Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Brexit Happens!


Today the Queen gave her royal assent to the final Brexit bill. In one week’s time, the UK is out! They say it couldn’t be done, but they did it! The closest video I could find to express my mood was this scene from MASH:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Adam Schiff and Missing Mental States


I am still confused by Rep. Schiff’s repeated claim that Trump must be impeached for attempting to interfere in the 2020 election. I know that Jen Rubin, Bill Kristol, and the wider NeverTrump universe are in near-orgasmic agreement with whatever Schiff says in his anointed role as Trump-Slayer-in-Chief (a title formerly held by Robert Mueller) but I find the logic of this particular charge convoluted. I don’t get it.

Let’s assume that the leadership of Ukraine capitulated to the pressure they did not know was being applied and began the investigations that Trump had requested (which have not yet begun and for which inaction there was never a consequence as would be expected in a quid pro quo— but never mind that now). [Note: See Comment #4 from @kozak below Turns out they were already investigating prior to the Trump request.]


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Super Trump: Brought to You by Democrats!


Before he was elected, Donald Trump was never an ideological conservative or even a reliable Republican. But his instinctively thin-skinned nature led him to become a conservative. The Democrats attacked him, probably the single biggest error in the history of the party back to at least the 1960s.

Why is Trump speaking at the March of Life? Impeachment. Democrats pushed him there! And there are countless similar examples (from anti-regulation to policy on Israel to all the fantastic justices).


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Reason Enough to Re-elect Donald J. Trump


The most pro-life POTUS since Roe, President Donald Trump, will attend the March for Life in person Friday. God bless you President Trump for your witness to life.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump Gives an American Speech


On January 21, 2020, one could easily be flooded with pointless, repetitive, and dishonest speech-making if they allowed themselves to be held captive by the pointless, repetitive, and dishonest media coverage of a political party’s effort to rewrite the text and intent of the Constitution. But there was a speech given that day worth noting … and taking to heart.

To know of it, one had to shift their attention from the floor of the Senate to a snow-clad ski resort in Switzerland. The gathering was of internationals “elites” and entitled the World Economic Forum. One of its stated objectives is to “improve the state of the world.” They were told exactly how to do it.


Calling all political junkies, number crunchers, and poll watchers: this new podcast is for YOU. Washington Post political columnist and Ethics and Public Policy senior fellow Henry Olsen discusses the likely political impact of impeachment with the American Enterprise Institute’s Karlyn Bowman, what it’s like to cover President Trump every day with the White House Correspondent for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Debra J. Saunders, and does a deep dive into demographic and political trends in 2020’s most important state, Wisconsin, with Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel political report and analyst Craig Gilbert. All that plus a review of the race for House control and what makes the Ad of the Week tick on the Horse Race with Henry Olsen.



Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Monty Python Minus Two


Terry Jones, a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe has passed away. He co-wrote and co-directed Monty Python & The Holy Grail, The Life of Brian (no relation), and Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, as well as a few episodes of George Lucas’ Young Indiana Jones and other shows and documentaries. Those familiar with the Pythons irreverent humor are aware that nothing seemed out of bounds to poke fun of and make ridiculous – from terrorism, transgenderism, politicians, know-it-all dinosaur experts, housewives, the knights of the Round Table, the Catholic Church, Americans, Australians, the French, the proper usage and grammar of Latin, to excessive dining. Mr. Jones is now the second Python to have passed away following Graham Chapman’s passing. I suddenly feel very old.

As I noted on another post:


On October 4, 2019, the Gray Center co-hosted “The Administration of Democracy⏤The George Mason Law Review’s Second Annual Symposium on Administrative Law.” For the second annual symposium, scholars wrote papers on such fundamental questions as: Is nonpartisan campaign-finance regulation possible? Who should draw electoral maps—and how? How can we best protect voting rights? How should the census be administered? How do we preserve the regulatory process’s democratic legitimacy? And, are members of Congress entitled to see the President’s tax returns? These papers are forthcoming in the George Mason Law Review. In addition, the event featured a Keynote Conversation with two former public servants with deep expertise in both governance and campaigns: Robert Bauer, former White House Counsel to President Obama, and Donald McGahn, former White House Counsel to President Trump.

The third panel looked at the administration of the census, centering on a paper titled, “Motive and Opportunity: Courts’ Intrusions into Discretionary Decisions of Other Branches—A Comment on Department of Commerce v. New York” by Ron Cass, President of Cass & Associates, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gray Center. The panel was moderated by Conor Woodfin, Editor-In-Chief of the George Mason Law Review, and introduced by the Gray Center’s Executive Director, Adam White. The video is available at


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Discontented Alphabet in Winter


History and the English Alphabet

When George Washington was a lad, he learned his alphabet, all twenty-seven letters. Back in the Eighteenth Century, the English alphabet still had twenty-seven letters. The alphabet didn’t end with Z, but with &. When reciting the alphabet, they would use a Latin phrase at the end, “Y, Z, and, per se, And.” According to some sources, this is how we got the word “Ampersand” was through millions of young kids running together “and, per se, And” while reciting their alphabet as fast as possible to get it over with.

When English was first written, though, it had twenty-four letters, not including several we know today, such as J or V or W. Because English was not Latin, when the English language was transliterated to the Latin alphabet, there were several sounds not represented, and as such, those founders of written English as we know it modified letters to represent sounds or they borrowed from the former alphabet that had represented English, the Futhorc system of runes. Thus English had letters that other languages did not. That caused problems several hundred years later. When the idea of movable-type printing first flowered in Europe, most of the printing was done in what we now call Germany by German people. English manuscripts would be sent off to Germany to be printed, and the German printers would have this sort of conversation:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Are Progressives So Darned Angry?


In terms of seriousness, I realize that this question ranks right up there with “Why is There Air?” (which was a pretty funny comedy album from back in the 60s). There have been hundreds of books and articles which have examined the “roots of progressive rage.” At times I believe that we have seen so much progressive fury that we have almost become inured to it. Like most people, I usually adhere to the philosophy of “fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and progressives gotta rant.” However, during the holiday season, I ran across two instances that caused me to re-examine my own thinking about our current social and political environment.

The first instance was brought about by the arrival of my Sports Illustrated which featured its “Sportsperson of the Year”, Megan Rapinoe. Since I don’t follow either men’s or women’s soccer, I took SI’s word at face value that she is a star in her field. However, I thought the cover photo of her was a bit odd; she was immaculately dressed but held in her hands a heavy sledgehammer. I suppose this was meant to hold some sort of symbolism but the somewhat hostile half-smirk on her face did cause me to wonder if, just out of camera range, there was a box of kittens or maybe even a harp seal. One could also imagine that hanging over Ms. Rapinoe’s bed, there was an autographed photo of Aileen Wuornos. I read later that Ms. Rapinoe, at the awards ceremony, showed her appreciation for this prestigious award by lambasting her hosts for not awarding other women in the past.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: We Must Persevere


“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” — Marie Curie

Sometimes life beats us down: we have too many demands on our lives; disappointments abound; we feel isolated and lonely. Curie tells us to get over our complaints and our temptation to make excuses. And she certainly practiced what she preached: she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics, and the first person to win it twice. She had a loving personal and professional partnership with her husband, who was also a physicist. She had periods where life could have knocked her down, but she picked herself up and continued on. One great tragedy was losing her husband:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Say, Kids! What Time Is It?


If you said, “Howdy Doody Time!” you’re both wrong and old. Because the answer is “Question Time!”

Yes, it’s that time again when we open up the floor to the membership (you are a member, right?) and allow you to take charge, drive the bus, call the shots and generally grill our congenial hosts.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. November 2020: The People Must Repudiate the Deep State


Assuming President Trump survives impeachment his 2020 campaign must focus on a win being a repudiation of the Deep State. If he succeeds in doing so and the win is sufficiently large in the Electoral College, he might, just might, start putting out the fire in this country.

Are we on fire? Yes. It’s like a peat fire burning underground with periodic eruptions above ground that you have to scramble to contain. It is a drain on time and energy that could be more productively put to other uses. And if you don’t attack the eruptions, the whole land will become charred and burned.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Secrets and Scrutiny


“That secret affected my whole adult life.” — Mimi Alford, author of Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath on “The View,” February 2012

“As a person navigating the waters of public scrutiny, you are often unable to hold on to personal heroes or villains. Inevitably you will meet your hero, and he may turn out to be less than impressive, while your villain turns out to be the coolest cat you’ve ever met. You never can tell, so you eventually learn to live without a rooting interest in the parade of stars, musicians, sports champions, and politicians. And you lose the ability to participate in the real American pastime: beating up on people you don’t like and glorifying people you do.” — Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography, April 2011


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sanctity of Life: A March and a Proclamation


Every January since 1974, tens of thousands have come together in Washington, DC, for the March for Life. This year, the march will be held on Friday, January 24. It will be reliably unreported and unreliably reported upon, as it always has been.

Some years, the president is hostile and sometimes sympathetic, on the surface, for electoral reasons at least. Since 2017, President Trump has been clearly sympathetic for both the transactional reason of electoral support and as a matter of personal conviction that seems to map fairly closely with where the American center has come: a revulsion with ghoulish late-term procedures. We first saw that in his fiery answer in the final 2016 presidential debate (at 17:46).


Traditional Jewish communities are countercultural in a great many ways. But in our age of expressive individualism, one of the characteristics that most sets observant Jews apart is their rich communal life. From crowded Shabbat tables to volunteer ambulance and community watch groups to the close-knit communities that form around synagogues and day schools, the life of a committed Jew is usually embedded within a thick network of formative institutions.

Of course, American Jewish life is far from perfect, and Jewish communities must contend with the same forces of radical individualism that have done damage to a wide array of American institutions, from government and the media to schools and civic organizations. This breakdown of public life lies at the heart of what ails contemporary America, argues the political thinker Yuval Levin in his new book, A Time to Build, which not only examines the failures of these institutions but also how we might work to rebuild them.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. When Recording this Audiobook, I Just Couldn’t Stop


Ricochet folks have been very kind expressing an interest in my audiobook narrations, and I wanted to show my appreciation (I’m not denying the self-promotion but I’m trying to keep it low key). Besides, the project I’m talking about is special. When it’s released it’ll be my 48th audiobook, and none of them have captured me the way this one has.

Usually, I record a chapter a day after getting home from the day job. This time, I did three or four. I couldn’t stop. When I heard my voice getting gritty I would quit and do a retake the next day. It generally takes about a month for me to record a book. I had this one edited and mastered in 10 days.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Illinois Watchdogs Bark Up the Right Tree of Social Justice and Reform


I hail from a family that lived on the south side of Chicago proper in the 1950s; a time when that area was known for its lush city parks, friendly communities, and a general aura of prosperity.

But it was also a city community in which “da mayor” ruled over everything with an iron hand. That man was Richard Daley, Sr., who back in the Nineteen Teens and Twenties, had attended the same city schools as my father. It was not unusual for the phone to ring on a Saturday afternoon and one of Daley’s lieutenants ask to speak with my dad.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Is the Standard for Removal when No Crime Is Alleged?


The Democrats have seemingly abandoned the position that President Trump did a criminal act — an act defined in statutory or common law as a crime. Instead, their constitutional scholars are saying that a consensus of scholars agree that a crime need not be committed for impeachment and removed.

Prof. Alan Dershowitz is going to argue against that position on the theory that once you have no restriction to statutory and common law crimes, it is a violation of due process. Due process requires that you be on notice of a prohibited act, which is impossible if no crime is involved, and thus it makes policy disagreements into impeachable offenses — something that the Founders specifically determined not to do.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Focusing on the Personal


Last year, my church introduced a new at-home study program called “Come, Follow Me.” It included weekly reading assignments for studying the New Testament, including suggestions for how to adapt those assignments for different family situations. Probably a lot of you have followed similar programs on your own or with your families.

When I started the program, I decided to do something a little different. I made a goal to write at least one poem inspired by the reading assignment each week. The goal wasn’t necessarily to try to interpret the scriptures, but to deepen the spiritual and emotional experience I had during my study.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It Started with World Peace


I’ve decided to start writing in hopes to take a journey of understanding to delve into why progressives hate conservatives and, evidently, the idea of America. I don’t have all the answers yet, but I hope some on this site with take the journey with me.

When I was a kid in the ‘80s, I often heard the prayer, the hope, and the goal of “World Peace” repeated. I believe that most, if not all of the progressive efforts of the last century and a quarter are aimed at achieving this goal. If we can understand the underlying reasons for this, we can better understand what progressives hope to accomplish and why they hate us.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘9-1-1 Lone Star,’ Give Me a Break. Please.


This is RightAngles, TV Reporter, here to save you some time. Do not bother to watch the new Fox show 9-1-1 Lone Star unless you want to end up throwing things at your TV. I admit I may have been predisposed to disliking this show because in the trailer they flew the Texas flag upside-down, but I think my initial gut reaction proved to be correct. So without further ado, here is my reaction to this over-the-top mishmash of SJW causes.

My first clue was when with the opening credits barely finished, we learn that New York Fire Capt. Rob Lowe’s son, also a fireman, is gay. I mean they just could not wait to stick that in there. Lowe is sent to Austin to repopulate a firehouse where everyone died in an explosion, and they tell him diversity is paramount (what?). As a result, we see him interviewing a paramedic in a hijab (he hires her even though she has 11 reprimands on her record), a black trans person (a twofer!), a basic Brown Guy who has failed the written exam four times (he hires him too), gay men, etc., etc. I mean is this the Fire Department or the SJW Cavalcade?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Film Review: 1917


Back in the late 1940s and throughout the 50s, as the motion picture studios sought to fight off the advancement of the one-eyed monster called “television,” film studios experimented with gimmicks to lure their once faithful audiences out of their living rooms and back into the theaters. It saw the introductions of wide screens, curved screens, 3-D glasses, even a run at “Smell-O-Rama.” One of those early attempts to redefine the motion picture experience was Rope, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1949 attempt to replicate a “real-time” experience by shooting a single-set story in long uncut takes, the longest of which pushed it to the limits of a 10-minute film magazine (10:06).

We seem to be back in that era. Sam Mendes’ latest picture, 1917, harkens back to Hitchcock and creates a movie with a single two-hour tracking shot. Like Hitchcock, Mendes and his editor use blackouts and other distractions like a plunge underwater to hide the seams. At first, you might think it’s rather a nifty technique and it does work very well during the action sequences. But the rest of the time it becomes an annoyance, but maybe it’s me. Having directed my share of television over the course of my career and watched others much more talented than I do it even better, I believe the best direction is almost transparent and should always enhance the story and never do anything that ends up saying, “Look at what I can do!” That’s also the danger of CGI.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Redistributing Whiteness in Maryland


Is whiteness a commodity that can be allocated like money or social services? Maryland’s wealthiest suburban counties are embarked on race-based school policies that will not end well. Busing is back in a big way in suburban Maryland.

In the 1960s, my father worked on desegregation plans in Tennessee and Mississippi as a civil rights attorney with the USDOJ Civil Rights Division. He said there was an implicit understanding among those who worked on these plans about a psychological “critical mass” in white communities. That meant that when a formerly all-white school reached or exceeded a certain percentage (“critical mass”) of black students, “white flight” would ensue and the schools would rapidly re-segregate. As a matter of law, these plans had to be implemented no matter what because the segregation was de jure and there was no way to simultaneously mandate entire communities to exchange residences to achieve residential integration so the schools were always a principal focus. So “white flight” was widespread.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Destiny of the Republic’ by Candice Millard


On July 2, 1881, James A. Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau in the Baltimore and Potomac Railway Station in Washington, D.C. Unlike the bullet wounds suffered by Abraham Lincoln, a mere 16 years earlier, these wounds were not fatal. The first shot passed through Garfield’s right arm before embedding itself harmlessly in the wall. The second shot entered his back four inches from his spinal column, traveled downward ten inches, then came to rest behind his pancreas. What became immediately apparent upon his autopsy was that Garfield’s death, two months later on September 19, was the direct result of the medical care he received.

The first half of the book is a twin biography of Garfield and Guiteau. The assassination takes place at roughly the midway point in the narrative. Born into abject poverty in Ohio in 1831, Garfield’s father died when he was only two years old. His mother and older brother recognized his intelligence and aptitude as a student and made provisions for him to continue his education, rather than go to work when he came of age. During his first year of college, Garfield made money as a janitor and working with a local carpenter. In his second year of college, he was named an associate professor and taught six classes in addition to his own studies. At just 26, he was named president of the university. What followed was a rise to Civil War general, congressman, and state senator before finally being named the Republican Party’s compromise candidate on the 36th ballot at the 1880 convention.