Podcasts and More for January 19

Weekly podcastsThere was another great batch of podcasts this week that are well worth listening to. This week’s podcasts cover topics from marriage without love, to advice for Japan (any country actually) to help solve economic problems, to what the new Republican congress should do first and why.

Philosophy in Action – Every week, pretty much, Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins answer questions applying rational principles to everyday life. This week they covered these topics in depth:

  • Should someone who wants to do be forcibly prevented from committing suicide?
  • Should people who like and respect each other, but don’t love each other, every marry?
  • Is the creation of art necessary for a moral life?
  • They also answered more briefly questions on what should be done to help the people of North Korea, prosecuting doctors who purport to “cure” homosexuality, and more.

Peikoff.com Episode 356 – In this episode, Dr. Yaron Brook discusses:

  • Voting for a candidate who is religious but has good positions on physical issues
  • Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank regulations
  • the bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999
  • is Saudi Arabia an enemy of the United States
  • what advice would he give to Japan, or any country, to help solve its economic problems
  • why is marijuana kept illegal in the United States but not alcohol

The Yaron Brook Show: Why I hate Washington D.C. – In his second regular broadcast, Dr. Yaron Brook covered a lot of ground.

  • Although the theme of the show was what he hates about Washington, he started off with positives about it, which were essentially the non-governmental aspects
  • The difference between Washington DC and other cities like New York City, Chicago, Shanghai and others.
  • The United States, despite the shortcomings in implementation, was the only country founded on the principle of individual rights and the idea that the Constitution violates rights is ridiculous.
  • Briefly talked about the differences between Libertarians and Objectivists. He said that he plans to do a complete 2 hour show on the differences as there are a lot of them.
  • Ideas for legislation for the new Republican congress should propose which Obama would promptly veto, making it clear what Obama’s real beliefs are.
    • Repeal all business subsidies including energy, agriculture, automotive and so on.
    • Create a pro legal immigration platform
    • There was a third one but I missed jotting it down in my notes.
  • Discussed the Pope’s comments regarding Charlie Hebdo, which were essentially, “They should not have been killed, but you cannot insult another person’s religion.” Yaron pointed out that criticizing religion was one of the primary reasons for the establishment of the freedom of speech in the first place.
  • He ended the show with a couple of recommendations:

Other interesting listening:

I am continuing on with courses at the online Ayn Rand Institute Campus and finished up lecture 14 of History of Philosophy by Dr. Leonard Peikoff. This lecture dealt with the beginnings of modern philosophy, focusing on Thomas Hobbes. Very fascinating to see more of the roots of what we are seeing today in society.

I also went back and re-took the first lecture in Objective Communication by Dr. Leonard Peikoff. I had gotten up to lecture 4 before I got sidetracked by real life this last year, so I want to go back and take the whole series again before continuing. I am hoping this series of courses will help my writing here on the blog.


I am currently reading Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism by Elan Journo, Alex Epstein and Yaron Brook. The book is very good if you are interested in learning something about the history of what is going on in the Middle East and what has been wrong with our government’s response to these events, going back at least as far as the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979. I am currently only about 1/3 of the way through it and frankly parts of it scare me. Not only for the future it sees if the government does not change how it deals with situation but also for parallels between the views of the Islamic totalitarians and what I came to think of as the Progressive totalitarians in this country. I am planning a blog post about that at some point. One passage in particular just stopped me cold when I made the connection between them.