Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Unexpected Argument for Electric Cars

 

Leaving all the politics of climate change and all that aside, here is something to take notice of.

An all-electric car that is faster than a Formula 1 car. In certain configurations, it produces more downforce in kilograms than it actually weighs.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Decide When Blowing Someone Up is the Right Thing to Do

 

It isn’t always obvious.

Of course, a priori (that’s Latin for “before we know better”), we probably want to assume that blowing someone up is not the right thing to do. This position has among its many advantages the virtue of complying with Rabbi Hillel’s famous statement of the Golden Rule: “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to another.” Most of us would consider being blown up to be “hateful” (I don’t think that’s too strong a word), so we should advocate the blowing up of others only sparingly. That just seems like good sense to me.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Highly Gratifying and Surprising Golden Globes Monologue

 

Well, this was surprising:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The King’s Counsel

 

In studying various problems, one must think well.
Even adults with good behavior
Are still subjected to distraction;
A good man can become wicked;
A modest man can become grand.
Sometimes one might mistake a horse for a donkey,
Take a goose for a duck,
Think a winged bean for a liana,
Keep the lead and toss away the silver,
Mistake engraved copper for gold.
That is why it is worth thinking,
To reason, to smell the air
To identify the flavor, the fragrance
Good or bad,
Delectable and exciting.
King Sri Dharmaraja II of Cambodia (reign 1627-1631)

Sri Dharmaraja II was born in 1601 as Prince Ponhea To to King Jaya Jettha II and his third wife. The prince was privately educated at a very young age. Well versed in Sanskrit, Pali, and Khmer, Ponhea To enjoyed poetry and history. In 1620, he was elected crown prince and heir apparent and commanded his father’s military campaign to reclaim Khmer’s territory back from Siam (Thailand). He was quite successful, but to his father’s great disappointment, he could not take Ayudhya. At the same time, his father betrothed him to his step-sister, Bupphavati (the daughter of his step-mother from her previous marriage). In 1623, Ponhea To was ordained as a monk. He found he rather enjoyed his life as a monk, so much that he announced his decision to spend the rest of his life as such. He was still adamant about his decision even after his father passed away in 1625. The throne was then offered to his uncle Prince Uday (his father’s younger brother), but Uday declined the offer. Instead, Uday acted as his nephew’s regent, hoping Ponhea To would change his decision later. In 1627, Ponhea To finally disrobed and left the monkhood and assumed the throne as Sri Dharmaraja Suryavarman II. But a while back when he was still a monk, his uncle married Bupphavati, his former fiancée.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Creative Destruction, the American Way

 

The Republicans have been “over the target” for three years, led by President Donald Trump, and that’s a great outcome. Their efforts have been hit and miss (such as not getting a healthcare bill and immigration bills passed). But it’s been clear for a while that the Democrats’ hysterical and irrational behavior is an indicator that the swamp is being drained, bit by bit.

For many of us, watching this slow, chaotic process unfold is unnerving. So much can happen while policies, traditions, and plans are being disassembled. Yet this slow-motion unfolding, when studied carefully, is encouraging for the future.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. One-Hit Wonders of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s

 

I don’t think we’ve had enough arguing recently on Ricochet. So here are my picks for best one-hit wonders for three decades. I’m sure you will all agree. Or not.

1960s

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Resolved: Hate Crime is Not a Significant Problem in the US

 

I put forward the resolution above for debate, along the lines of an “Intelligence Squared” program. I’m going to start by taking the “For” position, meaning that I will argue in favor of the resolution.

Here are my calculations, generally following the format of an Anti-Defamation League press release issued on November 12, except that I am accurately and dispassionately reporting the actual data. As we’ll see below, the ADL chose a different approach.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump Should Go Full Colonel Jessup on His Critics

 

This president’s enemies hate him so much that, no matter what action he takes, they will find a way to criticize him for it. The classic example is Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy’s tweets over the past few days. On 31 December, Murphy was bemoaning the fact that Trump’s blunders in the Middle East had emboldened Iran to attack our embassy:

Murphy Tweet

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Comic Relief: A Modicum of Snuff Answers the Me Too Movement

 

Director Terry Gilliam: I’m Tired of White Men Being Blamed for Everything Wrong with the World

In an interview that breaks every rule of the Hollywood PR handbook, iconoclastic filmmaker Terry Gilliam said that white men are unfairly blamed for everything that is wrong in the world and that the #MeToo movement has become a witch hunt as well as an excuse for some women to avoid taking responsibility for poor decisions.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Are the Central Principles of the American Founding?

 

I’ve been developing a hypothesis about the central founding principles of America. I was inspired by a recent National Review Institute discussion on nationalism between Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg, moderated by Jim Geraghty. (It’s a good discussion, about 30 minutes long, here.) At around 5:10, Goldberg said:

Now, I heard Tucker [Carlson] earlier, or at least bits and pieces of him, love Tucker, been friends with him for 25 years I think he is completely wrong when he said that bit about how “all I’m asking for is a goal, what we want as a nation is a goal, what’s our goal. You can’t solve a problem unless you have a goal.” The goal of the American experiment is frickin’ liberty. [Applause.] And my idea of, the pursuit of happiness is an individual right. Nationalism tends to trample that and define the pursuit of happiness as a collective thing. That’s dangerous.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ave Atque Vale, Thou Bleak Midwinter of My Discontent!

 

As most of you know, I’m British. And as such, I generally try to keep a pretty stiff upper lip about things. Not to whine unduly. And when I do whine, I try to whine at the person or people who are at the root of my dissatisfaction or unhappiness, or in the case of “things” that unsettle me, at the person or people who can actually do something about them. Thus my recent encounter with Highmark Insurance, who abruptly cancelled Mr. She’s Medicare Advantage plan because of “your failure to pay your bill for several months.” Big mistake. By the time I’d finished “whining” at them, I’d gotten matters corrected, his coverage reinstated and backdated, and an abject and fulsome apology from the Assistant to the CEO. The next day, I cancelled Mr. She’s Highmark Insurance, and signed him up with UPMC. A petty revenge, perhaps, but sweet nonetheless.

Which is all a roundabout way of saying that I’m not very good at passive-aggression, as (for better or worse) my behavior generally tends towards the denominator, rather than the numerator, of the fractional representation of the whole number that is my life. Passive-aggression, has just never been my style. Usually, if you’ve ticked me off, or (in my estimation) treated me poorly, you’ll hear about it from me directly. Doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to, though. If there’s a real point of contention at the center of our disagreement, hopefully we can sort it out between ourselves, without outside meddling. Hopefully. Because I was brought up to believe that’s how it’s done.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Do Those Wanting to Transform an Institution Almost Always Claim the Institution…

 

. . .and the people who want to preserve what the institution has stood for must leave and create a new institution to preserve the values of the old institution?

The United Methodist Church, which I recently joined in the hopes of avoiding just such a fracturing, has before it a proposal to split over whether to adhere to traditional church teaching. Although the triggering issue is listed as human sexuality, sexuality is merely the surface issue for a much deeper conflict over many aspects of traditional church doctrine, the authority of scripture, the value of traditions, and questions of how God has related to His people throughout history. But this is not the thread in which to discuss the specifics of the Methodist controversy. For better details on the Methodist proposal, go to the thread entitled, “This Week in the UMC” by @philo and scroll down to Comment #79 by @jimchase.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘I’m Not Mourning’: A Short Study of Moral Relativism

 

An anonymous Chicago cop expresses my sentiments to perfection when it comes to the purveyors of intended, and unintended mayhem. I’ve seen my share of both, and I’ve seen the anguish that both bring. That doesn’t make me a hero, but I’m fairly discerning when it comes to nonsense. I know it when I hear it, whether it is the preening of the political class, or the chattering from the academic class.

“So what? We can’t get felony approval for anything without finding twenty witnesses, a dozen surveillance cameras, a victim interview, the offender’s mother’s statement AND a confession on video…..and even then, it’s probably going to be a C.I. [Continuing Investigation] until such time as God himself descends from Heaven to declare ‘This [redacted] is GUILTY and has forfeited his eternal reward.’” – Anonymous Chicago Police Officer

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What I Love About Ricochet: No $exting

 

@blueyeti promised us in Ricochet’s recent Focus Group that “We also do not sell your email addresses or anything else to third parties even though we get asked about it on a regular basis.” As testimony to how good Yeti’s promise is, let me share what happened right after I subscribed to some other well-known right-wing outlet (which shall remain nameless) just this fall. I’ve been a Ricochet member for years. And for years, the partisan demands on my money have been negligible. Few emails, no texts. Life was good. Then, I signed up at that other right-wing outlet:

Now random politicians won’t stop $exting me. You know what I’m talking about. $exting. Those endless texts demanding money, burning up your phone faster than you can block them. Various personas claiming to be “Newt” or “Mitch” or “Scalise” take credit for sending them, though it’s hard to imagine the sender as anyone other than some pitiable peon of a staffer or intern, unhappily grinding out the wheedling that’s below everyone else’s pay grade.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Part of ‘Loyal’ Opposition Do You Not Understand?

 

The leaders of each of the two parties from both the Senate and House of Representatives, and the chairs and ranking minority members of both the Senate Committee and House Committee for intelligence, form the “Gang of Eight.” They often are informed by the Executive of developing matters that may result in US actions abroad. Speaker Pelosi has complained that Trump did not consult her in advance of the assassination of Soleimani. But what of her actions in the past few years suggest that she would not use advance information to frustrate Executive action?

You might believe that disrupting an Executive action is the right thing to do for the country. But the most important “right thing to do for the country” is to respect the constitutional authority granted by the people to the President. This Pelosi does not, and will not do. Thus, the justified suspicion that providing the Speaker with any advanced information could result in an action of partisan advantage even to the detriment of national interests.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Lebanon? Wasn’t This About Iraq? A Brief Note to the Perplexed.

 

I thought it noteworthy that an unnamed Pentagon source claims that “an Army brigade” has been put on alert for Lebanon:

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq to train Iraqi forces and help in the fight against Islamic State group militants. Defense officials who discussed the new troop movements spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by the Pentagon. A Pentagon official who was not authorized to be identified said the U.S. also had placed an Army brigade on alert to fly into Lebanon to protect the American Embassy. U.S. embassies also issued a security alert for Americans in Bahrain, Kuwait and Nigeria.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Limping to Victory

 

He was the only man in the Continental Army who served as a general throughout the whole Revolutionary War, except for George Washington. He never won a major battle. One of his early decisions cost Washington almost half his army. A good part of the war, he was a “desk soldier,” champing at the bit to be allowed another battle command. Outside of Washington, there is no one more responsible for the army’s success.

On the surface, it would have seemed that Nathanael Greene had little chance to become a great military leader. He was born into a Quaker sect that not only opposed war but discouraged “literary accomplishments.” From childhood, he walked with a decided limp. His father was a successful farmer and smith with a large foundry.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Peace and Evil

 

“If peace cannot be maintained with honor, it is no longer peace.” – Lord John Russell

“The left doesn’t fight evil; it fights those who do.” – Dennis Prager

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The DC Bubble and the FBI

 

I’ve just finished making my way through “Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation,” the 480-page report issued by the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Justice in December 2019. While it will take a while to pull together my complete thoughts on the report, there is one issue I wanted to mention now because it is so striking throughout the document.

During Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI often relied upon “open source” materials to assist in its investigation. These materials usually consisted of articles published in newspapers and magazines. It turns out most of the materials in those open sources came from information planted by representatives of the Clinton campaign, particularly Glenn Simpson of Fusion/GPS, and Christopher Steele who was hired by Fusion/GPS and produced the “Steele Dossier.”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Best Decade Ever

 

Saw this courtesy of WSJ’s Best of the Web Today column:

Efficiencies in agriculture mean the world is now approaching ‘peak farmland’ — despite the growing number of people and their demand for more and better food, the productivity of agriculture is rising so fast that human needs can be supplied by a shrinking amount of land. In 2012, Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University and his colleagues argued that, thanks to modern technology, we use 65 per cent less land to produce a given quantity of food compared with 50 years ago. By 2050, it’s estimated that an area the size of India will have been released from the plough and the cow.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Winter Turning to Summer of Discontent?

 

There is a useful fiction that “politics stops at the water’s edge,” but that has always been only a fiction. So, we should not be surprised that politics drive divergent responses to the death of a terrorist mastermind, an actual general, with a real uniform, in the “terror war.” At the same time, we should be cautioned by the contrast between the opening lines of Richard III and the end. It was not just a rapid change of political weather, but also of the seasons, as winter turned to summer only to turn back to winter for the house of York.

Remember that the line after “now is the winter of our discontent” is “made glorious summer by this sun of York.” At the time, the Duke of Lancaster and the supporters of his house, might have said, “now is the summer of our repose made gloomy winter by this storm from York.” So it has always been with political power. “Can’t we all get along?” Not when there are even the smallest stakes (see Henry Kissinger’s (?) snark about academic internal politics).

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Play the Kazoo and Win a Jigsaw Puzzle

 

After I retired, I made wooden jigsaw puzzles for twenty or so years and sold them monthly at a Portland craft fair. I’m now done with all that, but I have a few puzzles left over. Here is one of them: I call it Democrats Gather for Photo Shoot Before Debate. I’m giving it as a prize to the Ricocheter with the most talent.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Journalism: The Obama Era vs. the Trump Era

 

CNN reports that “President Trump dined on ice cream as news of the air strike broke.”

Meanwhile, we still don’t know what President Obama was enjoying for dinner as our Ambassador and aides died in Benghazi.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Lessons from an SJW Mob (or, Horror in Romancelandia)

 

Isolate the target. That’s the first rule of mobbing. But who knew it would result in so many targets?

My sister and I are writers. She’s romance, I’m mystery. We’re both members of Romance Writers of America (RWA). So, when a fairly big-name romance writer, Courtney Milan, was censured by RWA for cyberbullying, we got curious about what was going on. We got even more curious when Milan’s gang turned on the RWA board and got most to resign, ruined the reputation of the gay man who became president, and seems on the verge of taking down the 9,000+ member organization.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Morgan’s Masterpiece

 

I don’t often read fiction anymore and hardly ever unless it has a historical context. Recently, I was convinced to order a copy of Oliver North’s book. It is a prequel to some other novels he has written and is titled The Rifleman (no, it has nothing to do Chuck Conners – might have dated myself on that one). I have only begun reading the book, but I am looking forward to it capturing (I hope) the flavor of one of my very favorite Revolutionary heroes, Daniel Morgan.

But the novel has caused me to dig up something that I wrote in another place and time with Morgan more or less at the center. I might have retouched it slightly since it was written in a darker time during the first term of Fearless Leader Obama and it is hardly intended to be a definitive piece.

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