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Knowledge, Leadership, and Science

Sunday, July 5, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

The last 30 days or so have seen a great uptick in the discussion about science, religion, politics and epistemology.  For the Cleveland Browns fans out there, epistemology is the study of how we know things – What is the basis of actual knowledge.  The uptick is the result of the revelation that a study on attitudes about homosexuality was essentially faked.  I searched for an article of any sort that explained what happened without a lot of opinion attached and the only ones I could find are behind expensive academic pay walls.  This is as close as I could come to something of that sort.

Not being in academia myself, I first picked up on the fraudulent study from a June 5 WSJ opinion piece.  I did not think much of it at the time because it is about polling, and while polling uses a lot of scientific tools, it has never risen to the level of “science.”  I am by academic training a chemist (M.S., Chemistry, Butler University, 1984) which is about as rigorous as science gets. Continue Reading

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Historical Fiction And Thrillers As The Gateway Drug To History And Reading In General: My 100 Novel (And Two Short Stories) Reading List for the Young Adult

Saturday, July 4, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The past two summers I have spent a week teaching young people aged 16 to 20 at the Young Conservatives Leadership Summit at Colorado Christian University.   The most popular hour lecture both years was the one in which I list for them 100 novels they ought to read, and the order in which they ought to read them, in order to addict them to the stronger stuff of real history.  This isn’t a list of the 100 greatest novels –not by a log shot, and am I ever the wrong guy to ask that. (Try “Joseph Epstein’s Lifetime Reading Plan” from his 1987 collection of essays Once More Around The Block. ) The suggested order in which my recommended novels should be read is as important as the books themselves as my method of addicting young people to reading runs from most easily accessible to most difficult, usually in backwards chronological sequence, with a twist at the end into the Napoleonic Wars, ending with the 21 Patrick O’Brien novels featuring Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.  My list ends with the O’Brian series because, as David Mamet noted 15 years ago, “[f]or the past 30 years the greatest novelists writing in English have been genre writers: John le Carre, George Higgins and Patrick O’Brian.” Continue Reading

Harry Jaffa On The Declaration of Independence, And My “Bag of Books” Lecture For BookTV

Friday, July 3, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The long weekend begins today, and my eve of the 4th show will feature a long conversation with the late Dr. Harry Jaffa about the Declaration of Independence.  Dr. Jaffa died in January, but no one living has spent as many years thinking about the great declaration, and this conversation, part of the genesis of the Hillsdale Dialogues, is an audience favorite every year.  Enjoy.

I’ll also be on BookTV sometime next weekend I think, as CSPAN plays a lecture I gave on The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of the Second “Clinton Era” on Tuesday night.  It was actually a lecture on how to prepare for the role of asking questions at GOP presidential debates.  The short answer: Read.  Read in the current issues of the day, but also in the books that are presently shaping opinion, and of course talk, with candidates –as I have been doing a lot of in recent weeks– and smart people like Dr. Larry Arnn, Mark Steyn, NBC’s Chuck Todd, CBS’ John Dickerson, Adam Carolla (all of whom were either live or taping with me yesterday.)

The lecture begins with shameless plugging of The Queen, and then pays a long overdue thank you to Brian Lamb (Sundays At Eight), Susan Swain (First Ladies) and Peter Slen, the first two who are the “makers of the feast” when it comes to BookTV, and Brian and Peter Slen for demonstrating week in-and-out how to engage authors with serious interviews.  Then I launched into the books I have featured in the past few weeks –the reading list I set for myself and my show– to demonstrate what serious journalists have to do to simply keep up, before closing with my favorite book of the year and perhaps the most crucial outside of The Queen for the upcoming election season.  As I signed books after the talk, many asked me to post the list, so here it is: Continue Reading

Let’s Play ‘Hide The Story,’ But The Danger Is Real

Friday, July 3, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

“What they are doing now is making it more likely that there will be a bigger, more disastrous catastrophe for the United States,” said David Sedney, who resigned in 2013 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

That is the sixth paragraph of an AP story that showed up in only a few places this morning.  You know, July 3, 2015, a Friday of a holiday weekend, when no one (except utter geeks like me) is reading the news.  The story cites at least four former Obama administration officials that are on record saying the Obama counter-terrorism policy is not working.  A story that big ought to have show up a lot more places and sometime when someone might actually read it. Continue Reading

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