Tuesday, April 21, 2020

What's Wrong With Facebook?

As many of you have heard, Facebook has been censoring content for some time. I'm talking about how they set their "fact checkers" to work on posted stories to see if they are accurate, and censor them if they feel the info is misleading.

This is a patently absurd process in the first place. It is rife with bias, in both the singling out of certain postings and in the judgment of fact checkers on what's true and what's not.

Facebook recently deleted the Epoch Times' posting for its new insightful and deeply researched documentary on the origin of the coronavirus. They called it "misinformation." How would Facebook know? Do they have undercover journalists in China digging up the real story? I doubt it. Fortunately, the video is available on Youtube--for now.

Mark Zuckerberg also defended Facebook's censoring of postings by individuals who were putting together a (peaceful) protest of the coronavirus shutdowns in their state. Again, he labeled those postings "misinformation."

Looking back at 2019, Facebook's valiant fact checkers labeled a documentary by the prolife group Live Action as "false," thereby protecting readers from being led astray. Actually, the video, which dispelled the myth that abortions are sometimes a medical necessity, was completely true.

Facebook is engaging in a shocking degree of censorship. We don't need them to tell us what's true and what is not. We can make up our own minds.

I use Facebook almost never. Given this tyrannical behavior, why would I trust them?Why would I want to rub virtual shoulders with them?

My message to Facebook is: Send the fact checkers home. Unless a user is inciting violence, rioting, etc., or trying to post obsene content, leave your users' postings alone.
Until they do, you might reconsider how much we should be using their unbalanced platform.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Ignore the Doomsday-ers

I'm not so impressed with Dr. Fauci. I was at first, and no doubt he knows a whole lot about infectious diseases. But just the other day he warned that the country might never get back to where it was before the coronavirus hit because the "threat" of the virus, even if a vaccine is developed, will always be there.

Really? I find it downright irresponsible to tell the public, in a time of pandemic and high anxiety, that the world will never be the same again; meaning, it will never be as good as it was. We'll never be as happy or free or healthy or what-have-you. Dr. Fauci doesn't know that. Neither does anyone else who is forecasting such gloom. Shame on them for this dark forecast--it's the LAST think people need to hear now. 

And it's probably nonsense. America, with its ingenuity and hard work and brilliance, has overcome dire challenges over and over. Not to mention the research and noodling going on around the world at this time. We will beat this virus and be better prepared for the next time some careless (or diabolical) scientist (or evil world power) manages to release a new deadly germ from a biosafety lab somewhere on the globe.

Let's turn off the terrifying talk and instead look forward, with our hard-working countrymen, to what God has ahead for us.
Photo courtesy of CNBC.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Eye Openers in a Plague Year

What some family advocates have been preaching for years is getting put into practice--although not by choice. In the spring of 2020, as the coronavirus spreads across the U.S. and the world, many parents must stay home by order of their employers and their governors. More important, virtually all American children are staying home as both public and private schools lock their doors and post lessons on line.

So families are forced to spend days together, at home. The insidious stress of "following the program," whether in our fast-paced school institutions or workplaces, is suspended. 

With most amusements and activities closed, from ballet lessons to soccer practice, families are finding new ways to entertain themselves and to play. As restaurants close their dining rooms, parents dust off pots and pans and cookie sheets and make more of their own food.

A few days ago I heard about a recent study (sorry, I failed to write down the source) that found--imagine!--that a vast majority of children surveyed enjoyed being home. This has always been true for children, especially the young ones. But it has gotten buried by parents' need or desire to hold down jobs and enrich their children with sports, music, and a host of other scheduled activities.

Consider the relief of the child who, with his preschool closed and his mother working from home, wakes up in the morning to see the sun up, rather than the predawn darkness of the early hour when he is usually woken up to get started. Now he can get up and eat his breakfast slowly, decide on his clothes for the day, change his mind and redress himself, talk to each of his stuffed monkeys in turn and arrange them by size on his bookshelf. Later on his mother makes lunch and, to his wonderment, she sits down and eats with him.

Consider the relief of the middle school student when she realizes that she can wear the outfit that the mean girls made fun of--they won't see her at home. She can do her lessons in her own time and not rush from class to class, trying to work in a few minutes to slip into the girls' restroom when she can't put it off any longer. And she can ask her father for help with geometry because he is home a lot more now.

Indeed, families are finding that there is time to sleep in a little, time to teach children how to make a bed, and time for them to do it each morning. There is time to all go for a bike ride, learn to set the table, look at old family pictures, and read stories.

With all the damage this vicious virus is wreaking upon our country, upon many families, let us learn what it might teach us from our new circumstances. Let's keep our eyes and our minds open to lessons we can take forward when the virus falls behind.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Another Reason to Dislike Drag Queen Story Hours

Drag Queen Story Hours are becoming quite the rage in public libraries across the country. You’ve probably read about them or seem them on YouTube. The library staff sets aside time in the children’s section of the library for a man, extravagantly dressed as a female, to come in and read a story—often one promoting some sort of nontraditional sexuality—to young children. Many of these drag queens are quite animated and not shy about performing for the children as well.

These story hours have provoked a good deal of outcry for their goal of introducing children to diverse forms of gender identification—you can be whatever you want to be, boy or girl, and love whomever you want to.

But I wonder why I have not heard any one protesting these drag queen shows for a different reason. These men present a parody, a caricature, of a woman. With their spectacular wigs, exaggerated foam-filled figures, overdone mannerisms, and macabre make-up, they in no way resemble an actual woman. 

What the drag queen is, in fact, is a mockery of a woman. How is this okay? I marvel that in our enlightened and careful age, men are allowed to parade themselves in this farcical way, to chuckles and applause. If the same man were to entertain the crowd wearing black face, he would be shouted down and socially ruined (as he should be). Yet, he is welcome to present an exaggerated and tasteless parody of women with impunity.

I am not one who is offended at every turn, but as a woman, drag queens offend me. If they perform in an adult theater where consenting adults buy a ticket, fine.  But they have no place performing in a public library, where, in their massive pink wigs and fishnet stockings, they can mock everyone of my gender.

All people, including women, have enough opportunities to be made fun of in life without inviting someone into the local library to do just that.

Photo courtesy of iStock.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bundt Cakes and Abortions

Some of our countrymen, like those in the New York State legislature, are having trouble understanding why some Americans (a lot, actually)  would oppose abortion-up-to-birth laws. Just the other day a Democratic presidential candidate likened pro-life Americans to—yes—racists. This moves me to paint an analogy for these folks, as rudimentary as it may be.

Let’s suppose that a woman decides to make a chocolate Bundt cake to serve for dessert one day. As it is baking, she realizes that she has no whipped cream to accompany it. She also realizes that it will not go well at all with the entrĂ©e she will be serving. She considers and considers, and decides that she is indeed unprepared to serve chocolate Bundt cake that day. One minute before the timer dings, she puts on her insulated mitts, pulls the aromatic cake from the oven, and sets it on the stove.

It is perfectly formed, and she can easily picture it on a plate, with its lustrous chocolate finish. Still, it has to go. Grabbing her spatula, she scrapes the rich cake from the pan and lets it fall into the kitchen trash can, then bundles it away.

A few minutes later her neighbor arrives to return some books she had borrowed. Upon entering the house, she breathes in the tantalizing smell of chocolate cake. Her face lights up as she exclaims, “Oh, you made a cake!” As our baker knows, this woman, even with the help of her husband, has never succeeded in making a cake, as many times as she has tried.

Our baker explains that the cake turned out to be all wrong for tonight’s occasion, so she threw it away. Wide-eyed, the cake-starved neighbor rushes to the kitchen trash, hoping to rescue the unwanted product-of-confection. She stops short, seeing a clean plastic liner in the can. Just then she hears the trash truck out front and realizes that the cake is now beyond anyone’s reach.

Cakes like this one, which women think they want but later change their minds about, or that come together in the pan accidentally while the woman is planning something else, are tossed out each day at various stages of baking. Sometimes, indeed, it is the decision of the boyfriend who comes home and storms, “You haven’t made another Bundt cake, have you?” and insists on its disposal. Would it not be more compassionate to the cake-deprived people of the country, desperate for a cake of their own, to let the cake fully bake and offer it to them?

Of course, this analogy breaks down in many ways. For one thing, even the most cake-addicted foodie would not claim that a cake is human (yet). But if the flagrant waste of a perfect chocolate cake makes your stomach contract, how much more the waste of a perfectly formed human child?

Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Cuomo, I hope this helps.