Ethan Delves interviews Josh Herring about Season 2 of the Optimistic Curmudgeon. They revisit major guests and episodes, get an update on numbers, and explore what's coming up on Season 3! Josh shares exciting news about the show moving under the umbrella of Thales Press, and Ethan gets really excited about a book list Josh may one day put together. Enjoy!
Nathanael Blake: Parental Rights in Education, Groomers, Rainbow Identities, and the Failures of Radical Feminism
Nathanael Blake of the Ethics and Public Policy Center discusses the Florida and North Carolina Parental Rights in Education bills; he explains why "groomers" is an appropriate term to use for progressive educators who protest such bills. Along the way, he discusses parent's perspectives on their right to educate their children. He and Josh also discuss his response to Michelle Goldberg's review of Christine Emba's Rethinking Sex: A Provocation, and the evident failures of both radical feminism and the Sexual Revolution. The conversation is not explicit or graphic, but this is a mature content episode. Follow Nathanael's work here, or on Twitter @NBlakeEPPC. If you like this episode, please share with a friend!
Josh interviews Dr. Allen Mendenhall about Richard Weaver and his views about what made southern culture both unique and worth preserving. They then shift to the south today, discussing in what way "The South" is a discernible region in light of demographic shift. Along the way there are jokes, bow ties, and a great conversation! If you like the episode, please share it with a friend! Also, click here to find Dr. Mendenhall's latest book.
Bob Luddy, founder of Captivaire, Thales Academy, and Thales College, joins Josh for a conversation about inflation, the federal reserve, the economic mistakes of both the Trump and Biden administrations, the problems created through market interventions, and moves individuals can make to shield value from inflationary pressures. Bob recommends some resources at the conclusion of the episode for further study. Enjoy!
Dr. Mike Munger of Duke University's Economics department joins Josh for a conversation about public choice economics, running for governor of North Carolina, incentive structures, and the necessity of moral virtue for a free market to work properly. They also discuss Adam Smith, David Hume, and Dr. Munger's connection with professional wrestling. Enjoy! Be sure to follow @Mungowitz, and leave us a good review!
Shane Trotter shares insights from his book, Setting the Bar, arguing that an excessive on the lowest performing students harms high performing students. He and Josh discuss how IEPs, 504s, and accommodations fail to achieve the goals of education, and the ways schools and students respond to incentives. They also discuss classroom management, student discipline, and equipping students for a lifetime of success. Public education can be done well, and Shane outlines steps schools should take in order to flourish.
Daniel Garner joins Josh to discuss Hannah Arendt's On The Origins of Totalitarianism. Recorded well before Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, this episode covers the nature of totalitarian government, Arendt's description of anti-semitism in European culture, and the responsibility Western governments have for encouraging self-governing citizens and resisting the temptation towards totalitarian action.
Carissa Mulder, co-author of a chapter in A Dubious Expediency: How Race Based Admissions Damage Higher Education and Special Counsel to Commissioner Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, joins Josh to discuss the history, present reality, and harms of race based admission in elite universities. She traces the case history, and provides analysis of the ways affirmative action in admissions creates an unfair university admissions system. Carissa is a an author for the The Federalist Society, and National Review. You can read her work here and here.
Dr. Nick Higgins of North Greenville University explores command, consent, and natural theories of law to situate a consideration of the moral obligation citizens have to obey laws, regulations, policies, and executive orders. Along the way, Dr. Higgins provides a clear explanation of the growth of Administrative State, including a fascinating story of presidential assignation (not JFK), and the distinctions connoted by different legal vocabulary. (This episode was recorded in September of 2021, so references to current Covid-19 responses should be heard with that idea in mind). What exactly do citizens owe their authorities? Listen to find out!
Josh interviews Dr. Kevin D Roberts about his career path, and his work with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Since this episode was recorded, Dr. Roberts has moved from CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation to President of the Heritage Foundation. Their conversation centers on the significance of removing an American presence from Afghanistan, the poor way that removal was handled, and the many ways the Administrative State harms the American constitutional order. This conversation was inspired by Dr. Roberts' article published 8/30/21 (linked here) about the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Enjoy!