Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Movie Aspect Ratios, Audience Immersion, and Eggs

 

I have the Blu-ray of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and had been watching the film on Turner Classic Movies as I puttered around on the computer this morning. My brothers and I originally saw the film when it was first released on a curved Cinerama screen at one of the Century domed theaters in San Jose, CA (adjacent to the Winchester Mystery House). It’s the same Cinerama theater that my brothers and I watched John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix when it was first released.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Breaking: Extinction Rebellion Is Pathetic

 

The scene is K Street, NW Washington DC around 11 a.m. Friday by McPherson Square. This massive protest by Extinction Rebellion was staged to bring the World Bank to its knees and stop the financing of the ongoing capitalist plot to kill the earth.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Day That Will Live in Infamy?

 

infamy

This is from the first typed draft of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to Congress on December 8, 1941.* The day before, Imperial Japan had launched a devastating massive air raid with the aim of crippling the US Pacific Fleet. It failed in its objective only because the lower status ships, the carriers, were out on maneuvers while the American national security establishment’s consensus opinion highest status ships (battleships) were floating at anchor.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A New ‘Cannonball Run’ Record from New York to LA, Averaging 103 mph

 

The Cannonball Run’s record was broken by over an hour recently. The total time was 27 hours, 25 minutes and 7 seconds. They averaged 103 mph. What a great article! I recommend it highly.

For 2,825.3 miles, the trio dodged highway patrol officers, avoided roadside deer and roared through 13 states in 27 hours and 25 minutes. They crushed the previous record by nearly an hour and a half.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Jury Duty Report

 

In late October I received a summons to appear for jury duty on December 6. This is old hat for me. Apparently, I am one of the lucky ones. This was my fifth summons for jury duty. One of the ladies there stated her age and said it was her first time. Her stated age was three years’ higher than my own. One of the judges came in to speak with us while we were waiting. The highest number she had ever heard of was a lady in her eighties who had been summoned six times.

The Process

If you have not been summoned to jury duty, or not been summoned lately, the process works something like this. You may receive a jury qualification questionaire. These days, such is filled out online. This may be a new thing or limited to some courts. I do not remember having filled one out before this current go-round. I received the summons to participate in the questionaire last summer.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Corrupt Politicians Drawn to Corrupt Country? Ukraine an Attractive Nuisance?

 

Reportedly, Ukraine has been one of the most corrupt countries on the face of the Earth. This is likely not a matter of some sort of defective national character, but rather a consequence of their geography and the past century of politics. Today, Putin, Democrats, and the US Deep State leverage Ukraine’s vulnerability to their own ends.

Anne Applebaum has done the real research and written the hard truths to power about evil perpetrated by the Soviet Union, including in Ukraine. Consider this MacClean’s interview of Applebaum on publication of her latest book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 62 Years Ago: Vanguard TV-3 Blows Up (Flopnik)

 

In 1955, there was a competition between the three armed services for the right to launch the first American satellite during the International Geophysical Year (actually 18 months 7/57-12/58). The Naval Research Lab won. As some of you know, my father co-wrote the proposal. He worked on the Minitrack system and designed the small test satellites.

On October 2, 1957, a memo went out that there would be no more paid overtime. Two days later, Sputnik 1 was launched and the memo was ignored. Sputnik’s signal was at 20 and 40 MHz whereas the IGY specified 108 MHz. That night, Dad called his assistant Marty Votaw and told him that the Soviets had launched a satellite. Marty responded, “Good, now we know it can be done.” Dad responded that they needed to track it. Marty asked if he could finish dinner first. Dad said yes, but come down immediately after that. They worked for three days without going home and modified Minitrack successfully to track Sputnik.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Memories: A Moment

 

It may have been a grey December day like this one, but I don’t remember. It must have been cold because I was wearing my bright red scarf. Did I buy the scarf or was it a gift? I don’t remember. I may have chosen it, although I generally avoid wearing red. It had a luxurious softness that I do remember because on an otherwise unmemorable day, I wore it to visit my grandmother.

She was sitting alone in her room. I remember that she didn’t say hello. She didn’t say anything at all. She didn’t smile, and she didn’t rise to greet me. When I leaned over to hug her, she felt my scarf. She stroked my scarf like an intrigued infant with a new, soft toy that she did not want to give back. Its gentle texture and pleasing bright color held her attention. Or was it that she was trying to acknowledge me?

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A White Guy on White Male Privilege

 

It is high time people throw off old preconceptions of Republicans as the mean descendants of cotton plantation owners, you know, the old diatribe about white male privilege. With Trump’s rising numbers among minorities, maybe we’re all finally seeing people as just people who are all just trying to persevere and build a better life for themselves and their families.

I look at my children. They are half Hungarian blood on my wife’s side; that side came to the US through Ellis Island in the early 20th century and somehow they all found each other. They were not privileged at all; they had nothing. They were the children of simple farmers whose land was confiscated by the communists. They did not come but were sent to America for a better future, which they found in the factories in and around Bridgeport, CT.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Meet and Greet with a Hopeful Congressman

 

Thursday evening, Papa Toad and I went to an event with Tony German, a retired two-star general (when he retired, Tony was Adjutant General of the New York National Guard, leading 20,000 airmen, sailors, soldiers, and civilian staff) who is seeking to unseat our one-term useless congressman, Antonio Delgado.

I first heard of Tony about a month ago when, out of the blue, I found a message from him on my home phone, telling me he was running for the nomination and hoped to speak to me to find out what issues were important to me. I was quite impressed, and, I admit, flattered. I called him back and left a message for Tony to the effect that I was heartened to hear his message, and that I hoped he would kick some [redacted] and that we would be praying for him. Tony called me back and we had a good long chat about the state of the state, and what could be done at the federal level to improve things.

More

While DC dithers, the real action is happening in the states. I attended the States and Nation Policy Summit this week, a conference organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The smartest local and national politicians and policymakers from Florida to Alaska shared how they’re improving the lives of their constituents. Here’s the lineup:

The intro/outro and Jon’s song of the week is “Mainland” by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Left’s Diffusion Challenge

 

We on the right and our counterparts on the left are each convinced that the media are biased, though we disagree about which way the press tilts. Spoiler: It tilts left — it isn’t even close. Worse, it tilts left more blatantly and extremely and unashamedly than it ever has before, at least in my lifetime. Most of our institutions tilt left, our universities and schools and entertainment industry — and, of course, those noble defenders of democracy who elide and dissemble under cover of press passes.

So here’s the problem for our friends on the left. The trailblazing institutions of progressive innovation have outpaced the roughly half of the country that doesn’t think of itself as generally conservative. We on the right think they’re crazy; increasingly, registered Democrats who earn their living in the real world and who are normal people kind of agree, even if they aren’t eager to talk about it. As the gap between the vanguard of the left and the nominal progressive voter widens, the views of the two groups must necessarily diverge: radical ideas can only diffuse through the culture so quickly, and the pop-cultural pace-setters are moving faster than normal people care to keep up, or are even able to keep up.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Andrew Klavan, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Gritty Christian Realism

 

Andrew Klavan of Daily Wire and Ricochet Audio Network fame is a talented author of fiction and a stern critic of contemporary Christian works. He often says he gets flack from Christians for including profanities and, um, non-Christian behaviors in his novels and screenplays. But, he finds most overtly Christian movies unrelatable and clunky attempts at messaging, which end up only delivering pablum. I agree. We Chauvinists haven’t paid to see a Christian movie in the theater since Fireproof (2008), which was uninspiring enough for us to forswear God’s Not Dead, its sequels, and all the rest.

However, when Mr. C found a theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar (JCS) playing in Denver, we jumped at the chance to see it. Our tickets were for Black (Good?) Friday. Coincidence?

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Build a Better Mouse House …

 

… and maybe you can get more people to take the stairs. At least, my working theory is that the following series of events was cooked up as an HR wellness initative to get our company’s employees to move more. It all started on November 22 when I was hiking back to the sixth floor from my daily treadmill break in the main floor gym. I noticed that next to a small hole in the wall of the stairwell, someone had amusingly placed a rubber mouse.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bad News for Sleepy Joe

 

Joe Biden got an endorsement from John Kerry today, a former Senator and Secretary of State. Some people still remember him. The value of Kerry’s endorsement to Biden falls somewhere between that of Neville Chamberlin’s and the foreign minister of Iran’s.

 

More

Bobby Jindal, former governor of Louisiana, stops by to talk to the full crew about How Trump Wins the Populist Patriots and how that particular group has been ill served by Democrats and Republicans alike and what Republicans can do to win their support. The Jobs Report is out with “unexpectedly high” numbers: 266,000 new non-farm jobs. Remember when the reports were always “unexpectedly low” under Obama? Rob attempts to explain why Obama is responsible for Trump’s great economy even though he hedges his bets by saying presidents can’t control the economy. Then John Yoo, detainee at UC Berkeley, joins the podcast, again, to talk impeachment. John has the most beautiful suggestion for what Trump should do, should there be an impeachment trial in the Senate. You’ll want to hear this one because it’s a winner. Big league. And if you disagree, let us know in the comments.

Finally, congratulations to @garymcvey for winning the prestigious Lileks Post of the Week competition for his post, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: This Never Happened to the Other Fellow. We only hand out 52 of these per year, folks.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Turley’s Turn

 

Professor Jonathan Turley has upset the progressives — so he must be silenced. As Ann Althouse blogged Friday morning, Turley was excoriated in the Washington Post and The Nation. The charge? That he is now saying (on behalf of Trump) the opposite of what he was saying in testimony regarding Obama and Clinton. But is this true?

Professor Turley says not. In the Obama testimony, he urged Congress — a matter of separation of powers — to challenge Obama’s unilateral acts that encroached on legislative powers, not to impeach him. In the Clinton testimony, he took the position that House could impeach for a non-criminal act (just as they are doing here). But Turley testified in the case of Trump that the record needs to be developed in greater depth and detail than the House Democrats have deigned to do.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump’s Ukraine Call Was Necessary and Right: Change My Mind

 

I don’t think there is any doubt about the following (I’ve highlighted things that I would like to have better details for):
1. Ukraine has had a long-term problem with corruption, including with its politicians.
2. We knew #1 and they knew #1.
3. We have a treaty with Ukraine to support each other in anti-corruption investigations. This predates the Trump administration.
4. Burisma is one Ukrainian company with a history of corruption.
5. Joe Biden’s son Hunter was given an amazingly lucrative position on the board of Burisma, given his experience.
6. Joe Biden claimed (in public and recorded) that he forced the removal of the prosecutor who happened to be investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid. (There is some confusion that the prosecutor had other corruption issues, but when he was replaced by a “solid guy,” the investigation into Burisma was stopped.)
7. Before the time period of interest, both the US and Ukraine had elections. Zelenskyy ran on a platform of getting rid of corruption and Trump on a platform that included being careful about how our foreign aid is sent to countries that are either corrupt or act against US interests. Trump was also interested in getting more buy-in from allies more local to the issues than the US.
8. Trump held up the aid to Ukraine until he was reassured by a bipartisan senatorial group that the new president of Ukraine was “the real deal.” (The media says this was because Trump heard about the whistleblower. I think both were very close in time, but I don’t think Trump would worry much about the whistleblower.)

So, from the US standpoint, I think Trump’s motivation was to reassure himself on points #7 and #8. From my perspective, that seems like not only a legitimate goal, but a required one.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Happy Analemma Day

 

It’s that time of year. Feeling gloomy? Perhaps it’s the shorter days of the season. Indeed, there’s a lot less sunlight. The afternoons seem to be particularly short.

Well, I have good news; this is Analemma Day. This is the day of the earliest sunset in most of the northern hemisphere. After today, we’re over the hump, and the afternoons get progressively longer.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Congress Doesn’t Need No Stinking Evidence!

 

“So what? We can’t get felony approval for anything without finding twenty witnesses, a dozen surveillance cameras, a victim interview, the offender’s mother’s statement AND a confession on video…..and even then, it’s probably going to be a C.I. [Continuing Investigation] until such time as God himself descends from Heaven to declare ‘This [redacted] is GUILTY and has forfeited his eternal reward.'” – Anonymous Chicago Police Officer

The quote comes from a Chicago police officer in a reaction to State’s Attorney Kimmie Foxx recusing herself from the Jussie Smollett case. Unlike the Chicago Police Department Adam Schiff goes on a fishing trip with a backhoe.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Once Upon a Spinning-Wheel (Part 7): Lure of the Lava Lady

 

On an island far away, the mwahaha flies.

The mwahaha is a bird – not, funnily enough, so called because its cry resembles the laugh of an old-fashioned villain, twirling his moustache as the express train draws near – but just out of sheer soppy sentimentality. There used to be a thriving colony of them somewhere up around old Hollywood way, back in the “real” world. People keep hoping they might come back someday, but, sad to tell, no one in living memory can remember seeing an active colony of mwahahas. Like the dodo, they have passed into the mists of history …

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The U.S. and Consorting with Terrorists

 

We haven’t had a major terrorist action like the 9/11 attacks in the US for good reason. Our governmental agencies still take potential attacks seriously in this country and are vigilant. My greatest concern now is that we, the public, will become complacent.

Many Islamic groups appear to be taking an increasingly public stand against efforts that protect this country; they are determined to undermine our counter-terrorism activities. And they’re making an ongoing effort to manipulate our lawmakers to help them forward their agenda. Many concerning people are also running for government positions all over the country.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Serial Seppuku in the Capital

 

In all my many years of watching politics, I have never seen so many people so absolutely convinced of something where the facts support the exact opposite conclusion. The Democrats are literally screaming for Trump’s removal for a myriad of so-called high crimes and misdemeanors while the facts show none of their accusations are valid. The Ukraine aid was released, meetings were not denied and Zelinskyy never initiated any investigation nor promised to do so.

The actual transcript of the so-called incriminating conversation mentions no conditions on aid or assistance; in fact, it does not mention any assistance or aid at all. Zelisnkyy said he never felt pressured by Trump and did not know that the aid had been even delayed at the time of the call. There were five high-level meetings between US and Ukraine officials subsequent to the initial call and not once was any condition mentioned regarding the forthcoming aid.

More

We have a great chat with James Golden, AKA “Bo Snerdley” from the Rush Limbaugh Show, about his new organization looking to bring the black vote back to the GOP. The group, “New Journey PAC,” and the accompanying MAGA.Black website aims to recruit black conservatives to challenge Democrats in the deepest-blue areas of the country by focusing on issues where conservatism lives but the Republican Party doesn’t play.

How does a black man raised in a Democratic Party household in Queens end up working for the king of conservative talk radio? And what was that journey like? James Golden lived it, and he knows that while the Republican Party struggles to get a tiny percentage of the black vote, when you put party aside and talk about issues like education and economic growth, there is a lot more in common than people realize. But for too long the GOP has written off the black vote, and Golden is working to change that.

More