Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Subsequent Moviefilm reveals a lot about our society’s values, or its lack thereof, and James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Rob Richardson take a look at various causes and effects of what we see (01:10) and consider what would be needed to get things on track (28:40).
The story surrounding Ice Cube’s Contract with Black America was hijacked by politicians, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at the Cube’s approach to getting it on the table and the public fallout, reasons why this type of action continues to be necessary, and the extent to which Black Americans may be taken for granted by America’s main political parties.
The lifeblood of our system of government is voting, so James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and friend of the program Rick Ellsley discuss why voting matters in our governmental system (01:35), what they make of the aversion many Americans have to everyone (including themselves) voting (11:23), the specific challenges being faced in 2020 (27:18), and what it would take for more Americans to come together as far as wanting everyone (including themselves) to vote (44:56).
Paulo Coelho's international bestselling book, "The Alchemist," is a timeless story about self discovery, destiny, travel and treasure, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss their impressions of and takeaways from some of the major themes in the story. Note that this podcast does contain spoilers.
The financial settlements paid by cities following police misconduct are undoubtedly a red flag, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the implications of the $12 million settlement paid by Louisville to the family of Breonna Taylor (01:05). The guys also compare discuss the commonality between America’s original conspiracy theory and conspiracy theories floating around today (26:56) and the disturbing story about mass hysterectomies being performed in ICE facilities (34:50).
The “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” documentary provided a fasted paced and fascinating look at the evolution of capital in recent history and how this has affected so much, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what stood out the most (01:27), what can be made of growing inequality trends (17:05), the link between wealth inequality and social instability (30:04), and how current trends can be addressed (43:12).
Our society’s recklessness and disregard seems to be making the Earth less hospitable to our society, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at the accelerating destruction of, and increasing threats to, our habitat (01:21) and discuss ways that societies can make preserving the planet we live on more of a priority (32:55).
With the coronavirus driven economic downturn still creating so much uncertainty, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss reports that are suggesting that the worst of the economic fallout is still to come (01:04). The guys also make sense of the fact that more young adults under 30 are living with their parents than on their own (28:49).
It often seems that what happens means less to many people than who it happens to, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss how public polarization outpaced investigation with the shooting of Jacob Blake (01:44) and some of the positive and negative things we have seen in the aftermath of the tragedy (16:07). The guys also try to make sense of the reports that our intelligence services will be restricting the information provided to Congress about ongoing threats to disrupt the 2020 election (38:43).
Our intelligence community is sounding the alarm, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana react to the release of the final volume of the Senate Intel Committee’s Bipartisan Russia Report (01:08), discuss the ongoing information warfare campaign being waged against Americans and the “Firehose of Falsehood” propaganda model as explained by the RAND Corporation (09:24), and speak on the 100 anniversary the 19th Amendment which prohibited gender based voting restrictions (50:12).
The push to defund the U.S. Postal Service is needlessly self-destructive, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss their issues with the efforts to politicize the operations of the U.S. Postal Service (01:24). The guys also consider the extent to which the coronavirus has killed the free market (24:34) and discuss a recent discovery of a (literal) caveman’s bed from 200,000 years ago (44:50).
Governments and large companies around the world are making high stakes, chess style moves over control of who has access to your sensitive data, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the President’s executive order that seeks to ban TikTok in the U.S. (01:20) and the discomfort some have expressed following Blackstone’s acquisition of genealogy company Ancestry (21:14). The guys also discuss their takeaways from recent findings on how dogs process and understand human language (35:11).
The “truth” about the coronavirus seems to vary depending on who you talk to, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana react to the apparent post truth nature of medicine (02:04), discuss why conspiracy theories and fanciful explanations for things seem to have so much appeal (18:09), and consider whether the widespread lack of any shared understanding of truth is a substantial threat to our democratic society (39:00).
Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers laid out several concepts that influence how we deal with people we do not know, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss which of the concepts was most notable (02:25), which anecdotes from the book stood out (22:32), biases and trends that were present in several of the concepts (38:37) and whether the book gives us more or less faith in humanity’s ability to solve its problems (45:45).
We all encounter stressors and potential stressors all day long, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at what appears to be causing the most stress during the COVID-19 crisis (01:29), the nature of chronic stress and how it effects our bodies (06:44), and some of the things they do to manage stress (22:18). The guys also discuss the shift in the zodiac signs published by NASA and how the meaning one personally assigns to that make that shift something stressful (34:55).
The intersection of ideology, race, and religion is always going to be difficult to navigate, but James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the Anti-Semitic social media posts by NFL player DeSean Jackson, how he handled the resulting controversy so far, and the various societal factors that have come into play (01:11). The guys also consider how Black people who disagree with the comments should be responding (22:28) and how the topics of race and religion can make issues like this more difficult to discuss (39:05).
We have seen efforts to remove Confederate items from places of honor pick up in recent times, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the armed protest of a Confederate monument in Georgia on July 4th (01:24), including whether the images of armed protestors could be used to undermine the message of the protestors (17:10). The guys also discuss whether naked appeals to a “Confederate heritage” can still be politically viable in the U.S. (24:52) and the apparent attempts to reduce the issue to a partisan one (29:56).
The wearing of masks has surprisingly become a hot button issue, arousing a surprising level of passion in some circles, so James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Rick Ellsley discuss what may be driving some people’s aversion to masks as well as the emotion and the level of commitment they bring to the argument (01:46) and the extent to which politics and polarization has infected people’s view of the wearing of masks (26:21).
“Bombshell” was in large part about of the women who exposed the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News, but it also showed an approach to making news media profitable, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the sexualizing of aspects of news presentation (01:46), the selection and presentation of news to play on emotion (18:07) and confirmation bias (34:43) in order to target specific types of viewers and obtain unquestioned loyalty from those viewers. The guys also take a look at how different people respond to the type of accusations dealt with in the movie, particularly in situations involving conduct that is not egregious as the stuff that was happening at Fox News (44:54).
The right to vote has been in large part secured, but the fight against efforts to make it inaccessible is ongoing, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at the issues Georgia primary and how the practice of voter suppression often plays out (02:00), discuss the typical battle lines in the fight to make voting more or less accessible, including LeBron James’ recent entry into the fray (26:23), and how these battle lines influence, and are influenced by, the strategies of the Republican and Democratic parties (39:49).
Americans coming together in such large numbers is a reassertion of the ultimate power of the people, so James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Carlton Washington discuss what change is being sought, and what change should be sought, by the people (01:34), the defund the police theme that has picked up steam in recent weeks (12:15), how some public figures and institutions have publicly (and apparently genuinely) changed their tune on the urgency of fighting for justice and equality (30:26), and what appears to be a massive turn away from divisiveness and towards coming together to address societal issues (43:20).
The murder of George Floyd has been a flashpoint for civil unrest around the U.S., and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at the actual murder and how people will be given opportunities to perceive it however they would like (01:19), the protests and the frustration which fuels them and the commonality that binds together all of the peaceful protestors (07:57), taking a specific look at the peaceful protestors really embody the equality ideology (15:30). The guys also discuss the looting and violence that has popped up as well as the militarized approach to the demonstrations (33:15) and consider what comes next (47:23).
Our current economic situation seems dire, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at what experts are saying is in store for our economy, including whether we are in position to have a quick recovery (01:42) or experience an extended depression (09:32) and if anything can be done to get things back on track more quickly (19:05). The guys also discuss a coal power plant’s plan billion dollar bet to stay viable by building the largest carbon capture facility ever (41:02).
No one man should have all that power, so James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Carlton Washington take a look at the use of power and privilege to undermine the rule of law, particularly taking a look at the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the failure to arrest the killers (01:54) and the armed protests of COVID lockdown and whether use of intimidation tactics are justified (21:05). The guys also discuss what Attorney General William Barr is attempting to do in trying to let off Michael Flynn after Flynn admitted to lying to federal agents and whether President Obama is correct that rule of law is at risk due to Barr’s conduct (37:28).
Continuing their look at Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss how the described corporatocracy system and economic hit man activity undeniably did provide some benefits to Americans (02:22). The guys also consider whether a having corporatocracy with economic hit men is inconsistent with the foundational values of the America republic (11:16), whether economic imperialism is inevitable (23:32), and the extent to which our human nature makes varying economic systems ripe for exploitation and/or unworkable (37:28).
Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” told a story that involved some of the most monumental political and social events in the 20th century, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what stood out from a economic and a human standpoint in the movie (1:17), take a look at how certain aspects of how power is exercised is timeless and how others may have changed (18:00), and debate whether strong armed tactics are a necessary component of organized labor (42:52). The guys also consider the plausibility the explanations that are given in the movie for certain key events in the 20th century (51:41).
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is unquestionably an eye opening book, and James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what about the described corporatocracy system and economic hit man activity stood out to them (0:58) and how learning about the way things may go down behind the scenes can improve one’s understanding of what is going on around us navigating (17:11). The guys also take a look at how our insatiable need for oil drives much of what is described in the book and also led to some peculiar geopolitical arrangements (29:16).
As our society continues to try to weather the fallout from COVID-19, James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Rob Richardson discuss the unprecedented nature of the ongoing job losses and what a recovery for working people would look like (2:02) and why the government stimulus did not seem to serve working people (18:45). The guys also point out that Americans, including the most staunch capitalist, often embrace socialist policies (30:57), how some are really good at taking advantage of this socialist streak (39:05), and how this kind of disconnect plays a role in working people being unable to effectively demand a fair shake in our economy (46:51).
There are many things about the human experience that the more we learn about, the less we understand, so James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss how sleep is generally understood (1:29), how various factors can influence the ability to get good sleep (12:58), and the importance of sleep and how it plays a large role in the ability to function (18:02). The guys also take a look at how willpower works and is used, and how it is used and understood can influence how effective it can be used (29:11) and an interesting technique that people seem to use both consciously and unconsciously to improve willpower (44:51).
Having recently completed their forms from the U.S. 2020 Census, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at the census and why participation is vital for having your interests addressed by our government (02:00). The guys also discuss how the handling of race in the 2020 Census illustrates that race as we know it is an artificial construct (10:49), speculate why the concept of race is used the way that it is (21:43), and consider whether race is used in the U.S. in an analogous way to the way tribe has been used in societies (44:47).
With the Democratic Party in its current form seeming so ineffective and unable to consistently fill its role in our two party system of governance, James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Rob Richardson discuss whether the Democratic Party is wasting our time with such a defective approach to politics (02:32) and whether there is anything that the party as a whole really stands for other than good intentions (16:49). The guys also consider how the party of FDR and LBJ could become so ineffective (29:39) and whether the party could be replaced if it cannot pull itself back together (43:40).
Alexander Hamilton has a story we can all relate to, and James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and special guest Rick Ellsley take a look at the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, specifically getting into the things that stood out in Hamilton's story and the musical production (02:43) and whether the historical story was effectively told through musical form (12:07). The birth of extreme partisanship and the role partisanship and compromise played in early stages of our government (30:11), presentation of women's stories (46:11), and the A.Ham v. A.Burr debate (51:12) are all also discussed.
How someone responds in the face of crisis is telling, so with societies around the globe in crisis mode dealing with COVID-19, James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana and Rob Richardson take a look at the type of characteristics in a leader can make them effective in times of crisis (02:09) and discuss some positive things they have seen from leaders at various levels during this crisis (09:26). They also explore some bothersome or concerning things leaders have said and done during the current crisis (18:46) and contemplate how we as a democratic society can pick better leaders (36:44).
As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread in the U.S. and around the world, James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Rob Richardson take a look at the practice of social distancing, how has been presented by many authorities as a way to make the spread of the virus more manageable (01:42), and how some have seemingly disregarded the practice (12:26). The guys also discuss some of the serious economic concerns that come with social distancing and potentially a national lockdown (24:51), what they see in the panic buying trends sweeping the nation (42:23), and what they would stock up on if there was a national lockdown (48:00).
After seeing Super Tuesday shake up the Democratic primary, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what they see in Bernie Sanders’ sudden skid (02:01) and examine whether Bernie’s reliance on young people and traditionally disengaged voters is a faulty strategy (17:20). Also considered is the extent to which there are parallels between Bernie’s insurgency movement in the Democratic party and Trump’s insurgency movement in 2016 in the Republican party (25:27) and how well the respective party establishment’s dealt with these insurgencies (47:15).
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe and begins to make its prescence felt in the United States, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana look at the response in the United States, including how it seems that some in the leadership seem more concerned with deflecting blame than understanding and dealing with the problem (01:06) and whether the loss of credibility in the executive branch of the government makes the new gag rule on scientists look shady (20:10). We also try to make sense of how the financial markets have reacted to the continued spread of the virus (33:02).
Understanding that the Internet can overload you with what you want to see, and also make it impossible to avoid things you don’t want to see, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the role the Internet research played in a tragic story of an attempted ‘freebirth’ that went wrong (01:11), the role trolling on the Internet played in the death of one of the UK’s most famous TV stars (18:54), and singer Billie Eilish’s claim that social media was ruining her life (24:32). We also consider whether black conservatives, such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are unfairly excluded from Black History Month celebrations (31:05).
As there are power dynamics in most human interactions, we explore Robert Greene's masterpiece, 48 Laws of Power. James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss how many of the individual laws seem to tie into some broader concepts, noting particular laws that seem to relate to changing minds (01:48), avoiding trouble (11:19), moving crowds (26:47), and making moves (40:13).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana look at how societal will and innovation has allowed driven progress in the environmental movement alongside continued growth in a way that was seemingly unimaginable 50 years ago (01:09) and consider in this light whether our current climate concerns are overblown (14:11). We also discuss what we see in the efforts of some cisgender females to keep transgender competitors out of women’s track competitions (19:01) and what the identification of another ancient human species that that modern humans apparently interacted and interbred with means in our modern society (38:44).
Now that voting has begun for the Democratic Party’s Presidential Primary, James Keys, Tunde Ogunlana, and Rob Richardson discuss what we has stood out so far (01:33) and whether the primary process, which has some visible flaws, can deliver a viable candidate (11:22). We also consider whether Michael Bloomberg is making a mockery of the process by jumping in so late and spending so much (27:57) and debate whether we think the threat posed by the Trump Administration to the Constitution and the rule of law is serious enough to support any eventual Democratic nominee (41:36).
With Georgetown University's decision divest from fossil fuel investments, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what we see with the massive amounts of carbon that is and has been released from the burning of fossil fuels (:48) and wonder whether it's too late to prevent catastrophe (10:38). We also take a look at Clearview AI's building and selling of a massive facial recognition database from online pictures and data (26:54) and big tech's demands to Clearview AI to get its hands off "their" data, recognizing of course that "their" data is us (34:49).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what we see generally with the cost of living squeeze being felt by many American families (0:55), looking first at some of the factors which may be influencing the excessive rise in housing costs (7:22). We also touch on what may be going on with the increase in other common costs, such as student loan debt and child care (19:44), try to reconcile the perceived strength of the economy in general with the struggles of the workers (30:10), and consider how the actions of government and the operation of our capitalist system can play a positive or negative role in addressing this crisis (36:33).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana take a look at how societal events can reveal the extent that human psychology influences short term stock market activity (00:52) and how people's subjective thoughts about leaders can also have substantial effect on the market and their perception of the economy (17:55). We also discuss the coronavirus and reasons why it has dominated our consciousness even though the flu may be a bigger risk (34:54) and Alan Dershowitz’s dangerous advocacy for an omnipotent president on the Senate floor (50:33)
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana look at the jailing of a University of Minnesota student from China for political tweets (00:53), how this may be the type of thing LeBron James was worried about during the NBA and China controversy (04:02), and wonder if the government’s legal retaliation against CNN and AT&T puts us on a slippery slope towards this (07:30). We also discuss Robert Downey Jr.’s recent comments on the use of blackface in Tropic Thunder (9:40), the presence of “forever” chemicals in the water supply of many Americans (18:20) and the general lack of concern for protecting our environment (20:57), and the disconnect between the so called experts and many members of the public concerning keto diets (34:35).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana get into how impeachment works generally as a mechanism of our republic and why we have it (01:27), what we think about the actual charges that have been brought (12:08) and whether removal from office is warranted (27:00). We also analyze at some of the narratives being told and strategic plays being made (33:09) and compare aspects of the impeachment trial to the OJ Simpson trial (43:30).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss the “old fashioned” fight over student loan forgiveness between the Secretary of Education and the House or Representatives (01:26) and the potential cancelling of the Worldwide Threat Assessment for a problematic reason (18:48), the revelation that screen time may be stunting the brain development of our youth (32:23), and issues around Hank Azaria’s refusal to continue to voice the Simpson’s character Apu (42:19).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s fourth book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community (00:57), including our reactions to concepts he discussed such as racism being a dominant ideology in America and the backlash that follows progress (07:13). We also discuss what we saw in Dr. King's analysis on the effect centuries of racism has had on blacks and on whites (28:43) and a couple of Dr. King's thoughts on things we need to get to a better place (47:20).
James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss our reaction to the revelation that micro plastics are accumulating in our bodies (00:56) and that our cell phones are being used to track our locations whether we know it or not (14:48). We also weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers coach referring to his players as thugs (26:12) and offer our thoughts on Megxit as a surprising and unconventional response to the unfair scrutiny that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been subjected to (39:32), including the parallel to John Boyega’s response to out of line Star Wars fans.
In this episode, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana look at economic performance in the U.S. from multiple angles, including what we see in the incredible growth of the stock market over the last twenty years (01:25), why the workers are not feeling much of that growth (7:12), how much automation and technology affects outcomes (21:12), whether our larger economic system itself is the problem, the solution, or both (32:48), and how government policy plays a large role in how economic spoils are distributed (41:36).
In this episode, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss what we see in the proposed split of the United Methodist Church and the inevitable tensions between religious beliefs, religious doctrine, and personal and group sensibilities (00:45), what we make of the Australian fires and how climate change may now begin to change nature in ways that more directly affect our lives (16:58), what we see in the controversy surrounding the dofasting app (31:41), and our thoughts on fasting in general (38:14). Listen to your body (46:24)!
In this episode, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana look at the U.S. strike which took out Iranian General Soleimani and discuss whether the decision to act right now made any sense (00:48), whether U.S. leadership is entitled to the benefit of the doubt as to their decision making and motivations (7:31), what we should be doing in the middle east (23:43), and whether Americans have the want to and the leadership to meet challenges that come with being a nation and a superpower (32:48).
In part two of our December 2019 roundup, James Keys and Tunde Ogunlana discuss whether it was a big deal for Christianity Today's to call for the removal of President Trump (0:52), how that has exposed an apparent rift between Christians as an interest group and as a moral institution (8:00), and how evangelicals were actually against Trump before they were for him (23:09).