I shared my thoughts on the church murders in Charleston and the Pope's encyclical on climate change on this afternoon's Hugh Hewitt show. We'll print the transcript here tomorrow morning.
~The decision to boot Alexander Hamilton off the ten-dollar bill - or at any rate reduce him to one-half of a double-act (like the short-lived Dan Rather and Connie Chung) - is one of those small acts of historical vandalism I absolutely loathe. The powers that be have decided it's time (once more - see right) for "a woman" on a US banknote. So Hamilton's not even being bounced for some outstanding individual but just for some dreary identity-group quota. Secretary Lew said, "Find me a woman, any woman" - Sacagawea, Harriet Tubman, Caitlyn Jenner, Rachel Dolezal... And that means one of the dead white males has to go. Not Washington or Lincoln - people have still, just about, heard of them. But Hamilton? I mean, dude, like, he wasn't even president ...er, was he?
No, but he can stake a greater claim to being on there than most of the guys who were: Jackson, Wilson, they're just the passing parade - but Hamilton earned his place.
Yeah, but who knows any of that stuff these days? I took a modest pleasure when my middle kid, who'd memorized the presidents in order, demanded to know who the non-prez on the ten was and I was able to answer. It won't be the same with Bella Abzug.
We're not full-blown banana-republic - no presidents-for-life on the banknotes, yet - but downgrading him for favored identity-group representatives is politically-correct bananafication.
~Speaking of historical vandalism, an "award-winning" teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been suspended since March for reading Mark Twain to his class - specifically, this passage from Huckleberry Finn:
At last, when he'd built up everyone's expectations high enough, he rolled up the curtain. The next minute the king came prancing out on all fours, naked. He was painted in rings and stripes all over in all sorts of colors and looked as splendid as a rainbow.
Another teacher heard about it and complained. Presumably it's a "micro-aggression" and the pupils might be "triggered". The moronization of the republic is remorseless.
~Re Caitlyn fever, UK reader Dana Booth writes:
It's good to see a conservative commentator who isn't totally ignorant when it comes to transsexual issues. I'm a transsexual conservative and the rage cultural conservatives direct towards transsexuals and even transvestites is frankly disgusting. If they weren't so terrified of their own sexuality they wouldn't be apoplectic with rage at the idea of a boy in a dress.
As for the LGBT qwerty thing, sexuality and gender are linked and humans are strange creatures. I do just want to be a woman, but I know some people do want to be (to be very un-pc) a Shemale. And why not? It's their genitalia. It's only when queer issues are used by leftists as a form of weapon to bludgeon people into submission that we get a problem. Religion is abused in the same way by social conservatives and that's why a lot of people of my generation are athiests and leftists. Conservatives shouldn't be worried about the strange things people tend to do when they are free, they should be worried about what will happen to us all when we fritter away that freedom.
Well, I can't speak for the massed ranks of conservatives, but I'm not the least "apoplectic with rage at the idea of a boy in a dress". In what passed for a talent show in my last year at high school, me and the lads climbed into the fishnets and mini-skirts to do a truly terrible pop song and, as I generally do even in unpromising circumstances, I gave it my best. Afterwards, the ladies in attendance agreed that my legs were better than any of theirs. And they're still pretty good, as you can see if you pre-order the Mann vs Steyn 2016 nude calendar.
Nor do I think it fair to take refuge in the old saw that conservatives are "terrified of their own sexuality". Mine doesn't scare me in the least, although it's sent a date or two screaming for the exits. What "terrified" me and others about Caitlyn and her d├ębutante's balls was the ruthlessly enforced celebratory tone. When the Queen marks her Diamond Jubilee or the Duchess of Cambridge has a baby, you're allowed to roll your eyes and say "God, aren't you sick of these bloody royal parasites?" or "Who cares about one more sponger in the palace?" Even "state" media like the BBC and CBC accept that there are a wide range of views on the head of state. But if you watched the coverage of Caitlyn on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN et al you would have had no idea that there are people out there for whom this was not cause for joyous celebration. There was something not "terrifying" - not yet - but coercive and authoritarian in the uniformity of the mandatory jubilation. Even Fox News seemed to intuit that this was something that they had no choice but to cover in a life-affirming way.
I found that disturbing - because, at a stroke, everyone who matters from the Obamas to Hollywood seemed to have decided that this is one more area of discussion it's safe to shut down, permanently. And there's way too much of that. Look at it from your average imam's point of view: Mike Huckabee is persona non grata because Big Gay didn't like his dissing of Caitlyn, but when the Prophet Mo (PBUH) gets dissed Muslims are told tough, you gotta suck it up.