Brad Voracek from The Minskys – Part 1

23 October 2017 – This was one of those shows which fought every step of the way.* While at the MMT conference this summer I recorded a terrific interview with the bright and articulate young economist Brad Voracek (@bradvoracek) from one of my favorite websites, The Minskys. Embarrassingly, I managed to error during the recording process and had both a sound problem and actually lost part of the interview…twice. As I say in the show, I am making it my life’s work to have Brad back for a fully and competently recorded interview very, VERY soon.

Meanwhile, though Will told me weeks ago that he was traveling this week, I have been so distracted by the fires in my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA,  that I forgot to make arrangements in advance for a cohost. Fortunately, Michele LeSure stepped in and went well above and beyond not only doing nearly all the editing but presenting two blocks. We decided to update you on some of the issues surrounding three of the four major disasters all of which are only in the earliest stages of recovery. Michele talked about Florida and Houston. I, of course, am still on what is now being called the October 2017 Fire Siege which has savaged Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties in California.

Michele concentrated on the poor quality of the support being rendered in Florida and Texas. She also discovered an issue I had not heard about at all which manages to entangle disaster recovery aid in Texas with the politics surrounding Israel. Yes, you read that correctly. Michele just touches on the subject this week and has promised to come back next week with more.

It will not surprise you to know that in progressive, liberal Sonoma County the experience around receiving the basic necessities for survival for the more than 5500 families who have lost their homes is the polar opposite of that in states controlled by Republican legislatures. Additionally, the Sonoma County Sheriff, Rob Giordano has distinguished himself not only demonstrating superhuman leadership during the crisis but by being an extraordinary protector of all the residents of his county, including a homeless, hispanic man that ICE and Breitbart are falsely accusing of setting the fires. Sheriff Giordano is the kind of experienced, fair and thoughtful law enforcement officer who seems to live the ethic of “to protect and serve.” Sonoma County is fortunate to have him at this sad, terrifying, challenging time.

Will will be back next week. Many carrots! – Arliss

* Note:  among many of the other things which went wrong while I was flailing about trying to get this show out,  Comcast had an area blackout as I was uploading the show…because it really was just one of those shows.

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Common Core, Spratly Islands and 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

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Podcast for 28 September 2015 – Challenges Abound

This podcast was tough. The combination of our learning curve and strange technical issues was exhausting. Eventually,  both Will and I ran out of time. We also ran over time. If you heard the podcast when it aired on Netroots Radio you immediately noticed that the introduction was trimmed, there was no interstitial music, there was no opening chatter between Will and I and Will’s comments on the Catholic church were both fascinating and lightening fast. Will, who handles the editing, had to cut seven minutes out so everything not absolutely necessary got thrown overboard. Obviously, we made rookie mistakes.

The good news is that it’s a podcast (and does not air live, for now)  so I was able to do a new edit on Friday night. (It would have been done much earlier in the week but I have a demanding job and Will spent his week at the dentist…don’t ask. Ouch!) The “extended” edit (Director’s Cut, lol) has returned our full opening, the chatter we recorded but did not use in the podcast that aired and the interstitial music to the proper places.

Sadly, because we could no longer stay awake last Friday, when we were recording, we each ended up recording our “blocks” separately so there is no exchange between us when Will is talking about the Church or when I am talking about Serra. This isn’t how we planned it it’s just how it ended up. We’ll improve.

The whole process really does make me realize how spoiled we were just popping in twice a week and doing guest spots on The After Show. Both Will and I are full of ideas and we love the freedom of our own show but we are learning by doing and that always adds in a Jack-in-the-Box full of surprises.

The Pope Canonized the Devil and Walk for the Ancestors Responded with Grace

I was supposed to be talking about the Vatican Bank this week. I was all set. Then I read that Pope Frances, while in the United States, was going to canonize Fr. Junipero Serra. I lost my mind. Once I located it again I called Will and we changed the entire direction of the show. Will gave us a quick-march through Catholic history as it relates to the broadest social, and especially political, impact of the Catholic church as an institution.

I explained who Junipero Serra was and trust me when I say I provided the PG version. This man was very, very bad and the examples I include are just the tip of the Serra iceberg. I am not stretching the truth or embellishing the facts when I tell you that Serra was both cruel and genocidal. Now he’s also a Catholic “saint.”

Our interview was with the wonderful Caroline Ward Holland. Like so many people in the indigenous nations in California, Caroline could not rest easy knowing that Serra was to be raised up and canonized while the stories of her ancestors, their whispers and cries, were to continue to be ignored. This is especially disconcerting coming from a Pope who had so recently apologized for the outsized impact of colonization on the indigenous peoples of Latin America. Apparently, he was not also looking to the north.

Caroline and her son are walking 650 miles, visiting every mission in California, to draw light and focus to the stories not being told of the tens of thousands of people who were enslaved, abused, ripped from their cultural foundations and died. Caroline’s vision, Walk for the Ancestors, is a genuinely beautiful story. You can follow the Walk on Facebook at Walk for the Ancestors 2015. Please do.  – Carrots! Arliss