Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370 or WRUR-FM 88.5 in Rochester and WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from Noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

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Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, professor, and activist. He's coming to the Smith Center for the Arts in Geneva for an event titled "Overthrowing the Corporate State."

We talk to him about a wide variety of topics, including advocacy journalism, notions of a liberal media, his ideas about objectivity, and covering modern presidential administrations. Hedges joins us from WEOS, Finger Lakes Public Radio.

First hour: Journalist Chris Hedges

Second hour: Retired U.S. Amy Captain Sam Brown

Historian and author Walter Stahr has written a new book about President Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. You may remember Stahr from his remarkable book on William Henry Seward, and you may remember Edwin Stanton because of what he did after President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. As Lincoln lay dying, Stanton got to work: he issued orders to protect other leaders and initiated a search for the assassin.

In Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary, Stahr describes the complex relationship between Stanton and Seward -- one of trust and suspicion -- and the complex reputation held by Stanton. Was Stanton an aggressive opportunist using tragedy to empower himself? Or was he a progressive problem solver looking to resolve conflicts? Among other things, he was known to press for equal pay and status for African Americans in the Union Army. 

Stahr will be in Auburn next week to discuss Stanton's life during the Civil War and how it relates to political discourse today, but first, he joins us on Connections. Our guests:

A new book from longtime Washington Post journalist Amy Goldstein tells the true story of a Midwestern town whose foundation was rocked with the closing of auto giant GM's plant during the Great Recession.

In Janesville, Goldstein illustrates the domino effect the closing of a major factory can have on the lives of individuals. As the New York Times reports, the book also offers "sobering takeaways" about how ineffective job retraining can be for workers forced to reinvent their careers. Goldstein will be a guest of MCC next week, but first, she joins us to share her intimate portrait of a working class town and what policymakers today can learn from a community like Janesville.

First hour: Journalist Amy Goldstein, and her new book, Janesville

Second hour: Historian Walter Stahr and his new book, Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary

An increasing number of millennials check their horoscopes everyday, and more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. Why -- when science has proven that astrology isn't based in facts -- do so many people turn to it for guidance?

We discuss the psychic services industry (think palmistry, tarot-card readings, mediumship, etc.), epistemology, and more. Our guests:

Do you take selfies? Do you own a selfie stick? Do you use the hashtag "#selfie" frequently? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, maybe you agree with critics of selfies, who say they are all about narcissism. But is that unfair?

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology say we are putting selfies in too small of a box. We talk to them about the history and future of selfies, the motivations behind them, and what they tell us about ourselves. In studio:

  • Amanda Kearney, RIT graduate student whose thesis was entitled “Uses and Gratification of Posting Selfies on Social Media”
  • Jonathan Schroeder, professor in the School of Communication at RIT

First hour: Understanding selfie culture

Second hour: Why an increasing number of millennials believe astrology is a science

Author Todd Moss draws on his experiences as a former State Department employee to drive the narratives of his Judd Ryker series. He newest book, The Shadow List, involves scam emails, a Nigerian corruption scandal, and a Russian master criminal.

Moss, a Pittsford native, will be a guest at the JCC’s Jewish Book Festival, but first, he joins us on Connections to discuss the parallels between his fiction and his former career.  

Members of the LGBTQ community are blasting actor Kevin Spacey, saying he conflated homosexuality with pedophilia. Late last month, actor Anthony Rapp told BuzzFeed that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. In a statement on Twitter, Spacey said he does not remember the encounter, but apologized and said his actions were caused by “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” In that same statement, Spacey then said he now chooses to live as a gay man.

The timing of Spacey’s announcement has fueled backlash: critics say it was a calculated PR move to distract from the alleged sexual misconduct, and it furthers the stigma that links homosexuality and child molestation – which is not backed by research. We talk about the impact of Spacey’s statement. Our guests:

  • Rowan Collins, education coordinator for the LGBTQ Academy at the Out Alliance
  • Kevin Coffey, assistant professor of social work in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Michael Lecker, director of LGBTQ health and inclusiveness at Trillium Health