Trump’s DOJ Advises Court to Invalidate Obamacare

 

Remember when Obama’s DOJ decided not to defend laws that they didn’t like? And how people warned of the horrible precedent they were setting? Looks like Trump remembers and his first target is Obama’s most prized accomplishment.

The Justice Department has informed a federal appeals court that it agrees with the ruling of a Texas judge who invalidated Obamacare. The administration said that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Knowledge and Appreciation

 

I sit beneath fluttering leaves on a cool spring evening, listening to the splutter of dripping water amid strange squeaks shared between too numerous young squirrels. Potted flowers and trees from every precipice of the world are gathered on the patio of a lovingly cultivated garden. Light and shadow play on passing clouds that hide airplanes carrying unseen hundreds. The sun finally begins to settle, casting new lines and dramatic shapes over the familiar scene, painting it anew.

If I had a dog, it would know things about this place that I do not: the scent of the starling, the voice of a distant pup. But it would not ponder as humans do. It can look but does not see. Dogs do not think in gardens and music and histories. They are wonderful creatures, but simpler.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

‘Either You Did It on Purpose or…’

 

Ann Althouse is writing this morning about the media reaction to the Barr statement on the Mueller report. She quotes the WaPo:

“Russiagate” has been a news media obsession since Trump’s victory in November 2016…. The cable news networks, particularly CNN and MSNBC, have added hundreds of hours of discussion about the topic, too. The story undoubtedly was an important factor in shaping voters’ perceptions before the 2018 midterm election, in which Democrats won control of the House. But the conclusion of the inquiry has put a question once hazily debated into sharp focus: Did the mainstream news media mislead?..

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Thank You, Devin Nunes

 

Fine article in the Spectator USA reminding us of the critical role that Rep. Nunes played in publicly undermining the Russia collusion narrative.

Nunes knew all along that the claims were bogus and he stood up for the truth in the face of withering attacks from Democrats, from the media, which daily took vicious shots at his character and integrity, and from skeptics and unsupportive leaders in his own party. Recall that then-Speaker Paul Ryan forced Nunes to temporarily remove himself from the investigation at the insistence of Democrats like Rep Adam Schiff. Schiff, you should know, is so attached to the Russia hoax that he is still claiming that he knows the collusion was real. Sure, Adam, so was the UFO that stopped you outside of Bakersfield.

More

Schadenfreude Monday Continues

 

It was a fun news weekend watching the collapse of the flimsy Russian conspiracy theory. On Friday, Mueller cleared Trump of collusion and left the issue of obstruction unresolved. Then, Sunday morning, Attorney General Bill Barr revealed there’s no reason to fall down the obstruction rabbit hole. Stick a fork in it; the Mueller probe is done.

“Don’t worry,” media dead-enders said, “the real action is happening at the SDNY District Court!” As of Noon Monday, the SDNY had weighed in — by arresting unhinged Trump critic Michael Avenatti.

More

‘The Silmarillion’ Is a Dense Yet Highly Engaging Origin Story for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

 

As Game of Thrones draws to a close, and a new Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series awaits, J.R.R. Tolkien is sure to return as the king of fantasy (if he ever even left). Despite being dead now for nearly 46 years, Tolkien created, in Middle-Earth and the stories that take place there, a rich, vivid mythology that has ensured his immortality.

Many people first came to appreciate Tolkien’s work because of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in the early 2000s. I was one of them. Only eight years old when The Fellowship of the Ring came out, I was not allowed to see either it or its sequel in theaters (though I did catch them later on DVD). But when my parents said they would let me see The Return of the King in theaters, I decided to read all of the books in the trilogy before the movie came out so that I would appreciate it properly. Even at age 10, I recall getting lost–in the best possible way–in the epic and fully realized world of heroism and mysticism that Tolkien had created. Seeing the last movie in theaters remains one of my best-ever theatrical experiences, and it confirmed my status as a Tolkien fan.

More

Icon, Part 8: The Annunciation

 

“Rejoice, O Theotokos, O deliverance of Adam from the curse! Rejoice, O chaste Theotokos! Rejoice, O living bush! Rejoice, O lamp! Rejoice, O throne! Rejoice, O ladder and door! Rejoice, O divine chariot! Rejoice, O bright cloud! Rejoice, O temple, O most-gilded jar! Rejoice, O mountain! Rejoice, O tabernacle and table! Rejoice, O deliverer of Eve!” – Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2​“

On March 25, in both the Orthodox and Catholic churches, The Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, and of her assent to bear the Son of God is commemorated. This is exactly 9 months before the Nativity of Christ (Christmas). It is, on the Eastern calendar, the 7th Great Feast of the liturgical year. The primary Gospel account of this miraculous event is in the Gospel of Luke, but as with much else in the liturgical cycle, Church tradition, theology, and hymnody has so much more to say. In the centuries after the brief ministry of Jesus, succeeding generations of Christians had to come to terms with what, and moreover whom they had witnessed, and then work out and come to an understanding of the significance. Part of that reckoning was understanding who Mary was, and how profound her own role had been.

More

The Role of Unions and Sexual Abuse in Public Schools

 

Over the weekend, the Miami Herald published a shocking story about a serial abuser in a local middle school. They report,

Middle school physical education teacher Wendell Nibbs sat down with a detective looking into allegations that he had asked a 14-year-old student when she would let him see her genitals.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

The Left’s Presumption of Their Own Bias

 

As time passed, and months and years went by, it became increasingly obvious that Mueller had found no collusion. And it seemed obvious from the beginning that there would be no collusion, because why on earth would the Russians want Trump in the White House when they could have had Hillary Clinton? But despite the lack of evidence, progressives really believed that there would be collusion discovered. Somehow.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Jordan Peterson – a postscript

 

Further to @brianwatts satirical piece on Jordan Peterson’s latest book, let us not forget the inherent danger of any form of censorship.

Above all, remember that in 1823 the German-Jewish author Heinrich Heine wrote: “Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende Menschen.“ (Where you burn books, you will finish by burning people). 

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

The first Sunday of Lent: The Triumph of Orthodoxy

 
The Triumph of Orthodoxy – Theodora’s restoration of icons. By Anonymous – National Icon Collection (18), British Museum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7306236

Great Lent is the most profound time of the Orthodox year. The rigors of fasting (to the extent that you can do it – not everyone can, and if you can’t it’s nobody else’s business), the added services throughout the weeks, the very special nature of those services, the change in the tones of chanting from major keys to more muted and plaintive minor keys, and the change in the vestments and various draperies, covers, and hangings to darker colors, all together carry the change of the season. There is also a cycle of Sunday services as Lent approaches, with each Sunday being set aside for something significant to the history of the Church, to remind the Orthodox annually of the commitment they have made to carry on with the living tradition and faith of nearly two thousand years.

Eastern Orthodoxy is sometimes called the Church of the Seven Councils, after the first (and only) truly Ecumenical Councils (“ecumenical” here meaning those councils which could be said to truly represent all of Christendom, and whose decrees were universally accepted by all of Christendom – though the Catholic Church numbers many more, the Eastern prelates were either not represented, or the decrees of these councils were never accepted by them). The first Sunday of Lent is called, variously, The Sunday of Orthodoxy, or the Triumph of Orthodoxy, and commemorates the Seventh and final such council and its aftermath. This final council settled the final major theological question of the ancient Church: the proper role and place of religious art. In so doing, it closed arguments that had ebbed and flowed for nearly 500 years, and had been the cause of riots, banishments, and wholesale destruction of art throughout all of the eastern provinces of Christendom (many early relics and works of art from the East were sent West during this time).

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Quote of the Day: Greatness is a Decision

 

Everybody matters. Everything goes back to the people. I hire people first, coaches second. I recruit people first, players second.

But if you want to know what the biggest change in Clemson football is over the last 10 years, it’s this: it’s attitude. We control what goes in our heads. So many people let people walk through their heads with dirty feet. Greatness isn’t anybody’s destiny. It’s a decision.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Town and Gown Troubles

 

There is a long history of Town and Gown troubles. Riots between university students and townspeople took place in the Middle Ages and they continue to this day. One difference, though, is that the combatants, for the most part, are students and police officers. There are outside agitators that are attracted to the fights. Anarchists travel to Portland from Seattle, and anarchists who reside in Portland travel to Seattle for away games.

On February 10 1355, Walter de Springheuse, Roger de Chesterfield and their companions from Oxford University walked into the Swindlestock Tavern. A disagreement over the quality of the wine resulted in an argument. The university men angered by the “stubborn and saucy language” of the wine-seller, threw the wine and its container at his head. The wine-seller expressed his anger to his friends and family, who armed themselves with bows and arrows and shot at the scholars and the chancellor who arrived to calm the situation down.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

The Kellyanne and George Debacle: A Sad Testimony on Marriage

 

This post is not going to cover the lurid details of the public spat between Donald Trump and George Conway. Instead, I’d like to speak to the degradation of the Conway marriage vows, to the absence of spousal respect and to the damage it causes to the family, especially the children.

Let me provide a little background. Kellyanne and George Conway married in 2001. They now have four children. Before working for President Trump, Kellyanne founded a polling company with many credits to her name. George is a private attorney.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

The Future Is Coming for You

 

It may be irrational to fret about the solemn frippery contained in a BBC editorial. Still, I can’t help but shiver in absolute terror when I read pieces like this. Roman Krznaric, the author, believes that our political order is fatally flawed. Why? I’ll let him explain:

The time has come to face an inconvenient reality: that modern democracy – especially in wealthy countries – has enabled us to colonise the future. We treat the future like a distant colonial outpost devoid of people, where we can freely dump ecological degradation, technological risk, nuclear waste and public debt, and that we feel at liberty to plunder as we please.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Harvard Caught in Victim Vise

 

Haaah-vahd is caught in a virtuous-victims vise, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving center of intersectional grievance mongers. For the past year, Harvard has been slowly bled by allegations and then ugly revelations about their administration’s racial problem with Asians. Now, Harvard is being sued for profiting today from the racist Harvard past, specifically by exploiting the image of a slave. The plaintiff claims she is a descendant of the exploited African-American and suffers harm herself in seeing the continued exploitation of her ancestor by Harvard.

So, Harvard University is being sued for discrimination against Asians, in the same way as they once discriminated against Jews, and is being separately sued for the present-day continuation of its 19th-century exploitation of an African-American slave. Perhaps the Harvard shield of arms should be updated, replacing “Veritas,” written across three open books, with a plain black bar sinister.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

The Big Die-Up and Climate Change: Then, Now, and Always

 

As the Civil War drew to a close, a Texas frontier awash with millions of almost worthless, hard-twisted, wild-eyed cattle looked north to find a source of ready cash. The popular image is of the long drives toward the newly built railroads beginning to stretch across the middle plains of Kansas where a $4 Texas bovine would bring $30 to $40 for shipment back to more eastern slaughterhouses.

And it is certainly an accurate image since thousands of Texas cattle made their way to a series of Kansas railheads beginning with Abilene in 1867 and stretching to Dodge City later on. But many didn’t stop there and were headed north for the northern ranges. In fact, the first of these post-Civil War herds to land on the northern plains to be grazed was driven to Montana in 1866 by Nelson Story who used his earnings from a gold strike to outfit a Texas herd that would become both food for miners and seed stock for one of the first cattle ranches in Montana.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

A Happy Story: Crying in the Courtroom

 

I had a great experience in court this last week and by the end of a hearing, everyone was in tears.

Jane Doe (not her real name) decided to commit suicide by drinking herself to death, not unlike Leaving Las Vegas with Nicholas Cage. She rented a studio apartment and stocked up on alcohol. And she started drinking, drinking and drinking. Jane didn’t succeed. She dialed the Crisis Center and her finger hovered over the dial button. She finally pressed the dial button at 4:00 a.m. on November 30, 2015. She was taken to the Hospital, then to Detox, then to the local public substance abuse inpatient center.

More

Breaking: AG Barr Delivers Mueller Summary Report to Congress

 

Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the Mueller Investigation to Congress Sunday. You can read a PDF of the document here. The letter recounts the full Mueller report, dividing it into two parts: possible Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and obstruction of justice. Regarding the first, Barr writes:

The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Juxtapositions

 

I just got back from another trip to Capital City…ahem, D.C., and as it is every time, I had that “stranger in a strange land” feeling. I was in the area for the graduation of my nephew from Officer Candidate School, United States Marine Corps at Quantico. That part of the trip was amazing! Nearly 300 young men and women completed OCS and 231 of them were immediately commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the USMC, including my nephew. If you want to contemplate hope for our future as a country, just think of these hearty young officers. Please pray for them all and their chain of command. (The idea that Beto would be the commander-in-chief of such fine young Americans is stomach turning! He’s not fit to take my nephew’s Taco Bell order!)

My nephew is the “sheepdog” that Chris Kyle described…a natural leader of young men (he was captain of his college baseball team for two years) and a protector, always a helper, with a big heart. Our family is so proud of him!

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Quote of the Day: By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts

 

 “If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet, Meditations Divine and Moral

So, there I was, looking for a quote about Spring, about how glad I am that the cycles go on, and that this fact has finally been borne out for this year, that the crocuses have finally emerged from their chilly beds, and that the hyacinths, daffodils and tulips are on their way, and I fell over this little treasure from Anne Bradstreet. The name was vaguely familiar, so I looked her up, and found that my recollection was correct: She’s an early American poet (born 1612, died 1672), and her claim to fame is that she’s the first published Puritan author of any substance. And, hey, she’s a woman! (That wasn’t such a big deal, the last time I ran across her, which I think was in a 1973 Survey of American Literature class, but I bet that makes her the bee’s knees now.)

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

30 Percent a Slave

 

Let’s suppose you own a slave, and this slave of yours is very bright. (Automatically you might be imagining that we are back in the antebellum South, but that is incorrect. We are in modern times, so there’s not as much plantation work as there once was.) If you’ve got an intelligent, conscientious slave, it wouldn’t make sense to put him to manual labor, or have him just do random tasks for you around your house.

How do you get the most value out of this slave of yours? You could have him trained as a doctor or lawyer, and then rent him out. But what if he’s not really into the thing you’ve spent a bunch of resources to train him in? And how motivated do you think he’ll be to work hard for the employer he’s rented out to? You’ll also still be spending money to provide him with food and shelter, presumably. This is not a recipe for maximizing the value of your slave’s labor.

More