Talking Family with Some Friends

Today I went to visit some very good friends.  It was a pretty long trip but it was so good to spend time with people who speak my language.  We talked about many things.  We even talked about the political situation and I got some different points of view about the outlook for the mid-terms.  Apparently not everyone is as pessimistic as I am.  But the opinions on what’s wrong with the country were still very close to my viewpoint.

One thing that was brought up was the awareness by women in their thirties and forties that they’ve been tricked.  They’ve traded their most precious resource, their fertility, for ten or twenty years as corporate poster children.  The paradox is the women in their twenties will deny to the death that this is what is happening.  It’s only after the deal has been paid for that they understand what has happened.

But at the same time, it has to be acknowledged that our society has made the one salary middle class family a virtual impossibility.  And both millennial men and women have absorbed this as an unavoidable reality.  I countered that Hungary has begun the process of trying to provide a way out of this trap with tax incentives for couples that allows the wife and mother to stay at home with her kids in exchange for benefits that acknowledge the advantage to Hungarian society of providing new Hungarian citizens for the state.  I got some agreement that this would be highly desirable but there was also a lot of skepticism about any chance of it happening here.

And that’s true.  There’s no consensus among Americans that the stay-at-home mom is a necessity.  In fact, among young women, it’s exactly the opposite.  They’ve been proselytized to believe that only after they’ve achieved corporate success should they even think about getting married and starting a family.  The problem is no one wants to marry a thirty-five-year-old middle manager who makes more money than you and wants her husband to facilitate her remaining at the office to further her career after she has the one child, she thinks she has time (maybe) to produce.  So, we’re in a Catch-22 that neatly resists any fix.

So, I shrugged my shoulders and thought I should open a matrimonial agency and entice twenty something women to marry any men who are brave enough to try and raise families on one salary.  I’ll pitch it to these young women as a quixotic adventure that dooms them to poverty but provides the most enriched personal space in the known universe, the nuclear family.  And it’s true.  There is nothing more dynamic than a man and a woman struggling to provide a home and an upbringing for their own children.  What it requires is a man to spend his twenties saving up a stake to own a house and develop a career that he can use to sustain a family.

And it can be done.  I’ve seen it done.  Some military men have done exactly this.  And there are other career paths that can accommodate this goal.  And then he has to find a girl who’s interested.  But the real question is how many men of this type are left?  It may be a small number.

But this is what I was doing today.  And it was a stimulating discussion.  It’s good to get out and about when there are smart people to talk to.  I only wish there were ten thousand people like those I was talking to today.  If only those kinds of numbers existed.  I could see things getting done.  But when it’s handfuls it seems impossible to cause change.  Well, it was a good day.

Surviving the Great Contraction

What has been going on for the last thirty years has been explained to us as the off-shoring of manufacturing by the global capitalists to take advantage of cheap Asian labor.  And maybe that’s actually how it all started.  But what is now called the Great Reset is a much more ambitious agenda.  What is going on now is an elimination of the middle class in Western Society.  The wealthy and their chosen cadre in the managerial class will leverage automation and the offshoring of manufacturing to eliminate the vast majority of middle-class occupations.  This in turn will deprive young men of the wherewithal to marry and raise families.  And within two generations that will eliminate the majority of the descendants of the greatest generation.  What will be left will be the elites and the immigrants who will cut their grass and babysit their kids.

Now, this is not a prediction.  We’re already halfway through the first generation.  The Millennials are childless for the most part and living as Uber drivers and Starbucks baristas.  Once the same treatment is administered to the Zoomers we’ll be left with the Elites and the immigrants, legal and illegal, to clean toilets in hotels and wait tables in all those exotic restaurants that Cloud People like to eat in.  But the American population that fought the World Wars and built the modern world will be gone.  Curtain falls.

So that’s the plan.  The trick is to keep your descendants from joining the extinction.  One path is to join the Elite.  All you have to do is allow yourself to be subsumed into the Hive.  You must mouth all the right platitudes and denounce your ancestors and pay lip service to the Woke agenda and send your kids to the correct schools.  And grovel.  Basically, you have to learn to love Big Brother.  So, if you can lick the boots of the Elites, they’ll allow you to exist at the lowest rung of their world.  The question mark is whether that will permit your children the same dispensation.  I think the answer is probably not.  If for no other reason, there are very few seats available in the elite colleges and most of those are already reserved for “not you.”  Also, if you do bootlick your way into the Elites your kids will be exposed to so much propaganda that unless they’re equally “in the know” about the madness being preached at them they may be brainwashed into believing that it’s their duty to roll over and die for Gaia.

The other path is to harden your kids and grandkids against the Great Reset.  You’ll have to explain to them that America is no longer the land of opportunity.  They’re going to have to swim against the current and through hard work and perseverance they’ll have to do everything they can to avoid the fate that the Elites have engineered for them.  You’ll have to counter program them to want to get married and raise a family.  Maybe you’ll have to help them get started in small businesses.  You’ll have to provide support, both financial and psychological to make this path seem possible and desirable.  It’s a tall order.

I know what I’m saying sounds bizarre.  But it’s demonstrably true.  This is what the Millennials have experienced.  And it’s not going to get better.  It’s going to get even worse.  And even if some things start to turn around, which is far from certain, a lot of the damage is already done.  At this point we have to try to salvage as much of the younger generations as we can.

This is bad news.  But it has to be accepted and acted on.  The alternative is extinction.

Tend Your Own Garden

What is my thesis today?  Well, I’m having trouble encapsulating it in one phrase.  That’s usually thought to be the result of fuzzy thinking.  And fuzzy thinking is what I seem to do best.  The topic is a mixture of ideas about how to most effectively invest time in the current environment.  After all, if we will always be living under Big Brother’s dark shadow then we must know how to avoid his attention but still wring the most joy out of life.

It seems to me that what is most critical is raising up the young to avoid the destructive effects of the culture.  They need to be helped along to find jobs and start families while negotiating all the barriers that the Left throws in their path.

Now this is an enormous challenge.  Schools, and industry hamper the progress of young men trying to start careers.  And all the outlets of the media and other purveyors of the “culture” poison the minds of young women against a normal life as wives and mothers.  Counteracting these things is a herculean task.  But it is the most worthwhile work there is to do.

Part of it might be to move to a state (or country) where the influences are less pernicious and where opportunities for work exist.  But just as important is to keep your ears and eyes open and recognize when the young people are running into problems.  Be ready to provide advice, and more importantly, money and other resources when they’re needed.  Maybe a contact for finding a job or help with watching children might be needed.  Whatever it is don’t shut your eyes to the problems that the younger generation is facing.  Regardless of the financial challenges we faced in our youth it’s a much greater problem that exists today when the whole weight of the government, private industry and the culture is arrayed against young people trying to live a normal life.

But the good news is that concentrating on that aspect of life means you can de-emphasize all the other nonsense.  Men in sundresses, cities being burned down, the breakdown of law and order, a demented young woman shrieking about global warming and old women demanding abortion up until the moment of birth.  All of these things are symptoms of young people being corrupted by the schools and the culture.  Concentrate on preventing that and giving the young a head-start in their lives and you’ll be doing the most you can do to eliminate these other sicknesses.

Plus accomplishing something concrete for real people, people you care about, is much more rewarding than fighting rhetorical battles in cyberspace.  I see this in my own life.  Agonizing over poll numbers and opining on the latest leftist outrage saps your energy and leaves you drained.  Whereas getting involved with some family project or hearing what’s up with the young people is incredibly energizing.  Even when there are problems you find yourself thinking about the problems and looking for ways to help.  Helping people you like in real life is much more fun than battling psychopaths on-line.

So then what is my thesis?  I guess it’s sort of, “Think globally, act locally.”  Gee, that sounds kind of hackneyed.  I better come up with something more clever.  Well whatever I come up with, it’ll be the title when you read this.

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Puppies of War

So, what to write about today?  Creepy Uncle Joe buying votes in the mid-terms by canceling student loans?  Meh.  Handicapping the mid-terms?  Boring.  Now there were a few headlines that caught my attention.  Donald Trump implores the senate Republicans to dump Mitch McConnell as leader when they take back the Senate.  Now that’s a great headline.  And it’s good advice.  But what’s there to say about it other than it’s a good idea.

And my current personal projects aren’t really that universal in their appeal.  Right now I’m trying to learn enough PHP and MySQL coding to automate some very time-consuming changes to my website.  The book I’m working from is about a thousand pages long and I’ve just gotten past the introduction so it’ll be a tough slog.

I haven’t read or watched any interesting stories in the last few days.  And I’m way behind on my photo work and the fiction writing.  The whole system is falling apart.

So, what’s causing all this havoc?  Well, we’ve been overrun for the last week (and will be into next week) with grandkids.  The little devils have successfully invaded the Compound and are monopolizing Camera Girl’s time.  Worse still they’ve subjugated me too.  When I’m not overseeing their infestation of the swimming pool, I’m forced to play chess with one of them or read stories to another.  And they even have me ferrying them around to the neighboring towns for tennis practice or school open house or whatever.

Actually, it’s kind of great.  My third oldest grandson is becoming a pretty decent pool player and a very good chess player to boot.  And tonight, my little granddaughter asked for three extra bedtime stories from her old grandfather instead of from Camera Girl.  It seems that she likes the same stories I read to her mother more than thirty years ago.

Really the only downside to all this babysitting is the lack of time.  It turns out I really do need time to write the stuff I post here.  There’s no way to multi-task while you’re refereeing young children at play.  They’re just too dynamic and need to be monitored pretty closely to prevent bickering from exploding into fisticuffs.  I have to rule with an iron fist.  Well, it’s probably more like a lot of haranguing by me but you get the idea.

But honestly, the political scene is just status quo.  After the FBI’s gestapo tactics against Trump there’s not much to say.  We know where things stand and we’re just waiting to see whether the electorate repudiates the Democrats or acquiesces in our new status as a banana republic.  So that just leaves me cultural and general interest topics to write about until the feds do something even more outrageously unconstitutional.

And of course, that’s bound to happen in the next week or so.  Biden is desperate to change the story away from runaway inflation.  He’ll attempt to bribe some other constituency with another illegal executive order.  The only question is whether it’ll be transgender polo players or normalizing monkey pox at America’s gay bath houses.  So, bear with me.  Things will return to normal soon and I’ll be back to decrying civilizational collapse again before you know it.

Supreme Court Rules Religious Schools Have the Same Right to State Money as Any Other Private School

The Supreme Court Rulings are starting to roll out now.  And this is a big one.  Maine has a law that allows for districts that do not provide a high school for their children to use state money to reimburse parents for sending their children to private schools.  But it excluded religious schools.  The Supreme Court found that rule unconstitutional.  This is a very big deal.  This will open the floodgates for any anti-religious school laws to be thrown out.  And this is the foot in the door to allow parents to get their kids out of the public schools.  This isn’t the end of the fight but it’s the first shot being fired.  Good.

 

 

 

The Real Conservatism

June is the month of graduations.  And right on schedule I attended two graduations this weekend.  The first one was a very minor but poignant event.  Our littlest grandchild, Princess Sack of Potatoes was finishing up her year of gym class.  Camera Girl and I dutifully showed up at this august occasion and watched through the glass as our little athlete tumbled and climbed and performed the baby steps version of gymnastics on balance beams and parallel bars and rings.  We applauded and made all the right noises while she and her variously gifted team mates impressed their parents and relatives.  Afterwards she got a heavy iron star shaped medal spray painted with gold to wear around her neck and then we all went to our favorite local steakhouse and enjoyed some red meat.  I got the ribeye.

Then today was a more important milestone my oldest grandson graduated from high school with high honors and full scholarship to the local college of his choice.  As was fitting for this more serious occasion, the ceremony took a few hours, if you include the process of showing up early enough to get good seats and parking spots at the outdoor ceremony.  The girl who gave the valedictory address was appropriately eloquent and choked with emotion.  Although some gusts of wind threatened to blow away the pages of her speech and her graduation cap.  But Camera Girl and I agreed that the speeches were well spoken and heartfelt, as the moment required.  We took the requisite photos as the diploma was handed to our young scholar and I even captured the capstone shot of the class tossing their caps into the air.  And afterwards we once again headed to that same steakhouse and partook of red meat.  This time I just had a burger since my son-in-law was paying and I am not unaware of the costs in raising four children in today’s brutal economic situation.

And when we got home Camera Girl and I agreed that it was the perfect weekend.  Of course, tomorrow is Father’s Day, that least understood holiday on the calendar.  When we’re young we would make a card for our father and later on we would buy him a tie and maybe at some point later in life we would get him some artifact that might be associated with one of his pastimes or for home improvement.  Now that I’ve reached grandfather status Father’s Day is sort of a stretch.  My sons-in-law are the objects of this ritual and they will be forced to express gratitude for the well-meaning but mostly useless gifts.

But all fathers know that the true gift every father is looking for is represented by the ceremony I attended today.  When a father has a son who makes the transition from boy to man that is the reward for years and decades of working to make him a functional member of society and hopefully puts him on the road to being able to have a family of his own.  And in a similar way, when a daughter grows up and starts a family of her won it is the realization of this same process.  It is the continuation of the human race.  We provide them a good home and try to teach children what a family is about and hope they’ll try to copy this pattern and produce their own home in the future.

By any definition of conservatism, that is the most essential component of conservative life; to replicate the circle of life.  To conserve the family.  In fact, regardless of what we do in the political realm as far as constitutional freedoms and rights, if we don’t manage to reproduce our families into the next generation then we have failed utterly and our story ends there.  We’ll have to step aside and let someone more adept at human relations take a whack at it.

Tomorrow I’ll get calls from my kids and maybe my grandkids (although that’s a usurpation of their fathers’ prerogatives of the day) and I’ll be pleased as can be that they remember me on the day.  But the great victory is counting those grandchildren and being allowed to share a little in their lives and their accomplishments and knowing that the circle continues and some part of me lives on both genetically and in the traditions and memories that we have built.

Whenever I talk to them, I stress (probably excessively) that they have family that cares about them and will be there if they need help.  I want them to know they are part of a group that they can depend on and that can depend on them too.

So Happy Father’s Day.  Make some memories with those kids.  It’s probably the most important work you’ll ever do as a conservative but more importantly as a man.

08MAY2022 – Mother’s Day and Other Stuff

Last night we went over to one of my daughters’ houses for a Mother’s Day dinner cooked on the grill by one of my sons-in-law in honor of all the mothers in the family.  Steak, salmon, chicken, baked potatoes, string beans, the whole enchilada.  He’s military so survival skills are his forte and cooking ranks high among them.  After dinner was the ice cream cake and coffee.  Superb.  And for once Camera Girl didn’t have to cook a thing.  Probably her favorite party of the year so far.

My granddaughter is three and a half now and so she’s finally old enough to start joining in with the younger boy cousins in running amok in the back yard and the basement.  I’ve never seen a little girl so happy to be shooting and being shot with nerf rockets.  It proves that she’s one of the big kids now.

Seeing how great all these kids are turning out is a remarkable source of pride for me.  Of course, all the credit goes to Camera Girl.  For all of her myriad annoying qualities she is the quintessential mom and grandma.  Her instincts and her conscious efforts are all aligned around nurturing children.  Of course, she’s much more laisse faire about nurturing husbands.  Well, I guess no one’s perfect.

But it struck me reading all the nonsense about the Left rallying around abortion that these people are out of their minds.  They’ve bought into a death cult that emphasizes short term convenience over sharing in the most rewarding institution in human relations, a large multigenerational family.  And based on what I’ve been reading the present generation doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about abortion as the baby boomers were.

The various leftist opinion writers discussing the abortion panic are none too optimistic about either preventing Roe v. Wade being struck down or using the event as a successful rallying cry for the November mid-terms.  They’ve gone through several stages of opinion on the whole issue and currently they’ve ended up at frustration.  It’s frustration that they can’t move the needle on the Republican advantage in polls for the mid-terms and frustration that the voters, other than a noisy but narrow segment are unexcited by the SCOTUS opinion.  It has escaped their notice that Antifa rioters don’t raise families or even engage in heterosexual relationships.  To paraphrase a feminist expression, Antifa women need abortion like a fish needs a bicycle.

And speaking to some folks on our side, those who were most worried about a mid-term backlash against the SCOTUS decision now see the wisdom of direct action.  One fellow admitted that plowing forward with the actions that we’ve said we’ve always wanted to see accomplished is the only way anything will ever get done.  Hearing that was especially satisfying for me.  I’ve been saying for years that pussyfooting around these actions is tantamount to surrendering to the Left.  All it has done is acclimate the succeeding generations to permanent Leftist hegemony.  Fighting these policies even if the battle goes back and forth is progress.  Whining about not being ready until we have overwhelming odds in our favor is a fantasy that guarantees perpetual inaction.

So today I sent out invitations for the Memorial Day Weekend family barbecue.  There I will see most of the closest relatives I have assembled together at the Compound for food and drink and hordes of children and grandchildren running around in circles and jumping in a swimming pool.  We’re slowly putting all of the COVID nonsense in the rearview mirror and moving our lives back where they belong, together.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Fill Up the Space and There’s No Room for Dysfunction

Getting together with the family yesterday was a shot in the arm (no, not a vaccine) for me.  Great food, Easter-chocolate-fueled kids, friendly family, boisterous activity, a few sprinkles of hail and snow, sunshine, a passel of tail-wagging dogs and no television or electronic devices at all.

The time passed so quickly and no one was bored.  I’ve arranged to see the new Batman movie with the two older boys tomorrow.  I opined that this new Batman will be lame because he’s being played by some emo-actor named Robert Pattinson who apparently is best known for playing some lame vampire that girls loved.  The boys agreed that the Dark Knight is still the gold standard for Batman movies but feel we should give this one a try.  I told them we should rent the Michael Keaton Batman from the 1980’s.  Anyway, we’ll buy some greasy popcorn and watch this ridiculous movie and we’ll spend the two hours back and forth talking about everything and nothing.

One of my sons-in-law is starting a small business of his own so we swapped information on LLC’s and sole proprietorships and I told him I’d let him know what I found out from the town hall about paperwork.  And then we discussed his recent foray into welding and metalworking.  I have some projects that would benefit from custom hardware and I told him I’d see if he had any time to cost out some items.  As if he isn’t busy enough running a small factory and large family.  But it was good to have someone who’s trying to build something too, to talk to.

And Camera Girl was in her element with the kids to play with and her daughters to compare notes with on managing homes, kids and dogs.  And there was talk between them about flowers and vegetables and kids’ activities coming up and a summer trip up to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and on and on and on.

It seemed like everyone there was suffering from allergies.  Kids and adults.  And there was sneezing and runny noses and coughing and no one was wearing any stupid masks or apologizing for sneezing germs on each other.  That nonsense seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

And I had a long discussion on dinosaurs with my youngest grandson.  But yesterday the new fascination was Pokémon.  He inherited a book of the cards from one of his older brothers and he regaled me with detailed information about the names, powers and relative value of this album of meaningless monsters.  But showing my attention to this ritual of pre-adolescent consumer culture gained me all kinds of street cred with this miniature descendant of mine.

All in all, it was a roaring success.  Good feelings reigned supreme and the winter was officially laid to rest and the outdoor season was christened with the kids tracking mud into the kitchen and all over their Easter clothes.  And not a single word was spoken about Biden or inflation or transgender anything.  We talked about the kids’ schools and sports and the plans for the next get togethers.  Life and family and friends fill up the spaces in your life if you take the time and trouble to involve yourself with life.  It’s good reminder for me.

Okay, Groomer

Finally, something being done right on the Right.  When Florida passed an anti-grooming law to protect K-3 students from teachers proselytizing for depravity, the Left went nuts.  They mischaracterized the bill as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and attacked Florida and Ron DeSantis as bigots who would be the cause of uncountable kindergarten suicides over rampant body dysmorphia.  When that didn’t work, they recruited Disney to force Tinkerbell and Cinderella’s fairy godmother to cast a spell on DeSantis to make him change his mind.  No soap.  Then they put billboards on highways that are covered with the word gay.  Meh.  Finally, armies of woke K-3 teachers are protesting and threatening to quit if they can’t talk to little kids about deviant sex.  And finally, finally someone came up with the perfect meme.  Here’s the listing in the Urban Dictionary (for as long as it lasts):

Okay, groomer

Definition:  A phrase used to convey disdain with leftists who try to use gay people as a shield to push their pro-pedophile agenda.

Example:

“John, did you hear about the Don’t Say Gay Bill?”

“Oh, you mean the bill that prevents teachers from talking to kindergarteners about sex without parental consent?”

“It’s so bigoted!”

“Okay, groomer.”

by The True Patriot March 29, 2022

 

Andrew Klavan over at the Daily Wire did a long section of his podcast on the whole issue.  He’s a very easy going libertarian so he’s very far from an extremist but he rightly points out the manipulative tactics that the Left uses to get at young children.

There’s an old saying that if you’re getting a lot of flak that means you’re over the target.  Well, this is definitely getting a lot of flak.  Every red state needs to copy this law or even make one even more restrictive.  Instead of K-3 make it K-12.  Why would we ever want teachers preaching sexual depravity to our children?  Opting out of even “normal” sex education should be the default situation in all schools.  None of these people are qualified to talk to your children if you don’t think they are.

Well, anyway, this meme is a winner and makes the perfect answer to anyone who wants to claim to be on the side of reason when advocating for this proselytizing.  Anyone who wants to sexualize kindergarten children is either a complete moron or a pedophile.  Either way shaming them is more than warranted.  It’s everyone’s duty.  I assume that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will immediately suspend anyone who says “Okay groomer.”

What I’m waiting for is Ron DeSantis to yell “Okay groomer!” to some television reporter interviewing him or some Disney flak who tries to shame him into reversing his approval of the law.  He’s lucky.  He’s every Lefty’s dream target.  They’re probably lined up for miles waiting to ask him about the kindergarten suicides.

But I’m kind of jealous.  I don’t have anyone to say it to.  I’m kind of hoping that someone will show up in the comments to take the pro-groomer argument.  I just so badly want to say,

“Okay Groomer!”  Man, that felt good.