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[CORRECTION: I was just handed a baby book, “Baby Loves Quantum Physics”, by Ruth Spiro. I read it. It is on a complex subject. It is written to a simple level. For example, Baby Jack is just shy of 12 months, and apparently his Mom’s plan is to read it to him shortly, when he […]

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Member Post

 

From the album “John Barleycorn must Die;” Traffic: John Barleycorn. More

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Member Post

 

I find myself quite skeptical and conflicted about the Hong Kong protests. The general tone of the posts and comments on the subject, here at Ricochet, seems to overwhelmingly favor the protesters, and seems overly simplified to me. I think that the situation is quite complex. I certainly agree that the Chinese government is a […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Friday Food and Drink Post: Have Your (War) Cake and Eat It, Too

 

To commemorate the 74th anniversary of V-J Day on August 15, herewith, a couple of family recipes for War Cake a more-or-less appetizing (de gustibus, and all that) sop to the sweet tooth of the war-weary denizens from the Old and New Worlds. One is from 1942 and was shared with me by a friend in the early 1970s, and the other we found handwritten on a slip of paper that fell out of my grandmother’s favorite cookbook when we were sorting out her stuff after she died. It and the paper it’s written on are of sufficient antiquity that it’s quite possible this one is from WWI. Our guess is that it was sent to Granny by the branch of the family that emigrated to British Columbia; hence its name, Canadian Cake (click to embiggen):

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Poem About a Toad

 

In the early 1980s, a colleague and I published a poetry journal. That encouraged me to take up the writing of poetry — for a year or so, anyway. Yesterday, I was browsing my bookcase and came across a few of these poems. So I said to myself, “Self, I bet Ricochet people dig poetry, so I’ll lay this one on ‘em.”

The Spadefoot Toad

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The “Say Yes to Love” Garden Ornaments

 

After two synagogue shootings, a local Episcopalian priest joined forces with the Rabbi and other left-to-moderate clergy to encourage solidarity in spite of differences in beliefs. Soon campaign size white signs appeared upon the lawns of many in our little mountain community that say “Say No To Hate. Say Yes To Love. Love God. Love Your Neighbor.” After much thought and a couple of revisions, here are my thoughts that will likely be a letter to the editor:

The recent proliferation of the “Say Yes to Love Say No to Hate” signs are controversial because we are at a cultural moment where the various factions of our society no longer agree on what love and hate, or good and evil, consists of. A conspiratorial reading of the signs may be that love means “accept all narratives of LGBT advocacy groups without question” while hate means “voting for Donald Trump” or “robbing a woman of the same autonomy men have by advocating for the unborn.”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ricochet Solves Hong Kong

 

This is what Trump should do: Offer US citizenship to all Hong Kong and Chinese nationals who can ace English fluency and the US AP History test, and, as a condition of immigration, agree to no access to our welfare systems.

This would be a huge boost to our economy and nation, and a massive brain drain for China. Win-Win. (Bonus: the threat alone might check Chinese ambitions.)

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Right Place at the Right Time

 

Saturday evening, my wife and I were in our usual position – rocking chairs on the porch overlooking our neighbor’s hayfield and watching the lengthening shadows. Although we are nominally reading, we mostly look out at the waves across the hay. I happened to look up and saw a large bird high up in the air. It wasn’t flying like a vulture (which is a pretty common occurrence here). Then, I saw the white head and tail feathers – it was a bald eagle. We stood up and watched as it soared higher and higher until it flew west over Short Hill Mountain. It was only visible for about 30 seconds and if I hadn’t seen it in the 15 seconds it was visible from our chairs on the porch, we would have missed it.

We were in the right place at the right time.

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So before today the conspiracies have been understandably swirling about the Epstein death. Was it a murder or was it suicide? We may never know the answer. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Young Wisdom

 

“When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.” — Taylia, age 11

A collection of “childhood wisdom” graced my Facebook feed this week; this was one of the standouts, though there were several in the same vein: common-sense lessons learned early in life through personal experience. Some were in the “Things I’ll-never-try-again” category (“Never hold a Dustbuster and a cat at the same time.” — Kyoyo, age 9), and others check the “fool-me-once” box (“Don’t pull Dad’s finger when he tells you to.” — Emily, age 10). There’s even a Joe-Biden-in-training in the mix (“Never squat with your spurs on.” — Neil Kinnock, 1987).

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Everybody Knew”/”Nobody Knew”

 

You’ve read the conventional wisdom, and it usually has some truth in it. “Until December 7, 1941, nobody knew that America would get dragged into World War II.” “The A-bombing of Nagasaki was cruel and unnecessary—everybody knew the Japanese were ready to surrender after Hiroshima.” “On October 4, 1957, the Soviets stunned the world. Nobody knew they were on the brink of launching the Earth’s first artificial moon.”

You’ve read the confident cynics, too. “Everybody knew John F. Kennedy was having extramarital affairs.” “Everyone knew the reason Nixon ‘killed’ Apollo was that he was jealous of JFK’s role in starting it.” And of course, “Everybody in Hollywood knew about Harvey Weinstein. They had to know.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF #28: Scarface

 

The podcast’s going back to the great De Palma–our fifth, after The Untouchables, Blow Out, Body Double, and Carlito’s Way. You’ve got Al Pacino, cocaine, Miami, an Oliver Stone script, and the ’80s: So naturally everything goes crazy and turns into a tragedy. Scarface is both a rebuke to liberals who look at criminals as mere victims and to conservatives who look at them as failures. American liberalism–Jimmy Carter–invites immigrants on moral grounds; conservatism–capitalism–invites workers on economic grounds. But Scarface escapes both morality and business, revealing the weaknesses of an American society that cannot deal with the poor or with narco-capitalism.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Barbarians Outside and Within the Gates

 

Portland is gearing up for a potential clash between Antifa and the Proud Boys on Saturday, August 17. Some merchants and civic groups have canceled events they had planned for downtown Portland. This includes Kells Irish Pub; they had planned to hold some amateur boxing matches on Saturday. Rather ironic that.

The mayor and a disparate group of civic leaders and community organizers held an outdoor gathering pleading for calm. One Rabbi stepped up to the microphone and defended Antifa; she might have a touch of the Jesuit within her, or at the very least Father Pfleger of Chicago. She was not the only one that believes that Antifa is a defender of Portland’s virtue.

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Every time I go to New York City, I leave it saying to myself, “What an awful place!” Every time I hear the song, “New York, New York,” I plug my fingers into my ears. My parents lived there for a short time. My father practiced law there early in his career. I don’t know […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: Don’t Smile

 

Oh, how I hated those words! Nothing so annoys a young kid in a fit of anger or sadness as being told “Don’t smile!” by one’s mom. It ranks right up there with “Now shake hands” or “Hug it out.”

Dag nabbit, no, I want to pout! I want to hold a grudge. I want to cry or complain. Maybe I could even get revenge! Maybe I could languish or indulge. Hey, I’m hurt, so the world owes me a bit of selfish time!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Entry Isn’t a Right

 

There’s a great deal of outrage this week about Israel’s decision to bar two Congresswomen from entering the country. A sample of the criticism:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “But I Worked in News Media and Studied Politics!”

 

Just watched the new Crowder Change My Mind installment. I love these videos and I highly recommend watching all of them. They can be infuriating but they can also be instructive. But I’m not posting this to be an unpaid promoter. Watching the most recent video, Trump Is Not Racist: Change My Mind,

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

In 1964 the French artist Marcel Duchamp took a reproduction of the Mona Lisa, penciled in a mustache and goatee, signed the work, and sold it. Two years ago, it resold at Sotheby’s for $750,000. As amusing as the thought might be, no one would have been laughing had Duchamp taken a Sharpie to the […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. New Coaching Job Opening in Atlanta…

 

Frank DeBoer, the future former coach of Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United team, recently expressed skepticism about the equal pay demands of the the US Women’s soccer team. He points out that if they bring in the same number of fans, and the same amount of advertising, of course they’ll be paid the same. But if their draw is different, their pay is likely to be different, and he doesn’t see the problem with that. He is Dutch, so forgive the odd English in his quotes:

“I think for me, it’s ridiculous. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to [earn] and not less, just what they really deserve. If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”

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