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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Corporate Social ‘Wokeness’


The global debate over climate change entered into a new and more dangerous stage this past week. Two American corporate icons, Microsoft and BlackRock, have committed themselves to resisting what they perceive as the unacceptable risks of global warming. Microsoft has announced that it will be “carbon negative by 2030,” and that by 2050 it will have removed from the environment all of its carbon emissions dating back to its founding. It has also pledged one billion dollars to a climate innovation fund to deal with global warming—peanuts for a firm with over $125 billion in annual revenues.

Not to be outdone, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $7 trillion in assets under management, has proudly declared through its Chairman and CEO Larry Fink that it will “place sustainability at the center of our investment approach, including: making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management; existing investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers; launching new investment products that screen for fossil fuels. . . .”


The Iowa caucuses are only days away, and the race is tightening between four candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. As Sanders and Warren feud over the details of a 2018 meeting, the New York Times’s editorial board gave both Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., an additional boost with a joint endorsement for the Democratic nomination. At the same time, President Trump’s impeachment complicates the race for Sanders, Warren, and Klobuchar, who have to spend time away from the campaign and on Capitol Hill for the trial in the Senate. My guest today is Naomi Lim, a politics reporter with the Washington Examiner. On today’s show, we’re going to discuss the background of the feud between Sanders and Warren, how the New York Times’s editorial board impacts the Democratic primary, and what the Senate impeachment trial means for the senators running for president.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The MLK Parade in Arizona


Filling in for Ace Correspondent @cliffordbrown who has reported on the East Valley Martin Luther King Day Parade in Mesa, AZ, for the past two years, intrepid cub reporter Gumby Mark is filing this report.

It was a very enjoyable experience. Though Mesa is a city of 500,000, the parade had the atmosphere of small-town New England parades that I grew up with; relaxed, neighborly, no big floats, with lots of neighborhood organizations participating. I had nice conversations with folks standing around me. (Photos below)


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Best of Times


We should reserve a portion of our nightly prayer to thank God that we were born into this time, this place. We live like kings. No, that’s not right. The original one percenters — the kings and queens, dukes and barons, princes and princesses, and the rest of their ilk — led lives of severe deprivation compared with our lives.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Impeachment and Getting My Facts Straight


I want to make sure I have the facts straight before the trial to impeach the president begins. They are as follows:

The President of the United States called and congratulated the newly elected president of Ukraine on his win. They chatted a few minutes and Trump asked if he would look into some of the corruption that has been going on for years in that country. While he was about to release aid to Ukraine, Trump did not mention a holding on any aid unless certain information was given to him. The newly elected president of Ukraine ran on cleaning up the corruption which has been rampant for a long time, especially under his predecessor, and said yes, he would.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. When is Insurrection Wrong?


“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Virginia has again been tested, not by George III, but by Governor Northam promising to make radical laws restricting the right to keep and bear arms. The usual suspects have been crying and pleading on the internet for good and free Virginians to not use any force or violence in their protests today. Why?


How are small businesses doing in the current economy? How do you find a professional mentor or use content to build your business? How do you deal with depression as an entrepreneur or professional? Ramon Ray, Founder, Smart Hustle Media and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Alice joins Carol to talk about all things small business and entrepreneurship.

Ramon Ray has started four companies and sold two of them. He’s the author of four books, including his latest, Celebrity CEO.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Fix is In


As it was last time around, Bernie Sanders is rising a bit too high and getting a bit too close to the nomination for the comfort of Establishment Democrats. Two pieces of news today indicate that they aren’t playing games anymore, and they’ll be using their voices and their power to kneecap the candidate:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Christopher Tolkien: 11/21/1924 – 1/15/2020


Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95 after dedicating the latter part of his life to protecting and advancing his famous father’s, J.R.R. Tolkien’s, literary legacy. He’s recognized as the “editor” of The Silmarillion but, in the opinion of people much more expert than I on the subject of Middle Earth mythology, he was much more than that. He’s more akin to a co-creator to the most popular work of English fiction in the 20th century. He began his collaboration with his father in his teens, helping to point out inconsistencies in the narrative and even drew the maps which would adorn the publication of the Lord of the Rings trilogy originally published in 1954. He gave up his career as an Oxford professor at age 50 to study and organize the copious notes his father left, illuminating the fascinating 60-year creative process in a four-part series on The History of The Lord of the Rings. There’s something very Samwise Gamgee about such filial love and dedication.

My own history with the Tolkiens is much more recent. I didn’t become interested in Tolkien’s work until the Peter Jackson movies were released. I’m not much of a fiction reader anyway, but when my parish offered a class on the trilogy, I jumped in.


President Reagan’s second address was 35 years ago, on January 21st, 1985. Bitterly cold temperatures in Washington, DC, forced the cancellation of the Inaugural Parade and required President Reagan to deliver his second inaugural address…indoors, all 2,546 words. Let’s listen.


Kevin McLaughlin and Matt Whitlock discuss the start of the Senate impeachment trial with NRSC Political Director Betsy Ankney.


Several weeks ago, Jay sat down with Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue University – and a former governor of Indiana. Daniels is a Reagan conservative. They were talking about free speech on campus. And Daniels hailed Professor Geoffrey R. Stone at the University of Chicago – a “lion of the Left,” he said, who had been chiefly responsible for the Chicago Principles, which address this issue of free speech. Purdue, along with approximately 70 other institutions, has adopted the principles for itself.

Jay has now gone to see Professor Stone in Chicago. They talk about life – especially Stone’s, but some of Jay’s, too – and the momentous issue of free speech. Conservatives will not like everything Stone says; he does not like everything conservatives say. But he and Jay have little time for snowflakes and safe spaces. America has become all too “triggerable,” they agree. 


Life Empowers: Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman. That is the theme of this years national March for Life in Washington, DC set to take place on January 24. Since 1974, March For Life has gathered in our nations capital to remember the lives lost since the passage of Roe v. Wade and to remind America that each life has value.



Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sunshine State of Mind


I’m from California, where L.A. borders the O.C. and where abbreviating everything is second nature. Winter consists of setting the car’s ventilation from max AC to regular and having a long-sleeved shirt on standby if you have to get up early. The big concern is the annual brush fires and whatever fresh torments the legislature is planning.

So here we are in Utah. I’m ringing in the roaring twenties in a home-knit cap and scarf, with a closet filled with flannel shirts and long pants. That quilt we got for a wedding present? Finally, something we can use and appreciate. Same with the snow shovel our realtor gave us when we closed on the house… in August. The handle was too warm to touch if left outside. Not a problem now.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Winter of Our Discontent: The Darkling Thrush


The Darkling Thrush
By Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.


Democrats and their allies in the press have been saying President Trump simply has no defense against articles of impeachment. Hill Republicans made the case for the president, but the fact is, the White House had not produced any comprehensive defense in the nearly four months since impeachment began. Until now. In a 110-page memo, White House lawyers make the process arguments that have been widely discussed. But they also go deeply into the substance of the Trump-Ukraine matter — more deeply than Democrats ever predicted they would. In this solo podcast, Byron takes a look at the arguments Republicans will be making in the contentious days and weeks ahead.