Sunday, March 31, 2024

Descent into Decadence

It doesn’t have four letters but heteronormativity has become a dirty word. Back in the day societies far and wide gave special preference to heteronormativity. Some even considered the act of sexual copulation to be quasi sacred, the consummation of wedding vows.

Societies were promoting themselves. That is, assuring their survival. They were affirming marriage and family as a good and righteous way to bring up children. 

But, marriage requires compromise. It requires one to compromise one’s precious individuality. Nowadays, we believe that we have outgrown it. We want to express and extol our individual selves, the better to find a level of self-contentment that we would necessarily sacrifice if we burdened ourselves with duties and responsibilities toward other people. 

For some strange reason, we have decided that extramarital sex is preferable to intramarital sex. Go figure.

The word that best describes a culture that has rejected marriage in favor of free and open sexual expression is-- decadent.

Back in the day, feminism mounted a full frontal assault on marriage. It has largely persuaded women that marriage is a bad deal for them, that it was invented by the patriarchy to oppress them, and that they do better to be independent and alone. Such thoughts date at least to Friedrich Engels.

But then, how can a society maintain the traditional division of sexual labor when women are often more educated than men. Liberated, accomplished women cannot find men who are worth marrying. Or who will marry them. Very few men want to marry a card-carrying feminist.

The result has been a demographic implosion. Fewer people are having fewer children. Does this threaten social survival?

Interestingly, Joel Kotkin points out that the phenomenon is not just limited to America. Admittedly, we are leading the world in unmarried adults and in broken homes, but many women around the world have given up on marriage.

Is it because they do not want homes and families? Is it because the world has become overpopulated? Is it because all of these cultures, far and wide, have separated sex from procreation, making the latter an undesirable side-effect. 

It is difficult to assume that the same cultural influences are at work around the world. Unless, of course, you assume that this represents the hegemony of Western and American values.

If such is the case, then you might understand why certain cultures reject our liberal democratic values. 

Besides, people used to care about the social fabric. They used to care about whether people got along with each other. They used to care about whether society was functional or dysfunctional. They understood that a discordant society, chock full of independent self-righteous individuals,  could not organize to fight wars or to produce wealth.

As long as America seems to function, many people will consider that the new decadence is the wave of the future. At the moment it ceases to function, or it starts losing out in competition, they might think otherwise.

How did it happen? How did America descend into what appears to be fatal decadence?

Surely, one part concerns the war against men, against male chauvinists and against toxic masculinity. One does not assume that this campaign of defamation has traveled around the globe, but one would not be surprised to discover that in an era of easy communication via the internet, women around the world are wary of alliances with men. 

Apparently 28% of American women now identify at LBGTQ. Have they been suitably groomed? Kotkin explains that our government has mobilized to fight the gender binary, or heterosexual normativity:

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken may fail to address Russia, Hamas or Iran, but has time to urge diplomats to eschew “sexist” words like father.

Not to be outdone, our president declared today, Easter Sunday, to be Transgender Day of Visibility. It feels like a gratuitous slur against an important Christian holy day.

But then, the advent of scientism has raised up the status of science, and dimwitted scientists have decided that sex is a social construction.

Alienation from heterosexuality has its cheering section in the scientific community, which increasingly denies even the existence of biological sex. The media is, unsurprisingly, on board: Andrea Chu’s New York Magazine’s cover The Freedom of Sex openly advocates letting children decide about their own gender while still young. Colleges do their part by allowing transgender women to compete against biological women, to the consternation of many female athletes. 

I will not comment on what is happening around the world, but surely we are leading the world in these problems. Until people see that they are paying a price for disparaging marriage, it will likely continue.

In the US, a quarter of all people have not married by age 40, a historic record. Much the same is occurring in the EU, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and now China. Last year, the UK’s birthrate hit a record low, with fertility rates for women under 30 at their lowest levels since records began in 1938. A fifth of all British women are childless by mid-life.   

At the same time, we are now told that people are depressed and suicidal in far greater numbers than they were before. And we know that in these areas America is leading the world.

Kotkin raises an issue that others have raised, and that needs to be emphasized. In today’s America men and women seem to be different species. Ideological commitment, a modern form of religious intolerance, has redefined these relationships. 

In such circumstances, it’s no surprise that relations between men and women increasingly resemble those of almost different species. Young men, for example, are generally heading to the political right while young women trend far more towards the left. Politically engaged women, notes the American Enterprise Institutes Sam Abrams, support cancel culture far more than their male counterparts. 

This suggests that women’s minds have been colonized by ideological zealots, to the point where they insist on having their way. On the one hand women do not tolerate men when they act like men and on the other fewer and fewer men are capable of supporting their families. 

Is there any way to reverse this trend? Certainly, it would be better if family studies were not shaped by hyper-progressive ideologues. This doesn’t require a return to a cultural norm of sexual puritanism. 

Hyper-progressive ideologues have certainly been stirring this pot. And yet, public displays of sexual matters make sex into something vulgar and debased. And this seems to encourage women to avoid it.

Scrutiny over the use of puberty blockers and demanding parents be informed of their children’s gender issues may represent a positive advance. But much more is needed, including measures to make ample space for families by reducing house prices and promoting higher-wage work so that one parent, male or female, can take primary responsibility for toddlers. 

Here Kotkin is being naive. The issue does not involve monitoring gender issues, but producing them. Bringing sexuality out of the darkness and into the light does not enhance sexual desire. As no less than Augustine suggested, sex is better in the dark.

Visibility is precisely the wrong approach. Thinking that fun is the meaning of life or even that it is better for your mental health is obviously not working. How long will it take until we see that we are paying a price for this.

I wish to offer my Christian readers my best wishes for a joyous Easter.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Saturday Miscellany

First, I had been wondering about this myself. How does it happen that the media, both left and right, have completely ignored the story of Mary Richardson Kennedy?

The first wife of Robert Kennedy, Jr. hanged herself in a barn in 2012. I covered the story on my blog, in posts dated May 18, 2012; May 23, 2012; July 1, 2012.

As it happened, the couple was embroiled in a divorce dispute, at a time when RFK, Jr. had taken up with someone named Cheryl Hines.

And he had been trying to destroy his wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy in order to allow his paramour to take her place. He was suing for custody of their children and had cut off all of her financial resources.

So, this mother of four hanged herself in the barn. 

You would think that this is newsworthy. Apparently, the mainstream media does not think so.

Second, regarding the durability of solar panels. That is, of a major source of renewable energy. Apparently, these panels are not indestructible.

Will Tanner explained it:

In yet another massive L for 'green' energy boondoggles, a massive swathe of solar panels in Damon, Texas were taken out by a hail storm And not only were the expensive panels rendered useless by the weather, but now they're leaking a toxic compound, cadmium telluride, into the water So not only do Texans get intermittent energy instead of constant energy, not only do they waste thousands of acres of land with solar farms, but now the pointless panels are leaking into the groundwater Nuclear energy and natural gas are the answer. They're cheap, clean, reliable, and won't be shattered by a bit of hail. The other "green" energy is an expensive boondoggle that destroys the natural environment

One would like to know what the chorus of self-important prigs who tout the supreme virtue of renewable energy have to say about that.

Third, the Biden administration has promised that, as part of its infrastructure spending program, it will build hundreds of thousands of electric charging stations across the country.

As of today, it has built a grand total of seven:

President Biden vowed to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the United States by 2030. But now, more than two years after Congress allocated $7.5 billion to help build out those stations, only 7 EV charging stations are operational.

Way to go, industrial policy.

Fourth, firebrand Candace Owens declared that she was willing to bet her entire professional reputation that the wife of French president Emmanuel Macron-- that would be Brigitte-- is really a man.

It was the ultimate dumbass wager, and it cost the increasingly flaky Owens her job at The Daily Wire.

Justice exists. The moral of the story is: don't bet on stupid!

Fifth, it’s the grid, stupid. The electrical grid, that is. Our wondrous modern life consumes more and more electricity. At the same time, the Biden administration is doing its best to reduce production of electricity.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized yesterday:

Projections for U.S. electricity demand growth over the next five years have doubled from a year ago. The major culprits: New artificial-intelligence data centers, federally subsidized manufacturing plants, and the government-driven electric-vehicle transition….

A new Micron chip factory in upstate New York is expected to require as much power by the 2040s as the states of New Hampshire and Vermont combined….

Data centers—like manufacturing plants—require reliable power around the clock year-round, which wind and solar don’t provide. Businesses can’t afford to wait for batteries to become cost-effective. Building transmission lines to connect distant renewables to the grid typically takes 10 to 12 years.

Because of these challenges, Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz last week predicted that utilities will ultimately have to rely more on gas, coal and nuclear plants to support surging demand. “We’re not going to build 100 gigawatts of new renewables in a few years,” he said. No kidding.

Sixth, vive la France. The following, from the London Telegraph, reports on a study sponsored by the French version of the Republican Party. It exposes the horror surrounding of what is unfortunately called gender affirming care:

French Senators want to ban gender transition treatments for under-18s, after a report described sex reassignment in minors as potentially “one of the greatest ethical scandals in the history of medicine”.

The report, commissioned by the opposition centre-Right Les Republicains (LR) party, documents various practices by health professionals, which it claims are indoctrinated by a “trans-affirmative” ideology under the sway of experienced trans-activist associations.

The report, which cites a “tense scientific and medical debate”, accuses such associations of encouraging gender transition in minors via intense propaganda campaigns on social media.

Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, an LR senator who led the working group behind the report, concluded that “fashion plays a big role” in the rise of gender reassignment treatments.

Seventh, meanwhile on the social contagion front, the Twitter account called, Two Genders One Truth offers this observation:

Reminder that in 2012, UKs gender clinic GIDS received 250 youth referrals, mostly boys. By 2021, that number exploded to 5,000. 2/3 were female, a 5330% increase, indicative of a social contagion. [1] [2] 382 children under the age of 6 were referred to GIDS in a 10 year span, 70 were preschoolers. [3] The closure of GIDS cannot come soon enough.

Eighth, on the anti-Semitism front, Joe Biden’s efforts to validate the lunacy coming from the radical left has ushered in a free-for-all against Jews.

Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, Heidi Bachram reports, anti-Semites were unrestrained:

Last night in New York pro-Pals harassed attendees to a Biden fundraiser. One man stalked a young woman screaming: “F*cking murderous k*ke.” “F*cking die.” “Keep it moving b*tch.” These are antisemitic, misogynist thugs and they’ve had free rein for too long.

Ninth, writing on the American Greatness site, Victor Davis Hanson exposes the truth and the lies about Israel. As you understand, the new anti-Semitism involves a series of specious arguments about Israel and Hamas.

Hanson begins with the concept of occupation:

Prior to October 7, there were roughly two million Arab citizens of Israel but no Jewish citizens in Gaza. Gazans in 2006 voted in Hamas to rule them. It summarily executed its Palestinian Authority rivals. Hamas cancelled all future scheduled elections. It established a dictatorship and diverted hundreds of billions of dollars in international aid to build a vast underground labyrinth of military installations.

So Gaza has been occupied by Hamas, not Israel, for two decades.

As for the claim that the Israelis are targeting civilians, it is far from the truth:

Hamas began the war by deliberately targeting civilians. It massacred them on October 7 when it invaded Israel during a time of peace and holidays. It sent more than 7,000 rockets into Israeli cities for the sole purpose of killing noncombatants. It has no vocabulary for the collateral damage of Israeli civilians, since it believes any Jewish death under any circumstances is cause for celebration.

Supposedly serious people are whining that Israel is using disproportionate force. It’s another lie, invented to slander Jews:

We are told Israel wrongly uses disproportionate force to retaliate in Gaza. But it does so because no nation can win a war without disproportionate violence that hurts the enemy more than it is hurt by the enemy.

The U.S. incinerated German and Japanese cities with disproportionate force to end a war both Axis powers started. The American military in Iraq nearly leveled Fallujah and Mosul by disproportional force to root out Islamic gunmen hiding among innocents. Hamas has objections to disproportionate violence—but only when it is achieved by Israel and not Hamas.

As for the calls for a ceasefire, Hanson puts it into context:

 The so-called international community is demanding Israel agree to a “ceasefire.” But there was already a ceasefire prior to October 7. Hamas broke it by massacring 1,200 Jews and taking over 250 hostages.

Hamas violated that peace because it thought it could gain leverage over Israel by murdering Jews.

Hamas now demands another ceasefire because it thinks it is no longer able to murder more unarmed Jews. Instead, it now fears that Israel will destroy Hamas in the way Hamas sought but failed to destroy Israel.

Tenth, reputation matters. The New York Times explains one of the consequences of Harvard’s mealy-mouthed approach to anti-Semitism, not to mention its choice of a manifest incompetent and plagiarist as president:

At Harvard, undergraduate applications were down this year, even as many other elite schools hit record highs. The drop suggests that Harvard's year of turmoil may have dented its reputation and deterred some students from applying.

Eleventh, over at Vanderbilt University they decided to have a sit-in in favor of the Palestinian people. Officials dealt with correctly. They locked the students in to the administrative building, depriving them of food, water and bathroom facilities.

The Daily Mail has the story:

Other video shared to social media showed fellow protestors slamming on the windows of the building, chanting over and over again: 'Let them pee, let them eat.' 

Eventually, four students were arrested and suspended from the university, while a further 12 were only suspended, for their role in the protest, after everyone inside left voluntarily.  

'All of the protest participants who breached the building will be placed on interim suspension,' the university said. The suspension means they must leave campus and can't return pending a Student Affairs review process.

Three students were charged with misdemeanor assault because they pushed a community service officer and a staff member who offered to meet with them as they entered the building, the school said. 

A fourth student was charged with vandalism after breaking a window.

It’s a long way from Harvard, don’t you think?

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Friday, March 29, 2024

Who Are the Real Fascists?

On Tuesday of this week I opined on the advent of anti-fascism. People who would be hiding under the bedspreads if they ever encountered any real fascists are up in arms against Republicans, who they now consider to be fascistic.

In so doing, I remarked that the anti-fascists have blinded themselves to the dangers inherent in radical leftist politics. They have ignored Communism and the horrors it visited on the world. 

It feels strangely consonant with the liberal war against bigotry, conducted over the past decades, whose proponents woke up one day to discover that people of color were largely infested with anti-Semitism.

Allow yourself a moment to reflect on the anti-fascists who are standing tall and proud for Hamas, and for what they call the Palestinian cause. How many of them are surprised to find themselves aligned with anti-Semites? How many of them understood what they were buying when they rummaged through these outworn ideas?

So, these intrepid warriors, fighting the good fight against bigotry, find themselves working to sustain some of the world’s worst bigots. Islamic radicalism is murdering people around the world, but our culture warriors are going to war against Donald Trump and the American Republican Party.

Dare we call them cowards?

If you ask yourself which side of the political divide is supporting Israel in its war against Hamas and which group is promoting the interests of Hamas, you will arrive at an obvious conclusion: the anti-fascists are more fascistic than the fascists. Does anyone seriously believe that the group that calls itself Antifa-- short for Antifascist-- does not count among the most fascistic segments of American society today. 

If irrationality and the will to get one’s way-- aka the will to power-- define a fascistic impulse, surely the anti-Trump crowd has been thoroughly irrational. 

To that we can add BLM, another purportedly anti-fascist group that has fomented violent insurrection. Many people believe that Donald Trump ought to be drawn and quartered for making occasional reference to vigilante violence. And yet, how many of these same people denounce BLM protesters and Antifa radicals for practicing vigilante violence?

So, the normally rational Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf declared war on fascism the other day. He based his analysis on the theories propounded by one Umberto Eco. I admit to being a fan of Eco, but he is basically a novelist and a semiotician, not a political philosopher.

Yet, Eco is of Southern European origin and we must observe that European fascism comes from the South of that continent. There has never really been any Northern European fascism. 

As it happens, Wolf embarrasses himself while trying to offer something of an analysis:

One fea­ture is the cult of tra­di­tion. Fas­cists wor­ship the past. The corol­lary is that they reject the mod­ern. “The Enlight­en­ment, the Age of Reason,” Eco writes, “is seen as the begin­ning of mod­ern deprav­ity. In this sense Ur-Fas­cism can be defined as irra­tion­al­ism.”

Rather than call this a word salad-- it is utterly incoherent-- we should call it a thought salad.

As it happens, conservatives respect tradition. They respect the past and believe in learning from experience. Do you have a problem with that? Besides, doesn’t radical Islam worship tradition, to the point where it has stubbornly refused to reform?

As for the Enlightenment, it was not singular. Europe knew two different Enlightenments. There was the idealism offered on the continent by Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche, among others. And there was the more empirical version that we owe to Great Britain, to John Locke, David Hume and Adam Smith.

One does well not to confuse the two. They employ different versions of reason. Surely, the Continental Enlightenment ought not to be glorified; it gave us both Nazism and Communism. It may have paid occasional lip service to rationality, but reason was not its middle name.

Wolf continues, not recognizing that his thought has gone off the rails. 

Another fea­ture is the cult of action for action’s sake, from which flows a fur­ther one: hos­til­ity to ana­lyt­ical cri­ti­cism. And it fol­lows from this that “UrFas­cism . . . seeks for con­sensus by exploit­ing and exacer­bat­ing the nat­ural fear of dif­fer­ence . . . Thus Ur-Fas­cism is racist by defin­i­tion.”

And Islamic radicalism, the kind that is proud of its anti-Semitism, is perhaps also worthy of being called racist? All of the hatred for white people-- isn’t that racist?

Wolf continues:

Next, for Eco, is the fact that Ur-Fas­cism advoc­ates a pop­u­lar elit­ism. In UrFas­cism, he writes, “Every cit­izen belongs to the best people of the world.” Moreover, “every­body is edu­cated to become a hero.”

Again, this is a muddle. Those who believe in action for the sake of action might well be considered to be followers of an ethic of machismo. And yet, machismo is not a Northern European or even an American production. As the word suggests, it comes to us from Southern European and South American cultures. 

And, naturally, Wolf gets confused. True enough, proud Americans feel that they have something to be proud of. They know that our nation is a world leader, the role model that others have, at least until recently, wanted to emulate. 

All politicians tell us that we are the best. Exception given for those who think that we are the worst. 

Wolf continues, echoing Rousseau’s concept of common or general will, a concept that formed the basis for totalitarian leftism. Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like the theocracy in Iran?

For Ur-Fas­cism, Eco adds, “the People is con­ceived as a . . . mono­lithic entity express­ing the Com­mon Will. Since no large quant­ity of human beings can have a com­mon will, the Leader pre­tends to be their inter­preter.”

The ori­gin of Ur-Fas­cism’s dis­tinct­ive mach­ismo is that “the Ur-Fas­cist trans­fers his will to power to sexual mat­ters”. Implied here is both dis­dain for women and intol­er­ance and con­dem­na­tion of non-stand­ard sexual habits.

The will to power did not arise from the Scottish Enlightenment. It comes to us from everyone’s favorite syphilitic philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche.                      

If one looks at today’s rightwing pop­u­lism, one notices pre­cisely the cults of the past and of tra­di­tion, hos­til­ity to any form of cri­ti­cism, fear of dif­fer­ences and racism, the ori­gins in social frus­tra­tion, nation­al­ism and fer­vent belief in plots, the view that the “people” are an elite, the role of the leader in telling his fol­low­ers what is true, the will to power and the mach­ismo.

Without spending too much of your time arguing against a lot of nonsense, we will note that the people today who are hostile to any form of criticism inhabit the political left, the cancel culture left and the American academy.

One last note: I am looking for a literary agent and/or a publisher for my latest book, Can’t We All Just Get Along? Please send suggestions of recommendations to my email:

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Rafah Crossing

Leave it to the French. Plato gave us philosopher kings. Slovenia gave us philosopher clown Slavoj Zizek. But the French have given us a celebrity philosopher, by the name of Bernard-Henri Levy, normally known by his acronym, BHL.

So, if one does not take BHL very seriously as a thinker, his self-promotion and inherited wealth suggests that we are right to do so.

Now, as though to make us look less than astute, BHL has written an interesting op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

At a time when one side of the pathetic Biden administration is trying to save Hamas from a pending Israeli onslaught while another side is helping the Israelis to cause a minimum of civilian damage in Rafah, BHL explains the stakes. He does so as clearly as very many American writers, writers who are not even celebrity philosophers.

Anyway, given the drumbeat of anti-Israeli sentiment, led by New York Times columnist Tommy Friedman and New York’s Senator Chuck Schumer, it is not surprising to think that the administration is trying to bigfoot Israel into laying off the remnants of Hamas. Nor is it surprising that more and more Americans are allowing themselves to be influenced by administration propaganda-- and are turning against Israel. 

BHL explains:

It isn’t hard to picture an Israel that is sermonized, impeded and prevented from dealing with Hamas the way the U.S. dealt with Al-Qaeda and ISIS a few years back—an Israel forced into defeat.

What would happen if Israel relents under the Biden administration pressure campaign? 

If that came to pass, what would happen? Hamas would declare victory—on the verge of defeat, then the next minute revived. These criminals against humanity would emerge from their tunnels triumphant after playing with the lives not only of the 250 Israelis captured on Oct. 7, but also of their own citizens, whom they transformed into human shields.

This is so sane and sensible that it crosses the mind of a French celebrity philosopher. Why has it not made its way into the little gray cells of our foreign policy leaders?

The Arab street would view Hamas terrorists as resistance fighters. In Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—nations that signed the Abraham Accords or were leaning toward doing so—Hamas’s prestige would be enhanced. 

In the West Bank as in Gaza, Hamas would quickly eclipse the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, whose image would pale next to the twin aura of martyrdom and endurance in which Hamas would cloak itself.

After that, no diplomatic or military strategy would prevail against the iron law of people converted into mobs and mobs into packs. None of the experts’ extravagant plans for an international stabilization force, an interim Arab authority, or a technocratic government presiding over the reconstruction of Gaza would stand long against the blast effect created by the last-minute return of this group of criminals adorned with the most heroic of virtues.

Hamas would declare itself victorious. Overpowered and outgunned, it had survived. That would have been portrayed as a sign that its cause was just. Try dislodging it then.

And the dimwits who are lost in a reverie about the two-state solution would be exposed as the cowards they are:

Hamas would be the law in the Palestinian territories. It would set the ideological and political agenda, regardless of the formal structure of the new government. And Israel will never deal with a Palestinian Authority of which Hamas is a part. Goodbye, Palestinian State. Hope for peace harbored by moderates on both sides will be dead.

What is the BHL proposal? It is not all that different from proposals noted here:

Instead of putting all their energy into trying to get Israel to bend, leaders should push Hamas to surrender. The Biden administration should redirect the time it is spending in useless negotiations with the Qataris—experts in double-dealing—to calling the Qataris’ bluff by demanding that they push the “political” leaders of Hamas, whom they host and protect, to live up to their responsibilities.

It is not the least of the puzzles in this situation that the world, led by the American State Department is pressuring Israel, but not pressuring Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. And why is no one suggesting that the Palestinians stranded in Rafah might move to Egypt?

By now the world should have risen up against Hamas. BHL explains:

First, the release of all hostages. Next, the evacuation of civilians from the zone of imminent combat. When will the world recognize that Israel, having been forced into this war, is doing more than any army ever did to prevent civilian deaths?

In the end Israel should enter Rafah and put an end to Hamas.

And finally, in Rafah, the destruction of what remains of Hamas and its death squads. Without this military victory, the endless wheel of misfortune will begin to spin yet again, though faster. This is the terrible truth.

While we are bemoaning the flagrant incompetence of the Biden administration we should notice another story, from the Wall Street Journal, reporting that the Pentagon, on its own, is working with the Israeli military to improve the prospects for avoiding civilian casualties in Rafah. 

In two days of meetings between the Israeli defense chief and senior officials in the White House and Pentagon, discussions on Israel’s planned military operation in southern Gaza focused not on how to stop it, but on how to protect civilians during its rollout.

Obviously, this shows us an administration divided against itself, where one hand does not know what the other is doing. It is incoherent and incompetent, leaderless. Now you understand why Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin did not feel the need to inform his superiors of his hospital stay. 

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wednesday Potpourri

First, readers of my blog, and now my Substack, have been ahead of the curve. So it is good to see other thinkers catch up to where we have been for years. Those who subscribe to my writing will feel that they are getting something for their contributions.

Four years ago I wrote that the Democratic and Republican Parties had become the Girl Party and the Boy Party. Now, as of last Sunday, , famed political strategist James Caraville denounced his fellow Democrats for being too feminine. The phrase “preachy females” has gone viral, but why not offer the context.

He told Maureen Dowd:

“A suspicion of mine is that there are too many preachy females” dominating the culture of the Democratic Party, Carville told Dowd. “‘Don’t drink beer. Don’t watch football. Don’t eat hamburgers. This is not good for you.’ The message is too feminine: ‘Everything you’re doing is destroying the planet. You’ve got to eat your peas.’

“If you listen to Democratic elites — NPR is my go-to place for that — the whole talk is about how women, and women of color, are going to decide this election. I’m like: ‘Well, 48 percent of the people that vote are males. Do you mind if they have some consideration?’”

Naturally, a lot of people take some serious offense at such thoughts. Calling Democratic women preachy females is not a very nice thing to say. 

And yet…. If you would like a more extensive analysis, check out my analysis from four years ago. 2-12-2020.

The Republican Party has become the Boy Party. Republicans defend gun rights and tend to be more willing to fight wars.

The Girl Party wants to take everyone’s guns away-- an absurdly unrealistic proposal-- and tends to be anti-war, even to the point of being cowardly.

The Boy Party wants people to compete in the marketplace. The Girl Party does not accept the results of fair competition. Believing that the marketplace is rigged, it always leans toward regulating the marketplace, not allowing free competition. 

The Girl Party is risk averse, while the Boy Party is more willing to take risks. Just measure the shrieks of fear coming from the Girl Party when President Trump undertakes a risky foreign policy initiative... as in killing Qassim Soleimani.

Being a cult to the Nature Goddess, the Girl Party opposes industry, manufacturing, commerce and especially anything that involves energy. The Boy Party embraces the Industrial Revolution for all it has brought to all of us.

And naturally the Girl Party wants to provide great free healthcare for everyone. It does not concern itself with the practicalities of Medicare for All or with single payer health care. It prefers sentimentality and caring to the cold hard light of reason.

Like people who have never had to deal with the consequences of their decisions the Girl Party believes that wishing will make it so and that the money will always be there. It sounds like a group that has never made a living or balanced a check book. If you don’t believe me listen to Bernie Sanders.

Second, we have billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, who sits on the board of the Disney Company. Apparently, he is willing to call out the company for producing woke movies that do not make money.

This report comes from the Zero Hedge blog. 

In comments we're sure the left will seize on, the billionaire investor then criticized Disney for pushing woke messaging as opposed to simply making great content.

"People go to watch a movie or a show to be entertained," said Peltz. "They don’t go to get a message."

Elaborating further, Peltz asked "Why do I have to have a Marvel that’s all women? Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that? Why can’t I have Marvels that are both? Why do I need an all-Black cast?" referring to Black Panther.

Third, on the therapy front, Jonathan Shedler rips back the curtain and exposes the truth about therapy influencers. They all have the same line, which ought to be familiar:

Therapy influencers get millions of follows w 1 core message You are a victim & you are a good. Someone else is to blame & they are evil It feels good because it sides with our defenses, not insight & self-awareness In the long run, it’s a self-destructive & self-defeating.

Fourth, a coda to a story that we followed from the onset. It involves the damage done to American schoolchildren by covid lockdowns. 

Daniel Greenfield recommends that we condemn the teachers’ unions who promoted it for systemic racism. Children of wealthy parents found ways to provide tutoring. Poor parents did not have the same options.

Anyway, Greenfield explains:

The Biden administration is on a hunt for systemic racism. Thus far it’s found systemic racism everywhere from the highway system to the military, but the one place it hasn’t looked is among the ranks of the teachers unions who provide much of its cash and its election foot soldiers.

But new data reported by the New York Times shows that the pandemic school closures demanded by teachers unions were the single greatest act of systemic racism in 50 years.

During the pandemic, members of the corrupt teachers union machine demanded school closures to “save lives”. Unwilling to do their jobs, they instead marched around brandishing coffins at political protests while warning that if they had to go and teach, everyone would die.

Education was replaced with the Orwellian misnomer of “remote learning” which parents, students and honest teachers admitted was not actually teaching any of the students anything.

And the newest data backs that up, showing that “in districts where students spent most of the 2020-21 school year learning remotely, they fell more than half a grade behind in math.”

The numbers were even worse for the poorer students who fell behind three fifths of a grade.

The decline in math scores was the worst in 50 years making it a historic setback and while all students suffered during the pandemic, the learning experiences in districts where schools shut were far worse for poorer students, often minorities, than for wealthy or middle class students.

And while the DEI complex and the media have spent years talking about disproportionate impact, it was the Left which was responsible for the worst disproportionate impact in 50 years.

Fifth, the dimwitted California legislators decided to raise the minimum wage to $20.00, thereby giving workers a living wage.

The result-- small businesses across the state are firing employees.

The New York Post has the story:

California restaurants are reportedly laying off staff and reducing hours for other team members in an effort to cut costs ahead of a California state law taking effect on April 1 that will raise fast-foot workers’ hourly wage to $20.

In the months leading up to the wage mandate, California eateries, particularly pizza joints, have established a plan to cut jobs, according to state records obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Pizza Hut and Round Table Pizza — a Menlo Park, Calif.-founded chain of 400 pizza parlors, mostly on the West Coast — have said they plan to lay off around 1,280 delivery drivers this year, according to records that major employers must submit to the state before large layoffs, The Journal reported.

Pizza Hut already sent notices to employees informing them of their last day.

Sixth, on the AI front. I have a minimal understanding of artificial intelligence, so I have wisely chose not to offer comments on it. So, while the investing and tech worlds are thrilling to its advent, Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar offered a cautionary note two days ago:

AI will “change the world”, we are told. It will rad­ic­ally increase pro­ductiv­ity (albeit by dis­rupt­ing mil­lions of jobs). It will cre­ate a huge new wealth pie for the world to share. And, accord­ing to a breath­less ARK Invest report that last week pre­dicted a $40tn boost to global gross domestic product from AI by 2030, it will “trans­form every sec­tor, impact every busi­ness, and cata­lyze every innov­a­tion plat­form”.

It’s the euphoria and sense of inev­it­ab­il­ity in this straight­for­ward nar­rat­ive that makes me nervous. Even if you believe AI will be today’s equi­val­ent of elec­tri­city or the inter­net, we are at the very early stages of a highly com­plex multi-dec­ade trans­form­a­tion that is by no means a done deal. Yet valu­ations are pri­cing in the entire sea change, and then some. A Feb­ru­ary report by Cur­rency Research Asso­ciates poin­ted out that it would take 4,500 years for Nvidia’s future dividends to equal its cur­rent price. Talk about a long tail.

One senior staffer at a lead­ing AI com­pany recently admit­ted to me, when pushed, that the profit assump­tions around the tech­no­logy were based “more on spec­u­la­tion than sub­stance”, and that it has major kinks still to be worked out.

The so-called Mag­ni­fi­cent Seven com­pan­ies have driven AI enthu­si­asm and stock mar­ket gains over the past year. They have pushed the con­cen­tra­tion of the S&P 500 to a his­toric extreme. But as a recent Mor­gan Stan­ley report notes, “index con­cen­tra­tion has his­tor­ic­ally proved self-cor­rect­ing, with some com- bin­a­tion of reg­u­lat­ory, mar­ket and com- pet­it­ive forces, along with busi­ness cycle dynam­ics, under­min­ing static lead­er­ship”. The report says “ana­lysis sug­gests that equity returns have typ­ic­ally strug- gled fol­low­ing peaks in con­cen­tra­tion”.

That com­bin­a­tion of cor­rect­ing factors might include the grow­ing num­ber of Big Tech anti­trust cases and the possi- bil­ity that car­bon pri­cing and copy­right fines will chal­lenge the “free” inputs neces­sary to make a profit.

Whether you see AI as the next tulip bubble or the next com­bus­tion engine, it’s worth ques­tion­ing how the mar­ket is pri­cing this story.

Indeed it is.

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