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Not That Kind of Socialism

 

When people on the right cite to Venezuela as an example of socialist failure, people on the left typically respond, “We don’t mean that kind of socialism, we mean the kind that’s practiced in Scandinavia.” And by that they mean, one presumes, a market-based economy supporting a large welfare state.

But when you look at their candidates’ proposals – the Green New Deal, 70% tax rates, the injection of “stakeholders” into corporate boards, breaking up the big tech firms, more corporate regulation, government control over political speech – their brand of socialism doesn’t look at all Scandinavian. By and large, the Nordic countries have less government regulation over businesses than the United States does today – and that’s before the left has its way with the economy.

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Ten Days To Go….

 

There are less than nine days now until Britain exits the European Union. Many might argue with that as today the Prime Minister will send a letter to the EU requesting an extension to the two-year article 50 countdown, due to expire on March 29. Brexiteers are outraged. However, the events of the last few days should give the most adamant of those Leave voters hope.

After the three votes last week to reject the Withdrawal Agreement for a second time, to also rule out leaving with ‘no-deal’, and to request an extension, nothing appeared to have changed. Mrs May continued her strategy of pressing on for a third vote on what effectively is a treaty that leaves the UK as bound into the EU as ever. The grind was back on with the government line being amplified by even the most Eurosceptic organs of the media.

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“When the Saxon Began to Hate”

 

You may think you recognize the phrase in the post title. You’ll search your memory and think, “Hmm, Kipling?” And you will be close, but not correct. It is an adaptation of a repeated line in Kipling’s 1917 poem The Beginnings:

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good,
When the English began to hate.

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A Cautionary Tale: New Zealand Moves to Ban Semi-Automatic Guns

 

We saw it coming: after the horrific shooting on the mosques in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned the public that gun laws would change. The deed has been done.

Today, New Zealand began the process for banning “military style semiautomatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.”

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More Misconceptions About College

 

Now that we’ve all had a good airing of grievances about elite colleges and their attendant injustices, let’s get some perspective.

While the number of high school graduates heading off to college has increased in recent years, the percentages graduating with a four-year degree have not increased much. Many students, especially those who are the first in their families to attend college, drop out before receiving a degree. (They cannot drop out of student loan payments though.)

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Julián and Beto Cage Match

 

Texas has been blessed with having two Democratic presidential candidates representing us in the 2020 race: Julián Castro and Robert “Beto” O’Rourke. As a public service and after extensive research, I am going to present a side by side comparison of the two contenders.

Political Experience

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President Trump Rocks Out with Real Heavy Metal Band

 

The afternoon of 20 March 2019, President Trump rocked out with a group that makes real heavy metal. The event was different from other presidential appearances, but featured many of the same themes. Two themes, American defense revival and energy dominance, stood in stark contrast to news from Germany. In the midst of the prepared remarks, with the usual riffs, President Trump elaborated on his criticism of the politician John McCain, who the appointed Senator from Arizona, Martha McSally, is unconditionally defending, raising questions about her viability or suitability in 2020. President Trump’s visit to the Lima Army Tank Plant was a great political messaging success on several levels.

The setting:

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Lent Part 2: The Triodion

 

In the first part I gave a brief overview of the services of the Orthodox Church that signal that Great Lent is not far off. But these were still basically “regular” services. In the three weeks and four Sundays before Great Lent, however, we enter into a new phase in the liturgy that carries all the way through Great And Holy Pascha (Easter), a phase that departs from the regular service orders and is called the Triodion (the canons chanted during this time originally had but three odes each, hence the term). In the Orthodox Church, this is the most sacred and special time of year, far exceeding Christmas in its significance, and in the physical and spiritual preparation we undergo. 

However, we’re not quite there… yet. There is something of a joke that I heard a priest say. If Lent is a preparation for Pascha, the three weeks beforehand are a preparation for the preparation. There are four rather special services, the first three of which each begin a week of this pre-preparation. First there is the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican, then the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, followed by Sunday of the Last Judgement, and concluding with the Sunday of Forgiveness. As I heard another priest put it: these services are like your mother calling out to you to get inside as it’s getting dark.

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Choosing Your Stories

 

Hollywood is a place of endless stories.

Part of what @davesussman does at Whiskey Politics is cover movie premieres when we get the chance, and the other night Dave and I met at the TLC Chinese 6 (formerly Grauman’s Chinese theater in Hollywood) for the red carpet premiere of Unplanned. The film opens with an emotionally shocking gut punch, then unravels the true story of Abby Johnson, the young director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. UPDATE: Dave Sussman talks about the emotional impact of the movie on radio.

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I Vaccinate My Kids and I Swear I’m Not Selling Anything. Can We Be Friends?

 

I’m starting this one off with a “Birdbox” reference, because that sure is still relevant! Everyone on the planet watched it at precisely the same time on December 21, 2018, so I’m not worried about spoiling anything for the good people of Ricochet.

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‘Compelled to Suffer’: The Story of the Houston Children of Leake County, Mississippi

 
Appeal for aid from the Orphan’s Home at Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi. (Clarion-Ledger, May 9, 1867)

In 1866 the number of children orphaned in Mississippi by the Civil War was estimated to be 10,000. The problem was so acute that the Confederate Orphans Home of Mississippi was established by the Mississippi Baptist State Convention in 1865 at Lauderdale Springs outside of Meridian. In less than two years the facility was home to over 200 orphans, and it remained in

operation until 1878 when the last of its charges had been placed into homes. The great majority of children in Mississippi who had lost their parents never saw the inside of an orphanage, as most were taken in by friends or family.

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Who Speaks for the Dead?

 
Mrs. Thatcher and President Reagan portrayed by puppets on the ITV satire “Spitting Image.”

When is it safe to speak for the dead? And exactly who gets to do it?

Patti Davis, who was never on the same page as her late father, Ronald Reagan, made a pronouncement the other day on how her father would have felt about Donald Trump. Ron, Jr. has done the same in the past and his eldest son, Michael, has chimed in, too.

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Let’s Mock Millennials’ Stress List

 

A CBD oil manufacturer ran a survey of what stresses out Millennials. It seems that Gen-Y thinks that 2019 is most stressful time in human history. I think it is important for other generations to mock them and make their own lists. I’ll aggregate responses in the OP.

The Millennial (Gen-Y) stress list:

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PoMoCon Four: Elites vs. Digital

 

James Poulos, recently named Executive Editor of American Mind, a worthy publication of the Claremont Institute, joins me for a conversation on the changes digital technology has created and revealed in this time of elite crisis in America and around the world. We also talk up a triad of cultural criticism whose moment has come: Philip Rieff, Christopher Lasch, and Marshall McLuhan. I’ll go so far as to boast that our conversation is a good example of what this triad has to offer by way of analysis of elites.

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Made a Laughing Stock of Your Network? There’s an Award For That

 

When I first saw the news that CNN won an award for its townhall post-Parkland, I assumed it had to be a joke.

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