Tag: Boston

A Mystery Wrapped in a Mystery

 

Four people sit in the reading room of the Boston Public Library. One, an Australian mystery writer, is in Boston for a year on a writing fellowship. Two others are college students. Another is an author from the Carolinas. They are strangers who have never met.

“The Woman in the Library,” a mystery written by Sulari Gentill, opens with this. The four are quietly observing yet ignoring each other. When a woman screams outside the reading room, library security asks them to remain in the room while they investigate. Nothing is then discovered, and they are told they are free to go.

The incident breaks the ice. They start talking to each other while waiting in the room, then decide to go for coffee together. Soon they bond and become friends. They agree to meet again. When they do meet the next day, they learn a woman’s body was discovered hidden in a room near the reading room. She was murdered. At the urging of one of the four, a psychology student they decide to investigate the murder. The four soon  quickly discover their investigation has led them into danger.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Howard Bryant, a senior writer for ESPN and the author of nine books, including Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field and The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. Bryant shares how his experiences as a student, baseball fan, and sportswriter growing up in 1970s-era Boston have shaped his understanding of race relations and sports. He discusses celebrated American athletes who have broken barriers, from Jackie Robinson and Celtics legend Bill Russell to the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods. Bryant describes how these pioneering athletes were treated, and how they handled their celebrity status. He also offers thoughts on how the multi-billion-dollar professional sports industry is addressing larger racial disparities.

Stories of the Week: In San Francisco, a recall election ousted three members of the Board of Education, after a period of remote learning challenges, controversial school renaming process, admissions policy changes, and other issues. Democratic strategists are raising concerns about their party’s weak positioning on education issues, which will likely continue to play a major role in this election cycle.

Member Post

 

Hello Ricochetti! I have a missionary out now. Her name is Sis. Hunt. She is serving in the Massachusetts Boston Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (Mormon Missionary) Her mission area covers Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. If you see the sisters, honk and wave hello! Sis Hunt is currently […]

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Antiracism: Another Addition To The Anti-White Toolbox

 

Ibram X. Kendi: As soon as you see a name like this in the public arena, you know you’ve got trouble. And when you see all of our institutions, including the United States military, being infected with the neo-Marxist, race-based rantings of someone with a name like this, you know you’ve got really big trouble.

So, who the hell is Ibram X. Kendi? Well, let’s see … He’s got the African/Muslim-sounding name. His original name was Ibram Henry Rogers, but he rejected the white/European sounding parts (how original!) and replaced them with names from Kenya and southern Africa, two places where there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell he will ever be taking up residence. He’s an author, a professor, and a “historian of race and discriminatory policy in America,” because, of course, that’s a thing that a racialist ingrate wants to obsess over.

Member Post

 

  Thrift is an under-appreciated virtue in the world of startups. The founders of Wistia exemplified this virtue in the the way they built their video streaming startup. They rented a dilapidated house where they lived and ran their business for the first few years. They eschewed venture money and mostly bootstrapped their profitable growth […]

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Member Post

 

Today marks the 246th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party when American patriots, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor in protest. You’re probably somewhat familiar with this seminal event but you may not be with the story of those behind it. The “Sons Of Liberty” […]

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Steven Malanga joins Seth Barron to discuss the dismal economic and fiscal health of New Jersey, where individual and corporate taxes are among the highest in the country and business confidence ranks among the lowest of the 50 states. Jersey also has one of America’s worst-funded government-worker pension systems, which led its leaders in 2017 to divert state-lottery proceeds intended for K-12 and higher education to its pension system.

When Governor Phil Murphy wanted to boost taxes on individuals earning more than $1 million, he claimed that they needed to pay their “fair share.” Murphy signed a budget hiking taxes by about $440 million. But as the recent controversy surrounding a soccer team owned by the governor reminds us, it’s easy to show compassion when you’re using other people’s money.

The Tragedy in Halifax at 100

 

The city of Halifax, Nova Scotia sits on a peninsula between the Bedford Basin and the Atlantic Ocean. One hundred years ago, with Canada a vital member of the British Empire, she was a city at war. Every night, submarine nets were stretched along the opening of The Narrows, a thin strip of water that connected the basin to the great ocean and separated the cities of Halifax to the south and Dartmouth to the north. By the end of the day on December 6, 1917, the city would lay in ruins, the result of the largest man-made explosion before the invention of the atomic bomb.

At the heart of this story is two ships, the SS Mont-Blanc and the Norwegian SS Imo, then working for the Belgian Relief Commission. The Mont-Blanc was loaded with war supplies:

  • 500,449 lbs. of TNT
  • 3,527,396 lbs. of wet Picric Acid
  • 1,200 lbs. of dry Picric Acid
  • 12,345 lbs. of Nitrocellulose (also known as guncotton)
  • 491,630 lbs. of Benzol

Normally, she would never have been allowed anywhere near the basin but she needed to hook up and take her place in the convoy to France.

The Bolshevik Revolution at 100

 

The Greater Boston Tea Party is mourning 100 years of communism Tuesday night, Nov. 14, in Boston. The featured speaker is Alexandra Vacroux, Executive Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. You can find all the details here (PDF) — hope to see you there!

Ricochet Boston Area Gathering 11/11

 

At last! It’s happening! And rest assured that it will definitely be happening!!!

Announcing the 11/11 Ricochet Boston area gathering. Come celebrate Veterans’ Day with fellow patriots. The evening will include a panel presentation on the successes (or lack thereof) of the first year of the Trump presidency, with (among other dignitaries) Rob Long, our esteemed co-founder. Harvard Lunch Club fans will be happy to see Todd Feinburg and (yours truly) Mike Stopa.

Trouble in the Progressive Utopia

 

imageAsk a liberal to describe his ideal society, and you won’t have to wait long to hear about everyone attending a four-year college and being subsequently rewarded with a high-paying job in the professions, or the high-tech or service industries (and commuting to work via public public transit, of course). No place in the country is this closer to reality than Massachusetts, which is, unsurprisingly, where many of the people who peddle this vision get started on the path they think everyone else should take. Overall, it’s worked out reasonably well here: the Greater Boston Area may be expensive and the state may be highly regulated, but it out-preforms the nation on a number of economic metrics and is a growing leader in the technology, healthcare, biotech, and education industries; the I-495 corridor is awash in construction, development, and expansion much of it in the aforementioned glitzy industries. We’re not quite Scandinavia, but we try.

But according the Boston Globe, there seems to be a problem: we’re seriously short of people with vocational skills:

Most of the projected job openings in Massachusetts over the next seven years will not require a four-year college degree, but an already strained vocational education system will be unable to train enough people to fill those vacancies, according to a report to be released Monday. It warns that the state faces severe labor shortages in health care, manufacturing, and other key industries as an expanding economy and retiring baby boomers create some 1.2 million job openings by 2022.

Member Post

 

Dear Friends! Here is the second in a series of sermons I’ve been asked to offer to the congregation of the First Church in Boston. Those of you who listened to my last sermon might be interested to know that it was apparently a little controversial—the message that my inclusive and welcoming non-doctrinal denomination is excluding […]

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Now, If You’ll Just Sign and Date Here, Mr. Criminal …

 

410px-MA_-_Boston_Police_BadgeMore than 20 years ago, Samuel T. Francis coined the phrase anarcho-tyranny to describe the trend of laws increasingly burdening law-abiding citizens while allowing genuine criminals to get away with malfeasance. He offered gun control as a prime example of this and, as a new study about the difficulty in tracing seized weapons in Boston has shown, he was all too prescient on that specific issue.

In the United States, all sales of new firearms must be registered and logged with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (oddly, still known as the ATF). The federal government does not, however, require that subsequent private sales be recorded, though some states do keep such records. Scratch that: some states attempt to keep such records, but fail to do so because such databases rely overwhelmingly on malefactors’ willingness to report their own misbehavior. This was detailed in a new report titled “The Sources of Boston Crime Guns” that looked at the Boston Police Department’s statistics on 3,200 firearms it recovered or confiscated between 2007 and 2013. The results were, shall we say, underwhelming.

To wit:

Olympic Hurdles

 

LHMOjgYVThe splendid news that Boston’s controversial 2024 Olympics bid has come to an end is just the latest evidence that people are beginning to wake up to the fact that hosting a five-ring spectacle of totalitarian bloat is not something that any city should want to do. As NPR notes:

The Olympics are often presented as a chance to enrich a city with new public spending. But Bent Flyvbjerg and Allison Stewart, the Oxford economists, point out that every Olympics since 1960 has gone above budget an average of 179 percent. They call the Olympics “one of the most financially risky type of mega projects that exists, something that many cities and nations have learned to their peril.”

Mayor Walsh of Boston said, “no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our city.”

Member Post

 

I am going to be in Boston the weekend of the 31st, doing a book reading/signing at Porter Square Books in Cambridge that Friday night at 7:00. I’d be up for going out for a drink with any local Ricochetti afterward (8:00-8:30 ish)? Alternatively, what about lunch or supper on Saturday? (I’ve got to preach at […]

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An Interesting Day in Boston

 

Last week, an FBI agent and a number of Boston police officers shot and killed Usaamah Rahim, whom they’d been investigating as a jihadi terrorist. According to the charges against his accomplice and nephew, Rahim had recently pulled out of a larger plot in favor of simply murdering and attacking a random BPD officer (the investigators had been tapping his phones). Police went to confront him on Tuesday, and he attacked them with a 7″ knife and was shot dead. The shooting was recorded by a nearby store security camera, whose footage has been reviewed by local religious leaders who have overwhelmingly said that it corroborates the investigators’ account that they only opened fire after Rahim charged them. The footage was just released within the past hour.

The story has a number of interesting angles. First, it seems to further corroborate my theory that domestic Islamic terrorists can be effectively divided into two categories: zombies (such as Rahim and the two idiots who unsuccessfully attacked Pamella Geller last month) who are typified by impulsiveness, poor discipline, low skills, and lack of any direct ties to international organizations; and vampires (e.g., the Kouachi brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack) who are patient, careful, highly skilled, and who often receive direct support and training from overseas. Like their undead namesakes, each type has different strengths and weakness, and likely require different approaches to subvert and destroy.

Update From The Snowy North

 

Boston doesn’t often make weather-related headlines. We’re far enough north to be safe from most hurricanes, and we’re sufficiently coastal and temperate to be spared the worst of New England winters. In the seven years I’ve lived here, the city’s dodged storm after storm that have left our neighbors in all directions badly damaged. Boston seemed weirdly blessed.

Then it started snowing a few weeks ago.