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.

Duh!

 

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.