20 Episode results for "Lonsdale"

Gordon Lonsdale

Spies of London

19:47 min | 4 months ago

Gordon Lonsdale

"Welcome to Spies of London. This episode is a book review of the illegal by Gordon Carrera from the BBC the hunt for a Russian spy on a post-war London and it's about the Spy Gordon Lonsdale Gordon. Lonsdale was a Canadian man who came to Britain by ship. He told everyone had been born on the 27th of August 1924 in Ontario Canada in reality. He was Conan meladi born in Moscow. Now, I've come across God in Lonsdale many times. He was easily one of the best and most Professional Russian spies operating in Britain at any time. He was known to me because he was involved in a prisoner swap without wanting to give you too many spoilers as he was highly valued by the KGB and he met George Blake in Moscow and George Blake & Garden Lonsdale were betrayed by the song. So some people suggest that if they hadn't been portrayed particular Lonsdale might never have been discovered by the time he was discovered clearly his super deep secret undercover of work which involved him taking on this Canadian identity living in Britain away from his young family was taking its toll and more than that as with so many of the best writers when Lonsdale go back to Moscow. He started to compare it to what he'd seen in the west and realized that the West Was better. I was richer more exciting more interesting more. Make more fun and he had serious alcohol problems, but there were a few details about Lonsdale which intrigued me and I have to say I thought God God unless there was a man a name is not quite true. I thought it was a little bit like Douglas Adams when describing the alien Ford prefect. He had researched and discovered that Ford prefect were in such wide use birth. That the name Ford prefect would be an inconspicuous name for a human younger listeners including me might not know that the Ford prefect was a car. So God and Lonsdale to me sounded like a sports bag. But in fact goddamn long was a real name a real person of a young boy who had a Canadian boy who had gone to Russia and died there and to Garden Lonsdale Melody took up that identity theft too easy to fake up a few dates and things and and make it look like you are the person who's died. A lot of intelligence agencies in the past have used this technique. I find it a bit creepy because the people died waiting to be very young quite often children even babies and to me I don't know they would see it as a cat a form of warfare and it's all in the cause and everything but stealing the identity of a dead baby just seems bizarre. Anyway God along there was not a baby, but he did die in Russia and his identity was there for for taking and the KGB took it and assigned it to miladi Once home. Trained up had been in the Red Army had gone to school in America. He had this kind of international background. He sailed to New York or an ocean liner and became a spy as with all good spies. They all bought several names. He met a man on a bench in Central Park who introduced himself as Emile goldfish. He was really William Fisher but better known as a Rudolf Abel. He had been born in New England in 1903, but to Russian parents. So the thing about communism Cold War spying post-war spying and indeed the moles of the thirties the King Philip and so on they will often driven by ideology and I've mentioned this several times on the walks and in the podcast that it is difficult to put ourselves into the mindset of the thirties forties in Europe. War was inevitable sides had to be chosen and some people chose the Victoria side and some people chose the other side that's always happening but for some reason the echo And the ripples from that time still live with us today. It is very obvious for us to say that communism has its limitations that it's economically bankrupt ideologically bankrupt way. It works on a Ponzi scheme at the center where if you get rich and the masses the millions and millions of normal people get manipulated and lied to now that may be a very brief overview of Communism, but it's a pretty accurate one not to say Catholicism isn't without its faults, but it at least tries or strives to be meritocratic and fair that's a different conversation to say that it might not always work like that. But getting rich is part of the leader of capitalism, whereas in communism. It's it's described as a kind of a failing of an evil unless you're one of the elite of course in which case it's strongly encouraged communism has at its heart a a deep cynicism and a double life and from a distance from England from France Germany, even from Canada and America if you read the text books about communism, you think we'll okay. Everybody has a job every looked after wage. He has a home is no homeless people. Everybody's fed. Nobody's hungry. It kind of looks great at a time when people were hungry in Britain. They were starving in the thirties in America this kind of notion of a society which could be organized in which everybody got along and was nice to each other and looked out for each other and helped each other and there were no rich people and there were no poor people and everybody was middle class. These were powerful ideas for first of all, upper-middle-class people never had to work and never needed to but also for anybody working classes anybody would be attracted to that. Once they saw the poverty in wage Europe is completely understandable to me that intelligent people in huge numbers thought that communism was a good idea. You have Kim filter you have charge blade you have melodia Lonsdale all on different sides different Nash his different backgrounds, but all agreeing with each other that communism was better than Fascism and that it had to be one of the other there was no middle way you either a communist of the left or a fascist of the right place. And everybody hated the fascists there for anybody with a rational logical mind would become a communist. So that kind of thinking has led me to soften my opinions of filthy and the rest of that particular the episodes about guy Burgess and the walking special episodes as well. But I will be coming back to this with a Donald MacLean book to Alan Bennett has helped to persuade me that the spies were not the traitors that allows people like to think he wrote to at least two players about spies possibly more and one of them in particular about guy Burgess and he is off the view that there were no worse than the rest of them and that they weren't half wrong bad as people make out Lonsdale originally entered Canada using the identity of a live double that is a living Canadian communist who had volunteered his passport for the cause and in later on became this dead double goddamned to have a child born in Canada in nineteen twenty-four who had emigrated to the Soviet Union with his finish mother and died there in nineteen forty-three melotti first got hold an identity card, which is easier to get than a passport wage. And then that led on later to a passport of Canada. He then writes too so s the the Chinese school at the University of London gets on a course there and somebody recommends to him. He should join the Royal Seas league in Saint James is on the S and James's which is interesting to me cuz I nearly joined that once cuz they have a deal with the London Library. They do have clubs all around the world and it strikes me as a very obvious place for a spy to arrive at home. You can live there in an International Community where not many questions will be asked meladi returned from Canada to New York crossing over Niagara Falls is Gordon Lonsdale in February 1955 and made his way back to London. Now, this is a book review in the style of the London Review of Books. So we don't really mention the book very much. It is a Kindle single. It's only sixty or seventy Pages. It'll cost you about eighty pounds about a dollar home and it's fabulous definitely recommended. It's clean. It's short. It's factual. It's done by a pro. You can read it in about an hour, but it's just amazing. It's really good. There's a guy in Bridge. The one who eventually led to his downfall was Harry Horton Horton joined the Navy at sixteen and after the second world war took a position at the admiralty that led him to a posting in Warsaw in nineteen fifty-one by now in his mid-forties. They felt out of place in the Diplomatic community and Halton dealt in the black market selling penicillin. It seems to be money that drove him to reproach a secretary of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw. So Horton was in it for the money not for radiology, which immediately put him down the ladder in lonsdale's eyes and indeed many other people's eyes to he was British, but he portrayed his country for cash but nevertheless his wartime service and background eventually led him to a real life a top-secret job. The KGB were not sure that he could be bought as they pretended to be from Poland and said look, we're polish spies went to work for us. It was only later that they admitted that they were actually the kg be dead. But by this time Horton had a job at the underwater weapons establishment at Portland in Dorset, and he had absolutely white-hot connections there. So he was working on with his girlfriend off the sonar for Britain's first nuclear submarine, the dreadnoughts. Absolutely Prime information KGB had a few problems with him. He was difficult to manage and the eventually assigned him to God and Lonsdale home run him for I think a number of years certainly quite a while. It was the 11th of July 1959. When Horton was first introduced to Lonsdale both men had completely opposite opinions of each other still hated Horton and Horton thought they were kind of friends now no story about spies in Britain during this period of time would be complete without mentioning Peter right the Spy Catcher And fact the writer of the book called home I capture and this seems to be a common theme that Peter Reich wrote his book to make money because his MI5 pension was so bad. There is somebody in this story who had to go into business in retirement age. His his armor five pension was so bad. It makes you wonder whether am I five would have done better just to give them all a proper pension to be honest, especially at that time as public-sector pensions were supposed to be generous. Anyway, that's just my sniping and indeed the man who eventually betrayed Lonsdale and George Blake was given the codename sniper. It was late April nineteen sixty and someone had been sending Anonymous letters to the CIA written in German. So the agents sniper claimed that the Russians have two very important spies in Britain one in British intelligence the other in the Navy these two unknowns were codenamed Lombardo one and Lombardo to and this was during the aftermath of the philby scandals British intelligence were certain they had no mole, but he'd later turned out to be George Blake. It was the Navy one that worried people because they didn't know who it could be. This was Horton remember and the claim was that the name sounded something like Hopkins or hopner, which is very far away in SpongeBob. And sound but the case was eventually handed to a guy called Charles L. Will it was later found that LOL was in one of the photographs found in one of lonsdale's briefcases some of the words he had unwittingly off or was he at a party with Lonsdale before Lonsdale was suspected. In fact lol became suspected as well by Peter right and others and part of the handling of this month. Let painter right to suspect Hollister head of MI5 who I've also mentioned in a previous episode. This is absolutely why I start to think that human intelligence. This kind of agency wage work is never a good news. It leads everybody to a state of febrile paranoia on both sides of the table MI5 who are trying to catch these moles becoming more paranoid than everybody else and start seeing moles everywhere and the whole thing every ten or twenty years degenerates into this kind of paranoid meltdown which in any other business wage Walk of Life would be seen as absolutely potty and it seems absolutely normal when it's upper-middle-class people with degrees talking about Marxism and I think this kind of amateurishness which wage went on in the security services certainly through the late eighties and the fall of the Berlin Wall was partly what the 1994 intelligence had was trying to address was trying to say look if this thing is so secret that nobody actually knows about it. How do we know we're doing the right thing in the right way in the most efficient way is costing hundreds of millions of pounds a year to run these agents and to catch the foreign agents and all we end up doing is offering a paid each other now again, that's a simplification. But sometimes you have to simplify in order to illustrate the point. So on we go Halt and starts to meet Lonsdale in London and hand over paperwork and so on and they train each other up of rather Lonsdale trends of Halton to take good photographs using spy cameras and other equipment and later on some of the briefcases that are dead. Stolen by MI5 apprehended by MI5 contain all this amazing 1960s spy equipment and I have to say that 1960s by equipment is way more exciting than modern technology because everything had its specific purpose. You wouldn't have a phone that could take pictures. You know that everybody had you know, there were Specialists cameras miniaturized cameras, which the mayor possession of such a device would cast suspicion on you. First of all, they were very expensive to make difficult to get hold of and why would any normal person have a spy camera because they take bad photos was now everybody's got a spy camera in the Palm this a thousand times better than what the KGB could make in the sixties. So the times have changed the technology has changed and I think there's something really romantic and exotic about this Old Town. She thinking about the umbrella on the bridge again, of course. So on we go the Watchers there were surveilled Horton was followed to a bench outside the Old Vic where he met Lonsdale and wage. When the MI5 guys followed Lonsdale after the meeting they realized he walked around in circles for a long time before going back to his car which had already previously passed in the street. This is spy trade craft. This is not something that you'll person would do. So the Finger of Suspicion went to Lonsdale as with all Spy operations, they didn't just arrest him because what they really wanted was to find out who he knew and what he was doing. He had a flat at the white box near Regent's Park flat 334. He had a bungalow in ruislip and this Bungalow in ruislip turns out to be pretty important not least to me because I used to live near here and I can imagine exactly where this Bungalow is. You can get the book if you want to know the exact address, but it's precisely positioned between ruislip station and ruislip Gardens at the end of a road and the the cul-de-sac leads into a footpath that's not wide enough for a car to go down. This means that you can approach or leave the cottage being sure that you're not being followed because obviously if you follow by pedestrian, you could spot them straight away and you certainly can log Live by a college town down a footpath even better. I said Gardens is across the road from North Pole to the RAF base, which is actually the base where Lonsdale was exfiltrated from when he was involved in a prisoner swap many years later. The location is fabulous. It was owned by two Russians. Again, they lied about their backgrounds and so on and pass themselves off as other people Russian book dealers Lonsdale lived with them for many months. And in fact MI5 lost wages of them in London and it took them a while to catch him in ruislip and after he had been arrested and jailed the people in the house were also arrested and jailed as well for helping him. And because Lonsdale was the prize assets. He was sprung out of jail bath KGB in a prisoner swap with gravel win, another famous spy, all the people that helped and worked with the Hortons the Russians in the Rye slip Bungalow stayed in jail for many more years and long sell only got 25 years. Whereas famously George Blake. I think it was forty-two. It was so long that Blake escaped was Lonsdale didn't even need to escape cuz he was sprung out by a prisoner swap. The whole thing is a who's home. Of spies and Spike catches Peter writes here Rodger. Holly says here. Lonsdale's here legs here Philip. He's here and really none of them suspected God and Lonsdale if it was off that polish tip-off and Hortons amateurism. He might never have been caught it's easy to say that if this hadn't happened then that would never have happened people say that all the time but Lonsdale was such a professional and he'd grown to like his lifestyle in the west as wheeler to find which is crucial for me. I think if you hate to the west and you hate capitalism and you hate all of that, it's easy to sneak loyal to Communism but having lived in America lived in Canada lived in Britain, he got a taste for the lifestyle and although he remained loyal to Russia until the end. When his Allegiance was tested to save a lease and he may have been have been killed in a poisoning which if you've heard minor Valley episode, he will realize it still going on Lonsdale retained his allegiance to Russia until the towards the end, but he did enjoy birth. Left and I think he might never have been caught wearing not for the tip-off right became paranoid started to suspect Rodger Hollis, everybody else. He suspected anybody who wasn't him basically and indeed by catch a book has largely been discredited but they eventually traced Lonsdale to ruislip. They investigated the owners of The Bungalow found a communist past and Lonsdale was caught and given 25 years. This is a great lunch time read it'll take you about an hour or 90 minutes. If you're a slow reader, it's virtually free. It's less than a pound on Amazon. It's a Kindle single Gordon Carrera from the BBC is the right tone. He's a very rational journalist. He's used all the usual sources that we took in archive Christopher Andrew and so on Nigel West a lot of this was already known but what I liked about this book is its shortness and the wage sticks the fats and really clearly describes a time and a place in Western European history. So that's got in Lonsdale not a sports bag, but a dead Russian boy who had his eyebrows. Stolen and used for Espionage Garden on stale died in suspicious circumstances after drinking vodka. He might have had a stroke his father died young equally. Well, he might have been poisoned so off on that bombshell I leave you for another week. We have lots coming up in the podcast. We have Donald MacLean. We have a few John le carre things lined up for you and I want to dig deeper into some of the locations on the same box as well. The original episodes were done in fifteen minute chunks to help you out. Keep it short one thing. I realized that the podcast allows is a walk a virtual walk where the locations are further apart. So Spies of the home counties might be coming soon to take in John the carriers childhood home under home. He lived in grammar sinden as a professional man working for MI5 and MI6 and of course the race live Bungalow lived by Golden Lamb style so that Spite of the home counties. I will also revisit some of the London spy walks as well. We have a very very full Autumn for you as the weather and the leaves turn off. Of London will return next week. home

Gordon Lonsdale KGB Lonsdale Britain London Gordon Lonsdale Gordon Garden Lonsdale Lonsdale Garden Lonsdale Melody George Blake Harry Horton Horton Canada America Ford Spies Europe Conan meladi Donald MacLean Gordon Carrera BBC
CBS 2 NEWS AM Update 07-12-20

CBS2 News Chicago

00:58 sec | 6 months ago

CBS 2 NEWS AM Update 07-12-20

"I'm Suzanne lemonade here are the stories making news at this hour? The latest daily total of new covid nineteen cases in Illinois is just under twelve hundred confirmed cases. Now twenty four people have died. We've had three days in a row with more than a thousand new cases. Police arrested a man suspected of shooting another man in the heart of the loop. Police say the two got into a fight last night at state, street and Monroe the victim, a twenty five year, old man was found laying on state street with a bullet wound in the leg. Officers also found a gun near the scene. Three Chicago police officers are recovering now after crash in Lonsdale police say an unmarked police suv hit a building, then hit another car at thirteenth and home in the officers were taken to the hospital. They're expected to be okay. Today's weather partly sunny skies with a high near eighty one degrees. Join US ON CBS to or CBS CHICAGO DOT COM for news updates around the clock I'm Suzanne, La Monroe.

Suzanne lemonade Chicago CBS La Monroe Monroe Illinois Lonsdale eighty one degrees twenty five year three days
Houston | S1 E8

The City

48:24 min | 2 years ago

Houston | S1 E8

"Residents of Chicago's north Lonsdale neighborhood had spent the better part of six years fighting John Christopher's pair of illegal dumps in talking with some of these residents. It was clear to them that this happened in their neighborhood because it was a black neighborhood. It was not a coincidence. It was by design. So that just goes to show me what you think black people and poor black communities. We can put this year this war. They didn't care twenty four was like nothing around it just when the happen in any of the neighborhood. I don't think anything can be done to black people anything. When a similar dump cropped up in a mostly white Chicago neighborhood, the one next to lane tech, high school city officials shut it down fast and operation, silver, shovel, the FBI's carefully orchestrated investigation into public corruption sprung from the Northland L dumps without factoring in a plan for cleanup. That's our ongoing story in Chicago, a city notorious for public corruption and racial divisions. But what we saw unfolding in north Lonsdale is just a symptom of a much bigger problem one that is not confined to Chicago black and Brown communities all over the country are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards. We know this in part because of a man named Robert Bullard. My grandmother lived on a road where the landfill was located. I remember this vividly. We go there on Sunday. We've go up there in the landfill was a burning landfill. And we will go up there and play with thought nothing about it Olert and his family are black and even as a child growing up in Alabama in the nineteen fifties and sixties he noticed that the dumps like the one year. His grandmother's house seemed to be located mostly in black neighborhoods only later discovered that that was more than just a hunch. Blurred grew up to be a sociologist. And when he was teaching in Houston in the late nineteen seventies. He got involved with a group of black homeowners fighting a landfill proposed for their neighborhood. And these Houston residents started saying the same kinds of things you heard people in north Lonzo say in previous episodes. This is happening to us because we are black only they were saying it roughly twenty years before the dumps sprang up north Lonsdale Bullard wondered could he find a way to prove this and prove it beyond dispute. It was very clear, and it didn't take a rocket scientist or PHD to put the pieces together. But it did take a PHD in a lawsuit to put to connect the dots. Unfortunately, Robert bullard's efforts to tie dumping to racial discrimination. I in black neighborhoods in Houston and later in black and Brown neighborhoods all across the country. We started with magic markers. Push pens and paper maps from those humble beginnings. His work would help spark a movement, it gave this type of discrimination a name, and it would force officials at the highest levels of government to confront the kind of injustice that we've been telling you about in Northland L. I never knew that. We would you know, stumble on something that that nobody else had done. I'm Robin Aamer and from USA today. This is the city. For decades women have had two options outdated at home hair color or the time and expense of a salon. If you can relate to the struggle. And I know I can Madison Reed is the answer for you. Madison Reed is revolutionizing the way women color their hair, they believe women deserve better than the status quo. So they give you the quality of salon color, and the convenience and affordability of at home hair-color with Madison Reed, you'll look like you just came from salon, and you'll have more meat time to do what you love. So if you want beautiful multidimensional hair-color maiden Italy delivered to your door on your schedule for under twenty five dollars. Then it's time to join the hundreds of thousands of women who have tried and loved Madison Reed. Find your perfect shade at Madison dash Reed dot com. Listeners of the city. Get ten percent off plus free shipping on their first color kit with promo code the city. That's Madison dash Reed dot com. Promo code the city. In our last episode operation silver shovel became front page. News alderman and other city officials went to prison and the feds gave John Christopher new life. But the six mountain of rubble in Chicago's north Lauderdale neighborhood was still there. And there was no plan to get rid of it in this episode. We're going to hit pause on the Chicago story because we want to zoom out and look at the big picture whether the dumping in north Lauderdale is indicative of a larger national problem. So we're gonna take a side trip a thousand miles south of Chicago to Houston, and we're gonna go back to the nineteen seventies. Roughly twenty years before the first trucks dumped their first loads of debris in north Lauderdale. Earlier this year. I went to Houston with our reporter Wilson Sayer. She's gonna pick up the story from here. In nineteen seventy-one, Margaret and Charles bean were Representative of an emerging black middle class in America. Charles worked at the Goodyear Tire plant making artificial rubber and was active in the union, making sure black workers had the same opportunities as their white colleagues. Margaret worked at a factory where they made little fruit pies, she had grown up most of her life in Houston, and he had grown up in the country. But had always wanted more of a social life in the country had to offer. And now they had kids and had outgrown the apartment they got together after getting married. The couple wanted to buy a home the type of place, they could grow their family and raise children a police to have barbecues in the backyard and chat with their neighbors on walks. Charles being heard about a neighborhood. Northwood manor that was being marketed to young black families like theirs. Brother was living out there. So we've moved that for that reason alone with the advertisement on the radio stations. They advertise that area Houston is a huge sprawling metropolis. And northwood manor is out on the city's north eastern edge where the suburbs give way to more rural surroundings. The pine forests. There had been cleared to build neat. One story brick ranch homes with carports and perfectly manicured lawns. It. I would vary of press which of the one that you know, that divall home that us out and my daughter tangible with me that team, and I have to would as she thing. Who was she liked it? And so we went and looked at it. And we say, yes, we're gonna take this idea. The house the beans bought had pomegranate, peach and Plum trees in the front yard. It was their dream home. Here's Margaret well able to start my family there, raise my family. I was able to meet my neighbors, and we often will go outside and talk. And so this would make me look my neighborhood, then in nineteen seventy eight seven years after making northwood manor their home, one of Margaret's neighbors mentioned to her that company was clearing. Trees just down the street right next to their neighborhood in order to make room for a new landfill there. There a surprise. I didn't think they will put that type of lamb field next to our high school. I'll have school smile. A has school was on the side of the land field. The fruit trees, the manicured lawns. Everything that residents. Loved about living in northwood manor would now be next to dirty diapers rotten food and all of the garbage that other Houston residents wanted out of their homes who would be hauled away and left next to Charles and Margaret beans home. A disturbing thought nagged at Charles bean and his neighbors the same thought that would be shared twenty years later by north Lonsdale residents. This is happening because this is a black neighborhood. Feel like you get a deal that all undesirable things is geared toward us drags, the waste treatment plants and everything that's undesirable. You get that. That's what's concentrating. They would adding to the insult was that the company behind the landfill was marketing it to northwood manor residents as a sanitary landfill called whispering. Pines a term and a name that evoked something lovely sweet-smelling and hushed the residents knew it would be anything. But if you think about the name we'll spend fan. So that sounds pretty good. If United man full of was actually going on end, you would think that it was clean like sanitaire everything. But Senator just like the families in north Juan Dale who saw dump rise in their neighborhood across from Sumner elementary school. The residents in Houston's northwood manor worried about the smell and the trucks and the negative impact. The dump would have on their property values. That wasn't what the beans wanted for their neighborhood. So they started to rally their neighbors to fight the dump. We went from door to door knocking to give out leaflets to let our neighbors know what they're proposing to do. They organized meetings at the true light missionary Baptist church and the Barbara Jordan community centre logger was going around. And they had a Bullhorn. And they were telling residents and Pathan out flyers. This is Pat Rio one of Margaret and Charles beans neighbors their best friends now and they met during this fight. Listen to you know, we're having a meeting tonight. They're putting a landfill next door next fill where well that was unheard of. Because all you had then was awarded area you've been through a rock and landed in the Lancia from where we were. So that really got a lot of people Laura Elda because they're just buying homes and all this stuff the news that landfill was coming to her neighborhood was incredibly distressing from his row. She knew exactly how awful living next to a landfill could be when she was a kid. She grew up on a street that dead ended by another dump. This was in another predominantly black neighborhood in Houston. And we used to have so much trash and stuff and CDs big mounds, but the worst thing was a rodents in the straight aminals that it brought the stench was unbearable the dump attracted so many animals that would run through their yard her dad had to set out raccoon traps. She said neighbors would sometimes come by and watch cats battle the dumps racks some. What actually said that bit? If the Canada rent was on win the fight. And in some cases, maybe those red for bigger than the cats. Bigger was a horrible lie. Or teenager. But you know, we lived at deleted Nomo. Her family just walked away from that house, abandoned it. That was her childhood, and here, she was a new mother herself. And a new house confronting the idea that her own children would also grow up next to a dump. She was not going to let that happen. So we took over we didn't get involved. We took over Pat Roe joined the beans and several other neighbors to form a neighborhood alliance. The plan to file a lawsuit against the private company building the landfill and convince a judge to issue an injunction that would stop the dump before it could ever get started before that I pile of rotting garbage could be trucked into their neighborhood. We want to stop it in track and they were trying to build it as fast as they could. So the group hired an attorney named Linda Bullard, and she filed a lawsuit in county court in October of nineteen Seventy-nine the crux of their. Legal argument was that pudding the dump in a predominantly black community amounted to racial discrimination. But how do you prove this kind of discrimination in a court of law? Where's the concrete evidence that one dump in one black neighborhood is the sort of racial injustice that requires a judge to make things right? Linda, Bullard, it climbed our invitation to talk about this case. But we spoke to her ex husband, Dr Robert Bullard, and Dr Bullard was the one who wound up wrestling with these questions about proof the way, Dr Bullard tells it his wife walked in one day with an unexpected piece of news is she came home and said Bob filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas. You do what you sued Texas sued employer. Technically that was true. Dr Bullard was professor and Reese. Searcher at Houston's Texas Southern University. A public college. Linda Bullard had also filed a lawsuit against the city of Houston. Harris County southwestern waste management, the company trying to build beween Phil and Browning ferris industries or BFI the company that was supposed to operate. The landfill BFI was headquartered in Houston. And for a time. It was the second largest waste management company in the world. Northwood manor residents were up against an assembly of deep pocketed defendants. Meanwhile, they collected change door to door to help pay for legal fees. Linda Bullard told her husband they were going to need some help. She's sued them, and I need someone to assist in support governator for this lawsuit. Ms Bullard thought the residents of northwood manor onto something bigger. She thought they had a chance to prove that this dome in this black neighborhood was not an isolated incident. It was part of a pattern, but she needed help proving that say you need a sociologist. So that's what you are. Right, right. Dr Bullard would take on the challenge and try to figure out if there was a pattern. That's after the break. There's nobody on the planet like you. So why would you buy generic mattress built for everyone else? Helixsleep built a quiz that takes just two minutes to complete. I took it and they used the answers to match my body type and sleep references to the perfect mattress for me. I was matched to the helix dusk. And this last month has truly been the best sleep. I have ever gotten. I also tacked on a cooling cover to my order. And that last minute decision turned out to be a great one. I used to be such a sweater at night, but not anymore. Do what I did. And go to helixsleep dot com slash the city, take their two minutes sleep quiz, and they'll match you to a mattress that will give you the best sleep of your life. Right now, helix is offering up to a hundred and twenty five dollars off all mattress orders. And all you have to do to get up to one hundred twenty five dollars off your. Mattress is go to helixsleep dot com slash the city. That's helix. Sleep dot com slash the city for hundred twenty five dollars off your mattress order. He looked sleep dot com slash the city. Before we get back to the story. I want to tell you about another podcast, you might enjoy the impact by vox in Washington. The story often ends when congress passes a law, but on the impact that's where the story begins. The impact focuses on the human consequences of policy making its first season looked at healthcare policy and its second season looks at policy experiments in cities all across America from housing to education to family leave. The impact is traveling to cities and states that are fundamentally rethinking the way we do things. You can listen to season two of the impact or been season one right now check out the show via apple podcasts or ever, you're listening. Okay. Back to our story. In nineteen seventy nine the same year. Northwood manor residents filed a lawsuit to fight the dump proposed for their neighborhood. Dr Robert Bullard was still a relatively new sociology professor at Houston. Historically, black Texas Southern University. Let's go back to Wilson. Robert Bullard split his time between research and teaching one of his idols was w e b boys who like Dr Bullard was a black sociologist. Dubose was the first black person to earn a doctorate from Harvard and one of the founders of the N W C P, Dr Bullard admired what he called the boys brand of kick ass. Sociology combining hard research with social activism, and now Dr Bullard suddenly found himself confronted with the same kind of issue that devote himself might have tackled was racial discrimination to blame for northwood manners. Landfill problem. Getting testimony from black residents who believed this was true wasn't going to sway a judge. He needed to come up with solid evidence. And he needed to produce it fast enough to help stop the landfill before it could open the clock was ticking. What I think about that period of time. It was frantic. It was emotionally draining because you're embarking on something in terms of trying to collect data. You're trying to put together a puzzle that you'll have a lot of time to think about is full. Steam ahead. Dr Bullard wanted to know whether there was a link between the locations of waste facilities and the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods. He enlisted the students from his research methods class to gather data the first step was to find all of the garbage facilities that had been built in Houston. Dating back to the nineteen thirties. Keep in mind, this is happening in the late nineteen seventies. You couldn't just Google a list of all of the dumps and incinerators even phone book was of little use because going back to the nineteen thirties meant that some of the waste facilities have been closed for years. So Dr Bullard and his students started digging into dusty old filing cabinets in city hall, pulling up newspaper clippings on microfiche and interviewing old timers in the community to ask if they remember where various dumps had been located in giving my students lists. You do have five. On a list, and they'd go out and verify and we'd come back and put it on the map and when the other methods failed. Dr Bullard told them to trust there is and I would tell my students if you see a mountain in Houston. Houston is flat below sea level you see a mountain using these species. Landfill wants his students had cobbled together. The list of dumps they looked at the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods. Again. This is the nineteen seventies today. A sociologist would tackle this problem with all sorts of modern tools, GPS digital maps and powerful computer programs. Dr Bullard had none of those tools. They weren't widely available at the time when he needed to run a computer analysis, he did it using one of those massive computers. You might see in a movie it took up more space than a row of refrigerators and had significantly less. Computing power than an iphone Iran a data on mainframe, computer on punch cards. So this is how ancient is like having a chisel and hammer in Iraq. He laid out big paper maps of Houston on the floor and used magic markers to color in the neighborhoods to reflect the demographics of the people who lived there is less than ten percent minority orange was tend to thirty nine in the other ones like forty to forty nine red was fifty percent of minority. Dr Bullard used push pins to Mark locations of the dumps and incinerators in as as those pins. Come in. We start to see a parent. Most of the pins would come in in red pin after pin went into sections of the map colored red the majority black neighborhoods. It wasn't just the proposed whispering pines landfill. When the pin? Started to come into the rid is. When I knew that. This was not something that was a fluke or with by accident. This was willful. It was on purpose systematic that city council members over that period of time head the sided that the pens were going in the red even though he had a hunch about what they might find. Dr Bullard was astonished at how stark the discrepancies actually were as illustrated by this map from the nineteen thirties through nineteen seventy eight five out of five city owned landfills were in predominantly black neighborhoods. Six out of the eight city owned incinerators were in predominantly black neighborhoods and four of the four privately owned landfills were in predominantly black neighborhoods for me that was on the Hamam a ha- oh label moment. Oh, this is an issue of. Discrimination. Eighty two percent of all the garbage the waste. So I've always dumped in Houston over that period of time was dumped in predominantly black neighborhoods. Even though blacks only made up twenty five percent of relation. Remember? We heard the allegation from the residents in north Lonsdale and northwood manor, but they were the ones most often stuck dealing with their cities waste, but it wasn't until Dr Bullard finished this map that there was for the first time ever actual impure ical evidence. And so these decisions intentional decisions may by white men with the garbage over there. But it over the over there. And and they're invariably was in black Muniz lag neighborhoods in Houston. This is what blurred and others would ultimately call environmental discrimination or environmental racism, a practice of disproportionately burdening black and Brown communities. With environmental hazards that wouldn't be allowed in white communities. Armed with this evidence. Attorney Linda Bullard fella she had which he needed. She could argue that this type of environmental discrimination was no different than housing discrimination, or employment discrimination or voting discrimination. It violated the Civil Rights Act. This is the first environment racism lawsuit to use civil rights law. We didn't know what we were setting out to do other than this was a form of discrimination. It was a form of racism in the way that environment policies are being implemented. This map seemed to be the smoking gun the type of thing that anybody with a pair of eyes look at and realize, hey, there's a clear connection here. But the two judges in the case disagreed, the judge presiding over the initial hearings with swayed by a different set of maps provided by the waste companies their maps purported to show that there was not a connection between landfills and black communities in Houston. The judge found these maps more credible and sided with the landfill companies. So how could the judge have rejected Dr Bullard work? I'm going to get a bit in the weeds about how a data analysis like this is done but bear with me. When Dr Bullard did his analysis. He was looking at the demographics of the neighborhood immediately surrounding the landfill the communities. Most impacted by the sight smell knows vermin of a dump the companies, however us the entire census tract where the landfill was located. That's a much bigger area potentially involving thousands of residents instead of just a few hundred that make up a neighbor. Both methods are valid, but at the time using census tracts, what the companies used was the more common and established method. There wasn't a single agreed upon way to define or measure neighborhood. That said it's hard to argue that Dr bullard's method was not at least more relevant think about your own home. You're probably more likely to get upset about a dump opening at the edge of your neighborhood than one opening up at the edge of your census tract, which could be several miles away. So we asked Mark Nichols one of our data journalists here at USA today to us twenty eighteen technology to tackle the same question. Dr Bullard faced here's Mark will what we were really trying to figure out. I think was whether the neighborhoods in which these way sites were contained basically had a greater proportion of non white. Residents. I'm not going to bore you with all the details behind this analysis. But essentially we pulled a list of all of the landfills operating in Houston from the state of Texas website, then using a computer program called arc s Mark drew circles around the dumpsites one circle had a one mile radius another three mile radius. Then the program pulled in all of the demographic data about the people living within those circles, and we could see who's living close to these landfills. Bottom line marks analysis squared with Dr bullard's in Houston garbage is far more likely to wind up in the city's black and Brown neighborhoods. But because Dr Bullard was not able to convince the judges that his methods were sound the residents of northwood manor did not get an injunction to stop the dump the whispering pines landfill opened in nineteen eighty a few years later, they lost the whole legal battle to shut down the dump. In a pretty scathing opinion, second judge rejected Dr bullard's map and analysis. Calling it inaccurate and subjective by then the landfill was estimated to be taking in between fifteen hundred and two thousand tons of garbage per day. And according to Margaret bean who later remarried and now goes by Margaret layer, the landfill was as bad as the residents feared it would be that is when we started to see the heavy trucks speeding up and down little York road and night town. We we smell this horrible odor. If you've ever been to Texas in the summertime, you know that the heat can be intense temperatures in the nineties baked the mounds of garbage piling up at whispering pines garbage would fly off the trucks and collect. Along the sides of the roads. Margaret layer said that you could smell the dumps overpowering odor throughout the neighborhood, which may be why the developer stopped building new homes there. She told us about the small white birds what she called dump birds that land on the garbage. I whispering pines then fly over to the high school. She worried about what germs they might be spreading to her daughter and the other kids at the school last year after living in northwood manor for more than forty five years. Margaret layer moved away on hip out on live over here in more. But I feel sorry for the people that still have to stay and cannot move. I was able to afford to move. You got a lot of people here can't afford to move. She feels the neighborhood started to go downhill when the landfill arrived. She showed me and Robin around during our visit. She brought us to what used to be smiley high school where you could see the landfill from the bleachers at the schools stadium. You actually see the dump from here you you can. You you can. It was so close. The landfill was so close you can actually sit in the bleaches and see the don't the trees was in here. Oh, really close very close, very clean. You could just see them walk to it is so close. Would you come to football games here? Yes. And would you be able to see and smell the Dumbo? You're sitting in the stadium. Yes. If smell like a rotten odor. Leader, MS layer, drove us across the street right up to the landfill and its massive at one hundred eighty acres. It's nearly a quarter of the size of central park and ten times the size of the bigger dump in north Lonsdale at the entrance of the facility Robin spotted some old signs. They looked like they'd been there since the dump opened in the eighties. One of them says no dead animals, please. And one of them says all tires must be split quartered or shredded prior to disposal. Absolutely, no whole tires can be accepted. And then there's another sign says, no appliances small plants is so I mean, this to me is just an indication like all of the different kinds of things that people would try to dump their cluding dead animals. They did down. They did animals are tires a refrigerator 's according to state records, the dump is still taking garbage forty years after it first opened. Although northwood manor residents would ultimately lose their court battle. They didn't go down quietly. They protested at the dumps and at city hall, Houston, didn't and still doesn't have zoning laws the kind of rules that prohibit industrial facilities from being built in a residential neighborhood. But the lawsuit and the publicity from the protests resulted in new laws that restricted where future dumps could go. Houston officials also decided that they would not allow any city trucks to dump at whispering pines. And in what could be viewed as an acknowledgement that Dr bullard's research touched on a very real problem. The state of Texas changed its criteria for deciding where to place landfills for the first time officials had to take demographics into account before approving new dumpsite. This did not help neighborhoods with existing dumps like northwood manor, but these changes energize, Dr Bullard now he wanted to use the same methodology he'd use the whispering pines case to see if placing waste in black and Brown neighborhoods wasn't just a northwood manor problem or Houston problem were even Texas problem. He thought it could be something even bigger and he was right? We lost the case. But we want a whole movement. That's after the break. Let's go back to Wilson. Robert Bullard knew that it wasn't just piles of construction debris or landfills teaming with garbage that people didn't want in a residential neighborhoods factories chemical plants contaminated land, they were all potentially harmful to people living nearby. He wanted to understand the full extent of this problem. I decided to go on a chair. And that was the boys is to start writing start documenting. He started to look outside if Houston that wanna know is this happening in other places. So I wrote the grant to fund and I wanna look at the south see this southern thing. And when he looked he found examples of other communities that had been subject to terrible pollution neighborhoods near lead smelting facilities in Dallas. Hazardous waste dumps in Sumter county Alabama a stretch of chemical plants and refineries between warlords. Baton Rouge, so notorious for making people sick. It was known as cancer alley in each case. Dr Bullard noted it was the black and Brown communities most impacted the pattern in Houston. Basically was replicated across the south in that African American beauty's would being singled out for locally unwanted land. Use landfills incinerators garbage onto chemical plants those dangerous facilities. Houston was no flu. Houston was not alone, environmental hazards, were disproportionately in black and Brown communities all over the country. These were the things that no one would want to live near well. You know, the idea that Nimby not in my backyard had really taken hold instead of Nimby what we found was pity plays in blacks backyard. Dr Bullard wrote up his findings. I in academic journals, then in a book titled dumping in Dixie, but he had trouble finding a receptive audience. He was pitching ideas that no one had previously defined recognized in. I got nasty nose back saying, well, you can't use race in environment in the same sentence. As those nice thing is in Ryan, mental Justice. You know, the environment is neutral, there's no disparity in terms of environment. Even had trouble convincing mainstream environmental groups and civil rights groups that racial injustice in the environment or topics they needed to rally around together. And it took almost two decades before our civil rights organizations groups understood how these two things connected. But through his research, Dr Bullard started to hear about other black and Brown communities all over the country. That were also banding together to fight toxic dumps landfills and other industrial facilities in their neighborhoods. A group in rural North Carolina had fought the dumping of toxic oil along the roads in their community. A group in Dickson county. Tennessee was trying to fight a landfill. Researchers were looking at the locations of hazardous waste facilities in Los Angeles. And there are more these were relatively small grassroots groups, but a name for what they were seeing started to take hold it pointed to a broader understanding that this growing national movement was about more than just stopping individual landfills from popping up in certain areas. This was environmental racism and the people involved in the movement against it. We're fighting for environmental. Justice. This group started to meet and hold conferences throughout the early. Nineteen ninety s they were trying to change the system that had allowed a mountain of construction debris to pile up in Chicago's north Lonsdale neighborhood with no repercussions a situation that was unfolding at this very same time. It had taken the Voting Rights Act to address voting discrimination and title, seven of the Civil Rights Act to address workplace discrimination. So this group of environmental Justice advocates begin to push for the same kind of landmark legal protections to reckon with environmental discrimination. They started to write letters to government officials. We wrote letters to the EPA we wrote letters to the president's council environment quality, we don't let us to health and human services, and we requested a meeting a sit down meeting, and they got one in nineteen Ninety-one. They. I met with the head of president George H W Bush's EPA out of that meeting. The EPA created the office of environmental equity, a division of the federal government tasked with studying the problem of environmental discrimination a year later, the EP released a report called environmental equity, reducing risk for all communities. It echoed what Bullard has colleagues in the movement and certain communities had been saying all along black and Brown neighborhoods were disproportionately burdened with environmental hazards. But the big moment for this movement came in February nineteen ninety four Dr Bullard and his colleagues at a conference just outside of Washington. DC fuel got a call from the White House to come over to witness something they've been invited into the Oval Office to witness President Bill Clinton signed a new executive order, and we went in and vice versa. Al goal was first degree to when we came to the door. And then President Clinton was in the background standing just in front of his desk. The environmental Justice executive order of nineteen ninety four instructed every federal agency to ensure that no one group of people was unfairly burdened with the country's waste while the president signed the executive order, Dr Bullard and the other activists gathered behind the president's desk for a commemorative photo, we showed the. Photo to Dr Bullard, doctor, right? Beverly right there, and this Wellstone, and I was done in next to the EPA minister, kale Browner and John Lewis zero in cinema. Carol Moseley Braun Senator from Illinois, and the Turner General Janet Reno was ear inn John Lewis, and we all smiling these activists, the parents of the environmental Justice movement were here to watch their movement legitimized by the highest official in the country. The measure acknowledged that environmental racism was real. It was also a pledge that the federal government would do something about it. We were all just really. We never thought is this something that would happen. So environmental Justice had reached the White House later the same day Carol Browner than head of the EPA walked into the White House press room and declared that it was time for the federal government to ensure environmental Justice for every community in America. The president joined by representatives from community groups across this country, just signed an executive order. Nobody can question that for far too long communities across this country, low income minority communities. Have been asked to bear disproportionate share of our modern industrial life. Today's executive order is designed and we'll seek to bring Justice to these communities. Standing next to Browner during the speech was US Attorney General Janet Reno she committed her agencies prosecutors to holding people and companies accountable for environmental discrimination. But at the very moment that President Clinton was signing, the environmental Justice executive order at the White House. In Chicago operation, silver, shovel was underway. A mob associate turned undercover informant by the name of John Christopher was illegally dumping debris in Chicago's black neighborhoods. And he was doing it while working for the FBI. If you drew a big enough org. Chart of the Justice department at the time, John Christopher's boss's, boss's, boss's, boss, or whatever was Attorney General Janet Reno. Recognizing problem and doing something about it are two very different things. After the signing ceremony in Washington. It would still be another two years before operation, silver, shovel thrust. John Christopher's illegal dumps into the limelight. And even then it wasn't angry residents writing letters were kids getting sick or injured that shamed. Government officials into fixing the problem. It wasn't even a newfound commitment to environmental Justice. What ultimately got the debris out of north Lonsdale was the publicity that followed a major public corruption scandal, featuring a mob connected mole, the kind of publicity that other communities across United States will never get. The outrage and embarrassment that followed in silver shovels, wake sparked glimmer of hope as political leaders rushed in to try to fix the problem in north London. The civil show was story broke. And then the thing I saw was just Jackson standing on top of the pal in. Yeah. We did this and we send. No, you didn't. That's next time on the city. The city is a production of USA today. And it's just tributed in partnership with wondering you can spice to the show on apple podcasts or Spotify forever. You're listening right now. If you liked the show, please rate and review us and be sure to tell your friends about us our show this week was reported and produced by Wilson Sayer, Johnny Koss, same Greenspan and me Robin Aamer additional reporting for the Sepah sewed by Mark Nichols episode was edited by Matt dig additional editing from John Kelly and Amy pile. Then Austin is our story consultant for jewel music and mixing is by Hannah's Brown. We will review by Tom Curley additional production by Taylor making Phil Corbett Isabel cockerel and Bianca media's our executive producer is Liz Nelson. Chris Davis is our VP for investigations, Scott Stein is our VP of. Product the USA today networks president and publisher is mayor bell Wadsworth. Thank you to our sponsors for supporting the show and special. Thanks to scout bloom Michel Yussef and Daniel's cove additional support comes from the fund for investigative journalism and the social Justice news nexus at Northwestern University. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter at the city pod or visit our website. You can see the Oval Office photo of Bill Clinton, and Robert Bullard and the other environmental Justice activists, then if you're in Chicago, please join me and the rest of the city team on Wednesday, December fifth for alive community conversation. Cosponsored by WBZ. We'll be at the skyline conference center in north Lauderdale. We'll take you behind the scenes of the podcast and introduce you to some of the north Lonzo residents who fought to get rid of the mountain to reserve tickets, go to our website. That's the city podcast dot com.

Dr Robert Bullard Houston northwood manor Northwood manor Houston north Lonsdale Chicago Robin Aamer Wilson Sayer John Christopher United States Dr Bullard Texas Washington Ms Bullard America FBI Madison Reed north Lauderdale Texas Southern University
Morris and Lona Cohen Pt. 2

Espionage

40:51 min | 1 year ago

Morris and Lona Cohen Pt. 2

"September nineteen sixty sturdy. Bungalow sat quiet at the end of a residential street in the London suburbs. Let's but as the evening sunset there was a knock on the door. Helen Kroger grabbed a book from the kitchen as her husband. Peter Open the door. It was ruth search from down the block. To what did they. Oh this unexpected visit. Peter's Voice was warm and boisterous and just a bit forced. Helen disappeared back into the kitchen. Ruth had baked them a pie fresh out of the oven. She was so grateful grateful to have such kind and caring neighbours. The way they doted on her kids asking about their schoolwork and giving them treats it was just so appreciated. Helen reappeared next to her husband. Her book nowhere in sight. Peter and Helen thanked ruth for the lovely pie. They'd certainly enjoy it tonight. Ruth bid them goodnight and left. Helen and Peter meanwhile cut slices of pie and waited finally another knock and this time it was the visitor they'd been expecting suspecting Helen once again retrieved her book her book of ciphered Russian messages. Helen and Peter weren't your ordinary middle aged couple. They were spies. Their real names were Morris and Lona Cohen and this is espionage. The new park asked original exploring the missions behind the world's most incredible spies and what brought their covert operations into the public eye. I'm your host Carter Roy throughout this show we'll explore real world spy tactics required to impersonate exploit and infiltrate the most confidential places in the world. You can listen to all all of parkas shows on spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. New episodes. Come out every Friday. We're also on facebook and instagram at par podcast in twitter at par cast network. This is our second and final episode. On two of the world's most infamous atomic spies Morris and end Lona Cohen or Morrison. Lona were American. Born activists turn communists and eventually Soviet spies in nineteen forty five. The couple provided these Soviet Union with a complete diagram and description of the allied atomic bomb expediting the development of Russia's own a-bomb and giving them a substantial advantage during the Cold War last week we explored how Morris and Lona Cohen went from agitated Americans ends to devout communists to dedicated and shrewd Russian operatives. This week we'll follow them as they're forced to flee we. The United States will learn about their new roles as Russian spies in Britain and their Ultimate Capture Morris Cohen was honorably discharged from the US army on November. Sixth nineteen forty five. He was thirty five years old and Lona. Nearly thirty three they returned to their unassuming life in a small apartment on east seventy first street. LONA LONA found a part time job in a library. Veterans were offered Free College tuition so Morris chose to pursue his master's degree in education at Columbia University University. And that was all they were doing. Morris and Lona had been deactivated. Their intelligence work was completely on ice. This around the same time that Morris was discharged to Soviet intelligence agents defected. One was eager. Sergei Vich Goose Yanko a cipher clerk. At the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa Guzzi INCO had been recalled to Moscow but he was intent on staying in Canada to provide a better our life for his family so he came forward with more than one hundred documents. Proving that Canadian officials had been secretly passing intelligence to the Soviets the second defector was Elizabeth Bentley in February of Nineteen forty-five. The Moscow centre relegated. Her to a dead dead end clerical job angry and humiliated she turned herself over to the FBI nine months later and told them everything she knew you about Soviet operations in the US. In an effort to mitigate further exposure Morris and Lona were instructed to cease all covert over actively destroy any evidence of their espionage and maintain ignorance if questioned by the FBI. They remained sidelined line for two years until the Moscow Center. Once again needed their talent. It was the spring of Nineteen nineteen forty seven Morris made his way home from the university. He in Lona had just sat down to supper when a knock on the door rang out a courier with a letter. Not so unusual in the nineteen forties but as Morris went to close the door. The courier offered a few extra stra words. Morris stopped in his tracks. He squinted looking the young man up and down could it be. He asked the courier to repeat himself. And the man did whispering a phrase so specific only Morris and lona would recognize it before they they had been deactivated their handler Anatoly yet. Pskov had given them a password. Something by which they could be contacted in the future. Sure and that was the Password Morris and Lona tore into the note. They were being summoned to Paris to discuss an important matter summoned by their Soviet masters. The long hiatus was over. Finally they could get back to serving the communist cause that Summer Morris and Lona were flown to Paris at Russian expense there. They were reunited with Anatoly. Yachts cove their former handler. They took their seats across from him in a dimly lit office and listened intently as he brought them up to speed after loan as successful delivery of allied atomic plans in her already infamous tissue box operation another Soviet agent Klaus. How's Fuchs was tasked with obtaining a written description of the atomic bomb however this description didn't reach Moscow until October Bernanke forty five and was still missing crucial information despite having obtained a decent amount of intelligence the Russians? We're still far behind the allies in the development of atomic weaponry. The Soviets were convinced that the allies were planning a nuclear war and the successful zestful development of their own weaponry was a top priority. Moreover they suspected the allies had moved on to developing a hydrogen bomb or Org H. Bomb while atomic bombs blast effect was measured in thousands of kilotonnes of TNT and h-bomb could be measured in up to to millions of kilotonnes of TNT. Moscow wanted information on the H.. Bomb immediately but this this was easier asked than done. The coens returned home from Paris at the end of the summer of nineteen forty seven. They resume their activity as couriers in recruiters. This time under the guidance of a new control officer Yuri Sokolov available. Soviet documents aren't too clear on on what exactly was accomplished. Perhaps their missions were thwarted perhaps the US government crackdown. Spying made it difficult to find new sources. What is evident is that while the coens dedication to the cause remains strong? Moscow grew frustrated with the lack of progress from their camp. Perhaps a new control officer would help the Moscow center replaced Sokolov at the end of nineteen forty eight Morrison. Luna's new supervisor would be William August Fisher in older and more experienced officer. But even under Fischer's guidance they made little progress and and on top of that every day brought increased tension and higher stakes to the COENS espionage efforts antagonism between Soviet Sylvia and use atomic projects was growing exponentially considering at the FBI was now aware. The Soviets had infiltrated the Manhattan project. They would not rest until they figured out how and took down every Soviet operative involved. It didn't take long for their efforts to to put the Cohen's in imminent danger. The reality set in one sweltering New York night in June nineteen fifty during a tense meeting at Morris Wrestle Loan as apartment on seventy first street. Sokolov the Cohen's former control officer and constant friend had been sent to visit his former assets on a risky but necessary visit. He scribbled down his messages on paper. Lona burned the notes as he wrote them Morris SIP on a glass of water to his best to stay calm and collected none of them resist. Speaking in case the apartment had already been bogged. Sokolov explained that the F. B. I.. Were following Intel from the defections of Bentley and Guzzi Yanko. Their search leads into British physicist. Assist Klaus Fuchs. Who had helped develop the allied atomic bomb and passed along information to the Soviets while doing so once apprehended folks immediately confessed and directed the FBI towards his then courier Harry gold who admitted his involvement as well? Gold led the FBI to another courier David Greenglass and his sister and brother-in-law. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg now they they were in the clutches of the FBI. The rosenbergs spy ring had been rolled up. According to the spy museum a roll up occurs when an operation operation goes bad and an agent is arrested agents were dropping like flies. It was only a matter of time before the trail l.. Lead backed the Cohen's Morris and Lona needed to leave the United States immediately. Morris replied that they still had a chance to do more work for Moscow they were fighters and they'd fight on. He insisted for the communist cause but soak love shook his head. This was no time time for discussion. He had his instructions and now they had. There's so the meeting. The Cohen's had no choice. Respect acquiesce still. They were casual in their preparations after years of possible exposure. They couldn't quite fathom. Just how different this time might be. I they cashed their savings bonds. Then Morris returned home to the Bronx to say goodbye to his parents. It's telling them that he'd been offered a good writing job in California. This was the same story. They offered their friends at a going away party but one night the reality of their compromise state made itself gravely apparent while the exact details are unknown. It's clear that something startled the coens. Perhaps they'd been visiting with friends. Perhaps they'd gone for a walk. Perhaps they'd been returning from the store when they saw them men in suits outside of their building waiting for them. Morrison Modem made their way around the corner casually visually not hesitating in front of their door for a moment. This was the moment they'd been trained for and Heart's pounding in their chests. They knew exactly exactly their next step. They had to leave now but there was a problem Luna turn to Morris panicked. She wasn't wearing proper close. It would look strange if they were traveling in the wrong clothes. Morris opened his mouth to argue. That time was more important but the sound of footsteps APPs nearby reminded him. They didn't have the luxury of discussion. He nodded gesturing for Lona to follow him. Jack Morris a friend from his time fighting for the loyalists in Spain opened his front door to find the Cohen's looking rather frazzled. Lona explained that they had to leave unexpected trip but she didn't have proper clothes. Would it be possible to borrow something from Jack's wife though. It seemed a bit odd odd. Jack's wife of course agreed then when Lona in her new dress the collins fled the United States never to return uh but the law already had their sent coming up. Morrison Lona the identities. He's of Peter and Helen Kroger. Hi It's Laney. I'm excited to tell you that podcast. Our cast has an incredible new show. You must check out. It's called dictators. And it lets you delve into the minds of some of the world's most feared leaders. You can here new episodes every Tuesday here host Kate and Richard to tell you more. Thank you so much. They are natural born leaders with a never for ending thirst for power through force and deceit. They rise through the ranks towards radicalism. Eliminating anyone who stands in their way and the only thing more inevitable than their rise is there ruin discover the true stories of power greed deceit in the podcast original all series dictators. Every Tuesday dictators examines the reign of a real life tyrant exploring the unique conditions that allowed ouled them to seize control. Each dictator is analyzed in two part episodes with the first giving insight into the rise to power and the second chronicling aling the impact of their downfall hear more about the men who claimed to love their country but were intricately responsible for killing millions of their own people. Men such as Prime Minister Benito Mussolini Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and even Julius Caesar himself discover the governments that fell the lives that were destroyed and evil at its highest level. Follow dictators free on spotify over. Wherever you get your podcasts? Now back to the story. Nineteen Fifty Soviet agents CELONA and Morris. Cohen were forced to flee the United States. The capture of the Rosenbergs spy ring had left them susceptible to exposure. The United States was no longer safe for them. They arrived in Moscow in nineteen fifty one where they were forced to flee once again. Stalin was was on a hunt for Jews so Russia wasn't safe either despite their service to the country still the Cohen's brushed off the betrayal. Well this was a temporary political conflict. Not The real face of communism they remained committed to their ideology and their work towards supporting it at least the Moscow center the USSR's intelligence headquarters still new their value. The center sent them to Poland. And where it got more as a cover job teaching English then in nineteen fifty five. They were relocated once again. This time to England where their new identities were Peter and Helen Kroger an ordinary suburban couple. It was a hot summer evening in nineteen fifty seven. The Kroger's home in rice slip just outside. London was full and the air was dance. Ends with body heat but it didn't matter. The company was good. Helen Kroger set out appetizers in Peter refilled drinks. They weren't amiable couple and had quickly become the town. Matriarch Patriarch the neighborhood. Children often played in the Kroger's backyard while snacking on Auntie Helen's homemade. who made cookies? They did have a couple of odd quirks. Helen claim to love photography but the photographs she shared with friends weren't very good. Certainly not good enough to merit converting the bathroom into a dark room and they did keep their lights burning late on Saturdays. But apparently Peter's Peter's antiquarian book business had orders that needed filling on despite these auditees. They seem to be lovely people this particular evening. Helen chatted with the women. Peter fired up a game of bridge with the men then. Peter Glanced at the clock. His program was on. He made his way over to the radio. Well bill searched out the cards. Several men raise their eyebrows as Peter. Turn the dial two radio Moscow. One Gentleman delman joked about Peter spying for the Russians. The group of men shared a hearty laugh at the thought. Peter himself offered a witty response. None one of the neighbors suspected that the innocent remark was wholly truthful. Peter and Helen Kroger formerly Morris and Lona Cohen. Were not just in. Rice slipped to play cards. They were there on assignment. They had been tasked with collecting details on British underwater weaponry and then coding or siphoning that intelligence from OSCO according to the international spy museum siphoning is this system for disguising message either by replacing its letters with other letters or numbers or by shuffling them. The Kroger's worked hand in hand and with Gordon Lonsdale a Russian who worked at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment at Portland. His agents on the inside of the establishment went. Where Harry Houghton and Ethel G Houghton a communist sympathizer worked as a clerk at the naval base there? He successfully romance g who had top level military clearance. He then convinced her to photograph classified documents for him. Many on the sonar. Dr Technology Britain was developing for its nuclear submarines. He gave her plenty of reason to do so. I there was the cash but but then there was the patriotism. He told her the British Royal Navy was cheating the US Navy out of the information she was providing but he was rectifying the situation bypassing the documents to the US her efforts would facilitate the flow of information between Britain and America who needed each other as close allies after all this was in the interest of everyone Brits and Americans this tactic is known as false flag. Recruitment g believes she was helping the Yanks when in reality Houghton was passing her photographs graphs to Lonsdale and her efforts were supporting the reds Lonsdale. Intern was passing the documents to the Cohen's who were coding. Them Him at first the operation seem to be going swimmingly but while the Coens and their accomplices were busy smuggling British naval secrets to the Soviets another critical arrest occurred back in the US on June twenty first nineteen fifty seven Willie Fisher. Who would act as one of the Collins? New York control officers was apprehended. The FBI and US immigration agents raided his room and discovered covered four thousand dollars and two photographs. One of a man and one of a woman. This couple would later be identified as Morris and Lona Ona Cohen the FBI would send wanted flyers of the couple every NATO nation but perhaps the flyers were lost in London shuffling paperwork or or buried under more pressing reports because for reasons still unknown leads were not investigated in Britain at least not yet. Meanwhile in Rice slip just outside of London the Cohen's were hard at work. None the wiser. It was an ordinary Saturday night. In one thousand nine hundred fifty eight. The Community of Rice lead retired to their respective homes for the evening. Peter Kroger situated himself health in front of the television while Helen finished preparing dinner then a visitor. Peter opened the door and found a smiling. Gordon Lonsdale what a pleasant surprise but it wasn't a surprise at all Lonsdale was right on time. The scene played out like like a movie script. Lonsdale quip that. He was in the neighborhood and thought he'd see if they had room for one more at dinner he loved Helen's cooking. Peter warmly replied lied. They'd be honored for him to join. Peter took Lonsdale's coat and invited him in. They gathered around the dining table once. Helen had finished preparing supper sharing a bit of small talk over the meal. But this is where the script ended. They weren't here for pleasantries. Not really there was real work to be done on. Gordon reached into his pocket and retrieved a roll of film film containing. Jeez pictures of secret naval documents from Portland. This was Helen's Q.. She got up to clear the table taking the role of film with her after. Stop in the kitchen. She made her way over to the bathroom the bathroom she had converted to a darkroom expertly. She developed the film when it was dry. She would put it under under a micro dot camera in photographic again according to the spy museum a micro dot camera is a tiny tiny easy to hide device. That can photograph documents. And produce reproductions less than a millimeter in diameter. MICRODOTS is so small and entire entire document can be reduced to the size of a punctuation mark in a newspaper. Once the film was developed into a strip of microdots Peter inserted served strip into the spines of books the ones he claimed were part of his book business. Wrap them up in address them to some special customers he had on the European continent then he wrote a message informing the Moscow Center. What he was sending sending a message to Moscow was quite quite a process involving many steps to ensure a secure delivery after coding and siphoning his message Peter further disguised it by putting it into recorded Morse code using special tape recorder called a burst encoder burst encoder was then plugged? Into a short shortwave. Radio Transmitter which sent the message over the air to Moscow at very high speed over two hundred words per minute. This reduced the Airtime for each message to just seconds. Luckily because the shortwave radio transmitter interfered with the neighbors radios and televisions each each time Morris plugged in the burst coder. He hoped that no one noticed their TV screen plinking in out. This was the kroger's Saturday night night. Routine this is why they kept to themselves on the weekends and this is why they're lights. Were always on so late into Saturday evening evening. But they weren't the only ones with secrets. The law was getting closer to their little bungalow in the spring of Nineteen fifty eight. A letter was sent to the CIA field office in Berlin. Alerting officials of two Russian spies stationed in Britain. The unknown defector signed. His letter head can shoot SAT German for sniper. He would later be identified as me call. Golan Yavlinsky ski a Soviet agent installed in Polish intelligence but to the CIA. He was simply code-named sniper. His letter provided scant scant but compelling Intel onto unidentified British spies code named Lambda One and Lambda two. All sniper renew for sure was that lambda two was working for British naval intelligence. He thought the name was Horton. which the CIA noted was similar to Harry Houghton Naval intelligence employee and like Houghton this spy had previously served in Warsaw the CIA CIA was convinced? Harry Houghton fit the profile. They were right. Harry Houghton you may recall was a member of the kroger spy ring and the source. First of all the Intel. They were sending back to Moscow. But Peter and Helen Kroger had no idea about this new threat Honing in on Their Well Oiled espionage Asia machine. They were confident. They had the neighbors fooled with their suburban bungalow in charming smiles. But even the best spies can be uncovered uncovered when their allies start to go down. Because of the information snipers letters Harry Houghton was placed under constant surveillance by naval intelligence agents and M I five. They just needed proof that he was a spy before they moved on him. And ideally all his allies allies one July afternoon in Nineteen Sixty Houghton Ethel. Gee were observed at park chatting chatting with another gentleman. They handed him Brown shopping bag and received a white envelope in return. Then the man sped off in a white H. studebaker after running the car's license plates. M I five determined that it belonged to Gordon. Lonsdale Lonsdale was placed under surveillance surveillance as well. Investigators watched Lonsdale like a hawk noting his every routine. They followed him through traffic using parallel street. Read so as not to be seen and eventually they noticed that some evenings he broke his routine by driving out of London in a westerly direction. A carefully orchestrated tedious. Tailing was initiated leading officials. Straight into riceland coming up the CIA. Okay A. and M. I.. Five move in on Lonsdale and the krogers now back to the story. It was a crisp autumn day. Like any other in nineteen sixty Helen Kroger and her neighbor. Ruth search shared a cup of tea. While Ruth's children played in the kroger's living room. Helen was as usual the perfect host after awhile. Ruth begrudgingly got up to leave. She had to get dinner dinner on the table. Helen hugged the children goodbye and the searches returned home later. That night as Ruth was preparing supper an unexpected visitor visitors showed up jim scarred him of the security service he asked Ruth if he could come in and nervous and confused Ruth acquiesced she showed him to the living room and offered him tea but he kindly declined he had come on business. Jim opened his briefcase. And took out surveillance surveillance. Photographs photographs of Gordon Lonsdale. He asked if ruth or her husband recognized him. They didn't but they agreed to keep an eye out for him but that wasn't all scarred needed to use an upstairs room of their house to survey the neighborhood on Saturdays and Sundays. The researches made a small protest but scarred and firmly explained that the government wasn't asking for their cooperation as much as demanding it the searches is had little choice. They allowed police to set up shop in their house. Only yards away from the kroger's but that didn't mean the British operation was seamless one afternoon in nineteen sixty. The entire operation was almost blown. Helen stopped by the searches. Unannounced as neighbors are want to do. She noticed the purse on the kitchen table. A purse she knew wasn't Ruth's Helen. Question wrote about it and Ruth casually dismissed it as her daughters really. It belonged to one of the officers hiding upstairs concealing surveillance from the neighbors neighbors who seem nothing more than a benevolent couple was proving extremely difficult for Ruth but the search family played their part for national security purity as they were ordered by January of nineteen sixty one. Police had spent months in their suburban home. The investigation team monitored Gordon Gordon Lonsdale's activities watching him come and go. They noted radio interference in the neighborhood and correctly surmised it was coming from the Kroger home home. The case was building but it had yet to be cracked. They still couldn't prove Lonsdale's true identity they just have to keep watching and waiting until the time was right but then everything changed. The CIA's contact sniper was under suspicion by Moscow. The the Soviets might alert Lonsdale and his team to the possible exposure any day and allow the agents to escape. The British agents had to act now now on Saturday January seventh nineteen sixty one. Peter and Helen Kroger met Lonsdale for lunch they. They shared the micro dot letters. They'd received from his family in Russia he gave them a response which they would microdots and send back. They plan planned to meet later that evening as usual then the kroger's returned home to tend to the day's chores not knowing that in the meantime the London Special Special Branch arrested Houghton Gee and Lonsdale on Waterloo road but something about the afternoon did seem strange to Peter after wrapping Napa few books for shipment. He made his way to the post office. He saw bill search across the road washing his car. Peter called out to him but but bill offered only a short reply. Strange normally bill would have been much more talkative then out in front of the post office. Peter noticed a radio detector van. These vans occasionally patrolled the neighborhood to ensure that all radio and TV signals were licensed but this particular van had come down on their street for several days now. Peter wondered if they're signals were causing noticeable interference. He stifled his anxiety. He was probably over for thinking. But then the most alarming thing of all. When Peter Returned home he noticed strangers walking up and down the road people he'd never seen before inhabiting? They're quiet isolated corner of the London suburbs. Peter began to sweat something and was terribly wrong. He slipped back into the House to tell Helen what he'd seen had they been discovered. Perhaps they should leave now. They risked their lives if they were caught. But Peter and Helen were loyal to their people and to their cause they wouldn't leave. They would wait shortly shortly. This was mere paranoia. Surely Lonsdale would be backed at night and it would be business as usual but the hour came and went in Lonsdale never arrived Peter. Watch the clock nervously missing. An appointment was entirely out of character for him. Still they try. Try to remain calm. They dinner they read. They listened to Radio Moscow in case any of the reports concern them. And then the heavy middle knocker at the door sounded Peter's heart sank. It wasn't Lonsdale not this late and it was unlikely that a neighbor would stop by at this hour either. Peter composed himself for a brief moment and then made his way to the door. He braced himself for the sharp breath and turned the handle. The gentleman at the door introduced himself as G. G Smith an officer making inquiries Peter flushed. His fears had been right. He tried to shut the door but the officer blocked it with his foot behind him. Peter could see cars pulling up to the House the unfamiliar people surrounding them. This was it this was a raid. Well so be it. Peter would go down gracefully like the skilled spy he was he composed himself and invited the officers in. They asked to see Helen as well. When the krogers were both present? The Superintendent asked for the name of the man who visits them on weekends. The Kroger's vaguely replied that they they had a lot of friends. He asked them to be more specific. They rattled off a few names but none of them were Lonsdale. This omission was significant enough enough to merit detention under the official secrets. Act Smith could take them into custody for refusing to divulge the name of someone they were suspected. It of harboring the krogers were under arrest. Still Helen was determined to do. Her part to protected did their work when they were told to prepare for departure. She made her way over to her purse turning her back to one of the sergeants she then asked to. I use the restroom. The sergeant finding her behavior suspicious approved the restroom. Use but only with supervision. This foiled. Helen's plans man's undeterred. Helen again thought on her feet she asked to stoke the boiler before they left since she presumed they'd be away from the House for some some time. Why did Helen want to slip away to flush something down the toilet or perhaps burn it? Helen hastily closed your coat over her handbag egg but the move was to obvious. The detectives yanked her handbag away from her and after rifling through it found to glass slides with with three microdots sandwiched between them and a page of Soviet cipher instructions. The game was up. Bethell G Harry Houghton Gordon Lonsdale and the krogers came to be known as the Portland Five. They went on trial together on March thirteenth. Eighteenth nineteen sixty one lonsdale attempted to assume all of the blame believing that if they all went to prison he would be released. I in a swap exchange exchanged by the Soviet government he maintained the Kroger's knew nothing of his espionage. Peter supported the statement. Helen did as well though her voice was much less confident than Peter's she knew what the investigators had found in her purse. After eight days the jury came to a verdict in another two hours. Each of the five were guilty as charged meanwhile their fingerprints were delivered to the US embassy in London and they were forwarded to Washington where the bureau confirmed. They belong to Morris and Lona Cohen. The Cohen's were each sentenced to twenty years in prison but in nineteen sixty nine after just eight years behind bars the USSR secured their release. As part of a prisoner exchange. Morris was fifty nine years. Old Lona was fifty six and finally they were being rewarded by the country. They'd spent their lives serving. They received one of the motherlands highest awards. The order of the Red Banner. The activists turned communist sympathizers. Were now bona. Fide lied Soviet heroes after their deaths. The couple were even given the posthumous title hero of the Russian Federation by President. Boris Yeltsin with good reason morrison known as work save the USSR years of research during one of the most I critical arms racists in history. Thank you for listening to espionage. We'll be back Friday with a new episode for more information on Morris and Lona Cohen and amongst the many sources we used we found operation. Whisper the capture of Soviet spies Morris and Lona Cohen by Barnes. Car extremely helpful. You can find more episodes of espionage as well as all of our casts other shows on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Several of of you have asked how to help us. If you enjoy the show. The best way to help is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at par cast and twitter at podcast network. We'll be back next week with another deep dive into the world of clandestine. Operation espionage was created by Max Cutler Cutler and has a podcast studios original executive producers. Include Max and Ron Cutler sound designed by Dick Schroeder with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Carl Madden Aaron Larson and Joel Stein. This episode of espionage was written by Natalie McKiernan with writing assistance by Kate. Gallagher on Carter Roy podcast listeners. It's Carter if view love espionage. We'd love to hear from you. By taking a quick survey your feedback will help us. Continue Making your favorite shows better than ever please visit. PODCAST survey dot me slash espionage to answer a few short questions. It may seem small but your input really matters i. That's podcast survey dot me slash espionage on thank you for your continued support and for listening listeners. Don't forget to check out. Park has fantastic new original series dictators. Every a Tuesday dictators examines the reign of a real life timer and exploring the unique conditions that allowed them to seize control. Discover the governments that fell the lives that were destroyed and evil at its highest level search for dictators in the spotify APP. And listen free today.

Peter Summer Morris Helen Kroger LONA LONA Lona Ona Cohen Auntie Helen Gordon Gordon Lonsdale United States Kroger Moscow London Ruth officer FBI Morrison Lona spotify Moscow Center coens Russia Lonsdale
The Cleanup | S1 E9

The City

46:17 min | 2 years ago

The Cleanup | S1 E9

"Hi, everyone Robin here before we start this week's episode. I need to share some sad news with you. Henry Henderson died last week. If you've been following along with the show, you know that Henderson was the lawyer turned Chicago environment Commissioner who was one of the few city officials to do anything about the northbound L mountain. He spent years battling John Christopher's illegal dumps. However imperfectly. Henderson had lung cancer, and he had recently entered hospice care, he was just sixty six years old after Henderson left city government. He went to work for the natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC a kind of legal aid fund for the environment. As the group's longtime midwest director, he spearheaded a host of initiatives. They were all aimed at keeping our air land and water clean and at protecting vulnerable communities from the hazards of pollution and industry. Under Henderson, the NRDC sued the city of Flint and the state of Michigan forcing them to replace the service lines that had caused so many Flint residents to develop lead poisoning. The group took on BP forcing the oil giant to install air pollution controls at its massive refinery in whiting, Indiana, and the NRDC went after a subsidiary of the coke brothers after the. Trucked black mountains of petroleum coke into a residential neighborhood on Chicago's south east side. Richard m Daley the former Chicago mayor and Henderson's former boss said of Henry, he has long been instrumental in the environmental movement here long before cities care to acknowledge the need for such initiatives for us here at the city. Henry Henderson was also instrumental in helping us get to the bottom of this particular environmental story. So perhaps there is no better place to begin this week's episode. It's called the cleanup. In January nineteen ninety six just a few days after operation, silver, shovel became public. One of Chicago's US congressman called a press conference at the site of the north Lonsdale. Dumps dick Durbin was the highest ranking politician to publicly acknowledged the dumps now he was there to demand a cleanup. Heavy snow is falling Durban wears a black wool overcoat with the lapels turned up protection from the wind behind him. The mountain looms covered in a thick dusting of white. It looks almost pastoral but read dump trucks and yellow bulldozers crawl over the site. You can hear them being in the background. Durbin turns to face the cameras operation, silver, shovel is called our attention to what is a blight on the city of Chicago and our state these legal dumps in a residential neighborhood are absolutely shameful to north. Lonzo residents though, what was shameful with how long it had taken dick Durbin and other high level elected officials to pay close attention to the dumps Durban had shown up nearly six years after residents at I killed to public officials for help. I'm calling on the US Birmingham protection agency to come forward and determined I whether there's any evidence of hazardous waste at any of these operations, silver shovel sites, the EPA has the authority to respond immediately. If there's evidence, I might tell you that Mr. of course, the EPA had already been to north Lonsdale. Two years earlier, the Illinois and US EPA as had removed roughly a hundred fifty truckloads of hazardous waste, including barrels of mystery chemicals. But they had left the six stories of debris behind. The federal agencies behind operation, silver, shovel had no intention of cleaning up the dumps either they didn't see it as their responsibility. But ultimately, the investigation was a catalyst for change for nearly six years. It was if no one outside north Lonsdale could even see the six mountain in the middle of the city, but suddenly almost magically operation silver shovel. And the association of these dumps with an undercover corruption probe made the mountain visible to everyone political figures who hadn't so much as mentioned it in the past we know shaming others for ignoring it, silver, shovel set off a flurry of activity that residents welcomed, but it came with the bitterness of knowing that it could have happened six years sooner. The beeping trucks and bulldozers behind dick Durbin were there to clean up the dumb to dismantle the mountain. He's by piece, the bulldozers scoop up bucketful after bucketful of concrete slabs, asphalt chunks and dirt and drop them into the backs of the dump trucks and each full truck. Then drives out of the lot and takes its cargo away. But even this cleanup repeated many of the same wrongs that put the mount in there in the first place, black neighborhoods would get dumped on white neighborhoods would benefit companies would profit and the people responsible would suffer few serious consequences. It all happened. Again. Only this time in reverse. I'm Robin Aamer and from USA today. This is the city. All through the winter of nineteen ninety six the cleanup continued removing the debris was as big undertaking as building the mountain had been block club. President. Gladys Woodson had watched in those early days as John Christopher set up shop and allowed trucks to dump a block from her home. Now, she watched the process, slowly rewind goon. Wow. Now, we valley is gone. It's going to be gone. Can you tell that was like? Dusty? With the trucks coming in to get the the. But at least they spray the street down, which Chris John never did never did. Northland L residents had conflicting feelings about the cleanup. And all this new attention being paid to their neighborhood on one hand, they were glad to see the dumps go on the other hand, they resented the public figures who had not seemed to care about their neighborhood before the corruption probe. Here's Rita Ashford who had protested the dumps and her daughters, Sharon and Michelle loan. We out the fighting that. Shovel, bro. And it was all like a puff of smoke. And everything changed his appeal. Right. It's just was there. One day going to Nick. They will be rolling all night long getting it out of that once it broke. And when you looked up the pow went from, you know, the kids used to run up and then on the top it went from being up. That's it just like a horse if it hadn't been for civil shovel. We still would have been dealing with down probably right now today. Yes. If it hadn't have been specific shovel, we would've still been fighting that. Others asked the obvious question. Where was all this attention and scrutiny when the problem was simply illegal dumping in a black neighborhood. Here's MS Woodson. Again, we live through five years of this stuff. You know? This people that don't hate Asmaa tech, the people that own own oxygen machines that you know, we have few people to move out of the neighborhood just move because they could no longer stand the dust and stuff. In late February nineteen Ninety-six about five weeks into the clean up the environment focused public radio show living on earth, central porter. Shirley, Jehad to check on the cleanup. She visited north Lauderdale and talk to people who lived in the two apartment buildings that stood on the very same lot as the dump one of the people she interviewed with Keith wardlow, a father of two who worked as a custodian at a local university the view from Keith ward, lows back porch isn't pretty, but it is awesome. It is simply called the mountain seven hundred thousand tons of debris. The mountain UCI tol at this. See I tol at is. Why? Now that amount. Heath wardlow, expressed many of the same sentiments as his neighbors. The feds should have cleaned up this dump years ago rather than letting it continue to grow while using John Christopher as a mole to catch politicians taking bribes weren't crook Jonah prosecute. To me. You know, if you so concerned about what the head. What why are you into the neighborhood trying to see who got infected from from the dirt, you know? You know? That's that's what you should have been doing firs who took some money. The wardlow family had suffered for years living next to the dump now the damage to their home, and they believed their health continued during the cleanup. He's one of those shakes every time trucks roll in and out of the dump site. He always keeps his windows closed and covered with plastic. Innovation effort to prevent dust blowing off the heat from settling in his apartment. He says his four year old son Keno has contracted severe asthma. The boy's mother. Deborah wardlow says the child has to breathe through a machine a nebulizer. He's on twice a day. And sometimes that machine doesn't work. So I had to rush him to the emergency room, the company doing the cleanup was Lindahl. Brothers. A well connected firm that had been owned by the same family for three generations, it had dug the trenches for the handcock building and other downtown skyscrapers and built the international terminal at O'Hare airport. And Linda brothers was here to do the clean-up because they were also one of the companies that had dumped there in the first place Lindahl brothers and eight other companies had allegedly saved millions of dollars by dumping and John Christopher's lots rather than taking debris from their job sites to illegal permited landfill. The city had dropped these companies from its lawsuit against John Christopher hoping they would settle and participate in a cleanup that had not worked the companies denied dumping. So in nineteen ninety-five the city sued them again window brothers agreed to settle with the city. But a judge only approved the settlement after the takedown after the pressure and media scrutiny sparked by silver shovel. Under the terms of the settlement. Lindo brothers did not admit to breaking the law, but the company agreed to remove one hundred thousand cubic yards of debris from the dumps. That's a quivalent to more than nine thousand trucks full of debris. The city later said that it settled with nine companies, including window brothers for total of nine hundred thousand dollars, but that was a fraction of the overall cleanup costs. Reporter Shirley Jehad was able to talk to a construction formed from Linda brothers. A man named Rick bore because Linda brothers wouldn't talk to us for the story. It's the only tape we have of someone from the company talking about the cleanup. Damn long show. Hi supreme. Do you have coming in out of date truckloads off them out? One hundred twenty. How long were you at all? It's reform much. Real while. Lindo brothers agreed to pay for its share of the cleanup. They even agreed to pay the city ten dollars for every truckload dumped at designated disposal sites. But the terms of the settlement also gave Lindahl brothers permission to use any debris it removed for its own purposes, including reselling it to other companies to use in their road repair projects, which meant that technically the company could make money off the cleanup. And there would be no long term consequences for the company's very lucrative relationship. With the city. Lindo brothers was not barred from doing business with the city quite the opposite since the cleanup began more than twenty years ago, Lindahl brothers and its joint ventures have scored hundreds of millions of dollars in city contracts. But more importantly for north Lonsdale. This portion of the cleanup was only one part of the solution. As reporter, Shirley, jihad noted even after Lindahl brothers cleans up its share of the mess, though. Six hundred thousand tons of crash will remain and at this point in the winter of nineteen Ninety-six the city had not figured out who would clean up the rest. Put this stuff too. Will get sick probably got all kinds of health habit in the first place. Rex cats goals. Just a health hazard. You can look at it entail. When John Christopher. I started dumping in north Lauderdale Gladys Woodson and her fellow block club captains had written letters to every public official. They could think of who might be able to help them city agencies mayor Daley at least one member of congress. We wrote everybody from who's who to who's that? Ms Woodson says they also wrote to civil rights groups like the AA C P and to Reverend Jesse Jackson, the civil rights activist whose rainbow push coalition is based in Chicago. We told him what with happening neighborhood, and we're skim could he come and MS Woodson says they never heard back from Jesse Jackson at least not until the camera. Crews arrived the sewage show story broke. And then the thing I saw was Jesse Jackson standing on top. Pals in. Oh, yeah, we did this. And and then you didn't. In credit for a lot of the stuff that had been done. But that was way after the fight. Jesse Jackson, the iconic civil rights activists and Baptist minister had I come to Chicago in the early nineteen sixties to attend seminary. He would later March with Martin Luther King junior in Selma and push for an end to apartheid in South Africa. But over the decades, his critics have also accused him of jumping from media storm to media storm of seeking the limelight as much as he sought Justice. To understand how Jesse Jackson helped ensure the cleanup of the Northland dealt dumps. But also alienated some north Lauderdale residents. We have to go back to his work on a program called operation. Breadbasket the program organized boycotts against white owned businesses like soda pop bottling companies and grocery store chains that made big profits in black neighborhoods, but didn't employ black workers on the heels of his success in that campaign. Jackson started hearing from small black owned trucking companies. Here's Reverend Jackson. And so for example, we guys who. Two or three trucks. And they would just kinda hustling as basic these truckers complained that they were not getting as many waste hauling contracts as their white counterparts. They weren't getting them from white owned businesses like grocery store chains that needed commercial trash pickup. And that meant that they were missing out on a lot of money. Good c three contract with trains tool. Six cans day. You can take live intent you little credit. You get new trucks real business. They were not getting as many contracts from the city. Either local news reports from the time said that black owned firms got just fourteen percent of city contracts, even though black people then made up about thirty seven percent of Chicago's population. And city contracts were where some of the real money was. A city contract for hauling waste or sludge as Jackson jokingly calls it could be worth millions of dollars. And we realize this is legit flood. If you own the trucks, but said, sludges fudge if you're on the truck, you'll trucks what does that mean that is concerned dirty work? If you'll drugs is very lucrative business. The way Reverend Jackson tells it when he learned about operation, silver shovel and the mountain of debris in a black Westside neighborhood. He realized the cleanup presented a unique opportunity a potential silver lining to a really bad situation. John Christopher had dumped in a black neighborhood, and he had helped take down black politicians. And if you recall he'd done it in part by scheming to get contracts intended for black owned businesses. It was one of the scams he had used debris. The alderman Jackson did not fight for compensation. For people from north Lonsdale whose homes had been damaged or whose children had been harmed. But someone was going to get paid to clean up that site and Reverend Jackson believed that if anyone was going to make money off the site. Now, it should be black owned businesses ROY remove the community goes on going to be in good. Lucrative job. Someone to have the job better them. He reasoned than white owned firms like Lindahl brothers firms that had been responsible for the dumping in the first place. Ooh. One in from local news and community. From removing was you lose have the right to get paid for moving. So in January nineteen Ninety-six as Lindo brothers was removing its portion of debris from the site. Reverend Jackson came forward with a proposal. He wanted the city to hire black owned trucking firms to clean up the rest of the dumps. But according to Jackson mayor Richard m Daley was hesitant to sign onto the plan. Roseling? There was resistance because. Those who use a good. He's gonna job demanding there to get them. And the we demanded the right of that system. We reached out to former mayor Daley for comment, but he didn't respond. So Jackson turned to the same kinds of protest tactics. That had worked for him time and time again an impressive display of solidarity and power. The Northland residents could have used years before Roma's trucks. And the men removers una frigid Saturday in early February nineteen Ninety-six dozens of diesel trucks and bulldozers lined up along Drexel boulevard around the corner from Jesse Jackson southside office black truckers had plastered. There rigs with signs that read we want our fair share and hire us to clean up the dump. Then in a slow deliberate processional the convoy headed for north Lonsdale do full mile trip across the city, drove in miles. Now would just folks and practice and trailers and stirs the we land the and move across the city stop Trevor with rows. This mobile protest of black truckers was meant to draw attention and to prove that they were capable of the cleanup LaRussa could remove bad. Dumpsters and trailers and trucks and drivers and everything was required. Jackson led the caravan as they drove they were followed by police escort. Onlookers raised their fists in a gesture of solidarity. When the trucks arrived in north Lonsdale. They encircled the dump and blasted their horns, they were not given a warm. Welcome window brothers was still in the process of removing its portion of the debris. Knowing the caravan was headed, it's way, the company had blocked the entrance to the site with a three-foot mound of dirt and a pair of bulldozers. According to the Chicago defender to police cars, also blocked the entrance. Jackson accused police of siding with Lindahl and told reporters this is not Lindahl. Dump according to the defender Jackson, then told to black truckers to squeeze through the two police cars and mowed down the blockade. But before that could happen the police negotiated a kind of fruits and the convoy was able to enter the lot and rally. It was then that Jackson hopped on a tractor to address the crowd. Jackson threatened to continue the protests into the summer when the democratic national convention was scheduled to come to Chicago. The Tribune characterized his threats this way, give us what we want or watch as we have it on your big important party this summer. It was only then that daily agreed to hire black owned firms to clean up the dumps those protests and it worked. On a blustery Tuesday afternoon in may nineteen ninety six almost six years to the day from when John Christopher showed up and started dumping mayor Daley held his first press conference in front of the dumps. He was there to announce a deal struck between the city and Jesse Jackson's group of black owned trucking firms the city had agreed to pay them to remove another nine thousand or so trucks worth of debris from the north. Lauderdale. Dumps daily stood behind a lectern emblazoned with the city seal. He were checkered tie and looked solemn as the wind whipped up dust from the dumps and blew through his hair Jackson stood to the mayor's right with his hands clasped in front of him. In his remarks that day mayor Daley depicted the deal as a triumph for the city and the neighborhood saying, quote, it is an agreement that benefits everyone, especially the north Lonsdale community that is lived with this monstrosity for years. It is a major victory. I thank them for their persistence and their help we will work tirelessly to pursue every dumper who contributed to this mess until the site has been totally cleared and can be an asset to the north Llandough community instead of a liability. But these were hollow words coming from a mayor who had basically ignored the Northland L dumps for almost six years. Yes Northland del residents had been persistent. But their persistence seem to fall on his deaf ears daily had personally stepped into shutdown a dump in a white neighborhood without speaking out against this one in a black neighborhood. He had shown no interest in the unfolding corruption scandal when I briefed by the feds. It was this discrepancy that made miss Woodson and other north Llandough residents cynical about the city's ultimate response and the role of political figures like mayor Daley and Reverend Jackson a believe a lot of hooped in and took critic once they name the civil Shiva lot of people in and claim victory over civil when we had been since Chris Joan was dumpsite by the following spring. Black-owned firms had sent in trucks to begin this second phase of the cleanup, a reporter Wilson Sayer got hold of some of the trucking manifests and other documents related to this part of the cleanup. So Wilson give us a sense of how this cleanup unfolded. So there are a bunch of different trucking companies involved and most of those companies had several trucks doing the removal. So like, here's a manifest from Tuesday may twenty seventh nineteen Ninety-seven honeybee trucking company had truck number thirty nine. And that removed five lows of debris for the day. Then there was a hard rock trucking company and their truck number thirty removed six lows of debris for the day. Then there was an w trucking company and one of their trucks had five loads for the day. So the total number of truckloads remove that day was sixty seven loads and that continued day after day after day for months, and so how much the cleanup eventually cost the city. So even though mayor Daley said publicly that the settlement money from the illegal dumpers would pay for the cleanup. That's not exactly what happened the cost was much higher than the nine hundred thousand dollars in settlement money they've gotten from the companies in two thousand one the city's top lawyer sent the federal government a Bill for the cleanup that Bill was for nearly seven point four million dollars. The letter was addressed then Attorney General John. Ashcroft and then FBI director Robert Muller it mentions two sites. John Christopher had dumped on during his time as an informant the one in north Lonsdale and another one on the south side, it states that quote the property damage at these two sites was caused by operation silver shovel and the use of John Christopher as a government informant. The city accuses the FBI and the DOJ of allowing the illegal dumping to continue during the investigation because it furthered the purposes of operation silver shovel. And did the feds ever pay the city back. No, at least we couldn't find any evidence that they did. It took almost two full years. After silver shovel broke for the cleanup to be completed that was eight years after John Christopher I showed up north Lauderdale, but by nineteen ninety eight John Christopher's dumps were gone. Daiki Nichols was in high school when the cleanup started you've heard from him before he used to attend summer elementary school and played on the mountain of debris, and Deke doesn't recall the particulars of the cleanup. But he remembers the transformation at sparked. It was hard to miss where there had once been a six mountain. There was now an empty lot. Heels goal is like again going back to me being a kid. And took out hills away. But like us it may grow into the man, I am now really appreciate wisit mill. Lou is gorgeous flaws what a used to loop. But once all that debris was removed. Where did it go? That's after the break. So you need to hire. Where do you go to find that right fit? You can post a job on a job board and hope the right person will find your job. But think about it. How often do you hang out on job boards? Don't leave finding someone great to chance when you can post your job to a place where people go every day to make connections grow in their career. And discover job opportunities Lincoln with seventy percent of the US workforce on Lincoln. Posting on Lincoln is the best way to get your job opportunity in front of more of the right people people who are qualified for your role and ready for something new a new hire made every ten seconds using Lincoln. So don't wait. Go to linked in dot com slash the city and get fifty dollars off your first job post. That's Lincoln dot com slash the city to get fit. Fifty dollars off your first job post Lincoln dot com slash the city. Terms and conditions apply. Before we get back to the story. I want to tell you about another podcast, you might enjoy the impact by vox in Washington. The story often ends when congress passes a law, but on the impact that's where the story begins. The impact focuses on the human consequences of policy making its first season looked at healthcare policy and its second season looks at policy experiments in cities all across America from housing to education to family leave. The impact is traveling to cities and states that are fundamentally rethinking the way we do things you can listen to season two of the impact or been season one right now check out the show via apple podcasts or ever. You're listening. Okay. Back to our story. Earlier this spring. I went to visit old guild gardens a sprawling public housing complex on Chicago's far south side all killed gardens is a hundred and thirty blocks south of the loop as far south as you can go and still be in Chicago theory feels isolated now. But it's two story row homes were originally built in nineteen forty four to house black workers from the cities nearby steel mills there were once dozens of mills here that employed hundreds of thousands of workers the steel mills have long since closed, but the area still wrestles with the legacy of their departure, the vacant land waste facilities and thirty industry. That's come to take their place and out gardens is still home to nearly seven thousand residents almost all of whom are black and low income. I came to old guild gardens because it was the home of Hazel Johnson. Johnson who died in twenty eleven is often called the mother of the environmental Justice movement in Chicago. She was one of those activists who fought alongside Dr Robert Bullard, the Houston sociologist we met in our last episode. Here's Hazel Johnson's daughter, Cheryl, mother, loved him. So is it wasn't just an aberration. She loved that man light. He was her out Cheryl Johnson still lives in old gardens. And now runs people for community recovery. The environmental action group her mother founded like Dr Bullard Hazel Johnson spent her whole adult life trying to protect black and Brown neighborhoods for being disproportionately affected by pollution starting with old guild gardens, which she dubbed the toxic doughnut. She called nape with the toxin Donut, you know, as she was trying to clean that Donut. That was. Mission as she said that people have a right to be educated. And or at least knowledgeable about urban environmental problems Hazel Johnson called gardens the toxic Donut because it was completely surrounded by so many different sources of dangerous pollution. Can you just describe like if we went around the clock like twelve to one to two to three like all around the neighborhood around the Donut? Can you describe what surrounds your neighborhood? Well, twelve o'clock used to be Chevron whipping company in the water recommendation district. Then if you go to. Between one and three you'll land up in lake industrial area where you know, you have four motor compainies. You have Paxton lagoons accidentally feel and a hazardous waste incinerator that burned. PCB's a known carcinogen. When you get to from three to six lot of manufacturing and lot opus space Catan Nate, but often. And Landfields is air USA. Carry fifty lands. Fifty landfills just think about everything, you know, about landfills from our trip to Houston, the rotting trash the stench and the impact on property values now factor in the impact of hazardous waste barrels of flammable chemicals or toxic waste known to make people sick now. Multiply those effects by fifty fifty landfills, including a hazardous waste landfill that received dirt from John Christopher's illegal dumps. Thousands of tons of dirt were removed from John Christopher's dumps some of it had been contaminated. And the city department of environment took charge of moving all that dirt to a hazardous waste to landfill. Just a few blocks from guilt gardens in the process, this contaminated dirt was affectively moved from one black community to another one that had been fighting environmental battles for decades. The landfill near guild gardens was one of the few hazardous waste disposal sites in Chicago. At the time. The city didn't have many other options, but it's not an accident that this facility and others like it were all clustered in this formerly industrial area. That's also home to all felt gardens. This is something we talked about with Dr Bullard during our trip to Houston. If you look at what happens in the real world, you generally don't find one facility us to have a cost or you have to you have three and the way it works in the real world. If you have three facilities and a company wants to put the fourth facility there is easy to get the fourth facility if you have three. In two thousand seven Dr Bullard was part of a study the look at the demographics of people living within a two mile radius of nation's hazardous waste sites. The results of that study revealed that fifty five percent of people living near these sites where people of color, whereas people of color only made up about twenty five percent of the country's population. So that shows you that people color are more likely to face risks associated with has us wastefully than white people. The environmental Justice movement came up with a term for areas like old gardens and other neighborhoods where dangerous pollution is clustered sacrifice zones is almost like saying for the good of all this particular area will have to sacrifice we'll have to sacrifice the land the environment. And the people I told Dr Bullard about the efforts to remove the stories of debris from north Lonsdale and about how some of the dirt was contaminated. Do you wanna guess? They took the contaminated dirt the south side, not the salsa shameful next door to although gardens. That's right. I've I've been there. That's what it took. It will again environmental injustice when you get Justice one place, you still don't get Justice because there's a limited number places that people consider where you can put this stuff, and that's not Justice partial victory, impartial Justice. Cheryl Johnson did not know that the contaminated dirt from the Northland dealt. Dumps had ended up in a landfill in the toxic Donut until I told her, but she didn't seem shocked by it. Although Cheryl has taken on her mother's mantle and has now been fighting for years to protect an advocate for her neighborhood. She also seemed almost resigned the fact that in Chicago her neighborhood has already been designated as the destination for this kind of waste we cared most fifty documented landfilled than the other air city. Anyway, would you want it to go to someone else? At least she said the legal dumps in north Lonsdale had been dismantled and the waste had not been sent to another illegal dumb. I'm just saying that if that's the vice that we have to may least we know going to a place where it's been monitoring regulate. For the waste from the north Lauderdale dumps that was not hazardous there were other options ones in which no neighborhood had to be sacrificed. And the city took this other approach in a white neighborhood with ties to Chicago's most powerful family, although the contaminated dirt from John Christopher's dumps was taken to the hazardous waste landfill near guild gardens. The bulk of the material nearly all the concrete slabs and chunks of asphalt ended up in Palmisano park. Hamas on a park is a twenty seven acre Greenspace in Bridgeport, a neighborhood about three and a half miles southwest of the loop. When the weather's nice. It's a great place to walk your dog or have a picnic or take a date. I've been on dates here. There's a fishing pond and a terrorist walkway and natural landscaping with native wildflowers. The tip off that this place was not always a beautiful public park comes from the massive grassy three hill in the center of the park. It's like Dr Bullard said in Houston, Chicago is completely flat. So if you see a mountain be suspicious landfill. Home Asano park used to be a limestone mine called Stearns quarry it opened in the eighteen thirties around the same time Chicago became a city at first it was the edge of town. But as the new city expanded and the population boomed, the densely populated neighborhood of Bridgeport grew up around the Corey we found this incredible black and white aerial photo of the Corey it shows densely packed rose three story apartment buildings and bungalows and workmen's cottages. Built right up against the edge of this massive pit three hundred eighty feet deep. That's so deep you could fit the statue of liberty inside it. The quarry closed in nineteen sixty nine but the pit remained. You could drive through Bridgeport, down hall, stead street and peer into the abyss. And by the mid nineties when city officials were casting around for a place to take the debris from the dumps in north Mondale the head another problem on their hands. We heard about it from environment. Commissioner Henry Henderson the old quarry Stearns quarry. It was falling in. There was a good gloss ability. If the quarry was not filled that part of hall stood would go directly into the bottom of the you know, two hundred feet into the bottom of the of the quarry filling Stearns quarry with debris from John Christopher's dumps solved. Two problems at once. Hauling quarry was a way of dealing with the Stearns Corey problem into remove a lot of stuff from the facility. This project may have also had special meaning for mayor Daley because Bridgeport was his neighborhood. He. Grew up in a red brick bungalow just a half mile or so from the quarry. Although Bridgeport today is home to a large number of Chinese and Mexican families. The neighborhood has long been mostly white an Irish Catholic and the seat of the Daley family's political power. In other words, the waste ship to Bridgeport a white neighborhood with ties to the dailies was transformed into a beautiful park the waste shipped out guilt gardens a poor black neighborhood without access to the halls of power was not. The transformation from limestone quarry to public park was actually alluded to in boss. A short lived TV show that was basically a thinly. Veiled dramatization of mayor. Richard m Daley's time in office Kelsey grammer starred as mayor Tom Kaine midway through season, one mayor Cain becomes embroiled in a political scandal that seems loosely based on the story of the north Lonsdale. Dumps mayor Kane had given the green light to an illegal dump that then poisoned the water supply of a nearby suburb. And now the town's residents are threatening to sue the city. As the media pounces on the story. Mayor Kane ducts their questions and goes back to his old neighborhood to find solace in his favourite local watering hole. He's known the bars owners since he was a political neophyte the two of them take a walk around palmesano park. Where trio of boys are standing by the water. Refer. Mornings. They come to watch the birds. Chemical dumps Buchan garden of. Before that. Somebody coming on convinced the city to build condos next to the fishing. Linda something else. In real life after the debris was removed from north Lonsdale. The lot that had been home to the mountain became an empty twenty one acre lot one of the biggest undeveloped parcels on Chicago's west side. So in nineteen ninety eight the city moved to buy the land and redevelop it and in order to redevelop the land the city began to try and convince the residents of north Lonsdale to let them turn it into something else as mayor Kane put it and that meant forcing out some of the residents who had lived through the worst of the dumping. Where they claimed he was going to be a big movie theater was back me. He's in a big movie theater. But every time we go to Chicago. He knew he'd never seen them. But if delay. I'm be teased. My wife while he made his move up. They really bait as move with nothing. That's next time on the city. The city is a production of USA today and is distributed in partnership with wondering you can subscribe to the show on apple podcasts. Spotify over every you're listening right now, if you like the show these rate and review us, be sure to tell your friends about us our show this week was reported and produced by Wilson Sayer Jenny Kaas Sam Greenspan and me Robin EMA this episode was edited by Amy pile with additional editing for Matt dig Ben Austin's, our story consultant, original music and mixing is by Hannah's Brown legal review by Tom Curley additional production by Taylor. Megan Phil, Corbett, Isabel cockerel and Bianca media's our executive producer is Liz Nelson. Chris Davis is our VP for investigations, Scott Stein is our VP of product the USA today networks president and publisher is marabout Wadsworth. Thank you to our sponsors for supporting the show and special. Thanks this week to eight hun- MacAulay, Michel Yousaf and Daniel sped cove. Our audio courtesy of WGN and living on earth. Additional support comes from the fund for investigative journalism and the social Justice news nexus at Northwestern University. I'm rob Aamer. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter at the city pod or visit our website where you can see photos of the cleanup and more our live event in Chicago on December fifth with WBZ is sold out. Thank you to everyone who reserved tickets for anyone who was not able to get tickets. We're going to have a livestream of the event. For more information, go to our website. That's the city podcast dot com.

John Christopher Chicago north Lonsdale Reverend Jackson Richard m Daley US mayor Daley Henry Henderson Gladys Woodson north Lauderdale Lindahl Lindo Shirley Jehad reporter Lindahl brothers dick Durbin north Lonsdale Bridgeport Linda brothers Dr Robert Bullard
Palantir co-founder on its mission and controversies

Pro Rata

11:49 min | 4 months ago

Palantir co-founder on its mission and controversies

"Hi I'm Dan per Mac and welcome to access recap presented by Bridge Bank. Today's Wednesday. September thirtieth. America's blood pressure is up Disney theme park jobs are down and we're focused on one of Silicon Valley's most controversial companies. Earlier today Pantene tear technologies went public on the New York Stock. Exchange. It did so via a direct listing rather than an IPO. But that's not even the interesting part except to finance nerds instead it's because Pailin tear has long been known as secretive and controversial and to be honest unique with within tech industry known for Copycat. ISM. Penalty was created in two thousand and three to apply information technology to anti-terrorism campaigns by a group of founders who included current CEO, alcs, carp current venture capitalist, Joe Lonsdale, and Peter Thiel, the well-known facebook director, and inform advisor to president trump. Also pledged to help secure people's data from their own governments kind of philosophy of we'll help them find you. But only if you've done something really bad. As Alex Kerr recently told axios on HBO. If the US government targets somebody with a drone strike chances are that talents your software was used somewhere along the way. Pound tears since. Moved into work with government entities like ice, which obviously doesn't make it to popular in large swath of liberal Silicon Valley. It also works with governments if foreign. And a growing number of businesses which represents around half of its revenue. Oh and speaking of revenue and balance sheets pound. Cheers unprofitable despite a massive valuation and a longtime in business. So we want to dig into what Palette here is and what it isn't with company CO founder Joe Lonsdale, who no longer works pound here but who continues to be paid a consulting fee and who holds a whole lot of Pailin tear stock that conversation in fifteen seconds. Bridge Bank knows the INS and outs of business ups and downs and remains dedicated to providing financial solutions to the risk takers, the game changers, and the disrupters those committed to leveraging innovation to make the world a better place bridge. Bank is a division of Western Alliance, Bank ridgeback be bold venture wisely. We're joined. Now by Joe Lonsdale a CO founder of technologies also, a venture capitalist who runs Eight v C.. So Joe, what was kind of the mission when you help found Pailin tear basic idea was to take a really competent technology culture that had gotten way ahead of Washington D. C. and to apply to solve the most important problems going on at the time, which was basically to help bring together data to solve. Problems and stop terrorism stock attacks while protecting civil liberties the protecting civil liberties you obviously well, no kind of some of the criticism of Pailin tear, which is this idea that has gone from as you say, kind of protecting US troops overseas to enabling whether it be ice or NSA to spy to a certain extent on Americans how do you respond to that because it seem to be kind of a fundamental mission creep? Well, if you look at what we're doing, we're helping augment the human mind to act on data and act on data they're allowed to act on and to me it's really ironic that is seen as problematic that way because the whole idea was, let's build in such a way that people are only allowed to see share they're allowed to see in share. So there's audit trails you can watch the watchers. It's a rather than like the show twenty four were Jack Bauer goes and just whatever he wants to get the bad guy let's have a system. That only lets them use the data legally only the way they're allowed to you, and that's the whole point is helter is a privacy engine that lets you only see what the rule say allowed to see. How does Powell to your protect that data from talent here basically set up there, and it's very clear how pounder works with whoever's in charge always see who's accessing what so I mean I suppose it is possible that if the people using it are doing. So in a way, it's it's hidden from pounds here in charge all the way up the top could be involved in. Something, they're not supposed to be doing that is the power they have. However, it's designed such way. It's very hard for any small bricks to get away with anything. They not supposed to do because people talk about full control and can't see what happened. What was access isn't that one of the concerns that when you've got a company that's collecting and analyzing and kind of merging so much data that even though whether it be ice or the NSA or some corporate customer doesn't have access, there is somebody who has access and it does open the possibility of there being a bad actor somewhere. Well it makes it a lot harder to have a bad actor. If you haven't information infrastructure that's tracking everything tracking exactly how it's used and the has pounds here itself doesn't have access to all the data that people are using pounds here to work on. So it's not like talent you're sitting in the middle is able to see everything. You're always when I read a story about that, it's referred to as the secretive silicon valley technology company I know this bothers me a lot and you know what it is. Helen chairs culture is really good at getting the most talented engineers technologists in the world and saw the really hard problems in these really cool missions they go on with their customers to work on penalty here does not have very sophisticated and built out PR group. In fact, the PR strategy seems to be to avoid talking to the press I. Guess that makes us secretive but it's funny because we go to their site they explain. How the technology works explain when it's it's really complicated. Building information infrastructure is not easy. It's not complicated most of us don't understand it so I think rather than secretive is that it's doing something that is just relatively Tarik most people, Alex Carpet Interview with my colleague Mike. Allen for our HBO show about a month or two ago, and he talked about how even within his own family certain things pound here has decided to do have been controversial for you. Are there things are their customers their clients at has taken on that? You think man if I was in charge, we wouldn't have done that. It's an interesting question. Actually I don't have full information on exactly how it's working western countries in the Middle East I tend to be very pro enforcing the laws in the US never they are working with our allies works with thirty to forty nine over five countries probably were forty point. I'm very allying with talents here. Don't China don't work with Russia Iran Etcetera. Obvious one son other allies in the Middle East I. Don't know exactly how they're using it. I. Always get a little bit of a queasy feeling myself. Exactly what people do in certain countries where my values are not aligned with their pounder has a strong set of principles internally but I've actually not privy conversation since I can't say for sure that I, agree with every. Choice. They've made their but in general I support with Algiers done number like trout and all these things they've done does that include ice and I guess I asked the question because the company originally was kind of founded at the time of the Iraq war and as you said, was kind of an anti-terrorism thing in part it seems correct me if I'm wrong about this. The part of its technology is being used by not to identify violent criminals, but to identify people whose sole crime is crossing a border but not violence. Well, in general, the company has to make a choice he's going to support US laws are not you know I was actually when I started we joke, maybe we shouldn't be helping the IRS depending on different people have. Different views morally of that, and of course, it does out the IRS while I think in general helping the government do what does better is right thing to do I personally am very against some art immigration laws that said minor standing as the Obama Administration worked with here with ice and they actually ended up stopping a lot of child traffickers and caught law child. Traffickers, thanks their works Joe Your Day job now is being venture capitalist, identifying new tech companies which to invest. Do you see baby palim tears coming up from behind it? Because from my perspective on the outside, I don't seem to see much you've got a lot of big data companies but not ones that are aiming at the same sorts of markets found series. That's A. Really good question and actually gets the heart wise special company. It's actually something very similar to what we did without a apart is we took a bunch of really talented people and we worked on a problem that take four or five seven years to really solve properties very, very hard problem to take these things that used to be services and to make into products there's. One hundred billion dollars year services everyone around the world does that nobody else has been able to turn as many of them into products such a hard technical problem. So ideal hope to have somebody else spent hundreds of billions of dollars with equity driven team of the very top talent to be able to pounce here does I have not seen people able to do that yet? Final question which is a stock question. I guess the other thing that surprised outside the bottom line top line in the s one was the control in this kind of unusual control structure. The three your fellow co founders were by Jim Cramer called it borderline of noxious most egregious since we work give me the argument for why three people should effectively get to control Pailin tear indefinitely even if they sell off their stock. You know if it was up to me, I would prefer maybe they can only sell half their stock versus this much of their stocks I think there's something there that said I do feel better knowing this company is in the hands of Peter Alex step into three different people and they have very strong principles and values and I'm very bullish on pallets here giving me taking on that responsibility. What this really says is they're saying we are taking responsibility. You can tie this to us put this on this company does and that's a really good thing for the company. Those three are willing to take that on Joe Lonsdale. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks. Bridge Bank helps breakthrough ideas actually breakthrough and remains dedicated to providing financial solutions to the risk-takers the game changers and the disrupters those committed to making the world. A Better Place Bridge Bank has been dedicated to providing financial solutions to sponsor backed emerging technology and growth companies for nearly two decades through its national network of banking teams and offices. Bridge Bank is a division of Western Lions Bank Bridge back be safe venture wisely. Welcome back. We're watching today is fallout from last night's uttered to buckle of a debate to be sure a lot of that conversation will be deserve condemnation of president trump's failure not only to refute white supremacy but his tacit endorsement of it but perhaps even more problematic was a moment the came at the end with trump all. But announcing, he won't accept the election results which he's predetermined to be fraudulent. Now, stocks are up in early trading today in part thanks to renewed stimulus talks. But this is setting up not just as a political and constitutional crisis. But an economic one not only would such uncertainty make it harder for businesses to plan. It creates the conditions for the sort of widespread chaos and violence that America hasn't experienced in any of our lifetimes. I really can't quite believe I'm saying those words specifically violence, but it's not hyperbole. Today we are also watching one of the pandemic era's largest layoff announcements. This one comes from Disney which said, it'll cut upwards of twenty, eight, thousand jobs mostly at its theme parks, cruise lines and retail units. It's a stark reminder of how major parts of the economy remain in crisis. Oh. And quickly speaking of Cruise Lines axios Jonathan. Swan reports that CDC Director Robert Redfield. was overruled yesterday in the situation room when he pushed to extend a so-called no sale order for passenger cruises into next February instead, it will expire in a few hours. And finally, today some shameless self promotion as announced that it's expanding into local reporting are four launch cities will be Denver Des Moines Minneapolis Saint Paul and Tampa Saint. Petersburg. You can get more info and sign up at axios DOT COM backslash local. And we're done big thanks for listening to my producers. Tim Chauffeur's Naomi. Shaven have a great national chewing gum day we'll be back tomorrow with another. Recap.

Joe Lonsdale Bridge Bank US Disney America NSA Middle East president Pailin New York Stock Pantene HBO Silicon Valley alcs CO founder Western Alliance facebook Mac Better Place Bridge Bank
Joe Lonsdale  Entrepreneurship and 8VC, First Meeting (First Meeting, EP.09)

Capital Allocators

29:34 min | 1 year ago

Joe Lonsdale Entrepreneurship and 8VC, First Meeting (First Meeting, EP.09)

"Today's show is sponsored by canoe intelligence. You may remember canoe from earlier this year. It's the first technology that automates the highly frustrating and time consuming and costly manual workflows related to document management and data extraction for alternative investment reporting canoe combines binds over fifty years of investment experience with cutting edge machine learning and AI technology and they're laser focused on solving this problem firms like like step stone group Canterbury Consulting Promise Holdings and dozens of other institutional investment and asset servicing firms have already chosen canoe to optimize their workflows. A bunch of my friends reached out to them as well after hearing their first set of ads on the show and they've all been impressed by what they found canoes rapid growth is a testament to the real need in our space. I highly recommend you visit canoe. INTELLIGENCE DOT COM to learn more. Hello I'm Ted CDs and this is capital allocators. This show is an open exploration of the people and process behind capital allocation through conversations with leaders in the money game. We learn learn how these holders of the keys to the kingdom allocate their time and their capital. You can keep up to date by visiting capitol. ALLOCATORS PODCASTS DOT COM. My guest on today's show is Joe Lonsdale on stale a founding partner eat. Vc a leading venture capital firm the partners with top founders and entrepreneurs to build lasting technology platforms forums. He began working at Peter Teal's pay pal while Joe is an Undergrad Stanford and upon graduation became an early executive at teals Clarion Orient Capital which became a multibillion dollar global macro hedge fund from within Clarion Joe went on to become a CO founder of Pailin Tier and later founded at a park and open gut after operating the series of successful startups he turned to early stage venture investing for himself and then as a founding partner of formation eight the precursor to eight the two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen joe was the youngest member of the the Forbes one hundred MIDAS list our conversation begins with Joe's dive into entrepreneurship out of school the founding of Pailin Tier and Atta Park and his shift from operator venture capitalist. We then discussed venture landscape. ABC's competitive advantage building new companies within ABC AC price competition deals the due diligence process adding value to portfolio companies and new ideas on the horizon in venture investing although we're pressed for time jopacks the conversation with great nuggets of wisdom from his incredible success this podcast has for informational channel purposes only and should not be relied upon based investment decisions all opinions expressed by gus on the show or solely their own opinion and do not necessarily reflect those of their firm managers appearance on the show does not constitute an endorsement investment recommendation by Ted or capital allocators. Today's show is sponsored by Northern Trust Front office solutions. That's when I talked to investment teams CEO's. They often echoed the same concern they spend too much time managing data and not enough time analyzing it two years years ago northern trust took a different approach to this problem and funded an internal startup called. Northern Trust Front office solutions. They gathered together a former endowment michief operating officer a front office technologist from a Multi Billion Dollar Hedge Fund Award Winning Design Team and Fintech company founded by Quanta coded wait for Harry Markowitz himself working alongside dozens of clients to take on this shared mission. The result is a cloud based custody agnostic platform warm that empowers acid owners with better operations and technology support to meet their middle and front office needs visit northern trust dot com slash solutions lucians for more information. Please enjoy my first meeting with Joe Lonsdale of Eight Joe. Thanks for joining me. Thanks Ted. Why are we start with how you got involved in entrepreneurship. I grew up right around here. In San Francisco. Go Bay area right in Silicon Valley and I guess when I was thirteen fourteen fifteen my friend's older brothers raw building companies because it was late nineties so I started at pretty interested and what was your first venture. First thing I started myself was actually pounds here but I was. I was involved with a bunch of things in high school. One of my friend's fathers was senior. Intel off any gossip bunch of really inexpensive chips and we we overclock them and then we got him to to give us the materials to super cool it and play with that. It was really good for playing quake too but you know it wasn't it turns out. No one else really wanted to buy them so it was much more exploring and be part of other people's companies for the first four or five years. I guess pay Pal for Serious Company. I was apart as an intern for a couple of years. What what was your angle. Did you come at it from technology side from the business side the computer scientists originally so I studied computer science when I was Gosh Ten or eleven my friends Tommy to program and we built games. We built programs. Would your math homework for us and that sort of thing and then pay pal. I saw a lot of really smart people going there so I actually got turned down the very first time am I applied there as a programmer. When I was quite young Max luncheon who's now a friend I mean do stuff on the white board and we debated things and they never got an offer from that but then Peter brought me back the next summer and I started started working at paypal and so you went from pay pal originally into Peter's ecosystem yeah exactly so I got to know Peter from entrepreneurship suffered from a paper he'd started called the Stanford Review. Show is editor of and start talking about different things with him and he brought me in along with a couple of other people as a summer intern in the I ended up working for his family the office and I helped him US starting a hedge fund and I helped higher bunch people there so I kind of started working with him on a bunch of things and what was the original idea propounded here well you know they're actually a lot of things being started at the time at Clarion. The Hedge Fund in some of them were quite crazy. There's this thing that was like trying to mental stimulation that was supposed to do things. Thanks good for your brain that ended up being people nightmares other effects to talk about. There was a spam company. There was a restaurant listening millions lars on there's lots of things and of course Peter there was also the time a big investor facebook's. That's another facebook founders really well so just there's all sorts of things going on some of them crazy some of them not as crazy obviously although it was really hard to tell at the time what were the best nice things in it and hired a bunch of my friends at the hedge fund help us with programming and building things and some of them really didn't like finance very much since waste where we're going to work on and we'd had this idea that initially repeaters idea from pay pal like these people were talking to the secret service at the FBI helping us. We try to arrest these bad guys tweet building better technology for them doing something to take. We've learned and apply it to DC. So the idea came from sort of being there inside clarion well. The idea was from pay pal originally where the Chinese and Russian mafia were stealing sealing off our money in there about a competitor's bankrupt to these online money laundering efforts. That's from hacking into the system. Yes Sir so you go to a seven eleven and buy something and the person some behind the counter somehow takes. Snapshot Writes Down Your Credit Card number and because there's now Russians online as of the year two thousand two thousand one ninety nine who are willing going to pay a lot of money for credit card numbers. Maybe five ten bucks you write down a few hundred of these. It's a nice way make money on the size as someone in they take the money run it through pay pal by the time you realize it's fraud fraud the money's already out of the system and then pay packets hit by a charge back so there's all sorts of versions of pay pal losing huge amounts of money to allow competitors and what role did you initially play at here so pound here. I was the founder who created the company and got going there. Lots of things going on around the time it's idea he played with. I took some of the people who had hired tired. Hedge Fund for better or worse. I became a leader the hedge fund the number two guy there was a genius but was also not really a manager so I was kind of helping me lots of things and just kind of fill the avoid as a overconfident twenty one year old running this paper on this thing and run a big drain account there and debating the trading with Peter and then allies guys working for me and a few of them. She didn't really WANNA work finance stuff and I said you know what let's let's prototype. My roommate is down for at the time really really bright guy she along with me we started just running and staying up late at night and sketching applic- different ways that the product could work for the CIA missing Peter to give us a pleasure to fly out and talk to people we knew in DC and he knew in DC a few other adults there were times he this is crazy as even worse than your restaurant and your other ideas. You're doing stop these kids from talking to these people and then to headed to take off from their point in time. Did you leave Claremont. Just dedicate to pound here. We got a little office away on Sandhill road appears old offices and we started using that and started building it out and Peter helped us bring on one of the guys from pay pal became another Co founder Nathan he just started working on it and I was working on it part time we were testing it out and trying it out but it was about a year and Judas Clara starting to get really exciting and I ended up moving there fulltime to start start hiring at the team ended up high most of the first hundred people on help from the products and built it out and at what point in time did you say okay this things off on a tone and time to step away. It was about five or six years of working on it pretty intensely in hiring team building a culture and what happened was is that we built out the government side in about three or four lawyers into it was unclear how long governments I was GONNA take to ramp up so I signed to build the finance side of the company as well so so pounder ended up building out a commercial division where we started with the finance side and we had a few early customers like bridgewater another issue ended up using a system for over ten years as with their analysts did their work so really built out a commercial side of it as well as that was scaling. I'd I fully vested my shares in the company about four or five years in and I was as another division in the company by realized. Maybe we should do something on my on more of I was really passionate about this for Outta par so I stepped aside lied about five and a Half Years Union started working on adipose instead until we're the antequera idea come out of his partially from stuff pound here with seeing when I was seeing in general is building my own very small family office at at the time and realized that that s face was very broken the technology religion at work for it a talk to my friends who are running large offices they had similar complaints and the big theme we have which in general in world in the last ten years and Silicon Valley is. There's these industries where there's platforms that should be using data run them better and that are not realize if you WANNA fix a lot of different parts of the financial world. You needed a platform what form this is on top of the money. So part of the idea was to be the software for our as for family offices for banks and be able to have lots of ways that you can kinda talk to the money through the platform and when you dive into one of these ideas you mentioned a couple times your friend for your roommate from Stanford a bunch of your friends. How do you start to build one of these off of the idea. Well I think the number one thing is getting the very top talent with the computer scientists you WanNa culture where people are really really obsessed. You want to agree on what the mission is and why missions important and yet have mission in a set of people that attract the other people on the becomes a positive something so this is a very intense few years getting them going and convincing others to help you and making sure his own enough of it and then I'm a product guy so it's catch up the product than you. I have to have the marketing sales analysis and you have to go entering talk to a lot of people get a lot of feedback evolve the product time based on that one of the key things for the early engineers is they have to to be on a mock up quickly. You need to get feedback ain't data rate and at what point in time did you shift from being an operator to venture capitals so the thing is really proud about pounds here and then later at par is we had some of the very top talents panthers rate number one in Silicon Valley for the engineers. We were attracting and what happens. A lot of talent will come a place for three four five years. Some of them will stay the whole time still people who've been there for fifteen years now but a lot of them after a while but go on they'll. WanNa build something around so I had probably about ten or eleven different from France who had worked with in some capacity pounds here or even out of pure parley on building things on their own and I was being small investments in them from my office. I was advising them and I realized so that's something I really enjoy doing even more than enjoyed Brian the company day to day. At what point in time did you say okay. I'm going to start a venture capital firm that created. I guess it was formation. Take the time yeah. Formation Eight was the first real serious firm had a small fund. We called the before and that the fund was just with family in France in my own money and we did a bunch of angel investing and that was actually really good because even though that fund is over ten exited great. I also did a lot of dumb things so I think you learn by doing things right so so you want to make mistakes before you do it with larger amounts of money but but after doing that seeing it working well started have really strong opinions a scientist start a fund two thousand eleven. I guess when we decided to start it close. Our first fund the very end of two thousand twelve and then at some point in time. I guess some of your original partners cited not to continue in you continued on yeah you know I think everyone has different ways of running and managing these things and so one of the things we always talk about with our entrepreneurs defined unfair advantages because he's so hard to start one of my unfair advantages. Starting permission eight was the Meyer early partner is Family Bill Elgin Korea. His father gave us fifty million dollars anchor. I was able to raise with my network most of the remaining four hundred forty million dollars raised but it was really really great to have him and have a help early on it turned out that the way we understood entrepreneurship way we manage things are preferences provide different gone through fewer bigger things having a lot more people on my team still a lot more more connections in the network. We held a lot of events I like doing lots of thesis papers and whatnot so we have different ways of doing things the most team came with me and we split off our third which now call ABC. I see so what you're segment of venture landscape. Today venture capitals obviously at much larger asset class than it was ten or fifteen years ago which which makes a lot of intuitive. It's much bigger part of the economy right so used to be in venture capital that maybe you'd have people coming to Silicon Valley. Who are the does or who run different special initiatives for big companies companies. Now the people coming in Silicon Valley are the CEO's the fortune five hundred companies. It's the people who are actually making the decisions and actually out the corporate strategy for the biggest companies in the world. That's fraud reasons right because the technology is redefining. What's possible in these industries so venture world has become a lot broader and causing a lot more things than having to do a lot more money at stake. How do you stay competitive entry. Actually a few different things at say one is that the people who are running the top venture firms right now are almost all founders unders successful companies and so as someone who's founded a few quite successful companies as big advanced hunters. WanNa work with our founders and if you look at the very big names venture capital obviously Marc Andreessen very well known enter Peter Thiel who I work with learn a lot from or Marceca sauce on the board of is there starts. I've learned from both those guys or if you look note Khosla or even Reid Hoffman did linked in who's with the the pay path list goes on and on like all these same people have heard of their founders of big companies and so there are very rare exceptions from the previous generation. I think March is great exception of someone who never found that a company and I think you could do that in the eighties or nineties and be aggressive capless. It's very rare these days so first of all being a founders advantage. I think second of all being in touch of being close to lots of other founders is very important. Jordan says one thing we've spent a lot of time doing is we happen to have a lot of friends who built companies. We've enjoy spending time with them. It's not my social life is here in Silicon Valley interacting with other founders and that's you have to do that to do things well counters that wants to know where the town's going what's going on. They're kind of decor top than our way to put. It is an L. A. If you want to know what's going on you probably I want to hang out with the list actors the diplomatic them in DC pylon like with the senators with people around the president of the heads of agencies. The founders are the ones who run things here in Silicon Valley number one one so let's walk through kind of step-by-step your investment process and just start with where the ideas come from the end up investing in a Lotta ways that come from half of the deals are and referred from other founders. We're talking about a lot of them. Come from looking what we want to build ourselves networks. That's the one thing we do at our firm. That's different than a lot of other firms. Is We still use about ten percent of the fun on towards things we're building ourselves and we're very involved entrepreneurs and a lot of times. I'll be looking at a space with a really really deep on the macro happenings area of healthcare what's happening in Syria. Logistics get to know all the people who are leaders in that field in spend a lot of time with them in based on doing nat. Go oftentimes be referring to something that we think is really smart. They actually rather than build something. Let's just invest listen. I think over there what's the recent example of recent example is looking into logistics and we're trying to understand Amazon when they ship something when you order. It's about seventy miles away from on average the time you click. It's the time it comes to you. Amazon's forty percent of the market the other sixty percent market when you click it and you ask how far away from you it is as eleven hundred miles so as much worse much much better at this problem which is why they can ship things guaranteed one day sometimes two days runoff three to five. We practice with this and we looked all around figured it out. We've tried to fail. We're going to build. We found a guy who had done it in Amazon. Something related we say wow. This is the guy who was already thinking about this problem. We are able to help them think about it even better. Thanks doing so therefore we were able to. Kinda lead his first round of financing being on much better terms. We never found this guy from Seattle. We have been thinking about this idea now. It's a really fast growing company called deliver. It's this race big brown spots raise another really the gap around we put on Walmart for a bunch of their merchants rather than three to five shifting they distinct garrity wanted to shipping in those merchants sales doubled when she's told consumers had it work. We basically have a virtual warehouse networking to our house compete against each other so you keep about forty or fifty warehouses that we manage. We manage all the carriers for them so they just give us the inventory we rebound for them. We ship it for them and handle. It all turns out. There's several two hundred billion dollars. A year on the economy spent this way really thing now and even if you can get the margins to ten fifteen percent which we think we can. That's that's a big market henny. Think about the risk reward. If something we were starting from scratch compared to something might be a be rec- round so most of what we do is series A. N. B. and it's very funny. It's Silicon Valley. What means what it used to be. This seed round was the very first round and half million or a million and you might do a second small Cedar. He might do an A. which the old days it'd be like three to eight these days. Lotta Times people people raise a seed round is actually what we used to call him. Hey let's raise five or ten star you just there's more money available one of the kind of hidden secrets. We don't talk about as much. Is this a lot more serial. Entrepreneurs even skied on something else before it was very successful Amazon so someone's done something before the show you know what they're doing. It's a very different conversation so much easier fusi investor. You're not coaching him through some really really biggest mistakes that person may building a company so able to give them more upfront and so. I liked doing early investments with really town person because you already know this on the table but you're able to get a great deal do a lot of be rounds as well. There were some things really just starting to work. The tough thing right now in this market environment is that there's a lot a lot of players coming down trying to be around as well so I was. I was just outbid last month for something I love about sixty percent from a firm I won't mention the name but as a firm that writes regularly one hundred hundred million dollar checks excited come down and write a thirty million dollar check so it it is a little bit annoying to see like bs and cs are getting more expensive. Which is the reason? I like to try to stay early. How do you balance out. You've gotta the deal company like presumably a founder like someone WHO's coming down. It's going to price it up. How do you think about at what point in time you say no. That's too expensive. It's really hard. We have different costs the capital so you even though our funds are six hundred forty million dollar fines because we're venture capital firm or bars were looking for ten x on the low end and that's what you have to do our first firms over forty percent. IRR are fifty. We're going for the thirties. At least these guys are perfectly happy with the low twenty S. There's nothing wrong with ads is different so I've told the team. We're going to lose it by not bidding high enough. If it's GonNa that'd be something for someone else's happy to get twenty. Percents are not happy with that so it's tax minimum in threes. I are minimum near thing is basically you WanNa work with people giving US deal L. because they want to work with us. Venture capitals very different than ahead Sean. We're not like a hedge fund that just like being more most of the time we're getting all these things people could have gone from somebody nobody else in the market who's not taught founders insiders and could raise a higher valuation but then they're not going to get our help in a variety of ways. What are those special pieces kind of the pitch to the entrepreneur about what you're gonNA the other people can't there's almost not even really a pitch because most these guys like one of my friends she started to companies each over a hundred million air are very famous kind of enterprise company builder and is building a new company in he had an idea around it and we shared a bunch of notes and he came and he let us put money in fifteen million dollars pre money valuation. It wasn't be be pitching him as he knows who I am. He wants me involved. We've talked about it a bunch of times before I know who he is. I'm really honored to be able to invest fifteen pre because I knew he could have gone out made a bunch of noise and and raise it fifty sixty pre very easily gives track record so it's more people already know he. I think what they're looking for is looking for people who are GONNA. Give them the best advice who's involved. It's GonNa be a signal to other top uptown. This is a worthwhile thing we have time to build networks. He's entrepreneurs don't so our job is to know the top people in these different fields in this case. He's selling a information officers these before two hundred companies. He's we know tons of those because they're working with all companies must use our network for that and venture capital is very interesting asset class is very high correlation for a lot of these reasons and so such as is a very big unfair advantage once you're winning you kind of keep winning if you do it right how much of that scales beyond you individually to affirm a lot of does right but ABC's ABC's invest in something that's eight hundred invest is not is not me this invested in so each right even partners will work on building their own relationships in these different industries and sometimes. I'll help but but a lot of times we'll build something. I WANNA see guy for three years for my partner talk some every month or something. That's a great example is with Andrew. Witty is our senior adviser. He ran. Gsk Es came in England for over a decade and be started working a lot with us as he was stepping down from that and he was on the board of United he ended up agreeing to become CEO optum which software company in America is big part out of it. You agree to stay senior. Adviser carved out which is awesome. I'm a big fan of his by partner drew. Someone who's really famous scientists in the last three years. I don't really see him that much but he's been extremely helpful going joining meetings with our most important companies helping us close deals and stuff. How does your due diligence process work. Who's The entrepreneur or the people there who the people here she's hiring. It's at the first three or four people matter. A lot was the upside structure. Look like if you're hiring a bunch of people and not giving any upside. I'm very skeptical of you. As a top venture company outsiders don't realize you can't just take company and take ninety percent for for yourself and that actually means. It's not really a venture company and he was something else that we wouldn't want to invest in and then obviously like what you're planning industry and then what people need to think about that who we respect do do. We think that the path is reasonable. How much of it do you focus on the products in the market compared to the people involved and then the people early stages the number one most important Gordon thing. I think what matters is there. Actually is a conceptual gap to fill so so from a macro top down perspective. Is there something there could be a network effect or platform effect or in other. There's something new that's possible. In this market that really does matter where there really is a gap and then you have the right people to do it and once you've got that alignment with the people running it how difficult to the deal dynamics given the competitive environment today. They're definitely getting a lot more difficult in some cases they were in the past. There's still this thing where we have. Our Network of people we spend are most time with the several hundred of them and we're. GonNa have advanced with a lot of these entrepreneurs and these people and so I think it's very very hard to build a new firm unless you happen to have a group people who built a bunch of companies that have their own big network network already. That's willing to kind of make one of their first choices but because we have that oil up beyond the inside track for these things but yet things are a lot more competitive in the later stage Gannon's China's game to a point where I'd be very very careful too much like stage right now so once you're in the deal. Would you try to do to help these companies grow. You know there's only a really a few things that really matter of resources. It's really people and it's money and so those are both things we're really good at our comes as over ten billion dollars after we've invested in over the last Arison eareckson. That's our job is it'd be good helping with that. Obviously people something we spent a lot of time on one of my partners. Yummy bill pound here the same play but we we present fifteen eighteen or twenty big schools and we Kinda map out where all the top talent is and we have tons of events. SELENA got a hundred eighty events last year. What kind of events dinners etc downstairs air cigars night or all sorts of things sometimes bring nursing speaker for people to meet depending? Sometimes we get together leaders in one specific area the all bring logistic. CEO's and bring thirty different people who run things logistics ran Walmart's logistics or ups or whatever things like that and you'll bring talent and you'll just make sure the next us when we analyze the talented and then we help people. Here's how you recruit talents. Here's people are good fits for you just typical stuff. It's kind of a weird situation 'cause you. Don't want to invest people who can't do it for themselves. But then you want to help them on on top of it I think money and talents and then of course there's like key advisers so someone like Andrew Witty who runs off from coming to a meeting really big deal closing how close million dollar deal that's really healthful out in key advisers and then strategy session sitting down doing strategy my favorite parts of strategy sessions. CAS website. You've got this advisory board that spans lots of entrepreneurs entrepreneurs very senior company executives people in entertainment any think about that specific network and how you use them each ones different right so we have thirty people people are firm really as twelve people on the team in each person investment team is working with a managing different advisors for different goals in so you have some people who you really just want alike bring to certain things because they bring people around them. If you want to be around especially couple of entertainment guys of they're going to be at something. It's easier to all right and it's easier to get the get access to things where whereas others others are specifically really really helpful for getting deals done in a certain part of healthcare certain parts of finance or whatever what's the to go back to the old Michael Lewis expression. What's the new new thing right now in the valley. I think the most important question in metro capital is what's possible now. That wasn't possible five years ago right because if you want to invest in ridesharing we did before the phone it doesn't makes sense twelve thirteen years so as you had done it within a few year window to really make a lot of money on it and so I think right now there's a few areas but right now the most exciting setting area to me is the renaissance in Biology. You're seeing going on what particular aspect of biology is turned in a lot of areas into information sciences while as well as just like a life science science and so it used to be in the valley. You're either life science guy or you're an. It guy but they're literally platforms that can do things to sound like science fiction right now like one of our companies simply. Go is the leading gene any other company and there's a data network effect so they've got much much more accurate than anybody else gene editing which means they can engineer cells. Nobody else engineer which is also selling sells directly people say Gimme the cell with these twelve thousand people ordering from them now and that's growing an amazing speech and it turns out. There's always do cell therapy. Do things like that and then there's because of newsouth therapies there's other our tools is a whole another company. That's this sorting sells a billion in a time using semiconductor technology and it turned out that applies time tens of therapies and there are saving lives with ads. There's all all sorts of these things that you never would've even thought of doing five years ago there possible now. The list goes on in terms of these kinds of biology. It crossover thanks so when you have a set of opportunities retuning. How much do you dive into just that sector and then just keep going deeper. or how much do you kind of bet on just one company when opportunity well so. I think there's a lot of things going on sectors actress. We've built a team rounded and we spent a lot of time on my doubts about twenty five percent of what we're doing as a fun. I'd say within the Renaissance and Biology area right now join over time can change so I want to get a a little bit time turned some fun closing questions. What's your favorite hobby or activity outside of work family while my favorite hobbies probably policy work we're trying to do nonpartisan partisan type things where he right up legislation or other things that are trying to help fix the government. Mitch Country Work Better as Lama Favorite Hobby Rain particularly when you focus on one of my favorites is criminal justice this reform because people are really into that right now and it turns out you change the incentives for probation parole departments to actually make it so they actually care about rehabilitation and you actually help people so there's just things like that. You could do you that people aren't doing. What's your biggest pet peeve. When it comes to areas like that I get very annoyed at people who are running our society understand incentives markets so what's your biggest investment pet peeve as an investor in venture capital the number one thing is just being really fully aligned with the people you're investing in and and I think when people build a company say they're all in and then they give up too easily. I think this celebration of failure to me is really disgusting. It's okay to fail if you try really really hard to give it. Your all is not okay. NFL because you've got distracted a new side not to anymore. I think that's a big issue. What reading do you almost never miss. Most of what I read is stuff. That's sends me but I I do really enjoy the economist all right what teaching from your parents as most stayed with you one of the things my father Tommy is really important was really focused on taking joy in the success of people around. How'd you can't fake it but if you really are enjoying the people around you then people will see that and then you go really far in life more. What life lessons. Have you learned that you wish wish you knew a lot earlier in life well. I think the last few years we've really focused with a bunch of our companies on taking governance really really seriously. I think there's a stereotype of in Silicon Valley as partially correct which is this. You're going really fast and your entrepreneurial on. There's no time for lawyers and bureaucratic. WHO'S GONNA slow you down. I think if you WanNa do something that's really important. It's GONNA be around for decades. It's really important to focus on governance and focus on actually dined the is and crossing a cheese and making that as part of a great organization. It's awesome tomorrow Joe. Thanks so much for taking time thanks to him. Thanks for listening to this episode. If you know a manager you'd like to hear on the show. Please reach out or ask the manager to reach out to Ted at at capital allocators dot com we greatly appreciate your ideas and we'll do our best to help foster transparency and communication across the industry

Silicon Valley Hedge Fund founding partner Joe Lonsdale founder CEO Peter ABC Ted CDs Amazon France fraud northern trust Andrew Witty US CO founder
DV E37: Mr. Cruel, Part Three: "Decommissioned"

Drowning Verdict

12:35 min | Last month

DV E37: Mr. Cruel, Part Three: "Decommissioned"

"Coming right shock with me as we pull up to the crime scene. For only four bucks shots you'll get insider access to episodes and mentions in several of them for your product or your service to learn more about joining my team visit. Ka-fai dot com forward slash charles. Mony that's ko dash f i dot com forward slash. Charles mony. i could really use your support. It's tough out there. Sometimes i gotta admit and i need a trusted partner who can keep all the details about the vix close to the vest. Never talk to the press and remember to keep your head down as we kick in the perp store. I don't want to turn around and see the neighbor kids played soccer with it in the street. Hello welcome johnny verdict. I'm chip mahoney. And this is my true crime. Podcast this podcast. Where i talk about. Stories that fascinate me and go more in depth with the case. I'm an author. I'm about story connections new angles and maybe even uncovering some truth here and there. So thanks for joining me. You might have found me on my youtube or twitter which is a great way to always get the latest episodes in that format. And if you'd like the sample you can click the link and the description to listen to the full episode by following me. You also get my other. Podcasts called your story or your life which is true. Crime and compelling persons of interest. Both my podcasts can be found wherever you get your favorite shows if you'd like what you hear come back for more sub share follow and let me know how i'm doing or if you've got something i should consider. The cases i cover are often mysterious. If it's an open inactive case. I believe there are more clues to be had therefore consider riding shotgun with me as we pull up to the crime scene. You could be a member of my forensics team. For four dollars you'll get insider access to new episodes as well as mentions for your business if you so desire to learn more about my forensics team go to my co five page which is right there on my youtube or twitter card. Your support goes a long way to getting new equipment for the show and all the other things that go into bringing you content. That's as fresh as a drop of blood on a sparkling linoleum floor. Thanks again for listening. Now let's get in with why we're here today The biggest break in the curious case of mr cruel is it. My theory that he was in the ran and was on shortly when he committed his crimes. It's the golden state killer was finally taken a trial and put behind bars and that he was still alive. The fact that investigators victims can put a face with what was only once. A voice behind the flashlight gives us hope that mr cruel is still alive and can finally brought to justice by shortly theory holds water in my mind. Only my ideas my own and only investigators close to the case would know if they stack up my theory hinges on the line he said to vic in nineteen eighty five and that is this by liberty. My freedom is worth more than your life from that line and the word liberty. I've given you my reasons. Why i think he was in the ran. And as i said stationed and hmas sarah's for time during a few of his crimes a service is a mythical creature it is a three headed dog. That guards the gates of hell. Mr cruel has three heads. So it's appropriate. He is and was a navy man he is from a family man and he is a highly intuitive killer who has always lived in the future at hmas serice. They do a couple things. They train. electron. Ix engineers marine engineers and supply officers all recruits for the ran touch base at several at some point and a lot of people. Move through it. Those were engineers would be sent to an actual naval ship to beyond ford. In order to solve problems that could arise such as leaks and how to attack them. I'm ninety eight point six percent. Sure that mr cruel was an engineer at rest and then was transferred to an actual ship. I believe he committed possibly to attacks while at cerberus and on shortly and the others while stationed on the naval ship before we get there and put a gag ball on this series. I wanna tell you about his personality. Because only two percent of all people have the type he has and that is identified as i n t p on the website personality max the i n t p personality type is nicknamed the engineer personality. I didn't make that one up. The i stands for intuitive and people within tuition live in the future. Mr cruel lived in the future so show that he knew that something called. Dna could do Damage to him down the road. He wasn't a dumb fish but it wasn't work killer whale. One with purpose in ten person leave traces of themselves at a crime scene the eighties and nineties yet. Twenty years later on the tools methods and technologies can catch up with them. Those traces they left behind mr cruel knew. He couldn't leave a trace of physical evidence no nails skin spit or cement nothing despite his high volume of personal contact with victims and their families only two percent of all personality types live in the future. It's not a coincidence. It's nicknamed the engineer personality. And it's also not a coincidence. That cerberus was within a short distance of franks did where i believe. Mr cole stopped along the way before going to any one of his crime scenes. It was easy for him to step into the population. And then hide behind the gates of hell as investigators were trying to figure out what had happened over. Twenty seven seven thousand. People were searched or questioned and mr cruel was on shortly and when he was transferred to an actual ship. He was on shore leave when he committed those crimes. It's my belief. He was transferred to the h. M. s lonsdale at some point along the way which was an actual ship that was on the water at the port of melbourne. Today it's a luxury apartment building. At the time. When mr cruel was ford it was part of the ran. I take the t from short and replace it with an e because they literally mean the same thing the only difference being on land or water as you know. His last crime was in nineteen ninety. One and the body of the girl was found. In ninety two the hmas lonsdale was a navy ship decommissioned by the ran in nineteen ninety. Two in taken out of service. Mr cruel unknowingly was actually put out of business by the ran and that is the reasons. His crimes had stopped if it weren't for that he'd have had the protection in the movement to keep doing what he was doing. Although i will say that. I truly believe he did not want to kill the last girl and i think that affected him. It's because he has children himself is a father and was married by the time he was forty. It's a theory that the girl saw his face and for that she paid with her life. And i believe that his liberty and freedom was worth more than her life. He meant what he said. His short leave and subsequent shore leave was worth everything at the time. Shore leave is the same as shortly. Ve it's requested while you're on the water and to go ashore. Mr cruel most likely committed his final two crimes while are on the h. m. a. s. lonsdale was working as an engineer and spent a lot of time in the water. He spent a lot of time thinking about the future and was thrilled with himself that he could choose to commit a crime as easily as you can choose what to have for. Dinner was his power over choice where he found himself and that power was intoxicating is he still alive was he in the ran to my Theories have me leaks. I can only say that. I'm ninety eight point six percent sure. Only investigators who know are the ones who really know they've seen the files interview the people and all the intimate details. I've done what. I candidacy that. There was a dna of different kind. That like the golden state killer something other than forensic dna was witness to the crimes in the case of it was the flashlight in the is a tactic. Highly used by cops. At the time of his activities. The word liberty and how it synonymous with leave in the navy whether station at land or sea is the dna of different kind. I believe mr cruel said the line and that what he meant was that his shortly leave. His freedom is worth more than your life in two thousand twenty one. It'll be thirty years since his final crime. The edge low was caught a thirty two years after his last murder. And so by my count. Mr cruel has two more years to keep living in the future before his past catches up with them if in fact he is still alive. No this he was born into the world to a mother and father and he went to a school like all the other children. He believed so much in love for a time. He was living in the future as an adolescent where he had a life and a wife and children it was likely though he was at a catholic school and it was there that he suffered embarrassment beyond repair a girl. Her curls interrupted his future to let him know he wasn't good enough. She was too small not good looking enough and not like the other boys. It was ripped apart emotionally because he was just overwhelmed with motions. The pouring out of his heart and soul was too early for him in his life. A nun was raped because it was a nun who taught him in class. And who probably looked the other way when he was suffering in embarrassment in the year since he has cooled himself off with child porn. And it has been a filler. For him to fantasize by the little acts of control and torture in the digital world his more hard core in the real world and in his times with the girls. She was more like a mother with a child but when was his bonnie moment. When did he poor his anger out. I believe it could have been with the last girl. You probably pulled that balaklava off his face. It was there again that he wasn't good enough and his motions and his leave was on trial. He didn't wanna do it but he had no other choice. A sketch. this face would be too much in. Police would have gotten their man. To be caught is worse than the trump torment that had once faced in grade school. From all those little angels. He's a devil though. A three headed dog guarding the gate. This ship mahoney signing off on dvd. Thanks for joining me. Closure is now sake goodbye.

Mr cruel Charles mony hmas sarah hmas serice Ix engineers marine engineers cerberus Mony youtube twitter mahoney Mr cole navy M. s lonsdale ford johnny soccer charles
A Tale of Two Cities | S1 E4

The City

46:01 min | 2 years ago

A Tale of Two Cities | S1 E4

"When Dickie Nichols was a kid growing up north Lonsdale in the early nineteen nineties, he knew that lurking near his home was an evil rabbit. A myth day. It was evil rabbit up the it was a grow. Rabid used the chase key with reate. I. Reate. I still remember that is the change. We will looking for what they never see the evil rabbit. This evil rabbit roamed the neighborhoods hills and mountains. The ones made from construction debris. Older boys told this story to younger kids like day key to keep them away. It didn't work. We played up there. Everything plead Haggos seeing that was our Goto does what we did. We played up there everything. A lot of fun times. Lot of fun town main when his snow will use them as slaves. We get sleds and sled down when the summertime, Roger bites up and down the hill because there was that big of a, he'll. That was fun. From up on the hills Daiki and his friends could look down onto the roof of their elementary school and see all the basketballs and football's the neighborhood kids have gotten stuck up there over the years and they could look east towards the horizon and see all the skyscrapers downtown grass and plants and trees. Sprouted from the concrete hells old mattresses became trampolines. Junked out cars became jungle. Gyms does what we need. It does what the neighborhood needed as a kid because it wasn't no park. I mean, it was no part in Nigeria, but as an adult is a as us oil is about the community down. These hills, this mountain were John Christopher's illegal landfill. Of course by now six stories, high two whole city blocks wide and five city blocks long. The piles had been that way for two years, which to a kid was basically forever. At this point, the hills were just part of the neighborhoods, geography. There is a doughnut factory on one side of the dump where Daiki and his friends would dumpster dive for discarded treats instead of using the streets to get their cutting through the hills was often safer or just more fun. We don't know that we just knew you gotta go through the four is to get to the the don't affect. So I remember waiting for have full in the house and dead dead. Probably got us through the week was was the in donuts hick cakes cookies, spend enough time on a six story mountain of rubble, and someone is bound to get hurt. Deke remembers this one time around. Grade when he and his brother were playing, their Daiki was rolling rocks and chunks of concrete down the side of the mountain. And one of them rolled towards his brother you road over his finger and it was hanging off. So I had to hold it together and I had the walk him all the way home holding his finger on into. We got to the hospital, they hit the it. They had the spin about two or three days in a hospital because it was it was off. At the beginning of our story when the trucks will have construction, debris first appeared in north Lonsdale Dolores Robinson was a math teacher at Sumner elementary school. Eventually she became the principal, but she still struggled to keep her students out of the dumps day. He was one of them in them, like, stop it. I don't want you doing that. That's what I'm looking out the window at you. And so what I know the boys who were, you know, playful and athletic. So MS Robinson installed a regular teachers patrol to keep is on the kids coming and going from school. It wasn't just accidents like the kind Deke Nichols is brother had suffered that worried her or evil rabbits. It was reported. The body was found miss Robinson, didn't know whether it was true or not, but she repeated attor students like the story of the evil rabbit. It was a way of scaring them away from the dumps. As it turned out, she wasn't the only Chicago educator trying to shield her students from a dump like this because across town in a white neighborhood one where residents had the ear of the city's powerbrokers a new dump next to another school was also on the rise, the steps that parents and kids would take to protect these two neighborhoods, one white and one black got very different responses from the people in power. I'm Robin, EMA, and from USA today, this is the city. If you like the city, you may like another show from USA today. The five things podcast covers the five most important stories of the day and why they matter in less than five minutes. New episodes are available every morning, Monday through Saturday, and you can subscribe to five things for free on apple podcasts or wherever you listen. Before we tell you about the dump in the white neighborhood across town. Let's recap what's happened in north Lauderdale since our story began after John Christopher showed up and started dumping neighborhood residents organized. They wrote letters to elected officials. They confronted John Christopher. They helped initiate a lawsuit against him and his companies. The lawsuit did not stop him from dumping and the mountain of rubble continued to grow as did the threat. It posed to the people of north Lonsdale. However, there was still a chance that the court could rule in the neighborhoods favor. Our reporter Wilson Sayer picks up the story from here. North Llandough residents had now been fighting the illegal dumps for two years frustrated by how long the problem had dragged on. They started looking for new ways to fight John Christopher, a group of people. We start a protest and we will stand out there with signs that's Michelle Ashford. Remember she was a teenager back then when the dust from the dump would get caught in her lip gloss, it was getting worse instead of getting better. We were just constantly protests in about this dump the Ashford's protested as a family, Michelle's mom. Rita Ashford was on the front lines because if you recall three of her grandkids and many of her neighbors kids were in and out of the hospital with severe asthma. So the first time we went down there, you know, we just marched with says, different stuff like that. They made signs that called out John Christopher by name down with John and dumped the dumps. The truck steel rode in trucks there. Well, doubt it did make a difference that we out there. So they went bigger one time. They borrowed a bus from I Corinthians church just down the road and used it to block the entrance to the lot. Another time, a neighborhood elder named Rosie. Lee Brown actually laid down in the street in front of the trucks. A rolls lay down in the driveway. She was stopped the truck, some coming in and trucks going out because they were still hauled in the the rocks and they were still holding out to concrete. But then old lady was worry. I'm gonna tell you and she actually this. I got my feet wet. This protest attracted the attention of the police who showed up at the law, but not to stop the legal dumping because they were saying, well, it's private property off like that, and they were really like they will. We're going to arrest her because she wouldn't move. While residents were literally laying in the street, the lawsuit that was supposed to stop. John Christopher was still dragging on. Remember there had been a fight over the definition of waste and twice. A judge had decided not to halt the dumping, but finally in February nineteen ninety two. The court ruled against John Christopher. All of his material was in fact waste, meaning his dumps were illegal and had to go. But the victory would prove to be hollow because there was still the question of how to clean up the dump. In March of that year, the court held a hearing to rule on the cleanup who should do it and how long it should take. This court will be as follows. We don't have a recording of what happened at this hearing, but as we done before, we had some actors dramatize scenes from court taken verbatim from transcripts. You'll remember some of the players you're on our police, the core. This is Susan her Dina, a lawyer for the city of Chicago, sir. Would you state your name for the record? Please? James grainy the lawyer for John Christopher, the man responsible for the dumps and John Christopher the man himself and one new voice who could not have made his disdain for this case anymore apparent. Judge Lester foreman. This case goes to the appellate court. This court will be ousted a jurisdiction. I don't know that I've sent my prayers enough to hope that that can happen to me. Judge foreman wasn't the only one tired of this case you're on are you? And all of us have lived with this case for quite a few months. I know I don't need to remind you about that. The primary question here today. Your honor is how long this cleanup should take. How long the residents of north Lonsdale would have to continue living next to this dump John Christopher's lawyer. I tries to argue that his client can't afford to clean up the site unless he's allowed to keep dumping if he's not earning money off the dumps, then he won't have money to pay for the cleanup. Thank you. Your honor. If this man is not there to continue to operate that site to maintain the premises. All that would result in is putting the man out of business. I, it's not going to result in the materials being moved, and if this man is not there to continue to operate that site, you're going to have a worse situation now than what we're trying to resolve the city of Chicago won't clean it up if we mmediately put them out of business. No one's gonna clean this site. Oh, I submit to the court that my client doesn't have the financial wherewithal. The cleanup is site. Judge Forman doesn't buy this argument though. He's already ruled that the dumps are illegal, the dumping must stop. So judge Forman rejects this request and the case moves onto the cleanup. And notice in what follows that the debate over how quickly the dumps should be cleaned up, doesn't take into account the people with asthma or damage to people's homes or danger posed to elementary school kids. Instead the city proposes a timeline for the cleanup. That's all about trucks and weights and money. They factor in how much the average dump truck can hold twenty two tonnes and how long it would take to Phillips said dump trucks, roughly seven minutes and how many working days are aren't a year, two hundred and fifty five and how much stuff there was on the site approximately thirty one thousand four hundred twenty five truckloads the city wanted the judge to force John Christopher to clean up the dumps within thirteen. Months, but John Christopher argues that even that wasn't enough time, he wanted at least double that a minimum of twenty six months because when John Christopher gets up to the stand to testify, he says, he doesn't have the equipment on which the city based. It's time line defense calls John Christopher to the stand. Sir. Would you state your name for the record, please? John Christopher? All right. And what you relationship with Christiane construction company. I'm the president of Christiane construction. How many twenty ton trucks Christiane construction company own at the present time ten and the capacity of those is twenty tonnes. Yes, sir. All right. Now, Christiane construction avenue, twenty four, ten trucks. Do you have any twenty four t know. Does he have any other trucks besides these? Do you have any other trucks besides these ten twenty ton trucks have pickup trucks, three quarter, ton pickup chip size. Then after hearing all of this back and forth, the judge finally rules on how much time John Christopher will have to clean up the site. The order of this court will be as follows on questionably. These matters where you must balance the public interests against the private interest of business person. Corporation or entrepreneur who's operating a business that is unquestionably difficult bounce. I think it would be very narrow process on the part of this court to take a very short sighted and all overly aggressive attitude towards his up because I believe that the purpose of this court should be to accomplish a result rather than to come up with a judgment that looks good and appears to be very strict at this moment, which would be nothing more than giving somebody a chocolate covered aspirin, it'll taste sweep. It'd be sour going down. By the city's own estimate at the kill their site. We're talking about thirty one thousand four hundred twenty five truckloads stop and think what a lion would look like with thirty one thousand four hundred twenty five trucks lined up that perhaps would be a line that would take a road from one end of the city to the other. We're talking about an accomplishment of what I consider to be a gigantic task. The defendant will have thirty months within which to remove from this site. I believe that that is a reasonable length of time that takes into consideration the magnitude of the number of truckloads. We're talking about thirty months, John Christopher, lost the case, but he would have thirty months two and a half years to clear out of north Mondale longer than he'd asked for and longer than he'd been there in the first place. And again, judge forms decision was all about junk Christopher and his business and his money. None of it was about what would happen to Northland l. residents if the dumps were not cleaned up quickly, even with this very lengthy time line one that gave John Christopher more than what he'd asked for. He did the opposite of cleaning up the mountains. John Christopher did exactly as he had threatened to do when residents I confronted him at the lot. Well, John, Chris, Rebecca. Basically. Dispirit Henry Henderson. The city lawyer helped initiate the suit against John Christopher. By the time the case wrapped up. He become Commissioner of a brand new department within Chicago city government, the department of environment. The department was created in part to tackle big intractable problems like John Christopher's dumps. But despite Henderson's new role as the head of a city agency, he seemed unable to pin John Christopher down. You know, he popped up in other locations with different identity Hughes, John veto for awhile, and you know, occasionally people would catch sight of him. We got one of our inspectors would say, I saw John Christopher and he drove off, you know, he was very good at being being scared. Unable to find John Christopher the city couldn't force him to conduct the cleanup or collect any fines for him failing to do so. And now the city was stuck with more than thirty one thousand truckloads of debris that it couldn't get rid of. Now you've got to figure out how to clean it up. How do we find out something like this. The city failed to hold John Christopher accountable. Nine hundred ninety two past then nineteen Ninety-three then nineteen Ninety-four. Daiki Nichols moved from fourth grade to fifth to sixth and John Christopher's illegal dumps still marred the landscape. And then the city heard about another dump in another neighborhood. A mostly white, mostly well off neighborhood, and the story of that dump played out very differently than the one in north Dale. That's after the break. The city is grateful to have bombed us as a sponsor of the show. How often do you think about your socks? Probably only when you need to buy new ones and if you're like most of us, you don't even end up loving the ones you buy bombos is here to change all that made from super soft cotton bomb socks. Stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and every pair comes with features like honeycomb, arch support, a seamless toe and Bomba's innovative, stay up technology. If you've ever spent a whole day readjusting your socks or yanking them out of your shoes, you'll understand why this is my favorite thing about my bombast socks if it's possible to fall in love with a sock I have and I've fallen in love with the company too because for every bumps purchase, you make Bomba's donates a pair to someone in need as a listener of the city. You can save twenty percent by visiting Bombay dot com. Slash the city that's. AOM b s dot com. Slash the city and entering the offer code the city in the checkout code space, Bomba dot com. Slash the city offer code the city being mentally prepared for any situation can help reduce fear and anxiety. When you know you've taken the proper precautions your mind naturally rests a little easier, and that's why I'm a big fan of SimpliSafe home security SimpliSafe is ready for anything that gets thrown at it, and because I'm a customer, I get those stress relieving benefits of having simply safe on my side. If a storm takes out my power SimpliSafe is ready. An intruder cuts. My phone line simply safe is ready. Say they destroy my keypad or siren SimpliSafe will still get me the help I need. Maybe you don't need to be ready for every worst case scenario, but that's what makes SimpliSafe home security systems. So great. It is always ready and it worries about all those things. So. Oh, I don't have to and the only charge you what's fair, twenty four, seven professional security monitoring is just fourteen ninety nine a month. And there are no contracts and no hidden fees go to SimpliSafe dot com. Slash the city today. That's SimpliSafe dot com. Slash the city to protect your home family today. SimpliSafe dot com. Slash the city. Last time on the city. We talked to Conrad Henry the son of former alderman Bill Henry, and we asked him if the dumping that had happened in north London, twenty four th ward could have happened anywhere else definitely wouldn't have been dropped in the first world. It wouldn't have been the fourteenth forty, seven ward. It would have been gone. Each of these wards was either affluent or politically connected or both. And in the case of the forty, seventh ward majority white given Chicago's racial divisions. It seemed unlikely to me at least at first that a dump like the ones that popped up north Lonsdale would ever pop up in a wealthy white neighborhood in Chicago, but Wilson has been reporting on a dump that actually did show up in a white neighborhood in nineteen Ninety-four. So now we get to test out Conrad Henry's theory that dumped in say, the forty. Seventh ward would've been gone like that. Let's go back to Wilson. There's a sign lane, tack college prep school of champions. Wow. Oh, my. If looks like like Yale, like Ivy league university, red brick, gothic architecture. The dome was right next to one of Chicago's most prestigious public high schools lane tack. This school pulls in some of the highest performing students from around the city and boasts. An impressive roster of alumni Chicago artists. The Astro gates went to lane tack President, Bill Clinton's chief of staff, John Podesta one. They're also surprising number of pro baseball and football players graduated from school. Vivian Rankin who's youngest daughter was a junior lane tech. The time remembers on the dumping I began all of a sudden there were fifty trucks. Our pulling in and out huge semis were coming in. They would come down one St. and go out, go out another and just dump this stuff. I found a video online of what happened at lane tech in nineteen ninety four. I washed it with Vivian Rankin and her husband Bill Rankin who used to teach at lane tack. This is. Yeah. Okay. Got lane tech there. This. That's the stadium. The stadium and then school. The video is basically a home movie. We found on YouTube chop by local resident. In the video. You can see two story mountain of debris next to this high school truck. After truck turns onto the street, aside linked, tack trucks would drive into the lot next to the school and dump their cargo. The same kind of stuff that was dumped in north Lonsdale roken pieces of concrete dirt and other construction debris, and you can see the. Chris rock to be crushed the bulldozer on the top. Just west of that state. I think it was higher than there could have been. Yeah. The piles grew to be level with the top of the bleachers at the football stadium there so close. It almost looks like you could have walked off the top of the grandstand right onto the hills of debris at the time. Mr. Rankin was a member of the school council which met twice a week in the mornings. And soon after the pile showed up teachers and parents started to come in and complain about the dust and the shaking and the trucks because this time when. The school is not air conditioned. Windows were open, and it was the dust in the noise and the teachers were complaining about and the kids they were aware of as well. For me, the major issue is health. It's health and safety, five thousand kids. So even if they don't have much today could a six month exposure to that creepy crap created your shoe. We don't know. These were the same health and safety concerns. Dolores Robinson and Michelle and Rita Ashford. And so many others had over north lawn Dale. And again, this was nineteen ninety four at which point north Lonzo had been dealing with all of this for almost four years. The operation next to lane tack was run by a company called Ploto construction in north Wandel. John Christopher had gone to alderman Bill Henry for permission to set up his rock crushing operating and hear plea had gone to the two aldermen whose wards bordered the school Eugene shelter and dick Mel, I reached out to both of them multiple times for an interview. Neither responded plenty was repaving the Kennedy expressway, a major highway running from downtown to O'Hare airport. The highway pass a mile and a half from lane tech and so plenty was trucking in broken up pieces of the old highway to this lot. Next to the school, there were crushing it into gravel and then carting it back out to the highway to repave the road surface. Remember repaving the Kennedy and other highways was part of then Richard Daley's so-called renaissance. Some of the debris from those projects ended up. Northland, Dale. And now next to lane tack word about plays dump, slash rock crushing operation and this crappy crap. Next to a school made its way to the city's department of environment to the desk of Henry Henderson, serious outcry from neighbors, serious complaints from parents of people at lane. Tech kids were having real problems with reading and neighbors were not happy with the truck traffic and were raged by what was happening there Henderson new plenty, didn't have a permit to dump their because he'd have been the person to issue on. So Henderson grabbed a colleague. They hopped in a car and drove up to lane tack to see what was going on. They saw all these piles of debris and the trucks coming in and out and the crusher crushing rocks into gravel. So I said, you know, look, I'm commission environment and I have thirty said. You've got to stop this and they basically said, you know, go crush rock where the sun don't shine. So Henry Henderson called the cops, five squad cars showed up. Police came over and said, stop it immediately. Remember the police had also been called to north Lonsdale. In that case, the police were there to protect the dumpers. But when the police came to lane tech, they stopped the rock. Crushing Henderson did give plenty a temporary permit to keep dumping at least until they could figure out where the stuff could go. When asked why he'd give me a permit, even temporary one Henderson pulled the press quote. I couldn't shut down the Kennedy people would be outraged by the inconvenience, but the rankings and other lane tech parents and students, one of the piles gone. So they did exactly with the parents and students had done in north Lonsdale. They protested. Here's Bill and Vivian rank. And again, some of the kids actually laid down in front of the trucks so they couldn't get to the crusher. Didn't take very many. They were, I think, are mostly football players. I recall enough to be pesty and then someone has to come out and say, okay, get off the ground. It doesn't take a lot. It doesn't take a lot WGN channel. Nine local TV news station was just two blocks away from lane tech, the rankings. Remember students from the school's video club, filming the dump, and then giving the footage to the station. Pretty soon the lane tuck dump was all over the news TV, and the papers in a way that northbound l. had never been bad publicity is something that politicians just don't like. And so if you can get that and if you can get a newspaper or TV station, then usually you can stop at outcry from students and parents and the media resulted in a community meeting. Henry Henderson was there Bill and Vivian rank. And were there cloudy? Was there the alderman where their kids came out, parents came out community groups, school groups, health groups, the American lung association was there. The near cancers society had representatives that came to meetings. These families were able to get national organizations, people with clout and power to show up in support of their cause inside lane tax, fancy art, deco auditorium person after person got up and told plenty and the aldermen that they wanted the dumps gone yesterday at first plea pushed back. I think the floaty company tried to say what they were doing was not handful in any way. But then one of Bill rankings, friends, which shot video of the dumb plead it for the audience took dumping stuff. The showed that dust clouds coming up, then the banging of the crusher showed all of them. We reached out to Pluto to ask them about this incident, but the company declined comment as for the alderman who originally given cloudy permission to be there. Dick Mel dug in his heels and continued to support the operation at the time. He was recorded to have said that the Kennedy construction project was already dirty and noisy. So why worry about a few more trucks, but the other alderman Eugene shelter cracked under the pressure and switched sides, saying, quote, under no circumstance, will I find this an acceptable activity and quote, and with the protests and the media coverage digit was up. News of the lane tech Dems, went all the way to the top to mayor Daley himself a few weeks after that community meeting at the recommendation of Henry Henderson, daily announced that he would be cracking down on rock crushing sites that quote come in and environmentally destroyed the community. The mayor fancied himself an environmentalist daily would later put a green roof on top of city hall. He was after all the one who created the department of environment in the first place, and the one who had hired Henry Henderson to run it daily had never said a word publicly about the dumps in north Lauderdale. But here he personally ordered a shutdown of the site. Next to lane tack employees didn't even try to fight the mayor at least not publicly quietly seemingly overnight Ploto loaded up truck after truck Encarta the mountains of debris away from lane tack. To get rid of the dump next to their school and homes lane tech, parents and teachers wrote letters made calls organized protests. In other words, they did exactly the same things. People north Lonzo had done with very different results. The cries of lane tech parents did not fall on deaf ears. Their complaints were not bogged down by endless court proceedings. Apparently when you've got the mayor of Chicago on your side, you don't even need to go to court. The dumps in north Lonsdale plagued the neighborhood for years. The lane tech dump was gone in a matter of weeks. In other words, the city listened to the lane tech community and took action in a way that it had not in north London. Why that's coming up after the break. For decades. Women have had two options outdated at home hair color or the time and expense of a salon. If you can relate to the struggle, and I know I can Madison Reed is the answer for you. Madison Reed is revolutionizing the way women color their hair. They believe women deserve better than the status quo. So they give you the quality of salon color and the convenience and affordability of at home. Hair-color with Madison Reed, you'll look like you just came from a salon and you'll have more meat time to do what you love. So if you want beautiful multidimensional hair-color maiden Italy delivered to your door on your schedule for under twenty five dollars. Then it's time to join the hundreds of thousands of women who've tried and loved Madison Reed. Find your perfect shade at Madison dash Reed dot com. Listeners of the city get ten percent off plus. Yes, free shipping on their first color kit with promo code the city that's medicine dash Reed dot com promo code the city. The situation at lane tack on the situation in north Lonsdale could not have played out more differently. If you ask why activists, dad, Bill rank and says, it's because he and his neighbors did something different something more effective than what residents in north Llandough must have done. If you're going to do something that makes people change, you have to do something that they have to react to, and you know you can write a letter and they'll ignore it. You can go standby there. As soon as you leave, they'll ignore you or you know, you can make telephone calls, but the the big thing is that they have to react. We know Mr. Rankin is wrong. North Lonsdale residents did the same thing that lane tack parents had done, but he's also right in the sense that the powers that be did not react to north longdale the same way they did to lane tack. Wilson looks at why in segregated Chacao. Ago. North side is often used as a shorthand for the white side of town and south and west sides. For the black and Brown neighborhoods, it's an oversimplification, but it's used all the time reporter bend your Ascii. We heard in our last episode reported on the lane Technumn in nineteen ninety four draught ski says residents on the north side like those who live near lane, tack have come to expect more from the city and suddenly nor ciders Gullo little taste of what it's like to live on the southwest side men. They didn't weren't happy with Otis the difference in how the city reacted on. We're not gonna put up with that. There's a difference between entitlement. You know, that's the difference between a city that responds to certain constituents and one end of town, and they don't respond to constituents on the other end down. Jurassic says, and the record makes clear that it wasn't what residents did that made the difference. It was how city powerbrokers reacted. When Leanne TEK parents complained. City officials came out quickly. The TV news media took notice when the police showed up. They were there to stop the dumping instead of protect the dumpers pressure from parents force alderman shelter to take their sign. When community meetings were called, national organizations showed up to support the cause and mayor Daley himself stepped in to shut down the dump. In other words, the lean tech community mostly white, mostly well off had political power. What in Chicago we'd call clout. So now we need to revisit or blame list because some of the people on that list are powerbrokers reacted very differently to the police from north Lonsdale parents like. MS Ashford and those of lane tech parents like Mr. Rankin and we should start with the press and reporters like bender Ascii his piece for the reader about lane tack back in nineteen. Ninety four was called crushing the Kennedy. The story of a really stupid idea you you wrote about the lane Tech's. Did you ever write about the dump in north London? So no, I never wrote a. I didn't follow it. Most of the stuff I did was like people would call me with story ideas. If someone called me, it would have been totally different. I would have like plugged in person there, some news outlets, namely black owned ones like the Chicago defender did write about the northbound Dale dumps, but no TV crews made it out there. There wasn't a TV stations across the street, and historically, the Chicago press corps has done a poor job of comprehensively covering the south and west sides. So back to our blameless te next up, we have to go to Henry Henderson in both north Lonsdale and at lane tech. He personally drove out to inspect the dumps, but at lane tech, he brought the cops with him and shut down the dump immediately. I asked him about this when we spoke, the thing that really jumped out at me was that picture of you showing up at lane, tack confronting the guys from floaty and then bringing the cops into say, no, you have to stop this immediately and I have to ask you, did you ever do that in north Lonsdale? Did you ever go to north Lonsdale with a police escort to confront John Christopher and say, you have to stop this now. Did not bring the place because I don't know. I didn't bring the place, but the fact is that those experiences informed. What we need to do subsequently. So it's like, how do you prosecute these things better? So you learned by doing essentially hundreds and argued that he learned his lesson the hard way because the court battle proved if you did not stop the dumping right away before it got bad, the dumps would get so big. You'd be facing this monumental problem that could not be stopped or fixed overnight and four years later, he applied those lessons to lane tack. Except there's no reason. Henry Henderson couldn't have called the police to restaurant Christopher, especially once he was in violation of the court order. At this point, the city's response is basically a well. We can't find him. And to me, that feels like Henry Henderson felt the pressure of lane tech parents more, and therefore he acted more quickly. And then there's the guy Henderson reported to the mayor where was mayor Mr.. I love trees again bender Ascii leave hunters at alone. He's just a bureaucrat daily was the guy where was daily? Why wasn't daily looking out for the interests of the kids? Although Henderson had a lot of power as a city Commissioner mayor, Daley had more a lot more. You can go through the courts plead with government agencies, or you can get dailies attention and he can snap his fingers and get it done. Take the story of makes field. It's almost Chicago Lor at this point. It happened years later, but it showed how daily behaved when he cared about something makes field was an airport. One way built on an artificial peninsula that stuck into Lake, Michigan. It was right next to Soldier Field where the Chicago Bears play and the natural history museum and the planetarium prime real estate and daily wanted a park instead of an airport. So he sent construction workers out in the middle of the night and tore big x. The runway mayor, Daley with to makes field in the middle of the night and tore up a runway said, fuck you to the federal government. See in court made up an excuse for saying, oh, terrorists are gonna, knock down our city, and yet we can't get a dump off land in our city. I don't think so. In other words, spend says, if daily wanted. Something done it got done. If you had one of the dumps Northland Elgon they would have been gone people in Chicago government who could have come out in the middle of the night and dealt with the dumps in north London never showed up Billy care about the people that neighborhood. They didn't care about that they allowed that dump to exist for years that this dump got one month. It was gone on the north side, so I don't buy it. Mayor, Daley, simply said of Claudy construction company quote, they have to find another site. That's their problem. And quote daily did not do the same for north Lauderdale we reached out to daily for comment, but he never responded to our requests. Although Henry Henderson had not been able to catch Christopher and despite the fact that Henderson's boss seemed not to care enough to personally intervene Henderson told us that during this time he had also been trying to get help from the state and federal governments to stop and then clean up the north Lauderdale dumps. So eventually in late nineteen, ninety four and early nineteen ninety-five, the state and federal environmental protection agency's finally came out to north Lonsdale to clean up the dumps. This could have been the end of our story, but it isn't over the years. John Christopher's dumps had attracted more than just construction. Debris fly by night numbers had left behind these fifty gallon drums of silver goo and read a novel and other mystery chemicals plus old roofing material tires, carpet window frames, even car. There's so when the Illinois and US EPA as came to clean up the dump. This was the stuff they were interested in the US EPA declined to talk to us, but a Representative from the Illinois EPA who was involved in the cleanup, told us that the agency was more concerned about the hazardous material than what they called the clean construction debris. So even these environmental protection agencies were not interested in the six stories of rebel, they were not interested in removing the mountain. The mountain at the Ashford's believe gave their family and neighbors asthma, the mountain that Rosalie Brown head lane in the street to protest the mountain that Daiki Nichols is a little brother, almost lost a finger to the environmental agencies did not see the mountain as their problem. So they walked away leaving almost all of John Christopher's mess behind. So Henry Anderson made one more call. To a friend of his who worked for the department of Justice. So you know, we're having real hard time. We're hearing, you know, this John Christopher is much larger than what we can do. And we think that this is a larger criminal endeavor here, and we really need some help. It was clearly before I knew of John Christopher's relationship with with federal government. The federal government's Jong Christopher wasn't just a shady ways taller. He was working for the federal government undercover that's next time on the city. The city is a production of USA today and is distributed in partnership with wondering, you can subscribe to the show on apple podcasts, NPR one or wherever you're listening right now if you like the show please rate and review us and be sure to tell your friends about us. Our show is reported and produced by Wilson Sayer and Jenny Koss with me Robyn Aamer. Sam Greenspan is our editor. Ben Austin is our story consultant. Original music and mixing is by Hannah's Brown, Jennifer Mudge, Chris Henry Coffey, David Dublin, ger, and Michael Cullen starred in our reenactments. Additional production by Taylor making Isabelle cockerel and Bianca media's Chris Davis is our VP for investigations. Our executive producer is Liz Nelson. The USA today, networks, president and publisher is mayor bell. Wadsworth special. Thanks to Michelle Yussef and Daniel sped cove and Gary Siegman for permission to use his film of the lane. Tech dump. Additional support comes from the fund for investigative journalism and the social Justice news nexus, and Northwestern University. If you like this show, you may also like WBZ's new podcast on background, which takes you inside the smoke filled back rooms of Chicago and Illinois government to better understand the people places and forces. Shaping today's politics. I'm Robin Aamer. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter at the city pod or visit our website where you can find a video of the lane tech dump and more. That's the city podcast dot com.

John Christopher north Lonsdale Chicago Henry Henderson Dickie Nichols Vivian Rankin London Richard Daley Wilson Sayer north Lauderdale Dolores Robinson football Rita Ashford Kennedy USA Christiane construction compan north Llandough John Robin Aamer
LIFE FORCE & MOTHER's DAY, Louesa Roebuck Of Foraged Flora

Cultivating Place

56:42 min | 1 year ago

LIFE FORCE & MOTHER's DAY, Louesa Roebuck Of Foraged Flora

"This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden from nor state public radio in northern California. I'm Jennifer jewel in honor of mother's day here in the US this coming weekend were joined by artist floral, designer textile designer and all around creative Louisa Roebuck talking about her book. Foraged flora stay with us. So I have a long line of women who embrace beauty created beauty celebrated beauty and I'm not ashamed of the domestic arts. You know? I think the domestic arts are extraordinarily valuable infinitely valuable in our home is our home and to create a beautiful nest to me seems to be one of the most noble endeavors. This is cultivating place. I'm Jennifer Joel in honor of mother's day here in the US this coming weekend, we're joined by artist floral, designer textile designer and all around creative Louisa robuck speaking with us about her book foraged flora, which she co created with Sarah Lonsdale and photographer Laurie Frankel for Louisa. And then tangentially for us. The foraged beauty of her landscape offers out a lovely and loving reframing of how to be in our spaces. How to foster deeper seeing and how to offer our mothers, physical and earthly gratitude and love with intentional time. And gesture perhaps the best mother's day offerings of all Louisa joins us today via Skype from her home and garden in Ohio, California where we can. Here the breeze and hear the birds welcome Louisa while thank you, Jennifer. I that's the most extraordinary introduction very moving. And I'm just thrilled to be here. And I feel very lucky to be having this conversation today when I first got your book, I of course, fell in love with just the holding of the book, and then the the beautiful pictures and just a few months ago. I thought that is the perfect mothers day, not to offer listeners is this conversation with you about this work that you do in that shows up so tangibly beautifully in in the book itself. So I want you to describe for listeners exactly what you do because it is multifaceted and interwoven with all kinds of creative endeavors. Well, thank you. I I want to say that. My mother is sitting ten feet from me right now. She's visiting. From Ohio mother and all senses of the word. I loved it. You invoked that? But it's pretty special that my mom's here right now. And of course, so much comes from our mothers, and one of my favorite compliments are when people say they've given it to their mother may just that just makes my heart really, really really warm. What am I doing? I'm thrilled to be living in ohi-. It's another, you know, kind of garden of Eden for me in California. I most recently lived in west Marin, and Stinson beach and we've been here about three years. Currently I'm still madly in love with forged flora we have been lucky enough to to speak about the book. It's all across America and about. The work and the message, and the beauty and an what I'm really passionate about as you know, which is kind of the environmental imperative and that intersection. So that's one thing that we've been doing. We just were up in Morenz became Ross. We've spoken recently in Carmel, we're going to Oklahoma City and speaking to the myriad gardens, and may so that's turned into a really lovely endeavor. I would say, and I also continue to paint my mono- print artist and ohi have a studio for the first time in my life, a proper studio where doing interior plant skates. We just weren't Sebastian bowl at California carnivores. I don't know if you know. To which we love my gosh. I mean, that's just always a peak experience Damon is fantastic and doing incredible conservation. So we're trying to take the same approach not engaging in agribusiness to installing beautiful interior plant skates for clients. We're doing a little bit of garden design, and no textile design at the moment. But I just yesterday was speaking about doing a line of forged flora inspired bedding so stages. I would say so yeah, let's step back a little bit because you're creative. Life is like a garden of diversity pardon pardon, the pun, but that was so easy to to because you just see all of these different things growing in sort of insen biotic relationship with one another, you know, you're. Your mom is there you said she was visiting from Ohio. Take us back to your early influences who who were the the people in the places in the plants that grew you into a person that was so both emotionally creatively. Intellectually engaged with the world in this way. Why think any artist especially a woman artist would be remiss not to thank their mothers their grandmothers great grandmothers. I my mom is a great great lover of beauty and created just the most harmonies, she's a libra. So she's full of harmony and beauty and peas, and I grew up in just gorgeous home, beautiful textiles, beautiful art. She's a water colorist. She's an incredible caulk. She's of course, gardener migrate grandmother. We were just talking about her was an art educator in. Little town in Ohio, Medina, Ohio. And we just remembering that she would. She had passion vines growing inside the house and blooming. She was an animal artist. So I have a a long line of women who embrace beauty created beauty celebrated beauty and I'm not ashamed of the domestic arts. You know? I think the domestic arts are extraordinarily valuable infinitely valuable. I mean, our home is our home and to create a beautiful nest to me seems to be one of the most noble endeavors. My father was part Cherokee, and I speak about this. I really believe that he helped to teach me to see in a different way than. Kind of conventional culture at that time in the sixties. So he was a deep lover of the natural world and a spent a lot of time outdoors with my family, and he really taught me about seeing as an active an active endeavor. And as a way to experience the world in deeper way, I've been using this Gramma del Toro quote frequently seeing as love, and that's one of my mantras n I think my earliest memories. Some of my earliest memories, they're very emotional. I'm very non linear person. And so I have childhood memories that. Are very rooted in having a spiritual experience looking at the clouds are looking at trees or being on a stream and Kentucky a stream on the side of a stream with watercress beds. I was always rescuing animals little critters, snakes and lizards and mice. And I think also, you know in the book, I begin the book was speaking about my beloved rescue dog scrap. And so I think that was also always part of me was that the so many things that needed rescued, and and my floral work is really foraging and gleaning is very connected to that. You know that there's enough we don't need to purchase there's so many creatures at need our love. And I also think as a child I really I did not by the human Centric worldview. I wasn't such a big fan of humans. And I I really always talk Solis in nature and creatures and and deeply believed in experience that we can understand what animals and plants are saying to us, and the magical realism what we call magical realism, but a lot of people just considered truth of communication with non humans. And I think I always thought that we kind of defined everything too much through human eyes as a child who walk us through the journey that got you from there. Seven. And that person that you started off as we're we're molded into. And and what got you to, you know, the the kind of cusp of forged flora in your work in the bay area at chez panisse, which is where it may be all started to come together for you. Yeah. Well, so I went to art school briefly. I had a brief stint on risky and did what a lot of people. Do. I waited tables. I worked in the restaurant business. I moved to California when I was thirty two with my first husband, and yeah, I started working at shape knees. Five days later, and I. I think in a really wonderful way open hearted way. I did not know what I was entering into. I wasn't starstruck. I didn't know a lot of the history. I was kind of entering into it. With a lot of naive wonder and away that I wasn't. I wasn't schooled in Alice. You know, and and I think that really served me. But I just was immediately completely seduced by the beauty and the passion, and the soul and the level of craft in the attention to detail. And of course, the hyper season Audi, and hyper locality and how with that. As a structure guiding structure, so much abundance and beauty and craft and luxury can come out of that that construct and then I. I also just you know, madly in love with California walking around the hills in Berkeley to me was like narnia not believe coming from Ohio like what there's lady banks growing three stories up Redwood and jasmine and next to protea 's and palm trees and redwoods and just the like wonky mash up and the. Incredible for Tilleke. And and also I became really really fascinated with the eco-systems micro-climates, and the fact that every couple weeks something was different, you know, than almost very quickly in California. Right. Like, it's like, you know, so and then I started I had this very interesting. I was living part time in Oakland in the hood and part time in Marshall. And I started driving a lot a lot a lot spending a lot of time in west Marin and driving. And and that takes me to the Gary Snyder idea of pass, and I started just really observing my pass and wanting to bring what I saw in side into my shops in that. That's and I also saw an I think I've talked about this law that. Mike community that was so committed to hyper local, hyper seasonal and local for living with their food. We're not making the connection with the flora world. And so I saw that as an opportunity, you know, to to take the same ethos to the flora world in honestly wasn't happening. No one was doing it without cheating. No one was doing it. Like a hundred percent like Alice waters doesn't one hundred percent. And I wanted to take that same level of commitment to the flora world. So in in this description, you've referred to that you're shops, and we referred to your work at sheep knees. What were you actually doing? What does it shape in east? I was just a server I and then. Later, and then I had clothing stores. I had a community hub are clothing shop in Oakland and rock ridge called August. And I was an early proponent of the same concept. I say it's all one song that you can have beautiful clothing that is environmentally sensitive. No sweat shops. You can have luxury without compromising sustainability. I curated art. And and I started doing the work in those stores, I started bringing in huge magnolia branches. And I could do whatever I wanted 'cause I had two thousand square feet. So if I wanted to bring in my wagon full of wisteria and bees to my shop, it was my shop, and I can do that. So that was really really freeing what year was this. So the shop was two thousand five to two thousand nine pre Instagram, and then I lost those businesses and the economic crash. And I was reabsorbed into my shape. Niece community to to do the work with my friends who are shafts in caterers started a hiring me to do avent's. Because no one else was doing it completely simpatico. You know, the same narrative the same approach has shaped shapeliness in. So at what point do you decide I'm going to put this together into a book? There's something here because I think that there has been great progress. Yes. The beauty of your book is just one great example of that. But at this point that you are thinking about these things, and they are starting to come together for you. There was no progress. And no. And it was it was a concept that was just an enormous cultural blind spot for people whose hearts were absolutely in the right place. They were in the right place. A lot of it was it was just an ascent like not connecting the dots. Raya right. Right. Tell us where how you go from this kind of budding. I just I'm gonna work that metaphor Louisa his budding interesting awareness of your own that then brought you into relationship with Sarah Lonsdale, your co-creator on this book, and you guys decided to do this greet experiment. Yeah. Well, I I think you know, that community is such an pardon. We're going to do another silly punny metaphor the fertile ground. Right. I mean, and there's so much commitment to what we're talking about the environment to look for at the same time to this ascetic rigor and craft and what happened was it's interesting, Sarah. And is started doing some remodel east oppose around my work. And I want to say that was around two thousand ten maybe two thousand nine because I lost the shop in two thousand eight nine right in the crash, and and then all the same time like I had been doing the work. But all of a sudden, I think the collective consciousness gestalt started to also see. Wow. Like, this is something interesting. That's happening were pushing the needle. We're we're starting to figure it out with our food. And now, let's look at it with our flora work and Sarah did a few post on remodel East Asia. It was early days of remodel Easter also and they were well received and then shape knees had their fortieth birthday celebration. And I was chosen to do. I don't know if you remember. But for the fortieth birthday they had a series of dinner parties raising money for edible school yard. And I was chosen to do. I think three houses and parts of the after party. I mean that was my community. And so I did like Michael pollen's house, and I did three houses and the work started to get more attention in the press. And then I was really lucky Sylvan Measham Michelle bracket who owns taro in San Francisco he and I were colleagues from shape unease. In fact, he says I hired him for his first gig at August, which is adorable and his wife Jennie wapner was an. Editor ten speed press. Jennie had been observing what I was doing doing these huge installations. And and it was like a labor of passion. I was barely keeping my head of flow and Jenny came to me and said you wanna do a book with ten speed. And I said, you know, Johnny. I I do I love ten speed. She said I want to document what you're doing. I said you're like a believe this. I said, I don't need another labor of love. Labor, and then Sarah bumped into someone from ten speed. And I think a year or two later, and she said we still want to do this book with Louisa and with co author, and I was newly in love with Curtis. And I knew he would be really helpful the timing was right. I as you as you noticed, I love collaborations, and Sarah are very yin and Yang. You know, she I'm on moody and in non linear, and you know, out there and a super pagan hippy, and she's like British and very structured, and it was a very great collaboration. So when Sarah came to me, I said, yeah, let's do it. It's been the most rewarding creative project of my life. And it's still I mean people still contact me every single day. Luisa rulebook is an artist and writer her book forged flora a year. Of gathering and arranging wild plants and flowers is a lovely reminder of the heart of mother's day offerings the world over we'll be right back after a break to hear more. Stay with us. You all might have noticed. How I love a seasonally aligned calendar date these past few weeks, especially we kicked off our habitat series with the vernal equinox. We ended it with Earth Day May Day was last week and mother's day this week, it could be I'm brainwashed handmaiden for marketing, or or let's hope for this one, shall we that I'm tapping into something I personally long for increasing in my own life and daily rhythms. And that's this. This very idea of seasonal alignment and the natural impulse to ritually market and celebrated Earth Day and mother's day were chosen to happen with the heady first flush of spring for good reasons. Your own natural energy is ready. For such generative acknowledgement and reflective creativity. The vernal equinox is celestial and May Day is an ancient day of spring fete as well while anything can be reduced to a soundbite and a grocery store greeting card. It's up to us to reclaim these days and seasons in our own ways to our own expansion, and deepening individually and culturally not because someone told us to or we feel obligated to but because our cellular impulse calls us to this marking of time space place, and meaning happy mother's day to anyone who's ever mothered another and anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to be mothered by person or by place this greatly transcends, gender or sexual orientation as. Anyone in the above two groups knows? And if there's ever a time of year to lay down in full body contact with this generous earth who carries us along our way every day of our lives, providing the air water food beauty daylight and nighttime we need to thrive. This is that season. Do it lay down on her put your bare feet to her? And remember you are reliably held by her carried by her through everything. I know I get a little touchy feely, sometimes, maybe you're rolling your eyes. But no one else has to see you do this. So just humor me. You'll be glad you did. Now back to our conversation with Louisa Roebuck of foraged flora. This is vague in place. I'm Jennifer jewel in celebration of mothers day were speaking today with Louisa Roebuck co author with Sarah Lonsdale of forged flora of visual and narrative year of seeing exploring and interacting with the forged beauty of their landscapes. Welcome back. I'm absolutely sure that has to do with your nasty clear. But I will also say that it has to do with the fact that it tapped into something that was really important. And even though we have seen good progress. These last five six years, we've all our progress to make and I they're they're a couple of things I wanna follow up on there in the first one is the. The crazy truth of the fact that the economic downturn took your stores away, but cleared your plate for this next chapter of your life and. I wish that culturally it had shifted as many people's lives as it has yours and mine, I think to really re calibrate what is valuable and what is a meaningful and important life. And this is a this is a recurring theme that sustainable. Yeah. Yeah. On all levels like yeah. Environmentally emotional economic all of those all of those things you touched on the idea of this kind of cultural gestalt is Sarah was the founder of remodel Easter. She was one of the founders. Yeah. And then so we'll say co founder, and yes, and then eventually gardening STA came out of that. But this was prior to to to that at this point because remodeling still was so new and so the two of you come together with Lori Frankel. And as you noted that was one of the first things, I did notice is that you are clear. Nearly a very place based and collaborative person on a variety of levels talk about how the three of you developed the idea for the book, and then went about putting it in place in in the kind of conceit of the book that is both romantic in in very pragmatic. The combination of pragmatic and romantic is so integral and I'm also thankful to Jenny at ten speed for that. Because. I wanted the book to reach as many is as possible, and I knew left to my own devices. It would be more like an art book. Right. And so Sarah and the team at ten speed where really explore Neri it kind of forcing upon me a container that then I could work in in. That's also one of the things I learned it shape. Unease I mean shape nieces, extremely codified. It's extremely rigorous. I mean, there is a lot of rules. You know, and one of the things I saw. Was that in that structure that really really almost like Japanese, obviously, French old world structure, you would see the creativity from each chef come through. And I knew that about myself. I needed the structure of Sarah Lonsdale of ten speed to then create in a way that could could see the to be out there in the world and not just amongst the two percent or one percent. The funny thing about the structure is nature provided the structure, and so I think a lot of humans. We like to take credit for things that we shouldn't take credit for and the book is structured every chapter is different month. Every chapter is a different location in California every place that we shot and you're right. I'm Gary Snyder head I mean, everything is about place to me almost. Is someone in our lives. Like, we didn't rent a studio in bring props like each chapter is, you know, Sylvan the retard chapters at his restaurant. He's one of the most important people in my life. David Hoffman logging. He'd us is a member of our community, and this biodynamic, you know, God to me like I mean, he's like it's bonkers what he's created. We thought at my friend's apartment in the Gaylord in LA where Curtis my spent several months of our lives. So each location was somebody that's really important our life. And I think that even if the reader doesn't know that that has a emotion are, you know, it creates intrinsically feeling of place because we're connected to that place it because orcas, hyper seasonal the idea that I wanted to articulate in. It's nature's idea not my idea. Is that every month? I wanted to document and work with what was most beautiful in that month in that location, and that comes back to shape in east to right? Like, there's a time. There's a specific two week window when the artichokes are the most incredible there's a specific window for salmon there's a specific window for there's a specific window for Philadelphia's. There's a specific window for lady banks roses, so everything in my mind. And this is why it's actually the other thing. I wanted to say is it's a lot harder to do work this way going to the flower markets, really easy to think about okay win or we going to get the Buckeye branches. When they're first starting degreen out. And then when are we going, and then we're gonna mic we're going to combine that with magnolias, you know, our we're going to to to to to work with and document those combination. As they're happening in real time, most photographers and art directors don't wanna work that way. It's hard you assuming it is a labor of love it. It's an we shop for thirteen months. Most people don't do that when they create a book either. So this structure was provided by our twelve months. And then there's a thirteen month that's Applejack because I love death and decay. And so I wanted to articulate a chapter that was all these kind of decayed bits from all the months, I love the seasonally in love the each month, and then the different places within each month. And one of the things that I I do love about it is that I don't necessarily know any of these people, you know, in clearly some Ganor or famous and important, and I still don't is still doesn't matter. Right. Because it's the it's the universal in that particular that you are inviting all of us to engage more deeply with the people in our lives. That we love with the spaces and the clearly display throughout seasons that are hours. You're not saying here's mine, you know, mimic, it, you're saying learn learn from it and go out and do this in your world because it will it will make your your life better. And we wanted it to it's a natural extension of our community. But we didn't want it to be esoteric are rarefied and that way. And and that's exactly right. I mean, the best compliment on one of the things I love hearing more than anything is that I exactly what you articulated as that. I want people to notice their backyard there pass their neighbors persimmon Trie, you know, it's about you of serving your place. Absolutely no formulas ever and bringing the beauty that you observe in the natural world into. Your life in that moment in time. No matter how big or small we need to give a shout out to Laurie. The dog refer the beauty of the work that we did together. I mean, the book would not be the book without her extrordinary, photography it. That's a difficult thing to do. She captured the moody nece the evocative nece. So I just want to make sure that Lori gets a really big shout out. Laurie Frankel for that work. Louise, Roebuck book is an artist and writer her book for JD. Flora reminds us of the heart of mother's day offerings time intention gratitude. And that seeing really seeing someone or some place is an act of deep love. We'll be right back after a break to humour. Okay. So thinking out loud here. This thing of seeing seeing really seeing being an act of deep love think about this. Give yourself some time to think about this. And then consider it as you consider your own mother or father, your siblings, your children, your friends your garden, your larger landscape that generally just with his by these in some form or another all constitute your home. That's it. That's all what do you really see? I hope you really see and really love them all embracing in the ways that work for you the domestic arts that constitute caring for all these lives that help make up our. Home. Now back to our conversation with Louisa Roebuck. This is vague place. I'm Jennifer jewel in celebration of mothers day, we're joined today in conversation by Louisa Roebuck co author was Sarah Lonsdale of forged flora a visual narrative year of seeing exploring and interacting with the foraged beauty of the landscape around her can you think of anything better for mother's day than offering your mother or whomsoever nurtured you in this life, a picked Posey a walk in the woods a picnic by a stream or in a park. I can't we're back now with Louis Roebuck to hear more. So as I look at each chapter there couple of elements that really stand out to me one is the element in which you and Sarah are in conversation. And she is asking you questions about what are you doing? Why do you do it that way? Way why why these plants, and I love that very simple back and forth between the two of you. Because the it holds so much information that is very easily absorbed from that conversational perspective. Yeah. And I so thankful for Sarah and Jenny again. I think that interviews are as you said a great mechanism for for conveying information, both personal and non personal dot was our approach to having an educational arm without feeling to like craft show DIY formula that was a great way to just be a natural dialogue. Sometimes it's all in my head and without someone like Sarah asking really, which to me would feel like obvious questions. I'm not gonna be able to articulate process without being crowded little bit. It kind of goes back to that concept. You were mentioning earlier about the freedom of being able to be exuberant and wild within a structure and a conditioner sort of walking through what you do and letting each person take. What they wanted from that. Which I I really love. Now, there were a couple of really standout plants all the way across Ross all seasons, which I think probably bear quite a bit of symbolism in meaning for for you, or or that is how it felt to me by the end. And I get a strong sense that probably you don't have a favorite chapter in that. They're they're all your favorites. But one of the ones that really resonated for me was the chapter with David Hoffman who reference just a little earlier walk us through that one. We know what I'd love to do since you've given me permission to requests. Yes. This is one of my favorite quotes. And I titled this chapter of March which in of itself, I think is a it's a really great reference because also Marin county has been threatening to tear his whole property down. I don't know if you know that. So there was a there's a level of. The trail with David Hoffman property that he's built this biodynamic. Visionary property that is more. My belief system that his guiding principle is mother earth, not west Moran and Morenz zoning commission, and he he ends. So the Eid's March. That's why titled at is March. But the quote is I have said to the worm thou art, my mother and my sister William Blake. And to me that says everything and and David is. He is a soil. He's in soil aficionado, and he has worked for years and years and years do bring the soil on that property to the most high vibration, rich by out an amick state. It can be an I firmly believe that one of the reasons that are not one of the reasons the reason that the apple Lawson's there, and the forget me nots, and you know, what we forged in gleaned that I'm using the word gleaned, more and more. And I do want to talk about that that the apple blossom there was much more alive because his soil stewardship. Most of the the photographs in the book are they have a lush simplicity may be is a good. I like that to to put it. And but I felt this particularly in these photographs and cultural and spiritual overtones in in these installation arrangements is as strong as it is anywhere in the book, and you know, the way. The the plants and the vines in the branches are kind of almost starting to grow into the the places in the things around them, whether they're t- baskets or looking at that image. Yeah. Or the stone temple. You know, they're they're just really beautiful, and there are whole narratives in each of these images, which is both the genius of the of Lori. And of what you're doing there talk, and we joke that there could have been a whole book from the day, but Hoffman. Yes, we had three thousand images from David Hoffman something near there, and editing. That chapter was so painful for me. He's had San Buddhist monks coming, and there's been people working on this property for I don't know twenty plus years, and it really is like being an eighteenth century Chinese village his level that level of beauty and artifacts. And everything was like a temple or a ruin. There was all also parts of the property that reminded me of like Terry Gilliam, set, you know, mind boggling, so for me, it really was at my work as you know, it's all. All about it's in relationship to whatever the architecture, whatever the room, whatever the vessels. And so, you know, the whole the whole property is full of poor. He would just throw to wear cakes on the side of the hill for compos, you know, like the T baskets in. In, you know, the countless t- vessels. And yes, so that I mean, I almost feel like I can't take credit. I mean, it's really get out of the way, right? Like bring bring as many beautiful materials to the site is possible. And it was we had red bud and lady banks and roses from the police station on Ross, I'm not kidding. And you know, lilac wisteria and apple blossoms from David right there. And forget me nots that were like cut know little picked like on the steps where we you know, where we did that installation. So really for those types of. Installations, I really need. It's about quieting the mind it really is. And getting out of the way and letting that lady banks Bramble go where it wants to go, and we call it Jenga. And just, you know, no chickenwire knows structure besides the natural structures vassal and the architecture, and it it's that chapter. I just I mean, I still would like to do a book with the remaining outtakes. I mean, it's just it's yeah. Yeah. And I think that. I don't know if it's a parable. I don't know if it's a mantra. But that statement learning to get out of the way, sometimes is it comes back to what it means to to be a good gardener or learning to see is getting out of our own way and letting it happen. And then seeing it for what it is. And valuing it for just that then being slow because that's something that we haven't said, right? You know, shape, unease and that world is all about slow food. Right. And that's the other thing that I started to see in the flora world that people. I mean, Deborah printing, slow flowers that's become a phrase, but that was not a phrase than I was when I began during the work and. David's property, evolved. Very slowly. And so we spent two days. I mean, we spent two thirteen hour days on that property shooting. And so there's something also about observing and doing the work. It's a weird combination of slowly and quickly right because you're working with perishable things. But there needs to be a slowness about it. Also, I want you to elaborate a little bit on your definitions of for gene in gleaning and the importance in the differentiation for you. Yeah. I'm really talking about this. Every time I present our speak, so foraging the Latin root of forging is more related to I say jokingly, but it's kinda true pillaging going out into the fields in a more aggressive manner and taking right in. And and when I forging for me would be in my definition when I Trump. Round on the mountain amount Tam, for instance, and I'm cutting bay or I'm looking for wild fennel on the road. And I wanna say I my ethics August back to nature. So I don't ever cut Trillium. I don't ever pull likened from the branches. I only cut bay because I know the parks there's more than enough bay. You know, what I mean, I cut fennel because the park service wants to Radic eight it. So forging was like the roses on the side of the road in Lima. Right. When I'm like out driving around, and I'm are like Buckeye branches. But gleaming, then I just went to see Agnes Varda's film again. The gleaners have you seen the gleaners? Yeah. So gleaning is this ancient idea? You know, these are all ancient ancient ancient ancient ideas on I heard someone the other day goes back to the bible, and I was like yet. No it goes back way before the by. Maybe last. Because we're a western Centric culture. I talk about in Europe, especially medieval Europe, and still, you know, the Agnes Varda film talks about it so eloquently the aristocrats took the first picks. The best grains, unblemished, fruit, the best, hops. And then whatever was blemished are starting to turn our fell on the ground the servce, right? Where allowed to come in and take. And it was kind of I say, you know, it was like food stamps in a way. I mean, it was a full cycle. And I talk about snout detail in my work. Also. So it was an effort to have they're not be waste agrarian waste in an effort also to feed your agrarian workers and in this country forty percent of all food is wasted. And I don't even wanna know how much in the floral industry. It's probably worse. I don't. No. But so gleaning is when like Cindy, Doug, for instance, you know, from Shad, let me go onto their home farm and yells Berg and cut whenever I want our when I walk around town and say to people are you going to cut your persimmons, are you using those oranges? Or can I trim your jazzmen when you're on someone's property with permission? And you're you're taking the bounty the abundance what to not being used, what's overlooked. What's considered a weed? What isn't the perfect blossom that's leaning? I mean and much more that's a very cursory definite. But what I do actually more. What I do is gleaning. That's the irony. And in fact, we wanted use the word I wanted us Ord gleaning and the subtitle, but but it was determined. It was not unattractive word. The way things happen. I appreciate that. I really do. Appreciate that glossing because it does get to some of the issues around for djing in our world. And it gets to some of the issues around waste as well. Lucia, which I I think is a wonderful thing to highlight the so now I wanna come back to the slow because we're coming very close to the end of our time, and I want, you know, I think we we talk about slow we read about slow. We encourage ourselves to slow down. But how often we actually do it is? You know, it goes back and forth. I guess especially on a holiday that is supposed to celebrate one of the people in our lives to give everything speaking of labors of love right mother who writes is one of those and and fatherhood as well. As I mean parenthood. It's not about gender. It's about this ROY play nurturing. Yeah. And cara. Taking. Yeah. And so I just loved the idea of encouraging listeners young and old to say, how can I not succumb to marketing of the world. And how can I go spend time or allow my mother time to go out and be in this world and glean some beauty and glean a little floral or fully Adj range -ment together or allow her to do it on her own if you were going to give these permission slips to mothers and the and the fantails. Yeah. The families that are trying to support them in this world. What would those permission slips be Louisa? Well, first of all, I was so thrilled. When I saw that, you know, I just I'm so thrilled that you're talking about this because it's one of my again, mantras and. The the one metaphor. I like to us is that our culture is so tight bay and so- action. Busy obsessed in a very unhealthy way. Maurice sendak spoke very eloquently about his childhood and where his imagination came from. And he speaks very eloquently about him being sick child. And there's a lot of connection between children who have time in bed daydreaming and being sick being creative. And there's a lot of science for it. And this idea what I deeply believe is that we all need fallow time, just like a garden. A garden isn't always active in isn't always growing. We need fallow time we need follow time. Spiritually physically creatively? We need to lay around we need to daydream. We need to take to our walks. We need to look to our animal brothers and sisters for lessons than napping and just walking. And I think you're right. When we. Wander around our neighborhood and pick flowers for mother's which is what I did all the time as a child and my mother never reprimanded me for it. When I speak so many women come up to me. And they said I've been doing this forever. And they remember they have a connection to the flowers that they picked for their mother or the flowers at their children pick for their them Nate them in sacred vase, and they don't do that with the poisonous lilies. From the Lilly ranch. I'm really conscious. I I'm a very very radical environmentalists. And I could go on for hours about the evils of agribusiness and poisoning, our water sheds, and our soil sheds and the women who grow that. And to me when I see an agribusiness arose are a lily grown with horrific pesticides on the Smith river, one of the most beautiful rivers on the planet and the Oregon California border. It's hideous to me because I look at that in icy the cost to the soil shed watershed the animal. Nls. You know, every part of the chain nothing is cheap. Everything that we feel is cheap. You know, fourteen ninety nine bouquet of roses comes at tremendous cost. We just don't see it. So I'm gonna I'm gonna summarize here. My my first permission slip. I'm getting from. You is get yourself fallow time, take fellow time and protected. My second permission slip is see the cost in the things that that are available or come to us in life and really seek out the ones that have a local cost to the world and a high value to you. The third permission slip would be what I think. I think that the connection that we have when we give a gift to our mothers are toward children to anyone when we have harvested that when we've grown it when we've collected it when we picked it with our own hand when our friend grew it. That's a more meaningful powerful beautiful. Full of life force gift. And I think even if people don't intellectually break it down in that way. There's something so prime on us that we remember that that we all if we go with our mothers into the garden. I mean, what could be a bigger metaphor than that. Right and pick flowers together the difference between that experience and getting agribusiness that's been sprayed pesticides grown with underprivileged workers refrigerated transported across the globe. I mean to me those aren't even in the same. Universe. And I think that. Increasingly I'm feeling like any way that I can do. No harm. I'm thankful for that. You know, it's a really complicated landscape out there right now environmentally, and and flowers are such a silly reason to harm the. To me, you know, terrible irony there yet. There's terrible Ernie. And I think that's what I was looting to the irony that something that's meant to be beautiful ends up being. So hideous to me when it's a when it's agribusiness, and I think that I think that we are returning. I think as a species I hope that were returning to Wanning. The William Blake, quote, you know, I said to the worm that are my mother and my sister. I I think that we we are really craving that kind of immediate, you know, naturally occurring beauty in our lives. And in we as a species, the resonate. So deeply with us. When it's, you know, an heirloom rose that we grew our when it's jasmine on the side of the house, or, you know, the wisteria on the side of the road, and you can see the bees and the pollinators are have passion vines blooming right now. My backyard that's utterly different experience than a Colombian rose or a penny flown from New Zealand. I don't wanna pick on the peonies. But I do, but you know, we know in our hearts and our souls. We know the difference in our mothers. No the. Difference. And I think that's why mothers love to receive a handpicked anything us. Yeah. Thank you very much for being a guest today. It has been a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you, Jennifer. I been a wonderful our on my deck and ohi. Thank you so much. Artist floral, designer textile designer and all around creative. Louisa Roebuck is the co creator of the book foraged flora a year of gathering in arranging wild plants and flowers from ten speed press for Louisa intentially for us. The foraged beauty of her landscape offers out a lovely and loving re framing of how to be in our spaces. How to foster deeper seeing an how to offer your mother physical and earthly gratitude and love with intentional time. And gesture because seeing really seeing a person or place, the gardener or garden is a profound act of deep love happy mother's day, cultivating places, a listener supported co-production of north state public radio for more information and. Many photos from forged flora seed this week's show notes under the podcast tab, Eckelt averting, place dot com. Our engineer is sky scoffield original theme music is by Mont muse, accompanied by Joe craven, and Sam Bevan cultivating places distributed nationally by p r x public radio exchange until next week. Enjoy the cultivation of your place. I'm Jennifer jewel.

Sarah Lonsdale Louisa Roebuck Louisa California Jennifer jewel David Hoffman Ohio Lori Frankel Jenny Gary Snyder west Marin William Blake Jennifer Laurie Frankel Morenz Oakland US writer ohi Oklahoma City
Chinas Plans, Georgias Polls, Palantirs Co-Founder, & Sowing Oatly: Planning a Debut

Squawk Pod

32:05 min | 2 weeks ago

Chinas Plans, Georgias Polls, Palantirs Co-Founder, & Sowing Oatly: Planning a Debut

"Worldwide exchange is now a podcast. Join me brian sullivan. Is we get your day started with the big money stories. You care about all the smart takes on the news from the us and around the world subscribe to the worldwide exchange podcast today. This is squawk pod. I'm cnbc producer. Katie kramer today on our podcast results in georgia and relations with china with former fed governor. Kevin warsh. I don't think we should be too naive about what's happening. This is a rivalry that will define our economy. There's and frankly warranties over the course of the next generation pailin tier co founder and abc founding partner joe lonsdale on american politics and the big tech crackdown around the globe. Both the right and left. Come after the big tech. Companies plus got oat milk. Vegan brand oatley is gearing up for a public market debut. The dude loves his white russia. I mean it busy. You gotta use some note for that or cream. It's wednesday january. Six twenty twenty one. Squawk pond begins right now. Good morning and welcome the squawk box here on cnbc. Joe kernan along with becky quick and and kind of stole your shot. You haven't really noticed. I don't think i got your flag back this great. You're you're you're gone as soon as we're back mice think so The cats away my us. That's what i'm told i'm not. I'm never moving back. Snooze you lose beck. I mean we welcome here anytime. I've been back since april coming to your germs if you wear a mask cooties anyway. President trump signed an executive order late yesterday. Banning transactions with eight chinese software companies including giants. We chat pay an ali. Pay from alibaba also. Some troubling news out of hong kong police have arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists authorities claiming that they violated the new national security law. That was passed less than a year ago. Kevin warsh joins us right now. He's of course. A former fed governor and a distinguished visiting fellow at the hoover institution institution he had an op. Ed in yesterday's wall street journal that was titled beijing's bid for financial supremacy and and kevin. It was timely yesterday. Maybe even more timely today as we continue to these headlines that are coming in You've been concerned about our competition with beijing and and maybe how it's heated up and change because of what's happened with covid. They're doing pretty well right now. What do you think's happening so becky thanks for having me on so i think unfortunately this is subject. That's timely every day over the last couple of years and likely every day over the next generation. China's new geopolitical adventurism their speed and force and economic geopolitics around the world as really marked this period. And i think it has a couple of reasons for having accelerate last year. The pandemic that you rightly make note of the chinese economy twenty twenty was the strongest economy in the world among the big big countries and in addition they see the us as being vulnerable they see our treasury market as being vulnerable nasc- frankly our economy. Our system is being vulnerable. They think we're writing tiger. And i'm afraid they also might be under the mistaken view. They're riding thoroughbreds. So these are the challenges becky. This the great geopolitical fight the great power competition the twenty th century so it's timely this morning like most mornings. Yeah this morning. We're actually watching the ten year. Note pushing back of of a one percent yield for the first time since march that has people kind of sitting up and paying attention. They may wanna hurt us when it comes to our treasury markets when it comes to a lot of other things but they've been big big owners of treasuries for a very long time number one or number two traditionally. That's true becky. Historically they have been they have been the most important buyer of treasury securities and dollar denominated assets both through official channels through their form reserves and unofficial. But i would say that. That trend seems to be changing now. The the big buyer of course of treasury securities is the federal reserve and and the federal reserve in march of this year and the deepest darkest scariest moment in markets from the pandemic. the chinese. Look like they. Affectively moved out of those securities like a lot of foreign buyers. The fed had to show up by a trillion dollars of assets in just three weeks time so there seems to be some material shift below the aggregates and it looks to me is two things are happening. Becky of treasurer. Excuse me chinese purchases of. Us treasuries are dissipating. Not in a way. That would be probably too alarming. Because the chinese don't wanna suffer big losses on that but secondly and maybe most important the chinese are going to the big sovereign wealth funds big asset managers. And they're saying come. Take your low risk capital and invest in chinese sovereign debt instead of us treasuries. Because i think what the chinese have figured out is they do not want to be relying on the us. Economic system financial system markets because of announcements. Like you've made in the last couple of mornings about chinese telecoms being delisted and the rest. They feel uncomfortable being stuck with a us dominated global economy. So they see what's happening in the us including for better worse the biggest shift in regime and fiscal and monetary policy. At least since paul volcker and they he decided to take her bat and bring it home and so that's what they're trying to do is build out a separate market away from the us. It didn't start with president. Trump this bifurcation of the global economy. But at the same time becky. I don't expect it to end with a precedent by kevin. That's kinda lot to dig through it. Part of it sounds like their motivation. Is they want to be diversified They're worried about the type of spending that we've done here Deficit spending part of it. Sounds like it's retaliation for some of the actions of the trump administration and you can watch it play out again just with the nyse saying yesterday never mind. We're not going to delist those three chinese telecom companies and today saying wait a second We may have to do that. Because treasury secretary mnuchin them reportedly I it kind of put the pressure to him. How does this all play out. How much of this is a they. Just want to diversify like like anyone would I if you're looking at your portfolio and how much of this is a real kind of economic war so so secretary. Kissinger is the diplomat. Not a has been government bureaucrat. Like me and i think he says we're in the foothills of a cold war I guess i'll say it a little little less diplomatically. it's true. They want to diversify but i think they recognize that the twenty first century has two great economic powers and the relationship between china and the us does not need to be zero sum. But it doesn't have to be positive sum either. I think that what we should do is separate tactics. There's a little tit for tat going. On across the last couple of months of the end of the trump administration beginning of the biden administration to be sure so that happens a couple levels down inside the bureaucracies in china. But there's also a grand strategy in the grand strategy for the chinese. I think is to be both diversified but also try to take allies and would be allies of the united states and of the dollar of the treasury market trying to win them over to their side. So i don't think we should be too too naive about what's happening. This is a rivalry that will define our economy. There's and frankly warn peace over the course of the next generation so when i see things in the treasury market happening which is really a new front in this great power rivalry and we have to take it very very seriously and you noted this morning becky. That treasury yields are now creeping up one percent in any normal time with a kind of different fiscal or monetary policy with an economy. Twenty twenty one in the us that could grow high single digits. Five six seven percent or more with us treasury yields still look very low so the chinese pitch to the world's investors is. Do you really want a negative real return by investing in the us assets or do you want a positive return and start a cozy up to china by investing in what's in in assets that are paying two hundred basis points higher in china for the world's asset managers. It's a tough decision. But i've noticed an open mindedness to move capital into beijing in the last six months that i frankly found a bit surprising even alarming. And it's something that's quite different than we witnessed a couple of years ago. Never mind in the crisis of two thousand eight or nine when when that price has happened. Us treasury yields fell dramatically when this pandemic struck treasury yields in march as you reported up about seventy five basis points. The tells me that there's a bit of vulnerability our treasury markets so policy-makers need to think about that as a first order consequence of their policy. Not something they can push aside kevin. I don't know if you can see yourself on tv but right under you on the right hand corner is a little what we call a bug in the business and occasionally. We are now showing a bitcoins price. Which at one point this morning across thirty five thousand in large part. I think based on what's happening in georgia and the idea that we're going to continue to print a lot of money. There's going to be stimulus measures and the like Where do you land on bitcoin. Today does all this make sense to you. So the only thing i can see on my home zuma's my ugly mug looking back so i'm gonna have to take your word for it andro about what. You're seeing Site i just not something which is every asset price that the. Us government doesn't control the federal reserve. Doesn't control like the commodities which becky referenced earlier like bitcoin which is in some sense the anti-government price like gold of the barbarous relic. That's been around for five thousand years. Those things are all going through the roof whereas those assets which the federal reserve purports to control and has controlled for a better part of a decade. Those love repress. Those are holding in there. It's that distinction. Which i think the chinese are pitching to the world's investors that saying look something's happening in the treasury markets not reacting So i think that's part of the part of mine narrative on bitcoin. It does make some sense to me. Andrew in the following sense of the dollar is weakening and after the elections overnight. I'd look for the dollar to continue to weaken against the large basket of currencies. And that's because of an incredibly aggressive federal reserve which rightly or wrongly. I think will be more aggressive than the world's other central banks and new fiscal policy which we wouldn't have countenanced even under awful bluewave a- decade ago. Now have this idea that long as you can cover your interest expense the. Us government has nothing to worry about a rather radical shift in monetary and fiscal policy and to be candidates a bipartisan shift. I hear plenty of democrats and republicans saying the same tune which is defect can just monetize this net. Naked go away. It's in that environment. Andrew that i think we seek mommy's move higher and bitcoin. Doing exactly what you describe kevin though you onboard wi with bitcoin i stand. Druckenmiller is now on board. I think what we've talked about bitcoin. In the past. I think you had a perhaps the lesser view. I don't know if you have a different view today. So was so Stand calls me his call him. My boss one of us is lying. But i'll let you figure out who. Who's who in that andrew. So i'd say. I think that bitcoin does make sense. As part of a portfolio in this environment where you have the most fundamental shift for example in monetary policy since all local. This is a big shifts that we're seeing under the powell fed rightly or wrongly. I'm not surprised in a period of dollar weakness. Where bitcoins doing what it's doing and i'd also suggest that part of the move and bitcoin is taking some of the bid away from gold bitcoin ever existed. Gold would be rowling even more right now. But i guess if you're under forty. Bitcoin is your goal. So i think a bitcoin as a lot of things but it certainly would every passing day getting new new life as an alternative currency. And when you see the strength of the euro the strength of the pound the strength of the arm be. The korean won the mexican peso to see strength. Bitcoin is well. Hey kevin just in terms of spending that we've done to this point the spending you might anticipate if the democrats take control of the senate We've watched the market kind of play out with some of these things today at the russell two thousand and it's up by three percent or at least it was a little earlier this morning on. I guess the idea that there will be more spending more stimulus. it's coming The banks are responding well today. Because you've got the ten year back above one percent. When is there a point where it's a concern to you. When is there a point where okay this is spending the can be done in an emergency situation. You've had j. powell say if we're going to overshoot he thinks that's okay right now. How how do you come down on any and all of that will. There's a lot there. Let me start on the fiscal side. Becky which is the biggest most important stimulus far more consequential than anything than congress has passed going back to the cures act. Is this maxine. Which you and your team have been reporting on. That vaccine is ten or twenty trillion dollar stimulus in of itself. Nothing can get this economy. Tommy back faster and more efficiently than a vaccine. That's out there that makes the virus non-existent or at least something we can live with. So that's the most powerful and if what you're reporting is right which is this vaccine is going to be in the broad ovulation by end of the second quarter. Beginning of the first quarter would say that the government distribution of stimulus isn't quite as effective as the power vaccine to take the animal spirits which have been all but dead and having come back to life. So that's where the energy the focus should be and thank goodness for the private sector with some assistance. No doubt from the government and accelerating that. That's incredibly powerful in the old days. Becky you would have a central bank looks through tough periods and say well if a couple of quarters out this economy is going to be growing. According to their measure for five percent according to my measure even more than that and central banks would say well monetary policy excellent long and variable lags. So there's not a ton we can do about the next few months. That's not the musings. I hear from the federal reserve. And that's certainly not what. I hear from from congress. Guess just as a final point becky. I'd say this. I think the level of debt to gdp in the us should have us all concerned the mayor broadly speaking debt to gdp in the us today is what it wasn't italy twelve or fourteen months ago and none of us thought that italy was in great fiscal shape. There is a bill to pay. There are no free lunches. I must sound like the oldest most hasn't been central banker. Ben be on your a very long time. But when i hear the broad swath of the economics profession saying there's a new regime and fiscal policy and so long as you can cover interest payments. There's nothing to worry about. And when i hear the world's central banks basically say debt monetization as what we do i would say. This is an experiment. We've never run before. And i think it's got plenty of risks so i put the emphasis on for congress on were rich and powerful nation. We care about the least well-off among us and we wanna help them in tough times but that does not involve this kind of profligate spending. When we're on the verge of a vaccine that's going to take an economy that had been shut down and locked down and have it come to life with incredible animal spirits. Going for kevin. You can join the rest of us. The other three of us have been old crank. This is well. Been waxing poetic about the good old days. It's great to see you. Thank you for your time today. You'd be with you all. Thank you coming up on. Squawk pod pailin tier co-founder turned venture capitalist. Joe lonsdale is looking past the pandemic for investing hughes. People realize there's office excited. What's the next ten years and there's been a positive roaring twenties but there's there's going to be in the meantime regulation we'll be right back. Introducing the new horizon business unlimited plans. Now you can pick a plan for his lowest thirty dollars. A month per line with auto-pay get five g nationwide plus massive data capacity plus spam blocking features and with rise in business unlimited. You can mix and match the right plans for your business so you get more of what you need and none of what you don't from verizon. The network businesses rely on five g. Nationwide available in eighteen hundred plus cities most visa five devices. Monthly proline pricing with five plus lines on biz unlimited start device payment smartphone purchase auto pay and pay free billing required terms. Apply this is swapan from cnbc. Us stock markets and investors are getting ready for a blue wave after a long night following. Georgia's to senate runoffs and the news. That reverend raphael warnock is projected to win the special election flipping a republican seat and bringing democrats one step closer to unified control of congress as well as the white house. Here is apparent winner raphael. Warnock we were told that we couldn't win this election but tonight we grew that with hope hard work and the people by our side anything is possible and in the other senate runoff race democrat challenger. Jon ossoff was leading republican. Senator david purdue with about ninety percent of the expected vote counted. Jon ossoff declared victory. Wednesday morning as counting continues. It is with humility that. I thanked the people of georgia four. Electing me to serve you in the united states senate thank you for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me. Nbc news says that race is still too close to call at the time of this. Podcast being recorded. If ossoff wins the senate will be evenly split. Fifty fifty giving vice president elect comma harris potential tiebreaking vote. Democratic control of congress would also give president elect joe biden more leeway to enact his legislative priorities futures on the nasdaq one hundred dominated by tech stocks. Were lower this morning. During our tv broadcasts as investors washed the results come in and considered democratic leadership that could push for more regulation on the technology industry andrew. Ross sorkin spoke with tech investor in palanka co founder. Joe lonsdale about where he sees opportunity. Now it's great to see joe lonsdale this morning. Joe nice to see you want to get some of your investments including talking about what's happened to the stock which has been on quite a also wish which is a big investment for you but when you're just looking at some of the big tech stocks that seemed to be moving lower this morning. What do you ascribe it to. Well this morning is probably at the election last night. People people tend to like divided government a little better than one side's in charge especially when there's a lot of people who are who are pretty unhappy with detectable hydrazine and are are you. Are you convinced though that if it really is a democratic Blue wave if you will that there's going to be a significant regulation coming. Well it's not a full bluewave. Wright fifty votes at the tiebreak vote in the senate with a couple of moderate senators presume. They can't join anything particularly crazy. But there's you know there's a there's a popular on both the right analyst. Come after the big tech companies and as well as the print a lot of money and as well as to a division right now in our country for for the future is optimistic side of it. There's a cynical side of it and the be in the market. Kinda some sums up autumn up these two different visions. And i think what we've made story last six months as people realize there's office excited what's going to happen the next ten years and there's a digital pasta roaring twenties. But there's there's going to be in the meantime regulation and of ducey is going to be my own twenty s and setting yourself up in terms of making investments therefore while the the big question at the end of the day and markets and innovation total factor productivity it's how much productivity growth re going to. How over the next twenty years and that that kind of filters and everything else. And it's been very interesting the last twenty years you've seen productivity growth than really slow a lot of us think that's because consumer tech stocks. You know that's not really captured. Entertainment of content doesn't really capture and productivity the big waves in tech right now. They're not consumer the renaissance in biology. Which of course. We're seeing a vaccine. There's new types of logistics healthcare stuff going on finance energy. There's all this cool stuff happening. We're starting to see now. Even infrastructure with things like the boring company so these are all advances. You get captured in productivity. And it's very it's very clear as law is working as we see our societies shifting in these areas that you can't have productivity growth so we don't break the markets. I'm very optimistic. We're going to get some really great returns. The next ten years a lot of the tech stocks in the public markets have obviously done quite well. Let's show your talents here which Is you know very well as co founder has been on a remarkable ride since it's a joined the public markets is this when you look at the valuation pounder or by the way when you look even the valuation of the big fang stocks today. Do you say the next twelve months higher lower do you feel like there's a frenzy in raleigh. Is everything over three to five year period. I if i could tell you what's gonna happen over twelve months that'd be i'd probably be a lot richer but the market seems to realize about pounds here is it does have some of the very best technology in the world. The big the big trend is happening with that company by the way right now in the last several months is rather than only selling these full really big solutions to come in and replace everything actually be on a break up. Their their technology is enterprise offers. You the very best information infrastructure in the world you have you have companies for the first time by pieces of pounds here as enterprise technology for a lot of money. That's really bullish sign. Obviously i won't ask about twelve months but how about three to five years out for wish that stock has actually had a bit of a more challenging ride. Since since it's gone public. I am extremely bullish on over that time period. The your was never really very well. Understood by major capitalist. Turn it beginning. There's now one hundred million people using the by the big question. These areas of technology is how you doing something. That's newly possible was not possible before in wish figured out like the berry. Best also way of mobile commerce there. The the third-biggest generally commerce company the third most consumers in the us using it and this is all sorts of cool things that they're doing. I think he will understand the mom and pop. Strategy actually empowering tens of thousands of moment ops for their logistics network was gonna turn the hundreds of thousands. that's unique network will be careful or walmart square foot. You'll picking things out there much much better data team than everybody else. I just all sorts of votes in that business and how deal at the merchants all around the world. So so yeah. I think people's does not understand the which platform at all and that's that's one of the things. Most mispricing might be fascinating joe. It's a longer conversation we love talking to you and we hope to talk to you again very very soon. Thanks better the next unsquashed pod. What's in your coffee. Investors like oprah and blackstone are betting that might not be traditional milk so much so that beacon brand oatley is gearing up for an ipo away convinced by the way that oath is really milk. I mean this is sort of like almond. Milk is really know. You're listening to squawk pod with joe kernan becky quick and andrew ross sorkin. Here's banking vegan. Milk brand oatley is planning ipo. This year that could reportedly raise a billion dollars. It's just one of many new potential offerings in the pipeline. For twenty twenty one leslie. Picker joins us right now. She's got more on that front morning. Leslie hey good morning becky and that's right. I'm hearing from three sources that oatley is looking for multiples of its two billion dollar valuation. It received just last july. The company is backed by oprah and blackstone among others and it fits into this trendy. Es investing thesis which has helped propel the likes of companies such as beyond meat and tesla over the last few years so while billions for milk mason. Sound like a lot. The company's newly hired underwriters are banking on investors paying up now Appeal will be several months away at least but other deals are more imminent. I'm told that the q one calendar is jam-packed for listings. With ceos who were planning for deals later in the year moving them up earlier out of fear that that window might close now. A firm set terms yesterday for a billion dollar. Ipo that is expected to debut in the middle of next week. Sources say that petco posh mark and play tica are expected to also launch soon as squall tricks specs having slowed down either many more of these blank check vehicles that raise capital from the public markets to fund acquisition including that from softbank is such debut Within a week guys leslie oatmeal because actually made its way into our house in the last six months or so drinking it but the teenagers but what. What's the bull case for. What's the bear case. investing in. Only you you hit the ball k. It's right there karen feinerman actually on fast money. Last night also said that her kids had stocked their fridge without milk that it really plays into this younger demographic a lot of people are kind of getting on onto this trend and Have been drinking it more So the bulk as fits into a younger demographic a younger purchasing power for oat milk. Also that espn thesis that. I mentioned the fact that people have been putting money into companies that they view as being sustainable good for the environment. Good socially kind of fits into that thesis for a lot of people. The bear case is is the moat for this company. It's it's not that difficult to make. Oatmeal. there are other companies that do it only does have other products. They have yogurt. They have ice cream But i think that the power here for them is really going to be the brand and and what they can establish going. Public is something that a lot of people pursue in order to kind of differentiate themselves from their competitors. Keep telling me what cow's milk is to try and turn me off but it's probably a little too late for me. Leslie thank you thanks you. Are we convinced by the way that that is really milk. I mean this is sort of like almond note. Is that really milk and almond stomach. We ought we need to do segment. Have a real debate about says. Yeah well they the same thing with beep. The beef industry is up in arms about them. Calling it Meet if it's not me so trademark. I mean if we'll get better and better to think of it is ellis's alchemy. What if you could chemically synthesize something. That's that's identical to me. I mean that's not gonna do obviously or or milk if you really want to for lotteries if you want to know or not but and it is like modern day alchemy. Almost i don't do you guys drink a lot of milk. It's a cough. it's for coffee. That's really the only time i make coffee. Yeah that's about it. Our younger kids. I've got them drinking editor. They need the vitamin d. They want to be good for the calcium for the things that go on. And that does concern me or or the older getting calcium. So we're trying to figure it out. The dude loves his white russia. I mean it you gotta use some milk for that or and milk or something like that. What else what else. We don't up. If i let myself go like seinfeld. Cereal i'd have. I'd have cereal three meals a day. I'd pick a different one true right and that that i do smoke but you can't. You can't do that. You really can't empty calories andrew. We gotta stick with the kale chips and we got a little news of our own right here. Breaking news one. Wish joe kernan it very happy birthday this morning. Joe you know we have a little present actually has the show is going on i. It's not really a presence thing. Apparently i think i owe you. We've made a couple of bets throughout the year. Usually over tacos. So i thought i'd make good on the tacos. I think hopefully has the tacos. I ordered it through. Postmates just wired by uber. I couldn't get taco bell because they're not open. Taco is great. Thank you andrew. Thank you so i had to do. Nachos there's a nachos and guac in there and some burritos in their the good folks at jose's britos on first avenue. That's where we gotta get it because nobody else is open at this hour. But i want to wish you a very happy birthday. I turning thirty five is a big milestone for now it. You know what. I was gonna i was going to. You're doing great giving the news. Backdrop i was. I was gonna kit around a little bit with you and say you know andrew. I don't think. I asked for my birthday for chuck schumer as majority leader. I don't remember saying that to you but really you shouldn't have really. You shouldn't have you know this is how this works in some funny ways. Happy birthday joe. Yeah thank you thank you. God enjoy the burritos. Thank you andrew. That's fun you know what. Happy birthday joe. Wish you happy birthday. Everything's everyday decade. Just just being working with you and working with both of you. Is what counting a lot of blessings today and you see what real priorities in a very very happy with everything. Everyone was nice on twitter. Thank thank you guys. Thank you good maryland. And that's walk pod. Thank you for listening. Squawk box is hosted by today's birthday. Boy joe kernan becky. Quick and andrew. Ross sorkin tune in weekday mornings on. Cnbc at six am eastern. Subscribe to squawk pod wherever you're listening right now and make this a twenty twenty one resolution cher the word about this podcast leave us a rating or write a review on apple podcasts. It only takes a second. Send a tweet at squawk. Cnbc send upon to a friend who might be interested in. We all of you back here. Tomorrow what exchange is now a podcast. I'm brian sullivan. Me as the biggest money stories from around the world breaking out the risks and rewards of global. Trade the news. You need to know. What real world actionable advice and even a little fun and unique content. You won't get anywhere else like the most random but thinking you'll hear all day subscribe to the worldwide exchange podcast today.

becky federal reserve treasury united states Joe lonsdale Kevin warsh treasury securities Us treasury kevin becky quick china beijing Katie kramer Vegan brand oatley Joe kernan President trump senate hoover institution institution yesterday's wall street journa
Introducing The City

The City

03:57 min | 2 years ago

Introducing The City

"There's this vacant lot on the west side of Chicago. It's about a half dozen miles from Chicago's downtown what we call the loop. And this lot is huge. This lot looks to me like it's about a full city block. It's it's a big. It's a big live. That's Gladys, Woodson and Jacqueline Rodney who live nearby and it's now it's pretty overgrown like there's full-sized trees. There's like fray grass. So what did it look like when it was when he was operating? A miss. It will miss. I this the best I can say for it. I, I started visiting this lot which is in a neighborhood called north Lonsdale after hearing a story about something that happened here if I hit, oh, big, eighteen wheelers, mine up, you know, I just thought, well, hey, somebody just parking their trucks in this to guy, say, MS, Woodson, come down, look at this. Do you know somebody's dumping over. I've been reporting in Chicago for more than a decade. And I reported all kinds of stories about the built environment about secret tunnels hidden underneath the loop and about how your place a train bridge. While the train is still running. I've also reported on housing discrimination and predatory lending so stories about all of the remarkable stuff that gets bills in Chicago, but also about how it gets built and about all of the foul and crooked things that people will do when they think nobody's looking. And so the story of what happened on the slot. The story I want to tell you stunned me despite everything I already knew about Chicago about how corrupt and ruthless. It can be about how stark the divisions are between black and white, rich and poor between the people who hoard power and the people who will fight for their fair share. Anytime you see anybody drive over a vacant lot in limbo, you know is no good. This story is about a giant illegal, dump six stories high. It was huge mountains, concrete garbage built from the broken pieces of a city in the midst of so-called renaissance thought that downtown city hall would do right by the people you think they care less about us and built not just by dump trucks and bulldozers. And construction cranes, but also by corruption, apathy and greed. So I said, okay, if a public official came by today and said, you know, I need five hundred dollars. What would you do any reached into his back pocket? And he pulled out five one hundred dollar bills. The man who built this dump, had deep ties to Chicago's criminal underworld. He looked at the honor of the restaurant. He goes, if you don't pay your milk money, you're gonna get a pineapple through the window. He profited at the neighborhood's expense. This fucking. Table. I made a lot of money over and before he was done, the FBI would be protecting him. I'm neymar and this is the city. A new podcast from USA today coming September twenty fourth subscribe now on apple podcasts or wherever you listen.

Chicago Woodson Jacqueline Rodney FBI north Lonsdale USA Gladys apple official five one hundred dollar five hundred dollars milk
Life in the Shadow of the Mountain | S1 E2

The City

31:02 min | 2 years ago

Life in the Shadow of the Mountain | S1 E2

"Chicago is built on a prairie the skyscrapers downtown tower over a completely flat landscape which made it all the more remarkable when John Christopher's giant illegal dumps begin to rise out of nowhere casting their long shadows over north Lonsdale and the homes of Gladys, Woodson and Jacqueline Rodney. It was that. At least two stories right. Hall as all of these houses around us. That's so big and he didn't watery down. The dust was all over the neighborhood everywhere. I don't care how much you clean. I still can write my name all Michael's. I have glass tape. I still can write my name in the table. We left off a guy named John Christopher, had established a pair of illegal dumps onto vacant lots north Lauderdale on Chicago's west side, one down the street from his Woodson and miss Rodney and an even bigger one. Just a few blocks away across the street from an elementary school and not only was John Christopher dumping truckload after truckload of gravel and bricks and rusted of medal. He was also operating a rock crusher a giant piece of machinery, the pulverizes concrete into gravel. Whenever he operated the crusher we all know because our buildings would be shaking and you could hear the mortar falling could hear the more falling through the walls of sound like the house houses were about to carry van here. The rock crusher two blocks away because it was shaking ground. Not only could we at when it was shaking. Our houses are more was falling out of the buildings to the point where we could see outside from inside the house. MS. Rodney MS Woodson and their neighbors and north Lonsdale had confronted John Christopher the dumper and we're determined to take them to court. The got the city of Chicago on their side and sue John Christopher that was in June of nineteen ninety. He said, I'll do what I won't when all and how I want. And I'll stay there as long as I want to know. You won't. We, you definitely not going to stay here. Except he would for longer than anyone could have predicted. I'm Robin namer from USA today. This is the city. As a kid growing up in granite city, Illinois, Henry Henderson would spend summer nights walking the mile or so from his home to the steel mills and watch them light up the sky. We'd go out in the night when it was really dark and watch them poor, the slag in return the sky into bright, bright, bright brightness because of the intensity of the heat involved in that hundred grew up around steel generations of his family had worked in and around the mills. My great grandfather came from South Wales from huge mining district, and he was, you know, at the Blast Furnace and who's a worker, and they'd come out, he'd come out every day to see a flag was flying at the mill to see if they're hiring, but but moving from mining to steal was in some ways moving from wife that was almost indistinguishable from the Roman surf into part of the modern. Demy Henry saw how vital the mills were to his family, but also the pollution. They spewed into his town, the toxic metals dumped in nearby waterways, deep black, smoke pouring out of the smokestacks and he wasn't alone and thinking, this was a problem. This was the nineteen seventies when the environmental movement was taking root and Henderson got swept up in it. It's fundamentally a question of Justice really key areas you where you can see significant issues of the Justice and the community is within the environment where burdens fall and we're benefits are not going Henry, went to law school, moved to Chicago and went to work for the Illinois Torney general on a task force dealing with hazardous waste. We had a huge number of issues. It went directly to questions of equity, Justice, quality of life, health and safety, and this was an opportunity to really get into actually solving problems us. The law as way to solve problems. Henry Henderson was beginning to make a name for himself as someone who used the full weight of the law to defend people from hazardous waste in his two or so years. At the attorney general's office. He worked on about ten cases, prosecuting dangerous polluters. An often the best weapon in Henry's arsenal was an injunction a legal order that forces someone to stop what they're doing under threat of arrest. So like in one of his cases, he was able to get a court order to stop a bunch of waste transfer stations from leaking into surrounding farmland. Henry Henderson, got good at cases like these going to judge getting an injunction and forcing polluters to immediately stop whatever they were doing. And so when the north Lonsdale dumping Hase's landed on his desk in June of nineteen ninety, he thought it would be an open and shut case. By this point, Henderson had moved to a new job as an environmental lawyer for the city of. Chicago, and he thought it would be pretty easy to do north Lonsdale what he'd done so many times before go to judge and get an injunction. Because this was clearly beginning of gigantic problem and needed to be stopped. Did you have full faith at this point that the courts would deliver Justice that the courts would produce some meaningful results in the situation? Yes, I actually actually I did. With an altar. Boy was. Can want want you. We don't have audio the legal proceedings against John Christopher. So we hired some actors to dramatize scenes from day city. Lawyers questioned him under oath. No. Our cast includes John Christopher c. h. r. s. t. o. p. h. e. r. his lawyer, a guy named James grainy purposes of the question. She will be specific when she had what she is speaking about. And one of Henry Henderson's colleagues. Another city lawyer named Susan her Dina. When I am talking about waste, I am talking about the materials that your company ordinarily receives and sells. Okay. Everything you're about to hear is taken for Begum from transcripts of that deposition here. Sure, sure. You got. Please state your full name for the record. John Christopher, spell the last name c. h. or s. t. o. p. h. e. r. Mr. Christopher we have met before. Let me formally introduce myself. My name is Susan her Dina, and I represent the city of Chicago in connection with the lawsuit that has been brought against you your company Christiane and various other defendants. Yes. John Christopher named his company, Chris, John. Are you aware of any complaints that waste material from the Kildare site has been disposed of on the public sidewalks surrounding the Kildare site? What do you mean by waste? I'm using that term to describe items that your company deals with either concrete debris dirt clay asphalt, any of those materials, we will object to the use of the term waste when referring to those items. We will object to the use of the term waste was this pas on this firmament. Henry Henderson had previously won cases dealing with hazardous waste according to federal law. Hazardous has a very specific definition for waste to be considered hazardous. It has to be highly flammable or reactive or toxic stuff like that. Henderson new this case would be different because a pile of crushed Uproxx is not the same thing as glow in the dark sludge in the strictest legal sense. This waste was not hazardous, but he never expected his team to have to debate whether in the eyes of the law. These dumps were in fact waste. What do you mean by wastes in a kind of shrewd and tactical move John Christopher, and his lawyer argued that this stuff wasn't waste at all. We will check to use of turn waste when referring to Adams for the purposes of this deposition when I am talking about waste, I am talking about the materials that your company ordinarily receives and sells. Okay. So we are talking about concrete rebar, asphalt clay stone, things that nature after something that is not waist. Okay. I don't want to get into for the purpose of the question. We specific when she identifies what she's speaking about. You are just not to answer. When she uses the term waste unless she specifies I don't handle waist. Okay. And I know I am getting brought into a suit because of ways as the defining dirt asphalt, broken concrete is waste. I know that, but that is not waste, and that is not an issue to go over at this point. I don't handle waste it. Is your contention that you handle material? Is that material. Material. John Christopher argued that he wasn't dumping waste but recycling material. Under city law. Anything that could be recycled was not considered waste. And in a legal brief, John Christopher's lawyer argued that the materials at the site weren't waste because they were being recycled. Remember John Christopher said that he was operating a rock crusher to pulverize all of that waste material, whatever it was and recycle it back into gravel. Of course, the problem with that argument was that only a very small percentage of the stuff he was bringing to the lots was being recycled. Much of it was just left there. The judge. In this case, Lester Forman died in two thousand three. So we weren't able to ask him what he thought about these arguments. But Henry Henderson says at the judge, took these arguments seriously enough to consider the junk Christopher could be in the right. This was clue. The case here where you could say, look, there is a value to this concrete. There's embedded value in all kinds of things can be treated as waste. That's actually the genius of the recycling movement is looking at imbedded value and things that are treated as waste, but actually have reuse possibility Henderson also believes that the judge was swayed by the fact that in a strict technical sense, nothing being trucked. The lot was hazardous as wasn't cyanide or arsenic. Nothing obviously threatened to catch fire or poison people. He thinks it would have been easier to get the injunction if it had been. Just two days after the city sued the judge denied the request for an injunction city tried again, and their second request was also denied. The case would keep working its way through the legal system. But while it did Christopher would be free to continue dumping. How did you feel during this time? I mean, I can imagine frustrated and going to a lot of community meetings was people being very, very upset and outrage about the fact that this actively was continuing to recur in their community. This was this is a big deal. We will fighting in court and he was still operating. Again, here's Jacqueline Rodney who live near one of the dumps eight put is much as he could on the site while we were in court. Ten months after John Christopher, I showed up north Lonsdale. The dumps had almost doubled in height and the neighborhood was about to find out just how destructive this non hazardous material could be. That's after the break. The right hire can make a huge impact on your business. That's why it's so important to find the right person. You could try posting on job boards, but how can you really be sure the right person sees your job instead find the person who will help you grow your business with Lincoln. People go to Lincoln everyday to grow professionally and discover job opportunities, and it's the world's largest professional network. Seventy percent of the US workforce is already there. Lincoln jobs matches people to your role based on who they really are there skills interests, and even how open they are to new opportunities. This way your job gets seen by more of the right people. Most Lincoln members haven't recently visited the top job boards, but nine out of ten members are open to new opportunities so you can only reach them on Lincoln. That's why a new hire is made every ten seconds using Lincoln. And businesses rate, Lincoln forty percent higher than job boards at delivering quality candidates, hurry to Lincoln dot com. Slash the city and get fifty dollars off your first job post. That's Lincoln dot com. Slash the city to get fifty dollars off your first job, post Lincoln dot com. Slash the city terms and conditions apply. I feel like I've spent a lot of my life in the market for new socks mostly because the pairs I've bought in the past won't stay up or they're too tight or too thin. It's a never ending struggle and I walk a lot, so I need good socks. If you can relate to this, I've got one word that is going to solve all of these problems for you. Bumba Bumba socks are the most comfortable quality made socks on the market. I've got several pairs of their ankle socks and they're no show socks. Both the lightweight and cushioned versions. They are so comfortable, they wash well, I actually look forward to putting these socks on every day and. For every pair you buy. Bombast donates a pair to someone in need, want your own as a listener of the city. You can save twenty percent by visiting Bombay dot com. Slash the city that's be OM b s dot com. Slash the city and entering the offer code the city THE CIT y in the checkout code space, Bumba dot com. Slash the city offer code the city. Undeterred by the lawsuit, John Christopher kept dumping and every day the prairie wind would blow through the piles of debris and cover north Lonsdale in a layer of thick grey dust. When the dust will fly, you had look Los on Hewlett gloss will be full of dirt. I mean, you could taste it on your lips in your mouth. This is Michelle Ashford in nineteen ninety. She was nineteen years old and she lived just a few houses south of the larger dump and it was. I mean, it will be just a big Kushtia win, and it will just have the closure as Korea, mouth or whatever. Because once we experienced it, we knew, oh, become to wear, we cover up full when going mouse. So mill city issue. Issue, the prostitutes of yours out used to really have a problem with prostitution. That's Michelle's mother, Rita Ashford. She's talking about Roosevelt road the street, south of the larger of the two dumps the guys say, could come and pull up on the side of the dump. You know, all of that stuff is there and that's where they did their business at just to be clear. The dump had gotten so big that it cast the side street next to it into darkness with the prostitutes. Being able to go back there really like high. You couldn't actually see them unless you go down killed there. You actually see they will be down and it will be down ternan dates and everything right there on the street. The dumps had become a magnet that's actually a term of art in environmental circles. They were magnet in that attracted other illegal and unsavory stuff. The rents. No, that Retz actually took the seem it like that. Own it. You girl if it wasn't a. Hundred rats at one one and people were fighting rents. They will get an at homes. Everybody was talking about miss houses, Mattie, digging tunnel in her house. Everybody was dealing with the rats. We could sit on Miller's ports, look at the reds, one on the rocks crossbows of it. I'm really got hit by causing millet streaks. The Ashford's can laugh about a lot of this now, despite how serious it all was, but the dumps also began to affect their family in ways they couldn't laugh off. I have holes cake with that doesn't dust horrible because we didn't have a conditioning. So we put those fans in the windows, the fan, withdrawing in the dust as well. So is sucking into doesn't dustless something I'm in town. MS Ashford's daughter Sharona had just given birth to a baby girl Katrina. And when she was just a month old, she started to get sick here. Sure enough. I is a call fish, real bad call knows wanted in a skin was really dark. Serena took her daughter to a clinic, but she didn't get better than to the hospital in north Lonsdale and still get back still hit the shortness of Radic breezing. So I told us read, I say this something, something that's not right with that you kill too, because you hold her up and listen to her back. You could hear the weasing. And so she she was pan like that. You could actually hear it. Some like almost like a whistle. Finally, they took baby Katrina to the big hospital. They took a right on, and then that's when I gave her the first treatment he told me longs was congested and stuff, and they told me she asked us she was bronchial, but that's what they called the Ashford's now faced a horrible kind of new normal back afloat in the hospital almost every day almost every day. Yeah. In a month's time, we've probably was in the hospital. Twenty five days out of the month. Doctors prescribe the baby, a drug called prednisone and kept her on it for years. It's a powerful steroid with potentially powerful side effects of face was like so huge. My dad used to call to because she was so huge from the prednisone taking it trying to treat the asthma. We couldn't care. We have. We have to move around in the stroller. She was so heavy. She a growth. So you know be? Yeah, my. The Ashford's are convinced that the dust caused the baby's asthma, but proving cause and effect between a specific environmental hazard and a specific person's illness is often really difficult as Ashford and others actually tried in vain to get government agencies to come in and do some kind of survey or study that would provide data on the overall impact of the dumps. What I'm really wishes that they have in a medical team to Comey. And to check to see if in how that dust had -ffected them after living around that and breathing in that stuff. So I cannot tell you for certain. Yes. These dumps gave this baby asthma, but I can't tell you that the Environmental Protection Agency classifies construction, debris dust as particular matter, tiny particles that can be harmful to breathe, especially if you're very young or very old or have other kinds of breathing problems already. And other public health studies done at this time found that rates of asthma in Chicago were twice the national average. Those rates were even higher in some black neighborhoods, including north Lonsdale. And as we were all sitting around talking miss Ashford in her daughters started running through all the other people in their family who had asthma, which seemed to get worse as the dumps got bigger. There were Serena's other kid, her son Reginald. He gets been about Babbo six. He got a cold too. Is that real heart call than there was their nephew, Trayvon when he was the arm baby, he ended up whereas MMA, yes, she, she had own personal machine at home because he had it so much running back of all the hospital. So much than there were their neighbors. The Dickerson's. Daniel, Daniel has asthma real bad. They lived why up on dunk on the ward lows. Debbie wasn't another one that was dealing with an asthma who of a mad because they live right up on it. How could they not. To this family. The dumps were clearly a hazard, and the courts could have stopped John Christopher two days after the city filed suit. If the judge had agreed. After Henry Henderson, the city lawyer failed to get an injunction. He realized that if he was going to sway the judge, he'd have to change his tactics. So rather than argue that John Christopher was breaking the law on technical grounds, like not having the right permits or debating what even his waist Henderson and his team would hammer home the actual harm being done to the community. But John Christopher pivoted to instead of just tagging people. He also began waging a hearts and minds campaign to try to sway people from north Lonsdale to his side. He hired someone from the neighborhood to act as a community lease on and paradoxically. He offered to help clean up other vacant, lots in the area by giving people dirt. He'd screamed at the dumps. And some people took John Christopher his word. I found this petition signed by thirty north Lauderdale residents. It reads the following persons welcome Christiane. That's his company Christiane into the community and are grateful that the company is involved in a beautification project that will benefit the community and its residents. John Christoper took this petition and submitted into evidence during the court case to try to convince the judge of his good works north Lonsdale. He also started handing out money, small amounts, fifteen dollars here, ten dollars there sensibly to pay for cleaning supplies. MS Ashford brought this up. When we started talking about her neighbors, the Dickerson's. Mattel, yell, something shale. Let's be straight about deal. Millie got money from John Milly, Milly Dickerson. Whose apartment was right on the same lot as the larger of the two dumps and whose son had asthma as we were talking MS Ashford's daughter called Millie Dickerson deceives around that day leader in the conversation. MS Dickerson actually walked into the interview and told us she had taken money from John Christopher game day, talked to me and he's washing hanging clothes on beg poet. Any told me see that. You don't man about that. We overhand dumping this dump and then how he's Monnet to by using detergent and wash tone Wednesday month acid. But it washed my trolls Bacall that miss was getting all in my house. I had son at as and all that my house was turbo. Miss Dickerson and others living. You're the one junk Christopher to compensate them for all the damage he'd already done. But back trial, John Christopher turned around and use this against them. He claimed they weren't really worried about the dumps. They're just trying to shake him down. Here's how he described interaction. He supposedly had with one Northland resident to the city's lawyer. Let's go back to our reenactment. Can you give me an idea how many people complained? Five seventy, not all at once in. Can you give me a general idea of the nature of your conversation with these people? You really don't wanna know. Know I do wanna know who give me ten dollars giving you ten dollars. Yeah, you, you ain't going to make it off Roosevelt road. And what was your response to that will see? I'm here. Did you get the names of these people? I didn't need to the care of myself. How did you take care of it? I just told them my, it ain't nice as mother nature for ten dollars. John Christopher was painting himself as the victim and to some it seemed as rather than compensating them, he was trying to buy their silence. Here's Jacqueline. Rodney who heard from earlier talking about living next to the rock crusher. When I went into coordinate, asked me to testify, yes, me did. I'll want money. John Christopher, did the lawyer when I was sitting in the deposition ESPN what is it do? Do you want? Do you want money? What is it that you want from this operation? And I said, I want you to move. I want you to leave my neighborhood because she's destroying it. He told me, I wish we had you on our teams. And I didn't know what that meant. What does that mean? And you know, they thanked me for being there. I didn't know what that meant. John Christopher had previously cast doubt on the city's legal arguments, and now he cast doubt on the residents motives. So one full year after he first showed up, the city's lawsuit was still grinding its way through the court and the dump across the street from the elementary school had grown into a mountain almost six stories tall, so tall that the piles of concrete slabs towered over the house next door. And ultimately, this mountain took on a nickname mount Henry. How did you died feel about it being called mount Henry. He was quite subdued about quite sad about it. It was like he couldn't get nothing done about you like he'd been duped. I have been used to dunk that there. That's next time on the city. The city is a production of USA today and is distributed in partnership with wondering, you can subscribe to the show on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you're listening right now, if you liked the show please rate and review us and be sure to tell your friends about us. Our shows reported and produced by Wilson Sayer Jenny Koss and meet Robin Emma or editors Sam Greenspan. Ben Austin is our story consultant original music and mixing by Hannah's Brown, Jennifer Mudge, Chris Henry Coffey, David w starred in reenactments. Additional production by Taylor making about cockerel and Bianca media's Chris Davis is our VP for investigations. Scott Stein is our VP of product are decorative producer is Liz Nelson. Mary Wadsworth is the USA today networks, president and publisher special. Thanks to Michel Yussef and Daniel sped cove. Additional support comes from the fund for investigative journalism and the social Justice news nexus, and Northwestern University. You like this show. Another might enjoy is WBZ's on background, which takes you inside the smoke filled back rooms of Chicago, Illinois government to better understand the people places and forces shaping today's politics. I'm rob Aamer. You can find the city on Facebook and Twitter at the city pod and visit our website where you'll find photos of our characters, John Christopher. Full deposition and more. That's the city podcast dot com.

John Christopher Henry Henderson north Lonsdale Chicago Rita Ashford John Christopher c. h. r. s. t Illinois USA asthma Jacqueline Rodney Demy Henry MS. Rodney MS Woodson mount Henry Milly Dickerson Christiane Michelle Ashford Lauderdale South Wales Lincoln
20VC: 8VCs Joe Lonsdale on How To Foster Contrarian Thinking Within Venture Partnerships, Why The Best VCs Are Company Builders & Why It Is Not Possible To Build Multi-Billion Dollar Companies and Have Worklife Balance

The Twenty Minute VC

38:44 min | 7 months ago

20VC: 8VCs Joe Lonsdale on How To Foster Contrarian Thinking Within Venture Partnerships, Why The Best VCs Are Company Builders & Why It Is Not Possible To Build Multi-Billion Dollar Companies and Have Worklife Balance

"Welcome back to the twenty minutes with me Harry stubbings, and if you'd like to submit guests all questions for the show you can on instagram and H stubbings, nine, thousand, nine, hundred, six with BS, but to the show stay nausea. I've ever had such an efficient or productive guests on the show before this individual does with one human. Our is insane when you look at all that he's achieved and so with that I'm thrilled to welcome Joe Lonsdale. General partnered ABC the past Joe's invested in many notable companies, including the likes of wish oculus Oscar. Oscar and Garden Health to name a few as a result in both two thousand, sixteen, anti thousand seventeen. Joe Was the youngest member of the four one hundred MIDAS list. I'm proud to ABC. Joe co-founded Pollen Tier One of the world's most impactful multibillion-dollar software companies also co founded and serves as chairman at apart which has over one point, eight trillion dollars manager of its wealth management technology platform, and if that wasn't enough, jobs, also found a affinity and in and aspe- to name a few I. Do have say Houston is to Kimmy Andrew had. Some fantastic questions gestures today I really did sir appreciate that, but before we move into the shows stay I won't take a moment to mention Hallo sign gradings element of a company that found success in building product focused on user experience. Jalazon is an effortless e-signature solution is by millions to security, send an requires legally valid digital signatures and agreements. They raised a total of sixteen million in funding, and recently got acquired by dropbox, an impressive, two hundred and fifty million dollars checkout, Hallo signed dot com slash two zero. To. Join the thousands of companies I'm founders who falls to secure and simple e signatures and speaking credible solutions to complex problems, the team over Pando the product cloud company is expanding rapidly throughout Europe, and recently released a version of that product, which is designed an priced specifically for startups. Whether. You're an operator or investor. In Europe, all the US has you annual portfolios product covered. Show you how you price stacks up against you. Pairs analyzing over thousands of pros in creating benchmarks with startups skate ups in enterprises across different categories, and you can find out more. Stay up, TENDER DOT com slash product dash benchmarks. That's Pendo dot co slash products, dash benchmarks, and finally wants to. Would you about point pointers of premium card? The first debit card with roads from Brown. You actually care about like earn five ice on subscriptions spotify to all dining experiences including food. Food delivery APPs light posts me someone one Exxon everything else. You're rewarded every time you spend on points, redeem for cash instead of during a credit line for awards. That Allen relevant you can use point caught. Install getting a break home. Push with your favorite Brown's, and he's by by the likes of Y, combinator day a friend from the show Jeff Morris. Genius that revolutionizing the way we spend at least is a twenty have the exclusive opportunity to join points invite only launch out of Beta in July had over to get dot point dot, ab four slash to`serve. Early access and a sneak peek at point, but that's enough for me to now. I'm very excited. Tom Rich Joe Lonsdale General Mad, eight VC. You have now arrived at your destination, Joe. It is such a joy. St This I've had so many great things. Many different people from team Kimmy. Brian and traff found on. Say thank you so much for joining me. Stay Jerry. Thanks for having me here. Not Too, but I. do go stay with a little bit on you so benches a wonderful well, but it's also unique wanted to get into. How did you make your way? It's The while defense encounter found ABC as started off both as an investor and as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur early in my career, I was more an investor kind of supporting somebody I was at pay. Pal Peter Teal's family office, and the age of nineteen or twenty was driving around to meet some of the companies he'd invested in got to know the facebook founders of that time obviously, and he backed me and starting Pailin here and pounds. Here was somewhat similar to pay since. Since we have some the very top engineers value ranked number one for a while the top talent. We were getting and similar pay pal people. There were very entrepreneurial, so what you saw as after being there for five six seven years, some of the best ones will leave and build companies, and so I found myself ten years into my career, having built a couple of companies. Companies having been investing with Peter I found myself surrounded by lots of friends. Building companies is advising them as angel investing in them. I had about fourteen companies. I was helping in some way and I talked to my mentor, and they said Joe basically already running a fine, but you don't have money. You don't have remained people helping you. You should go raise a fund subsidy. Mental is totally right that we talk into the meat of issue there I hit. We have loves a history. And it was actually drew annuity, asked the question of. How did you studying? History and philosophy influence how you think his name bastard. pronounced reminds US backstage. Yes, well, I definitely love history I'm definitely not an expert in even though I have a lot of friends who? Who are famous historians, because it's such a strong interest of mine, a lot of what you see in history is you see these processes of how the world evolves? One of my favorite books along those lines is the shield of Achilles. I Philip Bob at a great constitutional scholar. He shows how the forms of government that emerged over the last thousand years were kind of influence in. In structured by what was possible, in terms of how warfare works, so in order is basically like an evolutionary process in order to be able to have the top type of warfare to survive and defend yourself and grow. You have to have the type of government. That's most awesome for that as there's always really interesting forces in the background that shaped history and if you want to. To think like a great tech investor over time to understand the forces that are shaping companies in how companies evolve, industries evolve, and so for me. The framework to US understanding history are very analogous. The famous can used understanding conceptually how technology industries are evolving as well as I think. You'd be interested in these things if you want to be a really great macro investor Kimmel's. Schedule, but it can be the of history. I mean one thing that I'm always very wary of his market timing. I didn't like state. Mogi timing is a risk because blending as we said history is. Number. and. I'm always concerned by that race county. He thinks about Mulkey Tony Says Nevada Margaret obviously very hard so I did macro with Peter Before I've gotten to know a lot of macro investors like Sandra Miller and others who I really admire, and I do believe people at that elite level. Sometimes. If they're really, an industry can succeed at some of market time. You want to be careful. It shouldn't be your dominant factor. Factor, but twice in my career once in twenty fifteen kind of late, twenty, four, hundred, twenty, fifteen, another time, late, twenty, thousand nineteen. We just have lots of evidence that the prices were just going up way too much on kind of mid to late stage venture, and so we avoided a lot of it. We got to a point. You know our our. Our targets are to get above thirty percent. Irr I know obviously. was even mean, but you have to model things out. You have to say okay. At this price, we can make this kind of return, and there's bigger investors who come into our space of call amount General Atlantic is a great firm I admire it great returns, but there are targets are closer twenty percent, and when they come in to a series. B. In something they're confident. They will sometimes outbid and they have. Have, update new by eighty percent, and so you know dot. Point is not my job to be trying to win that seriously anymore. That's that's too expensive for what we do, and obviously you can't do these things for sure but I. Think you have to use your judgment. They okay right now. This are the market's really popular. There's money moving into it. I'm going to have to find other ways of investing. Returns expecting to schedule I wasn't quite expecting this early, but I'll go with it so that I have early over show. And he said she the influx of later stage. Campbell is the biggest challenge that he faces today. Would you agree with him? Will Not give them what you just said that. While the influx of later stage capital changes what you have to focus on how you have to do things, and it definitely means that for series Bs and Cs and ds you have. Have to have some really special unfair insider advantage for just willing to give you a much better deal or willing to work with you before going to market. If you're going to be doing those type investments or something so esoteric that it's not even being looked at by the really big firms in New York, and China and etcetera say China China was more the influence in two, thousand, fourteen, two, thousand, fifteen now really is more just a later stage. New York type firms absolutely. It impacts entrepreneurial mindset is what is your investing mindset that it was interesting when we spoke before when I went to a lot of your team pretty much, everyone said number one thing we should discuss was kind of build meant that you have, and you said to me before increasingly the best feces that know how to build companies. Can young pack thinking me a little hair? Why is he in? Fum Tax Bill Dorman on well. Obviously, there's a nice advantage when things are getting expensive to be building more, but that's not why we're doing. That's obviously macro is why is even bigger advantage now? But to me the biggest thing if you see, there's always exceptions to every rule, but the vast majority of most famous investors in top investors who've done really well in our space, especially in our generation are people who've built a really big companies. I think a few reasons why one? Obviously, there's maybe silly reason is this culture of celebrity and people wanting to? To hang out with other founders, but there's some truth to that because they want to learn from these people they want to see what they did can learn from them. Especially people who built multiple big companies, obviously because there's definitely some lessons to be learned there, there's also a sense in the network just like every city has the medic desire so in DC you want kind of hang out with and be around the senators, and the usually the president right now in La. You want to hang out and be running actors and actresses and they're kind of. Of run things in Silicon Valley in the tech world, the founders are for whatever reason the center of desire which means they of get to see everything I. They know who their top talented friends. Top talent is just that networks really advantage so having founders around being founders whether we're talking about Vinod Khosla or Peter Thiel are Marc increase in Reid Hoffman, or the list goes on and on even the guys who helped build these big companies is huge advantage to that so I just really key and there's exceptions Mike Morris was a great investor who never? Never built these things, but the key in our generation you've seen eighty ninety percent of the best ones how this background, and then for me the real reason so there's macro reason there's unfair advantages. The real core reason for me is that you learn a lot about companies in about spaces by thinking like a builder. A logistics isn't area right now where there's a lot of things happening where they're taking logistics works and they're upgrading yet. You're actually here's what's possible with modern technology. That hasn't happened very much in the past is happening a lot right now? Now is a great place for venture investors right now. In my opinion, we have like fifteen things there. When I go and look at logistics and go with a conceptual gaps and I studied them and we figured out what we're going to build. WHO's GonNa help us build them? We talked to all the leaders in the space about what we're trying to build what they think with feedback. We meet people very often. We'll start with an. I'll give you an example. We'll start with the idea. That Amazon shifts, things, fifty or sixty miles in the US on. On average when you order it from a random place Amazon's about forty percent of course, e-commerce, market, non Amazon, players, or sixty percent of the commerce market gets along Nadia's on player ship things on average when you order from them fifteen days well a three to five days, but it's a thousand miles away so Amazon sub fifty miles away, not Amazon. Stuff is sometimes over five days to, but not Amazon's is a thousand miles away, so the question is. How do you help someone? If you can't be Amazon, you can't afford the same warehouse now. What you? You, do so we obviously you know. Let's build a virtual warehouse now we're let's figure out how this works with all the carriers optimize it. There's network of facts if you get it right and we listened to building, we found a guy who built it. An Amazon who really really serious expected he'd left. He had the same ideas us, and so he said you know. Let's just back him in his series eight. That's much better than your show him things. We learned with our network. He knew a lot about ready. That's one of our great investments just. Just raising series, D. Right now, doing really well. I never would have found a series a if we hadn't been thinking ourselves what to build this space, because someone else would have probably met him I and so you really start to see a lot of great deals to understand these spaces better, and then the more our team has this culture of building. The more the people on my team are building more than respected by other entrepreneurs, the more they meet them on terms where they're part of their culture and so frost. It's just a really big advantage. UCD light bill inherently from the ground up from day one businesses within as I mentioned. HOW DOES NOT INCUBATES IN MOBILE? Sit in the structure ABC and how do you think about back could've driving alpha facade within eventually for south? Yes, sure so probably on the order of really winning a fifth of our capital towards it this time, give or take, and that's very high our area. It's hard to say whether or not it's outperforming the rest. It seems both sides. Look like they're. They're in the thirties right now I'd like to keep beating that, but the way it works. We have functional areas, so we're all generalists, but we people seem to go very deep on areas. The five areas were strong. Santa's as a team. Obviously my background with pounds here out of part open Gov. we have very strong government tack very strong fintech built a lot of things there, and then the three I'd say we've done on other than that. In the last decade is logistics. Logistics our just mentioning is healthcare it and there's also bio bio being very different than healthcare. It involves science, and there's a whole renaissance bio conversation love to have so those five areas are all core and each of those areas. We'll explore ideas for building things, and we'll child people MS areas. Let's get to know them better and let us figure it out so every Monday with our meetings. We have the build meeting. We have the investment committee meeting. We have the investment discussions. Discussions and just part of the farm is part of our learning, and ultimately how the final decision off we go ahead with Dell products or not, so it gets rid of any politics there for me anyway I. Think it'd be harder to do this in a partnership because people do get upside of things they help build so if it was a pure partnership where there's no one at all in charge, probably more politics as my guess is probably why a lot of the. The older VC, firms having done this because everyone wants to do their own thing I'm GonNa Work No I. Tell you these days of internal politics of play. If you played, devil's advocate may be too many zone. See through the shirt will say, and they say echo consume it kind of incubation of build mobile, if it takes you away from the cool aspects, direct investments into the best companies in many kind of struggle with it for that reason. How do you respond to them? Them as a distraction from new cool stay till you know in states where you do well for us, part of our DNA, as that we are builders, and if anything I've seen any as a huge unfair advantage, for example, one of our core companies was doing very well, but they had these two product. Guys who are being poached to build something and we really need those guys to be there the next six to nine months for some critical before they replaced themselves they. They left would have been a bit of a disaster, and so I went and sat down with the guys and said listen. This is really important. Here's what we're going to do. You want to build something. We wanted to talk to build things anyone with our program. I'm happy to make you guys. Ers with US starting any of the year, stay through the full year, aced s for this company, and then come on over. We'll work together, and and that's what they did and. And they came over, and they work with us and integrated on a bunch of ideas along something very exciting right now with our network. Because the bill program we were able to help that portfolio company safe people to finding portfolios. We're helping our portfolio companies with these things. It's just a part of our culture and what we do, so it's kind of hard to separate us from building I'm someone who constantly builds things, and that's what gives me the images I have you. Could internal discussions out Monday from mass with many ability in the venture community loves the thought process of being in charing guy. You know. I think many would agree that this kind of. Jumps of contrived in his mid Manisha what does Sharon is an contrarian think, he means huge S. Howdy, specific team to really engender at encourage it with eight, so it starts obviously with the people you're bringing to the table. You want people who are non consensus people. Generally people are not politically correct jets. Be careful what they put out in public, so they don't get cancelled in this environment. Thanks, you could say, but I mean generally, and of course it's across the spectrum. People of all sorts of political views that I work with. They want to exercise we have. is We write a lot? We put a lot of theses out. Law only internal because they're things. We don't want to share yet. Yet a law from our externally because you're constantly publishing stuff, one of my rules is of Mackenzie could have written this down beer. Be Plus work. It's not good. Enough Rate V has to be something that's out there enough. The Mackenzie would have been maybe uncomfortable publishing at about so that's another thing is just in general. Whatever's popular right now we have to question. What are they sing? What are they wrong? The whole lean startup movement I thought was bullshit when it was happening in terms of the things I wanted to do, and definitely Wesleyan started movement didn't make sense at all for the areas. I want work on and focus on. You couldn't have done lean startup a pound here out of. Our most are things. I've worked on where Pouncey people in winding web to Plano. WHO said well? There's this whole other areas now becoming possible, it's really important in bio. Is another example think platforms don't work while there's actually? Why with it in with breakthroughs, recently you do need platforms their to own a lot of value, long-sighted Therapeutics. Anyway, there's all these areas in which it's just really important to challenge the status quo and Blah Times you challenged Lasko. You're going to be wrong sometimes when you're right, you're gonNA have very very big breakthroughs, not the goal in venture capital is defined. Those breakthroughs is kind of challenging the status quo ease about kind of your final stay on the decision making in. In terms of consensus, I is known consensus and thinking about internally in the decision making structure. Why didn't you choose the single decision? Making land actually is interesting so on the bill side. I am currently as maker of what we do for Bill I. think that's important building as miles a work with a firm on the investment side I am not the single incision maker. We have a full investment. Committee votes the only rule. There is that if I vote against something. Like a super overwhelming, but in general we go by majority vote. That's actually I think much better. You don't WanNa have to force consensus on these things now I'm totally with you attempted consensus. Lot about actually trading help from the ground up when I way to try. It found this from before. He's into specifically. Ask. How do you think about the importance? Not starting new companies just, but she knew sissies. Well both are investing and entrepreneurship or looking for conceptual gaps in the world, right? We're looking for areas. Where here's what it is now in? Here's what it could be an in very oftentimes these gaps you can think of them as opening up as new technological possibilities emerge right, and so if you want to invest in ridesharing couldn't do it before the mobile phone existed. That doesn't make sense if you did it in the first few years in mobile phones, this thing that's great. This is a new thing. Thing as possible, that treats a lot of value for a Lotta people and you make a lot of money. If you want us to sharing now, the gaps mostly closed. There's not these may, maybe as far as I can see. There's giant gaffes versus how ride sharing works now could be working so simple examples you're looking for conceptual gaps in the world, and the question is where the biggest gaps and you know. A lot of people were trying to do good in the world they tend to focus. Focus on gaffes in healthcare and education and I agree those are very important for the world. They actually like a lot of money. You can make these areas by fixing him to I'm very excited about a lot of people. Don't look as closely the gats in government and finance, but if you really stop and think about it, government and finance are at least as important because a lot of times, Belva, those determined for society, what resources are going to have anyway for healthcare and education and everything else. Else, so these are very kind of things. Well, that are really key. Is You look at government like one of the ways fix government, obviously I've started a bunch of companies to address processes in government to fix a lot of stuff works to make government better. There's just so much wrong with our cities, and there's so much their cities could be doing so much better. It's just a really fine exercise. We should probably don't engage in the whole thing now, but you can kind of look and just. Just see all the ways in which cities is wasting people's time, necessarily all the ways which the at the environment, and necessarily all the ways in which they make the cost of living for the poor way higher than it should be i. mean the old days. If you move to a city and you work your way up, now report. You can't even live within two hours of the city. That's not necessarily. There's ways of making it affordable. There's ways of building a city in permanent regulating city so. So all of these problems are solved so such a big gap. It's a very fun thing. Potentially fix I mean speaking of kind of problems within cities east coast of living. Amaze me thinking about silicon camale stay were under the criticism is right in the of the insane high cost of living the question, and this was from drew I have to admit it was like Silicon Valley driven so much innovation continues to do despite the rising costs. Why do you think that is what ensures that Silicon Valley? Valley maintains its monopoly in your mind despite the shitty condition, sometimes, this is something that a lot of must've been arguing about I. Think you've probably seen the movement that I and many other support trying to change the rules I mean forty percent of the land around the San Francisco. Bay area is zoned for cattle. Use Right now, so you literally have our staff and like people like Nannies. Who have families who are driving home two hours each way past Catalan and like not being able to put. Put their kids to bed at night because he couldn't get home in time, because they can't live with living, and it's just the whole thing is just. It's morally obnoxious, and it's just morally obnoxious as you said economically is going to break this area. We don't rethink about how to dance city and allow us to use land to make it affordable for people to come here and work their way up key issue economic access to do that in for this area to work a lot of my companies. All of them have second offices somewhere else to make it affordable, and I'm very seriously thinking during WanNa be full time in the bay area, or are there other places to build? Do you think he will continue is downloaded I've had like showed before he has absolutely will tribal knowledge. The tight wise will remain here that we will continue to see the dolphins and others say remind Wa tools on financing. Howler is going to democratize entirely. Do you think that it will sustain? They will mockus decentralize I. Think this is one of those dialectic where there's. There's extreme truth on both sides. If you actually look at my best sense of the numbers is that we were kind of completely dominant twenty years ago, like almost dominant ten years ago, and it's been trending down just from our investing, which is probably a reflection of my best judgment, and obviously we're by towards the value, but we spend a lot of time looking elsewhere. I think when I first started the firm almost a decade ago, we were like ninety percent investing around here I think the numbers somewhere around sixty percent now around here. Maybe maybe maybe sixty. Sixty mid sixties and I can very easily see going down to forty or fifty percent five years from now so I do think probably just slightly more than half of a multi-billion-dollar companies being built in America are probably being star in Silicon, valley but I think that number was closer to eighty or ninety percent a decade ago. It is slowly turning away. I think Silicon Valley. Making the right moves could actually turn back up I. Don't think they're going to make the right moves. I think the Political Leaders Shapiro is a joke, and so I think it's GonNa. GonNa keep slowly trending down as a of the whole, but still doing very very important things here and the one thing I'll say Harry is the renaissance in Biology, probably the most important trend going on our space right now and UCSF Berkeley Stanford an ecosystem around here is probably GonNa be really strong in there for the next ten years. It's very hard to replicate that elsewhere. It is pretty good. Obviously university's doing important things, but the core strength here and people have been brought around that I would guess the biggest companies are built here in that way. Cool part of any says he is culture and common criticisms of the monocultures, our inherent uncultured I guess mcrib is back to voice, and this one was trae I believe. How do you believe about the dangers of a work culture? Maybe as relates to free speech yet. You're not supposed to talk too much about, but I have trunk pains on some always getting in trouble here. If I'm not careful, I was on a board. Call this morning. I won't say which board and there was somebody company who had been very prominent company who posted something that some people found offended in the question was. Do we remove him from the board? We rid of them or not, and it is a very interesting question. Would be having that conversation what he said, which wasn't even not offensive to most people, but I don't see how that conversation wasn't in Silicon Valley or wasn't in a blue area at the very least, and what's really happened here is there's like five or ten percent of people core on one political extreme who've really hijack the conversation and who've kind of? Of pushed for this kind of canceled culture who have kind of push for us stuff that really resembles now. Struggle sessions is very much scary like nineteen seventies China where they just really want actually not allow any kind of logical rational pushback on what they're doing, and it's all about. This is the time to listen, not talk, and therefore you have to. To listen to exactly what we're going to implement our policy regardless of any rational discourse, so am very concerned about that culture I anti believe we live in Sandy. Mars issues to my mother about it, because I didn't feel available and free to say actual what I think. Ninety percent of the time because of the public reaction might issue. You know how. How twitter! What's I mean? You have one pass in the nit tons absolute show. Would you agree with me and say hey, we live in not democracy given the lack of freedom of speech well couple of things first of all I think the UK does have like strange online speech laws. Where like the police will visit you for saying things that they? They find offensive. Which I think is just absolutely unacceptable I, think you guys have been huge mistake. There I'm very proud that America still despite everything by law were free, but you're right. There's a lot of groups that you are free by. Law will try to censor you. We'll try to attack you. I feel like part of my role as a leader in. In the ecosystem is stand up and fight against this counterculture in opposing everywhere. Can't I'm not willing to compromise with it I'm not willing to not put forward. Rational discourse strongly believe something that said it does behoove all right now, not to make insensitive jokes, not to purposely provoked the cultural law, because obviously our duty to our companies and our firm is. Is such that we stand for what we believe in, but we shouldn't pick unnecessary fights with these crazy people at this time. busine I totally agree in terms of selecting, which was you're willing to fight so to speak I. Do want to move into Alabama late I didn't often do on a C. in terms of the structure but that was some. Some questions I really wanted to awesome, and they were fantastic suggestions. Routine numbers found is with end so I'm GonNa Roll with Anna Style so as to stay on your team that he seven years, and he's never waited longer than ten minutes from email. If question was, how do you do it? And how do you think about the two of how? Yeah, I struggle with this because I like to think of myself as somebody who's very proactive and I'm constantly researching these new spaces and taking time to go read history economics and philosophy and thinking a lot and applying my views of the world to build things like one nice vision of myself, but then there's the other visionary myself. That is doing six seven hours of email responses and coordination a day and being a traffic cop in being the leader, everyone comes to to get things and to meet the right people as much as Hannah. Try to replace myself with people around me and underneath me, but there's. There's always stuff that has to come back up to me and it's a sense of duty. I suppose I've hired some of the most talented people in the world back. Some of the most talented people in the world are doing very important things that are changing the world in positive ways, and if they're waiting on me to get something done, that's unacceptable, and it's my job to get back to them, and so I guess it's become a mental hack where I have to get back to people as fast as I can. Actually funny I've responded to a few texts while we were talking right now, so. Hopefully didn't catch but I sometimes. It's probably a little bit unhealthy. Honestly I do probably need to have some more space. Charge this, but he's he's right, but I don't reply to an email for freaks. People out because I'm not used to it. I love that I totally appreciate your. You said about race I. Intelligent numbers just by founders lentils a harm. Best talent is made many friends, and they said there are just so many people way you spoke talent before anyone else has and that question was. How do you tell them presented she? And how do you think about Tom? Development and assessment versus going to grow some potential. You know there's a little secret here, which is probably not what you want to tell. People I was on the Peleton this morning. A couple daughter's. Daughter's usually talk about my family and public too much of a three year. Old Is my eldest, and she was doing this fun thing on one of pieces of equipment where she was jumping pretty far, it was actually quite impressive for three looking. She say Daddy. Other little girls can't do this right and she was very proud of the fact that only she could do this and it was very hard thing to do and I think there's something a nate and people where the best. Best Way to interact with them is to help them discover their true scales inculcate skills, and it makes him very proud of them to the point where they do see themselves as unique, and of course they are unique, but it's fine to overemphasize the extent to which they are unique, and so you have to find great talent and I think a lot. More people have a lot of talent than people generally realize and so as much as we talk about finding the very very top. Top talent, it's not everyone has the ability to do these things, but a lot of people have something inside of them that if it's nurtured and inculcated in the right way, and they are made to feel that confidence, they can do truly great things those one and it releases the cash the needed. It's a tough environment by many tightly develops fos downstream seen. How do you advise finalist? Think Bob Trash burning. Rub `way fussed. Yes, this was all mid. March was like the re plans probably. Like seventy re plans, we all had like a plan B. and a plan B. Minus a plan C., and the had to see where things are going, and most people are either on their plan. B B, minus because the economy has not been as bad as people thought I'm generally really conservative about things, which is funny because you think I've built, all these companies are taking all these risks as far as people see, but if you're going to do something as hard as building a new company, you need to create as many unfair. Unfair advantages in as many backups as you possibly can for yourself is Mine General View from the Entrepreneur's perspective, and there is a conflict between the investor in the entrepreneur investors won't entrepreneurs the a little bit, but a little bit more risk than the entrepreneur probably should want to take just given the trade offs, and I generally say nine to twelve months as yellow yellower and six months red alert, and if you're at three months cash, you have star exploring other alternatives. That's my general framework on these things I think it's extremely irresponsible. Irresponsible like sometimes. Other firms don't even know what's going on in. Someone will come and be like. Oh, we have two months cash left. Let's talk about what do we do now and it's like you should have been planning way ahead of that like I. Only want to be involved in something gets situation of a and that means. We screwed something up so general in this kind of environment I will not where things are building. We've told people as much as you can get eighteen to twenty four months in cash as much as. As you can. is all about survival. Assume the worst. Do Your best survived in twenty twenty and there's a lot of companies that are doing great right now. Digital Economy's really on fire. There's still a lot of companies where we're hoping things. Turn back on by early to mid next year. Tell me what's going to happen to the company's one year. The sacrifice not grazed, not having walked eastbound for gross margins cannot deficiency. There's probably some areas where people probably should have been thinking a little bit more on the margin about margin. Are. They probably should've with more worried about being a real business than they were. There's a lot of people who haven't built real mature businesses for investing maybe the mind too much for revenue, and don't fully understand what it takes to be cash flowing high-margin real business the end of the day, so yes, this is a healthy exercise for a lot of people at the same time with entrepreneurs weren't. Weren't doing correctly. It puts you back a year not to be able to be as aggressive as you would have been normally and putting you back. A year is expensive because he's hybrid companies, so the question is. How can you really aggressively copper and a lot of this conversation where he's can't cut this through the bone, and then they do cut it, and they're actually doing all just as. As well as they say. Wow I didn't realize I really could have cut those eight people. It wasn't quite as extreme as I thought I really didn't need those ten people for our core business. When cut spending were still fine so i. think a lot of founders are a little too hesitant blase. First of all, they should be in this environment. I don't wonderful the Far East. Anyhow months shit. Shit it's kind of exploring exit. Fos in terms of quizzing is honesty when your team foolish eight. He said you are incredible. When he was known Brian advising him three pivots nine when to quit how even vise founders on the balance that tree revision on that incredible Milstar us is facing the realism of just something's walk. The my perspective on this is probably not entirely healthy because this is something. Something that people need to keep in mind. There's different types of business in the world. There's lots of really great small medium businesses to build, and there's a lot of probably rules you could get from business school, Mckinsey, and all the rest of it really kind of figure out just like here's how you run a big corporation. Here's the Iran business. There's something a little bit different on natural about. About figuring out a way to build these startups that we focus on and for me, when I'm building something, the first question is much more about. Is there really a conceptual gap in the world that needs to be solved? Is there really a gap rate? This stuff is here and then way up. Here is where it could be an if you're confident about that conceptual gap and you should constantly. Constantly checking to make sure it's real in the you're not getting new evidence. It's not but if your confidence there than the right approach is just to be completely obsessed and focused an just sure you're going to win and just do whatever you can to push yourself to get there, and so as law training for gold medal, the Olympics you cannot have healthy life balance and build a multibillion dollar. Dollar Company, just not how it works, and you don't get a gold medal. The have a healthy work life balance. You have to be obsessed and you have to not give up and you actually keep trying to figure out what you're going to do to fill in that gap, and to make it work, and so I think that people who are not one hundred percent. Sure that they're gonNA like. Crush themselves utterly and bitterly to get there and never giving up should probably start a company in. That's my general framework. Lazy I totally agree. The I was actually built guilty. Saying because you'll sawyer like again. We record like being crush bit I always get crushed Xining on him so I'm really pleased Yeah, I think it's important to caveat it. This is not true the entire world overall business, but this is a special type of middle level thing that requires that obsession. Yeah, no, I totally agree I you. WanNa finish it with a quickfire rounds is an issue statement and you give me your immediate about sixty seconds will last year. Are you ready all right? Favorite perfume. Why must we be reading? A couple of minutes she'll it. Achilles is too long. No one's GonNa read it on your podcast? The too I really like red recently. Matt Ridley wanted Asian works really really awful guy one of my favorite writers. It really gives you a sense for how tons of top innovations came about have a lot of same around evolution, and how why combat at the same time thing, it's really useful than investor to think about actually agree with them on everything, but he has such great mind, and really paints pictures of how they came about and then the other one. One I'll say Yuval Levin a time to build talks a lot about the crisis of our society right now and how we need to rebuild institutions, and how why people are abusing institutions whether the president whether it's journalists, or whether it's others, and what that is our culture, and how it fixed that you've eleven and Matt Ridley I would recommend. What's the biggest challenge in skating ABC's day well, these things don't really skill that much. Because the whole point of them is the core set of partners are what you're betting on, so if you just hire lots and. And lots more people eventually, you're doing things that are not with the core, and then I'm not actually doing myself, and so you only really scale this so much that I am the kind of core. People are taught. Talent can be involved in everything, and we found a lot of really great talent. We found amazing principles, and who know healthier better than me and people logistics better than me. A really good job without at the core investment process needs to be tied to a core small team and given that we're doing C. A. and B. and that we. We also have build. I've kept the fund the same size the last few times. Just because it doesn't seem like to have time to do more than we're doing right now, so I think six forty, every two or three years to me is about right for we do. He's you'll biggest mentor, and what's been the biggest takeaway from the relationship, I guess my father has probably been the biggest influence on me overall and I'd say a lot of takeaways from one's father, but one of the most important things that he taught me. Yeah I was the oldest of. And taught me to really take pleasure in honest pleasure in is what I care about the success and the happiness of my brothers and my friends, and there's no way you could say that if you honestly someone who lives in enjoys the success of those around you and you have that with your teams with your friends I. Think he should such A. A powerful thing, and if it's really going to track the best people t, and it's going to have these really strong relationships that are loyal in their actual, so I think is a really great lesson from my father. What would you change about Lou? alday deduction. Say I think it would be really cool I. Venture Capital was open to a lot more. More types of people from a lot more backgrounds I mean as much as is, the Wo- Cancer I. Actually agree that's something that be much better for the world. Because venture capital is a source that creates a lot of economic opportunity in a lot of ways that people don't fully understand. It's also the sources really evolving and pushing for global economy and. And is so critical for China's eases. There's all these ways we can use venture capital to really address a lot of problems in the world in having everyone be part of it in a more open way and having people, disparate backgrounds be more engaged. That would actually be really kind of Nice if our society award for the most going, so potato agreed. Not by tasting offering both. Very young goes young getting ready to give politics right all right, aol the Brown tell me Kimmy at eight hundred house. Having kids made you think differently about the world of operating in investing well from the story I was telling earlier I have wonderful little girls in little girls can be very emotional at times, and you kinda learn when you're dealing with a time when they're open to being rational in opened interacting versus there's certain times that are purely emotional. It has actually been very helpful for me in the broader world when I'm dealing with people to. To say. Is this like a little kid part of their mind where it's not a good time to try to engage on a difficult thing or a try to push them into rational outcomes, how can I be understanding? And how can I build a relationship here? That will then at the right time allow me influence them properly and such being more awful by the fact, all of us have little kids inside of us is probably pretty useful leader now absolutely and I love that ninety Everett final on. Tell me well summation recent publicly announced investment why? Why did you get so excited? We've done a few Lali actually because you're sitting over there in the UK. I say we're quite excited about beacon you. That was announced. We did that with Jeff Bezos a few other early smart friends and people on an ecosystem, and frankly it was very simple. I guess three things. One is just really top talent. Obviously people involved run over in Europe and just really telling people I really enjoyed meeting attracted really great people to its giant market, and there's really clever approach to giant and freight forwarding clearly better things down. Down there, there's probably gaps and then three our advisers who run a law things and logistics. Who met Dan who learned about him? What really deep on it were very excited and thought it was very logical what they were doing. So you the very top talent, really good approach and a good market, all people. I know respecting the space. Love it and delete around. That sounds great to me. Jay said at the beginning I wanted to see this for a long time. Say Thank you so much joining me stay so enjoyed. How thank you very much? I have APP see love having the show their incredible all he's built with eight, and if you'd like to seem more from us behind the scenes you count on Instagram at age stubbings nineteen ninety-six. Always loved see that. Leads Day I want sing a moment to mention Hallo sign a great example of a company that found success in building product focused on user experience. Gallison is an effortless Solution is by millions to security send I'm request legally valid digital signatures and agreements. They raised a total of sixteen million in funding, and recently got acquired by dropbox for an impressive two hundred and thirty million dollars. CHECK OUT SIGN DOT COM. com slash chooser visa to join the thousands of companies. I'm founders who Vanni falls to secure and simple e signatures and behaving credible solutions to complex problems. The team over Pando. The product cloud company is expanding rapidly throughout Europe and recently released version of that product, which is designed an priced specifically for startups, so no matter whether you're an operator or investor in Europe all the US. PENDER has annual portfolios product. Product covered. Show you how you price stacks up against you. Pairs analyzing over thousands of products in creating moss with startups skate ups and enterprises across five different categories, and you can find out more state pender dot me, slash product dash benchmarks. That's PENDO DOT com slash products, dash benchmarks, and finally wants to what you about point pointers of premium. Cod I debit card with roads from Brown that you actually care. Care about like earn five ice on subscriptions spotify to ice on all dining experiences including food delivery absolute posts maze from one x on everything else. You're rewarded every time you spend on. points are deemed for cash instead of during a line for awards that Allen relevant you can use point caught and start getting a break home. `Push with your favorite Brown's and he's by the likes of why combination and audio. Jack, Morris Genius that revolutionizing the way we spend and listeners of two thousand ABC have the exclusive opportunity to join points. Invite only launch out of Beta in July had over to get dot point dot ab forward slash to`serve E C early access and a sneak peek out point as always I, so appreciate, or he was calm mates bringing a fantastic episode this coming, Friday.

US Joe Lonsdale ABC Silicon Valley Amazon Europe China spotify Brown Kimmy Andrew Pando Harry stubbings Allen UK Tom Rich Brian Exxon Peter I
Palantir, Getting Woke Out Of Tech & the Future of Healthcare | Joe Lonsdale Interview

The Rubin Report

41:38 min | 3 months ago

Palantir, Getting Woke Out Of Tech & the Future of Healthcare | Joe Lonsdale Interview

"A you know I don't know exactly how the people got charge here in. So many places partially because they're so loud I. Think there's five or ten percent of the people here who really believe in that stuff and they've got very good. I think it came from the universities you look at our big tech companies the Culture Google is modeled office, Stanford since all the PhD's same thing with the other ones. So these tech companies are basically taking a culture from university. You it's been broken for a few decades and die and these people are really good a punishing people who stand up to them and and trying to get them. So it's not worth. It was time to push back. If you're trying to your job, you're just you know you're you're just you do. You're just do what you can and doc- these go people just being charged. It's really bad. I'm Dave Rubin in. This is the Rubin Report Locals Week Joining Me Today as an entrepreneur and investor and policymaker at the CICERO Institute Joe Lonsdale welcome to the Rubin report. Thanks Dave on jibe wanted to you on for for quite some time because you're involved in in about a billion things that sort of ansel early are all about the things that I talk about on this show from tech to politics free speech education, all of it. But first, let's start with those those two words that I mentioned Upfront Entrepreneur investor. I. Feel like when you say that to people people think, Oh, you were just kind of like born that way. How does somebody become an entrepreneur and investor I suspect a lot of my audience would like to have those two tags. Well you know there's a lot of types of this but for me, it's about you see things they work certain way and you're frustrated and you fix them. So I think I think I think having a vision of how the world should work this not how it's working right now that will lead one to being an entrepreneur 'cause that's basically the only way to do things we've all economy. So how'd you get started for the guy out there watching this right now going okay I got a regular job but I've got an idea or I'm passionate about something like how did it work for you? Well. You know technology's a really big part of what you need to be. You don't have to be a technologist, but it's a big advantage to learn technology learn computer science and you know I I was I grew up in the bay area. I was very lucky. I was born in Silicon Valley had a bunch of friends were great technologists. They taught me from young age and went to Stanford Computer Science and met a of great technologists when I was there. I saw the smartest people were going to work at pay pal and you know the time it was two thousand. But what's his pay pal thing and it was a company that had been started by there's one company started by Peter. Thiel one company started by Elon Musk and the emerging they made pave house of course. Peter. By his smartest friends along brought his smartest friends and I said. Well I. WanNa work there, and they actually rejected me the first time but I try again and let me in and I learned a lot from them. So I think what you want is follow best technologists, learn technology and go study under people know what they're doing. That's probably a good way to get started. So as a guy that was involved in those sort of magic years of silicon. Valley and of big, tech and all that when you look back on it does it feel like a dream sort of seeing sort of the way big tech has moved and how the landscape has changed and how people generally talk about big tech verse probably what you were seeing when it was being born, does it all just feel very weird because it's not that long ago as you said. Yeah, I remember being at a dinner with Peter use the first investor in facebook mark was there another facebook founders really well, of course from this background I remember being jealous because the other really important people the table retreating mark is more important than me and I said Pouncer, is going to be a really big company is vice what he can face necessarily going to be bigger. So obviously, I was wrong. You're going to be nearly as big as facebook went public last week for twenty billion dollars. So we didn't do horribly but but it's it's. Not, worth five marks worth you know trillion dollars but but no, it is interesting having known a lot. These characters very ardent, very hardworking people I don't think any of US knew how big these companies are going to get the I like how you just pooh-poohed Twenty, two, billion twenty. Twenty two, billion. Someone. WHO's like crushed in way better than you? At least in my experience. It's kind of funny. I was actually to get there a little bit later but let let's just to do the numbers like when you say something like that. Okay. So so Peletier went IPO twenty, two, billion dollars. The numbers start to seem crazy. Did they seem crazy even to you guys that are in in it because I think to the average person it's like you can't fathom one billion dollars I. Don't think most people can fathom you know what? Ten million dollars? You know it's I think in some ways I'm lucky that it took. So long because as things take time over the years, you kind of adjust to it. I think if it weren't all of a sudden fall on your lap after a couple of years, it would probably be extremely unhealthy accu. There's things I worked on with Peter the fine where we had a hedge fund the kind of blew up linear would have gotten this giant bonus you know as a twenty five year old. I didn't and looking back. It's probably good I didn't because if you just get a bunch of money once it's to, it's hard to adjust to it. If you build these things over time it like you kinda learn how to manage it. You learn the money is not like a bunch of gold coins. If he asked me as a kid, I, would have thought it was like scrooge mcduck and there was like a tower and there's gold coins in it and we're GONNA. Money. The dive into your tower with the big dollars you're actually not may maybe maybe at some point we should figure that out, but it's actually my experience. Now, any of my friends had breakfast and Peter thiel yesterday, he made more on pounds here. Of course than than pay pal is worth you know and and you want to assault Ebay of course when he first did it but but you know these people, the money represents these missions in these causes and it the money's ownership something you've built. So it becomes much more about it's the money's ise shirts worth some large amount on paper, but it's much more about the ability to get. Things that in the world ability influence things. So some point you're going to spend yourself, it's when you're going to use to achieve stopping to build stuff. Do you think that's the fundamental disconnect when when we talk about money and when there's a certain level of resentment when these companies goad IPO or when when they see people getting these huge payouts or saying that they don't really understand like the work that it took in the way these things change industries and everything else like there's a disconnect between what's actually going on with a lot of these companies and what sort of the media portrays it all as yeah well of course, it's a massive. Amount of work and of course, lockable wouldn't take bets on these things would invest in them. When do them? If there wasn't an economy, you could earn lots of money but I think the biggest disconnect is is that there's really two options with these resources. Creating is the resources in created either you're GONNA have a bunch of committees and bureaucrats charge money or you're going to have these really hard working people who know how to build things in the world like alumnus and Peter Thiel and all sorts of other people at different views who who, who, created this money using it as they see fit and I I you know it's amazing most. Of the money in the world. Now run by committees, you know most of the money is taken by pension funds, sovereign wealth funds like ninety, eight percent of mine. A world is controlled by these big slow boring things like insurance companies and those guys don't usually do anything that interesting whereas is small number of people who've created wealth and even that is the last free wealth in the world and then people wanting that and give it to the communities to it's like, what are you? What do you think any don't want people to know how to build taking this and using it for something. So you're giving me the perfect segue to I think. That a lot of people wonder about, how is it that a place like Silicon Valley that has so much of the spirit that you're talking about these people who want to change the world who want to invent and innovate in the rest of it? How is it that? The social justice thing, which is so counter to that many ways how did it affect almost everything to the point that everybody's leaving San Francisco right now. Yeah it's. It's. It's. It's a huge problem in the culture of Silicon Valley. There, this has been the case for a very long time is when you're when you're very successful and wealthy in philanthropic. I. Think I think a lot of people. Will have some level of guilt about their success and then and then in the Gulf is not rational. Guilty there's people who are poor in the world and you have success and in Celtic the cultural norm I think becomes beat becomes very, very careful about being proud of your success especially often any pride, any of that at all and in in the in the default becomes you know if you've taken over by the left at some point, I, don't know exactly how the people got charged here in. So many places partially because they're so loud I think there's five ten percent of people here who really believe in that stuff and they've got very good. I think it came from the university's look at our big tech companies, the Culture Google late model of office Stanford, it's all the. Same thing with the other ones and so these companies are basically taking a culture from university. You know it's been broken for a few decades and die, and these people are really good. Punish people who stand up to them and and trying to get them. So it's not worth people's time to push back. If you're trying to your job, you're just you're you're just you're just doing you're just do what you can and ask these people people get to be in charge. It's really bad. So how do you how do you run companies then and make sure that they don't get infected by these ideas? I, mean it's really important that you hire first of all like a lot of our companies you've got to be really careful you into your company. You do not want social justice activist who's GonNa be strengths up like I love with the the you of coin base Brian Armstrong put out the other day. There's a lot of shared and the our company's not about all these other things it's about our mission and you know we have there's other places you can go if you WANNA, focus on other missions this is our mission So a lot of my companies we spend you do some time must be really careful who we let in and asked to teach CEO's this is your job if you don't come to me a year from now and say as horrible as people are so distracting, they're pushing. Through, all these stupid things your fault for not figuring out in for hiring them. So this is something a lot people are learning about right now it's funny. I always find it interesting how it deviates from the core mission always like if every single commercial, you watch these days, it's a company, but it's not about their product. It's about what they're what quote unquote good they're doing the only company that I know may like major company that's not doing it as t mobile and they all their commercials are about their product and I'm always like, oh, there there's I. Know what they're selling it's incredible. Does he realize a real company and you know? I think there is a role. There is a role for consumer brands to stand for values. The people believe I think in a free market people that choose their mind towards brands that go towards things they believe in, and if it was purely reflecting the desire of the market I think that's interesting I. Think the problem is these big companies is marking apartments are conquered by people with these extremely woke views do not reflect their customers that becomes a really weird disconnected I'm hoping to Marco saw that eventually, but pushing back on some of these things. Yeah. All right. So let's back up to that. Poo. Poo Moment when you pooh-poohed the twenty, two billion. So. So. Okay. So pound here went to IPO about it's about ten days ago by the time we post this Can you just I've had Peter on as you know, but but can you explain what pound tear is I feel like penalty gets a lot of really bizarre press and people have no concept of what it actually is is because it is a pretty complicated thing to explain the best way I like to look at it is we're taking things that used to be done by T. services. So we started off in the defense world. World in the US government spends forty billion dollars a year gathering data and they spend. A similar amount of money paying it service professionals who try to build systems let the analysts you the data but shared etc, and it's a mess. They always produce go way over budget they waste billions of dollars. You'd expect on these things they're paying people do things the same in the nineteen eighties, nineteen ninety S, and so looking at this after nine eleven, we said wait a second hair, the technology in Silicon Valley got way ahead. Of Everything DC is doing now that's actually that was that was a sad thing for us to realize because when you're computer scientists, you look at the NSA in the nineteen seventies, they were way ahead of everyone else by far. So used to be government was way ahead is not anymore no question, and so he said he cowboy build up platform that out of the box replaced the need for tens of billions of Spencer or platforms in. An environment where you could take data from tons of places, the process it's very, very expensive hard to do and takes a very long time and then sure it makes sure only people who are allowed. You can see it allow people to build tools on top of it to to collaborate. So for example, we help, we help intelligence US around the world collaborate we. All aerospace companies their suppliers collaborate with data base basically helps you use all the data you're you're allowed to. You're allowed to use the only people who are supposed to see things see them. So it's a hard problem. So for for more libertarian, minded guys like you and Peter Does that cause like a little bit of a ethical dilemma you're working with the government. Will the whole the whole way to two different things. First of all, what was happening before we built pounds here was their building systems to see things with basically very little safeguards. Anybody who needed you imagine like Jack Bauer on the show at twenty four hours a terrorist. You just going to go on the database and take the data. He needs because otherwise someone's GonNa die right and so people are a lot of people exclusive screw deliveries i. Can't take whatever we can, and so ask Libertarians, we said, no, we're going to build pals here is going to give them more powerful access, but it's also build make audit trails. We're GONNA know exactly who did what we're GONNA enforce the rules and whatever the rules are. We're GONNA enforce them. We don't make the rules President Obama makes rules, President Bush made rules we were forced whatever the Congress has been forced those rules and so so first of. All first of all, it was actually pal like the most privacy engine in the world because really enforce it used here. It's very hard for you to get away with anything you're not supposed to do so that that was something we really heartened by the second one's nursing question I built a lot of things now in Gove Tech I think for me is part of being a realist. You think you asked about Libertarian Cato is the most famous. Libertarian in the Roman republic and what Kato would do is you wouldn't compromise at all of his really mired from being uncompromising and constantly fighting for what was right. But because he wouldn't compromise, you wouldn't work with POMPEII, Pompei went over to Caesar eventually lost three public because he was so stubborn he couldn't get things done and therefore you lost the entire thing and the entire thing was gone so as much as I admire Kato and a Hammer Katie. GROWN UP I'm a realist, and so I wanNA fight from is well as possible but the government is going to be doing something like let's actually help it reflect our guys for free society as much as possible helping not least billions as help and protect civil liberties. Let's help it actually get the terrorists because in the worst of all worlds is that the government is doing all these things and is viciously incompetent. Really bad for everyone. Yeah. You're speaking my language. So can you explain to me then as someone that has worked with the US government? Why are there so many government websites that are so ridiculously old and broken I pay I always use the example and and you as a California Guy I pay my California state taxes on a website that literally looks like it's prodigy from nine hundred ninety. Nine why is that? There's no, there's no accountability and there's no incentives and the people who win these government contracts are working through these really Byzantine procurement rules that favor the incumbents in favor of the people that have paid for massive amounts of lobbying between the same way since nineteen eighty seven or whenever they start building these things probably ninety seven for that website you know but instead so. Government is we need to completely change terminent works and we need to have accountability metrics in the same things you do in a business or businesses that we have a website there's certain rules for measuring how well it's doing and measuring the feedback pining NPS scores, right NPS scores when you get, you know how much people like it recommended to friends there's things like this. The government should not do and the The biggest problem is government has special interests everywhere especially, government unions the refused to let them be held accountable. So until we can hold our governments accountable. There's gonNA keeping being broken. Yeah. All right. I want to shift a little bit because as you know, we're we're doing locals week here and when I when I created locals and when I had the idea of locals and I brought some of the team locals, we had to raise a little bit of dough and I started asking around and a lot of people your name just kept popping. Up. People just kept saying this sounds like Joe Lonsdale you gotTa Talk Joe. Lonsdale I. Don't even remember I'm not even totally sure how we got connected but I. But I we jumped on zoom or skype and in the first conversation within five minutes you're like, yeah, I wanNA throw you guys some money and good luck and you've helped guide us with this thing wh when when someone approaches you. Doesn't have to be about local specifically generally when people approach you with ideas like this, like what goes through the checklist in your mind like Oh this is something I want to find her I see something here or you know I'm going to write a massive check for this one or a little bit for this one like what is the whole process like? Sure well so so you know ABC's venture fund run a multibillion dollar venture capital firm is forty people, nine partners and NEC. We we have different themes were focused on in the big question. There is what's possible. Now, it was not possible five years ago. That's the big question and we will really taught technology cultures intech talent in help nurture, and build those than we look for them working on his problems that are merely possible because again, the job of venture capital seawall the. have. A lot of things in that vein on my also do much smaller amount of personal investing when something is really important to me ideologically or for the world even if it doesn't fit exactly as my VC bucket. Love to support things, I think are very important for the world you guys are doing. Yeah. Do you sense that that the sort of small internet or the bottom up internet is the future we're gonNA move away from these big tech platforms and do things a little bit more like what we're doing with locals where people will create their own communities and kind of. figure out how to network up. So it's really just flip in the whole thing upside down I would I would I would love to be the case I think I think in some cases that will that will be what happens I get? The one of the challenges is unusual right now is in the old days when you think of a monopoly think of something. That gets to be somewhat decadent in this instance starts to decline and right now there's there is at least for today, advantage of the big companies have as they keep attracting very, very, very top talent. So as much as I think they're doing things that are morally and ethically wrong. A big challenge were gonNA face to bring that vision you mentioned which is very. Possible possibly good vision is, how do we? How do we compete for top talent? 'cause is very unusual circumstance. They may be monopolies, but they are they are tiring all all the top talent, which is very impressive to watch. Yeah, and it's like you've got some dough it's not like you can't compete but they've got they've got even more money machine Google is like as. People. Think powder being birth twenty, billion dollars something. Google's money machine. I. Think shoots off a three or four billion of free cash flow quarter is ridiculous. How much money these guys half do you know what? They're actually making money on at this point I've heard a bunch of people talk about this. What products do they have that are actually making money versus? Yeah, one of my companies actually is funds like hugh percent of their revenue, her Google and facebook it's it's it's the number to Amazon called. Wish we advertise in, we do like dollar store or stuff on live in in a Walmart Online, and so there's things like that were selling stuff to consumers and consumers are are finding it but there's basically everything everything you sal these guys make money on especially will anything anything you might search for anything you might want to figure out who google is GonNa be very, very good amounting. Yeah. What do you think generally about the? Subscription versus ad model these days is that changing a little bit now that people have of woken up to some of the stuff yeah I think you said I think for the bottom up world you're gonNA start seeing a lot more model how things work I think that is how media should work my favorite media a subscriber to whether it's whether it's like the information is is technology. You know it's kind of a little slightly well, but it's like better than the other ones attack. In fact, it's hard to find to find everything you get in, but it's like is is That you guys you guys features is is is there's a lot of people on there definitely were flying since driving to you so I I think things are shifting doctors because it's a healthier thing but but we're gonNA see hopefully get more in that direction. Yeah. So talk a little bit about your your political life. So I, what for people? That have no idea what what Cicero is can you just explain what they are I? Then we'll talk about your involvement a little bit. Yes. Sure. So you know it kind of grew out of a lot of my my other activity where you'd learn about different industries and you say, wow, this is really broken I. Wonder why this part of healthcare doesn't work this much better way would be five times as efficient in sometimes you'll find oh well, then you the system we need to do something as an entrepreneur mobile companies. But a lot of time to say you know it's not because the ones built a company is because the policy is wrong is like the policy here is causing healthcare to be three times as expensive. The policy here is causing housing to be twice as expensive should be in this area, and so the more look at politics in the more I get afraid of socialists you know coming in convincing our kids to be socialists the. More I've realized wow every area of society that's broken. It tends to be broken because of big government in because the best ideas are allowed to compete and win what you want society. The reason free society works. If someone has a better idea than idea wins out over time, this is a better way to do probation parole because less people will go back to jail. You want a way for that idea win and I think A. Lot of people don't understand this. They think the just published like this is a better way to imprison and people just adopted and then society will move forward and turns out. That's not how society works as a false models decided that Crutch Mall Society is you have to have a competition of ideas you have to have accountability something makes the ballot he has lose in God win and so Cicero is helping put forward laws is helping. Figure out where we can take these best ideas, identify them and create systems where the best ideas we'll win in these areas is the hardest part of that just the messaging where I think most people unfortunately, they just see Oh something's screwed up like it just need more money like that's just like the one level thought I. Think it's a really hard thing teach people to think in terms of systems. Most people are not systems thinkers. Systems good leader might say this is a program I'm going to give it money whereas great leader would say, how do we redesign the system so that the good things are winning in the bad things are going away and the redesign the system problem is is not is not people thinking that the market is in the markets with the systems. There is an in the morning reflecting the better systems about, but you're right people understand it very well right. So like can you give me a couple of examples like the type of things like let's talk about healthcare like what what can we do to clear up this health care mess? Dealing your presidential debate platform. There's there's there's there's so many things we pushing. There's there's a group called P., b. m.'s three of fortune twenty companies are pbs, pharmacy benefit manufacturers. They're the guys who to tell pharmacists with drugs. They could sell and make them available kind middlemen on drugs in. America in the all these things with a gag everyone and so one. Thing we stopped them from doing, which was good. It was till refined passed in the Senate two years ago I was very very putting forward is they used to say, okay pharmacists that there's too generic drug options in one even if one is twenty times cheaper than the other, your doctor prescribes the more expensive on you're not allowed to tell him or the patient. Can. Tell her the patient about the cheaper ones totally crazy, right. So so usually. Still got rid of that. That's illegal now. The there's a logic behind that. That's just purely because they're in the pocket of their concept. Is there cartel power they like being able to make tons of money? Isn't there cartel is saying we're not gonNA give you these other drugs only we have access to his cartel and it's really hard regulatory to compete with us. In unless you unless you don't tell these things but here's another thing they do. They don't let people tell the prices they're paying. So pharmacists would love to be able to say, Hey, other PPM upstart here's what I'm paying on these You know can you give me a better deal and that's illegal you're not allowed to prices are a trade secret according to these cartels in America there's lots of parts of healthcare like this will all the prices are trade secrets in there and they won't tell you ahead of time because that stops competition from coming in on them. So insurance companies would love to be. Able to go to other providers in saving these people are charging us this much over here pay we pay a lot less, but there's always there's always like gag orders where you can't do that against the rules and so in my view in order for free markets, work better you on competition and therefore you WanNa ban his gag orders since google or something only cartels a want it's amazing date you go to Congress and talk to senators and they say you know I've had all people visit me from farm lobby and they've explained to me that if this thing was transparent everyone collude percival go up like. Tiger he's like like, okay, guys. You're paying billions of dollars to convince you to convince you of this right and. that it was transparent, it would make the market not function as well, and it's like this is the senators on both sides man. I I. Love Work Issues Obviously believe in freedom and believe in free markets. But there are people bought off in this country on both sides by these lobbyists who who are not putting in the pro-market solutions, and so we're we're working hard on it I. I'm optimistic we're going to win but everyone on these areas There's there's there's like this just drives me crazy it's Kinda. Hilarious. You go into a Congressman's office they tell you that if they take the secrecy away and then everyone can actually negotiate prices will go up there. There's. Something in an economics only had. People on both parties in people in both were good eyesight tip you know. Enjoy driving crazy. Do you find the partisan gridlock? Do you find it? Is it fifty? Fifty is one side worse than the other is one side a little more I think generally speaking people on the right are a little more open to free markets up but is it pretty close people and water more open to free market stuff but I mean the freedom? Caucus, for example, why Meyer a lot of a lot of them are Kato's were the thing I said earlier where they're so extreme that they want him compromise a little bit is interesting. The Bush White House I I have a lot of rain for for Dick Cheney a lot of issues but Dick Cheney's was so stubborn advocate on this issue the he didn't want. To require transparency because he said the market be able to figure it out. We shouldn't have required transparency in but in all these other healthcare analysts including myself, say you know it's pretty obvious. You do need transparency here because that's the only way. It's GonNa work working there so many the monopolies and whatnot that you need to make some more like a market more. All your free society with more competition and he was afraid to impose transparency thought that was China Margaret do so it's interesting. You have people on the far right pretty transient sometimes how many things? Yeah. What else should we be thinking of as like the big issues related to to healthcare like okay. Prescription drug prices like like what are the other types of things? Really Big One, the biggest. So what you look for spaces you look for where all the contribution margin is what contribution margin is, and businesses is you know? It's it's how much money business are actually making before you know on the services providing and and and the biggest area of contribution margin is health providers. Health providers are hospitals basically are things like hospitals and it's really it's really regis how this works and it's tough because no one wants to be against their local hospital sounds like things should give money to an support but a lot of hospitals like Medicare Medicaid literally will pay two three times as much for the exact same. Service to a hospital versus clinic because hospitals have so much power in they've set things up that way where they're getting any. So we have to get paid more because we have more extensive and I'm thinking what in a market in the Patriots Times as much the same exact dot com or even a worse outcome and it's really interesting if you if you map out all these health systems that have bought up lots of things in an area to give themselves more pricing power because. They buy one nearby then you can't have competition you can't. You can't actually have insurance companies with this reasonable one this other one and I and it's really bad and here's the thing it's really crazy a lot. These health systems are nonprofits in. So you say it's a nonprofit that means it must be good good guy for the world's you can't do anything. So the FTC the Federal Trade Commission is not allowed looking nonprofits right now. So you have all these things, Don nonprofit. Have bought up massive amounts of area and then can jack up the prices a lot and people were in the nonprofit are making huge amounts of money even those officially non-profit and and it is a big problem. So one of the big things is antitrust antler the FTC to antitrust against nonprofits as well in in really what it's about it's about creating competition is about putting markets into placer. Yeah. How do you decide when the government can get involved there the libertarian side you. That's what you're saying about being a realist as. I mean another big. The Libertarian thing here is making it easier to start competitors right made it easier to start health clinics to compete. The problem is you have monopoly power as you're so dominant in that area and you're allowed to tell the health insurance. If you work with this guy, we won't work with you and everything secret you can't say what we're charging you. It becomes they basically become these things that the Kilhof petition. That's that's that's fundamentally un-american America works better. If you have competition these areas, there's lots of ways there's lots of. Good academic. Work. The monopoly or not, and is it's comical to me that we're going after the technically start right now when we have a much bigger problem, this country of the healthcare law plays all sorts of local levels and if the. US The academic literature that's been by both sides last seventy years. The conservative view of antitrust is in mind US cracked bark the barking view basically the created of the great legal scholars, which is you look at the impact on consumer prices and you very clearly see places where we're spending two three, four times as much for services. It's very clearly a motley. If there's any view, the FTC supposed to do something to me, that should be it so so and again if you say if You don't need government at all. Sure. If you got rid of all health care regulations I, mean it really easy to compete maybe this problem, it's all of a self, but we're not going to get rid of all those things. So therefore, let's let's find some way to competition and make it make it healthy right. So what what would the system look like? Like would hippie just a lot of individual companies that are sort of corralled by the government to have to play fairly like what? Was it actually you want to be as open as possible right I. Mean you want to be as open as possible. You want new tax competition to be able to come in. You want people to be to user on health plans. One of the things government messed up union was in the nineteen forties in World War Two. We may see you couldn't pay more, but you could give them benefits and intimate like healthcare but tax-free benefit. So treated the system in our country where we started expecting get things from of. Course people want to more space gave them better and better health plans and so everyone that youth outing a health plan from their company tax free and not choosing it themselves, and so dot rid of a lot of choice there and people don't even know some H. Some random HR person who's probably super well is the one when choosing your health care plan for you for a long Americans. That's not how things should work and so what what should be is it should be the the it should be the people to. Around health plans. So over Roy has something Sandra Brown, I think put out yesterday it was really great new health plan and what it is is basically it's a it's going to cover everyone is not gonNA. Cover rich people's means tested. So anyone fifty, five, hundred, you're not gonNA get Medicare if you're rich four and and is covered in the market, which is the everyone's private insurance company in any new startups, half the people have to choose the health insurance themselves, and in the meantime we're gonNA antitrust we're going. To have transparency and we're going to push back on these really sketchy tactics people use on Ip on drug. We've had the IP for decades they're still keeping expensive. So there's a combination of using markets using private insurance and you know in in means testing in this is this is a compromise again covering everyone, but basically basically everything's private but the bottom gets covered by by the government is a combination save money at work I. Think we need a compromise like this to keep our health system for yeah, have been tracking. What Jared Kushner is doing with Oscar, is that related to any of the types of things? That's that's brother Josh. No. Sorry. Joshua. Yeah Jer Jared Jared is very busy. Scary Jerry's got other things going on Yeah Josh Josh. I'm a I'm a fan of the Kushner Kushner brothers and I've I've read a lot of my friends in the valley. Oh, it's your it must guys be horrible and I I showed himself he's doing or connect them to him in the end up liking in person he's actually pretty smart guy in my opinion Josh. Job With Oscar. You know there's a lot of ways. Oscar uses data uses telemedicine no one done before. It was fascinating and we got a bunch of clinics on a platform. Of course you know this is the health insurance companies growing quickly, and I put on a million dollars into us than we are. We are at one of my twenty three big investments and in there, and there's like his pediatrician group and said how come we're not on your platform and we told them. Listen you guys spend three times as much on tests either pediatricians in this area and he said, wow, we didn't know that no one ever told us that before and we said we say what is strange space like these people have no idea how much money they're spending this is such a broken area even told them that they were doing things unnecessarily necessarily and so. Yeah. So a lot to kind of push off insurance use data to be a better to begin to be better force under under bullish on it. Yeah. I, know you're you're one of your other sort of main places of interest is criminal justice reform I feel like this is one where almost everyone agrees something be done and there can be something that sort of bipartisan and in many ways, trump seems to be trying to do things that I thought left these were fighting for for for a long time. How can we fix this clearly broke jumping jared delon good job on this. There's a lot of people on the right who are suspicious of some of this that I I don't blame them. A lot of criminal justice before on this being pitched like getting rid of the bail or you make you rest these guys get out for arrest them again and they get out you have to rest them. There's a lot of ridiculous criminal justice reform a Mama for any of that. The part that I am for is is again, how can you fix this systems that are feeling people? So you know few systems that are feeling people. One of them is probation and Parole Others Literally Amazing Probation Parole officers. Who really spend time you know deploying the tactics to lower recidivism the healthy people and like they see their job as they're serving these people want to keep him out of prison they want to help them succeed in life and they want to be easy on them Ziama. Kevin. Harlan. Than when it's helpful for them and his obligation Pearl Office were absolutely horrible in there nasty to these people and they get a job is too far away time to see the officers they thrown back in prison Whatever it is, they're just like making so tough on him, and so the question is, how can you have incentives for? Patient? Parole. Not Usually Fan of California His earlier. I know you're still saying here in the state one thing they did really well, eleven years ago is a bipartisan bill where they change the incentives for county probation offices to actually get to keep some money if they didn't send as many people back to prison as long as Farmington up in working streuli well, save the state of billion dollars over the last eleven years and we're actually Tannen to something similar. We're taking those successes in which people hey, let's do this for California Parole Nancy. Let's. Actually have incentives for the parole officers actually care about doing their jobs because what happened he seems you passed that law has all his office started studying insuring notes what works lower recidivism? How do we do? How is this? How do we care about everyone's getting measured? You Know Bob you've sent everyone back to prison in the last seven years that's really hurting numbers maybe you should care about not duchess sending back try to work with them and try to help them in. Here's in tactics techniques we found work And so it's amazing how the accountability in these areas could do. Yeah. What about education were? What's what's going on here? It seems to me choice choice choice choice choice, and yet that seems to be a scary thing to people. Yeah well, I'm generally obviously a fan of choice as the thing we're talking about in every area is competition choice. There's different levels of education All him a really important guy to our if these kids when they're young and make sure they're not thrown by Marxist is little kids That's important. But in terms of the incentives we think we can work on incentives are easier to do with at the latter part of Education 'cause you measure the results in one of my favorite programs to to really go after right now there's something called Pell grants and their progress were created for good reasons really well meaning trying to. Help people from baths, backgrounds, or lower socioeconomic backgrounds succeed in life incentive to college, and the problem is accountability at all. So we spend thirty billion dollars a year day on pell grants in this country and the results -pletely. Different. So there's there's some there's some schools to do a great job in for exacting type of kids. They'll have kept twice a salary coming out of those schools as others, and when you think about university is not just about getting a high salary. That university is about it is about being a graces in to live in a free republic. It is about your moral action. Those are both legit things for universities to care about. But the third thing definitely is learning how to get skills get a job learning how to actually succeed in line in your if we're going to spend thirty billion dollars a year maybe part of the Pell Grant Program should care they're getting skills are not going to these schools in because the results are literally two to one the questions. Okay. These really really crappy schools, but it probably all become protesters or God knows. What they're GONNA do afterwards have jobs in the average salaries. You know twenty one thousand away from them. Maybe it'd be shouldn't be giving many parents to go to those schools in these great ones where people are making more than twice as much as that maybe they should be getting more right. So the question is, how do you put incentives into these programs to take into account the data in right into that at all and our government probably should yeah do you think we could just let a whole bunch of these public schools just fail and just that would just clear out the brush that. If you do this title for to that, when Council tunnel, the longest one, hundred, billion dollars alone to give that, and it's pretty obvious that pell grants plus tuttle for our propping up like this bottom thirty percent of these schools that are just absolutely horrid schools probably care a lot more about whatever crazy ethnic studies things they're doing, whatever racism, their teaching, our kids, and they actually care about anything helpful for America. So yes, Japan did this recently, they close a bunch of their like of their like kind of weaker kinda accurate liberal arts, departments, schools, and it was the outcry with me. Pretty Awesome. The Japanese that Yeah Yeah I think we can do that. Too now now now, of course would be more something right would you in the left would scream bloody murder. So rather than do that, let's just start with some incentives. Are we kind of maybe new trim the bottom incentives that are nonpartisan abby I hope is non-par solution here they can push forward i. so even if you could do some of that stuff and you change what you're doing with grants in some of the handouts and some of that kind of stuff, do you think that the academic layer of it has just been so corroded and calcified and corrupted that it almost won't matter whether whether they pull some of the string purses and that kind of thing. You know I think people respond to money. There's gotTa, be son academics there that are going to be wacky and useless anyway. But there's GonNa be some of these boards reaction sale while rather than talking our entire board meeting about how well we are on how to be more woke. Maybe we should look at this data that says we're not teaching a useful skills and maybe we should see what these five schools they're doing. Great. Are Teaching need. We should like add some of those in for these poor kids that are coming here to try to build a life rather than just brainwashing them and you're right. Not every one of them is going to say that number just going to be completely dysfunctional, and then that's that's why markets are such an important thing. The markets get rid of bad ideas, right so these things are not working the school's GonNa Shrimp. Because there's GonNa be some accountability you know. So so that that is it's song can adapt and I think some probably should go. Yeah. So as a as a pretty forward thinking guy in a forward thinking industry. Lincoln this back to the political thing I think a lot of people feel like we're sort of at the end of something like my feeling right now with our political gridlock is just we're just at the end of this thing the fact that a whether you like them or not that seventy seven year old is running against the seventy four year old one of them's been in politics for forty seven years. One of them's. Been in private industry forever good bad indifferent. It doesn't matter that we're just sort of at the end of this cycle. What do you think we need from our politicians after this did well first off do you think there is an after this? Do you think we get out of this thing or does it reconstitute itself in some other evil form for years now? You know it seems very likely. That, we'd potentially if you if you get some kind of Biden vitamin, victory, you get some kind of like the whole thing goes on a little bit longer and in you know what we need is we need competent outsiders breaking into government in shaking it up. We need people who understand systems without really means you need. You need you need some non well computer scientist frankly use them engineers who know how to run things, and that's something as much. As I am disgusted by CC PM by things China does when you advantage China has in certain areas is that the majority of the people in charge there have engineering backgrounds majority of people in charge of our country right now have our lawyers and and Macho the right answer for the future what we need people were optimistic. WHO's who painted vision of House country can't be much better I mean, this is what drives me crazy Davis it's obvious how We have enough ability to generate wealth and prosperity for everyone we have a golden age. Basically, we have diseases being friend Jennifer won the Nobel prizes morning for for Christopher writers amazing stuff going on this country in amazing potential and when you people who could take the optimism take the is a free society and show positive some ways of solving our problems and I think we can get that. But it's going to be a different set of leaders we have right now. Lonsdale that's a pretty solid closing statement. Although although, wait a minute I. Feel like I have to ask you one more. Now you know with locals we haven't even gone into series yet but when I get this thing to, IPO what kind of party do I throw at the twenty two billion? Like what do you do? What do you do that? What do you do that night? I out about. You know it's funny I had about thirty firms who built it with me of the fifty people I invited twenty when already moved out in California. So I'M GONNA lead next week but it was is a it's it's it's a good success. You know it's it's not penalty never as much. It is honestly case there was much about the money we we help them target and eliminate over. Eight thousand bad guys including the most famous ones in the last decade helped our country and we've helped save huge amount of money. So I'm really tired of the company. Awesome. Well, Jones L. I enjoyed talking to you and I'm enjoying working with you and I'm going to see if I can add a couple more zeros to your situation. Let me see what I can do over here. You thanks day. All right. Thank you. Okay. If you're looking for more honest and thoughtful conversations about tech instead of nonstop yelling checkout our tech playlist, and if you WANNA watch full interviews on a variety of topics, check out our full episodes playlists they're right over here and to get notified of future videos be sure to subscribe and Click the notification bell.

Peter thiel US Google California Silicon Valley Joe Lonsdale America facebook Stanford Dave Rubin China Kato scientist Cicero Federal Trade Commission
My Block, My Hood, My City Raises Money For Small Businesses

Reset with Jenn White

17:40 min | 7 months ago

My Block, My Hood, My City Raises Money For Small Businesses

"Hi. I'm Justin Kauffman in. This is reset. You WanNa be a leader and you'll city. Right down, east fifteen words. The fifteen. What something simple I can do that'll have a positive impact on my block and I'm telling. If you start with the simple things, you can develop the muscle. Take bigger challenges. That's the voice of Jamal Coal speaking on a Lory lightfoot press conference late last month. He's the man behind the organization. You've been hearing a lot about lately. It's called my block. My Hood I city in a short amount of time Cole and his organization have raised over a million dollars to help small businesses, and the south and westside affected by recent looting. His work raising money this past week to his efforts, shovel sidewalks for seniors. Coal is a true community organizer. Jamal Coal welcomed the reset eight. Minute how you doing I'm good, so let's first talk. I want to talk about the initiative to help small businesses on the South and West Side Tell me what my block my hood! My City is doing for for small businesses. For protests, but we're not for the census destruction of of you know businesses like community, so there's a lot of looters I've taken. You Know Hammer time. Breaking Windows or small businesses and spraying or CD's and. Using the opportunity to tear down, you know a black windy, so we started small business relief funds to support them with their own operations to repair on seduce overfeeding over to do some instructions. Some painting and we just put that. Website will raise some money and get a lot of all off. And I know you know your vocal about the community you live in Chatham and other and other communities around there. I'm interested when you see that happen when you see vandalism and destruction happening in neighborhood in communities that you're in how how you feel like. What were you feeling? Before you even started this initiative. Well? There's been a healthcare practice going on Chicago's long before Kobe nineteen dot here you know we've been calling gun violence in Chicago public health issue for decades sometimes. I just elephant wordplay right now, but I feel like a and there's a blighted. There's a high crime rate and I mean that's really because there's resource schools diagnostic community, high incarceration rate, high unemployment, and this leads to the violence, so it's not regular and that you know there's more technology on. On the light poles in the classrooms there's paddy wagons parked outside the front of the high schools. You can't really be inspired when you have to go to McDonald's Wifi you know what I mean, so there's There's a lack of lack of hope and we're trying to change that. We kind of change that showing kids more than their infrastructure than neighborhood, so we are explorers, program helps get them out of their neighborhood and expose them to different parts of Chicago. Can Do in the explorer program for a while now and you know I thought of you a lot in the last couple of weeks just because even before and I think it's great that the city partnered with you for the small business relief, but. You've been such a stall when it comes to just believing in your block. Where's the idea that your activism? Because blocked to block democracy starts from blocker for me, you know I feel like My Preschool graduation speech was you know we the class of nineteen? eighty-eight are determined to be our best of whatever we say or do you know we'll share smile? Linda hand to our neighbor, no matter what will be the best in a lifetime, so that's like fifty words that I did in nineteen eighty eight, but he talked about being. In the hands of your neighbors. That's the mission statement on my life a lot of times. We know WHO's on trump's cabinet, but we don't know who our next door. Neighbor is you know. How can you what something simple you can do and I'll make a difference man if you start with a simple thing is not easy, but if you with the simple things I've learned that you. You develop the muscle that takes to take on big things and Jamal I mean I I feel the same way I feel I. Certain Point I remember. My parents instilled in means, is volunteerism, and to give back to the neighborhood I live in, and at some point went to college I went to different places I started to drift away from that. What kept you so strong and so? Committed to volunteerism and being and being a part of your community. Well because you know, I grew up having to eat it homeless shelters you know and I. I remember being embarrassed having to eat Thanksgiving dinner and my dad was not going there and get your food I was embarrassing. Mates where you know in high school. They were the ones volunteering and have the. Gloves on serving food, but it really kept me humble when I i. didn't know of Ounces were, but I knew when I got older. I. Want to do that. I wanted to help. I want to be a part of something else helping so that's always stay with me man when you grow up sleeping in the back of a u-haul truck. You know when you go up. Nobody ever met went to college nothing, so it was like. I was I love being a part of like positive stuff I can't isn't it? Makes me feel like I'm contributing. Jamal Cold my guests. He's the founder of my block. My Hood, my city, talking about of course, a small business relief fund, which has gotten a ton of press and raised Mil-. Million dollars in two days. I think that just shows the resiliency and the power of not only your organization, but chicagoans who want help. Does it inspire you that that you raise that much money? Quick I mean. It was the think about how many people wanted to help and wanted to to help small businesses on the south and West sides rebuild. Definitely inspired I mean America's real busy right now, but you know being busy Anna nearly, Know. Everybody wants to do something big and do a song so I feel like It's good to see that corporations and people are being well first of all beings. Donation was like the Arizona sixty nine dollars, so it came from his. People like me and you and the donated. Hey, this is what I could do. Right now, the status quo can change and I feel like we. We have to take advantage right now so. How can we invest exchange I? Mean I told you. We had an explorer program. A lot of kids in Chicago live in neighborhoods where there's fifteen currency exchanges the gangs, so if you ask them, Hey, what's a job at a bank? They don't know they never been to one They've never wait for taxi before or they never been an elevator worldview shaped by the infrastructure of North Lonsdale Inglewood. That's. That's tragic man so by two thousand, twenty, five I'm hoping that we will never hear that Chicago, Kids they never been downtown before work with ten schools right now. We have you know thirty six Kuwait numerous, so we need people to help support those schools, so you don't WanNa know kids. Saying the native been downtown, especially the kids that to work in marketing, but it's never been an elevator. Real stuff happening, so we need to expose these kids. Jobs processions, cuisines, and cultures and stuff like that. With my block, my hood, my city is you guys have been doing this and you talk about the Explorers Program and I've mentioned at the top about shoveling snow, and and the the what you were doing with my block, my hood, my city over the of the wintertime in the last couple of winters. All these issues and you've been talking about the issues of systemic racism and inequities for a long time for for to be in this moment where the lens of the mainstream media has moved and shifted to to shine a light. What does that mean to you that that the things that you've been talking about seem to be being heard right now in this country. You know what man. I'm a student, the second communication I've been listening more. I'm only shows right now. With the founding of the black lives, matter and they've been studying leased before for a long time. So you know I'm learning now about universal choke holes, and how F. O. P.? Contract allows police officers beside for seventy seven hours I'm taking. Only like you know. Try My best to educate people, but I'm using this as a opportunity. Listen but I'm prepared that I'm I'm very paid and and I think that people are outraged right now and I wanna make sure that I can not only be I can inspire hope. Arouse enthusiasm when people to do something like movie Ibm, but that'd be passionate so. I'm just I'm staying ready I'm saying working out. I'm saying reading and. Listening more than I. Be! I'm interested because yesterday we talked Jay Green, and and you know. wbz Did a piece about inequities in lending the idea that they were. They pointed out that banks and I think it was just chase bank, but the the idea that. Sound like eighty percent of of loans go to white neighborhoods in Chicago. It's two percent less than two percent. One point nine percent. goto black neighborhoods in Chicago. And you know when you see those numbers. And you try to analyze what that means, and you see the disinvestment or the inequities from neighborhood to neighborhood. How hard is it to convince your neighbors? To think your way to think about going block to block when they see bigger or no bigger. Four forces are disinvesting in their communities. I think it's very important to take full responsibility for your actions and ask yourself what you can do to change things, allies, person said on definition of is is sanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, so know we gotta do something different, which is relying on ourselves, you know we need to start marching collectively waiting to there's a desk or a big social media campaign how can you support a local nonprofit that supports us while people are alive you can support businesses that support you, you know if black people are being treated poorly, you know those didn't and get a diamond. Nobody's money. You know we can vote and primary elections presidential election We can our representatives, you know. Disappointments arm reserved for poor people that you know what I mean like. Is Reserve for Bucket Boys Semi Nice, day it rains on rich people to you know what I mean. It rings on like people to so instead of like making this a race thing that I really feel like a Chicago. We've been screaming for more equitable Chicago for a long time and I think everybody has a role to play man. I feel like the lack of preparation delivered almost a lot of these things, so hey, I could put a there's. There's a lot of activism Chicago that and some of them are you know? Their specialty is putting pressure on institutions to make sure that's pause forgotten and I think that's good for Chicago as a whole, because we need something like that, so but as far as me man, I'm more trying to rely on you like democracy starts from the block. If we all did something simple, create a ripple of hope, and those ripples together can create a wave or change. Rabbi Broom and a dust and shovel. Sweep a storefront right now can you contacted elected official huge since P to a senior. I need. So. What's something simple you can do? We can try to change policies and giving the man. I'm. Trying to change your personality STU and so interesting, too, because the it goes beyond politics, and it goes beyond neighborhoods, and it even goes beyond institutionalized or systemic racism. It goes down to personalities and and being a good person in the way that I can go to my neighbor and do. Something thankless and help them out in a certain situation, regardless of who they are, and be part of my life. Be that part of my ethos part of my philosophy of who I am. You haven't had a masters degree to. To serve. You don't have to have a lot of me to listen to people. You don't have to be a politician to make a difference. You'd have to have a passion. Also, love by Dr King, talked about, and I'm all about this whole race. Thing to me. It's like A. Seventeenth Century, eighteenth century, English, EUGENIC words that was. It's time for us to change perspectives. If you go to other countries, they separate people by all types of things in this country, people by race, so I'm always who's profiting by promoting divisions among people. I mean who's really profiting. Might be the people that don't want. Poor people unite to fix the justice system that puts people in jail for stealing crumbs. Corporate studios doing of dollars so I. Really we have to start traveling and not stop being so narrow minded, because once you step outside your comfort zone. You realize you can connect with people based on their values. What color they are and I really I believe that's the story of my life. When you're interacting with the kids as part of the Explorers Program, and you get a chance to take them to different places, and like you said you hope by just a couple of years that we don't have that that. Situation where some kids in Chicago never seen downtown when they're living through this moment, and and they're in a position where obviously what life was like because of the pandemic because of police brutality Obviously they're seeing life and the issues around them in different ways. What what do you tell them? What do you tell kids who before weren't thinking about any of this stuff and now which is front and center? Is They don't use this. As an excuse man, you know you can sit back and say. The city's messed up. The world's last of the COPS is messed up and you can. You can not go to college, and then I'm giving up or you can say. The city's messed up whether. The. You can still go to. College knows about your perspective and I think that you know we If you've set some goals for yourself, you know and identify your purpose that can pull you through this deming so I'm always talking to kids about setting goals. Those tell you to do and what not to do. If you don't have any goals right now, and you'll go to a party in the middle of you know what I mean because you don't. Have you have those like. That's not a list of I'm not going to be doing that, but this is what I need to be doing so i. tell the kids that Hey Chicago already so resilient and they. You know a lot of them. Having known where their next meal's coming on for a long time, you know so. I've been trying to a lot of students that are out of work and out of school and a lot. Lot of seniors I need support and can't do shopping, so we hire seventy five thing is seventy five high school students, and we pay them fifteen dollars an hour to work twelve hours a week to make causes, seniors well caused. If you're news to we've been connecting the primary healthcare editions doing contact tracing and then sending them food, so we've actually higher of seventy five seen throughout UCS CONNECT PROGRAM Jamal when when you are doing these these. Following your own personal philosophy and you're doing the and setting goals, and and let's just say shoveling the sidewalks and you did this and we talked to the idea that you can get a group of people together and. You can. Shovel sidewalks for for seniors who need it? How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired when things don't go your way and the reason I used that example as it might snow tomorrow, you may do all that work, and it may snow and and delete all that work, and you know that's such a small micro way to look at it, but but how do you keep yourself inspired and motivated to continue the work that you've dedicated yourself to? I got a battery my bet. Most. The most poorest most visible person Chicago probably and I I've said that for a long time, but this isn't what I wanted to do. This is definitely not. I mean I I wanted to be a rapper basketball player that most people I wanted to. Hawaii, but I think that This guy wanted me to do once. I started volunteering county jail Exclusively Young! I I remember thinking like you. And then you know. My purpose came out like listen our philosophy, my Blah my city is taken care of people, no matter what and if it's snows when the out there shoveling. If it's heat wave, you see US delivering fans living Waterson, seniors. Studios even connected. We take them on educational system. We connect them. We don't have programs man. We really just adapt so whenever the need Dr. That's fun to me. That's fun to be able to say hey, Chicago stage and whatever happens in the city. You know we'll have live data and take care of people, no matter what I love so just taking us at the end here. Just the idea of what can we do? What can I do for my block? My Hood, my city. Talk about some of the things that you're working on it, of course, the Small Business Relief Fund. But what else can are you working on this summer? So right now we have. Our youth led tours. Anybody that wants to take a tour of North Lonsdale to asset based tour. You can sign your company. I thirtieth people at a time You can see those communities guys that you all you hear a lot of negative in north Lonsdale about the blight, but they come check out. See were Dr King Live when he was A. Where you get presentations that see this is south. Hoagies sixteenth enchanted got the best hoagies in the city. They can't show you. This is my block. This is what means a lot to me and so I think taking these youth fled tours, a good opportunity to these people to step outside cover of learn the history of Chicago you can also get involved about volatility events again over three hundred businesses have reached out who need support. If you have skills with the removal painting like Instruction Glass Repair. You can volunteer there also if you are a business owner that would love to or even a student right now. That can help out these businesses. Building new websites learning about analytics building shopper Fi pays WanNa make sure we're helping the business along with not only repair shops, but also help them with ECOMMERCE, so those are ways you can get involved right at our website at four my dot org. And you want to see you out there on the block volunteer with us the organization. It's called my block hood city. The founder Jamal Coal. Jamal. Thanks so much for talking today. Appreciate coming on the program. Anytime. Peace. And, that's Today's reset from the latest and most accurate information on the COVID, nineteen crisis here in Chicago and around the world tune in the ninety one point five or go to wbz dot. Org I'm Justin Kauffman. Thanks for listening and we'll catch back tomorrow.

Chicago Chicago Small Business Relief Fund Jamal Jamal Coal Justin Kauffman Dr King Explorers Program founder Cole Jamal Cold vandalism Arizona North Lonsdale North Lonsdale Inglewood Chatham basketball Linda hand
Ramsbottom features again in The Times Best Places to Live  Episode 133

This is Rammy - the podcast about Ramsbottom, its residents and businesses.

14:54 min | 1 year ago

Ramsbottom features again in The Times Best Places to Live Episode 133

"On the podcast this week I'm talking about the times best places to live in the UK and how Ramsbotham is offering once again. I'm also talking about fantastic win for Ramsbottom. I'm supposed to be knighted. Where one of our play is much too slow away. Oh full goals so keep listening to find out more. This is Romi. You're looking taste jeeze two week he podcast bringing news and interviews and information from the cost of rounds for similar with your house today. Hello Hello Hello and welcome to another episode of this is rummy. You might have noticed I in the news but once again rumour has featured in the times best places to live. They do this once a year. I think it is is the Sunday Times older Sunday element of the times and once again say Ramsbotham has featured in that top ten now is the top ten for the North West. Don't think he's like the top ten overall do seem to have an overall winner and a top ten three region but I think we might have slipped to lil bill because I think last year in two thousand eighteen we were on there but I think we're about sixth. Somebody might be able to correct me on that or not but I think we're about six last time so what was what two three places which slipped down as we're currently nights for the the North West bus not bad as it given the amount the regions. We've gone areas and things like that. emon includes places outlive pool as well but you might be wondering or at least. I was at the time time how the Times Komo with that list of best places so how to look into how to look on one of their articles and this is what they have to say they say yeah we use robust statistics consider a wide range of factors from job schools and broderbund speed to culture community spirit and local shops and combined. It's all with our expertise and insight so there you go. That's how they come up with that top places to live in the country. I think when I came across the one hundred six six different places that could have been for the two thousand eighteen survey though so don't quote me on knife is this a slight fluctuation full the rep wrote for the two thousand nineteen but I think that's a fair enough list of of criteria to be judged against. I mean research in areas where I think we could potentially pick up. Some extra points for example broke on speed is depends on which area from spot me liveries not star amazing in some places but then when for example where I live is not bad. He's is quite decent. local shops as well for example it happens to the paper mill the the only old the old Monday pay site that might have some kind of some kind of say on whether or not will feature in the two thousand twenty or two thousand and twenty one so if you go who knows whether or not we're going to be on then next year. Hopefully we will but if you're interested crested hair he was the full top ten of the northwest region best places to live for two thousand nineteen according to The Times so number one the winner for the region was Kirby Lonsdale and number two was last year's winner was ultra threes Bullington than it down wanted before model number five knots it. I don't think I've been not suit other than the service station number six Liverpool AAC birth eight eight. Beth never never had full. That's probably why I can't pronounce it but yeah apparently this somewhere local AAC birth number. The seven is an coats in Manchester number eight is Levin's you number nine. You might recognize this when it's Rumson on the baton as West Kirby Let's say there's a few in there have never heard before certainly never been to me if I've never heard of them. I don't even think point to them on the map other than somewhere the northwest quite interested in the ultra them slipped given they were the winners last year. I'm not entirely sure what they did wrong. All whether or not it's just a case that that Kobe Lonsdale's actually done something better may be altrincham. Didn't you know maybe they stay stagnant whereas belongs there wasn't a bit above and beyond but they go. I one of the reasons I'm not sure if you agree with his own but one of the reasons I think what we regularly early. Featuring things like the times best places to live is due to our vibrant nightlife and our food seen probably more food than anything else put. One of the jewels in our crown is the heavily awarded Levant. I'm sure if you've if you've ever been out Ramsbotham you've probably been Levada who on the sixth of April. They turned five years old now. He's the he's the Lante restaurant that turned five years old. Levante as as a as a business was actually formed in two thousand and eleven and they did festivals and things like that but i. I'm glad glad that lavender hey. I'm really pleased that they're still around and the do really well. I'm led to believe that the the food industry or the hospitality industries quite difficult. I think it's something daft like if you think the first six months of is like the most difficult to to survive hyphen if you survive then you've good chance of continuing but congratulations to the whole team of of lavender. Dan Thankful continually raising the Bar for for for all the restaurants around and all the restaurants around the region so moving on to run. WBZ News these being very few much is really there was only one between the last episode on this one and that was our match against drills done and so we were home to to drills and if you've listened to the podcast before you'll if you haven't listened about cuss before welcome thank you for listening but if you have listened to for you'll certainly have heard me talk about certain play a Colt Nick Evangeline us not only is he our highest goalscorer with twenty seven goals across all competitions but he scored all four goals in the lust much so all four goals against Roy Allston and this did take place on the sixth of April at home an finished four nil and it took just six six minutes I to get the first goal after Jamie rainfed would penalty he was taken out in the area and and Nick stepped up until that penalty penalty in the end it was scored and and he went on to continue to get another two goals in what could I'm not certain here is probably one of those things where with need the ill Katie to confirm this but it could be the fastest ever hat trick. Rum's bottom nick went on skull to moguls and the third third goal of his hat-trick being just eleven minutes so eleven minute hat trick so weld nick runs chrome had three penalties fees awarded in the much in total which one of which was saved by the keeper which Nick didn't really take take that one. I'm not taking anything away from from the Guy who took it books Nick dictate that won't but the other two were taken by Nick and they were both put away and it is a fantastic much result that and hopefully it was one that you're table to to get down to witness now there are just three munchies left in the league until all wrapped up at two of them are home so that's good news for people who are able to get down to the much and one of the biggest matches we've got coming up is going to be away game to Radcliffe Borough Burra currently sitting second in the League and a win there would surely go some way to securing our playoff position. We currently sitting in fifth so we're in the playoff position currently comb who sixth of played one much less than us and they've got what sixty four points whereas week sixty seven so they codeless goal difference now still better than the Mongol different so eun if they beat their next opponents were still we should still be sitting in fifth. Book is not something we really. WanNa be focusing uncle difference and things like that we could really do with in a AH three wins out of the next three matches but given that Radcliffe our they've really going against the against other tend to try and get get a you know to try and win the League at the really not GonNa. Let us get away with anything so it's GonNa be really difficult much at that. Much is on on Monday the twenty second of April. I believe yes Monday the twenty second April our next much Saturday the twentieth twentieth against Mosley. That's a whole mess at three o'clock kick-off in fact the role Pinot apart from that Monday through the to assassinate much is not is ah have a look so Mosley currently seventh in the League They've played thirty five much so they they could potentially essentially get into the playoffs them in. They'RE GONNA they're gonNA want some of the other teams to potentially drop some points there but then GonNa give us an easy easy much at all and our the much is a less much as kids grove athletic and kids grow apparently tenth in the League Then No. They can't get into the playoffs but they're not gonNA. Give us an easy much either. Why would they would last much of the season. So if we get to wins fingers crossed else we get the next two wins that lost much is going to be all the more important that we actually go and undo it but one other thing of of note regarding runs what immunities Captain Tom Kennedy has made the egoistic West team of the year so congratulations. Tom Very well deserved there and and hopefully we're going to get more than they won't play next season. I think I think what was managed to do this season and you know what the manager has been able to do in the team team and all the lots is is nothing less than remarkable and fingers crossed eventually. GonNa get promoted next season. It's not going to be an easy season if we do get promoted but fingers crossed the we were able to pull that off next much is Saturday the twentieth of April three three o'clock kick-off at home to mostly okay moving on to a upcoming events for Ramsbottom so we just tad the big event that was around bottom chocolate festival and there was a few people complaining that there was not enough chocolate and I think chocolate isn't ingredient ingredient as much as it is a natural thing but you know each to their own but one of the events that we've got coming up in the next few weeks things about two weeks away away. Now is the bleak Holt as easy for me to say the bleak Holt Animal Sanctuary Open Day nice taking place on April Twenty Eighth Starts Twelve PM and two pounds entry. There's going to be two different things on the time I went with my son there was I think there it was a one of those big massive blow up. Dart boards is not darts released a big blow boards basically like adopt board but you can football the things out there was trampolines obviously there's only animals and things that are around at the loads and loads of stuff going on. There's going to be the owls trust other activities bouncy castle blue muddling stilt walkers craft glitter tattoos. I don't know if that was glitter calmer tattoos or glitter tattoos but I don't know either way that sounds great. there's going to be more stuff. They're going to the again of the things in look dip stalls. Hopefully the weather is going to be good for the last time I want to say. It was the I think set. The Sun was cracking the flags. It was really good. so twenty eighth of April should be equal. Shouldn't it really this. The weather's been quite nice recently but there's there's a shop there. Installations is a big fundraising event and so get down there this food and stuff as well so is fun for family takes place twelve until four PM on April the twenty eighth which is the Sunday so don't go down on Saturday because that's the twenty seventh so there you go. That's that's the one that's coming up the Biz a few of the things coming up for example trump if you're listening to this podcast as it's released which is the second Sunday in an April then you've got the monthly farmers market as always the second Sunday of the month and on the first Friday of every month you've got the Friday night bite so naturally the next one of those will be Friday the third of May so if you're around Rumsfeld on the third of May get down to market square marketplace even and you'll see lots of lots the stalls and food and stuff going on there right so that's pretty much where I'm going to wrap up this week. Thanks once again for listening in a few have got any suggestions or anything like that. Please do let me know I've got a couple of people lined up for interviews coming out with should be good. I always like to to have an interview and find out what's what people are doing and what they're involves with as so I will let you know obviously near the data you keep an eye on the website this Rommedahl Coda UK a k or any of the social media feeds. You'll find out more details and things like that but yes that is it for this week and I will speak to you again very sued dude once again. Thanks for listening to the show assistant pieces remembers and individuals in an effort to bring more attention to often tactic town. If you like this remain make pleaseconsider subscribing leading to review or sharing with your friends.

The Times Ramsbotham League Nick Evangeline Ramsbottom UK Tom Kennedy Lante Mosley Manchester West Kirby Kobe Lonsdale Levant Kirby Lonsdale North West Beth Holt Animal Sanctuary Rumsfeld Dan Thankful
The Care and Feeding of Data Scientists: Growing Careers

Linear Digressions

25:19 min | 1 year ago

The Care and Feeding of Data Scientists: Growing Careers

"Hey everybody instead of the usual suspects I southern Bannon you just need. I am talking with Michelangelo Tax. Tina who's the the president of defiance shop runner which is a e commerce company in Chicago. mcglinchey thanks for joining. We talking about data signs management. This is something we've been China about for a while leading wrote and a Riley report together on this very topic a few months ago and and thought it would be worthwhile to get in and talking through. So that's what we're doing today talking about once. You have a data science team in place. How do you keep those learning? How do you keep them growing? How do you think about moving along in their careers? All that good stuff. So you're listening to the year diversions in our last couple of episodes which listen to strongly recommend that you go back and pick goes up by a little bit of recap here so we talked a little bit about getting into data science and the different types of data scientists. How you assemble a team and why it's so important to get the right blood in your team once you have? The team assembled or you. How kind of critical mass us most of your time? These days is not your managerial time by not beyond hiring. But it's instead on growing your not making sure that they're learning and they're sticking around. They're happy hair progressing in their careers. You say yes yes yes sorry you can't you can't you can't hear me now so and this was something that we it's your three chapters to talk about if I recall correctly because it's really important and it's a for me this the the stuff. That's not always obvious because sometimes if you're a good manager you're working super hard and but people don't see the things that you're you know fighting for the process of the you're putting in place two two happy I don't know maybe maybe it's a little bit cynical but sometimes given the only time you hear about is when people are unhappy with their happy sounds about right. Yeah I I think that's just as of nature of the beast so but when we were together we together for a couple of years. I remember even when I started at that job. There was a lot of. There's a lot of stuff that was in place when I write the action that you were part of starting some of this certainly part of of continuing the things that have been started before your time of that created a really nice learning environment and so I think that now upon on reflection I realized how important that was for me as a younger data scientist as a way of learning and and stay happy so if as you can get a little bit of detail about what was the you put in place out of things April so yeah it's funny. I actually don't know that I can take credit for having put in place a lot of the good things that we had But I can't take credit for stealing them and putting them in place in my current company actually But there's actually I think one of my favorite topics at least one of my favorite topics from the book and the way the way we talk about it in the book is kind of this idea of like foam. Oh like fear of missing out that like data scientists really have this feeling that like if they're not using cool new techniques learning things that they're like falling behind and just again anecdotally like I think a Lotta people quit jobs or go from company to company because they feel like they're getting stagnant or they're not learning anything anything or doing anything interesting at their company so some of these things that we had in place to help combat that that feeling that people can have so. What kinds of things are we talking about so we're big fans of of just a simple idea of having a journal Club where folks get together? Read a paper of blog posts. It's like something like that. Maybe they've ideally they've read the paper of the blog post but that's not necessarily mandatory and get together and discuss it Someone who has like selected the paper could maybe give the short presentation but really you can just do it over lunch and spend an hour talking about a paper blog post like learning something new dirty secret. You never read the paper. I know what I was GONNA say. Everyone has been very often but every once in a while I'll realized that Journal Club is on a topic that I wanted to do on podcast anyway and then I'll make sure gotta check. Oh all your listeners. Know the secret purchase but and we have like A. I think we find that a great way for people to keep learning stuff but it's also a good opportunity for the company because a lot of interested engineers or analytics people. Oh Com people who are a little bit Interested in getting into the field and it's just a good rates like socialized data science. Like around your your company One thing we've done a few times he's like when we forgot to select paper is to have like a cold. Like Davis is movie night where we will find a talk from an interesting conference. Like Pie de puts video video online a lot of conferences. But there'd be online and we'll just like sit for the hour and like watch talk a conference talk together and I think people often accumulate these lists of things they wanNA watch and they don't have the time for it and that's just another way to get people like watching something Learning something so journal Club thing. That were a big fan of the second one I think is like some sort of dedicated halftime and I definitely did not start this at our previous job and I definitely didn't even come up with the best iteration that I think that we've landed John so I've never three companies that have done halftime we've and seeing many flavors like one flavors like that we at a previous company was like half of every he Friday. You got to do whatever you wanted. Essentially another one has been like what is like a full day full day once a month. I think that's where we're doing a full day once a week at some point either way like that in those like short increments I find. They often don't work very well for two reasons. One people don't aren't able to at the time Apart like it was just half a day every week like you just get pulled in a meeting. So you'd get normal work like you can't actually. You can't actually do it even if it's like a day every other very hard at at the time aside so then we've tried whole team accolades and spending two days like working on something a team. We did cagle competition as a team wants. It's an and that has been fun has advantages but I think the the downside of that is that people can't work on the particular thing that they're interested or they want to learn about. Yeah Yeah So. That's a problem so I think both what we did at Civis and what we do now. Here is the idea of of individual hack weeks. And how often you do them depends is on your company. And what you what you can do. We do them quarterly. But you can. You can even do them once or twice a year but the idea is basically that each person gets to spend a dedicated week on like a hack project and because it's a whole week retire them to treat it like it's a vacation and plan for it like way out in advance and you know people can take a week advocation and get out of meetings and projects so do the same thing with this hack week actually set time aside a week as long enough to make meaningful progress on projects. It's like to actually get end to end on a prototype or try a new software package or open source somethin- and then the last bit is like some kind of bit of accountability to make sure people are actually doing something so Having a slight plan in place ahead of time that people can look at and then doing a presentation to the rest of the team at the end is super important so We do it on Friday as well help like a forty five minute presentation where the person that was on Hack Week. We'll walk the rest the team through what what they've done and so the rest of the team also gets to learn something new and cool but then that person realizes actually have to do something. Because I'm going to get off in embarrassments off. I have nothing to show for my week. When the Management I personally personally had basically I love hearing yet chancellor kind of live vicariously as interesting stuff? Yeah and and one thing. One thing we put in the report is that I think this is true of both both places. It's amazing how often something someone did is part of became part of like your normal tool set. I actually was a thing that got put into product or something like that. But it's worth mentioning that. Sometimes it takes a long time. So it's worth I think that's a good argument for happy. But it's also worth just kind of the expectation management. It might take six months or a year or something because it's just like the time has county. Yeah like you don't want to set the expectation that like tons of things are gonNA come out immediately and be useful but I think it is useful to like keep a list in the back of your head that was like hey someone introduced says to this idea and did hack week and then six months later it blossomed into this thing that we now use Because that's something you can point to for like justification for why you should do them poorly bay topic last topic in our report. There's probably pretty interesting voces heightening about how about career ladders and UH of formal career. Greta suggest well not just because it's important but like more informal learning stuff up so one of the things that we uh and besides in report was actually writing down what example career track. Looks like 'cause if it's something the thing that you've never seen before writing it the first time could be really hard and I think a decent amount of this stuff can be kind of teflonized so there are a few the things that I think are worth in this maybe to take them. In order so the career path we were on the other it in the lower levels Sort of junior in your levels starts out with one career track but then we breached at a certain point between vigilant trigger and management. I think we talked a lot about why we think that's importance. So maybe summarize summarize a little bit your thoughts on allowing people to advance in their careers without having to take on manage nurse Lonsdale a couple episodes back we talked about. I guess my transition into management which was very much like. Hey you're around and we need someone to be a manager like you see Mike. You should do this. Or they're not always not always an intentional decision for people to go into management and That's not always. It's not really a good thing. Generally like management is a very different job. And you don't want to force people to do it because it's neither good for the people that are being managed by that person who doesn't really want to do it and it's not good for that person because they don't really want to be doing it so like no one really wins in that in that situation so the message you we try to communicate as like hey you can succeed here and get promoted and have more influence across the company and make more money Cetera. Both by being like a really really good individual contributor and or by being a manager. You don't have to be a manager. In order to succeed at the company. He's worth steady backers for those who are in management and are wondering if it's if it's the right thing for them. Can you talk a little bit. About what love your job as manager largely is right now. It how it's different from just being a really really been a scientist. Yeah so I I'll talk about like the good parts of the job in maybe the not so great parts of the best parts of the job are being able to like look out across the organization and see opportunities for for problems for the team to work on to get resources for the team to work on those things but you really have to enjoy succeeding seating through other people like you're not like you don't get the adrenaline jolt anymore of like pushing some code and seen it have some effect or like thinking of an idea for an AB AB testing to see and there's some huge lift like you don't really doing that anymore. But like you might see two or three people on your team taken idea from beginning to end push it out and have great results. Then you have to be happy like vicariously through them. I saw like the best parts of the job coming up with ideas for projects getting them resource putting the right people people on projects and then like seeing them succeed. I guess but a lot of the time is like sitting and one on one conversations with people that you manage and like asking them about their week or asking them. I'm about their career progression or like writing performance reviews looking at spreadsheets of like you know how many people we have room to hire Like things that are very unglamorous. I watched a really good talk at one. Point that about management that said like what's both good and bad about management. Is that like the amount of things that funnel through you increases like you get to see more fun projects every like thing. Cool thing your team does have some exposure to and that's great but then on the flip side like every every problem or annoyance also getting funneled through and like if you have enough people someone is always unhappy about something or has some problem and it's like your job to kind of deal breath characteristic of Sun Wind. You make some really great individual a contributor. It should be like gutting to advance in their career through the ice each image. I think actually really just has to do with like. Do you really really like to write code or not. Can you be happy. Be Spending the vast majority of your days and weeks not writing code. I disagree with you a little bit. Okay so I think that I ending high-seas also naturally little rate less code as they get more senior but it's still regularly big me. I basically never wrote Code Tamer but I think I like a senior failure. Maybe that was a bad answer. But I think it's like an interesting one. It's a conversation like my tickets that I I see. A senior is still flipping across the Organization for problems that they are the primary owner of the technical solutions to the day. They're still close enough to the metal me technical decisions themselves rather than a a lot yet delegate trying to go in that direction because I think that the thing I didn't want to say is that you should go into management if you're good at dealing with people are working across teams or organizations musicians because I think senior individual contributors the really good ones they do need to be able to work across teams and they do need to be able to talk to other people and develop technical solutions and evangelized. I stuff so it's not really just am I good with people or not But I think that's actually. I totally agree interesting larger. The lesson here that I kind of learned firsthand would find myself having to parlay in in different ways to the people underneath that basically after point career progression doesn't come from being good at more technical stuff like that's important in the earlier stages I think taper off after a certain point and then being able to work with people because disproportionately or if we're even if you're in the ICU. Track I think that's right. Yeah I definitely agree with that but to get back to your other thing. I think maybe you are right that like even if more senior. Individual contributors aren't writing code all day. They are still thinking about deeply technical legal issues like they're thinking about architecture or like code best practices like things are still related to code and I guess on the manager side it is much more about like resource Out and maybe in project selection and some things like that so in your experience that once you go into management it never be an icy again. Or I don't I don't actually know the answer to that question. I'm or maybe they have a little bit afraid of the answer to that question because Do you remember do you remember. I said this I've said this a couple of times currently but I said at our previous job as well that if we ever required and I made millions of dollars that I would take your jobs again like I would go I would go and I would go and be like a member of the team again just like write code so I think in my heart. I like to think that you could go back to being an individual contributor and I do know people who have bounced back and forth back from management to being an icy again to go back into management both in engineering and in data science. I think it is possible But it is hard to keep your this goes up to date When you're managing it is I think it's possible to I think it but like you said the longer that you're longer that your hands are off-key order that you're far away from technical decisions? Yeah the heart rate gets too retro yourself back and legislate field so fast. Yeah but if you're a person who's been hired or thinking deeply about late hiring growth mindset folks and you know how burn anything instead you could probably get back into it. Maybe that's just what we tell ourselves so we can sleep at night so we have. These career paths that again. If you're really interested in the nitty gritty of career paths. You should check these out. We'll have a link to report ON DIGRESSION DOT COM. But I think the biggest thing that I wanted to emphasize kind of touched on a little bit Ra. which is the Netafim of these career? Paths that at dancing and data science after his point is not about whether you know more about the assumptions of ordinarily squares or how to write an API according to certain restful conventions or whatever. It's a little bit more about the the coalition building. Bring people along with you as you and I think knowing what kinds of problems to work on as you get more senior that here generally operating with more autonomy and independence. PAT's responsibility the other Meta point about the career ladder that's important it's just like the existence of a career ladder is very very important thing for team to have. I guess that like You can only get by with like vague Career advice in one on ones for so gore. People wanted to know like actually like what do I have to do like. Actually what does it mean to be a senior data scientist or data scientists or days manager like what are the the actual expectations and having a ladder at least gives you things that you can point to in those conversations and say like Hey I think you really granted these things things or maybe not so much these things. These are areas that you should work on. If you're interested in going this direction or that direction I think one of the challenges that I have with writing career. Career Ladders is knowing that there they become kind of this Sunday show document for all of these career conversations the choices that you have downstream so they have to be good and cover tasers and it's it's a contract of sorts between you and your team you're saying like if you do these things I'm telling you that you'll progress along a certain path so you have a big hole in it that somebody manages to walk right through kind of your fault as much as you may. You may remember this but I'm pretty sure sure you mostly wrote the career ladder at our previous job. Because for the reasons you just mentioned I was avoiding it for a really really long time and then eventually eventually there was a revolution from the people. And they're like we. You want a career they're called. We'd put a meeting on your calendar and we tried to give it a name that you that you say that you couldn't come so renamed something they deployments behavior but yeah I think because it has the seriousness where it is a little bit like a contract or like you've laid a stake in the ground It can be scary to right but it's also super important. Yeah but I think like the other other point I was going to make. Is that the way that you talked about careers. I think exactly the right one which is like it's the basis of a conversation between a manager and an employee it's in the beginning and end of everything that ever happens around curve. Russians League was that we read here and that we put a report are a little bit egg in part because we you know there's just a lot of people who might be taking these in adopting them for their own purposes but they're not very much more vague than some of the ones that you you were I might have written and I think that's because there's just so many different ways that scientists can show mastery and all of the different areas of expertise. They might have. It has to be custom crafted. Yeah I think I think the phrase that's in the report is like it should be more of a guidebook than an instruction manual like. It's not like a set of check boxes. Check check check check. I've checked every single one of these boxes now promote me like maybe in an ideal world. You can do that but it's always like a little bit more nuanced John's but like the letter has it. Gets you in the right direction. Like you have to be mostly in the right direction. Not Check every single thing rigorously general topic to sort of wrap this up and put on. There's a good phrase for this that we used to talk about a lot. which is the notion t shaped data scientists which neither you nor adding up but it's very very easily yeah? The first time I saw it was in an earlier O'Reilly report act ours called analyzing the analyzers that was about different kind of data scientist just archetypes but I think they have ripped that from this might actually be thing like in the human resources career literature or something but the idea. Is that if you imagine. Engine a capital letter t that So much it'd be brought across A set of skills and then deep in one particular area are Kerr. Letter is written where you're like. There are different aspects of the data science job that vary depending on what kind of data scientist you are but in my particular product engineering heavy culture. I believe we use 'em allen stats software engineering and then kind of a data systems are three different areas and as you progress S.. Like up the ladder. You're supposed to kind of have the the the the breath across the basics of each one of those areas which is like the crossbar tea and then depending on your particular secure emphasis like you should go deep in one of those areas and how kind of more expert level knowledge in like one of those specific areas. That says true what I've seen you from Washington number of of people that I've worked on my teams as they progress in their career like seeing that they actually start to become like a very very expert in the experiment design or they become really great engineers. Or they're interfacing with the product folks the and they understand that sort of stuff maybe. Does anything happens naturally but it's worth it's worth emphasizing like. Yeah there's a certain level of specialization. That kind of starts to characterize senior did being scientists. I think yeah. I think it's held like to ask you to ask the people in your team like hey which of these areas do you feel like the most passionate about you know. It's okay to not be passionate handed about every single one of these areas. Like I know some. You know I'm like I think I'm always the worst engineer on all of the teams that on like partly by design but also like that's just not the area that I am like most passionate passionate about other things. Well sure I mean it's expanding show exponentially quickly Eh. It would be impossible to maintain expertise in all of them anyway. But you still do want to have that common foundation that makes it possible to be a team. Exactly be able to talk to anybody somebody else. WHO's an expert in one of those places and generally hang with them? They're explaining things. Yeah well I think that brings us to the end of our time together. So the Hugh Michelangelo again for coming and talking was able to have a link sue the O'Reilly report on Linear Digression Dot Com even just download. All all of this. I think when they asked us to write it they said in for twenty to thirty pages ended up seven. Take Linear digressions is a a creative Commons. Never which means you can share or use it any way you like. Just tell them we said I find out more about this or any other episode of Linear digressions go to the near Digressions DOT com. If you like this podcast go and leave us review on itunes content. You can always get in touch with either of us us. Our emails are BEN AT LINEAR RUSSIANS DOT COM and Katie at LINEAR DIGGERS COM. In case you have comments or suggestions for feature shows you can tweet us at Lynn Digression. Thank you for joining us and we'll see you next.

scientist John O'Reilly Michelangelo Tax Bannon China Tina Civis Riley president Lynn Digression Chicago. Journal Club Davis cagle Sun Wind chancellor Greta Lonsdale
20VC: Anduril Founder, Palmer Luckey: "I Am Here To Build a $50Bn Company", How Palmer Evaluates His Relationship To Money Pre & Post Oculus' $2.3Bn Exit & Why The US DOD Needs To Be More Like China in It's Approach

The Twenty Minute VC

47:07 min | 4 months ago

20VC: Anduril Founder, Palmer Luckey: "I Am Here To Build a $50Bn Company", How Palmer Evaluates His Relationship To Money Pre & Post Oculus' $2.3Bn Exit & Why The US DOD Needs To Be More Like China in It's Approach

"While combined with the twenty minute vc with me Harry stabbings and I'm so excited for this week of episodes. The shows are actually connected. Today we're featuring and found that I've wanted to have on the show for a long long time and then on Thursday with featuring the VC that led his seed round i. also think these are probably two of the best shows we've done in a long longtime truly they are so good as gas and so to the shows day I'm thrilled to welcome Paul Malaki found. Andrel industries founded on the premise of radically transforming the defense capabilities of the United States and its allies by fusing artificial intelligence with the latest hardware advancements. Today Palmer's raised over three hundred and eighty, five, million dollars with Andrea from founders fund Andriessen Eland Gill spock locks, general catalyst ADC to name a few I'm trying to changing the world offense Palmer founded Oculus vr where he designed the oculus rift or healers vs altimonte acquired. By facebook for two point, three, billion dollars in two, thousand and fourteen, and today's schedule was such a team effort. So I WANNA say she signed to Joe Lonsdale Elad Gil trae Stevens Braun Cinnamon John Luttig, and Ben Shelf for some amazing questions gestures today I really do so appreciate that. But before we move into the show stay, I wanted to take a moment to mention the hello sign a great example of a company. That found success in building a product focused on user experience. Hello sign is an effortless e-signature solution used by millions security send an requests, legally valid digital signatures agreements. They raised a total of sixteen million dollars in funding and recently got acquired by dropbox for an impressive two, hundred thirty million dollars checkout Hallo signed dot com forward slash chooser visa to join the thousands of companies and the founders value fast secure and simple e-signature. Spent I do have to mention another incredible brought century business digits. Did you suspend the last two years building this incredibly powerful financial engine businesses now that ready to show you what they can do with it back in April, they announced a real time dashboard to help you manage your company's expenses for free and recently, and little buddy told me. They have incredible announcements coming up they've raised a wins thirty, three million dollars from benchmark. And the team behind digits just epic personally I think is one star up towards this year and the next and laws but my no means least has anyone tried to send a business payment recently on my God, it was easier to get into college. You have reviews you have this never ending back and forth between collies, which is slow. The process down it's a lot of work continues to pile up as your business payment scale, and that's where route -able steps in all sets. Russillo policies not only is focus on digital business payments by the time it saves. On, both the accounting on the operation sides did I mention the Roussel automatically updates your accounting records making your finance teams so much easier request a fifteen minute demo install managing. You'll be to be payments electronically at RUSEFEL DOT COM forward slash two zero visa-free guys no transaction fees no seat fees for one full month join Roussel and building the best platform for businesses to manage their workflows and send and receive money digitally our rouce pool dot com slash two zero visa, but that is quite enough for Mason, I'm very excited time David. Palm lucky found at Andrea Industries. You have now arrived at your destination call it is such a joy savvy on the jazz just said she I've heard so many good things from Joe Lonsdale from Brian found this from trade from John. La Sake say thank you so much for joining these day. Of course, thanks for the opportunity to come and chat off on stuff in order to love when we see this for a long time but to me, how did you make your way into the weather start ups? There's a new bit of context come to today. One of the fossils going startups in our ecosystem in the Unicorn is Andrew L. I'm used to moving fast oculus was one of the fastest multibillion dollar. Exits of all time when I started Oculus I was nineteen years old living in nineteen camper trailer had just dropped out of college. My parents weren't super stoked about that and we went from just a trailer to a multibillion dollar acquisition by facebook in less than two years. So that was an incredible experience I learned a lot about how you run a company how you grow a company even after we were acquired I stayed around for a few years. We're trying to do the same thing here not necessarily cash out quite. So quickly, I'd say the case of Oculus we went for that acquisition because we felt like it could turbo charge what we were doing and allow us to. Do things we would never be able to do on our own I. Think the defense base is a little different. You kind of have to do things on your own because the system is set up to allow you to succeed when you're working through other partners and letting them trying to be in the driver's seat like you can't just be a subcontractor to a private expect to build a multibillion dollar company I'm not doing this because I want about a fifty million dollar company. I'm not doing this because I want to build a five billion dollar company this because I want to build a fifty billion dollar company will fundamentally changed the way the national security procurement works in. The United States and that's true for everyone here you're starting to question the navy's they'll schedule but to treat all strange questions with the meteoric rise I always told hoppy happy when I had like a million bucks now and then when I had a million dollars, I'd happiness to it. When I got it, I actually was more depressed than ever which sounds awful but it didn't make me happy and find that with you'll meet your it rising oversee with the sale as she wasn't the amazing event, the US Rudolph. So I don't want to be one of those people that says that I don't care about money because I really do like money and I like the freedom that it. Affords me to not only do not worry about things but also to pursue things that would otherwise never pursue like if I didn't have money, I wouldn't have a collection of vintage vehicles. If I didn't have money, I wouldn't be restoring a bunch of Cold War missile silos. You can kind of have nice hobbies that keep you relax when you have money. But when I started Oculus, it wasn't because I thought it was gonNA make money I ended virtual reality for years at that point as a hobby, I bought my first head mounted display when I was sixteen years old fifteen, fifteen sixteen that and I didn't really have to come up with a story about how it was. GonNa make money until I needed to convince investors to give me one eight so that I could run the company I. Guess the fact that up making so much money was really kind of a happy coincidence. I happen to be passionate about something that was in the right place at the right time for me to work on it. It's been a little different with under L. where I specifically at the start of the company wanted to work on something I. Knew Could Be Successful I saw that this was an area where a lot of money could be made to answer your question. Now when I made all of my money, it wasn't really not big change for me. I know. This is a cliche but I kept doing most things about the same when I moved to Silicon Valley after facebook acquired us, I was living in a shared house with twelve other people because reds really expensive in the bay area and everybody was kind of blown away by how much better quality of life we can have. If we all moved into a big giant Hacker House together, and of course, I could have afforded to do anything but there's nothing like having a ton of money in a ton of security at knowing that you're doing things because you want to not because you have to like I'd say Taco Bell has never tasted so good as when you know that you. Could. Have Ordinary TACO, bell again turns out it still right and it's the same thing for the cars that I like to drive. It's the same thing for the lifestyle live. I still play the same games. I still have the same friends and the Nice thing about having a lot of good friends before you make money is that they're the one thing that you can't buy with money is friends who like you before you had money you said there about Bielema fifty, billion dollars company and amazing I think money allows you to have not mental freedoms be like, Hey, I'm going to go so big that Ashi the money's not find since I'm a big fan of found a secondary. Gives. You that freedom? Would you agree with me in terms of being profound actors to allow for the freedoms to go? So yeah, I mean that's kind of the reason I ended up doing this company I mean when I left facebook I was looking at a lot of different things I could've done like I could have worked in the industry. I could've tried to do something else in that space, but I felt like I wanted to do something that I was only able to do because of the large financial resources I have been blessed wet. So I was looking at doing private prison reform, petroleum-based food products, or national security, and when I looked at national security, it was a very interesting space where the only two UNICORNS in the last thirty years in defense colleague here in SPACEX or both founded by people who just sold their company. For billions of dollars as a way to kind of look at that it is everybody who isn't a billionaire fails when they started the company and everyone who is a billionaire succeeds at for that reason alone. I felt like, I had to do something in this space if only because if I didn't do it, nobody else was going to do like money is what gave me the freedom to make that choice I never? Would have been able to justify working defense. If I didn't already have enough money to get through the years of startup, it takes to start a successful defense company. It's searching ever GonNa be entering defense the different kinds of entry different orange browser taking Halphen of billion is the success that comes with that I. Guess my point is that assuming you bury it on defense than a are and your experience with how? Herod Similarities and differences between the two seemingly quite opposed markets I get asked this all the time and you're right they are very, very different. I mean you sell things in a different way developing a different way. A lot of people expect me to have some kind of philosophical explanation of how they're two sides of the same coin and I'm really applying my skills while the reality is they have almost nothing in common I had to build pretty much a new base of expertise to work in this space we ended up working primarily on autonomous systems for dod applications and artificial intelligence is not a natural outcropping of virtual reality reality. But when I did a first principles analysis of where. was falling behind where our allies were falling behind in the military. It was clear that that was the area where I can have the biggest impact I wasn't GonNa, have the biggest impact building manned fighter jets or building reconnaissance satellites or building aircraft carriers. It was going to be these much smaller much harder to make tightly integrated hardware and software systems that the Department of Defense is traditionally pretty bad procuring house. But when you look at the complexity of the building's Day was the hottest elements, what would the elements while I was like? Oh. Shit is really hard. Our core product is something called lattice, which is an AI parents fusion networked. We can take data from tons of different sensors in merger into a real time operating picture of everything that's going on right now and is going to happen in the near future. You can share all of the machines and all of the people you have operating in an area. One of the trickiest things about building something like that is that we can't control all the sensors. This isn't like a cell phone where we're building a platform where we have deep harbor integration rather everything we have to build our software systems so we can integrate with the hardware we make but also. Hardware that's been deployed for literally decades whether it's space whether it's undersea whether it's on land, whether it's mounted to an aircraft where the design lock happened thirty years ago, we to do cool things like detect a target on the ground using some new cutting edge sensor who sat through a secure network into an f sixteen using a radio link is free agent technology by this point but I'd say having to work with other people's tat there's parts of the stack. You just can't modify has been a huge challenge for me and it is definitely been frustrating at times as a person is used to more vertically integrated arteries offered off or you do control everything. Revision then given how birth date news I guess I. The opportunities are invaluable to add his adenoids. The most obvious opportunity to be the two hundred billion dollar company that is the end goal like in the end I want to build products that make all of my other products. So, the reason we started with building lattice is because that was something that we can build hardware products on top of that feed data in the Lattice, and then also act on data from last. Century towers speed dating are ghost helicopter drums beating the loudest. Announced Sensor Systems that we've deployed our feeding dating. And then we have things like Indo, which is counter counterdrug system, which is basically an intercept knocks drones out of the sky, and that's acting data from linus but was really cool as all of these products made the other products more like end bill makes our century towers more valuable because now it's a way to not just detect going on with the sky, but to control what's going on in the sky and I think this is an approach that's been taken in consumer technology in enterprise technology. For decades tech companies understand that it's better to build products that make your past products more valuable and your future products. Valuable in the defense base because of the way incentives were where most contractors are paid on time and materials basis, they're incentivized to do the same work over and over again, the really incentivize to throw away everything they've done in the past as often as they're allowed to and Redo it all from scratch and get paid in the process. It's totally lipped upside down from the way that it should be, and so what we're really doing is applying a modern vertically integrated hardware and software platform approach that works in enterprise and consumer sectors, and we're applying it to defense applications. I mean two big things that really I'm. One. I'm wasting during this is how do you know the right of jury? She'll sacramen- products. You don't want to be too aggressive. You WanNa native I have enough data or But you also don't want to be too slow. How do you think about what's the right times do the second and the third? Generally the way that we've looked at this is a continuous development process where we are getting things out into the fields, deploying them with our customers, solving real problems in war zones, and then getting continuous feedback from that features that they would like failings in our system. We didn't expect we designed our system that we hadn't anticipated and just continuously developing the products to be better in an that is very different from the consumer area where there's kind of very clearly delineated product releases like. This big new version, and here's all the features if anything I think the hard thing to know is when you can kind of stock having to invest heavily in something in lock it in May, get more stable we don't have the same problem is a lot of other people do in the defense base where they have to think about cannibalizing their own. Products because all of our products are continuously updated we all sell somebody a software system and sell them the new version year later instead where basically continuously selling into them usually as a service and so we have the luxury updated. Make it better if Arab Arabic well that was GONNA be my next question. It was I spent to Joe Lonsdale before. This and he said, he asked, what do they call mistakes legacy defense passive made the allowed you to move say false in execute as you have them I. Don't know if I'd call it a mistake on their part. I mean they're breaking a lot of money. The system really works for them for the things that they're making I think in a few. Years though it'll be easy to look back and see the mistake that they're making in the base mistake they're making is not investing nearly enough in what the Industry Calls Ira Internal Research and development. Most of what defense contractors bill in the United States is paid for by tax payers are India's paid for by taxpayers. The production is paid for by taxpayers that. Were by tax payers, they don't take on very much risk compared to modern technology companies like a typical defense contractor will spend between one and three percents of their revenue on Iraq whereas Modern Tech Company is going to be spending twenty to fifty to even eighty percent of their revenue on Iraq. The problem with that is that it means that as a company if you're reliant on the government paying to do work, it means you're only ever going to build things that the government and politicians already believed are possible and. If you do that. You're never going to be able to build the things that are truly on the cutting edge. That's kind of been our sweet spot and where the defense prime fail is we use our own money, decide what to bill, how to build it when done, and that means that our sweet spot is building. The things that politicians don't think are possible building. The DOD is willing to bet on you because of the DOD is betting on it and the politicians don't believe in it. That means that none of. The big defense are working on it. If none of them are working on that means there's no competition that's how we've been able to move so fast it's because we kind of stayed in these blue sky areas where there's not much competition when it comes to things like automated surveillance towers, what we're doing is just so far beyond what anyone is trying to do. We're not trying to highlight interesting things in the image. We're not trying to tell you if there is a person who's our cameras we're trying to A. Single fused map of where every person vehicle every drone is and then happy operator viewing idol used or without even having to look at the defeats. That's something that nobody else is really doing and the Nice thing is when you show up the government is pretty good at recognizing that was going to be my question is I in any case of country creation like you're really acting now is an education process we send slows down the given. As you said, this is stuff they haven't even sold about landline budgeted for. The one of our internal mantras is always believed that the customer understands what the problem is never believed that the customer understands what the best solution is a lot times. They think they know it is, and they're not necessarily familiar with a whole trade space of what's possible. There's definitely education process that needs to go on like when we were first starting the company, we're talking with one of our large customers and at the time we didn't. have any hardware we have any software have small team of people who said they were going to change the events industry and we met with them that, hey, we are going to build these century towers. They're going to detect everything that's happening yourselfer. It's going to tell you exactly what's going on. It's GonNa make you so much safer more effective and the response we got from them, which was very shocking to me as someone who had just spent. Five or six years as a Whiz, kid could do no wrong in the eyes of my tech peers everybody kind of liked when I had to say, even if they did degree with that, they basically said look pure boy you might think you understand the real world but you don't. This isn't how the real world works. Your thing might work in a lab, but it's never going to work in the real world is just not anywhere close. To good enough radars, not good enough. There will visions not good enough computer vision is not good enough. We've spent of dollars on this problem in the past in bail in gave up on it, but he'll feel free to waste your time on it and then two or three months. Later, we only working demo we're able to bring the same customer outdoor desert test site and show a old Mo. Multiple Towers automated, drone following and our leave used. Mouth through our Laddis user interface and to their credit we went from doing demo to being on a pilot contract with that customer in the less than two months. So education process is you have really prove that it works because they won't believe you otherwise it just gets to one of the differences. I mentioned earlier where government is so different than consumer sales with consumer sales, you need every person buying your products did they want your product? It's interesting for them and you only have thirty seconds to get their attention in video our five minutes to get their attention in an interview with some tack press outlet and usually convinced hundreds of thousands or millions of people based on Berry. Short interaction that they should by the government is totally the opposite. There's only a handful of people who make the decisions you only have to convince them, and they do very, very, very deep on what they're. Going to buy and what the capabilities are. So you show up with something that really works and you really can't prove that it works. They are actually pretty good at adopting it quickly I. Guess the point is the government is very bad at funding cutting edge new are indeed because you haven't proved, it will work to them yet. They're not in the business of risking taxpayer money on crazy science fair projects, but it you show for the. Real thing they are surprisingly good at moving quickly adopted cannot do you think we see changing relationship between government and Silicon Valley, and you said that computer boy Whiz kid whatever you think you know this world we know it really do you think it's changing to be more sensitive more understanding that she companies I andrew paving the way for much of how the future of the industry is changing to be contrary here I'd say we're actually just a Return to the past silicon. Valley is bored of Dod Department of Defense is you cannot really removed the two from each other in terms of how they started how early silicon I was influenced. It's a very recent and modern phenomenon that all these tech companies are pulling away from doing work with the it's actually unprecedented in history, but I do think that it is going in the other direction. The good news is there's common belief that silicon. Valley, as a whole does not want to work with the department fence, they don't want the military i. think that's actually not quite fair. I would bet upwards of ninety percent of Silicon Valley is very supportive of the military and the perception that it's not is a symptom of another problem, which is a very small group of radicals have managed to hijack the narrative and convince everyone that they speak for silicon. Valley on the hall like it's crazy. For every one person who's angry about what we're doing who's angry the DOD has better technology. There are ten or twenty people say, Hey, I just want you to know I agree with what you're doing but don't tell anybody I'm afraid of what will happen and I really do think it's like a ten to one ratio equal who supported equal don't and all ten of those pro people things that they're the one person it's really a crazy. Dynamic and that's one of the reasons I got out of silicon. Valley is because the culture there is so toxic to things that are actually outside of the norm in actually thinking different I totally agree on the DVD I am really interested to Giancana Tomasson before and he's had paid your modernized d a D and you're in charge of it. How would you start your at? What would you change? What would you optimize if you're needing I would? Be a lot more like China I think China's done a very good job of focusing their resources on the technology that they believe is going to win the next war not building up massive arsenal of technology. It will allow us to win the last war we already fought again I think United States is very good at building the things that were already and not very good adopting new technology. You'll see this manifested for example in is. Dismissive attitude in a lot of defense circles around China not having a bluewater maybe you'll say Haha China only has one aircraft carrier. They can't project power. They have no clue what they're doing. They're Avia joke. Their votes are falling to pieces. Their engines are low quality. Yes that is true. They don't have a very good navy. They don't have a good blue water navy for sure but not what they're trying to do if China wanted to have. Blue Water navy they will be kicking our butts. They are so much better at building things at large scale. Quickly than we are the reason they don't have been navy is they're putting their points in the others things. It's actually not all that much different than playing a game of civilization. If you've ever played that, they're going down a different tack tree and the tree they'd big is going to be more relevant that's focused on things like large. Scale signals intelligence cyber. Warfare Computer Vision Autonomous Systems, small unmanned aerial vehicles, and unmanned surface vehicles and unmanned underwater vehicles turn. It doesn't need a fleet of intercontinental ballistic missile launch a nuclear submarines to win World War three, and if I was running the dod, I, would try to recognize that say let's reprioritize even a few percent of what we're spending on tools to win the last war and put them into tools that will only win the next. US. Do you think you can make not change Nevada impact from the company level with Andrew? Would you think it has to also come fundamentally and primarily from ashes DVD internally itself can you most when you can use force it three with Andro. So it has to come from everywhere I guess all of the paths that I have to changing the way the dod works doing it through Andrew is the best way I don't. Think. It's through me being a congressman I. Don't think it's through me. Hey, congressman I don't think is through media, a media talks about how important innovation is I'm still GonNa do all of those things but the most important thing I can do is put my money and my time where my mouth is true. Then things can be proved that we can build better technology and then south to the deity and say, Hey, look. You didn't have to all of this work. You can get good attack from companies that build it. If you have the right structure around now, the good news is you ascertain have to want to change themselves to the good news is they definitely do you see a lot of new initiatives? The Defense Innovation Unit like half works departed events more than ever agrees that small? Companies are a path to deploy innovative capabilities, and if you ask politicians Zeitgeist has never been more in favour of innovation at least zero thirty years ago. If you ask politicians, we're getting good bang for our buck from the Dod many of them meeting most of them would say, yes nobody says that anymore the average American knows it we're getting screwed. The average politician knows that we're getting screwed in the beauty official knows that we're not. Getting the capabilities then we desperately need so I think the guys is very much in favor of bees. Problem is just whatever you want already knows see institutional inertia it's easy to say you want change it's harder to actually push that change, and then it's also hard to make people who want change understand with action or then you'll see in the is people in various branches bragging about how many small companies they were with like. Oh We do so many small business grants. We do so much work with small businesses check out all of these research projects check out how we knew this pitch day where people were able to get a check in five minutes and they'll brag about how they wrote five hundred checks, one month and like eighty percent of the people who asked for money got song. Now, that is a step in the right direction I'm glad the duty is. Willing to do things like that. But if you look at that in comparison with the private sector, imagine if there was a venture capitalist who went out there and bragged and said, oh. Yeah. Here at my venture capital firm, we everybody money eighty percent of the people who walk in the door GONNA check we funded five hundred companies this year. The first question to ask is how many of those have actually gone anywhere? How many men exit? Are Making a profit, and if your answer is none, none of them have ever made it into a program have ever made it into an employment. Clearly, your strategy is flawed and I think that that's a big problem with year the as they in some of these innovation related programs, they are equating the number of deals that they knew with success when in reality they need to be. Measuring how many of these programs don't want to be real deployed capabilities and how many of those companies go onto become investable companies can raise private venture capital. So they're not just assistance engineering firms depending on what are essentially welfare payments from taxpayers. You mentioned venture funds down kind of responsibility innovation I need of the I've interviewed every two, thousand, five, hundred VC's if you can believe it for. A new the all I see many of the outplays and Bundy one to place blame on Vanturi is named for not investing more in the space itself. My question to you is I guess ego found only infamous on the very different from rest and that's kind of. Ethos would you guys eat venture changes in asset across to support the system more and really provide in the way that it could do as an American I wish that venture capital was flowing more towards defense focus companies as somebody who's sympathetic to the venture capitalists perspective I understand wider, not doing it like I mentioned earlier there's only two UNICORNS in the last thirty years in defense in the same period of time, there have been dozens of uniforms in social. Media APPS dozens of uniforms in automotive dozens of UNICORNS and fast casual dining finance technology, biotech, Ned tech consumer hardware you name it there's a lot more success defense is not a good industry to get into and the only who big success stories like I already mentioned or founded by billionaires, and so most venture capitalists they looked I'm interested in defense I want America have big acknowledgee a how can they justify investing in something whether no examples of success aside from. You outliers that were funded by billionaires themselves. If you bring a company that I'm told by a billionaire, they know that the overwhelming odds are that they're going to fail and it's not even a matter believing that the founders are capable companies are April. I know venture capitalists who with companies and say I love the founder is brilliant I. Love The company their technology is amazing but I don't believe they can ever achieve a financially significant outcome because the way the. Duty is built does not make that easy or even possible disease to get them to subcontract to Lockheed. Raytheon. They're never gonNA actually own their Ip. The government's GONNA on Dollar Aren be owed everything. So I guess I'm very sympathetic to the VC perspective why they don't invest in an more defense companies and that's why do needs to generate more success stories. So the venture capitalists will invested company I want to see a world where there's ten times more investment in. Hopes, for BBC's than from the government and right now it's definitely not the way things. founders fund was the first institutional investor to say, yes to Oculus they didn't lead our series, but they were the first people to say, yes, he was a one million dollar check out of US sixteen million dollar round. But at a time when everyone was saying, no, every hockey was saying, no, that was a huge confidence frost it seems obvious in hindsight but. Remember that in two thousand twelve, there had never been a successful company in history. They don't all either crash and burn or ended up kind of in a Zombie state limping along with a couple dozen people doing like subsisting on military and medical research grants. There were no success stories. So founders fund was betting not only we would be a successful company they were rating that we would be the first successful VR company and Vr as a whole would finally become. Viable because of us, that's a pretty nutty bet if you look at in the context of the time and so when I went to start this company, I started out using my own money but I immediately went to founders and said you guys are the ones out of everybody I've always kind of bid the nuttiest bend the craziest scene where we were going when it seemed like it was going nowhere and I wanted to work with people like that again because. The defense industry I know this is very trite and you said you've interviewed thousand metric capless get ready for something that just sounds Cliche but the defense industry truly is an industry that is right for disruption. It is ripe for disruption in the very, very traditional generic sets that the companies that are there are ready to be distracted. My question to you is on Banja with you in the background is like it's a normal obvious but as you said that all An even Andrew with the structural challenges faced in the audience which run proved now they can. Now what do you think gives founded on the confidence to Mayton Bowl Bats I guess is not as you put it as they all. Well to be fair. It's not just founders fund raiser. Our series sees since then we've been joined by a lot of other investors, you like general catalyst locks and injuries it Horowitz Fowler I'm a big Fan of party routes I liked working with all of the people that I've worked with in the past who treated me well, I guess I'm loyal to a fault and I want everyone who's off in the past to be along for this, right? To as to why they're making the I think it's because we really quickly proved that we were building all of the right components. Like I said earlier, you can't just win by having a good product and defense you have to understand the legal side you have to understand procurement. You have to understand better than government procurement officers because most of them aren't even aware of all the legal authorities they have and the ways they have to move money around. Political side you have to understand how to interviews with politicians and convince them that your stuff really is going to make warfighters safer and not just be a huge waste of taxpayer money as a you need basically a legal machine lobbying machine product machine on hardware and software needed a great management t needed great. Finance team is able to keep the kind of finances that will keep the government happy which believe me very different than the type of that will keep a venture capitalist used to working with small seat stage startups. happening, you have to have all of these things or you can succeed. I have one final question Fai. Can Tool David it takes away the premise of the name of the show brought Metabol- name for shape. My question is unique unique credit be charismatic leader speak out as I said everyone that I spoke to you before the show you mentioned this kind of a nice ability for leadership when you look back at your leadership with the benefit of hindsight, how easy you've changed as a leader over eight years now since twenty. I think there's a few things that changed. The first is consciously realizing that I don't necessarily get to work on the things that are the most exciting to me and I had to accept that when I started this company like this was a big struggle with Oculus. When you start a tech company, you do it because you want to work on technology right? That's why you're interested in space in the first place but as a company rose. I had to realize if I'm still doing optical design in my company is because I'm being negligent in my hiring process I need to find people who are better than me because there's a lot of people out there in the world who are better than me. Same thing here at Enron I could be doing board layout like laying out printed circuit boards, but it would be a huge disservice to our customers to our employees to our investors. If I was kind of playing house and having fun doing the things that make me feel relaxed in. Happy rather than doing the things that I'm uniquely good which is convincing people that they should be coming to work for me convincing them that they are going to have a big impact keeping people stoked about what we're doing so that they can keep a a high quality of work and high intensity of work doing things like government sales. Where like it or not? Even if I have a sales guy who's better than me at selling, you'll never have quite the same impact as the founder of the company showing up. So sometimes you got to show up because the customer wants the big man to show, and it's one of those things where as a technologist and God do I really have to go fly halfway across the country for a thirty minute meeting where I'm just gonNA present. something. That someone else is better resenting anyway and the answer when you're starting a company is often yes because that's your job. That's what you sign up for. You didn't actually sign up to war on technology you sign up to run a tech company and those are two very different things I mean going into Oculus did not understand that I was much more idealistic. This time around I fully understood what was happening in what I was doing. And just have to embrace it, and he's a lot healthier to realize that going into a company that had beaten over the head after making a series of mistakes. Tony agreed. Jeff lentils because it's a big realization you've grown so much the lead you have mentors have helped you in your own development later I definitely do there's people that have helped me in the past there's people who continue to help me one of the things that is great. About my life is that I have been in situations than most people my age never get to be. I. Am been around people that most people my age don't get the chance to work with so like whether you're talking about world-class programmers like Giancarlo, who basically embedded three d gaming and then continue to be relevant for decades past that that's pretty rare in the game space for sure or you're working with people who hold senior government positions. And had been doing. So for decades to serve their country to even some of the researchers that I worked with before Oculus. When I worked in the University of Southern California ICT mixed reality lab I've had the benefit to work with a lot of people that most people my age you get to work with and I think that really has made a big difference in my outlook like put another way I feel like if you could take your. Person Who's just let's say loser Gamer Internet nobody, which is what I was for quite some time and you're to give them the same experiences that I've had. They would almost have to try to not be capable like if you've been around capable people and Mentor by capable people you have to try. I love that in terms of the capabilities back from that, I want to move into my favorite, which is a quick firearm is issued a statement and then you give me your immediate are you ready to rookie? No, I'm ready to rock and roll I hope I don't say anything spooky that nothing's big year to I'm sure HR team love your favorite book your mind to me. I'm not sure what my favorite book is right now I was actually just talking about with the friend growing up favorite book was journey to the center of the Earth because it was a story about. How few people pulled off something extraordinary not because they were trying to do it for everybody else. Basically, they were doing it for different reasons, but they were doing it for themselves. Their own reasons they did something incredible. They experience something extraordinary and that really spoke to me when I was younger. Now that I'm older I've learned that very few things work like that everything's a team effort maybe it rings a little more in these days not just going to send the earth but doing. So as a team of just three or four people another book that I really I don't know if. I dates like favorite lately but I really liked three body problem not just as a piece of hard sci Fi. But also as a piece of hard science fiction from the Chinese perspective, it's very interesting to compare American science fiction and Chinese science fiction because there's baked in cultural assumptions, they're just so different around collectivism and the value of the individual versus the value of all what level of truing over individuals for the greater good versus sticking to your guns. No matter what it's very interesting to read. Well, written hard Scifi that you know was kind of written from a perspective that. You would not necessarily agree with what's your biggest strength in your biggest weaknesses alita thirty seconds on each I think one of my biggest strengths is being able to convince people that what I'm working on is the most important thing in the world and the most important thing that they can be working on not just one time when you hire them but continuously as they continue to work for you, that's what keeps the quality of the work high the intensity of the work high and the quality of the products really high, and this is true actually even going back before I started oculus. Iran Internet forums where I convinced people that modifying minute game consoles was the best thing ever it was the coolest thing ever the same thing when I used to play sports when I was a kid convincing people that working with me was the best thing they could possibly do and it's funny where is not all that different going from eight years old almost twenty eight years old as far as weaknesses I like to think that I don't have any weaknesses not managing, and if I do have weaknesses that I'm not managing then hopefully unaware of them I would say one weakness I have is I get distracted easily by wanting to solve every. Problem that I know on April solid I'll see something got me and my team could just crushed that problem we could make such a big difference and we could do it very quickly. The problem is when there's hundreds of problems you could solve you can't solve all of them. You can't try to solve all than because you'll never solve any of them. You have to pick one of focus on you have to pick a few that are formed and that really drives me crazy especially when I picked problems where I make the wrong bet and it does go poorly I can't help much waste a lot of time thinking how could it have been? Done differently. Is there anything that I could have done where you know an even better path? Even, how well going I've had a lot of the right choices made someone purpose on access. How do you deal with share the final moments like you make a big mistake in terms of choice of prioritization and resource is something that they shouldn't have gone to and you should have has something else how do you deal with the shit hit the fan moments I think the most important thing is to never play yourself. You never want to come out of a mistake like that convincing yourself Oh, I. Did the right thing that totally made sense. I can't believe this I got screwed. You cannot afford to be a professional victim you have to look critically say how did I fail? How did we fail and you have to be honest about that failure or you're not gonNA learn in the future I know it sounds trade to say mistakes are a chance to learn. It allows you to learn for the future like in I've definitely unhealthy version of this there's Times I've made mistakes and it has eating me. Up Every night for months on end afterwards. But I try not to do that because in my experience, it hasn't been productive yet. Tell me what's the biggest misconception you find people have evanger today Oh boy you say one of the biggest receptions is probably the idea to what we're doing is politically bias in one way or the other I'd say there's a lot of people say, Oh, you're going to border security that means that you're a Republican company and the reality is most of our leadership and honestly. Most of the company actually leans more to the left. The reality is order security is something that brought by partisan consensus on. There's a lot of disagreement on immigration policy. But nobody credible in politics thinks that the right way to solve immigration policy issues is to turn a blind eye to human trafficking weapons, trafficking drug trafficking, everyone agreed border security, and I think the same thing goes for military. You mentioned earlier that Silicon Valley seems to be against working with the DOD and I think it's really not still. Working with the DOD that even itself is a misconception most people in the valley support the military most of them would love to work with it and they're letting a few people who be honest like it fair when a Google employee says, Hey, I didn't sign up to work on military technology. I. Don't WanNa work on this I understand where they're coming from but it's important to recognize that those people are the minority. If anything I'd say of all the political opinions in the United States. One of the rarest is that we would rather have foreign powers like China and Russia have better military technology to the United States and certainly not just the United States with our allies you look at the United. Kingdom, you look at Germany. Australia those guys want us to have the best military technology in the world. It's not just one of the most. The United States it's probably one of those universally popular things globally is the idea that the United States should be in the driver's seat in have the best technology. So I'd say when it comes to big misconceptions, I'd say the big misconception is that what we're doing is controversial when in fact, it's probably one of the least controversial things that there is outside of a very small number of people who do care about it very passionate and ultimate question. What's the biggest challenge in skating? Johnny Vandross. So fall single biggest challenge. The biggest ceiling challenge so far has been just the natural rate at which a company can grow I mean I grew oculus to fourteen hundred people before I left, and we grew very very quickly and sometimes I would argue maybe too quickly especially, right at the end I. Don't WanNa do that here I don't want to hire a thousand people in a year because I know that it's impossible for any organism to survive that it's kind of like. Stunts in marvel you can't absorb that much power. So quickly or you will kill yourself and I think that's been a problem for me because I don't WanNa all the little company I don't want bill medium company I want to go the company that is big enough than we can be a major player that changes the way defense is done and it changes the way defense technologies procured and it's Very frustrating to me that we can't just kind of grow overnight to be that type of company 'cause I'm very confident. I can raise the money to do it. I'm very confident. We can hire the people to do it but the scaling challenges bringing people on fast as you can while still retaining the culture and structure that made you successful in the first place and so unfortunately, I know it's going. To take at least a few more years before I get to where I wanna be because you can't grow a company at infinite speed. That's kind of a challenge for me and I'm only twenty seven years old. So for me a few years seems like an eternity I started my last company when I was a teenager. So three years doesn't seem like much people who've been in this industry A. Little longer but to me, I feel like I was diapers when I started the company I, mean he said about the company you want to build when you think about like long term what is Andrew like in ten twenty, thirty years from now final one I guess this goes back to what we said we wanted to be when we first started raising money from boundaries Franzen, and from others I said. I want to build a defense product company been changes the way defense products or that saves scares hundreds of billions of dollars while baking tens of billions of dollars and make sure that Western values are preserved here in the United States and abroad with our allies. This business doesn't make sense to be in if your goal is just make money, I'm going to make sure it makes money 'cause I. have to like I literally cannot achieve my ideological outcomes in less I make this company large enough to matter. But if I wanted to just make money and that was my all I would have started a company a different industry where there's proven success wouldn't be in an industry where almost nobody's exceeds. If you're working in defense, it has to be because you believe in the mission and because you want. Things to be better because you don't believe things are good enough and I know everyone says that that's why they were in places like facebook or twitter or snapchat. I think it's kind of not true. You're not going to make the world very different if you make stop chat one percent better but if you can make the United States Department of Defense, one percent better, you're going to save a lot. Of Lives, you are going to save a lot of money and it's hard to imagine a mission and a customer where you can have a bigger impact than the US military in our Alice. As you can tell, I've so enjoyed this show icon enough coming in for putting up with me airing so far off sat. Thank you so much for joining me day. Thank you. I've been a lot of fun. I. Now listening to that you do not know is that practically none of content is on she in the schedule palm was incredibly accommodating in terms of where we took the conversation I cannot wait see the nice decade for him and for Andrew if you'd like to see more from Palma, you can find him on twitter at Palmer. Lucky. Likewise, it'd be great. Welcome me behind the scenes here you can do so on Instagram at age stubbings nineteen, ninety-six with. TV's but before we leave each day I, wanted to take a moment to mention hello sign a great example of a company that found success in building product focused on user experience. Hello sign is an effortless e-signature solution used by millions to security send an request legally valid digital signatures agreements. They raised a total of sixteen million dollars in funding and recently got acquired by dropbox an impressive two, hundred, thirty, million dollars check out Hallo signed dot com forward slash. VC join the thousands of companies and founders Johnny Fast Secure and simple ease. Ignatz shoots and I do have to mention another incredible product century business digits did suspend the last two years building this incredibly powerful financial engine for businesses. Now, they're ready to show you what they can do with it back in April they announced a real time dashboard to help you manage your company's expenses for free and recently a little Birdie. told me. They have some incredible amounts coming up they've raised thirty, three million dollars from benchmarking and the team behind digits just epic. Personally I think it's one startup up towards year and the next and laws, but by no means. least has anyone tried to send a business peyman recently. Oh my God. It was easier to get into college. You have reviews you have this never ending back and forth between collies slows the process down. It's a motive work continues to pile up as your business payment scale, and that's where rutabagas steps in all sets. Russillo policies not only is focused on digital business payments. By the time, it saves on both the accounting on the operation sides. Did I mention the Roussel automatically updates your accounting records making your finance teams lives so much easier. Request a fifteen minute demo and start managing. You beat be payments electronially at rusefel dot com slash two zero. For free, that's no transaction fees. No fees for one full month join Rusefel and building the best platform for businesses to manage that workflows and send and Receive Money Digital League Roosevelt Dot, com forward slash choosier visa as always I. Sir appreciate it. We can't wait springing upset with Catherine Boyle partner general candidates to lead the seed round for Andrew, I can't wait for that episode.

United States DOD Andrew L. China founder Silicon Valley facebook Joe Lonsdale David navy Paul Malaki Harry
Operation Silver Shovel | S1 E6

The City

48:41 min | 2 years ago

Operation Silver Shovel | S1 E6

"On the evening of October twenty. First nineteen ninety four. An Illinois state rep named Ray free us paid a visit to John Christopher's southside office the low slung unassuming brick building on west seventy. Fourth street was on a block that dead ended by some train tracks, making it an ideal location for a clandestine meeting. Neither one of us could stay long. He's got an award stew on. The meeting was captured on video and in it you can see Ray free us and John Christopher seated at a wooden table in the middle of a plain looking office with dingy, carpet and beige walls. The table is strewn with papers. There's a mini fridge and a rotating fan. Ray free us. Where's a dark suit and a patterned tie and sits with his hands folded in his lap John Christopher. Whereas a blue polo shirt and lights a cigarette, John Christopher speaks first. I do not be honest with you. I mean, this is all summer weekly from next year weekly prefer. John Christopher has called this meeting because he wants Ray free as his help getting one of his construction companies certified by the state and an exchange Christopher is willing to pay free us a consulting fee. She told me, I mean, what's worth you? I don't know. I mean, I can't one. What do you believe you could do to believe you could help me. What you're hearing is tape of John Christopher, trying to bribe a Chicago politician. Eventually they agree that five hundred dollars a week is a fair price for this exchange. Seal we start. Okay. And to give me a privates that has an efficient s as simple as that. Great. That's great. Okay. That's a consultant. Get in previous episodes. We've had actors dramatize John Christopher's time in court because all we had were transcripts, but this is actually John Christopher. This tape is real. This recording is one of more than a thousand audio and video tapes. John Christopher made in secret while he was working undercover for the FBI. And it's one of nine tapes that we got by suing the FBI earlier this year, it took us almost three years to get these tapes. And even though we only got nine, they provide a front row seat to how John Christopher operated as the FBI's prize informants back and John Christopher's office. He and Ray Frias had settled on five hundred dollars a week for this consulting fee. But then free gets nervous. I will stood up. Mobile right now also, I mean, this is. I mean, any kind of rain like this war over as alleged so too. To movie. Thank you. Alexis. That's why they want him out. Could can make moving Zico politicians when they don't think one. You just got to find the right roof as free as starts to come around. John Christopher pushes harder to seal the deal. The only reason why you're seeing here because you are seeing what's. Okay, because it can make one. The other one is for Zo. So if you feel uncomfortable, what are we clean? I said, the white way to you all. Thunder salt wrong with you because there's no politicians role that I know that go give me this on give you that. You give me this and I'll give you that. It's the transactional nature of Chicago politics. I give you a dollar. You vote for my candidate. You vote for my candidate. I give you a job as we previously learned from the story of north London, alderman Bill, Henry, it's the Chicago way. But in this case it's not business as usual. It's what the f. b. I would call a quid pro quo. That's this for that in Latin and it's a legal, you help my company get certified, and I'll give you five hundred dollars a week quid pro quo. After the FBI had busted John Christopher for Bank fraud for falsifying his loan applications and walking away with millions of dollars, he'd used to build up his businesses, the FBI flipped him convinced him to wear a wire and put him in the center of new investigation. So wearing a wire and acting on the FBI's behalf. John Christopher went looking for dirty politicians. He found many who were willing to conspire and some who are less. So almost all of his targets were black or Latino and came from segregated neighborhoods that industry had left the FBI called this new undercover investigation operation, silver shovel silver, like the forty pieces of silver Judah, Scott for betraying Jesus and shovel like the bulldozers at John Christopher's dumps the investigation was intended to tackle public. Corruption and would become one of the biggest corruption probes and Chicago history. But as it unfolded operation, silver shovel seemed to replicate the harm. John Christopher had caused in north Lonsdale and became a grab bag for anything. The f. b. FBI thought John Christopher could help them do. I'm Robin Aamer and from USA today, this is the city. If you like the city, you may like another show from USA today. The five things podcast covers the five most important stories of the day and why they matter in less than five minutes. New episodes are available every morning, Monday through Saturday, and you can subscribe to five things for free on apple podcasts or wherever you listen. Before we get back to the story. I wanna tell you about another podcast you might enjoy if you like the city. You might also like future. Perfect. A new podcast from vox future perfect explores provocative ideas that could radically improve the world in a time where the news has never felt more dire or distressing future. Perfect. Offers a window into a brighter more hopeful world. It's host. Dylan Matthews asks big questions. Like what career should I choose to do the most good? Or is it possible to make our prisons more humane? These questions don't have simple, yes or no answers, but they do kick off fascinating conversations. Listen to those conversations every Wednesday on future. Perfect. By vox you can find the show on apple podcasts or ever you're listening. Okay. Back to the story. In July nineteen Ninety-two FBI special agent, Jim Davis was put in charge of operation silver, shovel and assigned to be John Christopher's handler, he cents that this was going to be a big case. We told headquarters about, you know, the people that he had been paying recently who we thought he could pay in the near future. After John Christopher crossed over and started working for the FBI. He told the bureau about his bribes to former north Lonsdale alderman Bill Henry, you'll remember he was the Wheeler dealer who had reportedly given John Christopher permission to set up his rock-crushing operation in exchange for five thousand dollars a month. But the f. b. i. couldn't start with Bill Henry. And Jim Davis is kind of flippant about why I think he was dead before our k started. Otherwise, we'd have paid him instead. They started. With other officials. John Christopher claimed to be bribing. There was an alderman named Virgil Jones. A former cop in the mostly black fifteenth ward Virgil Jones had also given John Christopher permission to dump in his ward and exchange for a bribe ten dollars a load. Then there were high level officials from Chicago's water treatment agency. John was in the middle of a relationship to pay those guys for subcontracting work on a construction project that was going on, you know, at that time, but Jim Davis and his fellow FBI agents suspected that with an informant like John Christopher, they could find even more city officials to bribe ones. John Christopher had yet to meet the FBI needed to catch them misusing the power of their office to help John Christopher in exchange for money. They needed to establish a quid pro quo, and they had to get it on tape. John Christopher had a ton of credibility with other criminals. But Jim day. Davis knew that he would have zero credibility with a jury. John Christopher had an extensive criminal history Bank fraud trying to murder federal witness, and the f. b. I didn't want to risk putting him on the stand with the defense could play up his laundry list of past crimes. So every time John Christopher went out, Jim Davis wired him up to record his conversations. Technology for recording conversations was changing very quickly at that time. So we started out with a thing called in Nagara in a g. r. a. which was pretty good size like scary, big, real trail tape machine. It was a real real tape machine. Wow, so hiding that was difficult though. Jim Davis wouldn't tell me exactly where he hit the device. Don't want to go into that in understand why, right? I'm not trying. I'm not trying to be evasive or secretive or anything, but you know, I just don't want people. Dialed in art techniques. You wanna protect future investigations by protecting that information as they started to select their new targets. They came up with a plan that was supposed to meet specific legal requirements. We couldn't just kinda throw out net and in gather up these guys, we had to make sure that we had some Predication that they were involved in criminal activities. Predication means that there had to be some evidence that the person they were going after was already doing something illegal and thus might be willing to do more illegal stuff. Oftentimes that establish that through the politicians network. One alderman would introduce us to another to another to another. John Christopher may have disappeared from north Lonsdale, but you could find him dining with elected officials all over town. You could find John Christopher at the I hop at ninety four th in western, he'd be sitting across from alderman Virgil Jones who had given him permission to dump construction debris on the south side. The f. b. i. listened in as John Christopher gave Jones four thousand dollars wrapped in a newspaper. You could find John Christopher at Theodore's on ninety. Fifth street there he asked another southside alderman to send a city street sweeper to clean up the mess. He'd made a job site offered that alderman more than five thousand dollars in cash. And you could find John Christopher at Jack's a fancy English restaurant. Overlooking the magnificent mile shopping corridor there he gave a water Commissioner cigarette pack filled with forty rolled one hundred dollar bills. To aid this growing investigation, the f. b. i. brought in an undercover agent to act as John Christopher's business partner. Mark Sophia was a veteran f. b. i. agent from Chicago who was also Italian. Although he was more clean cut and well-spoken than John Christopher. The bureau thought that he could play a convincing mobbed up construction guy. He was often in the field with John Christopher when he bribed public officials during the investigation marks feel went by an alias Mark Delana. We wanted him to be Italian. I mean, marks Afia is Italian, but I haven't picking name that basically ends in all in. I didn't realize it until we had been in this for a while and I should. So where did you get to long ago to Lanka is not an Italian name. Mark was a West Point grid, and a ranger army ranger in the third phase of ranger training is based in. Delana Georgia and like his fake business partner. Mark Delana was also all over town meeting with a state rep at a diner near midway airport, where handed over the five hundred dollars. John Christopher had promised or hunkering down in an undercover apartment in suburban oakbrook terrace, where he'd sometimes pay bribes in his bathrobe and count out money on the coffee table. Shaved about to grad based on two leaks, so sure that would be one gram. So they're in this video recording Mark. Sofia as Mark Dhillon aga- is paying a southside alderman for helping John Christopher, clean up a parking lot repaving job. Or short, it's a little hard to hear, but that's Mark Sofia actually counting out money to give to the alderman. Okay, sir. The f. b. i. cast a wide net between the two of them. John Christopher and Mark Sofia eventually tried to woo and then bribe at least forty people. There were so many targets and each had his or her own story. But let's drill down into one of these officials to better understand how the investigation played out in practice and what it felt like to be caught in John Christopher's web. That's after the break. Do you wear clothes that don't fit? Are you listening to a podcast you hate probably not. You taken control of the rest of your life. It's time to take control of your sleep. Helixsleep Bill to quiz takes just two minutes to complete the use the answers to match your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress. I was matched to the helix dusk. My first night on this mattress was one of the most restful nights I've had in a long time and every night sense has been really uneventful, which means I'm not tossing and turning like I used to do what I did and go to helixsleep dot com. Slash the city take their two minutes sleep quiz and they'll match you to a mattress that will give you the best sleep of your life right now. Helix is offering up to one hundred twenty five dollars off all mattress orders. All you have to do to get up to one hundred twenty five dollars off. Your mattress is go to helixsleep dot com. Slash this city. That's helixsleep dot com. Slash the city for a hundred and twenty five dollars off your mattress order. Helixsleep dot com. Slash the city. He wanted to earlier this year. Our reporter Wilson Sayer and I visited Percy Giles a former west side alderman who got caught up in operation silver shovel. So can I ask you what you had for breakfast this morning? Nuts. Giles and his wife police live in a tidy, split level ranch house on a quiet tree lined street in Chicago's south suburbs, very different from where he grew up in rural Arkansas. He was one of ten children and the son of a sharecropper. The family's home didn't have indoor plumbing until after he was ten years old Giles went on to study at the university of Arkansas. And then like so many other black Chicagoans. He left the south as part of the great migration and made his way to the west side. Giles would become part of a wave of young black politicians who came up under the city's first black mayor Harold Washington in nineteen six. When he was in his mid thirties, Giles was elected to city council. Even today, if you ask Percy Giles what accomplishment he's most proud of from his time in office, he'll tell you it was getting garbage out of his ward familiar with the west side. Chicago always got. Reputation of being not clean and and everybody looked down at the rest of the on the west side. But what determined right away is that the west, I wasn't treated fair. Percy Giles is ward the thirty seventh was and still is similar to north Llandough majority black, not a lot of clout with city hall and chronically underserved by the city. The same set of factors that had prompted north Lonsdale alderman Bill Henry to buy his own street sweeper. Percy Giles was first elected. The city had insisted the ten west side wards including his all, send their household garbage to a local incinerator. So the alleyways in his word became clogged with bulkier items, like couches or TV's that couldn't go to the incinerator and they let this other stuff. Just people put it out there to sit at just so the Senate claim that they were sent a bulk up there to pick it up later, but they've they didn't do that. Eventually Percy Giles convinced the city to let him send the words trash to another site and that got the garbage problem under control. If I have to say the one thing I did as alderman, that was the most significant thing I would say that would be it that changed the fiber of the west side. And yet Percy Giles was eventually taken down by an undercover investigation that started with a mountain of waste. By January nineteen. Ninety-five Percy Giles had already served to successful terms as alderman and was running for a third place to be. Look for ways to raise phones. Trials got a call from political consultant. He'd hired the consultant told him that he'd scheduled a lunch with possible donor named John Christopher. I got this. John Christopher. They said, you know, he can. He raise some money. A few days later Percy Giles and his political consultant meet with John Christopher for lunch at a west side, soul, food restaurant called edna's edna's advertised the best biscuits on earth and had a back room where VIP's could meet in private. The people. Here. What I should Percy Giles ordering the short ribs. He's really hard to hear in the tape because the tape recorder is across the table from him hidden somewhere on John Christopher's body. So when all of these recordings, John Christopher is much easier to hear. Hot dog that was Burke was polish sausage. Give me a hot one. On your guys neighbor, all. Go onto the Ryan. On just on the point John Christopher and Percy Giles finish ordering and start making small talk Giles asks how he's been doing and John Christopher lifts up his shirt. Allusion away from gaining weight what I'm doing. Go stay out of trouble while you know she'll want my wife or gain weight when I'm away from I lose weight. Hugh lift up his shirt. He grabs his belly and shakes it up and down FBI agent. Jim Davis would later tell me that when John Christopher did this lift up his shirt. It was his way of signalling to Percy Giles or anyone else around that. He was not wearing a wire though. Of course, the only reason we're hearing this is because he was. And as they're making small, talk talking about the upcoming mayoral election and who's ahead in polls, that kind of thing. John Christopher brings up his dumps in north London. Good news, dumping business. I don't do that little more. I don't wanna do it says to Christopher your known all over the city. In other words, you're infamous leave with head of my neetings with Henderson. Translation Percy Giles was heard about John Christopher and his construction. Debris dumps from Henry Henderson Commissioner of the city's department of environment and now for the first and maybe only time here is John Christopher on tape defending his actions in north Lauderdale. All of this fucking table. Table. I made a lot of money over Balza both saying they made a lot of money. You wanna know tensions want to hurt nobody. There created job Stor. Percy Giles seems sympathetic to John. Christopher Giles explains that he had been meeting with Henry Henderson because he's now facing a situation similar to the one in north Lonsdale he had thrown his support behind a company called Niagara that had promised to bring eighty jobs to his ward. Niagara then set up a construction, debris dump next to a beauty supply factory, the dirt and debris were now piled so high that runoff from the dump had flooded the factories parking lot Percy Giles was now taking heat from the factories owners and the city, and the press including a reporter from the sun times. Kim, you'd be. Playing to what it was she. And his political challenger in the upcoming election had also started using the dumps against him, putting up flyers around the ward that said, the dump was talk. Opponents shit bit. They can't do that them now of nothing. One on one. Plus they already put it out on in the community about tactic, mini minds and the toxic dump John Christopher offers Percy. Giles some words of wisdom are just gonna give picture right. Watch the heights of it will aunt you watch the heights of it. In other words, be careful how big the dump GATS especially when you're running for reelection under skewing. I feel that if you're going to be with somebody can Molly information, you could help them out later. And I was the first one basically that started all the dumps. You know the first. Question. So listen. Percy Giles. Let me save this with you. Okay. Give a Mason deal. The all get your running form. Okay. I want to months of court room battles. What sitting fro-. I started the can't want city. That could want you for years to come. You know this, Jesse won the election just lower Moshe. And you is a couple of people call up and saying that they got those problems. Jesse Miller who won Bill Henry seed after the former alderman supported John Christopher and the Northland l. dumb. Again, this is a warning learn from what happened in north Lauderdale for me. Would you take. In John Christopher's advice may have been offered one businessman to another, but he's here to do another kind of business. And all this small talk is probably just to establish trust because once they've built that report, Jon Christopher goes into dealmaking mode. I, he tells Percy Giles that he has a new construction company. We'll keep real small. John Christopher explains that on paper. His new construction company is run by a guy from north Lauderdale actually the same guy that he'd hired to do community relations in the neighborhood back when he was fighting the city's lawsuit. And because this guy is black and fronting as the official head of the company that makes them eligible for contracts set aside for minority owned businesses are not a while when he calls for the job. Anyone, anyone, if my name is much and pulls that radical stuff and says, what is this shit because of problems. Comes now, you know, I mean, he really fights. That's all very good tape. We wanted during these guys up. That's Jim Davis. John Christopher's f. b. i. handler, he was one of the first people to hear this tape after it was recorded this white Italian guy talking to a black elected official in saying a were taken advantage of the NBC certification. E stands for minority business enterprise. You know, by saying that we are a minority run business when in fact, look at me in to have those conversations in front of the alderman in have the alderman not say, hey, you know, you can't do that that paints the alderman in a certain light. After explaining that, he's basically set up a front company. John Christopher makes his pitch. He wants a contract for shopping center being built in Percy Giles ward. I won't where they work with number. You wanna say, I wanna the all in exchange for this help. John Christopher offers Percy Giles ten thousand dollars. What's going to happen basically. Effort to be given. Okay. Commitment of trying to get some workers that what we're saying here. And. Would you get the pain of the. Have somebody. I can't guaranteed. Nothing hundred can do all we can provide anything in a way that we can be assistant you. That's my call. Drought can to help. It's new. That's all that's needed. But John Christopher actually needed to get the payment on tape. So a few days after that first lunch, John Christopher and Percy Giles meet at edna's again. And this time John Christopher brings the money with him the first of two payments of five thousand dollars each. Now, what follows is really hard to hear because even John Christopher is speaking in hushed voice. He says to Percy Giles, here's the five thousand, it's all there. And then he asked Percy Giles if you want to count it. I can't believe you won't. If you've ever ripping put in your pocket. By John saying, please hurry up. Put that in your pocket. It dirties up more. You know you saying, you know, let's not make a big spectacle even though he is gonna make a big spectacle. Giles sounds giddy as he takes the cash. Member should move. This fucking. To be I agent, Jim Davis. This is a slam dunk. They have a sitting alderman on tape taking money from their informant, but that's not how Percy Gile side Giles admits taking the money, but swears that he believed it was a campaign contribution. It's why when he takes the money, he says, I'll win the election in African American minutest. It's difficult for us to raise money for elections, and that was like the best fundraising that I had and really did help me by material of real wood to ten thousand dollars mean to your campaign efforts at the time a lot. That was about a third of my campaign dollars. So this is a really big deal for you because you're running for re-election. You have a meeting with this guy that you think is a local businessman and he's affectively just given you in like to face to face meetings, a third of the money that you raise so far very election campaign that Nelson blessing Percy Giles says, he's still wilder as to why the f. b. i. chose him as a target. He argues that the f. b. i. turned an otherwise loyal public servant into a figure of corruption. The Cincinnati to meet the Mana fact a crime that they say that pro, whatever Lille put poll banana factor that the say, oh, we got him. He committed a crime. I wasn't doing anything to anybody, but taking my business, I would say that's fair. I make to me, you can do that with anybody. Now, granted him, some people smarter than me. They mo- politica stoop than me. They around families that who have been having business, they know how people are, but I came from a background. Nobody told me into this. I came from Arkansas, just Arkansas. The hospitality state we speak to everybody in Arkansas people. They pretty much say what they mean and they mean what they say, and that's that's where I come from. And so that was just shocked to me. Giles was eventually indicted and convicted, not just for taking ten thousand dollars in bribes from John Christopher, but also for taking eighty one thousand dollars in bribes from Niagara the company that set up the dump in his word when he talks about it. Now he says the money was for the ward and Niagara told him it would bring jobs Percy Giles would not be the last person to critique operation silver shovel or the last alderman to get caught up in the investigation in ways that mirrored John Christopher's time in Northland, Dale, that's after the break. Sometimes the smallest thing can make a big difference. Take your socks. For example, they might not seem like the most important thing in the world, but think for a moment about the last time you were a pair of socks that just weren't cutting it. An uncomfortable pair of socks can affect your whole day. That's why I love Bumba socks. They are truly the most quality made most comfortable socks I've ever worn one of my favorite things about Bomba is that just as they're making a difference in my day, I know they're making a difference in someone else's. See socks are the number one requested item in homeless shelters across the US. When the founders of Bomba saw the statistic, they decided to do something about it. And that's why for every pair of socks they sell. They also donate one to someone in need to date. They have donated over seven million socks to shelters. All fifty states bomb socks are available in a variety of different colors styles. And so. Sizes for men, women and kids. They are so cute and you can save twenty percent on your first purchase by visiting Bumba dot com. Slash the city that's b. o. m. b. a. s. dot com. Slash the city and entering the offer the city in the checkout code space. Although the FBI was successfully going after elected officials by offering them bribes in exchange for contracts or help from the city. It was often very hard for us to find something that these guys could do for us that we could pay them for. Because as Jim Davis points out, there were a lot of rules that limited what the f. b. i. could do. So we would have conversation where it was very clear that they wanted money from us and that they would do whatever we ask them to do. We just couldn't figure out what what it was that we could ask them to do that wouldn't create, you know, uncontrollable, third party liability. Third party liability means harm to anyone who is not a target of the investigation. For example, if they got a city contract, it meant that another legitimate business would not get that contract in some of the the rock crusher scenarios that we ran as part of this investigation. If we set up a rock crusher. In a neighborhood there was impact on the people around where the pressure was place. Some of the rock crusher scenarios, the FBI sent John Christopher to other aldermen to ask if he could set up other rock Crushers in other wards almost always majority black or Latino wards. But Jim Davis is careful to say that because of concerns about third party liability. The bureau never actually set up any rock Crushers anywhere. We never placed actually placed the rock crusher anywhere. Instead, Jim Davis says they would bring politicians to another rock crusher. John Christopher had this one also predated operation silver shovel and was out in Lamont in the western suburbs. Jim Davis called it a half million dollar prob. In other words, an expensive piece of equipment that was meant to be seen, but not used to the grocery opera. Out Lamont in, we would take alderman out to Lamont to see the crusher, right? So they could go out and see the thing in operation. And then once the alderman had seen the rock crusher, we identify a lot in their ward and say, this is where we wanna put it. We would get their support, pay them for their support, and then we'd never put the crusher there in practice. This was extremely confusing for the alderman. Here's what it looked like to Larry bloom, who is then alderman of the fifth ward. He told me that he needed some overflow space because the space that to which he was bringing the cement debris was he needed more space. And would I help them find such a space bloom was the only white politician caught up in the probe. He was known as an independent and a reformer. His southside ward concluded the integrated Hyde Park neighborhood home to the university of Chicago and the Obamas the word all. Also included a majority black neighborhood called grand crossing that had land zoned for industry. Larry bloom says, he, I met John Christopher a decade before when John Christopher was a client of fellow lawyer and his practice, they reconnected in the mid nineties when they ran into each other at the standard club, a fancy downtown members only club where bloom was meeting potential campaign donor. And I think I was putting my coat down and I see across the room, this big smile. Agai eyes get wide open and sees me and comes running over to me and says, how you doing Larry, it was John Christopher and later in his usual push way, he asked Larry bloom to find him a place to set up a rock crusher. So I actually did that and actually drove around. And I found a location that was in the new portion of my ward had known about which was separated. From the rest of the neighborhood by going underneath a tunnel, and then you went to this open area and it was basically a construction related company that used it for storing its vehicles. John Christopher paid, Larry bloom two thousand dollars for his help and after securing the site and supposedly setting up shop there, he came back to alderman bloom, and he said, Larry, I think I missing up the alley when I'm bringing this debris over to the site. Can you have the wards who pretend go out there and clean it up and after the wards Uber intendant checked out the site, he told bloom there's nothing there. No darts, no debris, no rock crusher. And yet John Christopher calls again and again asks Larry bloom to clean up the site, and he is really pushy. So Larry bloom goes and looks at it for himself. There was nothing they only and I think I looked into the yard and. I didn't see any debris in the industrial itself and see any of the stuff that he said he was bringing in this story basically confirms what Jim Davis told us that they never put a rock crusher anywhere, but from what we can tell from our reporting, that's not quite true. During his time as an FBI informant. John Christopher kept dumping at at least two sites, including the ones in north Lonsdale. He also set up at least one rock crusher in a place where there had not been won before John Christopher had been dumping in the fifteenth ward before he was recruited by the FBI. He had help from the alderman. We mentioned earlier, Virgil Jones, the former cop who took four thousand dollars wrapped in newspaper photos of that dump show something similar to what existed in Northland l. an enormous pile of concrete slabs stacked. What looks like two stories high according to court records. John Christopher kept dumping there after he became an FBI informant and in August nineteen Ninety-two one month after operation, silver shovel officially began. He put a rock crusher at the site, an operated it for at least a few months. After we learned about this rock crusher we went back to Jim Davis to ask if he'd been mistaken when he said they'd never actually put any rock rushers anywhere. He reiterated that as far as he could remember, they never had, but he did know about this one at least at one point. During Virgil, Jones's trial, Jim Davis testified under oath that he had gone to visit the site in the fall of nineteen ninety two and saw the crusher and operation. So it's not completely clear, but it seems as if John Christopher initially set up this rock crusher behind the FBI's back in a previous interview, Jim Davis told me that John Christopher would often do this kind of thing behind his back. Couple of times were I went down to to John's office which was down in the I think it was in the seventy six in western areas somewhere down there and walk around his yard. And I'd see some files a dirt building up, right? And I would tell him get rid of those. So that's what he has a tendency to do in. We had to go out there every once in a while, tell him you can't do that. You got to get this dirt your your lot. But that didn't mean the FBI didn't use the rock crusher to its advance. Edge. The payments may diverge Jones for helping with his operation were part of the FBI's case against him. We reached out to virtual Jones, but he never responded at this point. We should take stock of all the politicians targeted by operation silver, shovel Percy, Giles who's black fertile Jones, who's black Ray free s. Latino Jesse Evans black Allan. Streeter black. In fact, every public official indicted during operation. Silver shovel was black or Latino with the exception of Larry bloom who is white and Jewish. Jim Davis says, this disparity bothered him even at the time we were looking for opportunities to to try and branch out racially. But the issue was we could only go where the case took us. We could only go where our subjects were willing to introduces. You know, we, I remember one point having conversations about, you know, is there any way that we could get John say to Allan Streeter? Do you know any white politicians? We can pay? You know. We, we didn't do that just because it would have been ridiculous to do it. You know? I mean, it's not something it's not. It would not have been a conversation that I think would have worked in the enter cover scenario like then the question is will why would you ask me that? Like that's kind of a weird thing for you to ask me, right? That's the concern exactly. We went were the case took us. He says that the path the investigation talk is just evidence of the city's longstanding racial divides. The reality of Chicago is that black politicians Nobu politicians work with black politicians in the white politicians work with the white politicians. I've frankly think that you Kogyo is one of the most segregated cities in the country. You're not alone there. And I think that that's why this case seemed focused on black politicians. That segregation was driving. Actor here makes sense. It's the scaffolding on which you can hang almost every other fact about Chicago. The neighborhoods were John Christopher setup. His dumps and rock Crushers neighborhoods like north Lonsdale were black neighborhoods, but they were also neighborhoods that had gradually seen industry leave. They had a lot of vacant land and the land was not redeveloped quickly because it was not as valuable as land in wealthier white neighborhoods where developers were more interested in building, which meant that when John Christopher was looking around for places he could convincingly put a dump or rock crusher even fake one. He was almost certainly going to be looking in south and west side wards were land was cheap and plentiful, and set up for industry. There just aren't nearly as many undeveloped lots on the north side. So it wasn't just that there weren't any white politicians other than Larry bloom caught up in silver shovel. There weren't any north siders, either. There's one other dimension to this story. We have to talk about as operation silver shovel, broaden it got weirder. Apart from bribes for city contracts and rock Crushers. Silver shovel became a kind of kitchen sink for everything. The FBI thought John Christopher might be able to pull off that included fake legislation about cemeteries aimed to lure lawmakers at the state capital and a scheme that involved green card and the Royal Canadian Mounted police and a drug deal involving two pounds of cocaine and a money laundering operation for the mob. None of it had anything to do with north Lonsdale. The only things these parts of the investigation had in common was John Christopher just point. John is in a little bit of a state of denial. He wants for this investigation to go on forever because he, he knows when it's over. He's going to have to leave. He's going to have to tell his family that he was cooperating with the government. Eventually, this case would go public and John Christopher's targets would have their day in court, and then the FBI would have to contend with the reality of who John Christopher was and all the things done. I asked, Jim Davis, hell the bureau justified working with a man like John Christopher, and he told me something that he'd once heard a lawyer, say in court, something that had stuck with him. Sometimes if you're going to prosecute the devil, he got to go to hell to get your witnesses in January nineteen, Ninety-six operation. Silver shovel would break as front page news, Ray free us, the politician we heard at the beginning of this episode would be acquitted, but Virgil Jones and Percy Giles Alan, Streeter and Larry bloom a dozen. Other politicians were about to go down. That's next time on the city. The city is a production of USA today, and it's distributed in partnership with wondering, you can subscribe to the show on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you're listening right now. If you liked the show please rate and review us, Andy short, tell your friends about us. Our show was reported and produced by Wilson Sayer Jenny Koss a knee, Robin, EMA. Our editor is Sam Greenspan Austin is our story consultant. Original music and mixing is by Hannah's Brown additional editing this week by Amy pile additional production by Taylor. Megan is about cockerel Phil Corbett and beyond. The media's Chris Davis is our VP for investigations. Spot Stein is our VP of product. Our executive producer is Liz Nelson. The USA today, networks, president and publisher is Mirabella Wadsworth. Thank you to our sponsors for supporting the show and special. Thanks to our turns Matt topic and Tom Curley. And immediately Yousef and Daniels fed cove. Additional support comes from the fund for investigative journalism and the social Justice news nexus, and Northwestern University. If you like this show, you may also like WBZ's new podcast on background, which takes you inside the smoke filled back rooms of Chicago, Illinois government to better understand the people places and forces shaping today's politics. I'm rob Aamer. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter at the city pod or visit our website where you can read transcripts of John Christopher's secret FBI tapes and war. That's the city podcast dot com.

John Christopher Percy Giles Jim Davis FBI Chicago north Lonsdale Christopher Giles Bill Henry USA Larry bloom Jon Christopher Virgil Jones consultant Arkansas Ray Frias shovel Percy Niagara Illinois north Lauderdale Giles ward