Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
The following are the top 10 books for January – March 2013 as identified by the readers of Selfish Citizenship.
- The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope by John A. Allison
- American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964 by William Manchester
- The Head of Athena (The Cyrus Skeen Series) by Edward Cline
- Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. Vol. 1 by Robert V. Remini
- Truman and MacArthur: Policy, Politics, and the Hunger for Honor and Renown by Michael D. Pearlman
- Jefferson the Virginian (Jefferson & His Time) by Dumas Malone
- Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson
- Black & White World III by Cox & Forkum
- The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H. W. Brands
- The Aristotle Adventure: A Guide to the Greek, Arabic, & Latin Scholars Who Transmitted Aristotle’s Logic to the Renaissance by Burgess Laughlin
What are you reading? Tell us in a comment.
The top 10 posts on Selfish Citizenship for that period were:
- Obama Attacks Free Speech Again
- A Tale of Two Homeless Men
- Obama Using Accounting Cheat to Hide $761.5 Billion in Deficit Spending
- Obama Plans More Rapes (a satire)
- Obama is the Wiz, a Pretender President
- Question #6: Why is altruism bad?
- IRS’ 401k Early Withdrawal Penalties vs. Americans in Reality
- Chewing an Echo of What Passes for Thought on ObamaCare
- George Washington’s First State of the Union Address
- Dakota Meyer (Medal of Honor Recipient, Afghanistan) and the State of Our Military
In my life, there are been three suicides that have been personally meaningful to me. While each offered particular evidence and insights regarding life, in sum they communicated life lessons to be heeded.
First, when I was about 10, my close relative committed a suicide most heinous. In the moment, and with the aid of reflection and hindsight, my first experience with another’s death reflected poorly upon the philosophy of Christianity, and religion in general. By her own confession, a belief in a false alternate supernatural dimension caused her to destroy actual life in actual reality, because she held the erroneous premise of a better alternate reality on the other side of death. The revealed truths of her faith denied this abandoned wife of an adulterous husband the divorce needed to restart her life, and effectively made her guilty and punished for his sin. While she was destitute, indebted, and abandoned, the charitable institutions of her hypocritical congregation and faith turned their backs upon her and denied her aid, promised by their moral code, because of their contempt for her family’s prior good fortune.
This case sensitized me to the plight of abandoned, or otherwise abused, wives and children who require legal protections of their individual rights…which did not exist then as they do today.
In the second case, Argentine Dr. Rene Favaloro, who had performed the world’s first heart bypass operation in 1967, committed suicide during a collapse of the Argentine economy and the financial failure of his own clinic. Incensed by the suicide of a once tremendous achiever, I translated articles from Spanish to learn more about the cause of his death. For a full summary of my finding, see my YT video couplet on my autopsy of Dr. Favaloro, which has been surprisingly popular in Argentina. Cutting to the conclusion, I found that Favaloro was complicit in the economic collapse that led to his suicide, which was caused by his own altruism—literally otherism, or the moral doctrine of putting the welfare of strangers before that of yourself and those that you love. By Favaloro’s own confession, which was published in the American Heart Association’s cardiatric journal Circulation, it was his college that taught him the false altruistic ethical principles that led to his suicide and the economic collapse of his country.
From Dr. Favaloro’s suicide, I committed myself for my our selfish satisfaction to going back to school to finish my degree, to being more of an intellectual activist as a requirement of my life, and eventually to abandon my substantial contribution to financing higher education in the United States prior to our recent economic free fall.
The third case, which was particularly jarring to me, was the suicide of historian Iris Chang. Perhaps, you know her from her books The Thread of the Silkworm, The Rape of Nanking, and The Chinese in America. The abuse and death threats that she suffered from Japanese ultranationalists, over her exposing Japan’s WWII atrocities in China, demonstrated that she was a woman of admirable courage and integrity. Frankly, if you have not read The Rape of Nanking, you cannot appreciate this woman’s capacity for facing the brutal facts of reality, no matter how utterly horrific; but to suggest a small taste, I will point to her reporting the Japanese having organized and official competitions to determine which of their soldiers could chop off the most heads of defenseless Chinese civilians with a sword. Frankly, compared to the Japanese atrocities that she reported, the current crop of Muslim terrorists are pikers. Her last and unfinished project was interviewing the brutalized survivors of the Bataan death march.
Reportedly, she suffered from serious mental health issues at the time of her suicide; however, my takeaway from her experience was the need to break away from a continuous focus on evil so as to appreciate the good in life. At that time, of her death, I was already low from focusing on my study of incentive system within terrorist organizations (the topic of my thesis for a more effective counterterrorism strategy) and dealing with what I euphemistically called a “domestic terrorism” situation. Recognizing the danger of focusing too much on evil, the weekend after her death, I went to the Corcoran Gallery to see Daniel Chester French’s sculpture “Immortal Love” to get fuel for my soul; art as a selective representation of reality and experiencing one’s struggles successfully achieved before they have been actually realized in reality.
In total, what lessons do these three suicides contribute? Most importantly, life is a choice, and an affirmative one that I recommend to those NOT painfully suffering from irreversible terminal, or totally debilitating, illnesses. Secondarily, those that commit suicide have negative fallout on those at they care about that is less significant than the positive contributions made by their lives. Third, by choice, including the correction of false ideas, individuals, who see life as helpless, can change their lives for the better over time without death.
I choose life. If you are thinking about choosing your own death, please consider re-evaluation for your own selfish sake, including your selfish consideration for those whom you love. You have resources: friends and family who want to help, and who value you. This is the only life that you get and in this country even that which seems impossible in a dark moment may be resolved by your choice and conscious effort over time so that you can pursue your own purpose and achieve your values.
Finally, ideas and philosophy are critical in human life and adhering to false ones leads directly to death, so be introspective and conscious of the ideas/philosophies that you have chosen to guide your life.
Join us for a discussion of America’s interests in foreign policy. The book is The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America by Peter Schwartz; only 61 pages to chew and savor.
The content of this ARI publication will be supplemented and contrasted with two brief official government statements on America’s interest, which are found in: (1) A National Security Strategy for a Global Age (White House, December 2000; pp. 4-5), and (2) Leading Through Civilian Power: The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) (U.S. State Dept., 2010, pp. 9-10).
Objectivists, Democrats, and Republicans all agree that our foreign policy should be rooted in America’s interests, but we do not agree on what American interests and values are.
A recent example of different definitions for the same concepts subverting a public discussion on foreign policy would be the recent US involvement in Libya. According the official articulation of America’s interests found in the QDDR, American intervention in Libya was consistent with American interests, even if President Obama failed to articulate why that was the case.
In the discussion, we will examine:
1) Schwartz’s articulation of self-interest as the basis for understanding America’s interests.
2) How does Schwartz’s position compare to the bipartisan understanding of America’s interest as found in the 2000 National Security Strategy with its hierarchy of vital, important, and other/humanitarian interests?
3) How does Schwartz’s position compare to the Obama Administration’s four fundamental American interests as found in the QDDR?
4) Does the Obama Administration’s four fundamental American interests represent a substantially different understanding of America interests when compared to the bipartisan hierarchy?
5) How could the Objectivist understanding of self-interest influence foreign policy discussions in the presidential election?
6) Is there an opportunity to influence future American foreign policy by correcting the official statement of America’s interests during the development of the 2nd QDDR, to be published in 2014?
DCOS member Jim Woods will be leading the discussion.
Previously savored copies of Schwartz’s The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest may be found on Amazon:
New copies of Schwarz are available at the Ayn Rand Bookstore:
A National Security Strategy for a Global Age (see section entitled “Guiding Principles of Engagement”) is available for free on-line at:
The QDDR is available for free on-line at:
Join us for a discussion of a bestselling study about organizational greatness in business. The book is Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins.
Challenged to identify how good companies become great, researcher Jim Collins identified three themes that differentiated organization that had made that transition: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.
Through his examination, Collins introduces us to real world Ken Dannagers, Lawrence Hammnds, Dwight Sanderses, and Ed Neilsens. Although Collins recommends Atlas Shrugged , he was surprised to find that leadership matters. Yet, Collins is unable to reconcile a contradiction in what he calls Level 5 Leadership.
Just as Dagney Taggert found as she lost her best employees, a successful organization requires the right people. Collins found that selecting the people with the right characteristics had to come before deciding what they were to do, or as he described it: “First who…then what.”
Collins book expresses issues particularly suited for discussion by Objectivists, such as: evaluating the strengths and limits of Collins’ methodology, comparing the role of values and virtue to Ed Locke’s discussion in The Prime Movers, the role of the primacy of existence as a differentiating factor for the great companies, and differentiating the Fannie Mae in the book from the one that went broke.
More than a business book, Good to Great examines how an organization can bring individuals together to achieve shared values.
Update: DCOS will hold this discussion on July 31.
Many Americans were not informed why their tax returns are due Monday, instead of yesterday.
On Friday, the IRS was observing a DC holiday: Emancipation Day, which commemorates President Lincoln signing legislation to free the slaves in the District of Columbia.
A little over a year after the Democrats attacked Fort Sumter in their effort to continue slavery, the Republican Congress and President acted to peacefully rollback slavery through compensation, as had been done in most other places where slavery was ended.
Today, Democrats through arbitrary punitive taxation and regulation seek to impose slavery on all with bureaucratic overseers. Unfortunately, current Republicans lack the integrity and courage to actually oppose democratic tyranny.
So today, let us celebrate and remember that Americans had acted upon our devotion to individual rights and respected the principle that no one could make a unilateral claim upon another man’s labor and life.
Also, if you have not already, see the Atlas Shrugged movie this weekend to identify the symptoms of today’s political problems; after that, and if you had not already, read the book to emancipate yourself from irrationality, duty, and collectivist lies.
Atlas Shrugged Audience Reactions, Interviews by Ari Armstrong
>> List of Books <<
Presence of Mind by Edward Cline
Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins by Joshua M. Dunn
also see: Van Damme Academy’s YouTube channel
The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics by David Harriman
also see: TheLogicalLeap.com
Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch Jr
Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works by Newt Gingrich
To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine by Newt Gingrich
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and John Cox
The Clue Train Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual by Rick Levine, et al
The Path to Power by Robert A. Caro
also see, “The Curious Life of Richard Feynman” by Daniel Wahl & “Herman Boerhaave: The Nearly Forgotten Father of Modern Medicine” by Richard G. Parker
Disclosure: Many of these links use the Amazon Associate program to possibly put pennies in my pocket.
I must be in a rut as I’m not sure why all the sources for these podcasts from Friday again begin exclusively with the letter ‘C’, but they do.
As before, the following is a list of podcasts that I consumed the other day. In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast. Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment. In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.
1) The Trader Principle (2010-06-04 Cultivating the Virtues)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Kelly): Helping a child manage her frustrations, Topic: The Trader Principle (begins at 5:51), and Q&A: Toothbrushing Tactics (begins at 17:07).
The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice.
2) After Words: Mia Bay, “To Tell the Truth Freely” (2009-08-01 C-SPAN Book TV)
Relevancy B, Quality B+ – Mia Bay, associate history professor at Rutgers University, recounts the life of 19th century suffragist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells in her book, To Tell the Truth Freely. Ms. Bay recalls Ida B. Wells appeal to the Supreme Court after being removed from a seat on a train due to her race, her assistance in founding the NAACP in 1910, and her international campaign against lynching. Mia Bay discusses her book with Elsa Barkley Brown, associate history and women’s studies professor at the University of Maryland.
3) Organized Crime and Transnational Threats (2009-11-18 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality B – This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?, undertaken in collaboration with the Latin American Program and Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and made possible by the generous support of the Hauser Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and a grant from the Robina Foundation for CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program. This panel featured: David Holiday (Program Officer, Latin America Program, Open Society Institute), William F. Wechsler (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, U.S. Department of Defense), and Lee S. Wolosky (Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Former Director, Transnational Threats, National Security Council).
Wechsler and Wolosky are coauthors of Terrorist Financing.
4) Local and National Policy Responses (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality B – This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat? This panel featured: Ramon Garza Barrios ( Mayor, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico) and Rodrigo Pardo García-Peña (Director, Cambio; Former Foreign Minister, Republic of Colombia).
Relevancy C, Quality B – In I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican, Harry Stein uses humor to describe being a conservative locked in a community of liberals, both in his neighborhood and in his professional life. He details the difficulties he’s had with family members since crossing the political spectrum from left wing to right, and he talks about being misrepresented as a racist by the Dallas Morning News. The interview was conducted by author and journalist Stefan Kanfer.
6) Academic Conference Call: Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality C – Paul Stares is coauthor of CFR’s special report “Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action.” Few would dispute that preventing conflict, instability, and humanitarian disaster is preferable to confronting these problems after they arise. Preventive measures are generally less expensive than remedial ones. They also allow policymakers to address potential crises before they threaten international stability, U.S. interests, and human lives. Building an effective U.S. government capacity to take preventive action, however, has proved an elusive goal. And the challenges to achieving it have perhaps never been greater.
7) After Words: Joe Scarborough. “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (2009-07-11 C-SPAN Book TV)
Relevancy C, Quality C – From BookExpo America in New York City, Joe Scarborough on his book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise. The former Republican congressman and current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe presents his thoughts on the Bush administration, the current state of the Republican party, and the Obama presidency. Joe Scarborough discusses his book with Peggy Noonan, columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
8 ) Foreign Aid, Civilian Capacity, and U.S. National Security (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy C, Quality C – U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (Chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs) discusses how if only more money was spent on diplomacy and development through the subcommittee that she leds, then there would be less conflict for the military to resolve. Isn’t it always the case with the cardinals of the Appropriations Committee: the key to a better world is more money under their domain.
I could not find a book by her as evidently ideas and words make her head hurt.
9) How Should Governments Drive Industry Change? Lessons Learned from the Global Automotive Sector (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy C, Quality D – Carlos Ghosn (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Renault-Nissan Alliance) and Steven L. Rattner (Former Head, U.S. Treasury Department’s Auto Task Force) discuss government led industrial policy in the auto industry.
Ghosn is author of Shift: Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival. Rattner is author of Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry.
10) After Words: Edward Humes interviewed by Matthew Kahn, UCLA (2009-07-18 C-SPAN Book TV)
Relevancy F, Quality F – The Pulitzer Prize winning author profiles the multi-millionaires and high-profile people who are trying to take the planet green. The episode was filmed on the C-SPAN bus at the L.A. Times Festival of Books about his latest book Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers and Millionaires Who are Saving Our Planet.
I’m not sure why all the sources for these podcasts from Thursday begin with the letter ‘C’, but they do.
As before, the following is a list of podcasts that I consumed the other day. In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast. Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment. In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.
1) Free Range Parenting (2010-05-27 Cultivating the Virtues)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Jenn): Dealing with pointless bickering, Topic: Free Range Parenting (begins 4:26), and Q&A: Childhood Fears (begins 18:45).
This discussion references Lenore Skenazy’s book Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).
2) Cold War Reflections and Today’s Realities (2009-11-16 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality B – Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, at cfr.org, leads a discussion about “Cold War Reflections and Today’s Realities” with Bob Kimmitt, who’s now with WilmerHale, but in those times was undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, and later became, probably, our first ambassador to the unified Germany; and Jim Goldgeier, who is the senior fellow for transatlantic relations at the council, and also is a professor at George Washington University.
Goldgeier is author of Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russian After the Cold War.
3) After Words: Schmidle interviewed by Peters (2009-05-29 C-SPAN BookTV)
Relevancy B, Quality B – Nicholas Schmidle went to Pakistan in 2006 to learn about the country and the people who live there. He stayed for two years and wrote about his experiences in his book “To Live or to Perish Forever.” Mr. Schmidle talks about his book with Ralph Peters, columnist for the New York Post and strategic analyst for Fox News.
4) State and Local Officials Conference Call: U.S. Immigration Policy (2009-11-18 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality B – Edward Alden discusses the results for a bi-partisan task force on immigration. The task force’s report examines immigration into the United States in a foreign policy context. It broadens the debate by analyzing issues of economic competitiveness, terrorism and national security, human rights, and public diplomacy in the context of globalization. The report then offers recommendations for a twentyfirst-century immigration policy that serves U.S. economic, diplomatic, and national security interests.
Alden is the coauthor of U.S. Immigration Policy: Independent Task Force Report No. 63.
5) Trial of Accused 9/11 Terrorists (2009-11-08 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality C+ – The decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, in federal court in New York has elicited strong reactions from across the political spectrum. CFR Adjunct Senior Fellows John B. Bellinger and Steven Simon support the Obama administration’s decision, arguing that it gives the United States the opportunity to demonstrate globally the administration’s commitment to fair trials for detainees.
6) Update on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2009-11-12 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality C – CFR’s Steven A. Cook discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict in light of the release of the Goldstone Report, which was recently completed by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, as part of CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
7) After Words: Wangari Maathai, author of “The Challenge for Africa” interviewed by Nicole Lee (2009-05-26 C-SPAN BookTV)
Relevancy C, Quality C – 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai talks about her latest book, “The Challenge for Africa.” In the book, Ms. Maathai looks at the problems facing the continent and provides advice on how to improve things there. She discusses her book with Nicole Lee, executive director of TransAfrica Forum.
8 ) After Words: Eduardo Galeano, author of “Mirrors” interviewed by John Dinges (2009-06-20 C-SPAN BookTV)
Relevancy B, Quality D – Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano talks about his latest book, “Mirrors,” a history of the world told through 600 brief stories. Mr. Galeano is interviewed by Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges, author of “The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents.” The two men also discussed Mr. Galeano’s 1971 book, “The Open Veins of Latin America,” which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave to President Obama during the Fifth Summit of the Americas.
This would have a more interesting interview if Dinges had not been such a smitten fanboy, and had engaged and exposed Galeano’s premises.
9) After Words: Tierney Cahill, author, Ms. Cahill for Congress, Interviewed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC (2009-05-28 C-SPAN BookTV)
Relevancy C, Quality D – The story of how an elementary school teacher told her class that anyone can run for Congress and was challenged by them to prove it. With a $7,000 initial campaign chest and her students as her campaign staff, she won the 2000 Democratic nomination in Nevada’s 2nd district, which includes Reno.
10) The Challenge of Somalia (2009-11-05 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality F – Bronwyn E. Bruton proposes a strategy of “constructive disengagement” to combat terrorism and promote development and stability in Somalia. Instead of supporting Somalia’s unpopular Transitional Federal Government, Bruton argues that the United States should accept an Islamist authority as long as it does not impede international humanitarian activities or support international jihad. Bruton also advocates for a decentralized approach to U.S. foreign aid distribution by working with existing local authorities. And she counsels against an aggressive military response to piracy, making the case instead for initiatives to mobilize Somalis themselves against pirates.
Burton’s book is Somalia: A New Approach.
The following is a list of podcasts that I consumed Wednesday. In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast. Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment. In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.
Also, check out this week’s Objectivist Round Up for insightful posts.
1) Temperment (2010-04-24 Cultivating the Virtues)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (by Kelly), Topic: Temperament (begins around 4:54), and Q&A (begins around 28:17). Yes, we went REALLY long on our topic, partly because it’s a favorite one of ours, and partly because we forgot to watch our time!
2) Why Non-Punitive Discipline? (2010-05-03 Cultivating the Virtues)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Jenn): A child models correct behavior for another child, FTW! Topic: Why Non-Punitive Discipline/The Ambassador Analogy (begins 3:42) Q&A: Celebrating Holidays as non-religious parents (begins 12:55)
RationalJenn provides a number of resources related to this podcast at her site, including How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.
3) Independence (2010-05-12 Cultivating the Virtues)
Relevancy A, Quality A – This podcast features a discussion on the virtue of Independence and how parents can encourage independence of thought and action in children. Here’s the lineup: Situation of the Week (Kelly): Handling conflict with a child/choosing battles, Topic: Independence (begins 5:30), and Q&A: What are some ways to deal with kids interrupting? (begins 19:06).
4) I Am Murdered: George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson, and the Killing That Shocked a New Nation (2009-08-02 C-SPAN Q&A)
Relevancy B, Quality B – Bruce Chadwick recalls the murder of George Wythe, who represented Virginia at the Constitutional Convention and was a close friend and teacher to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Chadwick examines what he deems America’s first “trial of the century” as former representative Wythe lived long enough after his deliberate poisoning to attribute the murder to his grandnephew, George Wythe Sweeny. However, despite Mr. Wythe’s claim and the first-hand account of his maid, Lydia Broadnax (who survived the poisoning), Mr. Sweeny was never found guilty of the charge.
I have added I Am Murdered to my Amazon wishlist. Also discussed in this podcast is Chadwick’s book Triumvirate: The Story of the Unlikely Alliance That Saved the Constitution and United the Nation, which is about Madison, Hamilton, Jay and the Federalist Papers.
5) Neil Sheehan, Author, ”A Fiery Peace in a Cold War” (2009-09-20 C-SPAN Q&A)
Relevancy B, Quality B – Neil Sheehan is the author of a new book, ”A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon.” The book tells the story of the nuclear arms race and the intercontinental Ballistic Missile through the eyes of Air Force General Bernard Schriever. In 1954, General Schriever was the head of a research team that led to putting satellites in space and the development of missiles like the ICBM.
6) Fiscal Irresponsibility Clouds The Future Of The United States (2009-11-04 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy A, Quality C – Richard A. Posner, judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, analyzes how past fiscal irresponsibility has led to challenges to the global standing of the U.S. financial markets.
Posner has written A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression.
7) Christopher Caldwell, Author, ”Reflections on the Revolution in Europe” (2009-09-13 C-SPAN Q&A)
Relevancy B, Quality C – Christopher Caldwell is the author of the new book, ”Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West.” The book looks at the immigrant experience in Europe, specifically immigration from non-European countries. Caldwell explains that there are 1.7 million new arrivals in Europe each year, half of which are followers of Islam. In his book, he says, ”Europe’s future peace and prosperity depend on how easily these newcomers (and their children and grandchildren) assimilate into European life.’
8 ) Tracy Kidder, Author, ”Strength in What Remains” (2009-10-11 C-SPAN Q&A)
Relevancy C, Quality C – Pulitzer Prize Winning author Tracy Kidder talks about his newest book, ‘‘Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness.” It’s the story of a young man from Burundi who comes to the United States after narrowly escaping civil war and genocide in his home country. With little money and few English skills, he works delivering groceries, sleeping in Central Park. Eventually, he meets people who help me in his quest to become a doctor. The man, named Deogratis (Deo), returns to Burundi and builds a clinic and health care system through his organization Village Health Works.
9) International Security: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons: Illusion or Possibility (2009-11-04 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy A, Quality F- – Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speak about the current nuclear situation, threats to stability, and ways to further promote nonproliferation.
10) T.R. Reid, Author, ”The Healing of America” (2009-09-06 C-SPAN Q&A)
Relevancy B, Quality F- – This week, our guest is T.R. Reid (Reed), author of the new book ”The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.” The former Washington Post reporter traveled to a variety of countries, including France, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, and the United Kingdom, for a first hand look at their health care systems. He also looks at the moral question of the right to equal health care notwithstanding ability to pay.
Reid makes a moral argument founded in altruism; thus his book, perspective, and conclusions are utterly EVIL. For an objectively moral investigation of the health care issue see Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM).
11) After Words: Peniel Joseph author of ”Dark Days, Bright Nights” interviewed by Kevin Merida (2009-01-16 C-SPAN Book TV)
Relevancy D, Quality F – Peniel Joseph recalls the black power movement in his book, ‘‘Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama.” Mr. Joseph contends that the 1965 Voting Rights Act played a significant role in the ascendancy of black radical politics and assisted in paving the way for future African-American political leadership. Peniel Joseph profiles several of the movement’s key figures, including Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, and Paul Robeson. He discusses his book with Kevin Merida, national editor of The Washington Post.
Having studied this subject myself, I find Joseph’s historical analysis to be ideologically corrupt in a way that would make Karl Mannheim proud.
The following is a list of podcasts that I consumed Tuesday. In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast. Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment. In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.
1) Immigration and Individual Rights (2010-04-01 The Objective Standard)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Zeros in on the basic principle of America and demonstrates that this principle mandates a policy of open immigration, debunks several common arguments for prohibiting or limiting immigration, shows why all such arguments are necessarily invalid, and indicates what Americans must do if we are to reestablish and maintain the kind of moral, rights-respecting immigration policy that was advocated by the Founders.
Craig Biddle is the publisher of The Objective Standard.
2) Peikoff – Episode 123 (2010-08-02 Leonard Peikoff)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Philosopher Leonard Peikoff answers questions. 1) As a student of Ayn Rand did you realize that your understanding of Objectivism to some extent had been in your views even before you read her? 2) If after years of consistent good parenting a child turns out bad, can a parent still feel pride in their accomplishment in raising him to adulthood? 3) Why aren’t Christians the most outspoken opponents of multiculturalism since they claim absolute truth, believe sinners are going to go to hell, and have a huge moral gulf between the godly and the unchristian? 4) Ayd Rand said that there are certain philosophical questions that are improper, namely questions that contradict philosophical axioms. Why did she say these in particular? 5) Have you considered cryogenically freezing yourself in the hopes that future technology will be able to restore you? 6) I am an Objectivist. Why should I make a detailed study of the epistemological ideas that Ayn Rand originated? 7) Imagine you are at your funeral at 80 years old. All of your friends, family, and colleagues come to honor you. Now think about what you would want them to say about you. Most people want to hear how great they were in their relationships, not how great they were in their business or career. What about you? 8 ) Did Ayn Rand ever worry that the KGB might try to do her harm? 9) According to Objectivism, is it okay to have sex with anyone who is the highest and best partner that I can find at this time?
Peikoff is author of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.
3) Peikoff – Episode 122 (2010-07-26 Leonard Peikoff)
Relevancy A, Quality A – Philosopher Leonard Peikoff answers questions. 1) Around what time would you say that you became a full-fledged philosopher as opposed to a philosophy student? When would you say that you became an Objectivist as opposed to a student of Objectivism? 2) We disregard ESP and the like because we accept the five senses as the only base of knowledge. Would it therefore be rational for a man who was blind from birth to disregard claims about reality based on the sense of sight?, 3) Is environmentalism the new communism? What are the similarities and differences?, 4) Is it permissible or moral to date a non-Objectivist?, 5) I am a homosexual who only finds romantic value in full masculinity. However, in my opinion a fully masculine mind is possible only in heterosexual men, and I am therefore only attracted to such men. How should I deal with this painful situation? 6) How much should you expect to love what you do for a living? Can you settle for non-love, but find ways to like what you get paid to do? Or Is settling like that selling yourself short? 7) Why did Cherryl Taggart in Atlas Shrugged have to commit suicide? 8 ) Can irrational philosophers still be called philosophers?
4) Arts Writer Dianne Durante on Sculpture’s Forgotten Delights (2010-02-24 WFIU )
Relevancy A, Quality A – Arts historian Dianne Durante tells WFIU’s Adam Schwartz how to enjoy outdoor monuments, which she calls “forgotten delights.”
Durante is the author of Forgotten Delights: The Producers and Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide.
5) The new dynamics of book publishing (2010-07-19 Seth Godin)
Relevancy B, Quality A – In May, Seth Godin gave a talk to the Independent Book Publishers, which will probably of interest if you are focused on how industries are making (or not) the shift to the new rules of a digital age.
Godin referencew the ideas from his book on leadership titled Tribes.
6) Social Media Makes Email Even Stronger (2010-07-06 Duct Tape Marketing)
Relevancy B, Quality B – Gail Goodman, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of leading email marketing service provider Constant Contact.
Over the last year or two email marketing has taken a back seat to social media in terms of buzz. However, during the recession, firms that had a solid relationship with an audience via email held a much stronger position. Email marketing still produces the highest ROI of any online marketing tactic.
Eric Groves has written Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing.
7) Russia Update: Is the Reset Working (2009-10-28 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality B – A panel discussion on U.S.- Russian relations, including: Stephen F. Cohen, Professor of Russian Studies, New York University; Dimitri K. Simes, President, The Nixon Center; and Celeste A. Wallander, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense For Russia, Ukraine And Eurasia.
The discussion refers to Stephen F. Cohen’s recent book Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War.
8 ) Color as a Branding Element (2010-07-13 Duct Tape Marketing)
Relevancy C, Quality C+ – Interview with Kate Smith Color Expert, Career Color Trend Forecaster, and Editor of Sensational Color, a site featuring a wealth of information on the subject of color, which has built in meaning and symbolism and can be a strong element of your brand when used strategically.
Her website features book recommendations, including Real World Color Management.
9) Media Conference Call: CFR Scholars Return from AfPak Region (2010-10-30 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality C – CFR Senior Fellows Max Boot and Daniel Markey, following their recent visit to the Afghan war theater, expressed deep concern about the ability of the Obama administration to stabilize the region with the current level of military and civilian resources.
Max Boot is author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. Daniel Markey is author of CFR’s Securing Pakistan’s Tribal Belt (Council Special Report No. 36).
10) The Art of Leading Well (2010-07-29 Harvard Business Review)
Relevancy B, Quality C – Warren Bennis, professor at the University of Southern California and author of “Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.”
11) Why Delighting Your Customers is Overrated (2010-07-23 Harvard Business Review)
Relevancy B, Quality C – Matthew Dixon, managing director of the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales and Service Practice, says that delighting your customer is overrated and that operations should focus on reliability.
Audio of his co-authored HBR article is available from Audible.com.
12) Kosovo’s Moment of Opportunity (2010-07-28 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy B, Quality C – The International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion July 22 that Kosovo’s 2008 independence declaration did not violate international law. Though the opinion is non-binding, it has implications for Kosovo and Serbia, as well as countries and secessionist movements around the world.
13) How Evernote Is Changing the Free Model (2010-08-03 Duct Tape Marketing)
Relevancy C, Quality C – Interview with Evernote CEO Phil Libin.
Evernote is a simple service that allows you to track and store everything you want to remember and get it out of your “meat brain” and housed somewhere safe and trustworthy. About 9,000 people a day are joining the free version of this service that also syncs incredibly well with iPads and mobile devices.
Evernote is reportedly popular with fans of David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, about which friends have heard positive comments.
14) G-Lab ’10: Intergrupo, Columbia (2010-02-24 MIT Sloan)
Relevancy C, Quality C – Growing a business by cultivating relationships.
15) Will the Economic Recovery Run Out of Steam? (2010-07-21 Knowledge@Wharton)
Relevancy C, Quality C – After a year of solid gains, the economic recovery is beginning to slow. Demand is trailing off as inventory levels have been restored and emergency stimulus measures withdrawn. Continued high unemployment and a downtick in housing are weighing on consumer confidence and spending. Add unexpected shocks from Europe and a slowdown in China, and forecasters are now ratcheting down their expectations for growth over the next year.
Peter Cappelli is coauthor of The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders Are Revolutionizing Management.
16) Shooting the Messenger: Quarterly Earnings and Short-term Pressure to Perform (2010-07-21 Knowledge@Wharton)
Relevancy C, Quality C – As the quarterly earnings season for the second quarter of 2010 gets underway, investors, analysts and the media will be watching to see how well public companies are emerging from the economic downturn, and what that might mean for the stock market. With unemployment rates still high and federal measures of economic growth shaky, observers are hoping for earnings numbers that reaffirm signs of a recovery.
Michael Useem is author of Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win.
17) WikiLeaks’ Fallout for U.S.-Pakistan Ties (2010-07-30 Council on Foreign Relations)
Relevancy C, Quality C – The classified U.S. military documents related to the war in Afghanistan leaked by WikiLeaks.org paint a grim picture of collusion between Pakistan’s intelligence service, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and members of the Afghan Taliban. While the allegations laid out in the documents–that the ISI supports Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan–may not be new, they exacerbated strains in U.S.-Pakistan relations. In Pakistan, the allegations feed a growing paranoia that the leaks are part of a “conspiracy aimed at damaging the Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship, which is in a nascent stage, as well as the U.S.-Pakistan relationship,” says Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at the Washington-based Atlantic Council.
Shuja Nawaz is author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within.