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No-holds-barred progressive commentary and newsmaker interviews with journalist Bob Gatty and guests. Insight into today's news plus analysis, with focus on social issues and just a little lean to the left.

The Lean to the Left Podcast Bob Gatty

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    • 3.7 • 9 Ratings

No-holds-barred progressive commentary and newsmaker interviews with journalist Bob Gatty and guests. Insight into today's news plus analysis, with focus on social issues and just a little lean to the left.

    DW Duke-Overcoming Confrontation & Conflict

    DW Duke-Overcoming Confrontation & Conflict

    DW Duke is a California attorney and an author of six published books with three more books currently in production. His work has focused on human rights and empathy as a tool to overcome confrontation and conflict in the world.

    DW currently is creating a series of biographical novels and screenplays about social justice issues. One of his books, Racism Awareness, scheduled to be released in March of 2023, addresses root causes of racism and presents effective ways to identify and eradicate it.

    Another, ”Not Without a Fight,” is a biographical novel based on the true story of a Jewish boy who becomes a Resistance Fighter in World War II in Poland. The book’s message is we shouldn’t be erasing history, we should be learning from it. That’s timely.

    It’s a pleasure for me and Mark Bello, co-host of the Justice Counts podcast, to welcome you, DW, to our podcast.

    Mark– Welcome to the podcast. “Not Without A Fight” is your first book based upon a true story set during the Holocaust era. As most of our listeners know, I’m a Jewish Boy and I’ve also written a Holocaust novella, based on a true story. But, talk to us about your book, why you wrote it, and what message you would like readers to walk away with.

    Bob – Your next book, The Duke Legacy, also is based on a true story, takes place during the civil war era, and tells the story of a young man growing up in the south, and is deeply troubled by slavery. It isn’t lost on me that the kid’s last name is Duke—Is this book about your own family and why did you write it?

    Bob – Our country is struggling with the problems of discrimination and racism. Is that why you wrote “Racism Awareness?” Talk to us about that.

    Mark: There is a rise in anti-Semitic activities and attitudes in America today. Jew hatred is on the rise. Do you see many parallels between what’s going on in America today and the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s?

    Bob – You have said that empathy is a tool in overcoming stereotypes and discrimination. I would agree with that, but it sounds rather simplistic. Can you elaborate for us? What can the average citizen do to improve our interreligious or interracial discourse?

    Mark – I want to go back to “Not Without a Fight” for a moment. The boy who is the focus of the book survives the war. Did he continue his activism? What was his life like after the war?

    Bob – Aside from our racial and religious differences, we have a serious political divide in America today. What can be we do to resolve, or at least ease, political polarization in the U.S.?

    Mark – Bob tells me that there may be a movie in the works based on “Not Without a Fight.” That’s exciting. What is the status of this project and when might we be able to see the movie in theatres or on television?

    Bob -- You have another biographical novel currently in production called “Because I’m Black.” What is that book about?

    Mark: Your books are based on rather terrible periods in history. In the first two books, your two protagonists, Thomas Biebers and Washington Duke, hate what’s going on in their respective countries during their lifetimes. What would they think of modern day Germany and America? Would they be pleased or disappointed with our progress?

    Bob – Your work on discrimination and religious hatred is note-worthy and your books take a fascinating look at troubling times. Where can people find these important books?

    Mark: In the introduction, Bob mentioned that “Not Without a Fight” core message is that we shouldn’t be erasing history, we should be learning from it. What do you think of the current discussion in America about sugar-coating history books and book-banning?

    Mark: Wow. DW? You are a man after my own heart. We are better than this. We do not need to be an “us” vs. “them” society. As Rodney King said all those years...

    • 32 min
    Cathy Perez-Advocating for Womens' Rights

    Cathy Perez-Advocating for Womens' Rights

    In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v Wade, many states are now acting to virtually eliminate the ability of a woman to obtain an abortion, and some states would even prosecute healthcare providers who perform the procedure.

    We’ll talk about all of that with our guest today, a women’s health coach, Cath Perez.

    Cathy always had a passion for health and fitness, being organized and sharing her curiosity for life to anyone who would listen. After many years in the corporate arena, supporting others with administrative and HR tasks, Cathy became a “Health” Coach. She’s a Certified Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Coach, a Certified Yoga Instructor (200YTT) and the 159th Worldwide Certified Konmari Organizing Consultant.

    Cathy now helps women create a healthy relationship with anxiety and stress with healthy habits that she took over 20 years to learn and hone to cope with her own anxiety disorder. Cathy is a strong advocate for women’s rights, and today we’re going to focus on reproductive justice.

    Welcome, Cathy, to Lean to the Left.--

    Q. What do women (others who don't identify as binary) require right now & why should the country care?

    Q. What is Reproductive Justice all about?

    Q. Why does Reproductive Justice matter?

    Q. What can be done to support reproductive justice?

    Q. As a health coach, I presume that you help your clients deal with anxiety and stress, right?

    Q. Don’t questions around having an abortion cause a good deal of anxiety and stress? What’s your advice to your clients.

    Q. What advice do you give women who need an abortion but live in states that prohibit the procedure.

    Q, What’s your view of states that even try to ban the so-called “abortion pill?”

    Q. Tell us more about your work as a health coach for women. Reproductive Justice or the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), I"m happy to be connected. Or, the people can learn more at the following websites: keepabortionsafe.org or https://www.eracoalition.org/

    • 30 min
    Dixie Dems: Reading the Tea Leaves

    Dixie Dems: Reading the Tea Leaves

    Hey guys, welcome to the Lean to the Left podcast and the March 2023 episode of the Dixie Dems with my partners, Arthur Hill, from North Carolina, and Robert Thompson, from Georgia.

    Arthur is communications chair of the Brunswick County, North Carolina, Democratic party. Robert Thompson is based in Atlanta and founded Peach News Now and its opinion podcast, Got Damn Liberals, which is worth a listen.

    Me…I’m based in South Carolina, home of GOP Trump acolytes, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, one of whom got wiped out in his bid for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination and the other for whom a similar fate awaits in 2024.

    Today, we take a look at what’s happening politically in our three states as well as nationwide…

    One of the highlights of this episode is a discussion about the presidential candidacy of Nikki Haley, former SC governor and UN ambassador in the Trump administration. Arthur Hill says Haley "scares" him and predicts she will rise in the polls to become a serious contender for the Republican nomination, even though she's currently in the low single digits in the national polls.

    "I think she's only four or 5% in the polls, but that's because most people don't know who she is," Hill says, "but I think she, has the ability to rise in the polls. I don't know. And, I think Trump's in free fall. I don't see him being as big a factor in the primaries as he has been in the past."

    About Haley, Hill adds, "To be perfectly honest, she scares me. She's, intelligent. She's she's attractive. She represents a clear alternative to Trump and DeSantis. And I think Pence isn't going anywhere. So I, think that if Republicans who are looking for somebody to ally with that are repelled by Trump and DeSantis, you've got Nikki Haley standing out there waiting in the wings to to increase her popularity.

    "And, it's really early that not too many people outside of South Carolina know about Nikki Haley and even though she's got a track record. She's a governor, she's a former ambassador to the UN. So she's got chief executive chops and she's got international relations chops.

    "I think once the word starts getting out around her I, let me be clear. I'm not supporting Nikki Haley for President , but but I am saying that I think she could be a formidable candidate in a general election." There's much more in this episode, with discussions about "anti-woke" initiatives in numerous states, prospects for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and much more.

    Take a listen.

    • 45 min
    Ed Hajim-From Orphanage to Boardroom -

    Ed Hajim-From Orphanage to Boardroom -

    At the age of 3, Ed Hajim was kidnapped by his father, driven cross-country, and was told his mother was dead. And then, not too much later, he was virtually abandoned by his dad.

    Many years later, business entrepreneur Ed Hajim received the Horatio Alger award for exemplifying the values of initiative, leadership, and commitment to excellence -- despite personal adversity.

    Hajim is the author of “On the Road Less Traveled, An Unlikely Journey from the Orphanage to the Boardroom.” It’s a memoir that describes the improbable story of how he bounced from foster homes to orphanages.

    It was a daily struggle to survive, but Hajim flourished, ultimately becoming an accomplished Wall Street executive and model family man. And now, he is giving back to a world that seemed intent on rejecting him.

    “On the Road Less Traveled” is packed with stories of how Hajim used his ingenuity to achieve his goals – like wangling a free plane trip to the west coast purportedly for an interview for a job he didn’t want – just so he could be the best man at a friend’s wedding.

    Hajim is the son of a Syrian immigrant and now has more than 50 years’ experience in the financial industry. His bio reads like a who’s who of major investment companies in which he’s held senior management or ownership positions.

    Ed Hajim, thanks for being with us today on Lean to the Left. It’s a pleasure speaking with you.

    Q. Your life story is filled with many twists and turns. How were you kidnapped by your dad? What led to that?

    Q. Did you ever find your mom? Tell us about that. What was it like to first meet her after 57 years?

    Q. What was your relationship like with your dad? How did it evolve over the years? How did this affect your life choices?

    Q. What did you learn from this adversity, and how did that influence your business career?

    Q. In your book, you describe in many places the sadness and loneliness that you felt because of the lack of immediate family. Did that affect your decisions later in life, especially when it came to business and leading people?

    Q. You fought poverty, but your memoir describes your ingenuity in finding ways to cover costs – money for college tuition, for example, including for tuition to Harvard Business School when you were, pretty much, flat broke. Talk to me about your determination to be financially independent and what ultimately happened.

    Q. You write that “Sometimes you need to know when a partnership has run its course. And sometimes, it’s better to sever ties and leave on your own, even if the next step I unknown. That’s often the road less traveled, but it’s so worth the journey.” What were you referring to and why do you say it was “worth the journey?”

    Q. You write in your memoir about the importance of obtaining a solid educational foundation, which you credit with making your life success possible. Can you elaborate on that? What advice do you give young people who want a higher education but for financial or other reasons are stuck and feel that’s an impossible dream?

    Q. What have you done personally to support higher education?

    Q. At the University of Rochester, you started a new magazine, from scratch. You wrote: “I loved putting projects and people together to solve a problem.” That’s pretty much your ultimate business story, right?

    Q. You received a Navy scholarship, which meant you had to serve three years in the Navy. What did that do for you?

    Q. You write: “The only constant in life is change. People change and businesses change. If you don’t adapt, you will not survive.” Can you please elaborate?

    Q. We haven’t talked about the various companies that you worked for or owned. Can you take us on a quickie tour? I know, it’s a lifetime…

    Q. What would you say were your most significant achievements...

    • 47 min
    Mark M. Bello-Thriller Writer Strikes Again

    Mark M. Bello-Thriller Writer Strikes Again

    Welcome. I’m Bob Gatty with Mark M. Bello, social justice lawyer and author of riveting ripped-from-the-headline novels covering some of the major issues of our times.

    Look up “justice” in the dictionary and you’ll find something like: “Just or fair behavior or treatment.”

    In addition to hosting the Lean to the Left podcast, I co-host Mark’s “Justice Counts” podcast, where the conversation goes beyond the law to issues that are important – like equal access and fair treatment for everyone.

    But today we’re going to talk about Mark’s latest books. He’s been busy over the last few months, has won some new awards, including the Mom's Choice Gold Award from an organization of mothers in recognition of his new children's book about bullying, Happy Jack Sad Jack.

    During the episode Mark talks about this project as well as other new novels that he has in the works, including a new murder mystery and a "legal romance" novel.

    Take a listen.

    • 31 min
    The Blue Voter Guide

    The Blue Voter Guide

    Would you like a way to help everyone in your personal and professional networks vote faster, easier, and smarter – and help Democrats win – even in traditionally Republican areas?
    Today we’re with Wayne Liebman, director of operations and “hairball detangler” at BlueVoterGuide.org, a new, unique get-out-the-vote tool built by grassroots organizers for everyone.
    It’s progressive, simple, and shareable—bringing along all voters, including hesitant first-timers, to make voting easier and fun.

    Prior to the 2022 election, Wayne oversaw the creation of Blue Voter Guide. It’s a volunteer-led platform that makes voting easier by showing the endorsements of a wide range of progressive organizations. Blue Voter Guide had over 50,000 users in nine states in 2022, and will expand to all 50 states in 2024.

    A physician, playwright, and political organizer, Wayne worked to unite Southern California’s grass roots activists and Democratic party infrastructure into a winning alliance in 2018. He helped build SoCal Blue (initially Swing SoCal Left) to co-ordinate efforts to flip SoCal’s five Republican-held swing districts. SoCal Blue fueled the growth of local coalitions (Action Councils) and served as public event hub for thousands of district flipping activities.

    Following the November, 2018 sweep, Wayne took on the role of Director of Operations for Field Team 6, (Register Democrats, Save the World) partnering as a volunteer with Jason Berlin and C.O.O. Dale Roy Robinson to grow the organization into a national voter registration powerhouse, helping to register nearly 2 million Democrats and contributing to winning a Democratic trifecta in 2020.

    Wayne continued his work with SoCal Blue and Field Team 6 in 2022.

    So Wayne, welcome to the Lean to the Left podcast. We’re anxious to hear about the Blue Voter Guide.

    Q. Can you fill us in on the Guide got started and how it works?Q. Is this only for the battleground target states?

    Q. You’re going to expand to other states, right? It would certainly be valuable in states, like South Carolina, where Republicans dominate but there is a huge influx of new voters from the northeast who need to be encouraged to vote.

    Q. Does the Guide include all Dem candidates, including local? How about Independent candidates?

    Q. How about ballot initiatives? Are they included?Q. Can you get a completed ballot to take with you when you vote?Q. What’s been the response?Q. Where can people learn more about the Blue Voter Guide?

    Q. Are you looking for volunteers to help spread the word? In what areas do you need help?

    Q. Are there events planned, like phone banking, etc.?Q. How can people sign up to volunteer?

    Q. I see on your website something called Current Storm. What’s that all about?

    Q. Are you working directly with Democratic organizations to expand use of the Blue Voter Guide?

    • 36 min

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