It probably wasn’t a call that Lowe’s driver Marcus Bradley was expecting when he went to work that day. Tasked with making a delivery to a customer in Virgina, Bradley got a call from his manager asking him to bring the load back. Why? The customer had called to say she didn’t want a black man at her house. From The Root:
The woman who reportedly asked that no black delivery driver be sent to her home told the news station that she has a right to request what she wants.
“I got a right to have whatever I want and that’s it,” the woman said. “No, I don’t feel bad about nothing.”
Lowe’s has since fired the manager for honoring the request.
Way back, when ABC News was a distant third in a three-horse race for ratings, there were only three national broadcast television stations in 1968, and the news team truly had nothing to lose. So while CBS and NBC opted for gavel-to-gavel coverage of the presidential conventions, the suits at ABC performed a programing backflip. Their convention coverage would feature nightly analysis and commentary from two prominent intellectuals—one on the right (William F. Buckley), and one on the left (Gore Vidal).
During the course of the nightly discussions, the conventions and the candidates did occasionally come up. Mostly, however, Buckley and Vidal went after each other. The result was a blood-sport spectacle more akin to entertainment in the Roman Coliseum, but with just two mean and angry lions and no Christians.
Robert Gordon’s new documentary, The Best of Enemies, revisits the historic war of ideas between two of the age’s most powerful culture critics.
This is an engaging, enlightening and (yes) entertaining film.
The smartest move Gordon made in making the movie was not picking sides. He allows National Review editor Bill Buckley (the most well-known conservative of the day outside of Barry Goldwater) to make the case for freedom and free-markets. Meanwhile, the controversial novelist Gore Vidal gets to cheer-lead for the liberal state. Viewers can pick their ideological wing of the theater, cheer for their champion, and throw popcorn at the other side.
Beyond the serious history lesson and the hilarious histrionics, the film also offers an insightful perspective on our current times. In our mind, the word “debate” conjures up the epitome of democratic discourse. That’s so 19th century. The Lincoln-Douglas debates—those were debates. Indeed, they were more than debates. They were conversations—a long and intricate exchange of ideas. In contrast, Buckley and Vidal are exchanging penalty shots. Like a pro-hockey game, television debates are mostly about high-scoring entertainment—not public discourse to inform and enlighten an electorate. Today’s candidate debates are the descendants of Buckley and Vidal, not Lincoln and Douglas.
That’s not to say there is anything wrong with intellectual warfare on the air. Indeed, this documentary reminds us that smart people can be as entertaining as a Kardashian.
But entertaining is not always the same as educating people on issues and options. Buckley had so much more to offer the debate of great ideas than what could be gleaned from the ABC debates. Likewise, today Americans need something better than the cable news version of Hollywood Squares. There has to be a better way to learn about the people that want to lead the country.
Spy-movie popularity has come and gone in Hollywood. Basically, there are two types of espionage films. One chronicles our angst. The other family of spy movies feeds our craving for escapism. This new film honors the tradition of smug and sharp super-spies.
Bond had more than his share of imitators. The most outrageous rip-off of all was the incomprehensible comedy version of Casino Royale (1967), but there were so many others. Here are six forgotten films worth remembering from the era when spying was all sex, tech, and cool.
#6. Our Man Flint (1966) The first of a series of films starring James Coburn as master spy Derek Flint. He was America’s answer to Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
#5. The Silencers(1966) Not to be outdone, the Americans also recruited Dean Martin to make four Matt Helm films starting with this spy-spoof. Being a successful spy was mostly a combination of cocktails and making out. In each movie, Helm is accompanied by a suitably beautiful babe (Stella Stevens, Sharon Tate, Ann-Margret, Elke Sommer, Janice Rule, and Tina Louise).
#4. Deadlier Than the Male (1967) Terrance Young (who had been the original choice to play James Bond) plays Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond, an international man of mystery who is recruited to solve a series of assassinations of prominent international businessmen. There was also a sequel, Some Girls Do. Drummond probably most resembles the model for the 1997 homage to the swinging-sixties spy movies, Austin Powers.
Last week, I wrote about “unconditional love.” I claimed that it was a myth. In truth, love as such cannot occur absent conditions. All emotions are a response to preconceived values, and values are by nature conditional. We love what we love because it is what it is.
Reaction to the piece was mixed, as reflected in the comments section. Some followed the argument. Others disagreed. Of particular interest to me, since I am a Bible-believing Christian, was this response from “Harald”:
Christ loves me unconditionally. He died for all of us, no exceptions.
Is that a myth too?
Yes, Harald. Yes, it is.
The idea that Jesus Christ loves everyone unconditionally remains popular among believers and non-believers alike. Yet it has no biblical basis and actually runs counter to the truth of the Gospel.
Other commenters provided additional context for Harald’s point, reminding readers that the English language has one word for “love” to reference several different meanings. “DaveK Or” states:
Trying to discuss unconditional love without setting its definition is probably pointless.
Fair enough. Of course, in the context of this discussion, the definition has been set. The popular usage of “unconditional love” refers to universal acceptance of anything a person does, says, or believes. Anytime someone misapplies the verse “judge not lest ye be judged,” they appeal to this notion of “unconditional love.” The religious left thrives on the theme, which has underscored certain denominations’ embrace of the homosexual lifestyle despite clear biblical prescriptions.
Let’s look at Harald’s comment again. “[Christ] died for all of us, no exceptions.” I believe that. The Bible teaches that. However, Christ’s act was not an expression of unconditional love. We must consider whyChrist died for us.
Here’s what happens when you search the text of the Bible for keywords “unconditional love.”
If Christ’s love were as unconditional as many portray, then his death would not have been necessary. It would not matter whether we believed in Him. It would not matter whether we obeyed Him. Of course, the Bible teaches otherwise. The biblical narrative outlines in great detail the conditions which required Christ to offer his life on the cross.
While watching the above trailer for Amazon’s Transparent, I was struck by the tagline, “Love is unconditional.” In the context of a show about a transgender father who comes out to his grown children, the idea seems clear. If his children love him, they won’t care that he thinks he’s a woman.
Is that true though? Do I need to accept anything my loved ones say, think, or do for them to remain loved ones? Does love require universal acceptance?
The popular notion of “unconditional love” emerges from post-modern moral relativism. It is an interpersonal application of the idea that everything is equally valid and equally true. In that context, judgment has become hate. The rhetoric of the gay-rights movement, and of the broader anti-rational Marxist culture, leans heavily on this idea. One cannot disagree with the gay orthodoxy without being labeled a hater. So it makes sense that Amazon would remind us, in their marketing for a transgender drama, that love is supposedly unconditional.
We’re dealing with a particularly insidious lie that cheapens love by transmuting it from a value-based emotional response to an autonomic pleasantry. Put another way, unconditional love is nothing special. If love is unconditional, then anyone deserves it. If anyone deserves it, then the particulars of an individual’s behaviors, beliefs, and values do not matter.
Imagine how your significant other would react if, upon asking why you love them, you replied with, “No reason.” Imagine they pressed, and you expounded with, “I love you the same as I would love anyone. It doesn’t matter to me who you are, what you think, what you do, or what you believe or stand for. I love you in spite of you, as I would love anyone in your place.”
How would that go over?
Ironically, the unconditional love crowd typically punctuate their rhetoric with the sentiment “love people for who they are.” But that doesn’t make the least bit of sense. You can’t both love someone for who they are and love them unconditionally. Their identity is a condition. They are not someone else. From this we quickly realize that the real exhortation of “unconditional love” is to accept whatever taboo, be it homosexuality, transgenderism, or any of a hundred other things.
Unconditional love is a particularly vicious argument from intimidation, as we’ll explore on the next page.
The London police, for one, have documented a surging cyber-crime spree. “Last year,” the London Metropolitan Police reported, “over 6,000 cars and vans across London were stolen without the owners’ keys.” The most common technique, the police explained, was using “a device which bypasses the vehicle’s electronic information as the owner locks it, or they break into the vehicle and connect a device to the OBD port, downloading the vehicle’s information onto a blank key in a matter of seconds.” Their “key” disables the car’s security system. Then, the thieves just drive away. It couldn’t be simpler.
Resonate throughout Disney’s revival of the Star Wars franchise has been a call back to the original trilogy. References to the prequels have been far and few between. Director J.J. Abrams has frequently boasted of his use of practical effects. Even the forthcoming Battlefront video game draws exclusively from the original Star Wars films. It’s like Episodes I through III never happened.
Furthering that trend, Abrams recently confirmed that a particularly upsetting aspect of the prequels will not be referenced in the new film. From IGN:
During the red carpet premiere for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Abrams was asked by MTV whether or not midi-chlorians will be a part of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to which the director responded with a simple “No.”
In The Phantom Menace, the mystical properties of the Force were given a metaphysical explanation in the form of midi-chlorians, microscopic symbiotic lifeforms which “speak to us” and make life possible. Fans didn’t react well to having the Force rationalized so literally. Perhaps the larger problem was that the explanation did not serve the narrative, either of that particular film or the franchise as a whole. In either case, we won’t be revisiting the controversy when The Force Awakens hits theaters this Christmas.
Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage just got replaced, not on that show, but in a video game where he voiced a key character. Dinklage can currently be heard as the artificial intelligence Ghost in the massively multiplayer online shooter Destiny. The game has been out for a year, but Dinklage will nonetheless be replaced by industry renowned voice talent Nolan North. From IGN:
Dinklage faced a lot of criticism for his unenthusiastic performance in Destiny, so the fact Bungie decided to replace him with someone slightly more familiar with the requirements of video game voice acting isn’t a huge surprise.
Video games remain unique among entertainment mediums as continually developing projects which expand, upgrade, and change over time. Nevertheless, this may be the first time a voice actor’s entire performance has been retroactively replaced a year after a game’s release.
Things had been looking up for the rebooted Fantastic Four franchise. On paper, it looked like a project that couldn’t fail. Chronicle director Josh Trank, X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg, a cast of talented up-and-comers including Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan — all signaled good things. Despite rumors of trouble on the set and a sour taste left from previous iterations, trailers had the effect of warming fans to the new film.
More recently, however, there have been troubling signs that Fox has lost confidence in their product. There have been few early screenings for critics. There will be no red carpet premiere. Promotion has been relatively muted.
The first reviews have begun to hit, and they’re not encouraging. At the time of this writing, the film holds a ghastly 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That will likely rise as more reviews come in. But the current score rests with 5 out of 6 critics saying “don’t bother.” Variety’s Brian Lowry writes, “Fox’s stab at reviving one of its inherited Marvel properties feels less like a blockbuster for this age of comics-oriented tentpoles than it does another also-ran — not an embarrassment, but an experiment that didn’t gel.”
The recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage has highlighted once again, as Mark Steyn notes, the precarious alliance between progressives and Muslims: only in the leftist imagination could “a nice chichi gay couple at 27 Elm Street and a fire-breathing imam and his four child brides at 29 Elm Street” be a recipe for social harmony.
Indeed, it once seemed inevitable that the coalition of pro-gay and pro-Islam forces would show visible strain. But the issue was all but decided without any real contest in 2010 when Judith Butler, the intellectual doyenne of the progressive queer community, declared her primary allegiance to lie with Muslims, even Muslim gay bashers. She refused to accept an award from a German gay pride organization because it had expressed concern over Muslim anti-gay violence. While not actually denying Muslim anti-gay violence, Butler made it clear that talking about it is a form of Islamophobia strictly off limits even amongst those gays with reason to fear for their lives.
I was surprised at the suddenness of the queer capitulation to the Islamic agenda. Of course, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid had already decisively signaled its collusion with the Muslim victim narrative, a collusion that by necessity subordinates gay rights to Islamic anti-Semitism. To weaken Israel (as it would be weakened if QAIA policies were implemented) would be to weaken the one country in the Middle East where gays can live openly without fear.
The surrender of gay rights claims is but one in a series of such surrenders whereby groups that were once vocal in the defense of their constituency have bowed to Muslim demands for supremacy.
It happened amongst feminists some time ago. Where Western feminists once included the wrongs done to Muslim women as legitimate targets of their own anger, soon a guilty acquiescence in the myth of Western arrogance led feminists to back off condemning such practices as female genital mutilation, honor killing, and forced marriage — and even to discuss them, as does Sherene Razack, mainly as media distortions in a propaganda war against Muslims.
Other groups followed suit. Ignoring the thousands amongst their co-religionists being slaughtered in Arab lands by Muslims, Christian progressives began strenuous and self-censoring outreach to Muslims in the name of inter-faith harmony.
Progressive Jews have distanced themselves from Israel, ignoring the rising tide of anti-Semitism within the Democrat party, and even in a few cases, such as that of Professor Juan Cole and activist Jacob Bender, allying themselves with radical Muslim organizations.
Is there any group amongst progressives who might still refuse to become Sharia-compliant?
I hold a small shred of hope for progressive dog owners: that they may find within themselves the heart to stand and say “Thus far and no further!”
Many progressives may still not be aware — given media silence on all criticism of Islam — that many Muslims dislike dogs as “unclean” animals according to Islamic religious edict, insisting that they be kept away from parks, beaches, and taxi cabs. The treatment of dogs in Islamic countries is worse than inhumane.
The above meme caught my eye on social media, posted to the Facebook page of an outfit calling itself Police the Police. The implication is that police officers should not be granted sympathy or any benefit of doubt on account of the dangers they face in the conduct of their duties. After all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a list of the top ten most dangerous occupations, and “cop” wasn’t on it.
Of course, in the ongoing debate about law enforcement practices, the relevant consideration isn’t whether police officers have the most dangerous jobs in the world. The issue centers around the type of danger they face.
Apples and oranges are not sufficiently different to call the above meme an apples and oranges comparison. It’s more like an apples and sentient-apples-armed-and-trying-to-kill-you comparison. It’s a difference so stark, even the Huffington Post gets it:
Getting killed is a hazard in many occupations, but there is one glaring difference between death risks of law enforcement officers and those of other dangerous occupations: only police officers face the threat of murder as a part of their job. No one is out trying to kill fisherman or loggers or garbage collectors.
A cop on the street endures daily contact with drunks, the mentally disabled and violent criminals. They endure life-and-death situations on a daily basis.
Exactly. When we talk about the dangers that police face in the conduct of their duties, we’re talking about split-second behavioral shifts which can end lives. That’s the context, not cold labor statistics.
That’s not to say there isn’t a legitimate debate to have about law enforcement practices. There is. But memes like the above one add nothing of substance to it.
At the age of just five, more than 50% of American children habitually use a computer or tablet device, while 95% of those aged 12 to 17 years regularly access the internet, spending more time online than their parents or teachers. 80% of American teens are active on social media.
Why should we care about how kids receive information these days? Because it affects everything, their future and ours. Attention spans are dropping and information overload is leading to a lack of comprehension of the deeper subject. 94% of US teachers confirm that students associate “research” with trawling Google and other search engines with Wikipedia cited by 75% of teachers as a source for their material.
No one wants to wait any more. Time is a drug and the need to feel satiated is of the essence. Why waste it on research, let alone synthesis? Isn’t that what Google is for? Not just to provide quick and easy (if incredibly inaccurate) answers, but to tell us how and what to think about our research topic as well? I remember the days when using Cliff’s Notes was considered cheating. Today, the employment of user-created “resources” like Wikipedia in the classroom aren’t only justified, they’re encouraged!
It isn’t just kids who seek out instant gratification thanks to our Internet-driven culture. Big sellers like Amazon are electing to publish the equivalent of virtual pulp in order to rake in the dough in short-term sales. Commenting on this “BS Machine” (BS, in this case, standing for “best-seller”) is author Ursula K. Le Guin:
“The readability of many best sellers is much like the edibility of junk food,” she writes. Nicely extending the metaphor, she warns of the effect of the books we consume: “I believe that reading only packaged microwavable fiction ruins the taste, destabilizes the moral blood pressure, and makes the mind obese.”
In terms of education, the BS machine stands for something far more familiar, and horrifying than best-seller. An entire generation is being raised in the BS mindset, leading one to question (among other things) if Mike Judge didn’t have a prophetic moment when he penned Idiocracy.
Quite frankly, it’s a refreshing read coming from the world of academia.
Camarata, a father of 7, advocates for old-school style parenting. You know, the kind of thing moms and dads did in the era before technology, when salvation was achieved through the embodiment of morals and values not benchmarks and scientific research. This kind of parenting, which Camarata refers to as “intuitive” is fairly logical: Get to know your kids.
Whether or not it is simple may be another matter entirely. In contemporary households where both parents (if present) are working, it has become easier to rely on an iPad or an extracurricular activity to keep a child occupied. “Occupying time” has replaced good old fashioned family quality time. Why should your kid spend time with you when they could be learning, even if it is from a machine? After all, learning is key, right? Academic success is how they’ll grow up to be successful adults, right?
This philosophy has led parents often view their child’s academic achievement as evidence that they are performing well as parents. Critical of much of what public education offers in terms of style and demand, Camarata notes:
Teaching children in an assembly line fashion doesn’t work. Children are not Toyotas or Nissans. Because schools are struggling, there’s more and more pressure to regularize things, which makes the situation worse.
Parents, he notes, are often the ones doing the homework that proves too difficult just so their child can maintain a good academic record. The question then becomes, who is the judge of this child’s abilities, let alone the arbiter of the parents’ validation? The teacher of course, and by extension, the public school system. Scary thought, indeed.
Camarata is right: It’s time to get back to our roots and focus on the success of our families. You know, the kind that can’t be measured via an interim report.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
As a Gen-X/Millennial crossover, I have a number of friends who claim they don’t want children of their own. None of them can give a solid reason why. Most of them express fear of puking while pregnant or screwing their kid up for life as if they’re living in a television-reality of their own making. Some of their reasons are echoed among the 11 reasons Millennials don’t want kids according to Mic.com, along with a few even nuttier explanations as to why young folks are just too darned practical to procreate.
Numbers 2 and 3 seem to be intertwined:
2. There’s a strong fear of passing down mental health issues.
3. The population is already out of control.
Who knew the global warming crowd would be an effective method of birth control? Forget the fact that the birth rate in the Western world has steadily decreased as social and economic pressures have forced women into the workplace. Cecil the Lion was killed and there’s a hole in the ozone! Stop birthing this plague called humanity now! (And make an appointment with your shrink for a refill while you’re at it.)
Then, of course, there’s the massive “pressure” that comes with having children (obviously we’re not talking the ring of fire here):
6. With kids comes the pressure to make perfect choices.
Pressure from whom? Your buddies on Instagram? The trendy Kim Kardashian? Your mother-in-law? And now we suddenly know why a generation has decided to camp out in their parents’ basements: They listened to all those pro-failure speeches at graduation and are convinced they might as well not even try. Hence,
8. The world isn’t always a nice place.
Say the people who define humanity as the #1 killer of the planet.
In the end, the most “brutally honest” reason why Millennials don’t want kids?
11. Ultimately, a reason shouldn’t even be necessary.
And I thought Gen-X was supposed to be the slacker generation. In one line you’re worrying about what everyone else thinks and in another you’re claiming not to give a damn? If you’re that ambivalent you shouldn’t have children. Kids need role models and apparently some Millennials just don’t make the cut.
I am a Gold Card member of Starbucks. I love your products and have for many years, specifically the grande mocha with coconut milk, no whip, extra hot. That’s my drink. I am two stars away from receiving a free drink on my Gold Card. I worked hard for that. It’s not easy to earn your rewards and your coffee ain’t cheap. But I almost have a free mocha out of it and I was looking forward to it.
Then I discovered that Starbucks is subsidizing Planned Parenthood, which has recently been caught on video tearing apart the bodies of fully formed human beings and selling off their organs to the highest bidder. So, not only does my tax money go to fund these inhuman butchers, but now my coffee money does, too. Not anymore. I don’t usually support advertising boycotts because it hurts businesses that are just trying to market a product, but this time I can’t wrap my head around why on earth Starbucks is giving money to Planned Parenthood. Don’t you want more customers? Do you realize Planned Parenthood is killing off millions of potential Starbucks customers and selling them off for spare parts?
With all the sanctimonious garbage on your website and in your stores about “ethical growing” and “ethical harvesting” I would think you’d care about the completely UNETHICAL and hideous practice of harvesting human organs in the name of medical research. These babies are so big their sex can be determined! (“It’s another boy!” says the abortion doctor as she chuckles while ripping his legs off.) These are no clumps of tissue, but babies with lungs and livers and hearts they’re haggling over. I will no longer be supporting Starbucks (and that pains me because I was truly addicted) until you stop funding this monstrous organization with my money.
It makes me sick that I have given to this organization through you. What right do you have to give my money to child killers? No more. You won’t see another dime. Dunkin’ Donuts is good enough for me and they aren’t actively supporting crazed political organizations bent on exterminating human lives.
Here’s another thought for you. Remember a few months ago when Starbucks wanted to discuss race? You were so concerned about racial issues in America, right? Guess who is responsible for the systematic extermination of the black race — happening right now? Planned Parenthood. The majority of abortions they perform are on blacks and minorities (by design, if one is to believe Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who called blacks “human weeds”). If Starbucks really cared about racial discrimination, they would pull their donations from the racists at Planned Parenthood.
I would like to hear a response to this letter. I will await a public statement that Starbucks is pulling all funding from Planned Parenthood before I ever darken your doors again.
See the response from Starbucks on the next page..
Stephen Colbert will be taking over the Late Show for CBS in September after the retirement of David Letterman. Promotion has begun in earnest with an already active YouTube channel and some new television spots.
One features former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Colbert tells us he expects to interview all kinds of public figures, including politicians. Confronted by Mitt Romney, he offers a compliment. “Wow, you do a great Mitt Romney.”
“I am Mitt Romney.”
“That’s it,” Colbert encourages him. “Stay in character.”
The spot ends with another joke tagged on the end. Something about pancakes. Probably should have quit while they were ahead.
In a gentler age, the very rich would retreat yearly to a special area for refreshment from their arduous lives. One city that they fled to was the town of Spa in Belgium, from which our modern word spa has been taken.
Historically, spas, or similar places, like public steam baths, hot springs, and even massages, are as old as the Roman times, and perhaps even older (Spa itself was famous for the healing qualities of its cold springs since at least the 14th century). The Romans were especially fond of these places and in the town of Tiberias in Israel there is a modern spa built on the hot springs that the Romans used to luxuriate in.
The Dead Sea is another area that has historically been used as a spa. For centuries people have visited to immerse themselves in the sea because it is full of healthful minerals. Its mud has been lathered on by people for centuries and it is now surrounded by huge, luxurious spas. You don’t even have to go to the Dead Sea itself to swim in it, as some of the hotels in the area have both fresh water and Dead Sea water pools.
While spas were once a getaway for the rich, now they’re more accessible to those with moderate incomes, so many people have discovered the joys of spa treatments and they are springing up everywhere. Not only are there destination spas, where you can go for overnight stays or longer, but there are numerous day spas as well.
If you’ve never been to a spa, you’ll find that once you’ve tried one, you’ll easily become addicted to them, as I have. I’ve enjoyed being lathered with mud at the Dead Sea and in the U.S. I’ve been covered with seaweed, pummeled, had hot stones warm my body, been wrapped in hot linen like a mummy, had my feet soothed in a chocolate pedicure, been sprayed with a strong stream of water, and even had hands skim the air over my body where I wasn’t touched at all (there was a steep charge for this one). And I felt like I was back in the womb again when I experienced a full body massage. Every one of these experiences was was fantastic. The worst part of any of these treatments, especially the full body massages, is that you have to get off the table and go back to reality.
Spas have wonderful atmospheres. The lighting is soft, furniture is deep and luxurious, soft music soothes everyone’s soul, and everything is hushed and comforting. In the treatment rooms themselves, there are almost always candles and the most wonderful and tantalizing smells. Warm lotions are gently rolled over your body. You are the center of the universe here and your good feelings are of paramount importance.
I met professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper in an unusual place two summers ago. It was an annual bash thrown by well-known Portland conservative businessman Terry Emmert. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Piper was a conservative. Emmert is big into sports — he owns the arena football franchise the Portland Thunder, and the semiprofessional basketball team the Portland Chinooks. He has a full-size basketball court at his corporate location.
Along with the usual contingent of politically engaged, right-of-center boomers present at the party, there were also quite a few athletes — in fact, you could pick them out in the crowd. They were in the prime of youth, as were the young women who surrounded them. It made for an interesting mix: traditionalist oldsters, upscale suburbanites, and very young adults, Portland’s future, dressed to the nines.
I happened upon Piper standing in front of the pool table in the basement rumpus room. I was on my way to the basement bathroom because the two upstairs facilities had lines outside their doors. There were a few people standing around the wrestler, and one couple posing for the inevitable celebrity selfie.
I did a double-take.
Is that the man who feuded with Hulk Hogan and then faced him in a tag-team match in 1985′s WrestleMania 1?
Is that the man of the kilt, the off-kilter villain you loved to hate, or loved to boast that you liked? I realized yes, I had just seen Rowdy Roddy Piper with fans in front of Terry Emmert’s pool table.
Saturday, August 1st, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien
As a Dutch Amerophile I will never understand why Americans are willing to let their youngest generation be slaughtered by the professional mass murderers of Planned Parenthood. Some accomplices in this genocide (ironically, mostly against black babies!) say that the victims aren’t actually babies, but they know better than that: the babies’ hearts are beating, and their body parts are sold for experimental research. If they weren’t babies, you couldn’t use their organs.
It’s simple logic even a die-hard progressive can follow, I presume.
So what drives this continuing slaughter? I’ve read a lot of opinion pieces by leftists, and I’ve come to the conclusion that human life simply doesn’t matter to them. Oh yes, they go insane when a man-eating lion is killed, but they’ve got no problem with sacrificing human beings — babies even! — on the altar called progress. Worse yet, they seem to relish it.
Now, I’m not a psychologist, but I can use deductive reasoning. My conclusion? This is pure self-hate in action. These progressives are consumed by hate; not hate for the rich, as such, but hate for all mankind. I don’t know what happened to them. Were they bullied as children? Did they just conclude that mankind is a cancer on this earth? I don’t know, but that’s all there is to it. They’re little more than psychopaths who have used male-guilt to get away with doing what they enjoy most: slaughtering human beings.
And how better to do that than by attacking the young and weak — those who aren’t able to defend themselves?
When I was in my early thirties, I several times visited an island in the Pacific called Nauru. From the medical point of view, it was of the utmost interest because fifty percent of the population has Type II diabetes and it therefore represented the epidemiological shape of things to come.
The Nauruans had become diabetic only recently, when they suddenly (and briefly, as it turned out) became the richest people per capita in the world, thanks to the phosphate rock in which their tiny island was covered. From a life of subsistence on fish and coconuts they went straight to being millionaires. They abandoned their traditional diet and started to eat, on average, 7000 calories per day. Not surprisingly they were enormously fat. They liked sweet drinks and consumed Fanta by the case-load. For those who liked alcohol as well there was Château Yquem. They were unique in the world in being both rich and having a short life expectancy.
The Nauruans were, in a sense, pioneers of the diabetogenic diet.
Type II diabetes is now a threat to public health that dwarfs Ebola virus in scale, but kills slowly and undramatically, rather by stealth than by coups de théâtre. No one ever walked around in spacesuits because there was a Type II diabetic on the ward.
The Nauruans (and the Pima Indians of Alaska) were almost certainly susceptible genetically to the disease, which did not affect them until they adopted their horrible diet. But, to a lesser extent admittedly, what happened to them has happened everywhere, particularly in the U.S. and Britain, where patterns of consumption bear some slight resemblance to those of the Nauruans.
One of the issues that can arise during even the most mature, civilized, and involved pencil-and-paper roleplaying game (RPG) campaign is the appearance of the dreaded Railroad. Put simply, “railroading” is when the gamemaster (GM) makes it clear that the Player-characters (PCs) will be going to be present at a specific activity, or visit a particular location, or watch as a certain event unfolds. This is usually modified with the phrase “whether they like it, or not” — except that it’s invariably true that the PCs will not like whatever’s about to happen. Very few gamers object to being told that nice things are going to happen to their characters, after all. They may not believe it, because gamers are usually healthily paranoid*, but they’ll not object.
So far, that seems horrid, yes? Except that there’s something called (among other things) the Plot Wagon, which is shorthand for “Well, we’re all here to have an adventure. Here is the one that the GM has created for us.” A gaming party has to go clean out some dungeon full of orcs; it might as well be the one that the GM has already mapped out and written up the flavor-text for (there’s also the classic “Bond heroes are ALWAYS captured and then given huge chunks of exposition by the villain” example, but virtually every gaming system out there that addresses the problem of player agency uses said example anyway). The difference between the two concepts was best described by my wife (who is herself a former GM) as this: a Plot Wagon has a beginning, and an end, but the players can make their own way there. But you get on the Railroad, and then you get off the Railroad, and that’s that.
An unknown (not for long) blogger by the name of “SkepChick” (or Rebecca Watson) has written a profanity-laced screed titled “Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You F*cking Idiots,” accompanied by a snarky video to defend the scavenging of aborted baby organs by Planned Parenthood that by now, we have all seen on undercover video. Chunky hipster glasses aside, her explanation for what you have seen is one of the ugliest yet. This is the classic “You didn’t see what you thought you saw so forget you saw it and believe me instead” explanation of the Left. They have done this successfully so many times that they think it’s going to work again. It’s not. Here are the reasons this article and Watson’s crappy lie-filled defense are going to flop…spectacularly.
1. Baby parts are not necessary for medical advancement.
90% of [abortions] are in the first trimester when it’s about size of a kidney bean, so they do see some pieces of fetal tissue. Which are just going to be thrown away in the garbage, but which the patient can instead choose to donate to important medical research.
First, thank you, Rebecca, for pointing out that countless babies are tossed out like garbage. If you think that makes Planned Parenthood look good, please keep it coming. What kind of medical research is she talking about? The kind that yields no results. From Breitbart [emphasis mine]:
“Let’s be clear: selling organs of aborted babies for fetal tissue research is unnecessary and prolongs human suffering…Fetal tissue research, like embryonic stem cell research, has failed to produce a single successful treatment for human disease, and both have been associated with significant side-effects including overgrowth of cells and the need for immunosuppressive chemotherapy… Adult stem cell research, in contrast, has yielded treatments for 73 different diseases including several forms of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, cardiac disease, autoimmune illnesses and more. Adult stem cells do not overgrow or require immunosuppression, and most importantly, they do not require the killing of innocent human life.”
I can hear Watson screeching like a vampire being doused in garlic holy water: ”You’re quoting Breitbart News!!!” So if that doesn’t do it for you, how about CNN, which admits that although the polio vaccine was created with fetal kidney tissue, other human cells that don’t require crushing a baby to death are now used with technology that wasn’t available when the vaccine was made. CNN has doctors admitting they don’t really need fetal tissue (or dead baby parts) and can use cord blood or adult stem cells instead.
The use of fetal tissue may also be supplanted in some cases by cells from umbilical cord blood [according to] Amy Hudson, associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Medical College of Wisconsin
Further googling reveals zero huge advancements using fetal tissue dead baby parts, just a bunch of worthless experimentation. Do you know what most people call that? Unethical human experimentation. We should ask ourselves if any advancement is worth the cost. Rebecca continues,
How dare Planned Parenthood allow women to aid in the research and treatment of conditions like H.I.V. and Parkinson’s disease, when instead those women could just be throwing that tissue in the garbage!
Dead baby parts have not cured AIDS or Parkinson’s (a thing they have been promising us for decades). Further, a Google search of “fetal tissue treatment for Parkinson’s” brought up one article from 1990 in the New York Times titled “Fetal Tissue Seems to Aid Parkinson Patient.” Since then, nothing that Google can find. You would think if fetal tissue dead baby parts had created some amazing treatment for Parkinson’s patients, we would certainly know about it. As noted by CNN, adult stem cells, where no killing is required, yield the most exciting discoveries in medical science and a simple online search finds hundreds of success stories in 2015, not 1990. Here’s a guy whocouldn’t walk, but now can, no fetal tissue dead baby parts required!
2. The videos are not misleading.
This is their favorite excuse. The videos are “edited.” Watson whines:
And then there’s the fact that the group releasing this video are some of the same people who worked for the group Live Action, which is best known for…editing together misleading videos attacking Planned Parenthood.
The Center for Medical Progress has put all the unedited footage on its website so…..not edited. There are hours and hours. Feel free to watch it, Rebecca. Is the charge that CMP edited in someone else besides Planned Parenthood butchers cheerfully chirping, “It’s another boy!” while tearing dead baby legs apart? Because that’s just crazy. You don’t like what they got caught saying, I’m sure, but don’t insult our intelligence with stupid lies.
We’re better than the people who came before us. That’s the built-in claim embraced by the evolutionary paradigm. We’re more evolved. We’re more developed. We’re more sophisticated. We’re smarter and more capable. We would never suffer atrocities like slavery or human sacrifice. Such horrors are relics of the past, or at least tucked away in the darkest corners of the third world.
The formal term for such assumptions is “the historian’s fallacy,” defined as “when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.” The worst application of the historian’s fallacy occurs when people judge the actions of God recorded in the Old Testament.
Commonly, whenever a debate regarding religion lasts beyond a certain point, someone will point to the violence commanded by the biblical God. He sent the Israelites to wipe out entire nations. How could such a God be good?
The question is asked from a presumption about the circumstances. These nations whom God wished destroyed were upright, peaceful people, we’re to assume. They minded their own business until this vicious Old Testament God came along and unjustly destroyed them.
In truth, however, the nations which God used the Israelites to destroy were the Nazis of their day. The Canaanites were a vile culture that threw their own children into pits of fire as sacrifice to nature and fertility gods, such as Baal or Moloch. They were irredeemable. Their destruction was essential to the survival of God’s people, not just physically, but culturally. If the influence of these heathens survived (as it did due to Israelite disobedience), then it would corrupt the Israelite culture (as it did, again due to Israelite disobedience).
Fast-forward to today. We’re so much better than the Canaanites, right? We don’t cast our children into pits of fire as sacrifice to pagan gods. Right? Consider some evidence on the next page…
Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Tricia Lott Williford
At least once a week, I come across the newest post on How To Love Your Introvert. Each article touches a little bit on the psychology of needing to be alone, offers something about the physiology of an overwhelmed brain, and then gives practical tips for how someone might love the person in her circle who seems to be an antisocial recluse.
I love these articles.
I spent the first thirty years of my life as a hypersocial extrovert — we’re talking off-the-charts, people. You simply couldn’t put me away. I was out there to live and laugh and love with abundance. But then, in the span of three minutes or one night or a year, depending on how you measure the duration of Robb’s death, I became an introvert. The blinds closed, the porch light flipped off, and I just wanted to be a l o n e.
If I may speak for the general population of introverts, the reason we love these articles is because they speak for us. And let’s be honest: we are a people who would rather not speak. If someone’s going to write an article explaining what makes us tired, setting boundaries for us, and asking others to be nice and give us a little space, then it’s just heaps of easier to post that on your wall or on the bulletin board in the break room.
We read it and we think, “Yes. Yes. Yes! This is it. This is me. Like. Share. What she said.”
I think the percentages have gotten a little heavy in our favor. We’re quiet people in a noisy world, and we’re asking them to please, please, please accommodate and love us well. But are we challenging ourselves to love them back? Or better yet, love them first?
My tendency is to withdraw my extremities and slap a Post-it Note on my turtle shell that says, “Don’t Call Me; I’ll Call You.” But maybe I can leave a grace note instead.
So, here are my suggestions: Five Ways Introverts Can Choose to Love Someone When They Really Just Want to Disappear.