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« The Predictable Odor of the Goldman Sachs Seepage | Main | Big Government Cronies: John Stossel On Crony Capitalism And The Obama White House (VIDEO) »
Thursday
Feb252010

John Stossel, Glenn Beck & Penn Jillette Discuss The Nanny State, Canada and ObamaCare (VIDEO)

Video:  Cato Institute Fellow Penn Jillette and John Stossel join Glenn Beck to discuss health care, the nanny state, Canada and more -- Fall 2009

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Apparently (verified it), Penn Jillette from Penn and Teller, is a fellow for the CATO Institute.  Teller (Raymond Joseph Teller) is also a Cato Institute Fellow and Libertarian:

  • Teller, on the other hand, has been quieter about his politics, but did come clean during an online chat on WashingtonPost.com. When asked who he supported in the 2000 election, Teller said, "I am Libertarian. Democrats and Republicans, well, it's kind of like a 'magician's choice' -- two identical incumbent organizations pretending to be different so that we will vote the same old mob back into power. I think our only hope is to support intelligent third-party candidates." (December 29, 2000.)

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Penn and Teller - Libertarians

Las Vegas headliners Penn & Teller are often described as the "bad boys of magic." You could also call them the "bad boys of liberty" -- since both the bigger, louder half (Penn Jillette) and the smaller, silent half (Raymond Joseph Teller) of the award-winning magic team are self-proclaimed libertarians.

As befitting his "loud" status, Jillette talks about his political beliefs at the drop of a rabbit-filled hat. In an interview with the Boston Phoenix (July 2-8, 2004), he said, "Well, I'm a real total-freedom nut, a libertarian, and I'm one of those crazy optimists. Let people do what they want and everything will be okay."

On the FilmForce.IGN.com Web site, Jillette said, "I'm a hardcore libertarian. I want everything legal." (October 13, 2003.) And in the Cato Institute's Regulation magazine, he described himself as "a Libertarian, pro-freedom, governs-least-governs-best, free market advocate." (Summer 2001.) Jillette also took the World's Smallest Political Quiz, scoring 100/100 and saying, "That was easy."

Teller, on the other hand, has been quieter about his politics, but did come clean during an online chat on WashingtonPost.com. When asked who he supported in the 2000 election, Teller said, "I am Libertarian. Democrats and Republicans, well, it's kind of like a 'magician's choice' -- two identical incumbent organizations pretending to be different so that we will vote the same old mob back into power. I think our only hope is to support intelligent third-party candidates." (December 29, 2000.)

Put the two libertarians together on stage, and it's no surprise that a "deep commitment to rational thought and freedom" runs through their comedy/magic act, as Jillette told the Las Vegas Sun (August 3, 2001). However, it's a safe bet that most of the audience is just appreciating the jokes and tricks. Penn & Teller's act includes shadow puppets, goldfish, a wood chipper, a gorilla, broken glass bottles (which they juggle), and their famous Magic Bullet Trick. Violating all the traditions of magic, the two even show the audience how some of their tricks are performed. The CheapVegas.com Web site called the act "more entertaining than just about any other magic show in town."

More entertaining and more successful; Penn & Teller are arguably the most famous magic team in the world. They first joined forces in 1975, when Teller was a high school Latin teacher who dabbled in magic and Penn was a street performer. The team clicked, and within a decade they had their own off-Broadway show. In the years that followed, they toured the country, starred in several television specials, and appeared on TV shows ranging from Saturday Night Live to the Tonight Show to The Simpsons to Inside Dish on Food TV. Since 2002, they have been headlining six nights a week at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, where they have twice been named "Las Vegas Magicians of the Year."

Penn & Teller are also the authors of the books Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1989), How to Play With Your Food (1992), and How to Play in Traffic (1997). In addition, Jillette wrote the novel Sock (2004), while Teller penned a memoir to his father, When I'm Dead All This Will Be Yours (2000). They starred in two TV series, Penn & Teller's Sin City on the FX Network, and Bullsh*t! (which debunks "frauds and fakes") on Showtime. In 2005, they appeared in the documentary, The Aristocrats, where they discuss a very dirty joke.

The duo won two Emmy Awards and an International Golden Rose Award for their 1985 PBS special, Penn & Teller Go Public. In 1997, they were named two of the funniest people alive in Entertainment Weekly's "50 Greatest Comedians Today."

Their talents don't stop with entertainment. Jillette wrote a monthly column for PC Computing magazine and is active with the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, while Teller was a Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute.

In their spare time, Penn & Teller are free-speech activists. Teller has spoken out against government mandated V-chips in televisions, while Jillette has been a vocal critic of the Federal Communications Commission's crackdown on "offensive speech." (In a April 1994 interview with Reason magazine, Jillette said he takes "the First Amendment defense" about freedom of expression: "Congress shall make no law. As Justice Douglas said, those are the only words you need in that amendment.") In 2001, the pair was awarded the Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation for their work to defend free speech.


Quotable

"I'm a hardcore libertarian. I want everything legal." -- Penn Jillette in an interview on FilmForce.IGN.com (October 13, 2003)

"I am Libertarian. Democrats and Republicans, well, it's kind of like a 'magicians choice' -- two identical incumbent organizations pretending to be different so that we will vote the same old mob back into power." -- Teller in an online chat on WashingtonPost.com (December 29, 2000)

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Reader Comments (3)

Feb 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
DB,

Sorry, I can't share your enthusiasm for Jillete, either as an entertainer or a spokesman. Here's my problem with these noveau "libertarians", when the smoke clears you realize that they want all the money paid into Social Security gifted to the rich and they will use any ideology argument that is convenient to aid and abet yet another gigantic transfer of wealth (theft).

I wouldn't mind this kind of "libertarian" so much if they had a problem buying imported goods made by what is essentially slave labor, but they never do. Oh, and if any enterprising souls want to pirate their imported oil, you'll suddenly find out they're a lot more pro big government & military.

I truly believe the "one-percenters" and their mouthpieces are now masquerading as so-called libertarians, trying to get the middle class to cut it's owm throat.
Feb 25, 2010 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh
Why's Mark in such a rush to put words in others' mouths?

Let's make the most of this: Here's my problem with Mark....when the smoke clears, you realize that all Mark wants is for the government to confiscate all private property and hand over to the "disenfranchised."

I wouldn't mind this kind of "liberal" so much if they had a problem with the government defining proper conduct and transactions between consenting adults.
Jun 17, 2011 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark McHugh's Mirror

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