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“I look out my window, watch her as she passes by” My senior year in high school, I was mostly invisible.  Although I began the year with a normal full day schedule, a few weeks later I rearranged my schedule to put the last four remaining classes into a half day, so that I could […]

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Honoring Samantha Bee


Tonight the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS, or SATAN spelled backwards) will honor Samantha Bee during their 11th Annual Television Academy Honors. This is one day after Miss Bee referred to the President’s daughter — on air — as “a feckless [expletive that refers to a part of a woman’s anatomy].”

Bee, and her network TBS, have tepidly apologized for the remark. “I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it,” tweeted Bee. The network added, “Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night. Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.”

And it truly was a team effort. Turner has a Standards and Practices Office like the broadcast nets. All scripts, monologues, etc., are run through this office. (Listen to the GLoP episode at AEI.) Which means Bee’s comments were not on par with Roseanne Barr’s spur-of-the-moment idiocy on Valerie Jarrett. No, this makes it 10 times worse. It was conceived in a writer’s room, approved by executive producers and blessed by the network itself. Jim Spann, the head of S&P for Turner Entertainment Networks, once appeared on “Conan” to defend his office’s censoring of some of that show’s content.

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Hypatia started an excellent thread today about Obama’s response to Trump’s election. He is supposed to have said, “What if we were wrong?” I realize that there is a great difference between the Massachusetts of 1775 and our country today. But perhaps a bit of the spirit of Captain Preston remains: “Captain Preston, what made you […]

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Children, ‘Animals,’ and Immigrants


Maybe you’ve seen the video of the hero the French have dubbed “Spiderman.” When he saw a toddler dangling off a fourth story balcony, he scaled the exterior of the Paris building in about 30 seconds to save the child. Turns out Mamoudou Gassama was a newly-arrived illegal immigrant from Mali. A grateful President Emmanuel Macron made him a French citizen a day later.

Or consider the story of Jesus Manuel Cordova. He illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona and came upon a damaged car. Inside was a dead mother and an injured nine-year-old boy. Cordova stayed with the child for hours until help arrived.

Hard Times Create Strong Men…


I saw this on Facebook this morning. I thought it might be oversimplified or exaggerated — I went to ask a Roman what he thought, but I couldn’t find any.  So I’ll ask my friends on Ricochet — do you think this is true? If so, is it inevitable? How can this be avoided?

Disabling Insecurities


I have often, on these pages, written about how important it is to let go of the past, to allow ourselves and other people to move on. This is why gossip is so destructive: negative speech reinforces conclusions, making it hard for any of the parties to grow beyond their past.

But there are limits: certain kinds of problems we cannot, no matter how tolerant and forgiving we might be, simply accept and move on. These are not the kinds of problems that one can internalize, make adjustments, and keep living – these problems paralyze us, keeping us locked in a Hamlet-style morass of indecision and inaction. I speak, of course, of the same fundamental affliction that plagued Hamlet – indecision – caused by uncertainty, self-doubt, and soul-eating suspicion.

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As someone who spends countless hours staring at nineteenth-century property maps and combing through old county histories, I encounter a lot of names. Hundreds upon hundreds of names — family names, given names, middle names, and nicknames. The variety, even in a place as insular and “unworldly” as pre-World War I Ohio, is almost infinite. […]

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Pas Plus, S’il Vous Plaît


Look, I don’t like ganging up on anybody. Seems like there has been a bit of group pummeling on David French.

I like David French, mostly; I often enjoy hearing his perspective whether I agree with him or not. He is gaining a bit of a reputation for scolding Trumpians over principles he lets slide with the progressive left. Fair? Unfair? I don’t care enough to delve into the matter.

Despite the Outrage, Southwest Did the Right Thing


There is no bigger hassle for a company than a disgruntled customer with a Twitter account. This week Southwest is getting some heat; not for killing a dog or dragging a customer off a flight, but for asking for proof of an infant’s identity. The Washington Post reports:

But her family then had what Gottlieb called an “uncomfortable and hurtful” interaction with a Southwest Airlines employee at a Denver International Airport ticket counter: On Monday, she said, the employee asked Gottlieb to “prove” she was the mother of her biracial son, even after seeing the toddler’s passport.

Quote of the Day: Richard Feynman


“We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.” — Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, well known for his role on the Presidential commission investigating the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. The above quote came from his 1985 book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and was based on his 1974 Caltech commencement address. He was a strong advocate of scientific integrity that corresponds to utter honesty — test and retest your data and eliminate any other explanations. Note his disdain above to “cargo cult” science, which plagues us today with “Climate Change” and other such theories.

While at the university contemplating a degree in physics, I learned aspects of the Feynman diagram. Later, I saw the 1989 PBS Nova special “The Last Journey of a Genius,” which showed him being a bongo-playing scientist, adventurer, safecracker, and yarn-spinner. While dying of cancer, his last request was to visit Tuva, a part of Russia, located in the middle of Asia. Tuva was best known for its colorful postage stamps and for Throat Singing. For Feynman, it was the ultimate challenge to get there during the Cold War, but he died the day before being granted permission. His daughter visited Tuva in 2009.

Never Attribute to Malice…


Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. Sometimes police work involves dealing with people who do not have enough dignity to be truly evil, they just don’t think things through before they decide on a course of action. That doesn’t mean their decisions don’t lead to mayhem at times.

In light of the Roseanne Barr debacle on Twitter, the lesson might be that not every thought you might have needs to be expressed. One night on a traffic stop, my partner and I were subjected to what might be called a Twitter rant. Unlike Ms. Barr, he escaped total retribution in court; barely escaped, I should say.