They don’t want to get along with us

 

They don’t want to get along with us

Over the last few years, my views on geopolitics have definitely hardened. Russia’s Ukraine invasion and China’s growing belligerence in the Western Pacific have forced me to realize that America, and the West in general, simply won’t be able to reach a permanent accommodation with the two dictatorial states.

Quote of the Day – Theories

 

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong. – Richard Feynman

Science is supposed to be about following the facts as revealed by experimentation. If the facts revealed something contrary to your expectations and beliefs, you went with the facts. In 1911 Ernest Rutherford conducted an experiment firing alpha particles through gold foil. It was a test of the Thompson model of atomic structure.

Getting Started With Astronomy, Again

 

I never did finish getting my telescope built in Oregon when I was a kid.  It was a Boy’s Club project, grinding and polishing our own mirrors, then sending them out to get silvered.  Mine was the only one that didn’t come back, so I couldn’t construct a frame for it.  I maintain that’s because mine was so perfect, I would have been able to see the Lunar Max prison operated by the Men In Black, where Boris the Animal (“It’s just BORIS!”) would end up.  But lately I’ve been gathering up a collection of pre-made telescopes, and tonight I took my first photos using my phone.  Ideally I should get a proper telescope camera, or at least use an adapter for my Nikons.  But it’s a start.

A Simple Epitaph

 

The USS Harder, SS-257 has been found thanks to the Lost 52 Project a private organization founded by Tim Taylor to research lost submarines on patrol during WW II. To date, the Lost 52 Project has found 7 lost WWII submarines.

Overdue and Presumed Lost will no longer be the epitaph for USS Harder and her 79-man crew. The Harder was found several days ago 3,750 feet below the ocean’s surface. This will be their tomb and the discovery of the crew’s final resting place comes shortly before Memorial Day.

Do Not Affirm/Do Not Comply

 

I’ve updated my profile photo yet again. The statement in the post title is emblazoned on a T-shirt and hoodie obtainable from the Darkhorse podcaststore.” The podcast is produced by evolutionary biologists Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying. Former professors at a small liberal arts college, Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, they came to broad public attention in 2017:

In March 2017, Weinstein wrote a letter to Evergreen faculty in which he objected to a suggestion pertaining to the college’s decades-old tradition of observing a “Day of Absence”, during which ethnic minority students and faculty would voluntarily stay away from campus to highlight their contributions to the college. An administrator had suggested that for that year white participants stay off campus, and were invited to attend an off-campus program on race issues.[14] Weinstein wrote that the change established a dangerous precedent:

UNRWA is the Poster Child for Why America Should Leave the UN

 

UNRWA, the “United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,” as the name implies, provides humanitarian aid exclusively to Palestinian victims of war. Like all UN agencies it is purportedly politically neutral and concerned with mitigating conflict not participating in it. Unfortunately, UNRWA is neither.

UNRWA has a long history of antisemitism in support of the Islamist cause. For example, UNRWA uses books in their schools containing blatantly antisemitic passages. The donor nations that support UNRWA have objected but UNRWA‘s promises to remove the offending passages somehow never happens.

You write and you write and you write some more. And you keep writing until you’re done.

Rewarding Terrorism

 

Don’t you admire countries that reward Arab terrorists and then deny that they are anti-Semitic? That’s what Spain, Norway and Ireland would have us believe as they declare their support of a Palestinian state. Their justifications for this move are absurd and dangerous.

Many countries want to get on that bandwagon:

The Kicker’s Speech

 

This is going to be a long post.  My goal is to take the entirety of Kansas City Chief’s kicker Harrison Butker’s commencement speech and review it.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2024, I would like to start off by congratulating all of you for successfully making it to this achievement today. I’m sure your high school graduation was not what you had imagined and most likely neither was your first couple years of college.

The Ricochet Podcast is back, and jam-packed with chatter on sex, comedy, food and fun… and the lack thereof we find among our postmodern youth. Noah Rothman, author of The Rise of the New Puritans, returns to discuss the war on fun in America along with the war on Hamas in Gaza. Plus, James, Rob and Steve Hayward show their age as they canvass the finer points of flag etiquette.

 

Why What Riley Gaines Went Through Mattered – Her Push To Promote Ted Cruz

 

Riley Gaines, a twelve-time All-American and three-time Southeastern Conference champion who came out of the University of Kentucky, gained national attention over the issue of men pretending to be women who then are allowed into women’s sports.

In 2022,  she tied with male swimmer Lia Thomas in the 200 meter freestyle at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships. Despite tying with Thomas, Gaines says she was told the trophy would go to Thomas for “photo purposes.”

Harvard Withdraw Degrees?

 

The Harvard Corporation (the governing body for Harvard College) is withholding degrees from thirteen individuals who committed illegal acts in conjunction with protests concerning Palestine and Israel.

Hundreds of Harvard students made a public spectacle of protesting at what was supposed to be their graduation ceremony, chanting as they protested both the discipling of the thirteen individuals and Harvard’s policies.

Changing the Culture by Example

 

I have some Facebook friends that are lefties. One in particular is an old school acquaintance I haven’t seen since high school, and that was more than 40 years ago.  As with most lefties, he can’t resist occasionally posting something political.  I don’t get into politics on fb, as my observation is that nothing good ever comes from it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respond. My response is simply to post occasional family updates, and allow the contrast to work on anyone who’s paying attention. Take this for example:

We review a strange week at the NY Trump trial and then Dennis talks to old WSJ colleague Larry Ingrassia about solving a cancer mystery that plagued his family.

And in the Parting Shot, has one of America’s best known liberal comedians taken the Red Pill?

As Donald Trump leads on the backstretch of the 2024 presidential race, Biden makes use of his whip, challenging his opponent to an unconventional debate. Henry takes a deep dive into this necessary bold strategy. Then he’s joined by NBC’s national political correspondent Steve Kornacki. The two discuss the president’s failure to gain traction as Trump maintains momentum.

Plus, Henry takes a close look at two ads for Tony Gonzalez — one from his campaign, the other from the RCJ SuperPac — against challenger Brandon Herrera in Texas 23.

A Crisis of Moral Inertia

 

I knew a man (“Bob,” not his real name) who claimed that on June 17, 1972, he was part of a small group on Virginia Ave about to enter the Howard Johnson’s hotel across from the Watergate and said, “Boys, it doesn’t take an army to plant a bug.” He thought the plan badly designed. The closest thing to corroboration I knew of was in 1990 when I witnessed two FBI agents at the bar in the Hawk & Dove on Capitol Hill buy him a drink and toast “the one that got away.”

Bob had a few unusual professional experiences.  He had been an FBI plant in KKK chapters in North Carolina and eastern Maryland.  He remarked that at the end of those assignments, it seemed like the number of plants, informants and actual government agents outnumbered the remaining active klansmen. He grew less cynical in his old age, sought to advance positive causes (though often in questionable ways, naturally), and was increasingly critical of the amorality and incompetence of government.  I never knew his source of income or the funding for his diverse ventures.

Embarrassed by my Quote of the Day

 

A number of years ago — in the last century — I did some substitute teaching. One day I was assigned a high school English class. Fortunately, I had a detailed lesson plan. 

The class was reading John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. I read ahead on what we were to read aloud in class and was a little distressed to find the dreaded “N-word.” Even worse, when the class filed in, I noticed that there was just one black student in the class. So, I decided I should get ahead of the issue. I spoke about understanding a book in the context of the time it was written. I talked about the importance of creative license and the necessity of writers being true to the world and their vision. And about how rational people could disagree on these things. 

This week on The Learning Curve co-hosts U-Arkansas Prof. Albert Cheng and Steven Wilson interview Kimberly Steadman, co-director of Edward Brooke Charter Schools. Steadman reflects on her educational background and leadership in urban charter public schools. She discusses the importance of rigorous academic expectations for K-12 students, and how this outlook influences her educational philosophy co-directing the Brooke charter school network. Ms. Steadman shares the challenges faced by Massachusetts charters due to the post-2016 ballot loss, and how she and other charter public school leaders advance supportive policy reforms.

From an Early Draft of Joe Biden’s Speech at Morehouse College

 

This commencement ceremony brings back so many memories for me.

I remember when I was marching next to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. He started limping, and soon he had to lean on my shoulder for support. Finally he said, “Joe, my old friend, I can’t go any farther. I have a really painful bunion.”