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This week on the podcast, James and Peter talk Egyptian politics and culture with Hoover’s Fouad Ajami (read his WSJ Op-Ed piece here) and later, the Zimmerman trial and immigration reform with the WSJLive’s (and Ricochet’s newest contributor) Mary Kissel. What does the Zimmerman trial say about the current state of race relations? And what of the immigration bill currently before the House — do you share the views expressed on the show? Let us know in the comments. 

Happy Fourth, everyone!

Music from this week’s show:

This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie 

The Ricochet Podcast opening theme was composed and produced by James Lileks.

EJHill is a true American.

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Members have made 112 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of EJHill Contributor

    This Land is Your Land?

    Oh, Lord, Yeti has been Obamanized! The American communist Woody Guthrie’s “answer” to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America

    Should have stayed asleep like Mr. Long.

    And if Peter and James lived in Venice with Rob, I imagined them running over to the Long Plantation to try to rouse him for his podcasting duties:

    • #1
    • July 3, 2013 at 11:54 am
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  2. Profile photo of La Tapada Member

    I tried to download the podcast and received a message that “ricochet-podcast-episode-174.mp3 contained a virus and was deleted.” Is this my computer’s problem or a problem with the podcast file itself?

    • #2
    • July 3, 2013 at 11:57 am
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  3. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    The song wreaks of communism and is the go-to song for lefties everywhere. The title says it, This land is your land, this land is my land. Think about that for a second. It belongs to you and me. But Yeti is an engineer and producer and can be forgiven, there is a lot about conservatism and politics he doesn’t know. This is possibly the WORST song choice for the 4th of July Independence Day because we are celebrating our founding documents and what makes America – the United States of America as it was concieved – great. We are not celebrating the geography we share. However it is a fitting slip, because Mary Kissel seems to agree we should just share it with everyone who wants to come.

    • #3
    • July 4, 2013 at 1:08 am
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  4. Profile photo of La Tapada Member
    Blue Yeti: I am not seeing that error message here on multiple devices. Try downloading it again. · 1 hour ago
    La Tapada: I tried to download the podcast and received a message that “ricochet-podcast-episode-174.mp3 contained a virus and was deleted.” Is this my computer’s problem or a problem with the podcast file itself? · 11 minutes ago

    Thank you for your very quick response. I am still having problems and I figure it is on my end. I’ll work on figuring it out.

    • #4
    • July 4, 2013 at 1:13 am
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  5. Profile photo of Franco Inactive
    This Land Is Your LandWords and Music by Woody Guthrie This land is your land This land is my landFrom California to the New York island; From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and Me.

    (Two irrelevant versed ommited for space)

    When the sun came shining, and I was strolling, And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting: This land was made for you and me. As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.” But on the other side it didn’t say nothing, That side was made for you and me. In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people, By the relief office I seen my people; As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking Is this land made for you and me? Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back This land was made for you and me.
    • #5
    • July 4, 2013 at 1:21 am
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  6. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher

    1.) Immigrants tend not to vote, and they aren’t Stalinist. At worse they are slightly more left-leaning than the national average. And at worse they will destroy the country incrementally more quickly than our current trajectory.

    2.) A diverse society makes people more skeptical of welfare and keeps it smaller.

    3.) If you still fear 1.) and 2.), then don’t give immigrants the right to have either. It would be more humaine than denying them the ability to move where they want and peacefully interact with those they wish.

    If you think 3.) is unlikely, it shouldn’t preclude holding that position. We shouldn’t adhere to a terrible, coercive, freedom-denying policy because embracing a better policy might not work out our way politically.

    4.) Immigrants create more jobs in this country and they would be self limiting by the market. Service prices would plummet and property values would skyrocket. Many of us (especially the elderly and infirm) could afford personal servants and therefore more independent and comfortable lives.

    Not to mention we would enrich millions of people who live in dire poverty through no fault of their own.

    • #6
    • July 4, 2013 at 1:25 am
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  7. Profile photo of

    La Tapada,Could be that your computer thinks Woody Guthrie is a virus. I’m happy to know that you guys are even paying attention to the closing music.

    • #7
    • July 4, 2013 at 1:25 am
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  8. Profile photo of Franco Inactive
    Blue Yeti: I just like the song. I have never picked music based on the political affiliations or stances of the musician (assuming I even know what they are). That would really limit the choices. 
    EJHill:This Land is Your Land?

    Oh, Lord, Yeti has been Obamanized! The American communist Woody Guthrie’s “answer” to Irving Berlin’sGod Bless America…

    Should have stayed asleep like Mr. Long.

    And if Peter and James lived in Venice with Rob, I imagined them running over to the Long Plantation to try to rouse him for his podcasting duties: · 16 minutes ago

    Edited 16 minutes ago

    1 hour ago

    God help you if you like this song – I mean musically. However, not to beat a dead horse, but it’s not the political affiliation that is the offence (although being an active and avowed communist is pushing it – he makes Bruce Springsteen look like a country-club Republican) the intent of the song is political and remains a left-wing anthem. 

    You didn’t know that. Now you do.

    • #8
    • July 4, 2013 at 2:40 am
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  9. Profile photo of Franco Inactive
    Blue Yeti: Folks, I may just be a producer, but I know who and what Woody Gutherie was and I know the history of the song too. As previously mentioned, yes, I like the song and thought it fit for the 4th, but it was also meant as a commentary on both the Egypt and the immigration discussions on the podcast.

    As for it being an anthem of the left, well, the song has been covered by several prominent right-leaning musicians, including Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and that famously communist organization, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It’s also been used in several commercials including United Airlines and Ford — hardly torch carriers for the left. Like it or not, Guthrie’s song is a work of of art and is people imprint their own meaning on it. 

    P.S. For what it’s worth, the version that I used here is the original and does not include the stanza about the relief office. That was added and recorded later. 

    Sorry to come down so hard on you Yeti, but there are a couple of things you misunderstand. Being a producer is a good thing, I’m one myself continued

    • #9
    • July 4, 2013 at 3:59 am
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  10. Profile photo of I. raptus Member

    Paging Blue Yeti: The direct download mp3 link is only available on clicking through to the post again, instead of at the top.

    • #10
    • July 4, 2013 at 4:06 am
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  11. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    I only meant that in the context that you have a lot to do and to think about and that you need not know political nuances. But now you say you knew. Okay. Americans get a lot od subtle and buried messages, we may be conscious of them or not. I happen to be fairly concious of all the messages. Ford and the Uninted Airlines last I checked are apolitical corporations which are trying to market themselves and chose a song about America that has little or no political meaning when sung outside a political context (that is, not after a right leaning podcast on the 4th of July where immigration is discussed) I don’t know Johnny Cash’s politics, but Niel Young is no right winger. Just because someone sings that song doesn’t make them communist, it may make them unaware of it’s origins and intended meaning. 

    Some Republican candidate (I forget who, they are all so forgettable these days) used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as his campaign song unaware that the song was written as a critique.

    • #11
    • July 4, 2013 at 4:13 am
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  12. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    So the (unintended?) message I got was Ricochet has a WSJ drone on to lecture us about how Republicans are sending the wrong message to Hispanics and then the producer plays This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land” on the eve of Independence Day. This was a particularly bad alignment of elements considering your audience.

    • #12
    • July 4, 2013 at 4:20 am
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  13. Profile photo of La Tapada Member
    Blue Yeti: La Tapada,Could be that your computer thinks Woody Guthrie is a virus. I’m happy to know that you guys are even paying attention to the closing music. · 2 hours ago

    Gave me a good chuckle.

    • #13
    • July 4, 2013 at 4:23 am
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  14. Profile photo of Basil Fawlty Inactive
    Franco: The song wreaks of communism and is the go-to song for lefties everywhere. The title says it, This land is your land, this land is my land. Think about that for a second. It belongs to you and me. But Yeti is an engineer and producer and can be forgiven, there is a lot about conservatism and politics he doesn’t know. This is possibly the WORST song choice for the 4th of July Independence Day because we are celebrating our founding documents and what makes America – the United States of America as it was concieved – great. We are not celebrating the geography we share. However it is a fitting slip, because Mary Kissel seems to agree we should just share it with everyone who wants to come. · 14 hours ago

    I can tolerate a thousand old Commie anthems better than I can tolerate a guest who conflates legal and illegal immigration and actually uses the “jobs Americans won’t do” cliche to further obscure the distinction.

    • #14
    • July 4, 2013 at 4:23 am
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  15. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    Basil,

    It was nice to see Peter push back a bit, mild-mannered and respectful as he is – and I think he understands our position better than most Dartmouth grads and WSJ editors, but yes, it is aggravating to continually be force-fed this statist gruel. The guest offered nothing new in terms of approach, insight or expertise on the two subjects she addressed, race and immigration, and as far as I can gather had no more knowledge on these subjects than a guy in a bar. She was just repeating what she heard like any other drone-journalist. 

    But I must face the fact that Ricochet is beholden to its own conceits.

     There isn’t a huge audience yet, so they must scramble for guests and when they do agree to come they can’t stay long (more important things to do, ya know). Sometimes they cross-promote like every other network. In other words, Ricochet can’t help but reflect the zeitgeist of the elites. Let’s call over to the WSJ and see if there’s someone who hasn’t already left for the Hamptons., kind of thing.

    I would prefer no guest to this.

    • #15
    • July 4, 2013 at 4:54 am
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  16. Profile photo of Joseph Stanko Member
    Franco

    the intent of the song is political and remains a left-wing anthem. 

    Some of the lesser-known verses:

    As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.” But on the other side it didn’t say nothing, That side was made for you and me. In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people, By the relief office I seen my people; As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking Is this land made for you and me? Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back This land was made for you and me.
    • #16
    • July 4, 2013 at 5:25 am
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  17. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    Peter Robinson: “I don’t think they’d (WSJ Ed Board) be in favor of completely open borders”.

    I guess you missed the editorial they ran for years arguing for a constitutional amendment that read “There shall be open borders”. 

    On today’s editorial page, they express outrage even at the questionable enforcement provisions of the Senate bill, which they argue is “a case of the Republican Party letting its blood-and-soil wing trump its supposedly free-market principles.” Thank you. I love you too, Paul Gigot.

    There is a noticeable lack of people of Latin American descent on an Ed Board that often implies that if you are not an Open Borders Absolutist, you are a racist.

    • #17
    • July 4, 2013 at 5:35 am
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  18. Profile photo of

    Fixed. 

    I. raptus: Paging Blue Yeti: The direct download mp3 link is only available on clicking through to the post again, instead of at the top. · 1 hour ago
    • #18
    • July 4, 2013 at 5:46 am
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  19. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher
    kylez: Mike H: 

     Do you actually believe that enforcing the law at the border, or (God forbid) deporting foreign lawbreakers ismorally equivalentto an American citizen who works at McDonald’s pointing a gun at one who works at Burger King????

    I think benefiting from the military pointing a gun at someone is morally equivalent. Hiding behind phrases like “enforcing the law at the border” and “deporting foreign lawbreakers” allows people to rationalize and legitimize violating the freedoms of others. Nearly everyone thinks the same way; that’s why it’s so easy to defend it. I use to think this way. Now I think it’s a convenient fiction we tell ourselves when the result is sustaining massive poverty.

    • #19
    • July 4, 2013 at 6:32 am
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  20. Profile photo of Give Me Liberty Inactive

    Thank you James and Peter for defending those of us who once worked at “the jobs Americans won’t do” but no longer because brave immigrants drove the wages of those jobs through the floor. Yes Mary, these immigrants are not taking the jobs of bond traders and newspaper editors but they might be found in construction, manufacturing, agriculture…

    • #20
    • July 4, 2013 at 6:41 am
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  21. Profile photo of Basil Fawlty Inactive
    Mike H
    kylez: Mike H: 

     Do you actually believe that enforcing the law at the border, or (God forbid) deporting foreign lawbreakers ismorally equivalentto an American citizen who works at McDonald’s pointing a gun at one who works at Burger King????

    I think benefiting from the military pointing a gun at someone is morally equivalent. Hiding behind phrases like “enforcing the law at the border” and “deporting foreign lawbreakers” allows people to rationalize and legitimize violating the freedoms of others. Nearly everyone thinks the same way; that’s why it’s so easy to defend it. I use to think this way. Now I think it’s a convenient fiction we tell ourselves when the result is sustaining massive poverty. · 4 minutes ago

    Does a McDonald’s violate the freedom of others when it locks its doors when it’s closed to prevent people from alleviating their poverty by helping themselves to free food?

    • #21
    • July 4, 2013 at 6:47 am
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  22. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher
    Basil Fawlty
    Mike H
    kylez: Mike H: 

     Do you actually believe that enforcing the law at the border, or (God forbid) deporting foreign lawbreakers ismorally equivalentto an American citizen who works at McDonald’s pointing a gun at one who works at Burger King????

    I think benefiting from the military pointing a gun at someone is morally equivalent. Hiding behind phrases like “enforcing the law at the border” and “deporting foreign lawbreakers” allows people to rationalize and legitimize violating the freedoms of others. Nearly everyone thinks the same way; that’s why it’s so easy to defend it. I use to think this way. Now I think it’s a convenient fiction we tell ourselves when the result is sustaining massive poverty. · 4 minutes ago

    Does a McDonald’s violate the freedom of others when it locks its doors when it’s closed to prevent people from alleviating their poverty by helping themselves to free food? · 8 minutes ago

    Of course not, but we don’t own stuff outside our personal property. “Public ownership” of the land within the borders and projection of power outside that which is owned individually is another convenient fiction.

    • #22
    • July 4, 2013 at 6:59 am
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  23. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher
    Give Me Liberty: Thank you James and Peter for defending those of us who once worked at “the jobs Americans won’t do” but no longer because brave immigrants drove the wages of those jobs through the floor. Yes Mary, these immigrants are not taking the jobs of bond traders and newspaper editors but they might be found in construction, manufacturing, agriculture… · 23 minutes ago

    Is it right keep away your competition by gunpoint? Why don’t you try to coerce your current competitors by force of arms?

    Immigrants didn’t “drive your wages down.” They tried to improve their own lives the best they could. They are as much human as you are.

    • #23
    • July 4, 2013 at 7:12 am
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  24. Profile photo of Wolverine Coolidge

    Hey Peter and James. Please have Heather MacDonald on to debate Ms. Kissel. Would like see someone push back harder than you two did. Getting so sick of every viewpoint expressed about immigration being interpreted as to how it plays with Hispanics.

    • #24
    • July 4, 2013 at 7:21 am
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  25. Profile photo of billy Inactive
    Mike H

    Is it right keep away your competition by gunpoint? Why don’t you try to coerce your current competitors by force of arms?

    Immigrants didn’t “drive your wages down.” They tried to improve their own lives the best they could. They are as much human as you are. · 8 minutes ago

    So if you increase the supply of labor, that won’t decrease the cost of labor? (i.e. wages)

    Have you run this idea by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Because they’re spending an awful lot of energy to get this bill through Congress and might want to know that they are wasting their time.

    • #25
    • July 4, 2013 at 7:49 am
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  26. Profile photo of
     …. for you and Me.

    (Two irrelevant versed ommited for space)

    When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,  And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,  As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting: This land was made for you and me. As I went walking I saw a sign there  And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”  But on the other side it didn’t say nothing, That side was made for you and me. In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,  By the relief office I seen my people;  As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking Is this land made for you and me? Nobody living can ever stop me,  As I go walking that freedom highway;  Nobody living can ever make me turn back This land was made for you and me. · 18 hours ago

    This makes me think of my Leftist/Democrat voting friends (50’s & 60 yr olds mostly) who live off the grid, are very artistic, intelligent and ‘free thinking’. What ARE they thinking? I believe they are privately reconsidering.

    • #26
    • July 4, 2013 at 7:50 am
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  27. Profile photo of Mate De Coolidge

    What are these jobs that Americans just won’t do? Let me see, Paper Routes, I know the illegals in my town deliver the paper. Well I’m an American and I had a paper route, was a dish washer at a restaurant too, worked for a landscaper one summer, bused tables and bar backed. All of those pesky jobs that apparently Americans just don’t do anymore, but back in MY day (I’m 34) American teenagers did those jobs.

    • #27
    • July 4, 2013 at 7:50 am
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  28. Profile photo of Basil Fawlty Inactive
    Mike H
    Basil Fawlty
    Mike H

    Does a McDonald’s violate the freedom of others when it locks its doors when it’s closed to prevent people from alleviating their poverty by helping themselves to free food? · 8 minutes ago

    Of course not, but we don’t own stuff outside our personal property. “Public ownership” of the land within the borders and projection of power outside that which is owned individually is another convenient fiction. · 36 minutes ago

    Isn’t personal property also just a convenient fiction – a projection of power beyond our corporeal self? It seems odd to me that people have no right to alleviate their poverty by taking (a corporation’s) private property but apparently have the right to alleviate their poverty by taking what is collectively owned by others.

    • #28
    • July 4, 2013 at 8:02 am
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  29. Profile photo of Joseph Stanko Member
    billy

    So if you increase the supply of labor, that won’t decrease the cost of labor? (i.e. wages)

    That depends. If economics is a zero-sum game, and more workers compete for a fixed number of jobs, then yes wages will go down.

    If the economy is elastic, then more paid workers will create more demand for food, housing, medical care, and so forth, which will create more jobs. Supply of labor will increase, but so will demand for labor.

    • #29
    • July 4, 2013 at 8:10 am
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  30. Profile photo of

    Folks, I may just be a producer, but I know who and what Woody Gutherie was and I know the history of the song too. As previously mentioned, yes, I like the song and thought it fit for the 4th, but it was also meant as a commentary on both the Egypt and the immigration discussions on the podcast.

    As for it being an anthem of the left, well, the song has been covered by several prominent right-leaning musicians, including Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and that famously communist organization, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It’s also been used in several commercials including United Airlines and Ford — hardly torch carriers for the left. Like it or not, Guthrie’s song is a work of of art and is people imprint their own meaning on it. 

    P.S. For what it’s worth, the version that I used here is the original and does not include the stanza about the relief office. That was added and recorded later. 

    • #30
    • July 4, 2013 at 8:12 am
    • Like0 likes
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