More About Purple Penguins


I have received the following email which I pass along to those of you interested in the issue of the norming of the abnormal.

Back in October, you ran a story about the “Purple Penguin” gender identity training materials that were used by a school district in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am the mother who first received the materials from worried teachers and who organized parents to address the school board about the issue. In the two months between then and now, we parents have realized after many board meetings, letters, and one-on-one conferences with individual board members that the current school board is uninterested in our concerns, so I have decided to run for school board this coming spring.

What at first appeared to be a local issue is looking more and more like a national issue. These same gender identity training handouts recently showed up in Northern California, and parents there are as upset about them as we are. Parents around the country need to unite to take our public schools back from the advocacy groups that have infiltrated them.

Because I will be up against the formidable resources of the teachers’ union, whose representative has spoken in favor of the gender identity training handouts at a recent school board meeting, I have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for my school board campaign. I wondered if you could alert your readers to it. Small donations of just $5 or $10 can add up to a campaign that can effectively get a concerned mother on a school board to reinstitute parental rights.

Thanks so much for your concern.
Sincerely Yours,
Rachel Terry
The Parents’ Advocate

If you want to support her campaign, go here. I did.

The Collapse of the Ruble/The Collapse of Putin


Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov have post over at Bloomberg dealing with the mutual collapse of the ruble and possible slide of Putin’s internal credibility.

The meltdown of the ruble, which has plunged 18 percent against the dollar in the last two days alone, is endangering the mantra of stability around which Putin has based his rule. While his approval rating is near an all-time high on the back of his stance over Ukraine, the currency crisis risks eroding it and undermining his authority, Moscow-based analysts said.

This strikes me as very dangerous.

Read the whole thing.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


NoCommentsThe website that The Dread Publisher Kimberlin operates for the Velvet Revolution dot US not-for-profit carries stories about important topics. Its impact on the world of ideas is shown by the reply comments generated. As of midnight last night, the site’s front page shows:

DOCUMENTS SHOW HOW RUSSIA’S TROLL ARMY HIT AMERICA—zero

TOO FUNNY: TED CRUZ WINS PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL AT GOP SUMMIT—none

MORNING READS: “OPEN CARRY” SPARKS BACKLASH; COULD FACEBOOK SWING ELECTIONS?—zip

CONSERVATIVE STANCE IN DOE WRANGLING COMES DOWN TO ONE SIMPLISTIC, WRONG-HEADED, SELF-SERVING ARGUMENT—nada

SLAVYANSK FAMILIES FIND SHELTER IN UKRAINE MONASTERY—zilch

UKRAINE SHOWDOWN TO SHADOW OBAMA IN EUROPE—bupkis

RUSSIA PUSHES BACK UKRAINE GAS CUT ULTIMATUM—nothing

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE BROKE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW—zzzz

OBAMA TO MEET UKRAINE’S POROSHENKO—[crickets]

UKRAINE FORCES SUFFER NEW LOSSES IN SEPARATIST EAST—nary a comment

All of which pretty well summarizes TDPK’s clout in the real world. When a left-wing site can’t get at least one moonbat to comment favorably on a snarky attack on Ted Cruz, …

#Loser.

Listening and Freedom of Speech


Dominic Burbidge has an insightful essay What It Means to Listen: Free Speech from the Perspective of the Abrahamic Religions posted at the The Witherspoon Institute’s website. He makes the point that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have a different view of reality from Secularism.

Free speech arguments in Western Europe or North America often demand that persons subject their beliefs to rational discourse and debate. This is supported in the traditions of Abrahamic religions but not through the separation of believer from belief that is characteristic of liberal individualism. For someone of an Abrahamic faith, beliefs are subject to rational evaluation as coherent wholes, which are therefore refuted by an alternative system of thought that is able to display greater unity, coherence, and breadth of application.

Also—

The liberal argument for free speech envisages a free exchange of ideas that exposes the irrationality in other systems of thought. What the person of Abrahamic faith resists is not this but the way in which the method of exposing irrationality solidifies a position of moral relativism through which traditions of thought are rejected en masse as forms of indoctrination, dismissing in turn people’s capacity to reason from within them.

From the point of view of a Christian, I’ll note that the Bible describes a God who seeks a personal relationship with each of us. He speaks to us about how we should live while in that relationship. He speaks of how we should relate to the rest of his creation, but in doing so he tells us how to exercise self-control rather than how to control others.

Thus, I believe that people should be generally free to express their ideas and take their own choices, even those I find wrongheaded, so long as they aren’t harmful to others. There is a strain of Progressivism/Modern Liberalism with intellectual roots in soil such as the Prohibition Movement. In many cases the Prohibitionist urge to control the behavior of others (for the others own good) came from what I see as a confused view of Christianity as viewed through the lens of Modern Liberalism. (There’s a long essay lurking in that thought.) That misunderstanding is a source of some of the intellectual tension between Secularists and Believers.

In any event, Burbidge’s essay is thought provoking. Read the whole thing.