Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Your Papers, M’sieur”


We got the following e-mail from British friends who live in France, very near St. Emilion. Requirements there are much more draconian than we have been subjected to in the US.

We have to have paper attestations filled out: name, address, date of birth, and only one of five allowed reasons to travel can be selected, one person in the car, and then the form is signed and dated. Six days ago, that was revamped to be signed by the date and the time stated, as outings can be for no longer than one hour. Just to be clear, when Steve cycles to the village early for the bread he must have this with him. We have moved to the app that the police can scan, but again it needs to be altered to reflect the time, etc., each time you go out.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Life After COVID-19


One thing that we can be certain about is that the world has changed. What will the political landscape look like after the crisis has passed?

A lot of it will, of course, depend on a few factors, not the least of which is the shape of the economy. And the wildcard will be Trump’s ability to stay on message. But if I were advising POTUS these are the arguments that I would certainly be making:

Charlotte Pence Bond interviews her dad Vice President Mike Pence, explains what the coronavirus is, and answers questions from kids!

David C. Lowery founded the legendary bands Camper van Beethoven and Cracker. He’s also a mathematician, writer, producer, professor, entrepreneur, and a member of (Please join!) Jon and David talk about his music, the industry in the age of COVID-19, and how streaming services affect the bottom line.

The intro song is “Take the Skinheads Bowling” by Camper van Beethoven and the outro (and David’s pick) is “What a Fool Believes” by EURINGER. Jon’s song of the week is “Alice Hyatt” by Damien Jurado. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 85: COVID-19 The Natives Are Getting Restless


In the screengrab above is both the IHME prediction for yesterday — one day since peak deaths/day in US and a prediction of 2,150 deaths — and the Worldometers report from yesterday. 1,535 deaths actually reported yesterday, ~70% of the prediction and another day in which real experience is performing better than predicted. And so it is not surprising that even as deaths decline and economic carnage mounts, the natives are getting restless.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Uncommon Knowledge — Kicking And Screaming: WSJ’s Kim Strassel On The Media Vs. Trump



Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What a Mess


CDC has recommended to doctors across the country that any “non-emergency” health care is to be postponed. There are a lot of problems with this, of course, not the least of which is defining “non-emergency” in my line of work. Treating somebody’s blood pressure is not an emergency unless she strokes out tomorrow, in which case it apparently was an emergency after all. Oh, well. But anyway, I’m doing a lot of video-call medicine, which is the government’s idea of, um, I’m not sure what. But this is what we’re supposed to be doing. For now. Until they change their minds. Again.

I had an interesting video call with a patient of mine this morning. He’s a retired physician from New York City. Brilliant guy, but he can come across as abrasive and arrogant at times. I think it’s just his New York City mannerisms, coarse language, and his extremely frank approach to conversation which can be off-putting. I think he’s fundamentally a good person and he can be really funny if you can get past his gruff exterior. He’s also a very vocal and frequently hostile Democrat. He hates Republicans. But hey, he’s a wealthy New Yorker. What do you expect? And come to think of it, he hates lots of other people too. So whatever. He’s in his early 80s now and lives in an assisted living facility with his wife. I called him this morning because his recent labs showed some problems with his diabetes. He likes his gin and his ice cream, and glycemic control is a challenge for him. Particularly because he doesn’t listen to a gosh darn word his doctor says. Or his wife. Or anyone else.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Path to Freedom Is Discipline


“Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up. Discipline means that somewhere you’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn’t planned or counted on.” – Henri Nouwen

Discipline, especially in the 20th century, got a bad rap. The word seemed to remind people of rigid, prim people who always wanted to follow the rules, and who had no imagination. It was a way of life that some eschewed because they believed it limited their freedom and enjoyment of life.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Joe Biden’s Constitutionalism


Now that former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, it’s worth taking a closer look at the unsound ideas of progressive constitutionalism that have long been part of his legal thinking. Biden’s current political stances are far to the left of his positions as Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 Presidential election. But even in 1991, as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden took issue with the basic values of classical liberalism as they apply to constitutional law. During the confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, he thrust a copy of my book Takings in front of Thomas, claiming that it was an unprincipled and radical manifesto.

In those years, Biden used his perch on the Senate Judiciary Committee as a bully pulpit to attack conservative nominees, most notably Robert Bork in 1987. Four years later, when Thomas appeared before the judiciary committee, Biden asked him if he accepted any of the principles in Takings, which argued for extensive protections for private property. Thomas responded that the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution—“nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”—did protect private property. He then wisely ducked addressing the book’s central conclusion: “The New Deal is inconsistent with the principles of limited government and with the constitutional provisions designed to achieve that end.” Here I shall offer a summary defense of that conclusion and explain why Biden’s progressive views are constitutionally infirm.

Oren Cass, Founder and Executive Director of the American Compass, joins Reaganism to discuss his organization’s mission to save American conservatism from what he calls its “chronic case of market fundamentalism.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Obama Finally Endorses Biden


Of the many things I don’t miss about Barack Obama, chief among them is his gassy, platitudinous speechification. If asked whether he prefers cats or dogs, Obama would open with ten minutes on the “promise of the vision of hope to inspire Americans of all ages and identities to dream of greater heights, bending the moral arc of justice toward” something or other. Well, Barack is back and boldly endorsing the only Democratic candidate left.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Best Cop, Bad Cop?


I personally love what President Trump is doing, in his daily exposure of the entirely corrupted professional media, which sold itself long ago to the secular left wing of the Democrats. Today’s briefing was one of the best, as he went all multi-media on them, making them look into the mirror as he showed the American public their hackery. At the same time, we got First Lady Melania Trump talking to children, urging them to listen to their parents and reading them a story. So, is this a bad cop, best cop act? What do you think of this team?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “Experts” Need to Stop Gaslighting Us About Possible Lab Origins of COVID


Anyone who has dared mention the possibility that coronavirus was created in a lab in Wuhan has been treated like a tinfoil-hat wearing lunatic. When Senator Tom Cotton broached the possibility, he was labeled a fringe conspiracy theorist by the New York Times and was the subject of similar disdain across the media landscape. Just a few days ago CNN wrote on the subject, unable to hide its contempt for anyone who dared disagree with the “experts.”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: Houston, We’ve Had a Problem


“OK, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Was So Good About Friday?


Lights on HilltopsThe western churches are celebrating the beginning of Easter season, while the Orthodox Church marks the beginning of Holy Week with Palm Sunday, a matter of differing calendars. At the same time, Jews have been marking Passover, which Christians believe to be both a historic event and a prefigurement of the events commemorated in the highest holy days in the Christian faith. While we are constrained by government, for the first time in modern history, from gathering together in fulfillment of religious obligations and in communal affirmation of our faith, congregations are still celebrating the ancient truths, perhaps more than ever, as “virtual” attendance anecdotally exceeds the usual physical attendance. Our current circumstances may make us reflect more closely on the habitual rituals and readings.

Recall that the first Passover found families sheltering in place in their homes. On the instruction of their leaders, each family had selected a lamb, killed it, painting the doorposts and the lintel, the cross-member framing the top of the doorway, with the lamb’s blood. The family was eating the roasted lamb with their traveling clothes on, ready to move out when ordered, after the Angel of Death had passed them by.*

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Flatten the Curve… or So We Were Told


Let’s not lose sight of the original objective. We were told the objective was to flatten the curve so as not to ‘overwhelm’ hospitals. Fine. The objective was never to eradicate the virus. In fact, we wanted to prolong the life of the virus so we could ‘flatten’ the curve.

According to the IHME, the worst is over in NY.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus Update for April 12, 2020


Happy Easter, everyone, and happy Passover for our Jewish friends. Though I’m not quite sure if “happy” is right for Passover, any more than for Good Friday. They are certainly momentous days, demonstrating the mighty power of El Shaddai to deliver His people from bondage, to Pharoah or to sin, and to save us from the Angel of Death. I happen to believe them both, with all my heart.

It’s been almost a week since my last report on Death’s latest weapon. I’ve been monitoring the reports daily, and there have been few changes in the trends, which are favorable in the sense that the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic seems to be over in many places, and close to over in our own country.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Welcome to the Farm, Comrade.


This is an exploration of who we are and what is essential. Pay attention. It’s for your own good.

“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” In just one declarative sentence from his dark fable, Animal Farm, George Orwell lays bare the vile hypocrisy of a Marxist egalitarian utopia and warns that the ideology inevitably subjugates and creates a permanent underclass. Never was Orwell’s warning more exemplified than by the communist regimes of the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and China whose citizens lived or still live in abject poverty and privation and in fear at any moment of being labeled enemies of the people and spirited away to be interrogated, tortured, murdered or sent to re-education/labor camps, gulags, or prisons.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sanitary Theater


For a long time, the procedures we go through with TSA at airports have been described as “Security Theater.” That is, they are less designed to actually be effective, but more to make people feel that something is being done.

I think we are now going through a similar “sanitary theater” now. Lots of blue gloves, but no-one ever changes them. At the local grocery store, an obvious point of contamination was the credit card reader keyboard which was used by everyone. That was “fixed” by putting a thin plastic film over the keyboard. Of course, that film isn’t changed, so it is basically the same issue as before.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 84: COVID-19 Re-Open America; Safely but Soon


Those of you who have been following this series of posts (Day X: COVID-19….) know that I have been following this story since before the virus escaped the confines of China. The “Day X” reference is back to when the first reported case occurred somewhere other than China — signaling the potential for a pandemic. In the series of posts to date, I have marked the progression of the disease and underscored the fundamental lack of information to guide policy makers even as the demands on the health care system and the sudden deaths made some action imperative. The response of politicians was understandable and predictable –indirectly controlling the disease by directly controlling people. That is an evergreen solution for government regardless of the harm they are seeking to avoid.

Toby and James celebrate the resurrection of their old chum Boris Johnson. But there are worries. Will his near-death experience make it harder for him to end the lockdown? And are there any hopes for NHS reform after this?

Then there’s our usual cultural roundup including endorsements of Ozarks, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Thor: Ragnorock. And is it just James or is anyone else creeped out by the age difference between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in the classic film, Charade?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Cup of Joe? We’ll Take a Keg


So, it was the summer of 2008 and I was on vacation with my abundant (read “annoying”) family at a Republican retreat outside Phoenix. When I walked past an open door in my hotel, I got all warm inside thinking I heard my young nephew yelling out “Uncle! Uncle!” Trouble was, when I turned back, it wasn’t my nephew yelling at me, it was actually John McCain on the phone screaming “Uncle! Uncle!” to Barack Obama. Now, sure, it was July in the desert so whether some version of this event really transpired or it was just a dammit-my-brain’s-melting-induced-complete-fantasy I’ll have to leave to my family. A few of them recognized “It may be 120 but it’s a dry 120” as the gold-plated tourist BS it was. They might have seen something before they’d gotten the hell out of Arizona and back to Death Valley or anywhere it was sure to be cooler with their memories more intact.

But looking back, it probably wasn’t a total hallucination as I also recall finding a very real and quite pissed off Mitt Romney sulking around the pool. His “sulking” performances are quite good these days if you’ve missed them; the resentful ones, Oscar-worthy. All because he didn’t get the nomination that year, not really understanding the honor doesn’t automatically go to the guy who has a lifetime of really, really good grooming. Sadly, being the Republican George Hamilton hadn’t been enough for him that year or in 2012 when he could’ve at least beaten Trump (at something) for being the first prez to bring a personal tanning bed into the WH executive bedroom (my God, retrospectively, I bet that kills him).

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Achieving Absolute Power Through Selfish Selflessness


While all of us admire selfless acts of sacrifice, the left takes it a step further: They use the combination of innocence, weakness, and perceived selflessness to achieve absolute power. I suspect that some of those that are used in this manner don’t fully understand the overall game plan of the left at the time. I offer you David Hogg.

Mr. Hogg is a teenager who is famous for his extremely public and strident calls for gun control after a school shooting at his school, Stone Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He struggled academically due to his dyslexia (he learned to read at nine years old) and was known as a quiet kid. Then after all this happens, and he becomes another child celebrity to the left a la Greta Thunberg, he magically is accepted not to Central Florida, but to Harvard! That is amazing. What is more amazing is that he declined their offer. He rejected their offer of a spot in the most prestigious college in the world because, as he put it, “I don’t feel comfortable going to college until we have at least $50 million to fund gun violence research annually.” I’m guessing that’s the first time that Harvard has heard that reasoning in a rejection letter.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Bare Facts


Some years ago, I reached that awkward age at which I had mixed feelings about gray hair. On the one hand it was gray, but on the other, well…, it was hair. I soon learned that America was unfair to those with no hair. Hirsute guys got more respect, better jobs, and prettier women.

So, I decided to do something about it. After some research, I discovered a statistical anomaly: an area of the country in which the percentage of bald men was well above the national average. I moved there, set up a business, and became active in politics. Within a few years, I was elected as the U.S. Congressman for Dome County.