Jack throws all this “Young Americans” stuff out the window for an episode of pure Lord of the Rings exegesis. He and Craig Hanks of the Legendarium podcast discuss the first season of the recently concluded Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. They air their complaints, look for the good in the show, try to determine whether it will get better, and more.

Daniel Di Martino, who left the failures of socialism in Venezuela for the freedom of the United States, joins the 100th (!) episode of Young Americans to tell his story, to warn about government excesses in the U.S. (from left and right), and to share what he is doing to make sure America never becomes a socialist country.

With Reason editor Stephanie Slade and Eric Kohn and Dan Hugger of the Acton Institute, Jack explores the mysteries, intricacies, tensions, and contradictions of national conservatism as filtered through the third National Conservatism Conference, held earlier this month in Miami. (This is a cross-posting of the Acton Unwind podcast.)

Post-vacation, Jack brings Dominic Pino on to explain Joe Biden’s recent actions on student-loan debt, which so defy our political system that there is no obvious remedy in our system to challenge them.

USA Today Opinion Fellow (and native Texan) Chris Schlak joins the show to discuss his experience at CPAC Dallas, which featured, among other things, a speech from Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, 2020 election trutherism, and January 6 performance art.

Jack does something a little different for a rare solo episode, reminiscing about summer and trying to capture that ineffable “summer feeling.”

Luther Abel joins the podcast to tell us why he joined the Navy, and to speculate about why fewer young people are interested in joining the U.S. military these days.

Nic Rowan, managing editor of The Lamp, joins Jack to relate what he saw at the Court the day Dobbs came down, and to dicuss what comes next for the pro-life movement.

Jack and Alec Dent take the occasion of Fathers’ Day to discuss Top Gun: Maverick, the movie described by Deadline Hollywood as “the ultimate movie to take your dad to.” Topics hashed out include whether Top Gun is a good movie (no), why the sequel is so much better, whether Hollywood will learn important lessons from Top Gun: Maverick‘s success, and whether Maverick is dead for basically the whole movie (no).

Yes, obviously. So why is its institutional apparatus promoting the views of pro-abortion faculty? Once and future Notre Dame graduate Sean Tehan (’22 undergrad, ’25 law), a former staff member of The Irish Rover, attempts to explain these and other penumbras and emanations of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity on this episode of Young Americans.

Last week in Nebraska, Charles Herbster became the first Trump endorsee to lose a Republican primary in 2022. Jim Pillen, a figure little-known to a national audience, prevailed. To explain why this happened, to examine other mysteries of Nebraska, and to push back against Beltway misconceptions about the state, Jack invites Nebraska talk-radio show host Ian Swanson on to the show for some good old fashion Nebraska-splaining. So grab some corn and get ready to learn some Nebraska facts.

(Find Ian’s radio show host listenable as a podcast here.)

The National Council of Teachers of English apparently believes that reading books and writing essays is overrated, and that students should learn about memes and selfies instead. English teacher (though not an NCTE member) Daniel Buck returns to the show to rebut this foolish notion . . . and to challenge Jack to a duel?

Jack brings on University of Virginia jun–er, third-year Ian Schwartz to discuss various controversies–a speech by Mike Pence, the Thomas Jefferson legacy at UVA, free speech in general–that have dominated discusson on the camp–er, grounds of Charlottesville’s famous institution of higher education.

Jack brings on former collegiate swimmer Jenna Stocker to try to make sense of Lia (Will) Thomas competing as a female collegiate athlete despite being male, and to swat down the arguments in favor. Jack and Jenna also bond over a shared loathing of the NCAA.

Holy reboot, Batman! To debate the merits of the latest incarnation of Batman, this time with Matt Reeves directing Robert Pattinson in The Batman, Jack brings Young Americans stalwart Alec Dent, who writes about culture and checks facts for The Dispatch, back to the show. Jack was not a fan; Alec was (after a second viewing). Tune in for the exciting clash of opinions, along with broader thoughts on the enduring appeal of Batman as a character.

Federalist culture editor Emily Jashinsky joins Jack for an extended disqusition on how bad TikTok is, and what to do about it. They also make fun of Zoomers (who deserve it).

Kenny Xu, author of An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy and the president of Color Us United, joins the podcast to discuss whether Harvard discriminates against Asian applicants in its admissions process (a case about which will soon be considered before the Supreme Court). They also cover related issues about race in America.

Ten-day isolation for students who test positive for Covid? No eating or drinking anywhere indoors? No in-person class or Mass? These are but a few of the ridiculous Covid restrictions that have been in place at Georgetown University, where Jacob Adams is currently a junior. On this episode, Jacob relates the full extent of the ridiculousness, and attempts with Jack to figure out why college students have on the whole been so compliant with Covid restrictions.

Jack starts out the new year in appropriate Janus fashion, employing the aid of budding foreign-policy guru Jimmy Quinn to look back on the year that was in China news concering three areas (Uyghur genocide, Winter Olympics, Taiwan) and to take a guess at what this year might bring in each one.

Jack ends the year with young econ expert Dominic Pino to make sense of the supply-chain and inflation crises that have beset America in 2021 and to try to ascertain whether they’ll stick with us in 2022.