Emma hosts Jamie McCallum, associate professor of sociology at Middlebury College, to discuss his recent book Essential: How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Fight for Worker Justice. Then, Emma is joined by Gerrit Bruhaug, Ph.D candidate at the University of Rochester and research assistant for the Laboratory of Laser Energetics, to discuss the recent groundbreaking development in fusion energy that could pose a threat to fossil fuel production. First, Emma runs through updates on the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, a new Fed interest rate hike, Tesla’s falling share prices, the Iranian protests, and Kate Brown’s final acts in office, before diving into Biden pushing Bernie into lockstep in embracing the Saudi proxy war in Yemen. Jamie McCallum then joins as he gets right into reflecting on the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the designation of our “essential workers” as such, granting those most necessary to our society (which also included Walmart’s greeters) a round of applause and little to no material support, while towns, cities, and states campaigned for special designation to keep the money flowing in. Next, he and Emma tackle this “hero” status, and how it contrasted with the actual heroic action that essential workers took, particularly in terms of disruptive tactics that actually attempted to center health and safety issues, inverting capitalism’s shock doctrine and using a public crisis to force progress in labor rights. Diving deeper into the pandemic’s early labor wave, Emma and Professor McCallum explore the non-unionized nature of much of the labor action in 2020, with workers genuinely taking their (and their community’s) well-being into their own hands, bolstered by rising community action over the court of 2020’s protests around the murder of George Floyd. After tackling the importance of these two movements finding solidarity with each other, they wrap up the interview with a conversation on the massive role unions had in keeping their workplaces and communities safe during COVID, and what else we can learn about labor from the workforce’s reaction to the pandemic. Gerrit Bruhaug then joins as he gets right into parsing through the nuclear fusion-based progress that was made in the US this week, discussing the important shift from fission to fusion, the purpose of this multi-decade project, and the future of this push for renewable energy (and the private challenges it may face).
And in the Fun Half: Emma and the MR Crew tackle Ron DeSantis’ new anti-CDC panel, Rai from Phoenix discusses Arizona’s bi(partisan)-phobia for Kyrsten Sinema, and Ben Shapiro discusses the anti-woke nature of software engineering. Charlie Kirk goes to bat for crypto in December of the year 2022, Matt Walsh touts the Bible’s mediocre sequel, and Mindy calls in to explore the fall of Italian-American comic Sebastian Maniscalco, plus, your calls and IMs!
Check out Jamie’s book here: https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/jamie-k-mccallum/essential/9781541619906/
Read Gerrit’s Twitther thread about the fusion energy development here: https://twitter.com/GBruhaug/status/1602125809753399296?s=20&t=qZx9aAlqBwb7EHYmMrE7vw
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