Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Do Democrat Voters Really Believe This Stuff?


In a cynical ploy to capitalize on our current hysteria over the video of George Floyd’s death, Democratic Reps Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) announced the BREATHE Act last week. This proposed legislation seeks to radically transform America’s criminal justice system through a wide variety of actions:

  • Eliminate life sentences
  • Retroactively expunge drug crimes
  • Permanently shut down multiple federal agencies
  • Permanently close many prisons and detention centers
  • End gang databases
  • Establish pilot programs for universal basic income
  • Give voting rights to all illegal immigrants
  • Give voting rights to all incarcerated criminals
  • Give free lifetime education to all illegal immigrants
  • Give free lifetime education to all incarcerated criminals

This sweeping legislation brings up two groups of questions in my mind.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Mae Mae’s Cooking Up More Than Food for Your Belly


Mae Mae’s Happy Table brings home cooking and home-spun wisdom to YouTube. Mae Mae, with her husband Tuck on the camera, has recently added a weekly meal video, with each item explained and likely detailed in a separate video. This week, we got even more. Mae Mae had been visiting relatives and live-streamed a meal at a restaurant. This prompted Karens to attack and Mae Mae responded in the strength of the Lord. Never mind The Rock, do you smell what Mae Mae’s cooking?

Here is a delicious, homely meal of green beans from Tuck’s garden, rolls from the store, sweet tea (naturally), and a delicious pot roast.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. End ‘Inclusiveness’ Training Now


The only systemic racism of which I am personally aware involves diversity and inclusiveness training. These are mandatory programs within the federal government (and many if not all state governments) and federal contractors. I am old enough to have experienced some of the initial training back in the 1970s and 1980s. Well-intentioned no doubt, but over time it has become the province of the Karenwaffe — hectoring people over immutable characteristics or, in the case of gender fluidity, the belief in immutable characteristics.

Two stories highlight how malignant this has become: the Seattle “whiteness” training, and the Army’s “inclusiveness” initiative. This is politics, not human rights. This is raw power, not reasoned education.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bullying and ‘Social Justice’


I was never bullied. Somehow, I survived thirteen years of public schooling without suffering that particular indignity — despite being, in some ways, a prime target. Over the years, I’ve developed a theory about why I managed to avoid the usual adolescent social drama, and I think it has some relevance to the current political situation.

My first realization: Bullying almost always occurs within cliques. Inter-clique bullying is rare, but intra-clique bullying is universal. At my school, the greatest victims and victimizers alike were the “popular” kids — the cheerleaders and athletes — who treated each other like animals while the rest of us looked on in disgust. Other cliques had similar (though less dramatic) dynamics. But I, curmudgeon that I am, made my radical indifference to the high-school social scene known to all, and it worked. I didn’t care about belonging, and that made me all but immune to the harms which proceed from the desire to fit in.


We’re back after our 4th of July break (well, most of us are back — we have Ricochet Editor Bethany Mandel sitting in for the vacationing Peter Robinson) and we’ve got another super-sized episode to make up for our time off. First up, the always great Heather Mac Donald, who speaks truth to protestors like nobody else. Then, meet Shermichael Singleton, former political strategist, a former Deputy Chief of Staff at HUD, and a former member of the GOP. Shermichael tells us why he’s left the latter two organizations and it should be required listening at the RNC. Luckily for us, Shermichael is a current Ricochet podcaster and if you have not listened to the Speak-Easy podcast he co-hosts with Antonia Okafor, we highly recommend it. Also, a bit on the Harper’s free speech letter, the triumphant return of the Lileks Post of The Week, and Bethany has a new Twitter friend.

Music from this week’s show: Everything Is Broken by Bob Dylan


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “T”


“The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

I love that quote. It rings of all the things we learn across life that are basic and true – finish what you started, just keep going, don’t quit, get up, endure, just keep swimming – just keep swimming. I’ve seen a fair amount of non-quitters in my time. I’ve seen some seriously tough soldiers; I know a guy who’d die before he’d quit. We all know lots of people say that but he’s the one who’d actually do it. He left the Army, became a missionary in the mountains of Burma and now he’s in the middle east saving kids in war zones. I saw guys swim underwater knowing they were going to pass out; no swimming for the side or trying to stay on the surface, they’d just go limp and start to sink. I have seen it across all walks of life well outside my military world too. Oftentimes one does not get a choice in what happens but they can choose to get through it. 10 July 1961 is a date that would affect my life forever despite not even being born. That was the day my sister arrived on the planet.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Supreme Court Says Oklahoma Indian ‘Reservations’ Are Real


Well, this is interesting. Especially if you live in eastern Oklahoma, including the state’s second-largest city, Tulsa.

While much of the media will focus on the two US Supreme Court decisions involving whether 1) Congress or 2) Manhattan prosecutors may access President Trump’s tax returns, I find the McGirt v. Oklahoma State Appeals Court decision of greater interest. Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four “liberals” in what read to me like a walk through history, except the parts he glossed over (like, the post-Civil War treaties in 1866, which were described in great detail in Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent).


John R. Bolton – who has served in every Republican administration from Reagan on – has kicked up a fuss with his memoir of the Trump White House: “The Room Where It Happened.” With Jay, he talks about the president, the world, and himself.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dressed Right for a Street Fight


The hits just keep on coming for the Portland Police Bureau, and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. The usual whiners, their attorney’s, and Governor Kate Brown wants law enforcement in Portland to deescalate their response to violence, arson, and looting from the self-absorbed and entitled rioters in Portland.

From the Oregonian:


WWII historian Emily Zanotti teams up with homeschool mom (and lover of books) Bethany Mandel to lay out the best ways to study and learn from history—for adults and kids.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. New York’s Intelligence Suffers the Unintelligent


On June 30th New York’s city council voted to cut nearly $484 million from the NYPD’s annual $6 billion budget and shift funding to other agencies as well as youth and social services programming.

According to a USA Today summary, “the changes will cancel a nearly 1,200-person police recruiting class set for next month (though another class in October is scheduled to go forward), curtail overtime spending and shift school safety, crossing guards and homeless outreach away from the NYPD.” (emphasis mine)


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Not Cut Out to Be a Cop


There are several YouTube channels that show police activity, and they’ve had a lot of content recently with the riots and such. I had often thought if I had not gone to law school that I might have enjoyed being a police officer, but I now know that would have been a terrible idea. I grew up in a military family and I served in the military. I have stark views of right and wrong; I believe, for example, that people who pull and point weapons at police officers earn every Darwin Award they get.

Sometimes, however, I just watch these interactions and I’m thinking “why aren’t you guys kicking the stuffing out of that creep” as they holler and scream for the camera while they are being detained. Watch the Portland riots or Baltimore, or really any of these BLM orchestrated fiascos; they’re out there. If you’ve never interacted with a police officer but feel privileged to criticize them, watch some video and learn the other side of the story.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. PTSD and the Coronavirus


The other day I invited two friends over for a visit. We formed a woman’s group that usually meets monthly, but we hadn’t come together in months. All of us are seniors and they are both more cautious than I am regarding the coronavirus. So, I suggested we could sit either outside or inside (not having checked on the late morning temperature).

When they arrived, one friend (call her “E”) came to the front door and told me that my other friend (“R”) was walking around the side of the house to enter by the lanai side door. Clearly, she had decided she preferred to sit outside, in spite of the early morning Florida heat and humidity. We moved our chairs into three spots of shade we found and visited for 1.5 hours.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Slavery: The ‘Best’ Form of Socialism


In an 1864 address, Abraham Lincoln argued that:

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different but incompatible things, called by the same name liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Shameless Self-Promotion


Today, the Scott Circuit Court (Kentucky) entered a Temporary Restraining Order against the Governor, preventing him from enforcing his Emergency Orders against my client, Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC.

My Client was joined by the Commissioner of Agriculture and the Attorney General of Kentucky, who were represented by Joe Bilby, General Counsel for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Barry Dunn, Deputy Attorney General, and Chad Meredith, Solicitor General.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Arguing with the Other Side


“He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” — Edmund Burke

We can look at Burke’s statement through the lens of our own lives. I’ve met all kinds of people who either hide from those who disagree with them, or look for people to fight with. In many ways, both attitudes can be unhelpful because their underlying goals are not productive.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #21: Dan Mahoney


So here’s the fifth interview in my series in remembrance of Peter Lawler — today, I talk with Dan Mahoney, America’s foremost authority on the thought of Solzhenitsyn, and the author of several other important books, especially on the greatest French thinkers and statesmen of the last two centuries, some of whom he’s translated. (You can find his books on his Amazon page.) We talk about American individualism, the troubles of democracy, and Peter’s Christian reflection on what it means to be a person — both individual and relational, both homeless in this world and at home, in community, with that homelessness…


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. When J.K. Rowling Got Cancelled for Tweeting Me


I had a definite fangirl moment yesterday when one of my favorite writers, J.K. Rowling, tweeted in response to my support for her position on free speech and defense of feminism:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Another Dispatch from Seattle… You Add the Adjective


Two very interesting stories today about what goes on in the “Emerald City” by Elliott Bay. It seems that, while a subset of Seattle residents was occupying a portion of the Capitol Hill neighborhood (CHOP, or if you prefer CHAZ), the City of Seattle was running some training for their employees. Specifically, their White employees, on how to move forward, and respond correctly in the “new normal” of the Black Lives Matter (and White lives don’t) City. Chris Rufo, of City Journal, through an Open Records request, reported on some of the handouts at those training sessions. Here are some quotes from the training materials. Emphasis mine.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Brooks Brothers Blues


The men’s clothing company, established in 1818, filed for bankruptcy today. I have two short anecdotes about that company that create for me the nostalgic sweet pain that comes from life as you age.

When I was a teenager my Dad had a prescription to Esquire magazine that I perused each month. I found a few articles that held my interest because they were avant- guard but mostly I looked at the ads. It was the Vanity Fair for metrosexual males long before that concept took birth. When I was about fourteen I was captivated by a Brooks Brothers ad featuring a bright blue blazer; not a navy blue blazer, but bright blue. I had to have it. I cut out the ad and begged my mother to buy me a blazer that color. Amazingly enough, she found an inexpensive sport coat the same color from a K-mart or similar store and replaced the white plastic buttons that came on the coat with brass buttons and I was as happy as I had ever been. Unfortunately, this happened in the midst of my adolescent growth spurt or I would still have it today.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Kid’s School Re-opening Plans


The prep school for #4 son (#2 and #3 graduated from there, attending High School after homeschooling) had a big webinar on all the things they are doing to re-open, including following all CDC suggestions: masks, distancing, the works. I could not watch much. Instead, I wrote the below to the headmaster:

Dear [Headmaster]


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Shor Thing


I still can’t wrap my head around the “canceling” of David Shor. Shor is the progressive data analyst who tweeted a link to a research paper written by Omar Wasow of Princeton that showed that peaceful protest moves public opinion toward protesters, while rioting moves opinion in the opposite direction.

Progressphiles kicked Shor off its LISTSERV and released a statement that said, in part:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Americans Are Hungry for the Fight


Patton“Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time.”
— General George S. Patton, May 1944 in a speech constructed by soldiers and recorded by historian Terry Brighton.

Americans do love to fight. And when we fight, we fight to win. Right now we are in a war for the survival of a nation. And right now we are in this fight without the overt support of our elected leaders and public figures. America’s enemies are my enemies. We are in this fight against people who would rather destroy a statue of Frederick Douglass than listen to his words that became a defining moment in the fight to end slavery. This is a blatant example of erasing history to cast it in the darkness of evil from which there can be no comparison. The present is the oppressive. The past is privilege.