Yankee, go home

There’s an old joke: what’s the difference between a Yankee and a damnyankee?  The first describes a person from north of the Maxon-Dixon line.  The second describes such a person who moves to the South, then tries to turn the South into the north.  That latter variety is easy to spot these days, as several States move to restrict or end organized infanticide.  Yankee transplants are having to come to grips that, outside their trendy neighborhoods in select cities that have been seduced economically, there are still wide swaths of the country that reject the currents of the current age:

Living in a very liberal city in a very conservative state is a trick mirror. “You really forget that you are in the Deep South here,’’ she said. The news was an awakening. When she had moved to New Orleans she volunteered for Planned Parenthood. She knocked on doors to ask for donations, expecting at least some to be slammed in her face. But nearly everyone she met was already making contributions to Planned Parenthood…

How will these new abortion laws affect the redistribution of talent to places whose economies prosper from that talent? Under the current conditions, I wondered if women like Tess and her friends, many of whom moved from New York or Los Angeles, would have chosen to relocate to the Deep South. I asked some of them, and they told me that they were not sure.

Well, they moved once… maybe a roundtrip ticket was in order.  Southerners have had just about enough of progressive proselytizing down here.

I concede that it’s interesting to talk to progressive Northerners who moved South, thinking that the Grand March of Progress would inevitably make the benighted (but cheap) metropolises of Dixie into non-deplorable locales — but who are learning that they, in fact, live in the South.

What chaps my butt about the piece is the assumption by the author (and those she writes about) that the South ought to assimilate to the dominant progressive culture. The message of this piece is, If you Christianist troglodytes don’t let us progressives have our abortions, we’re not going to move there and contribute to your economies.

I have an idea! All y’all could pack up your progressive colonialism ethic and go the hell back home.

And all God’s people said “amen.”

By passing the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, pro-life advocates are setting the stage to provoke a legal fight they hope will culminate with the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.

It’s like the Alabama legislature watched all the giddy, tone-deaf hubris surrounding the New York legislature’s passage of their own bill expanding abortion rights (you remember the cheering pro-choice crowds and buildings awash in celebratory pink lighting), and said enough.

It is heartening to see a developing repentance and rejection of the idea of abortion on demand.  I pray our nation experiences such revival that one day our descendants look back on its supporters with the same horror reserved today for those who defended slavery.

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Be grateful or be gone

The depths of ingratitude some people possess is simply astonishing:

(Congresswoman) Ilhan Omar’s country collapsed as a child. She lived for years in Kenya in that refugee camp. She may have died there without outside help. But help came, from where? From here, America. And this country didn’t just welcome Ilhan Omar to America, we paid to relocate her family and many others from a foreign continent purely for the sake of being good people, for altruism. Because no country in history has been as generous as we are. To places we have no ties to and no obligation to, we have been kind anyway because that’s who we are. Despite her humble and foreign birth, Omar has been elected to our national law-making body. And good for her. So how does she repay her adopted country, the one that may literally have saved her life? She attacks it as hateful and racist, and for that she is applauded by the Democratic Party because they view this country as hateful and racist too.

It should be noted that among the many freedoms enjoyed here is the freedom to leave at will.  Unlike the old Soviet Union or today’s Communist China, there is nothing preventing any resident of the United States from picking up and relocating to a country they believe suits them better.

So why don’t we see millennials migrating to Venezuela, or Cuba, or some other alleged “workers’ paradise?”  It’s because no matter how strongly they rail against America in public, they know full well how good they have it here.  In Omar’s case, she knows first hand what conditions can be like outside of a stable, representative, capitalist country.  She simply chooses to ignore that because her preferred rhetoric, sad to say, helps her accrue power via today’s ignorant masses.

Our country is not, and never has been, perfect.  But I defy anyone to name any country, anywhere, that has provided a better standard of living and greater freedoms than has the United States.  And yet so many of our people listen to the siren songs of these pied pipers that we need to throw out all of the social and legal foundations upon which those successes rest.  Arrogance, ignorance and ingratitude are a toxic cocktail.  That’s how we end up with freshmen in Congress who believe socialism simply hasn’t ever been implemented correctly, or that somehow Islamic Sharia law is to be preferred to secular self-governance guided by Christian principles.

We have such representatives because we’ve allowed ourselves to be invaded and colonized.  An enclave of Somali refugees is the base of Omar’s political ascent.  Immigrants who fail to understand the fabric of how our system works, along with Americans who’ve failed to learn about it, are the constituency of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (also known appropriately as “occasional cortex.”)

The Musketeers’ Mom isn’t known for being publicly political very often.  She made a good point yesterday, however.  In response to an online story about Hollywood celebs threatening not to make films in Georgia if the State passes a heartbeat bill protecting the unborn, she posted “aren’t ya’ll supposed to be in Canada already?”  It’s time we extend that sort of dismissive shunning to everyone who takes routine potshots at our country without acknowledging the many things it gets right — particularly those who come here from abroad, then disparage the country that’s taken them in.  They act like spoiled children throwing temper tantrums, so I don’t see why anyone needs to take them seriously.

It’s time that when these ingrates bite the hand that sustains them, that hand smacks some sense into them.  Don’t like it here?  Get out… there’s over 190 other countries you can choose to call home.  So stop tearing down the one I live in and gave two dozen years of my life in uniform to defend.  I have no sympathy for it.  Neither do many, many other Americans.  So don’t be surprised when there’s broad public support for keeping people out and sending people home.  America’s not a flop house, people.

 

Such lovely expressions of civic virtue… let’s adopt them.  (Not)

Middle-Finger

Rules? How quaint

This is how “representative” our governments now are: apparently you no longer have to actually, you know, LIVE in the district you’re running to represent:

Democrat Jon Ossoff dismissed concerns Tuesday over the fact that he doesn’t live in the Georgia congressional district in which he’s running for a House seat.

“I grew up in this district; I grew up in this community — it’s my home. My family is still there,” Ossoff said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

If having family in a district is enough to be a candidate, most people would have plenty of options to run.  That’s not how it works, though.  And no, I don’t care that he’s “10 minutes up the road,” and just living there to “support his girlfriend in medical school.”

At least Hillary Clinton had the decency to move to New York and pretend to become a New Yorker before running for the Senate.  (I’m pretty sure she’d have never achieved that in Arkansas.)

Either a rule is enforced, or it’s not a rule.   This is yet another example of how we are no longer a nation of laws.  And that’s not going to end well for anybody, no matter what short-term advantages someone thinks they see.

On a related note, it’s nice to see people reminding Congress they have to live with the laws they pass.  And on this particular issue, it’s about time the rules were applied. Vigorously.

College and Congressional qualifications

…have apparently become a topic of conversation in Georgia:

A leading Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia criticized a fellow primary opponent for having only a high school degree. David Perdue, a businessman and first-time candidate for office, was touting his experience and education to a group of voters in January when he made a reference to “a high school graduate in this race.”

That candidate is Karen Handel, the former secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate. Handel left an abusive home at age 17, according to her campaign, and finished high school. She never graduated from college.

“Look at the backgrounds. Look at the credentials. There’s a high school graduate in this race, okay? I’m sorry,” Perdue told a group of Republicans in Bibb County. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the video

The Perdue campaign told the AJC in a statement that “David was simply making the case that he is the most qualified person in this race to help get our economy back on track so that we can start paying down the massive federal debt. His comment was based on facts that are a matter of public record.”

Here we see a glimpse of the arrogance of the would-be ruling elite.  Question: who do you think knows ‘real life’ for the average American best: someone who went straight to college and became a successful (and wealthy) businessman, or someone who clearly had enough character to overcome an abusive childhood and achieve at least the responsibility of Secretary of State for Georgia?  Which candidate will relate better to the challenges most of their constituents face?  Which is more likely to favor legislation the strengthens the hand of their fellow college-graduate-turned-successful-socialites?

Admittedly, I know little else about any of these candidates’ backgrounds (I’m not a Georgia voter, so have not followed this race until now).  But I truly hope this conversation becomes widespread, for two reasons:

– It’s long past time we re-examine what ‘representative government’ means.  I don’t think it means a legislative caste drawn almost exclusively from a pool of the wealthy and highly credentialed.  Do we want bright, intelligent, empathetic representatives?  Absolutely.  I’m not certain a college education necessarily implies or guarantees any of those traits anymore.

– Which comes to the second point: we need to have an honest conversation about the value of college today.

The Perdue campaign, in their response to this public kerfuffle, made reference to the need to pay down the national debt.  I have no idea whether Perdue used student loans to get his allegedly all-important degree, or whether he was fortunate enough to pay as he went.  Regardless, it seems Handel didn’t attempt college by taking on massive amounts of debt, as is the case for far too many people these days.

Who, then, is more likely to have the values of thrift and discretion that are essential to staunching the bleeding of ever-increasing debt?  Just a thought…

I firmly believe the college model as most people approach it today is outdated.  It has become yet another big business, bilking consumers for as much as the market will bear–and then some–while returning as little as possible in many cases.  In addition, what college provides these days is often less ‘education’ than it is ‘indoctrination’ — and that may in fact be part of the concern over Handel’s lack thereof (“oh, no!  She hasn’t spent four–or more–years studying Feminist Studies and The History of ethnic grievances!  We can’t have that in Congress!)

The well-ingrained social assumption that a college degree is essential to make a living today is simply not true, as a handful of individuals like Mike Rowe are quick to point out.  Hard work and character are still enough to make a way in this world, although the cards are often stacked against them.  An over-emphasis on credentialism undermines what a merit society is supposed to be.*

Higher education is hitting the outer limits of a bubble that has gone on for decades.  Without the availability of easy loans, there is no way tuition could have skyrocketed to the levels it has reached.  It’s well past time to ask what the return on this debt-driven experience really is, and whether it’s really an essential part of developing tomorrow’s workers, leaders and entrepreneurs.  We may just find that it’s become part of the machinery that keeps the ‘sheeple’ on desired tracks.

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* This is not just an academic discussion for our family.  The Oldest Musketeer is a high school graduate now.  He has been working an entry level job this year, while we examined his options.  He knows what he’d like to do, and it does require a certain amount of credentialing… but not necessarily a 4-year college degree.  He is but one example of many young men and women who would benefit from a more trade-school approach that focuses on what they find fulfilling, instead of the university model that saddles so many youngsters with mandatory classes they will never use…and the debt that pays for them.  As such, we’ve been careful to select a two-year Associate Degree program that focuses on the core skills and credentials he’s trying to obtain.  By doing so, we’re plotting out a five-semester track for which we already have money saved to cover slightly more than three of the five if he continues to live at home.  If the plan completes as envisioned, he’ll graduate with a degree in something he wants to do, with no debt hanging over his head (or Mom and Dad’s).  There were some who showed signs of curiosity when he didn’t immediately follow his peers off to school last Fall.  As homeschoolers, we’re used to the occasional eyebrow.  I can say that this year of work and self-discovery was a valuable investment in its own right, and I’ve enjoyed watching him grow.  My point is simply that there has never been–and never will be–a ‘one size fits all’ solution to getting the next generation on its feet and self-sustaining.  No child–or society–should be left on autopilot.  ((this postscript added with the approval of the Oldest Musketeer))