A team of millennial professionals, including a psychologist, a law student, and a history teacher, team up to discuss politics, current events, and pop culture, all without taking themselves too seriously.
Aaron and Austin are joined by Buck Johnson, host of the Death to Tyrants Podcast, for our first crossover episode with another podcast! In the first half, the trio discuss the similarities and differences between different schools of libertarian thought. Aaron takes the Minarchist perspective, the idea that the government should be as small as possible, while Buck takes the perspective of anarcho-capitalism, the idea that society should be free to exist without rulers. Meanwhile, Austin tries to figure out just who he is, libertarianly speaking. We discuss our common ground as well as the deep divides that exist within libertarianism, with Buck bringing up the unifying force that was the “Ron Paul Revolution,” Aaron bringing up the phenomenon of group polarization and ideological purity, and Austin reminding us that there are fundamental philosophical differences that one must consider when “choosing” a libertarian school of thought.
In the second half, Buck, Aaron, and Austin discuss the recent arrest of Julian Assange, discussing the reactions of the D.C. establishment, the importance of government transparency, and the importance of placing principle over power. Austin brings up the absurdity of allowing the government to determine what counts as transparency, Buck brings up the use of Assange as a distraction from what Wikileaks has revealed about our government, and why it’s important that we do know and discuss those revelations, and Aaron talks about the psychological dangers of blind patriotism and authoritarianism.
A link to Buck’s Podcast, “Death to Tyrants”: https://www.facebook.com/deathtotyrantspodcast/
Death to Tyrants’ latest episode with Scott Horton discussing the Assange affair: h
Thoughtco’s guide to the different types of libertarianism: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-kind-of-libertarian-are-you-721655
A listicle from The Libertarian Republic also discussing different kinds of Libertarianism: https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/five-types-of-libertarianism-why-theyre-all-important-to-liberty/
Reason Magazine’s discussion of Washington’s reaction to Assange’s arrest: https://reason.com/2019/04/11/the-washington-political-establishment-s
The American Conservative’s piece telling us why we should fear the arrest of Assange: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/yes-you-should-fear-the-arrest-of-julian-assange/?fbclid=IwAR1Oo9A8wQgpgiFQd3qSz8EXW2cea0W5cH5ZKrFPBm-EYGgNswnoxzaC9jA
A discussion from The Bulwark, discussing why they don’t care much about Assange’s arrest: https://thebulwark.com/the-overdue-downfall-of-julian-assange/?fbclid=IwAR1AXr8YhOqTHOph1LQ7hB6e7Dn5LVXvxkZ3Ce2Xp0ab098w0SKaBUk4cs8
Aaron and Austin discuss the idea of hate speech, as well as the other factors surrounding it, in response to a recent incident involving Nazi graffiti in Oklahoma. Austin discusses the importance of maintaining the right for people to be hateful in a free society, as uncomfortable as it is, as well as drawing up the legal distinctions between what is and is not constitutionally protected under the definition of free speech. Aaron discusses how psychological phenomena like stereotypes and heuristics mean that we should be careful in our use of speech, and why we need to openly engage and refute hateful rhetoric, even if we don’t want the government to do so. Also discussed are such controversial topics as the Confederate Battle and Gadsden flags, and how more controversial and less clear cut symbols than swastikas and racial slurs play into the conversation about the right use of speech.
The incident that inspired this episode: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6892009/Okla-Republican-arrested-spraying-racist-graffiti-elementary-school-Democratic-office.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
Bastiat’s “The Law,” perhaps one of the most important political works ever written, which Aaron paraphrased this episode: http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html
NPR on the Supreme Court case which allowed Asian-American Rock Band “The Slants” to trademark their name: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/19/533514196/the-slants-win-supreme-court-battle-over-bands-name-in-trademark-dispute
Timothy Sandefur’s piece for The Reason Papers making the case against the Confederacy: https://reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_6.pdf
Randal Meyer, of the CATO institute, as to why Libertarians need not be pro-confederacy: https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/libertarians-need-not-support-confederacy
Jonathan Blanks, also of CATO, with another case against the Confederacy: https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/libertarians-should-celebrate-emancipation-much-they-do-end-prohibition
“Ethics’ Alarms” on the Gadsden Flag and problems of free speech and symbols: https://ethicsalarms.com/2016/08/05/observations-on-the-gadsden-flag-controversy/
Jenn and Aaron knock back some Jameson while discussing the ever-popular topic of outrage culture in both the pop-culture and social spheres. In the first half, Jean and Aaron discuss two popular topics of outrage, the new music video put out by German band Rammstein and the so-called “controversial” opinion of Jordan Peele that he doesn’t want to cast caucasians as the leads in his stories about the African American experience. After being interrupted by our lovely commercial break (now in the middle!), they also talk about the recent hubbub surrounding Chick Fil A, as well as the appropriation of Holocaust imagery by members of the Anti-Vaccine movement to protest their “persecution” by having their kids excluded from attending school due to the risk of a measles outbreak. Jenn talks about how art and expression can’t flourish if we’re going to constantly be offended by everything, but how important it is to also remember the lines of common decency, and how intent matters. Aaron talks about why, psychologically, we should call “virtue signaling” “value signaling” instead, as well as how outrage culture plays right into what is known as the peripheral route of persuasion, and how it’ll change nobody’s mind in the end.
Christopher Dwyer on Value Signaling: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/thoughts-thinking/201710/virtues-values-and-moral-bullying
Pete Buttigieg’s response to the Chick Fil A fiasco: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/politics/buttigieg-chick-fil-a/index.html
An article on the Anti-Vaccine Movement’s use of Holocaust Stars: https://www.rt.com/news/455243-auschwitz-museum-slams-antivax-stars/
Rammstein’s “Deutschland” music video that caused all the controversy (content warning: violent imagery): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeQM1c-XCDc
Some reactions to Rammstein’s video: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47745071
The Daily Wire on Jordan Peele (read the comments if you want to see “not racism”): https://www.dailywire.com/news/45141/jordan-peele-i-dont-see-myself-casting-white-dude-paul-bois
Proof that Aaron is pronouncing Pete Buttigieg’s name correctly: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/politics/how-to-pronounce-pete-buttigieg/index.html
Aaron, Austin, and Jason all come together to discuss two classically progressive ideas which are manifesting themselves again in the race to the 2020 election; establishing a national popular vote and packing the Supreme Court. Jason goes over the history of why these are terrible ideas, as well as making certain remarks about potatoes. Austin talks about how both reforms would utterly undermine any legitimate authority of the Court or the electoral process, let alone the implications that each would have for the legal system. Aaron discusses why basic social psychological principles about perceived legitimacy and decision-making make it plain that yes, these are bad ideas with potentially disastrous unforeseen consequences.
Walter Williams on why the U.S. is a republic, not a democracy: https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/01/17/republic-not-democracy/
Economist Gary M. Galles on the why the popular vote is not election reform: https://fee.org/articles/national-popular-vote-is-not-electoral-reform/?fbclid=IwAR1usFJC6SyuZQRoltkQLpp8mY7DBKRxreTUNnViTJUwsUCSUIfhifvvv2c
Politico’s summary of the arguments made for expanding the Supreme Court: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/18/2020-democrats-supreme-court-1223625
Gary M. Galles on why packing the Supreme Court is also a bad idea: https://fee.org/articles/why-packing-the-supreme-court-is-a-bad-idea/?fbclid=IwAR3LOgmJroYHJhzgEs_thCPE3uq-u_YlVhRTIDfDQWUaZTKkmKCZU7BD-S0
George Mason Law professor, Ilya Somin, on the dangers of supreme court expansion: https://reason.com/volokh/2019/03/20/dangers-of-growing-support-for-court-pac?fbclid=IwAR3F59VMW4rHC2o6G0OTb4vpaGDqkLjMfoPQH9QXDhOFOoiirQPt2wWdDrc
What do “fun mom energy,” drinking expensive bourbon, wanting chihuahuas over golden retrievers, sheer abject terror of robots, and Starbucks have in common? The Democratic Presidential candidates, of course! From Tulsi Gabbard to Andrew Yang to Bernie (among others), Aaron and Austin are joined by their wives (and briefly, Aaron’s dog) to discuss the top 11 (in their view) Left-wing challenges to Donald Trump in the upcoming election.
Note: Due to the challenges of recording with four people, our ambient mic was struggling a little bit, so we apologize for the sound issues.
The FEE article on Andrew Yang and the problems of universal basic income.
"The Economics of a Toddler Combined with the Ethics of a Thug" - a critique of Bernie Sanders from George Mason economics professor Donald Boudreaux
Amy Klobuchar's response to the controversies surrounding her alleged temperament issues.
Aaron talks with guest star Greg Rehmke, Program Director for Economic Thinking, an organization that specifically works with public speaking and debate groups from a liberty-minded perspective. Greg talks about the importance of thinking in debate terms; of figuring out and understanding the opposing presuppositions and worldviews as well as of discussing concrete policy problems rather than philosophy alone. Greg also discusses the importance of not taking a “Pollyanna” approach to our own philosophies when it comes to persuading others; if you don’t know the potential criticisms of your own position, how can you defend it? Aaron and Greg talk about the importance of being winsome in our communications; not just beating people over the head with ideology, but “presenting society with one improved person,” as the great Leonard Read, of “I, Pencil” fame, once said.
A link to Economic Thinking’s Website.
Humanprogress.org, the website which Greg mentioned that can help us stay positive, rather than just focusing on the negatives.
A livescience page that contains some of the sources that Aaron made reference to in this week’s episode.
A transcript of Leonard Read’s “How to advance liberty: A learning, not a selling problem,” where he elaborates on some of the ideas we discussed this week.
In our 30th episode, Austin and Aaron tackle a double-header of topics! First, they discuss the highlights of the Cohen testimony, and why neither Austin from a legal perspective nor Aaron from a psychological one found Cohen even the slightest bit convincing. They then move on to a newly proposed law in California, drafted in response to the recent sex scandals in the Catholic Church, where Austin and Aaron amicably disagree on how and to what extent the government should be involved in trying to protect and obtain reparations for victims of sexual abuse in religious organizations. Also touched on are Austin and Aaron’s thoughts on Russian Collusion and real-life Bond villain Putin, why affairs like the Cohen testimony actually make life easier on Trump and harm those of us who’d like a chance to rationally point out and critique the insane things he does, and the problem of trying to balance keeping the government out of everyone’s business while still having it able to do the (precious few) things it is actually supposed to do in a capable manner.
NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, there are some audio problems with this episode. Blame Aaron.
An article from Real Clear Politics on the Cohen hearing and Republicans’ attempts to discredit him.
Some interesting quotes from the Cohen hearing that seem to make it pretty clear he’s just trying to save his own skin.
An article on our favorite person, AOC, and her attempt to “own” Trump.
Justin Amash’s takedown of Cohen.
The Federalist piece we referenced for the second topic of this episode.
Jenn and Aaron dissect a disappointingly lacking-in-controversy Oscars. However just because it’s lacking in controversy doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to manufacture some, because we live in a hellish nightmare where the 24 hour news cycle and social media need us to be angry all the time. Aaron and Jenn discuss the attempt at manufacturing outrage around Green Book, Spike Lee’s acceptance speech, and some of the other award-winning movies (seriously, watch The Favourite). Aaron gives his thoughts on how men’s fashion has finally taken a turnaround (except for the velvet. Seriously, why?) and Jenn talks about being an unpopular opinion puffin in a sea of outrage culture.
An article on Brie Larson (star of the upcoming Captain Marvel movie) and her comments which have raised some “controversy” (but who knows on the internet anymore?): https://movieweb.com/captain-marvel-brie-larson-inclusion-controversy/
The text of Spike Lee’s acceptance speech: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/movies/spike-lee-oscars-speech.html?action=click&module=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=Article®ion=Footer
President Trump’s response to Spike Lee’s acceptance speech, which he called a “racist hit”: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/25/movies/spike-lee-trump.html
There’s a National Emergency on! Feel alarmed! Austin and Aaron, both connoisseurs of the bottom shelf, begin by talking about Costco booze, before launching into why President Trump’s latest meshugas has neither of them feeling especially panicked. Among other topics, Austin and Aaron touch on the latest mass shooting, former Libertarian VP Nominee Bill Weld’s plan to try to primary Trump, and their feelings on how political tribalism is making it even less likely that Trump’s supporters will ever have their cognitive dissonance resolved in a way that leads to them abandoning him. Aaron explains these happenings through the lenses of honor ideology as well as the psychological principle of cognitive dissonance, while Austin remains pessimistic that Trump can ever go too far for his supporters to give up on him, and then they both hope that someone - ALMOST anyone - tries to primary Trump out of another shot at the presidency, because goodness knows we’ve all had enough of what Aaron calls “schmuckitude.”
Previous podcast guest Andrew Egger’s take on the reaction among Trump supporters: https://thebulwark.com/no-one-hates-the-spending-bill-more-than-trumps-hawkish-base/?fbclid=IwAR2dbEm-F7Y3KrlGx4mlwp5WNNzCUsoRedn5tpLfkifH9Zxhc1WOL6XHxD4
An older article reflecting on Chuck Schumer’s threat during the Obama presidency that President Obama had the right to go above Congress: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/206983-schumer-obama-will-act-unilaterally-on-immigration-reform
Other Conservatives/Libertarians’ responses to Trump: https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-emergency-declaration-conservative-groups-criticized-1333700
An article on cognitive dissonance and how it applies to our political lives: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/behavior/how-cognitive-dissonance-affects-us-crazy-political-times.htm
Aaron and Austin are joined by guest Michael DiLaura to discuss Alexandria Occasio Cortez’s brilliant/terrifying new piece of legislation. Michael guides us through some of the especially problematic elements of AOC’s thoroughly impractical plan, while Austin points out the sheer number of property rights violations that this legislation would require, as well as how nothing about the “plan” falls in line with the proper role of government. Aaron talks a little bit about the psychology of construal level theory, and how it explains the recent populist (of both right and left-wing variety) obsession with thoroughly impractical legislation. Aaron reveals that he doesn’t like West Coast beer, as well as explaining why he thinks Democratic Socialists are like vegans and cross-fitters. Austin reveals his hope that the Green New Deal is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and pushes the Federal Government into admitting its utter incompetence and inability to do anything, as well as pointing out the lack of parallels between the original and Green New Deals. Finally, Michael has to teach Aaron what the phrase “clap back” means.
An official PDF of the Green New Deal: https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1A3n1S9p4SlS0JF9tQfD15IYj6wz4XEmzTg6zhBGg7rEylksRU-uCG3AM
Megan McArdle’s article for the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-nuts-isnt-a-great-pitch-for-a-green-new-deal/2019/02/07/f605b220-2b2f-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html?utm_term=.de4507877b13
William L. Anderson for the Mises institute on the Green New Deal: https://mises.org/wire/aoc-and-green-great-leap-forward?fbclid=IwAR0AjlY7-huHsS-7RmresRdCVa-Sq8b3poJbSc1yJU4Y6EiWyZyxPc4blKk
Jarret Stephan for FEE on the Green New Deal: https://fee.org/articles/the-green-new-deal-is-a-trojan-horse-for-socialism/
Don’t fear the reefer! Aaron, Jason, and Austin tackle that most terrifying topic: marijuana legalization. Aaron discusses how scientifically iffy the “gateway hypothesis” is, while Austin gives his views on the illegitimacy of the war on drugs and any form of prohibition in general. Jason plays Devil’s advocate by taking a pro-prohibition stance, as well as discussing the problem with legislation which denies the basic roles of supply and demand. They then wrap up the episode by pointing out that the very idea of the war on drugs and the prohibition of substances is inherently progressive, and how neither party can claim exemption from extreme progressive influence. Also brought up are Austin’s slow slip into anarchy, Aaron’s debilitating fear of sharks, and Jason’s elegant and civilized approach to alcohol.
The Imprimis Article which prompted this episode: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/marijuana-mental-illness-violence/?appeal_code=MK119EM1&sc=MK119EM1&utm_campaign=imprimis&utm_source=housefile&utm_medium=email&utm_content=january2019marijuana&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--erzxLUmW26LKmvTSYJDLGXpN-kvCUb4qLnUj6DNZzjwmUf4Tr5caQvIKe5kDh83yglfxkiucOfbqZdsWOi40s23bZqA&_hsmi=69315555
Politico’s prediction about marijuana legalization: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/01/21/marijuana-legalization-congress-224031
An overview of Marilyn Mosby and the end of marijuana prosecution in Baltimore: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna964111
In our 25th episode, Aaron is joined by guest-star Andrew Egger, a journalist formerly of The American Standard and now working for the new, explicitly Anti-Trump publication “The Bulwark.” Andrew starts by getting excited to share his choice of drink. Aaron and Andrew discuss the differences between their respective ideologies of Classical Liberalism and Conservatism, as well as the recent attempted re-emergence by shock jockey/oppressed intellectual (depending on your point of view, but certainly not according to Aaron’s or Andrew’s) Milo Yiannopolous, who was recently interviewed by popular evangelical figure Eric Metaxas on his radio show. Andrew tells us a little bit about the history of Milo, and both Aaron and Andrew discuss the murkiness surrounding the political definition of what an “evangelical” is, why they’re considered such a pro-Trump voting block, and whether or not this is a fair characterization of the movement. Andrew also talks a little bit about the importance of principled conservative’s resisting Trump, and Aaron speculates as to whether or not “evangelicals” who support Trump are the same as people who actually try to embody and live out their faith.
Also, keep your ears peeled for an “easter egg” (or whatever we’re calling it) where next week’s episode topic is mentioned!
Andrew’s recent article on Milo and Eric Metaxas: https://thebulwark.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-milo-and-eric-metaxas/?fbclid=IwAR3ryQ0I6TLPUSPhBbhKlHI9WhiviMtHHLwc5LZ1ocJm-r2n9L2GmE4RDtE
Andrew’s Author page at The Bulwark: https://thebulwark.com/author/andrewegger/
Timothy Carney’s Article on why Ex-Churchgoers flock to Trump: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-ex-churchgoers-flocked-to-trump/?fbclid=IwAR0pfbl2wGjdWP8TLs3_8cKstbqtzTeoSkmRNcyjTG1JJpQRuoc0AAZ6QaY
The recent APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys have caused something of a controversy. Many on the Right have decried it, claiming that the report represents an attempt by psychologists to undermine healthy, normal masculinity by labeling it as “toxic.” Responses have ranged from defending the problematic aspects of manhood to outright denial of what the APA guidelines actually say.
Aaron goes through the report and outlines why he thinks it's actually something to celebrate and recognize as possessing a great deal of common ground between the APA and many on the Right. Jason cross-examines and plays devil’s advocate for the Right against Aaron, trying to bring some clarity to the issue. Aaron discusses what a horrible child he was, Jason talks about some of the historical misperceptions that many on the right are operating under, and Jason and Aaron riff on how their marriages might be perceived as somehow “non-masculine.” Aaron brings up honor ideology and the Lord of the Rings because that’s the kind of person he is, and Jason reminds us that the ultimate responsibility for being a good man lies on the personal choice to do what is right, not on shallow social norms.
Aaron’s Article for FEE where he discusses the APA Guidelines: https://fee.org/articles/what-the-apas-report-on-men-and-masculinity-really-tells-us-a-psychologists-perspective/
The APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/boys-men-practice-guidelines.pdf
The APA’s Clarification Post: http://division51.net/homepage-slider/twitter-message-not-reflecting-the-guidelines-for-boys-and-men/
An Article from the Washington Examiner exemplifying the problem with the response to the guidelines: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-american-psychological-association-just-made-it-harder-to-maintain-strong-marriages?fbclid=IwAR3fRp0dAK8DYDs5MYNJmKMlI4ChMFxzUYSyLF1no6syfEkBySapW_K6y10
Dr. Christina Hoff Summers on some of the problems faced by men in society: http://time.com/2974/masculinity-is-more-than-a-mask/
Jenn and Aaron are joined by guest Faith Liu, a Hollywood Screenwriter, to discuss the ever-popular issue of whether or not America’s entertainment industry is as politically biased as many seem to perceive it. Faith and Jenn pressure Aaron into watching The West Wing. Faith talks about how there is more conservatism in Hollywood than might be otherwise assumed. Aaron and Jenn ask Faith about a number of political issues in Hollywood, including the issues of minority representation, whitewashing, the entire verkakte nature of award shows and the critic/audience divide. Finally, Faith explains why she doesn’t think there will ever be such a thing as a “conservative movie.” Also discussed are Jenn’s proud Latina status, the way that Hollywood’s lack of diversity reflects the segregated nature of the city of Los Angeles, infamous good/bad movie “The Room,” and Ancient Egyptian mummies.
Adam Ruins Everything on how money wins awards, not talent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhfxo8xPNGU
A Guide to the Ghost in the Shell Controversy: http://time.com/4714367/ghost-in-the-shell-controversy-scarlett-johansson/
Doug Walker, aka “Nostalgia Critic,” on whitewashing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WUdQpuVRtw
Welcome to our first episode of 2019, in which Jason, after several months, realizes he is a cohost of this podcast! Jason explains why term limits did nothing to curb power when applied to executive power, and may have actually made the problem worse. Aaron explains why he believes that the very nation of term limits is a misidentification of the real problem, and why the free and virtuous society will not be helped by term limits. . Both Aaron and Jason take some time to talk smack about Woodrow Wilson and FDR, as well as discussing the general overreach of executive power, the problems of seeking a “quick fix” via term limits, and why term limits may actually make the problem worse.
Proof that we’re not blowing smoke and yes, Woodrow Wilson was a horrifying racist: https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_birth.html
An explanation of the proposed term-limits plan: https://www.wthr.com/article/constitutional-amendment-aims-impose-term-limits-congress?fbclid=IwAR0PqqRCqBB27AhKWXRWsj4FmbqSL-F6V6KsioP_q-svLb-yEV801ijFX28
A pro term-limits article which discusses the founders’ views on term limits: https://www.dailysignal.com/2016/12/16/heres-what-the-founders-thought-about-term-limits/
Merry Christmas! For our Christmas episode, Austin and Aaron talk about President Trump’s ban on bump stocks. Both hosts express their personal dislike of bump stocks before Austin explains what a bump stock is, and how it does NOT, whatever the acting Attorney General may say, fall under the definition of a machine gun, as well as going into the more concerning theme of all of this, the fact that the executive branch is legislating in an unconstitutional manner, and that this is hardly a modern or unique occurrence, it’s just that President Trump’s own personality flaws make his personal style of executive abuse less palatable. Because they’d be remiss not to, both Austin and Aaron talk a little bit about the planned withdrawal from Syria. Aaron also talks a little bit about the psychology behind gun control, specifically how education, rather than mandate, can address some admittedly much-needed changes around the culture of guns.
The USA Today Article about the history of executive overreach:https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/13/donald-trump-executive-power-president-war-democracy-constitution-cult-column/2065368002/?fbclid=IwAR0SmgGggWlg6eqz1FrgGpO07TRxlURp24w0GhQmHu7CoUCQTLwQWAnNYug
Reason Magazine’s take on the illegality of the bump stock ban: https://reason.com/blog/2018/12/18/trumps-bump-stock-ban-shows-once-again-h?fbclid=IwAR3X3gRdc8h2AmGM6d8g8hqz-1RCkqx1DrJzWp2Zsv1a6eg7_8CZsPXDXKM
The Federalist with a similar article on the ban: http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/19/trump-administrations-new-bump-stock-ban-legal-abomination/?fbclid=IwAR0CqaY02RafOvwF6E2ezhwt-M6Cqrm1WDWzw4cXPCp8AqVRFM8g9cxFPA4
Some information on the lawsuit challenging the ban: https://www.firearmspolicy.org/lawsuit-challenging-trump-bump-stock-ban?fbclid=IwAR2L982sNOHCuC8MsHAF_vReIdgugXYNXk2gH6O3BZ5mC0rRlF6t5qXEj6Q
In this week’s episode, we’re thrilled to get a chance to talk to Rebekah Bydlak, executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Spending. Rebekah and Aaron talk about everything from being homeschooled, the embarrassment and inspiration that can come from facebook memories, the troubled relationship between the liberty movement and the millennial generation, and the importance of continued political involvement and activism.
Note: Due to technical difficulties during recording, there are some sound quality issues with this episode.
The online tool Rebekah mentioned to check out the trends in politics regarding spending: spendingtracker.org
The Coalition to Reduce Spending’s Website: https://reducespending.org/about/
Aaron and Jenn discuss the recent trials and tribulations of the tweets made some time ago by Kyler Murray and Kevin Hart that have all of a sudden taken over the news cycle because people seem to have nothing better to do. Jenn discusses the inherently transgressive (or perhaps not) nature of art and comedy. Both Aaron and Jenn go over some of their favorite comedians, including John Mulaney, Rhod Gilbert, Burt Kreischer, and Dave Chapelle. Aaron discusses the inherent dangers of “woke culture,” and how it’s a fragile group identity that can only exist by finding others to punish. Also mentioned are Churchill, The Golden Compass series, Neil Patrick Harris, and David Mamet.
Jonathan Haidt, “The Age of Outrage” - https://www.city-journal.org/html/age-outrage-15608.html
Michael McCullough, “The Myth of Moral Outrage” - https://www.humansandnature.org/mind-morality-michael-mccullough
Lindsey Ellis’s video essay on transgressive humor and Mel Brooks - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62cPPSyoQkE
Comedian Tom Segura’s interview on “Hot Ones” where he discusses his thoughts on comedy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIfUsQRyymU
Aaron and Jason discuss the myth of the “War on Christmas,” and make the case for why it’s a case of manufactured outrage. Jason goes over the historical origins of Christmas in America and how the holiday as we know it is largely a post-WWII invention. Both Aaron and Jason riff a bit on commercialism, touching on the famed “Starbucks Christmas Cups” controversy. Aaron then discusses the psychology of moral panics and the “persecution of privilege” which both speak to the way the so-called “War on Christmas” operates. So as the season of holidays begin for many of us, enjoy time with family and friends, enjoy whatever fried, roasted, or baked goods you desire, and remember that your enjoyment should not in any way be impacted by what other people do.
A report on the Virginia Christmas Pageant as well as President Trump’s focus on Christmas: https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2018/11/30/virginia-school-bans-christmas-carols-mentioning-jesus/?fbclid=IwAR3IxX11p3yUdVSvgNqBsQIYtlqgthqoDIl2-uFBDAVOEucOcMD0vuRg3gg
The Daily Wire’s moral panic-esque take on “Happy Holidays”: https://www.dailywire.com/news/38871/bois-happy-holidays-not-about-inclusion-its-about-paul-bois?fbclid=IwAR0xwbBcHIUrZyflmkJUMzHRRFi13bvD4OUUkc_UFuthhRcLqziZP7XNxU8
As the holiday season begins, what better way to celebrate than with family? In that spirit, Austin and Aaron host an episode with Aaron’s Dad, Dr. Jeffrey Pomerantz, a corrections physician of 23 years, to discuss ongoing criminal justice reform efforts, jury nullification, and the sheer problem of the number of laws we have. Aaron talks about the psychology of plea bargains, Austin goes over the problems of permanent felony records and human rights, and Jeff brings up the issues with private prisons. Also discussed are the legal perils of bird feathers, how clinging to philosophers can lose you the argument, and some scary facts about juries.
Some articles on the First Step Act:
An article from FEE on the Koch Brothers and their free-market efforts at criminal justice reform:
Mark Godsey’s “Blind Injustice”:
Happy Thanksgiving Week! Jenn and Aaron return with a new guest, Maddie Collins, to discuss a recent article alleging that women who do not support the progressive agenda are bigoted. Jenn discusses how her encounters with the works of Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Junior during her Master’s thesis formed her political views, regardless of what gender norms might or might not dictate. Maddie discusses how identity politics play into the dialogues about gender and political involvement, as well as bringing up the insanity of the “quiver full” movement and the notion of “debt free virgins without tattoos.” Aaron brings up the role of relational aggression, and how both sides of the political spectrum use it against women who don’t conform to ideological norms. Finally, all three of them discuss the vast problems that the Libertarian party and movement both possess with regards to women, as well as positively representing themselves to the world at large.
Moira Donegan’s article in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/09/white-women-vote-republican-why?fbclid=IwAR1KDa7t4RR8fKwfmiCYArxPRfm0I3C1yL5A3GWTJNJfOHJJ9r5SntdkeUY
Neil Gaiman’s poem “The Mushroom Hunters”: https://wearestardust.myshopify.com/blogs/news/may-inspiration-the-mushroom-hunters-a-poem-by-neil-gaiman
Austin and Aaron take on some of the latest anti-gun legislation from New York and Washington State. Austin discusses some misconceptions that both sides hold about the legal rights surrounding firearms. Both Austin and Aaron take issue with the term "common sense gun control," and Aaron connects popular attitudes to firearms to both construal level theory and classic psychological theories of racism and prejudice.
Some background on New York's proposed social-media-based gun control: https://www.newsweek.com/lawmakers-propose-hate-speech-social-media-checks-gun-purchases-1200746
Aaron on construal level theory and anti-gun activism: https://fee.org/articles/social-psychology-suggests-march-for-our-lives-is-unlikely-to-change-anything-here-s-why/
Nancy Pelosi on why "common sense" gun control will be a major issue for the new House of Representatives: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/9/nancy-pelosi-common-sense-gun-control-priority-dem/
Happy/Horrific Election Day! In the wake of the immigration-fueled hysteria, and President Trump's hurling gasoline on that fire with his promise of overriding the 14th Amendment via executive order, psychology, history, and the law come together for our first triple-header episode! Aaron lays out some of the psychology underlying the immigration debate, Jason provides a historical overview of America's troubled past with immigration, and Austin takes on "Mr. Facts and Logic" himself, Ben Shapiro, arguing that there is simply no reasonable case against the 14th Amendment's applicability to all immigrants, regardless of their legal status. The trio then address remarks made by a representative of their alma mater, Hillsdale college, before reflecting on what the current state of the immigration debate means for the future of this country and its inhabitants.
Ben Shapiro's case for why the 14th Amendment doesn't apply: https://www.dailywire.com/news/37761/can-trump-end-birthright-citizenship-executive-ben-shapiro?fbclid=IwAR3qcRi7Lz1mRpDOo2koyBHiYoB3PIaUxwVjUoZANLnX8fiEuro0akwSOOc
The paper Austin references explaining why, based on previous jurisprudence, President Trump's Executive Order is dead in the water: https://www.gibsondunn.com/wp-content/uploads/documents/publications/Ho-DefiningAmerican.pdf
Michael Anton's opinion piece defending President Trump's rhetoric: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/11/01/framers-never-wanted-birthright-citizenship/1831577002/?fbclid=IwAR2dFRk2bwREtHHe5Iscsl_e317evO9GKTcxHRZwGXbdnYxbQsidhet-xCk
Aaron and Jenn Shadle discuss Kristen Bell and Kiera Knightley’s controversial views on letting their kids watch Disney Princess movies. Jenn gives her views on why censorship is a bad thing, and why it harms the point of storytelling and art in general, while Aaron discusses psychological research from the University of Oklahoma which shows just how important fantasy, and literature in general, is to our development and function as human beings. Both Aaron and Jenn discuss parental rights within a liberty-oriented viewpoint, Aaron reveals his passionate dislike of Veggietales, and Jenn discusses her ongoing par asocial relationship with Nancy Drew.
The article that started all the kerfuffle: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2018/09/20/keira-knightley-banned-cinderella-little-mermaid-her-daughter/1369088002/
Dr. Jennifer Barnes’s Ted Talk on fiction and par asocial relationships: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22yoaiLYb7M&t=912s
A brief overview of the psychological model of parenting styles discussed in the episode: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/thinking-about-kids/201409/authoritative-versus-authoritarian-parenting-style
Kristen Bell explains her remarks on why she wants to be careful what her kids watch: https://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00127648.html
Jason and Aaron discuss the recent "rise" in political tribalism pointed out by many across the political spectrum. Though many say it's only getting worse as the midterm elections loom closer, Jason explains why, from a historical perspective, this is nothing new in American politics, giving several examples of far worse elections and rhetoric than that seen in 2016 and 2018, while Aaron gives a brief psychological perspective of why civility seems absent from political discourse.
Senator Ben Sasse gives an interview about his views on tribalism: https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/sen-ben-sasse-takes-on-tribalism-and-loneliness-in-book-1345279043996?v=raila&
Sebastian Junger's book "Tribe": https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Homecoming-Belonging-Sebastian-Junger/dp/1455566381?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=1455566381
Two of Aaron's articles, the first discussing the differing worldviews and definitions behind political discourse, and the second discussing guilt and shame in political rhetoric:
Aaron and Austin discuss the recent purge of facebook pages, many of them liberty-oriented, which supposedly occurred to "protect our democracy." Austin discusses the underlying jurisprudence of free speech, including the history of the Supreme Court decisions relating to it, while Aaron relates the current debates over what should and shouldn't be considered "free" speech to honor ideology and psychological authoritarianism. Austin gives a fascinatingly complimentary look into the existence of "fighting words" as a legal precedent, Aaron points out how both sides violate their supposed ideologies in restricting free speech, and examples range from Alex Jones to Joe McCarthy to once again breaking Godwin's law.
The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Batman, and…. John D. Rockefeller? Guest host Jason Klicker joins Aaron as they discuss the recent controversy around Telltale Game Studios, including their unceremonious firing of almost all of their employees. In the course of this discussion, Jason and Aaron cover the corporate illusion of invulnerability, a brief overview of some of the lesser-known history of unions in America, some often-ignored facts about the infamous “robber barons,” and Aaron’s shameless shilling of Assassin’s Creed.
An overview of the Telltale incident : https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2018/10/4/17934166/telltale-games-studio-closed-layoffs-end-the-walking-dead
Edmund Opitz (one of both Aaron and Tyler’s favorite authors) on the Robber Barons and the union age: https://fee.org/articles/the-robber-barons-and-the-real-gilded-age/
Dr. Burt Folsom on Robber Barons: https://fee.org/articles/how-the-myth-of-the-robber-barons-began-and-why-it-persists/
Lawrence Reed on Rockefeller’s Standard Oil: https://fee.org/articles/witch-hunting-for-robber-barons-the-standard-oil-story/
In the first ever guest-episode, guest Austin Collins joins Aaron in exploring both the legal and psychological reasons why the Kavanaugh hearings have been an unmitigated disaster for both sides of the aisle - and why neither party has ended up looking good. Austin also discusses what majors make you more likely to end up in law school, while Aaron reveals a serial-killer's little-known last words, and Godwin's law is broken by both of them.
Thomas Kirby on Memory Science and the Kavanaugh Case: https://www.weeklystandard.com/thomas-w-kirby/brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-what-memory-science-can-tell-us-about-christine-fords-allegations
Bret Stephens' discussion of the case in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/opinion/blasey-kavanaugh-assault-allegations-truth.html
A brief discussion of emotional decision making: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201602/4-ways-emotions-can-screw-your-decisions
As the East coast struggles in the wake of yet another hurricane, Aaron and Tyler discuss a notion often brought up in the wake of such tragedies: price gouging. Tyler argues that price-gouging is a more complex economic issue than most of our cultural dialogue would suggest, even responding to some specific “hot takes” on the subject. Aaron discusses how the emotions which we feel during such tragedies can lead to bad decision making based on the over-use of heuristics. Aaron then rants about academia a little bit, before Storytime with Uncle Tyler explores a video game from Tyler’s past.
Andrew Ross Sorkin’s article on price gouging: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/business/hurricane-price-gouging.html
Economist Victor Claar's defense of price gouging: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2017/09/07/price-gouging/105342792/
Acton's Joe Carter on price gouging ethics: http://blog.acton.org/archives/97702-thinking-about-the-ethics-and-economics-of-price-gouging.html
Tyler and Aaron discuss the boycott sensation that’s sweeping the nation! Tyler questions if how politicized they are will make them less effective, while Aaron discusses the phenomenon of reactance and how it works against these boycotts’ cause. Both Aaron and Tyler riff on boycotts' social media presence for a bit, before Tyler regales us all with a thrilling tale of wisdom teeth removal, Vicodin, and Parks and Rec.
If you like what you hear, please consider leaving us a comment or a review! You can also find us on social media, or send us a message via our website!
Tyler and Aaron discuss the land seizures in South Africa, including the so-called “white genocide” supposedly occurring. Tyler discusses the difficulties in having the government try to right historic wrongs, while Aaron discusses how peacemaking should be applied in moving forward in intergroup relations.
The South African Institute of Race Relations’ report: https://irr.org.za/reports/occasional-reports/files/irr-in-britain-notes-tc-11-07-18.pdf
Al Jazeera’s report on the land debate: https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2018/08/unpacking-south-africa-fraught-complex-land-debate-180830141333926.html
The New York Times’ response to the president’s tweets: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/23/us/politics/trump-south-africa-land.html
Tyler and Aaron discuss Elizabeth Warren’s “Accountable Capitalism Act,” discussing the problems associated with central planning in the private sector. Tyler explains why he doesn’t think lack of government oversight will set us back to Feudalism, while Aaron connects certain economic policies to construal level theory, and Tyler’s cat Leland makes his first cameo appearance on the show!
“Middle of the Road Policy Leads to Socialism” - www.mises.org/library/middle-road-policy-leads-socialism
An article of Aaron’s discussing construal levels in a different context - fee.org/articles/social-psychology-suggests-march-for-our-lives-is-unlikely-to-change-anything-here-s-why/
Mises’ “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth” - mises.org/library/economic-calculation-socialist-commonwealth
Tyler disapproves of Aaron’s drink of the week, before raising the topic of wealth inequality and whether or not our perception of “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is accurate. Aaron discusses group dynamics and how they influence our economic perception of others. Aaron teaches Tyler about Beyoncé, someone takes a nap on Von Mises’ desk, and Storytime with Uncle Tyler takes us into Tyler’s highschool years.
Ludwig Von Moses’ “The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality,” referenced by Tyler in the show: https://mises.org/library/anti-capitalistic-mentality
Dr. John R. Chambers' research, including his research on perception of the economy and his research on social mobility, referenced by Aaron: https://johnchambersslu.weebly.com/publications.html
In Episode 3, Tyler and Aaron discuss the controversy of 3-D printed guns, authoritarianism, and moral panic, while a Storytime with Uncle Tyler takes an unexpected turn.
Note: Due to atmospheric oddities (a thunderstorm) our sound quality did suffer somewhat during this episode, but we promise to have it fixed by next week!
Inrange TV on 3-D Printed Guns: http://youtube.com/watch?v=StafRn4mjj0&
Mel Brooks’ 1968 Classic, “The Producers”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNUqpl5D96w
Tyler and Aaron give their respective takes on the Trade War, Tyler giving a case against protectionism and tariffs, and Aaron linking the trade war with the social psychological concept of the Culture of Honor. We also learn about Aaron’s Vegemite obsession and that neither Tyler nor Aaron is entirely sure how Senator Ben Sasse’s name is pronounced!
The Elemental Case for Free Trade: https://fee.org/articles/the-elemental-case-for-free-trade/
Bastiat’s Three City Alderman: http://bastiat.org/en/protectionism.html
Tyler’s interview with Dr. Michael Clark: http://blog.acton.org/archives/102032-radio-free-acton-discussion-on-the-morality-of-free-trade-upstream-on-the-letters-of-russell-kirk.html
Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal has shaped the American Psyche, by Dr. Ryan P. Brown
Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, by David Hackett Fisher
Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South by Drs. Nisbett and Cohen
In the first episode, Aaron Pomerantz and Tyler Groenendal talk a little bit about their political views, how government regulations can have unforeseen consequences - even on your beer! - and discuss why socialism seems to be so popular among young people today.
For more about Bastiat, who we talked about a little bit in this episode find his classic work "The Law" as a free .pdf here! : https://fee.org/media/14951/thelaw.pdf