FairAndUNbalanced's podcast (policy)

The debate is not whether the logic and planning behind Donald Trump's contact with Taiwan was sound or foolish.

The debate is whether the conversation was planned at all, or if it simply came from some wild, unconsidered impulse.

The answer may provide a harbinger of things to come.

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Direct download: Donald_Trumps_Chinese_Puzzle.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 9:51pm EDT

What must we do when society's weakest links can inflict deadly damage, and a bad shooting can involve a good cop?

We become more secure when those who protect us are given measured, tested, state-of-the-art strategies.

We become less vulnerable when we restrict the ability to inflict widespread violent force to those whom we can trust.

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Direct download: Guns_Misconduct_and_Strategy.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 11:58pm EDT

We have tried substituting business self-interest in place of safety regulation.

We should learn from the result.

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Direct download: Letting_Ill_Enough_Alone.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:11pm EDT

The Alaskan Governor's new wrinkle in the climate debate against science was amusing.

Exxon's contradictions? Not so much.

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Direct download: Exxons_Little_Joke_About_Climate_Damage.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

For decades, her image has intruded into occasional dreams on sometime restless nights. I wonder what life might have been for her and her child had she lived.

Stanley Forman turned his back after taking his photos, one of which would later win a Pulitzer Prize. He could not bear to see the bodies hit the ground.

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Direct download: A_Young_Mother_Killed_by_the_Libertarian_Ideal.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 11:48pm EDT

The official tax system in the Roman empire was strikingly similar to the unofficial tax system of Ferguson, Missouri.

The Emperor Diocletian put an end to it.

It is way past time Missouri did the same.

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Direct download: Ferguson_-_Police_as_Tax_Farmers_in.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

Cannibalism was seen as the ultimate depravity, too horrible to contemplate. But when the story of the Donner Party became known, most survivors were treated with compassionate sympathy. The circumstances seemed to justify the unthinkable.

There is a lesson that applies to the debate on torture.

It may be an unexpected lesson.

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Direct download: Torture_and_the_Lie_of_Effectiveness.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 12:17am EDT

Holiday reunions always bring family discussions. This year, a large part of those discussions focused on the police.

I was used to family opinions. Everybody has one.

This was different. This time, everyone had a personal story.

On the way home, the traffic itself provided an insight in good, bad, and cascading effect.

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Direct download: Police_Resentment_and_Death_-_Crui.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

There is a harsh truth at the heart of the interrogation debate.

We are presented with a moral ambiguity, a sort of ethical Sophie's Choice. What about those rare cases in which a ticking clock presents us with a choice between torture and the death of innocents.

The harsh, terrible truth is that the choice does not exist. It never has.

Instead, we are endangered by a much more dangerous ticking clock.

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Direct download: Interrogation_and_the_Ticking_Clock.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT

The Ebola panic in the United States has dramatically outgrown the Ebola virus itself. Were it not for the death of a man initially turned away from Presbyterian Health Hospital in Dallas, the panic would be a massive exercise in comedy. The hysteria would have been hysterical.

Still, there are legitimate concerns.

We need to re-examine our current system of private care. For-profit medical facilities can be expected, like any free enterprise institution, to be primarily motivated by profit. To weigh life and death risk against this year's bottom line may not be the best method for the next possible pandemic.

Now may not be the time. It is the campaign season, and Republicans do like to campaign on fear.

But there are signs the public is tiring of panic. The Texas Chainsaw Medi-scare may be approaching the closing credits.

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Direct download: Chicken_Little_Doesnt_Have_Ebola_Af.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT