Tag Archives: Hedonism

Nebraska teen arrested for throwing her newborn baby out the window

Baby elephant rejected by his mother
This baby elephant is crying because he was rejected by his mother

The UK Daily Mail reports on a 16-year-old girl who allegedly threw her newborn baby out a second story window.


A 16-year-old girl accused of throwing her newborn out of the window has been pictured in her mugshot.

Antonia Lopez, of Omaha, Nebraska, is being charged as an adult in the death of her daughter.

[…]Authorities believe Lopez went into labor on Friday, gave birth in her bedroom and threw her baby girl from the second floor of her apartment building.

Lopez then told her mother what had happened, according to authorities. Lopez’s mother found the baby in the grass, called 911 and gave the newborn CPR until paramedics arrived, police said.

[…]The baby had died by the time she was transported her to the hospital, paramedics said. She was then pronounced officially dead.

This is really sad. Have you ever thought about what it must be like for a little baby to be rejected by its own mother? And for the mother to not care about him, because she just wants to do what makes her happy, even though she made him? It’s horrible. Every baby should have a mother who welcomes him and takes care of his needs. Who else is there to take care of him, if not his own mother?

Amanda Prestigiacomo has a comment on this story at the Daily Wire, then I’ll say something that occurred to me.

Amanda writes:

The baby girl weighed only two pounds and was believed to be 27-28 weeks old at the time of her murder, according to the director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Ann Anderson-Berry. Murdering a baby inside a woman’s womb at this stage, called a third-trimester abortion, is legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

[…]Lopez was charged with murder: one count of felony child abuse resulting in death.

But all she really had to do was ask to have her baby murdered while she was still in her womb. This gruesome act is somehow interpreted as a “woman’s right to choose” on account of location of the baby at the time of the murder. Twelve different states—Iowa, Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Colorado, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia—and the District of Columbia, would have happily murdered the baby, injecting the baby with poison and ripping them apart limb-by-limb, with zero legal repercussions.

Third-trimester babies are completely viable to live outside of the womb and can feel pain.

As soon as I read this story, it made me think about the baby elephant who cried for 5 hours, because its mother tried to stomp it to death. Every time I think about that baby elephant, and it makes me cry. I don’t see how this story is any different, except it’s worse because it’s a person who was made in the image of God, and the people who tried the save the baby were not in time to save him.

Baby elephant's birthday is supposed to be happy
A baby elephant’s birthday is supposed to be happy

OK, I have another point about this. When I looked at the selfies of this teen in the UK Daily Mail article, the first thing that occurred to me was that this teen was interested in having fun, feeling good, getting attention, etc. The fact that her father is never mentioned anywhere made me think that no one was around to teach her to be responsible and to put the needs of others above her own pursuit of happiness. She didn’t see the baby as more important than her own happiness, even though it she chose the man who impregnated her, and she chose to have sex with that man. The baby wasn’t to blame for anything, he just wants to have a mother like all the other babies do. She has a moral obligation to take care of what she chose to make. He needs her to take care of him. It’s his birthday, for God’s sake!

When you look at the Bible, you see Jesus divesting himself of power, and coming as a man to serve others – to look out for their needs. Paul says that this example should be imitated by followers of Jesus in Phillipians 2:

Look at Philippians 2:1-11:

1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

OK, so what’s more important? Avoiding obligations to others, or taking care of the needs of others? Yes, there is time for having fun and doing fun things. But Christians need to be alert to those around them. Whenever someone close is in need, they have to consider it a calling from God, and act to help the person in need. In the case of the pregnant teen, it was her baby. The baby was conceived as a result of the teen’s decision. It’s just like buying a pet in the pet store – you own it, and it has a natural claim on you to provide for and protect it. You made the decision to make it (or with pets, you made the decision to own it). We all understand that taking care of babies is not fun and thrills. It’s work. But for Christians at least, we ought to be trained to see the needs of others as acceptable to us. We can’t always be running away from expectations, responsibilities and obligations.

In fact, I would recommend to young people that they get used to having to care for others, and not getting their way all the time. With practice, you can actually get to the point where you don’t resent having to care for the needs of others. Now, I don’t think you should commit yourself to more than you can handle, and that might mean that you take fewer risks, so you have more time and resources to help others who may need you. Don’t stress your resources, in short. But the point is that we need to be alert to the fact that there is something in Christianity that praises self-denial, and self-sacrifice. This is more important in Christianity than having fun, having peer approval, doing “interesting” things so that other people will be impressed. Manage your life wisely so you can take on someone else’s problems if you need to. Don’t take risks that will create situations that you can’t handle. But if a situation occurs, take it as a task from God to live out your faith. We ought to be different. There ought to be a difference between us and them.

Can we raise declining marriage rates by telling men to “man up”?

Marine prays with his wife on their wedding day
Marine prays with his wife on their wedding day

The latest Prager University video features pro-marriage scholar Brad Wilcox:

I watched this video, and, as a card-carrying member of the Christian men’s rights movement, I was concerned that nothing was said about how radical feminism has weakened the attractiveness of marriage to men. I mean specifically things like women carrying debt, having liberal political views, being unchaste and even promiscuous, initiating the majority of divorces (70%), withholding sex if they do marry, and denying men child visitation if they divorce, single mother welfare making men superfluous, big government replacing men as providers, etc. The consequences of divorce for men are catastrophic, and I don’t just mean financially, but emotionally as well.

I contacted Wilcox to ask him why he did not recognize how radical feminism undermines the value of marriage to men, and he pointed me to this article he wrote in the leftist Washington Post.

He writes:

These days, 20something marriage has gotten a reputation for being a bad idea. That’s partly because parents, peers, and the popular culture encourage young adults to treat their twenties as a decade for exploration and getting one’s ducks in a row, not for settling down. In the immortal words of Jay-Z, “Thirty’s the new twenty.”

Indeed, the median age-at-first marriage has climbed to nearly 30 for today’s young adults, up from about 22 in 1970. Of course, there’s an upside to that. As my coauthors and I report in  Knot Yet: the Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America, women who put off marriage and starting a family earn markedly more money than their peers who marry earlier.

And here he sort of takes on my concerns about chastity, delayed marriage, and fertility:

First, you are more likely to marry someone who shares your basic values and life experiences, and less likely to marry someone with a complicated romantic or family history.  Those who marry in their twenties, for instance, are more likely to marry someone who isn’t previously married and shares their level of educational attainment as well as their religious faith. Marrying at this stage in your life also allows couples to experience early adulthood together. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, a 31-year-old woman who married in her mid-twenties, “My husband and I got to grow up together—not apart. We learned sacrifice, selflessness, compromise, and became better people for it.”

Women who marry in their 20s generally have an easier time getting pregnant, and having more than one child, than their peers who wait to marry in their thirties.  You’ll also be around to enjoy the grandchildren for longer.

You’re less likely to lose the best possible mate for fear of getting started too young on the adventure that is married life. One single, thirtysomething woman struggling to find a good partner put it this way to psychologist Meg Jay, the author of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now, and whose TED Talk on twentysomethings has garnered 6.9 million views: “The best boyfriend I ever had was in my mid-twenties. I just didn’t think I was supposed to be [married] with someone then.” And as psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb explains in her book, Marry Him, there’s a higher likelihood of finding a true peer and more appealing partner-for-life in one’s twenties, before those most appealing potential mates marry somebody else by their thirties.

I cannot fault Wilcox or Prager for being ignorant of the social changes that have undermined the value proposition of marriage for men, and that have also undermined men’s ability to fulfill their roles. Far from being a man-blamer, Prager is a warrior against radical feminism, and just today Wilcox tweeted a study showing the boys benefit from single-sex education – a position I favor myself. But I do want to head off the common “men need to man up” objection made by those who deny that the real problem is radical feminism.

Contrary to the “be a man / man up” crowd, my objections to marriage don’t come from a desire to be lazy about education, career and finance. Rest assured that I have a BS and MS in STEM, and nearly two decades of STEM work experience (internships, summer jobs, full-time employment). I do make six figures, like the person Wilcox discussed in the video, and I have the savings you would expect with a gapless STEM resume. So, complaining about “man up” isn’t going to work on me, and probably not on most men who have concerns about marriage.

Radical feminism causes women to delay marriage in order to have fun, travel and ride the carousel of promiscuity in their 20s. Women have been told that they will have more fun by delaying marriage and staying single in their 20s. Church leaders, friends and family should be discussing and demonstrating the value of marriage to women, and showing them how the lasting contentment of marriage is better than the temporary fun of drinking, sex, travel and career. Marriage is a better platform for lasting joy and for quality relationships. It’s up to the woman’s friends and family to make the case for marriage as more fun and fulfilling than the alternatives offered by radical feminism. Her friends and family need to be countering the feminist message that is everywhere in the culture: marriage is boring, children are a burden, and that husbands are needy and demanding fools. And women need to be told how spending a decade being selfish in their 20s undermines their suitability for marriage.

A woman’s friends and family should train her not to view the moral and spiritual leadership of a man as threatening and dangerous, just because it disagrees with her feelings and desires. Instead of recoiling in horror when a well-educated, successful, wealthy man tells a woman with a history of poor decision-making to get a full-time job, pay off her debts, and start investing, her friends and family ought to welcome it. A good man’s practical advice should not be seen as stifling a woman’s freedom to “follow her heart”. And her friends and family certainly should not celebrate when she chooses a penniless, unemployed, empty-resume man who never questions her reckless decisions. Women should be encouraged to choose men who have demonstrated ability as protectors, providers and moral and spiritual leaders, even if she would rather have a doormat who lets her be wild, selfish and irresponsible. Doormats are not intimidating, but they are also not decisive about marriage. When a man wants to marry a woman, he is very interested in encouraging her to be practical and responsible. This is a good thing.

Lesbian relationships are the most unstable and shortest-lived relationships. This suggests that there is a tendency in women to reject commitment when it goes against their feelings and self-interest. Women’s emotions can make them unstable, and less capable of commitment. Friends and family need to recognize that tendency, and help women to learn practicality, responsibility and unselfishness at a young age, so that they are capable of making commitments.Men look for women who have demonstrated that they are able to complete things that they start. We know that women initiate 70% of divorces, and mostly because of feelings of unhappiness. Finish a tough STEM degree, work a tough job for a few years, pay off debts, pay off a car loan, etc. Men look for women who can make and keep commitments through good times and bad times, even when it goes against their self-interest.

A good basic book to read on this issue is Helen Smith’s “Men On Strike“.

Here’s a short video about her book:

A longer interview from News Max:

And an even longer interview with a homeschooling man:

Some men are ignorant of how radical feminism makes women less suitable for marriage while simultaneously making school and work more difficult to boys and men. It is these men who need to “man up” and “be a man” by challenging women to reject radical feminism and embrace early marriage to strong men who lead. If you’re not willing to fight the radical feminism that causes the underlying problems, then you can’t complain when men wisely reject marriage to women who aren’t ready to be wives and mothers.

Should Christians be motivated by the fear of missing out (FOMO)?

Bible study that hits the spot
Bible study that hits the spot

My best friend Dina and I recently spent some time talking over some articles that we found on the culture. We specifically talked about what is motivating young people, so I wanted to write something about that.

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

Here’s a leftist New York Times article explaining where FOMO comes from:

It’s known as FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” and refers to the blend of anxiety, inadequacy and irritation that can flare up while skimming social media like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram. Billions of Twitter messages, status updates and photographs provide thrilling glimpses of the daily lives and activities of friends, “frenemies,” co-workers and peers.

[…]When we scroll through pictures and status updates, the worry that tugs at the corners of our minds is set off by the fear of regret, according to Dan Ariely, author of “Predictably Irrational” and a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He says we become afraid that we’ve made the wrong decision about how to spend our time.

[…]A friend who works in advertising told me that she felt fine about her life — until she opened Facebook. “Then I’m thinking, ‘I am 28, with three roommates, and oh, it looks like you have a precious baby and a mortgage,’ ” she said. “And then I wanna die.”

It’s like they want to run a race to do fun and exotic things with their peers, and not finish last.

Anyway, I want to begin this post with examples of FOMO behavior I have personally encountered.

FOMO Travel

Dina and I read and discussed this article by Alain de Botton in The European – notice the emphasis on travel and having fun, sophisticated experiences:

We’re continually being bombarded with suggestions about what we might do (go jet skiing, study in Colorado, visit the Maldives or see the Pyramids). We’re always hearing of the amazing things friends have done or are going to do: ‘there was this great bar we all went to …’; ‘she’s getting married in a little country church, then we’re having a picnic…’; ‘the sun was glinting on Sydney Harbour…’ There are endless hints of the allure of life in other places: an article about family-friendly restaurants in Brooklyn, a crime novel set in Trieste, the departure board at the airport with its list of places only a plane trip away: Moscow, Bangkok, Addis Ababa… The modern world makes sure we know at all times just how much we’re missing. It is a culture in which intense and painful doses of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) are almost inevitable.

What’s interesting is this – how does FOMO travel affect young, unmarried Christians?

Travel through missions work seems to be the FOMO activity of choice for at least a few young, unmarried Christians. One of my best friends who is married to another of my best friends told me about her missions trip to a European country. I asked her why she did it, since it meant lost savings, lost earnings, lost work experience, etc. (She gave up a year of earnings, and she had a great job in engineering). Her answer was that she did it for the adventure. I have a hard time hearing Jesus say that he was going to do something because he was bored and wanted an adventure. Especially when it’s $30,000 in costs, $60,000 of lost income, and lost work experience – per year. This was before the time of the Internet, though, when missionary work actually made sense. I just don’t think it’s worth spending that kind of money for the impact you make. The people I know who went on missionary trips just wanted to feel spiritual, look spiritual, and have a fun “life experience” vacation. One missionary told me that she was desperate to get away from her boring mid-Western roots.

If you really want to share Christ effectively with people in other countries, then you can start a blog and pay the tiny costs for it out of your earnings from your day job – that’s what I do. I get more people from Europe reading my blog than I could contact in a year of missionary work. I Skype with the people who are interested in Christianity from these countries (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Canada, etc.), as well. Meanwhile, I keep working my not-exciting job, so my savings increase, and my resume remains gap-less. This is good stewardship of finances, and self-denial prepares your character for the hard work of marriage and parenting. The Bible says that those who do not work should not eat. And Paul says that he built tents so that no one could accuse him of taking on missionary work for financial gain.

You can tell whether a person is sincere in their missionary intentions by looking at how responsible they’ve been in their decision-making. If a person has gone into debt paying for fun, thrilling activities like skydiving, ziplining, surfing, etc., then it’s FOMO travel. We must look past the spiritual smokescreen, and tell young people to grow up.

After all, if defending God’s honor was the missionary’s main goal, then the real battlefield would be the university.

Bill Craig puts it best:

If serving God is your goal, look to the university
If serving God is your goal, look to the university

There is already a perfectly fine university right next door – no need to fly to Europe to find one! Remember, the university that took your faith away, or maybe the faith of someone you cared about? Yeah, it’s still sitting there in your home town! And it’s still ruining the lives of thousands of young people, by peer-pressuring them into secular, liberal views – and behaviors. It seems to me that it’s better stewardship to stay here and work, then give money to groups like Reasonable Faith. And you can start a blog, teach in church and invite scholars to the local university, too. That costs almost nothing, and it produces better results.

What about Jesus?

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to look beyond the words of the Bible and reflect on the overall message of it at a higher level. When I look in the Bible, I see that Jesus went through a lot of suffering in obedience to God in order to secure the salvation of people who did not even like him. And it’s from this sacrifice on our behalf that his claim on our obedience comes. There are things that I don’t like to do that I do anyway because they work to serve God. Jesus life’s ambition was not to do things that were easy, or that made him happy. Experienced Christians do things that are not fun, because these things are right and because they solve the real problem.

Pro-abortion students shout abuse at black pro-life speaker at Harvard University

More than 160 students attended a Harvard University forum featuring Ryan Bomberger
More than 160 students attended a Harvard University forum featuring Ryan Bomberger

Bound 4 Life reports on a recent pro-life event at Harvard University, of all places.

It says:

On Tuesday, Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation addressed a student forum at Harvard University, a 90-minute discussion on abortion in the black community that turned hostile when students began shouting and walking out during the Q & A portion.

In an event co-sponsored by Law Students for Life and Harvard Black Law Students Association, Bomberger spoke opposite Professor Diane Rosenfeld, lecturer and director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School. As students filed in, the auditorium at the historic Austin Hall neared capacity.

This is pretty cool:

A black man who recently won a lawsuit brought against him and his wife by the NAACP, Bomberger explains that abortion in the black community is a personal issue for him. “I was once considered black and unwanted. It was very hard, at the time I was born, to place black children for adoption; so few families were available, because they used same-race criteria.”

He continues, “Today, abortion has a hugely disproportionate impact on the black community. Part of addressing this is dispelling the myth that black children are less than others. Regardless of pigmentation or any other traits, injustice should be a concern to everyone.”

To be clear: being pro-abortion means being in favor of aborting children who have an unwanted race, or an unwanted sex. And don’t kid yourself, pro-abortion people – that happens a lot, according to a recent study. Every pro-abortion student who attended the event was in favor of aborting babies who are the “wrong color” or the “wrong sex”. Abortion means a woman’s right to choose to abort her offspring, through all 9 months of pregnancy, for any reason, or for no reason at all. The pro-abortion position ignores the rights of the innocent baby, who did nothing wrong to be put in this position.

Ryan faced a lot of opposition from pro-abortion students:

Multiple sources confirm that, once the forum opened for questions following opening remarks, students repeatedly addressed Bomberger using profanity. The New Boston Post noted the event shifted to a “confrontational tone.”

Chrystal Benedict, who attended the event after a friend invited her, was disappointed many students refused to hear differing opinions. “I was surprised that what was meant to be a ‘safe space for students to hear different perspectives’ wasn’t that at all. If you disagreed with the pro-choice opinion, you had to prepare for a verbal attack of outrage.”

When Bomberger began to respond to a question but was continually interrupted, he asked, “Do you want to hear my answer?” The interrupting student replied, “No! No, I don’t want to hear your answer.”

Caleb Wolanek, Harvard J.D. candidate and Vice President of Law Students for Life, noted that Bomberger addressed students with respect despite not always being given the same courtesy. “Even when asked difficult questions, Ryan gave thoughtful, well-researched responses.”


[…][A] visibly angry student representing Reproductive Justice confronted the guest speaker. “The language you use is so offensive—for instance, we are not pro-abortion,” she said. “So you’re not for abortion?” Bomberger asked.

The student retorted: “That’s not what pro-abortion means; it implies we want everyone to have an abortion, when in fact we are pro-choice.” Bomberger replied, “Language matters. It defines situations and brings clarity. Pro-choice doesn’t bring any clarity to what you’re talking about, while pro-abortion does because you are advocating for the legal right to abortion.”

“It’s about as ridiculous as saying, those who were pro-slavery were pro-jobs,” Bomberger continued, as his detractors responded with outrage. He raised his voice to be heard above the uproar: “I’m applying your same logic! Pro-jobs is nebulous and it doesn’t mean anything. How is it any different?” The student walked out of the forum with two other Reproductive Justice activists.

Bomberger commented later on the incident, “They couldn’t say anything. These Harvard Law School students couldn’t respond at all.”

That’s what students are taught at Harvard University, and nearly every university – the pro-abortion view, and how to scream insults and walk out if the pro-life view is presented. And where do they learn this intolerance? Why, from their pro-abortion professors, of course.

The Washington Times noted that the white feminist professor dismissed his concerns about abortion disproportionately affecting black children, and even suggested that Bomberger himself should have been aborted because he was conceived in rape:

One might think an invocation of Martin Luther King Jr. commonplace at an event titled “Abortion in Black Communities,” but not Harvard Law School professor Diane L. Rosenfeld, who is white.

The gender-violence professor mocked her debate adversary, pro-life leader Ryan Bomberger, who is black, when he showed video clips of the civil rights leader and cited statistics showing disproportionate rates of abortions in black communities.

[…]When Mr. Bomberger, who was conceived by rape, shared his personal story, he said Ms. Rosenfeld continued to harp on the rape scenario to defend abortion rights.

“What happens if one of his victims, after she got raped, got pregnant?” Ms. Rosenfeld said at the event. “First, there’s the lack of choice of who has access to your body — and then what to do about that horrible consequence.”

According to her, Bomberger should just be killed, because he is not a person, he’s just a “horrible consequence”. To say that to a person – that they should have been aborted… you would have to be some sort of sociopath, I guess. Her attitude towards the black victims of abortion seems to be very similar to what white slaver owners must have thought of their slaves. And indeed, the same arguments that were used by whites to justify slavery are now brought forth to justify abortion: “They’re not persons, they have no rights, they’re just my property”.

People need to realize that sexual autonomy has to be voluntarily controlled and restrained, because of the harm that it can potentially do to unborn children. I’m sure that people who have recreational sex have just as much fun doing it as people who get drunk and then drive, but someone has to make laws based on the rights of the victims. Not every choice is moral. We can do better than selfishness. We can do better than abortion.

You can watch a clip of Ryan making his case here.

New report: Americans rank last in problem solving using technology

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new analysis of problem solving skills.


A new report finds U.S. workers rank dead last among 18 industrial countries when it comes to “problem solving in technology-rich environments,” or using digital technology to evaluate information and perform practical tasks. The consequences of that emerging competitive disadvantage is energizing the volatile undercurrent of this year’s presidential race, some observers say.

If the problem-solving deficit is bad, the reasons for it may be worse, said Stephen Provasnik, the U.S. technical adviser for the International Assessment for Adult Competency: flagging literacy and numeracy skills, which are the fundamental tools needed to score well on the survey.

[…]The results build off a global survey conducted in 2012 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. To better compare the skills of younger and older adults and the unemployed, researchers did additional surveys in 2014. The countries that scored the highest on the problem-solving with technology criteria were Japan, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Poland scored second to last, just above the U.S.

One stark revelation is that about four-fifths of unemployed Americans cannot figure out a rudimentary problem in which they have to spot an error when data is transferred from a two-column spreadsheet to a bar graph. And Americans are far less adept at dealing with numbers than the average of their global peers.

Why is that a problem? It’s a problem because the best jobs all require proficiency in math.

Consider these starting salaries and mid-career salaries for various majors:

Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)
Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)


The common denominator in all these degrees is mathematics, which is out of favor with many Americans. But clearly learning math would enable them to get the highest paying jobs – private sector STEM jobs. So why aren’t they learning math?

People drop math because it’s too hard

People who drop math typically do so because they want to focus on other things that are less difficult. Most of them just want to have fun… sometimes with watching TV all day, sometimes with premarital sex, sometimes with alcohol and drugs. Families break down as women choose hot, irresponsible men and have babies with them out of wedlock. And those kids learn less than their parents knew. There just isn’t any interest in much of America about learning hard things like math, so you can get those private sector STEM jobs that pay well.

Consider this post by Kevin Williamson in National Review magazine:

The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

Trump vs Hillary head-to-head: No Trumpkin can make sense of this chart
Trump vs Hillary head-to-head: Trumpkins lack the math skills to make sense of this table

David French, who grew up in Kentucky, and then attended Harvard Law School, adds this in National Review:

These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say. My childhood was different from Kevin’s, but I grew up in Kentucky, live in a rural county in Tennessee, and have seen the challenges of the white working-class first-hand. Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren’t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn’t walking them into the lawyer’s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.

For generations, conservatives have rightly railed against deterministic progressive notions that put human choices at the mercy of race, class, history, or economics. Those factors can create additional challenges, but they do not relieve any human being of the moral obligation to do their best.

Yet millions of Americans aren’t doing their best. Indeed, they’re barely trying. As I’ve related before, my church in Kentucky made a determined attempt to reach kids and families that were falling between the cracks, and it was consistently astounding how little effort most parents and their teen children made to improve their lives. If they couldn’t find a job in a few days — or perhaps even as little as a few hours — they’d stop looking. If they got angry at teachers or coaches, they’d drop out of school. If they fought with their wife, they had sex with a neighbor. And always — always — there was a sense of entitlement.

And that’s where disability or other government programs kicked in. They were there, beckoning, giving men and women alternatives to gainful employment. You don’t have to do any work (your disability lawyer does all the heavy lifting), you make money, and you get drugs. At our local regional hospital, it’s become a bitter joke the extent to which the community is hooked on “Xanatab” — the Xanax and Lortab prescriptions that lead to drug dependence.

Of course we should have compassion even as we call on people to do better. I have compassion for kids who often see the worst behavior modeled at home. I have compassion for families facing economic uncertainty. But compassion can’t excuse or enable self-destructive moral failures.

Chart showing Trump vs Clinton: Trumpkins can't read this
Chart showing Trump vs Clinton: Trumpkins can’t read this chart, because it requires math skills

I have compassion for the kids, too. But not for the grown-ups, who seem to think that the world owes them a living even if they avoid learning hard things like math, and behave immorally. But there is no guarantee of success for people who don’t learn math, and who don’t behave morally. And it’s not anyone else’s fault.

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