Created with Sketch.
Locally Grown with Jim Fini
38 minutes | Nov 5, 2021
Episode 41 - America is only as Good as its Public Schools
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Much of recent American federal government policy seems to fit into this paradigm. Like let’s print a whole lot of money then act surprised when we get inflation. Or stop enforcing our immigration laws and be shocked when millions of foreign people including criminals, terrorists and those who don’t share our values, flood our southern border. I hope most of would agree that hyperinflation and more drug and sex trafficking on our streets are bad things. And yet policies from the current federal crew are encouraging exactly those things. I think the rub is that they do not expect different results. They want and expect these results because they think these policies will increase their power. Now that is not insane. All people act in their own self-interest, most of the time. That logic trail traces all the way back to Charles Darwin. And so it is with our education policy. Our public schools seem to be getting worse, or at least not better. But the cost of the bad performance has outpaced inflation for decades. Why would we let the same people responsible for our diminishing public schools, be the ones to fix them? Now that's the definition of insanity.
28 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
Episode 40 - Rome, China, the United States and the Cycles of History
History repeats and unfortunately, we are on the downhill run of the latest cycle. But remain optimistic because we have a system with a demonstrated track record of success. China has emerged as a powerful rival, but its authoritarian system will remain its Achilles Heel. Stay vigilant and start thinking about what happens after we get through the coming hard times. And remember, United We Stand, Divided We Fall, Each One for the Other, and All for All.
35 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
Episode 39 - on Race in America with Cecil Grant
Today my guest is Cecil Grant, the host of the new “Changing the Narrative” podcast which you can find on Apple, Pandora and other places. His podcast focuses on issues seen through the lens of a middle-aged African American man who deeply cares about his country and is alarmed by what he sees. He has the moral authority to really challenge bad government policies that hurt the people they are supposed to help. For example, his July podcast entitled, “Gun Violence versus Gang Violence: The Problem in Chicago”, he takes Mayor Laurie Lightfoot to task, for failing to call out the root cause of gun violence in Chicago which are gangs. His August 20th Episode, “Remove that Racist Rock!”, takes a fun approach to highlighting how many of our political leaders are enraptured with the false notion that America is an irredeemably racist garden made for whites-only that must be pulled-up root and stem in favor of… well we’re not sure yet.
39 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Episode 38 - Time to Wake Up to Rising Geopolitical Risks. Are You Listening Joe?
The Biden Administration is busy. Very busy. Busy making sure all we hear about is racial politics, the dreaded COVID Delta Variant, climate change, diminishing our election laws, defunding our police, and turning our schools into indoctrination centers. So I guess it's understandable that they have missed the growing threat that our adversaries pose to our place in the world. China and Russia both hack our companies and government while invading their neighbors with impunity. We are about to reward Iran with a re-start of the sham nuclear deal by the same State Department crew who "negotiated" it during the Obama years. China's Navy is now the largest in the world and Russia just introduced a new Mach 7 missile that completely obsoletes our nuclear defense capabilities. What will we do when China decides to invade Taiwan? Or when Putin decides to take the rest of Ukraine he doesn't already control? Or when any of our adversaries flood their operatives into the U.S. through our porous southern border? I'm not optimistic when I hear our President say that "white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today." I'd fall down laughing if this wasn't so serious. It's obvious to even the casual observer that our adversaries are NOT defunding their police, NOT opening their borders to all comers, NOT focused on climate change, NOT changing their schools which are already indoctrination centers, NOT changing their elections processes because they are already rigged, and NOT changing their military from a fighting force that can actually win wars, into a race-gender-sexual orientation safe space. For anyone that thinks America is a nation of bigots, I would invite them to spend time in China or Russia or just about anywhere else on this planet. It feels like we are living in an episode of the Twilight Zone.My guest, retired US diplomat David Hunter, joins me to unpack all this Geopolitical risk. Hold on to your hats!
50 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Episode 37 - Seeking Middle Ground with Author Andrew Shelley
Today my guest is Andrew Shelley, author of the book, “American Butterfly”, an excellent exploration of the roots of the American culture wars through the lens of a deep-fried southern fish out of water. We explore Andrew’s transition from a boy born to a conservative southern family to a northern liberal living in Boston and how that has helped him empathize with and find value in the conservative voices that are increasingly shut down in our divided political environment. Don’t miss this fascinating dialogue between a liberal and libertarian searching for common ground in America.
45 minutes | May 18, 2021
Episode 36 - Crypto with Stormborn Part 2.
Just like e-commerce internet companies in the 1990's, most crypto projects won't succeed. However, the ones that do transform our world. In the last decade, Bitcoin and Ethereum emerged as two of those transformers. If you invested $2000 in ETH five years ago, you'd be retired now. This is because the ETH improvement on blockchain architecture is the platform upon which other disrupters will build their applications. My guest Putnam from Stormborn Partners and I will try to unpack all this and more. Join us!
33 minutes | May 14, 2021
Episode 35 - May You Live in Interesting Times
The fact is that middle ground in America is to the Right of where we are now, not further Left. The pendulum swings back and forth in politics but a razor thin Democrat majority in the House and an equally divided Senate, is NOT a mandate to discard the Constitution and re-do America as a socialist utopia. At best this is going to continue to alienate a least half the country and that is not unity by any definition. Doing what I say, or else, is not a negotiation. I pray that Joe Biden shakes off his obvious cognitive decline long enough to resist his party’s worst impulses.
42 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Episode 34 - Systemic Racism isn’t the Problem. It’s Bad Public Policy.
Anti-discrimination laws have historically targeted a company’s intent but in 2015, a Supreme Court ruling allowed certain types of outcomes to be considered discrimination even if there was no explicit intent to discriminate. This is called disparate impact and we think this is really bad policy. It has the opposite affect of what our government intends. My guest Werner Kruck talks about how this dynamic actually raises costs and limits choices in the financial services industry for poor and minority folks. There are better ways to address inequities in our country. Join us in this fascinating “root cause” analysis.
51 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Episode 33 - Bitcoin and Crypto with Stormborn Partners
For years, really smart people sneered at Tesla and shorted its stock. Over the past 10 years, all Tesla has done is revolutionize the auto industry, deliver an 18,885 percent return for its shareholders, and make Elon Musk either the richest or second richest man in the world, depending on the day. Bitcoin is kind of like Tesla. Here’s what Bill Gates said on 2/27/2018 when Bitcoin was $10,755:“The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don't think this is a good thing. The Government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now, crypto currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”Then there is no less an investing legend than Warren Buffet on May 5, 2018, summing up Bitcoin as “probably rat poison squared.” Gotta admit that is funny. Bitcoin was $8,723. As of this writing, Bitcoin is at $52,314 and is the best performing asset class over the last decade, rising over 9 million percent. We are seeing an increasing amount of buying by large financial institutions and billionaire investors who see it as a great hedge against our corrupt political class and profligate money printing by the Federal Reserve. Tesla just announced that it will convert $1.5 billion of the cash on its balance sheet to Bitcoin. That follows other big-time investors like Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, Bill Miller and publicly-listed companies Square and MicroStrategy to putting some of the company’s cash into Bitcoin as a reserve asset. Mexico’s second richest billionaire, Ricardo Salinas Pliego stated that he put 10% of his liquid net worth into Bitcoin. I expect Apple to announce this year that it will convert several billion dollars of its massive cash hoard to Bitcoin. Don’t miss this episode as I dissect all things Bitcoin and Crypto with my guest, Putnam Kling of the exciting new digital asset fund, Stormborn Partners.
55 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Episode 32 - Biden's First 2 Weeks: a Common Sense Analysis
Jim brings in his buddies Cecil Grant and Ted Zwijacz to provide an analysis of Biden's unprecedented 50 executive actions from the perspective of "the average Joe American."
47 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Episode 31 - with Charles Marohn of Strong Towns
I published my book, Locally Grown: The Art of Sustainable Government, in October 2019 thinking that I was at the forefront of a movement to restore America’s bottom-up constitutional design and its power to make government more responsive, holistic and sustainable. Silly me. I discovered a couple months ago that Charles Marohn has been turning grassroots principals into real action with his Strong Towns organization for more than a decade. This is one of my favorite interviews with someone who is a true kindred spirit. Our bottom-up movement just got a helluva lot stronger now that Locally Grown and Small Towns have discovered each other. Don’t miss this thought provoking conversation that will get you thinking about how to get involved in your own community to counter the crazy top-down thinking that has infected our country.
40 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Episode 30 - with Lyn Alden, Economist and Investment Advisor
For those of you who have been listening to my podcast and reading my blogs, you know that I periodically focus on making a stronger more sustainable you, by bringing in interesting, smart guests who can help you make money. Last year I had Whitney Tilson to help you align your investments with the macro-trends he sees in the world. This week I am continuing that effort focusing on you, albeit from maybe a little different direction. My guest, Lyn Alden’s investment service, was introduced to me a really smart friend of mine, Dave Baggett who was also a guest on this show.Lyn’s background lies in the intersection of engineering and finance. What a great combination. She has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management, with a focus on economics and financial modeling. She has been doing investment research for over fifteen years in various public and private capacities. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, Marketwatch, The Daily Telegraph, The Street, CNBC, US News and World Report, Seeking Alpha, Kiplinger and many other media outlets. You can subscribe to Lyn’s newsletter for free at www.lynalden.com, which is how I got started. This led to me joining her very reasonably priced premium membership, where I get access to her model portfolios and proprietary investment research.
37 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Episode 29 - What's Next?
Joseph McCarthy was a Republican Senator from Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, he became the public face of anti-Communism in the midst of the Cold War by using his position as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations to identify communists, Soviet spies and sympathizers that had infiltrated the United States federal government, universities, film industry, and elsewhere. Ultimately, the smear tactics that he used led him to be censured by the U.S. Senate. Today, the term "McCarthyism", is used broadly to mean demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character and patriotism of political opponents.Unfortunately, it seems we are at the beginning of another era of persecution of political opponents, except this time it is a different group of ruling class elites practicing McCarthyism.
18 minutes | Dec 25, 2020
Episode 28 - The Twelve Days of Christmas
Christmas is a joyous time that calls us all to be grateful, enjoy family, and think about others. But there is also no denying the fact that Jesus was a revolutionary who was unafraid to speak truth to power. He had the ultimate skin in the game and that is what all of us need to do more of. Get out of our comfort zones, help our fellow man, speak truth to power and keep the flame of liberty shining bright. My New Year's resolution is to put more skin in the game.
38 minutes | Dec 12, 2020
Episode 27 - Civil Disobedience
Protests are a form of protected free speech that is vital to our nation. Our founding documents were designed specifically to protect us from government over reach and tyranny and ultimately recognized the power and duty of the people to resist that government when it fails us. In his timeless essay "Civil Disobedience", American philosopher Henry David Thoreau exhorts us to get up off our butts and speak out lest we lose our precious liberty. America has a great tradition of using music as a form of civil disobedience. As a child of the 1970's, I appreciated those songs that spoke about injustice and immorality, whether it was classic rockers like The Who or the punk music of The Sex Pistols and The Clash. Our country finds itself once again in dangerous times and I think a little Civil Disobedience might be in order.
18 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
Episode 26 - What Happened to Free Speech on College Campuses?
More than 23% of our population is within the education bureaucracy. If that bureaucracy is becoming less tolerant of free speech, how can we expect the adults that emerge from that system to be tolerant of free speech? As time goes by, it will feel increasingly normal for those adults to become intolerant of speech they don’t agree with, and that intolerance endangers our democratic republic.
54 minutes | Nov 21, 2020
Episode 25 - with Election Supervisor Leslie Swann
Those of you who have been listening to me for a while, know that I am a big proponent of de-centralized power. My book, Locally Grown: The Art of Sustainable Government, is all about that. The Constitution enshrines this decentralized power model by giving most power to the states and the people, though we have strayed frighteningly far from that model now. One of those important state powers is to make and enforce election laws. The result is a hodgepodge of different rules that can vary widely across states. Some states require government-issued ID to vote while others view ID as racist or discriminatory. It's hard to believe there is such wide disagreement on something like this. Some states, like Georgia, have runoff elections if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a situation we just witnessed a few weeks ago. A run off election on Jan 5 will decide two Senate seats and thus the balance of power for the country. Like free speech, non-uniform voting rules are not always pretty but the last thing we should be doing is trying to federally regulate any more of our key liberties. Still, some state voting rules are better than others if transparency and integrity of elections is the goal. Today my guests are Leslie Swann, the Supervisor of Elections for Indian River County Florida and her assistant Shane Bias. It's clear to me after this discussion that our processes are best practice should be a model for other states and counties.
22 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
Episode 24 - a Brave New World
Well, here we are! It looks like a narrow contested Biden victory. We have three tumultuous months until the “swearing in” on January 20th 2021. What have we learned ? That, we are still a sharply divided nation that has voted for divided government. Feels like Americans are looking for middle ground, not radical change. We have also learned that a few swing states within a few swing counties determine federal elections. Proof that "local" still matters in the power game. Then again, who our next president is matters less, now that we are a entering a brave new world of central bank control that is becoming beyond the reach of our elected leaders. Don’t miss this one.
40 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
Episode 23 - Raising up Disadvantaged Kids with Crossover Mission
A few years ago when my son was looking for a summer league basketball team to join, he came across a local AAU team that was really outstanding. He wondered if he was good enough even to make the team. When he inquired, he was introduced to Coach Antoine Jennings who gave him the low down on the requirements for joining his crew. It wasn’t like other AAU teams where you just tried out and if you were good enough, you were in. Crossover was different. In order to play, you had to meet strict personal, academic and tutoring requirements. Marcus had to commit to becoming an academic tutor at the Crossover Mission for disadvantaged kids before he would be eligible to join the team. When he told my wife and I about it, we were curious. As we learned more, it became clear that their mission was incredible, and we encouraged Marcus to get involved. Before you know, our whole family got involved tutoring kids. It’s been a rewarding experience and we have learned so much, not to mention making new friends. So, it is with great pleasure that I welcome Crossover co-founders Cathy DeSchouwer and Coach Antoine Jennings to our show to tell their incredible story.
40 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Episode 22 - with Reverend David Johnson
I have always found it ironic how spirituality is usually low on the list of priorities when times are good but when times become difficult, people turn to God for hope and solace. Who hasn’t said a prayer when something bad happens that goes something like this? “Dear God, if you just help me get through this, I promise be a better person.” Or some version of the great prayer from Saint Augustine, "Lord, help me be good and pure, but just not yet." Like insurance, cyber security and the military, we often don’t value God and spirituality until we need it. And God always seems to find a way to deliver. Join me in discussing the weighty issues of who we are, why we are here and how to make sense of difficult times, with Reverend David Johnson, Senior Minister at the Community Church of Vero Beach, Florida. I hope this show helps nourish your soul.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022