Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Human Sacrifice in the Modern Age


For those who think that human sacrifice is a relic of the past, you are wrong. Its manifestations in the modern age are different, but they are violent, heartless, immoral, and unrepentant. We only need to look at the actions of the Progressive movement to understand how human sacrifice thrives and is equally deadly.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Youth Climate Strike


Young people around the world were asked to leave school Friday as part of a Global Climate Strike. Some kids will see this as simply an excuse to miss school but others fully embrace the cause. So, what is the cause?

Obviously, there is the standard “Save the Planet” rhetoric we have heard forever. Looking at the site for the group Youth Climate Strike, I see there are some other issues I might not have guessed. Here are a few samples:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. New Dispatch from the People’s Republic of Seattle


News today about a Seattle institution abandoning its downtown Seattle location over “crime concerns.” Bartell Drug has been a local institution for over 100 years; it is closing its downtown store because it can no longer afford to stay open. It will pay rent on its location even after the store closes. Street people are wreaking havoc with the central city. The Third Avenue location is in an especially fraught area, with near continual reports of assaults and property damage. And this is kitty-corner to Benaroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival.

Then, another story of a burglary gone wrong just a few blocks away from the doomed Bartell’s. This would be funny if it weren’t so ugly.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Autumn Colors: The Despair of Bathilda the Brown


The Despair of Bathilda the Brown

Oh, the deep, dark despair of Bathilda the Brown!
Her days were numbered from the first day she sprouted.
She’ll destroy her last looks with a dreadful, damp frown.

Her ev’ry dear neighbor is painted like a clown,
She hears the laughter as her name, it is shouted.
Oh, the deep, dark despair of Bathilda the Brown!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Wile E. Coyote’s Latest: “Whistleblower”


The falsely styled “whistleblower,” a possible felon within the intelligence community who is seeking to subvert our Constitution, with the complicity of (fellow) Democrats and their Trump-loathing TruCon lapdogs, is already blowing up in “Wile E. Coyote’s” face.

President Trump had a wonderful time in his sit-down press availability with the Australian Prime Minister. He spoke plain truths: that the “fake news” media represented in the room had just had one of their worst weeks and was now doubling down to discredit themselves even further.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Biden: “There’s at Least One Gender”


Disingenuousness is the lifeblood of political lifers, but for Joe Biden, it’s the very air he breathes. How could it be otherwise given the impossible task of appeasing his party’s wild-eyed woke base without alienating those Democrats – namely, African Americans – who still have at least one foot tethered to reality?

Asked how many genders there are at a campaign stop in Iowa, the former vice president answered, “At least three,” which is an improvement, I suppose, on “At least one.” When pressed to elaborate, he replied, “Don’t play games with me, kid.” What’s striking – and endearing – about this last comment is its staggering cynicism. To the young college student who asked the question, gender isn’t a game: it’s an all-consuming obsession. So transparently cynical are Biden’s pseudo-appeals to millennials that I wouldn’t be surprised if his answer to the question “Can men get pregnant?” is “Sure, yeah, why not.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. What Part of “Self-Government” Do You Not Understand?!


PowerLine blog points to an excellent video, “Deplorables,” that highlights that the populist movement that elites so decry is really about the need to wrestle the power from the self-appointed and deliver it to the people’s choice. The video looks at the political earthquakes that Brexit and Trump represented in 2016. But such is the strength of the swells that both Britain and America continue to fight for implementation of the people’s choice.

I am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes. Maybe they are living so cosily in their intellectual bubbles that they cannot see it. I can only pray that when the next national referendum (or whatever stands in for one) in each country occurs, that the elites get another, more sound, drubbing.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. If the World Doesn’t Revolve Around Me Then Burn it Down


In the July 29, 2019 issue of NR-on-dead-tree, James Lileks riffed on the following headline from The Philadelphia Inquirer:

To end fatphobia, we need to dismantle Western civilization, says Philly therapist Sonalee Rashatwar


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Autumn Colors: The Utter Confusion of Agnes the Orange


The Utter Confusion of Agnes the Orange

Agnes looks low upon her flat sides.
“How did I ever get to be orange?”
She is baffled by seasonal tides.

Agnes had thought she had green insides.
Now her color is warmer in tinge.
Agnes looks low upon her flat sides.


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


“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi

With a new election coming up we can see plenty of illustrations of this principle – with both parties.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Reviewing a Book I Haven’t Read


A real problem with the Amazon review section is that people can review a book even before it is released. This is particularly true of books by conservative authors. One star reviews flood the page before and shortly after such books are released. Obviously many people who didn’t read the books are reviewing them. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, it’s dishonest to review a book you haven’t read.

But it sure is tempting to post an Amazon review about the book intended to smear Brett Kavanaugh (though perhaps unsuccessfully), The Education of Brett Kavanaugh by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. If I were to write a review, it might be something like this:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Forgotten Flight Remembered: The Story of UTA Flight 772


From the mid-1980s to early 1990s, I worked in Chad, Africa, for Esso Exploration. There was a lot of oil there and Esso had a group of ten geologists — me being one of them — who rotated to Chad on a 21-21 tour. We worked on the drilling rigs looking for oil and describing the reservoir. In September 1989, two of my best friends — who were also members of the ten — had just finished up a well and one of them was at the end of his tour. Mark was one of those men, and his best friend, Charlie, was the other. Going home after a 21-day rotation after working long hours on a rig was something we all looked forward to. Mark was pestering Charlie to fly back with him (Charlie still had a week to go on his rotation) because the rig was moving and it would be a week or two before we would be ready to drill another well, but Charlie decided to stay to finish up the office paper work.

That decision still haunts him to this day.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Bye-Kus


One of the many depressing features about this election cycle is the absence of James Taranto’s “Best of the Web” column, which would print haikus whenever a presidential candidate dropped out of the race.

Friday morning, New York City mayor and noted groundhog assassin Bill de Blasio dropped out (no doubt another victim of the unstoppable Joe Sestak juggernaut). This has some personal meaning for me. As you might guess from the profile picture, the groundhog is my spirit animal: I’m hairy, I’m from Pennsylvania, and I look funny when I run. Anyway, in the spirit of Mr. Taranto:


Contributor Created with Sketch. Pro-Growth War?


Anti-China hawks in the US are eager for a New Cold War that would disentangle the two mega-economies, especially their technology sectors. They see the inevitable economic disruption as a necessary evil to bolster US national security. And there might be even a partially beneficial economic offset if a slice of Asian manufacturing returns to American shores.

But some nationalists are more optimistic about the potential economic gains from escalating the current trade conflict into something broader. According to this view, the New Cold War would pit the two economies in a high-stakes competition for technological supremacy — and thus geopolitical dominance — in the 21st century. The sense of urgency would force each side to marshal all of their resources and talent in pursuit of victory. Space Race, meet the AI race. The resulting scientific advances and tech innovation would boost both economies. And with prosperity rising, neither side would risk the cold war turning into a hot one.


Contributor Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer 37: CVD II, This Time It’s Personal


Last time, if you’ll recall, I discussed the basic idea of a chemical vapor deposition system, and described how you’d use it to deposit silicon onto your wafer. Today we’re following rather directly from that post, where we answer some important questions. Questions like “What if I don’t want to put down silicon? What other things can you offer me?” Well, for starters

SiCl4(g) + 2H2(g) + O2(g) —> SiO2(s) + 4HCl(g) ~900 C


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: One Standard


“The truth is most conservatives are fine accepting apologies for dumb stuff said or done years ago. Unfortunately, liberals refuse to forgive conservatives so we have no choice but to do the same to you. It doesn’t have to be this way. We only ask for one standard.” – Chris Barron (2019-09-18)

It’s not from an extremely famous figure (he is a Fox Business contributor). It’s not an extremely pithy one-liner. In that tweet, however, you have the summary for so much of the current situation in the GOP.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Crystals the Color of Sweat and Blood


I was a minor rock hound — a rock pup, if you will — in my youth. Nothing serious, a small collection, only a few spectacular finds of my own, the rest either dull or store-bought. I liked crystals. But not as “wellness” aids. The folklore surrounding minerals, including their medicinal use, is part of their history. Still, I found myself mildly disappointed by the degree to which even geology shops treated the folklore as true.

Apparently, “wellness” claims for rocks have only gotten worse — er, I mean, more popular — since I was a young rock hound. Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, has gifted the world with Goop, like crystal-enhanced water bottles! Yoni eggs! (Warning: these eggs NSFW.) Rose quartz, with its soft pink hue, is particularly popular for “wellness.” Fair-trade certification, which is supposed to guarantee humane treatment of workers, is also popular in wellness products. But — and it’s a big but — most “wellness” crystals are far from fair trade. That pretty rose quartz is the color of sweat and blood.


The cosplaying Prime Minister of the Great White North was caught wearing blackface again and again and again. Luckily, the press was busy attacking a now-fired SNL castmember and publishing more fake news about Brett Kavanaugh. Is cancel culture doomed?

The intro/outro song is “Sad Song” by The Cars (RIP, Ric). Stephen’s song of the week is “A Word of Wisdom” by M83. Jon’s song of the week is “Turn Away the Bad Thing” by Ceremony. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan stops by to discuss the long and painful journey to a career in the entertainment industry, from studying finance at Georgetown, to taking improv classes so he can overcome his fear of speaking in meetings at the advertising agency where he worked, to falling in love with stand-up and watching everyone else in his comedy class find success before he did. Jim talks why failure is such a great teacher, getting lost in other people’s expectations, the creepy thing about doing press, and why he doesn’t want power. In his new movie, American Dreamer, he gets the chance to play against type with a complex character in a disturbing thriller, and he shares how he could relate to the delusions of his character, the American fantasy of the “quick fix,” and the rewards of being able to explore a dark character. He and Bridget marvel at Joe Rogan’s abilities, commiserate over the repressed rage of comedians, and reflect that more dangerous than cancel culture, is the growing trend of leaving people out of the discussion altogether.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. My Music Contribution for the Week: Hard Times of Old England


Steeleye Span is one of my most favorite groups, and they have been around since the 1970s. For some unknown reason, their rendition of Hard Times of Old England has been playing on my internal tape today. So, I wandered through YouTube, looking for something the Ricochetti might like. There are the usual, just cuts from an album with audio only, or audio and still photos. But I found this unusual recording from 1984. I’m sorry the sound level isn’t what it could be, but the video is pretty cool!


It’s a bit unusual to find oneself adjacent to the biggest news story of the week, but that’s exactly what happened to our own Rob Long. He, like Brett Kavanaugh, Deborah Ramirez, Max Stier, and Robin Pogrebin are all member of the Yale University Class of 1987. We explore this story in this show in great detail with Byron York (he of The Washington Examiner and our own Byron York Show podcast). We also discuss the weird story coming of the Ukraine, whether or not dressing as a fictional character is racism, the Streaming Wars, and insect life in the Greater Baltimore area.

Music from this week’s show: Not Fade Away by Buddy Holly and The Crickets


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. QOTD: A One-Woman Positivity Machine


There is a fountain of youth: it is in your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. — Sofia Villani Scicolone

And there is much more from the young woman who once competed in the Miss Italia competition (shown at right). She won the title of Miss Elegance 1950, and she returned to the pageant fifty-one years later to crown the winner for 2001.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Thirteen Ideas on Breaking Writer’s Block


Last week on the Ricochet podcast, it seemed that Peter Robinson (@peterrobinson) was suffering from a bout of writer’s block. It made him irritable and had him implying that those writers who didn’t suffer from it might have ridden to their parents’ weddings on bicycles.

I have more than a bit of experience with writer’s block. Half my vanity-project books are unfinished due to it. (Either that, or because I came to my senses and realized those dogs were never gonna hunt.) As part of one project from my past, I started cataloging and categorizing bits of advice that I had for writers, especially poets. In that catalog are thirteen tips for dealing with writer’s block.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Where are Hillsdale’s Touted Conservative Students?


I’ve been hanging around Hillsdale’s campus for nearly a month now. I’ve enjoyed watching workers put the finishing touches on Christ Chapel, which is due to be dedicated by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on October 3rd during the 175th Gala celebration of Hillsdale’s founding. I also attended the Center for Constructive Alternatives (CCA) seminar on Understanding China. As you might expect, the CCA is where you meet the best of America in the speakers, attendees, and ideas. For example, I was able to greet and sit next to Ricochet contributor Professor and Mrs. Rahe at the closing address by Steven Mosher. I often say, being in Hillsdale is like going on a religious pilgrimage. It lifts you up and gives you hope, this little outpost of Western civilization.

In answer to my title question, I would guess Hillsdale’s conservative students are busy studying and excelling in faith, athletics, music, and the visual arts. But, the one place they’re missing is The Collegian newspaper opinion pages. 


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Real Difference Between Ahmari & French (I think…)


I thought I was taking a risk by ignoring the ongoing “debate” between Sohrab Ahmari and David French over the last few months. After watching their recent debate at Catholic University, I feel much better about my willful ignorance.

Warren Buffet often says the challenge with investing is to wait patiently for the right pitch to come, even when people in the stands are yelling,”swing, you idiot!” My sense is that French is the guy at bat and Ahmari is the guy in the stands yelling in exasperation. I guess the punditry would be like two sports commentators trying to tease out a game strategy based on that guy’s outburst. It was difficult to identify two positions and I think that’s because there weren’t two different views, certainly not competing visions of the future of conservatism.