Sean Dailey at The Blue Boar has done some heavy lifting on the National Health Care bill that deserves a read if you have any interest at all. He cuts through a lot of the hysteria and highlights some of the substantive problems with the plan.
The problem, for me? The plan wants to use your tax dollars to pay for abortions, and it seeks to greatly expand an already bloated bureaucracy. Hey, we all work for the government, now. As the government expands, what they call "the private sector" shrinks... until effectively there is no private sector.
Over at The Daily Eudemon, I'm gratified to see that Eric Scheske has discovered Lydia McGrew's work at What's Wrong With The World. They have both recently written posts about the crisis of manhood in the modern West, Scheske discusses the feminizing of the modern husband, and McGrew asks the question, "Will We Be Allowed to Do Anything for Boys and Men?".
I do see a crisis of manhood and womanhood at present, with the underlying cause being the pernicious idea that where there are differences in the sexes, these should be reduced or eliminated or compensated for in the interests of "equality". Oddly, what is called feminism, as an ideology, has caused women to become more like men, but in all the worst ways.
One problem is that many of those who (quite naturally) chafe at the idea of the neutered and domesticated male have no clear concept of what authentic manhood should look like, and so their idea of reclaiming manhood is to behave like a perpetual adolescent... to sit around in your underwear, drinking beer, eating Cheetos and watching the game (or playing video games), or riding motorcycles or rock climbing or some such.
Many women who see "equality" with men in very simplistic terms of personal power are also operating from this warped idea of manhood, and have become less like real women and more like frat boys - drinking more, swearing more, driving more aggressively, and avoiding responsibility. The paradigm used to be that young women wanted to settle down and have a family, and young men wanted to put it off. Now more young women are happy to join the young men in putting it off. In the great college of adult life, they see raising a family as an elective, like a course in Underwater Basket Weaving... fun if that's what you want, but not essential. Children aren't necessary, but are just another aspect of your personal fulfillment.
But authentic manhood means taking care of business, which in turn means taking care of your those around you by doing some heavy lifting... literally. Men need to step up more and take care of those areas that require more manly gifts - maintaining and improving the house, the grounds, the cars - protecting and providing, working at the outer perimeter where the family rubs up against the outside world. If a family is like a cell, he is the cell wall, and Mom is the nucleus. I happen to think that a normal, healthy man ought to be able to frame up a wall or change the brake pads on a car. Not that he might always have time for stuff like that, but he ought to be capable and willing. There are always exceptions, but broadly speaking, a man shouldn't shrink from these kinds of things because he's uncomfortable or lacks experience. Embrace your calluses, gentlemen. If you feel mechanically un-inclined, work on it and see how you do.
Not that I'm a paragon in that department. Many of the men I admire most are the ones I've seen working in scout troops or the Knights of Columbus or some such who are the go-to guys when there is any sort of big project that needs doing right. They are generally tanned, wiry, talk relatively little and have very quick and intelligent eyes. They own an array of tools. They may or may not hold a college degree, but they carry a formidable supply of common sense, which is reflected in their personal dealings, as well. They generally jump in where they are needed and fall to work in such a quick and seamless way that some may not notice how much they do, or how much we all rely on them. That is authentic manhood. Such a man might go for the Cheetos and beer, but he will have darn well earned it by that time.
This is not even to address the explicitly spiritual and religious roles of men and women, mothers and fathers, as guides and examples.
Having written a little about authentic manhood, I am just now feeling horribly inadequate, and need to get about MY business.