Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Prospective Fact Check on Monsey Machete Attack


There has already been plenty of finger pointing over the attempted massacre of a group of Orthodox Jewish men in Monsey, New York. The FBI is now on the case. Whatever explanations are offered up, by whatever source, check them against the map and what we have been told about the location of the attack and the attacker’s life.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Syd and Neil


Two obits today that made me sigh.

Syd Mead, who defined the optimistic look of the consumer-friendly techno-future. (Blade Runner as well, but that’s another story.) Atom-powered chrome-trimmed hoverers in a perfect California – he reinterpreted the soul of the auto for an era we hoped we’d see.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Finnish Treat on the Seventh Day of Christmas


Just for the joy of it, I give you singing police. Further, if the official Finnish police YouTube channel, Poliisitube, says Santa Claus is real, it must be so! Police singing in the snow:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Memories: Books, Books, Books


As a solitary child, books were my best friends. I loved their friendship because they were quiet, fascinating, non-judgmental, and, as companions, they were always available. So I decided to honor my memories of my childhood books.

Money was tight in our household, so except for a tiny allowance, I rarely asked for spending money. To keep my reading habit alive, my mother would take us weekly to the Garden Grove Library, in those days a tiny building with a charming children’s book section. We were allowed to check out seven books at a time, which I easily finished before the week was out. At the library, I discovered that many books were written in series. Thus, I began my love affair with L. Frank Baum’s Oz books (which I wrote about here a couple of years ago). As an adult, I have only a fragmented recollection of the stories (although I remember many of the characters); instead, I loved the artist of many of the later books, John R. Neill, and have a small collection of those books.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Does Someone Have to Die?


I’ve been reaching a point where I dislike beating the drum about anti-Semitism. But the recent crimes in New York City and the denials that have accompanied them have convinced me that I can’t beat that drum enough. The media is reluctantly covering the story of the latest attacks on Jews in New York:

In Rockland County last night, during a Chanukah celebration at a synagogue a man stormed in with a machete and stabbed at least five victims, who were taken to the hospital. This is the latest in a string of antisemitic attacks in the New York City area, coming in the wake of the tragic killing of four people during an attack on a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. But His Tweets


Via Twitter, a list of Trump accomplishments. 

Let me channel the dead-enders: It’s not like he was doing the LBJ routine in the cloakroom, twisting arms. It’s not like he was calling in Congresspeople to request a bill increasing funding for AIDS and Historically Black colleges. He signed what was put before him. A Rubio administration would have done the same.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ‘Veni, Vici, Visa’


The above roguish little line is attributed to Jan Barrett who playfully translated it into, “We came, we saw, we went shopping.” And of course, in my current line of work, that is exactly what we hope you will do. We have a great many enticements, of course, from lines of credit, to tantalizing price reductions, to a staff of professional sales associates who pride themselves on going the extra mile to make sure your experience exceeds your greatest expectations.

To that end, there is little we won’t do (including to ourselves) to help you. Of course, going the extra one or two hundred thousand miles doesn’t come without cost. The toll it takes on sales associates, who increasingly look and feel like the walking dead as the holiday season progresses, is very real. And it isn’t just the physical toll, though being on one’s feet and dealing with the general public for nine or ten hours a day, through extended store hours, for weeks on end, certainly exacts a high price in terms of aches and pains and muscle cramps. But it’s the mental toll that is perhaps even more grueling.


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Two messages by President Trump, and one exceptional video message from Prime Minister Johnson, set the right tone for the two nations’ recognition of a minority faith that has been under increasing assault. President Trump, having earlier held an annual Hanukkah reception, at which he signed a significant executive order to combat universities increasingly open anti-Semitism, published a warm presidential message on Hanukkah 2019. Yet, this year, it was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chanukah message that cut to the heart of the history and current problems in the United Kingdom. In the context of Labour being rejected by the British people, in significant part due to the exceptionally nasty piece of work leading that party, Jeremy Corbyn, PM Johnston spoke strongly and plainly about the right of British Jews to be both, publicly, without fear of harassment or worse.


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


Don't be Chikin Fill Red KettleThe Salvation Army Mission Statement

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Boris Johnson Speaks, and It Isn’t All Greek to Me


On Christmas Eve, Powerline Blog pointed to Boris Johnson reciting a long passage from the Iliad, in ancient Greek, not as a schoolboy might, but as the great storyteller. This should not have been much of a surprise, given other appearances over the past few years by the man who is now Prime Minister. What follows is a Boris Johnson starter sampler.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson turned to reciting the Iliad in the course of a conversation with the Australian Broadcasting Company’s Annabel Crabb at the Melbourne Writers Festival this past July.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bah, Humbug! on Lemon Grove Drive


We live on a cul-de-sac with 17 homes and our street is famous in the community. We are the street with incredible Christmas lights (with a touch of Hanukkah decorations). We have also offered cookies and hot chocolate on two consecutive nights in December, letting the community know with signs set up at the end of the street when we will be offering them. But this year the occasion was compromised by ridiculous rumors and the bad behavior of those who came. My neighbors are up in arms by how we were treated by those who visited us.

The difficulties seemed to fall into two categories: rumors and bad behavior. The rumors would have been very funny if they weren’t so outrageous. In truth, we have purchased all the decorations and put them up ourselves, and have found some generous folks who are snowbirds who have let us store them in their garages. What are the rumors? To buy a house on this street will cost a buyer $10,000 for their portion of the cost to have the decorations installed; the developer pays someone to put up the decorations on our street; the developer provides storage for our decorations; everyone on the street must bake cookies, and they have to be chocolate chip cookies (although this one would be okay with me). There are probably other rumors drifting around. I’ve heard some of them in the past, but this year they were especially silly.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Real Christmas Message from a British Prime Minister


While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson first bowed before the altar of the NHS, above and before the police and fire services, and placed the British military members* and their families last, as has been true since Kipling wrote “Tommy,” it is remarkable that he called Christmas for what it is, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and especially called attention to the worldwide plight of persecuted Christians, many celebrating Christmas in prison cells! This prime minister, with his clear governing majority, pledged “as Prime Minister, that is something I want to change.” He also offered timely and sage advice to everyone around the world, urging domestic peace and goodwill: “Try not to have too many arguments with the in-laws, or anyone else.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Bit of Joy


Courtesy of Al Gorithm over at “You” Tube:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Mitch McConnell: Just Do it!


If you ever want to drive me insane, you don’t need to use the Chinese water torture on me. You just need to force me to watch the ineptness of the House and Senate and the histrionics and hand-wringing regarding impeachment. But I’m begging Mitch McConnell to put us all out of our misery. The Editorial Staff of the Wall Street Journal (sorry—it’s probably behind a paywall) describes the process to set us all free. Mr. McConnell is ignoring the hysterics of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. He seems to be doing that with a twinkle in his eye. In fact, he may already be contemplating these steps recommended by the WSJ. So what is he up against? I’m describing the basic process here.

  • Nancy Pelosi insists that the articles of impeachment must be formally transmitted to the Senate. Not true:

There’s nothing in the Constitution that says impeachment requires a formal transmittal of the articles to the Senate, whether by sedan chair or overnight Fed Ex, or that the House must appoint impeachment managers. The parchment merely says the House has sole power over impeachment and the Senate the sole power to try an impeachment. The act of impeachment is the vote.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Moment in Time: My First Orthodox Jewish Wedding


It was a heart-filling experience, one that will become an indelible memory in my budding Jewish experience. I attended the wedding of iWe and Mrs. iWe’s son #2 and his bride.

I was a bit nervous about attending, fighting off a low-level anxiety about potentially “doing the wrong thing.” A few days before the wedding, however, I realized how silly and self-centered my concerns were. I was not attending this blessed occasion to make some kind of impression on those who were there; I was attending to contribute joy (simcha), offer blessings and goodwill with everyone else for the bride and groom. Holding that wish in my heart was the only mission I needed, and the one that guided me through the day.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #34: Die Hard Christmas


Friends, the ACF brings you Chris Wolfe for Christmas–we talk about Die Hard, the story of an unexpected redeemer coming to deliver us from temptation in winter’s peril. No, really–Chris argues that we should take Sgt. Al Powell as–well, ourselves, the audience, who root for John McClane, but are powerless to do anything ourselves, but yearn to help him–Sgt. Al redeems himself in the course of the movie, as is indeed America redeemed by withstanding the corruption foisted on us by elite institutions that arrogantly remove from us any self-government, all the while exposing us to violence and lawlessness…


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Christopher Wray Makes Changes at the FBI—So What?


The reputation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in the tank and I see little reason for optimism for the future. And FBI Director Christopher Wray is only making the situation worse. Following IG Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA abuse, Wray promptly called for sweeping changes of the FBI’s procedures in submitting applications to the FISA court.

Actually, that’s not true. Wray’s proposed changes ensure that nothing much will change, primarily because he hasn’t dealt with the root problems.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Gender Identity Ideology, Why Aren’t We Listening to the Victims?


While the latest on impeachment continues to dominate headlines, two news items should have our interest before they go the way of the 24-hour cycle.

First, there’s the new episode of “Marvel’s Hero Project”—available on Disney Plus—that celebrates a 12-year-old boy who identifies as a girl and testified before New Jersey’s legislature in favor of a bill mandating an “LBGTQ history” curriculum to be taught throughout the state’s public schools.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The State of Play


Merry Christmas!

Oh, nice. You and Gorsuch.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Impeachment as Congressional Contempt of the Constitution


The Framers did not intend the impeachment power to give Congress supremacy, in the form of being able to harass and paralyze the Courts or the president over policy differences, let alone raw political will. Nevertheless, Congress has acted, almost from the beginning, with selective contempt for the Constitution, both legislatively and in its employment of the impeachment power. There is really nothing new under the sun, including what the current majority party in the House of Representatives is doing…and it is still contemptuous of the Constitution.

Take a step back from the current tempest in the Congressional teapot and consider the facts laid out in 1992 by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Grand Inquests: the Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. The Chief Justice published this very approachable book the year that William Jefferson Clinton beat President Bush the First. Taking his book as a guide to the subject and the actors, some focused searching on the internet yields plenty of historical data and documents. Consider just the first major impeachment, along with a prelude, at the dawn of the 19th Century.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Restoring My Faith in Justice – Just a Little


Since October 2018, we’ve worked on getting a new roof, seeking compensation for a driveway that was seriously damaged in the effort, and finally filing for a judgment to get money back that we’d spent to repair the driveway. My husband took on most of the tedious work to collect evidence, file the case, and appear at mediation. He used the best of his engineering skills and charm to do it.

But that is not the most fascinating part of this story….


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Bundle of Joy Who Came on Christmas


Having an infant at Christmastime was something that immensely impacted my perspective of the holiday. My eldest daughter was six months old during that December, when I truly grasped the significance of the incarnation. Suddenly, it was clear that the festivities and lights and celebrations and gifts are because Jesus, the infinite Creator God, the second Person of the eternal Trinity, became flesh and blood.

Jesus was a tiny, helpless baby just like my sweet, precious baby.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. TV Spies of the ’60s


Fifty-three Christmas Eves ago, I first saw an episode of an exciting new show that hadn’t yet caught on with viewers, despite great reviews in TV Guide and elsewhere. Mission: Impossible was the final entry in what had been a mid-Sixties spy craze on TV and in the movies, all of them of course due to the huge success of James Bond. Spies had never been big box office before Bond, but for a few years they were as common as Star Wars rip-offs would be fifteen years later. Mission: Impossible was unusual for the new genre; no sex, very little violence, jumpy editing that was too fast for most casual TV viewers a half century ago, with complicated, half-explained plots that you had to follow closely to figure out. Above all, its main characters were quite deliberately left blank: you didn’t really know who they were, all you ever knew about them is what they did. Yet Mission: Impossible became by far the most successful and long lasting of all the TV spy shows of the ‘60s. Variety raved, “It looks like CBS finally found its U.N.C.L.E.”, referring to NBC’s hit spy show, then in its third year.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E., debuting in 1964, was the first of the TV spy bunch, boldly announced as “Ian Fleming for television!”, a claim that NBC and its producers, MGM, were forced to hastily retract after Bond’s producers and Fleming’s estate threatened to sue. That claim was a lie, or more forgivably, an awkward exaggeration, and like Mission, U.N.C.L.E. was slow to find an audience. But once it did, it was a huge, if short-lived pop culture phenomenon. Its stars, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, were mobbed everywhere they traveled. They got bushels of fan mail every week. MGM even happily publicized hundreds of fan letters addressed simply to “The Gun”, U.N.C.L.E.’s custom-crafted handgun, accessorized with a custom stock, barrel extender, silencer, even an infrared sniper scope. Millions of plastic replicas were among the most popular ‘60s Christmas toys for American boys. Could you imagine the reaction to that today?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Socialism Violates the 10 Commandments


“Socialism violates at least three of the Ten Commandments: It turns government into God, it legalizes thievery and it elevates covetousness. Discussions of income inequality, after all, aren’t about prosperity but about petty spite. Why should you care how much money I make, so long as you are happy?” — Ben Shapiro

I’ve never heard socialism described this way, and it makes sense: anyone who is supposedly religious can’t subscribe to both socialism and religion. Well, of course, they can, but it must be difficult to ignore the cognitive dissonance.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Taking Memories to the Streets


This year marked the 100th anniversary of observing what became Veterans’ Day in America. It was also the 75th anniversary of a series of critical battles and campaigns that sealed the Third Reich’s fate. In June, the western Allies gathered to remember the Normandy invasion. On December 16, there was another major commemoration, although not with all national leaders, remembering the battle that finally broke the Germans, the Battle of the Bulge.

On December 16, 1944, Hitler hurled his last, best troops, those who had survived the Russian meat grinder and the battering, fighting retreat from Normandy since June 1944, back through a weak point in the Allied front. Taking advantage of bad weather, suppressing American air superiority, and employing superior knowledge of local terrain, armored columns thrust deep through the Allies’ lines. Yet, the Allies were not going to break catastrophically and the Wehrmacht lacked the operational and strategic supply support needed to fully exploit any tactical or operational success. Nevertheless, the tactical situation became so desperate that the white Army leaders who had lied through their teeth, after World War I, about black men’s ability to be their peers in the infantry now called forward volunteers out of the support troops, filling in gaping holes with platoons of African American soldiers assigned to formerly all-white companies. Four years later, President Truman rejected “expert” opinion and ordered the complete racial desegregation of the armed forces with Executive Order 9981.