Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Africa Journal: Going Rogue

 
Gurley Street, Monrovia, Liberia.

Imagine you didn’t have squat. You live in a dirt-floored, corrugated zinc-roofed hut. You work and save and you finally get the opportunity to get a little something for yourself; let’s say an el cheapo transistor radio, so you can listen to the VoA or Liberia Today. Then somebody steals the little gimcrack you spent months saving for. How would you react?

Back in the ’80s, Liberians didn’t react well. When the call “Rogue!” went out, people came boiling out of their huts and shacks to chase, apprehend, and mete out rough justice to the rogue.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

The Spiritual and Scientific Miracle of Water

 

Water As Cure

.In the Fall of 1865, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was thrown into an asylum in Vienna — where he would perish from Pyaemia. Like many other abscess and septic conditions that result from infection, which would be easily treated by antibiotics, it was a painful and torturous death sentence. Semmelweis had indeed gone insane at the point of his internment, but for undoubtedly understandable reasons. Dr. Semmelweis, mere months prior to his commitment, was a prestigious Austrian physician. One who supervised both obstetricians and autopsies at the renowned Vienna General Hospital. During this era, childbirth in a hospital was not the optimal choice for parents. Wealth bought the services of home birth specialists — the primary motive was the reduction of puerperal or postpartum infections. In hospitals, the crowded rooms would become breeding grounds of septicemia infection — claiming the lives upwards of 40 percent of women and their children. Giving birth in the hospital even began to earn an ominous, taboo association.

Semmelweiss also ran the morgue and autopsy section of the hospital. Performing grueling 18-hour shifts, he would often be bleary and once mistakenly grabbed a scalpel by its sharp edge — nearly severing tendon in an incision with an instrument that was just used to perform a sternum separation. Semmelweiss prepared for the worst — his friend and colleague having just died after making a similar mistake and succumbing to septicemia in a mere 48 hours.

More

Vive La Résistance!: A San Francisco Chronicle Columnist’s Plaintive Cry For Help

 

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford posted a column that reads so far over the top, we had to excerpt a bit of it here to brighten your weekend:

It’s only been 100 days, but that’s a lifetime in Trump years. If disillusion is your measure, Trump is a runaway success. If moral heartache is the yardstick, we are miles high, and screaming doom. If this had all been a reality TV-show contest to see how quickly a single human could disembowel the national spirit, poison international goodwill and bring a pox upon all our houses, Trump has indeed proven to be the biggest loser.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

YAF at Brandeis: Dinesh D’Souza

 

This is a report I wrote on the talk that Dinesh D’Souza gave at my school last night, even though you can watch the whole thing here .

In the beginning, the Assistant Dean of Students somewhat awkwardly read a speech about how it is a good thing to have this event on campus, and then she pointed out that if people wanted to be loud, they could go to the convenient protest area behind the actual lecture hall, which got some laughs. (I’m sorry if you were hoping for drama in the piece, but spoilers: There was no trouble, and to be honest I didn’t expect any. D’Souza, who also spoke at Brandeis ten years ago, expressed surprise about this at the end.)

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Quote of the Day: What I Like About Texas, 29 April 2017

 

You ask me what I like about Texas? Well aside from the obvious, such as @rightangles‘ posts and pics, and the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes in full bloom at the height of spring, the list is exhaustive. We could be here all night long.

Fortunately, 31 years ago during the Texas sesquicentennial, country singer-songwriter Gary P. Nunn put that question and its many answers into a song, from which the following verse comes:

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

George

 

George was 77, going on 78 when we met. He owned a firm that rather suddenly had become my client due to an emergency failure in their IT network – an emergency that lasted 20 years. A protégé of George’s at the firm would end-up becoming one of my best friends – a relationship that will last forever.

George was remarkable: full-bird Colonel on General Patton’s staff, DoD project manager for the implementation of the world’s first mainframe computer, editor of a military journal for decades, college teacher, business owner, founder of the Pachyderms – a group of folks with thick skins, a sense of humor, and a keen interest in politics and bourbon.

More

A Controversial Post

 
Prince knows what’s what.

Scanning my Twitter feed, I saw that Politico wrote about a shake-up at the Heritage Foundation. Here’s the lead:

The controversial president of The Heritage Foundation, former Sen. Jim DeMint, may soon be out of a job, following a dispute with board members about the direction of conservative think tank, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

More

Of Course the Trump Tax Plan Wouldn’t Pay for Itself. Should We Care?

 

The Trump tax cut plan — at least as outlined in the one-pager released the other day — is highly unlikely to pay for itself. Even using generous dynamic scoring.

While an argument could be made that the 35% top corporate rate puts the US on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve, slashing the rate by more than half and recouping all that lost revenue through higher economic growth … well, seems a bridge too far. I mean, $5 trillion (for the whole plan, such as it is) is a lot of red ink. Nor should we generally expect tax cuts to perform this feat. The 1981 Reagan tax cut didn’t pay for itself. And a 2004 study by two Bush II economists estimated that in the long run, “about 17 percent of a cut in labor taxes is recouped through higher economic growth. The comparable figure for a cut in capital taxes is about 50 percent.”

More

Ben Shapiro on Antifa, Bannon and Conservatism

 

Best-selling author, columnist and former Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro joins Whiskey Politics to discuss President Trump, Conservatism, his strong feelings about Steve Bannon, the Iran Deal, the Antifa threats against campus free speech and answers some Ricochet Member questions. You can find Ben’s columns at The Daily Wire, musings on Facebook and his #1 ranked conservative podcast on iTunes & Soundcloud.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Do You Talk to Your Electronics?

 

I have an iPhone, and it has its much-touted digital assistant called Siri. In theory, you can speak to Siri and ask it to look things up for you, give you directions to some place, schedule things, or do any number of other jobs for you on your phone. Last year, Apple extended Siri into is OS-X operating system. Microsoft has its own digital assistant, called Cortana, which has been embedded in Windows 10 since its roll-out a couple of years ago. I can choose not to use Siri, I’ve found that Cortana, though, constantly seems to be listening unless I disable any built-in microphones (sometimes with a soldering iron). Amazon now has its Echoes, which bypass the phones and desktops and get strategically placed around the house. If you have a Kinect bar on your X-Box, it’s listening to you too, and the Sony camera does likewise on the Playstation (which is really annoying when dialog in some show on Netflix triggers the PS4 to attempt some task).

I must confess I fail to see the point to any of these.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Bill Nye, Harry Potter, and Why Millennials Can’t Think

 

Millennials can’t think. They get their science from Bill Nye. Their only form of literary reference is the Harry Potter franchise. Read another book, please! Bill Nye was fun in the 90’s to get the basics about science – law of gravity, simple machines, energy transfer. I think the place that Bill Nye holds in the culture today is due to the nostalgia of millennials.

I’ve seen a number of the episodes of Nye’s original series, Bill Nye the Science Guy. I remember watching the show in grade-school and junior high. His shows and topics covered in each episode were quite superficial; they served as an entertaining introduction to whatever new topic we were beginning to learn about. There was no depth there. He was an entertaining figure when I was in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade; now he’s just a dolt. Fellow millennials (and you gen-xers) please stop holding up this bad actor as a “scientist.”

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Federalism Seems to Be a Hard Sell to Conservatives and Republicans

 

The recent ruling of a federal judge issuing a temporary injunction against President Donald Trump’s executive order denying further appropriations of federal revenues to cities that have deemed themselves to be “sanctuary cities” created another internal battle among Conservatives. Former U.S. prosecutor and National Review contributor Andrew McCarthy voiced concern that the judge’s ruling does not actually find fault in the executive order or the statute upon which the order was based, but rather, the judge concocted controversies in order to conjure up a ruling against Trump. McCarthy states that the executive order, in effect, did nothing other than demonstrate President Trump’s desire to enforce existing immigration law.

Another National Review paragon, David French, echoed much the same in his blog post for National Review’s “The Corner.” “The executive order was not changing the law. It did not strip federal funds from sanctuary cities. It directed federal officials to enforce existing law and then larded up that directive with meaningless legalese that made the order look far more dramatic to the untrained eye.” French’s sentiment regarding this executive order is much the same as McCarthy’s, at least in as much as it did nothing than exclaim a desire to enforce existing law. The existing law is 8 U.S.C. § 1337 which, according to the executive order, a sanctuary city must comply with or risk losing out on federal grants.

More

Ortega y Gasset and the Wisdom of Editors

 
Jose Ortega y Gasset, 2008, Manuel Pardo

Or the wisdom of one editor, in particular. I’ve a special fondness for Adam Garfinkle, editor of The American Interest. I read his work devotedly long before I began writing for his magazine, and always sensed in his writing not only an old-fashioned, well-trained intellect, but a sensibility in his prose that reminded me a bit of Montaigne, or as Hoffer said of Montaigne, “He was writing about me. He knew my innermost thoughts.” I felt this especially when reading his War, water, and negotiation in the Middle East: the case of the Palestine-Syria border, 1916-1923.

So, just before the first round of the French election, Adam was valiantly occupied in turning my raving and unprintable thoughts about the Turkish referendum into an article he could publish in a family newspaper. During our editorial back-and-forth, we exchanged a few tangential e-mails about the question on everyone’s minds these days: Why is the world going to hell in a handcart? 

More