Victor Davis Hanson discusses some of the difficulties encountered by farmers and by research scientists and doctors dealing with COVID-19, and why some areas of the country are affected more than others, his theories about when the virus actually first appeared in the United States, and, finally, what plagues of the ancient world can teach us about how to best manage and get past the situation the entire world finds itself in.
Matt Ridley discusses his new book is How Innovation Works, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the world’s economies, the real story of Thomas Edison and why he was one of the greatest innovators in human history, why China may not be the threat it appears to be (at least not technologically), and some predictions as to what the world may look like in 2050.
The spread of democracy around the world was one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, democracy was limited to a handful of Western nations, while today perhaps 120 nations have some form of democratic government. Yet among Muslim countries, democracy is rare, and among Arab states, essentially nonexistent. Why? Is the Islamic faith compatible with the essential features of a democratic society—separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and women's rights, to name a few—or not? Just what is the future of democracy in the Arab world?
Conservative: favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. But is the definition of a conservative changing in twentieth-century America? Today conservatives seem to be divided into two groups, the neoconservatives and those who view themselves as traditional conservatives—sometimes derisively called the "paleoconservatives." Are the neoconservatives, including many in the Bush administration, actually, as some charge, radicals in conservative clothing? Or have the paleoconservatives become too hidebound for their own good?
Is nuclear power making a comeback? More than twenty years after the accident at Three Mile Island and fifteen years after the reactor explosion at Chernobyl, the image of nuclear power seems to be changing once again. President Bush has included nuclear energy as part of his national energy plan. The nuclear industry has begun to promote nuclear energy as the clean energy alternative. And a recent poll showed that almost 60 percent of Californians favor nuclear power. So just how safe is nuclear power today? Does it make economic sense to start building new nuclear plants? And what do we do with the radioactive waste?
Internet technologies are transforming the way we communicate and do business. But, are we, as some claim, in the midst of the "long boom," a new era of unparalleled prosperity driven by unprecedented technological change or are we merely enjoying a bull market that has yet to begin its inevitable correction? What does the current economic boom have in common with the "Roaring Twenties" and how can we avoid an economic contraction as severe as the Great Depression?
Edward Snowden's theft of massive numbers of National Security Agency (NSA) documents — the Pentagon estimates he copied 1.7 million intelligence files — and the distribution of those documents to journalists who have sporadically published them has damaged American national s
Given recent trends at both local and federal levels, most notably the Supreme Court decision striking down the Texas antihomosexual sodomy law, it would appear that legal recognition of gay marriage may be just a matter of time. Should gay marriage be granted legal recognition? Are same-sex couples who are not allowed to marry under current law being denied equal protection of the law? How would recognition of gay marriage alter the traditional purpose of marriage? And would gay marriage erode support for families or strengthen it?
What can evolutionary science tell us about human behavior? During the past thirty years, biologists, anthropologists, and psychologists have begun applying Darwinian concepts, such as natural selection and survival of the fittest, to the study of behavior. Are social characteristics, such as aggression, love, and courtship, determined by our evolutionary past and encoded into our genes like physical attributes, such as walking upright or hair color? Are we slaves to our DNA, or does genetic determinism fail to explain fully what it means to be human?
Will standards-based testing and accountability improve our nation's education system? In January 2002, President Bush signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002. The act calls for a mandatory annual test in reading and math for every child in the nation in the third through eighth grades. Schools that fail to improve their students' scores may be held accountable, possibly losing some federal funding. Supporters of the act say that standards-based testing and accountability are the best ways to monitor and improve the nation's schools. Opponents say that such a regime is largely a political ploy that will do more harm than good. Who's right?
On the occasion of his new book, Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power, Hoover visiting fellow and Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo joins the show to make a spirited case against the criticisms of Donald Trump for his supposed disruption of constitutional rules and norms.
For nearly a thousand years after the death of the prophet Muhammad, the Islamic world was powerful, creative, and self-confident. In science, in trade, and in the arts, Muslim civilization rivaled and often surpassed the best achievements of the European world. But beginning sometime around the seventeenth century, Islamic power and dynamism began to wane, to be eclipsed by the West. Today, by nearly every measure of social and economic development, Islamic nations fall far short of Western nations. Why? Did the historical rise and decline of Islam result from processes internal to the Muslim world or from its interaction with the West? What can and should be done to revive Islamic civilization?
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?
In 1946, in the wake of two world wars that left the continent devastated, Winston Churchill famously declared, "We must build a kind of United States of Europe." But for a continent of 500 million people and several dozen nation-states with singular histories, cultures, and identities, how complete and how inclusive can unification be? With the end of the cold war, what is the motivation for continuing on the path toward union? If we are on the threshold of an actual "United States of Europe," what role will, and should, the United States of America have in this new Europe?
Peter Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal and Palantir; early investor in Facebook, LinkedIn, and SpaceX; and the founder of the Thiel Fellowship, which encourages young people to drop out of college to start their own businesses, is interviewed live on stage in front of the members of the Mont Pelerin Society.
Cloning—using biotechnology to create embryos with specific genetic information, identical to other embryos or even human adults—used to sound like science fiction. Today, however, the ability to successfully clone human embryos is a matter of when, not if. But should human cloning be allowed to go forward? Is cloning morally wrong, in and of itself? Should we make a distinction between cloning for medical research and cloning for procreation? If cloning is morally wrong, could we stop it even if we wanted to? And if cloning isn't or can't be banned, how should it be regulated?
What will be the legacy of William Jefferson Clinton? Will the Lewinski scandal and the impeachment define his presidency, or will people set those events aside and concentrate on his political achievements or lack thereof? How serious was Clinton’s misconduct in office? Was his domestic economic and political agenda a success or a failure? And how should we rate the foreign policy record of the Clinton administration?
General Wesley K. Clark served as supreme allied commander of NATO from 1997 to 2000 and directed the allied war effort in Kosovo in 1999. What lessons has General Clark drawn from the war over Kosovo? How should the use of force be applied in an era of competing demands from the public, domestic political leaders, and international allies? Did this war prove that the United States can rely on technology to apply force without casualties, or did it prove that ground troops, now as ever, are critical to achieving military objectives?