Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Reuben Bratwurst (or Why my Mouf is ’Appy)


A few years back, a little fast food place opened here north of Detroit, Michigan. It was called Loaded Links. Basically, it was a high-end hot-dog and circus food place. They had all sorts of options on the menu. For instance, there was the Millionaire’s Dog, which had a Wagyu steak dog with fois gras and truffle sauce. They also had menu items with names like Windy City Dog or New York-Style, etc. I went through trying all of the variations. My wife had been getting the Reuben Dog with a few small alterations. I believe it normally came with an all-beef hot dog, and she would substitute a Polish sausage, instead. She would also get it without pastrami. Now, I thought pastrami was kind of an odd innovation. Corned beef, yes. Pastrami? Eh. So, I didn’t try the Reuben Dog until we had been there at least ten times. And I was very pleasantly surprised. It was without a doubt the best thing on their menu. A week later, I was jonesing for that Reuben Dog. We headed over there, and…they were closed. They had a note saying that they were moving and would be at a new location in the spring. And then CoViD-19 appeared. Loaded Links has not yet reappeared if it will. And I’ve been jonesing for another Reuben Dog.

Oh, I have had Reubens since then. Given my conditions, they have to be naked, no bread. Likewise, Loaded Links had an option to serve the hot dogs in a gluten-free corn tortilla, which is how I had been eating them there. But those naked Reubens weren’t quite the same.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Next Time You Share That Video Remember: We’re All Going Through Some *Stuff*


If it feels like everyone has lost their grip on reality, that’s probably because we have. I’ve seen several videos on social media the last few weeks of people behaving erratically and irrationally: clearly otherwise put together people losing it at supermarkets over masks, throwing Molotov cocktails into police cars, even attacking teenagers hanging up posters while riding on a bike trail. I don’t excuse any of the behavior, nor do I think people should go unpunished for it. But with that said, I think we need all keep in mind the incredible strain our entire society and individuals are going through over the last few months before we thoughtlessly share videos of people clearly losing their sanity.

I was proud of my friend here for highlighting the humanity of someone who I may not have had a second thought about otherwise, one of the flamethrowers during the riots in New York City, a man who just destroyed his life in a single instant.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 2020: The Year the “You Don’t Need a Gun” Narrative Died


Here’s what progressives don’t seem to understand: If you defund the police, you’re going to encourage an exponential growth in gun sales. If you allow roving gangs of young people to destroy private property without police intervention, you’re going to encourage the creation of vigilantes and militias. If you think you’ll ever have a prayer at gun control again, look no further than this video to explain why you don’t have a prayer:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Showdown is On: Teacher’s Unions vs. Kids


With school districts across the country announcing their plans for next year, it’s clear that a battle is brewing, or at least should be, between teacher’s unions and parents.

On one side, the teachers, who overwhelmingly don’t want to go back to work. And the unions, of course, have their backs, because protecting teachers is their job, despite the fact that parents know their kids need to be back in classrooms come fall.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Just a Tool


“Masks are a tool, useful in the right application. They’ve become a political fetish object for reasons that have nothing to do with their utility.” Prof. Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds

I never expected to hear this much debate over masks outside of a superhero comic convention. Posts here bounce back and forth between people who wear masks and those who oppose them. Then you have people who are constantly watching for someone to not wear their mask. It’s no longer just a layer of absorbent material worn over the nose and mouth, it is a symbol of fighting against the pandemic — a literal virtue signal.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Houston, We Have a Congressman


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Five Old-Fashioned Values We Rightly Reject


After a steady diet of period films, literature, and historical nonfiction, I’ve realized that in some ways, our culture has changed dramatically in the last 250 years or so. If you or I were transported to say, 1820, and we mingled with Americans then, we would struggle to fit in. We often grouse about the loss of shared values over time, and it is true that some of the beliefs that strengthened family units and held our culture together have been eroded. However, a few of those entrenched traditional attitudes were harmful and encumbered our progress. Some of them were held in opposition to the self-evident truths proclaimed in our founding documents, or worked against the family unit, and I say good riddance. Here are some examples:

Marrying Advantageously: One is probably wise to consider a prospective mate’s financial situation (especially to the degree that they reflect work ethic). However, novelists such as Jane Austen, who were contemporaneous to rank-and riches-conscious cultures, detail for us a milieu of shameless social climbing and gold-digging. Behaviors that would today be considered tacky seemed to be somewhat acceptable then, even expected: discussing openly how many pounds a year one was given as an allowance, or whether there was an inheritance to be had. One’s spouse needed to be of the right social class, and (as one biographer argued was true of George Washington’s marriage) even calculated to move one up the social ladder. We might argue that today’s criteria for marriage, a sense of romantic connection, for example, are even flimsier than they were in the past. Even so, we ordinarily do recognize today that character, kindness, and work ethic come into play in choosing a good spouse and likelihood of a productive future together.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Minneapolis ‘Disband the Police’; Council Members Using Private Security


Minneapolis Police
We’ll protect you! We’ll protect you real good!
No, seriously, look:

The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members who have received threats following the police killing of George Floyd, FOX 9 has learned.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Intolerance of ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Perplexing. I Hope.


The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., led an organized movement against an obvious injustice, using eloquent, simple arguments which were based on sources that few questioned (the Bible and the Constitution), while denouncing violence and emphasizing honesty and integrity. Many argued with him for a while but, eventually, America agreed with him and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By passing this law, white America agreed that the way they had treated blacks was wrong and such abuses would no longer be tolerated. The transformation in American society since then has been remarkable. I was born in 1968 and in my 51 years, I have never seen what Rev. King or his contemporaries would call racism against blacks. I’m sure it happens, but it has become extremely rare. Not only are racist acts illegal but they have also become unacceptable behavior for white people in our society, even in private. As they should be.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests which have been sweeping the country over the past month are ostensibly focused on race. But the similarities to Rev. King’s movement end there. BLM is leading a chaotic and unpredictable movement against subtle concepts that are difficult to specifically define, such as micro-aggressions and white privilege. Their arguments are highly variable, unclear, poorly stated, and do not appear to be based on any set ideology or legal framework. They do not denounce violence and frequently seem to actually encourage it. White Americans are desperately competing with one another to prove they’re less racist than the next guy but they can’t meet the demands of BLM, because they’re not sure what they are, exactly, on any given day. There is, however, one consistent message pushed by BLM and their supporters, and it terrifies me:


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.


Orin Kerr is a law professor and legal writer extraordinaire. He teaches at Berkeley. He writes widely, including on Twitter (@OrinKerr). With Jay, he talks about life and the law: judges, presidents, senators, pardons, and more. Also: How’s life on campus? Free and easy or illiberal and hard? Orin Kerr is a natural teacher and interviewee.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Seattle Mayor Durkan Again (Not a Parody!)

Mayor Durkan at a podium
Where’s my spotlight?

As the number of rioters dwindles to a few with strident demands, the great enabler is taking extraordinary steps to keep the party rolling. With the sharp decline in murders, rapes, robberies, arson, and population that has marked this new phase of the CHAZ/CHOP experience, City Hall released this statement Friday (not a parody) as reported by KOMO News, ABC4, Seattle:

This afternoon the Mayor and City department leaders met with black ministers and some of the organizers to discuss the restoration of the Capitol Hill area and long-term changes to transform policing. The City’s goal remains to allow any individuals to exceed use their first amendment rights while also preserving the public safety of local residents and small businesses. The Mayor suggested a series of steps that she believes can be taken in the coming days, including the removal of the barriers to create more access. She also believes in the planning for some of the long term changes to Cal Anderson including art installations and the community garden.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Swimming the Bosporus: From the Megachurch to Orthodoxy


Simonopetra Monastery on Mount Athos, Greece.
I was received into the Orthodox Church yesterday.

It’s been a long time coming. I first attended a Greek Orthodox service about two-and-a-half years ago, another at a Russian Orthodox parish a couple of months after that, and a third two months later. I’ve been attending that Antiochian Orthodox church ever since. Today, I’m officially a member.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We are Information-Based Lifeforms


Human beings do not come equipped with fangs, claws, or thick fur. We’re not hard-wired to know what things we can eat and which we must avoid. We only survive through knowledge, knowledge acquired through sometimes fatal trial-and-error. Through such experimentation, we have evolved societies so complex that no one can understand more than an insignificant piece of them.

Fortunately, we have also evolved market processes, operating within a rule-of-law framework, that generates, assembles, and communicates the countless bits of information that exist in the minds of millions of people around the world, allowing them to cooperate with each other and coordinate their activities. The processes work so seamlessly and automatically that we need not be aware of their existence.


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.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Problem with Gorsuch’s Ruling


I posted this in Epstein’s post, but the thread is dead. So far, the assertion is that Gorsuch used the definition of “sex” in a manner that wasn’t appropriate. It occurred to me (and thank you, @saintaugustine — I wouldn’t have gotten here without you) is that he changed how “discriminate” is used.

[The reason why Gorsuch’s premises] are off is because it assumes that there is, in the nature of one’s sex, absolutely nothing that differentiates it from its opposite.


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.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woke Liberal Woman Scorned


The Racism, Inc. mobs are being taken over by the Woke Liberal Woman. As protests for social justice spread, the images of (mostly white) women pressing against metal barriers, shouting shrill, incoherent nonsense at the police increasingly remind me of Frank Costanza in Seinfeld, blowing off his pent-up frustration by yelling “Serenity NOW!” at the sky. But the therapeutic propensities of the outrage mob are nothing more than progressive posturing. The woke kingdom signals allegiance to victimhood rather than the American ideal of liberty and freedom.White guilt

The women we see lashing out at police in front of the White House, at the base of historical monuments, and in the streets next to violent rioters are the older version of their college-age models. Perhaps they majored in Women’s Studies. They attended all the office hours of radical professors who had shrines to Margaret Sanger. Maybe they even went to a Gender Conference to soak up feminist-inclusive wisdom from Gloria Steinem. Now they are soaked in the poisonous lie that they live as oppressed victims of the white patriarchy. And as any good self-indulgent narcissist would act, they took a cause for justice after the murder of George Floyd and turned it into a chance to be the rebellious ‘bad girl’ they cosplayed in college.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. COVID-19 All Joking Aside


The meme is pretty clever and humorous. Heaven and Hell agree, ha ha! When I first saw this it struck me as funny (as intended by the crafter). Then I went to a second thought: “Is it true?” Do heaven and hell agree because casinos and churches are closed? They may agree but we cannot know when the closures are coerced, not voluntary. There are plenty of churches that want to open. No doubt casinos do too. Would they both act in the same manner if the coercive force was removed?

My guess is yes. Both would respond to the preferences of their “customers” — congregants in the case of churches, gamblers in the case of casinos. Do church pastors and casino operators have superior knowledge to their customers about whether they should open? Not likely. Pastors and casino operators have access to the same information as their customers. Likely they are paying attention to the epidemic at the level of their most concerned individual congregant or gambler. But they are not health experts. They rely on the information they are provided by the health experts.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Roman Republic ‘Restored’


In a college Roman history class, we read Ronald Syme’s The Roman Revolution (1939). If memory serves, Syme described how Augustus became king, in fact, if not in name, while observing all the niceties of the Republic. The Senate still met but Augustus was firmly in charge. I wonder if we’re in danger of having our country decisively change while the institutions appear to continue.

In 2016, James Comey withheld from the Gang of Eight the investigation of the Trump campaign. The FBI investigation of the HRC private server was a joke and never was seriously pursued. But the pursuit of a Trump and his advisors was ongoing. Comey doubtless withheld the information from Congress because the four Republicans in the Gang of Eight would have protested. The bureaucracy felt itself a fourth part of government immune from oversight.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never Engage on the Enemy’s Terms


When the enemy offers battle on his terms, you should always decline; chances are good that he knows something you do not. This maxim may have originated with Sun Tzu, but it is ignored by, well, just about everyone. The person who goes to a casino to win money is accepting the House’s terms – and the house, in the end, always wins. Similarly, in most wars it has been the height of stupidity to attack a defended position head-on. But that didn’t stop most of the brain-dead assaults in World War One, or Lee at Gettysburg. Or as Longstreet put it back to Lee before the Confederacy committed its troops: “If [the enemy] is there, it will be because he is anxious that we should attack him — a good reason, in my judgment, for not doing so.” Lee vetoed Longstreet and the South attacked where the enemy was. In so doing, he lost the battle, and the war.

In politics, the problem is even worse. We get on our high horses far too easily, insist that we have Truth and Right and Good and Decency on our side… and we get destroyed in battle. Oh, we may well consider our behavior exemplary and our cause righteous, but a loss is a loss. Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.


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.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Why I Stand


What we are seeing on across the country isn’t a search for justice. It’s lunacy. It is anarchy. I’ve written on several occasions about the fictions upon which so much of the current protests and riots depend — fictions that have been easily repeatedly disproved. The response has been silence, honest dialogue now being considered heresy, and virtue having left town sometime back. Since there’s no use in applying reason, I’ll refrain from any further attempt and instead place some markers here for future reference. These are the beliefs upon which I stand and will not yield:

I am an American Veteran. I kneel before my Lord. I stand for the flag. I stand and salute during the National Anthem. Why? Because I know the price that’s been paid, I remember in reverence those who fought and died to preserve liberty and will in no way disrespect the flag under which they fought. I stand for the flag under which I, my father and my grandfathers served. And I will not be bullied into doing otherwise.