DiscoverThe Lean to the Left Podcast
The Lean to the Left Podcast

The Lean to the Left Podcast

Author: Bob Gatty

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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.
553 Episodes
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.
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, 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?
We’re back with another episode of Dixie Dems, the podcast from Lean to the Left that takes an irreverent look at politics in the south, as well as nationwide.As always, I'm joined by 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 Sens. Lindsey Graham and Uncle Tom Republican Tim Scott.In this episode, we take a look at political developments in our states and we fire a few shots at the Republicans, especially Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene who catcalled President Biden during the State of the Union address, pain in the behind Rep. Jim Jordan, the newly minted GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, and many others.The episode includes our observations about the U.S. taking down those unidentified flying objects in February, including the so-called Chinese spy balloon, that was knocked out of the sky by a U.S. fighter jet on Biden's orders, as well as a double murder trial in South Carolina in which a longtime big shot lawyer is charged with killing his wife and son, and another trial featuring so-called Tiger King "Doc" Antle.So, there's lots to take in on this episode. Here's a bit of what we covered:Arthur, what’s happening in North Carolina?How about you, Robert. You’ve got a lot of action there in Georgia, what with wacko Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene continuing to grab attention.What’s happening in South Carolina?Take a listen...
Robin Bartlett takes us back 50 years to a "boots on the ground" account of his extraordinary combat experiences as a 22-year-old 1st Lieutenant with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. As a combat infantry platoon leader, he deployed a 32-man platoon on search and destroy missions and helicopter assaults into hot landing zones at the height of the Vietnam War.Today we’ll hear about the horror, fear, anguish, and sometimes illogical humor of that war. Robin talks about the long-term impact, both positive and negative, on his home life and business career...with insights about leadership, courage, PTSD, and life lessons learned.Promoted to 1st Lieutenant after only one year, Bartlett at 22 assumed the leadership of the 1st Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Over the next seven months, he led a platoon on more than 60 helicopter combat assaults and search and destroy missions.Bartlett grew up in a military family. His grandfather, father and brother all attended West Point, and in college, as the Vietnam War escalated and eighteen-year-olds were drafted daily, Bartlett joined his college’s ROTC program. As a Distinguished Military Graduate, he volunteered for Infantry, Airborne, and Ranger training, and assignment to the 82d Airborne Division. He got everything he asked for…and more.Bartlett holds a BA degree in Comparative Literature from Claremont McKenna College in California and a master’s degree in Media from Pace University in NYC. He has written numerous business publications and a professional book published by Dun & Bradstreet.He is the President of the NY/NJ Chapter of the 1st Cavalry Division Association, and a proud member of the 82d Airborne Division Association. He and his wife live in Norwood, New Jersey, and have three sons, none of whom have pursued military careers.Some questions we asked Robin:Q. We’re now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the treaty ending the Vietnam War. Tell us about your experience as a young lieutenant who was given life-and-death responsibility over young men, some barely old enough to buy a beer.Q. Give us your perspective of the war from a “boots on the ground” point of view.Q. How did you manage having misgivings about the mission while being required to follow orders and meet your responsibilities as a platoon leader?Q. What did you learn about leadership, decision making, courage and fear?Q. How did your experience in Vietnam as a 22-year-old platoon leader affect your post-war professional life? What have you been doing since then?Q. Describe what it was like to participate in a helicopter combat assault.Q. When did you come face-to-face with the enemy?Q. You just completed a new video, “Firefights and Courage,” in which you describe an assault and its aftermath. Fill us in on that.Q. Why are the words “Welcome Home” such an important greeting for Vietnam vets?Q. Tell us about your book, “Vietnam Combat: Firefights and Writing History.” What did you learn from writing it?Q. Where can people find it?
It was 50 years ago that the U.S. signed a peace treaty to end its long war in Indochina, after losing over 58,000 troops and spending billions of dollars in a failed effort to prevent the nationalist-communist forces of North Vietnam from unifying the country.The U.S. killed 2-3 million Vietnamese, dropped 4.6 million tons of bombs, and created 15 million refugees--but still failed.Award-winning historian of the Vietnam War Robert Buzzanco has written and lectured widely about the war, including its final stages, the peace treaty, and the legacy of Vietnam.Buzzanco is a history professor at the University of Houston and co-host of the Green & Red Podcast and is the author of Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life, Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era and many other publications about the Vietnam War.Last March Bob appeared on the Lean to the Left podcast to discuss the war in Ukraine. We’re delighted to have him back to talk about Vietnam and its aftermath 50 years later.Here are questions we discuss in the episode:Q. Can you put into context what led to the 1973 peace treaty and its aftermath?Q. Let’s talk about the Christmas Bombings launched by President Nixon in December 1972. What led to this offensive and what was the eventual result?Q. Today, Vietnam, our former enemy is a trading partner with the US and last year Americans invested nearly $3 billion there. Was it worth it?Q. What lessons did we lesrn from the Vietnam War?Q. How does that relate to American foreign policy today when it comes to Russia, Ukraine, China and North Korea?
The mass shootings keep coming and innocent people keep getting gunned down. In fact, every day 110 people are killed by guns. On Feb. 14 it will be the five-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, when 17 people were murdered and 17 others injured.Yet, the politicians do nothing. Today’s Lean to the Left podcast episode looks at that through the eyes of Gabrielle Zwi, a young woman who wrote a song she created from her own experiences. It's called "Guns to a Playground Fight."Late last year Gabrielle, a 22-year-old singer-songwriter, educator, and community organizer based in Rockville, MD, graduated from Columbia University, having safely made it through elementary and secondary school without being gunned down in her classroom.The day after the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people, including 19 third and fourth grade children and two teachers were killed and another 17 wounded, Zwi was moved to write her folk-pop protest tune which examines what it means to grow up as a member of the “school shooting generation.”Gabrielle's song was released December 9, just before the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting – you know, the one that Infowars founder Alex Jones claimed never really happened and since has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion to the families of victims there.Her song was released in partnership with Lives Robbed, an organization founded by the parents and grandparents of children whose lives were lost to the shooting at Robb Elementary. All of the profits from streaming/downloads and associated performances are being donated to them.The shootings never seem to stop. Less than a week into 2023, a six-year-old student allegedly shot his teacher with a handgun at a Virginia elementary in what police described as an “intentional” shooting. He reportedly used his mother’s legally purchased handgun to shoot his 25-year-old teacher, who led her students out of the classroom after being shot.Take a listen...
Today we’re with Lynne Parmiter Bowman, author of the Amazon best selling cookbook, Brownies for Breakfast. You probably won’t believe it, but Lynne is 76. You would most certainly never know it and we’re going to spend some time finding out how she maintains her youth.But there’s a lot more to Lynne Bowman than a pretty face. Lynne has been featured at women's expos throughout the country, speaking on kitchen table culture, community planning and the gift of diabetes. She teamed up with actress Deidre Hall to write and publish Deidre Hall's Kitchen Closeup (2010) and Deidre Hall's How Does She Do It? (2012). In a previous life, she worked with Silicon Valley companies as a creative director, winning national awards. She was Creative Director at E&J Gallo Winery, Advertising Manager at RedKen Laboratories, and held various other positions with agencies and clients in San Jose, Los Angeles, and on the East Coast. Lynne has also worked as an actress, makeup artist, screenwriter, illustrator, legal journalist and television Weather Person. She is the mother of three grown children, and has two grandchildren. So we have a lot to talk about today.What does she mean about “the GIFT” of diabetes? We need to find out about that. We’ll talk about her cookbook, Brownies for Breakfast, and see what that’s all about. And, we’ll talk about healthy eating, things we can do to stay healthy, and a lot more.So, Lynne, thanks for joining us today on Lean to the Left.Q. First off, when we first chatted about you coming on my show, you said you wanted to do it because you “lean to the left, with good reason.” How about explaining that?Q. You’re 76 and still going! You could be doing anything you want, or nothing! Why this?Q. How is Brownies for Breakfast different from other cookbooks for diabetics?Q. The title includes the line “A Cookbook for Diabetics and The People Who Love them.” Why did you include “...and the people who love them” in your title?Q. Does this book have any meat or dairy in it?Q. You’ve done a lot of things in your career, but what makes you an authority on healthy eating and diabetes?Q. What surprised you most during your research and writing?Q. What’s the one new habit that would make a big difference in someone’s health?Q. Do you think there should be more cooperation and coordination between the food and healthcare industries?Q. How do you get kids to eat healthy?Q. Climate change is affecting all of us, and you guys are really experiencing the impact there in California. How does our food culture affect the environment?Q. What are your thoughts about what needs to be done to combat climate change?Q. What are your thoughts about fast food and the constant battle between fast food companies for market share?Q. You and your husband have a small farm on the coast there in Northern California. What do you do there?
This is a story of absolute determination; the story of a rock jock who had the world by the tail -- until he didn't -- and then what he did to live life at its fullest despite having been dealt a bad hand regarding his health.Kim Curry was a radio broadcaster for 33 years in some of America’s finest cities, a DJ in different time slots, and the Program Director of two of America’s legendary stations; KTSA-AM San Antonio and Power 96, Miami.Curry was a broadcaster in the days when ownership was limited to seven AM and seven FM radio stations, before radio's corporate takeover.Creative freedom and owner trust led to huge ratings as a DJ, consistently scoring the highest ratings in his timeslot. As Program Director, “Kid” Curry led Power 96 to ratings never before seen in the station’s history and achieved the most significant cumulative audience in the Southeast United States.In 2005, Kim Curry was forced into retirement from the radio business after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Now, he’s the author of the book, "Come Get Me Mother, I'm Through!"You can follow the story of Curry’s career and battle with a chronic disease at a listen...
We’re back with another episode of Dixie Dems, the podcast from Lean to the Left that takes an irreverent look at politics in the south, as well as nationwide. TToday, we’ll offer up some prognostications for 2023 as well as take a look at some of the key political developments in our three states, and if our comments turn nationally, don’t be surprised. With me are 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 Sens. Lindsey Graham and Uncle Tom Republican Tim Scott.So, welcome guys… First, let’s get to the news. Arthur, what’s happening in the Tar Heel State? (Where did that name come from, anyway?)How about you, Robert. You’ve got a lot of action there in Georgia, what with rabble rouser Marjorie Taylor Greene, the crazy one, apparently gaining influence and all.She had a “meeting in the ladies room” with Boebert to tell her she needed to join the swamp monsters – ironic That guy in Florida calling congress to get mccarthy elected Notice how nothing is being said about Nancy Pelosi? Because Republicans have to come up with a whole new narrative on hakeem jeffries GA embracing electric vehicles.And, hey, how about those reports that “John Doe,” a former staffer for the Hershel Walker campaign, has sued conservative leader Matt Schlapp for allegedly sexually assaulting him last October. The unnamed aide is seeking almost $9.4 million in damages. Schlapp is chairman of the Conservative Political Action Coalition and denies “any improper behavior.” See what happens when you get in bed with monsters?And who's heard from Herschel lately anyway?Exactly. What’s happening in South Carolina? Well, the Democrats have had a defection – Sen. Mia McLeod, who unsuccessfully sought the party’s nomination to run against Gov. Henry McMaster – has left the Democrats and is now identifying as an Independent. McLeod claimed her decision is because the state’s Democratic party “no longer espouses the values my constituents and I hold dear.”“By not engaging, enlightening or expanding the electorate…refusing to publicize the June Primary and getting a historical top of the ticket ‘shellacking’ on November 8, the party ensured a Republican super-majority and the losses of eight Black legislators in the S.C. House, five of whom were black women,” McLeod said.Her announcement sent shock waves through the party’s establishment, many of whom derided McLeod for being a lackluster candidate and simply driven by political ambition. Tough for Democrats to win statewide in SC…really tough.The other big news in SC is in the state legislature, which now has a Republican super majority. And they show no signs of moderation. Already, more than a dozen bills have been introduced to attack LGBTQ+ people, and they’re trying to get around the state Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s extremely restrictive abortion law is unconstitutional. That law banned abortion after six weeks. The court said the law violates a state constitutional right to privacy. Gonna be interesting to see what happens, but my money’s on McMaster and the Republicans to come up with some other draconian approach to deny women the right to control their own bodies.OK, Now for predictions: Robert…how about you first?The House will be even worse of a shit show Benghazi was nothing – if I hear one more thing about Hunter Biden and his laptop! The swamp will get choppy on a qwest to get to the craziest first – 23% national sales tax will fail I thought we were battling inflation? Extreme Mentally ill conservatives will continue to have access to too many guns and there will be more bloodshed. Medicare will be destructed more, $1k/mo to private insurers will be cut and/or traditional medicare will be gone. Social Security age will go up, benefits are already not keeping up with demands.Arthur?OK, I’ll close it up with these predictions:If Republicans play their hard-line game regarding expanding the debt limit and America defaults on its obligations, we’ll face a massive financial crisis and a 2007-like stock market crash.2. Attorney General Merrick Garland will seek to indict Trump on charges stemming from the January 6 insurrection and other nefarious actions. But Trump will somehow escape serious punishment.3. Biden and his Congressional supporters will be targeted by the Republicans who may even seek to impeach Biden, especially now that it’s been discovered that Biden also took classified documents home when he was VP. It’s going to be a tough year for House Democrats.
The high cost of prescription drugs affects us all. But what’s behind them? Is it just pharmaceutical company greed?Welcome to Lean to the Left, the podcast that explores important developments that shape our society and our world. Our guest today is Hank Laskey, PhD, a longtime adviser and consultant in the pharmaceutical industry.Hank brings a ton of knowledge and perspective about this industry and the companies that provide the life-saving drugs so important to us all. We’ll tackle some of the factors that affect the prices we all pay for our prescriptions and hear his thoughts about what can, and should, be done about that.Dr. Laskey also will share with us insight that will help those who want to enter that industry, or advance within in it. That’s part of the reason why he authored a book called “The Global Pharmaceutical Industry: Economic Structure, Government Regulation, and History.”The book combines the study of business and economics with medicine, science, and technology-all within a regulatory framework-and helps the reader understand the multifaceted global pharmaceutical industry.Dr. Laskey, welcome to the Lean to the Left podcast.Q. One of the major concerns that most of us have today is the high cost of prescription drugs. With insulin, for example, it got to the point where Congress capped the price at $35 per month—but only for Medicare patients. Can you walk us through what’s involved here?Q. What did you think of Martin Shkreli, the Turing Pharmaceuticals owner who jacked up the price of insulin to crazy levels and who raised the cost of a decades-old drug used to treat infections in babies and people with AIDS by more than 5,000 percent?Q. Every time we turn on the TV we’re bombarded with ads for pharmaceutical products for everything from HIV to cancer to skin rashes. These products are targeted to narrow segments of the population who suffer from these various diseases. Yet, those ads are within programming that is geared to a general audience. Does this make sense?Q. How does the marketing side of the industry interact with the medical side? Are these marketing costs reflected in the ultimate price consumers must pay for these drugs?Q. PhRMA, the lobbying organization representing the industry, has published a piece on the web that claims that “due to negotiations in the market,” prices health plans paid for brand medicines increased by just 1 percent on average in 2021. They blame insurers and other middlemen for forcing many of the sickest patients to pay high out-of-pocket costs. Really? Your comment?Q. Sometimes at the end of a commercial, after all of the possible side effects are revealed, the voice/over will say that “X company may be able to help” with the cost. What are these patient assistance programs offered by biopharmaceutical companies and how do they work?Q. What are the differences between generic drugs and brand medicines? Are the generics just as good and as effective?Q. The industry always claims that the cost for prescription drugs must reflect the high cost of research and development. To many, this seems like a cop-out. Your thoughts?Q. What’s your view of federal regulation of the industry? Does there need to be more? In what areas?Q. Let’s talk about those individuals who would like a career in this industry. You’ve worked as a consultant, published research articles, taught courses for several leading industry companies. What’s your advice to those who want a career in the pharmaceutical industry or move up within it? Does your book address this?Q. Where can people find your book?
If you’ve been to the doctor recently, you probably know that America’s health care system, as good as it is, could really stand some improvements. That’s our topic on the Lean to the Left podcast with a top expert in healthcare, Firouz Daneshgari, M.D.Dr. Daneshgari is a surgeon-scientist, educator and entrepreneur who has worked at the University of Colorado, Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University. He has published more than 200 scientific articles, led numerous scientific and clinical panels, and trained hundreds of students, residents, fellows and junior faculty.Dr. Daneshgari, known as "FD", is author of “Health Guardianship, the Remedy to the Sick Care System,” a must read if you want to understand what’s gone wrong with American healthcare and would like to see a solution.Following implementation of the Affordable Care Act and approval of its mandates by the Supreme Court, Dr. Daneshgari founded Bow Tie Medical to create systematic innovations for bringing efficiency and value into the healthcare delivery system."We are the most expensive healthcare system in the world," he says on the show. "We are spending twice, three to 500% more than our European or Japanese counterpart.. The reason we are the most expensive is because the healthcare is delivered through 5,000 hospitals that they have become financial institutions, that they use delivery of the clinical services as a revenue generating activities and with that they generate about 50% of waste."That waste, he says, includes clinical services and activities that do not lead to beneficial health outcomes, although they generate revenue for the hospitals, explaining that "There are systematic misalignments between the roles of hospitals as the main providers, consumers, you and I and the third party payer."
Artificial intelligence (AI), is increasing across our economy and in our world. Exactly what is it? What are some of the implications? Why would Elon Musk say “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the devil?”That’s our topic on the Lean to the Left podcast with our guest is Guy Morris, a proven thought leader in adapting advanced technologies, implementing complex IT applications, and advocate for internet and cyber-security."AI has become one of the most dangerous vehicles for misinformation that we've got," Morris says on the podcast, during which he discusses efforts to create a worldwide digital currency to replace the dollar and other currencies, that various forms of AI threaten individual privacy and financial security, and are being used in weapons systems, including "swarms" of drones that can be dispatched to attack an enemy.He tells how he was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation because of some of his work in artificial intelligence, and the threat of both Russia and China in the development and deployment of AI.With multiple degrees, and 36 years of Fortune 100 leadership within companies like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, Guy has a lot of success stories. They range from designing a macro-economic model that out-performed the Federal Reserve and all major banks, building high-performance global teams, driving merger & acquisition deals in energy, innovating early AI Expert Systems technology, and pioneering internet tech and award-winning webisodes.Guy is also a Disney published composer, musician with multiple CDs, inventor, a licensed Coast Guard charter captain, entrepreneur, researcher of history and prophecy, and author of AI, espionage, religious, political and history thrillers, including his latest, "Swarm" and "The Last Ark."We’re delighted to have Guy Morris with us on the Lean to the Left podcast, where we love to explore important developments that shape our society and our world.Listen to the episode.
When Doreen Padilla was 14 years old, she met Saul Falcon at a new school just west of Denver, and this young woman, half white and half Hispanic, eventually fell in love with this handsome boy with shiny black hair, and one day, years later, they were married.Like many young couples, they struggled to make ends meet. But they had an extra burden – how to gain permanent residency status for Saul, who had been brought to America from Mexico by his parents at age 2.Saul was a dreamer, an immigrant given protection by President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed him to live and work in the U.S. But then, Donald Trump attempted to kill that program, and the pressure for Saul to obtain documentation and his green card intensified.That journey has been revealed in a new book, “Outsiders, a Journey to Belonging,” by Doreen, our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast today.Doreen grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she lives today with her husband, Saul, and two children. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and go on to earn a graduate degree.In her current role in local government, she wears many hats to support employees in her organization. As a public servant she is dedicated to the communities around her and is consistently advocating for positive change."Outsiders: A Journey to Belonging" , which tells the true story of a dreamer growing up in America, is an important part of that effort. Doreen, welcome to Lean to the Left.Q. Tell us about your book and why you wrote it.Some questions we asked Doreen:Q. What was it like battling to keep Saul from being deported to Mexico, especially after Trump tried to kill DACA?Q. Where do things stand now with Saul and his quest to become a citizen?Q. What advice do you give others who face this same situation?Q. Congress continues to be unable to reform our dysfunctional immigration system. What are your thoughts about that?Q. Immigrants, especially those from across our southern border, continue to be targeted by many politicians, mostly Republicans, and used as political pawns to whip up support from their right-wing base. What are your thoughts about that?Q. How did you and your husband feel when Trump was in office pushing his wall along the southern border to keep immigrants from entering the U.S.?Q. What about now, with the current crisis as thousands try to enter the U.S. seeking asylum from violence in their home countries? What should happen?Q. Your husband was a DACA “dreamer.” What contributions has he made to the U.S. and American society?Q. There are about 2 million “dreamers” in the U.S. today, with about 600,000 being beneficiaries of DACA. What should happen to them?Q. Tell us about Barking Beagle Books. Why did you launch your own publishing company, and what’s the plan going forward?Q. Where can people find your book?
"In America you're free to do anything, you want to do, but you can't choose the consequences of your behavior."So says John Yearwood, author of Jar of Pennies, a novel about a murderer who was failed by America's educational system that focuses on teaching to the test, not on critical thinking. Yearwood is our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast."Consequences are going to be determined by what you do," Yearwood says. "And a lot of, kids don't get that idea coming through school and, or for that matter, a lot of other necessary life skills. All of them all of them going along with the, with the principle of critical thinking."So part of what what I'm doing in Jar of Pennies is telling the story of a guy who just didn't have the the, education and to acquire the skill to think through what happens when you do certain sorts of things."And the result of that is he, can only live a, life of reaction. He can't plan for anything in the future, he can't plan his actions so that he ends up in a place where he wants to end up. And the ultimate result of living a life of reaction is he lives just long enough for the state to execute him."A former stringer for the New York Times, Yearwood taught in high schools and universities for 30 years and was an award-winning journalist for 15 years. He has published hundreds of editorials and columns and thousands of news stories, as well as academic works on the First Amendment and the extra-Constitutional powers of the Presidency during times of crisis.John now volunteers helping elementary students improve their reading skills and assisting refugee immigrants when he is not writing.Some of our questions for Yearwood:Q. Tell us about Jar of Pennies and how it relates to our topic today.Q. Is corruption more or less widespread in small town America?Q. Do differences in diversity within the population of small town America vs. larger American cities play a role here?Q. We still are seeing manifestations of racial unrest and bigotry, especially in former slave states in America, but really elsewhere, too. Right?Q. How is “fear” a rural pastime in East Texas, practiced by locals on one another, sometimes in jest, and on most strangers as a way of preventing social change? You like to use a rattlesnake as an example, right?Q. Does the increased use of artificial intelligence, which allows people to use special software to automatically write documents pose a threat to students learning how to write effectively?Q. I noticed a Facebook post in which you say that over the last five years you’ve mentored local elementary and middle school kids as a volunteer reading teacher, and that this year you had two pregnant 12-year-olds in school, both victims of incest. You write that “if you support overturning Roe, then you murdered those girls.” Comment further?Q. What are your thoughts about the supreme court? Should it be expanded?Q. How can people reach out to you and buy your book?
At a basic level, are humans chasing wants but neglecting essential needs like health, a sense of belonging, a feeling that we are respected, trust, purpose, meaning? As our current era comes to a close, will we return instinctively to what really matters?Those are some core issues tackled on the Lean to the Left podcast by David Wann, an author, filmmaker, and speaker who is passionate about sustainable lifestyles and designs.He was a founder of the cooperative ("Cohousing") neighborhood where he's lived and gardened for 26 years. He's a proud husband and father who has recently adopted the title of "apocaloptimist." He knows how deep we're in but thinks we might make another evolutionary leap.In his first novel, "Tickling the Bear: How to Stay Safe in the Universe," David draws upon his experience as an organic gardener, founder of a co-housing community, and amateur musician to create credible characters who navigate a threatened world and find acceptance and clarity on how to live with gratitude.Altogether, David has written 10 books, including “Affluenza,” now in nine languages, which was followed by “Simple Prosperity”. A third book in the trilogy about creating a more sensible way of life is “The New Normal,” which presents 33 high-leverage actions that can shift our culture in a more sustainable direction.”David also has produced 20 videos and TV programs, including the award-winning TV documentary “Designing a Great Neighborhood,” about the Holiday neighborhood in Boulder, Colorado. He worked for more than a decade as a policy analyst for the U.S. EPA and co-designed the cohousing neighborhood where he lives, in Golden, CO.
The International Energy Agency has reported that the world will add as much renewable energy over the next five years as it did in the past two decades, with renewables such as wind and solar overtaking coal as the largest source of energy generation worldwide by early 2025.That’s a significant development, so to bring it into context we have with us on the Lean to the Left podcast Jack Kerfoot, a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States.Jack has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics. This is his fourth appearance on the Lean to the Left podcast.Discussion questions:Why is the demand for coal, declining around the world?2. Which countries are the primary consumers of coal around the world?3. Is the United States reducing its consumption of coal? I4. Is the reduction in coal consumption impacting the United States greenhouse gas emission?5. Where and why are renewable energy projects, like solar and wind being developed?6. Are the volatile fossil fuel prices, the reason for inflation in the United States?7. What exactly are greenhouse gases and what generates greenhouse gas emissions?8. How do greenhouse gases cause global warming?9. What is the impact of climate change?10. What is the future of electric vehicles in the U.S.?
In dozens of states across the nation efforts are underway to influence, even intimidate, school board members to restrict what can be taught, and what library books can be available, to public school students.In South Carolina, for example, school boards are considering proposals to ban a long list of books from school libraries because of parental objections to their content, whether it involves the discussion of sexual identity, racial disparities, or other "controversial" topics. In Horry County, home to the resort community of Myrtle Beach, the county school board meets January 23 to consider such requests involving some 77 books.Behind the drive to restrict library books and subjects that can be taught are activist conservatives, including Moms for Liberty, which says it "is dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.""This is a very small, radical faction," says Josh Malkin, legislative advocate with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in South Carolina. "Polling shows that folks on both sides of the aisle see book bans for what they are: a very dangerous attack on one of the core values of American democracy. This is not Democratic, it's not Republican, it's not conservative, it's not progressive. This is radical. This is authoritarian, and this is dangerous."
It’s hard to believe that in this day and age unions representing freight rail workers are having to threaten a strike because they cannot get paid sick days. It took an act of Congress to avert the strike, and still, they were unable to get the sick leave that is only a human right. That’s the kind of fight that is in the blood of our Lean to the Left podcast guest today, Jon Melrod, author of “Fighting Times, Organizing on the Front Lines of the Class War.”Melrod’s story is one of a young man who came to unionism through social activism beginning in his teens. His world view was formed in the 1960s when he saw a chain gang of Black prisoners working along-side the road, and couldn’t understand why the local amusement park near Washington DC refused to allow Black kids to enjoy the pool and the rides.His is a story of student Vietnam War protests, of fighting racism, and then of working as a laborer at various companies where he helped organize workers and protest injustice. Those jobs, which often involved working with toxic chemicals, resulted in his 2004 diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and given only six months to a year to live. Determined to overcome the illness, he marshalled both western and alternative treatments and, despite the odds, survived the deadly disease.Now in his 70s, Melrod has written a memoir that he hopes will help his sons understand what motivated his choices over the years as a union activist after his cancer diagnosis. It’s a fascinating book, filled with personal accounts of his fight to support workers and overcome racism. And it takes us back to the experiences of the 60s and 70s, to violent campus protests against the War and racism.Here are some questions Jon discusses on the show: 1. Tell us about “Fighting Times,” it’s origin and what you hope to achieve.2. What were some of the transformative events that resulted in your determination to help working people?3. You went to a boarding school in Vermont as a teen. What happened there that influenced your world view?4. Tell us about your experiences at the University of Wisconsin, the battle for justice for Hispanic farmworkers, and the fight against racial disparities.5. What prompted you to sort of infiltrate companies like American Motors and lead efforts against racism and unfair labor practices?6. You eventually went to law school. To do what?7. What are your thoughts about the revival of union activism that we are seeing at companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Kellogg’s, Nabisco, John Deer, and American Airlines?8. Do you see a resurgence of young people working to organize at companies that some might believe are immune from union activity, like Starbucks or Amazon, for example?9. What is your view of the future of organized labor in the U.S. today?
Today on the December edition of the Dixie Dems on the Lean to the Left podcast we’re taking a look at the mid-term election, Sen. Ralphael Warnock’s win in Georgia over Herschel Walker, and what’s still ahead. With me are 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 Sens. Lindsey Graham and Uncle Tom Republican Tim Scott.The big news, of course, is Warnock’s victory in Georgia. Robert, what are your thoughts about how that turned out and what that means for Democrats there going forward.What do you guys think about Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona switching to Independent? Do you think this will have any lasting impact on what Dems can get done? Arthur, North Carolina is at the center of a redistricting case now before the U.S. supreme Court, Moore v. Harper. Can you tell us what’s going on?The case stems from North Carolina Republican efforts to stack Congressional districts in their favor, so much so that a state court threw out the GOP map and enlisted a nonpartisan panel to come up with districts that are much fairer. Now that’s been challenged by the NC Speaker of the House and other Republican lawmakers.Looking back at this past year, what do you guys think were the most significant political events…The Jan 6 hearings…the Midterm elections…The FBI Mara-lago raid?The Dixie Dems consensus: President Biden's ability to maneuver key legislation through Congress, despite intransigent opposition from Republicans, and his ability to hold the Senate for Democrats and avoid the "red wave" predicted in the House is the political story of the year.Take a listen:
The battle against climate change and the need to move sustainability from theory to practice becomes increasingly important and apparent every day.John Pabon has spent two decades in the business of saving our Earth and is our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast. He joins us from his home in Melbourne, Australia.After leaving a post at the United Nations, John traveled the world studying the impacts of sustainability first-hand in factories, on fields, and in Fortune 500s. His mission is to move sustainability from theory to practical strategies that help people and businesses confidentially make real impact. Over his 20-year career, Pabon has worked with the United Nations, McKinsey, A.C. Nielsen, and as a consultant with BSR, the world’s largest sustainability-focused business network. He is the founder of Fulcrum Strategic Advisors, Programme Director for The Conference Board’s Asia Sustainability Leaders Council, and serves on the board of advisors to the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Pabon is also the author of “Sustainability for the Rest of Us: Your No-Bullshit, Five-Point Plan for Saving the Planet.” His upcoming book, “The Great Greenwashing,” will be out soon.On the program, Pabon points out that more and more business owners and managers are finding that cost savings and increased profits are to be found in eco-friendly initiatives, including simple measures for using fewer resources like water and paper, to long-term resilience measures such as installing renewable energy systems. As the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce points out, "consumers are expecting more from companies. In fact, 87% of American’s have “high expectations for companies to do more than make a profit.” Investment portfolios with social responsibility criteria have seen “double digit growth” In recent years."A study completed by the Harvard Business School found that “High Sustainability companies outperform Low Sustainability companies both in stock market as well as accounting performance.”Pabon contends that businesses must be in the forefront in the battle against climate change, and that those that recognize this are satisfying the desires of their customers while also benefiting financially.Here are some questions discussed in the interview:Q. What do you mean when you use the term “sustainability?”Q. What is the state of global sustainability today? Q. Why isn’t “people power” working?Q. What are the biggest myths when it comes to building a more sustainable future?Q. You say we should learn from China about sustainability? Really? Why? What can we learn from them?Q. What role should the private sector have in this effort?Q. You say that the greenies and eco-warriors have actually made the world a worse place. Why is that?Q. We see a lot of talk about climate change and environmentalism. How is your perspective different?Q. You call yourself a pragmatic altruist. What does that mean?Q. What can readers hope to gain by reading your book?Q. What are your five BS-free points? Which do you see as the most important and why? Q. Tell us about your new book, “The Great Greenwashing.” What is “greenwashing’? How can we recognize and avoid it?
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