The In Crowd

Another Saturday edition of the Ricochet Podcast with a super-sized running time and a legendary guest: The Podfather himself, Norman Podhoretz, whose seminal book Making It has just been re-released to mark its 50th anniversary. We talk about the book, and about the world, both past and present. Also, in-fighting at the White House, North Korea saber rattling, and what was your first concert? Well, we bet it wasn’t who Peter Robinson saw.

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Music from this week’s podcast: The In Crowd by Dobie Gray

The all new opening sequence for the Ricochet Podcast was composed and produced by James Lileks.

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There are 18 comments.

  1. Aaron Miller Member

    Y’all seem to be making a lot of assumptions about behind-the-scenes stuff that led to the President’s bombing of Syria. Rumors abound. But with such extreme emotional commitments both for and against Trump, why put faith in any of them? We might not know how much strategy was behind the decision until we see how it relates to future strikes and diplomacy.

    Nuking the Norks isn’t an option. But perhaps saturation bombing the capitol should be. Have even the Castros so brutally kept their people down in poverty and desperation? Coordinate with China and South Korea to obliterate the entire North Korea regime and let its people learn from their neighbors what commerce can do. Whatever follows won’t be pretty or easy, but neither are their present circumstances.

    Rob, a teenager who doesn’t see the point of attending college probably shouldn’t go immediately. How likely is that person to commit to studying and developing a career foundation, rather than succumbing to social idiocy, if he or she doesn’t want to be there? A couple years working will either enlighten to kid or prove him right. If colleges aren’t strongly biased in favor of freshly graduated applicants, then the parents’ money will be as helpful if and when the child determines college is necessary.

    • #1
    • April 15, 2017, at 4:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Derringdoo Inactive

    Was I the only one who detected a more-than-typical snideness in Rob’s taking Norman to task for asserting that he (Norman) paid less attention to Trump’s words than who he surrounded himself with?

    • #2
    • April 16, 2017, at 1:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. RufusRJones Member

    The “job signaling” function of college has been hijacked to financially rape the middle class and indoctrinate and financially support leftism everywhere. The graft and waste is incredible. This is going to end badly.

    I wish the Koch Brothers would start a two year college where you completely opt out of the job signaling (no accreditation) garbage and just go to get educated by smart libertarians / conservatives / Camille Paglia / VDH types with the only purpose of thinking clearly and being a good, productive person. The Right needs way more people–in the big picture sense— that get how the Left is driving this country into the ground. Then you marry this with something that isn’t going to to be outsourced to robots or globalized labor.

    Prager U and Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom are sort of inceptions of it.

    I just saw this. 


    • #3
    • April 16, 2017, at 4:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. RufusRJones Member

    I’m pretty sure the dog story is false.

    Also, Newt Gingrich has zero merit. He’s the Tom Friedman of the Right.

    • #4
    • April 16, 2017, at 4:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. RufusRJones Member

    I think the ultimate problem is, Keynesianism and identity politics just makes us all dumber and less productive / reduces opportunity. Minnesota government is going crazy with this stuff right now.

    • #5
    • April 16, 2017, at 5:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. should_be_studying Inactive

    I am currently in China right now. I visited Dandong yesterday which sits at the border of China and NK on the Yalu river. There I went on a tourist attraction where you take a boat on the Yalu river and get to see a close up of the NK shoreline. The section of river we were at was in between the NK mainland and an island that is owned by NK. So at some point on the boat journey the shore on my right was NK, and the shore on my left was NK. I was just a little squeamish given that I was only the non-Chinese on the boat and a U.S. passport holder at that. As the tourist guidance announced something overhead in Mandarin everyone laughed on the boat. A friend said they laughed because the tourist guide pointed out a NK girl riding a bike must be ‘rich’ because most people in NK cannot afford a bike.

    • #6
    • April 16, 2017, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Henry Castaigne Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The “job signaling” function of college has been hijacked to financially rape the middle class and indoctrinate and financially support leftism everywhere.

    Yeah that pretty much sums it up.

    • #7
    • April 16, 2017, at 11:09 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    I would rather have seen a photoshop with Norman Podhoretz and all of the pretty Wellesley girls…

    • #8
    • April 16, 2017, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Miffed White Male Member

    It was asserted that Barack Obama is an intellectual who was constantly reading.

    Can anyone name a time they ever saw Obama with a book?

    • #9
    • April 17, 2017, at 4:57 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. RufusRJones Member

    The stuff John Lott has said about Obama’s intellectual life (or whatever you are supposed to call it) at the University of Chicago is extreamly troubling. Charisma + fancy degrees = statism’s / Leftism’s best weapon. His time at Harvard Law Review was supposed to be similar, too.

    • #10
    • April 17, 2017, at 5:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. EDISONPARKS Member

    I can only assume Rob is using hyperbole when he suggests Barack Obama is an intellectual who has read everything.

    I recently read a perfect description of the pseudo intellectual type Barack Obama fits to a t:

    James Lileks

    There’s a difference between being an “intellectual” and being wise. There’s a difference between being “smart” and right.

    For some people, having a facile, cocktail-party-level awareness of the intellectual trends du jour is sufficient to be deemed an intellectual. It is not necessary to actually hear the entire TED talk, but hearing a synopsis on NPR is sufficient, and it certainly makes one more intellectually engaged than someone who doesn’t know about, oh, gender differences in cosmological theory. Obama gave the impression of someone who equated skimming with understanding.I think he’s smart, but it’s the sort of superficial intelligence that equates the ability to BS about a subject with the ability to inhabit it. The sort of self-satisfied smartness that congratulates itself for reading WSJ Saturday book reviews past the jump. Did you know this about the role of shellfish in the early Russian empire? No? It’s fascinating.

    I don’t doubt that Obama is better read than Trump, and I don’t care. I care about the President’s fundamental intellectual structure and their judgment. Both men strike me as intellectually incurious in their own ways – Obama was cold to the geopolitical and economic realities that contradict his moth-eaten post-colonial transnational worldview, and Trump think he knows everything that needs knowing. At least that’s who he was during the campaign. I suspect he is learning that he does not know everything after all.

    • #11
    • April 17, 2017, at 6:20 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. RufusRJones Member

    Trump has no extra bandwidth for anything, unlike say Rubio, who knows so much about the very difficult subject of foreign policy, already.

    • #12
    • April 17, 2017, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. RufusRJones Member

    IMO, Trump’s business influences his thinking in a bad way, too. Real estate and renting his brand out. He’s not really into productivity and efficiency like the typical mayor or businessman. It’s all debt, rent seeking, and marketing blather. We are going to have 2% GDP for forever.

    • #13
    • April 17, 2017, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. Jeff Karr Member

    The Waring Blendor was used in an important experiment which helped to demonstrate that DNA is the genetic material.

    http://paulingblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/the-hershey-chase-blender-experiments/

    • #14
    • April 17, 2017, at 9:16 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Annefy Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The stuff John Lott has said about Obama’s intellectual life (or whatever you are supposed to call it) at the University of Chicago is extreamly troubling. Charisma + fancy degrees = statism’s / Leftism’s best weapon. His time at Harvard Law Review was supposed to be similar, too.

    I know someone who worked for Obama at Harvard Law Review and she agrees with you. In fact, she said the typical day started from a phone call from his stating he was “working from home”.

    • #15
    • April 17, 2017, at 12:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Annefy Member

    @roblong, your lecturing tone of telling Trump: you got to … you got to…

    is very reminiscent of your instruction of what Trump had to do to get elected.

    • #16
    • April 17, 2017, at 12:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Chris Campion Coolidge

    Annefy (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The stuff John Lott has said about Obama’s intellectual life (or whatever you are supposed to call it) at the University of Chicago is extreamly troubling. Charisma + fancy degrees = statism’s / Leftism’s best weapon. His time at Harvard Law Review was supposed to be similar, too.

    I know someone who worked for Obama at Harvard Law Review and she agrees with you. In fact, she said the typical day started from a phone call from his stating he was “working from home”.

    No aspiring lawyer passes up a chance to get published at Harvard Law Review. Nobody.

    Except Barry. The smartest president that ever lived. Ever. Just ask him. He’ll tell you. He reads ‘n stuff! Just ask Rob.

    • #17
    • April 17, 2017, at 6:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Kim K. Member

    It occurred to me that it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at get-togethers with the extended Podhoretz family. There seems to be a significant divide regarding Trump between Norman and JPod.

    • #18
    • April 18, 2017, at 7:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes