Ann’s interview with Kevin Sabet, drug policy advisor to both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Show links:

The Camel’s Nose

 

From Pixabay, via juls26

An Arabian fable tells the story of a traveler and his camel. During the night, the camel asks his master if he can place his nose inside the tent for warmth. After the master allows the camel’s nose, soon, the camel’s head and finally its whole body enters the tent. The moral of the story is once a small act is accepted, larger, more undesirable consequences will follow. Sometimes we may think, “One small transgression, one small sin, one small lie won’t hurt anything.” What we discover is that a small misdemeanor will lead to felonious ends.

Why Do Leftists Ignore Underlying Costs?

 

Is there anything liberals want for which they are willing to do realistic cost/benefit analyses?

The answer seems to be “no.” When they have a cause, liberals don’t care about figuring out consequences and opportunity costs. This disinterest seems to underly their view of wind turbines and high-speed trains and mass transit; ditto for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), organic food, DEI, ESG, COVID restrictions, gun ownership, and, well …. everything.  “Good” things must be mandated. “Bad” things must be banned.

Odds of Trump Jail Time Have Increased

 

I assumed at first that the outrage surrounding the sham verdict created such a potential risk of backlash that the additional injustice of jail time would be omitted in favor of alternative sentencing.  Having accomplished the mission of applying the “felon” tag, they would go no farther.  I now think I was wrong about that.

It is slowly dawning on even MSNBC viewers that abortion is no longer a federal issue. Biden’s mental decline is increasingly obvious. Biden’s record is so appalling that it is impossible to run on it, so some variant of the Trump-as-Hitler issue is all that is left.  I thought the new ads touting Trump’s (brand new) criminal record and alleged hatred of democracy were absurd but I was wrong. Polling shows that a small but significant share of independent voters can be persuaded that the convictions make Trump unfit.

The Game of Cricket — An American’s Explanation

 

I first encountered Cricket when I traveled to India in 2007.  When I arrived in my destination city, Pune, a few hours east of Mumbai, I noticed that in almost every open space there was a ball game. Cricket.  I was intrigued, and there my journey started.  The 2007 Cricket World Cup was under way in the West Indies and in the departure lounge in Kolkata, I watched the match without comprehension.

Since then, I have spent many hours with my Indian and English friends and colleagues watching the sport and having them explain it to me.  I’m certainly not an expert, but I am a fan and believe I understand the game.  The following explanation will be as basic as I can keep it. I ask for forgiveness for any unclarity or errors.

The Death of Schools

 

I don’t know how long it’s been since I logged in to Ricochet…it’s been a while, anyway.  I’m not sure if it’s been since I was appointed, and subsequently elected to the school board.  But just in case, let me just lay the facts on you:  about three years ago (or so), I applied to fill a vacancy on the local public school board.  Then, about two years later ( last November) I stood for election to that position.  Since joining the school board I’ve made it my mission to learn everything I can about how public schools run in Washington State.  And, boy, have I learned a lot!  Last week I was in the bus barn learning about the software they use to schedule bus routes.  I’ve toured elementary schools and observed kids in academics, recess, lunch, etc.  I’ve learned more than I ever thought there was to know about local levies and bonds.

And I also learned that every school district in Washington State has abhorrent policies requiring school officials to lie to parents.  Let me explain…

The Law and “Bump Stocks”

 

In Garland v. Cargill, the Supreme Court has struck down (by a 6-3 vote, split along conservative versus liberal lines) a Trump administration regulation including semiautomatic weapons equipped with so-called bump stocks in the definition of “machine gun” under the National Firearms Act of 1934. The 1934 Act defined a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” A standard semiautomatic weapon requires a succession of distinct trigger pulls, each a “reloading,” that falls outside the statutory definition. A bump stock is a device that increases the rate of those successive trigger pulls through a back-and-forth motion that uses the weapon’s recoil to activate each distinct pull. If speed of firing is the defining feature, there is a puzzle: just how much of an increase in speed is needed to warrant treating the bump stock as a machine gun? Conversely, if the sharp line between a single and multiple firings holds, then the speed of any release does not matter: one trigger pull that produces a hundred bullets makes for a machine gun; a hundred separate (albeit rapid) pulls of the trigger that release a hundred bullets always makes a semiautomatic weapon.

When there’s a need to create a statutory dichotomy, sharp discontinuities are always better than sliding scales. Think of traffic lanes: better to delineate each direction cleanly than permit one lane to gradually meld into the next.

Quotes of the Day: Getting Cultured

 

AT THE CINEMA

This week began my journey to become a more Cultured Person™ (as mentioned in a recent post). On Tuesday, at a small art house theater: The Beacon. My daughter and I went to see director René Clément’s 1960 noir classic Plein Soleil (Purple Noon). It’s a French film, photographed chiefly in Italy, based on an American novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.

(As an unexpected bonus, this film didn’t only offer a cinematic education, but also lessons in ballet, art, and architecture. At one point, a character buys a book containing a collection of the paintings of early Renaissance artist Fra Angelico for his fiancé. The book is flipped through several times in the film, and we get to see his primarily religious work. One of the characters teaches ballet; we see some dancers doing exercises. Many scenes in Rome, Naples, and small Italian villages provide examples of lovely homes, churches, and even government buildings.)

The Good Guys

 

I’m pretty much worn out from watching the ineptitude and lack of values displayed by our Congress and just about everyone else in the federal government. At the same time, I realize that not everyone in Congress swims in The Swamp; that the work of serious representatives is overshadowed by RINOS and the get-along group. We’re also in the minority party, which limits our effectiveness.

So rather than complaining all the time, I’ve decided to focus on the people who are actually getting some things done.  I’m setting up my own personal list of excellence—not perfection—of those who do a good job most of the time, and live by their principles. I’ll also list the criteria by which I’m evaluating them. You are free to add, subtract, or critique these factors. I’m looking ahead to November to see who those folks are that I want to celebrate, and those that I can hope will be thrown out of Congress. You may have your favorite punching bags, but I prefer to focus on the good guys. No one person will probably have all of these qualities, but they must have some of them.

I Think, Therefore I Mow

 

The latest Athwart column (forgive me if this is behind the paywall, current articles usually show up on NRO after a while) was more spot-on than usual for me. I have described Lileks as our Robert Benchley; this piece reminded me of “The Menace of Buttered Toast.” (Look it up. Benchley is always a pleasure.)

My Husqvarna chariot makes it possible for an old guy with a bad back to spend hours making the clippings fly. The 45-acre arboretum where we live, designed and mostly planted by my granddad, is full of nooks and crannies, and mowing gives me a great excuse to visit them. The Point projects out into the Big Pond, with an oak in the middle and tables made of stone slabs that were too big to use in the house. The North Pond is home to two 60-foot sequoias, one of which is a Metasequoia, the prehistoric ancestor of the giant tree that California is famous for. The West Lawn has ginkgo trees and a couple of smaller sequoias, as well as a Franklinia that I need to replace; it flowered five years ago but has been dying since. They flower in November, which was weird enough to please Granddad. There’s a shaded acre where he transplanted trillium bulbs that look spectacular when they come out; it’s anchored by an Elephant Ear Magnolia with leaves the size of beach towels. Across the pond is a nook where the kids have put their beehives — beekeeping is something they have been studying and discussing for years, and this year they took the plunge. The bees like it here; they have already had to divide one hive. Other unusual trees include a weeping larch, a line of black walnuts marching along the south of the property, which were meant to be harvested for furniture at some point, and the largest documented osage orange in New York.

I get regular visits from state foresters checking on our various certified rare and unusual trees. I wish they would come by soon. Something is clobbering my boxwoods, and I don’t know if it’s an invasive moth that has been reported nearby or something else. They put out traps for spotted lanternflies a couple of months ago, and I’ll ask when they come to check on those. We don’t have any ash trees, but the damn lanternflies have ruined neighborhoods in nearby towns like Batavia and Lockport.

Thoughts Related to Death and Dying

 

Yesterday, we had a memorial service for my Mother, Mary Rutter, who passed away on Tuesday, June 4th after some serious health issues. (Here is a link to her obituary.) As I move through the busy steps of taking care of business associated with her death, I want to share a few observations with you.

First, Mom took her work seriously. She was super-smart, and received a bacteriology degree and a master’s in Public Health Administration. She worked at the Texas Department of Health reference lab for nearly 30 years. I followed in her steps, and those of my dad, becoming a long-time public employee myself. One of the things I loved doing as a Governor’s Office employee was getting her the attached letter from my boss as she retired. She taught me that work was not our identity or purpose but it was worth doing well.

America, then and now

 

Brendan Carr, Republican member of the FCC, has been criticizing Joe Biden, alleging that since the passage of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2021, wherein $42 billion was appropriated to connect rural America with high-speed fiber optic cable internet, not a single internet connection has been achieved. A truly stunning record. Three years, no connections.

That could not fail to remind me of my origins and the transformation of America that has occurred in my lifetime.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

 

And we are seeing one of the most pathetic examples of it every day.

I feel uniquely qualified to express my opinions on this particular day. I am just about as “elder” as one can get, although I count myself fortunate beyond words to have never been the target of, or seen any examples of, this tragic form of abuse at any time in my family. As a matter of fact, with Father’s Day approaching, I am reminded again that I occupy a lucky spot on the very opposite end of the spectrum from that sad phenomenon.

Sadly for the person being targeted before our very eyes day in and day out and, due to his position as President of the United States, Mr. Biden cannot claim that pleasant circumstance as the evidence of his family’s abuse — especially that of his seemingly grasping, avaricious wife, “Doctor” Jill — is before us, and dangerously, the world, every single day.

Introducing the Unsafe Weekly with Ann Coulter! Start your week off with the stories Ann found interesting or amusing over the weekend, exclusively from Ricochet.com.

This week:

Comedy, Unnatural Acts On Huckabee Tonight

 

Dear Ricochetti — Forgive my prolonged disappearance.  I’ve been very busy putting things off. I’ll be based in greater Los Angeles through the end of August with performances at The Magic Castle in Hollywood July 8 -14 and the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas August 15 – 17. So if you’re in the southwest during that time and would like to attend one of the shows for an informal meetup I hope you’ll get in touch with me — it would be a pleasure to meet you in person: I like good people.

In lieu of that, enjoy an excerpt from my appearance on the Huckabee show tonight in the first comment below.

“He’s Away with the Fairies”

 

When someone is wandering away like Joe Biden both physically and mentally, there is a phrase that comes from the Scottish Highlands in a kind way to describe the wanderer. “He’s away with the fairies.”

At the recent G7 meeting in Italy Giorgia Meloni, the Italian Prime Minister had to bring Joe Biden back from only God knows where for a group photo.

Quote of the Day – Reason (or the Lack Thereof)

 

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
-Thomas Paine

He is right. Try discussing climate science with those who have drunk the environmentalist Kool-Aid. Or maybe the reality of two sexes with someone all-in on gender fluidity. Try discussing crime with someone fully convinced that punishing criminals for their actions is really an expression of systemic racism. Who honestly believes bigotry in favor of people of color is somehow different than bigotry that favors those who are white? That it is not just appropriate, but laudable.

It’s Not The Money

 

I came across this graphic that encapsulates the current state of education & family in America.    Since it’s Father’s Day, I’d like to dovetail that graphic with a quote from Barack Obama.   It’s almost 20 years old and would probably be disavowed today but it’s one of the few things on which he and I agree…

We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children. We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”

The Ninth Circuit’s Grand Slam

 

On June 7 the Ninth Circuit handed down a decision in favor of the Health Freedom Defense Fund in its suit against the Los Angeles Unified School District regarding its mandatory COVID vaccine policy. A lower court had ruled in favor of LAUSD, applying Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

The HFDF argued that, contrary to the smallpox vaccine at the end of the 19th century, the COVID vaccine does not prevent transmission of the disease (scientifically indisputable now, except to Democrats who think that Science is Dr. Fauci).  The decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts relied on the prevention of transmission for a public health benefit. That decision was the one erroneously cited by politicians and public health officials to justify the COVID vaccine mandates.

Raging Against the World

 

Who would have thought that we’d still be talking about pro-Hamas protestors, months after October 7? What or who in the world is behind their radical demonstrations and destruction of property? How long will this insanity go on? Who will stop it? How will it end?

These are the questions that I keep mulling, with no satisfactory conclusions. But the question that fascinates me the most is: What drives these people to act this way?

Fort Sumter Pictured As A Duel

 

Many books have been written about Fort Sumter, the opening battle of the American Civil War. Most do an adequate job of describing what happened.  Some are outstanding. Few explain why events unrolled as they did. They present the big issues of why, such as slavery. Almost none get inside the heads of the participants of both sides to explain what motivated their actions.

The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War by Erik Larson, does just that. It explains what led both sides to behave as they did, and why the eventual outcome was virtually inevitable.

Larson examines the period from November 6th, 1860, Election Day when Abraham Lincoln was voted President, to April 1861, and the surrender of Fort Sumter with its immediate aftermath.  He takes occasional excursions into the past to provide context and provides a couple of chapters at the end to tie things up.

Happy Flag Day

 

On June 14th, 1777, the Continental Congress designated the Stars and Stripes as the official national flag of the United States with the words:

Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

Beth and Andrew speak with author, professor and conservative commentor Wilfred Reilly about his recently published book, Lies My Liberal Teacher Told Me, which sets the record straight on a variety of topics that are mistaught in our nation’s schools.

Reilly discusses the real history of slavery and the truth about colonialism around the world. We also talk about how our education system and history curricula became so politicized and we discuss whether a backlash to politicized history and woke ideology is causing a voter realignment among young people.

Quote of the Day: From Victim to Victory

 

When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. –Ann Voskamp

Over 30 years ago, I put Judaism on the back burner and took up Zen Buddhism. It filled a spiritual space for me, and over 20 years I became a serious practitioner, including koan practice. I had a good relationship with my Zen teacher in the beginning, and we both saw the potential for my becoming a teacher (sensei), too.