Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. It’s an Emergency! A Crisis! A Catastrophe! We’re All Going to Die! Arrrrgh! (Part 3)


Steve Marriott was a talented songwriter and guitar player who fronted seminal rock bands Humble Pie and The Small Faces. As was de rigueur for rock musicians at the time, he was also an egomaniacal jerk, drug addict and alcoholic. In April of 1991, he decided to light up a fag in bed after a night of carousing and died of smoke inhalation in the resulting fire.

He was not alone. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the United States, over 4000 fires a year are caused by smokers, resulting in about 500 deaths and 1000 injuries. Of course, Marriott died in England. I can’t find the morbidity and mortality stats, but smoking appears to be responsible for about 2800 fires in Great Britain every year. If they were proportional to the U. S., that would mean 350 deaths and 700 injures.


Contributor Created with Sketch. They’re Coming For the Kids


Seldom do I read a piece about the state of education in this country without remarking to myself and my husband how glad I am to be homeschooling. There’s a remarkable piece in The Atlantic by George Packer this month about one father’s journey through New York City’s public schools that made me do it again. What’s remarkable is how clearly the author illustrates how everyone in the public school system in New York, from teachers up to the Mayor himself, have made a conscious decision to sacrifice education on the altar of Progressivism. Here’s a sampling:

I wanted the plan to succeed, but I had serious doubts. It came festooned with all the authoritarian excess of the new progressivism. It called for the creation of a new diversity bureaucracy, and its relentless jargon squashed my hope that the authors knew how to achieve an excellent education for all. Instead of teaching civics that faced the complex truths of American democracy, “the curriculum will highlight the vast historical contributions of non-white groups & seek to dispel the many non-truths/lies related to American & World History.”


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


“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. “– Eric Blair (writing as George Orwell)

Which is another proof woke culture is anti-liberty and at its heart fascistic. Not only do they not want to hear what they do not want to hear – they want no one else to hear what woke culture does not want to hear. They want you to have the freedom to agree with them and no other freedom of speech, press, or thought. Ironically, Blair’s words are written on the side of BBC HQ in London. Whether it did in the past, the BBC doesn’t really mean it today.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Green Energy Movement Gives Us SF6, a Bad “New” Gas


More bad news from the environmental movement:

Where once large coal-fired power stations brought energy to millions, the drive to combat climate change means they are now being replaced by mixed sources of power including wind, solar and gas.


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


There is so much good in the world, we just need to look harder to find it. It’s there. It’s also important to celebrate the small victories. This quote defines how I feel:

“While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Marianne Williamson’s Slogan: Your Soul Is Fixable


After reading Thomas Sowell’s Conflict of Visions, I recommend watching Dave Rubin’s interview with Marianne Williamson. It is a wonderfully informative video and, if you possess a dark sense of humor, very funny.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. If One Truly Believes in the Climate Catastrophe … Then It’s War!


For those people who truly believe that the world only has 12 years (or less) to solve the climate crisis or there will be a global catastrophe of biblical proportions, is the following a fair question?

Given general agreement that developed countries cannot solve the carbon problem without the full participation of China and India: Do you agree that if diplomatic pressure brought to bear by the countries that are serious about climate change does not convince China and India to cooperate with our attempt to save the planet, that these serious countries should go to war with China and India to compel them to abandon their coal-fired power plants, and thus save the world?


If you’re not doing what you love, with people you love, you are wasting your time. Kelly Maher and Emily Zanotti have a lot of experience jumping into the deep end to pursue their passions and build lives they love—but can anyone do that? Forget the starving artist stereotypes (Emily is a WWII historian and Kelly is a farmer) and tuck into this uplifting episode.


Contributor Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer 36: Chemical Vapor Deposition


No matter how much fun you’re having etching silicon, applying and stripping photoresist, or implanting ions, sooner or later you’re going to have to actually put down some lines. Gotta build a circuit eventually. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is one of the main ways this gets done. Let’s have a look at what we’re doing, shall we?

If I had known I was going to use this picture at least three times I might have put a little more effort into the sketching.

What you’re looking at is a jump over a wire. You have two wires that need to cross but not touch each other, you gotta do something like this. Let’s go over the process to get there:


Contributor Created with Sketch. What If The Beatles Didn’t Break Up? Imagining Their ‘Next’ Album


One of the most entertaining hypotheticals for Beatles’ fans to discuss is what the Beatles would have sounded like or recorded if they had stayed together after the release of Let It Be.* In a sense, this is an even more fruitless counterfactual than another popular one: What songs would have been on The White Album if it hadn’t been a double album (which I have already covered). Unlike the case of that what-if, the songs the Beatles would have done together were never released as Beatles songs. And to imagine the Beatles staying together after 1970 is to wish away the centrifugal forces that had by that point already largely torn the four musical titans at the band’s center apart.**

But Beatles’ fans such as myself speculate nonetheless, aided by morsels such as collaborations between members after the break-up (most notably in the almost-Beatles song “I’m the Greatest!”), and demos of songs that later became solo work but were conceived or sometimes even recorded while the Beatles were still together (e.g., much of George Harrison’s first post-Beatle solo album, All Things Must Pass).


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Let’s Transfer to France!


My employer has an office in Paris but over the past ten months, I’ve been working (remotely) on a project with a client in Grenoble. We don’t have enough Euro transportation resources, so I got tagged.

During the ten months, I have been shocked by how much time those people take off. I know, we all joke about the French never having to work, but consider my counterpart – the business lead for the client. Since December 1, 2018, she has taken six weeks of vacation. She also took two weeks off because she was “fatigued.” I would estimate this woman to be approximately 40 years old, so the fatigue likely wasn’t from advanced age. She also doesn’t work Wednesdays. Oh, and they canceled all of the WebEx meetings for a month because “nobody in their office works in August.”


Melania puts her stiletto down and makes Donald ban flavored vapes. And did the third Democratic presidential primary debate change any voters’ minds?

The intro/outro song and Jon’s song of the week is “Heavy Echo” by White Noise Sound. Stephen’s song of the week is “Some Things Last a Long Time” by the late, great Daniel Johnston. 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. Only 3 Survivors Left from USS Arizona

Lauren Bruner.

Lauren Bruner, aged 98, passed away Tuesday in California. He was one of four remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. The remaining three are Don Stratton (97), Lou Conter, and Ken Potts (both 98).

On December 7, 1941, Bruner was strafed in the legs trying to get to his battle station and received burns over 70 percent of his body from a subsequent explosion. In his memoir, Second to Last to Leave the USS Arizona, Bruner announced he would answer no more questions about the attack. “As you read these chapters,” he wrote in the preface, “know that they were real and that it was truly a Hell on Earth. The horrors of what I witnessed on that morning have kept me from sleep for many years after.”


This week, Bolton bolts, we debate the debate with The Washington Post’s Henry Olsen, kick around the culture with The Atlantic’s Andrew Ferguson, we’ve got a new Long Poll question for you (but you have to be a Ricochet member to vote), Lileks awards the coveted Member Post of The Week, and some thoughts on the 18th anniversary of 9/11.

Music from this week’s show: My City of Ruins by Bruce Springsteen


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. World History Begins in 1200 AD


I happened upon the changes being made to the high school level AP World History course beginning this fall. AP classes are a College Board scam (in my opinion) where students are led to believe they will earn college credit if they take this course in high school, and pass the test at a certain level (for which there is a fee). Not all colleges will accept this credit, but that information is not widely disseminated.

At any rate, the AP World History class, rather than starting in the Paleolithic era as in previous years, now begins at 1200 AD (they use CE, but I do not). Apparently, the development of societies, trade, etc., before 1200 is not pertinent to what happened afterward. I skimmed through the class guide, here is a PDF link if you are interested.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Democracy’s Drawbacks


There have always been a few drug addicts around, but this is different. The opioid epidemic has gone from a theoretical issue to a national crisis seemingly overnight, and it continues to grow like wildfire. Like most social problems, it can be difficult to find a solution, so it’s easier to just try to find someone to blame. Unfortunately, punishing the perpetrator is tricky when the victim and the perpetrator are the same person. One problem with liberty and self-responsibility is that it becomes more difficult to find someone to blame for your troubles. But every story needs a bad guy. And in politically correct American media, that bad guy can’t be a poor person, and it can’t be government. It has to be either a conservative or a corporation. You would think that simply following the playbook to a forgone conclusion would simplify investigative reporting, but in fact it can make it much more complex. What if that forgone conclusion is either questionable or outright ridiculous? That leads to some very creatively written news stories.

So I get my latest issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), and front and center in this issue is an article called, “Lessons Learned from the Opioid Epidemic.” The first sentence of this article reads thusly (emphasis mine): “Oklahoma’s recent settlements with Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the trial in the state’s lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, signal that the opioid epidemic is entering a new era of accountability.” So to the authors of this article, their idea of accountability is to blame those who made the drugs. NOT those who took the drugs, and certainly not those who bought the drugs (very often, government – many of these people receive various forms of government benefits).


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Can’t Keep a Free Lunch Down


A religious group that sparked protests in 2016 for providing free lunches to Middleton High School students with a dose of Christian scripture has expanded to schools in Madison and Verona.

Students from those schools “asked us for a couple of years to do that,” said organizer Melissa Helbach after serving up pizza to about thirty Verona Area High School kids at Harriet Park, located two blocks from the school. On Monday, the group served about 20 kids at the city soccer fields located across Mineral Point Road from Madison Memorial High.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Democratic Debate Wrap-Up: The Race Remains the Same


Two hours and forty-eight minutes later, the third Democratic primary debate is finally over. Nothing said Thursday night will significantly impact the race; Biden still leads with Warren and Sanders close behind.

ABC News hosted the latest scrum, filled with more Trump-bashing, tax-raising, and spending, spending, spending. According to party rules, only ten candidates appeared. In addition to the top three, the dais included Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, and Yang.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Hurtin’ for Certain


I stayed up most of last night, drinkin’ and smokin’. It was kind of a cheat, because I had a doctor’s appointment at 0930 this morning, so I’d arranged to do some other admin duties (renewing car registration), so I knew I wouldn’t have to haul my sorry self out of the rack until at/about 0900, and I wouldn’t be going to work, so I wouldn’t need to be at the top of my game. Cheat time.

“The lads” next door are all dive instructors and guides. The lovely and talented Mrs. Mongo calls them “the puppies.” They each have palavered their experience here in the Keys into launch pads for bigger and better things. The party last night was for Jake, who left this morning for Hawaii to be an assistant director for a dive operation out there. Jake and I are pretty tight. Jake didn’t like his life as a Crip gang member out on the west coast, did not like the things that his gang membership forced him to do. He was frustrated that the only things he seemed to have a talent for were violence and mayhem. Left the west coast and basically hitch-hiked to the Keys. Once here, penniless and homeless, he worked effectively and hard enough to become a diver, then a dive instructor, then a dive master. Then he did well enough to get recruited to a leadership role with the dive gig out in Hawaii. We’ve spent hours outside, talking about how to build a moral compass, and that there is, in fact, redemption (okay, those are my talking points, but they led to hours of discussion). His decision to sojourn to the Keys and leave the thug life behind was made instantly, when his pregnant fiancé was slain sitting next to him in a car.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. She Died With Her Boots On


Elizabeth Warren a Direct Descendant of Militia ‘Indian Fighter’ Who Fought Seminole Tribe

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) great-great-great grandfather Jonathan Crawford served in Major William Lauderdale’s Battalion of Tennessee Volunteer Militia from November 1837 to May 1838, a six month time period during which it fought two battles in Florida against the Seminoles.


Contributor Created with Sketch. ‘Choose … Choose the Form of the Destructor!’


On Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008, I was sitting at Enchanted Grounds in Highlands Ranch, CO, with one earbud in. On KOA-850 AM broadcast what I’d been waiting for all day: The acceptance speech of Gov. Sarah Palin (R–AK), who had earlier that week been given the unlovely task of running as Vice President of the cantankerous nominee, Sen. John McCain.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Maybe, Baby


If you knew you only had a 1% chance of surviving tomorrow, would you consider that a death sentence? What about 2%, 5%, 10%… at what point would your odds of survival be good enough you wouldn’t feel doomed? And what if you had to purchase your fairly slim chance at survival by risking the life of another? When would you do it? What balance of risk would just barely escape counting as doom?

What if you were the other whose life was risked on the slim hope of avoiding someone else’s death sentence? When would that hope be worth it, and when would it be a forlorn one? How effective must our efforts to lift another’s doom be in order to merit the price?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Goldberg Rationalizations


“It may be that once Trump is no longer the commander in chief in the war against Blue America, the ardor of his troops will give way to a better understanding of the price the GOP paid on his watch.”

This is the last paragraph of Jonah Goldberg’s latest, edifying us with his crack understanding of history, wholly out-of-context. You can read it here. Most of it is written to advance his rationale for why Republicans are supporting Trump.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. You Are Responsible For You


Something bad happened next door. Best to just stay put, at least that is what the experts are telling you. Things are dangerous out on the side walk. Debris is falling from the building next to you. You are safe and secure in your office 86 floors up. Stay put and all will be well. “Your attention, please, ladies and gentlemen. Building Two is secure. There is no need to evacuate Building Two. If you are in the midst of evacuation, you may use the reentry doors and the elevators to return to your office. Repeat, Building Two is secure.” That is the message from the building’s security team. Stay put, what could go wrong?

Something inside of you says, “No. I don’t want to be here. I’m getting out.” You head to the elevators, down to the lobby. As you open the doors to the outside police officers yell to you, “Run!” You run. You see things that will haunt you for years. Jumpers landing with loud thuds. You are out. In another minute you see a plane crash into your building. You are alive because you disobeyed the experts.