Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Big D said “Lion Ted,” Not “Lyin’ Ted”

 

The corrupt, phony media intentionally misrepresented how President Donald J. Trump referred to Senator Ted Cruz in the 2016 debates for the Republican nomination. I listened to the debate audio a number of times, then loaded it on my audio analysis decoder, which came standard on my Commodore VIC-20. The results?

Big D clearly said “Lion Ted,” which is an honorific bestowed on political giants in the US Senate who have either killed an innocent woman (Ted Kennedy) or single-handedly derailed the repeal of Obamacare (John McCain).

More

Environmental Law Without Property Rights

 

The new term of the United States Supreme Court got off to an inauspicious start in the important case of Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. At issue in the case is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), which allows the government to take steps to protect endangered and threatened species from destruction. Weyerhaeuser involved the preservation of potential habitat for the dusky gopher frog, whose lifestyle requires living underground in areas covered by open-canopied pine forests, from which the frogs migrate to isolated, ephemeral ponds for breeding before returning home. These exacting conditions are not easily found, and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) spent an inordinate amount of time, effort, and careful study to locate such a habitat. In this case, the FWS acted only after it conducted, as the majority in the Fifth Circuit noted, an exhaustive “economic analysis, two rounds of notice and comment, a scientific peer-review process including responses from six experts, and a public hearing.”

After its investigation concluded, FWS designated as critical habitat some 1,544 acres of privately-owned land in Louisiana. That land had been slated for timber harvesting, followed by residential and commercial development. The FWS made its designation even though only one such frog was found on these lands back in 1965. The ESA’s instruction to the FWS was to make sure that the site designated as critical habitat contains “those physical or biological features . . . essential to the conservation of the species.” The FWS read the term “essential” broadly to cover the proposed site, subject to two huge caveats. First, the designated space could not support the dusky gopher program in its current condition. Extensive site modification was required to make the area habitable for the frog. Second, FWS had no current plans for the needed site modification, and it had set aside no funds for its improvement. As a result, the site was in limbo. The Fifth Circuit majority protested that such critical habitat designations “do not transform private land into wildlife refuges” because they neither authorize the government to enter the land nor require the private owner to modify the property to populate it with members of the endangered species. But that sentence tells only half the story: the designation does put the land into legal limbo because its owners can no longer use it for its intended purposes unless they first obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act to alter the site, which can only happen if FWS approves of the change in use under the ESA. The plaintiffs alleged “that the resulting lost development opportunities could cost the landowners $34 million.” Those are social as well as private losses.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Zeal Gap?

 

The gallery for --> Democrats Vs Republicans MapIs there a zeal gap in American politics? This question plays off the infamous “missile gap,” a campaign fiction deployed by JFK to defeat Nixon in 1960, when Nixon was the Vice President to the General of the Armies who defeated Nazi Germany. Conventional wisdom says liberals/Democrats are zealous in politics, like sports fans, where conservatives/Republicans tend to only engage episodically. Is this advantage real, and is it still there?

Years ago, a self-identified liberal cheerfully wrote, for a major publication, that she and her fellow liberals view politics like other Americans view sports. It is fun to fire off a quick letter to a politician or corporation and make a few calls to friend and foe offices. Daily. Yes. Daily. Whereas, conservatives, and the rest of the population, only rarely rouse themselves to a single episode of political expression. This is anecdotal, but we all have anecdotes to affirm this claim.

More

Predicting Elections Using A.I. and Machine Learning

 

Here’s a set of stats from the 2016 election you may not know:

  • Trump received 2 million more votes than Governor Romney.
  • Hillary Clinton received 62K fewer votes than President Obama.

Obviously, a shift happened over four years which favored Donald Trump. Which demographic factors motivated that shift? More importantly, is there something we can project for the 2018 and 2020 elections?

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Testing the Water

 

My kid brother John is the most diehard Trump supporter I know, a real MAGA guy. Me, I’m just a conservative Republican: I voted for Trump because he wasn’t Clinton, and I’ll vote for him again because he’s still not Clinton. But John loves the guy.

Last week, while I was back in Albuquerque visiting family, my brother and I decided to do something wildly out of character: go out to our favorite sandwich place — Schlotzsky’s — wearing our approval of President Trump on our sleeves (figuratively), and then stop at Starbucks for a cup of coffee.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Will This Military Cemetery Be Desecrated?

 

Once again, the secular Left is prepared to remove a religious symbol because it believes it violates the Constitution. Does anyone else see the irony in this decision to defend the Constitution?

Of course, the decision by the three-judge panel of the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals to remove the cross had little to do with the Constitution and mostly to do with attacking the Christian cross specifically and attacking the symbols of religion in general.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Quote of the Day: What’s Cookin’?

 

“Any young woman who can read, can cook.” — Grandma Galloway (my mother’s mother)

As a family of four children and two parents, living on a doctor’s salary, dining out regularly was not a wise budgeting option. Beyond the financial incentive to cook our own meals, meals were family time. Financial and family rationales for cooking still apply today. As we turn, in our own homes, to cookbooks, and other sources of recipes, our mother’s recitation of her mother’s wisdom echoes in our memory.

More

Borderline DNA Test

 

View original artwork here.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Arizona Rally: The Opening Act, Oh My!

 

The Arizona MAGA Rally was another great success, no thanks to the new Arizona Republican Party Chairman. The structure of these rallies is set and well known by now. President Trump is the headliner, and he will bring up a person who he wants to highlight during his speech. Before that, there are a series of opening acts, following the consistent opening ceremony, comprised of: the Pledge of Allegiance, public prayer invocation, and the National Anthem. Stunningly, the new guy in Arizona, Jonathan Lines, managed to mangle both the National Anthem and the opening acts.

Setting the Scene:

More

No, It Wasn’t the Russians. Democrats Have Been Losing for Years.

 

Spoiler: Trump won the 2016 elections and it had nothing to do with the Russians.

President Trump won the election fair and square. In truth, the big reveal in all of this is that Democrats have been losing since President Obama took office.

More

Stuck

 

View original artwork here.

More

Man on the Moon

 

View original artwork here.

More

Ending Poverty by ‘Ending Capitalism’ Is Absolute Nonsense

 

It’s hardly to Teen Vogue’s credit that its dreadful story “What ‘Capitalism’ Is and How It Affects People” isn’t nearly as wrongheaded and offensive as the viral tweet promoting it: “Can’t #endpoverty without ending capitalism!” But let’s start with the grotesque, clickbaity tweet. End poverty where, exactly? Is Teen Vogue referring to the United States, which it identifies as an example of a “modern capitalist” country along with Britain and Germany?

More

In Defense of Elizabeth Warren (Sort of)

 

Edward Doty, born in 1599, sailed on the Mayflower and arrived on Plymouth Rock with the first settlers. He has the distinction of starting the first duel of the New World. Apparently he had quite the temper but he outlived fights, famine, and disease to own land and raise a family. His posterity now numbers nearly 100,000. I am among them. Edward Doty is my 9th great-grandfather.

Proving an ancestral link to the Mayflower brings with it certain privileges. I can apply to be a member of the Mayflower Society and there are even associations honoring Edward Doty himself. Also, every 4th grade American heritage project my kids had to do was a piece of cake! (The kids love to talk about their 10th great-grandfather who signed the Mayflower Compact).

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

To the Moon! 50th Anniversary Year Starts

 

This is the 50th anniversary of Americans reaching the Moon, fulfilling President Kennedy’s challenge, to reach the Moon and safely return, before the end of the 1960s. The first man set foot on the Moon, 20 July 1969. This week marks the beginning of the methodical series of Apollo missions that led up to Apollo 11.

On 11 October 1968, Apollo 7 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, carrying a full crew, to simulate the crew going to the moon. The lunar module was not yet ready for live testing, so that component was not included. The three-man crew was Walter M. Schirra, Jr., commander, Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot, and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot.

More

Hillary’s Two-Faced Lament

 

View original artwork here.

More

Stacking the Deck: How Ballot Access Laws Are Written to Disadvantage Minor Parties

 

If the 2016 election was good for anything, it reminded us that controlled markets produce garbage products. In 2016, we saw the two most disliked presidential candidates in American history go head to head. That might explain why nearly nine million people voted for third-party candidates and another 5 million (or more) stayed home.

More

Elizabeth Warren Highlights the Danger of Racial Identity

 

She was mocked as “Fauxcahontas” long before President Trump began referring to her as “Pocahontas,” and frankly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren invited the ridicule. She is a poster child for the pitfalls of basing identity on race and reminds us of the many furies such self-definition unleashes.

What people choose to call themselves shouldn’t matter to outsiders. If I want to call myself a post-Jerseyite dog lover, no one will care, unless there is affirmative action for former Jersey residents who can’t skip dog videos on Twitter.

More

ACF Critic Series #8: Teachout, In a Lonely Place

 

Back to noir: Terry Teachout and I talk about In A Lonely Place, Bogart’s most amazing performance, Nicholas Ray’s most elegant film, and a rare romance between adults who know their minds and speak them–the lovely Gloria Grahame is at her best playing opposite Bogie. The film feels as modern as it gets because of that, but also because it’s tragic–it suggests your choices aren’t the most important things in your life and, if the movie grabs you, it’s because you know that to be partly true.

More

Khashoggi and the Saudi Flag

 

View original artwork here.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Zealots of Masada

 

In 66 AD, a group of 960 Jewish Zealots decided they would prefer to commit suicide rather than yield to Roman conquest at Masada:

Masada (‘Metsada’ in Hebrew) is the name of the mountain on which the Masada fortress was built. It is more like a plateau or a table mountain, and quite isolated from its surroundings, as there is only one narrow, winding pathway leading up, fittingly called “the Snake.” According to Josephus Flavius, an ancient historian and the only one to record what happened on Masada, Masada was first built by the Hasmoneans, a Jewish dynasty who ruled Judaea in the years between 140-37 BC. Then, between 37-31 BC, King Herod the Great built two palaces there and further fortified the place as a refuge for himself in case of a revolt. However, it proved to be a refuge for Jewish rebels about 90 years later.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Retired Marine Sergeant Major John Canley: Our Latest Medal of Honor Recipient

 

Wednesday afternoon, retired Sergeant Major John Canley became the 300th Marine to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. President Trump presented the award to the 80-year-old Marine, who is still straight of back and clear-voiced, standing tall in his sharp dress uniform. Sergeant Major Canley was belatedly recognized for one especially noteworthy episode in a long career.

Canley, who spent 28 years in the service, left El Dorado, Arkansas, at the age of 15 to join the Marines. [He used his brother’s documents to enlist two years below the youngest recruiting age!]

More

Kanye West and Donald Trump: Eccentric Maybe But Not “Mentally Ill”

 

The Left thrives on its condemnation and demonizing of the Right, including slurs like homophobic, racist, Islamaphobic, Nazis, fascists and other insults too numerous to list. Now they’ve begun to use other attacks to try to get the Right to line up with its agenda: just call the person mentally ill.

These attacks were and are especially prevalent against Donald Trump. But the most public attacks recently have been against Kanye West, a rapper and superfan of Donald Trump. I confess I don’t know much about Mr. West or his music, but he is one more celebrity in a long list of celebrities who have endorsed Presidents of the United States.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

October Surprises Breaking Republicans’ Way?

 

It is axiomatic that, each October, the media will unveil embarrassing, negative, damaging things about Republican candidates. The timing is intended to hurt Republicans and help Democrats at the ballot box. If the media doesn’t do it, a Republican self-sabotages. 2018 is different.

Media Revelations 

More