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?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Meetup in The Quay


Last Sunday, neutral observer and I hooked up with Blondie, MartyB, Eeyore, and Amy Schley for a mini-Meetup in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, affectionately known as “The Quay” to the locals:

MartyB, Stad, neutral observer, Amy, Blondie, Eeyore.

We ate at Abbey Road, a theme restaurant based on you-know-what. Amy graciously kept the COC in her moderator lockbox, although it wasn’t required because the conversation was civil and light-hearted in spite of my attempts to drag it into the gutter. It was fun to catch up with what folks were doing, as well as talk about burning issues like what to order. I started to bring up the subject of a Ricochet cruise, but then I remembered the ship Peter Robinson and Rob Long purchased was still undergoing repairs:


René Pape is one of the greatest singers of our time, a living legend. He is a bass from Germany – East Germany. He and Jay talk a little bit about that. They also talk about a range of other issues, as they sit outside in Salzburg, with bells occasionally ringing out. Pape does a little singing, just quietly: “Follow Me,” by John Denver. A very interesting person, René Pape, and great company, as you will find.


Emily Zanotti is back 6 weeks after having twins—and she’s got a little feedback on all the advice she was given before giving birth. Kelly Maher and Bethany Mandel join to share the hacks they couldn’t Mom without… and the advice they never actually took.


Contributor Created with Sketch. The “Why” of the Mishkan (Tabernacle)


For the Lord will again delight in your well-being, as He did in that of your fathers, since you will be heeding the Lord your God and keeping his commandments and laws that are recorded in this book of the Teaching—once you return to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’ No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it. (Deuteronomy, 9-14)


Ryan Williams sits down with Ronald “R.J.” Pestritto, Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, to discuss Progressivism: how it came to be, its theoretical and political impact, and what it means for us today.

Since its arrival on the scene at the turn of the 20th Century, Progressivism has transformed American politics. But one cannot fully appreciate this shift without an understanding of the Founders’ view of human nature, government, and justice—and how the Progressive vision for America seeks to unravel it.


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


We went to a local compressor station for some training with their staff yesterday evening. It supports a 36-inch natural gas line that has been in place for decades; since the fracking boom, it has been running 24/7. Basically, four huge turbines push the gas eastward from here. When you meet with these guys, it’s incredible how professional they are and how safe the operation is. Another company is trying to put a new pipeline through the area and are encountering huge resistance (NIMBY).

A frequent criticism of the anti-fracking advocates is that the hill country is no place for a pipeline, thereby ignoring the miles of pipeline already in place. Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.