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Free Forum Q&A: Terrence McNally and Free Forum listeners
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March 24, 2014 10:45 PM PDT
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Aired: 3/24/14

I'll share with you my views on a number of issues, large and small. I'll deal with a lot of the questions I ask others about on a regular basis. What are our biggest challenges? Are there some critical issues that don't get enough attention? Can I connect the dots among pieces of the puzzle of a world that just tight work? Can humanity turn things around? What gives me hope?

I hope you find this hour provocative, stimulating, informative, challenging, and lively.

Free Forum Q&A: SARA DAVIDSON, author of THE DECEMBER PROJECT: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Take Aim at Our Greatest Mystery
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March 17, 2014 11:04 PM PDT
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Aired: 03/16/14

We all deal day to day with a lot of questions and a lot of fears - around work, money, health, politcs, relationships. And at some point, we will all deal with the final fears and the final questions - fear of death and questions about what it means and what if anything comes after.

At his request, today's guest, SARA DAVIDSON met every Friday for two years with 89-year-old RABBI ZALMAN SHACHTER-SHALOMI, the iconic founder of the Jewish Renewal movment, to discuss what he calls THE DECEMBER PROJECT. "When you can feel in your cells that you're coming to the end of your tour of duty," in tHe rabbi's words, "what is the spiritual work of this time, how do we prepare for the mystery?"

Davidson, who describes herself as having a seeker's heart and a skeptic's mind, feared death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that "something continues." He didn't want to convince her of anything, but to loosen her mind." Through their talks, he wanted to help people "not freak out about dying," and enable them to have a more heightened and grateful life.

Free Forum Q&A: REZA ASLAN ZEALOT - Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
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March 10, 2014 10:51 PM PDT
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Aired: 03/09/14

Last summer author and scholar of religions REZA ASLAN came out with a book that utilized a great deal of historical research to give readers a sense of the man, Jesus of Nazareth. ASLAN had taken on a similar task seven years earlier with his first book NO GOD BUT GOD, in which he tells the story of Mohammed. But the problem for some folks this time around is that Reza Aslan is a Muslim. In an interview that has been viewed at least a million and a half times on YouTube, Lauren Green of Fox News demanded to know, "You're a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?" - and that interview sent Aslan's book, ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, to the top of best-seller lists for weeks.
REZA ASLAN has been a guest on Free Forum a number of times in the past, and I'm happy to welcome him back again, to talk a bit about the reaction, but much more about the content and meaning of his book. He examines Jesus through the lens of the time and place in which he lived, first-century Palestine, and labels him in the book's title, a zealot - a radical political opponent of the Roman occupation. Because Jesus was crucified without overthrowing Roman rule, he is one of many failed messiahs. But why did this particular failed messiah become the starting point of one of the world's great religions, wielding enormous influence over two thousand years later among more people than even existed during his lifetime?

Free Forum Q&A: TERRENCE McNALLY Turning the tables, my turn to answer Qs interviewed by Sara Davidson
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February 03, 2014 09:18 PM PST
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Aired: 2/2/14

I am going to take a hiatus from this show in a few weeks, for the first time in 17 years. I need to focus on some other projects, including a book I'm writing, and won't be able to afford the time to produce and host this show probono.


In anticipation of this upcoming break, I will be the guest this week and SARA DAVIDSON, best-selling author of Loose Change and Leap, whose new book, The December Project will come out in March, will be interviewing me. I've long thought it is only fair that I have to answer a few questions and this week it's going to happen.

Free Forum Q&A: HAZEL HENDERSON, Ethical Markets Can We Still Solve Big Problems? PART 2
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January 28, 2014 10:15 PM PST
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Aired: 1/26/14
As we begin a new year, let's look at where we are in the big picture. What are the most critical issues facing the US and the world? How do you see things moving in those areas? How are things getting worse or better? What should we be keeping our eyes on in the year to come?

My guest this week will be HAZEL HENDERSON, who's been asking these sorts of questions for at least the last 40 years. We're going to approach this exploration globally as well as nationally, with a long-term view, and with an eye toward relationships and systems that we often miss in our day-to-day focus on the latest news and events.

If this sounds familiar, it's because this was my plan a few weeks ago when Hazel was my guest. But we ended up spending so much time on her journey - a remarkable journey it is, a mom in New York who'd never been to college got upset about pollution threatening her young child, became an activist, and developed into a global expert on economics and sustainability.

Free Forum Q&A- DANIEL GOLEMAN FOCUS: Hidden Driver of Excellence
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January 20, 2014 11:51 PM PST
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Aired: 01/19/14

I don't have to tell you how many messages, interruptions and distractions you are inundated with every day. Add to that the stress placed on so many of us by the many roles we play everyday - parent, partner, friend, worker, citizen. The very critical skill or quality of attention is under siege.

DANIEL GOLEMAN, the psychologist, journalist, and best-selling author who wrote the book on Emotional Intelligence, has a new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. In it, he delves into new, surprising findings from neuroscience labs and explains why attention is a little-noticed mental asset that makes a huge difference in how well we find our way in our personal lives, our careers, and in virtually everything we do. Like a muscle, use attention poorly and it withers; work it in the right way and it strengthens. But Goleman doesn't only consider the personal need for attention but also the way evolution has presented humans a challenge when it comes to dealing with long term threats like climate change.

Free Forum Q&A- NOREENA HERTZ, Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World
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January 14, 2014 12:04 AM PST
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Aired: 1/13/14
According to NOREENA HERTZ, we to make up to 10,000 trivial decisions every single day, 227 just about food. Caffeinated or decaf? Small, medium, large or extra large? Colombian, Ecuadorian, Ethiopian? Hazelnut, vanilla or unflavored? Cream or milk? Sugar or sweetener? If you make the wrong choice when it comes to your coffee, it doesn't matter very much. But make the wrong choice when it comes to your finances, your health, or work, and you could end up sicker, poorer, or without a job.
NOREENA has been a guest on this show on her earlier books. But they were both about global economics. Her new book, Eyes Wide Open is sub-titled How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World, and you can bet I'm going to ask Noreena how she decided on such a departure. In any case, I think this is a welcome subject as we face the choices of a new year, and I hope you'll decide to tune in.

Free Forum Q&A: SARAH VanGELDER Editor-in-Chief, YES! Magazine 10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013
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January 06, 2014 10:51 PM PST
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Aired: 01/05/14

These days the media are full of lists - the best and worst of 2013 - movies, TV, music, books, etc. as well as lists of resolutions and tips for 2014. So when I got an email from SARAH VanGELDER, co-founder and editor-in-chief of YES! Magazine, in which she wrote. "I just posted my end-of-year column on the stories from 2013 that could make 2014 transformative," , I invited her to join me today. She actually titled her article, "10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013 to Get You Inspired for What's to Come," and that sounds like a great conversation to start the new year.
We'll look back and ahead with an eye toward catching the waves or the winds of change, building on the best of last year to make 2014 even better. Let's commit to taking action to move us all a bit closer to a world that just might work.

Free Forum Q&A: RICK HANSON, author of Hardwiring Happiness
Clean
December 30, 2013 04:08 PM PST
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Aired: 12/29/13

My guest this week is RICK HANSON, neuropsychologist, and author of the best-seller BUDDHA'S BRAIN. We're going to talk about his latest book, HARDWIRING HAPPINESS, where he brings together mindfulness and neuroscience and offers pro-active practices to actually shift the brain's neural structure - the hardwiring - toward calm, contentment, and confidence.

This time of year can be challenging for people. Holidays bring us in contact with family, which for many carries a charge. We're all asked to be more social than usual. We need a story to tell. And it feels natural to take stock and self assess at the end and beginning of a calendar year. We can be hard on ourselves.

Rick Hanson and I are going to talk about how you can use new lessons science is learning about the brain to overcome it's -- so far evolutionarily successful -- negativity bias - the brain's tendency to hardwire negative and threatening experiences more easily, more quickly than positive ones. It's important that you avoid predators. And the ones who didn't had fewer children.

Free Forum Q&A: HAZEL HENDERSON, Ethical Markets Can We Still Solve Big Problems?
Clean
December 24, 2013 12:31 PM PST
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Aired: 12/22/13

As we approach the end of another year, let's step back and look at where we are in the big picture. What do you think are the most critical issues facing the US and the world? How do you see things moving in those areas? How are things getting worse or better? What should we be keeping our eyes on in the year to come?

My guest for this conversation will be HAZEL HENDERSON, a woman who's been asking those sorts of questions for at least the last 40 years. We're going to approach this exploration globally as well as nationally, with a long term view, and with an eye toward relationships and systems that we often miss in our day to day focus on the latest news and events.

I hope we can shed some light on the most promising possibilities for solving problems, as well as on what's happening under the radar -- for good or ill -- that deserves more of our attention.

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