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News & Politics

The Freedom Report is a podcast that reports on news from a perspective of economic freedom and personal liberty.


Today's Freedom Report podcast breaks down the responses of the presidential candidates to the recent Supreme Court ruling over gay marriage. We also did an in depth analysis of Senator Rand Paul's response, which is of course of special interest to libertarians. Was his response adequate? Listen in and weigh in with your comments below. 

We also highlighted an interesting story from Reason Magazine in 2013, where a study was done which found that libertarians, unlike liberals or conservatives, aren't easily disgusted. Does this study explain why libertarians think differently from liberals and conservatives? Are the politics of puritanism in the past? All that and more, on this special episode of the Freedom Report podcast! 

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Today's episode of the Freedom Report podcast is our viewer mail edition, where we answer the best questions taken from our readers. From sex, drugs, marriage, abortion, advertising, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, hot dogs, the TPP, the TPA, Jack Hunter, and questions about the cosmos, this podcast has it all. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this special episode of the Freedom Report podcast, and don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!

We answered the following questions and more: 

Victoria Carla Nevarez Will you marry me?

Zaid Islam What are your views on abortion and why is it so?

Frank Saunders Are the Christian (or monotheist) libertarian and atheist libertarian truly allied and working for the same outcome?

Steven Snyder Is it me or is it the "Libertarian Party" is no longer the party of Ron Paul?I would get in discussions with people on the LP FB page and they came off as another wing of the Democrats.

Brian McGovern When will you be getting rid of the mobile redirect ads on the website. I don't visit much anymore, because it always takes forever to come back and find the article I'm trying to read.

Bill Arevalo Why don't you own a semi auto rifle? Do you hate freedom?!!!

Cory Soulier To how small of a degree do you think government should get? What's your cutoff?

Anthony Garrett Do you agree that Tom Hardy was a beast in Mad Max: Fury Road?

Nicole Bilous Is there anything big I can do to bring libertarianism to Canadian politics?

Steven Snyder Boxers or briefs?

Victoria Carla Nevarez Why are you hating on Ted Cruz so much? Is it because you hate freedom?

Robert Griffis When it comes to the ladies, do you prefer quality over quantity or vice-versa?

Della Sala Ohana How do you feel about transgender Fallon Fox fighting against women in MMA? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallon_Fox

Caroline Kozar Nordlund Why isn't there more media attention on TPA, TPP? Coincidence. ..or coverup?

Jason Stenack Would you be willing to find out how many federal laws there are on the books in the US as well as our rival countries to see where we actually stand in our level of freedom against them? Meaning, the more laws you have on the books the less free you are. Do you think that is even a good measurement of freedom? Furthermore, do you think we'd have more or less than say, Russia, China, or Iran? If we did have more than those countries or even a few countries what do you think that says about America still being the land of the free and do you think it would change people's perceptions any if that were the case? I often wonder this and suspect we have more laws than some of the countries we often chide as being anti-freedom.

Cliff Jones Can you provide an historical example of a limited government that has not grown uncontrollably?

Lily Sikes If you could remove any amendment from the constitution, what would you remove and why?

Will Stanton Austin, do you believe a Libertarian Foreign Policy is completely irrational or even undesirable given the current crisises overseas?

Joseph Vida Is there any connection between Jack Hunter changing course on the Confederate Flag and Rand Paul taking a similar stance.They have a very deep history together as friends.Some speculate Jack is doing things for political reasons,to help Rand.Actually my friend Blake made a comment on both of them that leaves me questioning the sincerity of Jack.Anyway,I enjoy your podcasts and look forward to seeing which questions you answer.

Andrew Mike I'm a new listener and reader, so maybe you answerd this question already but, were you always a Libratarian? If not, what were you prior?

Ian Overton Is Victoria Carla Nevarez really a white guy from Ohio with a roofing company?

Chuck Flurry In regards to the origins of the universe, we are faced with two choices: either 1) something came from nothing, or 2) something has always existed. Which do you believe?

Kimberly Ward Do you think erasing history by removing flags and statues is really going to make a difference with what's going on right now in our Country? Doesn't history teach us lessons? Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Jessica Dantin Sup?

Robert Lee Would you ever consider running for public office?

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Senator Rand Paul's bold flat tax proposal made waves when it was released this week, but Ted Cruz has supported a flat tax for some time. Why does Paul get all the credit, while Cruz is seen as the also-ran? 

Today's Freedom Report podcast dives into the upcoming summer budget battles which will pit grassroots conservatives against establishment Republicans. Cruz and Paul aren't likely to succeed in achieving significant cuts to the budget, but both have a chance to win the hearts of the grassroots by bucking the establishment of their party. 

Cruz and Paul agree on quite a few issues, but disagree on those where substantive policy reforms put set Rand Paul apart as distinct from Cruz. Paul's filibusters on drones and the NSA have made him a darling of the liberty movement, while Cruz has set himself as more traditional conservative. Will the grassroots be forced to pick sides against one another? And if so, would that mean eventual defeat for both coalitions if a challenger such as Jeb Bush continues to lead in the polls? 

Also, Cruz's recent flip-flop on the TPA trade deal has some conservatives and libertarians wondering if he's changing positions out of principle, or political expediency. The Texas senator was widely criticized by his base for initially supporting the TPA, but now calls it a "corrupt" deal. Will Cruz say or do anything to win the presidency? 

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President Obama spoke out against violence in the wake of the tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on Twitter. Obama said there was "no other advanced nation on Earth" that tolerated mass shootings. “When Australia had a mass killing – I think it was in Tasmania – about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking the entire country said ‘well we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.”

Australia banned automatic, semi-automatic, and pump action shotguns after a mass shooting in 1996, which saw 35 people killed and 23 wounded. Obama was not optimistic that he would be able to push similar measures in the United States. “I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress,” he said. “And I don’t foresee any real action until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change and we’re going to change it’.”

Obama followed up his statements with a tweet that read: "Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel."

President Obama's numbers come from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The data he used is old, however, coming from 2007. It's also not standardized, and another set of data from the World Health Organization shows slightly different results, albeit still the same trend in overview. 

But are utilitarian arguments against guns enough to justify the decimation of a principle? Today's Freedom Report podcast looks at the history of the 2nd Amendment in light of many of the quotes from the founding fathers on the subject, as well as an overview of the nuances of the law. 

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Defending Confederacy Opposite Interests and Ideology of Liberty

by Josh Guckert

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 10.59.57 AMEvery political movement must overcome obstacles in its infancy. As libertarian philosophy begins to take over significant portions of both the general public and Republican Party electorates, we must diligently ponder what messages we are sending. The way which we are interpreted, fairly or not, can be critical in determining just how successful our mission will be. For that reason, we must always be attentive in what we use and how we decide to exemplify libertarianism.

This examination is pressed into the forefront of our movement against the backdrop of the tragedy in Charleston. One evil man killed nine innocents. Meanwhile, on the grounds of the state's capitol building, the same Confederate battle-flag that he had featured on his license plate continues to fly.

While most Americans view this flag as a symbol of slavery and racism, some in the South believe it to be a marker of their "heritage," thus indicating the rebellious streak which the Confederacy had enlisted against the Union—supposedly in a similar fashion to the revolution which the American colonists had raised against the British Empire.

Though in the mainstream, the debate usually boils down to a matter of North against South, there has long been the same debate in libertarian circles. While there is a much higher degree of skepticism of President Lincoln and the Union's actions during the war within our movement as a whole, some go as far as to side with the Confederacy, thereby praising it as the "right side" of the war effort. These libertarians claim that the Southern states were only exercising their Constitutional rights to secede and that Lincoln was not concerned with the moral dilemma of slavery, only preserving the Union.

This seemingly odd pairing appears to stem out of the natural contrarian streak within the liberty movement. However, we should do our best to dissociate libertarians from anything relating to the Confederacy. In short, not only is the Confederacy an example of a country founded upon the most un-libertarian of institutions (slavery), its meaning and symbols do nothing to advance our causes and principles, and make our foreign and novel ideas seem all the more outlandish to ordinary men and women who we need to recruit to become a major political force.

Perhaps because it is the cause of the Civil War which is predominantly taught in schools, some libertarians refuse to acknowledge that slavery was the main reason behind the South's secession. If there were any doubt, as Cato Institute Fellow Jason Kuznicki points out, those Southern states who actually gave their reasons for secession (GeorgiaMississippiSouth Carolina and Texas) explicitly referenced the purpose of preserving slavery. Furthermore, any attempt to latch onto "states' rights" fails in that the South had historically used federal power to preserve and expand the wicked institution of involuntary servitude.

Most interesting of all is that the Civil War seemed to be fought by the Confederacy in the same manner which many libertarians (appropriately) critique modern American foreign policy: the wealthy and well-connected chose to fight a war to preserve their economic interests, enlisting the poor and middle-class, all the while telling them that a false narrative of "patriotism" or "defense of freedom" was the reason for the war.

It is worth noting that the North was in fact guilty of anti-liberty transgressions before, during and after the war. However, this fact should not lead us to sympathize with the Southern cause. Simply because there are two sides in a conflict does not mean that we must choose to favor one; in fact, this choosing of the "lesser of two evils" is a narrative which many libertarians often warn against.

In conclusion, the Confederacy and its symbols belong in the past. Attempting to "re-educate" the public about a matter which was decided 150 years ago does our movement no good, and seeks only to minimize the efforts we are making to move our pro-liberty message forward. We should never honor a country which epitomizes coercion and bigotry, let alone within a political ideology which is based upon the principles of freedom and individuality.

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Racism, Guns, Drugs & Psychopaths

Charleston, SC - Dylann Roof is in custody after having been located by police in North Carolina. The nation mourns the death of 9 people, who were killed when Roof opened fire on the congregation at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Today's episode of the Freedom Report podcast takes a look at the potential motivations of Roof, including his ideology, family history, past behavior, and drug use. Roof was apprehended while one Suboxone, which is a pain medication given to people addicted to heroin. The drug has been linked to outbursts of aggression. He was also found to be carrying, LSD, meth, and cocaine. Were these powerful drugs the cause of the crimes, or just the stimulant needed for an already troubled brain on the edge?

We also look at Roof's racist history, and his association with the ideals of white, southern nationalists. Roof's proud bearing of the flag of the Confederacy casts a grim shadow on the white racists of the deep south. Today's show looks at the problems of white racism, and asks whether the rise of neoconfederate sympathizers is stirring up hostility against blacks in America. 

And what about the gun question? President Obama immediately blamed the shooting on the ease of access of guns in America, saying that they don't have these kinds of mass killings in other countries. But is that really the case? Today's episode fact checks Obama's claims, and discusses what the real issue is when it comes to gun crimes in America, and around the world.

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Rachel Dolezal's outing as a white person pretending to be black has some comparing her story to Caitlyn Jenner. Is there such a thing as transracial? Today's Freedom Report podcast looks at the comparisons between those claiming to be transgender, and those who are transracial. Are the two stories similar, or are they worlds apart? 

Dolezal's story differs significantly from Jenner's, in that one is accused of lying and being deceitful, while the other simply prefers to live a different lifestyle without receiving any special benefits for doing so. Jenner may not be a woman when defined by genetics, but her transition requires nothing of the greater public in terms of public services. Dolezal however, received a full ride to Howard University while identifying as black, as well as laid claim to minority victim status while stating that she was the victim of hate crimes of dubious merit. 

Tangentially related is the story of conservative author George F. Will, who was once pilloried by leftists after he wrote a column about how liberals are creating a culture of victimhood as a coveted victim status. "... when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate."

Doesn't the case of Rachel Dolezal perfectly embody that statement? After all, wasn't Rachel Dolezal's real transgression against black culture that she was not only entirely appropriating it, but that she was seeking out the "benefits" of being a "victim" while having not lived the life of despair which would supposedly justify special privileges being conferred? 

So, what does it take to make a woman? And can a white person be black if they choose? Subscribe to the Freedom Report on iTunes, and leave us a 5-star review!

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Today's episode of the Freedom Report podcast zeroes in on Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. During a speech at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the former Hewlett Packard CEO outlined her belief in free market solutions to problems women face in modern society. 

Fiorina's vision includes bold solutions such as offering over the counter access to birth control, which ironically Planned Parenthood opposes because it means women would have to pay for their own. Fiorina argues that expanding access in such a way allows the market to solve health problems while keeping costs low. “We have loads of data that support that when you put something over the counter, the costs plummet dramatically,” she said. “And so I really think this is a specious argument on the Democratic side. Frankly, I don’t understand why they’re not supporting over-the-counter birth control. I think it’s completely illogical.”

Much of Fiorina's focus has been on attacking Hillary Clinton, but she'll need to have a broader strategy if she wants to poll in higher digits so that she will qualify for the Republican presidential debates. Only the top 10 candidates in the polls will be included, and Fiorina suffers from a lack of name recognition that might deep six her candidacy before she can even get it off the ground. 

Libertarian listeners would do well to educate themselves about Fiorina, who's unorthodox positions on the War on Drugs have set her apart from the other candidates, save for perhaps Rand Paul and Rick Perry.

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Reddit bans 'Fat People Hate,' other subreddits under new anti-harassment policy

By: Ryan Carrillo

PODCAST - Subscribe on iTunes

Ellen Pao, CEO of Reddit, or Chairman Pao as some users on Reddit have taken to calling her, put her stamp on the popular website as many feared she would.

Yesterday Reddit began banning community forums known as subreddits in accordance with an anti-harassment policy adopted in May.

The following is the announcement that was posted yesterday.


You may have heard of Ellen Pao from her failed gender discrimination case against Venture Capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Pao alleged the firm denied her a promotion because of her gender but after 2 days of deliberation the jury dismissed the charges.

Some interesting information about Pao emerged from testimony and emails during the trial, however. Work emails revealed her to be a callous and resentful employee who bullied her colleagues. Strange that she now wants to police Reddit for bullies, or perhaps this is just her scratching her itch and taking it out on Reddit users she doesn't like?


The largest of the banned subreddits was /r/fatpeoplehate, which was the 13th most active community on the website.  The subreddit was a place where fat people and the fat acceptance movement were routinely mocked. That particular subreddit had over 150,000 people subscribed.

The banning of the forum didn't quite go as planned when users began flooding the entire site with fat people hatred and satire. This event has been dubbed, "The Fattening."

At the time of writing, the Reddit front page /r/all, which displays all the content on reddit, even subreddits you aren't subscribed to, has been inundated with posts about the outrage of /r/fatpeoplehate being banned. All the mods from that subreddit have been "shadowbanned" (shadowbanning is when reddit moderators secretly ban you, the site appears perfectly normal to the shadowbanned user but none of their activity, upvotes, comments, or posts show up to other users) along with every possible iteration of the fatpeoplehate name, fatpeoplehate 1-11, obesepeopledislike, etc.

The other four subreddits initially banned were /r/hamplanethatred (3071 subscribers), r/transfags (149), r/neofag (1239) and r/shitni**erssay (219).  While certainly offensive, users are claiming that some of those communities don't fit the criteria for banning that Reddit put out in its announcement.


Reddit is also apparently banning people posting pictures of Ellen Pao. 11 of the top 25 posts on /r/all are from a subreddit called /r/punchablefaces and they are all of Ellen Pao. Shockingly that subreddit continues to exist while other new and much smaller subreddits like /r/paoiskillingreddit have been banned.  9 of the top 25 are about the banning, the remaining spots are posts mocking the reddit admins as fat, accompanied by various pictures of land whales, hamplanets, and butter golems.

This is turning into a serious problem for Reddit with many users saying they are now going to move to a similar site called Voat. Others are claiming they will no longer advertise with Reddit or buy Reddit gold, and many users are asking people to install Adblock plus in an effort to dry up ad revenue for Reddit.

According to Breitbart:

There are early indications that the Reddit admins may have finally crossed the Rubicon on the road to alienating their user base. User activity on their main competitor, Voat.co had been rising steadily since social media censorship became an issue during the #GamerGate controversy, but in the past few hours their figures have skyrocketed.  At the time of writing, there are over 3,700 active users on Voat’s alternative to /r/fatpeoplehate —almost double its number of subscribers.

Reports on Reddit also confirm that Voat has been incredibly slow today, due to the massive influx of users to the site.

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, defended Reddit's move in a post on twitter saying, "When we are using the word “harass”, we’re not talking about “being annoying” or vote manipulation or anything, we’re talking about men and women whose lives are being affected and worry for their safety every day, because people from a certain community on reddit have decided to actually threaten them, online and off, every day."

Is that really the motivation behind this however? Reddit recently raised $50 million in funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and others. There's speculation that these moves are actually more about making Reddit more palatable to mainstream advertisers rather than the stated noble goals of creating a safe space for everyone. But as this Fortune.com article asks, is it possible for Reddit to become more business friendly without losing its soul? Judging from the mostly negative reaction, I doubt it.

The Reddit user base is notoriously anti-censorship and while it's still unclear if these moves will hurt Reddit more than help, I feel this may spell the beginning of the end of Reddit's internet dominance and moniker of 'The front page of the internet.'

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The Freedom Report podcast today interviews special guest Professor Edward Stringham, economics professor at Trinity College in Connecticut. Stringham's story from the NY Daily News looks at the numbers of citizens killed in police encounters and compares the data with countries around the world. 

From the NY Daily News: 

In the United States, the overall homicide rate is 5 per 100,000. That means out of any given 100,000 Americans, five will be victims and (ignoring for the moment, perpetrators of multiple homicide) five people will commit homicide.

But what is the rate at which police kill citizens? Although official statistics have historically been scant, we now know that police killed 1,100 Americans in 2014and 476 Americans in the first five months of 2015. Given that America has roughly 765,000 sworn police officers, that means the police-against-citizen kill rate is more than 145 per 100,000.

Let us put that into perspective. In most countries in Europe the national homicide rate is 1 per 100,000, so that means American police kill at 145 times the rate of the average European citizen. The two most violent countries in the world are Venezuela and Honduras with national homicide rates of 54 and 90 per 100,000. The U.S. government issues travel warnings stating: “The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that the level of crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high” and “violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive.” If you are not comfortable vacationing in those countries, it is little wonder why so many Americans are uncomfortable with police who kill at more than 1.5 and 2.5 times the homicide rates of the two most violent countries.

So what conclusions should one draw from this and other data points? Professor Stringham believes that privatizing many of the duties of police forces might result in a reduction of overall violence. He points to cases such as North Carolina, where deputies are allowed to operate under a system that doesn't grant them the same immunity as public officials, thereby placing greater restrictions and responsibility on the individual officers. Is a free market in security the way to go? Tune in to our show, and subscribe to us on iTunes. 

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