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Ask The Hard Questions
Of your own side first.
Every week I highlight three newsletters that are worth your time.
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1. Slack Tide
My buddy Matt Labash has written the most provocative Roe/Dobbs piece I’ve seen because he (a) talked to anti-abortion nutter Randall Terry and (b) sets out to challenge both sides to assess their priors. Here’s Labash, a pro-lifer, asking hard questions of his fellow travelers:
Almost exactly a decade ago, when I was still at The Weekly Standard, I did a lengthy profile of Terry, who was then in the middle of an election caper too complicated to recount here, but who was once known as America’s foremost pro-life agitator, having headed Operation Rescue. He’d led a movement that saw 70,000 arrests in abortion protests in what were, up until that time, the largest civil disobedience efforts since the civil rights protests of the sixties.
Terry was always a cross between an angry Old Testament prophet and a rodeo clown/court jester. His enemies – he had them on both sides – accused him of many things, but never of being too subtle. . . .
Randall’s not everyone’s speed. He’s probably not yours, even if you’re pro-life. But I’ve always had grudging respect for him, and not just because I have a soft spot for eccentric screwballs. (He once filmed a music video featuring a firing squad in Obama masks executing baby dolls with paintball guns to the strains of Alice Cooper’s “Dead Babies.”) But because Randall puts his money where his mouth is: another time, he not only talked a prostitute out of having an abortion in front of an abortion clinic, but he later adopted two of her children. Love him or hate him, but the guy lives his gig.
And because he takes abortion as seriously as the rest of us often only pretend to, he frequently asks hard and uncomfortable questions. . . .
For my pro-life readers, here, I’m handing the mic over to Randall Terry, who I asked to jot down some hard questions for those who say they want to make abortion illegal, but who often give short shrift to what it will actually mean for a society in which all those unwanted children might be born. Randall:
If you are really pro-life, would you be willing to sponsor or raise the money for an unwed pregnant teen; would you take a teen into your home – who then becomes a new teen mom? Would you take in a pregnant mother in distress, and provide her a place to stay before and after she has her baby – with or without government help – to help get and keep her on her feet? Or would that be too much inconvenient work? If we, in effect, compel pregnant women to carry their babies to term, what are we willing to do to see that the mom and child are not trapped in ignorance and poverty – the horrific twins of Scrooge’s nightmare? How dirty are you willing for your hands to get? How much mercy are you willing to show, and how much sacrifice are you willing to give, to help that mom and child? What personal sacrifice of time, money, comfort, and above all, reputation, am I willing to give?
Read the whole thing and subscribe. When we hit the hardest questions, it’s usually best to start by interrogating your own side first. Try to understand why folks on the other side feel as they do. Look for common ground first and debate second.
My buddy Ed Condon and I have started a newsletter. We call it The Escapement. You’ll never guess what it’s about . . .
Here’s Ed’s most recent post on GMTs:
The Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G
Alright, you’d be hard pressed to call this one a “winner” in Geneva:
But you know what? I actually like this watch the most of the three GMTs we’re talking about here. Let me explain.
First, yes, this is a two-tone root beer GMT, and damn near a dead lift from Rolex. . . . But here’s the thing — this watch works better as a Tudor than a Rolex.
Solid gold watches are for retirees and pimps, no exceptions. Two-tone can go one of two ways: yacht club brunch, or rust-belt fancy. Needless to say, one is for dickheads with mimosas, the other can do a job.
The original root beer Rolex GMT Master was a ‘70s classic. It was gaudy and slightly seedy. Like everything else in that decade, it might have been louche, but it was unironic. It was a watch a Pittsburgh working man might get himself for a big birthday and wear to church on Sunday and his local dive bar on Friday.
The updated root beer GMT Master II, on the other hand, like Rolex itself, is now too mannered, too moneyed, too bloody respectable to be any fun. It’s the watch you wear at Augusta when you win. Yawn.
The Tudor version, on the other hand, especially if you take it off that shitty bracelet with the fake rivets, is old-school enough in its color palate to be almost an anachronism, and just down-market enough to not look like you’re trying out for the polo team.
It’s like Colin Farrell’s mustache: it could’ve been as camp as a row of pink tents, but actually it’s badass. I like it.
Read the whole thing and subscribe. This is the newsletter I’ve always wanted to write. Some day, I will quit politics and write about nothing but watches, all day, every day. Join us at The Escapement!
We are here to help you spend money.
(It’s safe for work-ish. But I’m learning how to take glamor shots of my watches and once I have the photography rig up and running, this newsletter is going to be hottttttttt. Almost as hot as our URL: Escapement.ninja. Yeah, we did that.)
3. Bald Faced Truth
John Canzano has a story for you:
Keanon Lowe arrived at Powell’s Books on Wednesday night . . .
It was just three years ago this month that Lowe found himself working as the campus security guard and head football coach at Parkrose High School. Lowe explained on Wednesday night, that during his training he was told the protocol for an “active shooter” scenario was to instruct students to flee the area or hide in place.
In fact, Lowe said, “I was supposed to run and hide myself.”
Lowe instead intercepted the student and wrestled the weapon away from him.
“It happened in slow motion,” Lowe said. “I grabbed the gun and there was no way I was giving it up. I felt strong. Adrenaline kicked in. And I could tell from the kid’s eyes that he didn’t want to be there. He really didn’t want to hurt anyone.” . . .
I asked Lowe what was said as he disarmed the student, then inexplicably, hugged the kid.
That image — the sobbing assailant in the arms of the football coach — is seared into the mind of anyone who has seen it.
“He told me that he was scared and that nobody cared about him,” Lowe said. “I told him that I cared about him.
“Sometimes, that’s all someone needs to hear.”
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