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Abortion, Slavery – Who’s Claiming Ownership Over Human Bodies?


I don’t pay much attention to what Vice President Kamala Harris says because so little of what she says makes sense. So, I’m late to hearing about her speech to an NAACP conference in which she compared restrictions on abortion to historical American slavery.

VP Harris: “We know, NAACP, that our country has a history of claiming ownership over human bodies.” She then referenced “extremists” seeking to criminalize abortion, apparently trying to say that people seeking to restrict abortion are claiming ownership over women’s bodies.

Employee Shortage and “Woke” Employers


Business press articles on the widely experienced shortage of workers in the United States often identify as part of the problem that the current “labor participation rate” (1) is unusually low. The articles generally offer up several theories on why so many people are not participating in the labor market. Those theories include 1) people still living off government pandemic checks, 2) people unwilling to commit to a job while the school schedules for their children continue to be unreliable, 3) laziness of the youngest generation, and 4) older people who were prematurely retired during the pandemic and choose to stay retired. Businesses lament the difficulties in finding and attracting employees, and complain how the worker shortage negatively affects their business activities.

But, have businesses considered the possibility that they could be contributing to the problem themselves? Are businesses scaring off potential employees with “woke” policies and controversial political messaging? I’m not sure I can muster much sympathy for the “woe is me” businesses lamenting their inability to find workers while the businesses push “woke” policies and controversial political positions.

Not All Homeless People Are the Same; Not All Policies Will Work the Same


While on my early morning recreational bike ride this morning I had a conversation with an apparently homeless man who was a real-life reminder that not all “homeless” people are the same, and so policies for dealing with them should probably not be all the same.

The man I talked to was on foot and was looking for a Salvation Army shelter (or presumably some similar overnight sleeping facility that might provide meals). There is no such facility in my town. But I admired the man’s logic for concluding that there must be. He said he observed that he had seen no people sleeping on sidewalks, on benches, or in doorways, so they must be sleeping in a shelter somewhere in town.

Why Are Abortion Proponents So Emotional?


Proponents of abortion get quite emotional, many to the point of irrationality. Their reactions to the potential that there might be even the slightest constraints on abortion are way over the top. We have seen quite a bit of hysterics on display the last couple of months.

Why? I can’t think of another issue that generates such a high level of emotion, even supposedly existential issues like “climate change.” The weird sex advocates get emotional and are very persistent, but even they don’t get hysterical in the same way that abortion advocates do.

Does the Biden Administration Intentionally Go Out of Its Way to Hire Stupid People?


Someone (possibly Jim Geraghty at National Review) recently offered up the opinion that Obama’s “E Team” (those left after the A, B, C, and D teams had left the White House over two terms) were Biden’s “A Team.” Clearly in the Biden Administration, we are not getting “the best and brightest.” Does the Biden Administration intentionally hire stupid people, or is the problem that only stupid people will work for the Biden Administration?

I am posting this because of a story so idiotic it would be unbelievable, but we have seen so much idiocy at the Biden Administration, maybe it’s true (and not Babylon Bee).

Member Post


Another Ricochetti (Ricochettum as singular?) (*)  commented, “Conservatives have statistics, liberals have anecdotes.” I propose that we practice developing and using more anecdotes to help our neighbors better understand the gun debate. So many people seem to reason in anecdotes, and so few people seem to be able to deal with statistics. As a lawyer, […]

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What Is the Public Good That Justifies Public Funding of Universal College?


As so many people are calling for public (taxpayer) funding for universal college education (loan forgiveness, “free” tuition, etc.), what is the broad public good that justifies public funding of universal college attendance? The broad social benefit? The practical challenges of public funding of college are extensively argued elsewhere, so there is no point to rehashing them here. Instead, what are we trying to accomplish by encouraging everyone to attend college? What is the public goal?

In the United States, primary school education (grades 1 – 8) became publicly funded at least in part on the belief that a republic of free citizens functions only if most of those citizens have some basic capabilities to be able to conduct business among themselves and inform themselves so they could choose effective elected representatives: Read and write at a basic level, do basic arithmetic, know some amount of science and history, have some understanding of how government is supposed to work, and a few other topics.

Better Judicial Confirmations


I suppose I’m likely ignorant and/or naïve (I’m just a retired corporate patent lawyer who did not attend a top tier law school), but it seems to me that we could learn a lot better information about judicial nominees (especially Supreme Court nominees), AND the nominees would have a lot less wiggle room to avoid answering questions, if rather than grandstanding on particular issues, the Senators asked some basic questions about the nominee’s process for reading, understanding, interpreting, and applying documents.

  • How do you start reading and interpreting a document on which you are expected to make a decision (whether the Constitution, a statute, a regulation, or a contract)? Do you try to discern what the particular author intended the language to mean at the time it was written? Or do you read it as a bystander (member of the public) would have read it at the time it was written? Or do you read it as a person with specific specialized knowledge would have read it at the time it was written, such as people in specific industries or professions? Or do you read it with today’s understanding of the words and grammar used? Or do you read it as you believe the author would have wanted it to mean if the author were writing it today?
  • Can a document later have a meaning different from the meaning it had at the time it was written? [Possible follow-up questions about contracts, which will raise fewer red flags than asking about the Constitution or statutes – can a judge interpret a contract to mean something different than what it would have meant at the time the contract was signed?]. Can a document today have a meaning that it never had in the past?
  • If a document can have a different meaning today than it did when it was written, what types of sources are appropriate to use when determining what the proper meaning of the document is today? How would you decide what sources to use and what sources to reject (if any)? How would you approach conflicts among the selected sources if using different sources lead to different meanings?
  • If you find a document is ambiguous in meaning, how do you resolve that ambiguity? What types of sources do you consult? If you consult external sources, do the external sources need to be exactly parallel with the parties to the dispute before you? Same industry? Same financial system? Same cultural history? Same legal system? For example, if you are looking to law of another jurisdiction to interpret language, does it matter if the social or legal culture of the other jurisdiction is different from the culture where the dispute before you is? If it is appropriate to look at the law of other jurisdictions to help resolve an ambiguity in a document, are all other jurisdictions to be considered equally relevant? For example, would the law of Britain be as relevant as the law of Germany? Saudi Arabia? China? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • Can you imagine that an ambiguity in a document might render the matter so unclear that it would be inappropriate for a judge to resolve? Must a judge resolve every dispute that comes to the court? Might there ever be a circumstance in which a judge should return it to the people who drafted the document to resolve some other way?

I think questions of this type would be much more useful in discerning a nominee’s “judicial philosophy” than the subject-specific questions typically thrown out today. A nominee, especially one that has risen to the point of being considered for a state or national supreme court, should be prepared to answer such questions, and to explain the reasoning for those answers, regardless of whether the nominee takes a “strict originalist” or a “living document” approach or some other approach.

Member Post


A potential half-accolade for the Biden administration. I have not heard it endorse the emergency powers and other anti-protest actions and declarations of Canada’s Trudeau administration as much as I would have expected. I am open to the possibility that I missed it if the Biden administration has endorsed the actions of the Trudeau administration. […]

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Monoclonal Antibodies and FDA Emergency Use


Since again the “news” media do such a terrible job of reporting facts, I’m turning to the knowledgeable people of Ricochet.

Is the monoclonal antibody treatment for which the Food and Drug Administration recently revoked emergency-use authorization the only monoclonal antibody treatment that was available to the public? In other words, did the FDA’s revocation stop all monoclonal antibody treatments for people who get COVID-19 or only some? The news media is interested only in reporting the politicians yelling at each other, not on any underlying facts.

President Biden’s Successes


I appreciate that Fox News has published at least two positive endorsements of President Biden’s first year. Other than the weak efforts by poor Jen Psaki to lay out the positives of President Biden’s actions, I had not seen any outside explanations of why we should be glad that Joe Biden is President of the United States.

One of the pieces (Biden Gave a Commanding Performance At His Press Conference) is by Kevin Walling. Unfortunately, the piece is nothing but vague characterizations of events and statements that make accurately measuring and commenting on them difficult. Well, except that Mr. Walling said,

COVID: 100% Vaccination Is NOT the Goal


Or at least shouldn’t be.

Reducing the spread and/or seriousness of the disease is the goal. Vaccines appear to be a tool that helps toward that goal. Yet the rhetoric about Covid vaccine mandates now treats vaccination itself as the goal. So confusing the goal and a tool intended to help achieve that goal keeps people and organizations from seeing other tools that might be useful to achieve the real goal, and causes people and organizations to pursue the tool regardless of whether it continues to contribute toward the goal.

That’s Not How It Was Supposed to Happen. Group Writing: Surprise!


Aug. 15, 1981.

I’m waiting at the front of the church for her to walk down the aisle for our wedding. But I only met her 20 months ago. And for all but seven of those months, we were a thousand miles apart. That’s not how it was supposed to happen. I always knew that I would need to know a girl for several years (I figured about five years ought to suffice) to be sure she was the one to marry. Surprise! Met Dec. 26, 1979. Engaged September 1980. Marrying Aug. 15, 1981. Isn’t that too fast for me?

Member Post


Looking at the pickup truck that just arrived to apply lawn and pest control chemicals to my neighbor’s yard I began to wonder – instead of painting vehicles different colors at the factory, why not paint them all a single color (primer or white), and then have the dealer apply a color wrap in the […]

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Pete Buttigieg and Human Trafficking


I’m going to pick on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg since his “parental leave” during a period of tremendous challenges to the United States transportation systems has recently brought up his claim to being a parent.

We know virtually nothing about the two babies Pete Buttigieg and Chasten Glezman “brought home” in August. Where did they come from? How were they created? Did Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Glezman procure one or two women with wombs in which to grow babies for their own pleasure? If you think I’m a conspiracy theorist, then please point me to specific information that the actions of Mr. Buttigieg Mr. Glezman are something other than selfish actions by privileged men.

Member Post


Since Indigenous Peoples’ Day was created specifically to oppose Columbus Day, a day that celebrated exploration, learning, and trying to find new and better ways of doing things, I infer that Indigenous Peoples’ Day means: Stay in your own place, and keep doing everything in your life just as you have always done it, working […]

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Helpful Reaction to Getting Covid


My next-door neighbors have what I think should become a normal reaction to getting Covid. Four of the five of them have gotten Covid, and they are reacting much the same way they would if they all got the flu or some other common bug. They want to sleep; members of their church are dropping food on their doorstep; they are talking to their physicians; and on recommendations of those physicians, they are beginning a treatment regimen.

No panic. No “oh no we’re all going to die!” They have asked people not to bombard them with demands they “must” take certain medications or treatments, since those demands often come from a political or social agenda. As Christians, they also know that God has ultimate knowledge of the outcome. They also humorously tease the nine-year-old – the one family member who seems to have escaped (so far).

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