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The "Freedom of Speech" Thought Police

The “Freedom of Speech” Thought Police

Freedom of speech is under attack in this county. The irony is that those who call themselves “tolerant” and “free thinkers” are, very often, the ones pushing against this right, both in our culture and via the legal system. Two examples in this episode include a man pushed out of his job because of an unrelated political contribution 5 years ago, and a group of people denied that right because they can speak louder and more than most people. In both these high-profile cases, the “Progressives” are most certainly not for progress.

Mentioned links:

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Steps Down

Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on political contributions

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Filed under: ElectionsFree SpeechGovernmentJudiciary

Right-wing extremists

Right-wing extremists

This is a special edition of “Consider This!” I wrote an essay back in 1996, when the label “right-wing extremist” was being slapped on anyone who leaned conservative. With a few edits, this essay still has something to say to us today. See if you can figure out who this “right-wing extremist” is or was, and consider how his or her view may be more “mainstreamist” than you think. (No fair reading the show transcript below before listening to the episode.)

Mentioned links:

Original 1996 essay, “Portrait of a Right-Wing Extremist” (includes footnotes)

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Filed under: Budget & SpendingForeign PolicyGovernmentReligionSpecial editions

Anecdotes in defense of ObamaCare

Anecdotes in defense of ObamaCare

You’ve no doubt heard them yourself. I’ve heard them quite a bit; on social media, on blogs, and even in TV commercials. I’m talking about people with their own personal stories about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, has helped them personally.

It’s great to hear that people are able to get coverage for things that they either couldn’t get covered for before, or for less money. Who wouldn’t be in favor of that, and be glad for these people? It feels good hearing how people have benefited from this government program.

And that’s what those, especially on social media, are trying to say with their success story; this is a good thing, because it worked for me. Then I have to ask, what do we make of the stories of the failures of ObamaCare? I have an example of a big supporter of the ACA who got hit in the head with reality. I’ll discuss what that means for anecdotal evidence, and how ObamaCare ought to be supported or defended.

Mentioned links:

Notorious Will Pitt Turns Angrily Against Obamacare

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Filed under: GovernmentHealth Care

Episode 70: For the Ukraine, From Russia, With Love

Invade Crimea? That was easy!

Invade Crimea? That was easy!

This time, I spent all my time on one topic, but it’s one that spans over 30 years. (But I’ll still be done in 10 minutes or less.)

During the presidential debates between Mitt Romney and President Obama, Obama mocked Romney’s thoughts on what was the biggest geopolitical threat. Romney said “Russia”. Fast forward to today, and it turns out he was right. With a little history as the backdrop, today’s foreign policy looks like it could use a little help from Ronald Reagan.

Mentioned links:

Romney: The Price of Failed Leadership

Moscow signals concern for Russians in Estonia

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Filed under: AsiaEuropeForeign PolicyGovernmentRussiaWar

A fair and balanced hearing?

A fair and balanced hearing?

It’s that time once again, to take 10 minutes (or less) out of your day to get your recommended dose of conservative commentary.

Hearkening back to my first episode ever, the Columbia Journalism Review tackled the subject of paid liberal analysts at Fox News vs. the lack of dissenting opinion at MSNBC. Once again, the question is, “Who will give you a fair hearing, or any hearing at all?” The answer really should not surprise you, and should also be good news if you want to get your voice heard on this particular show.

The President described recent budgets (well, recent spending, since Democrats have been very reluctant to pass actual budgets) with a word that, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, doesn’t mean what he thinks it means.

And finally, can the President get a little “rspect”? Ask Dan Quayle.

Mentioned links:

Journalism Review Explores Fox’s Liberal Pundits, Confesses Fox Is More Balanced Than MSNBC

And from the left…Fox News

With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity

austere (definition)

Dan Quayle : “Potatoe” [Wikipedia]

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Filed under: Budget & SpendingGovernmentMediaPartisanship

Episode 68: An “Interv” with Dale Franks

Slackernomics

Slackernomics

This is only my second “interv” on the show, but I think you’re going to really enjoy it, and learn something along the way. Dale Franks blogs at Questions and Observations, and co-hosts the libertarian-oriented podcast, “Observations”, with two of his Q&O co-bloggers.

An “interv” is my word for an interview that fits into 10 minutes or less; short, concise, and to the point. In this interv, Dale discusses the economics of the (supposed) recovery from the Great Recession, and his major issues with the economics of ObamaCare. If economics bore you, then you’re just the person this is aimed at. Dale is the author of Slackernomics: Basic Economics for People Who Think Economics is Boring, so if anyone can make economics engaging, he can.

Mentioned links:

Questions and Observations blog

Observations podcast

Slackernomics [at Amazon.com]

Other intervs

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Filed under: Dale FranksEconomics & TaxesGovernmentHealth CareIntervs

"Pen and Phone" is the new "Congress"

“Pen and Phone” is the new “Congress”

A pen and a phone. That’s what President Obama recently said he had which could circumvent Congress on policy topics he wanted to get moving. Conservatives, like me, compared him to a king, giving orders and expecting everyone to jump. The Left took this opportunity to show that the number of executive orders that have been issued by Obama was less than any President in at least the last half-century. True enough, but as is usual, it’s a cherry-picked data point. There is more than one way to dictate.

Hollywood, that bastion of liberalism, is now trying to get lower taxes to bring business back to California. Turns out that high tax rates have been pushing filmmakers out of the Golden State, into other states that don’t take as much of your gold.

Mentioned links:

President Obama Has Issued Fewer Executive Orders Than Any President in Over 100 Years

All the Major Lawless Changes to Obamacare Explained in One Infographic

The Presidency Goes to Pot

Ted Cruz: The Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama

Oh, the Irony: Hollywood Liberals Plead With State of California to Lower Their Taxes

Call to Action: State Leaders Must Reclaim Film & Television Production Jobs & Keep California Competitive [Film Works petition]

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Filed under: Economics & TaxesGovernment

An endangered species?

An endangered species?

Some students at the University of Minnesota do not like the fact that, when descriptions of the suspects of crime on campus are made public, the race of the student is included. But is reporting it worth the risk?

The percentage of Americans no longer looking for work is the highest it’s been in almost 40 years. Do we really want to be pushing people out the door because ObamaCare gives them  an incentive to quit? Do we really want to tear out the incentive to work from society?

When the government is caught in a gross abuse of power, the nation’s media have been all over the story; Watergate, Iran-Contra. But somehow this fire has been lost when it happens these days.

Mentioned links:

‘U’ Students Want Crime Alerts To Avoid Using Racial Descriptions

White House: It’s A Good Thing That Obamacare Will Drive 2.5 Million Americans Out Of The Workforce

They quit their jobs, thanks to health-care law

How much is Obama to blame for the worst labor participation rate in 40 years?

George Will: IRS Scandal as Big as Watergate and Iran-Contra; So Where’s the Media?

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Filed under: Economics & TaxesGovernmentHealth CareMediaRace Issues

Escaping socialism

Escaping socialism

I knew that many Canadians were leaving their borders to come to the US to avoid the long waits they have to endure up there. I just didn’t know how many. Well a free-market think tank, the Frasier Institute, has published the numbers for 2013.

One of the big promises of ObamaCare was that, with a much larger pool of insured people, the cost to the average individual or family would go down. That’s how insurance works, right? You spread out the risk over a bigger population, and the required payouts become less than the premiums taken in. More people, less risk, lower costs.

You’d think so. But as it turns out, the insurance offered by one of those eeevil corporations, Wal-Mart, beats the equivalent ObamaCare plan handily.

Since the Scott Walker recall attempt, he and the Republicans in his state legislature, have been busy cutting taxes and balancing their budget. The result has been that, over 3 years, they’ve cut taxes by about a billion and a half dollars, and the economy is chugging along a good clip, such that just this year they have almost a billion dollar surplus.

We ought to be asking our federal government to look at this. How did they do it?

Mentioned links:

Report: Tens of thousands fled socialized Canadian medicine in 2013

Surprise! Walmart health plan is cheaper, offers more coverage than Obamacare

Gov. Scott Walker reveals the secrets to Wisconsin’s $1 billion surplus

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Filed under: CanadaEconomics & TaxesGovernmentHealth CareSmaller GovernmentSocialism

Who really killed the traditional bulb, and why?

Who really killed the traditional bulb, and why?

The traditional, incandescent light bulb is going extinct this year. Environmentalists touted the fact that even the light bulb industry wanted to get rid of them. Yeah, well of course they did. Listen in to find out how this further cemented their hold on the market, using the environmentalists as useful idiots, and the government as their tool.

It has been said that voter ID laws are a solution looking for a problem, that voter fraud is so rare that it’s not worth the effort. Well, the Bureau of Investigations in New York City would take issue with that. They found fraud to be simple (with a 97% success rate) and undetectable. I detail how they did it, and how the government’s Board of Elections sprang into action to stop this. (OK, just kidding about that last part.)

Mentioned links:

Industry, not environmentalists, killed traditional light bulbs

Voter fraud: We’ve got proof it’s easy

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Filed under: CapitalismEconomics & TaxesElectionsVoter ID

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