Always an entertaining morning


By way of an introduction to the rest of Ricochet’s intrepid contributors, I’d like to share my delight with the LA Times. It always lightens my day. It took but three short minutes to get a couple of laughs on this dreary Monday morn.

I hooted with when I saw a below-the-fold 10 paragraph story that “Survivor” producer and chief suspect in his wife’s murder, Bruce Beresford-Redman, has just waltzed right back into his comfy LA lifestyle. No problems at the border for him….even after they took his passport. See, we don’t stop anyone illegally leaving Mexico, even those polluting our society with reality TV. And how about that pathetically incompetetent Mexican justice system? All this after the Times lauded Mexican President Felipe Calderon for lambasting the U.S. to the standing ovation of congressional Dems.

Email etiquette: D+


Okay, so I did that thing where I forwarded an email and the chain went with it. I had written something dopey — and a little snotty — early in the chain. I feel pretty bad about it. Do I try to apologize? Ignore it and hope no one bothered to scroll down through boring emails to see the one incriminating one? No state secrets involved. Just might make my child’s teacher think I’m a little selfish. *Sigh* Not the best Monday morning.

Is The Internet Making Our Brains Shallow?


Yes, says Nick Carr, in a forthcoming book. Russell Arben Fox has deep thoughts:

we become habituated to viewing all information — literature, science, journalism, scholarship, whatever — as something to be “strip-mined [for] relevant content” (p. 164), and rather than thereby supposedly refining our ability to recognize (in classic marketplace of ideas fashion) good information from bad, in fact our capacity to make learned judgments is physically undermined.

Is Rand Paul Changing The Conversation?


Judging by the careful and qualified reactions of the left-friendly Julian Sanchez and Dave Weigel, the answer might just be yes. It’s a truism nowadays that everything wrong with American culture is driving us deeper and deeper into narrow, self-selecting, self-congratulatory cubbyholes. There’s no doubt that the distinctions among our political alternatives are, like our tongues, getting sharper and sharper. But at the same time, the old battle lines are shifting as circumstances change and fertile new ideas spread and interact. Our national arguments are becoming less productive in some ways and more productive in others. And that’s not a wash; the phenomenon points toward some of the productive political ground of the next several years — if not beyond.

Mark Steyn, Call Your Office


“This book,” Mark Steyn writes in America Alone, “is about…the larger forces…that have left Europe…enfeebled….The key factors are: 1. Demographic decline; 2. The unsustainability of the advanced Western social-democratic state; 3. Civilizational exhaustion.” Today, four years after the publication of America Alone, the New York Times confirms the enfeeblement of Europe in every particular. Excerpts:

In Athens, Aris Iordanidis, 25, an economics graduate working in a bookstore, resents paying high taxes to finance Greece’s bloated state sector and its employees. “They sit there for years drinking coffee and chatting on the telephone and then retire at 50 with nice fat pensions,” he said. “As for us, the way things are going we’ll have to work until we’re 70….”

Schooling The Nanny State On Cool Condoms


We’re all familiar with the decline in quality, relative to market choices, associated with government-supplied goods and services. But who could have predicted this?

High school students and college-age adults have been complaining to District officials that the free condoms the city has been offering are not of good enough quality and are too small and that getting them from school nurses is “just like asking grandma or auntie.”

An Age of Rage?


That’s what Simon Schama sees coming:

Objectively, economic conditions might be improving, but perceptions are everything and a breathing space gives room for a dangerously alienated public to take stock of the brutal interruption of their rising expectations. What happened to the march of income, the acquisition of property, the truism that the next generation will live better than the last? The full impact of the overthrow of these assumptions sinks in and engenders a sense of grievance that “Someone Else” must have engineered the common misfortune.