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Executive Branch Overreach—Civil Forfeiture Abuse
Long Island family business owner and civil forfeiture victim Jeff Hirsch and his Institute for Justice attorney, Larry Salzman, discuss how the local police teamed up with the IRS to seize $447,000 from the Hirsch business bank account—without so much as charging Hirsch with a crime. Two years on, the police have yet to file charges or return the money. Salzman details the rampant abuse of civil forfeiture laws nationwide, including egregious instances of failure to follow due process in U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s district.
Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, discusses the evolution of the National Security Agency from a focus on foreign intelligence gathering to blanket spying on American citizens at home. Guliani argues that domestic surveillance has become far more intrusive than originally intended, and that the bipartisan issue of surveillance reform will continue to stay in the political fore with the new Congress and 2016 elections.
Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, who proudly dubs himself a “Seavangelist,” describes how floating communities would encourage governments to act more like companies rather than monopolies and treat citizens more like customers whose loyalty they must earn. Using the cruise industry as a model, Quirk predicts seasteading will become a reality for “aqua-preneurs” by the year 2020.
Robert Graboyes, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, likens regulatory policy of the IT and healthcare industries to a frontier and a fortress, respectively. Graboyes argues that the Food and Drug Administration’s slow-walk drug approval process creates an invisible graveyard of people who die waiting for new treatments. Instead, he proposes allowing greater innovation, as is common in IT, to create more effective, affordable care and treatment options.
Walter Williams, author, professor, free-market luminary, and the subject of the new PBS documentary Suffer No Fools waxes political on welfare, racism, labor laws, and the modern American spirit of rebellion.
Tom Bevan, co-founder and Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics, weighs in on the Midterm results and lays out predictions for the current lame duck session and looks ahead to the 2016 presidential contest.
Jay Richards, Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute and co-author of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot, discusses J.R.R. Tolkien’s political philosophy as the underlying backstory in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, from his discussions of just war and the nature of good and evil to the all seeing-eye and the symbolism of The Ring.
Rick Green, entrepreneur and Chairman of Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, argues that better government is smaller, and explains how he seeks to engage with both allies and opponents to promote that perspective. He also tells the story of MassFiscal, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization he founded to promote transparency on Beacon Hill through its Legislative Scorecard.
“Tear Down This Wall” and the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Peter Robinson, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and host of Uncommon Knowledge, tells how he became President Reagan’s speechwriter at 26, what inspired Reagan’s famous line at the Brandenburg Gate, and the behind-the-scenes controversy over those four words.
Resistance Movements and the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, recounts stories of the anti-Communist resistance movements throughout Eastern Europe that sustained peoples’ hopes through the dark days of the Cold War and contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Victor Bevine, author and renowned Audible narrator talks about his recently published historical novel, Certainty, detailing a sting operation—approved by Franklin Roosevelt when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy—targeting homosexuals in the Navy in the aftermath of the First World War.Bevine discusses his inspiration, the culture and assumptions about homosexuality contemporary to the sting, and why it’s a little known scandal.
Tom Palmer, executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and author and editor of Peace, Love, and Liberty, discusses how we have come to live in the most peaceful period in history. He describes how and why honor cultures of the past are being replaced by dignity cultures, characterized by self-restraint, driven by commerce, and undergirded by classical liberal ideas.
Lawson Bader, president of Competitive Enterprise Institute, weighs in on a broad range of issues, including the regulatory state’s impact on economic and civil liberties, the growth of democracy worldwide, and the highest grossing film of 1984.
Louis-Vincent Gave, founding partner and CEO of Gavekal Dragonomics, provides local perspective on Hong Kong’s past, present, and future and its people’s struggle to achieve economic, civil, and political freedoms.
Michael Miller, director of Poverty, Inc., PovertyCure, and Acton Media at the Acton Institute, recounts his inspiration for his soon to be released film. In Poverty, Inc.,he makes the case for rethinking long-held foreign aid models, and to consider instead policies that cultivate entrepreneurship and institutions that enable those in need to create their own prosperity.
Bill Thomas, whiskey maven and owner of Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Bourbon in Washington, D.C., gives a short history of whiskey in the United States, from the Whiskey Rebellions of Pennsylvania and Kentucky to Prohibition to today’s thriving single malt market. Thomas talks about the lifetime of a bottled whiskey (opened vs. unopened), the difference between Scotch, Bourbon, and rye, and how to experience the full flavor of a whiskey.
World renowned chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud talks about Bar Boulud in Boston, his newest opening. Chef Daniel discusses his cuisine inspiration from the French city of Lyon, how he financed his first restaurant in New York City, and how he and his Dinex management company have built multiple award-winning, chef-focused restaurants around the world.
Zoltan Kesz, president of the Free Market Foundation in Budapest, describes his mission to educate Hungarian youth. Hungarians are fleeing their country, as the new-fascist Jobbik party has gained seats in parliament and Prime Minister Viktor Orban seeks to build an “illiberal state.”
Dr. Barbara Kolm, president of the Friedrich A. Hayek Institute and director of the Austrian Economics Center, describes the Austrian philosophy at the heart of both her organizations and why Europe must heed Austrian principles to avoid fiscal collapse.
In this live radio interview (co-hosted with Boston’s Pioneer Institute), entrepreneur and Match Education CEO Stig Leschly discusses the political challenges facing education reformers. Match Education’s success with public charter schools, graduate teacher training, and Master’s Programs in Boston is broadening the conversation on systemic school reform.
Greg Lukianoff, President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, discusses his recent Broadside, Freedom From Speech, and how that most precious freedom is threatened by the modern “care” ethic, demands for free speech zones, and trigger warnings. Instead of tolerance and discourse, he argues, institutions of higher education are encouraging victimhood.
Eminent Domain—Despotic Power for the Public Good?
Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Bob McNamara describes one of the most astonishing eminent domain abuses in recent years, his case in Atlantic City, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority vs. Charlie Birnbaum. Despite the multi-billion dollar Revel Casino's recent bankruptcy, New Jersey's CRDA continues its suit to seize Birnbaum’s family home for a supposed public use that has yet to be decided.
New York Post columnist Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses her recent account of an ongoing feminist rift on questions of transgender discrimination, “Scenes from the feminist implosion.” Naomi voices her concern over academia’s growing intolerance of dissent on social issues.
Emily Ekins, polling director from the Reason Foundation, discusses the recent Reason-Rupe survey of millennials, ages 18-29. The poll’s findings demonstrate a politically unaffiliated—socially liberal, fiscally conservative—generation, in favor of business, distrustful of parties, and confused by outdated political terminology defined by various -isms.
Penn State Professor Fariborz Ghadar, author of Becoming American, dispels several modern myths about immigration and warns that without reform, U.S. immigration policy will drive the next generation of tech industries across the border.
Entrepreneur Brandon Johnson, founder and president of Boston Microfluidics, discusses the self-administered STD test he is working to bring to market. The easy to use device is designed to enable sexually active individuals to both learn and demonstrate their status, reducing sexual risk, and ensuring their and their partner’s safety.
The State Experiment in Recreational Marijuana Legalization
Rob Douglas, columnist with Steamboat Today, reports from Colorado on the situation since marijuana prohibition was repealed in January this year. With 15 years exploring and preparing for legalization, the transition to legalized recreational use has been exceedingly smooth thus far, encouraging those in favor of ending the national drug war.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Alain Hakim, Lebanon’s Minister of Economy and Trade, compares the country’s Palestinian refugee crisis of the 1960s and its lasting effects to its Syrian refugee population today and offers proposals for reform.
Ghassan Moukheiber, Lebanese Member of Parliament, describes Lebanon’s complex history of conflict and 15 years of evolving civil war. Considered a confederated pluralist democracy along confessional religious lines, Lebanon continues to struggle to balance its tradition of theocracy and secularist constitutional framework.
Bad Science—Increasing Retractions Mark Misconduct
Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the academic watchdog Retraction Watch, professor of medical journalism at New York University, and global editorial director of the medical news site MedPage Today, discusses the trend of increasing fraud, falsification, and plagiarism in the scientific community and the disincentives to retracting bad science reporting.
Tom Stossel, MD, Director of Translational Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine, talks about the artificial, government-driven divide between academics and the medical and drug industries, enforced by the threat of prosecutorial extortion and debarment.
Tom Leppert, former mayor of Dallas and CEO of Kaplan Inc., discusses Kaplan’s career colleges, how they serve largely at-risk communities, and their success rates with graduation and career placement compared to those of traditional institutions. Leppert discusses why proposed rules like the Department of Education’s gainful employment regulation unfairly target for-profit schools and will eliminate access to education for those in greatest need.
Bob Metcalfe, University of Texas at Austin Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise, provides his take on the classic success story of the Internet since its birth in 1969. Metcalfe discusses his contributions in founding 3Com and inventing the Ethernet, his enduring love of startups, and his commitment to help Austin surpass Silicon Valley.
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (“Kennedy”), host of The Independents on Fox Business and former Los Angeles radio disc jockey and MTV VJ, shares stories about her colorful media career, her out-of-sync politics, and journey of self-discovery.
John Tierney, longtime New York Times columnist, science writer, co-author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, and winner of the 2014 Julian L. Simon Memorial Award, discusses how his mentor, the prize’s famous humanist and namesake, inspired his career path to challenge the preachers of doom’s stranglehold on popular media.
Norwegian Air: Fighting Congress for Customers and Affordable Transatlantic Travel
Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Air, recounts how since he took over the near bankrupt airline, essentially by happenstance, two decades ago, and how the company has grown into a competitive global fleet carrier. Kjos, who prioritizes customers and efficiency, has proposed offering flights between the U.S. and Europe for under $500, but has been stalled by pushback from unions and Congress.
Uber: The New Transportation Technology Everybody Loves. . . Except Politicians
Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager for Uber East Coast, tells the ride sharing company’s story from its early days in 2010. She notes that while Uber’s transportation model has been met with overwhelming support from both customers and drivers, politicians continue to respond to the interests of outmoded taxi cartels.
Brink Lindsey, Vice President for Research at Cato Institute, comments on the prospect and viability of Ralph Nader’s recent push for a transpartisan coalition to combat crony capitalism. Lindsey finds the problem of unchecked power a strong unifying force and, while he points out some major differences, commends Nader’s efforts to fuse an outsider insurgency of progressives and libertarians.
Ralph Nader, former Presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate, discusses his new book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, in which he calls for progressives, conservatives, and libertarians to unite against what he perceives as a common enemy: Washington’s culture of rent-seeking. While continuing his push against corporate power, Nader finds existing points of agreement across the political spectrum.
On Reform—from Prohibition to Labor to Immigration
Linda Chavez, author, activist, columnist, radio talk show host, and founder of the Center for Equal Opportunity and the Becoming American Institute, discusses her storied career—including serving in the Reagan White House—and her experience with the changing political landscape, from labor unions to immigration.
Christina Hoff Sommers, former philosophy professor and host of the video blog, The Factual Feminist, recounts the rivalrous history of the feminist movement—from Mary Wollstonecraft’s egalitarian feminism and Hannah More’s maternal feminism to Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique and Phyllis Schlafly’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. She advocates for transcending those rivalries in favor of a modern coalition of forces.
On Innovation—Defending Innovation on the Political Battlefield
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), recounts some of the political and legal struggles over technology policy he’s fought during his 30-year career at CEA—from the “Magna Carta” decision affirming the legality of VCRs to today’s innovation wars over copyright, net neutrality, and spectrum allocation.
On Innovation—How Information Technology was Born Free and Why It Should Remain So
Adam Thierer, author of Permissionless Innovation, posits that America’s success in technological progress—and the best path forward—lies in allowing experimentation, rather than curtailing it for fear of risk, otherwise known as the Precautionary Principle.
Runaway Government—The Spectacle of Homeland Security’s Raid on Gibson Guitar
Henry Juszkiewicz, President of Gibson Guitar since 1986, discusses how he turned around the iconic guitar company and his response to the federal government’s surprise armed raid, nearly destroying Gibson’s business and landing him in jail on the pretext of alleged technical import violations.
Runaway Government—How Prosecutorial Overreach Runs Roughshod over Civil Liberties
Harvey Silverglate, Boston lawyer, activist, civil liberties advocate, and author of Three Felonies a Day, warns against the increase in federal criminal prosecutions and the risk of being railroaded into plea-bargained guilty pleas under vague and selectively enforced laws. (Photo by: Elsa Dorfman)
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes Magazine, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and author of the recently published book, TheSoft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success, discusses the consistent formula of skills, values, and culture practiced by successful companies.
Lenore Skenazy, dubbed “the world’s worst mom” and author of the book and website Free-Range Kids, discusses our culture’s obsession with risk, our tendency to “dangerize” everything, and the perils of overprotection.
Bob Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and “godfather” of the local investment and neighborhood empowerment movement, discusses why the War on Poverty has failed and which solutions to poverty actually work.
James Lacy, author of Taxifornia, hopes to encourage reform in his home state of California and other states in danger of bankruptcy due to unfunded public employee pension liabilities. Lacy attributes the ever rising tax burden to one-party rule enabled by union political donations.
A Comprehensive Look at the Hidden Tax of Regulation
Wayne Crews, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the recently released 21st edition of Ten Thousand Commandments, CEI’s annual snapshot of the federal regulatory state, discusses his latest findings on the cost of regulations, which are often unbudgeted and untracked.
Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, discusses his proposal for a Regulatory Improvement Commission, which was recently introduced in the Senate. Modeled on the old base closing commissions, it would annually comb the Code of Federal Regulations and propose rules for repeal.
Venture Capitalist and General Partner at Foundation Medical Partners Michael Greeley walks through the entrepreneurial fervor in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He cites both the growing popularity of American cultural exports and the prospects for salvaging the country’s health care market.
Esther Dyson, former chairman of ICANN among many other accomplishments, relays her thoughts about the effects of the U.S. relinquishing control of the Internet and lays out her latest project: HICCup, a community-cultivated wellness program.
One-Size-Fits-All Education—Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders for Community College
Jim Stergios, president of Boston’s Pioneer Institute, compares the high standards of Massachusetts’ charter schools with the proposed national Common Core standards. He also discusses how a compliance-focused regime has promoted Common Core despite its lack of legislative support.
The Power of Learning from Failure—An American Success Story
Megan McArdle, journalist and author of The Up Side of Down, explains how preparing for and learning and moving on from failure are not only instrumental in achieving success, but part of the American character. She illustrates with examples from George Washington and Mark Twain to Solyndra and GM.
Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, discusses his experiences growing up in Massachusetts and how it helped propel him to fight for lower taxes for all Americans, how citizens enforce his organization’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and what we can expect during the remainder of the Obama presidency.
Robert Reich, University of California, Berkeley Professor and former Secretary of Labor, discusses his experiences growing up and in college and makes the case against tax cuts, which he blames for greater income inequality—a problem he claims can be addressed through tax hikes on the rich.
Devout humanist, Catholic priest, and social justice advocate Father Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, discusses his personal philosophical journey and the commonalities binding together Western civilization, the Christian tradition, and modern economic policy.
Cato Institute health policy expert Michael Cannon discusses how—and why—Obamacare continues to metamorphose at the administration’s whim, and how the resulting inconsistencies led to one of the most important challenges to the law, Halbig v. Sebelius.
Marian Tupy, editor of HumanProgress.org and Senior Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, introduces this new website, which culls the best resources on development, health, and progress—and illustrates the massive improvements in our global economic, social, and cultural situation, despite the doomsayers’ drumbeat.
Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future: Human Achievement
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, recounts the long, flawed history of pessimistic predictions and invites us to examine the facts behind our inexorable march of progress. To illustrate, he describes how agriculture is supporting our growing population at an ever lower cost to the environment. As a result, human well-being and life expectancy are improving at rates previously unimaginable, notwithstanding man-made disasters like biofuel policy.
Sameer Al Ansari, a chartered accountant and former CFO for the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and one of the few Dubai immigrants to receive UAE citizenship, discusses the history and his experience with the development of the financial center in the desert.
Walid Daniel, Managing Director of SPAN-Group, a driving force in Dubai’s growth, discusses why he came to Dubai from Lebanon to start a warehouse services and management firm, recounting some of the many ways Dubai’s enlightened economic and regulatory policies have encouraged growth.
Private Company Enables Widespread Government Transparency
Zac Bookman, Co-founder and CEO of OpenGov, explains how his citizen-friendly web platform is making government budgets, tax, and spending data accessible online, and why politicians and municipal managers are taking to it eagerly.
Have we moved beyond consensus to embrace true media diversity?
Mike Gonzalez, vice president of communications for the Heritage Foundation and author of the study, “The New Contras: Understanding the Left's Grip On Media,” responds to recommendations, such as those in the Brookings study, to restore control of the media to editorial elites.
Breaking the Mold—A Practical Alternative to College
Isaac Morehouse, founder of Praxis, a recently launched educational program for entrepreneurial young adults, discusses his firm’s novel approach, which combines a real-world education working for a start-up with an intensive online curriculum that can either complement or be an alternative for college.
Education Entrepreneur is Remaking Education at All Levels
Jeff Sandefer, co-founder of Acton Academy, explains how his academy’s Socratic teaching methods are empowering students to take charge of their own education, giving them the tools to learn to do, learn to be, and learn to know.
New Economic Era Demands Response from Millennial Generation
Bentley University President Gloria Larson introduces the PreparedU project at Bentley University in Massachusetts, a program developed in response to the global economic crisis and the new challenges Millennials are facing.
Stephen Moore, formerly a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board joined the Heritage Foundation as Chief Economist last month. He talks about his hopes for effecting policy change in Washington and the issues he will be tackling in his new capacity.
Why Society Is Better Off Tolerating Rather than Prohibiting Offensive Speech
Jonathan Rauch, author of Kindly Inquisitors, a seminal work on free speech and a persuasive response to political correctness, discusses why a free and liberal society does well to encourage disagreement.
TigerDirect, the online computer giant, is the latest retailer to accept Bitcoin. Director of Corporate Marketing Steven Leeds tells how TigerDirect expects to reap the benefits of this leading edge exchange technology.
Michael Strong, a pioneer in education and learning, chief visionary officer of Freedom Lights Our World (FLOW), and Chairman of Elevator Cities Development, Inc., tells how the LEAP Zones (legal, economic, administrative and political jurisdictions) in Honduras will allow impoverished areas to turn themselves into thriving commercial communities.
Courting Citizen Satisfaction, Averting Municipal Bankruptcy
Oliver Porter, a principal at PPP Associates and author of The Contract City, discusses the latest revolution in municipal government. Hear how American states are adopting Contract Cities, a new way of doing government business that has seen successful in Georgia and Japan.
Jonathan Downey is the co-founder and CEO of Airware, a startup that develops platforms and operating systems for unmanned commercial aircraft. In this segment, he lays out an exciting future for drones well beyond military applications, as well as the prospects for US adoption of enabling regulations.
80 years later, still working to recover from Prohibition
Fellow in Consumer Policy Studies Michelle Minton talks about the alcohol industry's struggle to repeal far-outdated Prohibition era laws. The latest opportunity was proposed by Rep. Tobash (R, Pennsylvania) earlier this year, freeing brewers from lifetime distribution contracts and encouraging competition.
Bill Frezza is a 35-year veteran of the technology industry. After graduating from MIT with training in both science and engineering, Bill spent his early years at Bell Laboratories; he has since worked as a product manager, salesman, marketer, entrepreneur, consultant, technology evangelist, and venture capitalist. Bill holds seven patents and has been investing in early-stage tech startups for the last 16 years as a partner in a venture capital firm. He's been a columnist for publications such as RealClearMarkets.com, the Huffington Post and Bio-IT World and has appeared regularly on TV and radio outlets including CNBC, Fox Business and WBAL. Bill has been a frequent public speaker for over 20 years, complementing his experience in business and media. In 2011 Bill was a finalist for the Hoiles Prize for excellence in American journalism and in October 2013, Bill was awarded the twentieth Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship.
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