35 years ago, in 1985, President Reagan was frustrated with Congress’ reluctance to support freedom fighters who opposed totalitarian communistic rule in Central America. He believed their reluctance was a result of isolationist policies as a result of the war in Vietnam. Frustrated by Congressional inaction, he took his case to the American people in 1985, delivering this radio address to them.Let’s Listen.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Joke or a Parable?


There was once a faithful man who prayed every day and completely trusted in God’s goodness. However, he lived in a flood plain and the forecast was grim — 40 days and 40 nights of rain. When the governor declared a voluntary evacuation, the police drove through the man’s neighborhood encouraging people to leave over their loudspeakers, but the man replied, “God will provide.”

After a few days of steady rain and as the waters began to rise into the streets, the voluntary evacuation became mandatory and National Guard trucks were sent in to help remainers move out. The faithful man politely thanked them and, refusing to leave, said, “God will provide.” When the water reached his front stoop, first responders were sent in skiff boats to help him out. He refused again, saying, “God will provide.”


You asked the questions and Carol Roth answered them! From investing and business to politics to personal, Carol answered your serious—and not so serious—questions. Plus, “Now You Know” trivia from ancient Rome.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Photo Diary of My Trip to Cuba


Alas, this will be my last photo tour through Cuba. I suppose it’s fitting that I’d forgot to post this last chapter sooner considering that the entire series would have been published a few years ago…. had I not forgotten then. Better late than never I suppose! Below are the pictures of a day spent in the Escambray Mountains, near Trinidad. The region is probably most known for being the site of a long rebellion against Castro’s regime. Perhaps it will surprise you to hear that nobody mentioned that while I was there…


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Irrelevance of the Truth


The letter sent by 1,100 former officials from the Department of Justice condemning AG William Barr is a travesty. That these former officials would demand AG Barr’s resignation in the face of the circumstances that have been publicized and the lack of a complete set of facts is so blatantly political that it should be embarrassing to all of them. They are so blinded by their political biases, however, that they have no clue about how they have tarnished their own reputations.

If we look carefully at this situation, we can see that there are differences of opinion on what actually happened regarding the sentencing recommendation of the Stone case. The protest letter authors assume they know exactly what happened, but given AG Barr’s reputation, I think they don’t have the grounds for a legitimate protest. In their letter, they make this statement:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Phoenix at a Nadir


So, I’m at a diner last Sunday and the Oscars are on. But the sound was off. Which I considered Thomas Aquinas’ Sixth Proof of the Existence of God. So, as I glance up at the screen and the first award’s announced, Brad Pitt bounds onstage to grab it and I’m thinking “The man is 56. His hair’s gotta be getting a lifetime achievement award.” Actually, it was for best supporting actor, but either way, my not caring could’ve been measured in mega-tonnage till a waitress gets up and, much to my chagrin and over my internal screams of “C’mon, God, I’ll do anything you want if she just doesn’t–,” but it’s too late. She grabs the remote and doesn’t just flip on the sound, she turns it up to its “This is gonna ruin Richard’s night” level (for “Spinal Tap” fans, yes, that is higher than 11). Now, I’m in show business so I understand all the inner technical workings of how things go, but for the uninitiated, you know what happens when you turn the sound up on an awards show? Actors speak and you’re forced to listen to them!

Now, I’m not saying actors are dumb … just … lacking breadth. And … depth. But, to be fair, if you’re a world-class talent in anything, you’re probably focusing on that from a very early age and aren’t a walking library. My guess is as a teenager Serena Williams probably thought “Anna Karenina” was the Estonian qualifier she bageled the hell out of in Berlin last week.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Scenes from the Media Meltdown


That’s Steven Hayward’s headline for today’s post on the (continuing) decline in journalism. It was prompted by a lament in the New York Review of Books by Dean Nicholas Lemann of Columbia, asking Can Journalism Be Saved? Hayward excerpts some of the key points, including Lemann’s rather clueless exposition on the trend towards opinions in disguise on the front pages, after a litany of statistics on the declines in readership, advertising revenues, local papers still publishing, and overall employment in the field. (Hayward says he understands if we consider this the feel-good story of the day. Heh. I do.)

Anyways, I think we know the answer to Lemann’s question, based on the industry’s decades of abuse of their consumers: No, it cannot be saved. At least not in its present form with its present cadre of bloviators. Journalists with no relevant expertise have no business offering “news analysis.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. How Many Friends Have You Lost?


A new study confirms what we all already knew: open-minded liberals aren’t quite as open-minded as they’d like you to believe:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. From NeverTrump to Humbled Supporter: A Journey of Faith


From NeverTrump to humbled supporter A journey of faith

For a few weeks, I’ve had an article brewing in my brain. It’s a follow-up to a previous article that I wrote, and I was pleased to read the new article last night. I didn’t write it, so I owe Western Chauvinist a debt of gratitude for not only writing what I was thinking, but doing it better than I would have. The article — “Reluctant Trump Christians, Where Is Your Confounding Love?” — is pretty much the defense I was planning on making as a follow-up to the Christian perspective for supporting our President.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s a Funny Old World: Mike Bloomberg Edition

Bloomberg with Halo and Wings
St. Michael of the Blessed Democratic Party.

I’m one of those reluctant Trump supporters who are more or less pleased with his policies, but just wish he’d be quiet once in a while. I’d like a better Republican choice, like Nikki Haley perhaps, but that’s not in the cards for this year. On balance then, I’d like to see four more years and a couple more Supreme Court picks for Donald Trump.

None of the Democrats running for president, all 24 of them at one point, struck me as having anything particularly appealing to offer the voting public. Mostly a bunch of puffed-up Senators and second-rate posers/opportunists, but I repeat myself. Biden concerned me for a little while, but once he appeared on the campaign stage, it was painfully obvious that he was well past his sell-by date. The first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that the rest of the Democratic electorate see that too. Trump could have saved himself the four months of impeachment headaches from that Zelensky phone call. It turns out Biden was destined to blow himself up without any help from Hunter or the Ukrainians! Hah! Who knew?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’d Like to Pass on the Corona


I haven’t seen a post on Ricochet talking specifically about the coronavirus, now known as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, since Rodin’s post on the 7th. Let me take this opportunity to provide a short update from the other side of the world in Yokohama, Japan. While it’s not China, and not as bad off as China, the way this outbreak is progressing, Yokohama is now, as I’ll explain below, another front in the COVID-19 outbreak. Although I was in the Navy and spent time working in Emergency Management, now I’m just a plain ex-pat enjoying my retirement overseas, so most of what I’ll relate here comes from personal observations and local news sources.

Even with the occasional friction that occurs between China and Japan, Japan remains a favored destination for Chinese travelers. Before the outbreak kicked off, there were tons of Chinese tourists at popular locations across Japan every day. The last time I visited Kyoto a couple of years ago, the big tourist sites, buses, and sidewalks were packed as I had never seen them before. The famous shopping area in Tokyo called Ginza was crowded every day with tour buses and tourists, and while not all of them were Chinese, a vast majority appeared to be. However, starting at about the beginning of this month, Japan’s tourist locations saw traffic dry up. A store owner at Asakusa, one of the most popular sites in Tokyo, just mentioned on a news program that the number of tourists is way down, about 10 percent of normal, or a drop of 90 percent. One of the bigger duty-free stores called Laox, which sells electronics and electrical goods, is decreasing its workforce by 20 percent due to the outbreak.


Recently, Jay sat down with Nina Khrushcheva in her office at New School University, in New York. Part I of their conversation is here. In this second and final part, they touch on Vladimir Nabokov, William F. Buckley Jr., and other interesting matters – including this one: What’s it like, actually, to be Khrushchev’s granddaughter, especially back in Russia?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s So Shmoooth!


“That champagne velvety taste, So shmoooth!”
Champagne Velvet Beer radio commercial, 1940s-1950s

If you listen to old-time radio shows, and if the person posting them leaves the ads in, you will eventually run across this ad from a mid-sized regional brewer in Terre Haute, IN. The brand survived Prohibition, then faltered in the great brewery consolidation era, eventually reformulating as a high-alcohol malt liquor before failing and then having their brand revived as a retro-craft beer by Upland Brewing. The ad pitchman’s delivery of the “so shmoooth” line in a slightly nasal tone, with smooth changed to a drawn out shhmoooth, produced a great earworm … which came back to mind when I saw a Korean beer in my local Korean supermarket.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Thirty Year Book


Some thirty years ago I joined the Conservative Book Club. As a premium, I received some books for a cut-rate (you remember: five books for a dollar, or a penny, or some such). Among them was Witness by Whittaker Chambers. I am proud to announce that on February 1, 2020, I finished reading Witness. The first half of the book took thirty years. The second half, two weeks.

The turning point (which, it turns out, is the name of the chapter in which it appears) for me was this:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never Pee in Front of a Kitten (and Other Lessons Learned the Hard Way)


Since the details are a bit scandalous, you’ll just have to trust me on that first one. We may get to it later. But there are other lessons learned the hard way and advice to go with them. Fancy a journey down this murky road of dark comedy? Then read on, and as the elf-lord Elrond would say: “On you who travel with him no oath nor bond is laid, to go further than you will … May the blessings of Elves, Men, and free folk go with you.”

regarding serrano peppers


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Things Get on My Nerves


I’ve finally put to rest the old DocJay phrase, “harshes my mellow.” It was cute for awhile, but it had run its course, as all things do in time. To make up for the missing excitement that DocJay’s phrase added to my post, I’ve started each item on my list with the letter B.

Blowers: I hate these darn things. Leaf blowers interrupt my naps, they blot out my conversation with Marie as we walk the neighborhood, and they scare Bob the dog.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Thinking Outside the Swamp


It should be no surprise if everyone on Team Swampy gets off without even facing charges voted out of a grand jury, even if FBI agents gave away secrets to a foreign spy. To restore justice, both real and perceived, it is time for Attorney General Barr to think outside the legal swamp. It is time to make a serious case, in public and all the way to the Supreme Court, for a change of venue to a pool of demonstrably fair-minded prospective jurors.

Without this credible threat, the chance of the outside review team, leaked to the New York Times to discredit any negative findings, actually unearthing the wrongdoing of Democrats in career prosecutor disguise will approach nil. The Flynn review will produce little in the way of real justice, that is in severe legal, financial, and career consequences to the team that perpetrated this fraudulent prosecution. The wider review of political prosecutions, together with the Durham legal campaign, will produce so little as to support the DNC, deep state, and TruCon lapdogs’ claim that it has always been noble public servants standing against Orange Man Bad and his Deplorables.


On this week’s edition of the United Kingdom’s Fastest Growing and Most Trusted Podcast®, James discusses with Toby his and his daughter’s adventures with the NHS in the A&E of his local hospital (that’s an ER for you Yanks), as well as the casualties of Boris’s recent Cabinet reshuffle.

Then it’s up to Cambridge where Extinction Rebellion is protesting the destruction of nature by, uh, destroying nature. Delingpole’s pro tip of the week: They are terrorists.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Jesus Preaches on Isaiah


In Luke chapter 4, Jesus/Yeshua reads from Isaiah 61 and makes a shocking claim about it:

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Doing Sound for Films


For movies and television, the image is king and always will be. After all, they call them movies, not soundies. But since 1928 or thereabouts, most films have been made with live sound. Audiences usually want some degree of real-life to mingle with cinematic fantasy. Doing the show right from a technical standpoint is a key element in maintaining a viewer’s willing suspension of disbelief. Whatever you think of Hollywood, the polish and expertise of our technical crafts have led the world’s screens for more than a century, a good part of the gloss of an American success story.

Doing sound for the movies is a little different than doing camera. On a movie set, the camera is treated like a sacramental altar, with attendants performing guild rituals, a technical priesthood, and its own nearly incomprehensible jargon. Superficially, on the other hand, sound looks like an afterthought that seems easy to do — just stick a mike in someone’s face, wear earphones, and run a tape recorder. Simple, right? But it’s surprisingly hard to do it well, especially on the cramped confines of a noisy film set.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Asia #6: Kurosawa, ‘High and Low’


Time for more Kurosawa: I talk High and Low with Jody Bottum and John Wilson. This is a good pair for the big new Oscar winner, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite; it’s also a story about envy and class, about the rapid modernization of a country, in this case, Japan, in that, South Korea, and the crisis of justice. Kurosawa is quite Dostoevskian in his treatment of resentment and nihilism, a fitting way to end his series of modern movies.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Is How You Start a Presidential Race


President Trump brought The Beast and Air Force One to Daytona Motor Speedway Sunday. Notice that NASCAR knows its customers and is not going to alienate them. So, NASCAR invited the president to be their grand marshal for the opening race of the 2020 season, the Daytona 500.

President Trump did a fly-by with Air Force One as the crowd waited for the beginning of the big race on Sunday, then rolled into the race track with his motorcade, stepping out of The Beast to greet the crowd and start the race, He and First Lady Melania Trump led the first warm-up lap in the presidential vehicle. The race was soon shut down, as a rainstorm came in, and will end up being run on Monday, Presidents Day.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. China: The Prosperous Face of Socialism


The Chinese government demands socialism be taught by priests. Many churches have been demolished. Christian funerals have been banned. A steadfast bishop lives on the street because the government threatens anyone who would house him.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QotD: Government Policy


A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

If any statement explains how blue states work, it is this one. The number of makers is always fewer than the number of takers. So design policies to bribe the takers to vote for you.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Getting Fit in Retirement

I have a new exercise regimen that consists of getting 10,000 steps by walking around the neighborhood while picking up trash – adding in some bending and stretching. 
In the process, I’ve become something of an authority on litter. For example, nearly half the trash is booze containers: beer bottles and cans, wine bottles and boxes, and liquor bottles