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Big D said “Lion Ted,” Not “Lyin’ Ted”

 

The corrupt, phony media intentionally misrepresented how President Donald J. Trump referred to Senator Ted Cruz in the 2016 debates for the Republican nomination. I listened to the debate audio a number of times, then loaded it on my audio analysis decoder, which came standard on my Commodore VIC-20. The results?

Big D clearly said “Lion Ted,” which is an honorific bestowed on political giants in the US Senate who have either killed an innocent woman (Ted Kennedy) or single-handedly derailed the repeal of Obamacare (John McCain).

Big D should take the opportunity to set the record straight at the Ted Cruz rally in Houston tonight.

The fake media has done the same thing with “Horse Face” Stormy Daniels, treating “Horse Face” as a derogatory term. Our great country has a long history of admiration, no, love, for leaders of the American equine community, like Mr. Ed, Trigger, Silver, Man O’ War, and The Black Stallion, a pioneer in equine racial equality.

“Low Energy” Jeb, was actually meant as a compliment by Big D to laud Jeb for groundbreaking support for energy-saving home appliances, but the dishonest media portrayed it in a negative light.

There are many more of these media misrepresentations designed to paint Big D as mean-spirited, but I am really exhausted from all this typing, and am now going to get some rest.

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Motorcycle Accidents

 

Last summer I was browsing through our towns’ police department Facebook pages because sometimes I like to see a little of what is going on in that circle. It’s very limited, but sometimes they have useful traffic or fire updates, and it’s interesting to see what crimes might be mentioned. One incident that stood out to me was the death of a motorcyclist on one of the main roads. The driver of a pickup had changed lanes into him and knocked him into a box truck. The details were sparse, as you would expect from a simple Facebook post, but the motorcyclist died, and it was hinted as likely the fault of the pickup driver.

Yesterday, I volunteered to be in the church nursery as I had been sick on my normal day and it just so happened that my husband’s aunt had also volunteered and were placed in the same room. I haven’t seen her for a while because she just retired and has been off to places like Kenya, the Philippines, and Missouri. She is one of those involved, social ladies that knows everyone and is generally up to speed on the happenings of our cities. I don’t know how people do that.*

As we chatted she mentioned that a couple from the church had been out riding their motorcycle last Friday and had been hit. Both were alive but were badly hurt. This brought to my mind the accident from the summer so I mentioned that I was glad they survived as the guy from the summer had not. I don’t memorize my exact conversations, but I said something like “I guess the pickup driver just wasn’t paying attention.”

I might have known she knew that pickup driver. It turns out that she had known him for years. He was friends with her daughter and her secretary’s daughter. She knew his mother and relatives. And she knew their side of the aftermath of that accident. Six weeks after the accident, the pickup driver had gone up to one of the highest bridges up north of here and committed suicide by jumping off. There may have been more reasons behind this move than the accident but that was perhaps the tipping point.

But this made me realize that I was thinking of this guy as just a negligent driver. He hadn’t been paying enough attention, shouldn’t have been driving, maybe he was just a jerk or didn’t like motorcyclists (If you spend enough time on Reddit you will hate motorcyclists too). There was yet another incident a few months ago where it was a hit-and-run on a motorcyclist and it’s really hard to look kindly on someone who does that.

But he was a real person, probably in his early thirties, given the age or my aunt’s daughter, I didn’t ask. And his mother is a real person, and suffering real pain, no less real or legitimate than the pain of the family of the motorcyclist. This was a tragedy all around.

I don’t think there is anything profound in this so much as it is simply a reminder to myself that I rarely get enough information from news sources to make good judgments about people. It wasn’t that the Facebook post was wrong or misleading, it was just necessarily limited. People, and life, are much more complicated. I think I’ve been too engrossed in the news of truly evil people who seem to be unredeemable, and I need to remember that even those monsters are people too. It doesn’t excuse the death, nor absolve him of guilt, but he was human with real human needs, desires, and feelings. More information may not change the facts, but it can change the perspective.

I need to consider that.

* I really do not understand how extroverted social people work. She says I have a great memory but she knows everyone in our 1,000 member church as well as so many people throughout the community and she can converse very personally with anyone about anything except maybe physics. I don’t want to give the impression that she’s a gossip. It’s because she legitimately cares about people personally. Sure, she can’t remember their birthday, but she knows them.

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A Question of Birth

 

This is an honest question.

For many years, before we even heard about the LGBT movement (with increasing letters added), we heard from the gay community that being gay was a matter of birth. The reason a person is gay is because they were “born that way.” There was an assumption there is a genetic disposition to gay orientation, so it is wrong to even suggest that a gay person could change. California legislators came to believe it was necessary to pass laws against “conversion therapy” because it would be wrong to try to change how someone is “born.”

But now we hear that if a person is born physiologically male or female, and comes to feel that they were “born in the wrong body,” it is necessary to perform surgery to change their body to correspond to the way they feel. Even for adolescents (a time in life when feelings are extreme and transitory) should have access to procedures to change gender, if they feel uncomfortable in their bodies.

So the question: Why it is morally wrong to even suggest an adolescent (or an adult) should pursue therapy to “change the way they were born” but morally imperative for an adolescent (or adult) be provided with surgery to change the way they were born?

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Quote of the Day: On Whining and Deafness

 

Last Thursday I had the very great pleasure of driving to Armagh, PA, a tiny little town in farming country about one-hundred miles East of us, in West-Central PA, where Mr. She, my stepdaughter Jenny, our granddaughter Eve, and I had lunch at Griffith’s Tavern, a nice little diner of the “hot meatloaf sandwich with gravy out of a can” variety. Good comfort food, reasonably priced. Also, excellent beer. A great time was had by all.

Other than the chance to see and visit with each other, the purpose of the trip was the handing-over of the annual Halloween costume. I’ve been making my granddaughter’s Halloween costumes since she was two, and now she’s ten. Let’s see: Benjamin Bunny; a chicken; a butterfly; a peacock; an ‘underworld peacock, black and sparkly, probably the closest Eve will ever come to the ‘Goth’ look in her life; a mermaid; ‘Girl Darth Vader’ — I think that’s all of them. All of them unique challenges. Almost all of them made with stretchy, spangly, slippery fabrics that those among us who sew will recognize as just the worst and most difficult stuff to sew, ever. Still, it’s been great fun, and the bag of scraps I’ve accumulated over the years has come in handy from one project to the next.

So, now Eve is ten. A fifth grader. Old enough to be somewhat tuned into pop culture (or whatever it’s called these days). To be paying attention to the news. To go to the latest kid movies. And to surf the web.

What, I wondered, would she pick for this year’s costume? And would she still be excited enough to announce as she always does to her friends, that “my Granny makes the best costumes?” Or would she have suddenly grown old and jaded, would Granny’s efforts be cast aside, in favor of going shopping with her friends, and buying something to help her achieve that “Ariana Grande look,” or the skimpy Wonder Woman outfit, or the “Christine Blasey Ford.” Heaven help us.

I need not have worried. Her mother has raised her superbly and with the help of a number of original and rational adages. (I’ve already told you one of my favorites, in a previous quote of the day post: “Into each life, some rain must fall, but not into ours. Our lives are where the garbage is delivered.”) But there are more. From her earliest days, Eve was brought up to believe that “It is better to do than to watch,” (bye-bye almost all television, till she was about seven years old), and “it is better to make than to buy,” (hello creativity and, among other things, the annual Halloween costume). Bless.

So, every year, towards the end of September, Eve sends me a drawing of her vision for Halloween. And I still have them all. Stick figures to start with, then figures with faces, then with feet and hands, drawings of loveliness, beauty, and dreams. With notes and arrows pointing to specific and important materials and features: “Sparkly.” “Shiny.” “Black gloves.” “Puffy.” “Stretchy.” “Feathers.” The interpretation and rendering of the vision and the dream is all up to me, so it’s off to raid my stash, and then to fill in the gaps from the clearance tables at JoAnn Fabrics. And off I go.

This year’s drawing came to me about four weeks ago. An elegant woman, tall and thin, wearing a little black dress, a big straw hat, elbow-length gloves and black pumps with a (very modest) little heel. Oh, and a sparkly necklace.

My ten-year-old granddaughter wants to be Audrey Hepburn for Halloween. Did I mention that her mother has raised her superbly?

I will confess that I was rather hoping for the My Fair Lady Ascot outfit (something to show off my sewing chops) but the drawing was so lovely and the vision so elegant, I couldn’t but be charmed. And so I embarked on the LBD. “It’s going to look like a T-shirt,” her mother worried. “I hope she doesn’t think it looks like a T-shirt.”

Granny resolved that it would not look like a T-shirt. So it does not. Not from the velveteen bodice to the bomabzine-ish skirt, to the floofy little rosette center-front, to the white lining. Not like a T-shirt at all.

She loves it! She has the shoes. She has the gloves (her mother’s). She has the necklace (her mother’s). She has the hat (her mother’s). It’s this hat, actually, and it’s very flattering, no matter whose head it’s on:

So, we’re all set for the big day, starting with the school party next week. Another project done and dusted, another year down. (Note to self: Enjoy them more, they’re moving too darn fast.)

Am I done?

Whoops, no. Quote of the Day, almost forgot.

There we were, sitting at the little diner, eating our hot meatloaf sandwich with gravy out of a can lunch (it’s chilly, and it’s comfort food-time around here, supposed to snow tonight), and Eve started to tell a story about a little kid she knows. She got to the part of the story that went, “and he just whined and whined.” Then she stopped, assumed a knowing look, and said “I’m not allowed to whine.”

Her mother looked out the window.

“Oh,” I said, “why is that?”

“My mom has never let me whine,” she said. “And even if I do, it never does any good. My mom says ‘Whining is spray-on deafness for the rest of the universe.’

Her mother smiled.

Because it is. And it should be.

Priceless.

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Zeal Gap?

 

The gallery for --> Democrats Vs Republicans MapIs there a zeal gap in American politics? This question plays off the infamous “missile gap,” a campaign fiction deployed by JFK to defeat Nixon in 1960, when Nixon was the Vice President to the General of the Armies who defeated Nazi Germany. Conventional wisdom says liberals/Democrats are zealous in politics, like sports fans, where conservatives/Republicans tend to only engage episodically. Is this advantage real, and is it still there?

Years ago, a self-identified liberal cheerfully wrote, for a major publication, that she and her fellow liberals view politics like other Americans view sports. It is fun to fire off a quick letter to a politician or corporation and make a few calls to friend and foe offices. Daily. Yes. Daily. Whereas, conservatives, and the rest of the population, only rarely rouse themselves to a single episode of political expression. This is anecdotal, but we all have anecdotes to affirm this claim.

How many times has Rush Limbaugh, excused this, providing conservative audiences with the sneer “we’re too busy working?” Yet, Rush is a football fanatic. He loves to regale his audience with his sports and consumer technology enthusiasms. Rush is zealous in promoting and defending his brand, the basis of his wealth. Assume that he is also sincere, not just a showman, in his politics. Perhaps, then, Rush is carefully not pressing the “political zeal” button any harder than his audience will tolerate.

On the other hand, perhaps pressing the “political zeal” button daily wears out the button. Perhaps the 24/7 news cycle, plus pervasive social media, engineered to hook you to the next dopamine hit, of affirmation or outrage, has saturated the body politic’s sensory receptors. Perhaps a burst of input from usually quiet sources, maybe even with messages that strike differently than the usual messages, breaks through the constant noise from political zealots. Maybe the Kavanaugh circus, plus the odd occurrence of Democrats taking October surprise hits this year, instead of Republicans, has awakened quiescent voters.

When political science academics, who are overwhelmingly leftist, start writing about partisan activism negatively, you can bet they are actually trying to tamp down activism from the right, rising to meet the preexisting leftist activism. “Red and Blue States of Mind: Partisan Hostility and Voting in the United States,” only gets written, as it was, when the leftist consensus controlling the field sees indicators of budding real opposition.

When President Trump gets crowds as large, or larger, than the past two years, at his MAGA rallies, with a willingness to stand in lines for hours, something is happening. When a sister, who hasn’t written a barrage of letters to politicians since Obamacare was being rammed through the Congress, unleashes that barrage again at many members of Congress, decrying the terrible treatment of Judge Kavanaugh and his family, something is happening. When a 35-year-old friend reacts to social media assaults on Judge Kavanaugh, including the assault on the presumption of innocence, by registering as a Republican, in order to vote for the first time in his life, something is happening. It may be a burst of enthusiasm, countering leftist zeal, or it may be the front edge of rising conservative and libertarian zeal, closing the zeal gap with the left.

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Searching for Meaning After Trauma

 

“There are no atheists in a foxhole.” Though the aphorism may date from the 20th century, the idea that we seek connections when we are most alone, afraid, and even traumatized is not modern. It seems to be a hardwired human feature.

We can find comfort in our parents, spouses, and children – as well as belonging to extended families or communities, tribes, and nations. But that is not necessarily all that is asked of us. If, as I would argue, G-d wants us to seek a relationship with Him, then He made us needy, so that we would reach out for Him.

But it is when other people reject us that we are most alone and afraid. It is also when we are most capable of changing ourselves.

In the Torah, the handmaid Hagar, is driven away by Sarah, and she finds herself at a spring in the wilderness. Hagar is alone; far from her original home (Egypt), expelled by her adoptive family, and she does not seem to have any plan or even hope.

It is in that place that the Torah tells us Hagar met an angel from heaven, who told her to go back to Avram and Sarai, that she would be blessed, and that she is expecting a child, Ishmael.

And then the Torah tells us something that seems entirely extraneous:

And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: ‘Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?’ Wherefore the well was called ‘Beer-lahai-roi” (Gen. 16:13-14)

What of it?

I think this name is actually a clue. The place name is not common in the Torah: Hagar’s experience gives it its first name. And then it is only mentioned two more times (Gen 24:62 and 25:11) – it is where Isaac, years later, chooses to live.

Why?

After the would-be sacrifice (the “Akeidah”), the Torah tells us that Avraham left to go to Beer-Sheba, and he stayed there. But Isaac is not mentioned. The Torah does not tell us where Isaac was – and it does not say even that Avraham and Isaac ever even lived together again. Which is, in its way, quite understandable: how could either the father or the son reconcile what had happened on the mountain and return to normal everyday life? Indeed, since Sarah died at the same time as the Akeidah, Isaac no longer had the same home to go back to (any mere mortal would even have blamed his father for Sarah’s passing).

He could not go home. There was no home. So what did Isaac do?! He went to Beer-lahai-roi. He went to the place that was named because G-d sees people there, and, based on Hagar’s experience, G-d connects to people there.

Isaac was alone. His mother was dead. He had separated from his father, he was not yet married. If he was a normal person, he was also deeply traumatized by the Akeidah. And so he went to find G-d, to go to the place where G-d was known to talk to people, and give them guidance and hope.

And it worked for him. One afternoon Isaac was praying in the field near Beer-lahai-roi, and his prayers were answered: his future wife came to him, creating a new home within his deceased mother’s tent. Isaac loved her; she was his consolation for the death of his mother. And she was his “hardwired” connection to G-d (for Jews, marriage is a prerequisite for a full relationship with the divine).

I have heard countless stories of people finding faith when they were down and out, in places dark and lonely. The Torah is telling us that Hagar and Isaac experienced this, too. And it tells us what to do in that situation: seek to connect. Pray. And look for love.

P.S. All of this, of course, suggests that one possible reason that G-d commanded the Akeidah in the first place was to find a way to connect with Isaac, by making him emotionally and spiritually vulnerable.

P.P.S. Why, if Avraham and Isaac were no longer living together, did Isaac have his mother’s tent? The question answers itself when we realize that Avraham remarries after Sarah dies. What is the first thing a second wife does with the first wife’s things?

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Conflict Coffee?

 

A few years ago, my company was forced to spend millions of dollars proving that our products do not contain “conflict minerals,” or raw materials produced in war zones. A fool’s errand, if you ask me, because it is nearly impossible to prove where all of the raw materials used in any product originated.

I was just in my local Starbucks, and I noticed they have a small blackboard where they list “Starbucks Reserve Coffees.” One of today’s Reserve selections is D. R. Congo Kawa Kabuya.

Now, the last time I checked the Democratic Republic (!!) of Congo is one of the world’s hottest war zones, besides being the site of a pretty bad Ebola virus outbreak. I wonder how socially-responsible Starbucks can justify sourcing their coffee from a war zone.

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Do Some in the Far Left Take Pleasure in Violence?

 

It’s clear that many of the gutless wonders or calculating members of Congress, the Left-leaning media, and those who are indoctrinating young minds in academia are deliberately characterizing intimidation, mob behavior, and occasionally violence as “speech.” At the same time, they claim that speech from conservatives is “violence” … an obvious Orwellian “doublespeak” technique. Silence […]

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Testing the Water

 

My kid brother John is the most diehard Trump supporter I know, a real MAGA guy. Me, I’m just a conservative Republican: I voted for Trump because he wasn’t Clinton, and I’ll vote for him again because he’s still not Clinton. But John loves the guy.

Last week, while I was back in Albuquerque visiting family, my brother and I decided to do something wildly out of character: go out to our favorite sandwich place — Schlotzsky’s — wearing our approval of President Trump on our sleeves (figuratively), and then stop at Starbucks for a cup of coffee.

That’s his hat I’m wearing: I don’t actually like Trump well enough to buy a hat, and anyway I think “MAGA” is an ugly acronym. But for the sake of the experiment I was happy to wear it.

The sandwiches were great. They always are: a Schlotzsky’s Original on sourdough with jalapeños is about as good as fast food gets, in my opinion. I got the large, 1,550 calories of spicy deliciousness. Then we headed to Starbucks, where I got what I always get, a large dark-roast, black, and he a medium medium roast with half-and-half. Don’t judge him: he’s a great guy and no sissy.

For the next hour, we sat in the chairs in front of Starbucks, basking in the mid-afternoon New Mexico sun … waiting for someone to say something.

We were approached twice. Shortly after we arrived, a shaggy 20-something Starbucks customer stepped away from his laptop, walked up to us, and said “thank you for being willing to support our President.” I thought that was an interesting phrasing, the “being willing” part, as if unobtrusively expressing support for a guy half the electorate voted for is somehow an act of political derring-do. But I think that’s the point we’ve reached.

Half an hour later an older fellow walked up and suggested that, if we stayed out in the sun, we were in danger of getting a tan. Rather than take that as a crack about our general pallor, I figured he was just a guy trying to express friendliness — at least, non-hostility — without actually voicing a political position. So we chatted for a minute or two about the unseasonably terrific weather, the possibility of an El Niño event this year (growing), and the state of the Albuquerque aquifer (improving, apparently). Then he wished us a nice weekend and was on his way.

That’s it. No one else accosted us or expressed any kind of disapproval. We got a few glances, but none that I could confidently characterize as critical or even uneasy.

New Mexico is a blue state, and I expected some kind of reaction. I was mentally prepared to be a model of civility, a calm voice of reason in the face of inchoate rage. The last thing I expected was to end the outing having experienced only positive feedback.

I wonder if the crazy people are less common than anecdote suggests.

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A Little Boy and an Anonymous Gift

 

It is one of those days which is so beautiful, clear as crystal, crisply cool, here in the far West of the Panhandle, the part which the Good Lord willed to be spared the ravages of the nightmare named Michael, that I thought I might note how grateful I am to Him for this gift he has granted us.

I was moved to note these feelings of the deepest kind of gratitude, the kind which is simply not capable of being captured by mere words, by reading a truly poignant column in my daily scan of news items, an undertaking which is almost always, shall we say, not exactly uplifting but overflowing with news which is the polar opposite of inspirational. This piece, by Salena Zito, is entitled “A 90-minute flight, 45 presidents, and an 8-year-old American boy” and, especially if you’re not having the kind of lovely afternoon with which we have been graced, please go read this wonderful and inspirational piece. Ms. Zito tells of meeting two uniquely, and true, Americans — one, the little boy of the title and another who does, indeed, qualify as one of the heroes of the story.

She sets the stage thus:

Sometimes, you meet special people, people who have an impact not just on your day, but on your outlook in life. People who provide you a priceless gift by letting you see the world through their eyes, and thus showing you that everything is a little better than you thought it was before you met them.

Sometimes, those people are only eight years old.

The first thing you will learn about Jared Gyure when you meet him is that he likes U.S. presidents.

He has no problem sharing that affinity, which he did the moment he plopped himself down in seat 17E on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte to Pittsburgh, sitting next to his mom, with his dad and his 3-year-old brother, Jackson, in front of him. Two older brothers sit way up in the front of the plane.

They are all heading to Uniontown, Penn., for the funeral of the boys’ great-grandmother.

Our young student of this particular aspect of American history then proceeds to demonstrate his remarkable knowledge of all, not just a few, of our Presidents, and is awestruck when Ms. Zito tells him she has actually interviewed several Presidents, including the present occupant of that office.

Which brings us to the second hero of this flight to Uniontown, PA:

For someone who rarely flies, I find myself for once enjoying the opportunity to meet someone so inspiring and inquisitive on a plane all packaged into one small compact boy.

Jared receives a lot of smiles as the passengers exit the plane. Our boisterous conversation has touched more than one person traveling from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, including an African-American young man dressed in a deep-blue dress sweatshirt and pants with the traditional gold Navy emblem across the front.

He pulls out his white navy sailor’s cap and asks Jared’s mom, Adrienne, if he could give it to the precocious boy, who probably taught everyone on the plane a few things about U.S. presidents — most importantly, a deep respect for the office outside of politics.

Jared is stunned as the sailor hands him the hat. He pauses to take a photo with him, then walks away with a broad smile, without giving his name.

It’s a reminder that sometimes lightning strikes twice in one day, when you meet two special people who make an impact not just on your day, but on your outlook in life.

Jared likely made such an impact in so many ways Wednesday evening on a plane over the middle of the country to a lot more people than he’ll ever know.

That lovely vignette just filled my heart with gladness and as I sat outside in this glorious weather, and thought about Jared and his brand new friend, one of those brave defenders of all we hold dear in this, the greatest Nation ever created by Man in history, I reflected on how immersed we all are in the “unlovely” news of the day. I probably should amend that statement as even I am not presumptuous enough to speak for “all”, but I know that I must plead guilty to spending far too much of my time on the “unlovely” and not near enough time learning about the Jareds of the world, and of the kinds of men like the “other hero” in the story, a proud member of the United States Navy, who gave a little boy the gift of a lifetime!

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Will This Military Cemetery Be Desecrated?

 

Once again, the secular Left is prepared to remove a religious symbol because it believes it violates the Constitution. Does anyone else see the irony in this decision to defend the Constitution?

Of course, the decision by the three-judge panel of the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals to remove the cross had little to do with the Constitution and mostly to do with attacking the Christian cross specifically and attacking the symbols of religion in general.

The case addressed a cross in Bladensburg, MD that was erected to honor Corporal Milton Edward Hartman and 49 other soldiers who died in World War I. Like so many Americans who died in that war, he was buried in an American cemetery in Europe.

In 1919, many Gold Star mothers from Prince George County, MD, and the American Legion decided to honor Cpl. Hartman and the other soldiers who died, and set out to preserve their names and memories :

In 1925, these mothers and the American Legion dedicated the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial to the memory of these men. Martha Redman, who lost her son William F. Redman in World War I, explained that she considered the memorial to be her son’s ‘grave stone.’

The 2-1 ruling reverses a 2015 district court decision that found the purpose of the cross is not primarily religious and that the site has been used almost exclusively for celebrating federal holidays.

As a citizen and a Jew, I honor those mothers who wanted their sons memorialized for the ultimate sacrifice they made. This court decision was intended to intimidate and offend religious people everywhere. If a Jew wants to be buried in a cemetery where there are only Jewish symbols, those cemeteries are available. Ours is a Judeo-Christian country that honors and encourages freedom of religion and freedom from tyranny. The cross should be allowed to stand. Otherwise, removing it is one more death knell to religions practiced in this country and an insult to those who served in the US military.

The Fourth Circuit was challenged on its decision, citing the existence of crosses at other cemeteries. A 24-foot granite cross, the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice, is positioned near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Court dismissed this point:

‘The crosses there are much smaller than the 40-foot tall monolith at issue here,’ the court wrote. ‘And, significantly, Arlington National Cemetery displays diverse religious symbols, both as monuments and on individual headstones.’

I wonder what Martha Redman, who considered the cross to be her son’s gravestone, and the other 49 mothers who erected the cross with her, would say?

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Quote of the Day: What’s Cookin’?

 

“Any young woman who can read, can cook.” — Grandma Galloway (my mother’s mother)

As a family of four children and two parents, living on a doctor’s salary, dining out regularly was not a wise budgeting option. Beyond the financial incentive to cook our own meals, meals were family time. Financial and family rationales for cooking still apply today. As we turn, in our own homes, to cookbooks, and other sources of recipes, our mother’s recitation of her mother’s wisdom echoes in our memory.

While we know this wisdom from our maternal grandmother, it goes back to the dawn of this nation. The first deliberately, distinctly American cookbook was written as a self-help book for young women. American Cookery published in 1796, within the first decade of these United States, was written “by Amelia Simmons, an American Orphan.” The lengthy subtitle ends with the promise that this book is “adapted to this country, and all grades of life.”

Spring forward to the 1970s, and the Brown family was in and out of the kitchen, with food prepared in accordance with several cookbooks, mostly the familiar red-checkered Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. In addition, there was an ever-growing recipe box, filling with index cards, first in Mother’s hand, and then in my eldest sister’s hand.

On leaving home, I found myself, for the first time, eating cafeteria food daily. I complained incessantly to my table-mates, through the first term. Then we were freed to take a full meal plan, or a minimal plan, turning to our own skills in the resident kitchens of our dorms. I went shopping, busted out my carefully selected kitchen tools, and the proof wafted to my classmates: my grumbling at table was not empty talk. It turns out that any young man who can read, can cook.

Beyond homespun food, beyond the enabling of the self-made woman, cookbooks came to mean that “any young woman who can read, can be a gourmet cook. This was the innovation of Julia Child, an American chef, trained in France.

She began with a sincere passion for good food and the pleasures of cooking, studying in France in the ’50s with chef/friend Simone Beck. With the help of Louisette Bertolle, another dedicated food lover, they created a cooking school called L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes and later, in 1961, completed their groundbreaking cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Her book and the popular television show that followed made the mysteries of fancy French cuisine approachable, introducing gourmet ingredients, demonstrating culinary techniques, and most importantly, encouraging everyday “home chefs” to practice cooking as art, not to dread it as a chore.

Julia Child not only demystified, what was then considered, the most refined cuisine, she also added a how-to cooking show, on PBS. From 1963, Americans, who did not have someone to demonstrate cooking, could turn to the television screen and watch the written instructions of a cookbook recipe play out before them.

The dawn of the internet, brought cooking instructions, for cuisine from every corner of the globe, to anyone who could figure out how to access it. There was plenty of home recipe sharing, which, over time, shifted from amateur blogs to Pinterest. Blogs that were really good survived, and even thrived. I enjoyed the photography and storytelling around recipes by a young French woman, whose blog is still Chocolate & Zucchini. The title in the tab is: “Chocolate & Zucchini | Simple Recipes from my Paris Kitchen.”

Then again, I get a hankering for rustic German fare when I think back to my lieutenancy, and how do you make that Korean dish? Lots of choices present themselves, from tie-ins to professional publishers, to home-business or hobby blogs. With the availability of blogging software, and the incredibly dropping price of quality optics, skill and dedication distinguish websites.

Speaking of Korean food, a recent search turned up an example that integrates the wisdom of “any one who can read, can cook” with a global audience, expecting not just words and pictures, but a short video: “Cooking Korean food with Maangchi: Korean cooking, recipes, videos, and blog.” With unfamiliar cuisine, the observant person may be stymied by the basic problem of getting ingredients, hence the specialty grocery store walkthrough:

This video brings us to the furthest evolution away from the written recipe, the video recipe, in which you watch the ingredients being added and each step taken to prepare the dish. So, anyone who can pay attention long enough to watch a short video, can cook!

So, what’s cookin’?

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Remembering John Paul II on his feast

 

It’s 40 years to the day since Karol Wojtyla became John Paul II. I wrote about him at the Personalist Project a few years ago: I am still trying to get my arms around his legacy, and his influence on me and my soul. I suspect I’ll be at it for the rest of my life—trying […]

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What Do We Owe Honduras?

 

I am a Catholic but not a theologian. I recently heard a sermon about my moral obligations regarding the wave of economic refugees increasingly heading our way. It reminded me that much of what I encounter in Catholic moral teaching seems to be infused with defective economics. For example, it is accurate to say that all Christian social teaching tells us that getting attached to material consumption to the exclusion of spirituality, human connections and the needs of others is wrong. But this truism is often followed by a non sequitur that poverty in the Third World is the result of First World overconsumption. 

A consistent defect that permeates this line of thinking is the medieval assumption that resources and material well-being are always a zero-sum game. Two centuries of incredible global growth in material well-being, lifespan, technology, and productivity should have forever dispelled zero-sum thinking but Marxists, peak oil enthusiasts, and the current pope manage to cling to static medieval perspectives.

We in the developed world (and America in particular) are not wealthy because we have aggregated a lot of stuff but because we have a shared economic and political culture that encourages innovation, protects free exchange and property. From within that cognitive, cultural, legal, and political context, we produce things, services, choices and opportunities that did not exist anywhere on earth until comparatively recent times in human history. Some of us really did build that.

Zero-sum moral theology blinds its practitioners to the real causes of poverty. It also insulates these evils from proper adverse moral judgment. Not one Honduran is poor because some American suburban family buys stuff it does not really need. But political corruption, classism, tribalism, ignorance, and lawlessness does impoverish millions in Central America. It is the absence of western bourgeois values, practices, assumptions, and culture in Honduras that makes Hondurans poor, not the presence of those cognitive conditions in the USA.

Foreign aid and private charity do serve humanitarian purposes. But the real wealth that needs to be shared is our free market values (including the rule of law). Mere redistribution of material surpluses is a trivial benefit when measured against the potential value of defective economies reforming themselves in a context proven to work material miracles.

If poverty is an evil to be fought, the real roots of economic failure have to be honestly addressed. Trendy socialist mythologies and primitive economic errors must be expunged if the Church’s moral teaching is to be truly relevant and vibrant. Catholic theologians need to lose their Che T-shirts and dog-eared Peter, Paul and Mary songbooks and find a way to tell people how to make the best use of the truths revealed by the likes of Milton Friedman so that more of us can help others and otherwise build productive, sanctifiable lives.

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Arizona Rally: The Opening Act, Oh My!

 

The Arizona MAGA Rally was another great success, no thanks to the new Arizona Republican Party Chairman. The structure of these rallies is set and well known by now. President Trump is the headliner, and he will bring up a person who he wants to highlight during his speech. Before that, there are a series of opening acts, following the consistent opening ceremony, comprised of: the Pledge of Allegiance, public prayer invocation, and the National Anthem. Stunningly, the new guy in Arizona, Jonathan Lines, managed to mangle both the National Anthem and the opening acts.

Setting the Scene:

You must understand that MAGA rallies are paid for by the Donald J. Trump campaign. If you didn’t know that, you were informed as you approached the Secret Service screening point. A big screen, with closed captions, and speakers generating plenty of volume, informed attendees that President Trump values and defends the First Amendment, so he provides a designated protest area. However, since this is a paid-for venue, disruptive speech will lead to removal from the venue. Supporters are instructed how to non-violently drown out would-be disruptive individuals, cueing law enforcement to escort them out without giving the media what they want.

The physical set-up is always the same. A set of risers behind the podium and lectern provide the visual of super-supporters and elected officials, facing the riser full of media, across the sea of standing, waving, chanting rally attendees. A variety of signs, with different messages, are provided after the screening point. It has become a bit like a long-running cult film or musical act, where the audience participates with actions and well-known lines.

You must further understand that “crazy” has become a powerful weapon in the McSally-Sinema Senate Race. Sinema was caught on video, out of state, calling Arizonans “Crazy.” So, several signs carried variations on “crazy” at the Arizona rally. “Crazy Voting Deplorable,” “5 C’s of Arizona, Crazy,” “Crazy to Vote Democrat.” Martha McSally is swinging this hammer at Sinema daily. She drove it home in her MAGA rally speech with President Trump standing next to her.

Crazy Opening Act?

The rally started normally, sort of. The Arizona GOP Chairman stepped up to the microphone, acting as the MC. He bungled the location, saying “Phoenix,” when we were clearly in the east end of Mesa for reasons having to do with Phoenix Democrat craziness. But, he got the first guy introduced and we said the Pledge of Allegiance with red MAGA hats over hearts. We bowed our heads for the invocation. Some took lines in the invocation as an occasion for cheering, a secular variant on some faith traditions’ mid-prayer “amens” or “yes, Lord.” Then the MC, the Arizona GOP Chairman, stepped back up to introduce the National Anthem performer.

It was his wife with another woman. He proudly informed us that his wife was the mother of 11 children and that he was one of 10 children. While this is a clear signal of his virtue as a Mormon, it was irrelevant, potentially distracting, and hinted at trouble ahead, as neither his job, nor the MAGA rally was about him. But, alright, we were there for President Trump and victory in November, so bless him and his lovely family.

The two women stepped up to the lectern and began to sing. Yikes. There is a long, regrettable, painful history of performers deciding the National Anthem is about them, resulting in all manner of vocal, musical gymnastics, contortions, and distortions. There are times when the audience braces itself before the performance. It ought never be so.

It is not about you. It is not supposed to be an American Idol audition. It is about honoring the Nation and our heroes. Just freakin’ sing it, straight! The very best, the truly great, get this and get out of the way, lending their vocal gifts to a reverent rendition.

So, was the Arizona audience, and the nation through the media, subjected to painfully bad or wildly inappropriate phrasing? No. Was it off-key caterwauling? No. Worse. In the midst of a hotly contested election, critical to Arizona and America, we were treated to an idiosyncratic choice of verses.

From the opening bar, we knew something was off, as it did not start “O, say can you see.” What we got was the final verse. Why? It was not cheered strongly, as would always happen with a good, rousing rendition of the verse every competent performer uses. We shrugged it off, but we had to shrug it off, carrying the rally instead of being aided by the Arizona Republican Party Chairman.

The man deserves no credit for the speakers that then stood forth. The candidate for Secretary of State, Arizona’s first in the line of succession to the governor, did a manly job. Congressman Andy Biggs has the MAGA conviction and delivered. Governor Ducey fired up the crowd and conveyed confidence in his further stewardship. Then . . . nothing.

Nothing but canned music for the better part of an hour, until the Presidential ground vehicles rolled up, followed by two V-22 Ospreys touching down in the dark outside the lighted hanger. Shortly after they lifted off, the distinct heavy beating of the Sikorsky engine and blades of Marine One filled the hanger, and the President strode up onto the podium.

Now, that time gap stood in stark contrast with the message of urgency, the message of voting straight Republican, the call to electoral zeal, in the face of Democrat Party cheating. The risers behind the President included other members of our Congressional delegation and candidates to state office. Each would have been welcomed by the crowd to air their two-minute pitch, ending with a consistent MAGA, get-out-and-vote theme. But, they were snubbed by their state party chairman.

A party chairman has one job: to defend and expand the offices held by the party. Not to facilitate “American Idol” audition tapes by family members. President Trump carried the rally, showing ever-increasing mastery of persuasive, public, political speaking. The candidates for office all sang in the key of GOP with MAGA variations. It was another smashing success, no thanks to the opening act MC.

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This Week’s Book Review: ‘The Spy and the Traitor’

 

The Soviet Union was renowned for its ability to penetrate Western intelligence services during the Cold War. Less known are Western intelligence agencies penetrating the Soviet Union’s services. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War, by Ben Macintyre, relates one penetration, perhaps the most spectacular. It tells of Oleg […]

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Fly Me to the Moon is Made of American Cheese – For Now

 

“What Sort of All Hallows’ Eve Trollop Art Thou?” PIT Seventeen asks. I’m not sure. I’m fairly sure what sort of trollop I’m not — I’m not the sort to consider glitter and body paint an acceptably modest substitute for undies. At least not on me. Nonetheless, The Sun alleges the black, bespangled, and quite bare bat bum is this Halloween’s fashion trend (any “trend” involving bums, of course, being of great interest to The Sun).

I stumbled on this so-called trend while perusing The Sun‘s investigation into snake handling, the ritual wherein Christian oppressors manhandle (“personhandle” would be more gender-neutral, but “manhandle” properly names and shames the unjust kyriarchy) innocent serpents, possibly without the serpents’ consent, purportedly for God’s glory. These oppressors — typically poor Appalachian whites — are themselves oppressed, of course, themselves victims of the same kyriarchy which enables their cross-species molestation. As one of Ricochet’s resident reptilians (I only self-identify as human online), I ought to have been outraged by the speciesist presumption that conscripts nonhuman species into human worship without even asking permission. Instead, I got distracted by sparkly bums.

Fly me to the moon — gliterally! The bat bum quite cleverly utilizes the contours of a firm fundament as a pop-up canvas to depict a stylized chiropteran whose ears prick right up to the dimples of Venus, and whose webbed wingtips will lovingly handle your love handles if you’ve got ’em (though if you do, perhaps your canvas is of the sag-down, not pop-up, variety, and you should consider costumery more fundamentally supportive). Several years ago — perhaps on Ricochet 1.0, lost in the mists of time — the topic of vajazzling came up. It was an emerging trend then — a trend which has, mystifyingly, survived. Not just survived but in some sense flourished, now spreading to embrace the rear.

I don’t mind artistic nudity. I don’t mind fashions which only look good on a minority. I don’t mind the sheer ingenuity spent on designing, then applying pigment and jewelry directly to bare skin — it’s really rather impressive. I do wonder in what universe beglittered butt-paint constitutes a “trend”. (The universe of product promotion, perhaps?) Perhaps some upstanding citizens will sport bat bums this All Hallow’s Eve (adorned thus, I doubt they’d feel downsitting). Still, it’s difficult to imagine a real-life scenario in which a bat bum wouldn’t be tacky. Not stick-to-the-chair tacky (though that, too, could happen if the makeup didn’t set right). But tacky as in cheesy. Most likely outcome of bat bum? Cheesy disaster.

Some cheesy disasters involve real cheese, of course. Between the great brunost fire and the FDA’s seizure of Mimolette, 2013 was an especially bad year for cheese — so bad, in fact, it inspired the Cato Institute to make a video:

The brunost fire was accidental destruction. By contrast, the seizure, then destruction, of 1.5 tonnes of Mimolette at US customs was a Deliberate Act of Government, done for the Citizens’ Own Good. According to the FDA, since 1940, the Citizens’ Own Good has excluded the sale of cheese containing more than six cheese mites per square inch. Mites? In our cheese? Perhaps that sounds mitey awful to you, and you’d have agreed with the FDA verdict that such cheese is a “filthy, putrid, or decomposed product.” The mites in Mimolette are supposed to be there, though. Mimolette-makers encourage them. Cheesemaking relies on all sorts of biological agents — bacteria, molds, veal-stomach enzymes, and yes, even the odd arthropod. If you want creepy-crawly cheeses to give you All-Hallows heebie-jeebies, Milbenkäse and casu marzu are even bigger fright fests.

After about a year’s worth of crackdown, the FDA began allowing Mimolette back into the US again. Nobody seems quite sure why — or at least those in the know don’t want to talk about it.

Politics is downstream of culture, as the saying goes, and the latest cheese crisis to hit the news is cultural, not regulatory. It’s the decline and fall of American cheese, that pasteurized, processed product. Yes, this is supposedly the fault of Millennials and their globalist ways. Millennials got used to fancy foreign cheeses, and no longer treat American cheese as the cheese, rather than just one cheese among many — or perhaps not even cheese, but a cheese product (which, in fairness, it is). Processed cheese products melt differently from natural cheeses, and in some recipes, this difference in melt is desired. So I doubt younger Americans will lose their taste for American cheese entirely. But for those who relish intergenerational resentment, American cheese stands as another front in the culture wars, one affecting the livelihood of the All-American Cheesemaker as prices of the processed cheese and the 500-pound barrels of commodity cheddar used to make it continue to fall.

I don’t know if cheese-dispensing Advent calendars count as disastrous, exactly, but they, too, exist — and may be coming to a store near you. They sound bulky and awkward — who wants to store a calendar in the fridge? And if the point is to prepare for Christmas, why put the reminder in a place where you can’t see it? Perhaps the point is to be sacrilicious. If so, this could be yet another front in the culture wars, making them cheesier than ever. It’s enough to drive one batty.

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‘To Bear Witness to Corruption in the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Was a Painful Decision’

 

So begins the third “testimony” of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, on the ongoing sexual abuse/coverup scandal in the Church (h/t @9thdistrictneighbor). With this latest installment of “he said”/”he said,” Archbishop Viganò restates the key points of his original testimony and also answers the rebuke he received from Marc Cardinal Ouellet.

It was good to have the key points listed succinctly and to have an answer to Cardinal Ouellet’s letter, but what touched me most were the reasons Viganò gave for writing his testimonies. He strikes me as a man of great faith (which is in direct contrast to how I view those involved in this scandal).

He opens strongly:

To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so. But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the Judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell. A Judge who, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved. Anticipating the dreadful question from that Judge – “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” — what answer could I give?

As a good shepherd, knowing that the Church exists to give glory to God and for the salvation of souls, Archbishop Viganò continues as to why he had to speak:

I testified fully aware that my testimony would bring alarm and dismay to many eminent persons: churchmen, fellow bishops, colleagues with whom I had worked and prayed. I knew many would feel wounded and betrayed. I expected that some would in their turn assail me and my motives. Most painful of all, I knew that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty. Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own. <snip>

Therefore I spoke. For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church — harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large. With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation, and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the Pope.

After listing his key points and responding directly to Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop Viganò alludes to the “public remonstrances directed at (him)” and notes “two omissions, two dramatic silences.”

The first silence regards the plight of the victims. The second regards the underlying reason why there are so many victims, namely, the corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy.

Referencing the first silence, Archbishop Viganò once again returns to the theme of salvation of souls:

As to the first, it is dismaying that, amid all the scandals and indignation, so little thought should be given to those damaged by the sexual predations of those commissioned as ministers of the gospel. This is not a matter of settling scores or sulking over the vicissitudes of ecclesiastical careers. It is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of how church historians may evaluate this or that papacy. This is about souls. Many souls have been and are even now imperiled of their eternal salvation.

And to the second silence, he strongly rejects Pope Francis’s explanation that the scandal is due to “clericalism”:

As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it….

It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry. It is to pretend that a means, an instrument, is in fact the main motive.

Seeming to break away from his earlier call for the Holy Father to resign if he would be found complicit in this scandal, Archbishop Viganò returns again to the theme of the salvation of souls and pleads for strong leadership from the Pope:

Denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church. I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion. Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy. I am urging no such thing. I pray every day for Pope Francis — more than I have ever done for the other popes. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter. He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross. Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).

Finally, Archbishop Viganò closes with an appeal to his brother bishops to reveal the truth, while reminding them what is at stake: the salvation of souls.

In closing, I wish to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt. You too are faced with a choice. You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption. You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning. You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.

On the other hand, you can choose to speak. You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.” I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking. I urge you to consider which choice– on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge — you will not regret having made.

I believe Archbishop Viganò when he says the decision to bear witness to the corruption in the hierarchy of the Church was a painful decision for him and remains so.

I also believe that his motives are true and good: for the glory of God and His Church and for the salvation of souls.

May the truth set us free.

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The New Democrat Strategy: Win Secretary of State Elections First

 

Democrats know their appeal sucks to average American voters now (IMHO). But what should they do? Here are my thoughts.

Who was the unsung hero in Florida in 2000? Does the name “Katherine Harris” ring a bell? It should. She was the SecState in Florida who stopped the endless recounts, and her actions were ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

Anyone remember Ken Blackwell? He was the Ohio Secretary of State who got dragged into court for issuing provisional ballots in the 2004 election to voters who could not confirm their eligibility to vote. He was sued by the Democrats, but it didn’t matter in the long run. In the appeal court’s ruling, they mostly upheld his position. Bush won.

Now, look at this:

Deidre DeJear is Iowa’s newest political star — even if she hasn’t yet won an election.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, recently made his inaugural trip to Iowa by headlining a fundraiser for DeJear. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is considering a second White House run, will stump with DeJear on Sunday. And Sen. Kamala Harris of California, another White House prospect, will make her Iowa debut Monday alongside DeJear.

Prospective presidential candidates often curry favor with local politicians in the state that holds the nation’s first caucus. But even by Iowa standards, this is a lot of high-wattage attention being paid to a 32-year-old who has not won her campaign for secretary of state, typically a low-profile position focused on overseeing elections.

I believe this is the Dem’s new strategy. Secretaries of State are usually in charge of elections. Control the Secretary of State positions in enough states, and they can control the outcome of elections by allowing or disallowing recounts—or outright fraud.

Comments?

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Loneliness and the End of Learning

 

As is my wont, my mind is connecting a bunch of things this morning: Paul Mirengoff of PowerLine blog is providing a critique of one of Sen. Ben Sasse’s theses in his book: that there is an epidemic of loneliness. Paul pulls a couple of quotes from Yuval Levin’s piece in the National Review, “All the Lonely People?” Here is the key quote:

[W]e talk about loneliness as we do because we lack the vocabulary to describe the kinds of problems that arise when institutions grow weak and communities unravel. Those problems are very real and they are near the heart of what is happening in America now, but maybe they are not the same thing as loneliness—and maybe seeing that can help us better understand them.

So how and why are our institutions unraveling? As I read all of this I was put in mind of George Gilder’s appearance this past Sunday on “Life, Liberty and Levin.” George spoke of how “learning is the heart of capitalism.” In contrast socialism assumes the end of learning, that everything that can or must be known is known by experts and thus society can be organized around this static body of knowledge. This is why capitalism promotes innovation and progress while socialism promotes stagnation and decline.

But it also explains the enduring appeal of socialism even in the face of a history of failure and disaster — it’s easy. It is not for nothing that the expression persists about “the school of hard knocks”. Life is hard not because few of us lack the financial wherewithal to acquire every labor-saving device, but because it presents us with an unending set of challenges, large and small. For those of us who are retired, we can recall our pining in our younger years for the respite of retirement. And now that we have arrived we realize that one set of challenges is simply exchanged for a different set of challenges.

The failure of our institutions is directly related to a broader rejection by our society that life not only is hard but must be hard. That we must accept the challenge of living rather than seeking to avoid or diminish the challenge. Our (illegal) immigration challenge is not simply that so many people are coming, but that their expectation is that by coming here their life will be easier by taking advantage of the economic safety net we offer. Thus if they do not accept the challenge of life they will not contribute to our economic well being. Our debt problem is due to us not currently shouldering the burden of the government costs we have incurred. Our spiritual problem is that we must resist rather than give in to temptations, that we must live disciplined lives of high character. We want virtue on the cheap.

We become “lonely” when we give up and are secretly ashamed of our cowardice.

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Knowledge Base: Who’s Who at Ricochet

 

Just a simple guide to The Powers That Be on Ricochet Founders: Rob Long and Peter Robinson Rob and Peter started the whole thing and continue to host the Ricochet Podcast, the flagship podcast of the Ricochet Audio Network. CEO: Blue Yeti Blue Yeti, due to his role as podcast producer, is the member of […]

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