Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Amazon Video’s Halloween Movie Recommendations: Trick-or-Treat!


Hey, Ricochet! I’m in the mood to watch a Halloween movie. Anyone want to watch one with me? You do? Yay! Let’s go over to Amazon’s Prime Video page and pick one out. I hear they have a lot of movies to choose from.

Whoa! Look at all those movies! How in the world are we going to find the Halloween ones? Wait a minute; I think I found them! If you scroll down, you’ll find a row called “Halloween Collection.” I bet we can find something to watch there. Don’t know why they didn’t put it closer to the top of the page, given the month we’re in – but oh well. We found it. Let’s see what they recommend.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 99 Cent Answer to ‘Food Deserts’


Who really is in touch with the poor, the Fort Worth mayor and city council or the 99 Cent Only CEO? The Fort Worth city council is moving down the tracks towards imposing limitations on low-cost stores, generally labeled “dollar stores.” They are doing so for two stated reasons: blight and “food deserts.” Any citizen can refute the second claim by a simple internet search. Any citizen living in the area could do the media and their own city council’s job, by simply walking through a 99 Cents Only store with their phone camera rolling in video mode.*

The very deepest discount stores operate like every other business that is not in bed with the government. That is, they identify locations where they can sell enough goods to make a profit. By definition, a dollar store is operating on the very thinnest of margins, so they have to consistently offer the stuff people want. Happily, this results in at least one such business offering the very items we are perennially told are being denied to the poorest among us.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. But Wait, There’s More!


You have to go looking for this kind of news. You might find it online, but won’t find it printed in the paper. If a local TV station heads out for some brief coverage, you can be certain they will heavily edit any interviews so they can maintain a sense of decorum. After all, we can’t discuss what really happens out there. Our local crime story continues:

“When I saw it on the news, I’m like, ‘If this guy’s that nuts, would he do something like that?’ And evidently, he did.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Europe #8 Three Colors: Blue


So we’re doing a trilogy about the Colors Trilogy–Krzystof Kieslowski’s masterwork, and the end of his career. The least known of the Polish masters assumes the authority to tell Europe what the problem of reunification is–what the problem of the European Union is, in the terms of the French Revolution, whose tricolor replaced the aristocratic crests and Christian cross of medieval flags. Those three colors stand for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. We start with Freedom, of course–Paris, the beautiful Juliette Binoche, and our reliance on accident for insight.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Out in the Cold


View original artwork here.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Fighting Pandas


Perhaps the NBA could mend fences with China by renaming the Houston Rockets “The Fighting Pandas.” An NBA sponsored “Send a Uighur to Camp” scholarship fund might help mollify the Chinese government. Some lucky fan in Houston could win an all expenses paid trip to China for a kidney transplant, or any other organ they might need.


One week in, and the NBA keeps making their China kowtow worse. Will the backlash from all sides force American companies to stop taking a knee for the Commies?

The intro/outro song and Jon’s song of the week is “Chopper” by The Hecks. Stephen’s song of the week is “Magic Marker” by Craig Finn. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What’s My Lyin’


I was in D.C. for my annual speech to the International Mensa Convocation when my longtime friend, attorney, and part-time oenophile, E. Hobart Calhoun, invited me to join him on the front row for a live presentation of the House Democracks’ hot new game show, What’s My Lyin’?

E. had just been named as the 78th member of President Big D’s impeachment defense team. As low man on Big D’s lawyer totem pole, E. had been dispatched to monitor the hit show, where panelists try to guess the contestant’s occupation.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Happiness Amnesia


Why do we daily forget what makes us happy - and unhappy?Sometimes I like to imagine a little bell going off in my ear when I’m about to do something I sense will make me less happy. In my mind, the bell doesn’t generally ring before momentous decisions such as weighing whether to quit a job or drop out of college: those decisions are usually accompanied by an extensive weighing of the pros and cons. Instead, this little bell I imagine goes off whenever we have to make one of the countless sundry decisions of life, particularly when our eyes or tastebuds are preoccupied with getting what they want: A Cuervo golden margarita the size of my head? Bell rings. A cool-looking pair of overpriced sneakers I don’t need and can’t afford? Bell rings. A meaningless, soon-to-be-forgotten, one-off affair with a beautiful woman trying to seduce me thousands of miles from home?

In other words, the bell would ring more often than you expect – and perhaps more often. 


This week on The Big Show®, we converse about the Kurds, talk about the limits of woke corporatism with David French, and get the low down on Kim Strassel’s new book Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America (buy it!). Also, Ricochet member @doctorrobert wins this week’s coveted Lileks Post of The Week for his two (!) posts Why We Need People Who Have ‘Too Much Money’ and Memories of the Cleveland Orchestra, 10/4/19. Well done, Doc! Finally, can Ellen Degeneres and George W. Bush be friends? Some folks insist that they cannot. Weird. Hey, speaking of friends, don’t forget to weigh in on this week’s Long Poll as it asks a similar question.

Music from this week’s show: Why Can’t We Be Friends? by War


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Can You Live Without Your Smart Phone? Would You Want To?


This stems from a PIT thought. How much do you really need your smart phone? How much has it supplanted other devices, activities, or things in your life? Would you be willing to give it up, either mostly or entirely? Do you want to give it up? What is it that you use it for?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Greta Snubbed by Nobel Peace Committee


The Nobel Committee pored through 301 peace prize nominees and came up with a winner: Not Greta Thunberg. Media scribblers were outraged by the Oslo peaceniks, notably Newsweek with the story, “Greta Thunberg snubbed for Nobel Peace Prize by committee run by Norway, one of the world’s biggest oil and natural gas exporters.”

The Nobel Committee has surprised oddsmakers by not picking 16-year-old Greta Thunberg to win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Wrestling with Political News Burn-out


There are worse things in the world than suffering from following the political news; I’m well aware of that. But it makes sense now and then to see where I measure on the news emotional spectrum, and at the moment I’m getting close to bottoming out.

It’s worthwhile to clarify for myself just what “burn-out” is since the term isn’t always understood. In my case, I define it not so much as getting far too much information from too many sources (although that’s part of it); it’s more about realizing how helpless I am to influence the entire scene: government and its ineptness, politicians who aren’t interested in governing, citizens who know very little about what is going on, and the media that is primarily representing the Left and distorts nearly everything it reports. And for the most part, there is nothing I can do. But here are a few things I’m going to try:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Brevity is the soul of terror…


“What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?”
“I won’t tell you that, but I’ll tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me… the most dreadful thing…”

Thus begins Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. I don’t remember a thing about the rest of the book, but the opening line reeled me in and has stayed in my brain all these long years. Reading it over as I write this, I still get chills. Turns out, you really don’t need very many words to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and send shivers down your spine. In the spirit of the Halloween season and so as not to tax your attention spans, I submit, for your consideration, some pithy portents from this collection of two line horror stories:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ESPN and ‘The Map’


The other morning, ESPN was reporting on the Chinese/NBA flap and used a map that shows nine dotted lines that encompass Taiwan and other territorial claims of the Communist Chinese that no other nation recognizes.


Yep, it another run through the cultural landscape with your podcast pals Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and John Podhoretz. This week, the guys jog through a preview of The Dispatch, Jonah’s new media venture, sprint through some thoughts on The Joker (a movie the guy at Rob’s UPS store insists that he sees ASAP), and examine the various controversies it has spawned, and finally, a fast walk through why it’s just fine for Ellen Degeneres and George W. Bush to be friends.



Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I Was Wrong About Ukraine


I have been really wrong about the Ukraine thing in several respects.

(1) I assumed that Giuliani and Trump were just making a seat of the pants request to the Ukrainians to look at Biden and I found that irritatingly stupid but not unlawful. Turns out that Giuliani had compiled a fairly detailed record of evidence of malfeasance and coverup and that the Ukrainians were already looking into it. Characterizing the call as some kind of spontaneous browbeating to start up an inquiry was spectacularly dishonest.


This week on the United Kingdom’s Most Trusted Podcast®, James recounts his experiences with the Extinction Rebellion, Toby covers the dangers of being honest in reviewing theatrical performances, and the latest on the Brexit deadline (21 days from recording and counting).

Plus your weekly dose of entertainment suggestions, dominated this week by mostly what to avoid.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Happy Henry Mühlenberg Day!


“JULY 4 [1776]. Today the Continental Congress openly declared the united provinces of North America to be free and independent states. This has caused some thoughtful and far-seeing melancholici to be down in the mouth; on the other hand, it has caused some sanguine and short-sighted persons to exult and shout with joy. It will appear in the end who has played the right tune. This remains as a comfort to believers: There is One who sits at the rudder, who has the plan of the whole before him, to whom all power in heaven and one earth is given, and who has never yet made a mistake in his government. He it is who neither sleeps nor slumbers and who has asked his people to pray, ‘Hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.'”
Diary of a Colonial Clergyman, by Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg

Though you may not know the name, Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg is kind of a big deal among Lutherans. Born in Einbeck in Hanover in 1711, Mühlenberg was destined to become the patriarch of Lutheranism in North America. After studying at the University of Göttingen, he was ordained into the ministry in 1739, and accepted a call overseas to the German-speaking Lutherans in Pennsylvania in 1742.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why I Don’t Care About Transgenderism


We’re told a lot of things today: that we should be woke, we should check our various privileges, women are all oppressed, etc. I don’t subscribe to any of them; I’m one of those people who says, oh YEAH? when I’m told I need to be or think a certain way, but the one I find most annoying is transgenderism.

I am a woman who believes firmly that there is a distinct biological difference between men and women, and that difference is rooted more firmly in the body than in the mind. The female physical experience is very different from that of the male experience. We bleed every month. We experience that unusual stress, positive or negative, that is the potentiality of pregnancy. We carry another human being within ourselves, and are both blessed and burdened with a special emotional bond as a result. We are physically weaker, in general; and even when individual men are weaker than we are, we know the vast majority are stronger. And yes, we do think differently, perhaps a hardwired difference or perhaps a difference created by those early uniquenesses. I make no judgment here because its origin is unimportant; only its existence is.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. What About the Kurds?


So Turkey is bombing the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds in northern Iraq are (were?) very friendly to the U.S. Of course most of our allies fight for their own reasons and values and not as a favor to us. Same with the Syrian Kurds. Still, this looks like another case of our having a “that was then, this is now” attitude toward those we ‘befriend” in tough times. Memories of the fall of Saigon recur.

It is not our job to police the world or right every wrong. But what sort of deal have we made with Turkey and why? What is worth risking our credibility with those we will want to enlist for aid in the future?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is Free Speech Compatible with Free Trade in China?


American populists already blame free trade for costing their country jobs and industrial might. Now they blame it for curtailing freedom of speech. The argument: If the US and Chinese economies weren’t so intertwined, then China couldn’t “export” its authoritarian values by using its huge market power to strong–arm American companies.

Populists correctly note that the NBA’s rebuke of a Houston Rockets official’s pro-Hong Kong democracy tweet is hardly the first instance of Beijing trying to use its financial influence on foreign companies to shape global opinion — especially regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan, and its Uighur reeducation camps. As one China expert told The Washington Post, the Chinese communists don’t tolerate dissent on these issues inside China, “and increasingly they are not tolerating dissent on these issues outside China.”