Tuesday, January 02, 2018

'I'm Not Ready to Get Married'

Dennis Prager

In every age, people say and believe things that aren't true but somehow become accepted as "conventional wisdom."

The statement "I'm not ready to get married" is a current example. Said by more and more Americans between the ages of 21 and 40 (and some who are older than that), it usually qualifies as both meaningless and untrue. And it is one reason a smaller percentage of Americans are marrying than ever before.

So, here's a truth that young Americans need to hear:

 Most people become "ready to get married" when they get married. Throughout history most people got married at a much younger age than people today. They were hardly "ready." They got married because society and/or their religion expected them to. And then, once married, people tended to rise to the occasion.

The same holds true for becoming a parent. Very few people are "ready" to become a parent. They become ready ... once they become a parent. In fact, the same holds true for any difficult job. What new lawyer was "ready" to take on his or her first clients? What new teacher, policeman, firefighter is "ready?"

You get ready to do something by doing it.

In addition, at least two bad things happen the longer you wait to get "ready" to be married.

One is that, if you are a woman, the number of quality single men declines. Among deniers of unpleasant realities -- people known as progressives, leftists, and feminists -- this truth is denied and labelled "sexist." But, as Susan Patton, a Princeton graduate, wrote in an article titled "Advice for the young women of Princeton," published in Princeton's student newspaper: "Find a husband on campus before you graduate. ... From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good to be surrounded by all of these extraordinary men."

The other bad thing that happens when people wait until they are "ready" to get married is that they often end up waiting longer and longer. After a certain point, being single becomes the norm and the thought of marrying becomes less, not more, appealing. So over time you can actually become less "ready" to get married.

And one more thing: If you're 25 and not ready to commit to another person, in most cases -- even if you are a kind person, and a responsible worker or serious student -- "I'm not ready to get married" means "I'm not ready to stop being preoccupied with myself," or to put it as directly as possible, "I'm not ready to grow up." (No job on earth makes you grow up like getting married does.)

People didn't marry in the past only because they fell in love. And people can fall in love and not marry -- as happens frequently today. People married because it was a primary societal value. People understood that it was better for society and for the vast majority of its members that as many individuals as possible commit to someone and take care of that person. Among other things, when people stop taking care of one another, the state usually ends up doing so. Just compare the percentage of single people receiving welfare versus the percentage of married people.

Nor is the argument that the older people are when they marry, the less likely they are to divorce. This only applies in any significant way to those who marry as teenagers versus those who marry later. Moreover, the latest data are that those who marry in their early 30s are more likely to divorce than those who marry on their late 20s.

And then there is the economic argument. Many single men, for example, say they are not ready to get married because they don't have the income they would like to have prior to getting married. As responsible as this may sound, however, this is not a particularly rational argument. Why is marrying while at a low income a bad idea? In fact, marriage may be the best way to increase one's income. Men's income rises after marriage. They have less time to waste, and someone to help support -- two spurs to hard work and ambition, not to mention that most employers prefer men who are married. And can't two people live on less money than each would need if they lived on their own, paying for two apartments?

In addition to economic benefits, the vast majority of human beings do better when they have someone to come home to, someone to care for, and someone to care for them. And, no matter how much feminists and other progressives deny it, children do best when raised by a married couple. There are, most certainly, superb single parents. But every superb single parent I have ever spoken to wishes they had had a spouse with whom to raise their children.

Throughout history, and in every society, people married not when they were "ready" to marry, but when they reached marriageable age and were expected to assume adult responsibilities.

Finally, this statement reflects another negative trend in society -- that of people being guided by feelings rather than by standards or obligations. We live in an Age of Feelings. Aside from the rational and moral problems that derive from being guided by feelings rather than by reason and values, there is one other problem. In life, behavior shapes feelings. Act happy, you'll feel happy. Act single, you'll feel single. Act married, you'll feel married.

Do it, in other words. Then you'll be "ready."


German police union chief slams New Year’s Eve ‘safe zone’ for women

TWO years after hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted by migrants on New Year’s Eve, police have slammed a “devastating” new proposal.

THE head of a German police union is criticising the creation of a special safe zone for women at the annual New Year’s Eve party in front of Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.

Rainer Wendt of the DpolG union says establishing such an area sends a “devastating message” that women aren’t safe from assault outside of it.

In an interview with the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung daily, Wendt was quoted Saturday as saying the move appeared to ignore the “political dimension” in Germany, two years after hundreds of women reported being sexually assaulted or robbed during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne.

Organisers of the free, open-air event said the “Women’s Safety Area” was requested by Berlin police. Other security measures include concrete blocks to prevent vehicle attacks and bag searches at entrances.


Rise of the Zeta Males
There's a possibility our species will, in the not-too-distant future, be wiped out. Not by a meteor, but by simply no longer reproducing. Sterility won't be the culprit, it will be the rise of the zeta males.

You doubtlessly have heard of alpha and beta males - alphas being dominant and aggressive, and betas being pajama wearing, vegans with man-buns. While it may seem like those two options represent the bookends of the scale, there is a new, disturbing option emerging that may, and maybe should, mean the end of all human reproduction: the zeta male.

The zeta male is so far down the scale from the beta male so as to make them look like the bastard child of a steroid-fueled spawning session between Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, man-bun and all.

So, what is a zeta male? They aren't just "woke" feminists, thought they are certainly that. They are biological men for whom a urinal holds no meaning, they always sit. They get tattoos of Hillary Clinton and attend Brony conventions.

More than that, they are exemplified by a recent op-ed in the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of America's most over-priced college.

The piece, entitled, "The Harvard Community is Responsible for Sexual Assault," is a progressive diary entry on the fall of western civilization.

The headline is typical leftist pap - blaming everyone for the actions of a few so as to alleviate personal guilt. But the source of the personal guilt in this case is the issue and the evidence.

The author (who I won't name because he's a young kid and had to have been made this way by liberals in his life as a child) is haunted by something he did with two friends over a year ago; haunted to the point that he felt compelled to confess his sin not to a priest, but to everyone on campus.

So what was this horrible offense; this sexist, sexual assault enabling action he took? He acted like a normal guy, quite possibly for the first and only time in his life.

How? I'll let him explain:

"During Orientation Week in August of 2016, I was out late drinking in Harvard Square with two classmates. The topic switched to the women in our class. Over the drunken hum of the bar's collective conversation, one guy proposed the `hottest' girls in our class. The other did the same. They both then asked me to rank the girls in our cohort in the order I wanted to get with. My alarmed heart bolted blood to my cheeks. I crossed my arms, unable to speak. `Are we making you uncomfortable?' one asked me. I cannot remember my exact response. But it was not: `Yes. Objectifying women, even though it seems harmless to you, demeans them and creates an environment that makes sexual assault more likely.' Instead, I uncrossed my arms, I shook my head, and yes, I discussed which girls were hot."

We no longer have a need for The Onion, real life has become a parody of itself.

All they were basically doing is talking about the women they find attractive, something every normal, healthy, heterosexual man since communication was invented has been doing, but now it's just one step down from Harvey Weinstein. Maybe only a half-step.

This is as insane as it is hilarious, a eunuch's love letter to a lonely future.

The zeta continued, "At the time, it was easy for me to discard my act of cowardice as inconsequential. The desire to be included made the risk of speaking up too great. During many similar `inconsequential' comments at the pub and locker rooms throughout my life, I know I've taken the easy way out."

I didn't realize competitive knitting had locker rooms.

The confession of this student (a graduate student, no less) is a prime example of what happens when you accept as moral arbiters people who insist gender is a social construct and a person can switch from one to the other at will.

Men finding women attractive, and vice versa, is why we're all here. Talking about it, and everything else, with friends, even in crude terms, is perfectly normal human behavior. But now it's pre-rape and needs to be confessed.

We're not going to survive as a species if the zeta male mentality metastasizes beyond college campuses and a political fringe.and maybe we wouldn't deserve to.


Slavery and Segregation Were Federal Programs

Americans are afflicted with a “collective amnesia” that surrounds the subject of segregation, complacently assured that it was, if anything, a “minor factor” in the striking wealth gap that today divides white from black Americans. In his book The Color of Law, the Economic Policy Institute’s Richard Rothstein argues that not only have Americans forgotten the true legacy of segregation, they have also forgotten its principal cause. Rothstein contends that the polite, embarrassedly euphemistic story we find in the mainstream’s politics of respectability has ignored or underplayed important facts. “Most segregation,” he states in the book’s introduction, “does fall into the category of open and explicit government-sponsored segregation.”

To undergird his claims, Rothstein adduces an impressive body of evidence, surveying a range of government policies and court decisions that he says show the government’s official “imposition of racial segregation,” both forceful and purposeful. His thesis, then, runs quite contrary to the comfortable notion that segregation in the United States is by and large the result of private (that is, nongovernmental) actors’ private decisions and is, therefore, not the kind of action against which the Constitution and federal civil-rights law protect.

Rothstein sets out to provide concrete facts supportive of the claim that federal government policies are implicated in segregation at every stage, stamping the “badge of slavery” on official actions of the government. This systematic segregation and (as Rothstein admirably does not hesitate to call it) ghettoization was neither an accident nor the spontaneous development of private prejudices, even if those played a role. “It was,” Rothstein argues, “a nationwide project of the federal government in the twentieth century, designed and implemented by its most liberal leaders.” If Rothstein is right and that is true, then it follows that the government ought to provide appropriate remedies.

For libertarian readers, Rothstein’s book immediately falls into a much broader, older conversation about the inability of the defective left-right political paradigm to make sense of the uniquely odious history that surrounds race in America. That paradigm unthinkingly places the small and anti-government positions of libertarians on its far right wing, grouped with racists and segregationists of all stripes. The whole of the conversation about the relationship between race and politics in the United States rests on a historical mistake — that government power has tended overwhelmingly to ameliorate the lot of black Americans.

In this version of history, the federal government is rendered coextensive with the exalted, if largely mythological, legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator — and thus reimagined as a source not of abusive centralized power but of freedom and justice. That story, false though it may be, is deeply ingrained in the discourse, popular and scholarly, about race in America, reaffirmed constantly, and held above inquiry. To question the notion that the federal government is the source of racial justice, to suggest that political centralization is in fact the cause of serious social and economic problems, is to brand yourself a reactionary or worse, a racist.

Somehow, the government’s role in creating, perpetuating, and protecting slavery, America’s ultimate disgrace, is simply forgotten, as if slavery were an example of free-market fundamentalism from which benevolent federal power rescued the nation. Similarly, conventional wisdom has it that in the time since slavery was officially abolished, aggrandizement of federal power to the detriment of the states has generally benefitted black Americans. Once considered, it is perplexing that the Left should want to pursue this line of hypothecating, should want to absolve government power of its crimes against black Americans. But the federal government as enemy — which is to say, the truth — doesn’t fit the narrative of the present moment, which casts Washington, D.C., as the savior of black people throughout American history, from the Civil War to the civil-rights era.


The Color of Law vindicates libertarians, though of course it doesn’t set out to. It bolsters a position libertarians have maintained for generations, one so simple and obviously true that it shouldn’t need to be defended at all: the United States’s shameful history of racial injustice, including Jim Crow laws and segregation, has absolutely nothing to do with the libertarian philosophy of nonaggression and respect for individual rights. That is an extremely unfashionable view. Progressives and socialists have made blaming libertarians for America’s brutal history of racial injustice a favorite pastime.

In a representative article in Aeon, Blake Smith claims that “the original laissez-faire economists loved slavery” and argues, “the birth of modern capitalism depended not only on the labour of enslaved people and the profits of the slave trade, but also on the example of slavery as a deregulated global enterprise.” Hundreds of books and articles prosecute this most absurd case — that because actually existing American capitalism was built on the backs of slaves, today’s free-market libertarians are apologists for an essentially racist political and economic program. Our calls for economic freedom and political decentralism are just coded language.

Smith (and the many others who accept the same ideologically shaped narrative) conveniently omits any mention of the fact that exponents of liberal political economy were among the earliest, most active and outspoken enemies of the slave trade and slavery in general. That fact simply doesn’t fit Smith’s stylized version of history, which of course is not history at all but merely an unsophisticated anti–free-market polemic.

Today’s political Left will go to any lengths to pin America’s disgraceful history of racial injustice on the champions of limited government and economic freedom. Such tortured attacks on the free market seem like so many propitiations to the gods of good taste; their connections to historical reality aren’t as important as their propaganda value. The relationship between the philosophical questions surrounding slavery and the 18th- and 19th-century free-trade tradition as we actually find it in history undoubtedly remains contested historical ground. But it is lazy and inaccurate both to conflate libertarianism’s strictly hypothetical vision of free markets with the deeply interventionist historical American economy (at any point hitherto), and to attempt to excise the dauntless anti-slavery efforts of classical liberal free-traders from the historical record. Historian Marc-William Palen, for example, underscores “the strong transatlantic connections between Victorian free-trade ideology and abolitionism,” centered on the group surrounding noted radical free-trade campaigner Richard Cobden. “Cobdenites,” Palen observes, “numbered among the leading transatlantic abolitionists.”

Libertarians argue that, in general, mechanical or institutional constraints on government power function more effectively than do words on paper. We see federalism not as an end in itself, not even as an indispensable component of libertarian theory in itself, but as an instrument with which we can serve the more important, underlying goal of individual liberty. And as legal scholar Ilya Somin points out, such decentralist and federalist reasoning implies the ability to move about freely, to vote with one’s feet by exiting the territory of the abusive government in question. Somin notes that “state efforts to constrain the mobility of their citizens” undermine the entire theoretical structure, which requires real competition between the states. “Slavery, of course, was the paradigmatic example of a state policy intended to curb mobility.” Yet libertarians are somehow blamed for slavery and its inhuman restrictions on movement — that is, for the most serious and obvious affronts to basic libertarian principles.

Easily avoided errors

The arguments in The Color of Law play out against this backdrop; one cannot fully understand Rothstein’s arguments without understanding the historical debate sketched above. An accurate picture of the historical record is especially important here insofar as Rothstein’s chief claim is that the Supreme Court “got [its] facts wrong” in believing “that residential segregation was mostly created by private choices.” Readers who believe with Rothstein that such “segregation was created by state action” will find themselves puzzled at the author’s proposed solutions, all of which call for more state action. At times, Rothstein too readily indulges his impulse to blame concrete, coercive government action, even to this libertarian reader. For example, in his chapter “Private Agreements, Government Enforcement,” Rothstein argues, as the title of the chapter implies, that even genuinely private contractual obligations are a form of government-backed discrimination. Most libertarians would disagree, however abhorrent is the notion of something like a whites-only clause to our philosophy.

In including such arguments, Rothstein seems to want to have it both ways: the whole book is premised on the claim that private prejudice, encapsulated in things such as “racial clauses in deeds and mutual agreements,” was, as a matter of actual, historical fact, insufficient to bring us to the point at which we find ourselves today. That claim, strong enough on its own merits, is seriously undermined by Rothstein’s confusing of private contracts with government action — exactly what he promises not to do at the outset.

Libertarians will be familiar with this easily avoided mistake. It’s what happens when one has studied discrete public-policy problems without considering the deeper questions that precede them, that is, questions of political theory. Had Rothstein a more solid understanding of the theory — the political philosophy — that is necessary to a worthy task such as his book’s, he would be able to see the difference between mere enforcement of a private contract and, for instance, active Federal Housing Administration sponsorship of discrimination. After all, one cannot undertake to sort justice from injustice without a sophisticated theory about what rights individuals possess, what they are allowed to do as long as they leave others in peace, equally free to exercise their rights.

In his good-hearted, if naive, desire for appropriate remedial action, Rothstein accepts the fallacy that we are the government or are in some way responsible for its actions, even those hundreds of years in the past. “It was our government,” he says, “that segregated American neighbors, whether we or our ancestors bore witness to it, and it is our government that now must craft remedies.” That is among the worst and most dangerous of all fallacies, the kind of reflex collectivism that can only aggravate existing problems. This poisonous thinking naturally drives the policy prescriptions that The Color of Law recommends “to provide an adequate environment for [the government’s] integration efforts,” among them, failed socialist ideas such as “a full employment policy, minimum wages that return to their historic level and keep up with inflation, and a transportation infrastructure that makes it possible for low-income workers to get to jobs that are available.”

We must assume that Rothstein is simply unaware of minimum-wage laws’ own racist history, their goal of full unemployment for black Americans and other undesirables. How often we see Progressives’ policy proposals undermining their stated goals. If the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence has been, as Rothstein contends, based on a misreading of the facts, then so are his hastily drawn remedies, which ignore the empirical record of state intervention.

It is regrettable that Rothstein ultimately fails to recognize the broader implications of his own argument. Human beings, possessed of the power to rule others, behave much worse, not better, corrupted by that power rather than elevated by it. We have so enskied political power that we no longer see its true corrupting nature. Progressives such as Rothstein fall again and again into the trap of believing that unchallenged political authority can be a tool used for good. It is astonishing to see The Color of Law call for a laundry list of destructive government actions even as the book’s own words argue that federal programs are “reinforcing racial isolation” even today. As a corrective to the country’s “comfortable delusions” surrounding race, The Color of Law is a welcome addition to the literature. But, as is so often the case, as a formula for solving the problem as described, it shoots wide of the mark.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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