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Reason Podcast

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Founded in 1968, Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Hosted by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and other Reason journalists, our podcast explores “free minds and free markets.” It features provocative, in-depth interviews with authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, economists, scientists, business leaders, and elected officials. Keep up to date on the latest happenings in our increasingly libertarian world from a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and boring old left-right, liberal-conservative publications. You can also find video versions at Reason.com/reasontv.

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Founded in 1968, Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Hosted by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and other Reason journalists, our podcast explores “free minds and free markets.” It features provocative, in-depth interviews with authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, economists, scientists, business leaders, and elected officials. Keep up to date on the latest happenings in our increasingly libertarian world from a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and boring old left-right, liberal-conservative publications. You can also find video versions at Reason.com/reasontv.

iTunes Ratings

747 Ratings
Average Ratings
618
69
23
11
26

Love it

By this might make you mad - Sep 10 2019
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I love this podcast even though there are times I do not agree with everything they say I am a libertarian who came from the left so I am not 100% on board with everything they say but it is important to here and for others to hear it and they have changed my mind on several things that I did not agree with them on in the beginning. Absolutely wonderful to hear this podcast

Optimism

By the astounds - Jul 30 2019
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You’d think politics would have more of this

iTunes Ratings

747 Ratings
Average Ratings
618
69
23
11
26

Love it

By this might make you mad - Sep 10 2019
Read more
I love this podcast even though there are times I do not agree with everything they say I am a libertarian who came from the left so I am not 100% on board with everything they say but it is important to here and for others to hear it and they have changed my mind on several things that I did not agree with them on in the beginning. Absolutely wonderful to hear this podcast

Optimism

By the astounds - Jul 30 2019
Read more
You’d think politics would have more of this
Cover image of Reason Podcast

Reason Podcast

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

Founded in 1968, Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Hosted by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and other Reason journalists, our podcast explores “free minds and free markets.” It features provocative, in-depth interviews with authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, economists, scientists, business leaders, and elected officials. Keep up to date on the latest happenings in our increasingly libertarian world from a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and boring old left-right, liberal-conservative publications. You can also find video versions at Reason.com/reasontv.

Rank #1: What Caused the 2008 Financial Crisis: Market Distortions or Market Failure? A Debate

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Was the 2008 financial crisis caused by market distortions or market failure?

That was the topic of a public debated hosted by the Soho Forum in New York City on February 20, 2019. It featured John Allison, former CEO of BB&T Bank and former CEO and president of the Cato Institute, and Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody's Analytics. Allison argued that market distortions led to the financial crisis, and Zandi attributed the crisis to market failure. Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein moderated.

It was an Oxford-style debate, in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event, and the side that gains the most ground is victorious. Allison prevailed by convincing about 10 percent of audience members to change their minds.

Today Allison is an executive in residence at the Wake Forest School of Business. He's author of The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy's Only Hope (McGraw-Hill, 2012). Zandi is the author of Financial Shock: A 360º Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis.

The Soho Forum, which is sponsored by the Reason Foundation, is a monthly debate series at the SubCulture Theater in Manhattan's East Village.

Music: "Modum" by Kai Engle is licensed under a CC-BY creative commons license.

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Feb 27 2019
1 hour 18 mins
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Rank #2: Democrats' Anti-Scientific Climate Dystopias

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Judging by last week's six-hour CNN presidential candidate town hall on climate change, the rough Democratic consensus is that we've got 12 years until DOOM—and that we should probably ban the greenhouse-gas-reducing energy technologies of nuclear power and hydraulically fractured natural gas. Nonsense on stilts, argue Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch on the latest Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast.

The gang previews this week's Democratic presidential debate, notes the tension between an increasingly crowded Republican race and the GOP's decision to call off state primaries, analyzes President Donald Trump's move to call off withdrawal talks with the Taliban, and gives the moderator an earful about his WrongThink on West Side Story.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Music Credit: 'Song of Mirrors' by Unicorn Heads

Relevant links from the show:

"Four Memorable Moments from CNN's Climate Town Hall," by Nick Gillespie

"Dems to Talk for 6 (!) Hours About Climate Change on CNN Tonight," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Despite What Democrats Said at Their Debate, We're Not Heading Toward Climate Apocalypse," by Ronald Bailey

"Democrats Debate To Determine Who Will Spend Us Into Oblivion," by Steven Greenhut

"Warren Wants 'Big, Structural Change' That Goes Beyond Anything Previous Democratic Administrations Have Proposed," by Ira Stoll

"Kamala Harris Is a Cop Who Wants To Be President," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Biden's Age Matters, Even if Democrats Want To Ignore It," by Ira Stoll

"Former S.C. Congressman Mark Sanford Launches Longshot Primary Bid One Day After GOP Cancels S.C. Primary," by Eric Boehm

"The GOP Deals With Trump Competition by Canceling Elections," by Matt Welch

"Joe Walsh Isn't Running on the Issues," by Billy Binion

"Mark Sanford Gives Himself Two Weeks to Decide if He Wants to Be Trump Roadkill," by Matt Welch

"Bill Weld Raises a Pathetic $688,000 in Second Quarter," by Matt Welch

"Trump Caves to Lindsey Graham; U.S. Troops To Stay the Neverending Course in Afghanistan," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Sep 09 2019
59 mins
Play

Rank #3: John McWhorter: America Has Never Been Less Racist

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When actor Jussie Smollet lied about being attacked by racist, MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters, Columbia University linguist John McWhorter actually interpreted it as a sign that "we have come further on race than we are often comfortable admitting."

"Only in an America in which matters of race are not as utterly irredeemable as we are often told," he wrote in The Atlantic, would someone "pretend to be tortured in this way…[because] playing a singer on television is not as glamorous as getting beaten up by white guys."

The unwillingness of both blacks and whites to acknowledge progress on racial equality is a long-running theme for McWhorter, who in 2000 published Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, which argued that "in most cases, [racism] is not an obstacle to people being the best that they can be."

In an influential 2015 essay, McWhorter argued that "Antiracism" had become a new secular religion in America, complete with "clergy, creed, and also even a conception of Original Sin."

"One is born marked by original sin," he wrote. "To be white is to be born with the stain of unearned privilege." Black people, he continued, "will express their grievances and whites will agree" that they are racist. On the right, McWhorter observed, there is a growing sense of hostility on racial issues and, according to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who agree that black-white relations are good is at a 20-year low. And for the first time since the pollster has asked the question, a majority of blacks rate race relations as bad.

I sat down with the 53-year-old McWhorter—the author or editor of 20 books—to talk about his upbringing in a mixed-race part of Philadelphia, his academic focus on Creole language, and the unmistakable signs of racial progress that an increasing number of Americans seem unwilling to acknowledge.

Edited by Ian Keyser. Intro by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Jim Epstein and Kevin Alexander.

Photos by Jim Epstein.

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Apr 11 2019
44 mins
Play

Rank #4: What Game of Thrones Can Teach Us About Political Power

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On Sunday night at 9 p.m., Game of Thrones returns to HBO. And here at Reason, we are ready.

Join Reason editors Peter Suderman, Robby Soave, and yours truly as we rip apart the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones like a hungry baby dragon snacking on a sheep. In this very special SPOILER-FILLED episode of the podcast, the magazine's resident draconologists ask what Game of Thrones teaches us about political power.

Robby Soave reveals why he's a Daenerys hater, Peter Suderman has some ideas about fiscal discipline in Westeros, and I get excited about what's for dinner in King's Landing. We also shamefully give in to the temptation to draw parallels between 2020 American politics and a quasi-medieval fantasy world invented by George R.R. Martin in the 1990s. What does their wall in the North mean for our wall in the South? Is Pete Buttigieg actually Peter Baelish? Are the white walkers global warming? And does Varys have an office on K Street?

In the end, we drink, we know things, and all agree that we're moving to Braavos.

(P.S. If you want to get your libertarian Game of Thrones itch scratched further, consider joining me on June 20 in D.C. when I emcee the Competitive Enterprise Institute's annual dinner.)

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Don't miss a single Reason Podcast! (Archive here.)

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Apr 12 2019
58 mins
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Rank #5: Happy Taxation-Is-Theft Day!

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) is engaging in some mildly awkward conversations about being a millionaire while constantly seeking to soak the rich. Which on this Tax Day, is kind of hilarious, so it's how we start this week's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-WardNick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch.

The gang talks this year's tax-refund confusions, Democrats' fuzzy tax math, Uncle Milty's greatest #fail, presidential-candidate tax disclosures, the gruesomely intrusive Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and much more. Also under discussion: the forthcoming Mueller Report drop, Julian Assange's beard, Raymond Chandler's vocabulary, Reason's schmancy new website, and how all the nerds in Washington were watching Game of Thrones last night.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Mozart—Eine Kleine Nachtmusik allegro' by Advent Chamber Orchestra is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Nobody Thinks They've Gotten a Recent Tax Cut, but a Majority Have," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Happy Tax Day! Here Are 6 Infuriating Ways the Government Spends Your Money," by Joe Setyon

"I Got Stoned and Did My Taxes," by Liz Wolfe

"Starve the Tax Man," by J.D. Tuccille

"The Rise of the Low-Tax Socialists," by Peter Suderman

"Democrats Hate Wealthy Candidates…When They're Not Democrats," by Matt Welch

"Milton Friedman Helped Invent Income Tax Withholding," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Americans Keep Setting New Records for Renouncing Citizenship, and Tax Reform Threatens to Make it Worse," by Matt Welch

"The Coming Transparency Battle Over the Mueller Report," by C.J. Ciaramella

"MoveOn, Maddow Can't Move on From Mueller Worship," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Julian Assange and WikiLeaks Deserve Our Thanks for Making Governments More Transparent," by Nick Gillespie

"Julian Assange Is a Better Journalist Than Many of His Media Critics," by J.D. Tuccille

"Punishing Assange Isn't Worth Killing a Free Press," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"The Washington Establishment Seems Pretty Happy About Julian Assange's Arrest," by Joe Setyon

"What Game of Thrones Can Teach Us About Political Power," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

Apr 15 2019
1 hour 2 mins
Play

Rank #6: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Libertarians Calmly Discuss Abortion

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The debate over the "heartbeat bill" signed into law in Georgia last week has been both hyperbolic and vitriolic. Of course, stakes are high in the debate over the legality of abortion and the potential for reconsideration of the Supreme Court precedent set in Roe v. Wade (1973).

But at Reason, we believe calm, rational discussion is possible even between people who strongly disagree. So Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward sat down with Managing Editor Stephanie Slade, who is pro-life, and Associate Editor Liz Nolan Brown, who is pro-choice, to talk about the present state of abortion politics and the ways in which reasonable libertarians can disagree on this issue.

Further reading:

Stephanie Slade on Why I Am a Pro-Life Libertarian and Why Is the ACLU Targeting Catholic Hospitals?

Elizabeth Nolan Brown on how A Post-Roe World Would Pave the Way for a New Black Market in Abortion Pills and Doctors Call for Decriminalization of Self-Induced Abortion.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

May 14 2019
44 mins
Play

Rank #7: Should Amazon (and Google, and Facebook) Be Canceled by Antitrust Law?

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What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, everyone loved big tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. They were bringing low, low prices and vast selection to consumers, allowing us to connect and build community in new and powerful ways, and helping the least-powerful among us speak up against power and even start revolutions.

Nowadays, those same corporations are favorite targets of politicians all across the political spectrum. Congress demands their executives testify before the House and Senate, President Donald Trump rarely goes a day without inveighing against tech giants for allegedly screwing with his popularity and reelection chances, and Democratic presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren have promised to break up companies they say have too much cultural, economic, and political power.

Lurking behind the new attacks on big tech is a novel interpretation of antitrust law known as "hipster antitrust" because it's being touted by a new, younger generation of legal scholars. Law professors such as Lina Khan and Tim Wu are inspired by Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), the Harvard Law professor and Supreme Court justice who warned against "the curse of bigness" and defended small, local firms against national behemoths like Standard Oil and A&P.

In the cover story for the October 2019 issue of Reason, Clemson economist Thomas W. Hazlett delves into the ideas and analysis of hipster antitrust and the new push to break up the tech giants. He says that the hipster antitrusters, Warren, and Trump have got it almost all exactly wrong and that companies such as Amazon actually are massively benefiting consumers. On today's Reason podcast, Hazlett tells Nick Gillespie about the checkered history of past antitrust actions and what proponents of hipster antitrust get wrong about today's (and tomorrow's) tech sector. Read Hazlett's story here.

Support Reason magazine with a print or digital subscription and get to read stories early and gain full access to our archives. Subscriptions start at $14.97. Go here to subscribe

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Sep 04 2019
1 hour 1 min
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Rank #8: Let's Talk About Sex Differences with Christina Hoff Sommers and Debra Soh: Podcast

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Few topics inspire more anxiety, anger, and confusion than sex differences between men and women. If you believe in evolution, you believe that sex differences between men and women are real and persistent. If you believe in libertarian values of individualism and freedom, you want everyone to be treated equally under the law, in the workplace, and in social settings.

On today's Reason Podcast, I talk with Christina Hoff Sommers and Debra Soh about our constantly evolving understanding of gender roles, how biology and culture shape our expectations, the successes and excesses of contemporary feminism, what today's sexism looks like, and how best to measure progress. Both were in New York to speak at a panel titled "Who's Afraid of Sex Differences?" organized by the Independent Women's Forum.

Sommers is a resident scholar at Washington, D.C.'s American Enterprise Institute, the author of such well-known books as Who Stole Feminism and The War Against Boys, and co-host (with Danielle Crittenden) of the Femsplainers podcast. Soh is a Toronto-based psychologist who writes frequently on gender and science issues for The Globe and Mail and Playboy, and co-hosts (with Jonathan Kay) a podcast called Wrongspeak for the website Quillette.

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Listen via FeedPress.

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Feb 20 2019
54 mins
Play

Rank #9: Will Democrats Really Grab Your Guns?

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As has been the case with the Trump administration after a mass shooting event, the president and key legislative leaders are discussing in the wake of Saturday's Odessa, Texas, shoot-out a series of possible measures, including expediting the death penalty. As is also the case during a long presidential primary season, Democratic candidates are one-upping one another with gun-control proposals, with Texan Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) both suggesting "mandatory buy-backs" of "weapons of war." So what will and should actually be done?

So kicks off a lively discussion on the latest Editors Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, feauring Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch. Other topics include: Reflections on back-to-school week and the state of education policy/politics, ideas from both the Trump administration and the Democratic presidential field about getting U.S. troops the hell out of Afghanistan, plus the latest social-commentary comedy from Dave Chappelle

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Scapes' by Steve Combs is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Should It Be Easier to Put Mass Shooters to Death? Trump's Justice Department Thinks So," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Texas Is Executing a Man Tonight for a Murder and Rape Experts Say He Didn't Commit," by Zuri Davis

"March For Our Lives Calls for Confiscating Guns, Investigating the NRA, and 'Reforming' the Supreme Court," by Christian Britschgi

"How to Create a Gun-Free America in 5 Easy Steps," by Austin Bragg

"New York's New 'Red Flag' Law Illustrates the Due Process Problems Posed by Gun Confiscation Orders," by Jacob Sullum

"Do These 21 Mass Shootings That Did Not Happen Show the Benefits of California's 'Red Flag' Law?" by Jacob Sullum

"James Alan Fox: There Is No Evidence of an 'Epidemic of Mass Shootings,'" by Nick Gillespie

"For Many Pro-Gun Republicans, Gun Ownership Is Skin Deep," by Zuri Davis

"Trump Caves to Lindsey Graham; U.S. Troops To Stay the Neverending Course in Afghanistan," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Trump Just Can't Quit Afghanistan," by Matt Welch

"Americans Voice Growing Support for School Choice," by J.D. Tuccille

"De Blasio Advisory Group Wants To Abolish Gifted Classes in NYC Public Schools," by Matt Welch

"Ten Years After Katrina, New Orleans Charter Schools Have Made Real Improvements," by Savannah Robinson

"Watch Dave Chappelle Eviscerate Cancel Culture," by Robby Soave

Sep 03 2019
1 hour 1 min
Play

Rank #10: The Democrats' Dumb War Against Charter Schools

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How bad is the plan to ban for-profit charter schools, released Saturday by second-place presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.)? Bad enough to draw this New York magazine headline from Jonathan Chait: "Bernie Sanders Wants to Destroy the Best Schools Poor Urban Kids Have." Also bad enough to generate this asinine tweet:

If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don't tell me we can't afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve. pic.twitter.com/pQVix0iX9a

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 18, 2019

We talk about the Democratic war on charters—sadly not limited to Bernie Sanders!—on this week's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-WardNick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch. Also discussed: Last night's television finale, last week's weirdly DOA Trump immigration plan, and of course the weekend's biggest news in libertarian politics, namely the tweetstorm from Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) about the "impeachment threshold" behavior by the president.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Relevant links from the show:

"Rep. Justin Amash Says Trump 'Has Engaged in Impeachable Conduct,'" by Eric Boehm

"Donald Trump Responds To Justin Amash: 'Never a Fan…Total Lightweight…Loser,'" by Nick Gillespie

"Justin Amash's Principled Stand Against Trump Will Not Make Him Popular in the GOP," by Robby Soave

"Beto Called Charter Schools a 'Good Idea' in 2012. He Was Right." By Zuri Davis

"Cory Booker Is Running for President. Must He Run Away from School Choice?" by Robby Soave

"N.Y.C. Mayor Bill De Blasio Mulling Presidential Run. Stop Laughing!" By Scott Shackford

"Does School Choice Help Students Learn? All Signs Point to Yes," by Nick Gillespie

"Trump Unveils Plan To Promote Skill-Based Immigration," by Zuri Davis

"White House Increases Temporary Work Visas; Proposes Keeping Immigration Flat," by Matt Welch

"Game of Thrones Finale: Daenerys Vows to Make a Hell of Earth," by Robby Soave

May 20 2019
57 mins
Play

Rank #11: Young Radicals Against Free Speech: Reason's Robby Soave on His New Book, Panic Attack

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Reason's Robby Soave has been writing about culture, free speech, due process, and moral outrage on campus since joining the magazine in 2014. Next week will see the release of his first book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump, which examines the ascendancy of the intersectional left and the identitarian right.

Soave was one of the first reporters to question the veracity of a Rolling Stone article that accused several fraternity brothers of a horrific gang rape at the University of Virginia—a story that the magazine later retracted because of insufficient evidence. Earlier this year, when a clip of MAGA-hat-wearing high school students appearing to intimidate a Native American man went viral, Soave was one of the first journalists to carefully scrutinize the raw video, discovering that the interaction was more complicated than the initial outraged reports had claimed. Major media organizations later looped back to acknowledge that they had erred in their reporting.

Reason's Zach Weissmueller talked with Soave in front of a live audience at Reason's L.A. office about his experience reporting and writing the book, today's political climate on campus, and why he thinks the college activists' emphasis on identity is misplaced.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Jun 14 2019
51 mins
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Rank #12: Is Postmodernism Marxist or Libertarian? A Soho Forum Debate

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Postmodernism is necessary for a politics of individual liberty.

That was the topic of a public debate hosted by the Soho Forum in New York City on June 17, 2019. It featured Stephen Hicks, a professor of philosophy at Rockford University, and author Thaddeus Russell. Soho Forum director Gene Epstein moderated.

It was an Oxford-style debate, in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event, and the side that gains the most ground is victorious. Hicks prevailed in the debate by convincing 34 percent of audience members to change their minds.

Arguing for the affirmative was Russell, whose 2011 book, A Renegade History of the United States, argues that cherished American freedoms come from the selfish desires of ordinary people. Renegade University, founded by Russell, offers courses on diverse subjects from postmodernism to the history of martial arts.

Hicks argued for the negative. He's the executive director at The Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. He is the author of Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (2011) and Nietzsche and the Nazis (2010).

The Soho Forum, which is sponsored by the Reason Foundation, is a monthly debate series at the SubCulture Theater in Manhattan's East Village.

Produced by Todd Krainin.

'Modum' by Kai Engel is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Jul 26 2019
1 hour 27 mins
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Rank #13: What Will Drugs Be Like After Prohibition? Q&A with Hamilton Morris

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What will American drug culture look like once prohibition is finally over and we can start to use more drugs in more settings?

No one is better situated to start that conversation than Hamilton Morris, the 32-year-old host of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia, a show that explores what sorts of drugs are available, how they work, and how we might best use them to fulfill our hopes and dreams. 

In one early episode, Morris confounds the conventional wisdom by telling "a positive story about PCP," a drug that even legalizers typically have nothing good to say about. He visits with Timothy Wyllie, an artist and visionary who uses the drug as part of his creative process. In another, he travels to the Brazilian Amazon, where locals get high on a drug taken from frogs. In a third, he gains access to an abandoned laboratory in a volcano that was once central to the production of MDMA.

Morris also does laboratory work at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where he and his collaborators create new drugs for testing and research trials. He sat down with Reason to talk how the drug war has warped the discussion about legal and illegal drugs and what the post-prohibition landscape will look like.

To watch a video version of this interview, go here.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes

May 10 2019
28 mins
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Rank #14: How Libertarians Should Respond to Mass Shootings

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A pair of horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend left at least 30 people dead. Politicians are jockeying to place the blame on everything from immigrants to guns to the news media. 

The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019

What should politicians do when these awful events when they occur? Why have mass shootings increasingly led to people raising First Amendment issues as well as Second Amendment questions? And how do libertarians react to both the events themselves and the misguided policy responses that inevitably result?

On the latest Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie, and Katherine Mangu-Ward are joined by special guest Eric Boehm to discuss all of these questions, as well as last week's Democratic presidential debates, the no-good-very-bad budget deal, and the latest front in the trade war. Plus: a special China-focused recommendations segment, featuring Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, The Farewell, The Three-Body Problem, and more from the Bobiverse. 

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Ghosts I, 02' by Nine Inch Nails is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0

Aug 05 2019
57 mins
Play

Rank #15: Should Libertarians Care About Facebook Bans?

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What has been the worst reaction to Facebook's decision last week to permanently ban Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulis, Louis Farrakhan, and others for their "dangerous" speech? Hard to say, though the president of the United States, per usual, is in the running.

I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

Intersecting as it does the diverging cultural and legal parameters of free speech, while also portending of a more serious regulatory clampdowncapture exercise to come, the move sparks some vigorous debate in this week's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast. Katherine Mangu-WardNick Gillespie, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch differ on whether the ban is bad or fine, whether speech is expanding or contracting, and whether '90s Net Triumphalists are doomed to become old men shaking their fists at clouds.

Other podcast topics include: Trump's latest trade threats, three new entrants in the 2020 Democratic presidential race (no peeking!), and that costume drama with the diphthongs.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Boulevard St Germain' by Jahzzar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Facebook Has Every Right To Ban Louis Farrakhan and Alex Jones. But It's Still a Bad Idea," by Nick Gillespie

"Banning Alex Jones Isn't About Free Speech—It's About the Incoherence of 'Hate Speech,'" by Robby Soave

"Libertarian Banned from Facebook for Tide Pod Joke That Mocked Liberals," by Robby Soave

"Mark Zuckerberg, Crony Capitalist," by John Stossel

"Internet Freedom Swirling Around Drain as Dems, Reps Threaten Antitrust Action on Google, et al," by Nick Gillespie

"Trump Doesn't Like What People See When They Search 'Trump News,'" by Peter Suderman

"Partisans United Against Free Speech," by Matt Welch

"Making the Fairness Doctrine Great Again," by Thomas Hazlett

"The End of Free Speech," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Trump Is No Match for the First Amendment," by Jacob Sullum

"Market Crashes as Trump Threatens More Tariffs After China Trade Deal Flops," by Eric Boehm

May 06 2019
1 hour 3 mins
Play

Rank #16: Vegetarians vs. Omnivores: A Soho Forum Debate

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There is little or no rigorous evidence that vegetarian/vegan diets are healthier than diets that include meat, eggs, and dairy.

That was the topic of a public debated hosted by the Soho Forum in New York City on May 13, 2019. It featured Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, and David Katz, the founding director of Yale University's Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Soho Forum director Gene Epstein moderated.

It was an Oxford-style debate, in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event, and the side that gains the most ground is victorious. Katz prevailed in the debate by convincing 13 percent of audience members to change their minds.

Arguing for the affirmative was Nina Teicholz, whose 2014 book, The Big Fat Surprise, challenged the conventional wisdom on dietary fat. Teicholz's writing has also been published in The BMJ, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Independent, The New Yorker, and The Los Angeles Times among others. Teicholz is the Executive Director of The Nutrition Coalition, a non-profit group that promotes evidence-based nutrition policy.

Reason's Alexis Garcia interviewed Teicholz in 2018.

David L. Katz, MD argued for the negative. He's the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, which practices community and alternative medicine, and is founder/president of the True Health Initiative, a non-profit organization established to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. The holder of five U.S. patents, Katz has authored roughly 200 peer-reviewed publications and 16 books to date, including textbooks in both nutrition and preventive medicine.

The Soho Forum, which is sponsored by the Reason Foundation, is a monthly debate series at the SubCulture Theater in Manhattan's East Village.

Music: "Modum" by Kai Engle is licensed under a CC-BY creative commons license.

Produced by Todd Krainin.

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May 31 2019
1 hour 30 mins
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Rank #17: Trump Obstructed Justice, Says Judge Andrew Napolitano

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Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News has long argued for libertarian positions on the nation's largest cable news network, consistently holding George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump accountable for alleged abuses of power.

In Napolitano's analysis, the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election lays out multiple instances in which President Trump attempted to interfere with the investigation, thus making him guilty under federal laws governing the obstruction of justice.

The president responded with a series of hostile tweets claiming, among other things, that Napolitano had asked to be named to the Supreme Court and requested a pardon for a mutual friend.

Napolitano sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to defend his name, lay out his case against the president, explain why Attorney General William Barr has been bad since his days in the George H.W. Bush administration, and put Donald Trump's presidency in a historical and constitutional context.

For a video version of this interview, go here.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

May 03 2019
15 mins
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Rank #18: Why Instapundit Glenn Reynolds Thinks Twitter, Facebook, and Google Should Be Busted Up

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In the beginning, there was Instapundit, one of the web's first great aggregator and commentary sites. Launched in August 2001, the site became massively popular after the 9/11 attacks, when it acted as a clearinghouse for information and commentary from all over the world about what the hell was going on.

The founder of Instapundit is Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee who came to be known as the "blogfather" to many of us then toiling on the border between print and pixels. Always a future-oriented writer and scholar, he called himself a libertarian transhumanist and his optimistic view on cyberculture is summed up by the title of his 2006 best-selling book, An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths.

That was then. Reynolds' new book is called The Social Media Upheaval. In it, he makes the case that the federal government should use antitrust law to curtail the cultural, market, and political power amassed by Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other tech companies. In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Reynolds talks about why he quit Twitter last year, how his thinking has changed regarding the internet, and what he hopes will come next online and elsewhere. He also recounts the earlier, Wild West days of online communities in the 1980s, how a photoshopped joke image kept showing up on his Wikipedia page, and why libertarians seem to gravitate to unconventional diets.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

May 29 2019
47 mins
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Rank #19: Kevin Williamson on How Mob Politics Got Him Fired from The Atlantic

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In 2018, the journalist Kevin Williamson was hired away from the flagship publication for the conservative movement, National Review, by one of the oldest and most-prestigious magazines in American history, The Atlantic. The editor of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, explained that Williamson's hire was done to help bring ideological diversity to the pages of a publication that skewed liberal or left on most things.

Williamson's first piece for The Atlantic—a column declaring that "The Libertarian Moment" heralded by Reason was deader than a doornail—appeared on April 2, 2018. He was fired on April 5, after a years-old tweet had come to light, one in which the pro-life Williamson argued that women who have abortions should not only be charged with homicide but executed, preferably by hanging. It's worth pointing out that Williamson was joking, at least about the hanging part, because he's generally against capital punishment.

Williamson rejoined the staff of National Review, where he continues to author a mix of heavily reported articles from the backroads of America and opinion pieces that are always incredibly well-written and challenging to libertarian sensibilities—many of which the 46-year-old Texan shares. He's also just published The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics, which he had actually started writing before he got fired by The Atlantic.

Nick Gillespie spoke with Williamson at FreedomFest, the annual gathering of libertarians in Las Vegas, about his brief, tumultuous experience at The Atlantic, why he thinks Trump supporters are often just as bad as left-wing ideologues when it comes to shutting down divergent opinions, and how America might actually start encouraging people to think for themselves again.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Jul 31 2019
41 mins
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Rank #20: James Alan Fox: There Is No Evidence of an 'Epidemic of Mass Shootings'

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The horrific mass killings in El Paso and Dayton have understandably inspired terror in America and calls for expanded gun control, predictive policing, and mental health interventions designed to reduce violence.

But Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, the leading researcher on the topic for the past 35 years, tells Reason, "There is no evidence that we are in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings." The number of incidents and casualties are simply too small to make such claims and, he stresses, the media coverage of shootings often ends up creating a false sense that gun violence—which is at or near historic lows—is ubiquitous and growing.

In a wide-ranging interview with Nick Gillespie, Fox explains the common characteristics of mass killers, why violent crime involving guns has declined over the past several decades, and how cable TV and social media contribute to a false sense of panic.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Aug 14 2019
46 mins
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