How Dare You Say That! The Evolution of Profanity

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

John H. McWhorter (The Language Hoax) explores the evolution of profanity:

In medieval English, at a time when wars were fought in disputes over religious doctrine and authority, the chief category of profanity was, at first, invoking—that is, swearing to—the name of God, Jesus or other religious figures in heated moments, along the lines of “By God!” Even now, we describe profanity as “swearing” or as muttering “oaths.”

It might seem like a kind of obsessive piety to us now, but the culture of that day was largely oral, and swearing—making a sincere oral testament—was a key gesture of commitment. To swear by or to God lightly was considered sinful, which is the origin of the expression to take the Lord’s name in vain (translated from Biblical Hebrew for “emptily”).

The need to avoid such transgressions produced various euphemisms, many of them familiar today, such as “by Jove,” “by George,” “gosh,” “golly” and “Odsbodikins,” which started as “God’s body.” “Zounds!” was a twee shortening of “By his wounds,” as in those of Jesus. A time traveler to the 17th century would encounter variations on that theme such as “Zlids!” and “Znails!”, referring to “his” eyelids and nails.

In the 19th century, “Drat!” was a way to say “God rot.” Around the same time, darn started when people avoided saying “Eternal damnation!” by saying “Tarnation!”, which, because of the D-word hovering around, was easy to recast as “Darnation!”, from which “darn!” was a short step.

By the late 18th century, sex, excretion and the parts associated with same had come to be treated as equally profane as “swearing” in the religious sense. Such matters had always been considered bawdy topics, of course, but the space for ordinary words referring to them had been shrinking for centuries already.

Chaucer had available to him a thoroughly inoffensive word referring to the sex act, swive.

I think that qualifies as the word of the day!

We are hardly beyond taboos, McWhorter notes; we just observe different ones:

Today, what we regard as truly profane isn’t religion or sex but the slandering of groups, especially groups that have historically suffered discrimination or worse. Our profanity consists of the N-word, that C-word once suitable for an anatomy book discussion of women’s bodies, and a word beginning with f referring to gay men (and some would include a word referring to women beginning with b).

It might seem strained to compare our feelings about the N-word with a bygone era’s appalled shuddering over the utterance of “By God!” But do note that I have to euphemize the N-word here in print just as someone would have once have felt compelled to say, “By Jove!”

[...]

But we are just as capable as previous eras of policing our taboos with unquestioning excess. An administrator in Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Public Advocate had to resign in 1999 for using the word niggardly in a staff meeting. At the University of Virginia, there was a campus protest in 2003 after a medical school staffer said that a sports team called the Redskins “was as derogatory to Indians as having a team called n— would be to blacks.” Julian Bond, who was then the head of the NAACP, said that only his respect for free speech kept him from recommending that she be fired. In 2014, the lawyer and writer Wendy Kaminer elicited aggrieved comments for saying, during a panel discussion at Smith College, that when we use euphemisms for the N-word we all “hear the word n— in our head.”

[...]

Some might object that we should not check that impulse, and that extremism is necessary to create lasting social change. But it’s useful to recall that, when it comes to profanity, there were once people who considered themselves every bit as enlightened as we see ourselves today, with the same ardent and appalled sense of moral urgency. They were people who said “Odsbodikins” and did everything they could to avoid talking about their pants.

Donald Trump and the Fed-Up Crowd

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Victor Davis Hanson discusses Donald Trump and the Fed-Up Crowd:

To explain the inexplicable rise of Donald Trump is to calibrate the anger of a fed-up crowd that is enjoying the comeuppance of an elite that never pays for the ramifications of its own ideology. The elite media, whose trademark is fad and cant, writes off the fed-up crowd as naïve and susceptible to demagoguery as the contradictory and hypocritical Trump manipulates their anger. In fact, they probably got it backwards. Trump is a transitory vehicle of the fed-up crowd, a current expression of their distaste for both Democratic and Republican politics, but not an end in and of himself. The fed-up crowd is tired of being demagogued to death by progressives, who brag of “working across the aisle” and “bipartisanship” as they ram through agendas with executive orders, court decisions, and public ridicule. So the fed-ups want other conservative candidates to emulate Trump’s verve, energy, eagerness to speak the unspeakable, and no-holds barred Lee Atwater style — without otherwise being Trump.

(Hat tip to Jonathan at Chicago Boyz.)

Berkeley Breathed has his own take:

Bloom County Trump Oddly Appealing

Want a good public education for your kids? Better be rich first.

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Matthew Yglesias complains that you need to pay more to live in a neighborhood with good schools:

Look at this chart showing the correlation between the price of a family-size house and the reading proficiency scores in the local school (the outlier, Garrison, where the reading scores are terrible and the houses are expensive anyway is my neighborhood public school):

Test Scores vs. Home Prices in DC

It doesn’t take a socioeconomic genius to see the logical problem here, as many already have on Twitter:

The plot correlates a measure of a) how smart the students are vs. a result of b) how wealthy the parents are, binned by school. And lo and behold it reveals the (wholly unsurprising) fact that higher family wealth correlates with kids who do better on tests.

What’s that got to do with how ‘good’ the school actually is? (Unless of course by ‘good’ you mean something else entirely.)

Silicon Valley White-Asian Divide

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Samuel Liu grew up in a once-white Silicon Valley suburb, where a white-Asian divide became apparent:

To say that whites resented Asians or Asians resented whites would be a gross exaggeration of a largely utopian merger. Youth soccer leagues were run by parents of multiple ethnicities: Indian, white, Chinese, Korean. Often, they were co-workers in their fields. Parental involvement was unified in activities spanning from musicals to the Parent-Teacher Association.

But it was in academics where one could smell the distinct coded scent of a split. There’s a nearby high school called Lynbrook, which by now is probably upwards of 90 percent Asian. I had a friend there who used to joke that they called the white people “the few five.” Everyone knew the one black student by name.

The Wall Street Journal came out with an article in 2005 documenting “The New White Flight,” a twist on the term used to describe the phenomena of white people moving out of poor neighborhoods, taking their tax dollars with them, and often leaving largely black schools derelict and underfunded. At Lynbrook and nearby schools, the Journal writes, whites weren’t quitting schools because the schools were bad. And they weren’t harming them academically when they left; more Asians just moved in.

“Quite the contrary,” the article read. “Many white parents say they’re leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurricular activities like sports and other personal interests. The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.”

Reading that article was a bit like accessing a cipher. It swiped away the coded rhetorical veneer that I had so often heard preached at my school. The administrators at my school, largely white, had spoken for years about limiting competition, decreasing stress, preventing students from skipping math levels. Around me, I noticed that almost all the parents or students complaining about the policies were Asian.

It wasn’t until I read the article that I was able to recognize the code words that the administrators used were, intentionally or unintentionally, aimed at countering an “Asian” school. I don’t mean to suggest any covert or overt racism on the part of my school administrators. They are not racist. But what their words and policies did show was a lack of understanding of Asian academic drive. At my school, we were inoculated against the evils of doing things for college applications, counseled to lessen our workload, reminded that true meaning in life was found not in academic success but in “personal worth.” I heard the phrase “self-esteem” so much that I wanted to throw up every time an inspirational speaker waltzed into our school.

This was all well and good, but at the same time the faculty advocated taking easier classes, avoiding tutors, and participating in fewer extracurricular activities. And not only was there a parent at home to scorn those ideas, our competitive drive immediately found them repulsive, also.

Gone With The Wind and the Confederacy

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

When Americans think about the Confederacy, they often think about Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 classic, Gone With the Wind, Cass R. Sunstein says:

Inspired by recent debates over the Confederate flag, I decided to give the book a try. I confess that I did not have high hopes. I expected to be appalled by its politics and racism, and to be bored by the melodrama. (Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes? Really?) About twenty pages, I thought, would be enough. I could not have been more wrong. The book is enthralling, and it casts a spell.

I felt the same way about the movie.

Both are now considered Confederate propaganda:

But in 1936, The New York Times thought that Mitchell “writes from no particular point of view, although now and then there glitters a dull rage at the upset that ended such a beautiful civilization.”

[...]

At this point, skeptics might respond that subsuming the actual politics of the war, and the pro-slavery convictions of the Confederacy, beneath the gauzy romance of the plantation is precisely what the Lost Cause has been about — that in the end, Gone With the Wind is inescapably a set of political claims, designed to promote political ends. That’s a fair objection to some depictions of the world of the plantation, but it’s grossly unfair to Mitchell’s book, which is much more interested in memory, love, and resilience than it is in causes, won or lost. Of course, Gone With the Wind is a novel, not a work of history, and what it offers is only a slice of what actually happened. But as Americans remember the war and their own history, they have an acute need for novels, which refuse to reduce individual lives to competing sets of political convictions. That is an important virtue, even if one set of convictions is clearly right and another clearly wrong. In fact that very refusal can be seen as a political act, and it ranks among the least dispensable ones.

How Chicago Is Trying to Integrate Its Suburbs

Monday, July 20th, 2015

The Atlantic explains how Chicago is trying to integrate its suburbs — by replacing its housing projects with Section 8 vouchers to subsidize apartments outside the city — and Steve Sailer pokes some fun:

You may have somehow gotten the impression that tearing down Cabrini Green was all about driving out poor black people from right next to the Gold Coast to add billions to local property values. But, it turns out, it was really about Chicago generously Sharing Diversity with deprived suburban municipalities.

Alone

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Arnold Kling sums up William Manchester’s view of the 1932-1940 period in British history in two paragraphs:

The British ruling class was rotten. The British Prime Ministers of that era were dull-witted and feckless. Traumatized by the first World War and frightened of Bolshevism, they came up with an endless list of excuses not to confront Hitler. The role played by the media during this period was dreadful — covering for Hitler and suppressing the views of Churchill until very late in the game.

Churchill was, in many ways, more out of touch with the twentieth century than were other members of the ruling class. However, he had the strength and intelligence that the leading politicians lacked. And unlike most others of his class, he saw Hitler with clarity.

Between the time he wrote that and posted it, an Islamist terrorist attacked and killed multiple American service members in Tennessee:

A casual reader of the Washington Post could be forgiven for blaming the attack on conservatives and the National Rifle Association. The lead Post story said that this was “the latest eruption of gun violence in the United States.” The print newspaper also provides a second front-page story, headlined “Shooter grew up in conservative family.” [The online version says “middle-class Muslim family.”]

I read every word of the second story, looking for the basis for terming the family “conservative.” Did they have a Romney bumper sticker on their car? A subscription to National Review? Perhaps they flew a Confederate flag? Were active in the Tea Party?

[...]

I would love to know how the Post determined on the basis of the content of the story that the best adjective to describe the family was “conservative.” Getting back to the 1930s comparisons, I do not want to equate Muslim radicals with Nazis, because I think that there are important differences. What I am getting at here are the similarities between the British media in the 1930s and what we find in the U.S. today.

As for the American educated in class in general, consider Harry Painter’s analysis of summer reading lists for college students.

Upon browsing the list, one might conclude that all of humanity’s best books are about minorities fighting and ultimately overcoming the oppressive constrictions of Western, male-dominated society.

Resistance to Control from Afar

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

The banning of the Confederate battle flag infuriates Fred Reed:

Why? Although a Southerner by raising, I would far prefer to live in New York City than in Memphis. Yet I value my boyhood in Virginia and Alabama. My ancestors go back to the house of Burgesses, and I remember long slow summer days on the Rappahannock and in the limestone of Athens, Alabama.

When the federal government and the talking heads want to ban my past — here, permit me to exit momentarily the fraudulent objectivity of literature — I hate the sonsofbitches.

A lot of people quietly hate the sonsofbitches.

To them, to us, the Confederate flag stands for resistance to control from afar, to meddling and instruction from people we detest. It is the flag of “Leave me the hell alone.” And this Washington, Boston, and New York will… not… do.

Why it makes sense to bike without a helmet

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

While explaining why it makes sense to bike without a helmet, Howie Chong notes the risk of head injury per million hours travelled

  • Cyclist – 0.41
  • Pedestrian – 0.80
  • Motor vehicle occupant – 0.46
  • Motorcyclist – 7.66

If we’re so concerned about head injuries, he asks, why aren’t we wearing helmets all the time?

With that in mind, a light, convenient, hat-like helmet might be better than nothing — at least if it doesn’t create a false sense of security:

A recent study from the National Ski Areas Association found that, despite a tripling of helmet use among skiers and snowboarders in the United States since 2003, there has been no reduction in the number of snow-sport related fatalities or brain injuries. On the contrary, and 2012 study at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine found an increase in head injuries between 2004 and 2010 despite an increase in helmet use, while a 2013 University of Washington study concluded that snow-sports related head injuries among youths and adolescents increased 250 percent from 1996-2010, a timeframe that also coincides with the increased use of head protection.

Political Theory from the Future

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Neal Stephenson may eventually be remembered as the most subversive Sci-Fi author of his generation:

His technological extrapolations are fun, but Stephenson’s most interesting and subversive contributions lie in his sociological and political thinking.

[...]

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the America of Snow Crash referred to in the media as a libertarian dystopia, and I think calling it a dystopia entirely misses Stephenson’s point. After all, a typical dystopian science fiction tale will (or should) unambiguously take whatever ideology it’s trying to address to the mat and demonstrate its horrors through object lessons. Snow Crash doesn’t do that at all. Rather, it depicts a very well functioning world which just happens to seem terrifying to late-20th-century readers.

[...]

We move on to The Diamond Age. The world of this story is dominated by the presence of nanotechnology. Every material object is absurdly cheap, bordering on free. Yet there is still an enormous underclass of stateless individuals (“thetes”), including our protagonist Nell. Why? Well, turns out you naturally end up with haves and have-nots even in a post-scarcity world. To hammer home this lesson, Stephenson sets atop the hierarchy of this world a group known as the Neo-Victorians. The Neo-Victorians have lords and knights; ladies are expected to stay home and raise the children; despite the ability to build anything they could want, they choose to wear old-fashioned, handmade dresses and shoes and bowler hats. My favorite Stephenson term of all time is “equity lord,” meaning somebody who has the title of Lord because they are an equity holder in the corporation which constitutes the economic footprint of Neo-Victorian society.

Where Snow Crash seemed at first blush to be an anarcho-libertarian dystopia, The Diamond Age seems almost like some kind of Reactionary dystopia, except where exactly are the dystopian elements? Yes, there’s a huge underclass — there’s an equally huge underclass today, and factory workers in the modern Third World are materially worse off than the poor of The Diamond Age. At least the thetes of the story have their bread and circuses and free housing.

[...]

Locked in economic (and eventually military) contest with the Neo-Victorians are the Chinese Confucian phyle. While the Neo-Victorians are largely Anglo-Saxon technologists who embrace a Victorian social and material aesthetic, the Confucians are a largely ethnic Han Chinese group who embrace the principles of Confucian hierarchy as it existed before the British made China a de facto colony, complete with Mandarins and corporal punishment and strict patriarchy. So the two dominant social and economic powerhouses in the story adhere to extremely rigid, patriarchal, Reactionary social codes. The story doesn’t leave us wondering why this is, either — we’re told through the conversations of the characters that when nation-states and traditional economic models fail, people fall back on ethnic homogeneity, conservative and traditional gender roles, and harshly regressive penal codes in order to establish the unity, cohesiveness, and strength needed to compete in a chaotic world.

Okay — so The Diamond Age looks like a Reactionary vision of the future and Snow Crash looks like a Libertarian vision of the future. Neither are particularly dystopian, at least not compared to reality, but nor are they sugar-coated utopian fantasies. They are more like semi-serious extrapolations, evenhanded simulations of what those socio-political systems might turn into.

He goes on to look at Seveneves and Anathem, too.

(I’ve discussed The Diamond Age before.)

Bastille Day

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Jerry Pournelle describes the original Bastille Day:

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn’t want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court).

On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and  another.  The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse.  The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father’s insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.

The national holidays of the US, Mexico, and France all celebrate rather different events…

The Density Divide

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Steve Sailer explores the density divide:

Different densities appeal to different personalities. For example, the frontier was always assumed to be where a man could be free from matronly tyranny, a major theme of American letters. Huckleberry Finn sums up that he’s headed for Oklahoma “because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”

Americans were long extremely proud of settling the continent. The pioneers’ struggle against nature was an objective accomplishment that enthralled the world: Westerns were one of the most popular genres of movies from 1903 to 1970. American settlers combined independence and cooperation well, especially in contrast to the fractious Native Americans, who constantly stabbed each other in the back with self-destructive rivalries rather than unite to fight the white man.

Old-fashioned science fiction — Heinlein, Star Trek, Interstellar — tended to be about opening up a New Frontier that would allow Americans to once again flourish at what they do best: contend with nature for objective gain rather than with each other for subjective pride of place. Indeed the race to the moon proved a nonviolent way for Americans and Soviets to compete against the physical universe to show off who would win if they went to war against each other.

Different kinds of science evolve best under different conditions. Evolutionary theory is very much a product of the countryside, especially of England’s culture of intellectual country boys. On the other hand, Claude Shannon worked out information theory in Greenwich Village.

In the red-blue debate, both sides view the other as horrifyingly conformist: In the country, you can’t get away from people who know you, while in the city, you can’t get away from people, period.

The kinds of businesses found in lightly populated areas tend to be agriculture, energy, and other forms of resource extraction, and, as population increases, construction and heavy industry. The type of industry found in the highest-density places tends toward finance, law, media, fashion, and marketing.

In my ill-fated venture into the marketing profession, for instance, I had a corner office directly across Wacker Drive from the Sears Tower, then the tallest skyscraper in the world. Granted, it was an inconvenient place from which to attempt to manipulate the habits of the average grocery shopper since it was an expensive cab ride from the nearest supermarket, but the view was amazing.

Silicon Valley started off on the exurban frontier between San Francisco and San Jose because early chipmakers needed open land to build fabrication plants. And the kind of engineers who wanted to work on the problems that firms like Hewlett-Packard and Intel were solving preferred living in their own houses with their own yards and, famously, their own two-car garages.

But as the tech industry has evolved away from wrestling with nature toward becoming a marketing and media juggernaut, businesses such as Twitter have flowed back to San Francisco. Sure, there’s no room for you to work on your hobby in your garage, but today’s tech titans don’t see why their employees should have time for hobbies.

In the Twitter Age, status competitions tend to be played out online in the realm of ideology, with the more implausible your dogmas, the higher your status.

In other words, we’ve managed to combine the worst of village and big-city life: There’s now an unlimited number of people at hand to take offense and remember you for it. And there’s no way to light out for the territory and start over, because now it all goes on your permanent record.

Isocrates on Democracy

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

During the 2010 financial crisis, Isocrates was quoted as saying this:

Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality, because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress.

Isocrates’ actual quote runs as follows:

Those who directed the state in the time of Solon and Cleisthenes did not establish a polity which… trained the citizens in such fashion that they looked upon insolence as democracy, lawlessness as liberty, impudence of speech as equality, and licence to do what they pleased as happiness, but rather a polity which detested and punished such men and by so doing made all the citizens better and wiser.

Propertiless Humanity of the Lowest Order

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

In the Old West there was a clear demarcation between Dodge and Indian Country, James LaFond says, but there’s no such line in modern Baltimore:

For instance, on the bus I am in Dodge, a policed coach with government recording devices abundant and in plain sight. And, in most cases, as soon as I get off the bus I am in Indian Country, surrounded by propertiless humanity of the lowest order.

The absence of ownership, of being tied to a house, a vehicle, a law suit-friendly portfolio, or a garnish-ready wage, all makes a person more belligerent than they would otherwise be. The liberal slave masters have made of their urban slaves a ready force of aggressors. For they have tasted of abundance beyond the dreams of most working class people for two weeks of every month, and have also been deprived of a regular income, with monthly income distributions insuring times of want through the very lack of disciplined self-sufficiency denied the slave on the dole. Since a person raised on the welfare plantation is put in a position that weakens impulse control, inculcates a sense of entitlement only rivaled by medieval nobility, and at the same time denies property, he is uniquely prone to violent action of both the predatory and social variety.

Therefore, unlike the savage Indian who had excellent impulse control, the savage urbanite is likely to engage in escalated anger-based combat due to perceived insults to his entitled status, making him a dueling or brawling risk on the order of a medieval knight. At the same time, his condition of moral want and social isolation make him a predatory threat due to his purposeful alienation at the hands of his duplicitous slave master. In one person the hoodrat represents the risk of being hunted by an aboriginal savage in his native habitat, and of running afoul of the belligerent medieval dimwit on the road to his drawbridge.

The Hoodrat Hatchery

Friday, July 10th, 2015

James LaFond offers his own colorful explanation for why yuppies are protesting the new Super Wal-Mart in the Baltimore suburbs:

[I]n light of the unwillingness of the Baltimore City government and police to lift a single finger to protect citizens from rampaging hoodrats and prowling gangbangers during our recent urban unpleasantness in Harm City, the suburban appetite to homestead in a hipster city enclave is suddenly on the wane just as the impetus to urban flight is on the rise among decent urban poor. Unfortunately these decent folks are the hosts for the social parasites that will ride them like ticks on a dear’s back out into Harford County. And the government has designed society so that the children of these decent fleeing urban folks will become that which they fled from!

First off, you must understand that this suburban blight drive is directed by the superrich who live in rural and urban enclaves. Suburbia is the slave quarters of the postmodern plantation, where most of the people that create wealth live. The liberal elite, and the criminal class that serve the superrich reside in the urban centers draining suburbia dry like a vampire coven hanging on the necks of a bovine herd.

You will notice In Baltimore, that the wealthy have enclaves and that vast stretches of vacant housing are left to ruin, to be snapped up later by developers, as the hoodrat hordes are lured out into suburbia along expanded bus lines, to virgin areas serviced by mega retailers which pay wages so low that the only people who will work there are the poor who want to get out of the urban drug war zone.

Of those 300 jobs provided by a super Wal-Mart one will be in the low six figures, and four will pay enough to permit that assistant manager to rent an apartment or go in together with a spouse in the purchase of a house. The other 295 employees will work at or below the poverty line under poor conditions with no benefits, and will require subsidized housing, home sharing, apartment crowding, food stamps, and, most ominously for you, public transportation which will permit youths to transport drugs and violence as low risk mules and insurgent pioneers into your area. As Wal-Mart gets the lion’s share of food stamp transfers [EBT cash and food] than this operation amounts to a 19th century Appalachian coal mine with its own company store, with over half of the employees spending most — or even more than — their salary at the Wal-Mart register, literally a captive market and labor force in one.

These employees will bring their families to the area. There will also be an influx of welfare families fleeing the city ahead of the drug gangs and predatory police along the bus lines set up at tax payer expense so that you can save 25 cents on a dozen eggs, which requires some schlep to stock them in that upright cooler on a wage that cannot support an automobile. These families — by law — may not have a father. Therefore, 15 years from that Wal-Mart going up, you will have a full generation of violent, rootless, fatherless youth grown up with no sense of community, responsibility, or decency, who will instead be infused with a sense of entitlement, righteous oppression, and slave class envy for you, the guy buying the house down the street as its value plummets.