Contributor Created with Sketch. On the Democratic Debate

 

Esta noche, vi el debate presidencial Demócrata. Lo siento … Tonight, I watched the Democratic presidential debate. Bilingual statements in broken Spanish (and broken English) were a theme, as were dire warnings on climate change, attacks on Trump, and a general thrashing of Beto. In summary, I’ll second the President:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Apple of Her Zeyde’s Eye

 

On the day her mother was going to give birth to her baby brother, Shirley’s father took her to visit her Bubbi and Zeyde. She adored her Zeyde and felt deeply loved by him as well. That day, however, turned into a nightmare. After they’d visited for a while, her Zeyde left the room; suddenly the bathroom door slammed open, her Zeyde screaming in pain. He had taken some kind of toxic substance to try to kill himself. It slowly did its work while he thrashed in agony. Shirley was stunned into silence, unable to respond. Her father ran to his father-in-law’s rescue, too late. It was all over in minutes.

Shirley was lost in the nightmare of confusion and pain. What did this all mean? What happened to Zeyde? What was she supposed to do?

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Contributor Created with Sketch. First Democrat Primary Debate

 

The first debate of the 2020 Democrat primary race is tonight. (The second one is tomorrow.) If for some reason you want to watch it, and want to chat with fellow fellow Ricochet members while you do so, then come on over to the Ricochet Live Chat. Extra points for anyone who can tell me who the bald guy is, who the guy with glasses is, and who the guy I thought was Blasio (until I saw Blasio) is. (Blasio is the one behind the peacock. Ha.)

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Portland Through the Eyes of a Conservative

 

Why does a conservative guy like me love a liberal city like Portland? Let me explain.

The New York Times has long been infatuated with Portland, running numerous features on the city over the years, probably because Portland is a “cute” city, a quirky and lefty sort of place. Unfortunately, every time they run a feature on Portland, they seem to mention the quirky and liberal Voodoo Doughnuts, like it’s somehow the quintessence of the city.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. History: Not About What They Did, But Who

 

When your kids learn about George Washington at school, what facts might be of importance? It would be good to know that he was Commander of the Continental Army. That he was our first President. The fact that he was a slave owner would also be a pertinent piece of information. How much time would you want teachers to spend telling your children about George Washington’s sex life?

While you might expect stoic people like George and Martha to stick to the missionary position, we have determined that to spice things up George liked to . . .

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Anatomy of Disruption

 

I’ve been doing some thinking recently about the life cycle of industries. “Industries” in this context means anything that you can make a living at. If you have an idea, a new idea, something that will genuinely change the world, what happens with it? It seems to follow the old adage about every political cause (probably because political causes qualify as industries in this regard.) Let’s take a walk through it:

It Begins as a Movement

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. From the Annals of the “Careful What You Wish For” Department

 

My hometown of Birmingham in the United Kingdom has been rent for weeks by parental demonstrations against a new “Sex and Relationship” education mandate for primary (elementary) school children, and things are getting rather heated. Parents are objecting to the fact that, although they can request that their children not be taught the “Sex” part of the classes, they cannot remove their children from the “Relationship” part. That the “Relationship” part covers relationships between same-sex couples, which the parents find inimical to their core beliefs.

Fairly restrained coverage can be found in The Telegraph, but The Guardian has the photo that’s worth a thousand words (full disclosure: my family never read The Guardian. We only read The Telegraph. After a servant had ironed it, of course):

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Race Madness at Oberlin College

 

This past week an Ohio jury delivered an enormous verdict of $44.4 million against Oberlin College for the massive abuses that it and its students inflicted on Gibson’s Bakery, a small, family-owned business that has long operated in Oberlin, Ohio. The jury verdict required Oberlin to pay over $11 million in actual damages to Gibson’s and its owners. On top of that, the jury awarded punitive damages of $33 million, which, under Ohio law, will most likely be reduced to roughly $22 million, or double the actual damages awarded. And finally, the judge instructed the jury to award Gibson’s between $5 and $10 million in attorney’s fees. These numbers are no surprise in light of the seriousness of the charges of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trade libel, and more made by the College against the bakery.

The jury verdict in this case is instructive because it illustrates the massive transformation—all for the worse—in the civil rights movement over the past sixty years. When I was a college student, the Supreme Court waded into the law of defamation in a suit brought by L.B. Sullivan, an elected Commissioner of Montgomery County, Alabama, against the New York Times. The Times had published an advertisement—Heed their Rising Voices—which documented violent attacks on student groups in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Montgomery, Alabama, and elsewhere. The letter was signed by sixty-four leading civil rights leaders, all intent on exposing the systematic evils of segregation. They urged contributions to support the work of Dr. Martin Luther King. The statements about Montgomery talked about “truckloads of police armed with shot guns and tear-gas ringed the Alabama State College Campus.” No mention was made of Sullivan by name or by his office. Nonetheless, he claimed that the advertisement defamed him personally, given that there were some factual inaccuracies in the account.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #34 Alan Moore

 

This week, I’m joined again by my friend Peter Paik, Professor at University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and at Yonsei University in Seoul, author of a book on pop-culture visions of radical political change that’s most timely: From Utopia To Apocalypse.

Peter and I talk about the comic books of Alan Moore, the main subject of his book: Watchmen, made into a movie by Zack Snyder and now about to become an HBO series; V for Vendetta, made into a movie by the Wachowskis, the Matrix creators; From Hell, made into a movie by the Hughes brothers, starring Johnny Depp; and Miracleman, a Cold-War-to-End-of-History story that has not yet been adapted.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. The Children on the Border

 

It’s been almost a week since the AP reported the latest – and worst – story about the treatment of children in a USCBP facility. Not one. Single. Post about it here on Ricochet.

*Crickets*

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This Friday, the world’s leading economic powers will gather in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit, and though it won’t be on the official agenda, the rising tensions between Iran and the United States will loom large over the gathering. Since May, the Islamic Republic has carried out half a dozen acts of sabotage and violence against the U.S. and its allies. What is the story behind Iran’s escalating provocations? Is it looking for war? Is America? Earlier this week, Hudson Institute scholar Michael Doran offered a compelling account of the strategic thinking behind these recent Iranian actions. In “What Iran Is Really Up To,” published in Mosaic, Doran presents compelling evidence that Iran is seeking to sow fear among European governments in the hope that they will pressure the Trump Administration to reinstate two vital waivers that would ensure the continued viability of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This is part of a long game, writes Doran, to revive the Iran Deal and preserve Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. In our podcast this week, Michael Doran joins Jonathan Silver to explain his essay and its argument. He discusses why the revoked waivers are so important, why the Iranians believe their strategy will work, and why the biases of European governments and many American Democrats play right into Iranian hands.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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Last week, nearly 2 million Hong Kong residents gathered to protest a newly proposed extradition bill. Helen Raleigh, senior writer at the Federalist, joins the show to explain the current extradition agreements held between Hong Kong and China, why so many in Hong Kong are angry about the bill and how the extradition bill, if passed, would threaten Hong Kong’s rule of law. After that, Acton’s Trey Dimsdale is joined by Anne Rathbone Bradley, affiliate scholar of economics at Acton, and Adam MacLeod, professor of law at Faulkner University. Together, they break down Kisor v. Wilkie, a case currently pending in the Supreme Court.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Curtis LeMay on Inter-Service Rivalry

 

“The Soviets are our adversary. Our enemy is the Navy.” — Curtis LeMay

Inter-service rivalries can be as vicious. The Navy and Air Force argue about the importance of aircraft carriers. Ground support planes such as the A-10 keep on being canceled and resuscitated because they are so effective (even though not sexy like fighter aircraft). All three services competed for dominance in space (McNamara gave it to the Air Force).

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Welcome Baby Girl Mandel!

 

Excuse my absence this week (and for the next few), we’ve been a bit busy since the weekend.

Our daughter was born on Saturday afternoon right here in our bedroom. She joins an older sister and two older brothers (5, 4 and 2) who are over the moon to welcome her into their crew. It was a good birth as births go, and recovery is going really well (as thankfully it always has in the past). My husband Seth took the week off of work to ease the transition and so far it’s going really well, but we’ll see how life is going after he goes back. We took our first trip out of the house yesterday as a family of six, out with Seth’s parents (visiting from New Jersey) to the neighborhood pool and out to dinner.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. God Thought for the Day

 

We live in kinship with the Holy Spirit, who comforts us and quietly guides us through our day. Christ’s sacrifice, and our faith in it, makes our kinship possible. In that kinship, our yoke is easy and our burden light. The trick is to carry the burden and in the same direction, for the same purposes, as the spirit. How to do that? Listening is required, but that is challenging due to the Lord’s soft and still voice.

Our load is also lightened by letting go of our painful past. We ask forgiveness, we give up on grievances done to us in past times. Christ accepts these things from us and releases us from carrying them – if we choose to do so. Its the ‘choosing’ God is patiently waiting for. A sort of surrender to pure goodness. A will to release your will of its burdens.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Hot Arts

 

My father provides ideas for stories from time to time, or the core of the tale itself, upon occasion. Beyond the similarity of our speaking voices, our storytelling and argumentation resonate harmoniously, making for easy writing. The nub of this tale starts with an email from the senior Colonel, in which he offered two images of heat: a blacksmith and an angel standing on the sun. This prompted reflections on people working with heat to create things.

My father grew up in the countryside, outside of Philadelphia. Sure enough, in the 1940s there was still a blacksmith in the community. The blacksmith has lived on in my father’s childhood memories, like the inquisitive postmistress, and his favorite childhood toy. Blacksmiths create things both practical and aesthetically pleasing through the application of so much heat that iron or steel becomes malleable. For some great pictures and description of the process, you should read Scott Wilmot’s “Homesteading: 3 Days of Blacksmithing.” Blacksmiths work in close proximity to extreme heat and can only create with metal heated to such a temperature as could inflict devastating injuries in case of accidental contact. 

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. One Algorithm to Find Them

 

Three Algorithms for the Social Media kings under the sky,
Seven for the Political lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Journalists doomed to die,
One for the Google Lord on his dark server
In the Land of San Francisco where the Shadows lie.
One Algorithm to rule them all, One Algorithm to find them,
One Algorithm to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of San Francisco where the Shadows lie.

Flee you fools!

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Herb Meyer – RIP

 

Herb Meyer, arguably the intellectual driving force behind Pres. Reagan’s policy to defeat the Soviet Union, passed away recently. That is a very great loss.

Tributes to Herb can be found here:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. No Means No!

 

I think we should take the Palestinians at their word: they are saying “no” to peace and prosperity; we should say “no” to providing them any more help.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt should pack up their portfolios, hand-outs, graphs, easels, and charts and come home. The U.S. has spent far too much time trying to assuage a people that hates us, that is corrupt, and that holds the world hostage to their threats of violence and hand-wringing. It’s time for the U.S. to stop beating its head against the proverbial wall and let the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian people.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Am I Entitled to Reparations?

 
First, my family did not benefit from owning slaves (at least not for the past millennia or so, what happened before that time is hard to say). Living in the South, they were early members of the Resistance Movement against John C. Calhoun. They cleared land, farmed and built everything themselves. They missed out on the economic bonanza of King Cotton and tobacco. They were focused on feeding people, growing animals, and making tools for themselves and others.
(Full Disclosure: They used mules. For those who believe in the rights of animals, an argument can be made these animals deserve compensation. I will take a portion of what you give me and give it to the descendants of mules or those who support mules – like Democrat politicians who expect to cash in on the reparations movement.).
Second, though they were Southerners, my family fought for the Union, were wounded and suffered enormous pain, amputations, and hardship freeing the slaves (except for that one black-sheep relative, Robert E. Lee, who was temporarily confused about what country he lived in — Virginia was not his country; it was his home and state). They also had to sleep on the ground for months with fleas, ticks, and skeeters while conducting military operations against their former neighbors. All this cost them earnings, depleted family savings, diminished my family’s wealth and my inheritance, and harmed their health, which may have been passed on to me. A few free nights at the Holiday Inn might be nice recompense for their sacrifice.
Third, my family suffered immeasurably resisting slavery in the South and were ostracized for their stand for generations. Church ice cream socials were misery for us. Some free Fro Yo coupons could help soothe this memory. (Actually, I have no memory of this, but you can rest assured I will conjure one up if I am called to testify before Congress.)
Fourth, long before slavery, my forefathers endured the hardship of coming to America on cramped ships, labored settling the land, and faced deprivation, plague, and pestilence (all without cable, flat screens or cell phones). This restricted and diminished the capital and property of their estates and led to my current predicament. At a very minimum, this entitles my family to some form of compensation. Three free months of internet service might be a start, but I am going to encourage all of you to come up with something you think is fair. The NFL TV package would be much appreciated.
Fifth, my family continues to suffer. But now it is from the government’s oppression. The affirmative action, disfavor, and prejudice demonstrated against us in order to advance others solely due to their gender, race, or their illegal status is intolerable. Apparently, all men were not created equal in 1776 and are still not equal today — and the government remains determined to keep it that way. So help a fella out.
Elizabeth Warren is creating more classes and intersections to be compensated for their suffering. You can be assured that sooner or later I will be caught up in her net. And when I am, I intend to make you pay dearly. So settle this matter now and shell out some money. If you do, I promise not to sock it to you later. Scouts honor.
Note: I accept Bitcoin but prefer small denomination currency. No credit cards or checks. Need to keep this on the down-low. And no coins!

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Trey Gowdy and the FBI Transcript That Changed His Mind

 

Some people are saying that the Mueller report declassification process is underway Meanwhile there is a need to be waiting out the Huber Report. That should be coming out any day, although they keep finding more reasons to delay it. We can only hope that the delay is due to more evidence being uncovered instead of more redactions.

  1. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that an FBI transcript he reviewed while in Congress changed his “perspective” of the Mueller investigation.
  2. Republicans have alluded to the mystery transcript, which is believed to be from an FBI informant’s interactions with George Papadopoulos.
  3. Gowdy has previously said the transcript is a potential “game-changer” in terms of the public’s opinion of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.

Republicans have hinted at the existence of a transcript that contains exculpatory information for Papadopoulos, who the FBI claims was the catalyst for its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Lessons From My Mother

 

I’ve mentioned this favorite saying of my mother’s many times before. And for the first time, when I did my due diligence and searched the Internet before I wrote this, I found it attributed to someone else: Helen Gurley Brown. Pretty sure Mum didn’t get it from her, and I’ve long wondered if it was, perhaps, a line from a radio comedy show of the ’30s or ’40s that Mum heard and remembered. I guess there’ll forever be a mystery, and an unanswered question in my mind about that.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. How the Nerds Took Revenge

 

We were all once nerds, or cool kids, jocks, bullies, dorks, AV cart-pushers, theater geeks, motorheads, preppies, break dancers, valley girls, wastoids, heshers, skaters, surfers, outcasts, and teacher’s pets. Microchip technology was nascent as we learned the term “hacker” from Matthew Broderick changing his grades via modem, while Anthony Michael Hall demonstrated how hyperactive geeks could end up with the Homecoming Queen.

We delighted in watching nerds take revenge. After all, those narcissistic jocks deserved it, which became an oft-repeated trope in many films of the 1980s. The smartest, but most socially awkward would exact vengeance on anyone who previously shunned them, both men and women. While comedic in tone and extremely satisfying to watch at the time, there’s no doubt that said retribution has since morphed into something darker; the entitled psyche of yesterday’s and today’s disenfranchised.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Subtle Patriotism of Hidden Figures

 

Hidden Figures is an all right movie about black women working for NASA in Virginia during segregation. The movie hits the usual beats about racism being bad and woman being empowered in the usually overly sentimental and unrealistic ways that Hollywood has become so fond of.

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