Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Raining Cats and Dogs: Bob and Me


When Marie and I sat down in the doggie greeting room at the Portland Humane Society, a little light-brown mutt with short legs and a smile on his face trotted in and adopted us.

Bob the dog had been just a few days from being euthanized in a shelter in Fresno, California, when the Portland Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, told Fresno that it would take in a few of their dogs. Bob was in that lucky lot.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. About Those Younguns


I was having a conversation with my wife this morning about all that ails this great country of ours. One thing that I think is a real problem, and you all tell me if I’m right or wrong, is the deference we give young people. I’ve heard it time and again: “Let’s listen to the kids!”

Might part of the problem be that we are listening to the kids too much? I mean look, they are dumb! I mean, we are all were dumb when we were young, coming up with dumb ideas, and doing dumb things. And as we grew older and learned from our mistakes and grew wiser. What got me thinking about this was a statistic on some podcast I heard about how many young people have a favorable view of communism. So what? Who cares? They don’t know what communism is!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Democrats, Is That Smell ‘Team Spirit’ or ‘Panic?’


Democrat strategist and poll-watcher Nate Silver, has been cautioning his followers on Twitter about the unlikelihood of impeaching Donald Trump before the election because, well, a substantial portion of the Democrat electorate isn’t in favor of it, based on a recent Monmouth University poll he cites.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Left’s Mandatory Intolerance of Empathy


Bill Maher has made a very successful career in show business with his particular brand of social commentary. He is viewed as an urbane intellectual with a cutting wit. He attempts to establish his dedication to independent thought with the title of his hit show, “Politically Incorrect,” but rarely deviates from modern leftist orthodoxy. Why, you wonder? If he’s as smart as he’s supposed to be (and I suspect he is), wouldn’t his comedy benefit from the occasional excursion into more controversial positions? Much of modern comedy is about making your audience vaguely uncomfortable and challenging their ways of thinking. Why doesn’t he do this to his mostly liberal audience? Why not occasionally challenge one of their assumptions? This is comedy, right? I’ll allow Mr. Maher himself to explain why he can’t do that.

In his opening monologue recently, when Mr. Maher told his mostly liberal audience, “Yesterday David Koch of the zillionaire Koch brothers died…of prostate cancer,” his audience applauded. You may find that amazing, but I suspect that Mr. Maher knew that that was an easy applause line. I find that amazing. Anyway, Mr. Maher continued, “I guess I’m going to have to re-evaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer…He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers for decades. So [expletive] him, the Amazon is burning up, I’m glad he’s dead, and I hope the end was painful.” Why such seething hatred? Because Mr. Koch and Mr. Maher disagreed about politics.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. A Thought About Single Parenting


I brought Darling Daughter back to college this week; the nest is, once again, empty. I don’t expect her to spend next summer at home as she did this year: she’s a sophomore now, and it’s reasonable to assume that my days of having a child in the house, other than for a brief visit, are over. And I’m okay with that.

I’ve been a single parent these past eight years, and I have some thoughts about the challenges of being a single parent. In particular, I’ve been thinking about the special challenge of being an only parent, someone raising children without the benefit of a partner, even a separated partner, who remains a continuing presence in their children’s lives. I know this is far less common than divorced or separated parents, but I know of several cases, and I’ve been thinking about them.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Volume 3,892


Perusing the website for the stinky local fishwrap this morning, I found this article. Yeah, 88 percent of the respondents think the City government is failing big time on homelessness. That is not a shock; the shock is that the morons continue to vote for the morons – the definition of insanity.

The one paragraph that blew my mind, however, was the following:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Icon, Part 12: Ascension


The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Risks and Results


“You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.” – Chuck Yeager

Today we focus almost exclusively on the risk of any new endeavor, not the results. Yet Chuck Yeager is right – if the potential results justify it, the risks are worth taking. But nothing ever gets done if you consider the risks as more important than the results and concentrate on the risks instead of the results.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Dancing with the Intolerant


View original artwork here.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the … Cats?


If Florence Nightingale were still alive, she’d have been 199 years old in 2019. She was born on May 12th, 1820, just a few short months after Mad King George (of American Revolution fame) breathed his last. By the time she died on August 13, 1910, George V (the current Queen’s grandfather) was on the throne, the England of her youth had vanished forever, and what had taken its place was about to be rocked to its foundations by the First World War.

If anyone might have achieved her bicentennial birthday, it would have been Miss Nightingale. She was determined, cantankerous, precocious, intellectually gifted (she was a brilliant mathematician with a bent for statistics, who popularized the “pie chart” as a visual aid in making her points), difficult, stubborn, opinionated, smart, a prodigious writer, and a woman who never took “no” for an answer without testing the bounds of the proposition herself. I’ve always admired her greatly. I’m not sure she’d have been a comfortable person to have as a friend, but I think she’d have been a very good and very loyal one.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Donald Dances with the Ones Who Brung Him


TrumpingBush43Evidence is mounting that President Trump is sticking closer to his 2015 Second Amendment pledges. Pot-stirring accounts from the left and right point to President Trump settling back towards his campaign positions.

The Atlantic tries stirring Trump family trouble by characterizing Ivanka as bending her father’s ear and seeking to manipulate him into supporting gun-grabbing. RedState seeks similar stirring by posing Donald Jr. as the one bending daddy’s ear to support gun rights. Both publications are operating from ignorance, but both offer some basic truth. These stories reinforce the thrust of his language in his characteristic outdoor departure press line comments.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Fun with Vectors and the Zombie Apocalypse


No, not vector in the epidemiological sense. The other, mathy kind of vector. Which, trust me, are fun. At least stick around for the zombies.

This dates back to my college days, when I took Differential Equations. Twice. I’ve always been good with math. Sure, I struggled with plenty of things along the way (percentages, trig identities, multivariable integration. Oooh, and concentrations in chemistry), but DiffEq is where I hit the wall like a coyote hits his own painted-on tunnel. Vector spaces were part of that; an abtruse concept used to justify an abstract concept used to solve some difficult equations that might, in turn, have something to do with the real world. But once I got my head wrapped around them, vector spaces turned out to be a fun and useful bit of math. Hey, it could happen.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Breaking: Trump in Greenland


AP BREAKING NEWS (Nuuk, Greenland): President Trump apparently made an unexpected stop on his way to the G7 Summit. “I just want to look around and get a feel for the place. Meet some of the locals,” the President told reporters as he quickly deplaned Air Force One.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Was a Bad Movie. Change My Mind.


Endgame was released about ten years ago (er, in April), but I didn’t watch it until this week. I don’t really see movies in theaters anymore, partly because the nearest theater is a 45-minute drive from my house. Also, it’s so damn expensive for tickets, and I can’t pause the big screen when I need to go to the bathroom. Anyway, I don’t think it was that great of a movie.

Obviously, this post is going to have some spoilers in it, but if you haven’t seen the movie yet, then tough. I mean, it did come out like ten years ago.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Photographs and Memories


Scrolling through the scanned images from many years of 35mm manual camera photography, I ran across this image. It was one of my better shots from my first military assignment, in Bavaria, West Germany. But who was that young officer doing a standing backflip under the elevated barrel of a King Tiger tank? I had not spoken with him since I left Germany in the spring of 1990, and his name had faded from memory. A bit of poking around the internet answered that question and filled in a vague memory with surprising detail.

When I reported to my officer basic course at Fort Bliss, Texas, I saved my modest pay until I could buy a good basic 35 mm camera kit. I bought a Pentax K1000 camera. Knowing I would be shooting film on the go, my hands often occupied with a map, mike, or machine gun, I went with a compromise lens, an aspherical 28-200mm wide to telephoto lens. That lens stood me in good stead through about seven years of active service, until I busted some pin or ring when I tossed the camera into a back seat.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Winter Is Coming!


Today was the day. Every day in August I look out to the Courthouse lawn to see if any of the large leafy deciduous trees have any yellow leaves. When I see my first yellow leaves, I call out to my assistant, “Natalie, come here!” and I point out the very first yellow leaves of the season. She shakes her head at my excitement every year. Today was that day. A small cluster of yellow-green leaves has appeared in about 1 percent of one of those three huge trees. It is the start of something exciting. We are a bit late this year; usually, the first yellow leaf appears around the Ides of August.

The high today in Flagstaff, AZ, was 84 degrees with a low of 52 degrees. But winter is coming! (People in Arizona look forward to winter like folks in Minnesota look forward to summer.) I am positively giddy when we get snow and post happy pictures on Facebook and text pictures of snowflakes to my friends.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Wilderness of Untried Things


“We Americans are the peculiar chosen people—the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world. God has predestined, mankind expects, great things from our race, and great things we feel in our souls. The rest of the world must soon be in our rear. We are the pioneers of the world; the advance-guard, sent on through the wilderness of untried things, to break a new path in this New World that is ours.” — Herman Melville, from White Jacket

Melville was clearly optimistic about America and how it would be a light unto the world, as he used biblical metaphors to describe our country. His awe and admiration for our mission was so inspiring. Today, however, I wonder how he would feel about the disdain so many direct toward America. He died in 1891 before the popularizing of Progressivism.


The President of the United States tweets The Conservatarians’ Photoshop, finally ensconcing this fine podcast in the National Archives. And why do Democrats call the late David Koch “polarizing” — was it his support for same-sex marriage, criminal justice reform, or legalized weed?

The intro/outro song and Jon’s song of the week is “Change With the Sun” by Soviet Soviet. Stephen’s song of the week is “Stained Glass Slipper” by WHY? To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Contributor Created with Sketch. Justice Ginsburg Completes Radiation Therapy for Malignant Tumor


The Supreme Court announced today that Associate Justice Ruth Ginsburg, 86, has completed a three week course of radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a malignant tumor on her pancreas. The tumor was detected during a blood test in early July and confirmed through a biopsy on July 31. In addition to the radiation therapy, Ginsburg also had a bile duct stent installed. According to the Office of Public Information at the Supreme Court, the tumor was “definitively treated” and there is no sign of disease elsewhere in her body.

Ginsburg has had cancer numerous times. Most recently, just last December she had a lobectomy on the left side of her lungs to remove cancerous nodules, also performed at Memorial Sloan Kettering. That procedure caused her to miss oral arguments at the Supreme Court, the first time she’d been absent since joining the court.


Another busy week (is there any other kind?) and our intrepid podcasters cover it all: is The New York Times‘ 1619 Project the definitive (new) history of the United States? Spoiler alert: no. Hoover Institution and self-titled Grumpy Economist John Cochrane joins to discuss the possibility of a recession, and later, our own (well, by marriage) Seth Mandel (OK, he also edits The Washington Examiner Magazine) stops by to discuss the President’s uh, unusual language when discussing members of the Hebrew faith, and why Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar really do employ anti-Semitic tropes on a regular basis. Finally, should we all start eating plant-based “beef”? Our podcasters debate and their opinions may surprise you.

Music from this week’s show: All That Meat And No Potatoes by Louis Armstrong


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. ‘Hey Johnnie Cope’


Nowadays, in my old age, I’m accustomed to waking up in the ordinary way, with a slightly fuzzy feeling, in a vague discontent, and my old broken shoulder aching, and twinges in my calves and ankles. And sometimes, if my thoughts turn that way, I can think smugly that one of the compensations nowadays is that there are no tables to scrub, or men of ill-will hitting the coal bunker with the poker, or hounding me out into the ablutions through the snow – and then I feel sad, because never again will I hear ‘ Johnnie Cope’ in the morning. – George MacDonald Fraser.

Whether it is Johnny Cope, or Johnnie Cope it all refers to the battle of Prestonpans in 1745. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Highlanders defeated Sir John Cope’s Redcoats. The song’s lyrics has some myth in it, but the truth is that the Highlander’s charge defeated Sir John Cope, and his troops were overrun in about 15 minutes.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Now You Tell Me?


A German theme park owner has been forced to shut down his newest thrill ride. Somehow no one seemed to notice that, fully extended, the attraction forms two massive “flying swastikas.” The owner says the ride will be “redesigned.”

Don’t they model these things for weight and balance issues? How could that fall through the cracks?


Contributor Created with Sketch. Here’s Why You Should Care About the Gay Pride Shirt Case at the Kentucky Supreme Court


The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear arguments on behalf of Hands On Originals owner Blaine Adamson on Aug. 23.For Blaine Adamson, there’s no separating his beliefs from his work. His Christian faith is what guides and drives him. It’s what makes Blaine who he is at home, in his community, and in his business.

Blaines’ faith is why his promotional print shop, Hands On Originals, provides otherwise unemployed women in Uganda with a steady income by hiring them to create hand-woven baskets, which they then give away to customers to raise awareness for the struggles these women face on a daily basis.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Is Voting a Behavior or an Identity?


Perhaps we got it all wrong.

Since 1964, black voters migrated to the Democrat Party and never looked back. At this point, they support Democratic presidential candidates at rates anywhere between 90-94%. Why?