Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste: Investment Opportunities in Stupid


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the esteemed Congresswoman from NYC, recently stated that Miami has only a few years until it is inundated by rapidly rising sea levels caused by climate change. As a member of the House of Representatives with access to virtually all the finest government information sources, as a member of the Party of Science, and a trained economist, her take on this issue has to be regarded as highly informed. More importantly for our purposes here, many people (potential investors) might believe it is correct and I urge Ricochetti to recognize the investment opportunities this creates.

Some will discount my advice because my proposed Baffin Bay tropical resort has not yet got off the ground. But if you believe in the climate crisis and the rate of warming inherent in the crisis, there will indeed be palm trees in northern Manitoba in our lifetime. So, when Nunavut turns tropical and Canadian wahines are serving mai tais to my hotel guests on Manitung island (Cha-ching, baby!!) don’t say you were not tipped to the opportunity. Timing is pretty key. Not sure how much longer the pool of potential investors will believe the crisis is imminent but in the meantime, every published picture of a dead polar bear is money in the bank as far as I am concerned.


Contributor Created with Sketch. ACF #31: Lady Vengeance


Today we’re concluding our conversations on Park Chan-wook, the most famous and successful director in South Korea, with the conclusion of his vengeance trilogy: Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. The protagonist is a femme fatale and a loving mother looking for justice and happiness, back to the virtues the harshness of pre-modern Korea cultivated in the situation of the modern new South Korea. This is a wonderful, if mostly tragic story, unusual, especially by American standards, and a show of the very different forms of storytelling in East Asia. My interlocutors are American professors — George Dunn teaching in China, and Peter Paik in South Korea. Listen and share, friends.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Constitution Day


ConstitutionPro [from Federalist No. 10]:

The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.


Contributor Created with Sketch. California Knifes the Gig Economy


(Sacramento, Aug. 29) Car displaying Uber and Lyft fliers advocating California unionize the gig economy.
California state legislators embarked last week on the single most important regulatory misadventure this country has seen in many decades, seeking to redefine the obscure but critical legal distinction between an employee and an independent contractor. The employment relationship today is subject to massive regulation that is inapplicable to the independent contractor, who pretty much works on his or her own.

Like it or not, the employee receives many statutory protections, including the right to receive minimum wages and overtime, to join a union, to receive worker’s compensation benefits and unemployment insurance, and to receive paid family and sick leave. None of that mandated protection comes without significant costs. It has been estimated that reclassification of Uber and Lyft drivers as employees in California alone will cost the two companies an average of $3,625 per driver per year for a combined annual bill of nearly $800 million per year. Nonetheless, in 2018, the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court forged ahead with such a reform by unanimously holding that drivers who worked for a firm that supplied nationwide courier and delivery services should be classified by law as employees and not as independent contractors.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Men with Guns, Men with Ideas


While conversing with an old friend from Mexico, she mentioned that travel is more dangerous than it was when she first made the (legal) border crossing. “Men with guns” now ride the bus with her.

Of course, a conservative Texan wouldn’t be uneasy around “men with guns” so long as they were good responsible men with guns. It is generally easy to distinguish someone who carries for protection versus a gangster thug who wants everyone around him to feel threatened. But such a distinction between lawful gun carriers and dangerous criminals doesn’t occur to someone living where only criminals carry weapons.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Bullying Continues to be Official California State Policy


Once again, California adds to its program of bullying the residents of other states over issues that have no effect whatsoever on any resident of California.

The Golden State has demanded that Iowa residents submit to their demands on a policy that will have no effect whatsoever on any resident of California, and seeks to punish the residents of Iowa for not submitting. This is a textbook definition of “bullying.”


Prompted by the upcoming release of David Cameron’s memoir, For the Record, this week’s edition of the United Kingdom’s Most Trusted Podcast® finds James and Toby wondering which of Britain’s Eton-and-Oxford-educated Prime Ministers is posher.

They review Cameron’s premiership and ask if The Guardian could possibly sink any lower than its “privileged pain” editorial. And speaking of embarrassing, the PM of Luxembourg takes a swipe at Boris Johnson in Brussels.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Two Degrees of Separation


There’s a theory that they’re only at most six degrees of separation between all people living today. But it’s interesting to consider how many degrees of separation there are between people today and famous people of the past. I’ve been considering for a while writing a biography of Capt. P.V.H. Weems. He was a major figure in developing aerial navigation in the 1920s-40s. He taught Lindbergh celestial navigation after he flew to Paris.


Vice President Pence discusses the way forward on President Trump’s trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Constitution Day


Today, September 17, 2019, is the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. In honor of that great document, and our great nation, here is the text of the Constitution. The amazing thing is that it can be read in one sitting.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Candace Bushnell, bestselling author and creator of Sex & the City, regales Christina & Danielle with stories of the wilds and lows of dating after fifty, including getting naked and “cubbing.”


Contributor Created with Sketch. Weaponizing Hate


Last Monday, the Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth, MN, was burned down:

Investigators have no indication that the suspect, Matthew Amiot, was motivated by hate or bias, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said in a Sunday news conference. He did not provide an alternative motive but said the investigation remains ongoing.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Here Come the Robots: We Can Prepare for the Future Without Fearing the Future


Andrew Yang had his best policy moment of the Democratic debates last week when he said, “This country has been a magnet for human capital for generations. If we lose that, we lose something integral to our continued success.” Yang should talk more about immigration. And more about thorium-fueled nuclear reactors. Maybe also flesh out his VAT idea.

But Yang’s main idea, a universal basic income (UBI), is less appealing. It’s an elegant idea that would quickly look less so when filtered through the reality of government sausage-making and flawed human behavior. Then there’s Yang’s alarmist argument that we need UBI to meet the looming and “unprecedented crisis” of widespread technological unemployment. Yang: “In the next 12 years, 1 out of 3 American workers are at risk of losing their jobs to new technologies—and unlike with previous waves of automation, this time new jobs will not appear quickly enough in large enough numbers to make up for it.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Milestone



On July 13, 2002, after two years of sending around demos and auditions that produced zero response, my first audiobook narration hit the stands. It was an unremarkable vanity self-published title, but Amazon being Amazon, there is a market for such things. I was not turning down any offers.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. On the Passing of Pets


I just deleted the draft of a think piece on the abuse of climate change girl and using kids as political props because something way more important, to me, anyway, has happened. Our 13 1/2 year old dog died. It’s not like we didn’t see it coming a few months ago as he was experiencing some changes in behavior. I looked him straight in the eyes the morning of September 11 during my usual bout of tears every year on that morning and told him, “Don’t do this today.” He didn’t listen, and did what he pleased, as was his usual way.

Our daughter wanted to adopt a puppy from a local shelter with her $40 in birthday money she had received when she turned 8. She picked out the runt of a litter of 13 pups someone had abandoned at the shelter. We never knew his breed, just that he was like a shepherd, collie, husky, something. It didn’t matter. He was perfect to her. She spent her $40 and we spent the rest, which as anyone with dogs knows, isn’t chump change over 13+ years. We’d totally do it all again. Anyway, she named him Lucky, and that he was. He probably wouldn’t have lived past 5 years old with anyone that couldn’t have taken care of him the way he needed. Everyone would say we saved him, but in reality, he saved us. As dogs do.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Somebody Is Missing Something Here


Jonah Goldberg has written (some time ago) that one weakness of classical liberalism (aka, modern conservatism) is that it lacks an ‘other’ to hate. Most other systems of human interaction have an ‘other’ – we are naturally tribal, and respond powerfully to outside threats to our tribe. The idea that we should all help one another, even those we don’t like, is not natural. This is one reason that Jesus Christ was such a radical. He attempted to build a movement based on love. And hate is more powerful than love. That’s just human nature. I don’t see how you could look at human history and disagree with that statement. And I think it would be difficult to disagree with Mr. Goldberg’s point here.

Republicans have tended to seek leaders who are nice people. The leftist tendency to villainize whoever they disagree with is clearly apparent when their opponent is someone as benign as Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney, George Bush, or some other vanilla, inoffensive ‘nice guy.’ Some think that President Trump has brought out the nasty side of leftists – that he inspires a special sort of hatred, due to his unpleasant personality or whatever. I really don’t think so. I think the left’s hatred is simply more obvious, now that they finally have a target that reasonable people might dislike. Now, leftists don’t go after conservatives, they go after “Trump supporters.” And the ‘nice guy’ conservatives try to distance themselves from such an obvious target of disdain as the crude, impolite, and ‘not one of us’ Donald Trump. I throw no stones – this describes my relationship with Mr. Trump as well, although I hate to admit it.


Contributor Created with Sketch. The Saudi-Iranian Conflict Grows


Paul D. Miller is a Middle East expert paying close attention to the growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. On Monday, he wrote a Twitter thread explaining the situation. Here it is in story form:

As you read all the hot takes about the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and the U.S.’s purported plans to respond, here are some things to keep in mind:


Contributor Created with Sketch. The New Frontier: Your Kids’ Bathroom


In the Atlantic this month, there was a great piece about the state of education in New York City. I wrote about it last week here. There was an interesting tidbit within the piece about bathrooms,

Within two years, almost every bathroom in the school, from kindergarten through fifth grade, had become gender-neutral. Where signs had once said boys and girls, they now said students. Kids would be conditioned to the new norm at such a young age that they would become the first cohort in history for whom gender had nothing to do with whether they sat or stood to pee. All that biology entailed—curiosity, fear, shame, aggression, pubescence, the thing between the legs—was erased or wished away.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Vaping Ventilator


View original artwork here.


Contributor Created with Sketch. The Dreaded Musical Icon Obituary


This is the post where you put in a few videos no one clicks to watch, because they know the song, and maybe didn’t feel the same affinity for the band you have. That’s how I feel about the artists of the ’60s — I might like a song, or admire the tunesmith’s skill in an unheralded B-side, but there’s a quality to the recording that dates it and puts it outside of my emotional range. It’s a matter of instrumentation, arrangement, production, the vocalist’s mannerisms. You had to be there. If you were 23 when the song came out, it grabbed you, man; got its mitts right into your pith. If you weren’t young and wrangling the thrashing loose wire of the popular culture, it doesn’t mean the same thing.

Listening to some Cars songs tonight, all the good ’80s tropes are present – the chilly synthetic seriousness that would make a great “Miami Vice” scene where Sonny drives to a meeting; the echoey melancholy; the wry untutored lead vocal that nailed down the band’s sound; the warm synth beds and telltale patches for the keyboards of the era; the wet guitar solos mixed up front — a raw squealing rip given a moment to tear it up within the parameters of an exquisitely crafted and controlled pop song. 


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Not on Such a Night as This


The last couple of weeks have been hot in Southern California. After all, it is predominantly a desert region, so temperatures in the upper 90s around this time of year should be expected. It was 100 on Saturday. My 26-year-old autistic, speech-challenged son doesn’t do well in the heat. He moves slower, then gets ornery. Sometimes during these prolonged heat spells, he prefers to hang out in his room and take successive naps during the day and then come to life and become hyperactive after the sun has gone down. I can’t blame him. To take him out of his routine last night, I offered to take him for a ride in the car as the temperature outside had dropped to a more tolerable 82 degrees after the sun had set over the Pacific.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Just a Local Crime Story: Midwest Edition


Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died September 3. After his death, an attorney for his family summoned the Will County Sheriff to his rural home south of Chicago. You see, Dr. Klopfer had amassed an interesting collection: Two thousand, two hundred forty-six fetal remains.

Klopfer performed abortions in Fort Wayne, Gary, and South Bend, IN. In 2015, he was brought before the Indiana State Medical Board for violations at the Fort Wayne and South Bend clinics. During the proceedings, he admitted that he had performed an abortion on a ten-year-old girl who, he said, had been raped by her uncle. He also stated that he had performed abortions on 13- and 14-year-olds. He said he was unaware that he needed to report the incidents to police. After all, just because a girl comes in for an abortion doesn’t mean she was abused. Said Klopfer:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Perpetual Childhood of the Left


The last few years, in particular, have demonstrated the increasing polarization between the Left and Right. Demonstrations on college campuses, attacks on Donald Trump and his administration, far-reaching demands for others to succumb to their demands are endless. Many of us have tried to figure out ways to deal with these perpetual attacks: we’ve focused on how to speak to the Left, how to ignore their outrageous behavior, how to ridicule them, ways to fight back, and even how to change them. I think, however, we’ve been going about these efforts in the wrong way.

For the most part, the Right has offered solutions to deal with the demands of the Left, particularly with efforts to communicate with them or to use reason to show them the errors of their ways. Instead of solutions, I suggest we identify the source of their actions. Broadly speaking, they are trapped in Perpetual Childhood and are either unwilling or unable to find their way out. Let me provide an explanation of Perpetual Childhood, suggestions for its domination of so many on the Left, and general suggestions about where we can begin to deal with it. I’d like to begin with a practical list of attributes that I discovered. Think about people on the Left whom you know: do you think that any of these describe their thinking processes or behavior?