Monthly Archives: January 2022

EP 521 China’s Rising and America Lacks Strategy to Contain

The unipolar superpower moment America had after the fall of the Soviet Union has ended without many of us sensing a peace dividend.  We are now returning to a period of great power competition, with our fiercest competitor being China.  The question before us is how to contain their growing economic and military ambitions before their ascendance is too far along to do accomplish peaceably.  Our guest, Elbridge Colby, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development from 2017 through 2018, led the development of America’s 2018 National Defense Strategy and is the author of ‘The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict’.  In it he lays out an approach the country should pursue, urging Americans to prepare for war, above all against China–precisely to deter it.  He feels we have a defense strategy that has had little intense focus on Asia, until this point, and that we have lost valuable time in the process.  While he sees the Biden Administration turning its attention to the region, in partnership with nations like Australia, India and Japan, he is concerned that the long view may not take into account threats that are more immediate, like China’s sights on Taiwan.  It’s a critically important, and timely, discussion.

EP 520 See the Future of the World by Looking at a Map




Some say geography is destiny.  While that may be too simplistic a way to look at the world, there is much you can tell about a nation’s fortunes based upon the neighborhood in which it resides.  Take the United States, for example.  We are isolated from potential aggressors, have unique positioning between two major oceans, and have an abundance of natural resources which allow us to be self sufficient, if necessary.  Other countries live in hostile, landlocked situations which have made them vulnerable to attack and re-shaping over centuries.  And, of course, your geography provides great the key to how you will fare in the competition for vital natural resources and in an era of climate change.  We will walk you through the flashpoints in today’s world with Tim Marshall, author of ‘The Power of Geography:Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World’.  He has a fascinating take on what to look for as we take a spin around the globe on today’s podcast.

EP 519 Is Operation Warp Speed a Template for Future Pandemics?



There is much confusion as to how a new technology could have been developed so quickly in response to a novel coronavirus which came to be known as COVID-19.  The truth is that the messenger RNA technology was in the works for decades and that the release of the sequence of the new coronavirus from a brave physician in China gave vacciane scientists, virologists and government officials what they needed to make the unprecedented push to bring vaccines to market in record time.  It’s a compelling story as told by our guest, Brendan Borrell, in his book, ‘The First Shots’.  You will learn not only about gene sequencing, but about the sequence of events and the colorful cast of characters racing to save the planet from even greater devastation than the virus has caused.  People like Dr. Barney Graham, Jason McClellan, Kizzmekia Corbett and Dr. Robert Kadlec are acknowledged for their work which was critical to this effort.  And the work is in no way done.  Just as anti-viral pills are being developed for market by Merck and Pfizer, many across the globe are banking on faster, more scalable vaccines in places, like Africa, where so few are yet vaccinated.  These involve different technologies than the mRNA. There are many viruses which we lack sufficient information about just waiting for their moment to affect the human population. The lessons from this pandemic must be applied to those enemies of mankind.  Hopefully, we have learned from our successes and failures in response to this outbreak.







EP 518 Legacy of America’s Stolen Lands and Attempts at Reconciliation


In this podcast, we wonder aloud as to whether America has even to this day confronted the harsh truth that the country we know today was founded on the violent dispossession of Indigenous people.  While we seem to be having a moment of reckoning as it relates to the issue of slavery and its impact on African-Americans, how must Native peoples feel as there is barely a mention of the legacy of massacres and removal from their lands centuries back.  Native peoples are resilient as their sheer existence proves, and their spirit indomitable, but have we, the settlers, really come to terms with our actions?  Margaret Jacobs, a professor of history and director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in her book ‘After One Hundred Winters’ tells stories of the individuals and communities who are working together to heal historical wounds.  She reveals how much can be gained by learning from our history instead of denying it.  As a settler historian she tries help her readers come to terms with our inaction toward Indigenous people, including the absence of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to finally set the record straight about a history many find too painful to unwind even with the passage of time. Can ordinary people do it alone or does our society have to have a true reckoning?  This podcast may help you sort out your own thoughts on the subject.


EP 517 Are You a Part of the 9.9 Percenters In America?


In the past, there was a mythology built around the concept of the millionaire next door.  It was the assuming couple who brought little attention to themselves.  They didn’t drive flashy cars or exhibit a taste for bling.  As two-income professionals, however, they had a nice home and learned the lessons of compound interest early on.  Today, in aggregate, they make up the group with the most wealth in America.  And while we often talk about the excesses of the 0.1 percent, perhaps we have given too much of a free ride to those right below them who have plenty of assets when totalled up but see nothing in their lifestyle that creates the inequities that the other ninety percent are feeling.  In many cases, they fail to recognize the many ‘invisible’ benefits that society offers those in this group. Philosopher Matthew Stewart, author of ‘The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristrocacy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture’, joins us to discuss this key sub-set in our culture.  By the end of the podcast, you will determine if the label applies to you.

EP 516 Reshoring of Manufacturing Jobs Poised to Surge 38 Percent This Year…But

Description: It would seem that the pandemic has pushed some manufacturers to bring certain manufacturing processes home and while the percentage of movement stateside seems impressive given the movement away from our shores it’s still not enough, according to Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative. In order to insure that this is not a temporary pause in offshoring, America must develop a clear and consistent industrial policy.  One unlike that which has seen America’s manufacturing sector whither over the last 40 years.  With advanced manufacturing initiatives, particularly in the computer and electronics sector,there is a move to reverse that trend to some degree.  But, according to Moser, it will take the adoption of a VAT tax, the weakening of the dollar against other currencies and an educational push to drive young people into manufacturing jobs of the future in order to sustain the reshoring effort and provide us with the manufacturing base necessary to provide for our own defense and health and safety.  With the race to the bottom in manufacturing such a consistent tool for multi-national companies, it will take a concerted American reversal of policy to attentuate its impact.

EP 515 Young Americans(and the Youth Everywhere) Will Be On the Move This Century With cascading economic crises, political unrest and climate change, four billion youth are abandoning failing states and looking for livable situations everywhere.  Given the climate and affordable housing, America’s Rust Belt will look attractive to many in the years to come.  It will also bring people closer to the border of Canada, one of the most welcoming countries for immigrants in the century ahead.  America which has traditionally been open to immigrants finds itself having recoiled from that position in recent years, just at a time when the young people of Central and South America and other spots could provide necessary services for an aging population.  Within the borders of the United States, movement inland from the coasts and south to north will also be inevitable as climate pushes people to less turbulent destinations.  Parag Khanna one of the most far-sighted thinkers of his generation, and founder and managing partner of Future Map, has a vision of the future in which there is a war for young talent as countries realize their need for able-bodied, tax-paying migrants to avoid demographic doom.  ‘Move: The Forces Uprooting Us’ is the first book to reveal where we will go to survive climate change and other misalignment of natural resources, borders, infrastructure and people.  He speaks as cogently as he writes and he joins us on today’s podcast.

EP 514 Space Exploration Under New Management

In a reversal for the American approach to many endeavors, space exploration started out as a public venture through NASA, focused on national security and scientific dominance, to an area that sees most of the investment today coming from private space barons, like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, among others.  Their motivations, individually and collectively, are wide ranging from the desire to take heavy industry off our planet for environmental reasons to commercial travel and actual creating a place where humans can go on a more permanent basis.  People have been excited to witness a re-commitment to manned space travel and imagining that the possibilities for the average person to explore the next frontier are finally within reach.  Joining us to discuss the future of space travel is Professor Mike Gruntman, who teaches Astronautics at the University of Southern California.  So before you sign up to take a ride or join the newly minted Space Force, listen to this podcast.

EP 513 The Food and Drug Administration: What Goes On Behind Closed Doors?

How do you know the food you’re eating is safe to consume?  That the labels on food tell you something meaningful about what you’re going to eat?  That the food supply, which now includes many staples from overseas, has been inspected?  Presumably, we have a powerful regulatory agency in the Food & Drug Administration(FDA) that can provide us with these certainties.  Or can they?  The first insider account of what goes on there has been released by Richard Williams, PhD., author of ‘Fixing Food: An FDA Insider Unravels the Myths and Solutions”.  While much of the focus of late has been on how the FDA handles drug approvals in the wake of the pandemic, the other side of the house has important responsibilities to keep our food supply safe.  How do they go about that process with our confidence given the fact that inspections often take place once every six years and one out of every six Americans gets food poisoning each year, according the Centers for Disease Control.  It’s a complicated business with lots of big food manufacturers designing more new food products each year.  We’ll ask the hard questions and get answers from a man who did the cost/benefit analysis on food for our government for decades.