Uncommon Knowledge
A President and a Gentleman

A President and a Gentleman

December 18, 2018

Recorded on December 5, 2018.

As the country mourns the passing of President George H. W. Bush, C Boyden Gray and Haley Barbour join Peter Robinson to discuss fond memories of his leadership, friendship, humility, and legacy. They discuss the 41st President’s involvement in the Clean Air Act, the reputational teeter totter the public had with him and Reagan, and his foreign policy decisions.

They talk about Kuwait and the first Persian Gulf war and speculate that if President Bush had decided to go after Saddam Hussein then the Iraq War in the 2000s could have been avoided. They argue that President Bush took foreign policy in a good direction for the United States in the wake of the Cold War. They go into detailed analysis about President Bush, the issues he faced, and how he worked for peaceful negotiations, and was grace under fire.

President George H. W. Bush was a gentleman of a past generation, says Robinson. They discuss whether or not being a gentleman is still something to aspire to in politics and in the office of the president.

Remembering President George H. W. Bush with Chase Untermeyer and Andrew Ferguson

Remembering President George H. W. Bush with Chase Untermeyer and Andrew Ferguson

December 17, 2018

Recorded on December 5, 2018

On November 30, 2018, forty-first president George H. W. Bush passed away. Andrew Ferguson and Peter Robinson both served as speechwriters for Bush during his tenure in the White House as both the vice president and president. Chase Untermeyer served as the ambassador to Qatar under the forty-first president. The three men gather to remember the man they knew and the legacy he left behind.

Untermeyer, Ferguson, and Robinson reminisce about their experiences with George H. W. Bush. Robinson relates a fond memory he has of meeting with Bush, who was vice president at the time, to discuss Robinson’s career as a speechwriter or as a law student. They discuss Bush’s amazing military career as a pilot in WWII. Bush postponed his university studies at Yale after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and enlisted at age eighteen. By the age of twenty, Bush had flown fifty-eight combat missions and had been shot down once. After the war Bush finished his education and went on to become an expert in foreign policy as ambassador to the United Nations and then as director of Central Intelligence. Bush was president during the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and oversaw the nonviolent transition period from the Cold War to peacetime. They remember the former president’s graciousness, kindness, humility, and desire to help others (and not hold grudges), and they discuss how those qualities translated into his life and political career.

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Thomas Sowell on the Myths of Economic Inequality

Thomas Sowell on the Myths of Economic Inequality

December 3, 2018

Recorded on November 15, 2018

Thomas Sowell discusses economic inequality, racial inequality, and the myths that have continued to falsely describe the system of poverty among different racial and economic classes. He explains the economic theories behind these pervasive myths and proposes fact-based solutions for seemingly intractable situations.

Sowell discusses his early life as a high school dropout and his first full-time job as a Western Union messenger delivering telegrams. He admits to flirting with Marxism in his early twenties as he first tried to grapple with the housing inequality he saw across the neighborhoods of New York City. Marxism, he says, was the only explanation he could find at the time. He went on to serve in the Marine Corps before continuing his education in economics at Harvard and earning a master’s at Columbia and a PhD at the University of Chicago.

Sowell’s first job after his receiving his PhD in economics was working for the Department of Labor, and he says it was there that he realized Marxism was not the answer. He argues that the government has its own institutional interests in inequality that cannot be explained through Marxism. He began to be discouraged by Marxism and the government in general and began searching for better economic ideas and solutions (the free market).

Robinson and Sowell discuss Sowell’s written works, his ideas of racial and economic inequality, the state of the United States today, and much more.

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