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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Millennials Wanting to Live in a Socialist Country Is Like Wanting to Go to School at Hogwarts


Maximum concern would be warranted if 70 percent of millennials said they were likely to vote for candidates who supported Chavismo or Maoism or Marxist-Leninism. But more than two-thirds of that generation saying they are “somewhat likely” or “extremely likely” to vote for a generic “socialist?” Not so much.

And certainly I wouldn’t read the results of a new YouGov/Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation survey as Axios does: “Young people’s political views often change as they grow older, but their support for socialist ideas and leaders is a sign that the old rules of politics are changing fast.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Arahant Begins: A Ricochet Silent Radio Origin Story


I had a most unusual wartime career. I’m from Illinois but my great-grandfathers fought for the Confederacy. A touch of rebellion and a streak of belligerence runs in the family. The Depression hit us hard. Before Pearl Harbor, I was living in a tiny, fifth-floor, walk-up apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan, taking night courses in business administration at City College. I wrote stories in my spare time and worked for a midtown publisher, Street and Smith. On December 12, the morning after Hitler declared war on the USA, a friend and co-worker of mine joined the mobs at the recruiting station near the office. Bob and I both went Navy. That was the last I saw of him for a couple of years, and they were busy years. I was a radio operator on a sub tender in the south Atlantic. The Navy trained me well. I thought I had no natural aptitude for technology. It seems ironic given how things turned out.

In September 1943, mid-winter south of the Equator, I was suddenly shipped Stateside. No explanation. Two weeks later, I reported to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and was ordered to report for tests at the Naval Research Laboratory. They had some kind of psychological screening program. I was sent to a crowded waiting room at the base hospital. The air was blue with cigarette smoke, cursing, and boredom. Waiting, waiting, waiting. To my surprise, my old New York pal Bob walked in, but that moment, before we even had a chance to say hello, a duty officer appeared with a clipboard. When it’s alphabetical, I usually go first, like I did here. He barked out, “Arahant! Asimov! Heinlein! Hubbard! Get in here, on the double!”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Two Announcements and Two Headlines


Sunday was a good day for America. Overnight, between Saturday and Sunday, a joint operation by our nation’s elite forces, with assistance from the real intelligence community (not the headquarters cabal), ended in the death of the ISIS terrorist group’s chief, a would-be caliph, and seizure of significant amounts of high-value information.

President Trump, immediately after confirmation, alerted Americans that he would make a significant announcement on Sunday at 9 a.m. He made the statement and either before or after called Sen. Lindsey Graham, resulting in a second press statement at the White House. Meanwhile, the Washington Post fully justified its mass cancellation by not only the Executive Branch but also any decent American. No, Mr. President, I am still not tired of all the winning.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Are You a Political Warrior?


When I first came to Ricochet, I was baffled at how people engaged so seriously in political discussion. I mean, it’s just politics—right?

As discussions got especially rabid and polarized over the entry of Donald Trump, I found myself feeling compelled to take sides. At the same time, I was trying to keep up with the destructive efforts of the Left and the media. What in the world was going on?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Donald Trump’s Peculiar Integrity


I know that “integrity” isn’t the word a lot of people think of when our current President is brought up. It isn’t a word that I normally associate with him either. But, as I ponder the very mixed bag that is President Trump, it occurs to me that his peculiar brand of integrity really is, for me, his redeeming feature.

The first and popular meaning of the word “integrity” has to do with moral character, and that is the sense in which the word seems, even to me, ill-suited in its application to Donald Trump. I’ll concede that in a heartbeat, and without argument.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bombshell: Yes, I Am A Logophile.


Since I have been required to notify everyone in the neighborhood of my legal status, I see no reason to conceal it from you any longer: I am a registered logophile. It’s true. I love words. Shun me if you will, but I am no longer ashamed of the way God made me.

I’m not going to participate in the “nature versus nurture” debate of what caused me to be this way. My family and close friends already knew anyway, and at my advanced age, there’s no reason to stay in the closet.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Republicans Storm the Schiff SCIF!


Yes, the title of this post is hyperbole, and I’m delighted to describe the most dramatic event for the Republicans in the impeachment process this year; I hope they were all taking notes. I think this action was especially noteworthy and beneficial to the Republicans and I’ll describe the reasons. Let me first give a brief description of the event:

House Republicans stormed a closed-door impeachment hearing on Wednesday to protest the inquiry and refused to leave until Democrats held an open hearing.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Facts and Feistiness, vs. Fake Feelings?


The Cabinet meeting this Monday was chock full of facts and feistiness. As a matter of fact, of a whole series of interconnected facts, the American people are experiencing the tangible benefit of electing a politician who actually takes his campaign promises deadly seriously. I commend the whole transcript or the video to your consideration.

One sample of facts and feistiness especially struck me: there has been a substantial, real reduction in overdose deaths for the first time in 30 years! For those scoring the presidential game at home, a president gets a maximum of eight years, and the two big parties do tend to fall in and out of favor, or vary in the quality of their bench, so we already know this is a bipartisan milestone. 2018 minus 30 takes us back to 1988, which just happens to be the last year of President Reagan’s administration, if my math is correct.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Uncommon Knowledge: Jimmy Lai And The Fight For Freedom In Hong Kong


In this special edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, recorded in front of a live audience at the Hoover Institution, I interview Jimmy Lai, an entrepreneur and a leader in the fight to preserve democracy in Hong Kong. Lai describes the struggles he has endured, including having his home fire-bombed, his family harassed, and his business threatened by the Chinese Communist Party. We also discuss the Trump administration’s response to the Hong Kong protest movement, how the NBA and other American businesses are finding themselves in an awkward position navigating between their business interests and their politics, and what Lai believes to be China’s ultimate goal: to make Hong Kong just another city in Communist China. Finally, Lai asks Americans to keep Hong Kong at the forefront of their thoughts and not to give up on its citizens.


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


Good Ads“When the Gentiles, who have no knowledge of the Law, act in accordance with it by the light of nature, they show that they have a law in themselves, for they demonstrate the effect of a law operating in their own hearts. Their own consciences endorse the existence of such a law, for there is something which condemns or commends their actions.”
— Romans 2:14-15, J.B. Phillips New Testament

J.B. Phillips wrote a much-read paraphrase of the New Testament in mid-20th Century colloquial English. His paraphrase of this passage seems faithful to the underlying text and makes the point clearly, as a good paraphrase should. We see here the idea of a law encoded in the natural world, the world we all experience, whatever religious teachings we do or do not receive.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. New Jersey Sheriff Sues the New Jersey Attorney General


We need to see more men like Sheriff Robert Nolan taking action against the injustice of creating sanctuary states. He’s suing the New Jersey AG, who’s defying federal law in order to turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state, and Nolan wants no part of it. So Sheriff Nolan and Cape May County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders are suing in federal court to challenge their AG’s directive, barring Nolan and his officers from cooperating with ICE.

The actions of Attorney General Grewel are blatantly political. He’s using worn-out rhetoric and misleading his constituents. He points out that the law enforcement officers are supposed to enforce state criminal offenses, and the federal government is supposed to handle immigration violations. And his stated concern is insulting to the intelligence of his own officers:


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


“There is a strong tendency in modern American society to treat patriotism as a dangerous sentiment, a passion to be guarded against. But this is a serious misconception. To begin with, we should acknowledge that there is something natural about patriotism, as an expression of love for what is one’s own, gratitude for what one has been given, and reverence for the sources of one’s being. These responses are instinctive; they’re grounded in our natures and the basic facts of our birth. Yet their power is no less for that, and they are denied only at great cost. When the philosopher Aristotle declared that we are by nature ‘political animals,’ he meant that we are in some sense made to live in community with one another. It is in our nature to be belonging creatures. One of the deepest needs of the human soul is a sense of membership, of joy in what we have and hold in common with others.”
— Wilfred M. McClay, Land of Hope

I celebrate Professor McClay’s description of patriotism. Too often we hear of people comparing patriotism to fascism, to a Nazi mentality, to a kind of primitive unifying theme for countrymen to come together. Instead, McClay explains that our patriotism brings us together to honor those values we hold in common, to share our joy of living in a country that was founded in freedom and gives us the opportunity to become our greatest selves.