Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Miracle on Ice” Remembered


Can this be forty years ago? It’s hard to explain to younger people what an earth-shaking, tear-jerking win the 1980 gold medal in hockey was for us. This was no simple rivalry. This was David vs. Goliath. This was Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader. This was Hobbits vs. Mordor. And the good guys won.

To provide some necessary background for the younger readers: Western countries such as the United States and Canada were constrained by the Olympic rules, which had long mandated that athletes must be amateurs. Our teams were composed of college players who had not yet begun their professional careers. The Soviets, as usual, simply cheated. They took their very top adult players, world-class, full-time athletes with years of international experience, and gave them phony job-assignments with the military or government so that they could be called amateurs. It was like putting the all-stars of the NFL against a college squad. It was a joke. Of course, they always won the gold medal, and they always would win the gold medal; it was a fact of life that would never change, kind of like the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. Nothing to be done, we were just supposed to suck it up. Then this team of scrappy college kids did the unthinkable. They brought down Goliath. And less than ten years later, the citizens of both sides of Berlin brought down that “fact-of-life” wall with simple tools and bare, bloody hands and tear-stained faces. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Lord of the Rings: “Where tears are the very wine of blessedness.” This hockey game, this “miracle on ice” was the prelude to that miracle in Berlin.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never-Bernie?


If Sanders rolls to the nomination, will there be a Never-Bernie movement? On the one hand, Bernie is an ideological nutball who could lead his party to disaster (or disaster to his country, if he wins) and a number of Democratic campaign pros and elected officials have said so. On the other hand, there are no “strange new respect” MSM prizes from dissident Democrats as there are for RINOs. And Democrats are much better at enforcing party loyalty. 

Democrats have traditionally finessed their affinity for socialism, turning the ratchet slowly while giving lip service to the free market and property rights. But now, like Skynet becoming self-aware in The Terminator, the hard left under Bernie wants no more pretense or gradualism. The mask is off.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Washington, the Revolutionary War and Smallpox


In honor of George Washington’s actual birthday, I wanted to feature one of his extraordinary actions during the Revolutionary War.

George Washington didn’t need any advice about the deadliness of smallpox. When he was 19 years old when he accompanied his brother ill with tuberculosis to Barbados. They accepted an invitation to dine with a family, some of whom had recovered from smallpox. Although the incubation period was supposedly past, Washington came down with the deadly disease and survived. But the memory of the illness stayed with him.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. EBUG: A Star is Born


Fifteen years ago David Ayers put his dreams of a professional hockey career on ice – literally. He was lying in a hospital bed in the need of kidney transplant which he got from his mother, Mary. But he stayed connected to the game. He’s the maintenance manager at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (the old Maple Leaf Gardens) and has spent time as a practice goalie with the AHL Toronto Marlies and the NHL Maple Leafs. But the closest he has been to game action is driving the Zamboni between periods for the minor league team.

On most nights that the National Hockey League team is at home the 42-year-old Ayers is in the house as the EBUG, the Emergency Back-Up Goaltender, available to suit up for either side in the case that one of the four goalies is injured. Every once in awhile, an EBUG gets the thrill of sitting on the bench watching the number 2 guy mind the net.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Guess What Just Went Viral in China?


The New York Post!

Xi didn’t actually admit that the coronavirus now devastating large swathes of China had escaped from one of the country’s bioresearch labs. But the very next day, evidence emerged suggesting that this is exactly what happened, as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive entitled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Must-Watch Video: I’m A Lesbian Woman & I’m Leaving The INSANE “Progressive” Left


Arielle Scarcella is a well-known lesbian YouTube personality; she has been on the platform for ten years and boasts over 630,000 subscribers on her channel. Normally she posts videos of sex toy reviews and other graphic non-family friendly content. She isn’t someone you’d normally see mentioned here, but she just posted a must-watch video about her decision to leave the woke progressive Left that’s worth a watch:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Personal Reflection on Dr. Hopland, a Doctor on the Coronavirus Cruise Ship


As I mentioned to Rodin recently on another thread, the doctor on the Coronavirus cruise ship in Japan is a close personal friend of mine. We practiced medicine in the same small town in the mountains of Tennessee for 20 years. Dr. Hopland and his wife were just taking a cruise and ended up in the middle of the Coronavirus fiasco. Dr. Hopland has arranged to have all the Americans transported back to the States, and he’ll probably have the entire ship redesigned before he leaves. Mrs. Hopland tested positive, and is now in a Japanese hospital. Dr. Hopland is back on the cruise ship, with nowhere else to go since he understandably refused transport back home without his wife. The rest of the Americans have been transported home, thanks to Dr. Hopland. But he and his wife are still there. Separated, frustrated, and far from home. Last I heard, Mrs. Hopland felt fine, thank goodness. I’ll contact one of their sons tonight and try to get an update.

I am a great admirer of Dr. Hopland. He started out as an engineer (electrical engineer, I think), and went to medical school later, starting his first practice around the age of 40, I believe. By the age of 70, he was running a multi-specialty, multi-facility group which found ways to provide above-average health care to those on government plans, while consistently turning a profit in an extremely difficult environment. One local practice after another would fail, but Dr. Hopland’s would grow. I don’t pretend to understand his business practices, but I think I understand Dr. Hopland quite well. And I’m fascinated by him. I think he displays several qualities often found in successful people. Let me try to explain…


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 32: COVID-19 Outside of China


Another big day, and maybe even bigger. The chart above is based on the Johns Hopkins website that was last updated 03:33 GMT. The Worldometers website was last updated about 3 hours later and totals 1526 cases; 155 more than the Johns Hopkins total. Most of this difference involves South Korea: 346 cases reported in the Worldometer database vs 204 in the John Hopkins database.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Bernie Hits Jackpot in Nevada


The Nevada Caucus precinct results are coming in, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to win big.

“In Nevada, and in New Hampshire and in Iowa — what we showed is that our volunteers are prepared to knock on hundreds and hundreds of thousands of doors,” Sanders said at his victory speech in San Antonio. “That no campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is another reason why we’re going to win this election.”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Seeking Advice in My Coffee Grounds


It was Christmas 1962 and I only had one wish: I needed advice on how to make Jimmy Murphy like me. So that meant I wanted the Magic 8-Ball, Mattel’s amazing creation that produced misty, cryptic answers to your yes-no questions in a little window on the globe’s base.

Me: “Does Jimmy Murphy like girls who wear lipstick?” Magic 8-Ball: “As I see it, yes.”Me: “Should I tell him I like him?” Magic 8-Ball: “My sources say no.”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Donald Trump and Redemption


The Trump phenomenon is mostly about redemption. That’s the theme in the video below. But there’s much more than that happening. Trump is talking to people who know very well how “flawed” our criminal justice system can be. He’s tapping into people’s sense of unfairness that supersedes class or station. (Video starts at 47:35.)


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. American Compass? No, I’d Rather Stay Lost.


A recent National Review article is titled “The Return of Conservative Economics.” When a politician or a political writer says his great new idea is “conservative,” grab your wallet and run the other way as fast as you can. Not only will it not be conservative, it will likely be daft — and accompanied by the force of law. The NRO article is a perfect example of this. It opens with:

Today we are announcing the formation of American Compass, an organization dedicated to helping American conservatism recover from its chronic case of market fundamentalism. In preparation, we have been perusing the mission statements of many of our nation’s think tanks. Nearly every group has one. Oddly, the right-of-center’s preeminent public-policy institutions all have the same one: to advance the principles of “limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty” or “free markets and limited, effective government” or “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom” or “individual liberty, limited government, free markets” or “economic choice and individual responsibility” or “individual, economic, and political freedom; private enterprise; and representative government.”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Some Important Principles


Greed is not good. Acquisition is not the same thing as greed.

Greed is not good. Possession is not the same thing as greed.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: ‘The Pacifist Does Nothing to Decrease War…’


“The pacifist does nothing to decrease war. On the contrary, he promotes it to the utmost of his power by ensuring, insofar as in him lies, that the war-makers shall have their reward. Pacifism is thus warmongery complicated by defeatism. The pacifist is not interested in political realities. He is interested only in his own clear conscience. Let the world be given over to the sword, his conscience is clear so long as he did not himself draw a sword. That he forced others to draw it is nothing to him.” — R.G. Collingwood

This reminded me of a ‘discussion’ I had with an acknowledged libertarian. Perhaps I should say we ‘discussed’ past each other, a not uncommon characteristic of my ‘discussions.’ I see a resemblance to some of the Trump vs. NeverTrump ‘discussions’ that have happened on Ricochet and elsewhere.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Progressives Will Always Fail


As I was working on another post, I had the realization that the Progressives will never be successful in transforming our country into a Leftist state. Their goals are to create a perfect country run by perfect people to create a perfect future. What they never seem to understand is how deeply flawed their aspirations—and they—are.

First, they are the most naïve people among us. No matter how intelligent they are, they have no wisdom. No matter how educated they are, they don’t understand human nature. Regardless of their passion for changing the country and everyone else, they are the ones who are incapable of learning deeply and understanding (as James Madison did) the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of human beings.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Unequal Justice? I Blame Republicans.


I was struck by a side comment offered by Larry O’Connor, in the February 12, 2020 “Examining Politics” episode. In a segment on the Roger Stone sentencing recommendations kerfuffle, O’Connor, as podcast host, noted that he had been involved in civil litigation in the DC area some time ago. He settled the case, and…

He was told that he had absolutely no chance of prevailing with a DC jury, that his known political affiliation made him a guaranteed loser. Think on that for a moment. If true, it was an assumption in the local legal community, “everyone knows,” that if you are conservative you will not get justice from a DC-area jury. This effectively reduces the value of every conservative’s lawsuit to the nuisance suit level.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Progressives Against Facts, Case #35,675,223


Mr. C. shared The Constitution in Crisis: Madison, the Media, and the Mob video with me, starring the three Goldbergs: Jeffrey of The Atlantic, Jonah (formerly) of NRO, and Michelle of the New York Times. And, no this isn’t brought to you as yet another Trump supporter’s criticism of Jonah Goldberg, who makes many salient points but still concedes too much at times. This post is to show you how utterly and completely clueless the Left is about reality and how totally lacking in self-awareness.

The video is teed up at 22 minutes to watch Michelle Goldberg’s masterful projection of her idiotic leftism onto conservatives. You have to see it to believe it:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Music and How You Found It


I’m fairly new here and not sure what the rules are about content. I get that center-right, as this site is advertised, implies politics, but my mind ran contrary to the fate of the Republic. I’m thinking right now about music and how I came upon the stuff I like.

For too long all I heard on the radio was gaga, or googoo. My formative musical years were dull, like most people in high school during the eighties or any other time when a palate was presented to you by someone else. DJs had an iron grip on what we heard. There were good songs, but formulaically so. I had my predictable rebellion where I listened to Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and The Grateful Dead and considered myself cultured in the small sphere in which I inhabited. But I was buffered.


Jon opened up Facebook and Twitter for “Ask Me Anything” questions and, wow, did he get a lot. From politics to the Navy to music to God to coffee, he covers it all in his first solo effort. Keep the conversation going by asking more questions in the comments for Jon to answer.

The intro/outro song of the week is “Ask” by The Smiths, of course. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians this year, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Sublime and the Ridiculous from Dr. Berlinski the Elder


Dr. David Berlinski has a new book out “Human Nature.” It is a series of interesting essays on what might be called the intellectual geography of our time. He leads off with an essay that I consider sublime. It is a discussion of the causes of WWI. More importantly, it is a criticism of the standard banal take on WWI that satisfies so many but not Dr. Berlinski (nor I). It would be wrong to place the entire text of the piece here on my post (however tempting that is). I have left the Amazon link and there is an inexpensive Kindle version you can read on your phone if necessary (I did). Instead, I will take a few quotes that I find very interesting.

The First World War was a catastrophe for European civilization because it destroyed its moral structure. The war demonstrated to European statesmen and their military leaders that they had misjudged, and misjudged profoundly, the ground over which they were walking. They had imagined that their system was so conceived as to be continuous in its fundamental aspect and that a general European war among all of the great powers would be like a local European war among some of them. They were mistaken.


Gotta make this brief as we are very, very busy around here: Peter Robinson? Not here this week. Jon Gabriel sits in for him. It’s really cold in NYC today. We break down the dumpster fire Democratic debate. Then, author and New York Times science writer (no that’s not a typo) John Tierny on his book The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It  We’re positive you are going to like it. Then, our pal Christina Hoffs Sommers from the Femsplainers podcast stops by to talk about Harvey Weinstein, Democratic primary candidate wackiness (and woke-i-ness) and why she thinks Bernie Sanders will be the nominee. Finally, pardon us, but we have to discuss the pardons, and Jon Gabriel humblebrags about reading some really old books. Yawn.

Music from this week’s show: Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Tales from the Past Ep. 22: How I Got My Name


In the deep, dark corridors of the PIT where I usually hide out, I commented on page 1881 about it being the year that my “Riconym” was born. I decided, with encouragement, to venture out into polite society and share this cool story (if I do say so myself).

In honor of page 1881, I’m going to talk a little bit about my namesake here on Ricochet was born in 1881. LtPercy Watkiss Fisher DCM was born Dec 15, 1881, in Stratford-upon-Avon to an upper-middle-class shopkeeper. The family was wealthy enough that his older sister (my great-grandmother) never had to cook a meal until she had married and emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s to homestead when she was in her late 20’s. He attended King Edward VI School (founded in 1295) which is the same school Shakespeare attended. He and his younger brother Raymond (b. 1883) were near inseparable and had many adventures together, up to their volunteering on the same day, hours apart from each other, for service in World War I. Percy and Raymond had previously volunteered for the Boer War, were captured and escaped from POW camp. Percy trained as an electrical engineer and as a shipping engineer and also spent time as a war correspondent for the London Times in the Russo-Japanese War, where he devised a way to transmit battle maps. As stated below, he prepared 34 different maps to accompany the news reports. He also apparently fought in the Persian Civil War in 1908 and for 6 months in 1912 had an Engineering commission in Canada before returning to England. He won his Distinguished Conduct Medal (at the time it was the next step down from a Victoria Cross for an enlisted soldier) when he helped defend and repel an attack on a captured trench against superior numbers of Germans. He also later earned a battlefield commission; his promotion came with a month of leave in England and shortly after his return and, being given command of a platoon; he was killed on September 11, 1916, at Hill 60 in France. He is buried in the Hebuterne Communal Cemetery with a handful of other soldiers, likely killed at the same time/place. He died a day before his brother Raymond, who was posted to Salonika Army HQ in Greece as Raymond was fluent in Bulgarian (having fought in the Balkan War in 1912/13), and on the same day, a 3rd brother (Reggie) was seriously wounded fighting down in the Middle East. Receiving word of her two brothers’ deaths was immensely hard on my Great-Grandmother, made even worse when her eldest son (my grandfather) was killed 28 years and 4/5 days later.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Conservative Swamp Creatures


Listening to a podcast by Jonah Goldberg it suddenly dawned on me why the guy is skeptical of Trump. As he said on the podcast, he has lived in Washington D.C. most of his life. He worked in think tanks there for years and all of his friends are government or political wonk types. He goes to all the big insider parties and functions. Most of the guests he has on the podcast are DC insiders, often second or third generation Swamp Creatures. He’s a Swamp Creature.

I have no doubt that he’s conservative and smart, but apparently he’s a Swamp Creature first and foremost. In fact, after a little research, I found that many of the other prominent conservative Trump skeptics are similar. They’ve been in and out of government in DC and/or work in this or that conservative think tank or publication. I expect that their first loyalty is to the place from which they draw their sustenance. Any threat to that is going to evoke a visceral reaction. And we all know what Trump promised to do and is doing with the Swamp.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Pre-Bosch, A Ricochet Rerun


I’m a bit tired of the Swamp, and I’ve been waiting for a new series of “Bosch” episodes on Amazon Prime. I’ll have to settle for a rerun of an essay that I wrote on Jim Roberts. Jim Roberts was not as famous as Wyatt Earp, but he may well have been the deadliest gunfighter and lawman in Arizona.

Jim Roberts was one of the last of the legendary gunfighters in Arizona. He survived the Pleasant Valley War, a range war between two families that began in 1882 and ended with one last killing in 1892.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Epiphany: Cars and Purses


I am well on record here (and elsewhere) as saying that the electric car is dead — or at least, certain to die. And I am (and was) right, on the merits as an engineer sees things: electric cars cannot compete with normal cars using normal metrics relating to price, performance, etc.

But, as anyone who sees how people actually spend their money can tell you, people often do not make purchase decisions based on value for money. When I predicted the death of electric cars, I had not yet fully understood how incredibly wealthy we are as a society, that millions of people will happily and knowingly buy a car like a woman might buy a purse or a pair of shoes: because it tells the new owner (and their friends) something about that person. The utility value is not what drives the purchase. Instead, the car is a symbol first and foremost: the utility of the vehicle is much less important.