Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. QOTD: The Political Scapegoat


“In order to see yourself and your group as all good, you have to project the evil you are unable to acknowledge in yourself onto an external entity: some other group, the ones not like us. The stronger the cognitive dissonance, the more intense will be the projection. The other becomes the embodiment of evil. This then gives rise to the pathology of victimhood and is the ultimate source of scapegoating: ‘It wasn’t us, it was them.’ From this flowed rivers of blood of human sacrifice throughout the ages. They still do today.” — Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Covenant and Conversation

In this book, Rabbi Sacks explains how the meaning of “scapegoat” has come to mean precisely its opposite. In ancient times, two identical male goats were selected: one was to be sacrificed to G-d, the other was taken by the High Priest who took the sins of the Jewish people and placed them on the second goat, which was then sent into the desert to Azazel, where the goat would plunge to its death.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. What Just Happened in the Rose Garden?


Earlier today, President Trump commented about a planned infrastructure meeting that he just left with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer. This was followed by Pelosi and Schumer describing how the President left the meeting without the discussion on infrastructure even taking place. They were ready to present a 35-page plan and said the President just shut it down. They went on to describe how he “ran away” from the meeting.

Apparently, the President asked them to stop the constant harassment and re-investigation (of the Mueller Report) and threats of impeachment (of which there is no basis) so they can sit down and work together amicably. Is this unreasonable? Is it not insane to constantly backstab, threaten, and investigate, then expect to come into a meeting all smiles and get anything done? Would the meeting on infrastructure have gone well, had the Democrats accepted the two years of investigation that cost us, the American taxpayers, $35 to 40 million (and I think we’re still counting) several weeks ago when it was released?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Why Did Communism Fail?


This answer to “why did Communism fail?” was given by Radu Nachita, who had an inside view. He writes about his childhood in communist Romania in an article on [emphasis mine]:

Centrally planned and state-owned economies did not collapse in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was finally “torn down.” Actually, the failure of this economic system started in 1961 when the wall was built by the communist regimes to trap their own populations inside the “workers’ paradise.” The failure was already obvious in the eyes of people who endured it—far earlier than was acknowledged by Western academics or public opinion.


Contributor Created with Sketch. On Ben Carson and Oreos


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson isn’t having a good week if you’re reading news coverage in the progressive and mainstream press. First, this reporting from The Root,

During a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday morning, Carson was asked by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), about disparities in REO rates. According to USA Today, “an REO, or ‘real estate owned,’ refers to a kind of property owned by a lender, like a bank, after a foreclosure.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. “Sucker-ifying” America


The great moral hazard of socialism and similar (involuntary) wealth distribution schemes is that eventually, people who resist taking other people’s wealth view themselves as “suckers”. Nobody wants to be a sucker, a chump.

What stimulated this thought was a post by Ann Althouse regarding the gift billionaire, Robert F. Smith, is making to the graduating class of Morehouse College. Ann’s comment was:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Where is the Outrage of Federal Judges on the FISA Court?


Lying to a Court is the ne plus ultra of contempt of court. It is defined as follows:

“(1) Misbehavior of any person in its presence or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice; (2) Misbehavior of any of its officers in their official transactions; (3) Disobedience or resistance to its lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Almost This Day in History: Powel Crosley Said Let There Be Light – May 24, 1935

Crosley Field May 24, 1935 First major league night game

On May 24, 1935, almost 84 years ago, the first major league baseball game was played at night under the lights at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a big enough deal that President Roosevelt got involved in the event pressing a gold telegraph key in the White House which switched on a signal lamp 500 miles away at Crosley Field thus notifying Reds general manager Larry MacPhail to flip a switch to illuminate the playing field with 632 recently installed floodlights. The first night game was on.


On this episode of Acton Line, Jordan Ballor and Tyler Groenendal break down the last season of Game of Thrones, discussing positive and negative aspects of the show as well as lessons to be gleaned, such as the role of government and the danger of power. Afterwards, Caroline Roberts speaks with Li Ma, senior fellow at the Henry Institute, about Ma’s book The Chinese Exodus. Ma explains how the current economic system in China drives agricultural workers to the city, setting them on a path for family disintegration, poverty and alienation from community.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Waiting Is Hard


There’s a scene in Amazing Grace — the William Wilberforce biopic — where Wilberforce meets with fellow abolitionist radical Thomas Clarkson. They’ve just had another in a long run of defeats in Parliament on their bills to abolish the slave trade. It’s around 1794 — Clarkson has devoted his life to the abolition of the slave trade. He’s been doing it longer than Wilberforce has, though Wilberforce is the leader of the cause in government. He has finally received a bit of good news: the Revolutionary Government in France has abolished slavery. In England, the public is incensed at France for the revolution — England has been at war with France for over a year. Because of the war — because abolition is now associated with the French Revolution — the cause has stalled out. Explicitly, the Scottish MPs only favor gradual abolition because they fear the spread of the revolution.

“Here we have only defeat. Across the Channel, they bring me nothing but good news. Changes,” he says.


She was one of only two women to sign the Israel’s Declaration of Independence. She served as Israel’s first ambassador to the Soviet Union, as labor minister, foreign minister, head of the Israeli Labor Party, and the Jewish state’s only female prime minister. After Israel was hit with a surprise attack on Yom Kippur of 1973, she was a rock for the nation. Golda Meir was Israel’s lioness, the mother of her country.

In Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel, Francine Klagsbrun tells the story of Golda Meir’s remarkable life—from her childhood in Milwaukee to her time on a kibbutz to her ascent to Israel’s highest office. Klagsbrun shows how Meir’s plainspoken appeals and shrewd political instincts allowed her to build relationships throughout the world, and she takes a look at the darkest moment in Meir’s premiership—the Yom Kippur War—and what, if anything, the prime minister could have done to prevent it.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Mummy’s the Word


Grauballe ManThe Grauballe Man

As if he had been poured
in tar, he lies
on a pillow of turf
and seems to weep


The Tati/James Charles fallout makes Lyndsey & Emily stop and ask—why are we giving influencers so much attention—and power?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Weak and Revealing Rhetoric of the Pro-Abortion Side


I hate clicking on a title like “Abortion is Morally Good,” especially on my first-born’s birthday. But I thought I should. We won’t sway public opinion unless we’re willing to engage the reasoning on the other side. So I clicked, but as far as reasoning goes, I found this article remarkably weak. It’s so weak that I can’t help feeling a little sorry for its author. She reminds me of “Baghdad Bob,” convincing only those who desperately want and need to be convinced. “We are not afraid at all! We will triumph! Pay no attention to those coalition tanks massing on the horizon.”

It goes without saying that to be persuasive, you have to be in reality. You have to come to grips with facts and counter the arguments and witness of your opponents. If all you’ve got to offer is euphemism and caricature, you may manage to rally your demoralized troops for a little rearguard action, but you won’t prevail.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


A breeze softly blows across the plaza, as if the souls of those who perished are passing by. The white marble sarcophagus displays the Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor, reminding us that warfare ultimately strives to achieve all of them.

Several years ago we had the opportunity to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saw the changing of the guard. The uniformed relief commander appeared and announced that those present remain silent and standing; in some ways, the stated request seemed redundant, as people seemed to be called to do both out of a solemn respect. When we were there, I was struck by the silence and stillness, as the sentinels slowly and gracefully moved through this timeless ritual. We seemed to walk with them, as their actions demonstrated their deep respect for the fallen and for their families.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Time’s a-wasting


While doing some research for a snarky remark I wanted to make (yes, I research my snark) I came across a website called “Bingeclock.” It’s sole raison d’être is to tell you how much time you’re about to waste – or have wasted – watching the entire run of a television or film series. (Pro tip: If you only have six weeks to live, don’t try catching up on Gunsmoke.)

Now, we’re all good at wasting time. Some of us make a living at making others waste their time. When you waste time watching me work, I guess there’s some productivity going on, after all, it is putting food on my table. It also means that I can rationalize my own waste. Because I am in the sports television business the three hours I spend watching baseball 200 days out of the year is really, you know, just professional research.


Contributor Created with Sketch. How Is This Tech Cold War with China Supposed to Work, Exactly?


Let’s assume the Trump White House blacklisting of Huawei in effect marks the beginning of a full-fledged Tech Cold War between America and China, complete with a Digital Iron Curtain. The full metaphor. How then does the conflict end in an American victory? And what does that even look like? Have the tech cold warriors, both within the White House and externally, given serious thought to any of this?

We know how the more comprehensive Cold War 1.0 concluded, with the dissolution of the Soviet Empire in 1991. It was a collapse that some predicted was inevitable. But at the time many others thought the scenario so unlikely as to be unworthy of speculation. The whole idea of 1970s detente was based on the perceived durability of the USSR. And this view held nearly to the very end. For example: The 1984 film “2010: The Year We Make Contact” was a sequel to the 1968 Stanley Kubrick-directed film “2001: A Space Odyssey” and concerns a joint US-USSR deep space mission.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Federal Conviction System


Over the years, Ricochet’s members who practice law have occasionally mollified our common predilection for lawyer jokes by providing examples of honest-to-goodness Justice in action. At the local levels, at least, American judicial systems seem to work now and then; even if other first-hand experiences among Ricochetti have been downright depressing.

Would anyone care to defend the federal criminal justice system? Mark Steyn has written many times that US courts at the national level boast a conviction rate that would impress brutal third-world dictators.


We have finally reached the end of the Game of Thrones saga, ie; A Song of Ice and Fire. James and Toby break down the final episode and give some thoughts on the series as well.

Editor’s Note: This is obviously the last episode of the ThronesCast podcast, but we are thrilled to announce that Toby and James will be continuing on with a new show called London Calling that will attempt to explain British and European politics for American audiences. Should be fun! Look for it in about two weeks (at the most).


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Resolved: LOTR More Realistic Than GOT


This post contains some spoiler from the finale of Game of Thrones and assumes some knowledge on the part of the reader of Games of Thrones and Lord of the Rings

Dany and Drogon

When talking about fantasy series it is a hard thing to talk about which was more realistic. There are a lot of ways to take the “realism” of a fantasy series, having admitted that let us look at the ways that Games of Thrones (GOT) is often said to be more realistic than Lord of the Rings (LOTR) and see which is actually more realistic.


What is the proper balance between Congressional oversight and Executive privilege? As it becomes clear that Congress is not satisfied with the Mueller Report on its face, and it will seek to conduct follow-up inquiries on its own, it has requested an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report, and its supporting documentation, and several witnesses who were interviewed during the investigation, including the former White House Counsel.

Historically, Congress and the Executive have resolved their differences on disclosure requirements and moved forward, without significant resort to the Judiciary. What will and should be the role of the courts in any upcoming litigation? Could a final court ruling enhance rather than limit the power of the Executive? These and other questions will be discussed by our experts.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Weekly Standings


Hank Howdy: Hello and welcome to the Weekly Standings. I’m chief analyst Hank Howdy.

Bob Spwortz: And I’m your host, Bob Spwortz. Along with Kurt Kurtsson at the tracking board, we’ll be following this exciting competition to the very end. Beginning with the second division, we had exciting news this week as Mayor Bill De Blasio decided to enter the race.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Story of Civilizations


Like much of America, I hate-watched the end of Game of Thrones. Ultimately, the ending was unsatisfying, but there have been worse disappointments in the world of television. I come not to bury or to praise Game of Thrones, but to instead highlight a good statement from about the middle of an episode (albeit, not advice the show actually followed):

“What unites a people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”


Dr. Jason D. Hill, Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University and author of several books, including his latest We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People has been the subject of protests at Depaul- not due to anything he has done in the classroom, but due to an op-ed he wrote in his free time. He talks about the dangerous suppression of speech that is happening in America, how feelings are replacing reason and what we should do about it. He also talks about his perspective, as an immigrant and black conservative, on America and why American remains aspirational for those living both here and around the world.



Contributor Created with Sketch. Mitch McConnell’s Misguided Attempt to Raise the Smoking Age


Several months ago, reading a book set in the 1800s, our family hit a snag: explaining what a cigar is. In the scene, the father was smoking one, and my daughter had no idea what it was, and I realized how difficult it would be to explain it. I immediately tried “it’s like a cigarette” and then heard a shocking follow-up question “What’s a cigarette?”

Growing up, my mother smoked. I was exposed to so much second-hand smoke, you could say I was a smoker as well. Most of my friends had at least one parent who smoked, and it was ubiquitous. Now, smoking has become so rarified because of the cost and health concerns, few of my generation and younger took up or kept the habit. Vaping is popular, but a very different animal than smoking leaf-filled sticks like cigarettes or cigars. We don’t have a smoking crisis. And yet, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is, for some reason, backing legislation to raise the smoking age to 21, like we currently have for alcohol.


Contributor Created with Sketch. In Defense of Abortion’s Messy Status Quo


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the state’s Human Life Protection Act on May 15, enacting one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the nation. The key provision of this statute renders it criminal for “for any person to intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion,” subject only to an exception where the abortion “is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” The drafters of the legislation refused to add any amendment that would legalize abortions in the cases of rape and incest. The legislation specifically exempts women who have abortions from any form of civil or criminal liability, but it imposes sentences up to life imprisonment for any physician within the state who performs an illegal abortion.

The law is on a direct collision course with Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 established a constitutional right to abortion, even though at the time of its passage abortions were commonly, but not universally, subject to criminal sanctions either by statute or at common law. Governor Ivey makes no bones about seeking a show-down. The Alabama laws punishing abortion are still on the books. She wants the Supreme Court to “revisit”—i.e. overrule—Roe and thinks that the latest Alabama law is the best way to force its hand. Predictably, the statute’s passage has generated intense dispute over abortions that center on the merits of the legislation and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will modify or strike down Roe.