The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

LIVE AT FIVE: 09.11.14

Posted on | September 11, 2014 | 6 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

Obama Promises No Long War Against ISIS; Some Legislators Skeptical

“Effort will not involve American troops fighting on Iraqi soil.”

Dem Senators Begich, Udall skeptical that president can keep that promise
Saudi Arabia to host “train-and-equip” program against Islamic State
Obama orders airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State
Plan poses test for Democrats, Republicans alike

EU Delays Sanctions As Russians Withdraw From Ukraine
Poroshenko: greater autonomy for Russian-speaking East but no territorial concessions

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Diagnosed With Abdominal Tumor
Diagnosis comes after months of pain

Rough Debut For Former Baghdad Bob Clone Jay Carney On CNN

How does it feel to get pwned by a crippled guy old enough to be your daddy, Jay?

Stacy’s Crazy Cousin John calls Carney a liar to his face on national TV

Dems Struggle To Escape Specter Of Obamacare In Senate Races

Ferguson Protesters Arrested During Attempt To Shut Down Interstate

DHS Confirms ISIS Planning Infiltration Of Southern Border

Missouri Lawmakers Override Dozens Of Governor’s Vetoes

House Democrats Question Goodell’s Actions On Rice Video

Federal Agents Seize $65 Million In Money Laundering Bust

FEMA Tells Flood-Ravaged Colorado Town It Wants Its Money Back

Supremes Add Gay Marriage To September 29 Agenda

Brent Stays Barely Over $98 As Ample Supply, Weak Demand Override Mideaat Concerns: WTI $91.79, Brent $98.06
PRC Inflation Cools To Four-Month Low
US Wholesale Stockpiles Barely Budge
Alibaba: Biggest IPO Of All Time?
Twitter To Raise $1.3 Billion Through Note Sale
Two More LNG Projects Approved For Export
Minecraft Fans Spooked By Talk Of Microsoft Acquisition
Dense Server Battle To Heat Up With Intel’s Xeon D Next Year
Five Million GMail Accounts, Passwords Dumped Online
Intel Nabs 1400 Powerwave Patents Amid Wire-Free Push
Rock Band OK Go Accuses Apple Of Ripping Off Their Video

Shields Shuts Down Tigers, Royals Win 3-0

Only two hits allowed in seven innings

Royals take one-game lead atop AL Central

Former FBI Director To Lead Probe Of NFL In Ray Rice Case

Happy 85th Birthday Wishes To Arnold Palmer!

McCutcheon Hits Inside-The-Park Homer, Pirates Beat Phillies 6-3

Mets Blank Rockies 2-0

Clark, Peralta Lift Brewers Past Fish, 4-1

Orioles Sweep Red Sox; Magic Number Now 8

Nats Stumped By Harang Again As Braves Avoid Sweep

Actor Richard Kiel Dies At 74

Played “Jaws” in “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker”

Younger fans knew him from “Happy Gilmore”

Liv Tyler Pregnant With Second Child

Taylor Swift’s Feud With Katy Perry Started Over John Mayer

Shia LaBeouf Pleads Guilty To Disorderly Conduct

Justin Bieber Strips To His Underwear After Being Booed During NYFW’s Fashion Rocks

Former WWE Star Sean O’Haire Hangs Himself

Morgan Freeman Lands Juicy Role In “Ted 2″

Lena Dunham Keeps Confessing Stuff, And She Won’t Shut Up

Australian Hiring Surges, Unemployment Drops To 6.1%
Kerry Calls New Iraqi Government “Heart” Of Fight Against ISIS
EU Envoy Tells Israel Gaza Fighting Will Resume Unless Talks Progress
Thousands Flee Flooding In Kashmir
Brussels Bureaucrats On $400K Salaries Spark New Calls To Leave EU
Two Australians Face Charges Of Aiding Terrorist Groups In Syria
Rights Group Calls On Thai Junta To End Repression
Battle For Benghazi Could Break Up Libya
Trial Of Chinese Human Rights Activist “Political Persecution”
Philippines Plans To Give Muslims Autonomous Zone
Washington, Seoul Closely Watching Norks’ Charm Offensive

Louder With Crowder: “Guns At Kroger’s? Oh My!”
Doug Powers: Misdial “M” For Lerner – Is The DOJ Conspiring With Dems To Bury The IRS Scandal?
Twitchy: See Katie Pavlich Flog Obama Post-Speech With One Simple Question
American Power: The Obama Depression – Long-Term Job Losses Still At Record Levels
BLACKFIVE: Former VP Dick Cheney At The American Enterprise Institute
Conservatives4Palin: The New American Aristocracy
Don Surber: Rothenburg – Republicans Poised For Biggest Senate Wave In 20 Years
Jammie Wearing Fools: Sandinista Fan Bill De Blasio Doesn’t Have Security Clearance To Received Classified Info
Joe For America: Ray Rice’s Wife Pins Blame Where It Belongs – On The Media
JustOneMinute: Sidling Toward The Biden Partition Plan In Iraq
Protein Wisdom: Never Forget, Never Forgive
Shot In The Dark: In Today’s Literary And Marketing News…
STUMP: Public Pensions Watch – Alternative Asset Classes, Part VII – North Carolina
The Gateway Pundit: LTC Ralph Peters On Obama’s ISIS Address – “It’s Pathetic…It’s Idiotic Nonsense”
The Jawa Report: Ahhhh Snackbar! Canadian Terror Supporter Bilal Phillips Arrested In Philippines
The Lonely Conservative: The IRS Audited Breitbart News. Hmmm, I Wonder Why.
This Ain’t Hell: GMAFB. Really? That’s Our Strategy?
Weasel Zippers: Obama – “Let’s Make One Thing Clear. ISIS Is Not Islamic.”
Megan McArdle: Sell Birth Control Over The Counter

The September 12 Smittypalooza is tomorrow! Be at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon starting at 4 PM!

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GamerGate And Why It Matters To Conservatives

Posted on | September 10, 2014 | 81 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

“Politics is downstream from culture.”
-Andrew Breitbart

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that with regard to entertainment, conservatives and libertarians find science fiction and videogaming to be the most attractive options offered by pop culture these days, mainly because there’s a lot of SF that doesn’t try and stuff political correctness and half-baked socialist egalitarianism up our snouts. The same goes for videogames, which are mostly about killing bad guys and/or solving puzzles.

This is, of course, intolerable to the Social Justice Warriors who insist that everything has to have a “teachable moment” or six about how horrible straight white males are and how heroic GLBTWTFBBQ persons are and what a utopia we could have if those wreckers and kulaks would quit trying to undermine kindly old Uncle Joe…oh wait, that was the 1930s pravda. Well, it hasn’t changed much over the last eighty years, as we can see in the pages of DKos and other online asylums for those afflicted with Hopeychangium overdoses. So it’s not too surprising that the SJWs have wound up running most of the legacy publishing houses and turning thumbs down on authors who don’t toe the line of correct thought and correct characterizations; as I have previously remarked in various book columns, the main holdout against this sort of tripe is Baen Books, whose interest has always been in telling a good story and only incidentally in whether the protagonist is gay, straight, or involved in a long-standing passionate affair with her slide rule, IYKWIMAITYD.

Unfortunately for gamers, there is no publisher comparable to Baen, but for the most part companies like EA, Bungie and Ubisoft are still more interested in the bottom line: what are gamers buying, and how can we sell them more of it? Questions of binary gender and other nonessential BS just don’t have much of an impact on the bottom line, and so while the publishers may pay lip service to the SJWs in the industry press, they don’t actually DO anything. Which just stokes the anger of the SJWs, who have been increasingly filling the pages of the gaming press with rants about what a misogynistic bunch of violent bigots the gaming community is made up of. Unfortunately, they’re messing with the wrong guys. For the most part, these are people who don’t take smack talk and harassment lying down – they’ll serve it right back with a side order of butthurt and rage, and they will move mountains to stick it to people who are getting up their noses. Which is how we arrive at GamerGate, the sad tale of how hypocritical “feminist” game developer Zoe Quinn literally slept her way into getting a crappy game nobody wanted to play featured on Steam, and further, got lots of positive reviews and supportive essays from game site reviewers who she also happened to be boning. Which is unfortunately a matter of public record, since her now ex-boyfriend went public with her faithlessness and hypocrisy; even more unfortunately, the game sites which should have been covering this doubled down and censored all discussion of the flap.

Much of this is going to sound familiar to conservatives and libertarians; discussion of political topics hostile to the liberal narrative has been verboten on places like Digg, Reddit, and other supposedly “neutral” online fora for quite some time, which is why there’s a thriving blog culture on the Right even without the bucks poured into the lefty blogs by people like George Soros and various foundations.I suspect that part of the fallout from GamerGate is going to be a bunch of new game review sites that have nothing to do with Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, and all the other sites that have taken to telling gamers what horrible people they are instead of telling them about games and mods and related topics of interest. Gamers may even start casting a jaundiced eye on the rest of the media; as culture critic Maddox remarked, game media are now suffering a high-speed version of the credibility collapse that the mainstream media took decades to suffer through. Or, as the eponymous boss of said in a recent column, people will blow this off since the idea of “objective” game journalism is nonsense anyway.

I don’t agree; the rage of gamers at being called a bunch of racist sexist bigots for being upset with this is precisely why Ed Morrissey and Breitbart ran pieces on GamerGate. (Ace linked to Cranky T-Rex.) One of the worst features about the contemporary left is their conviction that the personal is political, and everything is personal with them. Everything, be it football, basketball, science fiction, videogames, movies or whatever, has to be relentlessly politicized and examples made of people who say Bad Things. Offensive Things That Make Somebody Feel Bad. Most conservatives don’t give a damn about any of that, and we resent the hell out of some dipshit like Bob Costas giving us a lecture on gun control when we’re trying to watch a damn football game. Conservatives and libertarians may not agree on a lot, but we can all agree that obnoxious leftist actors, authors and singers need to shut up and sing, and quit trying to force their half-baked political notions up our snouts, because that’s not what we’re paying them for.

This is also why Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Vox Day and John C. Wright (to name but a few) have been up in arms against John Scalzi and the wretched Stockholm Syndrome crew at the SFWA. Scalzi, the academic leftists who have come to dominate SFWA, and their SJW allies on Tumblr are quick to take offense at any SF or fantasy that doesn’t meet their politically correct templates, and have not scrupled to lie or misquote authors who don’t toe the line. So far the Glittery Hoo-Has are “winning” in the sense that they and their allies still dominate Hugo voting – but in a time when DragonCon and GenCon attendance exceeds Worldcon’s by an order of magnitude, what worth does a Hugo actually have? In times past, when geek culture and science fiction fandom were the same thing, the Hugo was worth serious money, but that was decades ago. Geek culture now includes anime fans, gamers, podcasters, webcomic creators, bloggers, cosplayers, comic book fans, and endless combinations of the preceding, and I’d bet money that if you went to DragonCon and asked people if they knew anything about Worldcon or the Hugos, most of the people would have (at best) a vague idea of what you were talking about.

This is not the tempest in a teapot some Hot Air commenters think it is. This is a battle for the last pieces of pop culture still friendly to conservatives and libertarians, a battle to keep some parts of society free of the Social Justice Warriors and their craziness. It’s a battle we can win. All we have to do is pitch in with a little mockery, some pointing and laughing, and buying the occasional book or videogame to support the authors and creators we like and respect. Capitalism, what a concept!

Shop Amazon – Hot New Releases in Video Games

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In The Photo Finish, Huxley Beats Orwell By A Joint

Posted on | September 10, 2014 | 54 Comments

by Smitty

People have been looking a Fort Meade and trembling in Orwellian fear, but it looks like civilization may be more likely to end up drowned in a bong than sent to Room 101:

Welfare recipients can’t use their EBT cards at liquor stores but they can at marijuana dispensaries in states such as Colorado that have legalized pot, Sen. Jeff Sessions revealed Tuesday.
The Alabama Republican announced that he was drafting legislation to close the welfare-for-weed loophole after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to him that marijuana shops were not off limits to EBT cards, which replaced food stamps, or other federal benefits.

Thought experiment: you can be on the dole, or you can vote, but not both. The quote usually focuses on the government bribing people with their own money. However, there seems to be a reciprocal problem of the deadbeat people offering votes in exchange for handouts. There has to be a way to diminish that threat.

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Violence, Foreign and Domestic

Posted on | September 10, 2014 | 9 Comments

Americans demand that action be taken to deal with two grave threats, radical Islamic terrorism and NFL running backs:

The N.F.L. remained on the defensive Tuesday as questions mounted over its handling of the domestic abuse case involving one of its star running backs, Ray Rice.
Commissioner Roger Goodell went on national television to address what the N.F.L. knew about a graphic video that showed Rice punching and knocking out his then-fiancée in an elevator. The video was released Monday by TMZ, a celebrity gossip website, prompting the Baltimore Ravens to terminate Rice’s contract and the N.F.L. to suspend him indefinitely.
Goodell said he had not seen the video of Rice knocking out his fiancée.
“We assumed there was a video, we asked for a video, but we were never granted that opportunity,” Goodell told CBS News on Tuesday. “No one in the N.F.L. to my knowledge” had seen the video.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, the league said it had asked law enforcement officials for “any and all information about the incident, including any video that may exist” and “that video was not made available to us, and no one in our office saw it until yesterday.” . . .
Goodell said the N.F.L. had seen the less graphic video published by TMZ soon after the assault in February, video that was taken from a camera in a hallway and showed Rice dragging his fiancée from the elevator.
According to advocates for victims of domestic violence, that video should have been enough to prompt Goodell to suspend Rice for more than two games.
“It didn’t leave a lot to the imagination,” said Kim Gandy, the president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Gandy, who spoke with Goodell at length before he strengthened the league’s domestic violence policy last month, said she applauded the commissioner’s tougher stance and blamed prosecutors in New Jersey for reducing the charges against Rice.
“It’s a sad commentary on the criminal justice system that there wasn’t stronger action taken,” she said. “I guess celebrity has its privileges.”

Speaking of celebrities with privileges, President Obama is reportedly ready to order U.S. air strikes against the ISIS terrorists in Syria, and then he’ll go back to golfing, we presume. A teenage girl captured by the Islamic thugs described her captivity, which is even worse than being married to an NFL running back:

“They treat us like slaves. We are always ‘given’ to different men. Some arrive straight from Syria,” she says.
Isis has made huge territorial gains across northern Iraq and parts of Syria, capturing thousands of women and children according to an Amnesty International report last month.
“They threaten us and beat us if we try to resist. Often I wish they would beat me so hard I will die. But they are cowards even in this. None of them have the courage to end our suffering.”
Mayat says some of the youngest girls have stopped talking because of the abuse and were taken away by their captors. Many of the women have attempted to end their lives.
“Sometimes I feel as though it will never end. And if it did, my life would remain forever scarred by the torture I have suffered the past few weeks,” Mayat says. “Even if I survive, I don’t think I’ll be able to remove this horror from my mind.”

Kim Gandy could not be reached for comment.


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LIVE AT FIVE: 09.10.14

Posted on | September 10, 2014 | 2 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

Raging Monsoon Floods Kill Over 400 In India, Pakistan

Kashmiris cling to a tree to avoid being swept away by floodwaters inundating Srinagar

More than 1.5 million affected
Epic floods link India, Pakistan in disaster
Rescuers scramble to save thousands still trapped by floods

Cuomo Gets Bruising Lesson From Teachout In Democrat Primary
Little-known law prof draws 35% as party’s left wing turns on Cuomo

Detroit, Suburbs Ink Regional Water Deal
Pact still requires approval of bankruptcy judge

Scott Brown Win NH Senate Primary

Former Senator Bob Smith, Scott Brown, and state senator Jim Rubens at a September 4 debate

Will face incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in November

Is Atlantic City’s Casino “Crisis” A Problem For Chris Christie?

Iraq Vet Moulton Upsets Tierney In MA-6 Dem Primary

Will Obama’s Unpopularity Doom Al Franken?

Raimondo Wins Dem Nod For RI Governor

DOJ Spokescritter Caught Trying To Spin IRS Coverage With Congressional Dems

House GOP Seeks To Avoid Government Shutdown

Breitbart News: IRS Targeted Us For Audit

Asian Crude Up From NY Close But Brent Still Under $100: WTI $92.96, Brent $99.39
Dollar General To Make Hostile Bid For Family Dollar
Dollar Climbs To Six-Year High Against Yen, Aussie Slumps
Eurozone Banks Reluctant To Lend
Chinese Customers Continuing To Steer Clear Of McDonald’s
Politico To Launch In Europe, Partnering With Axel Springer
Apple Unveils Watch, Larger iPhones
Snapchat Settles Ownership Dispute
Microsoft Close To $2 Billion Deal For Minecraft Maker
Qualcomm Brings LTE To Entry-Level Phones
GamerGate: Why Gaming Journalists Keep Dragging Zoe Quinn’s Sex Life Into The Spotlight

“Miracle On Ice” Team Defenseman Bob Suter Dies, 57

Mike Eruzione ,Phil Verchota, John Harrington, and Bob Suter play some foosball at the Olympic Village in Lake Placid

Father of Minnesota Wild star Ryan Suter died suddenly; no cause announced

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Sued For Sexual Assault

Angels Win Sixth Straight, Pound Rangers 9-3

Astros Edge Mariners 2-1

Freddy Galvis Carries Phillies To 4-3 Victory Against Pirates

Mets Blank Rockies 2-0; Wright Done For Season

Fish Thrash Brewers Again, 6-3

Lester Finally Gets Some Run Support, A’s Rout White Sox 11-2

Padres Stop Skid, Beat Dodgers 6-3

Nationals Pulling Away In NL East, Top Braves 6-4: Magic Number Now 10

Mel Brooks Leaves 11-Finger Handprints On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

“I desperately need to wash my hands.”

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein

Robert Downey Jr. Talks About His Addictions

Source Claims Throat Biopsy Cut Off Joan Rivers’ Air Supply

Sony Sets Rodney Rothman To Script “23 Jump Street”; Will Lord & Miller Return?

Britney Spears Reveals Her BFF Zoe Saldana Is Expecting Twins

Simone Battle – Money Problems Allegedly A Factor In Suicide

Lea Michele Shacking Up With Ex-Gigolo Boyfriend

Danielle Fishel Pens Memoir, Recalls Being Rescued By Ben Affleck

Katy Perry Slams Unnamed Mean Girl After Rumor Of Taylor Swift Feud

Female-Led “Minority Report” TV Follow-Up Lands At Fox

Argentina Admits Investors Uninterested In Bond Swap
Poroshenko Insists Ukraine Will Stay United, Suggests Special Status For Rebel-Held Areas
The Gaza War Is Over, But Violence Still Rampant In Jerusalem
Blast Kills 28 Syrian Jihadi Leaders
British Politicians Hit Campaign Trail To Save Union
Fiji Retracts Claim That Kidnapped Peacekeepers To Be Freed By Al-Qaeda
EU Pledges “Full Support” For New Iraqi Government
UK Arming Kurds As Battle Against IS Intensifies
Franklin Expedition Discovery Solves One Of Canada’s Great Mysteries
Japanese Sentiment Towards China At Worst Level
Death Toll Rises In Pakistani Mosque Collapse

Blackmailers Don’t Shoot: Destiny Review
Doug Powers: Obama Says Amnesty Would Be So Popular That Delaying It Until After The Election Is The Responsible Thing To Do
Twitchy: Keeping It Classy – Lena Dunham Jokes About Aborting Royal Baby
American Power: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell May Be In Trouble Too
American Thinker: The Invasion Of Enterovirus EV-D68
BLACKFIVE: Where Was The Cavalry For Benghazi?
Conservatives4Palin: Majority Of Americans Now Say Obama’s Presidency A Failure
Don Surber: Sadly, Bush Was Right
Jammie Wearing Fools: Holder Stooge Trying To Coordinate IRS Coverup Accidentally Calls Darrell Issa’s Office, Hilarity Ensues
Joe For America: EPA’s Phony “Environmental Justice” Caper
JustOneMinute: Bring On The Pretty Speeches
Protein Wisdom: If You Drag A Government Check Through A Womens’ Studies Department…
Shot In The Dark: Because There Aren’t Enough Unemployed Blacks, Latinos And Immigrants In Minneapolis
STUMP: Public Pensions Watch – Alternative Asset Classes, Part VI – Rhode Island
The Gateway Pundit: Good News! ISIS Now Has Active Supporters In 32 Countries Including Canada, Australia, And 11 European Countries
The Jawa Report: Motley Crew Of Counter-Cyberterror Hacktivists Assrape ISIS Twitter Jihad
The Lonely Conservative: Harry Reid Is Angry The GOP Didn’t Block His Assault On Free Speech
This Ain’t Hell: Salafist Sharia Police Not Welcome In Germany
Weasel Zippers: 22 House Dems Join GOP In Condemning Obama’s Bergdahl Prisoner Swap
Megan McArdle: Why GE Is Walking Away From Your Kitchen

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Well, Sink My Car & Call Me ‘Ted’

Posted on | September 9, 2014 | 9 Comments

by Smitty

Emphasis and vomiting mine:

The Naval Academy was ranked 13th in the list of best national liberal arts colleges, above its rival, the U.S. Military Academy, which was 24th. St. John’s College in Annapolis was ranked 56th.

I mean, yeah, you can major in English at Sing Sing on the Severn, but you get a Bachelor of Science for your trouble. It’s an engineering school, for crying out loud! Not the kind of school where you’re

Listening to rock and roll music and bad-mouthing your country

This blog bitterly resents any comparison between Naval Academy Midshipmen and the kind of Godless Commies infesting the rest of academia.

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Krugman, Did You Just Argue Against People Exercising Basic Liberty?

Posted on | September 9, 2014 | 47 Comments

by Smitty

. . .polling suggests that support for [Scottish] independence has surged over the past few months, largely because pro-independence campaigners have managed to reduce the “fear factor” — that is, concern about the economic risks of going it alone. At this point the outcome looks like a tossup.

Well, I have a message for the Scots: Be afraid, be very afraid. The risks of going it alone are huge.

Irrespective of the rational arguments that are to be made, Krugman you’re arguing against the advice of a man who’s boots you’re unfit to polish:

Never take counsel of your fears.

Had I a vote in Alba, I’d straight up vote for independence. Not because of the probability of anything in your cheap parade of horribles coming to pass, Krugman, but just because I can’t think of anything good ever occurring in history through heeding the advice of a craven little pecksniff such as yourself. Yours is the advice that the Orwellian hell of the day is preferable to possible greatness, if the slack-jawed academics can just succeed in dragging enough people into their gloomy swamp.

Fall off the planet, Krugman. The litmus test for any policy decision anywhere ought to be: is it increasing individual liberty and opportunity? If the answer is ‘yes’, then go for it, say I.

Where one could argue against Scottish independence is if the leaders are just planning to sell out to Brussels. However, I should think Krugman would be getting out his best pom-poms to cheerlead such a debacle. Is there a stupid idea under the sun that Krugman has not embraced?

via HotAir headlines

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The Rocky Horror Parenting Show

Posted on | September 9, 2014 | 93 Comments

Most parenting “trends” are bad. In general, as a parent, you should strive to be as old-fashioned as possible. Even if your children subsequently rebel against your authority — as, predictably, most kids do — you need to give them an actual authority to rebel against. And then you crush the rebellion like Darth Vader wiping out Alderaan.

Trendy progressive parent nowadays are into gender neutrality. They don’t want to impose oppressive gender norms on their kids because having normal kids is wrong, or something. What trendy progressive parents want is for their kids to be hopelessly confused weirdos, so that the parents then have a “cause” to crusade for. Nothing else can explain this Huffington Post column by Erika Kleinman:

When Gender Norms Didn’t Work for My Kid
I cut my 3-year-old daughter’s hair really short. She had asked me, specifically, “Can you cut my hair like a boy? Really, really short?” At first I gave her a bob. Then a shorter bob. Then finally, when she asked yet another time, I said to myself, “Why am I avoiding this? Let’s do it.” I got out the clippers.
Why did it take her asking me three times for me to take action? Because this culture is still very binary when it comes to gender, and never more so than during early childhood. And I’m not immune to my culture, and I feared the reactions of others. . . .

(It’s like a Jeff Foxworthy joke. You might be a trendy progressive parent if you’ve ever written a sentence that includes the phrase, “this culture is still very binary when it comes to gender.” Hint: When it comes to parenting, Judith Butler is not your friend.)

When I was in the fifth month of my pregnancy with my first child, everyone wanted to know the sex. “Boy or girl?” When I said, “Surprise,” they were openly horrified. “No one is going to know what to get the baby!” Pink or blue? Cupcakes or puppy dogs? Butterflies or tractors? These conversations annoyed me. I have a foot in my spleen and no bladder capacity and you want to know pink or blue?
Even without the key information of my baby’s sex, people sounded off on how different boys and girls are. Boys are so bold, so daring. Girls are so sweet, such good listeners. Many of these people were college educated, where they ostensibly took one class which addressed binary gender constructs. One lesbian mother described her son as “all boy.” What does that even mean? I don’t hold gay people to a higher standard when it comes to questioning gender roles, but it is testimony of how deep these perceptions of girls and boys run in this culture. . . .

(Again, she uses the phrase “this culture.” Please tell us, Ms. Kleinman, where can we find a culture without “gender roles” and “perceptions of girls and boys”? Can you point to another culture — and utopian science fiction novels don’t count — where androgynous gender anarchy prevails? This could be an interesting subject for anthropologists to explore. As a practical guideline for successful parenting, however, mere theories about a gender-free culture might not be so helpful.)

Where does the assertion come from that girls and boys behave certain ways, and that this is inherent? They are socialized differently and may have different ways of relating to one another, especially as they get older and these expectations become even more rigid. But are these differences as stark as many parents say they are? Indeed, many of the parents who stated that boys and girls were “so different” were basing this assumption on their uncontrolled experiment of (their own) two children.
Yet gender stereotypes are encouraged in early childhood, especially when it comes to toys. With that in mind, during my pregnancy, I vowed I would empower our girls, and make sure our boys were sensitive. As it turned out, we had two girls. When my youngest daughter was born, I joked to my husband, “Well, who knows? Jury’s still out on gender until they tell us themselves.” . . .
For the first three years of my older daughter’s life, I was careful to say, “Shea, when you get a boyfriend or girlfriend…” until she finally corrected me, at 4-years-old. She said, “Mom, I’m going to marry a boy, so you can stop saying that. I don’t want to marry a girl.” Fair enough.
When my youngest child started pointing at little boys in picture books, saying, “That’s me,” I was surprised. . . .

(You were “surprised”? As if your daughter wasn’t sensitive enough to pick up on her mother’s hostility to “gender stereotypes”? You spent the first four years of your older daughter’s life inciting her to bisexuality, and yet now you’re “surprised” that your younger daughter is confused about her gender? Clueless much?)

When I cut Phoebe’s hair, I used clippers . . . I left some length on top, skater boi style. The difference was pretty striking. She really did look like a boy. After the haircut, I noticed that I felt some loss around my perception of my child as female. I felt fear about how my child might be treated. My child attends a Montessori school filled with people who are like-minded in terms of empathy and rejecting cultural stereotypes, but kindergarten at a public school is only two years away. And what then? . . .

You can read the whole infuriating thing. It seems to have become a trend among progressive parents to promote gender confusion in their children, a practice that allows feminist mothers to challenge “stereotypes” vicariously. If they can raise a sissy boy or a butch girl whose abnormal behavior makes them a target of ridicule and ostracism, these mothers can then spend the rest of their lives as crusaders on behalf of tolerance, and be praised by their progressive peers for so courageously defending the child whose personality they have warped.

Catherine Newman is so proud of her effeminate son, you see? And if Erika Kleinman can “empower” her daughter Phoebe to be a “scary butch lesbian” like Rachel Maddow, this will be counted as success among the feminist peers whose admiration Ms. Kleinman craves. The child’s happiness is ultimately less important to progressive parents than “rejecting cultural stereotypes.”


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