Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Unconstitutional Medicare-for-All


Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare-for-All (MfA) proposal, which calls for $20.5 trillion in new taxes on everyone but the middle class (ahem), has generated fierce political controversy that threatens to upend the Democratic presidential primary. Economic critiques of her MfA program on the left and the right are a dime a dozen. Yet surprisingly, there has been a stunning silence on the possible constitutional challenges that could be raised against the program. But because other variations of the MfA program may yet be introduced, including one by Senator Bernie Sanders, it is better to think through these issues in advance.

In general, there are two kinds of constitutional objections that that can be raised against any federal program—those based on claims that the program violates federalism, and those concerned with the protection of religious and economic liberties. Dealing with these various issues depends critically on one’s basic approach to constitutional interpretation—whether one adopts a New Deal jurisprudence or a classical liberal one. Under the earlier classical liberal view, all government action was viewed with suspicion. The dominant attitude sought to slow down adventurous legislation. Speaking generally, statutes that strengthened common law interest in property and contract were favored.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Movie Memorabilia


Money is no object. Any and every prop imaginable is available.

What are the top three movie props You would love to have?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In Flanders Fields


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Lost, and Found on Eternal Patrol


“Overdue and Presumed Lost”, was the submariner’s epitaph in WWII. In World War II the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service suffered the highest casualty percentage of all the American armed forces, losing one in five submariners. Some 16,000 submariners served during the war, of whom 375 officers and 3131 enlisted men were killed.

During the Second World War, submarines comprised less than 2 percent of the U.S. Navy, but sank over 30 percent of Japan’s navy, including eight aircraft carriers. More important, American submarines contributed to the virtual strangling of the Japanese economy by sinking almost five million tons of shipping—over 60 percent of the Japanese merchant marine. Victory at sea did not come cheaply. The Submarine Force lost 52 boats and 3,506 men.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Service


A number of years ago I had the privilege of travelling with a church group to Amman, Jordan. There we met with the local director of a ministry called Global Hope Network International. These folks are Christian ministers whose goal is to serve anyone who needed help. Of course, mostly those are the poor and sometimes homeless, both from the local population and amongst the refugees from various countries. I sat in the living room with three siblings who’d fled Hussein’s Iraq. I drove from village to village with an Egyptians pastor who tended a dispersed flock of Coptic Christians. I preached the gospel in a Sunday service of predominantly Arabic speaking people.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Alabama versus the Swamp


Consider this very instructive side-by-side, two weeks apart:



Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Old Stuff That Still Works


Many things we buy turn out to be a bad investment. We get little in return for the money we spend. Other times, we do better. My Dad cooks his breakfast every morning in a cast iron skillet which has been in our family for around 150 years. It shows no sign of wearing out. Whoever paid 50 cents (or whatever) for that pan in the mid-late 1800s got their money’s worth.

In my house, we have a few things like that. For example, this clothes hanger that came with the dry cleaning. Apparently a long time ago, because the business phone number is “Westhampton 1019.” We still use it every day. Whoever paid for dry cleaning that day got their money’s worth.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On the Media, Maybe Trump Has a Point


President Trump’s line for at least his entire presidency is to call them “The Enemy of the People.” I’ve found it hyperbolic, bordering on dangerous. As a semi-member of the media and married to an honest-to-God member, it made me nervous. But after reading Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill I’m of the mind that, you know what, maybe Trump has a point. When you cover for a rapist and, in the case of Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile, you’ve earned being called an enemy of the people.

The new book about Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent revelations about Matt Lauer and other NBC executives is almost too outrageous to be believed; the coverup didn’t just involve Weinstein’s media friends, but law enforcement, politicians (namely, the Clintons), and even an Israeli spy company with close ties to the intelligence service Mossad. Farrow’s book chronicles how close so many before him came, and the powerful forces that stood before every journalist before Farrow.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. RAF Cadet Memorial Service: 10 November 2019 [Updated Photos]


The town of Mesa, Arizona, hosted the annual Royal Air Force Cadet memorial service at 1045, Sunday 10 November 2019 in the center of the Mesa Cemetery. There 23 cadets died far from home, learning to fly before going to Canada to train in their warbirds.

The Caledonian Society of Arizona provided the bagpipes. The Commemorative Air Force of Arizona conducted flyovers in the basic (Stearman biplanes) and advanced trainers (T-6) used in World War II. A firing detail of seven American Legion members rendered a 21-gun salute in three volleys. British Last Post was played, on a British military bugle, followed by the U.S. version on U.S. military standard bugle. A Boy Scout troop handed out programs, British standard poppies (much larger and sturdier than the VFW “Buddy Poppy”), and cups of water (the temperature under mostly sunny skies heading into the 80s.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Nikki Haley on Impeachment


“You’re going to impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and — and giving money and it wasn’t withheld? I don’t know what you would impeach him on” — Nikki Haley to CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell

The impeachment inquiry is like “Seinfeld”; a show about nothing. Actually, “Seinfeld” was better – it was the original show about nothing, whereas this is the Democrat’s second show about nothing when it comes to Trump.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bombshells are Repeatedly Busts: Republicans Need to Take Charge of the Narrative


The unfolding of the impeachment saga sounds like a very poorly written detective story, where the Left already knows who committed the crime. But the Democrats are still trying to re-write a story that the public will swallow. It’s not going well.

This story required dozens, maybe hundreds, of bureaucrats, who were delighted to be led along in the Trump impeachment story. It’s not difficult to understand why those who have been interviewed are so angry (since Trump violates everything about their Leftist agenda), but their determination to indulge in lies and distortions is revolting and even bewildering. They have decided to be “strung along” and assist in the writing of the detective story because they hate the supposed perpetrator.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Forgotten Service


This month, we are reflecting on service of all sorts. This weekend marks the auspicious dates of Veterans/Remembrance Day, Global Victims of Communism Day, the fall of the Berlin Wall (effectively ending the Cold War), and the Marine Corps birthday. Let us turn, then to reflect on largely forgotten service, by Buffalo Soldiers, the frozen chosen, Polar Bears, and “the man who would be khan.” Each of us can look around our own communities and circles to refresh memories of those who served with honor.

Buffalo Soldiers:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Lies


“But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt” — Francis Bacon, “Of Truth”

Which are the lies that pass through the mind and which are those that sink in? In the latter category, I’d put:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Honoring Our Veterans but Losing the Education Battle


View original artwork here.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Anime and Openings


Because some people complained about it, I’ve threatened to do a series on Anime Even Haters* Should See. However, I’m not quite ready there. To hold us over until I start, I’d like to talk about how they open. I love Anime openings for many reasons. In several cases, there are story reveals and visual expositions within them that when you later watch, you can be surprised with or give yourself a pat on the back for cleverness. A good example of this is Your Lie in April.**


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Letter for Veterans Day

James M. Garrard standing next to his rear turret on the B-24 “Miss Virginia.” The sign reads, “Jim’s Place, J.M. Garrard Proprietor, Open For Business.” (Allegiance: World War II Letters Home)

With Veterans Day coming up on Monday, I wanted to say something about our soldiers, and I think this letter written by a Mississippian in the Army Air Force during World War 2 is better than anything I can write:

March 8, 1943


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QotD: Power and Marginalization


If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired. – Kevin Williamson

We saw some illustrations of that this week. Whistle-blowing is good if it hurts President Trump or any conservative, but it is bad if it is done against Progressive bastions (the mainstream media). If a Republican refuses to concede a close election this is an indication the Republicans cannot accept defeat. If a Democrat loses a close (or even not-so-close) election, refusal to concede is taking it to the man, or noble resistance. And heaven forbid a doula claim a man cannot give birth.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Choosing Old


I’m 54 years old; next year I will start qualifying for senior discounts, not to mention some retirement benefits. On the other hand, I don’t look my age; I still have plenty of hair, most of which is dark brown, and the people I work with probably don’t realize I was hired when they were still in grade school. I’m comfortable with technology, I’ve seen the latest memes, and I know how to use emoji.

The point is, I could go either way. I’m no millennial, but I can pass for young-ish. On the other hand, I remember when Nixon resigned; I was there when Star Wars premiered, and I bought Synchronicity when it was at the top of the charts. I have one foot in the Baby Boomer generation, the other in Generation X, and I can talk the language of the millennials if I have to.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Does the IPCC Report Actually Say?


The science in the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) report is contained in the report published by Working Group 1 of the IPCC, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I suspect that few people have actually read this ~1500 page tome. Most people read the Summary for Policy Makers, which is written by bureaucrats and does not, in my opinion, faithfully reflect the contents of the actual report. There is too much emphasis on worst-case scenarios, which the report does not say are the most likely ones, in the Summary.

As best I can make out, what the report itself says is this: Global warming isn’t likely to be a big deal. It is unlikely to cause significant harm over the next 100 years or so. In a followup special IPCC report even in the worst-case scenario the prediction is a fall in economic productivity of 10% of what it would otherwise be by 2100. That’s not even noticeable considering the growth in the economy that will have occurred by then.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: The Bard of the Yukon


Klondikers on Lake LeBarge 1897There are some things that, when they erupt in my life, catapult me instantly back in time, or elsewhere in place or company. Certain smells, and I’m in Granny’s kitchen five or six decades ago. Or, it’s the early 1970s, and I’m cleaning fish on Court Brothers’ wharf in Rustico Harbour, PEI. Or perhaps I’m wandering around Kano Market in 1960, eyes and nose running at the variety of pungent spices and out-of-this-world hot peppers for sale, or just for breathing-in. (I’m thankful it’s only on rare occasions these days, that a redolent something wafts by and reminds me of the camels.) Particular colors, and my sister appears before me, as I think about how well a pair of earrings would suit her, or what use she could make of a gorgeous skein of yarn.

Flowers and landscapes–reminders of childhood, of places I’ve visited, of places I love–reminders of beloved friends, some still here, some, seemingly lost to me forever. All, at one time or another, a part of my life. All, when they happen now, becoming themselves a part of my life today.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Cowgirl Band Serves Others


They came tumbling into the building pape and plastic bags strewn along the hallway, guitars under their arms, and energy to spare; they were close to the same ages as the patients they would be entertaining. I didn’t realize at the time that they were going where I was going, to the Memory Unit. I was going for my weekly visit to see my hospice patient whom I’d been seeing for several months; they were going to entertain the patients with their musical act.

As musicians and singers go, they were not the most talented bunch. But they made up for their lack of skills with enthusiasm and joy. They were dressed in cowboy hats and boots. They’d brought colorful Halloween leis for every person in attendance. They weren’t always sure of the words of their songs, or the chords they intended to play on their two guitars, so they had small poster boards filled with the lyrics to help them along the way.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. President Trump to Attend New York City Veterans Day Parade


The Secretary of Veterans Affairs announced on Friday that President Trump would be the first president in United States history to attend the New York City Veterans Day parade on Monday. This will be the centennial of the annual commemorations on this date, starting as Armistice Day, then changing during World War II to Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth. New York City reportedly hosts the largest Veterans Day parade in the country.

It will be interesting to see if the left shows up to disrupt with their usual violent street theater. Do the mayor and governor have to show up and make nice? It would be nice to just look forward to great pictures and video of the parade participants and appreciative crowds focused on honoring our veterans.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Lesbian Priest Promotes Abortionists as ‘Saints’


If there was a headline that seemed to encapsulate the evil that, like a cancer, is eating away at civilization from within, this might be it. Before we have a conversation about this, many of you know that I have been an open and vocal critic about the abominations, desecrations, and promoted heresies in the Catholic Church from the pontiff on down. So, I’m not singling out the Episcopal Church or Episcopalians as a group for the lies, bile, and evil that this pro-abortionist, lesbian Episcopal priest is spewing.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Unbelievable Night the Berlin Wall Fell


Two scenes from the end of the Cold War:

Scene one: On June 12, 1987, President Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate rising behind him, to challenge to the leader of the Soviet Union. “General Secretary Gorbachev,” the president said, “if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.