Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Should Cops Get ‘Qualified Immunity?’


The United States had just under 700,000 sworn enforcement officers in 2018, of whom 106 were killed in the line of duty that year. These officers are distributed among some 18,000 federal, state, and local police departments, which range in size from 36,000 officers in New York City to ten or fewer in hundreds of smaller towns and hamlets. All these individuals and departments are linked together by their license to use force when necessary to prevent violence and the destruction of property.

This raises a question: What legal regime should be implemented to prevent abuse by police officers?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We Need a Label


I generally don’t like political labels. I think they often do more to impair communication than to enhance it. However, the “woke” label is now widely used, and it would be nice to have a counter-label that means, basically, “I am not ‘woke’ and I reject the ideas and values ‘woke’ implies.” I described myself in a conversation today as a “traditionalist/Burkean conservative,” but that’s not a tagline that trips off the tongue, and it will never become popular.

James Delingpole or one of his guests mentioned “sound” as a term gaining currency, and as having approximately the meaning I seek. I’ve never heard it used and so I’m a little skeptical, but I nonetheless agree that some label for those of the deliberate and considered ‘not-woke’ crowd would be useful. I don’t much care for “sound,” but I’m open to suggestion. Whatever it is should be something vaguely positive, difficult to pun into a pejorative, ideally evocative of measured and solid — yes, “sound” — consideration, and unburdened with potentially troubling associations.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Give Yourself a Break!


Okay, I admit it. I have always been the kind of person who’s wanted to dive deeply into the big issues of the day: the virus, riots, governance, statues. You name it, I’m probably obsessed with it. Part of that attitude may be slightly disturbed, but I swear that some of it comes from curiosity and a love of learning. (At least that’s my defense.)

But it’s easy to become overwhelmed by current events. You may make the decision to simply check out. To refuse to discuss it. To avoid getting any kind of updates. And that’s fine.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Chicks


I see that the Dixie Chicks have officially changed their band name to The Chicks.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think it’s as stupid and cowardly as most “woke” nonsense.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Forget the Spin, Dig in and Work to Win


The spin all around us is calculated both to keep us clicking and to suppress our political activism. I get that it seems like institutions all around us are falling before the leftist mob. All is not as it seems.

Look, corporations, leaders, and staff in religious organizations were already on the left. Government officials were not intimidated, they were already allies with the leftists in the streets. We all know this from years of complaining about the craziness coming out of one city after another.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Janissaries Reaches a Satisfactory Conclusion


In 1979 Jerry Pournelle published Janissaries, a novel about a doomed troop of CIA mercenaries in Angola. About to be annihilated by a Cubans they are offered an escape: a one-way trip to the planet Tran. They and their leader, Rick Galloway, are expected to take over the planet and oversee production of a recreational drug that can be grown there every 600 years. Sequels followed in 1982 and 1987. Then, despite the third book ending with many unanswered questions, nothing.

Mamelukes, by Jerry Pournelle, Philip Pournelle, and David Weber, continues the series.


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


“In America the young are always ready to give those who are older the full benefits of their inexperience.” — Oscar Wilde

Are we ever seeing examples of this over the last few weeks. In Seattle, the young (and privileged) set up an autonomous zone that immediately devolves from their intended socialist paradise to something out of Lord of the Flies. They tear down statues of Grand and abolitionist Union leaders because of slavery or something. They threaten to topple a statue of Lincoln – paid for and erected by former slaves because white racism, or something. They demand everyone think just like they do because truth, or something.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Brief Observation on Anti-lynching Laws


Senator Tim Scott Even after Senator Tim Scott got Mitch McConnell to agree in advance to allow 20 Democrat amendments to his police reform bill, which included an anti-lynching portion, the Democrats killed the bill by filibuster. Now, if you have been paying a bit of attention to history, this might sound familiar. Yes, indeed, there is a long and ugly history, in the Progressive Era, of Democrat senators filibustering anti-lynching laws every time they came to the Senate floor, and of the Republican leaders not changing the rule to stop this facilitation of race-based political terrorism. Meet the new Senate, same as the old Senate.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, states and local governments controlled by white supremacist Democrats blocked blacks from serving on juries and reliability acquitted white men if officials even felt a need to hold a trial over the killing of a black man. The original intent of federal anti-lynching laws was to bypass white supremacist controlled state and local governments, stopping them from providing legal cover, from holding occasional trials of white killers of black men and always acquitting them. It was the norm in segregated states to pervert justice in this way. The point now is some sort of symbolism, as current federal civil rights law already provides ways to prosecute and no jurisdiction has anything like the poisonous conditions of Jim Crow.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Where Is the Black Silent Majority?


“Most black people know that George Floyd is no more representative of blacks than Derek Chauvin is of police officers. They know that the frequency of black encounters with law enforcement has far more to do with black crime rates than with racially biased policing. They know that young black men have far more to fear from their peers than from the cops. And they know that the rioters are opportunists, not revolutionaries.” — Jason Riley

In his WSJ article, Jason Riley referred to a quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan where he wrote that there “is a silent black majority as well as a white one” and that “it shares most of the concerns of its white counterpart.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. President Trump Triple Play Thursday


AG BarrPresident Trump started Thursday, June 25, with First Lady Melania Trump at the Korean War Memorial. He then flew to Wisconsin, where he first participated in a 43-minute Fox News town hall out of an airport hanger. This was led by Sean Hannity, who was relatively subdued, mostly keeping himself out of the way. I created a partial transcript for your quick perusal. From the town hall, President Trump shifted gears and went to a shipyard, where he enjoyed praising American skilled labor. On the same day, he had his Attorney General on both leftist and conservative shows, addressing the issue of street violence and lawlessness. Taken as a whole, there are signs President Trump and his team are sorting out how to effectively respond to this June’s events. Can he get far enough ahead in the decision loop?

Listen to President Trump’s very reasonable position on protest, agitators, anarchists, and monuments. It is squarely in the heart of American public sensibility. Then hear him praise ship workers and point to a great new naval shipbuilding future in the heart of swing state country. As a side note, Vice President Pence was ranging over other battleground territory this week, praising auto workers in Ohio and dropping in on a police shift brief to praise them and their department. On the same day, Attorney General Barr seems to be moving in the correct direction on stopping left-wing domestic terrorism, as does the Freedom Caucus, but where are Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader McCarthy?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. France Fell, or How Liberalism Dies and Kills Democracy


As time goes by — The Marseillaise — Perfidia, that’s the music. We’re coming up on the 80th anniversary of the fall of France, surely the most shocking, most contemptible moment in the history of modern democracy. Hard to find a better way to remember that than Casablanca. Of course, there’s also Churchill, de Gaulle, and Raymond Aron–read Dan Mahoney on the moral-political collapse of anti-fascism and pacifism.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. President and First Lady Honor Korean War Fallen


The Korean War began 70 years ago, June 25, 1950. The coldest war in the Cold War never ended, settling into ceasefires and an armistice that never led to a peace treaty. This June 25, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump went to the Korean War Memorial.

They laid a wreath, Taps was played, then they greeted the South Korean ambassador and his wife, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and a small group of Korean War veterans. While there were no handshakes, and distance was maintained in this outdoor setting, no one was covering their face and the old warriors sat and stood shoulder-to-shoulder.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Not About Lincoln or a Statue, It’s About the Constitution


The leftist mob of entitled Vandals, and the would be vanguard of the proletariate, are not angered by Abraham Lincoln’s human imperfections, nor by a statue of him and a black slave seeking freedom. What infuriates the radical leftist Eleanor Holmes Norton is the full expression, the defense of Lincoln and America, by Frederick Douglass, and the vote with their dollars of many freedmen and women, who commissioned and paid for the statue she and her Marxist comrades despise. She lies by half-truth, asserting that Frederick Douglass disapproved of Lincoln and the statue in his speech at its dedication. Read the truth for yourself below.

Eleanor Holmes Norton is the unaccountable beneficiary of bipartisan Congressional largesse in the made up position of non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives, where she styles herself a congresswoman. Her life-long mission is to bring about permanent one party rule by the left through rigging our electoral system by District of Columbia statehood, with its attendant two senators. She can read the whole of Frederick Douglass’s thoughts, as can all the real members of Congress and the party stenographers posing as journalists. Doing so, sadly, just stokes leftist rage, as the words and thoughts are against perpetuating grievance and division, tools necessary to leftist victory and dictatorship.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #19: Yuval Levin


We continue our series in memory of the later public intellectual and professor of political philosophy Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with Yuval Levin, who served with Peter on the President’s Council on Bio-ethics in the George W. Bush administration, which was led by another distinguished conservative scholar, Leon Kass, Levin’s mentor. We talk about the council, about dignity, and the need for moderation, institutions, and a sympathetic understanding of each other, lest our conflicts lead to madness.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Governor Ducey, Stop the Petty Tyrants


Republican governors have been successfully panicked into letting the same local thugs, who reveled in the powers granted to them during the Great Lockdown, now order American citizens to cover their faces, some with as much legal force as the Saudi religious police. Governor Abbott of Texas at least had the wisdom to forbid any criminal penalties under this exercise in bodily control over every free person. Governor Doug Ducey has not been so bright, and so will rightly accrue state-wide blame against the Republican Party. He must immediately amend his latest executive order, number 2020-40, to prohibit anything more than a parking ticket sort of civil penalty for mask non-compliance.

Mesa, Arizona, is muddling through a middle route, requiring masks in most public indoor settings but not while eating or drinking. They will levy civil fines for persistent non-compliance, limited to $50, following Maricopa County.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Epidemic of Hopelessness


We have been trapped for years by a minority in our society that thinks that we live in a despicable country. Recently they are also making clear that the only solution to this “fact” is the destruction of our country. I believe that the deluded people who profess this worldview experience nothing but hopelessness in their lives. Unfortunately, those of us who don’t agree with them are slowly becoming infused with this sick approach to life. If we don’t wake up, we risk succumbing to this life-threatening disease.

The Federalist, in an article by Nathanael Blake, helped me diagnose the sickness of hopelessness of the Left. Many people have tried to understand the viciousness and destructiveness of Progressives by pointing to the draw of Marxist theory, the corruption of education, and the immaturity of many young people, to name a few. But these reasons only answer the “what” questions—what they are doing; they don’t answer the “why.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Isiah Thomas Calls for End of ‘Race’ Category


An NBA program, carried on ESPN and intended to promote the left’s line on race, went a bit sideways. June 23 on NBA Game Time, Isiah Thomas, a basketball great with a master’s degree in education, called for an end to the use of race as an official classification, arguing that it has been misused for bad purposes from its origin. The young woman interviewing him had to smile through the interview, however much this was heresy in the present political moment. His comments accord more with the long time position of Alexander Hamilton III, a lawyer and American Family Radio daily talk show host. Contra Dennis Prager, the answer is not to be “colorblind.” Rather, we should learn from Deuteronomy 16:19, and not the “1619 Project.”

Isiah Thomas earned an education master’s degree at UC Berkeley in 2013. His study focused on the education and life outcomes for black male college athletes.* Instead of promoting the Democrat Party line, Thomas called for an end to the use of “race” as a classification label. He did so on the basis of theories and histories of “racialization,” the invention and development of this relatively new way of labeling and dividing people. Isiah Thomas noted that our government, starting at the national level, has four boxes: national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, and race. It is his position that race has been defined and used for ill purpose and should be eliminated from official programs. You get plenty of descriptive categorization from national origin, citizenship, and ethnicity.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Europe #11: Mr Jones


So I talked to @FlaggTaylor about Mr. Jones, the new Agnieszka Holland movie about Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist who dared to risk his life to reveal the truth about Stalin’s murder of millions of Ukrainians, the Holodomor, only to be faced with systematic lying by liberals in Moscow and Britain, orchestrated by Pulitzer prize winner Walter Duranty, who didn’t want to believe the truth, or publish it. In many ways, liberalism is back to its ’30s form.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Music That Makes Me Laugh


Growing up without a television in the house, we got our entertainment from LPs (long playing records), and from books. Along with mostly classical, children’s, and some fold or pop with good harmony, we got my parents’ taste in comedy.

My parents met in Philadelphia as the 1950s became the 1960s. Perhaps the hottest comedy act of that time was Nicols and May, Mike Nicols and Elaine May. These two took improv comedy to a whole new level, starting with Improvisations to Music. Stan Freberg was already an established talent, and generated a send up of Lawrence Welk in 1957.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Maybe It’s Time for Gun Owners to Step Up


If you recognize the name of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, you might be remembering that the Aryan Nation marched through its streets twenty years ago. It also has a colorful history and is named after an American Indian tribe. Most recently, though, it has gained attention as it takes up arms against Black Lives Matter.

When BLM decided to organize protestors in the town in June, the locals wanted to be sure that the town was protected. One resident shared the following impressions from June 2:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Caretakers


I work in technology. I write the software that moves machines, that gets embedded in factory equipment and automates the making of things. I’ve been doing it a long time for a man of my (ahem) youth, and I’ve seen a lot of change.

Three decades ago I happened to be the fellow who introduced a particular kind of automation to a then-thriving industry called library conservation. This industry was never large but it was once hugely profitable, a cozy collection of minor magnates whose family fortunes were made binding and re-binding library books, one expensive volume at a time. Part of that profitability stemmed from their habit of meeting each year to fix prices across the industry. Photographs of such meetings, of rooms full of well-dressed, cigar-chomping, portly men of means boldly pushing the bounds of anti-trust law, capture a bit of the flavor of the “age of industry”; no gathering of today’s high tech billionaires would feature so many black ties or gray hairs, nor look so happily, contentedly, gloriously criminal.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Gorsuch Legal Alchemy


The United States Supreme Court has sent shockwaves through much of the nation with its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. By a six-to-three vote, the Court held in no uncertain terms that the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to fire a person “simply” due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The basic statutory text of Title VII provides that it is “unlawful . . . for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dear BLM…


Dear Black Lives Matter,

I’d like to be able to take you seriously, but I can’t, and I won’t be able to until you make some changes to the things you say and do.