Friday, June 30, 2023

The Affirmative Action Debate

The anguish was palpable. Last night the cable networks filled the airways with people who had benefited from affirmative action and diversity quotas.

Seeing their ticket to stardom quashed by the Supreme Court, they seemed to be anguished that someone might discover, as Michelle Obama put it, that they did not belong at Princeton or, as Joe Biden asserted on the basis of no evidence, that affirmative action admissions candidates were eminently qualified.

Of course, Michelle Obama even wrote a senior thesis at Princeton about how she did not feel like she belonged. Apparently, being the first lady of the United States and living in three grand mansions has now made her feel patriotic and has made her feel as though she belongs.

Of course, if it was affirmative action at multiple levels, well, things do not look quite so rosy.

Lest we forget, Shelby Steele has long proposed that the very existence of affirmative action in college admissions made it that anyone who might have benefited from a racial preference did benefit from a racial preference, and did not earn his credentials legitimately.

Yesterday, the eminent Nassim Nicholas Taleb echoed this point on Twitter:

The real trouble with affirmative action is that the market will end up *discounting* the diploma according to race, which would eventually hurt the persons of favored groups who would have commanded unconditional admission.

As for the notion that minority candidates were eminently qualified, Joe Biden said it, so you can rest assured that it is a lie. Recall that when MIT chose to open its enrollment to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the number of minority students in their freshman class jumped to around 25%. But then, nearly none of them could pass freshman math courses, thereby making it impossible for them to advance to sophomore level courses.

As for highly qualified, it all depends on what you mean by qualified. The data tells a different story. If you ask how many high school students scored above 700 on their SAT tests last year, the numbers are shocking. 22oo blacks and 49oo Hispanics reached that threshold. 48,000 whites and 52, 800 Asians had those scores.

So, again, it depends on what you mean by qualified.

As for the highest scores, above 750, the numbers were 16,000 whites and 29,570 Asians. 1000 blacks and 2400 Latinos. 

Again, what does it mean to be qualified?

Finally, there is the case, reported on my blog, of Robert Weisberg. As a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana and Cornell, Weisberg was at his post for the beginnings of affirmative action admissions. He quickly discovered that students admitted under the program did not belong and were not qualified.

In truth, said students tended to plagiarize their papers and to cheat on their exams. But then, when professors discovered it, they were told not to say anything, but to give these students the best grades, regardless. Otherwise, they would have put their jobs at risk.

Weisberg suggested that many affirmative action candidates did well in college because professors were not allowed to grade them fairly or objectively. 

So, it is not just admissions criteria. In many cases it’s a special grading scale. 

As for what we can do about this, Weisberg wrote that the practice was so pervasive, that so many people had been granted their credentials and given jobs to fulfill diversity quotas, that it would take some considerable time and effort to undo the damage. But, one thing is sure, if you say anything about these fictions, you are going to be in serious trouble.

In fact, the Supreme Court, for all of its virtues, opened a Pandora’s Box. It opened debate and discussion over whether credentials earned by affirmative action or jobs given to fulfill diversity quotas, were really earned.

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Thursday, June 29, 2023

Transitioning and Suicide

Countries around the Western world are conducting supposedly serious scientific studies regarding the suicidality of trans youth. Something that no one anywhere at any time in the course of human history doubted has suddenly become an industry. Medical professionals take seriously the notion that failing to provide what they absurdly call gender-affirming care causes people to commit suicide.

Dare we mention that any counselor who tells the parent of a nine year old child that the child must receive puberty blocking hormones, lest she commit suicide, should lose his medical license and should be sent to prison. Ignoble does not begin to describe it.

Now the Daily Caller reports on a New York Times article about trans suicide in Denmark. (via Maggie’s Farm) In truth, American physicians had long since observed that transitioning is very bad for your mental health, but the industry is now so big that shutting it down has become a daunting challenge.

The Denmark study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that transitioning caused an increase in suicide attempts, by a factor of more than 7. 

A study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that trans people in Denmark had 7.7 times the rate of suicide attempts and 3.5 times the rate of suicide deaths of the non-trans population. The study, which was conducted by analyzing the health records of more than six million people over the span of four decades, dealt with individuals aged 15 and over.

One understands that the feeble minds at the New York Times have placed child mutilation front and center in the culture wars. Since Republicans and conservatives want to shut down trans mania, the Times seems to be suggesting that gender reassignment must be a good thing. After all, California is in the process of deciding that children can be removed from parental homes if their parents do not accede to their childish wishes to transition. 

“The findings, published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, come at a charged political moment in the United States, where Republican lawmakers across the country have enacted laws targeting sexuality and gender identity, restricting drag performances, bathroom use for transgender people and gender-related medical care,” the Times reports

Naturally, the Times finds itself on the side of sexual assault. In England, among other places, males who declare themselves to be females use female rest rooms in high school and assault females in said locker rooms. After all, if it is acceptable for a biological male to change in the girls’ locker room at U. Penn, exposing himself to unwilling and unconsenting females, why not extend the monstrous behavior to younger children.

Strangely, the JAMA study reports on prior studies from Sweden and America, wherein it was shown that patients who had received what is now called gender-affirming care were at far higher risk of dying. So much for care.

“Elevated rates of all-cause mortality among transgender individuals have also been reported in studies from Sweden and the United States,” the JAMA study notes, citing a 2011 study that found that patients’ risks for death actually increased after they received sex changes.

I trust that you know that those who report these statistics have a ready made response. They will say that cultural rejection, failing to accept these young people for the sex that they believe they are, has driven them to suicide. Thus, the fault lies with those who refuse to accept the lie and who reject the transgendered from their social circles.

In truth, many people do reject their trans children, though it might be a better idea to try to solve the problem by discouraging transitioning, to start calling out child mutilation for what it really is. And yet, if they did so they would need to accept that they have been promoting child sacrifice and belong in prison.

In truth, that is the direction that Europe is taking. Perhaps we ought to follow the good European example. See Leon Sapir in The Hill.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Politics as Spectacle

As you know, the Los Angeles Dodgers, putatively a baseball team, decided to honor a drag group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. As it happened, protesters surrounded the stadium and no one showed up for the baseball game. The Dodgers suffered their worst loss in franchise history.

More than a few people noted the deeper meaning-- that there is a God, and that He does not like being mocked. 

In truth, the spectacle could only achieve one purpose. To piss people off. It produced nothing more. As David Brooks said, it’s a question of propriety, not of rights:

In a pluralistic society, decent people don’t dishonor what others find sacred.

Propriety means that if you fail to exhibit common decency people will reject you. They will reject your cause. They will have no choice but to do so. You might have a right to make yourself a public spectacle, but you will not be attracting anyone to your cause. You will be marginalizing yourself, by showing that you are not ready to function within polite society.

As for the Sisters, Brooks describes them thusly:

As you might have read, the Sisters are a group of L.G.B.T.Q. activists who have provided invaluable services to those in their community, especially during the AIDS crisis, but who also dress up as over-the-top nuns, adopt names like Sister Mysteria of the Holy Order of the Broken Hymen or Sister Sermonetta of the Flying Phallus, and who have been known to mock the crucifixion by hosting a re-enactment of it as a pole dance.

Evidently, if you want to take this show on the road and perform at nightclubs, no one is going to have a problem. Defiling America's national pastime is another story.

Now, Brooks suggests that these cross-dressers are offended because the church does not allow them to be who they are:

They are justified in protesting a church whose teaching doesn’t acknowledge their right to be who they are, but they do it in a way that dishonors the nuns who live in poverty serving the poor. They do it in a sophomoric way designed to cause offense. In a healthy society, we try to assert differences without demeaning one another’s identities.

Perhaps we ought to notice the absurdity of this notion, not unique to Brooks, about being who one is. These people are in costume. They are in drag. They are precisely not showing anything about who they are. They are pretending. It takes a decided warp of mind to think that Sister Sermonetta of the Flying Phallus is who someone really is. Besides, the name itself is vapid at an extreme. One should at least hear something more clever.

Now, Brooks is correct to say that gay rights have progressed because community members have acted with dignity and decorum. They have not chosen to make a mockery of anyone’s religion.

L.G.B.T.Q. rights have progressed so far over the past decade or so because members of those communities have displayed their own dignity, not because they’ve denigrated the dignity of others.Donald Trump — the love child of professional wrestling and reality TV — is spectacle. Tucker Carlson presented TV news as spectacle. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence perform activism in the form of spectacle.

Brooks wants us to tone down and to dial back the spectacle. Political and social life should not be entertainment. It should promote sober reflection and democratic deliberation. Naturally, Brooks does not mention that one political party indulges all manner of defamation toward the other political party and seems to have little to offer beyond slander. 

I’d add only that it’s not just politics that has taken over everything — at least if you think about politics as arguing over policy. It’s more accurate to say that it’s politics as spectacle that has taken over everything.

Spectacle is the sphere that achieves public titillation through public combat. In Rome, gladiatorial combat was spectacle. Professional wrestling is spectacle. Reality TV is spectacle. Donald Trump — the love child of professional wrestling and reality TV — is spectacle. Tucker Carlson presented TV news as spectacle. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence perform activism in the form of spectacle.

Brooks does not mention that politics have become spectacle because our educational system is producing idiots and imbeciles, people who are incapable of understanding very much beyond spectacle. Besides, we have a president who is brain damaged, senile and demented. The same applies to the junior senator from Pennsylvania. And then, we have a vice president who is a certifiable imbecile and a White House press secretary who needed a backup, because she was incapable of doing her job.

So, yes, politics has become spectacle. And surely Donald Trump counts as a leading practitioner of the art. And yet, the problem is pervasive. And it does not speak well of us.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The War on the Work Ethic

The war on the work ethic proceeds apace. We have had quiet quitting, where workers have tried to do less work, the better to reserve time to do laundry. Then we had work from home, where workers decided that they would be just as functional working from the basement, distracted by children and spouses and piles of laundry. 

These aberrant practices have now been rejected by senior management. In their stead we have the movement to bring your whole Self to work. Since your whole Self presumably includes your erotic proclivities, propensities and yearnings, the slogan, doubtless conjured by some idiot Ivy League graduate, invites people to expose their private parts in the office.

At a time when sexual harassment is a serious problem, we ought to be opting for more, not less formality. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

According to Miranda Green in the Financial Times, more and more workers act as though their workplace is a therapist’s office. They seem to believe that they should share and overshare, whine and complain about private matters, regardless of how distracting it is to their co-workers.

One suspects, though Green does not say it, that this new form of oversharing has something to do with the gender makeup of the office staff. Certain members of one specific gender are more likely to want to express their feelings and to harass people with their troubles and turmoils. We will not say which gender is more likely to emote and complain, because it is now forbidden.

Anyway, if you, as we all, want to diminish the amount of sexual harassment in offices, a good place to start would be by tamping down exposure of private matters. It gives the wrong message. I trust that I do not need to tell you that, but I probably do.

Anyway, Green explains:

With per­sonal crises arriv­ing thick and fast there is an epi­demic of let­ting it all hang out emo­tion­ally in the office.

Just like therapy the new office is chockablock with confession and empathy. People expose themselves willy nilly to whomever, therefore ruining professional cooperation:

Nev­er­the­less, whatever we call it, attempts at pro­fes­sional poise have gradu­ally been aban­doned in favour of mass, mul­ti­direc­tional exchanges of con­fes­sion and empathy. It’s become totally #nofil­ter — we’re all so beaten up by the rolling pro­gramme of chal­lenges that there is little energy for any­thing other than the work itself. You can for­get keep­ing up appear­ances let alone a stiff upper lip.

As it happens, Green is right to suggest that we do not yet know the cost of turning the workplace into a therapist’s office, but one suspects that it will be costly:

But we don’t yet know the nature and extent of the costs attached to air­ing our dirty linen in the office (and I’m no longer talk­ing an aspir­a­tional trouser­suit, more the psy­cho­lo­gical equi­val­ent of loun­gewear). What if the col­lapse of your at-work per­sona means a career pen­alty after your crisis is over? What if work friend­ships can’t take the load?

This ends up turning office relationships into high drama, and at times grand opera. This does not contribute to office harmony or social cohesion:

 Take the call to “bring your whole self to work”, or the slightly ter­ri­fy­ing exhorta­tion to “rad­ical cand­our”, a sort of update of tough love. It is a dir­ec­tion of travel that intro­duces more emo­tion rather than damp­ing it down. This seemed refresh­ing pre-pan­demic: a chance to wriggle out of an office strait­jacket that homo­gen­ised the work­force. “I’m not like you so don’t make me pre­tend” is a pretty good response to out­moded and often exclus­ive form­al­ity.

Would you believe, we now have offices that are inundated with too much information. Everyone is becoming a therapist, therefore distracting from the business at hand.

But we now have a dif­fer­ent prob­lem of too much inform­a­tion — a TMI SOS, with work­ers at all levels send­ing up emer­gency flares. It’s a con­stant onslaught of exhaust­ing rev­el­a­tions. Career reviews since Covid are a mine­field of med­ical updates and child­care and eld­er­care crises. With so many of us with­draw­ing from work or strug­gling because of ill health and caring respons­ib­il­it­ies, par­tic­u­larly among the over-50s, run­ning a team has become less like a nor­mal white­col­lar job and more like keep­ing a unit’s mor­ale up in a trench filling with muddy water. There’s too much for man­agers to handle — and for our poor col­leagues, who bear the brunt as care­fully craf­ted com­pet­ent per­so­nas crumble before their eyes.

So, Green is not optimistic that this will continue. And yet, it is not so easy to put the toothpaste back in the tube. People, she notes sagely, are going to start avoiding each other, and especially avoiding asking polite questions like: How are you?

This doesn’t feel sus­tain­able. Employ­ees need sup­port bet­ter tailored to these tricky times and man­agers need help to cope with the carnage. In the mean­time, my new­est worry is I’ve become one of those people whom it’s dan­ger­ous to ask “how are you?” in case they actu­ally, you know, tell you.

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Barack Obama Offers a Guilt Trip

I am confident that you have been anxiously waiting to hear what Barack Obama has to say about the Titan submarine tragedy. And you have doubtless been wondering how Obama was going to spin the story to guilt trip white people.

You will not be disappointed. Obama was on television, being interviewed by the hugely overrated Christiane Amanpour, when he attempted to compare the loss of five explorers on the Titan with the loss of life that occurred off the coast of Greece when a boat carrying illegal migrants sank. The death toll there was 700, and, according to Obama, no one noticed and no one cared.

Here is the story:

As a missing submersible with five wealthy passengers received days of nonstop media coverage, more than 700 people are feared dead in one of the worst migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. Former President Barack Obama said in a Thursday interview on CNN that the uneven media attention received by the two tragedies was emblematic of the economic inequality plaguing democracies.

Rich vs. poor… no consideration of the fact that wealthy nations earned what they have and that illegal migrants are trying to cash in on someone else’s wealth.

Obama seems to be suggesting, not too coherently, that the wealth of democratic nations was amassed at the expense of poor people. As always, poverty in the south is the result of prosperity in the north. People in the south, people who are invading northern nations, are suffering because of actions that were taken by northern democratic nations.

They are not responsible for their destitute conditions and have every right, Obama thinks, to invade northern countries and to go on the dole. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Sounds like something that the Biden administration is foisting on America, doesn’t it?

Truth be told, we care more about the lost explorers than we do about the 700 migrants. Why is that so? And how did Obama, in his lust to blame white people for the failures of people of color, miss the point?

In a strange way, this brings to mind the famous trolley problem. The thought experiment was concocted by an Oxford philosopher, by name of Philippa Foote in the aftermath of World War II. You know it in one form or another.

Generally, it posits a runaway trolley barreling down the track, heading straight for five men who are working the tracks. It is too late to stop the train, but you can pull a switch and set the trolley on an alternative track. And yet, standing on the other track is a single individual who will surely be killed if you pull the switch. Thus, you can choose between seeing five people die and causing the death of one person.

Now, numerous people have objected to the terms of the problem. They have pointed out that five workers will certainly not stand on the track waiting for the trolley to mow them down. And others have objected that we do not know who the people are. If the one person standing alone on the tracks is your son, the moral calculus shifts in favor of letting the five be killed by the trolley. Are you going to sacrifice your son in order to save five strangers?

If I recall correctly, Foote created this problem to describe the decision that President Harry Truman faced when deciding whether to attack Japanese cities with atomic weapons. He believed that he was facing a choice: either invade Japan and cause the deaths of millions or drop the bombs and kill tens or hundreds of thousands-- and end the war.

Of course, the issue has been widely debated, though precious few Americans thought it was a bad to avoid invading Japan.

So, the moral of this variant on the problem is simply that, being as we are humans, the lives of some people matter more to us than do the lives of other people. The lives of our family members matter more than do the lives of strangers. The lives of our fellow citizens matter more to us than do the lives of foreigners. It feels like normal human behavior, because it is normal human behavior.

This need not be controversial, but Obama seems to think otherwise. He seems to think that we Americans and other Western democracies are responsible for the destitute conditions prevailing in the global south, and thus that we must care as much about those people as we do about our own people.

This is, dare I say, a sophisticated guilt trip. Obama wants us to feel responsible for poverty around the world and to think that we owe the poor peoples of the world something, because we exploited and repressed them. If we are rich and they are poor, that can only mean that we got rich at their expense.

Evidently, this is deranged leftist thinking. Obama does not quite put it clearly, because if he did most people would reject the notion out of hand.

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Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Decline of American Higher Education

As we survey, with considerable chagrin, the wreckage of what used to be American higher education, we are trying to figure out what went wrong. At the least, we understand that the implosion of America’s university system did not date to yesterday. It has been a long time coming. 

Whether it can be repaired remains to be seen. As I have often noted on these pages, colleges now divide themselves into STEM subjects and the rest. The former seem to be relatively healthy; the latter seem to be on life support.

So, we turn to an extended analysis by Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars. 

Wood suggests, at the opening of his long essay on the topic, that colleges, especially in the liberal arts, are more concerned with therapy than they are with teaching much of anything. 

Contemporary college is a place that demands students take seriously their supposed quest for “identity” and their responsibilities to those of different “identities.”

One does not want to belabor the obvious, but the hiring practices of these universities, over time, have produced faculties where far too many professors do not know how to teach anything but identity politics and leftist ideology. It is nice to think that they can all change on a dime, but I imagine that faculty simply do not know enough to do otherwise. They are teaching at the limits of their feeble minds. Keep in mind, they were not hired for their academic excellence.

It is a place where certain ideologies are so far in ascendency that they cannot be discussed let alone criticized: America’s endemic racism, climate-change catastrophism, and patriarchy lead the list. These should be understood not as systems of belief so much as symptoms of cultural confusion. Contemporary college is so lacking in a coherent intellectual core that anything that students run into that rings of passionate advocacy wins admiration. Black Lives Matter zealotry, transgender raving, antisemitic bloodlust, and postcolonial or indigenous fabulism each attract cultic worshippers who mistake their idols for “critical thinking.” Why not? They have been brought up to believe that “critical thinking” means attacking whatever stands in the way of today’s version of “social justice.”

As for children of privilege and especially Asian Americans, they are told that they did not earn their way, and that they are heirs to a vast organized criminal conspiracy. They need not learn how to function in a corrupt world, but need to do penance for the sins of their ancestors.

What else stands in the way of recruiting the next generation of college students? Animus against white and Asian students. A college that demeans students by teaching them they are unfairly “privileged” or deserving of shame for the supposed actions of their ancestors may win today’s social-justice points but rapidly loses its credibility as an institution of higher learning.

And, of course, colleges are more and more hostile toward members of the male gender. This does not merely discourage men from attending college, but it makes for a significant gender imbalance. Which means that college men can do what they please with increasingly desperate and deprived college women.

Students also hear from their peers and elder siblings who have gone to college. One thing they learn is that college is increasingly a hostile environment for men. Well, maybe not for men who believe they are women, or men who want to explore their “gender identities” or try on “queerness.” But the percentages of men who actually fit into these categories is pretty small. Women now also have to reckon with a college environment where the percentage of heterosexual males has fallen significantly below the percentage of heterosexual females.

Naturally, since affirmative action admissions and diversity hiring programs have produced the current destitution of American universities, these latter have decided to double down on a failed policy.

As for recruiting students from underrepresented groups, all too often this has come at expense of academic standards….

Further deterioration of academic standards is plausible, and it is another obstacle to higher education retaining its status as the best path to prosperity.

And, of course, colleges and universities want students to become citizens of the world, not citizens of a great nation. This diminishes pride and patriotism, to say nothing of loyalty to the nation.

An institution disdainful of the nation and even of the ideal of nationhood is not well-positioned to thrive. Much as it may emphasize that its students are “citizens of the world,” it depends on the support of actual citizens who are not amused by the idea that their country is just a construct, and one that oppresses some and privileges others.

The result is a moral crisis, one that we are not going to solve in a day, or even a week:

…. our colleges and universities often foster what is worst in young people: ingratitude to their families and their nation, self-centeredness, and aimless alienation. Colleges ignite group resentment, unwarranted pride, or equally unwarranted shame. And the education that colleges provide has been hollowed to near pointlessness. Students graduate with a veneer of knowledge rather than a core. An increasingly obsolescent institution has wedded itself to an increasingly noisome cultural stance.

And you think that we are going to compete against China or anyone else in the clash of civilizations.

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

Saturday Miscellany

First, it reads like self-parody. One Duane Owens was executed by the state of Florida the other day. His crimes, murder and rape. Heck, he even raped the corpse of one of his victims.

One must accept that he received a proper punishment.

Yet, the ACLU, descending into self-parody, greeted the execution with a moronic statement about how Florida had deprived Owens of his trans rights. Let’s see, the serial rapist told people he was a woman. How stupid do you have to be to believe that? You need to be ACLU stupid.

The statement reads thus:

The state of Florida never provided medically necessary gender-affirming care to Duane Owen — causing her enormous suffering and violating her right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment for the more than 30 years she was in state custody.

Second, David Rieff comments on San Francisco’s current call for slavery reparations:

The city whose City Council speaks of paying billions of dollars in reparations to African-American residents in fact will have great trouble keeping the lights on, the schools open, & city employees paid, & is almost sure to soon default on its own debt.

For those of you who do not inhabit the literary world, Rieff’s mother was Susan Sontag. His father was Philip Rieff.

Third, in the Bud Light death watch, what used to be the nation’s best selling beer had its worse week ever, with sales dropping another 27%. Good.

Fourth, somehow or other this story has not been widely reported. A Penn State professor, by name of Themis Matsoukas, was caught engaging in sexual acts with a dog, specifically with his collie. He has been arrested.

Now, Matsoukas is a former professor. 

Fearless journalists have reported that Matsoukas was a Hillary Clinton supporter. He also contributed to the campaigns of Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry.

It gives a new meaning to the idea of going to the dogs.

Fifth, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, he of the out-of-control appetite, suggested that it would be fine to give transgender children puberty blockers, as long as parents consent. And, when governor, he signed a law allowing trans girls to use girls’ rest rooms. Would he say the same about allowing children to have sex with adults?

Anyway, this ought to doom the already doomed Christie candidacy.

Sixth, some children in Great Britain have taken to insisting that they are animals, as in cats and dogs. No kidding. And, children who refuse to accept this animalism have been reprimanded.

The London Telegraph has this story:

Difficult as it may be to believe, children at a school in East Sussex were reprimanded last week for refusing to accept a classmate’s decision to self-identify as a cat. 

The Year 8 pupils were told they would be reported to a senior leader after their teacher said they had “really upset” the fellow pupil by telling them: “You’re a girl.”

The Telegraph has discovered that a pupil at a secondary school in the South West is insisting on being addressed as a dinosaur. At another secondary school in England, a pupil insists on identifying as a horse. Another wears a cape and wants to be acknowledged as a moon. 

Some of these stories have been hoaxes, so the Telegraph tells us to maintain some doubt.

Seventh, the president of Human Rights Campaign, one Kelley Robinson, announced at a senate hearing that Serena Williams can beat any man at tennis.

To which the highly estimable Riley Gaines responded:

“Both Serena and Venus lost to the 203rd-ranked male tennis player.” 

Eighth,  We spent a week agonizing over the rescue of five undersea adventurers, only to discover that the United States Navy had known for days that their submarine had imploded.

Some have suggested that the Biden administration held up the news in order to use it to counter some bad news about Biden family corruption. Of course, such is possible, but it grants to the Biden family perhaps more intelligence than is their due.

Ninth, the Biden administration has chosen to believe that it must solve the Palestinian problem in the Middle East. The Trump administration made great progress in the region by sidelining the Palestinian issue, but the Biden people chose to do otherwise.

Obviously, this has encouraged a flurry of terrorist actions by Palestinian activists.

And now, we have this, from a former Kuwaiti minister, published in a Saudi publication, All Arab News. You would have thought that the American government could have shown such good sense, but alas:

Kuwait’s former information minister blamed the Palestinian Authority leadership for the suffering of its people.

In an article entitled “If a Palestinian State Had Been Established” in the Saudi Daily Independent Arabia, Sa’ad Bin Tefla Al-’Ajmi, placed the responsibility for the suffering of the Palestinian people on the leadership and blamed them for the lack of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute.

He cites several reasons for this, among them the endless schisms and divisions among the leadership and the corrupt and tyrannical nature of the Palestinian authorities, both in the West Bank and Gaza. He contemplates what an independent Palestinian state might look like given that the Palestinians modeled their government after Iraq and Iran, whose rulers Al-‘Ajmi says, are perpetrators of widespread destruction and bloodshed.

“The official Gaza [authorities] currently praise Iran and erect mourning-tents for its martyrs, from [Iranian general] Qassem Soleimani to Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, [the deputy-commander of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq],” he wrote. “And in the West Bank they erected a monument in honor of Saddam Hussein and named major streets after him. In other words, [for the Palestinians,] the models of heroism in the region, whom they wish to emulate, are people like Saddam Hussein and Qassem Soleimani.”

Al-‘Ajmi points to the fact that since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, not one Israeli Arab has given up his Israeli citizenship in favor of Palestinian citizenship. He also notes that Palestinians are eager to obtain work permits in Israel and are even willing to work in Israeli “settlements” in the West Bank.

This, he says, reflects a dire situation under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas rule.

Anyway, happy weekend to all. You can celebrate by subscribing to my Substack.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Transgender Ideology Exposed

What does it say about our culture when physicians are afraid to speak the truth about transgenderism, for fear of being ostracized from their profession? What does it say when a physician at a major hospital feels the need to speak anonymously about the science of gender differences? 

At the least, it suggests a form of mass hysteria, where medical and paramedical professionals are conspiring, perhaps not even knowing that they are, to foist a false narrative on the public. The price of this false narrative is human sacrifice, hundreds of mutilated children.

We note that a number of idiot congresspeople were heard to intone their mantra-- trans rights are human rights-- as though this answers all questions and justifies mutilating children.

As for the ideology, the anonymous physician shares his thoughts with Christopher Rufo (via Maggie’s Farm).

He begins by explaining the tenets of trans ideology:

One, when an individual believes he or she is of a certain sex, he or she is truly of that sex. Two, the ideal response is to affirm that individual’s preferred identity. Three, the repercussion of nonintervention is a higher likelihood of that individual committing suicide. The threat of suicide removes any of the guardrails for what we must do to affirm that individual’s identity. Puberty blockers become justified at 11 years old. Hormones become justified at 13 years old. Double mastectomy becomes justified before 18.

Such is the conventional wisdom. If you disagree with it you will be shut down and shut up. Besides, federal judges-- doubtless appointed by Democrats-- have now declared laws prohibiting surgical intervention on children to be unacceptable.

The physician explains to Rufo that other medical professionals are in a bind. They bought the ideology; they ignored reality to embrace an ideology. And now, they need to pretend that they did not simply get duped. They need to protect themselves against their knowledge that they have compromised their medical ethics to become instruments of an absurd pagan ideology. 

Dare we say that true believers must know somewhere in the inner sanctum of their dark hearts, that they are being used as instruments of child sacrifice. This means that they will go to great lengths to shut up anyone who tries to make clear what they are really doing. As I have suggested before, and as the anonymous physician suggests, transgenderism puts us in the world of human sacrifice. True enough, Judeo-Christianity abhors these practices, but alas, medical professionals imagine that they are following the science.

I believe it’s because they’ve bought into the false ideology of transgenderism. And when people have a false ideology, they need a way to separate themselves from nonbelievers and to express their faith to other believers. And if these rituals are not derived from a cultural heritage with a moral tradition, they become susceptible to unbound human depravity. When you look at the Judeo-Christian tradition, you have the outlawing of child sacrifice and other ways that standards were codified. But in the transgender ideology, none of these guardrails exist. So, what becomes the greatest expression of faith to other believers? To sacrifice the most pure and innocent. Once they do that, they become heroes. They become martyrs. They have their flag hung up at the White House. And there’s no going back, because if they were to demonstrate any degree of humility, they would have to come to terms with the fact that they advocated for and participated in a practice that destroyed the lives of innocent children.

And, here is another sobering analysis. The physician explains what puberty blockers do to children. You have doubtless heard the lies about how these hormone injections are perfectly safe, even though they are not approved for such usage. And you have heard that their effects are fully reversible. Which is not true.

The physician explains:

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is what puberty blockers do to children. This medication is called a “gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist” and it comes in the form of monthly injections or an implant. And because it simulates the activity of this hormone, it shuts down the activity of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is this almond-sized structure in your brain, it’s one of the most primal structures we have, and it controls all the other hormonal structures in your body—your sexual development, your emotions, your fight-or-flight response, everything. But it shouldn’t be described in such cold physiological terms because your hypothalamus is not just a hormone factory. It’s this system that allows you to stand in awe of the beauty of a sunset, or to hear the sounds of orchestral music and to stop whatever you’re doing and want to listen. And I always think that if someone were to ask me, Where is it that you would look for the divine spark in each individual? I would say that it would be somewhere “beneath the inner chamber,” which is the Greek derivation of the term hypothalamus. To shut down that system is to shut down what makes us human.

Details, details. It is an unmitigated horror. But, if you do not believe it your license to practice medicine might well be canceled.

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