The Score: Rights Celebration, School Choice, Africa Policy, Tech Trends

This week on The Score – Why do libertarians celebrate the Bill of Rights in the rain? What are the latest trends in school choice? How will the Trump administration pursue policy in Africa? We ask those questions, and our film critic reviews Peter Jackson’s new documentary about World War One.

The Score is a bit late this week. You know how it is when Festivus lands on a weekend — it’s so easy to lose track of time.

Bill of Rights Day
James Lark John Munchmeyer Charlottesville LibertariansLast weekend, on December 15, the Jefferson Area Libertarians hosted their annual Bill of Rights Day celebration in Charlottesville, usually at the Free Speech Wall in front of City Hall.

Rain made the ceremony shorter than in previous years, requiring the group to gather beneath a narrow awning at the downtown bus station, but I did grab the opportunity to talk to the group’s chairman, John Munchmeyer, and to James Lark, former chairman of the national Libertarian Party. (Tyler Hawn of CBS19 also aired a report.)

Great War Film
Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has produced a remarkable new documentary about World War One called They Shall Not Grow Old, now available in extremely limited release. Tim Hulsey saw it and reviews it for The Score.

For the curious — and you should be curious — here’s a link to the trailer for They Shall Not Grow Old.

School Choice
Christian Barnard school choice Young VoicesThe United States has always had a mix of private schools and government schools, but it is only in recent decades that the idea of school choice for everyone became a component of public policy. Earlier this week, I met with Young Voices contributor Christian Barnard, who told me about recent innovations and trends in educational choice, whether charter schools, vouchers, or ESAs (educational savings accounts). Having been home-schooled in his early years, Christian brings an unusual perspective to this public policy topic.

Christian Barnard is on Twitter as @CBarnard33.

Africa Policy
Last week on The Score, we heard National Security Advisor John Bolton answer questions from the news media about the new U.S. strategy toward Africa. Following up on that topic, I asked Heritage Foundation Africa specialist Joshua Meservey to explain how the new strategy differs from the old one. We spoke by telephone on Tuesday.

Meservey recently testified before a Senate Armed Services Committee subcommittee on “Implications of China’s Presence and Investment in Africa” and he wrote an article for Heritage titled “China’s Propaganda in Africa Hurts U.S. Interests—and the U.S. Must Counter It.”

On Twitter, Joshua Meservey is @JMeservey.

Tech Trends
Every day the headlines have news about the “tech giants” – Facebook, Google, Amazon. I asked Jennifer Huddleston Skees at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University about trends in technology during the past year, and what we can expect in 2019.

Touching on one of the topics we discussed, Skees recently co-wrote an article with Trace Mitchell for the Tribune News Service asking, “Will Santa’s sleigh be autonomous next Christmas?”

You can follow Skees’ posts on Twitter at @jrhuddles.

From the Archives
Earlier in the program, we had a conversation about school choice. Following on that, I dug up an interview with Lisa Snell, an education policy expert at the Reason Foundation, from school choice week in 2012.

That’s all for this week on The Score. We want our listeners and readers to have a joyous, memorable holiday season. Have yourselves a Merry Christmas – then come back next week to celebrate a Happy New Year. We already have one interview ready to broadcast, plus a review of a film that’s getting a lot of awards-season buzz. In the meantime, celebrate Festivus by airing your grievances in the comments section, below.