Christina Sandefur on the Right to Try Initiative

There's a wave of state-based reform sweeping the nation, and it's giving hope to thousands of terminally-ill patients. Since just 2014, 31 states have passed so-called "right to try" initiatives, which allow those with incurable and life-threatening illnesses to access potentially life-saving experimental treatments that have not yet been approved by the FDA. Leading this legislative cascade is Arizona's Goldwater Institute. They believe the Food and Drug Administration has been overly paternalistic in making what amounts to an incredibly difficult, yet personal decision, on behalf of all Americans. When early "Phase I" evidence shows a treatment's potential, physicians in Right to Try states are able to take the experimental treatments out of the laboratory in an attempt to save their patients. Christina Sandefur, executive Vice President of the Goldwater Institute, is a co-drafter of the Right to Try initiative and has been pivotal in getting these laws passed around the country. She joins Bob to make the case to the remaining 19 states – including California. 

Casey Given on Students for Liberty

Of all the areas where liberties are under assault, college campuses may be the battleground with the highest stakes. This show has covered the rise of restrictive campus speech codes, which have a "chilling effect" on free thought and expression. But at the same time, resistance is growing. Students everywhere are looking for alternative outlets to the classroom, where they can voice opinions that might otherwise be silenced or punished. Student groups, comprising like-minded liberty-lovers, may be the last, best hope to keep the flame of freedom alive. Casey Given is Director of Communications for Students for Liberty, a growing network of liberty-oriented college clubs. Casey joins Bob from Washington DC to explain how SFL is empowering students to push back against their professors' not-so-hidden political agendas, and to becoming a force capable of challenging the status quo in years to come. Bob and Casey will also discuss the ever-important question of why we must defend our liberties, in spite of the relatively low short-term reward of such sacrifices.



Vít Jedlička on Founding Liberland

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. 

Special Episode: The Walter Block Scale of Libertarianism

Introduction to the Walter Block Scale of Libertarianism

Murray Rothbard, Ron Paul, Robert Nozick, Noam Chomsky.

Henry George, Milton Friedman, David Friedman, and David Boaz.

Presidential Candidates: Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Jeb Bush, John McCain and Barack Obama. Plus, Bob Zadek.

Rand Paul and Principles or Politics with Walter Block

If Rand Paul makes it past the Republican primaries, criticisms are sure to resurface regarding an obscure comment he made on CNN in 2010 about the libertarian principle of free association. Specifically, Paul took issue with the portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act limiting business owners’ freedom to discriminate (against their own economic interest) – a comment he has since walked back. Alas, pure libertarian principle often dictates seemingly indefensible positions, such as the right of bigots to refuse customers on a superficial basis. One man, however, has had the courage to consistently argue that the principle of freedom involved in these cases should trump our uneasiness about specific outcomes. That man is Professor Walter Block. Block has caused many a stir with his iconoclastic defenses of the seemingly indefensible. He joins Bob to discuss his recent endorsement of Rand Paul for President, in spite of the Republican candidate’s recent moves away from the principled libertarian positions of his father. Should libertarians get behind a lesser of two evils? Find out where you lie on Professor Block’s scale of libertarianism (where 100 is a “Perfect Block”).

David Boaz on The Libertarian Mind

Bob does a regular show with a very special guest – a walking embodiment of the libertarian ethos: David Boaz. Since joining the Cato Institute in 1981, Boaz has been pivotal in transforming the once-obscure think tank into a powerhouse – setting the gold standard for libertarian public policy analysis. More than 15 years ago, at a time when far fewer people had even heard of libertarianism, Boaz wrote and edited a volume titled Libertarianism: A PrimerToday, most voters know the contours of what a libertarian is, but a majority still do not identify along said lines. Clearly, given the iron-clad moral and logical reasoning behind libertarian ideas, the message clearly has not gotten far enough. But we may be near a tipping point if Boaz is correct about the "Libertarian Moment," to which he synced the arrival of his revised version of his PrimerThe Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom. Tune in for the full hour, this Sunday at 9am Pacific to hear Boaz's evidence that the iron is now hot for the movement to strike with bold free-market solutions.

Virginia Postrel on Stasis vs. Dynamism

Sixteen years ago, Virginia Postrel published The Future and Its Enemies, a manifesto for her personal philosophy of "dynamism." Dynamists like Postrel favor the spontaneous, evolving forces of free markets over the "stasist" philosophy common to reactionary conservatives and government technocrats. Even more than left versus right, Postrel argues, politics is a battle of the "stasists" versus the "dynamists." Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the debate over compensation for kidney donors. Postrel, the editor of Reason during most of the 1990s, is a spokesperson for a new charity, the American Living Organ Donor Fund (ALODF). She also once donated a kidney to a friend in need. But many people with failing kidneys are not as lucky as the beneficiary of Postrel's altruism. Markets and financial incentives could save the lives of thousands of wait-listed patients on dialysis, but the National Kidney Foundation has resisted even marginal reforms at every turn. Postrel will join the show to reflect on her manifesto and its relation to this vital issue.

Update: Charitable.com giving campaign to raise money for compensating organ donors.

Overruling Government Overreach: Damon Root on the Libertarian Legal Movement

In his new book "Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court," Reason Magazine Senior Editor Damon Root takes up a central question to our Constitution: Should the courts exercise restraint by allowing lawmakers to craft a wide range of legislation, or should they more actively defend individual rights from being overridden by majority rule? In fighting for the latter position, libertarians find themselves opposed to a long line of legal giants, from the progressive champion Oliver Wendell Holmes to conservative icon Robert Bork. Complicating matters, "judicial activism" has developed a reputation for abuse in the hands of politically-motivated judges. But in recent years, a libertarian legal movement rooted firmly in the Founders' vision of individual rights has grown to challenge the legacy of judicial restraint. Root will join Bob for the full hour this Sunday to discuss how a small "elite core of frontline fighters" has overcome the odds in numerous cases – from gun control to occupational licensing – to persuade judges to overrule government overreach.

Libertarianism: Past, Present, and Future

It has been said that with Republicans in power, man exploits man, whereas under Democrats, it’s the reverse–which is to say, just the same. Richard Boddie, a true champion of liberty, knows this all too well. Prior to finding his political home in the Libertarian Party, Boddie sought a platform for his beliefs – to little avail – in both the Republican and a Democratic parties. Born in 1938, his activism has led him down a number of different roads, from television and radio broadcasting, to seeking the Libertarian Presidential nomination in 1992. In addition to an illustrious career spanning banking, law, higher education, and motivational speaking, Boddie has made it his aim, “to teach and share the ideas and ideals of individual achievement and individual liberty, with at least one different person, each and every day for the rest of [his] life.” He joins Bob to discuss his experiences over the years as an African American at the core of the Libertarian Party. They also examine current trends in the movement, and look to the bright spots on a gloomy political landscape still dominated by “Rs" and "Ds”.

Matt Zwolinski on Bleeding Heart Libertarianism

Though some use it disparagingly, the label of “Bleeding Heart” is worn by others as a badge of honor. This apparent contradiction only starts to make sense when you contrast the frequently damaging results of government policy motivated by the undeniably noble sentiment behind caring for the poor. Matt Zwolinski, Professor of Philosophy at University of San Diego, is out to reframe the debate through what he calls Bleeding Heart Libertarianism. On this show, you’ll find out what this means and how it applies to recurring policy debates about welfare and more. In a nutshell, Zwolinski and his co-bloggers at BleedingHeartLibertarians.com seek to validate the concepts of social justice and responsibility to the poor within the framework of free-market advocacy. Can the union of these ideas translate into a viable political agenda? Later, Bob looks at President Obama’s expansion of executive power, with the release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl. Bob also examines a new EPA rule to curb carbon dioxide emissions across the 50 states, and he looks at the effects it is likely to have on the cost of energy. Just who would these new regulations burden the most? You guessed it – the poor! Tune in to sharpen your thinking on how government can best help (or at least do the least harm) to the worst off among us.