Monthly Archives: June 2018

EP 145 Saudi, Inc.



 

https://d1-invdn-com.akamaized.net/Saudi,%20Inc_1513777918_1515654149.pngAmerica is now an oil exporter. Saudi Arabia has been one for the better part of a century, first in partnership with Standard Oil of Southern California(now Chevron)and over time on their own. The history of Saudi Arabia is inextricably linked to the business acumen of the ruling family and their ability to make ‘God’s gift’ to the Kingdom one that they controlled and used to maintain their power. Now, on the verge of the largest IPO in history, we check in with Dr. Ellen Wald, author of ‘Saudi, Inc.: The Arabian Kingdom’s Pursuit of Profit and Power’ to determine what state of U.S.-Saudi relations have been and are today. Saudi Arabia will be in the news a lot in the coming period. With a new Crown Prince in his 30’s the world imagines a different Saudi Arabia going forward. We will put this mysterious kingdom in context for you in this podcast.

Saudi.Inc GREAT BOOK


EP 144 THE FUTURE OF CUBA AFTER THE CASTROS



 

https://cdn.evbuc.com/eventlogos/170048434/rlake2cheadshot-1.jpgNinety miles from Florida’s southern tip lies the intriguing political story of Cuba. Long-time enemies, trying to spread Communism in our sphere of influence, once a client state of the former Soviet Union, we must consider what kind of risk or opportunity the island holds for us today. With Fidel Castro dead and Raul handing power over to a designated successor, is the new boss same as the old boss, or will the cultural and political bonds between our nations be mended? President Barack Obama began re-establishing relations in his second term, but the current Administration is less inclined to continue that process. In this podcast, we turn to Roseann Lake, a reporter for ‘The Economist’ magazine in Cuba, for her insights.

ROSEANN LAKE


EP 143 It’s Better Than It Looks



Image result for its better than it looksFDR reminded us of this many years ago.  And, according to author Gregg Easterbrook it’s never being truer than today.  So while we dwell on small details the big picture for the world is that whatever indices you use–disease, poverty, resource depletion, crime, food supply, world war–the world has never been better off.  Mr. Easterbrook admits that inequality and climate change remain challenges, but, in his mind, more easily overcome against this backdrop of improving conditions around the globe. It’s an optimist’s view of the human condition and a welcome change from 24/7 misery many are selling.  His thesis is ‘It’s Better Than it Looks’. Cheer up and listen.

IT’S BETTER THAN IT LOOKS

 


EP 142 Life on Mars



Image result for Life on Mars: What to Know Before You GoAstronomist, David Weintraub, completes our mini-series on current space exploits by explaining the historical fascination with the red planet and present day efforts to get there in his book ‘Life on Mars: What to Know Before You Go’.  It’s all the rage and the pioneers are lining up to jump aboard the first manned spaceship going that way.  Would you?  Consider this: it’s a risk in going, will take about six months transit and there’s no need to buy a round trip ticket.  Oh, I forgot to say, that there’s no oxygen, just carbon dioxide, so no need to bring clothes because you’ll be walking around in that spacesuit for the foreseeable future.  And, if there’s no doctor on the journey, well….It’s still fascinating to contemplate as we do on this episode.

THIS BOOK IS OUT OF THIS WORLD

 


EP 141 The Space Barons



Remember when we would watch in awe as Americans were lifted into space?  What pride we all had in NASA and our country’s scientific greatness.  While we still send astronauts to the International Space Station, courtesy of the Russian government(imagine that), but as Neil DeGrass Tyson said ‘going where man has gone many times before’.  So where is the action when it comes to space travel–perhaps returning a person to the moon or Mars?  It rests with billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos as they are taking good chunks of their fortunes to bet on space travel, tourism and as the hope for mankind to avoid extinction.  There are others in the hunt, too.  Each is working more or less along side NASA, but leadership in space seems to have been privatized.  We will explore the outer limits of this new space race with Christian Davenport, author of ‘The Space Barons’.

A VERY GOOD READ


EP 140 FAKE NEWS: IS IT REAL? Part Two



Image result for fake news

 

The panel discussion continues. Description is available below

With the term being bandied about as a weapon of mass distraction, you probably are confused by what the term ‘fake news’ really means. It’s for that reason that America Trends brings you a two-part series culled from a panel discussion which Larry Rifkin moderated in Connecticut recently. The panel included three Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists. The event was put on by Connecticut Humanities and involved Captial Community College of Hartford. Production services were provided by Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Media Center, based in Middletown, Connecticut. The panelists are McIntire of the New York Times, Gina Seay, former senior editor of the Hartford Courant, Steven G. Smith, photojournalist and professor at the University of Connecticut(U Conn) and Mike Stanton, another U Conn professor. More of their backgrounds are provided in the introductions.


EP 139 FAKE NEWS: IS IT REAL? Part One



With the term being bandied about as a weapon of mass distraction, you probably are confused by what the term ‘fake news’ really means. It’s for that reason that America Trends brings you a two-part series culled from a panel discussion which Larry Rifkin moderated in Connecticut recently. The panel included three Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists. The event was put on by Connecticut Humanities and involved Capital Community College of Hartford. Production services were provided by Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Media Center, based in Middletown, Connecticut. The panelists are McIntire of the New York Times, Gina Seay, former senior editor of the Hartford Courant, Steven G. Smith, photojournalist and professor at the University of Connecticut(U Conn) and Mike Stanton, another U Conn professor. More of their backgrounds are provided in the introductions.


EP 138 IS THE NUMBERS GAME MEASURING OR BETRAYING AMERICAN PROGRESS?



Image result for The Tyranny of Metrics' by Jerry Z. Muller‘What gets measured gets done’, according to management experts like Tom Peters. But does it get done at the expense of other–more important–things? That’s the central question of the book ‘The Tyranny of Metrics’ by Jerry Z. Muller. He joins us for a discussion of whether all goods and services in our society can be quantified and whether that’s the best use of precious time. For example, is the new tendency in public education to teach to the test enhancing learning or simply a way to limit the evaluation of students and teachers to a number when society may benefit from a much more robust measure of readiness. Central to the issue is whether using numbers as the predominant indicator assures that they will be manipulated in some way. Take a listen.

CHECK OUT THE BOOK


EP 137 America Turns Into One Big Casino



Recently, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional and repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, it opened the floodgates for any state to legalize sports betting.  On the heels of this decision, America Trends got busy in finding out what this might suggest for the future for our society.  The normalizing and legalizing of any such activity has social impacts.  In this blended podcast, we turn to Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, Arnie Wexler, co-author of ‘All Bets Are Off’ and Daniel Simone, an expert on mob activities in America, to get their unique perspectives on what happens next.

ALL BETS ARE OFF

KEITH WHYTE

DANIEL SIMONES WEB SITE