Controversial Truth Episode 7


34 Responses to Controversial Truth Episode 7

  1. Mike says:

    Robb, Robb, Robb,
    You are good with dropping a nuke on Iran, KSA, Pakistan…retribution on millions of innocents for a poke in the eye from a small bunch of extremists…all loss of innocent life is bad, but suggest you think a little more before you say something like this
    Bad shit mate…you do lots of good in many ways, but that is just fucking crap

    • Dan says:

      Been a fan or RW’s since 2009, even have a signed book. I listened thinking its out of context. Want to give him the benefit of the doubt but that was very hard to hear and I cant believe thats his position. Nuke Iran? They have done nothing to deserve a nuke. I wouldnt be starting anything with the persians, they are a fiercely proud people that not even the bullshit islamist, taliban like gov can fully contain.

      Why these people went after the US at 9/11 is so so so complicated to think you could identify an “entity” and 10000:1 it is the exact kind of thinking that got the US and most of the western world into the shit its in.

      200% agree with fuck the nation building and world policing, we cant “help” everyone and cant help anyone who doesnt want it. That is a race to the bottom.

      I stopped listening.

      • sonny says:

        The key word here is “IF”. IF S Arabia/Iraq/Is$#!/ attacked US THEN nuclear retaliation. I guess Im a loon but I actually agree w this. The result of this policy would be no loss of American soldiers’ lives, lower military spending and I guarantee you nobody would attack US. And if it was some small group of extremists in, say, Afghanistan, I guarantee you they would cooperate 100% w US in cooperating w US in order to avoid nuclear attack.

        My only caveat is that, like capital punishment, use the nuclear option but make damn sure 100% that the guilty party is indeed guilty.

        • Glen Nagy says:

          I think his point was if the US is going to do something militarily then a short intense action that ends quickly is the thing to do. Alot of civilians can be killed in a long drawn out war as well. And alot of economic and physical suffering happens during 10 years of war. It is better to have one quick strike so the country can get on with recovering without a long war. WWII nukes in Japan were terrible but they were able to recover. Drawn out wars like Vietman and Iraq leave the country in a total mess that is hard to recover from with the ongoing wars.

        • dan says:

          Yeah, because nothing motivates a person to become submissive like a bully. I would love to see how your position changes if you didn’t have any nukes.

          Your American logic is tragic. Even if a country attacks, even if you can identify a country as the entity Robb mentioned, you think its ok to level that country? Innocent civilians?

          Read up on your foreign policy for the past 150 yrs….you should be begging for forgiveness not talking tough.

          • Dan-
            Interestingly, I largely agree with you. Our foreign policy has been appalling. How exactly am I “talking tough” when i’m talking about disbanding our global police presence, but making a clear statement that if folks feel the need to come visit havoc upon us we will repay it, with interest?

          • Dan says:

            Robb this comment system wont let me respond direct to you. My “talk tough” comment was actually directed at Glen however I think it applies to you.

            The US media is hyping up a case against Iran, hyping up the public to get behind a campaign to destroy them. People like Ron Paul are dead against it, see it for what it is, and doing their best to speak out against that. I thought you would be the same. I dont think you were talking about paying back with interest when you spoke of “Nuking Iran”.

          • Greg Gagnon says:

            If you hit us first, which is the position Robb started with, then beating the crap out of you does not make us a bully. I think this is a bad position for a number of reasons but that is not one. I agree also that our foreign policy is the cause of many of our problems (Treaty of Versailles, Treaty of Malta, Banana Wars, et al) but there is arguably no nation who has ever had power with a better record. This is not a reason to not acknowledge our faults and act more in accord with our stated beliefs, but it is a condition of history.

            I am a huge fan of the “Hearts and Minds” style campaigns if they are done well. It is the same concept as community policing. If you improve the environment you reduce the problems. If our only opponents were nation-states then massive retaliation might work, but I suspect extremist groups would like nothing better than a such a policy since it would convince their allies of our evil nature.

      • Michael says:

        I think the important line of that discussion was “don’t provoke these people.” I think Robb would agree that our military should be at home. Leave the Middle East to settle itself on it’s own, and yes that means Israel will have to fend for itself, but it leaves our nation in a safer place.

        It may be hard to picture a world like that since our goverment seems so dedicated to the cause.

    • Luke says:

      @Mike – All gov’t, including dictatorships exist because those ‘innocents’ allow it to exist. The Romanians eventually realized they too could overthrow their dictator. Those ‘innocents’ are not ‘innocent’, never were and never will be. In any case, War Sucks. Get over it. If any nation/group/person wants to fight a war with the USA then be prepared for the big suck unless nation/group/person surrender unconditionally, prostrating yourself before us (e.g. Japan/Germany).

      If you are unclear on the concept of “War Suck” then watch Star Trek: The Original Series (ST:ToS) episode “A Taste of Armageddon” (season 1, episode 23). Keep watching it until you understand that people are killed (on purpose), buildings destroyed (on purpose), babies cry of starvation (sorry, too bad so sad, but hey war sucks, why again did you attack us?), mothers cry cause their babies died (sorry, too bad so sad, but hey war sucks, why again did you attack us?), and pestilence ravages the landscape (typically cholera – sorry, too bad so sad, but hey war sucks, why again did you attack us?)

    • Mike-
      I know it’s pretty over the top, but keep in mind this rec is on the heels of the US getting the hell OUT of these peoples lives. Not being the global police force, not playing politics in puppet dictatorships.

      but, I think a pretty stout warning of retribution might actually keep the peace over the long haul. these people only value sstrength and indtimidation.

      • Anders Albert says:

        It has been a couple of weeks since the last comment, but I have been catching up on the podcast and I would like to comment this. After following you for a some time Robb, and I must say a huge thank you for all you have done, you have provoked me . And it is this comment about nuking Iran.

        I get the point you are making about the U.S. should not be global police force and that it is not the U.S. task to rebuild governments around the world. Agree 100 % on this. I even get the point of 10000 to 1 retribution. To me that sounds a lot like a Machiavellian principle (described in the book The Prince by Niccoló Machiavelli). The principle or point as I remember it from school goes like this: If the U.S. strike quick and hard after some kind of attack it creates fear in the population of the country the U.S. strikes. Fear is considered to stop people from acting. On the other hand a long invasion, which is making the people suffer over time, is said to create hate in the population. Hate is considered to motivate people to act and you can expect a retaliation. So a 10 000 to 1 retribution would potentially scar anyone from attacking the U.S., which I am not sure I agree upon but it is a fear point.

        The problem with nuking somebody is the long term effect of a nuclear bomb. Radioactive waste makes the population being attacked suffer from a long time leading to hate and the Machiavellian principle is lost. I also think using a nuclear bomb rises a moral issue, since it can lead to consequences for the coming generation of the bombed country like the increase risk of cancer and birth defects. In addition I would like to point the environmental consequences of using nuclear bombs. In the history of the world only two bombs have been dropped and my opinion is that we should leave it at that. The U.S. is such an overwhelming military power that it shouldn’t be necessary to use nuclear bombs, you can still bomb anyone back to the stone age without using nuclear bombs. I ask you to seriously reconsider your statement on nuking Iran Robb.

  2. Norcal_Mike says:

    Why is it always Red vs. Blue? – Class warfare keeps us plebians distracted while we get our freedoms eroded by the gov’t and money ripped off by Wall Street. Emotional issues are used to keep us blind to the game being played.

    Action item: always vote against the incumbent unless they’re on a tear doing great stuff.

    A family friend recently won a primary to run in November. The “consultant” in Sacramento offered to sell him a list of big donors if he agreed to do EVERYTHING he was told. The offer was refused but the game is clear: puppets are handsomely paid, people who think for themself are declared whack jobs. Our country is now run by people who have sold out.

    Action item: review the donor list and simply realize that you are voting for those interests rather than the name on the ticket.

    Media: try to stomach opposing views like TYT (The Young Turks) and the Brian Wilson radio show. They actually agree on more than you might realize.

    Robb, isn’t an “us versus them” mindset very paleo in that there was always some other group nearby with whom you’re competing, distrustful, etc? Maybe those feelings are easily projected toward political groups that we’ve learned are the “other”?

    • Michael says:

      From one Norcal Mike to another, I agree with your Red vs. Blue statement, but I think it’s the reality of our country as long as abortion is the issue that polarizes the country. It’s a waste of breathe to even ask, but I can only imagine the possibility if Ron Paul was pro-choice.

      Robb’s comment during the show asking for some people from the left to move towards a candidate like Gary Johnson and some people from the right to do the same thing (both for different reasons, but in both cases because the candidate stands for things that they value more highly), will never happen so long as people are worried about abortion. This is a sad situation that paralyzes the country from making any real progress on things like healthcare and our budget.

      So long as an election is close (This one in November at least seems to be at this point), nobody will “waste a vote” on a third party candidate at the risk of losing the right to have an abortion. Roe v. Wade is now almost 40 years old, and yet the right would over turn it tomorrow if they could. It is the issue that is holding America back.

      On the wasted vote topic, I was randomly listening to NPR a few weeks ago (in a rental car.) when the Green Party candidate (Dr. Jill Stein) came on for an interview. The topic of spoiling an election came up, such as Ross Perot, or the green party candidate in 2000 spoiling Florida for Al Gore. She answered the question very well I thought. Her answer was basically that she is not concerned about the career of a politician when the American people are suffering so much. When the two party system is as corrupt and inefficient as it is, she doesn’t find any comfort in a democrat winning an election. I didn’t know anything about her at the time, but when I got home I filled out the survey at and discovered that asked Johnson, I had the most in common with her.

      I’m a 34 year old libertarian and in all likelihood Obama will win California, so my vote may not have any outcome on the presidential election, but I can still make my vote heard. I can abstain and remain part of the problem, or I can speak up in favor of “third” party candidates. Honestly my real choice at this point is between Johnson and Stein, I could never vote for a republican or democrat again.

      • Norcal_Mike says:

        Fun survey, they put me firmly with Gary Johnson. Voting for a third party candidate is the only way I can believe my vote isn’t wasted. Plus, being in favor of someone winning is much better on my constitution than being fearful that the more evil of two lessers might get it.

  3. sonny says:

    Paul Ryan voted yes to NoChild Left behind, voted for sanctions on Iran and Libya, voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act, voted for the NDAA, voted for TANF, voted yes on removing the need for FISA warrant for wiretapping, voted yes on $78 Billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, He voted yes on declaring war on Iraq with no deadline.

  4. Sean says:

    Another book recommedation is “Lords of Finance”

    Just before the outbreak of war in 1914, the consesus then was “that cilivilisation as we know has ended” during the freezing of all the worlds stock exchanges. It is this attitude; the same one that had nah sayers in the 18th century proclaimed that travelling in a steam engine faster than 35mph would crush the internal organs of a human. In a book called “Extreme Fear” by Jeff Wise he refers to a psychological concept called “terror management theory”. I believe this explains why everyone tries to “kick the can” or not be responsible for they’re own diet/wieght. These blinckers are built around the knowledge of our own mortality. I believe this to be the evolutionary foundation for our flaws. As Dave mentioned, I think modelling the society on the church has fatal flaws, building a belief system that is 1. Based on guilt and 2. putting people in a position of power that is almost absolute.

    When there were many religions and we didn’t need to “learn” economic management, we did awesome stuff like invent stories about the stars, and loved more deeply. Louis Liebenberg descibes a possible evolution of this love and science in “The Art of Tracking”.

    Oh, as a hater of the sound, I bought a shirt. Great job guys.

    Now that I think about it, flick me an email. You can keep the shirt (I live in Australia), give it to a homeless guy.

  5. James says:

    Not that I am a big fan of “nation building,” there are examples where this can be done quite well. The obvious example would be the reconstruction in Japan after WWII. The United States spent a considerable amount of money to help Japan recover from the war, which ultimately lead to our countries becoming allies. Had the US treated Japan with more punitive measures, such as what was done to Germany after WWI, it could have lead to further conflict and Japan even becoming a communist state (scary thought). That being said, the current foreign policy resembles more colonialism/imperialism than anything, primarily because we are the aggressor here, so the example of Japan does not apply very well. My main point is, foreign policy is a very dynamic environment and a one size fits all mentality may not be the most optimal approach.

  6. James says:

    In regards to the question, why do we have a two party system, the answer lies at the foundation of our political system. When the founders created the constitution, political parties were not a mature concept so there were never any counterbalances to avoid only having just two parties. Our election system is a winner take all kind of system, which naturally lends itself to consolidation of power. As such, minority political groups cannot find a voice unless they integrate into a larger, more powerful groups (i.e. the Ron Paul strategy). Historically, third parties have emerged from a need to give voice to political movements, but these parties are typically integrated into one of the existing parties fairly quickly. Also, given the fact that the winners then make the rules (redistricting and ballot regulations), it becomes all that much easier to marginalize third party political groups. External players also benefit from the two party system, who also perpetuate the system. The media derives much of its revenue from political adds, especially the negative adds. With more players in the mix, negative adds become less cost effective, so less money would go to media. Corporations also would prefer only dealing with two parties as again its more cost effective to influence only two groups rather than many. All this together adds up to the current situation we are in.

    Having gone through all the pro and anti third party rhetoric, one approach I would like to see third parties take is to reverse the “wasting your vote” argument and state that voting for Democrat or Republican is a wasted vote as it just perpetuates the broken system.

  7. Emily says:

    Robb and Dave,

    Love the podcast. It is refreshing to listen to someone talk about all the issues facing our country today and recognize that our government not only doesn’t have solutions, but is the biggest part of the problem. I believe that one of the biggest challenges in a third party candidate is the whole sacred cow issue. Politics in many ways has replaced religion in the country. If you stand for something that opposes someone else’s beliefs, you are practically treated like a heretic. A third party candidate will stand for issues that go against platform issues of each party. “i cant vote for X because he is pro-life.” “I can’t vote for X because he supports legalized drugs” etc. I am a voter who feels that voting for a third party candidate is not exactly a wasted vote, but will result in one of the major parties having a split vote, ie Ron Paul taking conservative votes or Ralph Nader taking democrat votes. In those cases historically, all that has done has made the Victory easier for the opposing party, generally speaking. I’m someone who has a hard time voting for a third party candidate out of fear that a split vote in my registered party means the other major party wins and based on my political beliefs that is a worse outcome than settling for my party’s lackluster candidates. You asked listeners to comment on why we are grounded in a two party system, in my opinion it is purely fear of the perceived damage the opposing party could do in power. I also agree that the media perpetuates this fear and makes it almost impossible to break out of this system. That’s my two cents. Thanks for the podcast, can’t wait for next week!

  8. tt says:

    Re: parties

    Washington was speaking of the ‘factions’ of the 1790s. It reflected (largely) the views of the somewhat similar backgrounds of post revolution American leaders- currently referred to as property owning dead white guys.

    For more modern origins, review Burt Folsom’s book New Deal or Raw Deal. This shows how the parties reacted to the great depression (Hint: constitutional federalism died in the 30s).

    Parties have expended a tremendous amount of energy to maintain loyalty. The techniques resemble those in selling cars, clothes, etc.

    • Greg Gagnon says:

      He also saw the challenges facing the Parliament and the various influences of Spain and France in England.

  9. Greg Gagnon says:

    I love the podcast. Y’all are (mostly, so far) my kind of Libertarians. I will go as the minority on this, since I have been listening to you while I mow the lawn, rather than in the car. Tomorrow I will listen to them again in the car and make notes this time. It is hard, because I would like to have a conversation with you about each part of this.

    Robb mentioned early on, that he wished people would just take the emotion out and think, then in this episode there was the quotation (sorry I didn’t catch it exactly) that proposed government policies be determined entirely rationally and without emotion. I think that emotion, for better or worse, is what people decide on. In a bad case it is prejudices, anger and fear that rule the process. In a more positive environment hope and charity rule. Economics tell us how money works, but emotion tells us how we should use it. We (as a nation/planet) need a better education in both of these things.

    I strongly disagree with the retaliatory policy you described as I find it inappropriate for the modern world, if ever it was. As a Marine, I would despise killing innocents in direct retaliation. As a student of history, it doesn’t work and we have tried it. The “Nuclear Military” was the policy after WWII. It led to an erosion of capability and manpower with a reliance on Mutually Assured Destruction. Ultimately it led to us being utterly unprepared for the next couple of decades of war. As I commented above such a policy would play directly into the hands of extremists.

    Here is a thought for future episodes: if anything is “too big to fail” the condition of bailing it out should be to jail or replace the management (not reward them) and break it up into pieces that are explicitly not “too big too fail”. Furthermore, we should not allow further mergers to occur. This is about the banks, but applies to other industries to a lesser degree.

    Thanks again for your efforts. If you are ever in Virginia I can spot you to a lunch, or dinner. 🙂

  10. Greg Gagnon says:

    Two further questions:
    How do I send you (both) a book? I ran across a new one that would be pertinent and am willing to spot you each a copy.

    A friend of mine is a sound engineer and runs a site about improving your electronic audio recording at a reasonable price:

    Tell them Cian sent you (long story).

  11. Brian Klein says:

    The reason I tend to vote along my registered party lines is that I agree with about 60% of what they stand for. (until you get into the details.) So I agree with the rhetoric, but not the results. The problem is that I would probably like different people from each party, but each party prohibits them from voting or shaping policy the way they want to. They are beholden to either republican or democratic ideals, or they won’t get help being re-elected from their particular party. Until the parties allow their constituents vote the way the want, we won’t have a good solution. And that will never happen. We will need a revolution of some sort to make it happen. Way too much money involved, and no one is going to stop giving them money. To be honest, I’m at the point of not caring at all, and just voting for Robb or David, because it doesn’t really matter which one of the republican or democratic puppets is elected. They are equally as bad on their respective sides of the story.

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  13. Paleo K8 says:

    I’m really nervous to post my questions b/c it seems like it’s probably a dumb one and I really am just ‘cutting my teeth on all this politics/policy/make the world better cuz you’re an adult now’ stuff. I have crazy-big respect for Robb b/c of how understandable he makes really big concepts so I’m hoping I’ll get some solid insights here to help guide me.

    As someone who was raised Republican (b/c mom & dad were), was a youthful believer in “Hope and Change” in 08 and now am a small biz owner scared sh*tless about what’s to come down the pike from either party for me…I really want to learn how to make the best decision for me with this next election.

    If considering voting for someone other than the 2 Big parties, I worry that since some other candidate just doesn’t have enough support to actually win, that is then 1 less vote for the “least bad” party into office. I’m worried the party candidate I REALLY hate then ends up winning b/c people like me were trying to take a stand and vote for someone OTHER than the 2 Big parties.

    What’s a person to do? Take a stand by voting out of the 2 parties and risk the 1 of the 2 Big parties candidates you loathe winning b/c votes that would have gone to the opponent were diverted to the 3rd party candidate?