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


“The truth is most conservatives are fine accepting apologies for dumb stuff said or done years ago. Unfortunately, liberals refuse to forgive conservatives so we have no choice but to do the same to you. It doesn’t have to be this way. We only ask for one standard.” – Chris Barron (2019-09-18)

It’s not from an extremely famous figure (he is a Fox Business contributor). It’s not an extremely pithy one-liner. In that tweet, however, you have the summary for so much of the current situation in the GOP.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Crystals the Color of Sweat and Blood


I was a minor rock hound — a rock pup, if you will — in my youth. Nothing serious, a small collection, only a few spectacular finds of my own, the rest either dull or store-bought. I liked crystals. But not as “wellness” aids. The folklore surrounding minerals, including their medicinal use, is part of their history. Still, I found myself mildly disappointed by the degree to which even geology shops treated the folklore as true.

Apparently, “wellness” claims for rocks have only gotten worse — er, I mean, more popular — since I was a young rock hound. Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, has gifted the world with Goop, like crystal-enhanced water bottles! Yoni eggs! (Warning: these eggs NSFW.) Rose quartz, with its soft pink hue, is particularly popular for “wellness.” Fair-trade certification, which is supposed to guarantee humane treatment of workers, is also popular in wellness products. But — and it’s a big but — most “wellness” crystals are far from fair trade. That pretty rose quartz is the color of sweat and blood.


The cosplaying Prime Minister of the Great White North was caught wearing blackface again and again and again. Luckily, the press was busy attacking a now-fired SNL castmember and publishing more fake news about Brett Kavanaugh. Is cancel culture doomed?

The intro/outro song is “Sad Song” by The Cars (RIP, Ric). Stephen’s song of the week is “A Word of Wisdom” by M83. Jon’s song of the week is “Turn Away the Bad Thing” by Ceremony. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan stops by to discuss the long and painful journey to a career in the entertainment industry, from studying finance at Georgetown, to taking improv classes so he can overcome his fear of speaking in meetings at the advertising agency where he worked, to falling in love with stand-up and watching everyone else in his comedy class find success before he did. Jim talks why failure is such a great teacher, getting lost in other people’s expectations, the creepy thing about doing press, and why he doesn’t want power. In his new movie, American Dreamer, he gets the chance to play against type with a complex character in a disturbing thriller, and he shares how he could relate to the delusions of his character, the American fantasy of the “quick fix,” and the rewards of being able to explore a dark character. He and Bridget marvel at Joe Rogan’s abilities, commiserate over the repressed rage of comedians, and reflect that more dangerous than cancel culture, is the growing trend of leaving people out of the discussion altogether.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. My Music Contribution for the Week: Hard Times of Old England


Steeleye Span is one of my most favorite groups, and they have been around since the 1970s. For some unknown reason, their rendition of Hard Times of Old England has been playing on my internal tape today. So, I wandered through YouTube, looking for something the Ricochetti might like. There are the usual, just cuts from an album with audio only, or audio and still photos. But I found this unusual recording from 1984. I’m sorry the sound level isn’t what it could be, but the video is pretty cool!


It’s a bit unusual to find oneself adjacent to the biggest news story of the week, but that’s exactly what happened to our own Rob Long. He, like Brett Kavanaugh, Deborah Ramirez, Max Stier, and Robin Pogrebin are all member of the Yale University Class of 1987. We explore this story in this show in great detail with Byron York (he of The Washington Examiner and our own Byron York Show podcast). We also discuss the weird story coming of the Ukraine, whether or not dressing as a fictional character is racism, the Streaming Wars, and insect life in the Greater Baltimore area.

Music from this week’s show: Not Fade Away by Buddy Holly and The Crickets


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. QOTD: A One-Woman Positivity Machine


There is a fountain of youth: it is in your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. — Sofia Villani Scicolone

And there is much more from the young woman who once competed in the Miss Italia competition (shown at right). She won the title of Miss Elegance 1950, and she returned to the pageant fifty-one years later to crown the winner for 2001.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Thirteen Ideas on Breaking Writer’s Block


Last week on the Ricochet podcast, it seemed that Peter Robinson (@peterrobinson) was suffering from a bout of writer’s block. It made him irritable and had him implying that those writers who didn’t suffer from it might have ridden to their parents’ weddings on bicycles.

I have more than a bit of experience with writer’s block. Half my vanity-project books are unfinished due to it. (Either that, or because I came to my senses and realized those dogs were never gonna hunt.) As part of one project from my past, I started cataloging and categorizing bits of advice that I had for writers, especially poets. In that catalog are thirteen tips for dealing with writer’s block.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Where are Hillsdale’s Touted Conservative Students?


I’ve been hanging around Hillsdale’s campus for nearly a month now. I’ve enjoyed watching workers put the finishing touches on Christ Chapel, which is due to be dedicated by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on October 3rd during the 175th Gala celebration of Hillsdale’s founding. I also attended the Center for Constructive Alternatives (CCA) seminar on Understanding China. As you might expect, the CCA is where you meet the best of America in the speakers, attendees, and ideas. For example, I was able to greet and sit next to Ricochet contributor Professor and Mrs. Rahe at the closing address by Steven Mosher. I often say, being in Hillsdale is like going on a religious pilgrimage. It lifts you up and gives you hope, this little outpost of Western civilization.

In answer to my title question, I would guess Hillsdale’s conservative students are busy studying and excelling in faith, athletics, music, and the visual arts. But, the one place they’re missing is The Collegian newspaper opinion pages. 


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Real Difference Between Ahmari & French (I think…)


I thought I was taking a risk by ignoring the ongoing “debate” between Sohrab Ahmari and David French over the last few months. After watching their recent debate at Catholic University, I feel much better about my willful ignorance.

Warren Buffet often says the challenge with investing is to wait patiently for the right pitch to come, even when people in the stands are yelling,”swing, you idiot!” My sense is that French is the guy at bat and Ahmari is the guy in the stands yelling in exasperation. I guess the punditry would be like two sports commentators trying to tease out a game strategy based on that guy’s outburst. It was difficult to identify two positions and I think that’s because there weren’t two different views, certainly not competing visions of the future of conservatism.


Some liberals are pushing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be impeached. But do they have any valid grounds? And how would an impeachment process of a Supreme Court justice even work? The Heritage Foundation’s Tom Jipping, who worked on an impeachment process during his time as a Senate staffer and who is a now senior legal fellow, joins us to break it down.

We also cover these stories:


Yes, we know we’re a little behind schedule this month, but better late than never (that’s what we tell ourselves, at least). This week, some commentary on the Commentary Roast, we get drafted into the streaming wars, some musing on the Woke Industrial Complex currently raging the in media business, and some musings on Dave Chapelle.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Jesus is Approved


VERONA, Wis. – A religious lunch program for high school students is officially expanding to Verona.
On Wednesday night, the Verona Parks Board approved a request for the Jesus Lunch program to host meetings at Harriet Park for the next six Wednesdays. The program will pay a fee to use the space.

Board members said religious groups have reserved the park for events in the past, so the request is not unusual. The Middleton Jesus Lunch program sparked student protests three years ago because it happened so close to the high school. The program provides a free lunch to high school students while sharing a biblical message.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Do You Remember What Journalism Looks Like?


I’m having a hard time recalling. In pursuit of nailing Brett Kavanaugh and selling some books, some New York Times reporters have shed any semblance of honesty. You know the story by now: They wrote a teaser article for the paper about an unreported assault on the part of Justice Kavanaugh thirty years ago, neglecting to mention a key detail: the “victim” has no memory of it! That seems like a pretty crucial fact, and it wouldn’t have come to light without Mollie Hemingway blowing the lid off of story.

The authors of this new anti-Kavanaugh book sat down for an interview today, and whoa boy, they likely had no idea what they were signing up for. This is how it was teased:


Contributor Created with Sketch. Could Leprosy Make a Comeback in LA?


Icon of Jesus healing the ten lepers.
In the name of public health, California’s Democratic leaders have banned mundane modernities like papaya-flavored vape pods and plastic straws. Meanwhile, they rigorously ignore public health nightmares more common to the medieval era. The sprawling homeless camps of Los Angeles are linked to rat infestations, sewage-strewn streets, and typhus.

The latest health warning from the CDC warns that an even older disease threatens the City of Angels: leprosy. Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine and medical director at Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Health, shared his concerns at The Hill:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Cure for Vanity


I found a quotation by Tom Wolfe about vanity: “The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.” I think he’s right; if we have no one to see us or hear us or flatter us, we can simply be who we are.

Speaking of “being who we are,” at times I envy women who have no interest in make-up or primping themselves for others or even for themselves; their lives are simpler. No budgeting money for make-up, hairstyle stuff, skin toners, wrinkle remover products—just being their natural selves. No time needed for putting all that stuff on or taking it off.


Roger Kimball, the Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion, discusses highlights in this month’s issue and reads from its opening pages.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Pogrebin and Kelly: The Problem of Moral Orphans


An elderly priest I knew years ago had an impressive scholarly background in moral theology and philosophy. Despite that wealth of sophisticated moral reference points, he told me even at his advanced age his first consideration in matters of morals and conscience was still whether it was the kind of thing his parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings would do or approve.

His example is very human and normal—in a healthy society. Ideally, each child would have parents who are part of a community of parental peers who inculcate a shared set of reference points that guide us such that we rarely need a formal overlay of explicit rules. We know what is right and wrong by example and intuition. My mother knew that when I hopped on my bike to go off for hours at a time. If I got into mischief that (a) other adults would intervene and that (b) she would hear about it. More importantly, I knew that too.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. I Treat Bob in Portland While I Drink Beer in a Bar in Naples


Criminently! I’ve ruined my post by giving out too much information in its title. Now there’s not much to add.

Well, now that I’m down here, I might as well flesh it out a bit.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Status and Statutes of Limitation


Barr Omar and EllisonIt is likely that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar got to this country at age 12 as a matter of immigration fraud by her father, got her citizenship at age 17 as a result of her father’s further immigration fraud, and committed immigration fraud herself in a sham marriage to a biological brother who wanted status in this country. AND. None of this, because of the way the laws are written, will likely result in her being stripped of her citizenship or facing any federal charges. What we can and should expect is a high profile public briefing by Attorney General Barr, laying out the facts and the law and, very importantly, tying the facts of this case to the massive fraud perpetrated on American citizens by Somali “refugees.” Attorney General Barr should then tie the massive fraud to our government agencies and to supposedly do-gooder non-governmental organizations, several with Christian churches in their names. In so doing, Barr should also address the way this past fraud has been revived and multiplied at our southern border.

Ilhan Omar likely got to this country at age 12 as a matter of immigration fraud by her father.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Near Side of Space


“This is really important. I need this at the top of your list.”

The boss-man looks haggard. He’s definitely not been getting enough sleep. And, judging by the look in his eye, he knows exactly how silly of a request he’s making. He’s still gotta make it. He and I aren’t the only ones on this call, and the boss-man has boss-men of his own to appease. That’s life.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. On the New York Times and the Rural “Brain Gain”


This story in the New York Times on a “brain gain” underway in rural America is old news for many of us. We’ve long spotted the small but growing trend away from urban centers towards rural communities. It first became evident more than ten years ago, as outmigration become evident in California for the first time in the state’s history it added no new congressional districts after the 2010 Census. Outmigration from high tax northeastern states and cities has been underway even longer and continues unabated.

There are some obvious reasons for that, mostly positive, but not without some emerging conflicts that are already apparent in places like Texas.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Heraldry and Vexillology Series #1: Introduction


A few months back, one of our Ricochet conversations veered off into an abstruse subject. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Only one? Well, which one are you thinking of?” Truth to tell, I couldn’t point to the conversation at the moment, but what I do know is that it involved a flag. And the subject that started to be discussed was vexillology. “What is vexillology?” you may or may not be asking.1 The short version is it’s the study of flags, looking at the colors, the symbols, the history, and how the flags are used. Those in the conversation suggested it might be nice to have a series on the subject.

Vexillology is either a branch of heraldry or an overlapping field, depending on whether the person being asked is a herald or vexillologist. It’s difficult to talk about vexillology without also at least dabbling our toes into the deep waters of heraldry, and specifically into the sub-branch of heraldry known as armory. Armory is the part dealing with coats-of-arms and the full heraldic achievement.