Forward

My 8th grade Daughter’s Varsity Middle School Choir was selected to perform at a distinguished venue. The girls had worked their butts off since the first day of school. The director is one who both endears the children to her while commanding their respect and discipline. Their performance included 7 very difficult and musically complex songs for a total of 30 minutes.

They performed twice in one day for a total of 60 minutes of formal, performance time. Within that 60 minutes, there were maybe 10 seconds where they glipped on an a cappella number they know as well as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The girls were devastated. But … they kept their eyes set on their director, stayed on pitch, kept going, didn’t quit, recovered quickly, and finished not only that one piece strong, but all the rest of the pieces after. They recovered so quickly and so well that it took those of us who had heard them perform many times several measures before we even had the thought, “Ummm, did something just happen there?”

On the way home my Daughter was very upset. I let her vent and get it out. And then I told her, “This is a profound life lesson. This is more profound than if you had performed perfectly, because Life is full of mistakes, glips, imperfections. You girls stayed together, stayed strong as a group, kept focused on the director, kept focused on the goal, stayed on pitch, did not quit, did not fall apart, did not give up, did not blame, did not look around to see who or what. You kept moving forward. And such is life. Mistakes are made. But you must keep focused on the Goal, on the Director, trusting the Director of your life, and keep moving forward.”

Live performances in the best of circumstances challenge us. The circumstances on this particular day for these girls were strained because it was very hot in the building in which they performed. Add to that the lights beaming down on them on stage, black, formal dresses with black tights, uncomfortable matching shoes, a long wait in hot rooms to perform, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Us Mom’s were watching quite a few girls sway and wobble up there; we were sure we were gonna loose one, or three, or five. They were dizzy, keeping their knees bent, taking little steps in between numbers, breathing deeply. And they all made it.

They were well disciplined and well prepared. They knew their roles and each other very well. They have a leader/director who they trust because she has earned their trust and loyalty and respect. And they didn’t quit. They kept moving forward.

As time colors that day of their Big Performance, may they remember the 59 minutes and 50 seconds they soared! May they remember the time and dedication and love they poured into their craft for months and months on end. May they remember the group, the team, how they worked together to achieve their goal. And may they remember, too, that they kept going, didn’t quit, didn’t give up, kept their eyes focused on their director and their goal, and that they kept moving forward.

May this moment, frozen in time for these girls’ lives, become a beacon in their years to come, reminding them to keep moving forward.

Doing a Disservice

Rather than pull a greeting card that some are finding offensive, Target should keep it around.

The card says, “Next time you think of dating the bad boy….consider Whitney Houston. That’s all I’m going to say.”

While some will call that offensive, I would call it very sound advice.

About Nothing

This is a post essentially about nothing we talk about out here. The purpose is to write a long enough piece so that when I pull up the home page of this blog, I no longer see that huge, vivid, picture with which Amir has graced our minds.

As it so happens, because of the date my Oldest was born, she will enter High School in the fall. It was very weird to walk into the High School with her for our first orientation, realizing that I was in High School for my daughter, for my daughter! Time is no respecter of anyone. It moves whether we desire it to or not. The amazing thing about the experience was that she “fit in.” She was comfortable there. Sure, she’s still scared of going to High School, but she’ll wear it like an old pair of jeans after just a few days or so.

I introduced myself to the principal of this huge, 5-A school, and told him we would not know each other for two more years when my Youngest came in. When my Youngest comes into a school, we get to know everyone because of her special needs. I’m practically on first-name terms with our Middle School principal who hardly knew who I was a short year ago, as well as the school Nurse, all office staff, and several others.

Oldest is not very fond of that. She’s my child who likes to blend into the walls. She’s actually quite good at it. She’s a shy introvert, not insecure. She knows who she is, and she knows who she’s not. She says, “Mom, I know everything going on because I listen.” Yep, smart kid. She has a few good friends, and she’s just fine with that. So when Youngest enters her school two years after her, not only does Mom know everyone, but everyone knows Mom, and Youngest … and, Oldest, too. Ahhh, the life of having a special needs sibling.

And now that I’ve bored you quite well, I’m sure I can pull up this home page now and not be concerned about vomiting 🙂

Chow!

“I’ll man up after she womans up”, and other childish arguments.

When it comes to advancing the dynamics of male-female interaction–i.e. Game–Roissy has few equals. Say what you want about his crude, crass secularism, he gets it about how women think, even as he uses that for his own base advantages.

Like Vox Day, I accept that Game is no respecter of religious or personal motivations: for folks like Roissy, Game is a means to get an endless stream of sexual partners. For the Christian who desires to marry well, an understanding of Game allows one to navigate through the dynamics of her tests and off-the-wall questions, in your quest to get her to marry you.

At the same time, one must always consider the source of information. With Vox, you’ll get an explication of Game from the perspective of a Christian. With Roissy, OTOH, you will get a lot of secularized angst about women. Vox is a Christian whereas Roissy is an Atheist.

This leads me to an argument that Roissy made on his blog.

First, some disclosures:

(1) We realize that all single mothers are not in that position due to immorality. Some are widowed, some are divorced due to exigent circumstances, and some are wives who were abandoned by their husbands.

Those, however, do not begin to account for the larger deluge in unwed childbirths. That is a serious problem, and it is a sign that, as a society, we are on the fast track to decline.

(2) Conception requires two people. Unless you are the small percentage who got pregnant from rape, sex is a very consensual matter. That goes for her; that goes for him.

Before I take Roissy to the woodshed, I agree with him in the following respects:

(a) While The New York Times is giving great attention to the men who are nowhere to be found with these children they helped bring into the world, NO ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO THE FACT THAT THESE WOMEN WERE HALF OF THE PROBLEM.

When you take ANY course of action, you are responsible for the outcomes of your decision. That is on the men who slept with these women; that is also on the women who chose to risk single motherhood by sleeping with these men.

No one “led these women down the path to promiscuity”, these men and women VOLUNTARILY chose it. Sex takes effort and thought. Trying to rationalize after the fact that “it just happened” is a total lie.

(b) He’s absolutely correct about government’s role in this problem: you DO get what you pay for. If you subsidize unwed motherhood, then you’ll get more of it. The last 50 years have proven that assessment correct, in spades.

With that, I shall now take Roissy to the woodshed…

(1) The maxim “you get what you pay for” applies to everyone involved. Whereas Roissy lambastes the appearances of these women, let it also be known that the men involved CHOSE to sleep with them. It matters not what Roissy or myself think of those women: the men who slept with them felt otherwise.

(2) The call to “man up” in this case is no respecter of what you think of the woman you slept with.

If you slept with her and got her pregnant, it matters not that you think she is a slut: you should have thought about that before you slept with her.

It matters not that you think she is ugly and not the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with: you should have thought about that before you slept with her.

What you think of her is irrelevant: you are now responsible for giving that child a father.

Roissy is a finance guy, so he knows about risk and return. High return means high risk, and unmarried sex is a very high-risk endeavor.

And as with finances, so it is with unmarried sex: if you take a big risk, you may not always get the return you were counting on. She may use The Pill, but that is not foolproof. And while 1 in 3 women of childbearing age will have one or more abortions, the other 2 of 3 women won’t be so high on the idea of killing their babies to get you off the hook.

Still, just as with finances, the time to consider the risk is BEFORE you take it. Once you make the decision, you own it.

And once there is a child involved, you are tied to her for the rest of your life, whether you wanted it or not.

Now, to the ladies, this part is for you…

(1) Just as with the men, unmarried sex is a high-risk endeavor. Aside from the fact that you are at higher risk for STDs than he is–due to anatomy and physiology–you will also, due to anatomy and physiology, bear the brunt if you get pregnant.

(a) That he is required by law to support a child if you get pregnant, does not guarantee that the state will be successful in compelling him to pay up. Nor is there any guarantee that he will be consistent in keeping his obligations.

(b) Abortion may look like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, but–if you have any smidgeon of a conscience, you will carry that burden for the rest of your life. Don’t kid yourself into believing otherwise: I’ve seen women attempt post-abortion suicide. I’ve seen women go through years of treatment for bipolar disorder, including shock therapy, whose problems began when they had abortions.

(c) If you get pregnant, the more honorable way out–a shotgun wedding–still has risks all its own.

(d) As family law becomes better-developed, it is also more possible that he may be able to get full custody, and YOU WILL BE FORCED TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT. Don’t kid yourself on this one, ladies: I’ve seen it happen, and there is a credible and strong logical case for it.

Ultimately, there really is no such thing as “no strings attached” sex.

Sooner or later, you will get your reckoning for it. I cannot tell you how that will play out for you, but I’m old enough to know that it does eventually play out.

Treat Danica Patrick

like one of the guys. She earned it.

To her credit, she has chosen to compete in the same field as the men, playing by the same rules, getting no special favors. Whereas golf courses move the women’s tees closer to the hole, neither NASCAR nor IRL spots woman drivers any leads over their male opponents.

So, as for Danica Patrick, I say it’s long past time to give her credit where it is due. In my assessment, she was not a great driver in the IRL circuit, but she was respectable nonetheless.

How will she fare in the NASCAR world? We shall see.

That said, sportscasters can lay off the sexually perjorative terms.

In a related note, she is not off to a good start at Daytona: she wrecked on lap 2.

The Difference Between Me

and someone who is really, really, really angry at the way society pedestals women? Here it is, courtesy of Roissy.

Disclosure: this is not an endorsement of Roissy’s views. He is on the secular end, and quite hedonist. There is much with which to take issue–although I absolutely agree with his assessment of Marriage 2.0–but that isn’t the objective here.

I mention this to point out that–where I’ll rip feminists a new one, I’m quite generous next to some of my secular counterparts.

I disagree with Roissy in this respect: if you’re going to have sex, you accept the consequences. You can talk all day about “bastard spawn” (Roissy’s term, not mine), but that is one of the risks a man takes when he has sex outside of marriage.

If you get a girl pregnant, then it’s on you to get a rectal craniectomy and man up. This is not contingent on her doing the right thing, because it’s not about her but rather about the child.

I see his point in this, though: these women aren’t angels either. Unless they were raped, they had sex of their own free choice. That their sires have split town is as much a reflection of their own bad choices as it is on the men with whom they lay.

In summation, plenty of blame to go around here.

No One Thought He’d Do This…

I’m sure that will be the prevailing sentiment about the alleged shooter at a Chardon, Ohio high school.

Reports are already surfacing that the shooter–identified by local news and NBC as T.J. Lane–had a “gothic” streak and was a bit of an outcast.

How much does anyone wish to bet that he enjoyed reading Nietzsche and talked a lot about death, but no one really thought anything of it?

As it stands now, 1 person is dead, two people are in critical condition, one is in serious condition.

I’ll give some credit where credit is due: the teacher who chased after him was quite ballsy.

Be Careful What You Ask For

A few years ago, we had an Iranian–ML– who worked for one of our vendors. I had the chance to speak with him when he came to our location to give an overview of one of the systems that his company was working on.

We each shared the assessment that Iran’s mullahs were doing no small amount of damage to the country.

So I asked ML, “Why don’t the Iranians overthrow those bastards? They have to know that that U.S. would provide support behind the scenes.”

He said, “That’s the problem: The last time we had a revolution and the U.S. helped out, we got what we have now.”

ML made a very good point.

In fact, over the course of the last sixty years, we have intervened twice in Iran’s affairs. During the Eisenhower Administration, our CIA worked with the British to unseat a DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED President, Mohammed Mossadegh.

Mossadegh had moved to nationalize the oil fields, and this didn’t sit well with our oil companies. So they put the heat on Washington, and the rest is history. This is how the Shah–Mohammed Reza Pahlavi–became the ruler of Iran. He would remain there until 1979.

As a ruler, the Shah was a mixed bag. To the West, he was excellent: Iran and Israel would be two relatively trustworthy American allies, and would work to stabilize the Middle East.

Unfortunately, that “stability” came at a horrendous price: the Shah was notoriously brutal. His secret police–SAVAK–had a way of making political dissidents “disappear”. And every time that happened, Iranians blamed that on the United States. This was perfectly rational; after all, the Shah was bought and paid for by Washington. He was Mother Teresa next to other leaders in the region–Nasser of Egypt; King Hussein of Jordan; Saddam Hussein of Iraq; Hafez Al-Assad of Syria were even more brutal against their own people than the Shah. Unlike them, however, the Shah was installed by America.

Then, in the late ’70s, we had a certain President–Jimmy Carter–who took notice of the Shah’s human rights record. Jimmy’s people started looking for a way to get that oppressive ruler out of Iran, and looked to a religious leader in exile in France: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He said all the right things: get me in there and we will respect women’s rights, we will listen to dissidents, we will bring humanitarian reforms. Jimmy’s people bought the sales job.

In the meantime, Jimmy tightened the noose on the Shah: he held back foreign aid, and forced him to ease up on demonstrators. In early 1979, the Shah had lost all control and had to leave Iran. We would, in turn, serenade the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini into Iran, and he subsequently gave us the finger.

Khomeini quickly seized power, and proceeded to oppress Iranians in ways that the Shah never dreamed of. He would plunge Iran into a decade-long war of attrition that killed millions of Iraqis and Iranians, achieving nothing else.

And if you think the Shah’s human rights record was bad, you now have Christian pastors living under death sentences.

What you see now in Iran: this is what the Iranians got the last time they supported a revolution that America supported.

Christians in Iraq and Egypt report similar difficulties. . .

So to everyone who is predisposed to liberating these Islammunist countries with American military (or materiel) support, the burden of proof is on you to show that the cure won’t be worse than the disease.