Episode 7 – Common Core, Spratly Islands & Fiscal vs Monetary Policy
2 November 2015 – This week we interviewed an expert on Common Core and, seriously people, she was incandescent. Even if you don’t have kids in school, you REALLY want to listen to this interview. Debra is a teacher-consultant of the National Writing Project and the California History Project, a school district Director of Libraries and Literacy leader, with a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from UCBerkeley. She has 25 years classroom teaching experience and provides professional development for teachers. So, clearly, she’s a rock star. What is especially revelatory about this interview is that Debra talks about Common Core from so many different perspectives. She has been on the front lines of Common Core since years before it made it into classrooms and she has the kind of insight that can only come from depth of experience.
Will is talking about bird and bat guano this week. What!?! You think I’m making that up? He is covering the Spratly “Islands” and the claim made to them by China. The diplomatic scuffling between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam over this archipelago is transitioning from talking to shoving. China is, of course, the elephant in the room but the US is reinforcing the status of the international waters with a recent Freedom of Navigation transit through the area by the USS Lassen. Personally, I’m proud to know that the US feels compelled to defend the freedom of birds to deficate freely in freedom with extra free freedom.
I continued talking about the mechanism of fiscal spending versus the mechanism of monetary spending. During these many years of Congressional disfunction the Fed has been holding the economy together with monetary policy alone, which, I explain, is like pushing on a string. The economy will not truly recover until we have a functional Congress which is operating its fiscal spending responsibility with an eye toward economic growth. (And people in Hell want ice water too.) I also sprinkle in a little talk about social security just for seasoning.
Technically this week most things went well. Debra had an issue with her mic which worked out nicely for her dog who wanted to get in the act during the “Extra Mad!” portion of the interview. I finally gave up on having our RSS feed hosted by Feedburner. They really are just AWFUL. Our feed is still there until I get the time to rip it down but our new location is at Buzzsprout. I LOVE them. Their site is easy to use and, unlike Feedburner, actually makes sense. Also, they have real humans in technical support and helpful help pages. So, Stitcher and iTunes are getting switched over. You should be able to find us easily on both in the next day or so. As the week progresses and I get a bit of time I will switch all the players on our site to the Buzzsprout players because they are nicer as well. A tip of the carrot to Bluegal, from my favorite podcast, The Professional Left, for her Buzzsprout recommendation. Carrots! – Arliss
Episode 8 – Comcast Data Caps, What is Money & Hawaiian Independence
9 November 2015 – Today on Hopping Mad, Arliss was unavailable to record the intro, but was still able to cover her usual financial beat, explaining the power of a fiat currency. Will covered Comcast’s Data Caps, and our guest was Professor Francis Boyle, Human Rights Lawyer and International Law Expert. He explained that the Hawaiian situation is unique, as the laws which apply to Native Americans apparently do not apply to Native Hawaiians. Unfortunately, his time was limited, so there is no Extra Mad section this week. But the good news is that we’re now on both Stitcher and iTunes! For those of you who prefer the direct RSS feed it is https://www.buzzsprout.com/50892.rss.
Thanks for listening, Everyone. I promise I’ll write a bio portion for my part of the site soon.
Episode 9 – Paris & ISIS – Backgrounder
21 November 2015 (for 16 November show) – I should begin by apologizing for not having posted here this past Monday. My family experienced a serious (and ongoing) family emergency. My husband and I are fine but I’m reading everything I can find on traumatic brain injury so that I can be of assistance to other family members. As we all learned again this week, be it via media or in person, life can be completely and utterly changed in just a moment.
That being said and in the lee of the attacks in Egypt, Beirut and Paris, Will was left to handle the podcast alone with no notice so he soberly took a look at world events and ran our first interview with Middle East expert, Landon Shroder (@LandonShroder on Twitter). When we ran it initially, the first part of the interview was on-air and the rest was available only via the Extra Mad (extended) podcast version. This past week Will ran the full interview on-air.
Will also took a moment to pull some rumor weeds out by the roots. Post-Paris attacks separating fact from fiction is essential and something you can be sure will not be the natural default of the GOP.
For anyone who expected me to be talking about taxes in this podcast, since I said I would last week, that IS my topic for the next show. Thanks in advance for sticking with me.
The upcoming show, for 23 November, will be our second interview with Landon. Given the attacks in Egypt, Beirut and Paris, it seemed (sadly) appropriate.
Carrots! Escarole!- Arliss
Episode 10 – ISIS, Taxes and Strategy
23 November 2015 – The news just doesn’t ever seem to get any easier to watch, does it? With the horror of terrorism and the insanity of our nation quaking in fear at the prospect of extending our hearts to the very people who have fled the terrorists we so despise, it has been a long week. So much for that whole “…home of the brave…” thing, right! Maybe it’s just me but I do find it helps me to be able to cope when I can put it all into political, historical, economic and religious context. Middle East expert Landon Shroder (@LandonShroder on Twitter) is back again this week to help us with that. The on-air interview is just the beginning. There is more than an hour of additional insight in the Extra Mad (extended) podcast version. Having lived in Iraq for a number of years, Landon has lived with this war and his personal experience and expertise is exceptional.
This week, as promised, I am talking about taxes – how they work, what they can do and what they really, truly, factually do not do. I should provide a warning however. If you are into drinking games, please do not take a drink every time I say “drive” or some version thereof. I’ve had alcohol poisoning and the combination of the hospital bill and embarrassment are absolutely not worth it.
This week Will talked about how our enemies strategize to exploit our weaknesses and failures to hurt us. He began by highlighting the history of the British Empire’s maneuvering over slavery, first banning it, then later providing the Confederacy with warships. Will evidenced this as an example of long-game diplomacy. Then he compared that to how DAESH/ISIS/ISIL is doing the same thing when it comes to exploiting the poverty and racism which have harmed working class Muslims in France for decades.
At the top of the show I touch on the recently released Global Terrorism Index and Will covers the latest from…wait for it…Scotland. I know. Just when you thought you were out he pulled you back in – or something like that. (LOL.) We all know that Will’s heart is in Scotland and he watches developments there very closely but, frankly, the politics in Scotland and the UK really have been fascinating, especially these past two years, and I’m glad to have Will to keep me up to date on all the goings-on.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday we will not be recording a show next week. We will be back bright eyed and fluffy tailed on Monday, 7 December. Carrots & Yams! – Arliss