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In anticipation of President Obama's executive action related to immigration and Central American Child Refugees, Joe Laughon of Café Con Leche Republicans returns to the show to discuss the controversial idea of opening the US borders.  Is it possible that it is in our economic and moral interest to do so?  What about communism and radical Islam?  What about drugs?  What about the burden of social service resources?  Come with an open mind and feel free to disagree and remain friends with our show.  Whatever your political position, undocumented (aka illegal) immigrants (aka aliens) are human beings, so we need to consider a virtuous response to our current crisis.

 
 
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Twenty years ago, Rwanda experienced an astonishingly rapid and brutal genocide.  We remember and reflect on that story today with a special guest.  Survivor of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Alex Nsengimana tells of his experiences during the bloodshed, from the vantage point of the capital city.  He also shares his story of transformation and hope.  He currently works with Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse.

Here's the stuff we played on this episode, the first being the music of the break:
 
 
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While Dan is out speaking at the Teigen Reformation Lectures, classicist and biblical scholar, Dr. C. J. Armstrong sits down with Jeff to trace the theme of the hero's journey to the underworld and back.  What does it look like?  Can we fight against death.  Why does the Apostle's Creed say that Jesus descended into hell?  Listen in and find out.   



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Our second spooktacular. This is a show about stuff you should be more afraid of than you are.  Dan shares the biggest fears of friends and experts. Jeff shares his recipe for a mini-bug-out-bag, should the apocalypse arise.  Dr. CJ Armstrong joins the wasteland gents at the end to bring a word of comfort in the face of fear and death.  Jeff reads a moving passage from Peter Berger's book A Rumor of Angels.

VIW MINI BUG OUT BAG.  This is for those who want to travel light but have a fighting chance of surviving a mini-apocalypse. 
And something you can't buy on Amazon; their #1 is a good pick, says Jeff, though he's happy with an old-school, single action, Ruger Vaquero cowboy model, since it won't ever jam up and you'll save ammo during the apocalypse when Big 5 has been ransacked: 
 
 
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This week we are posting a show that we recorded on the road.  We thought of it as us "phoning it in" (as we are on a hand held mic while sitting in Los Angeles traffic), or "mailing it in" (an old time saying for giving it less than your best).  We don't give you less than our best, however, as we run down a list of celebrities, other luminaries, and institutions (even a city) that have been 'mailing it in' after initial success.  We go after those that you might guess (how can you not condemn the last decade of DeNiro's career), and ultimately tie it into how we might think about those times when our jobs have us down and we feel like giving it less than our best.  (Speaking of 'less than our best', the audio isn't great as we weren't in the studio, but it came out better than we thought).

 
 
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Since we began the show, we have had a running designation of "b sides".  This is on account of the fact that Jeff and Dan tend to find deep cuts on albums to be their favorites (not to be contrarian, it's just that the deeper cuts tend to run longer and have a greater payoff).  So, our b-sides, are longer conversations with folks we dig.  We talk about what they do, why they do it, what they like what they like, and their story.  Everyone has one, and we try to find some of the really interesting ones.
So. The furniture show! The furniture show? Yes.  Tucker Kaas works at Kaas Tailored, a remarkable furniture company that takes the ideas of vocation, conservation, zen, and service to our neighbor in putting together the highest quality furniture (and you've probably sat in Kaas Tailored furniture before).  Without knowing it, you may have chosen to go to certain chains because of their furniture.  From Kai-Zen, to the importance of good chairs, to life management and small changes we make to create better lives for ourselves in service of others.  Enjoy the show! 
Click on the picture below to check out some of kaastailored designs 

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Seriously? We couldn't help ourselves. This Left Behind business is too ridiculous to leave alone.  But we aren't just shooting fish in a barrel making fun of this hooey and applesauce.  We talk about Jeff's experience going to the film, talk about our cultural fascination with the end of the world, and interview Dr. Amy Frykholm author of Rapture Culture: Left Behind in America and writer for the Christian Century magazine on Religion and Culture.  Dr. Frykholm is fascinating (she has written on sexuality and Christianity in America as well as other sometimes "taboo" topics in certain circles).  Enjoy the show!

Dr Frykholm's website
The IMDB site for Left Behind 
Nicolas Cage on Rotten Tomatoes (check it out, boy has he made a wide range of great and terrible movies)
Jeff live tweeted some of the movie- check out our twitter page here

 
 
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On today's episode we speak with Marc Thomas Voss, author of "Preventing Auschwitz From happening Again" about the nature of tyrannical regimes and genocide.  We spend a good bit of our time discussing the holocaust and his digging into the subject (as a German, he admitted this caused an existential angst).  We move from the holocaust, to genocide (or democide) and try to dig around the question that began Marc on his historical quest: How does mankind have the ability to put men in space, but can't keep evil regimes from slaughtering the masses?  How do we think clearly about a subject that is so charged with emotion? How does Professor Voss distinguish regimes from North Korea, to ISIS to the NAZI's?  Listen in as we discuss the topic, hear from Marc's research with the Harris Poll, and discuss ways to oppose evil from our own humble stations in life.  You can track his work via https://www.facebook.com/regimesmuseum.   

If you are interested in reading more on the Holocaust, Dan highly recommends this series of books (the link is to the first volume).  Early in the show, we discuss a controversial thesis about Fukushima and fish, for another side to the argument click here.

And a final note about our numbering- this is 65b- a "b side" which means we offer a slightly longer form interview with a professional.  They are not "regular shows" because we tend to dig a little bit deeper.  You'll notice we have "wc" shows (Wasteland Companion: discussions about great books) as well.  This is episode 85, if you're counting at home.



 
 
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Nokukhanya (Noks) Shabalala shares her story and her insights into South Africa, the place of women in traditional societies, the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Yoruba religion, racism in America, coffee allergies, and college life in America.  She is one of the most delightful people you will ever virtually meet.  She also provides an example of a sentence in the beautiful Zulu language.  Noks is a pre-deaconess student at Concordia University, Irvine.

 
 
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On this freewheeling and laid back show (#84) Jeff and Dan throw around some of the macro-level ideas behind political ideologies.  This show builds a bit on some ideas discussed on past shows about authoritarianism, modernism, and the ideal state.  Jeff shares a bit from this TED talk, while Dan lays out (very briefly) the ideas behind Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau and the ideal state.  Ultimately, how does thinking about the big picture and the essential nature of man and state of nature affect the way we think about local, state, and national politics?

We discuss Dan’s latestlistening and viewing pleasures and Jeff’s near fatal run-in with a jellyfish