Hold the Eggs

The news that Apple and Facebook will contribute towards the cost to their female employees of freezing their eggs has not been generally well-received.

The response of Melanie Mcdonagh, writing in The Spectator was not atypical:

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Caveat Lector: The News from Kobani

Ricochet members are fairly sophisticated consumers of the mainstream media, so perhaps what I’m about to say is already obvious to you. I bring it up because I was speaking yesterday to someone of whom I’d say, usually, “He’s a careful reader.” I was surprised because he remarked, casually–he threw this in, we were talking about something else–that he was delighted to read that the airstrikes were working near Kobani.

“They are?” I said. “What makes you say that?”

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Saturday Night Science: The Great Influenza

The Great Influenza by John M. BarryIn the year 1800, the practice of medicine had changed little from that in antiquity. The rapid progress in other sciences in the 18th century had had little impact on medicine, which one historian called “the withered arm of science.”

This began to change as the 19th century progressed. Researchers — mostly in Europe and especially in Germany — began to lay the foundations for a scientific approach to medicine and public health, understanding the causes of disease and searching for means of prevention and cure. The invention of new instruments for medical examination, anesthesia, and antiseptic procedures began to transform the practice of medicine and surgery.

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Conservative Turns Tables, Wins Lefty Video Contest to Oppose ‘Big Money in Our Politics’

Tom Steyer Ad 2014A funny thing happened to a video contest put on by lefties to highlight the scourge of big money in politics. A conservative video won!

The video with the most votes — by a factor of 20 — highlighted the influence of the biggest individual spender in American politics today: Billionaire left-wing activist Tom Steyer. But we should expect that victory by popular acclaim to be erased from memory by the leftists, Soviet-style. Let me explain.

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Parents’ Weekend at Hillsdale

In the morning — yes, Saturday morning — I will get up at the crack of dawn and make my way to the Dow Center at Hillsdale College to meet with the parents of my students and chat with them about the course and how their children are doing. For reasons explained in some detail in a piece I posted five years ago on Powerline, Hillsdale is one of the few places in the country where this is possible. Schools that take federal money do in this matter and in a great many others precisely as they are told, and the gentleman responsible for attaching this particular string to the federal grants to higher education was none other than James Buckley.

If you want to read a proper appreciation of what I and my colleagues will be doing tomorrow morning, you should pick up a copy of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal and read John Miller’s fine article in the Opinion section. Alternatively, you can tap on this link right now and read it online.

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Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
The Curling of Hair (and Smoke)

N2K_001bMona and Jay have a guest this week, Greg Lukianoff, who discusses free speech on campus—more like the suppression of.  Examples will curl your hair, if your hair is still curlable, after all these years of free-speech erosion.



Then the hosts range widely, as is their wont, discussing issues both political and cultural. Political issues include Ebola, or the politicization of (and racialization of). Cultural issues include this curious question: Shouldn’t it be possible to buy a pair of sneakers or a shirt without attending what amounts to a rock concert? (Jay fears he is turning into Andy Rooney, the paradigmatic curmudgeon.)

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Female-only School Accused of Sexism against Women Who Think They’re Men


“That’s a man, baby!”

Famously liberal Wellesley College has a serious problem on its hands. The female-only alma mater of Hillary Clinton has long been on the bleeding edge of feminist theory, but recent developments in the gender wars threaten their PC cred.

Recently, a matriculating young woman decided to define herself as a man. Technically “Timothy Boatwright” calls herself a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” (whatever that means) but insists that everyone on campus treat her like a dude. Wellesley’s staff and student body sheepishly complied as they have with other similarly confused undergrads.

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Foreign Affairs
Kissinger’s World Order, Rewriting History, and The War of the Week

A Block: Doomed To Repeat The Rewritten Past?Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 2.18.23 PM

The New York Times told readers that Henry Kissenger’s World Order is “a book that every member of Congress should be locked in a room with — and forced to read before taking the oath of office.” But is our 56th Secretary of State trying to rewrite history?

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The Peregrine Podcast: Immigration Reform and the Central American Surge

In a new installment of the Hoover Institution’s immigration podcast series, Peregrine, I spoke with Madeline Zavodny, professor of economics at Agnes Scott College, about this summer’s deluge of child immigrants from Central America and what it tells us about the state of the nation’s immigration policy. Herein, she details what led to the influx, how it affected the immigration debate, what should be done with the children, and how it’s likely to impact the future of immigration reform efforts. Listen in:

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Bill Gates Has a Big Idea for Tax Reform — And It’s Excellent

On his gatesnotes blogBill-Gates-e1394819477646, Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates offers his thoughts about inequality, particularly concerning economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Among his insights: (a) extreme inequality is a societal problem, and government has a ameliorative role, (b) Piketty underplays how much of American superwealth comes from entrepreneurs rather than passive rentiers, (c) inequality analysis need to look at consumption data, not just wealth and income, (d) Piketty understates the many forces that decay wealth. Gates:

Take a look at the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans. About half the people on the list are entrepreneurs whose companies did very well (thanks to hard work as well as a lot of luck). Contrary to Piketty’s rentier hypothesis, I don’t see anyone on the list whose ancestors bought a great parcel of land in 1780 and have been accumulating family wealth by collecting rents ever since. In America, that old money is long gone—through instability, inflation, taxes, philanthropy, and spending.

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Chris Christie: Too Hot for TV?

Feel free to curse me privately for that headline.

Chris Christie has yet another viral video making the rounds, this one featuring a dustup he had with a radio show caller criticizing his handling of public pension and health benefits. Because the media has such a short attention span — and because the novelty of Christie’s pugilistic style has worn off — many viewers may have forgotten just how nimble the big man can be in a fight. Here’s the clip:

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Damage Control: Obama Appoints an Ebola Czar

Things are becoming dire . . . not necessarily for those of us who fear that Ebola may spread to the US, but for Barack Obama and the Democrats. If things were not becoming really, really dire, the President would not have done what he just did — which is to appoint — drum roll, please — an “Ebola czar.”

That this is a-made-for television drama is clear from the most impressive fact about Ron Klain, the new Ebola czar. He knows nothing about medicine or epidemiology — nothing more, that is, than you or I know.

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And That’s Where It All Went Wrong

World History has plenty of moments where a single decision — or a seemingly insignificant act — brought about enduring disaster that appears, in retrospect, to have been be tragically avoidable. The events of late summer of 1914 come to mind.

More obscurely, Winston Churchill famously regretted the monkey who bit King Alexander of Greece on the leg, which caused a fatal infection and set off a succession crisis  in during the Greco-Turkish War, arguably leading to the deaths of a quarter million people.

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Get the Politics Out of Money

George Will’s Prager University video on the regulation of political speech is one of the best the site has ever produced: it’s insightful, slick, and hard-hitting without being explicitly partisan. Watch the whole thing and post it on Facebook; it might get someone thinking. Towards the end, however, Will makes a point in passing that deserved more attention:

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First-World Predicaments

shutterstock_164988680So, I’m reclining in a chair at the bedside of an old man, asleep, in a nursing home. Life is easy when the senile sleep.

On the other side of my chair is a coffee table with a single item, taunting me: a container of delicious cookies.

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Radio Free Delingpole
Napoleon, Graffiti, and Climbing the Great Pyramids of Egypt

The Emperor

Emperor Delingpole Shall Liberate Occupied Europe

New York Times bestselling author Andrew Roberts makes his first appearance on Radio Free Delingpole in Episode 62. James and Andrew begin the podcast discussing Napoleon: A Life, which has been called the definitive biography of the iconic French soldier-statesman.

But it wouldn’t be Radio Free Delingpole if there weren’t other stories. And this week James tells us how to sneak past the Guards of the Great Pyramids to climb to the top and watch the sunrise. What he found at the top will surprise you.

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Introducing the Oppression Index!

We’ve all argued with liberals, especially online. The issue could be health care, tax rates or city zoning rules, but they’ll quickly turn their policy disagreement into personal attacks.

Conservative: “I think hiking the minimum wage will reduce jobs.”
Progressive: “You would say that, RICH RETHUGLICAN!”
Conservative: “Actually, I’m lower middle class, so…”
Progressive: “Are you denying your WHITE privilege?”
Conservative: “Well, I’m Asian, and…”
Progressive: “I’m glad the PATRIARCHY protects your precious job!”
Conservative: “Wrong again. I’m a woman.”
Progressive: “Probably sitting at home baking cookies for your husband!”
Conservative: “I’m a lesbian. By the way, who are you?”
Progressive: “Stop voting against your own self-interest by electing old white men like me!”

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Meet Roman Genn

Fans of National Review admire his wickedly clever caricatures, and will love this first cut of a recent interview with artist Roman Genn.

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The Ricochet Podcast
The Professors

Ivy League

This week, Ebola fever — catch it! (or don’t). Then, author/academic, and professional prognosticator, Alan Dershowitz. His new book Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel’s Just War Against Hamas sets the tone for a discussion about Israel, Hamas, ISIS, and the politics of anti-semitism. Finally, when she becomes a he and then enrolls at a female only college, what happens next? The answer may surprise you.

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One Nation, Under Lockdown…

Lockdowns, bans, “zero tolerance” and the like have become everyday events for citizens of these United States. When it comes to risk, the heavy hand of government, by default, swings into action with maximal coercion. This has become the rule; ordinary. Yesterday, we learned from the CDC that a citizen exposed to Ebola in the US — the latest nurse infected — “should not have flown” according to Dr. Tom Friedan of CDC. Although she displayed no symptoms at the time, the CDC has asked all passengers to contact them. This is because, although the risk of infection from those without symptoms is low, it is not zero, especially in an enclosed space with limited air exchange and close contact. It is well known that for most viral diseases, viral particles are shed by infected asymptomatic individuals — albeit in small amounts compared to those with symptoms. Transmission is unlikely, but not at all impossible. None of this applies, in the eyes of the Obama Administration, to passengers departing from affected areas of Africa en route to the US.

I cannot help but note the glaring differences in leftist policy regarding prevention of this highly lethal disease when compared to other favorite causes. Consider progressive attitude toward guns, for example. They consider their possession to be a health care issue. Their answer is first and foremost to ban them outright.

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The Economics of The Walking Dead

250px-PhilipBlakeTFGAs has been pointed out in nearly every commentary on AMC’s The Walking Dead, the series is best when it focuses less on the horrors of shambling zombies than on those committed by survivors against each other.

Through the first two seasons, most of these came from hot-blooded emotions such as fear and desperation; ordinary people making bad — even evil — decisions under duress, rather than out of malice. That changed in the third episode of the third season with introduction of Philip Blake, aka the Governor.

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Ricochet Forum: Submit Your Questions for Allen West

WestIn the next iteration of our ongoing Ricochet Forum series, we invite you to submit your questions for Allen West — former Representative of Florida’s 22nd congressional district, retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, and one of the leading lights of the Tea Party movement. Whether you want to ask about American politics, national security, or those persistent presidential campaign rumors, the floor is yours.

Simply ask your questions in the comments section of this post. Next week, former Congressman West will stop by Ricochet with his answers to the best inquiries. And remember — you must be a Ricochet member to participate. We’ll see you in the comments.

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A Heartening Moment from Cable News

Let’s get this out of the way up front: all cable news networks are loud, dumb, and overproduced. To the extent that Fox is better than its competition, it’s because it’s loud, dumb, overproduced and fairly conservative (by the way, I exempt from this criticism Special Report, Red Eye, and Neil Cavuto’s show, all of which strike me as magnificently well done). Still, I regard the sound of cable news droning on in the background as tantamount to hearing the whirring of the drills from your dentist’s waiting room. I’ve long wanted to get the capital together to create a cable news network for people like me — one where Sam Elliot reads the news at a deliberate pace while sipping scotch in a leather wingback chair. Were the CNN moniker not taken, we’d call it the Coolidge News Network and our tagline would be “Sit down, shut up, and everything will be fine.”

With that in mind, I’m grateful anytime that a low-blood pressure impulse manages to find its way onto the airwaves. And, unlikely candidate though he is, Shepard Smith managed to do it yesterday:

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Front Page of the Day

Posted without comment, because, really, what is there to add?

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.05.41 AM

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