Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Infectious Generosity

Infectious Generosity


Ralph welcomes Chris Anderson, author of “Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading” where he explains how techniques for tapping into the potential of “the internet to turbocharge generosity” can fund and scale-up bold, audacious projects for the common good.

Chris Anderson is the founder of the Sapling Foundation, and Curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of 'TED Talks' — short talks that are offered free online to a global audience. He is the author of Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading.

There're actually so many ways to be generous. And in the connected world, just acts of human kindness and sharing stories of human generosity can help transform the culture. We've somehow convinced ourselves that humans are pretty awful and especially “those other humans over there” are really awful and scary, and we don't want anything to do with them. And this is really dangerous because we're taking away what I think is humanity's superpower, which is the ability for very very different people to connect and to negotiate and to agree and to find ways of cooperating.

Chris Anderson

The key mind shift here is to flip from saying what change could I pull off on my own or with someone I know, to saying how can we create a moment of ignition, a moment of bringing people together in a way that they see each other and are persuaded by each other to do something big together.

Chris Anderson

Generosity is way beyond just money. It's time, advice, experience. It's a retired lawyer, a retired doctor, for example, providing counsel to local neighborhood or community groups. Sometimes they make connections, they help networking in these groups. So it's always good, I think, when you ask people for money to ask them for their advice, their time, their networks, the benefits of their experience. And oftentimes that way you can actually raise more money than if you just ask them for money.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Episode 526 Transcript
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In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis
News 4/3/24

1. In an airstrike, Israel killed six foreign aid workers, including an American citizen, along with their Palestinian driver, Al Jazeera reports. These workers were affiliated with Chef Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen, which had been doing what it could to fill the gap left by UNRWA after the U.S. and other Israel-allied nations pulled the organization’s funding following dubious claims about UNRWA workers colluding with Hamas. On Twitter, Andres wrote “These are people…angels…They are not faceless…they are not nameless. The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing…and stop using food as a weapon.” Israel claims that striking the convoy was unintentional, with PM Netanyahu saying “This happens in wartime,” while smirking in a video message. World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Goran, quoted in the Washington Post, maintains that this strike was “[a] targeted attack” by the IDF and called the strike “unforgivable.”

2. The “uncommitted” electoral protest movement continues to pick up votes in Democratic primaries nationwide. In Missouri, Uncommitted took nearly 12% of the vote statewide and over 20% in the first Congressional district - represented by outspoken ceasefire advocate Cori Bush - per St. Louis Public Radio. In Maine, blank ballots - that state’s version of an uncommitted ballot line - took over 10% of the vote statewide, a tenfold increase from 2020, per political blogger Ettingermentum.

3. More troubling for the Biden campaign are the polls - nationwide and in swing states - that show widespread discontent with his handling of Israel’s murderous rampage. A recent Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now disapprove of Israel’s campaign by a margin of 55% to 36%, the result of an 18% drop among Democrats and Independents, and a 7% drop among Republicans. The same poll shows that only 27% of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the situation in the Middle East. And in Wisconsin, a new poll by Poll Progressive Strategies finds that one in five Wisconsin Democrats say Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza will impact their vote in November. 71% say they strongly support an immediate and permanent ceasefire - including a stunning 100% of voters under the age of 29. In 2020, Biden won Wisconsin by 0.63%. 

4. In another sign of how out of step the Biden administration has become with the liberal mainstream, Patrick Gaspard - president of the Center for American Progress, former Executive Director of the DNC, and former Ambassador to South Africa under Obama - has issued a stinging rebuke of the State Department’s claim that Israel is upholding international law in Gaza. In a statement, Gaspard writes “The State Department's shocking assertion that the Netanyahu government is complying with international law in Gaza is a gross disregard of overwhelming evidence and a dangerous precedent in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy…The United States…cannot heedlessly deliver offensive weapons as the Israeli government continues to bombard and starve innocents on a mass scale. These actions have nothing to do with self defense; they are clearly intended as collective punishment and are resulting in the complete devastation of Palestinians as a people.”

5. As Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman continues his unpopular turn to the Right, a wave of resignations has rocked his office. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Senator’s deputy communications director Nick Gavio resigned last Friday, with his departure coming on the heels of the resignations of Fetterman’s former communications director Joe Calvello and press and digital aide Emma Mustion. Calvello decamped for the office of progressive Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson while Gavio is taking a job with the Working Families Party, per the New Republic.

6. As if escalation in the Middle East were not enough, the United States is now deploying Green Berets to Taiwan, the Asia Times reports. According to this report, “US Special Operations Forces…have been permanently assigned to Taiwan’s frontline islands, preparing elite Taiwanese units for possible island defense and guerilla warfare operations against a Chinese invasion…US troops on Kinmen will be situated just ten kilometers from mainland China.” This outrageous provocation would not be tolerated by the United States of course, but any response by China would surely be labeled as aggression in the western media. This whole exercise is rendered especially preposterous as the U.S. recognizes Taiwan to be part of China under the one China policy, according to the State Department.

7. Morningstar reports so-called Medicare Advantage has been overbilling Medicare by approximately 22%. This figure comes from a report issued by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPac, an independent body set up to advise Congress on Medicare in the 1990s. MedPac’s new report titled "Medicare Payment Policy” reads: "We estimate that Medicare spends approximately 22 percent more for MA enrollees than it would spend if those beneficiaries were enrolled in FFS Medicare, a difference that translates into a projected $83 billion in 2024." As Morningstar puts it: “The private insurers who now run more than half of all Medicare plans are overcharging the taxpayers by a staggering $83 billion a year. They are charging us taxpayers 22% more than it would cost us to provide the same health insurance to seniors directly, if we just cut out the private insurance companies as middlemen…It's a rip-off, pure and simple.”

8. We have previously discussed on this program how President Biden is urging Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, to help stem immigration coming up through Mexico. In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, AMLO laid out his conditions for doing so:

“-The U.S. [must] commit $20 billion a year to poor countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

- [the U.S. must] Lift sanctions on Venezuela

- [the U.S. must]  End the Cuban embargo [and]

- [the U.S. must] Legalize law-abiding Mexicans living in the U.S.”

This proposal sounds more than reasonable.

9. A moving story in Atmos Earth details the movement among Polynesian indigenous leaders to extend legal personhood to whales, considered their mythological common ancestor. In addition to legal personhood, these advocates are pushing for “the establishment of rāhui, or customary marine protected areas…to reduce harmful impacts from threats like trawling and ship strikes…[and] Empowering coastal communities as kaitiaki, or guardians.” If enacted, this would be a major shift in the legal landscape that would help preserve the planet’s marine ecology as it comes under greater and greater threat. 

10. Finally, in less uplifting animal news, the Iowa Capital Dispatch is out with a report on private equity’s impact on veterinary care. According to veterinarian Melissa Ezell of Huntsville, Alabama, vets are increasingly “feeling pressure from management to make a certain amount of money from every appointment. If a pet owner wasn’t going to spend enough, the message from management was to offer more services. She was urged to pack in more patients outside of normal business hours.” This clinic is “owned by National Veterinary Associates, one of the largest veterinary chains in the nation. In 2020 the company was acquired by JAB Consumer Partners, a global private equity firm based in Luxembourg…Private equity firms such as Shore Capital Partners, KKR, TSG Consumer and JAB Consumer Partners have spent billions over the past few years on veterinary practices, specialty animal hospitals, pet insurance services and pet food companies. Among the companies owned by private equity are PetSmart, PetVet Care Centers, FIGO, Thrive Pet Healthcare and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.” This story may sound familiar, because it is the private equity playbook they have run on industries ranging “from nursing homes to car washes.” And being the same playbook, we know how this ends - with the philosophy of profit maximization leading to predatory pricing and a reduction in the quality of services. So, if you don’t want companies like JAB Consumer Partners controlling your pet’s health tomorrow, take a stand against private equity today.

This has been Francesco DeSantis, with In Case You Haven’t Heard. 

Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.