Episode 51 – George P. Shultz Conversations: Henry Rowen (Podcast)

Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former Stanford Professor Emeritus Henry Rowen discuss foreign policy and national security, particularly the organizational question of the proper roles of the State Department and the White House in running U.S. foreign policy. Shultz begins by detailing his experiences at the State Department and how they worked inter-departmentally with other areas of the government. The discussion then moves on to individual people and their roles within the administration at the time. Shultz continues to expand upon how the government grooms candidates for positions who end up in various companies outside the government …

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THE ROB REPORT: Without a Story, It’s Just a Fact by Rob Chatfield

A study published in 2011 by the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies shows 46% of European countries do not collect data based on origin of race. 

In 2018, France removed the word race from its Constitution. 

These are interesting, but largely forgettable facts. Logic, reason, and facts by themselves do not stoke human emotion. Facts need context and need to strike a chord to become memorable.  Facts – when presented as stories – can become instantly memorable.

Can you imagine changing the FOUNDING article of the U.S. Constitution? Yet that’s exactly what France did when it took the mantra that France “shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion” and threw race out of the equation in 2018.

This was done by unanimous vote!  From the far left to the far right and every faction in between, the French decided race is an outdated, meaningless, social construct.  Understand there are 577 members in the French National Assembly, representing 9 different political parties whose last unanimous vote required large grocery stores to donate unsold, edible food to charity after learning the grocers previously poured bleach on this food to prevent scavenging.

Race was first introduced to the French Constitution in 1946 as a direct response to racist theories expounded by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (better known to most as Nazi Germany). Over 500,000 French citizens were killed during the largest race-based atrocity in modern history and they’ve determined race no longer matters. What does that say about the United States?

I added context to facts and may have piqued your interest, but these facts are missing a vital ingredient to make them memorable:  THE STORY.

Our brains are hard-wired to receive facts in the form of a story. Storytelling creates empathy and helps humanity better understand issues. All cultures throughout all times of humanity use some version of storytelling to teach universal truths. So, this tale is not yet complete…

Eli Steele was born profoundly deaf into a mixed-race family. He married a woman who came from yet another culture. Eli was bullied throughout his youth for being different, and when he learns that he must declare a race for his first-born child – or leave that decision to a committee of “experts” – Eli decides to take a stand. 

Learn the story of Eli Steele in Outside the Box, this month’s featured project. You will never see racial identity or identity politics the same way again. If you agree, please include a link to this video in your own social media feed so we can finally dispel the notion that tribes matter more than individuals. You can find the link to the full video on www.izzit.org.

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Episode 42 – Mystery Stories (Podcast)

We’ve all read a bad novel at one point or another. You’ve probably thought to yourself that you could do better. Well, you’re not alone. Writing a full novel can be a painstaking and time-consuming process. It’s more difficult than people think, but not impossible. Have you ever wondered exactly what goes into writing some of your favorite novels? The frustrating, satisfying, and therapeutic properties of the writing process are all covered by a panel of authors in this week’s podcast. Author, Joe McNamara explains how his personal experiences fueled his writing, “My characters were able to say things about …

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Episode 41 – Midge Decter (Podcast)

While individuals remain the ultimate units within a society, their organization into families is often overlooked, even sacrificed. Human beings are social in nature and depend upon one another for survival. Nowhere else is this more evident than with the upbringing of children. Is it possible that by promoting the rights of some, while sacrificing the right of others, the family unit is suffering? Journalist Midge Decter thinks so, but that does not mean the end is near. “Because sometimes to tell the truth and we all know it, families can be a royal pain in the neck, but because …

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Episode 32 – Consumer Behavior (Podcast)

Humans are irrational beings. Choices differ from person to person, and even from lab experiments to the real world. So, with all that differentiation, how can economists expect to understand how market forces will impact the decisions that individuals make? It turns out that most individuals go about making decisions the same way, but the results of these decisions vary wildly. Nobel laureate Gary Becker attempts to explain how that process works, “To me, maximizing utility simply means the following: that consumers can order all the opportunities they have available to them…possible choices. They can order them so they prefer …

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Episode 21 – Why Economists Disagree (Podcast)

Despite general agreement on the academic theory behind economics, the implementation of those findings into society usually leads to disagreement. There are simply too many variables within a society to achieve a consensus. So with the unpredictable nature of individuals, how can economists even begin to predict the results of their theories? Milton Friedman reflects on his process, “What we insist on is that you’re not able to predict random, irrational behavior. And therefore, the only kind of behavior that you can hope to predict is behavior that has some regularity. One individual may behave any way at all. But …

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