RealClear Radio Hour Podcast – Marijuana Legalization

1 Sep

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The State Experiment in Recreational Marijuana Legalization

AUG 30, 2014

Rob Douglas, columnist with Steamboat Today, reports from Colorado on the situation since marijuana prohibition was repealed in January this year. With 15 years exploring and preparing for legalization, the transition to legalized recreational use has been exceedingly smooth thus far, encouraging those in favor of ending the national drug war.

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LISTEN (full-length interview)
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WATCH (on YouTube)

RealClear Radio Hour Podcast: The New Hookup Pickup – Pocket Size STD Test

31 Aug

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The New Hookup Pickup: Pocket Size STD Test

AUG 30, 2014

Entrepreneur Brandon Johnson, founder and president of Boston Microfluidics, discusses the self-administered STD test he is working to bring to market. The easy to use device is designed to enable sexually active individuals to both learn and demonstrate their status, reducing sexual risk, and ensuring their and their partner’s safety.

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LISTEN (full-length interview)
DOWNLOAD from iTunes (as aired)
WATCH (on YouTube)

Forbes – Outfit All On-Duty Police With Video Cameras Now

29 Aug

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How to protect honest cops from false charges while outing bad ones

Who watches the watchmen? The question goes back at least as far as Plato and Socrates, who pondered the challenge of disciplining their proposed guardian class. They called their solution the Noble Lie, a foundation myth instilled in all citizens that the system was just and that corrupt guardians would bring down the wrath of the gods.

If the Ferguson fiasco taught us anything, it’s that the Noble Lie won’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to. Thanks to the inexorable march of Moore’s Law, we can now turn the watchman job over to digital video.  Low cost continuous recording devices provide a new answer to that ancient question.

So, who watches the watchmen now? All of us.

To read the rest of the column in Forbes click here.

Forbes – Please, FedEx, Fight Back Against Federal Extortion

25 Aug

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Don’t let rogue prosecutors further expand their protection racket

“Nice business ya got there. Pity if sumpin’ were to happen to it.”

Using fear and intimidation to extort money from legitimate businesses is a tried-and-true mafia tactic. But what happens when the federal government gets into this racket, demanding billions in “settlements” from an ever-expanding array of companies by threatening them with a corporate death sentence if they don’t knuckle under? We’re going to find out. Because this time, maybe they chose the wrong victim.

Tired of closing down state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries and seizing the property of their landlords, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Melinda Haag, an Obama appointee, is hunting for bigger game. Flush from shaking down Walmart, Johnson and Johnson, and UPS for tens of millions, she has indicted the FedEx Corporation on drug trafficking and “conspiracy to launder” money charges. The prize purse this time? $1.6 billion.

What did FedEx allegedly do? The company shipped prescription drug packages from Internet pharmacies that Haag doesn’t like. That’s the drug trafficking accusation. Then it accepted payment for their services. That’s the conspiracy to launder money.

But wait, isn’t it the job of the Drug Enforcement Agency to prosecute Internet pharmacies that flout the law? That’s what FedEx thought. How are package delivery services – or insurers, landlords, or even utilities for that matter – supposed to distinguish between legitimate online pharmacies and fly-by-night operators? Have “know your customer” laws imposed on banks now metastasized into the forced deputation of all businesses to root out and deny services to anyone the federal government doesn’t like? Between prosecutions like this and the infamous Operation Choke Point, it seems that way.

To read the rest of the column in Forbes click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – The Mess Bank Regulators Make

23 Aug

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Financial Crises and How Quickly We Forget

AUG 23, 2014

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Alex Pollock, former President and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses the cyclical nature of financial crises and how legislative solutions claiming to “fix the problem forever” only perpetuate the next crisis.

LISTEN (full-length interview)
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Are Americans Maxing Out?

AUG 23, 2014

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Todd Zywicki, law professor at George Mason University and co-author of the recently published Consumer Credit and The American Economy, discusses misconceptions about Americans’ overuse of credit and how regulations meant to guard against abuse by creditors hurt consumers.

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Forbes – Ban Kegs From Fraternity Parties? Require Them Instead!

19 Aug

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Let’s face facts – “just say no” efforts to curb underage binge drinking have failed.

Unintended consequences work in mysterious ways. Since graduating from college 38 years ago, I’ve watched politicians, college administrators, and various do-gooders try to control underage drinking. Yet all evidence, buttressed by direct personal observation, indicates that the harder authorities try to crack down on alcohol, the worse the problem becomes. As a new school year approaches, doesn’t it make sense to at least consider a different approach?

As with “safe sex” education that begins at a young age, we need to start conducting classes in “safe drinking.” This is not intended to condone, excuse, or promote reckless behavior any more than safe sex education is intended to promote wanton promiscuity. Rather, it is to acknowledge that many, if not most, college kids will drink no matter what their parents, instructors, or college administrators say or do. Given that immutable fact, wouldn’t it be better to arm them with the knowledge required to do it without hurting themselves or others?

Let’s start with the basics. Steer them towards beer. Making beer easily accessible might incline beginners to stay away from hard liquor, at least until they become a bit more experienced. Let me explain.

To read the rest of the column in Forbes, click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – Fighting Farm Folly Podcast

18 Aug

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Organic Biotech
AUG 16, 2014

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Pamela Ronald , University of California, Davis Professor of Plant Pathology and author of Tomorrow’s Table, talks about the many uses of genetic modifications of plants. Genetically modified foods today are saving lives in developing countries with vitamin enrichment, flood, and insect resistance—complementing, rather than replacing organic farming practices.

LISTEN (full-length interview)
DOWNLOAD (from iTunes as aired)
WATCH (on YouTube)

Saving the Farm, Fighting Red Tape
AUG 16, 2014

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Martha Boneta, an organic farmer from Paris, Virginia, tells how zoning regulators and local elected officials turned her idyllic dream into a long-running bureaucratic nightmare, after they shut her down for … throwing a birthday party for 10-year-olds. After more than a year in court, she’s emerged successful with the bipartisan Boneta Bill, which encourages sustainable small family farming, passing in both house of the Virginia legislature.

LISTEN (full-length interview)
DOWNLOAD (from iTunes as aired)
WATCH (on YouTube)

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