The Power of Independent Thinking

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Posted: Tue. February 24, 2015

Independent Institute Senior Vice President Mary L. G. Theroux joins the discussion on the Gil Gross radio on Talk910 in San Francisco.

Posted: Tue. February 24, 2015

Sr. Fellow John R. Graham appeared on the Larry Conners USA radio show to talk about the failings of the Affordable Care Act and how it is costing people more money than originally thought. Graham also discusses the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court Case "King vs Burwell" that may strike down Obamacare in states that have not set up their own health care exchanges.

Posted: Mon. February 23, 2015

Independent Institute Senior Vice President Mary L. G. Theroux was a guest on KPCC radio to discuss California's effort to repeal the "maximum family grant" rule for welfare recipients with children. Families that have more children while on welfare do not receive an increase in their grant. This could be reversed by a new law proposed by Calif. State Senator Holly Mitchell, who was also a guest on the show.

Posted: Mon. February 16, 2015

"Nothing will be the same after September 11." This is the view offered since the announcement of the war on terrorism, a "permanent war" declared with an ill-defined objective and unclear enemies. At this upcoming Independent Policy Forum and based on his new book, Theater of War, Lewis H. Lapham will instead discuss with intelligence and wit why the recent behavior of the U.S. government is consistent with that of past administrations. Politicians have long fostered pork, corporate welfare, government surveillance, and global interventionism that have created a more dangerous world. Now, we face the prospects of a major war in Iraq combined with the Orwellian USA PATRIOT Act, TIPS domestic spying program, Department of Homeland Security, incarcerations without charge or trial, militarized domestic law enforcement and airport security, and national ID cards.

Until recently, hearing skeptics of the "permanent war" has largely been a rarity. For example, as Lapham points out: "Ted Koppel struck the preferred note of caution on November 2 when introducing the Nightline audience to critics of the American bombing of Afghanistan: 'Some of you, many of you, are not going to like what you hear tonight. You don't have to listen.'" Unpopular, informed opinions seldom appear on the network news, and since the destruction of the World Trade Center, dissenting voices have been few and far between. However, Lewis Lapham is a major exception, questioning the motive, feasibility and morality, as well as the imperial pretension, of an infinite and dangerous, U.S. global-war crusade.

This special program with Lewis Lapham and a distinguished panel of journalists, Alan W. Bock, Jonathan Marshall, Seth Rosenfeld, and Paul H. Weaver, discusses the "U.S. War on Terrorism: Myths and Realities."

Posted: Fri. February 6, 2015

The Civil Rights revolution was a pinnacle of American history, freeing African Americans from centuries of disenfranchisement. Yet, according to linguist John McWhorter, it has had a tragic side effect. As racism recedes as a serious obstacle to black advancement, many black Americans have been misled into a self-destructive ideological detour. Has affirmative action fostered the cults of Victimology, Separatism, and Anti-Intellectualism? Have false assumptions and low expectations conditioned black students for low achievement? If racism is to be dealt a final death blow, what strategies must Americans – black and white – pursue?

Posted: Fri. February 6, 2015

With his numerous books, articles and essays about politics, war and social disorder under his belt, it was only a matter of time until P.J. O'Rourke found his way to the subject of his new book, "Eat the Rich." In "Parliament of Whores," he lampooned the entire U.S. government. "All the Troubles in the World" attacked the pandemic worries of the politically correct; and this time – it's the economy, stupid! What is wealth and how do we get it? Or as he asks, "Why do some places prosper and thrive while others just stink?"

As most people (along with many "experts") try to fathom the volatility of financial markets and the complexities of global economies, the man who Time magazine has called "one of America's most hilarious and provocative writers" brings it all into perspective. Who else but P.J. could provide this primer on Wall Street: "In order to understand the stock market we have to realize that, like anything enormous and inert, it's fundamentally stable, and like anything emotion-driven, it's volatile as hell."

But he doesn't stop there. Embarking from Wall Street, P.J. takes us on a hilarious and enlightening worldwide tour of the foibles of governments from Russia to Tanzania, from Albania to Shanghai, and from Hong Kong to Havana, and revisits college economics courses, counteracting them with his own version of Econ 101.

The result is the world's only astute, comprehensive and comic presentation of the basic principles of economics that will truly make you laugh on purpose.

P. J. O’Rourke

Bestselling Author, Humorist and Political Satirist

Author, Eat the Rich: A Treatise in Economics

David J. Theroux

Founder and President, The Independent Institute

Posted: Wed. February 4, 2015

In his #1 New York Times bestselling book, Zero to One, Peter Thiel presents his often contrarian ideas about competition, progress, technology, and finding value in unexpected places—to build a future that we have yet to dream, but that may someday become reality. In “Developing the Developed World” he brings these ideas to life, including his insights on how to create true innovations in “the world of atoms”—not just “digits and bits”—and how to foster a peaceful, prosperous and freer future marked by globalization in a world of limited resources.

Peter Thiel is Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management, LLC; Co-Founder of Paypal, Palantir Technologies, Mithril Capital Management, and Valar Ventures; Managing Partner of Founders Fund; and past President of Thiel Capital International and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Confinity, Inc. He has been a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and he is the author of the books:

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, Or How to Build the Future (with Blake Masters)

The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus (with David O. Sacks)

He co-founded PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and in 2002 sold it to eBay and founded Clarium Capital Management, a global macro fund. In 2004 he made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he serves as a director. The same year he co-founded Palantir Technologies, a software company that harnesses computers to empower human analysts in fields like security and global finance. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, RoboteX, Spotify, and dozens of successful technology startups. He is a co-founder and partner at Founders Fund, a venture capital firm that has funded companies like SpaceX and Airbnb. And in 2012 he co-founded Mithril Capital Management, an international technology investment fund.

Mr. Thiel started the Thiel Fellowship, which ignited a national debate by encouraging young people to put learning before schooling, and he leads the Thiel Foundation, which works to advance technological progress and long-term thinking about the future. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, where he received an A.B. in philosophy and a J.D. from the Stanford University School of Law. He further co-produced the film, "Thank You for Smoking," he was rated a master by the United States Chess Federation, and he received the Innovation Award from "The Economist" in 2010.

Posted: Mon. February 2, 2015

Tuesday, December 3, 1996

Co-sponsored by the Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission
University Theater, Garvey Fine Arts Center
Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Moderator:
Arthur R. Miller, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Participants:
Bruce L. Benson, Professor of Economics, Florida State University; Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute
Erika Holzer, bestselling author of book and major motion picture, Eye for an Eye
Wendy Kaminer, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
William I. Koch, Chairman, Koch Crime Commission
Alan J. Lizotte, Director, Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, University at Albany
David B. Sentelle, Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
David J. Theroux, Founder and President, The Independent Institute
Richard L. Thornburgh, former U.S. Attorney General
Hubert Williams, President, Police Foundation
Marvin E. Wolfgang, Director, Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
James R. Wyrsch, President, Wyrsch Hobbs Mirakian & Lee, P.C.

Violent crime continues to be a major social and economic problem in the United States and around the world. This important debate, held before an audience of 1,000 at Washburn University, features a panel of experts from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including criminal justice officials, business and civic leaders, scholars, and best-selling authors.

In a lively and challenging exchange of ideas, the program addresses why the criminal justice system has become increasingly bureaucratized and politicized, ever less responsive and ever more costly. Topics include victim’s rights, crime and incarceration rates, restitution, civil liberties, illicit drugs, guns, racism, policing, privatization, and sentencing.

Co-sponsored by The Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission, this program was distributed by Central Educational Network and appeared on the Public Broadcasting System.