The Smoothie Consistency Act of 2020


There seem to be two kinds of stories out of California cities these days: filth and forbiddance.

As for the first, there’s the encampments of the dispossessed, whose population is allowed to roam the streets in the grip of mental illness, and cannot be sent to a place for treatment because “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” taught us those places are run by sadistic nurses who do not understand how the patient’s illnesses are actually searing commentaries on society. Or the homeless people somehow got addicted to drugs – the details are an absolute mystery – and are thus entitled to shoot up anywhere, because prohibiting someone from jamming a spike in a vein in a playground would have a disparate impact on people who are economically marginalized and struggling with addiction. We can’t commit them to give them treatment, because they have to work this out on their own; the best thing to do is to provide free needles and safe injection locations, where they can incrementally destroy themselves in private, out of sight.

Quote of the Day: Faith


“Economics is not the central problem of this century. It is a relative problem which can be solved in relative ways. Faith is the central problem of this age. The Western world does not know it, but it already possesses the answer to this problem – but only provided its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as Communism’s faith in Man.” — Whittaker Chambers, Witness

These words remain applicable today, and yet so many of our current political debates focus on economics. As a parent of children attending public schools, I see faith in God being deliberately replaced with faith in man. Schools eagerly preach the religion of environmentalism under the guise of science, or English, or whatever other subject they can tangentially relate to its themes.

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We live in an age of information overload (however muddled by misinformation). With each decade, the potential for individual persons to learn about distant things improves. Books, radio, telephones, automobiles, television, internet, and many other innovations combine to provide access to pictures, stories, and people around planet Earth.  Among the most recent technological advances are […]

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The Progressive Blackface Genre


On the one hand, it shouldn’t be surprising that the party of secession, slavery, segregation, internment camps – and more recently of the FBI and the CIA – would elevate blackface to a career-ending art form. But now, even our mild-mannered Friends To The North are not only getting in on the act but seem hellbent on outdoing the Major League Baseball of blackface, the Democratic Party of Virginia.

The top three elected officials in Virginia, you may recall, have been in a months-long Mexican standoff to hold onto their coveted positions. Gov. Northam first denied, then apologized for, then expressed uncertainty about, and again denied appearing in blackface in a school yearbook. In defense of Northam, he was only a 25-year-old medical school student at the time. Were Northam to go full-Republican and resign in disgrace, he would be replaced by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. The problem for the Democratic Party of Virginia, though, is that Fairfax (D) has been credibly accused™ of sexual assault. That leaves Virginia’s next in line to succeed Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring (D), who acknowledged his career in blackface during the fallout from the Northam controversy.

Personally, I find blackface funny. But progressives, by definition, do not. And political movements, like individuals, should be judged by the standards to which they hold others, let alone themselves. Enter part-time Canadian Prime Minister and full-time virtue signaler Justin Trudeau, the boy-man whose recent troubles serve to remind conservatives that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Will There Be a 2020 Election?


I have read two things this morning that prompted the question that serves as the title for the post: Leninthink by Gary Saul Morson and Nancy Pelosi’s December 2018 Rule Changes Block Republicans From Participating In Impeachment Process. The first article deals with Lenin’s philosophy of governance. It is striking how the thinking explains much of what the Democratic leadership and its adjuncts seems to be doing. The second lays out the case that Pelosi and her allies are greasing the skids for a constitutional crisis.

Trump, whatever you think, is actually trying to use legal means and processes, relying on the right people in DOJ to expose and report on the corruption. But those processes when properly and completely done take time. Pelosi is trying to make sure that Trump does not have enough time. And Trump may not have that time — innocent or guilty.

The Impeachment Frenzy Is a Firehose of…


Following political news on Twitter is often compared to drinking from a firehose. This is true on a slow day let alone the past week-plus of impeachment fever. Since the first Ukraine story hit, major media outlets have torn into Trump like piranhas on an ox carcass.

Reporters have declared “we’ve got him this time” every day since 2015; they don’t want to miss their latest chance, damn the facts. And there are so many, ahem, “facts.” Each hour, another blockbuster hits. It takes about 90 minutes to prove many of these scoops false or at least questionable. By then, another blockbuster has hit, and another, and another.

It’s a firehose, alright. A firehose of … a word Ricochet’s vaunted Code of Conduct does not allow me to post on this family-friendly website. Let’s just say the media uncorked a hydrant spraying taurine excreta throughout the Beltway and beyond. The fountain of feculence is hitting everyone in Trump’s orbit, from staffers to foreign leaders.

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10-2-2019 the hockey season begins. The leaves turn colors, the nights get a bit colder, but none of that matters. As poetic as Fall might be even for those that grow a bit older this is not a game for old men. I played hockey until I came to the day when I knew that […]

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Autumn, My Favorite Season


I have always preferred Autumn to any other season. Summer heat does not agree with me, and I am always happy to feel the air become crisper, the clouds more defined, and even the days getting shorter. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, “fall colors” aren’t as widespread as in some other places because most trees are evergreen. But we do get some nice spots of color. Even my own backyard features a couple of Japanese Maple trees that turn a very pretty red in autumn. Ray nicknamed this one “Fluffy”:

Japanese maple in our backyard

Sundays Are Red, Fridays are Blue, Pumpkin-Spice Colored Skirts Are Totally in Too


Red is for Sunday,
Monday is orange that looks truly like the divine Moon,
Purple is reserved for Tuesday,
Wednesday is the beautiful green of the liep plant.
Thursday is the yellowish green of the young banana palm,
Happy Friday is blue, and must be neat and tidy,
Saturday is the color of ripe pring,
As passed down by the ancients.

According to Khmer tradition, each day of the week is associated with a certain color. And that color is linked to a certain divinity that is venerated on that day. People are advised to dress each day according to the color of the presiding divinity to bring health, prosperity, and happiness to their lives. In the olden days, women would dress accordingly every day. Nowadays, this doesn’t really occur except at formal functions where you would see women wearing the same color of skirts and shawls.

A Ludicrous Impeachment Charge


The political climate in the United States recorded new lows last week as the Democrats began a concerted effort to impeach Donald Trump for his telephone conversation on July 25, 2019 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The conversation was no clandestine affair but rather took place in a fishbowl before both a bevy of professional notetakers located in the White House situation room and a squad of Ukrainian observers.

The President released this conversation after an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint on August 12, 2019 with Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California. That letter asserted ominously that “in the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. The interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s domestic political rivals,” which in this case referred to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

This initial complaint was then followed up by thousands of denunciations of Trump. Schiff concluded that the President had betrayed the nation and his oath of office in conducting a “criminal shakedown” by asking Zelensky to do him a “favor” by digging up dirt on Joe Biden. Democratic stalwart David Axelrod  nastily tweeted: “If a Dem president quietly held up aid to [a] country & a week later called that country’s president to ask him the ‘favor’ of digging up dirt on an opponent, the @GOP in Congress would be screaming holy hell and demanding impeachment. And they would be right!”

What Doth He Sayeth?


The millennial is back! (Collective ugh!) But allow me to reassure you that I’m into the whole brevity thing.

Last week, I wrote a post declaring it playtime for conservatives. Though we are all familiar with the adage “you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” it’s always struck me as a no-brainer; the cake will go bad if we let it sit out too long, and at least you can have it in your tummy for a little while after eating.

Book Review: British Intelligence Gathers Germany’s Secrets


When World War II started, British Intelligence embarked on one of the war’s most audacious information-gathering projects.

They outfitted cells in the Tower of London for prisoners of war to secretly eavesdrop on inhabitants’ conversations.

“The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II” by Helen Fry, tells what happened.

Lightbulb Moment


We were sitting on wooden crates. They must have been sculling around in this old cargo hold for decades. Longer. It was an elephants’ graveyard of discarded technology, goods that had long since ceased being traded (at least in this corner of the universe). We pried open the lid on one, carefully. Inside, packed among musty, but still-dry, straw and shredded newspaper was a lamp. ‘Hey, this is solid brass,’ said Maya.

There were even some smaller crates inside. I opened one up. Inside were disintegrating pasteboard boxes.

Quote of the Day: Michaelmas


Sunday was St Michael and All Angels in our church’s liturgical tradition. It is also known as Michaelmas. One of my favorite hymns, “Lord, Thee I love with all my heart,” by Martin Schalling (and set by the likes of Schuetz, Buxtehude, and Bach) features the work of the angels in verse 3:

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram’s bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

A Bumper Sticker I’d Like to See


Remember in the ’80s those bumper stickers that said, “The Moral Majority Is Neither”? Well, I think it’s our turn now. I’d like to have a bumper sticker that reads, “Social Justice Is Neither.” It is definitely anti-social with its cancel culture, and it certainly isn’t just. For all I know, there may already be someone selling them.

ACF #32 The Hidden Fortress


Friends, here’s our second Kurosawa episode, after Rashomon: Jody Bottum and I talk about The Hidden Fortress, an extraordinary movie famous for inspiring George Lucas’s Star Wars, which was financed by Americans largely–through Lucas and Coppola’s efforts–and offers a rare mix of history and comedy, so that the tragedy of Japan can be brought to a hopeful conclusion. Toshiro Mifune gives his most sophisticated performance, ranging from scoundrel to legendary samurai, and alongside him we see a 16-year-old girl become a princess. We also talk about everything from Aristotle to Shakespeare to Austen and Dickens to John Wayne and John Ford!