Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Today in American History


On this day in history — July 4, 1881 — Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, known today as Tuskegee University, in Tuskegee, Alabama, held its first day of class.

Booker T. Washington served as the school’s founding principal and presided over the first day of class– which, due to significant lack of resources, was held in a one-room church. The first official building on campus was erected by Washington and the students themselves, one year later.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Bittersweet Independence Day


This year of 2020, when we Americans should be celebrating American Exceptionalism—the big difference in America’s founding and history from every other nation on Earth—our great country is riven by rioting, looting, Marxism, ugliness, vandalism. Oh, and also a worldwide pandemic of a virus that originated in Communist China.

Instead of the sound of parades, brass bands playing Stars and Stripes Forever, and laughing children; we hear screams, bullhorns, and the rending sounds of toppling monuments. Instead of praise for the Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and all the others, we hear praise for career criminals and Marxist fugitives.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Is It the 4th Yet?’


Four years ago, my Mom passed away and I think about her last weeks with us every year at this time. She had been going downhill for six months or so, and for the last month, she was in the hospital’s CCU for three weeks, then a regular hospital room for two weeks. I guess when you’re 91, a lot of things go downhill fast. But hey, she grew up in and lived through the Great Depression and WWII, was a fantastic dancer and loved to sing, married and raised a family, and loved her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, so she’d had a great life.

Every day we’d visit her, and she always had the same question; “Is it the 4th of July yet?” We’d say “no Mom, it’s only June (whatever), the 4th is next month.” It was touch and go for a while in the CCU, but she finally stabilized and got into a regular room for a couple of weeks. Still the same question, “Is it the 4th yet?”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Under Siege on Independence Day


I find myself a bit dejected on this, the Glorious Fourth in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred forty-fifth.

By strange coincidence, on January 4 of this year, precisely 6 months ago, I wrote a post here at Ricochet titled What are the Central Principles of the American Founding? I proposed eleven such principles, based on the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Combative Consensus Crushes Souls


My daughter came downstairs crying this morning. Linda (not her real name) is a very mature 17 years old, not prone to emotional outbursts. She starts college in the fall, as a scholarship athlete at a major Division I school (you’ll be seeing her on TV in a couple years). Anyway, her coach sent out an email this morning saying that their team was going to release a statement affirming their belief in Black Lives Matter, and that each kid on the team would have the opportunity to record a video expressing their support for the movement. They are having a Zoom call in a couple of days for the coaches and athletes to express their feelings on this matter to one another. Linda is not stupid, and understands her position here: “If I don’t talk about how much I hate white people, including myself, then my whole team will hate me before we even start practice! All I can do is repeat what everybody else says, no matter how ridiculous it is! Why do I have to lie about politics to be allowed to play a sport? What does this have to do with anything? I don’t care what color anybody is! Can’t we just leave it at that? This SUCKS!”

It’s difficult to watch your kid struggle, especially when they really are in an impossible situation. She’s right. She’s stuck. There is no way out other than lying, repeatedly and sincerely, in public, to her friends. The lying will hurt, but there is no other way. So that is what she will do. Again, Linda is not stupid. But just to calm my anger over this, I thought I would sit down for a few minutes and compose a speech that she could give on this Zoom call to her team. She probably won’t use this. Not even small parts of it. But I’ll feel better when I’m done. When I courageously stand up to fascism, I prefer to do so by writing snarky articles under a pseudonym. What can I say – I’m a leader. Anyway, I wish Linda would say this on her Zoom call:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Doggerel and Pony Show


Any time you can get dogs and ponies, of any size, into the same act, you have a winner. Wallace Tripp got that combination down in splendidly ridiculous form in his 1974 illustrated book of verse A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to MeThe moment after this month’s theme came to mind, Tripp’s title poem came to mind, both words and illustrations.

I have enjoyed the illustrations of Maurice Sendak, and Wallace Tripp throughout the years. Both laid down striking illustrations with pen and ink, often colorized with another medium. Wallace Tripp’s “book of nonsense verse” consists of children’s nursery rhymes and nonsense verse. Each bit of doggerel is perfectly played off by a preposterous scene. Consider the title poem:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. America


Eighty years and one month ago to the day, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech to Parliament. That speech, probably Churchill’s finest, is most famous for its litany of desperate battlefields upon which England was prepared to defend herself: on the seas, the beaches, the hills and roads and fields of that tiny but then-powerful nation.

But what I find most moving about it is its conclusion:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. CNN’s Tendentious Trump Coverage


This headline story on is not labeled as “analysis.” It appears to be a “news” story. Here are the opening paragraphs, with emphasis added.

President Donald Trump on Friday made an impassioned appeal to his base while in the shadow of Mount Rushmore instead of striking a unifying tone, railing against what he called a “merciless campaign” by his political foes to erase history by removing monuments some say are symbols of racial oppression.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Declaration of Independence


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Horrible Puns with Long Setups


…have always been a passion of mine. That’s why if any of my family is present when I say out loud, “That reminds me of…” they immediately try to divert my attention. If that doesn’t work, attempted strangulation has been known to occur.]

While opening a package of lemonade mix this morning, I was reminded of the story of a lion and a cheetah that fell in love. They had a son, who had the characteristic lordly manner of his father, but the spotted coat and great speed of his mother. He was known throughout the jungle as Tear-Along, the Dotted Lion.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘You Two Deserve Each Other’: Russia, China, and the Impending Fight Over Vladivostok


It seems that Xi Jinping’s move to a more openly aggressive foreign policy is extending in every direction, not just to his Southwestern neighbor India, but to his Northern ally, Russia. The PRC is now claiming past (and hinting at proper present) ownership of one of Russia’s major Pacific port cities, Vladivostok (Владивосток), on the basis of Qing rule in the territory. (For those who are unfamiliar with Chinese dynasties, the Qing were the final emperors of China and ruled from 1644 until 1912, but the territory under question was annexed by Russia in the 1860 Treaty of Beijing and Han people, who constitute(d) the majority of China’s population, had long been banned from entry by their Manchu rulers. Additionally, the Chinese Empire was not the first or last territorial entity to claim or assert ownership in the region). What does this bode for Russia and China individually, and their mutual relations?

>As a disclaimer, I understand very little Chinese, basically nothing beyond the ability to politely navigate a grocery store/restaurant and introduce myself, so my analysis will mostly fall on the Russian side of the issue, where I have a far superior linguistic arsenal. But, let’s begin by situating this (maybe) surprising turn of events within a broader context. For the sake of some minimal amount of brevity, I’ll summarize the pre-1949 relationship by saying that it was a mixed bag at the official level (borders were not firmly set in the pre and early modern worlds, and even beyond then people at a local level generally continue to interact regardless of their government’s wishes), and by the late 19th century favored Russia as the richer and more Westernized/militarily superior power.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Green Shoots in My Community


I live near Little Asia in Mesa. This commercial community has been flourishing, revitalizing a portion of a run-down part of town. The latest good sign is the opening of an H Mart. This is a Korean-American supermarket chain with everything from inexpensive to luxury items. The store opened as Arizona started recovering from the governor’s knee on disfavored businesses’ necks. The parking lot is full, every day. This entrepreneurial audacity is worth celebrating this Independence Day weekend.

H Mart entry sign You can see the lettering on the entry all the way across the parking lot. In huge block letters, this company set out its policy, before any state or local official edict:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Christopher Columbus: Crusader, Millennialist, Missionary, and Abolitionist


It turns out Christopher Columbus set out to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims — Crusader. This is documented in his writings and in his agreement with Queen Isabella.

He was convinced the end of the world was imminent as indicated by the mass death of the Black Plague, and that Jesus was coming back to save the world — Millennialist.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ave Atque Vale: Frank Zbozny, Rest In Peace


My husband, Frank Zbozny (see–I always told you I could win a game of Scrabble in one go, if only proper names were allowed), has died. Many of you know of his decades-long struggle with dementia, and of the cardiac and other physical problems that began to sap his strength in 2012 or thereabouts. But he was himself almost to the end. The last intelligible word he spoke to me was two days ago, after I enabled what I believe was one of his last pleasant physical sensations on this earth (so I did it often), the deployment of a just-warmed-in-the-dryer comforter over the top of him. He smiled. I asked him how that felt. He thought. And over the course of about ten seconds, the courtly and rather old-fashioned gentleman I married, 39 years ago on July 24 of this year (I wrote about that marriage here), managed to get the word out: “Deee–li–cious.”

We started out our married life quite poor, at least in financial terms. I was a Teaching Assistant, and Frank was an Assistant Professor of English, at a time (early 1980s) when a liberal arts career path was beginning to be deprecated in favor of a business education, so he wasn’t terribly well paid. We lived at the very end of a dead-end street, in a run-down little house picturesquely situated just above the exhaust vents of Pittsburgh’s Liberty Tunnels. I was assaulted once, going home after work as I walked up the hill from the streetcar stop. I was fondled by the disgusting creep (kneed him in the crotch), and my purse was stolen. Our house was ransacked one evening when we were out, and the very few items of value, both real and sentimental, that we owned, were taken. (I remember, on both of those occasions, feeling utterly violated. It was three-and-a-half decades before I felt anything else as wrenching, or even remotely comparable in terms of being flayed alive in a public space.) One day, I drove home from work to find gangs of thugs in the middle of the street watching a couple of pit bulls fight in the back of a pickup truck. I had them arrested and carted off to jail. It required a bit more moxie than it might today, as this was well before the days when cell phones were in widespread use. So I parked my car in the middle of the street above them (so they couldn’t leave, because dead-end), walked through and past them, while they jeered and insulted me, walked up the steps of the house, and called the police. Frank’s comment? “You would have made a good United States Marine.” Made me proud then. Almost makes me proud now.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Demotivators


In the late ’80s and early ’90s when I worked in the corporate world, I would sometimes encounter motivational posters. You know, the ones with a photo with a black border with some motivational slogan about teamwork or some other ostensibly desirable trait. After seeing them a few times, it became tedious, and in later years I discovered “Demotivators,” cynical yet very funny imitations of the originals. Here are a few faves, including one with my late lab, Buster. Yes, there are do it yourself demotivator meme factories.

Please share any favorites or make a new one.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Stereotypes and the Martyr Complex: A Dangerous Combination


If you’re like me, you’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out the reasons for the near collapse of law and order in this country. Most of us realize that events following the George Floyd death have been in the planning stage for a long time; the Marxists saw a moment of weakness in our society and capitalized on it with merciless determination.

I get all that.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Proposal: Home Ec and Shop Class Groups


I’ve thinking about ways to make Ricochet more useful for members, particularly as a break from pure politics. We’re conservatives, not totalitarian Leftists. We have families, hobbies, and careers that are separate from politics. Besides, we have most of the political stuff already covered.

When I joined The Firing Line, I was impressed by how helpful people were and the tips they shared. We have actual firearms instructors and veterans, along with beginners like me and everyone in between. It’s generally focused on firearms, not even on the politics of firearms. It is highly recommended if you have an interest in firearms. That got me thinking – always a dangerous idea.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: A Representative and His Duties


“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” — Edmund Burke

I knew a man, one of many pleasant anachronisms in my life that I did nothing to deserve. His friends called him “Bill.” We, his family, called him ” Papa.” He was born exactly 88 years ago, but I only first met him 59 years later. He was my mother’s father, the leader of an 11-member clan, and eventually a grandfather of 18. Things haven’t been the same since we lost him two years ago; such a man is not easily replaced. I might not go so far as to call him “great” – there will not likely be any institutions named after him, no statues either (thank goodness!) – but a good man is hard to find, and William Joseph Taylor was an especially good man.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Is Fauci Pushing a Fraud?


“Doctor” Fauci, and I use that term loosely, is a serial fraudster. He is now a center-left establishment political hack wrapped in a lab coat. He must be confronted with his conspicuous silences, contrasted with his emphatic pronouncements. He owns the deaths of thousands, possibly tens of thousands by now. He owns permanent harm to millions of Americans already. So far, only Senator Rand Paul has called him and his Coronavirus cabal on a piece of their perfidy. . . not that I have any strong feelings on the matter.

Even Republican governors have collaborated in the latest chapter of the long scam. They were all silent on the danger of mass “protests.” Yet, they were all over churches and businesses. Their latest pronunciations entirely ignore or obscure the likely role of leftist mass gatherings in the name of “social justice.” Instead, these cowards point the finger at young adults freely associating in bars and on the water. Never mind that everybody knows the other health risks from the bar/party scene are significantly higher, but that never drove bar bans before.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Happy Independence Day!


Just a reminder that the flagship podcast of this establishment is taking the week off to celebrate the holiday. For your listening enjoyment may we suggest trying one of the many new entries that have joined our ranks in the last month?

Speak-Easy with Shermichael Singleton and Antonia Okafor


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Midnight in the Republic, Volume 4


“In one of my antislavery campaigns in New York five and thirty years ago I had an appointment at Victor, a town in Ontario County. I was compelled to stop at the hotel. It was the custom at that time to seat the guests at a long table running the length of the dining-room. When I entered I was shown a little table off in the corner. I knew what it meant, but took my dinner all the same. When I went to the desk to pay my bill I said, ‘Now, landlord, be good enough to tell me just why you gave me my dinner at the little table in the corner by myself.’ He was equal to the occasion, and quickly replied, ‘Because, you see, I wished to give you something better than the others.’ The cool reply staggered me, and I gathered up my change, muttering only that I did not want to be treated better than other people, and bade him good morning.” – The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Page 331

[Emphasis added]