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I have been in some kind of government work for 9 years so I have had plenty of exposure to acronyms.  I have really grown to dislike them.  I once read that former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld also hated them.  I think the only ones he allowed people to use were NATO and the US.  […]

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Marriage – and Children

 

The work of Kay S. Hymowitz, a senior fellow at the Mahattan Institue and a contributing editor to City Journal, deserves close attention. No one I know of today is as keen a student of contemporary trends as they apply to love and marriage. She has a book coming out on Tuesday entitled Manning Up: How the Rise of Women has Turned Men into Boys, and she has written a teaser touching on its main themes – which I hope to discuss tomorrow or the next day.

Today, however, I want to introduce her thinking by looking back at a piece she wrote for The Wall Street Journal last year, in which she drew on that book’s predecessor Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age. The piece I have in mind was entitled Losing Confidence in Marriage.

(Un)Common Readings

 

When I first started blogging in 2002 my focus and motivation was not economics but a wave of distressing signs in academia indicating a massive lurch left.  In the eight years that followed things got at least a little better.  But one thing that has continued a bit out of the public light has been the required freshman reading.

The common summer reading has seldom been a great book (Great Book?  Is it Eurocentric for me to capitalize?) but rather something new and, often, of little lasting value.  They also tend to be books that do not challenge the reader.  

Helping Friends and Harming Enemies

 

Tristan Abbey’s post Of Aircraft and the National Interest: Libya and Qaddafi poses an interesting question that received some attention in the comments. Why, you might ask, do we have aircraft carriers, an air force, and an army? To do good in the world? To defend American lives? And, if we can answer the first question, how does the answer bear on Tristan Abbey’s more particular concern. What should we do vis-à-vis Libya in the current circumstances?

It is, of course, easier to address the abstract than the particular question. Certainly, the main reason we have armed forces is to defend our borders and the lives and material interests of our citizens? There is no harm in doing good to others but our primary focus is to do well ourselves.

A Question to Our Tea Partiers…How Many Racist Signs Have You Seen at Rallies?

 

There’s already been some controversy surrounding “The Good Wife’s” last episode, whereby a character is tainted in court as racist by being a member of the Tea Party.  Gary Cole plays a conservative ballistics expert who is NOT portrayed as an idiot and Christine Baranski is a Liberal who is in love with him and willing to defend him in court. They even allow Cole’s character to explain the basic tenant of the Tea Party without derision…as a movement aimed at forcing both parties to reduce spending.  So far so good.  Except they try to smear his reputation by including him in a picture of a Tea Party rally where some numbnut holds up a sign “Go back to the jungle,” inferring it refers to our Commander-in-Chief.  Having never attended a Tea Party rally, I’d like to know from fellow Ricos who have how many of these kinds of signs they’ve actually seen at rallies.  And be honest if you have…there’s fringe wackos in all movements.  Just look at some of the nutso signs you see in Wisconsin.   

As a side note they are also have a story line where Juliana Marguilies’ daughter is becoming interested in Christianity through a teen on-line evangelist.  So far they’ve treated the issue with respect, but the kid leading the movement is a little creepy and cult-like, so I’ll be curious to see where liberal Hollywood ends up with this one. 

The State of Michigan

 

Yesterday I left Hilldale for a trip up to Lansing, for one of the 50 nationwide rallies called for by MoveOn.org. It was an interesting crowd: fireman, corrections officers, teachers, etc., all with their union flags, many wearing the red and white to express solidarity with their government union bretheran in Wisconsin.

Michigan has far bigger economic and fiscal problems than Wisconsin, yet the new GOP governor has proposed a more modest reform agenda. The crowd was having none of it. They don’t see a dime’s worth of difference between Gov. Walker in Wisconsin and Gov. Snyder in Michigan.

Member Post

 

Do you read sad literature, the bleak stories with no ray of hope?  If so, what draws you to them?  I only read it when I had to–I appreciated the author’s skill on some level, but mainly endured for a grade. To me, reading is wonderful when it uplifts, provides beauty, and provokes thought.  There’s a […]

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Since my last post on this subject, I’ve had a follow up conversation with the Olympic skater barista. I’m posting this for Caroline’s sake, as she expressed an interest in the subject. I asked this skater about the nature of her hip problems and she said that she had torn a cartilage, which necessitated the […]

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And so the Church, the Church confided to Peter, is at the same time more pure and more vast than we know. More pure, since she is, not certainly without sinners, but without sin, and the faults of her members do not sully her. More vast, because around her are assembled all in the world […]

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A question, is there any correlation between bad teachers and the subjects they teach?  or let me approach this from another direction, Would subjects like math, science, chemistry, being “hard” subjects, 2+2=4, be easier to teach kids because of greater objectivity, than more liberal-arts type subjects, social studies, English, History ect. Can a bad teacher […]

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Piercing the Gloom

 

Few things add color to a vocabulary like attempting to leap over a puddle of grayish gooey mud and landing ankle-deep smack in the mess. Still fewer things exercise one’s patience like attempting to close a large trailer door in strong winds and driving rain, only to have a great gust suddenly sweep the door back and nearly knock you on your tea set in the aforementioned icky stuff. And if that doesn’t challenge a proper temperament, the knowledge that conditions will only get worse during the impending trip to New Jersey should take a wrecking ball to any chance of a positive attitude and yet, …and yet here I was in stellar spirits. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight. But that’s not entirely unusual either.

It was on a pure whim, having left the warehouse and driving north on I-81 toward Bristol, that I decided to test the strength of the truck’s speakers by putting on some Ted Nugent. While Uncle Ted let loose with unbridled, rib-cracking power chords, I marveled at the panorama to the west. The weather had been miserable. A dank cover of gray had seemingly enveloped the sky and invaded the very air right down to the ground. But at that moment it was as if the gray sky had been one large overhead jigsaw puzzle and chunks of it were suddenly separating, revealing shafts of orange and pink bursting from behind the clouds and piercing the gloom. More than that,…this warm light turned the clouds into jigsaw shaped silhouettes that formed a curvy frame for the light itself. My spirits went into overdrive.

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Teachers get a six-hour workday, summers off, and several other holidays. Paules himself, whom I respect, said this.  I have a different take about workdays, holidays, and summers for teachers, and I will speak for both me and the majority of public and private school teachers that I have met. First, for me, a teacher for two […]

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Well, me neither, my lovelies.  But tomorrow’s hijinks will be hella-awesome just for the company.  And will also give me another chance to berate TPTB (that’s The Powers That Be, except shorter to type) for not having booked Mike Nelson for a podcast. Behold the wonder of the MST3K Oscar Special. Preview Open

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Why Elections in the Middle East Would be a Good Thing–Not

 

Just got to Washington.  Wading through news and emails, I came across this fascinating article in the Jerusalem Post.  Interviewed at the home of the U. S. Ambassador to Israel, the great Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis, now 94, expressed satisfaction at seeing dictatorial regimes such as those of Egypt and Tunisia overthrown–but expressed caution about holding elections any time soon.  

“Lewis regards a dash toward Western-style elections,” the article states…”as constituting ‘a dangerous aggravation’ of the problem, and fears that radical Islamic movements would be best placed to exploit so misguided a move.”  In Lewis’s own words:

What do You Believe About God, and Why?

 

As you can see, I’m slowly dipping my toes back into Ricochet, but as you can probably also see, my mind is troubled. The Middle East is still roiling, but I feel far apart from the ordinary world, still–it all seems to be taking place in a galaxy far, far away. My mind is still back in an apartment in Washington where nothing seemed real but one elderly woman’s final days. And those final days were slow indeed, a time out of time. It was one of those weeks–or maybe two weeks, I lost track–that drew back the curtain of denial we all place over reality in our efforts to stay sane. The plain fact is just staring at me now, impossible to forget: We age–we really age–then we die–we really die–and then somehow we disappear. We’re just gone. 

Somehow in our culture the iron wall between religion and state has been transmogrified into a wall between religion and society. We never discuss religion in much depth in mixed company. Someone who comes up to you at  cocktail party and discusses his relationship with God–or his lack thereof–is considered maladroit, a violator of an unspoken taboo. The conversation feels awkward and one instinctively changes the subject. (This is not so in Turkey, where it is not uncommon, within minutes of meeting someone, to be asked what you believe about God and challenged to a debate about your beliefs.) 

Member Post

 

As we prepare for tomorrow night’s Academy Awards live chat here on Ricochet, this erstwhile speechwriter got a kick out of the Los Angeles Times’ lengthy piece on award show etiquette in yesterday’s edition, particularly because of what it had to say about Academy speechmaking: After months of strenuous self-promotion, Oscar winners must surmount one […]

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