FairAndUNbalanced's podcast (policy)

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November 2018
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Syndication

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

One notable result of the slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, comes from the deeply troubling ambiguity of the circumstances of that death.

The plain truth is we don't know what the plain truth is. Not for sure. The context of police mistreatment of the community does not tell us. The context of Michael Brown's character does not tell us.

The frustration that comes with a lack of knowledge has provided some momentum to an already existing movement to provide police officers with body cameras and to insist on their use.

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Direct download: Police_Cameras_and_the_Ferguson_Shoo.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 11:45pm EST

The anger that reacts against injustice is often what impels us along the arc of the moral universe. It is part of what bends that arc toward justice. If not channeled, it becomes the violence itself.

So, yeah, if my family was victimized, I would want to kill those responsible. Personally. Slow, torturous death would not be a flaw, it would be a feature. I wouldn't want to be deterred by process, or by appeals, or by the microscopic possibility that I might have the wrong guy.

I would likely be the one who wants to pull the switch. I can see myself as the one who hopes the killer suffers at least as much as his victim. Two hours to die? Good.

The same would be true if a victim of murder was from a family down the street. The same might even be true if the family was in the same courtroom while I deliberated guilt or innocence.

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Direct download: Execution_for_Those_Who_Deserve_to_D.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 1:40am EST

Al Qaeda had never had any force to speak of in Iraq. There were scattered outposts in largely deserted areas not controlled by Saddam Hussein's forces. But after the invasion, al Qaeda began to develop a presence. It wasn't much, but it was more than the zero that had been in Sunni areas before. And it was growing.

So the Bush/Cheney administration went for the spin cycle. The increase in al Qaeda influence was actually a good thing. We were attracting terrorists to fight us in Iraq. But that meant they were sidetracked from coming to America.

Iraq was flypaper. Terrorists were flies. Every attack on our troops in Iraq meant less danger in the suburbs of Peoria.

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Direct download: al_Qaeda_and_Iraq_-_Fly_Paper.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 11:03pm EST

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