Feliz Solomon (Wall Street Journal)

We have all sorts of scams on tap this week – including the president’s re-election campaign.

Eating your own dog food


Or, maybe, renewing your own prescription.

In the software business, there is an expression: “Eating your own dog food.” It refers to using the product that you are developing and trying to sell. For example, there is a Czech company — JetBrains — which makes a series of software development tools. I can guarantee that these tools are used in the development of their products. The rationale is that finding your own problems is much better than having them found by customers.

Chuck Warren of the Breaking Battlegrounds podcast joins Henry for a close inspection of the ever-interesting state of Utah. They get into the characteristics that make it a red state like no other as they dig into the primaries for Mitt Romney’s Senate seat and congressional districts 2 and 3.

Plus, Henry takes a look at Trump’s sustained lead in the polls; later he compares the ad strategies of South Carolina CD 3 primary candidates Mark Burns and Sheri Biggs.

The Pollyanna Reports, XV


America has a good and generous heart. 

He was a 90-year-old veteran of the United States Air Force who had to push grocery carts at a Winn Dixie in New Orleans in 95-degree heat with a heat index reaching 103 and a level of humidity unique to the Big Easy. He said he had to do it “to eat.”

A Heretics Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable


If you’re looking for a fearless attack on wokeism, then Brendan O’Neill’s A Heretic’s Manifesto is the book for you. Considering he is British, where they have curtailed freedom of speech to an alarming extent, I admire his courage in speaking out.

Brendan O’Neill is one of the founders of the website Spiked, where he and others regularly post countercultural observations. A Heretic’s Manifesto consists of ten essays on topics that, according to woke orthodoxy, should never be discussed or questioned. It is an impassioned protest against “cancel culture,” and the threat it poses to free speech.

You Can’t Trust Your Lyin’ Eyes


That’s what Karine Jean Pierre tells us about our conclusions drawn from the recent videos of Joe Biden. Whether he’s frozen in place, mumbles an answer to a reporter, or wanders off, we are the problem—not Joe Biden. Not only that, we are colluding with each other to doctor videos to implicate the president’s decline. The Left insists on creating its own reality and believes those who disagree with them are deceitful.

This is serious business, like something out of 1984. They are creating “the truth,” and anyone who contradicts them is violating reality. Yes, that’s what I said, “violating reality.” We need to be silenced. We need to stop disagreeing with them. We need to profess their reality to everyone to whom we speak.

This week on The Learning Curve co-hosts DFER’s Alisha Searcy and Charlie Chieppo interview Steven Wilson. Mr. Wilson delves into his extensive background, including his tenure at Pioneer Institute, his work with Governor Bill Weld, and his contributions to the landmark 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act. Steven shares insights into the high academic expectations and success of Boston’s charter schools, emphasizing the importance of recruiting and retaining quality teachers and principals. He covers the significant growth of charter schools in the U.S., highlighting cities with strong political support and effective charter authorizing practices. Additionally, Wilson addresses the recent political shifts affecting charter schools, the impact of political correctness on educational quality, and previews his upcoming book on K-12 education and charter schools. He concludes by reflecting on the future of charter school reform and the steps policymakers should take to sustain and enhance educational innovation.

It’s Gonna Happen


The Democrats cannot afford to run Biden for this election.  The evidence of his physical and mental degeneration is on full display.  The latest desperate attempt to cover for him is leading White House officials and media allies to say that the videos of him mumbling and stumbling and wandering off are “cheap fakes.”

I predict they will replace Joe Biden with VP Kamala Harris.  The only question is when.

R.I.P – Willie Mays


Baseball great Willie Mays has died at the age of 93. Several years ago, I published an appreciation of Willie here at Ricochet on the occasion of his 89th birthday which would serve as well as an obituary as anything I could write now. Below is that appreciation with minimal edits needed:

Mays in 1961, via Wikimedia Commons

Ann’s interview with Kevin Sabet, drug policy advisor to both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Show links:

The Camel’s Nose


From Pixabay, via juls26

An Arabian fable tells the story of a traveler and his camel. During the night, the camel asks his master if he can place his nose inside the tent for warmth. After the master allows the camel’s nose, soon, the camel’s head and finally its whole body enters the tent. The moral of the story is once a small act is accepted, larger, more undesirable consequences will follow. Sometimes we may think, “One small transgression, one small sin, one small lie won’t hurt anything.” What we discover is that a small misdemeanor will lead to felonious ends.

Why Do Leftists Ignore Underlying Costs?


Is there anything liberals want for which they are willing to do realistic cost/benefit analyses?

The answer seems to be “no.” When they have a cause, liberals don’t care about figuring out consequences and opportunity costs. This disinterest seems to underly their view of wind turbines and high-speed trains and mass transit; ditto for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), organic food, DEI, ESG, COVID restrictions, gun ownership, and, well …. everything.  “Good” things must be mandated. “Bad” things must be banned.

Odds of Trump Jail Time Have Increased


I assumed at first that the outrage surrounding the sham verdict created such a potential risk of backlash that the additional injustice of jail time would be omitted in favor of alternative sentencing.  Having accomplished the mission of applying the “felon” tag, they would go no farther.  I now think I was wrong about that.

It is slowly dawning on even MSNBC viewers that abortion is no longer a federal issue. Biden’s mental decline is increasingly obvious. Biden’s record is so appalling that it is impossible to run on it, so some variant of the Trump-as-Hitler issue is all that is left.  I thought the new ads touting Trump’s (brand new) criminal record and alleged hatred of democracy were absurd but I was wrong. Polling shows that a small but significant share of independent voters can be persuaded that the convictions make Trump unfit.

The Game of Cricket — An American’s Explanation


I first encountered Cricket when I traveled to India in 2007.  When I arrived in my destination city, Pune, a few hours east of Mumbai, I noticed that in almost every open space there was a ball game. Cricket.  I was intrigued, and there my journey started.  The 2007 Cricket World Cup was under way in the West Indies and in the departure lounge in Kolkata, I watched the match without comprehension.

Since then, I have spent many hours with my Indian and English friends and colleagues watching the sport and having them explain it to me.  I’m certainly not an expert, but I am a fan and believe I understand the game.  The following explanation will be as basic as I can keep it. I ask for forgiveness for any unclarity or errors.

The Death of Schools


I don’t know how long it’s been since I logged in to Ricochet…it’s been a while, anyway.  I’m not sure if it’s been since I was appointed, and subsequently elected to the school board.  But just in case, let me just lay the facts on you:  about three years ago (or so), I applied to fill a vacancy on the local public school board.  Then, about two years later ( last November) I stood for election to that position.  Since joining the school board I’ve made it my mission to learn everything I can about how public schools run in Washington State.  And, boy, have I learned a lot!  Last week I was in the bus barn learning about the software they use to schedule bus routes.  I’ve toured elementary schools and observed kids in academics, recess, lunch, etc.  I’ve learned more than I ever thought there was to know about local levies and bonds.

And I also learned that every school district in Washington State has abhorrent policies requiring school officials to lie to parents.  Let me explain…

The Law and “Bump Stocks”


In Garland v. Cargill, the Supreme Court has struck down (by a 6-3 vote, split along conservative versus liberal lines) a Trump administration regulation including semiautomatic weapons equipped with so-called bump stocks in the definition of “machine gun” under the National Firearms Act of 1934. The 1934 Act defined a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” A standard semiautomatic weapon requires a succession of distinct trigger pulls, each a “reloading,” that falls outside the statutory definition. A bump stock is a device that increases the rate of those successive trigger pulls through a back-and-forth motion that uses the weapon’s recoil to activate each distinct pull. If speed of firing is the defining feature, there is a puzzle: just how much of an increase in speed is needed to warrant treating the bump stock as a machine gun? Conversely, if the sharp line between a single and multiple firings holds, then the speed of any release does not matter: one trigger pull that produces a hundred bullets makes for a machine gun; a hundred separate (albeit rapid) pulls of the trigger that release a hundred bullets always makes a semiautomatic weapon.

When there’s a need to create a statutory dichotomy, sharp discontinuities are always better than sliding scales. Think of traffic lanes: better to delineate each direction cleanly than permit one lane to gradually meld into the next.

Quotes of the Day: Getting Cultured



This week began my journey to become a more Cultured Person™ (as mentioned in a recent post). On Tuesday, at a small art house theater: The Beacon. My daughter and I went to see director René Clément’s 1960 noir classic Plein Soleil (Purple Noon). It’s a French film, photographed chiefly in Italy, based on an American novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.

(As an unexpected bonus, this film didn’t only offer a cinematic education, but also lessons in ballet, art, and architecture. At one point, a character buys a book containing a collection of the paintings of early Renaissance artist Fra Angelico for his fiancé. The book is flipped through several times in the film, and we get to see his primarily religious work. One of the characters teaches ballet; we see some dancers doing exercises. Many scenes in Rome, Naples, and small Italian villages provide examples of lovely homes, churches, and even government buildings.)

The Good Guys


I’m pretty much worn out from watching the ineptitude and lack of values displayed by our Congress and just about everyone else in the federal government. At the same time, I realize that not everyone in Congress swims in The Swamp; that the work of serious representatives is overshadowed by RINOS and the get-along group. We’re also in the minority party, which limits our effectiveness.

So rather than complaining all the time, I’ve decided to focus on the people who are actually getting some things done.  I’m setting up my own personal list of excellence—not perfection—of those who do a good job most of the time, and live by their principles. I’ll also list the criteria by which I’m evaluating them. You are free to add, subtract, or critique these factors. I’m looking ahead to November to see who those folks are that I want to celebrate, and those that I can hope will be thrown out of Congress. You may have your favorite punching bags, but I prefer to focus on the good guys. No one person will probably have all of these qualities, but they must have some of them.

I Think, Therefore I Mow


The latest Athwart column (forgive me if this is behind the paywall, current articles usually show up on NRO after a while) was more spot-on than usual for me. I have described Lileks as our Robert Benchley; this piece reminded me of “The Menace of Buttered Toast.” (Look it up. Benchley is always a pleasure.)

My Husqvarna chariot makes it possible for an old guy with a bad back to spend hours making the clippings fly. The 45-acre arboretum where we live, designed and mostly planted by my granddad, is full of nooks and crannies, and mowing gives me a great excuse to visit them. The Point projects out into the Big Pond, with an oak in the middle and tables made of stone slabs that were too big to use in the house. The North Pond is home to two 60-foot sequoias, one of which is a Metasequoia, the prehistoric ancestor of the giant tree that California is famous for. The West Lawn has ginkgo trees and a couple of smaller sequoias, as well as a Franklinia that I need to replace; it flowered five years ago but has been dying since. They flower in November, which was weird enough to please Granddad. There’s a shaded acre where he transplanted trillium bulbs that look spectacular when they come out; it’s anchored by an Elephant Ear Magnolia with leaves the size of beach towels. Across the pond is a nook where the kids have put their beehives — beekeeping is something they have been studying and discussing for years, and this year they took the plunge. The bees like it here; they have already had to divide one hive. Other unusual trees include a weeping larch, a line of black walnuts marching along the south of the property, which were meant to be harvested for furniture at some point, and the largest documented osage orange in New York.

I get regular visits from state foresters checking on our various certified rare and unusual trees. I wish they would come by soon. Something is clobbering my boxwoods, and I don’t know if it’s an invasive moth that has been reported nearby or something else. They put out traps for spotted lanternflies a couple of months ago, and I’ll ask when they come to check on those. We don’t have any ash trees, but the damn lanternflies have ruined neighborhoods in nearby towns like Batavia and Lockport.

Thoughts Related to Death and Dying


Yesterday, we had a memorial service for my Mother, Mary Rutter, who passed away on Tuesday, June 4th after some serious health issues. (Here is a link to her obituary.) As I move through the busy steps of taking care of business associated with her death, I want to share a few observations with you.

First, Mom took her work seriously. She was super-smart, and received a bacteriology degree and a master’s in Public Health Administration. She worked at the Texas Department of Health reference lab for nearly 30 years. I followed in her steps, and those of my dad, becoming a long-time public employee myself. One of the things I loved doing as a Governor’s Office employee was getting her the attached letter from my boss as she retired. She taught me that work was not our identity or purpose but it was worth doing well.

America, then and now


Brendan Carr, Republican member of the FCC, has been criticizing Joe Biden, alleging that since the passage of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2021, wherein $42 billion was appropriated to connect rural America with high-speed fiber optic cable internet, not a single internet connection has been achieved. A truly stunning record. Three years, no connections.

That could not fail to remind me of my origins and the transformation of America that has occurred in my lifetime.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


And we are seeing one of the most pathetic examples of it every day.

I feel uniquely qualified to express my opinions on this particular day. I am just about as “elder” as one can get, although I count myself fortunate beyond words to have never been the target of, or seen any examples of, this tragic form of abuse at any time in my family. As a matter of fact, with Father’s Day approaching, I am reminded again that I occupy a lucky spot on the very opposite end of the spectrum from that sad phenomenon.

Sadly for the person being targeted before our very eyes day in and day out and, due to his position as President of the United States, Mr. Biden cannot claim that pleasant circumstance as the evidence of his family’s abuse — especially that of his seemingly grasping, avaricious wife, “Doctor” Jill — is before us, and dangerously, the world, every single day.

Introducing the Unsafe Weekly with Ann Coulter! Start your week off with the stories Ann found interesting or amusing over the weekend, exclusively from Ricochet.com.

This week:

Comedy, Unnatural Acts On Huckabee Tonight


Dear Ricochetti — Forgive my prolonged disappearance.  I’ve been very busy putting things off. I’ll be based in greater Los Angeles through the end of August with performances at The Magic Castle in Hollywood July 8 -14 and the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas August 15 – 17. So if you’re in the southwest during that time and would like to attend one of the shows for an informal meetup I hope you’ll get in touch with me — it would be a pleasure to meet you in person: I like good people.

In lieu of that, enjoy an excerpt from my appearance on the Huckabee show tonight in the first comment below.

“He’s Away with the Fairies”


When someone is wandering away like Joe Biden both physically and mentally, there is a phrase that comes from the Scottish Highlands in a kind way to describe the wanderer. “He’s away with the fairies.”

At the recent G7 meeting in Italy Giorgia Meloni, the Italian Prime Minister had to bring Joe Biden back from only God knows where for a group photo.