Saturday, August 10, 2013

Odds and ends 8/10/2013

“Hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions.” –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Kidnapper/rapist Ariel Castro, on his way to prison for the rest of his life, said, “I believe I am addicted to porn to the point where I am impulsive, and I just don’t realize that what I am doing is wrong.”

At First Things, James D. Conley reacts:

Pornography destroys families. It destroys the soul. Pornography robs us of the freedom to have subjective relationships—in a mind addicted to pornography, personal subjectivity is replaced by a dehumanizing, objectifying, abusive kind of relationality.

If Jill Filipovic is to be believed, it’s conservatives, emphasizing fidelity and commitment over pleasure and convenience, who are guilty of dehumanizing and objectifying people. More execrable drivel one is hard pressed to find. What is more objectifying than the image of a person designed to titillate? What is more dehumanizing than escaping your worth as God’s creation in the explicitly sexual functions of your body?

Filtering regulations will deter some pornography seekers, but what is also needed is more active parenting. Parents should question whether mobile devices—essentially small, free, X-rated theaters—should be given to their teenagers. Monitoring, accountability, and parenting are important steps.

But freedom from sin comes through grace. Lust begins with loneliness—with the pervasive detachment which has become a hallmark of modernity. Lust begins with a yearning for love. If we want to combat the social consequences of pornography, we must begin with a commitment to love.

Christians have something unique to offer in the fight against pornography: an understanding of the human person, of the Christian community, and of grace.

At the American Thinker, Fay Voshell writes about another sex addict, Anthony Weiner:

The person who exercises no restraint is not free, but is an addict. Weiner’s “freedom” has exercised complete control over him, destroying him and inflicting serious wounds on an ever widening circle of people. An addict is also unable to order the rest of his life in any coherent and meaningful way, as his or her chief focus is on the next fix, be it alcohol, drugs, or sex. The man who cannot control his proclivity to sending graphic photos of himself to anonymous women is a sex addict. Addiction corrodes the entire character of the addict and reduces him and the women he uses for his addiction to caricatures of what it means to be truly human.

The Weiner sexting story is a writer’s dream. The most riveting articles I’ve read lately have revolved around Weiner. Stay tuned.


Pete Spiliakos explains in First Things how amnestying illegal immigrants, who are largely low-skilled, will depress wages of Americans with low incomes:

A recent Third Way report found that declining wages tended to coincide with disrupted family formation. That is hardly a political problem for the party of the Life of Julia. Democrats can tell themselves that even if their policies will reduce the wages and injure the families of low-skill workers in the short term, Democrats can make it up to them through higher taxes and bigger government spending on the back end.

So why do Republicans want amnesty? I deduce two reasons:

  1. “Make peace” with Hispanics
  2. Increase corporate profits

That’s basically it. I leave out the phony argument that economic growth and amnesty go hand in hand, peddled by the Bushes and the once-promising Paul Ryan. The argument goes like this: When we amnesty and assimilate the illegal immigrant population, then they will become productive citizens and contribute to the economy.

Spare me. Look at Los Angeles, where illegal immigrants received $600 million in welfare payments in 2010. They’re a drain on the system. That won’t change in the transition from “de facto” amnesty to de jure amnesty. Insofar as illegals “live in the shadows,” after amnesty they will subscribe to the welfare state in even greater numbers. It will become even more difficult to unravel entitlements as people are added to the rolls.


At Public Discourse, Adam J. McLeod writes about the interactivity and dependency among humans, how this creates the civil society, and how government intrusion with entitlements wedges people apart:

Lawmakers cannot, and should not attempt to, do away with humans’ dependence upon others. Instead, they should aim to foster healthy dependencies and to eradicate unhealthy ones. At its best, law does not free us from others but instead channels our dependence toward those who will take our wellbeing into consideration and act upon it. It encourages moral connections between dependent people and other dependent people.

...

The donor perceives a human being or community of human beings and chooses to make their wellbeing his own goal to be achieved. The donor takes the life and plans of the recipient into his own reasoning, and thereby into his character.

Like familial obligations, then, a gift changes both the donor and the recipient for the better by focusing their attention on the wellbeing of someone else. The donor becomes someone who acts for the good of another. The recipient becomes a matter of concern to another human being. The investment that the donor makes in the life of the recipient gives the recipient a reason to live well not only for his own sake but also for the sake of the donor.

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While a market-based exchange creates a weaker moral connection than family sharing and charitable acts, public entitlements destroy the moral connections between people altogether. Government agencies, as impersonal institutions, do not satisfy entitlement claims for altruistic reasons. They do not choose to bestow benefits on particular recipients due to their merit or promise, or to invest in their hopes and dreams. They do not subject their own hard-earned resources to others’ plans.

McLeod’s influence is Nicholas Eberstadt’s A Nation of Takers, but I read it first in George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty.

My favorite metaphor for the civil society is the aerial roots of a banyan tree.

The “voluntary reciprocation” Gilder speaks of, in economic terms, is a return on an investment, and it is not always monetary. It can be simply the prospect of an association among willing individuals who have each other in common. Like aerial roots dropping down from the branches of a banyan tree, these associations support the community as it endures the stresses of growth and change. On a human level, they provide the intangible substance of life and offer the only form of self-sufficiency social man is capable of.

This substance is lost when the gift is disassociated from its value. In the hands of a middle man, the offer of advice, time, resources, etc. that forms the basis of a relationship becomes sterile, with no implied sacrifice on the gifter’s part and no implied return on the giftee’s part. Community is near impossible to effect among people whose wants are not known to each other, but ministered to by hired bureaucrats. “It’s not my problem,” they say, instead of “See a need, fill a need.”


Investor’s Business Daily explains in two sentences what’s wrong with the minimum wage:

Employers hire only those whose productivity exceeds their pay. When wages and the cost of regulation and health care rise, there’s little room on the payroll for young, inexperienced workers.

James P. Lenfestey of the Minnesota Star Tribune comes out against the Keystone Pipeline.

The main argument for the pipeline — energy security vs. importing oil from the problematic Middle East and Venezuela — collapses since tar sands oil will be exported and so won’t reduce U.S. imports.

Energy security doesn’t explicitly mean self-sufficiency. It means less reliance on enemies for oil. The market works like this: Increasing the oil supply diminishes OPEC’s market share. When America exports tar sands oil to other countries, America can import oil those other countries forgo in lieu of their tar sands oil.

The capstone of Lenfestey’s “argument” is a misleading rhetorical flourish:

It’s true that slowing any single fossil fuel project, even one as massive as Alberta tar sands development — rightly termed a “carbon bomb” by author Bill McKibben, so far only 3 percent exploited — will not by itself dramatically halt rising global temperatures. But eliminating the biggest fuse to that carbon bomb is a necessary first step.

It’s a bomb! Don’t build the pipeline!

Lenfestey doesn’t even get his metaphor right. Wouldn’t the shortest fuse—contra “biggest fuse”—better serve his scaremongering?


Reading this, if you knew nothing about what Riley Cooper did at the Kenny Chesney concert, you’d assume he did something really awful, like throw acid in someone’s face, or sell child porn out of the trunk of his car. Alas, all he did was get drunk and called a black bouncer “nigger.”

“It’s going to be tough. No doubt it’s going to be tough,” Cooper said. “I’m going to live with this every day for the rest of my life.”

Cooper talked repeatedly the “responsibility to behave on and off the field” in the NFL as well as the “severity” of the incident at the Chesney concert.

“We just talked about this situation and how big this is,” Cooper said. “I realize that. I realize how many people I hurt, how many families I hurt and how many kids I hurt. That’s what we walked about – the severity.”


At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson describes President Obama:

He is a man with a first-class education and a business-class mind, a sort of inverse autodidact whose intellectual pedigree is an order of magnitude more impressive than his intellect.

The result of this is his utterly predictable approach to domestic politics: appoint a panel of credentialed experts. His faith in the powers of pedigreed professionals is apparently absolute. Consider his hallmark achievement, the Affordable Care Act, the centerpiece of which is the appointment of a committee, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the mission of which is to achieve targeted savings in Medicare without reducing the scope or quality of care. How that is to be achieved was contemplated in detail neither by the lawmakers who wrote the health-care bill nor by the president himself. But they did pay a great deal of attention to the processes touching IPAB: For example, if that committee of experts fails to achieve the demanded savings, then the ball is passed to ... a new committee of experts, this one under the guidance of the secretary of health and human services. IPAB’s powers are nearly plenipotentiary: Its proposals, like a presidential veto, require a supermajority of Congress to be overridden.

IPAB is the most dramatic example of President Obama’s approach to government by expert decree, but much of the rest of his domestic program, from the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law to his economic agenda, is substantially similar. In total, it amounts to that fundamental transformation of American society that President Obama promised as a candidate: but instead of the new birth of hope and change, it is the transformation of a constitutional republic operating under laws passed by democratically accountable legislators into a servile nation under the management of an unaccountable administrative state. The real import of Barack Obama’s political career will be felt long after he leaves office, in the form of a permanently expanded state that is more assertive of its own interests and more ruthless in punishing its enemies. At times, he has advanced this project abetted by congressional Democrats, as with the health-care law’s investiture of extraordinary powers in the executive bureaucracy, but he also has advanced it without legislative assistance — and, more troubling still, in plain violation of the law. President Obama and his admirers choose to call this “pragmatism,” but what it is is a mild expression of totalitarianism, under which the interests of the country are conflated with those of the president’s administration and his party.

Long story short, Obama’s gift is his ability to sow mistrust in all our institutions except big government, in whose benevolence he secures the people’s blessings to annex their freedoms and their destines, and gives control over their lives to credentialed busybodies.


Texas is doing well, but it’s not all roses. Steven Malanga of City Journal reports:

At the moment, Texas localities owe $63 billion for education funding—155 percent more than they did a decade ago, though student enrollment and inflation during that period grew less than one-third as quickly.

Education is Texas’ Leviathan. The two biggest problems in my opinion are schools’ unaccountability to their communities and a ballooning illegal immigrant student population without a commensurate rise in the property tax base.

School districts spending money on non-teachers is also part of the problem. The Texas Tribune reports:

According to [State Sen. Dan] Patrick, the ratio of teachers to nonteachers, which includes those employed in administrative and support capacities, in districts has grown to nearly 1 to 1 today from 4 to 1 in the 1970s.

Irony is when the self-admitted non-theistic dean of the National Cathedral, Gary Hall, says:

We’re in a period where people under 50 don’t see the church as a credible place to explore their questions about God.

Hall is full of bromides about Episcopalians evolving with the times. He has nothing to say about salvation through the blood of Jesus. He has nothing to say about man’s fallen nature, the point at which the journey into Jesus begins. No wonder that church is dying.

Would Hall’s soft (or non-) theology have helped porn star Brittni Ruiz? Her conversion story begins thus: Working at a trade show, she passed a booth of evangelists and was impressed. “There’s just something about them. It sets them apart from every person,” she said.

As the apostle Peter wrote: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glory God on the day he visits us.”


An idea to tack on to my reflection of love and sacrifice: The headline to Sarah Spain’s piece, “A partner, not a cheerleader,” lends itself more to being unduly harsh to Gary Player’s wife than Gary Player’s advice lends itself to demeaning Caroline Wozniacki.

Player’s wife is not a cheerleader. She is a partner in the truest sense. Spain’s piece advocates equality, not partnership. She claims Wozniacki, being Rory McIlroy’s equal, could be a good match for him. But equals do not make good partners, especially not for professional athletes whose time is consumed by their craft.


Jason Isaacs isn’t “ready,” but he’s ready. To be married, that is.

I am ready to make a decision to love Jacqueline--nothing more, nothing less. Everything I enjoyed about being single is still just as appealing: mobility, simplicity, and availability of time can be valuable assets. It would be silly for me to say otherwise. However, I am convinced of something else. Instead of “trading in” my schedule and energy, I am “trading up” for two things: her commitment of love and the opportunity for us to be involved in a mystery.

I am preparing to be involved in a mystery. It is not what I have seen or what I think I know about marriage that makes me think I am “ready”. Instead, it is watching those who have gone before me that are already part of this mystery which makes me realize I do not see the full picture: How do two people come together and become as one? Why does love require tension? What parts of my character and personality will be transformed by putting her first? What concerns seem so important now, but will be trivial years from today? What is it about my character and needs that complements her character and needs? What changes or stays the same when there are children? How does love last for the rest of our lives?

I am also being prepared for a battle. As the mystery of marriage captures my attention, I am also reminded that I will face many battles. The battle is not primarily against my future wife, but against the selfishness and pride in my heart—the parts that still wander. All the hard places in my heart which have been able to sleep comfortably and undisturbed are now going to be poked, prodded, and exposed. As challenging as it will be, I should humbly welcome these changes. They mean that my heart will be refined, my ability to love will grow, and my capacity to see the needs of others will be greater. Loving Jacqueline sacrificially will be a catalyst for learning how to put others first on a much deeper level.

I’m jealous.


Rod Dreher explains how he dated after being reborn into Christ:

I came to accept Christianity in a mature way in my mid-twenties, in large part because I had until then been living my life according to what I wanted, and kept making a mess of it. I decided to surrender to God, to put Him first, in part because I trusted that He knew better what I needed than I did. (I’m vastly oversimplifying here, but you get the gist of it.) That meant having to change my life in significant ways, learning to discipline myself by denying myself certain things that I wanted in any given moment. Christians call this “dying to self,” and it was hard.

The hardest part was in keeping myself from getting involved romantically with women who didn’t share my Christian commitment. I was single and I was terribly lonely, and I had the habit of falling for women who were smart, fun, beautiful, and suitable in most ways … but were not Christians, or serious about their faith. I couldn’t let myself follow my heart into these situations, because I knew that there would always be that gulf between us, and that if we married and had children, we could find ourselves in a very painful situation, divided against ourselves. So I would force myself to say no to my emotions, and no to my desires, because I could not see that the Good — for me, or for her — would be accomplished if I said yes.

What made this so tricky is that these women with whom I might have had a relationship were by no means bad people. They were good! I never fell for a woman who would have been conventionally “bad” for me. It’s just that having made a firm and serious commitment to Jesus Christ, all other commitments I might thenceforth make had to be subordinate to that one. For me, it was too risky to enter into an intimate, perhaps lifelong, relationship with someone who didn’t share my degree of religious commitment. For me, it was building my house on shaky ground. Things might have worked out fine in the end, but that was not a risk I was prepared to take. Years later, I met the right woman for me, and married her.


Mark Steyn has a brilliant insight into the economic malaise:

My old boss Conrad Black recently pointed out that “the economy can’t recover as it did in the past until more people are adding value” — making and doing, something real.

Instead, 40% of Americans perform minimal-skilled service jobs about to be rendered obsolete by technology, and almost as many pass their productive years shuffling paperwork from one corner of the land to another in various “professional services” jobs that exist in order to facilitate compliance with the unceasing demands of the microregulatory state.

The daily ObamaCare fixes — which are nothing to do with “health care” but only with navigating an impenetrable bureaucracy — are the perfect embodiment of the Republic of Paperwork.


Jonah Goldberg reviews Breaking Bad and channels Tocqueville (hat tip Rich Lizardo):

[F]amilies, communities, and individuals...can be healthy only when individuals are willing to take on faith that some moral laws — whether grounded in nature, theology, or simple trial and error — are there for a good reason. As Chesterton tells us, pure reason doesn’t get humanity very far. The merely rational man will not make commitments to causes greater than his own self-interest. We need binding dogmas to constrain us even when our intellects or appetites try to seduce us to a different path. When, through the arrogance of our intellect and the promptings of our egos, we decide that we can make the rules up as we go, we invariably relearn why we need those rules. In Breaking Bad, there are countless, sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying moments where Walter is given concrete evidence that he is not smarter than the accumulated moral wisdom of civilization. He rejects these lessons as merely illustrations of the failures of others, and lies himself down a path of ever greater evil.

“The question inevitably arises, can a purely rational or Madisonian system survive without a critical mass of authentic religious believers amongst the citizenry? Even the best constitutional framework may be insufficient, in and of itself, to maintain ordered liberty without something more substantial inhering in the body politic? To put it another way, what would America look like if everyone subscribed to [George] Will’s agnosticism or atheism? It would probably look a lot like western Europe or Japan.” –G. Tracy Mehan III

At CNN Lewis Beale gives examples that we are living in 1984:

Newspeak – the fictional, stripped down English language, used to limit free thought. OMG, RU serious? That’s so FUBAR. LMAO.

Political correctness is Newspeak’s real-life analogue, banning certain ideas from public discourse.

Here’s Newspeak for you: The Communists at Slate won’t be using the word “Redskins” anymore to refer to the Washington Redskins. “Changing how you talk changes how you think,” Daniel Plotz writes.

What exactly is the change in thinking being effected? Is it racism against American Indians? No. The desired change is an unwillingness to offend, even when it’s the truth people find offensive. Never forget this Blaise Pascal quote: “[Man] conceives a mortal hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.”

Back to Beale:

Anti-Sex League – this was an organization set up to take the pleasure out of sex, and to make sure that it was a mechanical function used for procreation only. Organizations that promote abstinence-only sex education, or want to ban artificial birth control, are the modern versions of this.

Please. Today’s real-life Anti-Sex League takes procreation out of sex, making sure it is a mechanical function used for pleasure only. On the most important denominator, love, the fictional Anti-Sex League and the real-life Anti-Sex League are simpatico.


President Obama nominated Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals:

Christian organizations are also expressing concern with Pillard’s writings, in which she stated that abortion is needed to “free[] women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” She also took aim at those who oppose contraception insurance coverage, noting that they “reinforce[] broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”

“Conscription into maternity.” “Presumptive breeders.” Classic expressions of a feminist at war with nature. God’s laws for man have no grip on these geniuses of modernity.


Defending Obamacare, Jamelle Bouie writes in the Daily Beast:

This is a tax on tanning beds, paid by people who purchase them, and felt by people who use them. The only way to describe this as “racist” is to turn the word into a mindless insult.

As if it hadn’t already. But this is an interesting formulation. According to Bouie, the whiteness of tanning bed users is coincidental and unrelated to their use of tanning beds. I suppose, then, the femaleness of abortion seekers is coincidental and unrelated to their seeking abortions.

Following Bouie’s logic, if Obamacare’s tanning bed tax isn’t racist against whites, then restrictions on abortion aren’t anti-woman. Abortions, like skin cancer treatments, cost money. Under our socialized healthcare system, there are savings to be made here.


Patrick O’Hannigan dropped this gem line in the American Spectator:

Diversity is dead because President Obama deliberately flattened it with a progressive ideology more featureless and imposing than the extraterrestrial monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

An astute simile, considering the monolith represented evolutionary leaps like the primates using tools and future mankind leaving the solar system. No doubt progressives view their ideology as evolutionary, as leaving behind all the trite problems that typify the human condition. If only we would grant them the authority reserved for God, then we might achieve the utopian fantasy of oneness, like the Overmind in Arthur C. Clarke’s other book, Childhood’s End.

Peter J. Leithart writes:

Unity is the president’s preferred weapon to divide and conquer. As he stated in his inaugural address, “Now more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.” He co-opted the first words of the U.S. Constitution to give a constitutional seal of approval to his policy agenda. “We the people” have spoken, and it turns out We pretty much agree with the president on everything. We the People are certainly as enlightened as the president about a woman’s right to abortion and the rightness of gay marriage. The constitutional standing of those who think differently from We the People is fuzzy.

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Everyone knows who that problematic “chunk” is: Bad Republicans are the remnants of the religious right, and the next four years are going to be uncomfortable ones for those of us who consider sodomy and abortion to be sinful. Nobody likes to be marginalized. No American likes to be branded as intolerant. Marginalization is especially galling to those on the religious right who so long ago rode the high places of the earth.

Christians, besides, have an instinct toward unity. We confess that God is love, and the second great commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Love is not tolerance, but in our age Christians confuse the two as readily as anyone.

The “Good” Republicans of Marin County, California, have “evolved” on marriage. Sally Zelikovsky takes them to task at the American Thinker:

Opponents of same-sex marriage are informed by facts that have been played out at all levels in our education system, our houses of worship and our pop culture. Facts born of a society in decline—a society that has lost its way, that no longer upholds the virtues of marriage, fidelity, and family; a society that no longer has any moral code, any boundaries, any expectations; a society mired in fatherlessness, the marginalization of men, the shunning of our boys, the loss of what it truly means to be a woman, and the mockery of marriage; a society where roles are being whitewashed by activists with agendas—progressive agendas to obliterate the family, destroy civil society, whittle away at prosperity and circumscribe freedom while ushering in a new era of transformational change with the government in control of our money, our bodies, our thoughts and our families.

Zelikovsky used to be a “fiscal conservative” (aka uncommitted libertarian) and a registered Democrat, but she became disillusioned when the Democrats started pushing “marriage equality,” a premise she found fundamentally at odds with her experience. She became a Republican because Republicans at the time peddled the truth about marriage.

I compared my childhood and early adulthood—when our culture had already started to break down—with that of my parents and grandparents in which there were expectations about behavior and moral boundaries. I then compared all of this to the childhood and early adulthood of my children and their peers—where civil society is on the brink of collapse. I realized that societies and governments can and do dabble in morality, as reflected by the wishes of its citizens, and that those moral boundaries set the stage for thriving citizens, intact marriages, ordered society, and, ultimately, the achievement of dreams.

The Framers understood, as do Republicans today, that the traditional family is a fundamental ingredient for prosperity and liberty.


Over at Breitbart, John Hayward lays Anthony Weiner at the feet of feminism’s lowered expectations for men:

Weiner is a prominent symbol of how the Democrats are always expecting women to settle for less. The liberal project since the Sixties has been a cascade of lowered standards for women, who are no longer supposed to look for fidelity and marriage. Morality and consequence are firmly separated from sex, to the greater detriment of women, who are abandoned to deal with the consequences. Gallantry and respect for the fairer sex have become quaint anachronisms. Women can hardly turn on their radios without being addressed in much the same language “Carlos Danger” uses with his online paramours.

As female expectations of men dwindled to threadbare standards Huma Abedin sets for her husband, society collapsed into an exhausted heap upon the heart-shaped waterbed of libertine socialism. When women don’t set high standards for men, nobody sets high standards for anyone. Soaring ideals of manhood have been traded for lowest-common-denominator perpetual adolescence. Perhaps one of the most crucial functions women serve in society is telling men when it’s time to grow the hell up. If they don’t issue that uncompromising demand, you get Anthony Weiner.

When I read that to my mom, she thought I wrote it. In fact, I did write it, just a bit differently:

Freed from the responsibilities and expectations that pushed him to become a good man, Shaun embraced his minimized role of pleasure seeker/incidental sperm donor with relish. He came to view Sheila’s body not as a temple to worship but as an amusement park ride. His boyhood fantasy had come true: He could have all the sex he wanted and none of the consequences.

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He couldn’t make a good husband, let alone a good father. He was lazy and irresponsible. He didn’t have it together. He didn’t aspire to anything greater than himself. She had never asked him to be anything greater than himself. He had spent his entire adulthood conceding her and other women’s long-term care to other forces. Set in his ways, he was unlikely to change.

Robert Stacy McCain waxes:

If we can’t call sin by its right name, neither can we be permitted to say it is immoral or deviant for girls to smoke marijuana, cover themselves with tattoos, and sell sex on the Internet to “sugar daddies.” Ask Rush Limbaugh what happens if you describe a typical Democrat girl with old-fashioned words like “slut” or “whore.” Even to say that the behavior of Sydney Leathers and Anthony Weiner was indecent is to imply the existence of some clear standard of decency. Start talking like that, and liberals will denounce you as a puritanical fanatic: You’re crazy, Anthony Weiner is perfectly sane, and don’t dare say a sexist word about Sydney Leathers, you haters!

Speaking of sin, the blathering Ruth Marcus writes:

The difference between Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, involves their language about supposed sinners, not their shared conviction that the behavior is a sin.

Then she adds:

Yes, we as a society are less inclined to moral judgments, and that is, for the most part, a happy development. What once was a source of shame—unwed motherhood, for example—is now, if not a point of pride, at least a marker of normalcy.

How many fools will read that and congratulate themselves on their enlightenment and understanding, oblivious to the harsh, self-perpetuating miasma a broken family culture imposes on its young ones? I don’t want to know.

I’ll let Mona Charen explain it to you:

Fatherlessness (and while there are some single fathers raising children, they are a small minority) is associated with increased incidence of every measurable pathology. It is evident from birth, and even before. Children of single mothers have higher rates of infant mortality, receive less health care, perform more poorly on post-natal tests, are slower to gain weight, and have more complications. Babies with a father’s name on their birth certificates are four times more likely to live past age one than those without.

In school, the pattern holds. Children from single-parent families tend (and these are aggregates not universals) to get lower grades, have more behavior problems, experience higher rates of depression and other mental illnesses, and drop out at higher rates. Children of single parents are more likely to be unemployed, to get into trouble with the law, and to be incarcerated. (Source: National Fatherhood Initiative.)

Cohabitating couples are far more likely to separate than are married couples, which means children often live with non-relative adults. A child living with his mother and her boyfriend is at maximum risk. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that children in such households are 50 times more likely than children of intact families to be the victims of physical or sexual abuse.


Deborah C. Tyler busts narratives in the American Thinker:

Now comes the calls for “conversation.” For the left wing, conversation serves both practical and philosophical purposes. Liberals virtually never make any personal sacrifices for their causes. They prefer chin music to breaking a sweat. Philosophically, liberal conversation-addiction descends from Jacques Derrida and deconstructionism. Rejecting the search for objective right and wrong in favor of the supremacy of personal “text” elevates egoistic conversation into sacred scripture. But on the deepest level, Derrida’s work is just claptrap cover-up for narcissistic humanists, who pervert every experience into feeling good about themselves. In such a world, it does not matter whether or not the Zimmerman-Martin case was factually about racism. If you feel that it was about racism, then it was. And communicating that feeling as conversational “text” satisfies the liberal sense of justice.

I’m officially through with Commentary. The Todd Akin-obsessed Jonathan Tobin writes:

Peggy Noonan’s attack on Christie in the Wall Street Journal removes all doubt that some of veteran members of the GOP’s chattering class are headed off the reservation.

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While Noonan characterizes Christie’s attempt to refocus Americans on the reality of a war still being waged on the United States by Islamist terrorists as “manipulative” and as “an appeal to emotion, not to logic,” it is she who is ignoring the larger context of the debate Paul has launched.

I read Noonan’s piece. It was spot-on. Chris Christie invited Rand Paul to criticize the government’s dragnet of all our electronic communication to the families of 9/11 victims. What a jerk. Ask those families first how they feel about their Twitter and Facebook posts being monitored.


“To be modern is to believe in one’s individual desires as the locus of authority and self-definition.” –Dreher

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