Lifting the mental fog

A few days ago, on a dark night and an under-lit section of road, my peripheral vision alerted me to a dangerous situation: a dark blue car driving along with all taillights and rear lights completely out.  The car was nearly invisible from the rear.  At the next red light, I pulled alongside and rolled down my window.  I made a motion with my hand and she rolled down her window as well.

I told her that the taillights were out.  She just shook her head.  I attempted a mangled Spanish "luces malas."  She shook her head again.  Having nothing to lose, I summoned my best Mandarin "ni de deng haui le."  She shook her head again, then as the light turned green, turned onto the Interstate 880 entrance ramp.  I hope nobody got injured or killed.

An issue nobody seems to want to address seems to be, is it really a great idea to not be able to communicate, at all, over the most trivial and immediate topics?  Road safety is not philosophy, calculus, literary criticism, or really anything abstract.  It's simply "let's all try to not get killed out here."  Can we really look at ourselves in the mirror and claim this to be common sense?

When we read a book, or watch a movie, or stream a show, and the hero changes his mind in receipt of new information, we generally find this completely justified and naturally in line with his hero nature.  Why, then, are we so reluctant to change our minds when we are confronted with new information?  Why does it seem that the only thing the left and right can agree on is that it's a horrific thing to ever, ever, even consider changing your mind?

Should we have terrible schools, as we have?  Schools that do not prepare our children for the future right in front of them?  Should we use our self-created schooling failure to import people to do the jobs our kids would have had?  Is this a great idea?  Should we favor corrupt Chinese millionaires for housing purchases at inflated prices and have our own children live at home indefinitely?  Even when our children, if they had the money, couldn't do the same reciprocally in China?  Is that a great idea?

Exactly who decided we must all not only tolerate weakness, moral filth, drag queen story hour, or men playing women's high school and college sports, but also celebrate it?


YouTube screen grab from PBS News Hour.

The new information I have is that it's not working, things are getting worse, and I've changed my mind.  I am no longer playing along.

Historically, I've been fine with turning a blind eye to very early-term abortion.  I get queasy when it starts looking like a baby.  However, I can tell you this: when I heard Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam pontificating on the finer points of when a newborn, full-term baby should be resuscitated, it was new information to me.  This is the ultimate not-great idea, and I don't like where this is heading.  I am anti-abortion from here on out.  As far as I'm concerned, we as a society resuscitate all babies, period.

It is easy to write an article purely decrying the world's wrongs and avoid any affirmative solutions.  I don't want to do that here. How can each of us help?  We must will our mental fog to lift.  We must re-examine our personal beliefs in light of new data.  We must start getting in shape, taking care of our bodies, losing weight, and so on.  We must actively cultivate the good rather than just sit back and hope common sense prevails.

But more than anything, we must not be cowed into thinking we do not have a right, or even the obligation, to come to the vigorous defense of common sense.  I will no longer be silent, and I invite you to join me.

A few days ago, on a dark night and an under-lit section of road, my peripheral vision alerted me to a dangerous situation: a dark blue car driving along with all taillights and rear lights completely out.  The car was nearly invisible from the rear.  At the next red light, I pulled alongside and rolled down my window.  I made a motion with my hand and she rolled down her window as well.

I told her that the taillights were out.  She just shook her head.  I attempted a mangled Spanish "luces malas."  She shook her head again.  Having nothing to lose, I summoned my best Mandarin "ni de deng haui le."  She shook her head again, then as the light turned green, turned onto the Interstate 880 entrance ramp.  I hope nobody got injured or killed.

An issue nobody seems to want to address seems to be, is it really a great idea to not be able to communicate, at all, over the most trivial and immediate topics?  Road safety is not philosophy, calculus, literary criticism, or really anything abstract.  It's simply "let's all try to not get killed out here."  Can we really look at ourselves in the mirror and claim this to be common sense?

When we read a book, or watch a movie, or stream a show, and the hero changes his mind in receipt of new information, we generally find this completely justified and naturally in line with his hero nature.  Why, then, are we so reluctant to change our minds when we are confronted with new information?  Why does it seem that the only thing the left and right can agree on is that it's a horrific thing to ever, ever, even consider changing your mind?

Should we have terrible schools, as we have?  Schools that do not prepare our children for the future right in front of them?  Should we use our self-created schooling failure to import people to do the jobs our kids would have had?  Is this a great idea?  Should we favor corrupt Chinese millionaires for housing purchases at inflated prices and have our own children live at home indefinitely?  Even when our children, if they had the money, couldn't do the same reciprocally in China?  Is that a great idea?

Exactly who decided we must all not only tolerate weakness, moral filth, drag queen story hour, or men playing women's high school and college sports, but also celebrate it?


YouTube screen grab from PBS News Hour.

The new information I have is that it's not working, things are getting worse, and I've changed my mind.  I am no longer playing along.

Historically, I've been fine with turning a blind eye to very early-term abortion.  I get queasy when it starts looking like a baby.  However, I can tell you this: when I heard Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam pontificating on the finer points of when a newborn, full-term baby should be resuscitated, it was new information to me.  This is the ultimate not-great idea, and I don't like where this is heading.  I am anti-abortion from here on out.  As far as I'm concerned, we as a society resuscitate all babies, period.

It is easy to write an article purely decrying the world's wrongs and avoid any affirmative solutions.  I don't want to do that here. How can each of us help?  We must will our mental fog to lift.  We must re-examine our personal beliefs in light of new data.  We must start getting in shape, taking care of our bodies, losing weight, and so on.  We must actively cultivate the good rather than just sit back and hope common sense prevails.

But more than anything, we must not be cowed into thinking we do not have a right, or even the obligation, to come to the vigorous defense of common sense.  I will no longer be silent, and I invite you to join me.