I Was Dead and Buried: A Soldier Visits His Own Grave at Shiloh


Post-war photo of William C. Phipps (The Indianapolis News, May 28, 1912)

There are many oddball stories associated with the American Civil War, and this is one of them; it concerns a soldier from Indiana who visited his own grave at Shiloh. The story was told in The Hocking Sentinel (Logan, Ohio), June 4, 1903:

William C. Phipps, of Indianapolis, accompanied the Governor’s party to Shiloh. April 4, for the dedication of the Indiana monuments, for the purpose of seeing whether he was still dead. He desired to view his resting place again. I was especially anxious to see this old battlefield,’ said Mr. Phipps, ‘for there I fought, bled and died in my youth.

I was staggering about out of ranks when I was ordered to get to fighting. I told the officer that I was shot and he ordered me to the rear. My comrades saw me making my way to the nearest hospital, when a shell crashed into a decaying ash. The dirt and bark flew everywhere. I escaped with my eyes and mouth filled with debris. My comrades felt sure that I was killed, and long afterward they picked up the mangled body of a man near the site of the explosion. It was mangled beyond recognition. They tenderly bore it away and buried it, and the rough board above the grave bore the inscription:

Company A, 11th Indiana.
Died April 7, 1862.

That night, when the fighting was done, they wrote home that I was killed. Strange as it was that I was not killed, I was not even injured by the explosion, and continued on my way to the rear. Finally a soldier overtook me and put me on his horse. Presently we came to a hospital in the woods and I asked the regiment. It was the Illinois regiment of which my brother was surgeon, but his assistant said that he was on General Grant’s staff. His assistant was very kind to me. I sat on a soap box while he dressed the wound in my breast.

By the time he was through I was so weak I could hardly sit. He looked around for a cot, but there were only seven in the tent and all were occupied. He said, however, that they would die fast and that one of the cots would soon be ready for me. It may seem a terrible thought now, but it seemed all right then. Presently one of the men died and I got his place.

I was awake most of the night, and I shall never forget the things that I heard and saw in that tent. By morning all seven men, with the exception of a man who had a great hole torn in his head, had died. The doctor came in occasionally to tell some poor fellow that he could not live to get back home. All night long they talked of their wives and mothers and sent loving messages to those at home. Some dictated letters.

Illustration depicting a Pennsylvania soldier giving William C. Phipps his shirt. (The Indianapolis Star, May 30, 1909)

I was feeling a good deal better when morning came, and I crawled out to find my company. As I walked, my shirt, which was a mass of blood, flopped against me and the odor of the blood made me sick. I wanted another shirt. I finally came across a big fellow from a Pennsylvania regiment, chopping wood. I showed him my shirt and asked if he knew where I could find a clean one. He did not say a word but solemnly laid down his ax, pulled off his coat and skinned his shirt from his back. I thanked him as he put his coat back on, but he did not say a word as he went back to chopping wood.

When I arrived at camp, the men were mourning my death. The first man I met was Captain David Negley. He looked at me blankly for a moment, then said: ‘How in the h– did you dig out?’ This was the first intimation I had that I was dead and buried.

I went with the boys to see my grave, and when I left for home on furlough, my silent partner was still on watch in my name. I went to old Shiloh to see if he was still serving in my name. Poor fellow, I presume that his friends at home never did find out what became of him.”

I did a little research, and it appears that William Phipps’ grave at Shiloh is no longer there – hopefully the unknown soldier who resided there now has his own tombstone. William C. Phipps went home to Indiana at the end of the war and filed for a veteran’s pension in 1879. He also worked for many years as a court bailiff and died on October 12, 1921. William C. Phipps now rests in his second and final grave at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

A Week of Gratitude: Day 4 – Generous Old Men


Shortly after marrying, my wife and I took a trip from Tucson, where we were going to school, to California.  In-between Los Angeles and San Diego our little car started to overheat.  Pulling into a rest-area and lifting the hood, I discovered that one of the brackets holding a pulley on the accessory belt had broken.  While still attached to the frame, the pulley was no longer putting tension on the belt.  Being a newlywed husband with only moderate skills at anything and no tools to speak of, I used a pair of nylon stockings to tie the bracket back to its anchor point (I think I got the idea from an old Cary Grant movie, “Operation Petticoat”).  This was insufficient, of course, but it was enough for us to limp into Carlsbad, California, where I purchased a set of pliers and some bailing wire which I used to wire the bracket to its mount.  The repair was good enough to get us home. (We wound up spending the day in Carlsbad and the next day in San Diego and we had a great time. Never mind that the car was broken.)

Back home, I mentioned the broken bracket to a friend from church.  He referred me to his father, I’ll call him Jim, a retiree who had a mechanic shop in his garage.  Jim re-welded the broken part for me for peanuts.  Over the next few months he taught me how to fix a few other things on the car that needed to be repaired.  During one of our first sessions he told me to remove a part from the front-end (I can’t remember which one) and it was like he was speaking Greek.  I was embarrassed, but he calmly showed me what needed to be done.

I am grateful to Jim for teaching me “how to fish” and for helping me to become a passable mechanic.  His example has been a motivation for me to help when I have been asked to offer similar service.  We moved a year after this incident and I’ve lost track of Jim and his son.  Someday I will get to tell him the fruit his efforts have born.

Day 3

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The subject line was lifted verbatim from the NBC website and the identical Trump is the worst person in the world for pardoning Flynn is ubiquitous throughout the fantasy land narrative manufacturers of the (D)/MSM When you are the (D)/MSM the stubborn facts of Obama DOJ/FBI/IC malfeasance as it concerns the Flynn prosecution will not […]

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Thankful for the Possibilities


Yesterday was my Wife’s birthday. We celebrated by going out to a local Italian restaurant owned and operated by an Albanian-born but New York City-raised chef. We live in Southwest Missouri. I’m thankful to live in a country where this is still possible.

Tonight my brother and I will be processing the doe I harvested Monday night. Several pounds of meat will be going into the freezer to help feed the family later. I’m thankful to live in a country where this is still possible.

Tomorrow we’ll be visiting family for our normal Thanksgiving Day traditions. I’m thankful to live in a country where this is still possible.

Sunday we’ll decide whether or not we want to attend church services (we always should). I’m thankful to live in a country where this is still possible.

Monday I’ll go back to work. My wife and children will be home. Our fridge and our hearts will be full. Despite the problems of the world outside, we’ll have more than enough. I’m thankful to live in a country where that’s still possible.

An Inconvenient Hiccup and Resurrecting the Swamp


Now I finally get it. How could I miss the obvious?

For the deluded Left, the last four years were just an inconvenient blip on the screen of history. They hated it when Trump won the 2016 election, and made sure everyone—those on the Left and the Right—experienced hatred and frustration in one way or another.

But that was then and this is now.

As far as the Left is concerned, the country can now resume it’s true and righteous agenda of change and transformation set in motion by their leader, Obama:

They would say, sure we made a few mistakes before 2016, but what can you do when an election is stolen? But we didn’t waste those four years: we re-energized and ginned up the anger. We made sure that everyone knows that Trump was a fraud, a liar, a racist, and a hater. We’ve worked very hard at accentuating the weaknesses of the Right, and we see them in full panic mode, trying to save themselves from an inevitable future that has been in the making for years. They’ve shown how feckless they are in trying to rescue a different outcome for this election, but we have too much momentum. The people of this country are seeing just how greedy and hopeless the Right is.

So we can now continue marching forward with our agenda of change: equality, fairness, re-distribution, and becoming a global participant in a united world. We will take our place along with everyone else, making sure that all of us reap the benefits of a universe of fairness. We will sacrifice much as a country, but the world will benefit.

Eventually, the people of the United States will understand that we are dedicated to a larger purpose: one world, united in justice and equality.

We are back on track.

* * * * *

Can’t you just see the Left, guided by the secret elite, congratulating themselves? They are clueless about, and have no respect for, the people of this country; to them, we are just a mass of mindless creatures waiting for them to tell us what to do.

But the Left has underestimated us. They always have, as they live in their cocoon of snobbery and arrogance. They rest on the tenets of a failed worldview. They never learn from their mistakes. But they are certain that they are right. They will do their best to resurrect The Swamp and there will even be those on the Right who will quietly try to help them.

But the Left is mistaken. In these four years, we have watched the ugliness of the media and the Left in brilliant technicolor. In spite of their denials about launching an Obama third-term, we know what they are doing and we must stop them.

We are resilient. We are determined. We will fight back.

The last four years were not an inconvenient hiccup in time. The Right has seen, through Trump’s persistence, what can be accomplished culturally, internationally, and economically.

And we will not back down.

Watch us.

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Imagine where we would be today with an eight member Supreme Court. I am thankful that President Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham had the foresight and the courage to push a nomination through to confirmation in time for some of the most momentous court proceedings of our lifetimes. I have no idea what possible […]

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If you could recommend one movie to watch on Thanksgiving, what would it be and why? No, I am not trying to impinge on @vinceguerra‘s movie question series, the person whose recommendation receives the most likes will be able to bask in whatever glory they derive from that. And I don’t care if you nominate […]

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The Biden camp has given no indication that they are prepared to counter this expert witness testimony.  I’m not even going to summarize it. You have to read the whole affidavit. (Teaser: he also references Hammer and Scorecard.)  (And in an interview last week, Powell indicated she has more expert testimony regarding election statistics coming […]

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Full pdf available here. Note 17 (of many) is interesting:  17. As explained and demonstrated in the accompanying redacted declaration of aformer electronic intelligence analyst under 305th Military Intelligence with experiencegathering SAM missile system electronic intelligence, the Dominion software was accessed byagents acting on behalf of China and Iran in order to monitor and manipulate […]

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This is quite good. Watch the videos. The points are clear: procedures were ignored and/or violated. The election was compromised. And there is no cure, since the votes have no chain of custody.  Ricochet should be covering these developments. It is real evidence with real witnesses, in front of state legislatures.  

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I Had to Make My Son’s Bed for Him Today….


I made my son’s bed today up in his bedroom. I don’t normally make his bed because he doesn’t either. How many times do I tell him to make his bed and he doesn’t do it? He has not made his bed once in the last three and a half months. I mean, he was really bad about it in the months before that, but nothing in the last three and a half months. My wife and I even had to clean out his room of old toys and put away laundry that had been in a basket for a while to put all the old clothes that don’t fit him anymore away.

He hasn’t done the dishes in the kitchen either. He was really inconsistent before that, but in the last three and a half months, absolutely nothing.

We’ve tried to, Lord we’ve tried, to get him to make his bed, do the dishes, and build better habits.

What is it with these kids today?

I finally had to break down and make my son’s bed for him because he’ll be sleeping in it for the first time in three and a half months. He just finished finals for his first semester in an engineering program. We’re picking him up at the airport tonight.

Whenever we FaceTimed with him during the semester, what did we see? A fully made bed.

What is it with these kids today?

When we talked, all he ever did was talk about what he was planning for the week to prepare for classes. When he was doing his homework, how he was doing in his classes, what he needed to get done so he could set aside time to go to the football game. His roommate was complaining that the boy was not getting out enough. He ended up with three A’s and three B’s with a really tough schedule that included calculus, chemistry, and programming.

Who is this person and what has he done with my son?

I should have known. In the months running up to his starting college, all he could talk about was how he was going to disconnect from the family phone tracker. You know, the ones where parents can stalk their kids with the excuse that we’re really just trying to make sure we protect that big investment in a smartphone?

When we dropped him off at school, I told him it was time for him to turn off the phone tracker.

He said no. He wanted to make sure that we protected our investment.

What is it with these kids today?

His bed is waiting for him. I put his stuffed giraffe that we gave him when he was a little one on the pillow. “Gee” has been waiting for the boy to come home. I wonder if he’ll recognize him?

Maybe not at first, but I’ll lay odds that “Gee” will see him when he doesn’t make his bed at home for the next month and a half. Some habits are too hard to break.

Hope for the Right Starts with a Spine and a Pair


I guess the best place to start is an example of what the complete lack of a political spine and an empty sack looks like. Remember this:

“I think we ought to let Senator Clinton, who obviously is qualified, and obviously will serve, to get to work immediately.”

That was Sen. John McCain in early 2009 on the prospect of confirming one of the most clearly corrupt people ever to the position of Secretary of State. (Of course, that may have been part of her resume that sealed the deal for him.) The most “deliberative” body in history (just puked in my mouth a little there) showed how unserious they were even at the beginning of the Obama farce by confirming her by the whisker thin vote of 94-3. (Note: It got worse from there.)

That leads me to an item that I flagged to bring up a week ago. Witness Sen. Tom Cotton signaling that he may be the anti-McCain (via Instapundit):

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton Takes a Hard Line on Potential Biden Cabinet Picks: No to Susan Rice for Anything

No, I cannot imagine a Republican Senate confirming Susan Rice to any position. Remember that Susan Rice is the “Typhoid Mary” of the Obama Administration foreign policy. Every foreign policy disaster of the Obama Administration…. has Susan Rice as a central player in it.

The article then goes on to remind us:

Even though they lacked a majority in the Senate, the Democrats led by Chuck Schumer did EVERYTHING they could to slow down and impede the Trump Administration’s efforts to staff the Executive Branch in 2017 – and beyond. They refused every unanimous consent request on every nominee that required Senate confirmation, meaning under Senate rules the specified number of hours of debate on EVERY nominee was required, slowing the confirmation process to a crawl. It meant months – and years in some instances – that positions remained vacant.

This lack of political leadership in various Departments and Agencies to the policy goals of the Administration impeded the pursuit of the Administration’s policy agenda.


If the GOP controls the Senate Majority, I would go one step further than the Senate Minority was able to go over the past four years – the GOP must block confirmation of a particular groups of individuals if nominated by a Biden White House. … No Russian Hoaxers Confirmed … No Participants In Ridiculous Impeachment Exercise … No Chinese Lobbyists

Seems like a good start. More treats from Mr. Cotton this morning:

Facts First: Tom Cotton Takes Aim at Joe Biden’s Prospective Cabinet Picks, No Punches Are Pulled

(Go scan the whole smackdown. I’ll wait.)

Keen observers will note how even our local stoolies are behaving as if their four-year temper tantrum was righteous and any retaliation in-kind will be tut-tutted as unsophisticated by serious people who care about the future. Expect men and women with real fortitude like this being signaled by the good Mr. Cotton to be met with much the same and significantly worse from both inside and outside their own perimeter.

For the record, I have it on good authority that sign and logo suppliers across the nation are already busy with orders changing “Never Trump” to “Never Cotton” on all kinds of merchandise. Such a principled bunch (just puked a little in my mouth again).

But hey, yada, yada, yada …Unity.

Life Is Beautiful. Even When It’s Not.


I love my job. I really do. Most of the time.

Except at times like these. I just told one of my closest friends that he has a degenerative brain disease, and that he is going to fade away into dementia and helplessness over the next year or two. He’s only 70 years old. His wife has her hands full. She’ll be changing diapers before she knows what happened. There is no treatment. Well, nothing that works.

He buys good scotch. So I’ve spent a lot of time on his patio, drinking better stuff than what I generally buy, laughing and talking about funny stories. But early this morning, I sat in his living room, drinking coffee, talking about awful, horrible things. Unthinkable things. Things that happen to somebody else. Usually. Until it happens to you.

And then, tomorrow looks dark and bleak.

I left his house, and instead of going home, I drove to Starbucks, where one of my daughters works. She was her usual ray-of-sunshine self, laughing with the customers, and her co-workers. She’ll work there for another month or so, and then she starts a great job as a tech consultant for an international company. She can’t wait to get started.

For her, tomorrow looks so exciting.

My brief exposure to the joy of youth helped, but not as much as I’d hoped.

I’ll have some scotch tonight, some of the good stuff that I keep in the back of my cabinet, in honor of my friend. Probably more than I should. And it will probably help. But not as much as I hope that it will.

I hate my job. I really do. Some of the time.

Life is beautiful. Even when it’s not.

Tomorrow, we give thanks. As we should, every day.

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More anomalies in PA… Pennsylvania has 18 House districts. I added all GOP and Dem votes for PA and compared to Trump and Biden. GOP beat Dems in House races by 86,847 votes, yet Biden beat Trump by 80,555 votes. Trump under performed House Republicans by 54,521 while Biden over performed House Democrats by 112,881 […]

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No Freedom, No Peace!


Freedom has so many dimensions that it is easy to lose some in one area while retaining it in others such that the incremental loss goes virtually unnoticed. For example, property rights: As long as theft is illegal and courts enforce contracts, the people tend to let zoning law decisions slide and are understanding when police and prosecutors have higher priority crimes to deal with. 

And then you get the pandemic. All of a sudden wholesale rights are disturbed for the law abiding. Then various criminals are favored as their conduct is let to pass while you are threatened for going to church, going to a restaurant, going to a gym, or not wearing you mask between bites.

And then you have an odd election. One candidate promotes maximum personal liberty and draws crowds. The other candidate hides in the basement, doesn’t take questions, and promotes collective “safety” over individual liberty. The latter guy “wins”?

2021 is going to be a challenge to the notion of freedom either way things play out. If Biden is inaugurated whole swaths of the country will be relying on states’ rights as never before. If President Trump somehow prevails and stays in office, the furies that have attacked him seemingly forever will be unleashed at levels not yet seen.

Either way, our individual wills will be tested in ways as never before.

But for me, No Freedom, No Peace! 

Quote of the Day: Nettling the Humorless and Pricking the Pompous


“What is satire if not a marriage of civil disobedience to a laugh track, a potent brew … that acts as a nettle sting on the thin skin of the humorless.” — Mona Eltahawy

Satire is a nettle sting on the thin skin of the humorless. I like the sound of that. I like it so much that I think that we on the Right ought to adopt that as our slogan for the next four years.

So Ricochetti, if your talent runs toward satire, the mating of criticism and wit, your time has come. Fortunately, the Democratic establishment for the next four years will be target rich with humorless scolds just ripe for satire. Think of just the more visible members of the Democratic establishment: Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Schumer, Maxine Waters, AOC, Omar, et al. Has there ever been a gallery more crowded with flawed humans outside of Rikers Island?

We’ll expose Pelosi’s testiness, Omar’s next marriage to a brother, and almost every word that drips from Schiff’s crooked little mouth.

Flaying the Left’s foibles, vices, and hypocrisies should be as easy as shooting at sitting ducks, whether it’s Pelosi getting her hair cut at a shuttered San Francisco hair salon, or Newsom attending a large dinner when he’s been telling Californians for weeks that they ought not to gather in large groups.

We’ll expand our satiric targets to the brown-nosing sycophants of late-night television and every biased writer of the mainstream media. They’ve been attacking Trump and the Right for four years. It’s our turn now that their chosen one is in power.

Jose Pluma got us off to a good start with his brilliant satire on the Left’s proposal to erase up to $50,000 of college loan debts. Pluma shows just how harebrained the idea is.

Sometimes it’s enough just to quote the Left. In Freeven’s recent post, he quotes the mayor of Wauwatosa, WI, after a gunman shot up a shopping mall in his town, wounding eight. Have you ever heard greater nonsense than the Mayor’s reaction to the shooting? “The Mayfair Mall has a strict no-gun policy…. If the shooter had complied with that policy, no one would have been hurt yesterday.” Think about that.

We wish Biden and company the best. We’re the loyal opposition, after all, a concept I heartily approve of. We hope the Biden administration will expand freedom and promote the general welfare, and we’ll applaud when those things happen. But history tells us that the Left will overplay its hand and fall back on what they’re comfortable with: to restrict freedom and expand the state.

Any movement in that direction and we pounce.

All Debt is bad and sad and ergo should go away


Doc B – like our old long-lost friend Doc Jay, but probably less likely to look at your chart, say “screw it,” rip out your tubes and drive you to Vegas – wrote about a patient thrilled by the promise of college debt elimination. The patient did not have a firm grip on things like “economics” or “reality,” but she’s not alone. 

As long as we’re talking about college debt relief, why not all debt? The New Yorker is here to tell you what it means in terms of PHILOSOPHY and also justice.

In Congress, the freshman representatives known as the Squad have lifted up grassroots demands to cancel student loans, back rent, and mortgage payments. 

But probably not your mortgage payment, because you can pay it. 

Debt relief, Representative Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, told me, makes sound economic sense, given that working families would put freed-up money “right back into communities, right back into the economy.” Pressley added, “We have to bail out the American people.”

Hold on. Wait a gol-durned minute. You mean if people have relief from mandated financial obligations, they use the money in other ways that stimulates economic activity? It’s trickle-out economics! 

Though it would help struggling households make ends meet, debt relief isn’t just about money. There are also deeper moral questions to consider—and this is where David Graeber’s work is indispensable.

This is where you sigh with satisfaction and settle into the warm bath of moral questions the New Yorker writers permit you to entertain, and you smile to yourself: I have no idea who David Graeber is, but I will soon, and then I will know something indispensable. 

In “Debt,” he sought to challenge his readers to rethink the very notion of owing: Who owes what to whom?

“Stop paying and find out” seems the easy answer to that one

Do all debts need to be repaid?

“Stop paying and find out” seems the easy answer to that one

Can our real obligations ever be quantified?

Dude have you ever looked at your hand? I mean really looked at it

As an anthropologist who had studied gift exchange,

Oh, a financial expert, is what you’re saying. “At E. F. Hutton, we make money the old fashioned way – by anthropological inquiry into the folkways involving gift exchange.”

and an anarchist determined to envision a world beyond capitalism,

Oh, a nutwad. Well, you have to admire his determination; the man sets his clock for 5 AM every day, goes into the study, and spends the fresh hours of the day fiercely envisioning.

“Are you coming down for breakfast?” the wife calls.

“Not yet! I am so close! A few more minutes and I’ll have the post-capitalist world fully envisioned!” Then he frowns and rests his chin on his fists. Okay where was I. No debt, no money, no rent, no banks, no societal heirarchies, no scarcity . . . then what? I’m almost there! I’m so close!

David wanted to help build a world unconstrained by the constant and petty accounting of debits and credits, one where value and worth were not denominated in dollars.

Because no one has any metrics for quantifying anything in life besides dollars, of course. But let’s go with that. We abandon a commonly-accepted medium of exchange to facilitate our daily exchanges of goods and services, and something without any of the characteristics of value and obligation will arise. WHAT IF THERE WAS LIKE, NO MONEY AND WE JUST DID COOL STUFF AND EVERYONE WAS COOL

Debt, he wrote, is “a promise corrupted by both math and violence.” 

Well, if you borrow from Tony the Shark down at the social club, yeah

What other types of promises might we make to one another and strive to honor? And, in order to do that, what promises might we have to renegotiate or refuse?

“You make some interesting points sir but you ordered a ham sandwich and you ate it and here’s the bill. You can pay here, or at the cash register. And we don’t take checks.”

Debt cancellation is an essential component of any sensible response to this worsening disaster, especially one attuned to questions of racial justice.

Racism before: minority communities do not have access to credit, and that’s a problem. Racism today: minority communities have access to credit, and that’s a problem. Solution: upend the Etch-a-Sketch. As always, Year Zero beckons, with its boundless justice and limitless potential. 

Biden, The Movie-Coming Attractions


Although this essay is written for all the residents in the United States, it is written specifically for the residents of Georgia. Georgians have the opportunity to maintain Republican control of the Senate.

Some may see me as a defeatist, but I prefer to salvage what we can from what a Biden-Harris administration will bring to all 50 states. Georgians are going to be inundated with misinformation in the weeks before the Senate runoff election; it’s already begun with Leftists encouraging non-residents to move to Georgia and become temporary residents, to then vote in the runoff.

I urge Georgians to not take the advice of pro-Trump attorney L.Lin Wood about voting in the Georgia runoff. According to Newsmax:

In a series of weekend tweets, Wood asked Georgians not to vote for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue unless they help overturn the election results in the state.

“Let’s speak truth about @SenLoeffler & @sendavidperdue. Why are they doing little or nothing to support efforts by GA citizens to address unlawful election & need for @BrianKempGA to order special session of legislature?” Wood tweeted. “If not fixed, I will NOT vote in GA runoff,” he continued. “Will you?”

This type of advice reminds me of the old joke about the husband who comes from work and finds his wife in bed with another man. The betrayed husband takes a pistol from the dresser and puts up to his head. The wife and her lover start laughing. The husband says; “Why are you laughing? You two are next.”

John Kerry has now been appointed as Biden’s Climate Czar, and this does not require a Senate confirmation hearing. From National Review:

“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry wrote in a Twitter post. “I’m proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President’s Climate Envoy.”

The Biden-Harris team noted that Kerry “was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord” of 2015. President Trump later pulled out of the treaty, saying its criterion for reducing emissions harmed American manufacturing and energy jobs.

Although John Kerry is not subject to confirmation from the Senate, I’m sure that he would love to help write legislation to try and kill fossil fuel generation in the United States.

The average price per gallon of gasoline in the US is $2.110 according to AAA (here’s a link to the averages for each state). The average in France is $5.996 per gallon.

The price of goods that are delivered by trucks and trains, as well as travel will rise in the U.S. John Kerry can afford that increase; he earned his money the old-fashioned way: he married into it. Tech oligarchs and hedge fund oligarchs can afford these increases as well.

I will probably write another essay on the “Biden Movie” in the days to come, until that time I urge Georgians to take away the Kamala Harris deciding vote in the Senate.

Those Are My Principles


But if you don’t like them, well, I have others.

During my twelve-and-half years as a member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, untraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.

– Joe Biden, 1985

Hat tip: Steven Hayward at PowerLine.

An Inspiring Message of Virtue and Hope from a Brilliant Leftist…


A friend of mine from high school (“Betsy”) went to a near-Ivy League level college.  And she deserved to; she’s extremely hard-working and an absolute genius. I admire her.  She’s brilliant, she’s beautiful, and she apparently married well because she is now an assistant teachers’ aide at an elementary school library at her daughter’s school, and she lives very comfortably.  She lives in Tracy, California (about an hour east of San Francisco), and is an extremely politically active Democrat.  She posted the following on her Facebook page today (emphasis mine):

The City Council of Tracy will be discussing whether to become a “Sanctuary City,” meaning the city will not enforce state and county rules that have been established to limit business activities during covid. I encourage people to read the Council’s agenda item to understand the implications of taking this action. I encourage people to read the report. My understanding is that the county and state can still do their own enforcement of business restrictions. The City of Tracy is really doing more education than enforcement already and is not really interested in punishing businesses. And, the City stands to lose a lot of state Covid-related money that has already been committed if the City Council declares we are a sanctuary city. I absolutely understand that businesses are suffering during this time. I’m just not sure that making a Tracy a sanctuary city will actually improve conditions for businesses. I’m happy to hear other perspectives if people want to share specific ways in which this declaration could help businesses and be worth losing the state Covid-related money the City is getting.

This is so wonderful, on so many levels.  If I were to attempt to convince Betsy of the absurd structural defects of leftism, I would read this very passage to her.  Very slowly.  Which is silly, because she’s much more intelligent than I am.

But let’s break this down.

So her hometown, Tracy, California, is attempting to become a “sanctuary city.”

Over the past few years, a ‘sanctuary city’ was one that did not enforce immigration law against illegal immigrants.  But in this particular case, ‘sanctuary city’ means one that does not enforce COVID-19 executive actions against small businesses run by American citizens that are attempting to survive against the destructive efforts of their own governor.  Whoever came up with the name for this current bill is a genius.

Next, Betsy says that the state and county governments are doing most of the enforcement of these diktats anyway, while the government of Tracy was helpfully engaged in the smiling happy joyfulness of education, and is not as interested the mean-spirited unpleasantness of ‘punishing businesses’ as the state and county governments are.  That’s nice.

And lastly, it is important to vote against this, because Betsy’s hometown of Tracy ‘stands to lose a lot of COVID-related money‘ if they don’t go along with the tyrannical impulses of the state government.  After all, this doesn’t really have anything to do with principles or viruses.  Come on, little people – don’t get all hung up on distractions like ethics or illnesses.  This is simply about getting as much money from other people as possible.

Don’t get caught up in the COVID-related stuff about diseases and sick people and stuff – this is only about money and power.  So relax, and feel free to vote against this.

Betsy makes no effort to defend the state’s COVID policies.  She simply argues that this is just about money.  And you should vote in favor of taking away more money from other people.  Simple.  I mean, come on.

Remember that money and power are virtuous when held by the proper people.  Just let us worry about the details, and do as we say.  And sleep well tonight.  As Betsy helpfully explains, good leftists like herself think only of money and power.  Don’t get distracted by principles or ethics.

So an extremely intelligent, well-meaning leftist writes on Facebook that her neighbors should vote against becoming a sanctuary city and allow the state and county governments to punish businesses, so she and her neighbors can continue to steal money and power from their fellow Californians.

What an inspiring message of virtue and hope!

Betsy has ten times the brains of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, AOC, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and all the rest of them.  I have enormous respect for her.

And this is the very best she could come up with.  To her, this is a positive message of hope.

In the next presidential election, about half the American voters will vote Democrat.  Almost all of whom are not nearly as intelligent or well-meaning as Betsy.  And still, they’ll vote Democrat.  Think about that for a minute.

No, really.  Think about that for a minute.  Their view of leftism is likely to be less intelligent and less virtuous than Betsy’s description above.

And still, they’ll vote Democrat.

My God…

Chumps for Trump vs. Thugs for Plugs


I write this out of a sense of some of the most acute and severe frustration I have ever felt in my (very, very long) life,  a life which has had its fair share of many of the same frustrations we all get hit with in this old life. I must say, looking at some of the posts on Ricochet, it would appear I am hardly alone in the way I am feeling, although my sense of helplessness, for want of a better word, might come from a slightly different place.

I write this as a veteran of many years as a practicing trial lawyer, the kind of a lawyer you rarely see on the billboards or on the TV ads aimed primarily at the hospital wards in the morning hours (what a sordid way to make a living, if that’s living!), but the kind, not to get all virtue signaling about it, who actually got down in the dirty work of depositions, Motions, briefing, more Motions, and actual trials– in actual courtrooms, not movie-like sets.

I write this from that background, as well as one in which I was taught by my parents, my mentors, Law Professors, Judges, Senior Lawyers, Military Officers I looked up to for guidance and teaching, to love the Good Ol’ US of A with everything I had and to despise deep in my bones anyone who would wish it harm — in other words, “enemies foreign and domestic.” One source of my frustration tonight is that I feel, in the true sense of the word,  surrounded by scores of people who not only seem to wish our Beloved Nation harm, which means they wish us harm, but who are saying it out loud — and acting on that statement.

As a lawyer of “the old school” (how could I pretend to be of any other?) a major source of my frustration is with the howling mobs of the mainstream media (who we have permitted to “call” the election for Biden, to our shame), academia, the execrable “leadership” of the Democrat Party as well as a few of our own, and even some of our own colleagues here on Ricochet who never saw a corrupt old politician or member of The Lincoln Project or The Bulwark they wouldn’t support and send money to, who profess great urgency in convincing the Trump campaign to “give up the ghost” as there is no way he can develop a path to victory.

As one who spent decades in the vineyards of the practice of trial law, I find these complaints to be, to use the most polite term possible, divorced from the real world of what it takes to develop any case, and especially a case of this monumental complexity which must be investigated, drafted, filed (in numerous jurisdictions), argued, tried in the instances where the Court sets an evidentiary hearing, appealed (especially here where there does not seem to be a Judge in the entire county willing to let these cases go forward) on an excruciatingly tiny timeframe.

But, my disdain is heightened tenfold when these complaints come from those I will refer to in a shorthand manner as “The Lincoln Project” geniuses who are wallowing in their gloating revelry at the prospect of a Harris Administration… how about we try a little realism here… who hold themselves out to be practicing, working, licensed, lawyers, who must, if, indeed, they are what they claim to be, know a little about what is involved in putting these cases together and would be presumed to know that everyone is entitled, as an American citizen, to make whatever legal claims he or she can, in good faith, and this is what causes the break apparently, President Donald J. Trump!

“Unity!” They say. It is only because I honor the C of C here that I restrain myself from saying what I really feel about people who display what may be a whole new level of hypocrisy rarely seen even in the cesspool which our National Capital has become. Fortunately, our friend Dr. Bastiat has kindly provided us with a remarkable summary by an unusually well-suited observer to help us understand what we are experiencing in “Fighting Words.” There, he set forth a recent essay by David Horowitz, CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor of its publication, FrontPage and himself a former far-left radical, which every one of us should read, study, review, re-read, and study again, as it is one of the most perceptive pieces I have seen and may be likened to Mr. Jefferson’s “fire bell in the night.” @drbastiat did all of us a great service in bringing this chilling commentary to our attention, and it bears at least a cursory review here.

Here is his description of the person the Never Trumpers and the Lincoln Project groupies so proudly supported and the “party” he “leads”:

“This is not “playing” people. It is war. They are trying to kill us politically, and we need to respond accordingly, to fight fire with fire. Today’s Democrat Party is a party of character assassins and racists. Republicans know this but are reluctant to say it. That is how a pathological liar and corrupt political whore like Joe Biden can accuse the choice of 73 million Americans of being a white supremacist and also murdering 220,000 corona virus patients. That’s why Biden and his gunslingers can do so with no consequences – without so much as a wrist slap – from “moderates” and independents, who know better. The Democrats’ ability to intimidate well-meaning Americans is that great.

“Is this too blanket a condemnation? Where, then, is the Democrat who was outraged by the four-year Russia collusion hoax and the failed coup and impeachment attempts – all of which accused the president, without a shred of evidence, of treason? Where was the Democrat who dissented from the public lynching of an exemplary public servant, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, over an incident that never happened 37 years ago at a time when he was a high school kid? Where is the Democrat who has condemned the violent street criminals of Antifa and Black Lives Matter who got away with conducting the most destructive civic insurrection in American history, orchestrating mayhem and disrespect for the law that led to the murders of scores of people who happen to have been mainly black?”  (Emphasis added)

But, the centerpiece of the Horowitz essay was, in my opinion, at least, his “brief vocabulary for understanding the political war that has engulfed us”:

” … When it is used by enough Americans who love their country, it will cancel the surreal universe that Democrats’ lies have imposed on us, and the war will be on its way to being won.

“Democrats are not democrats; they are totalitarians. They have declared war on the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Electoral College, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the election system, and the idea of civil order. They have called for the Republican President of the United States to be de-platformed and jailed. Their obvious goal is a one-party state that criminalizes dissent. To them, support for such basic necessities as borders and law enforcement are racist. If you oppose their efforts to legalize infanticide, they will condemn you as enemies of women, and if you make videos of their confessions to selling body parts of murdered infants, they will – like Kamala Harris – throw you in jail.

“Progressives are not progressive; they are reactionaries. They are out to abolish liberal value systems and create a status hierarchy where race, gender, and sexual orientation define and confine you to an unalterable place in their new social order. If you are white or male or heterosexual or religious – Justice Kavanaugh was all four – you are guilty before the fact.”

In conclusion, he gives one of the best short rebuttals to the incessant accusations of “systemic racism” I have seen, and finishes with a sad commentary on the squishy composition of Republican backbones and what we, as individual patriotic Americans need to do to combat this horde of barbarians:

“Systemic racism” is an assertion made reflexively by Democrats that is never accompanied by evidence. For good reason. Systemic racism has been outlawed in America since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If there were actual instances of systemic racism in 2020, there would be lawsuits – plenty of them. Even making the racist assumption, which the Identity Politics crowd does make, that all white people are white supremacists by dint of their skin color, there are tens of thousands of black lawyers, prosecutors, district attorneys, attorneys general, and elected officials who would be filing lawsuits over a practice that is illegal. You never hear of massive lawsuits over systemic racism, because “systemic racism” is a myth. The myth lives because it is an indispensable weapon wielded by Democrats to advance their anti-democratic agendas and quests for power.

But the only reason Democrats are able to do this so successfully – even going so far as to justify the arson, looting and general destruction in more than 600 American cities this summer – is because Republicans, and conservatives generally, are too cowardly to confront them. This war will continue until patriotic Americans summon the courage to call Democrats the racists, liars, character assassins and aspiring totalitarians that they actually are. And to do so in so many words. Blowback works.

A similar recommendation as to what we, as individual Patriots may well be called upon to do, is found in the most recent issue of the Claremont Review of Books (very highly recommended) in which the brilliant scholar and novelist, Mark Helprin, in an essay entitled The Revolution of 2020, issued this stirring clarion call to action:

“No”is one of the most difficult yet liberating words in any language. Though it often comes at a steep price—of peace, tranquility, livelihood, and even life—it is the master key to independence and freedom. Were every American made aware of this inherent power, we would then see how much courage and character we have left. For the simplest declaration is the most potent, and sometimes it moves like wildfire.

How difficult would it be to say, when the demand comes, when the threat comes, when the command comes: No, I do not agree with your redefinitions. No, I will not do as you tell me. No, I will not say what you order me to say. No, I will not surrender my freedom of speech and expression. No, I will not accept your revolution. And I will not stand against my country.

To shamelessly “borrow” from Mr. Horowitz’ questions: where are the lawyers who care deeply about the Rule of Law who will admit that President Trump has exactly the same right to pursue every single, possible, valid, good faith claim under the law that I have or you have or your neighbor has or, yes, even Messrs Kristol and Conway and French and Goldberg and their esteemed Never Trumper colleagues have as American citizens? Where are the lawyers, other than, Thank God, such warriors as Guliani, Powell, Ellis, Wood, etc., who will stand with this American citizen until the last claim is adjudicated and the last appeal is rejected, as they would with any client they represent? Where are the citizens who will say, with Mr. Horowitz and Mr. Helprin, NO! This will not stand; and I will NOT stand against my country?


[Author’s note: the title assumes the reader is familiar with the nickname Rush has given to Joseph Robinette Biden for many years as a result of his hair transplant (plural?) years ago. ]

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Here is a statistical analysis of the infamous late night data dumps, which occurred only in battleground states that just happened to stop counting—claim to stop counting—at the same time.  Here And here is a link to Matt Braynard’s 40-minute video in which he presents his findings. Some points from Matt: The dead voter issue […]

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Let’s consider a scenario.  A major corporation goes bankrupt rapidly, and lots of people lose jobs or money in stocks.  Even other companies are left holding the bag from purchase orders.  It turns out that a major executive was actively embezzling from the company and defrauding the investors while lying to the SEC.  However, the […]

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