Lots to talk about this week, and we have the guests who are more than up to the task (Troy Senik is sitting in for Peter): Michael Barone, the dean of American political journalism, joins to discuss the scandals, the state of immigration, Minnesota politics, and, yes, even 2016. Then, our pal Claire Berlinski (follow her on Twitter here) calls in from Istanbul to give us a boots-on-the-ground report on the trouble in Turkey and Syria. Last but certainly not least, James Lileks reviews Star Trek: Into Darkness. How many Quatloos does he give it? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Music from this week’s show:

Telephone Line by Electric Light Orchestra

The Ricochet Podcast opening theme was composed and produced by James Lileks.

Can you hear EJHill now?

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There are 19 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CommodoreBTC

    I was disappointed Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t really about exploration at all. I would have been more interested in a film about the alien planet they were escaping in the opening scene and how that came about.

     Stargate is my idea of a fun space exploration film.

    Speaking of The Purge, the star Ethan Hawke did an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit and it’s fantastic. My favorite response from him:

    Write every day. Not every other day. Not tomorrow. Not after the party. But before. The more you write, the more comes out of you. If you don’t give inspiration an opportunity, it will never arrive.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LeslieWatkins

    Great to hear from Claire. Really makes me want to fly into Istanbul at night just to see the skyline. Instead, I’ll just wave “hello” from here and say “En iyi dileklerimle.” (gosh I love google!)

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Astonishing

    Unless we Southerners are even more unwise than is ordinarily supposed, the statue in Nashville’s Parthenon would be, not the Roman goddess Diana, but Athena.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TroySenik
    Astonishing: Unless we Southerners are even more unwise than is ordinarily supposed, the statue in Nashville’s Parthenon would be, not the Roman goddess Diana, but Athena. · 2 minutes ago

    Yes! Didn’t even realize I had said Diana. It is of course Athena, and it’s truly stunning in person. Highly recommended for anyone who finds their way to Nashville:

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @KCMulville

    Interesting similarity between Claire’s description of Turkey’s Erdogan (I won, I get to decide) and Michael Barone’s description of the New York state government. 

    • #5
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    @LadyEgoist

    Glad to hear from Claire.  I’m in Istanbul and Ankara this month with my husband, who is originally from Turkey—certainly interesting times.

    The discussion with Claire ended at the most interesting question:  How will Konya (which is generally supportive of AKP) react?  Something the few “yuppies” here are loathe to acknowledge is the fact that the majority of Turks vote for the AKP.  (Some of them prefer to tell themselves Erdogon is in power because of the West or something…)  If AKP supporters have not been turned off by now, will they ever be?  I’d ask, but I’ve yet to meet one.

    I think many of the protesters believe they have a coherent message: Kemalism.  One can’t understand Turkish politics without understanding the deep and widespread, even if somewhat mindless, reverence for Ataturk.  Also, from what I can tell the protesters—mostly not yuppies—are more nationalist than the AKP, which subjugates nationalism to Islamism.  Erdogon is indeed awful, but, as usual, the alternatives are not as appealing as we might hope.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @GoddessofDiscord

    Here in Tennessee, we take our  whisky seriously. Mr. Goddess is a connoisseur and he brought this Georgia girl around over 30 years ago. We hope we can get you back to Tennessee, Troy.

     

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @BasilFawlty
    KC Mulville: Interesting similarity between Claire’s description of Turkey’s Erdogan (I won, I get to decide) and Michael Barone’s description of the New York state government.  · 41 minutes ago

    Also very similar to Obama.  “I won.”

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TroySenik
    Goddess of Discord: Here in Tennessee, we take our  whisky seriously. Mr. Goddess is a connoisseur and he brought this Georgia girl around over 30 years ago. We hope we can get you back to Tennessee, Troy.

      · 15 minutes ago

    If something like that picture is the first thing I see after I die, I’ll know I lived a good life.

    … but who am I kidding? With my track record, we all know I’m going to awake to a bottle of Zima.

    • #9
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    @Sabrdance

    1.) Here in Kentucky, Tennessee Whiskey is referred to as “the weak stuff.”  When it’s not being referred to as the liquid excretions of our other major agricultural products.

    2.) The comparisons between Turkish leadership and ours write themselves.

    3.) I am torn between my dislike of yuppies and my dislike of Erdogon.  It’s like Picard having to choose between his hatred of children and his hatred of the Borg.

    4.) Well, the end music was OK.  But you really missed an opportunity.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BenjaminGlaser

    Was Michael Barone on his morning run while on the podcast? 

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @JimmyCarter
    Benjamin Glaser: Was Michael Barone on his morning run while on the podcast?  · 19 minutes ago

    I think He was just nervous being on Ricochet.

    Aaah, Queen Claire making Her presence amongst Her plebs…

    • #12
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    @JamesGawron

    Pssssssssssssst..Chief, I didn’t know the shoe phone was still working.  Listen, Verizon has been infiltrated by Chaos so we had better use the cone of silence

    And by the way, COULD YOU PLEASE GET AGENT 99 THE HELL OUT OF TURKEY!  Sorry for the capitalization.

    Regards,

    86

    • #13
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    @jameslileks

    1. It’s been a long time since I’ve had Jack Daniels. Back in DC my post-work bump was a Jim Beam 7; now my Friday brown-likker preferences rotate between Maker’s, Bulleit, Bulleit Rye, and Buffalo Trace.

    2. If you were wondering what my reference to pulling the chain across the Golden Horn meant (there was lots of crosstalk) – in Byzantine times they closed the harbor with an enormous iron rope. All I know about the place and its history comes from a book called “Lost to the West,” an account of the Roman Empire in its Eastern incarnation. A great read; it’s like stumbling across a parallel universe where the Roman Empire soldiered on for another thousand years. Which it did, in a sense. 

    3. Those are two of my favorite podcast guests. The rest of the day was an anticlimax.

    • #14
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    @Grendel
    James Lileks:

    now my Friday brown-likker preferences rotate between Maker’s, Bulleit, Bulleit Rye, and Buffalo Trace.

    Well, I’m with you 3 out of 4, and I’ll have to try the Buffalo Trace.  I recently discovered the Bulleit Rye when my daughter couldn’t remember whether she liked the orange label or the green label.  We settled the matter in a postprandial symposium with two bottles, four glasses, and a bowl of ice.  Turns out the rye, like some single malts, really blossoms when you add a bit of cold water or let the ice melt a bit.

    • #15
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    @Grendel

    Now I know the man’s name is pronounced “ERD-eh-wahn”.  I also know there is a podcast listener who put holds on almost all the Tom Sharpe books in the Lower Merion Library System.

    Mean Grendel the River Pirate is not amused.  We need a meet-up where he might overindulge in Bulleit’s, lose his library card, and smear picante sauce on his bifocals.

    • #16
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    @AbuDaniel

    Great reporting from Claire on the situation in Turkey–very timely. My friend from law school has also been reporting on the protests here, and doing his part to try to protect people from the abuses of the state. http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2013_sum/unsal_qa.htm

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Member
    @genferei

    Moar Troy!

    • #18
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    @swatter

    Hard to understand Claire. Prior to the blowup/protests she was claiming there was nothing to see here as Turkey was a secular state irregardless of the Islamist tendencies of one Erdogan.

    Now, she seems to be feeling a little fear, as she rightly should over the dictatorial tendencies of one Ergogan.

    Nice to see she is getting some cash as people are asking for written word and verbal interviews now.

    I just don’t understand why she missed the change in Turkey till the protests.

    • #19