Navy Chief Aaron Siebert joins the show. Originally from Big Sky country, Aaron details his path through the Navy. Starting in San Diego, Aaron eventually made his way to Camp Pendleton with the Marines, to three tours in Iraq. On his third tour, Aaron was wounded from a mortar round, an injury for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

In a wide-ranging and candid conversation, Aaron talks about his time embedded with the Iraqi Army, dealing with the uncertainty of a sometimes hostile and suspicious population, the round that exploded just a few meters away from him, being read his Last Rites, and the long road to recovery. Even more impressive is what Aaron has done after his military service, working with multiple organizations dedicated to helping veterans deal with PTSD, injury recovery, job training, and all other aspects of reintegrating back into society.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Every Election and Office Matters: Arizona Schools Edition


Election and education Who we elect, through our actions and inaction, matters. This old truth has been brought to mind by government officials’ use of the latest Chinese virus. The most recent example of this is the top elected Arizona official in charge of K-12 education trying to stop schools from opening, but in reality until after the election.

We Arizona voters made the terrible mistake of electing a Democrat Superintendent of Education in 2018. Naturally, Kathy Hoffman is acting on befall of her party and the leftist teacher’s unions. While mouthing perfunctory pieties about special needs children and nutrition programs, she is firmly on the side of keeping children and parents tied down at home until after the election, all in the false name of safety.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Historicism: The Revolutionary Vanguard


The Humanities has been described, in the words of English poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold, as the study of “the best that has been thought and said.” Arnold believed that there is a canon of great works that illuminates the issues surrounding human existence, and that contains ideas that, because of humanity’s unchanging nature, are valid for all time. Rather than starting life with no guide, each new generation can “stand on the shoulders of giants” and can both profit from and build on what is already known.

Modern educators reject these notions and posit the transcendental truth that there are no transcendental truths. They then advance another self-contradictory transcendental truth that, in George Will’s words, “every principle is the product of historical context and is no more durable or valuable than the context was or is.” 


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Question of Motive


From the first report of the George Floyd death, I was bothered by the lack of interest in Officer Chauvin’s possible motive for having his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes. With no such interest expressed, the political polemicists of BLM/Antifa had a field day ascribing it to the endemic racism of America showing itself by the merciless actions of a white cop. We now have a video of the actual arrest and, for me, it reveals a great deal.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Not You, It’s Me. Or Maybe It Is You. I Don’t Know.


There’s a question that’s been bothering me for the last five years or so. When I went to the NRA convention in Phoenix in 2009, Harry Reid had a “B” rating from the NRA. There were a bunch of Democrats who spoke at the Saturday ILA forum at the convention. Yet just seven years later, Hillary Clinton named the NRA as the enemy she was most proud of. Why the change? What do you think happened?

It could be that the NRA’s messaging had grown too extreme for the Democrats, but I don’t think that’s the case. Wayne LaPierre’s “jack-booted thugs” comment was way back in 1995 after all and that same style of messaging echoes down through the present day. The gun-control efforts of the Obama administration and other Democrats may have forced the NRA to denounce the Democrats, but gun control is not something new to that party. It may be because the NRA went all-in for Trump, but that happened early on in 2016, and the Dems turned on the NRA long before that.


Damon Dunn is a former Stanford and NFL football player turned successful entrepreneur and fellow in business and economics at the Pacific Research Institute. He is the author of the new book, Punting Poverty: Breaking the Chains of Welfare. Damon joins Carol Roth to discuss why welfare creates the “Paradox of Poverty”, solutions to building wealth and success for those struggling and why a culture of low expectations reinforces the problems it attempts to solve.

Plus, a “Now You Know” segment on both NFL pay AND a change between political parties.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Flannery O’Connor Canceled by Catholics?


Let me be bold and say that while there are others worthy of note, the greatest American short story writer is Flannery O’Connor. Her pen was inspired. Her soul is found on every page she ever published. Her commentary can be as biting as a serpent while remaining as beautiful as a piece of stained glass. I take great pride from the fact that she was from Georgia, as I am from Georgia. I take great pride in the fact that she was a Catholic, as I am a Catholic. I take great pride in the fact that she is part of the American canon, as she earned her place. Yet she has been canceled by Catholics at a Catholic university in Maryland that is removing her name from a dorm.

Apparently, when she was a young woman during the Jim Crow Era, Mary Flannery, as she was known as a child, wrote in private correspondence to family and friends some thoughts that “reflected a racist perspective.” It matters not that the president priest of Loyola who is removing her name from the dorm has recognized that O’Connor’s stories–the public art for which she is noted–uphold “the dignity of African American persons” while making “bigots the object of ridicule.” Her sins must be expunged as she is erased from the campus.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Cabbage Patch Guy in a World of Barbie and Kens


I was misled.

I grew up in the era of “Ozzie and Harriett” and “Leave It to Beaver.” In my formative years, I was taught that men grew up to be fathers and women grew up to be wives. Marriage was for life, except for that odd situation where a man abused a woman, or either party cheated. Sex was only proper when you loved someone. Somewhere in between first grade and high school, however, that changed. We had the Summer of Love starting in 1967, and the Vietnam War, and the integration of the public schools. Any one of those things would have been a social phenomenon, but all of them together at the same time truly upset the apple cart.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hoisted by My Own Petard!


I decided to that I would ask people in my office if they were registered to vote, and if they were not registered to vote, that I would register them.

I did that today. My 31-year-old client had never been registered to vote. She felt embarrassed by that. I told her that it was okay, and that we could do that right then, and that she wouldn’t be charged for my time in doing that. I went to the very easy “ServiceArizona” website. I gleefully typed in her name, address, telephone number, driver’s license, and last four digits of her social security number. Then came the question about her party affiliation.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Two Cheers for HUD


President Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a rule this past week grandly titled “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.” That rule undid an Obama administration rule on the same topic, called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH). In July 2015, the Obama administration adopted an aggressive position that allowed HUD to monitor state, county, and local governments that received HUD grants to see that they had undertaken exhaustive efforts to remediate a wide range of racial disparities in housing markets, thereby raising the costs that arise from accepting government grants. Under HUD’s recently revised regulations, HUD Secretary Ben Carson scaled back the regulations so they concentrated not on the overall condition of local housing markets, but on the risks that individual acts of discrimination pose to individual applicants.

At no point in that order did HUD single out suburban housing for special treatment. Nonetheless, with scant regard to the content of the revised rule, President Trump posted a celebratory tweet: “I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.” This ill-advised outburst prompted a cascade of criticism that portrayed the new HUD regulation as a backhanded effort to undo President Obama’s much-needed protections against racial bias. As one critic alleged, whereas Carson carefully cloaked these major substantive reforms in a procedural guise that stressed paperwork reduction, the new rule in reality was intended to “reduce the pressure on local governments to provide space and opportunity for Black families in affluent white neighborhoods.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Drive-in Movies, Popcorn and Car Beds


Taking a family of five to a regular indoor movie could be very expensive in the 1950s, even if you tried to sneak in your own candy (which we did). It was much cheaper to go to the drive-in theater. When I was around 10 years old, my brother was 8 and my little sister was 3 (and always slept through the movie), we would pile into the car to see a movie. Going to the drive-in was a true adventure, full of the unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Before we left in the late afternoon, Dad would make a huge batch of popcorn. He used a heavy metal skillet with a heavy glass lid. I would often watch him as he carefully measured the oil, the popcorn, and put on the glass lid, followed by shuffling the pan back and forth on the gas burner. (Obviously, this was long before popcorn poppers or Jiffy pop.) The amount of shuffling was important, since getting just the right rhythm ensured that most of the corn would be popped and not burnt. I was his right-hand girl, breathing in the aroma during the entire process.


About yesterday…

We didn’t exactly miss our Monday record date, we just missed Toby pushing the record button. Stuff happens. But we’re back for another go. And go we do.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’d Like to Report an Election Theft in Progress


The Nevada Democrat-controlled legislature “in a midnight special session” over the weekend pushed through a massive change to the voting process in the state, without any discussion or debate from Republicans, without any input or counsel from the Nevada Secretary of State, allowing ballot harvesting throughout the state and allowing partisan operatives to enter nursing homes with elderly dementia patients and “help” them fill out their ballots and if the patient is unable to sign the ballot the operative will sign their ballot for them. President Trump has conveyed that the GOP will file a lawsuit in the next day or so to have the law vacated.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. UK: Defending the “Defender in Chief”: John Yoo on Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power




Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Balancing Risk and Reward For the Wuhan Virus and Virus-Mitigation Measures


I found reading Monday’s (August 3) Wall Street Journal depressing. The parent companies of Lord & Taylor and of Men’s Wearhouse and Joseph A. Bank filing for bankruptcy, adding to the recent bankruptcies of J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Neiman-Marcus, J. Crew, and probably others I’m forgetting. Oil companies as well, because of the sudden evaporation of demand for gasoline, aviation fuel, and diesel. Maybe some or all of these companies were destined for trouble because of changes to the underlying business activities, but absent the Wuhan virus that trouble would have been spread over years, allowing time to adjust, not all concentrated in a few weeks.

Then I turned to the article on how Detroit’s experience with in-person summer school might be a glimpse into other in-person schools in the fall (article might be behind the paywall). I was horrified by what I read. Although everybody was saying positive words, the actions being taken in the name of mitigating the risk posed by the Wuhan virus struck me as almost certain to instill in children an attitude of perpetual fear, a feeling that contact with other people is nothing but a risk-laden experience. The (non-verbal) messages being conveyed to students: “Stay away from everyone.” “Cover-up.” “Hide.” “Isolate yourself from everyone.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Value of Symbols


justice and COVID-19Observed outside a Circle K recently: two men approached on battered bicycles. One black, one white, they were both desert-lean and weathered. They knew long-term poverty.

Said the black man to the white: “They’re so stupid, they pull down a statue and throw it in the river!” Answered the white man: “Thousands of pounds of bronze!”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Well, It Wasn’t the 4th of July


In Chicago over the 4th of July weekend, 80 people were shot and 15 died. This past weekend in Chicago, 34 people were shot and 9 died. Well, it wasn’t the 4th of July but that’s still quite a total for the first weekend in August. If anyone actually understands what the English words emanating from their mouth mean when they yell, “Black Lives Matter” they would get very ill at just the thought of these horrific events.

Lori Lightfoot is too smart not to know what this means. She is a tough politician who is defending her left-wing turf but how long can she keep standing. The slaughter on the streets every weekend makes her look like a fool. Her police department is ready to mutiny. Chicago already has the strictest gun laws in the country. These gun laws don’t seem to keep guns out of the hands of the criminals who are committing almost all of these murders.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Race To The Bottom Continues Unabated


I was expecting this to happen. I just didn’t know where it would originate. This weekend, in Evanston, Illinois (home to “elite” Northwestern University) a group of “leaders in education, politics, and other areas” called for a halt to the teaching of history in all the schools in the state. That is until more “suitable” methods of teaching history can be found.

No one should be surprised. The armies of darkness keep pushing and elected to high office keep surrendering. In Evanston the Democratic mayor Steve Hagerty, in true ankle-grabbing fashion, issued his weaselly statement,


The coronavirus epidemic and the residual economic effects are spurring life transitions for a lot of people, from small changes to more dramatic “lifequakes.” How can you effectively manage life transitions of any magnitude? In this episode, Arthur is joined by New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler to discuss his new book, Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age. Together, they outline some practical strategies for optimizing life’s inevitable changes.



Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. American Architectural Geography: Part II, Form


One popular way to approach American architecture is to distinguish between form and style. Form, the thinking goes, involves the large-scale arrangement of elements within a building, whereas style is inherent in applied ornamentation. The placement and sizing of rooms, the positioning of door and window openings, the divisions of a structure’s facade — all these are elements of form. Of course, form can be related to style, as in the case of hip-roofed Italianate buildings designed to resemble the country houses of northern Italy, but the connection isn’t an absolute one. For readers’ sake, I’ll assume that the dichotomy makes sense, and I’ll devote most of this piece to the subject of form. The conversation on style will have to wait for another day.

. . .


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Defund the Police Primer for the Mid-Coast

Photo: Rockland PD FB Page

Well, it’s here. Seeping north and east for lo’ these many months, it finally arrived on my doorstep. There’s a petition now in circulation in Mid-Coast Maine demanding that the Rockland Police Department be defunded. Three hundred or so signatories so far, though it seems only 68 are actual Rockland residents.

Rockland might look like a small town, but it is a city; the county seat, boasting over 7,300 citizens all of whom are hideously oppressed by a total of eighteen sworn police officers, plus a parking enforcement officer and an animal control officer (part time). Oh, and a civilian secretary. It’s a scary bunch. Check out this guy on the right: Does he have “violent cis-gendered male white supremacy” written all over him, or what?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Fishing for Trouble


I’m about to make a significant number of my fellow firearms enthusiasts upset. But to mitigate the effect, at least somewhat, let me say what I believe. I believe the only reason to strip someone of their right to own a firearm is a felony conviction involving violence. There is a huge difference between someone who is 18 and writes a bad check for $500 and someone who is 18 and sticks a gun in a shopkeeper’s face. I believe there should be a mechanism to restore firearms rights that would be fully funded by Congress (the current statute permits restoration by the ATF, but a Democrat-controlled and Republican-compliant Congress has refused to fund it). I believe that every state should be a constitutional carry state, and that concealed carry should be a right, not a privilege. 


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Crimes of George R. R. Martin


or, In Which I Defend the Indefensible Man

If you follow the Hugos any more, which I don’t, you’d learn that popular author George R. R. Martin has stirred up quite the hornet’s nest. He’s being denounced as a racist, different types of -phobes, and others. His crime? He mispronounced artists’ names and he dared praised dead white men for their contributions in the past. Most notably, he talked quite a bit about John W. Campbell, editor of Analog magazine, and also Robert Heinlein, one of the winningest authors of the Hugo awards. For those who have claimed the Hugos as their own private club, this was unacceptable. And so Cancel Culture goes for George R. R. Martin not for failing to finish his series, but instead for Wrongthink.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Maoists Are Here. TV News Didn’t Tell You That.


Social media and the desire to be important to all our friends has obliterated the need for television news. Everyone carries a video transmitter and his pocket, and if cleverly configured, can output a live stream to more than one social network. Clicking around Twitter for a few minutes leads to multiple cellphone views of the same event. This creates more POV angles than a local or national broadcaster could afford. Taking queues from a feed or two let me to this on (ask your grandchildren to show you).

[click for embiggened]


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Grateful for What’s Not Happening


Watching riots, fires, attacks on law enforcement and listening to the idiotic decisions of mayors and governors is enough to drive any sane person over the edge. I try to limit my viewing of these incidents or reading about people taking steps to damage their cities and states.

And then I remind myself that I have so very much to be grateful for, regarding and in spite of coronavirus: