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)

RealClear Radio Hour – The Imperial Presidency Podcast

4 Aug

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Obamacare and the Imperial Presidency

AUG 2, 2014

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Sam Kazman, General Counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, highlights the two recent circuit court decisions in Obamacare cases regarding the insurance exchange subsidies. He discusses implications of the conflicting rulings and the possibility of the Supreme Court’s involvement in deciding the fate of Obamacare.

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

The Unintended Imperial Presidency

AUG 2, 2014

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Frank Buckley, author of The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America, discusses numerous virtues of the parliamentary system and how the Founders intended Congress to more closely reflect that system. However, instead of the legislative as the dominant branch of government, increasing executive overreach seems to be the pattern of recent presidencies.

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

RealClear Radio Hour – Film Freedom Podcast

27 Jul

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Startup Success
JUL 26, 2014

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John Papola, CEO of Emergent Order, producer of the acclaimed “Keynes vs. Hayek” rap videos, and creator of the anti-corporate welfare Web cartoon series “The Kronies,” discusses his journey from cable programming at Spike TV to independent filmmaking and how he has integrated his passion for economics into film with success.

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

Narrative and Impact
JUL 26, 2014

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Michael Pack, President of Manifold Productions and a former Senior Vice President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, discusses the power of narrative and relates examples from his latest films, including the launch of the Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, and how George Washington’s charisma helped define his presidency and his impact on our new nation.

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

Forbes – Flood of Syrian Refugees Strains Lebanon’s Fragile Political Consensus

21 Jul

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Can Lebanon’s “Consociative” Democracy Hold?

Dateline, Beirut. Well, sort of.  I’m actually just back from two weeks in what should be the tourism capital of the Mediterranean. A luminous gem, Lebanon lies in the eye of a hurricane, calm for the moment but never far from trouble. The story of how a country of 4 million citizens comprising 18 officially recognized religious groupings have managed to recover from 15 years of civil war is an inspiring one. But when such a nation is deluged by a million hungry, frightened refugees, one has to wonder how long it will be before something gives way.

The complexity of Lebanon’s political situation boggles the Western mind. While there, I had the opportunity to interview and learn from two Lebanese government officials, Member of Parliament Ghassan Moukheiber and Minister of Economy and Trade Dr. Alain Hakim. (You can listen to their interviews on RealClear Radio Hour here.)

Lebanon is a land with a long and deep history whose people have accumulated more experience dealing with invaders than perhaps any other. We spent a night in Byblos, a city first settled circa 8000 B.C. that vies with Damascus and Cairo for the claim of being the oldest continuously occupied city in the world. The Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hellenes, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Ottomans, and French have all left their mark there, in layers of ruins exposed by archeologists for all to see.

The civilizations that passed through left not just physical marks, but cultural and religious ones as well. The result is a complex mosaic society that today struggles to operate the only secular democracy in the Arab world. Ghassan Moukheiber probably put it best when he said, “When you think that you understand Lebanon this means that it was very badly explained to you.”

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

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