Coconut Buttons

We’ve got a new VP candidate, we’ve got Mark Simon (right hand man to Hong Kong freedom fighter Jimmy Lai), we’ve got historian Tevi Troy on political conventions (or the lack of them) and using songs for political rallies, we’ve got a warning on Blazing Saddles and we’ve got a Lileks Post of the Week (courtesy of Ricochet member Sage Wolkenfeld) about the importance of dressing well. That’s a pretty full show. What do you have for us?

Music from this week’s show: Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top

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There are 54 comments.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    85 minutes! Okay, which one of you is Dan Carlin in disguise?

    • #1
    • August 14, 2020, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Not thru with listening to the podcast but it is now clear that Trump wins because Rob just laid out how Trump won’t win…

    • #2
    • August 14, 2020, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. kedavis Member

    What a disappointment, after I thought I heard someone say Mark Steyn…

    • #3
    • August 14, 2020, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kamala Harris was chosen for many reasons, I’m sure. The physical diversity checkboxes were undoubtedly among them.

    But I suspect the main reason is that, like Biden, she is an empty vessel. That means whoever is really in power while a senile old man is President will remain in power if the Vice President must replace him. 

    I agree with Rob. Incumbents mainly run against their own record. Unfortunately, the past 6 months will overshadow the previous years.

    Some left-leaning voters might have been disillusioned by the Democrats support of rioting and intimidation. But this is more a referendum on Trump. Democrats and media have a game plan full of outrageous lies. In addition to the October surprise and whatever September’s grand narrative will be, 2020 likely has a shocking event or two up its sleeve (h/t Harold MacMillan). 

    Half of what we know about Harris, Biden, and Democrats generally will never reach the eyes and ears of leftwing and middling voters.

    • #4
    • August 14, 2020, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. James Lileks Contributor

    Percival (View Comment):

    85 minutes! Okay, which one of you is Dan Carlin in disguise?

    Well, I talk really close to the mic and grimace while I speak, so . . .

    • #5
    • August 14, 2020, at 5:07 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I still don’t understand what people think America can do to save Hong Kong. Sure, we can welcome political refugees (while vetting for communist spies). But the imposition of Chinese political power is expected and inevitable.

    What could the US offer China or threaten that government with that could convince them to lose face by forfeiting control of the mainland anti-communist affluent city-state that was promised to them long ago? When the British agreed to turn over Hong Kong, the city was obviously going to be integrated into China politically. 

    As with any dictatorship, that means corruption of courts and law rather than abolition. Chinese courts in Hong Kong will operate like Democrat legislators paying lip service to the Constitution. They will cite legal traditions when those agree with their immediate political goals and otherwise ignore those traditions. Courts and laws will remain as convenient props. So don’t confuse occasional support of the city’s Western heritage with respect or lack of power to dominate. 

    If President Trump or any other Westerner can have discussions with Chinese leaders long enough to establish rapport and persuade them that a capitalist jewel like Hong Kong could serve the communist state by revenue only while it remains relatively free, that would have more effect than any Western policy.

    • #6
    • August 14, 2020, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Semperfimom Member

    Work in the office, or work from home? Is there an in-between place? I agree, you need to dress for your job, you need to be professional and you have more time than sitting in a car waiting in traffic. Let’s invent a new, great way to do business. Is that too hard to figure out? I say, nay! C-omon, Americans. Figure it out!

    • #7
    • August 14, 2020, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. SParker Member

    Peter listening to a TEAC? A very fine deck, but no, no, no. A ReVox. It’s a late fall New England afternoon. His amp/preamp/receiver, all McIntosh tube jobs (for the Binghamton, NY connection as well as the warm sound). Turntable: Ariston RD 11S. Speakers? Audio Research AR-3a’s. He’s listening to The Flying Dutchman (Klemperer, EMI). And in the (briar) pipe: Captain Black’s. 

    • #8
    • August 14, 2020, at 10:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. James Lileks Contributor

    Peter msgs Rob and me about coconut buttons and my web browser does this:

     

    Big Brother is so helpful.

    • #9
    • August 14, 2020, at 10:17 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. RufusRJones Member

    Here are a couple of brutal interviews about Kamala Harris. She needs to be kept the hell away from the justice system.

     

     

    https://soundcloud.com/breitbart/breitbart-news-daily-peter-schweizer-august-13-2020 

     

    I think Tulsi Gabbard did a good thing when she went after her. 

     

     

    • #10
    • August 15, 2020, at 2:23 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. RufusRJones Member

    https://soundcloud.com/breitbart/breitbart-news-tonight-harmeet-dhillon-august-12-2020 

     

     

    • #11
    • August 15, 2020, at 2:26 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. RufusRJones Member

    I really appreciate the criticism of Mitt Romney. When you look at him, what is he really all about? What are his motives? He’s just a Ken doll that made a pile of money from financial extraction. After you get a car elevator home in Laguna Beach, you just need another hobby like politics. Never Trump thinks he’s so honorable or whatever. Blech. 

    Do you know who else is a management consultant? Ben Sasse. Another favorite of Never Trump except he doesn’t attack Trump properly.

    I’d rather just think about policies, but unfortunately this stuff matters. 

     

    • #12
    • August 15, 2020, at 2:46 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Semperfimom (View Comment):
    Work in the office, or work from home? Is there an in-between place?

    Starbucks, apparently. Never saw the attraction, myself. Dunkin (nee Dunkin Donuts) has better coffee, better donuts, and fewer neck-beards with man buns. 

    • #13
    • August 15, 2020, at 3:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Back in the day the IBM sales and sales support people had a uniform (so to speak) of either a dark grey or dark blue two piece suit, white button down collar shirt (alter amended to include a light blue one) and a red tie. This was not just a caprice on IBM’s part but had a reason. The reason was that if the sales guy wore the afore mentioned “uniform” the customer had to pay attention to what the presentation was instead of being distracted by some sort of sartorial mistake or issue. And a suit and tie lends a certain gravitas to meetings, presentations, introduction, etc. Ditto with bankers dressing like bankers. And as James remarked you tend to feel a bit different in a suit…As an added benefit a suit jacket gives you more pockets for stuff(, reading glasses, sunglasses, extra ammo, etc.).

    • #14
    • August 15, 2020, at 8:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. RufusRJones Member

     

     

     

    • #15
    • August 15, 2020, at 8:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    As an added benefit a suit jacket gives you more pockets for stuff(, reading glasses, sunglasses, extra ammo, etc.).

    That’s what cargo shorts are for.

     

    • #16
    • August 15, 2020, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    My father was a professor at University during the 1970s. He always wore a suit, as he had done ROTC to pay for school and thought the suit was a uniform.

    All his fellow professors dressed like students, smoke pot and were very laid back man…Laid back.

    Until one day in the early 80s he went to start the fall semester, and every professor was wearing a suit.

    • #17
    • August 15, 2020, at 10:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. RufusRJones Member

    Epic thread —–> 

     

     

     

    • #18
    • August 15, 2020, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Mr. Michael Garrett Lincoln

    Here to toss in a couple of tangents.

    1. The talk of music called to mind John J. Miller’s valiant attempt from a few months ago (14 years!? Time flies.) to identify conservative popular songs, even if some of the artists would run screaming from the nomination.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2006/06/rockin-right-john-j-miller/

    2. And that put me in a frame of mind to anticipate this as the outro.

    https://youtu.be/PVZ4gSw10yw

     

    • #19
    • August 15, 2020, at 1:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Arahant Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    Until one day in the early 80s he went to start the fall semester, and every professor was wearing a suit.

    Strange things happen, eh?

    • #20
    • August 15, 2020, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Dr.Guido Member

    OK…The Trump persona is odious.

    That is a given. With that aside and with almost 3 months of discovering Joe and Kammy and who is pulling the levers, IS IT AT ALL POSSIBLE that we are currently not at ‘PEAK Biden’?

    • #21
    • August 15, 2020, at 2:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr.Guido (View Comment):

    OK…The Trump persona is odious.

    That is a given. With that aside and with almost 3 months of discovering Joe and Kammy and who is pulling the levers, IS IT AT ALL POSSIBLE that we are currently not at ‘PEAK Biden’?

    I’m more worried that this is peak Biden.

    • #22
    • August 15, 2020, at 3:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Taras Coolidge

    Semperfimom (View Comment):

    Work in the office, or work from home? Is there an in-between place? I agree, you need to dress for your job, you need to be professional and you have more time than sitting in a car waiting in traffic. Let’s invent a new, great way to do business. Is that too hard to figure out? I say, nay! C-omon, Americans. Figure it out!

    Satellite offices a few miles from home in the suburbs.

    • #23
    • August 15, 2020, at 5:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Wolfsheim Member

    As a cranky linguist, who among other things can write “Kamala” in Devanagari:

    Orthographic “a” in English is pronounced in several ways, according to context. The “a” of “father” differs from that of “fatter.” American English speakers tend to pronounce the o “bother” as the open low back unrounded vowel, rhyming it with “father.” But when they see “a,” they are likely to resort to the “a” of “fatter” (or standard American English “rather”).

    We here in Japan do not, when we hear Americans pronounce “Nakasaki” with that same “a,” immediately start screaming that it’s a racist sneer or a not-so-subtle suggestion that the bombing of the city was a wonderful thing. One smiles and pours them another cup of saké, a word they’re also likely to “mispronounce.”

    We adapt words outside of our native languages to our own phonological systems. “Donald Trump” is rendered in the Japanese media as “donarudo torampu”—by both supporters (a minority, alas) and his detractors. One more thing: Given a word that has three open syllables, English speakers are most likely to stress the second syllable, e.g. baNAna (with a reduction of “a” in the first and third syllables), oBAma. It is thus not surprising that Kamala should be treated the same way. (In Japanese, “Kamala” become KAmara, while “Kamala Harris” becomes “kaMARA-HArisu.”)

    When it comes to “foreign” names attached to people or places of whom the media approve, political correctness applies to pronunciation, even when the result is wrong. (The “j” of Beijing is not the French “j”! And no one bothers with the correct tones.) I have heard American leftists pronounce “Nicaragua” as though they were Daniel Ortega himself. Yet how many would complain if Francisco Franco’s name were pronounced with the “a” of “cat”?

    • #24
    • August 15, 2020, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. Taras Coolidge

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Not thru with listening to the podcast but it is now clear that Trump wins because Rob just laid out how Trump won’t win…

    Also, Rob forgets Hillary’s 3 million popular vote advantage represents 4 million votes ahead in California, and 1 million votes behind in the rest of the country. And that’s with 4.5 million mostly Republican votes siphoned off by the Libertarian candidate.

    • #25
    • August 15, 2020, at 9:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):
    When it comes to “foreign” names attached to people or places of whom the media approve, political correctness applies to pronunciation, even when the result is wrong. (The “j” of Beijing is not the French “j”! And no one bothers with the correct tones.)

    If one has never heard the correct version, it is very difficult to attempt to replicate it. If the languages one knows do not have a feature that a given language does (such as tones), it is difficult to even hear them, much less replicate them.

    • #26
    • August 15, 2020, at 10:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Wolfsheim Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):
    When it comes to “foreign” names attached to people or places of whom the media approve, political correctness applies to pronunciation, even when the result is wrong. (The “j” of Beijing is not the French “j”! And no one bothers with the correct tones.)

    If one has never heard the correct version, it is very difficult to attempt to replicate it. If the languages one knows do not have a feature that a given language does (such as tones), it is difficult to even hear them, much less replicate them.

    Thanks. You’re quite right, of course. There’s nothing wicked about adapting foreign names to our own sound systems and/or relying on rough transcriptions, even if that results in “spelling pronunciations.” I can’t recall Henry Kissinger complaining that his surname isn’t pronounced [kɪsɪŋɐ]. I have yet to hear any English-speaking journalist pronounce Angela Merkel’s name “correctly”–and I don’t care…Here in Japan, Korean names were for a long time read according to how the Chinese characters are pronounced in Sino-Japanese. So, Kim Dae-jung became, for example, Kin Dai Chuu, final -n being a syllabic nasal. To some Koreans, this smacked of “neo-colonialist” arrogance, so now one is supposed to say Kimu Dejun, which is the closest that Japanese can get to the Korean form. But Beijing is still pronounced in Japanese as Pekin. In Sino-Japanese it would be Hokkyou, but no one says that, even though Wuhan becomes Bukan.

    Unless everyone thoroughly learns the International Phonetic Alphabet, with all all proper names then written in it, we’ll just have to rely on conventions. Conventions are, of course, subject to change and ought to be flexible, but beating up on Tucker Carlson for “Americanizing” Kamala Harris’s first name? I thought that being an American was what it was all about! 

     

     

    • #27
    • August 16, 2020, at 5:53 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Not thru with listening to the podcast but it is now clear that Trump wins because Rob just laid out how Trump won’t win…

    I was grateful Rob made it through the last section discussion about clothing without somehow getting in a side kick at Trump. 

    • #28
    • August 16, 2020, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Taras Coolidge

    @wolfsheim — I never hear anyone pronounce Greta Thunberg‘s name correctly (“Tune-berry”).

    Conservatives should make a point of it, as it makes her sound like a cartoon character.

    • #29
    • August 16, 2020, at 10:37 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Bishop Wash Member

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Not thru with listening to the podcast but it is now clear that Trump wins because Rob just laid out how Trump won’t win…

    I was grateful Rob made it through the last section discussion about clothing without somehow getting in a side kick at Trump.

    It’s hard to criticize a guy about clothing when he knows how to buy pants.

    • #30
    • August 16, 2020, at 12:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes