James Lileks reboots The Ramble, just in time for Thanksgiving (AKA a great time to start a diet). Subscribe to James Lileks’ The Ramble here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/james-lileks-the-ramble/id1073828132.

Before we break for another reckless Thanksgiving in Anno CoViDi 3, we decided to take the scenic route this week. We go deep into the capacious mind of Ross Douthat, who’s just released his latest book, The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery. Along with Lyme disease, fringe medicine and faith, the hosts survey Ross on everything from potential hope for American education to the nuclear family and the case for reality.

We’ve also got Rob galavanting abroad and utter surprise that the CBO suggests Build Back Better will cost more than $0! The gang reflect on the Rittenhouse verdict which was announced during recording and people who still get goose bumps at the thought of gathering for the holidays.

When elected leaders decide to look the other way from… ya know… the matters that actually matter to us, we find out about the kinds of people America has in its reserve stock. Yes, the supply chain is a mess; but we’ve got all three hosts to chat with Ryan Peterson, CEO of Flexport, who hopes to fix it. (Take a look at what is likely the first-ever viral tweetstorm on shipping logistics, as well as his children’s book to educate youngsters about the machines that power the world they inhabit!)

The gang ask Ryan about his boat tour of the Long Beach port complex to see for himself what’s got us so backed up. He gets us into the nooks and crannies of his industry; how the pandemic has showed its weak points, his ideas for innovating it; and, naturally, the regulatory burdens that slow it all down.

Even with Rob out, we’re glad to celebrate a great week for democracy! Our guests this week are old friends of ours, Mark and Mollie Hemingway, and they’re here to take us through the irregularities of last November and why it doesn’t have to be nefarious, illegal or fraudulent to call it “Rigged!”

Maybe somebody should write a book with that title. Well, maybe somebody has. (Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections) We get into procedural foul play, institutional corruption and media malfeasance; not to mention fights over fish… They even have some hope that laying the groundwork for restoring democratic confidence might be slowly underway, and some thoughts on how to speed it up.

There are no crystal balls on Ricochet, but we can’t keep our eyes off the future. What’s to become of the GOP? Hard to say; but our guest David Drucker has written a book and launched his very own podcast to ponder these very questions. Rob and James put him in the interviewee seat for a change get his take on how candidates will have to navigate a climate that’s been permanently altered by Donald Trump.

Photo: Twitter/@holmes_reports/NBC29

No, silence isn’t violence; it’s just that here at Ricochet, we’d like to hear what you’ve got to say. As is our wont, we’ve got a few freethinkers to join Rob and James this week – unfortunately Peter is away. First up is Matthew Continetti of The Washington Free BeaconHe’s here to talk about the bewildering politics in a time of competing counter-cultures where both sides think they’re losing.

Next up, Nathan Harden, author of Sex and God at Yale, who in 2012 foresaw how political correctness was suffocating education. More recently, his work at Real Clear Politics has highlighted the literally-dumbfounding phenomenon of self-censorship on campuses. Is the death of free speech inevitable? You’ll have to listen to find out!

On a website devoted to debate (civil, mind you), we can all agree that politics is not the arena for shrinking violets. Who better to remind us of this fact than the former governor of the Garden State, Chris Christie? He gives us the lowdown on his successes in a Blue State and his thoughts on how Republicans need to keep their eye on the prize. Even with the mention of “Christie Porn,” we promise listeners a PG-rated podcast.

Also, the regular gang go from the economic blockage to “Let’s Go Brandon,” from intellectuals talking about third parties to Captain Kirk back in space. (Well, kinda-space if you wanna get technical.)

Programming Note: the first version of this show had some tracks out sync due to an encoding error. If you received that version of the show, please delete that file and re-download the show to get the fixed version. We apologize for the inconvenience and added an additional outtake at the end of the fixed version as a gift for enduring our mistake.

“The state is powerful and everyone else you know is a moron.” And with that from Rob Long we launch into our Rank Punditry™ segment on the propaganda wars being waged in America today.

It’s a podcast about big things today! Our guest is Josh Rogin, author of Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century. He takes us through our predicament with that big, menacing foe in the Far East; and warns against the current American tendency to allow the conflict with China to become another stage for political squabbling amongst ourselves. He and the hosts contemplate and debate the extent to which Cold War parallels are precise and our thinking ought be revised. The fellas also get into big spending and the progressive distaste for majorities, big or small.

Music from this week’s podcast: Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Weezer

Our guest on this week’s podcast is the former governor of the State of Florida, Jeb Bush. The governor helped transform his state from Blue to Red and set the stage for men like Sen. Rick Scott and current Gov. Ron DeSantis, both of whom are said to be eying a run for the Oval Office in 2024. He surveys the current situation in DC and thinks it is past time for a generational change in leadership.

The fellas also go through “crises” and crises, crazy truth and Rob’s optimism for woke nervous breakdowns. And finally, we’ve got a return of the Lileks Post of the Week and it’s a hot one. Literally. Bravo, Kozak!

Jay interviewed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on July 26, 2021.  They spoke about the decision to lockdown in March 2020, the science on kids and COVID, the harms from lockdown, the ethics of panicking the population, the reform of public health, and censorship of public speech by big tech companies.

To learn more about the harms of lockdowns, visit collateralglobal.org.

The trio is back in action this week, and after a few weeks off, Rob is in full force! We’ve got Senator Tom Cotton to keep our attention  (R- AR) where it should be: on Afghanistan. He then takes us through what was yesterday’s Wuhan lab conspiracy theory but which has since become today’s news. Cotton also breaks some news about Nancy Pelosi’s future ambitions – you don’t want to miss this!

Our hosts scrap a bit about the California recall but enjoy nothing but unity on Norm Macdonald and comedy, even in our politicized and polarized society™.

This week, Ricochet editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel and yes, her baby (listen closely and you’ll hear him in this podcast) join Peter and James to discuss another maddening news cycle. Our guest Harmeet Dhillon takes us through the latest power grab by the Biden Administration, the means to fight back and the hopes for an Elder in Sacramento’s Governor’s mansion. The Ricochet gang also take some time to remember 9/11 and assess the distinction between worthwhile arguments and the kinds that necessitate the block button.

Music from this week’s podcast: The Nothing Man by Bruce Springsteen

The news cycle is shifting profoundly, and it seems to go from bad to worse. Since we’ve got no Rob Long to try to cheer us up this week, we’re thankful to have two wise men for guests: First up is Glenn Loury on the CRT epidemic, contrasting media coverage of Larry Elder versus troubled youths, and advise for the good life. (Be sure to check out his podcast, The Glenn Show, right here on Ricochet!)

Then our old friend Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is back to reveal that he is now a COVID Hero® and as such, he is even more  qualified to defang CoViD fears. He gives us an update on what researchers know about the Delta variant, vaccines and the never-ending masking debate. Also James updates us on the calamity befalling Minneapolis, and he and Peter contemplate the new American malaise.

Remember the good ol’ days when a president could be talked out of his worst impulses? So do we. This week the guys had a chance to chat with one of the people our current president should have listened to: Wisconsin Representative (and Marine Intelligence Officer) Mike Gallagher.

The Congressman takes us through the poor leadership, political and operational failures, and the dangers we face now that Afghanistan has collapsed. (And if you can, please donate to this GoFundMe campaign to help the family of Rob’s friend Habib.) The hosts also get a chance to chat about progressive colonialism and Peter’s good feeling about the California recall.

What can we say? Frustration has a way of concentrating the mind, and this week we’ve got one word: Afghanistan. Victor Davis Hanson joins us to talk about our absurd administration and its pathetic priorities. Then national security correspondent Eli Lake joins us to speak on the Taliban, Biden’s “return to normal” on the world stage and his moral illiteracy. The fellas also have a chance to muse on the tug-of-war of nation-building versus our security interests, along with the question of what America’s choice will be regarding its role as the leader of the free world. We’d be interested in what Ricochet members think. Let us know in the comments!

Music from this week’s podcast: Bad Decisions by The Strokes

Do you follow the science? Do you have an aversion to the scolds who routinely declare code reds for humanity? Perhaps you’re being driven to despair. But we at Ricochet hope to see you flourish, we want to see you b(j)orn again! Our guest this week is the absorbingly optimistic Bjørn Lomborg, exactly the man to set us straight on the U.N. climate report and the cataclysmic media circus that’s followed. The fellas also get into infrastructure – whatever that means – and the attendant endemic of thoughtless dishonesty. Also, Rob got a smidgeon of hope from some youngsters recently and Peter needs some recommendations for a good binge-worthy TV series: help him out in the comments!

Music from this week’s show: O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps

Peter’s out this week, so it’s a Lileks and Long show. But we wouldn’t want to be without a Hoover man. Our guest is Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, whose decades of service in the Middle East make him the perfect man to help us make what little sense we can of the hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan. (And be sure to check out his piece in the Wall Street Journal.) The guys also wonder about what will come of Andrew Cuomo, the “probably-illegal-but who-knows?” eviction moratorium and the overall lunacy of bureaucrats.

Music from this week’s podcast: Lost Cause by Beck

A dizzying week calls for steady remedies. We’ve got the great Larry Elder, who’s hoping to save his home state by taking on Gavin Newsom in California’s upcoming recall election. Next, we bring back our pal Dr. Jay Bhattacharya since CoViD wants to stay in the news. Should the Delta variant motivate you to encase yourself in plastic wrap before leaving the house? You’ll have to listen to find out. Plus Rob tells us about his recent bout of vertigo, the guys chat healthcare (both human and canine) and not-so-petty crime.

Music from this week’s podcast: Scene D’Amour from Vertigo by Bernard Herrmann (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

This week we’ve got old friends as guests: The Discovery Institute’s Dr. Stephen Meyer joins to remind us that the God hypothesis gets us a lot further than alien astronauts. (Check out his excellent New York Post piece.) And then our own Dr. George Savage follows to speak about the new ominous Delta variant, and to point out that industrial policy is better left to innovators rather than bureaucrats. Rob Long is off this week, but James and Peter delve into the January 6th Commission, and rich people in space!

Music from this week’s podcast: Dear God by XTC