Triumph of The Will

This week, we’re fortunate to be able to access the deep mind of one of the country’s great thinkers and writers, George Will on the occasion of his new book, The Conservative SensibilityWe conduct a long and wide-ranging conversation with him covering everything from the meaning of conservatism, President powers, progressive regulation, and much more. Take our advice: pour yourself a tall, cool drink, put on the earbuds and take this one in. Also, next week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Was it a good use of government spending or a boondoggle? We debate. And finally, James talks a bit about the passing of a great American: Ralph J. Lileks.

Music from this week’s show: Keep Me In Your Heart by Warren Zevon

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There are 107 comments.

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  1. Samuel Block Member

    Condolences, James. 

    Your father sounds like a great American, indeed. I’ve never read a more inspired obituary. 

    • #1
    • July 12, 2019, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. DonG Coolidge

    I don’t understand @peterrobinson‘s often repeated comment about it being disgusting that Donald Trump said that Jeffery Epstein “liked them young”. It seems to me that Trump was only one brave enough to say it out loud. What is disgusting is that most people either didn’t notice or didn’t care. DJT is a hero by pointing this out and kicking the perv out of his country club.

    This is like people picking on Acosta for weak prosecution. Of all the jurisdictions that Epstein committed crimes in, only one guy had the stones to put him jail. It is backward that we punish the only guy to do the right thing. 

    • #2
    • July 12, 2019, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Jim Wright Coolidge

    A wonderful tribute. Condolences, James. 

    • #3
    • July 12, 2019, at 4:11 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    DonG (View Comment):

    I don’t understand @peterrobinson‘s often repeated comment about it being disgusting that Donald Trump said that Jeffery Epstein “liked them young”. It seems to me that Trump was only one brave enough to say it out loud. What is disgusting is that most people either didn’t notice or didn’t care. DJT is a hero by pointing this out and kicking the perv out of his country club.

    This is like people picking on Acosta for weak prosecution. Of all the jurisdictions that Epstein committed crimes in, only one guy had the stones to put him jail. It is backward that we punish the only guy to do the right thing.

    Trump would have been more of a hero if he had called the cops as any halfway decent man would have after seeing how young Epstein liked them. There are no heros in this tawdry tale.

    • #4
    • July 12, 2019, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. kedavis Member

    When puzzling over how people vote etc, it’s worth noting as my daily maxim, more or less, “Most people have an IQ of 100 or less, by definition.”

    Or, put another way, “most people are average or below average, by definition.”

    Unless you can convince the average/below average to at least vote better than themselves, or not vote at all, you can’t be surprised by the results you get.

    • #5
    • July 12, 2019, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. TedSisson Coolidge

    I am very sorry for your loss James. The obituary you wrote for your father was beautiful. 

    • #6
    • July 12, 2019, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Peter Robinson Founder

    DonG (View Comment):

    I don’t understand @peterrobinson‘s often repeated comment about it being disgusting that Donald Trump said that Jeffery Epstein “liked them young”. It seems to me that Trump was only one brave enough to say it out loud. What is disgusting is that most people either didn’t notice or didn’t care. DJT is a hero by pointing this out and kicking the perv out of his country club.

    This is like people picking on Acosta for weak prosecution. Of all the jurisdictions that Epstein committed crimes in, only one guy had the stones to put him jail. It is backward that we punish the only guy to do the right thing.

    Often repeated? I mentioned it twice. And here’s the quotation:

    “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

    If there’s anything commendable in that, it eludes me.

    That said, my point was that that’s all the press has–one jocular quotation. Beyond that, there’s no connection between Tump and Epstein whatever. In other words, I mentioned Trump’s comments about Epstein by way of defending the President.

    • #7
    • July 12, 2019, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Sam Thatcher
    Sam

    Strength to you James

    • #8
    • July 12, 2019, at 5:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. EJHill Podcaster

    What is the best legacy of any man? Is it a business? A box of medals on a shelf? A scrapbook of newspaper clippings? Nope.

    The best legacy of a man are those who bear his name. In the last year, four of our Ricochet family have buried their father: Rob Long, Jon Gabriel, Tom Meyer and, now, James Lileks.

    We didn’t always get to know the dads as well as we would have liked. Most of what we know is anecdotal, a few stories tossed our way over the years, surely made better by the gauze over the lens that is the passage of time. But what always came across was the love and respect passed from one generation to the next.

    A poet once likened a father to a giant pine that stands magnificent against the elements, provides shelter and then, inevitably falls and leaves a void.

    ”To know this life was good, it left its mark on me. Its works stands fast.”

    • #9
    • July 12, 2019, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  10. Petty Boozswha Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    I don’t understand @peterrobinson‘s often repeated comment about it being disgusting that Donald Trump said that Jeffery Epstein “liked them young”. It seems to me that Trump was only one brave enough to say it out loud. What is disgusting is that most people either didn’t notice or didn’t care. DJT is a hero by pointing this out and kicking the perv out of his country club.

    This is like people picking on Acosta for weak prosecution. Of all the jurisdictions that Epstein committed crimes in, only one guy had the stones to put him jail. It is backward that we punish the only guy to do the right thing.

    Trump would have been more of a hero if he had called the cops as any halfway decent man would have after seeing how young Epstein liked them. There are no heros in this tawdry tale.

    This is the same man that said a fringe benefit of buying the Miss Teen USA pageant was that no one could stop him when he wanted to go backstage and watch the girls get dressed. 

    • #10
    • July 12, 2019, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Peter Robinson Founder

    EJHill (View Comment):

    What is the best legacy of any man? Is it a business? A box of medals on a shelf? A scrapbook of newspaper clippings? Nope.

    The best legacy of a man are those who bear his name. In the last year, four of our Ricochet family have buried their father: Rob Long, Jon Gabriel, Tom Meyer and, now, James Lileks.

    We didn’t always get to know the dads as well as we would have liked. Most of what we know is anecdotal, a few stories tossed our way over the years, surely made better by the gauze over the lens that is the passage of time. But what always came across was the love and respect passed from one generation to the next.

    A poet once likened a father to a giant pine that stands magnificent against the elements, provides shelter and then, inevitably falls and leaves a void.

    ”To know this life was good, it left its mark on me. Its works stands fast.”

    Beautiful, EJ. Just beautiful.

    • #11
    • July 12, 2019, at 6:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. filmklassik Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    I don’t understand @peterrobinson‘s often repeated comment about it being disgusting that Donald Trump said that Jeffery Epstein “liked them young”. It seems to me that Trump was only one brave enough to say it out loud. What is disgusting is that most people either didn’t notice or didn’t care. DJT is a hero by pointing this out and kicking the perv out of his country club.

    This is like people picking on Acosta for weak prosecution. Of all the jurisdictions that Epstein committed crimes in, only one guy had the stones to put him jail. It is backward that we punish the only guy to do the right thing.

    Just read the quote. Unbelievable. This President is an embarrassment. The grossest leader this country has seen in decades. I’m glad his stewardship is not Democratic, and I sure won’t be voting for the ”Woker Than Thou” Dems next year, but I’d sooner hack off my arm with a rusty razor than use it to pull the lever for Donald J. Trump. The guy’s a creep.

    What’s more, even his most ardent supporters are going to rue the day we elected him. Perhaps not next year, but in 4 or 5 years it is going to become obvious that by electing Trump we destroyed not only the Republican brand (no big deal), but the Conservative brand as well (a huge deal).

    Gone. Lost. For generations, probably. And who knows how we turn the tide. Europe hasn’t found a way to foster Conservatism in the hearts of its young, so how are we supposed to manage it?

    Events will bring Conservatism roaring back eventually, of course. They always do. But when? And what horrible form will those events take? (I shudder to think).

    • #12
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:25 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Max Ledoux Admin

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

    If there’s anything commendable in that, it eludes me.

    That was before Epstein was charged with anything. Also before he acted inappropriately with an underage girl at Mar a Lago, according to multiple reports, at which point Trump banned Epstein from Mar a Lago and never talked to him ever again.

    So, the question is, what’s more important? Some words before important information is known? Or actions after the important information is known?

    I choose actions.

    Trump kicked Epstein out of Mar a Lago. Trump never associated with Epstein in anyway ever again. Acosta put Epstein in jail (albeit with monitored leave during the day) and had him put on the national register of sex offenders. Trump’s DOJ has charge Epstein with new crimes.

    But Trump said something once, before any of this, so that’s what’s really important.

     

    • #13
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:29 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  14. kedavis Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    filmklassik

    DonG (View Comment):

    I don’t understand @peterrobinson‘s often repeated comment about it being disgusting that Donald Trump said that Jeffery Epstein “liked them young”. It seems to me that Trump was only one brave enough to say it out loud. What is disgusting is that most people either didn’t notice or didn’t care. DJT is a hero by pointing this out and kicking the perv out of his country club.

    This is like people picking on Acosta for weak prosecution. Of all the jurisdictions that Epstein committed crimes in, only one guy had the stones to put him jail. It is backward that we punish the only guy to do the right thing.

    Just read the quote. Unbelievable. This President is an embarrassment. The grossest leader this country has seen in decades. I’m glad his stewardship is not Democratic, and I sure won’t be voting for the ”Woker Than Thou” Dems next year, but I’d sooner hack off my arm with a rusty razor than use it to pull the lever for Donald J. Trump. The guy’s a creep.

    That’s how you get President Biden. Or President Warren. Or President Ocasio-Cortez. Take your pick.

    • #14
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Max Ledoux Admin

    What does “on the younger side” even mean, anyway? Trump was 55 in 2002 and Melania was 32. So compared to Donald, Melania was “on the younger side” when they married three years later in 2005. 

    That phrase, “on the younger side,” only takes on new meaning now that it’s known — or I guess alleged (even Epstein deserves some presumption of innocence, right? — that Epstein is a pedophile.

    But Trump is not a pedophile, even though his wife is 23 years younger than him, I.E., on the younger side.

     

     

    • #15
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. James Lileks Contributor

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    What is the best legacy 

    Beautiful, EJ. Just beautiful.

    Seconded. Although I do enjoy the newspaper clippings he left as well, including a front-page story about the night Dad decided he was tired of thieves coming to the bulk oil plant and stealing stuff. He hid in the office with an employee, in the dark, waiting, with rifles. When the crooks showed up he hit all the floods, stepped out of the office and fired a shot in the air. Did the trick. One ran, but his confederates gave him up.

    He’d told the cops in advance of his plan, and the sheriff had sighed and said “well, if you feel you have to, I suppose.” 1958 was a different country. 

    He also made the paper twice for auto smash-ups – the other guy’s fault – and when construction on a new tank at the station threw a spark and blew up the loading dock, throwing him a few yards. 

    Other than that, not much. ;) 

    • #16
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:42 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  17. Max Ledoux Admin

    Also, for the record, from what I understand, Acosta has said that the monitored day leave was not his idea and was allowed later by the department of corrections and had nothing to do with him.

    • #17
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Max Ledoux Admin

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    What’s more, even his most ardent supporters are going to rue the day we elected him. Perhaps not next year, but in 4 or 5 years it is going to become obvious that by electing Trump we destroyed not only the Republican brand (no big deal), but the Conservative brand as well (a huge deal).

    I think Trump is saving the country. I could care less about the Republican Party compared to the country. And anyone who doesn’t want to save the country is not a very good conservative, in my opinion. (I.E. , what are you conserving at that point?) But I guess “conservative” means different things to different people. Maybe it’s more important to conserve the Republican Party or the Conservative movement than to protect the border.

    • #18
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:52 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  19. kedavis Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    What does “on the younger side” even mean, anyway? Trump was 55 in 2002 and Melania was 32. So compared to Donald, Melania was “on the younger side” when they married three years later in 2005.

    That phrase, “on the younger side,” only takes on new meaning now that it’s known — or I guess alleged (even Epstein deserves some presumption of innocence, right? — that Epstein is a pedophile.

    But Trump is not a pedophile, even though his wife is 23 years younger than him, I.E., on the younger side.

     

    This is Ricochet and we believe words mean things, right? So. Underage is statutory rape, not pedophilia. Until/unless Epstein is charged with /convicted of actions with pre-pubescent children.

    • #19
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:56 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Max Ledoux Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    What does “on the younger side” even mean, anyway? Trump was 55 in 2002 and Melania was 32. So compared to Donald, Melania was “on the younger side” when they married three years later in 2005.

    That phrase, “on the younger side,” only takes on new meaning now that it’s known — or I guess alleged (even Epstein deserves some presumption of innocence, right? — that Epstein is a pedophile.

    But Trump is not a pedophile, even though his wife is 23 years younger than him, I.E., on the younger side.

     

    This is Ricochet and we believe words mean things, right? So. Underage is statutory rape, not pedophilia. Until/unless Epstein is charged with /convicted of actions with pre-pubescent children.

    I stand corrected.

    • #20
    • July 12, 2019, at 8:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    What does “on the younger side” even mean, anyway? Trump was 55 in 2002 and Melania was 32. So compared to Donald, Melania was “on the younger side” when they married three years later in 2005.

    That phrase, “on the younger side,” only takes on new meaning now that it’s known — or I guess alleged (even Epstein deserves some presumption of innocence, right? — that Epstein is a pedophile.

    But Trump is not a pedophile, even though his wife is 23 years younger than him, I.E., on the younger side.

     

     

    Oh for pity’s sake Max. It has been reported that some of the girls were as young as 13! I would expect a man who see’s VERY young girls being sexually exploited to DO SOMETHING about it apart from a very off comment and banning him from Mar o lago. I especially expect more from a man who wants my vote for President. I don’t think Trump is a pedophile but he knew Epstein was and did nothing. That is exactly the kind of contemptible behavior Trump has shown with regards to women his entire life. He’s better than that lecherous Clinton, but that’s not saying much.

    • #21
    • July 12, 2019, at 8:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. DonG Coolidge

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Max Ledoux

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

    If there’s anything commendable in that, it eludes me.

    That was before Epstein was charged with anything. Also before he acted inappropriately with an underage girl at Mar a Lago, according to multiple reports, at which point Trump banned Epstein from Mar a Lago and never talked to him ever again.

    So, the question is, what’s more important? Some words before important information is known? Or actions after the important information is known?

    This is exactly right Max. When we judge Trump’s statement, we have to be aware of when he said and what he knew at the time. Trump didn’t travel with Epstein, he saw him in Florida at cocktail parties with younger adult women. Trump did not have a time machine to travel through time to know things 17 years before they were made public. 

    • #22
    • July 12, 2019, at 8:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    What does “on the younger side” even mean, anyway? Trump was 55 in 2002 and Melania was 32. So compared to Donald, Melania was “on the younger side” when they married three years later in 2005.

    That phrase, “on the younger side,” only takes on new meaning now that it’s known — or I guess alleged (even Epstein deserves some presumption of innocence, right? — that Epstein is a pedophile.

    But Trump is not a pedophile, even though his wife is 23 years younger than him, I.E., on the younger side.

    Oh for pity’s sake Max. It has been reported that some of the girls were as young as 13! I would expect a man who see’s VERY young girls being sexually exploited to DO SOMETHING about it apart from a very off comment and banning him from Mar o lago. I especially expect more from a man who wants my vote for President. I don’t think Trump is a pedophile but he knew Epstein was and did nothing. That is exactly the kind of contemptible behavior Trump has shown with regards to women his entire life. He’s better than that lecherous Clinton, but that’s not saying much.

    Where is your evidence that Trump was aware of those actions, perhaps two decades ago? Before Epstein was charged/convicted of anything? Epstein’s first charges were just over ONE decade ago.

    P.S. Age 13 is also not pedophilia.

    • #23
    • July 12, 2019, at 11:05 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Taras Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    What does “on the younger side” even mean, anyway? Trump was 55 in 2002 and Melania was 32. So compared to Donald, Melania was “on the younger side” when they married three years later in 2005.

    That phrase, “on the younger side,” only takes on new meaning now that it’s known — or I guess alleged (even Epstein deserves some presumption of innocence, right? — that Epstein is a pedophile.

    But Trump is not a pedophile, even though his wife is 23 years younger than him, I.E., on the younger side.

    Oh for pity’s sake Max. It has been reported that some of the girls were as young as 13! I would expect a man who see’s VERY young girls being sexually exploited to DO SOMETHING about it apart from a very off comment and banning him from Mar o lago. I especially expect more from a man who wants my vote for President. I don’t think Trump is a pedophile but he knew Epstein was and did nothing. That is exactly the kind of contemptible behavior Trump has shown with regards to women his entire life. He’s better than that lecherous Clinton, but that’s not saying much.

    Where is your evidence that Trump was aware of those actions, perhaps two decades ago? Before Epstein was charged/convicted of anything? Epstein’s first charges were just over ONE decade ago.

    P.S. Age 13 is also not pedophilia.

    Julia is not reading carefully: “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do …” (Emphasis mine.) Clearly, at that point Donald Trump had only heard about Jeffrey Epstein’s attraction to women “on the younger side”.

    • #24
    • July 13, 2019, at 12:22 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The best legacy of a man are those who bear his name. In the last year, four of our Ricochet family have buried their father: Rob Long, Jon Gabriel, Tom Meyer and, now, James Lileks.

    Condolences to everyone.

    All of my male ancestors died so long ago that I forget that adults sometimes have fathers.

    Remember all of the best the memories.

    • #25
    • July 13, 2019, at 1:12 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. JosePluma Thatcher

    James Lileks:

    And now I’m starting to lose it so I’m going to go.

    You outlasted me. Thank you, Mr. Lileks, and belated thanks to your Dad. 

     

    • #26
    • July 13, 2019, at 2:17 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. RufusRJones Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    When puzzling over how people vote etc, it’s worth noting as my daily maxim, more or less, “Most people have an IQ of 100 or less, by definition.”

    Or, put another way, “most people are average or below average, by definition.”

    Unless you can convince the average/below average to at least vote better than themselves, or not vote at all, you can’t be surprised by the results you get.

    Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Why Democracy Fails | Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Jeff Deist https://mises.org/library/hans-hermann-hoppe-why-democracy-fails#.XSmmidLAFJ0.twitter

     

    • #27
    • July 13, 2019, at 2:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. RufusRJones Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    the Conservative brand

    O’Sullivan’s First Law describes the leftward drift of many politicians, leaders, and organizations. First coined by John O’Sullivan in 1989, it states: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.”[1]

    link

    Everything moves left all of the time until the masses start arguing about populism vs. socialism. Then the bond market collapses. 

     

     

    • #28
    • July 13, 2019, at 2:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. RufusRJones Member

    Rep. Massie: Won’t change spending problem until we get 218 conservatives

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRn4MRpwyMQ

    • #29
    • July 13, 2019, at 2:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Al Kennedy Member

    James, I was extremely sorry to hear about your father. I knew from previous podcasts how close you two were. You gave a beautiful summary of his life. I was almost in tears. My sincere condolence to you and the entire family.

    • #30
    • July 13, 2019, at 5:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
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