On Supremacy – Part 1 Situation Report


(Continued in Part 2 Course of Action)

There is a supremacy battle raging in varying degrees around developed nations between Leftist and Non-Leftist world views, with the Left acting as the aggressor by virtue of its inherent goals and methods. Leftists have always used chaos and division with racism as a well-tested tactic to raise votes and funds by political figures, such as Al Sharpton. The clash is reaching a new fever pitch in the United States with the rise of a twist on the old racism theme: “white supremacy.”

Censorship & “Beyond Their Reach”


The older I become, the more I find that I squirm with embarrassment whenever I read the Ten Commandments. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by prohibitions or injunctions but, rather, I’m embarrassed that God found it necessary to give these particular ones. We generally give instructions to others based on our perception of their weaknesses and proclivities. And I can only conclude that God’s instructions reflect His understanding of the kind of people we are.

The prohibition against “graven images” suggests that mankind has a tendency to elevate and admire the works of his own hands over the God who made those hands to begin with. Centuries later, the apostle Paul made this explicit in his letter to the Romans when he described man as having “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator”. So mankind apparently has an unhealthy tendency to overestimate the value of its own innovations. Peachy.

Founding Fathers Quotes on the Limited Executive Powers of the United States Presidency


One of the unfortunate rules of power is that those who are least equipped to exercise it judiciously are the most inclined to seek it. The Founding Fathers understood this, which is precisely why the presidency was so limited in its powers. George Washington was seen as an exemplar of what a president should be precisely because he accepted power only reluctantly and was happy to give it up when he felt his time was over. It wasn’t until Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected four times that anyone thought to term limit the presidency with the Constitution. Only two other men sought a third term: Ulysses S. Grant, who did so half-heartedly and mostly let his followers do the work, and Theodore Roosevelt, who ran for a non-consecutive third term the same way he did everything else – with great vigor and gusto.

The powers of the presidency have expanded greatly since the time of George Washington, making the term “imperial presidency” more than just a throwaway phrase. Executive Orders carry great weight, perhaps even more so than statutes drafted and passed by Congress. The Founders did not foresee such a situation, which is far more akin to the British Crown’s powers than to that of George Washington or any other president bar Abraham Lincoln, who presided over the nation at a time of great crisis.

Perception is Reality


We were at a small, intimate dinner, and that evening turned out to have a profound impact on me. For the first time, I was meeting a woman whom I’d heard about named Peggy Bassett, who had become a minister at the age of 50. She was adored by her community, and when I met her, she was a victim of ALS. Although she could still eat with us, she was in a reclining wheelchair. Yet her face glowed with serenity and joy. When one of the other guests asked her just before dinner how she was doing, she replied with some effort, “I’m just fine in here.”

I’m just fine in here.

Bet You Feel Safer Now, Yeah?


Inclusion study: I guess that’s a military thing now. But after seeing this from our Air Force brethren (I know, saying that is somehow mysogonist misoginyst misogynist), I kind of wanted to toss my cookies. Do you feel safer? You know, like your Air Force is ready to dominate the skies over any adversary stupid enough to pose a threat to these United States? Yeah, me neither.

Congratulations to us. We have a podcast! Last week, due to some technical problems on Toby’s end we lost not one, but two attempts at production. This week we pulled out all the stops, put several redundant systems in place and, of course, none of it was needed. Go figure.

After lamenting that which could have been, we’re on to the matter at hand: Monday was D-Day for the Johnson Government. The Prime Minister has unveiled his roadmap to reopening UK society. Are you getting the jab for a Covid Passport?

An Eyewitness COVID Report from Florida


Universal mask-wearing and social distancing. And no lockdown in sight. Not being a elected public official from Texas, my spouse and enjoyed a nice trip to Florida sans doxxing and media, where we were grateful for warm weather; we’re blessed to have escaped to a decent (not spectacular) resort on short notice and traversed south via car just ahead of snow and ice storms that seem to have gripped most of the country and even parts of northern Mexico (not Cancun, apparently).

I had heard and read conflicting things about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ management of the COVID crisis – he never executed a lockdown of the state – or on citizens’ behaviors. A quick internet search is replete with endless excoriation of Florida’s handling of the virus and vaccine distribution, despite nearly 50 percent of the state’s seniors being vaccinated. I’d also heard that Floridians and especially workers were flaunting CDC safety standards, with crowded bars and limited masks. Some idiot dressed as the grim reaper has been spotted with media in tow along some of Florida’s beaches.

Were people actually wearing masks? Social distancing? Were retailers and other companies taking precautions? We know people and friends who‘ve been afflicted with COVID and lost loved ones. We grieve with them, along with 511,000 Americans who have also been lost to the China virus.

Chef Surprise…Oops, She Did It Again!


I’ve been cooking since I was nine years old. I’d bake cookies back then for our family of eight (at that point; it ultimately numbered 10) so the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package needed to be tripled. That is how I learned to add fractions, actually. Fractions were one of the rare sections of math that I succeeded in during my first go-round with school. (My math “a-ha” occurred during my second venture into college–another story.)

Well, in baking those cookies one had to do a “test” batch–just two cookies in a metal pie pan to check if you’d put in the correct amount of flour. Here’s where my first adventure in Cooking Fails started. I checked the “try cookies” as they were known, and it was obvious that more flour was needed. But, instead of measuring out another third or fourth cup, my brain was doing something else, so my hands picked up the sifter and turned the handle until all the flour had been emptied into the rotating bowl of cookie dough while the MixMaster was doing its best to incorporate it.

Reviewing Seawriter’s Book: Vanished Houston Landmarks


This post turns the tables on Ricochet’s intrepid book reviewer, @seawriter, who is known to the outside world as Mark Lardas. He wrote an engaging, enjoyable book called “Vanished Houston Landmarks“, available for the Kindle, and it’s a skillful job that deserves your attention.

When I grew up, people didn’t hate Californians (yet). New Yorkers and Texans regularly topped polls of who our fellow Americans found most annoying, and despite vast differences between Gothamites and Texians, we have this in common: we are apt to boast a great deal. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve only passed through Texas and I ought to know more about its history, but I can understand the boasting: it really is a remarkable place with wonderful people.

Can We Trust Anyone?


Over a lifetime, the question of trust comes up almost from the moment we are born. Trust is implicit in honorable relationships, in our putting our lives in the hands of others, in taking risks in partnership with others, in simply trying out new things. Unless we came from highly dysfunctional families, our parents tended to us in ways that helped us feel safe in the world. They did their best to feed us and clothe us, to make sure we picked up our rooms and wiped off our muddy feet before we came into the house. We followed their direction because we trusted them to care for us, and they in turn learned to trust us.

In the larger world when we were small children, we were told to look both ways before we crossed the street; the drivers couldn’t be trusted to see our miniature bodies as we stepped into their paths. We were told to honor our teachers who were entrusted to educate us and socialize us with our peers; we learned to trust them when they helped us with our homework or relied on us to complete a classroom chore.

Trump is Gone. Who Will the Left Hate Now?


Trump is now a former President. Like other former POTUS, he no longer has power and will fade into history. Why it is that there are people whodo not understand that it was over after the election I do not understand. Now that Trump is all but gone, the Left will need somebody else to demonize as a focal point to cover for the Democrats’ ongoing destruction of all things American. Biden and his and the actual danger to the country will be ignored or puff-pieced out of existence.

Well, I have noticed recently on my news feeds serval contenders for the Left’s hatred of the Right; the first is white supremacist. I’m not sure where these guys are or how dangerous they are since I have not seen them in any sort of organized form in the last few decades. I have no doubt that the government will find a few people with improper thoughts in the backwater mountains somewhere so the FBI can kill their children and claim victory.

Intrigue Seeking Stolen Nazi Art


On March 22, 1945 Major Max Hignite flew his last Luftwaffe mission; a flight to Switzerland in a Ju-52 loaded with artwork stolen by the Nazis. The plane crashed, sealed in a cave by a Swiss lake. Hignite, badly injured, survived. Rescued by local Swiss, he spent months near death in a hospital. By the time he recovered, the Ju-52 had disappeared. Only Hignite was aware of its contents. He decided to move on with his life.

So opens “Ghosts of the Past,” a novel by Mark H.Downer. Moving on included going to the United States after the war ended, joining family who immigrated to the US in the 1930s. In spring, 2001, Hignite is dying. He passes his final flight’s secret to his favorite grandnephew, Matt Ferguson. Matt inherits the aircraft’s manifest cargo and a map showing where it crashed.

Matt, in a well-paying but dull job, decides to recover the treasure as a one-off adventure. Since he is Max Hignite’s executor, Matt uses settling his grand-uncle’s estate as an excuse to take a leave of absence.

Split Focus


Photo by Nazar Strutynsky on Unsplash
God began early, hunting me down and taking hold of me when I was just a child in Farmington, Connecticut. I wasn’t born there, but close by in Maine at a Naval hospital that no longer calls itself a hospital, and to this day still raises questions of its location; Maine or New Hampshire? My parents weren’t exactly religious given my father was a rigid perfectionist and my mother was a neurotic depressive. I emerged from the womb happy, which was taken advantage of by my mother and beheld with contempt by my father.

I say this to now say that we sometimes went to church (at least until the elders came to the house to collect offerings and ticked off my mother), I didn’t go to catechism, and in third grade, I was best friends with a Jewish girl who had never heard of Jesus until I told her about Him while playing out in the field near the school’s monkey bars. I don’t remember exactly when I found Him, except maybe the one summer I went to vacation Bible school in Farmington and we used felt-covered boards and characters to show Jesus running down the hill away from the big boulder chasing Him from the tomb. The young teen-aged teacher was creative even if not theologically sound.

Public Manipulation 101: The Heartstrings Tactic


Last week, NPR updated me on a no-eviction policy set forth by the Centers for Disease Control. The first time I heard about it, I was incredulous; how could the CDC make federal mandates? But NPR followed with a rationale and the caveat that renters had to “qualify,” so I calmed down a bit. The explanation is that if renters are evicted because they can’t pay their bills due to Covid, then they will move in with Grandma, Grandpa, and Great-Aunt Lucy. You’ll have more and more Americans living in packed quarters, thereby spreading the virus.

Still, this kind of control sets a terrible precedent, in my mind, of government agencies stepping out of their lanes to dictate to Americans what they must do with their property. I also think the no-eviction policy, in the guise of admirable compassion, may actually be a back door means to further control the American economy, cast property owners as villains, and increase Americans’ dependence on government to set things right. And I can’t help but point out who it was that promoted closing our economy long-term so that many of us were laid off and uncertain about how we would pay our bills. These are manipulative games on a grand scale, the economy shut down by the government, but landlords shoulder the burden if renters can’t pay their bills.

On the Why of Poetry


A Sierpinski sieve. Thanks to the magic of Ricochet this one is even more fractal than it looks; there’s a sixth level of the pattern hidden in the image resizing.
Last time I wrote about poetry I took a scientist’s view of the matter. This time I’m starting in math. Clearly, I understand what all this poetry stuff is about. Do y’all remember what a fractal is? It’s a pattern that repeats itself all the way down.

Imagine, if you will, that those white triangles are islands in a sea of black. You have a continent in the middle, a couple isles nearby, and more and more islands and islets the further away you get from that central continent. It’s bad water for navigating in because there’s an infinite number of rocks, pebbles, and even smaller navigation hazards poking up out of the surface of the water. Maybe it’s more of a swamp than an ocean. Okay, now zoom in. Let’s say you’re small enough that you live on one of the islands. You can deduce the pattern; you know that just over thataways there’s a bigger island. Is there another, larger one beyond it, or are we looking at the top of the pattern?

Nom Kom: A Simple Cake


Nom Kom is a very old, very traditional Khmer cake wrapped in banana leaves in a pyramid shape. It is a simple cake, made with glutinous rice flour and has coconut, palm sugar, and black sesame seed filling. All the ingredients you can easily find in your local supermarket. While banana leaves are available at the frozen aisle of Asian markets, fresh leaves can sometimes be found at Latin markets as well. Nom Kom is one of several traditional cakes my grandmother likes to serve at our family’s various religious ceremonies throughout the years.

It is a simple cake, as stated above, but nom kom also bears a religious connotation as well. It represents the yoni (vulva, womb), a personification of the divine feminine creative power, the mark of Mother Shakti. In Hinduism, the yoni is the counterpart to the linga, the symbol of Lord Shiva. So of course, num kom has its counterpart, num ansom. At engagement and wedding ceremonies, num kom and num ansom are always presented together to symbolize the union of the linga and the yoni, the representation of the eternal process of creation and regeneration, the union of male and female principles. In Khmer, that union is called mea ba (mother, father).

How to Rate Political ‘Scandals’


Cuomo vs. Madigan vs. Newsom vs. … Cruz? We’ve been treated to a few “political scandals” as of late. Of course, they happen all the time, but four recent ones stand out.

First, the resignation and bribery investigation of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a 50-year Democratic fixture in the state’s politics, who just this week resigned from office (he had already stepped down as Speaker). Few politicians have had a stronger grip on a state’s political infrastructure than Speaker Madigan. But allegedly, Speaker Madigan turned ComEd, a large and heavily regulated state utility company, into a job and contracting service for supporters and political allies. I’m sure ratepayers there are interested.

Second, the unfolding COVID/Nursing Home crisis involving New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. We’ve long known about – and the media have largely ignored – his policy decisions early during the COVID pandemic to place COVID-positive patients back into long-term care facilities. Now, we find out that his office lied or, at least, withheld information about it to the federal government and, apparently, a federal investigation is underway.

Some Unscientific Observations: Make of Them What You Will


I live in Arizona.

Some twenty summers ago, while taking out my trash, I noticed it was particularly hot on the west side of my property. Not just AZ midsummer hot, but more like Death-Valley-on-the-summer-solstice-would-cook-an-egg hot. I keep the trash can there, behind the RV gate. The surrounding concrete pad, stucco (my house and my neighbor’s some ten feet away) and block wall have nearly all day to absorb, consolidate, and radiate solar energy. I put up a thermometer. It immediately pegged its limit, past 130 degrees, and stayed there 24-7.

My solution? I planted three Sisso trees on the property line in the narrow space between the RV pad and the block wall. The trees were mere sticks, a genus imported from India and suitable for AZ weather, semi-deciduous. Green and beautiful all year! They didn’t mention that they were neither evergreen nor truly deciduous; that is, they shed leaves all the time. Not a problem for the first ten years when they were small. But now that the trees are taller than my massive two-story structure, I have to clean up around them three or four times a year, nasty business as these leaves decompose quickly.

I Get It Now, Dad


June 2011– Now that I have my own kids, some of the stuff that made no sense to me when I was growing up has become clear. I fully grasp why certain behaviors evoked a response from my dad. He and I might have different approaches in dealing with similar kid situations: my dad would have been quick and efficient, no fanciness or equivocation. Nevertheless, it makes sense now.

For example, when I was a kid, I liked to read more than I liked to do almost anything else. Reading ranked a close second with playing outside. For sure it ranked high above “work” or “chores” or “listening to Dad explain something maybe related to chores.” Occasionally when I was engrossed in a story, my dad would emerge from his office and decide that something needed explaining. I would get up from where I had been lying on the couch, fix my eyes on him, and let the book dangle at my side, careful to have my finger at the right page. Then suddenly, inexplicably, in the middle of what he was saying, my dad would grab the book, send it sailing across the room, and say, “You need to get your nose out of that book.” I’d be flabbergasted. Why, my nose wasn’t in the book. Hadn’t it, along with my eyes, been pointed at him? Hadn’t I been nodding in all the right places?

Why We Need Shakespeare Now More than Ever


Yes, the War Against Shakespeare has been going on for years now. But the Woke Supremacists in universities are stepping up the volume, because, you know, Shakespeare is not relevant today. It’s not just because he represents white-supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and all other -isms. No. He’s not relevant.

What can Shakespeare possibly have to say to today’s youth, or today’s young adults, or even today’s old adults? How can Shakespeare possibly be relevant to them? Let’s take a moment to imagine…

The Importance of Tradition


The new age of “everything started with me so I must discard everything that came before me” makes your road much more difficult. As you cancel what came before, the only certainty you have left is that you will be canceled yourself.

I have three videos that you might want to watch. There are those in Scotland who do their best to keep their tradition and their history alive.

Douglas Carswell grew up in Uganda. For a dozen years—2005 to 2017—he was a member of the British parliament. He is a conservative and a free-market man. In recent weeks, he has come to America to head the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Jay talks with him about a little bit of everything: Africa; British politics (Thatcher, Cameron, Boris, et al.); Mississippi (how do you sell Thatcher-Reagan politics in a poor state?); America (what do you like about it, or dislike?); conservatism (what is it?); and more. Douglas Carswell has led a highly interesting life, and is an excellent conversationalist. 

This week, we’ve got Powerline’s Steve Hayward sitting in for Rob Long (who’s busy being lionized) as we bid a sad so long to Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh. Then, Ayaan Hirsi Ali stops by to discuss her new book Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights. Also, be sure to visit her new website and subscribe to her new podcast. Also, Ted Cruz defies The Wall and goes to Mexico, a break down of the latest McConnell v. Trump cage match, and one of our hosts is very excited about Perseverance landing safely on Mars and one of them responded with a big “meh.” Care to guess which is which?

Music from this week’s show: My City Was Gone by The Pretenders

7 Inspiring Baseball Players Who Overcame Adversity


Mordecai Brown, Chicago Cubs
It’s tough to make it to the major leagues and it’s even tougher to stay there. It takes a not-insignificant amount of natural physical ability, a lot of hard work, and plenty of self-confidence to get there and stay there. It’s a battle that plays out every day through competition from the amateur level through the minor leagues and at the major league level. It’s even tougher for some who have an additional opponent they have to conquer along the way. That’s the purpose of this post – to briefly tell the stories of a few of those who had an additional obstacle on their way to the majors. I think I’ll proceed in chronological order.

Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown