Friday, August 31, 2012

Communications technology that should be sent to Russia for trial

I understand the criticism being leveled at Clint Eastwood for his speech at last night's Republican National Convention. It was rambling, overlong, and sometimes incoherent. But I'm more interested in most of the rest of the speeches given at the convention, which were stilted, artificial, and lifeless.

Why? Because of teleprompters.

Teleprompters came in with Ronald Reagan, who, before that time, had spoken from handwritten index cards. Reagan already spoke naturally and compellingly. When he moved to the teleprompter, it only slightly enhanced his speaking style--largely, I think, because he had been an actor, and was used to cue cards.

But at the RNC, speaker after speaker stared dumbly into the camera like political zombies uttering lifeless platitudes. We now know how to render Newt Gingrich completely ineffective: put him in front of a teleprompter. The presentation by Newt and Callista Gingrich was utterly ineffective, as both took turns reading their lines mechanically.

Are we really in such a sad state of rhetorical degradation that we have to script every line every speaker delivers at these kinds of events?

Yes, Eastwood was bad. But Condoleeza Rice was great. They were the only two who were allowed their freedom from the teleprompter. But Rice more than made up for Eastwood. And I'll gladly endure a few rambling speeches than have to listen to the zombie eloquence on display at the RNC.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If liberals are so opposed to junk science, then why do they appeal to it themselves?

It's hard to know what to say about a political movement whose advocates seem to spend half their time condemning conservatives for touting junk science, and the other half engaged in starry-eyed adulation of a woman who was a vocal advocate of eugenics and a scientist who apparently collaborated with child molesters in conducting his questionable research.

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and Alfred Kinsey, the scientific father of the sexual revolution, are patron saints of liberalism, and still provide its advocates with inspiration and comfort.

That is one of the reasons why their reaction to the controversial remarks of Republican U. S. Senate candidate Todd Akin on rape is important: It gives us some hope that liberals themselves may some day be ready to abandon their own penchant for promoting junk science.

In fact, the next time your favorite liberal Democrat tells you how indignant he is about Todd Akin's remarks on rape, just ask him how he feels about the Kinsey Reports. When he starts mumbling and shuffling his feet, just shake your head, pat him on the shoulder, and walk away.

Akin, the Republican nominee for the U. S. Senate from Kansas, had told a radio interviewer that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant, a position he had apparently derived from bogus scientific research. The result was a firestorm of protest from liberals and calls from members of his own party to step down from his position of standard-bearer for his part in the Kansas senate race.

The cries and lamentations from liberals and Democrats were deafening, a stark contrast to the tranquil confidence with which, for decades, they have parroted their own questionable research.

What Alfred Kinsey claimed to have found
In fact, unlike Akin, who has disavowed his remarks, liberals have yet to repudiate Alfred Kinsey, whose two reports, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" together constitute the central scientific document of the sexual revolution. Not only that, but they still quote these documents, which contain a slough of suspect assertions, grounded in research methodology that have been repeatedly called into question by critics as being not only unreliable, but unethical.

The Kinsey Reports, released in 1948 an 1953, were the documents upon which the American advocates of sexual liberation based their entire social project. Kinsey, the author of the reports, was a zoologist at Indiana University, where the Kinsey Institute is still housed.

Kinsey claimed to have found that, rather than traditional divisions between heterosexual and homosexual, there was a much larger continuum across which people could be categorized and that homosexuality was much more common than most people thought. The report became the basis for the claim that homosexuals constituted 10 percent of the population.

Kinsey also claimed to have found that 50 percent of men and over 26 percent of women had had extra-marital sex; that 12 percent of females and 22 percent of males were attracted by sado-masochistic images; that between 67 and 98 percent of males and 50 percent of females had had premarital sex; and that 69 percent of white males had had at least one encounter with a prostitute.

And this was in the 1940s and 50s.

The apparent intention of the Kinsey Reports, an intention which played out in American society in the 60's and 70's and which still plagues us today, was the breakdown of traditional sexual restraints and the normalization of what had always been considered deviant sexual behavior. The reports and their popular treatment in the liberal media had a sort of bandwagon effect:: Everybody was doing these things, therefore, they must be normal.

The Kinsey Reports continue to be a touchstone for liberal beliefs on sexuality and are still appealed to in arguments for sex education in schools (an important rite in the liberal theology). In fact, a hagiographical movie about Kinsey, release in 2004, was the recipient of numerous awards conferred by Kinsey's Hollywood admirers.

What was wrong with Kinsey's research
As it turned out, Kinsey's claims were based on a sample that included a high percentage of prisoners and prostitutes. Other aspects of the sampling have been questioned, such as the categorization of married couples, which included, strangely, prostitutes who lived with their pimps. The methodology Kinsey used in one of the reports was condemned by the American Statistical Association the year it came out. Statistician John Tukay remarked, "A random selection of three people would have been better than a group of 300 chosen by Mr. Kinsey." It was also criticized at the time by the likes of Abraham Maslow. But that didn't stop the liberal establishment from uncritically parroting the report's prognostications for decades.

Kinsey tried to minimize the seriousness of child molestation and--what is interesting given the liberal reaction to Akin--rape. But even worse, Kinsey apparently collaborated with child molesters and possibly encouraged sexual molestation himself in gaining data on the sexual inclinations of children. There have even been charges that Kinsey paid people to molest children. All of which was apparently considered acceptable, since these "researchers" had note pads and stopwatches.

Calls for investigations into how Kinsey got his data have been stonewalled by the Kinsey Institute. "Stonewalled." Get it?

So the next time you hear a liberal uttering maledictions about Akin--or casting aspersions against Mark Regnerus for his unflattering findings on gay parenting--ask him why he has been singing hosannas to Kinsey. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gay bathhouse in Tampa offering GOP delegates free admission

And I hope they take advantage of it.

This will be a golden opportunity for gays to educate Republicans about the gay lifestyle and show delegates how gays lead the same kind of lifestyle as everyone else.

HT: Jake

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Picture of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz defending Obama on CNN

Screenshot of Obama apologist Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz defending the latest false claim by the pro-Obama forces about the Romney campaign on CNN.

BREAKING NEWS: audio tape of Obama opposing legislation to prevent infanticide

Barack Obama, as an Illinois state senator, expressing his concern that abortionists may be inconvenienced by a law protecting children born alive after botched abortions, and expressing his confidence that the doctors who just tried to kill a child in utero can be counted on to save its life when they screw up: Okay. Now, have you heard it? Okay, now quickly forget you heard it so you can concentrate on the relatively minor matter of Todd Akin saying stupid things he has apologized for.

Toys that should be sent to Russia for trial

“Drag Queen Barbie” is the most recent person/object to be nominated by the Committee for Cultural Cleansing to be sent to Russia for trial. In fact, the recommendation was even broader in its scope.

The Mattel toy company recently rolled out what some people are referring to as the “Drag Queen Barbie.” The new doll is officially called the “Blond Diamond Barbie” and was designed by “the Blonds,” a New York fashion duo.

“One of the great things about Barbie," said Cathy Cline, vice president of marketing for Mattel, "is that she continues to push the envelope ... Barbie doesn’t worry about what other people think.”

But just as the Committee (which consists of me and … well, basically just me) was about to vote on the recommendation, it was reported that Mattel, apparently worried about what other people think, was denying that the Blond Diamond Barbie was a drag queen.

The toy company said that the doll was entirely female.

The Blond Diamond Barbie just happens to look just like Phillipe Blond. Who designed Blond Diamond Barbie. And who has the same name. And who is a drag queen.

Instead of being a male impersonating a female, Blond Diamond Queen Barbie is a female impersonating a male impersonating a female. What a relief.

To verify Mattel’s claim that Blond Diamond Barbie was really female and not a drag queen, the Committee appointed a subcommittee (made up of member(s) of the Committee) to actually inspect the doll and determine its gender. But after conducting a simple inspection, it was decided that the doll’s gender could not be determined. After further inspection, which included an analysis of older Barbie and Ken dolls, the subcommittee discovered a serious anomaly.

“In fact,” said a spokesperson, “we discovered that even traditional Barbie and Ken dolls were almost completely androgynous. This is shocking.”

After the subcommittee made its report to the full Committee, the group decided to broaden its recommendation. It voted to send not only Blond Diamond Barbie, but basically all Barbie and Ken dolls to Russia for trial. And Mattel executives. And fashion designers.

The vote was unanimous.

BREAKING NEWS: Obama refuses to drop out of the presidential race for opposing restrictions on infanticide

WASHINGTON, DC--President Barack Obama is apparently unwilling to drop out of the presidential race in the wake of revelations that he opposed legislation protecting infants born alive in abortion procedures and opposed legislation banning partial-birth abortions.

In fact, the President is still saying nothing about it. As is the liberal media, which is too busy talking about Todd Akin, a candidate for the U. S. Senate in Kansas, who repeated a discredited theory of how women's bodies react during rape to pay any attention to Obama's tacit support of infanticide.

We will keep you posted with up-to-the-minute updates on the President's candidate status...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is Obama's support of infanticide less controversial than Akin's position?

U. S. Senate candidate Todd Akin said something stupid in a radio interview and has said he made a mistake. He is being called upon to step out of politics by the liberal media--and not a few conservatives. Meanwhile Barack Obama has opposed legislation that would provide protection for babies who survive abortion. He has not apologized for it--and he is being lauded by the same liberal media and the conservatives who presumably oppose him but are ignoring is pro-infanticide record.

In 2002, Obama voted against the "Born Alive" bill, which would protect babies who have been aborted who give indications that they may be alive.

In 1997, he voted against a bill banning partial birth abortions.

Having a silly view of how female bodies respond to rape is worse than refusing to prevent infanticide. Go figure.

HT:  National Review

Fragile atheists lose case against state homeland security law that mentions God

Last we heard from them, a group of atheists was huddled together shivering in fear that a state law that gives credit to God for homeland security might be retained on the books. But last week, the Kentucky Supreme Court turned down a request to hear a case challenging the law, thereby letting it stand.

And the atheist group? Well, someone ought to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't do anything drastic as a result of what must surely be a bad case of despondency.

We go to Peter Smith at the Louisville Courier-Journal:
At issue were two related laws passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  
The first was a 2002 “legislative finding” saying the “safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”  
The second was a 2006 act creating the state’s Office of Homeland Security and requiring its executive director to publicize “dependence on Almighty God” in agency training and educational materials and through a plaque at the entrance to its emergency operations center.
The group challenging the law, American Atheists, claimed the law was causing them to suffer sleep disorders and "mental pain and anguish." Many of us didn't know until the onset of this case just how mentally fragile atheists really were that the mere mention of religion reduced them to a quivering puddle of emotions.

We just took them at their word that they were hardy, courageous individuals who didn't need the "crutch" of religion to get through life. Now we come to find out they are just effete busybodies who talk a good game, but emotionally wilt in the face of any acknowledgement of God.

Atheists didn't used to be this frail. It's a darn shame.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Does the Higgs Boson particle make God irrelevant?

In a July 9 article, atheist physicist Lawrence Krauss announced that, with the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, humans "may have just taken a giant step toward replacing metaphysical speculation with empirically verifiable knowledge." It's a funny thing about scientific materialists: Whenever they announce the demise of philosophy, you discover very quickly that they are engaging in it in the very act of pronouncing it dead. Krauss is no different.

 Krauss, says Oxford mathematician and philosopher of science John Lennox:
Krauss has not taken that giant step himself, since his statement, far from being a statement of science, is another metaphysical speculation - a mixture of hubris and an inadequate concept of God.
Krauss has continuing trouble even figuring out the difference between science and metaphysics, as is evident from his recent book A Universe from Nothing, in which he confuses the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" and the question "How did something come from nothing." In fact, as it transpires, he's completely confused about what the term "nothing" even means.

Apparently this confusion extends to a few other things. Says Lennox:
What does Krauss mean by "more relevant than God?" Relevant to what? Clearly the Higgs particle is more relevant than God to the question of how the universe works. But not to the question why there is a universe in which particle physics can be done. The internal combustion engine is arguably more relevant than Henry Ford to the question of how a car works, but not for why it exists in the first place. Confusing mechanism and/or law on the one hand and agency on the other, as Krauss does here, is a category mistake easily made by ignoring metaphysics. 
Read the rest here.

A deceased person who should be sent to Russia for trial

Did I mention that, if Helen Gurley Brown was still alive, she should be sent to Russia for trial?

Ten Ways to Die Ungracefully: Helen Gurley Brown, RIP

Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and the author of the 1964 bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, has died at the age of 90. She famously refused to grow old gracefully, having procured a nose job, breast "augmentation," silicone and fat injections, eye lifts, and multiple face lifts. She also wore a miniskirt well into her 80s, under the apparent impression that it would make her look younger.

She was basically the female Hugh Hefner, sharing with with Hefner the distinction of pressing the sexual revolution to new depths. The sexual revolution was the social movement the goal of which was to free people to have as much sex as they wanted, but resulted instead (if the number of advertisements are any indication) in an epidemic of Erectile Dysfunction.

Thanks to people like Brown, people now have the social freedom to do what they no longer seem physically capable of doing.

I hope she confessed before she died. She needed to.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A political candidate who should be sent to Russia for trial

By the way, did I mention that I think that Republican U. S. Senate nominee Todd Akin should be sent to Russia for trial?

The feminist argument for Todd Akin's position that pregnancy from rape is rare


When Missouri Republican U. S. Senate nominee Todd Akin said that pregnancy from rape is "really rare," he was hammered from all sides, attracting the condemnation of the presidential nominees from both political parties. Part of the criticism was leveled at his reason for saying this, which was a cockamamie theory he probably got off the internet that a woman's body has some kind of defense mechanism against male sperm in such cases. However, a good part of it seemed to be that he was minimizing the changes of pregnancy resulting from rape.

But the congressman might just well have relied on what feminists have been saying for years about rape to bolster his position. As it turns out, feminists have been minimizing the chance of pregnancy from rape for years.

In my first week of college many years ago, we had (as students still do) to go through various forms of indoctrination about a number of things. One of the reeducation seminars we had to sit through was "rape awareness." It was conducted by a few of the grim feminist types who then only had partial control of colleges, but who, since then, have taken full control of them. In the case of this class, we had to learn why rape happens.

The first thing we were told--and we were told it again, and again, and again, and again--was that rape was more about power and dominance that it was about sex. This is part of feminist ideology. In fact, they not only believe that: many of them believe even voluntary sex during marriage constitutes rape. Anyhow, as evidence of this theory of rape as male dominance, we were told (this too was repeated multiple times, which is probably why I remember it now, some 35 years later), in most cases the rapist does not ejaculate during the crime.

They got the idea of rape as being about male control and dominance from books like Susan Brownmiller's 1975 Against our Will, in which Brownmiller stated that rape "is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear." "Rape is a crime not of lust," she asserts, "but of power." Her book is a systematic expression of contempt for the idea that rape is about gratification of sexual desire.

And just in case you think this is some marginal book, just consider that, in 1995, the New York Public Library listed it among the 100 most important books of the 20th century.

But they were just saying it then: They continue to say it--and they have now armed themselves with data.

In her 2003 book, Evolution, Gender, and Rape, Cheryl Brown Travis, the chair of "Women's Studies" at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, argues against a famous study done by Craig Thornhill and Randy Palmer in 2001 was flawed in its argument that rape has evolutionary origins. Travis thought it was, intentionally or unintentionally, a way to morally excuse male rapists.

One of Thornhill and Palmer's arguments was that rape was part of an evolutionary strategy to increase reproduction. Travis argued that if this were true, it "must result in pregnancies." But she calls this into question. Why?
Data indicate that rapists often do not have erections, fail to penetrate the vagina, or do not ejaculate. Medical studies report that these problems occur in 30 to 40 percent of cases (Bownes and O'Gorman 1991, Hook, Elliot, and Harbison 1992). During medical examination, traces of sperm may be found in only 50 percent of rape cases (Ferris and Sandercock 1998). Case reports note that rapists often have one or more of sexual dysfunctions and that these dysfunctions may precipitate additional violence, degradation, and brutalization of the victim (Groth and Burgess 1977). [p. 214]
In other words, Travis, a feminist, is downplaying the changes of pregnancy from rape. Travis isn't the only one saying this:

  • "...studies have long shown that many rapists do not ejaculate." Wendy Murphy, WeNews
  • "Research states that some men do not ejaculate during rape," Feminist Issues

Where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation from the media? Where are the Tolerance Police to put these women in their place?

Oh, wait. They're feminists. We can't do that.


Friday, August 17, 2012

More bands that should be sent to Russia for trial

I wish to extend my list of bands which need to be sent to Russia for trial:
  • Rush (for sheer pretentiousness)
  • Madonna (give her twice the time as the others)
  • Metallica (almost as pretentious as Rush)
  • The Doors (we'll have to resurrect Jim Morrison for this, which will really screw up things for the people who visit his grave every year, but we can consider that an extra, added benefit. They need to get a life anyway)
  • Prince (add two extra years for every time he's changed his name)
  • ACDC (for being in league with the Devil)
  • Pearl Jam (for spawning grunge rock)
  • Nirvana (for fooling an entire generation into thinking they were actually good)
  • Journey (for sheer mediocrity)
  • Motley Crue (for just being Motley Crue)
  • Coldplay (for continuing to write the same song over and over again)
  • Green Day (who write great guitar hooks but whose lyrics are completely nihilistic and who suffer from generally bad hair)
  • Every rap and hip-hop band that has ever existed. Ever.
These are mostly older bands, of course, but the most of the bands on Billboard's Top 100 I have never heard of. But, given the generally bad musical taste these days, they cannot possibly be good.

Send them all.

I have changed my position on ***** Riot

I have now seen a video of the "mock concert" given by ***** Riot in the Orthodox church that has become a cause célèbre among culturally fashionable people worldwide, and my views about the band and the verdict have now totally changed.

In my previous post, I came out in favor of putting the band behind bars for two years for desecrating a holy place. But I have changed my mind.

Having seen the actual performance, I now I think the band should serve more time.

In addition to desecrating a holy place, the video makes it clear that they also constitute an artistic menace to which a stop should be put immediately (the lengths I go to to avoid ending my sentences with prepositions. Sheeez.).

Where were the freedom-loving liberals when we needed them?

The liberals can now add their condemnation of the guilty verdict of the punk band ***** Riot to all their other fashionable cultural causes, like animal rights and the Free Tibet movement. It's all part of the low cost pose they can strike that allows them to look like they are fighting for something when, in fact, they are not incurring any discomfort at all.

At least the left-wing European intellectuals in the 1930's who went to fight for the communists in the Spanish Civil War actually risked something. Today, fighting the good fight is characterized by Madonna preening on stage by telling her audience she "stands with" a punk band that is just trying to get its name in the news; or members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers wearing a T-shirt supporting the band while playing in Moscow; or Paul McCartney writing a letter in support (proving thereby that at least the old rockers were actually literate).

And, of course, we have the oh, so fashionable Obama administration weighing in with its condemnation of the verdict.

And so where were the liberal celebrities and politicians during the Soviet years when people were thrown in jail after being found guilty in trials the verdicts for which were announced before the trials ever took place? Hmmm. Let's see. I'll just check the historical record here and see if ... Omigosh. The liberal celebrities weren't concerned about dissidents during the Cold War at all! In fact, they were supportive of the Soviet government and other totalitarian governments around the world who were jailing their own citizens on a daily basis for disagreeing with them.

Funny how that works.

And did I mention that the Red Hot Chili Peppers should be sent to Russia with the punk bands for trial?

Sending punk bands to Russia

According to the Atlantic Wire, the Russian punk band--whose name we will adorn with asterisks because we actually have standards on this blog--was just given a 2-year jail sentence for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred." The band ***** Riot was arrested on March 15 after performing a 40-minute "mock concert" (whatever that means) inside a Russian Orthodox church.

Now, at first I was tempted by all of the fawning coverage by the international media to support the band against the Russian legal system, which has been known to announce, on occasion, the verdict of trials before they actually occur. But I'll have to say that I am quite enamored of this particular verdict and impressed by the thought of how we could use it on "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" here in the United States.

I'm thinking of possible applications of it even now.

But perhaps it would be better to simply ship all the punk bands we have here in the United States to Russia in the hope that they too would be put out of commission for a couple of years.

After all, these bands go around posing as if they're really dangerous and edgy. They're constantly announcing in pretentious tones how their listeners should defy all convention and stick it to the establishment, and pretend as if their calls for cultural revolution are some kind of courageous public stance. So put 'em in jail for a little while.

This would have the advantage of increasing the authenticity of their whole act, and no one would accuse them of being the posers they really are.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Dangerous Article for Boys: Why boys don’t need to get in touch with their feelings and how you can protect them from people who think they do (with a list of books to help you fend these people off).

The following article contains some elements from past posts, but it mostly new. It is the monthly article for the Memoria Press August E-Newsletter.

It is now well-recognized that boys are not reading. What is the problem? Most commentators want to say that boys have an aversion to books. But the problem is quite the opposite: books—modern books, that is—have an aversion to boys.

A recent edition of The New York Times Sunday Book Review featured an article by Robert Lipsyte that attempts to address this problem. Here is the proffered solution:
[B]oys need to be approached individually with books about their fears, choices, possibilities and relationships — the kind of reading that will prick their dormant empathy, involve them with fictional characters and lead them into deeper engagement with their own lives. This is what turns boys into readers.
Excuse me while I dab my eyes delicately with my handkerchief, touched as I am by this tender thought.

Okay, let's get something straight here: solutions like this are part of the problem. I'm normally against shooting spit wads in class, but I am willing to make an exception in this one case. The entire educational establishment has tried for over 50 years to force boys into their effeminate mold, and in the process, they've succeeded in evacuating literature of all the things boys like in books: action, adventure, danger, bloodletting--and an iron moral code that is taught, not by smarmy sermonizing, but by immersing them in the moral universe of a story about a hero who not only believes in this code, but enforces it with a vengeance.

Boys now seek refuge in cheesy horror novels because the Cultural Authorities won't give them the adventure books that were once staples in every boy's life. It is to this I attribute the popularity of vampire novels (and movies and television shows). But even here a boy is destined for disappointment.

The crisis of wimpy vampires 
In fact, the extent of our modern cultural crisis can be at least partly measured by the plight of the vampire. The vampire of yore was an evil and only partly human creature. He sucked peoples’ blood and didn’t second guess himself. The modern vampire is the pure creation of the modern therapeutic mindset: a tortured emotional soul dealing with his vampire condition as if it were some kind of psychological neurosis.

The vampire of old was a danger to others; the modern vampire is a danger primarily to himself. The vampire of old looked into the mirror and saw nothing; the modern vampire looks into a mirror and sees the other part of his bi-polar self. The vampire of old required only a stake through the heart; the modern vampire requires months on the psychologist’s couch.

The pure evil of the traditional vampire is a rebuke to the modern relativism that dominates our literature, which avoids unadulterated evil because it implies an equally unadulterated—and unacceptable—good.

Morality has been replaced in young adult literature by therapy, and boys have fled in droves.

Heroism can never be completely eliminated from literature because we are naturally attracted to it. And so, when it is repressed (if you will forgive my commission of psychologism in the very act of criticizing in), it always comes back in some other form.

The pathogenesis of the superhero 
This accounts for the continuing popularity of comic books and the more recent phenomenon of superhero movies. Our culture has never fully recovered from the demise of the classic Western. We have to have heroes, and in an age in which we were not ashamed of it, we put them in a historical context. These were things that really could—and in some cases actually did—happen.

But in the modern era, we are not supposed to admire great men, largely because we are uncomfortable with the whole idea of greatness. So today we must relegate our heroes to the realm of the fantastic. They are now figures who could never really be, doing things that can never really be done. And even here, the therapeutic is never far off.

Every modern superhero must deal with the psychological consequences of something from his childhood: for Spiderman it is the murder of his uncle; for Batman the death of his parents; and, of course, Superman’s planet has been blown up. The modern superhero wreaks havoc on the bad guys less because he is pursuing truth, justice, and the American way than because it is the only way he can work out his angst.

The mother of a friend of mine in high school was a famous psychologist. One day I noticed padded bats propped up against the wall and asked, “What are those?” She told me they were for her mom’s patients so they could express their anger without hurting anybody. All we common people get to work out our anxiety are padded bats—and we don’t even get to destroy anything. Batman, on the other hand, gets a helicopter, a fast car, and a cool costume—and destroys half a city.

Life just isn’t fair.

Hands off my psyche
I have three boys, mostly grown now. Not a one of them ever needed to be lead into “deeper engagement” with his life. Had you asked my wife about it at the time, she would have told you that they were all way too engaged in their own lives and that they needed to think about something else—like cleaning their rooms or mowing the lawn. And I hate to think of what would have happened if anyone had tried to “prick their dormant empathy.” To any healthy boy, those are fighting words.

Boys, though they cannot articulate it, can usually see right through the modern psychobabble. In fact, say what you will about the Harry Potter books (and plenty has been said), they at least betray a consciousness of the old adventure ideal, and are light on the psychological reflexiveness—at least in the early books in the series, although I am told (I have not read them) that the later books portray a much more effeminate Harry.

We have the mistaken impression that it was traditional children’s literature that was preachy. This is not only untrue, it is almost the exact opposite of the truth. It is precisely the preachiness of politically correct modern literature that offends their innate sense of honesty and justice—a human instinct that we do our best to educate out of them.

Boys are not interested in getting in touch with themselves, and it is particularly off-putting when they are told that it is good for them. The minute the politically correct schoolmarms approach, they head for the woods, where they are free to pick up sticks and pretend they are swords and fight monsters and hunt frogs and swing from trees--anything but be preached at by people whose sermons consist of high-minded meaninglessness.

Most boys are born cynics and are rightly suspicious of moralistic platitudes. They respect words only to the extent that they see them followed by actions. Tell them (in mere words) what the right thing to do is, and they will look at you suspiciously and walk away. Do the right thing—preferably at the risk of your own person or reputation, and they will follow you in zealous allegiance.

The older authors of books for boys knew this: they forsook the sermonizing for the story of men in action. G. A. Henty, Johnston McCulley, Anthony Hope, H. Rider Haggard, P. C. Wren, Howard Pyle, C. S. Forester, as well as Western authors like Louis L’Amour and Max Brand—these were authors boys not only didn’t avoid, but sought out. Even a few female authors were on to this secret about boys: Baronness Orczy, she of Scarlet Pimpernel fame, being the most notable, as well as Laura Ingalls Wilder. These were books once illumined by flashlights under bed covers so that, late at night, when they were supposed to be asleep, the young male reader could find out what happened next. To do the same with most modern therapeutic fiction would be a waste of batteries.

This is not a romantic discourse on the nature of the boy and how we should leave him to develop on his own, but merely a defense of the idea that he has a nature, and that it should be taken into account in how we deal with him. A necessary part of this (given that his nature doesn’t always lend itself to doing what the dictates of civilization require) is a straightforward and honest discipline, something which too often these days has been replaced by psychotropic drugs.

Boys needs to be tamed, not treated.

Good books for boys
But in addition to restraint, a boy needs inspiration. And one way to do this is to give him books that meet him where he is, which is far from the place that most professionals (who are admittedly only trying to help) think he is. In addition, of course, to the great classic hero stories of Homer and Virgil, as well as the various books of the authors I mentioned above, here is a short list of books to utilize that predate the Conspiracy Against Boys, in the general order in which they should be read:

Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (and anything else Wilder ever wrote)
The Jack Tales, by Jonathan Chase
Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry
Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green
King Arthur, by Roger Lancelyn Green
Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Janet Gray
Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lost in the Barrens, by Farley Mowat (and anything else Mowat ever wrote)
Goodbye Kate, by Billy C. Clark (and anything else Clark ever wrote)
The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
The Mask of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley (and the rest of the Zorro books)
The Scarlet Pimpernel and El Dorado, by Baroness Orczy (and the rest of the Scarlet Pimpernel books)
Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle (and anything else Pyle ever wrote)
Shane, by Jack Shaeffer
The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
Old Squire’s Farm, by C. A. Stephens
Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow, by Allan French
Little Britches, by Ralph Moody
Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
A Texas Ranger, by N. A. Jennings
Penrod, by Booth Tarkington
The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling
Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Worm Ouroboros, by E. R. Edison
The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Tell your boy to read them. And when you send him to bed, tell him to go to sleep—but make sure there are plenty of flashlight batteries around the house. Just in case he needs them.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

One more thing...

Did I mention that Mark Juergensmeyer's labeling of Wade Michael Page's act as "Christian terrorism" was ludicrous?

Strike that. It's definitely Goatee Terrorism

Nevermind that business about rock terrorism. And forget what I said about bald terrorism. I didn't see it until just now: The Sikh killings perpetrated by Wade Michael Page can be traced to facial hair. This was Goatee Terrorism.

Mark Juergensmeyer has called it "Christian terrorism," but this is plainly wrong. Has any one noticed how many criminals have facial hair? Just go watch a TV police drama and you'll see.

I wonder if the police have figured this out yet.

Make that BALD Terrorism

After having thought about this for, oh, about 3 seconds, I have now decided that sociologist Mark Juergensmeyer is wrong for a different reason. Juergensmeyer calls Wade Michael Page's act of killing Sikhs "Christian terrorism." I pointed out this was clearly rock terrorism, since Page was in a rock band and sung racist songs.

But I was wrong.

No, this is clearly Bald Terrorism. Just look at the picture and you can see. Page was bald. Skinheads have been implicated in violence all around the world. Most noticably in Europe. 

What will it take to convince people that hairlessness should be viewed with suspicion?

Rock Terrorism

Mark Juergensmeyer, who purports to be a sociologist at my own alma mater, calls the Sikh killings perpetrated by Wade Michael Page "Christian terrorism."
Though there is no evidence that Page was a pious Christian, that is true of many religious terrorists. If the hard-talking, swaggering al Qaeda militants can be called Muslim terrorists, certainly Page can be called a Christian terrorist.
But what he doesn't take into account is the fact that Page was a "rock singer." This was clearly Rock Terrorism. Just go look at the lyrics of his songs from his band End Apathy.

Rock music was unquestionably implicated in this heinous crime. Down with rock 'n roll.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Jake gets his hate on over Chick-fil-A protest

Jake over at  Page One Kentucky has a problem with anti-gay haters. You know, all those people who went out and bought chicken at the local franchises all over the country who spewed venomous hate-filled rhetoric about gays, calling them names, insulting their family members, questioning their sanity, and attributing all kinds of false motives to them.

It was so bad that ...

Um, let's see. Let me make sure I've got my facts straight here... Oh. Gosh. I'm sorry. I've got this all turned around. As it turns out, it wasn't the people going to Chick-fil-A last Wednesday who were doing all these things.

It was actually Jake, at Page One, who was engaging in hate, calling State Rep. Kim King's husband her "puppet master," calling these people "homophobes," "obese white people," and "mouth-breathers." In fact, Jake frequently calls social conservatives he disagrees with "mouth-breathers," especially when he's trying to underscore how hateful they are and how loving and charitable he is.


Against Faith in Faith

Thomas Cothran's article on First Things On the Square website:
It has become a strange and unfortunate commonplace that one must have faith in faith—faith, that is, in the ability to commit oneself to truths that transcend rational justification—not only out of respect for faith’s intrinsic (if futile) beauty, but also as a means to the truth. Confronted with inadequate evidence for the deeper truths of life, one must conjure up a commitment to ideas for which the subjective act of faith can be the only ground, and one must believe not only in the content of faith but in the faith-act itself. 
This, at least, is the picture of faith one finds in the writings of Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris, and it has an embarrassing currency among Christian believers. (For example, a Christian woman once told me earnestly that even if biologists were able to demonstrate common descent to a certainty, she would still reject it for a simplistic interpretation of the Genesis creation account as a matter of faith) ...
Read the rest here.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Can you hate Chick-fil-A and love on Christianity?

QUESTION: If businesses like Chick-fil-A are to be not only boycotted, but prevented from operating in certain places because they make statements in opposition to gay "marriage," then how can practicing gays at the same time argue that they can be faithful Christians when Christianity's founding document categorically condemns homosexuality--in both the Old and New Testaments? If they can't be customers of the former, how can they be adherents of the latter


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Is Romney chicken on the same-sex marriage issue?

Rush Limbaugh is calling on all the conservatives who went to Chick-fil-A to more publicly support Mitt Romney.
Can you imagine if every one of you who went to Chick-fil-A put a Romney sign in your yard, what would happen? Can you imagine if every one of you who went to Chick-fil-A started working grassroots-wise with the Tea Party for Romney and for Republican candidates? Can you imagine what would happen, and did so in a visual way?
Apparently Rush didn't notice that, while his base was going out of their way yesterday to support the right of the company's president Dan Cathy to have an opinion differing from gay rights groups on the issue of same-sex marriage, Romney was nowhere to be seen on the issue.

Maybe someone could explain to me why the people who stood in line yesterday to show their support for traditional values should publicly support Romney when Romney won't publicly support what they were publicly supporting.

Yesterday was a massive statement of support for traditional marriage. It can't be comforting for those who participated in it that Romney, instead of making a statement himself, was completely silent.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

University of Louisville backs down on Chick-fil-A controversy

Plans for the Ministry of Truth building at UofL have been shelved. The campus Thought Police are putting their truncheons back on their racks. The Louisville Fight Song has been changed back from “Oceana ‘tis of Thee” to its original, less dogmatic form.

All is quiet in the prole district.

Soon the shortage of razor blades will be eased and the chocolate rations will be increased. 2+ 2 still equals 4.

At least for now.

More Coverage of U of L's Intolerancegate

Business Lexington
River City News