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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)
DOWNLOAD from iTunes (as aired)
WATCH (on YouTube)

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.

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

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)

Forbes – Ron Paul’s Campus Legacy Catches Fire as Young Americans for Liberty Booms

11 Aug

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Cool libertarian kids eclipse the Cult of Obama on campus

Youthful rebellion takes many forms. But when was the last time you saw college kids turning out in large numbers calling for fiscal prudence, personal responsibility, and restoring the Constitution? Something is brewing on campus, and it’s not just beer.

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the sixth annual Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) convention in Arlington, Virginia, last week, just outside the nation’s capital. It was the group’s largest convention yet, with about 200 of the over 525 YAL campus chapters represented and attendees from all 50 states.  At first, it looked like many other student confabs—perhaps with less pink hair and fewer tattoos—but I noticed something different about these conferees. A fire burned in their bellies, the kind I haven’t seen since people of my generation marched against the Vietnam War.

So who lit their fuse? Would you believe … a septuagenarian obstetrician who “treats you like a grandson” and behaves with such deep authenticity that you “would never suspect he was a politician,” according to Jeff Frazee, who hosted the gathering. He should know. Jeff went from interning with Rep. Ron Paul to coordinating youth outreach for Paul’s presidential campaign to leading YAL today.

To read the rest of the column on Forbes.com click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – The Young Americans for Liberty Podcast

9 Aug

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From YALcon14—A Revolution of Ideas

AUG 9, 2014

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Jeff Frazee, founder of Young Americans for Liberty—the fastest growing political activist group on campus, talks about his introduction to libertarianism in college, his job and affinity for Ron Paul, and how he started YAL with little other than Dr. Paul’s endorsement.

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

From YALcon14—The New Enlightenment

AUG 9, 2014

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Jeffrey Tucker, Chief Liberty Officer of Liberty.me, talks with enthusiasm about the modern era—highlighting the digital revolution’s crypto-currencies, cloud communities, and access to knowledge.

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

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