Is Society Breaking Apart Under the Shutdown?

 

What with Democrats vacationing in Puerto Rican beaches, you’ll be surprised to know that the world is slowly unraveling with this whole government shutdown entering week four. Last night CNN reported on a massive security breach at a major U.S. airport,

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Why Is It So Hard to Condemn Anti-Semitism?

 

Meghan McCain is the best thing to happen to daytime talk in memory. Case in point: this morning McCain put Tamika Mallory’s feet to the fire about her comfortable relationship with known anti-Semite Louis Farakkhan:

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Quote of the Day: True Fascism

 

The spirit of the kangaroo court has since graduated into business and politics where it has proven especially useful for settling scores and advancing careers and agendas dishonestly. Coercion has replaced persuasion. Coercion is at the heart of totalitarian politics. Do what you’re told, or else. Believe what we say, or else. (Or else lose your reputation, your livelihood, your friends….) This plays neatly into the dynamics of human mob psychology. When the totalitarians set up for business, few individuals dare to depart from the party line. It’s the perfect medium for cultivating mendacious ideologies. – James H. Kunstler

The “Resistance” is big on projecting the label of “Fascist” on their opponents. They even call their movement “antifa” for anti-fascist. It reminds me of how another other totalitarian society truncated Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police)to Gestapo. Intolerant bigotry against all of those disagreeing even slightly with your views has always been the hallmark of the fascist. And today, it is not only the political mob that will come after you. Major corporations are firing, deplatforming, refusing to service and otherwise silencing those who deviate from the Progressive agenda; intolerance in the name of diversity.

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Renovation: Bathroom Blues

 

My father had some very good qualities, but when it came to renovating the house in a timely manner, he seemed to have several things going against him. For instance, as a policeman, he worked shift work. Shift work can lead to sleep deprivation, which is especially trying when one is trying to sleep off-hours with dogs, cats, birds, and kids running around the house. In his job, he often dealt with some energy-draining situations. Let’s face it, being a policeman in some cities does not bring one into contact with the finest folks in town. He also tried to get as many “union jobs” as possible to scoop up the extra pay. Union jobs were basically where the police officers could be hired as security for companies. For instance, the local McDonald’s franchise liked to keep spaces open in their parking lots for active customers, which could be difficult on Friday nights with teenagers hanging out. So, they would hire off-duty police officers to walk the lots and keep the kids moving. Poor sleep habits, lots of overtime, and dealing with the dregs of society and teenagers (but I repeat myself) did not make Dad the most energetic guy when he was at home. He wasn’t champing at the bit to keep the house in shape or renovated.

My mother was not someone who believed in nagging. Nagging takes more energy than just doing something for oneself, if one actually has the skills to do it. But my mother really did not have the skills to renovate a room well, but after asking nicely a few times, she just got tired of waiting.

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WILL

 

Last Tuesday night, January 8, 2019, will prove to be a watershed moment for our republic. The direction the water takes is yet to be determined., for the most part, part will be up to us, or to be more exact to our clarity and will as a free people.

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Do They Want Him to Be President Forever?

 

I’m starting to think so. Here’s a few Monday morning examples:

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Drilling with Beto

 

View original artwork here.

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Why I Don’t Have a Smart Phone: Five True Stories

 

1. I was carpooling with some people on a six-hour trip (to Urbana), but before we could start, we had to get on the highway. Our GPS navigator took us right past the highway on-ramp we all knew, down some other road, then on a crazy four- or five-mile detour through other neighborhoods and odd side streets, finally coming full circle, back to the same on-ramp where we had started, which, this time, we took.

2.  For the next six hours, an extroverted older guy (maybe in his sixties) sat next to a younger guy (early twenties) and tried to make polite conversation. Even though they didn’t know each other previously, the older guy was friendly and full of energy, and it was clear that he really valued human interaction. The younger guy sometimes engaged, but his talking and even his listening eventually trailed off, as he lost interest in the conversation and paid more and more attention to reading whatever was on his phone. Perhaps unintentionally, the younger guy’s visible boredom sent the message loud and clear that he wasn’t interested in talking to the older guy. I ended up feeling bad for the older guy, and spending a lot of the trip engaging with him, even though we were sitting in different rows and had to crane some to make it work.

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Book Review: Surprised by Christ

 

How does a Hasidic Jew, the son, and grandson of rabbis, become an Orthodox Christian? The journey is a fascinating one, as A. James Bernstein relates in a book that is one part personal autobiography, and the other part his spiritual journey from the Judaism of his youth through what he describes as the return to the fulfillment of Judaism’s promise in the Orthodox Church. In his tale, Father Bernstein takes readers from his initial discovery of Christianity as a young man, through his years as an Evangelical street preacher in Berkley, and back to Israel both past and present as he seeks to re-find the ancient Jewish connection to Christianity.

Bernstein begins with a vivid recollection of when a drunk anti-semite threw a brick through his father’s storefront in the middle of the night in Queens, NY. Though James was born in the US during World War II, his parents had wed in the early 1930s, and had fled Jerusalem (where his father was from) for the US (his mother was from Pittsburgh) out of fear that the Muslim Mufti of the region would ally with the Nazis. The horrors of the war and the revelations of the Holocaust broke much of his father’s faith, and though trained as a Rabbi in his youth, in America he instead chose to run a candy store.

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Trump Buries Pocahontas at Wounded Knee

 

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Ted Cruz’s Beard Solves Border Wall Funding Crisis

 

Ted Cruz introduces the EL CHAPO Act to fund the border wall and end the partial government shutdown.

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Stephen Rosen on US Foreign Policy, Great Power Competition, and the Rise of China

 


Harvard government professor Stephen Rosen assesses the current geopolitical environment, and considers America’s capacity to meet its foreign policy responsibilities and deter its adversaries. Detailing threats to America from a rising China, the success of bad actors in the Middle East, and other geopolitical turmoil, Rosen explains why America must compete in economic, political, and military arenas—and reflects on the deleterious consequences of American disengagement from the world.

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Ahhh, My Daughter Is Normal!

 

My 21-year-old daughter just brought home a handsome, square-jawed boy. He is clean-shaven with no man bun or other facial anomalies. He even called me “sir.” I’m totally freaking out. What if he is the last good one on the face of the earth?

Anyhow, I have the usual parental anxiety about getting my kids out of the nest and on their feet. I’ve always considered the three big questions that need to be answered as you move forward in the world:

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Russian To Judgement?

 

In the last 24 hours, two new stories on the Trump-Russia relationship have been published by the New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively.

The NYT headline reads F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia and posits that immediately after the President fired FBI director James Comey in May of 2017, the agency opened up an investigation to determine if President Trump was working on behalf in Russian interests:

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Remembering Raycon

 

Ricochet lost one of its own on January 8, 2019. Ray of Ray and Linda Con succumbed to pneumonia after living with congestive heart failure the last couple years. Mr. C and I celebrated Ray and Linda’s 50th wedding anniversary with them on December 21st last month. He was in his seventies.

Ray was a Philadelphia boy and never lost his craving for good Philly cheese steak sandwiches. In fact, he and Linda used to make them from scratch, starting with grinding the grain to make flour for the rolls! But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Deadly Physical Force, Part 2

 

I’ll begin Part 2 with a disclaimer: The purpose of this series is not to offer legal advice if you are involved in a shooting. I’m presenting the statutes to clarify terms and meanings of the Oregon Revised Statutes that involve the use of deadly physical force. Oregon law may be different than the laws in other states. CHL holders, or those that keep a firearm in their home, or place of business should have a thorough understanding of their state laws on the use of deadly physical force.

My personal belief is that this is just as important as practice time on the range. You will need a criminal defense attorney if you are involved in a shooting, and should have one present before you answer any questions.

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Pelosi’s Open Bluff

 

Nancy Pelosi is in a staredown with Donald Trump over the building of a wall along parts of our southern border. Pelosi has the support of Democrats, the media, progressives, and anti-Trump Republicans. Trump has the support of some Republicans and his ego. So I would argue that Trump has more support than Pelosi.

Trump is pushing this because it’s one of his campaign promises, but also apparently because he thinks border security is an important problem facing American citizens. Pelosi has spoken in favor of a wall in the past, but in her current political situation, it makes more sense for her to oppose the wall, President Trump, and her own former statements. Politics can put people into awkward positions sometimes. It happens.

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The Renovator

 

I was not one born to the hammer as most General Contractors who specialize in residential renovations are. Instead, as the son of an office jockey, I was plenty happy to spend my days playing sports and riding bikes rather than building tree houses and forts, or earning a few bucks an hour picking up trash on a job site, as most of my peers did in their youth.

What first drew me to building was the income; it was the best summer job a college freshman could wrangle. But it was the sweat and the sawdust that captured me. The tangy smell of wet pine surrendering to the screaming saw and the hot, dusty scent of summer mingled with the pop of nail guns, loud country music, sunscreen, and sweat. This, it seemed to me, is what work should feel like. Maybe I was tired, maybe I was sore, but the cold beer in my hand was well earned and delicious, and there, where once there was just dirt and scrub, sat a freshly framed house.

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Anti-Christian Bigotry is Alive and Well in Congress but The Knights of Columbus Stand Exuberantly Clad in the Naked Public Square

 

Those saviors of our Republic, the Democrats, are at it again. Having spared us the dread of Amy Coney Barrett as a Justice of the Supreme Court by having Senator Dianne Feinstein attack her during her confirmation hearings to the US Circuit Court and show us that the Catholic dogma lives loudly within her, the Democrats have struck again. This time, Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono attacked Brian Beuscher, who is up for nomination to the US District Court, for being a member of the “extremist” organization the Knights of Columbus.

Nevermind that there cannot be a religious test for public office, these guys dress funny and do such radical things as drive the elderly to mass, hold fish fries during Lent, focus on charity work for the poor, disabled, and orphaned, and are pro-life. They must be stopped. (This is why JFK was not put on Mt. Rushmore – he was a knight for crying out loud.)

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The “411” on “National Emergency”

 

Sadly, supposedly expert, professional commentators have continued the lazy practice of bloviating rather than elucidating. Let’s circle back around and lay out the law on “national emergencies.” It is right there for anyone who can read to read, without any special permissions: 50 U.S. Code Subchapter II – DECLARATIONS OF FUTURE NATIONAL EMERGENCIES. Let’s all do a bit of reading together, and then I invite members with relevant legal experience to comment on any relevant case law.

Consider the following law. Think very carefully through the very first sentence. As with some many other areas, where Congress feels a need to “do something” but doesn’t know how to specify, to clearly limit, the usual result is a vague grant of authority to the Executive branch.

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Failed Culinary Adventures: Diary of a Madman

 

You find the strangest things at garage sales. Some are just useless junk, sold for coin. Others are sad, like clearly-loved childhood toys and keepsakes. Sometimes you even find rather personal items. I did see a binder once of recipe cards. They were all hand-written and dated. The penmanship was clear, the cards were neatly arranged, and the binder had the sort of splits and wear one would expect from something much used. The family only wanted 50 cents for it and was emphatic that I had to take the recipes as well as the binder. I thought that very strange, the vehemence with which they pressed the binder upon me, and I thought it still stranger that I heard the seller mutter what could either have been a prayer or a curse my way as I departed. I now understand them all too well, and I am certain that the line between prayers and imprecations may sometimes be blurry for sound reasons.

You see, I had given the recipes only the most cursory of glances, and even at that only the ones towards the front, which seemed of the sort you would find in most any collection — stews, casseroles, sauces, desserts, breads, etc. I did not pay any particular mind to the ingredients called forth, much less to the misbegotten associations, combinations, and indeed thralldom or enslavement of so many unfortunate foods. Contained in those plastic-pocketed pages of 4×6 notecards were what I can only describe as alchemic incantations that, though they might not summon the demons up from hell, might reasonably regurgitate the contents of the digestive tract. You see, I had purchased the cookbook of a madman.

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Shedding Some Light on Those Beastly Dark Ages

 

I saw this story the other day, and sent the link to my stepdaughter and sister at approximately the same time as my stepdaughter sent the link to me and my sister, and only a moment or two before my sister sent the link to my stepdaughter and me. The circle of life. Connections. Not quite psychokinesis, but almost. I love it when that sort of thing happens among those I love.

It’s the story of an 11th-century nun at a small German monastery just south of what is now Frankfurt. The monastery was completely destroyed in a fire in the fourteenth century, but records remain, and the nearby cemetery has been excavated. Among the remains retrieved are those of a nun, aged somewhere between 45 and 60 when she died in approximately AD 1100.

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Milt Rosenberg, 4/15/25-1/9/18, RIP

 

With the press of work this week, I missed making a post marking a year since the death of Milt Rosenberg, a radio legend and Ricochet contributor. From 1973-2012 he hosted a wonderful program, “Extension 720,” on WGN radio in Chicago. I met Milt in 2000; my wife, then my girlfriend, was a good friend of Milt and his wife Marjorie. For many years after that, we’d meet for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner (and other occasions).

The Rosenbergs became more conservative during Clinton’s first term. It was interesting hearing leftists call and berate Milt for his conservatism. They control almost all of the MSM, but are unhappy that conservatives have any presence in the media. In 2008, Milt was glum about the possibility that he’d die during Obama’s presidency. I kidded him that Obama would be president for life so he might last for a long time. He obviously outlasted Obama but we are poorer for his absence from the radio. RIP, Milt.

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