Archive for May 5th, 2009

May 5, 2009

CARRIE PREJEAN NUDE PIC SCANDAL

UPDATE TUESDAY 5/12, 10:50 a.m.: TMZ has new topless photos of Carrie Prejean and this time, her back is not turned.

URGENT UPDATE:

GAY MARRIAGE OPPONENT IN TOPLESS SWIMSUIT PHOTO!

William Teach at Pirate’s Cove arrives late to the scandal, but endeavors to Google-bomb his way to the top of the blogospheric heap. Never trust a pirate when there is booty to be plundered.

PREVIOUSLY: When I got up this morning, I discovered I had gotten 500 hits in the 8 a.m. hour, and thought I’d been Instalanched or Malkinlanched or something. Instead, I discovered there was a sudden spurt of Googling for nude photos of Carrie Prejean.

The persistent surge finally caused me to check the celebrity blog aggregator We Smirch. Duh. The headlines:

EXCLUSIVE IMAGE: MISS CALIFORNIA CARRIE PREJEAN EXPOSED

and

MISS CALIFORNIA NUDE PICTURE — CARRIE PREJEAN NAKED PHOTO SCANDAL

Will update as details become available. Right now the servers are melting down at some of those sites.

UPDATE: Carrie Prejean tells MSNBC:

“I am a Christian, and I am a model,” Prejean said in a statement released overnight to the media. “Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos. Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be.”

Me neither, Carrie. “Swimwear photos.” Heh.

UPDATE II: If Carrie Prejean had been seeking a more appropriate way to help celebrate National Offend A Feminist Week, she could hardly have picked a better method than to remind God-haters that Christian belief begins with the confession of sin, recognizing the powerlessness of man to save himself by his own merit.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. . . . Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:10-23 (KJV)

Like they say, read the whole thing. And take my word for it: There are no accidents. “Inconsistencies,” yes. Accidents, no.

UPDATE III: Thanks to the commenter who informs us that this is the photo, which:

  • A. Looks like she’s older than a teenager;
  • B. Seems to have been taken after she got the implants; and
  • C. Is not a professional modeling photo.

OK, so if this is it: Who took the photo, when, where and why? I remind you that I am a professional journalist, and this kind of basic “5 Ws and an H” stuff is what it’s all about. I’m Joe Friday: “Just the facts, ma’am.” If Miss Prejean would care to answer the questions directly, my e-mail address is not a secret.

UPDATE IV: Lots of comments about double standards and the Left’s politically motivated intolerance. As if we needed any further example, note how Time magazine plays Elizabeth Edwards big show of “surviving” her husband’s philandering.

When a liberal hero screws around, anyone who dares to be “judgmental” is condemned as heartless, but let it be revealed that a conservative is less than perfect and you see how the game works. Somebody ought to write a book.

And, in case you were wondering, Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE V: Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage:

Because Carrie honestly said what she believed in answer to a question — marriage is the union of a man and a woman — she is now the subject of ongoing character assassination. The level of hatred directed at her is astonishing. Even more astonishing is her personal courage and strength of character in the midst of these attacks. Of course Carrie is not perfect. On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: you don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage. Nothing gay marriage advocates can do can change the fact-we all saw it on national TV-that Carrie is a young woman who surrendered all the glitter Hollywood has to offer, because she would not become the kind of person afraid to say the truth.

Shadrach, Mishach and Abednego could relate.

UPDATE VI: Just as soon as Donald Douglas noted the suspicious lack of reaction at Memeorandum, it’s there. Lesbian left-wing blogger Pam Spaulding has video of “Today” show coverage of the story. And you know that Pam’s a feminist, so she can tell us what is, or is not, offensive in how the media treats women.

UPDATE VII: Complete text of Carrie Prejean statement.

UPDATE VIII: If only Carrie had listened to John Hawkins.

UPDATE IX: Pro-life activist Becky Brindle helpfully clarifies the issues:

Christians recognize that all people are born with a sin nature and therefore need to repent and be saved by the blood of Christ. Salvation is open to all mankind. Everyone sins. Everyone needs saved. . . .
If making a mistake in your life exempts you from taking a stance against other actions you disagree with for the rest of your life, then every person on earth would have to remain completely silent on every ethical or moral issue forever. Is that what they want?

Obviously, that is exactly what they want. Meanwhile, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America says:

It is because Carrie is a Christian that she is held to a higher standard than her detractors hold for themselves. As parents tell their children, one reason for living a moral life is because eventually — usually at the most delicate time — our indiscretions may be revealed.

I’ve learned to joke about my “indiscretions,” but trust me, when this kind of stuff smacks you in the face the way it’s smacking Carrie Prejean right now, there’s nothing funny about it. But I like to say that if you can’t laugh in the face of disaster, you’re not really a Christian.

If you have faith, you must also have hope, and if you have both of those, you’ll also have courage. It’s the courage that inspires the laughter, because whatever happens to us, we know how this story ends. Pray hard.

UPDATE X: Moe Lane at Red State wonder exactly who this “revelation” is aimed at. I think I can answer that. It is intended to reinforce one of the Left’s favorite memes: “All social conservatives are hypocrites.”

There is no “target” audience for this message. They just enjoy repeating it endlessly, since it reassures the Left that having zero moral standards is, in fact, the morally superior position. Haven’t you read The Vision of the Anointed?

UPDATE XI: Linked at Tigerhawk, by Daley Gator, and by Paleo Pat at Political Byline. Also now blogging: Flopping Aces and Hot Air.

Remember: “Mamas Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow Up to Be Downloads.” And please hit the tip jar, because blogging this good is worth it.

May 5, 2009

Jack Kemp, Renegade Republican

“The Kemp-Roth tax cuts, the beginning of the Reagan Revolution, were really intended as a Molotov cocktail thrown toward the Nixon-era GOP establishment. . . . I think that today’s GOP doldrums are due to the fact that it doesn’t have enough renegades like Kemp who buck the party line.”

May 5, 2009

Joe the Plumber didn’t get the memo

From GOP-HQ about “outreach” and “inclusion”:

I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children.

I’d be interested to see a poll, in which the opinions of parents with children under 18 were compared to non-parents.

This poll showing a “generation gap” on gay issues doesn’t break down the demographics that way. My gut hunch is that the support for gay marriage among the young — supposedly a harbinger of dramatic social change — mostly evaporates if you distinguish married from unmarried, and parents from the childless. That is to say, married parents will always be more conservative.

The tendentious supposition that the high rates of pro-gay-rights attitudes among 18-to-34-year-olds will remain constant as this cohort older doesn’t take into account the likelihood that today’s 19-year-old liberal college student will some day be a 29-year-old conservative suburban soccer mom. Remember that the liberal youth of the 1960s and ’70s drifted rightward in the 1980s and ’90s.

Much easier to be “tolerant” and “open-minded” when you’re a 25-year-old bachelor than when you’re a 35-year-old husband and father. And just wait until you become a 49-year-old curmudgeon like me!

Dadgum smart-alecky whippersnappers think they know everything . . .

UPDATE: Dan Riehl on Joe’s remarks about gays and children:

I suspect the attitude is still more widespread than people think.

Exactly. College-educated people working in professional environments — especially people in academia, politics and communications — must internalize a basic level of political correctness. There are things you can’t say, attitudes you can’t exhibit, if you are going to work at a major university (as Lawrence Summers learned at Harvard). And so you get used to never encountering certain attitudes.

Once you get outside that elite professional environment, however, you meet the Ordinary American — the guy who sees what he sees, knows what he knows, believes what he believes, and is not afraid to speak his mind about this stuff.

The elite recoil in horror whenever some Ordinary American type (e.g., Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck) gets anywhere near the levers of power. What the elite are trying to do to Joe Wurzelbacher, they have done to many others: Joe McCarthy, Barry Goldwater, Pat Buchanan, to name just a few.

What they’re trying to do is to imply that Wurzelbacher’s beliefs are dangerous, that he is ignorant and guilty of a “hatred” that endangers his fellow citizens. Nonsense. There are tens of millions of decent, law-abiding Americans who believe exactly like Joe the Plumber believes, and none of them has ever harmed anyone.

May 5, 2009

Compliments or Attacks?

Apparently, giving a woman a compliment on her good looks is inherently an insult now, no matter the context, at least if politics and the media are involved in any way. . . . It’s one thing to point out blatant sexism in its true form. It’s completely silly on the other hand to misconstrue obvious, harmless compliments as an insult in order to spark a fake verbal spar between two GOP leaders.”

May 5, 2009

Worse SCOTUS idea than Princess Kennedy: Gore

by Smitty

I thought the HillBuzz suggestion of Princess Kennedy was a decent split of the territory between stupid and absurd.
Pat in Shreveport sees my absurd, and raises me a Nobel Prize and an Oscar: Al Gore for SCOTUS.
Pat quotes the Catholic weekly America:

there is a long tradition of having those with legislative or executive experience on the Court, a tradition that has fallen by the wayside as Presidents have sought nominees with little or no paper trail. Earl Warren was a lawyer, and had served as attorney general of California, but it was his stature as a three-term Governor who was nominated by both parties for the job that earned him the nod for the Court in 1953.

It makes great sense in Hopey-change America. We have a POTUS who’s got more best-sellers under his belt than substantive legislation.
Where Pat’s post only gets a B+ instead of the A grade is that she neglected to nominate RSM instead. Like Gore, Stacy hasn’t a law degree. Unlike the Global Grilling Gadfly, Stacy’s opinions can be guaranteed in advance not to render the reader comatose.

May 5, 2009

Free the Beers!

Moe Lane is on the story of how gourmet beer enthusiasts in Alabama are waging an activist campaign against a Republican state senator who opposes their effort to legalize their favorite brews.

As might be expected, the ubiquitous Libertarian troublemaker Stephen Gordon is right in the middle of it. First he pushes the “Going Galt” meme, then he breaks the DHS “Rightwing Extremist” report, and now this.

He’s like the Forrest Gump of liberty.

UPDATE: Daley Gator has sharp words for the Republican douchebag. BTW, I understand that Alabama has a state law against sex toys. Couldn’t somebody file a lawsuit asking the state supreme court to rule that Sen. Bobby Singleton is a dildo or a buttplug, and thereby ban him from the state?

May 5, 2009

The Cosmo Syndrome

(BUMPED; UPDATED) Dylan Sauders has a brilliant takedown of Cosmopolitan‘s sex-marketing scam:

The four prompts are 1) Sex headline 2) Smiling face showing approval of sex 3) A desirable bust-line 4) Second sex headline. . . .
These four prompts are enough to make your subconscious feel healthy, attractive and sexual – just like the girl on the cover. Cosmo found that they sold the most magazines by taking advantage of the natural eye pattern your eyes take accross a magazine cover and putting these four prompts in their path.

You should read the whole thing. (H/T: Conservative Grapevine.)

It must be noted that Sauders is a self-made “expert” on seduction, which will cause a lot of female readers to snort in derision. But since this is National Offend A Feminist Week, his article offers a good talking-point to discuss the degree to which “feminism” is an ideology advanced via brainwashing and propaganda methods.

My grievance against Cosmo (and Glamour, etc.) is one of long standing. In 2000, I wrote a Washington Times column about it:

It seems impossible to go through a supermarket checkout line without being confronted by magazine covers like the January 2000 Cosmopolitan, offering “Sex Tricks Only Cosmo Would Know: 20 Earth-Quaking Moves That Will Make Him Plead for Mercy — and Beg for More.”
The Kroger grocery chain has, thankfully, decided to install racks that conceal such lurid stuff from general viewing. Perhaps someday it will be safe again to take our daughters to the grocery store.
What is the point of schools and parents telling girls that they can be valued for their character, their intellectual abilities and their personal achievements, when the newsstands are full of magazines displaying near-naked supermodels and telling girls that their true worth is their ability to master “earth-quaking moves”?
Scarcely had my daughter learned to read than I found myself troubled by what she was seeing on women’s magazine covers at the checkout lines. A child with a knowledge of phonics can figure out what “s-e-x” spells and — according to Cosmo, Glamour and the other major women’s magazines — “s-e-x” and “d-i-e-t” are the most important things in a woman’s life. . . .

And you can read the whole thing, if you’d like. Having been excoriated recently for criticizing Carrie Prejean’s decision to get breast implants, and having long baffled female readers by my relentless jihad against feminism, this is as good a time as any to point out what should have been obvious: I hate feminism, I hate breast implants, and I hate Cosmo for the same reason — because I love women and want them to be happy.

You cannot have a happy life built on lies, and Cosmo is selling you lies. People want to give me a hard time because I occasionally blog about boobies, but my readership averages about 6,000 visits a day. If my readers are not all adults, they are at least old enough to operate a computer and care about politics. Whereas Cosmo‘s leering come-ons are displayed on thousands of magazine racks all over the country and, as Sauder says, they reach a readership of some 39 million women.

Cosmo sells a lie, namely that sex and beauty are the sum of a woman’s value. And this evil propaganda is conveyed effectively (that is to say, women accept the lie) because of the perception that this is “woman to woman,” that these messages are being related by other women — and glamorous, sophisticated women, at that.

There is a basic factor of communications psychology called the “halo effect.” If someone has certain attributes that you consider positive, you will tend to generalize this into an overall positive perception about that person, often giving them credit for personal qualities like being smart, kind, honest — attributes for which you have no direct evidence at all.

Parable of the Glen-Plaid Suit
Being physically attractive is one of the most powerful factors in the “halo effect,” which is why magazine ads feature attractive models. The positive perception created by the model’s good looks is psychologically transferred — generalized — to the manufacturer’s product. Let me tell you the story about my glen-plaid suit.

Back in the day, after I’d graduated college and was a bachelor on the hunt, I was something of a clothes horse. I had always desired to be a well-dressed man — to look sharp — but now I had a little more disposable income to devote to fashion than I’d ever had before.

GQ and Esquire were required monthly reading for me. In the summer of 1986, you might have seen me bopping around Atlanta in robin’s-egg blue slacks (triple-pleated, cuffed), a pleated-front pink tuxedo shirt, a robin’s-egg blue bowtie, and a sport coat that was striped in pink, robin’s-egg blue and white. (I’d bought the coat first, then bought the rest of my ensemble to match.) Buddy, I was styling, and the ladies loved it.

So, one day I saw a fashion layout in GQ featuring a guy in a double-breasted gray glen-plaid suit, wearing a red bow tie. Man, that dude looked sharp. I resolved that on the next payday, I’d get me one of those suits and a red bow tie like that. So I did, and got myself slicked up for a night on the town with my buds. And when I showed up at the club, one of my buddies said: “Look, it’s Pee-Wee Herman!”

Indeed, this was exactly the wardrobe that the absurdist comedian Pee-Wee Herman had made his trademark. But I hadn’t been thinking about that. I had been looking at that ruggedly handsome model in the magazine — briefcase in hand, standing with Manhattan skyscrapers in the background, the very epitome of a smart young businessman. But I was not a ruggedly handsome model and this was not Manhattan.

The money I’d spent on that suit had been spent in an attempt to purchase the perception conveyed by the magazine display. I wanted to feel like a smart young businessman. I wanted to look ruggedly handsome. But this suit did not magically transform me. I was still the same goofy guy I’d been before I bought the suit, and even goofier for inadvertantly dressing like Pee-Wee Herman.

Well, the money wasn’t entirely wasted. I seldom wore that suit again, but I’d learned a valuable lesson.

Marketing and Manipulation
One of the fundamentals of marketing psychology is the concept of how role models affect our perceptions. Because of the “halo effect,” we have positive reactions to attractive people, but we have the strongest positive reactions to attractive people who resemble us in some way. Such people can be said to represent our idealized perception of ourselves.

Thus, the smiling woman on the Cosmo cover represents an ideal — she is what women want to be, the aspirational self. And Cosmo uses this aspirational self to tell women that diet, fashion and sex — sex! sex! sex! — are the secrets of happiness. Oh, one other secret: Buying the products advertised in Cosmo.

William F. Buckley Jr. said that the hallmark of successful indoctrination is that the subject doesn’t realize he’s been indoctrinated. In fact, if you try to tell him he has been indoctrinated, if you point out the means and methods of his indoctrination, and cite evidence of the fallacious nature of his ideas, the indoctrinee will become angry. He will not only defend the indoctrinated beliefs as self-evidently true, but he will vehemently insist that he arrived at these beliefs by independent thought.

So it is with the 20-something “Cosmo girl,” who has been reading these trashy magazines every month since she was in middle school. She has a closet full of clothes and 42 pairs of shoes. She has enough cosmetics to equip the road company of Les Miserables for their North American tour. She has mastered every one of the “99 Sure-Fire Sex Secrets” and has been through two dozen boyfriends.

And she is desperately unhappy.

By the time the “Cosmo girl” has been consuming this propaganda for a good 10 years, complete de-indoctrination is almost impossible. She has internalized the belief system so deeply that it has become part of her identity. She will interpret criticism of her Cosmo beliefs as a personal attack. To question whether her mastery of “Earth-Quaking Moves” is beneficial or necessary is to criticize who she is.

Debunking the sexual mythology of Cosmo is as simple as getting a guy to talk honestly about women. Back in the day when I was sporting around in my pink-and-blue sport coat, a stylin’ babe-magnet with the cool Patrick Swayze mullet and the lean, tanned Speedo-worthy physique, I was scarcely an exemplar of the Christian ideal of chastity. Or any other Christian ideal, for that matter. (Hey, I was also a Democrat back then.)

What Matters?
Let us ask this question, then: When a young man is out there on the hunt, looking to “score,” how does he evaluate his conquests? That is to say, what is it about the chick he picks up that makes him want to brag about it the next day, and perhaps call the chick for another date?

Two things: Looks and enthusiasm.

The first factor is obvious enough. Among his various conquests, the fellow who rides the romantic rodeo circuit will tend to have the most favorable opinion of the drop-dead beauty with the bitchin’ bod. That’s just how guys are. But the stuff that Cosmo is selling — the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry, the cosmetics — has very little impact on this evaluation. Ask any guy.

A really sexy girl is sexy even when she’s in sweats and an oversized T-shirt, shopping for groceries. And women’s near-universal embrace of the cosmetics/fashion industry is kind of like escalation in the Cold War arms race: At some point, everybody’s got enough nukes to destroy the entire planet, and the argument for additional nukes is attenuated by the problem of diminishing returns. If every girl’s made-up like a fashion model, a little extra skill in applying make-up isn’t really going to gain you any advantage.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania today, there is at least one beautiful 19-year-old Amish girl who has never worn make-up, never worked out in a gym, never read Cosmo. And that girl, in her homemade plain dress, is more truly beautiful than any of the styled-up, decked-out hotties hanging around the most fashionable nightspot in Hollywood. Like I said, ask any guy.

So much for looks. Ceteris paribus, the better-looking girl is the more desireable pickup, the one the guy will brag about and ask for a second date. However, what about the sex itself? It may be — consider this a hypothetical, if you wish — that a young man on the prowl will score with lots of good-looking girls over the course of his prowling. Insofar as the performance of the sex act itself makes any difference in his evaluation of his conquests, what is the key factor?

Enthusiasm. The guy likes the girl who is not only “into” sex, but is evidently and unabashedly “into” him. She’s kissing him passionately, can’t keep her hands off him, she’s saying his name and telling him how crazy she is about him and — Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh yes! Yes! YES!

And here, ladies, is exposed the cruel lie of all those “sex secrets” they push in Cosmo. They want you to believe that a guy will evaluate you, sexually, based on your mastery of specific sexual techniques.

Think about this for a minute, ladies. However limited or extensive your sexual experience with men, ask yourself: Is a guy’s workmanlike mastery of sexual technique really what turns you on?

Of course not. If a guy is really “into” you — that is to say, if he has the necessary sexual enthusiasm — he’ll eventually figure out what you like. That eager-to-please attitude where you are so crazy about your partner that you’re actually asking them what they like, and doing it exactly the way they like it — it’s that fundamental enthusiasm, you see, that makes all the difference in the world. Ask any woman.

But don’t let the ladies kid you, guys. Being tall, handsome, muscular and wealthy kind of helps, too. The Pee-Wee Herman suit has nothing to do with it.

The Myth of ‘Sex Ed’
What this all means is that, even if a woman’s desire is to “spread it around” and be that chick that guys pick up in bars, Cosmo doesn’t tell her anything useful. Reading “sex secrets” in Cosmo is not going to make you more erotically attractive, or make your sexual performance more memorable. The idea of sexual “success” as being a function of technical expertise is a myth and a lie.

This relates to my disagreement with the proponents of “sex education.” It is a remarkable thing that mankind has, through sexual reproduction, flourished to the tune of 6 billion people on the planet and yet “sex education” wasn’t invented until the 20th century. If you buy into the sex-ed mentality, this means that for at least 92% of recorded human history, people had no clue what they were doing.

Furthermore, the sex-ed proponents would have us believe, unless sex is taught to children in classrooms — in a government school by a government-certified teacher using government-approved curricula — there is no possibility that kids will ever learn the basics of sex.

That these assertions of the sex-ed enthusiasts are self-evidently untrue. Sex is not rocket science or brain surgery, and untutored human beings have throughout history figured out the basic “Insert Tab A into Slot B” of sexuality without textbooks or classroom instruction. Three random thoughts:

  • Given the alarming failure of the government education system to teach math and reading, what kind of fool would trust a public-school teacher to instruct his children about sex? (Hello, Mary Kay LeTourneau!)
  • In the information age, surely mere facts and data about sex is not hard to find. But the religion of Educationism is based on the false belief that no one can learn anything without going to school to learn it. (Fact: Jimi Hendrix never took a single guitar lesson.)
  • What is the real value of knowing the Latin names of the genitalia? Never let it be said that public schools no longer teach Latin — every sixth-grader in America is now required to memorize such terms as labia, clitoris, urethra and vas deferens, and to identify these items correctly on an anatomical chart.

Such are the transparent fallacies of this perverse ideology. There are 501(c) non-profit foundations dedicated specifically to the purpose of promoting sex-education in public schools, without anyone ever questioning the false premises involved in their “philanthropic” mission.

Insightful readers immediately recognize the connection between sex-ed in schools and Cosmo on the magazine stand. Not only are they are both promoting the same ideology, but perhaps more importantly, they are promoting the same attitude. This attitude — of sex as a matter of technique to be studied and mastered, in which a superiority of knowledge and skill is the ultimate objective — is central to the sexual worldview into which the elite desire to indoctrinate the masses. And it is a monstrous lie.

Whether in gushy Cosmo “sex secrets” features or in the Educationist terminology of a middle-school sex-ed textbook, this attitude toward sex presumes that all sexual problems are the result of a lack of information. If you’re not getting off, or if your partner is not getting off, or if you’re both getting off but neither one of you is really happy, then what you need is more data.

My goodness, what did people do in the Dark Ages, before every middle-school child was required to study anatomical cross-section diagrams of the pelvis, learning to identify (by the proper medical terms) the prostate gland and the uterus? Pity poor Romeo and Juliet, who knew not the joy of the anatomical cross-section!

American young people today have more sexual information than at least 90 percent of the human beings who ever lived. Yet out-of-wedlock births, abortions, sexually-transmitted diseases and divorce are more rampant than ever. Somehow studying those cross-section charts, memorizing the Latin names of the genitalia and practicing how to put a condom on a banana have not prevented the skyrocketing levels of romantic misery.

We don’t suffer from lack of information. Instead, we suffer from a lack of virtue.

Good luck trying to locate “virtue” on the anatomical charts. God knows you won’t find it in Cosmo.

* * * * *

Well, I’ve been working on this for few hours and have reached a stopping point, but not the end point I had in mind when I started writing. If you’d like me to finish out this essay, just leave a comment, sharing your thoughts and requesting more, and I’ll come back and write more. But first, I need a nap. Ah, the joys of blogging. (Please hit the tip jar!)

And to Cassandra, in the famous words of Ulysses S. Grant: “I intend to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”

* * * * *

The comments — and correction, thank you — are piling up, leading to the conclusion that I must lead on to the conclusion of the matter. Thanks to the commenter who pointed out that when, in May 1864, Grant vowed to “fight it out . . . if it takes all summer,” he actually ended up fighting nearly another 11 months. And, in fact, he did not continue fighting on the same line, but maneuvered to his left in the famous campaign that brought him finally to besiege Lee’s army at Petersburg.

Yet it was his dogged determination, his unrelenting commitment to take the fight to the foe, that made Grant victorious. “I cannot spare this man. He fights,” Lincoln said and, while I am not in the habit of quoting Lincoln to make a point, in this he was entirely right.

Having had (not much of) a nap, I now remind you that we began this examination of The Cosmo Syndrome with a mention that it is National Offend A Feminist Week. I have found myself recently chastised for (a) criticizing Carrie Prejean for having breast implants, and (b) employing the words “slut” and “whore.” Ah, nothing gets ’em like plain English, eh? Well, then — forward!

* * * * *

Virtue, Vice and ‘Civility’
Virtue shiould always be praised, never derogated or dimissed as irrelevant. Virtue may be its own reward, but the natural human desire for esteem in society provides an incentive toward virtuous behavior, at least insofar as society esteems virtue.

When we praise the courage of heroes — the firefighters who went into the inferno of the WTC on 9/11, for example — we thus incite others to emulate such brave men, in the expectation that they might also merit praise. If we praise diligence and honesty, we likewise encourage people to be diligent and honest. Whatever society esteems, whatever is commonly praised and celebrated, it enshrines as a goal that attracts the eyes of the young and ambitious.

By the same principle, vice should always be condemned. Deceit, sloth, cowardice — if such traits and behaviors do not elicit scorn from society, if we tolerate and refuse to be “judgmental” about vice, then we may expect vice to flourish. Think about the “gangsta” rap culture, with its celebration of violent drug dealers and pimps, its lyrics boasting of drive-by shootings and rape, its costumes of garish “bling” — Bill Cosby is surely right that this perverse phenomenon has badly damaged the black community.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil . . .”
Isaiah 5:20, KJV

To celebrate vice, to mock virtue — these are cursed behaviors. And thus we must recall our discussion of Jessica Valenti, the feminist whose book is called The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women.

Is chastity not a virtue? Premarital chastity is the dress rehearsal for the main performance that is marital fidelity. It is a natural presumption (though one seldom voiced in our increasingly unnatural society) that the ability to restrain one’s passions in youth — to resist temptation — would be a reliable predictor of the ability to be faithful in maturity. We might further reflect that habit is a great force in human behavior and that the habit of adventurously sleeping around, acquired early in life, would later make it difficult to adjust to the monogamous routine of marriage.

These are not merely philosophical speculations, but sociological fact that can be teased out of the available data if one is statistically minded. However, I need neither statistics or philosophy to know the truth, because I am a fool.

“Experience is a hard school, but a fool will learn in no other.”
Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday, in mock-Victorian mode, I declared that “years of youthful association with companions of low character have irretrievably corrupted me, rendering me permanently unfit for polite society.” You see, I had been condemned for demonstrating a lack of “civility” in my description of Valenti’s philosophy:

A perverse non-judgmentalism, that refuses to praise virtue or condemn vice, is moral nihilism. Valenti goes beyond this, to celebrate whoredom and condemn chastity.

If that was uncivil, what would they say if I started telling tales of my own experiences, about the things a young rebel does, and the things he sees, when he’s riding on that Highway to Hell? And if, by grace, I somehow managed to survive the ride, is it not my obligation to the memories of those who died on that road, to warn others against taking that wrong turn? If I see others making the same mistakes I made, or the mistakes that led others to an early grave, shouldn’t I tell them to turn back before it’s too late?

What a strange conception of “civility,” that would rob civilization of its natural defense, the social disapproval that is rightly heaped upon the coward, the liar, the sluggard, the whore. In the name of “civility,” we are supposed to allow Jessica Valenti to argue that chastity is a “myth” without fear of rebuke, lest we damage the fragile self-esteem of tramps, floozies and strumpets!
Next thing you know, your daughter will encounter some clever user — perhaps a practiced player of Dylan Sauders’ “game” — who’ll spring “the Cosmo routine” on her, and you may be sure that the upshot of this experience won’t be an increase in her self-esteem. Do you really think that Valenti and Sauders and the editors of Cosmo, who preach a religion of unabashed promiscuity, deserve to be protected by the cloak of “civility”?

Cosmo is read by 39 million women and Valenti promotes her book on the “Today” show, but somehow my right-wing “incivility” is the real menace? Come now, Cassandra — whatever my faults and failures, I think you’re taking aim at the wrong target.

It’s National Offend A Feminist Week, you see, and the ridiculous insistence that no man should be permitted to call a slut a slut is a byproduct of feminist ideology. It’s all about The Sisterhood, an Us-vs.-Them mentality in which even conservative women are supposed to align themselves in sheltering Jessica Valenti from the thorough condemnation she deserves.

Remember what Buckley said about successful indoctrination? Conservatives who instinctively invoke feminist concepts — e.g., non-judgmentalism toward promiscuity — might want to contemplate Buckley’s observation in silence, and stop superficially criticizing those of us who have already spent many years examining the ideological infrastructure of the Left. Just because you don’t know what I’m doing doesn’t mean that I don’t know what I’m doing.

And if anybody wants to hit the tip jar, now would be a good time to do it. Being “openly shameless” can be a tough row to hoe.

No pun intended.