This week, Eric and Noah are joined by Acton’s Dan Hugger to discuss his essay in the Spring 2024 issue of Religion & Liberty, “The Rambler and the Transformative Power of Magazines.” Why, even in an age of digital publishing, have print magazines endured? Then the group looks at legislation that has recently moved in Congress to add a definition of anti-Semitism to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If we acknowledge that anti-Semitism is a problem on college campuses, is this the best way to address it? And finally, Oklahoma’s charter school board has approved a Catholic charter school. We don’t yet know if this is legal, but is it a wise move by proponents of religious education?

This week, Eric, Anthony, and Emily are joined by Gene Edward Veith to discuss his essay “Sheen and Maier: Broadcasting Theology,” which explores the broadcast ministries of Fulton J. Sheen and Walter A. Maier. Then, are frat bros the heroes we’ve been waiting for, pushing back on the radical protests on elite college campuses and defending the American flag? And finally, Florida has banned lab-grown meat. Is there anything more to this than protection for the traditional meat industries?

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This week, Eric, Dylan, and Dan are joined by Karen Swallow Prior to discuss her essay in the new Spring 2024 issue of Religion & Liberty, “Who Will Comfort Me? The Total Care of Cicely Saunders” and issues of, literally, life and death. Then Eric, Dylan, and Dan discuss the place of free markets within the conservative movement and how college administrations should be dealing with the protest encampments being established on their campuses.

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This week, Eric, Dan, and Emily discuss the death of O.J. Simpson and examine how the combination of his celebrity and his criminal trial launched a thousand cultural ships, including reality TV, true-crime obsession, and the 24/7 news cycle. Next, Belgian politicians tried to shut down the National Conservatism Conference, only to have it saved by liberal institutions. Oh, the irony. And finally, what can we learn from NPR senior business editor Uri Berliner’s piece at The Free Press accusing NPR of losing its journalistic integrity?

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This week, Eric, Noah, and David Hebert, making his maiden voyage on the podcast, discuss squatters’ rights: Do they really exist? And if so, how big a problem are they really?. Then, has the problem with industrial policy been that we just weren’t doing it right all these years? Sen. Marco Rubio thinks so. Oh, and a new California minimum-wage law for fast-food workers has taken effect. Our future fast-food robot overlords are appreciative. And finally, Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years for the fraud he perpetrated. Is this sentence too harsh, too light, or just right?

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This week, Eric, Dan, and Dylan are joined by Mike Cosper of Christianity Today to discuss his cover essay in the latest issue of Religion & Liberty, “There Shall Be None to Make Him Afraid: American Liberty and the Jews.” Then they turn their attention to controversial LSU basketball coach Kim Mulkey to explore how hard-driving and tough-coaching styles fit in the modern world and what it means for a perspective on leadership.

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This week, Dan Hugger, Noah Gould, and Emily Zanotti discuss the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Maryland. They then turn their attention to the announcement of the God Bless the USA Bible, the only Bible endorsed by President Trump and country music sensation Lee Greenwood. What does this reveal about the state of religion, politics, and culture in America today? And finally, is it time to rethink the culture war?

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This week, Eric, Anthony, and Dan discuss the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple for alleged monopolistic practices in the smartphone market. They then turn their attention to a strange essay in National Affairs on the “Soft Tyranny of Smartphones” and explore whether a desire to use a smartphone less requires government action. And finally, should we be concerned about Elon Musk’s brain-chip company, Neuralink, or should we celebrate such a technological advancement?

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This week, Eric, Noah, and Emily discuss the legislation moving through Congress that would force the sale of TikTok from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or ban the app’s availability in the United States. Are the national security issues serious enough to trump all other concerns about setting such a precedent? Then the panel turns its attention to Ben Shapiro’s comments about work and retirement. How should we think about work and its role in our lives—now and when we’re older?

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This week Eric, Dan, and Emily discuss President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address and give their own takes on the state of the union, the recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that implicates IVF treatment, and the recent remarks by Pope Francis calling for Ukraine to have the “courage of the White Flag” in bringing about an end to the war in Ukraine.

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On this special bonus episode of Acton Unwind, Eric, Dan, Dylan, and Daniel discuss Dune: Part Two, the second entry in director Denis Villeneuve’s trilogy adapting the Frank Herbert novels. The panel discusses the technical filmmaking, how this film compares to the 1984 David Lynch adaptation of Dune, how it compares to the original books, what was left out, and more. Warning: Spoilers!

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This week, Eric, Anthony, and Dylan discuss the self-immolation of Aaron Bushnell and the ethics of using his suicide to advance the Palestinian cause, the online free-speech cases that SCOTUS heard last week, and the story that the fast-food chain Wendy’s was planning to roll out surge pricing in the spirit of Uber and Lyft. Wendy’s isn’t doing that—but should it?

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This week on Acton Unwind, guest host Dan Hugger is joined by Dylan Pahman and Noah Gould. They begin the podcast by discussing two recent essays that call into question Hillsdale College’s “Christian College” bona fides. What makes a college Christian, and does Hillsdale fit the bill? Next, Google’s Gemini generative AI chatbot’s political biases are explored. What does AI bias look like? Why is it important, and what can be done to mitigate it? Is it inadvertent performance art?

Finally, the group unpacks the recent scandal that has engulfed science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious award, the Hugo. Is it prudent to host such awards in China? Is the Hugo scandal an indictment of democracy? How does this scandal effect the award’s credibility going forward?

This week guest host Dan Hugger is joined by Dan Churchwell and Emily Zanotti.

The panel begins by discussing the recent death of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny in prison. How should the international community respond? Will this tragedy cause Americans on the extreme left and right develop a more critical attitude toward Vladimir Putin? Next, recent discoveries of rare-earth minerals in Wyoming promise to give the U.S. a geopolitical and economic edge, but what tradeoffs are involved in the extraction of natural resources? Then—what does OpenAI’s plans for investment in chip production mean for our world and our home?

This week, Eric, Anthony, and Dylan are joined by John G. Grove, managing editor of Law & Liberty, to discuss his essay in the Winter edition of Religion & Liberty, “The Gods of the City.” Is Christian nationalism a real thing? What is the proper interplay between faith and government? Then Emily joins the show to discuss the way-too-online theory that the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce relationship, and even possibly the Super Bowl, is actually a psyop or deep-state conspiracy. But setting aside that silliness, shouldn’t conservatives be holding up Swift and Kelce as an example of a courtship done right? And finally, social media CEOs were on Capitol Hill for their annual congressional hearing/public beating. Is there a role for the government in helping parents handle kids and social media? Or do we just need better parenting?

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This week, Eric, Dan, and Emily discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling lifting an injunction that prevented the federal government from removing razor wire installed by the state of Texas at the southern border. What did SCOTUS actually do here? What are we supposed to do in this bizarre situation where the federal government will not enforce federal law but doesn’t want states to enforce it either? Will political incentives prevent any definitive action? Next, Alabama executed a death row inmate using nitrogen hypoxia, after previous attempts using more common methods had failed. How should people of faith think about the death penalty? Are our attempts to avoid supposedly cruel and usual methods like firing squads and the electric chair leading to less certain and possibly more inhumane methods? And finally, what does the Ayodhya Ram temple’s inauguration by Indian prime minister Modi tell us about the place of religion in Indian public life?

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This week, Eric, Dan, and Noah discuss Javier Milei’s speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Did the Davos set know what they were getting into when they invited him? How important and refreshing was it to hear a voice opposed to the elite consensus at Davos? Will anyone listen to him? Next, Donald Trump claims that a president can’t be the president without also being guaranteed full and complete immunity from prosecution. Is there any legal basis for this? What will be the consequences of the continual degradation of norms in our society? And finally, South Africa brings a case against Israel for genocide at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Does the case have any merit? And does international law even really exist?

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This week, to start the show, Eric is joined by Fr. Robert Sirico, Acton’s co-founder and president emeritus, who just returned from a quasi-secret trip to Hong Kong, where he attended a day of Jimmy Lai’s National Security Law trial. What did he see in Hong Kong and at the trial? How has the “feel” of Hong Kong changed since he last visited? Then Eric is joined by Dan Hugger and Dylan Pahman for a discussion of how universities are reappraising standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. What have we learned since some schools dropped these tests as admissions criteria during COVID and after years of a campaign to reduce their use because of their “inherent bias”? Next, SCOTUS will decide the constitutionality of the right of cities to ban homeless encampments. Aside from the legal questions, is allowing homeless camps advisable in regard to public health and safety? How should we approach the issue of homelessness? And finally, President Joe Biden spoke in the pulpit of South Carolina’s Mother Emanuel AME Church in what was widely regarded as a campaign speech. How should we think about politics from the pulpit?

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This week, Eric, Anthony Bradley (making his maiden voyage on the podcast), and Emily discuss the resignation of Harvard University president Claudine Gay. How significant a story is this? Does it matter only for elites, or do the downstream effects impact more of America? Does it matter that the people who uncovered her plagiarism had their own political motivations? Did race play any role in this story, with Gay having been the first black woman president of Harvard? Next, the panel reflects on the passing of Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor in early December. Beyond being the first woman on the Court, what will she be remembered for? And finally, what are Eric, Anthony, and Emily hopeful for in 2024?

Harvard President Resigns After Mounting Plagiarism Accusations | New York Times

This week, Eric, Anthony Bradley (making his maiden voyage on the podcast), and Emily discuss the resignation of Harvard University president Claudine Gay. How significant a story is this? Does it matter only for elites, or do the downstream effects impact more of America? Does it matter that the people who uncovered her plagiarism had their own political motivations? Did race play any role in this story, with Gay having been the first black woman president of Harvard? Next, the panel reflects on the passing of Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor in early December. Beyond being the first woman on the Court, what will she be remembered for? And finally, what are Eric, Anthony, and Emily hopeful for in 2024?

Harvard President Resigns After Mounting Plagiarism Accusations | New York Times