Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 56: The Handshake

Guest: NR's Kevin Williamson
Dec 14, 2013
Direct Link to MP3 File

Direct link to MP3 file

Mona and Jay welcome polymath Kevin Williamson to the podcast this week. If there’s a subject that either Kevin or Jay don’t know a lot about, it’s probably not worth knowing. Kevin talks about his new book The End Is Near and It’s Going to be Awesome and answers the question: Have we lost the people?

Then the regulars note that MSNBC has hired the old commie spokesman Vladimir Pozner. How can they distinguish him from the rest of the crew over there? They then segue to the handshake between Obama and Castro, the open mike moment at the UN a couple of weeks ago, Nelson Mandela’s greatness, why Evgeny Kissin changed his nationality, and more.

Music from this week’s episode:

Evgeny Kissin – Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor ‘Revolutionary’

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This podcast is brought to you by our good friends at Encounter Books. This week’s featured Broadside is The Truth About The IRS Scandals by Charles Johnson.  Get an additional 15% by using the code RICOCHET at checkout. 

  1. captainpower

    http://www.encounterbooks.com/books/author/johnsonc/

    Confirmed as not the same Charles Johnson from Little Green Footballs.

    Downloading episode now.

  2. Eric Jablow

    Will this cover Sky News’ scoop on the upcoming same-sex marriage between Barack Obama and Raul Castro too?

    Britain’s Sky News posted this bulletin about the Nelson Mandela memorial service at 6:36 p.m. London time Tuesday: “Top stories: World leaders at Mandela tribute, Obama-Castro handshake and same-sex marriage date set.”

    This explains why Mrs. Obama is so annoyed.

  3. lakelylane

    Thanks much for another fascinating conversation, I love the musical notes from Mona and Jay…Merry Christmas!!!

  4. billy

    “Well Hillary goes both ways…”

    Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.

  5. Israel P.

    Snow in Jerusalem is not rare. We get some most years. This year looks like it will be more than most.

  6. Capt. Spaulding

    Now that Mona says she is more confident in her cello playing, how about jettisoning that nerve-jangling Sabre Dance in favor of something calming, played by Mona herself? Perhaps the Haydn “Serenade” from the old Ernie Kovacs commercials for Dutch Master cigars? Mr. Yeti?

  7. Wolfsheim

    As a regular listener to NTK and an admiring reader of Kevin Williamson, I very much enjoyed the podcast that included him. I couldn’t agree more with what you say about Obamacare, the defense of freedom, moral values, the family, Eretz Yisrael, and, last but not least, music.

    One correction:

    Japan’s laws regarding pornography are stricter than America’s. The sort of explicit smut that, insanely enough, is given protection in America is still illegal here, even if it exists, and its purveyors (including a student in the elite university from which I recently retired) are subject to prosecution. More importantly, shamelessly leafing through girlie mags on the train has long gone the way of smoking, once ubiquitous. Molestation of children, real or imaginary, is regarded with the same sense of total horror as it is in every decent country. Japan, of which I am a citizen and where my wife and I have brought up four children, is, of course, no utopia, but it is not nearly as “weird” as it is often portrayed. Little boys, for example, still go to little boys’ restrooms and marriage is still exclusively between one man and one woman.

  8. captainpower

    You guys have so much information in your heads that it comes gushing out too fast for me to absorb.

    Any chance at some show notes?

    Do you guys have interns at ricochet yet?

    Check out econtalk for an example of the gold standard of show notes.

    e.g. http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2013/12/doug_lemov_on_t.html

  9. Peter Fumo

    Wish you could have had Kevin Williamson on longer. I am glad he made connection between social conservatism and libertarianism. Seems to me that if you have a strong civil society with lots of social capital, a strong religious presence, you are going to have less social pathologies and less need for activist government. I love this quote from Edmund Burke I think makes the connection:Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites,…in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity,in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things,that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

  10. Benjamin Glaser

    The problem libertarianism has, as Mona makes mention, is that it so often publicly expresses itself as libertinism. 

  11. gadster

    Jay mentioned Ted Koppel’s Nightline “Town Hall” that took place in Jerusalem with Israelis and Palestinians. (The one where the Palestinians mandated a “wall” to separate themselves from the Israelis.)

    I remember watching it with my roommate, a southerner. (I had no idea of his politics). After Koppel repeatedly asked the Palestinians what concession by the Israelis would allow them to embrace peace and the Palestinians continued to hem and haw, my roommate couldn’t contain himself and yelled at the television, “and if the Israelis gave you all the land and drowned themselves in the sea, would that be enough” and followed it up with their standard, “um, well, uh…” 

    In other words, he saw right through them even then…

  12. Hartmann von Aue

    RE: Allowing  that the AGW alarmists might be right.

    Don’t. They aren’t.

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