Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Snarkiness

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Snarkiness

By libertysnark
A team of snarky young 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.
Available on 10 platforms
National Emergency! Why Aren’t We Panicking?
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
41:06
February 19, 2019
The Green New Deal - Did a First-Grader Write This?
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/
41:08
February 12, 2019
Fear the Devil's Lettuce!
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
44:52
February 5, 2019
Trump, Milo, and Evangelical Christianity
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
41:58
January 30, 2019
The Psychology and Masculinity Kerfuffle
 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/
51:04
January 22, 2019
Hollywood!
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
53:25
January 15, 2019
Term Limits Suck
  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/ 
44:29
January 8, 2019
You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out! The Bump Stock Ban
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
44:08
December 25, 2018
A Conversation with Rebekah Bydlak: Millennial Politics and the Cause of our Generation
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/
56:29
December 18, 2018
Trial by Tweet and Stand Up Comedy
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
43:22
December 11, 2018
Happy Holidays! There’s No War on Xmas!
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
33:14
December 4, 2018
Criminal Justice Reform and a Family Get-Together
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: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-perspec-page-trump-kushner-mitch-mcconnell-kim-kardashian-jeff-sessions-1121-20181119-story,amp.html https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/14/trump-criminal-justice-reform-legislation-the-right-thing-to-do.html https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/us/politics/prison-sentencing-trump.html An article from FEE on the Koch Brothers and their free-market efforts at criminal justice reform: https://fee.org/articles/when-the-redemptive-power-of-work-meets-criminal-justice-reform/ Mark Godsey’s “Blind Injustice”: https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Injustice-Prosecutor-Psychology-Convictions/dp/0520287959
41:47
November 27, 2018
Women, Aggression, Shame, and Boxed Wine
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
41:51
November 20, 2018
Gun Control: "Common Sense" or Prejudice?
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/
42:15
November 13, 2018
Immigration, Anchor Babies, and Executive Orders
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
44:21
November 6, 2018
Princesses, Harry Potter, and Parenting
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
40:57
October 30, 2018
Political Tribalism and Tribulation - A Historical Perspective
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: https://fee.org/articles/the-ideology-behind-so-what-you-re-saying-is/ https://fee.org/articles/rising-above-shame-based-identity-politics/
43:39
October 23, 2018
Facebook, Free Speech, and Frikkin' Frogs!
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.
40:56
October 16, 2018
Telltale Games, Gompers, and Robber Barons
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/
53:56
October 9, 2018
Senatorial Circus Town
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
41:18
October 2, 2018
Hurricanes and Price Gouging: Alright, Alright, Alright?
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
41:47
September 18, 2018
Nike, In-N-Out, and Boycotts for Everyone!
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! Twitter: https://twitter.com/libertysnark Facebook: http://facebook.com/libertysnark Website: http://libertysnarkpodcast.com/
44:51
September 11, 2018
South Africa and Dabbing
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
37:32
September 4, 2018
"Accountable Capitalism,” Construal Levels, and Latin
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
36:18
August 28, 2018
Economic Inequality, Envy, and Beyoncé
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 Twitter: https://twitter.com/libertysnark Facebook: http://facebook.com/libertysnark Website: http://libertysnarkpodcast.com/
45:29
August 21, 2018
Miniature White-Collar Crime & The End of the Frikkin' World
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 Twitter: https://twitter.com/libertysnark Facebook: http://facebook.com/libertysnark Website: http://libertysnarkpodcast.com/
41:54
August 14, 2018
Tariffs, Honor Culture, and Storytime with Uncle Tyler!
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 Book Recommendations: 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
43:08
August 7, 2018
Microbrewing, Socialism, and the Youth
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. Twitter: https://twitter.com/libertysnark Facebook: http://facebook.com/libertysnark Website: http://libertysnarkpodcast.com/ 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
50:33
July 30, 2018
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