Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Gnostic LGBTQ+


My lesbian friend told me that on Saturday there was to be a Gay pride parade on King Street between Foggy Pine bookstore and the Jones house. Reading about it in the local news feed, I didn’t agree with the narratives proclaimed on the Jones house steps, but I don’t begrudge them for staging the event. All people of religious convictions should take their best shot at winning their fellow traveler.

To sink one’s heart in the LGBTQ+ way of thinking you have to embrace Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a departure from Christianity that captured the cultural imagination at the end of the Apostolic age. John, the last of the Apostles, warned against this coming trend when he spoke about not denying that Christ “as coming in the flesh” (2 John 1:7) and arguing in his epistle that doing righteous deeds in the body does indeed matter (1 John 3:7).


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day – Ragsdale’s Rules


Once upon a time, I was a green engineer a couple of years out of college. At the time I was working in the space program making the normal sort of blunders associated with green engineers a few years out of college. Then I started working for a gentleman by the name of Al Ragsdale. He was one of the sharpest engineers I ever knew. His specialty was simulators and simulations.

He had been working in the space program at JSC since the Apollo days. If you watch the films of Mission Control during the Apollo 11 landing you can see him on the other side of the glass window on the right side of the Mission Control room, to the right of the picture, working the back room at the time. He was also working on the Lunar Lander simulators. During Apollo 13 he kept the simulator at least four hours ahead of the actual mission making sure nothing done would kill the crew. (In sims he “died” half a dozen times, but was always able to develop workarounds to ensure the crew did not suffer a similar fate. I think he got a Silver Snoopy for that.)


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Alas Acosta


Is Alex Acosta a tragic figure? By Paul Mirengoff’s account at Power Line Blog, rehearsed and elaborated over the past two years, Alex Acosta is a man on the make, a social-political climber. His aspiration: the comfortable security and status of a federal judgeship. To gain that prize, Mirengoff claims, Acosta spent his time in both the George W. Bush and Trump administrations carefully not offending powerful Democratic Party interests. That is, Acosta passive aggressively sabotaged his presidents’ stated policies. Maybe so, maybe no.

Alex Acosta was invited to walk out with President Trump Friday morning, addressing the press alongside the president. This was a resignation, but one in which President Trump and his Secretary of Labor would concede nothing. What he and President Trump got was a sound byte summary of unheralded achievements that matter to real Americans.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: The Big Sleepy Chill


Okay, you buncha wimps! So this month we are supposed to discuss namby-pamby stuff like:

  • The weather. In the middle of summer, how do you cool off?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Universal Basic Income and the Alaska Dumpster Fire


Every now and then a think piece shows up from conservative writers considering whether providing a Universal Basic Income (UBI), or a fixed payment to everyone, no strings attached, might be a positive alternative to Great Society-type programs.

I urge all of those considering these arguments to take a look at the cautionary tale of Alaska. As a condition of statehood, Alaska has no private oil and gas rights owned by the state, and the state invested the royalties in a Permanent Fund. Eventually, the money flowing in was so much more than state expenses that the state income tax was rescinded, and a dividend on the fund earnings are paid every year to every resident (depicted here in the Simpsons movie). This Permanent Fund Dividend, or the PFD, is essentially a UBI. The Permanent Fund has ~$60 billion in it, and historically the PFD has been in the $1-2K range. With the natural gas boom going on in the contiguous U.S., royalties on current oil production in Alaska plummeted around 5 years ago, so the previous governor (a left-leaning independent) reduced the dividend, expanded Medicaid by fiat, dipped in to the state’s savings to make the state budget, and proposed reinstating the income tax. Last year, the current Republican governor was elected promising to restore the full dividend (and more), cut nothing of significance, and have no new taxes.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. A Nice Story About Ralph Lileks


Our James wrote a nice story about his father today in his Friday Star-Trib column. I have enjoyed the many stories he has written about his father through the years in the Bleat, especially the war stories. There are not many people like him anymore I’m afraid.

There’s this guy who bought the Sunday Strib every week, for years. Never missed it. Never subscribed, either — he liked the old-fashioned ritual of going to the store and picking up a paper from the thick, neat sheaf.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Make Your Own Sabbath: Chill-Out!


For those of us who are pretty independent and don’t like anyone telling us what to do (I assume that is at least 75% of the people who follow Ricochet!), the idea of a Sabbath might be unattractive, to say the least, and distasteful at worst. But over the last couple of years, I’ve come to my own understanding about the Sabbath, how not only Jews and Christians can benefit from it, but everyone needs to have at least one Sabbath day each week. This is what I figured out:

In Judaism, G-d tells us that we must observe the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. I’m not the most observant Jew, but even with those mitzvot I follow, I realized why there are so many rules to Shabbat: because G-d knows we will cheat! And the only ones we will cheat are ourselves!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. QOTD: Calvin Coolidge and the Declaration of Independence


Calvin Coolidge, born on July 4, 1872, was known as “Silent Cal,” but wasn’t afraid to speak out about his Conservative values. He clearly rejected the revisionist approach to the Declaration of Independence and demonstrated his beliefs in an exemplary way. In fact, he believed that changing the meaning of the Declaration was not progress, but a step backward in our understanding of the Founders, and the values that we hold.

How unfortunate that the Progressives of today don’t realize they are trying to take us back to more primitive, tribal times when people insisted they were superior to others, based on their intellect, education and the color of their skin. They clearly do not believe that we are created equal (since Conservatives are a different species), that the wishes of the governed should direct the work of the government (since the government knows best), and the more government, the better (which ensures the massive growth of the administrative state). After all, the government and its elites are quite prepared to tell us how to do everything: how to live our lives, what to invest in, and what to believe.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Lifesaver


The wind blustered through the trees, swirling fallen leaves as it went, till it reached the old cottage door, lying blown back on its hinges. Maybe she had put just a trifle more oomph into that lock-picking spell than she had meant to, she conceded, looking down at the little electric-blue spark still crackling on the end of her finger. ‘Um, hello?’ she said, stepping tentatively inside, ‘I knocked, but I couldn’t seem to get an answer …’

Strictly speaking, she shouldn’t be doing this, she thought, looking over the neat clay-tiled kitchen, but it wasn’t as if she had much choice. ‘I’m sorry about the door,’ she continued. ‘It’s just … I’m in trouble, and I need your help …’ And, in a whisper, ‘I kind of need a hero …’


Contributor Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer 34: Etching


We’re moving back from the series on measurement to the whole process of making computer bits out of silicon. Way back, starting with Computers 7, I started a series on patterning; how you can take an idea and draw it small enough that you can apply that pattern to these really tiny circuits. I went over, step by step, each thing you need to do to create the pattern. I skipped entirely the bit where I tell you what, exactly, you do with one of those patterns when you’ve got them. This is the first of a couple of articles that fit, in manufacturing terms, between Computers 15 (Developing), and 16 (Stripping). You develop your pattern on with photoresist, this is how you make it permanent.

We’ll start with etching. Broadly speaking ‘etching’ covers any process where you start with more material and end up with less material. I mean aside from gambling. Let’s say you’ve got your silicon wafer, you want to etch some of that silicon away. To do this we start by burning your wafer. …Okay, perhaps that’s poor phrasing. Put the flamethrower down and I’ll describe what I mean. To protect your silicon wafer from the damage the etching process would do to it we’re going to want to mask it, with a silicon dioxide layer. Heat your wafer up in the presence of oxygen and this happens:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Most Ridiculous Movies About Climate Change


Here’s my hot five, feel free to add yours in the comments won’t you?

The Day After Tomorrow – Global warming causes New York to freeze and CGI wolves to run amok in New Jersey. I forget, is Matthew Broderick in this one, or do I have it confused with some other Roland Emmerich POS?


Contributor Created with Sketch. ‘Yesterday’: A Cute Beatles Fairy Tale You Shouldn’t Think Too Much About


Yesterday is really two movies, one better than the other.

The better movie in Yesterday, the latest by director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), with a script by Richard Curtis (Love Actually), is a light, cute, modern fairy tale that assumes one’s love of the Beatles* (yes, this movie could not get more British). It presents a simple yet striking what-if: Jack** Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling, mediocre musician, suddenly enters a world that resembles our own in (almost) every way but one: Only he remembers The Beatles.*** Through a series of convenient but credibly implausible circumstances, he then rides this newfound knowledge to astronomical success, doling out hit after hit seemingly from divine inspiration to all around him, while only he (?) knows the truth.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The G-BA is the worst


A group of regulators from Germany published in the British Medical Journal a recommendation on how drug companies should design clinical trials. These “recommendations” curiously align with Germany’s unwillingness to pay for efficacious drugs.

There are two regulatory bodies in Germany that check whether a new drug is better than an old treatment and pay accordingly, IQWiG and the G-BA. Not surprisingly when the Germans decided to check most new drugs they found that a majority of them (56%) showed “no added benefit.” Notwithstanding the obvious conflict of interest with the German government both approving and paying for new drugs, there are two major problems with Germany’s approval process. The unnecessary cost they are asking the drug companies to absorb and the capricious way they judge whether a drug is efficacious.


Contributor Created with Sketch. ACF#24: Strangers on A Train


Time for summer viewings. Here’s an entry in our ongoing series on Hitchcock–the 1951 hit that made Hitchcock popular again, Strangers On A Train, kind of companion piece to Rope. Both are movies about murders committed out of enlightened immorality, one set among education elites in New York, the other among political elites in Washington. Both stories are about social climbers who have to face up to the ugliness of the elites they want to join and, therefore, warn of the problems post-war liberalism will face.


Contributor Created with Sketch. When Did Librarians Get Woke?

Local Librarian // Image credit

What image comes to mind when you think of or hear the word librarian? For me that image is of a conservative person (and truth be told always a woman). By conservative, I refer not to politics or ideology (I imagine librarians have always come in a variety of ideological flavors) but instead of one with a conservative sensibility or temperament which includes a certain respect for tradition and decorum. And, that makes sense (at least to me) for those who are charged with preserving and providing access to a significant portion of our cultural heritage. In recent years, however, that image is fading fast for me.

Pride Month is celebrated at the Boston Public Library in June 2018 – Image credit Keith J Finks /

A couple of weeks ago, the American Library Association (ALA) held its annual conference and it was a cornucopia of leftism and the stupidest aspects of today’s identity politics according to this July 10, 2019 article by Joy Pullmann at The Federalist. The leftist bent of the conference also clearly shows at the ALA’s review of said conference. The ALA seems to be entirely on board and supportive of every aspect of the LGBT agenda including, regrettably, what I call their war on childhood. The conference involved many workshops including “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming,” “Telling Stories, Expanding Boundaries: Drag Queen Storytimes in Libraries,” and “A Children’s Room to Choose: Encouraging Gender Identity and Expression in School and Public Libraries.” And, of course, these sort of endeavors are to be encouraged and undertaken by librarians and school teachers regardless of what parents may think as per the workshop “Are You Going to Tell My Parents?: The Minor’s Right to Privacy in the Library.” The conference also had the usual paeans to racialist thinking and behavior such as the workshop “Talking to Kids About Race: A ‘how-to’ workshop” which included the current racial grievance industry charges such as white supremacy is the operating system in the USA, and white fragility is a tool of white supremacy. Oh, and I am happy to report that the conference was able to approve a motion that denounced detention centers for illegal immigrants. How daring of them!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s Her Birthday!


Today, my favorite person is celebrating her day.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to assign an individual such an unequivocal spot in the hierarchy of all humanity, but the thing about Miss (the name I’ll use for writing about her on the internet) is that she’s not an ordinary person. She’s special.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Not Everyone Believes the Holocaust Happened


When we are discussing the Iranians or others in the Middle East, I understand their dismissing the Holocaust as a real event. It goes with the territory, so-to-speak.

But when I heard that a Boca Raton, FL principal wrote in a 2018 email to a parent that “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” my jaw dropped.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Learning to Chill; The Secret to a Good Life


I had to learn how to “Chill Out.”

When I first became a mother, I felt like I had a grip on things. Our little son was so mellow and got along great, was adorable and sweet. So, we decided to have #2. She was NOT mellow. However, I insisted for quite a few years on trying to be the MOM, and regularly humiliated myself in public assuming that, because I had a way for things to be, that my children would just follow that way. Um…nope.


Mona Charen joins Jay for a “Need to Know”-style hour. As of old, they go back and forth – about the flood (not the Noah-related one, but the recent one in Washington, D.C.); the left-wing nuttiness of the Democratic party; troubles – further troubles – in RightWorld; Jeffrey Epstein; the British ambassador; Nancy Reagan; “Miss” and “Mrs.” and “Ms.”; the late Lee Iacocca; and yet more things under the sun.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Larry Elder vs Kamala Harris


I would pay a lot of money to see Larry Elder debate Kamala Harris. Golly, that would be fun! Think of the ratings CNN could get out of THAT debate! They could do pay-per-view, like boxing, and sell millions. I’d be first in line. Kamala could just do that and retire. But somehow, I find that unlikely. Too bad…


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Faculty, Students Prioritize Skin Color, Gender in Hiring University President


A rabid pack of faculty and students at the University of South Carolina — a small minority, in non-STEM departments — derailed a $150K headhunter effort to find the new president in April when the search board presented a slate that had no women and one black man. Only one of the four had previous experience in the position, Lt Gen Caslen (Ret) who, until recently when he retired,was a beloved commandant of West Point, rated #1 public school in the country by two publications.

There are three camps: blacks want a black, women want a woman, and faculty want a fellow PhD. They all feared he would militarize the university, claimed his values weren’t the school’s, and denigrated his military experience, West Point leadership, his MBA, and his MS in Engineering. They said he wasn’t good enough. Seems genitalia and color are the real qualifications. This despite the university claiming it doesn’t discriminate. The Trustees knuckled under and refused to vote for any of the four. An interim was chosen.


This week, we’re fortunate to be able to access the deep mind of one of the country’s great thinkers and writers, George Will on the occasion of his new book, The Conservative SensibilityWe conduct a long and wide-ranging conversation with him covering everything from the meaning of conservatism, President powers, progressive regulation, and much more. Take our advice: pour yourself a tall, cool drink, put on the earbuds and take this one in. Also, next week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Was it a good use of government spending or a boondoggle? We debate. And finally, James talks a bit about the passing of a great American: Ralph J. Lileks.

Music from this week’s show: Keep Me In Your Heart by Warren Zevon


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Meeting Larry Correia


Last week, Terry @kaladin and I met up in Layton, UT with Randy Weivoda @randyweivoda (and his lovely wife, Sarah), Katie Koppelman @katiekoppelman, OmegaPaladin @omegapaladin, and Rupert err.. Ruder err.. Rooster err.. Rudert @jasonrudert.

Most of us were attending SpikeCon, which was a collection of several different nerd conventions all rolled into one delightful convention. There were a variety of panels, an art show, a cosplay show, book signings from several of your favorite authors, and my favorite: beer. The convention was located at the Davis Conference Center inside the Hilton Garden Inn. There were several items up for a charity auction, both silent and not-so-silent, including books, art, and a few other things, such as a chance to play a tabletop RPG with none other than Larry Correia.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. A Nixon-to-China Moment for Our Time, Squandered


It is a bipartisan article of faith within the American foreign affairs establishment that Vladimir Putin is our implacable foe, and that the Russia-China axis is a natural alliance of two powerful, like-minded despotisms set on global domination. This axiom, a toxic byproduct of our recent domestic political meltdown, is as unquestionable as it is wrongheaded and short-sighted.

In the American imagination, still laboring under a post-Cold War hangover, Russia looms large as a font of hostility, anti-Americanism and illiberal ideology. And indeed, there is little question that the Putin regime is authoritarian and hostile or indifferent to Western values like human rights, individual liberty, and law-bound, accountable government. There is also little question that Russia’s intelligence services have been spectacularly successful in exploiting our political divisions and sowing havoc and discord in our domestic politics. And, Putin continues to poke Uncle Sam in the eye, witness for example, Russia’s most recent meddling in Venezuela.