Category: Libertarianism

WTF Is Happening To My State?

This is a weird time in politics. Both of the major parties are being swept by their extremes, and its turning politics less about solving issues and more about performance art with state-sanctioned violence.

Case in point, the Florida legislature rescinded Disney’s special district. Over at National Review, Charles Cooke does a masterful job of explaining why that’s a bad idea.

Those who have defended the move argue that sticking it to Disney in this matter demonstrates that the Republican Party is willing to “fight” and will thus represent a victory for conservatism. But this is silly. Admirably, Governor DeSantis has already fought Disney, and he has already won. The policy about which Disney chose stupidly to complain is now Florida law. It passed both houses of the state legislature; it was signed by DeSantis, who had been correctly defiant in the face of Disney’s gripes; and it enjoys the support of broad majorities of Floridians. There is no need for the Republican Party of Florida to salt the earth here; it has prevailed in every particular.

Just as DeSantis is using his position as governor to prepare for a run for the White House, we have Nikki Fried suing over marijuana users being prohibited from possessing firearms. While I personally agree with this move, I do not believe for a second that Fried is doing this out of personal conviction. Other than the personal conviction that she doesn’t want to be a felon for holding both a medical marijuana card and a concealed weapons license. Considering all the money she’s taken from gun control groups, as well as all the clusterfucks she’s thrown into the CCW system.

More Reason Links

A trio of recent Reason articles for you today.

First, an article from the Volokh Conspiracy on two policies Zelensky enacted that should be repealed. Plus, there’s the whole criminalizing other political parties.

Second, a semi-secret organization spying on Americans- the post office.

Lastly, an article on the failure of gun control studies. Not just that they failed to show gun control works, but that the vast majority were just badly done studies.

Friday Quote – Grant Phillips

For socialism to “function,” labor is confiscated from the worker under the guise of the common good. Socialism prohibits workers from defining and pursuing their individual good because their labor is required to provide a state-defined common good. Thus, even if an individual worker values a good differently than state-decree, his labor is still confiscated to provide the common good which he does not desire. That is exploitation.

Friday Quote – Sir Roger Scruton

It is not the truth of Marxism that explains the willingness of intellectuals to believe it, but the power that it confers on the intellectuals, in their attempts to control the world. And since…it is futile to reason someone out of a thing that he was not reasoned into, we can conclude that Marxism owes its remarkable power to survive every criticism to the fact that it is not a truth-directed but a power-directed system of thought.

Broken Education

I was listening to the Unregistered podcast, and Corey DeAngelis was being interviewed. If you don’t know, DeAngelis is one of the leading advocates of school choice. The interview brought up all the problems I have with how we do grade school education in the country. How badly we serve some of our children with how inefficiently we use tax dollars in government schools.

Yes, I will admit in “Derek’s Grand View,” all education would be privatized. I don’t think the government has the correct incentives to run modern education systems appropriately. Particularly when we look at how they have responded in the last two years with the pandemic. However, that’s not the world we actually live in. There is a national interest in ensuring a minimally educated populace, plus we have built our economic structures on government run daycare that will provide some education. Some schools do provide great education, while others are little more than holding pens for children.

So, what can we do? My option for continuing with government schools is “backpack funding” of schools. Essentially, the dollars follow the students. To get the most out of this will require letting the students go to any school within the district, regardless of where they currently live. It will also require allowing the school leadership make hiring/firing/payroll decisions as well as setting local school policies and goals. This would allow for schools to cater to the parents to attract students. Will there still be holding pen schools? Probably. Malfeasance and corruption happen everywhere, but I think there will at least be more accountability in this method. I also think this would help reward high performing teachers and innovative education models.

Quick Couple of Links

Following a pretty significant backlash, the IRS has abandoned plans to use third-party facial recognition.

Reason takes on Biden’s gun control lies. And you have to love this from the opening paragraph: President Joe Biden so frequently and willfully tells lies about firearms that, if he were a podcaster talking about anything other than guns, aging rockers would trip over their walkers in a rush to sever even the most tenuous ties to him.

State of the Podcasts – 2022

Previous posts:

State Of Podcasts 2018

State of Podcasts 2019

State of Podcasts 2020

State of Podcasts 2021

This is the fifth year I’ve reviewed which podcasts I listen to, how I listen to them, and when I listen to them. Part of it’s my own curiosity at how my podcast habits change. I’m also curious what others think about the same podcasts and which podcasts come and go.

I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. I prefer Overcast because the app deletes podcasts I’ve listened to, plus it has a smart speed feature which will speed up if it hears dead air. Generally, I listen to my podcasts at 2X speed.

Rather than try to fit podcasts into categories, I apply categories to the podcasts. Also, I try to listen to podcasts “with a shelf life” (i.e., current events) first.

Podcast Categories

Comedy – One of the central themes of the podcast is making me laugh

Debate – The podcast uses a formal debate format

Economics – Discusses economic theory and impacts

Entertainment – Main subject matter is an entertainment form or persons

Free Speech – Discussing the current issues and assaults on free speech culture and laws

Government – Discusses the review of government operations

Guns – Discussing gun hardware and associated technology and skills

History – Delving into history in general or one facet/era

Legal – Discussing legal cases and theories

Libertarianism – Discusses libertarian theory

Interview – Substantial episodes interviewing guests

Opposing Views – Hosts regularly espouse politics or theories that are substantially different to my own

Prepping – Discussing prepping gear, methods, and skills

Politics Of The Day (POTD) – Discussion of current political events

Right To Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) – Discusses issues around gun rights

Science – Discussing current science news and skepticism-related issues

Self-Defense – Discussing best practices for self-defense

True Crime – Podcast is a narrative/story of real crime events

War – Discusses issues surrounding armed conflicts

Writing Improvement – Helps me improve my writing

My podcasts as of February 2022:

Active Self Protection Podcast (Guns, Interview, RKBA, Self-Defense) – Mike Willever interviews people whose self-defense situations were shown on the ASP YouTube channel. This is good for discussion on self-defense incidents and the aftermath. The host has a segment afterwards where he discusses RKBA issues with Stephen Kurtowski of “The Reload Podcast.” I generally skip that part, because I listen to that podcast.

Advisory Opinions (Legal, POTD) – David French and Sarah Isgur discuss legal issues and theory on the politics of the day. With some pop culture on the side.

Alienating the Audience (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Interview) – Andrew Heaton brings on guests to discuss different aspects of various science-fiction properties.

Angry Planet (War, Interview, Opposing Views) – Formerly known as War College, this podcast is an interesting look at politics and military issues through interviews with specialists.

Assorted Calibers Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Entertainment, Interview, Self-Defense) – Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally surprisingly good. I’m also a patron, and listen to the Mag Dump round tables, Film Tracks, and Blooper Reels.

Blocked and Reported (Free Speech, POTD) – Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal discuss the various social media dust-ups with occasional interviews.

Bound By Oath (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute for Justice, this podcast focuses on specific issues. The current season is focusing on the myriad of protections and immunities public officials enjoy.

Bribe, Swindle, and Steal (Interview, True Crime, Opposing Views, Writing Improvement) – This one popped up when I was searching for podcasts on white-collar crime. It focuses on issues, challenges, and items that are of note for compliance officials.

Clockwise (Tech) – Two hosts and two guests discuss four tech topics in thirty minutes. Sometimes those topics on current tech news. Sometimes it’s just musing on tech and life. Generally enjoyable.

Daily Tech Headlines (Tech) – Good fast summary of the big tech stories.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (History, Writing Improvement)- Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. Unfortunately infrequent, which can be a bit daunting since he does multi-part stories. I highly recommend, when possible, going back and relistening to the previous parts before continuing onto the new one.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Addendum (History, Interview, Writing)- A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style.

The Dispatch Podcast (POTD, Interview) – The flagship podcast of The Dispatch network, the Wednesday show has the main hosts discussing the politics of the day, while the Friday show is an interview with a newsmaker, thought provoker, or just someone the hosts like.

Econtalk (Interview, Economics)- Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot on economics, and even more on some wildly different topics.

The Economist (POTD, Opposing Views)- I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds.

The Editors (POTD) – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. Part of my keeping an idea of the conservative side of the issues of the day.

FBI Retired Case File Review (Interview, True Crime, Writing Improvement) – A former FBI Special Agent and current author interviews retired FBI agents about the cases that had a unique impact on them.

The Fifth Column (POTD, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – This is an excellent roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. They also bring on guests who will disagree with them and have excellent discussions.

Free Thoughts (Interview, Libertarianism) – The hosts interview authors who promulgate new books that cover or intersect with libertarian issues and theories.

GAO Podcast (Interview, Government) – The Government Accountability Office discussed some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns (Guns, Tech, Entertainment, POTD, RKBA) – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff – with sometimes politics intruding.

GLoP Culture (POTD, Entertainment) –  The hosts muse on the POTD, and the entertainment industry.

Gun and Gear Review (Guns) – This is a good review podcast for new stuff in the gun world. I enjoy the reviews and the banter between the hosts.

Guns Guide To Liberals (RKBA) – This is a good podcast focusing on techniques to use when talking about guns and RKBA to those who don’t share our views. Not active, but would recommend going back and listening to the whole series.

Handgun Radio (Guns, Interview, Self-Defense) – Delving more into the history and technological aspects of guns – mostly handguns. Also, just fun musings on different aspects of guns. Sometimes they bring on interesting guests.

High Caliber History (Guns, History, Interview) – Logan Metesh interviews specialists on the history of guns, as well as lending his own vast expertise.

The History of WWII Podcast (History, Interview) – This one is going through WWII chronologically, with interview episodes interspersed.

Honestly (Free Speech, Interview, Opposing Views) – Bari Weiss’s podcast where she brings on guests to discuss areas where the mainstream narrative isn’t working.

The Incomparable Game Show (Comedy) – Rotating panels playing rotating series of ostensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving.

Kenn Blanchard Show (Guns, RKBA, Interview, Self-Defense) – After an almost year-long hiatus, Kenn Blanchard continues his musings on gun rights, the black community, and other issues. Yes, I have a fondness for Kenn’s podcast since I wrote the Zombie Strike segment for a few years.

Left, Right, & Center (POTD, Opposing Views) – This covers the week’s political events with a progressive, a conservative, and a host who’s a left-leaning centrist. Guests are brought on to provide additional commentary – who have been overwhelmingly on the left-side of the aisles.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen (POTD) – Charles Cooke and Kevin Williamson opine on the issues of the day and other things that amuse them.

Make No Law (Free Speech, History, Legal)- Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. Unfortunately infrequent.

Managing Uncertainty (Prepping, Writing Improvement) – This podcast is mainly focused on risk management from an organizational standpoint, but I find it’s useful as a prepping exercise as well.

The Michael Shermer Show (Interview, Science, Opposing Views) – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics.

Part of the Problem (POTD, Libertarianism)- Rabid anti-war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he veers over to the conspiracy theories.

The Political Orphanage (Interview) – Andrew Heaton interviews a variety of individuals to discuss issues. Not necessarily just the POTD.

Pop & Locke (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – This one looks at pop culture media (books, TV, movies) through the libertarian lens. Sometimes the panel goes a little more woke than I appreciate.

Popular Front (Interview, War, Opposing Views) – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare.

Power Problems (Interview, Libertarianism) – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs.

Quillette Podcast (Interviews, Free Speech) – Interviews and articles focusing in on free speech issues and cancel culture.

The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie (Interview, Liberatarianism) – Reason editor interviews a variety of guests. This would be an even better podcast if they had a different host.

The Reason Roundtable (POTD) – Four editors from Reason discuss the issues of the day.

The Remnant With Jonah Goldberg (Interview, POTD) – The Wednesday show is interviewing pundits, politicians, and others. The Friday show is Jonah musings.

Revolutions (History, Writing Improvement) – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution.

The Rewatchables – (Entertainment) Variety panel of guests discussing a movie that is considered highly rewatchable. Depending on what movie they’re reviewing, if it’s one I haven’t seen, I’ll delete it.

Self-Defense Gun Stories (Self-Defense) – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This is another I recommend to new shooters and those who are thinking about using a gun for self-defense.

Short Circuit (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is arguing. I put it under libertarian theory rather than politics because it discusses legal libertarian arguments rather than issues of the day.

Skeptics Guide to The Universe (Science, Opposing Views) – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism.

Skeptoid (Science) – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It takes a particular pseudo-science claim and investigates with a skeptical eye.

So To Speak (Free Speech, Interview) – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. The guests and legal theories put this more into theory although it sometimes delves into the issues of the day.

The SoHo Forum Debates (Debate, Economics, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – Oxford-rules debates on a variety of issues.

Tactical Tangents (Self-Defense, History, Writing Improvement) – I picked this one up originally because it has some excellent breakdowns of historical gunfights and mass shootings. It’s mostly geared to the professional, but the regular person can pick up some really good info.

Techmeme Ride Home (Tech) – This is a relatively short, but thorough examination of the big news in tech.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell (Interview, Libertarianism, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests he finds intriguing. Some are very interesting, some less so.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe (Entertainment, History, Writing Improvement) – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute.

The Weekly Reload Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Interview, Opposing Views) – The audio companion to The Reload newsletter. The host interviews a wide variety of pro-gun and anti-gun guests, or those who just have something to important to add to the world around guns.

White Collar Crime and Fraud Podcast (True Crime, Self-Defense, Writing Improvement) – This show discusses more of the theory behind scams and frauds, but also discusses actual cases.

Words & Numbers (Economics, Libertarianism, POTD, Interview) – An economist and a political scientist discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day.

Writer Dojo (Writing Improvement) – Larry Corriea and Steve Diamond discuss the business and techniques of writing.

IRS To Require Signing Up With Third Party ID Verification

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

From the CBS Article:

Starting this summer, taxpayers wanting to access their online accounts on IRS.gov will be required to take a selfie and verify their identity with ID.me.

The IRS says the move is necessary to protect taxpayers from potential identity theft, but privacy advocates say it’s invasive and point out that the company behind ID.me has a spotty record in verifying people’s identities.

So what will be required to sign up?

To sign up for an account, users need to provide an email address and a landline or mobile phone number, upload identity documents and take a selfie with a camera that will then scan the user’s face to verify their identity. If the application flags any issues with a taxpayer’s documents, the person will be asked to do a video chat or phone call with an ID.me representative.

According to the IRS spokesperson, I won’t need to do this to e-file my taxes, but…

…taxpayers will need to register with the new security system to see records of previous payments, see previous years’ transcripts or to access their Child Tax Credit portal.

So, here’s my thinking (not fully fleshed out). The IRS has a shitty track record on verifying taxpayers for fraudulent returns, but I don’t need to do all of this to file a return. The IRS is requiring the use of a private company to use public services, which grates my instincts. Yeah, I’m not being charged, but I didn’t decide on which company to use. I would have preferred a variety of acceptable verification sources rather than saying you will use Company we like. That just feels ripe for being forced to use the company with the best lobbying instead of the best product.

As for the privacy issues? In my book, it’s kinda of a wash. The feds haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory in protecting against data breaches any more than private companies.

Clearing Out the Old Browser Tabs

First a couple of older tabs I meant to share back in November.

From Politico, an opinion piece that the Dems should stop pushing gun control if they want a chance in 2022. You know, since all those new guns weren’t being bought up only by old white guys.

From Reason is an article on how a couple of recent court rulings show how the narrative that the opioid epidemic wasn’t caused by drug companies.

Now for some more recent ones:

This one was getting passed around by folks on Facebook who are instructors or do a lot of training classes. So, why am I sharing? Because I get asked about guns and self-defense a lot. It’s a good reminder that I need to meet that person at where they are.

This is a neat article about new information on the Clovis people.

Finally, Raylen Givens rides again!