20 Episode results for "Zoe Chase"

A Devastating Earthquake in Haiti

The Daily

25:13 min | Last month

A Devastating Earthquake in Haiti

"Looking for signs that the us economy is rebounding from the pandemic then look no further than american manufacturing which recently set a record for new orders but surging demand has also exposed challenges including a record number of open jobs and piling backlogs. A new series on the optimistic outlook podcast hosted by siemens usa ceo. Barbara hampton offers. A way forward you'll learn about the technology changing the game and the more than eight hundred thousand opportunities to start a career in manufacturing nationwide. That's the optimistic outlook. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. From new york times i'm michael barr. This is a daily weeks after the assassination of its president. Haiti was struck by a major earthquake. My colleague ali habib was there reporting on the first crisis when the second crisis hit it's wednesday august eighteenth maria. Where were you when this all started last weekend. So on saturday morning. I'm in my hotel. Room in port-au-prince. Haiti face timing with my husband and our two children. Because i've been on assignment and out of the house for about a week. And all of a sudden i feel the entire room just jolt to the left and then jolt to the right and my husband could see the alarm on my face and he said what's going on and i said i think that there's an earthquake and said you need to get out right now so with my phone in my hand and my kids storm video call ran out to the parking lot of my hotel and i discovered all the hotel staff. Insecurity guards the guests that are staying at the hotel in their pajamas and everybody is looking for some sort of open sky so that they can make sure that you know building or trees. Don't fall down on them. Right and i immediately recognized that everybody was just thinking. Please god let this be over. Let this just eat it. Shortly after my haitian colleague altay called me to see if i was okay and after establishing that i'm fine and he and his family are fine we then start talking about. Where's the epicenter. And he eventually tracks it down in reveals that the epicenter is in the southern peninsula about eighty five miles west of quarter prints the capital and at that point. We start trying to figure out a way to get there. Can we take the roads. No because they're controlled by gangs that are kidnapping people for ransom can mutate commercial flights. No because they've been stopped And then we kind of figure out the best way to get there is by hiring a helicopter And we were able to get there pretty much twenty four hours right after the quake struck. And what do you find when you get to the southern peninsula. Get out of this helicopter onto the ground complete utter mayhem. You get onto the tarmac. And literally i walk maybe fifty feet and just immediately. There are two people with injuries folks on wheelchairs. That are being taken onto the helicopter. That i just arrived on. So that they can be shuttled to port-au-prince for emergency care and then as i'm just about to exit the gates of the airport for the kyw which is you know where that earthquake struck next to a pickup truck pulls up and there's a woman in a pink dress lying in the bed of the pickup truck. Her left face swollen and she says that she can't feel her legs and she had come from an area on the outskirts of mci. Her entire house collapsed on top of her and the local hospital had no ability to x ray her to the if her back was broken or what was wrong with her. And so where do you go from the airport so andrea start asking everybody. Where should we go. And everybody says don't go to the kyw go to the mountains and the hillsides that overlooked loci because those are incredibly poor towns and villages and you have houses that are just completely pancaked. Enter cleaning off the sides and nobody knows the full scale of the disaster there and we immediately start driving to the hills in the mountains that surround loci so we drive out and the road is completely cracked. I mean giant crevice through the middle of it entire boulders are in the middle of the road. And then you're just seeing people. I mean we have twenty five kilometers. Everybody's camping outside of their homes. You know they've brought plastic chairs to sit on the side of the road or their mattresses from their beds if they were able to recover them or they're just sleeping out on the grass because either their houses have been completely destroyed or dirt so badly cracked that they just look like a layer cake. That's been flattened and you can't go in and structures that unstable because it could collapse with any tiny little vibration so people are petrified and everybody staying outside. Because i mean literally at this point i haven't seen no building that is spared in some way. Well so we keep driving and eventually we get to this count about twenty-five monitors fifteen miles outside of loci we enter this church complex with various buildings including a seminary secondary school a guest house for visiting threes residences for the priests It's all destroyed. I mean just danes. Marbly veins just crevices that have been caused by the earthquake. And there's a bulldozer. Men with sledgehammers men with their hands trying to rescue two women from the residents or guest house. I should say of this church complex and nobody knows. The women are alive. Or not so andrea and i come across this. Young man named mulch Walter and he doesn't let in the town but his sister with their staying at the guest house in working and as soon as the earthquake happened he realized that he and his family row k. They started calling her and there was no answer so he hitched a ride and it was just the saddest thing. He said something to me. Like i came here hoping to find my sister and then i saw this and he gestures to the scene said now i have no so. I'm walking through this compound and i came across. Father were neat for tuna. And he told me that he was just about to leave that warning when he felt a shake and then all of a sudden the entire house collapsed and he was miraculously spared. I mean he. He said it was a miracle but the problem was that the front door was locked from the outside by cement cylinder blocks and he was unable to open into. He found corner of the house that had collapsed and he sought refuge there screaming screaming screaming asking for help. Finally he heard his name being screamed by friends of his and he screamed back and said. I'm here i'm here. I'm here and with their bare hands. They just start rick by work trying to find him and he emerges from the rubble unscathed. I mean tiny little wound on his left foot. So father tuna takes us further in and he shows us the secondary school which is second floor just completely collapsed into the i. The school was built in the nineteen forties and serves about eight hundred seventy students. He says and a third of them are too poor to pay tuition so they just waved the tuition fee and he tells me that these kids they get hot lunch every afternoon. Many of them. That's the only proper meal that they really have in the entire day and You know kind of assert realizing that really the church is the institution. This is where people going get help. This is the only institution of support that they know. This is where they can educate their kids. This is where they can get maybe some medical aid and this is where they have a community and asking him what's going to happen. The church is really damaged. I don't see any buildings that can be used and he tells me. Haiti is a country where every disasters possible. And there's no government and we must do what we can to provide the copulation. He says that even if these buildings are not going to be repaired anytime soon come what may they are going to restart school in september because without them about the church. There's nothing for these kids and and they're going to be lost back Support for the daily comes from three m from helping drive vaccine in therapy development with advanced purification technologies to developing an advent. That helps boost vaccine effectiveness. The research scientists at three m are delivering innovative health. Care solutions to help us today. And prepare us to better tackle. what's next. Learn more at three m dot com slash improving lives. Three m science applied to life. If you've heard of blading county north carolina it's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleed in some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges and petty beeps family history in history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote it was almost like they realized that we weren't down. Okay they smart. I'm zoe chase host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times told and five parts. Find it wherever we get your gas so maria of all the damage that you're seeing your the epicenter of this earthquake. It feels like the coolest. Is these churches. Because they represent really the social safety network in haiti. Yeah it is if you work in haiti and every single church that we came across when we some many devastated either totally destroyed or marbled with the cracks in the wall. Totally structurally unsound. You don't wanna spend anytime underneath the roofs because really it could just all come crashing down on your head with any version and a lot of people feel like you know the catholic church which has been there throughout is gone. It's just not there. There's no government and they've got nothing just a month ago or so. The president of this country was assassinated right in this area of the southern peninsula. That i did my reporting in a giant hurricane swept through in two thousand sixteen and they haven't even recovered and is hurricane brought a bunch of salt water from the ocean into agricultural fields that everybody in this area relies upon and soil is just embedded in salt. And pathfinder crop has just failed and people are poorer at this moment than they've ever been because they can't sell their crops and then to have this earthquake happen. It just seems so unfair and of course there was another devastating earthquake in two thousand ten. Yes and that was in port-au-prince and the devastation. There is still on people's minds. I mean i didn't experience it. I wasn't here but my team to haitian journalists and a scottish security guard who happened to be here at the pin. They all told me they had a really hard tim. Sleeping in the days after saturday's earthquake because all they kept thinking about was the images of bodies stacked on the street and quarter prints after the two thousand ten people fighting in the street with knives over a bottle of water the desperation the inability to even walk into a hospital because the hospitals were so crowded the morgues were just completely filled and that trauma Loves them today. How do the people that you talked to make sense of the tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy nature the last fifteen twenty years in haiti. How did they talk about hanging people. Just it's this really resigned way. You know before my colleagues. And i said off to guy. People were just looking at beautiful vista from our hotel and shaking their heads. Saying i god like s- country just doesn't deserve this go on a helicopter ride from port-au-prince two loci as we did and it's just beautiful caribbean sea in mountains and some of the most beautiful thing i've ever seen in everybody's just the is country in such a state. I mean this is the type of place that should be prospering. It's got everything it's beautiful. It's got an amazing culture and yet it's just one of the most devastating places i've ever been to and people are just. They just feel like they have no answers anymore. And they're really fed up of all of the tragedy that just seems to just relentless maria. You started to hint at this when you said the churches play such a central role in the lives of the haitian people in the government is not seen as the answer and i imagine. The government is even less equipped to handle the situation given last month's assassination but is the government in any kind of position to offer any help to the kind of people. You're meeting absolutely not. I mean one analyst. I speak to actually says it's not a failed state. it's aid state. Country has relied on so much aid. And what that has done has basically hollowed out these institutions and not built up capacity the government to do things like launch a major relief effort in distribute that relief and my haitian colleagues. That was asking them you know. What's the situation what ngos are here. Who's doing what we need to tell you for. Reporting they were just quickly check. They just said there's really not a lot of activity. There's not a lot of aid coming in you. Know at this point. Ngos district tapped out. She's not enough money in the world. Right cow for haiti. There's just not re not seeing. You know the immense amount of aid that other disasters in haiti and attractive including the twenty ten puerto prince earthquake and we started asking people in high town village that we went to outside pie. Who have you seen. Who who's been here government help ngos. Who's been here and they all said you're the only outsiders that we've seen here. I've seen no one else. So these people are very much on their own. Yes and that's exactly what they said to me. I mean one example when we went back into the guy we went up to general hospital. He's been in touch with the doctor. There and that doctor said that the general hospital pie it was just him in one other surgeon for the entire hospital and the hospital was so badly damaged and they were using the parking lot as a triage center and an outpatient center so they had this shipping container and they were doing surgeries there but by nature of house slowly tight. That space wasn't in that container. The couldn't do complex surgeries and they were turning dozens of patients away from. We just can't handle your injuries or too serious. And they were asking them to go to another hospital but that hospitals two hours away and in the parking lot. You had so many hospital beds where people who had just gone through surgery had recovering and we met this. One woman happened to be traveling through the kyw and decided hearner has been cited. Do you know what let's stay the night kind of late. So they decided to spend the night in the kai at a hotel in the next morning as they're getting ready to venture out again in continue their journey the shaking straighten their hotel and as they were running out you on staircase the entire staircase just overturned and she had rubble that collapsed on her but it was her left foot. that was completely shattered. I this rubble and the rest of her body was relatively fine and her husband. You in a panic started waving down passer bys you help me help me. Who can who can take my wife to the hospital. And this one woman stopped and took husband and wife to the hospital where they then incubated for left foot and she was under the shade of a tree in this hospital bed in the parking lot with chickens running up and down the parking lot and a notice that she had his bar of soap that she had balanced on the branch of the tree that was giving her shade asked her so you know. What's the situation here. And she said we lost everything in that hotel. Our wallets cell phones everything. This woman who stopped took the hospital. She saved my life. I mean i've had to buy my own soap. I've had to find my own medicine. I've had to find food after the surgery hospitals nap. Getting any of that. And without her. I would not be able to do any of these things because i lost all my possessions earthquake and then i interviewed and i said you know what made you stop. And she said. I've just learnt that in this country we have to rely on ourselves. There's nothing else. There's no other support network. Chris it's just us. And how could. I not help this one. How could i live with myself. I just decided to pass from the road and continue on the way. Thank you very much. We really appreciate it. Thank you on tuesday. Tropical storm grace pummeled haiti soaking victims of the earthquake. Who are sleeping outside and impeding rescue efforts so far the death toll from the quake has reached nearly two thousand people and the number of injured has surpassed nine thousand very bark with no fees or minimums on checking and savings accounts banking with capital. One is like the easiest decision in the history of decisions kind of like choosing to listen to another episode of your favorite podcast and with our top rated up you can deposit checks and transfer money anytime anywhere making capital one in even easier decision. That spanking reimagined. What's in your wallet. Terms apply capital one. Na member fdic. Here's what else you need to mushroom. Father was field coloma by the in their first news conference. Since taking control of afghanistan taliban officials said they planned no reprisals against those who had opposed and said they would not allow prejudice or violence against women. Were part of the car of our anymore him on florida. I'm going to be the good. But those assurances are being met with scepticism during their march toward kabul. The taliban was accused of carrying out multiple revenge killings and the group brutally repressed women. The last time they controlled afghanistan and the times reports that classified intelligence assessments over the summer warned of the possibility that the taliban could rapidly take over afghanistan and the afghan military could quickly collapse. Despite those warnings. President biden publicly played down the prospect that the government might collapse and was caught off guard by the talibans. Final push into kabul titties. Episode was produced by serena shockley robert jefferson and daniel. He met it was edited. By larisa anderson rachel wester and lisa chow and was engineered by. Chris would original music by dan. Powell and alicia e two. That's it for the unlikable maher c. Tomorrow comedy central proudly presents the daily show with trevor noah for your emmy consideration the daily show with trevor noah is nominated for outstanding variety talk series as well as outstanding writing for a variety special. So please consider considering these considerations because as considerations go these considerations are really worth considering for your consideration the daily show with. Trevor noah returns with new episodes september thirteenth at eleven ten central on comedy central.

earthquake southern peninsula Haiti kyw siemens usa Barbara hampton From new york times michael barr ali habib au mulch Walter maria andrea zoe chase improvement association mci
678: The Wannabes

This American Life

1:08:14 hr | 2 years ago

678: The Wannabes

"Support for this American life comes from rocket mortgage by quicken loans making the home buying process work for you their team is there with award-winning client service and support get started at rocket mortgage dot com slash American Erkin equal housing lender licensed in all fifty states and M._l._S. consumeraccess dot org number thirty thirty chase IRA glass so you went to Iowa. Did you know they're like fifty thousand Democratic candidates running for president. They're all in Iowa. It's it's twenty five right now. It's twenty five right now and there's this one political writer Dave Weigel with The Washington Post he writes. This newsletter thing called the trailer three times a week and he has this particular superpower were somehow he seems to be with every single candidate. WHO's running at the exact same time so at this moment where everything seems like this grand twenty-five ring circus with this race he seemed like maybe the very best person in the world to watch this with when there's an ex president hill of seen every moment not skipping anything? Hopefully he will understand why it happened and so you basically wanted to see the whole election all at once the way he does yeah so crazy traveling through primary states with him like he knows these places so well like in Iowa. We pulled up to a gas station. I had the rank Iowa gas stations. I think quick trip then come and go. Oh then Casey's we'd so let's quit it. <hes> the the current ones the ones that the fairly new ones there are some that are have been there for the new ones. If this one I think it might be have a high-quality lids that are like a high-quality plastic as opposed to the thing that just like brakes after one yeah lids and <hes> mind. This is the only taste I'm going to I ours and I need the caffeine so I thought into it. We're leaving a Hickenlooper van and recent over to Beto event bit. Oh is a former Texas. Senatorial candidate better work a Hickenlooper John Guber former for Colorado governor took so long to read up on all these guys into a day to figure out who so yes thank you for that we flew in we went to four things in a day I knoxville Iowa Weigel kind of like a reporter her from the seventies mustache notably casually dressed here askew. We're going to this tiny event at this tiny brew pub in his driving up to it. We think we see the candidate. Standing right outside does look like you're right right that guy him fairly tall Esi al Pacino's and everything him isn't it surreal real. Just make one year walking through a small town. You're like president yeah all right. It's real to him. This happens to him literally all the time. I think he's waiting be introduced. Oh Amy's that's his wife is with them today but one woman in the group Yeah I don't know just living through things aspect. He's really into it. It thrills him. He loves this. There's this one moment after beto finishes his little talk and people come up to him and ask questions in this guy in his tiny brewery which kind of looks like a rec room almost and this one voter walks up to bed oh with a beer in his hand just like as though he's at some kind of relaxed Friday afternoon cocktail party and Weigel sees Aziz this and jumps up and kind of elbows people out of the way the guy holding the beer while talking to him just kind of exemplifies the special part were in the election. There's no secret service there. No real barriers barriers anyone can just wander up to a presidential candidate. It's extremely intimate. It's his favorite time of the presidential elections. People are really close to each other like at one point at another event two of the candidates Tim Ryan and Jay Inslee. They ran right past each other your back in the district. You did a great job governor. I love your speak do it again. I WanNa hear one more time. It's almost like Weigel and the candidates aren't some kind of a cruise or camp together and they just bump into each other day after day like Oh Hi Again O._S._U.. Tomorrow we'll see you later like are you going to be at the pizza things at the I will not catch up with you in the Rondo you also in this phase of things you get to see the candidates interacting in the world the regular world regular people with just the most random stuff they normally see like I had this thing happens to me. I was checking thing into our hotel and Waterloo Iowa hotel <hes> Hampton Okay and the girl who's checking us in who's like twentyish maybe she seems funny and Smiley and she's like really surprised reporters there and it turns out she's never unheard of the Iowa caucuses. Even though the state is crawling with these candidates is totally possible your life and miss it so why go explains into our instead of a prison prime all these presidential candidates for the nation to vote Blah Blah Blah Blah we go upstairs but McKee's demagnetize so I go back downstairs. They leave all my stuff including the recorder there and when I get downstairs I see beddoe just standing there and he's trying to get a free bottle all of water from the girl and I'm like Beto. Do you know him now. You've never met him and they say to him Beto Teller what you're doing here in Iowa and she looks at him and she goes. Are you running for president like in this way like of course you're not actually yes. I am just a weird answer that question M._C._C. Jumps up goes yes queen and totally taken aback and thank you so much and she goes. I hope you win. The Presidency Lake not very sincere so this is just the worldwide was marinating. He knows them all so thoroughly at this point like he knows them is thoroughly as he knows the gas stations in Iowa. We were at a bar. He starts talking about the jokes that candidates tell when they're out on this dump. The Horrible Fausto whereas Warren has a rift where she talks. It's about like dropping schools like fellow who got married the baby she's it's like a simpsons joke on especially imitates getting less and less excited cited her bad life decisions first husband never good idea when you have to number of things like that like my favorite until Bachar joke is she talks about how she Slovenian American for years. I was the most famous Slovenia American politics but then Melania trump arrived and you know what it's like looking at a mirror you laugh Biden does the my wife is always right Joe. <hes> who else does that mostly learned to not make program. We're in this unusual political moment. The Democrats have even more people running for president. Republicans did last time twenty five people. What is that ah today in our show? We are not going to cover all twenty-five we're going to do is we're going to drop in here and there my sense is that at this point everyone is still getting to know who these people are and so hopefully you will getting close with some of them and get an impression of them and we're especially interested in in this show is all the candidates at the bottom. That's the story of this particular. Moment in the election is all those people between zero one percent of the polls who might still have a chance trying to get noticed and break out of the pack and joined the front writers which is just an enormously difficult thing to do and it's just right now starting to shift. How do you get noticed and rise above one percent in this pack twenty-five from W._B._Z.? Chicago what's this American Life. I'm IRA glass. Stay with us. No No accident today. Let's just drive around so bossy all right Ma'am so zoe <hes> so twenty five candidates and <hes> this political operative explained this to me and I found a health away to look at this. He said that the best way to picture what is happening right now is that there are four front runners. He's Joe Biden Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Comma Harris and then depending on how you counted Pete Buddha judges in there to their poll numbers are way higher than anybody else and also they get most of the donations most of the press attention which then generates more donations nations and more press attention and it kind of self perpetuating cycle that sucks the air out that all the others WanNa breathe so that's them and then below those four or five people. There's basically everyone else in the pack of twenty five most of them struggling to break one percent and it seems just very interesting what is happening with them and so zoe you watch them trying to figure that out okay so for example take John Hickenlooper former governor of Colorado. His bowling is now at less than one percent if you I haven't heard him that's probably why he cannot draw crowd by himself like if you put out a sign in Iowa today Hickenlooper speaks please R._S._V._p.. Probably nobody yeah so he he does these. They're called retail stops when a politician towards a factory or whatever so right now read this brand new distillery in des Moines me and Dave Weigel is this stuff is actually kind of fun to watch and we like Hickenlooper and this one elderly Iowa voter are sitting at the bar the brand new bar and the brand new distillery. It's totally staged photo-ops about twenty reporters in a semi circle around them but obviously if you look through the Camera Lens. It looks like it's just picking blue burn the voter. What a pleasure I can't this is an absolute on the rooting for he'll guys like you're running for what the highest office of the President of the United States so I was an entrepreneur I built brewpubs all over the most deal with the mid West built the biggest brew pub in the country by first one always in abandoned warehouse? I I won the award of honor from the National Trust for historic preservation. I don't know what that's good for these guys actually they do have to kind of just brag about themselves to people <hes> who they are not to be mean about it but I you know people don't know who they are so they just have to say. Here's all the stuff I've done. Even he gets kind of self conscious about it. I call it the fundamental nonsense of Washington Asia or place it will commonsense. That's my schtick but anyway that's my schtick yeah. I like that good luck. You'll guy says one twenty people are recording this in. No one is going to use any of this. It's not going to use these quotes right. We move onto a distillery tour. It can luhyas tons of opinions about that remember. He was in this business. I always caught the haagen-dazs which is a win is gonNA use any of this either instead the reporters. Just wait till the end they gather round. They ask him questions about trump that stuff. They might use so this whole thing. This whole tour of it is just pictures. Yeah with the campaign hopes for is that out of the twenty five candidates tonight viewers will see picture somewhere of John on Hickenlooper drinking a beer in Iowa. I don't see how that's GonNa make him president that is not going to be enough to take him out of the one percent and put them up there with the front runners Iowa though voter by voter these one percenters they're also going around Iowa talking and talking and talking to the actual voters the real human beings go to the carcasses and vote and in order to do that the candidates who can't draw crowd on their own one thing those guys do is go to local democratic clubs the it is you do these democratic clubs for Awhile County Democratic Clubs and then you've got popular enough to graduate out and draw crowd on your own like people to judge he had to do the democratic clubs for about a month when around introducing himself and then he graduated out now he can draw crowd on his own. Most of them have not remember. There's a delay bumper sticker the real well there is one that was <hes> what if that's Delaney's car though John Delete also at less than one percent rich guy former congressman for Maryland he's doing a meet and greet with the Clive County Democrats at wobbly boots barbecue so going to surprise you. I actually believe that that's fine yeah but I did what makes the best is different and I get it done Delaney's moderate. He's not into Medicare for all he is not into the green new deal. Even his climate change plan is all wrapped up in red waiting blue bunting solving the problem the old fashioned American way by engaging in building. The room is packed. Actually people here reading John Alenia says working yeah that I came to see exactly this like one of these one percenters winning people over to their side and Delaney is betting his chips on Isla. It's got eight offices there. It's more than anyone else as of a couple of weeks ago anyway. He's been there the most times we ran into him in the airport on the way there was twenty ninth trip. He's doing the purest version of this play on the campaign trail Jimmy Carter play basically get a huge surge by doing great in the Iowa carcasses the first in the nation and we do that as voter-by-voter. That's what he's doing out here. That was Carter was the first candidate whoever did that. They didn't have a caucus before urgent attention to before he lived here came in famously second to uncommitted uncommitted thirty Carter Twenty five or something and people are like oh he beat although much more famous senators. Who is this guy so that was more than forty years ago that is still so everybody's doing this Carter play that you could think about a lot of voter? He liked this meeting so much. He said he might carcass for Delaney. He might still shopping around but the number of people shopping his drop. Since the first defeat and the windows closing for the one percenters the debates they are probably the biggest chance that any of these underdogs get to rise out of the underdog pack and come barking to the forefront they swim at the end of the mind. There has been one so far of course and two days before the first debate the team one of the candidates as you know Zoe <hes> let me watch a full day of debate prep and by sheer luck. It was the candidate the most of the media declared the breakout star of the first night of the debate Houlihan Houlihan Castro very story obviously okay. Here's the team that got him victory. Okay so the three of you have you ever done debate before now. Meet my Rupert Jen fury and Sawyer Hackett the campaign manager Communications Adviser and National Press Secretary for who Yang Castro Castro was mayor San Antonio then ran the department housing and Urban Development under President Obama. They'll worked for Castro there. If you had it out they had done three full days of debate prep for this one when I saw and they're going to do one more after that that is how important this is to them all right so this is what we've got on the agenda for this morning when Hotel Conference Room in Miami all over the walls through these big pages torn from flip charts each with a different topic and then three or four possible talking points for the candidate using the debate that they worked out in previous sessions. The Guy Talking is deputy campaign manager Derek Eden who is running these sessions and he's been. In front of the flip chart and the candidate is standing at one of five podiums in front of the room he's in jeans and a white dress shirt sleeves rolled up immaculately clean white Dita's ice tea which by the way he told The New York Times his comfort food on the road and then we WanNa talk through a little bit of closing statement catcher staff I should say is deeply aware that most voters still do not know Hooley on Castro is and they told me that success in the first debate to them would be something very basic reckon that voters would notice Castro like in the race again. Here's Jen fury his senior communications advisor. Maybe it changes their math right. Maybe they were supporting one person. They thought Oh but wait but wait there. I heard a lot of interesting stuff for Castro and I got a shift my math one of the flip charts on the wall was top five takeaways meaning the top five things one voters to take away from this debate they read. I like him. He one game changer can handle his own and win. Slash beat trump to okay. How do you get voters to change the math if you think about it? The debate means ten candidates standing on stage for one hundred twenty minutes two hours so it's ten minutes per candidate but you take away commercial breaks questions and what it leaves. The average talking time for each candidate is actually eight minutes eight minutes to implant yourselves into the brains of millions of people eight minutes so that is just the average. Not Everybody gets that much which is actually the thing that Castro is most afraid of going into the debate. He says they've studied these moderators and they don't have a track record of actually enforcing time very well. So you gotta be mindful. Okay okay. They're going to let people go. The worst case scenario is not that I in flat it's that I don't get any time whatsoever because people got into a skirmish and other people but it in and all of a sudden at times gone some candidates just ended up getting five minutes minutes so you have limited time and you have no idea what they're going to ask you about and so you have to prepare perfect pithy answers for every imaginable question wordperfect means we on staff wants him to work three specific elements elements into each of those answers if he can they went some of his personal story you know raised by single mother working class neighborhood that kind of thing they wanted to talk about the stuff that he has done in previous jobs in government these capable and of course they wanted to talk about what he's going and do next if he gets the job with president all three things in each answer so for instance when they're hammering at an answer about climate and the green new deal Castro he starts pitching policy ideas is we. I think here we want to we want to stress. ASK WE'RE GONNA lead on combating climate change getting zero create jobs in the new energy and Jensen talk more about your experience right but not a lot of impact navy. Nobody on the stage other may maybe governor Inslee has is actually done the work to help people recover the way that you have right as hud secretary. I remember the trip that you took to Louisiana after that horrendous flood and talk about what you've done on climate change she urges them which he then incorporates into his next run through the answer as Housing Secretary I worked to make sure that communities could rebuild from natural disasters in a more sustainable way and as president the first thing that I would do notice the pivot their previous experience her plans for the future. What makes this so tricky is that under the rules in the debate he has to finish his answer in just sixty seconds to figure out how to fit everything in basically Castro answers the same question over I grew up with my grandmother that had diabetes and over? I grew up with a grandmother who had diabetes and over. I grew up with a grandmother who had diabetes and over. I grew up with a grandmother who had diabetes cases e clear each of this time talks until he reaches wine minute and this distinction between physical healthcare and mental healthcare so that was was that a minute or was it mr that seemed like a forever minute. They spend hours doing this. It's tedium chewing over how to best fill those precious eight minutes. They're gonNA get and of course the one politician that it's hard to picture. Doing this is the public speaker who improvises his way. Hey through stadium speeches and meet and greet at the Korean demilitarized zone the guy who got his job specifically by not doing this and his beloved by lots of people for not talking like this the band the Castro hopes he's going to be facing off against next year. Donald Trump <music> debate things up during the day the staff organizes a surprise Castro just like a little breather lighten things up there it gets out his phone and people crowd around him. We we can't see just yet. It's a call with the scar brothers the COMEDIANS and actors Jason Randy's car who like Castro and decided that they wanted to pitch jokes for him to use during the debate. The campaign was like sure why not there we go doing work good secretary cash right here. We're in the Castro met the score brothers when they had him on the podcast scars are identical nickel twins and important fact about who Yang Castro he has an identical twin brother who's also in Politics Congressman Joaquin Castro great on our podcast. Thank you place alive and we were thinking about things that you can either take jake relief but it's just thoughts that in our drain that equates your own speak and so okay so do you want to hear what we go ahead of the Adam taper down right here. This is just a general one some folks in this race or against Medicare off for Medicare knowledge because if he has value but also respect for so my older condit's like Bernie by competed uh-huh Magin more receptive room for that joke this to amend at the time with frontliners. Here's another there were people on this debate stage the trump inauguration yeah. There's a lot of people up here. I made the height out all your urea archetype seventy five eight year five stepfather's your odds you standing next to cory booker. WHO's like six? It's two six four and Blasios six five so you can say you know now standing up here you can see that I'm not as tall as he's trump's. Dr Journals to authority said I was sick slip three the scars went through jokes all them pretty mean about candidates Booker de Blasio Ryan Moten Coma Jarring Inslee and can I say respect for anybody who can make a joke about Molten Ryan or Ensley Ensley. None of these jokes are GonNa make the cut Castro steph tells me later those guys jokes are in Castro style the wondering they could imagine candidate actually telling onstage at the debate as it really surprised me the one about how he's Kinda short the other thing that has to practice is reacting to the candidates and the moderators study videos of his opponents and they do this hello and welcome to Sonny Miami Florida for the first democratic debate of the twenty twenty presidential cycle. I'm Rachel Maddow a lot of people it's a mock debate session so you're in a Stephanie Milly play the moderators for their staffer stand podiums flanking Castro's astros the men are now in ties and jackets. They WANNA give Castro the chance to run his answers under debate conditions always gonNA have to wait for his opponents to speak. We met up to feel dancers that Kinda poke it him and I have to say it was totally charming A. and fascinating how accurate tried to be at playing the other candidates in the debate like out on the road they've watched these politicians deliver the same lines again and again so when Derek who is playing cory booker gets a question about gun violence he has. It's Brooke lines down cold. I've been waking up in the middle of the night hearing gunshot. I released policy not far from her. Shahad Smith had been killed when a staffer playing better because asked about Castro's ability to connect with Latinos and speak Spanish apparently cashiers not as good Spanish finishes Beto is fake better response fully in character look Lester. I think it's pretty offensive that you and others continue to say that just because someone doesn't speak Spanish means they can't connect with the Latino vote. There's many ways to connect for example. You know aiming. I are still living in El Paso I've grown up my entire life there and so I know the unique challenges that our border community faces in the mock debate Castro does a relaxed solid job to pointing the answers that he's been working on but he also gets to practice interrupting other candidates and this is important Gordon because again he is worried that other candidates might hog the stage and he won't get much time or many questions directed at him and cashier told me that his natural inclination is not interrupt. I mean for me like I'm not actually the guy in a group that has to talk all the time you know like have to like they would call gunners and law school gunners people that would in law school classes at basically would be to one's always trying to answer the question that a professor throw out. You know that's not me you know that's been or not but make sure he does get to talk debate. He's keeping in his back pocket too little speeches that he knows a really strong that needs to be he's GonNa bust in an interrupt somebody with their actually listed. These speeches are listed on a flip chart page on the wall that is titled Interruptions. One of them is listed as police brutality and in the mock debate he practices jumping in and another candidates answer the Guy Playing de Blasio to deliver this 'cause I've been able to deal with this as an executive of America's biggest city smokes volcano can less this. This is important to me and I've been an executive to in castroville percent answered the nose really works but it made me think what about Eric Garner and what about Tamir Rice and what about Michael Brown what about the McDonald's the real debate cashew version of that same speech but that was not the moment that made him the breakout star it was not any of the meticulously crafted three-part messages that I watched him labor over and just step back. If you saw the democratic debate you know the big quip from the second night was Kamala Harris Challenging Joe Biden on raise but the big cook from the first night was the other item on castors flip chart list of interruptions on the chart just said thirteen twenty-five immigration now thirteen twenty-five if you're not following this is the part of the immigration law they makes crossing the border criminal offense Castro wants to get rid of that it would still we'll be illegal to cross the border but you wouldn't face criminal charges and the day after I watched him prep was with Warren came out in the Huffington post saying like yeah I'm with Castro on this thirteen twenty-five stuff so that was the day before the debate and seeing that Castro and his staff to talk about maybe they should do more with thirteen twenty five in the debate and it talked in the past about Castro. Maybe challenging the other candidates onstage join US position thirteen twenty-five but now they decided yet. It's not really really a maybe he really should try to make that happen and Castro walked onstage looking for an opening which he got about half an hour. I will make sure that number one we end the Ice Policies Booker's answering a question about immigration as planned hand. We actually will lose security and our values. We must fight for both very briefly visit important point might plan and I'm glad to see that Senator Booker Senator Warren and Governor Inslee agree with me on on this my plan also includes getting ready to rid of section thirteen twenty-five of Immigration in Nationality Act then explains thirteen twenty five dollars every single candidate on this stage to support the repeal of section thirty five thirty seconds debate or work and again Castro swoops in put kids in cages in fact we would spare no expense nights a lot of separated already these chains that ends up the biggest one of the night and of course the thing they made pop is that all the preparation led to this unprepared unscripted moment and like all those careful one minute answers that unrehearsed felt live real respond responded very briefly encompasses a member of Congress. I helped to introduce legislation that would ensure that we don't criminalize those were seeking asylum and refuge in this country. If you're fleeing that I want to make sure everybody with respect. I'm still talking about this. We're going to make this year. Did your home or this. It was Castro that came out of nowhere. Nobody was talking about Dot Castro he did the Texas takedown turned around Clot Bego. Does Van Jones C._N._N.. That night I mean you never saw coming. He bought himself a lifelong tonight and that's why these debates not of the media agreed. Lets people in Twitter Google reported a leap and people searching for Castro's name and the campaign to its biggest fundraising day ever thirty two times more than just before the debate Castro was suddenly invited to be on Morning Joe and tons of other T._v.. Shows the only thing that had had not gone optimally was his exit from the stage at the end of the debate Derek advised him. I would suggest go talk to Elizabeth Warren as quickly as possible yeah like the because you know that the folks dynamic of You Booker and Warren genuinely only liking each other. We'll be something that'll be good for that to you back at the debate. Tend Cory Booker is the one who got Warren I and they hugged while Castro was shaking. Tim Ryan's hand and then Warren walked over to Castro and they embraced so it worked out in the end. Even they're just fine overall a win and a week after his breakaway performance in that first debate Castro was no longer a one percenter eglise in one poll A._B._C. News pro put him at four percent that same as Buddha judge and just below the Forefront Diners Biden Sanders Warren. We tell you who's is GonNa win the election kidding we did though record a candidate who decided to just bribe voter with twelve thousand dollars no joke that didn't minute Chicago Public Radio when our program continues support support for this American life comes from rocket mortgage by quicken loans providing you with an award winning team by your side through the mortgage process their goal is to make the home-buying process smoother for you with a history of industry leading online lending Technology Reggie developed in Detroit rocket mortgage is changing the game visit rocket mortgage dot com slash American equal housing lender licensed in all fifty states and M._l._S. consumeraccess dot org number thirty thirty rocket mortgage by quicken loans push-button get mortgage this Merican Life America's Today's program the wannabes stories looking at the twenty or so Democratic candidates who are down around zero one couple of two percent in the polls trying to get some attention and I am joined now in the studio by one of my co workers here producer Manual Berry. Hey Hey first timer in the studio. Together is the first timer in the studio together okay yeah. Let's do this and you had this kind of amazing <hes> cinematic automatic recording <hes> that you're gonNA play for the people right now yeah so I was down in South Carolina in Columbia and I had this opportunity to pin Mike to cory booker <hes> one of the people running for President Mayor of Newark New Jersey Zia now senator the United States Yep this things and so this recording it starts where inside of a building and then it goes outside and he sort of walking this distance to go and give a speech and it's it's basically we just his point of view in this moment which is what I like about it so much you can put it on the sought. Absolutely yes a hand you this about fifty people outside approaching your name Chairman and then we're GonNa March just. The whole way impresses in front of okay the moment he just sort of clips from a normal person having a conversation to like this super size human with a megaphone what democracy well well everybody job these guys have you walk out into a crowded and then suddenly you're supposed to lead the crowd and there's all these people surrounding him. They've got like giant posters of his head. These cory booker had posters we so you're there in a crowd and there's Cory Booker's real bad head and then in addition. There's like giant Bald Cory Booker heads floating around. Can you say like that's that's weird a nightmare image in a way very friendly phases smile lettuce and so they're walking in this giant crowd and as a crossing the street someone comes up to him and I can't make out exactly what she's saying. I think she's a journalist and it seems like she's asking a question about the latest sexual assault allegations against president trump. This is not ideal time to talk about this. Why don't you retire my team but it's very disturbing urban? What hit me is just everybody wants his attention and his time like the press is in front of him? They've got cameras pointed at him. He's got an aide who's like telling him where to go and then he's leading this group of people like clapping and cheering walking it just so much at once clapping and then in the middle of all of this someone else walks up to him was rather it is Jesse Jackson <hes> the civil rights icon former presidential candidates Jesse Jackson someone who booker actually talks about sometimes as the first president candidate that he ever voted for and he's just flake standing next to him he just pops out of nowhere and then at booker side. We're in South Carolina. Remember Jesse Jackson huge black vote. It's got to try to get it yeah and I mean Jesse Jackson's not like the worst person to stand next to he's from South Carolina. Ah People they remember when he ran for president so you have these two black men in dark suits one of them. He tried to be president and the other one who's trying to do so now like parading down the street together to speak Thou Jackson is hard to hear he has Parkinson's he speaks slow and stumbling and I don't have a mic on him. Booker seems pretty chummy like he basically says like yes. We need to talk like we need to have the conversation but like not now. I'll try to reach out in the number. I have for you but I want to talk to you. Talk to you when we're not all this crazy so maybe tomorrow after church you still going to be Downing August. We often see pictures like this right like leaders in zoos conversation and this public space and I don't know I like to think that the conversations are having are these great in epic things but like maybe they're scheduling so. Let's just talk on the phone. Okay Abba heart-to-heart sooner or later but I'm a look you're doing it right now. You continue to continue to keep people's eyes on justice. You can hear that Corey says love you to Jackson. I'm not sure he says it back. I just can't hear it. Jackson might be like might just be looking star wars. I love you. I know oh I don't think so I imagine that he returned return expression. Don't know for sure that was only I five minutes and forty seven seconds of his day and it was so intense yeah and here's what he did that day he had faith breakfast barbershop meet-and-greet Planned Parenthood Forum Convention Center speech and then another meet-and-greet also he's a senator that was just a moment of his day and I can imagine having an entire daily that it's so much work and he's not even a front runner. It's so much work just to be there. Uh Saddam joined in the studio by Ben Calhoun there. Hey So <hes> you went out with one of the twenty or so underdogs in the race Andrew Yang and Yang I think is interesting because he's actually managed to get a lot more attention than most of the underdogs yeah he's been doing things like getting on cable shows profiles and Vanity Fair Washington Post <hes> and so now he's in this position where he's just trying signed a fan like whatever little flames he's kindled up until this point and he's gone that attention because if you know who this guy is he's the tech guy former businessman who organized his whole campaign around this one idea yeah and the idea is that that we should give every working age American a thousand dollars a month because what Yang says is he says this whole country is in this big crisis where workers are being replaced by automation and technology and he thinks that when Democrats usually talk about this their solutions are weak sauce like his job retraining programs Democrats talking about that a lot yeah retraining job retraining and he says the studies show that they don't work for most people and most people kind of feel that in their gut <hes> because it is bull and national politicians will talk about retraining till they're blue in the face they love it because they're far from the group of people that are getting displaced but if you get close I was at a truckstop here in Iowa Iowa eighty and you walk around. They're talking about retraining. Those guys probably get like <hes> you know fist of the face I it's irresponsible to talk about that as a mass solution so two thousand dollars a month which gang admits you know. It's not enough for somebody to live on but he says it's enough to keep somebody afloat. The name for that is universal basic income you B._I.. Young's calling his version of this the freedom dividend but too. I want to go see him. He's going to demonstrate how this would work by actually giving somebody a thousand dollars a month like no strings attached for year a whole year out of his pocket okay so tell it up and so the night before for this thing I'm in the car with Yang and his campaign and I've been recording them all day now. It's like nine thirty P._M.. Everybody's pretty tired hour and a half from here. We need to be summer at ten forty fives and they're talking about this event Yang's lake. I'm so psyched but then right away. There's this logistical problem to give away a thousand dollars. You need to hand people something and he doesn't have a thousand dollars <music> okay. It's pretty much impossible to here. I'm way in the back. I'm behind Yang's campaign managers at ground man and Yang. They're up in front so I'm just gonNa tell you how a lot of this dialogue goes in that tape there Yang says I need to stop by an A._T._m.. And get a lot of cash right because Ed McMahon doesn't show up at your house and just tell you one publishers clearinghouse that would be lame you take a photo with big. Check the Yankees Lake. I gotta get out a bunch of cash to wishes campaign. Manager says well <hes> so you cannot give cash. We need to think about this. He says and he gives us big sigh because shockingly the Federal Elections Commission has a problem with the candidate for president giving a voter twelve thousand dollars in cash go figure but also apparently it's fine if that money comes in the form of a check again go figure you start flying. Does anybody have a check. Hey what about don onside Paulie cash chat right onto teaching gang meantime gets out his wallet and start counting how much cashiers on him two hundred in seventy dollars turns out and then he starts asking how much A._T._M.. Limits are how would a cashier's checks someone said at a walgreens on Sunday morning getting to a walgreens for nine Amparo. I'm in a car with a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America who's trying to sell the marquee idea of his campaign the concept he thinks will save America and the question of the moment is can you get a cashier's check at a walgreens in Des Moines on Sunday morning before nine A._M.. The next day we go to the House of the freedom dividend recipients kyle and Pam Christensen at this point. The campaign hasn't told them they're getting the money just that they're being considered as finalists Yang isn't with us. He's waiting to make a surprise entrance. His staff was not able able to get cashier's. Check so instead young has a grand in twenty dollar bills that means that legally the campaign is going to have to hand the Christian since the money for this photo op but then take it back afterwards and promised to mail them a check which seems really pretty tacky but everyone with the end campaign is like we'll figure it out man. Those needs your person pinball. I I the campaign. I gotta say picked a really lovely family to get this August. Okay Kyle. The Sun is forty one. It applied for this freedom dividend on behalf of his mom about four years ago. The Family Lost Kyle's Dad Merle to brain cancer. They seem like such a tight loving family. Probably no big Merle was a musician and in their house every Wednesday it was music night. They play records kiss. Black Sabbath Merle would play drums and the kids would dance around which is how is supposed kyle ended up being a musician too anyway about a year after Merle dial. Pam was also diagnosed with cancer chemo the day she was diagnosed her birthday. Her boss called her to tell her he was firing her because she had to miss too much work. Pam worked as an aid for disabled adults. which he said was hard but she loved him? That's thing after that kyle dedicated himself to taking care of Pam and Pam now in remission still has a hard time getting around Kyle's been piecing together work auto repair computer to repair music work when he can get it but it's hard making sure is there for his mom. The monthly bills are about thirteen hundred dollars and they barely get covered so a thousand dollars would mean a lot properties fun kyle though okay. He says he'd like to see his mom's spent at least some of this imaginary money even just a little and something genuinely frivolous sector sear school by something because she wants to not out of necessity but there's priorities too you so what are some of the things that <hes> I feel like you get sick. Those bills pile up you start to give things up what I mean. What are some of the things that that you've given up in the last two years talking about like what we make have given up birth sold or that kind of stuff? I know I know for me. I I used to have a full blown recording studio here in town and I've always kinda held onto all equipment opened a set went up somewhere. I've sold darn near all that equipment in this kind of a bear been you know barebones bare minimum syllabi last two guitars like possibly part with last week so so my gosh there's Andrea himself. Kyle later told me when he'd asked the campaign if Yang was coming staffer was talking to on the phone hesitated and then said no and this way they kyle figured gang probably was coming but he and Pam both act surprised Andrew Gang offers take off his shoes in the house. NOPE you're fine. How're you doing great must Japan yes? I'm Pam. Thank you for having yes so I'm here to let you know that you will be receiving the Iowa. Freedom dividend starting July first congratulations if Yang did this for everyone how much it he gave every adult twelve thousand dollars a year it would cost the government to trillion dollars. Give or take the current federal budget is four trillion so we're talking about a massive realignment of the economy and redistribution of wealth. The young has projections on how all this could be paid for and they include some very optimistic assumptions all for theory. That's never been tested on anywhere near the scale Yank starts to explain to the Christensen's how this is going to work for them mm-hmm but mostly he tells them how grateful he is to help them out in a way that feels pretty nice actually and kind of drains little awkwardness out of a very manufactured situation <hes> so you need to do this for people all over the country uh but starting here with you all to illustrate the fact that if people get some extra money in their hands it's just GonNa go to the things that we care about in value. It's an awesome opportunity for us. Thank you make it a possibly. Give me a hug lot. The problem is very welcome. The next forty five minutes are completely usual and unusual gang genuine the asks Pam in Kyle about their situation Pam's Hams neuropathy or treatment. He talks again and again about how much he admires kyle for taking care of his mom kyle talks about the one doctor's appointment. He's missed the last three years. They talk about music whokey`LE. quit the metal band he was touring with because because he loves performing but he never had an interest in the drinking and drugs that went with it. They laugh about gangs. Flag socks talks about picking them out lake so little of political campaigning it's UN- rushed enough to feel regular friends who until it's time to go and the surreal logistics of a political campaign breakthrough this ball bubble of normality Yang has to hit the road. I feel like this is weird and a particular thing you see when politicians campaign <music> so many of their interactions are superficial and crassly abbreviated and then sometimes like in this room they'll just drifting to a space with some voters the feels intense and authentic and personal then poof time mm to go before Yang's gotta leave though they have to pose for pictures after pose with the cash the cash they need but won't be allowed to keep after the pictures they'll hand it back for now. Yang pulls out this huge wad of twenties Pam with some struggle stands up gang Hans each of them they found out the money and they look for which lends smile into this yeah yeah I see in the poll numbers that he's he's still started the bottom bottom bottom. It's crazy that people aren't voting for this reminds me of <hes> need somebody who was an editor at Playboy magazine like once the Internet hit and maximum others magazines hit and it was like playboy was printing pornography and people wouldn't by the magazine and that's what I like this is he's giving away twelve thousand dollars to everybody who will vote for him and people still don't want it. The family did say that. There are GonNa Caucus Forum if he's still around in January when the Caucasus happen they have a town hall with the moderate Guy who wants to like beat up Medicare for all or you have gillibrand also at one percent with drag Queens so which of those more interesting Iran back hey there's zoe chase take view through Iowa with deep Weigel the Washington Post reporter. I know I feel like you saw so much more than we heard at the top of the show. It's kind of crazy. The Way Weigel wants to go to every single candidate event like that's impossible because they're too many happening at the same time not the hardest decision they were made. There's this intense lesson that I think a lot of the reporters learn from two thousand sixteen which is that any candidate can search because trump like they didn't foresee the trump could be the winner yeah all the things that indicated who'd come out on top afflicting Jeb Bush right. He was the front runner he had all the money. None of those things turn out to matter so this time around. It's like any event can be the beginning of someone's big run. We went to so many events in just two days. She Save Mommy Daddy. She Kirsten Gillibrand. She wrote a kids book and she's reading it at the Y.. To just two small children while a handful of people watch them the Senator Kids Book Yes. He wrote a book for kids but not that many kids to here as the Straw and courageous. Do you not work. Courageous means tune it needs courageous means rave coincidence. Brave just happens to be the theme of her entire campaign exactly right we went to an Iowa Democratic veterans event where Swale well candidate for president was supposed to be but can you just tell me what's going on. Is he coming. Where is he irks? While will <hes> his flight was delayed so staffer made it he wanted to be here but delayed flights. We we had several of them that you know had scheduling issues like Oh crap are fleets been bumped so that's that's Salinas of waiting until the day of to get into a major event as opposed to magnet a day earlier being prepared. Oh He's mad at Joe Staedtler Secretary of the Iowa Democratic Veterans Carcass because the guy you want on your side died early on. I was still live on the road in the day before if it's a book so you're kind of feeling like maybe this wasn't that important no no. I just think that they're all trying to do way too much. In these are the lessons that we learn sometimes of course there are lots of reporters who've covered these kinds of events. A million times who stand around afterwards afterwards nurturing out about campaign history just kind of awesome after gene McCarthy furnish a diesel second after I got it and with about Bobby and then McCarthy was about to in Wisconsin Bobby had not gotten on the ballot by remember and also it's cool to see these guys talking about this moment like this early moment in the campaign in this way like it might be history later it might be but they're talking about it like it is like when Weigel and this other reporter in the back of the room talking about Elizabeth Warren. I remember seeing her like to Sharpton thing your report. You should really Khloe speaking time address. You all know the dress so the dress line. She tells it all the time is when she was a kid and she says my Momma and my daddy because she's from Oklahoma but she she talks about I heard my parents and that argument talking at night after they thought it was asleep and that's where I learn words like foreclosure and mortgage and is I I walked past my mother's room and I saw her puttering going back and forth with address address laid out and she goes y'all know the dress. It's the one you only used for graduations funeral weddings graduations and funerals and she looks at address and since we're not gonNA lose this house. WE'RE NOT GONNA lose the the Tennessee Williams character in the very next day. I saw her give this speech to a pretty big crowd in a backyard in Waterloo Iowa. Everybody was just wrapped. Is there was the dress she was inner strength in her stock and Shins patient and cry just talking to herself and say we will not lose sales. We will not loose this house. We will not miss this in this. One guy was wiping tears away at this point Weigel consort of divide the candidates into two groups and it's not the moderates in the far left. He says actually the voters he talks to are less hung up on the policy questions. What they mean Lee want is to be able to close there is and see this person beating Donald Trump <hes> the two groups he notices are one the candidates where people show up at one of their events and a transformation happens the voter relieves the event excited inspired the other group are the ones where that transformation doesn't happen? Susan excited group Cory Booker Pete Buddha judge and Moose of all is with wearing <hes> people see her and they're surprised at how how much they like her <hes> and the excited group basically everyone else including the front runner Joe Biden people would come to see him because they already loved him and then they would leave feeling no different or worse. They WANNA be inspired but they weren't inspired. Yeah Yeah Beto people went backwards. Ivo These memories which already seemed surreal of betterer coming to somewhere in there being an enormous crowd see him now. It's like the crowd is smaller and people leave underwent underwent changing since the first debate at this point the field is basically sorting itself out the debates clarify that some people don't have secret <hes> candidate charisma powers that are going to reveal themselves sell some point they haven't yet it might not be happening <hes> so I think that the field probably is going to limit itself more to sixteen seventeen people soon when it comes to me taking people seriously if at this point you had to fundraising quarters I you're in the teens or high single digits and you have enough money to fund fifty staff in Iowa. I think that's more interesting. That's more important than hey. There's another guy who's at zero percent and he's meeting at a diner. Oh so this special magical local time where it seems like any of the two dozen candidates could rise that's ending. It is except there's a dark horse out there still who could shake things up. There is one more move left in this great game of who will run America. I know where you're going with this. Yes on the Republican side. Things are still wide open in a way there it is just the president and so far one of their candidate from Governor Bill Weld whether that's held elective office twenty years ago he so far has not had much of an impact and and for our last story we are joined by one of producers custom. Hey David Hair so you talked to Republicans who are doing basically everything they can to find a genuine heavy hitter to run against the president of the United States from within in his own party. Yeah they feel like if the right person we're just to enter the race. It could matter more than anything. The Democrats are doing the scene an office in Washington D._C.. Hey Bill Hey Carson spill out there. That's our along well. She's a Republican looking strategist the Mug in front of the desk reads these are the tiers of my staff those filled with panels the bill. She is looking for his bill kristol. The guy from TV wanted to seems to have an encyclopedic memory of every election in American history crystal worked in the first Bush administration help start the weekly Standard magazine. Oh you had to stop and get your fancy Bucci coffee. You wonders in and sits down on the small couch. They've just done a poll of voters in New Hampshire and they're meeting to talk about it. I mean look if I was looking at this thinking about running running for <hes> the Republican nomination you should say this rabies other people were chatting to congressman and ECK senators and all these big shots. This is his great patch that I should we are we are really in dire straits rates. If that's where we totally wrong. I think if you're taking on a standing president from within your own party they're kind of two paths. You can do it quietly out of you or you can do it. The Way Crystal has by never shutting up about it on television newspaper articles he recently tweeted that he'd been accused of being in a secret cabal to find a challenger to trump his answer. There's nothing secret about it. Crystalline Longwell of raised a few million dollars in the past years. They've been using it to try and see is he's this thing even possible. The whole idea of running against trump in the primary can seem a little crazy. He has like an eighty or ninety percent approval rating from Republicans but they feel like it is not crazy at all met poll they just had done of Republicans New Hampshire and independence who might vote in the Republican primary half were opened voting for a challenger half. No I was just I was just up in Manchester and I did a series of focus groups. If you ask them specifically hey argue. Would you be open open to a to an alternative and twenty twenty. Would you like to see another Republican candidate every single time nine out of ten hands. Go Up. I think for some people there's a hunger for an alternative and then for other people. It's just an openness like a willingness for political competition one thing that really surprises people in these focus groups says when you explain just how much the debt has gone up under trump it's increased more during the first two years of trump and it did the previous two years under Obama Bill Kristol lays out how this all might go for a challenger raise a little money. Go Go to Iowa New Hampshire. Maybe get thirty percent of the vote New Hampshire libraries that is a serious blow to the president. You're often running so that's their case. There is one kind of noticeable challenge to this plan. Since we've had the current primary system there are zero examples zero of someone challenging sitting president in a primary and actually winning. I mean some part of this just kind of like a theater and I mean theater you truly believe in I mean I don't want to say yes because of course because a really isn't I don't think of it that way and I'm not a very theatrical person but I guess theater in the sense that presidential politics is the biggest age we have in politics and the residential contest is the biggest stage and I don't want to simply leave that stage on the Republican side alone to Donald Trump. I'm still trying to think through just like in your mind why you're doing this is part of it just like <hes> feeling like what is democracy for if I can't cast a vote for the person I really wanted yeah. I think it's actually people over thinking this. I mean I'm doing it because I don't think trump should have a second term. I'm a Republican be a heck of a thing to say. Okay you. Just don't you think these really leading the country. You're not terrible path and you should just take two or four six years off but you really unlikely to succeed right pretty unlikely to succeed yeah. So why do it book the last three presidents were not primary and they won reelection and here bill offered seems to be the other math that candidates are doing the last three presidents did not have a primary challenge and they won reelection when a sitting president has been challenged by his own party like Carter by Kennedy Ford by Reagan Bush by Buchanan. The challenger doesn't win but maybe because they damaged the president he does not win reelection in other words. This may be the bargain you can run for president possibly shape history mystery and trump change you wins but you don't get to win. It's interesting like the the other Republicans. I talked to point out that like you know history is not on your side and you were pointing out. Oh it is on my side in the sense that a sitting president challenged challenged tends to lose but that means what you're doing is just an active like internal sabotage no but I think it's also holding alternative and Goodwin sabotage. I mean people can say that you know they said that about the French who didn't go along with Richie. I mean what are you supposed to do if you think every time I think it's bad oracle is bad for the country big say sabotage I would say opposite. I don't think it's SAPID. Sabotage implies secrecy and deception. I don't think it's a heck of a lot of secrecy and deception and what I'm doing. I I think I've been pretty open about my position. So I feel like I'm is not the point of America honestly. If I were Democrat I would call me up and <hes> and say here's a lot of money for primary challenge and we have talked to a lot Democrats about this against Donald Trump. I mean you know that's actually the single best thing to do to weaken trump. You Could Help Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris Cory Booker right now but we don't know which of those will actually be a good nominee against trump. The one thing you do know is if there's if trump is has to spend money against the primary challenger if he loses thirty two percent of the vote in New Hampshire which is entirely possible embarrassing it would be helpful if to to weaken trump wait so is your goal to run somebody who's going to win the nomination and maybe the presidency or is your goal just to take down trump both obviously the I would be the best but the second would be I would regard the second is an adequate result and I think actually in aboard result if I can say Sarah Longwell has been weighing this too. It's possible the whole thing could backfire if the wrong Democrat ended up in the White House I I certainly would not want Bernie Sanders to be the president of the United States so if you ended up handing it to sanders that would not be happy day for you well. That's that's sort of like. Do I WANNA be poisoned or do I WANNA be shot. You know those are just sort of bad choices and I think America deserves better to have choices between between an old socialist and sort of an authoritarian native choices. Neither there's this scene in the H._B._O.. Series on Chernobyl that's running right now. The nuclear reactor is about to explode so these workers have to go into the basement of the power plant to try to open foul. There's so much radiation. It seems certain they're going to die but it will also save everyone else. Sarah has been watching the show. I asked her if she ever thought about it like that. No she said never not asking someone to risk their life. They're asking someone to put their name in the head to be the next president of the United States. Apparently it's easier to get someone to walk into Chernobyl can't program today by Zoe Chase myself off people put our share together. Today includes one me in any Berry Ben Cahoon. Dan Chavez Sean Coal Dangerfield Cornfield new plumbing demon grave from Shell Harris Jessica Lesson Hop Nikki meeks Nelson Ben Failing Catherine Mondo Nadia Raymond Chris Tyler Matt Tyranny Julia Whitaker Right Nancy Updike or manage Kennedy's Diane Executive Editors David Kastenbaum special. Thanks Data Sean Quite Chris Coon Scott detro- John Harwood Harry Annenberg Pristine Zyppah Walter Shapiro Ben Terrorist the committee for Responsible Federal Budget Jimmy Harrison Andre Glaspie just Josh Hobbiton Angela Davis and J. A. More American life is a little bit of public radio stations by P._R.. Ex He public radio exchange our website this American Life Dot Org we can stream archive of six hundred seventy episodes also awesome videos and tons of other stuff there this American Life Dot Org always Brooklyn's co-founder Mr Tourmalet tear you know he organized a vote this week about what we should have for lunch as a staff. He's into little too proud of himself. 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Jannick Malling

Sway

34:36 min | 4 months ago

Jannick Malling

"This podcast is supported by deloitte right now. The world is facing great uncertainty which makes it challenging to plan a path forward deloitte's evolving respond recover thrive collection can help it. Features perspectives from delights technology and industry leaders created to help executive stay current economic shifts emerging issues and strategic options. The collection of articles and reports is updated daily. See and subscribe at deloitte dot com slash us slash covert hyphen nineteen. I'm karen shirt. And you're listening to sway trying to democratize. Wall street is nothing new online. Trading companies like e. trade have been around since the eighties. In fact i rang in. Y2k and its offices waiting to see if it's system would meltdown. It didn't history repeats itself. An amateur trading has come back in a very big way retail investing skyrocketed during the pandemic with more than ten million new brokerage accounts in twenty twenty the most in a year and trading by individuals may have a bigger chunk of the action that at any time in the past decade and the root of it all adds like robin hood or public. The latest retail trading uniform public is part brokerage and part social media. That could be a genius. Mashup dangerously court. The worst of both worlds i wanted public. Ceo mailings take on the responsibility. Retail trading apps have to the individuals who are risking. Their savings incomes is a question that seems especially important in the context of a frothy market. Rife with memes. Stocks like gm e. aka games the up thanks to online forums and retail investors. The struggling video game retailer saw it stopped. Shoot up way beyond suspected fair value hitting a peak in january of twenty twenty one. It's come down since but who knows will happen next. And how it will impact these newbie investors. So i asked me is the ability to invest with a swipe of your finger inclusive or is it predatory leading less experienced investors astray at the whims of wall street. I think investing is about long-term ownership in companies and not about a quick game. So i think we're in your trading stocks in and out of stocks in the same day the same week or even the same month. You're not really doing it with a long-term view obviously and so you're not necessarily doing it to back the company and so we're really focused on the investing side of things not really a trading so ninety percent of our members are longer term investors right. They transact handful of times per month and saying this this whole situation that happened on january twentieth or that sort of had its climax if you will on january twenty eighth. You're talking about game stop. And what happened that. It's a it's a. It's a series of retail stores right and has been in the four to six dollar range essentially and now it's around a hundred and sixty dollars but a jump because traders moved in including retail investors. Talk about this idea of means stocks. What happened here. The interesting thing is. I think the term really comes from Just the fact that it happened on social and that the majority of people sorta piled on the in the end. It's a little bit like a progress cycle car fried actually real thesis there for somebody underwriting game stop at the level that it's trading at now and even beyond that right because on the one hand yes it's a retailer during covid on the other hand you've seen many examples of companies that sort of Are able to reinvent themselves. And i think i think in the end what people where people have divided is is game style blockbuster or would they actually like. There's an argument to be made. That blockbuster could have become netflix. Right if they had pivoted a little bit earlier and only they had been net flex but go ahead well. Can i tell you. I covered the end of blockbuster and the beginning of blockbuster they never could have become that place but go ahead go ahead and obviously remains to be seen whether that's going to be the case but then you had folks like ryan kind of going into the chew. We found her and think all those pieces of the puzzle. Men that people really actually believed in it. Then they started investing. So what did you think about it taking off like that. Because that's way beyond the thesis right around seventy dollars to four hundred eighty dollars. That's way beyond. This is a good stock hundred percent and this goes back to the kind of product lifestyle. That i talked about what you always have early. Adopters of have key people that kind of pile on the end. then they also realized they were short. A massive kind of oversubscribed short interest. If you will which set up the opportunity for the short squeeze and then i mean look is saying regardless of where the people made money on that single trade where we've been kind of focused on what we franken scene which makes us incredibly hopeful for the future is that it piqued interest as far as the markets go and being the markets i mean basically especially with the sort of a millennial and gen z generation. Half historically had like a little bit of a bad rep growing up with the financial crisis and all that game stop. The reason i'm talking about is because it reveals some screw incentives facing your industry. What do you think happened there. What i do believe is that you got a sort of similar to wait a little bit. Actually you got us sort of re a reset your risk management principles maybe like rethink. How you actually do that. Because we live in a world today where they're just can't be clearly a massive rise and A massive monarch concentrated buying power in a single security. They games up story has been spun as a win for the little guy and lots against his own giant asset managers. A bunch of hedge funds cast in on the surge. And you know there was all kinds of behavior like that the same time a lot of beginners lost money because they didn't know how to ride the wave and they had all these sort of rich guys lot of them. I know very well saying hold. Hold hold keep going and of course they got out Do you see. This is a victory for retail investors. Or you see as a warning story and maybe something in between but what he have you look at it. Maybe it's both right in the end. I think. I think there was a moment of celebration in there. Which was not necessarily about the prophet or the money. I think it was more about screw man kind of thing. Well i think whether institutions were no longer the ones in power historically that has been the case on wall street and everybody kind of knows said. And i think now you're starting to see the pendulum swing in the other direction Which i think is interesting. Swing mailing. I think a lot of people. I mean if you if you watch bloomberg and a database of a lot of people are watching their words much more carefully when they talk about retail investors now and certainly when they talk about certain forums on reddit and right now they're not calling them idiots anymore One of your biggest competitors robin hood got a lot of heat for shutting down trades the stock. gm eight-game game stop for the entire day. Public didn't stop trades game. Stop when robin hood did for example but you eventually added safety label to the stock which is a little like twitter introducing a misinformation label on a trump tweet. Why stop there. Why didn't you stop. Trades was our art clearing firm. Did actually take jimmy offline for a couple of hours in full transparency. We we disagree with that decision but we do work with a third party clearing firm and so we work with very quickly to sort of get that bag up safety levels. Society is actually a feature that we build initially in and around the herts episode In summer of twenty twenty so to explain the quickly any eddie security that's deemed as being risky by the sec guidelines. We kind of put a label on there. And it gives you a little speed. Bamboo actually have to swipe fruit. Just like an additional hurdle before you placed a trait. Yeah you have disabled training for certain. Sex hurts and summer of twenty twenty. Yup so what we saw at the time was pretty unprecedented in that hurts. filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy. The stock shot up Like seven hundred percents around fifty percent. I think And a lot of people were not necessarily really understanding of like why the stock was going up or even knowing that hurts was actually going bankrupt and so we took the sort of the temporary decision to halt the buying of shares. Obviously you can still sold some if you're already bought some right it's a little bit different job. Some of the sort of changes do it when there's too much volatility security and then we very quickly developed the safety labels feature. We didn't have that at the time we had. We'd probably just slept that on it but again as we really do not want to be a place where people come in and get earned because a lot of people having their first interaction with the stock market ever on public and obviously it's an incredibly tough balance to navigate. Because you know it's a free country. People are free to do what they want. Short is for like you mentioned it. Sounds a little paternalistic. If i want my money. Isn't it my choice or do not know things not the choice. The brokerage and things are looking for hurts right now by the way but Talking about that. Because i think there's a lot of debate when twitter did it in facebook didn't for example. Either take it down or not. But how do you think about that idea. Because people in the stock margaret like my money my choice well i think that paternalistic thing would have been to take off completely right and just keep it off. We sort of ended up. Where is there something that we can design in in in the in the us where it becomes you know. Call it five taps and a swimming just like ways to present information in context at the time of action to at least make sure that people have a greater sense of what they're really getting into so in robinson stopped trades game. Stop one theory was that it had succumbed to the pressure. From citadel securities the market making side-hustle of citadel hedge fund that was not borne out. but now there's increased scrutiny on payment for order flows. That's a common practice in brokerages. As where robin hood makes their money. Everyone always says free trades. But nothing ain't free so explain piaf's yeah so payment for order flow or pizza I think the simplest way to explain it is. It's a practice by which brokerages get compensated from routing customers orders to be filled by market makers instead of an an exchange and i think most people that just think about the stock market generally think about the stock exchange and so they may be just assume that all the orders go there to be executed directly that historically has has not really been the case for the last decade or two they've been going to market makers like a leg virtual others. We took the stands to actually stop routing all orders directly to exchanges and sort of get out of payment or flow and. We did that. Because we think that it it sits you up with it it kind of urine incentives versus your customers has a brokerage tried and so because the customers could actually get worse deal presumably. Well i think as a company you're incentivized to have your users trade a lot and i think historically you've seen that the best way for people to for most people at least to invest is not to train a lot and like that is sort of a lot of the those that we're building public around really like saudi visting meaning. Please don't use our service right. Essentially meaning not allowing day trading not offering margin credit which is the ability to trade on alone which also means that you can lose more than your initial deposit right meaning not offering options trading which is a fairly complex instrument that where you're betting on not just direction but the reason within a certain period of time which just makes it much more risky relative to taking a long position on a company where you're just bidding on direction and you can sell it at any point in time as On options trading make five to ten times more per user roughly so it's an incentive. It's not unlike say. Social media companies were people. Think they don't take hate off the platform because it's good for engagement that it keeps people going. Yeah a little bit like how you want to keep going with engagement. I think where we came out on this as like. Look the risk of companies. Reliant on on payment for flow as a revenue stream is that it impacts all the other decision making right so then saying how do i maximize my revenue from payment for order flow you will your product roadmap naturally stotts to incorporate giving people matching credits so they can sort of boost their traits used traits. If you will right so you make more money. Portrayed right giving people options trading because that's more lucrative on a payment of bases than than just buying a physical securities and like. I said we're really more beholden to our customers versus sort of third-party market makers and tipping is what we kind of rolled out. And this is giving you like. Here's a dollar for doing that. Trade for me. Thanks thing exactly which is completely optional. Of course as sort of implicitly or implied in the where tipping but what we like about the model is we we then capitalize on the goodwill of the community and obviously there is a cost tranquilly trait. Today it's very low but it's still there and so we did wanted to find other ways of offsetting that cost of clearing those traits again. It's a little like we do believe that the future is going towards sort of a more transparent market structure right now. There's like historically in the industry retail participation was ten percent of volume and that grew to twenty percent and twenty twenty. now it's arguably at thirty or forty percents. Some people are even saying and dad actually means that some of the market structures in and around the corner market are starting to be really outdated and that becomes kind of troubling At a core level right all right. Let's talk about responsibilities and the business model a bit more about democratizing access. This idea what we're just talking about rewards the flip side is enabling risky decisions gonna fatal consequences financial literally last summer Which i've written about a student at university of nebraska. Alex kerns committed suicide after mistakenly audience. Negative seven hundred thirty thousand dollar balance on robin hood How do you stop these tragedies from happening. Yeah but happened with. Alex is obviously horrible. I think i all of it depends on what products are offering. There's a big difference between just offering the ability to buy stock in a company plain simple and then margin trading which the ability to take out a loan which invest or then options trading right and in the two latter scenarios. Your account can end up going massively negative so you're being very diplomatic. Robin hood enabled options. Trading and is is is game of fight. It rather a lot for someone like alex who wasn't very experienced. I've talked to his family and he just he didn't know a lot about it. Yeah i think there's a couple of aspects like i said on your account can't go negative because we don't offer those products right so the way we think about is is at maximum. People can lose all the money that they put in right. They brought to the casino well even with that. There is a conundrum around learning by doing right on the one hand. It's the most efficient way to learn. I think that's been historic kind of proven. Its opposing function financial literacy on the others. You typically makes mistakes in the beginning you jump in at the demand of coal and in the world of trading you know and financial markets those can be extremely costly right so one investor told me. It's like giving a ferrari to a kid without a driver's license. Yeah that's a good way to put it. Should there be a driver's tests for retail investors. Should they have to The way we looked at this problem is trying to solve it in two fundamentally different ways. What's the cost you get going and start learning. And so historically in the markets you've had to buy one full share of stock in a company as a minimum which means the smaller reason couldn't even afford to buy into higher quality companies like amazon and berkshire hathaway etcetera and so the result being that they've been left to either borrow money to actually afford those companies or by pinsk dogs for the most part. So that's that's kind of what we that's why we invented fractional share investing to allow people to really get started with much much less and it was kinda crazy to us because you sit in the in the crypto world right was born on the internet. Not just crypto. But everything's getting fractions real estate everything exactly. I think when the cost is much lower fifty bucks and you lose that money. that's obviously much less dramatic than than using five digits. I want you to your being diplomatic. What would would robin hood should have done. Not had it all or giving. Alex kerns more education. I mean i'm sure also if you ask them they will say that. They wish that they could have done. Both we'll be back in a minute. If you like this interview and wanna hear others follow us on your favorite podcast app. You'll be able to catch up on sway episodes. You may have missed like my conversation with red. Its ceo steve huffman. I knew get new ones delivered directly to you more with yanic mailing after the break. This podcast is supported by deloitte right now. The world is facing great uncertainty which makes it challenging to plan a path forward deloitte's evolving respond recover thrive collection can help it. Features perspectives from delights. Business technology and industry leaders created to help executive stay current economic shifts emerging issues and strategic options. The collection of articles and reports is updated daily. See and subscribe at deloitte dot com slash. us slash copied hyphen. Nineteen if you've heard of bladen county north carolina. It's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleed in some authorities. Got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that congressional election was thrown. Out for fraud is actually. The story of a series of election fights fueled by personal grudges and petty beefs family history and history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. It was almost like they realized that we weren't done. Okay they smart. I'm zoe chase. Host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal in the new york. Times told him five parts. Find it wherever we get your podcasts. So i wanna talk about the social media aspect of public one of your main features is that you can see what other uses investment You've said the community isn't about influencing though what do you mean by that because people do tend to look up towards people and social media's about influence like fin flu answers. I think that's the word people use finland's as i actually never used the term I think you can break it down into a couple of different things so we have people on the app that are real celebrities with millions of followers. This includes celebrities. Tony hawk and will smith then. There's another group of people which is a lot larger and call it like financial concentrator and you could sort of see this as being the middle class of the crater economy and you know those are people that tend to be just very very deep in specific industry in a specific company. They all filings follower. Anything very very closely. And so they just have a more in-depth look into things than than most people and so being these financial content creators. they sort of service a vehicle. Typically within specific on a sector or of just consume all that information and relaying it to investors in ways that they can sort of understand because all of that content written in the public markets is connor ridden for the institutional crowd not really for people that have much lower degree of financial literacy so you have elements of the social media company like twitter facebook. You also have elements of responsibility in terms of content moderation. What types of policies you ever on potentially misleading or incorrect information being shared on the platform. Talk about the difficulties of doing this. A lot of the wall street pets. They're very anonymous. You know who they are. I keep imagining one of those names is like a wild own hedge fund investor. That's lurking around saying things. So i think the core problem you've kind of touched on it is anonymity and we are full stack brokerage platform but world social network and so we have the special feature that no one on the brashly nana so people in order to engage in social activities. Actually have to go through full identity verification. And what that does is it. Dramatically lifts the bar as far as people's behavior because we've actually validated like have your address your social security number etcetera and that in sub creating a very different kind of culture than what you might find on rented or or other kind of communities talk about the constant moderation though because there's still can be misleading look. Donald trump spent his whole career on twitter lying essentially. So what. How do you deal with that. Misleading information from actual people. Yeah we have a couple of tools. Obviously we have a pretty a pretty sizable content moderation and and an customer service team that kind of local stuff. Additionally we actually have preemptive words that you cannot say. Give me a word like what you can't say you can't say putnam right. You can say the n word you can say the f. word And so a lot of that is actually Sort of from a financial perspective. Something that really just ensures that people can not post those kinds of things and others just like the kind of i we wanna see in the community honestly and then have that continues kinda crawl everything that's being posted runs obviously through email and kind of services to identify what's being said and have like internal sort of triggers. I public where we can see. Okay this is a potentially trade. This is supposed to look into for xyz reason. All right. So what about your duties of taking things down is that you think you're aggressive in this would you. What would you say we actually truthfully haven't had to be and i think that's comes back to the bar beings at incredibly high when nobody's anonymous you're pretty small you just hit one million users. You can't do this in artisanal basis going forward. Well i think you and put posts that are aggressive in using certain words or the composition of certain words so that they suggest that people should actually be buying stock ride. Because that's the pump information that you kind of see on there and those are the kind of feature that we can invest very heavily. In that. I don't know read or twitter. Would ever because it's a very specific case and they end up covering a lot of different things and so that's one of the things that we see as a as an advantage. Frankly as far as keeping a clean nice kind of community where people feel vulnerable novels that they can actually talk about investing. How do you think about your responsibility as a curator because public features short list of companies split into themes. Stay at home women in charge theme the backpack. Ah what checks are responsible to make not driving markets or profiting off these lists. Yeah so each of those lists come with their own set off disclosures actually so we penny stocks in there right which are companies that trade for a couple of bucks price per share. Because then you're filtering list to be mostly high quality companies right. And so the disclosures there obviously incredibly important In the case of safety labels we actually just referenced the sec guidelines so those are things that we're setting were just of presenting the information that will in a in a very different way and so. That's that's actually how i think about it like when you're in the front end of those things you're able to bring forth some of that information in ways that that regulars actually can't one of the things that's also problem is rumors. Obviously bitcoin either. So huge sell-offs recently because of rumors that the treasury department was going to crack down on money laundering through digital aspects to worry to being exploited as a form for market manipulation. Were rumors could carry a lot of white. Not really because. I see it very differently. So i think the whole thing about like rumors and wall street and insider trading all that stuff right like the michael douglas film and cetera think. That was years ago. I think today the much bigger problem that people have to your point is actually there so much information out there that you kinda wanna make sense of it all honestly. The old tricks worked just fine. By the way. Gordon gecko would do just fine in this market. You know. the dynamic is playing out where people are trading market tips on tiktok instagram. There's even speculation. That big hedge funds are being are hiring. Influencers tried to bolster their positions in the market. I mean i think they still can play those games. Correct at a mock it. Sort of macro level Yeah they totally can. I was more liberal referring to. I think if everyone was very was verified on tiktok and whatnot and all that sort of became out of the open and they was therefore in the purview of finra and things of that nature. I think it'd be very different. And so that's actually again like how the benefit of being a full stack social network and brokerage because you put everything under one roof doesn't mean you're not going to be affected by them now right. It doesn't but it means you can connect the dots a lot more so we have that power And there's a lot of things that we can build around the right all right. So we'll you start labeling rumors s that in doing that to be honest i think the community does a pretty good job on their own. It's very optimistic of you. I think it comes back to the culture of the community that you're building a thing on the one hand yeah i realized household fluffy but fluffy stuff tends to be the most powerful stuff when it actually reaches A certain scale so stocks aren't the only thing that people are investing in right. Now non fungible tokens or an f. T. which i had done some shows on which are dinners. Lasca whose ownership is verified by the blockchain become really popular What do you think of. All these alternate assets and you've hinted that crypto features are coming to public soon. Talk about what that is what that means how you look at these crypto currencies. Yeah i think have been through a A pretty a pretty big. You cannot the crato winter. They call it right off. That hit bitcoin twenty k. And then he went out. And now it's sorta come come roaring back for a number of reasons. I was around when it was ten. But go ahead keep going but tooth be told i think as opposed to back them When it was seen as like crazy idea. I think now it's kinda seeing as part of this sort of modern portfolio until we're adding just a few coins just to basically for people that want to have it as part of their portfolio so you're essentially doing coined basis doing right you. Do you think that is going to be a feature of all these bank. I do i think coined by it's kinda screwed in that regard. I mean you saw ben moenning people think of i think a lot of people are going to be adding it. Adding we'll users be able to trade dose coin on not no. Tvd around what are you gonna hold. We're starting with bitcoin. Obviously and then and then either and then if we're working our way down the ladder. Do you have any dose coin. I don't know. Should i buy some that. I cannot tell you care. There would be financial advice. I think the way people are starting to see more and more is as an instrument in your portfolio that tension to work as a hedge against some wider market securities. Like p five hundred. Yeah that nature and And i think. I think that's the notion that a lot of people are coming around too short. That's my that's my hunch. What about Peter teal's notion that it's going to attack the dollar that it's it's a chinese plot to kill the dollar ball. I'd i mean. I do think it's a tag in the dollar. I don't think that's a sort of a. I think everybody would agree to that. I think the real question is how much china has to do with. Oh he likes to throw stuff out to bother everyone and we all just chewing all over. That's what he does. But i think that the last time you saw any kind of inhabiting the currency world was actually with the with the formation of the europe. Yet right we had going to euro whatnot and that had massive consequences. And i did that. In order to have a single currency that could stand up to the dollar. A little bit right. Maybe does coin who knows to say. That's what Stoxx i'm doing i'm just doing elon. Musk impression what did you think of that. What do you think when you have single people being able to move markets that way and yell stocks or whatever the alleys doing i know him pretty well and i think he's just playing games but part of it's quite serious when one person has the ability to move people so quickly. It's a fan based investing model in a weird way. I think it's it's interesting on the one hand. It's new because the way that the content gets distributed is very different ride and all these platforms not really connected and there there's a lot of kind of cross pollination going on and i think because the way i think it used to work is more secretly around bloomberg terminals and whatnot right with the chad and like that's still kind of go viral in their own way and so on the one hand i i don't know if the problem is actually at the root level i think the way that the medicines station of the problem is a little different than than than how we've seen it historically and so is very much. Tv what what ends up happening there. I think he's he's had his hand slapped a couple of times. So yeah maybe the happens again. Would is your perspective on government regulation and retail investing. What do you think the. scc will do. And how do you look at running your business. Because they're obviously going to get involved a much more heavily in all these areas. Fdr already very heavily ball right. They exist to protect the retail investor. So i think you don't protect vigil mr by shutting them out but i also think there's a lot to the argument. That retail investor wanting to invest is religious weinstock and companies. It's not barring money to do it. It's not doing options trading etc. So i can imagine that having the would probably be so the car reference points and then they'll work from there. Yeah i think they will move into market manipulation or more heavily in my opinion. But we'll see so. Let's finish up your business model. How do you make money at public. But is your business. Can't be tipping. What are your waiter. we certainly serve. That is a front and center of everything we do. Okay so we have a couple of different ways. We make money. People was one of them. We did you abandon that. At least from market makers so you additionally have cash interest on uninvested cash. They have securities lending. Which is you can start to think of as essentially interest on invested cash. And then you have tipping and so those those are the free corps revenue streams for us right. Now i mean to your point where only not even actually live for two years so we will roll out more revenue initiatives for sure right what about selling data or the for example. The social graph is that you know that that we that we won't do so robin hood now going public long-term are you considering an ipo back or do you hope to get acquired. I suspect you have a lot of bank sniffing around what you're doing. The dispatch things industry right now of without considering anything in the short term. I can say that much no matter how much spec people Our other. I know so as far as whether we going public not this year probably exits. There's some day. Yeah maybe right. Misery robin hood. It's no no not really. Because why i don't see why there would be well more money more. Billy acquire more bill. You make trouble. I dunno lots of reasons. That i don't know i think it's I mean i think you have constant public markets but you've had that for a while detroit public before they were acquired et cetera. So yeah i. I don't see that as a catalyst for for anything for us okay. Last question public saw boom during the height of soda. Robin hood so did a lot of these. Other people are at home. They have nothing to do some of this entertainment for people. How do you think about drop-offs in usage or you're not worried about engagement in that case not really to be honest because i think what you what you see it to kind of very different things to my point does people that maybe just come in for a single hit. And then they're out. We haven't really seen that to be honest with you. And i think that has a lot to do with when you draw people into community. Maybe that wasn't what you came for. But that's what you stay for them and so it's a little bit different for us relative to some of the other interesting yanic. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thanks. john grits. Town swayed is a production of new york. Times opinion is produced by name. Arosa blakeney schick hip eller. Bonnie matt and daphne chen edited by naima rosza and polish lumen with original music by isaac jones mixing by eriko as an fact checking by kate sinclair special. Thanks to shannon busta. you'll higa and kristen lynn. If you're in a podcast are ready. You know how to get your podcast so follow this one. If you're listening on the times website and get each new episode of sway delivered to you as fast as a ferrari without a driver's license download any podcast app then search for sway. Follow the show. We released every monday and thursday. But before you go. You've got an event coming up for time. Subscribers i'll be debating. My fellow hosts from opinion. Podcast jane coast and ezra klein as well as columnists far hud montjeu about the merits and dangers of cancel culture comedian. Trevor noah will be weighing in on the subject to it'll be on wednesday may twelfth time subscribers can rsvp at ny times dot com slash cancelled culture.

robin hood deloitte Alex kerns karen shirt blockbuster twitter citadel securities gm yanic berkshire hathaway etcetera steve huffman zoe chase
735: Bloody Feelings

This American Life

1:06:16 hr | 5 months ago

735: Bloody Feelings

"Three m is using science and innovation to help the world respond to covid nineteen and taking action to support communities in the fight since the outbreak. Three m has responded with cash from product donations including surgical masks hand sanitizer and respirators through local and global aid partners. In addition three implants are running around the clock producing more than ninety five million respirators per month in the us. Learn how else three m is helping the world respond to covid nineteen go to three m dot com slash covid three. Mci applied to life here and Before we start today's program. I know that many of us who listen to podcasts are always looking for a new podcast to try. And i have news if you are somebody like that. The news is this. Our sister company cereal which made the podcasts serio and s town and nice way parents has a brand new. Show that the putting out with the new york times and it is great. It's called the improvement association. The host is one of our longtime this american life producers. Zoe chase who may for here. Who started looking into the story of something she would actually report on our show but then it just grew and grew and we all realized this is too good and too big and it just needs its own miniseries. Zoe has done a ton of political stories. And if you've heard them on our show you know that they are supremely entertaining and this is an amazing story about election fraud and accusations of election fraud which had to be very powerful in themselves in one county in north carolina a place. It's small enough that the politics are very personal. Which i have to say sometimes gives things in the street a special intensity like it. You know it's one thing when somebody allegedly tells you to break election laws but it's another when that person is your own stepdad. Before president trump was elected. Zoe did this series of stories With of into the world of his early supporters including the online trolls and an early version of the proud boys. In this way that at the time i really felt like opened my eyes do something important in the country and this new show does the same thing but in a very different world hearing it i feel like i'm witnessing something important about what is happening right now and seeing that very close up anyway. The show comes out tuesday tuesday april thirteenth. You can subscribe now so you don't miss an episode. Here's a trailer if you know bleeding county north carolina. It's probably for its high profile election-related corruption so you were philly. The ovals and voting for other people right. Yes people's balanced will send off. I assume you did that. It was not legal to vote other people's doubts right ludovic. i understand. You were paid to do something that you do wrong. In two thousand eighteen republican mark harris his democratic opponent for a congressional seat only to have the victory reversed after his campaign was investigated for absentee ballot fraud. Democrats to talk about this scandal because it's republicans who did it. Republicans like to talk about this scandal without talking about who did it because it proves is real can happen. I like talking about the scandal. Because there's a story behind it the most people don't know and it helps explain how we got here here. Being how we united states have become nearly undone by endless accusations of fraud and stolen elections down and bleeding county where the congressional scandal took place. There are many people who believe that journalists the authorities. All of us got this whole story. Ron they see the real election. Cheaters are still at work in the county. Bullying tampering stealing votes. The story behind this one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of elections of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges and petty beefs and family history in history history. And it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. This is strictly opinion. You know that right. It was almost like they realized that we weren't dumb. Okay they smart maybe too smart for their own good from cereal. Productions chase coming in april. It's the improvement association. A true story about election fraud. Get it wherever you get your podcasts Mitchell was in his twenties when he learned that his mom was getting on a bus sir. Trained twice a week. Going to play would stick a needle in her arm and take a pint of blood and they will keep the plasma. Give back everything else. And pair twenty five or thirty five dollars per pint again. You do this twice a week. You needed the cash. And of course that is not the kind of thing anybody wants to hear. Their mom has to do and took a few years but soon as he had the money to step in and help her out. Metro told mom. Don't do it anymore. you know. Just give you the money. And she turned him down. Like don't worry about it. I don't need you to jump in. take care of myself. Even if it's you know hubris elise. I'm not asking for anything She loves that saying What did she say we do for today. What we can't do for forever what's happening is I guess a personal proverb that she uses to trick ourself into enduring a crucible. I can do it today or maybe this especially hard was. Mitchell was in new york. His mom was on the other side of the country oregon where he grew up and because sometimes and her phone will be turned off and he would have to reach out to his brothers to find out what was happening. she needed. Help organize the help talking to her about the blood donations and they had a bunch of conversations about it. Mitchell torn everything about it about the multibillion dollar companies that by plasma from people like his mom about the black. Dr charles drew invented a way of separating plasma from blood and set up some of america's first blood banks at the start of world war two and because we were still in jim crow they would not let black people donate blood. Like how symbolic is that. That no black guyland convinced this process that helps these hundreds of thousands. If not millions of people can't even donate blood mitchell's a writer. He's been on his show. Before mitchell. s jackson he's written about these conversations with his mom and places that they let him to like for instance. One day you gotta talking about blood in patriotism. His mom's patriotism by the way. Is that anybody who says my country to wrong. No matter what happens here is basically just like mom. He's he's the best dinner kid no matter. What terrible thing do anyway doing that conversation. She surprised mitchell but describing your blood donations as the most patriotic thing. She does she does it for the money. I guess if we if we kind of think about patriotism in its best light. It's looking out for the next person she was just thinking. I'm giving a part of me which is sacred to benefit someone else. But i think it's also to like my mother is one of those people like really is the mother who will do anything like she's the mother that has like a hundred dollars in her account to last month and my brother's like doesn't have food in his refrigerator and she gives them eighty and this is not like a hypothetical this is a literal so this is another way of giving them in a mitchell as you talk about. I just so struck with like all the things that are bundled up in in like those little pints of plasma like when you tell the story it simultaneously like you're feeling of protectiveness about her and how she's doing is she doing okay and her wanting to be independent of you and also like like she's taking care of other people. Yeah also like getting money. She needs and also it's blood musical thing that all compressed in a little plastic bag you know. Yeah it's like both symbolic and literal that way because what is so fundamental keeping us alive. Something we all share part of our inside that we all have actually seen with your gencorp. Stop sign it takes on so many other meanings in ways that other things in our body do not. There's blood ties. And blood feuds and bad blood between people and the blood of the lamb and jesus blood turned to wine. There's idea people who are cold-blooded people who are hot blooded and the now discredited notion of how much of this group's blood or that groups blood you have running through your veins today on our program. We dive into all kinds of stories about blood picture. Please will right now. You know those elevator doors from the shining opening up a sea of blood pouring out right here on the radio but don't touch that dial there is so much to say from wbz chicago. It's this american life. I'm ira glass. Bloody stay with us. Guam started from full bottom now here so we begin today with the story about literal actual blood this joke and by the way the seven year olds in our audience. Why did the nurse bring a red pen to work. In case she had to drop wide. Okay anyway seventy road into our show. Last summer saying they had a story to tell about being a flat bottom est a person whose job is to draw blood for lab tests or donations using by the way a needle. Not a red pen. Her name is adele levin. And she said she was the worst bottom in her whole hospital. One of our producers diane. We've found that intriguing. Naturally called her up and that she is a perfectly fine for about a mess but she did get thrown into the job from a different job without a lot of preparation in some of the most extreme circumstances imaginable. A total fish out of water. Here's dan. i like talking to a dell about drawing blood because as a newbie she saw with beginners is. She was so into it. She talked about veins. In this way that. I'd never heard before just ardently test the vein and should feel bouncy like you test it by touching it with your via a touch it and sort of bounce now moi's bouncing veins you know my own veins leave now. I wanted to try do it on the back of your hand. Okay yeah the veins in the on the front of the rest are not for us. How come that will know. Didn't go to flip artemis told. That's not for us. Adele didn't ever study Me because she's actually physical therapist. She had no plans to ever be sticking people with needles and drying their blood but when covid hit last spring the hospital she worked at cancelled. Oliver physical therapy appointments and started assign people to new jobs. I really wanted to work on the loading dock. That was like what i really wanted to do. Like i wanted to drive when those big things around own. Like lift. Pallets of supplies. But they didn't need there. She ended up in florida one of the departments of the hospital whose work didn't slow down and became a total newbie drafted to draw blood for the very first time in the middle of a pandemic by the way she didn't want us to name her hospital because they didn't give her permission to do an interview. Adele spent her first few days following different full-body masts around the hospital watching closely as they worked. She was so impressed to watch as they performed even the most basic tasks with incredible elegance. This one flawed. I just was always mesmerized. By the way she put tape on the back of her hand like so precisely choice. Exactly like the exact size piece of tape. Another one she would hold the butterfly needle not by the wings but actually by the little barrel which is kind of a harder way to hold it but she was just real gentle just the way. They could draw blood from like the craziest places because hospital patients. You know they're sick. They're an organ failure there really swollen or their veins are shot and these foot bottom doing crazy stuff. Like just skimming the surface of someone's forearm and just getting this tiny little spider vein. Getting blood from the back of someone's thumb knuckle. I think they're total artists. Then suddenly it was her turn to try. Adele flipped around her hospital bed so no one could see she was a physical therapist then went into her first sticks. That's lobotomies lingo. For blood draws in the maternity ward unhealthy young mothers who had big easily visible veins. She made a lot of rookie mistakes. I would keep the to bond until it completely filled with blood. And then when i would retract the needle the blood that was leftover in that tubing with spill all over the bed and make a big man. I was always yellen that made to retract. The needle retracted. Do it do it. It's ready it's ready. I'm mike but it's only halfway. I'll just do it after about two weeks of this sort of haphazard seat of the pants training her manager decided she was ready to go in alone on her first day of working solo. Adele walked in and saw that her assignment was in the icu. Which at that point in april was full of covid patients. I got panicked completely panicked. You know i mean i. I was so nervous. Just i mean even just going into a cove room just would fill me with fear terror. It was an incredibly challenging assignment. Icu patients were among the sickest and the hospital often with multiple issues and swollen limbs and full-body me was only called in after the nurses there had already tried twice to get blood but couldn on top of that all the covid stuff the p. That made it hard to moving. See not being able to bring full of supplies in the pressure to work quickly and minimize exposure. Adele was terrified and overwhelmed but she did her best to figure out her own little routine the beginning. I always used to talk to the patients. I would say you know. I'm like good morning. Good morning you know. This is a dell and from lobotomy. I'm here to draw some blood But they're sedated. Or i tell them you know today's tuesday. It's april twentieth. It's a nice day outside. You know our tell them what's on the news or what was going on and i always tell them that they look great that they were. They were getting better. I could tell how often was that. Actually true Hardly ever but. I just felt like you know like i heard that people when they're sedated they can still kinda hear you so i always felt like i should say something uplifting. I mean if you wanna cheerleading section. I mean physical therapies. Where it's at i mean. We are so mystic as a group. You know adele wasn't doing great at actually getting the blood. Though she was missing something like half of her sticks. she'd get all suited up and prepared to go in the room. Try and try and try for ten or fifteen minutes fail. Then she'd have to go downstairs mark on the whiteboard. The patients that sheet missed so a more experienced lobotomies could be sent up to try again. She felt like a disappointment. Bumbling things up in one of the most serious urgent parts of the hospital when they would send me to do blood cultures. I would almost always budget a blood culture a test for an infection in the blood. My first blood culture that i got called to do when i got to the room. The patient was in a full code and they were all in there doing. Cpr chest compressions. They were shocking him. I like flipped out. I was like oh my god. I was about to leave. And they're like no no. They're like you stay there like you stay because if he lives. We need those blood cultures. So i stood. There was waiting and standing next to me. You know we're like totally dressed up. And all this gear was one of the hospital chaplains. Oh are standing next to each other. She was there because if the patient died she would need to go in and do last rights. And i got so completely wigged out by that like i started feeling. Like we're like the the angel and the devil you know to stand aside by side and like the patient lived and like the hospital chaplain just like flew out of there and then i had to go in and i was like so rattled by like what happened then i had to do these blood cultures. Just a yeah. I didn't get it. I didn't get it. Remember adele's physical therapist. Nobody was dying in front of her. Her old job and chapel never hovered nearby. This was a totally different game. Adele's first week in the. Icu is so stressful that she thought about quitting but she didn't. She kept going. She watched videos about lobotomy. In her free time practice getting her sticks over and over lining up tubes in the art of the draws folding guys into quarters with one hand readjusting the neal to keep the blood flowing. She started to be able to see veins. she couldn't before to draw blood for more challenging places. The first time. I got blood off. This guy's thumb knuckle. Yeah i just couldn't believe it. I was so proud of myself or from really skinny little vein. And i'm just trying to. I just knew i could just get a centimeter of blood into the tube. That would be good enough for the lab but even being able to draw their blood. Well didn't change. Her patients outcomes lots died and got to her. She says she stopped looking at their faces when she went in the room. Stop chatting as much with them too and as she was leaving instead of telling him they looked good and she could tell they were doing better like she used to. She just told them goodbye. Adele told me that dropping into this tunnel vision mode just going. Straight for the vein. Not looking around. It actually made her better at drawing blood or dental in the middle of the summer three months after a dell began drawing blood. The first wave finally started to recede hospital then. She got a text from her physical therapy boss telling her it was time to come back. I was really furious. I didn't want to go back really bit of yeah caused a bit of like. I guess they couldn't believe it. Like i said i wasn't gonna come back. I was surprised to hear this given how she'd felt completely inadequate for so long when she was there but it felt like whiplash to her she'd been thrown from earl job into this one finally felt like she knew what she was doing. She wasn't prepared to be yanked back out just as quickly. It's been eight months now since dell switch back to physical therapy you still notices people's vans especially the ones on the backs of their fingers. Those ones she told me when. Someone's really sick. Those ones will stay bouncy. They're the last to go. Diane well is one of the producer show to what ties so we turn out in this blood episode to blood relatives and the importance of family. Or maybe the story is about the unimportance of family and the meaninglessness of blood ties at the center of the story are thirty postcards. And one of our producers david kastenbaum. I want to start by saying. I am one of those people who has never cared at all about family. Trees who's related to whom genealogy stuff like that the only family that felt important growing up with the people i saw every day my parents sister and then kind of one circle out grandparents cousins. The relatives we'd visit with some regularity beyond that. They just seemed like people. I didn't know and i think this is the scientists in me. I've always felt like the whole idea of being related by blood. Who cares if they have some dna that i have it all just seem kind of dumb. This was a problem when someone would ask me. When my family came to the united states my great grandparents i think from austria or poland some from russia at various points. It's felt like a thing. I should know just so i could not look like an idiot. Question came up. So i'd asked my parents tell me but there weren't a lot of details. No one felt real in it and whatever my parents would tell me i'd promptly forget then a couple of years ago. We were visiting my aunt and uncle. My kids are running around like lunatics a sitting on the couch. My aunt handed me the stack of papers. There photocopies of thirty postcards distant family members come across them and they were beautiful written dish in the hebrew alphabet in this meticulous handwriting. I could read who they were addressed to. That was in english. Harry castenbaum three twenty cherry street. New york america. Cherry street is a street. i've walked by for sure. Your runs under the manhattan bridge. The postcards were from his father. Shmuel mendel kastenbaum who is living in a town in austria hungary at the foot of a small mountain. The date on the first postcard. Nineteen o four. Schmil was my great great grandfather's brother translations alongside the postcards. A relative had found someone who could read the old yiddish. So i sat there on the couch and started to read again. This wasn't my thing. I honestly didn't expect to get through them. But amazingly name means thirty postcards they happen to tell a little story with a beginning and an end you could glimpse of peace of life for them if a man living one hundred years ago. Who had my last name. And i know i just said that shouldn't matter. Maybe i'm wrong. They gave me a feeling. I was not expecting to have the postcards. Only one side of the conversation schnell writing to his son but his son. Harry who is twenty four at the beginning clearly wrote back you can tell because shmuel rates things like forgot to put a stamp on your last letter and i had to pay a fine signed. Your father shmuel. I love that line. Because i'm not proud of this but it reminds me of me and also it warms my heart to read a guilt trip on one hundred year old postcards and across an ocean. You can only write like that to someone whose family blood gives you permission to make certain demands to yourself in ways that maybe you shouldn't quote want me to send you a talent to america. Tell us is a prayer shawl. This is quite difficult. Postage is quite expensive. And did you not buy a house for your wedding. it seems possible. They wrote back and forth constantly quote. I'm surprised that you have not received my letter. Why don't you write about your business. Mine is completely ruin. my income is very bad. Here's what we know about tomorrow. When he was writing his here's divorced and has two kids. He hadn't seen me years harry because he was in america at three twenty cherry street daughter was closer to home in europe but would never write him back. She really does not behave like a child of mine. Sh mall rights for three years. I have received from her only printed. Happy new year's cards when she came to me to invite me to her wedding. I gave her all the money she asked for and went to the wedding. She's not once written about her situation. Since childhood as you. Well know she has become a stranger to me smile on kind of mission. These postcards seems dismayed by how scattered the family has become and he wants to hold everyone together. Somehow here. it's about being lonely having no one to have a heart to heart talk with quote. Please let me know if you intend to return here with your family or do you want to take a pleasure trip. I would be very pleased but the question is if you can do this without any trouble. And the map of our family. Schnell is pretty far removed. He's like pluto out there on a distant orbit. But i felt some tug on. He asks after my grandfather his living nearby in newark new jersey quote. Pleased right to me about my brother. How easy he doesn't right to me at all. However has children are they will struck by consistently miserably seems miserable but also like he hasn't given up hope he earns for the family wants to be with them again. I wonder if it would happen when harry first on gets a little older sh rates. Maybe it'd be possible if you to send him to me and i could fulfil the commandment and teach our children and your son's children as my son sons are as my own. Your father will throw these grand kids being born that he wants to see when harry has a daughter named after his grandmother. Swell writes my dear son. You've done very well. You've added the name of my dear mother. I have great joy from this. But there's also this heartbreaking one quote at the end of your letter. you didn't send greetings from your son. Yitzhak which worries me very much. Please disclose the truth me. May we only hear good tidings. It's aca died of pneumonia at age one There's one postcard rush. Mile seems truly joyful like finally had a really good day or something. September twelfth nineteen seven. The entire postcard is a blessing that he composed himself in hebrew. The translator was really struck by the poetry of it. May the rays of your good fortune shine on your head and may always be fulfilled person love and peace in your home all of you healthy and complete your tents free of fear blessings nested in your house and success shedding. Its light around you but making my way through the stack of postcards one thing after another seems to go wrong eventually does make contact with his daughter harry sister and visits her but he's still seems worried quote. I hope there will be peace for some time here. It's about a fire that cost him a lot of money dealer. He sends cotton wool to goes bankrupt. Quote businesses very bad as credit has been stopped and many people have gone bankrupt. Thank the fear of war is past. May god bring us better times. That postcard was from may twenty seventh nineteen thirteen. When i read it. I was like wait. What do you mean the fear of wars past. Is it more one about the happen. Here's a cut from a little later. The stamp had been removed system. Words are missing but this part was intact quote. the russians plundered. We went on foot therefore we took nothing with us. We were like a herd. We closed the house and left everything. We left all our property. Everything was plundered and the house was destroyed. May god give us strength hard. Our body is this our fate instead of sleeping in our bed. We slept on the ground. That postcard was sent from a town. Sixty miles from his home is a big gap after this the next postcards from years later he's back in the town where he started quote. I received the package. You send it. Contained two pairs of trousers two pairs of underpants for undershirts. One skullcap one napkin. I can't know if anything's missing said don't have a list of its contents. Lord will reward you for the mitzvah of honoring. Our father and your award will be great. This is number. Twenty seven of thirty. There weren't many left shmuel writes that he had heard that harry might make a trip back home quote. This would give much joy rights and also have papers from my journey to america. I was excited that they might get together but postcard. Twenty nine doesn't mention any travel plans quote. It's been three months since i've written you. I'm desperate not to have received an answer. This is very unusual. Please rate immediately last postcard number. Thirty is about a prayer shawl and that's it schmo. Mental kastenbaum died sometime after that. He's probably sixty nine or seventy years old reading along somehow stupidly expecting a happy ending. I don't think there was one for him. Doesn't seem like small ever got to see us on again. After he left at the age of twenty got to meet harry's kids his grandchildren. Just that idea. You could spend so much of your life waiting for thing to happen. One day you don't even know it's coming but it's your last name never does do feel some connection to moral. I'm not sure. I really understand it. You could say it's because we're related by blood. It certainly is a strange experience to read your own last name on one hundred year. Old postcard sticks with you well guest inbound. I keep thinking about the postcards in small never writes about the past. He's always asking about the people who will come after him. His son daughter their kids cared about the future. I do too. I care more going forward than backward. There is a happy ending dish. Moyle store at just came much later. It's me and all the family and the giant tree that grew around him David kastenbaum show senior editor. Coming up one of the greatest deployments of fake blood in the history of fake blood also fixing a human blood pomp and a five hundred speaks in english. That's in a minute chicago chicagowgnradio when our program continues three m is using science and innovation to help the world respond to covid nineteen and taking action to support communities in the fight since the outbreak. Three m has responded with cash and product donations including surgical masks hand sanitizer and respirators through local and global aid partners. In addition three implants are running around the clock producing more than ninety five million respirators per month in the us. Learn how else three m is helping the world respond to cope in nineteen goto three dot com slash covid. Three m science applied to life to s- merican life mirror glass. Today's program buddy feelings stories about blood in all its liquidity meanings but his metaphor blood is the actual stuff moving through our veins. We have arrived at through our show at three stagefright so this is condition. It's called vasil vaguely syncope fainting reaction to certain stimuli triggered by all kinds of things exposure to heat stress and the sight of blood. It turns out that the blood doesn't even need to be real bad to get that response. One of our producers been at a win me members one buddy shakespeare production that at its height had scores of people fainting night after night. Here's ben back in two thousand and six. I was a year of university trying very hard to be a writer and working at a bookshop in central london. I was also almost always broke. So burke in fact that. I didn't think i could afford more than one visit to see a west end. Show the entire year what i did do a lot of the theater reviews. Two thousand six was the year of michael sheen and franklin gela in frost nixon it was the avenue q. Came to the west end. The of kids. London debut all. I do this dream of going to see them. So naturally the review page was the first place. I read about a play that was getting rave reviews was apparently so grisly so bloody audience members were fainting. The play was one of shakespeare's least. Loved plays titus andronicus three hours of muscular bloody theater that as one audience member quoted in the paper put it had people dropping like flies. I was thrilled at the idea of theater. Being powerful enough to fell even study london theatergoers. I'm jealous i wanted to go. I wanted to see if i could withstand it in the fifteen years since i've often thought about the source of that productions power about the blood. I mean at one point. We had forty. Three people won't show forty. Three people thanking forty three. That was on max all these years later. I was thrilled to talk to the director. Lucy bailey. Because i wanted to understand how she done something so extraordinary. Once i came into the auditorium and the ashes said all school goals came and they all fainted oil in this box. We put them all up there. So i came to the only guy. Pale guys will sitting. Having being taken us is to say to the ashes. When i came into seattle and how many people today just to be clear. No one fell and hit their head over seriously. Injured they simply overwhelmed. Lizzy just hadn't foreseen the fainting to give you a picture. The globe is an open. Air theatre a mostly faithful recreation of shakespeare's original which is under half of its audience standing close to the action on the stage and the klay is used to faint irs combination of standing and the sun probably during ties us. A person fainted the ashes wind through the crowd with an unfolded wheelchair. And then take them out of the arena. Later in the run. It was a st. John's ambulance parked nearby. It's not surprising. The blood in context ending quantity is inescapable. And it's supposed to be santa monica's is one of shakespeare's earliest plays. And there's a lot of young man swagger mixed in with the poetry of the writing set in ancient rome. The play was written to speak to some of the nations of the elizabethan era. It's about war and revenge. And an over the top grief that clouds good sense and moderation innocence. Get slain brutes in their savagery. Blood is shed in really horrible. Ways ritual sacrifice slit throats mutilation sexual assault plus a memorable cannibalistic pi. It's a play that's drenched in blood. And it often gets written off as a flurry of unsubstantial bloodlettings because of that the lucy new the blood matter to the play one of the first things she had to figure out was how to make the blood. Look real in an ironic twist to make good blood look like the real thing. They have to fake it. If you see it off the stage blood. it's it often doesn't feel very real. Even if it's accurate the color of blood but blockages quite bright and some bright blood in theater terms. Makes you go. Yeah yes that's plus. We sort of looked at how we would make it unreal in order to make it more real in other words. We don't blood lucille's had to figure out how to make the blood move so it would deliver the most impact so she turned to another expert. The fight director. You talk to him about if you're wounded in this way. How does applause. the h-have does where the blood come. Wise it coming out the corner of the mouth. Why is it coming from the knows. What's what suggestion if the blood camera. Who the audience loved to hate is a very careful spurt of blood when she gets a giant folk in the guts. When titus lease a hand there was more than one source of blood a spurt from a syringe then a slow us out of his arm to make intense experience. More immersive louisiana designer. Bill dudley focused on the space itself. They wanted to make it feel oppressive. Make the audience participate in the blood sport. They achieve this by giving the globe. A temporary valeria m- roof which reduced the sunlight and create shadows and then they filled the space with incense they move some of the action of the stage and into the crowd to create a sort of theater of chance. The idea was to make it feel like temple of death. They have to strike a delicate balance. Too little blood and atmosphere and you don't bring the audience along too much and it feels like a parody as a huge contract. isn't it between the audience and the play the players the audience given any chance. Want to believe so as long as you do everything to suspend their disbelief. Then you you keep that contract but as soon as you break that contract and do something that shows them the mechanics or axe overplays your cards over exit too much. Blood or or undergrad. Too little blood at the moment where they're going. Sorry i don't believe that. And one of the places they decided to underplay happens in the very first bloodletting in the play when titus spices labus very quickly when how we did it so fast unto my soul the blood and then putting him and they don't have time to dwell so we did a very different thing. We really were shocking with it. The audience sees a flash of red. And then he's gone almost immediately. Maybe the blood made them faint. But it wasn't just the fact of it that caused them to fall. It was what was happening between the people onstage. The feelings they were experiencing one of the most shattering moment in the play comes off. The lavinia. Attacked and mutilated is brought to her father and unwrapped the dark viscous blood seeps through the bandages at her stumps pours slowly from her mouth. Even titus a war hardened general. Who's done his own. Sheriff killing is reduced in that moment to an anguished and helpless father. His precious daughter still bleeds and he can't stop the bleeding to have your life's blood. Reach your kinyor the blood that is your blood and to see it dating to seek to understand how those wounds were made is is pushes. The brain to print of madness as titus himself says in that scene it was my dear and he wounded her have hurt me more than had he killed me dead. That so ago is still alive but bleeding an and causes so much internal bleeding to her father. Both in the heart under the brain so in a way suffers a kind brain bleed. The entire play is tied together by that ribbon of grief. Parentless children furthers. Turn on each other innocent bystanders damage and all the blood is in the service of that rule feeling the language is hysterical and violent and it goes on for five long acts. The audience gets pulled into the hysteria because they have little choice by the halfway point enact three the so far gone that they drop at the idea of violence. We used to have people fainting on a word so when aaron came and said that he wanted one of them to chop off the hand you could almost guaranteed somebody would faint when he said chop when aaron says the would here does actual chopping happening. He's just saying it. But it was enough you could see the audience sort of gird yourselves and then he say chop and somebody would go one of the things. I was curious to talk to. Lucy about was how it felt to be the architect of all this feeling. What was it like to do this to an audience again. And again had to be honest completeness filling in a we. We had not expected this response. Otis tend not very cool so this kind of fainting was a sort of sign of audience involvement. I think i think the whole effect the storm she and affected how people to the extent that people were sick. They fainted that even urinated lost control of the whole body was to do with this cumulative feeling combination just one thing it was such affirmation that something about the play was working it years after that first production in two thousand and fourteen lizzy revive titus andronicus at the globe it was a different cost and once again audiences flocked to see this difficult. Bloody play this time though. The orders didn't faintest much. I mean they really didn't and yet we did. I think palpably the same if not better And i think that was because people came psychologically prepared so it was very much harder to get that contract during that. You're so involved in this. you're gonna faint. Morton theater is mostly a quiet polite applause gentle chuckles usually when people leave a play in the middle of performance is because it's bad. They're not feeling well. They're supposed to be feeling what titus they were checking out because they were feeling too much banana doozy's show at. There's no us in uterus weight. So that thirty million americans have fibroids. And if you don't know what this is. Fibroids are these muscular tumors that grow on or in the uterus. We don't know what causes them. Why people of color higher rates especially black people in fact we know so little about them that vice president kamala harris introduced the uterine fibroids research and education act. I saw guess back when she was still senator. Almost always fibers of benign like they. Don't turn into cancer. caused problems. Pain discomfort and then. There's the blood. Which of course is what our program is about. Today vibrates make periods heavier or longer amora radic. Doctors can be dismissive surgeries expensive and carries risks and even after surgery fiber can come back new ones in a pontiac went back and forth back getting surgery. Her fibroid didn't bother at first but over time it grew bigger cost more and more discomfort and she began to think about her fibroid like careless partner making her life miserable. Even imagine confronting the fibroid in you know the relative safety of a therapist office with question. Should we stay together. She made this into a one. Act play starring three characters women vibrate and therapist and present now the world premiere of her. Play well then. let's get started. Tell me why you're here today Like i had a choice. She dragged me here. Don't be an ass please. I'm fibroid talk to her. We only ever do what you want to do. You dragged me here. Well i'm just trying to figure out whether we should be together anymore. You told me. I could stay with you. Hold you could stay with me. You never even asked. I want you both to try making ice statements. I was told that i could stay with cannot say you at all. If i'm making an iced amount you're doing fine. Would you like to respond. i mean i. it wasn't so bad. I barely noticed you to be honest so i didn't really mind that you around then you're pile of stuff just kept getting bigger and bigger issue. I felt steamrolled. And now you act like you own the place like you own the place. I have one small room where i keep my things one bloody room everything. I eat everything i breathe. It's it's all yours all you and i certainly don't appreciate you re-litigating the past. What do you mean re-litigating the past. I mean i have already for this. I'm sorry i moved in without your explicit permission. You never said it was bothering you. So i just assumed it was okay but i can't keep apologizing over and over for something. I can't undo. i just. I did say it was bothering me. You just didn't listen. And i'm not asking you to apologize over and over. I mean i'm pretty easy going. I don't like making a big deal out of stuff and thirty five years old. Isn't this kind of what being a grownup is all about. When things don't go my way i suck it up you roll with the punches. And honestly i could still live my life. Remind me then. What brings you here today. Well i mean. I'm fed up. You take up more space every day. You damage property for totally oblivious to how your actions affect anyone that you you know what fine try and kick me out then. I wasn't going to bring this up but someone has to do. I thought you wanted kids. Surgery is serious business. You know what if it doesn't work sa- chance you can lose your uterus. There's a chance you could never have a baby. There's a chance you could die just putting that out there a slim chance and thanks stuff happens just saying i don't know if i want kids but if i do think having them without you would be a better option. Have you got yourself checked out. Well i've talked to some specialists but they mostly just told me not to worry that you know this situation's harmless. The experts agree. You're making a big deal over. Nothing that's the thing. it's not nothing it's like. I used to be fine. Now i'm this. Compressed anemic version of myself. Because i'm always thinking about you. I'm always planning around. You never sure when you're going to open the floodgates but blend gave that's not funny replied. Let's take a deep breath. I want you to look at each other. Just work with me here. One at a time. Is there something one of you wants to say that you haven't yet said cam what we have. It's not so bad relationships perfect shirt. We have some unpleasant little blowups but you know what else is pleasant. Every month paying rent. Doing laundry is unpleasant. Once a week doing dishes every day unpleasant but that's life baby could be worse and very well. Maybe worse without me as they say. It's the fibroid you know. Do you really want to be thirty five on okay. No i think i've been lying to myself and pretending that everything's okay and i know you say it could be worse but it could be better. That's why i want you out and kicking you out. But it can't possibly be worth the risk. I don't know what else to tell you. I just i need to try. And you miss a hundred percent of the shots that should say apps makes the heart grow fonder speed race. Hangs you wish to see money. You don't know what life would be like without my god. I'm going to wear white pants again. The woman was played by selina. Siddhu vibrated by kate. Arrington and therapist by jennifer friedman casting from harrison nesbitt in paddock. Wrote this play in at the third coast radio residency ragsdale in by the way in real life decided to have freiburg removed. She's doing fine at five on breaking my heart so For our last story about blood today we go right to the source. The machine that keeps blood pumping and flowing inside of us and somebody whose job it is to make sure. That machine works well producer. Sean cole talked to this. Man also watched them work a winning. If you are squeamish about people's insides the story has a lot of that. My favorite fun fact about blood is that it has a protein that's also found in eggs. Albumin something about that. Just strikes me as poetic the complex machine of the human body and a thing that eats for breakfast sharing the same ingredient. I learned about this fact from a heart surgeon. Dr john eliot dr e. About five years ago i drove up to yale. Newhaven hospital and talked with him about this one technique employs they'll deep hypothermic circulatory arrest aka the deep freeze often. He has to do such radical plumbing work on the heart and it's arteries that his team cools the patient's body down to sixty four degrees fahrenheit and then warms them back up again. afterwards he compares it in one way to making egg lemon soup. You don't want the egg to curdle and occurred when the cook is in a hurry. It has to simmer at a very low level in order not to curdle. Well that's because of the albumen and the egg and the bloodstream is full of albumin. So that if we warm. Too fast will basically yet scrambled eggs in the bloodstream. So gross that's catastrophic so warming takes one hour. We have to warm very slowly as long as our heating bath is no more than ten degrees warmer than the blood. The blood wall curdle. We won't get scrambled eggs. Dr ease an expert on this deep freeze method. He's been described as one of the best doctors in the country. A giant of cardiothoracic surgery when we met in two thousand fifteen. He'd been at yale for more than thirty years and done about seven thousand open heart operations at that point including maybe three hundred transplants. He dramatically lengthen. The lives of jazz musician. Dave brubeck and the writer robert ludlum longtime he did one major operation and then maybe when smaller procedure almost every weekday offered to let me watch him perform deep-freeze to watch him take a patient and literally suspend their animation. what cooling them down does. They're not dead but they show no signs of life anymore so that he could into their body disconnect a crucial oregon and fix it with his hands. It's like he's a master illusionist. Fooling death with this high stakes version of misdirection was like yeah. I was thinking the the sound of who opening a breast bone might be interesting for. I think that'd be the procedure. I observed was a three hour or grafton valve replacement and got to the. Or early about seven thirty in the morning on a thursday all bound up with a mask and scrub hat and the team was already prepping. The patient for sedation dr ian. I stood several yards away in the corner so he could go over the case with me. The patient had a arctic aneurysm. You may know by. Didn't the has the largest artery in the body and shaped candy. cane an aneurysm. Just means that part of it. The curved part at the top in this case had become swollen stretched like a balloon filling with air so the wall of it was too thin unlike many other diseases. It doesn't have any symptoms until it ruptures. The first symptom is usually rupture or death. That seems like it's more than a sympton. Yes it's a conclusion conclusion. Yeah that's very well stated. The patient was still awake at. This point is wide open. Listening to one of the anesthesiologist had a brown moustache. A beer gut looked nervous leaning toward afraid within minutes he was unconscious and they were painting. Naked body all over with an iodine based taped. His eyes shut then. They swaddled him completely in plastic and blue surgical sheets which made the whole thing feel much more impersonal. Doctor seems to care a lot about his patients. But this is what. I began to understand how automotive his work is managing the proper function of this motor with its valves and chambers in sparks. Propelling a person's blood. Finally they made the first incision. They're opening up now opening ephemeral artery. Down elvis a low blood in dockery was right in the sound of them. Song opened the breast bound. Was i guess. We can go with alarming. Then they inserted the chest separator like a reverse vice instead of squeezing things together it spreads them apart molly watched on a wall monitor the circulating nurse. Patty lafond came over and explained to me that they were slicing open. The pericardium is kind of protective sac. Around the heart. And you know it came with that extra bit of packaging and is that is that the liver no the big lark. That's the lung. Wow almost see it expand and contract with breath. She was right. I watched the lungs expand and contract with this placid rhythm that made me think of ocean waves rolling in and out it was earthly and it was familiar and then things got a lot more intense holy crap oli oli smokes boy treading tissue cutting tissue or been sort of like pushing the lung to the left. Whoa broken through to the heart. Which is feeding sort of jumping like a fish and his chest like an angry fish trying violently to escape. But even that's too terrestrial a description for what this looked like. It looked alien. Like creature in a sci fi movie with no familial relationship to humanity. It was startling. Almost frightening. And i will never forget it to think that same thing essentially is also inside of me and dr e and all of you and everyone but when you see it. He think that thing is not to be trusted. Just then dr. Es me. If i wanted to come up cop meant onto the stool. Just behind the blue drape that separates the sterile area where they were operating from the rest of the room. I was standing almost exactly above the patient's body looking down into it and being that close as felt like i was looking at something so fundamental and and i felt like this is not something. A regular schmuck. Let me is supposed to see like if your guts are exposed. And i'm there. It usually means something's gone really wrong. Realize that hearts for so big one thing. I tried to convey a different writings for the general public. Is the beauty of the body. The internal beauty of the body. Sit just takes time breath away every single day funny. I don't think beauty is the first word i would have thought of in this This is not the most beautiful. Are they hook the patient to something called the heart lung machine. A big part of these procedures is outsourcing the work of the heart and the lungs to this big boxy kind of robot with rotating drums in it. This is how they pull off the grand illusion tricking the body into operating without the hard. They send the patients blood to the machine. It oxygenates in pressurize the blood and also cools and then sends it back to the kidneys and the liver and the lungs. All the organs can see that we meticulously remove all bubbles. The bubbles could cause a stroke levels from look bubbles of air in the blood. We were moved them all very carefully. Now sean at the hardest collapsed. Because we've taken all the blood out dr e clamps off the right above the aneurysm that takes the heart out of the circuit they also send a super pulled paralyzing fluid to it held retrograde retro for short so the heart isn't even trying to contract anymore now the patient's vital signs of almost totally seized no pulse of course because his heart isn't beating very little brain activity but it looks like this particular patient isn't as bad off as others so they don't end up having to cool them all the way down to sixty four degrees when they do that. It means zero brain activity no signs of life whatsoever and when the patients that cold they actually turn off the heart lung machine which means no blood flow to the brain so no oxygen under those conditions. It's a race against time. They have forty five minutes to an hour to operate before the brain starts to die while this patient's heart has been beating for more than sixty two years before he was born is still most of us when our hearts stop. It'll mean they're never going to start again and that'll happen at this guy eventually. To of course but this is just a timeout for the heart. A break. I like to think of it as a mini vacation after a lifetime of constant labor in the pump house. Now he's opening the word. I hear looking inside sean. Now you can see the cavernous dimensions of that order. Yeah we could give it a zip code now. They said about the actual mechanical work there in there to do first. They replaced the award. A valve dissolved calcified. And then they swap out the bulgy part of the or two with synthetic tube and after about two and a half hours. They're pretty much done. And it's time to bring the patient back to life. Dr e calls for the official de airing maneuvers that is evacuating any excess air out of the heart before they let it fill back up again with blood and suddenly it's like he's a movie director on set complete with lots of industry terms. They didn't understand. Okay so let a little blood flow through the heart. French some retro for daring. And we'll take a half dozen nice bow salvage. Volvos are deep breaths. The anesthesiologist can actually control the motion of the patient's lungs. Next doctor needs to clamp the aorta to put the heart back into circuit. Low flow for the clamp clamp. Backup up slowly. Salva down retro all the flow to you. Read on green on warm. Holdaway retro again is at paralyzing fluid so they turn that off reading greener both drainage tubes and this is what color they are and warm all the way back to the world of ninety eight point. Six degrees. No scrambled out another hardest. Starting to eat again. It is production at this point. The patient's heart the violent thing. I was so afraid of in the beginning is much more. Docile looks more like a big chicken breast to me. Now doctor he says that probably means. I'm getting hungry which i was. I'm not someone who tends to seek out intense experiences. Not really adventurous. Don't dream about traveling to far away places but looking inside of another human being like that watching a group of people. Open them up fix. What's wrong and close him again. Felt as unusual and unlikely as visiting the moon. It's a place of probably never visit again. And i didn't even know the guy didn't even meet him are say hello How he's doing okay Chonco just wanted the producers of our show. The john f. turrialba says memoir careers a heart surgeon. It's called extraordinary. Hearts can use the rain. Oh off for brooklyn was produced today by them to me. People put a show together today includes element baker. Susan burton dan achievers. Sean cole cornfeld joffe walt andrea lopez. Crisanto tobin gallstone. Nelson catherine raymonda ninety raymond stena ship laura star chess ski louis sullivan christian talbot tyranny and diana managing editor sarah abdurrahman seniors. David kastenbaum our executive editor is a manual berry special. Thanks data alex. Callanan sky dissimilar majestic sergio lopez. Leon godal on a theory angelina moshe. Salazar josie rourke. Melanie belkin shelby. Howick mark dantonio mitchell s jackson's book where he writes about his mom blood donations and so much more is called survival math. This american life is to public radio stations by the public radio. Exchange our website. This american life dot org where you can listen to archive of over seven hundred episodes. Absolutely free things as always your programs. Co-founder mystery tia. you know. He is counting down the days till memorial day. Oh my god. I'm going to wear white pants again. I'm ira glass back next week. With more stories of this american life next week on the podcast of this american life but my coworker david kastenbaum show me the universe splitter app. I'll be honest. I thought it was b s an app the fires a photon and creates an alternate universe. But david does have a phd in physics. You literally just put your finger right up to the button and put it away and fear.

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The Lives of Flies

The Book Review

46:43 min | 2 months ago

The Lives of Flies

"If always said you wanted to read more this summer is yours for the taking empower your inner reader with literati book clubs. Where you can join malala steph. Curry and more on their next reading adventure. Literati delivers their monthly book. Pigs straight to your door so you can spend less time finding a book and more time actually reading it redeem your thirty day trial for only ninety nine cents at literati dot com slash book review podcast head to literati dot com slash book review podcast to learn more and read more with literati. What's so special about flies. Jonathan belka will be here to talk about his latest book superfly. What's wrong with most holocaust books for children marjorie. Engla- will join us to make a case for better books about judaism for kids. Plus my colleagues and i will talk about what we're reading. This is the booker. V podcast from the new york times. It's july ninth pamela paul. Jonathan bell joins us now from belleville ontario. His latest book is called superfly to unexpected lives of the world's most successful insects jonathan. Thanks for being here. Good to be here pamela. I have to ask immediately about that. Subtitle why successful. It's not greatest. It's not most exciting or most helpful. It successful what is success for a fly. Well i'd say a a number of measures the diversity for one there's over one hundred sixty thousand described species and it's important to add that qualifier described. Because it's estimated. There may be about five times that many that are undescribed and consider just how numerous flies are an insect insects up eighty percent of all animal species on the planet. So that says something right there. About how incredibly successful they are and flies are arguably the most species rich subset of insects. It's estimated there's about twenty million flies on earth at any one moment for every human who's on the earth and they occupy all seven continents so those are just some of the measures by which we might conclude that flies are enormously successful. See all of those numbers to me are horrifying and i guess you know flies to me are the stuff of horror movies and also very good short science fiction story on which those movies are made. What was the draw for you to look at flies this extensively and write an entire book about them. The fact that they are so unpopular is one draw for me. I love to explore unpopular animals and usually when one does that one finds many reasons to like them in the case of flies. We should recognize that they are vital pollinators. They ranked second only to bs as the most important pollinators. And they're actually the champion pollinators at high latitudes and altitudes. they're also absolutely vital. Waste disposers yet. That may give us a gross reaction when we consider that many flies cleanup poop and rotting bodies. But if they didn't do that the world would be a lot fowler and more pestilential place and their vital elements of food chains both predators and consumers of microorganism other insects and other creatures but also as food for fishes birds mammals. They play an incredible role in making microbes bioavailable to organisms higher up in food chains microbes are just too small for for other bigger animals to eat insects. Make make make that energy available. So that's another vital thing that they do aren't that that's a lot of work that are doing. i want to go back to the first job you mentioned pollination because we generally associate pollination with is what do flies do specifically with regard to pollination and it sounds like we don't have to worry about the collapse of flies that way we do worry about be is can do what what it is that bees do can. They replace bees in this regard. Or how do they differ. Well hopefully we don't need to worry about the replacing these 'cause hopefully we'll get our act together in the bees. We'll we'll get through their struggles that they're going through now but flies. Basically do the same thing they're drawn to the attractiveness that that flowering plants produce the bright. The nice smells and the nectar reward. I should i should say not always nice smells in the case of fly pollinated flowers or some many flowers specialized for flies where they smell like they smell like unpleasant things to us but things that are very attractive to flies when you consider that ninety percent of the world's flowering plants and there's about a half a quarter million the flowering plants in the world. Ninety percent of those are insect pollinated and fleischer. Is i say right up there with these. It's estimated that the commercial value of insect pollination of plants is over half a trillion a year and yet when i went to the montreal in sectarian a couple years ago and saw a display in the lobby of champion pollinators. There was nary a fly. Incite slides are often overlooked as pollinators. Why maybe the same reason we're having this interviews because we have bad reactions to them. Because of their association with filth and decay and also the fact that mosquitos are flies a true flies and they're quite a few biting flies wreak havoc on on us especially in the in the tropics. But but even up here in canada. Where i live. I don't have a risk of getting malaria. But i do have plenty of risk of getting attacked and bitten when i go hiking in the woods. I don't think most people think of mosquitoes as flies. They are technically speaking a kind of fly. they are absolutely. They are members of dipped her. Which is greek for deitz era to wing. And that's the main characteristic that distinguishes flies from other flying insects. Most flying insects have four wings but flies their hind wing. Along time ago evolved into a baton like structure that aids in balance and stability during flight. So there to wing hence the name dip tra and mosquitoes are very much part of that group all right. Let's talk about what it is. That actually makes a fly. You said earlier that there are one hundred sixty thousand described species. What do you mean by described. First of all that means that's some scientists somewhere has caught them and put them under a microscope and carefully teased out the characteristics in the case of flies some species are so similar that it comes down to the location and shape of a couple of bristles on the on the second leg kind of thing. So it's it's quite a technical task to describe a species. It usually takes several years before it's formalized in published article. I guess you'd say it's called taxonomy. It's the it's the art and science and there is kind of art to it as well because there's usually beautiful illustrations of these creatures. And that's that's the job that some of these scientists do is describing the species. And when i mentioned the other ones that are undescribed. It's they're out there and they probably been out there for a long time. It's just haven't been described yet if scientists put out nets in the tropics. Most of the tropics about ninety ninety five percent to one hundred percent of their sample will be of the flies will be undescribed new species. So that's that's just as speaks to the the undiscovered diversity out there. Let's stick for a moment with the flies that we know so. Mosquitoes are flies. Are there other kinds of flying insects that we might be surprised to find out are also flies. Most people have heard the words midges and nats those kind of popular names for flies. So there's a group called the phantom midges there's frog biting midges fungus gnats hobgoblins flies flies. Which harbor like bees. And then there's hover flies which mimic bees and wasps and there's actually they're so good. As their mimicry of bees that some honey companies have actually put pictures of what they thought were honeybees on on their labels when in fact it was a drone fly that they put a picture of and so they these these benefit by mimicking bees. Because of course these staying in a lot of be predators or would be be predators. Know that and so they avoid these and so the flies get away with mimicking them earlier. We talked about bees and the fact that there are fewer b.'s. and bees are in jeopardy as a species. It sounds like flies are not in trouble. Are they affected. Though in certain ways by climate change or other human misdeeds or are humans inadvertently making flies thrive even more. No i wish. I could say their their unaffected by our depredations but There there is vulnerable to pesticides for instance in herbicides as as other insects are and so when i talk about. The studies showing declines in insect populations and in particular in europe. That's been documented. In in at least in in more than one study estimated a drop of about half of insect populations flies included in the last half century and so flies are very much part of that. I mean i should remind listeners that because they their generation spans short they're they're much more evolutionary nimble than we are. We're much more vulnerable to things like a pandemic and you know this. Cova pandemic reminds us of our vulnerability and that we don't run the show. Humans are not a special priority for nature. And i'm pretty confident in saying that. A million years. After the last human treads the earth. There'll be a fly perched on a leaf somewhere preening her wings. You said there. Generations are short. And i think we're all familiar with fruit flies which are very useful for scientific experiments because of that that short lifespan. Are there flies that live for a long period of time. What's the average lifespan. For a fly fruit flies. It probably pretty typical and as for most flies their their larval stages longer than they're adults dates the adult stage. Maybe a few weeks in the larval can be a few months. I know that some flies in depends on the circumstances. If there's little food available they will remain as larvae for much longer periods up to six or seven years in some cases has been described but some of them are the opposite of that. There's a few tiny midges who only live for a few hours as adults. They're total complete role is to find mates and mate and this time of year. You'll find these swarms of midges usually near water this tons of them around here and there's just like hundreds or thousands sometimes tens of thousands of of individuals in these forms bouncing around really rapidly in flight and those are making those are mating. Swarms they're trying to find good mates and They probably dead by the end of the day. So it's a very short adult life for them. They have spent much more time as as larvae all right since we just touched on their love life or at least their sex life give us a sense of of how social flies are while certainly. When it comes to sex they become quite social A lot of flies do hang out together. I would just mentioning the mid midge storms but in terms of sex and courtship. It's really quite colorful. Although i like to say that fly sex comes in fifty shades of brown. It's actually really complex. And really interesting this gift-giving cannibalism their serenade their complex genitalia. That require one hundred. Eighty degree rotation for correct interlocking. There's some fruit flies have giant sperm. And there's an interesting theories about how that evolved are they all social. Are they like where they are. All in these complicated societies or are some flies loners. Yeah i'd say most lies as adults are loners. They're they're not so much social as gregarious. They're drawn to the same things so i wouldn't call that social interaction although i've seen cowpats in fields in maryland where they've got these dung flies or called dung flies for obvious reasons and they're they're running around displaying to each other males or wrestling each other female male pairs are courting each other. It's really a very socially intense situation. We usually think of mosquitoes as the disease. Carriers of the flying insect world are other kinds of flies carriers of major human diseases. Unfortunately yes. they're biting. Midges that can transmit dan gay Leishmaniasis in them steph. Elitest for instance I i may have that wrong. In terms of which species do. But there's a there's a host of diseases fifteen or so including of course the famous malaria. But there's a number of probably a few dozen biting species of course is the well-known tezzi fly of africa. Just a side note about the tutsi fly. it is a blood feeder. And it's drawn to any number of animals including humans. If they're available their reproductive life history is very similar to ours they have a they have a womb lakes apparatus they produce one young in a year just one baby and they even produce a milk like substance to feed them. So it's just an interesting side. Note about zizi. Flies is is the parallels between their reproduction and hours and what other ways are flies. Just like us. I would say the fact that they're entrepreneurs they're opportunistic. They're incredibly adept at finding new ways to make a living humans or like that and i can tell you lies like that to remarkably adaptable. But they're not like us in their nimble nece that much more nimble than we are with our twenty fifteen twenty year generation span where much slower to adapt to things whereas of fruit fly with twenty five generations per year is much more nimble. Maybe little wonder then that they're so popular. Genetics research are fly smart while they have mines. They have differentiated rains. Structures like mushroom bodies and central complexes in protozoa abrahams and stud careful studies on insects. Show that they they show to use There's aunts that have passed the mirror self recognition tests there's face recognition in the case of flies specifically. They haven't attention span. They pay attention. There's a burst of activity in their brain if they see a new stimulus. But if you continue repeating that stimulus they kind of get bored with it. It's like the way we do if something doesn't change and then you put a new stimulus and the the brain gets excited again. And they're also distracted by that these are the hallmarks of what we call attention. Span and fruit flies. Show that they also show rational decision making and transit of logic and a few other pretty cool cognitive skills. How do they show rational decision. Making that was done with mating flies so female fruit flies. Who could watch other female fruitflies choosing and mating with males even if the scientists carefully manipulated the situation such that that mail was actually not a very good quality male the females who observed that would tend to select that male. Now maybe that doesn't sound rational but it it shows consciousness because they're making decisions based on what they observe. I'll have what she's having kind of phenomenon that's being described to. So that's that's the basis for that all these one hundred sixty thousand described species and probably as you mentioned earlier five times more other kinds. Do you have a favorite or one that you admire or just really enjoyed learning about during your research. Yeah i mean actually no because of this so many It was an absolute. Yeah it really is. It was a joy to research this book because there are so many really neat discoveries. But i'll just give you one example. This is a kind of grim but there are flies in the tropics. Tiny flies their ford flies. They're called and they are specialized in paris to -tising aunts and there's some that are drawn only two injured ants ants getting scuffles without the colonies. And so you end up with injured ans- lying about on the ground and these flies are attracted to the smells and the chemicals that are emitted by these injured aunts. Probably forma casted and the flies land and you can watch videos on youtube from the researchers who studied this these tiny flies land near the ends and they start running around them they run up and tweak them and they pull the leg to see how how injured the aunt is and if the aunt is is incapacitated enough then that little fly will then proceed to get on the on the body of the much bigger end and saw the head off with special mouth parts and then drag the flies. Severed head into a safe nook unperceived to live in that capsule for the next few weeks feeding herself presumably nourishing herself so she can have a good batch of eggs later. I find that that behavior quite remarkable and it's very hard to watch those videos and not conclude that this is a conscious creature this flies conscious and quite aware of what she's doing are well since you've sent us to youtube to watch violent videos of flies. What else should we look up. While we're there fly. Why's that is mating behavior in flies. There's a wonderful video. I think. I even give the lincoln my book of a pair of i don't remember which species may be dense flies but the to see the sort of the four play the tenderness between these two flies this kissing other behavior. It's quite remarkable and it's hard again. It's kinda hard to watch it without making parallels to us. I don't know if entirely persuaded me to love. Flies that completely fascinating subject matter jonathan. Thank you so much. thanks a lot. Pamela jonathan dot. Com's latest book is called superfly. The unexpected lives of the world's ms successful insects. Our world is changing so the cars we drive. An era of electric vehicles has arrived new all electric. Suv's like volkswagen's might tip the scale even more toward vs. But this moment is bigger than one car could government policy affordability battery life and environmental benefits be converging to make the right choice for a better future. It might be the perfect time to embrace electric vehicles to learn more about the all electric volkswagen. Id four with zero direct emissions visit ny times dot com slash. Volkswagen ide- four. If you've heard of blading county north carolina it's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleed in some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges and petty beefs and family history and history history. And it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. It was almost like they realized that we weren't down. Okay they smart. I'm zoe chase host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times told him five parts. Find it where we get your podcasts. Tina jordan joins us now to celebrate the one hundred twenty fifth anniversary of the new york times book review. Tina welcome hi pamela. So the story. I'm gonna bring you today. Actually predates the book review by few short years. But i'm bringing it to you. Because i think it's one of my favorite all-time book items in the early new york times and because it came at a time when book coverage in the paper was just exploding and these were the years that that directly led to the creation of the booker view so this particular piece is called the evil of novel reading. The mischief of veracious novel. Reading is really much more like the mischief of dram drinking. That appears at first sight. It tends to make all other literary nourishment intolerable. Just as dram drinking tints to make all true food tolerable the habit of dram drinking at a said leads to fatty degeneration of the heart so to the habit of exciting novel reading leads to fatty degeneration of the literary mind to an unhealthy and spasmodic action of the imagination and a general weakening of the power of entering thoroughly into the interests of real life. So far as we know the only effective cure for this habit is a moral shock of some kind which exposes the hollowness of all these unreal interests. Now i suppose somebody could say the same thing now about what playing video games. I don't know. I don't know but i feel like this would be very bad news for many people. I know who like both tram drinking and books including me. Thanks tina all right thanks. Pamela marjorie angle joins us now from new york city. She is a former books in culture. Colonists for tablet she is. The author of mamma knows best. She is working on a book about apologised which is something we all need and this week. She writes an essay in the book. View about holocaust literature for children marjorie. Thanks for being here. Thanks so much for having me ella. I wanna talk about this subject at hand your essay but i do wanna pause for a moment on your last book. Mom knows best. what was that about. That was about the jewish mother stereotype and how it fits in a very small span of jewish history. And how in reality there is a reason. And it's not because jews are smarter than other people that jews have done so well in both times of terrible antisemitism and times of acculturation and has to do with the values with which we raise have historically raised children. And it's sort of a call hearken back to those values of literacy and suspicion of authority and encouraging nerdiness and a feeling of outsider. Nece so hopefully it's funny social history and social science book. Well that leads us kind of naturally into the subject at hand because we want to talk holocaust books for children and jewish books in general for children before we even get that though. Let's just talk about books around the holocaust generally. Because i know you don't just read and review books for kids. What is that landscape like here. At the book review it is a given than any year. We will have dozens of books across our desk for all ages about the holocaust why the ongoing interest. Let's start by saying. I think the motives are mostly good. That the idea is to educate people. We live in a time of increasing. Anti semitism. we live in a time of increased fragmentation among the jewish community. Jewish communal people are worried about jewish identity. I think to a degree. Jews are included in the weenie diverse books movement for kids wanting to tell different kinds of stories. And that's commendable but and it's a big but the holocaust is such a important and terrifying topic in needs to be treated with both historical accuracy and age appropriateness and so many books fail this test. I also think that just as black kids deserve more than books about slavery and suffering. They deserve books about black joy and black excellence so to do. Jewish kids deserve books that reflect the incredible diversity and often happiness of their lives. And i think sometimes we push the holocaust because we wanna tell kids. Look where you come from. Look how important it is to be. Jewish people died because they were jewish. When we're talking about children's books that is not a way to make kids feel a connection. You know that means the stories that these books are not telling our stories about sephardic and mizrahi jews stories about other periods of jewish history stories about contemporary jewish life. That aren't just about hanukkah and stories that bring kids happy. It sounds like there are kind of three related. Things going on one is that there are perhaps too many books around the holocaust and that these books are not especially always. Well done the second being that. There aren't enough books. Around other aspects of the jewish experience and jewish history and the third being that it in and this is where i think that analogy brought up around books for black children or about black children is especially relevant. It doesn't sound like there are books where there are just jewish characters who happen to be in stories around other things with books for black children for very long time first of all. They were all relegated to black history month in february but then also they were all around either slavery or the civil rights movement rather than just stories that might be an adventure story or space story. That just happened to feature children. Who were black. I know you. And i are both big fans of as reject keats and snowy day. Which was this absolutely groundbreaking book in that. It was just this gorgeous book about a little black kid loving the snow and it felt revelatory at the time. What's the snowy day for jewish kids. Oh my god such a good question you know. I don't want to make it sound. Like great jewish children's books don't exist. I have a bunch of favorites in every category. Thankfully we have enough that. I can pick what appeals to me as a secular reader as well as as jewish reader. But i'm a big fan of there is a new board book for little kids. You know since we started off with snowy day which most of us know is aboard book called. you're the cheese in my blends. It's rhyming which. I tend to be really wary of but everything's scans and there's wench botulinum which is in ladino which is the language that is not yet ish that is a hybrid of two languages. This one is hebrew in spanish is spoken historically by sephardic jews. Among picture books. I can cry over and over and over again when i read brave girl which is by michelle markle marquel. I'm sorry. I don't know how to say her name. And it's the story of clara. Limbless was a labor leader when she was a teenage girl and i tend to really respond to books about immigration and labor movement. Even on very aware a word that we used to use it tablet. All the time was uscca normative. You want to be sure. You're not only showing the ashkenazi jewish experience but because most books that are already meet the small little criteria of. Is this a jewish book also are ashkenazi. So there's one called z sha. The strong man by carbon which is about a true story about a jewish weightless their files. Flying courses is story that i loved a picture book about the fact that so many of the coney island and other carousel carver's the wooden horses. Carvers were immigrants. Who had made torah arks in the old country and came here and carved these beautiful gorgeous carousel horses. So that was a story about a guy coming over and each horse. He carves reminds him of a family member that he saving money to bring over gene defeats. the pirate. who saved america is another one. I am drawn to history books but you mentioned earlier books about kids who just happen to be jewish. This year's sydney taylor gold. Medallist is a book called dancing at the pity party. It's a graphic memoir by tyler fetter and it's a story of how her mom died when she was in college. I feel like i need to grab people by the lapels Say but wait because it's so funny and so touching and it's a really nice guide to jewish mourning practices in the comfort. You get through them tonight. Al from dogfish which i think has reviewed. Which was. I'm holly goldberg. Sloan and meg waltzer is so frigging funny. And it's like this parent trap. But with gay dads. And it's just incidental jewishness but it's so good. Oh and get a grip divvy cohen. Which is one about an autistic eleven year old girl who loves baseball epistolary relationship. She has with a pitcher who is having career difficulties of his own. And it's so funny and so touching and as the parent of an autistic kid. I just absolutely adored it. Let's do an emotional one eighty and talk about some of the books that you do not love because you single out a few holocaust books for criticism in your piece and let's start with a title. That people might be surprised. You're critical of because it looks like one of those books that every kid is assigned to read in school. It's called the boy with a striped pajamas. What's wrong with that book. And what is it about for those who haven't read it. So the blindster pajamas is about the son of a nazi officer. Who repeatedly visits the fence of the concentration camp nearby and the local concentration camp the local concentration camp and strikes up a friendship with a little jewish boy and the nine year. Old boy has no idea about what his father does. Or what's going on in the world. That aim of the book is noble. The aim of the book is to show that we can build bridges that i believe the children are the future but it is up taking deep breaths as i talked to you because it makes me so angry. It's so irresponsibly done. If you're gonna rent holocaust book history needs to come first. We can start from the top with there were no non year. Old boys living in auschwitz. Because nine year old boys tend not able to do a lot of work and nine year. Old boys tend to. They were gassed on arrival. You couldn't meet a kid at offense because the fences were electrified. A nine year old nazi commanders. Son would quite certainly know what his father did for a living I think the statistic in the piece is something like sixty percent of german youth. Were in the hitler youth at that time. This idea of holy children's innocence is not healthy for anyone problem with wanting to show a happy ending which is understandable. Because you want books to be age appropriate is you are doing a disservice to history. Most of the endings are not happy. That one is really egregious. Let's move quickly to a couple of books. That do address holocaust well and i think you and i share a favourite. Which is number the stars by lois. Lowry we do. She's such a rigorous writer and she doesn't bend truth for the sake of a story. She knows how important the history is. It is about a danish non-jewish drugs friends with danish jewish girl and how she becomes aware of what's happening in the world and ends up working to protect a friend and then to get involved in the actual historical that danish non-jews engaged in to smuggle. They're jus to sweden. It's an amazing story. And she uses back matter to tell the true story and how her book works into it. I think it's pretty much a flawless book. But it does have a non-jewish heroin. It's the story of a righteous gentile. It's the story of heroic rescuer. It's like the jewish kiddie version of the green mile. We have to be very careful not to center the experiences of non-jews when we tell stories the holocaust is jewish story. Unless of course we're telling stories of roma or lgbt people were killed the holocaust also have the right to be centered. But i think we have a lot of righteous gentile stories. And i'm wary and like i feel like once lois. Lowry wrote the perfect book. Find a new territory divine to echo the title of a novel by nathan englander. What we talk about when we talk about anne frank. Let's talk about an frankfurt moment. Oath the book itself but also you mentioned in your essay that there were five picture books about anne frank that came out in a single year alone. Why picture books. About anne frank. And what's right about that are wrong about that. As far as i know there have been two books told from the perspective of the tree outside in frank's house and at least three told by cats. The diary is profound and important book on so many levels but a thing to remember is an frank wanted to be a writer. She wrote that diary in the hopes of publishing it. After the war. I feel like it's an act of disrespect to her as an artist to tell her story in picture book form an end as so many of them. Do with this notion of. I still believe that people are good at heart that should not be the takeaway and if you're trying to put a happy ending on a story that ends the way in france story. Did you shouldn't be telling the story. I just remember for so many of us. Kids who grew up before this giant glut of holocaust picture books and frank was one of our introductions to the literary treatment of the holocaust and. It's it's a stunning book. And i think we should give her the respect of letting her tell her own story. Let's end with one more book recommendation. You were judge for the city. Taylor book awards. Which book won the metal. So the winners this year. Were welcoming elijah a passover tale with a tale by the wonderful leslie newman. Which is the story of an extremely diverse seder in a little kitten outside. We opened the door for elijah seder. It's beautiful and funny and she's a poet and it reads like poetry it is astounding in the millward. Category turtle boy by an evan wolfenstein one which is so funny and so we be in a purifying way about a boy who has to so project for his arm. Itza and his grudging volunteering. That ends up being a really great thing for him. And he's called turtle boy both because he's obsessed with turtles and because he looks like a turtle because he's he's he's facing facial surgery because of his very receding chin it's autobiographical and so funny and for young adults. They young adult medal went to designate the pity party. Which i think. I mentioned which is by taylor better. And it is so funny and so sad and so constantly illustrated and it's really a meditation on grief with something which is something we're afraid of which is funny when we're all doing all these holocaust books but it's a tribute to her mom. And it's baril lenient. Martyring angle is a former books and culture columnist for tablet. She is the author of mamma knows best. And our essay on children's books about the holocaust and judaism appears in the book of you this week. Marjorie thank you so much again for being here. Thank you so much for having joining us now. My colleagues dramatic achieve and elizabeth egan. Hey there i know. Thank you for having us shimada. It's been awhile since you've been on the podcast. Tell us about what you've been reading. Oh thank you for having me back. It's a delight. Always so i actually. I'm going to talk about a book. That i just started this morning. I will say one thing. I totally missed about commuting. Is my subway reading time. But i found a way to start it even at home so i just started ruth executives novel a tale for the time being because i realized i needed some levity after reading a bunch of janet malcolm on the beach had a moment as like. I need some. Need some lightness here. So this book is about a woman named ruth so there is some sort of auto fiction element going on. She sees this. Hello kitty lunch fox. That washes up on the coast. She lives somewhere in the pacific northwest. And they're these diaries from a teenager in tokyo and they're actually very philosophical and they're very lighthearted they really feel like adolescents voice and she's such a funny narrator and so i'm only a chapter two into it but i'm totally engrossed so far. Have you read her before. I haven't but liz actually was telling me when you're chatting before him that she loves rufus acurite lintz. You've read some of her stuff. Yes i read. What i believe is her first book called my year of me. It came out in nineteen ninety eight. And it's a novel about how animals are treated before they're slaughtered basically and it is so far ahead of its time. If you go back and take a look you will not believe that. This is a twenty plus year old book and it's not a sad as it sounds. It's funny especially retreat about squatter houses. But it's really really good. And i haven't read her other books but i've i've always intended to and on the fan. She's a book coming out. This full and i learned that she is a zen priest which is amazing. I don't know how many books by priests irene anymore. Now that i'm out of call so You know so. That's been nice. It's a very soothing book. You might think a teenager would have a lot of adolescent roiling or something but it's a very soothing almost meditative book so far so highly recommended but liz tell us about what year reading these days while might will that soothing as enriching and it's an older book it came out in two thousand nine called the lost child philomena lee. It's the book that was turned into a movie. Called philomena starring judi dench and it's by british journalist named martin sixsmith and it's a true story about an irish girl named philomena lee who in nineteen fifty was pregnant. She was a teenager and she was sent to leave in what was essentially a workhouse in county tipperary in ireland run by nuns until she had her baby and to make a very long story short. This was a common practice in ireland at the time and she was able to be with her son until he was three years old and then the nine sent him off to missouri actually to be adopted by prominent catholic family the boy grew up mainly in illinois and filming remained at the convent and paid off her debt to the nuns and then eventually left and years past and her daughter reached out to martin sixsmith to ask him if he would help find. This child Her mother had given up for adoption. This story is about how philomina and her son. Who in the united states became. Michael hess how they searched for each other for the rest of their lives and the movie philomina focuses very much on filipinas perspective but the book is actually mainly about the life of martin hess which is fascinating in the sense that he grew up to become a very prominent lawyer in washington. He worked for the reagan and the bush administration's as he was dying of aids and also as his party and his employer was very slow to respond to the aids epidemic. I had seen the movie. And i'm really enjoying getting inside the head of of michael hess in this book. I picked it up. Because i was actually writing something that is somewhat linked to this irish practice that has thankfully ended of imprisoning wayward women in these. They were known as magdalene laundries. And i picked it up intending just to dip into it. And i have not been able to put it down. It's incredibly sad but also incredibly uplifting in the sense that it shows the strength of the bond between this mother and her son. I read out neither priests nor nuns. I'm gonna talk about a book that i actually read a few months ago. And i've been meaning to talk about in the podcast. I was just looking for the right moment. I'm going to choose to align myself as jumana in that. This is a fun. Lighthearted book and i read it because our colleague tina jordan actually got me this book. It's called my family and other animals by gerald durrell and she was stupified that i hadn't read it before we were talking about books that are funny and books that are light and no surprise that something that i think many of us were looking for during the pandemic and that's when i read this book during the deep pandemic still unvaccinated on one tiny little vacation that i talk and this book is about a family vacation. I was on a family vacation. I was not in corfu greece. Which is where this book takes place instead. I was in a not particularly nice corner of the poconos with. There's just no comparison okay. I'm sure there's lot of good things to say about the poconos. But i'm not the person who's going to say those things so it was nice to read about this idyllic island in greece. And apparently this book has been turned into. Pbs masterpiece series called. Tyrrell's in corfu. The book was published in nineteen fifty eight and gerald durrell. Grew up to be a zoologist and you can see where he got that in this book which is about his family decamping from cold damp british climbs to greece. And he's the youngest of four children and he is obsessed with animals and insects and he spends his days on this island trumping about with a magnifying glass looking for horrible creatures and often bringing the back to the house and tormenting his older siblings with these horrible things. That will end up in unexpected places in the house. And it's really funny. It's not just about insects and other things that bite. It's mostly about the siblings. And the mother is a widow and the other siblings are much older than little gerald. I think is probably around ten years older so in the course of the book. It's been a few months since. I've read it so don't remember the details but i remember is very funny dialogue really great characters. This is a book. If you liked. Nina's debbie's love nina that you'll love. Oh my god it's okay. You would love it liz. It's about very clever often. Very biting mean siblings. That also love each other in that cold bitter british way earlier. Era this island in greece. I'm sure it was less developed than the island of england at that time. And you kind of wish that it that it would have stayed that way certain respects. It's very much life in a rural area village life. Everyone seems to know everyone else and just kind of full of local color. Sorry highly recommended. I think it was there. Were follow up books in the series and then of course the went onto rates other books more specifically about non human animals as well and the pbs series is amazing for what the series that i watched that in the dark days of the pandemic with my mother who is pbs aficionado. And it's actually hysterical. So if you're looking for a great after book experience. I would highly recommend it reach amount of you and i can switch places. I'll watch the tv show now and very liz. You can do both get when tina jordan recommends that you do something or buy something or read something you will do x. Just however up and repainting and she only she makes good recommendations. Yes i will definitely read it. That sounds really good. Yes and i want to read. Actually but that she's recommended about nuns. Which is the corner that held him. So i i will move onto nuns sued. Who has she has recommended that one to me several times and i've been somewhat disobedient. I can handle so many books about nuns. You need to space them out. Yes it's why it's was taking time in between your your none books so definitely. Let's run down titles again. Shimono what did you read. So i am reading a tale for the time being by ruth. Zaki i just finished the lost child of thorough premier li by martin sixsmith and i finished a few months ago. But i still remember some of it very fondly. My family and other animals by gerald durrell remember. There's more at ny times dot com slash books. And you can always write to us at books at ny times dot com. I write back not right away. But i do. The book review. Podcast is produced by the greed. Pedro rossato from head. Stepper media with a major assist for my colleague john williams. Thanks for listening for the new york. Times i'm pamela paul.

new york times malala steph pamela paul Jonathan belka Jonathan bell deitz Volkswagen marjorie dan gay malaria tina jordan zizi pamela jonathan Pamela jonathan zoe chase
When Pop Music Trolls Grow Up

Popcast

50:31 min | 2 months ago

When Pop Music Trolls Grow Up

"Looking to the new york. Times podcast your. I'm a cow full of nutritional values of music news and criticism. I'm your host. John kerry monica. That's a big does does your 'grande does yari owed awesome oats. Oh oh my god. Does account album out is called planet. Her it is the number two out in the united states of america behind tyler. The creator call me. If you get lost what do tyler. The creator and does a cat have in common justin. Charity from the ringers. You're justin tell the people have in common that we all here together in the racial chat rooms. Okay but it's it's that right. It's that they are to my mind. They are they are edge lords at heart. They are very different ways. They are trolls. The movie the ed trolls three trolls three electric filigree. I like the synergy. Keep this up of course. So here's the thing. I actually was going to write this piece. I was gonna write. The kind of trolls grow up. Tyler in doda double review but after careful review of both of these albums. I'm not sure that the trolls have grown up. You wrote about the record for the ringer. I think you think maybe does has grown up a bit. I actually just think that. She has metamorphosed in her trolling. I low key think that they are both trying to pass as extra roles but actually still trolling combat descriptions rate. First of all you. You're the one who introduced this growing up framing. I'm with you in the doj case right that in a way that's actually frustrating to me. Doj cat has kind of compartmentalized her origin story. Now i don't want to call her origin story because you wanna give her credit for the fact that she had a studio debut out before she blew up with the cow song right but compartmentalize the most intriguing bit of her breakthrough moment. Which is her being as we once covered on a previous podcast episode together in the proverbial racial chat rooms showing the proverbial feet right. That no longer feels like it's a part. I just can't i just say. Can i just say bleep. Okay fine please content. But that's the thing right. It's for somebody who had in her breakout moment. Just a really bizarre in extremely online. Marathon of controversies right. I think now at the album. Three stage of doj cats career still going strong right. Yes that feels so distant in a way. And she's done such a good by good. I mean bad arguably job of making you kind of accept her as just a kind of standardized pop star but i feel like people disagree with me but that reading like i i just think her music her personality and her music. Jimmy is too low key especially on this this third album. She too low key for me. No this is no no wait about this because yes metha- here's here's why. This is a profoundly frisky album. This is very frank talk. This is an album that makes the baby and meghan the stallion blush. This is ap. Yeah this is gained. And i think if we're going to sort of like retrain late how doda is in my mind. Still a troll is that she's baking in this it very very intense frisky nece and salaciousness into what i would agree with you. On is fundamentally very acceptable. Very neutral wide ranging pop production opposite of trolling is if you're sneaking it in and then when people expect something that's very neutral but then you kind of like slap them a little bit on the side of the cheek they actually. It's this other thing that feels a little bit truly to me. Okay well a first though. Can you do the hosting in like explain to people who didn't listen to our divide ranging conversation about doj cat people however long ago people don't have tattooed on their forearm league. We we're talking about doj cat being troll like what are we talking about. I guess just sort of lay that out a bit. I wanna laid out. I wanna lay it out more. Broadly because i think the ways in which dosier cats and tyler were trolls were very different. I think tyler early in his career was a proactive provocateur enemy of the people. Self aware. Kneedler of liberal comedy. You know what i mean does it was. I think maybe a little bit more. You mentioned the word edge lord like maybe a little bit more almost wanna say. An eccentric who kind of rear ended her way into the most centrist space and found that her eccentricities like did not translate at all. Yeah that's that's right. And in fact i would say maybe is out of concede that it's too strong word. It's more like she was just very online lately. She's just very sort of she's like a forum brat is kind of put it go right yes. She's someone who i've been thinking. A lot about context collapsed recently. You know as you do. But she's someone who. I think not that she never wanted to be in a different context but i think never considered that the way that she presented in those very special online spaces that you alluded to earlier might ever be subjected to the scrutiny of another context. I just don't think that ever crossed her mind. And then when did get that scrutiny. So to be honest her apologies as in so much as they were apologies. Were always kind of half assed. They were laying. And i'm not even say she should apologize. I'm just saying there's something in where she was kind of like. I don't know whatever. Don't take it serious. That's what i found fascinating about doj cat in the beginning is that actually thought her climactic apology for for sort of cavorting with who sells the internet would happen. Who actually thought her apology was fascinating. I i look at her thirty minute. Instagram live apology now are typed on youtube rate as one of the fascinating documents. Can you break it down for people who have not watched it all. Can you like give give a couple of highpoints points. It's like in the beginning of this apology. Videoed doges saying you know what i recorded. A hundred twenty previous drafts of this video earlier this afternoon. And you know what. I'm just gonna keep it real with y'all and she goes into this matter. Commentary discussion about that. Idea of apologies right. As a public relations maneuver and like what people are looking for from her instead of accounting for her sort of weird unseemly online digital footprint pre fame and. i don't know. I think there's a lot in the video. That's actually pretty sympathetic. I'm receptive to doj cat. Pulling the i don't know don't take it so serious. Is that not in essence the current state of all social media like okay on tick-tock. Right i feel like i follow any number of kids you know. They're in their late teens. Early twenties and they have like highly refined social media presentations. it's character driven even if it's autobiographical it's character driven right. And then one video goes like weirdly left right. it ends up being viewed by people who don't get the joke. They aren't in on the character work. Whatever and then all of a sudden they're issuing dosier cat apology on the one hand. I'm very sorry that this joke didn't translate across lines but also on the other hand. Don't take it so serious. I'm gonna be back tomorrow. And then those kids like to a person. Just start making videos one two three days later and then they go back to being who they were is that not in essence the doj account approach and is that not the condition of being extremely online in a highly politicized era. Yeah but i think in a really acute way doj cat especially by this album rate again three steep. it's like she represents this idea of work life balance. You know what i mean like. I think there's a sense in which she probably still. I mean she is in a lotta ways a weirdo on the internet. It's just that that part of her life feels so effectively segmented out of her musical career. If that makes sense in a way that. I don't like like i like that. She i liked it when i first learned about this person. She was massih and disagreeable and again. She still is in some ways. But do you like pure autobiographically transparent. Pop star's no and. That's why i'm surprised by my reception at doj cat right because usually the thing with if we're talking about a drinker taylor swift rate like when i said this when they're in my piece at the ringer when i was writing about the doj had album is a lot of pop stars. Make you put up with albums that are basically glorified lor dumps ray. It's just it's anything. That taylor swift in her personal life that she's gone through between her last album inter next album. Her album is just kind of pretext for like telling stories about her life. And making sure. You're up to date on all of the the diary entries of the life of taylor swift and if you're into that kind of pera social attachment to celebrities and entertainers. I'm sure that's great. I just don't that's just not my relationship to music. Usually usually i feel like i'm a person who's sort of i would love to give celebrities more space to have a life i don't know about. I would love to reduce my exposure to the musician to just being about their music but then doj cat comes along great but that's interesting. Because does your cat is the perfect exemplar of that. Yes she is and a hate it a little bit all of that so funny because to me. It's actually the thing. That i think has made her ascent into whatever to your. A pop stardom. She's in the most seamless. Oh absolutely because work. Because unlike taylor or drake where we are kind of like triangulating the kind of like us weekly of it with the music. Josiah cat i think there's an understanding whether it's within the dosier cat camp or from like the types of gossip sites or whatever or celebrity coverage that would ordinarily cover a pop star of this stature. There's an understanding that whatever's happening in her world. It's almost i'd to say it's grim. I don't know if it's grim. But it's too edgy. It doesn't hugh familiar celebrity arcs and narratives right. But that's what's exciting about it. No i agree. But that's actually would freeze up her music to be just pure cop piss perfection. Theoretically i should like that as somebody who generally wants to give celebrity entertainers more space to not be sort of like over shares. Right but with doj cat. I think i recognized early on this sense of wait a minute. We're about to make an evil cat girl from the internet into a popstar. We must seize this opportunity. Like this is i mean. I looked at her. As kind of a breakthrough for quarters of culture that are otherwise kind of marginal rate she seems so underrepresented or at least the most interesting things about her seemed so underrepresented in like you said this at a pop star archetype that i think that's why i was so eager to write her a pass and be like no no no no be weird and disagreeable in the way that you are and like. Let's let's run with this and see how it plays out right. And i see someone around her is like no. That's too chaotic. And off putting but you know i'm chaotic in massey myself right so i'm like yes. Ask give me more of this. Yes in the music doesn't give me that and i met no but that's interesting because you genuinely don't listen to this album and hear someone who is essentially dancing within familiar lines but kind of like extending double middle fingers while doing it. You don't hear that. I hear it on a writing level rate but i feel like i never hear from the music art. Let's listen to from this album. I think what you're saying about. The music is correct. And whether this is dr luke thing or a doj guy. I think the thing that we can say about dosier for sure is. He's extremely versatile. And this is something. We often take for granted in the post. Drake universe that everybody's going to be like. Oh i say i rap. I do afro beats i do reggae. I do our hip hop whatever we take it for granted. That's just normal. But she's very good at almost all the things that she puts her mind to. So whether it's again her producers hemming her in in some way or it's her desire to make genuinely like slick corporate shaped pop music. I don't know the answer to me. That doesn't bother me. What does kinda like give me a little bit of a like thrills is. I'll be listening to the songs and thing haw this is so kind of like mercenary. It's so effective. It's so clean. It's so like crisply shaped and then you start listening to lurks and you're like wait a minute. This is absolutely outta pocket. And to me. If we're gonna talk about dosier catlike troll growing or not growing up that to me is a little bit of a troll. It's sort of like. I'm gonna rope you in a little bit. I'm gonna let you think everything is smooth and sweet all good. And then boom actually. It's raunch fast. Twenty twenty one. So i think that high-tension you're describing right between slick polished commercial tech nicole on the one hand out of pocket on the other. I just think that that tension feels a lot more tot ineffective on hot. Pink rates is the second album. I think this new album has what i can only describe as the life of pablo problem. Life of pablo would be a great album unambiguously great album to me but in the middle of the life of pablo you have this molten sludgy core of aren be quicksand where that album just kinda grinds to a hall and you have to listen to chris brown for six minutes. That's kind of how i feel about the new album right. I just feel like there's something about how i get the raunchiest but it feels like the middle of the album just kind of pulled me out of it real hard in all of the verve and all of the reverence that i felt like also applied the music to the production on hot pink. It just feels so sapped on this album but easy not somehow more transgressive to be josiah cat to be the person who did the initial macau breakthrough who is essentially an extremely online person. Thrust in the stardom is it not somehow more transgressive to do that in the glitziest package. Possible technically yes. And i think that's the answer to a lot of things with doj cat at this point is technically. Yeah because that's what she does right. And that's kind of why. I brought up work life balance because i. I don't know listening listening to this album. I really do have this sense of doj cat. Who is someone who is kind of like an overachiever rate. Like all of the. She can do everything she can do it and make it sound easy like she makes a lot of things. Sound easy on this album and to me. It's sort of like that's her thing right is she's not just like she wants to win. She is in it to win it and she. She's in it to win it in these really white collar professionalize commercialized chart performance terms. And so technically. I get the idea that the songwriting she's applying to that end is subversive technically but it can feel a little bit like not a misapplication of her talents. But i i don't know i kinda still want more i want a larger and messier like i. I just know that there's more there. I guess is what i'm saying. I feel like. I'm watching the olympics or something with her right like there's more there i don't need you to land the whatever the thing is. Are you saying that this dosier cannot miss the equivalent of like skateboarding at the olympics. Right yes thank you. Thank you for that john. Grandma thank you. I appreciate you. Yes skateboarding at the olympics. The doj cats story. I don't want the entire theme of this episode to me being baffled. The you don't think that does. Your cat is highly trolling on his album. But i think it's bizarre that's not where you're coming. It seems so obvious. Or so plain to me that inserting this kind of raunch inserting this riskiness in these incredibly tidy packages and then seeing just how much you can get away with an still have a number. Two album still have radio hits data me. It is a careful dance and it is not the trolling of an outsider. It's the it's the tournament outsider. Who finds themselves on the inside and kinda doesn't know how to process. Thought i tell myself that. I am one of one people in criticism who think that the katy perry amigo song bone apetite is great and fantastic actual thing so you. Are you taking for granted way way way. Let's let's listen just to reinforce that point i'll eat have gotten seduction cash. The gpo so yes. That's a bad song but it's in a way that sort of like i listened to that sound like that song was success in my head and so i'm saying about the raunchy but to me it's like almost feel like you're talking about it as if the rest of pop radio is made by arch catholics. Who don't have sex. That's fair fair. You know what i mean. The bar is high. For the integration. Of ron pop. Music in my mind year i know. Does it hires my point. Okay so you think that she is deliberately dialing back tiling it back or again like compartmentalizing part of herself were sort of quarantine often saying you guys. Don't get to see that unless you just go on. My instagram aren't tic tac right. It's one of those things where it's like. I feel like the actual to understand doj cat. You can't really just listen to album like you really need to to really get the full or even to begin to get the full entertainment value and to really get with doj cat is all about you have to go elsewhere in the that seems like on the one hand kind of the modern scenario for everybody in every space right like social media is a part of your presentation whether you're journalists whether you're rapper singer president. Whatever it's a maybe that just makes sense but to me it's just like i just wish. More of this stuff was on the album rather than something that have to sort of. Go away from the album and find elsewhere. Either in her again in her weird origin story in her breakout record that she now writes off as oh that was just a joke or in her social media feeds like i just wish more of it felt like it was on the records. I feel you. But i guess for me. And obviously like i'm not immune to the role of raunch in contemporary pop and hip hop like not at all but there is a particular frankness and directness. In kind of like who me i did that like. There's a little almost like a wink. Wink nudge nudge. Like you know. I'm getting away with something here. That let me know that the part of her that i think you're right we do see on social media va- part of her did show up in the studio the same day that she was recording to the cleanest pop be production of the year. That's how it feels to me. Okay let's take a quick break and we'll be back as i wanted to tyler for a minute. Leading county. North carolina made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud. The story behind that election is actually a story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges petty beefs family history and history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. I'm zoe chase host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times. Find it wherever you get your podcasts. Like we said before the way that dojo was a troll on the way. Tyler wasn't trolled. Those were different. Can you talk a little bit about early. Tyler and almost like tyler one point no in how that perversely set the stage for like ebor tyler as quote unquote real musician tyler. The grammy winner. Cue talk about that art. Because i feel like this album doesn't exist without that arc you may have to speak more authoritatively and objectively. Because i'll tell you in this is this is this is the part of the pike has become a huge hypocr. Right all of that stuff. That i'm begging for more from doj cat. It's the stuff. I didn't like about tyler. In the beginning like all of the. I remember the first waves of you know. Odd future panic. Let's call it right. Like why aren't was real. It's real right. I read like think progress articles about. How the creator was and so. I think a lot of people who at the time were coming. Only say that just because there was a version of not being in tyler the creator and odd future in the beginning. That was about finding them like. Oh i'm offended by this or whatever and to me it wasn't that can i sai- bar. I as someone who has lived through an number of generational hip hop in the mainstream or entering the mainstream. I knew enough to know that odd future was part of a very very proud heritage. But i recently read my first odd future piece. Which was the first interview. I did with them and when they played their first new york show appalled them around that day and the intensity of the online conversation about them was so strong at that point that i could tell it leaked in to my writing that piece i could feel myself like triangulating a little bit like kind of like what if this goes bad. Nothing in my sort of like authentic heart made me think you would go bad but i could tell. The energy was so negative so anxious so hostile that. When i read that piece i was like haw like i was like on the road. Let table and i was like. I should just put you know a chip on this random number. I don't think it's going to win. But it would be really weird if it one and i seemed like i had no clue that it was going to win. You know it has that energy. And that's a bummer. I bummed me out a little bit to reread but it was. You know that that none of us bags diety was real. I will say that. Meyer reacting the odd future. That moment was not it. Wasn't you know gasping like that. My reactions were like oh all right. You know what i mean and i think that i literally heard. I've literally heard brother lynch hung album. Yeah yeah should we play earl right now just to remind people of the shock of twenty seven. I'm bothered astronaut crashed to watch zaken. Awesome eaten applesauce turn. The tap sauce knocked blood caskets and laugh it off with imag cattle back. The mosque sixty. But you don't have been a blizzard with all those other records. Nothing about early on future fell out of step with any of that other stuff. I remember responding less to whatever elements of odd future problematic ray in more responding negatively to the sense in which i don't know i just vaguely looked at odd future and thought all right. These are the kind of black kids who are going to sort of beat me over the head with their story. About how like were black kids. But we're different nolan. Understands you know what i mean like. We're the different. It's sort of like the other side of the coin of like the childish. Gambino thing later on right sit of were black kids but we're not like the other black kids and that kind of posture is something that my entire life i have always found irritating and off-putting and i think i just read that and maybe projected that even late too heavily onto odd future and so it was a hard no for me dog for a long time for everyone associated with that group. You randy jackson's absolutely i did. Oh my lord admitted. I admit it that said when i did revisit this piece one of the things that i was aware of. And there's you know. There's a bunch of tyler in this piece you can see and my memory of that day tyler's trying on the personality right. It's like oh like if i turn it up to eight. Are people going to be mad. Like are they gonna cancel the show. You know like our our lose. Whatever clout or whatever momentum i have okay no what about if i turn up to an eleven okay. What about thirteen. And i remember that day being like a number of ekg moments. Of just. like. I'm gonna try this thing. Just see what happens but of course the punchline as you and i know nothing happens. It's fine you could be a six at eight twelve. A twenty-seven on the extreme scale generally speaking very little happens it doesn't derail something that has like authentic momentum and so it's interesting because if you are sh- rolling but the trolling becomes the raise on debt. If what you're trolling against kind of like shrugs you off sort of and just as those kids are over there like whatever like we don't mess with bamboo like they're gonna do them. Is that a troll. Do you need like the foil. In order to be the troll my contingent with the doj thing is like the foil is centrist pop in early future like or even laid off future. Do you need a foil in order to be a troll. I don't know if. I compare how i react it again. It's an age thing as part of it right. I was younger when eminem was thing right. But we're eminem was sort of terrorizing americans. Yes i be younger. Eminem was a white rat right like the foil. If you take someone like eminem rate another sort of high level commercially successful shock value rapper. The foils were obvious and there were a multitude of them and in fact he was very good in the eminem moment of every month. Picking out a new foil right. Like i remember all the eminem disrupt kurds i remember the moby stuff but also the benzino stuff like you know what i mean. Eminem was a guy who understood that part. Of if you're gonna be that kind of guy you need to know how to pick a good fight. And you're i do think there is something about the odd future moment. Where kind of shocked you're right. It felt different because it was kind of listless in a way for all the angst and off putting this to it. It didn't really have clear antagonists. Outside of maybe complaining about blogs right one of the great rapper pastimes of the two thousands complaining about blogs. I guess and to be fair. There was pushback as far as some of the choices of language slur discount. Any of the no no nor do i. But also the twist of courses it turns out that odd future had a much more complicated relationship to all of those worlds then was clear upon first glance. You know if there was a burden placed on them by saying oh you're being politically incorrect or so and so forth. I do think over the course of a few years with frank and then said or other said then frank and then tyler all expressing themselves on varying degrees of the sexuality spectrum that critique kind of organically went away kind of like crumbled somewhat. It didn't go away. But i think the benefit of hindsight said. Oh okay this gave the critique texture maybe the criticism i think the thing that went away was like the criticism or the the sort of denouncement the sense of denouncement about on feature. But if feels like it's still very much a part of that group's thing that you had all this homophobic stuff than gives way to tyler. Coming out frank being gade cetera et cetera rate. It's not like i think. That's waived away. It's just that it. It has a very different significance now than it did then. Is there something that's happening on this album. Structurally that is troll ish albums bombastic erin but to me in a great way me in a very specific way because i thought and i mentioned this and the piece that i wrote when tyler wins the grammy for ebor. Everybody is like oh backstage. it's like he's he's taking a shot at the grammys. Why'd you have to put you know all black artists and the categories and why won't you put like artists pop categories especially if they make a pot minded record and that's what people gravitated towards but onstage. He was like i never accepted. Irap and this album feels to me like kind of like. Oh yeldan warming watch me. Make a better rapidy rap album. Watch me make like a ferrall meets. Zelda record rated slathered drama all over it yes Yeah i understand what you're saying in that sense. Yes they think all the time about that song from that one game album. Martians vs goblins is with wayne and tyler on it and for a long time that that sort of that record really encapsulated would. I didn't like about tyler for a long time. Which is that. I thought he was a try hard right again. That's always the line. You're walking if you're sort of shocked. Rapper eminem objectively was a try hard. It's just that he tried hard to great effect. Whereas like with tyler for a long time you could sort of see you could see that insecurity of the guy who had gone to say like. I feel like rap. Never you know what. I mean like you could smell it on him in earlier. Phases of odd future. And i just never really liked that sent whereas on this album. I i think you're right about. What are the fashion statements. Essentially that he's making with the structure in production of this album. But i don't smell the insecurity instead. It feels like the thing. That's great about this album is like it's an arrogance as opposed to an insecurity. Oh that's interesting. that's what i want. I want the arrogance. I don't want the kid who sort of shuffling awkwardly with his hands in his pockets being like well. I'm black kid. But i'm not like the other black kids. I don't feel accepted by. I want the guy who's like no. I'm i'm gonna be full on noxious with utmost confidence. Let's listen to lumberjack. Which is i think. Basang the kind of underscores everything you're talking about to fall on. His own is really a catch on my wall. This album has an arrogance and a level of energy. That's it's not just about you. Know his ability to sound like a rapidly rap rapper. he sounds like that on martians versus goblins. But it just sounds kind of corny to me. They mean it's this album. It's different because you just feel like like. I would credit tyler with growing up quiz like that is actually what it sounds like to me. Four tyler being active embedding pushback into the very kind of dna. The music is something a he will always do. 'cause weird way. I would have thought post eager. I thought maybe this was not in him anymore. I would've thought that perhaps in i okay. We've made it. Were making these kind of like neo. Ferrall records like we're making library music. You know we're making jazz soul jazz right but like that's and that's cool like look. I did it all the things that i said i was going to do ten years ago. I did it. I want grammy. Everything's fine and even on this album. What's the interlude call where he likes sort of says the crazy. Oh it's called. let's just do a little bit of. Last floor's going insane smell good. Nell pilots can't flaw one of the best skiing friends way. This is tyler being like. Yeah look at everything i'm doing. I'm amazing i'm doing all these things. I would have thought that with the end point and then we would. Maybe only be talking about tyler in almost like a boring context of like well. He did ebor three now. You know like it's just another. Like i thought there was a chance that would go in that direction. I liked so much about this album. Is it feels like a reactivation of a sentiment. That was genuinely of the motivation of the early tyler stuff this articulation of it is different when you were saying. You didn't necessarily know if tyler had him. There is a point where i thought tyler would peak in a way that i would say which is when tyler was basically responsible for that two year twitter discourse of people jockeying for credit for liking any. Rdc before it was cool like is that that's sort of like post cherry bomb right where you're just like this it. It felt kind of pathetic. Frankly ray like i liked any are d. in high school yet. I mean i think that's kind of high fell about that. Particular phase of tyler's career right before this album is that it fell a little bit up. Its own ass a more mature way than their early on future stuff is right. It's still felt a little bit like arrested development right where he's just like. Why are we re litigating. The popularity of any r d. This is not an interesting thing to do. Oh i thought you meant arrested development. I'm like god. I thought you were about to start quoting speech but i again. I think we're saying very the same thing. And i found myself really really relieved doing it in the structure against the girls tape having drama showing up to talk about having all his toes out etcetera etcetera. Light nice again fed frenchman ice cream. It's great but it's almost like a little over determined. Because i think if you even just like but it's like if you like filtered out all the dj drama stuff you'd still have like a very very convincing rap record by someone who just won the best rap album for a not very rap record and said that. He didn't feel embraced by the rap community. I don't know that. I can embrace the term over determine. I think you're right. If you take the drama stuff off you have a great record. But i also think that the drama all that ad-libbing is what kind of helps bolster its ish credentials. Insurers i look. I don't disagree. I'm just saying it would have worked without. It may be what it worked less. But it's still wanna work. I would've worked but it would have worked in a way that would have been a lot more expected and fell a lot more consistent with again. I think the stretch of tyler discourse that seemed to just be content with this guy talking about ferrall constantly and like giving us excuses that twitter arguments about any r. d. like i don't know it's a flourish but i also think it's essential but it's also in essential. I dunno i dunno. It gives it an energy. The drama gives a very particular energy. And i just really strongly believe that tyler needed that energy. I know i keep returning to this idea. But i i wonder here. We have tyler doj cap right both in their own way extremely online especially in relationship to the arrows in which they came up right both in their own way version of trolling or teetering towards adler. Depending i you read it. Is there in the modern pop structure where pop stars are made online. Is it perhaps necessary for a true new generation. Popstar to have some element of the troll in. No i still think that this is where we start. Playing a bts record is only the. I think the appetite is still there right for the centrist pop musician who primarily sees their job to be a kind of soft bedtime story. Narrative craft as taylor. Swift does or even some kind as right lake in is a troll. Taylor's withdrawal taylor's connie's agreed troll right but then he's he's over hill. You know way that you're right. He's like getting close to how van morrison's a drill. Okay run through okay here. Let me play a game with you right okay. I'm playing a game with you. I'm van morrison Jokes boris in. I'm going to read you the names of some people who currently have songs like on the billboard. Hot one hundred and you gonna say troll or not troll okay. Uh-huh bts no come on now. No livia rodriguez yelm leaning now. Dually no no no no no. Yeah i think now laws x. Okay we. We're going disagree over this. I you don't make. I don't think he's a good troll. I'm be honest with you actually. Don't think which i think is trying to it. Feels a little too telegraphed and a little too stage-managed his trolling at this point. And i get the troll routes. They i i mean he has legitimate online roots and yet i just think at this stage of his career. His sense of trolling is just too much. I don't know is to corporate. it's kind of like he's corporate rolling. It is it is it's corporate. Trolls still suck kind of energy. His origin felt very different from lake. Little yachties trolling. But now he's just converged with blow yadi and they're trolling fields identical issues like corporate rolling interesting. Okay here's an interesting. What ed sheeran. Oh man okay. I mean is yeah me yes yes yes. That's correct answer that yes. I shout ed sheer alto header and baritone. Yes literally shoutout. Ed sheeran who i spent a lovely day with in austin for a story once And who i can assure you gets it. Yeah that's all i'm gonna say. I think the spirit of your question array is like. How scalable is trolling. I guess is is a division rate. You can talk about within hip hop hip hop has very specific lineages of trolling than we would have to talk about. Takashi rate ooh who hit in and then you have this sort of larger scale. That i think you're talking about which is like what does it mean to have another doj cap but doj cat. Who sort of does but. I'm begging catch. Do which is be a weirdo in the way that we know. She's a weirdo. But she's trying to pretend on these albums. There is a a sexuality. Those songs there is a sense of frisky has site. That is your word of this episode. Frisky nece i get it but we know we know that it's just it's darker and weirder than you would ever guess. The only thing you knew about doj cat was easy album. And maybe that's as it should be right again maybe celebrities celebrity entertainers should have that space to go home after work and be racial chat rooms show feet and that not necessarily have to be a thing. That's then chronicled on their third studio album. I get it. I'm not trying to ask too much. I'm just saying that it's like inception. You know what i mean like. She planted the thought in our minds that she is as i said before an evil chaotic cat girl. And it's just like where's the evil caddick cat girl on the songs i hear her songs are. These songs are evil. Chaotic capitals are bro. They all my. I feel like if you gave me like a word. Jumble and said pick the song the words that describe these songs. I would pick evil chaotic cat girl. Listen i get the not. Everybody can be charlie by just. I don't know what it is stop. I don't know as they say in france. Oh my god so kenitra troll grow up should a troll grow up absolutely okay so we agree on that as and add to be indigo debris tyler for a minute my frustrations with like what i will. Now refer to as like mid period. Tyler was like we just lost all that like that that will energy holds us. We just lost it in service of proving that he can make really pretty melodies. It's not that i dislike that music. It's just to me. This is where for me. The thing that you're describing about the person and having the person who they are embedded in the music itself for me. That's less exciting. That being someone who is like a rabble-rouser and a disruptor and someone who is interested in taking space on his terms rather than. I don't want to compromise. Because i don't think those are compromised records. I think those records he genuinely cares about the frictions. Not there you know. And i think at least for me critically disposition really. I tend to be attracted towards friction. That is true. I think a lot of the landscape. The environment in which music released is not as into friction. Maybe these days. And i also think that at some point we decided that relate ability is really important and i hate that but that said do you think that the tyler record is a relatable record. I actually do. I think the story. He misses overrate. Pout tried to steal. You know almost stealing another man's girl like there that has the kind of drake quality of like it's a story about like being shady guy but it's told in such a way that it again. It has a dark relate ability to it right but given its eight and a half minutes like it's not a drake song like it's a drake song is like terse and concise and universally relatable and like sort of like emotionally present curiously on detailed whereas this is like like an epic. This is like. It's literally it's just an epic poem about simplifying for your good friends girlfriend. It's weird it to me. That is fructose. Especially if it's about ron which i don't think it is not. Yeah just for the record. I don't think that but that's what people on the internet thing. It's still not off putting in the way that other earlier tyler stuff is right horse. Of course. I do think that even tyler the creator perceives that like that shift. I don't know. I don't want to call it a shit because i don't know how i don't wanna over prescribed again. I'll say it that we determine at some point that relate ability is the main thing is like the thing that a popstar operating at a certain level is gonna live or die but then if you really think that that's the case then you should put some respect a dosier cat's name for making smooth clean deeply unrelatable records. I mean i should you right. I agree with you. That i should technically. We'll look for control to another you unto baiter. Oh my god. First of all pedro is the ultra. Troll feta's donators the peak troll. I am the ultra trail. Yes i am absolutely. I'm showing feet right now. Actually out to champ's on o- god. Oh my god we recorded these later. Yeah in the fan where you're like. Oh my god. Where do i go from there. I guess we have to play dosier cat song point cheese. That's a that's our show. Thank you just listen to sound. Only the rear podcast network. Yes please do. Please do every podcast. Ever dot com slash podcast emails. Podcast time dot com get on the facebook group but keep it clean kids. Get on the discord keep it clean subscribed avant jazz. Eddie ray get your audio content apple spotify etcetera our producer. And it's it's a little moist out there. Patriotic out of her head separate media. We'll be back next week. This is kissed me more. Does a cat at says.

doj tyler John kerry monica doda pablo metha Tyler massih Eminem Josiah cat olympics justin dr luke frank taylor yari ron pop Leading county zoe chase improvement association
Loving Across Borders

Modern Love

22:25 min | 2 months ago

Loving Across Borders

"This episode is brought to you by the house of chanel. Creator of the iconic daytona. Sports watch jay. Twelve the iconic. Chanel watch with timeless allure. Contemporary watch inspired by the sleek lines of race cars and refined silhouettes of yachts from the america's cup a revolution twenty-first-century watchmaking. Today's j. twelve is reinvented. While preserving its iconic identity equipped with a self winding caliber twelve point one movement it offers precision and performance like never before to learn more about the j. twelve watch visit chanel dot com. Now in fall in. Love is stronger than anything. I love you more than from the new york times. I'm mealy and i'm dan jones. This is the modern love. Podcast often when people are first dating a hide things about themselves in order to appear in the best light right they do but in this essay a woman has to hide really essential part of herself in order to survive and over time. That just takes a huge toll. Essay is called telling. The truth wasn't an option it's written by lisa. Arce and read by. Frank ozo- ou before i was even old enough to have a boyfriend. I was trained to lie to him. My secret my mother said could be used against me. You can never tell anyone you're undocumented When i was eleven by parents who had been living and working in the united states for years brought me from mexico to join them in texas. Three years later my. Us visa expired. And i became one of eleven million undocumented people in this country. I didn't understand the implications of my immigration status. Only that it was a weapon that could be used against me. The first time. I lied was an eleventh grade at a party with my crush chris. When police arrived in response to a noise complaint. I took off running into the back yard and jumped the fence. He said i overreacted. Not knowing i could be deported. If i got caught my fear of discovery was ever present at school where i excelled in college where i graduated cum laude and my first finance job in new york city working for goldman sachs mine. Would my lies begin to unravel every phone. Call or email i got from human resources would make my blood run cold yet. It never happened after chris. I lied to nearly every man i ever tasted in college. I finally pushed aside my mother's advice about hiding my status with the guy. I was then seeing who had driven me an hour to eat my favorite tacos on the ride back to campus. I took a deep breath. And said i don't have papers exhaled with relief over speaking the secret that had been crushing me for so long a few years later after he and i moved from texas to new york city. I discovered that he was cheating on me. I found the woman's number and threatened to call it. If you call her he spend all call ice after that. It took me years to share my immigration status again with anyone. The next time was when my father had passed away and couldn't travel to mexico to be with him in a moment of desperation shared my undocumented status with my then boyfriend. I can't be here anymore. I said weeping. I'm going to move back to mexico. The pressures of my immigration status left us with two choices. Break up or get married. We chose to elope so we could stay together in the united states. But after saying i do. Our entire relationship became about filling out paperwork meeting with lawyers and having interviews with immigration officials to prove our love. We never had a honeymoon. I became a us citizen but the years long process extinguished our romance and we eventually divorced more than a decade later. Newly single i downloaded bumble and matched with the bearded hipster. After telling him about my past. I never heard from him again next. I swiped right on a handsome mexican man with sunkissed skin flirtatious smile on our first date. He told me how he used to build fighting rings for his wrestling toys. As a boy and now worked at an architecture office my mother would approve but what she still want me to lie. Told him i was a writer there one truth and he told me about his travels to europe. I never traveled anywhere. When i was younger. He said and i knew as soon as i could afford it. I wanted to see the world. My favorite trip had been the one. I took to mexico to see my family after getting my papers but i couldn't tell him that not yet here. I was on my first date with witty kind hearted nando wishing i could unburden myself and speak honestly. I was too scared to trust that. It wouldn't ruin everything before it began so once again i chose the lie of omission. Soon it was two. Am and the restaurant was closing seven hours after we arrived. I had a great time. I signed one. Can i see you again. He signed A few weeks and many dates later. I was headed to antigua for my best. Friend's wedding with a layover in new york. As soon as i landed at jfk. I realized i didn't have a us passport. Which i would need for my flight the next morning. I panicked I found out the only way for me to make. The wedding was if someone were to drive my passport to. Lax and place it on the last overnight flight to jfk. a service. I didn't even know. Existed on those office was only a few miles away from my apartment but i hesitated to ask him for help. My us passport was in the same jurors as my mexican one which i had not updated since my divorce mexican passports for married. Women require them to list their husband's last name. I hadn't told fernando about my first marriage. Ooh now he might see my name next to my ex husbands sitting on the sava and i was still married but he ever let me explain. Thought about all the friends weddings. I missed because i couldn't travel outside the country and how much i regretted. Not being there for the people i loved. Couldn't do it again. If another eventually came to love me he would need to understand or at least accept my need to hide the more difficult points of my life. i called him. He said i'm on it. Tell what to do. I gave him the combination to my cat sitters locks keys and explained where to find my passport. The next morning. I picked it up from the airline counter and boarded my flight as we ascended. I decided i would tell non though everything. When i returned i was tired of the evasion and lies. I am an american citizen. And if i couldn't finally be free of my past then all those years of anxiety would be for not then maybe on the would run as had so many others. When he learned the truth that i had spent more than ten years undocumented that i had used fake papers to work at goldman sachs that i was divorced at thirty three. What did all the too much whatever trust me. Romance may thrive on mystery. But love can't be built on lies. When i got back home. And what a glorious word. that is home. I met finan though at a quiet barred on the street from my apartment. We sat on a red velvet couch. His hand resting on my lap. As i told him about the wedding and antigua and thanked him for rescuing my passport. Then i paused and bit. My lip is everything. Okay he said. I have to tell you something i said. I'll answer your questions but let me finish. He sat up. Okay he said but he never let go of my hands as the truth flowed from me back filling my past. He never looked away. Never raised an eyebrow never signaled any judgment had said he said. I thought you were going to tell me you killed someone. He pulled my hands toward his face and kissed it complicated. He didn't ask where. I bought my fake papers why. My parents didn't fix my immigration status. Or why i haven't gone back to mexico if things were so difficult here instead at the end of the night. He asked me the same question he had asked after our first date. When can i see you again. I had spent so many years. Keeping people at arm's length believing that isolating myself was necessary. I carried a heavy load of guilt over. All the lies told to stay in this country to grasp onto the few crumbs of love. I was given hey accepted crumbs instead of looking for a whole person someone who understood that love for those of us who have to hide the truth to survive sometimes drives us to take seemingly indefensible actions for my entire life i believe to finding love was all up to me if only i could figure out the perfect formula of what's what to say and how and when to say love would be mine but what i really needed was a husband who doesn't judge me faults me or questioned the difficult choices i made to carve out a life in america now that i have found a home in financials heart i refused to hide or apologize for any of After the break we hear two stories from our listeners. Greg cote bite and valentina muravich were both separated from their partners by national borders during the pandemic. When you're deesor spent staying on top of work instead of moving work forward there's gotta to be a better way with monday dot com work. Os your team can choose. How you want your workflow to luck this flexible platform shifts the power to your hands and your team can build the workflow of your dreams over one hundred twenty seven thousand customers get more out of their workday with monday. Dot com visit. Monday dot com slash. Podcast for your two weeks. Free trial bleeding county. North carolina made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud. The story behind that election is actually a story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges. Petty beefs family history in history history. And it's about the oldest of all the fight for the black vote. I'm zoe chase host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times. Find it wherever you get your podcast. I'm greg plate. I'm a screenwriter and author and a us marine my partner. And i have been together almost fifteen years. His name's bob. He lives in montreal. I live in santa monica. So uncovered hit. We were stuck. We've been apart since january. Twenty twenty twenty. Valentine a- a- fashion this year i was ten months separated from my boyfriend due to the pandemic. You're gonna laugh. But i actually met him on the street so i was dating someone else on the moment and we just cross the red light in new york. I immediately realized that he had an accident scene me so i asked where he was from when he was from his. Bain and i told that. I was from an he wanted to know more. And we drink and then we had dinner and you are leaving the next day and we messaging and texting for a month. Then i ain't broke up with my boyfriend and being together things then sold like four years after we kept the relationship like long distance because i was in school and he was working but we would see each other pretty often so in march of twenty twenty when we thought we were ready and he was gonna move. We've me be approved and everything was done. The pandemic kid the contemplates closed the borders are closing on. She couldn't trouble like we were by was propping united states and he was in spain. And that's how the kind of nightmares early on when the border closed. We thought it was gonna be over in a month six weeks. We were used to that. We done that. i was like everybody else. I was going to treat the corentin the brief thirty day. Quarantine as a reboot. I was going to do yoga every day. Read the stack of books that i hadn't gotten to as going to learn how to bake bread all those things just another month apart boom easy. We've done that. I used to work big fashion company and they were really really head to toe pandemic so i decided to go back to taylor and wait for my boyfriend there. When i arrived. I realized that the borders were also closed their When the exception for married couples with grunted we decided that we wanted to get married to be able to see each other again so the only option for us breath wasn't spain and i wasn't teela was approximate age. Okay so how proxy marriages award is basically. You need to find a person to represent your husband or wife in the country. So i found someone that was willing to do it because he cannot be for example. Your brother there was one person in my situation. So he ask me gal that i could represent his girlfriend on. He represented rafeh so they. I was really nervous. And i remember being car talking to me. Y'all i've only seen one time before but it made me feel better just because we were in the same position and i knew how nerve uc was. And like. i could see it i see. He's like voice trembling so justified by having someone. Your same bode made it easier. Ooh we have a practice that we do. We spend every night together on skype every day at six thirty his time which is east coast three thirty. My time i put on a live skype cooking show. I spend a lotta time all the onions peppers. Carrots they're all little suffered dishes. And i begin cooking now. He's a really good cook so he's watching me he's asking me. Is that salt. Don't burn the fish and by the end of twenty thirty minutes. I've got a complete dinner ready to go that. I'll eat in about an hour and a half and i let that set and i moved the laptop into the living room the dining room and we i sit down and enjoy talking to him while he eats. Whatever he's so. We got married in these tiny office while my boyfriend was in the dentist. They're able so. I'm not gonna say that. He was romantic because he wasn't and then i just like what's up. Hey we're married now. You not regret anymore. It was weird after three weeks. God he's exception to travel to. The airport was completely empty. I arrived there three hours before just to make sure i wouldn't miss him or something so as soon as their doors open i saw him. I kind of like run to human. I came and so we had for five minutes and it all came back to me like the smell the feeling of his beard against my cheeks. Such a hobby woman like knowing that it was my you know that they couldn't take it away. I have played our reunion over and over again in my head as a writer. Do cut have envisioned these things. Maybe a little more elaborately that other people. Do you know whitney houston. Is there in the living room. Live singing dolly parton. Is you know. Play the tambourine. The whole soundtrack just swells as i come in the room and he's just overcome with the site and i just can't get the words out. We're just so excited. But i know in fact what can happen is i'm just going to grab him and hold in. My voice is gonna crack just like it is now Modern love is produced by julia though tarot with help from hans buteau and elissa deadly. It's edited by sarah sarasin. Executive producer is wendy door. This episode was mixed by cornish. Freckle original music by lisa youtube and marian lozano. This week's essay was written by lisa. Arce and read by frankie corso. Greg co and valentina marina vich shared their coach lump stories special. Thanks to julia. Simon muhima bonnie bonnie wertheim on your streaming sam dole nick and ryan wagner at autumn. I'm dan jones and mealy. This was our last episode of the season. We'll be back in the fall with more stories from modern love. Thank you so much for listening

us mexico house of chanel Frank ozo goldman sachs dan jones new york city antigua Arce chris finan the new york times texas daytona Greg cote valentina muravich Petty beefs jay zoe chase improvement association
691: Gardens of Branching Paths

This American Life

1:08:30 hr | 5 months ago

691: Gardens of Branching Paths

"Support for this. American life comes from choice allergy and original podcast from charles schwab hosted by katie milkman. A behavioral scientist or in professor and author of how to change choice is a show about the psychology and economics behind our decisions here true stories from nobel laureates authors athletes. And more about. Why we do the things we do. Listen to choice allergy at schwab dot com slash podcast or wherever you listen their podcast listeners. Ira here with a quick reminder before our show starts. I mentioned this last week. I want to say it one more time. Now one of our regular producers here. Zoe chase has a brand new podcast and to doubt right now. The first two episodes were released last week. It's called the improvement association. And if you're for podcast it's just a great story. You should check it out zoe. Histories are always if you hurt. Her in. Our show deeply entertaining. This particular one is about election fraud and accusations of election fraud which as here can be just as powerful as real fraud in the damage. They can do it all unfolds in one county north carolina. Place that his small enough that the politics are very personal. The stakes into a world of people who get to know very well. It's made by the team that made serial who of course all used to work here at this american life and put it up but the new york times story that i really believe that if you visited the very first episode you will get hooked. It is that kind of story which is to say the best story. The kind that hooks you in listened to the improvement association. You can find it wherever you get your podcasts. Okay that's all the selling. I'm gonna do for today now. Here's today's show okay. So one of my coworkers davidov started telling me about this thing and really. I thought he was completely. I just knew there was no way it could be true. It's just completely ridiculous. And then i gotta say the more he explained the more. It slowly started to see okay. Maybe he's right in to note about david before we go any further. He has a phd in physics. Worked at fermilab on subatomic particles was on the team that discovered the top quark in this whole thing up between him and me began when he told me to download an app on my iphone. This is a little while back. Pre pandemic today shows rerun. It's called Universe splitter never it up and there's like a gray steel fake steel background and it says in white type on top of it. Universe splitter quantum induced universe bifurcation. What do i do now all right so tell me something you are having trouble making up your mind about what to do Unite recording this on december thirty first. Yeah and i've had a week off. I grew a beard. I noticed and i'm trying to decide if i should shave it off and so that's something i'm trying to decide. I have an opinion on that. But what's your opinion. actually. I think it looks pretty good right now okay. So what does this universe splitter do it lets you do both. I get creates a duplicate of this universe so that in one you get to grow the beard and then the other you shave it off. Wait we're going to do. Yeah for pretender for real. No for real. Maybe this thing. It's called the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. there are a lot of really smart physicists. Who think this is probably what's happening. So how does this work like. What do i do next all right so so there. Two boxes there. Yeah in one box. It says in one universe i will now okay. So put Shave off beard tonight on shave off beard to night okay and then the other boxes labeled in the other universe and the other one i will now put keep beard. Keep beard okay. And then what's below it. And then because there's like a button with like an atom drawn on it like an atom like you would draw it in like nineteen fifties cartoon like that's like the aesthetic of the whole thing like an old piece of scientific women. So what does it do when you push the button. So if you push the button. It sends a signal to a fancy piece of scientific equipment at the university of geneva switzerland equipment. These days can be tiny like a little box. You can hold in your hand and it does. The following takes a single particle of light. A photon it. Sends a dead. I kind of mirror that can make the photon either. Go left or right. You can make it that way like it random. It'll go either after right. Well according to the laws of quantum mechanics which governed very small things It actually goes both not that we know it actually goes left android at the same time. Okay so that's super weird great but that is actually true and demonstrated. We've known that since the twenty is okay. So then what happens. In this device in geneva yes so the device fires the photon which can go left to right and then the device looks to see. Well where did it go. And we know the particles in both places right but when the machine looks it only finds it in one place chose it went either left or right uh-huh which doesn't make sense 'cause we know from the math that the particle did go to both places. So why did we only see it in one of those places. And what's the answer. So so one of the answers is that the photon is in both places left enwright but just in different universes wait. So you're saying that when you shoot the photon into the mirror. It actually creates an entire duplicate of our universe and one of those universes. The photon is on the laughed. And the other. It is on the right. Yes it both went left and right. Those are just indifferent universes. The math of it makes a lot of the math of it is very like streamline and simple i remember like the day i saw it in class now is like oh my god. Maybe it's true. Yeah so those boxes. You feel that on the app you mean the box. I typed in Shave off tonight. And the box typed in Keep beard right right. So it'll basically choose one of those boxes. If the photon goes left and the other box the phone goes right. Okay got it. You have to do what it says. You have to keep the beard or shaved off the beard. Like tells me yeah. Yeah 'cause when you press that button you're going to get back one answer but there's going to be a duplicate universe in which there is a duplicate you sitting in a duplicate studio and duplicate me and you holding a duplicate phone in exactly the same way. The only difference is that that phone comes back with the other answer and then that version of me will do whatever it says on the phone. We know that other guy. We trust him. he's going to go do the other. okay. I think i understand all this. What's ahead juniper. -cipline push feel weird. Decided i feel weird. I know it's crazy. I feel weird. You literally just put your finger right up to the button and pulled away in fear. Split universe kisses input valid. Internet contacted geneva device. Ready photon emitted. Quantum event university just split urine the universe in which you should keep beard and right now in the other universe the us being told to shave offbeat tonight after that. I can't be and friends. New year's parties asked me about it and if the universe did in fact split the other version of me in the other universe must have had different conversations. Maybe for instance somebody gave him a great idea for show today that in that universe. Instead of airing this show in that universe you're hearing a totally different theme and david. Just we sure understand. This is a metaphor. you're saying there are scientists who really believed that a second universe gets created. Yes for sure. I mean. i think it's not most physicists. And there are some who think it's ridiculous for sure but there are some gonna take it very seriously. Okay where is this. Alternate universe that we're creating yeah. I don't even know how to think about this. But if this is true universes duplicating itself all the time. It's like a fundamental thing about existence but and program in the universe that may be duplicating itself all the time we have people who become transit by the idea of a parallel universe out there. Things are different. One of those stories things are better in the alternate world in one crucial way. Another story to parallel worlds over another woman tries to visit to go to the parallel universe. Wbz chicago americanized mirror glass. Stay with us a tough dreams of my father so emailing with fiction writer that we have on our show sometimes headquartered carrot about today's theme and he told me that his father used to spend a lot of time imagining worlds. Like we're talking about in today's program parallel worlds to ours that are almost the same as our world but not quite and he said his father did this. Starting during world war. Two his others fourteen living in poland. He's jewish when the germans invaded and started sending jews to the concentration camps during the second world war a human experience jay z. Hidden in a hole in the ground the doug for six hundred and twenty days sweden of spare time and when he was there he would imagine all kinds of things he would imagine a word in which the nazis didn't exist or in which he wasn't do on which people just in general didn't kill each other you know and this kind of thing was something that he associated with being a child then he kind of felt it interested him as a charged I'm i would probably like to back during the words. Father couldn't leave that whole for almost two years and that's headquarters was right there. Near the whole on the same property a christian farmer ins eighties would bring them food. And all that buckets of urine couldn't even talk a lot of the time at our imagines it was like two years of meditation. My father ways that he would talk about his time in the whole he would says it he he would sleep and then he would wake up with his father if the war was over and his father would say no so we would go in steep some more. This is the way he would tell it to me. I think it's kind of softcore version and was when you say a whole could they even stand up. No as he couldn't stand in it and is he cleaned. Even the i down. They had to sit in it and when the russian deliberated the town and is out z. Head to be carried out because muscles were so cramped that is by the time of the end of the words. moves them. Oh my god. So basically they're in this whole and they're sitting sitting there. Yes any you know any. It's very very cold. You know its way a beyond freezing and don't have food and and you hear voices in german and knows it. You know that you can easily be killed and you close your eyes in you. Finkel another universe at cars lots of fiction that imagines parallel worlds various kinds. And when asked him if he wanted to do something for today's show he wrote this story a true story the star twenty as a kid. When i was six years old. My dad worked to post nakba not far from one of these beaches every day. It's five thirty. In the morning he'd leave home for the pool. Swim two kilometers. Showering locker room and get to work. Wouldn't get home till nine at night. Fourteen hours a day seven days a week. Unloading boxes of soft drinks dressing toasted sandwiches bring coughing. Leeming glasses a snack bar by the beach us later. They'd always said those were the best days of his life funding remembering how so blowing in from the sea would make in his lungs. We dismiss the coffee and imported cigarettes. Used to set the bomb coffee cigarettes and the see. We're always my father's free favorite things for me. Those days were not quite as happy. When dad came back from work. I was already in bed and other than saturdays when i go to visit him at the pool with my mom. I never saw him tour. Not just was bitter about this. Seek zero. children can't treat imagine a different word for themselves was a father had more time for them. The accept reality as he tees and yet. I missed him dearly. Seeing these my mother suggested i always in every morning to the pool. Heavy swim together and take a cab to school from there. I don't remember anything of those morning swims but the car rides was dead a crystal clear. It still doc. Is we see the now. Suva visual five zero four. The windows rolled down that smoking kept one hundred and describing parallel universes that exist at this very moment in added dimensions. Universes were everything is precisely identical to ours. Same road same traffic light. Same secret in the corner of dad's mouse all except for one tiny difference and this difference dead do change every morning changing the one in the universe the different from ours she. We are in the parallel universe waking at the exact same into sections for the light to change on this universe instead of a silver visual. Where riding a dragon. And here's another one. We're under my faded sweatpants ideals which had alma to grease the water. That could fish. When i was nine getting new job. He no longer had to get up early in the morning seasonings. We all have dinner together and watch the nightly news. I was twenty two. By the time i moved out of my parent's house. But they delayed true. Visit demetri's twice a week and on saturdays. I swing dead the boo where he once worked. When i was forty free. My father was diagnosed with cancer. It was tongue cancer. Do result of fifty years of smoking by the time the doctors caught on it was attended advanced stage and so we never spoken word about it. It was obvious to us. Bos it soon. She was going to die on mondays. I take you mean for his physical therapy and as we sit in the waiting room to see. The physical therapy suites a british accent. My father's steve talked about parallel universes where everything was exactly the same as ours. Save for one difference. Say the dogs could speak or is it. People could read minds or the guy was purple and when quite clouds floated across said look tasty enough to eat at the end of every session. The physical therapist would show me how old my father zone when we work together. And what i should do case. He goes these balance on our way home. As we approached the corner of king solomon and those dead would always stop. Do you smell that. He'd say important to the new cafe the corner just by the smell of it. I can tell you. That's the best coffee in town at this stage of the town council was so advanced by father could no longer eat or drink instead. He got all his food and liquids through clear plastic tube straight to his stomach. One of these mondays after physical therapy were walking by the clinic. Fake and king solomon and those of my father instead of just posing to raise the places user suggested we actually go in for a cup of coffee dead. I said after a moment's hesitation you can't drink anything. The tumor is blocking your esophagus. I know he said beth bethany on the back but you can. We said that the corner table on the sidewalk. I owed acting in a glass of water from the pretty waitress when she asked my father what he drank. He asked for a double espresso. I stood the team fuse and he smiled and shrugged. The waitress noticed deaths guilty smile and gave me questioning luke. Not knowing what to say. I ordered an ultimate kooky through the coffee arrived. We sit in silence. I wanted to ask my father. Why do the coffee tour. And if he had anything to do with the waitress being pretty but they said nothing. Deadpool the cigarette back out of his shirt pocket and delighted to hit stowed in his glasses case and said in both down on the table. We waited a few minutes later. The waitress returned weezer older. She placed it on the table. It at the a glass of water and kooky in front of me and the deputies pursuing frontal dead matic steam rose for my coffee. I wanted to drink but doing that. In dad's face seen them for just kept staring when out of the corner of my eye. I saw my father quickly snatched w spicer of the table and guppy down. Once he was impossible. I knew it was impossible after all. I was there in the room when clergy's showed me my mother the x-ray with the tumor resting above the block to suffer like a scoop of vanilla ice cream on waffle cone. My father's she said would never drink again and he. We were sitting together on a pleasant saturday at this hipster. Coffee stirring my steaming cup of coffee and him by my side smiling after killing of his douglas person for a moment there i thought maybe we were in the universe. Abc he told me enough stories. Ever since i was a little boy deter open a hole into aching heart of our universe reach. We were sacked into a parallel one identical to our own. In every way safer one exception in dc universe may could drink and eat as much as he was not able to dine just a few months off the pipe include kofi fleet only find his windpipe and into his lungs when he got there. Dead started joke. He stood up and grabbed his throat with both hands. Dewitt wheezing noises made were riffing the sound of a man whose lungs flood with hot coffee. A bespectacled man from the table next to us leapt up and asked my father. If you needed any up. I just said there. Paralysed the pearl universe. I shared with my father. Moments ago had vanished dropping me back into a fireworks universe seconds gargling followed after which deadly in dover and cuffed up evacuating defining taryn expresses Few these lungs. When he was done he said happens. Chair as if nothing had happened. Inches away from the puddle of coffee and flam himself cigarettes people. The tables around us kept staring at team. What did they tell you. He smiled at me and excelled smoke from his nostrils. Best caffeine ten. Eric many books. Uh better dad and the rest of his family stories about like this one emotional fables that happen be true in his book the seven good years to sorry not sorry. So it's kinda groomed to say this but the moon landing story of american triumph could've in another way in some other story line from the multi-diverse neil armstrong and buzz aldrin. They land on the moon. They walk around. It's great but then there's a problem and they cannot take off to come home. That's thought this was the most dangerous moment in the mission. The most likely spot. It could fail when a president richard. Nixon speechwriters william safire actually prepared statement to be read in case. That was the way the story went at the top of the page. All caps it read in the event of moon disaster for the speech fate has ordained that the man who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the mood to rest in peace. Pretty good dictum obama. Has this next story about another presidential speech never delivered. That feels like it slipped into our world from a parallel universe. You can find this speech framed hanging in the guest bathroom of home in california. Here's david the speech was to be read on the night of august seventeenth nineteen ninety eight. It's the house of bob shrum. Because he wrote it. Schramm was a longtime democratic political strategist speechwriter and get her out of tight. Spots are you. Are you personally. Good at apologizing. Call i've had to apologize so many times for so many things. Sure with the most recent thing. You apologize for Having a fight with my wife about what. We were giving various people as christmas gifts. This story is about an apology. He wrote for a much bigger audience. That august nine thousand nine hundred eight schramm was on vacation in idaho. Staying with some friends and the phone rang. Why didn't have a cell phone then so somehow or other. Oh my office called me and said mark was trying to reach me. Mark is mark penn but at the time conducting polls and advising the president of the united states with the time was bill clinton. Who at the time was in a lot of hot water impeachment might very well be An option tampering with witnesses. Obstruction of justice are very very serious charges. A moment when one political party said they were very valid. High crimes and misdemeanors and the other party said that's ridiculous political posturing. Anyway there'd been stories in the press for months at this point. That clinton might have had an affair with an intern. Monica lewinsky clinton denied it though under oath in a civil and famously on television. But i want to say one thing to the american people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Miss lewinsky but there was the dress with clinton's dna on it and recorded phone calls between monica lewinsky in a coworker. Talking about the affair. At the time. Bob shrum got the call. President clinton was finally going to have to testify before independent counsel. Ken starr's grand jury. He would have to own up to the affair and then afterwards say something to the nation but what that was what the phone call was about. Trump called mark penn back. Who asked if you would take a shot at writing speech for the president to be delivered on tv. Just after he gave his grand jury it would be the president's chance to frame the whole thing maybe finally put it away and prevent the republicans from starting impeachment proceedings. The country would be watching. Bob trump said okay. He hung up the phone and told his wife and the couple. They're staying with on vacation. What the assignment was. One of the people said this better be good. Meaning you better do a good job. Yes So i sat at the dining room. Table And i i wrote in longhand on a yellow pad which is how i've always written by drafted it. What he wrote was a straight up. Direct apology do you have it there with you i. It's on it's on. Well actually i can go get it even hold on for a second. Trump went to go get it from where it was hanging in what he calls the guest powder room and to be clear. There's other political memorabilia in there. It's a speech he's proud of. Can you read the speech for me. It's not very long. So i will my fellow americans. No one who is not in my position can understand fully the remorse. I feel today since. I was very young. I have had a profound reverence for this office. I hold. I've been honored that you the people have entrusted to me. I am proud of what we have accomplished together. But in this case. I have fallen short of what you should expect from a president. I have failed my own religious faith and values. I have let too many people down. I take full responsibility for my actions for hurting my wife and daughter for hurting monica lewinsky in her family for hurting friends and staff and for hurting the country i love. None of this ever should have happened. And he has clinton apologizing for leading people about the affair and this is how it ends. Finally i also want to apologize to all of you. My fellow citizens. I hope that you can find in your heart to accept my apology. I pledge to you that i will make every effort of mind and spirit to earn your confidence again to be worthy of this office and to finish the work on which we have made such remarkable progress in the past six years. God bless you and good night raw has reading that i i remember writing it. I thought it was the right thing for him to say. And when i hear it now i still think it's the right thing for him to say it's notable that trump had the president apologizing to monica lewinsky in her family at the time. Charles rangel the democratic congressman from new york called her quote a young tramp. She was the subject of jokes on late night. Television bill maher said. I think monica lewinsky is the one who should apologize to america. No one seemed to be thinking about her as a person whose life was now a wreck. Schramm was well. She was an intern kid in the white house And i thought that that made every bit of sense in the world shrum sent the speech into the white house and then the day arrived. Clinton gave his grand jury testimony which was not broadcast. Met evening. The president went on tv to give his speech. Shrum sat down with the rest of the country to watch it. We're just sitting around in the living room watching it on television and at that point any thinking maybe he's gonna read my speech. Sure i thought he. I thought he might very well Bill clinton who i worked with on like state of the union message is never exactly reads. What you send him so. I didn't anticipate that. It would be necessarily word for word what i had said. But i thought it might be. Pretty close to it It was almost diametrically the opposite good evening this afternoon in this room from this chair. I testified before the office of independent counsel and the grand jury. I answered their questions truthfully including questions about my private life questions. No american citizen would ever want to answer. I not only remember hearing the first words. But i remember the look on his face He was really really angry. It's the private bill clinton who could get angry. And i have seen him angry but i don't think the country had seen him angry very often as you know in a deposition in january. I was asked questions about my relationship with monica lewinsky while my answers were legally accurate. I did not volunteer information. Indeed i did have a relationship with miss lewinsky. That was not appropriate. In fact it was wrong. It constituted a critical apps in judgment a personal failure on my part for which i am solely incompletely responsible. There are moments of apology in there. And what feel like honest reflection like when he straight up admits the reasons. He had been so evasive. Until then i can only tell you. I was motivated by many factors. I by desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct but the overall message is not. I'm sorry i screwed up. He seems to be saying but the real problem is the fact that i'm having to talk about this at all. It's a private family matter. It's nobody's business but hours even presidents have private lives. He closes mount by asking for forgiveness as trauma advised by asking people. Stop talking and so tonight. I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months to repair the fabric of our national discourse into a turn our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next american century. Thank you for watching goodnight. What do you think would happen. If he'd instead that night he'd taken out your speech and read. I think it would have lessened the chances that he would have been impeached really. I don't know that it would have prevented the impeachment. But i think it would have lessened the chances it's possible. His speech gets you to the same ending just with a slightly different plot after all there is a lot of momentum in congress toward impeachment. But it's nice to contemplate a world where the leader of your country can stand up and acknowledged having made a mistake can acknowledge reality. An apology really is about the truth laying it out so we can all live in the same world together. Clinton seem closer to it at that moment but he's still couldn't do it. I i wonder if all the possible universes in how many of them does clinton say sorry. You know not. I'm sorry for what happened. Or i'm sorry if people feel but really like i'm sorry there may be a universe in which he did that. I'm just not aware of it. Because i don't live in it. Yeah that's not the one we livin. You want to know what i think. I think it's possible. There is no universe in which president clinton reads bob shrum speech listening to the speech. Clinton did give. I kind of think he gives every possible universe. It was exactly how he felt and the speech that you wrote while great was not at all how he was feeling at the moment. I i obviously the speech that the that i drafted did not reflect how he felt coming out of the grand jury in that sense. Can you fault them. I just think you want wanna do what fits the moment you want to be true to yourself. The problem was that. I think he was true to the angry guy who has just come out of the room. You know he. He was maybe not true to the person he was the next day. There are the us in all the parallel worlds. But also the you on thursday and the one on friday was who's had some time to think and some sleep sandwich for sure. Those are different people castonbound and some other university skate of physicists. Terrell of life in this one he senior editor of our program. Bill clinton by the way later wrote about this address to the nation that night in his biography mentioned trump's draft of the speech. But it does say the most of his advisors at counseling to simply admit that he had made an awful mistake not to go out swinging did anyway of course weeks after that speech he backtracked in front of a smaller audience at a prayer breakfast with religious leaders. He took a different tone there. He said i agree with those who have said that in my first statement after i testified i was not contrite enough much closer to what trauma written included an apology to monica lewinsky and her family owned coming up. Where they you living in a parallel universe where some very basic facts about your own life have been altered that's in a minute chicago public radio when our program continues support for this american life comes from squarespace. You have a story to tell whether it's about starting a business or sharing photos. Squarespace gives you an all in one platform to bring these stories to life with modern templates and twenty four hour support you can easily create a professional website or online store had to squarespace dot com slash american for free trial. When you're ready to launch use code american for ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain support for this american life comes from net. Sweet if you're a business owner you probably don't need them to tell you that running businesses tough. Don't let quickbooks spreadsheets. Slow you down anymore. Now's the time to upgrade to net. Suite by oracle. The world's number one cloudy. Rpi nets week gives you visibility and control over your financials hr inventory commerce and more. Join the over twenty. Four thousand companies using net sweet schedule your free product to are now at net sweet dot com slash. T. a. l. that's net sweet dot com slash. Al american life mira glass. Today's program gardens of branching paths stories of parallel worlds. And people will get fixated on the way things could be in those other worlds. Today show is broadcast last year. In the first half of today's show we had people imagining other better world in this. Half we have people pondering the alternate worlds at are right here around us all the time in this world. We've arrived at three of our show at three square crossed brothers. So if you think about it. Being on identical twin is kind of a parallel world situation. You know you have this other version of yourself stuck in the same world as you stuck in the same house as you. You see somebody who's just like you running around doing things that you might not do didn't ship is has this next story about a mother. Her twins and forty eight year old mystery. And that's clark had a lot going on. In the winter of seventy two in january. She delivered twin boys. Jason i followed by randy five minutes later weighing five pounds two ounces randy to spend the first of life an incubator they lived in suburban saint louis and has been dick had a job at a paper company called tension envelope. He worked long hours traveled a lot and that was often at home alone. Caring for two infants feeding them changing diapers and making sure she didn't lose track of which one was which because they look exactly alike. Were you always scared that you might mix them up like from the day they were born. Was that a a real fear. I tried to be really careful about knowing who either had outfit they were on. I knew i was really careful about it so usually had outfits we and different colors blue jay and read randy red and then i didn't think about it too much once. I knew it was okay. That's all we did it. That's a good system. I mean i think. I did feed them twice. The didn't feed the other one. You didn't ask sitting. there was crying alumni. Go why is he crying so wet a she even had a backup a creative redundancy. She built into the safety plan for their identities and that was diaper pens she is blue diaper pins for jason and yellow ones for randy. Everything went smoothly for a while and then at six weeks. They had their first checkup annette. Net dress them in the same outfit. A fancy number their aunt los angeles had sent them but underneath the close the diaper system was up and running at the doctor's office. A nurse took the babies out of the room and at carolina remember. Why maybe she needed to weigh them and a few minutes later the nurse came back in with the boys. Then she goes. Oh we have such a great surprise for you. Now we have pampers. We're just using of the first time so instead of using your diapers we used your pampers. And then they gave me a little all four of their tins. The nurse had changed the babies out of their cloth diapers and put them into disposable ones foiling the system entirely she hinted in a little bag with diaper pins in it. The boys were completely indistinguishable. I was very upset. So they go. You're gonna be fine you're fine. Of course they go. You're fine and we got in the car. And i was so upset all way home when she got home. A net put the baby on the couch and stared at them at six weeks old. Didn't have distinct personalities yet. They weighed the same amount. They had the same bald heads. No birthmarks and i'm not kidding you. They looked exactly. Like and so. I was thinking i was really terrible. Mother than how. Can i really look at this and not see my own children and not know which ones they are you know. She called me and panic and She just said i. I don't know what i'm gonna do. I don't know which ones which. I don't know what to do this. That's best friend. linda. Wallace atlanta is jason randy. No her she lived in the subdivision. Did you go over there to try to help her. She couldn't tell them apart. How would i be able to tell them apart right. I mean there. I didn't i couldn't tell them apart. Now know they. She had the pens. Yeah were you nervous to tell to tell dick renervous to tell ya. Yes was really nervous so when he came home when he came home and he saw them and they were in their crib and so finally. I had to tell them i go. I have to tell you what happened. And i told him and he goes really he goes. Oh we'll figure it out. Let's see in then. We were both lookie about them right next to each other and of course they had the pampers on and nothing. And he's going. I don't know what do you think it is know. And that was faced with the decision she had to choose. Which baby was jason and which one was randy. She had nothing to go on but a maternal feeling so she chose take agreed with her. I really always felt like. I had the right person in my heart. I just said it is. And i'm not going to think about it anymore. And this is my life. We know who they are and that it is they are and we're not going to talk about it anymore. Atlanta not so convinced. Do you think she got it right. Do you think you know what i mean. I don't think she no. She says she did. does she know i mean. There's no way that they were so they look so much alike. And so i'm not sure. A and and randy forty eight years old now. They're comedians. they worked together. They've done cameos on different tv. Shows like curb your enthusiasm and better call saul and they still look exactly the same randy. Can you describe what decent looks like. He's very good looking Jason he's he is very semitic looking. He's got glasses. He's about five foot eight and a half. that's generous somewhat athletic looking less generous. They found out about their potentially swapped identities when they were about twelve years old by accident. They're spending a summer weekend at the world famous lake of the ozarks in central missouri with their mom and aunt linda and her two sons. The boys were playing well. net net. Linda talked amongst themselves. The story of the calamitous doctor's visit came up and unbeknownst to them. Jason and randy were earshot and they overheard the whole thing and we were just. We hated the story. Mrs jason he sounds remarkably like randy. We were livid that this could have happened and also that she was sharing it in sort of an off hand joking way and linda wallace. Who is a funny woman was making it funnier and they were laughing about it. We're like we were just very embarrassed by it and upset by it. Like oh my god. This is an insane thing to hear because we may not be who we are. What pissed off about it. What was so upsetting about it. I think that it just was. We were just sensitive. I think to being confused and again it was this narrative that kind of went through our lives as we wanted to be individuals and we wanted to be seen as individuals. And then. here's this thing that happened where we could be so easily confused for identical twins to people who are constantly being mistaken for one. Another who try really hard to make it clear that they're unique individuals. This was a big deal. Randy was the most upset. Because why can't you go to the to the policemen. I think randy really wanted me to go there. You were talking all the way to the card not that an actual crime had been committed a crime against dignity but for some reason randy figured the police were the ones who could sort it out but annette did not go to the police and the name confusion did not get sorted out. It remained a mystery. And jason and randy's lives a couple times the was brought up throughout their years. If somebody said something about it they would go. I don't wanna hear about it. Don't bring it up again. I had no idea it was that data painful for them. I mean it was. It was a joke between net night. But i'm not sure what the joke between all of us because they were very sensitive about it just the simple fact of the matter that for countless times in our lives. Someone has said to me. Jason and i'm like no i'm randy right. You know like that. That's happened so many times in my life. If that's not true there is going to go back to every single. But there's there's the notion that like you've been living a little bit of ally. It's a tiny live. But it's not your line. It's not your fault but still that is that's unsettling in a weird way to me. That's just weird that for all this time. I had it wrong if they were switched. And they have to reimagine something that so foundational. Nobody ever thinks about it their birth. Who's older who was in the incubator. Like randy says it's weird doesn't really make a difference but also somehow does and not knowing what the truth says that's even more irving it turns out. There was one way to figure it out sometime around. The age of forty randy can't remember. Exactly what the topic of their potentially swapped identities came up and they were like. Why don't we figured this out yet. They're grown us adults. They should know who they actually were and also they were working comedians at that point and they thought it might be good material much. We'll see randy thought. Maybe the hospital where they were born would have a copy of their baby fingerprints. Get those and compare them to their dealt fingerprints. He wasn't wrong about the science part of that. Identical twins have nearly the same. Dna so they're fingerprint. Patterns are very similar closer than anyone else's as you probably know. Fingerprints are made up of lines. And some of those lines have tiny variations like forks or loops and those markings are different between identical twins. For those of you still listening the reason for that. Is that the markings developed based on the conditions in the womb like pressure which is different depending on where the baby is in the womb. So randy called the hospital where they were born to see if they still had a copy of their fingerprints. The hospital told them that they throw records out. After thirty years they were old and out of luck. Until i was back home last summer with my family. This is randy. And i was digging through just looking at stuff in saint louis and saint. Louis i was back childhood home that we lived in since we were four years. Old and i found from the hospital are footprints. I they were in a book of the next year bags in my bed. There was like a nightstand thing. That was like a chess that you could open up and it was just in the bottom of that. I couldn't believe it. And i'd never seen it there before and i thought okay this is we could find out it became more real real in. The possibility was rekindled if they can find someone to compare their adult footprints to their baby footprints. Maybe they could put this mystery to bed. Once and for all his luck would have it. There was just such a person in buena park california about twenty five miles from los angeles. Where jason and randy outlive a forensic identification specialist by the name of kurt. Kuehne but kurt said there was no way he could use a baby footprint from a hospital. Those aren't made for identification purposes. They're made because baby feeder freaking cute mementos and they usually don't have much detail in june. Jason sent kurt the footprints anyway just to check. And when kurt saw them he confirmed that they were mostly just unusable smudges of ink but miraculously there was a half inch spot on the fall of the left jason foot. That had nice clear lines. He shouldn't have any problem making the identification he just needed jason and randy's adult feet faced with the imminent revelation of their true identities jason and were forced to think through what they would actually do if they'd been switched. Babies which was be honest is not a long list of considerations. Do you think you'd swap names road. We legally change. Our names are if you are swapped. Then you're kind of like committing fraud. All the time right now. I guess unintentional fry. Yeah you're well. I'm i would be using his social security number right you know. How does that affect everything we do. I wonder if it does. I mean maybe it only matters if like one of you commits murder barefoot and then runs through wet cement or something right maybe practically. It doesn't actually matter without you can't do that now. Thanks a lot. Maybe it doesn't matter. I'm probably right about that. Except there's one person who jason was legitimately worried about their mom net who very close with their father died in two thousand nine and that's had two strokes in recent years. They're protective of her. What does she got it wrong. All those years ago would feel bad for parma. Yes more about. That would feel like maybe she would be embarrassed or maybe she would feel like she should have spoken up and may be found out away in that moment to get our footprints and just dispel it and figure it out and that however was not concerned. I just have a feeling. That's all my feeling my definite feeling that. I know who's who i know you are. I'm the mother. I know what if it is. It's different. you want me to change my name. What if i became jason. Jason became me. Then you have different girlfriends. Lives a few days before thanksgiving. I flew to l. a. And met randy jason and annette at randy's house were spending the holiday. We left her at home with their grandchildren and headed down the five towards buena park and hopefully resolutions randy said he was feeling remarkably zen. But jason. i feel more nervous today than than ever before about this. Like i think when we got into this i was like oh this is going to be so interesting and fascinating but i really want my mom to be right like i want to be me. I don't know. I just woke up this morning saying god. I hope my mom was right. We turned off. The highway drove through the gates of kurt subdivision and pulled up to a house with a winnebago out. Front garage. Door was halfway down and behind it. We could see a pair of white legs that ended in a sock tan flip. Flops kurt the garage door lifted to reveal kurt. A tall man with a full moustache and a voice like a cartoon bear coming into the garage. Get on in front porch. Let me get rid of the trash. Take we stepped into. Kurt's room met his wife and granddaughter. We made an impressive amount of small. Talk about thanksgiving winnebago's hunting. We'll have you ever been into birdshot while eating. Show twenty five and a half years working as a forensic identification specialist for the beverly hills in los angeles police departments. He shows his jason and randy's baby footprints he'd had them locked in his safe for five months. Those they're so cute. It's time to take their adult footprints. She get rid of a left shoe and sock. Randy goes i. He puts his naked foot up on. Kurt's need kurt takes a special pad and presses it against his foot. Then he repeats the process with jason. And that's it. We send them out the door to walk around the neighborhood. Kirk figures out. Who's actually jason. And who is actually randy. We go upstairs to his office where he scans footprints and then pull them up on his computer screen. He lurches the baby one onscreen because his and stares at the lines comparing it to the adult footprint after just twenty minutes. He's done a tex jason and tell them to come back to the house. Welcome back thank you. Kurt system back down on the couch and proceeds with the line of questioning. I had not anticipated. My first question. Is how many other babies were in the doctor's office at day. I've no idea. Kurt who's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet by the way screwing with okay. Let's hear don't give suspense so he tells them. Wow oh my oh. My god scared rebels. Contributing thank you. We'll be in touch soon okay No i'm not going to tell you the results yet. On the drive vector house their family calls first. Randy's wife amy who asks them not. How're you but who are you then. Randy's daughter georgia calls with her sister. Decent kids in the background. I'm gonna reveal it when i get home. Molly we're home. Come on and we walk back into the kitchen. We left a few hours before and that is there with her. Four grandchildren jason. Randy's aunt and uncle are there to an english bulldog named brian. We gather around the kitchen island jason's five year old daughter. Noah clings to him. Everyone's excited little nervous. Okay so how's everyone feeling. We got the results and we found out that. I mean uncle jason house actually four great have to think about it. But that's what i thought. I feel lake. What does it make. You feel like you got my heart. It felt like that's who you were. I just went your mother and now excited. I wish i wish i happy. So did our footprint. I know she's this smile a day later. Randy got aunt lend on the phone and told her the good news. So that means mom and dad were right. Fifty fifty camps. That's right thank you. Linda love you. I love you so all is well in the sklar family. Jason is still older than randy by five minutes. Randy is still the one who spent time in an incubator they haven't been committing unintentional fraud. They don't have to change your social security numbers. The world and net said they were living in was indeed the world they were in all along Chavis is one of the producers of our. Shell four if i lived here. I'd be home now so story. Today is about somebody who tries to visit a parallel world when the lived in herself. Diane who explains the universe. Emily ended up in. Was like a postcard. For old-timey america ten acres in vermont with five big brothers and sisters eating candy out of glass jars at the family. General store yeah. We just lived in this big house and my parents were really strict straight. I always like they always reminded me of the von trapp family. Even though that's like really extreme a lot of a lot lot of rosa was very much. Do as i say. She almost lived a totally different life. Emily was adopted from south korea when she was a baby. She's forty now as a kid. She rarely thought about the world. She came from when her life would have been like there. It was the eighties. That kind of thing wasn't especially encouraged. Her family raised her not to ask many questions about her past but there was one thing she really wanted to know about it. I mean mostly growing up. I just really wondered what my birth mother look like That was usually the question that always came to my mind. Her parents didn't lock laker. They were white as most everybody else in town so it was hard for her to picture her birth mother's face but there was no one to ask a couple of decades later. Emily became a mother herself and suddenly felt connected to in curious about her birth mother again. She started researching how to contact her and too long areas later finally got in touch then decided to go on a trip to south korea to meet her birth mother a trip that would allow her to tunnel between the universe that was into the universe that might have been she recorded parts of it for podcast called. Motherhood sessions olive. Emily's emotions about the trip hit on the way to the airport in new york when suddenly she found herself sobbing while talking to the cabdriver family in a meeting on meeting my birth mother for the first time. This is exciting for you about you but a birth monday. I searched for her through the adoption agency. It took two years Two years of searching. Oh that's good. That's and what were your dad. You don't know woke. Madonna devoted anything. It should be breath. Everything is the vetted blessing for you. You you're going to meet your mother. I know. I know you're feeling because you spend your whole lag dog. Mom i know you spend your whole life your mom. You need your mom on venue on the likely you'll babies you know going on the plane to for me. It was kind of thinking about the last time i took. That flight was when i was a baby and touching down. I remember thinking that the last time. I was here when i was five months old. She had a day to settle in before she met her birth mother. It was the first time she'd ever been to asia and wandering around seoul. It was so easy to imagine the other versions of her life. All around her. I go in stores or restaurants in in i think oh could i be that woman behind the counter. Working there When i see a mom with her curl ivy like oh is that would have been like to walk down the street holding a my mom's hand on her second day in korea. Emily carefully did her hair and makeup and headed to the adoption agency to meet her birth mother. Their reunion happened in a worn down meeting room in front of a bulletin board pinned with christmas cards. I see this short. Korean woman walk in the door. And you know we hug and i cry and she says me on heo which means i'm sorry. It's the very first thing her birth mother says to her and say concern which means it's okay looking the social worker in the room. Translating for them and his birth mother told her story she'd gotten pregnant as a teenager which was completely shot and there was no place in society for teenage single mothers. A few days after emily was born and a relative came by with a police officer and social worker and they took me away a week later. Emily's birth mother went to the police station desperate to get her baby back. They told her it was too late. She called the adoption agency several times over the years to check in on her daughter learn. She'd been adopted by an american family. I talked with her on the phone. And when i asked her if she'd ever imagined the world she did manage to get emily back she told me. I haven't really had those thoughts. But i always dreamt about her seeing her birth mother's face meeting her whole extended family later on that trip. It had a profound impact on emily. I heard her talk about it on that. Podcast motherhood sessions. And i was surprised and moved to hear her. Say that being in the same room with her birth family for the first time. I felt pretty. You know growing up. You know you your parents always tell you that you're pretty you whatever but i never really believed it But like being around family and we all look like you know i fell. I felt like i was beautiful. And i had never felt it deeply before. Where do you think is behind that feeling. Because you know after growing up living a lifetime of feeling like you don't fit in and wondering is maybe certain guys don't like you or you know why you don't you know maybe you're not like the most popular person in school and now for the first time in my life. I felt like. I made sense. Like i felt like my being made sense. I felt like my face made sense. I'm only stayed with her. Birth family for three days in a town called dongguan in a little house by the railroad tracks their ceramic pots of kimchi in the yard. A flat screen. Tv in the living room that was always playing. Korean variety shows and soap operas. Lots of visitors came by to welcome. Emily it felt warm familiar on the first night. I'm lee was getting ready for bed. And her birth mother came in and presented her with four boxes containing gold jewellery for emily her kids and her husband. Emily accepted them hesitantly then using a translation app. Her birth mother told her she said korean mothers leap with their children. And i'm like. Oh god here we go. Emily had heard about this that. It's not unusual for korean parents to sleep in the same room as their kids. Even when they're adults in this room there is only one bed. She tried to explain to her birth mother. Sorry but i prefer to sleep alone. It wasn't clicking. Emily ended up calling an interpreter. She'd hired who already gone home for the day and so i called her and asked her to explain. You know that. I couldn't do it And so she she did but you could see that my birth mother was pissed and not really happy about it She had years and years of of my life. I can understand you know why she wanna sleep in the same with me. But i just couldn't do it. A lot of the time with her. Birth mother was like this as a visitor. It was impossible to fit incompletely she was a stranger and family all at the same time dropping into place. That really felt like it could be home. But it wasn't diane. Wu is our shows. Deputy managing editor podcast motherhood sessions. Where we i heard only story is show about women and moms in of crisis and change. It's available wherever you get your podcasts. Alternate universe days only get better now that a cloud in the deep blue sky and i'm so long program was produced today by david. Customer people were made today show included on the baker. Susan burton bencun d. and it. Chivas sean cole. Neil drumming nor guilt damian grave settling jessica lesson happening so nelson. Mary mondo nadia raymond. Robins semi sullivan christopher. Tell them at tierney and julie. Whitaker are managing editor for this reruns. Diane woo production. On the run from ari sapper steen special. Thanks data sean. Carroll diseases that kao tak who told david about the universe split up in the first place his book about parallel universes created by quantum physics is called something deeply hidden. Thanks also today bresnan. Alexandra sacks soobee craig christine lee kim park nelson andrew park eric daniels joe mcgee nazanin refs and johnny devon taylor among and molly donahue our website. This american life dot org. This american life is stupid public. Radio stations by p r x the public radio exchange special. Thanks as always to our programs. Co-founder mystery malady. You know put a low jack on his car. Good one what his car got stolen. He starts tracking it and it shows his car but it actually goes left android at the same time or or everyone. Alternative universe photon firing. Here we go twenty amount of tia. He is so obsessed with political polls. But you know. I don't think he really understands how to read dumb. He was explaining to me the other day. The polling biden stimulus package could actually goes left android at the same time. I'm eric glass back next week. With more stories of this american life alternate next week on the podcast of this american life. A republican on a mission to convince fellow republicans trump's supporters to get the covid vaccine is work cut out for him. When i code vaccine. What do you think of. I patrick rushed diane from ohio. Unproven michael oklahoma. Hold my freedom hostage with might convince them in the podcast and you'll go public radio station owner.

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The Vaccine Mandate Conundrum

The Daily

24:44 min | 2 months ago

The Vaccine Mandate Conundrum

"From new york times. I'm michael borrow. This is a daily today for the first time a federal agency is requiring that its workers or siv vaccine against cova nineteen. I spoke with my colleague jennifer stein about whether it's a sign of things to come. It's tuesday july twenty seven jennifer. Why is it that we are now suddenly talking about vaccine mandates so michael. I think you have to look at the vaccine as sort of three phases right i. There was the phase of okay. We have a vaccine but nobody can get it right. Lines people waiting all night to get a vaccine and then we moved pretty quickly into the phase of. We have a lot vaccine and we're having slow uptake among certain people to take the vaccine right and now we're in the next phase of it. Which is you had this. Delta variant of the corona virus raging through the world including the united states. And it's no longer seen so much of a choice of who wants a vaccine who doesn't want the vaccine as it is a public health crisis again. So at this point government the private sector. The white house have done kind of what they can do to move the needle. They've begged they've cajoled and pretty much. It seems we've hit a ceiling and so you're starting to hear increasing calls from experts on this illness that an order to get this in check and not have another giant wave in this country. Possibly the best way to do that would be mandates right thinking being after all these efforts and experiments that haven't quite done. The job that a mandate is kind of our last weapon in the public health arsenal to get people to get the shot. That's the thinking. And so they're looking to both the private sector and the government including the federal government to do that. Mandates mean you need to get a vaccine or you can't do something it can be. You can't stay employed here. it could be. You can't come into a restaurant it could be. You can't fly in an airplane right. But mandates remain very rare so remind us what has been the story of vaccine mandates up to this point well vaccine. Mandates are not a new concept. I mean most of your listeners. Who went to school probably had to have vaccines to go to school. In the military pretty much any vaccine that's required in school and sometimes beyond Especially for foreign deployments are required. In fact george. Washington ordered all of the continental army forces vaccinated in seventeen seventy seven because they were getting wiped out by smallpox so vaccine mandates have long been a public health tool both to get a large groups of accented and to prevent obviously the spread of this disease especially among more vulnerable groups and what about during this pandemic. What has been the role of vaccine mandates so far so among those i out of the gate on vaccine mandates were colleges and universities anyone planning on attending rutgers university for in person. Learning this fall will need to be vaccinated against cova. Nineteen quickly said that they were going to require vaccine of students who wanted to attend classes or live on campus currently more than five hundred colleges and universities nationwide heaven posed covert nineteen vaccine mandates and shortly thereafter we started to see hospitals and healthcare systems also compel employees to get vaccines a major legal ruling in the battle over whether companies can mandate cova vaccines in the workplace and recent court decisions have held those rights for them to do that back in march houston methodist. Hospital made its policy very clear. All employees must be vaccinated by june seventh or risk termination for example in june a federal judge in texas dismissed a lawsuit that was brought by the employees of houston methodist hospital who had challenged the hospitals corona virus vaccine requirement in the ruling. The judge wrote the vaccine mandate is a choice made to keep safe patients and their families and a lot of hospitals and other medical facilities. Look to that and began to create mandates their own individual's choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us and most recently. We're starting to see cities and states also follow that you're putting other people's innocent people's lives at risk and on monday. We saw governor gavin newsom of california and mayor bill de blasio of new york city. This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back new york city. This is hundreds of thousands of government employees. mandate vaccines. so right. now it's all very piecemeal. See here state. They're a different company handful of hospitals. But the one person who could really impose a broad mandate is the one who won't do it and that's president biden. And what could he do in terms of a vaccine mandate as president. Well certainly as it pertains to the military or the stroke of a pen. He can authorize vaccine even though it's in the emergency use authorization stage and he could probably also order federal workers at least in some agencies to have vaccines as well but so far not only has he resisted. The white house has been pretty up front that they have no interest in that one. That's not the role of the federal government that is the role that institutions private sector entities and others may take that certainly is appropriate. That's the role of state and local governments and the private sector and institutions like colleges and universities also. Local communities are going to take a steps. They need to take in order to protect people in their communities. I will send. It's not as if they've shied away. From this opinion. They've been quite vocal and quite open. When asked that this is their point of view. And they're almost irritated at the suggestion that they could or should be opposing mandates on federal workers even as the white house and president biden have offered and suggested and sort of almost begged states local governments and employers to do it. So it's a bit of a. It's a bit of a conundrum and it's pretty clear. That biden is walking pretty thin rope here in terms of the politics of vaccines which have dogged this whole effort from the very beginning just the fact that the federal government had an effort to go door to door to offer vaccine information and the shots themselves. Had people go bananas. You know a lot of folks were accusing the federal government of overreach and worse. And he doesn't want to be to be seen as forcing people to do something. So there's the message on the one hand please do this. We beg you to do this on the other hand. But we're not gonna force anybody and it's purely political because if you're a focus from a public health standpoint on outcome obviously mandate is a tool in your toolbox and right now politically. The white house has made the calculation. That's not one. They want to use. Explain that what is the political calculation. What is the fear that a vaccine mandate inspires in this white house. I think the fear is that d. already fairly toxic environment around the vaccine that is to say people who were resistant to the vaccine and not just saying they're worried that it's not safe or they wanna wait until they're people get it so they can kind of measure how it works out but people who are proclaiming that the vaccine is a tool to federal government to harm them having a mandate reinforces all of that in a very visible way. It's saying if you won't do something to your body we're going to force you to the idea of mandating vaccine of mandating putting a shot in your body somehow strikes people not just as unpalatable but pernicious. And i think that's the politics they're trying to avoid we're describing as fear from the biden white house that this would either backfire and perhaps make those who are resistant more resistant and potentially become politically. Very dangerous for them. Yes that is true. And that's what made it so interesting on monday. When the department of veteran affairs announced that it was going to have vaccine mandates for a segment of its employees which seemed to fly right in the face of what the administration emphasized on friday. It was not going to do federal mandates. We'll be right back. The redesigned jaguar. F. type is made to take you places. No other sports car can to a transcendent state were designing performance. Make driving sublime the re sculpted hood and seductive contours slice through the wind. The cockpit is driver focused and the supercharged v. Eight in the f. Type bar can go from zero to sixty in three point. Five seconds always follow local speed limits. All this makes the jaguar f. type like no other sports car in the world learn more at jaguar. Usa dot com if you've heard of blading county north carolina. It's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleed in some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges and petty beefs family history and history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote it was almost like they realized that we weren't done like okay. They smart. I'm zoe chase. Host to the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times told him five parts. Find it wherever we get your gas. Tell us about. This vaccine mandate from the department of veterans affairs. Because it would seem as you said to be quite out of line with the biden administration's approach to the so. How did it come to be so the secretary of veteran affairs. Dennis mcdonough has been very concerned for a couple of months now about the ceiling that he's hit at some. Va centers with vaccines Overall the employees are about seventy percent fully vaccinated which as you know is better than the national average but not good enough in his view and his clinicians view for healthcare workers and in some places is much lower lingering in the fifty percents rate so he started to feel. It was really inappropriate. Frankly for people giving direct care to veterans who tend to be older and more vulnerable to illness to not have the vaccine so he saw the via as at unique risk because it serves veterans. Obviously a group that the united states government cares a great deal about. i think that from his standpoint. All that that's been done. I had to worry about was the va. He didn't really distinct through the politics of how fit into joe biden's proclamation. That he wasn't going to have a federal mandate he looked at this. How is this affecting the va. And i think what he did was he looked at the. Va not as much as a federal agency in the context of the vaccine mandate but as a healthcare provider The department of veteran fares is actually the nation's largest integrated healthcare system period. It provides care for tens of thousands of veterans and their families. It has hospitals it has nursing homes. It has long term care facilities has clinics. So he's looking around the country and he sing. What are other hospitals and medical settings doing. And what's the legal test. And he very carefully consulted their legal department and the va. Constructed a mandate. That is a slice of employees. It's one hundred and fifteen thousand of you know. Roughly three hundred thousand who worked directly with patients. Doctors registered nurses since specialists folks like that who he and his clinical staff believed really needed to be vaccinated to be working with veteran patients. Got so it's very much a healthcare system and in that sense a logical place to experiment with a federal vaccine mandate right but obviously he had to do that in coordination with the white house right. He's not going to blindside them. He needed to let them know this was his plan and they obviously had to blessed and they did that by using the same logic. Clearly this is not a federal employee mandate this is a mandate on a federally functioning healthcare system. What more do we know about. The white house's reaction to this mandate well president barton on when the story broke was asked about it and he quickly sort of brushed it off. Yes this is happening at the. Va and kind of reemphasize. We're not doing big federal mandates. So they're definitely trying to keep this in the healthcare box and time will tell whether they get away with that or whether we immediately see the sort of protests that we've seen around Vaccine mandates and other countries mask mandates here. I have to imagine that for families of those being cared at. Va they will be pretty supportive of this. I don't know about the workers themselves how they're going to feel. Obviously those who've been resisting it. I can't imagine that a mandate is going to make them excited to the point. How is this secretary of the. Va messaging this. Mandate to the va workforce knowing how sensitive this all is. Well it's kind of interesting when denis mcdonough talks about vaccines and a mandate for healthcare workers in the va. He talks about it specifically for protecting veterans. You don't wanna be the one who is passing the virus unknowingly to somebody including one of our great heroes. Our vets and there are not too many groups in this country besides veterans and those actively serving in the military now who remain on sort of a cultural pedestal. Right the way they are. This is not a state or federal issue. This is not a republican or a democratic issue. This is an american issue. And so when he talks about it that way and he specifically and pointedly repeats that that's clearly how he's trying to message this. Got it so from everything you're describing. This is a very narrow mandate in a corner of the government that very much resembles a healthcare system. And so i wonder if we should think of this as any kind of test case for how the biden administration is thinking about vaccine mandates. Or if we should be thinking about it as kind of a one off that is unlikely to be replicated. I think it's somewhere between michael. I'm not sure that. I think this is a test case for the federal government. First of all one house to take president biden and his words. Since he's been someone emphatic that he's not seeking a widespread mandate for federal workers. I would look at it more as the continuation of testing mandates in healthcare settings. Were obviously vaccines are probably most vital to protecting other people's health and perhaps other private sector employers. I think that i would look to the private sector more. And of course local governments like we saw in new york city to be doing mandates. Before i would look for the federal government to be doing it. That's my spidey sense. But don't we expect private companies. We'll have to navigate these same pretty tricky political waters and cultural war questions as the federal government and potentially if they impose vaccine mandates risk losing customers if they end up on the wrong side of this issue in the minds of those customers yes i think. Vaccine mandates are politically tricky for everybody private and public sector. But what's interesting is you haven't seen so far in his. Obviously a small test of pushback that seems to be hurting anyone's bottom line. You know. I haven't read any stories about people dropping out of college because they don't want to get a vaccine or deciding to live at home rather than live in a dorm because they don't want to get vaccines governor scientists in florida really push back against the cruise industry because they were requiring vaccines for passengers and the cruise industry said take a hike and seemed to be victorious in that. It sounds like you're saying that the stick the private companies or colleges wheeled whether it's access to classes or to vacation on a cruise ship or to employment itself at a company is pretty powerful correct. If the idea that you might make others sick doesn't compel you to take a vaccine. That's kind of that but once you start to lose your rights that becomes a different kennel of fish. People don't like to be told the can't do something that they want to do. I saw someone tweet the other day that if they required vaccines for college football season you'd see you know people lining up tomorrow. People don't necessarily make decisions based on abstract concepts of what might happen to them. But they don't like to have things taken away from them right but it seems like so far the majority of those mandates the majority of those attempts to require. Vaccines are coming from private organizations. And i guess the question becomes. Is it an abdication of the federal government's area unique responsibility to safeguard public health to foist such mandates off on the private sector or even on local governments if the federal government has the power to impose it itself on federal workers given the symbolism that would create. It's an interesting question. I would point out to you that there's not even a vaccine mandate to work in the white house so that just goes to show you how far away. They are politically from wanting to to do that. And whether they think that political cost is higher than the benefit of having specifically federal workers vaccinated. Because you raise the question of symbolism and when you come to public health outcomes symbolism usually is less interesting to people than actual data outcomes right. How are you going to keep the largest group of people from getting sick and is it through for the federal workforce. Maybe maybe not so much. So why would president biden in some ways. Want to insert the federal government into what you're sort of describing as a political calculation when they can just continue to talk about it as a public health policy issue that everyone needs to play a role in and not have to sort of wear that burden of yet another piece of perception that the biden administration just forcing people to do things that they don't want to do with their bodies but jennifer. What if the answer is as simple as it could save lives. A federal worker mandate to be vaccinated from the white house. Well it's interesting because While it certainly probably would save lives of those who are not vaccinated who were part of the federal workforce. The question is with that also cost lives for people who don't get vaccinated almost as pushback to what they see as more federal intrusion and the white house has decided very clearly because they're articulate and open about it that pushing federal workers that 'cause having a mandate come from the white house is a bridge too far in the fight against vaccine hesitancy jennifer. Thank you very much appreciate. Thanks for having me michael on monday afternoon. A group of nearly sixty major medical organizations including the american medical association and the american nurses association called for the mandatory vaccination of all us healthcare workers in a statement the group's called vaccination the ethical obligation of healthcare workers. Right back harper publisher of an ugly truth inside facebook's battle for domination. The definitive account of the tech giant's fall from grace award-winning investigative journalists. Share frankel and cecilia. Hang up and the narrative. Ah facebook as a company that simply lost its way as it. Became a conduit for disinformation. Hate speech and political propaganda. An ugly truth takes readers deep inside the company to reveal that the missteps were not in anomaly. This is how zuckerberg and sandberg built facebook to perform visit. H c dot com for more. Here's what else you need tendered. I'm honored to welcome the prime minister. We've known each other for some time and Welcome to the white house on monday. During a meeting with the leader of iraq president biden said that by the end of twenty twenty the united states mission there would switch from combat to advising and training iraq's government. We're not going to be here in. The united states currently maintains about two thousand five hundred soldiers in iraq. And it's unclear how many will be removed but the shift in iraq mirrors biden's efforts to reduce the long term of the us military in afghanistan and the remains of the final victim of the building. Collapse in surf side. Florida has been identified. The authorities identified her as fifty four year. Old astill hud idea who lived on the buildings six floor. The discovery brings the final death toll. At the building to ninety eight people titties episode was produced by rachel. Wester nina potluck and rob tipco with help from chelsea daniel. It edited by. Mj davis. Lynn engineered by. Chris would and contains original music. By dan powell. That's it for the daily. I'm michael barr. see tomorrow. Imagine being able to live in age in your own home and community supported by a well paid team of professional care workers or being a family caregiver to your rowdy kids in aging mom without spreading yourself too thin a caring future where our interdependence is celebrated as possible renowned artists. Paolo mendoza and the care can't wait. Coalition captures real life care squads from across the country in a new interactive art installation. See the stunning art and take action for carrying future at care can't wait dot org slash communities.

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The War in Tigray

The Daily

29:03 min | 3 months ago

The War in Tigray

"Bladen county north carolina made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due election fraud. The story behind that election is actually a story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges petty beefs family history and history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. I'm zoe chase host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times. Find it wherever you get your podcast from new york times. I'm michael bavaro. This is the daily today. How the leader of ethiopia went from winning the nobel peace prize to undertaking a military campaign. That over the past few months has killed thousands displeased millions and led to claims of ethnic cleansing. Sabrina taverny spoke with our colleague chief. Africa correspondent declan. Walsh it's wednesday. June sixteenth declan. What's happening right now in ethiopia. So if you'll be just about to hold a major election now normally. This would be a cold for celebration. Ethiopia is the second most populous country in africa. Just a couple of years ago. It was seen as this grey democratic hope for the continent and instead yoga is in this terrible state. There is a civil war raging in the north of the country. There is being widespread reports of massacres and other human rights abuses there's a looming famine potentially involving millions of people and read this point where this nation that just a couple of years ago was seen as an anchor for the region of the horn of africa but also hope for the content on the hull is now staggering through this conflict and some people say even tumbling to a place where the country itself could be on the point of unraveling and i think that really just gets to the broader question of. Why didn't we see this coming. So declan what's the answer to that question. I think finance her. We've gotta look back in the history. If you'll be this country that was never colonized. And through the twentieth century this country was ruled by an emperor until the nineteen seventies and then for a period it is ruled by this brutal marxist dictatorship thou- really sort of ravages the place and eventually is ousted in nineteen ninety-one by a rebel group that seizes control and it's led by people from tigray. Which is this region. Right in the north of ethiopia up on the border with our trail the two grains take power and they run the country for almost thirty years. It is a period of stability. If you start to develop economically and the country begins to cast off the image that so many people associated with ethiopia which is with the terrible famine that devastated the country back in the nineteen eighties so there is great progress but it comes at a high price. Under the to grains ethiopia is effectively a one party state there are no proper elections speak of the presses quite curtailed political opponents have been thrown in jail and from about two thousand and sixteen. This whole system starts to run out of road effectively. Anti-government protests are erupting in several parts of the country. The police repressive in a very heavy handed way and then in two thousand and eighteen. The government surprises everyone by making a significant concession to the opposition it effectively fires the man who was the prime minister and in his place a couple of a way to yes. I knew relatively unknown guy clothes beyond much as to who is meant what we know about him. So he's young guy in his early forties. He's from oromia which is home to the largest ethnic group in ethiopia. Thirty five million people about one third of the population and the romo's with these people who have felt marginalized for decades. They feel they've been excluded from power and so i'll be on for them represents this hope for a return to the corridors of power. If you like on top of that. He's dynamic. He has served in the military. He started off as an intelligence officer. But later rose through the ranks of politics so for the two grains and when i say the to grains i mean the tigray people's liberation front that's the main party in the tigray region. I'll be represents a safe pair of hands. Because in fact he was already part of the ruling government so they figured that he would guarantee the continuation of the same system of rule and guaranteed the interests of the degree in political elite. So declan what does he do when he first comes to power well. He immediately defies all of the expectations. That people had for him in two thousand eighteen when he comes to power. He sets about undoing the decades of iron-fisted to grain rue he throws open. The prisons allows political prisoners to walk free. He invites home from exile if european who had been living abroad and then soon after that he does this totally unexpected thing. The half a century then nations fought wars g reaches out to eritrea. Ups archrival eyeing each other wearily across the fiercely disputed border country. They've been out war with technically for two decades and he says i wanna make peace ethiopia's new prime minister took the first step a surprise and controversial decision to accept a long-delayed peace deal and before you know it they've signed this landmark peace deal bringing the conflict between these two countries to an end. Throw these extraordinary scenes where the first commercial flights in decades between these two countries are taking place. The border is open and there is this real accents that here is this inspirational leader. Who's not only opened up politics at home. He's also reached out to if ups biggest full and made peace with them virtually overnight so it sounds like this is really above and beyond anything. Anyone expected this new leader to produce absolutely and then at the end of two thousand nineteen after just eighteen months in power. I now call upon the noble peace prize laureate of twenty nine teen to come forward and give his nobel lecture prime minister nobel peace prize comes knocking and they award the most prestigious prize to be armored. I am honored to be here with you. Today and grateful wage in nobel committee in recognition of the peace deal with eritrea. We have released all political prisoners. Have shutdown attention facilities where torture and human rights abuses took place but also for his domestic reforms at home and for helping to turn ethiopia into this country that suddenly hope for the region and indeed for the continent we are creating. that is second to none and it's gone off rhythms of expression while the nobel peace prize. That is quite an honor. It was amazing. So low login nagging monday king of auto piece shelby up on all of us. Thank you very much but in the middle of that is somewhat odd thing happens. When i'll be ov goes to oslo to collect his prize. He refuses to hold a press conference to answer questions from journalists which is normally the tradition among recipients of the nobel prize. Why wouldn't he want to talk to the press but wasn't really tear at the time. Why but in retrospect it's been seen as a sign of problems with obama's leadership that were brewing back at home in ethiopia and what was happening back at home. Well there are these ethnic conflicts erupting in several parts of the country where you have these ethnic groups that are seeking greater independence for their region and their mounting protests against government. You know we think of opium as this one unified country but in fact it's got over hundred ethnic groups and so during the thirty years of rule that preceded this one party state had kind of kept a lid on all of those tensions between ethnic groups that were competing for power when ambience merge through open the floodgates and liberalize the system in many ways all of those tensions suddenly came bursting out and flowing over and he is struggling to contain it. What does he do in response. So that's where things really start to go wrong. His response is actually to go back to the way things where he starts to lockup some of his opponents the press starts coming under pressure again. The police start behaving with great brutality against protesters and suddenly ethiopia. This brief moment of hope starts to feel like it's backsliding and that. I'll be honored suddenly now starting to move back towards being sort of tar -tarian that he was supposed to have replaced so he's really doing this one eighty on so many of these reforms that he put in place when he came in in just a short period of time right. I mean everything that drew all of that positive international attention in the first place. Yeah he's reverting to the old playbook and not only that he's turning on the people who put him in power and it becomes apparent that obvious creating this kind of political time bomb that would eventually go off with huge forest last november. We'll be right back. This podcast is supported by america's leading beverage companies working together to reduce plastic waste in our environment not all plastic is the same america's beverage companies are carefully designing one hundred percent recyclable plastic bottles including the cops. Their bottles are made to be remade and they're investing in community recycling programs to help get more bottles back so they can be turned into material to make new bottles that completes the circle and reduces plastic. Waste please help get back. Learn more at every bottle back dot orc sedan. What you mean by political time bomb well. As ibn ahmed consolidated his power one thing he did was to basically turn on the people who put him there. You remember the two grands around the country for thirty years. They thought he was going to be a continuity candidate but very quickly he started to turn on those two grand leaders marginalizing them from power and then initiating these prosecutions against some of the former rulers of the country for human rights abuses corruption. Other things like that as actively biting the hand that fed him. I mean these are the people who ruled for thirty years and he is effectively stripping them of power that's why and it creates a huge problem for him because you know his project suddenly now faces these two huge challenges he's got protests erupting in some parts of the country based on these ethnic demands and then at the same time he's wrestling with these powerful grain politicians who feel that he has discriminated against him and his treating them unfairly and then in the middle of all of this comes covert and like many other leaders. Around the world albion decides. He needs to postpone the elections that he had promised for august of last year but because the political situation in the country is so phibro always opponents are suddenly up in arms and they're saying he's doing this because he's using the pandemic as an excuse to avoid an election he doesn't want to contest this crisis continues to build and it climaxes in september when the two grains go ahead with elections in their own province in defiance of the orders of the central government. And that only exacerbates this crisis with abby ahmed and pushes it to a new level. So that the krantz respond by defying. How does avi respond well. The government's first step is to try and cut funding to the two grand who in turn respond by saying we no longer respect the legitimacy of the government so things are really getting tense through the month of september and october and then it really escalates when there are reports that the government is moving military units around inside tigray there is a total collapse and trust between the two sides and then in the early hours of morning of november fourth while the entire world has its attention fixed on the us election. I'll be honored in the middle of the night issues. The statement to say that degrades have carried out an attack on a federal military base. And he has been forced to respond with a military action against two grains while so obvious bed sort of quietly send in troops while the international community's attention is elsewhere is this an invasion of tegray. Well he calls it a law and order operation against what the european government calls a criminal fugitive politicians who have defied the a cars you have government and need to be brought to justice and ambiance tells ethiopians that this is going to be over in a matter of weeks and in fact a one point even goes to the point of telling people that will be entirely bloodless very quickly. It becomes clear that that is not what is happening. So what happens declan. What are we start seeing. Well in the early first couple of months we just do not really know what's going on in tigray there is a media blackout the internet and the food services are completely off. The government is preventing workers or journalists from entering the area and so us at new york times and other reporters were really struggling to find out. What's going on. But we hear enough to know that it is very serious there are these grain refugees streaming across the border into sudan and they bring accounts not only if the fighting but also of attacks on civilians and even some massacres. But it's only when things really open up from around the end of january early february that the scale of what's going on in tigray really becomes apparent declan when you talk about the scale. What were some of the things that were happening. There was widespread losing by soldiers and massacres of civilians. Who were dying in their dozens. Sometimes hundreds in a single incident forces entered and burned out homes and killed people. They left us with nothing so he fled here to sedan those unable or unwilling to flee with slaughtered by government troops. They said maybe was on. The street was killed so many people were lay down. You can see them bleed. The city stop to smell. I left with my parents and my child what we were now. We have nothing. We fled from death and murder. There were accounts of horrific sexual violence that they gave to every house and force the men to leave. We don't care about you. They said we only listen to our urges dynasty. Gonna some girls that. I managed to leave the village but on the road. More than ten soldiers took turns raping us hundreds of cases of rape reported which probably means that this far far more women that have been fred. Say that the things that they say to them when they were writing them is that they need to change their entity and they they've come to clinch plays. The blunt likely cleans the bloodline in the west of tigray. There are reports of ethnic cleansing forcing thousands of people to flee their homes and everywhere across the region throughout these reports of hunger. People stores of food have been looted. Farmers aren't able to plant their crops and people are starting to starve. We don't have enough food shelter sleeping materials and clothing before. The war fed our children three times a day but now we cannot and yet the ethiopian government is blocking relief groups from reaching the most vulnerable people and declan all of this violence. The murder and the rape is all of this on the orders of prime minister. Abi at first he denies it but as reporters and aid workers start to get access to tigray. The terrible reality on the ground is undeniable. Now it's important to say and the un stresses this that all sides to this conflict including and rebels have carried out abuses but it's also true that the vast majority of those abuses are being committed by the ethiopian military and tallies and declan who are its allies. What do you mean by that. When albion the ghost war in tigray he doesn't just send in the european military. He needs help. The ethiopians can't hold on this region on their own and then to the great surprise of just about everybody that helped comes from eritrea. Dealed fu whose forces crossed the border entity. Great and start fighting alongside the ethiopian military. Wow so this is abi ally with a foreign power eritrea. A country that ethiopia itself fought a bitter war with the. He concluded the peace deal with in order to attack his own people. It's absolutely astonishing and so in the early weeks of this campaign. You have these airtran soldiers. That are boosting the government's effort to defeat the two grants and for the eritreans themselves. This is kind of payback because remember a couple of decades earlier. They'd fought this war with european largely against to grand soldiers and for them. This is their opportunity to come. And some measure. Take their revenge to declan. What's happening now with a conflict. Dwar is rumbling. On the to crayons are mostly in a mountainous region in the center of the country. They are fighting against the government forces and elsewhere in tigray. The region has been pretty much destroyed. Its economy is on its knees. The banks closed the phone. Still largely. don't work and the humanitarian situation is especially dire aid groups. Say that over five million people in tigray urgently need immediate food assistance and that three hundred and fifty thousand people are already living in famine conditions. And if things don't get better by next september the region could be in the grip of a famine on a scale that hasn't been seen in ethiopia in decades and at the same time there is huge international pressure on beyond the now to stop the fighting immediately and to send those airtran troops home. Who are doing so much damage and instead of that. We're having an election right. I almost forgot about the election. What's happening with that well. It's been postponed a couple of times. But it's going ahead next monday for ibm mode. It's important to face the voters for the first time because when he came to power in two thousand eighteen he was installed by zone party. Nobody elected him. And it's boost to be this key milestone on ethiopia's journey towards democracy but declan. How did he hold an election in the middle of a civil war. Well the short answer is that the election is not going to take place in several parts of the country. It's not gonna take place in tigray at all. And there are several other regions where ethnic violence has been flaring. The government has effectively imposed a kind of localized military rule in those areas. So that already. We know that the vote won't be taking place in those places. The european union has refused to send election monitors and the state department issued a statement. Just last friday saying that it's gravely concerned about the conditions in the country. When this vote is gonna take place so declan hearing you lay all of this out and seeing how quickly abi and ethiopia have turned essentially in a span of eighteen months. He's gone from nobel peace prize winner to alleged ethnic cleanser. How did the world the nobel committee in in foreign leaders everywhere so drastically miscalculate. I think part of the answer is the this is a story people wanted to believe in they wanted. Ibm to succeed. Perhaps desperately and i think that people's view of what was going on on the ground meat. Gop was a little obscured by the dazzle of the nobel peace prize. It's interesting. I've been speaking to several western officials in sources about this and one of them said to me. You know in the west because we don't pay that much attention. What goes on in africa. We tend to categorize african leaders either as soaring hopes and democratic If you like and bad guys and after he won the nobel peace prize especially beyond was very firmly. Put in the category of a good guy. And there's a real sense that people took the ri- of the bowl and they weren't paying attention to the warning signs of what has now come to pass in the country with such tragic consequences for ordinary ethiopians. I mean essentially what you're saying is the world wanted to believe it him that the international community wanted him to be a hero and so they made him one because that was what they wanted to see up. -solutely so where are we now with ethiopia. What's going to happen there. you know. There's a real sense that the world is now waking up to what's going on and their constant coals for an immediate ceasefire the united states has blocked visas for some ezio paean officials. They have block some international financing for the european government. And really that's just the start. Probably of measures against ethiopia if things continue but it's a way to try and pressure with european government to pull back from the brink of this war and it kind of gets to the broader view of the international community. At this point officials are telling me this isn't just about a devastating civil war or even about this tragic famine that is looming but this is about very stability of ethiopian state. When you look at all of these sort of centrifugal forces that are pulling the country apart arguably in places the question is now not just whether dpa can be persuaded to pull back or some sort of peace settlement can start but whether they can stop this. What some people are looking. On as a kind of unraveling that is starting to pull the country apart at the scenes jecklin. Thank you treasure We'll be right back. This podcast is supported by america's leading beverage companies. Were working together to reduce plastic least in our environment. Their carefully designing their bottles and caps to one hundred percent recyclable. So every bottle can be remade into a new one. Please help every bottle back. Learn more at every bottle back dot work. Here's what else you need today. This is a momentous day and we deserve it because it has been a long long road and on tuesday the governors of both new york and california dropped virtually all remaining covid nineteen restrictions on businesses and social gatherings after more than seventy percent of adults in both states had received at least one dose of a vaccine. What does seventy percent mean. It means that we can now return to life as we know in new york for instance restaurants and movie theaters no longer be required to space tables or seats six feet apart. Despite that progress the times reports that in the coming days the us death toll from covid nineteen will surpass six hundred thousand experts said that it was unvaccinated americans who are largely responsible for the lingering deaths and for the grim new milestone. Today's episode was produced by sydney harbour. Luke vanderploeg and daniel g met with help from lauren jackson. It was edited by m j davis limp and engineered by chris would. That's it for the daily. I'm michael borrow seat him. This podcast is supported by america's leading beverage companies working together to reduce plastic waste in our environment not all plastic is the same america's beverage companies are carefully designed in one hundred percent recyclable plastic bottles including the cops. Their bottles are made to be remade and they're investing in community recycling programs to help get more bottles back so they can be turned into material to make new bottles that completes the circle and reduces plastic waste. Please help get every bottle back. Learn more at every bottle. Back dot org.

ethiopia declan tigray zoe chase improvement association michael bavaro Sabrina taverny eritrea the new york times oromia european government Bladen county africa ibn ahmed phibro government abby ahmed america romo
The Upside of Our Parents' Divorce

Modern Love

21:43 min | 2 months ago

The Upside of Our Parents' Divorce

"The way we work is always changing teams get restructured workplaces go hybrid and businesses scale. That's why teams organizations need a unified way to work and stay aligned. No matter what they do monday. Dot com work s is a customizable platform. Where your team can easily build out any workflow manage any project. And plan for whatever's next. Don't wait until next. Quarter to give your team a customizable unifying and powerful way to work. Go to monday. Dot com slash podcast. And start your free trial today now last stronger than anything. I love you more than anything from the new york times. I'm dan jones. And i'm merely. This is the model of podcast this week. Essay really surprised me. In how explores what creates you know. Real lasting bonds sometimes is bonds. Come from going through really hard times together. The essay is called the secret to sibling success. It's written by ellen. New manzke and bread bike hairston ston potter years ago. My brother and i attended the wedding of childhood friend held on a high floor of a stylish san francisco hotel. We were standing by the florida ceiling. Windows joking with each other. When the sister of the groom approached you guys are so close. She said it must be nice. Tell me what. Can i do to make my daughter's as close as you are. Her tone was light but her eyes were searching. You wanna now. Eric said i'll you you and your husband should separate then go through an ugly divorce. That'll bring your kids together. I cracked up. Oh she said uncertainly. I didn't say it would be easy. He added. I laughed again. The lights of san francisco spread below us the dark waters of the bay editing beyond i remember the hesitation in our friends voice. The half smile fixed on her face. Eric's spoke to her but his words were for me as if he were saying. This is our history. We can claim it and make fun of it. It was snarky dark but freeing to and it made me love him all the more when our parents separated. I was nine my older brother. David was twelve. And eric was sex. Our parents had previously contained their strife behind closed doors but now no longer had the energy or the will. They loved us deeply but there were battles to be won. Emotional reputational financial. No one behaved. Well my father moved first to a nearby apartment and then to a house while we stayed put with our mother in our home in the hills of los angeles ours was a typical eighties arrangements. We spend every other weekend with our father and had dinners out with him. On wednesday evenings as we tried to adjust to our new reality shuttling back and forth households trying to tune out the fights about money and the sharpness with which they now spoke to each other. My brothers were my one constant and comfort. We didn't know we were doing it but we created a family within a family. My siblings were my allies. We had roles. David became our negotiator. The one who dealt with our parents and the endlessly fraught calendar requests he was the stalwart who communicated less than pleasant news. Eric became the cut up when our father was dating a younger woman. We got him to greet her by saying hey says once when he was eight or nine he begged for casio calculator. Watch that my father wouldn't buy for him. I'm sure my father had good reason to say no. But what i remember most was eric's crying and my white-hot clarity that he needed protecting and i was the one to do it. Why can't you be nicer about it. I screamed at our father. Me who hated arguing above all why do you have to be so mean my siblings and i still bicker constantly. We fought physically. I have a scar on my right hand from an altercation and my grandparents house when david furious threw me against cabinet. We were often left to our own devices with little parental supervision. David and i once cajoled eric to cram himself into our clothes dryer another time. We folded him up in the sleeper couch. Just to see what would happen. He was fine. My brothers took great pleasure in teasing me for my love of little house on the prairie and general hospital for my constant reading for my crush on the dodgers second baseman. Steve sags but we were comrades. When david got his driver's license at sixteen his newfound freedom extended to us now. He was the one taking us from one house to the other enabling us to avoid those awkward parental handoffs. I still remember the spiralling fear. I felt when we dropped david off at his college dorm less than a hundred miles away. Who would arrange wednesday night dinners with dad. What would we do with him. Gone as we entered adulthood and moved to different parts of the country. We didn't need one another as much but we realized something we wanted to spend time together. We took a trip without our parents. Rafting in southern oregon. We mused about how nice it would be if we lived in the same city. When i was going through a rough time in my mid twenties it was my kid. Brother newly graduated from college who came and slept on the floor of my tiny apartment. Not because i had asked him to but because he sensed that. I didn't want to be alone now. We're squarely in middle age with families of our own. Our parents moved on from the bitterness. They both remarried happily years ago For us though the time of their divorce remains a potent point of reference a shared experience that offers a wellspring of barbed humor. We three now live thousands of miles from where we grew up but within a few miles of one another just as we talked about when we were younger. We've rented summer houses together for a time. Eric and i worked at the same magazine team. You manzke my husband calls us. That closeness gives me a solace. I wish i hadn't needed recently. Five years ago at age sixty nine our mother learned she had a rare aggressive cancer and in that brutal overwhelming period. We three relied on one another taking turns visiting sharing what little information we had the last january she passed away and since then the three of us said codfish the jewish prayer that one traditionally recites for eleven months after a death often. We went to services together afterward. We would gossip and get pricey coffee and avoid our responsibilities joking about how our mother would approve. Of course she would when you recite cottage as a mourner. You stand while everyone else in. The congregation remained seated in the months after she died as i rose to say the short prayer the holidays she loved past and my birthday and hers to and still she was gone. I would glance how the synagogue window at the tree branches bear when she died last winter. Then full and resplendent for months and now skeletal again. The passage of time feels at once inconceivable and heartbreakingly normal. I miss my mother beyond measure. And during codfish i became lost in my thoughts and my own private morning but i stood with my brothers. I heard their voices chanting to one time. I walked into services and a woman who is a regular whispered to me. Your brothers aren't here yet and my heart swelled a little at the idea that even people who barely know me see me as part of this unit a few months ago. I was at a child's party and a mother. There was lamenting how her young daughters didn't get along. It's a parenting fail. She said i thought of telling the same divorce joke. My brother had made but i didn't. I wish i had said what. I truly believed that. These things can't be forced the best you can do is step back and let alchemy takeover a couple of years after the divorce. David and i were in our backyard where she and a friend were fixing up a tiny one person sailboat. They bought painting it red. Our kitchen faced the backyard with a big window over the sink and david went into washes hands. I had a decent view of him. He turned on the sink disposal. I heard the grinding noise. And then i'll never forget. He began. Screaming holding up is red dripping hands. I shrieked his hands caught mangold. Then he pulled open the screen door with disarming ease and outside laughing. It's a joke. It's just the paint he's said coming over see. I'm fine. i'm completely fine. I hate you. I said crying turning away from him. My heart knotted up in equal parts. Fear and fury. I really really hate you. I have two daughters of my own now three years apart as my brothers and i are my daughters are nothing alike. They rarely play together. They are not each other's best friends but in moments of true despair. I have seen them reach for each other and for that. I'm grateful the rest. We will just have to see. Oh oh after the break a tiny love story about a brother and sister who hold each other up when the rest of their family is falling apart. Oh if you've heard of bleeding county north carolina it's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleed in some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges petty beefs and family history history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. It was almost like they realized that we weren't done. Okay they smart. I'm zoe chase. Who's to of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times told and five parts. Find it wherever we at your podcasts. Hi kim hi mia nice to talk to you. Thank you my name is kim need. Co and. i'm going to read my piece trusting the edge. A family holiday card that year would have shown our faces scratched out father. Dead mother in assisted living one brother in a coma. I just broken up with dishonest. Possibly cheating on me boyfriend and brother. Gary took the ice skating the local ring. He was graceful and fluid i- tottered on wobbly ankles. He's skated over with ivy boven. A walkman and headphones coltrane was playing my favorite things. Trust the edge. Gary said soon. I was gliding along no longer depressed or carrying fi fell. I knew he would be there to help me up beautiful. Thank you so much. can i ask you What year this was now. You mentioned a walkman yeah that takes it doesn't it It was probably about twelve to fifteen years ago. And how old were you at the time. And how old was gary Let's see i would have been about fifty. I'm thinking and gary is a year younger. But i've always thought of him as my twin like we weren't quite separated at birth but i feel like the our mothers eggs split and no one of us just stayed in the womb an extra year and then came out. So i'm the older twin. What makes you feel like you guys are twins. We're just really really similar. You know. I really do feel like we share a lot of the same Cells somehow we have the same sort of stark sense of humor. We can talk on the phone and laugh for an hour Which we do quite often. And he's just one of those warm witty people that makes everybody around him happy. Can you tell me more about what was happening in your life during the year that you describe the story. Yeah so my brother. John had had a liver transplant a few years ago. And he went in the hospital for biopsy and ended up They had a minute induced coma. So he'd been in an induced coma for about a month at this time at christmas time. My mother is in assisted living with parkinson's trying to button her sweater and refusing to drink her. Ensure and my ex husband who i had gotten back together with after several years apart. We had bought a little house in oakland together and then it turned out that he was less than honest about some financial matters. And then snoop that. I am of course. At that point. I went looking through his email and turned out. He was less than honest about some sexual matters to. So we were breaking up and my ex's living in the basement of our house link troll or a gallon and i've run away from from all that income. Dc and so. That was sort of the situation that was happening. That urine especially at christmas was ice skating. Something that you and your family did often no but my brother had introduced me to ice skating. We did as kids on the potomac and on christmas. He just he saw that. I was really depressed and unhappy. And he just said hey. Let's go ice skating and then so it seemed like you had kind of a tough time on the is as well at least yeah. 'cause we didn't we didn't do it that often you know so. It's been a long time since i skated in my brother's just going backwards around the rink doing beautiful things. And he's so graceful and fluid. And i'm like you know just kind of tottering along trying to keep it together feeling like. Was this really a good idea. I should have just stayed home and gotten drunk or something and just wanting to to get away from it all and then of course you know there. I am with headphones on john. Coltrane is playing music in my ears. The aspirin is kicking in and suddenly. You know everything just kind of changes and turns into a place where there i am. It's just pure presence now. And i'm just there skating and and and happy you know it's just one of those moments of grace and then your brother. He says the thing to you which feels so resident and meaningful. Trust the edge. What did that mean to you at the time. Yeah it's ecorse literally you know when you skate. You just have to commit like anything you have to commit to that moment and trusting that the the edge of the blade is going to keep you on the ice in so you have to lean in a bit in order to do that and i think it's just the perfect metaphor for what was happening. You know being on that edge and knowing that everything was uncertain in not knowing what was going to happen next and then just having a moment of trust to say okay. Things will work out. How else has your brother been there for you throughout your life. I know you feel like you guys are twins. Yeah you know. Especially i think as we've gotten older and you know we're all in different parts of the country in my family was never really that close family. So he's the one. I'm closest to and i just think more and more we've become best friends over the years but he's he's always always been there to help me out. I mean when. I was in new york for three years. I'm there with very little and was sort of going sublet to sublet. And gary came up to visit me on. The training brought me qatar. Because he knew it left a lot of my instruments on the west coast. And so he brought me guitar that he hadn't said he thought you could use to do some playing while you're in new york and that's the kind of thing he would do often Just pass something along or give me something that. I didn't realize i needed in until i did. Thank you so much. Kim lovely talking to you. It was a pleasure. Thanks for having me by take care. Modern love is produced by julia. Botero with help from hans. Buteau tracy mumford. It's edited by sarah sarasin executive producer. Is wendy door. This episode was mixed by corey. Shrek original music by marian lozano. This week's essay was written by ellen. You man skiing's and read by kirsten potter kim at a neat. Co wrote tiny. Love story special. Things to julius. Simon muhima giovanni bonnie wertheim on astrum in samdahl nick and ryan wichner at autumn. I'm dan jones. And i'm merely and we'll be back next week but more stories for modern. Thanks for listening.

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Do Falling Birthrates Spell Doom?

The Argument

35:13 min | 3 months ago

Do Falling Birthrates Spell Doom?

"Dan the argument. What's the big deal about the following nursery. The us census reports over the last decade. The population grew at the slowest rate since the nineteen thirties. Number of babies. The average woman is expected to deliver in her lifetime has dropped from nearly four in the nineteen fifties to less than two today and that could present an entirely different threat to society as we know it. You have an economy that since the end of the second world war is growing based on consumerism. What happens when all your consumers are old and they have everything they want a lot of headlines about falling birth rates in the united states. Now swear make it sound like a major disaster that fewer babies spells doom for our future economy and that an older population means workers and fewer people paying into social security. I'm jane coast to me. Having kids is the result of individual choices and societal context. Do you wanna kids. And does it feel possible to have kids. that's why i'm interested in all the debates around declining birth rates. I wonder what's driving the choices families are making. And policymakers are thinking about changing them. And i'm wondering should we be concerned about this. How concerned or not should we beep. My guest today study population growth and shrinking and have different ideas. And how we're some falling. Birth rates are nine. What we should do about it. I'm in stone. Is the director of research at the consulting firm demographic intelligence provider of us. Birth and marriage forecasts. He's also an adjunct fellow. At the american enterprise institute a public policy. Think tank in dc thinks we should be concerned about a falling birth rate. Carolina hartnett is a demographer and an associate professor of sociology university of south carolina. And she thinks there several reasons why we shouldn't be panicking about this following birth rates and the idea of birth rates have been in the news for the past couple of weeks. I vaguely remember people being like. Oh there might be a pandemic boom. Which i remember from the pandemic's didn't seem like that was going to happen because when you're wracked with anxiety maybe that doesn't seem like the right time for that. Yeah this is a situation. I think we're demographer like they were screaming into the void like everyone is like. Oh maybe they'll be a baby boom for like you're crazy. No yeah was like some wishful thinking but first and foremost caroline. I know that you are less concerned about these issues. And perhaps lyman is. Yeah so. I think that there are several reasons not to be too worried. When we say the total fertility rate for twenty twenty one point six children per woman. It's kind of misleading right. There's no group of women having one point six children. It's just a way of saying that. There was a relatively low number of births for that year. We know that the recent decline in birthrates was particularly steep among the youngest women. And we still don't know to what extent those women are gonna make up those birth later so you know one reason. I think that we shouldn't be too worried. Is that the number one point. Six children sounds worse than it is. And it's going to depend a lot on what happens in the future. A second reason. I think not to be too worried about. This is that we have a policy option. That does work quite well to offset some of the potential consequences of a low birth rate and that's immigration so immigrants are new members of the population so they raised population growth rates. People tend to move when they're young. So immigrants make the population age structure younger. The children that young immigrants bring to the us or have when they're here also contribute to keeping the population young and then the third reason that i think that this isn't a cause for major anxiety is the fact that population dynamics evolve over very long time scale like over the course of many many decades so what the structure and the growth rate look like in twenty fifty or twenty one hundred is going to depend on what the birth rate the death rate and the migration rate looked like for like eight years before that so far with had a period of ten plus years when birth rate has declined that in and of itself is not a make-or-break fact for our future population dynamics. So what happens next matters and it's possible that our birth rate will go up. Turn a corner. It's possible that it will kind of stabilize around where it is. It's possible that it will continue to go down. All of those scenarios are possible mike. We've seen them happen in other countries but no matter what happens we still have a lot of warning before we get to a point where we have an older age structure or a shrinking population. Lyman you've written on this issue and you're definitely one of the people who thinks this is a big deal on. Who is more concerned about this. It seems to me that this is in many respects kind of the understandable after-effects aftershocks of industrialisation. Both the united states and elsewhere. Why are you more concerned about this. So a lot of the work that we do. Demographers is kind of walking backwards into history and so we were kind of looking at. What's already happened as we enter the future without really seeing it. What i'm interested in doing is attempting to turn around and actually look at that future. Unfortunately immigration rates into the us have been in decline for years and infertility rates are falling everywhere so in the future. What can we expect for immigration. We can expect continuing difficulty. Finding the levels of immigration that are necessary to offset low fertility rates and we can expect episodic crackdowns on immigration as an increasingly anti immigrant. Right is at least occasionally in power arm. And i think that this is also what we're seeing in europe as well. So on fertility. The same thing is true. Caroline's totally right that the totality rate is just sort of this like kinda made up indicator that we use for like. Here's how many babies somebody would have. Everything was the same forever and it is. It is totally made up on the other hand. If you match up the total fertility rate that the country had when a woman was twenty five to children's she ends up having turns out. It's really really strongly predictive and the reason to be concerned that this number is low. You know we talk about labor force all the time. Yeah that's interesting stuff. Economists like the labor force in politicians like the labor force but the reality is most women. Say that they want somewhere between two and three kids and if on average they're gonna have one point six one point seven one point seven five something like that that means a rather large share of women not having families that they want to have and it'd be one thing if people were saying like oh i want a yacht and oh you didn't get a yacht. No-one's crying for you. Not having a yacht but like having two children is a reasonable thing. So i think what we should say. Is that people have this desire. That is prima facie reasonable. That seems like in a functioning in decent society people would be able to achieve this and yet in practice. Many are not and so. I'm concerned about that. I don't think we should get people worried. And anxious about the kind of future children are going to have if the birth rate is too low. I do think we should get people. Altruistically cly worked up in fertility being below. What people want so mitt romney's child allowance. Proposal dislike the most credible proposal for like a reconciliation. Abol child allowance that we have right. Why does he propose this. Why are there a few other republican. Senators that even if they're not on paper with exactly that proposal they've got like a similar thing is because they suddenly care way more about child. Poverty now is because they care about the birth rate. Do i want everybody to be going around. Like off the birth rate. I'm so anxious. No but do. I want to light a fire. Under the bottom of policymakers to realize that this is a problem in a lot of people's lives that this is going to lead to a lot of people not having the life they want and maybe having some some negative feelings about that that sometimes might come out on them. as policymakers. yeah. I want them to know that and i want them to take action on that basis. My reservation with that approach is a couple of things one is that. I'm not sure that it'll work all that. Well so i think that people a lot of people have already in their heads that these policies don't increase the birthrates and also. I'm not sure that it sort of worthwhile to make the the birth rate is falling. And that's really bad argument in order to get people on board with the spending bills. Yeah because i really do. Think that there are real downsides to framing the falling birth-rate as a crisis. This isn't just an american issue. And we've seen that in china for instance. When the chinese government does to women to have more children now women are saying. But i wanted. I wanna do all these things that you said you wanted to do. And now you don't want me to do these things in a context in which in united states now swear working so and especially working through the childbearing years is so important. Yes so. I think that when we are talking about what we call in demography the fertility transition where you societies go from having an average of six seven eight children down to three to below that that transition implies improving autonomy for women greater empowerment. I think overall that sort of a positive transition for women but when we get down to these kind of lower levels of childbearing like we're seeing in both wealthy countries including the us right now. I think that that's often not a function of greater empowerment. I agree with linemen that most people would like children and there are a lot of people who fall short of that and that that is a kind of a failure of autonomy and empowerment I think that sort of embedded in the fertility trends were seeing. There are some people who are gaining more empowerment and more control over their fertility some fraction of the earth rate decline that we've seen in the last ten plus years has been a decline in unintended pregnancy. So i think that kind of the trends that we're seeing recently are very much a mixed bag in terms of whether they reflect increasing control over our lives or decrease in control over our lives right. I wanted to ask. Why are birthrates falling. There are many answers. That's what it sounds like a lot of answers. We wish we could be more scientific about but you know we go well over here. It looks like this and over there. It's probably because of that. So if i can just jump in on you mentioned china and there's a funny thing so china's actually a great example of what i'm talking about. Where low fertility can lead to a kind of strange world. So china's low birth rates are one of the many reasons that china's current more nationalistic leadership is concerned about the birth rates among minorities and the rising population share made up of minorities. So when we talk about low fertility and how societies actually respond to this. Actually we've used words like anxiety and worry and concern. I really try to shy away from a lot of these words. Because i don't think you can. You can anxiety somebody into having more kids. Believe me if you could a lot of people's grandmothers would have already have. They've been trying the things that made me want kids. Are things like hope and aspiration and these things but when you get these societies of anxiety what you get is really adverse outcomes and also china's case. We see this funny thing where china's like. Oh we're encouraging you to have children. All know removing fines for having children and in the meantime they're concerned about labor force dynamics so what did they do. They raised the retirement age and who provides most childcare in china grandparents so this labor force concern actually results in a situation where They want these young people to have kids and to try to get them to have more kids. They target the high fertility minorities for special repression. And then they target the han chinese people and make them work longer years and have access to childcare. Because targeting labor force dynamics you can do it by increasing fertility or by disciplining labor more intensely and often. That's what happens and so we hear a lot about adapting aging and often it means by intensifying extraction from labor and we see this all throughout east asia. Which is the countries that are most at the cutting edge of this. I think that for many people listening to this who are perhaps slightly older than i am. They might remember that. We used to be worried about a population bomb. We used to be very concerned that there were too many people and there are still people who are apparently concerned that we have too many people personally. I think that occasionally that type of anti-nato lysm always seems to be very concerned about certain people having too many children. And i like where that goes because it goes into hugli terrible eugenicist place but has something changed because i think caroline you've mentioned i believe that birth rates have been falling. What happened between going to have to many people population bomb everyone starves and we are going to have too. Few people were going to go. Further below replacement rate. Everyone panicked. So you know. I think those fears were really kind of fomented in the sixties and seventies when we were in this period kind of worldwide where death rates had fallen and birth rates. Were sort of on their way down. But in that period of in-between where death rates fall and then birth rates fall. You get a population boom also. I think you know one thing that happened is that there was this fear that there was going to be widespread famine and things like that and those fears that were explicitly stoked by certain people who had an agenda who maybe wanted to write a book called the population and maybe sell a lot of copies and then we had a a green revolution. We were able to increase crop production and even as population was increasing. There were all of these doomsday scenarios. They didn't pan out. It is very much the case though that there are a lot of people currently who are sort of still talking about this idea of quote overpopulation and in these articles that have been written recently out the decline in fertility rates generally framing that as a negative thing the comment sections of these articles are filled with people saying actually birth rate declines or good. Actually yes We have many people. We have too many michael. It's bad right. And i think that i think that those arguments are as you said dangerous. They had very quickly to kind of eugenics and they're really just misguided. There's this idea that population is a major driver of climate change. That's not really the case right. Climate change is driven by the consumption and wealthy countries. It's driven by fossil fuel companies. It's driven by the set of incentives that we have under our political and economic system. Right you know. A a large number of people on the earth are contributing very little to climate change. And one reason that. I think it's actually not a good thing to get. People worked up about this idea of a falling birth rate and to frame that as a crisis and say that it's really bad is because i think you sort of agitate people on the other side you know you sort of like turn up the heat on the conversation. And then you have one group saying falling. Birth rates are catastrophic. Right there leading us to this like horrible dystopia and then you know people on the other side screaming. No need to get rid of people like we're killing the earth populations or bad. So you know. I i would much rather just sort of turn down the temperature on these conversations generally but i do think there's a crisis here. I do think that the current decline in birthrates. We see in a lot of countries rich countries but also a lot of low income countries where fertility is considerably below. What women say they want that. This is a crisis. Now the only thing i would say is there are concerns about climate change and fertility but empirically. I run a survey of fertility preferences in the us every couple of months and we ask women about their concerns about climate change in their fertility preferences and women who are worried about climate change. Do not have different fertility preferences than other women in fact a lot of women report being worried about climate change because they have run -ticipant having children that is their children will inherit it now. What we do see is women who are worried about overpopulation. Have different fertility preferences. But a lot of those women aren't worried about climate. Change what i would say is that while. Overpopulation worries are real. I don't think there's a strong case to be made that there's a lot of people avoiding artillery because there's too much carbon and to the extent that there is i think that the obvious like two birds with one stone thing here is is implemented carbon tax and use the revenues one hundred percent to finance a child allowance just like straight up. Carbon tax pays for shoutouts. Go straight back out there. you get easing parenthood. And you've dealt with a major driver of climate change and i understand the perspective that maybe we need to turn down the temperature on this and we're having a civil discussion between three civil people. None of us like calling people names and saying ru things. So we probably all agree that it's good to turn down the temperature and not not say rudin inflammatory. Things leave nasty comments at the same time if we desire policy change that supports family that requires rhetoric. That actually motivates people. So i think that actually gets into what i think is going to be the most interesting part of this conversation. What we should do about it. Or if there is a thing to be done about it and i want to ask you about the role that work ism plays in here and how the american perspective on work plays in how people are having children so as caroline mentioned there has been a pretty sharp decline and unintended pregnancy. In the us in the last ten or fifteen years. That's i would say. An alloy decided people avoiding pregnancies that have really adverse impacts on their life is is a great thing especially since research suggests it's primarily happening through highly effective forms of contraception. But we also see declining fertility rates and other groups. So i did this paper looking attitudes towards work where we find that in high income countries. People who say that work is relatively more important to nephew or children. This fits with a lot of what we see in broader theories of fertility change. That suggest that there's values change that leads to behavioral change and the argument that i co author make. Is that a big part of it. Is people changing their source of meaning making towards the workplace the career you really derive value from. It's really. what kind of makes you who you are. And that this shift we think is pretty significant. And that leads to lower fertility and that leads to lower accomplishment even desired fertility because when people face trade-offs if they get a lot of meaning out of this other thing and there aren't sure how much meaning the really get out of a child even if they desire. We think that this is one of the dynamics at play now. Is that the only thing happening. No am i saying that women value their work too much. They need to stay home. No not at all because in fact what we found is that the effect is even more significant for men than it is for women that men valuing their work a lot actually have a more negative effect than women valley a lot so our argument is that basically to achieve the goals that individuals have and that many governments increasingly have on fertility. What you really needed labor policy. What you really need is protection of workers in the ability to have flexible and viable. That are good for family. Gain the why. Don't we talk about legalization of drugs. Very very important. Timely compensation set we need to have really needs to stop criminalizing drugs and start locking people up for what they choose into their body anyway. I love the job. You're doing keep up. The good works looking for the next week heireann. thanks for calling. So when we're thinking about the legalization of drugs. I think that's actually a really interesting conversation to be had. Because there's been a lot of talk about decriminalization where drug remains illegal but people who possess it art arrested for it but legalization implies that there would be a taxation schedule set to a specific drugs that you would go to the store between the hours of nine and five and be able to purchase the affirmation drug which is a very different conversation from simply decriminalizing a substance so. I think that it's really important. And i'm glad you brought up legalization because the step up from decriminalization and i think that's that's a conversation we really need to have. What are you arguing about with your family. Your friends your frenemies. Tell me about the big debate. You're having and a voicemail calling three four seven nine one five four three to fort and we might plan on a future episode if you've heard of blading county it's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out to election fraud but in bleed and some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal garages and petty beefs and family. History history history and it's about the old despite of all the fight for the black vote it was almost like they realized that we weren't done. Okay they smart. I'm zoe chase host. The improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times told him five parts. Find it wherever we get your gas. Speaking as someone who's in this cohort. Yes you want to have children but you want your children to be fed and happy. The cost of living is so expensive and it just seems like it's not that you're spending on avocado toast. You're spending it on trying to get to work everyday the work that you need to fund the children that you currently cannot afford to have. Yeah i think that there are a lot of things happening. Simultaneously right stagnant wages young people today hold a smaller share of the country's wealth and previous generations of young people dead and then you also have a situation where i think employers used to provide certain supports to employees that kind of in support of childbearing. So things like a reliable work schedule. Low-cost healthcare pensions and those supports have gotten weaker over time and there has not been anything really to kind of fully compensate for that loss. Yeah i just keep thinking about the so-called success sequence of just light graduate from high school get married then you can have kids that it'll all work out great and well you know. Sometimes things don't quite happened that way right. I mean they started. The transition to adulthood has gotten longer go ahead linemen and you know it is true if you if you do the success sequence in order your odds of poverty away lower and yes step of it is probably beneficial but each step of that ladder has gotten farther apart. It has gotten harder to climb that. I'm very sympathetic. To the view that cost of changes in a way. That's really prohibitive for families. But i do think there is an important caveat here that is if what you want is the life expectancy of someone in one thousand nine hundred eighty and what you want. Is the consumption basket of a person in one thousand nine thirty and for your kids to have the same. You can probably afford to have much more children right now right. I don't. I don't want i don't know what's going on is not just. The things became more expensive. They did but that isn't all that's happening. Subjective wellbeing has a strong relative yardstick. The same standard of living can cause a different amount of unhappiness and psychological discomfort depending on what the society around you has. And i'm not saying oh people nowadays just need to like toughened up and have the babies. I don't think you can do that. I think that welfare losses a real thing. You cannot escape your society in your culture exists and so one of the things happening is that. Could you become amish and have a lot of kids. The amish do it but these subjective wellbeing lost that goes with opting out of the standard of living. That is normative in your time can be very large. You know we make fun of avocado toast. And it's obviously no amount of avocado toast is gonna pay for childcare on the other hand. The share of meals is eaten out has risen dramatically in the past forty years and the amount of money spent on. It has to in the amount of money if you drop. Shares backed what they were forty years ago. It ends up being a pretty significant share of a kid's college tuition now is all of it. No but my point is if you just choose to roll back the clock on modernity for your own household. It's possible at the same. You get to watch everyone else enjoying all these good things of modernity and say to yourself. Oh i guess. I'm not getting that. We should not expect parents to bear excess welfare loss just because society got richer on the whole on average lamb. Going to come to you again. American conservatives have been concerned about falling birth rates for a long time now but the policies that were largely supported by if not american conservatives american republicans were kind of the policies that got us here with the kerr tailing of the welfare state such as it existed the idea that universal preschool or something is anathema to quote. Normal people is this the consequence of the policies that republicans and people in the right have been supporting for a long time. And then they're like. Oh how did this happen to a considerable extent. Yes now i want to say it's not only that right ever only just one cigarette. You take the childcare proposal. Under nixon in nixon ultimately says no. Because there's going to irritate social conservatives. You could say well okay so this was like social. Conservatives wrecking social welfare scheme. That could have boosted fertility and on the face. You're correct however what's actually going on here is living in a diverse society. Makes it hard to do stuff that is living in a society where people want very very different things means you have to think more about how to do things so i live in quebec in quebec. We have all these nice things child allowances and childcare in maternity. Leave and all that and you know why because the government of quebec. We'll put your child a french-language kindergarten and they will learn french. It doesn't matter if you speak urge you they will become chemical. There's not a tolerance for diversity if you live in a pluralist society where you're committed to making sure that every subculture gets to raise their children kind of the way they want. You're gonna have to do more than just throw a one-size-fits-all program out there. So yes social conservatives and particularly religious conservatives as this sort of im one so i can say cranky subculture with love. We're kind of cranky and irascible on political things. Sometimes yes i remember. It was interesting to get in this conversation with social conservatives. Because i was like but you were just telling people that they were having too much sex too. Many children out of wedlock. If you're crazy you're cranky but at the same time like turning around saying well. We just wish we could write policy like social conservatives. Didn't exist is sort of telling on yourself right like what if instead we said okay so social conservatives are going to oppose having a child care program that's hostile to their values or life mode but we really want to have childcare system. So what if we just did a childcare voucher that you could use anywhere you want or that you could use for yourself as a parent now yes. Republicans have also torpedoed programs like that. So i write. This is why i would say that. The republican party is very much of this however in a lot of cases. What's going on there. Is that the social conservatives like at sounds okay and the economic conservatives like no. This will discourage work. This is terrible right and we hold hands and we vote through the elephant because this is a global issue happening in south korea parts of south america we mentioned china and to your point about policy efforts that are explicitly pro natal. Those in countries like hungary were they have decidedly said. This is to increase the birth rate. It hasn't really worked. And so what can government do. There are pretty large policy effects. There was actually a really nice review that just came out last year. By some researchers associated with the norwegian government that they reviewed highly empirical papers looking at different pro-nato policy interventions and they found pretty consistent positive effects but the scale of it to a demographer sounds very big. But to a policymaker doesn't always sound very big with a pretty concerted effort you can increase our total fertility rate in a wealthy country by about point two children per woman which is in the us. It's like millions of babies over a decade. Some of the most effective ones are ones where carolina very very plausibly might disagree which is baby bonuses. That is a large lump sum. Cash transfer right at the time of birth. I think they're great. They're harder political if though because they don't have a lot of these other benefits that help build a coalition. And that's why. I generally don't advocate for him in the us. Because to pass anything in the us it's gonna be five or six pro-nato republicans and a bunch of democrats who care about child and maternal welby which means it's going to be child allowances and parental leave. And those are real avenues forward. I think we do so little in the us that there so many opportunities here you know. I think we have a great opportunity to really throw a lot of things at the wall. I mean that would be my preference. I think that there should be cash. Transfers starting pregnancy. I would like to see a kind of national preschool program one reason. I think that that's appealing is that those programs are less susceptible to the changing political winds than say cash. So i'm not saying that we shouldn't do cash transfers that he we should do cash transfers and some of this other stuff. I think student debt forgiveness slash reform would be useful. I think changing zoning laws around housing would be useful. Allow for kind of more building. Desirable areas obviously have not that picky. Like let's do something for some things right now and. I think that we should do them whether or not they're going to increase the birth-rate. I think that any of those things would make the experience of parenting easier for people less burdensome and that that's reason enough. I think that this easily become one of those issues. Where if you already think something. Then you can spend the birth rate to be like. Actually there's a lot of context here. And i wanna thank you both because i think this has been actually a very helpful conversation. That has meant that. I have raised my slightly concerned level up two notches on this issue. Oh no no not. That went from. Like i was at like a one and now i'm like three ish. We have not yet gotten to like five. So we've all learned a lot. Limestone is the director of research at the consulting firm demographic intelligence a fellow at the american enterprise institute novak journalism fellow and a phd student. Population dynamics mcgill university. Carolina hartnett demographer and an associate professor of sociology at the university of south carolina. Go gamecocks. thank you both so much. Thank you is great thank you. I did some research into declining birth rates in the us the broth. Here's what i found. More babies make the us more livable fire amish. Panorama and bloomberg published may twenty one for the other said. You can read why we shouldn't worry about falling birthrates by leslie. Route in the washington post published in june twenty twenty one and listen to an episode on the new york times past the daily titled a population slow in the united states published. May twenty twenty one. Finally listen to my colleague as interview with psychologists alison gopnik on what adults can learn from children on the recline show. You can find links to all of these narrow episode notes. The argument is production of new york. Times opinion it's produced by phoebe alias. Gutierrez shock derrida edited house version and polish with original music and sound design by additional mixing by carol several fact checking by sinclair an audience strategy by busta.

china us jane coast sociology university of south caroline cly Abol chinese government american enterprise institute hartnett lyman Lyman mitt romney blading county nato Caroline Dan zoe chase Carolina dc
Chapter Three: The Ballad of the Nursing Home Ballots

The Improvement Association

41:34 min | 5 months ago

Chapter Three: The Ballad of the Nursing Home Ballots

"You want to get healthy and stay healthy. You need to know more about how you make decisions. Noon gives you the knowledge tools and confidence to make strategic eating choices that turned into long-term habits and those long term habits turn into a healthier happier you numerous designed by psychologists. But there's no scientific jargon or complicated stuff to remember new mix learning easy ready to learn how to live healthier sign up for noon today at n. o. m. dot com slash improvement from zero productions and the new york times. This is the improvement association. Chapter three the ballot of the nursing home ballots. I've been talking for two years or more. Unlike any relationship that goes through it's warmer periods. Colder ones horaces moody. Sometimes these expansive beginning his answers with. Here's what you have to understand about blading county. Sometimes he seems resentful answers. Short order dividends in this one conversation or selling horse that a lot of people publicans. Whenever i bring up the cheating accusations against mcrae doubtless their rebuttal is usually whatever mcrae might have done. the blade impact had been doing it way longer and worse. Okay now if their defense. Where is the evidence. Because the evidence is we're black and the white if you're white you're right that's bullshit. Where is the evidence. This conversation horse was particularly testy with me because was asking about a particularly persistent allegation. You can different from the other stuff. I'd heard bigger had to do with absentee ballots from residents in a nursing. Home that the pack had somehow stolen votes from vulnerable black voters there. Well they talk about these nursing. Home ballots doesn't live all allies. We are. i don't know i've been trying for are the. I don't know a sound like that. A little desperate. Because they've been trying to hunt down these ballots for months for some people and bleeding county white republicans mainly these nursing. Home ballots are the origin story. For how blame county became infamous. Why it became the national poster child for election. Fried all over bleeding county. If you ask. Who's really been cheating elections here. Where did this all begin. Someone will inevitably start strumming their guitar and seeing the ballot of the nursing. Home every rendition of the story ends the same way. Nothing was ever done. No-one looked into it. The state didn't care or if they did look into it. They covered up what they found. You can't touch them precious things. Someone said to me once about the pack which i took to mean black people. You'll get called a racist if you hold them accountable. Other people in the county of said to me that belief that the pack never gets punished. It's unfair runs. Just as deep as the suspicion that the pack must be cheating. I felt like getting to the bottom of these nursing. Home ballots would be like finding the power source of the electrical grid of suspicion in bladen and it kind of is like that because this handful of nursing home ballots fewer than ten their supercharged. They energize later allegations against the pack. They make them more believable. But also the story of these ballots. Well the story of chasing them down. It's one of those answers that i told you. Cocktail always gives where on route to the answer. You get a tour of the whole place. You see what's really behind all the talk of cheating and bleeding county from cereal. Productions zoe chase and this is the improvement association. A true story about election fraud. I heard about the nursing home allegation at ray. Brits furniture store raise furniture and jewellery liquidators it's in the center of town a police for local powerbrokers to gossip or by a bedroom set. Ray himself is sort of the center of republican. Politics and bleeding always in the mix is currently a county commissioner formerly on the board of elections white republican. You want to know about elections and bleeding county. You better go talk to ray. Brit is what i was told over and over so i went to see him if you hear you at. The store is mostly leather couches and recliners but no ray brit in order to find him to walk down the rows of sofas and tables and chairs which i couldn't help feeling power move this pilgrimage. All the way down the long aisle to see the wizard of is i finally found him way in the back behind a jewelry counter next to a tall shelf of boots for shoe repair committed. I used to see you well. This was the day after the indictments came out charging mcrae dallas with perjury and election fraud crimes. And i got to the point. But i mean when you read the indictments did you think to yourself. Okay guess mcrae did do some stuff. Ron nah i didn't pay attention to any of you didn't read them. No because i know why this transpired in happen. And then ray pivoted away from mccray where some of the evidence it. We're concerned about where it may be. Today let's talk about ballots that words into safe that we knew that An investigate allied. In front of mr john david and said we know what you're talking about. Yeah there's a lot of people don't know that yes. We won't to- ballots. Ray was talking about here. The nursing home ballots so it took a few more conversations with him to get the whole story at. Maybe your second or three meeting manage to wheedle him out from behind the counter. Seems a little momentous. Oh he motioned to me to sit and he tells me. The story of the nursing home ballots starts a decade ago horse in the pack launching. A big absentee ballot. Get out the vote campaign to help elect the first black sheriff from bleeding county. That seem election. Horace says kicked off all the finger pointing so about two weeks before election day. Two thousand ten. Someone comes into raise furniture sore so somebody comes into the store and what happens. We had a pastor. Come into store and you him. Mr kinsey barra bond ma'am. He'd come in and they said. I got a complaint ray. Brandt was on the county elections board at the time so it made sense to come to him. He said there's people voting in the nursing home heddon non family member in years and Appreciate apparently kency barrow. While visiting the nursing home had seen some absentee ballot envelopes in the from people in the nursing home that he knew who he didn't think would be capable of making their own choices. People who might not know who the president is or and he was like. I think someone is using these. Elderly people filling out ballots in their name. The assumption was that these adult voters notably mostly black voters. Were being used to rack up votes for the black candidate for sheriff prentice benson ray past this complaint to the director of the county board of elections who passed it up to the state board of elections. And then they waited we ask and askin asking. Time went along and nothing was ever done. Ray says nor spots if you have an inquiry or concern from nursing home. Where would you start to investigate. Would you not start in that. The nursing home the nursing home has heard or seen any one in reference to that with that being said i risk my case causes one law right after another ray wound say who means accusing in the story. He doesn't see the words blatant improvement. Pack beret is definitely talking about the pack. When i asked him directly. Do you think any of this had to do with the blade improvement association. He says question about it. Other people and bleeding also mentioned the pack in nursing home ballots to me and repeated the idea that it hadn't been investigated now just as if you tried to lake fact checking old folks on the ballot of the nursing. Home ballots starts to fall apart. Pretty quickly once i look into it first of all had it been investigated Okay did you ever hear anything about nursing homes about nursing home ballot complaints Lord use A call the state elections investigator from back then which is a job in north carolina. A hard job. It sounds like from two thousand three two thousand eighteen when just about any election fraud allegation made it to the state level. The sky marshal tutor. He was the guy who looked into it. Here's a clear memory of the nursing home ballots allegation from the twenty ten sheriff's race in bleeding county and and i have been asked many times because br And some of the crowd and keeps bringing it up that i did nothing related to their allegations of the wrist. Home that. I didn't even investigated. Says he remembers getting the tip about the ballots and investigating it pretty extensively trying to find out worthies. Voters coerced or manipulated to their families. Know they'd voted. I'll staff as a nursing home in question and i could find nothing whatsoever. That was provable. That went wrong. And i found one family member of any of those people that was upset claim that something was wrong. I got a box of marshall's notes from his investigations back then and also found an email marshall route to his boss about his investigation talking to staff cetera. Asked marshall if the pack had been involved in this incident at nursing home he answered no they were not but elections. Investigator is not some impartial. God everyone agrees on. He's just a man like other men with biases and sympathies. And i know ray. Brit doesn't trust marshall tutor raid. Doesn't trust the whole state board of elections thinks they're biased against republicans. So i knew ray wouldn't believe marshall just saying there was no there there needed more than marshalls word for it and i finally found the actual ballots in question or the ballot envelopes rather ballots themselves or secret. I found them a small stack locked in a safe at the county. Board of elections in a mislabeled. It took all the envelopes over to kency barrow. The pastor would need the initial complaint at race store. You mr barroso confirmed yes. These were the ballot envelopes. Who was talking about together. We look to see who helped these people vote. Who signed as a witness on. The ballots asked kinsey. was it. Someone from the bleeding improvement back. Well not as far as he did. Recognize the name of the woman who signed as a witness. There was a person who works at the nursing. Home she's a black woman but said he had no idea if she was with the pack. Actually she still works at the nursing home so then i went over there to ask her. She told me she did not want to talk about this. But i got in one question before she shut the door when you sign those ballots. Were you working for the bladen. Improvement association pack. She looked genuinely confused and didn't seem to know what that was. Rado insists she was working for the pack. So check the payroll for the pack in two thousand ten which is generally pretty scrupulous and she wasn't listed various members of the pack all denied separately knowing who she was. It is technically illegal for nursing home staff to assist residents with ballots for ten years ago. Marshall tudor talked to nursing home staff and determined that. This woman had made an honest mistake. She was trying to help. People vote who wanted to vote the most positive thing coming out of this situation. Marshall wrote in an email to his boss detailing the investigation is that the staff member who witnessed the ballots and the nursing home administrator. Have quote both times me going forward things such as this will not happen again. Because they're more informed on what can be done for resident related to voting and what cannot be done conclusion. What happened at the nursing. Home did not involved. The pack was not a big deal and not something that could or should be prosecuted. Marshall believed and still believes so he moved on which doesn't mean nobody cheated in the sheriff's race. That's after the break. Think about everything you've ever learned about getting healthy. There's a lot of contradictory information out there and things like that old fashioned food pyramid aren't much help and new based in psychology neum. Teaches you how to eat. So you can accomplish your personal health goals and stick with them long term. Because you don't need rules to lose weight you need knowledge. There's a psychology behind getting healthier. It's called new. Sign up for your child today at neum an oem dot com slash improvement. If you find yourself bewildered by this moment where there's so much recent despair and so much recent to hope all at the same time. Let me say a hero. I'm ezra klein from new york times opinion host of the show and for me the best way to beat back. The wilder feeling is to talk it out with the people who have ideas and frameworks for making sense of it from days at the washington. Post to my time is editor and chief at box and now as an opinion columnist the new york times. I've tried to ask the questions that matter to the people at the heart of those matters like how do we address climate change. The political system fails to act has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives. What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness. And what a. I understand about our president that we miss. This is the as ripon show. And there's going to be plenty to talk about. You can find new episodes every tuesday and friday wherever you get your podcasts. When i was looking through. Marshall tutors notes in emails about investigations. It seemed like every other week. There was an email to his bosses. Need the van to go to bleeding county and we're headed to blading county today. Remember wonder destination. Show say over the years. The notes were chronicle of years. Marshall spent following up on a steady stream of accusations of someone cheating down there and the twenty ten sheriff's race marshall says that was real bruiser. I'm telling you. I couldn't put a number on on the people that are in denver. I mean it was just constantly interviewing and picking tips continuous. Most of the stuff he was following up on it was fairly minor complaints. That sheriff's deputies were campaigning on the clock or using county cars to put up signs and of course vote buying Everybody is but back everybody. Marshall says that's a common accusation directed at the improvement association. Pack because the pack is powerful. Marshall says their endorsements powerful so whichever candidate. The pack doesn't endorse that candidate. That candidate supporters will accuse the pack of vote. Buying so i asked him will. Is it ever true. Have you ever found cheating by the pack vo or something else. And marshall says no i never saw. He didn't cheat. In fact he says horace president of the pack called him all the time asking if they were doing things right by the book they had made mistakes there were times marshall would come to them with irregularities for example. The pack sample ballot. Maybe it wasn't clearly identified as being from the pack which is required. But he said they'd correct stuff like that quickly fuss an example of working with them To make sure that they were falling low because they were under the microscope. Say least that twenty ten sheriff's race. How vicious it was marshall tudor said it reminded him of the old south black versus white in this case fighting for the most powerful position in the county which was partly would accounted for all these warrantless accusations of cheating but the underlying ugliness the racism. He says he saw that clearly in this other case investigated back then a case. Nobody really talks about but that still upsets him. Now i will say end the blatant candy situation. I did have a very good case and that was on people. And i'll be specific here. It was white people to a wealth. Although i've been the black community Going to black citizens who had received an absentee ballot and picking up those ballots and throw them away had statements by the black citizens that so and so came. We trust her and this eller and these balanced never got to these board of elections. Marshall took statements from four voters. Here's what he was told. At least two white women were going around knocking on voters doors. Black voters mostly elderly. One of the women was a probation officer. The other of former narcotics investigator marshall found during his investigation that they both supported the white candidate for sheriff and bleed in that year. The voters marshall interviewed told them they intended to vote for the black candidate. Prentice winston but one of the voters told marshall that one of the women brought a completed ballot already sealed. The signed it to voters. Marshall interviewed said. They marked their ballots themselves for prentice benson and had sealed them more shell that the white women had picked up the sealed envelopes with the ballots but found during his investigation that the ballots never made it to the board of elections so their votes apprentice benson weren't counted taking someone's ballot if you're not a family member that's already illegal in north carolina like picking it up. Take you to the board of elections even if you didn't tamper with it at all. That's illegal but throwing away ballots that was to marshall tutor. The most serious kind of election crime. And that's what. Marshall believed was happening based on the totality of his investigation in emails. At the time marshall's boss said there appeared to be numerous felony violations. Talking to marshall tudor. Another investigator now. The both think there was a conspiracy at work to target vulnerable black voters. That's the word they use conspiracy here where people who'd intended to vote for someone and their intention was deliberately thwarted and yet and all the prosecutors and the attorney general's office says that the statements from the black citizens were hard to prove and the black citizens were not educated and they were old and so they didn't think they would up in court. So that was where i was most disappointed. We reached out to the two women who allegedly picked up the ballots and they declined to talk most of the voters. Who marshall talk to are dead. We call it a relative of one of them and startled her while she was at the grocery store. She said she'd blocked the incident out and moved on. Didn't wanna talk about it. She still seemed upset about it. This is the kind of story that i think should take. Top billing in the extensive election lore of bleeding county super serious allegation possibly a cynical disenfranchisement scheme checked out by authorities found by those authorities to have merit run up the chain to more investigating authorities who also find it as merit and then nothing no prosecution no nothing so i went back to the furniture store to talk to roeber it to see if i could square what he'd been telling me with everything that i knew. Now what about this other investigation. The white women who might have thrown out votes for prentice fenced-in disaster familiar to you at all. Never heard of such never heard anything after a minute or so. He did remember that other case though right well maybe. He was confusing the nursing home story with this story. Melding them into one elderly black voters. Someone taking advantage of them with absentee ballots. Are we talking about two different things or the same. I would think from what you're saying now. This is entirely different incident. Raden by my theory at all that he'd conflated the two. I told him about talking to marshall. Tutor i'm looking at his notes. Told them marshall tutor did look into the nursing home ballots but like i said ray dozen. Trust marshall for that matter. Ray doesn't trust me like lot of people in bleeding and elsewhere. He kinda heats the media 'cause to biased. He's accused me of being a liberal. Before and now here. I am standing in front of ray saying that fraud story. You keep telling me the ballot of the nursing home ballots about how the packers cheating. I'm not finding evidence of the blade improvement. Pack doing anything wrong. Which in his book. I think means i'm just not looking right. Because i have my own agenda to this conversation devolves into a back and forth of me begging him for evidence to back up his claim and him telling me there is much more he knows about all this that unfortunately he cannot divulge which might sound familiar. It's very voter fraud discourse of the moment. Sure you're not seeing the evidence today but just wait. There's more is definitely there on those a little more about it than what i wanna tell you. 'cause i've taught folks at the nursing home myself. I guess i should feel free to be able to talk about something that they said. It was never nothing there. But i still choose not to do so. 'cause i think it's still something that needs to be addressed. My my impression has always been that you know mcrae. Dallas was accused of some things. But that some people in the county who i've spoken to your one of them have been like what's been going on in this county with bladen. County improvement association has been way worse way bigger and i've been trying to look for evidence to back that up. You know from for months now. I'm still looking q. Helped me with that at all. you proba keeping lick. We just addressed some of the issues. We're not yeah. But that's what i'm saying. I tried to look to back that up. Because i was like. Let me see what this nursing home. Fridays mr brits talking about and then when i get the emails i see it's not believe county improvement at somebody else. So that's why i came back to you. Is that the investigation. You're saying no it's something else. So i'm like what show me something i wanna see. You know tom com. How identify that. You may not ever but some of us know. Why won't you tell i guess is my question. Why won't you just explain it to me. So that i don't know just so i can see the full picture because i still feel like i'm squinting. A little bit gig squinting sometime use quenching. Focus a little better. What happens if i squint. At ray squinting at ray is see someone very motivated to throw suspicion way off the republican party and onto the democrats raise says no way but what i see is ray. Brit isn't simply a concerned county commissioner. Raise a dog in this fight. Not just a partisan one his personal raise a big booster of mcrae dallas. He's hired mcrae before for one of his county. Commissioner campaigns in twenty seventeen raise the guy who introduced mcrae dallas to marquess. The republican congressman mccray allegedly cheated for. They all met in. Raised furniture liquidators year before the campaign started rey. Went and bailed mcrae out of jail after mcrae was arrested for his alleged role in the scandal. The money for bail was paid for by another republican benefactor in the county but ray drove mcrae home. None of that is wrong. Raised friends with mccray and points out. Every time i talked to him that mccray has not been convicted only indicted. It's just that for a guy who seems pretty interested in talking about election cheating. He doesn't seem very interested in talking about the evidence of mcrae's operation. When i do as gray about mcrae all he says is if mcrae did something wrong. He should apologize holding his hands up. Like how would i know before returning yet again to the story of the nursing home ballots and the pack in his heart rate might believe the pack is very guilty but i also think the reason he's always telling the story of the nursing home is because that's his way of defending mccray in deflecting attention from the republicans. And i believe this. Because ray has not just been telling the nursing home ballots story to me in his furniture store. Carolina's ninth congressional district race is in limbo because of irregularities with absentee ballots and this is a tv news story from back in twenty teen for the height of the frenzy around the two thousand eighteen congressional election in the allegations of massive fraud. And there are reporters crawling all over. Bladen county sheriff trying to understand how this little rural place managed to steal a federal congressional elections state board one of them was a reporter from charlotte. Name nick ochsner and one night. Nick scored a huge get of an interview with mcrae dallas himself. Ray brandt and another local republican. Now ray says nick. I brought up the two thousand ten nursing home ballots him. Nick says no bill reason he was in bleeding was to hear had gone on in the two thousand eighteen race. That's what he wanted to know about. But he says rahab a different story to tell about fried. That had been going on for years but no one ever investigated it. Nick win on tv that night. Paul specifically those concerns in two thousand on a block of votes that were cast from a nursing home. Those concerns were raised by a man named a brit today. He tells me that all of today's problems that uncertainty may not have happened. Had investigators taken his concerns seriously. Eight years ago your citizens look for you to be accountable for them because they aware they sing is going on. But you're doing your job and you submit it to no avail. Nick went through the same ballot. Envelope sided. We obtained these documents which were still in a safe. At the bladen county board of elections wednesday we show county staff that materials to the state but brit says nothing was ever done and all these things are reporting. Nick did get a statement from the state board of elections which basically said that was then. This is now mersal tutor doesn't work here anymore. So we all know what happened with that which was weak and damaging. It left raise accusation just as open ended as it was when ray made it and therefore just as incendiary remember. This was an allegation that had been checked out and was not substantiated and here was the state not saying that so the story raise telling there's cheating all over the place and yet the state just cracks down on mccray that gets unchallenged at the end of the segment. Nicotine israel for the takeaway. Do you think some of this could have been prevented. The state board started investigating eight years ago when you first tried to sound the alarm. Oh whatever down. Here's what i make of this. The ballot of the nursing home ballots it functions as cover fire for the republican stealing with allegations of ballot tampering. On their side. The nursing home story got traction. When a different election fraud story about mcrae. Dallas was all over the news. And i think that's a coincidence. I know a lot of people listening to this. Podcast now. probably think it's obvious that the pack doesn't cheat and it's either cynical politics or general racism and that's why people point their fingers at the pack but i also known not all of you listening. Think that especially if you live in bleeding county. You think i haven't dug far enough. Haven't squinted hard enough. Probably that may own bias. He's getting away just like a big portion of the country things. the election was stolen from trump. A big portion of bleeding county cheats in blatant case. Maybe the majority of people think that and a lot of people in the state to. But i ran down everything that i could find not just the nursing home story every single official complaint. It could get my hands on and some unofficial wants to from twenty ten to twenty. I had to and here's what i can tell you. Real quick ten. We already talked about that one. No pack cheating twenty twelfth allegation vote buying supposedly jail. One of the members of the pack was offering wine voters who was investigated not substantiated plus another nursing home allegation regarding a single ballot dismissed. Twenty sixteen fishy handwriting. On absentee ballots for a candidate investigated a hearing was held. A minor infraction dismissed also handful of nursing home completes always with the nursing homes. They checked into that. Didn't add up to anything nefarious. Aw so for the past decade. I found no evidence tobacco. Any allegations that the pack was cheating. They've made mistakes. But this is not a group that's committing election fraud and yet all the accusations and rumors have built on each other very effectively right up to the two thousand eighteen congressional scandal in state hearing where the pack publicly chastised even though most of the four days of testimony were related to mcrae's operation. The few specific claims about the pack that were made during the hearing morning anymore verifiable than what i had heard about from ray brit or anyone else in bleeding months after the hearing was over and went to the investigators and the prosecutor to see. If i was missing anything was there anything else. That made them suspicious of the pack. But i didn't get a chance to see nope. They told me in the prosecutor who still working on this case is not investigating the pack at all. She told me but there were still one weird thing left. That made me suspicious or curious. An ended up making me feel like the diabolical thing about accusing someone of cheating is it can be awfully hard to prove that they don't or they never did. It was the moment when horace was asked to stand at the hearing. When lisa brit was testifying. Lisa brent by the way no immediate release to roeber it but anyway lisa brit was mcrae's stepdaughter and testified longest and most compellingly about mcrae's alleged cheating in her own the fake signatures filling in ballots the transporting of ballots. And you might remember this from the prologue at one point. Lisa brit says horace was working with mccray that she saw horace in mcrae's office and the two men spoke on the phone repeatedly and then murder trial style. The state board asked to point him out in the crowd. Good we get his name. Is horace gone right right. Thank you sir. whereas of course denies all this. He told me he did not work with mccray said he hadn't spoken to mcrae in years so then i asked around did mcrae and horace work together. The twenty eighteen election baffled everyone and bleeding county even republicans. Like i don't think so. That doesn't make sense. Asked a woman who actually worked in the office with mccray during the campaign and she said no before slamming the door over the last two years reporting the story a mcrae over and over again for an interview and he always very gently said no but one day last summer. I finally got this adam. I wouldn't even know horsemen's phone number to be honest. And that i can tell you. This horseman has never been the mile Asking you questions and this is our last found interview. It wasn't i told horace. I was probably done asking about cheating. Allegations against the pack in recently found out this final bit of information. I told them what mcrae had said to me about. Not working with them forces response. This revelation was pretty much. If you're innocent you're innocent. But i wanna you find out and research it. You're asking but me from someone else to tell the truth about about it for. He told the truth. And i knew he would. I still don't know why. Lisa brits said that. I think that's confusing. Because i think there's another person that was there and two white people black metallic horace. Thanks lisa confused him for another black man. I tried to as lisa about this. But she didn't wanna talk so could be. I've spent most of my time working on the story chasing the ins and outs of cheating accusations against the pack at the same time as the country has been blowing up over accusations of election. Fraud the twenty twenty presidential election. And it's been weird like seeing the movie version of a book of already read lots of different characters and scenes but i knew it was going. I was alarmed from very early on at the drumbeat from president trump and his supporters about cheating. It wasn't just that trump often singled out majority black cities or polling places. A sites were cheating was supposedly happening so we did that. It was that a lot of people seem to think these cheating accusations would all fade away. If courts and public officials looked into them and found. They weren't true and said that in public or that it would go away of trump. Lost ruins biden came in or even now. I just think lots of people think this belief in widespread election fraud will fade away with just sheer passage of time. What i know from bladen is this. In the right circumstances once accusations have been repeated. Enough times they're stuck. You can't unscrew the lid. It only goes in one direction. Tighter and tighter you know the line. I keep seeing at the beginning of every episode. A true story about election fried. What i mean by that. Is that actual election fraud. When it happens it's usually small self contained relatively easy to catch but accusations of election fraud those linger and grow so the true story is that the suspicion of fraud can affect people way more directly than actual fraud which is rare. A reason horse called me down to bleeding county to begin with was not just to exonerate his pack but for me to understand why they'd even been implicated at all to see how hurling accusations at the pack creating suspicion and distrust of his organization helps their opponents in a place where accusations of election fraud have been used for more than one hundred years to keep black people from voting. That's kind of coincidence or says that's what still happens here. That should have been trying to tell you an article he'd said about the south and blading county in so far. This story the story of been telling you. This is the story horse. Wanted me to tell but the rest of the story. What happened next and just how the cheating accusations would weaken the pack strength. I don't think horror saw that one coming because the horace has been focused on the threat from without the accusations are starting to cause a rot. From within the next time on the improvement association improvement association is produced and edited by nancy. Updike neil drumming is managing editor. Julie snyder is executive editor additional editing by sarah keeney an ira. Glass are el. Ni is our editorial consultant back checking and researched by benfield music supervision mixing by feeding wang. Any dula is our associate producer. Indeed chubu is the supervising producer original music composed by kwami brand pures additional support from the staff at this american life including a manual berry. Julian whitaker cassie howley. Seth wind and francis swanson at the new york times. Suzanne dole nick lauren. Jackson elizabeth davis more alina zero and nora keller special. Thanks to gary bartlett. Michael biesecker emoryville. Ezio matt dixon. Ginger easson lauren freeman jerry levin gen nelson nick ochsner kim strack charlotte smith. Jeff smith billy ray ward mike. Wait mark maximov and jessica weisberg. The improvement association is produced by serial productions.

mcrae marshall Marshall mccray blading county mcrae dallas ray state board of elections marshall tudor ray brit Ray the new york times zoe chase Brits furniture store board of elections white Ron nah mr john david Mr kinsey barra kency barrow sheriff prentice benson ray
Should We Stop Talking Politics at Work?

The Argument

35:31 min | Last month

Should We Stop Talking Politics at Work?

"We live in a changing world. But who's working to change it for the better on the bank of america original podcast that made all the difference host. Alicia burke sits down with scholars artists and advocates lonnie bunch secretary of the smithsonian museum and comey chung joe head of the los angeles chapter of asian americans advancing justice to discuss the moments that have defined the get the latest episode of that. Made all the difference. Wherever you get your podcast. What would you like the power to do today on the argument sweep ban politics from the office. I'm jane kirsten and as host of the show. I spend a lot of my time at work talking about politics. My bosses would be pretty mad if i refuse to talk about politics but not all bosses are saying after the trump era summer of protests over police brutality and a pandemic that's been politicized at return. It's been hard not to bring politics to work particularly when everything from parental leave to marriage. Benefits can be well and i've noticed that people spent more time talking about the news in remote times on slack which is arguably the worst place to talk about the news. There's been a backlash brewing. Companies are cracking down on debates at work maybe the most famous recent examples basecamp for co-founders jason and david hammer hansen. Who goes by. H took the extreme step of completely barring what they called societal and political discussions on their company-wide communications platform other companies have done something similar. Why do they care so much. What's the downside of debater discomfort at the office. My guest today have answers different answers. Liz will is a staff editor at reason and jonathan nightingale is an author and a founder of raw signal grip which trains leaders and managers. He was a vice president of fire. Fox set so it seems like it was thousands of years ago but it was april this year. Many millions of years that's went productivity software company named basecamp announced that employees should refrain from discussing societal politics at work because it could often get dark and be distracting. They argued that employees could use other systems. They could still tweet about politics. They could talk to each other on signal elsewhere and made the point. We are not a social impact company. They also ended what the ceo of basecamp research was paternalistic benefits like fitness stipends and allowances for education and the aftermath of this decision about twenty employees decided to leave and take buyouts out about sixty. So that's about a third of their workforce at the time and you both wrote responses to the base camp decision. There was a lot of conversation about it on twitter. As there is about many things was you said it was totally fine and kind of meshed with how you think about politics at work. Why i really look at base camps decision as a recusal more than anything else i think. They're drawing pretty reasonable lines. Some work issues are super inherently political lieber issues issues with pay gaps issues with god forbid workplace sexual harassment. And other stuff like that. And they're not saying that any of those things are for voting are off limits at all. They'd be running afoul like a gazillion labor laws. If they did what they're saying instead is that this sort of gratuitous political discussion is unrelated to the project that they're there to do together and i think that's really important. I think a lot of people really seek to make their workplace Place where they can be their whole selves where they can rely on their colleagues for support where they can talk about all these sort of unrelated issues where a lot of people disagree. And i think it's a really good thing for people to be able to especially in managerial positions. Draw some of these boundaries. Draw some of these lines and basically say these employees are adults and they expect them to attempt to suss out the relevant boundary between gratuitous political discussion. That's unrelated to the work matters at hand versus you. Know all the things that are directly related to their job duties. Jonathan you described this decision as being disappointing. Can you explain why. I guess it comes down to a couple of things for me one. I think it's disappointing. Because when you listen to the employees in those companies they expressed appointment right and run a company where we train bosses all day every day on how to do their jobs. Most bosses are given very little training. And they're trying their best but they're figuring out as they go and one of the things that we talked to them about is like you want to build a world class team you want. People like super engaged and and like driving your business forward. Liz edit they wanna bring their whole selves to work and maybe they wanted to be crime statistics in the abstract. Maybe but a lot of the time the thing. They are an expert in his their own experience and the race. Riots happening across the country. That's reading on their experience their day to day and they may want to talk about that. We tell them when we recruit them. We're a different kind of company. I mean base camp in particular david. Jason the founders have made a brand out of how they are but the way they run their business and a lot of people are really drawn to this like enlightened notion of management leadership. And they're like oh we we're going to beat switch. We're going to change the rules. Yes he thought. This was a different kind of company not anymore. Some of the reason why not anymore is because you makes us uncomfortable. Some of the discussions didn't go the way that we wanted them to. We feel like we want to get rid of that. It's one thing to write that email that blog post. It's another thing to say to every leader in the organization. Do you have the tools to draw a clear line there. No politics right not allowed to talk about politics unrelated to our core mission. Are we allowed to talk about who our customers are. That's political right. Maybe we're not allowed to talk about that. Are we allowed to talk about the football game that we watched on the weekend. Yes what if somebody neil there. We'll have to talk about that. No all of that complexity. You can't just make it disappear because you wrote a blog post and what ends up happening experiences when we talked to these leaders is they develop their own interpretation of it and it gets really unevenly applied and people have a really awful an ambiguous experience at work. You are bringing up very reasonable questions about this do you. Change and jason freed were pretty explicit about the idea that this isn't going to be perfectly executed. It's not going to always be cut. And but they're expecting adults to do a reasonable job of figuring out what these lines and what these boundaries are and. I think it's also worth going back to sort of the original instigating event from what we can tell which is in two thousand nine employees at the company circulated a list of funny sounding names where they mocked them. They were unkind. it was i think. List of customer names. So very bad optics. Now that that's released right obviously but basically you know there were employees who engaged in sort of a public reckoning about their former involvement in this list. I think twelve years ago ultimately posting apology for their involvement and the anti-defamation league's pyramid of hate which places mocking and silly name calling and the microaggressions lumps within on the bottom of the pyramid. And then in ascending order of severity genocide at the very top and so i think what d. h. and jason freed objected to when they were pretty explicit about this was the sense of. Yeah we atone for the fact that people at our company engaged really juvenile really crappy behavior about customers names. That's not a cool thing to do but for employees to in any way context collapse this and equate this with something much more severe than it is. You know the first step on the path to genocide or toward acts of hatred is a little bit crazy. So i really think like. That's the context that i keep coming back to when trying to gauge whether the reactions were appropriate that disagreement wasn't about politics like it wasn't about medicare for all it was about something happening at the company like it was about this list of names and then the formation of diversity equity and inclusion committees which this blog post then essentially said like. That's over now. That's the challenge. I'm having here is that this isn't about like you taking over the office to have a giant argument about how much you hate elizabeth warren but this was work related political discourse. Is there a difference there to you. Liz it's sort of work related political discourse right but it really. The police could have just done an apology. Issued an apology for saying you know saying twelve years ago i was juvenile. I mocked names. Sorry about that. I won't do it again. And they did. It have to bring this sort of broader ad l. pyramid discussion of white supremacy and racist. And all of these things that they began to lump into this as part of their d. I initiative it really snowballed from being something. In my view. Something that was specific they were sort of broadening it beyond that and converting it into this much bigger thing in a manner that really seemed disproportionate to the scale of the initial incident. The initial grievance. All things considered not that bad. It's a dumb thing to do. But it's not an evil or insidious thing to do. I can understand how these types of aggressions really stack up and begin to make people feel unwelcome. But i think maybe what jason freed h. We're both reacting to was the sense that people are using this as a news. Hook to talk about other issues related to their d. I committee that they're forming and a manner that's not actually super relevant to the apology that they're trying to give to their colleagues. You know it's interesting. The i don't know what was in deejays jason's when they when they made the decision but one of the things that came out. Was this all hands. They had four days after the blog. Post my live right and it. It got to end. The leaders of that organization were asked whether they condemned late supremacy got. Somebody brought it up and said well can we at least be clear on that as an organization. Can we at least be clear on that like this is not a white supremacist organization. That doesn't have a place here and they couldn't answer the reporting at least and i wasn't in the room but the reporting at least was that they hesitated to answer because they just finished saying we're not gonna talk about politics and now they get challenged on this thing. That feels pretty straightforward. That you would want. I would want my executive to be able to answer very quickly on and they couldn't because now we've created the line and are we allowed to cross the line that other people aren't allowed to cross and so it's interesting as a case but i'm more interested in the general question because people are trying to turn this into an example. They did it. Can i do it one thing. We should look at said it in your setup is that you didn't go well maybe over the long term. They'll they'll pat themselves on the back for it. But in the short term it's an operational catastrophe to have a third of your company. Quit like that's just an objective fact. You screwed up if it's thirty your company quits within a two week period. So i am interested. Jonathan you made a point in your piece that these political discussions are often related to diversity equity and inclusion efforts or other areas that have to do with who people are at work and how it is cutting off political discussions or even kind of picking and choosing what's political and what's not. How does that affect that work. In your view. I've never met a company doing diversity equity and inclusion work seriously taking it seriously who didn't find it really uncomfortable. And so if what. We're responding to if what these. Ceo's are responding to is that these conversations get uncomfortable. That people's feelings are heard that people feel like they're barked out for not having done enough work on it. then. I feel like even in the general case. You're going to have a really hard. Time at work is inherently really a political class chen. About like what is the role of the corporation in dismantling systemic problems that that are throughout society right. Where do we draw that line. And and anybody with a d. I team anybody with the effort is saying. I get it and like how good i am at that. How much research. I've done on that whether i'm the expert or need to bring in experts. Those are all fair game questions. But as soon as you're engaging as an organization to change the status quo like i don't know i don't know how that's not political and so if you tell me that i'm not allowed to talk about it then. I think probably what happens. Is that that effort really get stifled. We've stifled that. But like if. I hope not but if something really toxic is happening well we've made sure that nobody can see it now right because the conversation was supposed to be illegal in the first place. You mentioned like you want to hope that people will be respectful. The people are not going to like. Bring awful hateful things into their workplace but she also mentioned sexual harassment. We've got all kinds of laws about that already. It hasn't meant it doesn't happen. Yeah i think it's worth noting that we're not talking about like boomer. Coal miners in west virginia. Like not that. There's anything wrong with them. But we're talking about people like the three of us like when i think about. Yeah the three of us could also be like ignorant jerks like. Let's be real picture. We all live in major cities where we have met many people who do the thing of like know like i'm extremely awoke and those are the same people who try to touch my hair so like i just wanna be clear here that this can happen anywhere. That's true but i do think we might be catastrophes in a little bit like you were talking about the question of whether or not dj jason freed were comfortable condemning white supremacy and how they were uncomfortable condemning it. It seems a little bit weird and non-sequitur e for your employees to say oh but you haven't condemned white supremacy today it's like i haven't condemned white supremacy this week or this month. Do i need to be going and doing that. It seems a little bit out of left field. And i want to introduce the idea that maybe there's a little bit of a generational definitional and even disposition a difference in how people approach these issues. I think as a point of order we should condemn white supremacy but could once and for all but did it. It's done congratulate. Thank you very opposed but liz. I the definitional issues that you're pointing to. I think that's the root of the whole thing. When jean asks about like political discussions at work i think if you come up with a clean definition of politics you'd be making some progress but i think you're going to have a lot of trouble doing it. In fact i think fundamentally impossible. Because because i think my experience coming up as a straight white guy in tack in toronto is gonna be really different in terms of where politics reads on my career success where it reads on whether i get an interview and i sent a resume end like where reads on my day to day treatment. The definition that i would apply to what's political discourse at work might might eliminate whole elements of you being able to talk about what it is to live and work at this company and a lot of places. There's kind of like the employee. And in general that's white heterosexual men and white heterosexual. Man can be very good nice people. I'm big fan but it also means that there are going to be moments where like anything that is. Not that is treated as if they you know. Non white non straight non male people can't be objective about certain issues or this idea that adding them into the mix has just made everything too complicated. That idea that like lack of animosity. Lack of discord is more important than than what than expressing this stuff. I think that bears a lot of challenging. Yeah i see it as somewhat concerning when people begin to rely on work as the source of fulfillment or moral guidance or community. I think there's obviously some amount of community that we necessarily get from work if we like it there and if we are friends with some of our colleagues but the thing i just keep coming back to. Is this idea that when that employment is severed whether it's voluntary or involuntary whether people move jobs of their own volition of their own accord or whether they're fired or laid off. I think it can really feel like the rug has been pulled out from under people to lose that source of support that network and i think it's really important that we sort of allow people to draw some of those healthy boundaries. Maybe even encourage them to draw some boundaries to be able to still lean on their church community or their friends or their family As opposed to just their colleagues. I often tell people. It's important to remember that work is not your family. It's not you can be fired from your job. In most cases you cannot be fired from your family when i have experienced job loss before it was the people who had nothing to do with my work. Who were there to support me if you are working at google or on like the facebook campus. There's a beautiful cafeteria and you get smoothies all the time but the expectation again is that you will work. Eighteen nineteen hours a day and that will be praised then. I think that it's very challenging to have that. Well it's clock out. This is your life because at a certain point if you're constantly available it of his what you do. Jonathan is this a tech issue. You mentioned in your piece. This tends to be this familiar recipe that you found tech company you market. The company is being at the forefront of a new way of working. You have a big mission. You recruit employees who want to do good work for a company but everyone defines good differently. The employees are like we want to make it a better place and then they start doing like diversity equity inclusion work and then things get complicated and then everyone's like as you said like whoa. Whoa whoa wait a minute. You know working sixteen hours a day for this company or if you're suddenly on their careers page right if you're suddenly the face that we put up because we want to attract more people because we've got targets that someone someone's trying to hit so they get their bonus is a part of my life if if you're literally using my person my face and my body to promote your organization like i feel like there's a pretty tie there been there right. And in that moment what seeing his. Yeah yes people have a hammocks and yes. People have catered lunches fifteen years ago. That was their strategy for attracting top talent and it shifted now like how is it that these companies that pay their employees so exorbitantly and like give them all kinds of benefits are seeing unionization. Drives that they haven't seen before and part of it is because those people are realizing their labor is supporting things are not happy with the labor is supporting censorship regimes. That they're not happy with labor supporting weaponry development that they're not happy with and they're saying like we're going to take our labor elsewhere. Don't worry about us. We will find a new family in a real hurry. This thing that you're identifying a problem. This sort of exodus of employees is something that i look at. As maybe a really good thing it might be a short-term painful thing but a really valuable long-term move. Because i mean these people are getting generous. Severance people who stayed at the company for longer than three years got six months salary of severance people who were under three years. Got three months salary severance. It was sort of interesting sorting that we saw. Where basically those who were on board with the sort of reorientation. The recalibrating of the company were able to stay and to understand. Okay we're doubling back down on the shared projects that we're doing together and those who didn't want to do that. Got months of runway to be able to look for other stuff. And frankly you look at a lot of these ex employees twitter threats and you had hordes of hiring managers reaching out to them afterwards saying oh you know. They're not going to appreciate you. Your values your wanting to create a d. I committee is fully aligned with what we're trying to do over here. It's kind of a win. I'm happy for those employees day soft landings. I think if you go back and you read it especially during those two weeks you a lot of them talk about fear and heartbreak and like i don't think in that moment they're having a great time. We're happy with the decision. But having said that if you genuinely feel that if you was an executive seal like it's it's odious obnoxious unpleasant. Whatever has people talking about the fact that they're having a really hard time at work after towards floyd protests. Then i hope you do say loud. I hope you say out loud like that's not welcome here. I'm not an employer. That's making space for that so that we all know the employees who left they got new jobs. But what's really important. Is the new employees going in no kind of executive working for as we begin to emerge from the pandemic work culture as many of us. Now i might never be the same. Tell me all about it in a voice mail by calling three four seven nine one five four. Three two four might excerpt on a future episode. Twenty twenty. One is the twenty fifth anniversary of the telecommunications act of nineteen ninety-six the last comprehensive update to internet regulation. The internet has experienced more than a few updates since nineteen ninety six but internet regulations. Have not that's why. Facebook supports updated regulations on key issues like preventing election interference protecting people's privacy reforming section. To thirty and more see facebook's progress on key issues and what's next at about dot f. b. dot com slash regulations if you've heard of blading county north carolina. It's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleeding. Some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional action was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges and petty beefs family history and history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote it was almost like they realized that we weren't done like okay. They smart. I'm zoe chase. Host of the improvement association from the makers of cereal and the new york times told him five parts. Find it wherever. We get your podcasts. That i wanted to ask you. Is there a good argument that you can make four these decisions. Well i'll tell you one of the worst brands. In organizational psychology is psychological safety. Everybody hears that term. And they're like this is about babying. People does is about treating everybody with mittens and and making sure every walls padded. And it's not what it means psychological his body of research that says teams tend to perform when they know what the rules are when they know what is expected of them when they know what happens if they fail a lot of the research about like. I feel confident that i can bring my whole self to work. I feel confident that my manager sees my achievements and that are important. I feel confident that i can succeed in this organization. Correlate back to how clear on my about the expectations. I know what happens if i screw up doing. What's allowed and what's not allowed. And so if you can articulate there's health in that but you need to be clear even if you say that. I think you're going to see really uneven enforcement of that and i think we could both name lots of cases where people with sort of heterodox views get disproportionate enforcement of policies. That other people are totally allowed to get away with and like that undermines psychological safety lot. Because now i've got to spend all my time on how much my boss makes eye contact with me. And how much the interrupt me. Because i don't have a clear sense of like what's inbounds on what's out of bounds. They're not saying that people can't ever say hey. I'm feeling a little bit down because of something in the news this week or i feel hurt by somebody else being exclusionary or even you know i'm dealing with this really challenging difficulty in my life that has to do with a specific identity that that i hold her group that i'm part of i get the sense that they're saying. Hey that daily beast article that you really wanna share in that sock channel. That's about the struggles for voting rights. Various red states. That's not really related to us. Making password management software. I do think that does run the risk of uneven enforcement and i think they have to approach it with a certain posture of humility to be able to execute it. Well that's the thing i really worry about. It's not how. Liz interprets carefully is not how we interpreted when we're spending enough time to really digest it. It's how does a newly promoted manager who's got two people that team launch about something interpreted and is it the same for every newly minted manager and every director and every vp within that organization. Because my experience is it's not and it's worth saying that's what drives a lot of stuff in the first place the lot of the struggles that organizations are having is because like people are not given equal treatment. People are not given a fair shake right. Resumes sounds like it's regionalized name. I'm less likely to call that person. From the moment they touch my hiring pipeline all the way through their career progression in the organization to the day. They get fired or leave. They're not getting equal treatment and to take something as big as politics and say we're adding that to the ways that like management can discretionary permit or permit. I don't disagree that some of those conversations. Don't go anywhere. I just think that doing so much more damage in service of resolving them. Jonathan what would a preemptive strategy in your mind would a better one look like. It's big if we had started from instead of unpleasant. And i want to resolve that if we had started from i'm leading diverse organization and i feel like under-equipped to do that and the solution is not i will drop hammer. Organization dissolution is. I will go get equipped genuinely. I think that'd be really powerful. I think if you invested in that and then invested in that for the rest of the organization as well that twenty person i committee. I don't know what they were doing to people who are on that committee a base camp said they hadn't done anything before. The committee was disbanded. Not like they've done something really. Controversial committee would have suggested resources and tools that were base camp appropriate and like aligned with the identities of the people working in the company so that we all get to more fulsome understanding of it. And they don't have to do any. None of this is legally required outside of basic labour. Lost us labor lawyer. But i don't think they have to write. I think that like. I wish they would choose to because i would want to work with that company. One thing. the ice would've been curious about is like i mean i've been combing through the data that i can find on. Dia initiatives and trying to get a better sense of like to. We have evidence that suggests that these things that are really vogue right now. Do we have evidence to suggest. They work super well. I would be very curious to see what the d. I folks at basecamp would have come up with their ideas were because i think there are a lot of companies in this that when we talk about politics or diversity at work there is an easy road which is either. You can't talk about it or you have to do it in these specific ways and there's much harder road which is like you're going to have to deal with some people who were like. Hey remember that time that you assumed x and y about me because of my name or you asked me where i was from and i'm from like dubuque that's something that i've seen companies do time and time and time again where it's like. Well we could do the hard thing or we could do the way easier thing. I think there are so many creative ways that companies could do that like scrapping degree requirements. But i mean a lot of us aren't willing to have that conversation right. We're really interested in the performing of side but not as interested in this class and race. Side that i think is really important where people could actually cut to the chase for what it's worth. That's the thing that we talked about about directly. We talked to them about like why. Go look at your job. Descriptions and tell me what degree requirement is doing as a proxy. And while you're at it go find out if you've got something in your offer letters about you have to explicitly say that you've never been convicted of a criminal offence for which you have received a pardon. What is that doing right like what. What is that doing in terms of the makeup of your candidate pool and how many people are bouncing off oven. How many of them are lying to you. Because they can't say yes to that and lose another job right. That stuff comes up and jane. I would i would agree. Tech is full of stories of founders. Who would rather jeopardize their entire business. Go to therapy would rather jeopardize their entire business than have someone very junior. Tell them that they're screwing up and that they've built a company that is less of a dream than it appears to be on their careers. Page the only power. The employee has quit. And you're seeing them use it but that's a lot of power to give to really junior people not to work against myself because i'm a more junior person. All things considered. I think you are tapping into a really important point. Jonathan which is like who holds the power. Are they the right people to hold that power their checks on the way there wielding power the way would flip that a little bit is like we're also in a moment where people like me or people like me who are asian or who are black or what have you have a lot of power two-wheeled and it's sort of sometimes. Seems like we're giving a lot of power to people have a lot of complaints but aren't necessarily super judicious with their concept of what a workplace ought to provide them. I'm curious was what was your ideal workplace. Look like well. I have to answer. Reasons like are not allowed to know. I mean i think for me i mean. I'm a pretty high conflict personality. Just you know truth be told like. I've always thought. I would get along really well with lawyers because i think that ability to state your case to go back and forth but then also to be resilient afterward and to recognize that you can have these very high level discussions that are theoretical. We're you stake out a claim and you defend it but it's not necessarily a reflection of what you believe. It's just sort of something your workshop in an environment. That's really robust in that area would work well for me. So frankly a place like basecamp probably would be a terrible fit in part because they would never hire me. Because i don't have the skills that are relevant to what they're doing there but one of the things that i do also value is the ability of some employees to say. Hey we need you to grow and change in this way we need to investigate this grievance that we have where there's also room for that person to do all of that reading and learning and then come back and say i still disagree. And here's why. I think that back and forth is good because we're in the placating mode and i don't think that's healthy. I don't think it's productive. Does one thing that. I just wanted to underline their liz. From the way they talk about it. I think that a lot of leaders in general but but texas is often at the vanguard for this stuff just because i work places so mobile and just because it's such a sought after industry. At the moment. I think a lot of leaders attack view the conversation. I'm not putting it on you. But view the conversation in the terms that you used in terms of like we can go back and forth on it and then we can recover afterwards like. We're having a debate about it. It's okay for us to disagree in the context of that. It's not a personal attack. And what i consistently hear from the people that we work with is for them. It's it is personal. We can have a debate about politics at work but like when we go home you can go to work tomorrow in. Politics isn't a part of your day. That's okay and if i come to work tomorrow and politics isn't a part of my day than i am not included here right and not because it's like a hobby the because it's like i can't wash it off. It's who i am. And i need to be able to talk about that because i need to be able to advocate for things like our health benefits. Don't cover same sex spouses or we've got maternal leave but we don't have paternal leave which is something that should truly be elements and they have to be right. They have to be an. I totally agree and i think we need to be so confident that every manager is going to feel that way and i think it's really hard to do that from a blanket ban on speech and with leads turn oven. Thank you so much for joining me for talking about politics at work while working at work. Thank you thank you so much. Gene will as a senior editor at recent and jonathan. Nightingale is an author and co founder of ross signal group. You should read peace and reason and jonathan's newsletter and the basecamp decision. There's great reporting on the base camp decision by casey newton. On the verge you can find links in our episode news. Finally here's what some of you had to say about bringing your whole self to work. Hi my name's annette. I'm from baltimore is realized that as a woman in my thirties who's just been diagnosed with autism. I have never been myself at work. And i am so excited that my company is giving me the opportunity to continue working from home where so much more productive and i'm so much more comfortable and spend much less stress because zeina home not trying to be someone. I'm not hi. My name is dan phantom. I live in seatac washington and over time at the game. Tenure in my position. I brought more and more of my personal self to work and let less of work into my personal life and i feel like that's sort of endemic in my organization and i believe that actually as a whole organization is becoming more innovative than more responsive as we've become more accustomed to seeing actual cells instead of our business sells. Hi my name. Is angie and i'm from portland oregon and at the time. But i felt like i couldn't be myself at work for certainly related to being a working mom. It's really challenging times to be taken seriously especially when you have a newborn toddlers and then you find yourself hiding those parts of the you are not sharing the joy that you're experiencing the most important tens of your life so yeah working motherhood you hide a lot is murkowski. I from washington dc and on the subject of how much of myself agreeing to work. Being the child to immigrants from separate nations came here and to life and somehow each other. My upbringing was out typical. I think in my best interest to make sure that i'm personable amenable professional and that's pretty much the arguments production of times opinion. It's produced by gutierrez and vishakha durga edited by alison brick. Sarah guys and polish him with original music and sound design by addictions mixing by carol subbarao backtracking by jordan reed an audience strategy by shannon busta. Special thanks this week to kristen lynn

jason Liz Alicia burke lonnie bunch smithsonian museum comey chung joe los angeles chapter of asian a jane kirsten david hammer hansen Jonathan jonathan nightingale basecamp research basecamp dj jason elizabeth warren bank of america twitter facebook blading county zoe chase
NPR News: 03-27-2021 2AM ET

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04:40 min | 6 months ago

NPR News: 03-27-2021 2AM ET

"Live from npr news. I'm dale willman. The biden administration is enlisting the help of county officials in san antonio texas temporarily house migrant children who've arrived at the border without their parents. Texas public radio's joey. Palacios says about twenty four hundred children from el salvador. Guatemala and honduras will be sheltered at the city's expo hall after they leave facilities at the border inside bear counties freeman coliseum expo hall. The children were beds hot meals and recreation areas. They'll stay about a week while the department of health and human services attempts to locate family members in the us are place them with a state licensed childcare facility. the children will be tested for covid. Nineteen both before arriving and during their stay. The justice department says it's charged nearly five hundred people so far with fraud and other schemes tied to the coronavirus pandemic. the department has made fighting such crimes of priority over the past year. npr's ryan lucas reports souckova. Nineteen pandemic has created a rich environment for fraudsters one particularly enticing target has been the hundreds of billions of dollars the government doled out as part of the cares act passed a year ago this week. The justice department says that over the past year it has charged four hundred and seventy four people with fraud and other crimes connected to the pandemic that includes attempts to defraud the paycheck protection program as well as other loan programs unemployment benefits that were created by the cares act. The government says the amount of money fraudsters tried to steal in the cases charged so far is around. Five hundred and seventy million dollars attorney. General merrick garland says the department remains committed to protecting the public from those who use the health crisis to illegally enrich themselves ryan lucas. Npr news washington cdc director. Rochelle will inskeep says one thousand nine cases are starting to climb again and the nation could face another surge of people. Let down their guard. Npr's richard harris has more at a white house briefing. Well linski said that. The average daily case count of covid nineteen has recently increased about seven percent and hospital. Admissions are also starting to climb slightly about a thousand people a day continue to die. She said she's deeply concerned about this trajectory and we know from prior surges. That if we don't control things now. There is a real potential for the epidemic curve. Just sore again. She acknowledged that many americans are weary of the epidemic but she said that it is still important to take precautions. Such as wearing masks a bit longer until a large share of the public is vaccinated. Richard harris npr news. The leader of myanmar's ruling. Junta said saturday that the military will protect people and strive for democracy but at least four people were killed early saturday morning when security forces opened fire at a crowd protesting outside a police station in youngun. At least ten others were injured. The killings came after an ominous warning was played on state television. Friday nights saying people should learn from the tragedy of ugly deaths. The protests began after the military seized power in the nation on february. I this is npr. News beverly cleary children's book author beloved by generations of readers died on thursday at her home in carmel california. She was one hundred four among her most familiar. Creations henry huggins ralph s mouse and the impressive ramona quimby. Npr's zoe chase has more. Beverly cleary grew up in portland oregon during the depression. One day she saw little girl walking home. She'd been sent to the neighborhood store for a pound of butter which knows this was in one piece not in cubes and she had opened the butter and was eating it. Beverly cleary wrote about kids like that. One ramona quimby. The most popular of cleary's characters. He tuna fish sandwiches and writing in cursive. She loved tin cans stilts and halloween and with the ramona books and her many others. Beverly cleary changed the entire field of writing for children away from fantasy to real life zoe chase. Npr news president. Joe biden has invited top world leaders to join for the first major climate talks of his administration. The talks will be held line. Among those invited are leaders let putin of russia and g jingping of china more than forty leaders have received invitations for the talks. Which will be held. At the end of april efforts to move the giant container blocking the container ship rather blocking the suez canal will continue on saturday. On friday workers dredge twenty thousand cubic meters of sand away from the tanker's bow. The ship called the evergreen has been blocking ship traffic for much of this week. I'm deal willman npr news.

npr news ryan lucas dale willman biden administration bear counties freeman coliseum souckova justice department Npr General merrick garland Beverly cleary inskeep expo hall Palacios linski npr ramona quimby el salvador department of health and human honduras
Libsyn 5 available to all in beta

podnews

03:21 min | 6 months ago

Libsyn 5 available to all in beta

"The latest from our daily newsletter appalled news dot net. Lipson has put lipson five into open. Beater everyone to try it. Overhauls the user experience adding nicer looking podcast websites and approved statistics. We look to enlist of the new features. Today investor greystone capital likes it claiming to be blown away by the updates in lipson five and highlights. the effect of the company's current lawsuit against former shareholders. Spotify is to host a new round of sound up programs a global program gives underrepresented podcasters tools to boost their platforms and build their own shows. The first two announces the australia sound up program aimed at indigenous or torres strait islander. Podcasters if that's you you've until april. The nineteenth to enter the companies also launched behind the mic a new apprenticeship program coming later this year to support a sparring black podcast producers. Three apprentices will become permanent spotify employees result spotify is also bought locker room and i o s only live sports audio are like clubhouse and twitter. Space is it. Let's run host audio conversations. His sirri brand under a new name and gustav sodastream chief r. and d. officer at spotify hints at integration with anchor and spotify's pond entercom which owns cadence thirteen pineapple streets studios pod corn and cbs. Radio has changed. Its name part audio part. Or data's part odyssey. The new name is odyssey. As part of that radio dot com is no more. they've rebranded. Its own dot com. You can your podcast into that arab. The stock market likes it. But they're stupid. Shares rose by five point two percent. The podcast index now lists over two million podcasts. It doesn't automatically pull new shows from apple podcasts. But even so has now overtaken the number of shows they're reuters audio can now be accessed in the reuters connects marketplace. That gives you more flexible. Success to over six hundred thousand archive audio clips initially launched in june last year. And if you want to be on the one hundred fiftieth episode of your brain on facts. Check our show notes and our newsletter. Today we've details of how maybe you could be part of guinness world record for the most guest segments. Hold a single podcast episode coming. In april the improvement association a new show from cereal productions and the new york times. That'll be hosted by zoe. Chase and it looks at election fraud. Actual proved election fraud launches on april thirteenth well midwestern gothic mystery has won the best podcast awards in the bbc. Drama awards the only independent show in the podcast category beat shows from audible and the bbc itself between two scored casks podcast interviews. Sounds profitable. brian. Barletta in their latest episodes and career crossroads look to pot news editor. That's me and my career from radio presenter to podcast news that to editor. Good podcasts. For you if you would fall asleep. And that's the latest from our news nights old thinks we're produce dot net.

Spotify greystone capital Lipson gustav sodastream lipson cadence thirteen pineapple str reuters improvement association australia cbs twitter Drama awards apple bbc zoe the new york times Barletta brian
NPR News: 03-26-2021 7PM ET

NPR News Now

04:40 min | 6 months ago

NPR News: 03-26-2021 7PM ET

"Live from npr news. I'm jack speer. President biden is inviting forty world leaders to a virtual summit on climate change. Next month is npr's scott detro- reports. The meeting will be held on earth day by didn't repeatedly promised during the presidential campaign to spend trillions on new clean energy infrastructure into convene a world summit on climate change. Both promises are about to move forward with the infrastructure. Plan set to be unveiled next week. During a speech in pittsburgh the white house has also now officially sent out summit invites to allies german chancellor angela merkel but also rivals chinese president xi jinping and russian president vladimir putin before summit the white house will announce new goals for the amount of greenhouse gas emissions plans to reduce by the end of the decade scott detro-. Npr news. the white house. Attorney general merrick garland says hate has no place in our society. Npr's carrie johnson reports. The justice department is pledging to help community suffering from hateful incidents in new video message. The attorney general denounced to rise in hate and discrimination against the asian american and pacific. Islander community merrick garland says prosecuting hate. Crimes is a top priority for the justice department. He crimes aren't new. He says but technology allows hate to spread. More rapidly. Garland says doj oj will also use grant money to improve data collection and provide resources to people in languages other than english. Some members of congress have proposed legislation to designate an official at the justice department to try to speed up reviews of hate crimes reported federal state or local law enforcement. Carrie johnson npr news washington. House speaker nancy. Pelosi says she's tap the commanding general of the dc guard to be the houses. First african american sergeant in arms posey announcing today major general william walker will lead how security measures as congress continues to deal with the aftermath. The january six insurrection at the us capitol walker helped send troops to backup overwhelmed capital police who replaced paul irving who resigned after the incident. Cbc director shell linski says covid. Nineteen cases are starting to climb again in the nation could face another surge of people. Let down their guard. Here's npr's richard harris at a white house briefing alinsky said that the average daily case count of covid nineteen has recently increased about seven percent and hospital. Admissions are also starting to climb slightly about a thousand people a day continue to die. She said she's deeply concerned about this trajectory and we know from prior surges. That if we don't control things now. There is a real potential for the epidemic curve. Just sore again knowledged. That many americans are weary of the epidemic but she said that it is still important to take precautions. Such as wearing masks a bit longer until a large share of the public vaccinated richard harris. Npr news on wall street. The dow was up four hundred fifty three points today. You're listening to npr. Beverly clearly a children's book author beloved by generations of readers died this week at her home in carmel california. She was a hundred and four among her most familiar. Creations are henry huggins. Ralph s mouse. Replaceable ramona quimby. So we chase. Has this remembrance. Beverly cleary grew up in portland oregon during the depression. One day. she saw a little girl walking home. She'd been sent to the neighborhood store for a pound of butter in those days was in one piece not in cubes and she had opened a butter and was eating it. Beverly cleary wrote about kids like that. One ramona quimby. The most popular of cleary's characters heated tuna fish sandwiches and writing in cursive. She loved tin. Can stilts and halloween and with the ramona books and her many others. Beverly cleary change the entire field of writing for children away from fantasy to real life zoe chase. Npr news german automaker. Volkswagen says it is seeking damages from two of the company's former executives who presided over a diesel emissions scandal that cost the company billions. Bw official sang after a board meeting. Today the auto giant will seek damages from ex chief executive martin winterkorn and the former head of the company's audi division rupert stadler w did not specify the amount of damages at seeking says after review of millions of documents extensive interviews. It's concluded breaches of duty occurred crude oil futures prices followed stocks oil up two dollars and forty one cents a barrel to sixty ninety seven a barrel. I'm jack speer npr news.

scott detro merrick garland carrie johnson justice department Npr news npr npr news jack speer President biden white house House speaker nancy dc guard general william walker xi jinping paul irving white house richard harris shell linski ramona quimby angela merkel
Zoe, PJ, and Chanel

Heavyweight

44:38 min | 3 years ago

Zoe, PJ, and Chanel

"On this episode of heavyweight is brought to you by the new Glenfiddich, fire and Kane, it's a whiskey that smokey and sweet fire and Kane this unexpected. Fusion is a must have for the holidays Forbes magazine called it a flavor bomb so it smells like distant smoke carried on the wind and tastes like grandma Goldstein's. Apple rubella roasting on a bed of Highland. Pete, Glenfiddich, fire and Kane single malt scotch enjoy responsibly. This episode of heavyweight is brought to you by Honda and the all new insight hybrids can be a little man. But the Honda insight is a sleek and stylish car that also happens to be a hybrid to see the all new Honda, insight checkout, inside dot Honda dot com. That's inside dot Honda dot com. Last june. Have you eat performed a sold out show in the borough of churches, Brooklyn New York, the show is part of Gimblett fast. A two day podcasting festival that rivaled Woodstock ninety four in terms of historic and cultural significance. If you came to that show. Good for you. And if not well, you'll have to live with that fact for the rest of your life. So please sit back wallow in that regret and try to enjoy this slightly edited version of heavyweight live. Jackie. Yeah. It sounds like you're on a speakerphone. Oh, that's really good. So you know, I have a podcast. Do you? Remember the name of it on? Yes. If it's going to be okay. What's the name of the show? Next question. Okay. You know that the name of the show is heavyweight, right? Does that ring a bell rings an annoying bell yet? What is it annoying bell sound like just rang it? Okay. So I'm doing a live show. I don't think the visual dimension at much. Photograph of you. And. Yeah. I surely hope you have a little bit of something to drink before you do much better in your life performances that a little a little something about you little hoot. Yeah. I suppose. Yeah. Little who is a part of the show business tradition. Back to the days of Bing Crosby. Yes. Of course, they do. So funny. I am in show business. It's a statement of fact, my host a podcast. It sure is that considered showbusiness. The why why show it's a show and people are entertained by it, so. I'm in show business nothing. Visit. Very cute. All right. Johnny hockey. Okay. Youtube bye-bye. God. See Gimblett media founder, Alex, Bloomberg is trotting and place beside my workstation. How do you like apples? He asks. I don't care for Apple's. I say when bruise they remind me of my mortality when served cold they tend to hurt my teeth. So no, Alex. I do not like apples though, I do like applesauce. Well, how do you like these apples? He asks without looking for my computer screen. I ask these apples are sauced apples. Mr. Bloomberg thrust to letter press handbill in front of my face it, smells, like the Cologne department of a European duty free the handbill reads Gimblett fast fest. It's his short for festival. Are we disarming a bomb while falling from a rooftop Alex is your time so precious that you can't afford to lousy extra syllables? Of course, I say, none of this out loud. The last thing I need is to be fired from podcasting and forced to recite my monologues into a CB radio while seated on the lap of some trucker named John Francois. Mr. Bloomberg Texas fit bit pumps, his fist thrice and stops running. Though is brow is virtually sweatless. He wipes it with a silken kerchief and crumples the handbill into my chest. Then he asks is real question. What are you going to do for Gimblett fast? I don't like public speaking. I say the very thought of a live event was enough to make the borscht. I'd eat for lunch perform a slow spiteful because that's in my kiss Kaz. Mr. Bloomberg laughs, you're hilarious. He says slapping back hard enough to make my fillings rattle and the days borscht, enter its final curtain call. For the next several months. I do nothing but worry by day hide out shivering, and Mr. Bloomberg's executive bathroom. By night. I said at the kitchen table in darkness, eating unsalted, peanuts and drinking bourbon. And so the days run away like wild horses at a farm wedding and upstate I make a mental note to tweet that. And all the while. I can do nothing else. But think of Gimblett fast. What will I wear to what number will? I set my beer trimmer. Come to bed. The wife cries it's four in the morning. When sleep does come at brings ominous dreams in one. I hop out of a game I shake cake onto a cool dark stage. I am holding a ukulele. Hello. I say into the blackness. I'm certain there is an audience out there somewhere. Judging me in the silence, I hear a cough, then a worthy original slowly being unwrapped. A face emerges from the darkness. It is ABC television personalities act Braff. Informs me I've been cancelled. I wake in a cold sweat surrounded by werther as original rappers and for your consideration DVD's Valux Inc. A week before Showtime. I feel my bowels quake had my nightly prayer for diverticulitis been answered dear God, I in tone, please give me diverticulitis. So I don't have to do Gimblett fast. But no such luck. It is only a visit from my old friend gas. Mere days before the event, Mr. Bloomberg corners me and the Gimblett cat cafe the one on the second floor. How's that live show coming? He demands superb. I croak stoically my voice cracking in three different places. Good good. He says taking along drag Volva KADO flavored vape. What's the run of the show? He asks, I don't know. I say ending the Chirad I have nothing planned, Mr. Bloomberg twitches violently causing the to task monkeys carrying his e hook at alert from side to side. What have you been doing with your time? He asks the former planet money. Spokes model was still capable of a hard hitting question. What had I been doing with my time? Tweeting I say about the festival. Let's take this to the kitchen hammocks. Mr. Bloomberg commands. Dutifully trail behind him. Trying not to spill his chocolate mint julep while swinging on his stomach. Mr. Bloomberg explains how Gimblett fast is about influencing. It's about inspiring positive change. He says while sipping from very long straw. Oh indubitably. I squeal let's force feed pods ity down the throats of non believers everywhere. Of course, I only squeal this to myself. The last thing I need is to be sent back to Canada to do the overnight weather report from moose factory Ontario. I've been thinking a lot about engaging our brand loyalists Alex continues. But I'm barely listening to gentle rocking of the hammock has sent me into a reverie. When I wake I'm alone. The office is dark, but for the muted headlamps of the task monkeys polishing Mr. Bloomberg's vape pen collection in preparation for the day ahead. Come to bed the wife text. It's four a m of course, I want to help Mr. Bloomberg. I've been listening to him radio DJ on this American life since I was but a mop headed child strapped into the back seat of memos mini van on the way to curling practice. Leaving the office. I pass by his treadmill desk, he's still here slowly trotting along working hard. I ask. But there is no answer after several minutes. I realized that he has fallen into a deep sleep only the support of his loyal task monkeys is keeping them up. Right. Good night podcast prints. I whisper. Before wandering out into the night. The night before Gimblett fast is one of the worst in my life. How's everybody doing tonight? I practice over and over into my wife's hairbrush while staring into the bathroom mirror. How is everybody doing tonight? How is everybody doing tonight? Go to bed the wife cries, it's four in the morning. But I can't I know that if I can just nail my opening line. Everything else will fall into place. The audience will applaud Mr. Bloomberg will sign my paycheck, and my infant son will start calling me Dada. Instead of ha ha. And so I practice how's everybody doing tonight? How is everybody doing tonight? And then it comes to me. How's everybody doing this evening? To how's everybody doing this evening? Don. That's that's my human beat boxer Devon. And this is my co host and producer Colella. Do you want to tell these people what we're going to do? Yeah. So tonight the theme of this evening is killed killed stories. And so we were gonna play for you some of the stories or clips of the stories that didn't make an onto the air. And also, we're going to have some guests some special guests, and they're going to be human beat box onto the state. Are you suggesting that I should be human being would you like to be human beat box onto the stage? Not particularly. But I will. I think you're gonna like it more than you and -ticipant. It's you're gonna find it very enlightening. I did do we call it human beat box. We just call it beat box. He's human and he's beat boxing. So. I'd be like that. Okay. Makes me so happy Devon come out here. I'm sorry. I wanna tell you. I want to thank you again one. Tell you a story about how my interest in human beat boxing came about familiar with the fat, boys. I am. Yeah. So I really liked. The fat boys has the child, and I would try to human beat box myself. And I wasn't good at it. And I started to feel chest pains. And my parents had to take me to the Jewish general ER in Montreal. And the the doctor in the ER told me that I had given myself these chest pains from the the beat boxing is is that is that a payroll of it can happen. Yeah. Seems to have happened. So I had to doing it. Well, I think I think anybody can can beat box. So I think if you push through the pain. One. Yeah. One day you could get there. It's like a little tiny little. You're all set you up. Sure. I know you're patronizing me. But I still liked it. Thank you. Now. I think it's time to introduce our first special guests. You know, her from the social security number eight two three six three eight two nine seven or from her work on planet money and this American life, ladies and gentlemen. So he case Devon brings to the stage. Zoe. Chase. That was that. Why have you ever been boxed onto a state? It's pretty nice. You get used to it. Yeah. You can't live without it. Hi, hi, so okay. So we're gonna talk about killed stories and at your prompting, we're going to talk about a killed story of mine. And I know that it made an impact on a young Zoe chase. And this is a story that almost almost got killed when I was working as a producer at this American life, many many years ago and during that time there were so many of my stories that were getting killed all the time. But this this is one that somehow faded death. Barely and. Yeah. And you wanted to talk about it. Yeah. No. This story is the reason that I that I started working in radio you're talking about the little mermaid story, right? Who you guys know that store? Yeah. So this is a story. I would call my friend Josh up on the phone just because I thought he was very funny, and I was always looking for a way to get him on this American life, and because this Merican life is all about storytelling. Ira would always say you have to your friend. Josh asked to have a story. And we'd tell me stories, and they would go nowhere to be stupid. And then this was one of those stories that he told me, but it just happened actually turn into something. You know, I think we just happen to have a clip. Guy named Fred. And he got this message while his mother left a message on his answering machine. Okay. And he forwarded it to maybe one or more of his friends, and they forwarded this message across campus to everyone. Okay. So you want to hear the message? All right. So he prefaced it by saying you have the message do not have the message. The message in my head. I'm telling you a story. So the mess he practiced it by by some kind of sad little lead in little voice. I think appreciate hearing. This message from my mother. Okay. And then the message this was the entirety of the message. And I'm gonna do the voice for you as best. I can you're ready. Yeah. Oh, sorry. More background. He apparently he had he had a heart. He was not a hit with the ladies. Fred. Okay. This is what I was led to understand. Okay. I'm not sure if this is okay. But he had managed to score a date to go. See the. The little mermaid of all movies. Okay. The little mermaid guy. Yeah. So this is the message his own mother is blood relation leaves for him. And I quote him. You and the little mermaid go yourselves the books you wanted to not here. They must be in law. I'm not gonna wait up on my view goodbye. As the entirety of it. All right. Yeah. That's a message as mother left you catch that part you and the little mermaid can both go yourself. I love you, son. Okay. That's gold. So. Yeah, that's how it started the best. It's so the reason why was because I wasn't in radio. And I was just living in Philadelphia. And I was very lonely, and I heard this store somebody said listen to these things these streaming MP, threes, whatever. And so I listened to this. And I was like that's it like you can just talk to your friends about being in college of Bentley. And it's so funny. And it's like that's all and you're on the radio like, that's so that's easy. That's the best thing. I'm glad it didn't seem like hard nose. Then you'd be like, I can never do this. I'm not gonna get into radio, and you wouldn't be here. So I'm glad yeah. That's true. Yeah. So so I just wanted to say that like. What I tried to do still try to do in radio is like I have funny friends, and I'm like, you should be on the radio telling your story, I'm going to do it like Jonathan Josh. It's a whole thing. It's just gonna be like a conversation that kind of unfolds naturally, it's funny, and then kind of morph into this American life story, and that that's been my plan for really long time. And now, I work at this American life. I still can't get my friend Lind's on the radio. Like, I try like beg her. Let me recorder, and I lied to her that I'm not going to use it. That's not the plan, and now she's very tense serious immigration lawyers. So she has a lot of stories that are relevant to the current moment. Stories that she thinks like aren't appropriate to tell on the radio because they're about our clients. But like, I don't see it that way. Yeah. We have a clip. I just so happen to have a clip. Remember it better. A clients. And I'll give you that better. Every day. So that it's like every day, you still that is still something that you want to do. Some how the way that you interviewed your friends on this American life like decades decades ago long long ago long time ago. Yeah. It's it's like the best radio ever. It's it's funny to me to hear you say that because you do all of these serious important political stories for this American life, and I feel like I'm just making like knock knock jokes on the radio. And to me. The irony is always been that. I'm not I'm not an easy laugh, and that's been a problem for me in broadcasting because laughing can say so much like when you're interviewing someone a laugh can feel like, you know, like a warm arm around the shoulder and let the person know that you're enjoying them and gives them confidence. And I'm not much of a laugher and. And I've suffered for that. But having my close friends to do stories with people who legitimately make me laugh. Make me a better broadcaster than than I naturally am. Should we introduce another person who makes you laugh? So you're gonna stick around. Right. You don't have to go any place yet. Right. I have nothing going on. Okay. Right. Previously, the host of it was too long. And so I didn't read it, you know, hosts the show reply all with Alex Goldman he has a small dog which wants p it on Bloomberg's death PJ vote. Everyone. Have you? Be. Need is receive the Uman beat boxing the lifetime. My friend. At that failed. It felt like three different stress. Streams I had. Time now PJ. So when I was figuring out heavyweight I was talking to you alive. So sort of figuring out what is the show. Yes. And at the time, it was sort of about it had to do with this ID that like every the irony of living in society was at everybody knows something about you that you just can't figure out about yourself. Right. Like, the ultimate irony is how one cannot know oneself. Just as a knife cannot cut itself or a fire. Cannot burn itself. A human being cannot really know. I think fire can burn itself. Anyway. Getting I was getting poetical. All right anyway. So the idea was a little broader than heavyweight it was just sort of like I'm gonna help people figure out things that they can't figure about themselves calling it Jonathan Goldstein medicine woman. That was my wife's idea Emily's idea. Jonathan Goldstein medicine woman. And so you came to me with a particular problem, which was. I've been told or hinted at on more than one occasion that there was something about my face does like inherently punishable. They gotta punishable face face. Right. And I just like literally just feel a bunch of people. Okay. My face like sizing out. Does that feel good? Sorry and had it, and how was it that you describe what makes a punishable face. I think that people see like either I think there's like you can have there's a couple of times, but one is like a kind of inherent smugness and one is a sort of dopey nece. And if you have both of them, I think it's like. Yeah. I want a so I wanted to make PJ I wanted to radically that really I don't think it's true. But any of that? But anyway. And and and I was relisting to tape and so much of it was making me wish that we had actually been able to do the store you describe yourself as a kid wearing like bifocals or something and like a tight white turtleneck. With Hawaiian punch stains all over. Heartbreaking. Anyway. So I said out. And I talked to your friends I talked to former employers, I talked I really covered a lot of bases. I don't know. We we ever talked about this. I'm not not in detail. Okay. So at one point so desperate. I was to find. Because I wasn't the problem with the story was that in the end people didn't really think you had a punishable face. And so I felt desperate. I felt like well, I've gotta find people that think he has a punishable face. And so I went to a place where I thought people would be most inclined to want to punch you in the face. So I went to a boxing gym. And I carried with me a framed photograph. Of you to really get them riled up to fate them. And so this is this is tape of me talking to some of the boxers. As a boxer. Do you think that this guy has a punishable face? No does he seem like he has a punishable face. Do you think that he has a punishable face? Nope. No, I do not think he has a bunch of face like, a very talented, strong young men social outgoing person it looks friendly smiling right now how you wanna find your? Why would you say he has a punch of face? I think sometimes like people have felt like because he seems so smiley. There's no reason to be punched in the face just for being happy guy. He's a friend of ours is name is PJ PJ. I don't know why people in telling you that maybe you have to work on your attitude guy. But the point you all right. Wherever you all p. So that was it you never comfortable face. So. They're applauding for not having a punch phase. I'm honestly surprised how hard it is to get boxers to say that they wanna punch somebody know we have a photograph of the photograph that I brought into the boxing gym PJ Alaska to describe it. I feel like this goes against everything that you've said. Just many with a stupid punishable phase. No, that's not true. It's like it's like the smile is. Like, I think I'm better than you. But also worse. But you're standing on a yacht or something. Building about getting and where. Lying yet. His if you're wearing a watch like who do you think you are? Anyway, not a punishable face. Ladies. Oh PJ. You crack me up any we've got to take a short break. And when we come back, you'll hear the shortest heavyweight story ever made. But I some important words from some very important sponsors. Like what you're hearing. Well, I've got great news. There's a lot more where that came from Gimblett media. The company that made this show is an award winning podcast network with all kinds of Joe's about science and business about history and culture, an true crime from giving that medium Gimblett media from game lift media. This is start. This is reply. Oh, this is the mobile on civil homecoming every little thing grime town, fines specis the horror of Delors Roach without fail. Sandra? The cut on Tuesdays and this is heavyweight. So no matter what you're in the mood for Gimblett. Got you covered. Check us out at Gimblett media dot com or search for us in your favorite podcast up. This heavyweight is brought to you by the all new Honda insight hybrid car. That's not so much so editor or hey, Justin. I have developed a new game. And it's honor. It's a game in which Jorges reimagined the way we met and decide if it's cute or. It's called neat queued or men cute. Here. We go. I'm a leprechaun. You are a pot of gold sliding up the rainbow, but suddenly the earth's polarity shifts and either stationary gold starts sliding up the rainbow and the other direction, and we meet at the top of the rainbow, meet cute cute. I say meet queued, these explain this story has everything I think it's a door -able, meet cute. Do you agree? You bet your four leaf clovers. I do. When it comes to style and performance hybrids can be a little bit bland and unexciting with the sleek styling inside and out of the all new Honda inside you might not be able to tell that. It's a hybrid that received a fifty five mile per gallon EPA city rating, but you will see that. It's no auto, man. Beal to see for yourself. Go to insight dot Honda dot com. That's inside dot Honda dot com. Honda insight. Absolutely, no member mile fifty five city forty nine highway fifty two combined twenty nineteen APA mpg rating for LX E ex trims use for comparison purposes. Miles will vary depending on conditions, driving, maintenance, and other factors. This next killed story. This was something that we really liked and it worked out really well, and it is really fit the form of the show. But it was just really short worked out too. Well, it all all came together. And like just a few minutes and. So, but so we made it into an animated video for all of you here at the heavyweight live show for your viewing enjoyment, and we will play it. Now. Chanelle comes from a family that has a hard time saying, I love you. They hardly ever say it actually, not really at all. It's like a there's a death family or I mean. Yeah. Mostly if there's a death in the family, you've preserved the power of the the words in a way, I mean to me, it's just like, I might as little speech saying, okay? Be back later. I love you. There was a moment when she almost said she was going through a hard time and her mom had come to stay with her in Brooklyn. No wanted to say, I love you just as her mom was about to leave. I've been dropping her off at Penn station. You know, we sat there until she had to go and she starts walking away. And this is I like started crying bawling in the middle of Penn station. Nobody cares because there's a thousand people and Penn station. I'm right near the switchboard. Or it tells you the time so people are just like staring that that and she turns around and she gets this weird look on her face. And she turns around she has to keep going. She's in line and the whole time. I was like oh my gosh. I wish I had like told her how much she means to me in that moment. And it's like how she came at the perfect time. And did all these things for me. And I'm like, why can't I say I love you to her. So when when was the last time that you told your mother that you loved her. I don't remember. That's a long time. And this is why I've invited Chanel here today to help create a safe place for her heart to speak. It's truth and to not allow her or her heart to leave that safe place until it happens. Do you think there's a way to say where it was sort of like, you're clearing away the the space? Yeah. I think I would have to follow up with like a I really mean it I love, and I really mean it I'm not trying to joke with you. I think because I'm uncomfortable. I'm like it's going to show and then maybe not everything's supposed to be comfortable. That's true. But I have to I've Cava reason. Call eight can't just be like, hey, mom. I love you K by you know, there's a song that comes to mind an obscure little ditty by performer name Stevie Wonder. I don't know if you're familiar with. Yes song. I just called to say, I love you. How does the Songo? I just called to say, I love you. Yeah. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart. What about a sign off like okay love you. Yeah. You wanna get the pronoun there? You wanna get the I in there. You want me to say it for you. So feel like what like it's a hostage situation. Going to send chanels pinky to to let you know that she's fine. She's. I mean, she's not already afraid enough that I live in a city alone. Oh, I don't know. I wanted to say and I'm saying it now. Yeah. Yeah. No. She's at work. But she always calls me when I'm at work. So it's probably fine. Does she pick up and say, she'll probably say, I'm in Richter and Taft. She'll firm I like, what are you see? Okay. Do it. Okay. Here we go king. Answer the. Okay. Yeah. Hi, mom. What's that? I okay that time when he came to visit me. Yeah. And then at the transition nicer. Yeah. In that moment. I really wanted to tell you how much you meant to me. And that. You help the lot that week because I was like emotionally distraught. And you cooked me all those meals, and you're there, and you watch transparencies in to me, and it was great. And I just want to tell you. I love you allot. Scott about. Does it matter? What? No. It doesn't matter. Matters. I love you know, that should be. Okay. Wait a minute. Something wrong. Nothing's wrong. Yeah. Okay. Uchitel? Well, this is some set. Crying. I'm still at work walk into hallway trying to get trying to get my steps on leaf. But you know, me my love you to your mom love you too. Really? Okay. Okay. Out. How all right, okay. Bye. Bye. I I'd like to ask Chanel and her mom Maryland to stand up. I think you guys. Yeah. All right. Yeah. And with that. I think. We are show to close on a positive note. I would like to introduce to the stage. Matt bowl who's going to play out. And Devon Gwynne is going to be accompanying him with some human beat boxing. This is. Black in. Now that. Pas moments. Around. Heavyweight is hosted and produced by me Jonathan Goldstein along with Stevie lane heater Bresnan and Colella Holt. Editing by or Hejaz special. Thanks to chase. And PJ vote. And Jackie Cohen. Animation by Arthur Jones with music by Christine, fellows, and blue dot sessions. Audio mixing by 'em. Among our theme song is by the weaker courtesy of epitaph records and was performed by Matthew old. With beat boxing by Devin Gwynne. Thank you live studio audience for coming out tonight. Give yourselves a big heavyweight round of applause. Good night. Thanks jonathan. Great show. Before we go. We also wanna thank Julian quiz Naski and bay area sound for mixing this episode special. Thanks also to Joshua Carpati. Chris neary and Victoria Barner. If you want to hear the little mermaid story that Jonathan produced at this American life. You can find it at this American life dot org. And if you wanna see the animated video that we made to accompany Chanel story, you can find it on our YouTube channel, YouTube dot com slash Gimblett media, again, that's YouTube dot com slash Gimblett media. We'll be back with a brand new episode of heavyweight next week. All right, here, we go down to the subway platform. This station's just a few blocks away from where Delors was living here. Also. Join urban investigative reporter Roz turn back as she dives deeper into the world of Gimblett s- the horror of Deloris wrote. Do you see that man, depending on how long he's been here? Maybe he seemed people go down into the subway tunnel. Navigate your New York City subway tunnels in brand new interactive adventure from Gimblett media. Should we talk to him? Or should we go to the tunnel? You control where the story goes choose your path, avoid death and see if you've got what it takes to find magic hands to Loris herself in finding Dolores on interactive skill for Amazon, Alexa, and Google home to start playing just say open finding Dolores on the Amazon, Alexa, or Google home device in maybe just maybe get a chance to speak to Deloris herself. Good luck. Thanks to our sponsor Honda and the stylish all new insight hybrids can be a little man. But the Honda insight is a sleek and stylish car that also happens to be a hybrid to see the all new Honda insight. Checkout insight dot Honda dot com. That's insight dot Honda dot com.

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Will a Top Trump Deputy Flip?

The Daily

31:40 min | 2 months ago

Will a Top Trump Deputy Flip?

"From the new york times. I'm michael barr. This is a daily today. Prosecutors in manhattan are pursuing. What many believe may be the best and last chance to hold. Donald trump legally accountable for his conduct as a businessman. I spoke with my colleagues then protest about the story. Behind the case and michael ross felt about the trump loyalist whom prosecutors need to cooperate. It's tuesday july thirteenth then because donald trump is no longer present. I think it's safe to say that we all follow the legal and investigatory commissions around him a little less closely. Maybe not you because this is your beat but for the rest of us lay people. This is all feeling pretty distant but then all of a sudden. There's this indictment a few weeks ago of the company that bears his name the trump organization. And what is the story behind that case. Do you remember stormy daniels. Stephanie clipper op cornstarch. Or who goes by the stage name. Stormy daniels said she and donald trump had sex once in two thousand six. He's like wow you or special. You remind me of my daughter. After trump won the republican nomination daniel says cohen reached out with the now infamous one hundred and thirty thousand dollar offer which came with a nondisclosure agreement. She's the adult film star. Who said she had an affair with donald trump and she threatened to tell her story on the eve. Be presidential election and so trump's fixer. Michael cohen time pays her one hundred and thirty thousand dollars to keep quiet and essentially show that story right. So that payment drew the attention of federal investigators in manhattan who were already scrutinizing cohen and they conclude that this payment was potentially illegal campaign violation. It was excessive pass with campaign. Donations are allowed to be and it was not recorded but it was majorly impactful of the election. They concluded so it was a federal crime. Cullen pleaded guilty in august two dodging taxes lying to congress and violating campaign finance laws and ultimately cohen pled guilty to that august eighteen as well as a host of other crimes and he stood up in court and said that he did so at the direction of donald trump and ultimately a few months later. Kenneth sentencing michael cohen is going to jail. Cohen has just been seven to three years in prison. The prosecutors confirm just that very fact they say that the payment was made for the benefit of an at the direction of donald j trump and the rules you can indict are sitting. President there are various issues. They encountered in terms of proving intentive. Donald trump's knowledge of the campaign finance laws of that time but michael cohen was a lawyer. Michael cohen should have known and ultimately pleaded guilty to this. Although no charges were filed against the president. At that time it still implicated him as part of that scandal right implicated him but couldn't really touch him and i remember thinking well. That's that the feds have got michael cohen. But not trump right in the feds continue to investigate his company. Because it wasn't just michael cohen acting as a rogue agent or at least. That's not what the feds thought. The feds came to believe that donald trump and some people in his company were involved in these payments perhaps even directed them believing something improving. Something are two very different things. And so despite digging interviewing various witnesses and doing what they could prove the trump organization and mr trump's involvement in the hush money they ultimately wound down their case in july twenty nineteen. Mr trump was not accused of any wrongdoing Donald trump essentially is able to argue that. This was the actions of michael cohen. And michael cohen. Only who he described as iraq and somebody who's disloyal to him and he was able to basically brush it off as over zealous prosecutors targeting. Somebody who he was no longer aligned with so what happens. How do we end up getting to where we are now. So is the federal investigation wound down. You have just a few blocks away. Sivan's the da in manhattan keeping a very close eye on all of this and pretty soon after the investigation wound down in the federal fear. You have mr vance's office issuing subpoenas right as far as we can tell vance's office wanted to tell whether or not there was a sort of improper effort to deduct the hush money payments as legal expenses from their tax returns so they needed to look into the tax returns themselves and see what was in there now. I think they started to get a sense. That if they opened up that pandora's box they might be able to see other things as well and so they didn't just ask for one or two years of tax returns dafur eight years of tax returns so trump's lawyers sue and they say absolutely not. We're not during that over. We're not having our accounts. Turn that over. And this case basically works his way through the courts and trump keeps losing at every level until it reaches the supreme court the fight over donald trump's tax returns hitting the supreme court in a historic standoff while john where he once again in a very consequential opinion. We have breaking news coming in right now from the. Us supreme court is again which just decided that a new york prosecutor can get the financial records of president trump so effectively after some delay after eighteen month court battle prosecutors investigating former president trump for possible fraud have obtained his tax and financial records. The da's office gets those records and that is just a major turning point new investigation. And so what does the district attorney in manhattan. Sivan's what does he and his team find. Once they have the supreme court ruling and suddenly eight years of the president's tax documents in their hands so the da's office seems to identify few potential issues. One is that there seems to be a concern that the president's company essentially keeps two separate sets of books one set of books for his lenders and another set of books for the tax authorities. Explain them so in. The lenders said books. You get a glowing picture of the president's finances and it's everything you would want to see from potential client that you would wanna lend to their in great financial shape. They are a company. That's very worthy of getting loans and then to the tax authorities. They paint a different picture. A company that has some financial issues and that is not have full occupancy in buildings and this contrast between what was told to lenders what was told to the tax authorities raises some eyebrows. And so that's one area of interest for them but then they also seem to identify this separate issue which is that. The company seems to have been paying out perks and bonuses and various luxury items to some of its top executives totally off the books and as they identify this in sort of unschooled that that leads them to potentially vast as they describe it fifteen years scheme to defraud the government out of getting tax income. Okay so after the. Da fines what maybe financial for telling lenders one thing which is very rosy telling tax authorities. Another which is very dire and after finding would tax fraud. In the form of these untaxed executive perks. What does the do with these discoveries. how does he act on them. He acts by syrian on the trump organizations longtime. Cfo alan weisberg. He really drilled down on mr wiesel birds. Perks and everything that mr weisberg had been receiving from the company over the years and that included mercedes benzes that included a rent. Free apartment in the west side of manhattan. That included tuition for his grandchildren at a prep school manhattan. So these were things. That immediately caught their attention. It seems why though. I mean what's wrong with a boss. There's nothing wrong with generous boss. Just got to record it on the books as compensation and you can give people company cars. You can give them apartments. You can even pay tuition. But the problem is you have to tell the irs and you have to tell new york state that these are perks. Forgiving giving so that everyone pays the taxes on it. multi. They concluded that. Mr weisberg had about a one point seven million dollars in perks that he received bonuses and fringe benefits that he received that were never reported to the tax authorities which means he owed the irs. You'd the state healed the city nearly a million dollars dramatically moment unfolding in front of the cameras here new york. Cfo alan weisselberg arriving in court in handcuffs. That's ultimately with the district. Attorney's office decided to indict mr weisberg four. He and the former president's business empire were charged. What prosecutors today called a sweeping and on dacia scheme to avoid paying taxes while also indicts the trump organization and excuses the trump organization of conspiring with mr weisberg to participate in the scheme and not just enabling his team but itself of winning some of the taxes it would have had to pay and lawyers say they have the receipts fifteen years worth of digital drives bookkeeping records tax records witness statements and more so this is something that they basically are. You went back to two thousand and five and are reaching back alway into that period but been here again. We seem to have a case where prosecutors i it was federal prosecutors. Now it's city. Prosecutors have made a case against an underlying of donald trump but do not seem to be able to prove anything against trump at this point so this is a key moment in the investigation. And this is how these investigations work you start with someone lower on the totem pole. And keep in mind that alan weisberg is not low. He's the cfo the company Senior level executive. He helped run the company. Mr trump was in the white house. So the step here is to indict weisselberg and indict the company and put them on the defensive and ultimately squeeze weisberg as hard as possible to cooperate against trump. so going after wise oberg is really about going after trump but on what charges. What are they trying to get. Weisselberg to implicate trump as having done there at least two avenues that they can pursue one. Is these sort of two sets of books. What trump told his lenders versus what he told the local tax authorities. And then there's this track of what trump know about all these perks and bonuses that were handed out and for all we know. There's there's other avenues that they're pursuing as well. But even if you just take those two without ellen weiss work it's very hard to prove the donald trump knew he was breaking the law. You i explain me not. Donald trump doesn't use email. It's very unlikely that there's any kind of written record of donald trump instructing lower level employees to break the law. You need somebody who is in the room with him to narrate what happened. This all comes down to intent and wilfulness and whether or not donald trump knew he was playing fast and loose and knew he was breaking the law. And it's very hard to prove that without any kind of cooperating. Nothing it's impossible. I'm saying it's very hard right. So for this case to work for there to be any chance after all these investigations and all these years of subpoenas and records scouring these prosecutors need alan weisselberg to basically flip they need somebody to flip on trump and be the person who was in the room who knew what he was doing knew what he was saying and knew what he was thinking. They need as trump would say iraq. After the break. I speak with my colleague. Michael rothfield about. Alan voiceover work. This podcast is supported by better. Help online counseling therapy as a place where you really dig deep into who you are without needing to be too concerned with the relationships that you have with other people and all of your life's responsibilities. It's just you time that's you joe. Head of clinical support at better help join. the millions. Who are seeing therapy is really about listeners. Of the daily get ten percent off their first month at better help dot com slash the daily. That's better h e l p dot com slash the daily if you've heard of bladen county north carolina. It's probably because it made national headlines in two thousand eighteen when a congressional race was thrown out due to election fraud but in bleed in some people think the authorities got it all wrong. They say there's a powerful group still at work in the county tampering with elections bullying voters stealing votes. The story behind that one election the only time in recent history that a congressional election was thrown out for fraud is actually the story of a series of election fights. Fueled by personal grudges and petty beefs family history in history history and it's about the oldest fight of all the fight for the black vote. It was almost like they realized that we weren't done like okay. They smart i'm zoe. Chase hosted the improvement association from the makers of cereal in the new york times told him five parts. Find it wherever we get your podcasts michael. Our colleague ben. Protest just told us that the da's larger case against former president trump really hinges on this one executive allen weisselberg and whether he will cooperate with prosecutors so what should we know about weisselberg to understand. How did he become trump's money man. Alan weisselberg is a guy who has been around the trump organization basically as long as anyone. He comes from a pretty humble background. I mean he grew up deep in brooklyn and went to high school in east new york and went to college and graduated with a degree in accounting and then worked as a teacher for a little bit and some small financial firms before he went to work for fred trump who was a prominent developer in brooklyn and queens at the time and through working for fred he donald and at the time. Donald trump is a young ambitious guy. Who's looking to move into manhattan and start making his name. There and alan weisselberg makes a connection to him and he goes to work for donald trump on nights and weekends while still working for fred trump during the day and sort of overtime moved over and went to work for donald trump full-time in one thousand nine hundred six and has been there ever since. And what exactly does he do for. Donald trump. anything involving money. Alan weisselberg has his fingers in. I mean his main function is to just watch the dollars and cents and You know just keeping track of where everything is He does get involved in other things. Like tax returns and financing deals. He established an accounting department there. But one thing that people told us is that on weisberg really specialized in preventing vendors from charging any more than they could and delaying payment as long as possible. So if the trump organization hires a law firm or any other kind of vendor he would delay as long as possible. And then you know if there's any way to knock anything off. The bill weisselberg would find a way to do that. And that's something that donald trump asked a lot of employees but weisselberg museum charge of the money. So really is sort of the top guy for that. So a financial enforcer who tracks every penny and tries to save that's right and he's also involved in donald trump's personal finances He had helped with tax returns and like when the stormy daniels payment was done he certainly would have been involved if donald trump had committed to making the payment and agreed to make the payment which is a point of dispute. So weisselberg is pretty much mashed with olive. Donald trump's finances in fact because the trump organization is donald trump's personal company in a way. It all sort of bleeds together and weisselberg is just woven into the fabric of this company and into donald trump's personal finances as well So in allen weisberg trump has a pretty loyal executive. Maybe somebody cut of familiar cloth when it comes to the trump orbit right somebody. Who's willing to do what has to be done to please the boss. That's exactly right. Donald trump has looked for people like that throughout his entire business career. He's looked for people who are willing to cross lines for him and in a way to insulate himself and become fixers like michael. Cohen was and now on weisselberg. He found kind of a financial fixer. Were so you know. People have told us when we were reporting on weisselberg You know that's weisselberg would basically do anything that trump asked. He was pretty much available to whatever the boss is win was in that when good things would happen he would run in an you know. Let trump know immediately and when you walk in if you're trump organization employees into donald trump's office you'd often allen weisselberg already there seated in the chair to the right in front of donald trump's desk he'd be in the office late at night when you left. He'd be there early in the morning when you came in. He said he'd never takes a vacation He's working all the time nights and weekends. He was just you know a steadfast presence and was available for whatever donald trump on. Why do we think that is and why was he willing to do. Almost anything for trump well a lot of the people that trump found that were willing to do this for him sort of came from backgrounds. That were not too. Glamorous rate like michael cohen grew up in suburban long island. Weisselberg grew up in deep into brooklyn and these people encounter trump. And then they're just enamored of sort of glow of this glamorous guy who's in the tabloids with beautiful women building these glittering skyscrapers and replacing george this week is my chief financial officer alan weisselberg and you think georgia stop. What you see allen allen weisselberg even shows up on the apprentice donald trump's reality show and he makes a cameo thought that andy. Losing his lines of communication was a very serious matter. If this was a military maneuver any losses glenn communication can lose an entire battalion. I mean that's just not something that you would ever think would happen. If you're a guy growing up in brownsville. East new york. You have to find a way to communicate with your or leader vincent. Were that changed is necessary. I agree with you stand. The path of destruction doesn't work. Money is inside real. Estate firms generally don't end up starring in prime time. Reality show no not usually. So i mean that's just the kind of thing that you can see that would have appealed alan weisselberg basking in the glow of donald trump and trump takes advantage of that and finds people who are just so happy that he has taken them into his circle that they are just willing to do whatever he asks. So how did the perks that ben talked to us about that. Have come up in this indictment the free cars apartment tuition those would seem to further strengthen whatever loyalty weisselberg has to trump and maybe deepen. That enamored nece. That's absolutely right. And so as weisselberg gets more enmeshed in trump's finances and perhaps does things that donald trump really needs. Trump cements his loyalty by giving him all of these these perks. These fringe benefits and also pays him incredibly. Well i mean for like a decade alan. Weisselberg was earning an average of eight hundred thousand dollars a year in total pay and a couple of years ago. His pay was almost a million dollars. His total compensation. Okay so that i think naturally brings us to the question of cooperation. The essential question of whether alan weisselberg to work with the district attorney's office against trump. And everything you've just laid out. Michael is a portrait of somebody who would be pretty reluctant to turn on his very generous longtime boss. But we haven't talked about the prosecution's case against berg and the pressure that he's going to face to flip because of so. How should we think about that. Well i it's a very complicated question and you can never tell who is gonna flip. And who isn't gonna flip with weisselberg. You have these factors that bind him to trump right like his fifty years of service to the fact that his own family is involved in trump. They fly down to florida on the trump jet their in house near mar-a-lago. All of these things really tie alan weisselberg closely to trump. And he's so. Well paid on the other hand. Alan weisberg seventy three years old right. He's facing possible prison time and you know he theoretically if he gets. Convicted has to pay all the taxes that the government says that he owes you know and those are really complicated issues to way. Well what kind of prison. Time is weisselberg facing. Because that would seem to be key to understanding his deliberations here. Yeah that's going to be a huge factor in how he decides to proceed so the most serious count. Grand larceny could carry up to fifteen years in prison. That is a pretty extreme and unlikely scenario. People have told us experts that with most of these charges it could be as low as probation. He has no previous criminal record. And that would definitely carry weight with the judge could be one or two years in prison and then you get some time off for good behavior you know. He might decide that he can handle that. At this point in his life you know maybe after he gets out of prison he will be rewarded for his loyalty. Maybe donald trump gives him a huge bonus or find some other way to compensate him for all the time that he served in jail so wasted words choices seem to be one. Don't cooperate and maybe beat the charges and win trump's affections and maybe repeat even more financial rewards or cooperate and ensure no jail time and freedom but almost assuredly incur donald trump's wrath which can be very meaningful. Yeah turning against donald trump can be pretty scary thing. This is a guy who is willing to go after pretty much. Anyone who crosses soon in a really sort of vicious way and then. There's there's other motivations for him to a remain in the fall including the emotional one of of having spent two thirds of his entire life in this trump family business. You know starting from fifty years ago with trump's father when you're in their twenties so it's not natural to want to abandon someone that has basically been like a family to him for half a century and for now a weisselberg is not cooperating and he has resisted incredible pressure from prosecutors to do that right. He's pleaded not guilty but let's assume for a moment that weisselberg does cooperate does flip. It's a big assumption. We have watched a lot of people around trump cooperate in prosecutions. You mentioned michael cohen. There's also michael. Flynn and the russia investigation and it never seems that corporation ever really hurts. Donald trump and. I wonder how strong possibility that is in this case that alan weisselberg could in trump's verbiage become a rat and it still wouldn't end up making donald trump suffer. Well all the history today would suggest that donald trump still would potentially be able to escape any personal consequences. Because i mean he's been doing that for decades you know after crossing lines and having some people turn against him He has kept his hands clean and his fixers are the ones that go down for him. rather than him personally and he's done that very effectively but if anyone were to be able to to damage donald trump alan weisberg might just be the guy i mean you know. Money is donald. Trump's his life. Blood and alan weisselberg is the guy in charge of the money. So if there's anyone who knows where the bodies are buried alan weisselberg the person so he is. I think probably more of a threat than anybody has ever been to donald trump if he were to choose to help the prosecutors So if there's an underlying cry which we don't know that there is but if there is an underlying crime you're saying weisselberg could be the one cooperating witness if he chooses to cooperate. Who could defy this history and could actually implicate trump and ensure. He's held accountable. I think that's right. So for the prospect of donald trump being prosecuted after decades of escaping any consequences for many things. We're gonna find out whether somebody finally is able to lay a hand on donald trump. Thank you michael. Appreciate by closure on monday night. The times reported that the trump organization has begun removing allen weisselberg from every leadership position. He had held within dozens of the company's subsidiaries the move appeared to be an acknowledgement by the trump family that it was untenable for weisselberg to hold those positions while facing criminal charges but it was unclear. Whether or how the decision might influence weisselberg thinking about cooperating with prosecutors very bach when you feel like your days are spent staying on top of work instead of actually working you know. There's a better way with monday. Dot com go ass. Your team can customize your workflow your way this flexible platform shifts the power to your hands so your team can build the workflow of your dreams over two hundred and seventy thousand customers. Get more out of their workday with monday. Dot com work. Os goto. Monday dot com slash podcast and. Start your free trial today. Here's what else you need day on monday. President biden called on the government of cuba to heed the demands of thousands of demonstrators. Who took to the country streets on sunday to protest power outages food shortages and a lack of medicine. The protests are cuba's largest in thirty years and represented open defiance of the country's communist government the times reports that the protests were touched off by an economic crisis the pandemic has largely cut off tourism to cuba crucial source of revenue and employment leaving its citizens increasingly desperate aunt in another setback for johnson. And johnson's covid nineteen vaccine. The fda plans to introduce a new warning that it can lead to an increased risk of a rare neuralink condition. The condition known as gaon beret syndrome involves the immune system attacking nerves. Still the risk appears to be low. The cdc's says that after the administration of nearly thirteen million doses of jj's vaccine in the us there have been about one hundred suspected cases of the syndrome. Today's episode was produced by rachel cluster. Nina potluck and rob zip code. It was edited by dave. Shaw contains original music by dan. Powell and marian lozano and was engineered by chris would. That's it for the day. I'm michael barr seymour. Harper publisher of the new thriller the cellist by number one new york times bestselling author daniel silva legendary spy an art restorer. Gabriel alon is back. The fatal poisoning of a russian billionaire launches along on a journey across europe to find the musical virtuoso. Who may know the truth about the russian exiles death but the mystery quickly escalates into a showdown between east and west and only one woman can help. Gabriel along stop it. The cellist is available now go to daniel silva books dot com for more.

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671: Anything Can Be Anything

This American Life

59:39 min | 2 years ago

671: Anything Can Be Anything

"A quick warning there are curse words that are unbeaten today's episode of the show. If you prefer a beep version you can find that at our website this American Life Dot org well. It's been a week of gloating some very emphatic loading shooting and I told you says after Muller delivered his report saying that he could not establish collusion between the president and the Russians as you've probably seen the president and his supporters have been saying that's right no conspiracy with Russia in fact the real conspiracy is one of the Democrats and the media hype this Russian stuff for two years the gleefully circulating videos of people like this guy. You know you have to take seriously the magazine ready. Jonathan chait went onto M._S._N._B._C. last year to connect the dots but whether the president has basically been a secret Russian operative all the way back since nineteen eighty-seven that is probably not true but it might be in one thousand nine hundred seven is when he went to Moscow and he's feted by the Russians in mentors Moscow and then he comes back then then he starts talking about running for president for the first time and then he starts talking for the first time about how our allies of freeloaders and we should kick him to occur. It's more or less Fox News Republican Party talking point now that the fact that they're even was a muller investigation the fact that even occurred result out of a deep state media lead Obama Hillary F._B._i.. Conspiracy here's that president trump described it this week to Sean Hannity you look at how did this start. How did it starts yet? Dirty cops yet people that are bad F._B._i.. Folks I know so many their incredible people but at the top <hes> they were not clean to put it mildly then the money that was spent the millions and millions on the phony dossier and paid for by Hillary Clinton and paid for by the Democrats and the D._N._C. Z.. It's hard to believe if you wrote this as a novel nobody would buy it would be a fancier because it would be to unbelievable 'cause it's no surprise at the president is spun the MOWER report into a conspiracy theory of his own because he's federal lots of conspiracy theories from the idea that George Soros is funding the caravans other way back birtherism Joe You Sanski Professor at the University of Miami who studies conspiracy theories and the people who believe them says this is actually actually an unusual thing about today. It used to be people with no power in this country who are the ones pushing conspiracy theories now. It's the president of the United States doing it all the time he since he says it from the start it seems like Donald Trump identified conspiracy minded voters as possible constituency so when he got into the Republican primary there was twenty five other candidates vying for Republican votes he went after the underserved market of Republicans gins which were conspiracy minded Republicans but he keeps the motivated. He's gotTa keep going with us. He's dancing with the one abroad him to the problem. In fact one of my co workers zoe chase window a couple of trump rallies saw in Chattanooga Tennessee and Fort Wayne Indiana and she found lots of people who believed in deep state and another conspiracies Joey High IRA so so basically I'd ask people a general in vague question like do you trust the government and then almost everyone I talked to all these conspiracy spiracy theories would come spilling out about George Soros Vase behind the curtain. You know people like that are behind the scenes pushing this agenda. The President tweeted this theory that Soros pays protesters. There's no evidence of that absolutely you go on the website and he'll pay you seventeen dollars. I wanted to ask these people holding signs. Where did they get their Chad? All these people are getting paid. What what if they're getting paid? Old Classics came up lakes the Clintons Clinton's are serial murderers and now this may be conspiracy theorist type stuff but how many bodyguard that Clinton had in Arkansas are still alive Vince Foster and Pfizer well. It's been killed in the park. I mean into committed suicide but you don't think I don't think he did know Pizza Gate Chemo. I don't believe there's like a basement and Comet Ping Pong but I do believe that there was a hacker that actually hacked into the system and I think that the shooter going in was a false flag because he shot one go right through the hard-drive destroying the evidence so to speak so got this book recommendation the meet a big impression on me from Paula. She and her partner Steve Drove three hours from pigeon fords Tennessee. What's the name of that? Maybe look for it on my <hes> Amazon. It's an old old book but it's about how they've been trying to do this for many years in America Middle Eighteen hundred Tuesday the luminosity whatever you WanNa call the world order world order basically the idea that cabal of rich guys is trying to take over the world and create one world government like one currency one army no national borders and these guys. Are these Jews not to name a specific ethnic group not necessarily. It's not necessarily the Jews. This is an old theory. Its roots are totally antisemitic Semitic but to be honest like the people I talked to I asked him about that. It just seemed like it wasn't about Jews anymore. It was just elites. Okay then eventually. Paula fines the name of the book. It's the unseen hand there. You go you read that girl and I haven't read all of it but I have a friend. That's read it from front to back that slide really well read in it and we talked about the aluminum body and all of these so so called higher ups that think that they are over all of us. I got news for him. Did you read the book I tried <hes> I. It's really hard to follow the book I got through one hundred pages. I did talk to their friends. Who's read the whole thing? Jim and his experience illustrates that thing the professor Uspenski said at the beginning of this about how Donald Trump mobilized conspiracy theorists during the campaign like take Jim he hadn't voted for Awhile L. Before two thousand sixteen because he believed both parties were basically working together for secret cabal of elites so he believed this conspiracy. Yeah the new world order like rich guys the Bilderberg group George Soros the Bush Dynasty the Clinton Dynasty like that they were all working together to push this one world government new world order agenda in secrets. Okay and Jim Believes Donald Trump ran for president in order to stop them. I didn't have to read between the lines what he was saying he he was openly saying. I'm not a globalist. I'm America I in see unless you know a lot of the stuff I know most a lot of what he said would just go sean and I knew I knew by what he said. He knew who they were in what they were up to talking Jim. It was like seeing trump all new <hes> lake seeing him through gyms is seriously everything kind of lined up for me. What do you mean so no borders? Trump wants to build a border wall right because the new world order wants to erase all the borders trump wants to blow up all the trade deals like trade deals heels lead to one world currency right the breaking down trade borders between nations. Yes it's it's another kind of a racing. The barriers thing trump wants to blow up NATO. You can kind of think of that as one world army with these different coordinator military very okay right the NATO alliance <hes> trump you know kind of alienates. Our allies doesn't like to talk to Europe because Europe. That's the European Union. The European Union is the first step towards a global union all right right where I wasn't big country one world government and if you listen to trump it does sound like he believes in a cabal of elites behind the scenes like Soros Obviously Hillary Clinton lately the F._B._I.. All the dots line of so neatly if you just think of them as part of trump's battle against the new world order and do you think Jim is right that the president sees it this way no but you can see how Jim would drive these conclusions. It makes sense with today on our program in this moment when conspiracy theories seemed to be right in the center of mainstream political everything like for years there was this idea. The president conspired with the Russians now. There's this I did. The Democrats conspired to create a phony investigation. When are we supposed the post be connecting the DOTS when we not supposed to be connecting the dots 'cause friends there are a lot of dots and they are so close together and we want to connect them because we want something to explain the world that we're in today on our program we have stories of people struggling with whether they should be connecting the dots or not and as you might expect coming two very different conclusions W._B._Z.? Chicago this American Life. I'm IRA glass. Stay with us. <MUSIC> Gwen show me state of mind so many people who believe in conspiracy theories another talking about secretive groups that are basically far away rich and powerful apple people they never gonna run into but what about when the conspiracy. It looks like it's happening. All around you like has an impact on your actual city on your actual neighborhood and you worried that you could be it's next victim New Yorker writer Jilani Cobb. How about a conspiracy theory that is more along those lines? It's been more than four years now. Since Michael Brown was shot by police officer in Ferguson Missouri outside Saint Louis. You probably know the basic facts of the case. He was eighteen black unarmed the officer who shot him Darren Wilson is white of course the shooting and a grand juries decision not indict officer Wilson led to waves of chaotic protests and Ferguson tear-gas arrests fires looting thing. It was the first time you heard the chant hands up. Don't shoot but here's something you might not know. In the five years since Michael Brown's death about a half dozen people connected to the shooting and its aftermath have themselves turned up dead including high profile protesters and activists and then at least a few cases the circumstances under which they've died have been questionable if not eerie which has led to the belief that those deaths part of a larger coordinated effort in short conspiracy I had already visited Ferguson about a half dozen times met a lot of people in wrote several articles but that was three years ago. I decided to go back enact some of them. Whether they believed conspiracy I was interested in who did and who didn't and why one place that I spent a lot of time with Kathy's kitchen sort of a hub for reporters as it was only about one hundred feet from the police department in a few miles down the road from where the shooting happened. One of the CO owners drum Jenkins was wiping down the counter when I walked in that enough to remember me you came into never forget full-time in our lives Jerome said get full time just in his wife. The Kathy in Kathy's kitchen came over good good the places vintage field along bar with leather and chrome stools and a checkerboard tile pattern on the floor. It didn't surprise me. Jerome said the customers sometimes discuss whether they think the death connected he suspects they are it's hard to say coincidence and it doesn't seem like there's a big investigation to this point to me. It seems like you know raise eyebrows and raised eyebrows almost all the people we talk to who gave credence to the conspiracy use that phrase it's perfect because it doesn't commit you to ten full level conspiracy but it does point you in the direction of something being foot. You GotTa suicide you gotta burning in a car. You got you know homicide. You have all these strange things coming from one thing that all these people have in common. You know you know they are all people that are activists that are standing up. You know trying to say hey we wanna make this better. You know we won't this and they're all are dying in some weird form but is it s coordinated is the fact that we have like homicide rates that terrible <hes> many of the cities like how do we distinguish between those two aw I understand our community understand our suicide-homicide. I understand those rates but let's get a different way. If if five African Americans died died in the N._B._A.. And they all have one thing and common the Lakers it would be an investigation it would be because you had this one thing in common we would all goes to many and these are people live that far from each other. That's that's a large number so that's what makes it inter into the world of eyebrow here the six deaths yes that raised suspicions in and around Ferguson in September of two thousand Sixteen Darren seals a very visible activists in Ferguson was found shot in the head inside a burning vehicle he was twenty nine outspoken and had mentioned inch and he was being harassed by police a month before his death biggest from the murder-scene went up on twitter shortly afterward apparently showing that after police investigated they were still bullet casings littering the parking lot. The suggestion was that police these were incompetent and possibly even complicit and seals death. One person replied. You better believe those cops were involved. The word cops is bell but three KS a spokesman for the Saint Louis County Police Department says all evidence pertinent written into the case was processed two years earlier d._N._v.. Joshua twenty years old was reportedly found the same way inside a burnt vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. Joshua was friends with someone who'd witness Michael Brown's. And shooting and his death is also often linked to the death of Sean Gray a twenty-three-year-old who disappeared that same week and was later found drowned in a branch of the Mississippi River the rumor was that they both been killed for testifying before all the grand jury in Michael Brown's case but the list of grand jury witnesses has never been released and with both men the friends and family insist that they had nothing to do with the case the county prosecutor confirmed the Joshua had not been a witness and then there's Edward Crawford possibly the most visible person associated with the protests. You may have seen famous photo of him wearing an American flag tee shirt and hurling tear gas canister back in the direction of police in twenty seventeen seventeen he died from a gunshot wound while sitting in a vehicle with two women one of whom was his sister police concluded. It was a suicide corporates father thinks it was an accident coffered with twenty seven. The most recent breath has gotten a lot of attention is that of Dante Jones last year Jones was found hanging from a tree in his backyard. He was twenty. Four police have investigated Jones death as a suicide to but Danny's mother Melissa mckinney's had been prominent in organizing the protests. She believes he was lynched to send her a message. She says she found his packed bag nearby suggesting he was going somewhere with someone who trusted also she said the sheet he was hanging from didn't come come from the House and he didn't know how to tie those particular knots the deaths of becomes something of a setpiece not simply in the minds of people who live in the area but in the media is well. You'll see headlines like Ferguson. Missouri activists vis a dying and it's time to ask questions and our Ferguson protesters being killed people in those articles and interviews and online had all kinds of possible culprits from white supremacists to local and federal law enforcement to armed militia members who was seen standing on the tops of buildings during the protests the articles didn't come to any conclusions regions or investigate the deaths. You're not going to hear me do that either but it was interested in the narrative that had attached itself to those deaths and what it could tell me about how people were processing what was happening around them. I talked with five people who believe conspiracy to some degree including jerome and Kathy Jenkins at the restaurant and again nobody I talked to went full NASA fake the moon landing conspiratorial but what you did get were clusters of suspicion brushfires of doubt about the official narratives of what was happening around them. The conspiracy wasn't present in the words they spoke it was tucked into the ellipses between them. The sixth thing that tends to come up in these discussions as Bassam Masri he was the Palestinian American activists and close to many of the organizers in Ferguson. He died of an apparent heart attack aboard a city bus. A thirty-one-year-old dying of a heart attack is the kind of thing that might raise suspicions and yes eyebrows even outside the context text of other people dying in quick succession except we got a copy of the medical examiner's report and while Yes Mazrui was in cardiac arrest when he got to the hospital the official cause of death was a fentanyl overdose he had struggled with heroin addiction prior to this and was open about it and there are other ways in which the conspiracy narrative doesn't hold up Saint Louis Proper has one of the most alarming homicide rates in the country in two thousand seventeen. It was the most alarming having the highest murder rate according to an analysis of F._B._I.. Data by comparison Chicago was number nine so lots of people get shot in Saint Louis also neither De'andre Joshua nor sean gray was an activist and and even if they did testify before the grand jury Joshua in gray were both found dead after the decision not to indict officer Wilson meaning they'd have been killed testimony that had not even convinced grand jury to issue an indictment you talked about all of this with Ashley Gates a prominent figure in the Ferguson protests of all the people spoke with for the story she most minimize the equivocal belief in the idea of conspiracy Z. parceling the difference between what is provable and what is likely. Can I say that right now in this moment there's a conspiracy against activists no 'cause I don't have the hard concrete evidence. Can I say that it is likely when when I take into account my experiences experiences of people around me and those before absolutely even at the same time I wonder if it's possible with with <hes> Mr Joshua and Mr Gray if there if it's possible do you think that there really is a conspiracy but just not part of it. I mean anything's possible again I don't have you know I don't have thorough investigations. I don't have the answers <hes> I didn't murder murder them. I wasn't there you know so. Only the people that were there can tell us completely what what happened. So of course it's possible that you know there is a conspiracy and that they're not a part. It's possible that there isn't a conspiracy and you all of these deaths are unrelated like again. I hold all possibilities and I try to go towards the most likely one <hes> but I'd say that to to say that there is something normal normal about a person being shot and found in a burned out car one time let alone two three times you know. I don't want to accept that in say that that's just a likely outcome for anybody and I should say technically it wasn't the outcome for the envy. Joshua only learned this after talking to actually in the others but according to the Saint Louis County Medical Examiner's office Joshua was not found burned out car the way everyone thinks his body was partly burned but the car was not this may sound like a small point except the supposed- similarity between Darren feels death and Deandra. Josh was death is a load bearing pillar and the structure of the conspiracy and it wasn't just spread word of mouth. It's been widely reported in the media is fact though of course even though it's not true the deaths could still be connected do have ideas about who might be responsible for the for these deaths <hes> other than like the government in the beliefs. I understood why someone could suspect the police of covered a lot of protests over the years but the cops in and around Ferguson notably notably casual about violence I saw an officer pointing assault weapon mounted on a Tripod at a group of demonstrators that included elderly people and small children before another demonstration one that I didn't cover one cop texted another quote is going to be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these shitheads was the son goes down and nobody can tell us apart he was later charged with assaulting a protester was actually an undercover cop. This American life reached out to the Saint Louis County Police Department Comet spokesman emailed back saying they were roughly fifty two police departments in the Saint Louis Area which employ about twenty seven hundred officers essentially essentially saying that you can't categorize all of them the same way and he said the officer with the assault weapon on a Tripod was trying to locate an S._U._v. reportedly had several assault weapons in it and that the people in the vehicle threatening to kill law enforcement but there's a broader context to this conversation when I taught advocate American history courses often begin with a series of questions what if I told you that person was killed in front of hundreds of witnesses but no one raised a finger to stop it or even report it and what if I told you that crowd viewed the murder as entertainment and packed lunches to watch the spectacle in what if they richly cut body parts from the deceased to keep souvenirs and that this happened happened that dozens or hundreds of times but thousands each question is like plotting appoint on a probability graph and the likelihood of all of them happening together seems vanishingly small but all this really happened talking to people in Ferguson the history of outlandish trues like the Tuskegee experiment and which physicians in Alabama failed to treat a group of black men infected with syphilis essentially to see what would happen or the F._B._i.. Has Counterintelligence program which surveilled elden harassed black leaders in the nineteen sixties none of this was ever far from the surface. How'd you sift between plausible and paranoid when the past looks like this as Ashley Gates told me you will be a historical for her not? I think there's something larger at play something coordinated apart from that history though they're much more personal reasons that some people in Ferguson suspect a conspiracy those people who believe someone wants to kill them. They've been regularly getting eating messages from people who apparently want to kill them. Everyone I spoke with still receives death threats or some sort of hate-filled communication more than four years after Michael Brown's death Jerem Jenkins of Kathy's kitchen showed the fake ticket. Someone nailed him offering free passage back to Africa in two thousand Seventeen Reverend Daryl Gray who's been involved in social justice efforts in Ferguson learned of a suspicious package left on the floor of his locked rental truck. It contained alive six foot long python. There were no arrests made in the case also spoke with an activist name a Hoon Asha about what's been going on. She told me she's always hyper. Vigilant these days moving around and Saint Louis. She says the people threatening her not subtle about it. I have been told that they want to slip my throat in throw me in the Mississippi River. I have read that won several times <hes> that yes <hes> I have read on social media as well back in the sixties they would have just threw us in Mississippi River by now owns a small woman but stands out in the crowd she wears her hair and braids go past her shoulders and shirts with slogans like blackmon smile to and black girls of the purest form of art. I've been followed by white vans. I have had letters that said that I was atrocity to the city. <hes> I deserve to be dealt with that. They want to silence me for good <hes> so when you have a list of the name of people who are known and they are dying in this mysterious way as an activist is a person ours and people deem active you wonder are you nixed. You wonder who really is around me. You Wonder M. I.. Crazy for thinking that wisest car parked outside at the same time everyday or who was his his new person <hes> that this on a block that I didn't recognize before I noticed something else but I started talking to people in Ferguson again. Many of the people I met when I I went there no longer live there. Ashley Yates told me she left F- Saint Louis partly because she needed to heal and another activist told me she moved to Washington D._C.. After getting what she took to be credible threats on her life that sense of alarm is clearly what the people making death threats are after whether there's an actual actual conspiracy or not there certainly people who want the activists to believe this one of all the activists spoke to about the conspiracy there was one whose position and wasn't ambivalent at all a rapper named Jeff Po when I arrived in Ferguson four years ago person after person directed me to tefft saying he was the guy to talk to if I really want to understand what was going on there in the years since Michael Brown's is death. He's become a more prominent voice nationally. He's currently fellow at Harvard University. We did a panel there together. Anyhow his perspective on the idea of conspiracy was a little different. The conspiracy theory to me is some Unicor stuff meaning. He doesn't believe it Bassim. The Palestinian activists who died on the bus hit formerly been tests roommate and Dante Jones who was found hanging in his backyard was tests cousin. He knew Darren seals. One of the activists shot in a car just not through activists circles. That's off clinking. You might hear these talking tough with a necklace three times that spell out the name Allah and I can't connect what happened to seals deals with what happened the bathroom. I can't connect him. What happened to die with what happened the bathroom I have to look at each situation for what it is and <hes> somebody like Darren wasn't an activist? I will consider him a street revolutionary so his constituency is a lot deeper than just folks who are going to go to the next rally we tell them out from rival rappers to people who didn't like don't like the fact that he survived <hes> his original shooting and so forth so and so he'd been shot prior higher to the time that fatal and he survived Yeah Yeah Vet Shooting had nothing to do with the protests Michael Brown. It was street stuff. We live in a city where guns everywhere violence is a large in our city city and I think a lot of people that <hes> seek to add a conspiracy to aren't really living in the circumstances where they have to see the violence and interact with the violence so they have to create a puff the magic dragon theory about what happened and is that really true. Oh I mean from the very point of like Ferguson or Saint Louis Chicago Gary Philadelphia New York any of the cities we talk about. Nobody who lives in a black community is really. Isolated from violence is one of the things that can happen to anyone anywhere. That's true that's true I do agree with that but while the does affect everyone all of us don't have the same experience I'm talking about the reality of the stone cold streets and a lot of the individuals for example my friend Bassim <hes> who I loved dearly a brother-in-law <hes> a help bury him when he when he passed away I foot I know I knock you say this because Bass is like blood to me. We we refuse to attach a conspiracy theory narrative Tabassum Steph people when he passed away people say well what happened well what happened was he was still in a ghetto like this is the reality of the circumstances and I'm pissed off about the fact that I keep having to bury people and people acting like Santa Claus is coming down killing folks so like if I walked walked outside the studio right now so my shoes me <hes> it's going to be all over in another Ferguson. Activists killed another a void in effect that I come from family gangbangers void in effect that prior it is I had some inmates and you meet enemies. We're not not connected to your work as an activist as an activist yeah yeah. It didn't surprise me man tough pointed out that he keeps a firearm nearby when he's back home. Missouri is an open carry state also asked him about the militia group was stood on the roofs with guns during the protests a what it would have thought about the idea that they might be involved in the conspiracy he laughed at that they had their our guns he said but so did a lot of his friends and that's where I'm going with. This isn't this is not a city of sitting ducks where like like if if this was going down like like the conspiracy aspect of this was really truly breath thing on that level. I just believe a lot of us would be rocking out a hell of a lot different. I mean y'all saw Ferguson met <music>. They don't have to send a firing squad into the apartment to kill you now. OUGHTA gotta do leave you in North Saint Louis to die and that's that that that serves the same purpose you you your silence <unk> ostracized from the rest of the world <hes> your shadow ban on twitter and you still there with the killer Steve's diller's the rapist and the murderers and the odds are that you will be a victim of that same fate. I mean for me that is where to conspiracy comes into play here. It's not what the Boogeyman <hes> that's going. Give me when I leave from this interview. This brings me back act to something that had begun rattling around my mind when I first started talking to people in Ferguson again. What do we actually mean by the word conspiracy need it be hatched and a darkroom hazy with cigar smoke can't be the slow accretion Russian of small decisions each of which makes life a little bit more difficult a little bit more dangerous and opportunities that much more scarce the problems have talked about exist to some degree or another thousands of communities across the country most of them far from the fight of protests about an unarmed black eighteen year old fatally shot by white police officer conspiracy theories typically explained actions that have been taken but what kinds of theories explained the failure to act those are the questions at the skeptical journalists in me raises the numbers flux way the maybe seventy percent of me dismisses the idea of the death being orchestrated by a single individual group but there's another part of me? The thirty percents part there remembers I went to Ferguson and thought I have no idea with the people in the other side of these protests capable of skepticism is fundamental to journalism but it only works if you can recognize recognize the times when you need to be skeptical of your skepticism to Johnny Cobb Staff Writer for The New Yorker magazine coming up a guy who believes them conspiracies follows him closely and then decides to sign up. That's the minute Chicago Public Radio when our program continues to American from IRA glass today's program program anything can be anything in this very conspiracy minded moment our country even the president of the United States is spreading conspiracy theories like all the time we have stories of people who see the dots and can't help but connect the dots and then after figure yet what to do with their conclusions. We've arrived at two of our program act to the red menace hits the Crimson tide so now we turn to a guy who was upset about the conspiracies to tamper with the U._S.. Elections in two thousand sixteen the stuff the Russians did he was outraged about that but he had a strange way of dealing with it. He decided I try that myself in a big political race in two thousand seventeen in one of the United States in the country Alabama they got who tells what happened. I met up with Osborne outside his parents house and please called Florence Alabama yet but this is beautiful little city in the northern part of the state now this street <hes> that I that my folks live on it was on district told me twenty seventeen eighteen steps out of his parents house one way with the other every house up the street to the corner had a Doug Jones sign at the time remember Doug Jones was a Democratic candidate for U._S.. Senate in Alabama maxine Jones Lawn signs up and down his parents streets. We're usually met people have signs for Republicans folks who would ordinarily have been attracted to voting for conservative who were willing to vote for Doug. Jones sounds are enthusiastic about voting for Johnson that told me it was possible for him to win it were you. Were you expecting that at all. I was floored by it be quite frank. I had never seen anything like that for a Democrat not since I was a kit not since George Wallace's last run for governor if you're a Democrat you know you're in trouble when the last big success story you can remember is the man who said segregation now segregation tomorrow segregation forever but so back to all these Jones Jones Lawn Signs Matt was excited because Matt was a bitter and disaffected Democrat and one of the rightist parts of one of the Red Estates 2016 sent a lot of Democrats over the edge of course Matt was among them Matt. Obviously we knew trump would win Alabama but he's gotten pretty obsessed with the dirty tricks he saw online during that election in the two thousand he'd started writing about shady political tactics he'd spotted on the Internet he wrote about that for sites like Huffpost and Crooks and Liars Matt Actually has an investigators background five years in radio intelligence with the army after that a few years as a private I that was under some stuff kind of early like he was talking about twitter bots earliest twenty ten writing about Cambridge Analytica two years before most of us heard of it so matt was paying close attention in the twenty sixteen election when he started seeing what he thought were shifty tactics being deployed to help Donald Trump accounts that look fake on twitter and facebook doing things like stoking divisions between Sanders Democrats and Clinton Democrats and like how how did you see that <hes> you know if you get into <hes> a rabid debate with somebody. Who's just you know Bernie Bernie? I'll never vote for Hillary start looking at their profile. He say that that doesn't look right. This twitter handle doesn't look right because it's got twelve random numbers in it so it seems like a computer generated account or this person looks weird because they've tweeted a thousand times but they haven't put up a profile picture. That was a lot of it. Who is this weird profile? Who are the administrators of this suspicious facebook page Adnan's of this mysterious page? That's got all this anti Anti Hillary Clinton propaganda click on the Adleman so I'm looking at a profile now that is strikingly right away as fake. It's got twenty five friends who appeared appear to be real. People and none of them are related to each other when when you were having that experience what was the feeling that you had like outrage. Anger was irritation was it worry worried deep foreboding deep foreboding and the closer we got to the election the more. I felt like something was wrong. We've all heard about what was wrong. Now it's confirmed Russian meddling in propaganda phony accounts designed to so divisions among Americans and demoralized voters Matt had had for him from what I can tell 2016 was like a tipping point of bitterness Matt's bitterness had I've been piling up for years like he remembers kids in Grade School talking about how they were for the confederacy which mad could not understand and I never forget the kid next to me who was talking the most about it <hes> when I saw him again when I got out of the Army nineteen ninety nine I came home. I ran into him at Walmart in in the first sixty seconds of our conversation he was telling me how much he hated immigrants prince so I guess maybe part of my problem is that my values of always contradicted the place where I was so imagine matt after he left the army with an injury. He's on partial disability in chronic pain searching for direction spending a lot of time reading the Internet writing about democratic politics. He's like a blue dot in a red ocean. Matt describes the last ten years of his life as him being radicalized that was his word and that is where Matt's head was when Alabama's 2017 Senate election suddenly burst into the center ring of American politics. We begin tonight with the Alabama Senate Race Quick Refresher. You'll probably remember this. This was a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions who'd left to be attorney general and one side the Democrat Doug Jones. An uncle is looking former prosecutor. You can his opponent Republican Roy Moore a Bible quoting former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court the race was not supposed to be competitive until it was more remember nine women came forward to accuse Roy Moore of a combination of sexual misconduct in molestation for things he allegedly Julie did when they were young some underage as young as fourteen more denied those allegations but there was lots of reporting including accounts of how Moore was allegedly such a creep he got banned from the local mall witnesses to wasn't enough to knock more. We're out of contention though Alabama's just so read that people were saying things like this on conservative talk radio in Birmingham what we're getting is Alabamians would vote for a pedophile over a Liberal Democrat in their circumstance. Yes okay okay just saying it flat out then got uglier and uglier as the allegations against Moore piled up Breitbart dispatched to reporters with the mission of discrediting the women making the allegations it turned into a morass of character attacks accent aspersions including fake news stories targeting Moore's accusers and it disaffected angry Matt Osborne Still Stewing over twenty sixteen wanted in super badly which is how matt went from despising the sleazy online tactics of twenty-six utterly opposing them to using them for his side and the moment that tipped him from one side to the other. It happened on the phone September. This was two months before the election matt was talking to a D._C.. Political collaborative. He knows their plan was just. Let's brainstorm a bunch of ideas anything to help Doug Jones. We are talking on the phone and it's sort of a blue sky discussion still the two of them start throwing stuff out from regular ideas like to pretty far out ideas this this the kind that start with what if what if on election day you had events in neighboring states that might draw some people from Alabama like you could advertise heavily in Alabama to draw potential Roy Roy Moore voters out of the state on election day so those are the kind of ideas that are getting kicked the these are just crazy ideas getting kicked around and then suddenly Matt says he's throwing out an idea that he hadn't even considered before the moment it was coming out of his mouth. He told the person on the phone Alabama Republicans like both national parties. They're split right internally divided. You've got a more centrist wing and you've got more radical wing. What if Matt Matt hypothesized what if we could pose Republicans online with think identities and we could do things to aggravate that divide make Alabama Republicans feel icky about each other and try to suppress Republican votes in other words words Matt proposed a conspiracy kind of conspiracy Russians are accused of running in two thousand sixteen right put up misinformation disinformation under phony identities to stoke divisions among your opponents you probably heard of these referred for two as false flag operations and that's the one that people want to know about like why don't you <hes> right that up and share it with me so I wrote a little paper Matt Thin transformed his rough idea into detailed plan? He drafted a memo one. This operative could take the democratic donors to see if anyone might fund it mets idea to divide Alabama Republicans was divide the religious right Republicans from from the more moderate Republicans Roy Moore had always been closely tied to the extra religious conservative wing of his party in fact his political operation depended heavily on Alabama's extensive network of Baptist pastors that pastor. stor network is the backbone of his out the voting Shane on Wednesday Nights Sundays. That's when Roy Moore pastors push their flock to go vote for Roy Moore. That's how it works down here. Baptists as Matt Road are the largest denomination in the state over forty percent of the population but although baptists are the largest single denomination in Alabama they are by no means a majority right so what they are as very vocal minority and Matt Roten has memo the wedge issue to split the Baptists from the more moderate Republicans prohibition. I know you're like prohibition against alcohol. They didn't we settle that like one hundred years ago but hang on because Alabama actually has a long history of restrictive alcohol laws like of the thirty counties that make up the northern half of Alabama nineteen counties are dry Roy. Moore's Baptist allies been all heck yeah. Keep it that way get behind me Satan to which mainstream Republicans have responded <hes> no met says suburban and business wing type Republicans have often favored luther alcohol ause the business wing of the Republican Party in Alabama was never enthusiastic about Roy Moore in the first place all right if you can get the sort of business wing Republicans if you can get the suburban urban Republican who votes Republican but he likes to drink his beer on Saturdays while he's watched the football game if you can get him to identify Roy Moore with prohibition and and more realistic screed type activity than they will be less likely to vote for him. Put We want is for people to say Gosh. Roy Moore is nuts Roy. Moore's followers are nuts. You know these the people who are in my party. You know a share a party with him but they're nuts is one more thing to just feel a little less excited about exactly and exactly what the Russians purportedly did to Democrats in two thousand sixteen stokes their internal divisions to make them feel less motivated Matt's version of that was to create fake groups on social media one would be named the southern caller be other dry Alabama. They'd act like prohibitionist cultural conservatives enthusiastic about Roy Moore and hope that could come out mainstream Republicans. You can mirror the activity of twenty sixteen in the sense all the Russian activity you can mirror it if you get republicans arguing with each other the more they argue with each other and the more Republicans see other Republicans arguing with each other the less likely they aren't vote and when you pitch the idea of dry Alabama was there any part of you that had any apprehensions about sort of deploying that kind of strategy by that time I had already made up my mind like I'm ready to pull out all the stops I had made up my mind already that I was willing to create content under a false flag if you will <hes> I was willing to trick Republicans into not voting that was fine with me. Matt says when he sent off his memo he wasn't sure if people would WANNA fund his plan he was after all in the party that had been waving leaving around Michelle Obama slogan when they go we go hi and using that to attack Republicans for awhile mattered nothing for weeks so long that he figured no one wanted to fund is dirty tricks. I I was sitting in my living room watching. I don't remember I was watching TV and my phone rang and I'm told hey we got money. I think it was the democratic operative in D._C.. We got money meant. Some donors had decided to fund math proposal Matt's reaction Bam no kidding this is for real. Oh Wow this is real. This is this is is happening. Okay cool. The donors put up one hundred thousand dollars part of that would pay for a team of people to create these fake conservative groups the rest of the money most of it but pay for ads on facebook to shove what they made into the social media fees of Alabama Republicans at this point. There were only seventeen days left before the election so they had to go fast work started immediately bogus. Email addresses baked logos the team doing this. I should say sort of fascinating tiny just two people in D._C.. And then Matt in Alabama one of the people in D._C.. Met says was sort of doing oversight tonight. Even super involved the other person in D._C.. Created tweets memes Matt. Did the facebook post videos whole group was so small kind of makes you realize you don't need a building full of people to do this. Kind of thing can be a conspiracy of just two or three <music>. Matt doesn't Alabama native was kind of the person who the group turned to to make the con- seem authentic. Hey Matt I would say this in Alabama. How would they say that hey matt? How'd you spell barbecue in Alabama with <unk>? We want to become across his authentic. I said <hes> B._B._Q.. Or spell it out barbecue with a C. Right <hes> Alabamian instead of Alabama that sort of thing there were some things that were deemed too much even by dirty tactics standards Matt pointed out that something that would inevitably get a ton of engagement would be an A._r.. Fifteen giveaway the funder sure it turned out was not okay with a gun giveaway real or fake but even if they weren't going to give away an air fifteen those a lot of room for imagination like Matt recruited a woman he knew <hes> I will just for our purposes today will call her Sharon Matt hired Sharon to do a voiceover on a video that he made for Dry Alabama <hes> she's wonderful. She's as Alabama as they come. She has the perfect accent right. The kind of <hes> Middle Alabama kind of rapid clip accent with all the right Vowel inflections Nets Toga party center drinking's covered the Eagle temptation. Try this amazing Fam- style alcohol-free Carl free cocktail each other's moral take on a sinful beverage of Rochester. Jill up place leaves in an old fashioned glass Portland Jason Sugar and makes with spoon until the sugars completely dissolved this video just to say does have the genuine Lo fi feel of those try this recipe videos online all the time poor sparkling water over the top garnish with the spring and you've got us something smooth is fine call play true support for Dry Alabama today enjoying Arthur saint for draw Alabama at one point talking about this Matt said some of this feels new but in his mind. It's actually not really if you remember matted radio intelligence in the army. He told me one tactic they teach you. There's something called spoofing you find the enemies radio frequency and then you mimic the voice of the people on it you give out bad information then he read a tweet from dry Alabama be sober be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walk. It's about seeking whom he may devour that's from first Peterman told me Doug Jones comes from Behi- and now C._N._n.. On projects he will be the next center first time twenty five years that a Democrat more than one point three million people voted in the Election Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore by just twenty two thousand votes altogether fifty one million dollars who spend on the race which unleashed a hurricane of T._v. ads armies of canvassers meaning. It's just impossible to gauge what effect Matt's thing had Matt's team considered the project success though an wrap up call he was told with just one hundred thousand dollars dollars the teams content with seed in four point six million times the videos watch hundreds of thousands of times. Everybody was happy with those numbers but people also felt like the whole thing was a success in the sense that they'd pulled off the fakery without getting caught that was part of what they were testing. I'm just going to confess here that I'm somebody who's troubled by the culture of our politics right. Now I believe people should feel societal pressure to win with ideas and inspiration the playing dirty should be we looked down on because blame dirty think encourages suspicion and cynicism and that's bad for everybody maybe because of that when I went to see Matt I have thought that because he spent so much time outraged about these kind of deceptive Dave and scuzzy politics that maybe after having some time to think it over he'd end up with some kind of buyer's remorse I drank so much. What did I say? Doesn't it feel like especially in the in you know during the presidency tendency of Donald Trump that the norms are only the norms if most people adhere to them. You know like well. What is the norm here? The norm here is that <hes> Democrats are supposed to <hes> go hi and get kicked in the knees. That's the norm. The norm is that Republicans play dirty and win is is that the norm that we're supposed supposed to preserve because if that's the norm that we're supposed to preserve that norm die I say burnt down burn it to the ground to the core of way I hear you saying is that you don't think that it's it's <hes> it's something that you can combat by example and just say we're. We're going to refuse to win that way. Oh look at me I have clean hands and clean clothes and I'm standing above you a shining light and I don't have have any power. I can't actually make any changes but don't I look good and isn't that the important thing so harsh when you put it that way I am not about to referee Matt's idea that Republicans played dirtier. Would I do think is important is whether these tactics will continue to spread over the last few months. There's been excellent reporting about a number of digital strategies tried out by Democrats in this Alabama race in addition to Matt in one Democrats created fake Russian Bod's to make Russians were helping Roy Moore in another company micro targeted voters on social media sent the messages at claims Liam's drove up democratic turnout by four percent and drove down Republican turnout by over two percent Senator Doug Jones. I should say and said he disapproved knew nothing about the stuff is called for an investigation from talking to democratic critic fundraisers. I can tell you for sure there's plenty of donors who don't want any part of this kind of thing but there's definitely a portion. I hear who say yeah. It's time the ready to throw money at stuff like this. Matt says he thinks thinks when it comes to these kinds of dirty tactics the situation is going to have to get worse before it gets better because in our gridlock system you won't get regulations against the stuff until both parties are fed up with it which it sounds like a real bummer to me but I have to admit this logic to that for his part Matt's not going to stop at least if someone will pay for him to keep doing things like this. If you WANNA see the memo that led to his misinformation campaign you can go read eight at yourself. These days Matt's posted on his linked in profile. You wants to get hired to do more stuff just like this. Then Calhoun is one of the producers of I show from Russia fly too much wise and small you to uh-huh shoes. Program is produced today by Dana Chavez people put together includes Baker Ben Calhoun Zoe Chase Cole McCoy NFO jared for Jimmy Grapes set planned Lena Mris. He's Catherine May Mondo Naughty Raymond ship Christmas Taller Tyrrhenian Diane Woo Managing Editor is David Kastenbaum especially thanks today to Eddie Hedge Kenneth Anderson Steve Kaga Witch Jesse Walker Catherine Montgomery Ward Melissa Ryan Joe Stokes Brian McCabe Sir at Caney Jobs Appearance Hearing Pete Mondo Whitney Phillips the Single County Police Department at Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department the St Louis County Medical Examiner's Office John Larson at Saint Louis Public Radio Missouri State Representative Maria Chapelle Nidal I- website this American Life Dot Org okay we can listen to our archive of over six hundred episodes for absolutely free. This American life is to give it a public radio stations by P._R.. X. The public radio exchange there's always programs co-founder Miss Troy Manatee. He bought an obedience book for his dog. I don't think he knows how to use it. He's basically put the book on the ground next door and told her there you go you read that girl. I'm IRA glass back next week with more stories of this American.

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