Tuesday, 12/15/15

  1. Untethered
  2. Andrew Sullivan: from hero to heretic
  3. Lebensunwertes leben update
  4. Stewardship
  5. Hugh Hewitt: Great Idea!
  6. MacKeeper

1

Paul Wolscht is a 50-something year-old Canadian father of seven children who at age 46 decided that he was not only a woman but a 6-year-old girl, Stephoknee Wolscht. Stephoknee has found adoptive parents enablers.

Trans activists say he’s discrediting their movement by saying he’s six when he obviously is not.

This is not the Onion.

That he obviously is not a woman is of notably less concern — not because it’s less absurd, but because it is the essence of trans.

Carl Trueman at First Things has stole the perfect metaphoric title (When You Detach the Earth from the Sun) for some pithy observations:

So when it comes to transgender people mewling and puking about how Wolscht is trivializing their cause, let me put this as simply and gently as I can: When you decide that categories of identity are merely psychological and that reality is constituted by language, you consequently have neither the right nor the ability to call a halt to the Promethean process which you have unleashed just because some of the results prove to be distasteful to you and unhelpful to your political cause.  Indeed, whining like a bunch of, ahem, six year old girls is not going to help you at this point.

You do not believe me?  Then perhaps it is time to call the spirit of Nietzsche’s Madman once more from the grave: You who have so derided any notion of human nature and external authority, do you now have the courage to face the world for whose birth you yourselves were the midwives? You who have “unchained the sun from this earth,” can you now live with the consequences of your own actions—where all things, even chronological age, must surely give way before the will to power?  Face the reality you have made, where Mr. Wolscht is  the Nietzschean Übermensch—or, to be precise,  the Überkleinesmädchen—of the new order.

2

The Law of Merited Impossibility proceeds apace while we debate The Donald. From a report on a mainstream LGBT confab:

It fell to Andrew Sullivan (whose voice I miss more and more every week) to defend freedom to the crowd. You really should read the whole Reason report to hear what he had to say. It includes a link to Andrew’s presentation, in which he says that the LGBT-industrial complex needs to keep the bogeyman of Oppression alive (“These people’s lives and careers and incomes depend on the maintenance of discrimination and oppression”), and says that religious liberty is just about the most important American freedom.

The hard truth is that Andrew Sullivan, alas for us all, is irrelevant to the debate now. When I saw him this spring in Boston, he told me that he can’t go on some campuses now because the gay left hates him for speaking out for religious liberty, and in particular for Brendan Eich. Think about that: fewer than four years ago, the president of the United States was formally committed to maintaining traditional marriage in law. Now, we have Court-mandated gay marriage from coast to coast, and Andrew Sullivan, who has done as much or more than any single person to make that happen, is now regarded by the gay rights movement as some sort of reactionary because of his liberal views.

3

The New York Times continues its almost daily Editorial Board crusade against guns. Monday, it’s “To Reduce Suicides, Keep the Guns Away.” The teaser is “No policy is going to prevent every suicide. But we should try to save as many people as possible.”

Most of the suicides I know of closely used guns. One, I believe, covered up a suicide by making it look just another of his alcoholic benders, this one going past the lethal level for even a seasoned drunk. And I think it’s accurate to say that a gun in the home is likelier to be used for suicide than for stopping a home invasion.

But whence the liberal solicitude to “save as many people as possible”? What became of “death with dignity” and the right to “aid in dying”?

Oh, I forgot. Silly me. Some people are just so useless that dying is what they need most for their “dignity” (and our convenience). We’re not talking about them when we bloviate about saving as many as possible, are we?

4

I’m not opposed in the least to pointing out where we screw over the world deliberately, as when Western powers reportedly are conditioning support to the developing world on the latter joining the sexual revolution.

But it seems we have been screwing things up inadvertently with our private charity as well. “Toxic Charity” is how Robert Lupton put it. “Emergency disaster relief has become our permanent model,” is how one citizen of a developing country put it. (Click that last link to Poverty, Inc.; it’s important.)

As I reach a point in life where I can relax a bit about finances, and let go of more, I need to be mindful that “stewardship” means more than “giving up what you don’t need.” In the context of helping the world with physical needs, that means giving (when the humanitarian crisis is over and rebuilding begins, or where building has never before begun) not just willy-nilly, as any giving can feel virtuous, but where it helps without (or with minimal) unintended bad side-effects.

5

After hearing a drive-time NPR segment on Hugh Hewitt’s involvement in the Tuesday GOP debate, I think it’s a good idea. An even better idea would for some rich Republican to pop $2 million per debate so they could dispense entirely with the networks, and thus with the networks’ Gotcha Questions (aimed only at Republicans and the most fringe Democrats). The result would be, as Hugh Hewitt says, panels asking questions that are actually of interest to Republican primary voters. What a novel concept!

I’m still not sure I’ll watch. I’m not sure I’ll vote in the Republican primary. Maybe that’s TMI, but I really, really detest this field, and the most tolerable of the sorry bunch may be headed for early electoral oblivion. That leaves, inter alia, Ted Cruz, who has some semi-plausible claim to calling himself super pro-life. And that reveals that if you are otherwise odious and hawkish beyond all reason, I am not (despite having thought myself so when candidates were generally saner) a “single-issue voter.”

6

MacKeeper seemed like a great idea: (1) Get it. (2) Forget it.

Now, after renewing a family plan at surprisingly high cost (and inadvertently triggering a double-billing), I find that

  1. the “human inside” is not fluent in English
  2. the “human inside” works from a script, and the script is not designed to help me
  3. MacKeeper cannot even figure out that my wife’s computer is on my family plan

Count me among those who plans to uninstall it and rues renewal. I may not even wait for expiration, as it was harassing Mrs. Tipsy with misleading pop-ups today.

* * * * *

“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.