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“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans—and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused—and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.” – Sigrid Undset
December 26 is Boxing Day. Although it is mainly regarded as the day for after-Christmas sales, traditionally it is the day when gifts were presented by the fortunate to the needy. Today’s quote, especially after yesterday’s exchange of presents, reminds us of the gifts we have received unasked that are of the greatest value. Take a little time today to reflect on our good fortune in being alive to enjoy the gifts of living on our good Earth.
“How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.” – Ronald Wilson Reagan
Communism only works on the household level. The traditional family is run as a communist society: from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs. In a functional family, it succeeds and succeeds powerfully. Dad and Mom provide the resources and distribute them as needed. The children grow up to be productive adults.
My quote of the day comes courtesy of some bureaucrat (or possibly some committee of bureaucrats) at the US Department of Agriculture on the requirements for Grade A fruit cocktail:
Peach. The texture is typical of diced peaches prepared and processed from at least reasonably well-matured fruit and the units may range in tenderness from slightly firm to slightly soft but possess fairly well-defined edges;
“There are few modest talents so richly rewarded — especially in politics and the media — as the ability to portray parasites as victims, and portray demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights.” – Thomas Sowell
More Sowell food for the brain. This quote seems appropriate today. We can expect four years (or more appropriately four more years) of Democrat operatives (in both politics and media) portraying parasites as victims, and demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights. We saw it all last year with BLM critical race theory and Antifa. Over the next four years we shall see this trend no longer constrained at any level by the Federal government, but rather with the Federal government cheerleading those attempts.
“There are really only two types of people: those who want to win in competition, and those who would prefer to shut competition down. The former are the strivers and entrepreneurs; the latter the monopolists and cronies. Philosophically, which are you?” -– Arthur Brooks
This divide defines today’s America. Red-state governors like Noem and de Santis, are in the former category. Blue-state governors, like Newsom and Cuomo, belong in the latter category. If you are the former, you voted for Trump in November. If you are the latter, you voted for Biden.
“Despite the synergine the Count’s eyes were going shocked and vague. He pawed at the little plastic oxygen mask, batted away the medic’s worried attempt to control his hands, and motioned urgently to Mark. He so clearly wanted to say something, it was less traumatic to let him than to try and stop him. Mark slid onto his knees by the Count’s head.
“The Count whispered to Mark in a tone of earnest confidence, ‘All . . . true wealth . . . is biological.'” — Lois McMasters Bujold, Mirror Dance
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
We may not be living in times as cataclysmic as those of Frodo and Gandalf, but it has been a trying year. Next year bids fair to be worse. The good of the last four years will be undone and we will likely face more restrictions on our civil liberties and can almost certainly expect higher energy prices as the United States once again becomes an energy importing country.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
This quote has never been more appropriate. We are energy-independent due to George Mitchell, who unreasonably pushed fracking through until it became economically viable – often against the opposition of the “reasonable” among us, who said peak oil was simply a fact. There is no shortage of food due to Norm Borlaug, who unreasonably insisted we could increase food production despite the claims of “reasonable” people that we needed to end food shortages through population reduction. We are on the cusp of affordable space travel due to the insistence and efforts of unreasonable dreamers like Elon Musk, who found ways to dramatically cut launch costs, despite the claims of the reasonable that it could not be done.
To me, the remarkable aspect of this poll is not that Biden is leading. It’s that it shows 7% of the electorate is undecided. Really? Undecided? This late in the game? And with these two politicians? One who has been fed into our consciousness in every aspect of our lives over the past five years and is currently the president and the other who was vice president and has been in the public sphere for nearly five decades? Who in the hell are this 7% who can’t make up their minds?
And then it hit me: They aren’t undecided, they lean Trump, but they are waiting to make that final commitment. Something is stopping them. Something relatively intangible. It’s the “tone” thing. They are down with his policies and achievements, but they just don’t like the guy’s attitude. They prefer the “presidential” thing. – Larry O’Connor
“Hands are made for holding.” – Corina T., Nevada
I usually don’t get Dove chocolates but I saw some in the dollar store, had a craving, and picked up a bag. I’m a little aware of the quotes Dove includes inside the wrappers. Some find them insipid and rant against them. Others find them humorous. I enjoyed the above pre-Chinese Flu quote on my wrapper. With St. Fauci saying that shaking hands will be a thing of the past, this is a nice reminder that people need a human touch.
“When cowardice is made respectable, its followers are without number both from among the weak and the strong; it easily becomes a fashion.” ― Eric Hoffer
So, has cowardice become a fashion? The excessive timidity over Covid suggests it may well have. So, too, do increased reports of police not just ceasing to be proactive about policing – spending time avoiding getting into “situations.” But it has gone beyond that, with police refusing to make arrests of violent and dangerous criminals for fear of the adverse reaction should the perpetrator receive his just desserts when resisting arrest.
If you are willing to listen, you will learn;
If you give heed, you will be wise.
In these times of noise and information coming at us, it is often hard to listen and hard to know what to listen to. But when the right message comes, we should heed and be wise. Which brings up my second Bible quote of the post:
“Activism is a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.” – Thomas Sowell
More Sowell food for the mind. Need more be said? In one sentence he explains the BLM and Antifa movements.
“Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.” – Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
On October 4, 1957, humans placed the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit. Sputnik I’s “beep, beep, beep,” was opening fanfare for the Space Age. Within a dozen years a man was walking on the Moon’s surface.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton
When I was 17, I was in a fight for my life. If I had lost I could well have died.
The fight took place in the spring of my senior year of high school, in 1973. Sometime earlier I wrote about its aftermath here on Ricochet and promised to tell the rest of the story later. Like now.
Nothing in this 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 alone are omnipotent. – Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge is the intellectual patron of Ricochet. Statements like this are one reason why.
“…most important was the insight, key insight that Adam Smith had – brilliant insight – that wealth is not zero-sum, that you can make more of practically everything that’s important.
He understood this even while he was still living in a largely agricultural economy. He realized that because somebody is rich, that’s not what makes other people poor. Wealth is not a pizza where, if I have too many slices, you have to eat the Dominos box. My wealth does not create your poverty. Your wealth does not create my poverty. They’re separate questions. And we can generate more wealth.“