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.



The Bard is smiling and thinking I warned them about a tale told by an idiot!

What is an exercise in futility? Try this one, a headline out yesterday afternoon:

DOJ says it won’t prosecute Garland after House contempt vote

As Gomer Pyle would have so succinctly put it all those years ago: Well, goooollllly! Who would have thought that the department headed by one Merrick Garland, the Department known by the title it has earned over the last three years, the Department of [In]Justice, would decline to prosecute the — wait for it!— head of said department.

Wingtip Shoes


Suppose [a man] has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things… – The prophet Ezekiel

By all accounts, one of my great-grandfathers was a complete and utter scoundrel. He was a whiskey distributor in the Deep South, which was not ipso facto the thing that made him a scoundrel. He lived in one city, while his wife and children, one of whom was my own grandfather, lived elsewhere. He would periodically show up where his wife and children resided, impregnate his wife, beat the children viciously, and then leave them all again to fend for themselves as he pursued his independent life far away.

USA Advance in the T20 Cricket World Cup!


The rain gods came to help Team USA today in the T20 Cricket World Cup.  USA has beaten Canada and amazingly Pakistan while losing to India.  Today was their last match of the Group Stage, facing Ireland.  There are four groups and the top two in each group advance.  USA was in second place with four points.  Teams get two points for a win one point goes to each team if the game is called.  Pakistan’s final Group Stage match is on Sunday, also against Ireland.

If USA had lost today and Pakistan won on Sunday, Pakistan would have advanced.  They would be tied in points with USA but have a higher net run rate and so would be higher in the rankings.  The net run rate is basically a measure of how much more you score than the opposing team.

Getting lubricated while going off menu. It’s as much fun as it sounds.

Can the Unspeakable Peak the Unpeakable?


I’ve often sung the praises of Bari Weiss and her commitment to free speech. I think she’s a liberal of the traditional form: On most matters of policy, wrong but not crazy. But on the topics of free speech, open inquiry, and (most recently) Israel, I think she’s wise beyond her modest years.

In this Honestly podcast yesterday, Bari interviews a woman named Sheryl Sandberg. I gather Ms. Sandberg is a big deal in feminist circles, a prominent and powerful woman of the left. (I’ve never heard of her, but that’s hardly surprising: She works for Meta/Facebook, and we likely agree on essentially no contentious issues.)

EV: An Achilles Heel?


EVs may be doomed, but not because of price or range anxiety. Instead, it may be that every public EV charger is a target for copper thieves. They can (and do) roll up, snip with some bolt cutters (or a handheld angle grinder), and make off with $20 or $50 in copper in less than a minute. They can work a whole row of charging stations in a few minutes, long before anyone can stop them.

Such attacks make the chargers worthless. And any obvious mitigation solution (like shielded cables) makes the charging station harder for legitimate users to use. This means that EV charging stations on the road become even less available than they already are. If the only charger you can use is the one in your garage, then EVs are off the table for road trips of any kind. This would relegate them to local use only, and only ever as a second car.

QotD: Perpetual Amusement


I’m an early riser. It did not start out that way but that’s the way it is now. I get the sideways looks I most certainly gave others when I say I wake up between 0430-0530 daily without an alarm. So in that vein, I also know that there are things I can do or accomplish early as well. Home Depot opens at 0600 on Saturday and no one is there, it’s magical.

So in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, I alone pulled into the 24-hour gas station on Ft. Belvoir, tapped my card on the fuel pump, put in my zip, and then the screen told me I was good to go. I was going to quietly ride out my fill-up, but then it happened. The small screen atop the pump began with some incredibly loud, zippy infomercial shattering my relaxing dawn. I could not get away from it.           

Steve Hayward, Rob, and James enjoy gazing at political upheaval from a safe distance this week, as Europe wrangles with its own game of Elites vs Peeps. The boys swap anecdotes, a couple of historical tidbits, and toss in a few predictions for the EU’s future. Then they bring it back home to parse why the corporate world seems to be toning down on Pride merch and marketing this year.


My Dinner With Lauren


I hadn’t seen my old acquaintance Lauren Windsor in some time. So I was surprised when she called and suggested we meet for dinner.

The waiter took our orders, then returned with a basket of bread and a bottle of Merlot. He pulled the cork and poured for us.

Lauren asked if I heard that while posing as a conservative Christian, she had secretly recorded a conversation with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. I replied that it was certainly getting a lot of press attention.

Wrong Song in Jincheon


After reading the nice piece on embarrassment written by Susan Quinn, this incident sprang to mind.

When I quit my radio job and first moved to Korea, I worked in a small electronics company as, of course, an English teacher. This company had a small office near Seoul and a factory in a rural town called Jincheon. In total, there were about 150 employees. I only knew 15-20 from the suburban office.

You don’t want to end up with you


Ground Picture, via Shutterstock

I saw a patient a few hours ago who told me that her husband was in inpatient hospice, and is expected to die very soon.  She didn’t seem too upset about it, so I asked her a few questions about the situation.  I learned a lot.

Capitalism and Communism/Socialism Cannot Coexist


An article in the Epoch Times (behind a paywall) talks about China’s cycle from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping and its implications for the future of China:

Some 50 years ago, when China began its remarkable period of development, then CCP leader Deng Xiaoping described development realities as a phase in the nation’s journey to a more perfect socialist future. It worked. Chinese enterprise flourished, the economy grew at a phenomenal rate, and millions were lifted from poverty.

Local connections


Years ago, there was a very good book by Edmund James Burke, called Connections, which detailed many interesting connections between different things.

The other day, I wrote about seeing 3 bald eagles picking at the carcass of a young deer that was killed when the hayfield next to us was mowed.  No eagles since then, and as I write this, the field is being baled.

Who Is Worse?


I was in college when Carter was elected President.   I voted for Ford, but he lost. I joined the Navy even though Carter was President. At the time, I thought he was the worst President we have ever had.  When Obama was elected, he took the mantle of worst.

Now, I can’t decide.  Who is worse: Obama or Biden?  Or even Carter?

It’s the Turnout, Stupid


My brother used to practice law in New Orleans.  He took his first job out of law school with a firm whose senior partner was very politically connected.  On election day, there were numerous stacks of cash on the large conference table in the partner’s spacious office with no effort to conceal it from associates or staff—it was considered normal. Very well-dressed young black men would arrive with bags, carefully count out some preset amount, and then depart.  Their mission was to distribute the expected cash incentives to voters to turn out and vote.

There was also an odd young man of his acquaintance who was civic-minded enough to drive a vanful of selected voters to the precinct and then give them a ride to another precinct and…another.

Hunter Biden gets convicted on three felonies – is it justice or just a distraction from the bigger picture?

Then we talk to NewsMax CEO Chris Ruddy about politics, the state of cable TV news and the future of his company, plus a candid discussion of the legal problems surrounding coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

J. Miles Coleman, Associate Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, returns to peer into the contested primaries in Virginia’s 5th, 7th and 10th congressional districts. These deep dives into the respectively red, purple and blue territories, Coleman and Henry survey this microcosm of the national stage.

Plus, Henry unpacks Emmanuel Macron’s snap election gamble to head off his populist archfoe Marine Le Pen; and he looks at two finely crafted ads for Democrat Mary Peltola’s tough reelection bid in Alaska.

Physician Heal Thyself


I think Jesus is said to have said that. There is a contradicting truth, that every medical student learns the hard way: that the physician who treats himself has a fool for a doctor. As a retired physician, I spend a lot of time each week helping friends deal with complex medical issues. Two of my friends have developed increasing shortness of breath while playing pickleball and I have helped them by insisting that they get either a nuclear stress test or a stress echocardiogram. There are advantages of one compared to the other but I told them to insist that their doctor order one or the other. That has helped to diagnose significant coronary artery disease in both friends which is still being addressed.

As this was going on, I began to get very lightheaded playing pickleball and other activities and thought maybe I needed a stress test. I have been taking two medications for mild hypertension for over 15 years without problems. I thought that my basic aerobic conditioning might have slipped so I began to stress myself on an exercise bike that measured my heart rate. Although my aerobic capacity had dropped somewhat that didn’t seem to be correlated with the lightheadedness. I considered that maybe I was metabolizing the blood pressure meds differently due to my age and maybe I should increase the hours between taking my once-a-day meds. That is when I noticed that my last prescription for Diltiazem 24HR 120mg had been inadvertently changed to Diltiazem 12Hr 120mg which means I was getting twice the dose over half the time. No wonder my blood pressure was dropping to 90/50 a few hours after each dose.

My Name is Earl, Caitlin Clark, and Dad Envy


In the third season of the crude but rather heartwarming comedy My Name is Earl, there was an episode that helps to explain the hatred directed at Caitlin Clark. In the show there are two half-sisters, one is lily white and named Joy, the other looks like a light-skinned African-American lady named Liberty.

Joy’s father had an affair with a black woman and made Liberty. Liberty resented Joy for having a dad and they soon became vicious enemies in a way that only girls can be vicious enemies.

This week on The Learning Curve co-hosts U-Arkansas Prof. Albert Cheng and DFER’s Alisha Searcy interview Henry James biographer Sheldon Novick. Mr. Novick discusses the complexities of Henry James’ life and writing career, highlighting his significant literary contributions, the influence of his family’s intellectual legacy, and the realistic portrayal of social tensions in his works. Novick explores Henry James’ life experiences that shaped his novels like The Portrait of a Lady and The Golden Bowl. He shared more on James’ important friendships, particularly with the novelist Edith Wharton, emphasizing James’ enduring influence on modern fiction. In closing, Novick reads a passage from his biography Henry James.

Let’s Negotiate with Terrorists


Biden has offered his latest harebrained idea regarding the Gaza War:

Biden administration officials have discussed potentially negotiating a unilateral deal with Hamas to secure the release of five Americans being held hostage in Gaza if current cease-fire talks involving Israel fail, according to two current senior U.S. officials and two former senior U.S. officials.

The hate for Caitlin Clark isn’t just about race, it’s geography


The argument has become far too simplistic because we have become the same. It’s all black and white, and that is so boring. Not that it isn’t true.

So many wretched individuals, men and women both, hate that Caitlin is the star of the WNBA… a league that struggled and lost millions from the outset. She filled the stands, brought ratings, and she gets record shoe deals. You’d think the eventual trickle-down effect would make the women thankful.