Saturday, June 15, 2024

Saturday Miscellany

First, from Nellie Bowles in The Free Press, a description of our sometime president: 

Whatever you think of Biden—be you to his right or be you throwing pigs’ blood at the White House right now (i.e., to his left)—you should want our president to succeed. To project strength, for all of our sakes. This week we have: Biden stiff, his limbs locked, and his face looking confused, for a painfully extended period of time while everyone around him dances and claps at a Juneteenth celebration. He looked like he’d stumbled out of a nursing home but into a nice background while Doug Emhoff stood by, all “I should be in a hot tub in Malibu right now.”

We also have Biden rambling a bunch of nonsensical syllables in a speech and seeming to not notice. We have him with the G7 leaders to watch a demonstration but wandering away, looking confused, alarming the other Gs, until the Italian prime minister pulls him back into the group. Four more years! Four more years! 

Of course, the American media for the most part did not notice. How did the European media react to our president’s performance? Glad you asked. Tom Elliot has the answer on Twitter:

Across the European media, the news is all about Biden’s obvious dementia on display at the G7. I don’t think anyone seriously expects he’ll serve another 4 years, let alone live another 4 years.

Second, also on the Biden front, rumor has it that a Trump presidency will produce a decisive ending to our membership in the United Nations. One remarks that the past Trump administration pulled away from the United Nations. One also remarks that the Biden administration restored funding to that organization, the better to coddle Iran and to undermine Israel.

Brett Schaefer explains on Real Clear World:

President Biden entered office in 2021 boasting that “America is Back” and pledging to reverse many policies of President Trump to “repair our alliances and engage with the world.”

He quickly followed through by restoring funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Palestinian humanitarian organization UNRWA, rejoining the UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, and rescinding sanctions on the International Criminal Court.

How did the United Nations react to Biden administration largesse:

Meanwhile, the UN legitimizes Hamas’s false casualty numbers for months, the International Criminal Court is prepping charges against Israeli leaders, the International Court of Justice accuses Israel of genocide, and the Secretary General reportedly is set to include Israel on a blacklist of governments like Russia and terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda that deliberately harm children in conflict zones.

If you were wondering how badly the Biden team messed up, this offers some evidence.

The United Nations’ days are numbered. You did not hear it here first, but that does not make it untrue.

Third, remember when the Biden administration proposed building a pier in Gaza, the better to facilitate deliveries of food and medicine. As you know, it has been a boondoggle to end all boondoggles:

But the hastily constructed pier was never designed to handle the Mediterranean Sea’s rough waters, which are expected to worsen over summer, and the logistics of delivering aid from the pier to the Gazan population proved vexing. The floating structure broke apart late last month after 10 days of operation, something defense officials privately described as all but inevitable, and some humanitarian organizations have all but given up making longer-term plans around the pier.

But at least, our Navy is diverse.

Fourth, and then there is Yemen. Remember when our vaunted military said that it was going to counter the Houthis rebels who had been disrupting shipping through the Red Sea.

Marco Castelli has the story on Twitter:

Update on the Suez Canal crisis: - transits thru the Canal are down -50% - shipping lines punctuality is at 54.6% - shipping rates prices +44% - ships transit times +90% Latest news is Houthis arming Somalis to extend reach Lost a strategic area in the hands of terrorists

Fifth, in the meantime, one world leader is not whining and complaining about civilian casualties in Gaza. It is none other than Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

For months, Yahya Sinwar has resisted pressure to cut a ceasefire-and-hostages deal with Israel. Behind his decision, messages the Hamas military leader in Gaza has sent to mediators show, is a calculation that more fighting—and more Palestinian civilian deaths—work to his advantage.

“We have the Israelis right where we want them,” Sinwar said in a recent message to Hamas officials seeking to broker an agreement with Qatari and Egyptian officials.

Sixth, Elon Musk is in despair over our inability to build much of anything. The reason for our failings: bureaucratic red tape and DEI requirements:

You know, in the West, I think we have created regulatory gridlock where just almost everything is illegal. This is why they can't build a high speed rail in California. They spent $7 billion and there's 1600 ft section, it's all they have to show for it and it doesn't even have rails on it. It's really too absurd for parity. Large projects are essentially illegal in California and much of Europe and other countries. So there has to be some garbage collection process for removing rules and regulations in order for society to function and not to get hardening of the arteries to the point where you can't do anything." Source: The Rebirth of Liberty in Argentina and Beyond, by the Cato Institute and Libertad y Progreso. June 12, 2024

Seventh, among the more mindless of therapy culture nostrums is this: we must remove stigmas-- around obesity,around mental illness, around therapy. You see, stigmas are a bad thing. Down with stigmas. Normalize mental illness and depravity, to say nothing of morbid obesity.

And yet, consider this, from Business Insider:

Gen Zers grew up amid a movement to destigmatize mental illness and encourage people to get treatment. They witnessed suicide rates tick up, especially among their peers. They watched celebrities like Selena Gomez, Simone Biles, and Demi Lovato speak out about once taboo subjects such as bipolar disorder, depression, and ADHD. And over the past few years, they've watched rates of depression and anxiety climb through the roof. 

They've felt increasingly empowered to be open about their struggles, support their coworkers, and lobby management for better benefits.

Across corporate America, talking about mental health is all the rage.

There's just one problem. While destigmatizing mental illness is important, a workplace overly focused on mental health isn't always a recipe for better mental-health outcomes. Recent articles about "therapy speak" and being "overtherapized" point to a growing sense that all the mental-health talk might be a bit much. In fact, researchers studying the issue think that talking about your psychological struggles too much can make your problems worse….

Too much mental-health talk can be counterproductive. Take concept creep, for example — the idea that the meanings of things like abuse, trauma, anxiety, and depression have expanded over time. Over the years, negative emotional experiences that were once considered a normal part of life have increasingly been viewed as signs of psychological disorders.

Trauma, for example, once referred to the severe psychological distress that came from rare, life-threatening experiences. Now, it's used to describe less-severe distress caused by a wider variety of adverse events, such as exposure to offensive speech or violent media.

Our society offers a multitude of therapies. Some are more effective; some less. It offers a multitude of therapists; some are better; some are worse.

One thing should be clear, emotional distress should remain within the confines of a counselor’s office. When you bring it into the office-- because someone told you it should not be stigmatized-- it undermines group cohesion and work product.

Worse yet, you force people to see you as less than competent and less than sane. Great job, team. 

Eighth, a few notes from the transmania front. Wesley Yang, who often tweets about transmania, wrote this:

Transgender activists understand that their ideas are fragile, don't bear up under reasoned scrutiny, and can only be sustained through systematic coercion to prevent any scrutiny from being applied. Enshrining an obvious falsehood as dogma necessarily entails destroying the rights of free speech and free conscience and replacing it with a neo-theocratic mandate to believe untruths on pain of punishment. Liberal democracy cannot accommodate this movement; either the movement is brought to heel and is forced to observe the same limits on the scope of its power and ambition as every other social movement in a liberal, pluralistic society, or it entrenches itself as a neo-totalitarian power standing sentry over the thoughts of each and every one of its subjects dictating that falsehoods be affirmed. There is no partial resolution to this conundrum; only one of these two outcomes can obtain.

Ninth, and then we have the words of Adele, at Madriver Mind, on Twitter:

We don’t affirm delusions. We don’t affirm an anorexic’s distorted body image.If a schizophrenic believes he’s Napoleon, we say “You’re name is Fred, you’re in the hospital right now and I have your evening dose of Haldol for you.” It’s called reorienting the patient to reality.

Tenth, in the matter of the famous moron named Judith Butler. You recall that Butler is a Berkeley professor. You might also recall that she, being an out lesbian, supports Hamas and Hezbollah, groups that would consider her sexual proclivities to be capital crimes, and would hang her from a lamppost.

Anyway, we owe to Butler the aberrant notion of “gender,” presumably being something that you can make up as you wish and as your feelings dictate.

As for defending women, Butler has recently shown the world precisely how stupid she really is. When young women complained that they did not want to see intact males in the women’s locker rooms, Butler responded that if said women did not want to see naked men, they should just stay home. 

I suspect that she wanted to show how stupid you need to be to have a chair at Berkeley.

Finally, and currently, I have some free consulting hours in my life coaching practice. If you are interested, email me at

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  1. "their ideas are fragile, don't bear up under reasoned scrutiny, and can only be sustained through systematic coercion" Pretty much sounds like the entire agenda of the left these days.

  2. A minor point but the gaza pier construction, transport, and installation is an Army project. The Navy is not involved. Army ships brought the pieces over.