American Elephants

Here Is a Wonderful Edition of Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a remarkable video of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson from the Hoover Institution, featuring former Secretary of State George Schultz, John Cogan, Terry Anderson and Lee Ohanian. Four economists to talk about the major improvements that happened in the United States between 1919 and 2019. There were momentous improvements affecting all of our lives and our prosperity, inventions, the Great Depression, the Holocaust, World War II, the underlying institutions. prosperity, private property, the rule of law, free markets and what they mean. The role of immigration, the role of government, and attracting talent. You’ll learn a lot of History and a lot of Economics.

This was just published on August 26, 2019. It’s long, but worth every minute. You will learn a lot. Leadership, the uses of government, Socialism illustrated, American institutions, the Great Depression, economic history, a hugely rewarding discussion. You will learn about incentives, taxes, policies and why they matter. You will enjoy it,really. Enlarge it to full screen. You might want to keep a copy so you can listen more than once. I know that I will.

ADDENDUM: Do take special note of Terry Anderson’s visit to an Indian Reservation and the discussion of private property, with a devastating account of socialism thrown in for the benefit of our ignorant college students.

Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Second World Wars” by The Elephant's Child
November 28, 2017, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Enlarge this one, and watch the whole thing. Victor Davis Hanson explains World War Two in ways that you have never heard before, that makes the whole thing more understandable, and more real. The mistakes, the misunderstandings, the abilities of some and the lack of ability of others. A masterful approach.

Uncommon Knowledge: Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson on grand strategy, immigration, and the coming election.  It’s a fascinating conversation, worth every minute. I hope you can find time.


President Barack Obama: Explaining the Inexplicable by The Elephant's Child

I am a great admirer of Richard Epstein. I like his mind and the way he thinks and I am fascinated with anyone who can speak for 20 or 30 minutes in complete sentences without pause and without a stumble. There is a perfect coordination between brain and mouth.

I am a slow thinker— clear enough, but s-l-o-w, and the connection between thought process and actual speech leaves much to be desired. I have made speeches that were much somewhat admired, but they were short and it was a struggle. This particular video from Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution is from March of 2009. It is nevertheless completely fascinating, but over 30 minutes long, if you can make the time.

Richard Epstein discusses his personal and professional associations with Barack Obama in the video starting at 20.36 and lasts around ten minutes if you are short on time. I have found his comments on Obama to be as good a guide as I can find, and have proven accurate as situations arise. It helps to explain the inexplicable.

There is a lot that is inexplicable. The man remains much of a mystery, and as we get deeper into the weeds of ObamaCare, it is more puzzling.  He does not change his mind. Once he has accepted ‘received knowledge’ he is not open to changing his mind. Hence, in spite of the collapse of the IPCC, Obama will pursue his pledge to stop global warming in its tracks. The failure of the stimulus merely means that he needs more infusions of wealth into the economy to stimulate it. See what you think.

Richard Epstein on “Crisis and the Law” by The Elephant's Child

This Uncommon Knowledge conversation with Richard Epstein was uploaded by the Hoover Institution on March 31, 2009. Richard Epstein is considered one of the most influential legal thinkers of modern times, and his libertarian views on the financial crisis are deeply interesting. But Epstein knew Barack Obama at the University of Chicago, and through his next-door neighbor who was Obama’s best friend.

Conservatives have spent 3 1/2  years trying to understand Barack Obama and his actions. I have found Richard Epstein’s comments about Obama to be the best guide to all things Obama that I have seen anywhere. And yet, as Epstein says, he doesn’t really know him at all. I have watched the whole interview several times, and will probably watch it many more. His discussion about his personal and professional associations with Obama starts at 20:36, and lasts around ten minutes. But the whole conversation is valuable.

The conversation ranges through the importance of contracts, the constitutionality of the taxation of AIG executives and the Employee Free Choice Act, the stimulus and the Auto Company bailouts. Peter Robinson is a wonderful interviewer. Enjoy. This is special.

Thomas Sowell, Provocative and Intriguing, On “Uncommon Knowledge.” by The Elephant's Child

I am a great fan of the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge.” Peter Robinson interviews a great variety of interesting people, and he is a wonderful interviewer. This week, his guest is Dr. Thomas Sowell, who has a new book out: Intellectuals and Society. Dr. Sowell is as provocative as usual (and right), and completely entertaining.

In the 1920s, he says, an intellectual movement arose which said that smart people could get together and renounce war.  [ that worked out well].  We did not lose the war in Vietnam, he contends, the intellectuals lost it for us.

Espousing social justice, or saving the environment, puts you on a higher plane than ordinary mortals. Intellectuals believe that they should influence, if not control, the decisions made in society.  Central planning doesn’t produce the good results that the marketplace does. Intellectuals have every incentive to believe that they are brighter than other people.

As usual, there are five segments of the Sowell interview, of around 7 minutes each.  Very worth your time.  You will find the first one here.  And all the previous interviews are available there as well.

Here’s something worth a few minutes of your time. by The Elephant's Child

National Review Online has been featuring the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge”, a TV show in which scholar and host Peter Robinson interviews interesting people.  The current video is an interview with Thomas Sowell about one of his most famous books A Conflict of Visions.  In the book, Dr. Sowell explains the ideological origins of political struggles.  Controversies in  politics arise from many sources, but the enduring conflicts over generations show a remarkably consistent pattern.  Issues like criminal justice, income distribution and war and peace reflect radically different visions of the nature of man.

It’s a wonderful series, and well worth a bit of your time.  The entire interview is divided into five sections, so you can watch one at a time, briefly, or settle down to watch the whole thing at the end of the week.

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