Category Archives: Abortion

Visions of America: videos from both left and right

There are several fascinating videos out there, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to them, along with a little moralizing of my own.

First, Trump handles with incredible grace a question that only a hack pretending to be a reporter would ever ask:

Second, Trump, by honoring Susan B. Anthony, saw the left launch an unbelievable savage attack against her. They’re trying to frame it around racism – although it was instead a 19th-century intersectionality battle – but we know Susan B. Anthony’s real sin: She opposed abortion because she did believe that all lives matter. I disagree with every word in this video. I just think you ought to see it to understand that the left has only two pillars: If Trump’s for it, we’re against it; and abortion is the most sacred principle in the Democrat party:

Third, now that the election is on the horizon and we’re truly in battle mode, both the GOP and the Trump campaign are coming out with some amazing advertisements. This one, which the little logo in the lower right corner indicates is from the GOP, knocks it out of the park:

Fourth, this will make you cry. Incidentally, I haven’t commented about Cannon Hinnant for a few reasons. First, it makes me cry and I don’t need that right now because I need my energy for other things. Second, I don’t think it was racial. I think the killer was evil and that’s different. Third, I’m not sure that there’s a benefit in pointing out the media double standards. It won’t change the media and it won’t bring that boy back. Because you see, the left is evil too. We have to defeat it, not play tit-for-tat:

Fifth, Ric Grenell says what needs to be said. Because of my lifetime in the San Francisco Bay Area, a lot of my real-me Facebook friends are LGBTQ people I’ve known for decades. The non-politicized ones are just plain folk. The politicized ones manage to combine the emotionalism of women and the aggression of men, all of it aimed at Trump and Christians. Sadly, they wouldn’t watch Grenell if he was standing in their living rooms and they were chained to their couches:

Sixth, never forget the gaping chasm between Democrat rhetoric and Democrat practice. In this regard, remember too that what you see is what you get with Trump. He’s a character and an eccentric. He loves his country and, unlike every other president in memory, he kept his campaign promises. With the Democrats, on the other hand, you have to be very careful: Don’t listen to what they say; watch what they do:

Seventh, remember that the Joe Biden of today is not the Joe Biden of yesterday. Yesterday’s Biden was awful; today’s is worse because he’s a demented man who is the pawn of the most radical people ever to seize power in American history:

We’re used to hearing about elections that they’re battles for America’s soul. When you hear that often enough, you stop taking it seriously. And the fact is that, for decades, we’ve been governed by a mono-party. Whether Democrat or Republican, they were all much the same, with the only significant difference being the fact that Republicans were a bit more concerned about the financial bottom line.

This year, though, it’s different. The leftists are what they’ve always been, although they’re not pretending anymore. It’s Trump who breaks the paradigm and the pattern. He is not a member of the mono-party. He is sui generis – that is, utterly unique. He’s not going through the motions to maintain D.C. power. He keeps his promises as he works on his vision, which is a strong, free America, in which all people are equal under the law, in which everyone has a stab at the economic opportunity of a free market, and which values every life.

Incidentally, Andrew Klavan often talks about the fact that the Republican reverence for the free market beginning in the 1980s had within it the seeds of the Republicans’ downfall because they forgot that capitalism works only when tempered with morality. He’s right. China is the ne plus ultra of capitalism without morality. (By the way, another word for what China is now is fascist. That’s what happens when you allow private ownership and a “free” market, but the government maintains complete control.)

Trump is not a moralist. He will not bring that to the table. It’s up to each of us to practice moral capitalism. However, what Trump does bring to the table is his pro-life stance. The mere fact that he thinks every life has intrinsic value takes a long way away from the chilling culture of both raw capitalism from the right or fascism from the left.

Image: Pxfuel, cropped, free for commercial use.

Austin is trying to deter crime the ‘Minority Report’ way

By shifting money from policing to encouraging abortions, Austin is fulfilling the eugenicists’ dream of a world in which no criminals exist.

The Minority Report was a 2002 movie (based upon a Philip K. Dick short story). The premise was that law enforcement had moved to a point at which it was able to arrest murderers before they committed their crimes. Tom Cruise was a police officer who found himself accused of a future murder.

It occurred to me that, in a weird way, Austin, Texas, is embarking on the same kind of futuristic law enforcement effort — and I mean “futuristic” as in it’s decided to use its money to deter future criminals rather than using its money to deal with present crime.

Austin, the most leftist city in Texas, is having a serious murder problem:

Analysis conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that homicides have spiked in 36 of the nation’s 50 largest cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to WSJ’s data, Austin leads the country in percentage increase of total homicides compared to the previous year, ahead of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

In response, the city council made an interesting decision. Instead of beefing up it law enforcement budget, it cut that budget and channeled the money to beefing up abortion:

The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to gut its police budget. The Austin Police Department, which is already about 200 officers below full strength, will have its budget cut by one-third.

[snip]

Not only will defunding police get innocent people killed, but the city council doubled down on that: Some of the funds that would have been devoted to law enforcement will be diverted to cover abortion in the city.

The proposal to cut police funding by about one-third of its total $434 million budget calls for immediately cutting around $21.5 million from the department. This would include reallocating these funds to areas like violence prevention, food access, and abortion access programs.

Margaret Sanger, racist founder of Planned Parenthood, undoubtedly would approve.

Bryan Preston, who wrote the above post, believes that it’s about money and power. Having relayed the facts about Austin’s financing decisions, he adds:

In crass political terms, the Austin City Council has moved public funds from police, who tend to be conservative, over to abortionists, who tend to pour millions of dollars into Democrat campaigns.

I’m sure that’s one element of the Council’s decision-making. However, I couldn’t help but think that there’s a Minority Report element here too. Think back to the single most quoted point from Steven Levitt’s and Stephen Dubner’s entertaining and thought-provoking book from 2005, Freakonomics.

In the introduction to their book, the authors talked about the massive drop in crime during the 1990s. They note that experts talked about a good economy, gun control laws, and innovative policing, which saw murders in New York fall from a high of 2,262 in 1990 to a low (as of the book’s publication) of 540 in 2005. These theories, though, say the authors, had a problem: “they weren’t true.” (p. 3.)

What really dropped crime levels, said Levitt and Dubner, was Roe v. Wade, in 1963, which made abortion legal:

So how did Roe v. Wade help trigger, a generation later, the greatest crime drop in recorded history?

As far as crime is concerned, it turns out that not all children are born equal. Not even close. Decades of studies have shown that a child born into an adverse family environment is far more likely than other children to become a criminal. And the millions of women most likely to have an abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade—poor, unmarried, and teenage mothers for whom illegal abortions had been too expensive or too hard to get—were often models of adversity. They were the very women whose children, if born, would have been much more likely than average to become criminals. But because of Roe v. Wade, these children weren’t being born. This powerful cause would have a drastic, distant effect: years later, just as these unborn children would have entered their criminal primes, the rate of crime began to plummet. It wasn’t gun control or a strong economy or new police strategies that finally blunted the American crime wave. It was, among other factors, the reality that the pool of potential criminals had dramatically shrunk. (p. 4.)

Aborting criminals before they commit crime was a principle that Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported. During a 2009 interview, she made clear her belief that Roe v. Wade, had it been implemented equally all over America and had federal funds been used to advance abortion, that would have cut down on criminals (emphasis mine):

Ginsburg: The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.

Emily Bazelon: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

Ginsburg: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

Looking only at the highlighted language, people have accused Ginsburg of racial eugenism. That’s not a fair accusation. What she stands guilty of is broader than that. She supports the original eugenism. This was an ideology that hated everyone who destroyed the perfect world that America’s white, college-educated, middle- and upper-classes at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century thought was within their reach.

If you go back and read Sanger or any of the other American eugenicists, you discover that, while they were happy to lump blacks, Italians, and other races into the list of populations they wanted to shrink, their real goal was to get rid of crime. For example, Jean Webster, a Vassar-educated Fabian socialist, writing in 1915 in her epistolary novel, Dear Enemy, made the classic early-20th-century progressive intellectual’s argument for stopping the “feebleminded” (emphasis mine):

It seems that feeblemindedness is a very hereditary quality, and science isn’t able to overcome it. No operation has been discovered for introducing brains into the head of a child who didn’t start with them. And the child grows up with, say, a nine-year brain in a thirty-year body, and becomes an easy tool for any criminal he meets. Our prisons are one-third full of feeble-minded convicts. Society ought to segregate them on feeble-minded farms, where they can earn their livings in peaceful menial pursuits, and not have children. Then in a generation or so we might be able to wipe them out.

There you have it: Better living through science (and carefully targeted murder). Americans were receptive to these arguments phrased, as they were, for the greater betterment of society. In the first third of the 20th century, as Dinesh D’Sousa compellingly shows in The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, progressives made a lot of headway sterilizing the “unfit”:

“America led the way in legalizing and promoting coerced eugenic sterilizations,” historian Angela Franks writes. [fn. omitted.] Progressives had their first success in 1907 when Indiana passed a law requiring sterilization of “confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists.” Over the next thirty years, twenty-six other states passed similar laws. In the early 1930s, when the Nazis came to power, American states were sterilizing 2,000 to 4,000 people a year. In all, around 65,000 people were sterilized against their will as a consequence of progressive eugenic legislation in the United States. (D’Souza, Dinesh. The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, Kindle Locations 2579-2583. Regnery Publishing.)

There’s no doubt, as I said, that the eugenicists considered blacks and other “dark” races presumptively unfit, but the cultural purity that fueled their dreams went far beyond race. They imagined a world in which forced sterilization and abortion would prevent or end the lives of all babies whose mothers or fathers were criminals, alcoholics, drug abusers, or even “low-IQ” individuals.

I think that it’s this kind of cultural (not racial) purification that lurks behind the Austin City Council’s decision to divert money from policing to a radically backward form of crime prevention: As far as the Council is concerned, in a few years, Austin won’t need police. Through the city’s affirmative abortion policies (which sees the city actively pushing women into abortion mills), future policing will take care of itself. Austin has gone one step beyond the Minority Report. Rather than catching people before they commit a crime, the city is completely removing those people from the gene pool.

Image: A modification of Baby Face by Asvar Aras; CC Share Alice 4.0 International license.

Bookworm Beat 5/14/20: Pent up posting about the current scene

I am exploding with pent-up posts going back two weeks, so I thought a Bookworm Beat might be the best way to do a mental download onto the blog.

A good Obamagate overview. During their Russagate heyday, the leftist media had it easy because they could roll with a single message: “Russia! Russia! Russia!” And failing that, “Climate! Climate! Climate!”

Obamagate is harder because it is, in fact, an actual conspiracy. The nature of conspiracies is that they hide away in the dark, and involve serpentine steps to achieve nefarious goals. When brought to light, the malfeasors scurry away like cockroaches surprised by light. Then, investigators laboriously gather up the Raid and your roach motels to unravel the conspiracy and bring the conspirators before the law.

What I just wrote is a helpful analogy, but the actual facts of Obamagate are a bit harder to explain. That’s why I appreciated John Daniel Davidson’s masterful overview of Obamagate. He carefully avoids getting caught in the weeds of endless dates, actors, and lies, and focuses instead on the broad-brush outlines to reveal “the biggest political scandal of our time.” I actually disagree with that statement. I think that, as far as American politics go, it’s the biggest political scandal ever.

Anyway, if you’re struggling to get a handle on the two different narratives (FISA and Flynn) and the way they dovetail into a single concerted attack on the Trump campaign and then the Trump presidency, Davidson’s article is an excellent way to start.

Matt Taibbi continues his lonely journey as an honest progressive journalist. One of the things I didn’t get to blog about while my site was down was an article two law professors – one from Harvard and one from the University Arizona — wrote for The Atlantic about censorship. If you’re expecting to hear that they wrote a rousing defense of free speech, you’d be wrong. Instead, the professors advocated for abandoning constitutional free speech in favor of Chinese-style censorship, complete with tech giants giving the government the help it needs.

Taibbi does not agree, either with the professors or with other so-called “liberals” advocating for wiping out both the First and Fourth Amendments. While Taibbi doesn’t go back as far as Tom Friedman and his love affair with Chinese-style control, he does round up a few recent examples of how the Wuhan virus has been an opening for “liberals” to let out their inner fascist.

(By the way, I never use the word “liberal” to describe Democrats, progressives, or leftists. It is an obscene misnomer, and I won’t countenance it.)

Taibbi using that leftist drive for censorship as an opening to discuss covers the leftist love for “expertise,” its relentlessly scolding tone (think: Karen), and the severe limitations that hamper even good journalists. It’s a tour de force and deserves a read. Indeed, anyone, especially a progressive, who writes this deserves to be acknowledged, and that’s true even if Taibbi’s leftism still blinds him so that he meekly accepts as accurate the canard that Trump told people to inject over-the-counter disinfectants:

We have a lot of dumb people in this country. But the difference between the stupidities cherished by the Idiocracy set ingesting fish cleaner, and the ones pushed in places like the Atlantic, is that the jackasses among the “expert” class compound their wrongness by being so sure of themselves that they force others to go along. In other words, to combat “ignorance,” the scolders create a new and more virulent species of it: exclusive ignorance, forced ignorance, ignorance with staying power.

The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant. It’s astonishing that they don’t see this.

Bastiat and the problem with the leftists’ apocalyptic world view. Years ago, I read, and fell in love with, Frédéric Bastiat’s famous economic essay, “What is seen and what is unseen.” In it, he examines the fallacy of those who say that even a broken window is a good thing, for it brings work to the glazier. Bastiat, however, points out that fixing something broken is a dead end. The window’s owner might have spent the same money on something more useful and necessary for him. This lost buying power is the “unseen” part for those who can see only a broken window and a glazier. Or, as Bastiat wrote, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

Leftists have this limited “unseen” thinking about gun violence (they see only those 30,000 who die, not the hundreds of thousands or even millions whose lives guns save). They also have it with abortion, where the focus is on women (who can be seen), rather than on the millions of babies who never got the chance to grow up to be women (or men).

For an example of a “seen” woman’s suffering, think of Michelle Obama, who was very explicit about what a terrible choice it was for her to have children:

“My relationship with Barack was all about our equal partnership,” Obama recalled. “If I was going to have a unique voice with this very opinionated man, I had to get myself up and set myself off to a place where I was going to be his equal.”

[snip]

“The thing that really changed it was the birth of our children. I wasn’t really ready for that. That really made it harder,” the first lady explained. “Something had to give and it was my aspirations and dreams.”

“I made that concession not because he said ‘you have to quit your job,’ but it felt like ‘I can’t do all of this so I have to tone down my aspirations, I have to dial it back,’” she added.

I didn’t particularly want children, but I knew it was a necessary thing to do to further my development as a mature human being. I realized that I’d miss the selfish life (and I did miss it), but that life also frightened me because I saw that it was preventing me from fully growing up. Now that my children are themselves grown, the pay-off for having had them is huge because they are delights to have around. For me, despite the lost sleep, boredom, and frustration, it was a win-win.

But back to Bastiat, progressives, and the Wuhan virus. Actually, I won’t spell out the argument in this post because you can read it here.

San Franciscans are paying the price for subsidizing vice. For a very long time, San Francisco has been subsidizing vice. First, it decriminalized crime. Drug taking, public drunkenness, public excretory functions, stealing (as long as the thief took goods worth less than $950) . . . they’re all allowed in San Francisco. For people who like engaging in those crimes, especially stealing, San Francisco is the place to be.

San Francisco has also been subsidizing substance abuse for quite a long time. Under the banner of decency, it’s made clean needles available to IV drug users and provided them with food, shelter, and other benefits. San Francisco’s progressives say that this is right and proper because drug users are victims too.

It’s true that many homeless people are mentally ill. Of course, it’s a chicken and egg question whether they had pre-existing issues and self-medicated, making themselves worse, or whether the substance abuse itself created the mental health issues. It’s also true that tossing junkies and mentally ill people in jail is not a solution.

These are real problems and require thoughtful approaches. However, you’d also think that someone in San Francisco might have realized that it’s a bad idea to create what is effectively a Utopian environment for disruptive, dangerous, dirty, disease-ridden druggies and other people with anti-social behavior.

Tax-paying, working San Francisco residents have been complaining about the homeless problem for a while now. Still, it’s hard to take their complaints seriously when they elect Chesa Boudin as the town’s DA, the man who promised to decriminalize everything. They also elected London Breed, another hard leftist, to be their mayor.

This is what happens when genuine lifestyle issues (such as being able to walk the streets safely or run a business) crash into virtue signaling. Virtue signaling always wins.

Anyway, the Wuhan virus (or, if you like, the New York virus) has put the whole San Francisco problem on steroids. Daniel Greenfield has a hard-hitting look at what’s happening on the streets of San Francisco:

“People are coming from all over the place, Sacramento, Lake County, Bakersfield,” Jeanine Nicholson, the first lesbian head of the San Francisco Fire Department, grumbled. “People are getting released from jail in other counties and being told to go to San Francisco, where you will get a tent and then you will get housing.”

The people coming to the City by the Bay weren’t wearing flowers in their hair, they were homeless junkies who had heard that they were going to get free hotel rooms, along with pot and booze.

And it was all true. Every word of it.

San Francisco was spending $200 a night to house the homeless, or as the current politically correct euphemism insisted that they be called, the ‘unhoused’, in hotel rooms at a cost of over $100 million.

You have to read his article to believe it and, even after reading it, you might not believe it.

San Francisco always had a wacky edge, but it was an aesthetically beautiful and still functional city. Those days are over. Large parts of San Francisco are sewers with homeless people camped on the streets and affluent citizens hiding in their homes. My old neighborhood, once a working- and middle-class bastion, is the brothel center of San Francisco. The City that Herb Caen always boasted “knew how” is dying.

Go to college; get therapy. Three years ago, I wrote a post about Macalester College, a small and expensive liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota, and its proud boast about having multiple therapy dogs. I was revolted.

If you look at the photo for that post, which is simply the cover of Macalester’s magazine for parents, you’ll see that it shows girls crowding around the therapy dog. That was a familiar sight for me. When I was on a small liberal arts college campus several years ago, one that had a therapy dog, I noticed incoming freshman crowding around the dog, not in a “What a cute dog” way, but in an “I desperately need help way.” I also noticed how highly feminized the boys were, whether they were gay or straight.

Heather MacDonald, who’s a smarter, more knowledgeable, and a better writer than I am, has just written a lengthy article about the therapeutic culture at Yale and other American colleges, something that fuses feminism with mental illness. She describes how students are never told to buck up and embrace their experience. Instead, they are encouraged to revert to toddler-esque panic and equally immature means of relieving that panic. This instruction in helplessness is paired with the bizarre feminization of the therapeutic college culture:

For the last 40 years, men have been an underrepresented minority in higher education, reports American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry. Since 1982, females earned nearly 14 million more college degrees than men. Colleges began a “desperate” search for women faculty in the 1970s that eroded the “intellectual rigor of elite higher education in the U.S.,” says Camille Paglia, the feminist professor and author. “Due to that sudden influx, academe’s entire internal culture changed,” she says. As the female presence has grown, so have claims of a crisis of collegiate mental health.

Nationally, about two-thirds of the students who sought treatment for mental-health disorders in the 2018–19 academic year were female, according to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. At Yale, therapy use is heavily female and LGBTQ, according to students. “There are few straight men using therapy,” one self-identified “queer” girl in the GLC said. “It’s stigmatized for straight CIS men. Almost all my friends who go to therapy identify as gay or trans.”

I sent my college-attending children links to MacDonald’s article. I think they’ll recognize their classmates, especially their unstable, highly neurotic, angry, and dangerous female classmates, in the article.

You have to read this. Dov Fischer, a lawyer and rabbi, has written an extraordinary article entitled A Time to Hate. He explains how he, like other conservatives during the Obama years, hated Obama’s policies and corruption, while still accepting that Obama was the duly elected president. That is, conservatives understood that Republicans ran lousy candidates and paid the price. It was up to conservatives to step up their game at election time if they wanted something different than the Obama presidency.

Now, however, after three years of unmitigated hysteria, corruption, lies, coups, and other attacks on the core of the Trump presidency (that is, three years of attacks on our constitutional notion of the executive office) Fischer has changed his mind. He has learned to hate.

As I said, the article is extraordinary, and I highly encourage your looking it over.

That’s enough for one day. By the way, as you can see, I’ve changed my “woman writing” picture for a new one that better suits my blog’s format. When you see that image at the head of a post, you’ll know that the post is one that jumbles together a whole lot of things that interest me.

Bookworm Beat 9/22/19: the anthro-moronic climate change illustrated edition

I admit that I got carried away in this illustrated edition — 69 pictures! — but between climate change cultism and general Leftism, I couldn’t resist.

Climate Change





































































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No. 6 Bookworm Podcast : The multitude of reasons behind mass shootings

In my latest podcast and in this post, I examine the myriad reasons behind mass shootings today and — surprise! — none of them have to do with guns.

I know it’s been almost a week since the terrible shootings in El Paso and Dayton, but I’m still stuck on them — perhaps because the Leftists are still using them as a reason to gut the Second Amendment without bothering to to through the constitutional amendment process. I therefore used today’s podcast to discuss the multitude of reasons behind mass shootings, none of which is the availability of guns. Guns are merely a tool nor a motivation.

(You can listen to the podcast below, or find it at Apple Podcasts or at Libsyn podcasts. Or you can read this post which, while not a verbatim transcript of the podcast, covers much the same content. As always, if you like the podcast, please share it. I’d love to have an audience share one day that actually generates ad revenues.)

The primary thing to remember is that guns are not the only means to commit mass murder. Back in 1927, an angry man used bombs to blow up a school in Bath Township, Michigan, killing 38 kids and 6 adults, and injuring at least 58 others. We know from headlines around the world that those intent upon mass murder will use knives, cars, trucks, airplanes, and bombs to kill as many people as possible.

When it comes to murder, human ingenuity is endless. The reality is that man is hardwired for violence. It is the work of civilization that has shut that limited those violent impulses. I recommend two books on that point. The first is Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. The second is Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History Both books explain in great detail our violent past and our impressively less violent present.

So if guns are merely one avenue by which humans express their innate violence, what’s really going on now? Why are we seeing so many mass shootings? I think there are a multitude of reasons for current mass shootings some or most of which tend to be present in all the events we hear about lately. Here are my theories, in no particular order:

Violent Rhetoric. I think in this case, a picture and a movie promo are worth a thousand words:

Violent Rhetoric from the Left

Fatherlessness. Many (not all) but many mass shooters are fatherless. Indeed, if we expand our horizon outwards from the shooters who go after suburbanites (that is, the ones that get the media all excited) and look at the mass shooters who terrorize Democrat-run inner cities (about whom Leftists care not a whit because there are no votes to be grabbed there), I’d bet that most mass shooters are fatherless.

Fathers are absolutely necessary to a young man’s mental health. Mothers provide love; fathers provide discipline. “Wait until your father gets home” is a stereotype because it’s a phrase with real power.

Among poor people, the welfare state has supplanted fathers. Among inner city blacks, prison has become the default home for fathers, which is why I hope that Trump’s crime bill, even though it will release criminals back into society, will still prove to be a good thing by releasing fathers back into communities. Even among the middle class, women’s increased ability to provide an income has made fathers less important.

In pop culture, fathers are downplayed or erased. It’s ironic knowing now who Bill Crosby really was, but back in the 1980s, people celebrated his show because it showed a black family with a powerful father figure. Most TV shows then and now, whether for black or white audiences, had either done away with father figures entirely or played them for morons. The old idea of “father knows best” was replaced with “Dad is an idiot.” For example, Disney’s very popular Hannah Montana show, aimed squarely at young kids and tweens, had the father as a meaningless, foolish appendage. Also ironically, it turned out Bill Ray Cyrus was playing himself and look how well (NOT) that turned out for poor Miley Cyrus.

The data is pretty clear that boys without fathers are more likely to become criminals and girls without fathers are more likely to become promiscuous. Then these promiscuous girls hook up with those “alpha” criminal boys for a second generation and a third generation and, eventually, endless iterations of that terrible cycle. The bad boys pass through, leaving fatherless children in their wake. The children are then raised by single mothers or subject to the common terrors of violently inclined boyfriends. It’s a sure bet that some of those boys will grow up to kill. They’ll kill for petty crime or to make big statements or because their nihilists, but they’ll kill.

Hatred for men. We have become a culture that despises men — not just fathers, but all men. The current Leftist phrase “toxic masculinity” says it all. We tell our young men that they are violent, hate-filled, stupid, regressive beings that need to be sidelined and silenced. Instead, we should be telling boys that they have wonderful virtues — they’re brave, and loyal, and imaginative, and energetic. Then, we should work on harnessing those virtues.

The Leftist way creates violent, angry, nihilistic men who are completely disconnected from society. The smart, humanist way creates kind, brave people who protect the weak, rather than try to destroy everyone.

A cultural loss of respect for life. For all the Left’s hysterical cries about kids in concentration camps, the point of that protest is simply to open the borders to replace America’s existing voting population. It is not about life. If it were about life, the Left would stop enticing people, especially families, to make the dangerous trek across the deserts and rivers that separate Latin America from North America.

The Left’s real lack of respect for life is shown in other ways. It’s shown by the way abortion has become its central platform. I know from living in the suburbs for decades that the women in my world are pretty conservative — except that they will go to the mat for abortion. It is their central political/religious tenet. It is the one thing, more than any other thing, that activates their political neurons. To keep those neurons firing, the Left has shifted from “keep abortion safe, rare, and legal,” to “abortion should be legal up to, including, and after birth.” That’s not a life cult; that’s a death cult.

The attack on the death penalty is also a lack of respect for life. In my podcast, I bumbled through an explanation based upon my reading of Dennis Prager’s excellent The Rational Bible: Exodus, which I already read, and The Rational Bible: Genesis, which I am currently reading. Here, though, I’ll let Dennis Prager explain it himself:

We are also losing our anthropocentric world view, which diminishes the value of human life. The Bible is about man as the center of a God-created world. Every human life is a reflection of God, so every human life is infinitely precious. Western history has also been a human-centric history. Whether Biblical, Greek, Roman, or Western, we learn about great men (plus a few great women). Sure, most of history has been about slaves and other masses ruled by these great men, but our histories still imbue the men with personality. We’ve seen our world driven by their desires, angers, insanity, visions, etc.

Starting 150 years ago, though, with Marx, history stopped being driven by individuals — that is, individuals stopped mattering — and we were told that it is driven by mass movements of faceless groups and classes. No wonder, then, that Stalin said, or reputedly said, “One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” Once you start viewing death statistically, you’ve lost entirely any reverence for human life.

Within our own life times, we’ve seen the return of pagan Gaia — or Nature — worship. Leftists in thrall to this belief system openly yearn for a mass die-off of humans or demand that humans cease reproducing. They want to return the world to a presumably Edenic pre-human time. The fact that Nature, untempered by humanity, is red of tooth and claw, that it’s an endless, bloody, violent, painful fight for survival, seems to elude them entirely. All that the Gaia worships know (or think they know) is that humans are bad and Nature is good.

As I understand it, when it came to the El Paso shooter, this kind of Gaia-centric world view, or eco-fascism, was the driving force behind his murder spree. He didn’t want to kill Hispanics because they were inferior, which would be a racist, or white supremacist, view. He wanted to kill them because his environmentalist world view says Hispanics coming to America is putting unneeded, excess pressure on our environment. That’s pure Leftism.

De-institutionalizing the mentally ill. I’ve been grumbling about de-institutionalizing the mentally ill for decades. I remember as a child how San Francisco’s Summer of Love in 1967 morphed into the endless winter of mentally ill, drug-addicted people taking over San Francisco’s parks and streets. Once upon a time, Americans more humanely put people with severe mental illnesses or addiction problems into institutions, where they were safe, clean, fed, and cared for.

There is no doubt that some of those institutions were cruelly run places and needed reform. Thanks to the ACLU, though, we didn’t reform them, we destroyed them and put their residents onto the streets. People with intractable mental illnesses were suddenly left to fend for themselves. They ate out of garbage cans, slept in gutters and doorways, and literally rotted to death before the eyes of people hastening to and from work in downtown San Francisco. The scary ones ranted and raved to invisible demons and, occasionally, acted out by attacking passers-by.

As news reports about Leftist cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Sacramento show, there are more and more of these pathetic people now. It’s entirely possible that the prevalence of marijuana is worsening the situation. I strongly suspect that the young male shooters who pop up in the news on too regular a basis are regular pot users.

It is a cruel, stupid society that does not care for its mentally ill or for those rendered incompetent by substance abuse. Moreover, the more functional ones are periodically going to be very dangerous.

Psychotropic Drugs. In lieu of institutionalizing people, we drug them. We also drug them when they’re unhappy. And, when it comes to normal boy energy, we drug boys so that they’ll sit quietly in classrooms the way girls do and willingly talk about their emotions. The latter class of drugs — the amphetamines used to treat ADD and ADHD — have a paradoxical effect in children, which is to calm them down, rather than rev them up. As the boys get older, though, they find themselves addicted to drugs that rev them up, increase violent tendencies, and generally turn their brains to cottage cheese.

There’s also a growing body of evidence that the other meds so freely prescribed can make people violent and/or suicidally depressed. I believe that most of the young men who engage in mass shootings outside of inner-city ghettos have been on psychotropic drugs (although I know nothing about the past weekend’s shooters). We are medicating ourselves into murder.

The Media. Here’s a bonus idea that I forgot to include in the podcast. In a media age, whether the old media of television or the new media of the internet, everybody, especially young people, wants their 15 seconds of fame. How better to get it than going out in a blaze of glory? Keep in mind in this regard that young people consistently fail to understand that, when they’re dead, they’re not experience that blaze of glory. They always imagine a post-death future in which they are still actively participating — and the media promises them a celebrity they can only dream of in life.

Mass shootings are still extremely rare, no matter what the Left tells us. Nevertheless, it would be nicer if there were no mass shootings, rather than occasional shootings. Getting rid of guns is a meaningless exercise that erases one of our pivotal natural rights without addressing the myriad reasons young people, especially young men, today feel that killing people en masse is a good thing.

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The reason behind corporations for abortion

Tom Cotton reminds us that too many corporations are brutally pro-abortion — a sickness that begins in America’s institutions of higher indoctrination.

I learned at Ace of Spades that Sen. Tom Cotton (R. Arkansas) delivered a powerful speech today about the way in which corporations are using their wealth and power to advance a hardcore Leftist agenda. I have just one point to make about that subject, and then I’ll embed the video of his speech, along with a transcript from his office.

A lot of people ask why corporations have become so Left wing. After all, shouldn’t they be avatars of capitalism? Whatever happened to the good old days of corporate leaders believing in capitalism and free market? Why are they all Lefties now?

The answer is simple: With almost no exceptions, modern corporate management, from the CEO down to the lowliest manager, graduated from America’s colleges and universities. In addition, depending on how white collar the corporation is, every other employee is also a college/university graduate. Here are just four off-the-top-of-my-head examples of insanity at three major American institutions.

  1. Yale: Students had mental breakdowns when they were told to enjoy Halloween without imposing PC virtue-signaling on their costumes.
  2. Oberlin: The college attacked and tried to destroy a 5th generation family bakery for having the temerity to apprehend a student shoplifter, who then, along with two student companions, assaulted a bakery employee.
  3. Harvard: Married law professors who were the first black faculty deans in college history got the boot from being faculty deans for daring to represent Harvey Weinstein. Apparently the mere fact that Weinstein had legal representation traumatized Harvard’s students beyond bearing.
  4. Harvard: Kyle Kashuv, a top high school student and, since the shooting at his high school, an effective advocate for the Second Amendment, got the boot from Harvard’s admissions office based upon stupid and offensive statements he made when he was 16 — statements for which he wholeheartedly apologized and that are completely at odds with his words and behavior since then. Meanwhile, David Hogg, a strident anti-gun nut who was a lousy student and makes dangerous and inflammatory statements against conservatives, is being welcomed at Harvard with open arms.

In addition to those four specific examples, over the last ten years or so, Americans have become familiar with the following campus plagues:

  • Rampant anti-Americanism.
  • Rampant anti-Semitism.
  • Rampant anti-Christian sentiment.
  • Rampant hatred for capitalism and the free market, paired with reverence for socialism.
  • Hostility to men that’s resulted in hundreds of men who, without any semblance of due process, got booted from their colleges and universities based upon risible sexual assault claims.
  • Trigger warnings.
  • Safe spaces.
  • Radical pro-abortion beliefs.
  • The obsession with racial and behavioral diversity (different skin colors, genders, and sexual preferences), even as the campuses demand intellectual homogeneity, all Left-ward.
  • Cultural relativism.
  • Re-segregation driven by black demands that they need to be separated from their non-black peers.
  • The death of free speech, which students are taught to fear and despise.
  • Overt efforts from administration, faculty, and other student to silence conservative and pro-Life voices on campus.
  • The abandonment of the scientific method in order to advance “gender fluidity” and “anthropogenic climate change” — both of which are ideologically approved but fall down in the face of even minimal scientific scrutiny.

Again, that’s a very short list of the Mao-ist horrors at America’s institutions of higher indoctrination, but I’ll stop because I’m depressing myself. My point is that the above insane ideas have been pushed on students with increased urgency and ferocity for the past 50 years. Forty years ago, my generation was slowly being inculcated with those ideas, but the pressure was almost delicate. Starting about 20 years ago, though, these ideas have become “loud and proud” on American campuses, along with a corresponding effort to censor all opposing thought.

So it is that the students who go into America’s businesses bring with them the ideas pumped into them during four or five or six years of college: They manage businesses but hate capitalism and the free market. They need a customer base but support abortion to the point of killing off the next generation of both customers and workers. They’re fanatically pro LGBTQ/QueerBorg and feminist, yet they despise Israel, the only Middle Eastern country into which LGBTQ+ people and women have any rights. And again, I could go on and on but won’t either bore you or depress myself.

If you understand the caliber of people that the universities are graduating and pushing into America’s corporations, you understand why corporations are engaging in the behavior Tom Cotton describes so well. So, without more, here’s Tom Cotton:

Many state legislatures across the country have taken action recently to protect unborn babies from the violence of abortion. My home state, for instance, Arkansas, has just passed a law protecting unborn babies after 18 weeks of development. And this reform is not just supported by Arkansans. It’s supported by a large majority of all Americans, more than 70% of whom believe unborn babies ought to be protected at or before that stage of pregnancy.

These reforms are the work of the pro-life movement, which fights for the most vulnerable among us every day. The pro-life movement seeks to change the laws of our country in the noblest tradition of our country, working within our democratic system so that our laws ultimately live up to our highest principle: That “all men are created equal,” in the words of our Declaration. That all have a basic right to life.

But of course, this is a democracy, so not everyone agrees when or even if we ought to protect the unborn. I understand that. I know there are decent people on both sides of this sensitive issue. We resolve our differences and reach compromises through democratic debate. What should never happen, though, is billion-dollar corporations trying to dictate these moral questions to us. Politically correct CEOs shouldn’t be in the business of threatening normal Americans.

But that’s exactly what we’ve seen lately. The loudest objections to these pro-life laws haven’t come from the “bottom up”-from normal citizens who happen to disagree with one another-but from the “top down”: from cultural elites, and increasingly from giant corporations who wield their economic power as a weapon to punish the American people for daring to challenge their pro-abortion extremism.

Giant media companies like Disney, Netflix, and Warner Media have threatened to cripple Georgia’s film industry if its residents don’t bend the knee and betray their pro-life convictions.

And just last Monday, the New York Times ran a full-page advertisement organized by the pro-abortion lobby and signed by the CEOs of hundreds of companies saying that legal protections for unborn babies are “bad for business.” How disgusting is that? Caring for a little baby is “bad for business.”

Now, I get why outfits like Planned Parenthood or NARAL would say babies are “bad for business.” Abortion is their business, after all, and they’re just protecting their market share.

But what about those other CEOs? Why do they think babies are “bad for business?”

Perhaps because they want their workers to focus single-mindedly on working-not building a family and raising children. All these politically correct CEOs want company men and women, not family men and women. They’ll support your individuality and self-expression just so long as you stay unattached and on the clock.

You couldn’t find a more perfect example of this than &Pizza, one of the companies whose CEO signed the pro-abortion ad. &Pizza doesn’t even offer paid maternity leave to all its employees-but it does celebrate their “oneness” and “individuality.” It’ll even pay employees to get a tattoo of the company logo. So if you want to be a walking billboard for your employer, &Pizza will foot the bill. But if you’re pregnant with a child, tough luck. In the spirit of some of these CEOs, I might call for a boycott of &Pizza and its political correctness. But you could just skip them because their pizza is lousy, anyway.

There’s a troubling trend among giant corporations using this wealth and power to force liberal dogma on an unwilling people. As liberal activists have lost control of the judiciary, they’ve turned to a different hub of power to impose their views on the rest of the country. This time it’s private power, located in a few mega-cities on the coasts.

And that’s not an exaggeration. The overwhelming majority of companies that lashed out against the pro-life movement in that New York Times ad are headquartered on the coasts, hoping to rule the rest of us like colonies in the hinterlands. More than three-quarters are headquartered in New York or California alone. More than a dozen are foreign companies. Yet those same companies presume to tell all of America what we should think.

And for some reason, this outrage only seems to go in one direction. As states like Arkansas have passed pro-life laws, other states have sadly gone down a different path, stripping unborn children of recognition and protection under the law. States like New York, Illinois, and Vermont recently passed laws declaring abortion a “fundamental right,” accessible until moments before birth for practically any reason as long as you have a doctor’s note.

We’ve already begun to see the consequences of these laws, which strain so mightily to defy and deny the humanity of the unborn. In New York City, prosecutors recently dropped a charge of abortion against a man who brutally stabbed to death his girlfriend and her unborn child. They dropped that charge because the pro-abortion law that had just passed the legislature in Albany removed all criminal penalties for killing an unborn child. According to the laws of New York State, that woman’s child never existed.

Pro-abortion laws passed in New York, Illinois, Vermont, and elsewhere truly deserve the label “radical.” So why isn’t the national media covering these radical laws with the intensity they’ve reserved for states like Georgia? Where are the indignant CEOs who profess to care so much for their female employees? Nowhere to be found, because their outrage is very selective. They don’t speak for the majority of Americans, much less for women. Instead, they’re actively trying to force a pro-abortion agenda on an unwilling public.

These companies want to wield a veto power over the democratic debate and decisions of Arkansans and citizens across our country. They want to force the latest social fashions of the coasts on small towns they would never visit in a million years. They want us to betray our deeply held beliefs about life and death, in favor of a specious account of “equality.” If there’s one thing the New York Times ad got right, it’s that “the future of equality hangs in the balance” when it comes to abortion. But their idea of equality doesn’t include everyone: it omits and degrades unborn babies as expendable, lesser than, even “bad for business.” That’s a strange kind of equality, if you ask me.

This trend of intolerance ought to alarm everyone, no matter your views on this sensitive question. It threatens democratic debate on this question, and ultimately on all questions.

But despite the pressure campaign waged against us, I’m heartened, because I know the pro-life movement will carry on as it always has, speaking to the inherent dignity of every human life. Not everything can be measured on a corporate balance sheet. Some things are bigger than the bottom line or what wealthy corporations consider “bad for business.” The cause of life is one of those issues worth fighting for.

As always, let me say that what we should be doing is withdrawing every penny of federal funding from America’s colleges and universities, whether in the form of grants, guaranteed student loans, or anything else. These places are Ground Zero for every bad idea infecting America. Withdrawing funds will make those ideas compete in the free market instead of getting subsidized by taxpayers — the same taxpayers the college elite despise as deplorables and insufferables and irredeemables. Moreover, getting federal money out of colleges and universities will shrink bloated leftist administrations and make colleges more affordable for real Americans, not just the elite few.

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Bookworm Beat 6/15/19 — the no news is good news illustrated edition

Scott Adams points out that life is so good under Trump that there’s no news. Since this illustrated edition has lots of silly stuff, I believe he’s right.





Trump Candace Owens Press Secretary Illustrated Edition


























































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Leftist politics and the power of visual images

Leftists know that people respond strongly to visual images and use them to great effect. If Republicans want to win, they need to start doing the same.

A picture is worth a thousand words. — Newspaper/advertising adage.

Some years ago, in a post I wrote about the Second Amendment, I noted the fact that one of the advantages the gun-grabbing crowd has when pushing its message is that it has the intense visuals of dead bodies (something the Left used with special force in the wake of the terrible Sandy Hook massacre). This means that these same anti-gun people are completely resistant to any data that doesn’t create powerful images.

When it comes to guns, the gun grabbers suffer from a very bizarre limitation: Their mental horizons allow them to see only those who died because of guns, not to recognize those who did not die thanks to guns. This myopia creates the giant intellectual chasm that separates those who oppose the Second Amendment from those who support it. The former see only the people who died in the past while the latter also see the ones who will live on into the future.

I then introduced Frédéric Bastiat’s magnificent Parable of the Broken Window, which the French economist wrote in 1850, to make the point that destruction doesn’t benefit the economy but instead has money flowing in a fairly meaningless loop. Thus, Bastiat noted how people consoled someone whose window had been broken by pointing out that the repair meant work for the glazier and the contractor and so on. These people, said Bastiat, saw positive economic energy without ever understanding that it was actually lost economic energy because the money could have been used to create, rather than repair. What appealed to me about Bastiat’s essay was the final paragraph (emphasis mine):

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

After quoting the Parable, I dragged the issue around to the war that the Left is constantly waging against the Second Amendment:

Just as is the case with the economic illiterate who cannot imagine that money might be spent on something more useful than fixing a broken window, a gun control advocate’s world view “is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.” He counts those who have died, but cannot even begin to imagine those whose lives were saved or never threatened.

Point such an advocate to a story about an off-duty deputy who was able to stop a mall shooter, and he will say only that, “The gun still allowed the shooter to kill one or two people, and there’s no way to tell if the shooter intended to kill more people, so the armed deputy is not relevant.”

To the gun-control proponent, a story without dead bodies is no story at all and it certainly has no statistical validity in the debate over the Second Amendment. To one who believes in the Second Amendment, however, stories about people using concealed-carry guns to stop mass shooters matter because we, unlike the gun grabber, are able to take account of those people who survived what would otherwise have been a mass shooting.

Dead bodies resonate in our imagination. The absence of dead bodies, even when reported at excellent sites such as Ammo.com, which tracks stories about defensive gun use, is an empty space in the imagination. This is especially true because the media, even before it became fanatically determined to destroy the Second Amendment, always operated on the principle that “if it bleeds, it leads.” If it doesn’t bleed, it will at most be a feel good story in the last 30 seconds of the news or a squiblet on the last page of Section C in the local newspaper.

With no blood and no bodies, those who support the Second Amendment find themselves limited to statistics. The statistics, frankly, are spectacular, with an Obama-era study showing that people across the U.S. routinely and successfully use guns to defend themselves between 500,000 to 3 million times per year. Statistics, however, are not visual. Instead, they’re dead numbers on a page, exciting only to wonks and people who work well with abstract ideas.

The abortion debate has also been intensely visual. Before modern science allowed us to peer into the womb, the visuals of abortion were about the women: Pregnant women dying in back alleys from coat-hanger abortions, pregnant women whose cruel families cast them out on the street in the dead of winter, pregnant women chained to wife-beating husbands even as 13 other children were clinging to their aprons, brilliant pregnant women forced to drop out of school to become brood mares, and so on. No wonder that Obama announced to the world that he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby.

The rise of more pro-Life Americans coincides with the rise of windows into the womb. (And yes, I know correlation and causation are not the same thing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen articles pointing to studies that show that 3D ultrasounds make people less supportive of abortion.) Suddenly, it’s not just a bump in a woman’s belly until the moment it’s born; instead, we see inside — in 3D yet! We see the fingers and toes, we see it sucking it’s thumb, we see that it is a baby. It’s visual.

The pro-Life movement also went visual when it started showing graphic photographs of aborted babies. The pro-Abortion movement hates those images. While dead bodies work in their favor in the Second Amendment debate, they do not help in the pro-Abortion debate. No more hypothetical women are dying in back alleys; instead, lots of actual, quite obvious babies are dying in Planned Parenthood clinics.

Apropos the abortion debate, Scott Adams, without touching on the merits of the new abortion limitations passed in Alabama, simply said that the fact that it was primarily men who voted on the law is a very bad visual, never mind the fact that a woman proposed the law and that a woman governor signed the law.  Because pro-Abortion people have framed the issue as “control over a woman’s body,” it looks bad when men make policy. The fact that nine men created a right to abortion out of whole cloth back in 1973 is irrelevant. In the here and now, the Left points to Alabama’s legislature and says of the men, “they’re gonna put y’all woman back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”

I was reminded of the power of visuals when I read an article in Los Angeles Review of Books’ blog, entitled Heterosexuality Without Women. The premise for the article is an image. This image:

Buttigieg time magazine cover

The essay’s author — Greta LaFleur — urges us to take in every aspect of that image, not just because of the white house behind them (the “White House” metaphor . . . get it?), but also because it shows a sweet domesticity of husband and wife except without an actual female wife. After all, who needs real women to promote heterosexuality when you have this perfect gay heterosexual couple? If you’re saying “huh?”, you have to read the article. I’m quoting the pertinent parts (for my purposes) here:

There’s a lot to look at in this image. At first glance, one sees the anonymity of Norman Rockwell’s mid-century America: the house-unparticular porch, the timelessness of the couple form. Take another look and the pillars supporting the unseen roof of the porch start to resemble the Ionic columns of the White House, the background becoming a gesture or a promise of possibility. You begin to see the image in the aggregate, and the couple, girded by a backdrop literally overwhelmed by the household, becomes the timelessness of the entire image. This photo also tells a profound story about whiteness, above and beyond the fact that almost everything in this photo is, itself, white. It’s such an all-consuming aesthetic, here, that it practically resists interpretation; like the generically familiar (to me, a white person) porch, the cover photo claims that there’s nothing to see, because we already know what it is. We have seen this image, we know this couple, “we” should be comfortable. My “we” is particular to me, but then again, I am more or less exactly who this photo is aimed at. As a queer person, I also notice the quasi-uniform-like aesthetic of Pete and Chasten — I wondered, for a second, if they were actually wearing the same pair of pants — marveling for a moment at the sartorial doppel-banging that at first seems to claim center stage in this photo, before realizing that, instead, there’s actually no sex at center stage, here. And that is part of the point.

LaFleur goes on to point to new age scholarship that says, if I understand all the jargon correctly, that “whiteness” is now some sort of conceptual thing without the necessity of anybody being white. And why not? If gender, which is hardwired in every mammal at a DNA level, is now a mere concept, why can’t whiteness be a concept too? (Of course, blackness cannot be a concept, because that’s claiming unearned victim status not to mention racial and cultural appropriation. It’s always a one way street with these things. Likewise, homosexuality, which is a behavior, not a DNA thing, is also hard wired. Again, go figure. The new rules don’t have to make sense.)

Using this “conceptual whiteness” thing as a springboard, LaFleur makes the obvious leap: If “whiteness” is merely conceptual, than so is heterosexuality. Get enough heterosexual images piled into a single photograph and who cares if there’s not an actual heterosexual within a hundred miles?

This is a record with deep grooves. If you need more to convince you of this than the huge, literally white “FAMILY” emblazoned across Chasten and Pete’s well-muscled, Ralph Lauren-clad chests, then perhaps google “queer” and “focus on the family” and read a number of important and importantly-aging articles on the strategic deployment of homophobia (not to mention a host of other forms of animus) under the auspices of protecting “family values”; for  conservatives of all stripes, the family was the antidote to the homosexual. The flip side of that effect is, of course, the distinct but twinned use of “family” in queer communities, first to name ties to other queer people that exceed socially-approbated forms of kinship, and, second, the reproduction of the hothouse family by queer people used to shore up the recognizability and respectability of queer love, connection, parenting, and marriage. (We really don’t need anything more than Cathy Cohen’s 1997 “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens” to teach us about how this works.) Queer theorists and queer communities have coined terms like homonormativity to describe this effect, but this recent Time cover left me wondering: is this homonormativity? Or just heterosexuality? If straight people can be queer — as so many of them seem so impatient to explain to me — can’t gay people also be straight?

To be clear, I have no intention of relegating “family” to the realm of the heterosexual or the straight, for a number of reasons that reflect things like the fact that most queer people have strong ties to family, given and/or chosen. What I am saying is that the unmistakable heraldry of “FIRST FAMILY,” alongside the rest of the photograph — the tulips; the Chinos; the notably charming but insistently generic porch; the awkwardly minimal touching that invokes the most uncomfortable, unfamiliar, culturally-heterosexual embrace any of us have ever received — offers a vision of heterosexuality without straight people.

Frankly, I think most of the above is gobbledy-gook, but I actually respect the way LaFleur is trying to reframe people’s visuals. Democrats know that this is how you win arguments.

While conservatives spout statistics about the number of illegal immigrants crossing into America, the burden they place on our welfare system, and the American workers they displace, Leftists create images: “Dead children.” “Children in cages.”

Statistics don’t touch the power of those images. After all, it was a photo of a single dead child in the sand that caused Europe to open its doors to every Muslim across in the Middle East and North Africa, something that threatens to destroy the last tendrils of Enlightenment, Christian Europe. If that poor little boy hadn’t died, the European open borders crowd would have had to kill someone to create that type of powerful persuader.

The same image problem exists when it comes to vaccinations. Once upon a time, Americans had powerful images associated with epidemic diseases. Small pox ravaged America in the 17th and 18th centuries, so much so that people embraced variolation (a dangerous vaccination process with a live virus) because, while it carried risks, the risks were infinitesimal compared to the devastation of epidemic small pox. One of the geniuses of George Washington was to order the mass vaccination of his American troops — a tradition that continues to this day, as every human pin cushion who’s ever served in the American military will attest.

You don’t have to go back as far as Washington to find epidemic diseases. My uncle had the Spanish Influenza, which killed 50-100 million people worldwide. My mother had diphtheria, a childhood scourge for hundreds of years before vaccinations became available. My father had scarlet fever, which was, as one site explains: a very bad disease in a pre-antibiotic era:

Simply hearing the name of this disease, and knowing that it was present in the community, was enough to strike fear into the hearts of those living in Victorian-era United States and Europe. This disease, even when not deadly, caused large amounts of suffering to those infected. In the worst cases, all of a family’s children were killed in a matter of a week or two.

There’s no vaccination for this strep infection, but we nail it today with antibiotics. (And are rightly concerned that antibiotic abuse might give the infection an unbeatable edge in the near future.)

We also had a family friend who lived out his days walking on two canes, in great pain, because he was one of the last children to get polio before Salk developed his vaccine. Before that vaccine, polio swept through the U.S. several times, killing children and adults, and leaving many survivors with paralysis or even locked forever in iron lungs.

My point is that, within the lifetime of people I knew very well, infectious diseases were incredibly visible. People died from them. People were left permanently invalided by them. People were left crippled because of them. In that world, the risks inherent in any vaccination, while real, was easily disregarded compared to the much greater risk of epidemic, pandemic, or endemic infectious diseases.

Nowadays, of course, none of these diseases are visible. Ebola is probably the main exception, for it still has the power to frighten. We’ve very quickly become accustomed, though, to Ebola’s politely staying in little corners of Africa, with saintly aide workers putting their lives on the line to confine the deaths to hundreds, rather than millions. Even AIDS, a scary contagious disease in the 1980s, has been shoved away, thanks to antiviral treatments and condoms.

The invisibility of epidemic diseases is why fewer and fewer young parents are willing to expose their children to the risk of vaccinations. We don’t see the diseases, but we do read the random articles about that inevitable unlucky person — that 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10,000 person — who died following a vaccination. That in-your-face story, that “there but for the grace of God” visual is way more scary than some hypothetical epidemic — or at least, it’s more scary right up until people teaming with infectious diseases pour unchecked across our border and are dispersed throughout the United States. That’s when, as they say, “shit gets real.”

I just got myself a measles booster because I’m at the perfect age to have had an ineffective booster when I was a child. A lot of others are doing the same thing because they can now envision a measles epidemic, something they could not before.

I could go on and on making the point that, because people are visual, the best persuasion creates images, whether in the form of actual pictures or in the form of vivid phrases (e.g., “children in cages”). If Republicans want to take back the culture generally, and take back Washington D.C. specifically, they would do well to keep the statistics in the background and push the punchy, catchy, visceral, memorable images and word pictures to the foreground. (Of course, as matters now stand, when innovative conservatives do try to make powerful visuals, social media tech overlords instantly shut them down. Indeed, in California, they prosecute people for powerful images.)

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Abortion: the modern death cult that rejects Nature

By embracing today’s abortion Death Cult up to and including birth, the self-identified party of science and Nature rejects both science and Nature.

Abortion is in the news again as some states legalize it up to the moment of birth while other states already have or are talking about limiting it to the moment before the first detectable heartbeat. Those who oppose abortion talk about the rights of “preborn” babies; those who support abortion talk about women in chains, enslaved to white male legislators. Although I started out my political life as completely pro-abortion, at a certain point I realized — quite reluctantly, I might add — that the anti-abortion people had the better argument because . . . science or, more accurately, Nature.

One of the things that the Left is always anxious to impress on the world is that it is the party of science. It dons this mantle because it sees science as something that stands in opposition to religion. to Leftists, religion — at least conservative Christianity and Judaism — is about blind, mindless faith. Its adherents owe fealty to texts that are 2,000 or more years old, going back to a time when humans were primitive and had no understanding about how the world worked at a scientific level. It was a world of magic and invisible, malignant forces that showered people with an invariably inexplicable, random brew of life and death, love and hate, and good and evil.

Faith, therefore, is bad because it’s inherently irrational and illiterate about the world around us.

In addition to embracing “science” (which I always imagine Leftists saying the way it’s said in Thomas Dolby’s 80’s hit “She Blinded Me With Science“), the Left has also embraced Nature (said in the same tone, I’m sure as “science”). They do so in part because Genesis gives man dominion over Nature and works assiduously to distinguish humans from other animals, and in part because capitalist and colonialist oppression are seen as enemies to the untouched wonders of communist, indigenous nature. (Ironically, of course, communist countries have been blights on their lands and poor indigenous people care only about getting enough food in the here and now, which often means treating their environment very badly.)

In theory — and often in fact — it’s entirely possible to balance religion, science, and Nature. Problems arise when there are overlaps. For religious people, when science and Nature crash into each other, or crash into religion, it’s religion which, even if it’s not a practical guide, offers moral guidance. For Leftists, though, who operate without that moral religious foundation,* when science and Nature clash, they look not to God, but to politics — and, more specifically, to identity politics as their guide.

It’s this abandonment of an overarching morality that leads to the self-styled party of science and Nature taking ridiculous stands, such as saying that a person’s sex exists on a continuum largely affected by external factors, never mind that genetically there are only two sexes. Likewise, politics also assures Leftists that the fetus is totally unrelated to a baby. Neither science nor Nature dictate either of those stances. Only politics does.

“Politics as God” also explains how the party of science and Nature completely rejects the fact that, at a core, biological, animal level (and remember,to them, we are one with Nature’s animals), it’s so unfair that women have to bear children that this reality too must be rejected. Because really, that’s what all the abortion arguments boil down to: It’s not fair that men can walk away from sex while women end up with what one Leftist author calls “the incredible violence of pregnancy.” It’s not fair that men can walk away from the baby but that women, once the baby is born, find themselves responsible for caring for it. And yes, women can and do walk away, but most don’t. Once the baby is born, Nature makes sure that women’s chemical make-up sees them sticking with it.

It’s Nature, not a bunch of “old white men,” who decreed that women are the vessels of procreation, with all the upsides (creating a life, loving a child) and downsides (loss of control over her body, pain, illness, etc.), that come with it. Thankfully, it’s science that has reduced maternal mortality to infinitesimal numbers in the modern era, as well as introducing the wonders of the epidural.

Science also proves absolutely that there is a complete continuum from conception to birth and beyond. That’s why any scientific mind has to laugh at the author to whom I linked above who writes “I am intimately acquainted with, and sometimes sympathetic to, the conviction that life begins at conception—the idea that a clump of tissue, generated even under the most unfortunate and cruel of circumstances, shows God working the most sacred miracle on Earth.” You see what she did there: The Nature-created, science-confirmed moment when the continuum of life begins has been divorced from both Nature and science. Now, instead of being a fact, a reality, it’s merely a “conviction.” Only in the anti-Science world of the pro-abortion left does one have irrefutable biological fact transmuted into a “conviction” tied to religion.

Finally, it’s morality — Biblical morality — that holds that, just because Nature is unfair to women, that unfairness doesn’t give women the automatic, unfettered right to snuff out the life they are incubating.

As religious people know, the Bible is not about fairness. As I’ve said often, the Old Testament is about justice, while the New Testament is about grace.  Only Marxism is about “fairness” — except that this ostensible fairness is always based upon a zero sum game in which one person’s “fair” victory is another person’s loss — with the loss determined as “fair” provided that it furthers Marxism’s political ends.

Nature is unfeeling. Nature does not care that the lion, rather than lying down with the sweet lamb, usually eats it. Nature does not care that a drought that starve countries or that an earthquake can level kingdoms. Nature simply is . . . it’s a relentless, unfair force in which living species’ prime directive is to cling to life in whatever way they can. Religion tempers that prime directive with morality. Marxism tempers that prime directive with raw power and selfishness.

That’s how you end up with a large segment of the American population arguing that it’s entirely “moral” to kill a human life for someone else’s convenience — an argument that sounds remarkably like the Nazi justification for the gas chambers. After all, once you decide that certain lives in the abstract are valueless, it’s as easy to kill them as it is to stomp a termite.

Incidentally, what I just said does not mean I’m opposed either to just wars or to the death penalty. People can be called to account for things they’ve done (such as cold-bloodedly murdering someone) and for allegiances they formed (such as joining ISIS for the joy of conquest, rape, and totalitarian control).** But to kill humans simply for “being,” unrelated entirely to their choices — well, Biblical morality doesn’t square well with that approach.

On abortion, Leftists think they’re taking a stand for women and against the patriarchal God of the Bible. What they’re really doing, is screaming against Nature’s unfairness and, in their effort to show their dominance over Nature, more and more openly embracing the same path the Nazis did: Namely, declaring that certain humans aren’t human at all but are, instead, inconveniences, encumbrances, and parasites, and therefore entirely deserving of being snuffed out.

This is how you get from an anguished “safe, rare, and legal” to the view of Princeton’s chaired “ethicist,” Peter Singer, that parents should have up to a month after birth to decided whether to terminate their infant. Singer’s idea is based upon parents confronted with serious genetic imperfections or birth defects that would make raising a child unduly difficult or expensive. However, once you give parents the right to determine whether a child’s life is worth cultivating or deserves execution, that viewpoint easily extends to cover the “imperfections” of parental exhaustion, frustration, and inconvenience. It’s a slippery, steep slope from “safe, rare, and legal” to Sparta and Nazi Germany.

I’ll go back to my starting point, which is that I grew up completely embracing the Leftist view that it’s not fair that the pleasures of sex are always pleasurable for men but, for women, can have life shattering consequences. What maturity has brought me is an understanding that life isn’t fair because Nature isn’t fair. We can recognize that fact, that scientific reality, by turning ourselves into monsters, or by embracing the inevitable and folding a respect for life into our world view and our actions.

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*I know that there are Leftists who regularly attend church or temple. However, when political values crash into religious values, it’s always the religious values that yield. An extreme example is the Lefty who called Jesus a drag queen pedophile to harmonize religion with his own world view. You can see here a more centrist Leftist approach to Jesus, which puts a Marxist spin on everything, in order to create a Christian theocracy that would come as a big surprise to the original writers of the Old and New Testaments.

** I understand that innocent people invariably get swept into the maelstrom of wars into which their leaders drag them. Not every person who donned the German uniform was a Nazi. Some were naive souls fighting for an abstract “Fatherland” unrelated to the Nazis. Others were conscripts who had the choice of certainly being executed in a prison yard for refusing to serve or taking the chance that they could survive the battlefields. One of the many hells of war is that it’s a nation’s leaders that make the choices and the nation’s soldiers, only some of whom are true believers, with most of them being just fodder, doing the dying.

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