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 discusses the decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, including World War I and the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which set into motion the partition of the Middle East after the war. How is the decline of the Ottoman Empire a cautionary tale of the dangers of nationalism? Also, how did Sykes-Picot affect relations between the Middle East and the West for decades to come?
CONTENT WARNING: The following episode includes discussion of violent themes, specifically war and genocide. Listener discretion is advised.
In this commentary episode, Jaye shares her reaction to the events during the week of the 2020 Republican National Convention, including the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. by police, and the shooting at the resulting Kenosha, WI protests, allegedly perpetrated by Kyle Rittenhouse. How did the police approach each of these incidents, and what do the differences say about the nature of police brutality and the police state in America? Jaye makes the case that the way the police, the Republican Party, and many right-wing voices discuss the terrorist attack committed at the Kenosha protests should give every American, regardless of race or ideology, pause.
CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of crime, police brutality and bigotry, including physical violence, murder, and racism. Listener discretion is advised.
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.
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?
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.
In the wake of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, TX, Dayton, OH, and Gilroy, CA, Jaye discusses gun violence, including many of the root issues that contribute to the gun violence epidemic in the United States, and the importance of properly addressing these issues. She takes on white supremacy, misogyny, other right-wing extremist ideologies, and Donald Trump’s failure to unqualifiably condemn white supremacy. Is gun control the answer to the scourge of mass shootings?
Content Warning: This episode includes discussion of sexual violence, gun violence, suicide, and murder, including mass murder. Listener discretion is advised.
In light of the growing normalization of white supremacy and related forms of bigotry in the United States, Jaye focuses on the debate between unfettered free speech and the regulation of hate speech. What does “free speech” truly mean in the US context, and why does it matter? Should “dangerous” speech be made illegal? Jaye also discusses libertarian ideology – specifically how, despite its emphasis on individual rights, it may fall short in the realm of free speech. In a corporatocracy, should we consider ensuring free speech rights in relation not only to government, but also to businesses, especially in the Internet age?
The 2018 midterm elections are here! In this episode, Jaye talks midterm predictions, the Voting Rights Act, Millennials and Gen Z, and voter suppression. Jaye also discusses a major think tank responsible for the current Republican agenda, and which supplies the manpower behind GOP presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump. Why does this organization have a vested interest in subverting democracy? Can the American people overcome the anti-democratic measures of right-wing politicians and save this country?
What if the religious extremism Americans should be most concerned about comes from Christianity? In this episode, Jaye explores the authoritarian, extremist elements of American evangelicalism and the overwhelming support of Donald Trump by white evangelical Christians. Jaye also discusses the Quiverfull movement, the increasing emphasis on authoritarianism and control within evangelical Christian colleges, dominionism, racial reconciliation, evangelical support for Donald Trump’s inhumane policies, and parallels between right-wing evangelicalism and ultra-conservative Islam.