Greg Lukianoff on the Coddling of the American Mind

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Mike talks with Greg Lukianoff, attorney, New York Times best-selling author, and President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He’s the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom From Speech, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Most recently, he co-authored The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure with Jonathan Haidt.

Mike and Greg discuss
– the 3 Great Untruths of modern American society
– fragile kids
– tribalism and ‘us vs. them’ thinking
– white male privilege
– Stoicism, Buddhism, and modern psychology
– and lots more

Follow Greg on Twitter

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Trump’s Op-Ed, Kavanaugh Apology, Midterms, Haley’s Exit, Khashoggi’s Murder

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Trey Orndorff welcomes Alexandra Filindra from the University of Illinois at Chicago to The Politics Guys this week. The Politics Guys ask listeners to give us your comments and feedback on Alexandra and the show this week.

First up Trey thanks listener Erik who caught a mistake last week. Trey said Justice Kennedy withdrew his support of Kavanaugh when he meant to say Stevens. Thanks Erik, we truly appreciate it!

After the correction Trey and Alexandra get into the midterm question. Specifically Trey brings up Trump’s USA Today op-ed and his apology to Kavanaugh. Alexandra is surprised that Trump would write an op-ed and wonders aloud what the benefit might be. Trey sees a consistent communication pattern and thinks the op-ed is good strategy — as is setting up opposition to Kavanaugh as being for “the mob.”

This leads Trey and Alexandra to talk in detail on the midterm election strategy and transitions to questions of election fundraising in the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation. Democrats are reporting big dollar donation increases and Republicans are pointing to percentage increases in funds. Both point to Kavanaugh as the reason why.

Trey asks Alexandra what she thinks of the Democrats chances in the Senate given the dip in the polls for Democratic Senator Heitkamp after voting against Kavanaugh. Alexandra brings up it is more difficult for Democrats due to gerrymandering and Trey argues it was a Republican party focused on local elections that set them up for these wins.

Trey and Alexandra then turn to Nikki Haleys resignation. Specifically they discuss the timing, both in relation to the midterm elections and to the Kavanaugh confirmation process. It also gets both of them to discuss party and campaign strategy for 2020 and beyond.

The final story is the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. As of the show’s airing it appears likely that the Saudi King ordered Jamal killed with video evidence coming from Turkey. On the American front it has led to a split between Congressional Republicans and President Trump on the proper response.

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Sami Saydjari on Cyber-Threats

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Mike talks with cybersecurity expert Sami Saydjari. He’s been deeply involved in the fields for over three decades, working for organizations including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Security Agency, and NASA, among others. He has published numerous papers, consulted national leaders on cybersecurity policy, and educated the public through interviews with national media including CNN, PBS, ABC, the New York Times, Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine. He’s also the author of the recently published book, Engineering Trustworthy Systems: Get Cybersecurity Design Right the First Time.

Topics Mike & Sami cover include:
– Security issues with voting systems
– Hacking infrastructure
– If military command & control systems are safe
– Why more complex = more hackable
– Sami’s cybersecurity policy recommendations

Sami on the Web

Follow Sami on Twitter

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Kavanaugh, Nafta 2.0, Hacks, Trump Money

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This week Trey Orndorff and The Politics Guys is excited to introduce Athena King, a political scientist from Virginia State University. The Politics Guys asks that listeners listen to Athena and send us your feedback on what you think of the show.

After introduction Trey and Athena again dress the newest developments concerning Brett Kavanaugh. Specifically the two discuss Kavanaugh’s Washington Post Op-Ed in defense of his hearings and the Friday cloture vote that opens the possibility of a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday or Sunday. Both Trey and Athena agree that Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed, but Trey thinks it will be a wider margin with limited Democratic support and Athena believes Mike Pence will be necessary to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Trey and Athena the address “Nafta 2.0” or more properly USMCA. Athena argues that American supply chains need more open markets. Trey agrees but is willing to concede that this is a win for the Trump Presidency and a fulfillment of a large campaign promise. Athena gets into the details of automobiles while Trey focuses on the international economic questions of the shift. Only time will tell if and when the Senate will take up the issue.

Next the pair move to an underreported story out of Bloomberg on the possibility of a Chinese hardware hack on American company servers. Apple and Facebook have denied the allegations, but it appears that China has been trying to infiltrate servers in the U.S. Trey wonders if this might not be an argument for a more nationalist economic policy and is, at a minimum, a question that free marketeers like himself must answer. Athena questions what the Chinese motive is.

Finally Trey and Athena discuss the issue of Trump’s finances in wake of a New York Time story highlighting the dubious — and potentially fraudulent — money policies the Trump family used. Athena and Trey agree that this is unlikely to move the needle of support for Trump, but wonder what the broader picture will continue to be as more information slowly drips out.

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Onkar Ghate on The Enduring Appeal of Ayn Rand

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Mike talks with Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow and chief philosophy officer at the Ayn Rand Institute. Dr. Ghate is the Institute’s resident expert on Objectivism and serves as its senior trainer and editor. He has taught philosophy for over ten years at the Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center.

Dr. Ghate studied economics and philosophy at the University of Toronto and worked in the financial industry prior to joining the Ayn Rand Institute in 2000. He received his doctorate in philosophy in 1998 from the University of Calgary.

Mike & Dr. Ghate Discuss:
– Why Ayn Rand would hate Donald Trump
– Misunderstanding ‘selfishness’
– Objectivism and Judeo-Christian Values
– Why Rand wasn’t a Libertarian or a Conservative
– The 75th anniversary of Rand’s The Fountainhead
– Are there American politicians who embody Rand’s values?
– And lots more!

The Ayn Rand Institute on Twitter

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com/support.