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Hoover media fellow Len Downie

Seminar features Hoover media fellow Len Downie

with Len Downievia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Len Downie, vice president at large and former executive editor of the Washington Post, spoke about “The Future of News” Tuesday at the Arrillaga Alumni Center. His talk was cosponsored by the Hoover Institution and the Stanford University Department of Communication.

Retired Gen. Jack Keane on Uncommon Knowledge

At War with General Jack Keane

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Retired General Jack Keanevia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, April 13, 2009

During his thirty-seven years in the U.S. Army, Jack Keane earned four stars. Beginning his career as a paratrooper in Vietnam, he rose to command both the 101st Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps. In his final post he served as the Army’s vice chief of staff. General Keane retired from active duty in 2003.

In 2006, General Keane and military historian Frederick Kagan helped develop a new approach to the Iraq war that would become known as “the surge.” How did we arrive at that point in 2006 when the entire war effort in Iraq hung in the balance – why did the war go so badly for so long? General Keane gives an insider’s account of this pivotal time in the Iraq war and of the resistance encountered within the military to that dramatic change in strategy. Keane discusses the lessons to be learned from the Iraq War and how to define and achieve victory in Afghanistan. Finally, he deals with the overall question of the military force structure and the danger of becoming preoccupied with the threat of terrorism and insurgencies and thus risking being unable to confront a conventional power. (37:46 ) Video transcript

Hoover senior fellow Richard Epstein considers the soundness of contracts and the constitutionality of taxing bonuses at a rate of 90 percent.

Crisis and the Law with Richard Epstein

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Richard A. Epsteinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, March 30, 2009

Considered one if the most influential legal thinkers of modern times, Richard Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, brings his libertarian views to bear on the current financial crisis—“government incentives were perverse, so the actions of the private parties were perverse”—and rates the performances of George Bush and Barack Obama in their responses to the crisis. He speaks to the importance of contracts and the constitutionality of the “expo facto” taxation on AIG executives and the Employee Free Choice Act embraced by President Obama. Finally he speaks of his personal and professional dealings with Barack Obama when they were law school faculty mates at the University of Chicago. (38:22 ) Video transcript

Justice Antonin Scalia discusses the premise of his book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.

Law and Justice with Antonin Scalia

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Antonin Scaliavia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, March 16, 2009

The Constitution “is not living, but dead.” With these words Associate Justice Scalia sums up how he believes we should think about the Constitution – a way of thinking that underpins the theory of “originalism” which guides his approach to cases that come before the Supreme Court. In expounding on originalism, Scalia takes the Court to task on past decisions, including Roe v. Wade, and measures just how far the Court can and should go in reversing these mistakes. (37:24 ) Video transcript

Video Commentary with Hoover senior fellows Terry Moe and Paul Peterson

Video Commentary with Hoover senior fellows Terry Moe and Paul Peterson

with Terry M. Moe, Paul E. Petersonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 13, 2009

Hoover Institution senior fellows and members of Hoover’s Task Force on K–12 Education Terry Moe and Paul Peterson comment on the controversy surrounding the likely termination of the Washington, D.C., voucher program. Moe and Peterson discuss why vouchers are important for students, particularly disadvantaged ones; why many teachers and Democrats do not like the voucher program; why Democrats voted to end the voucher program; and why private schools work best for disadvantaged students. Video transcript (6:27).


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For more than a decade the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

“Uncommon Knowledge takes fascinating, accomplished guests, then sits them down with me to talk about the issues of the day,” says Robinson, an author and former speechwriter for President Reagan. “Unhurried, civil, thoughtful, and informed conversation– that’s what we produce. And there isn’t all that much of it around these days.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter