The following is a list of podcasts that I consumed Monday.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

1) Justice Thomas’ Writing Breathes Life Into Important Privileges or Immunities Clause (2010-06-30 Institute For Justice)

Relevancy A, Quality A – The Institute for Justice (IJ) has for decades been among the most consistent defenders of an engaged judiciary and an appropriately originalist interpretation of the Constitution, including particularly the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment.  As today’s ruling makes clear, the right to keep and bear arms is a uniquely American, and decidedly fundamental individual right.

After this podcast, I am particularly interested in reading Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion, which begins on p. 67 of the Court’s release opinion.

2) Bill Maurer discusses SCOTUS decision on Arizona Clean Elections case (2010-06-09 Institute For Justice)

Relevancy A, Quality A – On January 20, 2010, a federal district court judge declared unconstitutional the challenged “Matching Funds” provision of Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections Act,” striking a blow for the rights of individuals and groups to speak freely during political campaigns.  The Institute for Justice is challenging Arizona’s scheme of publicly financing elections, which drowns out the voices of individuals and groups who wish to support privately financed candidates who run against taxpayer-funded candidates in a misguided effort to “level the playing filed.”

Historian Eric Daniels has a lecture on Freedom on Speech in American History.

3) EGO Interviews Artist John Cox (2010-05-23 EGO)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Martin Lindeskog’s interview with John Cox provides interesting details about what Cox is up to now and his process.  Most surprisingly, he talks about the possibility of a return of Cox & Forkum…I am willing to pledge money to see that happen.

Collections of Cox & Forkum political cartoons are available at their website.

4) The Linchpin Session (2010-04-09 Seth Godin)

Relevancy A, Quality B – If all you are is a replaceable cog in the system that makes the widgets, and there are a hundred people as competent as you around the world, you might get away from it for a little while, but you’re not going to get away with it in the long run…and that is the challenge.  Seth Godin talks about the six reasons why he thinks this is hard for people and what we need to do to train them to think about it.

Godin discusses his latest concept in Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

5) Fair Elections Now Act (2009-10-07 Federalist Society)  <break> Relevancy A, Quality B – The Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R.1826) would allow qualified, legitimate candidates to receive grants and matching funds to run competitive campaigns instead of relying on contributions from lobbyists and other special interests.  Who will decide which candidates qualify for funding, and how? Is the legislation a step closer to public financing and, if so, what are the implications?  In this podcast, Craig Holman and Bill Maurer debate the proposed legislation. Allyson Hayward moderates.

Allison R. Hayward has written a study “Campaign Promises: A Six-year Review of Arizona’s Experiment with Taxpayer-financed Campaign“.

6) Embracing Reality (2009-09-10 Living on Earth)

Relevancy B, Quality B – After experiencing severe famine in Malawi in 2001, William Kamkwamba wanted to find a way to protect his family in the future. So he set out to build a windmill, using diagrams from an old physics textbook and scrap parts that he collected in the local junkyard. Host Jeff Young talks with William Kamkwamba and journalist Bryan Mealer, co-authors of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

7) DCTS columnists reveal their Tony favorites (2010-06-09 DC Theater Scene)

Relevancy C, Quality C – In what has become an annual tradition on DC Theatre Scene, DCTS columnists Richard Seff and Joel Markowitz met in Richard’s penthouse on the Upper East Side of NYC to share their thoughts with you on the current NYC theatre season.

Seff recounts his life in theater in his book Supporting Player: My Life Upon the Wicked Stage.

8 ) The Light in the Piazza interviews (2010-03-31 DC Theater Scene)

Relevancy C, Quality C – Joel Markowitz interviews actresses Hollis Resnik and Margaret Anne Florence, who star as Margaret and Clara in “The Light in the Piazza“. They talk about the relationship they have built for these mother and daughter characters, and the advice Molly Smith gave them.

9) Irish actor Des Keogh on playing Da (2010-04-10 DC Theater Scene)

Relevancy C, Quality C – Surely, Hugh Leonard writing his autobiographical play Da in the early 70’s could have hoped for no one better to portray his da than the well known Irish actor Des Keogh, who is full of wit and charm with just a touch of mischief.

10) Afghanistan: Defining the Possibilities (2009-10-26 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality F- – U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry [D-MA] spoke at the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations on October 26, highlighting the array of U.S. policy challenges in Afghanistan. Kerry stressed that defeating al-Qaeda remained at the center of U.S. mission in Afghanistan. He defined U.S. success in Afghanistan “as the ability to empower and transfer responsibility to Afghans as rapidly as possible and achieve a sufficient level of stability to ensure that we can leave behind an Afghanistan that is not controlled by al-Qaeda or the Taliban.”

I wonder allowed if Senator Kerry’s book The New War:  The Web of Crime That Threatens America’s Security is a comedy of errors.  Published in 1998, it predates 9/11 and his failed Presidential bid while being informed by his experience as the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations.  I note that a search for al Qaeda and bin Laden in the book found no results.

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