A discussion-based podcast on politics, ethics, and current affairs, featuring in-depth conversations with (extra)ordinary individuals.
Eric Reidy (@Eric_Reidy) is a journalist and the migration editor-at-large for The New Humanitarian. He has reported extensively on migration in the Mediterranean as well as on humanitarian aid work and vigilante groups at the US-Mexico border.In addition to the New Humanitarian, he has written for Wired Magazine, the New Republic, the Nation, Mother Jones, and the MIT Technology Review, among other outlets. He is the author of the award winning Ghost Boat – an investigative series about the disappearance of 243 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.I’ve wanted to have Eric on the podcast for a while to talk about both the issues he covers, and also how he covers them. His style of journalism is one you don’t see very often – long-form, character-driven, and usually based on weeks or even months of investigative field work in tough places.In this episode, we talk about the worsening humanitarian situation at the US-Mexico border, Eric’s previous work on migration to the EU, what people get wrong about refugees, and why there are no easy answers to policy questions about migration.Recommendations:Beyond the Sand and Sea by Ty McCormickThe Ungrateful Refugee, by Dina Nayeri
"I Am Not Okay." Revisting Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
Jennifer Chen (@jchenwriter) is a freelance journalist who has written for print and online media, including pieces in the New York Times, Oprah Magazine, and many other publications. Over the past year, she has written four articles on the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in America since the start of the pandemic.Jenn came on the JNS last summer to discuss attacks against the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and I wanted to have her back on the show to discuss what’s changed (and what hasn’t) over the past year, and how people are coping and responding to the violence. We also discuss the impact of the Atlanta shootings, why hate crimes are hard to prosecute, and the complexities of race and racism in America.Jenn’s Articles:Georgia Senator Michelle Au Shares What You Can Do to Help the Asian American CommunityHow You Can Join the Stop Asian Hate MovementRacist Attacks Against Asian Americans Are Still on The Rise During COVID-19Yes, Calling Coronavirus “the Chinese Virus” or Kung-Flu Is RacistResources:Stop AAPI HateHate is a VirusRecommendations:Interior Chinatown, by Charles YuMinari, directed by Lee Isaac ChungJoy Ride Newsletter
Church and State
My guest today is Patrick Cacchione. He’s been working at the intersection of politics, religion, and health policy for the past three decades, and he’s one of my favorite people to speak with on these topics. Patrick has been a teacher, a writer, and has worked on Capitol Hill, but his main role for the past 30 years has been with the Catholic Health Association, an organisation that advocates and educates for health policy rooted in Catholic ethics and teaching. I wanted to have this conversation for several reasons. First, I’m interested in what happens when religious freedoms and other civil liberties come into tension, and how we deal with that as a state and as a society. I'm also attracted to concepts and ideas that scramble our usual assumptions of polarisation, and Catholic health is one area that does that, with policy positions that don’t fall neatly along party lines. Finally, I’m fascinated by the moral foundations and ethical frameworks that orient people towards different policy positions, and how, even when we disagree, trying to drill down to those moral motivations might help us understand others’ positions a little bit better.Book recommendation:Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
What are some of the competing ethical considerations that have defined how we respond to the pandemic?Dr. Gry Wester is a Lecturer in Bioethics and Global Health Ethics at Kings College London. This year she was also a member of the Expert Group in Ethics and Priority Setting for Coronavirus Vaccination in Norway, essentially deciding the order in which people should get vaccinated.Gry’s training is in political philosophy, and her work focuses on using philosophy and ethics to address real-world policy challenges, especially on questions related to justice, equality, and public health.In this conversation, we talk about the different moral considerations that have defined both personal and policy choices during the pandemic, as well as broader questions about public health and social inequalities.Recommendations:Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor FranklDisadvantage, by Jonathan Wolff
Today my guest is Christopher Tutor, the Chairman of the Republican Party in Shelby County, Tennessee. Chris has lived a life of public service, trying to develop what he calls the ‘common good’ in his hometown of Memphis, including faith-based service, improving race relations, and working on a variety of community issues. At a time when national politics are so highly divisive and polarized, I wanted to have Chris on the show to tell me more about what politics, and community in general, is like in Shelby County, and how his vision of the common good fits into that. This is a rich conversation that I really enjoyed, in which we talk about how local politics differs from the national level, what Democrats get wrong about Republicans and vice versa, the tensions and contradictions within both parties, plus race, religion, personal journeys, and much more.Book Recommendations:The Conservative Mind, by Russell KirkThe Island of the World, by Michael D. O'Brien
Exiting Violent Extremism
My guest today is Tony McAleer (@mcaleer), the author of the book, The Cure For Hate: A Former White Supremacist’s Journey From Violent Extremism To Radical Compassion. Tony spent 15 years in white supremacist and neo-nazi movements before eventually disengaging and co-founding the nonprofit organization, Life After Hate, which helps people leave hate groups. I wanted to have Tony on the show to share his own story and insights on why people join extremist organisations, what keeps them in, and why and how they leave. But I also wanted to hear Tony's thoughts on violent extremism in the US today, especially in the wake of the Capitol riot and the renewed focus on far-right violent extremist organisations in particular. Is what we are seeing today something new? What can we do about it? And what are we getting wrong? Book recommendations:The Cure For Hate: A Former White Supremacist’s Journey From Violent Extremism To Radical Compassion, by Tony McAleerThe KybalionFilms:Healing from HateAuschwitz
Customer ReviewsSee All
Really enjoying the podcasts so far- particularly the most recent one with the GOP Chair and the one on free speech with Jeff Howard. Really thorough discussions on topical issues.