Friday, June 23, 2017

Abortion Kills Voters

From Matt Walsh:
In total, how drastically have Democrats reduced their own voting base through in utero execution? Nobody will ever be able to say with certainty, but surely the number is well into the millions. Yes, they have attempted to replace those lost voters by importing new ones from the third world — and in that effort they have been enormously successful — but imagine where they’d be if they had immigrant voters and their own homegrown variety. That’s what’s so astounding about all of this: the Democratic love for abortion is not only murderous but suicidal. It is not only a destructive act but a self-destructive act. Without abortion, there would be millions more black people, millions more women, millions more Democrats. Although we can’t quantify the missing in exact numbers, it is undeniable that the leftist movement and all of its key constituents are killing themselves through abortion. (Read more.)

"Shared Parenting"

From the Institute for Family Studies:
What many children of marital abandonment experience in this netherworld of hedonism and adolescent pursuits is—well, let’s just say a far cry from snuggles and Goodnight Moon.
  • It’s waking up Saturday mornings to fend for yourself until around noon when dad and his girlfriend emerge from a dark bedroom in the dumpy, dingy apartment that is now your temporary home.
  • It’s being left high and dry when mom forgets to pick you up because she’s getting it on with her boyfriend at their new place together.
  • It’s regular exposure to pornography and troubling shows like “13 Reasons Why” in the vacuum of parental supervision under a new Disney mom or Disney dad regime.
  • It’s subsisting on too-little sleep, junk food, and soda two weekends a month and coming home exhausted and grumpy to the responsible parent who suffers the consequences for days.
  • It’s the repeated and prolonged (court-ordered) exposure of a preteen girl to mom’s burly new boyfriend who vacillates between ignoring and ogling her—the very man responsible for the constant pain she is experiencing at the loss of her family.
  • It’s the tummy aches and nightmares that won’t go away.
  • It’s the teen boy with the sparkle in his eye and love for his faith who in the wake of his father’s abandonment and remarriage hates God and speaks of suicide.
  • It’s the daughter, who once contemplated religious life, who now posts half-naked photos of herself on social media, slathered in makeup as if to mask the anguish of innocence lost in the emulation of her mother’s behavior.
  • It’s feeling the guilt and sadness of knowing that church is important, but having to watch TV sitcoms every other Sunday morning instead; the knowledge that to raise the issue with daddy would bring that sickly, torn apart inside feeling to the surface again.
Where do the children above (each of whom is real) fall in the shared parenting paradigm of “post-divorce equality leads to better adjustment?” What about the responsible parents who wish to protect not only their children’s physical but moral and spiritual well-being?

These matters are not just a quandary for those who believe adultery is wrong. Children living with a parent’s new sex partner— especially when the partner is a man—are at significant risk of sexual and physical abuse. Record numbers of divorcees are cohabiting.

So, how do we have an honest discussion about where children should spend the most time after divorce without accounting for the impact of infidelity (and all its negative behavioral correlates)—and the marital abandonment and subsequent cohabitation or remarriage that so often accompanies serial infidelity—on their moral and physical well-being, in childhood and beyond? Professionals in every sphere of influence on this matter (family courts, social science, counseling) seem reluctant to acknowledge and investigate the distinction between consensual and unwanted divorce. Somehow abandoned spouses and their children are not represented in our representative studies of divorce. (Read more.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Poetry of Giverny

From Victoria:
With a painter’s eye, French impressionist painter Claude Monet often combined flowers of like colors and allowed them to grow without constraint across the sprawling grounds of his home in Giverny, France. The water garden, inspired by the Japanese prints Monet collected, forms a mystical aquatic environment ensconced among weeping willows, wisteria, and thickets of bamboo. Originally, a local craftsman constructed the green bridge, a familiar feature in several of his celebrated paintings. As much a gardener as he was an artist, Monet landscaped the elaborate vignettes of flowers, water, and trees surrounding his iconic Normandy farmhouse, pictured above, with the passionate intent of capturing them on canvas. (Read more.)


An Orwellian History of Obamacare

From The American Spectator:
It’s an article of faith among progressives that they are intellectually and morally superior to conservatives and pretty much everyone else. In fact, the need to see themselves as a cut above mere mortals is far more important to them than any ideology, policy position, or set of objective facts. This is why Barack Obama was able, after being elected President, to reverse his position on the inclusion of an individual mandate in health care “reform” without losing a single supporter. And it is why Paul Krugman maintains a huge progressive readership despite his penchant for treating them like fools.

He has thus garnered the applause of progressives everywhere by rebuking Senate Republicans for proceeding with Obamacare “repeal and replace” without following the open process that he claims characterized the passage of the “Affordable Care Act.” In a recent blog post, for example, he accused the GOP of plotting to pass the bill in secret: “And they’ll try to do it by dead of night, of course.” The term “Orwellian” has regrettably become rather hackneyed, but no other word adequately describes this sentence. It is exactly how Obamacare was passed. As the Wall Street Journal reminds its readers:
On Dec. 19, 2009, a Saturday, then Majority Leader Harry Reid tossed the 2,100-page bill the Senate had spent that fall debating and offered a new bill drafted in an invitation-only back room. Democrats didn’t even pretend to care what was in it while passing it in the dead of night on Dec. 24, amid a snowstorm, in the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.
None of this is news. It is, in fact, one of the reasons Obamacare has been reviled for so long by the voters. Indeed, an argument can be made that this single piece of legislation — and how it was passed — is largely responsible for the decimation of the Democratic Party that began with its loss of the House, continued with its loss of the Senate, and culminated with the defeat of Hillary Clinton. If Krugman’s progressive readers were the intellectual heavyweights they imagine themselves, they would consider his claims about the fictive transparency of Obamacare’s passage an insult to their collective intelligence. (Read more.)

Marx's Flight from Reality

From The Foundation for Economic Education:
From his student days in Berlin, two German philosophers left their imprint upon Marx: George Hegel (1770-1831) and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872). From Hegel, Marx learned the theory of “dialectics” and the idea of historical progress to universal improvement. From Feuerbach, Marx accepted the idea of man “perfected.” Feuerbach had argued that rather than worshiping a non-existing supernatural being – God – man should worship himself. The “true” religion of the future should, therefore, be the Worship of Mankind, and that man “perfected” would be changed from a being focused on and guided by his own self-interest to one who was totally altruistic, that is, concerned only with the betterment of and service to Mankind as a whole, rather than only himself. 
Marx took Feuerbach’s notion of man “perfected” and developed what he considered to be the essential characteristics of such a developed human nature. There were three elements to such a perfected human being, Marx argued:

First, the Potential for “Autonomous Action.” This is action undertaken by a man only out of desire or enjoyment, not out of necessity. If a man works at a blacksmith’s forge out of a desire to creatively exercise his faculties in molding metal into some artistic form, this is free or “autonomous action.” If a man works at the forge because he will starve unless he makes a plow to plant a crop, he is acting under a “compulsion” or a “constraint.” (Read more.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sunrise, Sunset

Benvenuto Benvenuti (Italian, 1881-1959), Heading Home, c.1920.
Golden Evening, Southwest Texas - Julian Onderdonk
 A collection of art from East of the Sun, West of the Moon. More HERE.

Sunset time at the Faroe Islands - Sigmund Petersen , 1955
Danish, 1904–1975
Alfred Wahlberg (1834 - 1906)
The sun setting over fishing boats
Albert Goodwin
Rick Stevens Art
Dennis Sheehan - Sunrise
Rick Stevens Art

Religious Tests for Public Office

From Crisis:
On our own side of the pond, a hearing for a mid-level Cabinet nominee received more than the usual amount of attention when Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont sharply questioned Russell Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, over a blog post he had written last year for the website The Resurgent. Commenting on a theological controversy involving a professor at his alma mater, Vought, an evangelical Christian, wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Sen. Sanders accused Mr. Vought of religious bigotry, asking “Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? They stand condemned, too?” Mr. Vought responded, “Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly with regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.” Sen. Sanders called the post “indefensible and hateful,” with a spokesman from his office later releasing a statement saying, “In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.”

The statements from Sen. Sanders and his office have an admixture of truth and error, affirming some valid principles but also mistakenly identifying certain things with one another. While indeed anyone would agree that racism and bigotry “cannot be part of any public policy,” this statement asserts without demonstrating its two key claims. First, where did Mr. Vought state that he desired to make his belief regarding the soteriological status of Muslims into public policy? He made no such claim. Rather, the spokesman is insinuating that any person who holds such views has no place in making public policy. Surely such a demand would be a violation of Article VI of the Constitution, which expressly forbids any religious test for candidates for public office? And to be consistent, would Sen. Sanders question a Muslim candidate on his or her beliefs regarding the moral status of those who have not converted to Islam? (Read more.)

Marxists Are Not on the "Right Side of History"

From the Foundation for Economic Education:
One of the most common phrases to be heard from “the left” is the assertion that someone or some public policy is or is not on “the right side of history.” It has almost become a mantra by those who disagree with, hate, or are fearful of ideas and policies proposed by those generally characterized as being politically on “the right.” The notion behind it is that “history” moves in a particular direction, toward some set of specific goals and societal forms, with each step in the historical process representing a “higher” and “better” stage or level than the preceding ones at which “society” has been operating.

 It is also captured in the popular labeling of those, again, on the political left as being “progressives” in their outlook and proposals for social reform and change. On the other hand, opponents are declared to be “reactionary,” “conservative,” or “deniers” of some facet of reality. Under the latter heading would be those who deny or challenge or question whether “climate change” is singularly or primarily or significantly man-made, or whether America still is or is becoming a more racist, misogynist, or generally anti-“social justice” hateful society.

This attitude and language has been exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, but it has been an ideological and linguistic conception of the political divisions in America and other places in the world for a very long time. As with many things on the political left, it dates from the nineteenth century and the “scientific socialism” of Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Many of the socialists who preceded or who were contemporaries of Marx believed that mankind could be transformed into a new and better socialist arrangement of human association through reason, willpower and conscious institution change. Marx rejected these people, labeling them as “utopian socialists.” They were “utopian,” that is, unrealistic fantasy believers, not because they wanted a bright and beautiful socialist future for humanity, but because they thought that it was in the ability of human beings to “will it” into existence. (Read more.)