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Midwest Farmers, Good Place Philosophy, Vote-at-Home

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Dec 2, 2019
  • 01:40:44

2019 Can’t Be Over Soon Enough for America’s Corn Belt (0:32) Guest: Jerry Jackson, Jackson Farms, Illinois “2019 can’t be over soon enough,” wrote farmer Jerry Jackson in a recent Tweet. Jackson grows corn, soybeans, and wheat in Illinois. It’s been the wettest year on record for the lower 48. Spring floods and incessant rains delayed crop planting for Midwest farmers like Jerry Jackson. And then autumn rains made harvesting those late crops a mad dash. Philosophical Adviser to The Good Place (13:38) Guest: Todd May, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Clemson University, Author of “A Decent Life: Morality for the Rest of Us he twistiest show on TV right now has got to be The Good Place on NBC. At first, we thought it was a comedy about the afterlife. Ted Danson plays the architect Michael who’s built a paradise –The Good Place –for all the best humans who’ve died. And Kristen Bell plays Eleanor who ends up there. But pretty quickly, we learn that there’s been a case of mistaken identity. Eleanor did not do all the wonderful things that supposedly landed her in the Good Place. And then at the end of Season 1, there’s a giant twist. Nothing is what we thought it was. From there, every single episode seems to turn the tables just a bit. But the wildest part, if you ask me, is that the real premise of the show is to explore the biggest questions humans can have. What’s the purpose of life? What does it mean to be good? Can bad people change for the better? The creator of the show, Michael Schur, is an avowed philosophy nerd. And so, The Good Place is maybe the only network comedy ever to employ philosophical advisers Gun Smuggling Across the US-Mexico Border is Out of Control (30:59) Guest: David Shirk, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of San Diego, Director of Justice in Mexico A shootout between drug cartel gunmen and police killed 21 people in northern Mexico over the weekend, including four police officers. Also over the weekend, Mexican authorities said they arrested several more suspects in the attack that killed nine women and children with dual US/Mexico citizenship in November. President Trump says he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups, which would create stiffer penalties for banks and businesses in the US that are found to facilitate cartel efforts in any way. Why Having Stuff Shipped from China is So Cheap –and How That’s About to Change (51:08) Guest: Anna Möller Boivie, Managing Director of Copenhagen Economics in Stockholm Savvy online Christmas shoppers may have noticed that postage-wise, it’s cheaper to order a gift from China and have it sent directly to your relative in a neighboring state than it is to buy that same thing at a store in town and mail it yourself. It makes no sense that having something shipped from China would be cheaper than shipping it to another state unless you understand the workings of a group called the Universal Postal Union. Just before this holiday season got underway, the US government went to that international group demanded some big changes –which they mostly got. So starting next summer, the postage for stuff you buy online from overseas will go up. But you’re good for the holiday season. What Happens When Libraries Remove Late Fines (1:07:08) Guest: Andrea Telli, Chicago Public Library The Guinness world record for the largest library fine ever paid is $345.14 cents. That book was 47 years overdue. But a lot of people just never pay their late fees and get banned from checking out books. That’s why the Chicago Public Library got rid of fines and forgave all outstanding debt last month –they want to make sure that everyone has equal access to the library. Voting by Mail is On the Rise in the US, but is it Secure? (1:21:15) Guest: Amber McReynolds, Executive Director of the National Vote at Home Institute In the 2020 election, five states will hold voting entirely by mail –Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Hawaii. Voters in almost half of all states can request a ballot by mail without needing any excuse as to why they can’t visit a polling station on Election Day. With so much concern about election security, though, is it really smart to have a large swath of Americans voting at home and mailing in their ballots? Show More...

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