The Sex Crutch

 

I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination. To quote Mr. Justice Daniel Snow from First Monday in October, “I’ve never been prejudiced by sex — entertained, yes — prejudiced, never.” (That line is a lot funnier when it comes out of the mouth of Walter Matthau.) I’ve not just been entertained by sex, I have the four kids to show for it.

In the 70 years since Alfred Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male we’ve gone from whispers and protected conversations with our psychiatrists to seeing our sexual peccadilloes as just another piece of fodder for our Facebook pages. There’s a lot to be uncomfortable about and the plan here is not to document them one-by-one.

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Civil War Monuments

 
An abutment of the former Wrightsville Bridge is shown between Veterans Memorial Bridge (PA Rt. 462, foreground) and US highway Rt. 30 bridge (background).

I live in southeastern Pennsylvania. Last week, my wife and I took our kayaks to Wrightsville, PA, a small town on the Susquehanna River about 12 miles east of York. The Susquehanna River is about a mile wide there. On this gorgeous day in our kayaks, we saw incredible wildlife, including 2 mature bald eagles and 4 or 5 juveniles. Describing this area as bucolic would be doing it a disservice.

Crossing the river in this area between two currently-used state highway bridges is a line of abutments, now overgrown with trees and other vegetation. These abutments are what remains of Wrightsville Bridge. In late June, 1863, just before the battle at Gettysburg (about 40 miles west), the army of the Confederacy had invaded Pennsylvania, captured York, and began advancing east, eventually reaching the west bank of the Susquehanna here, at Wrightsville. Their goal was to seize Wrightsville Bridge and continue east to Lancaster, cut the Union rail lines, and cripple the North’s supply routes.

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Robert E. Lee Would Have Fought the Nazis

 

The events in Charlottesville, VA that transpired this past weekend (11 Aug to 13 Aug) were the product of very misguided and miseducated adherents of the Nazi ideology and white supremacism who sought to voice their disapproval of the proposed removal of a statue to Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It is almost rote to assume that what Lee, as Commander of the Confederate Armed Forces and Leader of the Army of Northern Virginia, fought to defend and what was loosed on the world by way of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s were one in the same.

While in the South, blacks were held as chattel property, in Germany, Jews were treated as vermin to be exterminated. But once the comic book version of history is swept aside, and the truly historically curious dig deeper, it becomes plainly clear that what General Lee–and for that matter Generals Thomas J. Jackson or J.E.B. Stuart–were fighting for was something that the Nazis of Adolf Hitler’s Germany would have found foreign and threats to their power.

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Submit Your Questions for Richard Epstein and John Yoo

 

Next week the Law Talk team will be assembling to record the podcast’s 100th episode (after which we’ll be pocketing the syndication money and turning to a show about our real passion: macrame).

As a special treat, we’re opening the floor to listeners. If you have a burning question that you’ve always wanted to ask Professors Richard Epstein or John Yoo, now is your chance. Submit your query in the comments below and I’ll ask some of the best on next week’s episode.

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America and Marvel, Part III: The Role of Cinema

 

I will start with some eminently questionable remarks. Let us start from the place of cinema in American life. Americans are notorious for the great gap their society leaves open in-between personal, private experiences, particular to each one and interesting mostly to himself — and public debates or public discourse, which is dominated by abstractions.

Tocqueville famously said Americans are uniquely given to general ideas — whenever doubt should arise about anything, a principle will be stated with god-like certainty. What lies in-between the abstract or universal and the personal or particular is judgment. Judgment, in both common senses of the word, is frowned upon in America. Obviously, moral judgment is frowned upon because it is a form of discrimination and the ground and mode of discrimination — it also odors of inequality, as he who judges necessarily sets himself the superior of he whom he judges. But judgment offends not merely equality — it also offends independence, or individualism.

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The Irrational Reaction to Trump’s Press Conference Is About Class and White Guilt

 

President Trump, August 15, 2017 (Photo credit: White House Youtube Channel)

The only way to describe the media’s reaction to Trump’s press conference and statements about the events in Charlottesville yesterday is irrational. To understand how irrational the reaction was, just imagine if instead of involving white nationalists and antifa counter protestors the events of last weekend had been a conflict between two rival biker gangs.

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Should the Democratic Party Change Its Name?

 

My answer? It is the party of slavery.

Yes, after their support for slavery and racist laws and regulations for all those decades it’s clear that the well documented and unambiguous racist history of that party should make us all demand that the party distance itself from their history of racism. The party name makes me blanch every time I hear it or read it. How can anyone be associated with such a party that is laced with a sordid history of hatred and bigotry and racism?

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Impeach Trump, Get our Moon Colony!

 

I think it’s become clear that Trump must be impeached. It is obvious that misuse of Twitter is an act of high crimes and misdemeanors. Actually, an earlier draft of the Constitution clearly stated that the President could not misuse new forms of communication. James Madison decided to scratch that idea, however in a letter he wrote to Dolly he made it clear that misuse of forms of communication should be an impeachable offense. A certain history buff has uncovered this letter and will use it for the good of the Republic!

We agree that Trump must be removed. Does that mean that we get President Pence? Not so fast! Pence is guilty by association. We must also impeach Pence once he’s elevated to the presidency. So, are we stuck with President Ryan? Think again!

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We Don’t Care What You Think

 

Been working since 4 am and that, combined with SJWs on Twitter, I may be a little testy. I apologize, sort of, if this offends anyone, but for those of you that want to rip down our monuments, take down flags and/or whatever other symbols in the South offend people’s sensibilities now, here’s the deal.

If you don’t live here then we don’t want your damn opinion about our monuments, etc. You’re not here, so guess what? You don’t have to look at it! Go about your day and try to forget about us honoring our war dead or people we think were heroic, if not perfect leaders. After all, in the SJW world view, Lincoln himself was racist as well, so it won’t be long before we tear down the Lincoln Memorial. We know now that history began with Obama’s election, so why even acknowledge the past has been a bit more complicated than today’s college student at Evergreen may understand.

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Until We Are Parted by Death

 

At National Review Online, Wesley J. Smith has written an essay about the increase in “couples euthanasia” in European countries that have adopted an affirmative right to end your own life. In a story guaranteed to evoke “ahhhs” from sentimental leftists and perhaps a recognizant twinge from anyone who is in love with his or her spouse, he describes an elderly couple who died “holding hands, surrounded by loved ones.”

They were both 91, seriously old even by 21st century standards.

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How to Become a Conservative Author: Marjory Ross, President at Regnery Publishing

 

Marji Ross, Regnery PublishingWhat do William F. Buckley, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Dinesh D’Souza, Sen. Mike Lee, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn, Michelle Malkin, and David Limbaugh all have in common? They, along with dozens of other best-selling authors, are all published by Regnery Publishing. Marji Ross shares with Ricochet how to become an author and have the best chance of becoming published in the hyper-competitive conservative literary space.

Marjory Grant Ross (Marji) has been President and Publisher of Regnery Publishing since 2003. She currently serves on the boards of the National Conservative Campaign Fund, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and the Beth Chai Congregation. In February 2005, she was named the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute’s Woman of the Year.

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QOTD – Idle Hands

 

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” ~ Proverbs 16:27

At least the first part of this has become one of the quintessential old wives sayings, and rightfully so as it’s from one of the oldest books in the history of the world. I always took it as ‘being bored makes you mean’ and I think that’s especially true in our society today.

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America and Marvel, Part II: Reflections of and on Society

 

A few days ago, I talked to my associate Prof. Harmon who raised a fundamental question by way of a preposition. This is not as rare an occurrence as you might think. He asked whether I meant to speak of American cinema as a reflection of American society or a reflection on it. As I said, the movies are our human way of seeing what we’re like, as humans. But what does that mean more clearly?

“Reflections of society” involves the obvious meaning of imitation. What you see on the screen is what the movie-makers saw looking around — America. But this could mean two different things, being that no movie can reflect America as a whole. American movie-makers might offer Americans the images they think will please them — they see what Americans approve, and are governed in their works by that experience. This would mean cinema is a kind of flattery; a barely concealed form of self-congratulation. Every theater-going experience is really an awards ceremony in disguise. There is more than a little truth to that. Do people leave the theaters of this great notion in a soul-searching mood, somewhat chastened by the experience, or rather smug, and even self-important?

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Stuff Medicare Says

 

I recently had a terrible experience with my mom being an “Observation” patient in the local CHW hospital, St. Joseph’s of Orange (Yes, it was so bad, I’m naming names. I hope it comes up in a Google search). Observation means that unlike real patients, you are effectively still an ER patient, simply with a floor bed to relieve the room in the Emergency Department. Observation also limits your rights under Medicare.

That’s right. If you’re over 65, Observation status is basically a way that the hospital gives you only slightly more care than you’d have at home while charging you hospital fees.

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Is Generation X America’s Last Hope?

 

I’m a proud member of Generation X, the oft-forgotten demographic between the utopian Baby Boomers and the self-adoring Millennials. Granted, not all the members of any generation fit their stereotype, but the culture spawned by these groups defines them in aggregate.

After the Greatest Generation survived the Great Depression and returned from a bloody world war, they sought a quiet sanctuary in suburbia, sparing their kids such pain. The Boomers decided that life was boring and inauthentic, and tried to replace it with a Summer of Love that would usher in the Age of Aquarius. That experiment didn’t go too well.

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New Study Finds that Minimum Wage Hikes Are Great News for Robot Workers

 

Back in 2014, I wrote a post that asked, “Why are minimum wage proponents dismissing automation risk?” I just wasn’t getting a sense from the “Fight for 15” crowd that it had thought much about the possibility that dramatically raising the minimum wage might worsen the competitive position of low-skill humans versus machines.

Or maybe it had, but the politics were so tantalizing that they took precedence over sound policy. My conclusion back then: “Pushing for an unprecedented boost in the minimum wage given both the weak economy and automation risk seems like foolhardy public policy.” That, especially given the low-risk alternative of raising and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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