Why it Matters: The White House Disinvited The Philadelphia Eagles

At 4pm on June 4th, 2018  — a Monday — the White House issued a statement from the President, and it said:

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem. Hand on heart in honor of the great men and women of our military and people of our country.”

To say nothing of the fact that the White House just issued a statement by the President in which he references himself in the third person, the statement actually sets off a new precedent for any Oval Office holder but frankly for the United States Constitution. The very notion of American identity has been rooted in dissent and free expression, in disagreeing with one’s neighbor, by having the right the ability and frankly the marketplace of ideas to have that conversation to debate it to engage in disagreement and to yell at one another — but knowing that the extent of one’s words stopped at the water’s edge of the end of that sentiment. It didn’t get quelled, didn’t get squashed, and get silenced and get banned. It didn’t get disinvited.

The Philadelphia Eagles. It seems ironic — Philadelphia as the birthplace of democracy. The eagle as a national symbol.

For a president to start allocating his measurement of who is or is not American enough — it’s not only dangerous, but it underscores the reason why this podcast is so important.

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There’s a lot going on in America (and the world) and Vikrum Aiyer — Former White House Senior Economic Policy Advisor (Obama Administration) and Former Chief of Staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office — has something to say about it all and about what it takes these days to be American enough.

American Enough™ with Vikrum Aiyer”, is a weekly, town hall-style podcast discussing your questions and comments about current events, politics, and American ideals. As events unfold, Vikrum will share timely commentary wherever he is, as he travels, between meetings, and even en route to the office.

 

SPECIAL ELECTION DAY COVERAGE: California’s Democratic Primary – with Eric Bauman

Eric BaumanCalifornia Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman discusses how the state of California’s primaries will shape the future of the nation and reclaim America’s identity…

Polls open @ 7AM (find out where to vote here: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/where-and-how).

GUEST BIO: 

Eric C. Bauman was elected Chair of the California Democratic Party in May, 2017, having previously served as Vice Chair of the CDP (2009-2017). He previously served as Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation, for 17 years.Eric has held various senior-level positions in California Government, including serving as Senior Advisor and Los Angeles Director of the Speakers Office of Members Services to Speakers John A. Perez, Toni Atkins and Anthony Rendon; Senior Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez; Senior Advisor to Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, Deputy Insurance Commissioner – overseeing the Community Relations Branch of the California Department of Insurance and as Special Assistant to Governor Gray Davis and Director of the Governor’s Los Angeles Regional Office. He retired from state service upon his election as Chair of the CDP.

Eric is also Registered Nurse with graduate education in Health Care Administration. He spent many years in intensive care and trauma nursing before moving into hospital administration. In 1991, Eric co-founded a health care management consulting firm, Consultants in Nursing Services Administration, specializing in the administrative, staffing and information system needs of hospital nurses.He is a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Privacy PAC, is the Vice Chair of the LA County Insurance Commission and is on the advisory board of the Medical Reserve Corps of Los Angeles and the LA County Voting Systems Assessment Project Advisory Committee. Until recently, he was on the board of Glendale Memorial Hospital and the Latino Coalition Against AIDS.Eric lives in North Hollywood with his husband of many years, Michael, his late mother’s partner Trisha, and his dog Moe.

“American Enough” and MouthMedia Network do not necessarily support nor endorse any specific candidate for elected office.

Are America’s Schools Still Segreg​ated? – with Dennis Parker of the ACLU

ACLU

The ACLU‘s Director the Racial Justice Program, Dennis Parker, reflects with host Vikrum Aiyer, on the 64th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the progress we’ve made in racial inclusion, and the setbacks we confront…

Guest bio:

Dennis Parker (@DennisDParker) is director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program, leading its efforts in combating discrimination and addressing other issues with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Parker oversees work to combat the “School-to-Prison” pipeline, the profiling of airline passengers subjected to searches and wrongfully placed on watch lists and the racial bias in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the ACLU, Parker was the chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the Office of New York State Attorney General under Eliot Spitzer. He previously spent 14 years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Parker has also worked with the New York Legal Aid Society. He teaches Race, Poverty and Constitutional Law at New York Law School. He graduated from Harvard Law School and Middlebury College.

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There’s a lot going on in America (and the world) and Vikrum Aiyer — Former White House Senior Economic Policy Advisor (Obama Administration) and Former Chief of Staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office — has something to say about it all and about what it takes these days to be American enough.

“American Enough™ with Vikrum Aiyer”, is a weekly, town hall-style podcast discussing your questions and comments about current events, politics, and American ideals. As events unfold, Vikrum will share timely commentary wherever he is, as he travels, between meetings, and even en route to the office.

 

Kneeling with the NFL – with Michel Faulkner, NFL Alumni Association NY Chapter President

kneel NFL

Head of the NFL Alumni Association’s New York Chapter, and former NY Jets footballer, Michel Faulkner, debates the NFL’s decision penalizing players who kneel during the national anthem to protest policy brutality and racial inequities…

FaulknerStaking a position that defends the ban, while supporting civic protest, Faulkner and host Vikrum Aiyer also debate the state of America’s right to free expression in an era where everyone from the President to the ACLU and now even sports franchises are shaping how and where we are able to speak our minds.

Guest Bio:

For more than 32 years, Rev. Michel Faulkner has dedicated his life to serving God and his community. Growing up in Washington, D.C., he was an all-star football player that became a freshman All-American and four-year starter at VirginiaTech. In 1980, Rev.Faulkner graduated with a B.A. in communications. Then in 1985 he earned his M.A. in Education with emphasis in Career Counseling. After college, Rev. Faulkner played two seasons (1980-82) in the NFL, one season with the NY Jets. In 1983, Faulkner returned to Virginia Tech and graduated with a Master’s. Upon completing of his Master’s degree, he became the Assistant Dean of Students at Liberty University in 1985, and was promoted to Vice President for Urban Ministry in 1987.

In 1988, Rev. Faulkner and his family moved to Times Square in New York City, to run a soup kitchen as Assistant Pastor for the Lamb’s Church. A little more than one year later, he joined the staff of Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan as Pastor for Youth and Community Outreach, where he was ordained inDecember 1991. While at Calvary he also served as co-chairman for the New York City Board of Education’s HIV/ AIDS Task Force from 1991- 1994

In 1993, Rev. Faulkner became the Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He was able to grow the congregation from an average of 50 weekly attendees to over 400. While serving as Senior Pastor at Central he also served as the Vice President for Community Government Relations at King’s College from 1998 to 2002. He served on Mayor Giuliani’s Task Force on Police Community Relations and wasa Commissioner for the City Charter Revision. Also from June of 2002 to February of 2004, Rev. Faulkner served as World Vision’s Director of U.S. Programs in New York City helping to give share to their 9/11 response in NYC.

In 2005, Rev. Faulkner founded the Institute for Leadership, a 501-3c organization to develop leaders and bring scalable solutions to difficult community problems. In June 2006, Rev. Faulkner he founded the New Horizon Church of New York in Harlem on the purpose to build bridges between the economically and socially disadvantaged in the name ofChrist.

In 2010 Rev. Faulkner he was the Republican candidate for Congress for New York’s 15th Congressional district. Also in 2010, Rev. Faulkner published his first book “Restoring the American Dream”, which highlights his vision and goals to save the American Dream for future generations. In September 2015 Rev. Faulkner became a Republican candidate for Mayor and in May 2017 switched to a candidacy for Comptroller. He was nominated by Republican, Conservative, Reformed and Independence Parties. He received 22 percent of the vote November 8 2017.

Rev. Faulkner has completed four marathons including the 2010 NYC Marathon which was a lifelong goal for him. In October 27, 2013, he completed the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. Rev. Faulkner is also a frequent commenter for numerous national and local media outlets including CNN and FOX News.

In February 2014 Rev. Faulkner lost his wife, Virginia, of more than 31 years to lupus. Together they raised 3 children in New York City, all have graduated College. In March 2015, Rev. Faulkner married Dr. Sarai Padilla. She is a practicing psychologist for more than 30 years and has one daughter and three grandchildren.

Data privacy, consumer rights, and governance in the wake of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

Brittany Kaiser

Whistleblower Brittany Kaiser and information privacy legal expert Cameron Russell join MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez for a wide-ranging discussion on data privacy…

Brittany KaiserBrittany Kaiser (international law, diplomacy and data-driven campaigning professional and Co-Founder of the Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA), as well as former Business Development Director for Cambridge Analytica) and Cameron Russell (Executive Director, Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP), and Adjunct Professor of Law teaching Information Privacy law at Fordham University) join MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. With an introduction by host Vikrum Aiyer.

In this episode:

  • Kaiser discusses working in data and politics, her prior work with Cambridge Analytica, why she left there, being a whistleblower because of the way the data industry worked in a parasitic way, her goal to be contributing on how to change things, and the social and legal contracts with companies who collect data
  • A review of what happened with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, and how the revelations about them made Kaiser reflect on everything that happened
  • The lack of due diligence, thinking about ethics, laws, whether they are sufficient to protect individuals
  • Is personal data “property”, and the control we should have over it
  • Paying the price for the way we’ve been sharing info, the boundaries of privacy and identityBrittany Kaiser
  • How tracking and keep up where one’s personal info is going to, and monetization and the cost transparency of goods
  • Is data a public utility or commodity, should data be regulated the same way?
  • Why Kaiser is against the “Delete Facebook” campaign.
  • The potential solution offered by blockchain, trackable, traceable, and an encrypted digital identity that would require consent for every usage
  • Are lawmakers from the wrong generation to have meaningful discourse around these issues, and how do we build a system that works?
  • Do tech giants want to reform on their own?
  • Issues with using proprietary algorithms (entrenching existing bias) in proceedings while allowing due process
  • When talking about use of data on government side vs. private company, is utilizing citizens’ data a form of taxation by the government?
  • The government needs to maintain law and order, but needs transparency – yet some things need to be covert
  • Most US residents don’t realize there is data to be opting out of, but in Europe it is by default opt out
  • The issue with “data brokers”
  • Protection for children regarding data, and whether that should be extended to adults, as also in COPPA
  • The hope that privacy is not dead, and Kaiser’s appeal to Mark Zuckerberg to offer transparency of data on Facebook
  • Are we at privacy-risk with new technology, and is privacy perhaps something we can only protect for our children?

How Sports, Not Politics, Drive Divisions in America – with Zaid Jilani

Zaid Jilani

What if the source of this polarization in our country had little to do with where people actually fall on the issues, or what people actually believe in?

The Intercept’s Zaid Jilani joins the pod to unpack a new study that identifies how a team-sports mentality in America is wedging more of us against each other, rather than a division on ideas or policies. Mapping the evolution and rise of tribal sports in politics, Jilani highlights how our politics exploit this distinction between team & topic, and what that means for the day to day governance in our democracy.

Zaid Jilani – Photo from The Intercepttween team & topic, and what that means for the day to day governance in our democracy.

According to The Intercept, “Zaid Jilani is a journalist who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked as a reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress, United Republic, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Alternet.

He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs and received his master’s in public administration from Syracuse University in 2014.”

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There’s a lot going on in America (and the world) and Vikrum Aiyer — Former White House Senior Economic Policy Advisor (Obama Administration) and Former Chief of Staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office — has something to say about it all and about what it takes these days to be American enough.

“American Enough™ with Vikrum Aiyer”, is a weekly, town hall-style podcast discussing your questions and comments about current events, politics, and American ideals. As events unfold, Vikrum will share timely commentary wherever he is, as he travels, between meetings, and even en route to the office.

 

020 – Florida and the Identity of American Public Schools, Beyond Guns – with Alex Heeren

Alex HeerenWhy Florida teacher Alex Heeren is running for office, and sees hope in the modern student…

How does the identity of a public school, its teachers, and it students change after a tragedy like Parkland? All too often it’s easy to reduce the current assessment of our schools as political debates around whether teachers should be armed, whether gun control laws pass, or what the Secretary of Education did or didn’t say.

But for Alex Heeren, the future of the identity of public schools extends far beyond politics; it demands a rigorous debate around resources, representing teacher voice, investing in a 21st century infrastructure, and empowering student activism. As a life long teacher himself, he details why he has decided to run for office, and how despite gun violence or divisions in America, he sees hope in the identity of the modern public school student.

Alex Heeren was born in Seminole and has lived there for almost his entire life. He went to Lakewood High School, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. He has been serving his community since he was a child. He was a Boy Scout who often engaged in service projects, and as an adult has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. In his professional life, Alex was a math teacher for several years at Meadowlawn Middle School. He also ran a Girls Who Code after school program, and still coaches the school’s volleyball team. Now, Heeren is a Technology Integration Coordinator with Pinellas County Schools. He helps teachers incorporate technology into their classrooms. He and his wife Teal, who is an English teacher, live in Seminole.

019 – America’s Trade Policy and National Security – with Nomi Goheer

The impact of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum on America’s foreign policy and identity on the world stage…

Recently, President Trump enacted high tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum into the United States.

Domestically, immigrants are being scoffed at for looking a certain way and not being “American” enough. Transgender individuals are being called for not being “fit enough” to serve in our military. Sexual assault & neo-nazi behavior is being condoned by the Oval Office. And internationally our identity and our moral authority is being chipped away at, begging the question of who is “enough” of an American ally.

Core to that shift is a changing of the guard of how America represents itself globally. Our democratic values and commitment to free/open trade have always been essential American exports overseas. But recent overtures, some political (Tweet wars with Prime Minister Teresa May), and others substantive (steel/aluminum tariffs) has impacted everything from global stock markets, to how we conduct foreign policy, to skepticism among global intelligence agencies, to inciting potential trade wars. How does America maintain its identity as a leader on the world stage when we call trade practices among allies threats to national security? How does America’s trade & foreign policy apparatus get respected among allies or foes, when major decisions are often reported on as being snap judgments by the Administration? How does a Section 232 national security review change our relationship with other countries? How will the tariffs impact local businesses?

Nomi Goheer is an associate in Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s Global Trade & Investment Practice Group in Washington, DC. He provides advice and assistance to clients on the government regulation of international trade, particularly with regard to export controls, economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, and foreign investment in the United States under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). He also provides advice to clients on U.S. trade policy and trade remedies.

018 – The American Identity – Live from SXSW

SXSW

Who is American Enough under this Administration?

SXSW groupThe Deputy Director of the ACLU, the actor & co-producer of the Netflix-distributed documentary “Meet the Patels”, and the nation’s youngest & openly gay mayor to be shortlisted as a presidential contender, all join Vikrum Aiyer on the podcast stage at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, to examine the American identity.

Guest bios:

Ravi Vasant Patel is an American actor, who recently wrote & directed with his sister, an award-winning autobiographical documentary (distributed by Netflix) Meet the Patels, which examines love & the South Asian immigrant. Fox Searchlight films are currently working with Ravi and his sister on a wide-screen release remake. He is a former investment banker; an Economics and International Studies double major graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill; and his work has been featured alongside Aziz Ansari & John Stamos.

 

mayorMayor Pete Buttigieg is a Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who’s drawn national attention from media pundits and politicians since becoming the city’s leader at the age of 29 in 2011. He is rumored to be a presidential contender in 2024 but is presently on the path of becoming the 1st openly gay person ever to be elected to state office in Indiana.

 

JaweerJaweer Brown is the Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and has lead the rebranding,  corporate partnerships, and digital outreach overhauls for the ACLU since the election of Trump. She has historical lead reproductive rights campaigns for the ACLU, and lead similar campaigns for Planned Parenthood. She is the daughter of bi-racial parents; a graduate of UC Boulder, Yale, and Emory; was named by In-Style Magazine as one of the top women to watch shaping American life.

 

017 – The Rise of Women Does Not Need to Be at the Expense of Men – with Rachel Payne

Rachel Payne

When a successful entrepreneur steps into the political arena to reclaim American decency…

What do Orange County, comedian Chelsea Handler, and Emily’s List all have in common? They are tectonic forces that are powering Rachel Payne‘s campaign in California’s 48th congressional district. Traditionally a Republican stronghold, Payne — a former philanthropist and entrepreneur — tells us why she is stepping out of private life and leaning into public life to reclaim American decency, stand up for Unions while advancing Tech, and put out a Congressman who has been tied to the Russian Government.

Rachel Payne has built an exceptional career as a technology executive and entrepreneur, while actively involved in philanthropic activities. A recognized thought leader in the advancement of technology to reshape our world, she champions policies that make a meaningful place for everyone in the new economy. Payne was born in San Bernardino, California and grew up in a working-class family. When her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, her father became a union operating engineer. After her parents were divorced, Payne’s mother worked multiple jobs to support her family as a single mom of three children.

Payne won numerous scholarships, worked several part-time jobs and took out loans to become the first person in her family to go to college. She has lead teams at eBay, helped Google stand up its first philanthropic arm, and has also helped bring lines of credit to the rural poor in other parts of the world.


There’s a lot going on in America (and the world) and Vikrum Aiyer — Former White House Senior Economic Policy Advisor (Obama Administration) and Former Chief of Staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office — has something to say about it all and about what it takes these days to be American enough.

“American Enough™ with Vikrum Aiyer”, is a weekly, town hall-style podcast discussing your questions and comments about current events, politics, and American ideals. As events unfold, Vikrum will share timely commentary wherever he is, as he travels, between meetings, and even en route to the office.

“American Enough” and MouthMedia Network do not necessarily support nor endorse any specific candidate for elected office.