45 Years, or a 12-Step Program for a Successful Marriage


I would never have imagined that I would be married so many years. In fact, when I first met my husband-to-be, I told him that I didn’t know if I would ever get married. It just seemed like such a traumatic, demanding step; besides, who would have me?

But I was wrong—and I’m so glad I was. In meeting my husband, I found a man who is generous, smart, funny, helpful, and kind. He can also be stubborn, determined, and obsessive about detail. But I digress . . .


Morozhenoe: The Real Cold War


Ever heard of “Ded Moroz?” It’s Russian for “Grandfather Frost” — their Santa Claus. Morozhenoe is Russian ice cream, and even in Soviet days, it was available at ice cream stands all over Moscow, even in cold weather. Russians have some things in common with Americans–wide open spaces, manifest destiny, a less than delicate attitude towards life, love of country, a well-known space program. And ice cream; they make astonishingly good ice cream.

In 1986 you could go into a cafeteria–Stolovaya–and get a pretty good basic lunch. Chicken soup, bread, a vegetable, a glass of tea for about 35 cents. This is part of what makes writing about the Iron Curtain days tricky for pre-Trump conservatives: the Soviets weren’t lying about everything, just a lot of things. The subway was immaculate and cost seven cents. Ice cream was available everywhere, as evidently it was part of a confidence-building Five Year Plan at some point.


Can AOC Chill Out for Cultural Cool Cred?


MiniAOCLeftist thugs bullied and threatened the life of an 8-year-old girl for daring to parody, to expose to laughter, their leader AOC. The leftists, who have so far faced no criminal or even social media company sanction, have proven, once again, that totalitarians cannot tolerate laughter at them or their ideas. Yet, if AOC could only chill out and seize the obvious pop-culture reference, couldn’t she gain a broader and deeper cultural cool cred?

The Mini AOC social media accounts were created by a father and mother with an 8-year-old daughter who had the acting chops, the presence, to gently satirize Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They did not seek anonymity. Rather, they acted as Americans who expect to be able to poke fun at our politicians.


Chilling Out on the 4th of July


Two and a half years ago, I shared how my father acquired a cannon for holiday noisemaking and celebration in the story “Holiday Traditions: Entering the New Year with a Bang.”

As part of the Bicentennial Year, the Bellmore Johnson Tool Company re-released the Winchester Model 98 signal cannon, a 10-gauge blank-firing miniature cannon. They were all-metal, painted black, and fired by pulling a 10-foot lanyard. […] Firing produced a roar, a flash of flame, and cloud of smoke, and the cannon recoiled several feet.


Lies, Fears and Arrogance: The Irrelevance of Truth


With the latest attack on Donald Trump regarding his plans for Independence Day, I became even more sharply aware of the blatantly deceptive words and actions of the Left. Yes, I know it’s all about politics, but they are so willing to do just about anything—including physical and verbal attacks—that they border on demonstrating a type of psychosis.

It’s difficult to separate their lies and fears from their arrogance.


Group Writing: Supervillainry


Cold, when all is said and done, makes a disappointing superweapon.

I mean, the comic book movies are pretty convincing. The hot superhero shoots a lava jet at the cold supervillain, whose ice ray (not to be confused with a freeze ray) sets out an opposite jet, they meet in the middle and cancel each other out in a brilliant contest of CGI. You get Frozone making walls of ice out of thin air. Or you get the Terminator, freezing in liquid nitrogen and shattering like the hopes of a Hillary voter on election night.


Leftist History over American Herstory


Just where does an American-based corporation and their rich, male, former jock, brand representative get off imposing history over the narrative of a woman? I had thought we were past powerful privileged men silencing, dismissing, and trivializing herstory. Yet here we are, with another patriarchal pack mansplaining a woman’s original work. The corporate leadership of Nike, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick, have branded Betsy Ross’s original flag design a white supremacist symbol.

Leftist propaganda organs have amplified this slander, claiming white supremacist groups use the original flag design to signify rejecting the post-Civil War constitutional amendments. The left’s real objection, of course, is to the actual history, the Declaration of Independence that they despise, assigning to it the same strained and stained meaning claimed by the black-robed bigot, Chief (In)Justice Taney in the fraudulent Dred Scott decision. Instead of supporting herstory, and taking back a woman’s original creative work from some knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, the leftist elite privileged this attack on women, thus banishing a woman’s art as shameful.


Kaepernick Crossing the Delaware


View original artwork here.


America the ‘Just OK’


Stallone Laurel Dias, originally from India and a soldier in the US Army, takes the oath to become a US citizen during a ceremony in Boston.
What is still the most desired — by far — destination for potential migrants from those developing countries? America. Which country had a hand in 72% of the Nobel science prizes since 2001? America. Which country has 18 of the 30 most valuable internet companies, as well as the top five? America. Which is the richest large nation on a per person basis? America.

Yet America is “just OK,” says The New York Times in a transparent attempt at contrarian Independence Day clickbait. But compared to whom? Other rich nations, apparently. They have lower poverty rates, educate their kids better, and get more bang for their healthcare buck. Journalists Taige Jensen and Nayeema Raza conclude “the myth of America as the greatest nation on earth is at best outdated and at worst, wildly inaccurate.” The United States has “more in common with ‘developing countries’ than we’d like to admit.”


ACF Critic Series #35: Deadwood


Just in time for the 4th, here’s an odd celebration of American freedom: I talked to Paul Cantor talk about David Milch’s most famous achievement, Deadwood–the movie and the TV show. A Western, lawless, but orderly vision of America. An America with commerce but without religion, with freedom but without equality–what kind of community and what kind of justice are possible in such a situation? Something piratical, un-Puritan.


You Say You Want a Revolution, Part 2


Here’s what this post, and last week’s post are about: The cultural changes in the media that Ricochet readers don’t like didn’t happen by pure accident. They took decades. We propose equally patient, persistent, but ruthlessly effective efforts to push culture in another direction over the next 20-plus years. We are chewing over how to create or capture a big chunk of tomorrow’s media and the arts. It’s a myth that nothing can be done about the entertainment business. Success is Hollywood’s definitive history teacher.

@drewinwisconsin raises a tough point. He said, “So that’s probably why it’s important to try to change or break the current system rather than try to build an equivalent system that will have no users. Consider how much power and scope Google+ had, and it still couldn’t survive against Facebook. And that’s Google — already a malignant influence.”


Minnesota City Council Stops Reciting Pledge of Allegiance


Is it really a big deal that a small Midwestern city stops reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? My answer is, “yes,” and I’ll tell you why. The city council of St. Louis Park voted unanimously to stop reciting the Pledge. Here were some of their remarks regarding this decision:

Ellen Hertz, a business owner in the city, says she has no problem with the change, but doesn’t think it was necessary.


Is China a ‘Strategic Partner’ or a Cold War 2.0 Foe?


President Trump may not be interested in cold war with China, but cold war is interested in him. Well, at least if his fellow Republicans have any say in the matter.

If there’s any clear takeaway from the G20 trade ceasefire, it’s that Trump views the fate of Chinese telecom giant Huawei as something to be negotiated. Just another pressure point. This Bloomberg headline pretty much nails it: “Huawei Lifeline Shows Trump Prefers Business Deals Over Cold War.


A Quiet Revolution in Property Rights


Rose Knick with her lawyers at the Supreme Court.
One of the most important cases in the recently concluded Supreme Court term is Knick v. Township of Scott. Though Knick didn’t receive much attention in the press, it gave landowners a powerful new procedural tool to upend the unwelcome dominance that state and local governments have had over land use governance.

The facts of the case are as follows: Rose Mary Knick owned a small family graveyard on her 90-acre rural plot in Township of Scott, Pennsylvania. In December 2012, the Township adopted an ordinance that required “all cemeteries be kept open and accessible to the general public during daylight hours.”


Public Shaming of the Border Patrol


Border Patrol agents have it tough enough: a huge increase in migrants coming from Central America, demands of their time to provide medical transportation, and babysitting. Oh yes, and law enforcement.

But one professor thinks that they need to be chastised for the role they play on the southern border. Kate Cronin-Furman, a professor of University College London, insisted in a New York Times op-ed that she doesn’t want to dox the Border Patrol agents. She only wants to embarrass them into leaving their jobs, by collecting and using the information that is available from immigration lawyers and journalists:


An Antidote to Conservative Gloom on Campus Free Speech


FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff is in National Review this week with a rather simple message for conservatives: There are actually a lot of things we can feel good about regarding the state of free expression on college campuses today.

The welfare of campus discourse is not perfect, of course, and its easy to sense that the issue is only getting worse–especially as free speech on campus gets no shortage of media exposure. The playing field has also changed in other fundamental ways. College students today are more aligned against free speech than they were ten or even five years ago, for reasons Greg and Jonathan Haidt expound on at length in their bestselling book The Coddling of the American Mind.


A Tale of Two Visits to the DMZ


Consider two images of two United States presidents at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea. The two images convey very different messages, very different possibilities. Which do you prefer?


Roberts Robs Citizens of Crucial Information


There has been plenty of commentary, on Ricochet and elsewhere (see first and especially Amy Howe’s analysis), about the decision penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the four consistent leftists in relevant parts on Department of Commerce v. New York. One issue, and important consequence, seems unaddressed. By sending the matter back to the Federal District courts, without imposing a very accelerated calendar and requiring a decision back to the Supreme Court by the end of the summer, Roberts has effectively pushed back any actual count of the illegal alien population by a decade! He has kept the political process uninformed, except by competing guesses, presented as statistical models and sample data. This is the point on which President Trump should be hammering daily.

Roberts did not rule that a citizenship question is unconstitutional, but he did not need to, as his opinion, as written, runs out the clock nicely. Instead, he relied on insinuations that Wilbur Ross had racist motives and had lied to cover up these racist motives. By entertaining this smear job by the lower courts, Roberts diverted the conversation from the ultimate bipartisan elite goal, perpetuating their numbers racket.


Red Hot Stocks!


Stocks are red hot…and so are other investments, resulting in these headlines:

The Best First Half for Financial Markets Ever — U.S. News and World Report, 28 June 2019


Using Children as Political Pawns


Most people would laugh if you suggested that in spite of the perception that child sacrifice has ended, it hasn’t. A person need only look at the way the immigrant children are being used to know that figuratively, child sacrifice for the political Left is alive and well.

You might think I’m using hyperbole, but there is a history of the Left using and manipulating children for politics, and these practices are getting worse. Does anyone remember which Democratic National Convention planted children at the podium who despaired about the effects of climate change? They were being used to call out the potential end of the world if we didn’t all take action. Or what about the children who were taught songs about President Obama?


Waiting with Kamala


View original artwork here.


A Democratic Debate That Ignores China and Trade Isn’t Much of a Debate


The core of Trumponomics is a protectionist trade policy built on tariffs, both threatened and implemented. All of America’s largest trading partners, including allies, have been in President Trump sights. And as the president gets ready to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, some analysts are wondering whether the entire US-China trading relationship will fall victim to a New Cold War.

But “trade” ⁠—⁠ in its economic context ⁠—⁠ was mentioned only once in last night’s Democratic presidential debate. And “China” was only mentioned a half dozen times, with four of those mentions in a rapid-fire round where candidates were asked to briefly mention the “greatest geopolitical threat” to America. Don’t blame the NBC moderators. Candidates had ample opportunity to explore the US-China trade conflict and more broadly China’s challenge to US superpower supremacy.


You Say You Want a Revolution: What It Could Actually Take, a Series


A waiter comes over to a table of Jewish women. He asks, “Is anything all right?”

It’s okay; I can tell that joke! My wife is Jewish, and she thinks it’s funny. Remember when we could tell harmless jokes to each other? How about you, Ricochet reader? When you look at today’s culture, today’s mass media, see the movies, the TV shows, look at major media in general, ‘Is anything all right?’ This is aimed, but not exclusively, at social conservatives. I often spar with you but you deserve the cultural tools to defend yourselves. When it comes to subject matter, we’ll keep slugging that out the Ricochet way, on the Member Feed. This is about dealing with the media world outside Ricochet.


The Apple of Her Zeyde’s Eye


On the day her mother was going to give birth to her baby brother, Shirley’s father took her to visit her Bubbi and Zeyde. She adored her Zeyde and felt deeply loved by him as well. That day, however, turned into a nightmare. After they’d visited for a while, her Zeyde left the room; suddenly the bathroom door slammed open, her Zeyde screaming in pain. He had taken some kind of toxic substance to try to kill himself. It slowly did its work while he thrashed in agony. Shirley was stunned into silence, unable to respond. Her father ran to his father-in-law’s rescue, too late. It was all over in minutes.

Shirley was lost in the nightmare of confusion and pain. What did this all mean? What happened to Zeyde? What was she supposed to do?


The Anatomy of Disruption


I’ve been doing some thinking recently about the life cycle of industries. “Industries” in this context means anything that you can make a living at. If you have an idea, a new idea, something that will genuinely change the world, what happens with it? It seems to follow the old adage about every political cause (probably because political causes qualify as industries in this regard.) Let’s take a walk through it:

It Begins as a Movement