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Column

The Wrong Question on Iraq

Tuesday, May 19, 2015  |  posted by Garrett Fahy

By Brian Fahy & Garrett Fahy

Over the past week, presidential aspirants Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have been bedeviled by the questions of whether or not President George W. Bush erred by invading and liberating Iraq, and whether they too would have launched an invasion. Jeb Bush, admirably loyal to his brother, has struggled to issue a coherent response to these “gotcha” questions. Continue Reading

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The Characters Are Not The Problem

Tuesday, May 19, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

Odysseus…Aeneas…Gilgamesh…King Aurthur…Paul Bunyan…Superman.  Why are the stories of Odysseus and Aeneas considered some of the greatest literature of history and Superman considered disposable pulp?  Why are guys who make a living in superhero movies, claim they are dumbing us down?  Utter geek that I am (my comic book collection reaches to about 8000 books and don’t even ask about the decor of my office) I cannot entirely disagree with the the assessment if for no other reason than of those thousands of comic books only a precious few rise to the level of greatness.  History is what makes the difference.

Surely Homer did not sit down and write “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” from scratch.  The stories had been told over and over and over again.  Homer simple took the legends and distilled them and rendered the best tellings.  Likewise Virgil and “The Aeneid.”  The stories were, until they were so carefully refined, disposable pulp.   Thousands of years from now the thousands of Superman/Batman/Captain America/Iron Man… stories that are utter drivel will be gone, but the good ones will remain.  They are pulp now because the refining process has not yet occurred.  But they are vastly important to our culture. Continue Reading

“The Road To Character” by David Brooks

Monday, May 18, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

 

David Brooks was my guest in the second hour of Monday’s show, taking about his new and engrossing book The Road To Character.

It is a remarkable series of mini-biographies about men and women who ought to be emulated: who teach us how to live.  As a spent my senior year in college with Montaigne as a daily companion –I wrote my thesis on his essay on “Friendship”– I was perhaps a little susceptible to Brooks’ chapter on Augustine and Montaigne, but what I learned about Francis Perkins and George C. Marshall standing alone would have made the book worth reading even if the French essayist had not appeared towards the end, paired with Samuel Johnson.  I think you will agree.  Don’t miss the conversation.

Audio:

05-18hhs-brooks

Transcript:

HH: As promised, the New York Times’ David Brooks joins me now to spend an hour talking about his brand new bestseller, The Road To Character, and a marvelous book it is. David, welcome back, it’s always a pleasure to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

DB: It is a great pleasure to be with you again.

HH: Now are you a Game of Thrones guy, because I was just playing the GOT music there.

DB: I am afraid I am not a Game of Thrones guy.

HH: All right, I didn’t think so. I thought when we were at Meet The Press that last time, you admitted as much. But I found an admission in The Road To Character which is truly shocking. You have actually read Ear. Pray. Love?

DB: All the way though. I’m the only man in America who read that book.

HH: You are the only man. Well, I described this, this weekend, to someone as Joseph Epstein meets Tim Keller. And I think you’ll probably like that, right?

DB: Yeah, those are two great people to be like.

HH: Well, you quote them both in the course of the book, but for the benefit of the audience at the beginning, this is about resume virtues and eulogy virtues. It’s about Johnny Unitas V. Joe Namath. It’s about Samuel Johnson V. Michel Montaigne, and Marshall V. Patton. I could go on and on, but I want to begin with really a tough question, David. In the Introduction, Roman Numeral XIII, “I wrote it to be honest to save my own soul.” What does that mean?

DB: Well, you know, I wasn’t in a sort of midlife crisis. If that was the case, I would have been fine with the car. The Porsche would have done it for me. But you know, we all try to be better. We all try to get better. And I would occasionally run across people who radiate an inner light, people who are just patient and calm and good, the sort of people who just show up for people. And you meet them, and when you see them, you’re just sort of amazed at how they’re so good, they’re just so joyful, they’re so happy, they’re so grateful for life. And my reaction always is, you know, I’ve achieved more career success than I ever thought I would, but I haven’t achieved that. And I don’t even know how you get that. I want to know how you go from being, you know, the normal mess most of us are in adolescence, to being a person of integrity, character, joy and spiritual tranquility. And so the book is about people who did that. And I just want to know how you do it. Continue Reading

“Knocking Out New York’s Bullyboy Leftist” By Clark S. Judge

Monday, May 18, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The weekly column from Clark Judge:

“Knocking Out New York’s Bullyboy Leftist”
By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute

It is not often that black tie awards dinners serve as a round in a prizefight. Last Monday New York City’s Manhattan Institute held is annual Alexander Hamilton Dinner and used the occasion to deliver intellectual knockout blows against the city’s radical leftist mayor William de Blasio and his circle.

To do so, the Institute honored George Kelling, co-author of “Broken Windows Policing,” perhaps the most important American article on crime prevention ever published, and Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter School. Both Kelling’s police tactics – take civic order seriously, stop petty criminals from creating a climate of lawlessness in neighborhoods – and Moskowitz’ education tactics – expect the highest level of achievement from children regardless of family background, insist on students developing full English proficiency – have come under fire from those around the mayor since Mr. de Blasio took office in January 2014. Continue Reading

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