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Free Forum Q&A - (1) GEORGE McGOVERN: A Politician of Principle Senator, 1972 Democratic Presidential Candidate (2) ANDREW BACEVICH, THE LIMITS OF POWER: The End of American Exceptionalism
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March 26, 2015 09:34 PM PDT
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(1) GEORGE McGOVERN
A Politician of Principle
(Originally aired November 2005)
(2) ANDREW BACEVICH
THE LIMITS OF POWER:
The End of American Exceptionalism
(Originally aired September 2008)

As Congress debates a new budget this week, I read the following headline, "Defense hawks in U.S. Congress move to boost military budgets." It's worth noting that the US spends more on "defense" than the next 9 countries combined. So this week I offer you interviews with two men whose military service contributed to their cautious view of America's armed adventures - longtime Senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich, who is now the first George McGovern Fellow at Columbia University.
At 24, I ran an Assembly District in LA County for McGovern's Presidential campaign. In 2005, with the release of the documentary, One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern, I had the opportunity to record this interview.

in The Limits of Power, I believe Andrew Basevich pulls things together in ways that I hadn't seen before. Things like our politics of personality, the rise of the imperial presidency, and our national culture of consumption and how all of those link to our military adventures. I say each week that I'm looking for pieces of the puzzle, and I believe today's guest is pulling some of them together in ways that make our problems clearer and change more possible.

Free Forum Q&A: (1) GANGA WHITE, YOGA BEYOND BELIEF: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice (Originally aired July 2007) (2) STEVEN PINKER, THE STUFF OF THOUGHT: Language as a Window into Human Nature (Originally aired October 2007)
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March 20, 2015 01:23 AM PDT
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I've been practicing yoga since 1970, obviously long before it was a major cultural phenomenon. GANGA WHITE started a few years earlier. YOGA BEYOND BELIEF: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice speaks to the way I've thought about yoga. It's about paying attention, lifelong learning, and discovering our own paths to growth, integration and presence. It talks about living life as a meditation - but not in the navel-gazing or guru-following way many may think about meditation. It also takes issue with many in the yoga world today who tend to make it a rigid strictly codified authoritarian practice.

Why does the FCC get so riled up about salty language? How do lobbyists bribe politicians? Why do romantic comedies get such mileage out of the ambiguities of dating? And why is bulk email called spam? These are some of the everyday questions STEVEN PINKER tackles in THE STUFF OF THOUGHT: Language as a Window into Human Nature. We know language helps us communicate, but what can words tell us about ourselves? Harvard professor and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, PINKER explores how language illuminates the mind.

ROBERT COLES Harvard professor, author of over 60 books winner, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom
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March 12, 2015 11:27 PM PDT
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Originally aired 11-25-2008

"Who and what is ROBERT COLES? Social scientist, humanist, political activist, psychiatrist, minstrel, wandering storyteller, mystic, wise man, poet, dissenter, and yes, I'll use the word, secular saint." -- Andrew Greeley, Chicago Tribune

I invite anyone to google the books of ROBERT COLES. He has written on a broad range of topics, but consistently on subjects that matter.Much of his work is about story, much about children, some is about poverty, about art, about spirit, about meaning. COLES is one of our wise elders, and well worth paying attention to.


We talk in this interview about the power of story and the stories of our times, as well as about his 2008 book, MINDING THE STORE: GREAT WRITING ABOUT BUSINESS, FROM TOLSTOY TO NOW, that has something to say to the current moment, when it appears business and finance have lost their way.

Free Forum Q&A - DANIEL ELLSBERG, Author The Most Dangerous Man in America
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March 12, 2015 11:23 PM PDT
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Aired 09/08/09

Daniel Ellsberg is an American hero. September 23rd is the 40th anniversary of the first night of copying the Pentagon Papers, which he took from his safe at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica.

America was embroiled in a dirty war based on lies. A president was abusing the power of his office, ignoring the will of the people, Congress and the courts. He promised peace while planning war without end. Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, leaded the truth about the Vietnam war to the New York Times. He risked life in prison to end a war he helped plan. Henry Kissinger called Daniel Ellsberg, "the most dangerous man in America."

He's still at it. This week Ellsberg begins the online publication of The American Doomsday Machine, his memoir of the nuclear era.

INFO http://www.ellsberg.net/

Free Forum Q&A: DON BARLETT & JIM STEELE – The BETRAYAL of the AMERICAN DREAM
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February 27, 2015 01:32 AM PST
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Originally Aired 09/09/12

Let’s suppose, for a moment, there was a country where the people in charge charted a course that eliminated millions of good-paying jobs. Suppose they gave away several million more jobs to other nations. Finally, imagine that the people running this country implemented economic policies that enabled those at the very top to grow ever richer while most others grew poorer. You wouldn’t want to live in such a place, would you? Too bad. You already do.

Those are the words of this week’s guests, DON BARLETT and JIM STEELE.

These are some of the consequences of failed U.S. government policies that have been building over the last three decades – the same policies that people in Washington today are intent on keeping or expanding…Most significant of all, the American dream of the last half-century has been revoked for millions of people – a dream rooted in a secure job, a home in the suburbs, the option for families to live on one income rather than two, a better life than your parents had and a still better life for your children.

Barlett and Steele wrote these words in 1992. They are the first words of their Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which led to the #1 best-selling book, America: What Went Wrong. They put their finger on things and connected dots that really established a lens through which to view the next 20 years. The point of view of the 99% movement is basically the one Barlett and Steele described and predicted at the birth of the Clinton era.

http://americawhatwentwrong.org

http://barlettandsteele.com

Q&A: BRUCE LIPTON, Ph.D., and STEVE BHAERMAN (comic), Co Author - SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION
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February 17, 2015 01:18 PM PST
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Aired 01/17/10

BRUCE LIPTON, Ph.D., a leading voice in new biology, bridges science and spirit. A cell biologist by training, he taught at the University of Wisconsin's School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at Stanford University. He's the author of The Biology of Belief, and his latest with Steve Bhaerman, SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION

STEVE BHAERMAN is an author, humorist, and political and cultural commentator who's been writing and performing enlightening comedy as Swami Beyondananda for over 20 years. He's the author of several books prior to his current collaboration with Lipton on SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION.

http://www.brucelipton.com/
http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/

Q&A: AMY BACH, Author – ORDINARY INJUSTICE
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February 17, 2015 01:12 PM PST

Aired 12/12/09 Attorney AMY BACH spent eight years investigating the chronic lapses in courts across America. Lawyers sleep through trials. False confessions and mistaken eye-witness identifications convict the innocent. The rich walk, the poor go to prison. ORDINARY INJUSTICE goes beyond one particular injustice, one specific court, or one aspect of the legal system. Bach rejects the easy explanations of bad apples and meager funding to show how in the name of expedience legal professionals routinely choose to collaborate rather than face off as adversaries. Her investigation -- from small-town Georgia to upstate New York, from Chicago to Mississippi --reveals a culture of complicity among prosecutors, defenders, and judges that rewards shoddiness and sacrifices defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving. http://www.slate.com/id/2234594/ http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=Sullivan_v._Florida

Q&A: AMY BACH, Author – ORDINARY INJUSTICE
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February 17, 2015 01:11 PM PST

Aired 12/12/09 Attorney AMY BACH spent eight years investigating the chronic lapses in courts across America. Lawyers sleep through trials. False confessions and mistaken eye-witness identifications convict the innocent. The rich walk, the poor go to prison. ORDINARY INJUSTICE goes beyond one particular injustice, one specific court, or one aspect of the legal system. Bach rejects the easy explanations of bad apples and meager funding to show how in the name of expedience legal professionals routinely choose to collaborate rather than face off as adversaries. Her investigation -- from small-town Georgia to upstate New York, from Chicago to Mississippi --reveals a culture of complicity among prosecutors, defenders, and judges that rewards shoddiness and sacrifices defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving. http://www.slate.com/id/2234594/ http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=Sullivan_v._Florida

Q&A: AMY BACH, Author – ORDINARY INJUSTICE
Clean
February 17, 2015 01:11 PM PST
itunes pic

Aired 12/12/09 Attorney AMY BACH spent eight years investigating the chronic lapses in courts across America. Lawyers sleep through trials. False confessions and mistaken eye-witness identifications convict the innocent. The rich walk, the poor go to prison. ORDINARY INJUSTICE goes beyond one particular injustice, one specific court, or one aspect of the legal system. Bach rejects the easy explanations of bad apples and meager funding to show how in the name of expedience legal professionals routinely choose to collaborate rather than face off as adversaries. Her investigation -- from small-town Georgia to upstate New York, from Chicago to Mississippi --reveals a culture of complicity among prosecutors, defenders, and judges that rewards shoddiness and sacrifices defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving. http://www.slate.com/id/2234594/ http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=Sullivan_v._Florida

Q&A w/ Author, GEORGE PACKER – THE UNWINDING: Inner History of New America
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February 17, 2015 01:09 PM PST
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NYTimes review: “This book hums – with sorrow, outrage and compassion.”- #8 Best-seller
GEORGE PACKER has written a remarkable book, THE UNWINDING: An Inner History of the New America. In it, he argues that seismic economic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. Packer sees America as a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer relevant. We’ve covered a lot of this ground before on Free Forum, but the power of THE UNWINDING is in how Packer tells his truth.
He begins – “No one can say when the unwinding began – when the coil that held Americans together in its secure and sometimes stifling grip first gave way. Like any great change, the unwinding began at countless times, in countless ways – and at some moment the country, always the same coun­try, crossed a line of history and became irretrievably different. If you were born around 1960 or afterward, you have spent your adult life in the vertigo of that unwinding.”He follows the prologue with a series of newsreel headlines in the fateful year of 1978 and goes on to combine the intimate stories of several Americans–Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers in the rural South who becomes an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in Youngstown trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider bouncing between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire with a radical vision of the future–with biographical sketches of this era’s leading public figures, from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and collages made from newspaper headlines, advertising slogans, and song lyrics, Packer captures the flow of events and undercurrents that have set America in decline.

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