Saturday, 7/2/22

Bring back the smoke-filled rooms!

My older brother and I had lunch Thursday. We commiserated over the unintended consequence of party primaries producing extremist and jackass candidates. And now, the Democrats are spending unprecedented amounts to boost the craziest, least-electible Republicans in the primary elections — hardball at a level never before seen (the tactic isn’t new, or a Democrat specialty, but the amounts are eye-popping).

Why should the state prop up this destructive and preposterous system by running primaries, at taxpayer expense, for the Democrat and Republican parties, private entities that can nominate candidates in just about whatever manner they wish? Those parties have no rightful claim to my tax dollars; I increasingly avoid both of them, but to add insult to injury, the states promote their toxic duopoly by excluding most other parties from having state-funded primary races. Some of the arguments trotted out in church/state cases come to mind — you know, the ones about how tyrannical it is to force support of odious opinions via taxation.

Maybe if we abolished state-financed primaries, the major parties would return to the "smoke-filled rooms" — which we admittedly thought toxic until we saw that the alternative was worse.

(Abolishing the military draft is another bright idea I’m not so sure about any more.)

Another detransitioner, another lawsuit

The Sunday Times in London this week brings a devastating account from a young detransitioner, Ritchie Herron, who is suing the National Health Service after having his penis removed. He claims he was fast-tracked into a surgery that made him infertile and incontinent. It seems obvious to say that doctors ought to pause and try to understand what issues a patient may be facing beyond gender dysphoria before immediately removing someone’s penis. The only way the shoddy medical care around this is going to stop is through lawsuits.

Nellie Bowles

Corporate Cosplaying

For me, June mercifully past was the most obnoxiously in-your-face Pride Month yet, and that’s saying a lot. Two examples that I mercifully missed (though I saw plenty more):

On his website, the activist who came up with the rainbow tree logo to signify “outdoor safe spaces” in the National Parks gives some chilling insight as to why so many things from the Grand Canyon to Oreos are covered in the rainbow flag: “Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Is it safe to hold my significant other’s hand here?’ LGBTQ+ people are regularly assessing if spaces are welcoming. Even more so in outdoor and rural places that have traditionally been less-so than urban bubbles.”

Here’s another way to say the same thing: “Have you ever been troubled by the fact that when you go into public places some of the people you see don’t hold the same beliefs as you? Does it bother you that anyone would have the audacity to disagree with you or to believe that you’re not behaving as you should? Here’s a pin you can wear on your jacket or backpack to let people know that they should never be allowed to disagree with your beliefs about human sexuality.”

Rainbow Oreos & American Democracy.

I do disagree with prevalent beliefs about human sexuality and I see no reason why that might ever change.

Meanwhile, are we clear, "conservatives," that corporate America is not our friend? <begin hyperbole>Give me the powder and the map and I’ll blow up corporate America.<end hyperbole>

Have you figured out yet, liberals, that you’re being played? That it’s easier and more profitable for corporate America to give you Rainbow Oreos and performative threats to boycott states in Jesusland than to actually stop being evil?

Case in point:

Several American companies responded to a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade, the ruling that declared abortion a constitutional right in 1973. Amazon, Apple, Meta, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and Nike were among those that pledged to cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions and other medical care not available in their state.

(The Economist) Note that this faux-generous offer is cheaper than family leave for employees who choose life.

Guns redux

For more on what’s wrong with Justice Thomas’s gun-rights decision, see On Guns, a Supreme Court Head-Scratcher: Is a Colonial Musket ‘Analogous’ to an AR-15?

I don’t think it contradicts anything I wrote, but it goes deeper.

Opinion that has held up well

Impeachment and removal with less than two weeks to go in this presidency may seem like a waste of time and energy. And the president, through a spokesman, has committed to an orderly transfer of power. But we think it would be an important act of civic hygiene, sending an important message to future would-be Trumps as well as to the rest of the world. Our image as a shining example of democracy and the rule of law has been covered in filth since the election. Republicans especially have an obligation to make a clear break with this man and this behavior for the good of the country, their historic reputations, and for the viability of a Grand Old Party that has shed any claim to grandness under this president.

Impeach Donald Trump, Remove Him, and Bar Him From Holding Office Ever Again, January 7, 2021

If people have always said it, it is probably true; it is the distilled wisdom of the ages. If people have not always said it, but everybody is saying it now, it is probably a lie; it is the concentrated madness of the moment.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes

You can read most of my more impromptu stuff here (cathartic venting) and here (the only social medium I frequent, because people there are quirky, pleasant and real). Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly or Reeder, should you want to make a habit of it.