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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

738 Ratings
Average Ratings
612
68
22
11
25

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

738 Ratings
Average Ratings
612
68
22
11
25

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 5 days 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.

No War for Saudi Arabia

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For your because-2019 files:

.@realDonaldTrump

Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not "America First." https://t.co/kJOCpqwaQS

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) September 16, 2019

So what fresh hell is this "locked and loaded" nonsense? That's what kicks off this week's Editors Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, featuring Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch. The quartet also discusses highlights and lowlights from last week's Democratic presidential debate, rages against the dying of the vape, and tries to fix Katherine's bad movie-watching instincts.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Music credit: 'Complicate Ya' by Otis McDonald

Relevant links from the show:

"Yemen, Iran, and the War Powers Act," by Ilya Somin

"Is the U.S. Stumbling Towards an Accidental War With Iran?" by Christian Britschgi

"War With Iran May Have Been Avoided Due to Trump's Fondness for Fox News," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Democratic Candidates Agree—Let's Get Out of Afghanistan," by Scott Shackford

"The Corruptions of Power," by Matt Welch

"Kamala Harris Does Not Understand Why the Constitution Should Get in the Way of Her Gun Control Agenda," by Jacob Sullum

"Andrew Yang Is the Anti–Elizabeth Warren," by Shikha Dalmia

"Vicious Scapegoating Is the Whole Point of Beto O'Rourke's Gun Grab," by Jacob Sullum

"On Trade, Democrats Continue Struggling To Differentiate From Trump," by Eric Boehm

"There's Only 1 Democrat Talking About the Constitution, and It's (Shudder) Joe Biden," by Matt Welch

"Banning Flavored E-Cigarettes Has Nothing to Do With the Hazards of Black-Market Cannabis Products," by Jacob Sullum

"The Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes May Lead to More Smoking by Teenagers As Well As Adults," by Jacob Sullum

"Trump's Ban on E-Cigarette Flavors Endangers Public Health," by Jacob Sullum

"The Great Lost Rolling Stones Documentary Is Now a Museum Piece," by Kurt Loder

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and To Rome with Love," by Kurt Loder

Sep 16 2019
53 mins
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Did Andrew Yang Win Last Night's Democratic Debate?

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Last night's Democratic debate was the first to feature all the major contenders on a single stage. They spent much of the evening sparring over health care issues before moving on to talk about gun control, the environment, immigration and more.

Despite the presence of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), it was tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang who made the biggest impression. Reason's Austin Bragg, Peter Suderman, and Eric Boehm talk about the evening and what it means in a special post-debate podcast.

Photo credit: Heidi Gutman/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Sep 13 2019
32 mins
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Stan Lee Co-author Kat Rosenfield on Rise of Cancel Culture in the Literary World.

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When Stan Lee, the legendary head of Marvel Comics for decades and the co-creator of iconic comic-book titles such as The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and Spider-Man, died last November, he wasn't quite done producing content. His final work, A Trick of Light, was released earlier this year as an audio book and the print and e-book versions come out next week, on September 17 (pre-order here).

Co-authored by Kat Rosenfield, A Trick of Light is a complex and compelling story that follows the adventures of Cameron, a high-school senior and would-be YouTube star who gains superpowers after a freak accident on Lake Erie, and Nia, a teenage hacker shrouded in mystery. It's a meditation on virtual and augmented reality and how the internet has in many ways failed to deliver on its promise of connecting us in new and more profound ways. "The amazing (and also terrible!) thing about the internet is that it's changing the way we relate to each other, even to the point of warping our own sense of who we are," Rosenfield told Teen Vogue when the audio book came out. "Cameron and Nia are struggling with the same questions and anxieties that we all experience as a result of inhabiting digital spaces, where identity and reality become malleable."

For today's Reason Podcast, Nick Gillespie talks with Rosenfield, the author of the highly acclaimed young-adult novels Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone and Inland, a former reporter for MTV News, and a contributor to New York magazine, Wired, and Playboy (follow her on Twitter and Instagram). She talks about working with Stan Lee, how online culture has changed the way we relate to one another for both good and bad, and why pernicious forms of "cancel culture" and identity politics are flourishing in literary culture.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Sep 11 2019
44 mins
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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
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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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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

Elizabeth Nolan Brown Talks About the Secret Backpage Memos and What They Mean for Free Speech Online

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For most of its existence, Backpage.com was mired in legal and political controversy. The website, which hosted online classified ads much like Craigslist, was accused of facilitating child sex trafficking, and was targeted by state attorneys general who said Backpage "exploited women and children." 

Founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin were hauled in front of the U.S. Senate where an official report claimed they "knowingly facilitated the criminal sex trafficking of vulnerable women and young girls." Eventually, federal agents shut down the site and raided their homes.

The founders are now forced to wear ankle bracelets and are prohibited from leaving Maricopa County, Arizona, where they await their 2020 trial. 

But as it turns out, the government's case was built on bad faith and bogus arguments. As Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown reported, a pair of secret government memos from 2012 and 2013 undermine nearly every aspect of the case against Backpage and its founders. 

Brown talks with Reason Features Editor Peter Suderman about the case against Backpage, the contents of the memos, and what the story means for the ongoing legal and political arguments around sex trafficking and online speech. 

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Photo credit: Hector Amezcua/TNS/Newscom

Aug 30 2019
37 mins
Play

The Libertarian Case for Term Limits

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"Congress has given us $22 trillion in debt, the longest war in American history, a broken health care system, a broken immigration system, a tax code written by lobbyists, and an explosion of money in politics. Worst of all, too few here have the courage to address these problems because the only focus is on reelection."

That's a quote from the June Senate testimony of Nick Tomboulides, the executive director of U.S. Term Limits, a group that believes the last, best hope for shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government is kicking senators out of office after a maximum of two terms and House members after three.

In today's Reason Podcast, Tomboulides tells Nick Gillespie that over 80 percent of voters (including former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke) support term limits, that shortening political careers will lead to better candidates running for office, and that a grassroots movement is pushing state legislatures to amend the Constitution to include term limits. The 30-year-old Tomboulides also recounts his journey from a traditional Republican political operative to a libertarian activist in the wake of both the disastrous Iraq War begun under George W. Bush and the presidential campaigns of former Rep. Ron Paul.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Links:

U.S. Term Limits home page.

U.S. Term Limits' Twitter feed.

Listen to No Uncertain Terms, a weekly podcast featuring Tomboulides and U.S Term Limits' president, Philip Blumel.

"How Beto O'Rourke would address term limits for lawmakers," Politico, June 5, 2019.

"The Effects of Term Limits on State Legislatures: A New Survey of the 50 States," by John M. Carey, Richard G. Niemi, Lynda W. Powell, and Gary F. Moncrief, Legislative Studies Quarterly, January 7, 2011.

Reason on term limits.

Tomboulides' Senate testimony from June 21, 2019:

Aug 28 2019
42 mins
Play

Can #NeverTrump GOP Presidential Wannabe Joe Walsh Run on Deficit Reduction and Win?

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One-term Tea Party congressman and current political talk show host Joe Walsh announced Monday that he will challenge President Donald Trump in the Republican primaries. The policy component of Walsh's pitch is about debt, deficits, and tariffs, though the main thrust is about Trump's deficient character and fitness. So, uh, about that.

Let's hope that when the Islamists next strike they first behead the appeasing cowards at CNN, MSNBC, etal who refused to show the cartoons.

— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) January 14, 2015

Well, now Walsh confesses that "I said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret," and that "I think that helped create Trump." Can a reformed blowhard make a dent in the unreformed fella sitting in the Oval Office? So begins today's Editors Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, feauring Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch.

The gang also discusses the rest of the #NeverTrump primary field, the president's latest trade bleatings, the chaotic G7 meeting in France, the Amazon forest fires, the passing of David Koch, and plenty besides.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Relevant links from the show:

"The 2020 Race Is Completely Unpredictable Because Politicians Are Awful," by Nick Gillespie

"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

"Donald Trump, Scaredy-Cat," by Matt Welch

"Don't Be Fooled by Polls Showing GOP Interest in Challenging Trump," by Matt Welch

"Trump Announces Higher Tariffs. At Least He Called Them 'Taxes.'" By Eric Boehm

"As Trade War Escalates, Trump Has Impotently 'Ordered' American Businesses Out of China," by Eric Boehm

"The Trade War Is Going So Well That Trump Might Bail Out Apple," by Eric Boehm

"Don't Panic: Amazon Burning Is Mostly Farms, Not Forests," by Ronald Bailey

"Elizabeth Warren's Plans Don't Add Up," by Peter Suderman

"David Koch, R.I.P.," by Brian Doherty

"The Libertarian Life and Legacy of David Koch," by Nick Gillespie

"Media Notices Bernie's Nonsense Conspiracies When They're About Media," by Matt Welch

"Charles Koch, George Soros Help Fund Think Tank Opposed To 'Endless War,'" by Nick Gillespie

Aug 26 2019
52 mins
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Can Bitcoin Replace Central Banking? A Debate

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Bitcoin is poorly suited to the purpose of becoming any nation's main medium of exchange.

That was the topic of a public debate hosted by the Soho Forum in New York City on August 12, 2019. It featured George Selgin, director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute, and economist Saifedean Ammous, author of The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking (2018). 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. Ammous prevailed in the debate by convincing 23 percent of audience members to change their minds.

Arguing for the affirmative was Selgin, whose books include Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy (2018) and Floored! How a Misguided Fed Experiment Deepened and Prolonged the Great Recession (2018).

Ammous argued for the negative. An associate professor of economics at Lebanese American University, Ammous is also teaching an online course in bitcoin and Austrian economics.

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

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

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Aug 24 2019
1 hour 21 mins
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