Episode 47

Buffalo Shooting, Baby Formula Shortage, Elon x Twitter, Fentanyl Crisis

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki start with the racist mass shooting in Buffalo before turning to America’s record-high drug overdose deaths, Elon Musk’s back-and-forth with Twitter, the baby formula shortage, and high school grade inflation.


Ravi, Cory, and Rikki start by discussing the horrific racist mass shooting in Buffalo over the weekend. They get into the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory avowed by the suspect and its unsettling prevalence in American culture and society, debating the extent to which mainstream media figures like Tucker Carlson can be linked to extremist hate crimes. [01:12]

Ravi breaks down the record high in overdose deaths and how fentanyl is behind a shocking proportion of drug fatalities. The hosts discuss the surging crisis and all the potential avenues to addressing the problem, debating which make sense and which don’t. [15:07] 

Cory brings us up to date on Elon’s Edge Lord antics with Twitter. The hosts debate whether Musk’s flirtation with calling off the buyout bid is genuine or a tactical move to score a discount. [25:01] 

Rikki explains what’s behind the baby formula shortage – including the recall, the government bureaucracy, and the supply chain – before the hosts discuss the high-octane political fingerpointing accompanying the crisis. [30:05]

Ravi talks through a recent ACT study calling high school grade inflation a “persistent, systemic” problem in America’s education system, arguing that standardized tests are an imperfect tool for objective assessment but no less vital to ensuring we’re applying fair standards to college admissions. [37:35]

IG Vid of Shooting (Instagram, 05/16)
Stelter: Shooting is ‘replacement theory’ rearing its ugly head again (CNN Business, 05/16)
Making Sense of the Racist Mass Shooting in Buffalo (The New Yorker, 05/15)
10 killed, 3 wounded in racist shooting at Buffalo supermarket, officials say (NBC News, 05/14)
“The Great Replacement:” An Explainer (ADL)
Liz Cheney Slams GOP Over White Supremacy (The Hill, 05/16)
The Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect allegedly posted an apparent manifesto repeatedly citing ‘great replacement’ theory (NBC News, 05/14)
Tucker Carlson embraces white-supremacist ‘replacement’ conspiracy theory, claiming Democrats are ‘importing’ immigrants to ‘dilute’ American voters (Insider, 04/09/2021)
Elise Stefanik Tweet (Twitter, 05/16)
Infertility statistics 2022: How many couples are affected by infertility? (The Checkup by SingleCare, 02/15)
1 in 3 fears immigrants influence US elections: AP-NORC poll (AP News, 05/10)
Who runs 4chan? Controversial website blamed for influencing Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron (Meaww, 05/15)
More mass shootings are happening at grocery stores – 13% of shooters are motivated by racial hatred, criminologists find (The Conversation, 05/15)
Drug-Overdose Deaths Reached a Record in 2021, Fueled by Fentanyl (The Wall Street Journal, 05/11)
U.S. surpasses record 100,000 overdose deaths in 2021 (The Washington Post, 05/11)
Overdose Deaths Continue Rising, With Fentanyl and Meth Key Culprits (The New York Times, 05/11)
Heroin Use Rises Significantly Among Young Whites (Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, 05/06)
2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2020)
Trends in Drug Overdose Deaths Among US Adolescents, January 2010 to June 2021 (JAMA Network, 04/12)
Teen drug overdose deaths rose sharply in 2020, driven by fentanyl-laced pills (NPR, 04/12)
Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots (Nature, 09/11/2019)
The Full Cost of the Opioid Crisis: $2.5 Trillion Over Four Years (The White House, 10/28/2019)
Needle exchange programs: an economic evaluation of a local experience (Canadian Medical Association Journal, 08/01/1997)
Rubio, Manchin Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prohibit Federal Purchasing of Crack Pipes and Needles for Illicit Drug Use (Marco Rubio, 02/14)
Uproar Over ‘Crack Pipes’ Puts Biden Drug Strategy at Risk (The New York Times, 02/21)
Lost Debate Special I NYC ‘s Safe Consumption Sites (Spotify, 05/08)
Medically supervised injecting centres save lives (Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 06/22/2020)
How Europe’s heroin capital solved its overdose crisis (CBC News)
What Caused the Baby Formula Shortage? (The Wall Street Journal, 05/16)
What Is Really Behind the Baby Formula Shortage? Experts Explain (Good Housekeeping, 05/14)
America is running out of baby formula because 3 companies control the market and babies aren’t that profitable (Fortune, 05/14)
Infant Formula Shortage: Why It’s Happening and What Parents Can Do (Healthline, 05/13)
Baby formula shortage could end in June: Former FDA commissioner (NewsNation, 05/14)
Rep. Taylor Greene: Congress Sends $40 Billion To Ukraine While American Mothers Can’t Find Baby Formula (RealClear Politics, 05/11)
Border detention center looks stocked with baby formula despite shortage (New York Post, 05/12)
Formula shortage reveals GOP’s compassion for American babies, anger over nourished immigrant ones (USA Today, 05/13)
Kat Cammack Tweet (Twitter, 05/11)
Behind Fake-Account Issue That Elon Musk Cited in Calling Twitter Deal ‘On Hold’ (The Wall Street Journal, 05/15)
Musk’s question about bots is nothing new for Twitter (The Washington Post, 05/13)
Do spam bots really comprise under 5% of Twitter users? Elon Musk wants to know (Reuters, 05/13)
Twitter stock has lost all of its gains since Elon Musk disclosed his stake (CNBC, 05/16)
Musk hints at paying less for Twitter than his $44B offer (ABC News, 05/16)
Twitter estimates spam, fake accounts comprise less than 5% of users -filing (Reuters, 05/02)
Elon Musk Tweet (Twitter, 05/13)
Proof Points: New evidence of high school grade inflation (The Hechinger Report, 05/16)
Grade Inflation Continues to Grow in the Past Decade (ACT, 05/2022)
ACT Says Grade Inflation Is a Serious Problem. It’s Probably Not. (EdSurge, 05/16)
Grade inflation is just plain bad. Right? Maybe not. (The Washington Post, 09/21/2021)
There’s nothing wrong with grade inflation (The Washington Post, 03/04/2016)
Equilibrium Grade Inflation with Implications for Female Interest in STEM Majors (NBER Working Paper Series, 12/2019)
2019 NAEP High School Transcript Study (The Nation’s Report Card, 2019)
“Education Runs on Lies” (Institute of Education Sciences, 03/23)