Sycophants and Brutuses

Another action packed show: Is the lockdown over or is this just intermission? Hey, did John Bolton write a book? Did the Supreme Court hand down some decisions?

Leading off our guest spots this week is Coleman Hughes who has been on our radar for a while. In this moment, we thought it was high time he was on your’s, too. Be sure and read his essay Stories and Data: Reflections on race, riots, and police at City Journal as we discuss on the show. His other essays are also well worth your time.

Then, Commentary Magazine Senior Editor Abe Greenwald (he of the world famous Commentary Podcast) stops by to discuss The Great Unraveling, the must-read Op-Ed up their site.

Finally, Peter Robinson has his moment on the Wheel, and with the help of Ricochet member @weeping, we say so long to Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima.

Music from this week’s show: Everyday People by Sly and The Family Stone

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  1. kedavis Member

    Regarding Peter’s exasperation over “originalist” Gorsuch et al deciding that “sex” in a law from the 60s couldn’t possibly include LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ because they never thought of such a thing back then…

    Couldn’t the same logic be used regarding the term “men” – as in “all men are created equal” – coming from a time when blacks were not considered to be “men” (or “people”)?

    I think the Supremes were stupidly wrong on that decision, but I’m not sure Peter’s argument is a good one, if looked at closely.

    • #1
    • June 19, 2020, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. kedavis Member

    Rob missed a great opportunity. Instead of asking “Who am I, Kreskin?” he should have gone with “Who am I, (Justice) John Roberts?”

    • #2
    • June 19, 2020, at 3:04 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. kedavis Member

    Regarding recognizing Republicans in New York – or anywhere else – I like how one wag (can’t remember who) put it: It’s easy to tell a Republican from a Democrat these days. The Republican will be arguing for gun rights. And the Democrat will be arguing AGAINST free speech.

    • #3
    • June 19, 2020, at 3:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. kedavis Member

    Objection! “Murder of George Floyd” is assuming facts not in evidence, stating a conclusion, etc.

    • #4
    • June 19, 2020, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Mark Alexander Lincoln

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Couldn’t the same logic be used regarding the term “men” – as in “all men are created equal” – coming from a time when blacks were not considered to be “men” (or “people”)?

    No. The Declaration is not the Law of the land. The Constitution is. The whole point of the Constitutionally defined amendment process is for the people’s reps to change definitions (meanings), a power which is reserved to Congress/states/people. When the Justices of the Supreme Court see themselves as amenders in this way, the corruption is immediate and obvious. They usurp the clearly defined process.

    But it’s easy for Justices to be slowly corrupted by the desire to do “good,” and now with Roberts, to be liked.

    • #5
    • June 19, 2020, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. kedavis Member

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Couldn’t the same logic be used regarding the term “men” – as in “all men are created equal” – coming from a time when blacks were not considered to be “men” (or “people”)?

    No. The Declaration is not the Law of the land. The Constitution is. The whole point of the Constitutionally defined amendment process is for the people’s reps to change definitions (meanings), a power which is reserved to Congress/states/people. When the Justices of the Supreme Court see themselves as amenders in this way, the corruption is immediate and obvious. They usurp the clearly defined process.

    But it’s easy for Justices to be slowly corrupted by the desire to do “good,” and now with Roberts, to be liked.

    Fine, “all men are created equal” was in the Declaration, but it’s still the same point: what did “men” mean when the Constitution was written, and/or amended? Modern statutes are written with more specific definitions of their terms, but in what footnote of the Constitution is “men” defined? If the argument is that “men” came to include “blacks” over time without any formal declaration, then why wouldn’t that also undermine Peter’s argument that “sex” from a law adopted in the 1960s can’t legitimately now be “interpreted” to include LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ even though such categories did not exist when the law was adopted?

    • #6
    • June 19, 2020, at 4:11 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Mark Alexander Lincoln

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fine, “all men are created equal” was in the Declaration, but it’s still the same point: what did “men” mean when the Constitution was written, and/or amended? Modern statutes are written with more specific definitions of their terms, but in what footnote of the Constitution is “men” defined? If the argument is that “men” came to include “blacks” over time without any formal declaration, then why wouldn’t that also undermine Peter’s argument that “sex” from a law adopted in the 1960s can’t legitimately now be “interpreted” to include LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ even though such categories did not exist when the law was adopted?

    My point is simple. It’s the Legislative role to enshrine that into law, not the Judicial. This is more than “reinterpretation.” It’s full-on redefinition.

    • #7
    • June 19, 2020, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. kedavis Member

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Couldn’t the same logic be used regarding the term “men” – as in “all men are created equal” – coming from a time when blacks were not considered to be “men” (or “people”)?

    No. The Declaration is not the Law of the land. The Constitution is. The whole point of the Constitutionally defined amendment process is for the people’s reps to change definitions (meanings), a power which is reserved to Congress/states/people. When the Justices of the Supreme Court see themselves as amenders in this way, the corruption is immediate and obvious. They usurp the clearly defined process.

    But it’s easy for Justices to be slowly corrupted by the desire to do “good,” and now with Roberts, to be liked.

    Fine, “all men are created equal” was in the Declaration, but it’s still the same point: what did “men” mean when the Constitution was written, and/or amended? Modern statutes are written with more specific definitions of their terms, but in what footnote of the Constitution is “men” defined? If the argument is that “men” came to include “blacks” over time without any formal declaration, then why wouldn’t that also undermine Peter’s argument that “sex” from a law adopted in the 1960s can’t legitimately now be “interpreted” to include LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ even though such categories did not exist when the law was adopted?

    My point is simple. It’s the Legislative role to enshrine that into law, not the Judicial. This is more than “reinterpretation.” It’s full-on redefinition.

    Yes, that’s a valid point. My argument with Peter’s statement appears to be a different issue.

    • #8
    • June 19, 2020, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Bishop Wash Member

    Had to look up notary sojac. Nice dig at Republicans from the Straight Dope when giving the explanation. A nonsense couplet from Bill Holman and his cartoon “Smokey Stover”.

    • #9
    • June 19, 2020, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Sorry, I can't take this … Member

    It’s funny, but after listening to every conservative podcast under the sun wrap up on this week from The Dispatch to Ricochet (and its extended universe) to Commentary to Bulwark, etc. etc., this podcast left me feeling least optimistic. It didn’t used to be that way.

    • #10
    • June 19, 2020, at 9:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Dr.Guido Member

    Picking up on the pain anyone can hear in each of your voices at times and picking up on a VDH podcast today, THIS TIME I fear is different. It’s always a mistake to say so but NEVER before has the world been simultaneously instantly interconnected via smartphones AND being played like a fiddle by trained organizers WHO themselves also openly brag about being trained Marxists (The founders of BLM) AND who are calling for the destruction of institutions that have served us (and THEM!!) so well for millennia! THIS TIME is different and the question is, once the foregoing is recognized, can anything rein in the spiral of destruction and disruption if we have not yet passed the tipping point

    • #11
    • June 19, 2020, at 11:19 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Dr.Guido Member

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    It’s funny, but after listening to every conservative podcast under the sun wrap up on this week from The Dispatch to Ricochet (and its extended universe) to Commentary to Bulwark, etc. etc., this podcast left me feeling least optimistic. It didn’t used to be that way.

    @merrijane Hmm…I felt the opposite. In my mid 70s I’ve been around for @ 30% of the life of The American experiment and…I am approaching despair. 

    • #12
    • June 19, 2020, at 11:22 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Dr.Guido Member

    If Trump has advisors worth a dime and if Trump is willing to listen, at least ONE of them should have him—as he ‘formally’ starts his reelection campaign — start or end his Tulsa address with an acknowledgement of what the Nation has been put through and recite: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

    But it needs to be said…over and over and over again………and it’s why NO AMERICAN should be intimidated or corrected in saying ALL LIVES MATTER. Ever.

    • #13
    • June 19, 2020, at 11:29 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. RufusRJones Member

    Dr.Guido (View Comment):
    brag about being trained Marxists (The founders of BLM)

    Mark Levin covered this very well on Friday. It started 3/4 of the way into the first hour and went into the second hour. The podcast is free.

    BLM has to be exposed, and fast. Tolerating these guys is going to be a disaster.

    • #14
    • June 20, 2020, at 12:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. RufusRJones Member

    Dr.Guido (View Comment):
    It’s always a mistake to say so but NEVER before has the world been simultaneously instantly interconnected via smartphones AND being played like a fiddle by trained organizers WHO themselves also openly brag about being trained Marxists (The founders of BLM) AND who are calling for the destruction of institutions that have served us (and THEM!!) so well for millennia!

    i.e.

     

     

    • #15
    • June 20, 2020, at 12:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Arahant Member

    That’s a very scary picture.

    • #16
    • June 20, 2020, at 1:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Happy Wonderer Member

    Rob thinks it’s perfectly likely that the US President (Trump) gave explicit approval of President Xi’s building of reeducation/internment camps. Peter and James don’t push back at that underlying idea. Peter points out Lighthizer’s denial, but goes no further. I’m left to conclude that they agree with that or don’t feel comfortable disagreeing with it on the podcast.

    That’s outrageous. Even knowing that FDR built actual internment camps in the US for Japanese-Americans I wouldn’t ever think it “perfectly likely” that he explicitly ‘approved’ Stalin’s gulags rather than accepted that there was nothing the US could do about them short of invading the USSR and overthrowing the communists. I’ve never felt that way about any President I’ve voted for, or even any of those I voted against (like Trump).

    The three hosts have nuked all respect I had for them, Rob most especially.

     

    • #17
    • June 20, 2020, at 5:41 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  18. ericB Lincoln

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Couldn’t the same logic be used regarding the term “men” – as in “all men are created equal” – coming from a time when blacks were not considered to be “men” (or “people”)?

    No. The Declaration is not the Law of the land. The Constitution is. The whole point of the Constitutionally defined amendment process is for the people’s reps to change definitions (meanings), a power which is reserved to Congress/states/people. When the Justices of the Supreme Court see themselves as amenders in this way, the corruption is immediate and obvious. They usurp the clearly defined process.

    The issue of “men” is a great example. “The Constitutionally defined amendment process” was followed to produce the 19th Amendment to our Constitution, which extended voting to women as well as men.

    Notice that there are times when the word “men” is used with the intention of an inclusive meaning that includes all humans, both male and female. Yet, if the Supreme Court had bypassed the amendment process by simply defining women to be included for voting, that would have been a clear abuse of their role as it would have usurped the legislative process.

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):
    My point is simple. It’s the Legislative role to enshrine that into law, not the Judicial. This is more than “reinterpretation.” It’s full-on redefinition.

    Some have pointed out that “textualists” and “originalists” are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t quite the same. Judges who follow original intended meaning must respect legislative intent. Therefore, they also respect legislative authority.

    But if verbal gymnastics are allowed to redefine the meaning of the words in the text to whatever some judges think best, regardless of or even in defiance of legislative intent, then that becomes effectively equivalent to those judges taking it upon themselves to rewrite the law (just as long as they keep the same words, albeit with their preferred new meanings).

    • #18
    • June 20, 2020, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Nancy Spalding Thatcher

    Getting back to “men” in “All men are created equal”… Man means “human being” or the species Man; “the word man has, like many others, two related meanings, which context makes clear” (Jacques Barzun. 2000. From Dawn to Decadence. NY: Harper Collins; pp.82-85. The usage only changed to make it always mean “male” therefore leaving out “female” in, I think, the mid 20th century. 

    • #19
    • June 20, 2020, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. ericB Lincoln

    Nancy Spalding (View Comment):
    Getting back to “men” in “All men are created equal”… Man means “human being” or the species Man; “the word man has, like many others, two related meanings, which context makes clear” (Jacques Barzun. 2000. From Dawn to Decadence. NY: Harper Collins; pp.82-85. The usage only changed to make it always mean “male” therefore leaving out “female” in, I think, the mid 20th century. 

    Good observations.

    It’s exactly because words like “men” can have a range of meaning (as I also observed) that it becomes important to look at context (textual and historical) to understand what meaning was originally intended, i.e. the originalist goal.

    It is very interesting and ironic that the desire to recognize women led to avoiding “man”/”men” (e.g. policeman, mailman, etc.) rather than to embracing the more inclusive meaning. As a result, that more inclusive meaning was regarded as inadequate (or even offensive by some?) and it has faded from view, withered, and fallen somewhat into disuse.

    That’s ironic because, by forgetting the inclusive meaning, that atrophy of meaning can retroactively make older inclusive uses of the word seem to be not as inclusive as they were intended to be. The push to be more pro-women has made the past seem worse by misreading inclusive uses as exclusive uses.

    • #20
    • June 20, 2020, at 7:41 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. kedavis Member

    Dr.Guido (View Comment):

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    It’s funny, but after listening to every conservative podcast under the sun wrap up on this week from The Dispatch to Ricochet (and its extended universe) to Commentary to Bulwark, etc. etc., this podcast left me feeling least optimistic. It didn’t used to be that way.

    @merrijane Hmm…I felt the opposite. In my mid 70s I’ve been around for @ 30% of the life of The American experiment and…I am approaching despair.

    I think you actually agree with her. She said the LEAST optimistic.

    • #21
    • June 20, 2020, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. rdowhower Coolidge

    Rob’s “it’s just business” and “it’s just a brand” takes are stupid. Just like when he and the other Glop know-nothings were saying Gone With the Wind was “hard to watch”, this is just another instance of his unprincipled and tired old brand of “conservatism”. Funny how none of these things were offensive just a month ago. If you want some serious cultural analysis you’d be better off sticking with Andrew Klavan who actually continues to be successful as an author.

    • #22
    • June 20, 2020, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Abe Greenwald spoke of the advantage conservatives have working in conservative institutions of not being canceled. But when you have someone like Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater and Riff Trax, one of the rare conservatives and Christians in popular culture, he is attacked for associating with someone who used homosexual slurs. We need to do what we can to support such people. (Can’t find a quick summation of this stupid controversy. See Twitter. Or probably better not to.)

    • #23
    • June 20, 2020, at 10:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Had to look up notary sojac. Nice dig at Republicans from the Straight Dope when giving the explanation. A nonsense couplet from Bill Holman and his cartoon “Smokey Stover”.

    So you won a Lileks No Prize!

    • #24
    • June 20, 2020, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Dr.Guido Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Dr.Guido (View Comment):

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    It’s funny, but after listening to every conservative podcast under the sun wrap up on this week from The Dispatch to Ricochet (and its extended universe) to Commentary to Bulwark, etc. etc., this podcast left me feeling least optimistic. It didn’t used to be that way.

    @merrijane Hmm…I felt the opposite. In my mid 70s I’ve been around for @ 30% of the life of The American experiment and…I am approaching despair.

    I think you actually agree with her. She said the LEAST optimistic.

    I am embarrassed…I believe you are correct and I thank you.

    • #25
    • June 20, 2020, at 11:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. kedavis Member

    Peter needs to be more conscientious about finishing his sentences. We wouldn’t want him to slide into becoming another Joe Biden.

    • #26
    • June 20, 2020, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. SParker Member

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Had to look up notary sojac. Nice dig at Republicans from the Straight Dope when giving the explanation. A nonsense couplet from Bill Holman and his cartoon “Smokey Stover”.

    Further digging. Wik O’Pedia reveals Holman said it was phonetic for Nodlaig Sodhach which he took to mean “Merry Christmas” in Gaelic. I can’t entirely wrap my head around pronunciation rules of Irish or Scottish Gaelic (or Manx for that matter) so I’ll let the phonetic part pass. Angus Ritchie MacGoogle says Nodlaig Sodhach means “noisy soldering” and that Nodlaig Shona is what you’d need for Merry (Happy) Christmas. An online Irish dictionary says: “F**k Sake, mate, Christmas’ spelt ‘nollaig,’ pro-f**kin’-nounced reasonable close to “no lay ig,” and ‘sodhach’ means KMRIA before it means ‘soldering.’ Similarly there’s no damn word for noisy in the language–and why would there be?–though “os ard” means loud.” It then says that “KMRIA” is a literary allusion to Ulysses*, that you can do it, and punches you in the face.

    So “nonsense” is a reasonable approximation. Now I just need to listen to the reference in the podcast and what it might mean. And then see if Smokey Stover rises to the level of Krazy Kat. 

     

    *And for yer edification, Brendan Behan sez in Borstal Boy that Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are identical save one word. Dispute that!

    • #27
    • June 20, 2020, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I wrote about watching GWTW with my teenage son a while back and he nailed it perfectly: it’s a Hallmark movie with a Civil War in it.

    The truth is that most “entertainment” is mindless, especially motion pictures and television. It’s all stereotypes. The less you have to explain to people the better it works. All we’ve done is change the bodies around. The shiftless and the lazy cannot be black. The buffoon is now usually the white middle class dad. 

    As for GWTW, I never saw the appeal of Scarlett O’Hara. She was a miserable person who took the misery of her unrequited love out on everyone else just to make them as miserable as she was. The only moment everyone really identifies with is Gable’s walk off after he tells her he doesn’t give a damn what happens to her. (Which is where Alexandra Ripley’s sequel fails so badly – we all know Rhett wasn’t ever coming back.) 

    • #28
    • June 20, 2020, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Arahant Member

    SParker (View Comment):
    I can’t entirely wrap my head around pronunciation rules of Irish or Scottish Gaelic (or Manx for that matter) so I’ll let the phonetic part pass.

    It’s not the pronunciation, it’s the orthography. Pronouncing it is easy enough. Figuring out how it’s spelled is something else entirely. For instance, the first two letters in this name (Mhairi) make a V sound. (What? Oh, never mind.) It’s just the Celts way of messing with all of us.

    • #29
    • June 20, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. RufusRJones Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Dr.Guido (View Comment):
    brag about being trained Marxists (The founders of BLM)

    Mark Levin covered this very well on Friday. It started 3/4 of the way into the first hour and went into the second hour. The podcast is free.

    BLM has to be exposed, and fast. Tolerating these guys is going to be a disaster.

     

     

     

    • #30
    • June 20, 2020, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • 1 like