Madness of March | WORLD
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Madness of March

A harried fortnight featured malpractice in college admissions, library readings, and Washington politics

Lil Miss Hot Mess reads to children during a Drag Queen Story Hour at the Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library. Mary Altaffer/AP

Madness of March
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An English poem originating around 1500, “Blowbol’s Test,” refers to “a March hare” acting erratically. Fast fact: During March, their major breeding month, hares attack other hares and leap vertically for no apparent reason. The “March Hare” is a major character in the tea party scene of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865). Kaiser Wilhelm in 1908 called the English “mad as March hares.”

On both sides of the Atlantic during March, madness was in the air, and not just in the hare. Britain was scheduled to exit the European Union at the end of the month, but Parliament kept turning down Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal plans. In the United States, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament known as “March Madness” cranked up.

The biggest American madness, though, was the sadness of the left-wing media at learning that the president of the United States is not a traitor. WORLD writers have criticized Donald Trump’s character while praising many of his judicial appointments and other administration achievements, but we’re certainly glad that 19 lawyers, 40 investigators, 230 orders for communication records, 500 search warrants, 2,800 subpoenas, and interviews with 500 witnesses yielded no evidence of presidential collusion.

The March 12-26 fortnight did bring more Midwest flooding and a stream of disappointments: College admissions cheating, drag queens reading books to children in public libraries, and the House of Representatives slouching toward passage of a bill requiring one-size-fits-all treatment of LGBTQ persons (including drag queens).

The alleged cheater best known to some WORLD readers is actress Lori Loughlin, a regular on the Hallmark Channel. That network fired her after she allegedly paid $500,000 to have her two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as rowing team recruits. Loughlin, facing mail fraud charges, paid $1 million to be released from jail on bail.

Press accounts emphasized that neither of the daughters row, but stories overlooked the way federal government action enabled madness. Courts have said Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 requires equal recruiting treatment of young men and women. Since 130 Division I NCAA schools offer 85 scholarships each for their cash cow, football, and 312 Division II schools typically give the equivalent of 36 full football scholarships each, these institutions all have to find ways to give women numerous scholarships as well.

That need results in notices like this at “The number of female-only rowing, or crew, teams has exploded over the last decade, and now women have a better shot at landing scholarship money from a college than men do. Schools … have generous funding available for female rowers, including some full rides … to satisfy Title IX requirements.” reported this: “Unlike other college sports, you don’t need any experience to join a rowing team in college. … Due to Title IX, there are ample scholarships available.” So Lori Loughlin’s claim that her non-rowing daughters could become champion rowers was not over the top. (Should students and parents reading think this prospect is too good to be true, the website informs us that “the sport of rowing has been in existence as long as humans have traveled the water by boat.”)

March madness #2: A WORLD member from upstate rural New York wrote me, “There is a drag queen—stage name Annie Christ—doing readings for children at our public library!!” Yes, and that’s not unusual. Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives funding from donors and local libraries. Philadelphia’s public libraries have hosted more than 50 DQSH events.

DQSH’s spring schedule includes events not only in Brooklyn and Los Angeles but in Zion, Ill.; Brookfield, Wis.; Lincoln, Neb.; and dozens of other heartland sites. One of its goals: “gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.” But one of those role models on March 15 gave DQSH publicity it didn’t want: The social conservative group MassResistance, followed by local, national, and international press and television, reported that drag queen “Tatiana Mala Niña” (aka Alberto Garza) was charged with sexual assault on an 8-year-old in 2008.

The Houston Public Library admitted it had not done a background check on Garza, or looked at his listing in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry. In the subsequent furor, DQSH hosts Trent Lira and Devin Will said they are “stepping aside” from the program. Houston Public Library officials, though, are not stepping aside: They announced on March 22 that the Drag Queen Storytime program will continue this summer. The American Library Association is also doubling down: Instead of criticizing DQSH indoctrination it posted more “GLBT News … GLBT Resources for Children … GLBT Religion & Spirituality.”

March madness #3: Jean-Louis de Lolme (1740-1806) grew up in Geneva but moved to England, took a close look at politics, and thought Britain’s Parliament had too much power: The clever line he is best known for was “Parliament can do everything but make a woman a man and a man a woman.” Now, though, the “Equality Act,” likely to pass the House of Representatives, will attempt to go where even Parliament feared to tread.

Equality Act consequences would be legion: I’ll name just two here. First, more biological males competing as women: Two of them easily finished first and second in the recent Connecticut state track championships, and female runner Selina Soule said, “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts. It’s demoralizing.” Second, the Equality Act would give aid and comfort to activists who say parents opposed to their children taking puberty-blocking drugs at age 9, followed by surgery, should lose custody of them.

Other elements make this proposed law as mad as a March hare, but I’m almost out of room. One quick note: If you’re wondering about the difference between hares and rabbits, hares are larger, and their fur changes color from brown or gray in the summer to white in the winter. The color of rabbits’ fur does not change.

Most politicians are hares. They should watch an epic war film from 1957, The Bridge on the River Kwai, that ends with an army doctor gazing at destruction and saying, “Madness … madness.” We’re on our way.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is the former editor in chief of WORLD, having retired in January 2022, and former dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism.



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