In honor of “President” Biden’s attempt to imitate Chevy Chase imitating Gerald Ford on the steps of Air Farce One, this week’s episode launches with some appropriate custom bumper music (the headline should give you a clue), and then “Lucretia” and I resume arguing whether our format should put metaphysics ahead of malts—in other words, business before pleasure—or whether whisky malts are metaphysical, rightly understood.

We don’t—and won’t ever—resolve this existential problem, but we do take a break from deep texts and new subjects to address some questions and objections to last week’s show, not from our enemies, but from some of our friends like historian Fred Siegel and the late, great Sir Roger Scruton. Just what is the relationship between historical context and changes in human consciousness and the generation of new ideas? Truth may not be time-bound, but new insights and the new circumstances that give rise to them do happen in time. So the role of history can’t be ignored completely.

If that doesn’t make you head spin all by itself, then by all means start your whisky at the beginning of the episode. In any case, when we move on to whisky news, I once again fail to sell Lucretia on a new whisky find because the review says it contains “licorice” flavor, which is as much a deal-breaker as peat at seems.

From there we get on to our regular updates on the news—our two magic numbers, Circleback Mountain, and our What’s My Beef of the Week. Plus an extra tip of the whisky glass to Florida Governor Ron De Santis, who may have locked up the 2024 Republican nomination this week.

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  1. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Thank heavens for the common sense the two of you espouse. Flight suits for pregnant women? Give me a break. The world has gone mad.

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Well, I finally have to disagree with you two on something:

    Lucretia:

    I don’t understand why people have something against it, unless they just don’t wanna do the work.

    In my experience, it’s Straussians who don’t wanna do the work.  They work only the tiniest bit harder than the analytics.  The analytics will read some book in philosophy and splash around in the shallowest surface-level interpretation possible.  When they come to some puzzle, they say Aha!  Page 43 says something different from page 102!  Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously contradicting himself!  He made a mistake!

    When the Straussians come to the same puzzle, they say “Aha! Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously lying! He must be hiding what he really thinks!”

    And thus they dip their heads under the surface of the text–a full 12 inches below the surface.

    What we ought to be doing is finding some way of interpreting the text relying on some philosophical principle presented in the text somewhat directly, look for the distinction that must be made, and take the whole puzzle as a training exercise in learning to think deeper.  The philosopher is almost certainly not lying on either page 43 or on page 102.  He is teaching us how to think.  Both pages are partially correct perspectives on the truth, one perspective is probably better informed than the other, neither perspective is the complete truth–and both perspectives along with the distinction between them are stages in the ascent to wisdom.

    And–of course–the great philosophers don’t lay all their cards out on the table on the first page.  But to jump from that to the conclusion that Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley are all filthy liars concealing some secret atheism or whatever–is no more than an amateurish error in reasoning.

    Straightforward presentation of all truths, all truths made simple and easy–that is the naivete of the analytics.

    Simple lies concealing a secret truth–that is naivete combined with distrust, plus giving oneself airs.  And that, in my experience, is the way of the Straussians.

    Philosophical ascent towards wisdom–that is the way of the philosophers.

    • #2
  3. Steven Hayward Podcaster
    Steven Hayward
    @StevenHayward

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Well, I finally have to disagree with you two on something:

    Lucretia:

    I don’t understand why people have something against it, unless they just don’t wanna do the work.

    In my experience, it’s Straussians who don’t wanna do the work. They work only the tiniest bit harder than the analytics. The analytics will read some book in philosophy and splash around in the shallowest surface-level interpretation possible. When they come to some puzzle, they say Aha! Page 43 says something different from page 102! Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously contradicting himself! He made a mistake!

    When the Straussians come to the same puzzle, they say “Aha! Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously lying! He must be hiding what he really thinks!”

    And thus they dip their heads under the surface of the text–a full 12 inches below the surface.

    What we ought to be doing is finding some way of interpreting the text relying on some philosophical principle presented in the text somewhat directly, look for the distinction that must be made, and take the whole puzzle as a training exercise in learning to think deeper. The philosopher is almost certainly not lying on either page 43 or on page 102. He is teaching us how to think. Both pages are partially correct perspectives on the truth, one perspective is probably better informed than the other, neither perspective is the complete truth–and both perspectives along with the distinction between them are stages in the ascent to wisdom.

    And–of course–the great philosophers don’t lay all their cards out on the table on the first page. But to jump from that to the conclusion that Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley are all filthy liars concealing some secret atheism or whatever–is no more than an amateurish error in reasoning.

    Straightforward presentation of all truths, all truths made simple and easy–that is the naivete of the analytics.

    Simple lies concealing a secret truth–that is naivete combined with distrust, plus giving oneself airs. And that, in my experience, is the way of the Straussians.

    Philosophical ascent towards wisdom–that is the way of the philosophers.

    Game on! (You’re just trying to get on the agenda for next week’s show, aren’t you?) 

    • #3
  4. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Steven Hayward (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Well, I finally have to disagree with you two on something:

    Lucretia:

    I don’t understand why people have something against it, unless they just don’t wanna do the work.

    In my experience, it’s Straussians who don’t wanna do the work. They work only the tiniest bit harder than the analytics. The analytics will read some book in philosophy and splash around in the shallowest surface-level interpretation possible. When they come to some puzzle, they say Aha! Page 43 says something different from page 102! Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously contradicting himself! He made a mistake!

    When the Straussians come to the same puzzle, they say “Aha! Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously lying! He must be hiding what he really thinks!”

    And thus they dip their heads under the surface of the text–a full 12 inches below the surface.

    What we ought to be doing is finding some way of interpreting the text relying on some philosophical principle presented in the text somewhat directly, look for the distinction that must be made, and take the whole puzzle as a training exercise in learning to think deeper. The philosopher is almost certainly not lying on either page 43 or on page 102. He is teaching us how to think. Both pages are partially correct perspectives on the truth, one perspective is probably better informed than the other, neither perspective is the complete truth–and both perspectives along with the distinction between them are stages in the ascent to wisdom.

    And–of course–the great philosophers don’t lay all their cards out on the table on the first page. But to jump from that to the conclusion that Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley are all filthy liars concealing some secret atheism or whatever–is no more than an amateurish error in reasoning.

    Straightforward presentation of all truths, all truths made simple and easy–that is the naivete of the analytics.

    Simple lies concealing a secret truth–that is naivete combined with distrust, plus giving oneself airs. And that, in my experience, is the way of the Straussians.

    Philosophical ascent towards wisdom–that is the way of the philosophers.

    Game on! (You’re just trying to get on the agenda for next week’s show, aren’t you?)

    Not necessarily. I just got a reply from Steve Hayward. So life already feels kind of complete.

    But you should take a look at my work on election fraud if you haven’t yet.

    https://ricochet.com/886610/the-fraud-is-real-but-nothing-fancy-shareable-links-on-election-fraud/

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    When the Straussians come to the same puzzle, they say “Aha! Plato/Augustine/Descartes/Locke/Berkeley is obviously lying! He must be hiding what he really thinks!”

    And thus they dip their heads under the surface of the text–a full 12 inches below the surface.

    What we ought to be doing is finding some way of interpreting the text relying on some philosophical principle presented in the text somewhat directly, look for the distinction that must be made, and take the whole puzzle as a training exercise in learning to think deeper.  The philosopher is almost certainly not lying on either page 43 or on page 102.  He is teaching us how to think.  Both pages are partially correct perspectives on the truth, one perspective is probably better informed than the other, neither perspective is the complete truth–and both perspectives along with the distinction between them are stages in the ascent to wisdom.

    And–of course–the great philosophers don’t lay all their cards out on the table on the first page.  But to jump from that to the conclusion that Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley are all filthy liars concealing some secret atheism or whatever–is no more than an amateurish error in reasoning.

    Straightforward presentation of all truths, all truths made simple and easy–that is the naivete of the analytics.

    Simple lies concealing a secret truth–that is naivete combined with distrust, plus giving oneself airs.  And that, in my experience, is the way of the Straussians.

    Philosophical ascent towards wisdom–that is the way of the philosophers.

    Well, to be fair, I should apply my own approach to Strauss and the Straussians. Perhaps I myself misunderstood what the Straussians I’ve met were getting at. (Blame them, blame me, or whatever.)  Or maybe they themselves did a lousy job interpreting Strauss. It’s possible.

    Lucretia sounds more like my way of reading, actually–there’s a surface meaning, and there’s something else. Long as we don’t leap to labeling the authors liars, why should I object?

    • #5
  6. Vol Gal Member
    Vol Gal
    @VolGal

    Who is the musical artist on the outgoing number?

    • #6
  7. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Was Lucretia talking about Archimedes not Euclid?

    • #7
  8. Lucretia Contributor
    Lucretia
    @Lucretia

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Was Lucretia talking about Archimedes not Euclid?

    I really was talking about Euclid (Steve mixed me up with that whole Phythagorian theory thing), whose first axiom is ‘things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.”  Math (or shall we say geometry) is not really my strong point, but that much I remember!

    • #8
  9. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Lucretia (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Was Lucretia talking about Archimedes not Euclid?

    I really was talking about Euclid (Steve mixed me up with that whole Phythagorian theory thing), whose first axiom is ‘things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” Math (or shall we say geometry) is not really my strong point, but that much I remember!

    Wow!  The real Lucretia walks among us??!?!?!?!?! That’s great!

    • #9
  10. Dr.Guido Member
    Dr.Guido
    @DrGuido

    I was in the first group of Race Relations Officers in the USAF. I was also one of the VERY few White Race Relations Officers in any of the branches—a little recognized fact of life was that it was RMN who created the RR function—in fact, I was Officer of the Day at HQ Air Defense Command when I was awakened in the middle of the night to pick up the Directive from the WH that called for its creation.

    THERE WERE then White Supremacists.  This was circa 1971. We got rid of a large number of them by June of the following year and that included BOTH Officers and Enlisted Men, some of whom were pretty senior and included at least 1 general officer. He was either a 1 or 2 star. It is also clear to me that the current SecDef is very likely an Affirmative Action hire. Not easily provable but I can tell you that with a sole exception I never encountered anyone wearing a star who was close to as unimpressive as is this fellow and I can further tell you that had ANY of us in or outside of the RR function taken as blatantly a political stance as what happened in the War Against Tucker, a war they are trying to win just so that they can say they can still fight, we would have been facing an Article 15 or worse.

    By the way, if we really need to get flight suits for pregnant pilots or navigators we already LOST THAT CONFLICT. Memo to Leon Panetta and his halfwit son Rep. Jimmy Panetta´….Thanks for nothing. Leon for women in combat and Jimmy for bragging about HR1.

    PS…Almost a twist to the ´dog that didn´t bark´, the Black Officers and NCOs with whom I did interact were SO superior because they absolutely ´made it´ in a time when Affirmative Action had not yet poisoned the well.

    • #10
  11. Steven Hayward Podcaster
    Steven Hayward
    @StevenHayward

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Lucretia (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Was Lucretia talking about Archimedes not Euclid?

    I really was talking about Euclid (Steve mixed me up with that whole Phythagorian theory thing), whose first axiom is ‘things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” Math (or shall we say geometry) is not really my strong point, but that much I remember!

    Wow! The real Lucretia walks among us??!?!?!?!?! That’s great!

    You have no idea.

    • #11
  12. Steven Hayward Podcaster
    Steven Hayward
    @StevenHayward

    Vol Gal (View Comment):

    Who is the musical artist on the outgoing number?

    It’s “Whiskey in the Jar” covered by The Tramps, available on iTunes.

    • #12
  13. LukeWVa Listener
    LukeWVa
    @LukeWVa

    I thought that the “Divine Right of Kings,” which in the discussion seemed to be taken as something that the Catholic Church taught, was in fact a philosophy adopted by Protestant rulers to increase their status, to justify ignoring what the Church had to say, and to justify looting the monasteries and other Church property. 

    • #13
  14. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    Lucretia: “The whole point of the Roman plays is to explain from Shakespeare’s perspective how the transition from the initial Roman regime, to the Roman Republic, to the Roman Empire paved the way for Christianity.”

    I enjoyed the Roman Empire road system, ease of travel to spread the Gospel, etc., joke, whether intended or not.

    In regard to the notes of licorice, I have to agree – no thanks in my whiskey. If I want to taste licorice, I’ll have an anise based liqueur like ouzo (for the Greeks, raki for the Turks, arak for the Arabs, or sambuca for the Italians). In both Turkish and Arabic, raki/arak has the nickname “lion’s milk” (transliterated from Arabic: “halib al’asad” –  now you know what the Assad dictator’s family name means). Here’s a photo of the Syrian arak bottle I finished with a friend in 2018 to celebrate turning in the first complete draft of my dissertation. I bought the bottle in Syria in 2010, the last year I had been able to work there, as the civil war started in March of 2011. I kept the bottle in the fridges of various apartments I lived in over the years, but the alcohol content is so high, it’s not difficult to preserve it (the homemade “moonshine” versions of arak in Syria are even stronger).

    arak / lion’s milk = halib al’asad حليب الأسد

    • #14
  15. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    LukeWVa (View Comment):

    I thought that the “Divine Right of Kings,” which in the discussion seemed to be taken as something that the Catholic Church taught, was in fact a philosophy adopted by Protestant rulers to increase their status, to justify ignoring what the Church had to say, and to justify looting the monasteries and other Church property.

    Ascribing the Divine Right of Kings philosophy as unique to or originating from Roman Catholic theology or Protestant church teachings would be inaccurate. The concept can originally be traced back to ancient Mesopotamian kings like Naram-Sin and his 3rd millennium BC stele, various Egyptian pharaohs, Neo-Assyrian kings, Nebuchadnezzar II (“King of Babylon, true shepherd, chosen by the steadfast heart of Marduk [the chief Babylonian deity], exalted governor, beloved of Nabu, knowing one, wise one, who pays attention to the ways of the great gods, untiring governor, provider of Esagila and Ezida”), Alexander the Great (depicted on tetradrachma coins with the horns of the Egyptian god Amun (signifying his status as Amun’s anointed ruler) after his conquest of Egypt), and others.

    Its development in Christianity begins well before the split between the Eastern and Western churches among the Byzantine emperors, followed by the Carolingian kings, and the Holy Roman emperors. The English king Richard I is credited with claiming in 1193 AD, “I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God, to whom alone I am responsible for my actions.” In the 16th century Protestant age the prime example would be Henry VIII, but his motives for leaving the Catholic Church have much more to do with carnal matters and concerns over his own dynastic succession than a devout theological interpretation of his status as king (just ask Thomas More: “I die the king’s good servant, and God’s first”), nor is the Divine Right of Kings advanced in the writings of Martin Luther or other Reformation theologians outside of England (dangerous not to advance it there). Henry’s claim to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England allowed him to annul his marriage(s) and justify the dissolution of the monasteries, whose assets he stole/used to refill the English state’s coffers, repeatedly depleted from his extravagant court lifestyle and his building up of the English navy.

    Protestant kings weren’t the only ones to promulgate the Divine Right of Kings, the foremost Roman Catholic example being Louis XIV of France, called the “Sun King”, a name which summarizes well his belief in his divine right to rule, his absolutist centralized monarchy, and hearkens back to the Egyptian pharaohs being the Sons of Ra, the Egyptian sun god (e.g. Thutmose III’s full titulary: “Horus Mighty Bull, arising in Thebes, He of the Two Ladies, enduring in kingship like Ra in heaven, Horus of Gold, powerful of strength, sacred of appearance, He of the sedge [papyrus] and the bee, enduring of form is Ra, Son of Ra, Thutmose, beautiful of forms”).

    • #15