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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Talking Bobby Kennedy with Chris Matthews

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Hardball’s Chris Matthews has a terrific new book out: “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit.” As I told Chris in an interview this morning, I have worked for (in order) Gerald Ford, David Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and H.W., interviewed George W Bush and Mitt Romney (and helped the later write a book), so my GOP credentials are pretty solid.  But the first poster on my wall was Peter Max’s Bobby Kennedy in 1968:

Image result for peter max poster bobby kennedy

Chris joined me this morning for the first part of a two-part conversation about RFK:



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Busy reading the host’s high recommendation, “World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech” when on page 147 (Kindle edition) I ran across this gem of a paragraph:

The problem isn’t just the media’s dependence on Silicon Valley companies.  It’s the dependence on Silicon Valley values.  Just like tech companies, journalism has come to fetishize data.  And this data has come to corrupt journalism.  Reporters and their bosses can assert otherwise.  They can pretend to rise above the information, to selectively ignore the numbers and continue the relentless pursuit of higher truths and nobler interests.  But data is a Pandora’s box.  Once journalists come to know what works, which stories yield traffic, they will pursue what works.  This is the definition of pandering and it has horrific consequences.

I had to stop a minute and ingest that carefully.  Then something clicked in my mind and I rewrote the paragraph a bit – “The problem isn’t just the church’s dependence on church growth consultants, but the dependence on business-like values.  Just like any business, church has come to fetishize growth.  And this growth has come to corrupt the church.  Sure, teachers, preachers and elders can pretend things have not changed that much and that they continue to pursue character and higher values, under-girded by the Holy Spirit.  But the focus on growth is a Pandora’s box.  Once teachers, preachers and elders know what works, what produces growth, they will pursue what produces growth.  This is the definition of pandering and it has horrific consequences.”

I am sure a similar paragraph could be written about our educational institutions as well.

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verb (used with object) stupefied, stupefying.

1. put into a state of little or no sensibility; benumb the faculties of; put into a stupor.
2. to stun, as with a narcotic, a shock, or a strong emotion.
3. to overwhelm with amazement; astound; astonish.

That was my reaction when I read two articles this week – I was stupefied.  Consider:

Global climate action must be gender equal


Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.

These articles are exactly what they seem – no misleading headlines or other trickery – they are “arguments” for precisely the stances they claim in their heads.  My faculties were indeed benumbed as I tried to make sense of that which is so nonsensical.  Does not changing the climate, for better or worse, affect everybody?  How is gender involved?  Not have kids?  Isn’t that the most fundamental thing we humans do?  Moreover the line between justifying the cessation of reproduction and the justification of ending existing lives is a dangerously thin one.

We are truly adrift.

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