The Problem with Perfect Heroes

 

In Plato’s Republic, Plato discusses the need to educate the populace about role models. As far as Plato was concerned, it was harmful to suggest that deities and heroes and great men had any flaws. Instead, he said that it was necessary to paint them as perfect, and beyond all criticism.

One key problem with this approach is that heroes cannot grow – they have to be, in a sense, perfect for their entire lives. If that is the case, then we remove the possibility of character development, of a person maturing and learning and changing as they learn from their experiences. In other words, we lose the most important component of most good plots: how the hero overcomes his flaws and achieves redemption. So when we insist that our heroes were perfect, even when they were little children, then we make them so different from ourselves that we cannot relate to them in any way. Each of us, we would hope, are not the same person we were when we were children or teenagers.

Echoes of Fascism

 

For me, this video had echoes of the Kapos who operated in the concentration camps under the Nazis. The young lady’s sweet and gentle manner wasn’t reassuring to me, either.

Colin Powell, RIP

 

Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State under George W. Bush, has died from complications of Covid-19.  He was 84.

Family statement:

We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.

Roger is joined by the 23rd Governor of the State of Arizona, Doug Ducey, who is also serving as the chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. During his time in office, Governor Ducey has continually cut regulations and simplified taxes to stimulate job creation and economic growth and has also focused on developing dynamic civic education for youth.

Roger and Governor Ducey discuss the future of the Arizonan and American workforce, semiconductor manufacturing and national security, and the future of Republican governors in America.

The murder of Sir David Amess, MP casts a large shadow over the proceedings this week. After assessing the implications for the future we take on happier topics, starting with James’ Delingpod adventure with Laurence Fox.

Speaking of Lozza, we also drop a zed and cover the rapper Loza Alexander and his new song, Let’s Go, Brandon. We also cover the billionaire race, the dancing Greta, and the humiliation of Matt Hancock at the UN.

Journalists: Fairness Is Overrated

 

Not that long ago, journalists would get offended if they were accused of presenting the news with a liberal bias. Now, they are publicly stating that “fairness is overrated.” A Los Angeles Times reporter recently wrote an op-ed in which she stated that the extreme views of Republicans mean that they are not a serious party and should not be taken seriously: “This is a Republican Party that is not serious about governing or addressing the nation’s actual problems, as opposed to faux ones like critical race theory … Democrats can’t be expected to deal with these guys like they’re on the level. Nor should journalists cover them as if they are.”

Journalists and others from all over the country chimed in with their hearty agreement. Bill Buzenberg wrote: “Great Op Ed — important message for every journalist. (NPR and PBS this includes you). Please don’t ‘balance’ the truth with an outright, calculated lie, and call it objective reporting or interviewing.” NBC anchorman Lester Holt said, “I think it’s become clear that fairness is overrated … The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.”

The Mythical Far-Right

 

Just a brief jumping-off point here. A Politico article begins with the following sentence-graph: “Republicans have been feuding for months in Nevada’s largest county after a pro-Donald Trump insurgency with ties to far-right activists threw the party into chaos.” Well, I haven’t conducted a study of the thing, but informally, I cannot recall the last time I saw the supporters of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, ACORN, Organizing for Action, or any of the rest of that stuff referred to as “far-left activists” in an ostensibly balanced news outlet, especially when casually name-dropped as “tied to” a prominent figure on the left, such as a former president. Perhaps you can educate me, but I figured that likelihood of juice isn’t worth the squeeze, so I certainly did not bestir myself.

I don’t know what is going on in Nevada. Don’t care. Never heard of whomever it was mentioned in the article. I support the Trump guy. Hope he doesn’t suck.

October Surprise: Giving the Gift of Color

 

Back in November 2018, as I wandered the trails of a local nature preserve on Long Island with my dog, I was enjoying the fading colors of fall when a bend in the trail led to a blaze of red peeking through the tall trees.

How beautiful, I thought, and how blessed I am that I am here on this magnificent fall day and able to see this. Not everyone in my family can, as red-green color blindness runs through the males on my mother’s side. I thought of my brother and how I wished he could see this. I mean actually see it if he were here because he often mistakes red and green for brown. That led me to remember a story I had read a few months back about glasses that could correct for red-green color blindness. The special lenses help the retinal cells to separate between these two wavelengths, compensating in part for defective genes that make it difficult to tell these colors apart. Wow, I thought. I have the perfect Christmas gift: I’ll give my brother the gift of color! What could be better than that?

I went online when I got home and did some research. Yes, these glasses exist and are available. I was led to many YouTube videos of people sobbing with joy when seeing the colors of the world for the first time. I did a little more reading, and it turned out that these glasses don’t work for everyone, so that was a worry, as they weren’t cheap. But then there was a moving story of a young boy who put them on and was very disappointed that he didn’t see anything different. Then his mother noticed that he had stopped to look at an orange toy. He said it was glowing. All of sudden, his world burst into color, and he was overwhelmed with joy. I thought it was worth taking a chance.

QOTD: Three Generations of Retcons is Enough

 

Jacobson v. Massachusetts has become the catchall decision for justifying all kinds of pandemic countermeasures. I had not looked into the matter in detail, as I am not a lawyer (thank God). However, I ran across an article on SSRN from Josh Blackman (one of the writers at The Volokh Conspiracy) that dismantles how a decision to allow a jurisdiction to levy a fine equivalent to a parking ticket for the refusal to receive a vaccination against one of the most deadly diseases known to man (smallpox is a Risk Group 4 select agent, alongside Ebola and its relatives; by comparison, anthrax and the Black Death are merely Risk Group 3) mutated like a virus into allowing all kinds of measures under the rubric of public health.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the most disturbing U.S. Supreme Court decision to remain on the books as good case law plays a role here. Buck v. Bell is the infamous decision that allowed for the state to forcibly perform medical procedures on people without their consent to uphold the good of the gene pool, giving us the infamous line that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” As if forcing a person to be fixed like a stray dog is not bad enough, there is evidence that Carrie Buck was not even mentally handicapped, nor was her honor student child, and she was likely set up by her lawyer, who was either horrendously incompetent or actually in favor of negative eugenics. You could use this decision to justify forced medical procedures on every person who holds a political position unpopular with political elites.

Fraudci-lent ‘Science’

 

justice and COVID-19The Hill story promoting Fraudci’s latest line caught my eye. Consider the following, and the related story on the FDA advisory panel’s entirely unscientific conduct. Scientific study, we don’t need no stinkin’ studies! This is Fraudci-lent “science.”

ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Fauci on “This Week” if the millions of Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine should be concerned after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted unanimously to recommend adults receive a booster shot of the vaccine.

“No, not at all, Martha. I think that they should feel good about it because what the advisers to the FDA felt is that, given the data that they saw, very likely this should have been a two-dose vaccine to begin with,” Fauci said.

Two Chicks on the Bourbon Trail

 

This weekend, I enjoyed attending my first Ricochet Meetup in Kentucky, dragged along by my good friend Melissa. Here are the Top 10 things I learned over fantastic bbq and local beer:

10. Kentucky BBQ is fantastic. Red State BBQ & Marks Feed Store — Yum.

9.  Betting on horses isn’t profitable (please don’t tell my husband).

It’s All Maintenance from Here

 

I figured I’d be at least 90 years old before I made this discouraging comment about getting old. My older friends have said that they have already set limits on how much time they allow for groups they visit to complain about their aches and pains, their doctors, their hospitals, their nurses, pulled muscles, raging allergies—well, you get the picture. If you’re not careful as you get older, your entire conversation can be dominated with mumblings and grumblings, punctuated with the comment, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”

Well, I’m trying to nip this personality modification and distortion in the bud. Yes, my elbow hurts, my right quad is aching, my body is stiff when I first wake up, my wrinkles are getting wrinkles (notice how I snuck all that in there!) but I’m taking charge of my internal dialogue and my conversations with friends.

It is all maintenance from here. And frankly, that’s how G-d intended life to be. But by gosh, I’m alive! And I can still think for myself (mostly) and take brisk walks on the days I don’t work out. And when I do work out, I work my upper and lower body, every other day—a three-pound weight in each hand. And people still “like” my funny comments here on Ricochet—whether that’s out of pity or amusement!

This Is How We Resist

 

We have seen many posts recently bemoaning the sad state of affairs in our country, and even in the world.  There have been calls to resist, laments of despair, concessions to the inevitability of a Marxist, Socialist, Woke society.

I present to you Pastor Artur Pawlowski who has now been sentenced by the Canadian Government to probation with a condition that he must parrot “the majority of medical experts in Alberta” regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccines, even when he speaks in church.

Cancelled

 

The meeting that man is addressing had better not be a school board meeting, or he will be in danger of being investigated as a potential terrorist for failing in unquestioning obedience to the educational establishment.

The adjacent image is, of course, Norman Rockwell’s famous painting commemorating Freedom of Speech, and it was one of the first things I thought about after reading about Merrick Garland’s now-infamous letter.  This letter is just one small part of the massive campaign against free speech now being conducted by the ‘Biden’ administration, its private-sector partners, and its media allies.

The painting is one of four that were created by Rockwell to represent Roosevelt’s ‘Four Freedoms’.  It strikes me that all of these freedoms are under attack by the current administration and by the Democratic Party in general.

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.

This Resplendent Fall

 

After a summer of smoke from wildfires, we get this. My daughter and I hiked a scenic trail when I was visiting her last week.

This gorgeous fall has been a kind of convalescence from the cloying haze and heat of the smoky summer. I’ve been outside on walks as frequently as possible.

Unbearable Surprise

 

charmin bearsI have been the chief cat herder for the theme writing project for the past few years. By way of exhorting and occasionally extorting participation, I have been known to threaten to fill white space with posts featuring bears, disco, or even disco bears. From time to time, I must make good on these threats, just to maintain a bit of credibility. Well folks, you’ve gone and done it. You’ve driven me to the bears. It being October, I am reposting a 2018 story with a haunting question. Quick! Go sign up to fill the rest of this month’s roster for “October Surprise.”

Advertising for products dealing with our bodily functions predates radio and television, as Kellogg’s built an eventual corporate empire on “healthy” food centered on bowel regularity. Indeed, Kellogg’s followed the success of Cascaret’s sweet-flavored lozenge, advertised as a palatable alternative to castor oil.

But around 1900, Americans didn’t just associate constipation with abdominal discomfort or gas or indigestion. Constipation for our great-grandparents was the root evil of just about every ailment and malaise you could think of. And for whatever was wrong with you, a laxative (or purgative or cathartic–the terms were used pretty interchangeably) would do the trick.

What Is Happening to Our Country?

 

What is happening to our country? @docrobert posted about the supply chain issue, focusing on California ports (just one port of many), but these supply shortages and delivery issues are just one, in a long list of serious problems in the “new, woke Biden administration’s America.” Our Transportation Czar, Pete Buttigieg, has taken a maternity leave since August, to stay home with his gay partner. Dear Mr, Buttigieg, you may have a doctor before your name, but neither you nor your partner carried a child for nine months, or went through a grueling and exhausting delivery, and never will. Why such a long leave? In the meantime, people are waiting for building materials, appliances, furniture, computers, auto parts, and many other critical supplies, that you should be on the job resolving. Pete, can you address the country on our supply chain and delivery issues and what you are doing about it?

The babies arrived amid the delay of a bipartisan infrastructure bill and growing concerns over product shortages and the sluggish transport of goods, inconveniences that have only grown more biting as the pandemic continues.  On Friday, Mr. Buttigieg’s twins cooed in the background as he spoke by phone about the “pro-family” policies.

Let’s continue:

Quote of the Day: Problems

 

 “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” – Albert Einstein

I remembered this quote as a result of the current supply chain problem we are experiencing.  We have a problem: we cannot get containers unloaded from ships fast enough, so goods are piling up – in ships, on wharves, in assembly yards. No doubt the problem will get solved, eventually, by clever people. Yet there is the issue of why the problem arose in the first place. Enough container ships awaiting unloading to spell out “Let’s Go Brandon” did not appear off the California coast overnight. The overflow has been building for months. It simply became bad enough to become noticeable this month.

Our Society Needs Affirmative Action … Sometimes

 

I work in a small non-profit in a rural Maryland town. We have quite a variety of programs given our size, a lot of them geared to helping poor, underprivileged children. The children are mostly black. There is a big divide in our community, but not terrible animus, between whites and blacks. Of course, there are rich blacks and many poor whites; overall, however, the black community is much poorer and has more challenges than the white community.

In our summer youth camp for underprivileged elementary school kids, one hundred percent of them are black. We also have a mentoring program aimed at kids who have no good role models at home. The parents might be on drugs and are neglectful. The home might be fatherless. You know the scenarios.

The Hunt for the Mesan Alignment

 

The sprawling science fiction series involving Honor Harrington started in 1993, with “On Basilisk Station.” Nearly thirty years later it is still going strong with nearly thirty novels and six anthologies in five different threads.

“To End in Fire,” by David Weber and Eric Flint is the Honorverse’s latest arrival. Part of the “Crown of Slaves” strand of the saga, its focus is on the genetic slavery in the far future. The slave-sponsoring planet Mesa, and the self-emancipated slaves of planet Torch, feature prominently.

Earlier in the series Honor Harrington’s Manticorian conquered Empire Mesa. Manticorian with their starfaring allies in the Grand Alliance also defeated the Earth-based Solarian Empire. The Grand Alliance was formed after the Solarians – headquartered on Earth and making up the Core Worlds of human-occupied space – attacked Manticore.  That war and earlier wars between Manticore and Haven were triggered by the Mesa-based Alignment. Mesa was taken to subdue the Alignment.

Supply Chain: What Would Trump Do?

 

This business of the supply chain being “broken” is a joke.  The supply chain is not broken. It is being deliberately crippled by the man-boy governor of California, who has forbidden independent truckers or union truckers driving trucks more than three years old (as I understand data from other Ricochetti) from taking loads away from the piers to local distribution points.  With the number of union truckers driving new rigs being finite, Mr. Xiden’s “24/7” claims are useless.

This is easily remedied.  A real president would jawbone the man-boy governor of California into suspending the regulations for the good of his state and his nation. If this failed, a real president would go on national TV and announce that due to the State of Emergency he had just declared, he was suspending the regs, that he was authorizing the Secretary of Commerce (who would actually be at work, not trying manfully to breastfeed a baby) to seize control of all rigs from Austin to Walla-Walla, that he was diverting the Coast Guard to line the 70 waiting ships up to be offloaded, that he was ordering the Secretary of Defense to divert military resources to the area to assist, etc.

Whatever Happened to LtCol Scheller?

 

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was court-martialed on Thursday, October 14, charged with five counts of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice including: showing contempt towards officials; showing disrespect towards superior commissioned officers and failure to obey an order or regulation.

He pled guilty on all counts, as he surely must have, given his call for “accountability” in the ranks.

Prior to the hearing, a deal was reached between prosecutors and the defense team, in which Scheller agreed to accept a maximum punishment of a letter of reprimand, forfeiture of two-thirds of a month’s pay for a year, and the processing of his request to resign from the Corps, the disposition and type of discharge to be determined by the Secretary of the Navy.

Quote of the Day: Teaching Contending Perspectives in Texas

 

Open letter to my college classmates, including and especially those who teach yoga, and/or live in the northeast, and/or who would never even consider living in Texas among so many Deplorables:

Stop spreading misinformation, y’all. Now that I’m a Texan, I am compelled to defend my home state from your baseless attacks. The biased and uninformed tweets and memes that you post have the potential to further damage any remaining goodwill that might still exist in our fraying Republic. By sharing misinformation with the clear intent to mischaracterize and denigrate a well-meaning and carefully written Texas law, you demonstrate your disdain for your fellow Americans and your complete lack of interest in making even a minimal effort to understand them. Your goal is clearly to present the newly enacted sections of the Texas law on teaching social studies in its public schools as completely backward. The tweet that you shared from NBC News presents some factual information, but it does so in such a misleading way as to be untrue. If NBC had reported that the “school administrator [mistakenly] advised teachers” to include books about the Holocaust and books with an opposing perspective, then that would have truthfully captured to nature of what transpired. One word can make a big difference. Isn’t it funny how these frequent mistakes or omissions by “news” organizations always seem to support a preferred narrative?