This Week’s Podcast To Ponder: Sail To The Internet Island Where Libertarians And Atheists Talk Politics

By Richie Hoban, Jr.
The Daily Call (4/8/15)

This week’s podcast spotlight is on the: Penn’s Sunday School with hosts Penn Jillette, Michael Goudeau, Matt Donnelly

Libertarians and Atheists have a lot in common in our current culture. Neither group will ever get a president who holds their views even with Ron Paul’s consistent political shadow or with the current popularity of Richard Dawkins. Yet, their voices are being heard. Sometimes we catch a glimpse of these groups with digressive panel shows on CNN or Fox news networks where distortion and drama are keys to this type of brow thickening infotainment. Of course in this main stream echo chamber, both Libertarians and Atheists are still kept on the fringes and their inputs of ideas are never discussed except in passing.

However, with the rise and popularity of podcasting, a voice for these two groups can be found. These groups keep tossing notes in podcast bottles out to the shores of people listening on the internet. One very compelling podcast which incorporates both of the Atheist and Libertarian perspectives is “Penn’s Sunday School” with the famous comedian/rogue magician Penn Jullett.

Libertarianism seeks to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement. You can see how this type of idea would be dangerous in our reactionary red vs blue paradigm the media and the 1% wish to encourage. Getting criticism from this perspective of Libertarianism from a mainstream source really only goes as far as one show “Judge Napolitano” on Fox News, which at times is actually pretty good. But without the framework of editors or media sponsor pressure, Penn’s Sunday School can let the Libertarian realm of ideas fly on his podcast.

Faith and Reason

With most politicians wrapping themselves in the US flag and carrying a Christian cross just to get noticed, let alone win an election, it is fair today to say Atheists don’t have much of a voice in our political culture. Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities, and gives over to reason and science. Since reason is lacking in our political discourse, it’s refreshing to hear Penn and his hosts Michael Goudeau and Matt Donnelly, get reason into the discussion of current events which can often be distorted when topics turn to the passion of religion.

The three hosts comment on the news of the week in the United States and the rest of the world. Usually, the podcast is entertaining and it helps me consider perspectives that are ignored in the mainstream small box of ideas. As they say on their website, “We examine religious news, talk about monkeys, and anything else that seems funny or makes us mad. We’ll also take your suggestions for things you feel like talking about. We will be running a live video feed from the Vintage Nudes Studio for people with the time and inclination to watch people sitting and talking. The live show starts Sundays at noon Vegas time, & is usually available for download from your favorite podcast aggregator Sunday evenings.”

Sometimes the three attack an idea with a reason perspective that may upset some religious minded people and they also go the libertarian route with politics which can get your mind off the usual beaten path of the tired old red vs blue idealism. When the three sink their teeth into current political views with the Atheist and Libertarian perspective, the listener gets an ear full of ideas that may not have occurred to them before. If you want a shift in thought and to help you hone your own political and religious ideas, I suggest downloading an episode or two and get ready to sharpen your argument on Penn’s Sunday School of logical edged thought.

UPSIDE TO THE PODCAST: All the content is free. You get one new podcast a week there are 161 episodes so far to choose from and downloading is easy.

DOWNSIDE TO THE PODCAST: Sometimes the group strays from news to the mundane but the group of hosts is rarely boring.

This week’s podcast episode spotlight is from the Website “Podcast Graham Hancock, Sacred Plant Explorer” 

The first time I heard the term cognitive freedom was from the bestselling author of “Foot Print of the God’s” and “The Sign and Seal” Graham Hancock. In this interview, with Amber Lyons on the podcast website, Graham Hancock talks about his banned TEDx talk that started a firestorm on the internet, his exploration of sacred plant medicines, and failure of the global war on drugs. Hancock goes on to explore how the war on drugs is really a war on people and their cognitive freedom.

It’s an interesting podcast for those like me who’ve seen more of my fellow Americans incarcerated over addiction issues when it has been proven that treatment is more civilized than locking people in cages. Mostly Hancock talks with just a few questions presented by Lyons but the thought provoking monologue compels the listener into the argument of drug legalization.

Although I am huge fan of podcasts that interview Graham talking about fringe archeology and a lost civilization facts and this podcast has none of that, but this interview, I think, is one of his best.

  • Link to Past Podcast Pearls From The Internet Columns Here
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