Crises in Venezuela and North Korea

Crises in Venezuela and North Korea

Is Venezuela's government going to fall? Is North Korea going to fire nukes? Is the US going to fire nukes? Are Maduro and Kim just madmen? Is Trump? 

Two brutal leftist dictatorial regimes, both hate the US, both entering crises and both facing substantial constraints about how they can try to navigate them. And the US, attempting to deal with the North Korean crisis, has its own constraints as well. In this episode you'll understand the forces that are pushing Venezuela into a domestic crisis and North Korea into conflict with the US. You'll learn what options are available to everyone and why they're limited. And you'll learn a little more about how to analyze the global stage beyond the rhetoric.

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Toolbox Talk: The Modern Stoic

Toolbox Talk: The Modern Stoic

Politics gets emotional. However the emotional part of our brain was designed not for rational thought, but for knee-jerk survival mechanisms. How can we train our brain to think more clearly about politics in our daily lives?

In this episode, Erik and Xander talk Stoicism, a philosophy and thought strategy that has been used for thousands of years by everyone from salves to emperors to get a grip on the turbulent world around them. You'll learn why Stoicism is so powerful, and you can apply it in your life and conversations today.

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ReConsidering Russia Pt 4: The Putin Trump Relationship

ReConsidering Russia Pt 4: The Putin Trump Relationship

AKA, "The Bromance of the Bad Hombres"

In this episode we interview Prof. Stephen Sestanovich, a Colombia professor, think tank big wig, and prolific writer. Formerly ambassador-at-large and special advisor to Madeleine Albright. 

Prof. Stestanovich puts the Putin-Trump relationship in context by warming us up with understanding the evolving US/Russia Presidential relationship since the end of the Cold War. Strap in for this info-packed episode!

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ReConsidering Russia Pt II: Russia's Complex History

ReConsidering Russia Pt II: Russia's Complex History

We're joined by Mark Schauss to give us a whirlwind tour of Russian history. Mark is the host of the Russian Rulers History Podcast: http://russianrulers.podhoster.com/

We walk through how Russia has dealt with its neighbors and the world, through the Mongols, the Great Northern War, the Napoleonic War, the later 1800s, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and post-Cold War. It's a ton of fun.

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ReConsidering Russia Part 1: Russia Today

ReConsidering Russia Part 1: Russia Today

(Not the news source.)

Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean's Russia Blog and Podcast, at seansrussiablog.org. He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA.

Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what's actually going on with Russia today. We ask:
-Who's in charge? How does Russia's leadership work?
-Why is United Russia so popular?
-What's the economy really look like?
-How corrupt is Russia?
-How do Russians feel about the world?
-What's the plan in Ukraine? How's it going?
-What about the Syria intervention?
-Did Russia manipulate US elections?
-Why is Russia picking a fight with NATO?
-What common narratives about Russia just don't make sense?

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The Effectiveness of Political Violence in History

The Effectiveness of Political Violence in History

Or, "How'd punching Nazis work out last time?"

People in the United States are starting to talk about using political violence in response to perceived dangerous political extremism and violent rhetoric. We look through history to see how the use of violence had worked or not worked to suppress unwelcome political ideologies.

We look purely at the results and consequences of the violence, rather than discussing the morality or ethics of it. 

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Podemos, Trump, and the Populist's Path to Power

Podemos, Trump, and the Populist's Path to Power

If we want to learn a little bit more about Trump's path to the Presidency, we can look to recent history. It's not actually totally unprecedented. 

Spain, going through its own very tough economic times, has vaulted the populist-left Podemos to the fore, out of nowhere at all. Podemos is a bunch of political outsiders with a Marxist approach to campaigning--and they adopted this style very deliberately. They have a lot to teach us about what might become the new politics of the 21st century.

We're joined by author, campaign adviser, and VisualPolitik director Fonseca Porras to learn more about Podemos and discuss the parallels with Trump in this particularly exciting episode!

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Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More (Immigration & Xenophobia in History Special)

Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More (Immigration & Xenophobia in History Special)

There's a play called Sir Thomas More that is _not_ Shakespeare... but scholars have agreed that its most awe-inspiring monologue was indeed written by Shakespeare himself. In Sir Ian McKellen's words: "you'll know when you hear it."

Xander delivers a special episode today: he reads the famous monologue from the play, on refugees. He does it first in modern English so you can understand it well, and then follows up with the Original Pronunciation, which was the English used in Shakespeare's time. the OP dramatically improves the rhyme and rhythm of the reading.

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Immigration and Xenophobia in History

Immigration and Xenophobia in History

People of another religion are showing up, and not all of them are friendly--some are even kinda terrorists. The economic situation is pretty tough and people are worried about jobs being lost to new arrivals.

Sound familiar? It's 1555 in England. We've been through this before; how did England deal?  What can we learn about today?

Today we have guest Heather Teysko of the Renaissance English  History Podcast to help us learn about those troubled times!

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The Changing International Order

The Changing International Order

The role of the US in the world since WWII has been unprecedented in history. It has established a complex liberal world order with itself at the top, unchallenged.

Is it time to change that role? What challenges is the current international order facing, and how can the US face those? How can it adjust its strategy in the face of these challenges and changes? 

In this episode we interview the esteemed Michael Mazarr, of RAND, at the lead of one of their most ambitious projects yet, "Building a Sustainable International Order."

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The Electoral College: WHY!?

The Electoral College: WHY!?

But seriously, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Something about having to travel in carriages? 

It's a question a lot of people are asking after an election with a pretty big gap between the popular vote and the outcome. 

So why on earth does it exist? What's the point? Is it fulfilling its purpose? What alternatives are there, and how would we get to them?

Learn all this and more, including why you don't kill your admirals, on today's episode!

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