Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Oscar Goes to Church


(I write a blog featuring how churches and clergy are presented in movies called “Movie Churches.” The following is this week’s post. And it just so happens that the movie with the best church will probably get Best Picture on Sunday.)

The Academy Awards are this Sunday. I’ve seen all the nominees for the 2020 Best Picture Oscar and must say there is very little church or clergy in any of the films. This is quite thoughtless of the Academy to give so little thought to the needs of this site. If a film like Just Mercy or A Hidden Life had been nominated I’d have a little more to work with, but no…


A debacle in Iowa, a triumphant State of The Union speech, a rip-off, a socialist, a small town mayor with a big win — you name it, we discuss it on this week’s edition of The Big Show, aka The Ricochet Podcast. To help us sort through it all, we’ve got the great Deb Saunders, White House correspondent for the Las Vegas Review Journal, and Mr. New Hampshire himself, Michael Graham (listeners, please send him some decaf– he needs it). Also, come on down, Ricochet member @nohaaj! You’ve got the highly coveted, much sought after Lileks Post of The Week. Finally, a White House speechwriter reviews the SOTU speech, another Long Poll Question®, and we close with another edition of What Are You Watching? What are you watching? Let us know in the comments.

Music from this week’s show: My Generation by The Zimmers


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. About a Dog


There is a story about a dog in the Everett, WA, animal shelter. It describes the dog as a “gentle giant.” It is a Mastiff/Akita mix, weighing 150 pounds. Giant, indeed. This is the description of this dog from the KOMO Web site:

This Mastiff and Akita mix is a very happy 6-year-old gentle giant in need of an owner who has experience with large, strong breeds. He is smart, knows a few basic commands and is always willing to offer a paw. The home must be cat and dog free, the shelter advises. Bo also requires a securely fenced yard and is not suited for apartment living. Children in the home should be dog savvy and at least 12 years old.


Brandon Pailin, a former contributor of AllHipHop, discusses the political movements of hip hop music, how the political and social consciousness of hip hop progressed through the years, and how prominent artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Eminem have tried to expand their influence in the political domain.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Counting the Cards in Nevada


President Trump is putting Nevada in play for the 2020 election. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project has always been a political hot potato and a hole in the ground into which Congress pours money. Senator Dean Heller, like Senator Reid before him, is opposed to the Yucca Mountain project, and there are likely not the votes to force the issue. Now the story in important Las Vegas news outlets is President Trump is on Nevada’s side.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Post of the Week Created with Sketch. My Mother Is the Silent Majority


The silent majority is pretty quiet. Go figure. The masses beaten about the brow, continuously, that they are racist, misogynist, not compassionate, bigots, xxx-phobes… The silent majority is told they are simply wrong, actually simple, ignorant, and unenlightened. We are deplorable, bible thumping, gun toting rubes. That is how the world perceives and loudly proclaims us. Of course we prefer to be silent. My Mom, G-d Bless her. She is 91 years old living in Buffalo, Holy Cow, it gets a lot of snow, NY. She is one of the silent ones for sure, but doesn’t feel like the majority people. She is not normally, nor historically, a fearful women.

She has traveled the world, taught English in Japan, was robbed while a bank teller, and testified against him despite threats that she would be killed, worked as an RN in a psych ward. She was an international tour guide and travel agent. and that is only 20% of her amazing journey. Yet she is scared to admit she supports Donald Trump. Her lifelong friends Hate (with a capital “H”) the president. In their perception he is an XXXist. and if you support him you also must be an XXXist. (there are to many xxxists to list, but be sure, that if you support Donald Trump, you are many of them! )


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 74% of American Adults Expect to Be Better Off Next Year


Trump must be doing something right.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Pelosi’s Behavior Already Paying Dividends


The tears-heard-round-the-world (it also works as “tears-heard-round-the-world” … pesky homonyms!) Where was I? In Republican circles, Nancy Pelosi is already Public Enemy #1; she’s always been chum for Republican-waters (I meant “chum” as in “shark-bait” not “chum” as in “pals”… pesky homonyms!) Her antics will be the gift that keeps on giving. Pelosi’s behavior at the SOTU will be seen in a great many ads from the GOP. (Pesky acronyms!)

Speaking of commercials, check out this gem from conservative talk-radio host Kevin Jackson: Click here to view.


Jay sat down with Nina Khrushcheva in her office. She is a professor of international affairs at New School University, in New York. Their conversation is expansive and wide-ranging – touching on Russia, Putin, America, books, William F. Buckley Jr., and a lot more. The “lot more” includes the question, What’s it like to be Khrushchev’s granddaughter? Especially back home in Russia? The conversation is split into two parts. The second will follow shortly.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Vice President Pence Is Right


Reviewing Vice President Pence’s brief remarks at the 2020 National Prayer Breakfast, I was caught up short by the phrase he always uses. It was a phrase I heard him use in a large non-denominational church in Mesa, AZ, when he was the VP candidate in 2016. It was fitting then but, oh, how much more fitting today.

Here it is in the context of remarks by Vice President Pence at the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, emphasis added:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Winner Finally Declared in Iowa … Kinda


Four days after caucus results were due, the Iowa Democratic Party finally completed their initial vote count. According to these numbers, Mayor Pete Buttigieg eked out a win over Sen. Bernie Sanders, even though both candidates claimed the victory days ago. The margin was less than one-tenth of one percent.

Here’s the final tally of State Delegate Equivalents (SDE):


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Make Architecture Great Again


The brutalist J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, DC, built in the 1960s.
Donald Trump is finally courting my vote. His administration has leaked a draft executive order concerning the design of federal buildings. The Washington Examiner reports:

The Trump administration may be crafting an executive order that would require all new federal buildings to be designed with a classical appearance. The Architectural Record claims to have obtained a copy of the order, ‘Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.’ According to the report, the order makes reference to the architectural taste of the Founding Fathers, who styled buildings from ‘democratic Athens’ and ‘republican Rome.’ The order critiques modern architecture under the General Service Administration’s ‘Design Excellence Program’ for failing to integrate ‘national values into federal buildings.’ It claims the quality of architecture produced in the modern era is ‘influenced by Brutalism and Deconstructivism.’


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Another World


My wife and I spent yesterday afternoon at the Willamette National Cemetery. We were there for the interment of her stepmother. She was going be interred next to Karen’s dad. Karen’s dad began WWII as a sailor in the Merchant Marine and, before the war ended, was a sailor in the US Navy. While waiting to be escorted to one of the shelters for the memorial service, Marines arrived for another service. So we missed the endless parade of pundits for the Senate verdict on President Trump’s impeachment.

Karen’s dad was a farm boy from North Dakota and joined the Merchant Marine to escape the farm, and a chance to see the world that existed beyond the Dakota plains. He saw a bit more of that world than he bargained for. On his first voyage, his ship was sunk by a German U-boat. He and some of his shipmates found themselves in a lifeboat and watched as the U-boat surfaced. They thought that the Germans were going to finish the job they started. The sailors on the U-boat gave them some food, and then gave them directions on the course they needed to follow to get back to the US coast.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: The Queen of Advice


The most important piece of advice I can give you: don’t take my advice. It’s not that I give bad advice — at least most of the time. But I’ve spent the last 40 years trying not to give advice. Giving advice can be an obsession, and I’m trying to cure myself of it. Let me tell you why.

For most of my life, I thought everyone was entitled to my advice, whether they wanted it or not. So I felt free to offer advice for any number of reasons:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Envy and Entitlement: The Immorality of Socialism


“I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders,” demands Elizabeth Warren during an interview with CNBC.

“This extraordinary, unprecedented concentration of wealth and power and privilege must be broken apart,” says the former Texas congressman, Beto O’Rourke, to a cheering audience at his first presidential rally, “and opportunity must be shared with all.”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Abigail Writes Thomas


On May 20, 1804, Abigail Adams wrote an old friend, Thomas Jefferson, expressing her condolences on the recent death of his daughter, Mary, who had died at Monticello on April 17 at the age of 25. John Adams and Jefferson first met in 1775 at the Continental Congress, quickly becoming friends despite very different temperaments and backgrounds. Jefferson met Abigail in 1784, when Congress sent him to Paris to join Adams in representing the new country in Europe. They became close, with Abigail becoming very attached to young Mary Jefferson, serving as her surrogate mother (Jefferson’s wife, Martha, died in 1782).

During the Adams presidency (1797-1801), a rift (more like a chasm) had grown between him and Jefferson, his Vice-President, over policy towards France and England and the Alien and Sedition Acts, while Jefferson secretly funded a newspaper which printed harsh personal attacks on Adams. Anyone who thinks today’s politics are uniquely rough should take a look at the vicious nature of 1790s politics. There was very little direct communication between the two during those years and none after Jefferson became President in March 1801 and an embittered John and Abigail returned to Braintree, MA.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Did Trump Park in the Wrong Spot?


I was doing work in a government building once and I parked my vehicle, and it created a huge fuss. The reaction was ridiculous, it was a personal affront. It wasn’t that someone had to walk a couple feet further, I had devalued them as a person.

It was rather enlightening, and amusing if I’m honest. This person had worked for years diligently and carefully, moving up the ladder, getting better pay and finally, recognition by getting a choice parking spot. In Canada, this is a taxable benefit. It was a measure of importance and stature. I had insulted them, devalued them. It was indeed personal.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Legacy GOP Exposed


Let’s take a look at the Republican Party’s last two nominees before Trump in 2016.

John McCain famously reneged on two signature issues the traditional base voters wanted, immigration reform “build the damn fence!”, McCain exclaimed when running for re-election to his Senate seat, and the repeal of Obamacare.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Irrelevance: Mitt Romney and NeverTrump


Mitt Romney has been able to make himself feel relevant again, for a fleeting moment, to the class that really matters to him. The major media network NBC, its baby sister known as MSNBC, as well as CNN have all declared him a “profile in courage”. All those who hate the existence of Donald Trump, because he has proven to actually be relevant, are allowing Romney another five minutes or so of self-delusion before he will again fade back into their midst. When tested his conservatism wasn’t that severe after all.

We all want to feel relevant to those that matter most to us. Sometimes the key to our inner peace is the honest definition of what they are. And yes, they can change depending on our rate of maturity or insight.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Week’s Book Review – Frozen Orbit


I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Question Time: The Roth Effect Edition

What questions do you have for me? I am going to be answering some of your questions on The Roth Effect. Ask anything you want about business, capitalism, politics, finance, dating, pop culture, hair or whatever you want to know and I will answer as many as I can!

The comments are open!