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Free Forum Q&A - DAVE ZIRIN the Nation Magazine's first sports editor GAME OVER: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
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April 17, 2015 12:41 PM PDT
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When you pick up a newspaper, do you reach first for the sports section? When you sit down in front of a television, do you look first for ESPN or today's hottest game? Does your mood revolve not just around whether the world is better off today but whether the team you root for won or lost?

I love sports. Playing sports, I've probably had more peak moments in which my ego was dissolved and I was able to merge body, mind, and spirit in the pursuit of a goal in full collaboration with others than doing anything else. Sports have always served as a bridge among strangers as well as friends - whether the ability to show up at a basketball court anywhere in the world and join a game within minutes or to strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere regardless of race, class, faith, or nationality. How many fathers and sons have had sports in common when all else seems strained or broken between them?

All of which has a streak of purity about it. But what about professional sports? This week's guest DAVE ZIRIN fills a fairly unique role in our culture. He takes sports seriously enough to be the first sports editor in the 150 year existence of The Nation magazine. He has for years in books, columns, and commentaries examined both the politics of sports as well as the intersection of the two.

Howard Cosell said "rule number one of the jockocracy" was that sports and politics don't mix. In his newest book, Game Over, Zirin asserts that modern professional athletes are breaking that rule like never before. From the NFL lockout and the role of soccer in the Arab Spring to the Penn State sexual abuse scandals and Tim Tebow's on-field genuflections, Dave reveals how our most important debates about class, race, religion, sex, and political power are being played out both on and off the field.

I've left my overzealous interest in sports out of the studio for years, but this week -- a couple of weeks after the Super Bowl, not long after Lance Armstrong finally admits to doping, and a few hours before the NBA All Star game - I break that barrier. Dave Zirin and I will talk about specific events and athletes, but we'll also examine the role sports plays in our individual lives and in society.

Free Forum Q&A - (1) TEMPLE GRANDIN, one of the most accomplished adults with autism, designer of livestock handling facilities, author, ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN (2) WALTER ISAACSON, head of the Aspen Institute, author, EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIV
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April 08, 2015 08:55 PM PDT
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TEMPLE GRANDIN - Originally aired January 2010
WALTER ISAACSON - Originally aired May 2007

Two extraordinary minds: Interviews about a couple of individuals who, though slow learners as children, grew up to do amazing things.


In the first half, I'll talk with Temple Grandin, PhD, probably the most accomplished adult with autism in the world. Now a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and a designer of livestock handling facilities, Grandin, who didn't speak until she was three and a half years old, has become a prominent author, speaker and advocate on the issues of Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. The 2010 HBO film based on her life won seven Emmys, including Outstanding Movie Made for Television, Outstanding Directing - Mick Jackson, and Outstanding Actress - Clare Danes.
In the second half, my guest will be WALTER ISAACSON, former managing editor of TIME magazine and Chairman of CNN, current head of the Aspen Institute, and the author of several bestselling books, including his biography of Steve Jobs. We'll talk about his biography, EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe.

Einstein discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed. His contributions changed the way we conceive of reality. A new biography makes the point that his scientific imagination sprang from his rebellious questioning of authority - a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. In addition to his scientific genius, he was also noted for his social conscience Besides campaigning for a ban on nuclear weaponry, he denounced McCarthyism and pleaded for an end to bigotry and racism.

Free Forum Q&A - TIM RYAN Congressman, author, A MINDFUL NATION: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, Recapture American Spirit & WINIFRED GALLAGHER RAPT: Attention and the Focused Life
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April 01, 2015 11:08 PM PDT
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TIM RYAN - Originally aired August 2012
WINIFRED GALLAGHER - Originally aired May 2009

"My experience is what I agree to attend to." -- William James

This week we focus on mindful attention - hailed by ancient spiritual traditions and modern neuroscience alike as one of the keys to the quality of our lives.

In the first half, I'll be joined by Ohio Congressman TIM RYAN, who offers a radical solution to the stresses and problems that face Americans today -- radical in its original meaning of having to do with roots of things. He has written a book, A MINDFUL NATION: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit. Ryan has a daily practice of mindful meditation and now he's advocating that the spread of similar practices could help heal us, not just as individuals but as a nation. And his book is filled with examples of how mindfulness is already being successfully applied in education, healthcare, even the military.
Then I'll speak with bestselling author, WINIFRED GALLAGHER about her book, RAPT: Attention and the Focused Life. In it, she argues that ""The skillful management of attention is the... key to improving virtually every aspect of your experience, from mood to productivity to relationships." Gallagher came to appreciate this while fighting a fairly advanced form of cancer. Determined not to let her illness "monopolize" her attention, she made a conscious choice to look "toward whatever seemed meaningful, productive, or energizing and away from the destructive, or dispiriting." Her experience of the world was transformed, and she set out to learn more about the science of attention as well as what we can do to cultivate it.

Here's one big tip based on neuroscience: GALLAGHER recommends starting your workday concentrating on your most important task for 90 minutes. At that point, your brain may need a break But don't let yourself get distracted by anything else during that first hour and a half, because it can take the brain 20 minutes to reboot after an interruption.

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

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