Delighted to read about the (unexpected) results of the Australian election. Theory and media favoured the Left, but reality did not. Here are a few links: The Aussie Revolt Against Social Justice, from Spiked; …the Left’s Empathy Deficit Came Home to Roost, from Quillette’s Aussie founder; and A Climate-Change Drubbing in Australia, from the WSJ. (The latter might have a subscriber wall.)
Such as: pro-life and pro-choice advocates calmly discuss abortion. One could be forgiven for thinking this would never happen, especially given reaction to Alabama’s new abortion law, a law that will surely be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. One thing I keep reading and hearing from pro-choicers is that men shouldn’t decide laws about women’s reproductive rights – and yet it was an all-male Supreme Court that ruled in Roe v. Wade. And plenty of women are pro-life.
People just need to remain sane here, right? Fat chance.
This week marks the 71st anniversary of Israeli independence and so, predictably, Hamas has to try to ruin the party. What was also predictable, sadly, was the reaction of so many in the West. Melanie Phillips has written a long blog post about it. Choice quote:
The Jews are often referred to as “the canaries in the mine.” With Western civilization in existential free-fall, the symbiotically linked contagions of Israel-bashing and antisemitism are both the cause and effect of this crisis.
Subscribing to the Arabs’ murderous falsehoods about Israel has destroyed the West’s moral compass – leaving it open to the murderous falsehoods about the people who gave it that moral compass in the first place and further blinding it to the forces threatening its own continued survival.
Read the whole thing here.
You did not have to listen for too long to Julian Assange’s half-educated condemnations of the American “military-industrial complex” to know that he was aching to betray better and braver people than he could ever be.
As soon as WikiLeaks received the State Department cables, Assange announced that the opponents of dictatorial regimes and movements were fair game. That the targets of the Taliban, for instance, were fighting a clerical-fascist force, which threatened every good liberal value, did not concern him. They had spoken to US diplomats. They had collaborated with the great Satan. Their safety was not his concern.
Cannot believe anyone would be sophomoric or morally bankrupt enough to support the guy, and yet, so many do.
Old columns never die…they just lie in the archives until the same debate rears its head again. In regards the funding of libraries (pronounced “libaries”) here is something I wrote in 2011. I think private funding is a great idea.
So glad this creep has finally been arrested. Hope he spends a long time in prison. He is not a hero of free speech (nor is Snowden or Manning); he is nothing more than an anti-Western, anti-Semitic friend to tyrants, a narcissist, a liar and a self-aggrandizer. And don’t even get me started on how he treated his cat (though I would dearly love to know for sure that poor kitty is ok).
I’ll admit that I had a strong and immediate reaction to the video clip of the students from Kentucky seemingly confronting and belittling a Native American elder. I was bullied quite viciously by an older brother (when I was seven he was already an adult, so there was a severe power imbalance) when I was growing up and so I have strong reactions to the sight of someone bullying or picking on another. I know the cruelty of that kind of madness.
In this case, though, it appears all might not have been as assumed at first glance. These two stories are from sane sources – first from Reason, the second from The Spectator — and worth a look. I left Twitter a while back and this was one reason – the online mob is just painful to behold. Even if these boys were as nasty as initially suggested, I don’t think their lives should be ruined. This could be a teachable moment for them – they are very young, and I believe most of us can learn.
Update: another good analysis.
The wonderful Julie Lenarz (via her Facebook page) sums up what I think about Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
I can’t think of a convincing reason why it’s smart to withdraw troops from Syria. But I also can’t think of a reason why Obama officials think they have a right to complain. They had 8 years to do good in Syria and they royally screwed up.
And this is all so terrible for the Kurds.
If ever something were going to make me believe Putin has something on Trump, abandoning Syria to Russia, Assad and Turkey is it.
There is much negative online reaction to this Ross Douthat piece. I can only assume that this is because the people raving and ranting have not read it. I know from personal experience that too often people only read the headlines. It’s a very good analysis and I recommend that you, my dear readers, actually read the whole thing.
I was thinking about default positions, and how they seem mired in very low expectations of humans. For example, this tragic story at the Cincinnati Zoo where Harambe was killed (unnecessarily, it would seem). The parents of the boy involved are responsible, I think, and in a perfect world they would be charged with reckless endangerment. (And yes, I know there is the even bigger issue of whether animals should be in zoos at all. I’ll save that for another time.) That said, what I have found very disturbing in the aftermath of this tragedy are the masses of people saying stuff like, “kids wander off! It happens!” Or “it’s hard to keep your eyes on your kids, you know!” And then there are the defensive (and probably crappy) parents who say, “Well I guess you’re a perfect parent, then!”
Um, no. It isn’t about being a perfect parent or about not understanding that kids can wander off. But there is a world of difference between your kid wandering off and your kid jumping into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo. It seems to me that if you are at a busy, crowded place like a zoo (a place which keeps enclosed wild and dangerous animals) with a young child — your young child — you might want to be, oh, I don’t know, extra vigilant. And yet the default position here is, “Oh well, parents aren’t perfect. Kids run off! No big deal.” The default position should be that we expect vigilance — not negligence — from parents.
It reminds me of the people who say that since they don’t know what they would have done in, say, Nazi Germany, we can’t or shouldn’t criticize people who turned in their neighbours or looked away from the horrors. In other words, the accepted default position for humans is moral bankruptcy. I find this profoundly depressing.
Along similar lines, Mark Steyn wrote about this in regards the Montreal Massacre — why did the men that the murderer ordered out of the lecture hall that day meekly leave?
There’s an expression about ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations,’ an expression which refers to the tendency of the regressive left to make excuses for certain groups of people when they commit crimes, for example. We saw a lot of that nonsense after the Charlie Hebdo massacre (my column on this very topic here). But it also could be said to describe how little we expect of ourselves in so many ways. Our default positions should not be that negligence is understandable or that cowardice and moral bankruptcy are the sorry spots to which we are naturally destined.