Category: Current Affairs

Four reasons why the Right shouldn’t be too distraught by the Capitol building violence

If you’re like me, you’re still embarrassed by the violent eruption at the Capitol building last week. I know, Trump didn’t directly provoke it, but those close to him did, and Trump indirectly did.

As I mentioned yesterday, no one who wants to remain in the United States can logically condone riots and other forms of public violence (e.g., tearing down statues), no matter the reasons.

But we can take comfort or at least suspend a little bit of judgment on the events earlier this week by keeping in mind a few things.

First, we don’t know who all the protesters are. Just as Antifa and its fellow travelers provoked violence from BLM protests that were intended to be peaceful, we know there was at least one Antia-type person among the protesters. One doesn’t equal a coordinated effort by any means. He could’ve just been an aberration, but it merits further investigation, even though it appears he probably was the only one, and he said he was there just to take video.

Second, we don’t know anything. Unless you’re crazed with anger or other passions, the one thing that should be in your mind right now is, “Wait, stop. What the frick is going on?” How was the protest launched, who’s responsible, why was security at the Capitol building so crappy, and on and on. When you combine our ignorance in general, the media’s full-scale disregard of their important duty of trying to provide objective facts, and the clandestine efforts of the CIA and other federal agencies, no one should assume he or she knows anything about the riot.

Third, the Left is now behaving violently, from banning Trump from Twitter to calls for impeachment. The disturbingly shrill and non-measured response from Pelosi and others really ought to … Read the rest

The Continuing Crisis and The Week that Perished

The best lead columnist of all time is Emmett Tyrrell, who wrote “The Continuing Crisis” for The American Spectator for years.

I read the column while I was in high school, always being careful to put the magazine back in my dad’s stack before he got home from work. In the 1990s, I got my own subscription. I always read “Ben Stein’s Diary” first, then “The Continuing Crisis.”

Both columns are back, I discovered yesterday. You just need a subscription . . . to the tune of $10.99 per month.

I was bummed at that. I was hoping it would be $20 a year, but no: $132 per year. As I mentioned in this column, the paywall online publications vary wildly in price and content. I’m afraid The American Spectator ranks pretty low in this regard.

It’s too bad. I gotta believe Tyrrell is still brilliantly funny, and Stein’s reflections on his days in Hollywood are always fascinating. He gave Jimmy Kimmel his first big break on Win Ben Stein’s Money (to be accurate, I assume Comedy Central hired Kimmel, but I gotta believe Stein had some involvement). I still remember Stein writing that Kimmel had more talent in his little finger than most people have in their body and that he would make it big someday.

He was right.

I just wonder if he weeps at how Kimmel went woke. I know I do.


Taki Magazine’s “The Week that Perished” isn’t as good as “The Continuing Crisis,” but it’s in the same ballpark.

And its most-recent entry is one of the finest over the past couple of months. A run-down of its story points:

The woke’s disregard for property rights and public statues, then their outrage when one of their own gets smashed.

Last week, a large ceramic

Read the rest

Is COVID Using Your Negativity Bias to Destroy You Emotionally?

What demographic seems to be the most worried about COVID?

Among my acquaintances, liberal millennials and the last strands of the X-generation seem to be most concerned. Basically, liberals in the 30-48-year-old range.

There is, of course, no consistent rule, but hands down, people in my age bracket (I’m 54), especially those who tend to be conservative, are far less concerned about it. We also know that the kids (under age 30) seem hardly phased by concerns about the disease.

Negativity Bias

“We pay more attention to unpleasant feelings such as fear, anger, and sadness because they’re simply more powerful than the agreeable sort.” Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life.

There has been nothing about this disease that is constant. The “experts” and governmental authorities have flip-flopped wildly and flailed away at the disease like they have any clue what it’s all about, only to have their policies and conclusions proven wrong months later.

But I think there is one constant about COVID: It’s negative.

Can we all—leftists, rightists, pro-mask-lockdowners, anti-mask-lockdowners—agree on that point?

COVID sucks.

Fair enough?

It follows that, if you’re thinking about COVID, you are thinking about something negative.

And if you’re thinking about something negative, you’re “in a bad place,” intellectually and emotionally.

And yet, we tend to dwell in that bad place.

That’s the wickedness of negativity bias. “The brains of humans and other animals contain a mechanism to give priority to bad news.” Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

COVID puts negativity bias on steroids. Everything is falling apart, everything sucks, there’s nothing to look forward, and I might die!

To make it worse, the news is relentless. The media has done everything to make the disease sound worse than it really is, in order to reinforce the government’s … Read the rest

The Reality of Fr. Damien

Last summer, the future of the Catholic Church AOC said a statue of Fr. Damien of Molokai at the Capitol building is an example of “patriarchy and white supremacist culture.”

She quickly realized that she picked a bad example and backpedaled faster than Deion Sanders in his prime, but yes, she said such an astounding thing.

The folks at First Things are still buzzing with it, recently running this excellent piece about the saint: The Real Damien of Molokai.

Its description of what Fr. Damien did for the lepers of Hawaii made me want to cry, revealing the leprosy in my own soul by comparison.

The conclusion itself is worthy of philosophical meditation:

Hansen’s Disease slowly ravaged his body, and the lepers saw their own suffering united to Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass in a new way. By the time Fr. Damien died in 1889, more than 600 of Molokai’s 1,000 lepers were Catholics devoted to the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary. 

When the Church beatified Fr. Damien in 2009, President Barack Obama, who was raised in Honolulu, praised him as “a voice for the voiceless.” But he was more than that. Fr. Damien was a witness to God’s presence among the forsaken, and he died a priest of Jesus Christ surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. 

In the eyes of many, Fr. Damien is merely “a white man.” But the flattened image that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says honors “colonialism,” “patriarchy,” and “white supremacist culture” is not the real Damien. The congresswoman’s narrative, filled with its own curious form of hate, dehumanizes the man who exemplifies what it means to cherish human dignity. Her woke resistance is resistance to reality. The real Damien, St. Damien of Molokai, points us to a superior resistance that doesn’t deconstruct

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Your Community

There’s a localism movement afoot. People seem to sense, and perhaps even understand at some level, that it’s important to be a part of a thriving local community.

The Saturday after Black Friday is now recognized as “Small Business Saturday,” an effort to remind people that it’s important to support their local stores. There has been a corresponding harsh backlash against Amazon and its disturbing gains on the back of COVID.

The phrase “Bowling Alone” from Robert Putnam’s 2000 book about America’s alarming reduction in “social capital” has gained currency. I see it used with no explanation, since the writer just assumes everyone knows what it refers to.

More people seem to understand the importance of buying and eating locally-grown food.

The American Chesterton Society, that flagship organization for the oft-forgotten but persistent economic school of Distributism, recently declared that “Distributism” ought now to be called “Localism.”

The examples could go on and on.

If you’re interested in the localism movement, here are five things about the importance of your community that you should keep in mind.

1.            Communities are organic

“[Man] combines with other men because isolation endangers him.” Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage.

The earliest communities came together for safety. The world has bad people who will beat and rob you, unless you have protection. If you belong to a group, you have a layer of protection, hence the rise of the earliest communities.

They are, in other words, organic. No one told the first peoples, “Go live in that village together, so the marauders can’t get you.” People did it naturally. The communities formed organically, from the bottom up, with no direction required or sought from the top.

When you get involved in your community, you are living organically.

2.            Communities solve problems

“ . … Read the rest

Dr. Kizzy: Hero

concrete building under blue sky
Photo by Jeffrey Czum on Pexels.com

Did a black woman invent the COVID vaccine? Nope, it was a team, and she was on it, and she was apparently a valid, valuable, legitimate member of the team.

But that’s about it.

The first draft of history, however, has been trying hard to build her up as the COVID Heroine.

My anti-Semitic Jewish man, David Cole, ain’t havin’ it. The piece has one of the funniest lines of 2020, reproduced below:

“Dr. Fauci wants people to know that one of the lead scientists who developed the Covid-19 vaccine is a Black woman,” screamed CNN. “Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett—Why You Should Know Her Name” read the Yahoo News headline. “History books will celebrate the name and achievements of Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the Black Woman who was the leader in developing the COVID-19 vaccine,” bleated Barbara Arnwine, president of a tumorous waste of space known as the Transformative Justice Coalition. And the National Newspaper Publishers Association wire service proclaimed, “A Black woman, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, developed the scientific approach to the Coronavirus vaccine.”

Yes, she developed the “scientific approach.” Prior to her, the lab was filled with white men banging pots and pans together yelling, “Die, virus!”

It all reminds me of the female Vanderbilt kicker who everyone praised for her awful kick to open the second half against Missouri (the Left: “It was a squib kick”; Everyone Who Watches Football: “Nobody does a squib kick to start the second half and, besides, it wasn’t a squib kick. It was simply awful.”) And when their real kicker returned, Vanderbilt kept her on the team to kick the extra points, making her very similar to the special need kids who the other team lets score a touchdown.

The Left has become … Read the rest

The Forsaken Stans

What are the most God-forsaken ares on earth?

I’m talking about barren areas. Relatively barren of natural beauty, of a beautiful cultural history, and of a beautiful contemporary culture.

And menacing: in its vastness, perhaps, or its brokenness.

There are plenty of contenders (western Australia, western China, northeastern Russia, Detroit in January), but one place always comes to mind first: the Steppes.

That vast area of central Asia from eastern Turkey to Mongolia, home to the Five Stans: KazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistanTurkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The region’s toughness repeatedly breed the toughest soldiers, who would occasionally slam into eastern Europe (Huns, Magyars, etc.). It never seemed to have enough historical continuity to develop a rich cultural history, always being invaded or doing the invading. Its Christian patrimony was largely destroyed by the Muslims. In the early 20th century, its entire patrimony and future and very soul were sucked out of it by the Soviet Union, leaving the region an economic wasteland.

If it weren’t for Borat, many Americans wouldn’t even know the region existed.

But the region is attempting to make something of itself. It has shifted to a market economy and things are looking better.

Of course, with the market economy, comes all those human foibles, from greed to self-promotion and public flagellation, like the pan-sexual bodybuilder who courted and married his sex doll in one of the stupidest PR stunts of 2020.

Fortunately, his bride is now broken (leaving ribald pundits to speculate why). PG-13 link. The whole thing is so preposterous, I am a little embarrassed to post about it, but there are no doubt woke folks out there who applaud his alleged affection. Those folks can’t be mocked too often. … Read the rest

Seven Days Make One Weak: Christmas Edition

TDE, Pork, BLM, and a Wonderful Life

Welcome to the end of 2020. December 23rd.

The whole world pretty much “checks out” at this point, an annual relief from workaday pressures. This year, the relief is amplified by COVID.

TDE blogging will continue, but on a lighter schedule, as evidenced by this 7D/1W Christmas column. There probably won’t be a Saturday column for the rest of 2020. Though I plan on blogging the rest of 2020, I doubt there will be any new feature pieces or smaller articles. The site will be almost entirely “blog-type” posts.

__________

TDE has been trending upward over the past month. We had our biggest day of the year yesterday: 622 different “Unique Visitors” came. It’s a great note on which to end the active writing year.

We expect more developments next year. We have an active writer on board, who has requested our writing guidelines and plans to start submitting in January. We’ll see how it develops.

If you’re interested in writing for TDE, you can email me at the contact form at the top of the page.


Pork City

If you think more federal government is the answer to anything, you should be required to sit in a dark cell with a bare lightbulb over your head and the 5,500-page stimulus relief package. You should then be required to locate every item of spending and highlight those that are not directly related to COVID relief.

If you then still believe the federal government is the answer to anything, you can leave your cell, but will then be summarily executed, consistent with the solutions provided by powerful central governments over the past 100 years.

President Trump spoke the truth bluntly: “It really is a disgrace.” 

I’d call it “disgusting.” The New Read the rest