The Libertarian Podcast: Indiana, Discrimination, and Religious Liberty

 

This week on The Libertarian podcast, Professor Epstein takes on the controversy over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Is it a vital protection for religious liberty? Is it an overbroad statute that needlessly opens the door to discrimination? Exactly how far should government be able to go in forcing individuals to interact with others against their will? And what are the limits to religious exemptions to broadly applicable laws? Those are just a few of the topics that we cover in this week’s episode. Listen in below or subscribe to The Libertarian via iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

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  In my youth I existed in a dichotomy.  My earlier years were in a city far away from the country I reside in now.  I was American in name only having an absentee father from the hills of Appalachia who fought in Asian wars and stood guard in a German outpost.  My mother being […]

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The Debate Behind the Debate

 

The debate over Indiana’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has already taken some curious twists and turns. The initial response from opponents was to go to the playbook that has been so wildly successful over the past five years: label the law as “hate,” condemn its proponents, and invent wild scenarios that conjure Nazi-esque horrors.

RFRAMapExcept something was different this time. The law’s critics — probably overconfident because of their long winning streak — got a little sloppy. Their blanket condemnations were met on this occasion by some defiant, salient points from the other side. Namely, that numerous other states and the federal government have had similar laws for years, and, yet, somehow, those jurisdictions have avoided the descent into Jim-Crow-esque regimes promised as a certainty by opponents.

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On last week’s Need to Know, Mona Charen hit on the perfect description of Obama’s presidency: Comprehensively Awful. This editorial in the Observer captures the comprehensive awfulness of his foreign policy: http://observer.com/2015/03/president-obama-must-not-complete-a-disastrous-deal-with-iran/ Preview Open

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Patton Oswalt, outspoken liberal stand-up comic who came to prominence through hackey “Bush is Dumb” jokes, yesterday tweeted a series of 53 tweets with tongue firmly in cheek aimed at the Political Correctness Police. It’s a fun read demonstrating just how much the Social Justice Worriers of the world will deconstruct any statement and really […]

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Did you see the new thread on the new HBO movie about Scientology?–You have to take a moment to appreciate the American obsession with facts: One calls one’s own speeches a documentary, while pointedly noting that everyone who disagrees with one is doing propaganda…–I’m not sure whether all this talk about this secretive cult is fascinating, in the […]

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Senik – The Speechinator! (Flyover 31)

 

This week, Terry and Ryan are joined by a Ricochet superstar, one Mr. Troy Senik. Climb along with us on his rise to the top, from the White House all the way to a seat between Epstein and Yoo. All the Senik questions you never thought anyone would ask … right here, on Ricochet’s only* podcast worth hearing: Flyover Country.

* Allegedly.

The Last Jew in Pakistan

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.38.50 PMMeet Fishel Benkhald. My wife and I met him over Twitter late last year, and, because I am also a Jew, I was very interested in his story. We have become “friends” through social media.

Fishel lives in Karachi, Pakistan, and is considered to be the last Jewish citizen in Pakistan, a country of 187 million people. He has made it his mission to be a voice for Pakistani minorities. Over Twitter direct message, he told me (all quotes unedited, to preserve his spelling and grammar):

Yes I tweet&speak with people in support of Christians,Hindus,and muslim minority of Ahmadia&Shia muslims.

Has Anyone Else Had it With the Internet?

 

I can’t even ask this question without using the Internet, because it’s now the only way human beings communicate. So I’m trapped by a technology that I growingly suspect was a terrible mistake. Don’t you suspect that, deep down? That the Internet is not making things better? That it is, in fact, a massive problem? Culturally, politically, and in every human way, really?

And what is provoking this Luddite vituperation, Claire? Well, many things. The most recent annoyance: My Twitter account was hacked. I’ve recovered control of it–I think–but I’m now following more than 1,000 Spanish-language accounts dedicated to the art of sexting. I did not want to encounter 1,000 human beings who spend their time providing this service to the world. I don’t want to spend a day figuring out how to fix this. Is Twitter worth it to me? No one who follows certain political issues closely can say, “No, bag Twitter.” I’d have to give up the idea of supporting myself in what are supposed to be my fields of expertise. Journalists can’t quit Twitter.