June 15th, 2014

Sheldon Richman on American Empire


American critics of U.S. foreign policy (as well as some neoconservative supporters) often refer to the United States as an empire. This is not an emotional outburst but a substantive description of the national government’s role in the world. But what exactly is an empire? This question is all the more relevant today with Iraq being consumed by sectarian violence and calls for renewed U.S. intervention here growing increasingly louder, writes Sheldon Richman. We’re told that American empire is unique because it is dedicated to freedom and peace, but this claim cannot withstand scrutiny. And even if this claim were granted, argues Richman, the case for empire would be self-defeating because its price is bankruptcy.

View this article.

Ralph Nader Q&A: How Progressives and Libertarians Are Taking on Crony Capitalism and Corrupt De


"Ralph Nader Q&A: How Progressives and Libertarians Are Taking on Crony Capitalism and Corrupt Dems and Reps," is an interview by Nick Gillespie and produced by Josh Swain. About one hour.

Original release date was June 11, 2014 and orginal writeup is below. Follow link below for transcript.

"The total support of the military-industrial complex and empire by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is staggering," Ralph Nader tells Reason TV. And don't get him started on the 2000 election.

"Everybody has an equal right to run for election. We're either all spoilers of one another, trying to get votes from one another or none of us are spoilers. We’re not second-class citizens because we’re a Green Party candidate or a Libertarian candidate....The brass of these two parties is they control the election machinery so they keep you off the ballot, harass you, file a lawsuit, delay you, exhaust you."

Nader's latest book is Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.

The longtime consumer activist, recidivist presidential candidate, and several-time host of Saturday Night Live talks with Nick Gillespie about what he sees as a new libertarian-progressive attack on crony capitalism, whether GM cars were ever any damn good, and why the Democrats still wrongly insist that he cost Al Gore the 2000 presidential election. Oh yeah, and that article of his Reason published in the early 1970s.

It's a wide-ranging, spirited, fun, and at times contentious conversation.

About an hour long. Produced by Joshua Swain.

View this article.

Paul Detrick on Government vs. the Juggalos


The term Juggalos refers to the devoted followers of the Insane Clown Posse, a rap duo hailing from Detroit, Michigan, known for its horror-themed lyrics and hits like "Miracles," "Rainbows N' Stuff," and "Down With the Clown." The group's super fans spawned a full-fledged cultural identity that's on display at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, a drug-addled three-day festival held in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, featuring carnival rides, nudity, wet T-shirt contests, wrestling matches, and a lot of Faygo, the inexpensive soda favored by the group.

Federal law enforcement officials have a different take. The U.S. Department of Justice classified the Juggalos as a "hybrid gang" in its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, accusing the group of "criminal activity" and "violence." In the years since, they've often been subject to routine stops, detainment, and interrogation by local police, who use the DOJ's assessment as guidance for how to understand the group.

But as Paul Detrick reports, now the Juggalos are fighting back. In January 2014, the Insane Clown Posse along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the federal government over its classification.

View this article.

3 Reasons Eric Cantor Lost - And Why Republicans Will Continue to Lose


"3 Reasons Eric Cantor Lost - And Why Republicans Will Continue to Lose," written by Nick Gillespie and produced by Josh Swain.

Original release date was June 12, 2014 and orginal writeup is below:

For more on this topic and links to all the facts and figures below, go here and here.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss isn’t just historic, it illustrates why the Republican Party is in big trouble if it doesn’t get serious about its legislative agenda.

Here are three reasons Eric Cantor lost—and why Republicans will continue to lose unless they change their wicked wicked ways.

1. The Party of Big Government

Despite rhetoric in favor of small and limited government, George W. Bush and the Republicans increased spending by more than 50 percent in inflation-adjusted terms and spending on regulations by even more than that. Cantor, who took office in 2001, voted for No Child Left Behind, Medicare expansion, the creation of the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, Troubled Assets Relief Program, and the auto bailouts. None of that reflects fiscal responsibility.

2. The Party of Intolerance

With a few exceptions, the Republican party is opposed to marriage equality and pot legalization, both of which are supported by large and growing majorities. Despite attempts to paint him as soft on immigration, Cantor wanted a militarized border with Mexico and had a 100 percent rating from a leading anti-immigration group. Sixty-four percent of Republicans—and even higher percentages of independents—support immigration reform.

3. The Party of the Status Quo

As Majority Leader, Cantor pushed a GOP budget plan that would grow annual spending from $3.7 trillion to $5 trillion over the next decade. He supported increasing military spending and a hawkish foreign policy. He pushed crony-capitalist institutions like the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes purchases of U.S. goods and services.

Cantor stood for a status quo that Americans find increasingly intolerable. He lost because he personified all that is bad and hypocritical about the Republican Party. And until the GOP demonstrates it is serious about limiting the size, scope, and spending of government, they will keep losing elections.

About 2 minutes.

Written by Nick Gillespie. Produced by Joshua Swain.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to receive notifications when new material goes live.

For more on Cantor's loss and links to all the facts and figures mentioned above, go here and here.

View this article.

Sons of Wichita: Q&A with Daniel Schulman About His Koch Brothers' Biography


"Sons of Wichita: Q&A with Daniel Schulman About His Koch Brothers' Biography," is an interview by Nick Gillespie and produced by Josh Swain. About 14:46.

Original release date was June 6, 2014 and original writeup is below:

President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have called them out by name. On the broadly defined left, they are accused of controlling every aspect of the country's politics and business climate. They have been lampooned in bad movies and worse songs.

They are David and Charles Koch, the libertarian-leaning billionaires who are the subject of the new book Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty, by Daniel Schulman.

"I think the one misconception that people have about [the Kochs] is that they are merely out there to line their pockets," says Schulman, a senior editor at Mother Jones.

In an account that is even-handed and well-researched (though far from uncritical), Schulman charts the brothers' central role in creating the modern libertarian movement and their principled opposition to subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare. He also details their criticism of conservative stances regarding many lifestyle issues and interventionist foreign policy. (Disclosure: David Koch is a trustee of the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.)

Schulman sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to talk about Sons of Wichita, misconceptions about the Koch brothers, and whether American politics is gearing up for a showdown between the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in 2016.

Cameras by Todd Krainin and Joshua Swain. Edited by Swain.

About 15 minutes.

Subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new videos go live.

Scroll down for HD, Flash, MP4, and MP3 versions.

For a fuller discussion of the Koch brothers' role in libertarianism and contemporary politics, read Gillespie's "Libertarianism 3.0: Koch and a Smile."

View this article.