Hot For Cleveland

Today we cover breaking news and the hardly recognizable past. Toby Young joins at the top to to tell us about his personal experience with PayPal’s shot at free speech. Later, our old pal Troy Senik returns to give Grover Cleveland the reassessment he deserves. (Get a copy of Troy’s book here!)

Peter, James and Charlie (Rob’s sub for the day) chew over the FBI given whistleblower Kyle Seraphin’s allegations; and they have thoughts on the Biden administration’s dilemma in announcing that the pandemic is over.

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There are 20 comments.

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  1. Chris Williamson Member
    Chris Williamson
    @ChrisWilliamson

    Wow! Many disparate topics covered in this podcast, a cornucopia of past events and current matters. All addressed with an agreeable pace and appropriate seriousness and humor…

    • #1
  2. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    Wow! Many disparate topics covered in this podcast, a cornucopia of past events and current matters. All addressed with an agreeable pace and appropriate seriousness and humor…

    Thanks, Chris! It was fun to do. 

    • #2
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The Constitution cannot function as intended when four tech companies control the public square.

    The network effect and first mover phenomena preclude the comparison to handbills, newspapers, and radio.

    • #3
  4. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Great podcast. Looking forward to reading the book, @troysenik

    • #4
  5. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Great to hear Troy again. And due to Toby’s story, I have deleted all payments to PayPal and after the end of the year tax documents, I will delete my account and never look back.

    • #5
  6. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    I burst out laughing at Charlie’s joke re: hoping the Man of Iron did not refer to the sexual gossip story!! Seemed that no one got it – one of my favorite things about Mr. Cooke is that he is not only bright, a great writer, etc. etc., but he is so darned funny and sooo many of his jokes just fly on by like that one! Kudos my man!

    The situation with PayPal and how they should not be allowed to do certain censorship things without a court order was interesting. All I could think about was the somewhat recent example of Parlor and how PayPal, Swipe/Square (whatever), the App stores, etc. all conspired to take them out – it seems that would be a great example to have been brought up. If it had been the lack of *any* repercussion for what seemed to be a coordinated effort to disrupt a business by a cartel of “competitors” could have been highlighted as a reason than more and more people are wanting some form of redress – since NOTHING is happening. Or am I misremembering and there was a fine levied against these companies and Parlor was paid for this injustice? Hmm. That still bugs me. And it continues. So I get the rational, level-headed commentary supporting legislative fixes – but nothing is happening, so people get upset.

    Troy has been making the rounds and I am quite pleased for him, and the book does sound like it was needed – suffice to say I am still not tired of him showing up in the podcasts I listen to. Agree that there are so many differences between the politics of D and R back then compared to now that it is a stretch to compare current politicians across time.

    What I do think can be compared is the time it takes for a realignment to transpire within the parties/electorate. Troy is very correct in that Bryan and Populism is rushing into the Democratic Party, and that it will “win” out eventually – but I wanted to highlight how long it took the Populists to wrest (sort of) the party controls from the traditional Bourbon Democrats: about 25 or so years (roughly 1888 – 1912ish with the compromise on Wilson) and even when they controlled the Democrat Party, many of the “old guard” Bourbons supported the Progressive Republican Presidents and their legislation.

    This is to say, if you believe that we are currently in a realignment it would behoove yourself to view the process as a long, and yes exciting, but a long road to travel as old guards are replaced with new. Who knows? You might find yourselves part of a future coalition that, like FDR, will dominate the political landscape for over 100 years. So we can hope.

    Great podcast guys!

    • #6
  7. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    I’ve always hated and avoided Paypal.  Glad to have more reasons to live without them.

    • #7
  8. Peter Gøthgen Member
    Peter Gøthgen
    @PeterGothgen

    I’ll definitely have to check the book out.  The neighborhood I live in was the first suburban development in the Buffalo area, just outside the city limits.  It was originally called Grover Cleveland Terrace.  It sits along Grover Cleveland Highway, right next to the Grover Cleveland Golf Course (all of which reminds me of a bit in an old Christmas episode of The Diner about trying to get directions in the North Pole when every street was named Santa Claus (Way, Street, Boulevard, etc)).  

    A few years ago when a new playground was put in (entirely consisting of climbing structures designed to challenge any climbers),  they put small columns facing the streets along the park explaining who the streets were named after.  All of them were named for important places or people in his life.   It would be interesting if streets everywhere had some sort of marker indicating who or what they were named for.

    • #8
  9. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik
    @TroySenik

    Quickz (View Comment):

    I burst out laughing at Charlie’s joke re: hoping the Man of Iron did not refer to the sexual gossip story!! Seemed that no one got it – one of my favorite things about Mr. Cooke is that he is not only bright, a great writer, etc. etc., but he is so darned funny and sooo many of his jokes just fly on by like that one! Kudos my man!

    Can’t speak for everyone else, but I actually didn’t hear this (between crosstalk and connection issues sometimes the separate audio tracks are clearer for the listener than for the participants). But agree on both the line itself and the broader virtues of Charlie.

    What I do think can be compared is the time it takes for a realignment to transpire within the parties/electorate. Troy is very correct in that Bryan and Populism is rushing into the Democratic Party, and that it will “win” out eventually – but I wanted to highlight how long it took the Populists to wrest (sort of) the party controls from the traditional Bourbon Democrats: about 25 or so years (roughly 1888 – 1912ish with the compromise on Wilson) and even when they controlled the Democrat Party, many of the “old guard” Bourbons supported the Progressive Republican Presidents and their legislation.

    This is to say, if you believe that we are currently in a realignment it would behoove yourself to view the process as a long, and yes exciting, but a long road to travel as old guards are replaced with new. Who knows? You might find yourselves part of a future coalition that, like FDR, will dominate the political landscape for over 100 years. So we can hope.

    That’s right. In Cleveland’s immediate wake, the populists only really succeeded in grabbing the reins of the party — during a time when the party doesn’t really win anything. By the time the Democrats have real power again in the 1910s the party has transformed into something different, not entirely shorn of populist concerns but certainly not exclusively organized around them either.

    For that reason, I think it’s entirely plausible to imagine that a realigned Republican Party a few decades hence may end up informed by nationalist populism without necessarily being defined by it.

    • #9
  10. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik
    @TroySenik

    Peter Gøthgen (View Comment):

    I’ll definitely have to check the book out. The neighborhood I live in was the first suburban development in the Buffalo area, just outside the city limits. It was originally called Grover Cleveland Terrace. It sits along Grover Cleveland Highway, right next to the Grover Cleveland Golf Course (all of which reminds me of a bit in an old Christmas episode of The Diner about trying to get directions in the North Pole when every street was named Santa Claus (Way, Street, Boulevard, etc)).

    A few years ago when a new playground was put in (entirely consisting of climbing structures designed to challenge any climbers), they put small columns facing the streets along the park explaining who the streets were named after. All of them were named for important places or people in his life. It would be interesting if streets everywhere had some sort of marker indicating who or what they were named for.

    This is nice, as Cleveland’s legacy is otherwise not all that visible in the city. There’s a statue of him outside city hall (where there’s also one of Millard Fillmore, the other president associated with the city) and there’s an inconspicuous plaque on a building downtown where his law offices used to be, but that’s about it. Around 15 years ago, there was a proposal to create a Cleveland Library there (although the space they were going to use was … a literal public library), but it never came to fruition. (I’m told the Cleveland birthplace in New Jersey is now in the early stages of becoming the Cleveland Library).

    As a side note, I have to tell you that I came to have a real affection for Buffalo during the time I spent there while researching the book. It often gets lumped in with all the decaying Rust Belt metros — and the city certainly has its problems — but it also still has vestiges of its old, beautiful architecture. And the locals are wonderful. I suspect people in most other parts of America would be surprised to know that once you get to that part of Western New York the culture is far more Midwestern than Northeastern.

    One other small note about Buffalo’s presidential history: the city is, famously, where President McKinley was assassinated in 1901 during the Pan-American Exposition. I was curious about how that’s commemorated. The answer: with a plaque … on a quiet residential street … in the ground … in the middle of a grassy median.

    • #10
  11. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    I was delighted to recognize the voice of guest @troysenik .  I want to highly recommend the videos from Kite and Key Media.  I’ve seen them all.  The growing collection is excellent.  Well worth subscribing, liking, and sharing.

    If you take a look and browse through their videos, it is likely you will catch sight of some titles of interest to you that you could sample.  The topic categories are quite diverse.  Each of their main videos packs a lot of information and insight (plus a dash of humor) into a concisely helpful 7 minutes or less.  The “SHORT” videos are less than half that length.

    Try a few and find out for yourself why it’s a good idea to subscribe.

    • #11
  12. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The network effect and first mover phenomena preclude the comparison to handbills, newspapers, and radio.

    About the network effect, I think a great example of the problem is how Google, even with its deep pockets, failed when it tried to create Google Hangouts as a Facebook competitor.  Regardless of any features that Hangouts might have offered, many who preferred Facebook over Hangouts did so because all of their friends and other people they wanted to connect with were on Facebook, not Hangouts.

    The size of a network creates value that is more than the features of the platform.  Imagine paying for phone service that could only communicate with other people subscribed to the same phone service.

    The solution in the case of allowing competition in phone service is to require that all the services are interoperable.  Anyone with one service can connect with and talk with anyone else, even if they are paying for a different phone service.

    The same is true for email.  Anyone can send and receive to anyone regardless of who their provider is.

    The same could (and should) be done with regard to opening up competition for how people connect with other people over public square internet platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.).  Instead of independent islands that can only connect with people on the same island, free market competition becomes feasible if and only if you can freely choose between providers without losing your ability to be connected with your friends and contacts.

    • #12
  13. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    ericB (View Comment):

    I was delighted to recognize the voice of guest @ troysenik . I want to highly recommend the videos from Kite and Key Media. I’ve seen them all. The growing collection is excellent. Well worth subscribing, liking, and sharing.

     

    Try a few and find out for yourself why it’s a good idea to subscribe.

    Agreed. 

    • #13
  14. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik
    @TroySenik

    ericB (View Comment):

    I was delighted to recognize the voice of guest @ troysenik . I want to highly recommend the videos from Kite and Key Media. I’ve seen them all. The growing collection is excellent. Well worth subscribing, liking, and sharing.

    If you take a look and browse through their videos, it is likely you will catch sight of some titles of interest to you that you could sample. The topic categories are quite diverse. Each of their main videos packs a lot of information and insight (plus a dash of humor) into a concisely helpful 7 minutes or less. The “SHORT” videos are less than half that length.

    Try a few and find out for yourself why it’s a good idea to subscribe.

    So, so kind of you, Eric. Thank you for watching!

    And, lord, does it make me feel old to think that there are people at Ricochet who know me best as the Kite & Key guy. ;)

    • #14
  15. RPD Inactive
    RPD
    @RPD

    It’s a nice touch in the top photo that Lileks and Senick are staring at Cleveland’s hands. Hilarious.

     

    Youtuber and rapper Eric July @youngrippa recently founded a new comic book company and had an outstanding roll out with nearly four million dollars in pre-orders. So of course Paypal suspended his account and froze nearly a million dollars in order money. No explanation. July of course is very openly Libertarian and used former comic pros who felt they were out of the industry because of their right leaning views. He would make a great guest on the podcast.

    • #15
  16. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    RPD (View Comment):
    Youtuber and rapper Eric July @youngrippa recently founded a new comic book company and had an outstanding roll out with nearly four million dollars in pre-orders. So of course Paypal suspended his account and froze nearly a million dollars in order money. No explanation. July of course is very openly Libertarian and used former comic pros who felt they were out of the industry because of their right leaning views. He would make a great guest on the podcast.

    That seriously deserves a congressional investigation.

    Eric July does a lot of homework on everything. You don’t want to get into an argument with him on any topic.

    The Black Intellectual Libertarian Artist must be suppressed.

    • #16
  17. Boethius1261972 Coolidge
    Boethius1261972
    @Boethius1261972

    Did Chuck really imply that Peter needs to create his own YouTube and stop complaining that his interviews were banned?  Man, I really thought after he became aware that Drag Queen Story Hour was a real problem he would change his tune, but I guess it’s “Classical Liberalism or Bust”!

    • #17
  18. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    I ordered the book.  I think that Cleveland has become my favorite Democrat.

    • #18
  19. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    On the FBI and abolishing it, there are many more federal law enforcement agencies that would replace it. There’s the DEA, the Secret Service (they don’t just protect federal officials) and others. When I google federal law enforcement agencies, they list 24 of them. Fundamentally the problem is that there are too many federal laws that overlap with state laws. Andrew McCarthy has mentioned conflicts between federal and state officials as to who will prosecute high profile cases.

    In Alaska where I live, I’ve read press releases from the Anchorage Police Department of high profile arrests, usually drugs, where federal and state law enforcement cooperated with each other to affect these arrests. In almost all cases, what the alleged lawbreakers did violated state criminal law, but usually they were being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney.

    It would be too hard, politically, to go through each federal felony and start pulling U.S. Attorney powers in each case. Instead, a perhaps a federal statute that simply gives federal judges the obligation to give state law enforcement priority. To even question federal law enforcement when asking for subpoenas or warrants whether state and local officials have been given the opportunity to effect their own subpoenas or warrants. In some cases, disallow FBI investigations unless specifically asked to by local officials.

    Why is a federal agency investigating someone, if there’s an equivalent state law that state or local agencies that is being broken?

    The FBI has become politicized. Andrew McCarthy says it’s because they’ve become too involved in espionage instead of meat and potatoes criminal wrongdoing. But even there, it looks like the FBI has improperly utilized a SWAT team against someone who shoved someone near an abortion clinic. That is something that should have been restricted to local law enforcement. It’s not just the FBI that should be hobbled. Federal prosecutors should also be hobbled in involving themselves in state criminal law.

    • #19
  20. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    RPD (View Comment):
    It’s a nice touch in the top photo that Lileks and Senick are staring at Cleveland’s hands. Hilarious.

    Feast your eyes on those limp, shapeless appendages!

    • #20
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