Tag: Group Writing

Sounds of Liberty: Bicentennial Memories

 

In the mid-1970s, when it was still acceptable for public school students to love their country, I was in a small singing group called Sounds of Liberty formed by my high-school choir director. It was, of course, organized for the occasion of the nation’s bicentennial. My audition to be included in the troupe featured not only singing but flute-playing and tap-dancing. All talents were on call. We were putting on a show.

As I recall, we performed locally and on school-break tours for a year and a half or so, ending on 7/4/1976. We had three costume changes for the three segments: one on religious music (I sang a solo of “Ave Maria”), one on regional songs (I did a tap dance to “The Sidewalks of New York”), and one on patriotic tunes (or so I think it must have been; can’t remember what I played the flute to).

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Hereafter a few tunes to tickle your creative senses, hopefully prompting you to sign up to offer a short or long post on this month’s theme: “Liberty or Freedom.” Trust me, you can play off one or both of those words however loosely you like. That is part of the fun of this long-running project. […]

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“Abortion isn’t a “reproductive right” – it’s a parent choosing to kill their child.”- Lila Rose, Founder of Live Action. “Reproductive rights” is a phrase invoked just as mendaciously as habitually by the anti-life left in the U.S. and elsewhere. But taken prima facie, the term should mean something good, i.e. “the right to reproduce.” […]

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Boxing Clever

 

Free to Good Home. That’s what the sign read, in a curious, somewhat loopy antique scrawl.

A pair of eyes looked up appealingly. That the eyes happened to belong to an unknown creature in a dark box was neither here nor there.

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We would love for you to join in our long-standing monthly theme and Quote of the Day projects this July. The theme is “Liberty or Freedom.”You can take the “or” as inclusive  or exclusive. Or take it as you will, just so long as it gets you writing. There has been a great deal of […]

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This July’s theme is “Liberty or Freedom.” You might post about liberty, freedom, or both, however loosely construed. You might talk about statues, ships, or something else. I was surprised to find we had not explored either as a theme. Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are […]

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Esper: Mother of All Bombs for Muslims, Not Narcos

 

According to our political establishment, it is acceptable to kill Muslims with any weapon up to the MOAB, nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs. Our political and national defense elites need not alert the host country, nor offer any warning or legal process to Muslims we deem terrorists. Yet, none of this applies to narcos, not even the most powerful men in Mexico, who traffic far more death across our southern border annually than all the Islamic terrorist attacks on our soil since we announced the Global War on Terror.

I am sure that Mark Esper thinks himself quite the reasonable fellow and consummate professional. Yet, his self-interested telling of President Trump’s interactions with members of the national security bureaucracy reflects poorly on him and his gang, while making Donald J. Trump sound far more connected with the American people and our real national security interests. Take as true the claim that President Trump wanted to do to the top drug lords what he did to the top Iranian general in charge of international terrorist operations. Now explain to anyone without an Ivy League indoctrination why our intelligence and military assets were not promptly and precisely employed to decapitate the cartels.

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Hereafter, belatedly, a playlist for the May theme, “Mother of—.” Each month, we kick off the writing theme with a few tunes. As I am a bit behind, the playlist is coming out on Mother’s Day. So, maybe the delay was strategic. No, I’m not trying to pass this off as a digital homemade greeting […]

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I’m late posting May’s theme, but here we are. I highly encourage members new and old to take the opportunity of this writing prompt to contribute a post, short or long, trivial or profound. This May’s theme is “Mother of —.” You might post, for starters, about mothers, motherhood, mom and apple pie, making bread […]

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This April’s theme is “Folly.” No joke. You can take this in the sense of past and present or as meaning occasional. Or take it as you will, just so long as it gets you writing. As is my wont, I offer a brief playlist to stimulate the little grey cells or at least set a […]

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When Foolishness Is What We Need Most

 

As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool. (Proverbs 26:1)

Amongst the Bible’s motifs is the idea of foolishness and wisdom–the fool versus the wise man, men’s foolishness and God’s wisdom.  This theme plays out in Old Testament narratives but is also examined in the poetry of books like Psalms and Proverbs. Foolishness, it seems, is a dangerous myopia that refuses to acknowledge a standard or principle beyond itself.  A foolish man is impulsive, stubborn, arrogant, looking inside himself for answers, blind to a higher power or the consequences of his actions.

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This April’s theme is “Folly.” No joke. You can take this in the sense of past and present or as meaning occasional. Or take it as you will, just so long as it gets you writing. Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are strongly encouraged to join […]

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Then and Now: What My Great Grandmother Saw

 

Great Grandma was born in 1900 and died in 1998. What would it have been like to witness these advances in medicine, technology, and opportunity for all?

  In her early years  By the end of her life 
  Expansion and Development: The American West was dominated by miners, ranchers, and cowboys who wouldn’t hesitate to use guns to defend themselves and rode horses right into the saloons.  A hub of innovation and wealth, the West is irrigated, tame, and high-tech, with fantastic freeway systems. 
  Education for the Masses: Schooling was basic, and students were still taught in one-room schoolhouses. Not many advanced beyond grade school.   Most students are encouraged to go on to college and beyond. Schooling for the wealthy looks similar to education for the middle and lower classes. Scholarships and loans abound for both the ambitious and not so ambitious.  
Travel: Continental train travel was just beginning. Horses were still the norm, and roads were rough. Travel by land or sea took weeks.   We board a plane, watch in-flight movies, reach our destination in a matter of hours, and consider an overnight delay to be a huge failure of the system. We all own efficient, fast vehicles. 
Air and Space Technology: Flight had not yet been invented.   Supersonic jets, moon landing, the launch of the International Space Station  
  Quality of Daily Living: The majority of our ancestors still sustained themselves on farms or in factories, going barefoot in the South and getting hookworms, supporting large families, and laboring with cooking and cleaning. Refrigerators and indoor bathrooms were slow in coming. Daily bathing and showering was not a thing.   Most people expect to own their own homes, enjoy modern appliances and daily entertainment, have access to more mass-produced and affordable goods. The way is paved for politicians to use the lack of in-home Internet as an example of poverty in the US. Most people take hot showers or baths every day.  
Medicine: Diabetes was a killer. The first open-heart surgery was decades away. Years of agonizing trial and error lay ahead to pave the way for advanced life-saving surgeries. At least we’d stopped bleeding patients and knew about germs.  Heart, liver, and kidney transplants. Diabetes as a manageable disease. Standardized care and efficiency. We all know someone who wouldn’t be here without modern medicine.   
Mysteries of Life: There were painstaking fruit fly experiments to isolate inherited traits and recognize patterns in genetics.  We began to sequence worm genomes. Human eggs could be fertilized outside the womb.  

Presidential Responses to Russian Invasions: Then and Now

 

Eisenhower 1957, LBJ 1969, Carter 1980, Biden regime 2022

2022 is not the first time the Russian empire has invaded neighboring countries, killing women and children in the name of preserving or restoring Russian interests. Three real American presidents addressed Russian invasions of neighbors. Transcripts of these president’s rhetorical responses are readily available and instructive, showing alternate and similar responses to the challenges we face today. Consider the context of each invasion and how U.S. presidents responded.

1972: Choose your Future(s)

 

It’s 1972. What does the American future look like, right through the early years of the 21st century? Fifty years ago, President Nixon’s panels of trusted advisors offered him a range of options regarding funding for new technological initiatives. These were big long-term projects, with effects over as much as a half-century: medicine, nuclear research, telecommunications, and transportation engineering, from space to subways.

The proposals: A famous inventor foresees a “New Rural Society”, where work, banking, and socializing are done from home with two-way TV, and home is wherever you want it to be. NASA wants the go-ahead to create a land-able, reusable spacecraft that will be the first step in opening space to private commerce. America’s cities are eager to build a new generation of automated urban mass transit, to be run on cheap, abundant, nuclear-generated electricity. Supporters of federal funding for supersonic transport airliners point to government-funded SSTs being built in Europe and Russia and ask if we’re going to sit this one out. This jumble of 70s visions is now largely settled—proven to be good or bad investments. Some are still in progress, a half-century later. And there’s still a remainder, a handful of technological question marks whose futures are unknown even now.

Now and Then: Reclaiming a Piece of My Past

 

Out of the blue, I got a text message from my old high-school friend Abby. “Did you know about this?” she asked, and included a link to an obituary. Raymond had died, apparently back in 2020. But no, I hadn’t known. And now I wasn’t sure what to do with the knowledge.

Raymond was the first person I met on the first day of first grade. Told by my new teacher to choose a seat, I sat down next to a kid with curly hair and introduced myself. It doesn’t take a lot to form friendships when you’re six years old, but even so, it turned out that Raymond and I had a lot in common. We had similar senses of humor, we both loved Star Trek, and we both loved to draw (even though he was always better than I was). We quickly became best friends.

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The March Group Writing Theme is “Now  and Then.” I offer a brief selection of songs on the theme of now and then. There are, of course many more, which I encourage you to share in the comments while seeking inspiration for your post on the theme. Act now to fill the month’s roster, then […]

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This March’s theme is “Now and Then.” You can take this in the sense of past and present or as meaning occasional. Or take it as you will, just so long as it gets you writing. The Tesla in space (a real photograph), and the early electric car ad, point to one line of contrasts or […]

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