Apocalypse tomorrow, dinner tonight

  1. An Obamacare prediction realized
  2. Truthiness about Trump
  3. How proud is Planned Parenthood?
  4. SOGI, OMG!
  5. With critics like this …
  6. NRO Signal-to-Noise
  7. Summoning Big Brother
  8. Apocalypse tomorrow, dinner tonight


I listened recently to a replay of an Intelligence Squared U.S. podcast debate on Obamacare, and was struck by at least one prediction that’s coming true: consolidation of health insurers.


I can’t deny some truthiness here:

They say he’s trashing the Republic brand. They say he’s “stirring up the crazies,” in the words of Senator John McCain. But Trump is the brand, to a sizable degree. And the crazies have long flourished in the Republican media wing, where any amount of gaseous buffoonery goes unchallenged.

And now that the party can’t control him, Trump threatens to destroy its chances if he doesn’t get his way, running as an independent with unlimited wealth — a political suicide bomb.

Trump is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so — from birtherism to race-based hatred of immigrants, from nihilists who shut down government to elected officials who shout “You lie!” at their commander in chief.


Can you say “desperate spin-doctors”?


Get to know the term “SOGI.” It’s both vague and ominous.

The bill would create federal anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, education, employment, and housing. To do so, it would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes (SOGI). In short, the Equality Act would offer the same types of protections extended to other groups (on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin) protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The move comes after legislators and activists have been unable to pass the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). But the Equality Act goes much further than ENDA ever dreamed, offering a comprehensive umbrella of protections based on the disputed categories of sexual orientation and gender identity.

While the bill purports to protect individuals from discrimination, the Equality Act would discriminate against those who do not agree with a regime of laws premised on sexually permissive understandings of human nature that deny sexual complementarity. It would thus create a new form of discrimination by socially isolating certain beliefs.

The underlying philosophy that gives rise to the Equality Act is problematic. Passing anti-discrimination statutes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity lacks both the philosophical warrant and the cultural necessity of protections based on race.

To complicate matters, the bill goes out of its way to strip away any notion of religious liberty by audaciously stipulating that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) cannot be appealed to by individuals, businesses, educational institutions, or religious institutions.

This is the mindset of the pander bears in today’s Democrat Party.


It’s the lucky public figure who has critics like Austin Ruse (and C.C. Pecknold, too). Rod Dreher is a lucky public figure.

Ruse is a bit of a troll in the sense that he’s hitch-hiking on Dreher’s enviable popularity and stirring up a pointless controversy: has Rod Dreher changed what he means by the “Benedict Option“? To that question, I think the answer is “Heck yes, at least a little! Because it was never a program versus a discussion-starter.” By the time he reifies it into his forthcoming Benedict Option book, it may look like a program, but I doubt that will be his intention even then. Dreher’s just not so full of himself as to think he’s got all the answers, and his whip-smart moderated comments reflect his relish for the conversation.

But I like the Benedict Option discussion, Pecknold’s Dominican Option and Austin Ruse’s Escriva Option.

I’m about where Dreher is (and I suspect his critics are, too):  well aware of the need, uncertain about how an aging Boomer who doesn’t even garden (since every manner of biting insect seems to find me irresistible) is to implement it personally and to model it for others. I personally lean imaginatively more toward some sort of New Urbanist community than toward back-to-the-earth, neo-Amish agrarianism.

But I will not be among the hoards of paid Benedict Option Coaches and Escriva Option Guides that will, this being America, emerge (especially in Evangelicalism).

May the discussion continue. We’re going to need it.


Because a friend is so enthusiastic, I began visiting National Review online some months ago.

It reminds me of what my dad told me when I delusionally told him I “read Playboy for the articles:” “you don’t have to rummage a garbage bin to find food.”

Or perhaps less redolently, the NRO signal-to-noise ratio is too low for my tastes (and the web design, full of elbow-to-elbow rollover effects, is annoying as well.)


Paraphrase of local newspaper tweets: There have been fistfights near the county fairgrounds during the fair this week. They run away when police come. Isn’t it time to do something draconian and stupid about stupid adolescent fist-fighters? Where’s Big Brother when we need him?


Went out to Greater Lafayette’s finest recently, and told the owner, who’s coming to see us as regulars, that we’d been to Traverse City on vacation. He got so excited talking about TC I was afraid other customers would be neglected. Someone else gets excited, too.

Hey, apocalypse tomorrow, dinner tonight. Or as Bruce Cockburn puts it:

If it were the last night of the world
what would I do?
What would I do that was different
unless it was Champaign with you?

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.