Tag: 1970s

Songs for the New Depression


Bette Midler’s album Songs for the New Depression was released in January 1975. Typical of its glum times was the sour humor of “Mr. Rockefeller”, about a delusional woman trying to reach the billionaire from her perch in a phone booth. Nobody’s idea of a great song, but it has a sting of truth; she’s been wiped out by the recession, says she’s broken down, not feeling so good, and is hanging on the line because she’s finally down to her last dime. For millions of people, the album’s provocative title was the bitter truth: The biggest, baddest recession since World War II left the country reeling. Few saw it coming. Inflation was out of control. Confidence in the future plunged lower than it had ever gone, even in the depths of the Great Depression. After postwar decades of so much mass prosperity that many of our “leading thinkers” had just about grown ashamed of it, the Great Invisible Guiding Hand of Capitalism gave America a merciless slap upside the head. And man, it hurt.

Only the year before, the leadership of the country united to dump the most hated Republican of his day, someone who had won great political victories only a few years before. The new president was widely derided as an ineffectual buffoon. His attempts to beat inflation by handing out Whip Inflation Now buttons became an instant joke, and helped make him a lasting punchline of ineptitude. Our luck overseas was no better. America’s seemingly endless war finally came to an end on his watch, the way we’d always dreaded it would: disastrously, humiliatingly. Images of US foreign policy failure filled every television screen in the electrified world.

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This review may be a bit premature, considering I’m only halfway through the podcast, but it’s already too good to not share! I had two semi-long car rides over the past weekend, so I decided to try out this audio documentary that had been sitting in my feed for months. I did not regret it! […]

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Author David Paul Kuhn joined host Ben Domenech to discuss the makeup of the Democratic coalition of the ’70s and how it compares to the Democratic party of today. Kuhn wrote about the subject in his most recent book “The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution.”

Democrats don’t have to win a majority of the white working class, but they have to win enough of them, Kuhn asserted. Joe Biden is potentially in a position to do so in November. Once Democrats lose the anti-Trump coalition, which is much larger than the typical Democrat coalition, they will have a harder time winning a majority of seats in both houses of Congress. Kuhn said the Democratic party ought to focus on gaining more white middle class votes.

America’s ‘Days of Rage’: The Extensive Left-Wing Bombings, Domestic Terrorism of the ’70s


As the summer of 2020 dawned, left-wing radical groups began rioting and taking over parts of America’s cities. While this specific form of left-wing violence is new, left-wing violence itself is far from new in the United States. Indeed, one of the most hidden and concealed parts of recent American history is the extensive left-wing violence that began in the late 1960s and continued into the 1980s.

At first, one might think that these were isolated incidents of small-scale “protest” or even minor violence. However, upon even brief examination, we find out that the outpouring of leftist violence over this time period was anything but minor. The most likely explanation for why you have never heard of this until now is that the events of these years have been consciously buried by those who would prefer you not know about them.

As the left once again ratchets up both its rhetoric and its physical violence, it’s time to re-explore this period of American history. What started as a non-violent student movement quickly escalated into a campaign of terrorism against the American people. And while the similarities may not be terribly striking yet, astute readers of this article will quickly see the world in which we live more and more closely resembling the Days of Rage.

“When someone as interesting and entertaining as James Lileks starts talking,” as Dave Carter said, “it’s really best to just hush up and listen.” Which is precisely what the host did this week, as he invited Star Tribune columnist, author, and Ricochet’s own James Lileks onto the program to talk about everything from Coronavirus, to writing, along with side trips to 1970s fashion trends and 1950s commercial air travel, and – as the Ricochet Podcast closes in on its 500th episode – what it is that keeps James coming back for more podcasts with Peter Robinson and Rob Long.

Then Dave talks with longtime Ricochet Member George Daelemans (a.k.a. GLDIII), about his work as an aerospace engineer, restorer of cars, and veteran of a great many Ricochet meet ups. There is also a rather interesting connection between Dave, George, and his wife, but you’ll have to listen in to learn that one.  There are lots of laughs and a veritable treasure of fascinating information to be had on this episode, so make yourself comfortable and enjoy the services.

Men and Women: Together in Perfect Harmony?


I first heard “Suzanne” on Judy Collins’ 1972 compilation album, Colors of the Day. In my youth, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was especially captured by the beauty of the voices of some songstresses. I remember getting to Judy Collins’ Fifth Album by way of Bob Dylan, whose songs and, shall we say vocal stylings, I appreciated.

[Fair warning, we have a few great recordings to work through here, any one of which may lead you down a rabbit hole. No, hopefully not that one! So, if you are too busy midweek, bookmark this post for your end-of-week wind-down.]

My David Hogg Moment


It is said when you are young and foolish, you are young and foolish. While a tautology, it is also true.

This is demonstrated by David Hogg, school shooting “survivor” sucking up media time lecturing everyone on violence, while at the same time displaying ignorance of facts, statute law, and Constitutional Law. (I put survivor in quotes because he was in a different building on campus. He had as much chance of actually getting shot as the Broward County sheriff’s deputies cowering outside the building containing the active shooter. Less, actually. There was a diminishingly small possibility the sheriffs might have shot Cruz leaving the building if only out of self-preservation.)

Reminiscences: The 1970s


1970sI confessed to my seven-year-old son recently that when I was his age I was usually out in the street playing with toy guns and eating a pack of candy cigarettes a day. “Where were your mom and dad?” he asked. I told him the truth: “Entertaining in the den with real guns and real cigarettes.”

Couples with children were seen as blessed, surrounded as they were by forgivable versions of themselves. Children weren’t coddled but cherished and I still remember the pleasure my dad took casually cracking hard-boiled eggs on my head. The term role model did not then exist nor, for that matter, did solar subsidies, the prevailing belief in those days being that Americans could never be cowed into paying for the sun.

Heh, good times.

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Occasionally, as events have prompted several among us to despair for our civilization’s future, I have played the Pollyanna by noting that, as bad as things have become, the 1970s were even worse than the present, and yet somehow we survived them. Some have rebuked me for such nonsense. I now give you the final […]

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