Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Truly Alone


I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side. – Michael Collins

We are now celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. On Wednesday we discussed the first man on the Moon Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012. Yesterday we discussed Buzz Aldrin, who had a PhD in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The third member of the crew, Michael Collins, orbited the Moon while Neil and Buzz landed. There were many question on his role and how he felt about not landing. Like Armstrong and Aldrin, Collins decided to stop space flights after Apollo 11:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Still Coming Home


Betio is a small triangular island located about 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii in the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Only 2 miles long and about 800 yards at its widest point it would not seem to be a place of any great importance in the world. Yet, during the Second World War, Imperial Japan fortified it with 2,600 troops and 2,200 construction workers, 1,200 of which were Korean slave laborers.

Admiral Chester Nimitz called it “the front door to Japanese defenses in the Central Pacific.” The Gilberts lead you to the Marshall Islands, the Marshalls to the Marianas, the Marianas to the Carolines and, finally, back to the Philippines. Further southwest, closer to Australia, US forces had began a similar campaign in the Solomons in February of 1943. There, over the course of six months, the 2nd Marine Division took 1,200 casualties (268 dead). After R&R in New Zealand, they would be tasked to lead the assault on Tarawa where they took 3,301 casualties (990 dead) in just two weeks of operation. Almost half of that would come in the first 24 hours. It has been called the toughest battle in the history of the United States Marines.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Government’s Job


“Government’s job is not to get you stuff, or to get somebody else’s stuff for you. It’s to preserve your liberty.” – Rand Paul

If you listen to the Democratic candidates for President, all they pledge is different ways to get you stuff or get someone else’s stuff for you. Liberty? Well, maybe so far as it does not interfere with getting you stuff or getting someone else’s stuff for you.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. ‘Justice on Trial’: A Great Book About the Kavanaugh Confirmation


Justice on Trial by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino is a great book. It arrived this week, and I read it in one day. I read until after midnight, and then woke up early to tackle it again. It has a number of insights and inside stories, from Justice Kennedy slipping out to give Trump his letter of resignation, to mind-numbing detail about how the Dems tried to scam the process.

Two Dems come out the best, Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons. Yes, they voted against Kavanaugh but they did not disgrace themselves as did Kamala Harris and Cory “Spartacus” Booker. Special praise goes to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chair Chuck Grassley, and Lindsey Graham.


Millennial “hampsters” invade the workplace, Iranian metal band flees Iran for Norway, and Planned Parenthood fires CEO for not promoting abortion to pregnant men. Oh, and FaceApp.

The intro/outro song and Stephen’s song of the week is “Holy” by Frightened Rabbit. Jon’s song of the week is “New Ketamine” by Fern Mayo. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


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


Let me juxtapose two stories:

Progressives used science to justify killing G-d. Now they use their new religion to justify killing science.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s Not True that Empiricism and Religion Are Never the Same Thing


I’ve been mostly just lurking around Ricochet lately, a consequence of traveling. Two weeks ago travel and allergens wore me out enough to allow for (probably) a flu, which was followed by the usual sinus infection, which was followed by the usual prednisone and antibiotics. But I felt pretty good about the flu because I felt I had something to show for being completely exhausted: My article “William James and Allama Iqbal on Empirical Faith” was accepted for publication around the time the headache started, with the nicest words I’ve ever received from a blind reviewer. As of this morning, the article is now up at the Heythrop Journal website.

My recommended one-sentence takeaway is: Don’t trust the popular theory that empiricism and religion are never the same thing. And here’s some of the gist of my analysis of two empirical religious philosophers:


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


Literally, the one in my office. I have a beautiful Rand McNally globe that sat in my grandfather’s office when he worked for the company in the 1960s. My dad has had it since the 80s, and gave it to me a few months back (ok, I took it and he didn’t object). Only recently have I had time to really take a close look; the first time in 35 years.

The mystery is: how old is the globe?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. You Never Go Full Commie


Unless you’re the New York Times:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Friday Food and Drink Post: Snacks ‘N ‘At


Actually, I probably should have phrased the title of this post “Weird Snacks ‘N ‘At.”

The “‘N ‘At” part is an homage to my nearest (and dearest) metropolitan area, the place I go on the rare occasions when I put on grown-up clothes and shoes, do something about my face, hands and hair (starting with, most unusually, “wash them”), and assume the role of “culture vulture,” (usually with at least one of my friends, as it generally takes some encouragement to get me to this point). I love the (very) occasional exertion, and the entertainment or meal that awaits me, although I’m sad that, while the clock is still there, Kaufmann’s is gone, and so is the Tic-Toc Restaurant, itself an homage to the timepiece, and a regular and favorite meeting place in bygone days.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Baseless, Degrading, Unverified, and Quite Possibly True


A reporter asked President Trump, “if the administration was looking into possible immigration fraud committed by Ilhan Omar for possibly marrying her brother.”

Trump replied, “Well, there’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it, I hear she was married to her brother. You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure there’s somebody who will be looking at that.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. “That’s Racist!”


Democrat "Squad"Yes, the phase is casually, dishonestly employed, and so debased as to be largely emptied of moral weight. This is another thing the left has ruined. At the same time, leftist identity politics legitimize preferred forms of segregation, racial favoritism, and ideological policing of color lines.

Demanding “safe spaces” with admission only to specific ethnic groups is segregation. Fiddling with admission criteria to boost or suppress college class membership for a racial group is racial favoritism. And this is raw ideological policing of the color lines:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Things Haven’t Always Been This Way


Walter Williams recalls a time when kids brought guns to high school for shooting practice in New York City, no police were needed in inner-city Philadelphia schools, and the marriage rates were higher in the black communities than in the white communities.

If guns haven’t changed, it must be that people, and what’s considered acceptable behavior, have changed. Violence with guns is just a tiny example. What explains a lot of what we see today is growing cultural deviancy. Twenty-nine percent of white children, 53% of Hispanic children and 73% of black children are born to unmarried women. The absence of a husband and father in the home is a strong contributing factor to poverty, school failure, crime, drug abuse, emotional disturbance and a host of other social problems. By the way, the low marriage rate among blacks is relatively new. Census data shows that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults from 1890 to 1940. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year only 11% of black children and 3% of white children were born to unwed mothers.
Granted things were not perfect in those days, but in some very important ways better than they are now.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Who You Gonna Believe…


… your lefty professors or your lyin’ eyes?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Give Me a Name and I’ll Tell You a Story


As a historian, I have a great love for names and the stories they can tell. Even the most common names can tell a wonderful story. Take for example this image, of a young lady named Smith, taken about the time of the Civil War:

Carte de visite of S. Adelaide Smith, Mount Vernon, Maine. (Author’s Collection)

This type of photograph is known as a carte de visite, and they were very popular during the Civil War era. Invented in the mid-1850s, an individual photo of this type could be had for as little as twenty-five cents, making them wildly popular and very affordable for just about everyone. Untold numbers of these images were produced and, fortunately for photograph collectors, many of them survive to this day.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. ‘Racist’


Democrats loudly called Bush 41 “racist” for reusing Al Gore’s Willie Horton attack on Dukakis which had the net effect of telling an even wider audience that Dukakis was probably soft on crime. Calling Nixon “racist” for promoting measures to curtail epidemic rates of street crime helped him win twice. Calling Trump “racist” for saying what the vast majority of Americans actually think about the execrable ladies of the “Squad” is probably just as politically effective for Democrats as those past “racist” attacks.

For the record, I was not offended by Trump’s remarks. Like most Americans, I am now used to his stylings, bombast, excesses, and disregard for the linguistic rules of our oversensitive age (or any age, for that matter). And I admit I often rather enjoy his indifference to the faux outrage he generates. In this instance, I took him to mean that if you hate America that much, why not just leave? And in Omar’s case, rescued as she was from the hellhole that is Somalia and having received incalculable benefits from America, “how dare you, you vile ingrate?”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Who’s Considered Patriotic and Who Isn’t Is Weird


Lately, I have been thinking of Megan Rapinoe as compared to Rob Smith and how bizarre and fascinating the human soul is. Let me digress … Megan Rapinoe grew up in Redding, CA which, being in Northern California, was probably not a hotbed of homophobia. Then she went to college in Portland and played soccer thereafter. Later, she bounced around playing for different teams. Currently, she plays for the Seattle Reigns.

I have no doubt that someone somewhere was mean to Ms. Rapinoe because she was gay, but I quite doubt that she has ever experienced systemic anti-gay discrimination. In fact, she has spent her life in the least homophobic cities in America at the least homophobic time in American history. There is gay marriage in all 50 states, nearly every company celebrates pride month as a way to recruit talented gay people, and Republicans invited the openly homosexual Peter Thiel to speak at the 2016 National Republican Convention.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Pirate State


Piracy has been a mainstay of Islamic culture since the beginning of the religion. Although they had conquered the southern rim of the Mediterranean Sea, they had no ability to make proper use of it for trade. Instead, they became the greatest pirates of all time. From the 9th century on, piracy was a mainstay of Islamic culture.

In 1801 Thomas Jefferson sent a flotilla to deal with the Barbary Pirates. Once they had been soundly defeated in battle they were quite happy to allow safe commerce for American shipping. No kidding.


On this week’s episode of The Ankler, Richard Rushfield is joined by the Ankler’s Editor at Large Jim Gibson to pick over the week’s news from the entertainment capital. First they look at the mid-summer box office, and talk about why is this Spider-Man different from all other Spider-Men, and what really does make a flop these days. And then they discuss lobby politics. Everyone is buzzing about the New York Times’ account of the lavish Netflix lobby, but what does the piece really say about the company, its culture and its future prospects.

Intro music: Train Wreck by Kasey Chambers
Outtro: The Ankler Theme Song by Jim Gibson


Contributor Created with Sketch. This is What it Means to Be Religious


One of my biggest frustrations with so-called religious individuals is how absent charity can be for many. Especially in the Jewish community (which is the one I am most familiar with), there is a focus on the minutia of observance (cleaning one’s home meticulously for Passover), with the public shows that observant Jewish life brings, without the observance of the commandments (mitzvot) of charity. The best example is Purim: we are obligated to give food gifts to friends, but for many, those food gifts have turned into a massive expenditure, where people make elaborate baskets based on the theme of their costume, which is also another significant expenditure. Another mitzvah of Purim, the obligation to give charity, is relegated to the side, where people who have spent hundreds of dollars on their baskets and costumes put a $5 donation on their credit card at the last moment as an afterthought.

Scrolling through Instagram this morning, however, I was heartened.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Notre Dame, Charity and Socialism


This article from the New York Post on the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral is fascinating. It seems that 90% of the donations to rebuild the burned Church are coming from America and small French donor, with the French government making up the rest of the giving. French billionaires pledged a lot of money, but none of it has been given yet.

This does not surprise me; one of the problems with a large State and a State religion is that people lose their sense of personal responsibility for their fellow man and when the mentality is, “the State does that” and the individual is free to ignore his obligations.


Daniel J. Mahoney on Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk & the conservative ethos, part of a series occasioned by Kirk’s centenary, published in the January 2019 issue of The New Criterion.


Did the confirmation battle of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh help or hurt the #MeToo movement? How did the mainstream media miss so many red flags regarding his multiple accusers? And what was the horrific media storm like for the Kavanaugh family? In this week’s edition of Problematic Women, we interview Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, authors of the best-selling new book, “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court,” on what really happened during the hearings, and what that means for the future of the Court and all Americans.

Also in today’s podcast:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Neil Armstrong


I recently saw the excellent new film Armstrong. Here’s a couple of quotes from it:

Post Apollo 11 Press Conference