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To Dad on Father’s Day

 

Every Father’s Day for the last 40-odd years (ever since I moved out of the house) I would call my dad on Father’s Day and wish him a happy Father’s Day; even when we both still lived in Ann Arbor and I was going over later in the day to see him. Over the last few years he would try to call me first to wish me a happy Father’s Day; ater all, I had three sons, and dad thought I had done a great job raising them. We might chat a while about how things were going, especially in the 1980s and early 1990s when I was in Texas and he was in Michigan and long distance charges were a thing.

Since 2002, when I moved back to the Houston area from Palestine, TX and cell phones and national plans made long-distance charges obsolete, I called him every Saturday morning and we reviewed the events of the week. Not the big national events. The small ones in our lives and the lives of our family.

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Whose Side Is the IG On?

 

From reactions across the board, it seems the DOJ Inspector General Report on FBI Investigation of Hillary Clinton is a Rorschach test. We see what we want to see. How can that be? In part, columns by Andrew McCarthy and Mollie Hemingway explain our reactions. The reactions follow from the nature of the writing of the report and suggest we must look elsewhere for solutions.

Do you see this?

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Everyday Hero

 

When a young man has a calling to step up and help others, without pressure or financial reward, he should be recognized and lauded. I want to celebrate Rodney Smith. He serves as a model of selflessness by helping others, just because he can.

Rodney’s journey to help others began in the fall of 2015 when he saw a senior citizen struggling to mow his lawn:

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Conversations with Bill Kristol: Christopher Caldwell on Populism in Europe and the Future of the European Union

 

Christopher Caldwell is a Senior Editor at The Weekly Standard and a leading commentator on European politics. In this Conversation, Caldwell shares his perspective on recent developments in Europe, particularly the surging populist movements that have upended politics in many countries. Caldwell focuses particularly on populist parties and movements in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Hungary—and also analyzes the ramifications for Europe as a whole. Highlighting the effects of mass migration, weak economies, and mounting debt, Caldwell anticipates greater turmoil and significant threats to the European Union in the years ahead.

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A Confession: I Find Fatherhood Sexy

 

I’ve been meaning to write this as a column for some time, but the main place I write such things, the New York Post, has my husband as my editor. He, in no uncertain terms, told me he would not publish an op-ed where I called him and other men sexy, and so, here I am at Ricochet doing it, because he may be my husband, but he is not my editor everywhere.

I’ve been following James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly on Instagram for some time. I was an avid Dawson’s Creek viewer as a teenager, but I couldn’t stand his character Dawson. I found him sniveling and entitled and spoiled. The series ended up revolving around a love triangle between Dawson, Pacey (played by Joshua Jackson) and Joey (played by Katie Holmes); and I was very much on Team Pacey. How could I not be? He was strong, he was sensitive, he was kind, he was handsome, he was a fighter. That’s the kind of man every woman should want in their teens and early twenties. But it turned out Van Der Beek is the man I want in my adult life.

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The Problem Isn’t the Appearance of Bias; It’s the Reality of Bias

 

FBI Director Wray’s attempt at assuring the public that he will respond effectively to the IG report had the opposite effect on me.

He pledges to train employees to avoid even the appearance of bias. Who thinks this is a solution, given that the reality of bias that’s been exposed? Would the problem have been avoided if employees like Strzok and Page had been better trained to avoid the appearance of bias? Suppose they had—thanks to good training—refrained from sharing their views in texts and emails? No doubt that would have saved the FBI public embarrassment, but would it have prevented the wrongs the report uncovered from happening? Would the actual effects of their favoritism toward Hilary and animus toward Trump have been averted? (I like Andy McCarthy’s characterization: Kid gloves in the one case and scorched earth in the other.) No.

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Oh Brother, What Has Happened to My Country?

 

Now that it’s official that the FBI was corrupted during the Obama administration, can we safely say that everything Obama touched was made filthy? Some really nasty people were empowered to do some really nasty things because they thought they would never get caught and it feels like they may be right.

Is anyone that matters going to be held accountable? I suspect not, and this is no small thing. And the level of contempt for Trump is still on display. In case anyone missed it, during the Director’s news conference when answering a reporter’s question, he essentially said he didn’t give a damn what the President thought about the Bureau.

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Happy Fathers Day

 

Click here for original.

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About a Refugee

 

Sometimes when I’m feeling ‘down’ and that life isn’t fair, I am moved to think about…

A person with whom I became friends while living at a retirement community here in Oregon. This lady, whom I will call Esther (not her real name), was a Jewish refugee who came to the United States in the 1940s. This is her story as she told it to me:

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Hidden in the IG Report: The Case for the Collusion to Elect Trump is Confirmed

 

Former FBI Director Comey’s concern that collusion contributed to Donald Trump’s election has been established. What was not confirmed until yesterday was the lengths to which he and his FBI assured the election of the man he clearly opposed. He and his cohort colluded overtly, informationally, or by deception to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton and by so doing, elected President Donald J. Trump. Say what you will, but Comey’s July, 2016 dance back and forth on Hillary’s criminal actions and his rewriting the law to extract her from prosecution convinced more than few Americans in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin that enough was enough.

Comey’s effort to embellish his reputation with the late revelation of the Weiner investigation may have served his own campaign to rehab his reputation. It came at a point in the election when Comey thought Clinton would win, thus allowing him a last minute confirmation that his July pardon was just and fair. In fact, it actually hurt her reputation far more than he imagined – so tone deaf is Comey, and his colluders at the FBI.

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Democrat Buffet

 

Original artwork available here.

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Quote of the Day: Sister Nature

 

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity. Nature was a solemn mother to the worshipers of Isis and Cybele. Nature was a solemn mother to Wordsworth or to Emerson. But Nature is not solemn to Francis of Assisi or to George Herbert. To St. Francis, Nature is a sister, and even a younger sister: a little, dancing sister, to be laughed at as well as loved.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

It’s often said that progressive environmentalism, at least in its most extreme form, is a religion. But instead of worshipping the Creator, its adherents worship the Creation. Their goal is for nature to be utterly pristine, untrammeled, holy. And the role of man/woman/cis-kind is to serve it and sacrifice to it. If we blaspheme Gaia, she will punish us. Repent now or the end is nigh.

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Dictator Trump?

 

I’ve been genuinely puzzled by the assertion on the part of Trump opponents that Trump is a dictator, wants to be a dictator, is like Hitler, is a threat to democracy, and so on. It makes no sense. You’d think that a President who is trying to shrink the size of government would be regarded as exactly the opposite of a wannabe dictator.

But I think I’ve figured out what the confusion is. Liberals think that a President who enacts policies they don’t like, regardless of how legal and above board and constitutional the process is, must be a tyrant. Just because they don’t like the policy.

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In Ireland, the Penal Laws Are Returning Under the Guise of Secular Liberalism

 

The Penal Laws were acts passed during the 17th and 18th century by the Parliament of England and Wales gradually eroded and then viciously reduced the civil liberties of nonconforming Protestants and Catholics in the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. Its most long-lasting and profound effects were felt in Ireland, where the laws were designed to obliterate the dignity of Roman Catholics and reduce beaten, defenseless, and powerless Irish Catholics into a third-class of citizenry. The Penal Laws created a form of apartheid long before South Africa and the American South.

Its difficult to go through the individual Laws, as there were several acts over the centuries beginning in the early 17th century until they gradually were overturned from 1780-1832, but the effects of the rulings or legal discrimination they allowed are most important. The laws applied to all nonconforming Protestants as well, but mainly Catholics faced the full force of the law. Here are some of them:

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

 

When I moved to this area of Tennessee some five or six years ago, we purchased a house and solicited cost-plus bids from several general contractors to make some modifications and add a couple of rooms before we moved in. My bid documents required the use of legal residents only. I advised bidders I had no objection to paying a premium to satisfy that requirement. The contractor I really wanted to do the work was explicit: He used carpenters that weren’t here legally and he didn’t want to use any others. So, we agreed to part ways.

Then another contractor said he was willing, but wanted me to tell him how to identify legal residents. My guess is that he knew the answer because when I began to research, I first identified those documents easily forged. Then I discovered there were ways one could be reasonably certain but, at least here and at that time, I couldn’t legally ask for that type of proof: To do so opened one to lawsuits at the least. (Don’t ask for details, I don’t remember and I’m not interested in repeating the research.)

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Can’t I Just Enjoy the Zoo Anymore?

 

I traveled last week to Washington DC with my daughter and her three children. This trip had been in the works for several years. It was planned as the “Grandma Camp” for this summer. (Usually, the kids come to our house here in the desert for a week and we swim, do fun things, and stay up late watching movies.) However, I decided about four years ago that we’d go to the nation’s capital when they were old enough to understand and enjoy it. I saved up to pay for the trip; my daughter bought her own plane ticket. It was delightful…exhausting, but delightful.

One of our destinations was the National Zoo. It is a smaller zoo but had some fine exhibits, and we got to see a baby gorilla — so darling! But, I began to feel annoyed as I moved from section to section.

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“As the Father of Daughters…” Is Out; Sarah Sanders’ “As a Parent…” Is In

 

I’m so old, I remember when men were told to never say “As the father of daughters” when discussing their feelings of sexual abuse and misconduct. When Weinstein’s abuses were exposed, Vulture wrote,

Something happens when a dude has a daughter: Women, once mystifying, vexing creatures with shoe racks, eyelash curlers, and vagina holes become fully formed three-dimensional human beings. The mere and sudden fact of fatherhood pushes men into a new realm of cognizance: They have to care about what happens to women — but only some, and only if they’re of a certain race, class, or status — and maybe even take misconduct against them a little personally. A daughter gives them skin in the patriarchal, sexist game they once could look past. I know this because every time a man is accused of something bad, or when someone he knows is accused of something bad, the same quote surfaces: “As a father of daughters, I …

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It’s Not Disenfranchisement If You Do It to Yourself

 

On June 11, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of states like Ohio, saying they can purge voters from their voting rolls if those voters do not exercise their right to vote. On Twitter, Slate Writer Mark Joseph Stern, along with other critics, called the ruling a “massive blow” to voter rights and a disenfranchisement of minority voters.

Stern engages in selective editing of the statute cited in the majority opinion. While the statute says failure to vote is, on its own, not a reason to remove voters from the rolls, Ohio law uses failure to vote as a way to identify voters who may have moved out of the district. It then mails them a card to confirm their address. If the voter fails to return that card and does not vote for four more years, they are then purged from the voting rolls. This is cited in the opening of the majority opinion. Ohio argued this was necessary to clean up voter rolls and, yes, prevent possible voter fraud.

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Why Not Proliferate?

 

I’ve been following the news about the Summit and the discussion on this thread, and there seems to be quite a difference of opinion. Not only about the wisdom and utility of the Summit and its outcome, but about our role in the region in the first place. Some of the Trumpier commenters say — and I have a certain amount of sympathy for this view — that keeping American troops in South Korea at this late date is both provocative and expensive.

It’s certainly the latter, and one of my great long-term fears is that like so many empires before us, keeping the Pax Americana over so much of the globe will eventually exhaust us financially. It is straining us now, and part of the “America first” theme on which Trump was elected was the notion that we should, first and foremost, take care of our own.

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Who Wants to Help Write a Dentistry Musical?

 

I had my semi-annual dental cleaning a couple of days ago, and as I spoke with my hygienist and dentist, I thought of something the dental profession needs: Good PR. Not just good PR, but flashy good PR, and what better PR is there than a good musical? I mean look what Kiss Me, Kate! did for touring actors or Lend Me a Tenor did for opera singers or what A Chorus Line did for Broadway performers or what The Greatest Showman did for circus hucksters or La La Land did for Hollywood performers or what The Blues Brothers did for blues bands or…um…what the “Poor Judd is Dead” song did for Harvey Weinstein types in Oklahoma. (All of the sudden, I’m realizing how self-focused that this whole business is.)

Anyway, the point is, that a good musical could be great PR for dentistry. When we currently think of musicals and dentistry, what currently comes to mind? You immediately thought of Little Shop of Horrors, didn’t you? First, the dentist is only a peripheral character in that musical, and even more so in the original movie the musical is based on. Second, this character is not good PR for dentistry, not by a long shot. No, we need something much better, much more positive.

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