Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Not New York City’s Finest


USAR NYPDThe New York Police Department has a black eye, a bad cop, but you will not hear any Democrat decrying his actions, nor will any Soros-funded group demonstrate before cooperative cameras. This bad cop is allegedly a rat of the dirtiest sort, a spy for the Chinese Communist Party. It gets worse. This apparent pile of low-grade excrement is reportedly also a U.S. Army reservist and an NYPD Police Benevolent Association photograph shows him with sergeant stripes in a Marine Corps uniform. Baimadajie Angwang, a 33-year-old naturalized citizen and ethnic Tibetan, was specially recruited to report on the Tibetan community.

The New York Post has the story with the Marine Corps photograph, although there is no mention of Angwang’s time in the Marines.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Can’t Gaslight Your Way to Keeping RBG’s Seat


With the tragic death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Friday, most progressive activists I know are fired up. They think this is the ticket to winning them the election; if conservatives swallowed their misgivings about President Trump enough to catapult him to the White House because they wanted him to nominate a Justice to fill Scalia’s opening, then Democrats will do the same in order to fill Ginsberg’s. They will fight tooth and nail to keep the spot open until after the election, and then will handpick RBG’s replacement.

Their logic isn’t totally unsound, but precedent and COVID are going to throw a wrench in their plans.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Filling the SCOTUS Seat Isn’t an Option, It’s an Obligation


With Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and a newly vacant Supreme Court seat, the political madness of 2020 got even madder. But this moment is precisely why so many Republicans voted for Donald Trump despite their misgivings. A conservative majority on SCOTUS has been a signature goal of the party base going back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Now, 40 years later, the opportunity is finally here.

To quote Margaret Thatcher, this is no time to go wobbly. As expected, many are.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Open Letter to the Woke Left


To my “woke” fellow Americans:

As a forty-something conservative woman, I think you are leading the country to disaster with your rigid codes of conduct, your rejection of the US and its values, and the divisions you inflame among American citizens. Why should you listen to me? For what it’s worth, I have a perspective broadened by living overseas. I’ve witnessed the contrasts in living conditions between the US and other parts of the world. I know something of the gulf in worldviews that results, outside the West, in truly culturally acceptable favoritism and inequality.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Winter Is Coming


People talk about the country being on the verge of civil war. I think we are already there. It’s just that the left has known about it for years while the right has been mostly oblivious to it and in denial. Think of our attitude towards Al Qaeda before 9/11.

I think of the pre-2016 Republican Party as General McClellan and Trump as General Grant of whom Lincoln famously said, “I can’t spare this man. He fights!”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trump and McConnell, Beware


I first met Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the winter of 1978 when we were both fellows at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Our interactions were always cordial. From the first time we talked, it was clear that she was a passionate advocate first, and a detached academic second. She was always immersed in filing certiorari petitions at the Supreme Court in connection with the hugely successful Women’s Rights Project, which she ran at the American Civil Liberties Union from 1972 until she was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980.

Ginsburg had the rare quality of being both passionate and rigorous in her work, and she displayed those same traits of grit and excellence at every stage of her career. Moreover, her excellence as a lawyer was not confined to the women’s rights issues that brought her fame. She also displayed an impressive expertise on the many procedural, jurisdictional, and constitutional issues that form a huge part of the high court’s docket. It was surely possible to disagree with her on the merits of any given case, as I often did. But it was not possible to dispute the brilliance, knowledge, and determination that she brought to her lifetime’s work.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quotes of the Day: Douglas Murray vs. Confucius


“All readers must at some stage contend with the question of why some of the kindest and most decent people have never read a book.” — Douglas Murray

“No matter how busy you make think you are you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance” — Confucius

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump Needs to Fill the Court Before the Contested Election


I don’t do a lot of social media, other than R> and Instagram (I joined so I could videochat with my daughter traveling in Japan; I stayed because I love posting), but what little I do has been filled for the past day and a half with anguished commentary about RBG and the need to preserve her legacy and burn down Congress and rise up etc etc.

It occurred to me that Susan Collins and her ilk might be persuaded that filling the seat is important if they remembered the 2000 election and the necessity of the SCOTUS to decide the winner. We all know that 2020 is going to be one of the craziest elections of American history, and having a SCOTUS ready to decide may be very very important for the future of the Republic.

If you were twirling the radio dials this past Saturday night you may have stumbled upon the latest offering from Radio America: The Best of Ricochet, hosted by James Lileks. We hope this will serve as an introduction to our site and to our wide selection of podcasts to a whole new audience. Then, starting next Sunday the most current episode will be available for streaming and download. Think of it as the Reader’s Digest of Podcasting. Hope you’ll tag along with us!

Broadcasting on multiple platforms (terrestrial and internet) throughout the United States, Radio America now serves over 500 stations, the American Forces Radio Network and Sirlus/XM Satellite Radio.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In Praise of Notorious RBG


Yes, I am serious. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflected an older liberal center-left sensibility that is largely missing, or driven underground, in the current political fever. I offer in evidence three notable instances, while recognizing the last must be qualified. A Rolling Stone interview with the authors who created the Notorious RBG persona suggests they saw some of the same attributes I praise.*

Most recently, in February of this year, with politics already at fever pitch, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocked and discomforted the left at Georgetown Law School, as she participated in a program reflecting on ratification of the 19th Amendment. Recently, it became fashionable for Democrat-controlled states to claim they were now ratifying the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment. They expected to win by litigation, but Notorious RBG shot them down:

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen”


Anglo-Flemish School, Arthur, Prince of Wales (Granard portrait) -004.jpgNo, that’s not actually the quote of the day. It’s just a line from one of my favorite poems. The actual quote of the day for today, September 20, 2020, is:

“Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.”–King Henry VIII

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What if I Kill Someone?


It could be a matter of life or death. That reality struck a chord with me a few months ago, when I received my concealed carry permit and continued my online training.

For those of you who have read my gun posts, you might know that I was prepared to carry a gun on my person. The violence in the streets throughout this country, the shootings and the killings, convinced me that I needed to take my gun ownership seriously and be prepared to protect myself. But the more I saw the training needed to carry a gun responsibly and to minimize the possibility that no one was unnecessarily killed, my ambivalence set in. We signed up with USCCA which offered excellent videos, with a great deal of coaching about the correct responses. I realized that there were multiple scenarios I might find myself in, many of them demanding different responses to an armed person. I might encounter a person in a poorly lit parking garage. I might be eating lunch in a restaurant with a friend. I might be shopping for groceries. Any one of those situations would require that I be alert and prepared to respond so that no one would be killed unnecessarily. And that included me.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Democrats Are No Longer Hiding It


Democrats all the way back to Woodrow Wilson have understood that their policies of centralized power are unpopular among a free people like Americans. So they have made every effort to legislate through the courts. They appoint reliably leftist partisans to serve as judges, so they can maneuver closer to their Marxist dreams without being hassled by elected representatives or the US Constitution. FDR even attempted to pack the Supreme Court to get his policies through and was blocked by Republicans of the day.

Since then, there have always been a few leftist fringe players who have promoted packing the Supreme Court. But now, mainstream Democrats are openly announcing their plans to pack the Supreme Court early next year. Democrats like Jerry Nadler, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He now openly acknowledges that Democrats are motivated not by the principles of the US Constitution, but simply by the pursuit of raw power.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The CCP Announces its Intention to Destroy China’s Economy


Xi Jinping has announced his plans for imposing party control over private businesses in China. The goal is to increase the CCP’s control over private enterprise. Asia Times Financial reports:

According to the new provisions, private firms will need a certain amount of CCP registered employees, which is already a long-term practise in large private firms but not smaller ones.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. About That Vacancy…


Now that the coronavirus crisis is essentially over but for the continuing economic disaster being wrought by various governors and power-drunk state officials, we could do with yet another catastrophe to keep the press enthused through the end of this election year.

The passing this week of Justice Ginsburg will do just fine.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Who Do Minneapolis Property Owners Think They Are?


If you own property, one of the requirements is to protect the property. For the poor people in Minneapolis, the city did not protect the private property, and now they are not allowing the owners to protect their property.

In the destructive riots that hit Minneapolis this summer — riots I’ve argued libertarians should be in the forefront of condemning — nearly 1,500 businesses were heavily damaged or destroyed.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were the Pope, I’d Deal with China Differently


The Catholic Church, in her long and storied history, has lots of experience dealing with dictatorial powers that see her as a rival.

Throughout much of European history, bishops were a different class of wealthy noblemen. Rulers rightly saw bishops as potential threats. Many kings and princes attempted to control the ability to appoint the bishops within their rule. The response of the Church varied over time and place, but the essential lesson is that the Church should not, can not, cede her power to appoint bishops to the local authorities. When she does, it goes badly.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “The bunch of us have never got along….”


Ann Althouse posted a quote from a Times of London piece by P.J. O’Rourke. The entire O’Rourke piece is behind a paywall so I don’t know how the following quote fits in with the entirety of his point — whether it is the germ or simply one of many observations — but for my purposes, I will assume it’s the essence:

Trump wasn’t elected because Clinton was cordially detested. What American presidential candidate since George Washington hasn’t been? She was dull on the stump. But if dullness were politically fatal, the entire American political system would have been in the cemetery with President Harrison since 1841. (He gave a two-hour inaugural address in freezing rain, then caught a cold and died a month later.) Clinton’s ‘popular vote’ victory was and is inconsequential. America, since its founding, has had a devolved system of voting for the president that eschews nationwide first-past-the-post to give more obscure regions (our Scotlands) a greater say than weight of population would allow. She and Trump knew the rules. The cheating would have been different in a different game. Russian electoral interference was doubtless factual but doubtfully culpable. I’ve spent time in Russia. The idea that the Russians could fine-tune America’s enormously complex machinery of election is … I’ve driven Russian cars. And there’s no use blaming Trump’s election on the rise of populism. ‘Populism’ is an epithetic catch-all in use whenever the ideas popular with the good and the great aren’t popular…. America is what you get when you turn a random horde of people loose in a vast and various space. Some came here on the make, some on the run, some were dragged here involuntarily as slaves, some were chased here by poverty, oppression or bigotry and some were here already and were defeated by disease and demographics until they became foreigners in their own country. The bunch of us have never got along….

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Testing Doesn’t Catch Everything


We put things to the test, to discover their limits and minimize human error in their design. Yet sometimes the test itself is imperfect. Like the product it tests, it’s more prone than we’d like to admit to human error and inexperience.

One supremely stressful testing ground is preparing for war. Ricochet member Percival, who has good reason to know about these things, said in a recent thread, “When you test a new weapons system, you generally do it against a target that you have absolute control over. You don’t do it in or near populated areas. You set up a lot of cameras at different angles so you can record everything that happens”. Engineers know from generations of hard experience that tests don’t always catch everything, though, and the reasons are sometimes only obvious in retrospect.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. That Yoda Moment


“Dogma lives loudly within you.” – Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senate Democrats argued that Barrett’s Catholic faith would sway her legal analysis, especially on issues like abortion. “Dogma lives loudly within you,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said in a widely reported exchange that enraged conservative groups.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Authority vs. Power: Leaving the Lincolnian Neverland


This morning a good friend sent me an article from The Imaginative Conservative (easily one of the best “blogs”) that outlined Robert Nisbet’s ten conditions of revolution. The piece is excellent and very worth reading in its entirety.

I’m not going to comment on all of the conditions, or even discuss revolution really, but what stuck out to me was Nisbet’s famous distinction between power and authority.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Persistence


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. – Calvin Coolidge

Coolidge is the intellectual patron of Ricochet. Statements like this are one reason why.