As the U.S. tires of military involvement in countries like Iraq and Syria, the vacuum of power left in our wake has created new opportunities for extreme groups like the Islamic State to seize local control. Some libertarians argue on principle that complete exit is the only solution, since prior mistakes by Western powers seem implicated in the current mess. But even if we leave, ISIS may not be content to leave the rest of the world alone. Islamic State radicals are strengthening existing strongholds in the Middle East, while expanding into North Africa and planning new ways to ignite conflict across the globe – a precursor to their stated goal of a world-wide Caliphate. To understand where the real threats lie, and the appropriate response by a weary Western world, Bob is joined by Anthony Alfidi, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, and Founder and CEO of Alfidi Capital. Alfidi served in Iraq, where he observed the preconditions to the current situation unfolding firsthand. Based on his experience and research, he believes the media is not accurately portraying the threat posed by ISIS. Regardless of your stance on U.S. foreign policy, you won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear the perspective of a military officer, rather than the usual talking heads.
When was the last time you heard of a “pioneering” new movement in the literal sense of settling unclaimed lands with hope of a better future? For generations, virtually all land has been claimed and controlled by existing governments, making such efforts difficult. Excepting parts of Antarctica, international waters, and a few other so-called “no-man’s-lands” speckling the globe, there is nowhere left for modern-day pioneers to endeavor. One unfortunate consequence of the “closing of the frontier” has been an end to new political experiments – the landscape of existing countries represents an oligopoly, with little competition from small “startup” countries. Vít Jedlička, however, took a magnifying glass to the atlas, and found a small (7 km sq.) unclaimed region between Serbia and Croatia. This historical accident of boundary drawing created a unique opportunity for Jedlicka, a Czech politician and libertarian activist, to build his dreamt-of Free Republic of Liberland. In April, Vit and his team officially launched the new country (timed to coincide with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday), and since then, Liberland has been steadily accumulating interest, diplomatic recognition, as well as tens of thousands of applications for citizenship. Find out what comes next in Vit’s vision and strategy to turn the tiny, thick-wooded gem on the Danube into the first thriving micro-nation of the 21st century.
"Welcome to Liberland: the World's Newest Country (Maybe)" NY Times Magazine, 8/11/15
Apply for Citizenship to Liberland
This Fourth of July, as we reflect on our country's origins, some may be tempted to look upon the Founding Fathers with a reverence otherwise reserved for saints or the founders of great religions. Past generations erected the “Washington” Monument in “Washington” D.C. to honor and symbolize the resoluteness of the man as both a leading general in the Revolutionary War and our nation's first President. Likewise, the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence – the rallying cry of the American Revolution – are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in honor of the man who penned them. However, these mythologies are incomplete according to Thomas Fleming, a historian and novelist who has picked apart the American Revolution from more than a few angles. His latest book, *The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation*, cuts through the typical "airbrushing" of historical founding figures to reveal the political treachery that truly characterized the era. Fleming joins Bob for a special Fourth (Fifth) of July episode.
John Dingell has served in the House of Representatives for almost 57 years. Charlie Rangel and Pete Stark weigh in at 41+ years. Not quite what the founders had in mind when they conceived of a citizen legislature. Thomas Jefferson strongly favored term limits for our elected officials. Do you? Why not allow voters to pick who they want, even if they want to re-elect the same person over and over . . . and over? Isn’t that democracy? This is a hard issue which transcends party lines and political philosophy. Phil Blumel, President of US Term Limits, knows the answer. He advocates for term limits for all federal and state office holders and fears the worst if we don’t get it. In this episode, Phil and Bob discuss this difficult but important issue. Bob hasn’t made up his mind on this. Will Phil convince him? Will he convince you?
The current budget/deficit/spending fight among the President, the House and the Senate is setting the stage for the election of 2012. The Jefferson/Adams election contest of 1800 affected the size and reach of the federal government. 2012 will be a rerun, but the stakes are even higher. What is the current battle really all about? Money? Yes, but only to a point. Please join Bob Zadek and Libertarian economics professor and prolific blogger, as well as frequent media guest Don Boudreaux in this episode, when the answer to the key question is demystified. “Do we look to Modern Europe Government for guidance, or to the Enlightenment? Sarkozy or Locke?”
Thomas Jefferson valued higher education; perhaps more than any other Founding Father. He envisioned a University system where students and faculty would explore ideas in a bastion of free expression. That did not turn out to be the case. Our colleges censor speech and have become citadels of political correctness. Saying something which offends another student or speaking an unpopular thought will get you thrown out. Disagreeing with your professor is likely to earn you an “F.” Think I’ve overstated the case? Harvey Silverglate, Co-founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education joins Bob to talk about the the ugly truth of “higher” education. The good news is that at the end of our show you’ll feel justified to stop payment on your alumni contributions. Let’s reclaim our colleges and remove the shackles on free speech which they impose.
In this episode, Bob interviewed our first president, George Washington. Well, not quite. But close. With great pride and excitement, we welcomed Thomas Fleming, one of our nation’s leading historians, biographer of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin, past President of the Society of American Historians and author of the popular blog “Channeling George Washington”, to our show. Bob and Tom discussed money and politics, then and now. What did the Founders intend to be the relationship between the two? Is money a political pollutant, or its lifeblood? Tom Fleming shared his lifetime of study to the important and timely issue, and put it all into keen historical perspective.
To slightly paraphrase Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address, “We are all Libertarians.” Are we? Bob will test the newly minted Republican “Pledge to America” against the Libertarian principles of Individualism, Individual Rights, Free Markets and Limited Government. Discover your inner Libertarian this Sunday at noon, where fun and freedom reign.