After Charlottesville, I know who is the greatest danger to freedom: The Virtue Signaling Gang!

For those readers in the future who wonder what “Charlottesville” means, last weekend in the Virginia town of the same name, a bunch of attention-seeking, rifle toting, “white supremacists/Neo-nazis” put on a big show, hoping to generate controversy and, of course, attention, ostensibly to protest against statues of Civil War Confederate heroes being torn down by the authorities. They got their wishes, first via a counter protest by their far left counterparts, so-called Antifa, then via all kinds of media. Most of the establishment media and their pet leftist voices, predictably, used the confrontations to tar President Trump, their adversary-in-chief, with the usual labels–racist, hater, bigot. But when the fog of rhetoric starts to clear, what becomes painfully evident is the REAL danger to freedoms that we have cherished while taking them for granted: exploitation of tragic events for VIRTUE SIGNALING. Virtue signaling is speaking and acting specifically for the purpose of showing how virtuous you are. The following 3 items will demonstrate, after which I will finish up with some remarks.

From Fox News Opinion: “When images hit the web last Saturday night of white supremacist college students in Virginia carrying tiki torches in one hand and giving the Nazi salute with the other, Twitter and social media sleuths immediately went to work in attempting to identify members of the white shirt khaki mob. Whether it be at a political rally or even a sporting event – or just about any public place anywhere – social media has pretty much all but assured that we are helpless to the power of becoming a viral moment, at any given moment, any time. But what if it doesn’t stop there?

‘Take all of those factors that can lead to misidentifying someone online and add a celebrity with millions of followers and fans into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. That’s exactly what Jennifer Lawrence is doing. In a Facebook post directed at her 16,000,000 fans, Lawrence commanded: ‘These are the faces of hate. Look closely and post anyone you find,’ and added, ‘You can’t hide with the internet you pathetic cowards!’ Lawrence, one of the most recognizable, talented and powerful stars in Hollywood, is actively weaponizing her fame in what, on its face, may seem like a good cause – outing hate in America. She’s also not alone in doing this.

“There are two things wrong with this, though. The first is, these guys aren’t exactly hiding. They are out in plain sight. They aren’t wearing hoods. They want the attention. The second problem with what Lawrence (and in fairness other celebrities with enormous social media microphones) is doing is the more dangerous and obvious one: organizing a digital mob with the power to misidentify people, to single out and punish the wrong people. There is almost no way for a private citizen, who could be misidentified by someone with Lawrence’s following, to fight back against this.

“Kyle Quinn, an engineering professor in Arkansas, fell victim to such a mob this past weekend when he was mistaken for one of the men at the rally, thanks to one of the marchers wearing a T-shirt with ‘Arkansas’ on it who bore a resemblance to him. His home address was posted and, fearing for their safety, Quinn and his wife evacuated their home to stay with a colleague. ‘You have celebrities and hundreds of people doing no research online, not checking facts,’ Quinn told the New York Times. ‘I’ve dedicated my life to helping all people, trying to improve health care and train the next generation of scientists, and this is potentially throwing a wrench in that.’

“The Twitter account @yesyoureracist has made it its mission to publicly ‘out’ and name those who attended the rallies this past weekend. In doing so, they have misidentified several people to their 370,000 Twitter followers. The account’s response is to simply say sorry, ask for more patron donations and move on. The innocent people on the other end, however, have to deal with days of threats, harassing phone calls to their employers and the fear that their private information might become public.

“The absolute last thing a group of online blood-thirsty amateurs need is to be empowered by those with the largest platforms among us. Calling out hate is one thing. Digital vigilantism dished out by celebrities like Lawrence where innocent people are bound to be targeted over no fault of their own is something completely different, and will only lead nowhere good.” This internet vigilantism has a technical name–doxing. It isn’t new. has an editorial about it. doxing

From Fox News Opinion: “One thing President Trump said Tuesday deserves more attention than it will likely get. On Monday a mob tore down a civil war soldier’s memorial in Durham, North Carolina. Police stood idly by and liberals across the country applauded it. ‘Which statues are next,’ the president asked today, ‘George Washington, Thomas Jefferson?’ It’s not a joke. Suddenly it’s a serious question. 

“Thomas Jefferson indisputably was a great man. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Founder of the University of Virginia and maybe, most importantly, the greatest thinker in American political history. All of us live in his shadow. Unfortunately, however, Jefferson was also a slave holder. That’s real. It’s a moral taint. We ought to remember it. But to the fanatics on the left it means that Jefferson must be purged from public memory forever. The demands are already coming that we do that.

“In 2015, the students at the University of Missouri demanded the removal of a Jefferson statue. Two years ago, on CNN, anchor Ashleigh Banfield suggested the Jefferson Memorial in Washington might have to go. Needless to say there is literally no limit when you start thinking like this. Last year, hundreds of activists in New York demanded the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the American National History Museum be dismantled. They argued that Roosevelt was a racist. That’s the standard. Nobody is safe. Watch out Abraham Lincoln. You’re next.

“Now, to be clear, as if it’s necessary, slavery is evil. If you believe in the rights of the individual, it’s actually hard to think of anything worse than slavery. But let’s be honest. Up until 150 years ago when a group of brave Americans fought and died to finally put an end to it, slavery was the rule, rather than the exception around the world. And had been for thousands of years, sadly. Plato owned saves, so did Mohammed — peace be upon him.

“Many African tribes held slaves and sold them. The Aztecs did, too. Before he liberated Latin America, Simon Bolivar owned slaves. Slave-holding was so common among the North American Indians that the Cherokee brought their slaves with them on the Trail of Tears. And it wasn’t something they learned from European settlers. Indians were holding and trading slaves when Christopher Columbus arrived. And by the way, he owned slaves, too. None of this is a defense of the atrocity of human bondage. And it is an atrocity. 

“The point however is that if we are going to judge the past by the standards of the present, if we are going to reduce a person’s life to the single worst thing he ever participated in, we had better be prepared for the consequences of that. And here’s why: Forty one of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence held slaves. James Madison, the father of the Constitution had a plantation full of slaves. George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights also owned slaves, unfortunately. But does that make what they wrote illegitimate? If these men were simply racist villains, and that’s all they were, then the society they created is as evil as they were. There is no reason to respect its traditions or uphold its laws. 

“The First Amendment, for example, the right to speak freely — For hundreds of years Americans have revered it. Now, the left dismisses it as the work of white supremacist slave holders. It is worthless, they tell us. It must go. It is now routine to hear liberals claim that hate speech, whatever that is, isn’t protected by the First Amendment. Though of course the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech that offends people. It’s a statement of shocking ignorance and yet it is now common.

“That Pomona College in California, students there are claiming that free speech is, “a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions.” Whatever that means. They say, the right of free expression should only apply to certain racial groups. But that’s not racist because as you know there is no racism on the left. They are just sincere people concerned about hate. There is actually a vitally important debate going on in the country right now. And it’s not about statues or even the alt-left antifa, it’s about American institutions and whether they are worth preserving.

“Radicals on the left want to tear it all down as they did the statue in Durham Tuesday. Equality under the law. Protections for the individual against the mob. The absolute right to say and believe anything you choose. Those will be gone. Replaced by something darker and more rigidly conformist. Is that a country you want to live in?”


From the U.K. Independent: “18 people convicted after girls and young women groomed, drugged and raped in Newcastle. More than 100 cross-party politicians have signed an open letter demanding action over a column in The Sun for ‘using Nazi-like language’ regarding the Muslim community in Britain, The Independent can reveal.

In a scathing letter MPs from Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Green party unite to say they ‘were truly outraged by the hate and bigotry’ in a comment piece written by the paper’s former political editor Trevor Kavanagh. In the article Mr Kavanagh argues Islam constitutes the ‘one unspoken fear’ which unites Britain and wider Europe but claims the phenomenon has been suppressed by political correctness. ‘The common denominator, almost unsayable until last week’s furore over Pakistani sex gangs, is Islam,’ he wrote after 18 people were convicted in a Newcastle grooming gang last week.”

Can you see how the three items above are related? I can summarize for you: Soon there will only be ONE point of view that is allowed to be expressed!! That is the point of view acceptable to the REAL TOTALITARIANS, the virtue-signaling self-appointed thought police. Already, the yapping poodles of the establishment media and their oh so virtuous allies–Antifa, social justice crusaders (take from those who have–other than me–and give to those who have not–as long as they are on the left side of issues), race hustlers, celebrities who hope their virtue balances their wealth–are saying exactly what I am predicting: “How dare anyone call out the violence of Antifa. The only haters were the White Sups, the counter demonstrators aren’t haters–they are just concerned anti-racists. There is only one legitimate side here.”

The truth: Scott Crow, a longtime Antifa organizer, says the “radical ideals” promoted by Antifas are starting to be adopted by liberals. “They would never have looked at (those ideals) before, because they saw us as the enemy as much as the right-wingers. “But Crow said the philosophy of Antifa is based on the idea of direct action. “The idea in Antifa is that we go where they (right-wingers) go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that. “And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”Crow said members use violence as a means of self-defense and they believe property destruction does not equate to violence.
Now as to the U.K. item, the “cross party politicians” and even Jewish groups were signaling their virtue by reflexly condemning a phrase used by Mr. Kavanaugh, “the Islam Problem”, even though the systematic kidnapping and rape of hundreds of non-muslim girls since at least 2009 in U.K. (and in other western european nations) was planned and carried out by Islamic gangs. The complaint of the virtuous was that the phrase was reminiscent of that phrase–the Jewish problem–used by the Nazis. So what’s wrong with that objection? Nothing on it’s face, except that many such kidnappings and rapes over the years by organized Islamic gangs have been covered up by police and politicians for fear of losing their jobs and political future over virtue signaling charges of racism and “Islamophobia.”
Covering up real crimes like rape and kidnapping, and suppressing by force and intimidation any alternate viewpoints are what the Nazis actually did! Those who do those things now are their heirs. Virtue signaling politicians, media and celebrities encourage them and lend them legitimacy. That is the worst threat to freedom!




If there were a sovereign nation that would be the world’s most sought after refuge for those wanting more economic opportunities, freedom to practice their faith without government-sanctioned oppression, escape from war or overwhelming criminal activity and protection of basic human rights as enumerated in that nation’s founding documents, it would be like this. Anyone who wanted to leave that nation, other than to flee a crime or debts they have accumulated, would be free to do so without interference from the authorities, yet very few would choose to leave. In fact, I assert that more people would want to live in this country and fewer want to leave it than any other. I am thinking of such a place.
This country is relatively young compared to most other nations of Western Europe or Asia, yet has the longest lived and best enforced constitution in the world, a constitution which is the envy of freedom seeking people everywhere, and the model for other successful constitutions, which are all too few. Even though young, this nation has both the most powerful military and most robust national economy (for GNP) that ever existed, by wide margins, yet does not generally conquer or overthrow other nations, except in self defense, though it easily could. This nation’s currency and language are the default standards of the entire business world, and it leads all other nations in innovation and creativity, as evidenced by patents issued.
While far from perfect, this nation’s legal system has the most effective contract enforcement and criminal prosecution in the world, and it’s citizens and residents are more protected from crime and oppression than anywhere else. Though access could be more well distributed, no one is turned away from the health care system, which performs many procedures done only there, attracting patients from everywhere in the world. No one is consigned to die because a life-saving treatment is being deliberately withheld due to rationing, as recently happened in another country whose socialised medical system is held up as a model–except by those who are seriously ill.
Politically, this nation continues to function at a higher level than most, without major upheavals, revolutions, nor interruption of vital services and with admirable continuity, despite partisanship, rancor and arguments–the human condition. The country’s most vociferous and violent protests today are against lack of perfection rather than government repression. This country’s past, like all others, had some ugly legacies, like slavery and unjust treatment of native peoples. Slavery was abolished after a war which claimed the lives of more citizens than any other. Most of those who died were not even directly affected by slavery.
It is vital to understand that the national constitution of this nation is different than others. It primarily tells the government what it cannot do, and codifies the political rights of it’s citizens. The Bill of Rights, with one exception (trial by jury), is a list of rights of individuals against the State, unlike the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is a list of rights to services provided by the State. This is the biggest difference between this nation and others: When the individual’s rights are protected the function of the state is to allow individuals to pursue freedom and opportunity, while in most other nations the individual has a claim on services for the state to provide. The rights of the individual are enumerated and inviolate in this nation, whereas in most others, including Canada, individual rights may be abrogated to the extent that fashion changes and a “new consensus” is adopted. Therefore, this nation’s citizens are better protected from government coercion and are better able to pursue their lives under a set of rules that are slow to change with shifting philosophies and fashion.
Of course, this nation I am describing is the United States of America. What has “preserved us a nation?” What could destroy us as a nation? The answer to the latter question can be clearly seen in Europe. To simplify, I am going to contrast a few historical trends in the U.S. which preserved us with post-modern ideas that can destroy us.
Preserve: “melting pot” concept = assimilation of immigrants = E Pluribus Unum, from the many, one, that is all Americans. While it is often said that “immigrants built this country” and “we are all immigrants”, those immigrants who did help preserve the nation wanted to be AmericansDestroy: “Multiculturalism”, the opposite of E Pluribus Unum = from the one-Americans-to the many. There is nothing wrong with immigrants celebrating their own culture and traditions after coming to the U.S., at their own expense (without government money), as long as they acknowledge the primacy of our language, our history, our traditions, our laws. The foolishness of the multicultural idea–that every culture is equal and should be equally supported and celebrated by our institutions–is that the culture and mores of the countries that created the
mess from which the immigrants fled, will be brought here. It doesn’t take a genius to see that such a trend will produce here what they fled from!
Preserve: Controlled immigration, background and health checks, and border sovereignty. Destroy: sanctuary cities, immigration policy by emotion, the idea that immigration to the U.S. is a right.
Controlled immigration currently includes 4 methods: family unification, employment-based (valuable skills), per-country ceilings, refugees/asylees, including the diversity VISA program. To better understand U.S. immigration policy, use this link. us immigration
  • The Declaration of Independence expresses the ideals on which the United States was founded and the reasons for separation from Great Britain.
  • The Constitution defines the framework of the Federal Government of the United States.
  • The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It defines citizens’ and states’ rights in relation to the Government.

The 2nd paragraph of the Declaration establishes the creed on which the USA was founded. That creed did not simply spring up from nowhere, nor is it some intellectual’s dream of what should be. Our creed was inspired by the Bible! The founders prefaced the 2nd paragraph with “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle themWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

Therefore, since this nation was NOT founded by fiat, nor whim, nor partition, but rather by a prevailing and enduring philosophy derived from belief in a Creator who endows humanity with rights, we must consider the wisdom of inviting or admitting those who do not believe in nor care about such a philosophy, let alone those who are actively hostile to it! Right now if some leftist/liberal/multiculturalist (pick your label) is having a hissy fit over what I just said, and is hurling imprecations of “racist” or “Islamophobe” at their computer, note I did not say which religions, countries, races or philosophies are inimicable to our culture, beliefs and way of life. Your problem, not mine.

The last thing I want to address are some ideas that some people have about immigration to the United States: (you will want to notice how inconsistent these are with each other)

  1. Immigration is a right and is the essence of the U.S. Where does that come from? There have been criteria and limits on immigration imposed since the 19th century. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 replaced the “national-origin quota” system with a new system emphasizing reuniting families and attracting skilled labor. There have been other changes, and fortunately for us, policy is debated and set by our representatives in Congress, NOT the media!
  2. The U.S. has always been racist and oppressive–just look at slavery and treatment of indigenous people–and so we need to redress those injustices by letting in more immigrants regardless of what white current residents want.  Slavery and oppression was wrong, we corrected most of it, and it certainly NOT the exclusive province of white anglo-saxons. In fact, far more slavery is still practiced today by non-white people predominantly from countries that advocates of this idea want more immigration from!  This position is the voice of revenge and hypocrisy!
  3. More low-skilled immigrants are good for the labor market and the economy in general. Totally wrong!! Read the book The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray if you want to see  how a similar position in Europe was falsely presented by the media and cowardly politicians, and what the real results were.
  4. The U.S. only prospered by stealing the resources and labor of other countries and owes the world by giving back in the form of immigration. This argument is not only false, it shows complete lack of understanding of both history and economics. Name one modern nation that achieved over 200 years of stability and prosperity by theft?

‘My Body, My Choice’: Feminist Mom Edits 3YO Daughter’s Disney Princess Book.

From The Daily Wire, by Amanda Prestigiacomo. (my comments in italics)”A feminist mother who bragged about editing her three-year-old daughter’s Disney princess book in order to smash archaic gender roles, or something, has predictably been praised by fellow feminists. The lovely edits include rejecting that horrible notion of being kind, promoting abortion, and emasculating Aladdin, along with other silly feel-good feminist nonsense.

“Danielle Lindemann, a sociologist who studies — wait for it — gender roles, decided to crank the anti-gender role awareness “up to a whole new level” after her daughter took a liking to a Disney princess-themed book she received as a gift. (The girl must already be suffering from internalized misogyny.) Whatever Lindemann’s contention is with Disney princesses, the pages of the book she publicly edited did not promote the idea to “little girls that their worth lies in looking nice and hooking up with the right guy.” Not even close, actually.

“For example, the feminist mother took issue with the book suggesting princesses be “kind.” Mom wrote tagline after “a princess is kind”, of a badass. Yes, apparently when women are kind, The Patriarchy wins. Also, when did moms start using the word “badass” in front of their three-year-olds? Another sexist page audaciously said “A princess is brave” without addressing abortion: It’s important that Feminist Moms introduce their toddlers to the sacrament of abortion ASAP, of course. Mom appended a word bubble “my body, my choice” to the pic of a brave princess.

“And can you believe the book showed an in-love Aladdin and Jasmine holding one another and flying on a magic carpet without so much as emasculating Aladdin? Lindemann couldn’t.  Mom adds caption “she holds on to Aladdin because he is scared.” As perfectly said by PJ Media’s Faith Moore: “The page itself actually makes no mention of Aladdin. It doesn’t even say, ‘Aladdin takes Jasmine on a magic carpet ride.’ It’s about a girl, flying. Seems like that should fit in with the ‘feminist’ narrative that Lindemann, et al. subscribe to. Adding the bit about Aladdin’s fears unnecessarily emasculates him. Why do either of them have to be scared?! They’re holding each other because they love each other. And the page is about a girl who can fly. Jeez.”

“Lindemann also found fault in a page about princesses liking to “dress up.” The mother added: “in her medical scrubs when she goes to work as a neurosurgeon.” Lindemann admitted that her daughter didn’t even notice or care about the edits, saying, “It’s weird because I expected my daughter to react to the edits, but she sort of just rolled with them. Maybe the new narrative seemed natural to her. Why wouldn’t Cinderella have sparkly shoes and also be a neurosurgeon?” Yeah, it’s almost as if the mother subconsciously did it for herself and not her daughter.

The endless politically correct/snowflake/safe spaces/gender roles/dysphoria ad nauseum b.s. is boundless grist for satire and humor among people who actually think with their cortex rather than their cerebellum, but enough of it, along with the failure of courage and principles and respect for history (real, not invented) WILL eventually destroy what is left of freedom. 

When and if multiculturalism overcomes love of and respect for the bulwark against tyranny that our nation has been, where will you go, oh liberals?

Polygamy: The Next Frontier

This article below appeared in The American Conservative, Feb. 18, 2017. Written by Rod Dreher, who also wrote, The Benedict Option. Here is part of a review of his book, so you know where he is coming from. “Dreher writes for the church and the ordinary Christians in it. He sees existential threats to the faith—from without but especially from within, where bonds are frayed and formation is thin. Inspired by the well-known ending of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, Dreher looks to St. Benedict for a survival plan. How can the church build the internal strength it needs? To be sure, the problem Dreher is addressing isn’t just pews that are vacant three Sundays a month and halfheartedly occupied the fourth. It’s the broader cultural context: the West’s sacral imagination long since displaced by nominalism, the triumph of individual desire as an ethic, the loosening of communal ties of all kinds, the way moral therapeutic deism functions as priest to all this and rarely prophet. Dreher, a self-described pessimist, presents a case that church and culture have colluded in their own mutual, steady decline.”

Now to the book Legalizing Plural Marriage.  “Although Mark Goldfeder does not argue the right or wrong of plural marriage, he maintains that polygamy is the next step—after same-sex marriage—in the development of U.S. family law. Providing a road map to show how such legalization could be handled, he explores the legislative and administrative arguments which demonstrate that plural marriage is not as farfetched—or as far off—as we might think. Goldfeder argues not only that polygamy is in keeping with the legislative values and freedoms of the United States, but also that it would not be difficult to manage or administrate within our current legal system. His legal analysis is enriched throughout with examples of plural marriage in diverse cultural and historical contexts.

“Remember when all the Haters™ warned a decade or more ago that legalizing gay marriage required uncoupling marriage from procreation and basing it on expressive individualism, and that this would open the door to polygamy? Remember how they were all denounced as alarmist bigots?

“Let us recall the Law of Merited ImpossibilityIt will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it. I think that the late Antonin Scalia is the patron saint of the Law of Merited Impossibility. In his 2003 Lawrence v. Texas dissent, he pointed out that the Court had opened the legal door to constitutionalizing same-sex marriage. He was right about that, as we saw in the majority ruling in Obergefell. In his Lawrence dissent, Scalia also said this:

“The Court embraces instead Justice Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that “the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice,” ante, at 17. This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review.

“Polygamy is coming. American society is deconstructing itself.

As usual, justice Scalia saw the naked truth behind the rhetoric. But courts and legislatures do not determine what is moral. You need a fixed standard for that, but one beyond any political or human-inspired document. If not the Word of God, then what?

Douglas Wilson, always ahead of his time and hated for it, inspired by C.S. Lewis books This Hideous Strength and The Abolition of Man, wrote this, and I paraphrase: “The liberation of women was a ‘false flag’ operation, The true goal was the liberation of libertine men, and this goal has largely been achieved. These were men who wanted benefits for themselves that would come from easy divorce, widespread abortion, mainstreamed pornography and a promiscuous dating culture. These sons of Belial have the nerve to call it progress!”

It’s appropriate that I finish this post in maroon, the color of dried blood, in lamentation for the millions of babies struck down in their mothers’ wombs (let’s hear it for “safe spaces”) and the thousands, or perhaps also millions, of women who have been raped, abandoned, deceived and are carrying regrets that can never really be assuaged. Oh yeah, let’s include all the children who have grown up without fathers. Many grew up to be those libertines who thought they benefitted from the “liberation” of women, only to destroy their own lives by minds as barren as the wombs that birthed them.

Still, pessimism is never justified. The Lord will right all wrongs, for those on the right side of His ledger. I hope that includes you, dear reader.



I wrote this letter about my dad. Nothing more needs to be said.
How, and from whom, do boys learn to be men? Or more to the point in today’s world, how SHOULD they? We learn from the media, from schools and other forms of indoctrination, and if we are fortunate, from our fathers. I was fortunate: I learned mostly from my father, Philip no middle name. I learned by example, as do we all, and it was my good fortune to observe dad practice what he would have his boys believe. You expected preach? He didn’t preach, he said little, but did much, and I am that way too. He believed in treating women with respect and affection, though he was inhibited in how openly and often he demonstrated affection.
My dear mother suffered mightily from bipolar psychosis. Her highs were stratospheric and her lows were catastrophic. He never spoke unkindly of her nor to her, nor did he allow the four children do to so, as much as we would have because our family was periodically torn apart. But most of all, he stayed. He worked, he cared for us when she couldn’t and cared for her in the valleys. He didn’t run away or turn to alcohol to ease his pain. He endured, and I am his son. I don’t run, I don’t numb myself, I also endure. Endurance is my dad’s and my signature trait.
He concerned himself with what was right, not popular, as he learned from his parents. I spent a lot of time with his mother, and she became a mother to me too in a lot of ways. She was outspoken before her time, defending minorities and anyone who was disadvantaged. I learned my outspokenness from her, knowing what dad saw as he was growing up. My father’s favorite story about his mother was this one, which he related to his children often and proudly. Their neighborhood had some racial strife, and one time a crowd of her neighbors gathered under her bedroom window, calling her and my grandfather “nigger lovers.” She calmly put the teakettle on, and when the chanting got louder and the water got hotter, she marched to her room, threw open the window, and ordered the crowd to disperse, showing them the pot of hot water. Wisely, most took her advice. Those who didn’t quickly learned that she wasn’t a bluffer. Oh do I miss her.

I learned about standing up for what you believe even when it’s unpopular, even when there is a cost, especially when there’s a cost. Faith grows greater and stronger under persecution than easy times. I occasionally faltered when confronted with animus, when I was young. My dad showed me how to push through fear. One time, a neighborhood kid picked a fight with me, and I beat him. Soon after, he brought his big brother and a baseball bat to teach me a lesson. When I went home sporting a shiner, and told my dad what happened, he took me with him to the bully’s home, and confronted the big brother and the dad. I just wanted it all to go away. But they backed down and I learned to take a stand.
Now I’m older than my dad was at the time, and the lessons remain. For me, that is. The last time I was plagued with the symptoms of so-called low self esteem was my junior year in high school. Fortunately, in those days–1962–self esteem was considered an effect rather than a cause. You are confronted with challenges, you take steps to overcome them and score some victories, you raise your self esteem as an effect of your efforts. Somewhere in time, self esteem got elevated by the therapeutic establishment to the cause of effort, or lack of it, rather than its proper role as the effect of effort. Low self esteem became the explanation for poor effort, performance, morals and appearance. Instead of something to be earned by overcoming obstacles, self esteem became the thing that had to be elevated before you could even try to overcome obstacles.
How does someone build endurance, or strength? You build endurance gradually by aerobic exercise, you build strength by breaking down muscle to build it stronger. Self esteem is no different. You can affirm yourself constantly, and build a feeling of self esteem, but if you fail to rise to challenges, your self esteem will be worse than ever. Instead of “working on your self esteem” (whatever that looks like), develop courage to tackle obstacles. That was my father’s advice to me, and my advice to you.

Transgender and the US military, part deux.

I served in the US Army in Vietnam from October 1969 to October 1970. My job for 10 of those months was officially called psychological technician, but it really was sole psychotherapist and combat fitness evaluator for the 15th Medical Battalion of the 1st Air Cavalry Division in III Corps, Vietnam, which included Quan Loi, Song Be and Tay Ninh surgical field hospitals. My office in the largest of these hospitals–Quan Loi–looked like the photo above. My nearest supervisor, the Division Psychiatrist, was 90 miles away as the chopper flies, through thick jungle, in Phuoc Vinh. He might as well have been on the moon. For practical purposes, I was alone with my life and death decisions. At age 23!

Since I evaluated hundreds of soldiers during that year for their mental stability, emotional fitness for combat, drug and alcohol use and abuse, I can speak authoritatively on what it takes emotionally to be an effective soldier. The first principle is simple: combat and deployment to hostile overseas territory does not cause mental illness; it magnifies and multiplies whatever mental illness and instability is already there. Every soldier/patient I saw in a year who had mental and emotional problems, had them before ever reaching Vietnam. 

So called gender dysphoria–confusion about what gender you are–let alone taking the radical step of gender change surgery or drugs, is a profound mental and emotional illness,  even if no other symptoms are present. Only the willful blindness of political correctness can fail to realize that  truth. When combat and deployment magnify that illness and it’s attendant emotions, it cannot be good for combat fitness.

The U.S. military needs to be the best in the world, since without the U.S. there is no other effective bulwark against oppression and totalitarianism. This editorial from National Review should put the argument to rest for all but the most hardcore and softheaded liberal n.r. military fitness



J.K. Rowling’s Bizarre Leadership Of The Unhinged Anti-Trump Left.

I am not sure which one of J.K. Rowling’s handlers told her it was a good look for her to become a 24/7 anti-Trump Jumbotron, but nevertheless there she is. Her Twitter feed has become a cascading avalanche of negative sentiment about the president of the United States. This is grating. It’s not Trump doesn’t deserve criticism, for surely he does, but it is needling to have one’s president criticized by a foreigner whose government condemns innocent baby boys to death-by-bureaucracy. For all its notable flaws, the United States does not, as a matter of public policy, do that.

Yet ultimately Rowling is not really the problem but a symptom of the problem: she is a perfect emblem for the spiraling, crazy hysteria that has overtaken liberalism in the Age of Trump.

The Special-Needs Snub That Wasn’t

Case in point: last week Rowling took to Twitter to inform her 11.4 million followers that President Trump had cruelly snubbed a wheelchair-bound boy’s offer of a handshake at a recent White House function. Suggesting that Trump was “frightened he might catch [the disabled boy’s] condition,” Rowling wrote: “How stunning, and how horrible, that Trump cannot bring himself to shake the hand of a small boy who only wanted to touch the President.”

Rowling’s initial tweet that kicked off the thread received (at the time of this writing) a mind-boggling 75,000 retweets. The entire thread racked up around 107,000 retweets. There was, however, just one small problem with Rowling’s claim that Trump “[could not] bring himself” to shake the disabled boy’s hand: it was grossly incorrect and utterly divorced from reality.

Yes, a video clip accurately shows that Trump passed over the boy’s outstretched hand while shaking the hands of other attendees at the event. But another video clip taken just a short while beforehand shows Trump engaging with the young man for a rather long moment, squatting down to his level, apparently shaking his hand, and—from the looks of it—enjoying a friendly exchange. Indeed, before he spoke to anyone else at the event, Trump zeroed in on the disabled boy and evidently spoke to him at some length.

No matter: cue the hysteria, the frantic retweets, the loud moral grandstanding, the constant cacophony of histrionic outrage, the imperviousness to facts. The proper context of Trump’s exchange with the little boy was widely reported, and many of Rowling’s followers pointed this out to her. It apparently made no difference. This is liberalism in the Trump Era. And it is getting worse.

 Not Helping People Into Police Cars Isn’t Death Camps. Yet another case in point, also from last week: a rolling wave of anger swept across the Internet when Trump allegedly encouraged law enforcement officers to engage in “police brutality.” Luminaries like Peter Daou and Ryan J. Reilly echoed this accusation; New York Times editor Jessica Lustig did as well; Keith Olbermann, meanwhile, did them one better and claimed that Trump would eventually impose “mass detention camps” on the country, as Democrat Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II.

Sounds like Trump really stepped in it this time. Well, what did he actually say?

[W]hen you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see them thrown in, rough — I said, please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody — don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay.

From this, Olbermann—a grown man who is looked upon by at least some people as a reliable source of political wisdom—concluded that we are headed for “mass detention camps”!

It is not clear how we are supposed to respond to this type of political delirium. Was Trump’s jocular suggestion good advice? No, it wasn’t. Police should always be careful when handling and transporting suspected criminals, for the safety of both the suspects and the police. Was it in line with what we know of Trump’s behavior? Of course. He is brash, crude, darkly funny at times but largely unable to control his own thought-to-mouth process. Should he have said this? No, he shouldn’t have.

But “police brutality”? “Detention camps”? Is this really the kind of political discourse to which we’ve been reduced—a shrieking mania that cannot engage with the president except in the most unhinged and anti-rational fashion?

Maybe so, at least for the foreseeable future. And this is not just a political problem. Liberals are increasingly allowing their Trump hatred to spill over into their personal lives. A recent Pew Research poll, for instance, found that “almost half of liberal Democrats — 47 percent — say that if a friend supported Trump, it would actually put a strain on their friendship. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters more broadly, the number is 35 percent.”

 It does not bode well for our civic fabric when a large segment of the body politic is growing less capable of processing its political gripes in a healthy manner. A political faction that endlessly repeats falsehoods and histrionic hyperboles with no regard for the facts, while growing more intolerant of anyone who thinks differently, is not a good sign for what’s to come.