Saving America From Trump, and Democrats From Themselves

January 22nd, 2020

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_82748647_14Last Sunday the venerable NY Times got it all wrong. They said, and I’m quoting, “On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation.” Not so.

The only thing that will really define the future of either party and of the nation is the defeat of Donald Trump. And anything that stops short of focusing on that and that alone is a failure of imagination.

The times went on to say, and again I’m quoting, “with a crowded field and with traditional polling in tatters, that calculation calls for a hefty dose of humility about anyone’s ability to foretell what voters want.” Wrong again.

Focus groups, polling, and campaigns still matter. They matter not just in “the election,” but in the elections in the states that will actually shape the outcome of that election.

It’s not a mystery. The methods today may be more modern, but campaigns for candidates, not unlike advertising for a product, if a done right, will work!

And that, not some vague nuances of policy is the only thing that will defeat Trump.

To try and explain and reinforce these ideas I’m joined by. Rick Wilson the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Everything Trump Touches Dies and most recently Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves

My conversation with Rick Wilson:

It’s Ok To Compromise and Maybe Even to Sellout Sometimes

January 20th, 2020

Screen%2BShot%2B2020-01-20%2Bat%2B11.41.In our current political and social climate, when polarization is so extreme, when purity tests are often required by your tribe, the idea of compromise and what some call “selling out,” takes on added weight and significance.

But because positions and even sometimes values are often so extreme does compromise and selling out even mean what it used to? And if not, can we actually square the circle of compromise, selling out and ethics.

That's the question that Inge Hansen asks in The Ethical Sellout: Maintaining Your Integrity in the Age of Compromise.

My conversation with Inge Hansen: 

Human Nature Always Finds A Way

January 14th, 2020

71OMelbI6sL.jpgMost of you know the story of the scorpion and the frog and what it tells us about human nature. 

It’s no surprise than that our everyday encounters, at work, at home, and on the street are driven by our innate nature. Wouldn’t it be easier if there were a set of immutable laws by which to understand that nature? Law that really might have been helped that frog? 

These are the rules laid down by bestselling author Robert Greene. Greene, the author of The 48 Laws of Power and the Art of Seduction, now lays out The Laws of Human Nature

My conversation with Robert Greene:

Can the Generational Divide Lead Us Out Of Division?

January 8th, 2020

51LP1FurD2L._SX312_BO1%252C204%252C203%2We see endlessly how we are siloed with respect to politics, race, and geography. Add to this the generational silos that we all seem to live in.

Reams have been written about intergenerational conflict, particularly in the workplace. But might this be the one area where the imaginary lines of divisions can be crossed? Can the improvement of intergenerational relationships in the workplace be a kind of Rosetta Stone for better understanding of all the other issues that divide us? Issues that are fed by speed, modernity, technology, and popular culture. This is the exploration that Hayim Herrirng gives us in Connecting Generations: Bridging the Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial Divide.

My conversation with Hayim Herring:

Do You Need Further Reminders that This Is Not Your Father’s Workplace

January 5th, 2020

Screen%2BShot%2B2020-01-05%2Bat%2B9.20.5The Harvey Weinstein trial, which begins this week, while perhaps extreme in its nature, reminds us of the realities of today’s work place.

Today it’s not enough to just stay on top of one's career and professional knowledge and development. There is also the changing dynamics and culture of the workplace itself. Multi-generational, multi-gender, multi-age, and the seemingly increased sensitivity and scrutiny.

The irony is that it is this very diversity, that carries within it the seeds and the power, to help us understand and to strive to function frictionlessly within it. In fact, it is only by embracing this very diversity that businesses can succeed in today’s environment.

Lauren Stiller Rikleen is the founder and president of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, and is a provider of training, speaking, and consulting services to professional services entities. In her new book The Shield of Silence: How Power Perpetuates a Culture of Harassment and Bullying in the Workplace she addresses the strengthening multi-generational teams, women’s leadership and advancement, and minimizing the impact of unconscious bias.

My conversation with Lauren Stiller Rikleen: 

Why Most Health Care is Barking Up the Wrong Tree

December 30th, 2019

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_75613995_19Some of you may have seen the story that owning a dog gave you a 27% chance of living longer. Some of that was related to the exercise of walking the dog, some to the companionship, and the basic human-dog bond.

But suppose the reality was much deeper than that. Suppose dogs could be diagnosticians and even healers and protect us from the onset of symptoms. They can and many already do.

This is the world that Maria Goodavage, veteran journalist and New York Times bestselling author of Soldier Dogs, takes us into in her latest Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine

My conversation with Maria Goodavage

William Greider R.I.P.

December 27th, 2019

william_greider.jpgWilliam Greider always knew that the chickens would come home to roost. Over many conversations, since 1997, he seemed to know and report the truth of that old adage "that if things were going to stay the same, a lot of things had to change." My conversation with Greider in March of 2010. RIP William Greider

Something to Think About As You Eat that Holiday Steak……..

December 24th, 2019

9780691182315.jpgIt’s long been an adage that what we eat, defines who we are. That’s never been truer than in our polarized world today and beef and its mass production has long been at the center of this definition.

From the mid 19th century, the history of beef parallels, and often reflects social, cultural and economic changes. From the great plains in the 1850s to the slaughterhouses of the midwest, to the first McDonalds in San Bernardino in 1940, “where’s the beef,” has often told us who we are.

Joshua Specht tells us more in  Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America 

My conversation with Joshua Specht: 

Can America’s Military Ever Recover?

December 19th, 2019

Screen%2BShot%2B2019-12-19%2Bat%2B8.25.5We all know that whether it’s a child’s toy or a powerful institution if something is built solid, misuse or the infliction of damage will not usually break it. How many times have you dropped your phone and it’s been fine? On the other hand, that which is weak or frayed will unravel with the least amount of stress.

In many ways, we can say that about America’s foreign policy and military establishment. Weakened over the years by uncertainly, hesitation partisanship, bad decisions and an exaggerated admiration that acted like a kind of superglue, that held the whole thing together.

However, in the hands of a rambunctious child, one with no respect for his property or what he was given, it can not hold.

This is the world of Donald Trump and today’s American military and foreign policy. Fragile from the start, this spoiled, bratty impetuous child may have finally broken it.

That’s the story that my guest Peter Bergen tells in Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.

My conversation with Peter Bergen:

From Useful Idiot to Working Asset

December 18th, 2019

Malcolm_Nance_The_Plot_1088x725-700x470.Perhaps our greatest spy novelist of the cold war, John le Carré, talks about what he sees as the appetite for superpower, that still exists in the U.S. and Russia.  He says that what’s shared is the desire for oligarchy, the dismissal of truth, the contempt actually for the electorate, and for the democratic system. That’s common to both of them.

While the U.S. has certainly made mistakes, and was not always been pure in its motives and actions, today under Donald Trump something is different. What is it, and how did we get here, and to what extent is the Trump-Russia connection part of what’s changed? Is Putin as Machiavellian as we’ve been led to believe, and have we now gone too far down the rabbit hole for any of this to change?

Few understand this better than Malcolm Nance, who back in 2014 was prescient about some of the issues that we’re facing and litigating, on this very day.

Malcolm Nance is a former U.S. Navy officer specializing in cryptology. He’s an internationally recognized intelligence, a foreign policy commentator, and a counter terrorism analyst for NBC news and MSNBC and his newest work is

My WhoWhatWhy conversation with Malcom Nance:

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The Model For Taking It To The Streets

December 17th, 2019

81hoNRfdBFL.jpgJust as we saw in America in the 1960s, as we saw when the Berlin Wall fell, as we witnessed in the Middle East, during the Arab Spring, and as we are witnessing today in Hong Kong, young people are always at the ramparts of change and revolution. This was equally true in France in the run-up to WWII and in the resistance to the German occupation.

On a day when people, mostly young, are taking to the streets, it’s worth talking to Ronald Rosbottom, about Sudden Courage: Youth in France Confront the Germans, 1940-1945

My conversation with Ronald Rosbottom:

Why Quantum Mechanics Matter and Why You Should Care: A Conversation with Sean Carroll

December 12th, 2019

f631f533-d084-4a39-8048-a5b6d509c8a5.__CThe great screenwriter William Goldman once said of Hollywood that nobody knows anything. The physicist Richard Feynman once said that no one understands quantum mechanics.

And yet random as knowledge sometimes might be, it safe to say that the entire technological infrastructure of modern society, all of Silicon Valley, is built on top of the reliable functioning quantum mechanics.

Quantum Mechanics has been around since 1927. It is so ubiquitous in some ways that it’s been a little like being able to tell time and use that value of the information while not having any understanding of how a watch (digital or otherwise) actually works.

That where Sean Carroll comes and his book Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime.

My conversation with Sean Carroll

What Happens to Ancestry Testing DNA?

December 9th, 2019

Screen%2BShot%2B2019-12-09%2Bat%2B12.16.It’s no surprise that many fear technology is out of control. AI, facial recognition and robotics are the stuff of science fear. But it’s biotechnology and the understanding of what makes us tick that may be the ultimate frontier to both human understanding and human abuse by those that are malevolent.

Few understand this better than bestselling novelist Dr. Robin Cook. He has used his insights into the future to scare the bejesus out of us in his books like ComaCure, and Fever. Now in his latest work, Genesis he walks us through the cost-benefit analysis of DNA and even your simple search for ancestry.

My conversation with Dr. Robin Cook: 

The Best and the Brightest of America’s Diplomats

December 1st, 2019

c876158b82936a184dcb9734b5be1c7dfca7c9a3Clausewitz said that politics or diplomacy was “war by other means.”

Churchill put it more colorfully when he said that “diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

The Impeachment hearings have pulled back the cover on the work, the integrity, and the quality of America’s diplomats. Perhaps it’s their self effacing, sometimes quiet professionalism that makes them targets for the more malevolent unprofessional forces in government. This was as true with respect to the attacks on the State Department During the dark days of Joe McCarthy, or equally dark days of Donald Trump.

Whatever the reason, perhaps there is no better time to look at these talented and smart men and women than in the middle of the current Ukraine scandal. That's what Paul Richter does inThe Ambassadors: America's Diplomats on the Front Lines

My conversation with Paul Richter:

Kickstarting a Better World

November 25th, 2019

208923296654412899-yancey-new-book.full.The great playwright Arthur Miller once wrote that too often “we know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Perhaps nowhere is that truer than today. In a world where profit maximization and transactional value often seems to dominate, and the current push back to that could have unintended consequences, how do we find our equilibrium? How do we create a world of money and value, a world of profit and purpose, unbridled ambition and deeper meaning?

Yancey Strickler, a co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter, now looks beyond the narrow focus of Silicon Valley into a way that just might bring on an exciting and better world. He shares his views in This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World

My conversation with Yancey Strickler:

Fake is Sometimes Real

November 18th, 2019

d998fd1a2d2897b57679119fad3e9735_XL.jpgArtificial flavors, fake news, authentic copies, and real replicas. They all sound like oxymoronic gibberish at worst, overzealous marketing at best.

And so it is that sometimes the fake is indeed real. Today we can appreciate and even learn or feel something by looking at a replica piece of art or liking an artificial version of our favorite food flavor or enjoying fake meat, But how about owning a Chinese made Louie Vuitton bag, Rolex or Mont Blanc pen?

The danger of course, on every level, is that we may have so blurred the lines between fake and real that virtual reality is no longer something we need glasses to see, it just the world we live in every day. That's the world that Lydia Pyne teaches us about in Genuine Fakes

My conversation with Lydia Pyne:

Only Whistleblowers Can Save Democracy

November 11th, 2019

Whistle_Blower_Posters_1088x725-700x470.Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Coleen Rowley, and the whistleblower who let us know about the Ukraine call, are just a few whose actions sparked international dialogue and their names may be universally recognized. But brave though they were, their courage isn’t universally revered.

Back in 2002 TIME magazine named three whistleblowers as people of the year and famed whistleblowers such as Frank Serpico, Jeffrey Wigand, and Karen Silkwood have been the subject of major films. Yet vitriol continues against individuals willing to speak out when they see crimes being committed.

Why are those who dare to expose corruption and worse so frequently ostracized? Why are we so quick to call treason on those who speak truth in the face of power? And what historical and patriotic obligation do we have to support and protect those that speak up? That’s our focus today as I’m joined by Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger to talk about Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump

My WhoWhatWhy conversation with Allison Stanger:

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Why is Science Under Assault?

November 11th, 2019

James-Zimring-What-Science-Is.jpgEven when we don’t realize it, science is part of our lives. Physics, chemistry, biology...it’s all essential to our survival. So why is the general subject so confusing these days? Why do laymen think they know better than scientists?

And perhaps more importantly, at a time when everything else is advancing, when the cutting edge of

science impacts us all, how have the methodologies of science kept pace with modernity? Perhaps we’re all too stuck in the mindset of high school science class, and maybe that’s why we can’t progress in our thinking.

James Zimring, Professor of pathology at the University of Virginia, where he pursues basic and translational research in the field of transfusion medicine and blood biology, gives us some insight in What Science Is and How It Really Works

My conversation with James Zimring:

The Battle of Mosul - The Last Great Battle Against Isis

November 4th, 2019

Screen%2BShot%2B2019-11-04%2Bat%2B9.52.2While many of you can recite the great battles of WW I and II and even the Civil War, the more recent battle that have been fought in the Middle East against ISIS are already forgotten. Certainly, the battle for Mosul was one of those

Beyond that, there is the relevance to events taking place today. The battle for Mosul, which helped take down ISIS in 2017, had as a major component, the forces of the autonomous region of Kurdistan. 40,000 Kurds that were part of the joint military effort in a battle every bit as important and as bloody as those of WW II.

Journalist James Verini was embedded with the Iraqi counter-terrorism service during the battle and tells the remarkable story in They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate

My conversation with James Verini:

He is a Being Made of Television

October 29th, 2019

Screen%2BShot%2B2019-10-29%2Bat%2B8.01.0There is not a morning that goes by without some story about the impact of social media. The power of Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram. With all of that, it’s easy to forget the power of television. Its impact on our lives growing up, its power today and what it has wrought. It’s given us Ronald Regan, Josiah Bartlet, and Donald Trump.

Howard Beal laid it out for us in Network, but James Poniewozik gives us the contemporary context in his new book Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America

My conversation with James Peniewozik: