In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the resulting Black Lives Matter uprisings and protests, there has been an ongoing national conversation regarding police brutality and race. In Part 1 of a two-episode series, Jaye contends that to discuss police brutality in an honest way, we must discuss policing in America. What are some common hurdles to discussing the issue, and what are some important facts in regards to policing and race? Jaye also delves into the history of US policing, including why modern police departments were developed. Is the system truly broken, or working as intended?
CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of crime and police brutality, including violence, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised.
In the public release of the February 2019 Patreon bonus episode, Jaye discusses the news story from January 2019 about the confrontation in Washington DC, between Catholic high school students from Northern Kentucky and a Native American elder. How does a seemingly straightforward news story, complete with video, morph into a controversy dividing society along the familiar lines of partisanship and race?
Jaye happens to live in the same metropolitan area the school is located, and she gives her unique insight on the events and underlying issues, as well as the symbolism of the Make America Great Again hats worn by the students. For the public release, Jaye also gives an update of the incident, and reframes it in light of Black Lives Matter and America’s current reckoning with its treatment of black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC).
This multi-episode series is about the history of relations between the United States and the Middle East, including both US foreign policy and the Middle Eastern immigrant experience. In this episode, Jaye recounts the early history of relations between the United States and the Middle East, focusing on the Barbary Wars, and delves into early immigration to the US from the Middle East. What role did religion play in the acceptance of early Middle Eastern immigrants, and how did people of Middle Eastern descent become “white” in America?
In the public release of the September 2019 Patreon Exclusive, Jaye discusses Donald Trump’s “disloyalty” comments regarding Jewish Democrats. Why would Trump rely on an anti-Semitic trope while stating he is an ardent supporter of Israel? Jaye also outlines reasons why white evangelicals, who are overwhelmingly loyal to Donald Trump, are also ardent supporters of the state of Israel. How do their politics in regards to Israel mesh with their support of a president who tacitly gives cover to anti-Semitic white supremacists?
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.
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.
Potstirrer Podcast is back! In the first regular episode of 2020, Jaye discusses the acquittal of Donald Trump in the US Senate removal trial, after being impeached by the House of Representatives. What does Trump’s acquittal mean for US democracy, the rule of law, and America’s future?
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?
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.
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.