UnknownNeed to Know welcomes the incomparable George F. Will to talk politics, history, baseball (ya think?), and more. The focus is on threats to free speech, which are multiplying in American life, and poisoning the universities. Despite it all, Will remains basically sunny about America’s prospects, and explains why.

Jay and Mona then consider, among other topics, the Obama administration’s increasingly naked ntk-logoattacks on Israel – at the UN human rights commission, at the Pentagon (which declassified a report about Israel’s nuclear program), and elsewhere. They analyze the Iran negotiations – a slow motion
nightmare — and consider that France is now more hardline than the US. Jay recounts a particularly ugly moment of mob hatred at the New York Philharmonic.

But there’s always Bach. The podcast closes with a snippet from his first cello suite played by a Canadian beauty named Denise Djokic.

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  1. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Mr. Will is the very model of a modern major political scientist, but I am unsure about the soundness of his upbeat outlook.

    I’d say one big part of America’s prospects is foreign affairs, though not the bigger part. Surely, the American economy will pick up & people will again find jobs & look for jobs.

    But in foreign affairs talking about not betting against America sounds childish: From the Cuban Castros to the Norks, from Iran to Vietnam, & however many other places, only the people who bet against America got what they wanted. Meanwhile, lots of people who did not bet against America or bet on America were ruined by all of these tyrants.

    Maybe Mr. Putin will fail, but I for one am not sure. Is not Turkey betting against America these days? Has Mr. Erdogan anything to fear for that reason? Is not China betting against America? What cause to fear have the Chicoms as a consequence?

    • #1
  2. user_477123 Inactive
    user_477123
    @Wolverine

    Have to agree on Sam Donaldson. Whenever I saw him interview a Democrat he would ask good, tough questions, just as tough as he asked of Republicans. The way you were speaking about him though I thought he had died. I also am surprised the Bergdahl story hasn’t’t received more attention. Glad you brought it up.

    • #2
  3. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    I supposed my feelings are a little more mixed about the death of languages.

    On the one hand, there is something very much to be said for that the idea of languages consolidating and people being able to communicate with each other more easily.

    On the other, there is something about language that shapes the way people think.  In English, love and life go together in a way that love (amor in Latin) and death(mors) go together in Romance languages, simply because the words have similar sounds.  When a language dies, we lose a little bit of a way of thinking.  Maybe when Cherokee dies out, we won’t lose the secret of the unified field theory, but we might lose some of that part of the mix that makes life interesting.

    • #3
  4. user_477123 Inactive
    user_477123
    @Wolverine

    Is anyone else bothered by O’Keefe’s tactics? Granted, he is targeting the left, but there is something very left-wing about the tactic. Beyond that, it seems to me that the zone of privacy, candidness and trust is ever shrinking. E-mails and cell phone calls can be intercepted. There is a sense now that you have to be careful with anything you say lest someone report it. I think even in a conversation with a stranger that if you speak candidly there is some expectation of privacy. I think all of this is going to lead to further and further distrust between individuals.

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Peter Fumo:Is anyone else bothered by O’Keefe’s tactics? Granted, he is targeting the left, but there is something very left-wing about the tactic.

    Well, he is trying to expose the usurpation of public authority, to say nothing of public monies, for private, illegal ends. How do you that with politeness?

    Beyond that, it seems to me that the zone of privacy, candidness and trust is ever shrinking. E-mails and cell phone calls can be intercepted.

    Sure, but that’s the price you pay for the advance of science. You are less you…

    There is a sense now that you have to be careful with anything you say lest someone report it. I think even in a conversation with a stranger that if you speak candidly there is some expectation of privacy. I think all of this is going to lead to further and further distrust between individuals.

    This is not about individuals, this is about majority opinion terrorizing dissenters. Yeah, Americans will learn that freedom of speech is not compatible with majority rule, or not exactly.

    • #5
  6. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    As far as I know, these are not “private” conversations in the sense they are about individuals (an individual).  I think the tactics are beautiful investigative  journalism.

    • #6
  7. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    The recounting of the event at Lincoln Center is utterly depressing.

    • #7
  8. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    Bill Whittle points out in one of his ‘Afterburners’ that if you go to southern Florida 100% of the people fleeing are coming north, not 60-40 or 80-20 but 100%. There are no Miami dentists loading their families onto a rickety raft trying to escape  south. How is it that this fact means nothing to the advocates of  socialist policies?

    • #8
  9. user_473455 Inactive
    user_473455
    @BenjaminGlaser

    It is one of the more morose things that I have discovered in recent years that George Will was an atheist. Sad.

    • #9
  10. user_477123 Inactive
    user_477123
    @Wolverine

    Completely agree Benjamin. I was shocked and disappointed as well.

    • #10
  11. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Oh, I don’t know. Don’t you think it’s good for atheists and agnostics to know that conservative ideas and principles do not require a religious mindset? Especially on the issue of abortion — on which George Will has been one of the most eloquent voices — isn’t it good that he comes to his views through science and morality alone? Not saying the religious viewpoint isn’t valuable, merely that the conservative side has plenty of religious people, not so many secular ones.

    • #11
  12. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    FYI, Mona, you were completely wrong about the Copts and Ancient Greek. The Coptic liturgical language is actually the last remnants of Ancient Egyptian, the language of the Pharaohs. Being Christians, the Copts borrowed a lot of Greek words for religious terms, and their script is based on the Greek alphabet, but the language itself is completely unrelated.

    Of course, like all languages, Egyptian has evolved greatly over time; a modern Copt trying to speak to King Tut would be like Gerard Depardieu trying to converse with Cicero.

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Mona Charen:Oh, I don’t know. Don’t you think it’s good for atheists and agnostics to know that conservative ideas and principles do not require a religious mindset?

    & also for conservatives to learn that some of their strongest allies are not Christians or, well, of any faith.

    • #13
  14. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Thank you Umbra Fractus, for the clarification. I think I made clear as we were discussing it that I wasn’t quite sure, but dimly remembered something about the Copts preserving an ancient language. I wasn’t sure whether it was Greek or Egyptian. I figured some smart person like you would know. Did you know that the Egyptian word for Egypt is “misr” and the Hebrew word is “mitzryim”?

    • #14
  15. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    Jay’s story about the symphony was interesting.  I wonder if many New Yorkers would rather have their daughters marry men who beat them than men who listen to Rush Limbaugh?  It does seem like another world.

    • #15
  16. ibn Abu Member
    ibn Abu
    @ibnAbu

    Mona Charen:Thank you Umbra Fractus, for the clarification. I think I made clear as we were discussing it that I wasn’t quite sure, but dimly remembered something about the Copts preserving an ancient language. I wasn’t sure whether it was Greek or Egyptian. I figured some smart person like you would know. Did you know that the Egyptian word for Egypt is “misr” and the Hebrew word is “mitzryim”?

    Misr is in fact Arabic. The ancient Egyptian word for Egypt was “K-m-t” (scholars aren’t sure about the vowels).

    You are correct, Mona, that Christian churches (the Greek-rite Orthodox and Catholic churches) preserved an ancient form of Greek that is not otherwise spoken today (a sort of Koine-Byzantine dialect that is mutually unintelligible with modern Greek). Other Middle Eastern churches continue to use Aramaic as a liturgical language), while the Slavic churches preserve Old Church Slavonic, a 1000-year old Bulgarian dialect).

    Similarly, other religions continue to preserve languages that are otherwise not spoken (Hindu Sanskrit, Zoroastrian Avestan, etc.)

    • #16