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Good News: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Has Been Rescued!

 

As discussed in this thread, the classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is having a bit of trouble this year. Thanks to the grumbling of a few, some radio stations are dropping it from their playlists.

Luckily, just as it looked like the song was about to breathe its last, someone rewrote it and has given it a second chance! I think it might work. What do you think?

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Outrage: It’s All in the Labeling

 

This photo has been making the rounds on Facebook. I had 17 years of formal education and never once had a class in “white history.” I did, however, have classes in the history of the United States, which included people of all colors. If white people often appear in that history, it may have something to do with the fact that the United States sprang from British colonies founded largely by British settlers.

People of other races did figure heavily in the history I was taught, though, and perhaps in the history that you received as well. For example, I learned that settlers moving west displaced the Native Americans who lived there. I learned that slavery was a terrible part of our history, and that hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in the civil war that ended it. I was also taught that Chinese laborers built big chunks of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and that Japanese Americans were interned during WWII. Perhaps you also learned some of these same things in school as well.

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The White Lib’s Burden

 

Progressives currently get more votes than conservatives but lose elections due to their density in a few blue states. A simple, though tough, solution presents itself. With apologies to the original:

Take up the White Lib’s burden—
Move out into the weeds—
Move with your pets to exile
To serve your planet’s needs
To live in bad conditions
With stupid folk and wild—
Your new-met, sullen neighbors,
Half devils and half child

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Orthodox Church Structure: Veneration and Worship

 
Take away the minarets, and put a cross on top, and you’ve got the best one of all.

“Taste and see…”

It is an evening service at the beginning of Great Lent. The lights are subdued, not completely off like they will be on Great and Holy Friday, but dimmed enough such that the candles have their say in the illumination of the small nave. This is an evening liturgy, and being Lent it is a special liturgy. The hymns and antiphons are all in a minor key, mournful and repentant. The priest is wearing darker vestments of purple. Even the censer is changed out for one with quieter bells, or perhaps no bells at all. The icons on the iconostasis glow and shimmer above their vigil candles. The icons on the walls around watch with their eternal gaze, keeping company during this holy time of year.

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Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

 

Andrew Sullivan has a terrific piece in the New York Times on the new religions of the right and left.

And so we’re mistaken if we believe that the collapse of Christianity in America has led to a decline in religion. It has merely led to religious impulses being expressed by political cults. Like almost all new cultish impulses, they see no boundary between politics and their religion. And both cults really do minimize the importance of the individual in favor of either the oppressed group or the leader.

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Metastatic Leftism

 

Keeping thousands of doctors across the country up to date on the latest science and research is not easy. Most of us receive various medical journals each month, and they’re generally a good source of information. For this to be helpful, however, the journals and their content must be trusted. For example, if a journal was owned by Pfizer, the articles in that journal about Pfizer drugs might be questioned, and thus, less valuable. Which is why these journals go to great pains to maintain and demonstrate their impartial, objective viewpoints. Otherwise, why read them?

During the Clinton administration, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) ran an article about a “research study” which supposedly demonstrated that a majority of American youth do not view oral sex to be real sex, which therefore supposedly demonstrated that when Bill Clinton famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinski,” he was not directly lying. Now, the American Medical Association is not a great measure of the viewpoint of American physicians (I don’t belong to it – last I heard less than 6% of American physicians did belong to it – long story why – that’s another post…), but still, they were attempting to use their influence to shape public opinion. These are dangerous waters. They were willing to risk making themselves look silly, and lose the reputation they had built up over the course of decades, simply to provide temporary cover for a favored politician. I made a mental note to take what I read in JAMA with a grain of salt. And then this week, I receive this medical journal in the mail:

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Important Theological Question of the Day

 

I don’t care how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I just want to know what gender (or, preferably, sex) they are!

As I was putting up my nativity set last night and placing the angel overlooking the crib, it occurred to me how feminized angels appear in our popular art. It’s always bothered me that the angel in my set has huge hands(!) and is wearing a dress. And a shiny stole, and, well, lookie there! She/he/it appears to have bosoms!

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Hanukkah at the White House

 

On Thursday, my husband Seth and I attended the White House Hanukkah party along with 100+ other Jewish guests from around the country. We saw friends from California, New Jersey and quite a few local friends. I wrote about the experience for the Forward:

As we left, the Marine Chamber Orchestra played an entire songbook of Jewish music, from Hava Negila to Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel. It was an incredible moment that brought me to tears.

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Virginia Teacher Fired for Not Using Compelled Speech

 

“‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first–verdict afterward.’ ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

In the latest installment of Leftist agenda-driven stuff-and-nonsense, the school board for West Point High School in Virginia, by a unanimous (5-0) decision, has fired French teacher Peter Vlaming for not using compelled speech and for “misidentifying” a female student who identifies as a male as a female. In a statement following the board’s decision, the Superintendent stated:

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Quote of the Day: ‘This Was a Sockdolager’

 

When I was growing up, Davey Crockett was a Disney character played by Fess Parker. I even had the coonskin hat. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that he was a real person who had a real role in American history. In fact, it would be good if we had more of his type now. We also need more like Horatio Bunce.

The following is a summary from a more extended article from the Foundation for Economic Education and I recommend reading it and remembering that, as the article says, “the precise rendering and some of the detail are fictional.”

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The Captain of the Nevada: Dec. 7, 1941

 

Author’s Note: This is my annual reposting. I have made modifications due to excellent input by Ricochet members.

I read “Day of Infamy” by Walter Lord when I was 11 years old. It is still the best first-hand account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A great read, you won’t be able to put it down.

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From December 7, 1941, to “The Long Awaited Day”

 

My dad and his identical twin brother both enlisted in the Navy at 17 years of age during WWII. My uncle chose the aviator side of the Navy, my dad chose the Submarine Service. They earned a monthly bonus for hazardous duty, and perhaps that was an incentive to help their parents that were having a tough time financially trying to recover from the Great Depression.

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A Jobs Report That Reminds Us of the Power of Economic Growth

 

The November jobs report produced plenty of decent news: the 3.7 percent jobless rate held at the lowest level since 1969, 3.1 percent year-over-year wage growth matched October’s pace as the best since 2009, and even the lighter-than-forecasted 155,000 jobs gained means the rolling three-month average is still a solid 170,000. (On that last point, Barclays notes the jobs gain magnitude is about twice that needed to absorb growth in the labor force and push the unemployment rate lower over time.)

But maybe the best news of all is how the growing economy keeps grinding down the jobless rate for those at the bottom. The 3.5 percent unemployment rate for Americans with just a high school diploma is the lowest since 2000. Moreover, we’re seeing strong wage gains for the least-skilled workers. For instance: Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in the leisure and hospitality sector were up 4.4 percent from a year ago, easily beating inflation no matter who you slice. (And keep in mind that all this is happening even as the bugaboo U.S. trade deficit is at a 10-year high.)

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The Real Problem with Rudolph

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been taking it on the chin from oh-so-important SJW types. Their arguments are ridiculous, of course. But Rudolph is problematic. The current kerfuffle caused me to dig out this blog post I wrote a few years back. I stand by it.

I’m not a Grinch. Really. I’m not. I love Christmas, both for its religious significance and its pervasive cultural presence. Lights, decorations and goodies. What’s not to love?

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Veneration at Pearl Harbor

 

77 years ago, today, December 7, 1941, America was formally at peace, while much of the world was in flames. It was a sunny Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor, when the skies filled with Japanese attack aircraft and a peaceful day exploded into war. The strike was aimed at the old heart of the U.S. Pacific fleet, the battleships floating at anchor in Pearl Harbor.

Before dawn on 7 December 1941, the American strategic center of gravity in the Pacific reposed in the seven battleships then moored along “Battleship Row”, the six pairs of interrupted quays located along Ford Island’s eastern side. Quay F-2, the southernmost, which usually hosted an aircraft carrier, was empty. Northeastward, Battle Force flagship California was next, moored at F-3. Then came two pairs, moored side by side: Maryland with Oklahoma outboard, and Tennessee with West Virginia outboard. Astern of Tennessee lay Arizona, which had the repair ship Vestal alongside. Last in line was USS Nevada, by herself at quay F-8. These seven battleships, ranging in age from eighteen to twenty-five years, represented all but two of those available to the Pacific Fleet. The Fleet flagship, Pennsylvania, was also in Pearl Harbor, drydocked at the nearby Navy Yard. The ninth, USS Colorado, was undergoing overhaul on the west coast.

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What the Opioid Crisis is Really All About

 

There is a wonderful post by Avner Zarmi that compares the clash between traditional and contemporary culture to a Twilight Zone episode. In that episode, people with beautiful faces were shunned because the average face was horribly misshapen. Worse, those with beautiful faces had to live in a restricted area away from the normal, ugly people.

Zarmi contrasts traditional, religiously observant individuals of our own day with everyone else. He compares these shunned traditionalists to the beautiful faces in the Twilight Zone episode. By contrast, those who go with the flow and live by more casual standards are the normal, ugly people in the Twilight Zone episode.

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“Operator”

 

I heard a great song in my car yesterday – “Operator,” a 1972 folk/love song by Jim Croce. It’s a simple, beautiful song about a man’s effort to recover from a breakup with his girlfriend. What makes it so wonderful is that everyone can identify with the message. Everyone. Right? But then I started to wonder what someone would think of that song if they were under, say, 40 years old.

First of all, they would wonder, what the heck is a pay phone? Why would you need a dime to make a phone call? What is an operator? And why would you need the assistance of that person (or anyone else) to make a phone call? Ever heard of speed dial? Heck, just tell your phone to make the call and it does it on its own, right? And then, he can’t read the number on the matchbook because it’s old and faded. OK, so what is a matchbook, why would you be carrying one around, and why would you use that as a filing system for contacts? Many young people have forgotten the time when basically everybody smoked. Restaurants had complimentary matchbooks and ashtrays at the tables. And before cell phones, a matchbook might be the most convenient way to jot down a quick note, like a phone number. Lots of important information was written in matchbooks in those days. But there is something else in that song that I think many young people today would have difficulty identifying with:

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End of an Era?

 

During this time of national mourning at the passing of President George H.W. Bush, many have called this the end of an era; an era of decency, of country first, of selfless service to our fellow man. It is true that the 41st President, who came of age abruptly at the start of World War II and ended his long period of public service overseeing the fall of the Berlin Wall will be remembered for his humble kindness, his understated strength, and the “kinder, gentler nation” he set out to establish. But this is not the end of an era, as the pundits and television philosophers would have us believe.

Just as President Bush firmly believed the man elected President was the custodian of the Office, we the people are the custodians of this nation and I think we forget how much power we hold. As Lincoln said in his speech at Gettysburg, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” So we elect leaders-in this case a President-for the moment: to fight, to lead, to make peace, to unite. But it is also our duty to hold them, and each other, to a standard of decency and virtue, and the man should never outshine the office of which “we the people” established.

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Veneration and Vulnerability: Suicide in the Midst of Prosperity

 

Man does not live by bread alone. As bread was being earned at a record clip, and more people got off the dole, more people in their prime years cut their own lives short. Reflecting back on the U.S. military’s Herculean effort to end suicide in the service, an unwon battle, I am painfully aware there is no clear solution, no magic pill or words. And. I wonder if our changing societal habits and beliefs make vulnerable people more vulnerable.

2017 brought unbroken good economic news, and not just for stockholders. President Trump repeated at every occasion the good news for everyone, including demographic groups who had been lagging in employment. Wages started to rise. And in the midst of all this, the suicide rate increased to a 50-year peak.

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Katy Tur, France’s Riots, and Panic Mode

 

NBC’s Katy Tur, responding to an article in the New Yorker about climate, looked into the camera and asked “How pointless is my life? And how pointless are the decisions that I make on a day-to-day basis when we are not focused on climate change every day, when it’s not leading every one of our newscasts?”

It’s a safe bet that not only will climate change not lead all newscasts, it will not even lead Katy Tur’s very often. And the reason is not any of those often proffered for failure to act in the ways activists prefer. It won’t be that she is a climate change denier. It won’t be that she was bought off by the fossil fuel industry. And it won’t be that she doesn’t care.

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Britain Is Toast

 

Government is inherently wasteful and prone to stupidity and as such outsourcing to the private sector is often the conservative solution to solve that particular problem. But does it really work?

Serco is an international services company based in the UK that does everything from catering to running air traffic control. Last year it brought in revenues of £2.95B ($3.78B USD). Serco began life as a UK subsidiary of RCA and was spun off as its own company in 1985 when GE swallowed up its American parent.

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