Few things are as controversial as the topic of abortion. One-size-fits-all approaches only tend to reinforce the controversy by causing their proponents to dig in ideologically. In today’s episode, Connor visits with Joe Baker from Save the Storks. Joe’s work is proving to be a creative way to tackle the issue with an eye towards furthering the protection of innocent lives. Bridge-builders are few and far between on this subject, so listen as Joe explains how it’s done.
When the news first hit about a caravan of refugees making their way towards the U.S. border to seek asylum, it didn’t take long to become a political football. Are they simply “dreamers” looking for a better life far away from the crime and corruption of their homelands? Or are they an existential threat to America coming here to overthrow us by signing up for welfare benefits and by voting Democratic? Somewhere amidst all the anger, fear and virtue signaling, there must be a more dispassionate way to respond to the situation. In this episode we set out to search for that common ground, if it exists.
When it comes to shaping public policy, especially on hot button issues, it can be tricky to build consensus. Especially at the grassroots level, emotional and passionate dialogue can quickly become angry shouting back and forth. Make no mistake, anger alone isn’t sufficient to decisively shift public opinion and change minds. In this episode, Connor explains the critical lessons he’s learned in how to persuade and build consensus between highly polarized opponents.
The recent Thanksgiving holiday meant different things to different people. Some people celebrate it as a day of gratitude for abundance, others, as a day of sadness and oppression. One thing’s for certain, the simplified version we were taught as children only tells a fraction of the story of those who settled the New World. We revisit some of the popular myths and discuss the valuable lessons learned from the way the pilgrims experience began.
Of all the technological advances going on around us, none have so much potential to change our world as the science of artificial intelligence (AI). Some see AI as a potential danger, e.g. “The Rise of the Machines”, while others see it as the next giant leap forward for mankind. Ben Taylor is the co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Ziff, the world's only unstructured database powered by AI. He joins us to discuss the implications of what a world with AI might be like.
One of the most influential voices on education fell silent recently when John Taylor Gatto passed away. For many of us who have homeschooled or sought alternatives to public schooling, Gatto was the catalyst that caused us to begin questioning compulsory education. As a highly respected and award-winning former public school teacher, John Taylor Gatto spoke with clarity on the system in which he once taught. If you don’t know his story, it’s one worth learning.
Nothing helps to shift public perception on an issue like putting a human face and story to how the issue affects common people. Paige Figi is the mother of Charlotte, a young girl who suffered from a severe form of epilepsy. Charlotte is one of thousands of patients who have found authentic relief in medicinal cannabis products. Paige joins us to discuss how her little girl’s illness prompted an exhaustive effort to gain access to a powerful naturally occurring plant that makes a world of difference in Charlotte’s life.
Another midterm election cycle has played out with its attendant pageantry and fanfare. For all the attention it garnered, we’re still left asking the question: Has anything actually changed? Have the “I Voted” stickers become the new participation trophy for modern Americans? Citizenship requires that we be engaged in our governance but we’re still left wondering if all the focus on the act of voting is as essential as we make it out to be. Join us as we examine some of the things good citizens should be doing outside of the election cycle.
Most of us have heard the public service announcements on our radios from the Ad Council. The crash test dummies Vince and Larry are a good example of this. Have you ever stopped to wonder why so many of those PSAs have a very pronounced big government slant? It’s because they are being financed by the federal government. Pagona Stratoudakis from the American Media Council joins us to discuss how our tax dollars are used to propagandize us. She also shares how her organization is helping to bring a message of freedom to the airwaves.
For some folks, the semi-annual ritual of setting the clock forward an hour in Spring or back an hour in Fall is no big deal. For the rest of us, it’s an unnecessary disruption of our sleep cycles and something that can have repercussions for days or weeks afterwards. Daylight savings is the result a legislative decree rather than an act of nature. Is it time to rescind this policy and to just let nature take its course?
If you want to see an example of what authentic investigative journalism looks like, look no further than Ben Swann. His “Reality Check” segments have been a highly popular alternative to the agenda-driven content being promoted by so many news outlets. Ben joins us to discuss the ongoing social media purge of dissenting voices and also to tell us about his new platform from which he is broadcasting.
If you’re a regular listener to the Society and the State podcast, you’ve no doubt noticed that we’ve had a few gaps in posting new episodes lately. Given how much we enjoy doing this podcast, it would be more than a bit out of character for us to have grown tired or lazy about doing SATS. It turns out that some very exciting projects have been keeping Connor and Bryan burning the midnight oil these past few weeks. In this episode we’ll tell you what they are.
Most of us tend to take for granted that our justice system works. This means we assume that the system is hard at work protecting the innocent by only putting bad guys in jail. Our guest may cause you to rethink that assumption. Brett Tolman is a former U.S. Attorney and prosecutor for the federal government. Now, he is a criminal justice reformer who is working to address some serious problems within the system. Learn what he came to realize and what he is doing to correct some of the institutional obstacles to authentic justice.
Knowing how to market ideas to the Millennial generation is a necessity for anyone who wants to succeed. This is especially true when it comes to promoting the cause of liberty and free markets. But not everyone has figured out how to turn good ideas into education and productive conversation. Matt Kibbe from Free the People joins us to offer his insights on how to effectively reach out to the liberty-curious.
The topic of abortion has evolved into one of the most contentious subjects in modern day America. It likely rivals the intensity of the debates over slavery in 1840s America. Bottom line, it’s tough to have a principled discussion of a topic that is so emotionally laden. A recent viral social media post suggested that not only do men have zero interest in stopping abortion but also that unwanted pregnancies are caused by men. That’s a tough divide to bridge. What if abortion could be approached from a personal responsibility and property rights angle?
The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been animated, to put it mildly. The circus-like atmosphere isn’t just a symptom of politics-as-usual. It’s an indicator that the American body politic has experienced some major shifts in how we perceive the role of our national government. What do these antics portend for the constitutional republic that our founders created? Is the Supreme Court supposed to be the linchpin on which our nation’s fate hangs?
Concern over the death penalty isn’t just limited to bleeding hearts and liberals. It’s not a matter of coddling criminals. DNA evidence and other technological advances are proving that genuinely innocent people are sitting on Death Row or have been executed. Questions about the inefficiency, inequity and inaccuracy within the justice system mean that opposition to the death penalty is finding acceptance in conservative circles as well. Hannah Cox from Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty joins us to discuss the issue.
In a republic form of government, lawmaking is generally handled by representatives of the people. But is there also a place for direct democracy, where the people can exercise their franchise on specific issues via ballot initiative? In this episode, we explore the pros and cons of the initiative process as well as when and where it may be necessary to limit the power we’ve delegated to government.
Most of what people know about the criminal justice system is based on what they’ve watched on TV. Unless you or someone you know has had to be bailed out of jail, you’re probably not familiar with the bail process or some of the inherent problems with the current system. Even so, these problems affect millions of people each year in ways you may not have considered. Jeremy Travis from the Arnold Foundation joins Connor to discuss the challenges of the bail system and some potential solutions.
With the passing of U.S. Senator John McCain, we are experiencing a rare glimpse into the mindset of many members of the media and the political class. The state has never been shy about co-opting the word “hero” for its own purposes, and what better time to laud those who have served its interests than when they have died? But do the lavish pronouncements and official pageantry square with reality?
Sometimes it seems that most of the world’s most countries are in a race to see which can become the most socialist. Often, nations like Sweden are held up as examples of how good socialism can be in a first world nation. In this episode, Connor is joined by Klaus Bernpaintner of the Mises Institute to discuss which country is more socialist these days: Sweden or the USA? The answer isn’t as clear cut as you might think.
One of the key symptoms of the unraveling taking place in American society is the growing tendency toward violence against people and property by various activist groups. This is particularly true of the masked Antifa members who can best be understood by the 2017 photograph of one of them beating a man with a sign that says “Stop the Hate!" For all the ruckus they’re causing, are they accomplishing anything worthwhile? Is conflict all that we have left to resolve our differences?
Zoning and land use regulations can have serious, and sometimes negative, impact on your property rights. When you can’t so much as add a shed to your backyard without seeking permission, paying fees and otherwise gaining the approval of a local board, it can be stifling. Scott Beyer has been living in 30 different cities, one month at a time, to explore what works and what doesn’t. He joins us to discuss how the regulatory state is affecting us down to the tiniest details of our lives and what the free market can offer in way of alternatives.
When someone like Alex Jones is simultaneously yanked from nearly every social media platform, it raises more than a few questions. Why now? What exactly did he say that constituted “hate speech” or “bullying”? Who will be next? Have high tech corporate and government interests combined to exert greater control over the flow of information? More importantly, who bears the primary responsibility for deciding what we should see or hear?
What comes to mind when you hear the word “polygamist”? It’s a topic that, historically, has proven to be highly polarized, even though many people have never spoken with a practicing polygamist. In today’s episode, Connor sits down with Joe Darger, a friend and polygamist, to discuss the reality of polygamy in modern times. You might be surprised at the number of people currently practicing polygamy as well as the way that different states are choosing to approach the issue from a legal and public policy standpoint.