Cheering for … the Hurricane?

 

If anything should be exempt from politics, it is our response to natural disasters.

After all, they don’t discriminate. Hurricanes and tornadoes come to mind. They painfully remind us of the dark side of nature’s awesome power. Growing up in Oklahoma – tornado alley – I’ve seen enough evidence and reminders of their destruction.

Loretta Lynn, 1932-2022

 

Loretta Lynn has passed away. I’m not a huge country music fan, but there are certain singers I am a fan of. Loretta Lynn was one. Here’s the song that inspired a movie:

Twitter Buyout Going Ahead?

 

Despite the ongoing litigation, I’ve remained cautiously optimistic that Elon Musk might yet buy Twitter and clean house. Now there’s word that he may go ahead with it after all.

I’m delighted and hope he continues. I returned to Twitter after a 13-year absence when Musk announced his intention to buy the platform. I’ve remained there in hopes that the sale would eventually go through: failing that, I’ll eventually leave, because it remains a cesspool of censorious leftism — and, yes, there are an awful lot of fake accounts.

Fuel for Inflation

 

For financial markets, September 2022 was one of the worst on record. A nonstop bear market has been created by a decline in stock prices in excess of 20 percent, just as national output declines for the second straight quarter. These indicators point to a continuing recession. Inflation pressures have, as of now, brought the thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage to a 6.7 percent rate, up 1.5 percentage points in the past six weeks and double what it was in January 2022. The Federal Reserve has instituted a series of sharp rate increases to tame the inflation. But this remedy, even if justified, will drive down stock prices in the short run and, by raising the cost of capital, could well further dampen economic activity. Wages have risen in nominal terms, but well below the rate of inflation.

We are now past the point where any government response to monetary issues can reverse this downward trend. Instead, what is necessary is a hard look at the wide array of social and business policies that have led to the current malaise.

Recall for these purposes that the basic definition of inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods. The rate of inflation does not depend solely on monetary issues within the Fed’s domain—it also depends on changes in the stock of goods and services. Sensible economic policies that aid growth will thus tend to curb inflation even with bad or capricious decisions by the Fed. But conversely, foolish economic and regulatory decisions will compound the problem by shrinking the economic pie in area after area; a key tenet of progressive thinking harbors the sorry illusion that if the Fed does its job, governments and businesses—often backed by government power—are free to pursue all sorts of collateral ends, most of which are counterproductive.

The Response to the Launch of Sputnik 1

 

Monday was the 65th anniversary of the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1.

It has been called the “shock of the century.” This shock grew over the next few days and was a major crisis for the Eisenhower Administration. For the people working on the Minitrack tracking system of Project Vanguard, there was the problem that it was set up to track satellite signals at the International Geophysical Year approved frequency of 108 MHz. Sputnik sent out signals at 20 and 40 MHz. Thus, the Mintrack system needed to be modified ASAP. Marty Votaw worked for my father on this. He recalled in 2008:

The Vanguard program was run on paid overtime from the beginning of the program. On Wednesday [October 2nd, 1957] at work, a memo came out that said there will be no paid overtime after Friday. And I thought “Phew!” we are going to get some time off.  And Friday came, I went home from work tired, and, we had company that night, I sat down to dinner and the phone rang.  And Roger [Easton] says, “They launched Sputnik.” And I said, “Good, now we know what can be done.” He said, “You don’t understand; we’ve got to track it.”  And I said, “Can I eat supper first?”  He said, “Well, yeah, but come back right afterwards.”

A Letter to the NYC Mayor

 

To the Honorable Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City

Mr. Mayor,
My apologies for sending this to you so late, but congratulations on becoming Mayor of New York. This is quite an accomplishment and I commend you. I sincerely hope that you are more successful than your predecessor, although I think you and I would both agree that he set established the world’s lowest bar for mayors. Just getting through your first term without killing a groundhog will probably do it.

Fascism: A Quick Note

 

According to George Orwell, whom I am inclined to regard as close enough:

Learned controversies, reverberating for years on end in American magazines, have not even been able to determine whether or not Fascism is a form of capitalism. But still, when we apply the term ‘Fascism’ to Germany or Japan or Mussolini’s Italy, we know broadly what we mean.

Half of our intrepid duo comes to us this week from Birmingham, the site of the 2022 Conservative Party Conference as the PM and the Chancellor retreat from the higher-end tax cuts.  Its a pugilistic edition of London Calling as James and Toby pick a fight and debate the proper strategy to win one.

In Culture Corner, James takes on The Old Man (FX/Hulu in the US, Disney+ in the UK) while Toby reviews This England, Sky Atlantic’s regime-approved wet dream version of the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic (US release date and network TBA).

Suffer the Women

 

In the push for trans rights, inclusivity,  and tolerance, one group is expected to sacrifice and kowtow more than any other: biological women. Both straight and lesbian women — the language they use to identify themselves, their safe spaces, their dating preferences — are all under attack in ways we do not see happening to men.

This week, the Randolph High School girls’ volleyball team was punished for speaking out against a transgender student in their locker room. This student, who is unnamed, allegedly made inappropriate remarks to the girls as they were changing. When the girls spoke out, they were not only put under investigation for “harassment” (under Vermont law, a student can go into whatever bathroom/locker room that matches their “gender identity”) and the team was relegated to change privately in a single bathroom stall.

School Shooting in Oakland Goes Nearly Unreported

 

Did you hear the gun violence outrage and the saturation of media coverage, over the school shooting that occurred at the Rudsdale High  School in Oakland?

Me either. I guess hurricanes are handy excuses for the media to ignore inconvenient stories. In this narrative non-conforming event, two gang members exchanged 30 rounds on the high school campus, injuring six bystanders. Here’s a link from NPR.

The Fight for the House #6: Texas’ 28th District, Henry Cuellar vs. Cassy Garcia

 

Lyndon Johnson during his 1948 Senate Run where his margin of victory came from counties now comprising TX 28.

Our next race pits long-term Democrat incumbent Henry Cuellar against the young but fairly experienced Cassy Garcia, who was second-in-command managing Ted Cruz’s district office statewide. The Texas 28th is a district that hugs along the border with Mexico and takes in Laredo.

In 1948, a couple of these border counties gave Lyndon Johnson his margin of victory in his run for US Senate by 87 votes. Lyndon’s pal Abe Fortas, who he eventually appointed to the Supreme Court, was able to successfully stop investigation into the illegality of some of the voting in these border counties, where voters were accustomed to a shot of tequila and some cash for casting their ballots. And in the precincts that Lyndon won by the largest margins, they voted in alphabetical order and in the same hand. What a coincidence! On the bright side, this district and its Hispanic population have been shifting heavily to the right, giving Trump some of his best performances in 2020 among heavily Hispanic counties. This district currently has a three-point advantage for Democrats in party identification.

Leftist Crybabies Tell Politician to ‘Cease and Desist,’ Forgetting Fair Use

 

In Washington State, Senator Patty “mom in tennis shoes” Murray has a very credible challenger this year, Tiffany Smiley.  She is a triage nurse who advocated successfully for her husband, who was blinded in the Army in Iraq.  She has a very effective campaign ad out, which has gotten significant pushback by two well-known leftist organizations in Seattle.  That would be the Seattle Times, and Starbucks.  I would have missed this completely if the linked article had not appeared on RedState.

The ad has Smiley standing in front of an abandoned Starbucks on Capitol Hill in Seattle, near to where the CHAZ was in the summer of 2020.  Both Starbucks and the Times sent her “cease and desist” letters, accusing her of illegally using their headlines and corporate logo.

This Isn’t a Biden Presidency. It’s a Biden Regency.

 

Conservatives have asked one big question since Jan. 20, 2021: “So … who’s actually running the country?” Theories abound, including Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice, or Barack Obama wearing Susan Rice as a skinsuit. Due to the administration’s utter incompetence, I don’t see any single person running the show, but an infighting cabal propping up Biden’s husk to show internal dominance. Looking at the wreckage, I figured no one was in charge.

I’ve finally settled on a new paradigm: It’s not a Biden Presidency, but a Biden Regency.

Biden is surrounded with longtime D.C. power players, such as Ron Klain, Susan Rice, Anita Dunn, John Podesta, Gene Sperling – a veritable “who’s who” of Beltway knife fights and insider skullduggery. Throughout their long careers, they’ve never sought credit or voter approval. Just power.

Legislatures Try to Bar Gender Affirming Care for Minors

 

Vanderbilt University has proven itself to be corrupt and greedy regarding gender treatment for minors. Most recently, they bragged about profits from these procedures and their efforts to force staff to participate. And the Tennessee legislature responded through a letter:

The letter comes after videos on social media of a Vanderbilt doctor describing the surgeries as a ‘huge money maker’ for the hospital went viral. Another video shows a staff member saying there would be ‘consequences’ for employees who decline to participate in these mutilative surgeries.

‘While those 18-years and older are recognized as legal adults and free to make decisions in their best interest, it is an egregious error of judgment that an institution as highly respected as Vanderbilt would condone (and promote) harmful and irreversible procedures for minor children in the name of profit,’ the letter said.

Elon Musk’s Starlink

 

My kid brother John runs a small television, antenna, cable, and dish installation business in New Mexico. He’s been doing it for many years and he’s really good at it. He sends me pictures sometimes of huge flatscreen televisions he’s mounted on tile walls above fireplaces in extraordinarily expensive Santa Fe homes, stuff like that. He does nice work.

Lately, he’s been busy — really busy — doing Starlink installations. Starlink, as everyone probably knows, is Elon Musk’s space-based internet service provider. New Mexico is a huge, wide-open, mostly empty state with lots of mountains and pockets of wealth. It’s a booming market for Musk’s high-speed, low-latency, low-Earth-orbit service.

Starlink interests me. Not because I want it: I have inexpensive cable internet that does a great job for me. It interests me because it’s innovative, beautifully engineered, and one of the drivers of SpaceX (Starlink’s parent company) and Musk’s rocket business.

The Democrats Selling Something Nobody Wants

 

I downloaded this picture from whitehouse.gov. The file name is, I swear, hero-desktop.jpeg.

Michael Goodwin has a good article up in The New York Post in which he discusses the increasingly dangerous state of world affairs in response to weak American leadership.  He thinks the Democratic Party has real problems with its leadership — he views Biden and Harris as poor leaders, which is difficult to argue with. But he also discusses other problems of the Democratic Party concerning the upcoming midterm elections:

A crucial run-up to elections is the battle to set the terms of the debate. Poll after poll shows that inflation, the economy, crime and immigration are at the top of most voters’ lists.

The Great Betrayal

 

All the wonderful words about how we should not get involved with Russian imperial ambitions of seeking a European piece. Yet we are willing to sell other nations into Russian slavery, something that a former US President did at Yalta. A former President who was not much more than the current President when it comes to mental health.

As inconvenient as the suffering of Ukrainians might be to our own way of life and the lofty rhetoric from the Founders who could never imagine that there might come a day when hypersonic missiles would negate the five or more days that it would take for sailing vessels to appear off the American coast is rather odd.

Some Questions

 

Has anyone on Ricochet heard anything further about the investigation into the person who leaked Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs?

How close are we to world war, post the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline? If that was done by Russia, was it not, in essence, an attack on NATO? Done in NATO territorial waters?

Bridge Night

 

This is nonfiction. Every word of this account is true. Quoted dialogue is from my best recollection. I recount this not because I think it will persuade Modernists or Rationalists of anything, at all, but because @westernchauvinist asked me to. And if in so doing, ten men revile me and one man is strengthened in their faith, then the ridicule of the ten is a cheap price for the benefit received by the one.

In college, I was a homeless Christian. I had gone to Sunday school as a child on those weekends when I was staying with grandparents but stopped after disgracing myself. The subject turned to double predestination, and even though I had never heard the doctrine before, I (disgracefully) dismissed it with a profanity. I was scandalized that any adult could hold to a creed that made a mockery of the events of Eden, the ministry of John the Baptist, the Pentecost of Acts, and a great deal more. It did not shake my faith in Jesus one iota, but it left me with a sharp suspicion of churches and in the judgment of my elders as elders. A distrust also nurtured by exposure to televangelism and the eschatology of fundraisers.

‘Which Americans Don’t Support Troops to Ukraine?’ Answering Schake’s Question

 

Question:

Kori Schake of AEI was interviewed on the most recent Ricochet flagship podcast.  She questioned the assertion that most Americans do not want to put boots on ground in Ukraine.  Conversation followed in the comments on that podcast, as well as on a Jon Gabriel thread No US Troops in Ukraine, Thank You Very Much, and we conducted a well-attended poll (members-only link) here at Ricochet, asking US Citizens only.

The Religious Right Was Right About Everything

 

The article speaks for itself. And to think this isn’t even rock bottom yet. The slippery slope goes all the way down to hell. The idea that less religion would mean more rationality and science has been blown to smithereens.

Road Trip 2022: John Day Fossil Beds

 

In July, we took a road trip from Los Angeles to Anacortes, WA. Taking the inland US-395 route, our first day took us to Reno, NV, and our second to John Day, OR.

John Day is a nice small town in eastern Oregon, just over halfway through the state, going north on US-395. John Day and the John Day River are named for a hunter from the backwoods of Virginia who was attacked by Indians near the mouth of the Mau Mau river in 1812. He survived the attack and people started calling the river the “John Day River.” It is interesting to note that he spent no time near where the town of John Day is today.

Spain Re-examined

 

Spain is a traditional villain in much English (and US) literature and history. In it, the Spanish are often portrayed as backward, haughty, and cruel. “España: A Brief History of Spain,” by Giles Tremlett tells a different story. The book is a one-volume history of Spain from its earliest days to the present. Written by an Englishman turned Spaniard, it reveals a different Spain.

Tremlett begins with the Iberian Peninsula’s mythic past. Associated with the Labors of Hercules, Tremlett shows how these myths reveal how Spain and the rest of Europe long viewed Spain. It was the Non Plus Ultra, the gateway to the unknown Atlantic and Europe’s Wild West.

He then explores Spain’s ancient history, presenting Carthage’s colonization of Spain, Rome’s conquest of it, and the role Spain played in both the Roman Republic and Empire. From there, he describes the collapse of the Empire, the occupation of Iberia by Gothic gentlemen of Spain, the Moorish invasion, and the Reconquista, completed by Ferdinand and Isabella.

Introducing Dead People, the ‘Nordstrom’ Pipeline, and Our Alliance with North Korea. Good Grief!

 

Every morning I scan my favorite news sites to determine whether Putin has taken out the major cities of the Eastern Seaboard or whether Xi has taken out the major cities on the Left Coast. After my relief at learning all those cities are still “intact” (quotes because it is hard to feel Chicago, New Orleans, Portland, San Francisco, etc., are intact in any reasonable sense of the word), I proceed to be amazed, astonished, sickened by the various grotesqueries I learn from this daily exercise.

Now and then, I run across a statement that so perfectly sums up the events of the preceding week I feel I must share it. Such an item is the opening paragraph of the Saturday column of the great and brilliant writer and scholar Steven Hayward of Powerlineblog.com, “The Week in Pictures.” I strongly urge you to check out the entire collection here, but with the caveat that you will, undoubtedly, “get hooked” on it as it is usually loaded with humorous (?) items of satire on the week’s events. Here is his opening — if you can find a better, more concise, description of the inanities rained down upon us last week, please let us know about it:

It Was Bright Orange

 

Today I am disposing of my Father’s drill. There is nothing special or unique about it, but it has been around almost as long as I have, with a lot less complaining. I hate to see it go.

It reminds me of my Dad, my childhood, the ranch where I spent my earliest years, and a world that was about to swiftly change in unexpected ways.

Dad bought it sometime between 1967 and 1975. That was after my Grandpa died and before the ranch was sold. My age was in the single digits. I wasn’t there for the purchase, but I distinctly remember seeing the drill for the first time in the tool shed. The tool shed was built from adobe blocks, with clapboard siding and covered by a tin roof. Half of it was partitioned off for Grandma’s chickens.