Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Voting in Louisiana


The Louisiana Primary is scheduled for July 11 and that means that from Jun 20 – July 4 is early voting. Yes, we will vote on July 4th. Sorry poll workers, hope they give you comp time or something.

In 2016, I was having a running conversation with my dad (diagnosed with lung cancer Mid-May 2016) about the suitability/ electability / preference for or against Donald Trump. Dad was wholeheartedly For.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What is Wrong with Our Fertility?


My blood silently boiled back towards the end of 2019, when I consulted on a 43-year-old woman with a BMI of 48 who smoked, did drugs, had uncontrolled diabetes… and was 32 weeks gestation. How did she get pregnant and I can’t?!

“I just don’t understand why so many of you young women are having trouble getting pregnant! My friends and I, none of us had difficulty having kids. I just don’t understand it,” is what my mother said as I was talking to her after my third embryo transfer. The first one didn’t take at all, despite the 80% chance of success I was quoted by our previous fertility doctor, a guy who had helped several people I know get pregnant. “It has to work, I thought. I went in for more testing, and my medication regimen was adjusted accordingly. With the second transfer, I got a faint second line on the home pregnancy test, which was encouraging at first, any second line, no matter how faint means that something is trying to grow. The line faded over the next couple days, and by the time I went to have my beta hCG blood work drawn, it came back as zero; I had had a chemical pregnancy. The embryo implants but fails to progress and spontaneously aborts. That one hit me real hard. Seeing those two lines disappear caused a sadness I was not expecting. Mustangman and I cried over that loss. I took a break from all the stress and hormone injections for a couple of months, and in the meantime joined an IVF support group on Facebook for women in Ohio. Boy, did I learn a lot! Besides being introduced to the clinic I just switched to, I found hundreds of women struggling to get pregnant. Like buying a new car, suddenly you start noticing all the other people that drive the same car. I began hearing about fertility struggles from the nurses that take care of my patients. It seemed that the list of couples I knew having difficulty with getting pregnant was growing exponentially. I thought about my own friends, many requiring assistance with medication or procedures in order to conceive. And while infertility is as old as the Bible, my mother’s query rang in my ears: why are so many young women having trouble?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #19: Yuval Levin


We continue our series in memory of the later public intellectual and professor of political philosophy Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with Yuval Levin, who served with Peter on the President’s Council on Bio-ethics in the George W. Bush administration, which was led by another distinguished conservative scholar, Leon Kass, Levin’s mentor. We talk about the council, about dignity, and the need for moderation, institutions, and a sympathetic understanding of each other, lest our conflicts lead to madness.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Joe Biden’s Fumbling Ad Isn’t Doing Himself Any Favors


If you were to ask me what has been and what will be (especially when the debates roll around) Joe Biden’s biggest weakness as a candidate, it is his age and mental acuity. It frankly just does not seem great, and now that the media have spent the last several years openly debating President Trump’s sanity, that’s something we’re allowed to publicly comment on.

I’ve been served this Biden ad more times than I can possibly count, and it has over 28 million views on YouTube as of this writing:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Governor Ducey, Stop the Petty Tyrants


Republican governors have been successfully panicked into letting the same local thugs, who reveled in the powers granted to them during the Great Lockdown, now order American citizens to cover their faces, some with as much legal force as the Saudi religious police. Governor Abbott of Texas at least had the wisdom to forbid any criminal penalties under this exercise in bodily control over every free person. Governor Doug Ducey has not been so bright, and so will rightly accrue state-wide blame against the Republican Party. He must immediately amend his latest executive order, number 2020-40, to prohibit anything more than a parking ticket sort of civil penalty for mask non-compliance.

Mesa, Arizona, is muddling through a middle route, requiring masks in most public indoor settings but not while eating or drinking. They will levy civil fines for persistent non-compliance, limited to $50, following Maricopa County.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The 1619 Project – Grasping for Straws


In her opening essay for “1619 Project,” Nikole Hannah-Jones claimed that the Revolutionary War was fought to protect slavery. When historians pushed back, she modified her claim to: “Protecting slavery was a primary motivation for some of the colonists.” Her claim is based on two arguments:

  1. The 1772 Somerset v Stuart decision, which freed a slave who had been brought to England, led slave owners to believe that Great Britain would free all slaves under British rule
  2. Southerners were largely uninterested in the war until the proclamation by Lord Dunmore, Virginia’s Colonial governor, offering freedom to any slave that would escape and join him in Virginia

Neither claim, however, accords with the war’s timeline. The Somerset the decision was handed down three years before the war started, and some significant events occurred between the decision and the war. And Dunmore’s proclamation wasn’t signed until almost seven months after the war’s outbreak. Here’s a brief timeline:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Epidemic of Hopelessness


We have been trapped for years by a minority in our society that thinks that we live in a despicable country. Recently they are also making clear that the only solution to this “fact” is the destruction of our country. I believe that the deluded people who profess this worldview experience nothing but hopelessness in their lives. Unfortunately, those of us who don’t agree with them are slowly becoming infused with this sick approach to life. If we don’t wake up, we risk succumbing to this life-threatening disease.

The Federalist, in an article by Nathanael Blake, helped me diagnose the sickness of hopelessness of the Left. Many people have tried to understand the viciousness and destructiveness of Progressives by pointing to the draw of Marxist theory, the corruption of education, and the immaturity of many young people, to name a few. But these reasons only answer the “what” questions—what they are doing; they don’t answer the “why.”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus Update: All Quiet on the Western Front


I haven’t done a COVID-19 update for over a month. The news is good, for a change.

The data indicate that the crisis has passed, in the US and Western Europe. As with my prior reports, I rely on the Johns Hopkins data (here). I make this report on June 23, using data through June 22.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Signal Victory for Gen. Flynn and Richly Deserved Defeat for “Judge” Sullivan


In what I am sure many of us fervently pray is the end of the detestable, disgraceful persecution of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, USA, Ret’d, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has granted the Motion for a Writ of Mandamus filed on his behalf — from what I can determine an almost unheard of action by a Federal Court of Appeal — and ordered the bizarrely out of control District Judge to dismiss the case.

Here is a good short summary of the action from Powerline’s Scott Johnson:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QotD: On the Execution of Anacharsis Cloots


Excluded at the insistence of Maximilien Robespierre from the Jacobin Club, he remained a foreigner in many eyes. When the Committee of Public Safety levelled accusations of treason against the Hébertists, they also implicated Cloots to give substance to their charge of a foreign plot. Although his innocence was manifest, he was condemned and subsequently guillotined on 24 March 1794. He incongruously followed Vincent, Ronsin, Momoro and the rest of the Hébertist leadership to the scaffold, in front of the largest crowd ever assembled for a public execution.—Wikipedia entry on Anacharsis Cloots (Emphasis mine.)

Cloots, by the way, was born as Jean-Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce, baron de Cloots. That’s right: Baron. An aristocrat cheering on the end of the aristocracy got himself shortened by a head. Ah, the French Revolution! Such a time to be alive. Puts a frisson in one’s blood, never knowing when that blood may be spilled. Sort of like the CHAZ or CHOP Zone today. Being one of the cheerleaders didn’t save Cloots, and it isn’t saving anyone today. It is easy to read about then and be appalled or even to have a bit of schadenfreude for those who went into the Revolution with full-throated cheers and came out through Madame Guillotine. It is not so funny as we watch the mobs in action in America today.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Music To Bury My Mother By


June 24, 2020 would have been my mother’s 92nd birthday. She died in September 2014, at the age of 86 after a long struggle with the effects of fronto-temporal dementia. Her death was, in the eyes of her children and others who loved her, a release and a blessing. And for her, peace at last.

She’d fallen away from the faith of her childhood decades before, and her children wished only a celebration of her life, and to say farewell to Mum with words and music that she’d have enjoyed. (I’ve often thought that, in an earlier time, Mum might have lived as a wise woman, or a white witch, in a pretty little cottage in the middle of the forest primeval. She’d have liked that, I think.)


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Isiah Thomas Calls for End of ‘Race’ Category


An NBA program, carried on ESPN and intended to promote the left’s line on race, went a bit sideways. June 23 on NBA Game Time, Isiah Thomas, a basketball great with a master’s degree in education, called for an end to the use of race as an official classification, arguing that it has been misused for bad purposes from its origin. The young woman interviewing him had to smile through the interview, however much this was heresy in the present political moment. His comments accord more with the long time position of Alexander Hamilton III, a lawyer and American Family Radio daily talk show host. Contra Dennis Prager, the answer is not to be “colorblind.” Rather, we should learn from Deuteronomy 16:19, and not the “1619 Project.”

Isiah Thomas earned an education master’s degree at UC Berkeley in 2013. His study focused on the education and life outcomes for black male college athletes.* Instead of promoting the Democrat Party line, Thomas called for an end to the use of “race” as a classification label. He did so on the basis of theories and histories of “racialization,” the invention and development of this relatively new way of labeling and dividing people. Isiah Thomas noted that our government, starting at the national level, has four boxes: national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, and race. It is his position that race has been defined and used for ill purpose and should be eliminated from official programs. You get plenty of descriptive categorization from national origin, citizenship, and ethnicity.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Providence


During my stay in another state, I was offered my host’s only housekey to use while he was at work. The arrangement was not usually a bother because we gathered at another place in the evenings before returning together to his home.

One day, the weather cooled unexpectedly — enough that I decided to return for an extra shirt. The drive to his house took about 20 minutes. There in the driveway was my host, only just arriving himself. He was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. He was in a hurry to retrieve a forgotten item and had expected he would need to climb through a low window to get inside without his house key. (He could have phoned, but apparently thought it a minor inconvenience — not worth bothering me about.) I unlocked the door with his key, saving him the trouble.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Stay in Your Lane, Bubba


I have to admit I know little to nothing about NASCAR. But I do know that when people who make a living in athletics or entertainment (or some combination thereof) stray into politics, they lose their luster for me.

Bubba Wallace, apparently the most famous black race car driver, discovered a “noose” in his garage at the raceway for his next competition. Only it wasn’t a “noose”, it was a garage door pull (a rope with a knotted loop) and apparently was fashioned such in all the garages — although the rope in the garage next to it had been untied so maybe it wasn’t immediately obvious that all the garages had rope pulls.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If You Are Against Trump, This Is What You Support


You support defunding the police, because that is what the Democrats want.

You support destroying statues and images from the past, because that is what Democrats want.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Europe #11: Mr Jones


So I talked to @FlaggTaylor about Mr. Jones, the new Agnieszka Holland movie about Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist who dared to risk his life to reveal the truth about Stalin’s murder of millions of Ukrainians, the Holodomor, only to be faced with systematic lying by liberals in Moscow and Britain, orchestrated by Pulitzer prize winner Walter Duranty, who didn’t want to believe the truth, or publish it. In many ways, liberalism is back to its ’30s form.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Good Fellows: Condoleezza Rice On COVID, Russia, And Putin


This week on GoodFellows, we tackle a very complex geopolitical topic: Russia and the effects the COVID-19 crisis has had on that country’s economy, internal politics, international relations and aspirations, and ability to influence other countries and regions. To help us, we are fortunate to have one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject, someone who has years of direct experience in dealing with Russia and with Vladimir Putin himself: Hoover fellow (and soon to be director of the Hoover Institution) Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state and national security director under George W. Bush. She, along with our other GoodFellows (that’s H. R. McMaster, John Cochrane, and Niall Ferguson), conduct a fascinating conversation on why the COVID-19 crisis is an especially difficult problem for Russia to manage and solve. We also get Secretary Rice’s unique take on the current social unrest in the United States, a perspective informed by her upbringing in the South and her own experiences with racism.


It’s time for a change and here it is: The Conservatarians is now the King of Stuff podcast, with our first guest, James Lileks. James is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, co-host of Ricochet’s flagship podcast, author of several books, and the proprietor of the irreplaceable From politics to music to architecture to cartoons, Jon and James cover every topic worth covering.

Subscribe to our brand-new Spotify playlist featuring picks from Jon and his guest. James is listening to “’Unbegun’ Symphony” by Peter Schickele (aka PDQ Bach) and Jon is listening to “Television Fission” by Man Or Astro-man? and “Restore My Soul” by The Choir.


Seth had the day off today so it was just Jay, Grant, and Park. In the first part of the show, the guys were joined by attorney Kyle Sammin to discuss his latest piece in the magazine called, Solving the social media standoff. Kyle goes into some possible solutions that don’t go as far as eliminating Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act but perhaps adding a new category specifically related to big social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook.

Also discussed is the renewed fight over statues and how people warned several years ago it would go beyond Confederate figures and begin to target figures such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.


James and Toby begin the show with the Free Speech Union‘s legal action yesterday against Ofcom (the UK equivalent of the FCC), and their decision to go after anyone that contradicts or questions the government on its Covid-19 policy.

But the main discussion centers on the timidity of the Prime Minister – who still won’t accept that Covid-19 is on the wane. James thinks Boris is full of bluster and Toby thinks James has BDS, aka Boris Derangement Syndrome. And speaking of Covid-19, Toby reveals his test results that he teased last week.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The 7 Billion People Rule: Generalizations


I have this rule that I call the “7 Billion People Rule” which states that there will always be somebody a statement applies to or doesn’t apply to. One thing this does is add strength to the proposition that “All generalizations are false.”

I’ve always found generalizations to be useful, and especially for that reason. You can’t cover everybody, but something can be true enough of the time to convey good enough information to be worth repeating.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Music That Makes Me Laugh


Growing up without a television in the house, we got our entertainment from LPs (long playing records), and from books. Along with mostly classical, children’s, and some fold or pop with good harmony, we got my parents’ taste in comedy.

My parents met in Philadelphia as the 1950s became the 1960s. Perhaps the hottest comedy act of that time was Nicols and May, Mike Nicols and Elaine May. These two took improv comedy to a whole new level, starting with Improvisations to Music. Stan Freberg was already an established talent, and generated a send up of Lawrence Welk in 1957.