Monthly Archives: October 2019

EP 286 Black Power, Jewish Politics: A Look Back and Forward

Image result for Professor Marc Dollinger, author of 'Black Power Jewish Politics

 The notion of African-American and Jewish leaders walking arm in arm
during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s stirs many, so proud that
they were on the right side of history.  And yet that imagery may mask
some truths that historians are now uncovering.  Chief among them is
Professor Marc Dollinger, author of ‘Black Power Jewish Politics’, whose
careful examination of the period suggests a divergence of interest
between the two communities that is understandable, though little
reported, until this time.  He also unlocks some fascinating new
thinking about the black power movement and its impact on all other
pride movements, including Jews rallying to the Zionist tradition in the
wake of Israel’s victory in the 1967 War.  Once we correct the
historical record, we move on in this conversation to talk about where
the two communities are today as horrific events pose real threats to
both groups by white supremacists.  Will it draw them closer together? 
Find out in the next thirty minutes.

EP 285 Regrets, I’ve Had a Few..

  If you’ve had a lot of regrets about the decisions you’ve made in your
life that brought you to this point…well, a new study points to the
fact that you are not alone.  According to the numbers, 4 in ten people
say they regret how they’ve lived their lives so far.  Frankly, I
consider that number to be lower than what walking around research might
tell us.  In this podcast with Steve Fink of, we explore
this study and what it means.  Given that we make 70 decisions a day,
one of my questions relates to whether what we regret represents a big
decision or the small ones that we make more out of than we should.  The
big ones: did I pick the right partner, am I on the most satisfying
career track, should I have moved to a new place when I had the chance? 
Choosing leather seats over cloth ones in my new car purchase my
paralyze us in the short term, but shouldn’t even ruin our day.  It’s a
freewheeling conversation where we look at common regrets and even
explore those of terminally ill patients who looked back at their
lives.  Whatever age and stage you’re at, it’s a good conversation to
listen in on.

3 Special Edition American Companies are Selling Their Souls, as Well as Their Products, to Profit from the Chinese Market

The NBA is ‘woke’ in many respects but not when it comes to cutting off
ties with the lucrative Chinese market which comprises a growing
revenue stream for the association.  The recent controversy,  fueled by
comments by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, points out the
delicate dance between defending democratic ideals of freedom of speech
and individual rights when they come into conflict with the profit
motive. Our podcast is focusing on this topic because it goes well
beyond the NBA to a range of American businesses which must defer to and
comply with Communist concerns about product and even creative content
if they want access to the growing consumer culture of China.  Is it
worth the price of admission and what are we giving up in the process? 
Do you feel this issue should be part and parcel of the ongoing trade
talks with China–and is it?   Based on her provocative column on the
subject, we reached out to our guest, Miranda Devine, an opinion
columnist at the New York Post and we engaged in wide ranging
conversation on the subject.

EP 284 The Invisible Brand: Marketing in the Age of AI

  When broadcasting and mass circulation newspapers were king, we all
received the same news, advertising and messages.  In the earliest days
of digital technology, we, the consumer, have been king.  The
competition between on line and on the ground retailers has given us
choice and competitive pricing.  As marketing becomes totally
individualized through the use of sophisticated algorithms, the
prevalence of the internet of things and voice activation, both through
science and man to computer emotional bonding, the tools of persuasion
will invert the relationship and increase our susceptibility to precise
and powerful marketing.  This will permeate how we shop, who we vote for
and what information influences our thinking.  Just give William
Ammerman, author of ‘The Invisible Brand’ thirty minutes of your time in
this podcast and these concepts, through simple to follow illustration,
will become crystal clear.  You’ll even walk away with an understanding
of a new term psychotechnology.  It’s quite a ride you’re about to go
on.  It will transform your relationship with the tools of convenience
upon which we have become so dependent.

EP 283 Bankruptcies On the Rise in America

: While total bankruptcy petitions nationwide by consumers and
businesses are well below Great Recession levels, most analysts agree
that there is a trend upward.  We dig into the numbers and the reasons
with Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy
Institute, the nation’s largest association of bankruptcy
professionals.  In many ways, this podcast is a primer on bankruptcy. 
Who knew its tenets rest in the Constitution?  As a nation of
entrepreneurs and risk takers, it makes sense that the roll the dice
spirit can lead to financial problems that require opportunities for a
‘fresh start’.  We give you important information on debt and the
protections available to you. A key piece of information relates to
which debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy and which is not. At the same
time, we learn about new legislation meant to help certain groups–small
businesses, family farmers and veterans–as they need work outs to move
forward. It’s an important podcast as we all amass debt to pay for an
education, a home, a new car or that dream business possibility.  We
found the person who has the broadest understanding of the issue in the
country for this discussion.

EP 282 Can America Meet Its Pension Obligations?

One headline reads ‘these pensions plans are at risk of going broke’. 
Another exclaims ‘pension plans for millions of Americans on the brink
of collapse’.  Clearly, many older Americans are worried about the
solvency of pensions earned many years back.  Companies go belly up in
the meantime.  Not enough money is set aside.  Or projections as to the
rate of return were too rosy.  Or the number of present day workers just
isn’t enough for retirees who stayed on the job for many years and are
living much longer in retirement. It’s a particularly dire situation for
a number of multi-employer pensions for various trades who came
together because the companies involved were rather small.  But, you
might say, don’t we have a quasi-governmental back-up, the Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corporation(PBGC), to insure that these obligations
will be met?  Well, that entity is in distress, too.  The federal
government must act.  But will it?  We turn to Joshua Gotbaum, of the
Brookings Institution who once ran the PBGC for the answers.

EP 281 Do We Know Enough About Medical Marijuana?

As opioids lose favor, more chronic pain sufferers are turning to
medical marijuana and CBD supplement products to combat their pain.  And
given the fact that the federal government still considers marijuana a
Schedule 1 drug, the benefits, side effects and impacts of medical
marijuana have not been rigorously studied by the Food and Drug
Administration.  In fact, the FDA has only approved it for the treatment
of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.  Given its federal
designation by drug enforcement, the same as heroin, LSD and ecstasy,
researchers need special licenses to study it.  It all seems so odd
since 33 states have legalized its use and developed their own varying
standards.  Seth Ginsberg, co-founder of Global Healthy Living
Foundation, believes we need a reality check and national standards to
protect consumers.  In a study his organization did they found that 57
percent of arthritis patients have reported trying marijuana for medical
purposes.  It looks like cannabidiol(CBD)products are out of the bag,
pack or whatever container you now find them in.  Shouldn’t we as a
nation admit it and make it safe? Listen in.

2 SPECIAL EDITION Ransomware Demands Plaguing American Cities

There are stories aplenty about the cyber crime of our era: ransomware hackers making demands of cities and towns throughout America.  In exchange for cryptocurrency, the hackers will unencrypted data needed to run your municipality.  You’re the mayor: what do you do?  Taxes can’t be collected, bills can’t be paid, payrolls can’t be met in this environment.  Then, there are impacts on essential services like fire, EMS and police.  The whole issue has many implications and we explore them, in depth, with Dr. Frederick Scholl the Cybersecurity Program Director and Professor at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.  It’s a crime for which often there is no retribution.  Some hackers say they have been able to retire already having made so much money from their attacks and having gone undetected.  While we discuss why this is affecting so many public agencies, we also look at computer protection hygiene which must be practiced to avoid falling victim to this growing trend in your personal life and business.  Sadly, even if towns and cities get their data back after shelling out what often is insurance money, they find that some data has been corrupted and is unusable when retrieved..  We also share the example of New Bedford, Massachusetts where the cybersecurity world watched in awe as they smartly dealt with the issue when forced to confront it.

EP 280 How Chasing White Voters in The South Changed American Politics

      In the new book, ‘The Long Southern Strategy’, professors Angie
Maxwell and Todd Shields brilliantly unpack what was generally
considered a 1960’s strategy by the Republican Party in the Nixon era to
win over disaffected white voters in the previously Democratic
stronghold of the American South.  To usher in this profound realignment
the GOP abandoned its past support for civil rights and used racially
coded language to capitalize on southern white angst.  What their
research points out is that, in addition to race, this strategy
strengthened its hold on the region by defining women’s role in
society(coded family values) and fundamentalist theology.  And that
theology, once left to issues like prayer in schools and abortion, now
sweeps across a range of secular issues.  Angie Maxwell joins us to walk
us through the history and explains Donald Trump’s election in the
context of this appeal to white, southern voters.  And we explore
whether he’s nationalizing the strategy.  It’s a compelling book and a
great listen.

EP 279 What a Standoff in the West Tells Us About the Politics of Our Time

  In 2016, a group of armed, divinely inspired libertarian protesters
led by Amman Bundy occupied the Malheur(translated: Bad Luck) National
Wildlife Refuge in the high desert of eastern Oregon.  Encamped in the
shadowlands of the republic, they insisted that the Federal government
had no right to own public land.  Were they heroes or villians?  The
answer to that question depends on your interpretation(or
misinterpretation) of the Constitution and your sense as to whether a
nation, built on abstract principles like America, has a being anyway. 
Sharing the expansive stage are a host of others who lay their own claim
to the American promise of liberty.  Among them are Native Americans,
public-land ranchers, militia members, environmentalists and Black Lives
Matter activists.  Inn many ways, this conflict is a parable of our
populist moment and unpacking this story may help us to better
understand our current political crisis.  To guide us through this most
tangled web of ideas and protestations is Anthony McCann, author of
‘Shadowlands’.    This one requires thought and attention.