The Score: Happiness Curve, Young Voices, RFK Assassination, Conspiracy Theories

This week on The Score: Does life get better after 50? We remember the assassination of Robert Kennedy. A history of conspiracy theories. What is TechFreedom?

Jonathan Rauch Happiness CurveJonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution is a prolific author on a range of topics — Japanese society, freedom of expression, creaky policymaking processes, a highly personal memoir.. His latest book is called The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50. I spoke to Jonathan Rauch at his office in Washington and asked him where the idea for his new book came from.

Last week on The Score, we heard Casey Given of Young Voices talk about Net Neutrality and a bit about immigration. I want to pick up where we left off so that Casey can expand his thoughts on immigration and also give us a more complete picture of his organization, Young Voices, and what it does. This is actually the third part of a three part interview.

This coming week, on June 6, Americans will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Robert F. Kennedy, who was gunned down during a tumultuous year that also saw the murder of Martin Luther King Junior, riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, and a turning point in public opposition to the war in Vietnam. I spoke by telephone to presidential scholar Barbara Perry of the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia about the significance of Kennedy’s death fifty years ago. (The Score also featured Dr. Perry a few weeks ago, when she talked about the late Barbara Bush and the role of First Ladies.) Those of you old enough to remember RFK’s funeral will no doubt still recall the haunting version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by the pop star and Kennedy family friend, Andy Williams. It’s not on the podcast but seemed appropriate to embed here.


Berin Szóka is president and founder of TechFreedom, a Washington-based advocacy organization that deals with issues related to the Internet, telecommunications, and technology. Szóka is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School. I visited his office on Capitol Hill and asked him what TechFreedom does. He has some surprising views about what think tanks do — or don’t do — in contemporary Washington.

Jesse Walker conspiracy theoriesAs most everybody knows by now, after tweeting a particularly obnoxious comment last week, actress and comedienne Roseanne lost her TV show of the same name. In recent years, the never-shy Roseanne has trafficked in some odd conspiracy theories on Twitter and other platforms. In this week’s “From the Archives” segment, I found an interview with Jesse Walker from September 2013, in which he told me about his book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory.

If you have any ideas for guests who may want to appear on The Score — or who may be reluctant to participate but whose insights may be interesting for our listeners — please drop us a line or leave a comment below.

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