This week, Eric, Dan, and Dylan breakdown the Ticketmaster/Taylor Swift ticket sale controversy in the wake of the proprietors of Live Nation Entertainment being dragged before Congress for a hearing. Are they a monopoly? If so, how would we know, and what should we do? And what is more offensive: Ticketmaster’s expensive fees and crashing website or a dozen U.S. senators reading questions written for them by junior staffers with Taylor Swift lyrics in them? Next, it’s 90 seconds until midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the PR gimmick of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that allegedly predicts the apocalypse. Should we take it seriously, or is this another case of “scientism” instead of science—people with expertise in one area getting out of their lane? And finally, Big Tech has big layoffs. Maybe these companies aren’t the all-powerful behemoths both sides of the political aisle make them out to be.

 

This week, Eric, Dan, and Dylan review the story of Ivan Provorov, the defenseman for the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers who skipped participating in warmups in a Pride-themed jersey before the team’s Pride Night game, citing his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs as the reason. Should this even be a story? Should NHL or other professional sports teams impose political stances and social causes on players? Then the guys look at the upcoming fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. If this isn’t the time to have a serious conversation about spending and debt, when is? And finally, they examine the enigma that is Rep. George Santos, who has come under fire recently for numerous inflated claims about his résumé and background. What drives people to lie about themselves, and to such an extent, when the truth can be so easily found out?

 

This week, Eric, Dan, and Dylan examine the revelations that President Biden, when he was Vice President Biden, mishandled classified documents, similar in some ways to how former President Trump mishandled “Top Secret” documents he took from the White House as his presidency ended. With such serious questions on offer about how much information we classify and inconsistencies in how we punish people who mishandle it, why are so many people focusing only on questions of hypocrisy on Biden’s part? Next, the guys turn to the storming of the capitol and other government buildings in Brazil by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro. Even as it conjures comparisons to January 6 in the U.S., is that the most helpful lens through which to examine this story? And finally, the constantly wrong Paul Ehrlich is back, having been featured on a “60 Minutes” segment about mass extinction, to declare himself to be the embodiment of science. How wrong can one biologist be? Very, it turns out.

 

This week, Eric, Dan, and Dylan remember the life and legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. What will be his enduring contributions to theology and to the Catholic faith? And how will his decision to resign the papacy, the first time in 600 years that this occurred, and handling of the Church’s sex abuse scandal be factored into his legacy? Then the guys turn their attention to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s election as Speaker of the House after 15 rounds of voting. Is this a glorious mess that points to a return to normal order in the House? Or a sign of complete disarray in Congress and the Republican Party? Both? Finally, they examine the injury to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during last week’s Monday Night Football game. Was the rush to resume the game, which was finally postponed, an indictment of our obsession with sports above the health and safety of the players?

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss China’s decision to relent on their “zero-COVID policies. With an ineffective vaccine and much of the older population unvaccinated, what happens if the current COVID variant rips through the country with a huge death toll? And why did China, which is clearly indifferent to human life, even decide to engage in these policies in the first place? Then the guys examine the release of Trump NFTs, which raised $4.5 million for the former president. Is there any current value to NFTs aside from the value people place on them by buying them? And finally, Eric, Dan, and Dylan make some traditional, and nontraditional, Christmas-movie recommendations.

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman tackle the “Twitter Files,” the internal documents from the social media company that have been released by several independent journalists like Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss. What, if anything, do they tell us about the way Twitter was run previously? Is there even enough information in what was released to draw meaningful conclusions about the pre–Elon Musk regime? Next, with Jimmy Lai sentenced to more than five years for his conviction on “fraud” charges, what will this mean for his upcoming National Security Law trial? And finally, is Christmas over-commercialized? And does it really matter if it is?

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss the move by Ukraine’s government to prevent churches affiliated with Moscow from operating in Ukraine. How dangerous is this? And why is trying to determine what constitutes a legitimate religion always problematic? Then the guys turn their attention to the protests in China and the delay of Jimmy Lai’s National Security Law trial in Hong Kong. How big of a threat to the Chinese Communist Party are these protests? And why should we focus more on marginal improvements in places like China and Hong Kong than on big revolutionary changes? Finally, they take stock of Kanye West’s public meltdown and his promotion of anti-Semitic ideology.

 

This week, Dan Hugger, Michael Matheson Miller, and Stephen Barrows examine the collapse of the crypto currency exchange FTX and the sentencing of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. How should we think about fraud in business? What is the role of corporate governance in securing the common good? How should investors and prospective clients best do their due diligence on companies they use and invest in? How do disreputable corporate leaders utilize regulatory and ideological capture to deceive? Is crypto currency itself a scam? What is the role of conscience in business and what does justice and repentance look like for disgraced business leaders?

 

What the Midterm Elections Say About American Civic Health

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss affirmative action in college admissions shortly after two cases involving the University of North Carolina and Harvard were argued before the Supreme Court. Was affirmative action ever justified in college admissions? If so, is it still justified? And if it goes, should it be replaced with something else to help the historically disadvantaged? Then the guys examine a recent study highlighting the positive benefits to the environment from Catholics’ abstaining from meat on Fridays. Is this the right lens through which to consider a return to meatless Fridays year-round? And finally, tomorrow is Election Day. How should we think about voting as part of our personal civic involvement? Is there every a good reason to abstain?

 

This week, Eric Kohn and Dan Hugger discuss Elon Musk’s finalized takeover of Twitter. Can he make it better? Is it possible to make Twitter better? Perhaps more important to Musk, can he make it profitable? And will Musk’s acquisition change the nature of the platform in how it serves as a public salon for the media elite? Then the guys discuss the presidential election in Brazil. What does the defeat of Jair Bolsonaro mean for Brazil and for the rise of populist leaders worldwide?

 

This week, Dan Hugger, Dylan Pahman, and John Pinheiro discuss the undoing of the Truss government in the United Kingdom. What caused the unraveling? Does “neoliberalism” have a future? What does the current political crisis in the United Kingdom tell us about the future of American conservatism and the right more generally? How should this inform our thinking about the conflict between classical liberals and the “New Right”?

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss the protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman who had been arrested for improperly covering her head. Why isn’t there more media coverage of these protests after five weeks? Is the Iranian regime actually in danger? And what, if anything, should countries like the United States being doing to encourage these human rights protesters? Then the guys examine a new study from the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology on the striking lack of intellectual diversity on elite college campuses. Should we be surprised that places like Harvard, Yale, and Smith College are so unrepresentative? Should we even expect them to be?

 

This week, Dan Hugger is joined by Sarah Negri and John Pinheiro to discuss the national debate around Columbus Day and the ongoing escalation of the war in Ukraine. What should we as American’s in general, and Christian’s in particular mark of Columbus’s Legacy? What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and need its celebration be in conflict with Columbus Day? What is the relationship between Columbus Day and the Italian American Community? What do the latest escalations by the Russian Federation kinetic, political, and rhetorical mean for the future of Ukraine? Is peace possible? Should we take the threat of nuclear escalation seriously? How should the international community respond?

 

This week, Eric Kohn is joined by Dan Hugger and Dan Churchwell to discuss the theme of the Fall 2022 issue of Acton’s magazine, Religion & Liberty: What is the metaverse? What is its relationship to science fiction literature? And what is the impact of technology on society and culture, and how we should think through the consequences, intended and unintended, of technology and the metaverse on our lives?

Dan Hugger’s Fall 2022 R&L cover story is entitled, “The Metaverse Does Not Exist.”

This week, Eric Kohn and Dan Hugger are joined by two special guests—Stephanie Slade, senior editor at Reason magazine and Fellow in Liberal Studies at the Acton Institute, and Jack Butler, submissions editor at National Review—both of whom attended the National Conservatism 3 conference, to discuss all things pertaining to the conference and the National Conservatism movement.

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman are joined by special guest Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg to discuss the recent New York Times article on New York City’s Orthodox yeshivas. Is the Times piece fair? What interest does the state have in the kind of education the children in Hasidic enclaves in New York City are receiving? And is America becoming increasingly inhospitable to Jews? Then the guys discuss the move by some state governors to send migrants who arrive at the southern border to so-called sanctuary cities. Is this a defensible policy, with the supposed ends justifying using fellow humans as the means of making a political point?

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss the legacies of two world leaders who have recently passed: Queen Elizabeth II of England and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. How should these two very different figures be remembered, and what will be their enduring legacies? How should we think about the legacy of the British Empire, which was dissolved under Queen Elizabeth’s reign with the end of British rule in Hong Kong? And how much credit should Gorbachev get for the dissolution of the Soviet Union under his watch when this was never his intention? And finally, the guys discuss the ongoing National Conservatism 3 conference and the status of that movement.

 

This week, Eric Kohn, John Pinheiro, and Dylan Pahman discuss every angle of the executive order from President Joe Biden granting up to $20,000 of student-loan-debt forgiveness to qualifying individuals. Is there a solid legal case for doing this? Can one argue persuasively that transferring debts from those who incurred them to those who did not—namely, the American taxpayers—is in any way just? Does it make sense to take this action without addressing the deeper problems in the student loan and higher education system, which debt-relief advocates themselves portray as predatory? How do we address the cultural problems that exist in the system—namely, the increased expectation that everyone should go to college?

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman reflect on what has transpired in Afghanistan in the year since the withdrawal of American forces from the country. Could the inevitable withdrawal have been better planned to prevent the debacle that ensued? What is the current state of the country’s economy, and of the rights of women and children? Could things be worse? Then the guys turn their attention to a possible earthquake in the American public school system, as major cities see declining enrollments while states like Arizona make large expansions to school-choice programs. What happens when these unstoppable forces meet the immovable object of teachers unions?