The Advocates 11-15-07

The Advocates with Richard J. Garfunkel on WVOX – AM Radio 1460-


Thursday morning November 15, 2007, at 9:00 am, I am hosting my show “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM on your dial, or you can listen to its live streaming at  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio.  My special guest this morning is Charles Perrow, the author of the most interesting book, The Next Catastrophe, from Princeton University Press, which addresses the problem of reducing our vulnerabilities to natural, industrial and terror driven disasters and Mr. John Puma of Mount Vernon, a builder, who has spent most of his career managing communication infrastructure, and has a strong interest in alternate energy sources.


Charles Perrow is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Yale University. He is a past Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society; a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1981-2, 1999); Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science; Resident Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 1990-91; Fellow, Shelly Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, 1995-96; Visitor, Institute for Advanced Studies, 1995-96, Princeton University; former member of the Committee on Human Factors, National Academy of Sciences, of the Sociology Panel of the National Science Foundation, and of the editorial boards of several journals. Currently he is a member of the National Academy’s committee on dependable software systems.  An organizational theorist, he is the author of seven books (three receiving prizes), including: The Radical Attack on Business (1972), Organizational Analysis: A Sociological View (1970), Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay (1972; 3rd ed., 1986), Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies (1984, revised, 1999), The AIDS Disaster: The Failure of Organizations in New York and the Nation (1990) with Mauro Guillen; Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of American Capitalism (2002);  The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters (2007); and over 60 articles.


His current interests are in managing complexly interactive, tightly coupled systems (including hospitals, nuclear plants, chemical plants, power grids, aviation, the space program, and intelligent transportation systems); the challenge and limits of network centric warfare; self-organizing properties of the Internet, the electric power grid, networks of small firms, and terrorist organizations; and the possibilities for restructuring society to reduce our vulnerability to increasing disasters, whether natural, industrial/technological, or deliberate.  These grow out of his work on “normal accidents,” with its emphasis upon organizational design and systems theory.  His consultancies and workshops include the US Forest Service, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NASA, FAA, Naval War College, NIH, NSF, Intel Corp., and DaimlerChrysler.


Our other guest in the studio, is Mr. John Puma of Mount Vernon, NY, a businessman and serial entrepreneur whose career has ranged from management consulting, starting and building companies in emerging technologies, to developing communications systems for multi-national communication giants, to real estate development for the middle and working class citizens, and most recently to work in the alternate energy field.  John, who was brought up on Long Island, and gravitated to Mount Vernon, was educated at the State University of NY, in Buffalo, and took graduate courses in entertainment arts at NYU.


I also expect Mr. Jeff Gaynor as a special call-in guest from Herndon , Va., who is the chief operating officer of eNTEGRITI.

Mr. Gaynor retired from the Army as a Colonel. His service encompassed over 30 years of enlisted and commissioned, Armor, Infantry, and Military Intelligence experience. His assignments included: Communications Monitor, Counterintelligence Agent and Operations Officer; Infantry Advisor to Vietnamese Territorial Forces in An Loc; Brigade Intelligence Officer and Secretary General Staff, 25th Infantry Division; Director of the Secretary of Defense/Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Current Intelligence Presentations Division, Defense Intelligence Agency; 511th Military Intelligence Battalion Commander; Army Programs Officer, General Defense Intelligence Program; and Presidential Communications and Security Officer and Alternate Military Aide to the President during the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations.

Mr. Gaynor is the recipient of: The Silver Star; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; three awards of the Bronze Star Medal; Combat Infantryman’s, Joint Staff and Presidential Staff Identification adges and two awards of the Department of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Medal.

Meanwhile the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “ issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”


Richard J. Garfunkel

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