Stop The Coupé

Our final podcast of the summer and it’s a full one: first up, a deep dive into the IG report on James Comey. Then, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered at Parkland High School joins to discuss his advocacy on her behalf and his forthcoming book, Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students. It’s a sobering but important segment. Then, we lighten things up considerably with our mate Toby Young (if you’re not listening to London Calling, his podcast with James Delingpole, you are missing out), who attempts to convince us that Boris Johnson is NOT dismantling British democracy. Finally, Peter Robinson attends a swanky Bar-b-Que, and James Lileks sends his daughter to college. Life goes on.

Music from this week’s show: Time Waits For No One by The Rolling Stones

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There are 44 comments.

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  1. GlennAmurgis Coolidge

    Is it me or does Peter Look like John Major

    • #1
    • August 30, 2019, at 12:22 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Samuel Block Member

    Excellent, excellent, excellent fellas! I’m in Palm Beach County, drenched in sweat, preparing for a punch in the face by someone named Dorian and y’all really put some pep in my step.

    Mr. Pollack was a great guest. I’m not far from Parkland High School but I didn’t know about any of what he had to say, other than the sorry performance of Broward’s officers that day.

    James, I think whinging vs whining is one of those cases where we Americans outclass the Brits.

    Rob, from my time to time you do a member pitch that makes me almost wish I wasn’t already one so I could be inspired to join all over again. You nailed it this time!

    And Peter. Mick Jagger, Harvey Keitel, and you mentioned a while back about your dinner with Bowie! Has anybody seen Peter Criss without his makeup? Does Mr. Robinson have a side gig as a rock star?

    • #2
    • August 30, 2019, at 1:52 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Proroguing the legislature is a routine event that happens in Canada all the time. Its only shocking to people when something significant happens to be on the docket.

    • #3
    • August 30, 2019, at 2:49 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Anyone who has ever listened to Peter’s erudite interviews on Uncommon Knowledge has no doubt whatsoever that talking to Mick Jagger would be child’s play. 

    • #4
    • August 30, 2019, at 5:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Samuel Block Member

    Regarding Chapelle, I haven’t seen his recent special, but if there were an untouchable man in the U.S., my money would be on him. Thankfully, it seems like his home life is solid. Maybe it’s just me, but does anybody recall that Louis C.K. was taken down shortly after his routine where he took serious jabs at the holier than thou pro-choice movement? 

    • #5
    • August 30, 2019, at 6:17 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Henry Castaigne Member

    I believe that it was Henry Racette that wrote about empty nesting. I have never created sentient life of any kind so it is highly unlikely that I would have written anything on the matter. 

    • #6
    • August 30, 2019, at 7:03 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. EJHill Podcaster

    Imma just gonna leave this here…

    • #7
    • August 30, 2019, at 7:09 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  8. kedavis Member

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    • #8
    • August 31, 2019, at 1:48 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    “Poisoned by Knowledge” would be a great name for a podcast, blog, or other forum, @jameslileks.

     

    • #9
    • August 31, 2019, at 3:48 AM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Arahant Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I believe that it was Henry Racette that wrote about empty nesting. I have never created sentient life of any kind so it is highly unlikely that I would have written anything on the matter.

    All those Henrys look alike. 😉

    • #10
    • August 31, 2019, at 3:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Bishop Wash Member

    Loved Peter’s story. 

    My dad drove a delivery truck for the local gas station. His boss was second generation of a family that built a nice business of gas stations across northern Kansas. They were a Conoco dealership and at some point, Terry Bradshaw was their celebrity spokesman. One year dad’s boss went to some national business event and sat at Terry’s table. He had no idea who he was and why people kept coming up to get pictures and autographs. 

    • #11
    • August 31, 2019, at 5:34 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Al Sparks Thatcher

    I have been keeping tabs on the Brexit drama. Regarding Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament, I here are my observations as a non-citizen of the UK:

    It’s not a coup (or coupe). Not literally, and not even close to figuratively. Boris Johnson can be easily removed as Prime Minister over the next few months if the House of Commons unites to do so. All they have to do is do a vote of no confidence and unite behind an alternate government (and that’s under the present statute they passed which limits the power of the PM to call snap elections).

    They can also call a snap election with a 2/3’s super majority.

    The timing of the prorogation means that no deal Brexit is more likely. But so what? After that date, if a new Prime Minister still wants to deal with the EU, he or she can.

    This is not a disaster, democratically speaking. In the end, Parliament can still impose their will on this issue despite the timing. The reason they haven’t is because they are not united, and one reason they aren’t united is it’s clear that too many disagree with the will of the people as expressed by their Brexit referendum.

    • #12
    • August 31, 2019, at 8:12 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. James Lileks Contributor

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    Yes! I meant to note that, but the subject had moved on quickly.

    • #13
    • August 31, 2019, at 10:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Henry Castaigne Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    “Poisoned by Knowledge” would be a great name for a podcast, blog, or other forum, @jameslileks.

    Sounds like something Lucifer, the bringer of light, would be into.

    • #14
    • August 31, 2019, at 11:16 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Henry Castaigne Member

    Image result for Satan Hookers and Black Jack

    • #15
    • August 31, 2019, at 12:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Arahant Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Victor+Ostrovsky+-+Tutt'Art@+(21)...it was Gravity!How can it be a sin to know?

    Yeah, Henry. We got it the first time.

    • #16
    • August 31, 2019, at 12:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Henry Racette Contributor

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    Second that. I’m never comfortable with Y2K being lumped in with other hypothetical but unrealized catastrophes. Y2K may have been — we can’t know for sure — a crisis averted, rather than a crisis imagined. In any case, it was a non-event; prevention and remediation probably cost only a few billions globally. (I, unfortunately, got almost none of that, as I was already coding for the century change when I got into the business in 1979.)

    • #17
    • August 31, 2019, at 12:57 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Miffed White Male Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    Second that. I’m never comfortable with Y2K being lumped in with other hypothetical but unrealized catastrophes. Y2K may have been — we can’t know for sure — a crisis averted, rather than a crisis imagined. In any case, it was a non-event; prevention and remediation probably cost only a few billions globally. (I, unfortunately, got almost none of that, as I was already coding for the century change when I got into the business in 1979.)

    I still remember the first reference I saw to the Y2K issue. Circa 1988-ish, there was an article in Computer world about “what will you be doing in 2000”. The following issue there was a letter to the editor that said “I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 2000, but I know that in December 1999 we’ll be working feverishly to fix all the code that subtracts two-digits years and expects a positive number.”

    And being the family IT guy, I also remember one of my cousins asking me at Christmas in 1999 what was going to happen. I told him probably nothing major, but possibly some weird stuff that you wouldn’t think would be related. For example, there had been a satellite outage earlier that year that had cause gasoline station “pay at the pump” functionality to stop working for a day or two. I figured we’d see some weird stuff like that.

     

     

     

    • #18
    • August 31, 2019, at 2:23 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Henry Racette Contributor

    There was a cartoon I wanted to draw back in the 90s, but I am completely incompetent as an illustrator. It would be the scene in Time Square, December 31, 1999. There will be the huge crowd, the glittering ball, the garrish lights. And the countdown.

    Just at midnight, everything would suddenly be silent. The lights would be dimmed, the cars would vanish, and the people, dressed in clothes fashionable a century before, would be standing amidst horses and carriages.

    After a long, confused silence, the sky would part and an angel would descend. It would clear its throat, and then explain apologetically that, sometime in the 20th century, G-d had installed automation, and someone had not planned ahead. “We will have this taken care of shortly. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

    • #19
    • August 31, 2019, at 2:57 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Taras Coolidge

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    Second that. I’m never comfortable with Y2K being lumped in with other hypothetical but unrealized catastrophes. Y2K may have been — we can’t know for sure — a crisis averted, rather than a crisis imagined. In any case, it was a non-event; prevention and remediation probably cost only a few billions globally. (I, unfortunately, got almost none of that, as I was already coding for the century change when I got into the business in 1979.)

    I still remember the first reference I saw to the Y2K issue. Circa 1988-ish, there was an article in Computer world about “what will you be doing in 2000”. The following issue there was a letter to the editor that said “I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 2000, but I know that in December 1999 we’ll be working feverishly to fix all the code that subtracts two-digits years and expects a positive number.”

    And being the family IT guy, I also remember one of my cousins asking me at Christmas in 1999 what was going to happen. I told him probably nothing major, but possibly some weird stuff that you wouldn’t think would be related. For example, there had been a satellite outage earlier that year that had cause gasoline station “pay at the pump” functionality to stop working for a day or two. I figured we’d see some weird stuff like that.

     

    This makes me nostalgic for those days, 20 years ago almost to the day, when we systems programmers would spend the weekend at the IBM data center in beautiful Sterling Forest, New York bringing up a copy of our system set to 11:45pm on December 31st, 1999. At virtual midnight systems would fail; we’d fix them; and go again all night.

    Incidentally, this experience taught me that the “software argument” against strategic defense was bogus. The SDI software could be tested millions, even billions of times in a virtual world.

     

    • #20
    • August 31, 2019, at 3:49 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Miffed White Male Member

    Taras (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    Second that. I’m never comfortable with Y2K being lumped in with other hypothetical but unrealized catastrophes. Y2K may have been — we can’t know for sure — a crisis averted, rather than a crisis imagined. In any case, it was a non-event; prevention and remediation probably cost only a few billions globally. (I, unfortunately, got almost none of that, as I was already coding for the century change when I got into the business in 1979.)

    I still remember the first reference I saw to the Y2K issue. Circa 1988-ish, there was an article in Computer world about “what will you be doing in 2000”. The following issue there was a letter to the editor that said “I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 2000, but I know that in December 1999 we’ll be working feverishly to fix all the code that subtracts two-digits years and expects a positive number.”

    And being the family IT guy, I also remember one of my cousins asking me at Christmas in 1999 what was going to happen. I told him probably nothing major, but possibly some weird stuff that you wouldn’t think would be related. For example, there had been a satellite outage earlier that year that had cause gasoline station “pay at the pump” functionality to stop working for a day or two. I figured we’d see some weird stuff like that.

     

    This makes me nostalgic for those days, 20 years ago almost to the day, when we systems programmers would spend the weekend at the IBM data center in beautiful Sterling Forest, New York bringing up a copy of our system set to 11:45pm on December 31st, 1999. At virtual midnight systems would fail; we’d fix them; and go again all night.

    Incidentally, this experience taught me that the “software argument” against strategic defense was bogus. The SDI software could be tested millions, even billions of times in a virtual world.

     

    We were most worried about the actually rollover at midnight, so we shut all of our systems down cold the afternoon of December 31st, brought them back up on the 1st.

     

    • #21
    • August 31, 2019, at 3:53 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. ChrisShearer Coolidge

    Here’s my eternal confusion regarding British government:

    How can they speak of something being constitutional or not when they have no written constitution?

    • #22
    • August 31, 2019, at 5:27 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Samuel Block Member

    ChrisShearer (View Comment):

    Here’s my eternal confusion regarding British government:

    How can they speak of something being constitutional or not when they have no written constitution?

    Well, a constitution technically just means the way something operates.

    One of my favorite parts about my most recent American history course was learning about the debate among the Founders over whether or not it would be a mistake to write our constitution down. The fear of those opposed was that anything not included would be automatically deemed not a right. In our case though, we didn’t have a centuries old tradition in place for operation without a king or nobility, making it a bit more necessary to put the thing on paper.

    • #23
    • August 31, 2019, at 5:52 PM PST
    • Like
  24. Henry Racette Contributor

    Samuel Block (View Comment):
    Well, a constitution technically just means the way something operates.

    Yes. And, if I remember right, the guest, Mr. Young, used the phrase “constitutionally abnormal,” which suggests that he might be referring more to something out of the ordinary than to something in violation of a formal set of rules. (Think how odd a phrase that would be for us — and how outrageous the thought of our actually accepting that something “constitutionally abnormal” might take place.)

    • #24
    • August 31, 2019, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Samuel Block Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):
    Well, a constitution technically just means the way something operates.

    Yes. And, if I remember right, the guest, Mr. Young, used the phrase “constitutionally abnormal,” which suggests that he might be referring more to something out of the ordinary than to something in violation of a formal set of rules. (Think how odd a phrase that would be for us — and how outrageous the thought of our actually accepting that something “constitutionally abnormal” might take place.)

    It’s a frighteningly fluid term. We really are just hanging by a thread.

    • #25
    • August 31, 2019, at 6:30 PM PST
    • Like
  26. kedavis Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One of the main reasons Y2K turned out to be largely a snore, is BECAUSE of the alarms raised and a whole lot of work was done to avoid problems. Including by me, I was doing business computer programming at the time. Nothing I was involved with could have had airplanes falling from the sky, but it could have been a big financial mess that cost some people a lot of money, as well as time and frustration.

    Second that. I’m never comfortable with Y2K being lumped in with other hypothetical but unrealized catastrophes. Y2K may have been — we can’t know for sure — a crisis averted, rather than a crisis imagined. In any case, it was a non-event; prevention and remediation probably cost only a few billions globally. (I, unfortunately, got almost none of that, as I was already coding for the century change when I got into the business in 1979.)

    Some of the systems “around” me already did as well, such as the ones that were keeping track of 20- and 30-year mortgages. They still used just 2-digit years, but they adjusted for the “underflow.”

    One of the things I did was set up a “central calendar system” for all of our systems, it used dates stored internally as YYYYMMDD and the display format (MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY or YYYY/MM/DD) was user-selected.

    The “central calendar system” controlled accounting periods, holidays…

    • #26
    • August 31, 2019, at 9:16 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. kedavis Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment)

    We were most worried about the actually rollover at midnight, so we shut all of our systems down cold the afternoon of December 31st, brought them back up on the 1st.

    In many situations, nothing more was needed. Including many business accounting systems, which just rolled “current month” to “previous month,” “previous month” to “2 months ago,” etc. The actual dates didn’t really matter and often weren’t even used for any computations. The most common exception would be when transactions were to be sorted by date for printing invoices, statements, etc.

     

    • #27
    • August 31, 2019, at 9:22 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. RufusRJones Member

    No one is better than Andrew Pollack for communicating integrated, thoughtful analysis of the policies surrounding school shootings. 

     

    • #28
    • September 1, 2019, at 7:12 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. WilliamDean Coolidge

    You want this whole Ricochet thing to blow up, scoring Chappelle would be the way to do it if he ever does get cancelled over his content.

     

    Go big or go home, Rob.

    • #29
    • September 1, 2019, at 3:26 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  30. Henry Castaigne Member

    WilliamDean (View Comment):

    You want this whole Ricochet thing to blow up, scoring Chappelle would be the way to do it if he ever does get cancelled over his content.

     

    Go big or go home, Rob.

    The right needs to be open to people who just can’t accept the regressive left’s suffocating small mindedness. 

    • #30
    • September 1, 2019, at 4:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
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