Member Post

 

Understanding depends on knowledge.  When knowledge is good, understanding is good. But when it’s bad ……. Oh, hello. I didn’t see you standing there. How can I help you? You’d like to see the Ancient History Books? Do you have a viewing permit from the Council? You don’t? I’m sorry. I can’t let you see […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I realized the other day that we, as humans, are too valuable to be trusted with ourselves. It was a funny thought, seemingly a bit of a paradox, because at first glance the things that make us valuable are the same ones that enable us to take care of ourselves. I was in sixth grade […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Processional

 

I usually start my work day listening to Pandora’s “Symphonic, Classical Period” channel. (Before I’ve had my coffee I’m not ready for anything more energetic than that.) Today I fired it up, and the very first piece of music it played was the air from Handel’s “Water Music,” Suite No. 1.

Why is that interesting? Because 30 years ago today, that just happened to be the music that was playing as my wife (well, then my fiancée) walked down the aisle on her father’s arm. She was wearing a lovely tea-length wedding dress and a cute wide-brimmed lacy hat in lieu of a veil. I was waiting at the front of the church, along with my brother, my sister, two of my best friends, and two of hers. My uncle, a Baptist minister who had traveled a thousand miles to be there, waited behind me.

Member Post

 

I’ve been thinking some about the likelihood of any impeachment effort by Democrats if they were to get into a position where that is possible. There may be several reasons Democrats would bypass this but the one that I think might reverberate against them is the fact that all of the criminal and otherwise underhanded […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

The Challenge of Free Trade: How Does One Side Win When Everyone Cheats?

 

I used to be a believer in Free Trade. No matter what, I thought the trade policy of America should be that there are no limits whatsoever to trade. If the other side had all sorts of restrictions, it did not matter, because it was always better for Americans on the whole to have total free trade. Why did I believe this? Because learned people said it was so, and that was good enough for me.

However, as I have aged, I have grown more an more uncomfortable with the idea that one side trading free and the other side putting up restrictions is always best for the most Americans. It is counterintuitive, to say the least. For instance, how can it be better for me as an American, that American farmers cannot sell their goods in the EU so that EU farmers are protected? How does that help Americans as a whole, exactly, when American farmers have to compete on an uneven playing field? Less competitive EU farmers get the benefits of higher prices, while American farmers have to run even leaner. How does that help the average American?

Member Post

 

The black bear wasn’t quite a thousand feet below us but probably close to it. He was moving through a grass clearing between some timber at a slow walk trying to pick up some clue to his next chance to add to his summer fat. From the range of vision our eyes had, he was […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Bangor. You’re Saying It Wrong

 

Even if you’re not from New England, you’ve probably heard of Bangor, Maine. You might even think you know how to pronounce it, but you probably don’t. When my wife was in grad school on the West Coast a theater professor corrected her pronunciation of Bangor. “It’s pronounced Bang-er,” this know-nothing academic said, probably with a fake Oxford accent, while drinking tea. And definitely while wearing some stupid reading glasses perched on the tip of her nose, you know the kind, with the chain around the back of her neck. She was probably wearing a cardigan, too, even though it was Southern California. I don’t know; I wasn’t there. I’m just guessing.

Member Post

 

Though it is redundant in this era of ubiquitous connectivity and the oracular algorithms of our favorite search engines (Bing, in my case), I keep a small printed copy of the United States Constitution on the bookshelf by my desk. It moves around a bit, but at the moment it’s tucked between Andrew Klavan’s Hunting Down […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Defrock Them All

 

“Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.” St. Basil the Great

The latest news to break after the revelations surrounding the evil Theodore McCarrick (he is no longer a cardinal): 300 predator priests have been identified by an independent organization in Pennsylvania alone. These allegations go back a few years, which is little comfort to the likely thousands of victims who were abused by these men.

Member Post

 

(Warning: will contain spoilers for both old and new Star Wars films) It’s been over eight months since The Last Jedi out. Already countless hours have been filmed by youtubers and countless words typed by bloggers both condemning and defending the creative decisions made in the new Star Wars films. I have spent an unjustifiable amount of […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

When Courts Play Public Nuisance

 

There is a deep and growing split between the conservative judges who are being appointed to the federal bench and the progressive judges who dominate state courts in places like California. The tension between these rival judicial philosophies is highlighted by the 2017 decision of People of California v. ConAgra and Sherwin-Williams, which on the basis of California law ordered these two companies “to pay $1.15 billion into a fund to be used to abate the public nuisance created by interior residential lead paint” in residential units built before 1951 in ten populous California counties. Of that sum, about $400 million will be used to identify residences that might contain some lead paint.

Yet it was undisputed that the sale of lead paint for interior use was both common and legal at that time and was only banned federally for interior surfaces as of 1978.


The People’s novel public nuisance theory insists that these defendants are fully liable for their “affirmative promotion of lead paint for interior use, not their mere manufacture and distribution of lead paint or their failure to warn of its hazards,” wholly without regard to whether anyone had ever relied on these promotional materials, none of which made any false or misleading health or safety claims about lead paint. It was sufficient that one Sherwin-Williams advertisement from 1904 insisted, “Put S.W.P. on your house and you will get satisfaction and save money every time.” Similar advertisements noted that Sherwin-Williams paints came in 48 shades. The company made $5,000 in contributions to the lead paint association between 1937-1941.

You Hate Us, You Really Hate Us!

 

For the first few years I lived in Los Angeles, I mostly got the “come home” pleas from family and friends, which makes sense. After living here 12 years, however, not only am I getting pressure to get out by them, but the ever-increasing expenses and traffic, stupid laws, homeless encampments, and the rest of the country laughing at us have caused me depression and disdain for this place. I can’t say I blame them for laughing, but I do want to address some of these things to show how it really is. 

  • It’s expensive: It’s no secret that gas and rent in California are always higher, but in January 2009, gas dropped here to $1.75/gal. and our rent for a large one-bedroom including utilities was $950/mo. Today, gas is around $3.65/gal. (an increase of over 108%!) and our old apartment now rents for $1,545 (almost 63%!). The national averages on increase are about 78% and 16%, respectively.
  • Everything’s Illegal Except for Things That Should Be: I am sure you all know about the ridiculous “bag ban” and “straw ban” out here. It’s supposedly to save the environment, but I call BS. They didn’t outlaw plastic shopping bags, they just made thicker ones and charged 10¢ for them. It hasn’t changed anything, except create another tax. I still see bags (among other trash) everywhere. As for the straws, well that’s just plain silly, and I am certain the same thing will happen. However, living on the street or in cars here is not illegal. My neighborhood used to be safe to walk in, but in the last year or two, there are beat-up RVs parked up and down my street, a vacant parcel of land across from a park is full of trash and tents, and the sidewalks of downtown Los Angeles have been completely overtaken by tents and tarps. Mayor Garcetti’s solution is to tax us more and build new housing — the plans show luxury apartment complexes that are way nicer than mine (I don’t have in-unit laundry or a dishwasher). Now, that’d be great if the homeless were off the streets, but what percentage do you think are actually going to take advantage of this program? Since law enforcement cannot do anything about it, a large portion of these new homes will likely remain vacant.

So, things have gotten bad. I would like to stay because there really are great things here: many National Parks, beaches, beautiful weather, job opportunities, incredible music venues, amazing food, etc. 

Member Post

 

I saw this quote on FaceBook and laughed. The deep thoughts of Frank Zappa! Great! But then I thought about it a bit, and he may have a point. I know that there are many reasons that Communism doesn’t work.  It just doesn’t fit with human nature, in a myriad of ways. But is this […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

How to Build a Computer 9: Photoresist

 

We’ve just got off a quick overview on organic chemistry. Now we’re getting back to photoresist. The point of photoresist, if you’ll recall, is to take a pattern so you can print stuff on your wafer. To do that it has to be a chemical that responds to ultraviolet light. And I mean more “responds to” than get a mild sunburn; it’s got to chemically change so you can transfer the pattern of light into a pattern of stuff.

It’s a polymer made of benzene rings. Someone’s showing off.

Reconsidering a Border Fence

 

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t want a border wall, per se, but rather would like a border fence. I’ve advocated a physical barrier both because I consider it a humane and practical enforcement mechanism, and because I think it evinces a determination to actually secure the nation’s borders and assert our right to moderate and control immigration. A double fence has always seemed to me the more practical (and, frankly, aesthetically acceptable) choice.

I now realize that calling for a fence was a mistake, for a reason I didn’t appreciate until now.