One of the arguments that Stacy McCain makes which constantly upsets people is that one of the best ways to prevent “date rape” or unwanted sexual advances is to avoid campus parties, frat or otherwise, that involve drinking and drugs.
It’s worth noting that this booze/drugs culture was exacerbated by the classic Movie Animal House, which became a classic, and celebrated the toga party culture and contained this memorable scene:
(warning brief nudity and language)
In the scene above the young lady ends up untouched but the actress Sarah Holcolb who played the party wasn’t as lucky.
She was young, younger than the rest of us. We were a fast crowd. Drugs were everywhere. She fell into what, for lack of a better term, you would have to call bad company. And got [bleeped] up on drugs. Coke, primarily, if memory serves,” Miller says. “[She] wound up in some home for [bleeped]-up young girls . . . wound up sort-of erased from life. I don’t know what became of her. Sad story.”
at the blog Derailed the author tells of a chance meeting with her after she missed a train and ends his post as follows:
It wasn’t till a few days ago, when I read the above story in “The New York Post”, that I decided her problems were public knowledge and I’d share this story.
Sarah Holcomb’s (Clorette DePasto) four-year film career ended with Caddyshack in 1980. She reportedly turned to alcohol and drugs and slowly lost touch with reality as she suffered from schizophrenia. The 2004 film Stateside is reportedly about her descent through alcohol, drugs, sexual abuse and finally mental illness. I am told she is now living a quiet, obscure life far from the madness of Hollywood under an assumed name and does not wish to be found.
Sad. Very Sad.
and THAT my dear friends is the difference between the Animal House version of what that lifestyle gets you and the real thing.
Young Men on campus should think twice about hitting parties heavy on drink & drugs hoping to score as the colleges lack of due process can turn questionable consent, even if it affirmatively given later, into being marked for life, and Ms. Holcomb’s mistakes boldly illustrate the old saying is remains true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
No matter how much feminists might hate him for saying so RS McCain is right. The best way to avoid being a victim, either of actual assault or of the guilt which comes from bad judgment is to avoid the settings where such assaults or lapses of judgment are likely.
This tweet reveals Mr. Kristol is still living in a Judeo Christian culture. There are two reasons why this revelation, serious by the standards of truth vs falsehood, will not matter here.
1. The Mainstream media like any good totalitarian organization is all about wiping the past. The same MSM that attacked Romney rather than the administration after Cairo & Benghazi will judge Hillary not on anything she says but on her deportment. She will be made the “victim” of Benghazi because unless Michelle Obama suddenly jumps into the race she is, in their mind, the presumptive Democrat nominee & must be protected at all costs.
2. The Democrat Party has abandoned judeo christian standards of truth & ethical standards as a prerequisite for nomination. If actual dead americans and successful attacks on an US mission did not stop democrats from voting for Barack Obama a simple thing like lying to the American people to help facilitate that election isn’t going to bother them.
So a much as Bill Kristol considers this revelation is a “Wow” it won’t stop the media from protecting her, surrogates from defending and democrats from voting for her.
There are few statements that disgust me more than this, but that disgust is because it’s true.
Stacy McCain has written a lot about various feminists from Amanda Marcotte to Mary Daley and the negative effects they have on society but during the election of 2024 all of those kids are going to be eligible to vote and Amanda Marcotte will be shouting alone.
You can’t fight a culture war without soldiers and while one can rant and rave in an attempt to co-opt the next generation in the end that’s less effective than actually producing it.
Or put simply Stacy McCain 6 Amanda Marcotte 0
Update: This Tweet from Stacy McCain makes me feel even better
Shulamith Firestone 0, Kate Millett 0, Andrea Dworkin 0, Mary Daly 0, Catharine MacKinnon 0, Gloria Steinem 0 … @DaTechGuyblog
You might have noticed lately a rush to remove the Confederate Flag from public & private spaces on the grounds that Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof was shown in photo waving the Confederate flag.
The argument is removing of the Confederate flag from any place of honor becomes a simple matter of honoring those murdered at a Charleston Bible study by a man who visibly waved it.
Well one of those who vocally supported said removal Mr. DeRay McKesson was at a protest in Charleston lately. WISTV covered it:
Images of a flag burning incident at Marion Square in downtown Charleston over the weekend has ignited controversy across social media platforms.
DeRay McKesson, a civil rights activist with WeTheProtesters.org, posted photos and video on his Twitter page Sunday showing a group of people in Marion Square burning the American and Confederate flags.
WeTheProtesters lists McKesson as a member of its planning team, and the Founder and Co-Editor of the Ferguson Protester Newsletter.
I found that photo fascinating because apparently not only does Mr. McKesson’s group seems to not only have the same opinion of the US flag as Mr. Roof
But they apparently believe in directly mimicking his actions:
So I have a question for all of those on TV that have been self righteously telling us that because Young Mr. Roof waved the Confederate flag that flag must go, Gone with the Wind must go, and even games about the civil war must all go to honor those he murdered.
Since Mr. Roof’s mass murder suddenly made any association with the Confederate Flag beyond the pale of respectability should we not also consider the group We the Protesters and Mr. McKesson also beyond the pale since they not only copied the exact actions of this mass murder but did so proudly and in public just outside the building where one of the victims was lying in state?
Because their actions suggest this observation from Sweetness & light is exactly correct:
Well, we know that Dylann Roof would have approved of the burning of the American flag. (Since he did so himself.) But that’s probably just one of the many similarities he shares with Mr. Mckesson.
I’d love to see the media members who have given Mr. McKesson credibility answer that question and have all those who have expressed support for his group answer this question but I suspect that will not happen anywhere this side of the 2nd coming.
Update: It goes without saying that those actions are protected by the first amendment the question isn’t if said actions should be illegal, it’s if said actions mean the group should be embraced by the media and the left.
If one can change the definition of marriage that has stood for thousands of years by a popular vote then there is no rational basis to deny a form of marriage that has been continually recognized by nations of the world and at least one of the worlds major religions for over a millennium.
I’m old enough to remember when activists insisted that Gay Marriage was completely different than polygamy and they certainly wouldn’t support it:
Recently, I went undercover posing as a same-sex marriage activist and asked prominent sodomite activists and Democrats the following question:
“If the purpose of marriage is to confer dignity upon individuals who love each other, then what about polygamous couples who love each other? They should be able to marry too, don’t you think?”
Shockingly, the homosexual activists and Democrats all answered, “Yes!”
Frankly it didn’t shock me at all, nor does it shock me that with a national election coming up that such items can only be seen on hidden camera.
Go here to see the video for yourself and remember that our friends who are now closing business who don’t service gay marriage once told us that civil unions had nothing to do with gay marriage and furthermore that Gay Marriage would not affect anyone who didn’t believe in it.
Those who said it were liars, those who believed them were suckers, it only remains to discover if they still are.
Continuing our look at some of the things in from Laudato Si ‘s 246 paragraphs that the media is avoiding big time. (Part one is here and part 2 here). As before each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip that bit. (all emphasis mine)
Francis speaks of a cultural component of the problem of the environment.
162. Our difficulty in taking up this challenge seriously has much to do with an ethical and cultural decline which has accompanied the deterioration of the environment. Men and women of our postmodern world run the risk of rampant individualism, and many problems of society are connected with today’s self-centred culture of instant gratification.We see this in the crisis of family and social ties and the difficulties of recognizing the other. Parents can be prone to impulsive and wasteful consumption, which then affects their children who find it increasingly difficult to acquire a home of their own and build a family. Furthermore, our inability to think seriously about future generations is linked to our inability to broaden the scope of our present interests and to give consideration to those who remain excluded from development. Let us not only keep the poor of the future in mind, but also today’s poor, whose life on this earth is brief and who cannot keep on waiting. Hence, “in addition to a fairer sense of intergenerational solidarity there is also an urgent moral need for a renewed sense of intragenerational solidarity”.
MSM: I don’t know these are all values we’ve been pushing and the focus on the “crisis of the family” it’s another GOP talking point. Not to mention all that talk about future generations it invokes that whole “family values” business. We aren’t reporting on this to advance conservatism are we?
Francis on “carbon Credits”
171. The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.
MSM: If there’s one thing we aren’t going to touch it’s an attack on carbon credits. This is something we’ve advanced as a positive good for decades. We can’t be talking them down.
Francis talks about the basics of decision making:
185. In any discussion about a proposed venture, a number of questions need to be asked in order to discern whether or not it will contribute to genuine integral development. What will it accomplish? Why? Where? When? How? For whom? What are the risks? What are the costs? Who will pay those costs and how?In this discernment, some questions must have higher priority. For example, we know that water is a scarce and indispensable resource and a fundamental right which conditions the exercise of other human rights. This indisputable fact overrides any other assessment of environmental impact on a region.
MSM: Hmm this looks good but I don’t know. A lot of times these answers aren’t really in our favor. Do we really want the discussion to turn toward facts vs emotion?
Francis talks about bringing all viewpoints to the table:
188. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.
MSM: That’s a trap to get the “deniers” to the table. If these guys start making their case who can tell what will happen? nest and open debate means e mm this looks good but I don’t know. A lot of times these answers aren’t really in our favor. Do we really want the discussion to turn toward facts vs emotion?
Francis on the economic bubbles:
189. Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery. The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world. Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies. The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment.
MSM: That one’s iffy too. President Obama supported the bailouts as did a lot of our guys. Hitting the banks is nice but it sounds a lot like something the tea party might say. And that whole “human life” stuff is pretty republican too. Better skip it.
Francis on when governments are responsible:
197. What is needed is a politics which is far-sighted and capable of a new, integral and interdisciplinary approach to handling the different aspects of the crisis. Often, politics itself is responsible for the disrepute in which it is held, on account of corruption and the failure to enact sound public policies. If in a given region the state does not carry out its responsibilities, some business groups can come forward in the guise of benefactors, wield real power, and consider themselves exempt from certain rules, to the point of tolerating different forms of organized crime, human trafficking, the drug trade and violence, all of which become very difficult to eradicate. If politics shows itself incapable of breaking such a perverse logic, and remains caught up in inconsequential discussions, we will continue to avoid facing the major problems of humanity. A strategy for real change calls for rethinking processes in their entirety, for it is not enough to include a few superficial ecological considerations while failing to question the logic which underlies present-day culture. A healthy politics needs to be able to take up this challenge.
MSM: Nah, at first glance it looks good but it’s got “Chicago” , “Baltimore” and “Oakland” written all over it.
Francis on Science & Religion:
199. It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality. This would be to breach the limits imposed by its own methodology. If we reason only within the confines of the latter, little room would be left for aesthetic sensibility, poetry, or even reason’s ability to grasp the ultimate meaning and purpose of things.I would add that “religious classics can prove meaningful in every age; they have an enduring power to open new horizons… Is it reasonable and enlightened to dismiss certain writings simply because they arose in the context of religious belief?” It would be quite simplistic to think that ethical principles present themselves purely in the abstract, detached from any context. Nor does the fact that they may be couched in religious language detract from their value in public debate. The ethical principles capable of being apprehended by reason can always reappear in different guise and find expression in a variety of languages, including religious language.
MSM: Just what we don’t need, long discussions about the value of religion discussed in the public square. That paragraph’s outta here.
Francis On Ecological Education:
213. Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere. Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life. Here, though, I would stress the great importance of the family, which is “the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life”. In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.
MSM: Geezes there it is again “family” “culture of life” what is this a document about the environment or a Santorum for President rally?
Francis on the environment & sin:
218. In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change. The Australian bishops spoke of the importance of such conversion for achieving reconciliation with creation: “To achieve such reconciliation, we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a conversion, or change of heart”.
MSM: We can’t be talking about sin, all of that’ relative and besides if we start talking about sin who knows where the conversation is going to go?
Francis on values, sobriety & the environment:
224. Sobriety and humility were not favourably regarded in the last century. And yet, when there is a general breakdown in the exercise of a certain virtue in personal and social life, it ends up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental ones. That is why it is no longer enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.
MSM: The subjective definition of right and wrong and the “great values” is exactly what we’ve been trying to combat. We certainly can’t use this as a basis for an environmental argument.
Francis on appreciated the environment as God’s gift
227. One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need.
MSM: Is saying grace at meal going to do our argument any good, I don’t think so. Who wrote this a GOP operative?
Francis on Culture:
229. We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good. When the foundations of social life are corroded, what ensues are battles over conflicting interests, new forms of violence and brutality, and obstacles to the growth of a genuine culture of care for the environment.
MSM: Nah it’s too close to a GOP talking point. Ann Coulter could have said that.
MSM And we’re not even going to bother with paragraphs 236 and beyond. It’s all Eucharist,“Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.”(236) the sabbathOn Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world.(237) The Trinity:Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity”.(238) GodCreatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships.(239) MaryJust as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. (241) and JosephHe too can teach us how to show care; he can inspire us to work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us. It’s all about worshiping God, we can’t risk getting perfectly good secular environmentalists reading this stuff and starting to think of this in terms of religion, and particularly not Christianity. After all that last thing we want this document to be is a lesson in Christianity.
If you are shocked that none of these messages were mentioned by the MSM, you just aren’t paying attention.
Continuing our look at some of the things in from Laudato Si ‘s 246 paragraphs that the media is avoiding big time. (Part one is here). Each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip that bit. (all emphasis mine)
Francis talked about the Dignity of Humanity:
90. This is not to put all living beings on the same level nor to deprive human beings of their unique worth and the tremendous responsibility it entails. Nor does it imply a divinization of the earth which would prevent us from working on it and protecting it in its fragility. Such notions would end up creating new imbalances which would deflect us from the reality which challenges us.At times we see an obsession with denying any pre-eminence to the human person; more zeal is shown in protecting other species than in defending the dignity which all human beings share in equal measure. Certainly, we should be concerned lest other living beings be treated irresponsibly. But we should be particularly indignant at the enormous inequalities in our midst, whereby we continue to tolerate some considering themselves more worthy than others. We fail to see that some are mired in desperate and degrading poverty, with no way out, while others have not the faintest idea of what to do with their possessions, vainly showing off their supposed superiority and leaving behind them so much waste which, if it were the case everywhere, would destroy the planet. In practice, we continue to tolerate that some consider themselves more human than others, as if they had been born with greater rights.
MSM: Eh we like the inequality stuff but the idea of man’s pre-eminence doesn’t really work for a lot of our readers, we’ll skip it.
Francis on Jesus and creation:
96. Jesus took up the biblical faith in God the Creator, emphasizing a fundamental truth: God is Father (cf. Mt 11:25). In talking with his disciples, Jesus would invite them to recognize the paternal relationship God has with all his creatures. With moving tenderness he would remind them that each one of them is important in God’s eyes: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God” (Lk 12:6). “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them”(Mt 6:26).
MSM: Too religious, too paternalistic. Too absolute. Can’t Francis talk about this without bringing in all that “Jesus” stuff?
Francis on the beauty that Technology has produced:
103. Technoscience, when well directed, can produce important means of improving the quality of human life, from useful domestic appliances to great transportation systems, bridges, buildings and public spaces. It can also produce art and enable men and women immersed in the material world to “leap” into the world of beauty. Who can deny the beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper?Valuable works of art and music now make use of new technologies. So, in the beauty intended by the one who uses new technical instruments and in the contemplation of such beauty, a quantum leap occurs, resulting in a fulfilment which is uniquely human.
MSM: I don’t know complementing bridges and building and transportation systems is iffy enough but that business of the “beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper” will have the Sierra Club cancel their ads en masse.
Pope Francis on despair:
113. There is also the fact that people no longer seem to believe in a happy future; they no longer have blind trust in a better tomorrow based on the present state of the world and our technical abilities. There is a growing awareness that scientific and technological progress cannot be equated with the progress of humanity and history, a growing sense that the way to a better future lies elsewhere. This is not to reject the possibilities which technology continues to offer us. But humanity has changed profoundly, and the accumulation of constant novelties exalts a superficiality which pulls us in one direction. It becomes difficult to pause and recover depth in life. If architecture reflects the spirit of an age, our megastructures and drab apartment blocks express the spirit of globalized technology, where a constant flood of new products coexists with a tedious monotony. Let us refuse to resign ourselves to this, and continue to wonder about the purpose and meaning of everything. Otherwise we would simply legitimate the present situation and need new forms of escapism to help us endure the emptiness.
MSM: We can’t talk about this, our entire living depends on being a platform to see stuff people don’t really need. What would our advertisers say if we talked about stuff bringing emptiness?
Francis on the value of man:
117. Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structures of nature itself. When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for “instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature”.
MSM: You lost us at “embryo”.
Francis on the dignity of life:
120. Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.
MSM: Abortion incompatible with ecology? That’s blasphemy!
Francis on Relativism:
123. The culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing forced labour on them or enslaving them to pay their debts. The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests. It is also the mindset of those who say: Let us allow the invisible forces of the market to regulate the economy, and consider their impact on society and nature as collateral damage. In the absence of objective truths or sound principles other than the satisfaction of our own desires and immediate needs, what limits can be placed on human trafficking, organized crime, the drug trade, commerce in blood diamonds and the fur of endangered species? Is it not the same relativistic logic which justifies buying the organs of the poor for resale or use in experimentation, or eliminating children because they are not what their parents wanted? This same “use and throw away” logic generates so much waste, because of the disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary. We should not think that political efforts or the force of law will be sufficient to prevent actions which affect the environment because, when the culture itself is corrupt and objective truth and universally valid principles are no longer upheld, then laws can only be seen as arbitrary impositions or obstacles to be avoided.
MSM: C’mon Francis you were doing so well with forced labor, blood diamonds and fur and you have to go and spoil the whole point by bringing up the elderly , relativism and objective truths. Don’t you know that euthanasia is a blessing and we all know that what’s true for some isn’t for others?
Francis on the Dignity of Work:
128. We were created with a vocation to work. The goal should not be that technological progress increasingly replace human work, for this would be detrimental to humanity. Work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfilment. Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs. The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work.Yet the orientation of the economy has favoured a kind of technological progress in which the costs of production are reduced by laying off workers and replacing them with machines. This is yet another way in which we can end up working against ourselves. The loss of jobs also has a negative impact on the economy “through the progressive erosion of social capital: the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence”. In other words, “human costs always include economic costs, and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs”. To stop investing in people, in order to gain greater short-term financial gain, is bad business for society.
MSM: Francis you did it again! We were ready to dive into the bit about evil corporations but you have to spoil it by emphasizing work and suggesting aid for the poor should be provisional toward a goal of work. That’s practically a GOP talking point!
Francis on Genetic Modification and history:
133. It is difficult to make a general judgement about genetic modification (GM), whether vegetable or animal, medical or agricultural, since these vary greatly among themselves and call for specific considerations. The risks involved are not always due to the techniques used, but rather to their improper or excessive application. Genetic mutations, in fact, have often been, and continue to be, caused by nature itself. Nor are mutations caused by human intervention a modern phenomenon. The domestication of animals, the crossbreeding of species and other older and universally accepted practices can be mentioned as examples. We need but recall that scientific developments in GM cereals began with the observation of natural bacteria which spontaneously modified plant genomes. In nature, however, this process is slow and cannot be compared to the fast pace induced by contemporary technological advances, even when the latter build upon several centuries of scientific progress.
MSM: HeyFrancis enough with the history lessons. Do you know how much time and effort we have invested in the whole Frankenfood meme? Rejected!
Francis on experimentation with human embryos:
136. On the other hand, it is troubling that, when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life. There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development. In the same way, when technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit. As we have seen in this chapter, a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power.
MSM: Embryos, Embryos Embryos, HeyFrancis I thought you had a scientific background. Don’t you know a clump of cells when you see one? Rejected!
Francis On Human ecology:
155. Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an “ecology of man”, based on the fact that “man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will”. It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek “to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it”.
MSM: Are you kidding me, the whole Transgender Movement and to some degree the gay rights movement depends on exactly the opposite of this?
I guess that’s enough for part 2. Tune in Tomorrow for part 3
Earlier today I talked about what I thought the biggest news from Laudato Siis. Now I’d like to look at several passages that jumped out at me while I read it.
If you just go by the MSM reports one might think this was the confirmation of all the liberal dreams of the left and the fears of the right concerning the holy father, the media has been falling over itself to complement the pope and push this encyclical.
However anyone who has read the document might notice that there are a lot of things here that our leftist media friends would rather we just skip.
So lets take a look at some of the things in its 246 paragraphs that the media you might not have heard. Each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip it. (all emphasis mine)
Pope Francis on urbanization:
45. In some places, rural and urban alike, the privatization of certain spaces has restricted people’s access to places of particular beauty. In others, “ecological” neighbourhoods have been created which are closed to outsiders in order to ensure an artificial tranquillity. Frequently, we find beautiful and carefully manicured green spaces in so-called “safer” areas of cities, but not in the more hidden areas where the disposable of society live.
MSM: Yeah Francis is talking about the 2nd World Urban areas he was intimately familiar with in South America but this is something that could be easily applied to the same cultural elites like us that are pushing this document. Besides most of our cities are run by Democrats. We’ll skip it.
Pope Francis on the social decline that has come from Technology and the ignoring the wisdom of centuries:
47. Furthermore, when media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously.In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload.Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches. True wisdom, as the fruit of self-examination, dialogue and generous encounter between persons, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution. Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature. Today’s media do enable us to communicate and to share our knowledge and affections. Yet at times they also shield us from direct contact with the pain, the fears and the joys of others and the complexity of their personal experiences. For this reason, we should be concerned that, alongside the exciting possibilities offered by these media, a deep and melancholic dissatisfaction with interpersonal relations, or a harmful sense of isolation, can also arise.
MSM: Social Decline? We’re in the “enlightened age”. We all know that all those “sages” were a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobic idiots who have something to teach us that’s worth remembering. Why they didn’t even believe in Gay Marriage! We can’t talk about this.
Pope Francis on those aloof to reality:
49. It needs to be said that, generally speaking, there is little in the way of clear awareness of problems which especially affect the excluded. Yet they are the majority of the planet’s population, billions of people. These days, they are mentioned in international political and economic discussions, but one often has the impression that their problems are brought up as an afterthought, a question which gets added almost out of duty or in a tangential way, if not treated merely as collateral damage. Indeed, when all is said and done, they frequently remain at the bottom of the pile. This is due partly to the fact that many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world’s population. This lack of physical contact and encounter, encouraged at times by the disintegration of our cities, can lead to a numbing of conscience and to tendentious analyses which neglect parts of reality. At times this attitude exists side by side with a “green” rhetoric. Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
MSM: This kinda hits too close to home. Just because we are here in our cities eating at the best restaurants and drinking the finest booze doesn’t mean we don’t give damn about actual people. Better skip it in case people draw that conclusion.
Francis on cultural pressure from the Developing world
50. Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. Yet “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development”. To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor”. Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.
MSM: Hey “reproductive health” is the cornerstone of our belief system. Well we certainly CAN’T critique policies pushed by democrats that require this wise agenda on cultures in return for aid and anyways it’s for their own good!
Francis on progress that’s been achieved:
58. In some countries, there are positive examples of environmental improvement: rivers, polluted for decades, have been cleaned up; native woodlands have been restored; landscapes have been beautified thanks to environmental renewal projects; beautiful buildings have been erected; advances have been made in the production of non-polluting energy and in the improvement of public transportation.These achievements do not solve global problems, but they do show that men and women are still capable of intervening positively. For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love.
MSM: Eh I dunno I guess we could point to the environmental movement for that success but if we talk about success, it might take away from the urgency of the problem. We’ll leave that alone.
Francis one environmental extremism:
60. Finally, we need to acknowledge that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged regarding this situation and its possible solutions. At one extreme, we find those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change. At the other extreme are those who view men and women and all their interventions as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited. Viable future scenarios will have to be generated between these extremes, since there is no one path to a solution. This makes a variety of proposals possible, all capable of entering into dialogue with a view to developing comprehensive solutions.
MSM: Nah that’s a non starter, one of Francis’ extremes are the tech guys of the left and the other is the base of the Democrat party. That’s gone.
Francis on renewal:
71. Although “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Gen 6:5) and the Lord “was sorry that he had made man on the earth” (Gen 6:6), nonetheless, through Noah, who remained innocent and just, God decided to open a path of salvation. In this way he gave humanity the chance of a new beginning. All it takes is one good person to restore hope! The biblical tradition clearly shows that this renewal entails recovering and respecting the rhythms inscribed in nature by the hand of the Creator. We see this, for example, in the law of the Sabbath. On the seventh day, God rested from all his work. He commanded Israel to set aside each seventh day as a day of rest, a Sabbath, (cf. Gen 2:2-3; Ex 16:23; 20:10). Similarly, every seven years, a sabbatical year was set aside for Israel, a complete rest for the land (cf. Lev 25:1-4), when sowing was forbidden and one reaped only what was necessary to live on and to feed one’s household (cf. Lev 25:4-6). Finally, after seven weeks of years, which is to say forty-nine years, the Jubilee was celebrated as a year of general forgiveness and “liberty throughout the land for all its inhabitants” (cf. Lev25:10).This law came about as an attempt to ensure balance and fairness in their relationships with others and with the land on which they lived and worked. At the same time, it was an acknowledgment that the gift of the earth with its fruits belongs to everyone. Those who tilled and kept the land were obliged to share its fruits, especially with the poor, with widows, orphans and foreigners in their midst: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field to its very border, neither shall you gather the gleanings after the harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner” (Lev 19:9-10).
MSM: I like the poor and sharing stuff but you’ve got that whole Sabbath day stuff with it. People will immediately think Chick-Fil-A and anyways there are too many quotes from Leviticus and we all know what THAT book says about homosexuality.
Francis on the supremacy of God:
75. A spirituality which forgets God as all-powerful and Creator is not acceptable. That is how we end up worshipping earthly powers, or ourselves usurping the place of God, even to the point of claiming an unlimited right to trample his creation underfoot. The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and who alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality.
MSM: Are you kidding me? A spirituality without God is exactly the point we’ve been pushing for years, and we certainly can’t talk about absolute realities. Rejected!
Francis on the nature as valued by God as part of his creation:
88. The bishops of Brazil have pointed out that nature as a whole not only manifests God but is also a locus of his presence. The Spirit of life dwells in every living creature and calls us to enter into relationship with him. Discovering this presence leads us to cultivate the “ecological virtues”.This is not to forget that there is an infinite distance between God and the things of this world, which do not possess his fullness. Otherwise, we would not be doing the creatures themselves any good either, for we would be failing to acknowledge their right and proper place. We would end up unduly demanding of them something which they, in their smallness, cannot give us.
MSM: Uh oh a lot of our fans equate nature as a God, we can’t quote him saying nature isn’t God.
That’s over 2000 words and we have barely gone through a 1/3 of the document. There is a lot more to come.
Yesterday was VE Day an unofficial holiday when we remember those who risked their lives for the good of society fighting in Europe in WW 2.
Oddly that day made me think of National Teachers day which was May 5th.
To most this might seem odd. National Teachers day would be a day to remember the best teachers we ever had like Mrs. Teresa Mahoney who I had for both 4th & 7th Grades way back in 1972 & 1976. She introduced me to poetry from Arthur Guiterman’s Pershing at the Front which made me smile to Countee Cullen’s Incident which made me think.
However given the situation teachers find themselves in today the VE day comparison might be apt. Exhibit A the 2nd largest city in New England Worcester MA:
School safety liaison Rob Pezzella says schools and police have already implemented a measure officials announced last week by stationing officers at the district’s high schools. Additional measures could include metal detectors.
The new security measures came in the wake of a series of weapons-related arrests at or near some of the high schools over the past few weeks.
What my colleagues and I experienced this week went well beyond any “disturbance” or “challenge” we’ve dealt with in the past. It did not happen without signs pointing to the inevitable eruption in our hallways. Control has been eroding for some time, and the reasons are many. North may be a brand new facility, but it brings with it all the baggage an urban high school carries: a high poverty rate, understaffing, children with intense mental health issues and a reluctance to hold students and families accountable for unacceptable behavior.
“Instead of a learning environment, the emphasis has been to keep children (often young adults), with no interest in an education, in the schools to show an increase in graduation rates. Instead of a safe environment, the emphasis has been to reduce detention, suspension, and expulsion actions for the purpose of showing an artificial reduction in disciplinary issues. Meanwhile, these disruptors with no interest in an education bully, attack, and assault teachers and other students. Our children should not be forsaken for a statistic.”
In fairness to Worcester this is neither a new nor a local problem only as the national results of search for “Teacher Assaulted” in Google or Yahoo will quickly demonstrate. Nor is the focus on stats vs. teaching confined to Worcester as those whowere willing to strayfrom the media narrative of the Trayvon Martin case could tell you:
Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin’s death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for “decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.” What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.
Stats vs actual learning is at the heart of the Common Core debate as well, but that conversation is a week’s worth of pieces in itself.
As for Worcester, I’d like to say that these crisis has resulted in a renewed focus by the bureaucracy not just on the protection of teachers and students but on the purpose of schools teaching mathematics, science, history, English & poetry, alas it seems the focus in Worcester remains on perception and gestures:
On Friday, Worcester photographer Troy B. Thompson visited the high school and invited all students to participate in his “No Evil Project,” which seeks to break down the stigmas of labels.
Along the same lines as Thompson’s community-wide project, which is currently being featured at the Denholm Building, students wrote out three labels they feel they represent and pledge an act of kindness.
I can’t imagine Mrs. Mahoney doing this. Her generation was the generation of the Great Depression & the Second World War. They knew what hardship, suffering and loss were and understood that there was a cost to everything worthwhile. Rocking back on your chair (these were the days before one piece desks & chairs) would cost you a nickel for the Catholic Missionaries and those were the days when a rap across the knuckles with a ruler was not going to generate a call to DSS.
National Teachers day was once a simple day when we remembered our favorite teachers like Mrs. Mahoney who helped make us who they are, but will the day soon come when we think of National Teachers day as a remembrance to spare a thought for the modern teacher who faces an environment fraught with dangers & priorities for the good of society.
What The Clintons Haven’t Learned. “The Clintons just don’t seem prepared for the modern media world and its tendency to relentlessly pry away at the smallest details. In the end, this may be a bigger problem for the Clinton campaign than whatever Schweizer’s book reveals. . . . The Clintons clearly understood that there was a threat, which is why one presumes that Hillary’s e-mails were shielded from FOIA requests. But that also looks like a tacit confession that the Clintons didn’t really understand what they were dealing with.”
While Ms. McArdle’s piece is interesting I disagree with both her premise & Glenn’s. His premise seems to be the Clinton’s aren’t ready for the Internet age, her premise is the Clintons made a mistake leaving a trail:
Now instead of a mini-scandal over some badly phrased e-mails that would have blown over in a few days, the Clintons have a lingering issue of unknown scale. But that’s not the main problem for the campaign. The most serious concern at the moment is whether there are any other trails of breadcrumbs, and where they might lead.
But I think they are both wrong, I’ve already argued in these pages that the reason these scandals are making headway outside of conservative media is the left (and by extension the media ) is in fear of a Clinton’s defeat in 2016 so they are doing all they can to coax her out of this race early enough to get a better candidate in.
But the real truth is the Clintons HAVE learned the lessons of the 90’s quite well:
It was Democrats and media who vigorously Defended Bill Clinton at every turn, who insisted the Monica stuff was “just about sex”.
It was the liberal media who held back this story and at every opportunity belittled the entire idea of this investigation. (and who ironically MADE Matt Drudge who did not.
And it was democrats who en masse not only voted against the 4 articles of impeachment Article I: Perjury before the grand jury, Article II: Perjury in the Jones case, Article III: Obstruction of justice, Article IV: Abuse of power but directly after their passage assembled on the White House lawn as Richard Gephardt, Al Gore and Clinton Himself (with Hillary beside him) made speeches attacking the House for daring to suggest that his actions made him unfit to hold the Office of president of the United States.
They furthermore learned the lessons of the new century. Hillary Clinton was handed a can’t lose Senate Seat in NY and Bill Clinton has been treated as a rock star on every media network and at every Democrat event he has attended for over a decade.
And ask yourself, how many Democrats have Bill & Hillary campaigned for over just the last four years to cheering crowd?
Why would the Clintons change their behavior when there is no cost for it?
There are very few Democrats who don’t know who and what the Clintons are and they simply don’t care:
Democratic voters remain loyal to Clinton though, with more than three-quarters expressing a positive opinion of the frontrunner for the party’s nomination, according to the NBC/WSJ poll.
It doesn’t matter what Bill Clinton does to any woman, it doesn’t matter that nobody can name an accomplishment of Hillary, it doesn’t matter who they sell themselves to or for how much. Democrat voters, the media and Democrat money will be there, particularly if she is the nominee.
That’s the lesson the Clintons have been taught over the years and they’ve learned that lesson well.
Chief O’Brien:I was with a group of women and children, and two Cardassian soldiers burst in. I stunned one of them…the other one jumped me. We struggled. One of the women threw me a phaser, and I fired. The phaser was set at maximum. The man just…just incinerated there before my eyes. I’d never killed anything before. When I was a kid I’d, I’d worry about swatting a mosquito. It’s not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you.
Star Trek TNG The Wounded 1991
Jefferson:You know, I think Franko might be right this time. Wladislaw:Yeah, shaving in cold water won’t make us any better soldiers.
The Dirty Dozen 1967
I was driving home a few days ago with my wife today when I commented on a phenom that’s become incredibly common in crime stories. The exclusion of the race of a perp if said perp is a person of color. I was looking at such a story and then looked at the comments.
I’d like to say I was shocked at some of the open racism I saw there but not only was I not shocked by it, but it’s rapidly reaching the point where I not bothered by it.
I’ve been trying to sort that out in my head when I on a whim clicked on a link to the The Anti-Idiotarian Rotweller one of the older bloggers on the net whose been at it for over a decade but a fellow I rarely visit as he was always a tad vulgar for my taste.
Fran Porretto: And damned proud of it, baby. But do you know why I’m a racist?
SL: (sneering) I can hardly wait to hear it.
FWP: Because you made me one.
This is sometimes followed by dumbfounded silence, though now and then the conversation will continue along these lines:
SL: (shocked) How can you say such a thing?
FWP: Because it’s true. You’re my stand-in for everyone on your side of the political fence, while I represent my own. I wanted nothing but to be left in peace, to get along with my neighbors as best I can regardless of the color of their skins. You refused to permit it. You’ve emphasized race at every opportunity. You’ve harped on racial injustices in the distant past as if they were the doing of contemporary whites. You’ve taught American blacks and Hispanics to think of themselves as helpless victims of “Whitey.” You’ve agitated ceaselessly for racial preferences in the law, and you’ve usually gotten them. You’ve excused non-white criminals, traitors, and other miscreants on the grounds that “they couldn’t do otherwise in this oppressive society.” You’ve granted a wholly undeserved degree of respect to racialist hucksters like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Toure, Melissa Harris-Perry, and hundreds of others. You’ve used ordinary words and idioms as justifications for destroying decent men’s lives and careers. You’ve used cries of “racism!” to silence anyone who disagrees with you about anything. Worst of all, you’ve got everyone in the whole damned country seeing race everywhere, and afraid to speak his mind if it might somehow touch on that subject. But now that whites are showing some racial consciousness, voting and relocating and arming to protect our own from the groups you’ve sheltered and coddled, you find that you dislike what you’ve wrought? Choke on it!
At that point the conversation usually trails off
It’s not a pleasant read but it highlights a sad truth that I’ve been seeing develop over the last several years.
One of the great strengths of America has always been that usually when problems arise, one party or the other adopt the issue and run with it, expanding their base and eventually winning enough political power to solve said problem.
On occasion a problem comes up that is ignored by both major parties. Usually this is because one of those parties has a vested profitable interest in said problem while the other hesitates thinking either the problem unsolvable or not willing to deal with the price of solving it
Eventually the public, recognizing the obvious truth of said problem, become disenchanted with both parties and rise in a political revolt and that’s where third parties come from growing strong on what is left behind. It is the origin of the GOP which rose up as an anti-slavery party when the Whigs were unwilling to address said issue while the Democrats had a vested interest in keeping it.
It also leads to violent radicals like John Brown (secretly backed & financed), who while holding the correct position that Slavery was a moral wrong was very happy to slaughter people without mercy in his willingness to stop it. His actions led to a civil war that while ending American slavery cost 650K American lives in the process.
If the Whigs had decided to address the issue, if they were able to absorb the abolitionists and push the issue there is every reason to believe that as it did in England, slavery could have ended without bloodshed and certainly with no more expense than the actual war cost.
And that brings us to now.
Right now the problems that Mr. Porretto is talking about have become ingrained, the Democrats spin it, our media spins it, and the GOP pretends it’s not happening. If that was happening alone it would be bad enough, but we are seeing other issues from Radical Islam to Federal Encroachment of private property to Christians being persecuted for obeying their religion.
In all of these cases the media has spun these oppressions which would have been rejected a mere generation or two ago as just and the victims of them as beneath contempt. Our Democrat friends persist as these are done for their advantage and the GOP fearing media opprobrium at best give them lip service and at worst attack or marginalize them.
This is an incredible danger, people who can not express their frustration through “mainstream” parties will express them elsewhere, if we’re lucky through new parties.
But what happens if we’re not lucky and those people being marginalized out of the political process, people who tend to history of service in our military and are heavily armed personally decide its a waste of time to take part anymore?
Does nobody see the danger here?
I know a lot of people these days don’t read actual history and even fewer have served in the military and have seen actual combat and the consequences of said on a society but can it be we’ve become so foolish as a society to think that humans are different than they’ve been in the past? Do they really think that in the end all of this is going to be resolved without trouble?
What kind of ignorant idiot thinks that way?
We have problems in this country and don’t permit them to be addressed openly and honestly the end result is going to be horrible, and not just for the United States but for the rest of the world because if you think the Putins and the ISIS of the world are advancing now with a weak American leader, imagine what will happen with one in no position to act even if it had a strong leader?
All of this is avoidable, but it will take honesty, courage and a LOT of prayers (specifically the Rosary for reparation) to prevent it. May we be wise enough, honest enough and brave enough to do what is needed now. If we don’t our children and grandchildren along with a lot of innocents around the world will pay the price.
“Of all the bloggers, pundits, reporters, researchers, etc. I know, I can think of two who I would say are mean-spirited–both of them unrelentingly vitriolic, I’m guessing in some wretched effort to resolve personal disappointments.
Of the remaining hundreds, all give every evidence of sincerity and of genuine passion for education.
So this is a call for fewer blog postings that, implicitly or explicitly, denigrate the other person’s motives, or that offer a knowing nod with the claim “we all know what those people think.”
A couple of years ago a public school teacher told me that all children need to use reading strategies, or else they won’t understand what they are reading. This teacher was older than me, and “reading strategies” weren’t a thing when we were in school. Yet, somehow we learned how to understand what we read. A fact like this should speak for itself.
But a lack of common sense today is preventing folks from seeing the obvious. So they give weight and credence to ideas that don’t withstand scrutiny. With the application of a little common sense (and dare I say, critical thinking) the experts would realize an issue as complex as education cannot be ironed out by a single set of standards:
“Obviously schooling is complex, with a number of interacting factors that contribute to student outcomes. . . . [A] problem in one part of the system might mask positive change in another part of the system, just as repairs to the electrical system of a car might appear to have no effect if the fuel system also needs repair.
There seems to be no recognition of this possibility in education policy, which is evaluated on a system-wide basis. No Child Left Behind was a complex law with ramifications at every level of the educational system. Yet the autopsy is seldom more nuanced than ‘it didn’t work.'”
Time for the bio! I’m Linda. We used to pay for private school, until horrible things like “clothes hanger book reports” and “reading strategies” drove both me and Older Son crazy. That didn’t seem like a good bargain. So for now I’m homeschooling. We’ll see what education choices our next PCS brings . . . say that reminds me. Do you know what is a good bargain? A Tech Guy subscription! The button is right below these words.
It’s Monday and based on yesterday’s take of $2 our consecutive streak of failing to make our $365 weekly goal is in no danger.
I do promise you if you do hit DaTipJar and help us get to our $365 weekly goal I’ll keep fighting like Mrs. Palin. I’m not as valuable to the conservative movement as her but I’ll continue to do my part.
If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year.
In order to understand a problem, as a scientist I like to look at fundamentals, or origins, of the problem we are faced with. These days this ‘Culture War’ that the far reaches of the political spectrum seem to be fanning the flames of (to the point of a bonfire now) is a real issue. So where did this culture war start?
My first memory of the use of the culture war term and analogy was in Pat Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 Republican convention. I then traced some of his ideas to James Davison Hunter’s 1991 book “Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America.” Hunter was a University of Virginia sociologist who viewed politics as an increasingly uncivil arena split into two sides that share little but mutual antipathy. The book made use of a lot of war descriptions and metaphors and leaves a distinct idea that American politics was in a steep decline.
But while I was checking these references, I found a more serious connection with a darker past.
Part of the path leads through Herbert Baxter Adams (1850-1891). He taught poly sci and history at Johns Hopkins, and is sometimes referred to as ‘America’s first professional historian’. He was the first active academic to gain a PhD in history, and he earned it at Heidelberg, Germany in 1876. This meant that he was in Germany during their culture war. What follows is a sort of review of the book this led me to read.
Bohm’s Der Kulturkampf: 1871-1873
Wilhelm Bohm published his “Rise of Bismarck” in 1887-1889. This book is volume 6 of that 8 volume set and gives a detailed look at the events of the three or four years after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. This volume is entitled “Fȕrst Bismark als Redner… der Kulturekamph…” (Culture Struggle) and it expounds on the actions taken to create the modern state of Germany. Parsing the text and the multi part compound nouns make it a slow read (or reveal my barely adequate German). Some of the twists and changes in political alignment are also hard to follow. But comparing the time with our modern culture war is certainly informative.
Bismarck was manipulating and forcing change on people’s fundamental ideas, and he largely succeeded. There are certainly actions we would view as alarming: people and clergy were imprisoned, property was seized or destroyed, and Bismarck certainly earned his nickname of ‘the iron chancellor’, but with consideration he comes off pretty well as the good guy. While he did create Germany as a country, he also had a good number of unintended consequences.
Before Bismarck Germany (the area) actually contained a number of countries, and the views of a Hamburger, Prussian, Bavarian, Palatinate (I skipped a fair number) were different. After him they were melded into one Reich. We would see his actions as harsh and abrupt, but his challenges were also very great. He was coming out of 250 or so years where those little nations had been walked over, or fought in, looted and burned by their neighbors. They had been hit by the French, the Spaniards, the Netherlanders, the English, Austrians, Italians, Poles, Swedes, and Russians among others. After Bismarck, Germany was a world power, although they would start colonization about 100 to 150 years later than the majors had moved around the globe.
As a obiter-dicta (by the way comment); these wars gained some experience for the Germans but reduced them to such relative poverty that the only viable ‘export’ for some of the rulers in these countries was to lease out their own conscripts as mercenaries… the ‘Hessians’ in the American Revolution.
It is interesting to think about Bismarck’s results compared with our culture war especially that set of unexpected consequences. His ideas of government were more democratic and open than the state that resulted in the Kaiser’s Germany of WWI or Hitler’s Reich in WWII. He also wound up with ‘Secularism’ as a sort of religion, and this seems to be an intentional target of our Collectivist activists. Overall I found the book worth while, although most would prefer a more modern translation.
Back to Adams
We never hear this anywhere, but I will look into Herbert Baxter Adams further in a later post. He figures in several trends that contributed to our modern society: the specialization and fragmentation of education (he was the first PhD); defining history and sociology as a domain belonging to trained specialists, and had lots of his ideas printed and distributed by the U.S. government. Thus he affected both high-school and college teaching of history. This blog is already too long, so for now just look him up in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Baxter_Adams.
Defining Some Terms
In order for any two people to actually agree on something (or even discuss it) the words or phrases that they use must mean the same (or at least very similar) things to each of them. This can get to be very slippery for two reasons: 1) definitions change over time, or 2) the definition is the same but the context changed. For example, “all men are created equal” once allowed some men to still hold others as slaves. Likewise, the understanding of the meaning of ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ has changed from the times of our founders.
Another concern occurs when we use terms like ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’, particularly in a political context. The concern is that so many related concepts and ideas are lumped in with the idea that a short definition is not actually clear. A frequent notion when complicated or involved agreements are needed is to use an attorney. But I’ve rejected that idea ever since seeing Bill Clinton twist on “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”; a master performance by a trained lawyer.
Since these blogs are about agreement and ideas, we’ve got to be clear on terms. I do not ask that everyone agree with these definitions (although it sure would be nice), but do ask that you consider them, and remember that they apply across these blogs.
Lincoln once remarked that “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one.” In the 145 years since then, we haven’t got one yet. But since this purports to be a collection of my thoughts about liberty, I decided early on that I needed a clear idea of what liberty was. I always try to keep the following definition in mind:
Liberty is a condition enjoyed by the members of a society in which every person has the absolute right to think, speak, and act with no limits other than those needed to secure the same right to every other person.
Having evolved and struggled with that definition, I was very pleased when late in my work I found support from Jefferson:
“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”
Liberal and Conservative
If at all possible I intend to avoid using these terms. Generally in politics and other fields a ‘Conservative’ is someone who supports the status-quo or a return to the recent past, while a ‘Liberal’ is one who wants to change things to match some vision they believe is better. The problem is that this always defines a shifting target. A Conservative in 1780 wanted to return to the kingdom, while a Liberal wanted the Articles of Confederation.
To further confuse things, various writers add adjectives and phrases, such as ‘Classical Liberal’, ‘Neo-con’, or ‘Compassionate Conservative’.
Left and Right
These terms are also used to describe political positions. I personally have three problems with them. First, I refuse to be classed based on the seating arrangement in the assembly of the 1848 French revolutionary government. Second, they are frequently used as an image of the two wings of an airplane. But if you don’t like the plane’s direction, which side you sit on is irrelevant.
Lastly, they also give rise to other terms, like ‘Middle of the Road’. A Texas humorist defined the problem here best by his book title: “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos”.
Democracy and Republic
These terms describe forms of government. Many activists today seek to restore us to a ‘Republic’, but that doesn’t clarify the meaning. The meaning and definition is so involved that it will serve as the subject of several later blog entries. However, at considerable risk of disagreement, the short definitions used throughout this work are:
A republic is a government where each person, as an individual, is sovereign.
A democracy is a government where the people as a whole or a majority are sovereign.
What follows would be footnotes if this were a book, so if you’d skip them there, go ahead and skip them here. (If anybody knows a better way to do this, I’d love to hear from you).
Bill Clinton’s comment is in his video testimony of August 17, 1988 and was delivered to the grand jury in the Lewinsky affair.
Lincoln’s quote was part of a speech delivered in Baltimore in April of 1864; I took it from page 121 of volume 7 of “The Writings of Abraham Lincoln” published in 1906.
Jefferson’s quote showed up late because it wasn’t in any of the standard collections, such as Ford’s Centennial Collection of Jefferson’s Works in 12 volumes. It came from a letter to an Isaac Hall Tiffany, Esq. written on April 4, 1819. You can get a look at it of the Library of Congress website under The Jefferson Papers, Series 1, and general correspondence. Grey scale image is at
The funny book title can be found in a number of places. It was by Jim Hightower, published by Harper Collins in 1979, entitled “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos”, (ISBN 0060187663). P.S. If your mind is a strange as mine you might find the book worthwhile for a plane ride.
Outside the Box – Time to Change?
This set of observations doesn’t seem to match anybody else’s thinking. While change happens every day, we seem to undergo a major shift at very broad intervals. The interval, in terms of our Federal government seems to be every 72 years. This is just long enough that almost all direct memory of the previous shift has gone to the grave. What I propose here is to briefly outline these shifts as noted by presidential elections, then describe the resulting governments.
Seventy-two years is also 14 presidential elections. For us this means 1788 Washington, 1860 Lincoln, 1932 (Franklin Roosevelt), then 2008 (Obama). The last one seems four years late, which I attribute to the unsettling effect of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Nature of the Shifts
Before looking at each shift, I want to point out that each shift also resulted in a change in terminology. We went from a Federation to a Republic, to a Democracy, then to the Progressives. Strangely enough each referred to itself as an example of the earlier stage and governed under principals of the next,
1788 -1860 was the Federal Era. People spoke of a federation, and referred to ‘these states are’. But during much of the period we were evolving from a federation to a national republic.
1860-1932 might be spoken of as the Republican Era. But once again we sent most of the era evolving from a national republic into a democracy. By the time of FDR the transition was completed.
1932-2008 is usually spoken of as the Democratic Era, but we spent much of it evolving from a Democracy into the ‘Nanny State’ of the progressives.
2008-? So far is called the progressive era, at least by many congress critters. We don’t know yet how it will turn out, but most features so far seem to be communistic. What this really means is subject matter for many more discussions….
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So I’m finally getting around to reading a book my dad gave me awhile back. The Land That Never Was is a nonfiction account of a self-aggrandizing Scot who, in the 1820s, swindled large numbers of people out of large amounts of money by inventing an imaginary Central American nation and appointing himself ruler of it.
Some people merely invested in loans backed by fictitious national holdings. Others traded their life savings for phony currency and phony land grants, boarded ships bound for this phony utopia, and wound up stranded in the untamed jungles of the Mosquito Coast.
I’m writing because the author of this book, David Sinclair, incidentally provided some history of Simón Bolívar, a famous figure in the South American struggle to gain independence from Spain. (Please enjoy the proper accent marks from the “insert custom character” feature. I won’t be bothering with that again.)
Normally, I would have paid little attention to the information on Simon Bolivar, and probably would have forgotten most of it as soon as I finished the book. Because normally, the name would be completely unfamiliar to me. Simon Bolivar would have been one of many characters that played a part in the story of Gregor MacGregor (whose name I would have remembered, because dang what an awesome Scottish name).
However, in addition to the hobby of reading, or at least vainly attempting to read, books that my dad recommends, I also have the hobby of reading and then heaping scorn upon textbooks that children are forced to study in school. Thanks to the latter hobby, the name Simon Bolivar is familiar to me: he was one of the historical figures featured in a recurring sidenote, “Character Trait,” in the Harcourt social studies textbook People, Places, and Change.
In the post History Matters, I discussed the “Character Trait” treatment of George Washington in the very same textbook. Of all the things for which to remember the Father of our Country, the authors and editors of this dog’s hash of a textbook chose “citizenship.” Because . . . well, I can only conclude that it was the least flattering yet most benign trait they could come up with.
Do you know what would have been a great character trait to assign George Washington? Integrity:
17th September, 1796 Farewell Address: “I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an ‘Honest Man.'”
The authors and editors decided instead to reserve the trait “integrity” for none other than Simon Bolivar. At the time I read it, the name meant nothing to me. Yet, the description of this dude as the “George Washington of South America” naturally rose my hackles a bit, first because I knew they had screwed GW out of the “integrity” label, and second because I am wary whenever some multicultural figure is casually equated with America’s founders.
Then I started reading about Simon Bolivar in The Land That Never Was, and my wariness became well-founded. According to David Sinclair, Simon Bolivar saw himself not as the South American George Washington, but as the South American Napoleon, “to the extent that he would even stand in the famous pose of the French Emperor, with his right hand tucked inside his tunic . . . .” (The Land That Never Was, pg. 144)
Now, my subsequent internet research (which ate half my Sunday right up, by the way) did not produce a simple picture of the man who was Simon Bolivar. My point is not to demonize him, nor minimize his importance.
My point is to heap scorn upon our education textbook industry. Not only do they over-simplify the rich and complex stories of nations in a way that makes all of them interchangeable and therefore virtually meaningless, they can’t even get the basic facts right.
“In 1811, Bolivar first freed his native Venezuela.”
It may or may not be accurate to say that Simon Bolivar embodied the trait of integrity.
But it is definitely not accurate to say that Simon Bolivar freed Venezuela in 1811. According to The Land That Never Was, Bolivar gave an important speech in favor of Venezuelan independence in 1811. (pg. 142) He joined the military effort to oust Spain months later, and promptly suffered a crushing defeat at Puerto Cabello that was so bad he wrote, “my soul is crushed to such an extent that I do not feel able to command a single infantryman. . . .” (pg. 142)
I’m actually going to add a short bio to this week’s post. I never did identify with modern liberalism, possibly thanks to my middle school social studies teacher who was so mean and also so biased that she told us liberals were generous and conservatives were stingy. I knew anything she said couldn’t possibly be right. I write at No One Of Any Import, and if you’ll just subscribe and be patient I’ll write something very entertaining there soon.
“Heteronormative patriarchy” is a phrase that would make me chuckle under any circumstance. That so much pomposity can be crammed into merely two words is a marvel on par with John Cleese‘s talent for parody.
Even so, growing up in the seventies and eighties meant that I unknowingly absorbed of a great deal of feminism. So, while the idea of getting married was okay, the vows had to be for “husband and wife,” not the unequal “man and wife.” The vow to obey my husband was acceptable only because my husband vowed to obey me, too. I didn’t even have to request that wording. It must have been standard.
I grew up in a world that said of course men and women are perfectly equal. Of course you and your husband are equal partners in the marriage, with equal power over household decisions. Of course you can bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan. (And never let him forget he’s a man!)
That equal life eventually led me to the military, with all its rigid hierarchical glory. Authority must rest on the shoulders of a single commanding officer. Otherwise a stalemate can occur, and the mission doesn’t get accomplished.
What an irony: my feminist-minded career ambitions ended up convincing me to assume the role of second-in-command in my own house. After all, chain-of-command issues apply to marriage, too. If both spouses have the same level of authority, what happens if they reach an impasse? The marriage must end. It can’t be helped; they “just grow apart.” The marital strife in Die Hard is a good example.
So, that’s my experience with feminism. I wore the mantle reflexively, then cast it off and forgot all about it. Feminists haven’t forgotten about me, though, have they? They keep thinking up new ways to explain what’s wrong with me. Wikipedia says that “heteronormativity” originates from a 1991 queer theory work, but “became incorporated into both the gender and the transgender debate.”
“Gender is inherently hierarchical and oppressive. . . . The goal of feminism, then, must not be just the elimination of gender inequality or gender oppression, but that abolition of gender itself.” Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men, explaining and critiquing Godlessness in Theory.
Very interesting. The fact that different people engage in different types of sexual activity apparently means that basic biological differences should be thrown straight out the window. There is no male and female anatomy; there is only a complex tapestry of desires and Thou Shalt Not Judge Any Of Them.
We also know the typical conservative and libertarian response (they actually seem to agree in this instance): “don’t tell me what to eat!”
Both sides are focusing on a small, incidental battle of the real war. The real war is cultural, of course, and its lines are much more broadly drawn than our average BMI.
The real war is masked by the sheer novelty of the issue at hand. At what other point in history has a sizeable population had the problem of too much to eat? How ironic, really: the poorest among us are also the fattest.
At this point in history, individual responsibility is at a distinct disadvantage. Culturally, we have been shirking that pesky responsibility for a good fifty years at least.
Even more important, individuals in America today have a tremendous amount of power when it comes to the simple question of how to fill our stomachs. Will it be sweet, or savory? Spicy, or mild? Beef, chicken, fish, or vegan? Thai, or Indian? Italian, or Mexican? The possibilities are endless, affordable, convenient, and always delicious.
I’d say that we as a society have more money than sense. It might be more accurate, however, to say that we have more access than sense. After all, if you don’t have the money, then just put it on the credit card. If you are eligible, then let the taxpayers help you access that yummy junk food.
Of course, the liberal solutions won’t solve the problem. Happy propaganda will fall on deaf ears. The strict approach will become the norm. We are already accustomed to the idea of paying the government for the sin of tobacco use. It is not a stretch to imagine paying for the sin of junk food.
Will the strict taxation approach make any meaningful headway? Will the decrease in obesity be worth the decrease in individual freedom? Being a regressive tax, it will punish those that liberals claim they want to help–the poor. Any newly created black market will always thrive. Also, the “evil” corporations will find a way to work around government regulation.
In fact, those demonized corporations will hop right in bed with the regulatory powers-that-be. Even the lame ones that sell you a product you can make in your own kitchen: the cold sandwich.
Now, let me emphasize an important point: in America today, we have more power and more choice in food than the richest rulers of ages past. That power is hard to judiciously exercise. Really, really, hard. I drive a particularly restaurant-heavy stretch of road on a daily basis, and I have coined that drive “running the gauntlet.”
Even with the windows rolled up, the aromas are so thick and enticing. They are thoroughly melded together, making it impossible to tell which scents come from which building. “Don’t bother cooking tonight,” those scents whisper. “When your husband gets home, he’ll gladly bring you here.”
Personally, I’ve got about a stone of weight that I’d love to cast off, but I’m not casting the first stone or anything. I’m just trying to be honest about the problem with great power. Even the great power to purchase delicious food. Great responsibility comes with it.
As a member of the Magnificent Seven, I’m supposed to have a little bio at the end of every post I write. And I haven’t done that. In my defense, a person that bills herself as “No One Of Any Import” doesn’t really see the point in self-description. If you like what I’ve said, though, there is more on my personal blog.
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We took the kids to a civil war reenactment this weekend. It was a cold day for central Florida, which of course means that it wasn’t actually objectively cold, but when you are afraid to wear jeans in January because you might roast by the afternoon, you aren’t going to be prepared for a rare frigid wind.
After a couple of hours perusing the sutlery and the camps, I was thoroughly chilled and way more excited about the fry bread than the battle itself. Wrapped in an odd assortment of whatever clothing I could extract from my van, I settled in a camp chair on a hill above the crowd. Younger Son served as a much-needed blanket in my lap.
Alas, a number of folks crowded right in front of us at the last-minute. A teenaged boy completely obscured Younger Son’s view of the battlefield, which really wouldn’t have annoyed me. Much. Except for the fact that he looked at his phone more often than the sweeping view he was blocking.
I grumbled, gathered our things, and moved forward until we were right next to that teenager. Settling in the camp chair again, I cast a dark glance his way, but he was oblivious.
The minor inconvenience was quickly forgotten. Cannons were fired, the cavalry rode in, Union troops marched, and a ragtag group of Rebels tried to ward them off. Then, I couldn’t help but overhear the teenager ask his mom, “Which one is the North and which one is the South? I forget.”
In my old age I have found my trademark restraint (also known as shyness) failing me. As my head whipped around to address this question, a guffaw of disbelief escaped my lips. And so a conversation began.
They were both kind, thankfully, given the way I intruded into their conversation. The mom acted somewhat sheepish that her son was so clueless, and the son simply explained that he hates history.
I said, that’s because you aren’t taught history properly. Instead of sharing all the dramatic stories of our past, your teachers just recite dry facts and dates. He further explained that he hadn’t had American History since 8th grade.
I must have embarrassed him, because he continued to enlighten me with what Civil War history he did know. He explained that his 8th grade teacher told him that the North had better weapons because they had all the factories, but the South had better armor because they had all the cotton.
I didn’t know what to make of that. I didn’t want to be confrontational. How, exactly, do you ask what the heck are you talking about without being confrontational?
His mother and I explained how the South didn’t have better anything. He piped up one more time, saying that at least the South had more people. Sigh. The awkward silence probably spoke volumes. He nervously added, well, unless my teacher was wrong, because that’s what she said.
I offered that if he’d like to read a good story about the Civil War, he should read Company Aytch. He didn’t ask for any details, so I doubt he’ll be taking my advice. Perhaps, though, he’ll be thinking twice before he asks dumb Civil War questions during a Civil War reenactment.
This is purely anecdotal and all that. Still. It’s pretty powerful anecdotal evidence of how completely we have severed ourselves from our own history.
Update DTG: The left re-writing history, that sounds so familiar:
I have stated that modern liberalism & progressive is diametrically opposed to and actively targeting Christianity because it is all about truth and reality and rejecting truth and reality is the cornerstone that modern liberalism is built upon.
Ever wonder how many .gov websites are geared toward children? Lemme tell ya, there are quite a few.
Ben’s Guide, brought to you by the Superintendent of Documents in the U.S. Government Printing Office, provides pretty comprehensive listings, by both subject and agency. If you click over and give a scroll, you’ll get an idea of the wide range.
Of course, the EPA has lots of educational material on how you too can sacrifice your quality of life while people like Al Gore burn more fossil fuel than a small town. Behold the silliness that is Energy Star Kids. You can save the planet by turning off your electronics, boys and girls!
“The Earth is getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels. . . . Warmer temperatures are causing other changes around the world, such as melting glaciers and stronger storms.” Emphasis mine.
Neither is this kids’ stuff new. The federal government has aimed its informational messaging towards children for a long time. The whole “let’s get our youth fit!” thing started when Eisenhower was president. Smokey Bear has been around since 1944, and thanks to him we all know that only we can prevent forest fires.
I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that you have to try to make a frightened toddler walk through the metal detector on his own, if the agent is in the mood to watch your two-year-old try to climb up your legs while screaming himself sweaty and beet-red. At least until a supervisor comes over and shows you a little mercy.
But I haven’t yet revealed the worst part of all: TSA.gov’s section for kids does not yet feature any video games.
TSA needs to get with the program. Stat. I bet we can all pitch some great game ideas. Like Patdown Party or Baby Stroller-and-Gear Breakdown-Then-Reassemble-While-Putting-Shoes-On Race.
Or . . What’s In Grandma’s Underwear?
I better stop now. Add your own TSA video game suggestions in the comments!
It’s Monday, and we have so far moved the ball only $22 dollars toward a full paycheck.
While part of that is a new subscriber which moves us closer to our goals in a permanent way one new subscriber still doesn’t do the trick to permanently secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager.
But lets focus on the positive with 13 tip jar hits of $25 we will get our first full paycheck of 2014.
Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.
That new subscriber means we’re now only 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis. It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts
Nothing influences the decisions we make today more than our understanding of the past. This influence extends to all aspects of life, from the spiritual and political to the mundane choices we make everyday.
Generally speaking, history can be divided into just two categories: the personal and the secondhand stories that society passes down. The history that we personally experience is much more limited, but we understandably give it more weight. After all, we bore the consequences of that experience, good or bad, so it naturally makes a bigger impact. Experience is the hardest teacher and all that.
That’s why we tend not to notice the impact of non-personal history lessons. We don’t feel as connected. Yet their influence is every bit as important.
Movies are a great example of how much we can be influenced by second-hand stories. During the two or three hours when we are learning of the characters’ histories and followings their decisions to the conclusion, we make a lot of decisions ourselves. We decide who is the good guy, and who is the bad. We decide who to root for. We decide how we want the movie to end, and how we expect it to end.
After the conclusion you spend the next hour in amazement, replaying scenes in your mind and trying reconcile the new bit of information with what you had already decided.
That’s just a shadow of the very real impact that real history has on us.
Here’s an interesting real world example of history’s influence. Ani DiFranco is a music artist with a particular audience. Both she and her audience’s understanding of the past certainly impacted her decision to cancel a ‘Righteous Retreat,’ which she had accidentally allowed to be held (gasp!) at a plantation site. Serious You Guys. That is outrageous if you are a member of her audience. Out-rayyyyy-jus.
That’s a lot of history in very few pages. It’s theoretically possible that more in-depth coverage takes place before or after 6th grade. I doubt it, though. The 3rd and 4th grade social studies books were chockfull of nothing. Heck, I remember my own history books and classes being chockfull of nothing, with the exception perhaps of Mr. Bob Guy’s A.P. U.S. History class in 11th grade.
Back to the book. In those scant six pages, slavery and women’s rights are mentioned twice, so there’s that narrative reenforcement. Also, George Washington’s contribution to our nation was highlighted.
Would you like to guess which trait the authors would have General Washington remembered for?
Which doesn’t even make sense. The text doesn’t even say “good citizenship.” It just says, “citizenship.” How, exactly, does the fact that he was a legal member of our nation make George Washington an important historical figure?
Ooh, does the author wants to hide this shameful past?
Nope. There are whole chapters devoted to these topics, later on in the two volumes.
Do you know what else the Landmark History includes, which People Places and Change does not? The actual text of the actual documents. Technically, the U.S. Constitution is on page 95 of People Places and Change, but it’s a tiny illegible sidebar, with the following caption: “‘We the People’ begins this signed copy of the U.S. Constitution.”
Anyway. In conclusion. How much does the “women and slaves weren’t included!” six-page narrative influence the everyday decisions of young people today? How much would the “George Washington’s perseverance, great courage and good judgment was key for this nation!” 80-page narrative influence that same set of young people?
The way I always figured, why start the new year by setting yourself up for failure? I mean, if you haven’t reached a particular goal in your life already, how is a new digit going to make it happen? I can’t even remember to write the new year on my checks until April or so. It is highly doubtful that I will have remembered to keep a resolution in the meantime.
Besides, resolutions are just one more way to stress ourselves out. If there is one thing we all need less of, it is stress. Perhaps the best resolution one could ever make would be to worry less. But how, exactly, does a person worry less when he has just given himself a new resolution to worry about? Now there’s some pretty inescapable logic right there.
Still. The ‘worry less’ resolution is mercifully non-quantifiable. Without a clear-cut division between success (size 8!) and failure (size 14?!?), failure isn’t even an option.
So there you go. The fail-proof resolution for 2014: worry less. Easier said than done, but at least you can’t fail. I think I’ve even figured out a shortcut to the goal: ignore the experts.
Experts are a major source of worry in today’s society. They specialize in every conceivable topic, so let’s pick just one to discuss: food.
Basically, unless you are eating an apple or a carrot grown in your own back yard, somebody out there disapproves. No wonder we are all stressed out.
The technological advances of our society are wonderful, but they have given us the impression that life is too complex to figure out on our own. Modern society has decided that only the experts know best.
But that’s not true. Even experts lack key information, and risk is an inherent part of life. Think about Christopher Columbus. He may have been a great sailor and explorer, but it’s not like he had a GPS when he set out across the Atlantic.
We don’t need GPS precision for every aspect of life. Instead, we need to rely on our common sense and natural skepticism. We need to trust our own instincts instead of the latest expert opinion. Our society’s quest for protection against unknown dangers–its obsession with safety–is part and parcel of the madness that elected a planet-healing president. Unfortunately, even conservatives fall prey to this mentality.
So let’s all do our part to bring rugged individualism back to our culture, by ignoring the experts and worrying less. Do what your own conscience–guided by God if you are so inclined–tells you. And have a great 2014.
It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing.
C. S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.“
Back on Wednesday Glenn Reynolds linked to a post called Stripping on the side. I found it a rather sad story about a woman who made a lot of bad decisions
At work, I kept my night job to myself. No one knew I was stripping. And no one knew I was sleeping with Jay (although in retrospect I’m sure everyone suspected it). Everyone thought that Jay was a loser. I acted as if I agreed.
Jay’s not a bad guy, I’d sometimes think to myself. He lacked steady employment and had no place to live; I didn’t particularly respect his music and I’d have died if anybody at work found out for certain that we were together. But when it was just Jay and me, I felt at ease. I felt more like myself—normal, safe—without even having to realize that I’d ever felt otherwise. I sometimes wondered what Jay thought of me, whether he liked me and wanted to be my boyfriend, and then I’d remind myself that it didn’t really matter. I already had a boyfriend. Jay knows I’m in a relationship, I’d remind myself. He knows I’m practically married and that what he and I have is simply sex. We’re just using each other, I’d think.
and in return had a lot of bad results.
The name of the woman, Melissa Petro , didn’t ring a bell with me but I googled her and found a wealth of articles about her life including the NY Post Story that exposed her past, got her “exiled” and finally ending in her resignation from the NYC school system that tagged her under the rather logical assumption that parents might object to knowing the city had an ex-hooker teaching their grade school kids.
We’re different. I’m from the east she from the mid west, I’ve very conservative, she’s very liberal, I’m a 50-year-old fellow she is young enough to be my daughter (at least if I had gotten married a bit sooner).
I also found we had things in common: For example we are both trying to make a living out of freelance writing, but while she is writing for places like the Huffington Post, Salon and elsewhere, my writing is pretty much here as I try to draw sufficient monies to pay the bills from my readers rather than various publishers. (Personally I think my model might work for her both on radio and the net). I think she would be an excellent choice for the 4th Bob Beckel seat and if it was a paying gig I think she might take it.
Some days — like when my rent is due and I’ve got less than $400 to my name (not enough to pay my rent), and I’ve got no work because the subways and servers are down, and I’m in a battle with my ex over the apartment we’ve shared for the past five plus years, the cheapest apartment in Manhattan that I can’t afford — and rather than mourning the loss of that relationship, we are bickering over who will get custody of the dog, and it’s suddenly winter and I don’t own a proper coat or boots, and then the coffeemaker breaks, and the world is literally crumbling around us, and Mitt Romney just might be elected president — selling sex sounds like a reasonable solution to at least some of it.
That was a couple weeks ago. Then I got paid. And Obama won.
Now, a week or so later, the fuzzy right-in-the-world feeling of that political victory has trickled away. And so has that paycheck.
More disappointing than the arguably predictable moral outrage I faced, however, was the lack of support I received from the very communities who had emboldened me to speak in the first place—namely, the feminists and sex workers whom I had assumed myself to represent. One online women’s magazine (which I now write for) described as “disgusting” what they saw as my desperate plea for attention. Sex workers contacted me to dispute my account of the work as “spiritually bankrupting” and my claim that working as a prostitute had required that I sometimes be dishonest.
Oddly the more I’ve read her work, the more it seems to be, well, venting. Almost as if writing about herself, was a therapeutic event. A good example being the double standard of a Spitzer or a Weiner getting a shot while she was crashing:
After I was fired, I couldn’t pay my rent. (Even now, freelance writing and the seminars I teach barely pay the bills.) Because of the negative publicity, I lost the part-time jobs that subsidized my teaching salary. And it would only get worse: When I surrendered my fight for my job, the Department of Education contested my unemployment, even though my resignation agreement had stipulated that they wouldn’t; this was the only reason I didn’t go to trial. I moved back in with an ex-boyfriend, falling back into an emotionally abusive relationship. I was four years in recovery for alcohol and sex addiction and 31 years old. Selling sex was out of the question, even though this option haunted me more then than it had in years.
Perhaps it’s the Sicilian father in me always wanting to see people together or maybe because I still remember how crushing being alone can be I found myself oddly delighted to see she has seemingly found a nice guy:
When I met my BF, there were a couple “red flags”: he didn’t drink (alcoholic!), he was five years younger than me, he’d never had a serious girlfriend before, he worked for the NY Post. I’m glad I overlooked my prejudices and gave him a chance.
Because he works for the NY Post, something he told me in one of our first conversations, it seemed illogical to withhold who I was, and so I told him right away. He said something to the effect of “I’m sorry that happened to you” — regarding this. Then, he told me something personal about himself to even the playing field. Right response! Moving on!
I’ve now read about a dozen of Ms. Petro’s articles and several about her It strikes me that her situation from the bad early choices , the inevitable consequences, ups and down and the daily struggle to regain personal dignity in an unforgiving world are likely more common in our modern society than we realize and that’s when it hit me…
…the pontificate of Pope Francis is made for people of this age exactly like her.
Pope Francis is constantly giving the message of welcome, from the washing of the feet to those who have been rejected from the very start
Mercy is the true power that can save humanity and the world from sin and evil.
I am always struck when I reread the parable of the merciful Father. … The Father, with patience, love, hope and mercy, had never for a second stopped thinking about [his wayward son], and as soon as he sees him still far off, he runs out to meet him and embraces him with tenderness, the tenderness of God, without a word of reproach. … God is always waiting for us, he never grows tired. Jesus shows us this merciful patience of God so that we can regain confidence and hope — always!
The culture and its norms are empty, they don’t provide purpose or support. The drug and sex purported to be freedom provide no escape for the nothingness that surrounds them. This Pope through Christ offers purpose of life, support in need and escape from emptiness.
Neither Christ nor his Pope reject you when you fail. Francis constantly reinforces the message to the woman about to be stoned, no amount of failure or falling back will make him close the doors if you a willing to walk in and try.
The Holy Spirit knows what he’s doing, at a time when the fruits of the rejection are coming to their height and more and more find themselves outcast and abandoned and at this very time the Spirit whispers first to the old Pope who steps aside, then to the college who fills the chair of Peter and to Francis who extends Christ’s hand who have found the promises of the world empty and shallow.
And sometimes he extends that message in person. I’d get a charge out of that but when it comes down to it…
I’d love a call or letter from @Pontifex but if I had to pick a person for him to email or call I think it would be Melissa Petro
In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.
Martin Rittenhome:Young man I sell over $14 million dollars a year worth of Geritol, Geritol, that’s the kind of businessman I am. That show twenty-one, cost me 3 1/2 million dollars year in and year out. Sales went up 50% when Van Doren was on. 50%! So the very idea that I was unaware of every detail or aspect of that show’s operation, well frankly it’s very insulting.
Quiz show 1994
British Tommy:Takes time, it do. But you’ll get the hang of it.
Sgt York 1941
With my oldest moving home I recently upgraded internet package to get more speed. Part of the upgrade included something called Streampix which comes with a selection of movies and TV which includes The Good Wife, the popular CBS Sunday night show that my wife enjoys that I’ve been watching with her lately.Every episode is available on StreamPix so I as I came to the series late I took the liberty of watching it from the beginning.
It’s been an experience not only because it caught me up on a series that has a fair amount of reoccurring characters and motivations that are carried over from previous seasons (there was a time in TV when that was rare, now it’s almost mandatory) but because the liberal spin was just so pervasive.
A lot of it was subtle, for examples a surrogate wanting to make the choice to keep the child (supporting “choice” by having a child the opposite of the reality of the “pro-choice” mantras. Other bits less so the use of Religion as a phony thing in a campaign foiled by the St. Alicia decides to embrace her atheism in public. The evils of big pharma, the NSA, Obamacare, the GOP candidate for Governor as the consummate liar.
And the deal isn’t just to influence the public to liberal causes or inclinations as right. On occasion the show nudges the left slightly away on issues that might hurt them.
A character Kurt McVeigh was introduced (Gary Cole) , a ballistics expert, with strong pro-gun views conservative views. Uber liberal Dianne Lockheart (Christine Baranski) slowly falls for him culminating in their marriage this season. She is seen shooting guns and her liberal friends are intolerant of him. It’s a good piece of writing but it makes the play to the left that perhaps we have to go easier on those gun nuts.
Oddly enough moves against the 2nd Amendment have been politically costly for the left as evidenced by the successful recalls in Colorado which I’m sure had nothing to do with the decision suddenly push the idea of getting along over guns.
It doesn’t take long for a political type to see each message carefully packaged to paint a the picture the left wants painted and it’s no coincidence that some high powered leftists have appeared as themselves on the show.
Before I go further let’s make something clear, propaganda aside the writing here is all first rate. The plots are powerful and subplots hold you (The best being Kalinda & her ex played magnificently by Archie Punjabi & Marc Warren).
And the acting is even better. The leads are all played well, of note is Chris Noth who may be an ass concerning the Tea Party but makes a spectacular Peter Florick (Why is he listed as a “special guest star” when he’s in almost every episode?). The Supporting cast is strong particularly Alan Cumming as Eli Gold, Mary Beth Peil as Jackie Florick and the vastly underrated Zack Grenier as David Lee the lawyer we all love to hate. Finally the reoccurring characters (Nathan Lane as Clarke Hayden , Jerry Adler as Howard Lyman and Carrie Preston who’s Elizabeth Tascioni who might be able to carry a series of her own) are so well acted that it’s no wonder the show has won awards from the Casting Society of America 3 of the last 4 years. These actors, writers et/al have earned every single accolade they’ve received…
….and that’s precisely why the propaganda is so effective, you are so taken in by all that you are seeing and characters you care about, or hate or wonder about or laugh at that the liberal cultural message is almost subliminal. If you want to know why conservatives lose the low information voter, this is it.
Until we decide to take this fight to the left, with shows and magazines to match we will always be playing defense.
Penny:All right. Let me give you a little girlfriend 101. Usually the first move out of the gate is you withhold sex, but that will work better after Sheldon hits puberty.
The Big Bang Theory, The Weekend Vortex 2012
I still have not read Helen Smith New Book Men on Strike (although I very much want to have her on the show ASAP) but something came up this week that instantly made me think of it. Vivian Norris proposed Sex strike.
But women, take heed: Don’t give in if your man, boyfriend, husband, toyboy is not voting for your best interests, your reproductive health — do not sleep with that man! I don’t care how cute or charming he is! I don’t care if he is your husband of many years. Resist! Go swimming! Meditate!
A 20 something man, the type who might be considered most vulnerable to such a proposition who I told the story to suggested this would fail as woman wouldn’t be able to do with out sex themselves. This invoked a memory of a SNL skit from over a decade before he was born staring Jane Curtin:
Earlier this October, Congress extended the period for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Yet, since then not one additional state legislature has ratified this most basic affirmation of human rights. It is time we women took action. As a spokesperson for Weekend Update, I am therefore calling on the women of America to place a moratorium on the act of performing oral sex on any male until the ERA is the law.
I recall Bill Murray’s reply vividly
Well, okay, Jane. But remember that oral sex is a sword that cuts both ways. No oral sex — you know what I’m saying?
Of course we have since learned from liberals that Oral Sex really isn’t sex so it may not be included in Vivian Norris’ proposed strike but lets for the moment presume it is. Even including a potential lack of Felicio Vivian Norris and her allies proposal to withhold sex until Texas approves late-term abortion on their terms is doomed to fail, mostly due to the limited number of potential persuadable men. Let’s examine the subset
1. By definition this strike will only be effective on pro-life men if they are having sex with pro-abortion women. Since there is a large subset of women who are pro-life none of them are likely to join this boycott so those men are out
2. Religion is a strong driver in terms of abortion positions. There are always the men who put principle or religion over sex, a small subset to be sure but that subset must also be removed from the equation.
3. By nature people in high political positions have power and or money, both of these are power inducements for women to have sex with them (Ask yourself if the women at the playboy mansion care what Hefner’s abortion position is) so the subset of women who are willing to boycott shrinks to the pro-abortion women who are not persuaded by either power or money to sleep with a man.
4. We also have to subtract those with national ambitions in the GOP, coming out pro-abortion would mean death in a primary and would dry of vast quantities of donor funds from the base nationwide
5. With the combination of masturbation going from a source of derision and humor to something society declares as “healthy & natural” and pornography becoming not only acceptable but so common on the net on cable and elsewhere that you have to take affirmative steps to avoid it, a man can find release easily. For a few dollars more a strip club or a hooker on Craigslist is not far away.
6. Finally you have to exclude one more subset of men, the long married. A man who has been married for over 30 years put it well when I mentioned it to him saying he’s been married so long he’s forgotten what sex looks like.
7. And of course this boycott will not effect pro-life women voting for the ban
So now Ms. Norris’ boycott now is now down to targeting the subset of pro-life men, who are not with a pro-life spouse or girlfriend, who are not strong enough of character to put their religion or principles first, are not driven enough by ambition to be pro-life for political purposes, do not have sufficient money and/or power to override the willingness of women to copulate with, are not satisfied with either porn, hookers and strippers to provide a sufficient masturbatory release and who haven’t been married long enough to not notice the absence of sex as normal.
That’s when she hits the final wall.
Men in general tend to have a much higher tolerance for clutter and disorder than women. What happen if the man figures, hmmm she not going to give me any anyway, why should I bother with dishes, or laundry or mowing the grass or painting that shed or picking up, or those errands etc etc etc.
Men need very little incentive to practice inertia, I suspect Ms. Norris’ boycott will provide more than enough to continue.
So who does that leave Ms. Norris to target? The subset of non-religious pro-abortion straight men, without power or money, who have not been married long enough to forget sex, are unwilling to masturbate or spend a few dollars on a pole dancer and are too fastidious to let a house stay unkempt in Texas.
And I thought the GOP was a small voting subset in Massachusetts.
Well perhaps if Ms Norris & her voluptuous colleagues can pressure these men sufficiently so they will implore the other men not vulnerable to the boycott to give in for their sake.
Because there is nothing like knowing you are having more sex than the other guy to bruise a man’s ego.
Now while members of the tea party, the conservative blogosphere and Republicans around the nation might object to this as a double standard, we obviously are forgetting that this type of thinking from our democrat friends concerning Republicans is simply an extension of science:
Scientists have found that people with conservative views have brains with larger amygdalas, almond shaped areas in the centre of the brain often associated with anxiety and emotions.
On the otherhand, they have a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life.
All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity
Being fanatics with a species of insanity, we don’t understand why someone like Brandon Darby, who had the audacity to believe that bombing the GOP convention might not be the appropriate response to political disagreement, is clearly unworthy of standards of society, let alone the consideration for his acts that an Erik Loomas should expect.
And we of the right like Darby, being unworthy of the consideration for the standards or support of society due to our mental impairment, dare I say mental inferiority why stop there? After all, if conservatism is a form of irrational insanity that as some say, has “blood on their hands“, what rights do conservatives have that should be respected by he left and the media culture that support them, particularly if these opinions lead to the violent death of women and children?
If such insanity could somehow be restrained, then the enlightened could solve problems from the economy to gun violence unrestrained. There is a precedent. In fact there’s a whole Supreme Court ruling, one of the most famous rulings in American jurisprudence, made by some of the most educated and elite democrats of their time that can be looked to for guidance:
I don’t see a single line in the constitution protecting the rights of the insane fanatics. Do you?
I know some might object to Democrats being connected these opinions of their party. Their resentment to some degree is proper, after all the left goes after the right irregardless of race. So what is the actual driver here? Well that’s for tomorrow.
Update: Stacy McCain notes something at Occupy Rebellion that is relevant:
Andrew Breitbart was a career criminal who made it his mission to destroy people & their families. . . .
NO ONE linked to Breitbart has the right to ever claim their “victims” of anything. NO ONE linked to Breitbart has the right to ever “grieve” for anyone they know who died.
Stacy is stuck by this:
What is striking — and, in a weird ironic way, a tribute to Breitbart’s greatness — is how this obsessive hatred has persisted even after Breitbart’s death, so that now Rauhauser, “Occupy Rebellion” and others (most of them involved with the “Weiner Truther” cult) have transferred their “heroic hatred” to Breitbart’s associates.
Stacy Stacy Stacy, you just don’t get it. It’s not obsessive hatred, Breitbart obviously doesn’t have the right to be mourned because what he did and thought was obviously, as Dr. Stephens would diagnose, due to his insanity and any of us who wish to follow his example deserve no better.
One of the things I’ve noticed over time is one a republican is no longer a threat to democrats electorally the media suddenly finds nice things to say.
At the New Republic we see this process up close.
Before the hearings, Robert Bork had been renowned at Yale Law School, where he taught for nearly two decades, not only for his influence on antitrust and constitutional law, but for his ideological open-mindedness: many students of his era fondly remember the seminar he co-taught with his closest friend on the faculty, the liberal constitutional scholar (and TNR legal editor) Alexander Bickel, which featured affectionate bipartisan debates. After Bickel criticized his conservative jurisprudence in one class, Bork replied, “You’ll notice that my colleague’s elegant theories of jurisprudence are a cross between Edmund Burke and Fiddler on the Roof.” TNR was said to be Bork’s favorite journal at the time, and in 1968 he wrote a piece for this magazine, “Why I Am for Nixon,” praising the Republican presidential candidate as the true heir of classical liberalism.
As soon as Robert Bork became a “threat” to the left it was necessary and proper for good Catholics like Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden to destroy him and his reputation if they could.
Yet Bork remained the man he was.
After the hearings, he would become, in print at least, something of the caricature of legal conservatism that Kennedy had painted. But he remained friendly and convivial in private: Whenever I ran into him and his devoted wife, Mary Ellen, over the years at holiday sing-alongs, he loved to discuss his old friend Bickel over scotch. Although the hearings had left Bork professionally embittered, he remained personally gracious.
I suspect many of the left who knew that Bork was a better man than they pretended he was. All of these people who could have done something or said something at a time when it would have meant something will unburden themselves of the guilt and they will feel better about themselves.
The world will now hear about Robert Bork the good republican, but only because he is Robert Bork the dead republican.
It is always a temptation;
when you live on agitation
To call upon a business and to say; —
“We protested you last night
— back with media tonight
“Unless you pay us cash to go away”
Once that was called the Dane-geld
And the leftists who ask for it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em modern Dane-Gled
And you’ll be rid of protests that very day
It is always a temptation
for a company that’s craven,
To puff and look important and to say: —
“Though we don’t support your actions
, we don’t want the press distraction
So we’ll pay you guys to simply go away.
Once that was called paying the Dane-geld
And Al Sharpton & Jess Jackson did explain:
That ’til you come across with modern Dane-Geld
The cry of “racist” never goes away.
It’s always a Temptation,
To a pol, for Vindication
To feed supporters and an Angry base
Chick-Fil-A, its Christian leanings,
Kept the Left, it kept them seething:
So the Mayor of old Beantown was to say:
“Chick-Fil-A I demand a Dane-Geld
Maybe call it Gay-Geld coin a phrase
To open you here you must pay this Gay-Geld
And toss those Christian principles away
It is always a Temptation,
when the media it shakes ’em
To avoid a cry: “You guys are anti-gay”
But Chick’s customers objected
and one Wednesday they came venting
And blew all sales records, just to say:
“Chick-Fil-A you must not pay this Gay-Geld
Don’t act to feed a pandering pols ways
We’ll stand in line to save you from that Gay-Geld
For Christ and for our Free speech we will pay
And as promised they kept coming,
making registers a hummin
Saying you don’t have to give in on this day
Yet Chicago is attractive,
Hungry People it’s not lackin’
So a power tripping Alderman did say:
Chick-Fil-A pay unto me this Gay-Geld
Don’t let those Christian principles hold sway
There’s lots of chicken lovers in Chicago
And our deal don’t have to see da light of day
It is always a temptation
To employ some obfuscation
Advancing your agenda just that way
So the Alderman went crowing
On the media unloading
That he had brought around ole Chick-Fil-A
So the media reported on the Gay-Geld
That Chick-Fil-a seemingly had paid
A great win with the payment of this Gay-Geld
And all the left did shout “Hip Hip hooray!”
It is always a temptation
To vent your great frustration
When you feel you have been horribly betrayed
So the people started tweeting
Or on Facebook it was wreaking
Massive havoc as in one voice they proclaimed
“So you decided to go and pay the Gay Geld,
Just To sell some extra chicken in one place
And for a single new Restaurant location
We thousand thousand folks will go away
It is always a temptation
To give some clarification
When the news reports aren’t right in what they say
But words too diplomatic
Can turn all parties frantic
And double all your trouble right away
Till everyone cries “did you pay the Dane Geld
Or did you not? don’t play these silly games
Just tell us strait did you pay that dane-geld
‘for we all think that we are being played
So if temptation comes a wisperin’,
take the lesson Fil-A missin’
No deal, no talk just don’t negotiate
When the left it comes a callin’
threatening protest at the mails in
Your Business will find it better just to say: —
“We’ll neither pay a Dane-Geld nor a Gay-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
‘Cause the price is our oppression
or confusion never endin’
So you and yours can simply just get lost”
Read her whole post and her others on the subject. Her opinion is worth hearing and understanding. After all once can’t be secure in one’s own opinion and beliefs and be unwilling or unable to hear the other side without rancor.
Although all of us are conservatives, we vary in several ways, Miss Attila is more on the libertarian side, Nice Deb like me is very Catholic and Cynthia as the name of her blog indicates is not only a lesbian, but strongly in favor of Gay Marriage.
Nobody is farther apart that me and Cynthia on this issue. I have described it as narcissism, she considers it a civil rights issue and is in the process of writing a book The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage I will certainly have her on my show to argue about the book (and promote it) when she is ready.
Why as a stalwart Roman Catholic, a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus and a staunch conservative would I be hanging out with Cynthia Yockey, promoting her blog and linking to her diametrically opposed opinion on Gay Marriage?
1. First of all, if your argument is good you aren’t afraid of the argument against.
2. Second of all Cynthia is my friend and that will always trump a political disagreement.
3. Finally we both understand that neither my support of Marriage nor her support of gay marriage makes the other a bigot.
This however doesn’t appear to be the case with some of our friends on the left.
For months I’ve noticed that on Memeorandum any person who opposes gay marriage is automatically labeled with the pejorative: “anti-gay” or as a supporter of “anti-gay bigotry”. And this is not just coming from those who support the insane anti-first amendment positions of the mayors of Boston, Chicago, DC or Philly. Consider this piece at the Huff-Po by James Peron:
Recently, political has-been Rick Santorum was having a hissy fit on CNBC about the Chick-fil-A controversy. Many people have called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A, myself included, due to the company’s funding of extreme fundamentalist organizations and its anti-gay public positions.
Mind you this is the voice of a “reasonable” member of the left. A person who correctly recognizes the positions of the Mayor of Boston and others as violations of the 1st Amendment. Yet by his use of language he dubs all those who support marriage as it has been in every state of the US until 2003 are supporting “extreme fundamentalist organizations” and their positions are “anti-gay public positions” , their views are “anti-gay views”.
And he is not unique. On Saturday I called into Bob Hockinson’s show which precedes mine on Saturday 5-7 AM on WCRN, his caller on the line was a person known as Citizen “Q”. We know each other and both played in the Jimmy Fund benefit wiffleball game this year to raise money to help kids with Cancer. He bluntly stated on the air that any person who doesn’t support Gay Marriage is a bigot. No qualifications, no exceptions, you aren’t in favor of Gay Marriage; BIGOT!
Who knew that until 2003 every president and ever governor of every state had been a bigot? Who knew that we were run by a bunch of evil people all these years?
So long as Obama supported the traditional definition of marriage, Democratic politicians and support groups had to tread carefully in how far their rhetoric and actions went. Once Obama came out in support of gay marriage, Democrats were freed to accuse anyone and everyone who supports the traditional definition of marriage as bigoted and unworthy of a place in their jurisdictions.
Now the “bigot card” is on full display as a centerpiece of Democratic politics.
With the race card no longer working the Bigot card is on display daily at Think Progress and elsewhere and we will see a lot more of it too
And make no mistake, effectively banning the support of traditional marriage as “hate speech” is where the movement is heading. It is impossible to have a discussion of the issue without supporters of traditional marriage being called bigoted. “Bigot” is the new “racist” and the “bigot card” is the new “race card.”
Such an argument, however, is tantamount to an admission that persuasion as a political tactic has failed.
The problem with not answering this kind of thing directly allows the “bigot” motif to become established and once established it’s hard to remove. It took decades before the race card lost its sting. I’m not going to stand for this all over again so we’re are going to make some Jacksonian rules around here:
If you, like my friend Cynthia Yockey or Glenn Reynolds, both supporters of gay marriage, want to make the case give the arguments and make your points. Great, let’s have that debate. Happy to do it and link back to your points and counterpoints. I’ll even consider having you on my show. If you can win the battle of ideas, hey the people have the right to be wrong.
But if, you like Think Progress, or James Peron want to start calling people “anti-gay” or “bigots” then not only will I not link to you or entertain your arguments, I shall refer to you as “Anti-Christian” “Anti-Family” “Anti-Marriage” zealots. In fact since Islam also opposes gay marriage I guess I can call you “Islamophobes” as well.
(Mind you if you express a specific opposition to radical Islamics, I’ll give you slack. Those people want to slaughter you simply for being. That’s barbarism.)
I really don’t like playing this game. I think it is crass and crude but that’s the way it goes. When the radical left develops the confidence in their argument that a Glenn Reynolds or Cynthia Yockey holds. when they have the confidence to make their point without placing a blanket label of “bigot” on their foes, then I’ll be delighted to extend to you the same courtesy.
You want respect. Earn it.
Update: Glenn Reynolds quotes Mark Steyn:
In Mayor Menino’s Boston, if you take the same view of marriage as President Obama did from 2009 to 2012, he’ll run your homophobic ass out of town. But, if you want to toss those godless sodomites off the John Hancock Tower, he’ll officiate at your ribbon-cutting ceremony.
DaTechGuy’s fundraiser continues and as you can see by the thermometer your $10 & $20 is needed to keep things going. As a capitalist I’ll even accept money from people who call me names.