Look-about in late July

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Even ceramic fragments add to decor.

THIS IS SUNDAY, the day of rest according to Christian belief, but I am not a Christian, so I stepped outside this morning after black café and bagels to attend to mounting chores.

I swept. I watered. I wiped and refilled the birdbath. I doubt the birds care, but I do. Appearances matter. I chopped some green detritus and dropped it into a big trash bin. I wiped the Jesus Patio table, and I swept the veranda.

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Oblong pot of something or other.

We wake every morning in the low 60s, temperature-wise, but by afternoon it’s warmed to the low 70s.

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He scares the snails.

A niece and her 1-year-old daughter moved to town yesterday from the nearby state capital. Her boyfriend left her, so she’s coming here to work in the coffee shop. To complicate the matter she discovered this week she’s four months pregnant, a gift from the same boyfriend, but he’s still gone.

One of my child bride’s brothers drove his truck here from his home in Querétaro and moved the niece’s few and quite humble belongings to the mountaintop. We’ll see how this plays out.

Her mother, my child bride’s sister, has four children and has never been married. I think I see a repeating pattern.

Highlands Mexican life is great weather and nonstop drama.

Most of my chores this morning are behind me, so I’ll shower, dress and slip into a Christian-like Day of Rest. It will be nice. We’ll eat in a restaurant.

Two nights ago, lying in bed reading our Kindles, the both of us, a big storm began outside, coming down from the mountains. The bedroom window was open. As wind whipped outside, it pushed the sweet smell of golden datura into the bedroom from the big bush just beyond. It covered us like Chanel.

That sort of thing can deliver sweet dreams.

The war on wisdom

(Our guest poster today is the incomparable Dennis Prager who often guest posts on The Moon, unbeknownst to him. Were I to have a guru, I would choose Prager although he’s a bit younger than I am, and I don’t know if that’s permissible.)

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THERE IS MORE knowledge available today than ever before in history. But few would argue people are wiser than ever before.

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On the contrary, many of us would argue that we are living in a particularly foolish time — a period that is largely wisdom-free, especially among those with the most knowledge: the best educated.

The fact that one of our two major political parties is advocating lowering the voting age to 16 is a good example of the absence of wisdom among a large segment of the adult population.

What adult deems 16-year-olds capable of making a wise voting decision? The answer is an adult with the wisdom of a 16-year-old — “Hey, I’m no wiser than most 16-year-olds. Why should I have the vote and they not?”

America has been influenced and is now being largely led by members of the baby-boom generation. This is the generation that came up with the motto “Never trust anyone over 30,” making it the first American generation to proclaim contempt for wisdom as a virtue.

Boomers are the first American generation to proclaim contempt for wisdom as a virtue.

The left in America is founded on the rejection of wisdom. It is possible to be on the left and be kind, honest in business, faithful to one’s spouse, etc. But it is not possible to be wise if one subscribes to leftist (as opposed to liberal) ideas.*

Last year, Amy Wax, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, co-authored an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer with a professor from the University of San Diego School of Law in which they wrote that the “bourgeois culture” and “bourgeois norms” that governed America from the end of World War II until the mid-1960s were good for America, and that their rejection has caused much of the social dysfunction that has characterized this country since the 1960s.

Those values included, in their words: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

Rejection of bourgeois norms has caused much of the social dysfunction that has characterized this country since the 1960s.

Recognizing those norms as universally beneficial constitutes wisdom. Rejection of them constitutes a rejection of wisdom — i.e. foolishness.

Yet the left almost universally rejected the Wax piece, deeming it, as the left-wing National Lawyers Guild wrote, “an explicit and implicit endorsement of white supremacy,” and questioning whether professor Wax should be allowed to continue teaching a required first-year course at Penn Law.

To equate getting married before having children, working hard and eschewing substance abuse and crime with “white supremacy” is to betray an absence of wisdom that is as depressing as it breathtaking. It is obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense that those values benefit anyone who adheres to them; they have nothing to do with race.

But almost every left-wing position (that differs from a liberal or conservative position) is bereft of wisdom.

Is the left-wing belief in the notion of “cultural appropriation” — such as the left’s recent condemnation of a white girl for wearing a Chinese dress to her high school prom — wise? Or is it simply moronic?

Is the left-wing belief that there are more than two genders wise? Or is it objectively false, foolish and nihilistic?

Has the left-wing belief that children need (unearned) self-esteem turned out to be wise, or morally and psychologically destructive? To its credit, last year, the Guardian wrote a scathing exposé on the “lie” — its word — the self-esteem movement is based on and the narcissistic generation it created.

Is it wise to provide college students with “safe spaces” — with their hot chocolate, stuffed animals and puppy videos — in which to hide whenever a conservative speaker comes to their college? Or is it just ridiculous and infantilizing?

Is the left’s rejection of many, if not most, great philosophical, literary and artistic works of wisdom on the grounds that they were written or created by white males wise? One example: The English department of the University of Pennsylvania, half of whose law school professors condemned Amy Wax and almost none of whose law professors defended her piece, removed a portrait of William Shakespeare (replacing it with that of a black lesbian poet).

Is multiculturalism, the idea that no culture is superior to another morally or in any other way wise? Isn’t it the antithesis of wisdom, whose very premise is that certain ideas are morally superior to others, and certain literary or artistic works are superior to others?

And the veneration of feelings over truth, not to mention wisdom, is a cornerstone of leftism.

Here’s one way to test my thesis: Ask left-wing friends what they have done to pass on wisdom to their children. Most will answer with a question: “What do you mean?” Then ask religious Jewish or Christian friends the same question. They won’t answer with a question.

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*”The usurpation of the word ‘liberal’ by the left has been a catastrophe.” — Dennis Prager.

I am a Godfather, it seems

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A bride waits outside the Basilica for her big moment.

FOR THE FIRST time in my life, I have been roped into the role of Godfather.

This is strange due to my not being a Catholic or a Christian or even a believer as they define it. I’ve dodged this job a number of times since moving south many years ago, but I finally got volunteered by my child bride. I don’t recall if she asked me first or not. She likely did due to being a Mexican wife.

They are quite different from Gringas. Better.

While I am the Godfather, she is the Godmother, and she did all the work. I just showed up yesterday and tried to look devout. I was the only Gringo there, so I stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Our guest of honor, our Godson, is the second child of a nephew. The baby, about eight months old, is named Oliver Lobsang if you can believe it. Lobsang is not his last name. It’s his middle name, and Oliver Lobsang doesn’t even like me. He howls when I enter the room. He’s anti-Gringo.

But now I’m his Godfather. Take that, Oliver Lobsang!

When we showed up at the Basilica downtown at 1 p.m., there was lots of activity, mucho money-making on the part of the priests. A little girl was getting what I assumed was her First Communion. Waiting in the wings outside was a bride-to-be. That’s her in the photo. Fewer quesadillas, honeybun.

The Baptism took place in a side chapel, and there were about eight babies being soaked at the same time. God gets assembly lines.

I assumed a sanctified face, exuding spirituality.

The deed being done, we headed nearby to the traditional party. Tacos were served, as was beer, Sprite, Coca-Cola, salty nuts and a big cake. I only stayed an hour because the music was loud, and those things run on forever.

As I stepped out to the cobblestoned street, I heaved my Holiness aside, and headed to the Honda with a smile on my face. I’m a Godfather. I hope Oliver Lobsang doesn’t expect much from me. I was dragooned, amigo.

First glorious year of King Trump’s reign

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The Teddy Roosevelt of our times.

KING TRUMP was crowned one year ago today, and a glorious year it has been. In no particular order, read and rejoice at this partial list of accomplishments:

  1. No planes crashed. Last year there were no fatalities in commercial air travel. Worldwide! That was the first year ever. It was, of course, also the first year of King Trump’s reign. Coincidence? I think not.
  2. Unlike Obama, Trump does not kowtow to foreign bigwigs, especially the really nasty ones, and there are lots of really nasty ones. Trump is no throne-sniffer. Weepy Barry Obama was a world-class throne-sniffer.
  3. The economy took heart at the election of The Donald sending the stock market into record territory. The Dow soared 31 percent. Money is good, as is capitalism. Socialism baaaad. The Democrats’ economic God, the sleazy Paul Krugman, said the global economy would collapse if Trump became president. Whoops-a-daisy! Back to the drawing board wid ya, Paul, ya nincompoop!
  4. The overall unemployment rate has fallen, but did you know that the jobless rate for blacks has dipped to the lowest level since 1972? Yes, those very same people who voted against the Donald in droves like clueless, black sheep have had their job opportunities rise in Trump’s first year in the Oval Office.
  5. Put Neil Gorsuch, an upstanding man, on the Supreme Court.
  6. “Climate Change” is removed from the national threat list, whatever that is. Anyway, it’s good to make it official that climate changes sometimes, and there’s not much of anything you can do aside from sending Al Gore a financial contribution. But there are other, even better, changes to the national security strategy. Just take a look.
  7. Israel, Christianity and Judaism back on top with Trump! It’s important to remember that Israel, unlike the Mohammedan states, does not oppress women who are included in the military. Mohammedan women are never in their military because they can hardly step outdoors without a male chaperone.
  8. Trumpian tax cuts are boosting economic confidence! Last year was the best for U.S. manufacturing since 2004.
  9. The Mohammedan murderers in ISIS have taken it on the chin since Trump entered the Oval Office. ISIS made lots of progress during the eight years of Weepy Barry, but dem days are over!
  10. Trump cuts $255 million in military aid to Pakistan for 2018 due to Pakistan’s lame efforts against terrorism. It was Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was hiding in plain sight near a Pakistani military base. In response, Afghan elders awarded King Trump with a genuine gold Medal of Bravery.
  11. In a similar vein, Trump’s United Nations ambassador, the staunch Nikki Haley, announced in late December a fat reduction in U.S. funding to the United Nations to the tune of $285 million smackeroos. My hope is that the United States will come to its complete senses and toss the anti-American United Nations into the Atlantic Ocean. Be gone ye knaves and nincompoops!
  12. The swamp level is falling, just like he promised. Hundreds of federal positions have been eliminated in the first year of Trump’s glorious reign.
  13. During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to kill two regulations for every new regulation issued. In fact, far more than two have been zapped for each new regulation. Regulations generally hamper the economy and citizens.
  14. Trump pushes for voter-identification laws. Sensible nations require voter ID. Mexico does. I have mine. The Democrats don’t want voter ID because so many of their voters are not legal voters.
  15. The recent citizen protests in Iran were loudly supported by Trump. When something similar happened in 2009, Weepy Barry kept his mouth shut. Sad.
  16. And just this week, King Trump announced the Fake News Awards. Not surprisingly, CNN scored big-time.
  17. And one more time: No airliners crashed. Anywhere!

You likely saw few or none of these stories in publications like the failing New York Times and the leftist Washington Post.* And, as we head into the second year of King Trump’s glorious reign, clueless, dreamy-eyed leftists across the nation continue to wail, pout and kick their heels on the floor because they lost the election, fair and square.

What’s not to love?

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* A recent nonpartisan study showed that about 90 percent of mainstream media stories about Trump over the past year were negative. Yuge bias! Sad.