A First Draft Is Born

 

I’m sorry to worry you: I’ve seen all the messages asking where I’ve been, all the speculation about my absence, all the posts clamoring for my return, and — what’s that, you say? You haven’t written any?

Yeah, I know. What’s up with that? I disappear for a month and no one misses me?

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The Sad State of Journalism

 

“Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.”

So said Michael Goodwin, the chief political columnist for the New York Post during a presentation at Hillsdale College. The speech was adapted for the Imprimis publication, June 2017. I think his comment reflects the attitude of many conservatives. I believe that many of his observations describe this newest wave of fake news, distortions and biases demonstrated by the national press.

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Getting Away from Depressing Politics, Let’s Talk About Death

 

WHOSE FUNERAL IS THIS ANYWAY?

As a pastor doing premarital counseling, I would sometimes shock the bride-to-be with the news that the wedding wasn’t just about her. It wasn’t even just about the bride and groom. Unless they were going alone to city hall, the family and guests are a vital part of the ceremony and must be considered in the planning. That didn’t mean they had to do a wedding just like her mother wanted, but the feelings, needs, and convenience of others needed to be a part of the plans. If she can’t get her mind around the concept that other people should be considered, I wonder about the hope for a lasting marriage.

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Gas Can Follies

 

I have a little can for gasoline. I use it to fuel my lawnmower. Recently the spout broke. I fixed it with duct tape, of course. And, of course, the duct tape only held up for a few months. The can itself is over 30 years old, and I have the idea that, since plastic deteriorates over time, it probably will need replacing within the next decade or two. I also thought that a cheap plastic gas can with a nice pouring spout would not cost very much more than a purchase of a replacement spout. So while I was out on Saturday morning I stopped by Autozone to pick up a new gas can. And, modern American life being what it is, I now have a story to post at Ricochet.

First, while my old can holds 2.5 gallons, the cans on the shelf all came only in two or five gallon size, so if I keep a little can it will mean more trips to refill the can. I don’t want to fool with the larger can, so I picked up one of the two-gallon cans and carried it to the counter. While waiting for the cashier to fire up his cash register (he had been in the back and so had to log in), I took a look at the new can. I unscrewed the cap and pulled out the pour spout, and started to install it for immediate use. The pour spout looked funny, and the cashier saw me giving it a close inspection. He said “You haven’t seen one of those before.”

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Trump’s Greatest Achievement

 

Programming note. On this week’s upcoming Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, my former co-author and current friend will tell us about the status of immigration enforcement in America and how things look now compared to one year ago. The podcast will be posted Tuesday evening. Listen in! (Got a question to ask Jessica? Leave a comment below).

The most positive consequence of the Trump Administration so far – and it hasn’t been nearly as positive as it could be – is the widespread reevaluation of illegal immigration, its impact on our economy and culture, and the question of how (and not if) the laws of the nation should be best enforced.

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“No Religion, Too” – John Lennon

 

First and foremost, one must remember that to achieve the revolutionary goals of Marx and Engels, there can be no alliance except to the state. Christianity, Islam, the Jewish faith, Buddhism, Hindi, all major religions, promote alliance to a philosophy or an entity that is not the state, and represent a potential threat to the state and are thus, contemptuous. The church was banned in the Soviet Empire; revolutionaries murdered clergy and forced Christianity underground. Churches were closed and priests were hunted down and executed during the Mexican socialist takeover. The church was exiled in Cuba and currently faces much difficulty and enmity in Venezuela. The Chinese have effectively banned not only religion, but anything that even remotely resembles religion like the infamous crackdown on the practice of Falun Gong. For the Left there can be no quarter, no safe spaces, no organizational philosophy and no church to rival the state.

Of course Leftism, as espoused in the US in its rarified progressive form among the academy, the media, the Democrat Left and certain elites, would never openly contend that religion is its adversary. (Obama’s depiction of heartland Americans “clutching their guns and their bibles” was an unusual slip of candor.) In fact, progressive liberals are at best only marginally aware that the statist nirvana they seek is really the same overarching state falsely conceived, prophesied and promised by radical atheists Marx and Engels. For the reflexive progressive Left in the US, religion is simply in need of sufficient reform to become sympatico with the correct progressive worldview, that is, it needs to move to the Left. Hard. Only the few true communists and socialist know that this must eventually lead to the effective dissolution of religious affiliation, but no one will ever admit this fact. It is the outcome that shall not be named. Rather, it is accepted that traditional religious dissolution is simply a part of the natural evolution, the progression, to a socialist or statist world where rational secularism naturally replaces irrational faith.

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An Incivil Matter

 

The balloons went up. They were up nightly at the abandoned train station outside Haqlaniyah, Iraq. We were convinced it was a coded message. The colors of the balloons would change each night and their groupings also seemed more than haphazard. Our S-2 shop never did figure out the messages of the balloons, but we had every reason to believe those messages weren’t meant to be friendly to us.

We were the First Battalion, 23d Marines, a Reserve Marine Infantry battalion mobilized and deployed to take charge of about 100 miles of the Euphrates River from Haditha to a bit south of the City of Hit, back in 2005. The battles of Fallujah were over and, unknown to everyone except us, the focus of the enemy’s efforts was on Haditha. To this day most Generals don’t seem to acknowledge that fact, they just thought that an understrength battalion spread that thin must have been getting hit so much because we were reservists. We were understrength because they took one of our companies away from us to guard the Air Station at Al Asad. After we lost 48 dead and well over 100 wounded badly enough to be sent home, the lesson the Generals learned was to never put a reserve battalion on the line again. Strangely, they replaced our battalion with two full strength American battalions and three top notch Iraqi battalions, and Voilà! Peace broke out in the region. Let’s just say I disagree with the lesson to be learned.

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A New Democratic Party Vote Mining Initiative?

 

As many of you know, I’m the father of a 24-year old severely Autistic young man who lives with me. My son has always been speech challenged. He is non-conversant and expresses himself with only rudimentary requests. “I want this” or “I want that” or “Disneyland” or “car” or “walk”, or responses like “No, thank you!”, etc. My son enjoys watching YouTube, Disney movies, Star Wars, and the occasional Hitchcock film (especially Vertigo). But he doesn’t understand what happens in the news and certainly doesn’t understand politics. Let’s face it, a lot of us don’t really understand politics either but we do a good job of faking it and get by.

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Rick Perry Is Right: CO2 Is Not the Control Knob of Climate

 

Energy Secretary Rick PerryTo listen to the corrupt, know-nothing mainstream media, Energy Secretary Rick Perry really stepped in it when he said human emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the major driver of global warming. And, as usual with the MSM, it’s not true. The story is merely fodder for a false narrative about Perry, and the state of climate science.

On Monday, CNBC “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen asked the secretary whether he believes carbon dioxide “is the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate.” Perry’s answer:

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Bret Stephens “Forswears” Twitter for All the Wrong Reasons

 

Bret Stephens doesn’t like Twitter, so he decided that you shouldn’t either.

His reasoning is lax, but the New York Times columnist blames the social media platform for “pornifying” politics. “Twitter is the political pornography of our time,” Stephens claims, “revealing but distorting, exciting but dulling, debasing to its users, and, well, ejaculatory. It’s bad for the soul and, as Donald Trump proves daily, bad for the country.”

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ACF#5 Predator

 

The American Cinema Foundation movie podcast is back with an anniversary piece. Back in ’87, on the same day Reagan gave his famous “Tear down this wall” speech in Berlin, June 12, John McTiernan’s Predator premiered in America. This was his first studio picture and remains a contender among the best movies about manliness. What starts as a “special forces doing foreign policy in the third world” sort of story, winning the Cold War on screen as it were, threatens to turn into horror as the jungle comes alive and begins to kill these special forces operators, just as we start to admire them.

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As Scalise Leaves Intensive Care, Democrats Leave Civility Far Behind

 

First, the good news: Rep. Steve Scalise has been released from the intensive care unit. MedStar Washington Hospital Center stated that “Scalise’s continued good progress allowed him to be transferred out” and that he “remains in fair condition as he continues an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.”

Scalise was sent to the ICU by a crazed Bernie Sanders volunteer with a long history of angry social media posts against congressional Republicans and President Trump. A list of several GOP lawmakers was found on his body after Capitol Police took him down. His goal was to overturn the results of free and fair elections with the barrel of a gun.

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Why Can’t We Have Market Solutions in Health Care?

 

Some time back, I asked “What Are We Going to Do When Republicans Don’t Repeal Obamacare?” And I got a fair amount of grief for doubting the sincerity of the Republican leadership that voted 30+ times to repeal Obamacare, but only when they knew the repeal would be vetoed. The House “repeal” bill barely repealed Obamacare at all (it offered the states some waivers over parts of the law), and now the Republican Senate Bill is even weaker.

Although Senate Republicans had initially indicated that they would scrap the House bill and start from scratch, the Senate plan looks more than a little like its House counterpart, which kept much of Obamacare’s structure in place. But even more tellingly, the Senate plan looks even closer to the health care law that is already on the books.

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Trump Needs a New Hobby

 

President Trump (how strange it still is to type that) is an avid golfer, which does seem fitting as practically every president in the last 30 years has also been a golfer. Of course we beat constantly on Obama for golfing, and GW Bush was mocked for the same, even though he soon stopped as he felt it dishonorable for president at war taking leisure on the greens (not that the media gave him one iota of credit for this).

Clinton had a rumored reputation of being a horrible cheater on the fairways (no surprise as he was a cheater in other matters too), and now The Donald is taking media flak for golfing. Apparently one of the latest attacks has been on his committing the faux pas of driving his cart on the greens.

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Otto Warmbier and the Triumph of the North Korean Propaganda Machine

 

What are we to make of the strangely incurious reaction by most media outlets and commentators toward the charges levied by the North Korean regime against Otto Warmbier? Even if one accepts that civilized countries should tolerate the manhandling of their citizens by thug regimes for such ridiculous “crimes,” I find it odd that nobody is really questioning the facts surrounding his arrest.

Most of the articles and commentary I’ve read (including those by people sympathetic to his plight as well as the “white frat boy had it coming” crowd) accept uncritically that Mr. Warmbier took down a propaganda poster in a restricted area of his hotel (to their credit @jaynordlinger and Jim Geraghty appear to be notable exceptions, but the Smart Girls and many other Ricochet podcasters appear to have accepted the factuality of Mr. Warmbier’s offense). This despite the fact that:

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Mollie Hemingway and Jonah Goldberg on Special Report

 

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, both friends of Ricochet, disagreed last night on Special Report over President Trump’s tweets. They discussed Trump’s May 12 tweet, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Mollie said, “James Comey had already been leaking to the New York Times, and he’d been presenting stories as if he was some hero of the conversations he had with Trump. That tweet actually got James Comey to admit that he did three times tell Donald Trump that he wasn’t under investigation. It got him to admit he had said Mike Flynn was a good guy when he was asked about it by the president. And it did get him to also admit that he had pledged his honest loyalty to Donald Trump, which was contrary to what he had said to the New York Times the day before that tweet.”

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Quote of the Day – Life

 

“It’s a great life as long as you don’t weaken.” — My Mother 

Marge, Maggie, or Peg was my Mother. She was born today in 1911. She was the oldest of eight. She had two sisters and five brothers. They lived in a three-bedroom home without indoor plumbing on the second mountain east of Pittsburgh. Everyone thought they were rich. Her father owned a coal mine. This mine consisted of a hole in the hill, a tipple, a black man named Rufus, a pickup truck like a dump truck, and a mule. Rufus took the mule down the shaft, dug the coal and the mule pulled it up the shaft on to the tipple and dumped it into the truck. Her father delivered it to local homes and tried to collect the money. He was apparently better at the delivery part than the collection part. They were not rich. Around 1925 the mule died. My mother’s father, my Grandfather also took the job of the mule. He died within a year. They say he just wore out and died. Mom was 14.

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