Bookworm Beat doesn’t have a huge collection of illustrations but what it has are damn fine. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh some more.
I’ve been paying bills and taxes, and plowing through Hillary’s What Happened? — and I’m really not sure which task is most distasteful. All I do know is that I managed to miss one of Hillary’s best moments in the early chapters of her book. You see, when she started in on literary analysis, my brain said “Academic virtue signaling,” and promptly guided my eyes to the next paragraph. Had I focused harder, I would have caught this gem of totalitarianism:
And while I’m at it, here are two more Hillary gems, followed by several other amusing and insightful posters and cartoons:
Only in modern academia is it necessary for people to apologize for their decision not to terminate a pregnancy, lest they be mistaken for being pro-Life.
Four times a year, Macalester College, one of the most liberal of America’s Midwestern liberal arts colleges, puts out a magazine for its alumni. As one of my friends gets this magazine, I periodically look it over, finding its articles alternately boring, amusing, and outrageous as only Leftist writing can be. In the most recent edition of Macalester Life, which hasn’t even been published to the website, there’s an article about graduates who have been hit hard by life’s tragedies.
All of these graduates have certainly faced hard times. One man was shot, a young woman got breast cancer at 25, a man’s brother died young in an accident, a woman’s daughter had a dangerous brain tumor, and the lives of two graduates who married young were permanently disrupted the man got into a bike accident leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. (If you ever wonder why ER docs don’t ride bikes, that kind of story is why.)
Each of the graduates profiled has faced these hardships with courage and I salute them for that. What I want to write about is a funny bit of hardcore Leftism that got slotted into the story about the last-named couple, the one who married young. I’ve highlighted the language that caught my eye:
Rachel Welch Tschida [class of ’90] was just 20 when her life took a major detour. She and then-boyfriend John Tschida ’89 were Mac students when they discovered that Rachel was pregnant. The couple were both firmly pro choice, Tschida says, but also crazy in love: “We always knew we were going to get married some day, so why not do it then?”
Maybe it’s just my sense of both the tragic and the ridiculous, but I was taken aback by the fact that either Ms. Tschida, or the article’s author, or both, felt it imperative to apologize for having a baby. The mere risk of being thought pro-Life was enough for them to include a large irrelevant piece of information in an otherwise interesting and uplifting look at dealing with tragedy.
Your take, please?
Photo Credit: Beautiful Belly, by Bonbon. Creative Commons license; some restrictions apply.
After explaining how the Left invented a detachment from reality, Kurt Andersen makes the laughable argument that the Left, not the Right, is reality-based.
A Leftist friend of mine told me that novelist Kurt Andersen’s article in The Atlantic, entitled How America Lost Its Mind : The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history, is a “must read.” Although the article is ostensibly about a movement that began in the 1960s, one that saw America abandon facts in favor of emotions and magical thinking, the article is really a very, very, very, very long effort to say that Trump voters are credulous and irrational.
Because I am a nice person, I will not ask you to read the article — unless, of course, you are a glutton for punishment and have endless amounts of time. Instead, I’ve worked my way through this magnum opus to distill the essential points in each paragraph. To save you the time of even reading my summation — which, while long, is still shorter than Andersen’s article — here’s a quick summing up of what he says:
During the 1960s and 1970s, America went crazy. It was mostly the Left that went crazy, especially in academia, where our colleges abandoned truth and, instead, settled for moral and cultural relativism, navel gazing, and Foucault’s “everybody makes it up as they go along” theory. This madness swept the land.
Fortunately, by the 1980s, the Left managed to distill only the purest and truest thought from this insanity. Conservatives, meanwhile, embraced the crazy because they believed in God and distrusted both Big Government and the media. They were aided by the end of the Fairness Doctrine, which allowed the crazies to hit the airwaves. First Rush and then the internet convinced conservatives that there is a God, and that both Big Government and the media deserve to be distrusted.
And that’s how we got Trump.
Andersen’s turgid, long, frequently ignorant, invariably condescending, and very nasty essay boils down to a variation of the saying that “Fascism is always descending on America, but landing on Europe.” According to Andersen, “An unprincipled retreat from reality is always bubbling and burgeoning on the Left, but only reveals itself on amongst conservatives.”
That’s really what Andersen takes 117 paragraphs to say. I know, because I read all of them and, as noted above, I’ve set out below a precis of his wordiness, along with my interlineated comments: [Read more…]
Feeling the wind at their backs, gay marriage advocates are increasingly open about their true agenda: destroying Judeo-Christian faiths in America.
The second problem right now with the emphasis on changing [the civil definition of marriage to include same sex marriage] is the risk that there will be direct challenges between church and state. A lawyer I know assured me that this couldn’t happen because, for example, the Catholic church does not get sued because it opposes abortion. That was facile reasoning. While abortions may be a civil right, the Catholic church does not provide abortions. What the Catholic church provides is communion, which is not a civil right, so the church can withhold it at will. What happens, though, when the church provides something which is both a core doctrinal belief (marriage) and a state right (marriage)? It’s a head-on collision, and I can guarantee you that the courts will get involved and that some activist judge will state that the Catholic Church is constitutionally required to marry gay couples.
Openly gay LGBT activist Tim Gill, who has poured $422 million into the homosexual movement since the 1990s, recently told Rolling Stone why he won’t allow Christians to opt out of participating in same-sex weddings.
“We’re going to punish the wicked,” Gill told Rolling Stone. After the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage across the country, Gill turned his activism apparatus against religious freedom restoration acts (RFRAs) and toward a legal mentality that would penalize Christians, and anyone else in business, who refuse to participate in a same-sex wedding.
Under Obergefell, same-sex couples can get married. But a wedding ceremony is still a private event, and people should not be forced to celebrate it, if such a ceremony is opposed to their convictions. This isn’t just an issue of religious freedom — it also involves free speech and free association.
But public accommodation laws have become a cudgel by which LGBT activists attempt to force people to violate their consciences. Indeed, an LGBT group in Ohio actually announced plans to try to force churches to host same-sex weddings on their property. A Christian farmer and his wife in Michigan were excluded from a farmer’s market because they posted on Facebook that they would not host a same-sex wedding on their own property.
Unquestioning groupthink is a Leftist hallmark, especially for blacks. Antonia Okafor details how she escaped from that intellectual prison.