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?

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman explore some of the big picture questions raised in the wake of the FBI’s executing a search warrant for Trump’s Florida digs, Mar-a-Lago. How should we balance practical political concerns with questions of the rule of law? Would more transparency help? Or would breaking the Department of Justice’s protocol, as former FBI director Jim Comey did about the Hillary Clinton private-server investigation, cause more harm than good? And are we capable of viewing a former president as just another American citizen once he’s left office? Then the guys reflect on the reaction to the violent attack on novelist Salman Rushdie last week. While news outlets claim we’re still searching for a motive for the attack, Iran affirmed the fatwa and bounty on Rushdie’s life, so what’s the mystery? And finally, a piece in The Atlantic accuses rad-trad Catholics of “weaponizing” the rosary. While the original incendiary title has since been edited, wouldn’t it save a lot of embarrassment to have at least one person of faith around to avoid making basic mistakes?

 

This week, guest host Dan Hugger, Sarah Negri, and Dylan Pahman discuss the diplomatic crisis unfolding in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. How should the United States respond to an increasingly aggressive Communist China? From there the discussion turns to the recent defeat of the proposed Value Them Both Amendment to the Kansas Constitution. What can we learn about the future of the abortion debate in America from this result? Then we discuss the recent Republican primary election in Michigan’s 3rd congressional district between John Gibbs and Congressman Peter Meijer. What does this close race tell us about the state of the Republican Party and the near-future prospects for American politics at large?

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David L. Bahnsen joins Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman on the show this week to discuss all things economics. Just what is a recession? How do we know? What should we do if we’re actually in one? What is the future of inflation? If inflation comes down, is it a good sign or would it be indicative of different problems in the economy? Are we at risk of investing too much in the power of government and politicians to both break and fix the economy? And are oil companies making record profits?

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This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss the rising concern about political violence in the wake of the attack in New York on Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin. How do we stem this tide, and what role do politicians and rhetoric play in inciting such violence? From there the discussion turns to the elimination of cash bail in New York. Then, given President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, how should we approach dealing with nations that violate human rights and, specific to Saudi Arabia, murder journalists, especially when there are geopolitical security concerns in the region? Finally, two St. Louis Cardinals superstars can’t travel to Canada to play the Blue Jays because they aren’t vaccinated. Do travel restrictions like this make sense anymore?

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In a very special bonus episode of Acton Unwind, Eric Kohn is joined by Dylan Pahman and Daniel Baas to discuss the fourth season of the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things.” They explore the show’s depiction of communism, the satanic panic of the 1980s, concepts of good and evil, and tease out some possible religious allegories.

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman ponder the nexus of age, experience, and leadership. Is it possible to be too old to have a job with as many high-pressure responsibilities as come with being president of the United States? If so, what is the wisest way to implement an age limitation? Should we just leave it up to voters to decide based on the individual candidates available? Then the guys discuss whether changing our language has the ability to change what it is we’re talking about. Does insisting people use words like “Latinx” have any meaningful impact on concepts of gender? Or does it just annoy a lot of people? Finally, Dylan details the argument made in his and Texas Tech University economics professor Alexander Salter’s recent Wall Street Journal essay on lessons from the Bible on money and inflation.

 

This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman discuss both the shocking assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the political downfall of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. What is Abe’s legacy and the significance of his assassination in Japanese civic and political culture? And will Boris Johnson even leave a legacy beyond negotiating Brexit? Next, Twitter is looking to sue Elon Musk, who has announced he’s backing out of his deal to purchase the social media platform. Can you force someone to buy something? And finally, the guys break down the end of the Supreme Court’s term, particularly the case of West Virginia v. EPA. How much in American political life could be fixed by Congress just doing its job?

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This week, Eric Kohn, Dan Hugger, and Dylan Pahman take stock of the current status of the American founding, 246 years after the colonies declared independence. How effective have the attacks coming from the left and the right on the founding been, if at all? Then they examine the horrific mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois. If public policy can’t fix broken souls, how can we reach people like this shooter before they perpetrate these violent acts?

Highland Park shooting sends shockwaves | Axios

This week, Eric Kohn, Sam Gregg, and Dan Hugger discuss everything surrounding the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned previous precedents in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Why has most of the reaction been about the policy implications flowing from the decision and not what the Supreme Court actually wrote and held in Dobbs? What does that say about civics education in America right now? What should we take away from the concurring opinions filed by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas? What, if anything, was the impact of the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion? And how will the decision affect the nascent common-good constitutionalism movement?

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On this episode, Eric Kohn, Dylan Pahman, and Dan Hugger discuss the newly launched LIV Golf International Series, a competitor to the PGA Tour that has drawn defections from some big golfing names—Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau, to name a few—and controversy for being primarily funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. What is the ethical responsibility of the average sports consumer when a sporting event is being funded or supported by a monstrous regime? Then the guys turn their attention to the Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates by 75 basis points in an effort to combat inflation. Will it work? Will it have terrible unintended consequences? Both?

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This week, special guest David Bahnsen joins Eric Kohn, Sam Gregg, and Dan Hugger as they discuss inflation in America hitting a 40-year high. What’s driving the present persistent inflation? How is our present economic malaise different from our last bout of persistent inflation in the 1970s? How does political polarization hamper our ability to respond effectively to economic crises? The second half of the program is dedicated to a review and evaluation of the ongoing work of the January 6 committee, as well as the recent assassination attempt on Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. What does the emerging tendency toward political violence say about America? How does our present partisan politics fuel this disturbing trend?

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In this episode, Eric Kohn, Sam Gregg, and Dan Hugger discuss the massacre of 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas. How do we grapple with horrors like this? What can we do, as individuals and as a society, to reduce the likelihood that attacks like this will happen again? Are we lacking the moral language to effectively discuss such events? Then there’s the lack of response on the part of the Uvalde police. While these cops clearly failed the people they were charged with protecting, what role did the failure to properly prepare them to do their job play in this outcome? And finally, the guys examine Ilya Shapiro’s resignation from Georgetown Law School shortly after he was exonerated in regard to his offending tweets about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. Will it make any difference in the cause of free speech?

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In this episode of Acton Unwind, Dan Churchwell, Sam Gregg, and Dan Hugger focus on the crisis in evangelical Christianity, with factions within the broader evangelical community pitted one against the other. The discussion is framed by Tim Alberta’s recent piece in The Atlantic, “How Politics Poisoned Evangelicalism,” which examines the responses of several evangelical churches in Brighton, Michigan, to the presidency of Donald Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic. Just what is evangelicalism and its relationship to politics? How has evangelicals’ embrace of modern technology both widened their influence and fostered divisions within?

Also discussed is the upcoming Acton University. What is Acton University, who are some of the featured speakers, and what sorts of people attend? How does Acton University seek to foster dialog among people of diverse faiths to address the crises, both social and economic, of our time?

In the episode of Acton Unwind, Dylan Pahman, Sam Gregg, and Dan Hugger focus on the war in Ukraine and its religious context. What battles over ecclesiastic authority are involved? What is the Russian Orthodox Church saying about the conflict? The discussion then turns to the economic effects of the war upon the rest of the world, with particular focus on food production and distribution. Why are some countries affected more severely than others? Also among the discussion is a focus on China and its COVID lockdowns and growing economic problems. How is China moving away from its limited economic liberalization of the past? What does this mean for America’s future relationship with China? Lastly, Nancy Pelosi has been recently barred from receiving holy communion by the Archbishop of San Francisco. What makes the Pelosi case different from instances of Roman Catholic politicians in conflict received Church teaching on abortion? What does this case say about how many Americans view the relationship between church and state?

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This week, Eric Kohn, Sam Gregg, and Dan Hugger discuss the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen in Hong Kong on charges of violating the National Security Law and allegedly “colluding with foreign forces.” The arrest of Zen and three others comes in the wake of the arrest of other pro-democracy and human rights activists like Jimmy Lai, the subject of Acton’s most recent documentary feature film, THE HONG KONGER: JIMMY LAI’S EXTRAORDINARY STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM. What does this arrest tell us about the state of Hong Kong? And how has the Holy See responded to this incident? Then the guys break down the latest inflation numbers and the proposed “anti-price gouging” legislation and other supposed “solutions” to inflation that have nothing to do with inflation or that would simply make matters worse.

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