The Corner

Culture

Thirty-Three Things That Caught My Eye Today: Ryan Anderson & Amazon

1. BBC News: Airdrie baby born at 22 weeks finally leaves hospital

Believed to be one of Scotland’s youngest surviving premature babies, Sofia Viktoria Birina was born at just 22 weeks and four days.

She was given a 10% chance of survival during labour and even less chance of surviving after that.

But she has now thrived enough to leave her special care baby unit.

2.

3. Fred Hiatt: If it will put this man in jail, China will stop at nothing

Martin Lee is the personification of the rule of law. He knows the law, he practices law, he reveres the law.

That Chinese leader Xi Jinping now wants to put this distinguished 82-year-old barrister in prison perfectly illustrates the dictator’s contempt for the law. It shows, as it is meant to show, that no one in Hong Kong is safe any longer from the arbitrary repression of the Chinese Communist Party.

. . .

Moderate in temperament and ideology, for decades as establishment as anyone could be, Lee embraced democracy activism as he came to see that self-rule was essential to preserve the rule of law he cherished. But he was hardly a firebrand; impatient younger activists would deride him for urging them to move step by step, peacefully — within the law.

Now, he finds himself on trial for organizing and participating in the massive pro-democracy protests of 2019. The charge is ludicrous: With no presence on social media, Lee is hardly an organizer. And if he is guilty of protesting, so are 1.7 million other Hong Kongers. They are guilty because Xi is imposing Beijing rules on Hong Kong, with the help of a quisling administration, rendering peaceful protest a crime.

4. The Washington Post: Peru’s government forcibly sterilized Indigenous women from 1996 to 2001, the women say. Why?

Officials held family planning campaigns predominantly across rural and poor communities, where the majority of the population were of Indigenous descent. Health officials were also pressured by the Health Ministry to meet sterilization quotas to quickly expand the control on women’s reproductive health. Officials were paid monetary rewards from the ministry when they met those quotas; they were threatened with demotions when they did not. These factors combined to encourage officials to focus on the group easiest to coerce into sterilization: Indigenous women, whose identity represented the intersections of a marginalized gender in a patriarchal society, impoverished economic class neglected from wealth, and ethnic group excluded from power and discriminated [against] from the colonial era.

5. Crux: Myanmar bishops call for end to ‘blood in the streets’

This latest appeal from Myanmar’s bishops comes after the country’s military – which ruled the nation from 1962-2011 – ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and her government Feb. 1, accusing them of not investigating allegations of voter fraud in the November 2020 elections, which Kuu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won in a landslide.

Observers theorized that the military feared Suu Kyi would have used her supermajority to change the national constitution, which the army itself had authored in a way that reserves several powers to itself.

6.

7.  James Freeman: Another Cuomo Cover-Up?

The overall policy may live forever in the annals of bureaucratic cruelty. At the same time the Cuomo administration was turning down offers to expand treatment space for Covid patients—and instead forcing them into group homes, raising the risks for disabled residents there—Team Cuomo was also severely limiting family visits at such facilities. In other words, official Cuomo administration policy required people with disabilities to accept both greater risk of infection by strangers and less time with relatives. 

8. Virginia Allen: What We Know About Cuomo’s COVID-19 Cover-Up

9. Melanie Israel: Equality Act Is Trojan Horse for Abortion Lobby and More

The Equality Act adds the term “sex” to Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on public accommodations to mean pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have interpreted “related medical condition” to include abortion.

10. Inez F. Stepman: The Equality Act Makes Women Unequal

By erasing sex as a distinct legal category, the [Equality Act] threatens to open up female-only spaces and opportunities designed to increase representation for girls to biological men, which can endanger the safety of women and girls.

11. Sinan Ciddi: Are Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University protests an expression of exceptionalism? 

Turkey has been rocked by renewed protests since January when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed a less than qualified individual as the rector of Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University.

From the protesters’ perspective, the appointment of Bulu represents the denigration of academic standards, liberal thought, and a long tradition of the university coming to a consensus of who the rector should be. Many members of the university believe that this is precisely what President Erdoğan was aiming to accomplish: supplanting the leadership of one of the few remaining bastions of critical thinking, an institution that takes pride in developing Turkey’s liberal and globally aware intelligentsia—two traits that Erdogan has been wrestling to quash since the onset of the Gezi Park protests of 2013.

12. Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: Tech Censorship Is Accelerating

Also on Monday, two Congressional Democrats wrote a stern letter to CEO Jeff Bezos about Amazon’s role in politics.

. . .

. . . The letter is a demand for more ideological censorship. “Our country’s public discourse is plagued by misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies,” write Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney. They quote a claim that right-wing media is “much more susceptible,” and demand to know why Amazon’s Fire TV carries certain conservative programs.

13. Ryan T. Anderson: When Amazon Erased My Book

Amazon never informed me or my publisher that it was removing my book. And Amazon’s representatives haven’t responded to our inquiries about it. Perhaps they’re citing a religious objection to selling my book? Or maybe they only sell books with which they agree? (If so, they have a lot of explaining to do about why they carry Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.) If there’s a religious or speech objection, let’s hear it. But if it’s just an attempt to skew the conversation in the public square with an attempt to discredit one of the Equality Act’s most prominent critics, that’s a different matter.

. . .

We regulate businesses all the time. We need not apply to Big Tech all the features of an existing form of regulation that was designed for other contexts—whether it be nondiscrimination law, antitrust and monopoly law, or legal rules for common carriers and utilities—but policy makers need to take seriously the question of what limits should be placed on the power of Big Tech. The point is that absolutism about market freedoms is untenable. Repeating the mantra “it’s a private business” doesn’t cut it anymore. It never did.

14. Adam Andrzejewski: Chicago’s Big Education, Inc.

The 1,823 employees in six departments with names containing some usage of the word “diverse”—Business Diversity, Diverse Learner Superintendent and Services, Diverse Learner Related Services, Diverse Learner Quality Instruction, Diverse Learner Pupil Personnel Service, and Diverse Learner Service Delivery—cost Chicago taxpayers $221.8 million last year, with the top 1,193 employees taking home six-figure salaries. The district would probably contend that these departments are fundamental to the social safety net, but its spokespersons ignored our requests for comment.

15. Bret Stephens: Woke Me When It’s Over

No transgression of sensitivities is so trivial that it will not invite a moralizing rebuke on social media.

No cultural tradition is so innocuous that it needn’t be protected from the slightest criticism, at least if the critic has the wrong ethnic pedigree.

No writer is so innocent that she should be spared from having her spouse’s alleged failings trotted out to suggest discrimination-by-association.

. . .

What Bon Appétit — which saw its editor depart last year after a 16-year-old Halloween photo of him trying to look like a Puerto Rican stereotype resurfaced on the internet — is doing with its recipe archive may seem like a farce. But it’s a telling one. If a major media company like Condé Nast can choose to erase and rewrite its food archives for the sake of current Woke sensibilities, why stop there?

16. Wayne A.I. Frederick: What Happens When People Stop Going to the Doctor? We’re About to Find Out

Expanding primary and preventive care efforts is urgent and long overdue. We should train more health care professionals who have regular contact with patients to conduct primary care services. Imagine going to the dentist or the pharmacy and getting a mammogram or a diabetes screening, in addition to having your teeth cleaned or picking up a prescription. With more trained professionals looking out for patients, we can prevent emerging problems from becoming emergencies.

17. Luma Simms: The Complicated Journey of Becoming an American

. . . There are two competing views in America of what happens when immigrants come to the United States. One is that immigrants need to assimilate completely. The demand is not only to speak our language and follow our laws. You need to only value our values. But what are American values? Americans differ on that question. This kind of assimilation is revolution.

Others take the position that you are welcome to this country, but you don’t have to make a lot of changes. You don’t even have to learn the language. Sets you up for alienation. Rootlessness in perpetuity.

18. William McGurn: The Woke ‘Model Minority’ Myth

To normal Americans, it makes no sense. How are Asian-Americans not “people of color”? But give the North Thurston folks credit for following progressive logic to its conclusion. Modern progressive theory more or less divides the nation between the oppressors, defined as whites, and the oppressed, defined as everyone else. In this framework, achieving success puts you on the side of the oppressors and thus makes you white or “white-adjacent”—even if your family came from China or India.

Calling it progressive to send children of color the message that achievement is white is an irony lost on the woke. 

. . .

The progressive contention is that admitting students on individual merit is really about upholding white dominance. What about Asian-American success, then? In this narrative, that’s using the model-minority myth as a “wedge” against African-Americans, to send them the false message that with strong families and hard work America’s racism can be overcome.

19. Timothy P. O’Malley: Is the Catholic Parish in Crisis?

In the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, many in the Church assumed that the primary task of religious formation was adaptation. 

. . .

As Stephen Bullivant has shown in his Mass Exodus, this adaptation and relaxing of norms had the effect opposite to what was intended. The lack of seriousness or demands led to Catholics’ leaving. After years of adaptation, most parishes have become mirrors of American secular culture. They are reflections of a bourgeois and comfortable Catholicism in which individual families feed themselves with a bit of religious nourishment in the context of a life that is otherwise ordered to consumption, entertainment, and individualized pursuits of happiness.

20. Charles C. Camosy, Dr. Josh Packard: Study shows younger people lack faith in religious institutions

21. Daniel E. Burns: A Time to Build Schools

What matters most to the health of a morally formative institution is not so much how its members view it. What matters most is whether the institution’s goals and incentive structure will foster in its members habits that conduce to real human flourishing, or habits that positively impede it.

22. Andy Smarick: We Must Found Institutions, Not Just Preserve Them: A Conservatism of Creation

Those on the right are more naturally inclined to engage in the incremental work of fine-tuning perpetual institutions. Conservatives conserve. We are mindful of the continuities across the human condition, and we appreciate the longstanding entities and customs that have evolved to address them. But when the social, cultural, or political environment changes, and individuals and their communities face new and mounting problems, we should think in terms of the institutions we need, not just in terms of those we have.

We need a Conservatism of Creation.

23. Nicholas Tampio: Kids need to play this summer, not catch up on school

Facing this year of loss, Democrats in Congress have framed the problem as primarily one of lower projected test scores; their solution is to make kids in high-poverty schools spend the summer inside preparing for standardized tests. This is exactly the wrong approach to the sadness and loss of the covid era: This summer, children need to do self-initiated activities that are rewarding for their own sake. This will create happier children now and, as research has shown, lead to improved physical, cognitive, social, emotional and creative outcomes later in life.

24. Bari Weiss: Whistleblower at Smith College Resigns Over Racism

Jodi Shaw was, until this afternoon, a staffer at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She made $45,000 a year — less than the yearly tuition at the school.

She is a divorced mother of two children. She is a lifelong liberal and an alumna of the college. And she has had a front-row seat to the illiberal, neo-racist ideology masquerading as progress.

25. Francis X. Maier: Somebody Needs To Be Dad

The most sensitive matter in my various interviews involved bishops’ attitudes toward Pope Francis. All of the men I spoke with expressed a sincere fidelity to the Holy Father. Many praised his efforts to reshape the Roman curia toward a more supportive, service-oriented posture in dealing with local bishops.  But many also voiced an equally vigorous frustration with what they see as his ambiguous comments and behavior, which too often feed confusion among the faithful, encourage conflict, and undermine bishops’ ability to teach and lead. Francis’s perceived dislike of the United States doesn’t help.  In the words of one baffled west-of-the-Mississippi bishop, “It’s as if he enjoys poking us in the eye.”  

26. 

27. Kathleen Slaugh Bahr, Cheri A. Loveless: Family Work

People who see the value of family work only in terms of the economic value of processes that yield measurable products—washed dishes, baked bread, swept floors, clothed children—miss what some call the “invisible household production” that occurs at the same time, but which is, in fact, more important to family-building and character development than the economic products. Here lies the real power of family work—its potential to transform lives, to forge strong families, to build strong communities.

28. Crux: Home in Connecticut offers support for mothers with crisis pregnancies

Carey Doughterty: Founded in 1998, Malta House is truly unique in the state of Connecticut, and one of only about 400 maternity homes throughout the country. We provide wrap-around, supportive services in a loving home environment for up to 18 months for both mothers and their babies. This includes support in core areas of parenting, childcare, health and nutrition, budgeting and finance, employment coaching, education, individual therapy and spirituality.

29. Children’s books about adoption & family

30. ‘Blessing bags’ a focal point for merged St. Casimir Parish during pandemic

[Volunteers] pack brown bags with a meat and cheese sandwich; fruit cup or pudding; a piece of fresh fruit; something sweet and crunchy snack. Last June, a note of encouragement was added to that checklist. That led one guest of Beans and Bread to describe them as “Blessing Bags,” and created a run on colored markers for one segment of the parish community.

31.

32. 

33. The New York Times: This 105-Year-Old Beat Covid. She Credits Gin-Soaked Raisins. (And Prayer!)

Ask Lucia DeClerck how she has lived to be 105, and she is quick with an answer.

“Prayer. Prayer. Prayer,” she offers. “One step at a time. No junk food.”

. . .

“We would just think, ‘Grandma, what are you doing? You’re crazy,’” said her 53-year-old granddaughter, Shawn Laws O’Neil, of Los Angeles. “Now the laugh is on us. She has beaten everything that’s come her way.”

 

Recommended

The Latest