11-29-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Children May Learn a Profanity for Christmas

Unsurprisingly, communist flags are cropping up in the "protests" being conducted in the name of Michael Brown. That might explain why trespassing loudmouths have been showing up in large-enough numbers to disrupt shopping in local Walmarts, Targets, and the St. Louis Galleria. Similar "protests" have occurred throughout the country, including encirclement and hectoring of a children's choir in Seattle.

This all reminds me of the following words, from a perspicacious column I encountered fairly recently:

[T]his idea that ... any person should not enjoy life while others languish in misery proves as immoral as any have-not claim upon the lives of haves.
Notice the many Christmases these bullies -- these are not activists -- are ruining while asking, "Who cares? Mike Brown doesn't get a Christmas."

They have already lost sight of why any life could matter, or to whom: Their equality is one of misery.

They are also treating Michael Brown like a symbol, rather than the (criminal) individual he was, trivializing and discrediting whatever legitimate goals they might claim to support (e.g., police reform). Secular conservative Robert Tracinski made this point recently regarding the equally off-base journalists who covered this story:
If you make Michael Brown into a symbol of all young black men, you cannot let yourselves admit to or report on any negative facts you discover about him, because then those negative things become facts about all young black men. So if you find out that Michael Brown was a thug who roughed up store clerks so he could steal from them--if you actually have video of him doing it--you can't report that, because then you are saying that all young black men are thugs, which is clearly racist. So you've painted yourself into a corner where reporting the facts makes you racist. [link in original]
There is a good case for police reform, but these "protests" are wildly off-track, to say the very least.

If my children have the misfortune of seeing any of this themselves, I will make sure they learn the word, "communist", as soon as I have gotten them out of harm's way. A sufficient definition for someone their age is, "a kind of very bad person". If they remember this when they are old enough to understand more, I will be more than happy to elaborate.

Weekend Reading

"When people mob the malls and the stores to enjoy the fruits of the very capitalism they vilify, it just seems like a contradiction." -- Michael Hurd, in "The Self-Fulfilling Madness of Black Friday" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[M]any problems in relationships arise from the false beliefs that one is entitled to something to which he or she is not." -- Michael Hurd, in "Mean People Suck…So Why Put Up With Them?" at The Delaware Wave

"[T]he laws may have a perverse effect of driving consumers towards less-healthy foods!" -- Paul Hsieh, in "How Mandatory Calorie Labeling Hurts Consumers" at Forbes

In More Detail

Michael Hurd, in his column about abusive relationships, as well as in a recent blog posting about handling dysfunctional co-workers, offers some excellent advice about how to diminish the pseudo-power of various types of abusive people. It is one thing to know that psychological boundaries are important, but it can be another to see how to enforce them, or realize they are being tested.


Speaking of Marxism and dysfunctional relationships, we have this, the "Marxism" entry from "Why You Should Not Have Broken Up With Me, According to Various Critical Theories":
Marx believed that the arc of history bends inevitably towards a more equitable distribution of the means of production, but that the battle for socialism would be a long one. I'm confident he would agree that my current financial straits are an inevitable result of the current socioeconomic moment, rather than "a permanent shitstorm born out of sheer laziness," as you described it in your letter. In spite of your attending that Occupy rally last year, which I missed because I was hung over from drinking too much at your work party (you're welcome for supporting you, BTW), you seem to have forgotten the socialist credo: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." If you were ever incapable of making rent on your own, I certainly would have been willing to get a job in order to help out. But you always insisted on focusing on the negative; you had no trouble criticizing me when I couldn't pay for dinner, but you never thanked me for going to the trouble of ordering it in the first place.
I am pretty sure the above is facetious. Really.

-- CAV

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