When Politicians Get Rich and Voters Pay the Price

Voters have long suspected that politicians are corrupt, so much so that they’ve demanded a long list of ethics rules and anti-bribery regulations over the years. But it turns out there are still plenty of tricks left up their sleeves. The question is, do they use those tricks? Do they really have the power to enrich themselves at our expense? Today, we have a wealth of new evidence that finally answers those questions…

In this episode, Jordan Carr Peterson unveils the concerning conclusions of a series of research papers that pull back the veil on the financial interests of our policymakers—and the power they wield in their own favor.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

Imagining a Future That’s Better Than the Past

In this episode, philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen shares his vision of a progressive, cooperative future where people and technology work together to build an inclusive, intelligent society. With “populists” speaking openly about returning to the past, we found someone who’s investing real money to look forward and make a better future.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

City of Inmates

Historian Kelly Lytle Hernández brings us the absorbing history of how authorities in Los Angeles have used imprisonment as a tool to control both labor and migration. Our podcast features host Jeffery Jenkins with guests Robynn Cox, David Sloane, and Danielle Williams.

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of City of Inmates click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle PlayStitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

Blade Runner 2049

Is Blade Runner 2049 the sequel we didn’t know we needed? Set in a dystopian future Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling’s K is a replicant who hunts down dis-loyal replicants: a Blade Runner. When a secret is uncovered, he sets out on a quest. The journey becomes one to not only find the secret but to answer some of the fundamental questions. What does it mean to be alive, to be human?

To listen to the Price Projection Room discussion of Blade Runner 2049 click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or download and subscribe through Apple PodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

The Very First OAD Mixtape

Are you a fan of “Our American Discourse” but missed some episodes along the way? Or maybe you just haven’t been willing to make the time commitment and you want to know if it’s worth it? Then check out this compilation of some of the best moments in our previous episodes. And even if you’ve heard them all, it helps to be reminded just how much we’ve learned and how entertained we’ve been by the guests we’ve been fortunate to interview. With the holiday season just around the corner, think of this mixtape as our gift to you.

This episode features luminaries such as: Lisa Schweitzer, Paul Haaga, Rob Asghar, Gregg Van Ryzin, Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Melissa Bird, Johanna Thunell, and Raphael Bostic.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

All your health and fitness data, and one woman who mines it

Donna Spruijt-Metz, MFA, PhD, is the director of the USC mHealth Collaboratory at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research. Donna researches ways of using smartphones and other Internet of Things platforms to take individuals’ temporally dense, context-specific data, such as mood and eating behaviors, from individuals and devise just-in-time interventions to address obesity. “This is NOT to replace medicine or public health, and I’m not so sure if they’re making it easier. We’re here to make it better.”

For more information and to find links to some of the things we talk about check out the showpage.

Stream the interview here on this page, or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

Thor Steingraber: “I view my role as the leader of an arts organization as being a public servant”

Listen to Thor Steingraber, executive director of Cal State Northridge’s Valley Performing Arts Center, or “The Soraya,” explain he how sees himself as a public servant. “The great thing about public leadership and public policy, in the end: the greater good of the greatest number of people is achieved by the same means.”

Listen now! Regain some faith in contemporary leadership while you’re with us.

Listen to the individual posts on the LA Hashtags Itself page or subscribe at ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Google Play, or on your favorite podcasting app.

The Fact of a Body

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is a true crime memoir. After encountering the child murderer Ricky Langley, Alexandria’s desire to work as a lawyer to fight against the death penalty is up-ended. She spends several years investigating Ricky’s story as a way to confront the story of her own child abuse. This is a deeply moving book, and a relatively easy read given the morose topic – a testament to the author’s skill.

Our conversation ranges from the effects of trauma on individuals and communities to the genre itself. If you haven’t read it yet, beware that we assume you’ve read it, spoiler alert!

Featuring Jeffery A. Jenkins (@jaj7d ‏), Lisa Schweitzer (@drschweitzer), Brettany K. Shannon (@brettanyshannon), and Deborah Winters

Follow us on Twitter! @BedrosianCenter

Special thanks to Flatiron Books for sending us review copies!

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Fact of a Body click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play

American Assassin – directed by Michael Cuesta

Director Michael Cuesta brings the fictional hero of Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp novels to the big screen in the new film, American Assassin. The all-star cast includes Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, and Taylor Kitsch as part of a threesome tied together through the specter of betrayal and revenge, set upon a backdrop of international espionage and nuclear threat.

We discuss the level of violence in the film, its portrayal of U.S. black-ops and anti-terrorism efforts, the film’s space within the spy thriller genre, the motivations of the studio, the acting, the gender themes, how millennials may be viewing it, and so much more.

Featuring host Erroll Southers and guests Alessandro Ago, Lt. Col. Olivia Nelson, and David Warshofsky.

Let us know what you think of the film and our conversation at Facebook or Twitter.

Marissa Gluck: “I would have given you a very different answer before November 2016”

Marissa Gluck is a digital research strategist who’s worked in tech since the mid-90s, an urbanism and architecture writer, and a principal of the design-cum-civic engagement non-profit Design East of La Brea, or de LaB. Through her unique bundle of expertise, Marissa gives us insights into how her three fields engage with issues of culture, identity, and civic participation. This long, fun conversation is about how Marissa is, above all, an conversationalist. Learn how she uses empathy and storytelling to make things accessible to her audience, whoever they are at the time.

Thanks again for listening and let us know what you think of the conversation on Twitter (Bedrosian, me), Facebook, or email.