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Free Forum Q&A - (1) ROB MANNING, Chief-engineer, Mars Rover Curiosity (2) DREW WESTEN, THE POLITICAL BRAIN
October 30, 2015 08:25 PM PDT

With the US recently bombing a hospital in Afghanistan and Russia intervening in Syria, you'll hear two relevant previously recorded interviews. First, with MATTHEW HOH, a former Marine who resigned from the foreign service over the war in Afghanistan. We spoke in November 2009. In the second half of the show, you'll hear my September 2008 conversation with retired Army colonel, Andrew Bacevich, about his wise and unsettling book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: The End of American Exceptionalism.

MATTHEW HOH, former Marine captain with combat experience in Iraq, also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. He was the senior US civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed. In September 2009 Hoh became the first US official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war.

ANDREW BACEVICH, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, served twenty-three years in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of colonel. He also lost his son in Iraq. A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, he received his Ph. D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. He is the author of several books, including The New American Militarism; The Limits Of Power; Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War; and Breach Of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers And Their Country.

October 30, 2015 08:08 PM PDT
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On November 15, InsightLA, the leading Los Angeles-based Mindfulness Meditation organization, will host LIVING WITH A JOYFUL SPIRIT AND A WISE HEART, a day of deep teachings and timeless wisdom that will feature Trudy Goodman and Jack Cornfield in dialogue via video with a "who's who" of the pioneers of mindfulness meditation in the West - Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are), Ram Dass (Be Here Now), Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance), Joseph Goldstein (Insight Meditatino), and Congressman Tim Ryan (A Mindful Nation). Both Trudy and Jack turn 70 this year. In the course of the conversation, we talk about their personal paths, what each of their guests means to them, and we tell the story of mindfulness in America over the last forty-five years.

Trudy Goodman has trained and practiced in two fields for over 25 years: meditation and psychotherapy. She studied developmental psychology with Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Carol Gilligan, and for 20 years worked in a full psychotherapy practice. Since 1974, Trudy has devoted much of her life to practicing Buddhist meditation and teaching mindfulness. In 2002, Trudy founded InsightLA.

Jack Kornfield is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies. They include, A Path with Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; Buddha's Little Instruction Book; and A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology.

October 13, 2015 08:44 PM PDT
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Hello, I’m Terrence McNally and you’re listening to DISRUPTIVE the podcast from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

The mission of the Wyss is to: Transform healthcare, industry, and the environment by emulating the way nature builds.

Our bodies — and all living systems — accomplish tasks far more sophisticated and dynamic than any entity yet designed by humans. By emulating nature's principles for self-organizing and self-regulating, Wyss researchers develop innovative engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing.

They focus on technology development and its translation into products and therapies that will have an impact on the world in which we live. So the Wyss is not interested in making incremental improvements to existing materials and devices, but in shifting paradigms. In this episode of DISRUPTIVE, we will focus on: CONFRONTING SEPSIS.

Sepsis is a bloodstream infection in which the body's organs become inflamed and susceptible to failure. The leading cause of hospital deaths, sepsis kills at least eight million people worldwide each year.

It can be caused by 6 species of fungi and 1400 species of bacteria. Diagnosis takes two to five days, and every hour you wait can increase the risk of death by 5-9%. The treatment challenge grows more complex as the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria increases while the development of new antibiotics lags.

“Even with the best current treatments, sepsis patients are dying in intensive care units at least 30% of the time,” says one of today’s guests, Wyss Senior Staff Scientist Mike Super.

A new device developed by a team at Wyss and inspired by the human spleen may radically transform the way we treat sepsis. Their blood-cleansing approach can be administered quickly, even without identifying the infectious agent. In animal studies, treatment with this device reduced the number of targeted pathogens and toxins circulating in the bloodstream by more than 99%.
Although we focus here on treatment of sepsis, the same technology could in the future be used for other applications, including removing microbial contaminants from circulating water, food or pharmaceutical products.

Free Forum Q&A - MICHAEL LIND, LAND OF PROMISE: Economic History of the US
October 07, 2015 11:31 PM PDT
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Originally aired March 2013

In his new book, LAND OF PROMISE, MICHAEL LIND lays out a pattern in which the US has reinvented itself economically and politically a number of times based on the emergence of new technologies. From wind and water, to steam, to electricity and internal combustion, and finally the computer.

Each new dominant technology overwhelms the existing political and regulatory system and American government lags a generation or two behind technology-induced economic change. It takes a crisis or a war or both to overthrow the old regime and usher in the new. LIND argues that the US economy flourishes when government, business, labor and universities work together as partners in economic nation building. Today, as we struggle to recover from the Great Recession, he points out that Americans have repeatedly reinvented the American economy - and have the power to do so again.

Free Forum Q&A - THOMAS GEOGHEGAN WERE YOU BORN ON THE WRONG CONTINENT? How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life
September 28, 2015 10:40 PM PDT
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Originally Aired October 2010

In his new book, WERE YOU BORN ON THE WRONG CONTINENT?, this week's guest, THOMAS GEOGHEGAN, makes a strong case that European social democracies - particularly Germany - have some lessons and models that might make life a lot more livable. Not only that, they could help us keep our jobs.

In comparison to the U.S., the Germans have free university tuition, nursing care, and childcare. You've heard the arguments for years about how the wussy Europeans can't compete in a global economy. You've heard that so many times, you might believe it. But like so many things, the media repeats endlessly, it's just not true.

According to Geoghagen, "Since 2003, it's not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors - China foremost among them - Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit,or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They're beating us with one hand tied behind their back."

Free Forum Q&A - WAR ON WHISTLEBLOWERS Doc Director: Robert Greenwald Whistelblowers: Thomas Tamm, Franz Gay
September 28, 2015 09:45 PM PDT
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Originally May 2013

How tough is it to be a government whistleblower these days? With a former constitutional law professor in the White House, the sad news is that to expose government negligence or illegality is to jeopardize one's career and life savings.

2013 documentary, WAR ON WHISTLEBLOWERS, from producer/director ROBERT GREENWALD and Brave New Films, tells the stories of four individuals who revealed violations of the U.S. constitution in the military industrial complex following 9/11. What happens when the government punishes those who stand up to demand accountability and defend the constitution? I speak about this with GREENWALD and two of the film's courageous whistleblowers, THOMAS TAMM and FRANZ GAYL.

September 28, 2015 09:22 PM PDT
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Originally Aired September 2011

"It is the American Dream that the GOP's "slash and burn" agenda is killing off. We need a movement dedicated to renewing the idea that hard work pays in our country; that you can make it if you try; that America remains a land committed to dignity, justice and opportunity for all. Right now, this very idea is on the GOP chopping block. And we must rescue it now -- or risk losing it forever."
Van Jones - Rebuild the Dream
VAN JONES, a CNN political contributor, is Co-Founder and President of REBUILD THE DREAM, and a co-founder of three other successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. Formerly green jobs advisor to President Obama and currently a fellow at the MIT Media Lab, he is the author of The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream.

Free Forum Q&A - After buying Times Mirror, The Tribune Company sent JAMES O'SHEA to LA to run the Times. Sam Zell then bought the Tribune Company and soon it was in bankruptcy. O'Shea was let go when he refused to do his bosses' bidding in terms of cutba
September 08, 2015 11:52 PM PDT
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Originally Aierd May 2010

We hear a lot about Europe's troubles - overrun by migrants, the debt crisis in Greece, threats to the Euro and the European Union. We seldom hear that Europe is also making capitalism and democracy work for people, not just corporations.

The European Union, 27 nations with a half billion people, is the largest, wealthiest trading bloc in the world, nearly as large as the U.S. and China combined. According to the World Health Organization, Europe has the best health care systems in the world. Europe leads the world in confronting global climate change and the EU's ecological "footprint" (the amount of the earth's capacity that a population consumes) is about half that of the United States for the same standard of living.

Free Forum Q&A - JAMES O'SHEA former LA Times editor-in-chief THE DEAL FROM HELL How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers
September 08, 2015 11:50 PM PDT
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Originally Aired November 2011

After buying Times Mirror, The Tribune Company sent JAMES O'SHEA to LA to run the Times. Sam Zell then bought the Tribune Company and soon it was in bankruptcy. O'Shea was let go when he refused to do his bosses' bidding in terms of cutbacks. Over the next two years the Times cut nearly 40% of its journalists. O'SHEA later founded the Chicago News Cooperative attempting a new model of journalism.

While O'SHEA was managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, the news staff received six Pulitzer prizes. O'Shea is the author of THE DAISY CHAIN about the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s; DANGEROUS COMPANY, an examination of consultants' role in corporate decision making; and THE DEAL FROM HELL.

Free Forum Q&A - JEREMY RIFKIN THE EMPATHIC CIVILIZATION: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis
September 08, 2015 11:47 PM PDT
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Originally November 2010

1. The world's people have never have been so connected - in terms of communication, commerce, and culture - yes or no?
2. The world's people have never been more in conflict or threatened - in terms of war, violence, inequity, environmental harms and climate change - yes or no?
3. When confronting the challenges of this globalizing and threatened world, the human race seems continually to come up short - yes or no?

Did you answer yes to all three? Jeremy Rifkin agrees. That led him to write THE EMPATHIC CIVILIZATION and ask question #4: Can a new, more empathic consciousness emerge and assert power soon enough? If it can, Rifkin believes that shift will likely be as profound as when Enlightenment philosophers replaced faith-based consciousness with reason.

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