Never Sleep On Your Rights (Podcast)

When you are faced with a serious problem or issue, you need to spring into action to deal with it. Anyone who “sleeps on his rights,” and thinks the problem will go away by ignoring it, is in for a rude awakening. The “dirtbag shuffle” never works in the real world. Legal rights, once constructively waived, can be very difficult to reassert later. This is the basis of the legal theory of laches.

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Theodore Roosevelt Brings Big Business To Heel

A central tenet of Theodore Roosevelt’s leadership was the idea that no one should be above the law.  He was deeply troubled by excessive concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few; such a situation was, he knew, inimical to the interests of a democratic republic.  He did not begrudge a man his wealth fairly earned, but he believed that the accumulation of vast treasure should not come at the expense of the public good.  The super-rich could not plunder at will and, at the same time, expect the public to operate under a different set of rules.  What especially galled Roosevelt was the arrogant way that the “captains of industry” of his day expected to reap all the benefits of the American economic system while feeling bound by no reciprocal duties to it.

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On The Remaking Of Character

One of the apparent corollaries of the maxim that “character determines fate” is that character is static and unchangeable.  In the majority of cases this is undoubtedly true; but this truth should not be used as a license for us to lie supinely on our backs and let the swerve of the atoms in the void determine our future.  As volitional beings, we must act.  Forward movement is one of the imperatives of masculine virtue.  The negative personality takes refuge in the apparent indifference of the universe; but the active man, the healthy man, is too busy with his own affairs to fret over such exculpatory abstractions.  Each of us is responsible for his own fate.  Having accepted this, we will now ask how character can be modified to suit the will.

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The Victory Of General Typhus: Napoleon’s Catastrophic Invasion Of Russia

By 1810 Napoleon was the master of continental Europe.  He had been unable to force the British to accept an accommodation, but nevertheless remained confident that his “Continental System” would bring the recalcitrant islanders to heel.  The system, in effect a massive blockade, forbade European merchants from having any economic intercourse with Britain.  Prussia and Austria had been forced to accept the system in 1807 and 1809, and Napoleon was determined to make the Russians accept it as well.

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Revealing Anecdotes On The Character Of Abraham Lincoln

We have earlier stated that anecdotes often reveal more about a man’s thinking and character than might a long recounting of his deeds.  About Abraham Lincoln many stories have been told, some no doubt apocryphal, others not.  I will present here a few true anecdotes that most readers are not likely to be familiar with; they shed revelatory light on Lincoln’s character, and how his leadership gifts were powerful in their own understated way.

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The Wisdom Of Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (1149–1210) was a Persian theologian and philosopher whose fecundity was only surpassed by his depth of understanding of various disciplines.  He is credited with over one hundred works, although it is likely that this number was considerably higher.  Learned in astronomy, philosophy, theology, chemistry, and a variety of other subjects, he was also said to have been a man of great humanity and understanding.  His inclinations were rationalist and scientific; for this reason he found more to his liking in the natural sciences than in airy theological speculations.

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Focus On Causes, Not On Pretexts

The great Irish statesman and political theorist Edmund Burke wrote a seminal essay of political theory in 1790 entitled Reflections on the Revolution in France.  His purpose was to attack the intellectual underpinnings of the revolution and show, by reasoned argument, that the French revolutionaries were engaged in the height of folly by consciously turning their backs on the past.  The long essay was cast in the form of a “letter” to an unnamed “gentleman in Paris,” and stretched to nearly 360 pages.

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