Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday Maunderings

     Yes, Gentle Reader: it’s another of the dreaded assorted columns!

1. Gender Benders.

     Today at The Scratching Post, concerned by the fad for androgyny and “gender fluidity,” the proprietor asks:

     [I]s this the result of the LGBT movement of the last ten years? Is there a certain amount of celebrity to be gained from appearing gender-fluid? Does it spice things up to have people wondering about you? Or is it that being explicitly a man or a woman is inappropriate these days?

     There are several ingredients. Possibly the most important one that’s been overlooked is the intensity among young Americans of the desire to “stand out” somehow. This has a highly ironic feel, like the old 60s & 70s trend of asserting your individuality by dressing and acting just like everyone else in your age group. Nevertheless, since World War II our younger folk have striven to distinguish themselves from their parents’ generation. Also, they seek to shock their parents “just enough” – i.e., enough to make Dad frown and Mom wring her hands, but not enough to put a stop to the remittances.

     It’s become increasingly difficult to outrage the old folks. We’ve already managed to endure homosexuality, bisexuality, cohabitation without marriage, casual drug abuse, and cosmetic alterations to the anatomy all the way from tattooing to the implantation of horns. What’s left?

     I predict that fairly soon some of our young’uns will start claiming to be aliens from the moons of Saturn, if not Ophiuchus 17.

2. Earth Day 2018

     To “celebrate” this annual occasion, on which know-nothings and socialists (pardon the redundancy, please) call for the return of Neanderthal primitivism, Jonathan Last would like to jog our memories about a certain Paul Ehrlich:

     Everyone is talking about the New York Times piece exposing how utterly wrong, willfully blind, and insanely dangerous Paul Ehrlich is, and has been, for the last forty-seven years. There’s video, too.

     This is great, I guess.

     What boggles Last’s mind – mine, too – is that despite Ehrlich having been wrong about absolutely everything he’s ever raved about, the glitterati continue to celebrate him as a contemporary prophet and secular saint of environmentalism:

     But here’s the thing: Even in the face of all of this, the elite caste has showered Ehrlich with awards and honors....

     Paul Ehrlich’s entire career stands as a monument to the ideological imperatives of the world’s elites and the extent to which they exist not just independent from, but in actual opposition to, both science, evidence, reason, and good faith.

     The very fact of Paul Ehrlich is an indictment of the bien pensant progressive order. And the New York Times—which is only half a century late to the party—has nothing to say about that.

     Read the full article for the details about those “awards and honors.” I was stunned. I expect you, Gentle Reader, will be too.

3. Trump’s Real Crime

     The Left, especially its above-ground political arm the Democrat Party, have relentlessly accused President Trump of “obstruction of justice.” the idea, of course, is to provide a plausible basis for Trump’s impeachment and trial. Of course their true beef with Trump is that he’s “not one of us,” and therefore wasn’t entitled to defeat their “anointed one:” Hillary Clinton, the woman virtually no one in America can stand to hear from any longer.

     The celebrated Angelo M. Codevilla lays out Trump’s real “crime” for us:

     America’s Founders, having revolted against a legitimate government that was justly reputed to be perhaps mankind’s most liberal, had to explain to themselves, to their contemporaries, and to posterity why what they were doing was just. All them had read and revered William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. But all the procedures described therein, of which the Americans approved, had been based on the idea that the sovereign power of the permanent state flows legitimately from the existence of the kingdom, which the king embodies. The easy part was to argue that King George III had forfeited that power by abusing it, and hence the regime’s legitimacy. The more significant challenge was to show that there is no such thing as a sovereign power that exists independent of the people.

     That was indeed the core American Revolutionary idea. But what aspect of contemporary government flies in the face of that idea?

     The justice that today’s ruling class seeks to impose is the unfettered discretion of the modern administrative state.

     Donald Trump is trying to obstruct these bureaucracies.

     Please read it all. It’s Codevilla, who’s always good, but this time around he’s also brief and laser-focused. Highly recommended.

4. A Little More Codevilla.

     Okay, it’s really a lot more. Codevilla is once again on the subject that brought him to national lay attention: the American political divide.

     Whoever was surprised by the hate-fest against the National Rifle Association and conservative Americans in general that followed the Parkland, Florida school shooting must not have been paying attention. Over the past half-century, a ruling class formed by our uniformly leftist educational system and occupying the commanding heights of corporate life, governmental bureaucracies, the media, etc. accuses its targets of everything from murder and terrorism to culpable psycho-social disorders (racism, sexism, and so forth).

     Leaders, marchers, and rioters speak from identical scripts. They do not try to persuade. They strengthen their own side’s vehemence. They restrict opponents from speaking on their own behalf, and use state and corporate power to push them to society’s margins. While demanding deference to themselves, they mention right-leaning Americans and their causes only to insult and de-legitimize them.

     Republican politicians and Fox News grant the respect denied them. They respond with facts and reason. But the Left’s reasoning is war’s reasoning: helping one’s own by hurting the enemy.

     This one will take my Gentle Readers a little longer to read. However, bear in mind that I disagree with Codevilla’s conclusion. There is no longer any willingness on the Left to “agree to disagree” with us. We cannot act “as if the other side did not exist.” (My reasoning is here.) Read it all anyway.

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