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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Snarkiness
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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Snarkiness

Author: libertysnark

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A team of snarky young millennial professionals, including a psychologist, a law student, and a history teacher, team up to discuss politics, current events, and pop culture, all without taking themselves too seriously.
28 Episodes
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National Emergency! Why Aren’t We Panicking?
There’s a National Emergency on! Feel alarmed! Austin and Aaron, both connoisseurs of the bottom shelf, begin by talking about Costco booze, before launching into why President Trump’s latest meshugas has neither of them feeling especially panicked. Among other topics, Austin and Aaron touch on the latest mass shooting, former Libertarian VP Nominee Bill Weld’s plan to try to primary Trump, and their feelings on how political tribalism is making it even less likely that Trump’s supporters will ever have their cognitive dissonance resolved in a way that leads to them abandoning him. Aaron explains these happenings through the lenses of honor ideology as well as the psychological principle of cognitive dissonance, while Austin remains pessimistic that Trump can ever go too far for his supporters to give up on him, and then they both hope that someone - ALMOST anyone - tries to primary Trump out of another shot at the presidency, because goodness knows we’ve all had enough of what Aaron calls “schmuckitude.”Previous podcast guest Andrew Egger’s take on the reaction among Trump supporters: https://thebulwark.com/no-one-hates-the-spending-bill-more-than-trumps-hawkish-base/?fbclid=IwAR2dbEm-F7Y3KrlGx4mlwp5WNNzCUsoRedn5tpLfkifH9Zxhc1WOL6XHxD4An older article reflecting on Chuck Schumer’s threat during the Obama presidency that President Obama had the right to go above Congress: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/206983-schumer-obama-will-act-unilaterally-on-immigration-reformOther Conservatives/Libertarians’ responses to Trump: https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-emergency-declaration-conservative-groups-criticized-1333700An article on cognitive dissonance and how it applies to our political lives: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/behavior/how-cognitive-dissonance-affects-us-crazy-political-times.htm This podcast is sponsored by Flipboard
The Green New Deal - Did a First-Grader Write This?
Aaron and Austin are joined by guest Michael DiLaura to discuss Alexandria Occasio Cortez’s brilliant/terrifying new piece of legislation. Michael guides us through some of the especially problematic elements of AOC’s thoroughly impractical plan, while Austin points out the sheer number of property rights violations that this legislation would require, as well as how nothing about the “plan” falls in line with the proper role of government. Aaron talks a little bit about the psychology of construal level theory, and how it explains the recent populist (of both right and left-wing variety) obsession with thoroughly impractical legislation. Aaron reveals that he doesn’t like West Coast beer, as well as explaining why he thinks Democratic Socialists are like vegans and cross-fitters. Austin reveals his hope that the Green New Deal is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and pushes the Federal Government into admitting its utter incompetence and inability to do anything, as well as pointing out the lack of parallels between the original and Green New Deals. Finally, Michael has to teach Aaron what the phrase “clap back” means. An official PDF of the Green New Deal: https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1A3n1S9p4SlS0JF9tQfD15IYj6wz4XEmzTg6zhBGg7rEylksRU-uCG3AM Megan McArdle’s article for the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-nuts-isnt-a-great-pitch-for-a-green-new-deal/2019/02/07/f605b220-2b2f-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html?utm_term=.de4507877b13William L. Anderson for the Mises institute on the Green New Deal: https://mises.org/wire/aoc-and-green-great-leap-forward?fbclid=IwAR0AjlY7-huHsS-7RmresRdCVa-Sq8b3poJbSc1yJU4Y6EiWyZyxPc4blKkJarret Stephan for FEE on the Green New Deal: https://fee.org/articles/the-green-new-deal-is-a-trojan-horse-for-socialism/ This podcast is sponsored by Flipboard
Fear the Devil's Lettuce!
Don’t fear the reefer! Aaron, Jason, and Austin tackle that most terrifying topic: marijuana legalization. Aaron discusses how scientifically iffy the “gateway hypothesis” is, while Austin gives his views on the illegitimacy of the war on drugs and any form of prohibition in general. Jason plays Devil’s advocate by taking a pro-prohibition stance, as well as discussing the problem with legislation which denies the basic roles of supply and demand. They then wrap up the episode by pointing out that the very idea of the war on drugs and the prohibition of substances is inherently progressive, and how neither party can claim exemption from extreme progressive influence. Also brought up are Austin’s slow slip into anarchy, Aaron’s debilitating fear of sharks, and Jason’s elegant and civilized approach to alcohol. The Imprimis Article which prompted this episode: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/marijuana-mental-illness-violence/?appeal_code=MK119EM1&sc=MK119EM1&utm_campaign=imprimis&utm_source=housefile&utm_medium=email&utm_content=january2019marijuana&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--erzxLUmW26LKmvTSYJDLGXpN-kvCUb4qLnUj6DNZzjwmUf4Tr5caQvIKe5kDh83yglfxkiucOfbqZdsWOi40s23bZqA&_hsmi=69315555Politico’s prediction about marijuana legalization: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/01/21/marijuana-legalization-congress-224031An overview of Marilyn Mosby and the end of marijuana prosecution in Baltimore: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna964111 This podcast is sponsored by Flipboard

Fear the Devil's Lettuce!

2019-02-0500:45:29

Trump, Milo, and Evangelical Christianity
In our 25th episode, Aaron is joined by guest-star Andrew Egger, a journalist formerly of The American Standard and now working for the new, explicitly Anti-Trump publication “The Bulwark.” Andrew starts by getting excited to share his choice of drink. Aaron and Andrew discuss the differences between their respective ideologies of Classical Liberalism and Conservatism, as well as the recent attempted re-emergence by shock jockey/oppressed intellectual (depending on your point of view, but certainly not according to Aaron’s or Andrew’s) Milo Yiannopolous, who was recently interviewed by popular evangelical figure Eric Metaxas on his radio show. Andrew tells us a little bit about the history of Milo, and both Aaron and Andrew discuss the murkiness surrounding the political definition of what an “evangelical” is, why they’re considered such a pro-Trump voting block, and whether or not this is a fair characterization of the movement. Andrew also talks a little bit about the importance of principled conservative’s resisting Trump, and Aaron speculates as to whether or not “evangelicals” who support Trump are the same as people who actually try to embody and live out their faith. Also, keep your ears peeled for an “easter egg” (or whatever we’re calling it) where next week’s episode topic is mentioned!Andrew’s recent article on Milo and Eric Metaxas: https://thebulwark.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-milo-and-eric-metaxas/?fbclid=IwAR3ryQ0I6TLPUSPhBbhKlHI9WhiviMtHHLwc5LZ1ocJm-r2n9L2GmE4RDtEAndrew’s Author page at The Bulwark: https://thebulwark.com/author/andrewegger/Timothy Carney’s Article on why Ex-Churchgoers flock to Trump: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-ex-churchgoers-flocked-to-trump/?fbclid=IwAR0pfbl2wGjdWP8TLs3_8cKstbqtzTeoSkmRNcyjTG1JJpQRuoc0AAZ6QaY This podcast is sponsored by Flipboard
The Psychology and Masculinity Kerfuffle
 The recent APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys have caused something of a controversy. Many on the Right have decried it, claiming that the report represents an attempt by psychologists to undermine healthy, normal masculinity by labeling it as “toxic.” Responses have ranged from defending the problematic aspects of manhood to outright denial of what the APA guidelines actually say. Aaron goes through the report and outlines why he thinks it's actually something to celebrate and recognize as possessing a great deal of common ground between the APA and many on the Right. Jason cross-examines and plays devil’s advocate for the Right against Aaron, trying to bring some clarity to the issue. Aaron discusses what a horrible child he was, Jason talks about some of the historical misperceptions that many on the right are operating under, and Jason and Aaron riff on how their marriages might be perceived as somehow “non-masculine.” Aaron brings up honor ideology and the Lord of the Rings because that’s the kind of person he is, and Jason reminds us that the ultimate responsibility for being a good man lies on the personal choice to do what is right, not on shallow social norms. Aaron’s Article for FEE where he discusses the APA Guidelines: https://fee.org/articles/what-the-apas-report-on-men-and-masculinity-really-tells-us-a-psychologists-perspective/The APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/boys-men-practice-guidelines.pdfThe APA’s Clarification Post: http://division51.net/homepage-slider/twitter-message-not-reflecting-the-guidelines-for-boys-and-men/An Article from the Washington Examiner exemplifying the problem with the response to the guidelines: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-american-psychological-association-just-made-it-harder-to-maintain-strong-marriages?fbclid=IwAR3fRp0dAK8DYDs5MYNJmKMlI4ChMFxzUYSyLF1no6syfEkBySapW_K6y10Dr. Christina Hoff Summers on some of the problems faced by men in society: http://time.com/2974/masculinity-is-more-than-a-mask/ This podcast is sponsored by Flipboard
You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out! The Bump Stock Ban
Merry Christmas! For our Christmas episode, Austin and Aaron talk about President Trump’s ban on bump stocks. Both hosts express their personal dislike of bump stocks before Austin explains what a bump stock is, and how it does NOT, whatever the acting Attorney General may say, fall under the definition of a machine gun, as well as going into the more concerning theme of all of this, the fact that the executive branch is legislating in an unconstitutional manner, and that this is hardly a modern or unique occurrence, it’s just that President Trump’s own personality flaws make his personal style of executive abuse less palatable. Because they’d be remiss not to, both Austin and Aaron talk a little bit about the planned withdrawal from Syria. Aaron also talks a little bit about the psychology behind gun control, specifically how education, rather than mandate, can address some admittedly much-needed changes around the culture of guns. The USA Today Article about the history of executive overreach:https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/13/donald-trump-executive-power-president-war-democracy-constitution-cult-column/2065368002/?fbclid=IwAR0SmgGggWlg6eqz1FrgGpO07TRxlURp24w0GhQmHu7CoUCQTLwQWAnNYugReason Magazine’s take on the illegality of the bump stock ban: https://reason.com/blog/2018/12/18/trumps-bump-stock-ban-shows-once-again-h?fbclid=IwAR3X3gRdc8h2AmGM6d8g8hqz-1RCkqx1DrJzWp2Zsv1a6eg7_8CZsPXDXKMThe Federalist with a similar article on the ban: http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/19/trump-administrations-new-bump-stock-ban-legal-abomination/?fbclid=IwAR0CqaY02RafOvwF6E2ezhwt-M6Cqrm1WDWzw4cXPCp8AqVRFM8g9cxFPA4Some information on the lawsuit challenging the ban: https://www.firearmspolicy.org/lawsuit-challenging-trump-bump-stock-ban?fbclid=IwAR2L982sNOHCuC8MsHAF_vReIdgugXYNXk2gH6O3BZ5mC0rRlF6t5qXEj6Q This podcast is sponsored by Flipboard
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