Contributor Created with Sketch. Weaponizing Hate


Last Monday, the Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth, MN, was burned down:

Investigators have no indication that the suspect, Matthew Amiot, was motivated by hate or bias, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said in a Sunday news conference. He did not provide an alternative motive but said the investigation remains ongoing.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Here Come the Robots: We Can Prepare for the Future Without Fearing the Future


Andrew Yang had his best policy moment of the Democratic debates last week when he said, “This country has been a magnet for human capital for generations. If we lose that, we lose something integral to our continued success.” Yang should talk more about immigration. And more about thorium-fueled nuclear reactors. Maybe also flesh out his VAT idea.

But Yang’s main idea, a universal basic income (UBI), is less appealing. It’s an elegant idea that would quickly look less so when filtered through the reality of government sausage-making and flawed human behavior. Then there’s Yang’s alarmist argument that we need UBI to meet the looming and “unprecedented crisis” of widespread technological unemployment. Yang: “In the next 12 years, 1 out of 3 American workers are at risk of losing their jobs to new technologies—and unlike with previous waves of automation, this time new jobs will not appear quickly enough in large enough numbers to make up for it.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Milestone



On July 13, 2002, after two years of sending around demos and auditions that produced zero response, my first audiobook narration hit the stands. It was an unremarkable vanity self-published title, but Amazon being Amazon, there is a market for such things. I was not turning down any offers.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. On the Passing of Pets


I just deleted the draft of a think piece on the abuse of climate change girl and using kids as political props because something way more important, to me, anyway, has happened. Our 13 1/2 year old dog died. It’s not like we didn’t see it coming a few months ago as he was experiencing some changes in behavior. I looked him straight in the eyes the morning of September 11 during my usual bout of tears every year on that morning and told him, “Don’t do this today.” He didn’t listen, and did what he pleased, as was his usual way.

Our daughter wanted to adopt a puppy from a local shelter with her $40 in birthday money she had received when she turned 8. She picked out the runt of a litter of 13 pups someone had abandoned at the shelter. We never knew his breed, just that he was like a shepherd, collie, husky, something. It didn’t matter. He was perfect to her. She spent her $40 and we spent the rest, which as anyone with dogs knows, isn’t chump change over 13+ years. We’d totally do it all again. Anyway, she named him Lucky, and that he was. He probably wouldn’t have lived past 5 years old with anyone that couldn’t have taken care of him the way he needed. Everyone would say we saved him, but in reality, he saved us. As dogs do.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Somebody Is Missing Something Here


Jonah Goldberg has written (some time ago) that one weakness of classical liberalism (aka, modern conservatism) is that it lacks an ‘other’ to hate. Most other systems of human interaction have an ‘other’ – we are naturally tribal, and respond powerfully to outside threats to our tribe. The idea that we should all help one another, even those we don’t like, is not natural. This is one reason that Jesus Christ was such a radical. He attempted to build a movement based on love. And hate is more powerful than love. That’s just human nature. I don’t see how you could look at human history and disagree with that statement. And I think it would be difficult to disagree with Mr. Goldberg’s point here.

Republicans have tended to seek leaders who are nice people. The leftist tendency to villainize whoever they disagree with is clearly apparent when their opponent is someone as benign as Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney, George Bush, or some other vanilla, inoffensive ‘nice guy.’ Some think that President Trump has brought out the nasty side of leftists – that he inspires a special sort of hatred, due to his unpleasant personality or whatever. I really don’t think so. I think the left’s hatred is simply more obvious, now that they finally have a target that reasonable people might dislike. Now, leftists don’t go after conservatives, they go after “Trump supporters.” And the ‘nice guy’ conservatives try to distance themselves from such an obvious target of disdain as the crude, impolite, and ‘not one of us’ Donald Trump. I throw no stones – this describes my relationship with Mr. Trump as well, although I hate to admit it.


Contributor Created with Sketch. The Saudi-Iranian Conflict Grows


Paul D. Miller is a Middle East expert paying close attention to the growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. On Monday, he wrote a Twitter thread explaining the situation. Here it is in story form:

As you read all the hot takes about the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and the U.S.’s purported plans to respond, here are some things to keep in mind:


Contributor Created with Sketch. The New Frontier: Your Kids’ Bathroom


In the Atlantic this month, there was a great piece about the state of education in New York City. I wrote about it last week here. There was an interesting tidbit within the piece about bathrooms,

Within two years, almost every bathroom in the school, from kindergarten through fifth grade, had become gender-neutral. Where signs had once said boys and girls, they now said students. Kids would be conditioned to the new norm at such a young age that they would become the first cohort in history for whom gender had nothing to do with whether they sat or stood to pee. All that biology entailed—curiosity, fear, shame, aggression, pubescence, the thing between the legs—was erased or wished away.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Vaping Ventilator


View original artwork here.


Contributor Created with Sketch. The Dreaded Musical Icon Obituary


This is the post where you put in a few videos no one clicks to watch, because they know the song, and maybe didn’t feel the same affinity for the band you have. That’s how I feel about the artists of the ’60s — I might like a song, or admire the tunesmith’s skill in an unheralded B-side, but there’s a quality to the recording that dates it and puts it outside of my emotional range. It’s a matter of instrumentation, arrangement, production, the vocalist’s mannerisms. You had to be there. If you were 23 when the song came out, it grabbed you, man; got its mitts right into your pith. If you weren’t young and wrangling the thrashing loose wire of the popular culture, it doesn’t mean the same thing.

Listening to some Cars songs tonight, all the good ’80s tropes are present – the chilly synthetic seriousness that would make a great “Miami Vice” scene where Sonny drives to a meeting; the echoey melancholy; the wry untutored lead vocal that nailed down the band’s sound; the warm synth beds and telltale patches for the keyboards of the era; the wet guitar solos mixed up front — a raw squealing rip given a moment to tear it up within the parameters of an exquisitely crafted and controlled pop song. 


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Not on Such a Night as This


The last couple of weeks have been hot in Southern California. After all, it is predominantly a desert region, so temperatures in the upper 90s around this time of year should be expected. It was 100 on Saturday. My 26-year-old autistic, speech-challenged son doesn’t do well in the heat. He moves slower, then gets ornery. Sometimes during these prolonged heat spells, he prefers to hang out in his room and take successive naps during the day and then come to life and become hyperactive after the sun has gone down. I can’t blame him. To take him out of his routine last night, I offered to take him for a ride in the car as the temperature outside had dropped to a more tolerable 82 degrees after the sun had set over the Pacific.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Just a Local Crime Story: Midwest Edition


Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died September 3. After his death, an attorney for his family summoned the Will County Sheriff to his rural home south of Chicago. You see, Dr. Klopfer had amassed an interesting collection: Two thousand, two hundred forty-six fetal remains.

Klopfer performed abortions in Fort Wayne, Gary, and South Bend, IN. In 2015, he was brought before the Indiana State Medical Board for violations at the Fort Wayne and South Bend clinics. During the proceedings, he admitted that he had performed an abortion on a ten-year-old girl who, he said, had been raped by her uncle. He also stated that he had performed abortions on 13- and 14-year-olds. He said he was unaware that he needed to report the incidents to police. After all, just because a girl comes in for an abortion doesn’t mean she was abused. Said Klopfer:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Perpetual Childhood of the Left


The last few years, in particular, have demonstrated the increasing polarization between the Left and Right. Demonstrations on college campuses, attacks on Donald Trump and his administration, far-reaching demands for others to succumb to their demands are endless. Many of us have tried to figure out ways to deal with these perpetual attacks: we’ve focused on how to speak to the Left, how to ignore their outrageous behavior, how to ridicule them, ways to fight back, and even how to change them. I think, however, we’ve been going about these efforts in the wrong way.

For the most part, the Right has offered solutions to deal with the demands of the Left, particularly with efforts to communicate with them or to use reason to show them the errors of their ways. Instead of solutions, I suggest we identify the source of their actions. Broadly speaking, they are trapped in Perpetual Childhood and are either unwilling or unable to find their way out. Let me provide an explanation of Perpetual Childhood, suggestions for its domination of so many on the Left, and general suggestions about where we can begin to deal with it. I’d like to begin with a practical list of attributes that I discovered. Think about people on the Left whom you know: do you think that any of these describe their thinking processes or behavior?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. What for Art Thou, Tybalt?


I had the misfortune of seeing one of the worst adaptations of Romeo and Juliet ever on the stage recently in San Diego. I understand that with well-known stories, directors feel the need to create edginess and try something new. But with any production, the audience determines whether or not this edginess and newness succeeds in illuminating perhaps the most well known and best-loved of Shakespeare’s play. I was deeply disappointed that they turned this story into farce and managed to so mangle and muddle the storytelling so badly that audience members laughed during the final death scene. The director’s notes claimed that he wanted to emphasize the fun and humor in the first part (at one point, Juliet grabbed a microphone and sang “Copacabana”) and then the swift turn to tragedy in the second after Mercutio’s death, but they failed if the audience couldn’t make that switch. Of course, the reviews were stellar as I find in San Diego, rarely does a harsh word escape a critic’s lips.

But this is not a theater critique. What none of the reviews mentioned, nor the director’s notes in the program, was that five of the male characters in this production — Tybalt, Benvolio, and the three Capulet servants (Sampson, Gregory and Peter) — were played by women. Given two additional posts on Ricochet regarding gender identity (Which Gender Are You Out of a Hundred ) and pronouns (They Make It Impossible to Ignore), I thought I would set down my thoughts because I have a feeling that we will be seeing this more and more.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Jamestown 1619: A Tale of Two Tales


Who knew that President Trump directly addressed the “1619” slavery and American history issue directly … before the New York Times? It is true. See for yourself, and then consider the larger implications for our media, politics, and society.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s an Emergency! A Crisis! A Catastrophe! We’re All Going to Die! Arrrrgh! (Part 3)


Steve Marriott was a talented songwriter and guitar player who fronted seminal rock bands Humble Pie and The Small Faces. As was de rigueur for rock musicians at the time, he was also an egomaniacal jerk, drug addict and alcoholic. In April of 1991, he decided to light up a fag in bed after a night of carousing and died of smoke inhalation in the resulting fire.

He was not alone. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the United States, over 4000 fires a year are caused by smokers, resulting in about 500 deaths and 1000 injuries. Of course, Marriott died in England. I can’t find the morbidity and mortality stats, but smoking appears to be responsible for about 2800 fires in Great Britain every year. If they were proportional to the U. S., that would mean 350 deaths and 700 injures.


Contributor Created with Sketch. They’re Coming for the Kids


Seldom do I read a piece about the state of education in this country without remarking to myself and my husband how glad I am to be homeschooling. There’s a remarkable piece in The Atlantic by George Packer this month about one father’s journey through New York City’s public schools that made me do it again. What’s remarkable is how clearly the author illustrates how everyone in the public school system in New York, from teachers up to the Mayor himself, have made a conscious decision to sacrifice education on the altar of Progressivism. Here’s a sampling:

I wanted the plan to succeed, but I had serious doubts. It came festooned with all the authoritarian excess of the new progressivism. It called for the creation of a new diversity bureaucracy, and its relentless jargon squashed my hope that the authors knew how to achieve an excellent education for all. Instead of teaching civics that faced the complex truths of American democracy, “the curriculum will highlight the vast historical contributions of non-white groups & seek to dispel the many non-truths/lies related to American & World History.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Liberty


“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. “– Eric Blair (writing as George Orwell)

Which is another proof woke culture is anti-liberty and at its heart fascistic. Not only do they not want to hear what they do not want to hear – they want no one else to hear what woke culture does not want to hear. They want you to have the freedom to agree with them and no other freedom of speech, press, or thought. Ironically, Blair’s words are written on the side of BBC HQ in London. Whether it did in the past, the BBC doesn’t really mean it today.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Green Energy Movement Gives Us SF6, a Bad “New” Gas


More bad news from the environmental movement:

Where once large coal-fired power stations brought energy to millions, the drive to combat climate change means they are now being replaced by mixed sources of power including wind, solar and gas.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Gratitude


There is so much good in the world, we just need to look harder to find it. It’s there. It’s also important to celebrate the small victories. This quote defines how I feel:

“While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Marianne Williamson’s Slogan: Your Soul Is Fixable


After reading Thomas Sowell’s Conflict of Visions, I recommend watching Dave Rubin’s interview with Marianne Williamson. It is a wonderfully informative video and, if you possess a dark sense of humor, very funny.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. If One Truly Believes in the Climate Catastrophe … Then It’s War!


For those people who truly believe that the world only has 12 years (or less) to solve the climate crisis or there will be a global catastrophe of biblical proportions, is the following a fair question?

Given general agreement that developed countries cannot solve the carbon problem without the full participation of China and India: Do you agree that if diplomatic pressure brought to bear by the countries that are serious about climate change does not convince China and India to cooperate with our attempt to save the planet, that these serious countries should go to war with China and India to compel them to abandon their coal-fired power plants, and thus save the world?


If you’re not doing what you love, with people you love, you are wasting your time. Kelly Maher and Emily Zanotti have a lot of experience jumping into the deep end to pursue their passions and build lives they love—but can anyone do that? Forget the starving artist stereotypes (Emily is a WWII historian and Kelly is a farmer) and tuck into this uplifting episode.


Contributor Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer 36: Chemical Vapor Deposition


No matter how much fun you’re having etching silicon, applying and stripping photoresist, or implanting ions, sooner or later you’re going to have to actually put down some lines. Gotta build a circuit eventually. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is one of the main ways this gets done. Let’s have a look at what we’re doing, shall we?

If I had known I was going to use this picture at least three times I might have put a little more effort into the sketching.

What you’re looking at is a jump over a wire. You have two wires that need to cross but not touch each other, you gotta do something like this. Let’s go over the process to get there: