Contributor Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Painting Sunlight

 

“All I wanted to do is paint sunlight on the side of a house.” — Edward Hopper

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Memorial Day Weekend “To Do” List

 

You have been bombarded with messages about sales, specials, and entertainment opportunities for this weekend. Please add the following items at the top of your list for the weekend, slipping the big sale a little ways down the page.

If you have not seen the HBO movie Taking Chance (included in Amazon Prime, available elsewhere), watch it. Have a box of tissues or a couple hankies handy. If you had other entertainment plans, watch this trailer, and reassess your priorities for the weekend:

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Contributor Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #30: The Walking Dead

 

Paul Cantor joins me for the second part of our conversation on his new book: Pop Culture And The Dark Side Of The American Dream: Con Men, Gangsters, Drug Lords, And Zombies. It’s time for the zombies–for the postmodern Western, The Walking Dead, from Shane to Wagon Train to our times of crisis, when we ask ourselves, could we be what we think we are without the institutions and technology that prop us up? Is American character able to withstand the test of the state of nature?

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The City of Seattle Confirms That It Is Lawless

 

Through a number of citywide policies, the fast-growing city of Seattle has decided that, because more people “of color” than whites skip out on library fines, ride the Metro buses without paying, live in tents on the streets, commit property crimes, and use and deal drugs out in the open, that those crimes and misbehaviors will no longer be punished.

This article on the Fox News Web site details how Seattle no longer enforces its laws, and everyone suffers. This is pathetic.

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Jon and Stephen welcome back Michael Malice, author of The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics. Michael also wrote 2014’s Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, and is the subject of Harvey Pekar’s graphic novel Ego & Hubris. He currently hosts both “Night Shade” at Compound Media and “YOUR WELCOME” at the GaS Digital Network. The Conservatarians also discuss Naomi Wolf’s interview faceplant and the media panic over a slowed-down video of Nancy Pelosi.

The intro/outro song is “Bells” by The Vacant Lots, Jon’s song of the week is “In My Room” by Fennesz, and Stephen’s song is “Lovers” by Alexander Carson. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Remembering the Boys of Pointe du Hoc this Memorial Day

 

Friday’s online Wall Street Journal carried the usual Saturday column by Peggy Noonan. Aside from having been one of President Reagan’s speechwriters, Noonan is not ordinarily one of my favorites, but today’s column, “Which Way to Pointe du Hoc?” really hit home for me for some very personal reasons.

One of the main reasons I signed up for a D-Day to the Rhine tour was that I wanted to stand on the spot where President Reagan stood when he delivered one of the most powerful speeches ever delivered by any President, “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc,” with a number of the survivors of that truly miraculous assault straight up a 150-foot cliff sitting on the front row. There is a video of that speech and every time I watch it I realize anew that it represents the very essence of what Memorial Day is all about. I have been trying to read everything I can get my hands on about this particular part of D-Day, and every time I find something else, I learn about one or more miracles which took place that day; courage and bravery beyond mere words. They were The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. Thank God for them. And all their Brothers in Arms.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Jews: The Canary in the Coal Mine for the Democratic Party?

 

A number of posts have been written about Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and their anti-Semitic remarks, including my own. Many of us have speculated on the reasons for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s silence regarding those comments, or their apologies on behalf of these two representatives. I’ve looked into the reasons for their not condemning their behavior, and the results were even more disturbing than I anticipated. (For the record, I don’t separate attitudes about Israel and the Jewish community.)

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Brent Bozell and Bill Whittle (20:36) join Dave Sussman at American Freedom Alliance. Brent (Media Research Center) discusses the ongoing efforts to silence conservative voices online and Bill discusses the attack on culture, media, and entertainment. Find Brent’s and Bills speeches at http://AmericanFreedomAlliance.org and please support the AFA.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Friday Food and Drink Post: For The Gift I Have Received, I Am Truly Thankful

 

File:World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose, 86, at the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.jpgThis Monday, May 27, is the nation’s officially designated Memorial Day. My mother-in-law never called it anything but Decoration Day, and never celebrated it on any day other than May 30 in any given year.

The day has an interesting history, and yet its essence today is simple and can be distilled as follows: Let us remember, in all the ways we can, those members of the United States Armed Forces who’ve given their all, so that we may live in peace and freedom. One of the ways we do that, in context and with love and appreciation in our hearts, is to enjoy the day with our family and friends. We may attend community and church events. Often, we picnic and have fun. Sometimes we mourn a personal and private loss. But always, we remember and are thankful.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Deceiving, Deception, Dishonor

 

“Houston, we have a problem.” Fateful words that for persons, like me — part of the generation whose youth was spent in the race to the Moon — are the embodiment of grievous danger. And that danger is within our system of laws.

America runs on trust. Ours is a “high trust” society. We contract. We self-report our income for tax purposes. Although admonished to “drive defensively” we rely on our fellow citizens to act in predictable ways that follow the rules or a pretty close approximation thereto.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Antipodes of Ricochet

 

We Ricochet people are not a monolithic bloc. No, no, gentle reader. Outsiders might think we’re just a bunch of old white guys, but we’re actually a mix of disparate individuals, with views that are strewn all over the socio-political landscape.

Unfortunately, we’re diverse in ideas, and that means little to nothing to the race and gender-obsessed scribblers who work for The NY Times and the rest of the MSM. For them, diversity is based almost entirely on the skin color, which comes three simple hues these days: white, brown, and black. But those three colors, according to the Times, now come in twenty or so genders, including alexigender, a gender that is fluid among the various genders, although the individual can’t tell what those genders are. (Yes, that’s real. I Googled it.) You cis-gendered people may need to stop here for a moment while you think on that.

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Is it treason to criticize the president? If so, Mona and Jay are in big trouble. They also take swipes at Beto, Mayor Pete, farm subsidies, and more, while pausing to appreciate a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moment. They end on a bittersweet note — this is the last regularly scheduled Need to Know.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Other People Are Human Too: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

 

Did you ever get an idea that you couldn’t really see being expressed anywhere, that you thought needed expressing? An idea that struck you as so fundamental and yet had sort of become blurred and faded to the point where it was forgotten. I’ve had such an idea bouncing around in my head for quite a while now, and it has really been starting to bug me, to the point where there’s nothing else for it but to say, ‘Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes!’ Here goes nothing:

Abstractions are ruining the world. By abstractions, I mean ideas that all meaning and substance has been taken away from but that are put forward as if they are real reflections of people or of things we experience. Most of the stories put forward in movies and sitcoms today are of this kind, from where people have gotten ideas about “love” and romance and how they’re supposed to live their lives. Most of what gets put forward in newspapers and on TV, likewise. We live, lost and confused, amid a cloud of things that exist only as ideas.

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A special solo edition of the podcast — it’s just me going through the latest in the Trump-Russia investigation, and, more important, the investigation of the Trump-Russia investigation. What to look for after the president’s declassification order, plus a little-discussed reason why pressure is building for Democrats to impeach.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Think Globally, Act Locally

 

A classic leftist slogan, and not even the most harmful. (Not sure which is, but ‘my body, my choice’ springs to mind.) Still, it leads to obvious problems. Let’s try a test syllogism, shall we?

  1. Think Globally: The Kulaks are robbing the Soviet State blind.
  2. That guy Jerry is a Kulak.
  3. Act Locally: Excuse me while I find a short length of rope.

There are three problems with that syllogism. One, the initial premise is just wrong. The Soviet state can rob itself blind, thank you very much. Two, it doesn’t follow that even though Jerry is a Kulak he’s one of the ones causing trouble. And three, what are you doing hanging around with a Kulak to begin with? Do you want to get sent to the camps?

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This week on America’s Most Trusted Podcast®, we kick off with some home grown commentary about the ongoing Pelosi-Trump drama. Then, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s White House correspondent extraordinaire Deb Saunders joins for an extended and more detailed chat on the same topic. Later, Dr. Bill McClay stops by to discuss his new book, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story  which is all about the way history textbooks weirdly seem to only promote one point of view (guess which one). We close with a bit of talk about why Florida may be America’s greatest state and the what the hosts are doing for the three day weekend.

Music from this week’s show: Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen 

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American is known as the great melting pot. But what if we aren’t melting anymore? What if we are just staying separate? Our expert today, Mike Gonzalez, explains what patriotic assimilation is, why it’s the bond that allows America to be a nation of immigrants, and how everything falls apart with out it.

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

 

We are between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. The first is a minor holiday intended to honor those serving in our military. The second is a major federal holiday and is intended to commemorate our honored war dead. A recent conversation with a younger veteran led to talk of his grandfathers’ service in World War II, and that in turn led to a broader reflection on a seldom remembered or only partially understood group of Americans in the two world wars.

The younger veteran’s Hopi grandfather was a tank mechanic. His Navaho grandfather was a code talker in the Marine Corps. As we talked, I mentioned recently learning of the original WWI code talkers, a small team of Choctaw Indians in the American Expeditionary Forces. The Native American veteran replied that there were Hopi and other tribes also used as code talkers in WWII. It is just that the Navajos were the largest group and became the center of historical attention.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. What Is the Government’s Role in Public Health?

 

After my post earlier this week, communications staffers with Senator McConnell’s office reached out with some more information about the bill to raise the smoking and vaping age to 21.

I wanted to first share some of that information about why McConnell is taking this bipartisan step (along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). In a story in the Kentucky media, McConnell explains some of his justification,

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Julian Assange Is About to Become a Journalist

 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a police van, after he was arrested by British police, in London, Britain April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been indicted on 17 counts of violating the US Espionage Act, the same act his co-conspirator, Bradley “Call me Chelsea” Manning was convicted of breaking. But in the history of the Act, no third party has ever been successfully tried and convicted. The 52 were either anarchists directly plotting to overthrow the US government or persons who sold or made available American secrets to hostile powers.

Progressives cheered Assange’s arrest in April because they believe him to be an agent of Donald Trump’s, the man who helped disseminate the Hillary Clinton/DNC emails that the mainstream press worked so hard to gloss over. Mrs. Clinton herself chimed in, “The bottom line is he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it’s been charged.” Their mantra has been “Julian Assange is no journalist!” so he is undeserving of First Amendment protection. This is actually been a point of agreement among Progressives and Conservatives. Both National Review and Commentary ran editorials to this effect.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Trump Grants Barr Authority to Declassify Any 2016 Campaign Surveillance Documents

 

That puckering sound you heard Thursday night was from many nervous politicos, bureaucrats, and lobbyists in the Beltway. President Trump has just given Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of his 2016 campaign. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released the following statement:

Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election. The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Russell Kirk’s Favorite Loincloth, or The Conservative Novelist Adapts

 

“Different times demand different actions. Had I been born in Ancient Egypt I may well have advocated for change, even radical change. But modern times require shoring up the Old Moral Order.”– Russell Kirk

If you can, for just a moment pull your mind from Pharaoh Kirkses II and his sartorial choices, and contemplate his point. When asked to consider the conservative novelist, we normally choose from a set cast of characters; Evelyn Waugh, J.R.R. Tolkien, Allen Drury, G.K. Chesterton, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. They represent the bulwark, the voice that stands loudly astride history yelling stop and portrays old values and mores with humanity and passion. Rarely do we stop to consider the novelist that finds those values buried beneath the deep layers of their own modernity, and by showing only faint glimmers argues for their modified return. Two novelists separated by birth and an ocean, Ma Jian and Walker Percy, provide powerful examples of the adapted conservative novelist and his worth.

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Contributor Created with Sketch. Why America’s Social Media Firms Aren’t ‘Parasites’

 

It’s hard to be a big tech company these days without somebody rooting for your demise. But some cases are a bit more understandable than others. Like this one: “Bannon says killing Huawei more important than trade deal with China.” I mean, I get it. Former Trump White House adviser and nationalist Steve Bannon wants America to launch and win a Tech Cold War against China. Taking an ax to what might be its most important tech company, a key player in the global 5G rollout, might be a big step forward in such a plan.

But it’s not Americans wanting to shut down just Chinese tech companies. Sometimes it’s Americans going after American firms. “Maybe we’d be better off if Facebook disappeared,” writes Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, in an op-ed for USA Today. And his problem isn’t just with the social media giant run by Mark Zuckerberg. According to Hawley, Twitter and Instagram, though oddly not YouTube, are also “best understood as a parasite on productive investment, on meaningful relationships, on a healthy society,” He claims they’ve created an “addiction economy” based on extracting and selling data gleaned from uninformed users. The first sentence of the piece: “Social media consumers are getting wise to the joke that when the product is free, they’re the ones being sold.”

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Congress/Judiciary to POTUS: What Bill of Rights?

 

Two Obama-appointed judges have upheld the “most invasive Congressional subpoenas for private financial information in American history.” The judges refused to grant a stay for appeal, so banks have turned over to the US Congress financial records of private citizen Donald Trump (and, by extension, his family) before he became President. Democrats have made a power play that boggles the mind in its violation of some of the most basic freedoms granted US citizens in the Bill of Rights.

Attorney Robert Barnes penned a good brief, cogent summary of how and why the judges’ decisions were wrong. Barnes notes that Congress’ investigative subpoena power in the past has been “so sparingly employed,” the Supreme Court had “few cases” to review its use for most of our history (Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 193 [1957]). There’s some strong language in previous decisions, however, which comes down heavily on the side of upholding citizens’ rights in face of Congressional subpoena power that stood out to me:

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Contributor Created with Sketch. What’s Missing from Trump’s China Policy

 

The Dow plunged 450 points on the opening bell May 6 in response to this presidential tweet: “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No! The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday.” Economists eye this brinkmanship fearfully. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch’s global research team, among many others, has warned that a trade war could cause a global recession. Desmond Lachman of AEI notes that there are splash back effects of imposing harsh tariffs. They may succeed in weakening China, but “Any marked slowing in the Chinese economy is bound to have spillover effects on those economies with strong trade links to that country.”

Among those countries with “strong trade links” to China would be ours. Lachman is warning that Trump’s policies may be undermining the strong economy, and that this should worry him looking at 2020. But before we get there, spare a moment to savor the irony of what Trump’s policies have so far achieved on one of his favorite 2016 hobbyhorses — the trade deficit. In 2016, the goods and services trade deficit with China stood at $309 billion (which Trump frequently exaggerated to $500 billion). As of March, 2019, the trade deficit with China was $379 billion — a 23 percent increase.

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