Everybody Must Get Stone

Yeah, it another really busy week in the Ricochet Podcast Extended Universe (or as we like to call it, RIPEU, or repoo): we had a primary, some candidates drop out the race, we had a former Trump campaign advisor sentencing blow up into a fight between the President and his Attorney General. But we decided to ignore all of that (for at least about 70% of the show) and focus on other matters. First we have a discussion about why things are actually pretty great right now, premised on Ross Douthat’s upcoming book The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success (Ross will be on the show in March to defend himself).

Then, we continue ignoring current events as the great Yuval Levin stops by to discuss institutions and why we need them (you’ll want to buy his book, A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream). It’s a fascinating conversation, completely devoid of any controversy involving a Tweet. Ahhhh, take me away Calgon. But, all of that bliss comes to a crashing halt when Ricochet Podcast Senior Justice Department and Legal Pundit John Yoo calls in from the tub in his hotel room (not kidding!) to discuss the Barr/Trump/Stone controversy  of the moment. Guess we had to do that? Also, Rob Long moonlights on yet another podcast to discuss his hobbies. We recommend it. Finally, mazel tov to @bucknelldad, he’s the winner of the highly coveted Lileks Post of The Week, for his French Court Scrambles the Debate Over What is “GMO” in Foods post. Magnifiqué, mon ami.

Music From This Week’s Show: Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 by Bob Dylan

 

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  1. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Angelo Codivilla is really pessimistic about state power and the ruling elites and where this is going. He would know.

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/02/14/governing-takes-a-team/

    It’s short.

    “Up and down and across the bureaucracy, with the exception of the Departments of Treasury and Commerce, the story is largely the same. Deep state people had governed before the 2016 election and continued to govern after it as if it had never happened—except that now they also spend their time vilifying Trump and his voters.”

    Let Trump Be Trump?

    • #31
  2. TallCon Coolidge
    TallCon
    @TallCon

    Taras (View Comment):
    Let Trump Be Trump?

    Who on Earth is stopping him?

    Peter:  747’s stopped flying in the domestic US in late 2017.  It’s my favorite but even Boeing has developed a couple of aircraft since then.  Most of them even stay in the air all the time.

    • #32
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    747s are still great for international flights because of their range and capacity.  But not cost-effective for shorter domestic flights where newer types have greater fuel efficiency.

    • #33
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    kedavis (View Comment):

    747s are still great for international flights because of their range and capacity. But not cost-effective for shorter domestic flights where newer types have greater fuel efficiency.

    They’re still in heavy use for air freight.  I don’t think any American-based airlines are flying them anywhere in the world for passenger service anymore.  I almost got onto a British Airways 747 for a flight from Ohare to Heathrow next month, but the fare on that flight jumped and we wound up on a codeshare AA 787 instead.  Disappointing.

     

     

     

    • #34
  5. TallCon Coolidge
    TallCon
    @TallCon

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    747s are still great for international flights because of their range and capacity. But not cost-effective for shorter domestic flights where newer types have greater fuel efficiency.

    They’re still in heavy use for air freight. I don’t think any American-based airlines are flying them anywhere in the world for passenger service anymore. I almost got onto a British Airways 747 for a flight from Ohare to Heathrow next month, but the fare on that flight jumped and we wound up on a codeshare AA 787 instead. Disappointing.

    I haven’t gotten to fly on a 747 since 1973.  But I got the whole tour and got to sit in the cockpit when I did.

    I guess it just tells us something of Peter’s travel habits (that we probably already guessed) if he’s still flying on 74’s a lot.

    • #35
  6. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    TallCon (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):
    Let Trump Be Trump?

    Who on Earth is stopping him?

    Peter: 747’s stopped flying in the domestic US in late 2017. It’s my favorite but even Boeing has developed a couple of aircraft since then. Most of them even stay in the air all the time.

    Presumably, the Republican establishment.  Trump is very stubborn and has enormous political courage, but even he often bows to the “experts”.  For example, he hasn’t pardoned Gen. Mike Flynn or Roger Stone or other Mueller victims — at least not yet.

    I snuck upstairs on a transoceanic 747 flight in the Nineties, and stole a bonbon from First Class.

    BTW, Stewart Airport in upstate New York is on Rte. 747.  Never say highway planners have no sense of humor!

    • #36
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    In the mid-80s I had Northwest 747s from Seattle to Tokyo (Narita) and then on into Manila; and coming back too.  I remember two things: the restrooms actually had ROOM, they were big enough to walk around in and there was an outlet where I could plug in my razor; and on one leg of the trip – I don’t remember if it was going over or coming back – I had a seat at the front of the section and the stewardesses’ “jump seats” were right in front of me.  One of them had one of those “ice-pick” voices and she WOULD. NOT. STOP. TALKING.  Thank ghod it was not a non-stop flight!

    • #37
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    kedavis (View Comment):

    In the mid-80s I had Northwest 747s from Seattle to Tokyo (Narita) and then on into Manila; and coming back too. I remember two things: the restrooms actually had ROOM, they were big enough to walk around in and there was an outlet where I could plug in my razor; and on one leg of the trip – I don’t remember if it was going over or coming back – I had a seat at the front of the section and the stewardesses’ “jump seats” were right in front of me. One of them had one of those “ice-pick” voices and she WOULD. NOT. STOP. TALKING. Thank ghod it was not a non-stop flight!

    I’ve been on 747s three times that I remember for sure.  1978 KLM from Chicago to Amsterdam.  It was a half-passenger/Half freighter and my high school group got to sit upstairs, which was cool.  Oddly, I don’t remember what kind of plane the flight back home was, although I’m guessing it almost had to be a 747 too.

    747-400’s both ways to Australia in 1990, and BA from London to Johannesburg in 1997.  Again, I only remember the flight there, not the return.  Weird.

    I’m guessing there were a few others along the way, but 777’s were taking over rapidly by the late 90s.

    • #38
  9. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Re: Levin’s discussion of the decline of respect for “elite” institutions:

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, back when these institutions were respected, no self-aware member of them would describe themselves as members of an “elite”.  Even people who believed themselves to be better, luckier, smarter, or whatever, than the hoi polloi would never have had the bad taste to say so out loud.   It just wasn’t done.  If you weren’t yourself humble, you darn sure knew to put on airs of humility in public.

    When did this change?  Why?  Is it only conservative commentators who feel comfortable describing themselves as being the elite?*  I don’t pay enough attention to leftists to know if they also do this, but my guess is that the leftists are probably worse, and likely started the practice, though I could be wrong.

    What was Reagan’s greatest strength?  I’d argue that it wasn’t his intellect (prodigious as that may have been), but rather his wisdom.  In other words, he was experienced enough to understand that his impressive store of knowledge was vastly exceeded by what he didn’t know.  Wisdom always brings with it humility.

    To restore institutional respect, the highest priority must be to end the arrogance that allows people like Levin to speak and write unironically about “the elite” to which he, of course, belongs.  People have a natural, and appropriate, distrust and disdain for elitists.

    Wise leaders would naturally increase public respect for the institutions they lead, but wisdom is very much out of favor amongst “the elite” — you can’t become wise by earning and/or buying an ivy-league diploma.

    * Don’t kid yourself — when Levin and our podcast hosts where discussing “the elite”, they were — perhaps subconsciously, perhaps not — all including themselves in that group.

    • #39
  10. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Terry Mott (View Comment):
    What was Reagan’s greatest strength? I’d argue that it wasn’t his intellect (prodigious as that may have been), but rather his wisdom. In other words, he was experienced enough to understand that his impressive store of knowledge was vastly exceeded by what he didn’t know. Wisdom always brings with it humility.

    This is just my opinion, but Reagan really worked at this. There has never been anyone like it in recent history. He was genuinely intellectually curious. Executive experience as both a union president and a governor. When he had that job at GE he used that opportunity to learn about civics and government and speak about it well. He would practice at home with some kind of flashcard system. 

    I think people are kidding themselves if they think the world is like this, or we have good odds of getting leadership like this anymore.

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    • #40
  11. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    One of the few things I disliked about Reagan was his faux populism. Reagan knew he had a very competent intellect, but adopted the “aw shucks,” blushing hayseed persona. It worked to his advantage – Clark Clifford spoke for many when he called him an amiable dunce – but it led us to valuing mediocrity rather than looking for excellence on the right. 

    • #41
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    One of the few things I disliked about Reagan was his faux populism. Reagan knew he had a very competent intellect, but adopted the “aw shucks,” blushing hayseed persona. It worked to his advantage – Clark Clifford spoke for many when he called him an amiable dunce – but it led us to valuing mediocrity rather than looking for excellence on the right.

    I highly doubt that anyone else has this view.

    • #42
  13. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    I listened to Rob’s Reason interview with Nick Gillespie, along with the two-parter with Jonah from a couple of months ago. Gillespie is probably a really nice guy in person, but in his podcasts he comes off as a mildly aggressive jerk who just wants to do a lot of drugs. It’s off-putting (and not uncommon among “professional” libertarians) and unpersuasive. I consider myself mostly libertarian on most things, but the drug stuff and in-your-face atheism is so tiresome (for the record, I’m an atheist).

    • #43
  14. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Also, the outtake of @peterrobinson’s reaction to learning that John Yoo was in the bathtub was magnificent.

    • #44
  15. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Charlotte (View Comment):
    I consider myself mostly libertarian on most things, but the drug stuff and in-your-face atheism is so tiresome (for the record, I’m an atheist).

    They should have legalized hard drugs 30 years ago. It’s simply a job guarantee program for cops. Now the cartels have so much capital they can go into any kind of organize crime they feel like.

    There is a short YouTube of William F. Buckley explaining how to legalize drugs.

    I have no idea why anyone wants more government beyond straight “public goods”. It’s indefensible.

    • #45
  16. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Also, the outtake of @peterrobinson’s reaction to learning that John Yoo was in the bathtub was magnificent.

    Thank you for noticing!

    • #46
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):
    I consider myself mostly libertarian on most things, but the drug stuff and in-your-face atheism is so tiresome (for the record, I’m an atheist).

    They should have legalized hard drugs 30 years ago. It’s simply a job guarantee program for cops. Now the cartels have so much capital they can go into any kind of organize crime they feel like.

    There is a short YouTube of William F. Buckley explaining how to legalize drugs.

    I have no idea why anyone wants more government beyond straight “public goods”. It’s indefensible.

    I can see a good argument that drug addicts and alcoholics should be legal, but only if they have to suffer the consequences themselves.  Nobody should be able to be an addict or drunk and just live off welfare or whatever, whether that is because they’re considered “disabled” because of their drug/alcohol use, or anything else.  Also, any company that hires addicts or drunks who cause injury or death, should be subject to full liability that might drive them into the ground, or worse.

    A Skid Row can be a very effective tool for convincing people that it’s not a good option.

    But that won’t happen because the left especially but much of the rest too, doesn’t think anyone should suffer for their own decisions, except that those who DON’T screw up, those who persist and produce and pay taxes etc, must suffer the taxation to pay for all the others.

    • #47
  18. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    My biggest gripe with self-driving cars is that I’ll only feel safe if I’m Tom Cruise. And even Tom Cruise wishes he was Tom Cruise! Plus it’s only a matter of time before we’re back to running… like with our legs!

    Great work as always, fellas!

    • #48
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    My biggest gripe with self-driving cars is that I’ll only feel safe if I’m Tom Cruise. And even Tom Cruise wishes he was Tom Cruise! Plus it’s only a matter of time before we’re back to running… like with our legs!

    Great work as always, fellas!

    I think James Lileks pointed out in a past show that one of the failings of self-driving cars is that they can’t operate in situations where many people would need/want them the most: snow, heavy rain…  Also good luck evacuating New Orleans by self-driving cars for the next flood, or Los Angeles for the next earthquake…  Heck just peak demand for people getting to work in the morning, and getting home at night, would require a large overstock of vehicles versus every other time/day.

    • #49
  20. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    My biggest gripe with self-driving cars is that I’ll only feel safe if I’m Tom Cruise. And even Tom Cruise wishes he was Tom Cruise! Plus it’s only a matter of time before we’re back to running… like with our legs!

    Great work as always, fellas!

    I think James Lileks pointed out in a past show that one of the failings of self-driving cars is that they can’t operate in situations where many people would need/want them the most: snow, heavy rain… Also good luck evacuating New Orleans by self-driving cars for the next flood, or Los Angeles for the next earthquake… Heck just peak demand for people getting to work in the morning, and getting home at night, would require a large overstock of vehicles versus every other time/day.

    Yeah. I think you’re right. Here’s a windmill handling wind.

    • #50
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    My biggest gripe with self-driving cars is that I’ll only feel safe if I’m Tom Cruise. And even Tom Cruise wishes he was Tom Cruise! Plus it’s only a matter of time before we’re back to running… like with our legs!

    Great work as always, fellas!

    I think James Lileks pointed out in a past show that one of the failings of self-driving cars is that they can’t operate in situations where many people would need/want them the most: snow, heavy rain… Also good luck evacuating New Orleans by self-driving cars for the next flood, or Los Angeles for the next earthquake… Heck just peak demand for people getting to work in the morning, and getting home at night, would require a large overstock of vehicles versus every other time/day.

    Yeah. I think you’re right. Here’s a windmill handling wind.

    It looks like the… cows?  horses?… escaped just in time.

    • #51
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):
    It looks like the… cows? horses?… escaped just in time.

    Horses.

    • #52
  23. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    It looks like the… cows? horses?… escaped just in time.

    Horses.

    Thank goodness! Those majestic little buggers get to see another day.

    Also, that’s not even the windmill video I was looking for. Apparently those idiots explode a lot (I mean, how often can it be that there’s an iPhone to record it for all of the rest of us to see later?)

    • #53
  24. Kevin Inactive
    Kevin
    @JaredSturgeon

    Early in the podcast Rob goes on a bizarre rant about cancer.  He is asking that academic researchers work out what is called the “natural history” of cancer (ironically the same thing that was unethically done with syphilis with the Tuskegee study).  I cannot fault Rob who doesn’t know anything about this topic, it sounds like he has been listening either to some researcher who wants more funding or a “new thinker” in Silicon Valley who doesn’t know anything about cancer.  We worked out the natural history for almost all cancers in the 1930s-1950s.  We used to do alot more autopsies so we also have information on incidence of cancer that doesn’t lead to death but this data is mostly useless other than a curiosity.   We have been doing etiologically studies of cancer for decades as well but its not been as useful as hoped with few exceptions.

    Which gets me to my next point…big data is really a bust.  We have been hearing about big data for about 20 years and have had computational power to analyze big data for awhile and there has been little productive knowledge from it.  The idea with big data is that there is some 3rd or 4th order subtle relationship which really explains everything that we cannot see until we put all the data together.  But in cancer we have been putting the data together with the SEER database for decades without much useful progress.

    • #54
  25. Kevin Inactive
    Kevin
    @JaredSturgeon

    This podcast came out before McCabe was let off.  That really puts the Stone issue in context.  Enemy of the State – 9 years for some paperwork and lying to the State.  Member of the state – no consequences for lying to the State.  If I were Trump I would announce because of this broken system and refusal to punish state apparatchiks I was going to pardon any American convicted of a process crime by the FBI in the whole country.  No country can live under two systems.  

    • #55
  26. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Kevin (View Comment):
    If I were Trump I would announce because of this broken system and refusal to punish state apparatchiks I was going to pardon any American convicted of a process crime by the FBI in the whole country.

     

    Genius.

    How do we bring  this to Trump’s attention?

     

    • #56
  27. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Kevin (View Comment):
    If I were Trump I would announce because of this broken system and refusal to punish state apparatchiks I was going to pardon any American convicted of a process crime by the FBI in the whole country.

     

    Genius.

    How do we bring this to Trump’s attention?

     

    This is another ricochet observation that I wish I could hit a button and have about 1000 people tweet this out all at once. lol

    • #57
  28. TallCon Coolidge
    TallCon
    @TallCon

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Yeah. I think you’re right. Here’s a windmill handling wind.

    I’m pretty sure that’s fake.  For one thing you hear the sound of the windmill breaking at the same time you see it even though it’s far away.  For another…  It just looks fake.  Oh and the fragments that just got torn apart by tremendous wind are falling straight down.

    • #58
  29. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    TallCon (View Comment):
    I’m pretty sure that’s fake. For one thing you hear the sound of the windmill breaking at the same time you see it even though it’s far away. For another… It just looks fake. Oh and the fragments that just got torn apart by tremendous wind are falling straight down.

    There are plenty of others you can find if you look. There are whole compilations of them out there.

    • #59
  30. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Kevin (View Comment):
    If I were Trump I would announce because of this broken system and refusal to punish state apparatchiks I was going to pardon any American convicted of a process crime by the FBI in the whole country.

     

    Genius.

    How do we bring this to Trump’s attention?

    He’s been known to use Twitter.  :-)

    But I don’t.

    • #60
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