Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. From NeverTrump to Humbled Supporter: A Journey of Faith


From NeverTrump to humbled supporter A journey of faith

For a few weeks, I’ve had an article brewing in my brain. It’s a follow-up to a previous article that I wrote, and I was pleased to read the new article last night. I didn’t write it, so I owe Western Chauvinist a debt of gratitude for not only writing what I was thinking, but doing it better than I would have. The article — “Reluctant Trump Christians, Where Is Your Confounding Love?” — is pretty much the defense I was planning on making as a follow-up to the Christian perspective for supporting our President.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s a Funny Old World: Mike Bloomberg Edition

Bloomberg with Halo and Wings
St. Michael of the Blessed Democratic Party.

I’m one of those reluctant Trump supporters who are more or less pleased with his policies, but just wish he’d be quiet once in a while. I’d like a better Republican choice, like Nikki Haley perhaps, but that’s not in the cards for this year. On balance then, I’d like to see four more years and a couple more Supreme Court picks for Donald Trump.

None of the Democrats running for president, all 24 of them at one point, struck me as having anything particularly appealing to offer the voting public. Mostly a bunch of puffed-up Senators and second-rate posers/opportunists, but I repeat myself. Biden concerned me for a little while, but once he appeared on the campaign stage, it was painfully obvious that he was well past his sell-by date. The first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that the rest of the Democratic electorate see that too. Trump could have saved himself the four months of impeachment headaches from that Zelensky phone call. It turns out Biden was destined to blow himself up without any help from Hunter or the Ukrainians! Hah! Who knew?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’d Like to Pass on the Corona


I haven’t seen a post on Ricochet talking specifically about the coronavirus, now known as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, since Rodin’s post on the 7th. Let me take this opportunity to provide a short update from the other side of the world in Yokohama, Japan. While it’s not China, and not as bad off as China, the way this outbreak is progressing, Yokohama is now, as I’ll explain below, another front in the COVID-19 outbreak. Although I was in the Navy and spent time working in Emergency Management, now I’m just a plain ex-pat enjoying my retirement overseas, so most of what I’ll relate here comes from personal observations and local news sources.

Even with the occasional friction that occurs between China and Japan, Japan remains a favored destination for Chinese travelers. Before the outbreak kicked off, there were tons of Chinese tourists at popular locations across Japan every day. The last time I visited Kyoto a couple of years ago, the big tourist sites, buses, and sidewalks were packed as I had never seen them before. The famous shopping area in Tokyo called Ginza was crowded every day with tour buses and tourists, and while not all of them were Chinese, a vast majority appeared to be. However, starting at about the beginning of this month, Japan’s tourist locations saw traffic dry up. A store owner at Asakusa, one of the most popular sites in Tokyo, just mentioned on a news program that the number of tourists is way down, about 10 percent of normal, or a drop of 90 percent. One of the bigger duty-free stores called Laox, which sells electronics and electrical goods, is decreasing its workforce by 20 percent due to the outbreak.


Recently, Jay sat down with Nina Khrushcheva in her office at New School University, in New York. Part I of their conversation is here. In this second and final part, they touch on Vladimir Nabokov, William F. Buckley Jr., and other interesting matters – including this one: What’s it like, actually, to be Khrushchev’s granddaughter, especially back in Russia?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s So Shmoooth!


“That champagne velvety taste, So shmoooth!”
Champagne Velvet Beer radio commercial, 1940s-1950s

If you listen to old-time radio shows, and if the person posting them leaves the ads in, you will eventually run across this ad from a mid-sized regional brewer in Terre Haute, IN. The brand survived Prohibition, then faltered in the great brewery consolidation era, eventually reformulating as a high-alcohol malt liquor before failing and then having their brand revived as a retro-craft beer by Upland Brewing. The ad pitchman’s delivery of the “so shmoooth” line in a slightly nasal tone, with smooth changed to a drawn out shhmoooth, produced a great earworm … which came back to mind when I saw a Korean beer in my local Korean supermarket.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Thirty Year Book


Some thirty years ago I joined the Conservative Book Club. As a premium, I received some books for a cut-rate (you remember: five books for a dollar, or a penny, or some such). Among them was Witness by Whittaker Chambers. I am proud to announce that on February 1, 2020, I finished reading Witness. The first half of the book took thirty years. The second half, two weeks.

The turning point (which, it turns out, is the name of the chapter in which it appears) for me was this:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Things Get on My Nerves


I’ve finally put to rest the old DocJay phrase, “harshes my mellow.” It was cute for awhile, but it had run its course, as all things do in time. To make up for the missing excitement that DocJay’s phrase added to my post, I’ve started each item on my list with the letter B.

Blowers: I hate these darn things. Leaf blowers interrupt my naps, they blot out my conversation with Marie as we walk the neighborhood, and they scare Bob the dog.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Thinking Outside the Swamp


It should be no surprise if everyone on Team Swampy gets off without even facing charges voted out of a grand jury, even if FBI agents gave away secrets to a foreign spy. To restore justice, both real and perceived, it is time for Attorney General Barr to think outside the legal swamp. It is time to make a serious case, in public and all the way to the Supreme Court, for a change of venue to a pool of demonstrably fair-minded prospective jurors.

Without this credible threat, the chance of the outside review team, leaked to the New York Times to discredit any negative findings, actually unearthing the wrongdoing of Democrats in career prosecutor disguise will approach nil. The Flynn review will produce little in the way of real justice, that is in severe legal, financial, and career consequences to the team that perpetrated this fraudulent prosecution. The wider review of political prosecutions, together with the Durham legal campaign, will produce so little as to support the DNC, deep state, and TruCon lapdogs’ claim that it has always been noble public servants standing against Orange Man Bad and his Deplorables.


On this week’s edition of the United Kingdom’s Fastest Growing and Most Trusted Podcast®, James discusses with Toby his and his daughter’s adventures with the NHS in the A&E of his local hospital (that’s an ER for you Yanks), as well as the casualties of Boris’s recent Cabinet reshuffle.

Then it’s up to Cambridge where Extinction Rebellion is protesting the destruction of nature by, uh, destroying nature. Delingpole’s pro tip of the week: They are terrorists.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Jesus Preaches on Isaiah


In Luke chapter 4, Jesus/Yeshua reads from Isaiah 61 and makes a shocking claim about it:

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Doing Sound for Films


For movies and television, the image is king and always will be. After all, they call them movies, not soundies. But since 1928 or thereabouts, most films have been made with live sound. Audiences usually want some degree of real-life to mingle with cinematic fantasy. Doing the show right from a technical standpoint is a key element in maintaining a viewer’s willing suspension of disbelief. Whatever you think of Hollywood, the polish and expertise of our technical crafts have led the world’s screens for more than a century, a good part of the gloss of an American success story.

Doing sound for the movies is a little different than doing camera. On a movie set, the camera is treated like a sacramental altar, with attendants performing guild rituals, a technical priesthood, and its own nearly incomprehensible jargon. Superficially, on the other hand, sound looks like an afterthought that seems easy to do — just stick a mike in someone’s face, wear earphones, and run a tape recorder. Simple, right? But it’s surprisingly hard to do it well, especially on the cramped confines of a noisy film set.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Asia #6: Kurosawa, ‘High and Low’


Time for more Kurosawa: I talk High and Low with Jody Bottum and John Wilson. This is a good pair for the big new Oscar winner, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite; it’s also a story about envy and class, about the rapid modernization of a country, in this case, Japan, in that, South Korea, and the crisis of justice. Kurosawa is quite Dostoevskian in his treatment of resentment and nihilism, a fitting way to end his series of modern movies.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Is How You Start a Presidential Race


President Trump brought The Beast and Air Force One to Daytona Motor Speedway Sunday. Notice that NASCAR knows its customers and is not going to alienate them. So, NASCAR invited the president to be their grand marshal for the opening race of the 2020 season, the Daytona 500.

President Trump did a fly-by with Air Force One as the crowd waited for the beginning of the big race on Sunday, then rolled into the race track with his motorcade, stepping out of The Beast to greet the crowd and start the race, He and First Lady Melania Trump led the first warm-up lap in the presidential vehicle. The race was soon shut down, as a rainstorm came in, and will end up being run on Monday, Presidents Day.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. China: The Prosperous Face of Socialism


The Chinese government demands socialism be taught by priests. Many churches have been demolished. Christian funerals have been banned. A steadfast bishop lives on the street because the government threatens anyone who would house him.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QotD: Government Policy


A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

If any statement explains how blue states work, it is this one. The number of makers is always fewer than the number of takers. So design policies to bribe the takers to vote for you.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Getting Fit in Retirement

I have a new exercise regimen that consists of getting 10,000 steps by walking around the neighborhood while picking up trash – adding in some bending and stretching. 
In the process, I’ve become something of an authority on litter. For example, nearly half the trash is booze containers: beer bottles and cans, wine bottles and boxes, and liquor bottles

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Super Bowl: A Data Point on the Re-emergence of Roman Decadence


A friend of mine recently lent me a book called The Social Results of Early Christianity, by C. Schmidt, Professor of Theology in Strasburg. The impetus for the book, written in the 19th century, was an essay contest proposed by the French Academy “to trace the influence of Charity on the Roman World during the first centuries of the Christian era.” The first third of the book is devoted to describing various facets of Roman society and culture as they existed at the appearance of Christianity.

The parallels of pre-Christian Roman culture to the ethos of secular Western culture in our own age are numerous. Chapter 3, section 5 addresses the “Occupations of Slaves. Actors. Gladiators.” The Super Bowl, with its garish halftime show, represents a unique confluence of the actors and gladiators in American entertainment. Schmit’s description of the state of Roman entertainment I found especially pertinent:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Reluctant Trump Christians, Where Is Your Confounding Love?


Consider this an exhortation. I hear things from Trump-ump David French (“calling balls and strikes,” but never tallying RBIs) and read articles from Christians anguished over the President’s ugly, New York Americanism, and I have trouble finding the Spirit in it. Rather than digging a channel to God’s ocean of mercy, it seems some Christians are trying to dispense it with a teaspoon. It’s all so pinched and joyless and, well, unfamiliar to me as “Christian.”

Donald Trump is a sinner. Christians should not be surprised by this. What is astonishing is the good he’s done and is continuing to do, which must, by necessity, originate with God, who is the source of all goodness. “Oh, but he’s not really Christian, he just mouths the right words about the preciousness of all human life as made in the image and likeness of God,” some say. The subtext of this criticism is he’s hopelessly irredeemable no matter what he says or does! Is that Christian love? Is it even recognizable as faith in God’s ability to work in and through Donald Trump’s life?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Would Lenny Bruce Be a Trump Voter Today?


I can’t explain why but topical humor has always appealed to me. Entering high school, when I was supposed to be studying algebra, I usually had my nose in the latest edition of Mad magazine (I still have issues dating back to 1962). When the other kids were watching cop shows and westerns, I was watching “That Was The Week That Was” (like a lot of other 16-year-old boys, many of my fantasies revolved around the “TW3 Girl,” Nancy Ames). While my classmates were watching American Bandstand, I was listening to the comedic routines of Bob Newhart and Mort Sahl.

A hitch in the Army and four years of college did nothing to change my proclivities, except that I graduated to sophomoric humor such as National Lampoon (the parody ad showing a floating Volkswagen Beetle and the caption of “If Teddy Kennedy Drove a Volkswagen, He’d be President Today” is a classic) and idiotic movies such as Porky’s and Naked Gun.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: President Donald J. MacGuffin


To me, the key to understanding Trumpism is remembering why he was elected. What do I mean? Voters chose Donald Trump as an antidote to the growing inflammation caused by the (OK, deep breath…) prosperity-crushing, speech-inhibiting, nanny-state building, carbon-obsessing, patriarchy-bashing, implicit bias-accusing, tokey-wokey, globalist, swamp-creature governing class–all perfectly embodied by the Democrats’ 2016 nominee.

This was from the Op-Ed in the February 10th Wall Street Journal by their Inside View columnist, Andy Kessler. The rest of the column describes all the distractions used by President Trump to set up the press and the other party, to take their attention away from all the positive things getting done behind the scenes. It worked, too, didn’t it?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. February Group Writing: Advice from Popular Culture


From Hollywood to kids’ cartoons, to sappy inspirational Facebook posts, entertainment culture is full of advice on how to live our lives. Imagine the consequences of taking this wisdom seriously. Actually, you don’t need to imagine: our culture is littered with living examples of men and women who embraced the subtle and not-so-subtle popular messages. Still, it would be interesting to flip through a book called A Year of Living Hollywood. Here is some of the most common propaganda of social media, celebrities, and movies:

1. Follow your heart. This pretty saying comes first because it’s our culture’s favorite. I remember years ago asking a wise older friend for advice about getting married, and this is what she said to me, very tenderly though: Follow your heart. I was confused. My very problem was that I had followed my heart, and it wasn’t getting me anywhere. What I needed was some sensible input, help weighing up the pros and cons and identifying flags of all hues in this relationship.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Memories Are Made of This


Saturday’s Wall Street Journal has a long story on life for the passengers and crew aboard the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess which is docked at Yokohama. Interesting story but this is definitely the best paragraph:

Ellis Vincent, a 76-year old retired airline executive from Sydney, Australia, said he has spent more time than customary conversing with his wife while cooped up inside. She has an excellent memory, he said: “She is able to bring up every transgression I’ve ever had. I believe she is not finished”.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Friday Food and Drink Post: ‘Meerkat Love’ Edition ❤️


Ahhh, “Meerkat Love.” Remember that hoary old song from the mid-1970s by that odd duo, Captain and Tennille? Yeah, I’m sorry to say that I remember it too. (A note to the unwary and to the Ricochet Editor-On-Duty: I know that’s not the actual title of the song, but close enough for gubmint work, and as a “hook” for the purpose of this post, I think.)

As for Captain and Tenille, I have no idea why Daryl Dragon was impersonating some sort of military officer (CPT? Capt? CAPT? Lord, please don’t let me get it wrong; I don’t want to get in trouble), when it appears that he came from a musical family, served no time in the armed services at all, and seems to have spent most of his life in one band after another, until landing Toni Tenille sometime in the early ’70s, and enjoying a pretty successful decade at the top of the pops. What? Oh. Nevermind. I am wrong. Apparently, “Captain” is an honorific, bestowed on him by Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame, who called him “Captain Keyboard,” during his tenure with the group. Glad to have that sorted for myself, even at this late date. No stolen valor here. Not in a musical sense, anyway.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Rob Long’s Data-Driven Utopian Dream


In the first 15 minutes of the latest Ricochet podcast (Episode #483), Rob said a couple of things that caught my attention. At one point, when talking about our communication- and data-centric technical culture, he suggested that the answers to all our big problems were probably in the wealth of data we’ve collected.

What came to my mind when he said that was the movie WarGames (1983), in which a wayward defense computer is discouraged from initiating Armageddon when it crunches the numbers and concludes that there’s no way to win a nuclear war. Setting aside the question of whether or not that’s a correct conclusion (and I recently re-re-re-watched Dr. Strangelove, in which Buck Turgidson makes a compelling contrary argument, so I’m really not so sure), what the computer in WarGames did was reach a kind of meta-conclusion. A thorough examination of the available information suggested that no good answers could be found.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Flyting: More than 1,500 Years of Rap Battles


Battle Rap. Have you heard of it? It’s a fairly new thing that started in the 1980s, I am told. In fact, Wikipedia says:

Rap battle is generally believed to have started in the East Coast hip hop scene in the late 1980s. One of the earliest and most infamous battles occurred in December 1982 when Kool Moe Dee challenged Busy Bee Starski – Busy Bee Starski’s defeat by the more complex raps of Kool Moe Dee meant that “no longer was an MC just a crowd-pleasing comedian with a slick tongue; he was a commentator and a storyteller” thus, rendering Busy’s archaic format of rap obsolete, in favor of a newer style which KRS-One also credits as creating a shift in rapping in the documentary Beef.