All posts by Edwin Lyngar

Interview with Jason Kander About Let America Vote

My guest today was Jason Kander, President of @LetAmericaVote. Former Missouri Secretary of State and Army intelligence officer, Afghanistan veteran and CNN contributor.

We also discuss taxes, and we have a fun story about camping today.

Beyond Spin with Guest Chip Evans

Our guest was Chip Evans, host of the Chip Evans show on Saturday, to talk about what’s on his show this week and the latest in his own political journey.

We heard from Kimmi Cole about an event with rural Democrats.

I talk about Eleanor’s crazy hat day.

And again, the situation unfolding in Puerto Rico is staggering.


Debating Marijuana Legalization With Reno’s Last Holdout

For me, Marijuana legalization is a moral imperative. We must significantly change the failed, racist and stupid war on drugs. But, some people disagree. It’s good to hear their arguments.

Today’s Beyond Spin featured a very special guest, attorney and anti-marijuana advocate Jim Hartman. We spent an hour debating the state of Marijuana in Nevada.


Health Care and the “First White President”

We have to talk about health care  again! And, if you have seen the very missing / invisible Dean Heller, please let me know! All in the first half.

In the second half, we’ll chat with Nicole Sconiers, writer, author and commentator about the latest essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates: The First White President.



Global Warming and Science Denial

Today’s guest was Alan Ferrenberg, retired rocket scientist and former science teacher and member of the Citizen’s Science Lobby. We discussed:
1. The Union of Concerned Scientists
2. Really awful Hurricane Season with Hurricane Maria heading to Puerto Rico and global warming denialism
3. What is happening at the EPA and the politicizing of scienc
4. Denying science education overall

Beyond Spin featuring Nathaniel Lloyd from Historical Blindness

The Show on Monday, Sept. 18th features:

  1. My good friend, writer and podcaster Nathaniel Lloyd who is going to talk all about his podcast “Historical Blindness” which is both interesting and extremely relevant to the moment.
  1. We’re going to talk about the latest brouhaha over Confederate Memorials and ask Nathaniel if he can help us sort out the history of these things
  2. We’re going to talk about partisanship, and about a recent article in VOX about the continued sorting of America.
  3. In our last segment, I have got to chat about the partisan rancor that enveloped the Emmy’s last night.


I’m Ed Lyngar, reminding you that Journalism is saying what someone else does not want said; everything else is public relations.”

Follow me on Twitter @Edwin_Lyngar

Check out Beyond Spin from Thursday Sept. 14

Beyond Spin is brand new in Reno! We’ve just finished our first week, and we’re ready to start sharing the podcasts live, over the Internet in addition to being available online.  Please listen to our show from Thursday with RobRoy McCandless, a writer and author. Today, we cover local news, Rob’s book and the latest in Donald Trump inspired agony. Catch us weekdays on 96.1 /1270 the Buzz!

First Show Done, More to Come

We had our first show yesterday. I wrote some ideas that I skimmed, but I didn’t go into all the detail, so I thought I’d post my mini-essay today. Keep listening and thanks for the support.

Ed’s Rant of the Day

I want to talk about the name of this program, because the idea of spin has been beaten to death, abused and appropriated by people who will lie to you when the truth will work. They lie for fun or sport or to get YOU to act against your own self interest.

I worked as a career Public Relations professional for 22 years, so I understand the idea of spin. Real spin is not lying. It’s just telling a story from your perspective. It’s not so much dishonesty as it is perspective.

But the idea of spin has been hijacked by liars and partisans, and I’m kind of sick of dishonest people stealing the idea of honest spin, and defending their side, regardless. Your guy sets fire to a pile of babies? He’s “unpredictable.” The other guy does the same thing and he’s a monster.

Usually, it’s not dead babies, but something that can be packaged and sold, lied about even when the truth is well known.

My favorite example is “Tax cuts pay for themselves.” If we cut taxes on the rich, they’re going to share it with YOU. This has been disproven time and again, and we’re living with this lie right now. Those same people who want to give billionaires a pile of money right now in Washington say that we can’t afford free cheese for poor pregnant ladies or home heating oil for the poor in the northeast. That’s not spin, it’s an ugly lie designed to shovel money upwards to people who do not need it, but who happen to pay campaigns (go figure).

The truth of most things often lies in the middle. But lately, we’ve seen above average nuttiness congregating on the right, especially around Donald Trump. Sure, you can find wackiness on the liberal side too, but mostly they’re having drum circles or throwing paint on people in fur coats. They are not throwing around loose talk of thermonuclear war. The lunacy that has seemed to infect some on the right—NOT ALL—has exploded.

I’m a progressive-minded person, but I wasn’t always so. I voted for George W. Bush in my younger years. I’m not here to vilify everyone I disagree with, a category that includes many, many people I love, like my own parents, friends and most of the people I grew up with in Battle Mountain. But, there are some people who do need vilifying and most especially need to be mocked. You know them, they’re some of the rebel-flag loving, “I’m-not-racist-but” types. They often act pious at the same time they support ideas that would make Jesus cry. On this show, we’re going to have a lot of fun at the expense of the undependable. I’m dusting off my “your mom” jokes as we speak.

And that’s my rant. How do you see it? Call us and let us know.

College viewed with suspicion, liberal arts in decline

Something crazy is happening in education, including rising prices, an unwise attack on the liberal arts, and a large and growing partisan divide on the value of education itself.

I keep reading articles about the vanishing of he Humanities, often with attended “debunking” of the reasons for the shift. For instance, the Washington Post ran a large article on parents who refuse to let their kids study liberal arts just last week. Inside Higher Ed has been cataloging the shrinking Humanities major for years, noting in an article from March of 2016 that:

As a percentage of all bachelor’s degrees, the core disciplines in the humanities disciplines fell in 2014 to their lowest recorded level, 6.1 percent, in all years going back to 1948, the period for which the academy has reliable numbers. As recently as the early 1990s (well after STEM fields were open to women and many preprofessional programs grew), the equivalent figure was 8 percent. The highest level ever was 17.2 percent in 1967.

So what’s going on here? You can read the article for yourself, but the trend is really ugly if, like me, you believe that education is an inherent good. As if the shrinking majors weren’t bad enough, this ugliness seems to be partisan. A poll from July by Pew noted a growing (and I would argue alarming) trend in Republican circles. That education is not unnecessary but that it is actually bad:

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.

What are we to make of this? You can get a good job without a college degree. There are good jobs still in the trades. There’s many ways to make it happen. But, in my own experience and from empirical evidence, it is much harder.  I think rich, educated people are telling the poor slobs that they don’t need “no goddamn education.” And it seems to be working. I expect that we are throwing away a lot of potential at the moment, with more to follow.

I grew up in a very Republican home in a rightwing, small town. In my childhood, education was viewed as a way out by most people, including my own folks. My own education has allowed me to travel, grow and learn. I believe in life-long learning. I also became more liberal. I wonder what my folks would say about my education now.

Anyway you slice it, I see these trends as bad news.