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The Hipsterization of Marriage

Vanderleun glances at something interesting:

Ironically, a young generation that considers the struggle for same-sex marriage the civil rights struggle of its day is choosing to avoid the marital estate.

Minnesota voters will have an opportunity to define marriage this fall:

The question would be presented to voters as follows:

"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?"

If passed, the Minnesota Constitution will be Amended:

Article XIII; Section 13.

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Blame or Blowback?

It’s one of my maxims that “the people” is not “the government”. When we talk about America, the nation, the country, the idea, I say that’s something quite different from the electeds and bureaucratic structure which seeks to administer law and uphold social order.

Righty hawks fairly accuse the current President as “blaming America first”. Obama has stated the country is flawed. He sees racism and victimization that government power must rectify. He wants a Constitution that includes positive rights, obligating each of us to a collective goal. Barry blames the American people and the American culture.

The concept of blowback,

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Kickoff to the Apocalypse

The hometeam Vikings didn’t give me much to enjoy. Adrian Peterson is a strong magic and Jared Allen is a legendary beast. Otherwise, they were a 3-13 team.

That left me space to check out the Tebow phenomenon. I don’t know enough to assert that he can or cannot have an NFL career. He sure is fun to watch, though.

His faith pleases me, too. He never seems to put it anyone’s face, but people can’t stop taking about it. Contrary to barroom chatter, he does not think G-d influences games. He’s clean living, respectful, works overtime to improve himself and most refreshing for the NFL, humble. Tebow is trying to be a Virtuous Person, and he is doing it with integrity by doing it in public.

Tebow’s success seems to needle all the factions I love to see needled.

Vox writes about his first playoff win tonight (in overtime, of course):

Temple of Yesterday

Buffalo, NY abandoned train station -- interior

A temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites.

It is easy to imagine prayers offered and sacrifices made in a grand space like this. One might say commerce is the American religion. Our glory was built on rails. Every respectable town had a train station. Cities built temples of transportation.

Trade and transport are both future-oriented. People go somewhere to get something they think will make tomorrow better than yesterday.

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Christmas Present

If we had a modern George Bailey, he would be ridiculed mercilessly. The Christmas present has no appreciation for virtue. Popular culture militates against goodness.

Seasonal feel-good stories notwithstanding, cynicism triumphs. We expect corruption.

A local TV news story reports that people are foregoing Christmas Day services. Churches are responding to reduced demand, canceling the sacraments. For all the wonder and joy to be found in being with family at Christmas time, when we put that above being with G-d, we are lost.

I have transcended my personal era of humbuggery only to find that in the interim, my culture has abandoned everything I found distasteful. I have returned to an empty house.

I do not rail against commercialization and consumerism. We are rich; let us enjoy. But we have moved past even the pagan observations that hold some days special. If no days are holy, every day is profane.

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Occupy Somebody Else

I am not a percentage. I am a free man.

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Forgetting Shanksville

It is the eleventh of September, time for the annual admonishment, “Never Forget.” But all we can do is whisper into the winds of history. We have not forgotten Pearl Harbor, but there are a diminishing few who can recall a visceral memory of a date that will live in infamy.

We will forget. Or, our descendants will. They will have their own tragedies and their own battles, as real and as urgent what we honor today.

We are called to remember courage, but it is courage inspired by a defeat. The United States lost the Battle of September 11th.

December 7th would be a national day of shame if that defeat was not avenged. How will we avenge 9/11? Ten years on, is it too late to redeem that loss through a complete victory over the enemy who still haunts us? If we could accept a surrender, would we?

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Countdown to Hiroshima

Today starts an exercise over at I Want a New Left:

I thought it would be a good idea to spend the first five days of August recounting Japanese atrocities during (and preceding) World War II. The Japanese have been our allies throughout my lifetime, and ordinarily I wouldn’t make a point of mentioning their atrocities, but too many liberals and leftists make such a fuss on Aug. 6 about our dropping an atom bomb on Japan that young people today often don’t even know the context of that decision. To counter this ignorance, I want the first five days of August to be used for reminding them of some of Japan’s atrocities from the WWII era.

Happy Bataan Death March Day to you.

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Painting with Darkness

Evil comes in many guises, although it usually follows patterns.

Quoted from: Neo-neocon

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Independence Day 2011

Think of the past three days. What you did, where you did, and with whom it was done. In the current world, is there a nation where those three days of activity and experience would have been better?

Unlikely. For any person with some intelligence and some motivation, the current United States is the regime most friendly to flowering the human potential. And that’s what we’re supposed to be waving flags about today. U.S.A.! U.S.A! U.S.A.!

Some faction will use their liberty to dwell on the persistent injustices that come when fallen man is given his measure of freedom. The cheerleaders will counter with all the instances where the United States (or the States themselves) have corrected injustice. Or at least the institutional expression thereof.

In the top tier there, slavery is ended. And black culture is probably the single largest influence on the broad American culture. Some peoples have come a long way.

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More American Than I Am

Of note this Memorial Day along the intertracks is Sarah Palin’s appearance at the Rolling Thunder rally in D.C. At first blush, it was heartening to see a Presidential-level political figure who appeared at ease among bikers.

Palin shaking hands at Rolling Thunder rally

I choose this photo because I see she still has sexy glasses in biker gear. She is wearing a prominent crucifix. And it shakes stereotypes—for those who don’t see many real bikers—that there are indeed people other than fat hillbillies who ride.

A discussion of this event over at ChicagoBoyz clued me into a deeper cultural and political significance. Rolling Thunder is not just another motorcycle club:

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Moving Back to the Country

As someone who grew up in a city and ended up in a rural area, I can talk about what it’s like to make such a move. These days it is much easier to live in a rural area now that we have the Internet and email available to keep us connected. What initially seemed like a problem, the lack of good shopping, is less of a problem because even when I do get to the good stores I want to patronize, they don’t seem to have what I want. It’s much more convenient just to order on the Internet. The major problem of rural areas, then, is simply the lack of good restaurants, for which I have no solution other than an occasional trip to a big city.

Big-box shopping is often dismal. They stock everything, but only the thre most popular sizes or styles. I have friends who live a mile or few away from me in the big city, and I rarely see them, but stay in touch thanks to the intertracks.

I have some foodie pallys, and after a recent dinner, they agreed that the best measure of a city was its dining scene. Myself, I don’t go out much anymore.

Perhaps I should consider escaping the planners, the criminals and assorted leftoid nags that define urban living.

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Did the Glove Fit?

Obama announcing bin Laden’s death, with funny caption

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OBL Takes Dirt Nap

And everyone has an opinion. Mine?

Let me know when I can travel without a pre-flight procto exam. Then I will wave a flag.

The war is not over. Who’s face will the enemy wear now?

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Yom HaShoah

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. The past few days I have been involved in an argument about race, culture and loyalty over at Cobb’s.

My opponents hold that there are two kinds of people, racists and Progressives. I find that view insufficient. Prejudice and tolerance are seldom—these days, in this culture—so simply polar and superficially recognizable. The Shoah, in contrast, was entirely about blood. Ethnicity and loyalty were not important.

There is a line between intolerance and genocide. That line has been intentionally blurred:

Pagan Dreams

Today is Good Friday and Earth Day. Both are religious holidays. From what I’ve seen, one would hardly know Easter was upon us. If the United States was once a Christian nation, it is no longer.

Easter is now a time to affirm the failings and flaws of Christians, particularly Catholics:

Although it has been celebrated by billions of people around the world for nearly 2,000 years, the mainstream media would rather celebrate the liberal holiday known as "Earth Day" and connect Easter to the abuse scandal that surrounded the Roman Catholic Church.


The networks couldn't seem to produce a truly positive or even neutral story about Easter, without then immediately throwing Christians under the bus.

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Leftism is an Identity

Leftism is a matter of personal identity. It’s not about reasoned compromise or applied philosophy. It’s a label worn to confirm one’s own goodness.

I state this not as fact, but as hypothesis. It is drawn from much experience. And although I might be guilty of confirmation bias (seeing what I already believe), it explains the leftoid obsession with personality. They’re much more willing to make personal attacks and use ad hominem fallacies in place of sound argument.

This idea has been better developed around the intertracks. But I haven’t come across a comprehensive accounting of the incidents of politics as personality. Maybe in another life I will write one (comparing the levels found in several major political philosophies).

Minneapolis Riverfront in the Days of Disco

The now-demolished Great Northern Depot in downtown Minneapolis could inspire many posts on railroads, how changes in transportation technology changed the role of railroads, and how that allowed planners to re-purpose land at the core of cities, specifically Minneapolis, since this depot stood at the gateway to Northeast Minneapolis. Those changes were driven by economics and politics.

But I’m not ready to launch into any of those. I just happened across an archive of photos of the Great Northern Depot from the 1970s. It was one of those times where I was following the intertracks without a destination in mind, and found a treasure. For railfans and history buffs, at least.

Mainstream preservationists and historians—if that’s not an oxymoron—seem mostly interested in façades. I’m more fascinated to understand how the buildings worked.

1978 view beside Post Office looking upriver toward GN Depot

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Saracens and Sailing Ships

Armies are often accused of preparing for the last war. It means they train and equip guided by the lessons of recent combat instead of first looking to the future. The next war is often quite different, due to advances in technology, differences in geography or the character of the enemy.

There were many casualties in Iraqi Freedom because the U.S. was using equipment and tactics designed to fight the Soviet Union in northern Europe. Staying at war for a long time allowed those mistakes to be corrected.

In a strategic (instead of tactical) sense, we may still be fighting the last war. If one subscribes to some version of a global war on terror (or a global Salafi jihad, to put the proper Islamic face on the terrorists), we might be wise to look back several wars for strategic insight:

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Women Getting Even

Today is Equal Pay Day. Or at least a convenient approximation so lefties can feel righteous without making any meaningful sacrifice.

This date symbolizes how far into 2011 women must work to earn what men earned in 2010.

Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.

…NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

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