Burn the Boats

Burn the Boats

Burn the Boats is a podcast about big decisions. Decisions like Alexander the Great made when he landed his troops on the shores of Persia and ordered his men to burn their boats. Host Ken Harbaugh interviews political leaders, influencers, and other history makers about the choices we confront when failure is not an option.

Episodes

June 16, 2021 26 min
Judge Lina Hidalgo, county executive for Harris County, Texas, talks about changing the system from within and about budgeting through a values lens.  Including the city of Houston, Harris County is the third most populous in the country, larger than some states. As the county's chief executive, Lina took early public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and has made great strides to challenge voter suppression in Tex...
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Elliot Ackerman, Marine combat veteran and bestselling author, talks about writing and about his fears for the future. Elliot’s latest book is 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. The Harper’s story referenced in the episode is “Civil Warning”. Learn more about Elliot’s work at elliotackerman.com and find him on Twitter at @elliotackerman. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Christian Picciolini, a former leader in the American white power movement, talks about his past and his current work in extremism prevention. Christian runs the Free Radicals Project, which is dedicated to extremism prevention and disengagement. His latest book is titled Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism. Learn more about his work at christianpicciolini.com and learn about the Free Radicals Project at freerad...
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Rep. Jason Crow, former Army Ranger and congressman from Colorado’s 6th district, talks about the January 6th insurrection and the importance of truth and accountability. Rep. Crow served as a House impeachment manager during Trump’s first impeachment trial in early 2020. In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, he has been hailed by his colleagues in Congress as “one of the heroes of that day,” for his actions guiding fellow m...
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Dr. Kathleen Belew talks about the white power movement and the role of veterans in the movement’s history. Dr. Belew is a professor of U.S. history at the University of Chicago, and the nation's foremost expert on the involvement of military veterans in the white power movement. She is the author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America. Find Kathleen on Twitter at @kathleen_belew and learn ...
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April 7, 2021 37 min
Jon Soltz, founder of VoteVets, talks about the organization's origins and priorities and what it means to give a voice to veterans. Jon served two tours in Iraq. VoteVets’ PAC helps elect veterans to public office at the federal, state, and local level. Find Jon on Twitter at @jonsoltz and VoteVets at @votevets. Learn more about VoteVets at votevets.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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March 24, 2021 35 min
Content Warning: this episode includes some graphic descriptions of wounds and combat. Dr. Jon Heavey is an emergency room physician on the front lines of the battle against COVID, who began his medical career as a battalion surgeon with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. Jon is also the Director of Business Development at Cleveland Clinic Innovations and the co-founder of Minuteman Capital. Find Jon on Twitter at @Jo...
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Carlos Gauna is an artist, videographer and wildlife advocate. On his YouTube channel, TheMalibuArtist, Carlos shares his drone footage of marine life. His videos have been viewed millions of times and are a powerful tool for public education and advocacy on behalf of these animals. Find Carlos’s videos on YouTube and follow him on Instagram at @themalibuartist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Dan Barkhuff, former Navy Seal and founder of Veterans for Responsible Leadership, talks about fighting Trumpism and the importance of belonging.  Veterans for Responsible Leadership is an organization founded to help fight Trump and to serve as a tribe to compete with the white nationalism of Trumpism. In addition to founding VFRL, Dan Barkhuff is an ex-Navy SEAL, emergency medicine physician, and star of two viral videos from the...
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Steve Schmidt, longtime Republican political strategist and co-founder of The Lincoln Project, comes on Burn the Boats to talk about his work fighting Trump and Trumpism. Steve worked on the campaigns of President George W. Bush and John McCain. He served in the White House as a senior advisor to both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and was largely responsible for the Supreme Court nominations of Justices Alito and Robert...
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Mike Howard, a veteran in the security and protection field, comes on Burn the Boats to talk about his 22 year career with the CIA and the years he spent as Chief Security Officer at Microsoft. Keep an eye out for Mike’s upcoming book on leadership, out later in 2021, titled “The Art of Ronin Leadership: Strategy, Execution, Sustained Success. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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This rerun from July 2020 features former congressman Max Rose and counterterrorism expert Ali Soufan talking about their work addressing the threat of transnational violent white supremacist groups in the United States and across the world. This episode aired long before the events of January 6th, but the conversation was prescient. If we want to stop threats like last week’s violent mob at the Capitol in the future, we need to li...
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Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio talks about the dignity of work, his Senate desk 88, and the role of both fear and hope in politics. A lifelong champion for working families, Senator Brown began his political career as the youngest member of the Ohio House of Representatives. He has served as a US Representative, as Ohio’s Secretary of State, and, since 2007, as a US Senator and one of the only Democrats in Ohio elected to statewide ...
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Ken celebrates the 10th anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell with Doug Wilson, former Pentagon official who played a key role in the repeal. Doug Wilson is a former Pentagon official, campaign veteran, and foreign policy expert. As Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, he played a key role in the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which was signed into law by President Obama on December 22, 2010. Learn more about Doug...
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December 9, 2020 30 min
Award-winning author Aida Salazar talks about writing difficult stories for children, raising a new generation of activists, and the intersections of art and activism.  Learn more about Aida and her work - writing, art, activism, and more - at aidasalazar.com. Her most recent novel, Land of the Cranes, is out now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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November 25, 2020 34 min
Jake Wood, veteran and CEO of Team Rubicon, talks about his new memoir, the value of veterans serving in disaster relief, and the power of vulnerability in leaders.  Learn more about Jake’s organization Team Rubicon and find them on Twitter at @TeamRubicon. Find Jake himself on Twitter at @JakeWoodTR. His memoir, Once A Warrior: How One Veteran Found a New Mission Closer to Home, is out now. Learn more about your ad choices...
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Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, talks about the role of markets in working towards a better world and how the kind of work she does has changed in recent years as the rising generation demands sustainability, inclusion, equity, and justice. Jacqueline’s organization, Acumen, is a nonprofit impact investment fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty. Learn more about Acumen on their ...
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November 4, 2020 45 min
The day after the election, we're airing a rerun on Burn the Boats. Listen to Ken's conversation with Pete Buttigieg from this summer - talking about patriotism, his hopes for the future of our country, and the need for America to rebuild trust. Pete Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Learn more about his new PAC at wintheera.com and by watching hi...
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Just days before the 2020 election, Ken passes the mic to guest host Esosa Osa, Research and Policy Director for Fair Fight Action. Esosa interviews Sylvia Albert from Common Cause about voting rights and next week's election. Sylvia Albert is the Director of Voting and Elections at Common Cause. Common Cause is a nonpartisan national organization focused on strengthening democracy through litigation, lobbying, and grassroots o...
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October 21, 2020 29 min
MJ Hegar, Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas, talks about her campaign, what drove her to run in the first place, and the prejudiced responses she sometimes gets to the Purple Heart on her license plate. MJ is an Air Force veteran, author of the memoir Shoot Like a Girl, and one of the only women to ever be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor. Learn more about MJ’s campaign for Texas’s Senate seat at https://mjf...
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