Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: President Donald J. MacGuffin

 

To me, the key to understanding Trumpism is remembering why he was elected. What do I mean? Voters chose Donald Trump as an antidote to the growing inflammation caused by the (OK, deep breath…) prosperity-crushing, speech-inhibiting, nanny-state building, carbon-obsessing, patriarchy-bashing, implicit bias-accusing, tokey-wokey, globalist, swamp-creature governing class–all perfectly embodied by the Democrats’ 2016 nominee.

This was from the Op-Ed in the February 10th Wall Street Journal by their Inside View columnist, Andy Kessler. The rest of the column describes all the distractions used by President Trump to set up the press and the other party, to take their attention away from all the positive things getting done behind the scenes. It worked, too, didn’t it?

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Member Post

 

An older friend once asked where I would most like to be and what I would most like to be doing with my life. Then he asked, “What can you do today to make that happen?” It doesn’t need to be a major step, he explained. The point is that one should always be moving […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. February Group Writing: Advice from Popular Culture

 

From Hollywood to kids’ cartoons, to sappy inspirational Facebook posts, entertainment culture is full of advice on how to live our lives. Imagine the consequences of taking this wisdom seriously. Actually, you don’t need to imagine: our culture is littered with living examples of men and women who embraced the subtle and not-so-subtle popular messages. Still, it would be interesting to flip through a book called A Year of Living Hollywood. Here is some of the most common propaganda of social media, celebrities, and movies:

1. Follow your heart. This pretty saying comes first because it’s our culture’s favorite. I remember years ago asking a wise older friend for advice about getting married, and this is what she said to me, very tenderly though: Follow your heart. I was confused. My very problem was that I had followed my heart, and it wasn’t getting me anywhere. What I needed was some sensible input, help weighing up the pros and cons and identifying flags of all hues in this relationship.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: The Art of Flirting

 

I used to watch Cambodian films from the 1950s to mid-1970s and it always tickled my fancy whenever characters break into songs (not unlike Bollywood but without the dancing). Sometimes, characters would belt out a cheery song in a cheerful scene and a sad song in a sad scene. But when it comes time for the male character to woo the female, he always, and I mean always, breaks into song. One can find the same thing repeated all over Khmer traditional literature such as plays, lyrics, and especially the verse-novels written between the 17th to early 20th centuries. If there is a flirting scene, then there is a song. It even appears in a few epic poems, though curiously enough, only the supporting characters sing.

The most famous scene in Khmer literature is a flirting scene from the verse-novel Tum Teav, where the main characters sing a lengthy duet in their first scene together. You can read the duet near the end of my post here. My all-time favorite comes from The Yaksha with the Magic Finger, a chapter from the epic Ramakerti II (2nd version of the Khmer Ramayana), where the male character upon seeing a woman so beautiful, he bursts into song. She, of course, replies. Here is how the duet goes:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: A Fool For Love

 

So I chose Valentine’s Day for my quote of the day, thinking it would be easy to write something about love, since I find myself madly in love with a truly wonderful man who is everything I ever wanted and better than I could ever have hoped for. While searching for the perfect love quote, I came across this:

“Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.” Samuel Johnson

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus Advice from the World of Laboratory Safety

 

My job is laboratory safety. I work with a wild range of various labs that have a cornucopia of crazy chemicals and a plethora of pathogens. I take part in over 100 laboratory inspections per year, along with responding to questions and acting as an in-house consultant for my institution. There is a surprising amount of you can use from the laboratory safety world in normal life where you make crispy garlic bread rather than CRISPR/Cas9 lentivirus vectors.

Wash Your Hands

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Twin Sisters Give Advice

 

What were the odds that twin sisters, Jews raised in Sioux City, IA, would achieve international fame as givers of advice?

I can’t calculate those odds, but Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer came to be known as Ann Landers, and Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips followed quickly in her footsteps to become Abigail van Buren (Dear Abby). They were born on July 4, 1918 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Abraham and Rebecca Friedman:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Response Outside of Expected Range

 

How do I analyze :heart: ?
ERROR: Response :heart: is not in expected range. (source)
I am a geek. I have had crushes in the past, but nothing came of them. I fully expected to spend the rest of my life alone as I am not particularly attractive, so I did my best to make do. I have friends and co-workers and keep in touch with family.

Then someone on Ricochet introduced me to a nice gal who is as cute as a crate of plushies, and fun to talk with. I figured the only girls like that were in anime, not real life. I responded accordingly. Soon, I began to receive texts filled with :heart: emojis and generally becoming the recipient of emotions I had never dealt with before. It has taken some getting used to, and I can’t quite keep up some of the time. It almost feels like I must have hacked into someone else’s text message stream. Why would anyone act that excited about me?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Progressives Deny Progress

 

Dennis Prager has been saying for as long as I’ve been listening: Movements don’t close shop when they’ve achieved their original aims; they radicalize.

It’s certainly true of feminism, which went from winning the vote for women, to burning bras in the streets, to bitter hatred of men, to the NFL Halftime Porn Show “empowering” women to . . . pole dance for a national audience including children? I think I’ll pass on the new empowerment if it requires pornographic sexual objectification or defines womanhood as being more like men. Like coaching an NFL team? Seriously 49ers? Turn in your man-cards.

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Member Post

 

In 2016 my nephew asked me to officiate at his wedding. This caught me by surprise, not only because I am a technical writer, not a clergyman; but also because I didn’t think I had any sage advice for a young couple. “Are you sure?” I asked, and he assured me they were. Well, it […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Do You Believe in ‘If’ Anymore?

 

One of the reasons I like the occasional music posts on Ricochet is that I’ve spent most of my life quite disconnected from whatever was going on in the contemporary entertainment world, and the posts give me a window into what I might have missed (and whether or not I’m glad I did). Although we moved to the United States only a couple of months before The Beatles took the “Ed Sullivan Show” by storm, I never owned a Beatles album. And while The Rolling Stones were hot during my years at British boarding school, we weren’t allowed to listen to them; Mick Jagger’s hips and lips being (in the opinion of the good ladies running The Abbey School) a bridge too far, even for the radio.

Prior to that, my experience ran to the blue wind-up gramophone in Nigeria and the 78, 45, and 33RPM records we’d either brought with us from England or borrowed from the Officers’ Club, and programs such as Desert Island Discs on the BBC World Service. After that, with a few notable exceptions when I would, in a transgressive mood, listen to Jeff Christie on KQV, the most youth-oriented local AM station (he later resumed his birth name and achieved some measure of fame as Rush Limbaugh), I left the music scene to others, and largely ignored it myself.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Poverty of Entitlement

 

I was moved by this article in which Randall Smith at The Catholic Thing presents the loaves and fishes story from a new angle. What about the boy? “What boy?” you might be asking.

The five loaves and two fish were his entire food for the day. When the apostles asked him, “Can we have those?” we can imagine him replying: “These? Not these. This is all I’ve got. Go find a rich guy with a big crate of bread.” But he didn’t. He gave the little he had. Not much, but it was enough.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Good Advice(s)

 

If wisdom lies in learning from the experiences of others, then I am not particularly wise. My M.O. is more of a barely-learns-from-his-own-repeated-mistakes sort of thing.

But let’s start with the piece of advice I did take when my wife and I were expecting our first children: twins. We were talking to an older co-worker of mine whose twin boys were already on the other side of college. “Let me give you the most important advice about raising twins we learned early on.”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Winter of Our Discontent and the Balm of Color and Light

 

I recognized the effects of color one winter when I bought a bag of lemons, before they were priced out of my league. I had them in a bowl in the kitchen, and I noticed that I was drawn to keep looking over at them. The little shock of glossy yellow was comforting. I got a similar effect from a heap of limes and tomatoes I purchased for salsa, chili, and spaghetti ingredients. My groceries were doing double duty as medicine for the soul.

I observed something else during the drab, frozen days when darkness closed in before five and a bleary dawn held off until almost nine the next morning. Movies I watched piecemeal on the treadmill were a real mood lifter. Even a few minutes of absorption in a drama not my own made a difference. Of course watching movies was a far more sophisticated solution than buying a bag of fruit. But viewing life in faraway places; where the sun always shone, a gentle breeze ruffled lovely dresses, green lawns stretched alluringly, ladies took walks in rose gardens, and characters conferred under trees where the light through the foliage made fretted patterns in the grass had healing properties that made me glad for the technology that provided luxurious escape.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Best Advice from the Best Advisor

 

Our group-writing topic for this month is advice, and I thought it only right to begin with the very most important advice that I or anyone else could give. It was, of course, given by Jesus:

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

There has been a great deal of good writing over the years, inspired by monthly theme cues. Maybe you missed some, or joined more recently. Instead of searching on tags, just bookmark this post. This index will capture all of them in one post, updated monthly. A big thank-you to past keepers of the themes; […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I had not got the whole picture when I first saw and heard President Trump’s speech following the symbolic Iranian missile strike, after the back to back killings of the Kuds Force terrorist group and unconventional war campaigns general Qasem Soleimani (Qassem Suleimani, Qassim Soleimani), and a senior Hezbollah commander (an Iraqi proxy). This picture […]

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Member Post

 

OK, not really empty-empty. It has one elk steak package from the previous hunting season. And not even my elk. But it sits there in the harsh freezer light looking forlorn. Shriveled. Lonely. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: The Queen of Advice

 

The most important piece of advice I can give you: don’t take my advice. It’s not that I give bad advice — at least most of the time. But I’ve spent the last 40 years trying not to give advice. Giving advice can be an obsession, and I’m trying to cure myself of it. Let me tell you why.

For most of my life, I thought everyone was entitled to my advice, whether they wanted it or not. So I felt free to offer advice for any number of reasons:

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