Member Post

 

I caught the end of the Monday Night Football game, in which the New Orleans Saints beat the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. As the camera panned over the players greeting and hugging each other across teams on the field immediately after the game, one big Saints player (a saint?) seemed to have stitches on his […]

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.

No Library Story Hour, But You Can Have Some Drag Queens Read to Your Kids

 

In my deep, deep, deep blue pocket of the country, Montgomery County, Maryland, we are still trapped in spring 2020 when it comes to COVID. We’re still wearing masks indoors, my kids are the only kids in their outdoor soccer league playing maskless, and many county services and events are still using COVID as the excuse to avoid resuming normal operations. Last week I had a piece in the Washington Post about it, arguing for full reopening of our county; likely a fruitless effort akin to yelling at the wind, but it was worth a college try.

One of my co-authors, Jen Reesman, has been following the issue of the libraries closely. She wrote this paragraph in our op-ed,

Плохие дни для Мр. Путина: A Week of Prize Winning Russians (Borscht Report #10)

 

As international recognition of Russia goes, this hasn’t been a fun week for Vladimir Putin. News that the Kremlin had decided to reimpose lockdowns and the President’s own admission that the country could be hurt by a gas crisis was overshadowed only by two things: Dmirty Muratov winning the Nobel Peace Prize and Alexei Navalny being awarded the Sakharov Prize. Neither man is a friend of the regime, to say the least, and winning such prominent awards bolsters Muratov’s international profile, keeps Navalny on Western minds, and gives much-needed succor to the pro-democracy opposition movement in the country.

Anyone that follows Russia will be familiar with Navalny, but I think it’s worth doing something of a deep (or at least not quite shallow) dive on Muratov, as he represents a branch of the opposition less recognized than political and movement leaders outside of the country. 

Essential to understanding Muratov is understanding the outfit he works for, Новая газета/Novaya Gazeta, lit. New Gazette. Founded in part with the monetary prize from Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1990 Nobel Prize win, the newspaper put out its first edition on the 1st of April, 1993. Many of the journalists were drawn from Komsomolskaya Pravda (one of the official news arms of the Komsomol, the youth wing of the Soviet Communist Party, which is now a tabloid), and were excited for the opportunity to do uncensored journalism for a non-state entity. The newspaper did everything but endear itself to Vladimir Putin from the start; in 2001, it became embroiled in a fierce legal battle for accusing a member of his inner circle, Sergei Pugachev, of corruption. Although the organization he represented was eventually forced to withdraw its claim for compensation because the extent of the corruption was revealed, by materials the organization’s own lawsuit, to be much worse than previously thought, the pattern repeated itself. 

Madflation

 

The Democrats have a new economic strategy.  The first step is to cause inflation with quantitative easing (“sell” Treasury Bills to the Federal Reserve Bank in exchange for printed currency.)  Since these borrowings comprise printed money and don’t compete in the market for funding, they cause little pressure on interest rates.  The Fed can keep rates artificially down.  However, by design, inflation will eventually result (we see it every day) which discounts the value of federal debt owed; i.e., debts will be repaid with inflated future dollars.  Further, to help fund this future debt service, inflation itself is taxed when taxable income is redefined to include unrealized market gains.

What great madness is this?

It is important to remember that federal tax receipts have nothing to do with federal spending.  Deliberately misleading, even fraudulent, estimates of tax receipts are used to politically justify massive increases in government spending.  It’s a cynical game.  Only the federal debt ceiling, that is cumulative spending above cumulative tax receipts, determines the ceiling for future spending levels.  But I digress, this essay is not about the Eschleresque topic of monetary theory and floating currency, it is about the taxing of unrealized gains.

Member Post

 

In 1952, a German Quaker teacher / editor named William Hubben wrote a short book with an ambitious scope:  “Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche & Kafka.”  Mr. Hubben found these four men to be insightful observers of the collapse of Christianity, and prophets of the resulting destruction of Western civilization.  Written immediately after the two World Wars, […]

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

 

Despite the casual tossing about of the epithet “science denier” in these oh-so-technocratic times, most scientific knowledge goes unchallenged by the unwashed masses. I’ve never heard anyone express skepticism of Coulomb’s Law and its scandalous claims about the forces exerted between charged bodies. Rarely is Bernoulli burned in effigy for the effrontery of his work […]

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.

Chappelle Refuses to Be Canceled

 

Dave Chappelle always had the advantage in facing down his critics. Not only is he world-famous and wealthier than a few nations, the comedian has a secret weapon. Chappelle is funny; his critics are not.

Whatever he said in his most recent Netflix special, “The Closer,”  the knives were going to be out. Instead of following a bloodless script pre-approved by progressive censors, he speaks his mind and often reveals uncomfortable truths. That makes him dangerous. Woke activists insist that every celebrity bend the knee and Chappelle isn’t one for bending. He wouldn’t knuckle under to Comedy Central suits and certainly won’t bow to midlevel Netflix dresses.

Let’s be honest: the mostly white media has stoked a weeks-long controversy to bludgeon an uppity black man until he agrees with white gender theorists.

The Solicitors’ Song and Dance

 

In 1987, when I was an eighth-grade transplant to America and knew nothing of fundraisers or soliciting, our small Christian school held an assembly that captured my attention. A white-haired man named Dick Nixon* stood in front of the student body and held up a candy bar that he introduced as “World’s Finest Chocolate.” I realized that World’s Finest was actually the brand name, a boast that made me question the quality of the product.  He talked of selling the candy, “cases” of it, demonstrating the range of marvelous prizes we could earn.  Even one case would get us over the prize-winning threshold. The way Dick Nixon talked about it, selling sounded easy. He gave several suggestions for how one could make the sale, even role-playing a scene on a public bus going home from school.  But I didn’t need any more convincing–I was in. I would go to the office after school to pick up my cases of chocolate and would soon be enjoying my prizes.

“Cases,” I soon found out, were long, weighty boxes emitting thick cocoa scents.  These could be split apart in the middle to make a kind of tote with handles. With the cardboard broken open along the dotted lines, I noted the stacks of bars–there were thirty-six of them, to be precise.  I was still convinced that I would make quick work of dispensing the product and collecting the cash. Then I would show up for the promised rewards. The individual bars, each silver-wrapped with white sleeve, red letters emblazoning the claim of global supremacy, were a dollar each. They smelled good and, although perhaps not quite living up to their name, had a flavor of rich, nutty chocolate.

Member Post

 

Who is Ray Epps??   That is not the same as asking “Who is John Galt?”   It is more like asking “Who is the man on the grassy knoll?”   The answer is that Epps is the Forrest Gump of the Jan 6 riot.   Rep. Masse recently showed a video of Epps stoking a crowd in […]

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.

Surprise Meetups

 

It is surprising how many times I have met up with famous and semi-famous people in a very casual and unintended way. Several times, I didn’t even know who the people were until they introduced themselves, or someone who had witnessed the encounter told me with whom I’d been chatting.

Meetup No. 1

Colin Powell, for Good and Ill

 

Colin Powell, who died Oct. 18, 2021, was a good and honorable man in his personal life and the consummate bureaucratic warrior. While elevated to the highest appointed offices by Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, Powell turned hard to the left, actively supporting the fundamental transformation of the constitutional republic he had sworn repeatedly to support and defend. Gen. Powell affected military-civilian relations in the early years after the end of the Cold War, helping shape the presidencies of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. As President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Powell first promoted the invasion of Iraq, then renounced the decision after leaving government. As secretary of state, Powell also helped the Democrats sabotage the Bush presidency and the early years of the global war on terror with the crooked special prosecution led by Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Powell twice endorsed and voted for Barack Obama, endorsed and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and supported and voted for Joe Biden in 2020, a fair indicator of his true long-term political beliefs.

A Good and Honorable Man in Military and Marriage

Member Post

 

The flailing Biden administration has floated its mask and vaccination mandates as cynical ruses so that it can later claim credit for the natural decay of COVID cases. Mark my words, it will be a talking point in the 2022 and 2024 campaigns. “Biden Killed COVID with the Mask and Vaxx Mandates”. Low-information voters will […]

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

 

Not to be outdone by their more progressive neighbor to the south, Massachusetts has announced a new initiative to promote harm reduction over criminalization in the struggle against self-destructive activities. Where Rhode Island will institute safe spaces for fentanyl injection, Massachusetts will institute safe spaces for more direct forms of suicide. “We wanted to get […]

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.

Tragedy on the Movie Set Rust

 

I work at an electric utility.  My job is IT-related, providing support to our power plant workers and field personnel (linemen and other electrical workers).  As a part of that job, I attend safety meetings.  Safety is big at our electric utility and again and again is called the first priority for employees, with providing electricity to our consumers as a second priority.

My job is not as hazardous as the electrical workers I support, but my job does take me inside power plants and substations, and my training includes safety protocols to follow while in those facilities.  In addition, the technology I am responsible for assists in making those facilities a safer place.

Quote of the Day: The Stalin of our Times

 

“That feels about like what we are living through right now. Progressive politics is the Joseph Stalin of our times, and everyone is so terrified of attracting its anger that they just kind of go along with the crowd and keep clapping, because it is easier to clap until your hands are red raw than be the one that sits down first.”  — Will Jordan, aka the Critical Drinker

I’m sure many of you have heard the story about how no man wanted to be the first person to stop clapping after Stalin’s speech, because of the sheer terror of appearing disloyal to a paranoid conspiracy theorist butcher of a tyrant.  That is the culture of paranoia in action – it is not enough just to be loyal, but to be absolutely beyond suspicion as a diehard loyalist.

Finally, a Silver Bullet for St. Fauci

 

@drbastiat very clearly outlined in his post “Why are we helping the Communist Chinese develop biological weapons” the diabolical nature of St. Fauci.  But despite this abomination of research, previously banned in the US, and exported and funded by the Fauc in China, the suburban prosecco-drinking housewives still adored the little man.

Well, perhaps no more.  We have evidence of something worse than a global pandemic, something that surely will cause the previously noted soccer moms’ upper lips to quiver in harmonic unison. Puppies. Puppies used for drug research. Cute little beagle puppies, injected daily with drugs. From the article: “The experiment involved injecting and force-feeding 44 beagle puppies between six and eight months old with an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them.”

Photos, or it Didn’t Happen: Thailand 2018

 

“Photos, or it didn’t happen.”

That’s a saying we have around here.  I’m not sure where it originated.  In any event, it’s become a popular phrase, and we generally try to oblige.

One of the must-see sights in Chiang Rai, Thailand is Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple.  It’s less a “temple” in the strict Buddhist sense than it is a frolicking, impudent, and eclectic art exhibition mixing traditional Buddhist themes with modern entertainment and political icons, many of them from the West and familiar to the hundreds of tourists who flock to the temple each day.