Podcasts I Listen To These Days

I spend a lot of time walking and commuting by bus, and for much of that time I’m listening to podcasts.

Here’s the list of my current podcast subscriptions (the links below are to the RSS feeds that you can use to subscribe to the podcasts):

I don’t have time for many more, but if you think I’m missing an
important one, let me know.

Never Trump

It should go without saying that I don’t believe that Donald Trump is
fit (intellectually, temperamentally, philosophically, etc.) to be the
President of the United States.

After his victory in the Indiana primary it seems to be a near-certainty that he’ll be the Republican nominee, and I hope he loses.

I don’t have much hope that Republican delegates will have the courage to implement Ilya Somin’s suggestion to block Trump from the Convention Rules Committee.

So, I’m resigned to endure an election with Trump as a candidate, and still hold out hope that the American people will be bright enough to reject him in the general election.

And, another potential bright spot is that perhaps there will be many people who reject Trump, but can’t bring themselves to support Hillary Clinton, and will throw their attention and support to the Libertarian candidate (probably Gary Johnson), and help sow the seeds for future progress towards individual liberty.

A man can dream.

Reacting To Terrorist Attacks

There have been numerous terrorist attacks in Paris today. I, of course, condemn these acts, feel sorry for the victims and their friends and families, and hope that any individuals and organizations that are responsible and/or plotting further attacks are disrupted and prevented from doing any more damage.

That said, I thought I’d repost a comment I just made on facebook:

I agree that it’s a really bad thing[…]. But, I wish people would try to maintain perspective. Lots more people die in traffic accidents than from terrorists. But, the world doesn’t stop and pray for everybody on the road every day.

I understand that we’re wired to care a lot more when there’s an intentional harm than an accidental one; but we can also use our analytical minds, rather than instinctive emotions, and remember how, relatively, small a problem it is, and how unlikely it is to affect the average person. I’m afraid that these things often lead to stupid over-reactions and bad policies that make us much worse off. And, international attention encourages more people to commit these acts. So, even if you do have an over sized concern about terrorism, you should *still* hope for a restrained reaction.

I don’t expect human behavior to change immediately, but maybe we can nudge it a bit towards progress.

By The People

I just finished reading Charles Murray’s By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.

I enjoyed it a lot.

Even if you don’t accept Murray’s proposal (that massive civil-disobediance in the form of defense funds to challenge and compensate for violations of egregious regulations is the best way to undo the worst aspects of the runaway regulatory state), you’ll still learn a lot about the legal and political history that led us here, and the scope of the challenges.

I’m not sure I agree entirely with Murray, either, but he makes a good case and provides a lot of great information and explanations along the way.

People who are interested in the topic should definitely check out this work.

Hooray Sunset

Tonight some (a small percentage) of the USA Patriot Act was allowed to expire, including the infamous Section 215 which was used (apparently illegally) by the NSA for legal authority for the bulk collection of all telephone metadata of Americans.

This was an outrage, and I’m at least happy about the symbolism of it expiring, and grateful to Rand Paul for his efforts to make that happen.

I had been under the impression that the alternative USA Freedom Act was not a good compromise act (very little actual reform, and further entrenching some of the problematic aspects of the Patriot Act) and I was happy that it didn’t pass unamended by the Senate tonight either (it had already passed the House).

But, Julian Sanchez, who is pretty much the expert on all of this, thinks that it probably would have been better if it had passed than what we’re likely to get otherwise.

I’m hoping that there will be enough popular support for the privacy of innocent citizens, and enough people watching and caring about that and able to resist the cries that respecting the Fourth Amendment makes us unsafe, that what will happen next will be better than the original USA Freedom Act, and that we’ll get actual reform.

It’s hard to say, but I’ll let myself be happy about the current “victory” and hopeful that the momentum will lead to further encouraging results.