Member Post

 

Hello, Ricochet staff have been receiving emails from members who signed up through PayPal and have, quite understandably, decided since that they would like nothing to do with that company. Ordinarily it would be easy to adjust billing information, but there are some old programming errors that have complicated this. As it stands, deleting these […]

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No Dumb Questions with Richard Epstein and John Yoo: Sunday

 

Big news from SCOTUS this week! If you haven’t already filled up your weekend to celebrate, consider joining us this Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT,  for our latest “No Dumb Questions” with the Law Talk team. Troy Senik will moderate professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo to answer your questions about Dobbs, Roe, Casey, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, Carson v. Makin, upcoming cases, or anything else that pops in your noggin.

We know you’ve got some good Q’s, and we want to hear them! But remember, “No Dumb Questions” is a Ricochet members-only webcast — which is why you should join Ricochet. You’ll get your first 14 days free along with a pass to this event. Once you’re signed up, you can find your link here.

“No Dumb Questions” is one of a handful of perks to giving Ricochet a shot. We know you’ll love it once you join, and hope to see you Sunday.

Member Post

 

Big news from SCOTUS this week. To help break it all down, join us this Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT,  for our latest “No Dumb Questions” with the Law Talk team: Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo, and moderator Troy Senik. Here is your Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85327297134 Preview Open

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The Byron York Show Live Event

 

Ricochet and Hillsdale in D.C. teamed up to host a live taping of The Byron York Show featuring Mollie Hemingway. On June 15 at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center, they discussed “The 2022 Election: The Status of Election Integrity in America and What the Republicans Should Do if they Win.”

Listen here!

The episode began with Hemingway and York discussing President Biden’s approval ratings and his unavailing efforts to place blame anywhere that isn’t where Joe Biden is. They discuss inflation, economic malaise, foreign policy calamities, rampant crime, civil unrest … and a country that feels like it’s on the edge of a precipice.

Dates

 

Tom Wolfe once implied in an interview that there was much to gauge about America by asking college-aged men how many dates they had to go on before … ya know. If we factor out boastfulness and put pretending he got honest answers to the side, he noticed a trend that developed from the sixties when he began asking. As decades passed, the responses went from five to four, three to two, to one, until, by the time he was researching for his third novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, the most common he received was, dates?…”

Anybody who knows anything about youth culture knows that dates are done for. For now, anyway.

Help Wanted to Improve the Lives of Youth

 

I suppose to be young is to be clueless. For example, it turns out that what others considered the most interesting part of my last post was the part I cut out. To leave you, dear reader, to go in peace with your precious time, I’ll give the gist of what I did post.

I’m somewhat ambivalent about the Jordan Peterson sensation. This isn’t because I have any doubts that he’s a good man or a positive influence on the young men who follow him. It’s only because I think inspirational YouTubers, even the best of them, are no substitute for the role model properly understood. The young need to have actual relationships with the adults they elevate and admire. Even if the grown-up of the arrangement would say they’re admired for fictitious virtues – Cary Grant said he wished he was Cary Grant – it’s very real to the child. But it’s only even sort of real if somebody is actually there. (Maybe it’s best if you read the post.)

The Peterson Paradox

 

“Meteoric” is thrown about somewhat excessively as a description for rapid success stories. It’s a shame that’s so for two reasons. Firstly, if I had my way, grand words wouldn’t be wasted on even the pretty dang impressive; and second, the successes tend to burnout in pathetic fashion. A full professor at the University of Toronto cannot really be rescued from obscurity, but the ascension of Jordan Peterson shows that superstars can be made faster than ever before. (If former words for greatness are reduced to cliche, it makes one wonder if neologisms are in order.) On top of it, he’s approaching six years of abiding influence in the internet age. I haven’t sorted the attention span inflation rate, but that’s quite a feat. I can’t say what will come of the liberal experiment, but, if it has a real future, we might be discussing the most important figure of this careening chapter of its history.

There are a handful of presuppositions implied here–beyond the aforementioned survival of Western Civilization, which in any case will likely at least sputter along in such a way that noble optimists of centuries to come might be able to squint their eyes, tilt their heads and say, “Yeah! It’s alright.” That’s not what I’m talking about though… The next is that history manages to survive as a science. (I don’t know why this is so often taken for granted.) The most important one, which I’ll get to shortly, is that American conservatives are willing to jump in with both feet. The last is that someone more significant doesn’t come around. That’s something we could all reasonably hope for, but I can’t recommend waiting on it.

So what’s the big deal with Jordan Peterson? It’s a fantastic question, and I’d suggest that the collapse of everything we hold dear relies on us merely reacting to our rivals when they take a shot at answering it. Crackpot mediocrities aplenty have offered their expensive feminist, queer and racial theories with the hopes of taking out the hero of the basement dweller. A few have taken a more honest approach in explaining the crowds lined up around an auditorium where he’d been set to speak. I can recall one positing that the Peterson phenomenon is the result of an abundance of young men who didn’t have someone (id est, a father) to teach them the basics of life. While incomplete–even good fathers can’t do everything for their sons–at least we’re getting somewhere.

‘No Dumb Questions’ with Charles C.W. Cooke

 

No Dumb Questions is back! If you missed him last week on the Ricochet Flagship –and we do recommend you correct that!–make sure you catch the next webcast with National Review‘s Charles C.W. Cooke. Bring your best questions for what should be a very important conversation. Our own Rob Long and/or Scott Immergut will moderate this event on Thursday (tomorrow), June 2, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

Sitting down with a Second Amendment expert, we’ll discuss the latest news surrounding the Uvalde shooting, the police response, and what to do about gun control moving forward. And if you’ve got something else in mind, we’ll talk about that too!

Member Post

 

Just the other day, my friend Tim wrote a post recommending that you join the Ricochet Meetup group if you haven’t already. I heartily agree! Earlier that day, he, Titus Techera and I enjoyed drinks, steaks and each others’ company in Uptown, New Orleans. The conversation was organic, and therefore scattered. Titus had some questions about […]

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Meet Mollie Hemingway and Byron York in DC

 

Byron York and Mollie Hemingway will be recording an episode of The Byron York Show at Hillsdale’s DC campus, and you’re invited! If you’re a Ricochet member, that is…

Join us on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Hillsdale College Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center 227 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast Washington, DC 20002. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the event will start at 6:30.

The two will discuss “The 2022 Election: The Status of Election Integrity in America and What the Republicans Should Do If They Win.”

Precious Things

 

When I arrived at my brother’s apartment in New York, on my way to the Ricochet Meetup, we exchanged hellos, he asked how I was.”Exhausted,” I said. I hadn’t slept the night before because I rarely get sleep if I have to wake up early for a flight. His response, “Welcome to the club.” He had been kept up the night before by his son, who’s a mere 11 months old. I gather being kept up by his 11-month-old boy is common.

I raced out for the event a few moments later and was thankfully rejuvenated by the stimulant of enjoyable company.

But, alas, I wasn’t able to see the baby when I returned because apparently babies don’t stay up til 11:30 – not even to visit with uncles. And double-alas, I couldn’t sleep that night either! Baby was innocent, Sandman just didn’t show. By my count, it was something like a 62-hour Zzzz-less weekend.

The New York City Meetup (and with Pictures to Prove It!)

 

That’s right! It happened, it was lots of fun and we wish you could’ve been there.

Ricochet members and the good people of America’s Future got together on the Hudson River to enjoy free drinks, free food, absorbing conversation, many laughs and the excitement of making new friends. We owe a big thanks to our very own Alex Rosenwald and Rob Long, along with America’s Future’s Larry Gillheeney for organizing the event and providing the former two; and we owe a thanks for all who attended for taking care of the rest.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say everyone had a good time. The persistent rain interfered with our plans to enjoy an outdoor gathering on the water, and hampered the “crawl” portion of the event a bit, but freedom-lovers know how to improvise!

Member Post

 

The bar crawl is picking up steam. Not only is Rob Long gonna be there, but James Lileks is in too! But we want more VIPs. We want you! If you haven’t heard already, Ricochet is teaming up with America’s Future on Saturday, May 14th to celebrate freedom (and free drinks). All members are invited! […]

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Shakespeare and the Spaceman

 

I’m not sure if how long it’s been since I’ve seen something as funky as HBO’s miniseries Station 11. I couldn’t really say with confidence that I liked it, and describing it would be an even more challenging endeavor. But the overwhelming critical praise it’s received isn’t something I’ll debate now. At Rotten Tomatoes, the paradoxically titled “Critics Consensus” runs as follows: “Station 11 rewards patient viewers with an insightful and thematically rich assertion that–even in the post-apocalypse–the show must go on.” In this instance, I can live with a product of the Tomatometer.

In a very confined nutshell, the show concentrates on a group of touring Shakespearean actors who ritually circle the Great Lakes… in the immediate and intermediate years after a swine flu pandemic effectively wipes out the world as we know it. The show also includes, among other things, a large cluster of survivors isolating in the fictional “Severn City” regional airport; a creepy prophet dude in overalls who’s manipulating children into suicide bombings; a former movie star, who, even after a relatively unrelated death, manages to be central to the whole story; and a graphic novel, the eponymous Station 11, about an astronaut trapped on a broken space station.

Yeah, it’s weird. And that’s about as much as I can expand on without getting lost in the weeds of unnecessary, and bespoiling, explication.

The Germiest Place in America

 

I really love New York City. I like moving fast through a place where, headphones in, every soundtrack I can think of fits beautifully. It’s strange because the city has an over-abundance of so many things I don’t like. Crowds, cold weather, depersonalization on the street, constant phone usage, expensive… everything. But it comes together like one of those cocktails that are heavy on bitters and other icky tasting stand-alone ingredients, yet comes out surprisingly delicious to me. 

After collecting a few offers from friends and family for a free place to lay my head, I’ve cashed in for a two-week trip. It should give me almost enough time to indulge in one of my favorite fantasies: living in a new exciting place. It’d be hard for me to leave my beloved New Orlean–and also I can’t afford it–but I’ll still say I haven’t ruled Gotham out yet.

Even though the city’s biggest critics rely mostly on established fact, there are a lot of aspects of its bad rep that I’d say belong in the undeserved column. For instance, I’ve never found this place to be much meaner than any other place I’ve visited; on a Sunday stroll through Brooklyn with my nine-month-old nephew, it occurred to me that the challenges of having a baby here are probably offset by the advantages (depending on one’s parenting style to be sure); and while the city is known for its dark blue voting record, from a maunderer’s perspective, the Founding Fathers’ implicit commandment that “Thou shalt mind thine own business” seems alive and well.

A Hat Tip to Those Who Do the Right Thing

 

In a dreadful sort of way, there’s nothing unusual about this story that caught my eye the other day. An esteemed university–Brown, in this case–is receiving pressure from faculty and students to reject the expansion of a campus research center, called the Political Theory Project (PTP). Naturally, this is due to the center’s mission and funding. I’ll let readers decide which is more predictable: that the problematic funding is “coke” money (the most objectionable kind. Spelled K-O-C-H) or that the problematic mission is to “investigate the ideas and institutions that make societies free, prosperous and fair.”

The concernee’s typical blah-blah-on-paper reads, “The Political Theory Project presents itself as representing a seemingly neutral ‘freedom of ideas’ because that sounds better than their actual project of making sure rich people stay rich and most people of color stay poor.” Indubitably. All learned persons know that keeping people of color poor is essential to an economy that makes people rich. One needn’t an Ivy League degree to find that the world’s richest reside in Africa and Central America–but I digress.

With discussions intended to bring “established researchers with alternative perspectives the opportunity to present their research in direct dialogue” one might see little downside for higher-ed. Recent events include the following: Noam Chomsky and ambassador Dennis Ross (debating America’s support for Israel); Michael Eric Dyson and Boyce Watkins (in a congenial rap on the effects of hip-hop lyrics); and Steven Pinker and Paul Krugman (measuring the extent of humanity’s progress). These conversations may seem harmless enough, but they supposedly belie PTP’s insidious agenda. Right-wing Kochheads from the Federalist Society, Cato Institute, and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni have been given a platform to spew their… opinions.

Summits, Addresses, and Drones

 

There aren’t many Presidential farewell addresses of which Americans have much familiarity. One of the few, possibly the most famous of them, may well owe most of its notoriety to some silly little moviemaker incapable of swallowing the hard truth that his favorite commander-in-chief was simply killed by some silly little Communist. Just a few years prior to John Kennedy’s assassination, his predecessor identified two threats, “new in kind or degree,” to a great nation that rose out of the ashes of a great depression and a great war. Your average chatty mediocrity rails against the first — like I said, it was in the pictures! — but the second is a bit more current to the far out future-times of right now.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Fax and Fixations

 

“Something about ‘Unity'”

In one of his most well-known slippery statements, President Biden stumbled onto something unusual: a genuinely worthwhile observation. To be more precise it was a distinction, and, if only the man knew how to throw together a sentence, it might’ve stuck. Granted, it would have been a lie. But, irony aside, I’d almost have been moved to salute it. As things stand, the not-so-mildly contemptuous defense that follows is the best I can do.

“We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts.” He said it, a few attendees whoo-ed! (How I wish people “whoo-ed” less.) Then he just skipped along to addressing his “folks” and blah-blahed his way to a pitch about joining him, which he naturally prefaced with an, “If you’re interested…” Yeah, his speeches are about as bad as the feathery pillow fights of interviews, co-starring a weak press. But Biden and his brigade of blathery buttheads know what they’re selling: fax machines…. in the age of the internet.