34 Responses to Controversial Truth Episode 4

  1. Ryan Pearce says:

    Dave and Robb,

    Great talk on gun laws and risk-allowance in our society in general. Out of all the arguments I have heard for maintaining the second amendment, your argument for the necessity of risks for a society to flourish, knowing that taking away rights only reduces things to the “lowest common denominator” was the best I’ve heard.

    It is sad how our nation keeps throwing away liberties for comforts and security, thinking we are getting smarter and healthier when in reality we are becoming lazier, sicker, and more fearful.

    Thank you for providing clear-headed information on the issues we face today and for encouraging us to remain human… to live, take risks, and learn.


  2. Woodsoul says:

    Let’s talk mental health care: I think poor mental health care services are driving a lot of the discrepancy in violence between the US and other countries. We don’t yet know if James Holmes was schizophrenic, but on a large scale the statistics seem clear: better mental care is correlated with less violent crime (http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/national-studies/commitmenthomiciderates.pdf).

    America could be a much better place if there was better care for (and perhaps screening for) mental illness. It doesn’t have to be run on a federal level, of course, and it would probably be better run locally. But it’s sorely needed any way you look at it.

  3. jnhipp says:

    Hey Guys,

    Great show. I really enjoyed hearing y’all talk about the Singaporean healthcare model.

    I heard Robb mention something about wanting to learn a little about Singapore’s immigration policy. I’ve done some research on Singaporean immigration policy in the past, so I thought I would share some links.

    Citizenship and Permanent Residence: http://www.expatsingapore.com/content/view/1130/

    Employment Passes and Work Permits for Singapore:

    From the research I’ve done, it looks as if Singapore has some of the most open immigration and work policies in the world. I’d be curious to know how much of Singapore’s willingness to have open immigration and work policies is due to the structure of their healthcare system and whether there is any correlation between a country’s healthcare structure and the openness of its immigration/work policies.

  4. Mary says:

    Hi there guys,

    I listened to the episode yesterday, and I wasn’t going to comment but it’s been on my mind, so just a quick observation, mostly for Robb.

    As you mentioned yourself, Singapore is a perfect example of how government CAN get things right, and do a lot of good in the process. North American (and the entire world) is in a health crisis–can you imagine the difference that it would make if the US went toward a system like Singapore’s (individual gov-forced savings and accountability) rather than a system like Canada’s (total free-for-all with no individual accountability whatsoever)?

    The US healthcare model is in the making, and Robb, you have some notoriety. But you seem hesitant to really advocate for a system like Singapore’s because it involves government, and in your book, it seems that government=bad, end of story.

    I think it’s awesome that you are completely genuine and never afraid to voice your views, no matter how “out there” they may seem to some people. That is why everyone can totally trust your take on what the smartest diet/exercise is. But I hope that you will at least stay open-minded about what some “smart” government intervention could do for health care.

    • Mary! I AM, and this has been the point I made all along, that we have OTHER market based options, but no one took me seriously until posting this example. Folks were stuck in an emotional response loop in which the “poor would die in the streets”.

  5. Rose says:

    The first three episodes weren’t bad, but you guys sounded kind of stupid this time around. I have a lot of respect for Robb Wolf, but he’s not putting his best foot forward with this project. Dave Duley is no Greg Everett.

    • dduley says:

      Dear Rose,
      Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to listen to our podcast. While we appreciate any feedback a listener might have, all we ask anyone to do (as mentioned many times in the podcast) is to participate in the discussion with facts and logic. Calling something “stupid” doesn’t do anything to promote ideas and discussion about what the solutions might be for the very serious issues we face in America. If you have “less-stupid” ideas to move America forward, please share them with all of us. We are anxiously awaiting your thoughtful and articulate ideas to move the conversation ahead towards executable solutions.
      I remain,
      David Duley

      • Rose says:

        I tried to apologize for this last week, but it didn’t go through. Not sure if it was a glitch, or I got banned for trolling, or maybe caught in a foul-language filter. So I’ll try again with no foul language. I’m sorry – that was a mean comment that I formulated to hurt and apparently it hit its mark. I was angry about your seeming support of Chick-Fil-A and Robb spouting the 2nd amendment purist’s response to any gun violence, that more armed people would have lessened the violence. But you both are trying to make things better, and even though I disagree with some of what you say, I did not approach that comment in the spirit of trying to make things better.

  6. kyleen says:


    I am totally enjoying your podcast so far. It is thought provoking and goodness knows, we have a lot to fix.

    I do have a comment on the whole Chicken “Controversy.”

    The fall out isn’t as much about Mr. Cathy’s assertion of his opinion, it’s more about where Chick Fil A, as a corporation, donates it’s money. They have been donating corporate money to known “hate groups” under the guise of “protecting” the family. Which is really just a battle to keep same sex marriage illegal. They’ve been doing this for years. The actual boycott has also been going on for years as well. Mr. Cathy’s comments just thrust this into the national spotlight.

    Does he have a right to his opinion? Sure he does. Does he have a right to donate his corporate profits earned from his stores to support those causes? Sure he does. But as you commented, that a free market will correct injustice, I see this as doing just that.

    I have a right to not patronize a business that uses the money I would spend there on causes that I cannot support. I see the current targeting of the GLBT community as the “acceptable” discrimination of our time. No one would think twice about the boycott if he were giving their money to “white power” organizations (which he also has the right to do as well.)

    I do agree on your point that local government doesn’t have any business getting involved, as in Boston or Chicago. If someone would want to open a franchise in those cities, government should not stand in the way. If those franchises FAIL because of where some of the corporate profits go, and the public doesn’t care to patronize them, then that’s the way it should go. The free market WILL correct social injustice.

    That being said, I will still encourage my families and friends to think about where their money goes when they buy that tasty chicken sandwich.

    Also nice to hear a fellow Michigander making good out there in the world. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • Steve T. says:

      Kyleen, can you list any of the hate groups that Mr. Cathy donates money. Please also list any supportive quotes or actions that are similar to white hate groups.

      • kyleen says:

        Sure Steve- Here is the list from 2010. Many of these groups are listed as “hate groups” the the Southern Poverty Law Center.


        Marriage & Family Foundation
        Fellowship Of Christian Athletes
        National Christian Foundation
        New Mexico Christian Foundation
        Exodus International
        Family Research Council
        Georgia Family Council

        The link details their actions in support of anti-gay activities that work to limit the civil rights of “the gays.”

        Please understand. I believe they have every right to contribute to these organizations. But because they do, I have every right not to give them MY dollars.

        No one is saying that One Million Mom’s are trying to stop “free speech” when they organize boycotts against a business they believe is promoting a so called questionable agenda. Why is it so wrong for the LGBT community to do the same?

        Full disclosure- I’m straight. I don’t have a horse in this race. I just really want all of our citizens to have the same rights under secular non-religious law.

        • JD says:

          From the FRC blog 2 years ago:

          FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality – nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological, and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.

          Seriously Kyleen, calling homosexuality a sin is not hate. It’s theology. You may not agree (and if it matters, I don’t either) but it is not hate. If you want to see hateful speech and actions I suggest you look a bit more closely at the groups you are defending. http://conservapedia.com/Militant_gays

          Here’s a sampling…
          The radical homosexual anarchist group known as “Bash Back! planned for over a month the assault on the Mt. Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan. November 9, 2008 a band of about 30 homosexuals stormed the church during services shouting “Jesus was a homo” on a megaphone and carrying an upside-down pink cross. They distributed fliers to passersby, threw condoms at parishioners and set off the fire alarms. [5] Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded, “This is urban fascism come to America’s heartland.”
          Mass Resistance has compiled a list of militant gay actions in the wake of California’s successful Proposition 8 campaign. [6]
          More than 200 protesters screamed and chanted in front of the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during Sunday services, intimidating families.
          In Palm Springs, an enraged crowd of homosexual activists attacked an elderly woman carrying a cross.
          Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church was targeted, a swastika constructed. Same situation occurred targeting parishioners at a Catholic church in Riverside, Ca.
          A disgusting anti-Mormon TV ad was broadcast across California, portraying LDS missionaries invading a home of lesbians.
          Several thousand homosexual activists rioted at a Mormon temple in the Los Angeles
          Lesbians parked a van with a big sign “Bigots” in front of a Mormon family’s house (parents and five kids) near San Francisco.
          A Mormon church near Sacramento was spray-painted with “No on 8” .
          A Sacramento theater director was forced to resign from his job after it was revealed that he had given a $1000 donation to the Yes on Prop 8 committee.
          There were instances of cars vandalized with Hate 8 engraved with a knife.
          Gay activists have disrupted and viciously vandalized churches nationwide for their stances against gay “marriage.”[7]

          There is no compairson between the use of fear, hate and intimidation being used by the pro- gay marriage movement compared to those who oppose it.

          We at least have to honest if we’re going to have a meaningful dialog on these issues.

  7. Mike says:

    Have been enjoying the podcast thus far, an interesting insight into Libertarian type viewpoints – I may not agree with everything you have to say but always thought provoking. One thing will have to agree to disagree on though is gun control, hard to refute the stats when you compare countries with gun control vs. US. Be interested to hear your comments on recent article by former (conservative) Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, who implemented much tighter gun control after the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania:


    • Mike-
      That’s a damn interesting read. I need to doa god bit of research to comment further, but it is exactly the type of evidence based stuff we need to consider and talk about.

  8. Craig says:

    Gun control–for the sake of the argument say it has its desired effect–is at best a stopgap measure. It won’t be too long before people will be making 3-D printed mods like extended clips to their weapons, or a little further down the line, just printing out the whole darn gun. And I don’t think we want to allow the kind of internet surveillance required to prevent the spread of the files for these designs.

    But I think equally unpalatable is your mutual assured destruction type tactic of everyone arming themselves. I’d say the best rebuttal to this (and something that at least points to a solution of the violence problem) comes from the research in Steven Pinker’s latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined where he outlines how violence, in pretty much any way you care to define it, going back to the beginning of recorded history (and prior) has been on a continuous downward trend so that we’re now living in the least violent time in history. (At 832 pages, I’m sure the book is phenomenal, but any of the youtube vids from his book tour give a pretty good gist of it in an hour). So this guy in Co. also had homemade bombs. It’s not a gun issue per se, but more of societal phenomenon of violence. Violence seems to be negatively correlated with prosperity. Without ignoring our drive towards empathy in these specific shootings it seems like a better solution is to ignore guns themselves and figure out how to keep us innovative and prosperous. The gun issue, Robb, is like in health, focusing on the symptom rather than looking for the underlying condition. Everyone arming themselves just seems like chronic low grade inflammation.

  9. Jim Marquardson says:

    One reason why I think government is involved in marriage is that marriage helps to promote stability society. In general, when parents stay together to raise kids, the kids turn out better, which is in turn better for society. There are, of course, exceptions, such as when one of the parents is abusive. I can understand the argument that people could stay together without the marriage contract with the government, but I the contact helps people rethink the seriousness of their commitment. I know people who have been married for 30 years who were close to divorce at one point, but put it off. They got through the rough patch, and now their marriage is great. If they had no marriage contract, I think it would have been easier for them to walk away. Yeah, it’s an anecdote, but I think logically it makes sense. If you make it more difficult for people to split, people will split less. This is actually one reason why I’m open to gay marriage. If allowing gay people to marry promotes more committed relationships, I think that’s a win for everyone.

    • Greg Gagnon says:

      The government is not required to define the terms of a contract in order for there to be a contract. Dave explicitly suggested that contract law would be a good way to handle this. Compare that to the current system in which the state you are in determines the terms of the contract (at least when it comes to dissolution). Given the success rate of marriages I don’t think we can call this system a success.

      My personal position is that marriages should be run by contracts between two or more people of any combination of genders. Churches should be free to marry or not marry any combination of people they think is proper. No institution should be able to deny the rights associated with such a marriage. I am thinking of deathbed hospital visits and such, but you can see how the concept of “dependent benefits” would have to be thoroughly reworked.

  10. Derek Dysart says:

    I’m surprsingly enjoying your podcast thus far.

    I’m going to ask a question that I really don’t know the answer to, but would love to hear the discussion. I’m curious about the angle if easing concealed gun ownership might result in increased violence. There is no doubt that our society as a whole has become more polarized. Arguments between “sides” typically have become more vicious. Is it not feasible to see an argument between two “reasonable” adults escalate to fatal violence?

    Yes, this probably would be rare and in this age of the 24h news cycle get a ton of air play. I realize proper education is a huge part of this, but who is responsible for this education? Just look to motor vehicle operation – the government (states in this case) regulates the education and licensing of motor vehicle operation. Yet when was the last time you were driving somewhere and didn’t wonder (maybe out loud) “who gave THAT person a license to drive?” Maybe they were drunk. How do we feel about a drunk beligerent dude having a gun? What about his wife that he beats regularly?

    I know we’re not advocating handing out guns to everyone willy nilly, but is it possible to even screen for people prone to violence? I point to this interesting opinion piece from the UK Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/29/rapist-confessions-reddit (a trigger warning to anyone whose been subject to sexual abuse to think twice about reading that). tl;dr – basically most violent people seem completely normal right up to the point that they become violent. While I agree the Auroa shooting was a rare instance of a deranged guy, it is also just that, a rare (abiet extremely traggic) instance. If concealed weapons were easier to have, while that might have been prevented, what else might become more frequent? (and no, I don’t think making guns harder to get would have addressed the situation. As evidenced by the amount of fire power he had, and the boobie traps, he would have done this regardless, some for most other “rampage” style violence)

    Like I said, I love the podcast so far. It isn’t a bunch of food for thought, it’s a freakin’ feast! The only constructive thing I’d say is if you want it to be controversial, get out of the paradigm of two middle class white dudes with priveledge (for whom America is probably the least “broken”) and look to other parts of society as a whole.

    • dduley says:

      Great stuff Derek….thanks for sharing and we will digest this info. Yep, I often try to be conscious of our “paradigm” to make sure we are looking at all angles. Thanks for the friendly reminder and we will work harder at exactly that! In fact, this was an issue (paradigm) as thus did deep reflection on as I wrote my book since I spent the first 18 years of my life in Flint, MI, was I “predisposed” to view America like Flint and thus “freak out” as to the path America is on as opposed to looking at all the progress and good things happening?!?! After thoughtful analysis and reading, however, I think we are on a bad path and I feel as though I can back that up with data. BUT, there are things ALL of US can do to help get America back on the right track…thus, I wrote the book! Thanks again for listening and for your contribution!

    • Greg Gagnon says:

      There are two main kinds of carry laws: shall issue and may issue. In a shall issue state it is the responsibility of the state to prove you do not qualify for a license or you get one. In a may issue state you must prove that you are worthy of a license or you don’t get one. In practice, many may issue states have a very limited set of people they consider to qualify. Usually when people talk about “passing concealed carry” they are talking about a “shall issue” law.

      In most cases, shall issue laws result in a decrease in crime. The link is for a story from NC, but it is fairly representative. Crime is driven by more than just that, though so I pulled another link about the crime rate among Carry Permit Holders, which is dramatically lower than the populace at large.

      There was a great hue and cry when Florida passed one of the first “shall issue” laws about the fact that it would be “High Noon” 24/7. There was not so much as a peep when that did not come to pass. The places in the US with some of the highest rates of gun crime, such as Chicago, Washington DC, LA, and Baltimore also have draconian gun laws in comparison to other parts of the country.

  11. Aron says:

    hi guys, I’m really enjoying the podcast. Its a ton of stuff to think about.

    So I’ve been reading a book by Jonathan Haidt called “The Righteous Mind” who is a moral psychologist who studies morals in politics and religion. The crux of his argument is that we (westerners generally) are all self righteous by nature and when we form groups with folks with the same moral makeups, we are blind to truly see the other side. When you guys mention the emotional component of different issues, you tend to dismiss it and focus on “real” data and the doing the smart thing. I totally agree with that stuff and I would love to just focus on that (believe me, I’m a biochemist), but I think we are missing a piece of the puzzle here. People’s morals are so freaking strong and embedded in their culture, I think we just have to work within that framework instead of ignoring the emotion that colors all of our decisions. Anyway, you should check it Haidt’s stuff. He has a TED talk thats pretty good too. http://people.virginia.edu/~jdh6n/

  12. Greg Gagnon says:

    Gun control is one of my hot button topics. I spent the first half of my life in civilian and military law enforcement. I felt that my job was to protect others (the Paladin effect, for gamers). I also knew that I could not protect everyone, and would not want to live in a society in which the police could protect everyone, since that is a society in which they could also take everything. There is a reason totalitarian governments are often called “police states”.

    In the US you have the right, if not the obligation, to protect yourself and your family. I have been in combatives for a long time, and have a better skill level and experience level than average. I still suspect that three or four young hoods could mess up my day while they were out for a bit of the ultraviolence. Maybe only one these days. Especially if they were armed criminals and I was a disarmed law-abider.

    Not being there is always the first choice in defense. That does not always work out. Guns are the only way to bridge that physical gap. I was in London (Summer 86) when a Bobby was killed in a tube station by a gang with machetes. Numbers matter.

    On a pedantic note: AR-15 is from ArmaLite, who designed the gun and then sold the design to Colt.

    It looks like marriage contracts and Chick-Fil-A have been covered. 🙂