This column explores the thought and behavior that often leads to tenured positions at major universities or punditry contracts with CNN. Readers with pacemakers or other heart problems proceed at their own risk.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has given the planet 10 years to live. Or something. This has upset the sort of people who know the IPCC exists and are given to taking its pronouncements seriously. You know, the kind of earnest souls who give thought to bovine gassiness.
Really, it’s in The Guardian, the U.K.’s leading socialist paper. Not content to hobble the industrial economies of developed nations, the unelected authoritarians of the IPCC are taking aim at agriculture (The Guardian, of course, doesn’t put it that way.) For one thing, they want us to stop eating meat (which would also please the vegan/animal rights authoritarians, and the health authoritarians -- don’t you love it when a plan comes together?) But that’s not all. The Guardian:
Cow farts are a major source of greenhouse gas, but researchers – who collect the gases in bags fitted to cows – have found there is considerable natural variation from animal to animal. If the low-emission cows could be bred with each other, this could bring down these emissions, they say. Researchers in other countries are also looking at changing feed to make cattle less gaseous.
Let’s just pause for a moment and consider a day in the life of a UN Climate Researcher Second Class, U.K. Area of Operations, Bovine Division. We’ll call him Liam. Liam spends his mornings attaching bags to the rear ends of cows. After a light lunch at the pub, he returns, detaches said bags from said cow butts, and measures the methane levels captured. He breaks for tea and then heads back to the office to enter his figures into the IPCC’s Database of Doom™. Turning out the long-lasting, energy efficient lights, Liam heads home, secure in the knowledge that his little bits of information on the flatulence of farm animals, insignificant as they may seem, are helping fuel a bogus global panic.
Back home, his girlfriend Zephyr (they met on Ecomatch.com -- her turn-ons: wind farms and getting arrested outside power plants) prepares a hearty meal of quinoa patties and kale. Liam tells her again of his dream to someday use cow farts to power cars: “Really, if I could just figure out the transfer system, we could have cow-car charging stations in the parking lot of every organic food collective in England!”
After dinner they turn on the telly. There on the news is Green party MP Caroline Lucas, saying “It’s not good enough for the government to attempt to simply add a green tinge to business as usual.” Liam and Zephyr sit up as Lucas continues, “This week’s IPCC report couldn’t have been clearer: we need an urgent and complete overhaul of our economic system to avoid disaster – and to create a fairer, healthier, safer society.”
“Yes!” says Liam, leaping to his feet in his enthusiasm. “Yes!” say The Guardian’s editorial board. “Yes!” rings out from a thousand organic food collectives, hemp-focused shops and wine bars across England. “Yes!” cry the petty authoritarians, resentful class warriors and Unitarian ministers.
Liam turns and meets Zephyr’s beaming eyes. With Lucas’s forceful call to arms ringing in his ears and Zephyr’s worshipful gaze upon him, he nods and thinks proudly, and not for the first time, that it’s good to be in cow asses.
And now, more bilge from the S.S. Progressive ...
How to Teach Progressives not to Inflict Stupid Articles on Us ... I’m really looking forward to Slate’s upcoming article, “How to Raise Daughters who Don’t Make False Allegations of Sexual Assault.” It’s due out right around the time we reach the climate change point of no return -- 10 or 60 or 700,000 years from now. I’m sure it will be a bracing read, and worth the wait.
In the meantime, apropos of l’affaire Kavanaugh, Slate has trotted out another of those #TeachBoysNotToRape articles, this time by Melinda Wenner Moyer, “Slate’s science-based parenting columnist.”
There is of course irony here: science is dependent on empirical observations (verifiable facts) and the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh were wholly devoid of verifiable facts. Indeed, the only facts established by that disgusting spectacle are:
Brett Kavanaugh likes beer.
Corey Booker would like beer, or not like beer, or be indifferent to beer, if it would get him elected president.
Two out of three Americans can’t watch CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS news without pelting their TVs with beer cans.
Anyway, science doesn’t really enter into Moyers’s “Ending Sexual Violence by Raising Better Boys,” unless quoting some “experts” counts as science. It’s all about the feelz:
Hearing Christine Blasey Ford’s story, I thought of my 4-year-old daughter and the ways I can prepare her to survive in this misogynistic world. But most pressingly, after witnessing Kavanaugh’s and Trump’s outbursts, I’ve considered my 7-year-old son. What can I do to shape him into a respectful man—one who doesn’t assault women, most importantly, but who also doesn’t make lewd jokes, grab butts, mock victims, or generally treat women as if they’re inferior?
So Moyers is in the grip of a moral panic brought on by a sexual assault that almost certainly never happened. And Let’s see what kind of science this calls forth.
Strategy No. 1: Make your boys feel as comfortable as possible experiencing and discussing emotions. This is countercultural, because American parents tend to frown upon emotion in boys. We tell our crying sons to buck up or even (cringe) to stop acting like a girl.
Hmm. Above she was horrified by “Kavanaugh’s and Trump’s outbursts.” Well, Trump is a walking outburst, so put him aside. But when Kavanaugh spoke -- and remember, at that time the entire media and half the Senate Judiciary Committee were ready to believe (or pretend to) that he’d led a high school rape gang -- it was from … emotion.
So which is it, encourage emotion or suppress it? Liberals imagine that encouraging emotional incontinence in boys is going to get them a generation of Pajama Boys, ready to sip pumpkin spiced almond milk, cry and talk about health care availability. But anger is a powerful emotion, one that takes a lot of self-discipline to master. Take the governors off boys’ emotions, you may end up with something different than the emasculated hipster you were hoping for.
Then Moyers comes to what is known to psychologists as the “Give Your Aunt Bunny a Kiss” Conundrum. To the rest of us, it’s just bat-sh*t:
Strategy No. 2: Teach your kids to set and respect physical boundaries. Let’s say Grandma arrives for a visit and you instruct your kids to give her a hug. Sounds innocent enough, but doing so teaches kids that it’s OK to force or be forced to embrace someone.
Or perhaps it’s just teaching your kids to trust and value family, and that a platonic hug is a natural and completely acceptable act of affection. And because it’s the polite thing to do.
Eventually, Moyers gets around to something useful:
Strategy No. 3: Model respectful behavior and regularly engage with your kids about what that means. “Kids tend to notice what you do much more than what you say,” says Mark Van Ryzin, an educational psychologist at the University of Oregon. Boys learn a lot from watching how Dad treats Mom and from how conflicts are resolved within the family.
Well, I can’t disagree with that. In fact, I thought of it all by myself -- without the help of an educational psychologist at the University of Oregon. I have two teenage sons. They aren’t predators. They’re good kids. And frankly, I bridle at the suggestion that the moral pygmies at State have anything to tell me about raising them.
But since we’re doing this exercise, here’s a pretty good formula for raising boys:
- Marry their mother, preferably before the boys come along.
- Stay married to their mother.
- Love, honor and cherish their mother.
- Teach them that, no matter what progressives maintain, people are more than the sum of their sexual urges.
- Teach them that girls are different than boys -- and they should be in awe of the difference.
- Teach them to open doors for women (get over yourselves, feminists.)
- Teach them to never raise a hand to a girl.
- Teach them that strong men protect others.
- Take them to church.
It’s all the stuff that goes into making what we used call “gentlemen” out of the little brutes. Nothing is foolproof, but simple respect for others and themselves goes a long way. If you need a science-based parenting columnist to tell you that then God help your sons and the women they encounter through life.
Don’t you eat that yellow snow … Well, this story got the alt-left senses all a-tinkle … er, a-tingle. Honestly, whether it has to do with right and left or just right and wrong, well, you decide. There’s apparently a health fad that has people -- women mostly -- drinking their own urine. Yep. Once the last resort of men in lifeboats, “urine therapy” is catching on with the yoga and “self-care” set, according to the BBC.
Gee whiz, you say, why would anyone do that? The number one reason is they think it’s good for them.
The BBC cites a 33-year-old British yoga instructor who “claims drinking her own urine has given her relief from a number of long-term health issues, including autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, and chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.” She started two years ago and now “not only does she drink a jar of fresh wee every day, she also uses cotton wool to dab it all over her face -- which she claims keeps her skin ‘glowing.’” And smelling like Penn Station circa 1987 is a small price to pay for a shimmering visage, am I right, ladies?
She’s not alone. BBC tells us a Canadian woman says drinking her pee helped her lose half her body weight. “Now she not only drinks urine but also gargles it in the mornings when she brushes her teeth and uses it as eye drops.” Another woman swears by drinking her pee to relieve mosquito bites. Then there was a woman who became a YouTube sensation by drinking her dog’s pee. It cured her depression and acne.
I should make it clear, the BBC isn’t condoning urine therapy. It splashes skepticism from doctors and dieticians all around the article. Their stream of warnings should be enough to give the most dedicated pee-quaffer stage fright. I won’t bother elaborating their concerns -- if you don’t see the problem with urine therapy, you ought to be.
That's enough PUNishment for this week.