Subscribercast #50 – Virtue Ethics vs Virtue Signalling

I continue the more philosophical theme in recent subscribercasts by outlining the ancient Greek model of moral philosophy known as...

It’s a Small World After All

Reading Time: 21 minutesAmid all the forces that are pulling people and nations apart, it may be that only films are bringing people together. Once upon a time, if you wanted to see a foreign language film and get a taste of other cultures and their stories, unless you happened to live in New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco or Boston, you wound up in the smallest theater in t

Trump’s Pardon Shakedown

Reading Time: 18 minutesOur returning guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, John Kiriakou, was a 15-year CIA veteran. Then he blew the whistle on the CIA’s use of torture under the Bush administration. As a result, he became one of the very few Americans ever charged with violating the Espionage Act.

Eyewitness Accounts Shed Light on the Cruelty of Slavery

Reading Time: 18 minutesSome 70 years after emancipation, a team of unemployed writers and journalists located over 300 formerly enslaved African Americans, captured their unvarnished stories about life under slavery, and took photo portraits of many of their subjects.

Josh Hawley Told Us Who He Was

Reading Time: 16 minutesWe can’t help but view the final days of the Trump presidency, and the January 6 Capitol insurrection, through the lens of left-right politics. But what if it was about more than political tribalism? What if an extreme strain of religious nationalism was at the heart of what we witnessed? To understand this, we need look no further than Missouri Sen.

Unity Is Probably Impossible

Reading Time: 16 minutesWe like to think that humans are rational beings. That we process information based on data, a common set of facts that allow us to determine what we call objective truth. The problem is that scientific research shows that this is not true.According to our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Dr.

Why Is the US Senate So F**ked Up?

Reading Time: 20 minutesA new impeachment, a new administration, new policy initiatives — and it’s all under new management. All part of today’s United States Senate. The body that George Washington once called a “cooling saucer” has today become a political graveyard.But how did things get this bad?

The New Color Purple

Reading Time: 19 minutesThe Senate election in Georgia seems like it was years ago. Yet the trends that it foretells may be even more significant than the storming of the Capitol last week.Recently, we’ve seen the movement of major companies — like Tesla, HP, Oracle, Dropbox, and Goldman Sachs — to blue cities in red states.

WhoWhatWhy’s Top Ten Podcasts of 2020 – Part 2

Reading Time: 3 minutesHere are the final five of our curated list of podcasts that we think reflect the momentous year we’ve all been through.This year WhoWhatWhy has been proud to deliver to you 62 podcasts from professors, authors, political activists, entrepreneurs, US senators, investigative journalists, economists, scientists, and thought leaders. 

WhoWhatWhy’s Top Ten Podcasts of 2020 – Part 1

Reading Time: 3 minutesThe great and growing popularity of podcasts no doubt reflects their ability to convey useful information in a frank, intimate, and uncluttered fashion. From the 62 podcasts WhoWhatWhy published in 2020, we have selected 10 for our annual “Best of” list, which we believe represents a kind of audio time capsule — capturing what we ha

Mobilizing Voters for the Georgia Runoff: Scrutineers, Part X

Reading Time: 15 minutesWhile the candidates in the Georgia Senate runoff campaign work to get votes in their corner, dozens of nonpartisan and community groups are making sure voters have the information they need about when, where, why, and how to vote. Typical voter turnout in a runoff election in Georgia is an abysmal 15 percent.

Why the US Is More Like WeWork and Theranos Than Apple

Reading Time: 17 minutesLike many startups, America is so steeped in its founding mythology that it has trouble seeing the truth about its past, its future — and especially its present. A nation founded on a constitutional bedrock of inequality cannot easily lay claim to being that Puritan ideal of a shining “city upon a hill.”We end this year of podcasts with histori

Sketches of a Socialist Dream

Reading Time: 20 minutesIf our recent election and the past four years have shown us anything, it is that there is a strong level of popular discontent with the way things are, particularly with respect to our system of politics and economics in 21st century America. Our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, professor and activist Victor Wallis, thinks

Whose Economy Is It Anyway?

Reading Time: 12 minutesMost of us remember Bill Clinton’s oft-repeated slogan when he ran for President in 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid.” It was effective because it captured, in perhaps a more innocent time, the idea of a single economy that impacted everyone. Almost 30 years later, it seems there are many economies: the economy of Wall Street, the economy of the one-percent,

Why Even a Pandemic Can’t Make Remote Learning Work

Reading Time: 18 minutesSo much of the pandemic lockdown debate pits school closures against bar and restaurant restrictions, with tempers flaring on all sides. But one unanticipated benefit of this heated debate is that it has focused attention on a question rarely discussed outside academia.

Noise About GA’s Election System: Scrutineers, Part IX

Reading Time: 21 minutesRepublicans calling for the resignation of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger are starting to partner with long-time nonpartisan election security advocates in the state in an unexpected alignment of causes.

Testing Is Broken, Contact Tracing Has Failed: There’s a Better Way

Reading Time: 24 minutesRarely do we have guests back on this podcast after only three months. But then rarely are we in the midst of a global pandemic that is getting worse by the day. A coronavirus vaccine, the holy grail of this pandemic, is still months away. Labs doing the standard nasal swab PCR tests are once again overwhelmed and taking much longer to return results.

The Hispanic Republican Vote

Reading Time: 19 minutesEvery four years the Hispanic vote is suddenly rediscovered by politicians and pundits. What gets forgotten is that since 1972, Hispanics have voted for Republicans in ever-greater numbers.  Some politicians assume Hispanic Republicans are a contradiction in terms.

The Geopolitics of Energy

Reading Time: 12 minutesThe geopolitical world that Joe Biden faces on January 20, 2021, will look very different from the world he entered as vice president in January of 2009.A key factor shaping that change over the past 12 years has been the transformation of global energy resources.

Anger & Violence & Secession, Oh My!

Reading Time: 2 minutesOn the eve of an angry and anxious election, it’s worth remembering that there was a time when we were, if not united, at least bound together by a shared set of cultural touchstones. Movies, sports, even the three TV networks that delivered the evening news were part of a national town square that provided both watercooler conversation and comity.

Publicly Mapping Election Problems: Scrutineers, Part VII

Reading Time: 15 minutesYou go to vote and discover that the polling place is closed or the machinery isn’t working. What do you do? You call the election protection hotlines, and they may be able to send out attorneys to help solve the problem. But how can you alert others, including the media?

Up Close and Personal with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown

Reading Time: 12 minutesSherrod Brown still dreams of the time when America’s great debates were actually aired on the floor of the United States Senate. Because senators only had to face voters every six years, the founders viewed it as a vessel to cool passions, to try out ideas, and to accomplish big things.Today’s reality is, as we see every day, entirely different.