Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Joke Ryan

 

I loved “Hunt for Red October,” the first Jack Ryan movie. Alec Baldwin is a fine actor who filled the role nicely, and it had Sean Connery as the best Scottish-accented Soviet sub commander, and also Fred Thompson who smoked cigarettes and said things with flat dismay. A great movie. The subsequent movies had Indiana Jones as Jack Ryan, right? Were there others? Doesn’t quite matter – the character isn’t rooted in a particular actor, and doesn’t have many attributes aside from “CIA data dude who can also shoot people in the head if need be.” Amazon made a Jack Ryan series a few years ago, starring Jim from “The Office” and Bunk from “The Wire,” and it was pretty good: the Islamist terrorist was the bad guy, not a front for a shadowy group of businessmen fronted by Jon Voight, as happened all the time in “24.”

This new season is taking some flak for its rearrangement of reality: it’s set in Venezuela, which is run by a sleek, manicured dude named Nicholas who is . . . a nationalist! Heavy right-wing vibes. His domestic political opponent is . . . a Social Justice candidate! The young kids who are opposed to the government are described by one exasperated character as “leftists.” In other words: Bizarro World. 

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bearly Heroic Service

 

Yes, you’ve driven me to bear posting, again. This is the story of a heroic bear, Wojtek (VOY-tek), who helped beat the Axis powers in Italy. He joined a unit of Free Poles, served with them through the war, and retired with honor to the Edinburgh Zoo, where he lived out his days. His death in 1963 was reported on radio and in the newspapers. His likeness became part of his unit’s official badge.

Wojtek was born in what is now northern Iran, and was orphaned when another group of orphans adopted him into their den. The other group of orphans, so to speak, were Polish soldiers who were released from Soviet Russian prison camps, the Siberian gulags. These men made their way south across the Caspian Sea and down into Persia/Iran, then effectively controlled by the Soviets and British, who had invaded from the north and south on the pretext of securing the oil fields and supply lines.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Pregnant Woman Turns Weapon of War on Home Invaders

 

ConstitutionWhy do you need an AR-style rifle?

  1. None of your [Constitutionally protected NSFW language] business.
  2. To stop an invasion…of our homes. God made men but Colt made an eight-months pregnant woman equal to two men armed with pistols.

“They came in heavily hooded and masked. As soon as they had got the back door opened, they had a pistol on me and was grabbing my 11-year-old daughter,” [Jeromy King] said….

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Quiz Show” at 25: The ’50s on Trial

 

If you weren’t even alive back then, you’ve probably seen the black-and-white footage, some of the best-known images of early television. Two men stand isolated under the hot lights, answering questions, trying not to show the pressure. The graceful, elegant one from New England is the scion of one of America’s most famous families; the other one, a decent but unattractive man, a hard-working “grind” who rose from the lower middle class, is the smarter of the two, but he’s already sweating, feeling hopelessly outclassed. A trick question has caught him—he’s not allowed to give the correct answer! His anger rises; but he dutifully, bitterly keeps his mouth shut. He plays along for what he thinks is the good of the system, even if it means his defeat. But enough about the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960.

There’s an overlooked twist of history here, and we’ll get back to it at the end of our story. “Quiz Show” (1994) takes you back to the adolescence of American television. The film is based on the real-life scandal that engulfed the big-money quiz shows in 1959.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Half Right News

 

The Jim Bohannon Show included a short bit of news on a woman who had bought a Utah ghost town, in which this artist is now the only resident. Looking up Eileen Muza and the town of Cisco yielded a story that, like the radio show segment, was obviously incomplete, or should have been so. See if you can spot the problem in the Denver Post/AP story:

Eileen Muza is the sole resident of Cisco, Utah, a scattering of old buildings in the high desert 30 miles west of the Colorado line, KUTV reports. The town was created in the 1880s as a fill-station for a railroad, but died off when Interstate 70 was built a few miles north.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Warren’s Health Plan, SNL, and Partial Equilibrium Reasoning

 

That Saturday Night Live cold-open about Elizabeth Warren pitching her “Medicare for All” plan to skeptical Iowa voters may seem like an in-kind donation to the Warren campaign. Kate McKinnon’s impression of the Massachusetts senator is both spot-on and compelling.

But there was one way in which the sketch was unfair to Warren. At one point, “Warren” is asked why she claims her plan will cost $20.5 trillion over a decade even though many economists put the cost at 50 percent higher or more. “Warren” then dismisses all these estimates as “pretend,” then adding, “You ready to get red-pilled? Money doesn’t exist!”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Small Services

 

Much of the time, in the day to day reality of human communities, we are presented opportunities to provide small services to others. Set aside good customer service, a dignifying thing in itself. Consider the moments when you are confronted with a basic human need which you can easily meet.

The light rail system in the Valley of the Sun sadly reflects that many have become blind or ignorant of small kindnesses. They have carefully non-human cartoon figures illustrating yielding a seat to those less physically fit to stand. Decent men and healthy younger women stand up when an elder, a pregnant woman, or someone with an infirmity or burdened down with small children and packages boards a train. We all used to understand that. When people follow such a custom, they render a small service to the person given a seat and make themselves and, by observation, the immediate environment of that car a little better.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ill-Served by Stupefying Phones?

 

Are we all ill-served by “smartphones” that actually stupify? Beyond the concerns about mental health (depression and anxiety, addiction) driven by social media engineered to drive constant desire for interaction, beyond worries about muscular-skeletal concerns from people hunching down into their hand-held digital devices, beyond even negative cognitive performance results, there appears to be a loss of social skills important to every brick-and-mortar business, including restaurants.

This last concern arises from observing servers and bartenders, usually at least partially compensated by tips, ignoring customers, money-making opportunities, lost in keeping up with their Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter account. So, teens and young adults are being harmed in their job and career development, aside from all the other claimed negative effects of smartphones on teens. To the extent that Americans are putting such devices into children’s hands at a younger age than parents in other countries, they may be building in lifelong disadvantages, while being sold the line that they are actually helping their child get ahead.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Spiritual But Not Religious

 

I’m tired of people describing their spiritual lives as “spiritual but not religious.” I have little respect for people who wear the spiritual label to show how enlightened they are, and how they have freed themselves from the archaic practices of religion.

I know there are many people who have had painful experiences with religion and thus have chosen this narrow journey of spirituality. Many people have had difficult, emotionally wounding experiences with organized religion. They have been betrayed by a spiritual leader or were taught as a child a fearful or hateful version of religions. They were expected to follow rituals they didn’t understand or resented. All in all, early experiences left them empty, without filling their hearts and souls. Even my own mother felt rejected; she had wanted to join a synagogue, but we had limited funds. She left hurt and embarrassed after visiting the synagogue, when they told her they couldn’t adjust the fees for her poor financial situation.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Diaz Doesn’t Dope

 

Nate DiazThis is not a political story, in the party-politics sense at least. It is a story about protecting your reputation in the face of bureaucracy, modern corporate calculations, and the 24/7 cable sports and social media environment. The protagonist is one of two brothers who have fought professionally for practically their whole lives, and who are now reaching the age cruel to combat sports practitioners. In considering the latest tale of Nate Diaz, brother of Nick, we might find generally applicable lessons. In that sense, maybe you could take it as a parable for the politics of our day.

Nate Diaz officially weighs in at a very long and lean 170 pounds in the UFC. He has won 22 of his 33 professional fights. He fought his way into the UFC, out of other lower-level promotions, by winning the Ultimate Fighter 5 tournament. He is known as a working-class brawler from the rough part of town in Stockton, California, yet his victories break down 5 knockouts/ 12 submissions/ 4 decisions. That is, he is more likely to win choking or manipulating an arm until his opponent taps out, surrendering to avoid serious damage. At the same time, that mixture of wins and losses points away from ever being a fair-haired boy in the organization.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Kanye and Dylan

 

Kanye and DylanBut I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Pelosi Rebrands Impeachment Inquiry

 

View original artwork here.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Turkish Trick or Treat?

 

A young veteran reminded me of the truly ancient roots of conflict in the Middle East, pointing to lines we do not even see on the sand and soil. This prompted me to return to a summary sketch I laid aside months ago, after fleshing out an account of what we now call Iran. Then the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution condemning the Ottoman Empire for committing the first genocide of the 20th Century…and 12 Republicans joined Rep. Ilhan Omar in opposing the resolution! What? Why? What follows is a single summary of the other three big players, historically, now known as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Egypt can point to the most ancient civilizations, as their progenitors were contemporary regional powers. The clash between them was captured in the ancient Hebrew texts, as the Jewish people were caught in the middle. Saudi Arabia comes next, with claims to punching far above their weight with armies fired by the fervor of a new faith, and more recently of being the secular and religious guardians of the faith. Finally, the Turks can claim to have been the most successful and latest power to rule the region for centuries after imposing final defeat on the (Christian) Eastern Roman empire.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Friends Don’t Treat Friends This Way

 

The organization J Street has been a thorn in the side of Jews and Israel for quite a while. They purport to be pro-Israel, but many of the policies they support work to Israel’s detriment. Recently they held a conference that Ben Shapiro reported on; six of the Democrat presidential candidates attended the conference or sent videos in their stead:

This week, four of the top candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders — gathered at the J Street Conference to explain why the United States ought to pressure the state of Israel to make concessions to terrorists, why the Obama administration was correct to appease the Iranian regime and why American Jews ought to value the opinions of Bernie Sanders over those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the future of Jewish safety.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Europe #10: Red

 

Podcast’s back, with the conclusion of the Colors Trilogy–Krzystof Kieslowski’s story about the coming unification of Europe under the French Revolutionary banner of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Fraternity turns out to be a thornier problem since our desires are aroused and then disappointed by technology and, in chasing them, we become blind to what’s good for us. Nor can justice help us when our lives are ruined. Love might save people from abandonment, however.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. It’s Too Late in Campaign Season for Facebook to Ban Political Ads, but Not Fact-Check Them

 

Facebook has instituted fact-checking before, like with its partner BOOM in India.
There are some famous natural experiments out there, such as the Dutch Hunger Winter study or the Oregon Health Insurance study. Or how about that nighttime satellite photo of North and South Korea showing the benefits of democratic capitalism vs. totalitarian communism. That may be the most famous and instructive natural experiment of all.

Silicon Valley may be giving us another enlightening comparison. Twitter is banning all political advertising, while Facebook will continue to run such ads — even those containing false or misleading claims. We should get a first read on the results on either the evening of Nov. 3 or the morning of Nov. 4, 2020.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Standing Up for the Second

 

Recently I discovered that the development I live in has its very own gun club! The founder of the club, Janet Warnsdorfer, moved to Florida from Pennsylvania, where gun clubs abounded (in spite of being a blue state). She was surprised that there were no gun clubs right in our area here in Florida, and decided to remedy that situation.

Part of her motivation to form a gun club was in response to a group that had formed that purported to support gun safety, but she was concerned that their goal went beyond safety. (That group had formed following the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.) So Janet decided we needed a group that supported gun owners and gun rights. We have a monthly magazine in our development which is distributed to all residents where she can promote activities.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Military Heroes Are Not Only Humans

 

Meet Conan. He’s the amazing dog that led Delta Forces A- Squadron into the tunnel pursuing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He’s recovering from his injuries and is one of many courageous dogs who are serving with our armed forces. The military holds these dogs in high esteem:

The multipurpose canines, usually German shepherds or Belgian Malinois, are capable of a variety of tasks, including attacking the enemy and bomb-sniffing. They are often the first into the breach in a fight, giving them special significance among the special operations forces with which they operate.

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

 

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”
― Judith Viorst, Love & Guilt & The Meaning Of Life, Etc

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Nixing Huawei

 

The Trump administration has announced that it will move to prevent federal tax money already earmarked for rural 5G high-speed wireless services from being spent on equipment from the Chinese company Huawei.

I advocate free trade, and see trade restrictions as a tool that should be used sparingly, deliberately, and as briefly as practical.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. New York’s Pipeline Fiasco

 

New York faces serious energy shortages today, largely due to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s insistence on banning fracking and blocking construction of new pipelines to import cheap natural gas from outside the state. He hopes to wean the state off of fossil fuels, which are said to drive global warming. Though the evidence concerning global warming and its deleterious consequences is quite thin, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the dire predictions of climate disaster are correct. If so, it becomes even more imperative to pick both the right sources of energy and the right way to get them to market. Solar and wind are too erratic to do the job, so we have to depend on some form of fossil fuel. Natural gas is high on that list. Unfortunately, the retrograde environmental policies of politicians like Cuomo is a key reason why New York faces an escalating energy predicament.

Today’s deep fear of climate change unthinkingly translates into abiding hostility toward any new technology for extracting and shipping fossil fuels. This regressive approach gets it backwards. As a rule of thumb, every new technological breakthrough results in higher levels of production with lower levels of risk. Therefore, it follows that we should encourage the displacement of old technology to capture these gains. The ideal way to proceed considers both the amount of pollution taken out of circulation and the amount of pollution added.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. More Unforced Errors?

 

Rats. . . Or is this more evidence of panic on the left? Are the Democrats, the Deep State, and their media minions freaking out, racking up penalties on both offense and defense, because of increasingly effective pressure from the Trump team? Consider their responses in the first 48 hours after American special operators successfully raided the rat hole of the now dead terror chief of ISIS, a man who would be caliph.

WaPo: “Watch me burn my journalism card.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Lt. Colonel Vindaman and Espionage

 

I want to clear up a misconception of my remarks on the Laura Ingraham show last night. I did not accuse Lt. Col. Vindaman of committing the crime of espionage.

I have tremendous respect for a decorated officer of the U.S. Army and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What I was addressing was a report that Ukrainian officials had sought to contact Vindaman for advice on how to handle Rudy Giuliani acting as a presidential envoy. I meant to say that this sounded like an espionage operation by the Ukrainians. I think it deliberately misconstrues my words to say that the separate issue of the phone call between the US and Ukrainian president through the chain of command constitutes espionage by Vindaman, or that Vindaman is some kind of double agent.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Is the Washington Post Developing a Conscience?

 

US Special Forces
Let me put your mind at ease: the answer to the title is “no.” WaPo is not coming to its senses in changing its obituary on al Baghdadi. The question is, why did they greatly distort Baghdadi’s history, and then why did they back off their repugnant distortions?

Originally WaPo changed their description of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from terrorist-in-chief to “austere religious scholar.” They noted the brutality of his forces (here is one listing), but focused on his academic career.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Will Democrats End Up Agreeing It Was a Lynch Mob?

 

RatsPresident Trump used a perfectly good term, with a long non-racial history, despite the fraudulent posturing of Democrats (quickly exposed in their hypocrisy with an avalanche of examples) and TruCon lapdogs who took a break from potty-mouth tweets to posture against the Great Big Ugly Man and all of us who dare support him. At the same time, the deep state coup, now acknowledged and praised by the New York Times, beclowned itself as one of the chief rats started running. Attorney General Barr and his man on the case, DAG Durham, look like they will not pull punches, going for sunshine disinfectant instead of a cloud of stench-masking air fresheners to get the greasy, stale smoke odor out of the FBI, DOJ and intelligence agencies fleet. But, if you think that the end game is everyone rolling, or the buck stopping at President Obama’s desk, you would be wrong. In the end, the most we will get is “fact checkers” “proving” President Trump’s grammar was wrong.

As loudly as the Democrats and their media organs are playing fake Ukrainian folk music, they are trying to cover the discord of the real baseline, and no, it isn’t a symphony warming up. The intelligence community can hear Barr and the band running through “For Whom the Bells Toll” and “Thunderstruck” backstage.

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