Uncommon Knowledge: Reagan And John Paul II — The Partnership That Changed The World

 

Did President Reagan and Pope John Paul II have a secret alliance or simply an aligned foreign policy strategy that helped end the Cold War? Former attorney general to President Reagan Edwin Meese III answers these questions and more in this episode of Uncommon Knowledge.

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The Problem with No Name

 

Confused about what is going on in France? You should be.

Fortunately, former Ricochet editor @claire has made an ambitious and, in my view, largely successful attempt to clarify the who, what, when, where, why and how dare you of the Yellow Vest Revolution and has published the article in The American Interest, I strongly recommend reading it.

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Pattern recognition

 

One wonders how many Democrat voters are starting to notice a pattern here. Surely some of them are starting to notice that their party’s causes are based on fantasies and make-believe, just like the economic policies of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or the job applications of Elizabeth Warren, or the evidence for the Trump-Russia collusion, or Hillary’s email server, or John Kerry’s military service, or whatever.

How many times can Democrats blatantly lie to their true believers before they create some skepticism among their own voters? There just must be a line somewhere; a line that they cross and even some college professors or parts of the old media starts to wonder if their support for the Democrat party may be misguided. Just a few, at first. But at least a few. Right?

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Good News: Here Comes Gen Z

 

I have been seeing this trend through my own child and her friends who are Gen Z. Extremely practical, level-headed, hard-working youngsters who scoff at political correctness. They aren’t ‘conservative’ in the classic sense, but they lean in that direction, mainly because they’ve seen through the absurdity of today’s leftist ideals and attempts at radical social reform.

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Who’s Right: AOC or de Blasio?

 

Amazon has announced that they are not going to locate one of the headquarters in NYC due to political blowback on the deal NY and NYC cut to attract Amazon there. The deal was priced at $3 Billion in Amazon’s favor. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) opposed the deal stating that that money should be distributed to the poor of NYC instead. Mayor de Blasio says “What money?!”

So what was the deal? It appears it was a fairly typical “redevelopment” project whereby a city (and/or state) offers a variety of things: spending money on infrastructure to make the place more useful to the expected developer, waiving certain regulations that add cost to the private developers, and exempting or reducing future taxes on the developer that would ordinarily be levied. Of these elements only infrastructure spending involves actual cash in the possession of government. And even then, the only cash that could alternatively be distributed to the poor would be any infrastructure expense that would be customizable for a particular developer as opposed to infrastructure needed to make the area usable for any economic activity.

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Tinker – Tailor – Soldier – Spy

 

Have you ever felt on that rare occasion that watching a movie before reading the book was helpful? No? Have you ever read a book by John Le Carre?

First, there’s that British humor and language, like ‘bob’, instead of meaning @kentforrester‘ s dog, it means moolah, money. It dives from there into the deep, dark, dangerous cavern of espionage. I love spy stories, especially non-fiction. I have several Robert Baer books, and others from the cold war to the present time. Yet I’ve noticed Le Carre books everywhere lately, library sales, book store discount tables and movies popping up. I try reading them and my brain starts to whirl. In “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. the reviews warn “this is not for the quick action reader”. He slowly builds the characters to where they become personal, and then methodically unfolds the plot, shifting from present to past and back again (from that quirky British perspective). A third of the way through I shelved it, frustrated. Then the movie was on last night…

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Felon-in-Chief

 

For more than two years, we have discussed whether or not Donald Trump is fit to be President. Little attention has been paid to the same question regarding Hillary Clinton. (No, this is not another defense of Trump’s election.)

Clinton’s preferred policies, methods, and plans for power are beside the point. My concern is more fundamental. Democrats ran an unprosecuted felon for the highest office in the land — and that proposal went unchallenged.

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Quote of the Day: Socialism

 

“Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.” – Ronald Reagan

The problem with socialism is it requires perfect people to work. That is why it works in heaven. Of course, if people are perfect, as Reagan observed, socialism is unnecessary. And if people are not perfect in a place where socialism is implemented? Well, Reagan had the answer to that, as well. Perhaps it is no accident that the United States’s most flawed politicians are the most ardent socialists in the United States.

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The Undue Alarmism over America’s Wealth Inequality ‘Crisis’

 

At least the fantastical Green New Deal attempts to address an actual problem: climate change. That’s less obviously the case with various new tax proposals meant to solve America’s “wealth inequality crisis.” Evidence that America’s ever-expanding stock of wealth has become concentrated in fewer hands isn’t itself evidence of a crisis. Nor does “tolerating extreme inequality mean accepting that it’s not a gross policy failure,” as inequality researchers Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez recently wrote.

In what way is it a policy failure if extraordinary wealth is derived from the rise of innovative companies (who invest as if their continued existence depends on it) that sell gadgets and services that we greatly value? (Which is more the case than it used to be. The opposite trend, one that favored inheritance or cronyism, is what would be alarming.) How is it, given this reality, that the more billionaires there are and the richer they are, the worse things are? More, please. (It’s also worth pointing out Zucman’s much-cited data shows wealth inequality has drifted lower the past few years. Likewise, income inequality has slowed markedly over the past decade.)

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Not Just Guns Walked During Fast and Furious

 

I love my country, but I fear my government. Fast and Furious has come up in comments about the current Deep State concerns in the Russian collusion investigation. The Los Angeles Times has a series of articles on the ATF Fast and Furious debacle. One article concerning a Glendale, Arizona firearms store owner is pretty revealing that the guns sold to Mexican drug cartels were not followed across the border.

Not just guns walked away, Eric Holder, the Attorney General in the Obama administration also walked away from any responsibility for around 3,000 firearms sold to criminals on the Mexican side of the border.

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‘Lady Death’ the Story of a Successful Sniper

 

Lyudmila Pavlichenko was the Soviet Army’s most successful female sniper during World War II. A fourth-year history student when Hitler invaded Russia, she quit school to enlist as a sniper. In 1941 and 1942 she racked up 309 kills.

“Lady Death: The Memoirs of Stalin’s Sniper,” by Lyudmila Pavlichenko, is an English translation of her memoirs. She died in 1974, leaving a manuscript copy of her memoirs, which remained unpublished until this century.

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Success of Stupidity

 

I had never heard of Jeremy McLellan until an associate retweeted these thought-provoking comments. What do you make of them?

We’ve been told that a “free marketplace of ideas” will stamp out bad ideas and allow good ones to thrive. The opposite seems to be happening. Not surprised. Markets are good at giving people what they want at the lowest cost. What happens if we want bad information?

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The Aurora Shooting

 

The Aurora, Illinois shooting: five killed and five police officers wounded by an employee who had been fired by his employer.

It is time to start enforcing firearms laws that are already in place. The Aurora shooter was a convicted felon who purchased a firearm in spite of having an aggravated assault conviction for stabbing a woman in Mississippi in 1995. He had also been arrested six times by Aurora, Illinois police officers and his most recent arrest was in 2008 for violating an order for protection.

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Bruno Ganz is Dead and Hitler is P… Angry

 

Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor who helped give the world it’s first serious German-language portrayal of the last days of Adolf Hitler on film and an enduring internet meme, has died at age 77.

Thanks to the “Hitler finds out about X…”parodies that populate YouTube, Ganz’s turn in Der Untergang (The Downfall, 2004) has probably made him the most known “unknown” in the English-speaking world. He had a 50-year career in cinema but he made very few films for Hollywood.

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First Principles: When Is Executive Action Acceptable?

 

On Friday, President Trump took the step of declaring a national emergency for the purposes of helping build a wall on the US border with Mexico. I do not wish to litigate that decision here. If you want to discuss the merits or details of that decision, we already have a great conversation about that which you can find here.

Rather, I want to discuss the general principles that make one kind of presidential action acceptable and another not acceptable, and where the line should be drawn between the two.

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What has happened to the FISA court?

 

It seems to me that the FISA court has been defrauded at least three times by the FBI/Justice department. If I was a Judge on the court who was led to sign off on an application based on fraudulent data, I would be furious and someone would be in front of me getting questioned severely (i.e. getting reamed out) and in real danger of some sort of imprisonment. Why have we not heard anything of any repercussions?

Also, as Chief Justice, Roberts is in charge of the FISA court. Where is he?

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Remembering My Dad

 

It’s my Dad’s birthday today, he would have been 96 years old but he only made it to 61. He died from leukemia two weeks after his birthday. I was in my early 30s, and he and my mom seemed old back then. Now that I’ve outlived him by five years, so far, I realize how young they were! Here’s a Father’s Day tribute I wrote for him when he wasn’t doing too well, and we thought he wouldn’t last the summer but he fought it for another eight months before succumbing.

To My Father, the Farmer, With Love

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How to Build a Computer 27: Data Recovery

 

We’ve covered the physical aspects of a hard disk drive, tonight we’ll touch on the way data is organized on the drive, by covering those two most important topics; keeping secrets and ferreting other people’s out.

In this case describing the times this joke has been used since it was last funny.

We’ll start by deleting files: Let’s say that I’ve got a backlog of old and worn-out memes to purge. That’s no problem, you just move them from the exquisitely detailed and organized archive of these things into the trash can, but that doesn’t actually erase anything. Bill Gates, knowing that we mere mortals are flawed and prone to regret, keeps your trashed files around in case your stale jokes may, someday in the future, be called for again. But we’re stronger than that. So we empty the trash folder (or, pro-tip; on a Windows box if you hold down ‘Shift’ as you delete a file the file doesn’t go to the trash at all; it empties automatically.)

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Forgotten Americans: How Sliced Bread Became The Greatest Thing

 

Inspired by recent posts on American inventors.

http://fiftiesweb.com/tv/red-skelton-3.jpg
(Red Skelton, phrase inventor)

The phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread” denotes any new, convenient and fantastic invention that enters our everyday life. Its origin lies in the 20th century and my favorite first attribution of its use is by comedian Red Skelton telling a Maryland newspaper in 1952 that “television is the greatest thing since sliced bread“.

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Required Reading

 

Powerline’s Scott Johnson has this brief, outstanding summary of the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history up today. This is absolutely required reading.

At the time, I thought Fast & Furious was the greatest political scandal in our history. Getting American law enforcement officers killed with weapons that our own government sold to criminal gangs in a foreign country in an effort to change popular opinion sufficiently to demand that we change the 2nd Amendment of our own Constitution. Holy Toledo.

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Medicare for All Would be a Disaster for All

 

The Democrats running for president are at it again: they are submitting a completely unrealistic proposal for single-payer health insurance and they aren’t sharing the facts. We must get the word out to everyone that we have to stop this proposal that will take us in a catastrophic direction.

The media, of course, will tell everyone that the public loves the idea of single-payer insurance aka, Medicare for All. Although those running for President have several different plans, none of them would be good for this country. But according to one poll, the public supports the idea :

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A Fan Letter to Michael Ramirez

 

Dear Michael,

I’ll apologize from the start if I seem to be gushing in this post. I can’t help myself. I happen to think that you are one of the most brilliant political cartoonists of our time. Maybe the best. And I’m so grateful to have your cartoons on Ricochet.

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American Inventors

 
Edwin Armstrong on the beach with his wife and his portable superheterodyne radio 1923

Yesterday, @richardeaston wrote a post Affirmative Action in Inventions in which he noted that in recent years a black female, Dr. Gladys West, has been given credit for inventions associated with GPS for which the credit belongs to others. I was going to comment on Richard’s post; but, my comment got too long and I think this post can stand on its own.

Unfortunately, I don’t think what Richard found is a one-off honest mistake. Rather, there appears to be a concerted effort to overstate the accomplishments of black Americans in some fields. This becomes apparent when searching various terms using the most popular Internet search engine: Google. For example, searching the term “American Inventors” gives the following result.

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