Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Compassion in Deed


There are those who mouth pieties about compassion. Former president George W. Bush comes to mind, perhaps because he made such a point, with his father, of distinguishing himself from that mean man (according to all the best sort of people) Ronald Reagan. Bush 41 touted “a thousand points of light,” and backhanded Reagan with his inauguration address. Bush 43 proclaimed himself a “compassionate conservative.”

“I call my philosophy and approach compassionate conservatism. It is compassionate to actively help our fellow citizens in need. It is conservative to insist on responsibility and results. And with this hopeful approach, we will make a real difference in people’s lives.”


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. How to Seduce a Lady in Three Easy Steps


Andrew Marvel’s To His Coy Mistress has always been on my list of the ten best poems in the English language. Though written using the high poetic language of the 17th century, the structure of Coy Mistress rests on a decidedly non-poetic and practical argument, almost a syllogism, in which the man tries to talk his lady into bed. Its bare bones looks like this:

  • If we had time, I would spend it on a lengthy and elaborate courtship.  
  • But we don’t have time because life is short (he hears Time’s winged chariot at his back) and death brings an end to everything.
  • So let’s take our pleasures now while we’re still young and full of passion.

For all you young men out there in the throes of love or lust, here then is how they won fair lady’s heart (and body) back in the 17th century. You might want to take notes. (For the sake of inclusiveness, you young women can juggle the words a bit and it will work for you too.)


The Democrat’s first primary debate will need bleachers instead of lecterns, Marxist Latina artist Frida Kahlo finds herself canceled, and Jon explains why we took a week off.

The intro/outro song is “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash. Stephen’s song of the week is “Love, Love, Love” by Alan Power and Jon’s is “Glenn Tipton” by Sun Kil Moon. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


This episode of America’s Most Trusted Podcast® is notable for both who shows up and who doesn’t. But James Lileks is our rock, welcoming our own Bethany Mandel into the co-host’s chair, and Dr. Samuel Gregg author of the upcoming book, Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization.

Then Bethany and James delve into the miniseries, Chernobyl, and explore their, er, generational differences.


While not technically a Whiskey Politics episode, we thought our viewers and listeners would appreciate hearing a 2-fer from two of Ricochet’s favorite writers who we interviewed at Real Side Radio, where I’m a guest host (on the GCN Network, heard on 52 terrestrial stations nationwide and 3000 satellite). First up is Jon Gabriel, Editor in Chief at, Contributor at USAToday and AZRepublic as well as the co-host of the popular podcast The Conservatarians. Jon discusses why the “arrogant” anti-Trump Conservatives have got it all wrong (and Jon was never a Trump fan) and how the world is now following America’s lessons in how to fight back. Follow Jon’s popular Twitter feed at Then the voice of Radio Deplorable, the always thought-provoking raconteur, David Carter who discusses everything from media malfeasance causing ‘the tide to turn’ with voters, Kirsten Gillibrand’s abortion politics, Trump’s trade policies, religion and his recent article on Ricochet. You can find Dave at and his Twitter feed at Find both Jon and David’s writing and podcast series at


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


“WHEN WOMEN COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHIVALRY, I’m prone to point out that chivalry was a system, one that imposed obligations of behavior on women and girls as well as on men. Likewise, when David Brooks complains that Edward Snowden is an unmediated man, I must note that in the civil society Brooks invokes, Presidents and other leaders were also mediated; they were not merely checked by Congress, courts, etc., but they were also checked by themselves, and a sense of what was proper that went beyond “how much can I get away with now?” Obama, too, is unmediated in that sense. That Brooks couldn’t see beyond his sharply-creased pants to notice that when it was apparent to keen observers even before the 2008 election is not to his credit. If the system of civil society has failed, it is in no small part because its guardians — notably including Brooks — have also failed.” — Prof. Glenn Reynolds, Jun 11, 2013

To say that I find the norms of chivalry (battlefield conduct) and courtly behavior (behavior befitting a noble at court) persuasive is obvious – look at my name. The Paladins / Paladines of Charlemagne was the idealized role model and cautionary tale for the medieval knight, and the modern fantasy vision of the paladin appeals to a similar code of heroic ethics. Similarly, I admire the civilized norms of the past, as one of the symbols of the greatness of our civilization.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. High Tea at the Forresters


Every year about this time, my wife Marie and a friend host a “high tea” at our house for about 20 ladies, usually a mix of Americans and Japanese.

Man, it’s posh! The Pump Room in Bath, England, the site of many a high tea in Regency novels, has nothing on Marie’s teas. (The photo below, taken before the piles of delicacies were put on the tables, doesn’t really do the scene justice.)


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. I’m Dumping HBO: Here’s Why


We have Direct TV bundled through our local phone company. To keep costs down, I call to see what deals are offered and how I can cut our expenses. Right now, we have a very low rate on movie packages for a year, including HBO. They push HBO all the time. However, I’ve noticed that HBO content has been offering more controversial and explicit material. I’ve flipped through channels of the same old tired movies to “documentaries” and other programming that is actively pushing alternative lifestyles, sex, and drugs. I just read a story that has pushed me to cancel HBO.

Here is the story from Fox News that pushed me over the edge, a show called “Euphoria“:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. The Most Tragic Maritime Disaster in US Naval History


I don’t know if the title of this post is accurate, although the assessment was made by others. I do know that after seeing the video movie on the story of the USS Indianapolis, I didn’t need any persuading to believe this assessment was true, on many levels.

On July 30, 1945, the Indianapolis left Guam to assist a superspy in delivering the core of the atomic bomb in preparation for the strike on Hiroshima. The ship was struck by a submarine with two Japanese torpedoes and sank in 12 minutes, taking down 300 men with it. Almost 900 went into the water alive, where they fought for their lives for four interminable days and five nights, against sharks, dehydration, insanity, and attacks on each other in order to survive. In 2018, a book was published that tells the story.


From Norway, a story about Mrs. Grieg – and some music by Mr. From Israel, some thoughts about Bruch, Bloch, and others. This episode also includes a dollop of Rameau, a spiritual, a heavenly piece by Chopin, and more. Food for thought and soul.


Topics: Electric vehicle tax credits. Lawrence Mead’s BURDENS OF FREEDOM, plot as a literary device, and what role religious faith should have in a judicial confirmation process.

Scot Bertram talks with Hillsdale economics professor Gary Wolfram about the potential phase-out of EV tax credits. Lawrence Mead explains his new book BURDENS OF FREEDOM. Hillsdale English professor Dwight Lindley returns for another in his occasional series on basic literary devices, this time discussing plot. And we hear from Judge Any Coney Barrett speaking at a recent lecture/Q&A at Hillsdale’s Kirby Center in Washington, D.C. Among other topics, she weighs in on what role religious faith should have in a judicial confirmation process.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Oberlin College Hit With Maximum Punitive Damages


The civil judgement against Oberlin College for its SJW mau-mauing of Gibson’s Bakery just tripled from $11 million to $33 million. Thursday, the jury assessed the maximum punitive damages of $22 million against the school. Legal Insurrection has been all over this:

Daniel McGraw, our reporter in the courtroom, reports that in addition to the $11.2 million compensatory damages awarded last Friday, the jury awarded a total of $33 million in punitive damages, which will probably be reduced by the court to $22 million because of the state law cap at twice compensatory (it’s not an absolute cap, but probably will apply here). That brings the total damages to $33 million. We will have the breakdown soon. The jury also awarded attorney’s fees, to be determined by the judge.


Contributor Created with Sketch. First Dem Debate Lineup Set


This will be the first debate where the lecterns are replaced with bleachers. Fill out your brackets now!


Contributor Created with Sketch. Even as the US Economy Produces More Jobs and Higher Wages, Somehow Capitalism Stays Broken. Weird.


Today’s populists overindulge in unwarranted economic nostalgia. For them, the immediate postwar decades were when America was really great. But maybe it’s a more recent period that they should be pining for. If you’re trying to make the case that “capitalism is broken,” then the Great Recession of 2007-2009 was your big moment. Capitalism seemed shattered, not just broken. It looked like this sucker was going down, to paraphrase President George W. Bush.

But then the economy started to recover, slowly but steadily. Indeed, the US expansion hit the 10-year mark this month and is on the verge of its longest-run on record if things stay on track through July. An economy that’s producing gobs of jobs every month — a total of 20 million since 2010 — as it grows year after year is a dodgy example of broken capitalism.


Contributor Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #32: Citizen Kane


For the two-year anniversary of the podcast, here’s Citizen Kane. We talk media moguls and politics; radio, TV, and Trump; democratic reform and the tyrannic soul; Progress and Eros. Here’s, for once, a defense of Orson Welles’s political wit, not movie magic! I talk to Telly Davidson, another of the few conservatives in Hollywood– a critic, author, and man toiling away in production. His most recent book is Culture War about, you guessed it, the ’90s, when the seeds were planted of the whirlwind keeping things interesting now. We’ll talk about it on our next podcast!


Contributor Created with Sketch. Acosta’s Courage


With journalists around the world under fire (sometimes literally) it’s been extraordinary to watch CNN reporters and anchors painting themselves as martyrs. Continuing his tradition of moaning at White House press conferences, Jim Acosta has authored a new book about “the dangers he faces reporting on the current White House while fighting on the front lines in President Trump’s war on truth.”

You cannot make this stuff up.


Contributor Created with Sketch. Trump Admin Blames Iran for Oil Tanker Attacks in Gulf


Two oil tankers were attacked Thursday near the Strait of Hormuz amid escalating tensions in the region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for the attacks, as he did with attacks on four tankers last month near a United Arab Emirates.

“The assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo said. “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”


Contributor Created with Sketch. Phoenix, Hell, and the Bucket Lady


After a mild few months, summer heat finally hit Phoenix this week. No return of our record-breaking 122°F; yesterday was a balmy 111°. The show “King of the Hill” best expressed non-Arizonans’ view of the Valley of the Sun.

Bobby: 111 degrees?! Phoenix really can’t be that hot, can it? (steps out of car) Oh my God, it’s like standing on the sun!


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. TV History 9: Surveillance Television


In the late 19th century, when television was first imagined and written about, no one talked about television as broadcasting at all, because the concept of one voice or image speaking to many others in remote locations didn’t exist. It wasn’t even widely understood that there would have to be a camera sending you the picture; many early sketches imagine it as an electrified super-telescope, able to randomly focus in on distant events. Even as late as 1933, Paramount Pictures produced “International House”, a zany, racy comedy about a Chinese hotel full of scheming global businessmen competing to buy “Radiovision”, a television invention that can form an image of entertaining events anywhere in the world.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. Group Writing 20190604: Désirée


“…Then came the Fourth of June
On that sleepless night,
Well, I tossed and I turned
While the thought of her burned
Up and down my mind…”

I almost always have a soundtrack going in my head. Anything can trigger a new song. Even a pattern of syllables can pop something into my head that has a matching rhythm. Or, songs can morph from one into the next in ways that make perfect sense to me, but nobody else.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by members Created with Sketch. For the Resilient, with Deepest Gratitude and Respect


What you’re about to read deserves much better than the rude ignoramuses protesting the American president in London (not representative of all Britons I suspect) and reporting here at home have enacted in recent hours. It is a story of courage the likes of which this world rarely encounters, and it engenders gratitude and sorrow every time. It is D-Day.

From a New York Times article (hopefully those like me who don’t subscribe can also view) on journalist Ernie Pyle who was embedded with the troops on D-Day:


Contributor Created with Sketch. Jessica Biel Jumps the Shark


Yesterday the Daily Beast broke the news that actress Jessica Biel had teamed up with Robert Kennedy Jr. in order to push back against a new bill proposed in California that would make it more difficult for parents to enroll their children in school without the recommended series of vaccinations. Vaccine refusal has been linked to outbreaks across the country, and making sure California, a hotbed of vaccine denial, is better vaccinated is a win for public health across the country.

Across the rest of the country, especially within media, vaccine refusal is far from a popular stance. But in Hollywood and across California, as evidenced by celebrity anti-vaxxers and the vaccination rates in their zip codes, it’s like a different world. My friend Bridget, who lives in Los Angeles, noted on Twitter:


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


In 1914, in his novel The World Set Free, H.G. Wells wrote of a future featuring “atomic bombs,” in which “it was a matter of common knowledge that a man could carry about in a handbag an amount of latent energy sufficient to wreck half a city.” That was thirty-one years before Trinity — before the detonation of the first atomic weapon in the sands of southern New Mexico.

Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrentheit 451, written in 1953, described ear-buds, those ubiquitous little earphones everyone wears today. He called them “seashells,” but we’d recognize them today — as we would the insular cocoon they created for the perpetually distracted wife of that novel’s protagonist.