Tag: values

Ep. 264 – How will the Left react to a Donald Trump victory? Award-winning Filmmaker and NY Times Bestselling Author Dinesh D’Souza discusses how to ‘Beat the Socialism, Corruption and the Gangsterization that Defines the Democrat Party’, why children have not been taught about failures of communism, his latest film Trump Card, Election 2020, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders and much more in this long-form interview. Watch the film VOD on your big screen at TrumpCardTheMovie.com.

Two Sisters Finally Get Adulting


Jen Nilsson has it all, a great condo in California, a fast-track job in a Silicon Valley start-up, and a seemingly limitless future. Life is good and bound to get better. Then her sister Katie, ten years younger, and just out of college, calls and asks if she can move in with her big sister. Katie can no longer stand living with their parents.

“If You Can Get It,” a novel by Brendan Hodge opens with this. Jen wants to say no, but Katie is not calling from their parents’ home near Chicago. She is right outside Jen’s California condo. Jobless Katie lacks the money to drive home. Jen is stuck. She has to say yes.

The two sisters prove separated by more than just a ten year age difference. Jen is a quintessential Gen-Xer, focused, and deliberate. She has an MBA and a fast-track career.  Katie is an archetypical Millennial, impulsive, and spontaneous. Her degree is in comparative religion, preparing her for a job at Starbucks. Jen is an extrovert. Katie is an introvert.

How Smart *Are* Billionaires, Anyway?


Only in the Age of Foolishness (our current age) would you see a headline like the following: “Billionaires could leave Earth behind for space colony as climate collapses.”

This comically preposterous headline, which sounds like something from some stinkaroo sci-fi flick, begs a very serious question; and no, not one about the climate or the technological feasibility of a space colony. Those pale in comparison to the more trenchant question, which is: If an incredibly wealthy person really believes that the climate is in danger of “collapse,” and collapsing so bad that the only way to survive is by leaving the planet, how is it possible that such a person could ever have been smart enough to make a billion dollars in the first place?

It’s Not About You, but the Survival of the Republic


We are at a critical juncture in the history of this country: survival of the Republic is at stake. We can’t afford to try to be comfortable with politics; all the evidence points to more disruption, anger, and chaos, as the Progressives realize they are, for one of the first times in their movement, in serious trouble. Now is not the time for conservatives and Republicans to quibble about differences. The moral high ground is not what you’ve always thought it was. And we need to deal with the shift through the power of our own unity.

Donald Trump has been the scapegoat of our rebellion against social and political change. But instead of throwing up our hands in resignation, or blaming everyone but ourselves for the mire we find ourselves in, we have to face the truth: the Constitution itself is at risk. We have violated it by allowing our children to be taught to disrespect it; we continually see the misuse of the court system; we’ve allowed politicians to distort the Constitution and the rule of law for their own purposes. It’s time to act.

We must unify for the sake of the Republic, to honor our founders and to preserve the Constitution.

Save the Jews, the Christians – Civilization?


I caught the tail end of two Wall Street Journal journalists talking about the recent attacks on Jews in New York, and since WSJ is behind a paywall, I cannot find the segment.  But what I heard burned into my memory.  One said that this is a “mirror of what is going on in European cities, and has been for some time.” They stated the Jews are the canary in the coal mine, a cliche that has been echoed over and over to deaf ears. This has religious implications, but they said the “resurgence of antisemitism is a symptom that society as a whole is breaking down,” and concluded with “when that happens on a large scale, people choose camps, and a peaceful, cohesive society erodes and falls apart and all you are left with are warring camps.”

Is that what we are witnessing, in New York and elsewhere, when moral boundaries are removed? I’m not just speaking of the decline in church attendance, in Jews becoming more secular, but in the overall protections and safety nets that we once relied on. When we had boundaries, we relied on law enforcement, respect for property, differences of opinion, lifestyles, and it went both ways, instead of hurling hate speech and condemning one idea over another. We respected boundaries, which also included protecting children from overly sexual content. Law enforcement is now spat upon, doused with water, and shouted at with vulgarity. Wearing a MAGA hat in public can get you tossed out of a restaurant or pummeled, because of political differences. We now have something called gender fluidity.

Petty crimes such as theft, drug possession, and home invasions, are now considered low priority with no consequences. More states are following lockstep, the predicted outcome of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Drugged up, more brazen attacks – we’re witnessing an erosion of civilization, not like a drip, drip that eventually carves out a solid rock over decades, but a powerful wave that erodes swiftly and mercilessly.

Doodads and Army Duds [Updated with a fun puzzle!]


I had long thought the doodads festooning veteran organizational caps to be a bit silly and something of the past. This Veterans Day, I took another look and came to a different conclusion. Looking at veterans’ uniforms in a parade and watching the pudgy weasel almost popping out of his blue Army Service Uniform in Congress, I discovered two things.

The first realization was of a linkage between military and veteran customs. Look at any military member’s uniform and you will see a shorthand career biography. If you take the time to look up the various ribbons, badges, insignia, patches, crests and whatnot, you get a glimpse into where they served and some tokens of what they did.*

It should be no surprise that veterans would carry over the military habit of visible tokens on their uniform. On closer examination, those “funny” caps have been serving the same function as a uniform jacket. Since the cap is the whole of a veterans organization uniform, that is where various tokens of a veteran’s service are displayed. 

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MCAT prep is going well. How well I’ll do on the test, I hesitate to guess, but it encourages me as I go through the Barron’s guide to exclaim I still know that! or even I used to know that! Or even I forgot that at least twice! That happened when a practice question showed […]

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After reading this story last week, I experienced outrage, despair and disbelief. For some reason, I’m a little less moved by these actions in other parts of the country, but this situation took place right here in Polk County, Florida. And I think it represents more than a bizarre case, but describes in many respects […]

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Pardon my amateur city planning geekiness but testing a theory here. The source is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MehKgIcoj6o&feature=share …wherein an anthropologist got curious about why the eastern parts of cities were (broadly speaking) so often assigned to the under-privileged. It struck him that factory and railroad emissions usually drifted that way, because, ya know… the spin of the earth. […]

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I’m an amateur at everything I do. But I do a lot of thinking and trying to figure out why things happen the way they do and why people think and say the things they do. So, I guess I’m an amateur philosopher, in a way. We keep having these discussions on Ricochet around the […]

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The recent Helsinki Summit between Putin and Trump, on the heels of meeting with NATO, is upsetting the usual people. What isn’t being talked about is the full-on, deliberate import of socialism, and the denigration of capitalism across all parts of society. Claire Berlinski writes in The Daily Beast, “The United States built the modern […]

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A Problem on the Right


Let’s make one thing clear. According to the left, you don’t deserve to have an opinion. They don’t care about your input. They are not interested in finding a way to live together in peace and harmony. They see you as a Nazi, a threat, deplorable, a virus on the earth. They want you and your worldview gone. To them, you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic bigot and therefore your opinion doesn’t matter. Why, then, do we on the right continue to engage in political debate as if we are too above the fray to take the gloves off? Why do our representatives talk about “taking the high ground” and maintaining a civilized political discourse? The left isn’t looking to debate the opposition; they are looking to destroy it.

The left has made their intentions clear. A recent opinion piece by Tim Kreider published in the New York Times titled, “Go Ahead Millennials, Destroy Us” sets forth in no uncertain terms a long-standing leftist theme: Destruction of Western Values and Institutions. In Kreider’s article, published March 2, 2018, he implores America’s youth, “Go get us.” He states:

My message, as an aging Gen X-er to millennials and those coming after them, is: Go get us. Take us down – all those cringing provincials who still think climate change is a hoax, that being transgender is a fad or that “socialism” means purges and re-education camps. Rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions. Gender roles as disfiguring as foot-binding, the moribund and vampiric two-party system, the savage theology of capitalism – rip it all to the ground. I for one can’t wait till we’re gone. I just wish I could live to see the world without us.

What Trump and I Have in Common


In reflecting on the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out the reasons for my lessening frustration and growing appreciation—that may be too strong a word—for Trump. I’m a person who doesn’t like to make excuses, who prefers to be responsible and accountable for my decisions, and I’ve struggled with how to frame my support of Trump. I finally realized that my real struggle was less about Trump and more about what I thought was a conflict of values. Surprisingly (for me) the values clarity I reached was reassuring in explaining my present attitude about Trump and his first year in office.

The clarity has come from a careful examination of my personal values. My top three values are integrity, honesty, and persistence. To expand on those, integrity is simply doing what I say I will do; honesty is telling the truth; and persistence is striving to do my best even when the journey is difficult. I also prefer to be with people who feel the same way, because these values are important to me and when others feel the same way, we build strong and loving relationships.

So for the moment, let’s put values aside, and talk about the kinds of people I like. I like people who not only share those same values but are thoughtful, sincere, friendly, helpful—yep, just like boy scouts and girl scouts. The close friends in my life share these attributes, but I do have other friends and acquaintances with whom I am less close and who are less likely to meet my hopes and expectations for friendship. But I enjoy being with them in smaller doses.

Mike Pence: A Man of Virtue


The word “virtue” has become besmirched by its inclusion in the term, “virtue signaling,” a term used to discredit one’s practice of virtue, when a critic doubts the virtuous person’s sincerity. In creating this term, however, I think it has made some of us skeptical (in these chaotic times) of any person’s sincerity and credibility as a notable and admirable human being.

That’s why I was glad to see Mollie Hemingway’s Federalist Daily Blog post on the results of a poll taken by the New York Times/Morning Consult poll that surveyed the public’s reactions to Mike Pence’s position not to dine alone or drink alone with women, other than his wife. I was delighted to learn that both men and women respected his decision, in spite of the outrage by the mainstream media. In an age where tradition is disparaged, I thought about all the ways that Mike Pence represented conventional beliefs and values, and how people sometimes disparage those who emulate honor, respect and virtue.

In one way, it would be easy to try to damage Mike Pence’s reputation; he is, after all, a politician. Some in the media say that he is already planning a 2020 presidential run; that he has made mistakes; that he should stand up to Trump more often. These comments amuse me, since there is no way to prove their veracity, and they demonstrate Pence’s humanity to me. There is nothing he has done that I’m aware of that would damage his credibility as a decent human being. Any person who can be seen as a person of character, in spite of all the political stereotypes, is worthy of our appreciation.

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On the FlashReport blog, Jon Fleischman recently made a post about the challenge of being a conservative Republican activist who can’t envision supporting Donald Trump. (As an aside, FlashReport has been my substitute for Drudge during the primary season. It’s also a great place to read about California politics in general.)  The topic of the […]

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The Hidden Cost of Tax Incentives (or, Be Careful About Inviting Hollywood to Your State)


Lights, subsidies … influence!

I recently had an eye-opening experience. My state is a leader in offering tax credits and incentives to the entertainment industry, and I attended an event promoting and defending these incentives. They had a state senator who spoke on the incentives’ behalf, and told the crowd that they needed to fight to have a place at the table (or trough, though he chose not to use that word). His background was in the auto industry (I presumed, in dealerships) and serving the entertainers feeds his family, just like making films and TV shows feeds theirs. So, “get down there and fight for your interests,” he said.

Is It True that “the Whole Point of Art Is to Be Provocative”


[The above quoted phrase came from Fred Cole’s post on “The Interview,” which is otherwise excellent.]
P ChristIsn’t that the stupid excuse that leftists use in producing bad (or good) art that is strictly political in nature?

The whole point of art is to express — to express one’s heart, an insight, an epiphany (especially) — and to create. The best use of art is to ennoble and to add to mankind’s collection of many and varied interpretations of what life on this earthly plane is.