Monthly Archives: August 2019

EP 268 Why Does an Overweight Society Still Discriminate Against Overweight People?

:           National rates of obesity in American youth and adults remain high and yet many societal messages tell us that you should be ashamed of being larger than certain standards suggest.  Studies bear out that this form of discrimination hinders many people’s chances in this society and can result in some very harmful effects, like depression, eating disorders, reduced self esteem and other chronic diseases.  It all points to the fact that ‘fat shaming’ as it’s often called, while intended by parents, for example, to encourage weight loss and certain changes in behavior may have the opposite effect. Weight issues may be the result of genetics or previous life traumas, but the messaging in our culture pays no account and focuses on a thin representation of beauty.  Those messages are often matched or exceeded by the food industry urging us to eat more junk foods which contribute to obesity.  The whole picture is disturbing and confusing.  To help us sort through it all is Rebecca Puhl, PhD, a professor at the University of Connecticut and Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

EP 267 White House Warriors Have Taken Over Foreign Policy: Is That a Good Thing?

 They are located on the third floor of the Executive Office Building
in Washington, D.C.  Having grown over the years from about a dozen
people to hundreds today, when they were first empowered by President
Harry Truman to take over a major role in developing foreign policy ,
the National Security Council(NSC) has its fingerprints over all aspects
of war and peace.  And, yet, very few Americans understand what they do
and Congress has very little interaction with members of the NSC.  It’s
one of the key reasons we can look to the growing power of the Imperial
Presidency and question whether this amassing of power in the White
House has resulted in better, or worse, policies and outcomes. John
Gans, PhD. is the director of communications and research at Perry World
House, the University of Pennsylvania’s global policy institute and was
a former speechwriter at the Pentagon and is the author of ‘White House
Warriors’.  In this book he explores how the NSC transformed the
American way of war.  No matter the Administration, or the party of the
president, the concentration of power in a few hands continues.  And
considering some of the foreign policy debacles that have ensued in this
period, we discuss whether this approach is really working and what we
can do to change it.

EP 266 Do Private Prisons Have a Role in Our Society?

 Private prisons have been a controversial topic over the recent years,
but some thought that they had been all but set aside as an option for
incarceration at the end of the Obama Administration.  However, the
Trump Administration didn’t feel as unkindly toward them and the talk of
their demise has been exaggerated.  It’s a resilient industry and
looking for new ways to survive in a period when both parties are
looking for ways to limit the use of prisons for many offenses as part
of criminal justice reform.  In this podcast, Brett Burkhardt, Ph.D, a
sociology professor at Oregon State University joins us to discuss the
key elements of the debate over prison privatization: cost, quality and
morality.  To cut to the chase, is a profit driven enterprise truly
interested in rehabilitation when logic would dictate that recidivism is
the way to greater profitability?  And if the administration of
punishment, meted out by public institutions, isn’t the purview of a
public agency of correction, what is?  We explore these points and more
in this podcast.

EP 265 Can Baby Boomers and Millennial’s Co-Exist?

      Being on this earth at this time represents a unique opportunity–and a special challenge.  As you’ll learn in this podcast, it’s the first time in history that six generations have shared the planet.  And while we talk about many divides and schisms–race, ethnicity, gender orientation–what has happened to the generation gap?  It was a big talking point in the 1960’s when ‘no one over 30’ could be trusted.  Today, the gulf that is most important is between the baby boomers, living longer and showing no signs of relinquishing control, and the other large cohort, the millennial’s.  Whether many of us feel we are in conflict with our children, it’s clear that technology, lifestyle and values do make communications a challenge.  And, we’re all having our equilibrium tossed about with the speed of change.  You’ll soon see that this makes for a fascinating conversation to sort things out with Hayim Herring, author of ‘Connecting Generations who makes an attempt to bridge the boomer, Gen X and Millennial divide.  Just hit play or download now

EP 264 Why Doesn’t She Just Leave Him?

The title of this episode is one of the most misunderstood aspects of intimate partner violence which runs rampant in our society and virtually every other. The World Health Organization deems it a ‘global epidemic’, fueled in our society by guns in the home and many reasons to keep it locked in silence. The perpetrator, most times a male, tries to make the perimeter of a victim’s life smaller and less connected and the victim is playing for time trying to figure out the best strategy to keep herself, and children, safe while an escape plan evolves. Both knowing that the mechanisms put in place to protect the victim–restraining orders key among them–are very inadequate for the personality traits that fuel the perpetrator. In a society that has contributed to the reluctance to make these ‘family matters more public, even in the last quarter century in the wake of the O.J. Simpson case, progress has been slow. Finally, we have a brilliant journalist who has given us new literature through which to see this devastating problem for what it is. Rachel Louise Snyder, author of ‘No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us’, joins us to walk through these personal, and societal, tragedies. Listen as she describes why it’s a crime like no other. And then, please, share this information with others.

EP 263 Why Are Republicans So Much Better at the Game of Politics Than Democrats?

  Even if Democrats often seem to drive the policy agenda forward in American politics, the Republicans long game strategy of chipping away at those gains has been remarkably(or appallingly)successful, depending upon how you look at it.  How do they do it? Caroline Fredrickson, author of ‘The Democracy Fix’ explains, in detail, the conservative strategy of building permanent institutions–think tanks, media outlets, rules changes, court packing mechanisms and funding modes–to quietly shift the power balance in their favor over decades.  And they’ve done it at every level of government. Even if the dots have been apparent in this effort for years, her writings, for the first time, connect them all in a way that helps you understand that while the GOP may often lose on policy, their determined approach to changing the rules is severely undercutting Democratic initiatives.  Do the Democrats have an answer to this? Listen in and find out.

EP 262 Is Animal Rights the Next Great Battle for Justice?

Have you seen anyone wearing a mink stole lately? What was once so fashionable is now considered cruel and uncivil. Will eating the meat of an animal fall into this category twenty to 30 years from now? I wouldn’t bet against it. Perhaps we move in this direction because of the impact of meat harvesting on the environment or for health related reasons or the barbaric practices of many slaughterhouse operations. Regardless, the reason the sins of what’s called ‘species ism’,–the practice of discriminating against living things based on their species affiliation’–is coming under attack by diverse groups. And when Burger King starts offering a plant based ‘Whopper’, you know something is afoot in the culture. We discuss these issues with Amy Jean Davis, founder of LA Animal Save and spokesperson for the Save Movement. It is definitely a time when the line between more humane practices that fall under the rubric ‘animal welfare’ are giving way to ‘animal rights’, where even these practices seem unacceptable. We will help you understand the distinctions on today’s podcast.

EP 261 The US Needs More Workers, Not a Wall

 If the fog of political misdirection could ever clear, perhaps we could have an adult conversation about the true goings on on our southern border.  Unlikely. Except in this podcast, scholar Pia Orrenius, of the more conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, clearly explains that our greatest imperative going forward is to ensure enough workers are available to meet American needs.  And with our aging population and low fertility rates, those workers are going to come from abroad and often from Mexico. After decades of stricter border security measures, we no longer have an undocumented immigrant crisis, but rather one of families and unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States.  We try to unravel one issue from the other and, in the process, point out that a wall is a remedy whose time has come and gone. So, let’s move on to discuss asylum, increasing caps on workers and simplifying rules or we won’t have the low skilled workers–yes, low skilled–to perform necessary tasks like home care, agriculture and construction.