Thursday, January 24, 2019

To Walk By A Secret Garden

From Virginia Fisher at Save the Pink House:

For five generations, children have walked past this garden gate and knocked on their way to and from Edgewood Elementary, never really expecting a response after years of knocking. But who can say what magic happens in the mind of a child in the habit of knocking here? For those who grew up around the Pink House and Secret Garden, they are used to hearing all kinds of stories — about the fairies who directed the planting of the flowers, the tall tales of long-dead Indians buried on the grounds or stories of movie stars driving up in limousines. About the parade of dogs with pedigrees as long as your arm that showed up to submit to the paintbrush of Eleanor Bridges. Of the ghost of Eleanor herself walking her Afghan hounds, patrolling the neighborhood and teaching children to paint in their dreams.

Our society has forgotten about the magic of ritual, of the simple act of knocking on a door, on wood that we and countless others have touched and wished upon and hoped against all hope against. Our desire to luxuriate in the warmth of nostalgia of place — and history and culture rooted in place — seems displaced or rather knocked down. We are too distracted and harried as we drive by to see the latest crop of school children with their new school clothes, walking by the tall hedges, still peeking past the vines to get a glimpse of the foreign-looking house and the Capri-blue umbrella on the parterre.

I started walking past this place when I was in high school with a very small white dog.Even after I bought my first house, an almost 100-year old house on the Southside, I still drove to Homewood to walk down Roseland Drive and the Pink House but with a baby stroller and a Springer Spaniel. In time, I returned to Homewood and bought a bungalow, painted it a pale pink, and walked all over Homewood with an Irish Wolfhound and always by the Secret Garden. After I sold that house, I'd still return from time to time, this time with a shepherd-husky rescue and knock on the blue door when no one was looking. (Read more.)
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The War On Religious Schools

From The Federalist:
The core cause of concern comes from the parent agreement, which says the school may refuse admission or deny continued admission if a student participates in or condones homosexuality. The writer is stunned that the employment application “also makes candidates sign a pledge not to engage in homosexual activity or violate the ‘unique roles of male and female.’”

The author further states, “The application says that the school believes ‘marriage unites one man and one woman’ and that ‘a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.’” The application asks potential employees to explain their view of the “creation/evolution debate.” The “parent agreement” asks parents to cooperate in its “biblical morality” policy.

After confirming that the state of Virginia, as with many other states, permits private religious schools to discriminate, the article ends with a quote: “‘Why not teach at a school that welcomes everyone, instead of choosing one that won’t serve LGBTQ kids, kids of LGBTQ parents?’ said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement to HuffPost. ‘The Pences never seem to miss an opportunity to show their public service only extends to some.’” (Read more.)
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The Rise of the Catholic Layman

From Joseph Sciambra:
Camille Paglia once wrote: “Masculinity is risky and elusive…and is confirmed only by other men.” In an age of anxiety and uncertainty, a number of young men have gravitated towards several men who have become famous primarily due to their podcasts and YouTube channels, namely Jordan Peterson and political commentator Ben Shapiro. Neither of them I would regard as traditionally masculine. But despite their smaller, slender frames and high-pitched voice – both Peterson and Shapiro, without trying, have amassed a loyal following of young men who pack their lectures as if they were rock concerts. Both reached probably the height of their influence while appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcasts – often for interview sessions lasting well over 2 hours. These podcasts are accidentally a study on the contrasting image of masculinity – with the ruggedly manly, tattooed, and muscled mixed martial arts devotee Joe Rogan listening in almost spellbound admiration to the bookish Peterson. In addition, the confident assertiveness of Shapiro is expertly distilled in his well-known quote: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” These rather simple almost paternal-sounding axioms, epitomized by Jordan’s directions concerning “cleaning your room” and “telling the truth,” are sometimes easily ridiculed but reach the status of revelation to young men who never heard them from their dads. In another interview, Peterson remarked that 65% of the audience at his lectures are male. Another interviewer asked Peterson: “Are you a father figure?” He answered in a matter-of-fact voice: “Sometimes.” During his own podcast, Peterson answered various questions from viewers. One person asked: “How does it feel to be viewed as a father figure by many people who grew up without one?” He said: “It’s an unbelievable honor.” Peterson continued: “I am doing everything I absolutely can to be worthy of that.” He then spoke directly to his viewers:
I would like to say to all the people out there who grew up without a father – that’s really too bad. Because you need a father there to encourage you. That’s what fathers do. They encourage, they help make you courageous. And if I can help people develop that capacity to be courageous, and to learn to tell the truth, and to be responsible, then that’s great. I can’t imagine a better outcome for me.
In terms of YouTube viewership, boys are more likely than girls to identify YouTube as their primary platform (39% vs. 25%).

As Peterson and Shapiro gained a wider secular audience among young men looking for a father figure to guide them, a largely unaffiliated group of Catholic husbands and fathers began to boldly call for accountability and a return to more traditional values among a Catholic clergy embroiled in scandal. In doing so, they appealed to Catholic laymen who increasingly found the all-male hierarchy of the Church to be curiously bereft of strong masculine leadership. In the American Church, the most notable exception is the soft-spoken but fearless Cardinal Raymond Burke who unintentionally amassed a Catholic male fan-base.

Mirroring Peterson’s appeal for a reappreciation of traditional values, such Catholic men as Doug Barry, Taylor Marshall, and Jesse Romero and Terry Barber have successfully rallied the usually apathetic Catholic layman via their respective YouTube channels, television shows, and radio programs. Again, for the most part, these are somewhat unlikely heroes: a Catholic dad, a philosopher, and a pair of plain-talking, middle-aged Catholic evangelists. But, like Peterson and Shapiro, their willingness to speak the truth has created an oasis from which men have been able to drink – after years of wandering through a wasteland. For those men, for whatever reason, are not drawn to a Catholic fraternal organization, they have someplace to go. In particular, since the innovations instituted during the post-Vatican II era, Catholic men have been visibly absent from the Church. This missing sense of masculinity became wildly apparent to my generation in the 1970s and 80s when the new liturgy looked increasingly overcrowded by an ever-growing cadre of female Eucharist ministers, lectors, and altar girls. At the same time, homilies had about the same amount of depth and moral challenge as a Hallmark card. On Sunday, oftentimes, men stayed home.

After the American Psychological Association issued a report detailing how “traditional masculinity” is harmful to young men, Doug Barry posted the following to his Facebook page:
The attack against men is ramping up. Strategically it makes sense. Remove the one that God has designed to be the primary fighter and protector and the rest of society is left wide open to the assaults of the enemy. In every genocide this tactic has been used. There is a lot to cover on this topic. But for now let me say that the problem with men is not traditional masculinity as a whole, it is that God-given masculinity has been corrupted, misunderstood and rejected! And that many men, even good Christian men, have become comfortable with being soft and weak in body, mind and soul. Too many men have gone AWOL. Let me say this, NOT ON MY WATCH!
Speaking to Jesse Romero and Terry Barber, about the crisis in the Catholic Church, Taylor Marshall spoke in similar terms:
We men, we fathers, and grandfathers, patriarchs, we need to stand up for what’s true, and I say be the Maccabee. In the Book of Maccabees, a bunch of men followed their father Mattathias and they went into the wilderness and they formed a militia and they came back and they beat the Greeks and they took back the Temple of God and sanctified it…And that’s what we need to do. We got to be the Maccabees, we got to go into the wilderness, we need to organize, and we need to take back our temple and say this is true and this is right.
(Read more.)
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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Lying Media



From Ben Shapiro at The Daily Wire:
All three stories were lies. All three stories were politically driven.

Take, for example, the Covington High School story. On first blush, it’s understandable that members of the punditocracy immediately leapt to the conclusion that the students had done something wrong – after all, would members of the media, the blue-checkmarked brigade, really have butchered video badly enough to completely lie about the story? Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, according to Newsbusters, CNN and MSNBC spent some 53 minutes and 20 seconds on the original, false narrative.

Then, as the facts emerged, everyone had to reconsider – the full video not only exonerated the kids, it actually cut directly against the prevailing narrative that the MAGA-hatted kids had surrounded the Native American man after he defended a group of black activists from them. In fact, the black activists were members of the cultish Black Hebrew Israelites, they were shouting racial and sexual slurs at the kids, and the Native American man sauntered with his group into the center of the high school crowd, banging his drum in the face of one particular student. The students reacted to all of this by singing their high school chants and songs. End of story.

That still hasn’t stopped members of the media from trying to dig up other information demonstrating the racism of the high school, or targeting the students for supposed bad behavior, or justifying the leap to conclusions as a predictable result of living in Trump’s America. The lesson: don’t trust the media’s immediate take. And count on their screw-ups to consistently reinforce a Leftist narrative about American racism and Trumpist bigotry. (Read more.)

From Tom Piatak at Chronicles:
There is no evidence that anyone from Covington Catholic called the Indians "beasts" or anything like that. Nor did they do anything to "these old black individuals," a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who had been yelling a variety of invectives, including anti-white slurs, for nearly an hour before the leader of the Indians decided to walk up to the students from Covington Catholic and begin banging his drum right in the one student's face, without ever explaining what he was doing and why. All things considered, the teen showed admirable restraint, far more than most other teenaged boys would have and far more than the adult members of the Twitter mob were able to summon even though they were tweeting from their easy chairs and without a stranger getting in their face. 
The teens from Covington Catholic represent everything too many on the left love to hate; and hate them they did, and hate them they do. As for me, I am white. I am a male. I am a Catholic. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school. I've been to the March for Life. I own a MAGA hat. Judging by the hysterical (and often) hateful reaction to the story about the teens from Covington Catholic at the March for Life, I might as well declare myself Public Enemy Number One. (Read more.) 

Tucker Carlson weighs in:
Carlson, in a scathing monologue addressing the totality of the controversy, laid into the mainstream media for its dereliction of duty, rebuking them for failing to follow basic procedures learned in Journalism 101.

"Did the video really describe what happened? That should have been the first question journalists asked. Checking facts and adding context is what journalists are paid to do. It's in the first line of the job description. Yet, amazingly, almost nobody in the American media did that," Carlson said. Carlson then called out specific media members and famous Hollywood figures for their direct contributions to the outrage against the students, driven by lies and mischaracterizations in an incident that appeared to confirm the left's biases against white Trump supporters from middle America. He explained:
Maggie Haberman of the New York Times suggested the boys needed to be expelled from school. Ana Navarro of CNN called the boys racists and "a**wipes" and then went after their teachers and their parents.

Others called for violence against them. CNN legal analyst Bakari Sellers suggested one of the boys should be, "punched in the face." Former CNN contributor Reza Aslan agreed. Aslan asked on Twitter, "Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid's?" Longtime CNN contributor Kathy Griffin seemed to encourage a mob to rise up and hurt these boys, tweeting, "Name these kids. I want names. Shame them. If you think these effers wouldn't dox you in a heartbeat. Think again." She repeated her demand again later: "Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you."

Hollywood film producer Jack Morrissey tweeted that he wanted the boys killed: "MAGA kids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper." He paired that with a graphic photo. Actor Patton Oswalt linked to personal information about one of the boys, in case anyone wanted to get started on that project.
But, as Carlson noted, the outrage and condemnation wasn't limited to progressives. Republicans and conservatives also jumped on the bandwagon. Carlson specifically called out Bill Kristol and National Review, which later retracted its initial story and issued a correction. So why the visceral reaction against the teenagers, ultimately leading to an abomination of the truth? According to Carlson, it was about power. (Read more.)

From Robert Royal:
So what, in reality, began near the Lincoln Memorial as an attack on the boys by Black Hebrew activists calling them “faggots” and worse (it’s on the tape); followed by the encounter with an Indian activist that (again to judge by the full tape) shows no more than some confused interaction, pointing to absolutely nothing; we have, once again, full-blown tribal warfare in America. 
Social media are largely now a sewer of outrage – your virtue signaling is greater the more it’s sensitive and offended, outraged and violent towards the other side. Worse, the mainstream media now also get into this shameful act. Outlets like the New York Times and CNN repeated the slurs about the boys – and then were forced to admit that further video “changed the context.” 
Serious media are supposed to get context and balance right before they enflame the kind of social divisions already only too evident now. None that I’ve seen has issued a retraction and apology. 
The Times did run a very good column by David Brooks about the shameful way the “incident” has been publicized. He concludes that the Covington boys displayed the least objectionable behavior among the actors. 
The result: Commenters on his column have basically said, yeah, but it doesn’t matter because the basic point, white privilege vs. disrespect for an elderly Native American, is the Truth. Justice – the concrete guilt or innocence of specific individuals – is thus unimportant compared to “Truth.” 
Our tribal warfare would be less distressing if Christians themselves refrained from this sort of stereotyping, but they don’t. I see it quite often when moderate liberals, whom I know personally, are accused of connections to radical groups and views, which I know they don’t share. 
I myself, for example, have strongly criticized things that Pope Francis has done and said over the past five years. But it’s appalling to see how some people then go on to speak about him. A Christian has to be scrupulous about the truth, which is one of the names of God. One consequence of launching wild attacks is that, when there’s really something that calls for loud denunciation, critics are dismissed as cranks. (Read more.)

From Red State:
A video went viral on the internet Saturday morning showing a group of kids from Covington Catholic school supposedly surrounding a group of Native Americans while wearing MAGA hats. The media, and unfortunately, even some Conservatives immediately clutched their pearls and began virtue signaling about how inappropriate the children were acting and condemning the actions. I am upset to see Conservatives so quick to buy what a Democrat controlled media is selling. 
Within a matter of hours, after main stream media began sharing the story and attempting to identify the students several videos from different angles were released and once again we see the media selectively editing reality to fit a narrative, and this time it was to punish children for supporting the President and the March for Life. The students from Covington High school were in DC for the March for life and were waiting for their bus home at the Lincoln memorial, that is when noted activist Nathan Phillips approached the group of students, cameras ready, and began beating his ceremonial drum in the face of one of the students. Nathan Phillips is known to decry racism at the drop of a hat, and is nothing more than a liberal outrage artist. (Read more.) 

From Life News:
Two days after his image went viral, Nick Sandmann gave a statement explaining what transpired as he and his classmates waited for a bus near the Lincoln Memorial, ready to return home after attending the annual March for Life. 
Known simply as one of the “MAGA hat kids” on social media, Sandmann, who is a junior at Covington Catholic High School, said he was the student who was approached by Native American elder Nathan Phillips. He also said, “it was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.” (Read more.) 

From The Daily Wire:
On Monday, Patricia Heaton, the star of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle” and a devout Catholic, minced no words attacking members of the media who vilified the Covington Catholic High School students for actions they did not commit regarding their encounter with a Native American man near the Lincoln Memorial on Friday, after the March for Life. Heaton issued a searing series of tweets addressing those who had attempted to ruin the boys’ lives, pointing out that their rush to judgment could not be ameliorated by their subsequent apologies, 
She started by writing, “I'm seeing what I believe to be sincere apologies from some journalists and verified media persons regarding their lack of professionalism in rushing to judgement re the #CovingtonCatholic situation.” (Read more.

Meanwhile, worshipers were harassed. From Catholic News Agency:
 While chanting and playing ceremonial drums, a group of Native American rights activists reportedly led by Nathan Phillips attempted Jan. 19 to enter Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during a Saturday evening Mass. The group of 20 demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass, according to a shrine security guard on duty during the Mass.

“It was really upsetting,” the guard told CNA.

“There were about twenty people trying to get in, we had to lock the doors and everything.”

The guard said the incident was a disappointment during a busy and joyful weekend for the shrine. (Read more.)

And children are threatened. From Yahoo:
 In a video statement tweeted out Monday night by conservative high-school online personality CJ Pearson, two Covington Catholic High school students named Grant and Sam discussed the effects of a viral video showing classmate Nicholas Sandmann appearing to have a stand-off with a Native American leader in Washington D.C. over the weekend. The video clip was later found to be taken out of context.

“Several media platforms blatantly lied about the events regarding the controversy in D.C. and it has affected us as a community and individuals greatly,” Grant said. Sam continued, “There have been many threats against our lives, against our parents. Some of these include that we should be locked in the school and it should be burned to the ground, the school being bombed, school shooting threats. It’s really scary, I know a lot of people are scared to go to school tomorrow and won’t be attending because of what could happen.” (Read more.)

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Why Men Are Falling Behind in Schools

From Minding the Campus:
North American universities have been taken over by women. Men are decreasingly university students, professors, and administrators. “Gender equality,” a feminist war chant, apparently does not apply when females dominate. 
In the United States, women outnumber men in colleges and universities — by 2026, the Department of Education estimates, 57 percent of college students will be women. In Canada, according to the “2001 Census, universities had clearly become the domain of women, as they made up 58% of all graduates. And according to the 2006 Census, women accounted for 60% of university graduates between the ages of 25 and 29.” Women also dominate in British universities. The same imbalance is seen in universities around the world. 
On average, across all disciplines, there are substantially more females than males. But the imbalance is even more impressive in particular fields of study. In education, psychology, social work, and health, the predominance of females is between 75% and 80%. In English, foreign languages, communications, journalism, and art, and also in biology, females comprise between 60% and 75% of the students. Males predominate only in math, physical sciences, engineering, and computer science. Some 60% of Ph.Ds in sociology, anthropology, and linguistics were awarded to females.
[Why Are So Many Campus Feminists Anti-Male?] 
However, the predominance of women in the social sciences is much greater in undergraduate students than among Ph.Ds. In the anthropology classes I taught during the last decade, there was usually a sprinkling of males among the large majority of females. But by 2017 my senior seminar on immigration and culture was populated by 18 female students and zero males. (Read more.)
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A Lack of Babies

From Human Defense:
The problem of falling fertility rates in the U.S. is, of course, a multivariate one. Some, like Professor Donna M. Strabino from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, point to women becoming more educated and career-driven while putting off children until later in life. Others have suggested a fear of economic stability which stems from the recession. Younger adults know what it was like during the most recent recession and how hard it was on families; therefore, they are choosing to wait until they have consistent stability and finances before having a family.

Another reason for the falling birth rate could be the mistreatment of pregnant mothers by some employers. The law firm Morrison Foerster was recently sued for putting women on the “mommy track,” which apparently led to unfair treatment and fewer opportunities. It would seem some women believe they have to choose between career advancement and motherhood, which could be a contributing factor in the continuous decline in annual birth rates.

These are all valid explanations for America’s declining births each year; however, one cannot overlook the effect abortion has had. There has been a decline in the number of abortions over the past few years, but that number remains astronomical at close to one million in 2014 and over 60 million since Roe v. Wade. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Marie-Antioinette, 1790

A 1790 miniature of Marie-Antoinette, based on the formal portrait of Dumont. Share

Overturning Roe Has Just Begun

From The Federalist:
Both abortion and slavery rely on the ability of someone with power deciding that someone weaker should be at his mercy. William Wilberforce is one of the most prominent figures of the anti-slavery movement. His wisdom on the subject of slavery translates perfectly to reflect the struggles facing the pro-life movement.

“A trade [slavery] founded in iniquity, and carried on as this was, must be abolished, let the policy be what it might,” notes Wilberforce. “Let the consequences be what they would, I […] determined that I would never rest till I had effected its abolition.” When there’s a grave injustice going on, especially when it is enshrined in public policy, the stakes are that much higher.

The enslavement of Africans was an entrenched institution in the United States for 224 years. Two hundred and twenty-four years of our country owning and abusing other human beings by staunchly maintaining that slaves were not “persons” (sound familiar?). It took more than two centuries of brave activism, protesting, forming anti-slavery organizations, lobbying, and even war just to solidify that African-Americans were people with equal rights.

Frederick Douglass, one of the most famous abolitionists, knew strife was not reason enough to surrender. He makes that clear in a speech he gave in 1857: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its mighty waters.” (Read more.)
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