The dark silhouetted trees appeared illusory, as if in a dream through the light fog, their irregular heights capping the rolling Alabama landscape on I-85 north of Montgomery. The cab's interior was awash in the soft green glow of the gauges, gadgets and screens adorning the instrument panel. Sunrise was three hours away yet, leaving a bit of quiet time to negotiate an endless supply of construction zones, and avoid haphazardly placed orange barrels while sorting through competing waves of thought and reflection.
"Patience," as Ambrose Bierce flirtatiously advised us, is, "A minor form...
Raising concerns about consumer privacy, California’s health exchange has given insurance agents the names and contact information for tens of thousands of people who went online to check out coverage but didn’t ask to be contacted.
The Covered California exchange said it started handing out this consumer information this week as part of a pilot program to help people enroll ahead of a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance...
Dr. Ragini Verma, professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, has published a study in the Proceeedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which she mapped differences in the wiring of male and female brains, using a technique called diffusion tensor imaging. The study was conducted in order to provide better treatment for neurological disorders, but the findings are intriguing for another reason: they appear to confirm and explain stereotypes about the differences between men and women.
The study was conducted on 428 men and boys and 521 women and girls. The diagrams in the image...
I’m not here to defend it, mind you, just to explain it. How is it, Ricochet editor Troy Senik writes to ask, that an unarmed man can be charged with assault? He sent along a link to this story at the Reason website, in which is recounted an incident that occurred back in September in a busy Manhattan intersection. A man suffering from some mental disorder had begun acting strangely at 8th Avenue and 42nd Street, running amok and into the path of oncoming cars. This attracted a crowd which soon included several police officers, who...
I presume that this is the “new and improved” Obamacare that everyone is suddenly supposed to be enthusiastic about:
After refusing for weeks to detail the extent of back-end problems with healthcare.gov, the Obama administration on Friday said a technical bug affected approximately 25 percent of enrollments on the federal exchanges in October and November.
Those technical bugs, separate from the troubles consumers had experienced accessing information on the website during the first two months, are posing a significant new problem for those who signed up and are expecting insurance coverage come Jan. 1.
As we contemplate our forced national decline into distributionism , it is instructive to examine other major nations and what it might be like to live in them.
Venezuela won't quite do. Perhaps the U.K. or France---despite their demographic disorder? Switzerland does have more than chocolate and cuckoo clocks. Israel is heartening economically, but the Knesset is more discordant than the Congress.
Well, there are always the countries that have been through Marxist-Leninist "communism" and come out on the other side of that nightmare. So what's the picture from Moscow these days? David Satter, one of the...
Seventy-two years ago today, those words shattered the early morning quiet that blanketed Oahu. It was truly a day that will “forever live in infamy.”
Volumes have been written about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of course, the emphasis today—especially in schools and newspapers—seems to be more on the subsequent interment of Japanese on the West Coast than the horror of the sneak attack.
It is interesting that little is written about the tens of thousands of Japanese (Brazil had the biggest Japanese population outside of Japan back then) who were “relocated” or incarcerated in both Canada and much of...
The only person as maligned as President Ronald Reagan over the last few days has of course been Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who joined Reagan in opposing economic sanctions against South Africa--because, you would be forced to conclude if you listened only to NPR and PBS, she, like Reagan, was some sort of morally obtuse throwback.
That was as completely untrue of Thatcher as it was of Reagan. Here, one page of a letter she sent in 1985 to South African President P.W. Botha.
At the beginning of the letter--which is very much worth reading in its...
Dead save for an unquenchable lust for power, they roam the halls of Congress, the White House and federal administrative agencies, a ghastly simulacrum of republican life. The Beltway Dead spend and regulate aimlessly, torpid unless aroused by the sound of representative democracy. Awakened, they move swiftly and as one, attacking with mindless savagery in the Alinsky style until the target is destroyed or, infected, joins in their statist pursuits.
The Dead were alive once but that was before—before the spread of the virus that robbed them of the faculties of constitutional perception and independent thought. While alive,...
In my continuing efforts to become a kinder and gentler person, I am trying to learn how to appreciate poetry. I love the great epics of Homer, Virgil, and Dante, but I've never learned to love the less muscular types of poetry.
Which brings me to two nineteenth-century American poets: Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. I like Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death" poem, but (in my limited reading) I've found her other poems to be less than great (and why does she capitalize so many words?). My questions: What are some of her other...
Barbara Walters has revealed nine of her most “fascinating people” of 2013, and they’re quite a mix.
Twerk queen Miley Cryus
Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West)
Leak-Meister Edward Snowden
America’s darling Jennifer Lawrence
ABC anchor Robin Roberts
The cast of Duck Dynasty
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad
Little Prince George
Walters will reveal her top pick during her show on December 18. While most of us probably don’t care about this kind of celebrity glorification, the social implications of this list are fascinating. The Pope versus the Twerk Queen? If that doesn’t speak volumes about our culture, I don’t know what does.
It's not just driverless cars. In the latest Ricochet Money & Politics podcast, economist, transportation expert, and blogger David Levinson argues traffic is declining and will continue to decline dramatically in the coming decades. And that decline is not only the result of some deeper economic and technological trends, but will itself cause a radical restructuring of American society.
So, I find at the Corner just now this item. Atheists are freaking out because embattled Democratic Senator Mark Pryor issued an ad saying that the Bible is his "North Star." OMG! Theocracy!
Annie Laurie Gaylor, a spokesperson for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, tells National Review Online that the spot is theocratic and disturbing, and that Pryor’s comments should raise questions about his policy views.
“For him to say that he’s going to make decisions based on the Bible for the people of the state of Arkansas is pretty scary,” she says, citing the plethora of...
Some Republican insiders are likely patting themselves on the back today, as news broke Thursday that the GOP is training male candidates on how to speak to women. Eager to avoid another Todd Akin “legitimate rape” situation, the GOP is (at last) trying to get a hold of a real, problem reaching women voters. It’s certainly a step in the right direction; however, shrinking the gender gap and getting more women to value limited government is going to take more than polite talk.
The hideous comments made by Akin and others during the 2012 election cycle didn’t help anything; but...
It started in the recent movie The Butler, in which President Reagan is portrayed as opposing sanctions against South Africa because--well, the movie leaves the audience to suppose he simply had a heart of stone--and now, in the coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela, Reagan is being mentioned—at least on NPR, to which I listened this morning—as if he were some kind of racist throwback.
Human beings, pretty universally, strive for a sense of control over life. In moderation, this is a laudable tendency, nothing more than prudential planning for tomorrow. Taken to extremes--reversing the rise of the oceans, fine-tuning the earth's temperature, commanding the availability and price of health care—it becomes a laughable illusion.
In the sphere of economics, individual ingenuity, hard work, and the workings of free-market capitalism occasionally align to provide a dazzling display of the futility and negative consequences of centralized control. The latest rebuke to our over-educated masterminds: Peak Oil.
It seems trying to persuade these minimum wage workers to enjoy what they have - nameley that corporations have all the leverage while unskilled, undereducated employees have none (the Service Employees International Union represents more than 2...
Every year in Spain alone — according to research by the conservation group SEO/Birdlife — between 6 and 18 million birds and bats are killed by wind farms. They kill roughly twice as many bats as birds. This breaks down as approximately 110–330 birds per turbine per year and...
Russia is no longer a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It is a kleptocracy! And one of the on-scene journalists who has most expertly detailed how it became one, how it presently operates and the dangerous ambitions that now activate it’s elite is David Satter. We spoke with David in an earlier podcast and then again in this podcast recorded about a week ago after his return to Moscow—-and here he is in full and fascinating form.
... The time when your mailbox is chock full of charity solicitations. Every charity, large and small, that you've ever received something from is asking you for money in December. And let's not even talk about the near-daily missives from the Republican Party
So which ones do you respond to? Which charities do you deem the most worthy of a year-end contribution? How do you determine which charities to support?
At this particular time in America, Hillsdale College is at the top of our list. Who's at the top of yours?
Since Obamacare supporters insist on presenting anecdotal evidence claiming that the website is performing more effectively, I presume that I am also allowed to present anecdotal evidence showing that the website is about as bad as it was before. And of course, those claiming that the website still doesn’t function properly have more than mere anecdotal evidence on their side:
. . . Insurance company sources tell the National Journalthat there is still about a 5 percent error rate in the information the site submits to insurance companies on behalf of those picking a new insurance plan. If the site...
Over the past few months, I have become an avid listener to the Great Courses, especially the many courses on history and literature. They are now offered by Audible, which has made them incredibly affordable.
Having listened to many of them, I thought it might be of some value to the Ricocheti to share a couple of recommendations.
I have two favorites that I can recommend unconditionally. The first is entitled The Foundations of Western Civilization. The lecturer is Notre Dame history professor Thomas F. X. Noble. The course is a series of 48 lectures (each one-half hour long)....
Extraordinary claims, it’s been said, require extraordinary evidence. And President Obama made quite an assertion in a speech Thursday at the Center for American Progress: “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe.”
But Obama wasn’t just giving a warning, he was also teaching a partisan, progressive, left-wing history lesson. As he sees it, these toxic trends have been slowly poisoning the US economy and the American Dream for decades. The pro-market or “neoliberal” turn in the nation’s economic...
You might want to sit down before reading this: It appears that President Obama lied.
Stay with me, I'll explain. A year ago, President Obama's uncle Onyango Obama was arrested in Massachusetts for drunk driving. When asked for comment, the White House downplayed the incident and insisted that the President had never met the man.
Having lived in America illegally since the 1970s, “Uncle Omar” finally had his deportation trial in Boston this week. Curiously, Omar testified under oath that not only had he met the President several times, his famous nephew had lived with him for three weeks.
We at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released a new video today that profiles one of our co-founders, Harvey Silverglate. Harvey is a mentor to me and the person who hunted me down in my post-law school life in San Francisco to bring me to FIRE way back in 2001. Harvey has been doing criminal defense and free-speech-on-campus work for decades now and is one of the foremost advocates for reforming the criminal justice system. His latest book, Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, discusses the explosion of federal criminal laws that are becoming...