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Challenging Opinions is the podcast where ideas are tested and improved - rational debate and thoughtful inquiry.

Challenging Opinions is the podcast where ideas are tested and improved - rational debate and thoughtful inquiry.


United States


Challenging Opinions is the podcast where ideas are tested and improved - rational debate and thoughtful inquiry.






CO136 Rosanna Weaver on Targeting Shareholders

Rosanna Weaver is programme manager for executive compensation As You Sow. ***** Her face looks at the camera in a way that is totally different to how teenagers take selfies now. There’s no elaborate expression, but there is, for some reason, a hint of a smile. Maybe the instinct to smile when a camera is … Continue reading "CO136 Rosanna Weaver on Targeting Shareholders"


CO135 Chris Bostic on the End of Smoking

Chris Bostic is Deputy Director for Policy of ASH, Action on Smoking and Health. Which, since 1967 has been campaigning against Big Tobacco to reduce the death toll from smoking. ***** So this is a famous clip of Ellen Degeneres on her TV show talking about some ridiculous products aimed at women. Ellen is a … Continue reading "CO135 Chris Bostic on the End of Smoking"


CO134 Steve Garner on Whiteness

Steve Garner is a researcher at the department of Social Science at Cardiff University. The BBC Analysis programme that he appeared in is available here. ***** Back in August I talked here about the pro-democracy protests, anti-Putin protests in Moscow, and I noted that, compared to the similarly-motivated protests in Hong Kong, there were small. People might grumble, … Continue reading "CO134 Steve Garner on Whiteness"


CO133 Ivan Eland on Presidential Overreach

Ivan Eland is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute. He has a PhD in Public Policy from George Washington University and has been director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and he spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues. Earlier this year he published War and the Rogue Presidency … Continue reading "CO133 Ivan Eland on Presidential Overreach"


CO132 Joan Esposito on Democratic Strategies

Joan Esposito is the afternoon host for WCPT AM 820, Chicago’s progressive talk radio. We talked about, among other things, Barack Obama’s call for progressive unity and condemnation of excessive expectations of purity. ***** You’re used to me spouting on here based on not much more than my own prejudice, but here’s a topic that … Continue reading "CO132 Joan Esposito on Democratic Strategies"


CO131 Ira Mehlman on Debating Immigration

Ira Mehlman is the media director of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). In our discussion we talked about the prominent stories on FAIR’s home page which suggest that undocumented immigrants in the US are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime, or are a disproportionate burden on the economy. In fact, the weight of … Continue reading "CO131 Ira Mehlman on Debating Immigration"


CO130 Thom Hartmann on the Purpose of SCOTUS

Thom Hartmann is one of America’s most prominent progressive talk show hosts. His latest book, The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America was publisher by Berrett-Koehler recently. ***** I know that some listeners are in the UK, but most aren’t, and for you in the majority, although you’ve probably heard … Continue reading "CO130 Thom Hartmann on the Purpose of SCOTUS"


CO129 Randall Holcombe on Protecting Liberty

Randall Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. In the past He has also served as President of the Public Choice Society, President of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics and as a member of the Florida Governor’s Council of Economic … Continue reading "CO129 Randall Holcombe on Protecting Liberty"


CO128 Michael Tauberg on Questioning Biden

Michael Tauberg is a senior Columnist with We discussed his article Trump Administration Corruption Doesn’t Excuse the Bidens. ***** Air pollution in India is off the scale. That sounds like a rhetorical flourish, but it isn’t. It’s literally the truth. Most cities around the world, including in India, have sensors which monitor the levels … Continue reading "CO128 Michael Tauberg on Questioning Biden"


CO127 Scot Faulkner on the 1994 Contract with America

Scot Faulkner was the National Director of Personnel for the Reagan-Bush presidential Campaign of 1980. He went on to serve the Reagan Administration in executive positions at the Federal Aviation Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Peace Corps. He serves on the boards of numerous corporations and foundations and he’s the author of a … Continue reading "CO127 Scot Faulkner on the 1994 Contract with America"


CO126 Richard Vedder on America’s Short-changed Students

Richard Vedder is an economist, historian, author, and columnist. He is a professor emeritus of economics at Ohio University and senior fellow at The Independent Institute. Who have just published his latest book called Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America. In our discussion, I mentioned the fact that the number of hours of minimum-wage … Continue reading "CO126 Richard Vedder on America’s Short-changed Students"


CO125 Wen Fa on Litigating Liberty

Wen Fa is an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, a national, nonprofit legal organization that represents clients free of charge. We talked about his work on cases including Rentberry v. City of Seattle about rent-bidding laws, and another tenant/landlord case, Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco, and various cases about Vaping. ***** … Continue reading "CO125 Wen Fa on Litigating Liberty"


Getting Off Podcast Special for Challenging Opinions

Challenging Opinions brings you a special showcase edition of the Getting Off podcast, presented by Jessa and Nick. It’s dark-humored criminal defense attorneys discussing famous crimes, trials, and all things criminal justice. Go to to subscribe, or search Getting Off Podcast in wherever you get your podcasts.


CO124 Steven Taylor on The Electoral College, again

Steven Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University, Alabama. He specialises in political parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. We discussed an article he wrote for … Continue reading "CO124 Steven Taylor on The Electoral College, again"


CO123 Anthony Galace on Greenlining not Redlining

Anthony Galace is the director of health equity at the Greenlining Institute. ***** Our brains don’t really work so well with very small or very large numbers. If I ask you to imagine the distance from earth to the sun, from earth to the nearest star, or earth to the nearest galaxy, it’s tempting to … Continue reading "CO123 Anthony Galace on Greenlining not Redlining"


CO122 Sky Palma on Opinion News

Sky Palma is the founder of DeadState, and a senior editor at Raw Story. ***** If I was to ask you what was the most dangerous animal in the world, and you were to think tigers, bears or sharks, you’d be wildly wrong, particularly with sharks. Despite Shark Week, despite Jaws, sharks are not statistically … Continue reading "CO122 Sky Palma on Opinion News"


CO121 Jared Moffat on the Legacy of Prohibition

Jared Moffat is campaign coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project. I mentioned that Ferguson, Missouri gains an extrordinary amount of its revenue from motoring fines. Black people make up 27 percent of the population, but represent 71 percent of drivers pulled over by police officers. Last year, the town issued 29,072 traffic citations, according to … Continue reading "CO121 Jared Moffat on the Legacy of Prohibition"


CO120 Reese Erlich on Tensions with Iran

Reese Erlich has won numerous journalism awards including a Peabody award. He’s also a freelance journalist who writes for CBS Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corp., NPR and VICE News, and his Foreign Correspondent column distributed nationally in the US. Last year he published his latest book with the title The Iran Agenda Today: The Real Story … Continue reading "CO120 Reese Erlich on Tensions with Iran"


CO119 Gautam Tejas Ganeshan on What Motivates Antivaxxers

Gautam Tejas Ganeshan is a musician and a writer and blogger, and we talked about a piece that he wrote titled ‘Is there an intelligible “anti-vaxx” position?‘


CO118 Andrew Branca on Gun Law

Andrew Branca is a lifelong NRA member, a lawyer who consults on self-defence law and the author of The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen. During our discussion, I metioned the Dickey Amendment, which forbids the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from advocating or promoting gun control, but has widely … Continue reading "CO118 Andrew Branca on Gun Law"