133 episodes

Acton Unwind is a weekly roundtable discussion of news and current events through the Acton Institute's lens on the world: promoting a free and virtuous society and connecting good intentions with sound economics. Host Eric Kohn is joined by Acton Institute experts for an exploration of news, politics, religion, and culture.

Acton Unwind Acton Institute

    • News
    • 4.9 • 105 Ratings

Acton Unwind is a weekly roundtable discussion of news and current events through the Acton Institute's lens on the world: promoting a free and virtuous society and connecting good intentions with sound economics. Host Eric Kohn is joined by Acton Institute experts for an exploration of news, politics, religion, and culture.

    Ticketmaster in its Antitrust Era

    Ticketmaster in its Antitrust Era

    This week, Eric, Dan, and David discuss the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation/Ticketmaster. Is there anything the federal government can do to appease unhappy Taylor Swift fans who couldn’t get tickets to the Eras Tour? And, more importantly, is Live Nation literally a monopoly? Next, the United States’ trade deficit surged by 9% in April. Does it matter? How concerned should we be with the balance of trade between the United States and the rest of the world? And finally, the guys break down the election results in India and Europe. Are we all in our populist era?
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    U.S. Calls for Breakup of Ticketmaster Owner | New York Times 
    The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America | Burton W. Folsom
    Trade deficit jumps to 18-month high, but rise in imports is ‘good news’ for economy | Marketwatch
    Trade Deficits: Accounting Masquerading as Economics | David Hebert, AIER
    Relying on coalition partners, Modi is sworn in for a rare third term as India’s prime minister | Associated Press
    Far-right gains in the EU election deal stunning defeats to France’s Macron and Germany’s Scholz | Associated Press

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Harrison Butker Misses Wide Right

    Harrison Butker Misses Wide Right

    This week, Eric and Dan are joined by Jeffrey Polet to discuss his essay in the Spring 2024 issue of Religion & Liberty, “The Teacher as Prophet: John Dewey’s Liberating Education.” How did Dewey’s vision shape education in America and how is he still influential today? Next, Emily joins the conversation about Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker’s commencement address heard ’round the web. In what ways did it miss the mark? Are there any positive lessons we can take from it? Then, does Apple want to crush all your creative things? A new ad for the iPad Pro suggests yes, but only if you’re hyper-literal. And finally, what does the lewd and inappropriate behavior at The Portal art installation connecting New York City and Dublin, Ireland, reveal about human behavior?
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    The Teacher as Prophet: John Dewey’s Liberating Education | Jeffrey Polet, Religion & Liberty
    Harrison Butker’s Benedictine College Commencement Address | National Catholic Register
    Harrison Butker Misses the Point | Haley Strack, National Review
    Crush! Apple iPad Pro Ad
    Dublin–New York portal reopens with set hours | BBC

    • 1 hr 18 min
    The Enduring Power of Magazines

    The Enduring Power of Magazines

    This week, Eric and Noah are joined by Acton’s Dan Hugger to discuss his essay in the Spring 2024 issue of Religion & Liberty, “The Rambler and the Transformative Power of Magazines.” Why, even in an age of digital publishing, have print magazines endured? Then the group looks at legislation that has recently moved in Congress to add a definition of anti-Semitism to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If we acknowledge that anti-Semitism is a problem on college campuses, is this the best way to address it? And finally, Oklahoma’s charter school board has approved a Catholic charter school. We don’t yet know if this is legal, but is it a wise move by proponents of religious education?
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    The Rambler and the Transformative Power of Magazines | Dan Hugger, Religion & Liberty
    The End of Democracy? The Judicial Usurpation of Politics | First Things
    The Paper of Record Meets an Ephemeral Web: An Examination of Linkrot and Content Drift within The New York Times | SSRN
    House passes bill to expand definition of antisemitism amid growing campus protests over Gaza war | Associated Press
    First Religious Charter School Sparks Legal, Philosophical Battles | Wall Street Journal

    • 59 min
    Will Fraternity Bros Save America?

    Will Fraternity Bros Save America?

    This week, Eric, Anthony, and Emily are joined by Gene Edward Veith to discuss his essay “Sheen and Maier: Broadcasting Theology,” which explores the broadcast ministries of Fulton J. Sheen and Walter A. Maier. Then, are frat bros the heroes we’ve been waiting for, pushing back on the radical protests on elite college campuses and defending the American flag? And finally, Florida has banned lab-grown meat. Is there anything more to this than protection for the traditional meat industries? 
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    Sheen and Maier: Broadcasting Theology | Gene Edward Veith, Religion & Liberty
    UNC frat brothers who defended US flag speak out: 'Deeply important to us’ | The Daily Mail
    Flag-Protecting Frat Brothers Have Plans for $500K in Donations | Newsweek
    Heroic Fraternities: How College Men Can Save Universities and America | Anthony B. Bradley
    ‘We Will Save Our Beef’: Florida Bans Lab-Grown Meat | The New York Times

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Decamping Campus Encampments

    Decamping Campus Encampments

    This week, Eric, Dylan, and Dan are joined by Karen Swallow Prior to discuss her essay in the new Spring 2024 issue of Religion & Liberty, “Who Will Comfort Me? The Total Care of Cicely Saunders” and issues of, literally, life and death. Then Eric, Dylan, and Dan discuss the place of free markets within the conservative movement and how college administrations should be dealing with the protest encampments being established on their campuses.
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    Who Will Comfort Me? The Total Care of Cicely Saunders | Karen Swallow Prior, Religion & Liberty
    The Conservative Movement Is Defending Free Markets — from Both Sides | Erick Erickson, National Review
    Heritage Foundation’s Wesley Coopersmith’s Response
    Karl Polanyi's Battle with Economic History | Alex Nowrasteh, Libertarianism.org
    Texas Gov. Abbott faces backlash after mass arrest at UT Austin pro-Palestine protest | The Hill
    UF threatens student protesters with suspension, banishment from campus for 3 years | WUFT

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Did OJ Simpson Break American Culture?

    Did OJ Simpson Break American Culture?

    This week, Eric, Dan, and Emily discuss the death of O.J. Simpson and examine how the combination of his celebrity and his criminal trial launched a thousand cultural ships, including reality TV, true-crime obsession, and the 24/7 news cycle. Next, Belgian politicians tried to shut down the National Conservatism Conference, only to have it saved by liberal institutions. Oh, the irony. And finally, what can we learn from NPR senior business editor Uri Berliner’s piece at The Free Press accusing NPR of losing its journalistic integrity?
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    O.J. Simpson, Football Star Whose Trial Riveted the Nation, Dies at 76 | New York Times
    Europe’s hard-right bags big win after ‘own goal’ by Brussels mayors | Politico
    Brussels Mayor Attempts to Shut Down National Conservatism Conference by Force | Stephanie Slade, Reason
    What I Saw at the National Conservatism Conference | Dan Hugger, Religion & Liberty
    National Conservatism One Year Later | Dan Hugger, Religion & Liberty
    I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. | Uri Berliner, The Free Press

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
105 Ratings

105 Ratings

Claversj ,

Synodality in reality

This was a well presented podcast, reflective, balanced, intelligent. Clearer on synodality than other things I’ve read. The other items were interesting as well, but the lay theology articulated gave me hope for both Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Cynical Forester ,

A Critical Review

Permit me to begin on the good foot. The content or subject matter of the Acton Unwind Podast is always interesting, relevant to current events, and timely. As others have observed, the crew members are thoughtful and usually mostly well informed abut the subjects they address. My criticisms are primarily matters of delivery. Eric does a superlative job of moderating the discussions. Occassionally, rarely, his observations about a particular topic are expressed in a condescending and dogmatic fashion. The reader and he will ask for specific examples. I have one. I do not recall the podcast date or title, but he asserted tha the American Civil War was about slavery and nothing else. Then he went on to make his point. Let me just say he is not current on the subject of the causes of the American Civil War. Perhaps if he had stated that in his view of the matter the Civil War was solely about slavery, he would have been on solid grounds upon which a discussion could be had. Dan pontificates when he delivers his knowledgeable and well informed comments. Unfortunately for the clarity of his remarks, he constantly punctuates his remarks with the annoying verbal place holder "you know." Please stop saying "you know." The Buckley School of Public Speaking in Camden, SC will cure you of this awful habit. Emily's audio cuts in and out too often. I recognize this issue may not be her fault. I have a hard time following her train of thought - probably my issue. Also, her terminology frequently is incorrect. The specific example I will give is in the discussion of in vitro fertilization in episode 122 she (and Eric) referred to the Catholic Church's teaching about IVF as a stance. No, the Church has a teaching about IVF, not a stance. "Stance" communicates the idea of a negotiable position or opinion. A teaching is a firm statement of belief,and in the case of the Catholic Church a teaching is binding on the faithful. While I do not always agree with Dylan (or the others), when he is on the crew he is just about perfect. Despite my fault finding, I am a faithful listener, although I frequently fall a month or two behind in listening.

77westend ,

Crisis of Masculinity

Interesting pod. But, the gist of that conversation was that, yeah, there are a lot of bad things for men out there and they need to do better. So, at the end of the day, men’s problem are their own and they should get over it. Women and children hardest hit.

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