The Optimistic Curmudgeon
Will Begley: Justice, Mercy, Sex, and Power in Shakespeare‘s Measure for Measure (1×11)

Will Begley: Justice, Mercy, Sex, and Power in Shakespeare‘s Measure for Measure (1×11)

October 21, 2021

Dr. Will Begley (PhD, UNC Chapel Hill), Latin Instructor at Thales Academy Rolesville, joins Josh for a discussion of  Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. We explore the proper balance of justice and mercy, themes of fornication and adultery, the ways civilizations try to navigate the universal human drive for sexual interactions, and a novel reading of the play! Why is Measure for Measure the play of its genre? Listen to find out!

Ben Voth: Debate Prevents Genocide(1×10)

Ben Voth: Debate Prevents Genocide(1×10)

October 6, 2021

Dr. Ben Voth, professor at Southern Methodist University and author of Debate As Global Pedagogy: Rwanda Rising, joins Josh to discuss a variety of topics he has researched and written about over the years. The episode begins with the ways race relations have improved in the United States since the Civil Rights era. Dr. Voth explains Afropessimism and Afroidealism as two competing paradigms  in contemporary Communication studies. The second half of the episode focuses on Dr. Voth's work with teaching debate in Rwanda, and Voth's conviction that debate reduces the possibility of genocide. 

Donald J. Devine: The Administrative State is a Bureaucratic Failure (1×9)

Donald J. Devine: The Administrative State is a Bureaucratic Failure (1×9)

September 29, 2021

Dr. Donald J. Devine discusses his time in the Reagan administration, the current failures of the administrative state, and his most recent book, The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order. Devine argues that centralizing power is the flaw in our current governance, but that decentralizing power is the genius of western civilization. 

Paul Mueller: Modern Monetary Theory is Unreal Economics (1×8)

Paul Mueller: Modern Monetary Theory is Unreal Economics (1×8)

September 22, 2021

Dr. Paul Mueller of The King's College (Manhattan) discusses Modern Monetary Theory, its origins, and contemporary application of MMT in the movements of the Biden administration. Along the way, he and Josh discuss the housing market, inflation, and the connections between economic theory and reality. Check it out!

John Henry Crosby: You are Your Body: A Personalist Conversation (1×7)

John Henry Crosby: You are Your Body: A Personalist Conversation (1×7)

September 14, 2021

John Henry Crosby of the Von Hildebrand Project comes on The Optimistic Curmudgeon for a ranging conversation about personalist philosophy. Josh and John Henry discuss Personalism, its position as a philosophical anthropology, the ways in which personalism elevates the view of the body and of human dignity, and the implications for applying personalism in both work place and transgender considerations. 

Bob Luddy and Emily Launer: Keys to Success in Business (1×6)

Bob Luddy and Emily Launer: Keys to Success in Business (1×6)

September 6, 2021

Bob Luddy, CEO of CaptiveAire Systems and founder of Thales Academy, and Emily Launer, head of Human Resources for CaptiveAire and the Luddy Schools, share the keys to business success: Grit, perseverance, alertness, character, lifelong learning, and ignoring distractions. Join Josh, Bob, and Emily as they discuss the way living excellently leads to longterm happiness and success.

Jason Jewell: Graduate Education, Russell Kirk, and Conservatism Today (1X5)

Jason Jewell: Graduate Education, Russell Kirk, and Conservatism Today (1X5)

August 31, 2021

Dr. Jason Jewell discusses the unique graduate studies program in the humanities he runs at Faulkner University, his scholarship on Russell Kirk, and his views on where the conservative movement is today.

Sam Gregg: Morality, Economics, Realism, and the Gold Standard - 1×3

Sam Gregg: Morality, Economics, Realism, and the Gold Standard - 1×3

August 24, 2021

Dr. Sam Gregg comes on The Optimistic Curmudgeon to share about the many ways in which realism grounds human thought and action. He and Josh have a wide ranging conversation about different application of moral ideas, and the way reality grounds economics. 

Bob Luebke: Discrepancies in the Data for Teachers’ Salaries

Bob Luebke: Discrepancies in the Data for Teachers’ Salaries

August 8, 2021

Josh interview Dr. Bob Luebke of the John Locke Foundation about the differences between the appearance and the reality of teacher salary changes in the state of North Carolina over 201-2019. Along the way, they also discuss the school choice movement, policy changes for improving public education, and the effect teachers' unions have on North Carolina education. 

Robert Pondiscio: Anti-Racism Harms Minority Students in Schools of Choice - 1×2

Robert Pondiscio: Anti-Racism Harms Minority Students in Schools of Choice - 1×2

August 8, 2021

Josh Herring interview Robert Pondiscio about his experiences as an educator, educational policy expert, and the ways in which anti-racism harms the very students it attempts to help. 

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