Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Benefit of the Law


Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Are They Going to Kavanaugh Trump?


When Justice Kavanaugh was nominated for the US Supreme Court, one woman came out to lie about him, and then when her story was publicized, seemingly scores of accusers came out of the woodwork to make increasingly absurd accusations. Kavanaugh has been forever tainted this way and the Democrats learned how to “put an asterisk” on a justice.

Now comes word that scores of accusers are ready to testify that Trump is using his office to enrich his businesses. Since the House is treating the impeachment like a star chamber, these accusers won’t even be cross-examined. It won’t matter if they are lying because even if they are, how will Trump be able to take action against so many liars without looking bad? Every accuser that has their lies exposed will be replaced by another ten who will make even greater lies.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Attacks on Jews, and a Leftist’s Attempt to Speak a Bit of Inconvenient Truth


I read Bari Weiss’s new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism out of curiosity. I wondered if she would really speak truth to power and slap the hand that pays her salary, the New York Times. She did not. She is a woman of the left and a talented columnist, both of which come across in this small, easily read volume. I do not envy her the task she set for herself. I do not know if anyone could write an approachable appeal, that would both address the prominent sources of anti-Semitism and keep the ear of even one major faction on either side of the great political divide.

This is a lengthy and critical review, arranged with the following section headers: “A few administrative details,” “Book outline,” “Too far right?” “Not far enough left?” “Naming radical Islam,” “Review of reviews,” and finally some closing thoughts under “Civility?” Fair warning: this ended up being a very critical review. For balance, you should go read Cathy Young’s review, and Melissa Langsam Braunstein at the Federalist, both of which I link and excerpt in the “Review of reviews” section.


Kimberley Strassel is the author of the new book Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America and a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Her previous book was the bestseller The Intimidation Game. Then Stephen and Jon chat about Tulsi vs. Hillary and the state of the Dem primary.

The intro/outro song and Jon’s song of the week is “Sally Go Round the Roses” by Medicine. Stephen’s song of the week is “In Your Room” by Airiel. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Identity Politics: Setting the Record Straight


Human beings are arrogant creatures prone to pessimism. We do not want to take responsibility for our own sorry circumstances or failures nor are we willing to simply attribute these things to chance. So we find others to blame and we invent conspiracies. The self is perfect, of course, but a victim. When in the company of others with similar failures and sorry circumstances, we find solace. When politicians step in to encourage our doubt and provide false state-mandated remedies, identity politics is born.

The American ideas of equality, liberty, self-reliance, opportunity, and perseverance are antithetical to the corrosive despair of victimhood. Our citizens are not victims, but individuals with the liberty and power, with the responsibility, to pursue their own happiness.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. A Pope Speaks Out (No, Not That Pope)


I’ve listened to some of the Democrat Presidential debates and I had no idea there were that many people that were concerned with what I should eat, how I should travel, what I should own, and my medical care. There’s more to add to the list so rather than list everything I’ll just say – I never knew I was so inept in living my unsupervised personal life, much less how that ignorance was oppressing my neighbors. I not only was oppressing my neighbors I was oppressing an entire nation with my selfish lifestyle.

In this age of unexamined ideas where history begins with the start of the next 24-hour news cycle, state-sanctioned looting is nothing new, the Catholic Church has already wrestled with this issue. There were Catholics that advocated Distributism, which was no more than Socialism. Some called it the Catholic Third Way of Economics. The Magisterium never advocated this Third Way because it was seen as no more than theft.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. What Are the Key Parts of a Relationship?


Some time back, it was popular to talk about the “Five Love Languages,” the ways in which a person shows his or her love to someone else. I was always kind of resistant, partially because I reflexively suspect categorization as being a somewhat fuzzy and lazy tool, especially when applied to relationships. Or as the Babylon Bee puckishly “reported,” Husband Declares His Love Language is Marathoning All the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies.

Still, there is no denying that people absolutely often express love through acts of service, affirming words, gifts, time, and touch. But that, at least to me, neither properly categorizes, nor even includes the most important language of love in a growing relationship: listening. Indeed, listening to the other person is not only important, but it is the gateway to having a successful relationship in the first place. Hearing the other person, and considering what she has to say, is the first and single most important step in any proper relationship. Everything that comes after that builds on that single foundation.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Tulsi Unloads on Hillary. Have Popcorn?


This explosion occurred when the forlorn and pathetic Hillary Clinton called candidate Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. A Uranium-rich remark. Now, there’s a lot to like about Tulsi Gabbard, even though I think she’s wrong about a number of social policy issues and if she had a different educational path might have come out more on the conservative end of the spectrum … but damn! She certainly has Hillary Clinton pegged. We’ll see if this boosts her standing in the Democrat field even as some diehard Hillary fans are affronted by the broadside. Who cares about Biden, Warren, or Bernie. This is where all the action is.


Jonathan V. Last, executive editor of The Bulwark, is known as “JVL.” Jay (S.) Nordlinger is not known as “JSN” – but we will call him that just for the purposes of this episode. Jay and Jonathan worked together at The Weekly Standard many years ago – indeed, in the last century. On this podcast, Jay asks Jonathan the pregnant question: What does the “V” stand for? They go on to Jonathan’s university, Johns Hopkins, which Jonathan excoriates in no uncertain terms. Then they talk about George Will, whom Jonathan first started reading when he was in seventh grade. He grew up to attend a ballgame with Will and, as a bonus, Tony La Russa. At Jay’s prodding, Jonathan further talks about presidential politics, Star Wars, Star Trek, design, presidents, athletes, musicians, novelists, and more. A tour with JVL is a rich and interesting one indeed. Jay calls him one of his favorite journalists and favorite people in America.


Contributor Created with Sketch. On the Remnants and Arrogance of Empire

An essay commissioned by Peter Robinson on this week’s Ricochet Podcast.

After the devastation of two World Wars in less than a half century, the British Empire began to dismantle itself in the late 1940s. As commentator Mark Steyn has observed it then precipitated an event unheard of in human history – one dominant military power ceding power to another peaceably – not as the result of losing a war, but through sheer exhaustion. The British decided to tend to their knitting at home and left the new dominant power, the United States, to play the role of the world’s policeman.

The map of the Middle East signed by Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot. (British National Archives)

After almost 75 years we’re still at it. But we’re doing it in the world designed by our predecessors. The borders and political divisions we see are largely due to two events: The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 which divided much of the Middle East into spheres of influence between the British and the French and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that created the modern Turkish state. Both of these agreements, the former made at the height of the First World War and the latter after it, were made without regard to the people that were actually living there.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: G.K. Chesterton on Generations


“I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.”
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, June 3, 1922

A constant in electoral politics is pitting the generations against each other. Many Boomers thought the Greatest Generation was too staid and traditional. Gen Xers found Boomers self-indulgent and profligate. Since Generation X is famously a forgotten generation, Millennials content themselves with bashing the Boomers as well.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Dinesh D’Souza on the Socialist Temptation


Thursday night, Dinesh D’Souza was in town to meet with the local Young America’s Foundation group and give a talk at the State University of New York at Buffalo. It was free and open to the public, so my wife and I went. His talk was streamed live and can be viewed on YouTube:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: St. John Henry Newman


“It is plain every great change is effected by the few, not by the many; by the resolute, undaunted, zealous few. … shunning all intemperate words, let us show our light before men by our works.” St. John Henry Newman

I dunno, but this admonishment for the clergy might also pertain to politics. Ahem. (Yes, yes, I know Trump is not the best shunner of intemperate words, but his works on our behalf seem pretty solid. And he fights — resolutely, undauntedly, and zealously.)


On this episode of The Big Show® we take you back to last night’s 74th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner where Rob offers a first hand report. The guest of honor was former Defense Secretary (and Marine Corps legend) James Mattis and, of course, the main topic in the hall was the current situation in Syria with Turkey and the Kurds. (The General’s full remarks can be watched on the Fox News Facebook page.)

Then it’s off to the City by the Bay with Heather Mac Donald, where she recounts buying fentanyl on the streets and how a great American city has fallen hostage to its homeless population.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. My Uncle’s Trick or Treat


Did you know there’s a beautiful orchid called Trick or Treat? There are several different types, but they mostly have one thing in common: they have the bright Halloween orange. And my first sight of one was at my uncle’s home.

Uncle Al had raised orchids for many years. He had a greenhouse at his home in Massachusetts, but when he moved to Florida, he didn’t require a greenhouse. By the time we followed my aunt and uncle to Florida, he had over 100 orchid plants. And I wanted to have some of my own.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Where Do Kids Go When Parents Are Addicted?


A local Vermont newspaper ran an incredibly touching obituary for a young woman, just two years younger than me, who finally succumbed to her addiction to opioids. Her father wrote the obituary, and explained how her addiction came to pass,

Megan grew up in St. Albans and Georgia, Vt., participating in dance and swimming. She proved to be an adventuresome reader and a fearless jumper off cliffs. But on July 1, 2005, she was once again at a cliff on Eagle Bay in Burlington. I was sitting at my desk on the first day of a new job, and a Vermont State Policeman called to tell me to drive to the emergency room at the University of Vermont Medical Center. I was told that she had been pushed off the cliffs and hit the rocks below … with her face. Having been rescued by a man in a kayak and EMTs, she was being stitched up, and her jaw was wired shut. They suspected a TBI, but when they prescribed her liberal doses of opiates, she lost control of her life. She would be in and out of rehab — and jail — for the next 14 years.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Forsaking the City


I’m trapped, for the time being, in a city. It’s a vivacious and proud city — arguably the state’s cultural capital; a place seemingly immune to economic malaise; a place teeming with little shops and well-manicured 19th-century neighborhoods. It appears on all the usual “best” lists — as the nth best place to raise a family, the nth most educated city in America, the nth greatest place for young professionals. It has much to offer … if you fancy yoga and craft beer and vegan cuisine.

If you’d care to join the Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy Study Group, or the Astrology Circle, or the Lesbian Coffee House, or the Shamanic Journey Group. If you’d like to hear the local priest sermonize about social justice, then indulge in a little Catholic yoga afterward. If you’re interested in discussing “Cat Person” at the local library, or you enjoy the idea of perusing the city art museum’s collection of #Resistance artwork (which, when I last visited, included droopy hand-knit rifles with the name “Trump” stitched into them).


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Without Religion, America Is Toast


William Barr gave a most remarkable speech last Friday. I urge careful reading of every word. To call it a tour de force would be an understatement. In today’s world, Barr is that rare public political figure (perhaps the only one) who possesses real wisdom. A few excerpts from the speech follow:

Religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good. It does not do this primarily by formal laws – that is, through coercion. It does this through moral education and by informing society’s informal rules – its customs and traditions which reflect the wisdom and experience of the ages.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Colorful Korean Meal


Various forms of contemporary kimchi. National Institute of Korean Language [CC BY-SA 2.5]
Across the northern hemisphere, this is the time of year for harvest festivals. In Germany, Oktoberfest 2019 is in its final week. Two weeks ago, South Koreans celebrated ChuseokI claim no expertise in Korean culture or cuisine but have a few colorful memories of Korean food.

Start with green and white cabbage. Cabbage is preserved by fermentation, both in Asian and in Europe. In Korea, instead of sauerkraut, a mild dish, you get kimchi. Driving through the hilly Korean countryside north of Seoul, I noticed very large plastic sheets laid out on the sides of the road, near farming houses. They were covered, covered with small bright red chili peppers, laid out to dry. These would form the fiery base of the spices that separate kimchi from sauerkraut. There are many other possible ingredients, but you can usually expect orange carrots, green and white scallions, and white radish, ginger, and garlic.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. What Is Your Health Fad History?


Paleo. No sugar, Turmeric. Gluten-free. CoQ10. Omega 3. Resveratol. Non-GMO. Drinking vinegar to balance out the body’s pH. And endless variants and chelations and super-duper-brain-activity goodies later … these are the fads of today. The fads of yesterday are endless, marching back into history. Remember low sodium? Macrobiotic diets? A tablespoon of bran a day? Garlic? Anti-oxidants? Cod liver oil? Yum!

I was remarking to @susanquinn that health-fad lovers all share the same gullible desire to believe the “experts,” to believe that there are shortcuts to long and healthy lives. And that, of course, anyone promoting a fad today has a history of promoting fads in the past — fads that clearly were not, in the end, supported by data. Which means that the vast majority of people (yes, even good people) do not choose to learn from their own experiences.


Senator Marsha Blackburn joins the podcast this week to discuss the tough issue of Female Genital Mutilation, or what’s known as FGM. She and her colleagues in the Senate have made strides to protect young girls and women from FGM in the U.S., making it clear that Americans will not tolerate the abuse. Senator Blackburn gives an update on her legislation and recommends what else can be done to fully eradicate the practice. We also discuss her tenure in the Senate as well as her work as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Task Force where she’s tackling issues related to big tech.

Marsha Blackburn was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018, and is currently serving her first term representing the state of Tennessee. Before her election to the Senate, Senator Blackburn represented Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. Her public service is dedicated to promoting opportunities for women and making America a more prosperous place to live. Marsha’s leadership philosophy is based on her experiences in the private sector as a small business woman and author, as well as being a mother and grandmother.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s a Quake. A Really BIG Quake!


We all have that “where were you” memory associated with big historic events. Where were you on 9/11? Where were you when Armstrong walked on the moon? For those of us of a somewhat advanced age, where were you when Kennedy was shot? Events we share, but are also particular to just us.

This past July was the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. I remember watching on tv as a fifteen-year-old in our family room in San Jose with Mom, Dad, and the two brothers. Dad worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space and had previously worked for Aerojet General, an Apollo engine contractor. I remember Dad getting up and coming to each of the three boys, looking us in the face and shaking our hands. He and Mom had been born before Lindbergh’s flight, lived through depression and war, and now, we had achieved this.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Lynch Mob Mentality


I have said several times that the Democrats should read Moby Dick and the Never Trumpers should read The Oxbow Incident. After giving it more thought, I am certain of the mob mentality. Trump winning the nomination and then the election crushed their expected entitlements to power and inflamed fragile sensibilities, the real crime. Now they are fighting over who can bring the rope. Whatever false claim they make is repeated as fact by the mob. His crimes, according to the Twitter mob this week, resembled Schiff’s “parody,” not the actual transcript of Trump’s phone call. Having built the mob into a hate-filled frenzy, Democrats are ready to build the gallows while still in search of a real crime. This mob, however, will not feel any remorse in lynching an innocent man.

The government lynch mob was so sure of Trump’s evil side, it violated laws and norms to spy on him, destroying anyone in his campaign they thought could be turned to testify against Trump. Like Captain Ahab, their pursuit led to their own destruction and the destruction of the respect citizens have for the FBI, CIA, FISA Court, DOJ, and DNI. Like a lynch mob, they assign morality to their evil actions to justify them. Like the whale, Trump survives, while Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Comey, Rosenstein, Fusion GPS, Simpson, Mueller, Steele, etc., are out, discredited, and/or waiting for the ax to fall thanks to Barr and Dunham. Since intelligence agencies exist to serve the President, the investigation will likely lead to Obama and other administration heads.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Londoners Are Fed Up and Fighting Back


For several days now, climate alarmists and members of the Extinction Rebellion have snarled traffic in and around London preventing people from getting to work and earning a living. We’ve scene a similar tactic in Portland, OR, by Antifa.

Well, Londoners may have reached their breaking point. When some climate activists jumped atop a commuter train in order to stop it from running, the London commuters finally snapped. The London police have been soundly criticized for not doing enough to stop this nonsense, and many of the politicians in the city from the mayor on down (as in Portland), sympathize with and support the activists and their cause. At some point, this was bound to happen.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. If You Think They Won’t Seize Your Guns…


Unbelievable. Stephen Nichols, an 84-year-old Korean War veteran who served on the Tisbury, MA, police force for 60 years has had his firearms seized. Here’s what happened:

He was eating breakfast in the local diner, Linda Jean’s, when he commented to a friend that the school resource officer was often seen leaving school in the mornings. When he’d investigated it, he found out that the resource officer at Tisbury school was leaving — after children were present — to get himself a coffee at the Xtra Mart nearby.