Young Voices Podcast – Popular Culture Is Something to Celebrate

Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and Advocate Jerrod Laber discussing how popular culture should be celebrated because it is a reflection of individual values and preferences.

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Because of Trump’s Myths, Conservatives Increasingly Becoming Anti-Trade

According to a September poll conducted by Politico and Harvard, 85 percent of Republicans believe that free trade has cost more American jobs than it has created. Under Trump’s influence, opposition to free trade among Republicans now outpaces Democrats, only 54 percent of whom believe trade has been harmful.

One of Donald Trump’s core talking points is his opposition to free trade. Trump has insisted that trade deals, most notably the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have harmed the American economy. On this issue, he represents a drastic departure from the Republican norm, even going so far as to praise self-described socialist and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ protectionist trade views.

Trump asserts that if elected, he will craft “better deals”, and that the existing ones are detrimental to American workers. He’s called NAFTA a “total disaster”, alleging that it has resulted in resources and jobs fleeing south of the border to Mexico, leaving Americans permanently unemployed.

Such claims may be politically expedient, but they are premised on misinformation. Those who advance the “NAFTA kills jobs” narrative ignore the fact that NAFTA had no statistically significant influence on job growth. According to data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, from 1980 to 1993, in the 13 years prior to NAFTA, the American economy added a net 21.4 million jobs, a growth of 23.6 percent. In the 13 years after NAFTA, from 1994 to 2007, the economy grew by 25.6 million jobs, or 22.8 percent. If NAFTA had really been a horrific job killer, a substantial dip in job creation would be expected.

Continue reading at Townhall.


US partnership with psychos and tyrants is a national embarrassment

The United States has allies and partners all over the world.  Yet very few people question the necessity of such partnerships, even when they are with states led by unhinged maniacs or tyrants.

Exhibit number one in the unhinged category falls to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.  Recently, Duterte seemed to call President Obama a “son of a b—-.”  As a result, bilateral talks were canceled between them.  Duterte has a propensity for such language, having slurred the pope and the American ambassador with similar language in the past.

However, one might be able to get over President Duterte’s colorful turns of phrase if such language weren’t accompanied by outright disturbing rhetoric and even more disturbing actions.  Duterte was elected on a tough-on-crime platform.  According to The Guardian, Duterte promised during the election that “100,000 people would die in his crackdown on drugs, with so many dead bodies dumped in Manila Bay that fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.”  This hardly seems like an empty boast, since when Duterte was mayor of the town of Davao, he was connected to vigilante groups believed to have killed over 1,000 people.  He has admitted to participating in the killing of three suspected criminals while he was mayor and is nicknamed “the punisher.”  Nearly 2,000 people have been killed within his first two months in office, and he has called for addicts to be killed by vigilantes.

Despite this outrageous behavior, the U.S. has pledged to help the Philippines in its war on drugs.  Even worse, following a 10-year defense agreement signed in 2014, the U.S. has begun deploying U.S. troops to the country in order to balance against China’s claims in the South China Sea.

Continue Reading at American Thinker.


Young Voices Podcast – Why local governments should welcome driverless cars and 5G networks

Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Advocate Grant Broadhurst discussing the popular belief that choosing to vote third party is wasting your vote.

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Why Prosecutors Shouldn’t Tweet: The Lesson Of Bill Cosby

Libel, imprisonment, or execution: where prosecution is the public concern, the game of social-media Russian roulette is as random as it is dangerous. Ultimately, a defendant’s fate may be determined by a tweet or a Facebook post. Innocence, guilt, these are only trifling concerns.

Just so with Bill Cosby, whose lawyers filed a motion this week objecting to his renewed prosecution, on the basis that a ten-year delay in criminal charges violated his right to a fair trial. Cosby’s objection is one that may become more common, as his defense team and other attorneys acclimate to a persecutory social media climate uninterested in careful inquiry.

Ideally, in situations like this case, prosecutors will abide by the ethical canon that forbids public statements “likely to increase public condemnation of the accused.” In practice, this ethical restraint is seldom exercised.

The solution is for state, city, and federal prosecutors’ offices to institute bans barring their attorneys from using social media.

Why the absoluteness of a complete ban? For the same reason Batson strikes and Brady violations exist: to stack juries based on race, hide evidence from the defense, or taint the public’s view so they’re incapable of objectivity, can irreversibly contaminate a courtroom. As Justice Robert Jackson aptly observed, “[t]he prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America.” That sort of power shouldn’t go unchecked.

Other figures, like judges, are severely limited in regards to political activity because of their institutional neutrality. But prosecutors aren’t neutral. Practically speaking, most chase the twin goals of winning elections and maintaining high conviction rates. When those goals overlap, justice may emerge stillborn.

Continue reading at The Daily Caller.