Political Communication

Proposition:

Liberals are excellent communicators, but they focus more on ethos and pathos than logos. Thus, their messages come across as manipulative propaganda.

Conservatives focus on logos more than ethos or pathos, but they’re terrible at articulating their worldview. Thus, their messages come across as narrow and cold babbling.

Feel free to discuss.

The Tragedy of Jack

I just read a scary social criticism essay that discussed, among many other things, the self-destruction of feminism, and included this great bit:

But when that ends, and reality comes crashing down, it’s sad how quickly they scramble to validate the feminist lives they’ve led by simply telling themselves more lies. 40 is the new 20! Test-tube babies! MILF’s and Cougars! When, frankly, it just means nobody’s visiting you in a nursing home in the end.

And when I read that, I remembered Jack. That’s not his real name; I forgot his real name.

My dad died last July, and in the two months leading up to it, he made the rounds of a few hospital rooms and convalescent homes. In one, his bed was in a room with Jack, their areas separated by a curtain. Whenever I went to visit Dad, Jack would invariably interject himself into the visit, speaking up through the curtain, or even wheeling himself around it if he could get into his wheelchair.

He wasn’t a bad guy, but his desperate loneliness made him aggressive. Sometimes my dad would yell at him for horning in on his time with his family. He openly longed for attention. I tried to talk to him for a bit on each visit, though he clearly wanted more.

Once, when he’d asked if I had kids, he seemed joyously surprised at the total. I asked the same of him, and he scowled.

“No, never wanted them. Never liked them.”

The irony was sickening. Here was an old man who had chosen not to have any descendants, and now he was desperately lonely as he died.

As birth rates continue to drop, as our civilizational death spiral swings on, this scenario will become more common. In fact, it will explode exponentially. Soon, our nursing homes will be a bursting industry filled will dying invalids who never wanted to make a family, and who may bemoan their loneliness and dependence on strangers.

Contrast this with my wife’s grandfather, who had an army of three generations ready to care for him after a stroke.

If you’re a young person looking for a stable career, look into elder care. The 21st century will give you fantastic job security.

Highly Recommended Reading on Dysfunctional Leftists

Though I love Instapundit, I don’t usually go for Ed Driscoll’s posts. However, today he put up a rant that collates several other great sources into a powerful bit of observation. The essay is here. Solid, penetrating stuff.

In honor of the source…Read The Whole Thing.

Sign the Petition: President Obama Should NOT Attend Murdered Police Officers’ Memorial In Baton Rouge

Here: http://chn.ge/29GA0DL

Mr. President, the murder of three police officers in Baton Rouge is clearly related to and inspired by the racist rhetoric that many have used recently to advance a cause called “Black Lives Matter.”

You have helped create that climate of violent hate towards the police, most recently and especially by your disgraceful hijacking of the memorial for five fallen officers in Dallas so you could lecture people about slavery and race. As president, “the buck stops here.” When atrocities are committed for an ideology that you actively espouse, you must share in the blame. 

Accordingly, it would not be appropriate for you to attend the upcoming memorial for the slain officers in Baton Rouge. America does not need you to again disrespect the brave people being honored, just so you can take American to school about your own pet prejudices. 

Please, Mr. President, do not attend the memorial for the murdered police officers in Baton Rouge. Instead, spend that time in some private soul searching about the innocent heroes who have been killed because of your poor leadership. 

(Please see also, Heather MacDonald’s “The Fire Spreads“)

“Western civilization has defended us for centuries. Isn’t it about time we defended it?”

This essay is correct. The primary philosophy behind our policy decisions should be preserving the principles that make us who we are as Americans. First, though, we need to understand those principles, and love them enough to defend them.

 

…The West refuses to take even the most rudimentary steps to protect itself against a known, sworn enemy. Why?

Lots of reasons: ennui, cultural Marxism, the mutation of the Left into a suicide cult that wants to take the rest of us with it. A loss of faith in organized religion (some of it brought on by the faiths themselves, or rather the imperfect men who represent and administer them). The transformation of government schools into babysitting services for subsections of the populace with severe cultural learning disabilities, no matter the skin color of the pupil. The marginalization of the very notion of excellence. And a political class that is little more than a collection of criminals, throne-sniffers, pantywaists and bum-kissers, all dedicated to their own enrichment.

…The antidote to this is a return to our cultural roots, including the pre-Christian principles of Aristotle (passed down via St. Thomas Aquinas, among others) and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Those roots are neither race- nor faith-specific and in fact the genius of Western civilization is that its principles — not “conservative” principles but civilizational principles — have proven so successful that they resulted in the United States of America, the very embodiment of those ideas.

Which is, of course, why Islam and its ally of convenience, the Left, hate America so. We and our cultural heritage are the refutation of every satanic principle they hold so vengefully dear.

Diversity in the Social Sciences

The reason America needs more political diversity in the social sciences is not because moderates and conservatives in academia need an affirmative action-style spoils system. Rather, it’s because the knowledge-creation process—the system by which scientists create knowledge and that knowledge is disseminated to the public and incorporated into political decisions—functions better if there is disagreement and debate among the scientists. Findings are more robust if they have been repeatedly challenged and refined over time.

Conservatives upset with the state of academic research have often emphasized the way non-progressives are discriminated against [and] suppressed in many fields. And that may be true. But a more productive approach may be to highlight the way that their absence undermines the integrity of science itself—and, in the long run, the quality of public policy decisions. [source]

YES! 

Three Brock Turner Thoughts

It’s too bad people online aren’t talking more about this whole Brock Turner thing. Sorry, this is a serious issue and this will be a serious post. But that remark will come up again in my 3rd point.

So much already has been said about this case, but there are a few things that aren’t being said, or aren’t being said enough.

  1. Turner has been convicted in a court of law, after a fair trial. The spotlight on him is not based on prejudices or assumptions, as in the infamous Duke Lacrosse case, for example. We know this man is guilty. It’s sad that we have to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate judgment, but we do–witch hunts are increasingly common these days–and the scorn being heaped on Turner in this case is legitimate.
  2. In stories like this, where everybody is piling on one obvious side, I try to dig around to see if there’s anything relevant being ignored or buried by the media, anything that makes reality more complicated. There usually is. Only rarely are things as simplistically good and evil as the online mob wants them to be.One such case was when an 18-year-old woman recently sued her parents for college tuition–that one really seems to be little more than an entitled youth milking her parents against their will. And now, this Brock Turner case appears to be in the same boat–I can’t find anything that creates any gray area here. Sometimes things are just simple black and white.
  3. A lot of people are using this case as a platform to pontificate about rape culture. As with most of the Left’s pet causes, the existence of this bogeyman is a given. Actually, I think the outsized rancor this case is creating is evidence of the opposite–that there is no “rape culture” in America. If there were, then this would be just another case, eliciting no more emotion than any of a number of other identical cases. But that’s not the situation here–the sudden and passionate storm of anger seems more like this is finally something that can substantiate previously unfounded feelings, hence the desperation to make this seem like a typical case, and not the exception that proves the rule. Even angry protesters have to admit that this case is more brazen and corrupt than most any other we might cite.I also find it mildly baffling how many people are oh-so-bravely standing up to Turner on their social media platforms; apparently they want to make a bold statement to all the rapists they’re friends with online? Else, who are all these rants meant for, and why? Surely, this can’t be just another opportunity for young people to parade the fashions of their own righteousness around for the world to see, right?

    None of these observations about the vanity of our culture are meant to reduce the seriousness of this case itself, though. The rapist’s attitude, his apologists’ words, and the judge who erred in sentencing must prompt a conversation that in turn will lead to real reforms.

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When Will Future Historians Say The American Republic Fell?

tumblr_o3fs9v9VQj1qevpymo1_500Most textbooks simplify the fall of the Roman Empire by saying it was in 476, when the last emperor was deposed, though they also tend to admit that many events led up to that point, and that a shell of that civilization lingered on long afterwards.

This election year has me in a frame of mind to ask when will future historians say that the American Republic fell? Let’s say that some history textbook being written 5000 years from now has to simplify our inevitable end and pinpoint a single year for it. What year would that be?

By “fall” here I primarily mean the end of constitutional standards for government, and perhaps secondarily the standard of living–economically and morally–that those defined limits helped prosper.

Right off the bat, I might opt for 2012, the year when the Supreme Court upheld the obviously awful “Affordable Care Act” on the flimsiest of corrupt excuses, and the year in which America chose to retain a failure of a president despite having a reasonable, even a compelling, alternative, purely to advertise their own social righteousness.

You might think that saying “The year of our fall is still far in the future” is a mark of optimism, but I’m inclined to say the opposite–that’s only a feeling that things can still get much, much worse.

Still, I think most of us will agree by now that the year we tipped over past the point of no return can’t be any later than 2016.

Please leave your pick for the last good American year and your reasoning in the comments.

 

Clark County, Nevada GOP Primary Election Endorsements 2016

Our primary election is underway and continues for the next two weeks. Here are some endorsements; they’re mostly for my own area, but I’ll do more research soon and update with more…meanwhile, feel free to leave more ideas and info in the comments:

 

U.S. SENATE
Incumbent Joe Heck has shown himself to be a RINO repeatedly, with votes such as those favoring Obamacare and a recent vote to hinder religious liberty.

One of his opponents is Sharron Angle, who famously ran against Harry Reid in 2010. The media gleefully admitted that Reid plays dirty tricks in campaigns, then dutifully repeated his slanderous talking points as if they were facts. The only argument against Angle, according to Reid and his lap dogs, was that she was crazy. That’s it. The media loved it, and she lost by a narrow margin.

But her record is stellar! She is one of the most consistent, experienced conservatives in Nevada. We know what we get with her, and we get quality. She deserves your vote.

Vote for Sharron Angle
3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
I have mixed feelings about incumbent Michele Fiore. I love how she stands up to her corrupt critics and is rock steady on important things, but her almost single-issue devotion–including her odd support of a Bundy-related illegal protest in Oregon–make me wonder if she’s the best choice to represent the many interests Nevadans have.

I often complain that even when our GOP finds decent people, they don’t support them enough. Such seems to be the case with the excellent Annette Teijeiro. Her ideas and qualifications look great on paper, but she’s not nearly as visible as she should be. It’s time we finally give her a chance.

And don’t even think about voting for Danny Tarkanian. Good grief.

Vote for Annette Teijeiro

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The World at War

On this Memorial Day, I started watching the 1974 British epic documentary, The World at War (thanks to this Instapundit post). One major thing I learned from the first episode is that Germany prepared for its early invasions by creating narratives of persecution about its intended targets, setting itself up as a liberator, and thus creating an environment where an apathetic world could capitulate to Germany’s political agenda.

Wow, good thing nothing like that happens anymore.

I Love NPR Pledge Drives

I love NPR pledge drives! They entertain the heck out of me.

As a conservative, I decided years ago that, even though I often listen to NPR, I would never contribute to a media giant that constantly derides my beliefs and values. Hearing the desperation, hypocrisy, and impotent anger that fills their pledge drives, then, is an especially fun kind of schadenfreude.

Have you ever listened to one of their pleas for money? Seriously, you can’t find this much shame and guilt used in the most hostile caricatures of parochial schools! Most of the on-air talent is quickly reduced to outright scolding the listeners for not subsidizing them, even though podcasts and satellite radio have made their business model obsolete. Hearing them try to dress up their entitled begging is better than the surreal joy of listening to some teenager self-righteously lecture you.

Everybody else says they want these pledge drives to be over as soon as possible, but not me. I hope they last forever. They’re certainly more entertaining than the predictably stale advocacy they call “news.” #NPR @NPR @KNPRNews

Anti-Christian Irony

The Saturday Night Live clip below is very popular (over 3 million views in 2 days, so far), and perfectly illustrates the irony of our era: here we have a mainstream media giant disrespecting Christians for having the audacity to suggest that the mainstream disrespects Christians. Just let that one sink in for a minute.

In a related note, I recently read this review of the movie that that SNL skit was based on: God’s Not Dead 2. The reviewer at the AV Club writes six paragraphs about it: the start of the 2nd paragraph briefly mentions the narrative aspect of the film, and the 3rd goes into some examples of the cinematic quality of it.

But all the rest of the review is nothing more than a hostile denial that the worldview espoused in the film is valid. That’s it. No argument, no rationale, no further criticism of the film as a work itself. Just gainsaying the very idea that the film’s message could possibly have any value.

A Pro-Life Case On A Day That Celebrates Life

922904_900385983393529_2355375706974354167_nI was born a few years after Roe v. Wade, and my mother—a very petite woman who is prone to headaches, nausea, and chronic pain—was pressured by her doctor to abort me for her own good. She refused, and I was born with a deaf and deformed ear. But I was born—that’s the important thing. And because I was born, my seven children could also be born.

I’m pretty grateful to my mom. Aren’t you grateful to yours?

I recently came across the pro-abortion Tumblr meme pictured here, and as today is Easter—a day celebrating the restoration of physical and spiritual life—I thought I’d address its mistaken claims.

1. The bodily autonomy argument. Most of the meme is devoted to this, in the form of a story about society not being able to force someone to save a sibling’s life through a blood transfusion.

The first flaw is that the inaction of not donating blood is not equal to the action of aborting a baby. In the meme’s sibling-saving scenario, the natural course of doing nothing would be the death of the sibling. In the case of a pregnancy, the natural course of doing nothing would be the birth of a baby. To make the parallel work, doing nothing for your sibling has to be compared to violently dissecting an unborn baby. Hardly the same.

The second flaw is that, even though the law does not force us to save the life of a sibling, it does force us to maintain the life of our offspring. That’s what laws against parental neglect are for. Again, the analogy fails.

If a woman has no responsibility to the life developing inside her, then why are smoking and drinking during pregnancy frowned on and often regulated?

2. “To tell people that they MUST sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will…” Pregnancy is not random. It happens as a result of a consensual act, and regardless of whatever precautions anyone takes, everyone goes into sex knowing that pregnancy might result. The pregnancy wasn’t “against their will,” their will was just to be able to have sex without responsibility for it.

If abortion advocates are right, why not phrase their intent this honestly? A person’s right to life is universally acknowledged; where is there a documented and defended argument establishing a right to sex without results?

3. “…in an incredibly invasive, expensive, and difficult process…” This is not an accurate description of pregnancy, nor is it relevant to this issue, even if it were accurate. Using rhetoric this loaded to disparage something that literally billions of women have done without invasion, expense, or difficulty reveals how weak the case made in this meme is.

4. “…to save what YOU view as another human life…” Capitalizing the word “you” like that is meant to make this seem like merely an opinion, and an unsound one at that.

But is it just an unsound opinion? Isn’t there plenty of objective evidence to support seeing the unborn as human and alive? They have distinct DNA at conception, they develop sensitive nervous systems capable of feeling pain quite early, and we can now even perform surgery on them before birth and then finish the rest of the pregnancy normally.

The fact that so many discoveries of the last 40 years have further enlightened us about the living, human nature of unborn babies, and dispelled so many ignorant assumptions about them from the Roe era, should really make us pause and think more, shouldn’t it?

After all, if there is any doubt about the status of the unborn, if there’s any debate to be had at all, shouldn’t we be more cautious and err on the side of life?

If an unborn baby isn’t alive, then why can murdering a pregnant woman be prosecuted as a double homicide?

5. “…the early stages of pregnancy when the vast majority of abortions are performed…” This sounds like a tacit admission that late-term and partial-birth abortions are wrong, which is progress. In that case, at exactly what point in a pregnancy are you comfortable saying, “Today the fetus is not alive and we can abort it, but tomorrow it’s a living person and that would be wrong?” Doesn’t that sound ridiculously dangerous?

6. “You can’t even ask people to sacrifice bodily autonomy to give up organs they aren’t using any more after they have died.” Actually, you can. Next of kin do this all the time.

A person can document their refusal to donate organs after they’ve died, though, but if you want to make a “dead body / pregnant woman” analogy work, where unborn babies are like kidneys or livers, you run into the same problems discussed in #1 above.

7. In addition to the other questions I’ve raised here, I’d like to add one more: presumably, if someone shared or liked the meme I’m analyzing, they probably consider themselves a feminist. In that case, how do you feel about the conscious use of abortion internationally as a tool to prevent the birth of females and reduce the population of women? Is bodily autonomy still sacred when it’s being used to wage a global war on girls?