The Daily Standard is Wrong about Everything!

 

Charlie Sykes is a good guy. He means well. He’s sincere and cares deeply about civility. In case you’re new to planet earth that means I’m about to say something mean about old Chuck. Of the various center right podcasters running around in the wild woods of the web he stands apart with an uncanny […]

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Jill Lepore’s Slanted Truths

 
President Herbert Hoover.

Few books have received as much instantaneous acclaim as Harvard historian Jill Lepore’s These Truths: A History of the United States. Her aim is to distill in 932 densely packed pages the history of an entire nation. The title of the book is an explicit echo of Thomas Jefferson’s famous words in the Declaration of Independence. But if Jefferson was a small government thinker, Lepore is not. The book covers many cultural and social issues—as well as constitutional and regulatory matters, on which she takes a strong and uncritical progressive stance that sees government intervention as an essential tool to correct the imbalances of the market.

In developing this idea, Lepore’s book covers multiple topics with stunning rapidity, elegant compression, and apparent erudition. One constant theme traces the interaction between constitutional law and technological development from the Founding period to the present, covering everything from the printing press to the Internet. But even that subject is too extensive to receive a full account, so on this occasion I will confine my attention to a small portion of that topic, covering the years between 1920 and 1945 dealing with the rise of broadcasting by radio and the government’s attempt to regulate the airwaves. This case study offers a contrast between the classical liberal view of limited government with strong property and contract rights that I have long defended, and Lepore’s clear endorsement of the progressive tradition that has in many ways displaced it.

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Beyond the Golden Hour

 

I just read Beyond the Golden Hour by fellow Ricochet member @vinceguerra. It was absolutely outstanding. Well written, well paced, with characters that you feel like you’ve known for years, and realistic military action. If you like Tom Clancy, et al., you will love this book. I bought it on Amazon (I can’t remember how […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Senate floor speech blasting Senate Democrats for their conduct during the Kavanaugh confirmation process. They also unload on Antifa and the other menacing groups who berated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife and forced them to leave a Washington restaurant. And they react to cable news fixture Michael Avenatti promising an air-tight case of misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh only to walk back his bravado and go silent on Twitter.

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, it’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for Tuesday Morning Quarterback with Gregg Easterbrook.

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Quote of the Day 9/25/18, Just Like the Very First Time

 

“When you know, after the first few minutes, that the whole mechanism is working perfectly, the sensation is so keenly delightful as to be almost beyond description. Nobody who has not experienced it for himself can realize it. It is a realization of a dream so many persons have had of floating in the air. […]

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Things You Hear on NPR: Kavanaugh Guilty until Proven Innocent

 

Is it just me, or is NPR getting more brazen? More

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Reality Check: Adolescent Males

 

When the Kavanaugh story broke I made the comment that, whether or not the account is believable, it isn’t a sufficiently big deal to warrant preventing his confirmation. Since then I’ve read and heard several comments, including in conservative media, to the effect that these are “serious allegations” that, if true, would certainly disqualify Kavanaugh.

I disagree. I think we are witnessing a preening, unrealistic outrage rooted in a fantasy of how humans are supposed to behave. Life isn’t a fairy tale, never less so than when it involves intoxicated, scantily clad teens cavorting without adult supervision.

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Moonstruck and the Greater Good

 

Seems many a story here on Ricochet revolve around travel and doing my fair share of traveling I am compelled to share. I was on my way back home recently and traveling through Charlotte airport. It was a normal Friday mid-afternoon flight returning to Ronald Reagan International Airport. I had a short layover and moved quickly to my gate.

Once there the incoming plane has just landed and folks were getting off allowing me time to survey my world or turn on the oh so entertaining people watching system. We had the usual array of folks around the gate: recreational travelers, traveling pilots and flight attendants, military folks, families needing some assistance, disabled needing assistance and of course businessmen talking on their phones via Bluetooth (life and death decisions, I am sure) making those around them glance sideways ensuring the businessmen weren’t talking to them.

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Resolved: FTL is Impossible and this has Dire Implications for (Realistic) Speculative Fiction

 

This is more or less a call for assistance from the Ricochet Brain Trust ™. Larry Niven once wrote a series of sine qua non’s for speculative fiction in which interstellar civilizations can even exist. Chief among these was that there needs to be a means of breaking the light barrier, i.e. faster-than-light travel. Now, […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are enjoying Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono getting so much television time. One week after telling all men to “shut up” and admitting she was fine keeping the Supreme Court seat vacant, she admits to CNN that she doesn’t believe Kavanaugh’s denials on sexual misconduct allegations because she doesn’t like the way he rules on cases and fears he would overturn Roe v. Wade. They also blast the “New Yorker” for actually publishing a story from a second “accuser,” despite the fact the accuser could not definitively name Kavanaugh for the misconduct, all named witnesses had no knowledge of the incident in question, and the accuser actually told former classmates in the past week that she wasn’t sure she was targeted by Kavanaugh. And they get dizzy from all the reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is on the verge of resigning or being fired.

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You Have to Listen to My “MeToo” Moments

 

It might possibly make me rich in my dotage. There are plenty of other folks making claims so I may as well be one of them. The first incident I was five years old in 1942, and I remember it took place on a road called Mahogany Ave, and his name was R.B., he had […]

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Quote of the Day: “The Cat Is on the Mat”

 

Every once in a while, I’ll pick a date for one of these “Quote of the Day” posts because it resonates with me. It’s a special date for me, or it’s the anniversary of something, or the memorial of something, or a famous date in history, or something else I want to write about. But more often than not, I pick a date at random, and then back into a subject, either as one strikes me, or by noodling around on the web until I find something interesting. I like that. I like finding something to write about that I otherwise wouldn’t, and then having to take a stab at it.

So, here we are on September 23. And Wikipedia has bailed me out again: Today is the 218th birthday of one William Holmes McGuffey, probably the most illustrious and best-known citizen of the small hamlet of Claysville, just a few miles down the road from Chez She, out here in the wilds of Western Pennsylvania.

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This Week’s Book Review – Sports Makes You Type Faster

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. More

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Book Review: Hidden and Triumphant

 

Hidden and Triumphant: The Underground Struggle to Save Russian Iconography, by Irina Yazykova (translated by Paul Grenier), is a short work on how Russian Orthodox iconography, and indeed Christianity itself, survived the Soviets, found renewal in the Russian diaspora, survived the Nazis, spread into the greater Orthodox diaspora abroad, and returned home to its roots. As destructive as the Soviets were in their closure, desecration, and demolition of churches, not only were they unable to ever entirely squelch Christianity, but the very people they exiled were able to maintain the faith and provide outside inspiration and support to their people trapped within their homeland.

That traditional iconography survived the Soviets is remarkable in itself, yet that it survived at all as more than a novelty or as primitive folk art is just as significant. Iconography, introduced during the conversion of Kievan Rus by Byzantium, developed its own Russian voice and style in the centuries after Byzantium’s conquest by the Ottomans, entering into a sort of golden age under such masters as Rublev during the 16th and 17th centuries. Yet first, due to the schism with the Old Believers, and especially under the modernizing reforms of Peter the Great, much of that history was deliberately destroyed or hidden away. From the time of Peter up until the eve of the disaster of World War I, Russian liturgical art was very often little distinguished from that of western European styles, save that its topics remained Orthodox and Russian in character. Older, traditional icons, blackened with age and soot, were removed and relegated to barns or backwater churches far from the artistic centers of the major cities, and nearly the only practitioners of traditional iconography were rural artists or peasants. Yet in that final generation before the Great War, these old masters were being rediscovered as these older panels were unearthed, cleaned, and restored, often for the first time in centuries, and Russian artists set about re-appraising their older traditions.

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