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We live in a culture in which many people believe that words are violence. In this, they have much in common with Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued the first fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989, and with Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old who stabbed the novelist in the neck on a stage in Western New York.  Today, as Rushdie recovers from his injuries, reflections from Bari on the profound impact that the words are violence crowd has had on our culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tim Scott is a rare bird: He is the only black Republican in the Senate. But the quality that makes him arguably more unique at the moment is his optimism. Much of that optimism comes from his own story. Scott’s grandfather picked cotton in the segregated south. He never learned to read or write. Within two generations, without money or connections, his grandson became a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Scott is frustrated at all the pessimism, including from inside his own party— and he’s frustrated at the notion that America is in decline. Or that perhaps we are heading for some kind of crack up. Or civil war. He makes the case for optimism in his new book: America, A Redemption Story. I hope Scott is right. But also, as you’ll hear in our conversation, I see very, very good reasons for Americans to be fed up with the state of the union and deeply worried about the future of our democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It’s hard to think of an invention that has been more transformative to women than the birth control pill. Suddenly, American women possessed a power that women never before in history had: They could control when they got pregnant. They could have sex like . . . men.  The pill—and the profound legal, political and cultural changes that the sexual revolution and feminism ushered in—liberated women. Those movements have allowed women to lead lives that literally were not possible beforehand. But here we are, half a century later, with a culture in which porn and casual sex are abundant, but marriage and birth rates are at historic lows. And many people are asking: Did we go wrong somewhere along the way? Was the sexual revolution actually bad for women? The debaters: Jill Filiopvic is an author and attorney who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and many other publications. You can follow her writing on her newsletter. Louise Perry, based in London, is columnist at the The New Statesman. She is the author of the new book: “The Case Against the Sexual Revolution.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Eternally Radical Idea

The Eternally Radical Idea

2022-07-2701:13:164

There is no organization that’s done more to fight for freedom of speech on American campuses over the past 20 years than FIRE, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. If you care deeply about the First Amendment and a robust culture of free speech, FIRE is the kind of organization you hope will go out of business.  Unfortunately, as our friend Andrew Sullivan has perfectly put it, we all live on campus now.  As the culture of campus has become the culture of the country—one in which ideological conformity is enforced by mobs that wield the weapons of shame and stigma—it should not come as a surprise that 62% of Americans say they hold views they are afraid to share in public. All of which is why FIRE is radically expanding its scope and its ambition. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is now The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. And the organization has announced a goal of $75 million in order to pick up the flag the ACLU has put down by becoming the premier civil liberties organization in America. Today: a conversation with the president and CEO of FIRE, Greg Lukianoff. Lukianoff is also the author of “Unlearning Liberty” and the co-author, with Jonathan Haidt, of “The Coddling of the American Mind.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Denying the outcome of elections has become alarmingly popular these days. In one corner, Democrats are claiming that gerrymandering has made our elections illegitimate, that the Senate is anti-Democratic and so is the Supreme Court. The White House Press Secretary has claimed that Trump stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. In the other corner, a majority or close to a majority of Republicans (depending on what polls you look at) believe that Trump was cheated out of a fair election in 2020. Here’s how the Texas GOP put it last month: “We hold that acting President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.” Today, a roundtable about how worried we should be about the state—and future—of American democracy. With guests: Jonah Goldberg (founder of The Dispatch and author of Suicide of the West); Jeremy Peters (New York Times reporter and author of Insurgency) and Kristen Soltis Anderson (pollster and author of The Selfie Vote). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Infamous Andrew Schulz

The Infamous Andrew Schulz

2022-07-1501:06:411

There’s a tried-and-true playbook for comedians who want to make it big: hit the road, get in front of as many audiences as possible, and try to grab the attention of the TV executives who decide which comics are lucky enough to get a special. But Andrew Schulz and his generation of comics has something those guys didn’t: The internet. In 2018, one of Schulz’s self-published specials went to number one across Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon. That led to sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall and, eventually, a four-part series on Netflix.  This summer, right as he was about to release his newest special with another big streamer, he was told he’d need to edit out some of his offensive jokes. Instead of censoring his work, he bought back the rights to the show and is going to release it on his website this weekend.  We talk about why he feels so confident betting on himself, the state of comedy in an era of censoriousness, and why a healthy society needs people who are willing to be offensive. Check out his new special on July 17th at: https://theandrewschulz.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Bari’s view, Freddie deBoer is one of the best writers in the country. It’s not because she always agrees with him. Hardly. Freddie is a self-described Marxist.  What she appreciates about him is that he is unflinching about criticizing “his side.” Freddie is one of the most trenchant critics of what he calls “Social Justice Politics”—which he argues distracts the left from the real issue of class.  He is also unflinching in his views about mental illness and the way it is being glorified in our culture right now. Freddie knows about this subject intimately. He has severe bipolar disorder, and has been institutionalized in the past when he was on the verge of violently acting out. Today: a conversation about “the gentrification of disability,” how sickness became chic, and how our society should handle the epidemic of mental illness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
There are nearly 4000 universities in the U.S.. Many of them have billions of dollars in endowments and histories that go back to well before the country's founding. So you'd be forgiven for thinking that it would be a bit ridiculous to try and compete with those Goliaths.  But that's exactly what the new University of Austin or UATX is doing. The premise, of course, is simple, and it goes like this. While the brand name schools have the money, they no longer have the mission. They have fundamentally abandoned the point of the university, which is the pursuit of truth. The good people at UATX, where I'm proud to be on the board, are not waiting for the broken status quo to change. They're not sitting around criticizing or whining. They are doing.  Just a few weeks ago, UTAX opened its doors to its first students at its inaugural summer school. I was blown away by the students that I met there, and I was honored to lecture alongside teachers like Neil Ferguson, Kathleen Stock, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Rob Henderson and Thomas Chatterton Williams. And today I wanted to share with all of you the talk that I gave at the old parkland in Dallas to that first class of students. It's about the broken moment that we're in as a culture and a country, but more it's about what I think is required of us to meet this moment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Holy Anarchy of Fun

The Holy Anarchy of Fun

2022-07-0417:091

No writer stokes more consistent envy among Common Sense editors than Walter Kirn. Two of his essays from last year—The Bullshit and The Power and the Silence—got our vote for the best of 2021. But we never miss anything he writes. You might know Kirn’s name from his novels, including “Up in the Air” and “Blood Will Out.” We hope you’ll love his debut piece for us as much as we do. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With everything going on here at home you can be forgiven for not focusing on what’s going on in Mariupol or Hong Kong. But what’s going on in those faraway places has a profound impact on us. For evidence of that truth, look no further than Wuhan. Or at the current price of gas. The point is that there is little distinction between domestic and foreign politics. If you are the world’s superpower—and at least for now we still appear to be—they are profoundly connected. That’s the case former CIA head and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes in my conversation with him today.  In this wide-ranging and frank conversation, Pompeo answers my questions about China, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Iran. But also: the stop the steal movement, the future of the GOP and whether or not he’s running for president. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Few decisions could inspire so much anger and sadness in one group of Americans—and so much joy and relief in another—than last week’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Depending on where you sit, the Court just rolled back women’s rights by 50 years, or corrected an egregious instance of judicial overreach. Today, a deep and honest conversation about the Dobbs decision with two women–both mothers–who represent the pro-choice and pro-life sides of this debate. Katherine Mangu-Ward is the editor in chief of Reason Magazine. Bethany Mandel is the editor of the children’s series “Heroes of Liberty.” Joining them is the head of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen, who the LA Times called the nation’s most influential legal commentator. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is Crypto Over? A Debate!

Is Crypto Over? A Debate!

2022-06-2101:16:354

If you watched the Super Bowl this year, it was hard not to notice that cryptocurrency had fully arrived. Even Larry David was hawking crypto.  But over the past several weeks, the crypto markets, like other markets, have been melting down. Some coins have completely imploded. Some crypto banks have shut their digital doors, refusing to give customers access to their money. And companies like Coinbase are laying off workers. Crypto winter has arrived. Today: a debate. Is crypto really the future of money? And is this blip just a normal hiccup in an otherwise exciting, transformational technological advancement? Or was crypto always more hype than reality?  Anthony Pompliano is a crypto believer. He’s an entrepreneur and investor and a former lead at Facebook. He's also the host of the Pomp podcast and the writer of a crypto newsletter called Off the Chain. Michael Green is a major crypto skeptic. He has been an investor for more than 30 years. He recently joined Simplify, where he's introducing new innovations in ETFs. He's previously, among other jobs, been at Thiel Macro, where he managed the personal capital of Peter Thiel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If you read Common Sense, you know that the best day of the week is Friday, when Nellie Bowles delivers us all the news from the week that was. This Friday, we bring you an Honestly special: TGIF! This time built just for your ears and brought to you by America’s favorite lesbians: Nellie and dear friend of the pod, Katie Herzog.Featuring: drag queens, inflation, prosecutors who just won't prosecute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We live in a culture that is driven by nay-saying. In one corner, people insist that the individual stands no chance against structural and systemic maladies. From the other, people say that we are in inexorable decline as a civilization and that decadence is everywhere we turn. Both wind up arguing against risk-taking, against the possibility of creating new things and new worlds. How can we recover the adventurous, optimistic, forward-thinking, risk-taking attitude that has made America the most innovative country in the history of the world? Today, the venture capitalist (and former journalist) Katherine Boyle explains how. She makes the powerful case that that spirit of building is very much alive in America—just not in the places that we once assumed we’d find it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What To Do About Guns

What To Do About Guns

2022-06-0901:39:575

Tulsa. Buffalo. Uvalde. Philadelphia. Chicago. And that’s just the past few weeks. If you’re like me, you’ve had too many despairing conversations about the epidemic of gun violence in this country to count. This isn’t that. This is a conversation about what can actually, practically be done.  David French is a senior editor of The Dispatch and the author of “Divided We Fall,” among other books. David is a veteran. He is also, as you’ll hear, a gun owner.  Rajiv Sethi is a professor of economics at Barnard College at Columbia University who has been researching gun violence and writing about innovative solutions to the problem—even in a country with a robust Second Amendment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When Marianne Williamson stood on the presidential debate stage in 2020 and spoke about the “dark psychic force” unleashed in America, she became an instant meme. But these days—with our epidemic of loneliness and addiction, rising crime and violence like the kind we just witnessed in Uvalde, Texas—can anyone deny the existence of this darkness? Long before others were willing to name the anti-human, anti-social sickness in our culture, Williamson was warning of it. She is one of the most beloved self-help authors in the world, having sold more than three million copies of her more than a dozen books. If you are heartsick about the state of the country and find yourself asking how it can be made right, this episode is for you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We are living through a seismic political realignment. The parties and the political movements that fuel them are being dramatically redefined—and are up for grabs in ways that would have been unthinkable even two decades ago. Today, we are focusing on “the right” side of that divide: what the right has meant historically; what it means today; and what it might look like a decade or a century from now. My guest is Matthew Continetti, author of the new book: “The Right: The Hundred-year War for American Conservatism.” We talk about Donald Trump, of course. But more so we talk about whether or not he was a departure from conservatism or a return to something deeper in American history that the movement’s elites had long kept at the periphery. We talk about the gap between those elites and the base. And we talk about the emerging group known as the “New Right” and whether or not they represent the future of American politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
There is no subject—not Trump, not abortion, not immigration, not taxes-–that is more contentious than the one we tackle today: parenting.  This subject has particular urgency because my wife is pregnant! As are two of my producers. But you don’t need to be pregnant to be curious about the following: What is the right way to raise kids who become good, responsible, kind adults? Can we blame our problems as adults on our parents? What about Or do parenting styles not really matter? Is it nature that determines just about everything? That–and a thousand more questions–are what we discuss on today’s show. So today: a debate with three parenting experts who have radically different ideas about raising kids. Bryan Caplan, an economics professor at George Mason, is the author of “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.” Michaelleen Doucleff is a NPR global health correspondent and the author of “Hunt, Gather, Parent.” And Carla Naumburg is a clinical social worker and the author of “How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Akhil Reed Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale university, where he’s been teaching constitutional law since the ripe old age of 26. He is the author of more than a hundred law review articles and several award-winning books. Amar’s work has been cited in more than 40 supreme court cases—more than anyone else in his generation—including in the shocking draft opinion by Justice Alito that was leaked to the press last week. What may be confusing about that is that Amar is a self-described liberal, pro-choice Democrat. So why is Alito citing his work in an opinion to overturn Roe? Today, Amar explains why he, in fact, agrees with Alito, what overturning Roe might mean for the country, what the leak says about the culture of American law, and what supporters of legal abortion, like himself, should do now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If you read Common Sense, you know that the best day of the week is Friday, when Nellie Bowles delivers us all the news from the week that was.  Today, we bring you: Everything you need to know about this week's Supreme Court Leak, the new singing-and-dancing truth czar, revelations about youth gender transition and signs of change in the Republican party. Plus some attempts at tasteful humor. TGIF! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Comments (73)

JJ ZAG

I CAN CONCEDE TO THE FOLLOWING REGARDING THE 2020 ELECTION: TRUMP MAY HAVE NOT WON. HOWEVER, NEITHER DID BIDEN. there are not 2 camps divided into the Sidney Powell machine hacking deniers and the others who vaguely know intuitively that the 2020 wasn't right. i don't even think 2000 mules was mentioned?? that's regretful. there's also the issue of THOUSANDS OF ballots received (and counted) AFTER the deadline in the contested states. Matt branyard has documented thousands of voters who voted in more than one state, thousands of voters who registered after state registration deadlines who are documented as VOTED in the general election, the Arizona audit revealed 30,000 more mail ballots RECEIEVED than were mailed out, the explanation for the Fulton county Georgia video was NOT valid, the table was NOT supposed to have a cloth on it to begin with, THAT'S LIKELY PROHIBITED IN ALL STATES, but IS prohibited IN GEORGIA (and my state of Ohio).. left wing advocacy groups SUED in state courts to reverse rules, in OHIO, our officials fought HARD to keep these groups from putting drop boxes in our state. state executive branches deliberately exceeded their authority beyond reason SPECIFICALLY to tip the scales in their favor. again using Ohio as an example, our sos mailed applications to vote by mail to all voters, IN 2020 ONLY. i didn't like that, but that's SMALL compared to actions taken in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and many left wing states just MAILING BALLOTS to every voter. THESE ARE EXAMPLES OF WILLFUL AND DELIBERATE LAWLESSNESS, not reasonable COVID accommodations. i really like whoever said we need to go back to having elections that got Obama elected. vote by mail is NOT secure, NOR is it a RIGHT. when you vote in person, NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO BE IN THE BOOTH WITH YOU except minor children, or an interpreter. if you mess up ur ballot, a new one is issued on the spot. poll workers are present to assist voters and also protect their franchise. NONE OF THESE PROTECTIONS are present with MAIL BALLOTS. mail ballots need to be heavily restricted. if voters are not compelled to vote in person, then no political action committee EARNED THEIR VOTE. especially if the state mandates early voting. if mail voting is restricted, there will be a major influx in efforts to TRANSPORT VOTERS TO THE POLLS. that's FAIR. but regardless, every state legislature needs to also require early ballots to be scanned UPON RECEIPT, not wait till election day. there was a map pre November 3rd showing when states start scanning (counting) mail ballots. and GUESS which states DONT BEGIN SCANNING MAIL BALLOTS TILL ELECTION DAY (or the day before)?? Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Minnesota, Pennsylvania. voter id laws boosting democrat turnout doesn't demonstrate REBELLION against those laws. it demonstrates CONFIDENCE in election integrity (although I'd say a false sense of security if other more important measures aren't in place). gosh i wish i could be in one of these interviews. i drove to from Ohio to dc for all 3 stop the steal rallies, including January 6th. for me, it wasn't about TRUMP (i did not vote trump in the 2016 primary). i went to January 6th to encourage representatives to objected to the electoral count for an investigation into the election. the reality was that I KNEW THAT INVESTIGATION wouldn't have overturned the election. but i WANTED A REDRESS FOR OUR GRIEVANCE over the election.

Jul 22nd
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JJ ZAG

To answer your question starting at 1:22:45 as the 'new right' being unpatriotic and anti Americanism, the answer is ABSOLUTELY. in fact, the rhetoric has devolved SOOOOOOO low, and VERY FAMILIAR , as I've read the EXACT SAME TALKING POINTS in countless anti west, anti American subtitles of speeches delivered by Vladimir Putin year after year, decade after decade now. and it is LITERALLY PAINFUL having to sound like the left wing media.

Jul 22nd
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Jay

Andrew Shulz is this generations G.O.A.T!!!

Jul 20th
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David Post

Great episode.

Jul 11th
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R

46:40 So basically his argument against trans rights and identity is that he's scared that it will "confuse" little kids and get rid of queerness. Lmao I appreciate what this guy has fought for in the past but does he realize how ironic and outdated his words are. 😂 Didn't homophobes used to make the same argument that gayness would "confuse" kids and get rid of heteros. Being trans (like being gay) is a possibility to ponder but is not being forced on anyone.

May 18th
Reply (2)

Janis Kelly

Bari, as a fellow veteran of the early days of the gay rights struggle, I want to say "Bravo" for your interview with Andrew Sullivan. Also a suggestion regarding the recent upsurge in adolescent girls deciding they are or want to be trans: these girls are the "PornHub" generation, and they are swamped in a flood of profoundly anti-woman cant. I have a daughter in her early 20's, and I am appalled at the messaging on social media, in music, etc that presents the ideal as frantic objectification of oneself and normalizes the kind of hook-up sex that works fine (for awhile) for many young men but destroys the hearts and souls of young women. Not surprising that an unhappy teenage girl might want to flee that for what looks like a more powerful social role -- being a guy. I'm grateful that, as one who was a classic tomboy, I grew up before teenage angst got medicalized into the current social contagion of "gender dysphoria" (otherwise a real but extremely rare condition).

May 3rd
Reply (3)

Petrice Custance

What a moving, informative episode. I wept at parts.

Apr 9th
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Brian J Burke

Very informative, thanks.

Apr 9th
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Diana R

I really enjoyed this podcast. So much to think about...

Mar 28th
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Alan Ecker

I listen to so many of your episodes and they manage to examine both sides in a satisfying way, most of the time. This episode? The initial interview went well, but the follow up update seemed to slip into the "orange man bad" syndrome. Your guest did so poorly, relative to his initial interview, in generating effective examples and analogies (seemed to avoid any amount of real world example reference),, stated far too many times that a given problem like senatorial antics or some such in relation to attempts to counter the ratification of the election being on the GOP side only. I have followed many sources who have shared audio/video of past moments where the Dems played the exact same antics with far less demonstrable justification. He speaks reasonably and calmly and is willing to make firm declarations which are all excellent things, but within that, if he is going to refer obliquely or directly to examples of poor behaviour on one side, he should do better research and consideration of equivalent behaviour on the other side. I agreed with much of his criticism in a general way of various things associated to the GOP, but completely missed when he dodged speaking critically of the Dems for the same and similar things.

Mar 23rd
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Don Ross

Ferguson didn't get it right about a swift victory for Putin, thankfully.

Mar 22nd
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Sean Clingan

This was a great podcast.

Mar 17th
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Dolly Sundstrom

But are you ready to send your sons? It may come to that. And what if the west does not prevail? Our track record on the ground has been rather dismal these last decades. Our nation is divided, distracted. I love our country, but we should think long and hard and count the cost: world war 3 could really happen.

Mar 17th
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Brian J Burke

Well said, thanks.

Mar 16th
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Diana R

It's too bad the good ones like her won't run for office. The people, political process and media are too harsh to be worth it.

Mar 7th
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Diana R

Thank you for this interview. She is so impressive and a true inspiration. Totally enjoyed it.

Mar 7th
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Brian J Burke

Interesting discussion if you can ignore their pomposity.

Mar 5th
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Jay Sanzo

A very informative formative podcast.

Mar 3rd
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Jay Sanzo

I very much enjoyed this article.

Feb 28th
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Jay Sanzo

I'm personally a big fan of Bari Weiss. Though she covers a lot of topics I'm not really interested in, so I only listen occasionally. Out of the 10 or so shows I've listened to this was outstanding. So very informative. Thanks

Feb 9th
Reply
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