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Group Writing: The Dog Ate My Homework

 

On a whim, I signed up for group writing on the topic of zeal. That was back in September. So here I am on the evening of October 4th staring at a nearly blank Ricochet writing screen. I’ve got to have something by tomorrow.   Let’s see: zeal, zealotry, Kavanaugh, anti-zealotry, Kavanaugh, extremism, Simon the […]

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Mount Rushmore: Enjoy It While You Can

 

Ninety-one years ago today, on October, 4, 1927, John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, son of Danish immigrants, and a prominent American sculptor, set chisel and dynamite to stone and began what is his best-known work, the carvings of the 60-foot-high heads of four American Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt into the side of South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. 400 workers, 450,000 pounds of rock removal, and 14 years later, he died, and the few remaining bits of his masterwork were completed that same year by his son, Lincoln Borglum.
(more…)

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The Upside of the Leftist Turmoil: We’re Pushing Back

 

We already know how horribly the Left has behaved; their actions have become increasingly abhorrent over time. Their immorality is laid out for everyone to see. Their hypocrisy on the values they supposedly espouse—tolerance, fairness, non-judgment, support of women, justice—can no longer be ignored by the Right or denied by the Left (although I’m sure they will try).

The benefits of the recent chaos, though, should not be ignored, since they have played their cards. And we must find ways to minimize their impact or stop them in their tracks. The viciousness of their attacks on the Constitution, the Congress (senators and representatives) and their families must be addressed. Here are examples of their outrageous behavior:

  • Leaking information to defame
  • Harassing people and their families in public places
  • Staking out the homes of people
  • Lying to add more fuel to the fire
  • Making demands that should be discounted and ignored
  • Manipulating procedures and the law to meet their agenda

These are only examples; the complete list is a longer one.

So here are my questions:

How do we block protestors from initiating the vicious attacks on innocent people? For example, can we protest restaurants that don’t protect their Republican guests through social media? Can we call flash mobs to protest protestors who act in this way? Is there a legal means to threaten protestors, such as restraining orders or restrictions?

More important, how do we encourage members of Congress to stand up to their colleagues who think that the government is their playground and that their irresponsible demands should be met? When we deal with children, we seem to be able to use boundary management. When the Left acts like children, aren’t there ways we can do the same?

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Bret Stephens praises Trump

 

Bret Stephens, a respected NeverTrumper who left the Wall Street Journal after they refused to stand up to Trump, wrote a column for the ages in today’s New York Times. I would reprint the whole thing, but for copywrite and the Code of Conduct.  For Once, I’m Grateful for Trump In the president, one big […]

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Group Writing: Helen’s Honor

 

This post is the type our group-writing coordinator @arahant describes as “your chance to bring up topics seldom covered on Ricochet.” Parts of it may be hard to read; they were hard to write. Ultimately, it’s a story of honor, triumph, and most of all, great love.

There are two aspects of this month’s writing theme, zeal, I hope to bring out in this story: great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or objective; intense emotion compelling action.

The Beginning

Like many, I don’t usually share online copious identifying details of myself, family or friends. For this story, a true one, I will because for some things detail makes all the difference. So pull up a chair, people, and let me tell ya ’bout my maternal grandmother, Helen Eliza Sulser, born to Floyd and Martha Mae Sulser in 1910. She grew up on a farm in Franklin County, Illinois, the oldest of three children who were born seven years apart from each other. Grandma Helen, or Grammy as I often called her, adored her brothers Stanley and Mayo, but it was Great Grandpa Floyd who called her “Sister” as country folks sometimes do female family members.

Great Grandpa Floyd worked the coal mines for extra money in addition to being a full-time farmer. He was strong as an ox and looked sorta like one now that I think about it, being on the short side and thick in the chest and arms. Mama gets a kick out of telling the story about going with him when she was a child to buy a new vehicle. When he’d picked out the one he wanted, the young salesman made an assumption based on his overalls and well-worn work shoes and asked him, “Which of our credit plans would you prefer, Mr. Sulser?” Grandpa Floyd responded deadpan, “Will cash be alright with you?” and proceeded to write a check for the full purchase amount. That puckish humor didn’t pass to my Grammy, but his twinkling blue eyes, perseverance, honesty, and sense of honor she got in spades.

None of the Sulsers were afraid of hard work, and Grammy did her part to make sure my brother and I were acquainted with the concept of work as well. We knew when we were able to visit her and Grandpa on summer vacations that we’d be working hours in her garden, helping her hang sheets and towels on the outside clothesline, picking and canning fruits from local orchards. All worth it for the privilege of just being with her. Grammy loved on us like nobody else; she gave the best hugs and smacking wet kisses around. Her homemade fruit pies, applesauce, and peach ice cream had nothing to do with our helpfulness. Really.

The only work I ever heard my grandmother complain about was hating to get the eggs from the chicken coop as a young girl. She didn’t like it when the hens pecked or the rooster sometimes got mean.

Once I recall casually telling Grammy about a friend in first grade who didn’t want to tell his dad about something he did wrong because it was hard to say out loud. She put down the spoon she was using to stir a heavenly smelling pot, wiped her hands on her apron, came over to me and sat down. I remember the feel of her work-roughened hand on my cheek as she took my attention from my crayons, focused her blue eyes into mine and said, “You must always tell the truth, no matter how hard it is.”

It wasn’t until this last week when, in the middle of some news report about Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations, my mother quietly said, “Mom was raped when she was a young teenage girl,” that I learned how familiar my grandmother was with telling the truth even when it was hard. Shocked doesn’t begin to cover how it felt hearing of a devastating crime against a grandmother I thought I knew.

Circa 1923-24

Corn grows high in southern Illinois. High enough to shield the husband of one of Grammy’s cousins when he cornered her in one of Grandpa Floyd’s fields and violated her with no one around to hear her cries for help. I imagine he thought as a young 13-14 year old that she’d say nothing, be too ashamed and not want to upset the family.

Grandpa Floyd was the first one to see her walking home from the fields after it happened. Somehow my grandmother told her father everything. Grammy said when recounting the story to my mother that she could see him shaking with rage and thought he wanted to kill the man. Instead, he gently picked up Grammy, carried her to the house, sat down in a rocker with her on his lap and let her cry silent tears into his shirt. His only words were to ask her after a while, “Sister, are you ready to talk to the Sheriff?”

With Great Grandpa Floyd’s silent support, Grammy told the county sheriff the details: the who, what, where, and when. She came home and was finally able to clean the evidence of rape from her body. Next morning she got up early as usual to complete her chores. When Grandpa Floyd asked her if she wouldn’t rather Stanley get the eggs for her she said, “Chickens are my job and I’ll do them today.” She knew Grandpa Floyd needed her help with my Great Grandma Martha heavily pregnant with Uncle Mayo.

The cousin by marriage was arrested. My 13- to 14-year-old grandmother sat in a courtroom with her rapist in front of her and testified against him. She lived in a rural community, so the trial and story of what was done to her was in the paper and talked about all over the county. The man went to prison for many years. My great grandfather’s intense rage and desire to avenge his firstborn and much-beloved daughter ended in justice. Years later when my mother asked her why she decided to do what she did, Grammy replied, “He was bad, not me. And I didn’t want him to be able to do to another girl what he did to me.”

Dear God, if that’s not determined pursuit of an objective — zeal — I don’t know what is. This country was built by people like my grandmother. Men and women of courage, not afraid to face down and put away wickedness. We owe it to them to confront and defeat those who want to twist our nation’s heritage into a parody of truth and justice by gender/race/class.

For the record, my grandmother not only triumphed over evil done to her, she thrived and lived a full life happily married with two daughters. six grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren whom she lived to see. I recall her saying to me with a smile on her face I thought funny looking at the time. that she’d married the best looking man in two counties. Grandpa sauntered in and asked, “Just two counties, Helen?” I left them to it when the mushy stuff started. Obviously, she didn’t let what was done to her as a young girl define her marriage. Yeah, Grammy!

In Conclusion

I debated about writing this story; it’s not the sort I normally read in group writing entries or anywhere else in my time on Ricochet, come to think of it. In the end, immense respect for my grandmother and my own intense, compelling emotion meant I couldn’t not tell it. Mom thinks Grammy would be okay with it, even proud. It’s not marked Members Only, either, because she’s not unique in her experience, and maybe her story will encourage someone else to be able to come forward to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God.

My young grandmother had more courage to confront wrong than many grown men and women on Capitol Hill have shown this past month. Knowing all about defending your honor, she would have listened to Brett Kavanaugh September 27, 2018, and known exactly what he was saying and why. I leave to you to imagine what she would have thought and said of Christine Blasey Ford.

I’ve always loved her. Now I’m in awe of her. I don’t have words adequate to express my grandmother’s honor, but in her honor, I’ll close the post with a song that always brings her to my mind.

These Are the Women I Come From

They are faces in photographs, heads all held high

Not afraid to look life in the eye
They were women with backbone, keepers of the flame
With a spirit even hard times couldn’t tame

And I know that this same blood is in me
And I meet their gaze one by one
Eyes strong and clear, I still feel them near

Chorus:
These are the women I come from
The faith that sustained them is bred in my bones
I know what I’m made of, and where I belong
‘Cause these are the women I come from

What did life bring them, what pain did they know
Stories the pictures didn’t show
They were lovers of babies and lovers of God
With lessons and laughter in their songs

Did they dream better dreams for their children
As they prayed silent prayers in the night
“Lord make their way clear, and always be near”

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Quote of the Day: Hold the Line,Unless You Are Facing the Wrong Way

 

“Nothing in the World can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” — Attributed to Calvin Coolidge (Unverified).

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” — Winston Churchill, speech at Harrow School, Harrow, England, Oct. 29, 1941.

Two interesting quotes from Ricochet favorites. Coolidge may not have uttered this quote, but it was printed on the program for his funeral. I have seen and encountered the first quote in my own life. It is certainly true that many conflicts boil down to a question of will and dedication — who wants it more? How many movies have the hero down on the ground, with defeat staring him in the face, and then something gives him the determination to press on toward victory. Maybe they see someone they love, or something reminds them of the stakes? I think this is honestly mostly a dramatization — real heroes either resolve those doubts in a moment of thought or have already done so before their hour comes.

More to the point, developing relentless perseverance is the primary benefit of suffering. I reject the idea that suffering is a good thing, but avoiding all suffering and hardship is the source of snowflakes and whiny crybully social justice thugs. There is a path between endless agony and living in a bubble. By all means avoid suffering, but if it is the difference between success and failure, be willing to endure to achieve.

There was something bothering me about the first quote, which I think the second quote addresses. Dedication and resolve do not help if they serve a foolish or evil end. Terrorist scum can be quite persistent, after all, and our own mob of angry unemployed lefties seems to keep at things without ceasing. I’m sure Silent Cal would agree that Wilson’s persistence in implementing progressive policy and supporting the League of Nations did not help matters. So there are times when honor (morality/ethics) and good sense (rationality) tell you that you are aimed in the wrong direction. However, that is the only good reason to back down.

Otherwise, hold the line, do not surrender, do not bow down, do not give way.

This double-header Quote of the Day is brought to you by the iron will of Brett Kavanaugh, and Mitch McConnell’s resolve.

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Hollywood Gave Roman Polanski a Standing Ovation, Now They are Protesting Kavanaugh

 

Whoopi Goldberg is one of Roman Polanski’s most ardent defenders; she will be in D.C. tomorrow protesting Judge Kavanaugh.

The same people who have been defending Roman Polanski for decades, and who still defend him now, want us to listen to them while they talk about morality.

I realize that most people on Ricochet probably already know about Roman Polanski, but there are many people out there, especially younger people, who may not have heard about him and Hollywood’s defense of him; we should be doing everything in our power to make sure that every human being on earth over the age of 14 knows who Roman Polanski is, what he did, and the lengths that Hollywood goes to defend him.

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Senator Graham Strikes Again!

 

(Via Instapundit). I am really getting to like this guy.

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Things I Did Not See Coming When PDT Was Elected

 

A lot of what has happened since Donald Trump became president has been predictable. The economic recovery was probably inevitable, given eight years of pent-up demand. Even a sitzpinkler like Jeb or Little Marco could have gotten some economic gains. Only a Democrat could have screwed it up. The betrayal of PDT by Senate Republicans and cruise-ship “conservatives” comes as no surprise. And the descent of the Democrat Left into derangement and full-on embrace of authoritarian Marxism is just an extension of prior existing trendlines.

But there are a few things that, if you told me in 2016 would happen if Donald Trump were elected president, I don’t think I would have believed you.

  1. Senate Democrats debating whether “Boof” means fart. This is why they call themselves ‘The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body,” folks. About the only surprise is that a massive gasbag like Sheldon Whitehouse doesn’t understand how ‘boof’ could mean flatulence. Oh, and the Media Wing of the Democrat Party wants the FBI to investigate the meaning of ‘boof’ because it’s vital to our democracy or something.
  2. A creepy porn lawyer is a viable Democrat candidate for the presidency. Seriously, I thought were another 10-12 years from this level of depravity. Man, was I wrong.
  3. Democrats coming out in support of MS-13. Trump said the MS-13 was a violent street gang; you know, because of the gang rapes and hacking innocent people to death with machetes and stuff. Next thing you know, Nancy Pelosi is talking about “sparks of the divine” and media figures began defending MS-13 like they were just a few teenagers having some good clean fun. I guess I should have seen this coming given the general drift of the Democrats, but I didn’t.
  4. Democrats Becoming the Anti-Beer Party. Conversely, after they started digging around in Brett Kavanaugh’s high school yearbooks to find something to prove that anyone who was ever a normal high school boy should never be a Supreme Court justice, the Democrats claimed outrage that young Brett Kavanaugh went to keg parties. Suddenly, drinking beer is so evil you half expect the Democrats to revive the 18th Amendment. The Democrats used to feign bonhomie with the working class, but since they have reinvented themselves as the party of incel women, they feel a lot freer to express their scorn for working class things like beer and football. (BTW, Democrats in New Jersey just passed a whole slew of regulations to clamp down on artisanal breweries in that state. {But then temporarily suspended the new regulations after public outcry.})
  5. Odd New Respect for Kanye West. I mean, seriously, who saw that coming? See also, Lindsey Graham.
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Remember

 

It’s been quite a year. At 7:30 p.m. on this day last year I was notified that three Special Forces Soldiers were dead and two wounded in an attack in Niger, Africa. As information trickled in I received the single most impactful text I have ever received – my son was alive. I have learned […]

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How can the Anti-Trump Right be OK with Democrats Meeting with the FBI before the Warrant Targeting Trump’s Campaign?

 

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/409817-russia-collusion-bombshell-dnc-lawyers-met-with-fbi-on-dossier-before Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign. Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney […]

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Responding to Evil

 

If you have not already done so, I recommend that you read Susan Quinn’s thoughtful post Destroying a Man’s Life. Be sure to read the comments to get a good picture of the caliber of people at Ricochet. Thoughtful, erudite, pertinent remarks all. I did not add a comment on the post because it is hard for me not to descend to a different level in response to this particular evil.

The little girls on the Blessed Sacrament soccer team who got a day off from school to make an appearance at the Judiciary Committee in support of their coach are my wife’s students. She has taught at the school for what I will say is a long time — as a husband, I am barred from revealing precise age-disclosing data.

To bring Feinstein’s filth into that wonderful environment enrages me. We heard that one of Judge Kavanaugh’s little girls forgives and prays for his tormentors. For the record, I don’t.

My daughter works the front office at the school and had the rare privilege of being asked by a caller (more than once) whether the school continued to permit Judge Kavanaugh to “boof” students. My little girl (note: she will always be my little girl even though she is married and expecting her first child, our eighth grandchild) responded to the caller in direct but professional fashion but with a degree of sarcasm that made me proud when I heard about it. (She gets all her virtues from her mother but the sarcasm is from Dad.) As part of her job, she also manages the website and reviews messages posted there, a few of which are in a similarly ugly vein.

I know there is an enormous amount of resentment in the school and parish community about what the Kavanaugh family has been made to endure, but you would not know it from the observable response. Mass attendance was up on the morning of the day his testimony in defense of this attack. I am told that positive messages coming in outnumber the evil and moronic ones by a large margin. Most messages just say their prayers are in support.

Brett Kavanaugh is regarded as a pillar and a super-dad. He works the serving line at the Catholic Charities down on G Street several times a month. Even my saintly wife does not volunteer anywhere near that often (I will need to review old personal calendars to find the last time I volunteered. It is not zero but the word “frequency” would be inapt for purposes of analysis).

Hannah Arendt’s phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the numbed conscience of ordinary Germans during the rise of Nazi rule applies precisely to what we are seeing on the American left. It is not just that an evil has been perpetrated against a conspicuously just man for partisan purposes but that so many think it normal or even uplifting to endorse and participate in that evil. Not one Democratic senator or MSM media figure or publication has urged people on their side to step back from this perversion and conduct political fights on the merits and not by means of personal destruction. Not one.

Weimar is already upon us with the decay of sexual morals and the big reveal as the mask of relativism was removed to show us brutally enforced new ideological imperatives. Whatever is to follow our own nation’s Weimar appears pretty close at hand. I hope that better people than I are right to be forgiving and optimistic in the present moment because I am certainly not so inclined.

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Entrepreneurial Zeal

 

Some people are born entrepreneurs like my Father. After selling Group Insurance to various small companies in the Midwest, he branched into Pension and Profit Sharing plans, which were the precursors to modern 401K-type Retirement Plans. Many of his clients were accountants doing the books of restaurants, which were being hit by McDonald’s, Burger King, and other franchises in the 1960s. He talked to Colonel Sanders at Kentucky Fried Chicken and built the first KFC in Battle Creek, MI. He purchased an auto brake shoe remanufacturing plant, where I worked during the summer. Later, he had a small outdoor sign business.

There are many articles on serial entrepreneurs, both positive and negative. After selling their company, many entrepreneurs get bored with “retirement” and look to start another business. Sam Farber (the nephew of Farberware founder Simon Farber) started Copco in 1960 as a producer of enamel-coated cast iron cookware. Retiring in 1982, Sam came up with a toy based around crates with accessories such as wheels, making the crates into cars, bookcases, toy boxes, etc. He patented it and developed prototypes. He then tried to sell it to various retail store chains. The furniture buyers said it wasn’t furniture, it’s a construction toy. The toy buyers said it’s not a toy, its juvenile furniture. So his first business after retirement was stillborn. Later on, he saw a new way to package houseware products, which he knew well. And you probably need his products in your house!

While vacationing in Europe, Farber’s arthritic wife Betsy was trying to peel apples, which is difficult using a traditional peeler. She even suggested using clay to test a bigger handle. Sam also recognized that any handle change would have to appeal to regular customers, and he needed 10 to 15 products to get enough attention from the retail stores. He noticed that kitchen gadgets might use a steel handle instead of plastic, but they didn’t work any better than the cheap ones. He wanted products that work better (i.e., build a better mousetrap) while keeping the price competitive.

It takes many twists and turns to bring a product line to the market, but like other successful serial entrepreneurs, Sam had unique insights while helping with the design. After testing the larger handle with depressions for your fingers, the team looked at having soft spots where the thumb and forefinger are placed. Sam realized that people needed to touch this feature in the store. He recalled seeing bicycle handle grips with thin fins on them, so he purchased a handle from a bike shop and started playing with it, and that became the inspiration for the fins. The fins are stiff enough for light duty use but will bend when a heavier grip is needed.

To complete the product, Sam came up with the name OXO. He liked the symmetry of the letters, which look the same reversed or upside-down. It also looks like a face, with the O’s being eyes and the X being the bridge of the nose. The package is black and white except for the red logo OXO. The user is drawn to the thumb photo to try the product attached to the card. The OXO product line started the concept of universal design or inclusive design. Even for the able-bodied, you might injure something while playing sports, or another family member might need it sometime.

Oxo is one brand that can sell in specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma, big-box stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, and it even has 56 items at my local Kroger store, with many 20 percent off the suggested retail price. On the PBS show America’ s Test Kitchen, Oxo products are generally top rated, such as Whisks and Kitchen Tongs. To be fair, Oxo has sponsored PBS shows in the past. We used to cut pizzas with kitchen shears, but after purchasing a pizza stone, we now use the Oxo Pizza Wheel and highly recommend it.

Are there other products like Oxo where you find great quality for the price?

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Operation Gothic Serpent: 25 years ago today

 

On October 3, 1993, we watched in horror as dead US Servicemen were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, pushing a place most Americans knew nothing about into the forefront of our military, our media, our policies, and our conversations. Today, both publicly and privately, survivors and service members will remember this event. One way many acknowledge this day is running a “Mogadishu Mile.” A run commemorating the fact that a handful of soldiers had to run out of the city being left behind by the rescue vehicles after fighting an entire city all night. Others will gather and talk of the battle and those we lost. Myself, I will raise a glass tonight to those who fought and stayed true to never leaving a man behind — I walk among giants.

.

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On Kavanaugh

 

Kavanaugh Kavanaugh Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh Ford Kavanaugh Ford Ford Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh Kavanaugh Kavanaugh Kavanaugh Senator Spartacus Kavanaugh Kavanaugh. Bloody Vikings.

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Zealots vs. the Zealous

 

https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/l1oSknfN4uRqcrQEeQgaVw--/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NjUwO2g9NDg4/http://globalfinance.zenfs.com/en_us/Finance/US_AFTP_SILICONALLEY_H_LIVE/Trump_is_going_after_2-58166410dd60a41769d1cda77659a693

Caring deeply, and advocating strongly, for a cause can be admirable or disreputable. “Zealot” has a predominantly negative connotation, with synonyms like: fanatic, extremist, and militant. “Zealous,” on the other hand, is more positive than negative, with synonyms like: ardent, avid, dedicated, and earnest, overbalancing words like fanatical, and rabid. Why is this? We recognize that moral and factual context matters.

Not every cause is noble, and the more marginal the moral valuation, the less admirable is strong advocacy for that cause. Believers in unrestricted abortion rights cheer on the Senate Democrats, and excuse “Destroying a Man’s Life,” as zealous defense of a woman’s right to choose. Dr. Kermit Gosnell believes, to this day, in abortion through the point of infanticide. Read about him, or watch his portrayal on screen, and you see an abortion zealot. Think through the political, cultural, and media efforts to protect Roe v. Wade against any chance of limitation, let alone being overturned. Are they zealots or zealous defenders?

Turn it around. Consider Senator Lindsey Graham’s sudden passion in defense of Judge Kavanaugh, and Graham’s outrage at the Democrats’ conduct. Think about him calling out any Republican, who fails to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, as complicit in the smear. Watch as he seeks every angle to achieve his desired results, including advocating the immediate re-nomination of Kavanaugh, should he lose this week, and making the midterms a campaign to vindicate Kavanaugh.

Has Senator Lindsey Graham become a zealot, or is he zealous for a noble cause? Note that Senator Heitkamp went from 4 to 10 points behind her Republican opponent, after Democrats launched their smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh. Is Senator Jeff Flake right in his moral moderation, equivalency, and claims that there is too much heat, too much incivility, too many zealots, in our politics? Or is he lukewarm, bloodless, lacking in moral clarity that would lead to zealous advocacy of just causes and vigorous opposition to bad policy and tactics?

Jeff Flake used the Goldwater Institute, in Arizona, as his launch pad for his political career. Was Senator Barry Goldwater a zealot, or a zealous advocate for liberty?

Anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause, we don’t expect to enter our ranks in any case. And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels.

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Compare this to Jeff Flake’s pronouncement on 2 October 2018:

During a joint appearance with friend and colleague Chris Coons (D-DE) at The Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C., Flake said he was “very troubled” by the tone of Kavanaugh’s lengthy, outraged opening statement.

“I hope I would sound that indignant if I was unjustly maligned,” he said, “but then it went on.”

“And the interaction with the members was sharp and partisan and that concerns me,” Flake continued.

While he was willing to give Kavanaugh “a little leeway” based on “what he’s been through,” he said, “on the other hand, we can’t have this on the court, we simply can’t.”

Is this real moderation, or militant moderation? Is it zealousness for civility, or the workings of a special sort of zealot? We may be able to render an informed judgment, by the end of the current week, as the Senate Majority leadership slammed the door on further delay. Apparently, they now see voters supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation with sufficient zeal to counteract the zealotry of the #Resistance.

Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

Zealot or zealous?

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#MeToo – Why Aren’t I Traumatized?

 

Is there anybody who doesn’t have a #MeToo story of some greater or lesser degree of severity/significance? The Kavanaugh circus – the latest drama in what’s been dubbed the #MeToo moment – has got me thinking about it for a number of reasons.

First, I’m just the guy’s (Kavanaugh’s) vintage and I can relate to life as a late teen/young man in the early/mid 80s. There’s been a lot of talk about that, as though Porky’s, Revenge of the Nerds, and Sixteen Candles were the lived experience of every high school or college aged guy alive at the time.

Second, while my high school experience bears no relationship whatsoever to any of those movies or any of the lurid stories about Kavanaugh, my college experience does. I joined a fraternity at the University of Minnesota as a freshman in 1982 and I’ve said many times since then that that experience has lead me to understand how Alexander the Great could have gotten a bunch of juiced up, horned up young men to go out and conquer Asia. We were truly out of control and in need of some adult supervision. In hindsight, it would be surprising if there weren’t far too many #MeToo stories from the parties we used to throw regularly. Had I been heterosexual, there’s an excellent chance I’d have been a perpetrator. I certainly drank enough; as much as Kavanaugh’s accused of and more than he admits to.

So I’m inclined to think that among late teens and young men and women in the early 80s, binge drinking was common and at least some clumsy, handsy, drunken version of what’s now considered sexual assault was too. Many people my age know this from their own experience. It’s what gives at least the Ford and Ramirez accusations against Kavanaugh their plausibility (and distinguishes them from the Swetnick accusation). He may not have done it, but it’s not like it wasn’t done. It was. A lot.

But I have a question, and it’s a question I’d never dare to pose anywhere else on the internet other than Ricochet. The question is: what’s the big deal?

You see I’m not only a mid-50s former fratboy who would, but for his sexual orientation, almost certainly have “committed a Kavanaugh” in his youth, I’m also a former (can you be a former?) “victim” of a #MeToo event. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I was fresh out of high school, decidedly a virgin, she was someone I worked with at a summer job, twice my age. She got me very, very drunk (I was just discovering alcohol; high school athletics had kept my crowd away from it before that), and she took advantage. Sobered and hung over the next day, I was pretty freaked out. It was, coincidentally, the summer of 1982.

But today, 36 years later, I can talk about it without any fear or anxiety. Nothing about the layout of my home has been affected by the experience. If she were nominated to the Supreme Court and I was asked about it, honestly, I think my answer would be that it was no big deal. Not that it wasn’t at the time. To me it was. I felt violated. I was worried about STDs. I think it caused me months of stress and anxiety. What she did to me was wrong. But some days life’s a crap sandwich. That wasn’t the first bad experience I ever had nor was it (or will it be) the last. Me? I pick myself up and move on. It’s not like I lost a limb. I got over it.

So the first question is, is this a guy thing? Is this just less of a big deal to men than to women?

In many ways (the details of which I’ll spare you) the experience I had was quite a bit more “serious” than what Professor Ford describes. But I was an 18-year-old boy, incapacitated by alcohol yes, but otherwise at least her physical equal. I’m sure 15-year-old Professor Ford couldn’t have said that of 17-year-old Judge Kavanaugh. Does that shape how we experience these events and how we remember them and how (and whether) they scar us?

Or is it our wiring? Are women, as the sex that produces one egg a month and takes primary care for child rearing, just wired to be more selective about their sexual encounters and as a result more violated by an unwanted one?

Am I just weird? Me, personally? Do most men who’ve had experiences like mine suffer lifelong trouble like Professor Ford claims to have? Maybe I’m a sociopath. Or suffering false consciousness. Could therapy help me get in touch with the wounded, victimized child within?

On the other hand, how many women who’ve had to fight off a drunken lout manage to get over it? Is Professor Ford’s lifelong disability the norm? Or is she a fragile flower suffering over an event that most women would be resilient enough to move past? Is her claim of trauma even all that plausible? Or is it just too politically incorrect to doubt it?

If anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a #MeToo experience has any thoughts on these questions I’d be interested. And if your name and/or avatar doesn’t make it clear, it would be helpful if you included your sex in your answer.

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“My Hope is We Don’t Lose Sight of What This Moral Moment is About in This Country”

 

This drivel actually spewed forth from the mouth of US Senator Cory Booker. Listen below:

“He (Brett Kavanaugh) used language that shocked a lot of us”. Huh?

Listen here Mr. Booker. The language of lies and obfuscation that you and your fellow Senators use is despicable. You think we are stupid. We are not fooled by your “high horse” act.

“Let me be clear”: you and your fellow abortion supporting members of the Democrat Party will be judged by your actions.

The Supreme Court is not a “sacred institution”. But life is sacred. You are fighting the wrong battle. You would do well to dwell on this distinction.

Pray God has mercy on us.

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Why Is No One Asking These Questions?

 

Why has Senator Cory “Spartacus” Booker not disclosed what T-Bone thinks of all this? Does this mean that T-Bone does not condone this sham?

When Democrats made Michael Avenetti acting Senate Minority Leader, was the vote unanimous?

Dr. Ford remembers seeing Mr. Judge in the Potomac Safeway in 1982, five years before that Safeway existed. Has any Safeway executive been subpoenaed to explain their role in disparaging the victim?

Is it true that President Trump is planning to give Senator Flake a “Courage” medal so he won’t be afraid of elevators anymore?

Is it true that to work for NBC you must report an intense burning sensation in the part of the job interview when they sprinkle holy water on the applicant?

Trivia challenge: Can you name five large, publicly funded projects in California of which Diane Feinstein’s husband did not get a slice?

Is it just me or do you hear the song “Mr. Cellophane” from the musical Chicago every time you see Sen. Coons, assuming you notice him at all?

If you were accused of a crime who would you rather have as a judge:
(a) Maisie Hirono
(b) Heinrich Himmler
(c) Chris Cuomo

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Sidebars of History: Let’s Play Three!

 
Reds slugger Edd Roush who finished the 1920 season with .339 BA (3rd in the NL)

Baseball’s expanded playoff system asks a lot from fans. This Friday will feature a quadruple-header of games and will require more commitment than some marriages demand. Which brings us to a baseball anniversary story. On this date, October 2, 1920, Major League Baseball played it’s first, and last, single admission triple header.

Where you finish in the standings has always been very important in the game, particularly once the two leagues agreed to invent the concept of postseason sports with the creation of the World Series. Back then, there was a winner’s share, a loser’s share, and shares to the National and American League clubs that finished 2nd and 3rd in their respective circuits. So, when the Cincinnati Reds rolled into Pittsburgh in the final weekend of the season 3½ games ahead of the 4th place Pirates with four games to go, it meant that the players were after their share of the $10,744 pot for third place. Divvied up among a 25-man roster that represented a $5,000 paycheck in today’s money.

The Reds were scheduled for a three-game set in Pittsburgh (double-header on Saturday) and a single game at home against the Cardinals on Sunday. The Buccos had to scoot to Chicago for a game against the Cubs. When Friday’s game was rained out it looked like the Reds were set. But Pirates owner Barney Dreyfus would have nothing of it. After being rebuffed by Reds Manager Pat Moran, Dreyfus wired NL president John A. Heydler and got him to order the Reds to play three.

It would be another 15 years before Major League Baseball would be played underneath the lights, so game one was scheduled to begin at noon. Even though the Reds clinched their position with 13-4 rout in that game it was decided that they’d make an attempt to play the other two and game three would eventually be called after 6 innings due to the fading light at Forbes Field. All told the two teams would play play 24 innings that day with the Reds taking 2 of 3 and doing it in a crisp 5:00 of total play. Game times were 2:03, 1:56 and 1:01.

The real iron man of the day wasn’t in either team’s lineup. The games were officiated by a two-man umpiring crew of Pete Harrison and Hank O’Day with the former going all three games behind the plate. Harrison, who had been an umpire in the league since 1916, would work his final game the next day as he and O’Day would travel to Cincinnati to work the finale against the Cardinals.

Among the most respected balls-and-strikes men in the league, Harrison worked as a steelworker in the mills of Youngstown, Ohio during the off-season. And that’s where he contracted tuberculosis that winter. On March 10, 1921, thirty-four days before Opening Day, Harrison died at a sanatorium in Saranac, NY. He was just 36 years old.

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A New Hope…

 

My daughter, a 20 year old recovering Sorority Girl, and now proud U.S. Airmen, texted me last night asking me if I thought Beto was going to beat Cruz. I responded that I did not think so…this time around. She responded back that my conclusion was such a relief. She said that her Twitter feed […]

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