Several regions around the globe have been battling the scourge of a novel coronavirus, a highly contagious virus that leads to an illness the World Health Organization has named COVID-19. The virus leads to mild symptoms, or even no symptoms, in most people, but can lead to serious complications in a small but significant percentage of people, in some cases leading to death. COVID-19 has arrived in an real way in the United States, with tens of thousands officially confirmed positive for coronavirus, and hundreds of deaths.

Jaye reviews a brief timeline of the pandemic and the response of Donald Trump to the coronavirus threat in the US. Also, Jaye argues that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly change America, and discusses a few possible futures, including reason for hope among the current wave of fear, uncertainty, darkness and despair.

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CONTENT WARNING: The following episode includes discussion of terrorism, hate crimes, disasters, & public health crises that have involved illness, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised. None of the content of this episode is a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.

After a strong showing by US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the early contests of the Democratic nomination season, former Vice-President Joe Biden has gained the momentum, starting in South Carolina and thru Super Tuesday. Is this a positive turn of events for the Democrats in terms of moving away from a democratic socialist as their standard-bearer, or is having a centrist candidate as the frontrunner a bad sign for the party’s chances of beating Donald Trump in the general election?

Jaye discusses the 2020 model of election forecaster Rachel Bitecofer, reasons behind Joe Biden’s support among African-Americans, and why it is imperative that – regardless of ideology – the Democratic nominee must give voters, including those ideologically predisposed to vote for Democrats, a reason to vote for them, not simply that they are a superior alternative to Trump.

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In the third annual Potstirrer Podcast War on Christmas Special, Jaye discusses the non-Christian origins of several Christmas traditions, including the twelve days of Christmas, Yule logs, Santa Claus and more. How did the Christmas holiday develop over time, and if Christmas isn’t purely “Christian,” what are evangelicals waging the “War on Christmas” truly fighting for?

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In the final installment of America’s Drug War, Jaye discusses recent trends in the American drug landscape, including cannabis decriminalization and legalization in several US states, and the opioid epidemic sweeping suburbs and rural areas. How did the War on Drugs, particularly its focus on the “usual suspects,” lead to the opioid crisis? Will cannabis be legalized on a federal level, and should harder drugs also be legalized?

CONTENT WARNING – This episode includes discussion of mature themes, including illicit drug use, prescription drug abuse, and both legal and illicit drug addiction. Listener discretion is advised.

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In the third installment of America’s Drug War, Richard Nixon makes good on his second chance at becoming president of the United States in 1968, instituting his “law and order” policies during his president, chief among them sweeping anti-drug policy. These policies concentrated mostly on cannabis and opiates such as heroin, but also overhauled the way the federal government addressed drugs. Jaye provides context to the America of the 1960s, and discusses Nixon’s War on Drugs as key to his crusade to end the social and political change the 1960s represented.

CONTENT WARNING – This episode discusses mature themes, including illicit drug use and political assassinations. Listener discretion is advised.

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With the rash of mass shootings in the United States, including ones such as the El Paso, TX shooting that are linked to domestic terror, what is leading to these mass shooting incidents, and domestic terrorism generally? Jaye discusses a possible culprit, stochastic terrorism. What is stochastic terrorism, and can the violent rhetoric of politicians lead to radicalization and extremist violence? Jaye also examines the demagoguery of Donald Trump, the appeal of white evangelicals to Trump and to gun culture, and how these are connected.

CONTENT WARNING – This episode includes discussion of gun violence. Listener discretion is advised.

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