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37 minutes | 2 days ago
Encore Presentation: The Story Behind the Family Road Trip
This Encore Presentation features advertising veteran and author Richard Ratay (from Episode 21). He joined us in 2018 to talk about how America’s new roadways brought the country and families closer together. The conversation ranges from homespun stories of family on the road, to how pop culture was influenced by America’s growing super highway infrastructure, as they talk about Rich’s book, “Don’t Make Me Pull Over: An informal history of the family road trip.” We release Encore Presentations to revisit special moments for listeners who may have limited access to our earlier episodes on their podcast channels. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Encore_-_Rich_Ratay_Final.mp3 This conversation takes a nostalgic look at the golden age of family road trips — part pop history, part humorous memoir not unlike National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. This episode focuses on how the birth of America’s interstate highways in the 1950s ushered in an era of unprecedented family travel. Over the next three decades, the number of vehicles on the road quintupled, national parks attendance grew to 165 million, and 2.2 million people visited Gettysburg each year — 13 times the number of soldiers who fought in the battle. Richard combines little-known historical stories and information, with amusing personal stories of family that takes us back to a time when the whole family piled into car for long hours of driving, car games, running on empty, and roadside attractions. Those relatively new roads we take for granted today changed the way America sees itself because it enabled millions to get out and see the country. Links The Original Episode Page - Shaping Opinion Don't Make Me Pull Over: Informal History of the Family Road Trip, by Rich Ratay (Amazon) About this Episode’s Guest Richard Ratay Richard Ratay was the last of four kids raised by two mostly attentive parents in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism and has plied his talents as an award-winning advertising copywriter for twenty-five years. Ratay lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, with his wife, Terri, their two sons, and two very excitable rescue dogs.
44 minutes | 4 days ago
Ron Coleman: Free Speech on Trial
Attorney Ron Coleman joins Tim to talk about his U.S. Supreme Court victory for an Asian-American rock band called The Slants over the issue of free speech. Ron details a case that is now a landmark Supreme Court victory for freedom of speech. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Free_Speech_On_Trial_auphonic.mp3 In June of 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that marked the end to an eight-year legal battle that pitted the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against a four-member rock band over their right to choose and trademark their name. The name? “The Slants.” Officially, the case is called “United States Patent and Trademark Office versus Tam.” The issue was the Trademark Office’s decision to prohibit the registration of a trademark “which may disparage…persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” We’re going to talk to our guest Ron Coleman today about precisely what that means in everyday language. But the key thing to remember here, as in so many cases where the Supreme Court has come down on matters of free speech – it has come down on the side of protecting freedom of expression even if that expression is offensive to some. Ron Coleman is careful to point out, that an idea cannot be prohibited just because that idea may be offensive to some. Links Dhillon Law Group First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution Inside Asian-American Band the Slants' SCOTUS Win, Rolling Stone About this Episode's Guest Ron Coleman Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com Ron Coleman is a Partner at the Dhillon Law Group and resident in its New York office. Ron is a commercial litigator with extensive first-seat trial and appellate experience who focuses on torts of competition such as trademark infringement, unfair competition and consumer law. He is known for his First Amendment advocacy, regarding both religious and free speech rights, including his representation of Simon Tam and “The Slants” in the watershed free speech case, Matal v. Tam, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition against registration of “disparaging” trademarks was unconstitutional. An alumnus of a number of major commercial firms in New York and New Jersey, the states in which he is admitted, Ron maintains a leading-edge media practice representing political and new media figures in defamation and intellectual property claims, challenges to social media “cancel culture” or “deplatforming” cases as well as traditional intellectual property litigation on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts throughout the country. Ron has been perennially listed in the World Trademark Review’s “WTR 1000 Top Practitioners” guide for his trademark litigation work in New York and the World Intellectual Property’s Review’s “WIPR Leaders” directory, as well as Super Lawyers; he is AV rated in Martindale Hubbell. He received the American Bar Association IP Section’s 2018 Mark T. Banner Award for Impact on IP Law for his work on Matal v. Tam, and his blog, Likelihood of Confusion, is one of the longest-running and most widely read intellectual property blogs on the Internet. Ron is very active on social media, notably Twitter, and has published, written and presented extensively on IP, social media and free speech issues around the country. He is a member of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, the Federalist Society and the state bar associations of New York and New Jersey. Ron has successfully represented clients of every size in state and federal courts, arbitrations and mediations in a variety of litigation matters, including contract disputes, distributorship litigation, trademark and unfair competition cases, business tort claims, toxic tort and insurance coverage litigation, discrimination and wrongful discharge cases, copyright infringement claims,
49 minutes | 11 days ago
Gimme a Break: A Jingle Story
Music composer and arranger Michael A. Levine joins Tim to talk about one of his most famous works, one that you are no doubt familiar with, which came early in his career and has stood the test of time. While Michael has won his share of awards for comprehensive and high-level works of music, the subject to this discussion is the story behind an iconic jingle he crated for a familiar candy bar brand: Kit Kat’s “Gimme a break” jingle and ad campaign. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Kit_Kat_Jingle_auphonic.mp3 So, let’s talk about some of Michael A. Levine’s accomplishments. He scored the hit series called Siren, writing the project’s memorable work, “Siren Song.” He recorded his song “Running” with legendary vocalist Roberta Flack for the feature film 3100. He’s won awards for TV shows like “Cold Case” and “Close to Home.” He scored the Lego DC Supergirls film “Brain Drain,” and another yet to be released Star Wars parody that is produced by George Lucas. That film is called “Star Wars Detours.” He’s worked on such films as “Dunkirk,” “The Simpsons Movie,” “Batman: The Dark Night,” and numerous other projects. Yet it’s something he did early in his career that may have had the most lasting impression on the world. He composed the classic advertising jingle for the Kit Kat candy bar. Links Kit Kat Bar Michael A. Levine Malcolm Gladwell About this Episode’s Guest Michael A. Levine Awarded eight ASCAP awards for his work on the Jerry Bruckheimer/CBS dramas Cold Case and Close to Home, Michael A. Levine also scored the Lego DC Supergirls film, Brain Drain, the George Lucas-produced Star Wars Detours animated Star Wars parody, and the award-winning documentary, Landfill Harmonic, for which he wrote its Oscarshortlisted song, Cateura - Vamos a Soñar. He composed the featured Siren Song and score for Freeform’s Siren and recorded his song Running with legendary vocalist Roberta Flack for the feature documentary 3100: Run and Become. His theme song (Go Tell Aunt Rhody/Everybody’s Dead) for Resident Evil VII Biohazard became a viral hit as was Lorde's version of Everybody Wants to Rule the World which he produced along with chart-topping records for Nat and Alex Wolff. Michael also composed the theme for Scrat, the sabertooth squirrel featured in the Ice Age shorts. Levine provided additional music and violin on a number of Hans Zimmer scores, including Dunkirk, The Simpsons Movie, Batman: The Dark Knight, Megamind, and Rango. Michael's choir arrangement of Spider Pig was conducted by Hans at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. Levine’s concert music includes Anthem, performed by piano virtuoso Lang Lang in 2014 in Beijing and, Double Crossings, an album of duets with percussionist great Evelyn Glennie on mallets and Michael on electric violin. Michael began his career in advertising where he composed the classic Kit Kat candy bar “Gimme a Break” jingle. Levine is a former Governor of the Television Academy (Emmys) Music peer group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIOzcjzWBQQ
40 minutes | 18 days ago
Emmet Cohen: Next Generation of Jazz
Rising jazz phenom Emmet Cohen joins Tim to talk about a music, jazz and how he’s part of the larger continuum of the jazz lineage. He describes how the music is timeless and has appeal for generations to come. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Emmet_Cohen_auphonic.mp3 Photo Credit: Taili Song Roth When you listen to Emmet Cohen play jazz piano, he’ll take you back to another time. Never mind that that time was well before his own. Emmet is a millennial, a generation that has embraced a myriad of musical genres, but they aren’t known for their love of jazz. Emmet is not only an exception, but he just may be one of the reasons new generations will rediscover the beauty and artistry of jazz music in years to come. Gratitude and Credits Our thanks to Emmet Cohen and Mack Avenue Records for providing Emmet's music tracks for this episode. All are from his album "Future Stride." Credits to Taili Song Roth for all of the photography of Emmet Cohen used here. Links Emmet Cohen (website) Review: Ragtime and much more from jazz pianist Emmet Cohen, AP Jazz Pianist's Emmet Cohen's Keys to Success, New Jersey Monthly About this Episode’s Guest Emmet Cohen Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is in the vanguard of his generation's advancement of music and the related arts. A recognized prodigy, Cohen began Suzuki method piano instruction at age three, and his playing quickly became a mature melding of musicality, technique, and concept. Downbeat observed that his "nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary indicate he's above any convoluted technical showmanship." Cohen notes that performing jazz is "about communicating the deepest levels of humanity and individuality; it's essentially about connections," both among musicians and with audiences. He leads his namesake ensemble, the "Emmet Cohen Trio," is a vibrant solo performer, and is in constant demand as a sideman. Possessing a fluid technique, an innovative tonal palette, and an extensive repertoire, Cohen plays with the command and passion of an artist fully devoted to his medium. Emmet Cohen is committed to the intergenerational transfer of the knowledge, history, and traditions of jazz. His signature professional undertaking is the "Masters Legacy Series," a celebratory set of recordings and interviews honoring legendary jazz musicians. He serves as both producer and pianist for each album in the series. This landmark, ongoing project provides musicians of multiple generations the means to share the unwritten folklore that is America's unique artistic idiom. Cohen has observed that jazz "is enriched immeasurably by connecting and studying with jazz masters, forging backward to the very creation of the art form." Four volumes of the "Masters Legacy Series" have been released, spotlighting Cohen's collaborations with Jimmy Cobb, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Tootie Heath, and George Coleman. Emmet Cohen is the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards and the Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis. He placed first in both the 2014 American Jazz Pianists Competition and the 2011 Phillips Piano Competition at the University of West Florida and, as a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, he was received in the Oval Office by President Obama. Cohen has appeared in varied international jazz events, including the Newport, Monterey, Detroit, North Sea, Bern, Edinburgh, and Jerusalem jazz festivals, as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. He has also performed at the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Jazz Standard, London's Ronnie Scott's, Jazzhaus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, the Cotton Club in Tokyo, and Washington's Kennedy Center.
43 minutes | 25 days ago
Cordia Harrington: A Self-made Symbol of the American Dream
One of the most successful self-made women in America (according to Forbes) Cordia Harrington joins Tim to talk about her journey and how it exemplifies the American Dream. Cordia is the founder of The Bakery Companies. It’s a Nashville-based group of companies that have made baked goods for restaurants and food companies like McDonald’s, Five Guys, and Pepperidge Farm. Last year, Forbes Magazine ranked Cordia among America’s top 100 Self-Made Women. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Cordia_Harrington_American_Dream_auphonic.mp3 If I were to ask you to define the term, the “American Dream,” your answer may be different than the next person, but there is something that both definitions will have in common. It’s the assumption that thanks to the freedoms we enjoy in the United States, thanks to the Constitution that protects our freedoms, we can achieve our dreams so long as we have the right ideas and are willing to do the work. Most people see the American Dream as a set of principles or aspirational ideals that give us the platform to achieve our own individual goals. Democracy, rights, liberty. Through the exercise of these rights, we have the chance to change our place in society and in life. We can be upwardly mobile. We can become more prosperous and successful. And with that, we can provide for our families, our communities and live the life we want. People who study the American Dream say its origins can be traced to the Declaration of Independence, where it says that “all men are created equal,” and that each of us has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But to better understand the American Dream, it is sometimes good to hear the story of someone who has lived it in a way that few have done. Cordia Harrington is one of those people. Links The Bakery Cos. (website) McDonald's (website) Young Presidents' Organization (YPO website) Cordia Harrington: Forbes Self-made Woman Ranking, Forbes Cordia Harrington: Tennessee Bun Company, Breakthrough Master How She Became "The Bun Lady," CBS News About this Episode’s Guest Cordia Harrington Cordia Harrington is CEO and founder of The Bakery Cos., a highly-automated, high-speed baking company that bakes over 10 million baked goods daily and employs more than 800 people, serving elite customers in the United States, South America and the Caribbean. As CEO, Ms. Harrington guides the executive team to successful planning, business development, sales and marketing, and brand management. Ms. Harrington serves on the Ascent Global Logistics Board of Directors and the Belmont University Board of Trustees. She is President of the Chief Executives Organization Board of Directors and a member of the American Bakers Association Board of Directors (President-Elect). She serves as a judge for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Award judging panel. Under Ms. Harrington’s leadership, The Bakery Cos. have received many awards, including the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Businesses, Business with Purpose Award, and Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business Award. They were recently awarded Conagra Brand’s Supplier of the Year award and O’Charley’s O’ver & Above Partner Award. Ms. Harrington was listed at #93 on Forbes magazine’s list of 100 wealthiest self-made women in 2020. She was named Nashville Post’s 2020 CEO of the Year and awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Arkansas. Harrington was inducted into the American Society of Baking Hall of Fame in February 2018, and Directors & Boards magazine named her a “Director to Watch.” She received the Most Admired CEO Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nashville Business Journal in 2017 and has been recognized by numerous other organizations for her commitment to excellence and entrepreneurial spirit. Ms. Harrington attended Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan; she graduated from the University of Arkans...
46 minutes | a month ago
Dr. Judy Ho: Social Media & Mental Health
Dr. Judy Ho joins Tim to talk about something that could affect all of us: social media and mental health. You may have seen her on the TV show called The Doctors, or on the CBS TV network’s Face the Truth. Or, you may have listened to her podcast called Supercharged Life. Judy is a licensed and triple-board certified Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist, she’s an author, and she’s a professor at Pepperdine University. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Social_Media_and_Mental_Health_auphonic.mp3 Did you ever notice when you’re on the Internet, your computer seems to know about what you’re looking for even before you type it into the search box? Or when you’re on social media, how some subjects or people you know tend to pop up in your feed more than others? The algorithms that are built into the online platforms you use are sophisticated, and that’s an understatement. The whole purpose of social media is to get you to log on and stay on for as long as possible. In the process, the platforms watch you. They collect your data and sell it. They use your patterns to help advertisers sell to you. Some critics say they even use your data to manipulate you. That’s why it costs you nothing to join most social media platforms. You aren’t the customer. You are the product. So, to keep you engaged on social media, and coming back for more, the platforms employ some complex psychological techniques to give social media a certain addictive quality. You find yourself checking in on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts anytime you have a spare moment. And sometimes, when you really should be paying attention to the people or things that are right around you. This leads to some questions. Is social media good for you? Is it helping or hurting? Are you better off with it, or would you be better off without it? Just how does social media affect your mental health? Links Dr. Judy Ho (Website) The Doctors, Syndicated TV Show Supercharged Life Podcast, Apple Podcasts The Pomodoro Technique Explained, Forbes Here's How Social Media Affects Your Mental Health, McLean Hospital About this Episode’s Guest Dr. Judy Ho Judy Ho, Ph. D., ABPP, ABPdN, CFMHE is a licensed and triple board-certified Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist, a tenured Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, television and podcast host and published author. She conducts neuropsychological assessments and serves as an expert witness in her private practice, hosts an active research lab, provides expert commentary to media, and is a sought after public speaker. Judy is the author of Stop Self-Sabotage, published by HarperCollins; a book detailing a scientifically driven six-step program which has been translated into 7 additional languages around the world. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan Beach, CA where she specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and expert witness work. She is a co-host on the Emmy Award winning syndicated daytime television talk show The Doctors, and co-host of CBS’s Face the Truth. Her podcast, Supercharged Life, produced by Stage 29 Productions, gives listeners tangible, scientific tools so that everyone can "supercharge" their lives. Dr. Judy became a board certified specialist (ABPP) through the prestigious American Board of Professional Psychology in 2011 and currently serves as one of the chairs of the ABPP Examination Committee. In 2015 she became a board-certified specialist (CFMHE) through the National Board of Forensic Evaluators. In 2019, she became board certified through the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, where she serves as the chair of the Membership Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee.
43 minutes | a month ago
The Gig Economy: In the Balance
Attorney Bob Eassa from the national law firm of Duane Morris joins Tim to talk about the gig economy and how a restrictive law in California has turned the notion of the gig economy on its head. In this episode, we talk about how the law impacts independent contractors and employers, what’s being done about it, and whether this sort of regulation could come your way. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/AB5_auphonic.mp3 You may have heard some about the “gig economy,” but what do we mean when we talk about it. What is the gig economy? The term, gig economy, is a reference to a free market system where a business hires an independent contractor, a freelancer or a short-term worker to perform specific jobs or duties. The origin of the term comes from the creative trades, like movie-making, musicians, comedians. Any time they work on a project or make an appearance, they get paid for that work, which they call a “gig.” The gig economy goes much broader than the performing arts. People who work in the gig economy can perform any number of tasks, from writing, art design or coding, to driving a ride share car, or delivering a package to your door. Businesses who hire gig workers like it because it gives them the flexibility to hire and allocate staff where and when they are needed, without having to maintain a more rigid and costly permanent work force. This actually reduces costs and helps those companies compete and deliver better results for their customers. Gig workers are attracted to these jobs because they often have more control over their scheduling. They have more flexibility in when they work, where they work and for whom they work. They can work a gig full-time, part-time or seasonally without having to feel that an employer owns their time. Before the pandemic, in 2018, about 57 million Americans – that’s about one in three American workers – were classified as full- or part-time gig workers. In the post-pandemic economy, it’s anticipated that more employers will seek to find new footing with a reliance on gig workers. In other words, the gig economy just might offer America the flexibility and the nimbleness it needs to turn business around. Bob Eassa works in the San Francisco office of the national law firm Duane Morris. Nearby Silicon Valley has been one of the drivers behind the early emergence of the gig economy. As an attorney, Bob has seen both the pros and the cons of the gig economy. Links Bob Eassa, Duane Morris website Dynamex Operations West Case Applies Retroactively, Law.com The Gig Economy, ThoughtCo.com About AB5, Investopedia Prop 22 Explained: How California Voters Could Upend the Gig Economy, The Guardian When to Use the Borello Test, Southland Data Processing DOL Finalizes Independent Contractor Rule, But More Change May be on the Way, HR Daily Advisor About this Episode’s Guest Bob Eassa Robert D. Eassa has more than 30 years of experience as a civil trial attorney, litigating labor and employment matters of all types, including wage and hour class actions, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment and other employment-related actions. Bob also has established a practice in the areas of commercial litigation, maritime law and toxic torts, and serves as national, regional and local counsel for clients in a variety of matters in these areas of law. His clients include Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a 1978 (M.B.A.) and 1976 graduate of San Francisco State University.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Miguel Zenón: Life, Sax & Jazz
One of music’s leading jazz saxophonists Miguel Zenón joins Tim talk about his journey in music and life. Miguel has been nominated multiple times for Grammy Awards and has carved a place for himself among the elite jazz saxophonists and composers of our time. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Miguel_Zenon_II_auphonic.mp3 Miguel was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In high school, he found himself listening to the sounds of John Coltrane, but at that point, it was just an interest, not yet a passion. He didn’t get serious about actually making a career in jazz until he went to college at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. That’s where he met drummer Bob Moses, who asked him to join him with the Either/Orchestra. This gave Miguel his first taste of professional experience as a saxophonist. He would later earn awards and grants that allowed Miguel to continue his education, earning a master’s degree in 2001 from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. But it all goes back to when he first discovered John Coltrane and other jazz legends, and it captivated him. Links Miguel Zenón (official website) Miguel Zenón (New England Conservatory) Gratitude Our thanks to Miguel Zenón for sharing some tracks from his latest album for this episode. You find it here: About this Episode’s Guest Miguel Zenón Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has built a distinguished career as a leader, releasing twelve albums under his own name. In addition, he has crafted his artistic identity by dividing his time equally between working with older jazz masters and the music’s younger innovators –irrespective of styles and genres. The list of musicians Zenón has toured and/or recorded with includes: The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Kurt Elling, Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos, The Jeff Ballard Trio, Antonio Sánchez, David Gilmore, Paoli Mejías, Brian Lynch, Jason Lindner, Dan Tepfer, Miles Okazaki, Dan Weiss, Ray Barreto, Andy Montañez, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, The Mingus Big Band, Bobby Hutcherson and Steve Coleman. As a composer he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York State Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, NYO JAZZ , The Logan Center for The Arts, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, MIT, Jazz Reach, Peak Performances, PRISM Quartet and many of his peers. Zenón has been featured in articles on publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg Pursuits, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Boston Globe, Billboard, Jazz Inside, Newsday and Details. In addition he topped both the Jazz Artist of the Year and Alto Saxophonist of the Year categories on the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll and was selected as the Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (when he was also recognized as Arranger of The Year). His biography would not be complete without discussing his role as an educator. In 2003, he was chosen by the Kennedy Center to teach and perform in West Africa as part of their Jazz Ambassador program. Since then, he has given hundreds of lectures and master classes and has taught all over the world at institutions which include: The Banff Centre, Berklee College of Music, Siena Jazz, Universidad Veracruzana,
31 minutes | 2 months ago
The Business of Death
Ed Michael Reggie joins Tim to talk about the business of death, or more to the point, how the funeral business makes its money and what you can do about it. Ed is the creator of a new website designed to take the mystery out of funeral planning and make the whole process less painful. The site is called Funeralocity.com. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Business_of_Death_auphonic.mp3 If you’ve ever had to plan a funeral, you already know it’s a perfect storm of emotion, confusion and pain. Most often, you have to make decisions involving thousands of dollars in a short period of time. The decisions you make are permanent. They don’t get any more permanent. And yet, you have no idea what you’re doing. You don’t know how the funeral home, or the cemetery make their money. You don’t know when they’re trying to upsell you to make more from you, or when they have your best interest at heart. You’re usually in pain and grieving. The last thing you want to do is negotiate price at a time when money seems so unimportant. So, you go along. You nod your head when the funeral director points to the designer casket, the deluxe flower arrangements, and all of those mementos he says you need in order to remember your loved one. This is the business of death. And it is a business. Funeral homes get few chances to get your business, and once they do, grow that profit margin. Ed Michael Reggie has become an expert on that business as he built a website designed to take the mystery out of the funeral business so that you can navigate the process with a little less pain and confusion. Links Funeralocity.com FutureFactory National Funeral Directors Association Funeralocity.com Allows Grieving Consumers to Look at Prices and Reviews, New York Post About this Episode’s Guest Ed Michael Reggie Ed Michael Reggie is the managing director of Future Factory. He oversees the strategic direction of the company and manages its portfolio of businesses. Ed Michael is the CEO of Future Factory’s latest venture — Funeralocity.com, the first comparison website of funeral homes and cremation providers. Previously, he served as chairman of the board of another Future Factory company, GuideStar Research. He was founder and chairman of American LIFECARE, a regional managed healthcare company. He served as chief executive officer of Regent Health Systems, appointed to administer the rural hospital chain’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He also led Healing Arts Network, a complementary and alternative medicine company. Earlier in his career, he was a commercial bank president. Ed Michael’s passion for business drives his community and charitable efforts where he focuses on encouraging innovation, business growth and financial inclusion. He serves on the board of trustees of Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit that brings innovative and sustainable self-help programs to the fight against chronic hunger and poverty. He was a guarantor and founding board member of MCE Social Capital. He has served on the board of directors of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, a wet lab incubator, as well as a delegate to trade missions in Rome and Hong Kong held by the Academy of International Health Studies. Ed Michael earned an MBA from Tulane University. He has been recognized for his business achievements and commitment to supporting local communities. He was lauded by Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with the Champion of Public Health Award in 2004 and was honored by Williston Northampton School in 2016 with the Robert A. Ward medal, the school’s highest humanitarian award.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
What They Won’t Tell You About Socialism
Economist, professor and author Paul Rubin joins Tim to talk about the impact of socialism on the future, particularly among young people who tend to be the most supportive of it, but who stand to lose the most because of it. This is the focus of his new book called, “A Student’s Guide to Socialism: How it will trash your lives.” https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Socialism_Rubin_auphonic.mp3 If you want to see where socialism has been tried and failed, you don’t have to look far. Venezuela is one current-day example. The country sits on one of the world’s largest deposits of oil, yet people in that country have to wait in long lines for gas, the prices for gas are high and the quality of life is among the lowest in the world. Or, you could look toward history, from the Soviet Union, to Cuba, to countries from Eastern Europe to South America and Africa. The examples of socialist failure are many. But if you look for examples of where socialism has been successful, you can look, but you won’t find many if any. The effects of socialism aren’t just a poor standard of living, but massive human misery, that history has shown, has led to the establishment of dictators and small rich oligarchies who rule the masses under the thumb of socialism. At the same time, the concepts of socialism have long had a certain appeal to young people and oppressed peoples. Socialism has a certain seductive quality for some. Paul Rubin has spent decades teaching young generations about basic economic principles, and has spent no small amount of time educating young people on the risks of socialism. Links A Student’s Guide to Socialism: How it will trash your lives, by Paul Rubin (Amazon) Paul Rubin, The Independent Institute How are socialism and communism different?, History.com Capitalism v. Socialism, PragerU.com About this Episode’s Guest Paul Rubin Paul H. Rubin is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics Emeritus in the Economics Department of Emory University and a former Professor of Law and Economics at the School of Law. He served as editor-in-chief of Managerial and Decision Economics. In addition, he is associated with the Mont Peleron Society, the Independent Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute, and a Fellow of the Public Choice Society and former President of the Southern Economics Association. Professor Rubin was Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan, Chief Economist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Director of Advertising Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, and Vice-President of Glassman-Oliver Economic Consultants, Inc., a litigation consulting firm in Washington. He has taught economics at the University of Georgia, City University of New York, VPI, and law and economics at George Washington University Law School. Professor Rubin has written or edited several books, and has published over one hundred articles and chapters on economics, law, and regulation. Much of Professor Rubin's writing is in law and economics, with a focus on tort, crime and contract issues. His areas of research interest include law and economics, industrial organization, transaction cost economics, government and business, public choice, regulation and price theory, and evolution and economics. His work has been cited in the professional literature over 11,100 times. He has consulted widely on litigation related matters, and has addressed numerous business, professional, policy and academic audiences. He has testified three times before Congress, and has served as an advisor on tort issues to the Congressional Budget Office. Professor Rubin is the author of the well-known paper "Why Is the Common Law efficient?" Journal of Legal Studies, 1977, which has been reprinted eight times, in English, Spanish and French. B.A. 1963, University of Cincinnati Ph.D., 1970, Purdue University
53 minutes | 2 months ago
Monty Alexander: Gifted
Jazz great Monty Alexander joins Tim to end 2020 and look ahead to a New Year. In this episode Monty talks about his own life, career, holiday traditions, and some interesting experiences with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett and many others. Ultimately, he talks about his gift and the act of giving. In this episode, we have a relaxed conversation with a man who’s enjoyed nothing less than a dream career in jazz. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Monty_auphonic.mp3 In the mid-1950s, Louis Armstrong made a visit to Jamaica. When he stopped in Kingston, he made a strong impression on one 13-year old member of the audience. It was Monty Alexander, who at the time was starting to develop his own skills on the piano. Monty would later call the visit “inspirational.” Since then, Monty has carved out a career and life in music that he could have only dreamed about as a child. He had started playing the piano at four years old and could play by ear. He took classical music lessons when he was six, but by the time he was 14 he had taken an interest in jazz. He started playing in clubs, and in recording sessions. Still a teenager, he would later direct a dance orchestra called Monty and the Cyclones, which played in local clubs. In 1961, his family moved to the United States and settled in Miami. It was at one club in Miami where Monty caught the attention of Frank Sinatra. The crooner was in the club to see another act, but someone told him about this young jazz piano player in the front room bar who quote – is swinging the room pretty good.” Sinatra’s friend Jilly Rizzo was with the chairman of the board that night, and that led to Monty getting an invitation to go to New York City about a year later, where he would become the house pianist for Jilly Rizzo’s night club called “Jilly’s.” We’d like to say at this point, that “the rest is history,” but there’s much more to the story. For Monty Alexander, that was just the beginning. Links Monty Alexander, (Official Website) Monty Alexander, All Music Monty Alexander, LA Phil Gratitude Our thanks to Monty Alexander and Resonance records for allowing us to use portions of tracks in this episode from Monty's most recent release, "Love You Madly: Live at Bubba's." About this Episode’s Guest Monty Alexander Nearly sixty years after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his hometown, Grammy nominated pianist Monty Alexander is an American classic, touring the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message. A perennial favorite at Jazz festivals and venues worldwide and at the Montreux Jazz Festival where he has appeared 23 times since 1976, his spirited conception is one informed by the timeless verities: endless melody-making, effervescent grooves, sophisticated voicings, a romantic spirit, and a consistent predisposition, as Alexander accurately states, “to build up the heat and kick up a storm.” In the course of any given performance, Alexander applies those aesthetics to a repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expressions—the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae. Documented on more than 75 recordings and cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time (Hal Leonard Publishing), the Jamaican government designated Alexander Commander in the Order of Distinction in 2000 and in 2018 The University of The West Indies bestowed him with an honorary doctorate degree (DLitt) in recognition of his accomplishments.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
A Mall Santa Story
Santa Butch from Montana is a mall Santa and has been one for most of the past 20 years. He joins Tim to tell what it’s like to actually be Santa in the eyes of a child, and some of the stories from his years as spreading holiday cheer as Santa Claus. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Mall_Santas_auphonic.mp3 There’s a good chance you’ve done this. As a child, you went with your mom or dad to a department store or a shopping mall to see Santa Claus. In the typical routine, one parent would stay with you, wait in line, or ride the Christmas train, while the other parent would do the holiday shopping. In the end, you’d have your big moment on Santa’s knee, telling him all the things you wanted for Christmas, that you were a good boy or girl, and you’d look for some sign, any sign, of his approval, telling you that you just might get what you asked him for. Then you’d have your picture taken with the jolly old elf. Maybe later, you’ve had the chance to carry this practice forward with your own kids, and the holiday tradition continues. So, when did this all start? History.com says that in 1841, thousands of kids went to a Philadelphia department store to see a larger than life figure of Santa Claus. Other stores noticed and realized that if they could give shoppers a taste of a living and breathing Santa Claus, they could attract even more shoppers. The first man to dress as Santa Claus was James Edgar, who dressed in his Santa suit in 1890 at his own store to draw children…and their parents…to his store. In the Mall Santa world, he’s the origin story. He’s the first department store Santa Claus. Since then, for millions of children, no holiday season has been complete until they have had the chance to meet Santa Claus at a department store or a mall. And an untold number of people have donned the red suit and cap, to play the role of St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Santa Claus. In the spirit of the season, we thought we’d talk to one of those people. His name is Butch. He’s known in the mall Santa world as Santa Butch from Montana, and he’s been making spirits bright in that red suit since 2001. Links Here Comes Santa Claus - with Face Masks and Plexiglass, Associated Press Why Do We Let Kids Sit On Santa's Lap?, Romper.com Five Things You Might Not Know About Mall Santas, Huffington Post About this Episode’s Guest Santa Butch from Montana “I actually signed my first contract in 1999, my first working year was 2001 in New Jersey, then seven years in Wilmington N.C., on to 2 more years in Louisville, Kentucky. This was all travel time that the photo company provides motel accommodations and rental car as well as round trip flight tickets. I took a couple years off to retire from my regular work. Retired in January 2013 and became a snow bird from our home in Montana to Apache Junction Az. I started at a mall in Phoenix in 2013 and have been there since. My wife joined me in traveling 2008 thru 2010. So, I have spent 17 of the last 21 years as a Mall Santa. I do it because I enjoy the children, the families, the not really knowing what is next. I am not denying that the money is good, but it is 40 to 42 days, 9- to-12-hours, with the only day off being Thanksgiving. So, it can be very draining and physically hard. In the first 2 to 10 years I would come home 15 to 25 pounds lighter than I left. BUT the children are the most rewarding part. Their eyes when they see Santa, the excitement, the genuine love they share. I just can't begin to explain how rewarding that can be.”
64 minutes | 3 months ago
A Christmas Special featuring Jonathan Butler
International recording artist Jonathan Butler joins Tim to talk about Christmas and how despite all of the adversity he’s faced in his life, his story is one of hope, of inspiration, and of happiness. Jonathan is an accomplished jazz creator and performer who gained fame in pop music, R&B, jazz and worship music. In this episode, Jonathan recalls his own holiday memories and how he taps spirituality in his own music. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Jonathan_Butler_auphonic.mp3 Jonathan Butler is a singer-songwriter. He’s a guitarist, and while he’s known well in jazz circles, his influence doesn’t stop there. He’s now 59 years old, and was born in South Africa in an atmosphere dictated by apartheid. He was raised in poverty, a kind of poverty that few places in the world see. But he had one thing that would lift him from that poverty and help him make a difference in the world. He had a love and a talent for music. And thanks to that, he would become the first non-white artist to be played on South African radio. He would appear on national television and become a celebrity, but more than a celebrity, a role model. He was a young boy when his father gave him a homemade, one-string guitar. From there, Jonathan Butler started to flourish. As a young teen, he won a local talent contest. This led to an opportunity to perform with a touring musical company throughout South Africa. Every now and then, he would perform at lavish concert halls for whites only, places where he would not be allowed to use the bathroom. Over the course of a week, he’d play in these concert halls, and alternately at some rundown facility before a local community. Jonathan was 13 years old when he was discovered by British record producer Clive Caulder. Clive signed Jonathan to a record contract with his Jive Records label. Jonathan’s first single was the first song by a black artist played by white radio stations in South Africa and it won the South African equivalent to a Grammy®. That was the first major barrier he was able to break down. Eventually, he’d be nominated for Gammy awards and take his place in popular music. As impressive as all of that may be, the reason we’re talking to Jonathan today centers on a different level. In 2020, the world has been met with unprecedented challenges, and yet here we are in the midst of the holiday season. This is a spiritual time. A time for positivity. A time to be uplifted and inspired. And that’s why we’re talking to Jonathan Butler. Gratitude Our thanks to Jonathan Butler for his permission to use tracks of his music in this production. Links Jonathan Butler (official website) Jonathan Butler, AllMusic.com Nelson Mandela Foundation (official website) About this Episode’s Guest Jonathan Butler The youngest of 12 children, Butler grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, ruled by Apartheid and segregation. Butler began his singing career at age 7, releasing his first album in 1973. He made history by being the first black artist played on white South African radio while earning three gold records (“Please Stay” went double gold and “I Love How You Love Me” went gold) in 1975 as he became a teenager. More than a decade later, Jonathan moved to London after signing with Jive Records and released his first album internationally. The self-titled set went gold in 1987 in the United Kingdom and in the USA. He received Grammy nominations for Best R&B Song for his R&B-pop vocal hit “Lies” and for Best Jazz Song for the instrumental “Going Home.” His work earned songwriter’s awards and received attention across multiple radio formats: pop, urban, contemporary jazz, adult contemporary and gospel. His 2004 album, Surrender, went gold in South Africa where he remains a superstar, while at the same time beloved to audiences and fans around the world.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Sharyl Attkisson: Focusing on “The Narrative”
Sharyl Attkisson joins Tim to talk about her latest book and the current state of the news media in society. Her book, “Slanted: How the news media taught us to love censorship and hate journalism,” centers on that dynamic called “The Narrative,” which appears to drive so much news coverage we see today. Sharyl talks of her many years as a network reporter and the way the media covers news today. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Focus_on_the_Narrative.mp3 Sharyl Attkisson has been a working journalist for more than 35 years. She’s the host and managing editor of a nonpartisan Sunday morning TV program called, “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” She’s a contributor and contributor on numerous other news programs, and she’s an author. In addition to her most recent book called “Slanted,” she wrote another best-seller called The Smear. Both books get into detail about what goes on behind the scenes in the news media. How some stories see the light of day, while others are sure never to see the light of day. Sharyl has covered presidents. She’s won five Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. She’s worked at CBS News, PBS and CNN. Links Slanted: how the news media taught us to love censorship and hate journalism, by Sharyl Attkisson (Amazon) Sharyl Attkisson Official Site Sharyl Attkisson on Twitter Full Measure News Busted! After lawsuit thread the New York Times goes into full retreat, NewsThud.com Just the News
34 minutes | 3 months ago
Tammy Haddix: Creating Hallmark Keepsakes
Hallmark artist and creator Tammy Haddix joins Tim to talk about one of America’s more lasting holiday traditions, our holiday ornaments and decorating the Christmas tree. Tammy tells her own story as a member of the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Studio, as a mother and a wife, and how all of that comes to play when she helps make the holidays that much more special for Americans across the country. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Hallmark_Keepsake_Ornaments_Auphonic.mp3 The Christmas tree made its American debut in the 1700s. German mercenary soldiers who were fighting in the Revolutionary War brought the Christmas tradition with them. But it wasn’t until German and English immigrants came to America in the 1840s and decorated those trees with ornaments that the trees and the ornaments would become hugely popular. Back in 1973, Hallmark introduced a new line of Christmas ornaments. The line consisted of six glass ball ornaments and 12 yarn figures. These are considered the first in a line the company calls its “Keepsake Ornaments,” combining a touch of Hallmark creativity and polish, with a feel of homemade warmth. Since that humble start, the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament line has brought more than 9,500 Keepsake Ornaments to America. The way the company describes it, Hallmark wanted to create ornaments with magical qualities that recalled a nostalgic feel, that celebrated holiday traditions, that recalled Christmas memories. If you were to visit your nearby Hallmark store, or visit the company’s online site, you’d find a wall packed with a Hallmark Keepsake ornament for nearly every taste or sentiment. Everything from characters from your favorite movies or sports teams, to your favorite cartoon characters or holiday traditions, all artfully depicted in brilliant detail. Tammy Haddix has worked in the Keepsake Sculpting Studio since 1996, and has been with Hallmark for 32 years. Links Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, (Official Site) Hallmark Ornaments by Year, HookedOnHallmark.com Keepsake Ornament Club, (Official Site) The Story Behind Those Precious Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, Southern Living About this Episode’s Guest Tammy Haddix Tammy Haddix is a Master Artist and has worked at Hallmark for 32 years, the first eight were spent illustrating everything but cards. Then in 1996 she transferred to the Keepsake Sculpting Studio and began a 24-year sculpting career that she absolutely loves.
56 minutes | 3 months ago
New York Times best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick joins Tim to talk about the story behind those pilgrims and the Mayflower in a way that covers much more than that first Thanksgiving. Nathaniel has authored many best sellers, but the one we’ll focus on in this episode is must-reading for anyone who wants to get the full story of Thanksgiving’s origins in America. The book is called simply, “Mayflower.” This episode marks the 400th anniversary of that world-changing voyage. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/The_Mayflower_auphonic.mp3 It’s been 400 years since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in the New World. The world was a much different place then than as it is now, in many ways, but for the sake of this episode the place to start is the practice of religion. Keep in mind, this is long before 1776 and the Declaration of Independence. The Pilgrims lived under a king. King James, to be precise. And that king did not allow for freedom of religion. The Church was the state. The state was the Church. It was the Church of England. And for all intents and purposes, the king was god on earth. If you did not recognize his church’s absolute authority over your life, you were persecuted, perhaps imprisoned and sometimes even executed, all because you did not believe in that church’s doctrines and teachings. There were two groups who opposed this. The Puritans wanted to create change from within. And the separatists wanted to flee. They just wanted to leave England for a better place, where they could practice their religion according to their own conscience. So, they did. In 1608, 12 years before the Mayflower, a group of separatists sailed from England to a town in Holland called Leiden. They went to Holland to worship their God the way they wanted. And while they did experience religious freedom in Holland, they also found the rules had changed from what they were used to. The Dutch craft guilds did not accept them because they were migrants. They found themselves on the lowest rungs of the caste system. They worked the lowest jobs for the lowest pay. The separatists also felt that the secular culture of Holland provided too much temptation for their children and worried it would lure them away from their faith. That’s when the separatists decided to uproot and sail to the New World, where they could live and practice their faith on their own terms. They returned to London to organize and get funding from a successful merchant. The separatists then hired a merchant ship called the Mayflower and 40 separatists boarded it in September 1620. The 40 separatists were joined by others. A total of 102 passengers sailed on the Mayflower for the rugged shores of that New World. In November of that year, they arrived at a place where a huge rock dominated the shore line. A rock they would dub Plymouth Rock, and that is where life in the New World – for them – began. Nathaniel Philbrick’s book about the Mayflower is about more than one voyage and eventually the Thanksgiving story, though that is our focus today. He followed the separatists – the Pilgrims – through a 50-plus year history in the New World. Links Nathaniel Philbrick, author page Mayflower: Voyage, Community, War, by Nathaniel Philbrick, Amazon The Mayflower, History.com The Mayflower Compact, Yale.edu Pilgrim Hall Museum See Plymouth (tourism), Plymouth, Massachusetts About this Episode’s Guest Nathaniel Philbrick Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School. He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI.
42 minutes | 4 months ago
John Beasley: A Jazz Renaissance Man
Jazz Renaissance man John Beasley joins Tim to talk about his multifaceted career and life in jazz music. He’s a jazz pianist, a composer, an arranger, a music director and a producer. And chances are you’ve heard some of his work through film, TV or commercials. In this episode, John talks about his a one-of-a-kind music lineage and how he balances his many music loves. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/John_Beasley_Renaissance_Man_auphonic.mp3 John Beasley was born in Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz music. So, you’d think that if he chose a life in music that might be his focus, but it is so much more than that. John comes from a long line of musicians. His father was a bassoonist, pianist and composer. John’s mother was a brass instrumentalist, a band conductor and an orchestrator. His grandfather was a trombonist. Needless to say, John grew up around music and musicians. He learned how to play the trumpet, the oboe, the drums, the saxophone and the flute – all mainly because his mother needed wind instrumentalists for her bands. When John was 17 years old, Julliard, the legendary music school in New York City, offered John a scholarship for oboe at the young age of 17. He turned it down. Instead, he decided to start playing in clubs, even before he reached the legal drinking age. Not long after, he’d embark on his first world tour with Sergio Mendes, the Brazilian artist. He then spent eight years with another jazz icon, Freddie Hubbard. Meanwhile, he had his own band called Audio Mind. And that’s just the beginning. Today, John Beasley is a musical Renaissance Man. He’s a performer, a creator, a producer and his work spans forums from live venues to major film and television productions. Gratitude Our thanks to John Beasley for his permission to use some of his audio tracks as the soundtrack for this episode. Links John Beasley Music Thelonious Monk, Biography.com Charlie Parker, Biography.com MONK'estra Plays John Beasley, Mack Avenue
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Paula Pedene: A VA Whistleblower Story
PR veteran and whistleblower Paula Pedene joins Tim to tell her story of what it’s like to blow the whistle on government waste and other improper practices, including manipulation of VA Hospital waitlists that may have cost patients their lives. When Paula became aware of it all, she spoke up, paid the price and now has a story to tell about what it’s like to be a whistleblower. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Paula_Pedene_-_Whistleblower_auphonic.mp3 The federal government established its Whistleblower Protection Program to make sure federal employees or contractors don’t have to worry about reprisals if they disclose allegations of serious wrongdoing or gross mismanagement. This all falls under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 which specifically prohibits reprisal. The act states that it is unlawful for agencies to take or threaten to take a personnel action against an employee because he or she disclosed wrongdoing. A personnel actions could be anything from a poor performance review or a demotion, to suspension or termination. The act expressly prohibits retaliation for filing an appeal, complaint, or grievance; helping someone else file or testifying on their behalf; or cooperating with or disclosing information to the Office of Inspector General. So, what kind of disclosures are protected? a violation of any law, rule, or regulation mismanagement a gross waste of funds an abuse of authority a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety That all sounds good on paper, but as we’ll find out today, it gets a bit more complicated in real life. Paula Pedene is the former chief spokesperson for the VA Hospital in Phoenix. After she complained up the chain of command about mismanagement at the hospital, she was demoted and had her desk moved to the basement in the building. A sort of office space solitary confinement. And that was the result of her first attempt to draw attention to some major management issues. A second whistleblower experience would follow. That’s an overview, but as Paula says, this all didn’t happen overnight. This is a special episode in honor of Veterans Day. Links Paula Pedene and Associates For Whistleblowers, a Bold Move Can Be Followed by One to Department Basement, Washington Post Meet Paula Pedene, former VA Whistleblower Now Phoenix Veterans Day Parade Organizer, Phoenix Business Journal About this Episode's Guest Paula Pedene Paula Pedene has a well-earned reputation as a public relations strategist and counselor in both government and non-profit realms. She demonstrates a proven ability to envision and build mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its stakeholders that results in winning outcomes. Pedene became a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Public Affairs Officer in 1991 and credited her Public Relations Society of America learning and leadership as her guiding light. She has earned three PRSA Silver Anvil awards and additional awards including: PRSA Silver Anvil, Institutional Programs (2004) PRSA Silver Anvil, Reputation Management (2007) PRSA Silver Anvil, Community Outreach (2010) PRSA PR Professional of the Year for her government whistleblowing activities (2015) Since 1997, she has been the driving force behind the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade in its creative development and coordination. She leads the team, organizing 2,500 people as parade entries. As media relations director she generated millions of impressions and helped attract 45,000 people to the event. She advocates for veterans through her volunteerism as a Public Relations Director on the Honoring America’s Veterans board.
40 minutes | 4 months ago
Bob Mintzer: Big Band Jazz
Jazz great Bob Mintzer joins Tim to talk about his career in jazz, his body of work, his life in music. Bob is one of the world’s leading jazz saxophonists. He’s classically trained, but a self-taught jazz artist, who talks about the music and how the current pandemic is setting the stage for what’s next. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Bob_Mintzer_Jazz_auphonic.mp3 Bob Mintzer is a saxophonist, he’s a woodwind specialist, he’s a composer and arranger, and he’s a music educator. Music has been a part of his life from an early age. H started by learning to play piano by ear. He moved on to guitar, the clarinet, drums, and then finding the instrument that would help define his musical legacy, the saxophone. And while many may fall in love with music at a young age, for Bob, he realized that music would be his life’s work in 1969 when he was a teenager. That’s when he received a scholarship to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and where he saw the kind of commitment was required to become a full-time musician. At Interlochen, Bob met Peter Erskine, who became a colleague and a friend for life. Links Bob Mintzer website Bob Mintzer, USC Yellowjackets Jazz About this Episode's Guest Bob Mintzer Bob Mintzer Bob Mintzer is a saxophonist, woodwind specialist, composer/arranger, educator, born January 27 1953 in New Rochelle, New York. He formed a connection to music at a very early age, primarily through playing piano by ear, and later moving on to guitar, clarinet, drums, and eventually saxophone. Bob played clarinet and later saxophone in school band programs while playing guitar and keys in garage bands through high school. The turning point which solidified Bob’s connection to music as a life long endeavor came in 1969, when he received a scholarship to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. There he saw first hand what kind of commitment was involved in becoming a full time musician. It was at Interlochen that Bob met Peter Erskine, who became a colleague which continues to this day some 50 years later. Bob attended the Hartt School of music 1970-72 and the Manhattan School of Music 72-74. He was a clarinet major in both institutions while teaching himself jazz and getting together with musicians outside of school. Hartford had a small band of musicians playing jazz every night, which provided an opportunity for Bob to play regularly. In NYC the loft scene was in full swing, and Bob developed many connections in the loft sessions that were taking place nightly, sometimes until 6 in the morning. In 1974, upon finishing his year at MSM, bob joined the Tito Puente Orchestra and simultaneously did some touring with Eumir Deodato. 1975 brought an opportunity for Bob to join the Buddy Rich band and toured steadily with that band for 2 plus years. The ability to play every night, travel the world, and begin to write arrangements was a golden opportunity. By 1978 Bob was playing with several small jazz groups (Stone Alliance, Teruo Nockamura, a short encounter with Art Blakey, Joe Chambers, Mike Manieri) and was asked to join the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Bob played with Thad and Mel for 6 months, and later with Mel, as Thad had moved to Europe. In 1980 Bob arranged a project for the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra to be recorded live at the Montreal Jazz Festival of the music of Herbie Hancock. In 1981 through 1982 Bob was a member of the Jaco Pastorius Word of Mouth band., playing tenor sax, bass clarinet, and doing some arranging/composing for both the big and small band components. There are several recordings and videos of this band out and about. In 1983 Bob started his big band in NYC which consisted of many of the finest musicians in town (Michael and Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm, Lou Soloff, Barry Rogers, Dave Taylor, Don Grolnick, Will Lee, Peter Erskine, Roger Rosenberg). The band performed regularly at 7th Avenue South (club o...
50 minutes | 4 months ago
Sgt. Leroy Petry: A Medal of Honor Story
U.S. Medal of Honor awardee Sgt. Leroy Petry joins Tim to tell his Medal of Honor story, from a life and death battle in Afghanistan to the very definition of the word, “honor.” Sgt. Petry is a retired U.S. Army Ranger who is one of the few to receive the military’s highest honor, and one of the very few medal recipients who have survived to tell their own story. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Medal_of_Honor_-_Leroy_Petry_auphonic.mp3 In April of 1862, a group of Union Soldiers in the middle of the Civil War had an assignment. They were supposed to make it across Confederate lines to steal a Confederate train car and ride it to Union lines. Along the way, they were supposed to destroy track and depots, cutting off the Confederate supply lines and transportation. That group of Union solders was called “Andrews Raiders.” Twenty-five men volunteered for the mission that ended in a dramatic train chase and capture by Confederate forces. Eight of the original 25 volunteers escaped. Three were declared missing. Another eight were hanged. Among those who were executed was leader James Andrews. Another six found their way back to the Union Army as part of a prisoner exchange a year later. That following March, the survivors met with President Lincoln who thanked them for their service and their efforts in the daring mission, and he told them they’d be the first to receive a new honor. The Medal of Honor. And with that, he had a prototype of the medal and gave it to the youngest member of the group, Private Jacob Parott. Jacob Parott was the first in the Army to receive what is now regarded as the highest honor any member of America’s military can receive. The Medal of Honor is the award for valor in combat for all members of the armed forces. Since 1862, more than 3,400 such honors have been bestowed, many if not most of them, posthumously. Not many who earn such an award, live to talk about it. Today, the Medal of Honor is awarded sparingly to service members who as the Army says are, “the bravest of the brave; and that courage must be well documented.” Since the medal is awarded sparingly, and so many of those who receive it die in combat, there are few recipients alive today to tell their story. Retired Sgt. Leroy Petry of the U.S. Army Rangers is one of those few warriors. The U.S. Army Ranger Creed Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers. Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite Soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier. Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some. Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained Soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow. Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country. Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor. Rangers lead the way! About this Episode’s Guest Sgt. Leroy Petry Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Leroy Petry Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry retired from active duty in the U.S. Army in 2014. He served in numerous capacities in his long and disti...
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