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The Lickspittles' Tale

Ask any reporter of my generation -- I got my first newspaper job in 1972 -- why he or she went into journalism and the answer is very likely to be: to change the world. Journalism was the default option if you didn't want to, or couldn't get into, law school, and it was viewed as a way to right wrongs by bringing them to public attention. It seemed a noble calling, and when shortly after I began my career Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein started breaking their Watergate stories, it was even better: doing the Lord's work, one front-page headline at a time.

How times have changed. Today's reporters may still think they're helping save both the human race and the planet, but the context is now completely different. Unlike the older reporters, who generally had majored in the liberal arts in college and often drifted accidentally into journalism, they've been schooled in it, and not just in journalism but in the entire panoply of contemporary Leftist issues, including environmentalism, feminism, and the moral rightness of the Democrat Party, which they view as the locomotive of the civil-rights movement and thus forever on the side of the angels. They are not just reporters out for a story; they are in service to a Cause.

Accordingly, the machinery of journalism (especially as the big-city dailies die, and senior staff are now too expensive to maintain) has been harnessed to serve the Cause, and the means by which the Cause is served is called the Narrative. The Narrative is the collection of policy tics we know as "social justice," a bastardization of real justice but now a potent force in the still half-formed minds of most of the young journalists. They would no more question it than, in prior decades, earlier generations would have questioned the existence of God, or the moral rightness of the American Way.

So today stories must no longer simply be interesting or informative, they must have a Larger Meaning, illustrating one or more of the Social Justice Warriors' obsessions. And the obsession that currently grips them -- many of whom gleefully indulged in the hookup culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, when they were in college -- is sex. Long gone are the days of Erica Jong, limning the joys of the "zipless fuck," and the other celebrants of sexual hedonism renamed "liberation." In their places have come the joyless drones of The Handmaid's Talean utterly predictable return to America's early Puritan roots after one too many nights at Plato's Retreat. No more liberated females, enjoying sex in the same way and with as much gusto as men do -- that was always a male fantasy in the first place, promulgated most notably by Hugh Hefner in the pages of Playboy -- but chattel sex slaves, in thrall to toxic masculinity.

In short, the culture has turned on a dime, as any student of American history knew it would. The United States, it seems, is always swinging wildly from one extreme to another; the pendulum, like some infernal instrument out of Poe, moves inexorably ever lower but can never achieve equilibrium or stasis. So the current generation of American journalists has eagerly hopped aboard and now, clinging for dear life lest they tumble into the pit, charges forward into a brave new world in which women are no longer helpmeets but victims, yearning for a different kind of liberation than their mothers and grandmothers did.

What can be done? More important, what can be done to reinforce the Narrative that men are both useless and inimical? The New York Times comes to the rescue with this encouraging tale from the animal kingdom. The insect kingdom, that is:

A discovery among termite colonies in Japan suggests that males can be discarded from advanced societies in which they once played an active role. Termites are often dismissed as nothing but home-destroying pests, less charismatic than bees, ants or even spiders.

In fact, termites have been doing incredible things since the time of dinosaurs, maintaining complex societies with divisions of labor, farming fungus and building cathedrals that circulate air the way human lungs do.

Now, add “overthrowing the patriarchy” to that list.

You really need not read any further to get the point. In just a couple of sentences, the paper manages to a) make the case for termites being incredibly smart, sophisticated creatures who "build cathedrals," and b) that they are overthrowing the "patriarchy." But let's get to the good part --

In a study published this week in BMC Biology, scientists reported the first discovery of all-female termite societies. Among more than 4,200 termites collected from coastal sites in southern Japan, the researchers did not find a single male. Toshihisa Yashiro, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Sydney and lead author of the paper, said in an email that he was utterly surprised by the discovery: “I got a headache, because we believed that having both males and females is the rule in termite societies.”

The complete loss of males is rare across the animal kingdom, especially in animals with advanced societies. All-female lineages have previously been documented in a few ant and honey bee species, but their colonies are already dominated by queens and female workers.

Termites, in contrast, are known for having colonies in which males and females both participate in social activities. Dr. Yashiro’s research is the first, in other words, to demonstrate that males can be discarded from advanced societies in which they once played an active role.

You see how this works? First, posit a complete counter-factual (that termite societies are "advanced" in any meaningful human sense) and then jump to the conclusion that what works for invertebrate bugs can also work for people. Therefore, the argument can be made that all-female societies can be... better... than what we currently have. After all, this male-dominated sex thing is so unfair. So let's hit a few more SJW tropes in the course of this "science" piece, shall we?

Edward Vargo, an entomology professor at Texas A&M University who was not involved in the study, added that determining how and why certain colonies evolved asexuality might yield insight on the big question of “ what is the purpose of sex and sexual reproduction.”

Dr. Yashiro has a few hypotheses. To start, sexual populations of G. nakajimai do occasionally produce offspring from unfertilized eggs, which perhaps “pre-adapted” them to get along fine without males, he said. Also, sexual reproduction introduces new genetic variation within a species. But the asexual termites, which are found in remote, coastal areas, might not have needed that trait to fight off parasites and pathogens. And asexuality would have been an efficient way to expand — asexual populations are known to grow at twice the rate of sexual ones.

Also, there's that icky macho militarism thing:

Crucial to this transition may have been a willingness, by termite queens, to cooperate when establishing colonies. In most asexual colonies the researchers studied, multiple queens, as many as 25, were found.

Furthermore, the scientists noticed that asexual colonies had fewer soldiers than sexual ones. The all-female soldiers in asexual colonies were more uniform in the size of their heads, which they use to block enemies from invading their nests. It’s possible that asexual soldiers are more efficient at defense, Dr. Yashiro said.

So what's the way forward?

At the end of our interview, I asked Dr. Yashiro if he had last thoughts to share. He declared, simply: “For asexual Glyptotermes nakajimai, the future is female!”

And then there's this disgrace of a story in USA Today, regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It's not enough that the judge has been relentlessly smeared by the Democrat/Media Complex. Now the smears have taken on a life of their own (first posit a counter-factual), and must now have actual repercussions in the real world:

Brett Kavanaugh testified the other day that he might never coach girls’ basketball again. He shouldn’t – at least not until further investigation has concluded. The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around.

“I love coaching more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Kavanaugh said in his opening statement on Thursday. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.” He just might be right. Oh, not the part about blaming Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee – that’s just to avoid placing blame on his wholly sympathetic accuser – but the may-never-coach-again part. The nation is newly vigilant on who coaches and trains its children given recent scandals in gymnastics and other sports.

Turns out, though, Kavanaugh is free to continue coaching in the Catholic Youth Organization and his daughters’ private school in Washington, according to Edward McFadden, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington. He said a coach accused of sexual misconduct would have to go through the full legal process and be convicted before being banned...

Bonus points for the Catholic smear. My God, is this what "journalism" has come to? As I tweeted earlier today:

If the GOP stays together -- no sure bet with the likes of Jeff Flake in their ranks -- and gets Kavanaugh confirmed, there really does need to be a day of reckoning for the media. They've been skirting the boundaries of their First Amendment protections for a long time now, and while partisan journalism is every bit as protected as "objective" reporting, malicious destruction of someone's moral reputation, with an implied demand for legal action, is not.

During the transition, Donald Trump said he'd like to "take a strong look" at the libel laws:

That was more a promise than a threat, but one the media chose to laugh off. Let's see who's laughing down the road.