A Blast From The Past

You asked for more face time with The Founders®, and here it is: our first Question Time show of 2020 (there will be more!). We cover some Ricochet history, get into a feisty debate about abortion, take a brief break with Henry Olsen, host of our new Horse Race podcast to make some hay (see what we did there?) on impeachment and some key Senate races. Also, Lileks opines on the new Star Trek series, and the hosts pick a historical moment they’d like to visit once we achieve a critical mass of members (what are YOU waiting for? Join today!).

Thanks for all the great questions, Ricochet members!

Music from this week’s show: Happy Feet by The Manhattan Rythm Kings

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  1. rev1917 Lincoln

    Wonderful news that Peter is working on a book documenting the history of the Berlin wall speech. Looking forward to reading it.

    • #1
    • January 24, 2020, at 3:30 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Bishop Wash Member

    Ricochet Audio Network: to make some hay (see what we did there?

    Was the sun shining?

    • #2
    • January 24, 2020, at 3:45 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    That was fun. I missed the Question Time post. You put it on the Main Feed, didn’t you?

    Good outro music.

    • #3
    • January 24, 2020, at 4:26 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. kedavis Member

    Is AOC more or less likely to be re-elected than Ilhan Omar?

    • #4
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  5. kedavis Member

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    • #5
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:21 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Peter Robinson Founder

    rev1917 (View Comment):

    Wonderful news that Peter is working on a book documenting the history of the Berlin wall speech. Looking forward to reading it.

    You made my day. (And it’s been sort of a rough one.) 

    • #6
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:22 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Peter Robinson Founder

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    • #7
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:23 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. J Ro Member

    1) How insightful to compare LBJ’s v Obama’s legislative accomplishments. BO spent ten years as an elected representative and did nothing but campaign for higher office. He can take credit for no lasting (good or bad) legislation whatsoever during those years or during his following 8 years as POTUS. He is an utterly forgettable top level American politician.

    2) FDR will be unforgettable because he created several ticking bombs (e.g. wage controls which resulted in health care being tied to one’s salary and our ever expanding social security system, also tied to one’s salary, which allows Congress to spend its assets on programs unrelated to the SSS as soon as it receives them) which no one dares attempt to defuse.

    3) Idea: abortion tax!

    • #8
    • January 24, 2020, at 6:23 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Al Sparks Thatcher

    I appreciate your answering my question (the best Democrat president), and it’s great that it generated some discussion.

    Since Andrew Klavan was a part of my question, Rob wanted to know what his pick was, and it was Harry Truman.

    I agree with Peter that Grover Cleveland was the best because he was the last Democrat to veto spending bills to keep the budget under control. That being said, he wasn’t rewarded for it. For one thing, he was vetoing bills that benefited Civil War veterans, and he was deeply unpopular.

    He lost his re-election bid, though 4 years later he regained the office, being the only president to serve 2 non-consecutive terms.

    Like Peter, I do have a regard for Truman because his administration started resisting the Soviet Union, fighting what became the Cold War. I agree with Peter about his bad domestic policies. I’ve referred to Truman as a socialist, though Truman would probably have emphatically denied it, especially since socialists were called “pinkos” at the time (communists were “reds”).

    Yet, for me, Truman crossed the line when he attempted to nationalize the coal mines as a result of a national strike (overthrown by the Supreme Court).

    I agreed with Rob’s statements regarding the more effective Democrat presidents, with Lyndon Johnson probably topping the list. His strength was that he could pass legislation, but Johnson’s great weakness was that he really didn’t know how run the executive branch. The result was a mismanaged Vietnam War, and really a mismanaged expansion of government.

    As for James’s sardonic portrait of Wilson, you can argue that without Wilson, there would not have been an FDR, at least not as we knew him. Wilson paved the way for FDR.

    • #9
    • January 24, 2020, at 6:38 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. kedavis Member

    also @jameslileks seems to me Discovery started out okay, but it didn’t take long to become pure dreck. So I probably won’t bother with Picard at all.

    • #10
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:31 PM PST
    • Like
  11. kedavis Member

    Could it be that, in this week’s photo, for once nobody’s head is attached to someone else’s body?

    • #11
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:31 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Arahant Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Could it be that, in this week’s photo, for once nobody’s head is attached to someone else’s body?

    No, Rob and James are switched.

    • #12
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. kedavis Member

    J Ro (View Comment):
    3) Idea: abortion tax!

    Struck down as an “undue burden.”

    • #13
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:33 PM PST
    • Like
  14. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    Maybe he can sell the movie rights, if they made a movie about the speech of a king, why not a president?

    One can hope.

    • #14
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Samuel Block Support

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    Sure they will. Peter Robinson fans are a rare breed…. they can even read. 

    • #15
    • January 24, 2020, at 9:04 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. kedavis Member

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    Sure they will. Peter Robinson fans are a rare breed…. they can even read.

    Peter Robinson fans aren’t the ones who need to read that book.

    • #16
    • January 24, 2020, at 9:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. James Lileks Contributor

    kedavis (View Comment):

    also @jameslileks seems to me Discovery started out okay, but it didn’t take long to become pure dreck. So I probably won’t bother with Picard at all.

    Why? Different show runner, venerable hero, deep connection to TNG, measured pace – it’s not Disco, at least based in the 1st ep.

     

    • #17
    • January 24, 2020, at 9:54 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Samuel Block Support

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    Sure they will. Peter Robinson fans are a rare breed…. they can even read.

    Peter Robinson fans aren’t the ones who need to read that book.

    Touché, @kedavis. But, I’d enjoy another of Robinson’s books. 

    • #18
    • January 24, 2020, at 10:29 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. kedavis Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    also @jameslileks seems to me Discovery started out okay, but it didn’t take long to become pure dreck. So I probably won’t bother with Picard at all.

    Why? Different show runner, venerable hero, deep connection to TNG, measured pace – it’s not Disco, at least based in the 1st ep.

    Last I heard, it’s the same showrunner as Discovery, at least the latest one. (The latest Discovery, showrunner, that is.) Patrick Stewart (and others involved with the show) talking about how it’s about anti-Trump and anti-anti-immigration etc, doesn’t encourage me. And I’ve also heard that it “explores” whether holograms etc are “life.” I don’t think that’s a “Deep” subject at all, and frankly don’t believe it needs to be “explored.” The answer, quite simply, is no. (Matter/antimatter reactors, holo-emitters, etc, do not evolve naturally; and certainly not the pre-set programs that they run. If you “beamed down” a couple holograms – Holo-Adam and Holo-Eve, say – to a virgin planet, they would immediately disappear. etc, etc.) But even if someone believes that does need to be “explored,” it’s more like one episode, not a whole series.

    It also, if I believe what I hear/read, is clearly set in the “Kelvin timeline” which was claptrap crap from the outset.

    Maybe it’s too early, since the writer of this has seen the first THREE episodes, but anyway:

    https://ew.com/tv-reviews/2020/01/23/star-trek-picard-review

    • #19
    • January 25, 2020, at 1:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  20. RufusRJones Member

    J Ro (View Comment):
    2) FDR will be unforgettable because he created several ticking bombs (e.g. wage controls which resulted in health care being tied to one’s salary and our ever expanding social security system, also tied to one’s salary, which allows Congress to spend its assets on programs unrelated to the SSS as soon as it receives them) which no one dares attempt to defuse.

    This is a great articulation. Nobody ever comes up with new ways to talk about this stuff.

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    • #20
    • January 25, 2020, at 2:17 AM PST
    • Like
  21. RufusRJones Member

    I could take this back, but I did not like the criticism from the anti-Trump religious people about his going to the March for life. The most intelligent argument was, some evangelicals will rationalize anything he does and it’s embarrassing. I think the best analysis comes from Tucker Carlson: they don’t want to spiritual leader, they want a bodyguard. That makes perfect sense to me.

    The leadership of the GOP anti-Trump resistance is just pathetic if you ask me. If you are on Twitter tell me why people follow Heath Mayo.

    The whole process of the GOP threatening to outlaw abortion just makes Planned Parenthood’s overhead go up (supposedly Minnesota’s senator Tina Smith sucked to millions out of Planned Parenthood) and strengthens the Democrat party. Lila Rose proved that Planned Parenthood has abortion quotas. Just make the moral case. Plus, how are you going to enforce this law anyway? Furthermore, you can’t force anyone to give decent prenatal care. If someone resents being pregnant, they know for a fact that it frequently causes attachment issues which are very hard to fix.

    They can’t work on the debt or unfunded liabilities until we have and economic depression or the bond market blows up. It’s just too hard politically. The whole thing about the GOP being conservative is a joke. I haven’t gotten one person to do this, but if you watch the real vision interview of David Stockman it’s very hard to argue with. If we were actually serious about the potential of government (in the way a Democrat or RINO thinks) all of this would have been overhauled right after the Soviet union fell.

    LBJ leaned on Arthur Burns to print money so he could have guns and butter. That is how we got the 70s inflation. He also, in effect, lied like hell about how Medicare was going to work.

    College is not for human capital development. It’s for indoctrination and to steal from the taxpayers in the students.

    Very interesting observation by Peter about his in-laws. The pressure must have been unbelievable. Think of all the stupid behavior by Democrats regarding Castro.

    • #21
    • January 25, 2020, at 3:53 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. RufusRJones Member

    I heard Steve Bannon say some thing that I have never forgotten. We are going to get left or right populism shoved down our throats the hard way no matter what. It’s cultural and it’s also due to the fact that every single Western government has done every single thing wrong since the Soviet union fell and trade opened up. Then throw in automation. They have done every single thing wrong with respect to the inevitable job destruction and wage deflation. A lot of the Republicans that hate Trump sort of spew out libertarian talking points about trade when they aren’t even libertarians. They don’t get the cultural issues.

    I also believe China is an existential threat. I don’t blame people for thinking fascists would change stripes after we started trading with them, but now we have to reverse it.

    I really wish Peter would do a long interview with Steve Bannon, Peter Navarro and Curtis Ellis. Also do a separate one with Bannon and Kyle Bass about China.

    We are in this spot because the GOP has never been conservative or libertarian enough. Then the political problems feedback on themselves. Everything moves left all of the time.

    One other point about Trump being morally embarrassing or whatever. Dana Louoche had some really good comparisons about 41 and Trump as far as being upright people versus political efficacy. I’m not saying it’s perfect but it’s worth hearing. Her podcast might be free I don’t know. It was the Friday show.

    • #22
    • January 25, 2020, at 4:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. RufusRJones Member

    Regarding the business model of this place:

    Ricochet is really good at aggregating good podcasts and providing an intelligent place to discuss them. I don’t think there’s anything else like it, anywhere. I don’t get why there aren’t more comments on the Podcasts.

    • #23
    • January 25, 2020, at 4:41 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. FredGoodhue Coolidge

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    Make it a pop-up book. Or rather, a fall-down book.

    • #24
    • January 25, 2020, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    Time travel, I’ll be sorely disappointed if the afterlife doesn’t include a time travel option so we could observe the historical events we’ve always wondered about, no one mentioned the Resurrection.

    • #25
    • January 25, 2020, at 7:54 AM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Taras Coolidge

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Does Peter think young people today will READ A BOOK about ANYTHING? Even a short book about the fall of theBerlin wall. etc? I doubt they think it has any relevance to their shiny selves and their even-shinier Wokeness.

    One can but hope.

    Sure they will. Peter Robinson fans are a rare breed…. they can even read.

    Peter Robinson fans aren’t the ones who need to read that book.

    Touché, @kedavis. But, I’d enjoy another of Robinson’s books.

    Wikipedia generally gets its information from published, hardcopy sources, so Peter’s findings may eventually trickle down to the people who really need to see them.

    • #26
    • January 25, 2020, at 7:59 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis: Could it be that, in this week’s photo, for once nobody’s head is attached to someone else’s body?

    When I do that good of a job, that scares me. Because, mostly, I’m selling an idea or a chuckle, not reality.

    Someday I might write a post on the tricks of the trade and what you should look for if you look at something and say, “Is that real?” but I don’t want to end the magic. 

    • #27
    • January 25, 2020, at 8:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Taras Coolidge

    J Ro (View Comment):

    1) How insightful to compare LBJ’s v Obama’s legislative accomplishments. BO spent ten years as an elected representative and did nothing but campaign for higher office. He can take credit for no lasting (good or bad) legislation whatsoever during those years or during his following 8 years as POTUS. He is an utterly forgettable top level American politician.

    2) FDR will be unforgettable because he created several ticking bombs (e.g. wage controls which resulted in health care being tied to one’s salary and our ever expanding social security system, also tied to one’s salary, which allows Congress to spend its assets on programs unrelated to the SSS as soon as it receives them) which no one dares attempt to defuse.

    3) Idea: abortion tax!

    I guess Obama really was the best Democratic President of the last hundred years. His ineffectiveness limited the harm he did.

    By contrast, FDR gets the “credit” for making the Great Depression permanent, but for the inflationary effects of World War II. These lowered real wages enough to get the supply and demand for labor more or less back into equilibrium. FDR had been perversely doing everything he could to force increases in real wages, which of course discourages job creation.

    America’s tragedy was that a liberal Democrat was following a liberal Republican (Herbert Hoover). If Calvin Coolidge had run for another term, things might have been very different.

    • #28
    • January 25, 2020, at 8:17 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Stad Thatcher

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    Like Peter, I do have a regard for Truman because his administration started resisting the Soviet Union, fighting what became the Cold War.

    I like Truman because he dropped the atomic bombs on Japan to end the war. If it weren’t for his decision, it’s likely my wife and I wouldn’t have been born. Our fathers were marines in the Pacific, and probably would not have survived the invasion of Japan . . .

    • #29
    • January 25, 2020, at 8:32 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Stad Thatcher

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    also @jameslileks seems to me Discovery started out okay, but it didn’t take long to become pure dreck. So I probably won’t bother with Picard at all.

    Why? Different show runner, venerable hero, deep connection to TNG, measured pace – it’s not Disco, at least based in the 1st ep.

     

    I enjoyed your answer to the time machine question. Putting aside traveling back to be with Jesus, I would like go back and watch the landing on D-Day. I’m overwhelmed thinking about the bravery and heroism of the allied forces that day, but to be there to witness it in person would be even more so . . .

    • #30
    • January 25, 2020, at 8:35 AM PST
    • 1 like