Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Of Apples and Trees


My dad recently sent me an heirloom: A handwritten note from one of my elementary school teachers, written in the early ’80s. The content of her note can be summarized in the phrase “We need to talk.” My dad also included his handwritten notes from the phone conversation.

Here are the highlights, in case they’re hard to read:


Contributor Created with Sketch. Uncommon Knowledge: Mathematical Challenges To Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution




Contributor Created with Sketch. The Real Anti-Choice Police: The Left


“If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.” Remember that gem? It feels like yesterday conservatives were asked why they wanted to stand in the way of other Americans getting healthcare. Another classic from the days of yore: “Why do you care who someone else marries?” Now, I’m a supporter of gay marriage; I’m a fan of marriage and commitment in general. But why did many Americans throw up the caution flag? Because they knew they would, in the words of Erick Erickson, be made to care. The Daily Signal has followed the story of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker closely, showing why so many Americans expressed concern over an issue they were assured would never affect them.

With the transgender movement, we’re again asked incredulously, why we care which pronouns someone else is called. If you dare decide to err on the side of biology instead of this gender confusion, you’re a transphobe. The problem for the Left is this: They haven’t waited until they achieved total legal and societal victory before punishing those who won’t comply.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Russia Hoax Update


A couple of news items in the Russia Hoax you probably missed.

1. A DC court judge ruled that Mueller violated the law in his dossier by asserting that a Russian restaurateur was acting on behalf of the Russian government when he placed ads besmirching Hillary in 2016. I think this will eventually end the case and just like that Mueller’s only non-fictional Russian will be cleared of influence.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Jeff Lynne’s ELO Recaptures (Most of) ELO’s Peak 70s ‘Strange Magic’


ELO bros.
On Tuesday, July 9, I was in a panic. A non-D.C. friend of mine texted me asking if I would be going to the ELO concert in two days (well, technically, the Jeff Lynne’s ELO concert; more on that in a bit).

Although I am a Millennial (with a podcast!), and ELO’s critical and commercial peak came when my parents were in high school (though their greatest hits, like “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Evil Woman” have had a long cultural shelf life), I nonetheless have long been a huge fan of this Beatlesque symphonic pop-rock group. I have written about ELO’s output at Ricochet and even got to discuss it for two hours on an episode of National Review’s excellent Political Beats podcast.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. John Glenn’s Flight


In elementary school, they brought TVs into our classrooms so we could watch the Mercury missions. John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth (after many delays and cancellations).

I found this copy of one of my father’s souvenirs yesterday. I think this track comes from my father’s Naval Space Surveillance System. Two years later, it would help inspire him to start his navsat program Timation which led to GPS.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Socialist Senator Sanders Gets a Taste of Capitalism


But does he recognize it? I’m guessing probably not. This situation is the epitome of a capitalist tradeoff. His campaign staff is unionized. He went along with it because he has to as a “democratic socialist.” He is also highly in favor of a minimum wage of $15 per hour. His campaign has a budget, with a certain amount of dollars. So, Mr. Sanders has discovered that, with his current campaign budget, he cannot afford to pay everyone $15 per hour. He has stated, therefore, that he will reduce some staff hours in order to pay everyone that vaunted $15.

Yes, Bernie, when your cost of doing business rises (with little to no productivity improvement), you are forced into tough choices. Do you lay-off an employee? Do you reduce everyone’s hours? Do you reduce only some staffers’ hours? If you want to maintain a viable campaign organization, you will need to make some hard decisions.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Squabble Over the Squad Gets Squalid


“Send her back, send her back, send her back!” the crowd thunderously chanted at a recent Trump rally. They were referring, of course, to Rep. Ilhan Omar, originally from Somalia and one of the main, malcontented mean girls of what has been recently designated as the “Squad.”

One commentator compared the chanting to “two minutes of hate” from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the dystopian novel about a nightmarish authoritarian regime. Seriously? Leftists, whose numbers terrifyingly continue to swell, have been hating on America every second of every day for the last fifty years or more. They hate America, they hate the Founding Fathers, they hate every facet of our history, they hate our customs, they hate Judeo-Christian religion, they hate Western civilization, they hate capitalism, they hate self-reliance, they hate beauty, they hate truth, they hate sexual and gender normalcy, they hate “whiteness” itself.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. 300: A Man, a Horse, and a Missionary Woman


The events related here took place a little over seventy years ago. They tell the story of a man and his horse. Together. Alone in the bush. The man, very ill. And afraid. The horse, very tired. He was probably afraid, too. And they tell the story of the extraordinarily brave woman who saved them both.

Some of you will recognize it as the récit d’enfance of Gagara Yasin, at the time a 29-year-old newly-minted colonial officer, the “lowest form of animal life” in the British administration of Sokoto Province in Northern Nigeria. He’d arrived in country the previous Spring, and had spent several months learning the ropes while his resolve, and his ability to think on his feet, were tested on a few small assignments (collecting the cattle tax from the nomadic Fulani farmers, investigating a case of witchcraft in Giro, delivering a baby in Bakin Turu). Finally, he was set (somewhat) free on his own, as a “Touring Officer,” a sort of roving junior Justice of the Peace, in and around Yelwa.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Tucker Carlson Says Corporations Are Now the Biggest Threat to Your Freedom. He’s Wrong


Americans are not at the mercy of businesses that don’t share their values.

Sundar Pichai, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg have no prisons. They’ve never run an internment camp or seized anyone’s home for failure to mow their lawn. Their body counts are a combined zero. Yet in a recent keynote address at the National Conservatism conference, Tucker Carlson suggested that big corporations, like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, are a greater threat to your freedom than the government.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Facebook Jefferson Smiths


When I was 19, and was the only one of my circle of friends to leave my hometown to go to college, I pined for a way to keep tabs on people and know how they’re doing. Social media, once it became a phenomenon years later, was a dream. Now it’s become a nightmare, in that you know just enough about all of your friends to hate them just a little bit. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, and everyone apparently is obliged to tell you every waking thought of every moment of every day.

I’m amazed by the cycle of social media politics amongst my group of friends, 90 percent of whom are in the arts.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Thinking About the End Game


In a traditional “viewing,” a largely Southern custom these days, the family of the deceased rents a room, often within a church, and then invites the relatives and friends of the deceased to socialize and, if they wish, say a few words to the embalmed corpse.

I know, I know, it seems a little weird and macabre, but many of our funeral customs are a little weird and macabre.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s Time for Feminism to End


Feminism began with goals that were both laudable and achievable, and it achieved them: women are today the legal equals of men. For decades now, since legal equality was achieved, feminism has been harmful to women.

Feminism has always had its destructive aspect, its misguided insistence that women adopt male practices that, for reasons of simple biology, work against women. The sexual realities for women are different, completely and ineluctably different, from those for men. Encouraging women to disregard those realities harms women. Women aren’t men, and they can’t act with the casual disregard for responsibility and consequences that nature has gifted to men as an unfortunately viable option.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Truly Alone


I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side. – Michael Collins

We are now celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. On Wednesday we discussed the first man on the Moon Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012. Yesterday we discussed Buzz Aldrin, who had a PhD in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The third member of the crew, Michael Collins, orbited the Moon while Neil and Buzz landed. There were many question on his role and how he felt about not landing. Like Armstrong and Aldrin, Collins decided to stop space flights after Apollo 11:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Still Coming Home


Betio is a small triangular island located about 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii in the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Only 2 miles long and about 800 yards at its widest point it would not seem to be a place of any great importance in the world. Yet, during the Second World War, Imperial Japan fortified it with 2,600 troops and 2,200 construction workers, 1,200 of which were Korean slave laborers.

Admiral Chester Nimitz called it “the front door to Japanese defenses in the Central Pacific.” The Gilberts lead you to the Marshall Islands, the Marshalls to the Marianas, the Marianas to the Carolines and, finally, back to the Philippines. Further southwest, closer to Australia, US forces had began a similar campaign in the Solomons in February of 1943. There, over the course of six months, the 2nd Marine Division took 1,200 casualties (268 dead). After R&R in New Zealand, they would be tasked to lead the assault on Tarawa where they took 3,301 casualties (990 dead) in just two weeks of operation. Almost half of that would come in the first 24 hours. It has been called the toughest battle in the history of the United States Marines.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Government’s Job


“Government’s job is not to get you stuff, or to get somebody else’s stuff for you. It’s to preserve your liberty.” – Rand Paul

If you listen to the Democratic candidates for President, all they pledge is different ways to get you stuff or get someone else’s stuff for you. Liberty? Well, maybe so far as it does not interfere with getting you stuff or getting someone else’s stuff for you.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. ‘Justice on Trial’: A Great Book About the Kavanaugh Confirmation


Justice on Trial by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino is a great book. It arrived this week, and I read it in one day. I read until after midnight, and then woke up early to tackle it again. It has a number of insights and inside stories, from Justice Kennedy slipping out to give Trump his letter of resignation, to mind-numbing detail about how the Dems tried to scam the process.

Two Dems come out the best, Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons. Yes, they voted against Kavanaugh but they did not disgrace themselves as did Kamala Harris and Cory “Spartacus” Booker. Special praise goes to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chair Chuck Grassley, and Lindsey Graham.


Millennial “hampsters” invade the workplace, Iranian metal band flees Iran for Norway, and Planned Parenthood fires CEO for not promoting abortion to pregnant men. Oh, and FaceApp.

The intro/outro song and Stephen’s song of the week is “Holy” by Frightened Rabbit. Jon’s song of the week is “New Ketamine” by Fern Mayo. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Party of Science


Let me juxtapose two stories:

Progressives used science to justify killing G-d. Now they use their new religion to justify killing science.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s Not True that Empiricism and Religion Are Never the Same Thing


I’ve been mostly just lurking around Ricochet lately, a consequence of traveling. Two weeks ago travel and allergens wore me out enough to allow for (probably) a flu, which was followed by the usual sinus infection, which was followed by the usual prednisone and antibiotics. But I felt pretty good about the flu because I felt I had something to show for being completely exhausted: My article “William James and Allama Iqbal on Empirical Faith” was accepted for publication around the time the headache started, with the nicest words I’ve ever received from a blind reviewer. As of this morning, the article is now up at the Heythrop Journal website.

My recommended one-sentence takeaway is: Don’t trust the popular theory that empiricism and religion are never the same thing. And here’s some of the gist of my analysis of two empirical religious philosophers:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Mystery of the Globe


Literally, the one in my office. I have a beautiful Rand McNally globe that sat in my grandfather’s office when he worked for the company in the 1960s. My dad has had it since the 80s, and gave it to me a few months back (ok, I took it and he didn’t object). Only recently have I had time to really take a close look; the first time in 35 years.

The mystery is: how old is the globe?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. You Never Go Full Commie


Unless you’re the New York Times:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Friday Food and Drink Post: Snacks ‘N ‘At


Actually, I probably should have phrased the title of this post “Weird Snacks ‘N ‘At.”

The “‘N ‘At” part is an homage to my nearest (and dearest) metropolitan area, the place I go on the rare occasions when I put on grown-up clothes and shoes, do something about my face, hands and hair (starting with, most unusually, “wash them”), and assume the role of “culture vulture,” (usually with at least one of my friends, as it generally takes some encouragement to get me to this point). I love the (very) occasional exertion, and the entertainment or meal that awaits me, although I’m sad that, while the clock is still there, Kaufmann’s is gone, and so is the Tic-Toc Restaurant, itself an homage to the timepiece, and a regular and favorite meeting place in bygone days.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Baseless, Degrading, Unverified, and Quite Possibly True


A reporter asked President Trump, “if the administration was looking into possible immigration fraud committed by Ilhan Omar for possibly marrying her brother.”

Trump replied, “Well, there’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it, I hear she was married to her brother. You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure there’s somebody who will be looking at that.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. “That’s Racist!”


Democrat "Squad"Yes, the phase is casually, dishonestly employed, and so debased as to be largely emptied of moral weight. This is another thing the left has ruined. At the same time, leftist identity politics legitimize preferred forms of segregation, racial favoritism, and ideological policing of color lines.

Demanding “safe spaces” with admission only to specific ethnic groups is segregation. Fiddling with admission criteria to boost or suppress college class membership for a racial group is racial favoritism. And this is raw ideological policing of the color lines: