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CARNAGE AND CULTURE: The Western Way of War

with Victor Davis Hansonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Is the culture of the West—the line of cultural tradition that connects modern America and Europe with ancient Greece and Rome—particularly lethal in war? Victor Davis Hanson contends that, from the time of the Greeks on, Western culture has created the deadliest soldiers in the history of civilization. What is it about the Western tradition that has so often led to victory on the battlefield over non-Western armies? What does this tradition mean for the battles that America will face in the future?

A FORK IN THE ROAD: Is the Transatlantic Alliance Dead?

with Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Kupchanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Over the past year, the clashes between the Bush administration and European leaders over the best way to handle Saddam Hussein have led many observers to suggest that the half-century-long alliance between Western Europe and the United States is dead. How serious is the rift between Europe and America, and why has it emerged? Is it still in the strategic interest of the United States to maintain tens of thousands of troops in Europe, or should we pull out of NATO altogether?

OFF TO THE RACES: The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action

with Vikram David Amar, Douglas W. Kmiecvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, February 28, 2003

The Supreme Court will soon announce its decisions on two cases that are being called the most important for affirmative action in a quarter century. These cases both challenge the use of racial preferences in the admissions policies at the University of Michigan. On one side of the legal dispute over the Michigan policies are those who argue that creating racial diversity on college campuses is a "compelling interest" that justifies the use of certain types of racial preferences in the admissions process. On the other side are those who argue that any system that rewards people solely on the basis of race is unconstitutional. Who's right? And how will the Supreme Court's decision affect the future of affirmation action?

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The Supreme Court and the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law

with Pamela S. Karlan, Douglas W. Kmiecvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, February 28, 2003

A case currently before the Supreme Court challenges the constitutionality of the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law, which in 1974 legalized heterosexual sodomy but not same-sex sodomy. Does the Texas law violate the constitutional rights of homosexuals, or are states permitted to pass such laws if they choose? If the Supreme Court does strike down the Texas law, what implications will that have for other civil rights that gays and lesbians are seeking, such as same-sex marriage?

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING? Is America Becoming an Empire?

with Mark Danner, Niall Fergusonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, February 28, 2003

Since the end of the cold war, the world has watched as the United States became, not merely the world's only superpower but what the French began calling a "hyperpower." Now, with the United States asserting its will and power on such issues as Iraq and the war on terror while rejecting contraints that the international community tries to place on it, some suggest that the term American empire is more appropriate. If America does have an empire, it is not based on territorial expansion as in past empires. So what is it based on? And would taking on the role of imperial hegemon be good for America and the world?

THINKING GREEN OR THINKING GREENBACKS: President Bush's Environmental Policy

with Terry Anderson, Mark Hertsgaardvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, January 30, 2003

During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush said, "Prosperity will mean little if we leave future generations a world of polluted air, toxic lakes and rivers and vanished forests." So after two years in office, how has President Bush done as the chief steward of our nation's air, water, and land? Is the Bush environmental record the disaster that critics contend? Or has the administration just done a poor job of articulating its vision for new ways of caring for the environment?

DEBT AND TAXES: The Bush Administration's Tax Plan

with Michael J. Boskin, Robert Reichvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, January 30, 2003

In January 2003, the Bush administration unveiled a package of proposed new tax cuts, including provisions to eliminate the taxation of dividends and make permanent the 2001 tax cut. President Bush called the plan "an immediate boost to the economy" as well as "essential for the long run to lay the groundwork for future growth and prosperity." Critics have said that the plan doesn't provide short-term economic stimulus and endangers long-term growth and prosperity. Is the Bush tax plan good for the economy or not?

LEADERSHIP IN WARTIME: Civilian Leaders in Time of War

with Eliot Cohen, David M. Kennedyvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, January 16, 2003

In the modern democratic era, it's not uncommon for elected leaders to have little or no military training or experience. It has become an accepted notion that political leaders should therefore leave battle plans and campaign decisions to the military commanders and avoid "micromanaging" war. But is that notion correct? Or was Clemenceau right when he said that "war is too important to be left to the generals"? What lessons can we learn from studying the greatest wartime leaders, such as Lincoln, Churchill, and FDR?

THE EMPIRE STRIKES FIRST? The National Security Strategy of the United States

with Eliot Cohen, Peter Tarnoffvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, January 16, 2003

In September 2002, President Bush released the first National Security Strategy report of his administration. Crafted by the president, his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and a team of experts both inside and outside government, the report lays out what some have called "the most important reformulation of U.S. grand strategy in more than half a century." Proponents say that the National Security Strategy presents the case for the responsible and justified use of American power, but critics call it a dangerous "doctrine without limits." Who's right?

THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST: Measuring the State of the Environment

with Daniel Kammen, Bjorn Lomborgvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Global warming, population, deforestation, mass extinctions—according to environmental groups and environmental scientists, the earth is in ever more dire straits. Should we heed these warnings and take steps to mitigate our impact on the global ecosystem? Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg has come forward to say, not so fast. He claims the environmental state of the world is actually improving, not getting worse. His claims have generated a firestorm of condemnation in the scientific community. Why? And how can we in the general public separate ideology from fact in this debate?

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For more than two decades 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.”

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