Friday, January 23, 2009

Dan Carlin- Common Sense

I recently did a post about sources for finding podcasts, on Podcast Alley (mentioned there), I found Common Sense from Dan Carlin and I've been listening for about a year or so. Common Sense is usually one of the top ten podcasts at Podcast Alley (along with Dan's other podcast Hardcore History). I thought that this was a good topic for my spotlight on the web series.

As the show's introduction often states, Dan Carlin is a member of the new media. In Common Sense he looks at current political issues from a non-partisan view point and trys to make sense of the issues. He is a big proponent of adding another major political party that could hold its own with the Democrats and Republicans or at least giving the American people more "real" choices.

The Gordian Knot is one of his popular analogies, the legend goes that in Gordium, the person that untied this knot would be king, many tried to untie the knot, Alexander the Great attempted to untie it but failing to find the ends he took his sword and cut it open. The analogy is often used to refer to unsolveable problems and dealing with them in different "thinking outside of the box" ways. Dan is very big on America's founding fathers, the constitution, and the balances of powers between the three branches of the Federal government, and believes that the press should play a key role in keeping the three branches of government honest and effective. He has a forum that often has interesting discussions between people from all ends of the political spectrum.

In The Black Dog, his most recent episode (at the time of writing, anyways), he discusses that Congress has become subservient to the President (a topic that he mentions from time to time) and he wonders if President Obama will "give back" some of the power that President Bush took for the executive branch. He also does an interview with Oregon Congressman Peter Defazio.

In The Sampson Suicide Pact, Dan examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and offers a different solution.

In Evasive Action, Dan suggests that competent cabinet picks might not just do the trick for Obama, that he needs to make more picks that truly change-oriented, if change is really wanted.

In Permanent Division, Dan points out that America has become more and more divided and wonders if we'll be able to repair the partisan divide that only widdened during the past presidential campaign.

In Confronting the Hydra, America's budgetary 3-headed Hydra (military spending, social security, and medicare/medicade) is one of Dan's topics in this episode. Also, Dan channels Presidents Lincoln and Eisenhower in talking about unity.

All of his earlier shows are available for download and many can be bought on one dvd. There are many great episodes there but one that also stands out is episode 15 Waterboarding the Bureaucracy (actually number 115, I believe) where he talks about torture, asks if American is really ready for a "true" democracy in Pakistan, and muses about reviewing what the C.I.A. has been up to.

If you're into politics or just want to have a wider understanding of some of the issues, Common Sense is worth listening too, so why not give him a listen. If you like the show, consider subscribing so that you don't miss and episode.

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Photo credit: Balance courtesy of darktaco
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