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The Foley Institute Fall 2019

Fall 2019

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Wednesday, December 4 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series | Meet your local legislators: Preview the upcoming Legislative session

On Wednesday December 4th  State legislators Mary Dye, Joe Schmick, and Mark Schoesler, spoke at the Foley Institute about the upcoming legislative session and what issue they think are the most concerning in the Palouse and around Washington

Representative Schoesler (R) spoke about the importance of listening to tax payers, and how voters in red districts around the state are frustrated by the increasing prices of car tabs. Furthermore, he spoke about the discrepancies in funding for transportation around the state and how public officials need to keep their campaign promises consistent with their actions in office. Finally, he voiced opposition to potential future gun measures and said that most gun crimes are not committed with semi-automatic weapons.

Representative Dye (R) spoke about the last legislative session and how changes in the funding of K-12 education have shifted the tax burden onto high value properties on the west side of the state. Furthermore, she explained how this combined with new transportation funding of the sound district being shifted unto car tabs may have overburdened certain households in Washington. Additionally, she explained how many other increases in state spending have been directed at providing housing and mental health services for homeless individuals around Washington.

Representative Schmick (R) spoke about his concern with the lack of EMT volunteers as well as volunteer firefighters in rural areas. He also spoke about the difficulty of implementing mental health services without an available workforce to help the state. He said that critical access hospitals are struggling to continue running and finding models to provide care, and that health care is extremely important. Furthermore, the state legislature will need to address the lack of services in eastern Washington, In the future in order to preserve a rural way of life.



Tuesday, November 19 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series | Jihadist in Mali: The story of Amadou Koufa

On Tuesday November 19 Peter Chilson of the English department at Washington State University spoke about Amadou Koufa, a Jihadist leader in Mali, whom he has researched and written about for many years.

Amadou Koufa is regarded as one of the most dangerous players involved in the ongoing civil war in Mali. He and his followers are part of the reason why Mali is considered the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping assignment of the United Nations.

Koufa’s goal is to bring Islam back to the time when the prophet Mohammed lived; he and his followers are opposed to Mali’s education system, among many other establishments. The schools have been shut down to prevent children from learning any language other than Arabic, and to keep women and girls from learning at all. Other crucial government functions are currently non-functional as well: healthcare services, infrastructure, and more.

Multiple attempts to end Koufa’s dangerous and violent influence have been made. Most recently, the French believed that they had killed Koufa and released a statement in 2017 announcing his death. Al-Qaeda immediately responded, claiming that this information was false, which France dismissed. Two months later, a time-stamped video was released showing Koufa was  alive and well. France had to withdraw their earlier statement.



Thursday, November 14 | 4:30 PM | Foley Speakers Room
Panel Discussion | Impeaching President Trump?

On Thursday November 14 David Adler, president of the Alturas Foundation, and Stuart Chinn, Associate Professor Law at the University of Oregon, spoke at the Foley Institute about the current impeachment hearings, and what the outcome may look like for President Trump.

David Adler explained the history of the impeachment process as outlined in our Constitution, how it dates back to the processes that England used during colonial times and how the Founding Fathers took the aspects that worked and revised those that did not to form the process the United States has today.
Stuart Chinn addressed several of the moments of this presidency that people are calling constitutional violations, mentioning that just because a president acts outside the norms does not necessarily mean that he should be subject to an impeachment inquiry. However, in the instance of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine, it is important to investigate the possibilities of a quid pro quo, or worse, potential extortion.



Thursday, November 14 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series | Climate Change: Will politics kill us?

Former Congressmen Bob Inglis (R) and Brian Baird (D) visited the Foley on November 14 to discuss climate change concerns and possible bipartisan solutions.

Brian Baird explained that climate change policies are created with future generations in mind. He emphasized the need for politicians to cohesively address challenges being displayed by climate change. Addressing Bob Inglis, Brian suggested opposing political orientations working together towards responsible and effective policy. To generate this dialogue, climate change conversations must be framed to appeal to the perspectives and dispositions of all.

Bob Inglis proposed that the process of finding solutions to climate change may be the catalyst to saving the republic. In working towards the common goal of solving climate change concerns, bipartisan solutions would form the bonds of future bipartisan cooperation. Bob also spoke of he and Baird’s revenue neutral—boarder adjustable—carbon tax policy, which would apply a tax to imports from countries with different carbon taxes without increasing the size of government.



Monday, November 6 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room
Pizza & Politics Series | Liberals and conservatives: The biology of political differences

On Wednesday November 6 John Hibbing, Foundation Regent University Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, spoke at the Foley institute about experiments exploring biological differences between liberals and conservatives.

He concluded through a series of experiments that conservatives are more likely compared to liberals to spot negative images as well as focus on negative situations for longer amounts of time. They were also more likely to definitively categorize stimuli and leave less room for ambiguity during different events. Surprisingly, ‘Trump Venerators’, or individuals who are highly supportive of the president were significantly less likely compared to liberals to feel resentful, bitter or frustrated about their current situation, or future outlook. However, they were also extremely concerned about personal safety and suspicious of outsiders. He concluded by reminding the audience that biological and genetic differences are not necessarily the same thing. He further suggested that two thirds of the bases of our political leanings can be attributed to our collective experiences and one third to our genetic makeup.



Monday, November 4 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room
Pizza & Politics Series | Climate change: A moral imperative

On Monday November 4 Robin Meyers, NPR commentator, author, and senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church, came to the Foley to discuss climate change and its connection to Christianity. He began by discussing how the bible describes man’s relation to the earth. Christians believe that the earth is a warehouse of resources. The bible claims that mankind “has dominion” over every living thing that resides on the earth. He stated this assumption asserts humans have been granted power and authority over everything except God. In response to this, Meyers pointed that when the bible was written, mankind did not have the technology or the population it does now. Due to technological developments and the climate crisis, it is no longer prudent to view the world this way.

Meyers went on to explain that norms are challenged by, in the biblical sense, profits. He then compared Gretta Thunberg to biblical profits stating profits in a biblical sense come along to tell people things they would rather not hear, and Gretta Thunberg has come along to tell the world it needs to change. These are behaviors that match how profits behave in the bible. Meyers concluded that climate change is a moral imperative, because it makes people feel compelled to act.



Tuesday, October 29 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room
Honors College Bhatia Lecture | Ireland: Brexit & the border

On Tuesday October 29, Paul O’Connor spoke at the Foley Institute about the effects of Brexit on Ireland, and gave a brief history of conflicts Ireland has faced. He discussed the perspective which some British citizens hold: England was once an empire, and it is in the nation’s best interest to get that status back. O’Connor quoted a woman he had heard on the radio who shared this viewpoint, saying when she was young England “ruled half the world”.

However in Ireland, there are groups who believe Brexit itself is a violation of the Good Friday Agreement, which states “there can be no change to the constitutional status of Ireland without agreement from the people that live there”.
He also pointed a complexity of identifying oneself as British or Irish for people living in Northern Ireland being the Good Friday Agreement giving them the right to identify as both. O’Connor stated this acknowledgement was necessary as they could still be legally Irish citizens living in British territory.



Monday, October 28 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room
A conversation with Washington State’s Attorney General: Bob Ferguson

Washington State’s Attorney General BobFerguson Came to the Foley to discuss the current federal litigation his office is currently engaged in.  His office is currently engaged in 50 lawsuits against the Trump Administration. 26 of those cases are environmental cases, which includes a lawsuit about violation of the endangered species act.  Another area of interest is health care, but currently, immigration is a major focus for Ferguson. Ferguson’s office is currently suing the Trump administration over their policies on DACA. There are about 18,000 Dreamers in Washington State, which made Ferguson feel that a lawsuit was a necessary measure. This lawsuit is the only thing blocking dreamers from being deported, and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on this case on November 12th of this year. Other Immigration cases Ferguson is involved in include topics like family separation and census participation.

Ferguson also addressed the recent issues with I-1639, the bill that raised the legal purchase age for semi-automatic assault rifles and required enhanced background checks for semi-automatic rifles. The issues come from some local law enforcement refusing to do these enhanced background checks. Ferguson explained that the sheriffs have an obligation to run these background checks. Ferguson explained that he has publicly addressed the sheriffs by saying that they have a legal obligation to enforce the law, and if they wish to change it they should go through litigation and the proper channels because noncompliance puts the taxpayer on the line for accidents that occur due to negligence.



Thursday, October 24 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room
A conversation with the Chair of the NEH | Building a more perfect union: A cultural policy for the 21st Century

On Thursday October 24 Chair of the National Endowment for Humanities, Jon Parrish Peede spoke at Foley Institute about the importance of preserving American history and the methods that the NEH uses to inspire civic education and historical learning.

Jon explained how the NEH is the leading federal agency supporting scholarships in the humanities. The NEH also supports several projects that aim to preserve historical infrastructure as well as artifacts and native American languages. Jon stresses that wisdom is the foundation of a successful democracy and that culture is a stable entity which is untouched by economic strife when citizens are willing to uphold it. Across the nation the arts and cultural sector is an 800-billion-dollar industry that continues to grow. Jon asks how citizens are capitalizing on this success story and how they should get involved in this industry and continue to enrich the lives of young people and fellow citizens. He concluded by telling the audience about his concern for the lack of civic education in public schools and how a variety of different voices from different background are needed to fill this educational gap in an inclusive way.



Wednesday, October 23 | 4:30 PM | Foley Speakers Room
Science, Ethics, and Public Policy Series | Designing animals: The science and ethics of gene-editing 

On Wednesday October 23, Jon Oatley of Washington State University, Paul Thompson of Michigan State University, and Aleta Quinn of the University of Idaho discussed various topics presented by moderator Samantha Noll of Washington State University, regarding the science and ethics of gene-editing on agricultural animals.

Jon Oatley discussed the history genome-editing on animals, tracing genetic engineering to the domestication and selective breeding of animals over 10,000 years ago. In the 1980s, scientists began utilizing DNA to identify favorable genetic traits for breeding, catalyzing the actions of gene-editing to occur in 2013. On a World scale more people are dying per year from starvation than any other affliction, promoting food security as the likely driving force behind consideration and utilization of gene-editing today.

Paul Thompson analyzed the history of policies surrounding gene-editing. Policy decisions during the Regan administration reflected apprehension in passing new legislation or creating new regulatory agencies to oversee bio-technology. The FDA assumed authority over genetic-modifications of animals, creating an administrative channel to continue development. Paul noted that approval from the FDA remains time-consuming, requires more data, and is extremely expensive.

Aleta Quinn closed with a presentation on the ethical implications of genomic-editing. De-extinction is the process of taking cells from one animal and combining it with another to engineer an animal with specific characteristics. Aleta suggested that this process could serve to artificially increase the population of endangered species and create a surplus in genetically identical organs for people. She stated this should not discount other considerations of usage such as creating artificial species and the what the process of gene-editing may look like in practice. 


Monday, October 21 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series | Brexit?

On October 21, Craig Parsons and Todd Butler came to the Foley Institute to discuss the looming October 31 deadline for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Craig Parsons began the discussion with contemporary inaccuracies Brexit has inspired. Britain, in an effort to further coalesce support following anti-immigration sentiments, repackaged the referendum to appeal to the educated wing of the conservative party. This was done by rebranding the EU in opposition to free trade and globalization. Parson also alluded to the practical difficulties of Brexit, highlighting that the EU has the most open free trade system in the world that would be incredibly difficult to dismantle.

Todd Butler then discussed the history of Brexit, starting 400 years ago when King Charles I suspended parliament for 11 years only to bring the body back into session because he needed money for a war with Scotland. Butler suggested similarities between Britain during the 1640s and Brexit today. Voting patterns for Brexit appears to loosely reflect polarization consistent with support for the King and support for Parliament in the 1640s. Further, the British State is splintered along those who want to stay in the EU and those who want to leave and shutting down parliament, an offense against parliament’s right to act, is a flashpoint of the 1640s as well.



Wednesday, October 9 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speaker’s Room

Latin America and right-wing populism

On Tuesday October 8, Dr. Steven Levitsky discussed the potential danger of authoritarianism facing American democracy today. He stated increased levels of income inequality, circumstances surrounding the transition of political power, and presidencies with visibly authoritarian instinct become contributing factors to the instability of American democracy.

Dr. Levitsky presented extensive research on the unprecedenteddivisivenessof contemporary politics in America to suggest a departure from civility was created in the 19th century. Right-wing leadership in the 1990’s shifted to political norms of constitutional hardball that laid the groundwork for modern demagogues. These norms cultivated extreme political polarization over time and a bifurcation from what he termed “the soft guard rails of democracy.”

He explained that while America still holds many democratic traditions such as strong political institutions, an adherence to mutual toleration and forbearance are what fundamentally maintain democracies. Political parties in America are the gatekeepers of democratic processes and without hared commitment to institutional restraint, these parties are doomed to fail. In his final remarks, Dr. Levitsky suggests he Republican Party will likely remain susceptible to extremism unless it changes to reflect more diversity in its party and voter base.



Tuesday, October 8 | 4:30 PM | CUE 203

Authoritarianism and democracy in America

On Wednesday October 9, Harvard Professor Dr. Steven Levitsky spoke at the Foley institute about the emergence of far right-wing movements in Latin America and how economic fluctuations and crime have shifted power between the moderate left and right wings over the last three decades.

Levitsky explained that poverty and inequality in Latin America laid the groundwork for political instability before and during the Cold War. After the Cold War, coups in Latin America became less common and democracy was slowly able to emerge in several regions. Between 2000 and 2012 Latin America saw a major rise in its exports allowing many countries to increase their budgets for popular social programs. However, satisfaction with moderate left-wing parties began to dwindle as economies stagnated. In combination with corruption and high crime, this has led many to shift their support to far right wing parties in hopes that they will fix the problem. While this shift hasn’t been as large as many expected, more far right parties could emerge if moderates don’t deliver on their promises.



Wednesday, October 2 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speaker’s Room

Psychoanalysis and the politics of conspiracy

On Wednesday October 2, Dr. Amy Allen from Penn State discussed the politics and pathology of conspiracy theories. She explained that conspiracies are a form of paranoid-schizoid politics which include characteristics of persecutory anxiety, extreme political polarization, and demonizing opponents. Dr. Allen stated these characteristics are seen in extremists from the Democrat and Republican parties, drawing them as reminiscent to symptoms of those with paranoid schizophrenia.
In an example of this scenario, she stated the Republican Party currently controls both the Presidency and the Senate, yet there is often talk of party members feeling persecuted. Well known conspiracies addressed by Dr. Allen that follow this pattern include those who believe the Sandy Hook school shooting was fake and President Obama being “rotten” because he had flies land on him.


Thursday, September 26 | 4:30 PM | Foley Speakers Room

The Politics of addiction

On September 26, Andre Hofmeyr and Harold Kincaid of the University of Capetown, William Kabasenche of Washington State University, and Jonathan Kaplan of Oregon discussed the root causes of addiction. Dr. Kabasenche moderated the event.

Harold Kincaid presented evidence as to why addiction should not take much of mainstream addiction framework at face value. Kincaid hypothesized that a good way to look at addictive behavior is not through a disease model or mental illness model, but rather as a continuum of behavior. Most addicts are transient and have varying degrees of problems with social context influencing seriousness. The number of addicts who are “classic addict” is relatively small. This hypothesis has not been tested because data of treatment successes or failures only looks at people in treatment centers dealing with the hardest cases.

Andre Hofmeyr discussed how rationalizing addictive behavior can be done by studying two factors; risk and time preferences. Risk preferences showed no difference in attitude between smokers and non-smokers. Time preferences showed smokers are more impatient and impulsive than non-smokers. Hofmeyr concluded if we can understand what drives addiction, we can have a better understanding of how to effectively solve the problem.

Jonathan Kaplan addressed the role genetics plays in addiction. Genetics can give a misleading picture to the roots of addiction. Genetic studies shows 50% of people inherit addictive behavior. He argued that addressing the root cause of addiction should not be done on a case by case basis, but through public policy. Policy differences that aim at environmental factors are likely to be more effective at reducing addiction than responses to individual causes.



Tuesday, September 24 | 4:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Trade & Security in East Asia: A conversation with the Japanese Consul-General

On September 24, Japanese Consul-General Yoichiro (Giro) Yamada spoke at the Foley Institute about the future of trade relations and security between Japan and US, as well as the historical ties between Japan and the state of Washington.

Yamada addressed the tense trade relationship between the U.S and Japan during the 1990s due to a large trading deficit experienced by the U.S., and explained how investment and reforms helped to resolve the conflict between the two countries. Today, new concerns about the future of trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement have arisen, with the U.S embracing more protectionist policies.

The relationship between the U.S and China has changed as well, with the U.S. now experiencing the largest trade deficit in its history. With China’s increasing authoritarian tendencies, Yamada felt that the stage has been set for a clash similar to that of the Cold War. He expressed his hopes that China and democracies like the U.S and Japan can come together over a shared commitment to preserve peace for future generations.


Tuesday, September 24 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Addiction in the Northwest: Addressing the drug crisis

On September 24, Dr. Bob Lutz and Dr. John Roll discussed addiction in the Pacific Northwest and how to address the current drug crisis. Both Lutz and Roll agree that addiction is a product of our social environment.

Lutz, health officer for the Spokane Regional Health District, pointed that addiction is a chronic brain disorder and the first time a person with a drug addiction interacts with help should not be through incarceration as that is doing a disservice to them and society. Dr. Lutz extended support of Washington’s 2019 opioid response bill (HB 1331/SB 5380) which would provide treatment, opioid overdose reversal medication, and a variety of other services to combat this crisis.

Roll, professor and Vice Dean for research at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, explained that opioid abuse is not a singular issue to manage when discussing the addiction crisis because methamphetamine usage is on the rise at similar levels to heroin. A solution Dr. Roll offers is using contingency management (CM) due to high rates of success in increasing abstinence rates of drug usage, its ability to be a positive reinforcer, and its cost effectivity. The Department of Veterans Affairs has been implementing CM since 2011.


Wednesday, September 4 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Marijuana: Evil weed or medical miracle?

On September 4, Herbert L. Eastlick Distinguished Professor of Psychology Rebecca Craft spoke at the Foley institute about current research and policies regarding the legalization of Marijuana.

Craft addressed misconceptions about current research surrounding the effects Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the body, as well as why marijuana is still considered a schedule 1 drug by the FDA. Overall more research is necessary to determine the long-term health outcomes of marijuana use on the body, although she suggested that the outlook is very promising.



Thursday, August 29 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Turkey Today: Conflict and Crisis

On August 29, Dr. Chris Kilford spoke at the institute about the political history of Turkey, and what we might expect to see in the future

Kilford, a Research Fellow with the Conference of Defense Associations Institute, explained how the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was the initial catalyst for the continuing instability of Turkey. What we think of modern-day Turkey was established in 1923, with many factors affecting its social and economic development. Kilford described conflicts with neighboring countries, the rise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and more recently, mass migration into the country as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis.

He also discussed Turkey’s long history with successive military coups, most recently the failed military coup intended to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016. In response to questions from the audience, Kilford suggested that the future of Turkey is unlikely to see civil war despite its extensive history with coup d’états. He emphasized the necessity of new leadership for positive change within the country.