Memorial Day: Submarine Lifeguard League


My late father enlisted in the Navy as a 17-year-old. Shortly before his 18th birthday, he completed Submarine School and was in combat as an 18-year-old. The Submarine Lifeguard League in the Pacific rescued about 500 airmen from all services.

When the numbers were added up after the surrender and using Japanese records, U.S. submarines had sunk 1,314 enemy vessels of 5.3 millions tons including a battleship, eight carriers, eleven cruisers and innumerable destroyers and escort ships.

Anecdotes Are Not Facts: Tell That to the Left


Recently I had a conversation with a friend with whom I rarely have political conversations. They generally don’t end well. In this situation, I was able to make my point without ripping out my hair, but I’m sure my friend found our discussion deeply unsatisfying. I found, however, that I became much clearer about the mindset of the Left, to which she belongs, and although it was discouraging, it was revealing. What was that clarity?

The Left believes that anecdotes, particularly their personal experiences, can be generalized to life. And I don’t think there’s a way to talk them out of that belief, because it is central to their worldview.

With a catastrophic tragedy in the news, the Ricochet mood is a bit more serious; but that doesn’t mean bad policy or sentimental grandstanding are appropriate courses of action. That’s why this week, we’ve invited a Second Amendment expert and parent on to the show. The one and only Charles C.W. Cooke.

He fields questions on the horror in Uvalde, the reaction from politicians and the press; the DPS, and a few potential resolutions to hopefully prevent so many of these terrible acts of violence. Peter and James also talk about the collapse of civic and moral norms that get far too little attention when these senseless crimes are discussed.

Gun Control … Again (Sigh)


Here I am posting about a subject that seems so absurd I don’t feel it’s worth my time to even debate the progressives about it. Here’s what hooks me into it … conservatives. Those who should know better say things like “sensible gun control” and “no one needs assault weapons.”

Charles Cooke has a great, yet very small, article in National Review titled “Statistics Matter in Statistical Disputes.” It notes that the Associated Press counts 169 mass school shooting deaths in 23 years.

Preparing for the Potential of Violence


With our busy lives getting in the way (although I can’t for the life of me figure out why I feel so busy!) we have tried to maintain our shooting practices at the gun range at least every two weeks. I’ve been using a small Glock with an extended magazine, and for a while was practicing with the fake bullets at home, practicing my carrying in my specially designed purse. My husband carries a Ruger (because it’s small) but likes his Glock. (Yes, we do have a CCP here in FL). Recently he bought a Kel-Tec Sub 2000. We went to the range today, and practiced for about an hour; if we shoot much longer than that amount of time, we find that mental and physical fatigue catches up with us; accuracy begins to disappear.

But now I’m wondering about the months ahead. Even in Florida, there will be the potential for violent protests, particularly if a decision comes out on Roe v. Wade. As always, I try to be a realist, not planning on the worst but also not burying my head in the sand. It doesn’t do any harm to get in extra practice and continue to become more at ease with my weapon.

Yet I can’t help wondering if the mindset I’m developing is healthy. I don’t want to live my life with a siege mentality. I don’t want to wonder if I’m sitting in the least or most vulnerable seat in a restaurant. I dislike the guidance for situational awareness, even though it’s for my own good.

What’s in a Number? America Has a Maturity Problem.


Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” I ask, “What’s in a number?”

Particularly, I want to know what chronological age is magical, that which allows you to do something on your birthday that you could not do the day before. If you are 17 you may not vote, you may not buy a long gun, or you may not join the military without permission. But at age 18, in one magical moment, from 11:59 p.m. local time to 12:00 a.m., you have gained the wisdom and the right to do all these things.

One Group Everyone Should Join


Boss Mongo.

If anyone here deserves the title of Ricochet Legend, it is Boss Mongo.  He was larger than life — intelligent, well-read, opinionated, funny, straight-forward, frank, honest, and a hell of a good storyteller.  Getting a Boss Mongo like on a comment or post was better than the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It meant that a man who had seen, and done, just about everything thought that what you had to say was okay.

Are They Really This Stupid?


One straightforward, easy-to-implement security measure for schools is establishing a single, controlled point of entry. This way, a would-be mass murderer would be stopped from entering the school. The schools my kids attended had this. There was an anteroom in the high school with a CCTV. No one could gain access during school hours unless buzzed in by the front office.

Leftists in the media seem to think this would mean there was literally only one door in an entire school building. Are they really so stupid that the concept of multiple other exit doors that cannot be opened from the outside does not exist for them. Put another way, the elite, blue-checked left seemingly does not know how doors work.

Hometown Heroes


In this part of the world, the towns put up banners with current and retired service members, paid for by family or friends and organized by volunteers. I’ve seen everything from Civil War nurses to active duty kids in basic training. Last year it started up in my hometown, and I made sure to get my dad a banner.

He was an authentic hero, part of the third wave to hit Normandy, and took over his unit after his commanding officer was killed, running things even after taking a bullet to the knee. Hence the Silver Star medal. He never talked about it; I learned a lot of the details from his medal citation.

The town hung the banners in time for the Memorial Day parade next Monday, and here’s Dad. It’s a real pleasure to live in a place where there are parades on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the Fourth.

Does the Sussman Trial Cause Any Regret at All?


From RealClearPolitics on Thursday:

Baker’s testimony was followed, on Friday, by that of Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. Mook casually (perhaps inadvertently) dropped a bombshell. Hillary Clinton, he said, had personally approved sharing the Trump-Alfa Bank story with the press. Mook said the campaign wasn’t sure if the story was true but figured the press would look into it. Hillary agreed and approved spreading the false story.

Climate Change Casual Conversation


Have you had the Climate Change Casual Conversation? I have had it three times with three different people, involuntarily, over the last two months. And I do not have a lot of casual conversations because I generally keep to myself.

The first one happened in an AT&T phone store. I was sitting next to an elderly lady and she turned to me and declared (politely) that we are doing things to ruin the planet. She did not mention climate change but I knew what she meant. Maybe she thought I would ask her what she did mean, but I did not want to hear the boilerplate climate “emergency” garbage that is so ubiquitous today.  I did not respond though in retrospect I should have mentioned that her cell phone contained rare earth metals and that extracting them from the ground was hurting the environment. But I didn’t. It was a casual conversation after all.

This week, Rob give his notes on network notes. Some writers consider them the bane of their existence. Others carefully parse them like a detective at a crime scene for subtle clues that may (or may not) signal whether their script will move towards production. But what if your script receives the unusual but occasional “we have no notes” response? Well, that’s the dream, right? Rob explains why it may indeed mean you have turned in the perfect draft that answers all of the network’s questions and fears and your pilot is now on the fast track to the Production Promised Land. Or it may mean something more ominous….

The Sham of ‘White Supremacy’


According to President Biden, “terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” as he put it in an address to congress. Attorney General Merrick Garland agreed, noting that “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” are the most dangerous element of domestic violence. Garland declared that we must “bring federal resources to bear” and “adopt a broader societal response” to the threat of white supremacy.

But it’s a slur to claim that Americans live in fear of white supremacists like the brownshirts of yore. In reality, white supremacists are a small fringe group of pathetic losers who are despised by all.

Their gatherings often attract more attackers than members. No one raises money for their bail when they get in trouble like Kamala Harris did for BLM when their “mostly peaceful” protests produced burning buildings and mass looting.

Film Review: ‘Menace II Society’


“Hey, you ain’t gotta be creepin’,” O-Dog (Larenz Tate) tells the Asian shopkeeper at the convenience store. “Man, always think we gonna steal something,” he says to his friend Caine (Tyrin Turner). A minute later a remark from the cashier angers O-Dog so much he shoots the cashier and the shopkeeper.

After that opening scene, we get narration from Caine telling us about his childhood. His father (Samuel L. Jackson) was a pusher with a short fuse. During a poker game, he shoots another player. Little Caine looms in the background of the frame, wearing his pajamas. Menace II Society (1993) is filled with senseless violence. When the violence is not petty and impulsive, it’s just a link in an endless chain of retaliations. Violence is so mundane an aspect of these people’s lives, most don’t notice a difference between O-Dog and his obvious psychopathy and Caine who may well have been an upright citizen had he grown up in a different environment than the projects of LA.

Caine graduates high school, barely. His grandfather calls this the proudest he’s ever been. His grandfather raised him since his father and mother died in a drug deal gone wrong and by an overdose respectively. One of Caine’s friends, Ronnie (Jada Pinkett), is a single mother and one of the few people he knows trying to lead an honest life. Later she gets a job in Atlanta and offers Caine the chance to come with her and leave behind the gang life. It’s hard to say if his reluctance to join her stems from him not knowing any other path than the one he’s on, or if he can’t resist the allure of drugs, casual sex, and money.

Gun Violence: When There’s No Solution


Every time there is a mass shooting, people on the Left and Right jump on the bandwagon; the pattern of response has become familiar. First there is the outrage, grief, disbelief, condemnation, filled with sorrow and passion and frustration. Then people begin to speculate about the shooter for hours, even when the information is scant or non-existent. The routine plays out with stories about the school/organization, the surrounding community, security measures, and law enforcement. And finally, most commentators demand that we find ways to stop these violent situations, once and for all.

Please don’t misunderstand: the horrific situations demand that we try to understand what has happened, to make sense of them, to give them some kind of meaning and clarity and potential solutions. But these efforts completely ignore the truth: we will never stop mass shootings. And putting our focus on those impossible goals misses opportunities to deal with those things we can try to address.

Reading the Signs: Time to Turn Around


I saw the headlines on the Texas elementary school shooting flash on the TV screen, like most of you. My husband said, “I don’t want you to see this.” It didn’t work. I laid awake with my own mental pictures and tried to put the pieces of a distorted, senseless, fragmented, and tragic puzzle together. The pieces didn’t fit. I read the story this morning — an 18-year-old Hispanic boy who had a dark, online life and somehow acquired guns.

As I read the story in detail, the same responses came after … guns and the foul gun lobby, then celebrity comments like, “We can do better.” It’s sick. Since this ugliness continues, we are obviously not doing better. Not even close. I thought about a boy who became a stoic monster, with no feeling or expression on his face — who had nothing to live for and wanted to cause tremendous pain. Where did he live? Was he pushed across an open border with nothing and sucked up by a ruthless gang? Where are his parents right now? I want to know these things because he can’t be the only one. Texas has a big border — and they keep sounding the alarm to deaf ears.

I thought about Davos, Switzerland, because we’re told the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is on our doorstep — get ready. Klaus Schwab and all the drivers of the great digital, technological, marvelous age soon to come are piled up together, weaving their New World Order. Part of that is “order” is the allure of endless social media, where this boy wanted pictures of guns posted — where he was rambling to people he didn’t know to post his pictures.

Meet Mollie Hemingway and Byron York in DC


Byron York and Mollie Hemingway will be recording an episode of The Byron York Show at Hillsdale’s DC campus, and you’re invited! If you’re a Ricochet member, that is…

Join us on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Hillsdale College Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center 227 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast Washington, DC 20002. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the event will start at 6:30.

The two will discuss “The 2022 Election: The Status of Election Integrity in America and What the Republicans Should Do If They Win.”

An Example to Young Girls


My daughter is a high school freshman who is hard-working and ambitious. She is growing up at a time where some of her teachers will point to women in power as an example of what she can achieve. Evidently, my little girl is looking to these women and taking notice.

Quote of the Day: How Often Are We Complicit with Evil?


“Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.” — W. H. Auden

When horrible things happen in the world, those acts are often identified as evil acts. The Russian creation of mass graves in Ukraine? Evil. The killing of citizens in the streets of Ukraine? Evil. The mass shooting of parishioners at church on a Sunday morning? Evil. The killing of young children while they are at school. Evil.

Disarming Lawful Americans


The tragedy in Uvalde is real. The emotions are raw. The story — other than the results — still unclear.

Mrs Rodin and I listened to pResident Biden last night as his speech was broadcast in the latter portion of Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News. Before the speech, Tucker expressed a wish that the president would deliver a healing, not a divisive address. This “priming” was a bit off-putting, but understandable given what Progressives were already saying as the health professionals continued to try and save bleeding and broken bodies.

Precious Things


When I arrived at my brother’s apartment in New York, on my way to the Ricochet Meetup, we exchanged hellos, he asked how I was.”Exhausted,” I said. I hadn’t slept the night before because I rarely get sleep if I have to wake up early for a flight. His response, “Welcome to the club.” He had been kept up the night before by his son, who’s a mere 11 months old. I gather being kept up by his 11-month-old boy is common.

I raced out for the event a few moments later and was thankfully rejuvenated by the stimulant of enjoyable company.

But, alas, I wasn’t able to see the baby when I returned because apparently babies don’t stay up til 11:30 – not even to visit with uncles. And double-alas, I couldn’t sleep that night either! Baby was innocent, Sandman just didn’t show. By my count, it was something like a 62-hour Zzzz-less weekend.