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Society and the State | Life, Liberty, and Your Pursuit of Happiness

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Now displaying: 2019
Jul 22, 2019

If there is such a thing as a civic religion, then voting might well be considered its high sacrament. We’ve all heard people say, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” But what should we make of those who say, “Not voting means you’ve consented to the status quo”? With another highly polarizing election cycle dead ahead, now is a good time to sort out what our vote represents and how consent plays into the way we choose to vote—or not vote.

Jul 18, 2019

Given recent events in the Persian Gulf, it’s not hard to imagine that the United State government is on a collision course with the Iranian government. Who is pushing the hardest for military action? Is a war between the U.S. and Iran a near certainty? Author and correspondent Gareth Porter joins us to help sort the fact from fiction and to explain the possible reasons that we are being steered toward more military action in the Middle East.

Jul 15, 2019

Everyone loves the idea of getting something for free. This is something politicians regularly use to their advantage as they try to leverage votes by promising their constituents free stuff. One of the more popular promises of late is the prospect of a free college education for everyone. What should we think of free college and is there really such a thing as free higher education?

Jul 11, 2019

It seems like there’s no shortage of scientific studies to justify or debunk nearly anything you can think of. For some issues, it’s the perfect appeal to authority. After all, who would dare argue against science? Tim Errington from the Center for Open Science joins us to discuss where some scientists go astray and how we can best keep fact and fiction separate within the realm of science.

Jul 7, 2019

For some time now, a great many career-seekers have been following the same predictable script of going to college, getting a degree and then finding someone to hire them. What if there was another way to begin a productive and fulfilling career without having to take on backbreaking amounts of student loan debt? Connor shares insight into the book “Skip College - Launch your career without debt, distractions or a degree” which he recently edited. Learn what some of the the most innovative and creative minds are suggesting as alternatives to the standard script most of us grew up with.

Jul 2, 2019

As Independence Day approaches, most everyone looks forward to the celebrations, the parades, the fireworks and time off work. Are we forgetting what it is that we’re actually celebrating each year? Professor Kevin Gutzman joins us to talk about the courageous act of treason that set America on a path to independence and set in motion the most remarkable experiment in freedom in human history.

Jun 30, 2019

What’s the difference between a law enforcer and a peace officer? It’s a distinction that more of us should understand. One of the best illustrations of this difference can be seen in the recent actions of a Minnesota officer who was sent to an elderly woman’s home on a welfare check. Officer Matt Siltala found the woman’s yard was in violation of local code and was faced with a choice of whether to deal with the issue as a law and code enforcer or as a peace officer. We discuss his decision and what can be learned from it.

Jun 30, 2019

What’s the difference between a law enforcer and a peace officer? It’s a distinction that more of us should understand. One of the best illustrations of this difference can be seen in the recent actions of a Minnesota officer who was sent to an elderly woman’s home on a welfare check. Officer Matt Siltala found the woman’s yard was in violation of local code and was faced with a choice of whether to deal with the issue as a law and code enforcer or as a peace officer. We discuss his decision and what can be learned from it.

Jun 27, 2019

If you’re not familiar with the 2005 Kelo case dealing with eminent domain, this is a conversation you need to hear. Dana Berliner of the Institute for Justice joins us to discuss what has happened to the property owner and the property itself in the 14 years since the decision. It’s not particularly good news, especially if you’re a believer in private property rights and limited government. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Jun 21, 2019

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by people of faith is when the line between their moral principles and their political beliefs begins to blur. This is particularly true when it comes to what political authorities refer to as “matters of national security.” Whether it’s going to war against another country or maintaining control over the borders of your own country, it’s hard to see others as children of God while simultaneously viewing them as an active threat.

Jun 19, 2019

With so many laws on the books, there are virtually unlimited ways that a person can become a criminal. This puts an enormous strain on our legal and judicial system. Utah County Attorney David Leavitt joins us to discuss a groundbreaking approach that he is trying that seeks to handle problems in ways other than simply prosecuting people. Learn what he hopes to accomplish and how it could cut down on the the unnecessary criminalization that bogs down our justice system.

Jun 14, 2019

What’s the best way to fight racism or sexism? Depending upon who you ask, the answer may be with even more racism or sexism. This can take fairly innocuous forms such as focusing exclusively on the rights of women or minorities rather than the rights of all. Is there a better way? Can we right authentic wrongs without giving in to the temptation to create a new double standard?

Jun 12, 2019

Taxes are a part of life but just how big a part of our lives is a question that is constantly being asked. When governmental entities need revenue, taxing the citizenry is often the preferred way to get that money. But should services be taxed in the same manner as other items on which we pay sales taxes? Connor gets some great insights from Jared Walczak from the Tax Foundation on how sales taxes have evolved over the years.

Jun 8, 2019

Each of us has opportunities to wield our influence wherever we happen to be. Wielding that influence wisely can be harder than it sounds. Do we win others to our side with persuasion or do we use a more brute force approach? In this episode, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each approach when it comes to winning supporters.

Jun 3, 2019

Unless we personally know someone who has been incarcerated, chances are that we know very little about the prison system. It’s a part of life that takes place out of sight and out of mind for many us and we seem to prefer it that way. Libertas policy analyst Molly Davis joins Connor to discuss their takeaways from a recent tour they did at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah.

May 29, 2019

Few things feed the power the state more than when we invite it to become the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong. This is particularly true regarding the topic of abortion where the moral question at the root of the dialogue is getting lost in the struggle to impose solutions on others. Is using the force of law to establish our position the best solution? Could more innocent lives be saved without appealing to the state?

May 24, 2019

Medical procedures often produce certain ethical concerns and the occasional dilemma. One of those is when pelvic examinations are conducted on unconscious women. The physical risks may be secondary to the emotional damage that can result when a woman realizes that her reproductive organs have been examined while she was under anesthesia for another procedure. Connor visits with Robin Fretwell Wilson from the University of Illinois College of Law about recent legislative efforts to protect the patient’s right to informed consent.

May 20, 2019

Is socialism gaining in popularity among younger people? For that matter, is capitalism on the outs with the millennial generation? Depending upon who you ask, this appears to be the case. But where do these attitudes originate? Do the young people allegedly embracing socialism even understand what it is, or are they just excited at the prospect of “free” stuff? In this episode, we discuss how to counter this trend and when to start teaching free market principles to youngsters.

May 13, 2019

There are many areas of our lives where regulation can be more of a hindrance than a blessing. Nowhere is this more true than when patients who want or need a particular medication find themselves stymied by excessive regulation. Do you understand your rights when it comes to self-medication or informed consent? Connor visits with Jessica Flanigan about medical paternalism and what we can do about exercising our individual rights as they pertain to our health.

May 8, 2019

 

Peer to Peer technology is opening the door to a new class of decentralized, trustworthy ways to solve problems. If you’ve ever used Uber or Lyft or stayed at an Airbnb, you’ve already encountered it. Same thing if you’ve ever purchased something off of Ebay rather than going to a big box store. In this episode, Connor explores the pros and cons of eliminating the middlemen that we regard as common.

May 4, 2019

Everyone makes mistakes. But when that mistake is a criminal one, should it follow a person for the rest of his or her life? Few of us understand the process of expungement and how it can provide a person with an opportunity for starting over with a clean slate. Rebecca Vallas from the Center for American Progress joins Connor to discuss why it’s in our interest to provide some offenders with a second chance at life.

May 1, 2019

Being summoned for jury duty is rarely cause for celebration. But it should be. It’s a pretty sure bet that those who feel inconvenienced by the prospect of jury duty simply don’t understand the essential role the jury fills in a free society. Unfortunately, this information is not something the state is going to freely share with prospective jurors. But we will! In this episode we talk about the history of trial by jury and how the jury can be the last bulwark to hold back injustice or tyranny.

Apr 27, 2019

Frustrated with how so much of the political discussion going on today consists of people talking or shouting past one another? If so, you’ll be encouraged by what Arnold Kling from the Cato Institute has to say.  This conversation is a golden opportunity to learn how to move beyond tribal war whoops and to really start communicating with others about political subjects.

Apr 23, 2019

The arrest of Julian Assange by British authorities has captured the attention of the world. As the Wikileaks founder awaits extradition to the U.S. to face charges of conspiring to reveal secrets government officials don’t want the public to know. The implications for whistleblowers, the press and truth-tellers everywhere are considerable. Is Assange the boogeyman we’re being told he is or does he deserve recognition for creating transparency where there was none?

Apr 16, 2019

Parental choice in your child’s education isn’t something to be taken for granted. Depending upon the country in which you reside, homeschooling your child may be seen as a questionable act. In this episode, we visit with the Petersen family and discuss the legal battle they’ve fought with officials in Sweden for the right to homeschool their kids. Their story should be heard by every parent who feels a personal responsibility regarding their child’s education.

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