Tech issues attacked The King of Stuff, scrapping the planned interview, so Jon flies solo, talking about Gen. Milley’s backchannel talks with the Chinese military, DC’s failed Covid response, and gives tribute to his favorite comedian, Norm Macdonald. Instead of recommending a song this week, Jon recommends the comic’s brilliant memoir-cum-novel, Based on a True Story.

This week, Ricochet editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel and yes, her baby (listen closely and you’ll hear him in this podcast) join Peter and James to discuss another maddening news cycle. Our guest Harmeet Dhillon takes us through the latest power grab by the Biden Administration, the means to fight back and the hopes for an Elder in Sacramento’s Governor’s mansion. The Ricochet gang also take some time to remember 9/11 and assess the distinction between worthwhile arguments and the kinds that necessitate the block button.

Music from this week’s podcast: The Nothing Man by Bruce Springsteen

The King of Stuff talks with M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and host of the “REFORM THIS!” podcast on Blaze Radio. Dr. Jasser is a former US Navy Lieutenant-Commander, founder of Take Back Islam, Co-Founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, and Author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam.

We talk about Biden’s terrible withdrawal from Afghanistan, US strategies to counter Islamism, and lessons learned 20 years after the 9/11 attacks. Then Jon talks about the blockbuster news on the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis.

The King of Stuff talks with David Reaboi, Senior Fellow with the Claremont Institute, strategic communications consultant, and national security expert. He writes at his Substack, Late Republic Nonsense, where he often invokes the phrase “You need to know what time it is.” Jon and David discuss our current political moment and the stubborn resistance of the old guard to face it.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. David picks “My Song” by Keith Jarrett and Jon goes with “Better Git It in Your Soul” by Charles Mingus.

The King of Stuff talks with Toby Harnden, author of First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11, available for pre-order now. The book tells the story of Team Alpha, eight CIA officers dropped into the mountains of northern Afghanistan a month after the 9/11 attacks, to track down Al-Qaeda and stop them from infiltrating the United States again.

A former foreign correspondent, Toby reported from 33 countries while based in London, Belfast, Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Washington DC for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times of London. He is a former officer in the Royal Navy, a graduate of Oxford, and also wrote Dead Men Risen, winner of the Orwell Prize, and Bandit Country, an acclaimed book about the Irish Troubles. Jon and Toby discuss how Biden grabbed defeat out of the jaws of victory with Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s song, “Waiting on a Friend” by the Rolling Stones. Rest in peace, Charlie.

The King of Stuff talks with Amber Smith, a former OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot-in-command and air mission commander who flew multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Amber served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Outreach), Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as an advisor on the Department of Veterans Affairs presidential transition team. She is also the best-selling author of Danger Close: My Epic Journey as a Combat Helicopter Pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jon and Amber discuss Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the rapid fall of Kabul, and where the US military goes from here.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s song, “Trance Manual” by John Vanderslice, portrays the complicated relationship between the US and Middle East through metaphor-laden lyrics.

The King of Stuff holds a news roundup talking the Brothers Cuomo, Biden’s unconstitutional eviction moratorium, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s fight against DC, and cratering Olympics viewship. Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s pick is “All the While” by Hand Habits.

The King of Stuff conducts a news roundup discussing the latest CDC face-plant, the Olympics, social media outrage, Pelosi’s January 6 kangaroo court, and a free-speech ruling in New Jersey. Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s pick is “Superperfection” by Film School

The King of Stuff talks with Alberto de la Cruz, a Cuban American living in Miami and Managing Editor of the invaluable Babalú Blog. Alberto and his writers have tirelessly documented the uprising in Cuba that began Sunday, July 11, and continues throughout the island nation. He talks about how it began, what’s happening now, and what it will take for the decrepit Castro regime to finally fall.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s pick is the song that helped spark the uprising, “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”) by Cuban musicians on the island (Maykel Osorbo and El Funky) and in exile (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, and Descemer Bueno).

The King of Stuff blesses Florida with a visit and hears his first speech from Gov. Ron DeSantis live and in-person. Jon also chats about the protests in Cuba, compares our Afghanistan adventure with our 20-year occupation of Haiti, and discusses the miseries of travel.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Jon selects “Sinner in the Sea” by Calexico.

The King of Stuff welcomes long-time friend and gunblogger Kevin Creighton to discuss gun politics in the Biden era. Kevin blogs for Ammoman.com and, before that, led the marketing for a number of companies in the firearms world and has written for American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, BearingArms.com, Beretta.com, and Downrange TV. He is an active competitor in USPSA, IDPA, and 3 Gun, and is an NRA-licensed firearms instructor.

Also, what did Jon do on his week off?

It’s been over a year since the King of Stuff held a Q&A session, so it was time for a second Ask Me Anything episode. Politics, Music, Religion, War, Booze — you name it, Jon answers.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show.

The Blue Yeti himself, Scott Immergut joins Editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel to discuss planned upgrades to Ricochet along with the news of the week.

Ricochet editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel discuss the news of the week including Marjorie Taylor Greene’s visit to the Holocaust Museum, President Biden’s embarrassing trip to the G7, and how to keep cool.

The King of Stuff talks novelist Gigi Levangie, the author of The Starter Wife (which became a TV miniseries), Maneater (which became a TV miniseries), and her latest novel Been There, Married That. She also wrote the screenplay for the movie Stepmom, with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Jon and Gigi discuss our culture’s conformist impulse, the state of California politics, and her husband becoming a US citizen.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Jon selects “Tragedy >For You<” by Front 242.

The King of Stuff rants about the latest news, from immigration fails to filibuster flops, and neo-racist drips to leadership tips. This episode has it all! And instead of adding a tune to the vaunted King of Stuff Spotify playlist, Jon pimps the brilliant BBC comedy “Toast of London” helmed by supergenius Matt Berry.

The King of Stuff talks with Lacy Cooper about the ongoing border crisis. Lacy was the border security section chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. She served 15 years as both a county and federal prosecutor targeting violent offenders, gang members, cartels, and terrorists. She is now Of Counsel with the law firm of Schmitt Schneck Even & Williams in Phoenix. Lacy wrote about the issue for USA Today and Jon wrote about it here.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. In honor of Memorial Day, Jon chooses “Remember Me” by British Sea Power.

The King of Stuff talks with Alexandra DeSanctis about the state of the pro-life movement. Alexandra is a staff writer for National Review, a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and regularly offers great reporting on issues of life and religious liberty. We discuss the continuing trials of whistleblower David Daleiden, state legislation limiting abortion, and SCOTUS finally taking on the issue.

Then, Jon talks about the suddenly respectable Wuhan lab leak theory and his travails on social media. Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. This week, Alexandra recommends The Beach Boys and Jon chooses “The Boy With a Thorn In His Side” by The Smiths.

Ricochet Editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel talk about the increase in anti-semitic attacks, the challenges of naming kids, and how Jon influenced MLB pitcher Curt Schilling.

The King of Stuff talks with professional artist, writer, and icon carver Jonathan Pageau. Jonathan explores the symbolic structures that underlie our experience of the world through his popular YouTube channel and podcast, titled The Symbolic World. We chat about his long friendship with Jordan Peterson, the failure of the angry “New Atheists,” Orthodoxy, and the renewed search for meaning and structure in our culture.

You can see Jonathan’s art on his carving website, his Patreon Art page, or you can follow him on social media. His most recent viral hit was his conversation about faith with Jordan Peterson (1.5 million views and counting). And since Jonathan offers so much of his work on YouTube, this is the first time I’m uploading a video version of the King of Stuff podcast: