Saturday, June 25, 2022

Is Germany Running out of Gas?

Given that yesterday was a slow news day, we turn our attention to Europe’s energy crisis. As you understand well, now that the Ukraine war is disappearing from public view, we are within our rights to unearth the deep meaning of the news blackout. For now the Ukrainian forces are not doing well. They are losing. The Biden administration management of the war is going down as yet another appalling failure. But, you suspected as much, didn't you?


Free and democratic Europe is showing itself to be something of a paper tiger. Without the backup of the American military, it would just be paper.

Speaking of paper, weaponizing the American dollar might go down as one of the worst decisions in American history. At present, the nations of the East, the nations that are allied with Russia, are working to supplant the dollar as a vehicle for international commerce. We will keep an eye on the situation, but it is certainly dangerous, perhaps even more dangerous than overturning Roe v. Wade.

For the record, see Pepe Escobar's analysis of the decline and fall of the America-centric world. It's yet another story that has been completely ignored-- not only because it makes the Biden administration look bad, but because it is a lot more difficult to understand than female reproductive anatomy.

Anyway, there is little that Europe can do to counter Russian aggression, beyond a sanctions regime that seems to be hurting Europe more than it is hurting Russia. How’s that for irony.

Germany, in particular, led by the enlightened Angela Merkel, made itself dependent on Russian energy supplies. Now that Russia is turning off the spigots, Germany is in trouble. See also the analysis by David Goldman.

Better yet, that nation is led by leftists, even by Green Party members. How are they adapting to the situation? Not very well, as you can imagine.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized about it all two days ago:

In Germany even the energy emergencies are well-organized. So it is that Berlin Thursday moved into the second of three phases in what is meant to be an orderly procedure for managing fuel shortages this winter. They hope.

Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck raised the alert level amid a reduction in natural gas shipments from Russia. Moscow says a mechanical part is stranded in Canada due to Western sanctions imposed after Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, but everyone else knows better.

Germany is vulnerable because for years it pursued energy policies that left the economy dependent on Russia for 55% of its natural-gas imports, 34% of its oil, and 26% of its coal before the Ukraine war. These three fuels combined account for more than 75% of Germany’s energy consumption, and Russian natural gas is by far the hardest to replace.

Running out of energy is not good for your political future. As we have remarked, Germany is trying to recommission its coal burning power plants-- the environment be damned. It is not the least irony that the Minister in charge, Robert Habeck hails from the environmentally friendly Green Party.

And yet, it is not as easy as you might imagine to convert natural gas burning systems to coal burning systems. Who knew?

Coal works for electricity generation, but Germany uses most of its natural gas for other things. Gas-fired community heating systems can’t easily be converted to coal. Manufacturers in industries such as steel and chemicals worry their equipment will be destroyed if they lose gas supply even for a short period. Gas rationing is part of Berlin’s emergency plan, but prioritizing among competing users is proving to be an imponderable.

As for nuclear, would you believe that the enlightened Angela Merkel chose to shut down nuclear reactors, in a spasm of environmentalism. She should not have done it, but she did it anyway. This made it easier for Russia to hold Germany hostage over Ukraine. The Journal calls Merkel’s decision a catastrophic error. It was:

Nuclear supplies 6% of Germany’s electricity. That proportion is down from 12% last year because in late 2021 Berlin shut down another three reactors, leaving only three online. The nuclear phase-out imposed by former Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011 counts as one of the worst energy-security mistakes of all time. But for now, keeping the three remaining reactors running past their planned closure at the end of this year could reduce the power gap that needs to be filled by imported coal.

Yet Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Mr. Habeck are resisting. Nuclear power is politically controversial in Germany, especially among the granola-niks in the Green Party. Some politicians are brave enough to call for an extension of nuclear power, notably Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the Free Democratic Party and state premier of Bavaria Markus Söder of the conservative CSU.

In short, in the war between Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine is not going to be the only loser. Germany is now losing bigly. Nothing like a little leftist politics to undermine your economy:

Mr. Habeck still seems to believe he can burn only a little more coal and Germany will arrive at a renewable nirvana when wind and solar meet the country’s power needs. The same Mr. Habeck declared immediately after the Ukraine invasion that there would be “no taboos” in Germany’s debate about energy security. Apparently there still is one, however, and it could prove costly for Europe’s largest economy.

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Biggest Educational Disruption

The Atlantic has the story. Or, at least, it has some of the story. Daniel Markovits and Meira Levinson have now shown that the American policy of shutting down schools for months on end was a complete calamity. They remark that no other civilized nation adopted the same policy.

And yet, they fall completely silent when the question arises-- in our mind, but not in theirs-- about who is responsible for what they call the biggest disruption. It’s a moment that reminds us of the Sherlock Holmes story, “Silver Blaze” where the most important clue was the dog that didn’t bark.


In short, let’s assume that the Atlantic is running cover for those responsible for the great educational disruption. So, we can conclude from its silence that a band of government bureaucrats, Democratic politicians and teachers’ unions got together and conspired to destroy the social, emotional and intellectual well-being of millions of children. And that left thinking thinkers will never hold them responsible.


If Republicans had in any way been involved, the hue and cry would be deafening. Considering that the victims of this policy were most often minority children, if there had been any way to pin this on Republicans, it would be portrayed as a racist genocide.


Since Democrats, the people who are supposedly fighting for equity and inclusion, conspired to deprive minority children of their intellectual development, the authors have absolutely nothing to say about who might be responsible.


Nevertheless, they analyze in depth the damage produced. One remarks, in the interest of fairness, that I have been following this story from the beginning and have denounced it from the beginning. If you are a long time reader of this blog, you will not be surprised:


No other high-income country in the world relied to such a great extent on remote instruction. The coronavirus caused by far the biggest disruption in the history of American education. Neither the Great Depression nor even the two World Wars imposed anything close to as drastic a change in how America’s schoolchildren spent their days.


How important is the experience of going to school? Very important, indeed. Children do not just learn to think, they do not just acquire intellectual skills, but they receive medical care through the schools and learn to socialize and to function in organized groups-- outside of the family.


Shutting down schools caused what the authors call “lost growth:”


Some of the lost growth was academic and social, as school closures cut children off from teachers and friends. These losses were compounded by children’s exclusion from an array of other goods and services. In the United States, almost all public services for school-age children in some way run through schools. Schools provide nutrition; dental care; nursing services; mental-health care; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; child care for teen parents; referrals to social workers and child-welfare agencies; and laundry facilities and clothing for homeless students. Even in an era of mass shootings and COVID outbreaks, schools are the safest place for children. Moreover, schools don’t just serve the children who attend them. They also provide child care for parents and create social, cultural, and political hubs for communities.


They continue:


When schools closed, all the goods that they provide became suddenly scarcer, and children and families who relied most on public provision of these goods suffered a cascade of harms that touched virtually every aspect of their lives. The disruption the coronavirus has caused to schoolchildren will ripple through the future of the COVID generation. Unfinished learning may turn out to be the easiest of these losses to cure.


I take exception to the notion that “unfinished learning” may turn out to be the easiest to cure. I would suggest that it is going to be very hard to overcome. Teachers are seeing children regress intellectually, and this, as we predicted, is very difficult to overcome.


In any event, remote learning, through Zoom, meant that minority children did not go to school at all:


Rather, physical school closures meant no school—literally none at all, for days and even weeks on end.


National surveys of teachers by the EdWeek Research Center, for example, reported that nearly a quarter of students ended the 2020 spring semester “essentially truant.” In Los Angeles, the situation was even more dire: Four in 10 students simply failed to participate regularly in remote-learning programs during the first pandemic spring.


The distinction between rich and poor played itself out here, because wealthy parents could overcome the shutdowns far better than could poor parents:


 Richer kids got more in-person schooling than poorer kids. And even when they were physically locked out of buildings, richer kids got more, and more effective, Zoom schooling than poorer kids. In public schools, students with household incomes below $25,000 experienced about 76 days, or nearly half a school year, without schooling at all. Students with household incomes above $200,000, in contrast, lost about 54 days—still considerable, but roughly a month less lost schooling than their lower-income peers….


Even when they closed their buildings, elite private schools had an easier time facilitating remote instruction, thanks to low student-teacher ratios and access (for both students and teachers) to technology.


How much lost learning was there?


Lost schooling shows up as “unfinished” academic learning, measured according to standardized test scores. Even in schools that closed only in spring 2020 and reopened more or less on time the following fall, students a full year later were about two months behind academically where they would have normally been. And when schools stayed closed longer, students fell even further behind, with the poorest students losing out the most. 


The authors also report on a subject that has been widely discussed. And many teachers report that children lost more than a couple of months of learning. Be that as it may, the children who were shut out of schooling suffered severe mental health problems:


School guidance counselors also noticed a pronounced shift in students’ mental health. In a survey conducted by The New York Times, 94 percent reported increased signs of anxiety and depression, 88 percent reported observing increased difficulties with emotional self-regulation, and 73 percent reported that students had greater difficulties in solving conflicts with friends. 


One survey participant from a high school in Portland, Oregon, summed up the situation: “I’ve seen more physical fights this year than in my 15 years combined.” These impressions are bolstered by district data; in Denver public schools, for instance, fights were up 21 percent in the fall of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels. Strikingly, high schoolers who felt connected to somebody at their school—whether a peer or an adult such as a teacher or a guidance counselor—reported much lower rates of mental distress and suicidal thoughts. School closures, however, broke these protective connections and left the most vulnerable children most isolated.


What lessons do the authors draw from this? Allow them their word:


One lesson of the pandemic is that, for all their inadequacies, schools do work, and for all their inequities, they provide a more equal setting than the worlds they draw children out of. Kids need to be in school—for their academic learning and for their health and safety. Parents need kids to be in school to do their jobs and keep their sanity. And communities need kids to be in school to sustain their solidarity.


Again, the authors denounce the biggest disruption, but without saying who is responsible. Evidently, they will propose at some point that the solution is to spend more money on public education and to dumb down meritocratic admissions. For the record, they say nothing about charter schools, those that have been most successful teaching minority children:


The pandemic has amounted to a comprehensive assault on the American public school. It strained the ties—not just physical but also social and even psychological—that connect American families and children to the schools that are essential for delivering almost every support our welfare state provides. Kids missed out on all of it while schools were closed: not just academic learning but also nutrition, and exercise, and friendship networks, and stable relationships with caring adults, and health care, and access to social workers, and even the attention, at home, of parents unburdened by the need to provide child care during school hours.


The disruption that the pandemic caused to American children’s lives has no historical precedent; the harms that this disruption has imposed on them, taken all together, are similarly large. Our response needs to be on a scale sufficient to meet the harms that students have already endured—and to create a more resilient system to meet future challenges, whether new variants of concern, climate-change-driven displacement, or other threats. 


We have barely begun.


One reason we have barely begun is that the authors refuse to hold anyone accountable for the damage inflicted. Like most of those who comment on the problems, they remain optimistic about the possibility of repairing the damage, but still, they do not propose to solve the problem by opening more charter schools and by breaking the hold that the teachers’ unions and Democratic politicians have on the education of minority children.


They seem brimming full of empathy, because that is the default position prescribed by our mental health establishment. And yet, as happens in most cases, a strong dose of empathy will do nothing more than blind you to the real problems.


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Pronoun Madness at the Pentagon

Some of you, probably not a lot of you, can remember the time when young people chanted: The whole world is watching. Whatever you think of the conditions that elicited this chant, it was certainly compelling.

Now, the whole world is watching the Biden administration undermine the American military with social justice wokery. Consider that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s first command was to eliminate white supremacy in the ranks. You could not have found a more effective way to sow dissension in the ranks if such had been your goal. 


We will pass on flight suits for pregnant pilots or special boots for pregnant parachutists. The whole world is watching the Biden administration and Secretary Austin reduce the American military to a bad joke. If no one takes us seriously as a deterrent force, before you know it the Russian army will be invading Ukraine. And the other actors who might feel deterred by American military might will say to themselves-- we must strike while they are lost in their navel gazing.


Naturally, the Austin Pentagon would want to introduce a policy that does not merely sow dissension in the ranks. It makes it nearly impossible to communicate effectively with other soldiers or sailors. Why would you risk your career over misgendering a fellow soldier, by using the wrong pronoun?


If this is not madness, the term has completely lost its meaning.


Andrea Widburg has the story (via Maggie’s Farm):


Currently, we have a lot of enemies: Biden is busy trying to get us into a hot war with Putin, China is expanding its military and geographic reach, Iran continues its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, and North Korea already has a nuclear bomb.


And while those threats face America, our Navy is focused like a laser on pronouns. This focus doesn’t just represent a complete collapse in the military’s mission. It also represents a serious threat to the military’s operational efficiency.


It ought to be self-evident. Apparently it is not. So Widburg explains:


Personalized pronouns are also a way to reduce the English language to a nonsensical joke. Take the modern pronoun-rich sentence, “Mary went to their room to gather their books and bag so that they could go to their school.” Ostensibly, that sentence is about Mary but the literal meaning is that Mary has some sort of roommate or companion sharing her room and dogging her footsteps the entire way.


Yes, indeed. Incoherent language usage puts you on the road to incoherent thinking. And naturally we want our troops to be incapable of thinking clearly. Or, do we?


Widburg continues:


Pronoun madness makes sentences even more unintelligible when you add in so-called “transgender” issues: “There are Carol and Fred. I told you about them. She is their father.”


It gets worse:


Imagine a cutting-edge, time-sensitive, urgent naval emergency. And then imagine the sailors and marines involved trying to communicate what’s going on through a welter of illogical and imaginary pronouns. If they can’t figure out who’s doing what to whom (and who is responsible for what), ships and planes crash, bullets fly, and people die. And even if they can figure it out, they may lose so much precious time that the outcome is the same.


If you counted among America’s enemies, potential or actual, would you not find this nonsense cause for rejoicing. The great American military is reducing itself to an incoherent fighting force. Or, at the least, the Defense Secretary and the Biden administration is trying to do so.


I have a very simple pronoun policy. If it’s reasonable to believe you’re female, I’ll use female pronouns for you; if it’s reasonable to believe you’re male, I’ll use male pronouns for you. If your gender is a mystery, well...I’ll make my best guess. But I will not mangle English, logic, and safety to cater to your narcissism.


Note the felicitous expression-- reasonable to believe. We do not and we cannot ask each individual to explain his or her personal pronoun policy. If such is the case, we will cease communicating and associating with people who are so confused that they have invented their own private pronouns. In a military organization, this is suicidal.

Don't Look Back; Look Ahead

It’s so obvious that I have even noticed it myself. And I have occasionally remarked it on this very blog.

The point, which has now received the imprimatur of science, is that therapy, in many of its incarnations, has placed far too much focus on the past. It has ignored the future, not to mention the present. 


Jolanta Burke has it right:


For over a century, psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers focused people’s attention on the past. And so when Mary struggles to maintain romantic relationships, she blames her past boyfriends for it. When Chris battles with addiction, he digs into his memories from childhood when he first felt humiliated. And when Saoirse doesn’t want to settle down, she attributes her free-spirited nature to being the youngest child in her family.


But what if these psychologists got it wrong? What if it is not the past but how we view the future that holds us back, preventing us from becoming the best versions of ourselves?


Psychological research has become obsessed with searching for the causes of mental ill health. However, an increasing body of research suggests that focusing on the future may protect us from depression and help us cope with stress more effectively. Sometimes, instead of dissecting the negative memories, we need to focus on a better understanding of how we view our future.


In fairness, some forms of therapy, especially those of the cognitive and behavioral bent, do not much care about the past. And yet, much of therapy has taught people a mental reflex-- when something goes wrong, when you fail to get something right, you are supposed to rummage through your memory bank, the better to imagine that it alone can tell why you keep messing up.


It ought to have been obvious to all, but the more you obsess about the past the more you are ignoring the specifics of any present situation. If we understand that the past does not repeat itself and that you are not the slave to your infantile attachment issues, we should also be able to understand that making a plan for dealing with a current problem is going to be far more effective than ignoring the problem and getting lost in our minds.


Therapy has often pretended that once you resolve the emotional turmoil that dates to your toilet training, you will automatically start getting things right in the present. It is an absurd contention, but that has not prevented more than a few people from believing it.


And, of course, the past does not repeat itself word for word, letter for letter. If you do not understand the particularities and granularities of your present circumstances, and if you have no idea of where you want to go, where you can go, and how to get there, you will be lost in the wilderness of introspection. This does not mean that studying the past cannot offer some useful lessons. But those lessons must be gleaned as a function of present circumstances and future plans.


You cannot be dealing with your life or even living your life or even conducting your life if you imagine that you must first resolve your past issues. And of course, you do not want to get mired in the present. Looking toward the future means making a plan and putting it to the test.


You recall what the god told Orpheus: Don’t look back. Look ahead, especially if you want to get ahead. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Therapy Culture Tyranny

Over the years I have been warning against therapy’s cultural encroachment. We no longer live by traditional values; we live by therapy culture values. Obviously, this has been going on for some time, but of late it has become more pervasive, more open and more damaging.

All the talk about feeling, all the talk about triggering, all the talk about sensitivity, all the talk about vulnerability, all the talk about suffering -- it comes from therapy. And it represents a grotesque imposition on American culture. 


Among the cornerstones of this mass delirium is the notion that your truth is your suffering. Heck, even Jordan Peterson has declared that life is suffering. From there to defining yourself by your injuries, real or imagined, is not a great leap. From there you can define yourself by your victimhood. Then you can put your victimhood into a narrative context and render it meaningful.


Naturally, many people believe that Peterson is pointing the way out of therapy culture. In truth, he is pretending to point away from it while he shows you the door into it. 


When a dimwitted Brene Brown preaches the gospel of vulnerability to corporate honchos who should know better, people choose to express their feelings, regardless of how this makes them look to others, regardless of whether or not this promiscuous display makes them better and more efficient executives. 


In truth, if you put your vulnerability on public display, you will lose the respect of others. If you define yourself by your suffering, by your feelings, by your vulnerability, by your pathos, by your empathy-- you are saying that your actions do not matter, that your reputation does not matter, that you can excuse your derelictions by saying that you were expressing how you really, really feel.


Among the other signs of this cultural degradation is the current obsession with trauma. You may have noticed that when people define themselves by their suffering they are defining themselves by their traumas. If the meaning of life is trauma and its attendant suffering, that means, for Americans, that it is no longer about success, accomplishment, achievement or even winning. 


Trauma is about victimhood. It is about suffering. It is about being wounded. It is no longer about winning. It is about feeling deeply about losing. And, to be clear, it does not accept that you can win. If you won, you cheated, or you oppressed or you victimized others. If you won, other people lost, and this makes them feel badly. And we can't have that.


Christine Rosen explained the current mania in Commentary:


In a culture that once avoided talk of mental health is now openly celebrating people who speak candidly about their psychic wounds—even or especially when they are the type of people who are known to us all because they perform labors that seem somewhat superhuman.


It’s not just that trauma defines who we are. Trauma has become the basis for the go-to narrative about a country that supposedly is an organized criminal conspiracy, a country whose successes were bought at the expense of oppressed minorities. 


You will note that this represents a cultural assault on our pride. And, dare we mention, since pride is the cure for despair, we are now in the business, culturally speaking, of producing more depression:


Today, trauma diagnoses have moved far beyond the realm of individual clinical expertise to take on outsize significance as an explanation for a broad array of social, cultural, and political problems.


So, everyone must redefine himself by his traumas. If he does not belong to a victim class, well then he will be called on to empathize with the victim class. Those who have won, who belong to families or even to a nation that has enjoyed great success, must feel guilty about their success and must inflict constant punishment on themselves:


Once identified as victims, these people are then seen as “needful of care and protection” by those in power. This is not a sign of increased empathy or moral progress. Rather, as Haslam notes, “by increasing the range of people who are defined as moral patients—people worthy of moral concern, based on their perceived capacity to suffer and be harmed—it risks reducing the range of people who see themselves as capable of moral agency.” Trauma becomes exculpatory for its supposed victims, and evidence of the moral superiority of their saviors.


Note the phrase, incapable of moral agency. That means, if I may, that your actions are irrelevant; the only thing that matter is your feeling, that is, your suffering. The politicization is clear and present:


The supposed daily trauma (or violence) inflicted on people by the enemies within (racists, Trump supporters, free-speech advocates, landlords) justifies the creation and enforcement of stronger protective measures for the victimized groups, which requires more intervention by the government, ad infinitum. In this world, victimhood serves as a kind of privilege offset for elites who are keen on believing they understand the needs of the masses, just as carbon offsets work for private jet owners who want to see themselves as environmentalists.


Now, Leor Sapir, of the Manhattan Institute, takes these basic ideas and explains how they have infiltrated and infested American schools. Children are not taught to compete in the world economy. They are taught an oppression narrative. And this teaching leads them to want to be other than what they are, to cease being proud of being boys and girls, to refuse to be proud Americans, the better to join a victim class. The teaching has been producing a massive amount of  gender dysphoria, among other aberrations. If you dispute it, you will be canceled:


I have since spoken to more than a dozen ROGD parents and parent-group leaders who tell a similar story. Their schools compulsively tell their children how awful it is to be white, how white people enjoy unearned “privilege,” how they benefit from “systems” put in place by and for white people for the sole purpose of oppressing “people of color.” Plagued by guilt, the children—almost all of them girls—rush to the sanctuary of “LGBTQ+” identity. Once there, they are catapulted into hero status. According to Charlie, some teachers at her daughter’s school are more forgiving toward “queer” and “trans” kids who hand in their homework late.


Girls, in particular, are the victims of this brainwashing. If they declare themselves to be lesbians or transgender, they are rewarded. This war against girls is going on under the noses of our feminist leaders, who seem not to give a damn.


The students, especially the girls, absorb this messaging. They are acutely sensitive to how identity affects their social status and academic fortunes. They want the warmth that comes with queer/trans identity, but above all they don’t want to be thought of as vicious oppressors. Lacking maturity and self-confidence, they fail to put “anti-racist” indoctrination in its proper context…. Being white is not something these teenagers can escape, but they can mitigate its social costs by declaring themselves part of an oppressed group.


Strangely enough, these newly minted lesbians or transgender children do not seem inclined to act on their new identities. Cognitive dissonance, anyone. If your new being does not correlate with your desire or your behavior, you are going to be suffering from a mental condition, and will be beset with incoherent thinking:


Several of the parents I spoke to told me that their daughters’ friends all identify as non-heterosexual, despite none having ever kissed another teenager or been in a romantic relationship. LGBT identity is, for them, not related to sexual attraction or behavior. 


The recent explosion in LGBT identification among Generation Z seems to be driven mainly by young, white, very liberal women who self-identify as lesbian or bisexual but who do not necessarily have female partners. LGBT identity has become divorced from sexual behavior or erotic feeling, allowing anyone to belong on the basis of little more than a generalized dissatisfaction with contemporary sexual mores.


As you well know, parents are not allowed to dispute these new identities. Children no longer belong to their parents. They belong to the state. (For the record, this notion dates to Plato’s Republic.) So, educators and social workers and health care workers are now doing their best to help children transition without allowing their parents have a say:


Once a child embraces a new “LGBTQ+” identity, her parents will find themselves powerless to stop what can easily become a swift decline in her mental and physical health. Her school, in addition to fueling her desire to escape “white cis” status, is almost guaranteed to have “affirming” and “inclusive” policies, meaning that it will unquestioningly use her preferred name and pronouns and, in many cases, hide that information from her “unsupportive” parents. An adult at Josie’s school encouraged her son to leave home and take up shelter at an LGBT center. 


Examples of teachers actively coaching students on how to “socially transition” without arousing suspicion at home, even providing them with chest binders, are not unheard-of. While this may not have the pedophilic connotations of “grooming,” it comes close in its deep antipathy for parental authority and its unilateral usurpation of parental responsibility for sexual education.


Any parent who objects to this brainwashing, will be reported to the authorities. And risks losing their child. This will scare you half to death:


What terrifies California parents above all, however, is that openly questioning their child’s trans identity may result in a visit from Child Protective Services. The school itself can call CPS if it believes that a student’s parents are “abusive.” One Bay Area parent recounted how an acquaintance with a ROGD child had to flee the state quietly in order to find non-“affirming” mental-health treatment for her daughter.


How bad is it? Very bad, indeed:


If there was a common emotional denominator to all the parents and parent-group leaders I spoke to, it was an overwhelming sense of despair. There was no one to talk to except other parents facing similar situations, and they couldn’t even do this without an almost paranoid insistence on keeping their true identities under wraps. They knew that they would face vehement denunciations from friends and peers, some of whom have “trans kids” themselves, and almost all of whom are left-of-center. “It destroys your self-confidence as a parent,” one mother said. 


“Friends will turn on you in a second, stab you in the back to appear progressive to other people.” The scene is reminiscent of a political dystopia in which a police state effectively delegates to citizens the task of keeping watch over one another.


A nightmare scenario, a political dystopia, where children are subjected to the worst abuse while parents are not allowed to have any say in the matter.


If you think that this is going to end well, you have another think coming.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Addendum

Consider this an addendum to the prior post. Once you read the prior post, you will understand.



Turning Children Trans

The assault on parents is vicious and unconscionable. In order to get their way, trans activists offer parents these two options, well analyzed by Ginny Gentles of the Independent Women’s Forum:

“Do you want a dead daughter or a live son?”


This question, which is really a threat, is the central tenet of the campaign selling gender ideology to parents.


Parents are often told that they are putting their gender-nonconforming child at risk of suicide if they don’t medically “transition” him or her to appear as the opposite sex or at least treat their child as the sex he or she chooses. The child then internalizes this information and believes that suicide is an inevitable outcome without transition, as opposed to an unhealthy response to internal distress.


Note the last remark. The activists are convincing children that if adults do not allow them to transition, they should kill themselves. So, the assault on vulnerable children is equally vicious and unconscionable. Someone should shut these people down. Someone should cancel them. 


Sad to say, it will not happen, because, as the old saying goes, the lunatics are running the asylum.


Besides, the threat is based on a false set of alternatives. The girl who transitions does not become a boy. No sensible and rational adult would argue otherwise.


Moreover, as we reported on this blog some time ago, those who do transition seem inevitably to lose connections between friends and family. After the first rush of acceptance, other people turn away from the transgendered-- leaving them alone and bereft.


So, the girl who becomes a boy, like the boy who becomes a girl, will not become a member of the opposite sex. You cannot surgically produce opposite sex genitalia. It is impossible. And, And those who do transition will not be accepted socially according to his or her chosen sex.


That tells us that the war over pronouns and the insistence on acceptance is covering up a basic and fundamental problem. While the medical profession and many psycho professionals, not to mention school counselors, are cheering the transgendered, the social reality is that these people are going to be rejected, as pariahs. Clearly, this will not improve their mental health.


So, trans activists are trying to take over the American mind, to mutilate children in a modernized pagan ritual sacrifice. The reasoning is so appalling that one hesitates to call it such.


Sad to say, it is an exercise in brainwashing. Consider the notion of consent. As you know, and to take an easy example, consent is a vitally important component to any sexual interaction. A woman who does not consent to have sex, and who is forced to have sex, has suffered a felonious assault. 


But also, if said female is under the age of what we call consent, and if she consents to have sexual relations with an adult, the act counts as statutory rape. It is a felony, because she is considered to be too young to give informed consent.


Now, what would happen if a nine-year old girl, for instance, decides that she wants to have carnal intercourse with an adult male who is twenty-nine years of age. Let’s say that she has been told that this act will cure whatever ails her, will help her to fight her psychic demons and will produce a new wave of happiness. If she has learned this, she might well believe that a sex act will be therapeutic.


And let us say that you, her parents are strongly opposed to this exercise of uninformed consent. You will do everything in your power to disabuse her of this notion, and you will certainly not allow her, if you have a say in the matter, to act on such manifestly false beliefs. 


Now, take it a step further, as a thought experiment, one that does not require any extensive knowledge of the law. Let’s say that your nine-year-old says that if you, her parents,  do not allow her to fornicate with said twenty-nine-year-old, she will commit suicide?


Would this persuade you to allow her to get her way, to do something that you know will damage her, to act on a set of beliefs that constitute psychic manipulation at its worst? And, have you put this girl in the position where she now believes that the only solution to her problem is suicide.


As I said, this is a form of pagan child sacrifice.


As Gentles points out, now that the medical and the paramedical professions have decided that gender transition is the cure for most of what ails children, there is no arguing the point. And there is no way to offer other treatments:


Parents who are not caught up in this social contagion know that children who threaten suicide are not born in the wrong body and that a risky regimen of puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries won’t bring children the peace and joy they desperately crave. A child who threatens suicide requires love, kindness, and therapy to address underlying struggles, not sterilization.


The children captivated by gender ideology often have underlying conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder, which are associated with lagging social skills, obsessive rumination, depression, and anxiety.


Of course, transitioning becomes the problem, not the solution. 


Both research studies and the stories shared by a growing number of those who have detransitioned reveal a tendency to self-harm and suffer from eating disorders. Life has been hard for these highly sensitive and emotionally intense young people, and they’re understandably seeking relief.


For the record, the prevailing ideology on these questions must be exposed for what it is. Especially since these crackpot beliefs are being promoted as science:


Children are told that doctors guess the gender when a child is born and sometimes get it wrong; that if they don’t feel like they fit into regressive stereotypes about males and females, they must be transgender; that a “safe space” is one that affirms fleeting feelings rather than biological reality; and that anyone who doesn’t immediately and fully embrace their new transgender identity hates them and wants to “erase” them. Most perniciously, children receive a steady drumbeat of messages focused on suicide and death.


These slogans are used like a giant switch that turns off critical thinking and forbids even gentle questioning. They are repeated over and over in colorful children’s picture books; at GSA (gender sexuality clubs) meetings; and in classroom lesson materials created by organizations like Queer Kids, Gender Spectrum, Advocates for Youth, and, of course, Planned Parenthood, an organization that profits from this ideology by doling out cross-sex hormones at clinics across the country.


These slogans are also baked into local and state transgender policies adopted—often quietly or even without a formal vote—by school boards.


Those who are not directly involved in this madness do not and cannot imagine what is being taught. And they cannot and do not understand the level of madness that has taken over the psycho professions. One suspects that this is not an outlier. This is standard operating procedure. This is a dogmatic belief that you had best accept, less you lose your license. 


It is terrifying because it is so completely insane. It represents a form of human sacrifice practiced by a culture that has returned to its roots in pagan idolatry. The alternative to the Western Judeo-Christian tradition-- the one that rejects child sacrifice-- is not some enlightened rational atheism. It is paganism.