Category Archives: Culture

The 5 Happiest Cities In America Are In One State & The Unhappiest Places Have One Thing in Common

What could it be? What *could* it be?

Some might suspect that they’re just putting something in the water, but the five happiest cities in America are all in the same state: Louisiana. Those cities are Lafayette, Houma, Shreveport-Bossier City, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria.

The Northeast and one city in the Midwest did not fare too well: Scranton, Erie, and Pittsburgh, PA, Gary, IN, and New York City were found to be the top five unhappiest cities. Nearly all of the unhappiest places in the nation lean heavily Democratic when it comes to voting.

The paper examined data from a CDC study called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and adjusted for age, sex, income, and other factors.

Other “abnormally happy” cities include Charlotte, NC, and Naples, FL. Is it just me, or is there a pattern here, and does it have something to do with southern cities?

The study examined why unhappy cities continue to see such population growth.

Just because I don’t advocate their lifestyle, doesn’t mean I hate them…

Sadly, the feeling is not reciprocated…

10313986_10152035450121576_1708761800635317196_nIf you need an example of this dynamic, just take a look at what’s happening to former NFL head coach Tony Dungy. In a recent interview, he was asked about Michael Sam, the first ‘openly gay’ player drafted into the NFL. Dungy had this to say: “I wouldn’t have [drafted] him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.  It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”

An exceedingly reasonable opinion, and one shared by most NFL officials, which is why Sam wasn’t taken until the 7th round. Notice, Dungy never said that he hates Sam because of his sexuality, nor did he say that Sam shouldn’t be in the NFL. In fact, he said the opposite. Dungy’s position is very clear. Sam is a mediocre talent and a marginal prospect. He’s too slow to be a linebacker and too small to be a defensive end. He doesn’t have the athleticism to be a starter, and he may very well lack the talent to make the squad. At best, Michael Sam will see the field for kickoffs and punts, and that will be it.

Is an unspectacular player worth the media circus that will follow? Would any coach in their right mind relish the thought of being accused of bigotry if Sam has to be cut to make room for better players? Does any football organization want to be tossed into the middle of a ‘gay rights’ fight when their only concern is winning football games? One poor team answered ‘yes’ to these questions, but 31 did not. Tony Dungy echoed the sentiments of the 31 teams — the sane ones.

Michael Sam isn’t very good but he is a self-congratulatory pseudo-’equal rights’ champion who loves the attention and does not hesitate to throw homophobia accusations around. This is the guy who cut a deal to star in a documentary during training camp, and hid the agreement from the NFL until after he was drafted. This dude is on a crusade, and it’s got nothing to do with making the playoffs and bringing home the Lombardi Trophy. He’s not worth the trouble, not by a longshot. Any rational person can see that, and Tony Dungy is a rational person.

Progressives, however, are not. That’s why Dungy’s remarks have been met with a furor as repulsive as it is predictable. Tony Dungy never criticized Sam’s sexual preference, but he did take a position that diverges from the liberal narrative, and now he is being punished severely for it.

It’s because they’ve claimed so many victories that they have earned the luxury to demand more than a cowering tolerance from their ideological opponents. Conservatives and Christians who tried to keep their hands clean by merely putting up with the slaughter of children and the destruction of the nuclear family are now faced with a dilemma. They can’t just tacitly endorse evil anymore — they are going to be required to give their enthusiastic and active approval.

You’re either with them or against them.

I’d say reject the fed money…

Obama to non-profits: celebrate LGBT or else

He With a Pen and a Phone will sign an executive order today forcing all private companies with government contracts to adopt policies giving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender applicants special protection.  There is no exemption for religious beliefs or conscience, except in the very narrow case of “ministerial” employment (clergy).

Most large, for profit companies already have non-discrimination policies, and most of them have detailed gender identity protections.  Even most small companies that deal with the government are used to hiring quotas, 8A requirements, and other federal red tape.  This executive order is targeted at one group in particular: non-profits.

It means that non-profit, religious groups, such as church-based daycare centers, adoption services, and soup kitchens will, in order to receive federal money, be forced to hire transgender and cross-dressing men and women, who don’t agree with the organization’s own values.  In fact, they’ll be forced to hire people who work against the organization’s values and conscience.

Obama’s signature will accomplish by fiat much of what the failed ENDA legislation would have done, with two key differences.  ENDA had broad exemptions which were negotiated into the latest drafts, which would protect most religious organizations from having their core values violated, and ENDA would have applied nationally, across the board.

If you are involved with a religious charity that accepts any kind of federal money, get ready.  Overt persecution is about to become the norm.

As Erick has said many times, you will be made to care.

#LikeAGirl Cashes In On Women’s Insecurities

I am perturbed by the notion that girls are too sensitive to handle anodyne playground taunts and need hygiene companies to save them with Twitter hashtags.

Since I have three daughters, I forgive people for making some assumptions. Such as thinking I would find the Always #LikeAGirl ad campaign awesome. In it, adults and a young boy of indeterminate age, who appears close to adolescence, are asked to run, throw, and fight like a girl. They inevitably offer stereotypical interpretations. They flail, they worry about their hair, they throw scratches instead of punches. Then a few young girls are asked to do to the same things. They don’t act. They just run, hit, and throw. Thus Always proves that adults and older kids are better at recognizing they’re being asked to portray a stereotype.

As a father of daughters, though, I am perturbed by the notion that girls are too sensitive to handle anodyne playground taunts and need hygiene companies to save them. Conversely, I also bristle at the idea that their happiness and success is predicated on how well they can perform stereotypically male activities.

Why are nebulous “social awareness” campaigns all the rage in advertising? Is it because Always and Pantene really care about smashing stereotypes, even ones displayed in response to a leading question? Do Always and Pantene think women are so delicate that without a new tampon or shampoo commercial they will have to retire to their fainting couches upon hearing words or phrases such as “bossy” or “like a girl?”

 

In Defense Of Old Racist Art

Censorship, once a very dirty word in liberal circles, has undergone a makeover of sorts and, in its new guise of social responsibility, it is making an unfortunate comeback.

Let’s be clear: Chan is not saying “‘The Mikado’ offends me so I won’t go see it.” She is saying, “‘The Mikado’ is offensive so nobody should see it.” Is the offense taken by Chan regarding “The Mikado” really more genuine or reasonable than that of some Muslims regarding the work of Salman Rushdie? Why? What makes the offense she takes more objectively actual? Why should her ideas about what is and isn’t offensive be foisted upon everyone? In fact, there is no objective standard anywhere that can transform her opinion on this matter into a fact.

Ultimately, what makes the proposal of simply not performing or reading old works of racist art so insidious is that no generation is the sole caretaker of the canon. The influential works of the past helped to create our culture, whether we like it or not. Erasing them from our history books, or stages, or syllabi, cannot reverse their impact. The original impetus for the liberal program of historical and cultural revision was to highlight the complexity of our past—to expose the fact that some founding fathers held slaves, or that westward expansion came with a horrific toll on native populations, or that the heroic Franklin Delano Roosevelt interred Japanese citizens. It is precisely this critical lens with which we now teach Western Culture that prepares us to see works like “The Mikado,” or “The Merchant of Venice,” and place them in context. Studying Western culture is like putting a puzzle together and, frankly, we cannot do it without all the pieces.

We need to stop pretending that Western culture is the villain in human history. This is the story being told in every graduate Master of Fine Arts program in America; it is a story widely accepted by the artists and administrators running the cultural ground game. “The Mikado” is not a threat to anything. In fact, it has served as an inspiration to several generations of musical theater artists. Do we share Gilbert and Sullivan’s opinions and commentary on race? Of course we don’t. Can we appreciate their contribution to art without condoning racist attitudes? Yes, we can. Liberals who find themselves compelled by the siren call of censorship should wake up. And conservatives who think these subtle intrusions are a mere distraction should wake up, too. This is exactly where culture is won or lost.

Burka Bans Spread Across Europe as Catalan Town Becomes Latest to Ban Full Face Veil

Breitbart

The town of Reus in the Catalan province of Tarragona has become the first in Spain to ban the wearing of full-face veils in public, a move which follows a judgment on July 1 by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which found that a French law banning the wearing of the veil did not breach the Convention on Human Rights.

The Strasbourg judges said the French ban was justified because of respect for life in society: “The barrier raised against others by a veil concealing the face in public could undermine the notion of ‘living together,’” the judges said.

France was the first country in Europe to ban the veil. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose administration brought in the ban in 2011, said that veils oppress women and were “not welcome” in France.

Now Reus has passed bylaws to ban the veil. Ramon Espadaler, Interior Minister for Catalonia, has said that the ban, first proposed in 2013, was in no way an attack on religious freedom as the wearing of helmets and masks in public will also be forbidden.

In Britain, there is no ban on wearing a veil, but schools can decide their own dress code, but following the ECHR judgement, Tory MP Philip Hollobone urged the Government to ban the veil in Britain: “We will never have a fully functioning, fully integrated multi-cultural society if growing numbers of our citizens go around with their faces covered.”

“One small step” into history, 45 years later

CBSNews

Flying 69 miles above the far side of the moon, out of contact with Earth and a world-wide audience holding its collective breath, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin fired their lunar module’s main engine for 30 seconds to begin the first piloted descent to the moon’s surface.

It was July 20, 1969 – 45 years ago Sunday – and in a little more than one hour, one way or the other, Armstrong and Aldrin would either be safely on the surface or making an emergency abort back to orbit where crewmate Mike Collins was standing by in the Apollo 11 command module.

Kranz, who later gained fame as a central character in the movie “Apollo 13,” summed up the feelings of many in the space program during an address at an astronaut reunion last year:

“We lived as explorers and charted America’s path in space. We knew about high risk and the grief for our friends who gave their lives to the effort.

“In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, ‘We knew the triumph of high achievement, and when we failed, at least we failed while daring greatly. Our place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither knew victory or defeat.’”

Mommy Police With Real Handcuffs

Nanny states on steroids…

A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

You can argue that driving is necessary, but it seems to me that raising independent children is also necessary. Arresting parents who allow any child younger than a college freshman to spend time alone amounts to a legal mandate to keep kids timid and tethered. This should not be an object of public policy.

What is truly bizarre is that the cops cuffing these women were most likely raised with exactly the freedom they are now punishing. Do they think their parents should have been put in jail? Or have the intervening years rendered tweens unable to figure out how the car doors work?

I’m not saying that parents should take their toddlers into the wilderness and leave them there to hike their way out. What I can’t understand is how our society has lost the ability to distinguish between that and letting your pre-teen hang out in the car for a half-hour or spend some time in a nearby park. As Jessica Grose says, if this had been illegal in 1972, every single mother in America would have been in jail. Yet millions upon millions of us lived to tell the tale.

Coming to a town near you…

What’s Happening To Gordon College Is Just The Beginning

A Christian college in Massachusetts requested the freedom to live out its ideals, and since some powerful people don’t share those ideals they’re set to destroy Gordon College—unless it agrees to retreat to the closet.

In June, Gordon’s president added his name to a public letter asking President Obama to not force religious organizations into hypocrisy. Obama plans an executive order that would be the equivalent to many organizations of forcing Human Rights Campaign to hire adherents of Westboro Baptist Church. It would force anyone who receives federal funds to hire people whose sexual conduct disgraces all the world’s major religions.

Gordon, like every other observant religious institution in the world, does not want to be forced to hire people that represent the opposite of what it stands for. For that, it’s been pilloried in the press and persecuted by apparently every local public official who gets morally high from judging Gordon’s beliefs. It has already lost a contract with a local town to manage its historic town hall, and its accreditation will soon be under review—all for merely signing a letter. Gordon is only the vanguard. There is far more of this ahead, for every religious school, charity, parachurch organization, and even churches. So it’s time to pay attention to the tenderhooks of tyranny.

Continue reading

Don’t give up your day job, sweetie…

Wrong Abe: Model Bar Refaeli Quotes ‘Star Trek’ Character, Not President Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago, supermodels didn’t stumble over their social media messages.

The lovely Bar Refaeli tried to join the debate this week over the current bloodshed in the Middle East. Only in trying to evoke the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln she cited an actor playing the 16th president on an episode of Star Trek.

There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. there is nothing good in war, except its ending -Abraham Lincoln,” Refaeli posted, with the hashtag #stopterror, alongside an Instagram photo of herself on the beach.

The only problem: The quote was never actually uttered by Honest Abe. Rather, in “Star Trek” season 3, episode 22, Captain Kirk and Spock encounter a Lincoln figure who imparts these words.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 651 other followers

%d bloggers like this: