Yes, Gentle Reader, I’m still pretty sick. The energy isn’t there for more than a few casual shots out the passenger-side window as I drive past the passing scene. But I hate to leave you with nothing to read, and my Co-Conspirators, normally a worthy bunch, appear to have gone mute for the time being. So here goes next to nothing.
1. One Of My Favorite Commentators Scores Heavily.
Seldom have I read anything quite as penetrating as these two paragraphs from Roger Kimball:
It is curious how people romanticize evil and insanity. The habit, I believe, is born in part of naiveté, or at least inexperience. The college student who prances about in a T-shirt bearing the image of Che Guevara, for example, generally has no idea of what a malignant figure Che was, how treacherous, how cruel, how murderous. He sees only a handsome “freedom fighter” swaddled in the gauze of exotic Latin flamboyance. The grubby reality escapes her entirely. Ditto with respect to Hamas.
The knotty French philosopher Simone Weil saw deeply into this phenomenon when she observed that “imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring.” Weil understood the converse as well: “Imaginary good,” she wrote, “is boring, real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” Something similar can be said about sanity, what David Hume rightly extolled as “the calm sunshine of the mind.” Madness seems like an adventure only if you do not have to contend with it.
The entire essay is worth your time. Hie thee hence and read it!
2. The War Over The Family.
There was a fine book on that subject, written some time ago. Yet it is possible that the authors thereof, if asked to envision the current state of the battle, would have scoffed and dismissed it as impossible. Directly attack the family as illegitimate – as actively harmful to its members? C’mon!
Yet it is so. The activist Left is more hostile to the nuclear family than to any other social phenomenon except Christianity. The family is the original source of moral and ethical guidance. Children derive more of their convictions and attitudes from their upbringing within their families than from any other source. The whole point of the Leftist “youth movement” of the Sixties and Seventies was the Left’s aim to nullify the family’s transmission of values through the generations. Only thus could those values be supplanted by Leftist nostrums.
Which brings us to the Left’s assaults on America’s traditional holidays, especially Christmas and Thanksgiving:
If you ask many people what Thanksgiving is about, they will provide an honest and accurate response: family and gratitude. And here we see why some radicals want to sully a unifying and wholesome holiday like Thanksgiving. Doing so taints a family occasion and promotes ingratitude, which helps undermine the American character.
So it’s easy to see why they’re targeting a holiday centered around the family. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” Through the sacrament of marriage, men and women learn from one another, and the character of children is formed within the family. These are the bonds that root the individual and offer purpose.
Families are built around the small moments and the deliberate protection of those moments: of making time to read to children at bedtime and having a standing tradition of sharing a meal together amid the busyness of everyday life. Thanksgiving is naturally a precious occasion and is often a connecting point enveloping multiple generations.
The attack on gratitude is just as serious. Like forgiveness, gratitude is a choice, not grounded in naiveite or ignorance. Both forgiveness and gratitude require a confronting of wrongdoing, followed by a decision to dwell in the good rather than the bad.
The steadily advancing secularization of America has created a wide inroad for such attacks. The correlation between assaults on Christianity and assaults on Christmas and Thanksgiving is very nearly perfect.
3. Second Amendment Incrementalism: Pros and Cons.
This article at AmmoLand lays out the pros:
A major point of disagreement among Second Amendment supporters was how to approach the problem.
One group claimed anything but full and complete recognition of Second Amendment rights was futile and counter-productive. The argument was: any lesser legislation, moving incrementally toward full Second Amendment rights, would only legitimize infringements on those rights. They were/are the “All or Nothing” group. Some called/call themselves “principled”.
The other group of Second Amendment supporters argued Second Amendment rights could be restored bit by bit. Pass legislation first, for a permit system. Keep reforming and improving the permit system. Reduce requirements, reduce fees, reduce “gun-free zones”. Keep on incrementally improving the law, until Second Amendment rights were fully restored. They were/are the “Incrementalists”. In the middle 1990’s it was not clear if either approach would be effective.
Twenty years later, it was clear. Second Amendment Incrementalism worked.
As it happens, the cons are equally well stated above:
… any lesser legislation, moving incrementally toward full Second Amendment rights, would only legitimize infringements on those rights.
To ask for only part of the right set forth by the Second Amendment is to imply that infringements on the rest of it are somehow acceptable. Perhaps Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion in NYSRPA v. Bruen will help to dispel that implication. Whether or not that’s the case, it would be a strategic error to let the implication stand…as many people and some organizations nominally on the pro-gun rights side of the contretemps have done and are doing.
4. Can’t Find A Fella? Blame Trump!
Amanda Marcotte has a long, colorful history of Left-wing lunacy. It would be a mistake to think that it’s limited to explicitly political issues. Certainly Marcotte doesn’t so limit herself:
Salon writer Amanda Marcotte was recently triggered by an insufficiently woke Washington Post editorial warning that fewer young American women are getting married because “they can’t find suitable partners.” The Post basically claimed that these women aren’t getting married because far-left politics have become their religion and their identity, and suitable (read sane) men don’t drink their Identitarianism Flavor-Aid. These men have grown more conservative.
Salon concludes, naturally, that this is obviously Donald Trump’s fault.
“Supporting Trump is much like refusing to bathe, blowing your nose in your hands or farting loudly on purpose,” the TDS- suffering Marcotte writes. “It’s a repugnant habit that makes you repulsive to normal people,” says the writer.
I have no difficulty believing that the hardening political polarization of America has added a barrier to the formation of male-female alliances. It’s a subject I intend to pursue at greater depth when I’m once again able to breathe. But to blame it on Donald Trump! Amanda, have you been taking your meds?
That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I’m headed back to bed. Have a nice day.