Quote of the Day: Taxpayers

 

“The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” – Ronald Reagan

With the almost-certain passage of the Manchin-Schumer Bill, it appears they are raising our taxes again. But don’t worry, the new taxes will only be paid by people making more than $400,000 annually and corporations. Except it does not work that way. Those making more than $400K each year generally got there because they are smart. They will hire accountants and tax preparers to find ways to shelter that money and make less than $400K/year. As for corporations? They will pass the costs of the extra taxes to their customers in the form of increased prices. That results in inflation.

Quote of the Day: ‘He Deserves the Gratitude of All His Countrymen’

 

Thus spoke President Harry Truman of Ernest Taylor Pyle.

Ernie Pyle was born 122 years ago Wednesday, on August 3, 1900, in Dana, Indiana. He died not quite 45 years later, on April 18, 1945, in the Iejima Okinawa Prefecture of the Empire of Japan, killed in action while doing what he loved.

Having missed out on his first ambition–to serve in World War I–he undertook the study of journalism at Indiana University, and eventually found a career at Scripps-Howard, where his “everyman” story-telling style became his trademark for the next twenty years.

Quote of the Day: Maria Mitchell on the Great Danger of Student Life

 

“There is this great danger in student life. Now, we rest all upon what Socrates said, or what Copernicus taught; how can we dispute authority which has come down to us, all established, for ages? We must at least question it; we cannot accept anything as granted, beyond the first mathematical formulae. Question everything else.” — Maria Mitchell

Maria (pronounced in the proper English way after the Great Vowel Shift with a long-I sound, not the foreign European way we generally do now) Mitchell was an astronomer and astronomy professor in the middle to late Nineteenth Century. Back in her day, the students were at least learning Socrates and Copernicus and Aristotle. (How many teeth do women have, Aristotle? Have you tried asking a few to open their mouths to let you count?) Now, the students learn nonsense and pay coming and going for the pleasure, but how many of their professors would suggest they question what they are being taught?

Quote of the Day: Corruption

 

“The problem is not that the system has become corrupt, but that corruption has become the system.” – Joe Mannix

Today, over 60% of Americans view the Federal government as corrupt.  That is up from 44% in 2017, a dramatic rise. We see plenty of evidence of it every day; a two-tiered justice system, laws and government handouts that favor a small elite, casual disregard of statute law by federal officials. Even on local levels, it has become endemic.  No one is held responsible for rising crime in our big cities. Even in small-town America, accountability seems absent. Not one person has been fired over the screwups in Uvalde that led to the death of 19 children. Corruption has become the system.

Quote of the Day: John Philip Sousa on ‘HMS Pinafore’

 

In 1879, Mr. Sousa conducted an amateur theatrical production of the new comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, HMS Pinafore, in Philadelphia. He says in his memoirs (Marching Along, published in 1928, book report coming soon):

The immediate success of Pinafore was, to some extent, due to an admirable topical joke.  Just before it was produced, Disraeli had appointed as First Lord of the Admiralty, W.H. Smith, head of a firm of publishers!  Mr. Smith was a keen business man, a clean politician, and an excellent administrator but the connection between books and battleships was not apparent to the sea-dogs of the British Navy.  Gilbert worked the joke for all it was worth in Sir Joseph Porter’s song, And Now I’m Ruler of the Queen’s Navee.

Quote of the Day: A Sense of Humor

 

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.” — Henry Ward Beecher

Humorlessness really defines the Woke folk.  Beecher had the right of it. They are jolted by every pebble on the road. They cannot take a joke, nor can they allow others to tell jokes. Comedians have become their main target. Permissible jokes have become so circumscribed that those permitted really are not funny. Humor approved by the Soviet Board of Censors falls flat.

Quote of the Day: The Truth and the Sacred Are Irrelevant

 

“As the cultural revolution has progressed, everything that was once honored has become a matter of public indifference. And as this has happened, every traditional constraint has been lost. At first, it was thought that the result would be only license and abandon. And indeed, this is a fine description of what Enlightenment liberalism looked like one generation after its triumph. At this time, one could win praise and honor for daring acts of transgression—for evading military service, for sexual profligacy and adventurism, for drug use, for blasphemy or an obscenity, for desecration of the sabbath, and so on. But by the second generation, this too has dissipated, and little is to be gained by violating the old norms with acts that are by now commonplace. No one is left who will be impressed by them.” – Yoram Hazony

As I am reading Hazony’s new book, Conservatism: a Rediscovery, I’ve been fascinated to learn so much about the origins of the decadence of our traditional values. This particular quotation struck me, because he points to the lure of “reason” to the Progressive agenda, and the disdain for tradition and a belief in G-d. Although the Progressives point with pride to their use of reason for constructing their view of the world, they neglect to realize that reason, by itself, can lead people in a multitude of directions; reason is no guarantee that people will reach agreement on a strategy, because every person will define his or her own understanding of a “reasoned” approach. Thus, we find ourselves in a confusing and unconstrained time, where everyone is free to decide for himself what is true.

Who Are the Easy Targets?

 

One only needs to look at modern history to recognize that attacks against the Jews persisted through the centuries with little resistance from the Jews themselves. During World War II, there were pockets of rebellion, but Jews mainly lined up like lambs heading for the slaughter. Depending on the country and times, Jews were desperate to fit in with the societies in which they lived, sacrificing their beliefs, their knowledge of history, and even their common sense to deny imminent dangers. Until the country of Israel was established, with its heroism and demands for survival, the Jews lived in denial. And yet the seeds for survival may have been planted as a result of the Warsaw ghetto revolt.

Warsaw, Poland, was no exception to the rounding up and imprisoning of Jews. As they had often demonstrated, the Jews complied with the efforts of the Nazis to detain them:

Shortly after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, more than 400,000 Jews in Warsaw, the capital city, were confined to an area of the city that was little more than 1 square mile.

Quote of the Day: Going Too Far

 

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It was one of this nation’s greatest accomplishments. I watched the launch on my 14th birthday. Four days later, at a church picnic, I was one of scores of attendees who were ignoring a beautiful July summer day in Michigan to huddle around fuzzy portable televisions to watch the Moon landing. Unless you were there, you cannot imagine the impact that made.

Sounds of Liberty: Bicentennial Memories

 

In the mid-1970s, when it was still acceptable for public school students to love their country, I was in a small singing group called Sounds of Liberty formed by my high-school choir director. It was, of course, organized for the occasion of the nation’s bicentennial. My audition to be included in the troupe featured not only singing but flute-playing and tap-dancing. All talents were on call. We were putting on a show.

As I recall, we performed locally and on school-break tours for a year and a half or so, ending on 7/4/1976. We had three costume changes for the three segments: one on religious music (I sang a solo of “Ave Maria”), one on regional songs (I did a tap dance to “The Sidewalks of New York”), and one on patriotic tunes (or so I think it must have been; can’t remember what I played the flute to).

Member Post

 

From an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on July 7, by Yulia Latynina, “Ms. Latynina was a journalist with Echo of Moscow and Novaya Gazeta, Russian press outlets that have been shut down during Russia’s war with Ukraine”. Rich, sedentary civilizations have always been vulnerable.  Plato wrote that the gods destroyed Atlantis because had […]

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Quote of the Day: Golden Eggs

 

“In short, killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politicians’ fingerprints on the murder weapon.” – Thomas Sowell

Sowell wrote this many years ago — in the 1990s as I recall.  The goose was still alive. Now? If not dead, it is dying. If it is not dead by November, it will be soon afterward. The ordered, safe life we have enjoyed since the fall of the Soviet Union is coming to a close.

Quote of the Day: Love, Fidelity, and Perseverance

 

“Strong marriages—marriages in which a man and a woman stay together for their entire lives—are good for society as well as for the couple themselves. They serve as examples to the community of the virtues of love, fidelity, and perseverance. They demonstrate the capacity of the human being to live up to his or her promises.” — Made for a Reason Retreat Day Six—Marriage: Made for the Common Good

I see Susan Quinn has beat me to the topic of marriage today, and that we share a wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been married 32 years today, slightly more than half my life. I’ll go ahead and publish this post and make this wedding reflection day on Ricochet.

Quote of the Day: Taking Risks

 

‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
‘We can’t, we’re afraid!’ they responded.
‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
‘We can’t, We will fall!’ they responded.
‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.
 Guillaume Apollinaire

When it comes to making tough decisions, I have to admit that I sometimes have to be hit “upside the head” to move forward. Each time my husband and I talked about moving from one state to another, I had a bundle of excuses for staying where we were. Or when it came to learning to use a gun, I kept putting off my decision. But over time, I have learned that life can actually be much easier when we face it head-on; when we look at our options without fear; when we stop worrying irrationally about our physical wellbeing. And when we just jump.

I have loved this quotation by Guillaume Apollinaire for years. At a time when we may wonder if a Leftist is going to target us for our words or ideas, to make our life a living hell, I am regularly asking myself if I am prepared for the worst condemnation. I’m not paranoid about my writing, but I’m certain that there are plenty of people who would attack my criticisms and accusations.

Member Post

 

Hereafter a few tunes to tickle your creative senses, hopefully prompting you to sign up to offer a short or long post on this month’s theme: “Liberty or Freedom.” Trust me, you can play off one or both of those words however loosely you like. That is part of the fun of this long-running project. […]

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Quote of the Day: The Great Anniversary Festival

 

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Quote of the Day: The Constitution

 

“The Constitution is not the law that governs us, it is the law that governs those who govern us.” – Randy E. Barnett

On this Independence Day weekend, it is as instructive to reflect on the Constitution as it is to reflect on the Declaration of Independence. If all have “certain inalienable rights,” the Constitution is the tool to preserve them. That is why I like this quote. Professor Barnett reminds us of the real purpose of the Constitution. To prevent our President Brandons from becoming Prime Minister Fidel Trudeaus.

Quotation: Justice Jackson

 

“I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free. … It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States — but we’ve made it. … So as I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride. We have come a long way toward perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.

And it is an honor — the honor of a lifetime — for me to have this chance to join the Court, to promote the rule of law at the highest level, and to do my part to carry our shared project of democracy and equal justice under law forward, into the future.” — Ketanji Brown Jackson

Member Post

 

This July’s theme is “Liberty or Freedom.” You might post about liberty, freedom, or both, however loosely construed. You might talk about statues, ships, or something else. I was surprised to find we had not explored either as a theme. Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are […]

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Quote of the Day: Supposing It Didn’t

 

I clipped this quote from a church bulletin on what I now see was my twenty-sixth birthday, and I’ve hung on to that scrap of paper for … thirty-seven years now. It’s been thumbtacked to cubicle walls and slipped under glass atop a desk and taped to whatever nearby surface presented itself.

I don’t know what initially captivated me about the quote. Maybe it made me think about my mom’s philosophy of worry. As I remember it, she thought that you could keep bad things from happening by worrying about them obsessively, and correspondingly, if something bad happened because you failed to worry about it, that’s on you. I was the Pooh to her Piglet back then, invested in best-case-scenario thinking.