Conservative Conversation + Podcasts

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This week, another tiptoe through non-sequiturs, riffs, racy stories, and long forgotten factoids and anecdotes about TV, movies, and whatever else pops into the GLoPer’s psyches.  We’ve got Liberace, Rob may be re-locating, Jonah has anger, John knows why fandom is addicting, and a story about Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn that has a good end.

Why Today’s Girls Might Not Want to Be Girls


After reading Susan Quinn’s post about saving our children, I may have an answer to the problem of girls not wanting to be girls. I wonder if the problem is not that they don’t want to be girls, but that they aren’t keen on the feminist’s vision of what girls must be today. Perhaps they are not eager to be an engineer, or a carpenter, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Today’s society has nearly totally bought into the feminist version of females, who not only successfully compete with men in the job market, but are simply better than men in all walks of life. Girls are told that they must go to college, get a good job, and advance in their careers to become the head of something. Girls have it drummed into them from childhood that they can be anything they want to be, and if they don’t get there it’s men’s fault, or society’s fault. Girls are told, in school and subliminally in advertising, that getting married, having children, and raising them to be productive members of society is not making use of their best talents-that can only happen when they have a degree and a job on Main Street or Wall Street.

Sorting Out the Global Tax Mess


The Group of Seven (G-7)—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—met last week in Cornwall, England. High on its agenda was establishing basic agreement on three major proposals for remaking the international tax system, whose structure looms ever larger in today’s global economy.

These three proposals are of uneven merit. The first calls for a 15 percent minimum tax on the global income of all international companies. This means that each company will have to pay at least 15 percent of its income in taxes in every nation in which it does business. The second is targeted against various kinds of tax havens. Under today’s law, the corporate tax is localized to the nation that hosts the corporate headquarters. The new proposal allows a limited corporate tax to be imposed in those nations where those company’s products and services are “consumed.” The tax would be imposed only on the 100 largest global companies, to be measured by some future metric, which would be calculated as follows: the first 10 percent of any allocated profits would be taxed as they are under the current system, but 20 percent of the profits above that 10 percent threshold would be taxed under this new regime. Third, as part of the overall deal, each of the various nations agrees to eliminate special taxes on digital sales at the place where the sale is completed, but not at the place where the products are made.

At the outset, it is important to establish a sensible metric by which to judge these proposals. To a classical liberal, the proper approach seeks to move government tax policy to the ideal that has been congenial since the earliest time: low flat taxes on a broad range of economic activities, which seeks to drive up production and income. In the long run, this means taxation imposes fewer economic distortions on underlying market activities.

Selecting Customers


One reason American culture is in such a sorry state today is because the customer is always right.

I have explained on Ricochet before why this aphorism is actually a bad business model. It encourages misbehavior among customers and thereby increases expenses (in turn, increasing prices) while making both customers and employees miserable.

David Armano, Founder of Armano Design Group, strategist, marketer and former Global Strategy Director for Edelman, joins Carol Roth to talk about his journey with work displacement during the pandemic and the future of work. David and Carol discuss whether companies should be involved in “social impact” causes, the disruption of education, the creator economy and cryptocurrency.

Plus, a “Now You Know” on Alfa Romeos.

Was Henry Ford a Nazi?


A lot of people already think they know. Such a stark, blunt question deserves a direct answer: No, he wasn’t. Ford did not support Hitler or his ideology. He wasn’t a Nazi, officially or unofficially.  What Ford was, however, was pretty awful without ever getting near a swastika armband. He was one of the most powerful, influential anti-Semites in history, and did immense harm all over the world by lending his once-golden name to vicious lies. Ford didn’t go around quoting Hitler, but Hitler was grateful that “a great man like Ford” was sounding the alarm.

Ford’s notorious publicity campaign against the Jews began after World War I when he bought a local newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and turned it into a heavily subsidized powerhouse of anti-Jewish agitation. That campaign largely ended by the end of the Twenties, by which time he had other, more pressing problems. Hitler didn’t come to power until 1933. But the effects of Ford’s pseudo-history lingered for decades to come, for the millions of Jews he slurred, and for the reputation of Henry Ford himself.

Heroism of a Journalist


But throughout my long and bitter tribulations I never allowed myself to believe I was unfortunate; instead I told myself that I was privileged far beyond most men. For I had the faith that some day I would return to the heaven that is America and that when I did my happiness would far surpass any pleasure that I had experienced in the past. Adversity taught what all too few people learn – the lesson of appreciation for even the slightest of the many things our great country affords. – F.J. O’Gara

Note: I had originally intended this post for Memorial Day, but it proved a bit unwieldy to complete. But today is Flag Day, and my father’s birthday, June 14th, 1912. God rest his soul.

Vatican Denies ‘Very Catholic’ Biden a Mass with Pope Francis


From taxpayer-funded abortion to suing the Little Sisters of the Poor, the dogma lives loudly in our very Catholic president. So, Tuesday morning, he’s popping into the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis. Never wanting to miss a photo-op, Team Biden asked that the president attend mass with the Pontifex Maximus. Maybe Joe could make intercessory prayers to St. Margaret Sanger and Pachamama.

The Vatican, however, wasn’t too keen on the idea. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops meets Wednesday to create a committee to write a document about “Eucharistic coherence.” That’s already a tense enough issue without a pro-abortion politician receiving communion with Pope Francis. They informed Biden that a mass wasn’t going to happen.

The issue has jumped to the fore with Biden’s election because one is not supposed to participate in the Eucharist when in a state of sin. I mean, it’s right there in the Book:

Further COVID Madness


The lockdowns last March violated everything we knew about pandemics. No less an authority than Dr. Jay Bhattacharya stated this last year. Our health geniuses locked down everyone rather than urging older people and those with comorbidities to lockdown. The result was an economic downturn, the destruction of many small businesses, and widespread despair and suicides. Children, especially the poor, suffered because Zoom education is inferior to being taught in person. People like Fauci appeared unconcerned about these terrible, easily foreseeable, results of their policies.

Masks were required in many places where they have little or no effect. This is especially the case where completely useless homemade masks were acceptable. The CDC overestimated the risk of going maskless outside by a factor of 100 or more. This madness has only recently begun to recede. But we can sure that the feds will continue to require it into the indefinite future.

‘White Privilege’ in the US; ‘Black Privilege’ in Africa? ‘Han Privilege’ in China?


All the wailing and gnashing of teeth over “whiteness,” “white privilege,” and “white supremacy” in the United States, and the supposed problems “non-white” people has got me wondering – what happens in the parts of the world in which a particular group of “non-white” people dominate the culture and/or the power structures, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Central and South America. This is probably best answered by someone who has lived in areas other than the United States or Europe.

I am a 65-year-old pale-skinned man of English and German ancestry with blue eyes and a little blond hair remaining on my head. I live in Texas.

Stick the Landing


I recently watched one of this year’s Oscar-nominated films, Minari, and was pleasantly surprised. Minari tells the story of a young Korean family circa 1980 struggling to turn a few acres of Arkansas country into a Korean vegetable farm.

It was quite good, until it wasn’t.

Ten Rifle Companies


Today is the 246th Birthday of the United States Army. On June 14th, 1775, the Second Continental Congress passed the following:

“Resolved, That six companies of expert riflemen, be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia… [and] as soon as completed, shall march and join the army near Boston, to be there employed as light infantry, under the command of the chief Officer in that army.” (here)

What Ma Bell Taught Me


In 1957, I started work as a telephone installer in Watts.  I lived in the neighboring town of Compton.  Here I am looking Bell Telephone spiffy, decked out in my work belt and pocket protector, in front of my ladder-equipped truck.

I was looking to make some money and perhaps begin a career. But within a year, my plans changed.  The reason for that change of plans is what this post is about.

Dots That Don’t Connect

The reaction by the public health apparatus to Covid-19 has left me scratching my head almost since the beginning.  Several things have just never added up.

1) Why the determination to quarantine the healthy?

The PM has announced that Covid restrictions will not end on June 21 as planned and may continue for up to four more weeks. “At a certain stage, we are going to have to learn to live with the virus and to manage it as best we can,” the prime minister said.

James, of course, doesn’t think restrictions will ever end.

Findlay, Ohio: A Case Study in Wokification


This weekend, I traveled to the city of Findlay, Ohio, to see an old friend. I expected to find beautiful buildings and good conversation, and I did. What I didn’t expect to find was a corporo-civic woke propaganda campaign being waged on its streets.

First, I wandered around the older residential neighborhoods and saw a few of the usual yard signs and rainbow flags. This is to be expected. But downtown surprised me. Rainbow banners festooned the lamp posts along Main Street, and a rainbow blob (intended to be a rainbow Ohio, I gather) had been painted at the center of the main intersection, in front of the county courthouse. A large flag mounted to a coffee shop read “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,” and a bulletin board at the local deli was covered with posters advertising a marijuana dispensary and various LGBTQWERTY clubs and activities. Two activists of some kind roamed the streets in their Pride Month shirts, handing out business cards, while a local eccentric, also clad in rainbow attire, muttered to himself and occasionally yelled indecipherable words at the joggers and dog-walkers going to and fro.

. . .

Whattaya’ Wanna’ Be….?!’: Pool week-The Discriminators


“You ever do crossovers or bobbing?” One of the men asked the Reserve Marine Recon man sitting across from him.  It was Sunday night in Key West Florida and we were finishing dinner and sipping a cold one.  

“Nope!” He said confidently.  We all just made silent eye contact around the table. He has no idea what is coming. No one says anything but we all know tomorrow is going to be a nightmare for him.   At the time pre-SCUBA was not a prerequisite for the Marines and SCUBA school was grossly underestimated by them.  

Adoption & the Journey to Healing


It was on Tuesday, June 13, 1967 — 54 years ago yesterday — that a nineteen-year-old girl gave me the precious gift of life.

Then, from a place of love and fierce protection, my birth mother gave me the precious gift of unselfish love and made the tough choice of allowing someone else to raise me as their own, in the hopes that I’d have a better life than she believed she could provide.

Ring the Bell!


Clang! cried the bell, as noisemakers rattled and whoops and cheers rang out
Clang! pealed the bell, as noisemakers chattered with yells and applause
Clang! sang the bell, as noisemakers roared and voices whooped and hollered.
And I stood there, covered my face, and cried.

*     *     *

And Here We Are…


I’ve always wanted to read Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” but have never gotten around to it.  I tried once, but I got distracted, and drifted away.  This summer I plan to read Harvey Mansfield’s “Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction.”  Maybe that will inspire me to try again.  Powerline’s Scott Johnson just finished reading “Democracy in America” and wrote a wonderful post on it today, which included the following passage:

Tocqueville wrote as a friend of freedom. He worried that the passion for equality (think “equity”) would overwhelm freedom and that democracy would therefore tend toward a new form of despotism.

It’s hard to imagine a more precise and concise description of our current situation in America in 2021.  And remember, Tocqueville was a Frenchman in 1840.  His prescience is simply astounding.  I’ve just got to read his work sometime.  And Scott’s summary should be shouted from the rooftops.  In fact, I just can’t help but repeat it right now:  “Tocqueville wrote as a friend of freedom. He worried that the passion for equality (think “equity”) would overwhelm freedom and that democracy would therefore tend toward a new form of despotism.”  And here we are.  Mr. Tocqueville would look at Critical Race Theory, our tax code, affirmative action, America’s entitlement industry, our educational system, and the modern Democrat party and he would just grimly nod his head.  He saw it coming.  And here we are.

And There a Rose


It was too hot to be out digging, but someone was just the same. There was a pile of old manure nearby, sweet and hayey, and a rose in an old clay pot. A forkful went into the bottom of the trench, got dug in, and then followed by another further along. The shade was just about clinging to the border there by the wall, but the sun was beating down. For a while, she just stood and watched, taking in the flowers all around the little walled garden, occasionally glancing back. Either time was flowing a lot quicker here, or she was losing herself in the colours and the smells as much as the solitary gardener was in the digging because, when she looked back again, the last section of dug trench had been filled in and the rose was being firmed gently into place in the ground, its empty pot lying on its side nearby. She made a decision, closed the delicate wrought-iron gate behind her, and started on up the path.

The crunch of the gravel made the gardener turn, and the spade fell to earth with a muffled clump, wobbling back and forth a moment on the ground. ‘Surprised to see me?’ she said.