Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Joe Can’t Do That


President TrumpOn Tuesday, President Trump flew from the White House, where he celebrated women’s right to vote and their participation in our nation’s politics. He flew to Yuma, Arizona to celebrate the men and women securing our border. He was drawing eyes to the border to show he was using every bit of presidential authority to fulfill his campaign promises, despite the worst efforts of the Congressional Democrats and Republican’ts. He flew into 120-degree heat and spoke outdoors, pointing out that Joe Biden was likely incapable of doing so.

Remarks by President Trump During Border Wall Construction and Operational Update | Yuma, AZ
IMMIGRATION Issued on: August 18, 2020
Yuma, Arizona

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. COVID-19 Confusion


A scientific study attracted national attention last week by taking the dramatic position that the “excess deaths” from COVID-19 exceeded those observed with the Spanish Flu of 1918, at least for New York City. The absurdity of the claim is symptomatic of the imperfect understanding of the pandemic by this nation’s elites. To be sure, the letter correctly notes that the state of healthcare today is far better and more advanced than that of a century ago given the widespread availability of such impressive treatments as “standard resuscitation, supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, kidney replacement therapy, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.” Indeed, those technological advances indicate that the true severity of COVID-19 is even greater than the raw numbers suggest.

With that said, the study is flawed in several key ways. The estimated number of total U.S. deaths from the Spanish Flu was 675,000 in a population of about 100 million people. Assuming there have been about 169,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths in 2020 in a population of over 330 million people, the COVID-19 death rate is roughly one-twelfth of the Spanish Flu rate. That number could well increase before the pandemic runs its course. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the U.S. death toll of COVID-19 could reach 300,000 by December, at which point the ratio would be about 7.5 to 1.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “Trump Speed” Week in Review


American voters face a choice, not an echo, and need to act accordingly in this election season. As the Democratic National Convention rolls out in some form this week, measure Democrat supporters’ claims against President Trump’s accomplishments. Start with just last week. The Trump administration moved with purpose all week, taking both domestic and international actions that matter. Consider this daily summary of the past week’s events [emphasis, bracketed comments, and links added]. Bear in mind, President Trump had his brother Robert on his heart all week, as Robert was in hospital “having a tough time.” Sadly, the week ended with President Trump saying farewell in person to his beloved younger brother, but that did not stop the president announcing a defense agreement with Poland, to the consternation of Russia and their Democrat true friends. Robert Trump died on August 15, 2020:

It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Roaring with Laughter!


For those of you suffering from depression, anger, frustration, annoyance, or any combination of the aforementioned, you have come to the right place. And Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman has just the perfect remedy for you: uproarious laughter.

Now I’m aware that some of you are not into uncontrollable laughter, guffaws, horselaughs, or even chortles, but simple smiles are guaranteed.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Social Distancing, Alienation and Tyranny


When we keep our distance from people, we are continually reminded that the world is less safe than ever. Other people potentially endanger our lives; after all, whom do we believe when we read the data about which people endanger us and who is most vulnerable? Ultimately our fear will move us to protecting ourselves by accepting the tyranny of the State. Let me explain:

When we social distance, we are intentionally separating ourselves from others. We limit our exposure to large groups: weddings are limited in size or are broadcast on zoom; funerals leave us vulnerable to exposure; going to church has become a hassle as people try to keep their distance from each other; even small family gatherings could be dangerous.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Story from the Armenian Massacre


The Homilary of Moush is an illuminated manuscript dating from the early twelfth century. It is the largest surviving Armenian religious manuscript. A massive work, it weighs over 60 pounds (28 kg). It survived destruction during the Armenian genocide.

“Silent Angel,” by Antonia Arslan is a fictionalized account of its preservation, recounting how it was found after the destruction of its long-time home in the Sourp Arakelots Vank (Holy Apostles Monastery) in Moush and spirited to safety

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Love and Hate


“I know there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that.” – Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer spoke these words ironically, as a joke. Yet it has become a progressive mantra in the last few years. Some businesses post signs saying words to the effect that they love everyone – haters stay out. Progressives post signs on their lawns proclaiming “Love Trumps Hate,” while hating Trump and anyone who does not actively hate Trump. They claim saying “all lives matter” is racist, without attempting to explain logically how that can be true. They say “love is the answer” while slamming the door in the face of anyone who might point out that is not necessarily always true.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Beat ‘Em While They’re Down


New Yorkers have possibly suffered more pain and loss than any city in the country with the crisis of COVID-19. Although the situation has improved, the remaining fears and questions perpetuate the emotional impact of the virus. But there are those who choose to make sure that New Yorkers and Americans are beaten down even more before they can begin their recovery.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum has decided to cancel the “Tribute in Lights” conducted to remember and honor those who died on 9/11 in the Twin Towers, their families, and those who were present that day. Their excuse was that they had health and safety concerns:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Families Have Failed Their Children


Civilization hangs suspended from generation to generation, by the gossamer strand of memory. If only one cohort of mothers and fathers fails to convey to its children what it has learned from its parents, then the great chain of learning and wisdom snaps. If the guardians of human knowledge stumble only one time, in their fall collapses the whole edifice of knowledge and understanding. —Jacob Neusner

Many of us lament where we are socially, culturally, politically, and religiously in this country. Unfortunately, there are few things we can point to with great love and pride, without having others dispute our findings and attack our stands. For those who feel the losses of our present moment, we want to know why we have reached this place in time. How did we fail so terribly? How did we fall so low? And more urgently, what are we to do about it?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Operation Legend and Middle East Peace at Trump Speed


President TrumpOn Wednesday, July 23, 2020, President Trump hosted the grieving mother of LeGend Taliferro at the White House. In Charron Powell’s presence, on camera, Attorney General Barr promised to deliver justice for her slain 4-year-old son, LeGend. Today, August 13, 2020, Attorney General Barr announced the arrest of a suspect in LeGend Taliferro’s murder.

Barr is making federal law enforcement work at Trump speed to stem the bleeding on our cities’ streets. Just after Biden offered a leftist elite woman with just the right level of melanin and ancestry, President Trump delivered real justice for an African-American child and his heartbroken mother. And Trump’s administration delivered this on the same day as this supposed chaotic, supposedly inferior administration delivered peace in the Middle East between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Both of these accomplishments come the day after Secretary of State Pompeo spoke in Prague, rallying Europeans against the present danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence in Europe. Elections have very real consequences.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Does Techno-Optimism Have a Place in US politics?


The Alphabet Inc. campus, also known as Googleplex, Mountain View, CA.
Nuclear war theorist Herman Kahn provided at least partial inspiration for film director Stanley Kubrick’s maniacal Dr. Strangelove. (The character’s accent, at least, was likely based on that of German emigres Henry Kissinger or Wehrner Von Braun.) Kubrick had read Kahn’s 1960 treatise “On Thermonuclear War” and met with him several times when planning the 1964 black comedy. That unforgettable cinematic depiction and interpretation of Khan-ism — a nuclear conflict between the US and USSR was not “unthinkable” — if not necessarily the man himself, helped cement Kahn’s historical reputation as a dangerous Cold Warrior.

But the 1970s detente era saw the second act of Kahn’s career, that of a futurist. At the very time the professional long-term forecasting industry was taking a pessimistic turn fueled by environmental catastrophism, this thinker of dark, unthinkable thoughts stood out as a sunny purveyor of techno-capitalist optimism. Rather than a few minutes before nuclear midnight, dawn was always just breaking in a world of abundance led by a recharged Reaganite America, a view he distilled in his 1983 book, “The Coming Boom.” (Liberals were dismissive and, it turns out, wrong. The period from 1983 through 2007 has been called The Long Boom because of its strong and steady economic growth. It was also the period that saw the rise of Silicon Valley as the nation’s and world’s tech core.)

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Get Children Back in School – Now


The COVID school shutdown is a disaster for America’s schoolchildren, especially the young and the poor. America’s undereducated students have had a permanent hole blasted into their educational experience, creating a gap that will never be filled.

It didn’t have to be. It didn’t happen because of the virus or even our perverse reaction to it. The educational shutdown isn’t necessary for the health of our children. It is the result of the selfish intransigence of the teachers’ unions and Democrats ceaselessly searching for ways to make Trump look bad.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #26: Flagg Taylor


This week, I talk to our own @FlaggTaylor about Peter Lawler, his Tocquevillian teaching and the comic way he delivered it, about Post Modern Conservative, our attempt to offer liberals arts thought to the broad American audience, and our friendship.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Heroes Fighting Cancel Culture


So many of you have inspired me with your posts of the people, companies, and organizations fighting back against cancel culture. In some ways, the number of people who speak out seems small; every time I see a new person, I keep wishing there were more; I’ve decided I want to have one place I can go and periodically review a list of them, to remind myself there are many more than I’ve realized.

Also, I’m sure there are some people whom we’ve missed, even people in our own personal universe, who’ve risked their lives, reputations, and jobs but speak out anyway. So, I’m going to list a few of those who have heartened me through their actions and courage. And I hope you’ll add to the list!

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. J. Edgar Hoover Would Be Proud


Politico published an intriguing piece of real journalism in late July. It turns out that Donald Trump was not the first elected target of J. Edgar Hoover’s boys and girls. They caught a Delaware businessman, Christopher Tigani, violating fundraising laws. FBI agents then ran Tigani as an informant against the 2008 Joe Biden primary campaign. The FBI continued after the 2008 election, trying to get the sitting Vice President. The FBI had this businessman wired at meetings with various campaign and fundraising players. They allegedly tried but repeatedly failed to get their stoolie in direct contact with Vice President Biden.

Yes, there has been especially focused illegal behavior by federal officials against President Trump. And. Yes, it appears the name on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters has informed their organizational culture, despite a big show of reform in the 1970s. It appears very likely that the FBI ran Christopher Tigani against Joe Biden a decade before running agents against Donald Trump. One they targeted for old-fashioned campaign finance violations and one they targeted with an intelligence operation morphed into a criminal investigation.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. What Should We Call Kamala Harris?


A short time ago, anticipating that Kamala Harris might be Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick, the Associated Press altered their stylebook, to rule out refering to her as Willie Brown’s onetime “mistress.” We are now to call her his “companion.”

I like that. In ancient Greek, the feminine version of the word for companion is hetaira. It is — how shall I say? — a euphemism; and like many another euphemism the connotation eventually replaced the denotation and the word came to mean “whore.” In time, the truth will come out.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Perils of Peacemaking


“It is much easier to initiate a war than to end one.” With this sentence, I begin both my most recent book — Sparta’s Second Attic War — and a blogpost put up this morning on the Yale University Press site.

The point of the latter is simple enough: the settlement imposed at the end of one war — say, the First World War — often lays the foundation for the next war, and that is what happened not only at the end of Sparta’s First Attic War, but also at the end of the First Punic War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and, yes, the Cold War.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Connecting the Years


My parents first met in Worcester, MA, after my father returned from World War II. He was a translator in the Army; he’d learned French in high school so “translator” must have seemed like a logical assignment. His first name was Carlton, but everyone called him Tex, after a baseball player named Tex Carlton. As a teenager, he was a skinny kid and his friends called him “Tweet.”

Mom was pretty much a loner named Shirley, but she and my dad made a connection after the war. When they decided to be married, they had a large wedding with lots of family and friends. But when the photographer went to develop the photographs, they were somehow lost or destroyed.* The only testament to their wedding was a movie that was taken on 16mm film. Years later, when my uncle who had the only copy offered to share it with them, they learned that the projector needed to play the film wasn’t readily available. So, the film sat in a drawer.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QoTD: One Small Light


You can’t make progress until you let yourself sound like you. –Nathan Gunn, baritone singer

I first encountered Nathan Gunn right here on Ricochet, when @marcin posted a video of the musical, Carousel. Mr. Gunn played the lead role of Billy Bigelow. He performs opera and musicals, is a university professor in music and is very involved in promoting new programs. Besides having a beautiful baritone voice and his being handsome, I was curious to know more about him and found an interview of him on a program called, The Classical Life (video below). His story is in some ways typically mid-western American: 50 years old, born in Indiana, beautiful wife who is a pianist and five kids. But this quotation he made stopped me cold. It is something he tells his students.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Navigator’s Account of SAC


Between 1946 and 1992 the Strategic Air Command was the United States’s main shield against Soviet aggression. Its bombers flew constantly, fueling aloft to reach any point in the world.

“SAC Time: A Navigator in the Strategic Air Command,” by Thomas E. Alexander, is the memoir of a man who spent three years in the Strategic Air Command and thirteen years in the Air National Guard.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Don’t Replace the NRA, Reform It


New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the National Rifle Association, seeking to dissolve it over multiple incidences of fraud and mismanagement.

And the thing is, her case is pretty strong, in my opinion. Really, really strong. Wayne LaPierre has been the effective head of the NRA for decades now, and his … questionable financial decisions appear to have been made without the knowledge of the Board of Directors, who should (should) have oversight on such matters. This quote in particular jumped out at me:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Costs and Benefits


“Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions – and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.” – Thomas Sowell

As a nod towards Dr. Bastiat (@drbastiat) and his post “A Brief Excursion into Hero Worship,” I thought it fitting to provide some Sowell food with today’s quote of the day. Rummaging through my collection of unused Thomas Sowell quotes, I decided this one best fits the events of 2020, since so many are driven by the government’s pursuit of benefits at whatever cost, however large.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #25: Tom Harmon


This week’s podcast in memory of Peter Lawler is a conversation on education, higher education, elites, and the drama of our times. Tom Harmon’s a friend and a wonderful professor and we talk about everything of concern to conservatives now–what’s wrong with America’s cognitive elites, the new ruling class, how come it’s got such a powerful effect on conservative and Republican elites, too, how we might help conservatives who opt for homeschooling and classical schools, and what it takes to defend the American way of life.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Did Derek Chauvin Kill George Floyd?


If there is one thing that we all know, it is that, on 25 May, Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department killed George Floyd. This is what the newspapers say, and this is what we are told on television news. The only thing that seems to be in question is whether Chauvin is guilty of second- or third-degree murder.

Ordinarily, in the past, journalists took care to distinguish allegations from facts, but not in this case. They stuck to their claim that Chauvin had killed Floyd even when the medical examiner of Hennepin County issued a preliminary coroner’s report indicating that the latter had died of “cardiopulmonary arrest” – which is to say, a heart attack – and not asphyxiation; that he suffered “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease”; that he was at the time of death hopped up on fentanyl; and that he had recently used methamphetamines. On National Review Online, on 4 June, the LAPD veteran who writes under the name of Jack Dunphy pointed out the obvious implications, but no one in the mainstream media bothered to note that drugs of this sort can cause shortness of breath and cardiac arrest and that Floyd may have died of a drug overdose.