Crock Pot In The Coal Mine

Crock Pot In The Coal Mine

My wife watches the show “This Is Us.” I usually lay there and watch Youtube videos, but for some reason, this week, I watched along with her. At the end of the most recent show *SPOILER ALERT* Jack Pearson places a kitchen towel against an old Crock Pot with an electrical short and inadvertently starts a house fire. This solves, at least in part, the mystery of how Jack dies. Every fan of the show, which is overwhelmingly female in demographic, has been waiting to find out how the fire that took Jack’s life got started. As the Pearson home was engulfed in flames on my screen I leaned over to my wife and jokingly said, “Welp Crock Pot stock will drop tomorrow.” She wasn’t amused. I, however, should have traded stock on my hunch. The next day crock pots all across the country went into the trash can. NBC and Newell (the company that manufactures Crock Pots) had to issue statements about their safety. Newell’s stock went into a tail spin. It is irrational. It is overly cautious. It is a pure fear-based emotional response. It is also a canary in our coal mine.

Miners, for those that don’t know, often died of silent noxious gas exposure. So they took canaries with them as they delved ever more deeply. The smaller biology of the canary caused it to succumbed much sooner to the gas. If the canaries died, it served as a warning to the miners that their own death was imminent. Crock pots being thrown into trash cans leading to a company being nearly destroyed because of a television character’s death is a canary in our collective coal mine. It is a clear demonstration of the underlying effect of being over-informed, and over-entertained. Subtly and slowly, we have become a culture that lives on fear based emotions. The once proud and courageous men and women who loaded up covered wagons, crossed the Mississippi river, and went to settle the western lands among Apaches are no more. What happened to our strength of constitution? Our fortitude? Our rugged love of risk taking? What happened to the American spirit? They appear to be in the trash can under our Crock Pots. We’d all still be huddled around kitchen fires in Boston if our generation was expected to settle the West. Except, there’d be no fires in the kitchen anymore because those are dangerous.

We need to stop living in fear. We need to stop allowing our government and the entertainment complex to control us through fear. We need to break our addiction to fear-porn. All day long every day all we hear is that the sky is falling, literally. Global warming is going to kill us all. We need the Environmental Protection Agency. Terrorists are coming to behead us all. We need to send government troops to dominate the rest of the world so we can “feel” safe at home. Sexual predators are everywhere just waiting to sexually assault us. We need Hollywood and the music industry (two notoriously corrupt industries that objectify women for money all day every day) to tell us how to live healthy sex lives. Guns are dangerous and randomly kill people. We need lots of S.W.A.T teams and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Children should be leashed like animals and never get out of our sight. We need the Consumer Protection Agency. Ecoli is in our greens and Salmonella in our meats. We need the Food and Drug Administration.  Illegal immigrants are taking our jobs, so we need a protective wall and protective tariffs. Racism is on the rise so we need hate crimes legislation. Supposedly, according to the best and brightest on college campuses across our land, the U.S. is full of white, patriarchal, misogynist, racist, homophobes trying to impose their mathematics, high school education, monogamous marriage, and child-rearing culture on everyone else. This above all else should be feared. They are so afraid of these boogeymen that they must retreat to safe spaces with coloring books and hot cocoa to soothe their tender feelings.

You can now cease to wonder how these young people turned out to be such emotionally weak crybabies. We did it to them. We wrapped them in bubble wrap and sent them out to play in a 10 square foot space, in our postage stamp-sized, fenced-in back yards. We hovered over them. We threw our crock pots away. We abandoned bravery and calculated risk. We became addicted to fearporn. We are all like college football coaches in the fourth quarter playing not to lose. As any football fan will tell you, playing it safe in a football game will get an “loss” hung on your team (ask the University of Georgia). It will also get a loss hung around your neck in life too. When enough of us get that dreaded L, then the nation gets one too. And that my friends, is how civilizations fall.

So ladies, primarily I am speaking to you here, defy the government and its crony media complexes. Show your sons and daughters that you are not afraid. Go and dig those Crock Pots out of the trash can, and, in as non a misogynistic way as I can say this, “go make a pot roast or something.” Send the kids out to play and don’t watch every move they make. When they come in crying from a skinned knee, tell them to suck it up, slap a band aid on it, and tell them it is a battle scar. Tell them you don’t want to see them again until the street lights come on. Tell them to go build a ramp for their bikes out of plywood and brick-o-blocks. Tell your schools to let them play dodge ball… on the monkey bars. Refuse to take a participation trophy home. Throw that in the trash if you must throw something away. Or, if you are itching to throw something away, how about their Xbox or their handheld device? We’ve got to cross a new Mississippi river, a cultural one. If you keep throwing away Crock Pots because an imaginary character on a television show died, we’re not going to make it across. We need men to step up and be men again and take off those stupid looking skinny jeans and face the world as it really is, a cold and rugged place. We need men and women to understand that they need each other again. We need our young ladies to be at least as fearless, if not more, than our young men. And if you think this is all just toxic masculinity, let me suggest that perhaps you are engaged in a toxic form of femininity. You’ve turned our children into weak-hearted and emotionally stunted victims. The noxious gas is rising. The canaries are all dead.

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Hollywood, the Media Are Delusional, Emotionally Immature, and Entitled

hollywoodNYT

 

When people see the title “Evangelical Libertarian” they scratch their heads. How can one be a libertarian and an evangelical Christian? Being a libertarian is based on one’s approval of the “Non-Aggression Principle” (hereafter NAP) as a code of conduct. The NAP means that libertarians believe that aggression or coercion are not a valid actions that should be used by individuals or governments to achieve a desired benefit. Many libertarians are libertines and abuse the principle in order to do what they want. Others apply it to a fictional world where they say there should be no borders, or taxes, believing falsely that if Anarcho-capitalism reigned supreme all the problems that State actors create through coercive intervention would dissipate. That’s pure ideology, it doesn’t exist. It can’t exist. And I don’t dabble in fiction.

But, rightly understood, the Bible provides the basis for a NAP approach to life. The Ten Commandments are a series of principles to not violate or transgress, and all human laws that are in accordance with them are good pieces of legislation. They protect against aggression. Establishing State Deities, mandated forms of worship, oaths to State gods, and State sanctioned closures are dangerous. Theology and orthodoxy are matters that belong to the church. Murder, corruption of marriage and sexuality, theft, fraud, and conspiracy should all be crimes that men should be protected against. These belong to the civil government. Thus the separation of the “powers” of Church and State is an imminently libertarian doctrine.

Nature also provides some reasonable norms on which laws should be based. For instance, the existence of nations themselves, which are groups of people who are bound together by a common geography, legal tradition, and history shows that there needs to be some reasonable way for people that are immigrating to gain access to legal protections in their new country. For instance, the Constitution of the United States (contrary to the Left’s belief) applies to citizens within the compact, not those who crossed a border illegally (aggression), or over stayed a visa (aggression), or more specifically, who no longer qualify for refugee status because their nation has since been rebuilt after a terrible earth quake (also aggression).

One of the lead stories on the New York Times site yesterday is, “200,000 From El Salvador Must Leave, U.S. says.” There is a picture of an El Salvadoran family beneath it, pushing a stroller, with a small caption that reads, “We feel like Americans.” When did feelings enter into it? Refugee status was granted to El Salvadorans in 2001 under the Bush administration after two earthquakes destroyed much of the Central American nation’s infrastructure. A distaster that left thousands of people homeless and jobless. It was always meant to be temporary. It was a gesture of good will to help a neighboring country in their time of need. The intention was to give people from El Salvador a place to live until their country could be rebuilt enough for them to return and resume their life. It was not a permanent solution, the rule was never intended to be indefinite. So what’s all the hub bub? Why put it on the front page of the “newspaper of record” in the United States? Maybe because they have an ax to grind. Possibly because they are an agenda driven organization that is unable to objectively report the news. But then again, why should we be surprised that a paper that believes men are women if they “feel” like it, also believe El Salvadorans are Americans if they feel like it too? So, I guess it is not that shocking… moving on.

Oprah GG

Did anyone catch the Golden Globes the other night? A picture of Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes was in the center of the cover of the New York Times site yesterday morning as well. It was linked to a raving review of her presidential-esque speech about #MeToo and #TimesUp. Of course, we all know, she said during the show, “that the media is under attack.” Evidently, Trump and his Twitter account are more than the mainstream in Hollywood and in the media can bear. Listen, I didn’t vote for the guy (or Clinton in case you were wondering). I don’t intend on voting for him in the next round either (or Oprah). But are we poor “deplorables” out here in flyover country on the right, in the middle, and libertarians just supposed to sit around and say nothing to our betters in Hollywood and the media? A group who just got #woke to the idea that women and children deserve respect. These two groups (Hollywood and the media) are overwhelmingly run by people on the Left who have abused women and children by the scores. Meanwhile, we learn that it was all an open secret in the Big Apple and Tinsel Town the whole time. From Matt Lauer, to Harvey Weinstein, to Kevin Spacey, everyone knew those men were serial sexual abusers. Everyone. Congratulations Hollywood for doing your duty…. because that is all that you did. You ain’t #woke, you are adolescents who just came to the sudden realization that women and children (except the unborn) should be cared for, listened to, and cherished. Most of us adults have lived this truth out quietly for years. And we did it without a red carpet, tv cameras, and so much self-congratulations.

But I’m sure you’ll turn out a whole bunch more borderline pornography in 2018, while simultaneously feigning shock and outrage over the sexual exploitation of women. I’m also quite sure you will continue to support sanctuary cities in the U.S., and lecture us small-minded rubes about our xenophobic bigotry. Even though, as Tucker Carlson recently highlighted in a segment on his show, immigrants do in fact commit crimes in the U.S. at a much higher rate than citizens. As we, the uninsulated and unwashed, not living in Beverly Hills or Manhattan, knew already by experience. On one front you are plagued with delusions of grandeur. While on the other you are emotionally immature persons living by your feelings, and at the same time being insufferably entitled. On both you are charlatans, and we, the plebes, have grown tired of you. So I’d expect viewer ship to continue to decline at the theaters, at the Golden Globes, and on your #fakenews channels.

 

EL

The Disneyfication of Star Wars

The last jedi

Born in 1972, I was a just old enough to see and enjoy the Star Wars saga when it first entered the consciousness of the American public. It is a badly acted movie that moves a little too slowly for today’s sophisticated movie-goers, but it had a great story line, a tremendous musical score, and cinematography like nothing we had ever seen before. We watched Star Wars, and then we watched the making of Star Wars on a fledgling channel called HBO, just to see how they pulled off all those (no pun intended) out of this world outer space shots. The exterior space landscapes were majestic. Kubrick himself couldn’t have done any better in that era. That is what really makes it a landmark film. It upped the ante. No one would really ever be happy with those cheesy Star Trek films again. I know I just offended a bunch of people. But, Darth Vader would force choke Ricardo Monteblan or Benedict Cumberbatch’s terrible, yet extremely angry Khan. And frankly a world where people educated themselves beyond war and poverty, (except the Borg and a few other ugly looking space species) is just not very imaginative. Star Trek is a too thinly veiled approximation of the authors political beliefs and has no real basis in any moral universe.

Then there were those terrible awful prequels. The acting was bad. The story was eh. I mean Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor were pretty good. So was Natalie Portman. The real problem with those movies is that they relied too much on technology. The one thing we always wanted when we were kids was more lightsaber fighting, but when we got it in the prequels, we realized why they didn’t do that much of it in the originals. It wasn’t just that it was a hard effect to create, it was climactic. They made us wait for it and long for it. That’s the art of making movies, and television too for that matter. Making the audience endure the whole story to get what they want in the end. The prequels were all action and no substance. All climax and no endurance. Like most things in life, when what you want comes easy, it is unsatisfying to you. The prequels were unrewarding because they were all reward.

Then Disney bought the rights and entered the fray. I thought the Force Awakens was unimaginative. It was a New Hope except with a girl and a different colored robot. I really enjoyed Rogue One. Good acting, good plot, good guys win yet die in the process, which is often how it happens in real life. It was a decent film. I also enjoyed (gasp) The Last Jedi. I know I’m not supposed to, but if you let the movie stand in its own right, it was entertaining and contained actual new and creative story line. But it was Dinsnyfied, and that is what I really dislike about the direction of the new installments.

In both Rogue One and the new Star Wars additions to the franchise the hero is a girl. I’m just weary of the politics of Hollywood. There is nothing wrong with the hero being a girl at all. Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia was as much a hero as Mark Hamil’s Luke Skywalker in the original films. Women are often heroes in film and in real life. One of my spiritual heroes is Amy Carmichael, the missionary to India in the early twentieth century. Margret Thatcher, the iron lady of Britain, who is hated by third wave feminists, was, in her own right, a wonderful leader whom I have a great deal of respect for. But it is not just that the lead character is a girl, but that she is a girl who is “following her heart” that really bugs me. I swear Disney doesn’t have a creative bone in its corporate body. When CGI Yoda shows up just as Luke is about to burn the Jedi tree down with all the Jedi books of wisdom, we all think, “awesome, Yoda will stop him, we need the ancient Jedi wisdom.” But when Luke falters and can’t bring himself do it, YODA BURNS IT DOWN! Then Yoda basically says that the Jedi books of wisdom were boring to start with, and that the girl Rea has “ALL THAT SHE NEEDS IN HER HEART!” So, in typical Disney fashion the movie is about a girl who is following her heart. It’s nauseating. It’s unoriginal. It’s pure Disneyfication. I enjoyed the movie but I absolutely hate the Disneyfication of the Saga that will surely continue as long as they are the ones making the films. I said to my children when I first heard that Disney had bought the rights to the franchise, jokingly, “Oh great, now Star Wars will be a movie about a girl who follows her heart.” We all laughed. It’s not funny now.

 

Teaser

In a few days I’m going to write a blog describing where I believe the new films are headed as far as story line is concerned. Whether you like the films or not, I think you’ll find my predictions thought provoking, and I hope you’ll take the time to read and comment on it when it hits the net later this week or early next.

Thanks, EL