Thursday, February 27, 2014

Problem solved: let private businesses refuse service to anyone anytime for any reason

Once again, some general comments.
First, it is clear that Matt Walsh needs to brush up on his history of the Civil Rights Movement. It is absolutely untrue that the real progress only occurred through the social sphere rather than the government. In fact, the protesters were often met with violent mobs, and the government was forced to step in and protect their lives. Even then, many people died. The social forces, left to their own devices, caused everything to devolve into chaos and violence. I'm trying to stay brief, but I will choose just one more example: school desegregation. Most people would agree that all children should receive an adequate education. Yet, left to the forces of society, black children in the south were stuck in sub-par schools. The government had to step in to force the schools to desegregate. And no, that miraculous free hand of the market will not and HAS NEVER helped solve problems of racism. Once again, look at all the businesses that thrived even though they were "whites only."  There are lots of racists with money. True story.
The second issue - and this is the real theoretical issue - that I would like to get at is the problem with taking private property rights and individual "freedoms" to the extreme. I have said this before and it is worth repeating: people don't exist in vacuums. Private businesses don't exist in vacuums. Pretty much every decision/action affects the broader society in some way. That is one reason why the framework of "rights" is in many ways ill-equipped for the complexities of social reality. (Obviously, I am not in favor of totalitarianism, I am just saying the mindset and terminology could be more nuanced.)
Here's a fact: more and more sectors of society are becoming privatized - sectors that have a huge impact on society as a whole like health care, education, prisons, and even now public transportation. (Add to that other important industries like energy and banking that have already been all or mostly private.) So imagine, you are Jewish and go to the only hospital in the area because you are bleeding to death and you are told, "Sorry, we're a private hospital and we don't provide service to Jews." Utter chaos.
Furthermore, each industry is coming more and more into the hands of fewer, larger corporate bodies. This means that, ironically, your proposal to expand individual freedoms actually places more and more power in the hands of a few corporate elites.

Here's my suggestion, Matt. Stop filling your mind with the hypothetical arguments of ideologues. Look at the world around you. Get to know how things work. A little knowledge goes a long way.

And no. When it comes to society, simple answers are never best.

Matt Walsh writes:
Alright, let’s make this simple.
The simple answers are often the best. But there’s a problem with simplicity: it doesn’t give you room to grant a thousand exemptions, exceptions, and caveats to satisfy every lobby, satiate every interest group, heal every hurt feeling, and grease every squeaky wheel.
Simple is fair, simple is just, simple is consistent, but fewer and fewer people are interested in what is fair and just and consistent. That’s why our laws are so long and confusing and convoluted these days (see: Obamacare). Legislation is not written for the sake of justice; it’s written for the sake of pay-offs and power grabs.
Yesterday I wrote about the (now vetoed) Arizona religious freedom bill. I said that religious business owners — be they bakers or photographers or anything else — shouldn’t be forced to participate in gay weddings. They should have the right to choose who they provide services to, and how they provide those services.
Despite the expected influx of some of the most vile, violent, hate-filled (and super tolerant!) emails, Tweets, and Facebook messages I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, I still stand by every point I made in that post.
Now, instead of making this an argument about “gay rights” or “religious freedom,” I think it’s time to shift the discussion towards the broader concept of property rights, freedom of association, and free speech. That conversation got bogged down by people attempting to determine whether or not the photographer, the baker, the t-shirt maker, and the florist were “homophobic” or “bigoted.” But that isn’t the question. I don’t think they are bigots, but it doesn’t matter. Bigotry is not illegal. Hatred is not illegal. Racism is not illegal. These are spiritual crimes — problems of the heart. The government is not omniscient. It cannot possibly legislate our thoughts and emotions.
We will never be free as long as it keeps trying.
So, rather than concentrate on one particular reason why certain particular businesses might wish to refuse certain particular services, let’s simplify things.
Let’s put it this way:
Business owners should have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.
I realize that now, legally, that right has been stripped, and it erodes more every day. That’s why I’m saying they “should,” not that they “do.”
Business owners should have the right to run their businesses as they see fit.
The discussion about the cases that led to the Arizona bill — the photographer who wouldn’t photograph a gay wedding, the baker who wouldn’t bake a cake for a gay wedding, the t-shirt maker who wouldn’t print a shirt for a gay pride festival, etc — only further highlights the urgent need to reinforce the basic concept of individual liberty.
I’ve seen people confidently proclaiming that a man who bakes cakes “should bake cakes for all occasions.” A company that make shirts “should make shirts for everyone,” they insist. A florist “should provide flowers for any event,” they assert.
Conspicuously absent from these declarations is any explanation as to how or why they get to set rules for another person’s private business. Can they decide on the hours of operation? Do they get a vote on the inventory? Do they have a say on what colors the walls are painted?
Ah, but these are “public businesses,” I’m told. Public businesses ought to be open to the whole public.
Yes, but there is one problem: a public business would be a business run by the State. These are private businesses.
Let private businesses serve who they wish to serve, however they wish to serve them. If they aren’t doing harm to others, or cheating, or scamming, or stealing, there is no need for government involvement. Most importantly: there is nothing in the constitution giving the government the right to get involved.
This is the simple answer. This is the fair answer. This would negate any need for that Arizona law, or any like it.
Don’t worry, I’ve heard every outrageous hypothetical.
What if a business goes back to refusing to serve black people?
So what if they do? I find this extraordinarily unlikely, but it doesn’t scare me away from my steadfast support of private property rights, private business rights, and the rights to free association. Obviously I wouldn’t condone or approve of any company that would put a “no blacks allowed” sign out front, but it isn’t up to me to make that call. If a business owner is racist and suicidal — willing to sacrifice his business for the sake of living out his bigoted fantasies — so be it. The market will punish him. He’ll be closed by next Wednesday. Problem solved.
In fact, if there is a business owner out there so filled with bigotry and racism, wouldn’t you like to know? If your local grocery store is actually under the management of the Klan, isn’t this a fact you’d prefer they make public?
What if they decide they don’t want to serve you?
Fine then. They have every right. Or they should, at least.
But if you think business owners should be allowed to refuse service to anyone, does that mean you’re opposed to the Civil Rights Act?
Yes. Parts of it, anyway. To be clear: I am not opposed to civil rights — just certain facets of a piece of legislation dubbed “the Civil Rights Act.” I’m also very much in favor of using secure forms of transportation, yet I oppose that thing called “The Transportation Security Administration.”
It’s possible to be in favor of a concept while being against a law or government agency bearing its name.
Of course I fully support any and all civil rights laws that repealed, abolished, and prohibited government mandated discrimination and segregation. One forgets that under Jim Crow, discrimination wasn’t simply allowed — it was, in some circumstances,required.
All the government had to do to help the civil rights movement was end its practice of actively infringing upon civil rights. The rest was already being taken care of by private individuals.
The social movement — not any bureaucratic decree — is what heralded in the era of racial equality. The lunch counters at Woolworths weren’t desegregated by law; they were desegregated in 1960 when courageous young black Americans staged a sit-in. The Montgomery Bus Boycott marked the beginning of the end of segregation on busses, and that had nothing to do with any law or governmental initiative.
Society gave us civil rights. People. Private individuals. Marches. Protests. Sit-ins. Civil disobedience. The tide was turned by free people; the government simply rode the wave. And, in so doing, they caused more problems than they solved. As usual.
In fact, I really detest this modern practice of conflating the Civil Rights Act with the Civil Rights Movement. I know I will be the easy target for blaspheming a legislative Sacred Cow, but the people who give all the credit to the government are the ones desecrating the heroic deeds of our country’s civil rights pioneers.
We live now in a society that simply would not tolerate a business that attempted to institute truly racist and genuinely bigoted policies. But there are still a thousand other reasons — outside bigotry and hatred — why a business owner might wish to tailor his or her service towards a certain group. There are even more reasons why a company might wish to put rules in place dictating who they serve and in what context they provide that service.
If freedom of association and property rights are to mean anything at all, private enterprises have to retain the right to make those judgment calls.
The irony is impossible to overlook when gay rights activists use freedom of association to argue their cause, and then, three seconds later, insist that bakers should be legally forced to make desserts for gay weddings.
Listen, friends, if you have the freedom to associate with each other, a business owner has the freedom to decline an association with you.
The fact that he’s a business “open to the public” is irrelevant to the principle. You are people who also exist “in the public,” are you not? We are all “in the public” to one degree or another. But we get to decide how we interact with the public, and who in the public we will engage and not engage.
This is why I wish everyone would stop calling this a “democratic society.”
It isn’t.
Politically, we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic. Societally and culturally, we are neither a republic or a democracy.
If you have kids, your home (I would hope) is not a democracy.  Junior doesn’t get a vote or an “equal say” in everything. Bedtime is bedtime. Dinner is dinner. Eat what we serve you. Do as I say.
Similarly, businesses are not democracies. In many cases, there is one person in charge. They delegate, they make decisions, they cut the checks. They may listen to opinions (hopefully) but they likely don’t weigh all opinions the same. They hire you. They fire you.
The government — with its phantom “democratic principles” — exercises too much authority in this area already. It’s outrageous that they also get to decide who your customers must be, and how you must serve them.
We have a choice: we can have the government continue to peer inside our hearts and souls and attempt to prohibit and punish what it interprets to be “discrimination” and “bigotry,” or we can be a free nation where private property, freedom of association, and private enterprise are all respected and protected. We can sacrifice control and power to the State in hopes that it will stamp out hatred and racism across the land, or we can battle these evils ourselves, as a free and vigilant people.
This is not a false dichotomy. This is truly the choice before us.
Personally, I’d prefer the latter.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your husband doesn’t have to earn your respect

This is just run-of-the-mill Matt Walsh sexism, which I have already addressed. And he employs his usual tactic of making unsupported, sweeping generalizations based on one or two personal experiences (this one time.... to "the respect deficiency in our culture has reached crisis levels"). On the contrary, whenever I have witnessed couple interactions in which there's some uncomfortable levels of disrespect going on, it is the man deriding the woman. And yes, there are some unflattering portrayals of men in entertainment media, but common portrayals of women are no less demeaning and much more seriously damaging. Yet, there is almost no point in even responding to someone who has so little regard for fellow human beings, and whose thoughts are so disconnected from reality. So, I will settle for juxtaposing his statements in an excerpt of this post, with those from other recent posts.

Matt Walsh writes:

Often, people will say that a husband should only be respected if he “earns” it. This attitude is precisely the problem. A wife ought to respect her husband because he is her husband, just as he ought to love and honor her because she is his wife. Your husband might “deserve” it when you mock him, berate him, belittle him, and nag him, but you don’t marry someone in order to give them what they deserve. In marriage, you give them what you’ve promised them, even when they aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.   Your worst is your worst. Fix it. Be better. Nobody should have to put up with it. Least of all the people you love.

This doesn’t mean that a man has a license to be lazy, or abusive, or uncaring. He is challenged to live up to the respect his wife affords him. If his wife parcels out her respect on some sort of reward system basis, the husband has nothing for which to strive. As the respect diminishes, so too does his motivation to behave respectably. Respect is wielded like a ransom against him, and he grows more isolated and distant all the while.  Should our selfishness, impatience, and weakness preclude us from being loved? No. But should these traits be “accepted”? Should they be “received with approval or favor”?

They both swirl in circles around the drain. He fails, so she gives him no respect, and then he continues to fail because he feels disrespected, and she continues to give him no respect because he continues to fail.  Newsflash: It’s not OK to be selfish, impatient, and out of control. These traits, while common, are UNacceptable. They should not be accepted, least of all by the people you claim to love. The onus is on YOU to change your behavior and your attitude, not on them to “handle it.” And so on, and so on, and so on, all the way to the divorce attorney.

The same thing happens with love. If love is unconditional, then the light of love always shines in your marriage, even in its darkest times. But if your love is given in direct proportion to your spouse’s ability to “earn” it, then it will inevitably diminish and fade over time.

Love in a marriage is, as people often point out, a choice. But it’s also a duty. So is respect. I love my wife because I choose to love her. I choose to love her because that is the vow I made; it is my charge, my warrant. Luckily, it’s usually pretty easy to love my wife because she’s kind, warmhearted, and beautiful. But if she becomes less kind, and I withdraw my love because of it, then my love was never love to begin with. It was just a pleasant feeling; a natural response to her nicer tendencies.

This is not to say that women should tolerate a man who fails in his duties, but that her intolerance for his failures can only be constructive if it is rooted in respect.  Winners don’t need it [criticism] to be coated in sugar and chocolate. They don’t have time to be pampered and coddled. Sadly, many women will approach their husbands and say: “You need to stop doing such and such or start doing such and such, because you’re a failure and I don’t respect you.”

She might not explicitly state this, but it is the message she implicitly sends. There is zero chance that this message will help to heal the damage; it only plunges another dagger into the already gaping wound.  Healthy relationships are loving, but also challenging, edifying, and even occasionally painful.
A few months ago I wrote a post about pornography. I stand by every word I typed, but I feel like I could add another couple thousand sentences to the end of it. Ever since I published that piece, I have heard from hundreds and hundreds of men and women on both sides of the porn problem.

Men emailed to tell me that they developed a porn habit and it did great damage to their marriage. But they told me that they resorted to porn after years of being disrespected, shunned and belittled by their wives. They weren’t making an excuse — only offering some perspective and context.

And hundreds of women told me that their husbands developed a porn habit and it caused them to lose all respect for them. This inability to respect their husbands nearly, or in some cases completely, wrecked their marriage.

A vicious cycle. The men didn’t want to fight for a marriage if they weren’t respected, and the women didn’t want to respect men who wouldn’t fight for their marriage. He withholds his love, she withholds her respect. They’ve both set fire to the thing that needs to be fixed.

Respect is our language. If it isn’t said with respect, we can’t hear it. Winners know how to absorb and process blunt criticism. This is why nagging is ineffective and self defeating. This is why statements made in sarcastic tones, or with rolling eyes, will never be received well. We have a filter in our brains, and a statement made in disrespect will be filtered out like the poison it is. A lot of people just can’t take constructive criticism anymore.

Men are notoriously reluctant to share feelings or display vulnerability. Many times, we keep those inner thoughts locked away — our feelings guarded and hidden — because we know we are not respected. A man will never be vulnerable to someone who doesn’t respect him. Never.

A man isn’t satisfied or content if he isn’t respected. If he can’t find respect where he is, he will seek it somewhere else. This can have disastrous implications for a relationship, but it applies in other areas of life as well. A man is much more likely to stay in a low paying job, a physically demanding job, a dangerous job, or a tedious job, than a job where he isn’t respected.  We come into [the world] as naked, crying, helpless babies. Our job is to grow out of that condition. And that will take a lot of changing and a lot of learning about what parts of us are unsuitable and insufficient and unacceptable. Sadly, some of us are unwilling to endure that process, so we never grow, and in failing to grow we fail to live.

I’m only emphasizing this because I think it might actually be news to some people. Society does not permit men to be vocal about their need for respect, so the need is often ignored.

I could sit here all day adding “yes, but husbands also need to…” disclaimers. I won’t, because I’ve probably written a dozen or more times on that subject. Every once in a while, I think we should talk about what wives need to do. And here it is. This, above all else. Respect your husbands. Even when he doesn’t deserve it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I asked you to donate to poor people in Guatemala, and here’s what happened

I am only going to comment on a couple paragraphs in this post.

Matt Walsh writes:

I don’t want to wander too far off the tracks and turn this into a political statement, yet I can’t help but notice something. I often get into arguments about the Nanny State. I make my point that multi-trillion dollar entitlement programs aren’t necessary because Americans are charitable and generous on their own.  If that is true, then why does so much poverty still exist in the U.S.? If Americans were charitable and generous enough to do away with poverty without government intervention, why does it still exist? We will take care of each other, if only the government would back away and let us do what needs to be done.  What, exactly, is the government doing to prevent us from doing what needs to be done? I work with those in need on a regular basis. I have never come across any situation in which government programs prevented me from helping out. If poverty were a problem that could be solved simply by throwing some money at it, and if I had tons of money, I could very easily eradicate poverty in the U.S. right now. The government is not stopping me.  In response, I’m usually informed that I’m far too optimistic (which is just about the only time I’ll ever be accused of such a thing). I’m told that the government needs to do “what Americans aren’t willing to do themselves.” I’m told that the poor will be left to whither and die without the government facilitating forced “giving.” I’m told that the churches have failed in their duty to provide for the less fortunate. Maybe the problem is too big and too systemic for churches and/or individuals to handle on their own, despite their willingness.

I’m told such things. And then I write one post — just one — saying, “hey, can you chip in to help build a well and buy some food for poor folks in Guatemala,” and what happens? Scores of readers say, “absolutely.” A few days later, we’ve raised 17 grand. So here's the other point. It is very nice that your readers contributed that much money. Really. I don't mean to take away from that, but 17,000 is not going to do anything to solve world poverty. It's not even close to a drop of a drop of a drop of a drop in the bucket. It is a nice gesture, but charity will not address the deep, structural (political, economic, social) causes of poverty. Only an institution with access to resources and power (say, the government) could do that.

This is what happens when perverts write elementary school text books

Matt Walsh writes:

[WARNING: this post contains some graphic content. Blame the schools for this. Don't shoot the messenger.]

Neighbors, friends, fellow citizens: listen to my plea. We must find some common ground. We must be a country again; a people; a culture. Our civilization is doomed if we cannot search through the fog and the confusion and find in that mist some semblance of a thread to bind us all. We are supposedly a Union, are we not? You think there was ever a time when this country was truly united? See: history.

So let me make the first attempt. Let me prove that unity is possible, by pointing to just a few topics upon which all decent, civilized, rational people can agree.

Here we go:

1) Bacon is delicious. Bacon is a cultural phenomenon. Despite our differences, we all love bacon. It really seems like everyone is on the same page here… Except for the vegetarians, but they aren’t Americans, technically. Ok, so your first attempt at "unity" involves intentionally alienating and insulting a significant segment of the public.

2) The Princess Bride is a fantastic film. Everyone loves that movie, right? It’s charming, whimsical, and hilarious.

3) It’s nice to have money. We all would prefer to have money, right? I mean, given the choice between having no money, some money, or a lot of money, we’d all definitely choose either some or a lot, wouldn’t we?

See? We CAN agree on some things. We ARE unified. Oh, and here’s one more:

4) Public schools shouldn’t teach fourth graders how to masturbate. Clearly, no sane adult could possibly react with anything other than horror if they found out that government PUBLIC schools were taking time out of the academic day to encourage nine and ten-year-olds to masturbate, right? That is correct. Everyone agrees and, since this has NEVER occurred, there is no point in bringing up this hypothetical scenario. Unless you are trying to dishonestly construct a fantasy world and portray it as reality once again.

Right? Right.


Well, three out of four ain’t bad.  No one's disagreeing with that point. I guarantee you have never encountered one person who disagreed with that statement.

Victoria Jackson has the story about a “text book” on the approved reading list for fourth graders in Tennessee. The book is called “It’s Perfectly Normal,” and it’s been around since the mid 90′s. Matt you accuse your opponents of lying so often, and yet your lies are so blatantly obvious. I visited the link above, and she says, explicitly, that she has no evidence that this book has been used in any school (though she suspects - on what evidence, she does not say - that it soon will). You are totally making stuff up now, Matt. It seems you may have gotten the 4th grade part based on a statement in the next link you provide, that the book is for ages 10 and up. This would be older than most 4th graders, and right around the age kids are going through puberty these days (it's a book about "your changing body"). You also have no evidence that any 4th grader has ever read this book. The Victoria Jackson site is actually obtaining its information from another website, about books for teens.

Here’s a sample passage:

sexbook mast

This is clear cut, folks. Yes, I’m Mr. Absolutist. You’re absolutely right about that, and here’s an absolute statement: it is a deeply depraved and disordered understanding of childhood and sexuality that leads one to believe that such a book belongs on a public school reading list. IT IS NOT ON A PUBLIC SCHOOL READING LIST!

Imagine a stranger came up to your son on the playground and said: “Hey little boy, if you touch yourself it’ll feel good and tingly. I drew some cartoons of kids masturbating. Wanna see?” What would you do? Would you shake his hand and thank him for the helpful sex ed lesson? Or would you call the cops and see to it that this sicko has to alert the neighbors every time he changes his address?
There is no discernible distinction to be drawn between the creep on the playground and the public school official who approves this kind of material for children. Teachers are not equivalent to strangers, and this book has not been approved by schools for children!!!!! This is child abuse, plain as day.

Here are a few more morsels from the Book of Pedophilia:

sexbook condom
text book pen

Sure, let’s make sure to put math and history on hold, gather the children around, and tell them about how “sexy” a man’s body feels when someone rubs his penis. No evidence, no evidence, no evidence....

Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931. The story is set in the year 2540. Little did Huxley know, Western Civilization would achieve his Brave New World over 500 years earlier than he predicted.

From Chapter Three:

Outside, in the garden, it was playtime. Naked in the warm June sunshine, six or seven hundred little boys and girls were running with shrill yells over the lawns… “That’s a charming little group,” [the Director] said, pointing.

In a little grassy bay between tall clumps of Mediterranean heather, two children, a little boy of about seven and a little girl who might have been a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focused attention of scientists intent on a labour of discovery, a rudimentary sexual game…
[The Director] let out the amazing truth. For a very long period before the time of Our Ford, and even for some generations afterwards, erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal (there was a roar of laughter); and not only abnormal, actually immoral (no!): and had therefore been rigorously suppressed.

A look of astonished incredulity appeared on the faces of his listeners. Poor little kids not allowed to amuse themselves? They could not believe it.

“Even adolescents,” the D.H.C. was saying, “even adolescents like yourselves.”

“Not possible!”

“Barring a little surreptitious auto-erotism and homosexuality–absolutely nothing.”


“In most cases, till they were over twenty years old.”

“Twenty years old?” echoed the students in a chorus of loud disbelief.

“Twenty,” the Director repeated. “I told you that you’d find it incredible.”

“But what happened?” they asked. “What were the results?”

“The results were terrible.”

The results were a society where people learned discipline and self-control. But tyrants do not want a citizenry with these kinds of characteristics. That’s one of the central themes in Huxley’s novel. No, that is not. I don't think you realize the primary point of the book (but then again, you said you didn't pay attention in high school....). Aldous Huxley was critiquing modernity in general, and in particular, how the rational-calculating impulse that seeks to maximizes pleasure for its own sake actually robs people of key aspects of their humanity.

It’s terrifying to think of all the modern progressives who read this excerpt and nod their head in agreement with the Director. Once again, what is your evidence that they do? Huxley wrote Brave New World to be a nightmarish vision of a Dystopian future – they read it like a practical outline of their domestic agenda. You are just SAYING they do. You are making things up. Dare I say... lying?

That’s why I chuckle whenever a radical progressive professes to have read and loved this book. It’s like they don’t realize that the entire thing is one long, stinging, merciless indictment against their ideology and worldview. No it is not. Not at all. Maybe you should stop accusing people of not understanding things... because there are so many things you don't understand.

I was going to take a few paragraphs to explain why it’s not OK for elementary schools to teach our children about “sexy feelings” and “exciting” self-pleasure, but what’s the use? To make my case, I would need to appeal to some common moral principle. You would also need to appeal to hypothetical scenarios that do not exist in reality.  Yet, if you believe this sort of thing to be acceptable, your “moral principles” are so far afield from anything that I recognize as moral or principled that I’m not sure how to communicate with you. You live in an entirely different dimension. I am an alien in your universe, and you are an alien in mine.

I can hear the argument already: “But kids will do these things anyway!” If you are hearing these things, Matt, I would recommend seeing a psychiatrist. What you're hearing, it doesn't exist outside your head. Yes, people use that argument in relation to teens and sex ed, but, until you prove otherwise, I do not believe anyone has ever used this argument to suggest that masturbation should be taught to 4th graders in school. I do not believe anyone has ever suggested that masturbation should be taught to 4th graders in school.

Really? How do you know what kids are doing? How do you know what they WILL do? Where are you gathering your data on the masturbatory habits of little boys and girls? Haha, you ask your hypothetical opponents where they are getting their data.... oh the hypocracy. Wait, let me get the FBI on the line before you tell me. Besides, IF they are “doing it anyway,” then I suppose this “lesson plan” is rather redundant. And, whether they do it or they don’t, the contention that they “should” or that it’s “perfectly normal” is subjective at best. If I can’t inject my religion into the schools, then I don’t think it’s fair for you to inject your Freudianism into it, either.

This book has been floating around for a while. It won’t shock you to learn that Planned Parenthood considers it to be required reading (they love anything that’ll help groom our kids into their future customers). I don’t know how many schools have this on their reading list. ZERO. Also, you just admitted that you have NO EVIDENCE that it is being used in schools, and yet, you said very confidently that it was. I call that lying.  It doesn’t matter. It does. It matters because you are using a hypothetical scenario to construct imaginary arguments with imaginary opponents... and letting your readers believe that it represents reality. You are presenting your base with a false view of the world, based on totally fabricated information, in order to make the argument that anyone who disagrees with you (this mythical homogenous group of "progressives") is so totally "out there" that it is not worth trying to find common ground with them. You are also trying to inflame them and get them angry about things (that don't exist). You are impeding unity and productive conversation, and frankly, being just flat out dishonest.  Does truth not matter to you?  Can’t we all just agree that elementary schools shouldn’t, in any way, be in the business of discussing, teaching, advocating for, instructing about, or otherwise mentioning masturbation, tingly feelings, or anything in that general ballpark? YES WE ALL AGREE!

Can’t we?


Fine. How ’bout this for a compromise: if you want your young child to learn about masturbation and condoms and sexy feelings, you are free to teach him or her yourself. Leave other people’s kids alone. That is exactly how things stand right now.

OK? Yes.

Agreed? Agreed.

Probably not. Boy, your non-existing opponents drive a hard bargain.

Hey, at least we still have The Princess Bride.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A list of situations where it’s OK for a man to hit a woman

Once again, just some general comments.

Ohhhh Matt. Every now and then you make a point that I agree with, but you defend the point in the most offensive, unreasoned way possible. This is one of those times.

You say at the end of the post that people will respond by calling you sexist, or feminist, or anti-feminst.... yada yada. You know what? A lot of times labels obscure what is really going on. So, for the moment, let's dispense with labels altogether. OK?

You are correct, men should never hit women. No one really should hit anyone, for that matter. I know you are a fan of the Bible, Matt, so maybe we can recite the "turn the other cheek" verse together.

I also agree that there is something particularly unnerving about men who hit women, specifically. But you are absolutely wrong about why.

You are factually wrong. There is no real, factual evidence to support discrete, binary gender divisions. And the idea that women could not fend for themselves is utter lunacy. There is plenty of evidence to contradict that. It is factually incorrect to label women as "the weaker sex." I have gone through some of this evidence in previous posts, and I don't think repeating it over and over is going to help. You don't seem very keen on evidence and facts anyway.

You are morally wrong. By creating a gendered hierarchy, where men are the stronger sex and women are soooo weak that they could not survive without the aid and protection of men, you are reinforcing, exactly, the material and ideological conditions that creates male-on-female violence in the first place.

In fact, the reason why there is something particularly disturbing about violence against women is the very fact that it is sustained systematically. It is the beliefs, values, and practices of our own society that makes women more susceptible to violence (and obviously, being more susceptible to attack is a very bad thing). It is the idea that women are weak, men are inherently strong and aggressive. When men have it constantly pounded into their heads that they should express their masculinity through aggression and violence, and when they witness and experience every day the hierarchical superiority of masculinity (read: aggression/violence) over femininity... well then, acts of violence become necessary to express their position at the top of the gender hierarchy. (That's why boys are encouraged to fight back to prove their manhood.) And THEN, whenever their position in the gendered hierarchy feels threatened in any way, that is when they become particularly susceptible to committing acts of violence against women. In fact, sociologically, it has been shown that violence against women increases in particular societies when women are able to equalize their position viz a viz men in certain ways.

So, Matt, it is the very mistaken beliefs that you express regarding gender differences that is responsible for violence against women in the first place.

I don't care if you are feminist or anti-feminist. I care about the fact that you are wrong. Very wrong. Wrong in a way that is harmful, phsyically, to women.

Matt Walsh writes:
Let’s begin, shall we? Here are the THREE scenarios where it might be acceptable for a man to punch a woman:

1) Never

2) Under no circumstance

3) Anytime, with the exception of every time

Oh, also never.

I don’t mean to insult your intelligence. “Never hit a woman” is an age-old axiom, and one to which most men (hopefully) subscribe. Don’t blame me for my writing this post. It’s not my fault.

Here in Baltimore, the town has been buzzing about the story of Ravens running back Ray Rice, and his “altercation” with his fiancée last week. He was arrested for assaulting her at a casino in Atlantic City; it should be noted that his fiancée was also arrested for assaulting him. We still don’t know all of the facts of the case, and the only “evidence” released to the public is a grainy video of Rice dragging a woman out of an elevator. Today, police confirmed that Rice did, in fact, knock his fiancé unconscious.

I don’t want to get too hung up on the specifics here, because the real story, to me, is the public reaction. It’s true that we don’t know all of the particulars, and Rice hasn’t been found guilty. But it does seem rather apparent that he did strike his fiancé. The police say he knocked her out, and video footage appears to lend credence to that claim.

Now the question around the city, and around the country, is this: could there be a scenario where Ray Rice — professional football player, built like a boulder, absorbs high speed collisions with 300 pound defensive linemen for a living — would be justified in punching his woman?

And the answer that I’ve read online and heard on talk radio quite a bit over the last few days:


Whether Rice is guilty or not becomes the lesser issue. The real problem is that so many people assume he is and are still willing to make rationalizations for him.

I was curious to get a better feel for society’s changing views on man-on-woman violence, so I took to Google. I found this on Question: is it ever acceptable for a man to hit a woman? Fifty percent say “yes.”

The arguments on the affirmative side seem to make all of the same sorts of points that the Rice defenders are making:

-Sometimes women hit men first.
-Sometimes a man needs to defend himself.
-Women want equality, so they shouldn’t get special treatment.
-It’s sexist to say that a man should never hit a woman.

I remember insisting on a few of these points back when I was five years old and my dad first warned me that I must never hit a girl, even if she hits me first.

Really, there are only three reasons why someone would try to use these arguments to defend woman-beaters: 1) They are under the delusion that men and women are inherently identical, and there is therefore no reason why our gender differences should ever be accounted for or acknowledged. 2) They know that men and women are inherently different, yet they justify violence against women in order to exact some kind of karmic vengeance against feminists. 3) They are children.

Of all three options, the folks in category 2 are the most cowardly and despicable.

Obviously, women have been known to start fights with men. Women can be abusive and violent. Women can deliberately attempt to provoke men. I am not defending these kinds of people, or their behavior. These women — those who attack men, or verbally assault them, or intentionally try to coax them into becoming violent — are lowlifes. They are morally reprehensible and they will answer for their sins one day. But it’s not up to you to “teach them a lesson.” No matter how offended a man might be by the actions of a woman, he is not magically granted an exemption from the rule.

“But what if she’s trying to kill you? What if she has a gun? What if she’s an steroid-infused female body builder and she’s trying to crush your skull like a raw egg?”

Clearly, if your very life is truly in jeopardy, you are not called to prostrate yourself before her and die in the name of chivalry. But I can’t conceive of a situation where you would need to punch a woman in order to save your own life. The Ray Rice case only highlights the absurdity of the assertion that a man might be required to beat his wife or his girlfriend in the name of “self defense.”

Did Rice really fear for his safety? Does anyone believe that?

In most scenarios, the solution is simple. If a woman hits you — walk away. Call the police if you must. If she has you backed into a corner and you need to restrain her, then do so. The goal is to leave the situation or diffuse it. Retaliation is not acceptable.

Besides, you could throw a thousand hypotheticals at me, all of which distract from the large preponderance of cases of man-on-woman violence. In most situations, men hit women not because they believe it to be necessary for self preservation, but because they believe she deserves it. They do it because they are angry. They do it because they want to release their aggression.

They do it because they are bullies. They do it not because they are tough or “macho,” but because they are emasculated wimps looking for an easy target.

Real men don’t hit women. That’s not because all women are saints; it’s because all women are women. Men, in general, possess physical powers that give us the ability to dominate the other gender. If we lived by the laws of the jungle, women would be oppressed and enslaved. They are the weaker sex, and there’s no amount of PC hand wringing that will ever change that fact.

Men must choose to harness and control their physical superiority. We have to use it, when necessary, in defense of women. If we allow ourselves to use our strength to assault women instead of protecting them, we have debased ourselves and defied one of the central human characteristics which separates us from animals. Among beasts, the stronger tramples over the weaker. If the weaker makes an affront against the stronger, the stronger will annihilate the weaker. So, sure, if you wish to be more like a dog, then ignoring civilized society’s prohibition on man-on-woman violence is a good place to start.

Now you’re halfway there. You’ll be crawling on all fours and growling at the mailman in no time. Congratulations.

It’s true that “never hit a woman” is a longstanding cultural convention. But only a fool tears down a convention simply because it’s conventional. And what those fools fail to understand is that all of these “silly” and “old fashioned” rules and codes governing male-female interactions were never based on any notion of one side being “better” than the other. It’s not that women can’t be hit because women are blameless goddesses, or because men are more mature and evolved so they are held to a higher standard. The real reason — or one important reason among several — is that we are all better off if we remain the sort of society that expects men to be the sort of men who would never strike women.

That’s the problem — or one serious problem among several — with this New Age, hazy, greyish world where humans are treated like machines, and the differences between genders are seen as purely mechanical: it doesn’t make us better. It doesn’t make us happy. The more we buy into it, the more hideous and miserable we become.

Here’s what happens next:

-Some liberal feminists will accuse me of being misogynistic and patronizing.
-Some whiny dudes will accuse me of sucking up to feminists.
-The “men don’t hit women” position will be characterized as feminist propaganda AND anti-feminist propaganda, all at the same time.

In the end, it’s none of these things. I don’t say that men shouldn’t hit women because I’m a feminist, and I don’t say it because I’m not a feminist.

I say it because I’m a man, and because I think being a man means something.

Land of the Free: where the government can kidnap your child and lock her in a psych ward for a year

I would just like to generally summarize this post: Matt Walsh is opposed to abortion, but he does not want to take any action against children suffering and dying from abuse.

Let me explain in more detail.

I tried to do a little more research into the circumstances surrounding Justina Pelletier's case. The problem is, it is hard to find any information at all, aside from a couple short local newspaper stories lacking many details, and fringe right wing websites. From what I understand, it was Glen Beck who tried to bring publicity to the case.

To start off, Matt, you use one paricular case about which we have little objective information to make a very broad argument condemning child protective services as a whole.  (Actually, you start out with hyperbole... a completely exaggerated scenario unrelated to this case, designed to play at your readers' emotions.)

However, even the known facts of the case don't accord well with your argument. It was the HOSPITAL that decided to keep her in the psych unit. You are so blinded by your own ideology that you fail to see the obvious power wielded by non-governmental institutions, like the private health care industry. Well, sometimes you suddenly become aware, but then you quickly forget. The government does not have a monopoly on power.

But let's look more at how this process really works.

If hospitals uncover evidence of any kind of abuse, they have a legal duty to report it. Just like teachers and many other professionals, for that matter. I was once in a situation where a child told me about abuse she was receiving from her parents and started point out bruises. I was legally obligated to report it. There may, of course, be times when suspicions are false. However, when child abuse is so prevalent that more than 4 children in the U.S. die every day as a result of abuse, there is much greater harm in underreporting than overreporting. You may think that it is not the government's responsibility to get involved... but if you prevent any authority from intervening, you are tacitly allowing children to die every day. I would merely have to redirect you to your own posts about abortion to show you how hypocritical that is.

Second, if a hospital (or anyone else) reports abuse, then the applicable agency is obligated to act on that report. They must investigate, and usually they must temporarily extricate the alleged victim from certain siutations (where abuse may be occuring) while the investigation is ongoing. Once again, there are justifiable reasons for this. Many of the allegations will be true, and it is in the victim's best interest to be removed from an abusive situation as quickly as possible. We're talking about preventing deaths here! (What was that again about the inherent value of human life, Matt?

Yes, there may be circumstances here and there where things don't work as intended. Allegations may be false from time to time. Perhaps a hospital may be allowed too much authority in the handling of a case. Maybe an investigation occurs too slowly. (The exact extent to which any of this applies to the Justina Pelletier is still a little unclear, in the absence of more information.) These can have negative consequences, to be sure. However, any process, in the private sector or public sector, will be mismanaged from time to time. That fact does not invalidate the processes themselves.

To be against child protective services is completely insane and irresponsible. That is blind ideology at its worst. Too many children are suffering abuse to sit idly by. I can't find any data about CPS abuse, but the absence of data alone indicates it is very likely that any abuse at the hands of CPS is incomparably less prevalent than the amount of abuse by parents, relatives, and others.

And setting up an email address is a GREAT way to verify your unsubstantiated, ideologically-driven beliefs. *eye roll* Your blog gets a lot of traffic, and it is very easy to send emails. As we all know, people never use email to send false information, and it is oh so easy to substantiate people's claims. (/sarcasm)
Matt Walsh writes:
Imagine this scenario. You’re sitting in the living room with your daughter. Suddenly, a large man shows up on your porch. He starts banging on your door and demanding to be let inside. You don’t comply. He goes around to the side of your house, smashes a window, and crawls through. You tell your daughter to run and lock herself in her room. It’s too late. The man grabs her and starts to run off.

Are you imagining this? Have you put yourself in this situation in your head?

Now, what do you do? How do you react?

I can tell you my answer: with brutality. I’d fight this man, wouldn’t you? If I had a knife I’d stab him in the heart. If I had a gun nearby I’d put a bullet in his head. I’d kill him. I’d end his life without hesitation or remorse. This man is in my home. He is trying to take my child away from me. I don’t need to know why he’s there. I don’t need to ask him about his intentions. I don’t need to consider his motivations. I need to react, and react harshly. And that’s what I’d do, wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t anyone? Wouldn’t any parent literally kill to stop someone from taking their children away?

And wouldn’t they be justified? Wouldn’t they be morally and legally justified?

I think the answer is yes, on all counts.

OK, let’s slightly alter this hypothetical.

What if the man isn’t so large at all. What if he’s wearing a suit. What if he doesn’t break in through the window? What if he knocks and waits for you to open the door? What if he says he’s going to take your child, but he’ll let you visit every once in a while? What if he says he’s taking the child for her own good? What if he explains that he’s merely trying to protect your child from you?

Would that change anything? Probably not, right? You’d probably react in much the same way that you’d reach to the burly man who came through the window, right? After all, it doesn’t matter how nice or professional the kidnapper might be, the point is that he is trying to take your child, and you cannot allow this to happen. He is attempting to do something which he has no right to do, and which gives you the right to visit swift and merciless violence upon him.

But what if we change one small, superficial detail about the kidnapper — namely, we make him an official with Child Protective Services. What then?

Well, the substance of the situation doesn’t change. He’s still a guy trying to do something which he has no right to do. He’s still someone trying to take your child from you. But now you are completely helpless. There is nothing you can do to save your daughter. Nothing. You can’t call the cops — the cops are probably there, and they are on the kidnapper’s side. You certainly can’t pull out a gun or start any kind of physical altercation. You’ll lose, you’ll go to prison forever, and you’re guaranteed to never see your child again. You have no recourse. You are neutered and hogtied. You can only watch as strangers steal your child and ride away. If you ever want your daughter to be returned, you must meet all of their ransom demands. In the mean time, you can’t even count on the sympathy and support of the community. Most people will assume that you deserve to lose your parental rights. They assume you deserve what has happened, simply because it happened. Suspicion automatically becomes guilt.

The government has no evidence against you, but it doesn’t matter. You are presumed guilty until you can prove your innocence — a task that is fundamentally impossible.

This is the situation as it has unfolded for thousands of innocent Americans. The latest case in Boston is just one example.

Justina Pelletier is a young teenage girl with mitochondrial disease. The doctors at Tufts Medical Center diagnosed her with the condition a few years ago. They put her on a series of medications and vitamins, and her condition seemed to improve.

This is when the story gets long and somewhat complicated, but I’ll give you the basics.

Back in February of 2013, Justina came down with a bad case of the flu. She was taken by ambulance to Boston Children’s Hospital. The folks at BCH did a work up on Justina and came to a conclusion that conflicts with the doctors at Tufts; they said that she doesn’t have a physical condition at all.

They said that she has a psychological problem — in other words, it’s all in her head. It’s a psychosomatic issue. They recommended that her medication regimen should be “simplified” and that she should be treated for the mental problem that causes her to think she’s in pain.

Her parents disagreed. Strongly. They attempted to remove her from the hospital and take her back to her doctors at Tufts. But Boston Children’s Hospital would not tolerate such defiance. They refused to release her, called the cops, and accused the parents of “abusing” their child by “overmedicating” her.

Child Protective Services — or “the Department of Children and Families” — seized custody of Justina. She was locked in a psychiatric ward at the hospital, taken off most of her medications, and her parents were only allowed supervised visits once a week. A gag order was placed on her family, but her father has gone against it.

Good for him. I enthusiastically applaud any effort he makes to break the rules set by these kid-stealing crooks.

To me, the medical questions are irrelevant to this conversation. I don’t know if Justina has mitochondrial disease or not. Some doctors say yes, others say no. Maybe she has a combination of mitochondrial disease and psychological disorders. Maybe she has one and not the other. Maybe she has neither. The point here is that the State has seized the tyrannical and unconstitutional power to take a side in a medical debate, and then kidnap your child because you disagree.

Yes, kidnap.

Sure, there are certainly cases where parents abuse their children in unspeakable ways. In those situations, the parents need to go to prison and the kids need to go somewhere else. But the power the State must have in certain specific and limited cases should NOT grant them the blanket authority to forcibly impose their subjective opinions about private parental and medical decisions.

Have Justina’s parents committed a crime? Have they been charged with child abuse? No. No, because taking one doctor’s advice over another is NOT child abuse. This is where we are in America, everyone. Are you paying attention? Are you as angry as you ought to be? You can have your children removed from your home EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T COMMITTED A CRIME.

And we call this freedom? We call this a free country?

What a joke. You are not free. You are not free as long as government bureaucrats have the power to obliterate your parental rights simply because they personally don’t approve of the choices you’ve made.

This reminds me of a case in Sacramento last year. A 5-month-old baby was stolen right out of his mother’s arms because she had the audacity to check him out of the hospital, after deciding that she didn’t like the way they were treating her baby. The hospital called the cops, the cops showed up alongside some CPS officials, grabbed her baby and drove away. They wouldn’t tell her why; they wouldn’t even tell her where they were taking him.

“I’m going to grab your baby. Don’t resist and don’t fight me.” That’s what the police officer said to the helpless, scared mother, before prying her child from her arms.

Eventually, her son was returned to her. As far as I know, nobody was ever held responsible for this grave injustice.

Nobody ever is.

I know I’ll hear plenty of apologists tell me about the wonderful deeds of CPS workers. Let another blogger write that post. I don’t personally feel it necessary to take time out of my day to puff up government agencies. They have the force of law, billions of dollars, and a bunch of guys with guns on their side. They don’t need my help. The people who NEED a voice are the innocent Americans who have been victimized by these agencies. That isn’t to say that ALL people have been victimized, but it is to say that many have been. Many, many, many law abiding citizens have watched as their children were ripped away from them, even though they’d done nothing to deserve such a fate (and even though the government had no proof that they’d done anything to deserve it).

In fact, if you are in this camp, I want you to know that I know you exist. If you’d like to share your story with me, email this address:

Children that are wrongfully abducted by the government might not get an Amber Alert, but they are still victims, and so are their parents.