NFL Kneeling Advice

 

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Thank Me? No, Thank You!

 

photo of wildland firefighter with drip torchA fellow of a certain age stopped me in a parking lot. He was built like a fire plug, and had a white-haired buzz cut. He, having seen my car window stickers, asked about my military service. I gave the 30-second answer, and got a “thank you for your service.” Then, I asked him about his service.

“Oh, no,” he said, “I just did 12 years of federal service as a wildland firefighter.”

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Thursday’s Coordinated Editorials Are Profoundly Misguided

 

On Thursday, in newspapers across the country, a coordinated message is being sent about the hostility of the Trump administration against the press. CNN’s Brian Stelter has been talking on the story for days, and reported,

About 350 newspapers will all have one thing in common on Thursday: A statement supporting the free press and decrying President Trump’s attacks against the media.

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The Russian Georgia War My Experience Ten Years On…

 
Russian Looters in Georgia 2008

It was August and it was hot. I had just got a short-term missions team sent home and so I finally returned to my village in Eastern Georgia. We were getting ready to celebrate my son’s birthday on August 8th. The Olympics were about to be on and we were anxious to watch them. We heard some disturbing rumors even back on August 5th when one of the Georgians with us had his leave canceled and was recalled to his unit. The rumors were about serious threats on the border of South Ossetia and a breakaway region of Georgia, but that happened every summer. We were sorry for our soldier friend but weren’t really worried. The tensions had been growing for days and several members of the Georgian government were gone on vacation and many military personal were on leave and 2,000 of Georgia’s best soldiers were away fighting in Iraq for the United States. I didn’t seem like war was about to break out.

Background to the War

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Quote of the Day: Socialism

 

“Socialism is the Axe Body Spray of political ideologies: It never does what it claims to do, but people too young to know better keep buying it anyway.” – Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit)

Yes, I am hitting socialism again. It needs to be hit after that odious meme about the difference between fascism (one flavor of socialism) and communism (another flavor of socialism – and indeed what socialism was called before the communists demonstrated by example socialism’s shortcomings, and communism had to be renamed socialism) hit the interwebs recently.

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Ask the Founders: Summer Edition

 

A couple of times a year, we forgo the guests and open the floor up to you, our faithful Ricochet members. have a question for Peter or Rob? Post it in the comments and they’ll answer as many as they can get to in this week’s show (we’re recording on Thursday at 4PM PT). Ask whatever you like, but please: no math.

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Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Again

 

Having recently been set in its place by the Supreme Court, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (spoken wrong-think punishment authority) is after baker Jack Philips again. According to this story in the Daily Caller, the commission has issued a probable cause determination that Phillips has discriminated against an individual by not making a cake celebrating a gender transition. The Alliance Defending Freedom is again representing Phillips and has filed a suit against the commission “accusing the panel of violating his constitutional free exercise, free speech, due process, and equal protection rights.”

Even though the baker won at the Supreme Court the decision was narrowly tailored and opened Phillips up to further action from the state provided the commission applies the state’s law in an unbiased manner. Having passed on the opportunity to confirm the first amendment protection for the free exercise of religion, the court opened the door for religious persons to face harassment from the left should they attempt to run their businesses according to their deeply held religious beliefs.

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Dateline DC

 

I just got back from a short trip to our nation’s capital. This was a sight-seeing, pleasure trip with my son who will be off to college (Gig ’em, Aggies!) in a week. Anywho, I thought I’d share a few observations from my perspective as a red-stater from a small city.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted with the street message shown here. A passenger on the subway from the airport to our hotel was wearing a t-shirt with a nude Melania Trump who was using her hand to cover only her southern regions. The t-shirt contained a profane message about Trump.

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Quote of the Day: The Devil and Daniel Webster

 

“The Devil and Daniel Webster” is a wonderful short story by Stephen Vincent Benét which was made into an excellent film with Walter Huston as Mr. Scratch. It starts out:

It’s a story they tell in the border country, where Massachusetts joins Vermont and New Hampshire.

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Colorado Continues to Harass Cake Artist; He’s Fighting Back

 

Two months ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop didn’t have to participate in a same-sex wedding by creating a custom cake for the occasion. In the process, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was smacked down for their deep hostility to Phillips’ religious beliefs.

It seems the commission was just getting started in their harassment of Phillips.

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The Underreported New Mexico Connections

 

Prompted by Doug Watt’s excellent post on the release, without bond, of Muslim extremists arrested in New Mexico, and alleged to be training their children to shoot up schools, I wanted to add this note on the connections between the Wahhaj family and some better known Americans. The incident also provides a further illustration of what the “non-partisan” media wants you to know and, more importantly, not to know.

As noted in the link provided by Doug, the father of the group’s ringleader Siraj Wahhaj, is a New York area iman, also named Siraj Wahhaj. The father is a follower of the Blind Sheik who inspired the first bombing of the WTC in the 1990s, as well as being an unindicted co-conspirator in that bombing. And, by the way, he also consistently calls for death to homosexuals. [CORRECTION: Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the WTC case, reports Wahhaj was not an unindicted co-conspirator; other than that he remains a really bad guy – see link later on for more.]

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From the Police Blotter: I Got Nothing

 

Five adults involved in the New Mexico compound arrest have been granted a signature bond release by a New Mexico judge. This means that they do not have put any money up front to walk out of jail unless they fail to appear for trial.

Backus said that New Mexico state prosecutors were unable to show that the five defendants should have their bail denied because they posed a threat to the community. Backus said that the defendants will be required to wear GPS tracking devices through the duration of their court case.

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7 Shocking Takeaways from the PA Catholic Church Grand Jury Document

 

Today was a day that will forever change the face of the Catholic Church in America. The New York Times reported today:

Bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years, persuading victims not to report the abuse and law enforcement not to investigate it, according to a searing report issued by a grand jury on Tuesday.

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Group Writing: Will I Come Up With Anything?

 

A week or so back I signed up for this month’s Ricochet Member Group Writing project for August 14. I was sure that I’d have time the weekend before to come up with something. All it would do is take a little willpower. But, as things often will, circumstances got in the way of my writing. So I will tell you about what happened.

Will this be about this month’s Group Writing topic of “will?” We will see.

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Realization

 

I was at the grocery store for the weekly supply run, checking out. The cashier was a personable young woman, probably a college student, and she greeted me brightly. When I held up my phone to display my loyalty-card bar code, she apologized and said her handheld scanner was out of order. No worries, I said, and gave her my phone number instead.

She began unloading my cart, passing the items one by one over the stationary scanner. Meanwhile I stuck my debit card in the PIN pad and punched buttons, not really paying attention to what she was doing. Then I looked up and saw that this young lady was wrestling the 35-pack of bottled water out from under my cart and maneuvering it across the scanner. I had completely forgotten that it was there, and it hadn’t occurred to me that with her handheld scanner broken, she’d have to do this. By the time I noticed, however, it was too late for me to help.

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“In God We Trust” in Florida Schools

 

Back in March, Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat in the Florida State house and a Christian, proposed legislation to display Florida’s motto in the schools. Gov. Scott signed a bill in March which requires all schools to display the state motto in a “conspicuous place,” beginning this week. The motto, “In God We Trust” became part of the Florida state seal in 1868 and on the Florida flag in 1900 and only became the state motto in 2006. Rep. Daniels from Jacksonville stated:

‘This motto is inscribed on the halls of this great capitol and inked on our currency, and it should be displayed so that our children will be exposed and educated on this great motto, which is a part of this country’s foundation,’ she said when a House committee took up her bill (HB 839). ‘Something so great should not be hidden.’

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Clean Air vs. Dirty Hogs

 

A modern David versus Goliath confrontation is now unfolding in rural North Carolina. This past April a local jury awarded 10 plaintiffs each $75,000 in actual damages and $5 million in punitive damages against the pork producer Murphy-Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, which was acquired by China’s WH Group in 2013. The plaintiffs were able to prove that the continuous and deliberate actions of the hog farmers caused them to suffer “episodes of noxious and sickening odor, onslaughts of flies and pests, nausea, . . . difficulty breathing” and more. A related lawsuit using the same nuisance theory is now being brought against a Smithfield farm in North Carolina that’s home to 4,700 hogs. Both farms are part of the $2.9 billion hog industry that anchors much of North Carolina’s rural economy.

The defendants in both these cases are not shy in denouncing the initial jury verdict against Murphy-Brown? as “an outrageous attack on animal agriculture, rural North Carolina and thousands of independent family farmers who own and operate contract farms.” Smithfield’s CEO Ken Sullivan insists that personal dislocations necessarily “go hand in hand” with normal farming operations. And he protests that no liability should be imposed on hog farms that operate in full compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations. He made the dire forecast that if these verdicts stand, chicken, turkey, and even wheat farmers could be next. He warned ominously that Smithfield could pull out of the state altogether.

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The Right of Citizens to Vote Shall Not Be Denied…on Account of Citizenship (or Lack Thereof)?

 

I just returned from a Portland (Maine) City Council Meeting where there was a proposal to send to referendum a measure to allow legal immigrants who are presently not citizens the right to vote in local elections only. Speaker after speaker, with few exceptions, ground through the following list of grievances dressed up as argument: white male privilege; the 200-plus-year-old document written by the slave-holding class of the aforementioned folks, aka The Constitution of the United States of America; Donald Trump’s tossing rolls of paper towels at Puerto Rican hurricane victims; diversity; inclusion; more diversity; more inclusion; democracy; more democracy; taxation without representation; immigrants’ rights to an unlimited list of privileges; my 12-year-old daughter thinks it’s a cool idea; people in Europe do it, so it must be a cool idea because everything they do is cool and inclusive and diverse. Do I need to continue?

So I patiently waited my turn (struggling intensely to maintain my composure). I get up to the mic and my three minutes starts. I begin by mentioning that two of my siblings have spouses who followed the prescribed process for becoming citizens to obtain their right to vote. I didn’t mention this in my comments, but in neither case, did I ever hear out of them (at least not in my presence) any sense of entitlement or resentment about the process. It’s bureaucratic and cumbersome and seemingly endless, but they did what they had to do to get the brass ring.

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Why is Government “Charity” So Toxic?

 

This is what James Madison was concerned about when he said, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” 

This is a central flaw of progressive politics and the welfare state. Charitable giving and helping your neighbor are worthwhile endeavors that help your community. You would think that if something as big as government, with its limitless resources, got into the business of charitable giving and helping your neighbor, then that would be really good for your community, right? But it hasn’t worked out that way.

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Tackling Trump’s Twitter

 

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Nerdy-ness in Miniature

 

Every so often I feel the need to re-assert myself as one of Ricochet’s prominent nerds. I suspect this is because prominent nerds can’t really help ourselves as we ache to tell someone – anyone, really – about our 17th level Paladin and his Holy Avenger or about who could win in a fight: Superman, Goku, or The Hulk (it’s Superman, by the way). Today, mostly because we seem to have a large number of collectable card game players, I will represent their ancient arch-nemesis: The Miniature Gamer (more on the conflict later).

Take it slow if you need to. The turtles will.
Pictured: large scale conflict at a much more manageable scale.

Miniature games actually are pretty old in the gaming world, though the more familiar iterations we have today, which are frequently fantasy or sci-fi versions of the hobby. However, historical games have been around longer and have attracted many a player. The historical mini-wargames typically focus on periods of great conflict of course, such as World War II represented in Flames of War or Bolt Action. Other take generalized conflicts for inspiration, such as many medieval war games or Team Yankee which takes modern military equipment and armies and pits them in hypothetical conflicts.

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