In order to acquire knowledge, often we must put in long hours of intensive study. But sometimes, if we keep our eyes and ears open, we can learn important – even vital – facts just by staying alert. I believe this is such a time.
The missing urinals.
Excretion is not a popular topic of conversation, though it is essential for life. But how we react to it can be revealing. Take urinals. From the time I was tall enough to use one, I paid urinals in public restrooms little attention. In years past, boys and young men would decorate the wall over them with raunchy poems or bad jokes. But this bad habit has gone out of style.
Now, however, a really bad joke on the subject of urinals is making the rounds. The problem is that the joke is on us. You see, the U.S. Navy has announced that new aircraft carriers will not have urinals in the restrooms. In an effort to make the ships “gender neutral,” male personnel will no longer be able to use urinals – because female personnel are unable to use them.
Excuses include the dubious claim that urinals are more difficult to clean, and plug up more than toilets. But the fact is that urinals take up less room than toilets, and space is always at a premium on warships. They also use less water to flush. And they are faster and more convenient to use. But now, all restrooms – or “heads” as sailors call them – will have only toilets, so they can be used by either gender, or by both if that is thought to be advantageous.
Lest you think that this anti-male mode of thinking is limited to the Navy, recall that there is a “modern” school of child-rearing that favors teaching boys to urinate sitting down. One guru opines, “It’s soooo evolved. Your future daughter-in-law will love you for it.” But will she? My impression is that young women complain about the lack of masculine men, not about an excess.
Of course, as with all totalitarian notions, “should” soon morphs to “must.” Some European schools are ordering boys to urinate sitting down. If you doubt this, Google Stizpinkler. For decades, “modern” educators taught young people that the only difference between men and women is their plumbing. This notion is demonstrably false, but at least it has the semblance of reality. Now we are being told to ignore even the plumbing. Thus the illogical becomes the irrational, and eventually the delusional.
It is predictable that radical feminists will approve our Navy’s urinal decision, but this is irrelevant. The only relevant point is what our potential enemies will think about it. Sadly, that too is predictable. President Obama plans to cut our armed forces drastically. Now at least we can hope that our enemies will die laughing.
“You didn’t build that.”
In a recent campaign speech (does he give any other kind?), President Obama declared, “If you’re got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The president went on to credit the teachers who taught us, and the road builders who enabled us to get where we are going – that is, government employees.
It is obviously true that no one does anything strictly alone. We are all the products of our parents, our teachers, our friends, our co-workers, our clergy, and all the others who influenced us. Noted astronomer Carl Sagan observed, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” He didn’t say “create” because he was an agnostic, but it amounts to the same thing.
But speaking of the help we had, Obama didn’t refer to the Almighty, even in the oblique way Sagan did. Obama mentioned only the government. His leftist view of reality is that when people cooperate to do something, they need the government to organize and direct it. But this is the antithesis of the American way. As Tocqueville observed almost two centuries ago, Americans are uniquely capable of organizing themselves into civic and religious groups to accomplish what, in Europe, the government would inevitably do.
If a Frenchman merely visiting this country could see America so clearly, it is indeed regrettable that our president, who has lived here nearly all his life, seems unable to grasp its essence. His mind was filled to overflowing with leftist ideology, leaving no room for what is uniquely American. He just doesn’t get it.
Yes, we did build that. But what did he build, besides greater animosity, a bigger bureaucracy, and more debt?
“All this for a damn flag.”
During a 9/11 commemoration, Michelle Obama was videoed saying something to her husband, to which he nodded approval. An instructor in lip-reading at a school for the deaf interpreted this as, “All this for a damn flag.” But lip-reading is inexact, and there are other possible interpretations.
The point is not that the first lady actually said this, and the president agreed. It may well not be the case. The point is that it is entirely believable that she said it. Recall that she declared she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life when her husband was nominated for president.
The point is that it is entirely believable that her husband agreed. Recall his vow to “fundamentally transform” America. If I said I wanted to “fundamentally transform” my wife, would you conclude that I really loved and respected her? Or would you conclude that I was a colossal narcissist who merely tolerated my wife, but felt that I was entitled to perfection – my idea of perfection, of course.
The point is that many Americans would find it believable that the Obamas agreed on the flag statement. Why make so much fuss about 9/11? After all, it was only the “chickens coming home to roost.” Why make so much fuss about a mere flag? After all, it represents a history of oppression. Why, indeed.
The point is that many Americans would find it unsurprising that the Obamas agreed on this statement. After the president’s apology tour, after his bowing to foreign leaders, after his plan to weaken our defenses, and after his 2700-page health-care scheme, why would anyone be surprised? A nation that is feeble abroad but oppressive at home would be entirely consistent with his leftist ideology.
The point is that many Americans would find it predictable that the Obamas agreed on the flag statement. They heard President Obama ridicule Middle Americans for clinging to their guns and religion. He saw this as a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of strength. But he just doesn’t get it.
Yes, sometimes by merely keeping our eyes and ears open, we can learn a great deal. Then, on November 6 we can act on this knowledge, and put someone in the White House who does get it. “It” is America. “It” is us.