Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Have the Media Lost Their Mojo?

 

Listening to Andrew Klavan’s podcast has opened my eyes to how the American media complex – from news to entertainment – has promoted a monolithic political narrative. We may look back on the past four years as the time the media finally lost their power to create and maintain their desired narrative.

The most obvious example is the 2016 election. The election of Donald Trump caught every news outlet completely by surprise. As far as I know, only Salena Zito and Molly Hemingway understood what was happening and predicted his upset over Hillary. After the election, I quit watching cable news – even my favorite show, Bret Baier’s “Special Report.” I realized that all the pundits pontificating so confidently don’t know a dang thing. I’m sure they’re quite intelligent, but they are stupefyingly ignorant.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Self-Medication in a Time of Plague

 

Chloroquine has been mentioned widely as a treatment for COVID-19 and President Trump recently mentioned it favorably. There is some in vitro science and mechanistic support for this use (it exhibits antiviral properties against both SARS and COVID-19 coronaviruses), demonstrated clinical utility in SARS, and shows promise in use against COVID-19.

Like many human drugs, it also has veterinary use, and one example of this has hit the headlines. Not only have the usual MSM sources done their usual sterling job of reportorial misfeasance and malfeasance, (combined with Blame Trump, of course) the conservative snarkitariate has been spreading the fake news, demonstrating the wisdom of the old advice to engage brain before putting mouth in gear.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Part 2: Atomic Terror Over the African Coast

 

Pour a beverage, turn down the lights, and pull up a chair! Tonight, we continue the adventure we began last night, the thirteenth series of Ricochet Silent Radio, fan fiction about Ricochet members written as scripts inspired by the spirit of old-time radio. This week’s three-part tall tale is Atomic Terror Over the African Coast.

In the first episode, physicist and Midwestern tycoon Hank Rhody has told his covert team about a 40-year-old South African prototype nuclear weapon on the verge of being sold to the highest terrorist bidder. ”Hank the Bank” is the mastermind and paymaster of the complex international scheme to secure and remove it. The rest of the top-notch team is known to any astute Ricochet reader.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Work of Millennia

 

When some prehistoric man, wounded and hungry (as he always was), stepped out onto the plain, he could find around him what he needed to survive. He could find plants and animals to eat, and those plants and animals would provide him with just enough energy to find more plants and animals, and when a little energy was left over, he could find some material to shelter him from the elements.

But of course, the animals didn’t lay down and offer themselves to him. The rocks cleaved to the earth; the plants tried to hold fast in the ground. The sad fact is that work was required. Work, stone-cold work, made the difference between life and death. But at least he could do it. And with each hard meal, and with each driving rain or bitter cold snap that he passed warm and dry, prehistoric man gained another day. But only having another day was not enough to satisfy him, not enough to convince him to rest.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Outsider’s Ode to America

 

Snow is blowing in from the west across the country road I’m walking on, which runs north-south, leading to the county airport. Not much snow though — if I took a photo I could probably count flakes. To my right (west) is a cornfield that rolls like chocolate that has melted and solidified again. It has the texture of bran — in dips where the rain has settled that’s exactly what it looks like — and is the same color a Labrador would be if you covered it in hair gel. Nothing tall is growing on it, so I have a clear view across to Walmart.

To my left is another field intersected about halfway — about 50 feet from where I am — by a 10-foot-high black wire fence that runs the perimeter of the airport and that Bill — my American father in law — says cost millions to build. I believe him. It must be five miles long. At this end, I once saw two coyotes cross like meteors in dim evening light. They were heading northeast at the speed of a marathoner pacing himself. They ran like they owned the world.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Rage and Realization

 

“There is a story of a great Samurai who comes to visit the Zen master, Hakuin. The Samurai approaches the Zen master and bows dutifully, asking, ‘Sir, I wish to understand the difference between heaven and hell.’ The Zen master looks at the Samurai and, eyeing him from head to toe, says, ‘I would tell you but I doubt that you have the keenness of wit to understand.’ The Samurai pulls back in astonishment. ‘Do you know who you are speaking to?’ he huffs. ‘Not much,” says the Zen master, “I really think you are probably too dull to understand.’ ‘What?’ says the Samurai. ‘How can you talk to me like this?’ ‘Oh, don’t be silly,’ says the Zen master. ‘Who do you think you are? And that thing hanging by your waist. You call that a sword? It’s more like a butter knife.’ The Samurai, becoming enraged draws his sword and raises it over his head to strike the Zen master. ‘Ah,’ says the Zen master. ‘That is hell.’ The Samurai’s eyes shine with recognition as he bows and sheathes his sword. ‘And that,’ says the Zen master, ‘is heaven.’” — Stephen Levine, Who Dies?

Stress is running through America like a restless stream, breaching its boundaries. Unless you live in a cave, you’re not immune. And the stress craves a voice, a way to make itself known. It shows up when we voice our impatience at our spouse, or yell at a child for a minor issue, or rant at a co-worker. Many of our actions may be bloodless, but they are leaving tiny wounds in those we care about. Those of us who normally have long fuses are erupting, surprising ourselves and those around us.

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Trump Economic Adviser Stephen Moore (Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal, and Cato Inst.) joins Dave to discuss how bad the economic fallout will be as businesses shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Will banks clamp down on lending? How can we reopen the economy? What will the impact be on Election 2020? And why Donald Trump would be wise learning the lessons from Barak Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Plus a couple of questions from Ricochet members.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Great Society: A New History with Amity Shlaes

 

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, a conversation with author and historian Amity Shlaes on her new book, Great Society: A New History. Begun by John F. Kennedy and completed by Lyndon B. Johnson, the Great Society was one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation ever enacted in American history. On its surface, the Great Society was a plan to reduce rural and urban poverty, but at its roots were the socialist and communist movements of the 1930s. Shlaes shares the history of those movements and lays out how they influenced the post–World War II generation of American politicians, including lesser-remembered figures such as Sargent Shriver, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Walter Reuther. In addition, the Great Society was a harbinger of many of the policies and ideas that are in vogue today, including Universal Basic Income and Medicare for All. Shlaes also argues that what the Great Society’s marquee policy initiative, the War on Poverty, and the new flood of benefits actually achieved “was the opposite of preventing poverty—they established a new kind of poverty, a permanent sense of downtroddenness.” Shlaes proves that, once again, policies and laws with the best of intentions often have the opposite effect.

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This episode is about an American warship that carries on the name and the work of an American warrior. The ship and her crew operate in more than 48 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The area is more than 14 times the size of the continental United States; it includes 36 maritime countries, 50% of the world’s population, and the world’s 5 largest foreign armed forces.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Respecting Work: The Wisdom of “The Essential Craftsman”

 

There’s a story about a young man who hopes someday to be an airline pilot. Having to pursue his dream “from the ground up,” he finds himself servicing the lavatories for small jets on a private ramp. Employed by a penny-pinching manager, there’s an unresolved repair ticket on the waste pump hose. Due to this malfunction, about once a week the young man gets sprayed with a combination of “blue-juice” and human waste. One evening he comes home after work, stinking of disinfectant and poo. His bride suggests that maybe he should look for a new job. “What!” he exclaims, incredulously, “and get out of aviation?”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why a Federal Lockdown Won’t Work

 

Always playing the red vs. blue game, I’ve seen countless blue state friends posting this map from the Washington Post about compliance with “social distancing” orders, as tracked with cell phone data.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Week’s Book Review – Catastrophe at Spithead

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Path is Gone

 

The Path is Gone

The way through the forest seemed sure
the light on the peak shined pure,
but then, the path was gone.

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Here on the mighty GLoP Podcast, we were social distancing long before social distancing was cool. Usually by at least a few hundred miles. As you would expect, this one is a riff on a single topic: interpretative dance and its effect on western civilization. Nah, you know what the GLoP-heads are going to freestyle on this week. So, wash your hands, settle in and hopefully have some laughs on us.

 

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Democrats try to exploit coronavirus bill for their own political gain, plus Jon Gabriel from Ricochet on how Arizona is handling the outbreak and an update on the coming election in the Grand Canyon State.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Duration: The Notary and the Turkey

 

I dropped off my taxes and got the will notarized. I suppose the first is an expression of faith in the future, right? I’m always mailing the returns on the 14th, and it’s nice to imagine myself explaining for the 32nd time to my wife why I’ve waited until the last minute – but this time it’s a sunny day in July. 

Before setting out, check the supplies. Gloves, just in case? Yes. Sanitizer? Yes — no wait it’s not in my pocket what happened, this is like living in a fallout zone and losing your iodine tablets

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Greater Love Has No One Than This….

 

Father Giuseppi Berardelli died in Italy from the Coronavirus. He was a Catholic priest. To the world, he was an average victim; that is, a senior citizen of around seven decades old, or 72 as they say in normal tongue. But there was nothing normal about this man.

Fr. Berardelli contracted the Coronavirus this month and was severely stricken by it. His parishioners saved up and bought a ventilator for him to aid his recovery. In an extraordinary act of self-sacrifice, the padre asked that his ventilator be given to a younger man in the hospital other than him. He did so knowing he could pay the ultimate price for it.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. RSR 13! Atomic Terror Over the African Coast

 

Pour a beverage, turn down the lights, and pull up a chair! Tonight, we begin the thirteenth series of Ricochet Silent Radio, fan fiction about Ricochet members written as scripts inspired by the spirit of old-time radio. This week’s three-part tall tale is Atomic Terror Over the African Coast, a tip of the hat in tribute to veteran RSR star Hank Rhody’s own 2016 entry in imaginary media, Atomic Terror Over the Pacific. We’ve recruited a few more feature performers from the overstocked pool of fascinating characters on the Member Feed, and we’re always looking for a few more!

Plus, of course, we’ll never neglect RSR’s longtime audience favorites. In view of the ongoing national emergency, this program may be interrupted by Ricochet editors at any time for news bulletins. Our sponsors will present this program with minimal commercial interruptions.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 64: COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place”

 

Today the screengrab is featuring a different data site: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus. I am also focusing on the death count because, to the first order, the fear of catastrophic death counts is what is driving the politicians to restrict liberty for their various populations. While politicians seek praise, they fear blame.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 12 Weeks

 

This is approximately how long my business can run with no revenue on the amount of liquid cash assets I have on hand. 12 weeks. What is at the end of that 12 weeks? Unknown. At that time, will we be in a recovery phase enough to plod on? Will sufficient revenue return to dig out of the pit of the Wuhan reckoning? Will there be enough cash left to pay the IRS in July? Or will 12 weeks result in little change and I just walk away and lock the doors, let the bank have my building back, wish my employees well in their lives and bid adieu to 15 years of sweat equity?

My husband and I work together…we often tell how we started our business in 2005 with two laptops (bought on credit), a donated desk ,and a card table in a shared office space. I left a job in government with a guaranteed paycheck and benefits to join my husband on this adventure. (Our four young children at the time didn’t know how lean those years were.) We started with no employees, existed on a bank credit line, then hired one employee, then two, rented our own space….survived 2008-2010 recession…hired a third employee…bought our own building….hired more employees…opened additional locations…hired more employees…plowed our “profits” right back into our business in salaries and development and hiring of staff, expansion, and buying goods and services from other businesses.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s the Culture, Stupid! How We Got the Wuhan Coronavirus

 

With Novel Coronavirus spreading like wildfire everywhere in the world now, perhaps you are wondering where this virus came from in the first place. You might wish to know how it was that last fall in China, someone in the medical establishment there noticed some cases of a particularly nasty pneumonia cropping up around Hubei Province in central China; the capital city of Wuhan in particular.

Let’s start, then, at the beginning. Chinese culture is very old, going back many centuries, and many of the culinary characteristics of today’s China are throwbacks to a much more primitive time. In the long past, like in most countries, the Chinese people lived closer to the forests. In those forests lived many species of animals, and the people killed and ate those animals. When the Chinese people became more civilized and moved into villages and then into cities, they brought many of their culinary tastes with them. Chinese people today still have a taste for unusual foods like pangolin, bats, and shark fins. It is well-known that Chinese will pay good money for some very unusual foods, and that has led to their encouraging of poaching of some endangered species.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. From the Police Blotter: The Wrong Buyers

 

Portland Police Bureau photo
From the Oregonian:

Police say they’ve arrested a man accused of trying to sell thousands of face masks intended for hospital workers that were stolen earlier this month. Police said someone took 20 to 25 cases of N95 respirator masks from The ReBuilding Center in North Portland on March 7. Each case contained 400 masks.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. In Defense of Kids During Quarantine

 

Parenting in the middle of a pandemic is hard. Kids are going stir crazy and struggling without the routines they’re used to in school or daycare. It’s not like a weekend; they can’t go to the local playground, mall, store, and in some places around the country, even a park. And so, parents are losing patience with kids (understandable and justified behavior). They’re at their wit’s end trying to work while managing childcare and the schoolwork that schools are sending home. Parents are frazzled, and it’s taking the form of 1,001 memes about how awful this experience is with kids underfoot.

I’d like to say a word in defense of kids, and specifically, of having them during this crisis. I thought about this post while nursing my baby to sleep this afternoon. I put my phone down and snuggled and kissed her for a few minutes before putting her to bed. There is scientific research that pinpoints the hormonal high this gives parents, and boy, in low moments, it’s really nice having a way to do a shot of oxy. Oxytocin, that is.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus Graphs Update: Pray for the Big Apple

 

There has been a very significant increase in reported WuFlu cases out of New York City during the last few days. I’ve been monitoring the spread of this disease carefully for a bit over a week, and this new NYC data has been the greatest cause for concern that I have observed. I had to find a new data source to address this, from Johns Hopkins (technical note in the comments).

Pray for New York. Pray for Gov. Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio to lead the people of NYC with wisdom and resolve. Pray for President Trump, and other federal authorities, to provide them with the assistance that they may need.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On the Media and Asking the Right Questions

 

I always thought that one of the basic jobs of a reporter is supposed to be asking questions. Don’t just report a bunch of random facts or assertions; look at them and see if they suggest something meaningful, or maybe something that remains unexplained. Just today I’ve seen three different news stories that leave me with questions that I would have thought were obvious. But nobody asked them.

First: today Fox News breathlessly announces that the U.S. has passed 35,000 cases, making it the “third-highest infected nation in the world,” after China and Italy. But comparing the absolute number of infections across three nations with vastly different total populations is utterly meaningless. Since the U.S. is, in fact, the third most populous nation on the planet, having the third-highest number of infections is exactly what you would expect, neither particularly good or bad. The unasked question, of course, is why Italy, which is twenty-third in total population, should be in the top three. That seems to me to be very important, and far more significant than the “dog bites man” story that the third-largest nation has the third-highest number of infections.

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