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Understanding Ukraine. Unity, Defiance, Resistance: Marci Shore

Ep. 342

The war in Ukraine and the global response to Russia's invasion are dominating the news. But missing in much of the coverage is a sense of the country and its people. In this historic moment, we hear a riveting account of the country's recent political awakening and why Ukrainians are prepared to resist and fight.


In the past century, Ukraine suffered massively during two world wars, Nazi occupationfamine, and the Chernobyl disaster. Eight years ago, during the "Revolution of Dignity", Ukranians stood up against corruption, brutality, and Russian dominance. A new democracy and civic bond were formed. The country profoundly changed.


"Ukranians are fighting for all of us," says our guest, Yale University historian Marci Shore, the author of “The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution.” She is a scholar of Eastern Europe in the post-Soviet era. 


"I'm terrified for my friends," Marci tells us. "The Ukrainians will not give up... I'm desperately hopeful that as difficult as the odds are, they are going to prevail."


Recommendations for further reading about the war and today's Ukraine: Yarolav Trofimo, the Wall Street Journal’s Chief foreign correspondent, now in Kiev. Phil Stewart of Reuters and his newsfeed on Twitter, coverage from CNN's Clarissa Ward, Anderson Cooper, and Alex Marquardt in Ukraine. Background and perspective in The Economist.


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6/10/2022

Death by Firearms— A Public Health Crisis. Dr. Patrick Carter

Ep. 355
The appalling carnage in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and other communities across the country is a deeply painful source of grief, outrage, and national shame. Since 2009 more than 2500 people have been killed or wounded in277 mass shootingsin The United States—morethan the number of U.S. military personnel killed in hostile action in Afghanistan over the same period.But as horrible as they are, mass shootings representa small percentageof overall firearms-related deaths.In 2020 — the latest year for which numbers are available — more than 45 thousand Americans were killed in shootings, including accidents and suicides. That’s more than the number of deaths on roads and highways.In this episode we look at some ways to reducethe huge toll. Our guest isDr. Patrick Carter,a professor of emergency medicine and health behavior at the University of Michigan, anda leading experton firearm injury prevention.He argues that instead of endless debate, we need to think of gun deaths "as a public health issue and a science issue." Then we can make real progress, he argues.Key soundbites:05:13 We should think about the crisis of gun-related fatalities "not just as a single thing, but of a multi-faceted problem with lots of potential solutions: From engineering— how we construct guns and firearms safes— to how we change behavior around how people own and use guns, to how we address populations that are particularly high-risk and shouldn't own guns or shouldn't have access to guns when they are in crisis."05:40 "I really think we can change the direction of firearm deaths and we have done that with cars... with drownings in this country. We've done that with all types of injury-related issues."20:30 "I don't think you can solve this problem with the science-based approach I've talked about without engaging the people who own guns... We need to understand what things will change behaviors and to do that we need to engage with firearms owners around common-sense solutions."Recommendation: Theweekly online newsletterby conservative writer David French. He is also a contributing writer atThe Atlantic. Richard says he often disagrees with David, but finds his writing to be respectful and even kind towards liberals and others who see the world in a different light.
6/3/2022

When Business Should Take a Stand. Elizabeth Doty

Ep. 354
"There isone and only one social responsibility of business,"Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedmanfamously declaredmore than 50 years ago. It is “to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase profits so long as it.. engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”Times have certainly changed, especially in the past two decades. Today, corporate leaders andbrands know that they can'talways follow Friedman's advice, and are expected to step forward and contribute to solving crises facing society.But there are often hazards in doing so.Walt Disney,Delta Airlines, andLarry Fink, Chairman, and CEO of BlackRock, have all faced harsh criticism for their public stands.We discuss the hazards and opportunities for corporations and their leadership with the author, researcher, and facilitatorElizabeth Doty, Director of the Erb Institute's Corporate Political Responsibility at the University of Michigan. She suggests constructive ways for businesses to play a key role in countering hyperpartisanship and other divisions in society."Companies are on the receiving end of a lot of criticism," Elizabeth tells us. "We felt they needed a place to get foresight for companies to dig into what's behind these complaints." In our podcast, we hear ways businessescan benefit society and themselveswith a constructive forward-facing, deliberative approach.When confronting divisive issues, corporations should consider how to "raise the quality of the argument rather than pick a side in the argument", says Elizabeth.In a statementon its website, the Taskforce says: "Unfortunately, many executives operate without an integrated view of their firms’ engagement with governing or electoral processes, or clear principles to ensure transparency, accountability and responsibility. As we have seen in 2020, in an environment of polarization and distrust, inattention to CPR can increase reputational risk, destabilize the civic and business environment, threaten the credibility of other efforts and undermine the positive systemic changes society needs."Learn morehere. The Taskforce invites business leaders, academics and others with an interest in this topic to get involved.Recommendation: Jim is enjoying "Walking the Floor" a music podcast hosted byChris Shiflett, lead guitarist of The Foo Fighters.