Why I Won’t Participate in the Ice-Bucket Challenge – via Front Porch Republic

From Jeffrey Polet:

The idea is strange at its core. You pour water on your head in order to avoid donating, but more than that, you do it in a very public way. While the challenge may have the tertiary benefit of drawing attention to the disease, what it really draws attention to is the self. This is why it’s an effective approach in the age of social media, the major advantage of which is self-promotion.

The chain effect operates essentially on the principle of shame. “I have performed this good deed, and I challenge you to do likewise, and if you don’t, everyone will know.” It has the scent about it of a kind of mass hysteria: people engage in the act because it seems good, without having to do an actual good deed, or think seriously about the consequences. Attributing motivation to any human action is often tricky, and rarely are motivations pure in the sense they are absolutely good or absolutely bad. Generally speaking, any action has about it a hint or a tint of self-interest.

But that self-interest is simultaneously heightened and occluded by the complexities placed upon action by publicizing and pressuring. To resist the highly-publicized demand to pour water on oneself is to draw attention to the fact that there is some sort of serious deficit in your character. What kind of person doesn’t want to rid the world of ALS, or of evil altogether?

via Why I Won’t Participate in the Ice-Bucket Challenge – Front Porch Republic.

Cigars, But Not Close :: SteynOnline

Last year, my meek mild-mannered mumsy office manager was pulled over by an angry small-town cop in breach of her Fourth Amendment rights. The state lost in court because the officer’s artful narrative and the usual faked-up-after-the-fact incident report did not match the dashcam footage. Three years ago, I was pulled over by an unmarked vehicle in Vermont and (to put it mildly) erroneously ticketed. In court, I was withering about the department’s policy of no dashcams for unmarked cars, and traffic cops driving around pretending to be James Bond but without the super-secret spy camera. The judge loathed me (as judges tend to), but I won that case. In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn’t have a camera, it’s a conscious choice. And it should be regarded as such.

And, if we have to have federal subsidy programs for municipal police departments, we should scrap the one that gives them the second-hand military hardware from Tikrit and Kandahar and replace it with one that ensures every patrol car has a camera.


Cigars, But Not Close :: SteynOnline.

Peggy Noonan: The Crisis on the Border – WSJ

Meanwhile some in the conservative press call the president incapable, unable to handle the situation. But he is not so stupid he doesn’t know this is a crisis. He knows his poll numbers are going to go even lower next month because of it. He scrambled Wednesday to hold a news conference to control a little of the damage, but said nothing new.

There is every sign he let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be “comprehensive,” meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.

The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?

via Peggy Noonan: The Crisis on the Border – WSJ.

After Hobby Lobby by Dennis Saffran, City Journal 8 July 2014

The ACA contraceptive mandate requires that the 20 covered birth-control methods be provided without “any cost sharing requirements.” This means they must be covered at 100 percent of expense, with no copay or deductible. Cancer drugs, on the other hand, are subject to copay and deductible requirements under Obamacare. This discrepancy epitomizes the deterioration of American liberalism from Hubert Humphrey to Sandra Fluke—from a focus on life-and-death struggles of ordinary working people to a preoccupation with sex. From the time Humphrey and Harry Truman first proposed some form of national health-care system, Democrats have spoken movingly, and with some justification, about the plight of those hit with the catastrophic costs of a serious illness or injury—middle-class Americans sitting up nights, worrying about how to pay their medical bills. But no one is worrying about how to pay for birth control pills—not when a month’s supply costs $9 at Walmart.

via After Hobby Lobby by Dennis Saffran, City Journal 8 July 2014.

Slate – Monica Lewinsky returns: How Maureen Dowd caricatured Bill Clinton’s mistress as a crazy bimbo.

When the scandal broke in January of that year, Dowd was initially sympathetic to Lewinsky and damning of an administration that rushed to smear her in a bid to cover its own ass. “Inside the White House, the debate goes on about the best way to destroy That Woman, as the President called Monica Lewinsky,” Dowd wrote. “Should they paint her as a friendly fantasist or a malicious stalker? … At least some of the veteran Clinton shooters feel a little nauseated this time around, after smearing so many women who were probably telling the truth as trashy bimbos. … It is probably just a matter of moments before we hear that Ms. Lewinsky is a little nutty and a little slutty.” Dowd also had words for feminists who were eager to throw Lewinsky under the bus to save their Democratic overlord: “[O]nce you decide it’s O.K. to sacrifice individual women for the greater good, you set a dangerous precedent,” Dowd wrote. “The revolution always eats its own.”

And how! It didn’t take long for Dowd to buckle under the power of the Clinton narrative and join the pile-on herself. By February, she was calling Lewinsky “a ditsy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon” and “the girl who was too tubby to be in the high school ‘in’ crowd.” At first, Dowd attempted to pass this nastiness off as a sly, satirical commentary on the caricature of Lewinsky that the Clinton administration had painted in the press. But soon, the artifice disappeared, and Dowd devoted her column to arguing that, come to think of it, Lewinsky was both nutty and slutty.

via Monica Lewinsky returns: How Maureen Dowd caricatured Bill Clinton’s mistress as a crazy bimbo..

Via Guns Save Lives: Why I Carry: Georgia Man Beheaded, Wife Feared Abducted

While most of the crime stories I report here are defensive gun uses, sometimes we need to point out crimes that didn’t result in a defensive gun use as a reminder to why we carry.

In this case an elderly man, Russell Dermond, in Georgia was beheaded inside his own home and it is thought that his wife, Shirley Dermond was abducted.

The Dermonds lived on a lake front property and authorities say that it is possible the suspect entered the property from the lake.

Russel Dermond’s head has still not been located.

Based on evidence at the scene, police do not currently believe Shirley Dermond is a suspect and believe she was most likely abducted.

via [Video] Why I Carry: Georgia Man Beheaded, Wife Feared Abducted.

To Have or to Be? by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal Spring 2014

I hesitate to quote Karl Marx, but he was surely right when, in “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon,” he wrote: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”

This truth, however, which is so obvious that it ought to be, if it is not, a cliché, does not mean that choice does not exist. The inevitable existence of circumstances does not mean absence or abrogation of choice. To know the circumstances of a man is not also to know his future actions.

via To Have or to Be? by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal Spring 2014.

The Last Psychiatrist: Who Bullies The Bullies?

The Last Psychiatrist puts a finger on the issue of our time:

Hess yells about a world of masculine power because she has the power to yell at it. But of course her power is limited only to yelling, she is impotent against a troll who yells at her. But her mistake is in thinking he has the power. No one has it, the system doesn’t allow it. Even the mighty Economist demo feels impotent. Are they all delusional? This is the true critique of the system, not simply that one group reliably oppresses another; but that the entire system is based on creating a lack. This lack is not a bottomless hole that nothing could ever fill, but a tiny, strangely shaped divot in your soul into which nothing could ever fit: not money, not sex, not stuff, not relationships. Nothing “takes.” Nothing counts. Nothing is ever right. Only novelty works, until it wears off.

This lack of power– not power to rule the world, but existential power– what is the purpose of my life? What is this all for? I get that I’m supposed to use my Visa a lot, but is that it? Shouldn’t I be able to do more than this? Everything is possible, but nothing is attainable. Nothing tells them what is valuable; worse, everything assures them that nothing could be more valuable. That the media is the primary way the system teaches you how to want should have been obvious to Hess, she works for it, but for that same reason it was invisible to her.

via The Last Psychiatrist: Who Bullies The Bullies?.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics | TIME.com

Some good sense from Kareem:

The big question is “What should be done next?” I hope Sterling loses his franchise. I hope whoever made this illegal tape is sent to prison. I hope the Clippers continue to be unconditionally supported by their fans. I hope the Clippers realize that the ramblings of an 80-year-old man jealous of his young girlfriend don’t define who they are as individual players or as a team. They aren’t playing for Sterling—they’re playing for themselves, for the fans, for showing the world that neither basketball, nor our American ideals, are defined by a few pathetic men or women.

via Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics | TIME.com.

The Last Psychiatrist: Who Can Know How Much Randi Zuckerberg Is Worth?

I don’t begrudge anyone the good fortune of right place/right time, take your money and run, but first drop a knee and be humbled before God reflecting soberly on the knowledge that you didn’t deserve it.   I love getting paid, do whatever you can do to get paid, but do not let the money whisper to you that you are worth it, it will be lying and you will believe it.  You hold a fetish of value and not actual value.

via The Last Psychiatrist: Who Can Know How Much Randi Zuckerberg Is Worth?.