Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Had Been a Jew in Eishyshok. . .


It’s not often I claim I’ve read a book that has changed my life. But this one did. And I thank @ontheleftcoast for telling me about it. Although I have studied the Holocaust over the years, I had never read a story about life in the shtetl, a small town with primarily Jewish residents in Eastern Europe.

This book, There Once was a World, was written by Yaffa Eliach, whose parents were Moshe and Zipporah Sonenson. This family, prosperous in Eishyshok terms, was also a pillar of the community, generous, compassionate, learned, and devoted to Judaism. The book also provided stories of individuals and families, and descriptions of Jewish life, from Torah study to the requirements of the faith.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. America’s Pre-Pandemic Economy Demonstrated the Power of Productivity-Driven Market Capitalism


For believers in “late capitalism” — the idea that we’ve reached the terminal phase of the planet’s dominant socio-economic system — the new Census Bureau numbers should have been unsettling. Data for 2019 show median US income rose nearly 7 percent to $68,703. “Rising employment and broad-based wage increases in 2019 helped drive that uptick” is how officials explain the increase, according to The Washington Post.

Of course, maybe the gloomers and doomers can take some bizarre comfort in the possibility that the numbers were distorted to some degree by data collection issues related to the pandemic. Even setting aside these Census numbers, there is plenty of reason that “late” makes for a poor choice of adjective when talking about American market capitalism. For starters, the story of wage growth in 2018 and 2019 is that wages were rising at a decent clip given so-so productivity growth. And that’s for workers in the top, middle, and bottom third. And that’s accounting for inflation. And that’s even separating out the minimum wage. You can mostly thank a long economic expansion.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. All Lives Matter


People who think that phrase is racist are confused and are falling for the same fictions that are tearing the country apart.

America is not a racist country any more than America is an arsonist country, or a child-abuser country, or a wife-beater country, or a serial-killer country. America isn’t defined by any of those things, though all of those things are present, to a small degree, in America.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Republicans Fight for a Fair Election


The Democrats have a lot of nerve. While they are busy announcing that Trump will not leave the White House if he loses the election (just another way he’s baited them), the Democrats are going all out to make sure that nothing gets in the way of a Democrat victory. But the Republicans are not sitting by quietly while the Democrats run all over them: they are fighting aggressively to make sure that the election is a fair one.

What are the Democrats doing to ensure a fair election?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Postwar Economic ‘Golden Age’ Wasn’t as Golden as We Remember


A currently unfashionable notion: A corporation should be run primarily for the benefit of its shareholder owners by maximizing its value. The most provocative distillation of the idea is Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman’s famous 1970 essay in the Sunday magazine of The New York Times, “A Friedman doctrine– The Social Responsibility Of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” The most-repeated bit in that piece is actually Friedman quoting an attack on “social responsibility” from his own book, Capitalism and Freedom: “… there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

For a great analysis of why Friedman’s emphasis on what came to be called “shareholder primacy” remains a valuable analytical and conceptual lens, please check the new AEI essay “For whom should corporations be run?” by Sanjai Bhagat, a finance professor at the University of Colorado, and Glenn Hubbard, an AEI visiting scholar and economics professor at Columbia Business School. Also of interest is a big reason why the Friedman Doctrine is currently under fire as never before. Some critics view the immediate postwar decades as an economic Golden Age that never turned into a Golden Century (or at least half-century). And that failure, they say, is partly because of the rise of a short-sighted, rapacious capitalism that Friedman supposedly recommended. This new cold-blooded, cutthroat capitalism eventually ended the cozier-yet-wildly-successful capitalism variant of the 1950s and 1960s that had created a fast-growth, high-productivity, low-inequality economy built on a cooperative and stable relationship between Big Business management and labor.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #28: Winning Space


Today I talk to my friend Brandon Weichert about his tract for the times, Winning Space. Brandon’s gone from staff in Congress to the Institute of World Politics to Oxford for his grad studies and has emerged as the leading young advocate for what Trump called the US Space Force. We talk about America’s shocking satellite vulnerabilities, competition with China in space, and the nationalism required to deal with emerging technologies that will change our world.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The US Navy Faces Off Kamikazes at Okinawa


As the war turned against them in World War II, Japan tried a new tactic: the kamikaze. Pilots used their aircraft as one-way bombs against Allied warships and transports. The campaign started during the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944 and continued until the last day of the war.

“Rain of Steel: Mitscher’s Task Force 58, Ukagi’s Thunder Gods and the Kamikaze War off Okinawa,” by Stephen L. Moore, examines the most intense phase of the kamikaze campaign, that fought during the Allied invasion of Okinawa.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Such Men


“Where do we get such men? They leave this ship and they do their job. Then they must find this speck lost somewhere on the sea. When the find it they have to land on its pitching deck. Where do we get such men?” — RAdm. George Tarrant in The Bridges at Toko Ri, James Michener

The Bridge at Toko Ri was a novella Michener wrote in 1953. at the end of the Korean War. Set during that war, one of its themes was the question of whether the generation that became adults after World War II had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the challenges of those times. Some felt that this new generation lacked the courage, the endurance, and the determination of the men who had fought World War II. They were weak and would fail, those people thought.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Institutionalized Experts


“HANLON’S RAZOR: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” -– Murphy’s Law Book Two: More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong

Malice is a fun and easy explanation for the conduct of bureaucrats and politicians we dislike or distrust. Substituting stupidity for malice still lets us feel good in the moment. However, there are very senior experts in many fields within large organizations connected with networks of other large organizations, who are not stupid and who are not self-evidently malicious. Their conduct, when it seems to contradict observable facts and theory, might be better characterized as “institutionalized expertise.”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. NFL Honors Woman’s Abuser, Disdain Murdered Police


arm in arm cowboysThe NFL has joined the rest of corporate America in siding with the Marxist left. The NFL is choosing to make heroes out of villains, while making heroes into villains. You can see it by what is and is not written on their helmets. Consider 2016 in Dallas and 2020 in New Orleans.

In 2016, Barack Obama’s poisoning of Americans against each other culminated in the murder of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of nine other police officers by a hate-fueled man who wanted to kill white people, especially police, during a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas. President Obama knew he had to do damage control before the election, so he showed up for a memorial service. Yet, he just could not help himself, blaming the police and America and defending Black Lives Matter and the whole systemic racism narrative.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Fragility of Cultural Memory


“Civilization hangs suspended from generation to generation, by the gossamer strand of memory. If only one cohort of mothers and fathers fails to convey to its children what it has learned from its parents, then the great chain of learning and wisdom snaps. If the guardians of human knowledge stumble only one time, in their fall collapses the whole edifice of knowledge and understanding.” — Jacob Neusner

Nearly every day I lament, as do others, the cultural and spiritual losses of our country. Those many pillars that have been passed on by our own parents—religion, morality, patriotism, loyalty, democratic principles—are being degraded by the newer generation. Did we fail to pass on these important values? Are these values so fragile that in one or two generations they begin to disappear, wounded and ignored?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Then, and Now


We will never forget, and we must eventually turn our attention back to the age-old conflict between an intolerant and supremacist faith and the radical jihadists who will kill to impose it on the west.
But barbarism comes in many forms. Today the barbarians loot and burn and deface our cities in their inchoate rage. Like the attackers of 19 years ago, they wear the mantle of smug self-righteousness. And like the attackers of 19 years ago, their aim is to tear down western civilization and replace it with something worse.
What they have in common, the jihadists of Islam and the jihadists of socialism and radicalism and Antifa and Black Lives Matter, is not what they believe but what they detest: tolerance, free speech, free markets, freedom of conscience, the rule of law and our equality under it — all of the things that make the west, that make America, great.
Never forget 9/11. But also, pay attention to what is happening today.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson — Condoleezza Rice: Director of the Hoover Institution


Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson is proud to present the first interview with Condoleezza Rice in her new role as Director of the Hoover Institution. After a storied career that includes Provost of Stanford University (1993-1999), United States National Security Advisor (2001-2005), and United States Secretary of State (2005-2009), the author of numerous books, and an inaugural member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, on September 1st, 2020 Director Rice became the Hoover Institution’s eighth director in its 101 year history and the first woman to hold the position. In this wide ranging conversation, Peter Robinson and Director Rice discuss Hoover’s mission in the 21st century, the role of think tanks in crafting public policy, her views about the current geo-political situation regarding Russia and China, and her personal thoughts about the national conversation currently underway in the United States about racial relations and how we look back at the country’s founding and history.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Brooding Intelligence, Part 2


(Intro Announcer:) Tonight, the second half of Ricochet Silent Radio’s latest adventure! In a time of quarantine, Judge Mental plunges into Miami’s underground worlds of lap dancers, seamy politics, steamy love, and sudden violence!

Last night, we learned that four of America’s top spy satellite experts were driven to suicide when sinister forces of social media tempted them onto an island of carnal sin, blackmailed them, and targeted them for social cancellation and personal destruction.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Piling on Debt Is Not the Answer


The consequences of the Great Policy Blunder – shutting down our economy in a futile attempt to escape a viral pandemic – are numerous and devastating. Widespread unemployment, cratering GDP, educational disruption, escalating overdose and suicide rates, and increased racial tensions are just part of the penalty we are paying for decisions made.

But when the dust has settled and we’re in the New Normal, whatever that is, we’ll have to deal with the most lasting of all the self-inflicted wounds – the broad economic destruction that will be the result of piling onto our debt load.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Masters #10: The Palm Beach Story


As promised last week, after The Lady Eve comes The Palm Beach Story, the story of Tom (Joel McCrea, ever the straight-shooting visionary) and Gerry (Claudette Colbert, as leggy, witty, and chasing after glamour as ever), a couple who can’t stick together because his business doesn’t really make money and her desire to spend money on herself doesn’t really lead her to work. A very American couple experiences the American problem, money and beauty, or how you find out what you really want and how to get it, and it takes a comic poet to solve it.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Fighting to Stay


Just when you are ready to give up on Millennials as ignorant, selfish, and anarchistic snowflakes, along comes a story that gives you hope for the future. A young lady, Melody Yang, was a student at the university, Santa Clara, where I teach. I’ve only just become acquainted with her (I’m in the English Dept., she was in the B-school and taught herself computer science), but her story is so compelling that I had to share it.

Melody Yang is Taiwanese, here on an F1 student visa, and behaving like a true Silicon Valley entrepreneur taking control over her life and earning the right to stay here. She already has designed — as an undergraduate — a successful new product and earned a job at Apple (as you can imagine, not an easy task). Apple now is applying for her to stay as “an individual of extraordinary ability and achievement.” In other words, when many of American’s children seem to despise their country, this young lady is fighting to stay.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Brooding Intelligence, Part 1


(Dramatic theme music climax. Network Announcer:) Tonight, Tales From the PIT brings you the first half of Brooding Intelligence, Judge Mental’s newest Ricochet Silent Radio adventure! It’s a tale of race and Red hokum, of faithful engineers and seductive strippers, of con games and espionage! It’ll take you from the warm embrace of a lover’s arms, to a deadly serious orbital race to prove once and for all whose spies have the coldest heart in the sky! And now here he is, Judge Mental!

(Voice of Judge Mental) Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself entering a bank wearing a mask and asking for money. But in the bizarro spring of the Great Quarantine, that’s just what I was doing. I’d been in Miami all of three hours.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were a Hermit, I’d Live in a Cabin in the Woods


Since @cliffordbrown has given us the freedom to be anything or anyone we want to be for Group Writing this month, I have decided I would like to become a hermit. I would find a two-room cabin that is surrounded by trees but receives enough sunshine to light the small main room, bright rays splashing across the wooden floor. It would have to have electricity and indoor plumbing.

I would take special care decorating the cabin: hooked rugs, wooden shelves, two comfortable chairs, and a small sofa. The colors would be a tribute to fall—oranges, light browns, and deep reds. There would be small toss pillows to create the feeling of softness and healing. And a small wooden table with one wooden chair, with a pillow on the seat, in front of a window that looks out on the breathtaking scenery.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. When You Hear ‘Socialism,’ Think ‘Control’


When someone calls themself a “socialist” or says they think “socialism” has a lot of good ideas, what do they mean? After all, most of us are not political scientists or philosophers. And terms like “socialism,” “capitalism,” “liberalism,” and “conservatism” really get tossed around. Back in 2018, Gallup updated a question it first asked in 1949: “What is your understanding of the term ‘socialism’?”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. UK: Faith, Character, Destiny, and Redemption: Jimmy Lai’s Continuing Fight For Hong Kong’s Freedom


This is our third conversation with Hong Kong entrepreneur and freedom fighter, Jimmy Lai in less than a year. During that time, Lai has been arrested twice, his family and his employees and colleagues have been harassed and in some cases forced to leave Hong Kong, and Lai himself has been incarcerated. Currently free on bond and facing a trial and an uncertain future, Mr. Lai gets philosophical in this conversation. He describes how his faith has given him strength and comfort and that he is willing to make whatever sacrifice required in order to maintain democracy in Hong Kong. We discuss the political situation in Hong Kong, the precarious position of Hong Kong Executive Carrie Lam, and how the United States and the world can apply pressure to the Chinese, and what’s at stake if Hong Kong becomes just another Chinese city.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Next Time Someone Calls You a Racist. . .


I’ve never been called a racist. If I were, I admit that it would be upsetting. But @gossamercat brought up the fact on @richardfulmer’s post that many of us feel obligated to defend ourselves when we are attacked; it’s only natural to protect ourselves and our reputations.

But what if we didn’t “bite”? What if we responded by not responding or making an off-handed acknowledgement? I think it would drive others crazy. Even on Twitter. Let me give you a couple of examples:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. An Astronaut’s Son Tells His Story


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, from 1978 through the end 1985, being in the Space Shuttle program was fun. The Shuttle was new and an adventure.

“The Father, Son, and Holy Shuttle: Growing Up an Astronaut’s Kid in the Glorious 1980s,” by Patrick Mullane, tells that story.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Praise Where Praise Is Due, Care Where Care Is Due


President TrumpPresident Trump started September on his feet, on the road, and fully coherent, doing what presidents are expected to do in Wisconsin and North Carolina. This is in marked contrast to Joe Biden, whose words briefly became more of a tossed salad than Trump’s supposed ramblings, when he belatedly reacted to DNC prompts after bad polling on the Democrat’s street violence campaign. Biden’s reaction was to avoid any mention of leftist forces of intimidation and destruction, see the Biden Pittsburgh transcript for yourself. President Trump called him and the rest of the Democrats on this immediately in the Monday press briefing.

America saw President Trump on the ground in Kenosha, praising law enforcement, promising millions of dollars to rebuild the area destroyed by leftist black bloc militia before the Democrat governor finally relented and accepted federal assistance in the form of federal dollars and National Guard troops from more than one state. He then appeared on a stormy day in North Carolina to praise the state, the people, and our nation’s history of doing great good in the world.