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Why is Sex at the Core of Judaism?

 

Hold on! What an outrageous and ridiculous thing to say! The premise must be flawed. How does the Five Books of Moses make sex front and central?

Riddle me this, Batman: why is the first commandment given to Abraham his circumcision? Why is this a life-and-death commandment for our people – including Moses himself, whose life was endangered when he failed to circumcise his son?

AOC Weeps Because Israelis Won’t Be Slaughtered

 

A great philosopher with an affinity for boxed chocolates once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who along with fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib, attempted to kill funding of Israel’s Iron Dome weapon system. Iron Dome is a purely defensive system that intercepts and destroys incoming missiles launched toward Israel from the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. The elimination of funding would essentially bring a gradual end to the system and make thousands of Israeli citizens – Jews, Christians, and Muslims – vulnerable to being killed.

I realize that these members of Congress want nothing more than to see the annihilation of the state of Israel, so it’s understandable that they were annoyed and beside themselves when wiser Democrats (and that’s a term I hardly ever use) stepped up and restored funding for the system. But AOC was so upset by the restoration of the defensive system that she actually boo-hoo’d to a fellow Democrat congresswoman who hugged and comforted the nitwit.

It shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet, that the other nitwit, one Nancy Pelosi, Speaker-of-the-House and someone who is frighteningly in the line of succession to be President of the United States should anything terrible happen to the other two nitwits who are currently driving the nation over a cliff – actually allowed the defunding of Iron Dome to be included in the initial bill before its funding was restored.

Sean Connery’s Bond Was a Rapist, Or So Claims New Bond Director

 

Apparently, man-bunned Cary Fukunaga, the director of the upcoming Bond flick, No Time To Die, has a license to kill potential box office before the movie even hits theaters. I’m not so sure producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson, and Daniel Craig share Fukunaga’s take on Connery’s portrayal of Bond. It’s obvious that John Nolte at Breitbart isn’t pleased:

“Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery’s character rapes a woman?” Fukunaga rhetorically asked the far-left Hollywood Reporter during an interview. “She’s like ‘No, no, no,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ That wouldn’t fly today.”

Well, of course, it wouldn’t fly today, you g__d____ simpleton. But the only reason it wouldn’t fly today is because we now live in a world where everything is rape. Look at a woman wrong; it’s rape. Some woman later regrets her life choices; it’s rape. Micro-aggressions are rape. Everything is rape except when Joe Biden is credibly accused of rape.

Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change

 

Somewhere along the line, it became fashionable to attribute weather you don’t like to Climate Change.  The regretful weather could be heat (of course), but also cold.  It could be too much rain, or not enough rain.  Too much wind, or not enough wind.  Hurricanes are popular.  Last year, my Governor, Gavin Newsom explained the state’s wildfires by tweeting “Climate. Change. Is. Real.”.  (I think the excessive and ungrammatical use of periods is how a 3rd grader emphasizes things these days.) NPR and the local anchor babes seem unable to report on anything unpleasant without solemnly invoking Climate Change.  It has become a sign-off, like “Life is Good” on an email.  It’s really starting to bug me!

But back to Extreme Weather Events: there is such a thing, and they do happen, and I was informed that 97% of scientists say they are increasing because of climate change, or so I was informed by a progressive lawyer friend of mine.  “Science!” always talks in numbers.  Things are measured or counted, models are made, which always produce likelihoods, ranges… in other words, numbers.  It seems to me that even if you are a scientist and you claim something is getting “worse” without any numbers or even any mechanism, you are just bluffing.

Our guest on this week’s podcast is the former governor of the State of Florida, Jeb Bush. The governor helped transform his state from Blue to Red and set the stage for men like Sen. Rick Scott and current Gov. Ron DeSantis, both of whom are said to be eying a run for the Oval Office in 2024. He surveys the current situation in DC and thinks it is past time for a generational change in leadership.

The fellas also go through “crises” and crises, crazy truth and Rob’s optimism for woke nervous breakdowns. And finally, we’ve got a return of the Lileks Post of the Week and it’s a hot one. Literally. Bravo, Kozak!

Why New Refrigerators Fail

 

We all remember the old refrigerators: the appliances that lasted for decades and seemed like they could run forever. I wish I still owned one. I just had an expensive refrigerator die – a top-of-the-line Electrolux that keeled over exactly two years after we installed it. And now I understand why.

The repair guys have told me that all fridges and freezers sold now have a short life — something like four years on average. Why?

A Mini-Ricochet Meetup at Hillsdale College

 

This past week, the College held its first “CCA”, or Center for Creative alternatives, conference on campus in Michigan.  The subject was “Critical American Elections”, and in the afternoons from Sunday through Tuesday, we listened to many different speakers, on critical elections, including those of 1800, 1860 (lecture by Prof. Kevin Portteus of Hillsdale); 1876 (lecture by Michael Barone); 1932 and 1980 (lecture by Charles Kesler); and 2020 (lectures by Andrew Busch and Phillip Kline).  We also heard a great talk on election integrity from John Lott.

Ricochet members attending were @westernchauvinist and her hubby, @rushbabe49, and @raykujawa (RushBabe’s hubby).  Funny thing, we just happened to be staying at the same bed-and-breakfast in Jonesville, too, so we had great breakfasts every day before heading to campus.  It turns out that a particular Ricochet member is a professor at Hillsdale; the person, in fact, who was instrumental (unknown to himself) in my joining Ricochet in the first place!  So, on Tuesday, I emailed that Ricochet member, to see if he would be around to meet up with us for a quick conversation while we all were on campus.

Let’s Talk About Uma Thurman’s Abortion (Since She Is)

 

I live in Texas where obtaining an abortion after six weeks of gestation is problematic due to a new law that allows citizens to sue those individuals that facilitate an abortion. (Disclosure: I don’t know enough about the law to intelligently comment on it specifically, but I am pro-life so it seems fine to me. Also, I volunteer at and financially support my local crisis pregnancy center.)

Ms. Thurman wrote a piece in the Washington Post revealing her own teenage abortion while complaining that the Texas law creates a human rights crisis. Since Ms. Thurman has revealed such personal information, I have a few questions, comments, and rank speculations about it.

America Surrendered to the Left in Our Last Election. Germany Is Next.

 

The world is a mess right now.  More than usual, I mean.  China appears to have demographic and economic imbalances that would seem to lead to a catastrophic correction at some point.  Russia has social and economic problems that just can’t be sustainable.  America is doing it’s very best to destroy itself and its allies as rapidly and spectacularly as possible.  And then there’s the EU – a random collection of 27 nations united in one economy which is based on, really, nothing whatsoever.

Germany is the gorilla in the EU room, with a population that dwarfs the other 26 countries, and an economy that actually produces things.  Try to imagine the EU without Germany.  Why would earn the money to pay for everything?  Greece?  Italy?  Spain?  Portugal?  Estonia?  Romania?  Many countries in the EU are essentially insolvent, and are completely dependent on the support of the EU, meaning the support of Germany, to continue to pay the bills.  Which means those countries, and the rest of us, might take an interest in the upcoming election in Germany.

Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign of mush is coming to an end.  After this week’s election, it appears very likely that Germany will be ruled by a coalition of the Socialist Party, the Left Party (a direct descendant of the Marxist Leninist ruling party of the former East Germany), and the Greens.  According to Andreas Hellmann of National Review,

On Anti-Semitism: ‘Does Everybody Hate Jews?’

 

When I saw Bari Weiss’ latest substack essay in my inbox, I hesitated to read it; did I really need to write another piece for Ricochet about the increase of anti-Semitism in America? At the same time, I’m always curious to know about recent surveys or perspectives on this phenomenon, so I read the essay. And I was surprised to learn that not only did Weiss have some intriguing points to make, but she also stimulated new ideas for me on the topic of anti-Semitism in America.

The King of Stuff delivers his own State of the Union address covering Biden’s failed presidency. From the economy to foreign policy, and immigration to Covid, Biden is has made a mess of everything he’s touched. Jon also warns listeners to avoid late-night lectures and reveals the secret difference between reins and whips. Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. This week, Jon chooses “Two Fingers” by Sea Power.

The Beatles will go down in history as one of the most prolific music acts of all time. Their music is still played in our homes and around the world and has influenced pop culture on a global scale.

 

Biden’s Latest Firings Are Unjustified

 

On September 8, in his latest exercise of political muscle, President Joe Biden ordered Catherine Russell, the White House director for presidential personnel, to send letters to all incumbent presidential appointees on the visiting committees of West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy, each of whom had received commissions for three-year terms. Her message was short and to the point: either resign by the close of business today or you will be terminated by 6 p.m.—thank you. Among those individuals who were targeted on the West Point visiting committee was former president Donald Trump’s national security advisor and current Hoover senior fellow, H. R. McMaster, who had just been named the recipient of a distinguished graduate award for 2021 from West Point.

Press secretary Jennifer Psaki sought to supply the explanation left out of Russell’s demand letters:

The president’s objective is what any president’s objective is, which was to ensure that you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values.

What Would Pop Think About Covid?

 

Pop died in 1976, but he was on the 2013 super bowl. You may remember seeing him. Dodge Trucks made a commercial about him. They played a recording of the late Paul Harvey delivering a section of an old speech of his. It was called “So God Made A Farmer”. Mr. Harvey may not have had Pop in mind when he gave that speech but, make no mistake, he was talking about Pop.

Do you remember that old man near the beginning of the Dodge commercial wearing the cowboy hat?  Pop wore a hat just like that. The image of him in that hat is seared in my little six-year-old mind. I loved that hat and I loved the man who wore it.  Pop had been a real cowboy and ranch foreman in west Texas and New Mexico during his early adult years. There are pictures of him as a young man in a cowboy hat and riding chaps, wearing a pistol on his hip. No words are adequate to describe the effect of those pictures on the imagination of a little boy who came to realize that his grandfather had lived a life of adventure.

Pop used to tell me stories of how, on Saturday nights, all the cowboys would ride into town and the goal was to ride the most ornery “buckin’ horse” you could find. More than one mishap and much hilarity ensued. Pop was always ready with a laugh, often at his own expense, as he told stories about those days.

A Brief Guide to the COVID-19 Disclosures

 

justice and COVID-19The Intercept’s September 9 article, “NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RESEARCH AT CHINESE LAB,” has a series of links that point to the 900 pages of official government documents they sued the U.S. government to release. Readers should treat the Intercept article as a guide to these sources.

The Intercept is making the full documents available to the public.

This link points to the complaint, the legal document initiating the civil lawsuit against the NIH.

John U. Bacon was Jay’s guest on “Q&A” last summer—talking about some terribly serious issues in college sports. In this new episode, JUB talks about his new book: “Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst High-School Hockey Team.” That team was the Huron High School River Rats, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before coaching at Huron, John went there. So did Jay. They are old friends and classmates. John turned the hockey team around in an extraordinary way. In this achievement are lessons for all of us. 

The Best and the Worst

 

When I got married, I knew I wanted to have children. It was just what you did, right? I came from a family of eight kids. My parents and grandparents all had children. The only people that I was aware of without children were a couple of my aunts who had never married.

We’d been married just over two years when our first child was born. We made a plan; we made a baby; we had the baby! It was amazing! He was adorable, sweet, calm, so awesome. We decided to have another baby. We made a plan; we made a baby; she was born! She cried relentlessly for the first three months of her life. She had terrible colic, and occasionally, I’d just have to hand her over to daddy and walk outside for a moment or two of calmness. It was soooo different from the first baby! In fact, her personality was nearly the opposite of our son.

My Chernobyl Adventure

 

I’ve been trying to visit Chernobyl for about six years. In the summer of 2015, while working in Saudi Arabia I arranged a quick four-day visit to Kyiv. When looking for things to do I came across a Chernobyl tour. It sounded fascinating, and I booked a tour. Unfortunately, I messed up my dates and thought it was on the second day after my arrival, and it was on the first. Due to the paperwork and permits with the Ukrainian government, I missed my chance. Fast forward to spring 2020. I again booked a trip to Kyiv and this time a two-day tour. And, Covid shut down all travel two weeks before my trip.

Finally, with an airline credit expiring, and travel relatively easy, I rebooked for September. This time I made it.

I order to visit Chernobyl you have to book a tour, and they submit your passport and information to the government who arrange your pass into the Exclusion Zone, the 30 km radius area around Chernobyl that was evacuated after the 1986 disaster. A second inner 10 km zone includes the most contaminated area. My two-day visit started out in Kyiv where I met my tour guide Serghyj and the other four members of the tour, two Dutch, an Aussie, and an Austrian.

The Justification for Forced Vaccination of Children

 

Who knew that the reason children should be forced to get the COVID vaccine is because of “bug-nut crazy right wingers, who are a bunch of idiots.”  That is what I was told when I replied to a Tweet about pending vaccine approval for 5-11 year olds.  After I fully agreed with said Tweet stating that parents should be allowed to choose whether their children get the COVID vaccine, I was called a dumbass that had to do mental gymnastics to come to my conclusion.  At first, I tried to politely point out that we shouldn’t force children, who are at significantly lower risk of getting COVID, much less a serious case of it, to get vaccinated to protect adults who choose not to. I was quickly told, yes they do, then insulted (see above).  Finally,  the “bug-nut crazy right winger” argument was made (no mental gymnastics there!) to justify the mandate. Yep, children should be forced to get COVID vaccines because crazy right wingers won’t.

For what it’s worth, the person I was arguing with cited an article supporting her claim that children are efficient spreaders, and I read both the article in Forbes and the paper the article reported on.  Unfortunately for my debate opponent (and even more unfortunate for me, because Twitter is not a forum conducive to a full analysis of the report) the report does not make her case.

Who is Worse, Mark Milley or Benedict Arnold?

 

General Mark Milley’s January 2021 actions, as published by Bob Woodward and confirmed by Milley’s non-denial, were far more damaging to American national security than Brigadier General Benedict Arnold’s attempted betrayal of the American Revolution. General Milley reportedly subverted our national security on two levels, both leading fellow officers to collude in subverting the Constitution, and directly conspiring with a nuclear adversary to remove our first strike capability and give Communist China the time to launch missiles at our cities first. In comparison, Benedict Arnold informed British commanders of Continental Army planning for a possible invasion of Canada and attempted to communicate an offer to hand over the fortifications at West Point, if he was placed in command of defenses including West Point, in return for cash and some status under British rule. Mark Milley is worse than Benedict Arnold. Gen. Mark Milley did more damage to our national defense than Gen. Benedict Arnold.

Brigadier General Benedict Arnold was a hero of the American Revolution, until he was not.

Early in May [1779] he made secret overtures to British headquarters, and a year later he informed the British of a proposed American invasion of Canada. He later revealed that he expected to obtain the command of West Point, New York, and asked the British for £20,000 for betraying this post. When his British contact, Maj. John André, was captured by the Americans, Arnold escaped on a British ship, leaving André to be hanged as a spy. The sacrifice of André made Arnold odious to loyalists, and his reputation was further tarnished among his former neighbours when he led a raid on New London, Connecticut, in September 1781.

There’s a Hole in My Bucket (List)

 

‘Twas Burns that said of mice and men,
Two hundred years ago
The best-laid schemes gang aft agley, a
Truth so wretch’d, bless’d be
To twist the tack of life we plow!

Truth be told, I don’t have a bucket list. It’s not that I don’t believe in having goals or aspirations or hopes for certain experiences. It’s just that over time (and reinforced by those annoying disruptions and intrusions of “real life”), I’ve learned that life has a way of upsetting “the best laid plans o’ mice and men.” The more detailed the plan, the more likely events conspire to undermine the effort. My mantra, if I have one, is to find ways to adapt, to keep moving and avoid the trap that leads to paralysis when life takes a hard unexpected turn. It’s a difficult trap to avoid for those of us who don’t get along with the idea of “change.”

What Can You Do?

 

A few years ago I was doing an annual physical on ‘Marie,’ a very pleasant 80-year-old woman who was born and raised in Montreal.  Her father had died of colon cancer in his early 60s, but she hadn’t had a colonoscopy for several years.  They had always been fine, and she was getting older, and she just hadn’t done one for a while.  I suggested we recheck, she said she was too old and not in the mood, so we compromised with a Cologuard (a home stool sample that is moderately good at picking up colon cancer).  It came back positive.

I immediately referred her to GI, who said they could see her in three weeks.  I said that wasn’t good enough, explained the situation, and they scoped her the following Monday.  They found colon cancer, I called a surgeon, and had the cancer removed (along with eight inches of her colon) later that week.  Total time from stool sample results to cancer surgery:  Eight days.  Pretty good, but still, one of the 12 lymph nodes they biopsied was positive for cancer.  Crap.  Metastatic cancer in an 80-year-old woman.  What can you do?

Well, in this day and age, you can do a lot.  So she undergoes four rounds of chemo.  Modern chemo has come a long way, and she didn’t feel sick at all.  Although she got tired of driving back and forth to the infusion center 20 minutes away.  It resulted in clean scans and apparent resolution of her cancer.  That was three years ago.  She turns 84 next month.  She feels great, and all subsequent testing has shown no evidence of recurrence.  All cancer patients are not so fortunate.  But sometimes modern medicine really can work miracles.  Yahoo!  Except.

The Movie “Mr. Jones” Shows the Results of Communism

 

An orange is the only color in the scene. On a train bound for the hinterlands of the Ukraine, Gareth Jones sits among starving peasants. Stirrings of hunger prompt Mr. Jones to reach in his satchel for an orange. Every eye in the train car focuses on that piece of fruit. Mr. Jones, at this point in his journey, is unaware of the starvation being imposed on Ukrainians by Joseph Stalin. One orange, images a story Mr. Jones must tell. One courageous man. One cadre of self-serving Western journalists, covering the truth by silencing their pens. One megalomaniac dictator. One nation on the brink of starvation. One movie that will smash vapid idealistic visions of communism. If you want to know why history matters in the present, please watch Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones displays exactly what happens when dictators subjugate a people and the journalists who are supposed to cover the story, silence their pens. Over one hundred million people died in the 20th century at the hands of despots. Many of these tyrants began their beliefs and practices based on atheism. To understand the 20th century, one must begin with naturalism, materialism, and yes, atheism. YouTube abounds with testimonies about the horrors. There are stories of some who hid others from discovery by jackbooted thugs, and some were spared bloodshed by Providence. Pick a dictator: Mao Zedong, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Castro, they are all cut from the same cloth.