Lives, Fortunes, Sacred Honor


“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

My father spent a year in Korea during the war and, after that, he spent another year in occupied Japan. He lived in a pup tent for nearly his entire two years overseas. The year in Japan, even though he was no longer in combat, he spent traveling the backroads mapping and measuring bridges. So he lived in his pup tent, sleeping most nights beside some country road somewhere.

After spending two years in a pup tent in Asia, he returned to the United States. And he never went camping again.

My dad used to tease my mom when the subject of camping came up.  He would say to us kids, “your mom thinks she’s roughing it if she’s out of Kleenex”. It was good-natured teasing and she understood that he knew a thing or two about really “roughing it”.

Lately I’ve been thinking a bit about the demands of personal deprivation in service to something larger than ourselves.  I think this is something that bears reflection, especially on the heels of Covid, during which many jettisoned principled commitments in favor of self-preservation.  And it was all abandoned for a disease that has >99% survival rate if you’re younger than 70.  We’ve known this about Covid since the spring of 2020.

It’s kind of embarrassing, to be honest. Or, at least, it should be embarrassing. Churches by the droves abandoned baptism and communion, along with any kind of embodied presence, for many months and, in some cases, years. State after state punted on election integrity just so “voters” could avoid the tiniest incremental risk of infection.

Risk aversion seems to have become a bigger pandemic than even Covid itself. You would think that rampant moral contortionism and self-censorship should require an incentive rather more momentous than merely maintaining uninterrupted Twitter access. But, alas.

I’ve been reading the letters exchanged between John and Abigail Adams in the months immediately preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. They make me squirm with embarrassment. They lived in the midst of smallpox and cholera, with risks to life and limb that we can’t even dream of.  They were continuously separated and Abigail, in particular, suffered the travails of war without a husband to lean upon.  Her letter to John informing him of the death of her mother, to whom Abigail was very close, can melt a heart of stone.

They knew a thing or two about deprivation in service to something larger than themselves. And John, especially, intended for his own children to understand the place of liberty among the hierarchy of human goods.

“I believe my children will think I might as well have thought and labored, a little, night and day for their benefit. But I will not bear the reproaches of my children. I will tell them that I studied and labored to procure a free constitution of government for them to solace themselves under, and if they do not prefer this to ample fortune, to ease and elegance, they are not my children, and I care not what becomes of them. They shall live upon thin diet, wear mean clothes, and work hard with cheerful hearts and free spirits or they may be the children of the earth, or of no one, for me. “
— John Adams, April 11, 1776

John spent months separated from his family in order to help found a nation. He subjected himself intentionally to smallpox in an effort to gain immunity and ensure his ability to perform the role he needed to play at the continental congress.

John Adams risked smallpox (fatality rate of 30%) to get us the vote. We won’t risk Covid (fatality rate <1%) to ensure that the vote is honest and real.

When the founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, they were not mouthing platitudinous highfalutin mumbo jumbo. It was a no-kidding life or death undertaking for them.

And now we’re a nation made up of large numbers of people willing utter pronouns known to be false just to stay in the good graces of the likes of Twitter.

Any deprivation at all is just too large to tolerate. It’s kind of embarrassing.

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In recent weeks people on Ricochet have been noticing hopeful signs of new life for the spirit of America, amidst all the bad news about encroaching totalitarianism, suppression of religion, and sexual mutilation and abuse of children by the State. Here is a letter from the Missouri Attorney General to Christopher Wray, FBI Director implicated […]

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Personal Wonderfulness Is Bad for America


To my lefty friends:

You tout your noble “anti-racist” sentiments while endorsing ideological nonsense that has stoked racial divisions and fostered separatism unlike anything seen since the 1950s.  Cities burn, crime is soaring, inner-city education is cratering and race hucksters are buying mansions but your Personal Wonderfulness is out front for all to see.

You keep cheering “green” policies but you don’t do the math.  Huge hits to the American energy supply will reduce future temperatures by an amount so small it can barely be measured even if that reduction were to actually accrue.  Horrible costs, especially to lower-income people around the world for no measurable benefit is an unacceptable price to pay solely to affirm your Deep Concern and, thus also, your Personal Wonderfulness.

You literally made up “The Science” on COVID when the existing science expressly said that lockdowns, closures, and mask mandates would have minuscule effects but would incur significant costs.  The data has continued to affirm the real science for two years. You endorsed harming kids when the science and the nation’s pediatricians told you that kids were not at unusual risk and not to close schools.  But none of that mattered because you were Doing Something About It and showing us your Personal Wonderfulness.

You voted for a fictitious economics in which massive unprecedented government spending would somehow magically not cause unprecedented inflation.  You cheer plans to make the rich “pay their fair share” with measures that you have to know will punish only the middle class and small businesses. But it’s all about “fairness,” “equity,” or whatever other verbiage inflates your Personal Wonderfulness in the moment.

Your Personal Wonderfulness is not conscience nor adherence to substantive principles. You are degenerating onto a living bumper sticker.  Stop asking what your country can do for your Personal Wonderfulness.  Just stop.

And the more you rant about the evils of Donald Trump, keep in mind that even if everything in your rant were true, the consequences of your pursuit of Personal Wonderfulness are forcing sane, normal people to vote for him regardless.  Just stop. Please.

ESG Will Soon Target You


When we first moved to Florida 15 years ago, we established bank accounts with Chase Bank. We had no mortgage or need for loans, so convenience and no-fee checking made it an easy decision. But over time, we found that the customer service wasn’t stellar. We did most of our banking through the mail, online banking, and direct debits and credits, and frankly, we were lazy. So we didn’t seriously consider changing banks.

Until I learned a couple of years ago that Jamie Dimon, CEO, was boasting of his significant donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is well-known for its targeting of conservative groups, often labeled as white supremacists. I ranted about Chase’s donation on Ricochet and called Dimon’s office, where a polite young man told me he’d pass on my criticism to Mr. Dimon.


Meanwhile, we’re still at Chase, except that we found it was impossible recently to talk to a real person by telephone in our local office. We even had our complaint “bumped up” to someone in Detroit, who was also polite. Even she couldn’t reach anyone in our local office by phone (with her special, magical telephone numbers). And we can’t just walk in to talk to a staff member; we need an appointment.

So why does this all matter now?

Because, despite the inconvenience of having to change some of our automatic debits and credits, we want to change banks. Not just because of the poor service, but because now we are concerned that we will soon be tangled up in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements of Chase. Although ESG is not yet being applied to individuals, that change is likely to be tried soon.

We know that Gov. Ron DeSantis, along with other states, is clamping down on corporations who think they can dictate the actions and investments of their clients. DeSantis recently acted in response to Paypal freezing funds that belonged to Moms for Liberty, after providing a presentation to the Moms for Liberty group:

A month prior, when DeSantis spoke at the group’s summit in July, PayPal stopped processing their monthly donors and would not let them transfer out any money already in their account. The action was presumably tied to the organization’s ideological views.

Instances just like this one are why DeSantis is working hand in hand with Republican state policymakers to stop the rise of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. It’s a move that, if successful, would go a long way toward preserving individual liberty and advancing free markets.

ESG metrics are a social credit scoring system designed to transform society by changing the way businesses and, in some cases, their customers are evaluated. Under ESG, companies are awarded or punished with scores based on their commitment to causes favored by elites, not solely traditional business considerations, such as profit, revenue, the quality of goods and services, and employee satisfaction.

DeSantis will present legislation in the 2023 legislative session that would “prohibit big banks, credit card companies, and money transmitters from discriminating against customers based on their religious, political, or social beliefs,” effectively limiting the use of some ESG metrics by financial institutions. It won’t cover every area of potential violation of corporation decision-making, but it’s a start.

Standard & Poors has gotten into the ESG ratings act. Since March, they now issue an ESG Report Card for every state, with a focus that includes climate and social justice activism, and the criteria are arbitrary, according to Utah officials:

‘Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft outscored American energy companies ExxonMobil and Chevron on S&P’s ESG scale,’ they stated. ‘S&P also gave the Chinese state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation a higher ESG score than ExxonMobil and Chevron, despite human rights violations.’

‘Each ratings company has their own set of metrics,’ Jack McPherrin from the Heartland Institute said. ‘They all have different scoring systems. It’s a complete mess that’s designed to be confusing so that the people who are creating these metrics can manipulate the system however they want. It’s doubtful they really care that much about any specific metrics; they’re just using them to institutionalize a framework of control over the market.’

Although ESG is not being used regularly against individuals, there is a serious potential for its application:

A few different things will determine your personal ESG score, many of which can be discovered via your regular credit report and other public records. Your purchase history and also your sales history will have a dramatic effect on your ESG rating as a person.

The charities that you support will also increase or even decrease your ESG score. The platform will track your personal impact in the environment around you through various means, which will also be used to calculate your individual ESG score.

The purpose behind each person being assigned an individual ESG score is to help reward actions that will help move the world towards sustainability. While there are not currently any downsides to having an ESG score, regardless of how high or how low, there will come a time where too low of a score can result in denials for loans or services similar to the way credit scores currently function.

For now, ESG scores for individuals are used as a tracking tool for companies to monitor behavior. For those who have already started using ESG scores as part of their business model, some people with good scores may notice lucrative offers, easier loan terms, and even targeted packages designed to reward green or sustainable behaviors.

*     *     *     *

Although some states, namely Florida, West Virginia, and Utah, are fighting these infringements on our privacy and personal rights, changes are only being made slowly. West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore has banned five banks (including Chase) from state banking contracts, due to those institutions refusing financing for the fossil fuel industry. And I hope that other states will see the virtue and financial benefits of stopping these bankers in their tracks.

Meanwhile, I don’t know where we’ll choose to deposit our funds locally. My beliefs and political choices are none of their business.

Is there a bank anywhere that rejects the ESG requirements?

We’re the Democratic Party: We Don’t Care


As I watched the current political crisis play out, I thought about an episode of “Saturday Night Live” back in 1976 (when SNL was still worth watching).  This particular episode featured Lily Tomlin in her role as Ernestine the switchboard operator.  The skit begins with Ernestine being in an actual mainframe computer room (I guessed the computer was an IBM System 360, Model/40).

Ernestine: A gracious hello.  Here at the Phone Company, we handle eighty-four billion calls a year serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the earth.  So we realize that, every so often, you can’t get an operator, or for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order, or perhaps you get charged for a call you don’t make.  (At this point, she reaches into the card reader, grabs a stack of cards and throws them into the air.) We don’t care!

Watch this…(She goes to the console and hits buttons maniacally) We just lost Peoria!

You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated (She moves to the console keyboard and begins hitting keys with her elbows) even we can’t handle it.  But that’s your problem, isn’t it?  So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie Cups with a string? We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company.

The skit closes with a placard that repeats her ominous words: “We’re the Phone Company. We don’t care.”

Since the mob scene that accompanied President Trump’s inauguration, I’ve thought about that because I believe that’s what the Democratic Party has degenerated to. In today’s America, we have two political parties; one composed of milquetoast politicians who, at times, appear to be afraid of their own shadows and the other composed of a confederation of thugs who will stop at nothing to achieve their destructive goals.

Democratic politicians aren’t tremendously eloquent; they don’t have to be. Because backing them up are their mobs-on-call.  BLM, Antifa, militant environmentalists, teachers’ unions, pro-abortion groups, and the transsexual community can be called upon with a snap of the fingers. Their message is clear: cross us and we’ll riot, burn, vandalize, strike; any actions that will further the aims of the Democratic Party.  Sometimes their crimes aren’t at the behest of the Party; they simply enjoy mindless violence.

Even when violence isn’t called for the Democrats can rely on a vast Federal workforce to aid them; either by police action (FBI) or by administrative action (IRS).  Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Carter Page, various Tea Party groups, and now Donald Trump.  All of them were people and organizations that leaned to the Right; they had to be dealt with.

None of this seems to matter to the Republicans as they appear to believe that endless investigations will be a solution for all this thuggery.  The Democrats aren’t having any of that.  Remember the Contempt of Congress citations against Lois Lerner and Eric Holder?  Does the phrase “Like Water off a Duck’s Back” mean anything to you?

On important matters, we can always count on the Democrats to coalesce around an issue or a vital piece of legislation.  As for the Republicans, we can usually count on them to scatter in all directions. The Democrats have the likes of Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer.  The Republicans have Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Mitt Romney.

The posts of @gleneisenhardt and @Nohaaj were absolutely correct. The Democrats allow our military to degenerate, allow thousands of migrants to spill over our borders, let crime run amuck in our cities, and permit our education systems to become little more than propaganda mills. And they care not a whit about the consequences because they know the Republicans will do nothing.

Until we elect Republicans with stones, we can expect more of the same. The day may be coming that the Democrats will be in permanent power. Then we can expect to see posters and billboards with the sneering visages of Obama, Clinton, Garland, and Swalwell over the huge letters that proclaim:


The 4th Amendment and the Raid


The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But I’ve read that the FBI resisted showing Trump’s lawyer the warrant. How is this legal? I don’t trust the FBI or DOJ. Unless proven otherwise, I assume that they’re partisan Democratic hacks. Can anyone explain their reluctance to show the warrant?

The Democrats Always Win in Overtime


In the 1912 Presidential election, Democrat Woodrow Wilson ran against an incumbent Republican President (William Howard Taft) and a former Republican President (Teddy Roosevelt).  With the Republican vote split, Wilson won the Presidency with 42% of the vote.  When he ran for re-election in 1916, his opponent (Republican Charles Evans Hughes) was declared the victor of the race.  Wilson had lost his re-election bid.  But a week after the election, California found some more ballots somewhere, and surprisingly enough, most of them were for Wilson.  So a week after the election, California changed its election results to favor Wilson (by 3,806 votes), which then flipped the Electoral College in favor of Wilson.

In the 2000 Presidential Election, Republican George W. Bush ran against Democrat Al Gore (Gore famously focused his campaign on the theme, ‘strengthening the American family’).  Bush was declared the victor, but Florida was close.  So the recounts began.  And strangely enough, each recount resulted in more votes for Gore.  The media ran story after story about the recounts, wondering how many votes Gore would pick up in this next recount.  Strangely enough, the media never considered the possibility that Bush might gain some votes.  The Supreme Court ended this process before Florida could find enough votes for Gore to win, and Bush was named President.

In the 2020 Presidential Election, Republican incumbent President Donald Trump ran against Joe Biden (seen in the adjacent picture speaking to a roaring crowd, brimming with enthusiasm).  The day after the election, the victor had not yet been decided because several states were still counting ballots for some reason.  Trump was leading in most of them, though, and it appeared that he would win the presidency.  But surprisingly enough, Biden came from behind in just enough of those states to win the Electoral College.

I’m not arguing that Democrats have a history of cheating in elections.  Facebook fact-checked that and found it was not true.  So forget that part.

That’s not my point, anyway.  I’m just considering this history as I think about the recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home.

Donald Trump is undoubtedly the most thoroughly investigated citizen in American history.  The FBI has been devoting seemingly limitless resources to various investigations covering various aspects of Trump’s life for at least six years.  Impeachment hearings, congressional hearings, attorneys, accountants, Democrat opposition research, and so on – there is no nook or cranny in Trump’s public or personal life that has not been dissected and studied, over and over again, by lots and lots of people, for years now.

So the idea that this raid will suddenly discover, well, anything, seems exceedingly unlikely.  And I would argue that if they had found anything at all that there would have been leaks to CNN and The New York Times by now.

But that’s not my point, either.

My point is that the longer this goes on, the less likely that whatever crime the Democrats eventually accuse Trump of committing is going to be real.  I mean, come on.  If the FBI announces tomorrow that they found a million-dollar check from North Korea to Donald Trump in his desk during their raid, I will find that extremely difficult to believe.

He’s the most thoroughly investigated citizen in American history.  And now you’re going to find incriminating evidence lying around his house?

Come on.

Just like the recounts in the elections of 1916 and 2000 and 2020 – the longer they went on, the more certain it became that the Democrat would eventually win.  Somehow.  Surprisingly enough.

So we’ll see what the FBI, et al., come up with.  Who knows, I suppose.

But after all these years, and all these investigations, at this point I think they’re much more likely to create something than to discover something.

They almost have to come up with something at some point, or else they’ll look pretty silly after all these investigations over all these years.  After all this, there’s really no way for the FBI and the rest of the Democrats’ troops to just come out and say, “Yeah, you know, we didn’t find anything.  He’s clean.  Forget we ever said anything.  We were wrong.  Sorry about that.”

No way.  So they’ve got to come up with something.  And if they had anything, we would have known years ago.  So at this point, I think the FBI has no other option but to create something.  Anything, really.

Perhaps I’m being too cynical here.

But I’m starting to think that’s impossible…

Sleepy Joe Biden Is Crushing Workers’ Wages


When you look at real wages of workers, you will see that real wage growth was terrific under Trump 45, probably the best in the history of the world. I call it the MAGA-zone. The economy was in the MAGA-zone. Contrast that with Sleepy Joe Biden, who has crushed the real wages of working Americans. He is the worst president ever and a total disaster.

Modern Psychiatry


Dr. Moreau:  I’m sorry I’m late, Ms. Dawes, I kept getting the “cannot connect to server” message on Zoom.

Ms. Dawes:   It’s good you were finally able to log on, we have a full caseload this morning.

Dr. Moreau:  Okay, let’s get started.  Hello, welcome to the Community Remote Adolescent Psychiatric Service.  I’m Dr. Josef Moreau.  How can I help you?


Dr. Moreau:  Now, now, no need to panic.  I’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy, start the medication immediately.

Patient #2:  I was abused by my uncle for years until he got sent to prison.  Now I want to be in a relationship, but the thought of being touched by a boy repulses me.

Dr. Moreau:  You’re transgender.  I’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy, start the medication immediately.

Patient #3:  I just got cut from the track team, and I’m feeling a lot of stress.  The other guys all call me “slowpoke” and I can’t go to parties without being teased.  It’s so unfair.  I’m still faster than anyone on the girls track team.  How come they have it so easy?  If I was a girl, I’d be a champion!  It’s so unfair.

Dr. Moreau:  You’re transgender.  I’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy, start the medication immediately.

Patient #4:  Someone made a bet and I kissed another girl and, and I kinda’ liked it.  I’m not gay!  I’m not in love with her or anything, I don’t even know her name but it felt so good, she was like wearing cherry lip balm and it tasted so good and her lips were so soft, but it’s not what good girls do, I’m soooo confused.  It’s innocent, it was just a bet, it felt so wrong but it felt so right, you know? I have a boyfriend!  I don’t what he’d think if he found out.   It’s no big deal, right, kissing another girl and liking it?

Dr. Moreau:  You’re transgender, I’m sending a prescription to your pharmacy, start the medications immediately.

Patient #5:  My son is eight and he adored his big sister.  She…she died last year.  Of leukemia.  And he’s been devastated.  He’s not eating much, and doesn’t want to do anything.  Then he started  sleeping in her bed with her stuffed animals, and yesterday I caught him wearing one of her dresses.

Dr. Moreau:  He’s transgender.  I’m sending a prescription to your pharmacy, start him on the medication at once.

Patient #6:    I’ve always had trouble fitting in, I’d rather just sit in a corner reading than talking to people.  I overheard some of the teachers talking and one of them said “he’s so spectrumy,” whatever that means.  I feel so alone and depressed all the time.  I wish I was popular.  You know, all the trans kids are popular, maybe if I came out as a girl, my life would be better.

Dr. Moreau:  I’ll get you started.  I’m sending a prescription to your pharmacy, begin taking the medication as soon as you can.

Patient #7:  Yesterday, in Drama Club. . .

Dr. Moreau:  You’re transgender. I’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy, start the medication at once.

Patient #8:  My two best friends are trans and they seem to be having so much fun.  They show me all these cool Tik-Toks and YouTube videos and everyone seems so happy.  I always feel depressed and anxious.  So I was thinking about being trans too.  But then I saw this one YouTuber and he said all you have to do is say “if you don’t let me transition, I’ll kill myself,” whether you’re suicidal or not.  I mean, if it’s so great, why do we have to lie?

Dr. Moreau:  I have a medical degree and years of training and experience.  Do you think I can be fooled that easily?

Patient #8:  I…I guess not.

Dr. Moreau:  Are you suicidal?

Patient #8:  No!  Well…I guess.   A little bit.  I don’t know.  I’m so confused.

Dr. Moreau:  Would you like to be happy like your friends?

Patient #8:  Yes, of course!

Dr. Moreau:  I’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy.  Start the medication immediately.

Dr. Moreau:  Whew!  That last one was hard.   Well, that was a pretty busy morning.  I’m off to lunch.  See you at 1:30.

Ms. Dawes:  Dr. Moreau, I have one last patient, he just called in.  It sounds like an emergency.

Dr. Moreau:  Ugh, okay, it’s already 10, but I guess I can make an exception for an emergency.

Dr. Moreau:  Hello, welcome to the Community Remote Adolescent Psychiatric Service.  I’m Dr. Josef Moreau.  How can I help you?

Patient #9:  I’m so panicked!  I don’t know who I am.  I never felt any attraction to girls so I just assumed I was gay.  But I went out on a date with a guy and…nothing.  I just feel like I’m some sort of freak.  What’s going on with me?

Dr. Moreau:  You’re obviously transgender.  I’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy.  Start the medication immediately.

Patient #9:  Is this going to be expensive?  I don’t think my parents’ insurance covers that sort of thing.

Dr. Moreau:  Hold on a minute, I’m going to put you on mute.

Dr.  Moreau:  Ms. Dawes!!!  How many times have I told you?  Confirm the insurance before you connect the patient!  How do you expect us to get paid?

Groomers and Lost Innocence


The Los Angeles Unified School District shared a video Saturday to their Instagram account, offering guidance on proper usage of “preferred pronouns.  I really don’t recommend that you look at the article or the video, it is heartbreaking and sickening.  But I suggest you must read the article to know what is being spoon fed  Shovel Fed  Intravenous Drip on Steroids fed into the malleable grey mush of our children’s heads.

@jennastocker wrote a very poignant post recently about our past being quite innocent, perhaps naive, and that sense of innocence being lost for today’s children.  Spoiled. Rotten. Not the children, the culture.

@dominiqueprynne wrote a post earlier today concerning her USAF daughter’s concern about failing the evergreen rules regarding woke subjects, particularly those associated with proper pronouns and affirmations. Like a grunt must be affirmed or they may pout, and your senior butt gets outed from the service.

These posts and articles are all related.  It made me wonder. Do schools, organizations, corporations who all push the woke narrative, do they ever even offer a traditional alternative viewpoint.  Is it only the Marxist method? Is there ever only one correct and indisputable viewpoint, all all others must be spurned, defiled, cancelled, denied?

I don’t think so.  It is my impression and experience, that there are no alternative viewpoints allowed. Parents who express their contrary opinions at school board meetings are censured and labeled domestic terrorists. Ditto in every other governmental or corporate entity.

So what to do?

@keithlowery had an excellent comment on a post by @Dr. Bastiat regarding discerning the difference between fringe theories and reality.

@keithlowery’s partial comment is profound.

So what to do?

Justice is turned back…for truth has died in the public square. – The prophet Isaiah

The left has worked very hard to create the widespread impression that openly speaking the truth carries steep social and financial risks. That may be. Or it might be that our perception of the risk has been intentionally curated using that very same negativity bias I mentioned above. It could be that we are just well and truly gaslit, one and all.

But we should speak the truth anyway, and without regard to the risk. We should, of course, be careful not to traffic in gossip and slander, but we should refuse to speak untruths about every single issue we encounter. Whether it is regarding the suspicious events that attended the last election or the biological gender of another person. Whatever it is, we should accept the social fallout of being stubborn truth-tellers. Whatever it is, we should refuse to be silenced and we should refuse ever to say things we don’t actually believe.

That is the only thing I know to do. It is the only thing I really can do. But others, who have lived with courage through dark times, will tell us that it is no small thing, this business of telling the truth.

The simple step of a courageous individual is not to partake in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the whole world. – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Let us all take the simple step to not partake in the lie.



RICOCHET EXCLUSIVE: The FBI has reportedly turned over a note found in Melania’s Trump’s closet to federal prosecutors and attorneys for the House January 6 Special Committee.  It is believed to be from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump authorizing the Jan 6 insurrection.  Details have yet to emerge.

Attorney General Garland said that because there is an ongoing investigation, only the New York Times and Washington Post can receive any additional information.

One source said the note is in code and Rep. Adam Schiff has announced that a whistleblower who has seen the note and also knows the code says it is damning evidence of planning for the Jan 6 outrage.

One person on the Mar-a-Lago household staff told this reporter that she witnessed an FBI agent excitedly waiving a receipt for a Versace jacket purchased for the First Lady in an expensive shop on the Via Condotti and that other agents were rushing to examine it.  It is unclear as to whether this might be the coded note in question.

MSNBC is planning a special with interviews with code-breaking specialists from federal agencies who will speculate on the content of the note.  A spokesperson for Rep. Cheney said that she is troubled but not surprised.


Something Just Shifted


Something just shifted in the United States of America.  A former president’s home was just raided last night by “our” F.B.I.  Trump was supposedly in New York at the time.  His former wife just passed. They just had her funeral.  He and his children are still mourning.

Something I’ve just read conveys that former presidents are off limits by current presidents. They don’t criticize or bring charges.  Is this then, a first?

I’ve read, like other Americans, that they grabbed boxes from Mar-a-Lago, not even bothering to scour any contents.  What are they looking for?  The American public wants to know.  This news story is too new – too raw right now.  But there are many other pieces in play.  A midterm election is approaching.  Congress will re-convene and continue their Jan. 6th hearings.  Some, including Trump, may announce their 2024 intentions.  So what just happened?

I served on a jury years ago, as did my husband, mere months after we moved from Boston to the Panhandle of Florida.  We registered to vote, and received summons in the mail to serve – our first times experiencing serving as a juror.  My husband’s was a murder case.  Mine was just a stupid college kid who drank too much on spring break and got into trouble.  I remember there were three cases from which the attorneys had to pick from a gathering of about 300.

I was elected the “foreman.”  Prior to selection, they asked the potential jurors what books we read, what were our interests, and what was our background.  When the attorney asked me in front of everyone where I was from, I said Boston.  He said what happened — did you get onto the wrong plane?   I remembered riding in the paddy wagon to go to lunch, and was told not to talk, and a deputy was present at our lunches.

I was told I was doing my patriotic duty by serving.  But what struck me and has stuck with me was this statement repeated in court:  Innocent until proven guilty.  Not guilty until proven innocent.

For some reason, until I served, I did not realize this.  Maybe I assumed it and took it for granted.  Evidence needed to be presented first and there had to be good reason.  No one is accused on hearsay.  No one is guilty until there is undisputable proof, that a crime was committed and all must see it that way on the jury.

The DUI was shoddy. A college kid on spring break goofing off.  The police did a terrible job documenting the incident. Their breathalyzer equipment didn’t work.  They didn’t document bottles of alcohol found in the back seat.  They may have had a case, if they had they done their job.  But we were all in agreement that they did not have evidence, and I had to convince one juror that they had no case because of the crap reporting that was presented as evidence.

No one raids anyone’s home without a warrant and that takes time.  What happened that night?  Are presidents and former presidents now under deeper scrutiny?  Are former presidents who have questionable backgrounds and behaviors homes being raided?

What is the reason for invading a former president’s home while he is away?  You cannot say we are looking for something to pin on you.  I learned that serving as a juror.  You have to have that something first.  So what was it?  I read the news story and the former attorney of “Clinton” for God’s sake, a former president and spouse of seriously questionable behavior, saying a piece of paper that was classified and is removed from the White House is a crime and you cannot serve again in any way in the future and may go to jail.  Whitewater anyone?

Can you plant something and then find it?  What were they looking for?  The public has a right to know.

Something changed last night for many.

Member Post   A Monmouth University poll shows that almost 90 percent of respondents report that the hearings have made no change in how they view the J6 riot.  Moreover, despite the overwhelming cooperation and support of the media with the Committee, the vast majority believe that the J6 Committee was a political rather than investigative exercise, focused […]

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From the Police Blotter: Real Police Work


Doing real police work is not as glamorous as executing a search warrant on a former President’s residence. It is not as dramatic as lying to a judge to obtain a FISA warrant. It is more dramatic than patrolling acres on Capitol Hill or enduring one day of rioting compared to Portland police officers who endured more than 150 nights of rioting.

Your budget is much lower than the Capitol Hill Police even though patrolling sqaure miles gives you far more experience than being an armed tour guide or protecting an elected official who is sleeping with a Page, or Fang-Fang.

Police work is a combination of doing grunt work and going zero to a hundred on some calls.


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A coordinated operation by the Tigard Police caught several suspected shoplifters at a local Fred Meyer.

The ‘blitz’ carried out on Thursday, Aug. 4 and was performed in cooperation with loss prevention employees at the Tigard Fred Meyer on Pacific Highway. The operation focused on shoplifters and other criminal activity.

The detectives caught five people in the operation. Three were left off with warnings, but the other two, Robert Patterson, age 44, and Marat Gudarenko, age 30, were both arrested.

Patterson was arrested for criminal trespass and resisting arrest as well as already having warrants out for his arrest. Gudarenko was arrested for theft and also had warrants.

Detectives often work with loss prevention employees throughout Tigard as a way to identify and stop criminal suspects. Authorities say that blitzes are just one way that they hope to prevent future criminal activity.

Tigard, OR, is one of two cities on the West Coast that has a Retail Theft Unit. Shoplifting is called shrinkage. You, the consumer, will make up the financial losses from shrinkage. Employees will make up the losses from shrinkage. Jobs will be cut to help make up for the losses.

As a police officer, you need a well-developed sense of curiosity, and you have to be willing to do the grunt work.

Best Theory Yet on the Mar-A-Lago Raid


Andy McCarthy makes a good argument in the NY Post that the raid on Mar-A-Lago was an industrial-scale fishing expedition. For exactly what, I don’t know. I don’t think the DoJ knows either.

The left is terrified by the thought of PDT v2 (or PRDS, but they aren’t nearly as ready to act against him. DeSantis will have to wait, for now.) The Jan. 6 hearings are an embarrassing flop — they won’t stop Trump that way without something new.

The National Archives documents angle is an excuse. Jonathan Turley on Fox noted that custody of at least some of the documents had been resolved and the two sides were talking. That process had a long way to go before a raid was called for. Note that the Feds hauled out things indiscriminately, opened every safe, and carted all of it away to sort thru at their leisure. They weren’t looking for something specific.

No, what they want is something new to tie DJT to Jan. 6 in a way they can prosecute. It doesn’t have to be straightforward – at this point anything will do.

I know, it’s Andy McCarthy, Mr. Rear Guard for the DoJ himself. Still, read the article, it’s sound reasoning.

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Excerpted from Blue Apples in “Judge Who signed Mar-A-Lago Search Warrant Exposed as Associate of Jeffrey Epstein” via Zerohedge: “If there were any question as to whether or not the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence was rife with corruption, details from the search warrant authorizing it should clear any doubt. Although information is […]

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Quote of the Day: ‘Happy Birthday to You!’


Profile picture of James LileksSo, there I was, on the way to looking up other things: Lord, I wish I could count the number of posts here I’ve started out that way.  But isn’t that one of the things that life’s about?  Curiosity?

I think so.  And fortunately we have this marvelous thing called the Internet which makes it so easy to indulge.  The yen to look for things, I mean.  The late Mr. She would occasionally remark on how recent generations are the first which are able to encompass, in both audio and video, every aspect of their history–and, oh, BTW–what a shame it is that we are making such a hash of things by repeating the same mistakes over and over, when there’s clear evidence before our eyes of how destructive those mistakes are.

True dat.

So there I was.


At what happened on August 9th, over the centuries, because maybe–just maybe–today is a Very Special Day that signifies an event worth writing about.

And, you know what?  It is!

From Wikipedia’s August 9th page, “Births” section:

Wut?  Our James Lileks is 64 years old today?

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday, James Lileks
Happy Birthday to you!

Wikipedia says that “Happy Birthday to You,” is the most recognized song in the English language.

I’ll drink to that!  Please raise a glass with me.

What’s your tipple?

Thank you, @jameslileks for being here, for your lovely posts and comments, and for being just about the only “founding member” Contributor who regularly interacts with the hoi-polloi here on the member feed.  We appreciate you for that.  It matters.

Any and all Ricochet members who have a Lileks story, please share it.

Happy Birthday, you young whippersnapper.  And may you have many more.

Bleachbit, Hammers, and Sickle


Kevin McCarthy announced that AG Garland clear his calendar and preserve his documents.

Given the widespread history of  wiping servers with a cloth, 30,000 missing emails, phones smashed with hammers, FBI intentionally wiped phones, Secret Service deleting their texts as part of an “equipment update”;  what are the chances that the SWAMP has not already purged any and all incriminating evidence of their foul deeds? What a joke.

@gleneisenhardt authored this excellent post which details how Republicans have never held the left accountable. Puffery is all we ever receive. Threats that whimper away after a brief moment.

Bleachbit and hammers allow the swamp to hide their tracks and perfidy, and lead us to this.  President Trump once questioned why we would allow millions of aliens from [REDACTED] countries to cross illegally into our country.

I question why they still want to come, as we have devolved into a [REDACTED] of a country too.

Raise the new flag of our [REDACTED] republic.

Member Post


I love weddings.  I love love.  I believe that hate is the most powerful human emotion, but love is the most beautiful.  Each one of us was born of love of one sort or another.  Perhaps we weren’t part of a plan, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for love.  We should respect […]

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The Orange Dog That Didn’t Bark


One way or another, Trump’s DoJ did not raid Hillary.  And specifically, I mean that either he didn’t order the DoJ to turn her vodka cave upside-down, or the DoJ refused to do it because reasons.

Either Trump was a better, more moral President than Biden, or the mutiny and coup against Trump was real — or both.  But it cannot be the case that neither claim is true.

I know that I sound like a broken record at times, but Benghazi was a clarifying moment for me.  The Deep State is real. It amounts to at least a fourth branch of government, the investigation is the cover-up, and while many kooks are wrong, some of them are right.

Clinton’s e-mail server held a great many secrets which would be injurious to her, to Obama, and to the Democrat / Deep State project.  This is also why it existed in the first place — to avoid legally required monitoring and potential disclosure.  “Yoga,” my butt.

Hillary’s server was the nexus of a lot of bad stuff, because the people using it felt secure.  Fools.  One of my favorite targets for dumpster-diving that thing would have been the emails surrounding conversations between Hillary and folks like Petraeus, for whom I lost all regard.  I do think that the kerfuffle surrounding his affair was a lifeline to get him out of the line of questioning, the same way Susan Rice was moved under the Executive Privilege umbrella just in time.  Petraeus could still have answered questions related to his time in the previous office (and so could Rice), but for some reason, the excuse “no longer in office” was allowed to fly, and neither would return to testify when the heat was on.  Convenient, that.  And by heat, I mean the unanswered question, “who gave the order to stand down?”

Remember that the Benghazi debacle occurred shortly after Obama declared Mission Accomplished in the war on terror, and shortly before his re-election.  This is why Susan Rice peddled the absurd Nakoula Nakoula YouTube video story on five Sunday morning shows.  Bad America, you offended the Islamic Jihadis whom Obama, I assure you, soundly defeated  Nothing to see here — not a terror attack, nothing to do with the administration.  The incomprehensible action of absolutely nothing was our response.  The only way our response could possibly have been nothing is if there was immense pressure to suppress every instinct, trained response, and formal duty of various subordinate decision-makers and force commanders in the area.  It came from somewhere.

The ship has sailed on “Who gave the order?”, we will never get the answer, and Hillary cruised away from another disgusting episode, the key to which was that server.  Why do you think she had the server vaporized, and fought so hard to resist efforts to preserve, to obtain copies, to publicize the contents?  And why was she allowed to get away with it despite Republican control of the House?  Remember Darrell Issa?  Remember Trey Gowdy?  Great fiery speeches.  Bolshy Slovos.

Add to that the pay-for-play Clinton Global Initiative, the presence of obviously classified material, sometimes mutilated to remove classification markings, and the well-founded suspicion that John McCain’s own version of Charlie Wilson’s War running guns from Libya to Syria was represented on that server.  That server was the Hunter Biden laptop of the Clinton operation, and it slipped away.  Somehow.  Because reasons.

The server’s existence itself was a crime, it contained evidence of multiple crimes, and the clean-up was yet another crime.  Net result — no crime committed, no criminal intent, “no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.”  You know the drill.  “Deny, deny, deny”, and when the “unimportant” and unaskable become old news and “already answered”, the thing is complete.

Slipped away because reasons, maybe, but via methods, and those methods have increasingly been brought to bear against the Republic itself.  Through the Benghazi cluster of very bad things, the Deep State both honed its tools and learned that it could get away with a lot more than it had thought.  This was not a case of the President knocking over countries and abandoning good — great — men to die in foreign hellholes.  This was something below the surface doing it regardless of the President’s intent.

Clinton was only in Washington DC for Obama to “keep his enemy closer”.  By putting her in the cabinet, he restricted her freedom of movement, except it only sorta worked out.  He reduced her threat to himself, and empowered her to lay waste to swathes of the government and the world at large.  he could lean on her, but she could also operate her cabinet-level department as she saw fit, and that’s exactly what happened.  The Clinton Crime Family Global Initiative rolled on, after all, with her faction increasingly competing not against Obama, but against the Biden Crime Family.  Even at the time, they fought for the number two spot regardless of title.  Russian Reset.  Burisma.  Rosemont Seneca Bohai and ten percent for the big guy.

I would say that for fans of Kremlinology, the US is now the most “Kremlinized” major power, followed by China and then Russia.  The DNC/DLC split has never actually been resolved, and during the Obama administration, it seems to me that Obama went with the third option — he weaponized the government itself as a partisan tool, and now he and his shadow government subsist entirely within the intel community and the inscrutable Byzantine bureaucracy.  ‘The One” has ascended into the machine.   The Biden camp and the Clinton camp are still competing for the number two spot.  They both have to in order to keep their permanent campaigns up so that any attempt to bring them to justice is met with media howls about the power of government being used for partisan purposes against a political rival.

And then we have Trump, against whom no number of impeachments, show trials, real FBI raids, Democrat pillaging of American cities,  or other Goldsteinization will ever suffice.  The two-minutes-hate will continue to be broadcast for 47 minutes of every hour, every day, and will not stop regardless of your eventual capitulation.  Comrade.

I suspect (and I almost never credit this throwaway laziness) that we do not have words adequate to convey the horror of what is happening.  I suspect the Russian language abounds in them.  And perhaps soon, Chinese.  Those people are waking up while we sleepwalk.

Oh, the Road Not Taken.

They May Be Coming for You


This morning I woke up in a state of—what would I call it—uneasiness? I’ve been reading the posts from Ricochet members, and couldn’t put my finger on my reaction to the frightening invasion of Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago. Many people compared the actions of the FBI to the tyranny of third-world countries. But that parallel didn’t quite work for me. And then it dawned on me.

Our experience may be mirroring the actions of the Nazis in Germany.

I know there are people who become quite upset when they see comparisons to Nazi Germany, and I can appreciate their distress. In no way do I want to liken 12 million people exterminated with the difficulties we are experiencing in this country. At the same time, where should I go to try to point out parallels to the lawlessness and tyranny that we are experiencing here? So I apologize in advance to those who are offended, and hope that you will know that my observations are sincere and heartfelt.

Think about it: the conditions are riper than ever for someone to “take control.” Inflation gets worse by the day as people struggle to find ways to stretch their dollars. People have become more dependent than ever on the government. Lawlessness reigns on the borders. Businesses were burned and destroyed last summer, and now people are just smashing and grabbing their way through jewelry stores and elite retailers. Rogue prosecutors refuse to prosecute criminals, even when they have violated the law multiple times.

The agencies that we had relied on for so many years demonstrate over and over again their disdain for the rule of law and for the people of this country. If you are not in lockstep (yes, I intended to use that word) with the Democrats, you are to be not only discounted but tossed aside. Your word does not count. Your expectations for a free society don’t count. And your vote does not count.

They want to take our guns away, too. New laws show up regularly that are intended to compromise our second amendment rights. The most unlikely government agencies are purchasing massive amounts of arms and ammunition.

The military has sacrificed preparedness for its woke agenda. Yet we are supposed to take them seriously when they criticize China or Russia.

When we speak of Nazi Germany, we are speaking about the Jews, right? But don’t forget that those people the Nazis labeled as “different,” who didn’t fit the Aryan idea of perfection or showed resistance to their goals, were put into camps. Those identified as mentally ill (were they?) dissidents, educators, or had even a drop of Jewish blood, were condemned. In this country, what if you are a Republican or Conservative? Or were at one time? Or have left the enclave of the Left? What then?

There are many more comparisons that would work in this context, many more than I am willing to face on this Tuesday. Maybe you have the ability or inclination to identify them. It might be very important for us to take the time for this exercise, to be ready. Because soon—

They may be coming for you.