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Where’s Your Hill?

 

When Roy Moore was in the process of being brought down in the Alabama Senate race last December, the standard response from the establishment side of the GOP was, “Look, Moore is a nutcase. This is not a court of law. There is no due process or presumption of innocence. He’s not the hill you want to die on.”

When Alex Jones was purged off of social media the response was, “This is not a government action, but the actions of private individuals. Besides, he’s a nutcase and this is not the hill you want to die on.”

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Reality Check: Adolescent Males

 

When the Kavanaugh story broke I made the comment that, whether or not the account is believable, it isn’t a sufficiently big deal to warrant preventing his confirmation. Since then I’ve read and heard several comments, including in conservative media, to the effect that these are “serious allegations” that, if true, would certainly disqualify Kavanaugh.

I disagree. I think we are witnessing a preening, unrealistic outrage rooted in a fantasy of how humans are supposed to behave. Life isn’t a fairy tale, never less so than when it involves intoxicated, scantily clad teens cavorting without adult supervision.

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Slow Down, Already!

 

We were all going at least 80 when I saw the couch tumble off the back of the pickup and roll down the fast lane. The car in front of me (the only one between my SUV and the couch) couldn’t dodge it. The eruption of wood, stuffing, and fabric was something else. The truck didn’t even slow down.

Already moving into the emergency lane to avoid the remnants, I slowed as the hit car limped over just in front of me. The poor driver was a young man of about 30. He was obviously in shock, with abrasions on his arm from the exploding air bag. His phone was somewhere in the back seat so I called 911.

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Moonstruck and the Greater Good

 

Seems many a story here on Ricochet revolve around travel and doing my fair share of traveling I am compelled to share. I was on my way back home recently and traveling through Charlotte airport. It was a normal Friday mid-afternoon flight returning to Ronald Reagan International Airport. I had a short layover and moved quickly to my gate.

Once there the incoming plane has just landed and folks were getting off allowing me time to survey my world or turn on the oh so entertaining people watching system. We had the usual array of folks around the gate: recreational travelers, traveling pilots and flight attendants, military folks, families needing some assistance, disabled needing assistance and of course businessmen talking on their phones via Bluetooth (life and death decisions, I am sure) making those around them glance sideways ensuring the businessmen weren’t talking to them.

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Kavanaugh: “I Will Not Be Intimidated”

 

Brett Kavanaugh sent a letter to the Republican and Democrat leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. In it, he calls the allegations against him “smears, pure and simple” and “grotesque and obvious character assassination.”

He also restated his intention to follow through on his nomination. “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh writes. “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.” Below is the text in full.

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The Most Informed vs. the Least Informed

 

“…I used to think that it was the most informed people in America who were going to save the country. And I’ve started to think maybe it’s the least informed people in America who are going to save the country, because those of us who are the most informed are busy smacking each other across the head on a regular basis.” — Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro had an interesting interview with Glenn Beck, who came across as more likable than I often find him. Perhaps it’s that he’s selling a new book. But a worthwhile conversation.

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Cannonball

 

View original artwork here.

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Is Life a Tale Told by an Idiot? Probably.

 

My favorite political commentator, Dennis Prager, recently argued (Explaining the Left) that the hard political Left in the US and most intellectuals in Europe have abandoned traditional religions. To replace what they’ve abandoned, they’ve adopted a false religion of left wing political activism. Prager’s thesis makes a lot of sense to me.

Unhappily, Prager’s unflattering portrait of the Left’s lack of religious affiliations also describes me. That is, what he says of the Left—they have no God, believe most of the Bible is myth, and that death brings oblivion—is what I believe.

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Order … It’s Not What I Thought

 

Order? Order, you say? It is something I used to strive for in my life. I diligently worked to have everything turn out how I thought it ought to for quite a while. I was a young married woman, with a son, a job, and some plans. Then, we had baby number two. We were delighted to have her. She had a rocky first few months because of colic, and there were a few times when I actually had to just hand her over to Dad, and go outside and walk around a bit because I was exhausted from the crying. But, she overcame that, too, and was a precocious and adorable baby.

When she was about nine months old, I discovered to my shock, that one can get pregnant while nursing a baby. So, our third child was born when our son was three, and his first sister was sixteen months old. A funny thing happened: it was easier to deal with three children than two. I don’t know why. Maybe it was that I’d already figured out how to handle more than one child, or maybe it was because the older two could entertain each other for minutes at a time, allowing me the chance to change a diaper, or get a drink of water. By this time, of course, I was no longer working outside our home. But I was the Queen of the Castle, for sure. (By the way, the total children count is five.)

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Quote of the Day: “The Cat Is on the Mat”

 

Every once in a while, I’ll pick a date for one of these “Quote of the Day” posts because it resonates with me. It’s a special date for me, or it’s the anniversary of something, or the memorial of something, or a famous date in history, or something else I want to write about. But more often than not, I pick a date at random, and then back into a subject, either as one strikes me, or by noodling around on the web until I find something interesting. I like that. I like finding something to write about that I otherwise wouldn’t, and then having to take a stab at it.

So, here we are on September 23. And Wikipedia has bailed me out again: Today is the 218th birthday of one William Holmes McGuffey, probably the most illustrious and best-known citizen of the small hamlet of Claysville, just a few miles down the road from Chez She, out here in the wilds of Western Pennsylvania.

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Poor Unfortunate Soles, Part 2: The Fit

 

I know that in the past my shoes were nasty.
I wasn’t kidding when I said they hurt, well, like a witch.
But you’ll find that nowadays, I’ve mended all my ways,
Repented, seen the light, and made a switch.

It’s time for part two of our series, and this post will address measuring and fitting. Some may find this an odd place to start — surely arch supports are more important, right? Sure, proper support of the underside of the foot is important, but the dirty secret that shoe people are loath to divulge is that putting an orthotic in a $30 shoe that fits correctly will result in a happier customer than a $300 high-end shoe that doesn’t fit. So before we can fit the nooks and crannies of the bottom of one’s feet, we have to address the other five surfaces.

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How to Build a Computer 10001: Binary

 

We’ve just come off a long saunter through the manufacturing process. We’ll go back soon enough I promise you, but I figured that we could stand a changeup. We’ll be visiting the wild and wonderful world of binary today. Despite what you may have been told there will be math.

The 10 Types of People in This World

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Eric Edelman on Restoring American Leadership in the World

 

The Hertog Scholar at the Center for Strategic Studies, Eric Edelman has had a distinguished career in government, having served as ambassador to Turkey and to Finland, and as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the George W. Bush administration. In this Conversation, Edelman reflects on increasing threats to the U.S.-led international order and considers the dangerous consequences of a continued decline in America’s geopolitical position and influence. Edelman also shares his perspective on how America can strengthen its resolve and commitment to lead in the world.

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Speaking of Assault

 

View original artwork here.

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Delay and Humiliate

 

I’ve had enough.

My husband and I have been on vacation for 10 days, so I’ve not been on Ricochet very much, but it’s hard to ignore the hysteria of the mainstream media and the hand-wringing of the right-leaning media. After reading parts of the letter from Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney Saturday at the last 2:30 pm deadline, I think the path forward for Republicans is obvious.

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Book Review: Hidden and Triumphant

 

Hidden and Triumphant: The Underground Struggle to Save Russian Iconography, by Irina Yazykova (translated by Paul Grenier), is a short work on how Russian Orthodox iconography, and indeed Christianity itself, survived the Soviets, found renewal in the Russian diaspora, survived the Nazis, spread into the greater Orthodox diaspora abroad, and returned home to its roots. As destructive as the Soviets were in their closure, desecration, and demolition of churches, not only were they unable to ever entirely squelch Christianity, but the very people they exiled were able to maintain the faith and provide outside inspiration and support to their people trapped within their homeland.

That traditional iconography survived the Soviets is remarkable in itself, yet that it survived at all as more than a novelty or as primitive folk art is just as significant. Iconography, introduced during the conversion of Kievan Rus by Byzantium, developed its own Russian voice and style in the centuries after Byzantium’s conquest by the Ottomans, entering into a sort of golden age under such masters as Rublev during the 16th and 17th centuries. Yet first, due to the schism with the Old Believers, and especially under the modernizing reforms of Peter the Great, much of that history was deliberately destroyed or hidden away. From the time of Peter up until the eve of the disaster of World War I, Russian liturgical art was very often little distinguished from that of western European styles, save that its topics remained Orthodox and Russian in character. Older, traditional icons, blackened with age and soot, were removed and relegated to barns or backwater churches far from the artistic centers of the major cities, and nearly the only practitioners of traditional iconography were rural artists or peasants. Yet in that final generation before the Great War, these old masters were being rediscovered as these older panels were unearthed, cleaned, and restored, often for the first time in centuries, and Russian artists set about re-appraising their older traditions.

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Providing a Service People Want Isn’t “Exploitation”

 

A Harvard survey last month found that a slim majority of millennials reject capitalism, and with the quality of media reporting about business and the economy, it’s not hard to guess why. (Not to mention the pitiful state of economics education in public high schools.) The Washington Post published a story today that perfectly illustrates the extent of the problem in a single sentence.

The story is about single women in China who have passed their early 20s without a husband, which they say brings shame to their families and have turned to “love markets” as a last resort. Turns out that some entrepreneurs have started companies to help these women find husbands. These are more than dating websites. The companies train the women in man-finding techniques and search cities to help them locate eligible men.

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Happy Birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!

 

Today, September 22, is the birthday of the cousins Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

Bilbo adopted Frodo after his parents fell out of a boat (a very un-hobbitish place to be) and drowned when he was just a lad. Bilbo recognized that he and Frodo ought to band together against Sackville-Bagginses and their ilk, and took Frodo into his home, Bag End, and under his wing.

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Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma’am!

 

I’m starting this draft on Friday.

I spent the majority of this week up in Miami for a conference. I stayed in a nice little hotel a stone’s throw from Trump Doral. It’s a niche place called “La Quinta Inn.” I brought a 35-pound kettlebell and a 25-pound mace, so early mornings and evenings were spent grappling with physics.

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The Exterminators Are Coming Today

 

Pests, be not proud, though some have called thee
Grotesque and dreadful, for though thou art so,
Those whom thou think’st thou canst overthrow
Stay yet, poor Pests, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From poisonous gas, which but your end shall be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men shall bid thee go,
Rest of your wings, and foul livery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, children, and men,
And dost by poison, squishing, and vinegar die,
And politicians can annoy us just as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short visit past, you leave eternally
And pests shall be no more; Pests, thou shalt die.

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