PC Cowardice in the UK

I’m sure most folks here don’t follow the horror in England with the gang-rape guys who target very young (as young as 11) girls there. There’re virtually all Pakis, but you can’t mention that according to the PC rules.

But what is more horrifying is the response by the police–they did nothing for a very long time, even when the girls’ families were begging for help.

So far, Americans haven’t followed the  British cowards’ leads. Unlike them, we don’t allow men to gang-rape our little girls because some moron might be offended by a truth.

Note the following from a Member of Parliament:

“Labour MP Naz Shah shared a Twitter post saying, ‘Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity.'”

On Guns and Condoms

I lived in Brattleboro Vermont for many years–a time that I still look back affectionately. That little New England town had real charm, even for a displaced right-wing southerner like me.

The town was and is famous for it’s gay community: a very activist group which is highly integrated into the area. Like many places, someone decided that one of the parades (boy do they love their parades in Brattleboro) should include a gay pride contingent. The suggestion was received with little opposition until some of the more flamboyant characters came out with ideas for members to dress in…well, the most provocative manner you can imagine, including a “Captain Condom.” Captain Condom was to be a man covered in a thin film…and nothing else. Essentially the parade was an excuse for exhibitionists to prance about in front of children and families.

Now here’s the rest of the story. The town had a very popular gay night club that everyone went to; gay, straight, in-between. As it happened, the owners were concerned about the more radical elements in the proposed parade. They came out with a formal statement that I paraphrase here:

We wish to be good neighbors in our town.
Insulting other citizens is not being a good neighbor.
Please do not do this.

Captain Condom was not in the parade.

Which brings me to my main point. Just because you have a right to do, doesn’t make doing right. Specifically, citizens who strap an AK or AR on their backs and stroll into the local grocery store are the red-neck version of Captain Condom. It’s meant to shock and frighten folks, some of whom may be warm to our cause under kinder circumstances. You’ll find no more fierce defender of your rights to arms and self-defense than I, but this does us no good and arguably much harm.

Please stop it.

Use the Rules of the Other Guy

I recently posted a sarcastic response to an episode of “True Blood.” The post wasn’t intended to persuade anyone, to raise your conscientiousness, to bring you over to my side of policy. It was meant to be a joking slap back at the infantile lefties who glory in insult and slander.

One comment took me to task for being too incendiary, for engaging in rhetoric that would be unlikely to win folks over. I’m sure the poster believes that. But my experience indicates that he is wrong.

I worked in the nuclear power industry for 20 years. In that time I was frequently the face of our company, speaking to groups, schools, even journalists, about our industry. Now most of these were hostile crowds, but I was a pretty good extemporaneous speaker and I knew my subject.

My presentations were invariably well received and I got many nice reviews, but to the best of my knowledge, I altered not one anti-nuke stance.

One of the groups was a local–very liberal–private school, led by a crunchy-granola science teacher with the ever to be expected smirk. The session went pretty well, all-in-all, and resulted in a request for an on-campus debate between him and me. Though there was some consternation among upper managers, I accepted the invitation and went into the lion’s den.

I was to take the affirmative in the proposition that nuclear power was a viable and safe form of electrical generation. The much revered teacher–who was met with wild applause–took the negative. The start was pleasant enough, though the crowd cheered at the pedestrian–and standard–exaggerations of the teacher. I tried to make clear and truthful refutations to his claims…that approach won me nothing. Finally–out of frustration–I took the offensive, stating the usual myths (“one pound of plutonium”, false carcinogenic effects at 3-mile, etc) and then killing them with both facts and sarcasm. The cheers for smirking boy died, though none came for me.

Still by the end, smirk-boy was stuttering, which was some mild victory. The vote on who won went to him of course, but miracle upon miracles, by only a small margin (the arrangement wasn’t as a standard debate where votes were taken both before and after). And some students came to me and admitted–albeit, quietly–that I had punctured their religious belief in the anti-nuke movement.

The point is, you have to fight the fight that exists, by the rules the other guy accepts. If he climbs into the ring with 12 ounce gloves, wear 12-ounce gloves. If he brings a ball bat, grab a ball bat. Do NOT leave the field to the son-of-a-bitch.

And ridicule is not hate speech.

Tyranny of the Do-Godder

The worship of government is something that I can’t wrap my mind around—I just don’t get it. Government is something we need to the
extent that through our collective efforts we can provide for our general welfare more effectively and efficiently that through
strictly individual acts. It’s also true that the real wealth of our nation comes predominately by individual acts–shown rather
pointedly by the squalor of every hard socialist country. Government’s reasonable acts can be a multiplier of those energies.
It’s that point where government stops being a tool of the people and the people become tools of the government where we all should
draw the line. Unfortunately, it is not for many of our comrades.

Argument and information tend not to sway many folks–most political views are determined through emotion or tradition (“my family has
always been democrats, I’ll always be a democrat”), not unlike how people become attached to sports teams. It’s my belief that most
elections are determined by “independents” who, for the most part, are less informed than most partisans, but are capable of seeing what is
in front of their faces…unlike partisans.

Making an argument for less government can be made, but only laboriously and to an attentive audience–the siren’s song of
collectivism promises an better world, an easier life, a safer environment. Arguing that self-reliant, self-sufficient people are
healthier and wealthier, and that much of government intrusion is either ineffective or even corrupting may be true, but it’s a tough
sell to those who believe that laws actually accomplish their intention–just look at the support for drug laws.

Which brings me to my real topic:

When Pol Pot began his murderous reign in Cambodia, quite a few of our lefties cheered him on. While the cities were being emptied
(literally leaving surgery patients on the operating tables to die), a self-adoring columnist of the NYT called the effort a “…bold
social experiment…”. One major newscaster actually said that the region would be better off under the communists.

Three years later, Pol Pot’s lads had killed roughly 20% of their own people. But they meant well.

The common dictator wants personal power and privilege–pretty much like the typical Congressman. But the do-gooder tyrant
knows no limits. While the authoritarian will leave you alone in your home, the do-gooder will dictate what you may eat, how much
toilet paper you may use, what kind of light-bulbs you may burn. The do-gooder has a special and singular hatred of one thing–the
liberty of your own thoughts.

Which is why accommodation is not a viable option.

Don’t Expect Fairness

Fairness is a subject of endless rants and raves these days. Everyone wants to receive absolute fairness, while diminishing the slights and oversights we perpetrate every day. A recent such rant from a friend about a work situation reminded me of the best lesson I ever got about fairness. It was from an English class project back in good ‘ole Blacksburg days.

Our teacher, Mrs. Smith (not a real name), was fairly warm to me and I must confess she seemed to be fair in her grading (fair being A’s for my work). Her approach in teaching English Lit was very participatory–we would study a well-known work then write our own piece that was in the same vein–short story for short story, poem for poem, etc. During one section we were studying folk music, specifically Celtic as the origin of then modern Country Music. As an exercise we were to write and sing our own country song.

We were paired in two’s or three’s–I was assigned to be the partner of “Marleen,” (again, not the real name). Marleen was the quiet girl in the class–a small, trim, honey-blonde “hick,” (the uncomplimentary term we used for someone less than upscale). She was actually rather pretty, but not of the right sort to be noticed. Truth be told, I was not very pleased: I assumed she wasn’t all that bright and expected she couldn’t sing a note.

I was wrong on both accounts. When she and I got together in the library, it became obvious that Marleen was far sharper than I would guess and was more knowledgeable on the subject than I. Putting our heads together we came up with a somewhat modernized version of “Barbara Allen” with some appropriately silly country references (dogs, pickups, police issues).

The story was the same as “Barbara Allen:” boy loves girl  who doesn’t give him the time of day, boy dies (eventually) from a broken heart after drinking, losing his dog, wrecking his truck. Girl dies from the overwhelming guilt.

The music was not bad; Mrs. Smith allowed us free reign to steal the music since it was just for the classroom, and we took the “Barbara Allen” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” music, mixed them and came up with a nice sound. The music flowed pretty well (I could play a guitar with some skill) and big surprise–Marleen had the voice of an angle: a high soprano as clear as a bell.

For the cheap heart-break we had the chorus be the burial part,  followed by the simple refrain:

“And they laid him down to rest
Deep in the meadow
While a whippoorwill sang
His soul’s goodbye”

Second part was her struggling with the guilt,. She told her mother of her impending death, much like the original. Then we used the (yes, cheap emotional trick) device:

“And they laid her next to him
Deep in the meadow
While a whippoorwill sang
Her soul’s goodbye”

We decided that I would sing the first part through the chorus, then she would do the second, but I would join in for the chorus as a finish.

The day of the presentation had us both nervous as mice at a cat convention. Thankfully we were called early; I don’t think Marleen would have handled the wait all the way through. On the way to the front of the class, a sneering jerk said, “Look, it’s Hick and Dick.” The insult elicited a good laugh from the class and I could tell that Marleen was made even more nervous.

Hoping to keep things going I whispered,  “We’ll just look at each other while we sing–ignore the class.” That seemed to help, as she at least gave a little smile.

The opening lines went well enough–I had a rich baritone and sang the first part with only a couple of bobbles.  But when we came into the second…what a hit. Marleen’s beautiful, clear voice filled that room and silenced even sneer-boy. When we finished the final chorus, a couple of the girls were weeping. As we walked back to our desks we could hear whispered compliments.

Mrs. Smith’s only response was, “Interesting composition.”

I was certain we had an “A:” how could we not? So imagine my surprise when we received a “C.” I was ranting to Marleen outside the class with every intention of accosting the teacher when Marleen just smiled. She looked at me with those clear blue, wise eyes and said, “It won’t matter.”

“When Mrs. Smith looks at me she sees trash. I may get A’s and B’s in my other classes, but trash never gets better than a C with Mrs. Smith. It’s simply the way she is.”

“But Marleen, that’s grossly unfair,” I blurted.

That sad little smile came again and she said, “My momma tells me never to expect fairness in this life–we’ll find it in the next.”

We never sang our song again.