Sam Liccardo

By Mental Health, Personal Growth, Politics No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes Sam Liccardo, the 64th mayor of San Jose, for an insightful discussion on technology’s impact on legacy and memory. Join us on a fascinating journey as we explore his lineage and the intriguing blend of Sicilian, Irish, and Mexican roots that converge in his family tree. During this engaging episode, Sam Liccardo delves into the unique leadership challenges he encountered, particularly those faced by mayors of big cities. A role often regarded as one of the most demanding. Yet amidst these difficulties lie opportunities for growth and resilience.

Tune in to this conversation filled with captivating stories about our past while providing thought-provoking insights about our present and future! 

This episode is sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • Unity and Division: A Historical Perspective
  • Technology’s Role in Remembering Personalities 
  • Candid Conversations with Leaders
  • Ancestry Documentation and its Significance
  • Debunking ‘The Good Old Days’ Concept 
  • Future Technology and Social Implications
  • The Power of Mementos 
  • Transition from Physical Spaces to Virtual Studios  
  • Story Topping: A Conversation Killer
  • Politics, Human Interaction, and Quick Connections
  • Door-to-Door Politics: A Deep Insight into Community Concerns 
  • The Rise of AI and Trust Issues
  • Resilience: A Recurring Theme 
  • Ego and Hubris: Obstacles to Scientific Discourse
  • Housing Crisis: Need for Innovation 
  • Balancing Ideological Differences: Finding Middle Ground
  • Pandemic Response: Challenges and Triumphs
  • High Construction Cost: Need for Innovative Models
  • Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap
  • Leadership Effectiveness in High-Pressure Situations 
  • Name-dropping and Celebrity Encounters
  • Future Political Aspirations: A Return to Public Service
  • Free Speech and Diverse Viewpoints


“The reality is, you know, we’ve survived to this country because somehow or another, one generation or another found a way to be resilient and said resilience, and we gotta find again.” ~ Sam Liccardo

“I certainly hope that real human communication comes back into vogue because the trend lines are going exactly opposite direction.” ~ Sam Liccardo

“You know, there are no easy solutions to a lot of these complex urban challenges.”

~ Sam Liccardo

“You know, really, the best approach of all was just asking questions.” ~ Sam Liccardo

“It’s a terrifying prospect that we just can’t all agree on just a few basic truths so that we can begin to disagree about something more interesting, rather than the fact that we have to question whether or not, you know, whatever anybody said was deep, fake, or real.” ~ Sam Liccardo

Guest’s Bio:

Sam Liccardo became the 64th mayor and one of the youngest individuals to serve in San José, California’s highest elected office. A member of the Democratic Party, Sam was elected mayor in November 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 with 75.8% of the vote. After graduating from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San José, Sam attended Georgetown University, where he rowed crew as captain of the heavyweight squad. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991 and enrolled at Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. After graduating with honors with a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy, Sam returned to the Bay Area in 1996. Sam’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other publications.

Prior to his election to public office, Sam spent a number of years in public service, serving as a federal and local criminal prosecutor on a range of felony cases, from sexual assault and child exploitation to international narcotrafficking. Sam’s extensive work in the community also included teaching political science at San José State University, co-founding an innovative program to mentor children, serving on the boards of several affordable housing organizations, and advocating for several successful countywide ballot measures that are bringing BART to San José. 

Under his leadership, San Jose thrived with his efforts by growing the economy equitably, supporting struggling neighbors and broadening inclusion, investing in youth, beautifying San Jose and advancing smart environmental policies, improving public safety, building a 21st-century transportation network, and embracing innovation in the government. Sam and his wife, Jessica Garcia-Kohl, live near downtown San Jose.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Sam LaCrosse

By Author, Faith, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Politics No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

This energizing conversation between a baby boomer and a Gen Zer who is being unapologetically himself is going to make you think, and you’ll be excited about exploring all the things that will be bouncing in your head after this conversation.

In this episode:

  • Making a book with the word “economics” in it interesting
  • What “Value Economics” actually means
  • The issue of identity
  • Why it’s insulting to think America is so bad right now
  • The death of the spirit
  • The fallout from being laid off as an air traffic controller in 1981 and how his family held it together
  • Defining our values
  • The importance of examining the difficult things
  • What shaped him
  • DC Comics
  • Why he moved to Austin, TX from Ohio
  • Why he’s not on Twitter
  • Why he dedicated his book to those who tell the truth
  • Why he’s having a hard time dating
  • How values should supersede politics


“We don’t really have a “fatal flaw” with our generation. And so without that, we turn the war against ourselves. And we see that we really don’t have an identity as an individual person and as a culture anymore because our previous identities were all focused on something else that was flawed but still an identity. And now we’re just in this kind of sea of nothingness.” ~Sam LaCrosse

“We have to treat people as people, and individual values are the way we should look at individual people.” ~Sam LaCrosse

“We’re so scared of taking stances, we take no stances.” ~Sam LaCrosse

“The more you value something, the more you will sacrifice to get that something, the less you value something, the less you will sacrifice to get that something.” ~Sam LaCrosse

“I have a rule that I will never punch someone in the face as hard as I will punch myself in the face.” ~Sam LaCrosse

“When you do adopt a firm set of values, you’re going to polarize people, and you’re not going to, you cannot be all things to all.” ~Sam LaCrosse

Guest’s Bio:

According to Sam, Sam LaCrosse is a nobody. He hasn’t done anything amazing. He is not extraordinary or impressive. He doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. He’s just an ordinary guy from Cleveland, Ohio, who now lives an ordinary life in Austin, Texas. But if you want to check him out, he’s the author of “Value Economics: The Study of Identity, writes blogs on, and hosts Don’t Listen to This Podcast. Sam is the CEO and founder of Don’t Do This, LLC, a company that makes no money. He is also a board member of Thrive Living Corporation and an ambassador for RallyCap Sports.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Lee Thomas Miller

By Music, Politics No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

You definitely know this guest’s songs. He’s written songs such as “You’re Gonna Miss This” for Trace Adkins, “I Just Wanna Be Mad” by Terri Clark & “Ain’t My Fault” by Brothers Osborne. The list of artists he’s written for is miles long. In this episode, he joined Gary to share stories about some of his songs, his 30+-year-long marriage, how songwriter’s actually get paid, and much more!

In this episode:

  • How he got a picture with Aaron Rogers
  • How he met his wife
  • His thoughts on cliches
  • How his wife contributes to his music
  • His thoughts on marrying someone in the music industry
  • How he’s ruined music for his family
  • What his 5-year-old daughter did when Brad Paisley came to their door
  • What his daughter said to TJ Osborne
  • Behind the song “It Aint My Fault”
  • How songwriters get paid
  • His favorite Thomas Rhett song
  • Possible inspiration for “I Just Wanna Be Mad”
  • His answer when Gary asked him, “What songs make you cry?”
  • This history of how songwriters began to get paid
  • The time a Congressman said to him, “Why would anyone want to do that?”
  • How you can help songwriters
  • What he thinks about Chris Stapleton


“I want to sit around and have a cigar with Lee Miller and your friends.” ~Gary Scott Thomas

“I was taught the business of songwriting as a craft.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“I’m a terribly unromantic soul, which drives her [his wife] crazy. She’ll say, ‘I can’t believe you write songs for a living, and at this moment, this is all you had for me.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“All of the magic movie stuff. No, we’re [he and his wife] none of that. We did none of that. But I feel like we’ve gotten everything else right. It’s 30 years counting.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“How can I tell this story and make you feel like you haven’t heard it before? Cause you heard it before. I’ve gotta do something unique.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“It’s like you’ve got the tape recorder running all the time. It’s all a song.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“Here’s the other thing, you don’t know how easy somebody is to write with. Maybe just because you agree on that idea doesn’t mean that this is really gonna work.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“What’s crazy is then I hear how they cut it [‘Ain’t My Fault’’]. I had a heart attack. I’m like, ‘this is the greatest thing I’ve heard.’” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“Cause we make up this stuff in little rooms in Nashville. And then when you go around the world, and people know it, that still amazes me that people know it.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“If it’s meant to make you hurt, then I’m out.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“Everything about the money is decided by the government, most important being a panel of judges will determine what it’s [songwriting] worth.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“I know I’m always quick to say that I have a feeling that Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen would’ve been really, really bad on TikTok. That’s just my theory.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“It doesn’t hurt to send your congressmen a note over now and then and say, ‘You know, this is a problem. You need to protect the songwriters.’” ~Lee Thomas Miller

“Washington certainly has the power to at least stop hurting us, if not help us.” ~Lee Thomas Miller

Guest’s Bio:

Hometown: Nicholasville, Kentucky
Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory/Composition (Eastern Kentucky University 1990)


 3 Time Grammy Award Nominee:
 2003 Grammy nomination:  “The Impossible” (Joe Nichols) Country Song of the Year:
 2009 Double Grammy nomination :
“You’re Gonna Miss This”(Trace Adkins)-  Country Song of the Year
“In Color” (Jamey Johnson)- Country Song of the Year

Music Row Magazine: Breakthrough Songwriter of the year 2003

Awarded one of NSAI’s  ‘Ten Songs I Wish I Had Written’ 2003: “The Impossible”

Awarded one of NSAI’s  ‘Ten Songs I Wish I Had Written’ 2008: “You’re Gonna Miss This”

Won Song of the Year at the 2008 NSAI awards for “You’re Gonna Miss This”

Nominated for Song of the Year at 2008 CMA awards for “You’re Gonna Miss This”

2009 Double ACM Nominee: “You’re Gonna Miss This” and “In Color” for Song of the Year

Won Song of the Year at the 2009 ACM awards for “In Color”

Won Music Row Magazine’s 2009 Song of the Year  for  “In Color”

Awarded one of NSAI’s  ‘Ten Songs I Wish I Had Written’ 2009: “In Color”

Won Song of the Year at the 2009 CMA awards for “In Color”

Awarded BMI’s inaugural “Champion’s Award” 2015

Nominated for Song of the Year at the 2018 ACM awards for “Whiskey and You”

#1 Country Singles:
  “The Impossible”  (Joe Nichols)**
                       “I Just Wanna Be Mad”  (Terri Clark)**
                       “The World”   (Brad Paisley)**
                       “You’re Gonna Miss This”  (Trace Adkins)*
                       “I’m Still A Guy”  (Brad Paisley)  
“Southern Girl”  (Tim McGraw)    
                       “Perfect Storm” (Brad Paisley)

                   (*received BMI Million Play Award)
                 (**received BMI 2 Million Play Award)

Other top 10 singles:
“It Aint My Fault” (Brothers Osborne) #9
Crushin’ It” (Brad Paisley) #7
“In Color”  (Jamey Johnson) #7
“Nothing To Die For” (Tim McGraw)  #5
“Jesus In Disguise” (Brandon Heath)  #8
Just A Girl” (Brandon Heath) #8

Other top 20 singles:
 “Without A Fight” (Brad Paisley/Demi Lovato) #14
“People Loving People” (Garth Brooks) #19
“Something To Do With My Hands” (Thomas Rhett) #15
“Crying On A Suitcase” (Casey James) #14
“Leaving Eden” (Brandon Heath) #17
“Thought About You” (Tim McGraw) #14

Cuts include: Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Trace Adkins, Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, Joe Nichols, Josh Turner, Terri Clark, John Michael Montgomery, Montgomery Gentry, Sammy Kershaw, Andy Griggs, Tracy Byrd, Tracy Lawrence, Randy Travis, Billy Currington, Chris Young, Rodney Adkins, Craig Morgan

Production credits include  Curb recording artist Steve Holy including the 2006 #1 single: “Brand New Girlfriend” and 2010 top 20 single “Love Don’t Run”

Guest’s Contact Info:

Thompson Square

By Comedian, Fun, Music, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Politics No Comments

Shawna and Keifer Thompson of country duo Thompson Square join Gary Scott Thomas this week and let me tell you. This is a juicy conversation!

In this episode:

  • Why they moved so far out of Nashville
  • Their song “Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not?”
  • Their new song “Country in My Soul”
  • The peaks and valleys of being an artist
  • The odds of “making it”
  • Losing family & friends along their journey to the top
  • Their new team
  • Parenting in the music industry
  • Parents’ responsibilities to teach equality
  • Racism in America
  • How to judge someone
  • Defining what success looks like to them
  • Why they’ll never play 270 shows in a year again
  • The root of Country Music
  • The problem with appealing to the masses
  • The evolution of award shows
  • Why a show got canceled
  • Championing people who show value
  • Comedy and Country
  • Being divided as a country

I told you it was a juicy one! Dive in!


“I don’t feel famous.” ~Shawna Thompson

“We don’t feel like we exude the ‘famosity.'” ~Keifer Thompson

“You always feel like you’re clawing and scratching.” ~Keifer Thompson

“The crazy ride continues.” ~Shawna Thompson

“In the eyes of God, we’re all equal.” ~Keifer Thompson

“Anytime you force something, it’s not real.” ~Keifer Thompson

“People seem to be more open now.” ~Keifer Thompson

“There are some great artists you’re never going to hear, just because that’s the nature of the industry.” ~Keifer Thompson

“We have to continue to check ourselves and say, ‘I’m not better than anyone.'” ~Keifer Thompson

“I hate social media for all the hate it spreads.” ~Keifer Thompson

“He’ll pull a Will Smith real quick.” ~Shawna Thompson


Thompson Square is an American country music duo composed of husband and wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson, both of whom alternate as vocalists. They’ve won awards such as the Academy of Country Music Award for Duo of the Year and the Country Music Association Award for Vocal Duo of the Year. Their new single is “Country in My Soul.”

Guest’s Contact Info: