The Thinking 

Browsing posts from December, 2009

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The Dilemma of a Radical Democracy

December 31, 2009


In a brief discussion about my post Fatherhood and Democracy, a commenter at Dennis Mangan’s blog makes an apt observation:

A bad king or a bad dictator can be deposed. But how can you depose a bad people?bigstockphoto_Flowers_2617686[1]



Feminism and Cultural Defeat

December 30, 2009


Was feminism the inevitable outcome of racial and cultural defeat? There is good reason to believe it was.

Feminism is the invention of Western white women. Their discontent, which emerged so forcefully in the 1960s, was arguably a reaction to the emasculation of men. Men were different first. They shed the trappings of male authority. They embraced feminine pacifism and revolted against all forms of paternal authority. 

This emasculation was a white phenomenon too. The white race had run afoul of history. It lost all pride and the will to survive. Why replicate itself? Fatherhood became aimless and decadent. Men stopped being chiefs and lords, kings and bosses. They became just guys. Guys do not rule anything.

A woman can never become a chief or a lord. But she can become a guy.

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The Intellectual Woman’s Antipathy to Homemakers

December 30, 2009


Intellectual women have been openly antagonistic toward traditional women in the main organs of the press for more than 50 years. And when they are not openly so, they are often subtly and cleverly so. Thus the notion that women are not intelligent unless they are paid professionals remains alive and well.

This attitude is especially disturbing when expressed by supposedly conservative women. A good example is this recent article by Kay Hymowitz in City Journal

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A Mother in Hiding

December 30, 2009

Lesbian Custody


Lisa Miller, a former lesbian who has been ordered to turn over her daughter this Friday to her previous lesbian partner, has apparently fled and gone into hiding. The woman who has been awarded primary custody of the girl by courts in Virginia and Vermont has no biological tie to the child. 

For all the mistakes of her past, Lisa Miller is a heroine. The case demonstrates why a federal constitutional marriage amendment is the only way to protect traditional marriage and children.  Custody disputes such as this are likely to become common, with parents fleeing to sympathetic states like fugitive slaves.

If I were Lisa Miller, I would risk everything, even prison, for my daughter.


Girls will be Girls

December 30, 2009


In the previous entry, Karen I. describes an amazing incident in which her nine-year-old son was held down by pre-teen girls while one was forced to kiss him. His arm was injured. The story is typical of the aggressive sexual behavior popular culture encourages in young girls.

A female teen  wearing a torn shirt, shorts, boots and a jean jacket, rides on a luggage cart. Beside her, four back-up dancers bend to the side while dancing

Teen idol Miley Cyrus


Female Immodesty and its Effects

December 29, 2009


Catherine writes:

I have a question about your article “Married to a Wimp.” I’ve been wondering about it, but haven’t had the chance to ask until now.

In that article, it seemed to me that you implied that immodestly dressed girls are forcing young men to or toward becoming effeminate. You said something about having to “tone down” their hormones or it would be impossible to function.

I have a friend who is a member of a familybigstockphoto_Flowers_2715960[1] filled with attractive, immodest women, and extremely feminine men. One is an “out of the closet” gay.  I’ve thought for some time that it all seemed connected. 


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The Thinking Housewife Book Club

December 27, 2009


Like most women, I cherish the company of other women and welcome the opportunity to bask in female affection or talk about mutual interests. But I have turned down invitations to be part of any women’s book club. A disturbing cultural phenomenon has swept the nation. On the face of it, it seems a sign of progress, an awakening of  intellectual enlightenment and refinement. Women gather in living rooms to sip wine and discuss literature. What could be unhealthy or backward about that?

The truth is the women’s book club has too often become a self-justification society, a bastion of thought-control. Within the intimate enclosure of these gatherings, female supremacy is sometimes stroked and preened, like a spoiled Persian cat sitting on the lap of a spinster.

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The Living

December 25, 2009


In James Joyce’s short story “The Dead,” friends and relatives gather at a Dublin townhouse for a yearly Christmas dance at the home of the elderly Morkan sisters, Julia and Kate. The guests dance to piano waltzes played by the Morkans’ niece Mary Jane, who like her aunts is a music teacher. Freddy Malins shows up not as drunk as expected. The conversation includes opera and a local monastery where the monks sleep in coffins. The guests are served goose and ham, punch and steamed pudding while the elderly spinsters fret over their welfare. Every year, Gabriel Conroy, nephew of the Morkan sisters, gives a toast at the close of the meal.

Gabriel leaned his ten trembling fingers on the tablecloth and smiled nervously at the company. Meeting a row of upturned faces he raised his eyes to the chandelier.

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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2009

The Mystical Nativity, Botticelli


Heav’ns youngest teemed Star,
Hath fixt her polisht Car,
   Her sleeping Lord with Handmaid Lamp attending:
And all about the Courtly Stable,
Bright-harnest Angels sit in order serviceable.

            – fromOn the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” John Milton


Apple Tree

December 24, 2009



The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell,
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

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The Charities that Devour Us

December 24, 2009



Charles writes in response to the entry In Defense of Scrooge:

I thought I was the only one having difficulty with the way charities conduct themselves. Your posters have made some very accurate statements. Here are my favorites:  Read More »


Single Mothers Deserve Sympathy

December 23, 2009


Brittany writes:

I think you are too harsh on single mothers. Not all unwed mothers are bad people; they just made a mistake. Maybe their boyfriend pressured them into sex and he left when she got pregnant. You can have sex one time and get pregnant. I was born before my mom and dad were married but if my dad had left my mom would have been a single mother. Yes, my mom did have premarital sex but that did not mean she was a slut because she was only with my dad and thbigstockphoto_Abstract_Floral_Decoration_Com_1081762[1]ey were engaged. Yes, some single mothers did not care but what about the ones that just made a mistake?


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Further Defense of Scrooge

December 23, 2009


Scrooge movie poster

M. writes in regard to the previous entry:

I have to disagree with Alex A. when he says that Scrooge’s transformation wasn’t as a result of seeing the light but of fear of the horrors to come if he doesn’t change. 

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In Defense of Scrooge

December 23, 2009

Scrooge and Bob Cratchit illustrated by John Leech in 1843. 

A few things should be said in defense of Ebenezer Scrooge. First and foremost, Bob Cratchit and his family would have been worse off and possibly impoverished altogether if Scrooge did not work hard and keep his business going, thus creating a job for Mr. Cratchit. Let’s remember that Mrs. Cratchit did not work to supplement the family income. Mr. Scrooge paid what is commonly known as a “family wage.”

It’s true that Mr. Scrooge balked at paying for a day off once a year, but he didn’t refuse to pay for the many days Mr. Cratchit did work. He could have provided more coal for Mr. Cratchit’s fire, but he seemed to be an otherwise ethical employer.

Secondly, Scrooge was ahead of his times, a true maverick in fact, when it came to recognizing the commercialization of Christmas and of Christian charity. The reindeer and Santas now go up shortly after Halloween. The sacred feast is more trashy every year. It may be going to far too say, as Mr. Scrooge did, that everyone who utters the words Merry Christmas should be “boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart,” but anyone who says Happy Holidays or Winter Wishes should. Ebeneezer would have been enraged by his own over-appearance in the modern observance of Christmas. I haven’t seen the latest Christmas Carol movie, but I walked by a theater where it was playing. The noise coming from within sounded like explosions and gunfire.

At my local supermarkets, customers are asked in the check-out line if they would like to donate to specific charities. My arm is being twisted in public on behalf of large corporate “charities” about which I know nothing. This sort of awkward social coercion is characteristic of many of the secular rites of Christmas, including the forced giving of gifts and charity at the office. This makes Scrooge’s words an inspiration: “Are there no prisons?… And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?”

Charity should not be indiscriminate and ideally it should not be impersonal at all.  “Let not your left hand see what your right hand does” is a worthy principle when it comes to all acts of giving. Conspicuous compassion is corrupted by self-interest. It loses sight of what it’s supporting. The great Victorian philanthropists believed in generosity tempered by a stern awareness of its moral effects. They would have been appalled to see unwed mothers living in comfort off the largess of others and receiving an avalanche of Toys for Tots.

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The ‘Single Mom’ Gravy Train

December 22, 2009


In the previous post on welfare and motherhood, Karen I. writes:

I thought of a few more things the poor children of single moms get, including free lunch and often breakfast at school, free coats from the local newspaper charity, free filled backpacks from my church at the start of school, free rides to and from doctors appointments if they need them with the state insurance, fee waivers to attend summer camp free or cheap at the YMCA and free transportation to and from that camp. Add that to what I already listed and try to convince some single young tramp with a baby on the way she ought to marry her baby’s Daddy and get a job. Morals are not going to convince her because she does not have any or she would not be in that situation to begin with. She has no education to use at a job, so that argument is out the window, too. So, she has to choose between working at a low paying, miserable job and sitting home “poor” with all the State is just dying to hand her the minute the baby arrives. No wonder 40% of births are to single mothers these days. 

I used to be the first to give to the food pantry, the backpack drive, etc. After seeing who really benefits from these things, I don’t do that anymore. Now, if I want to give something, I hand it right to someone I know who can use it. I have given loads of brand name kid’s clothes to a mom whose husband had his work hours cut back. She appreciates it and I know it is going to someone who really deserves it. I think that everyone who wants to give to charity should do the same. Find someone who really deserves the help and help them yourself. Leave a bag of food, Christmas gifts or warm clothes on their doorstep if you think they will be embarrassed. You don’t need an agency to find needy folks for you. They are everywhere if you just open your eyes and look for them. Often it is the ones who are too proud to seek welfare that need the help the most.

Laura writes:

And yet Oprah makes us weep for single moms.

Karen’s advice for charitable giving is excellent. Not only does it assure the right person is getting your help, it’s more personal. 



A New Kind of Welfare Mother

December 19, 2009


Should a family with an educated mother and a father attending graduate school be entitled to welfare payments so that the mother can remain home with the children? A reader says she knows such families and asks for my opinion. My answer: No. The mother should go to work temporarily or the family should live with relatives. Here is our exchange.

Intensely Curious writes:

I, like you, believe that families need their mothers to stay home and be the prime homemaker, making the family home a place of solitude, serenity and a warm environment in which everyone in the family can thrive. When voicing this opinion, which is not the smartest thing to do, I often hear things like, “Children need to know the value of the dollar,” and “Children need to see a good role model,” etc. Those responses are usually given in regards to situations similar to the one I’m about to share with you. Read More »


Modern Architecture and its Crusade Against Intimacy

December 19, 2009


The post “Terrible is This Place,” on the architectural revolution in one Catholic parish, mentioned the importance of verticality in sacred buildings. The same can be said of domestic architecture and secular public buildings, often geometric boxes that resemble cages today. Verticality, which is not the same as mere height, is one essential aspect of a livable environment, whether in the form of steep-pitched roofs or windows and gables that draw the eye upward. It is no accident that verticality is noticeably missing from our built environment.

We live in a world of deadly horizontality. It exists even in the highest skyscrapers. Modern architecture is an enemy of intimacy, beauty and enthusiasm.

Commenting in that post, Fitzgerald writes:

It is essential traditional architecture be revived both in our sacred structures as well as our homes. Note how the homes the wealthy and powerful today inhabit are barren and cold, empty of life and progeny. The bohemian radicals that transformed architecture have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They ripped architecture from its traditional moorings and erected soul-crushing living machines to foist their radically selfish and self-serving lifestyles, lived in opposition to the family and the traditions designed to nourish and support it, upon the unwitting and unfortunate inhabitants of the very structures they produced.

 I recommend the remainder of Fitzgerald’s comments.


Christmas Past in the Kitchen

December 17, 2009

bigstockphoto_Old_Miniature_Stove_4396381[1]Modern kitchen technology is wonderful, especially at this time of year. I was reminded of this yesterday when reading this very tragic story on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer of Dec. 26, 1909:

Miss Bessie Ziv, aged 17 years, had already spent several hours with her mother in the kitchen of their home at 2553 East Clearfiled Street in preparing the Christmas dinner, when she opened the oven door to baste a turkey that was slowly turning a tempting nut brown.

“Is not the turkey cooking nicely?” she remarked to her mother as she poured the drippings in the pan over the big bird with a spoon. She leaned too near the open coal fire in the range and her apron caught fire. From an open window a gust of wind fanned the first sparks into flames that quickly enveloped her.

The story goes on to say that Miss Ziv’s injuries were probably fatal; those of her mother, who used her hands to put out the flames, were serious. It reports a similar case of a woman badly burned the same day elsewhere in the city when cooking her turkey to “a requisite degree of brownness.”

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