Tag: sloth

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Dear Rico-Friends! First, the “lazy” part—whenever my editor or other person I consider (irrationally, perhaps) my “boss” suggests I write a book, the immediate result is a mind, previously full of good ideas and apposite anecdotes, abruptly wiped wholly blank. All I can think of is how nice it would be to take a long […]

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In a special episode recorded from his parents’ basement, Jack invites R Street Fellow, “senator,” and sloth enthusiast Shoshana Weissman to discuss why she loves sloths, why she’s passionate about occupational license reform, and why SpongeBob is so great.

Quote of the Day: Sallust on Sloth, Covetousness, and Losing Power


“And, indeed, if the intellectual ability of kings and magistrates were exerted to the same degree in peace as in war, human affairs would be more orderly and settled, and you would not see governments shifted from hand to hand, and things universally changed and confused. For dominion is easily secured by those qualities by which it was at first obtained. But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the fortune of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving.” — Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust)

The first time I saw this quote, it was the abbreviated version starting at “But when sloth…” and going to the end. My thought reading that was, “That’s not my experience or reading of history there, old son.” But seeing the larger quote, it becomes obvious he is writing of changes in the power structures and of who is in place. Eventually, the people get tired of corruption and rise up. Eventually, a great man (or at least superior to his predecessors) arises to clean out the Augean stables of government. Or, the nation falls to another, which will have a higher vision. Sallust lived through a period when the Roman Republic was falling apart with factional fighting and finally fell into being the Roman Principate. I believe we are living through a similar period now.

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I’ve been pondering over the years what laziness means, prompted by a family member who says, “Don’t call me lazy” (in a lighthearted way) when I make a general suggestion about something that would be obviously helpful. For example, it’s easier to start a fire in the basement stove if you first go upstairs and […]

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Exclusive — Jon Gabriel Plans to Skip CPAC, Pre-Eminent Conservative Gathering, in 2016


Jon-Speaker2MESA, ARIZ. — Beloved Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel plans to snub the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this year, and won’t show up at all, Ricochet.com has learned exclusively.

CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU) in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. In 2016, the conference will be held right after Super Tuesday from March 2 until March 5. Because DC is just lovely in the dead of winter.

That Gabriel is skipping the pre-eminent annual conservative gathering of thousands of activists in a presidential election year is extraordinarily telling about the direction of his career as management desperately sings his praises in a last-ditch bid to help Ricochet get 10,000 members.

The Desire to be Disabled and the Loss of Meaning


AcediaFor the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would want to be disabled. I am among the accursed numbers of those unable to work, having been felled seven years ago after a nearly fifty-year fight with rheumatoid arthritis. (Thankfully, my law firm provided disability insurance, which keeps me off the government dole.) At the risk of singing my own praises, I have willingly submitted to being a guinea pig for a host of treatments, some of which have potentially deadly side effects (a duel at dawn with anyone who pities me). I did this because I needed not merely to feed my family, but because work, properly understood, offers a sense of purpose which keeps the Eternal Footman at bay. But the disease finally won the day. I am a lawyer by trade, and one little-known reality is that practicing law is highly demanding, not only mentally, but physically. I never really enjoyed my chosen occupation. Fighting for a living, especially trivial battles like petty arguments and personally insulting rhetoric, will tax the most patient of men. But the intellectual work was rewarding. I miss that.

These past few years, then, have not always been a joy. Yes, I have a wonderful life with my loving wife, devoted children (even though they call me “Old Guy”), and two fantastic granddaughters. But work is an essential need of man: Not only as a means of material production, but as a spiritual and psychological route towards acquiring virtue. Plus, while I don’t know whether there are statistics to back this up, from personal experience with others forced into early retirement, life expectancy drops when work comes to an end.

Why, then, are the Social Security Disability rolls growing at incomprehensible rates? We live in an extraordinarily safe world. Modern medicine does much more than keep us alive. It allows us to stay productive through illnesses that, just a few short years ago, would have quickly knocked us out of the game. As for the risks in life, my new car has eleven airbags and enough safety technology to ward offer nearly every danger. I’m safer in my car than nearly anywhere else. So what is it about work that has so many seeking an excuse to run away? Why would anyone want to be disabled?