Free Forum – Two classic political interviews from 2004 THOMAS FRANK, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America GEORGE LAKOFF, DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

Written on March 4th, 2017

Originally Aired in 2004 They noticed trends, asked questions, offered warnings and gave advice.
“Why does the pro-life factory worker who listens to Rush Limbaugh repeatedly vote for the party that is less likely to protect his safety, less likely to protect his job, and less likely to benefit him economically?”
– Thomas Frank
“In politics framing is about making sure the debate takes place in language that fits your worldview. Framing trumps facts and self-interest.”
– George Lakoff Twelve years later their worst fears came true.

Free Forum Q&A – MICHAEL LEWIS MONEYBALL; THE BIG SHORT; THE BLIND SIDE BOOMERANG: Travels in the New Third World includes a profile of Greece post-global crash

Written on July 16th, 2015




Originally aired October 2011

As the two countries play a high stakes game of chicken, it’s a good time to see what Greece and Germany looked like in the aftermath of the global crash. Who better to be our tour guide than best-selling author MICHAEL LEWIS?

Lewis’s book, BOOMERANG: Travels in the New Third World is made up of articles originally published in Vanity Fair and picks up where 2010’s THE BIG SHORT left off. Governments are the focus of this book. Mostly because they have taken on the bad debts of the too-big-to-fail banks, so now they are themselves at risk. Now politics and culture become much more important as to how they will deal with that risk. The book also profiles Ireland, Iceland, and California.
Both Ira Glass and Malcolm Gladwell say today’s guest is their favorite storyteller. In his books and magazine articles, Lewis writes about sports, business, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, political campaigns, fatherhood. Stuff that matters to a lot of people. He’s smart and he has a sense of humor. Once a trader at Salomon Brothers, he wrote his first best-seller, LIAR’S POKER about the excesses of Wall Street during the 1980s. He continues to write about that world with his last two books, a column for Bloomberg, and articles in Vanity Fair. We also talk about the twisted path taken to get MONEYBALL into movie theatres.

Free Forum Q&A – (1) ROKO BELIC director, HAPPY documentary (Originally aired January 2012) (2) RAFE ESQUITH American Teacher of the Year 30+ years, 5th grade, Hobart Elementary, LA author, REAL TALK for REAL TEACHERS (Originally aired September 2007)

Written on May 29th, 2015



Do you want to feel better? Listen to this week’s show. In the first half hour, I talk with Academy-Award-nominated filmmakerROKO BELIC about his documentary,HAPPY, and in the second half with award-winning LA school teacher and author,RAFE ESQUITH about his book,TEACH LIKE YOUR HAIR’S ON FIRE. 

Are you happy? How often are you happy? What makes you happy? Does money make you happy? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in an environment that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Do you expect you’re going to get happier? How?

ROKO BELIC’S HAPPY, a documentary that I think deserves to widely seen, explores these sorts of questions. It weaves the latest scientific research from the field of “positive psychology” with stories from around the world of people whose lives illustrate what we’re learning.

When the basic approach to the pursuit of happiness that’s been taken by many of us and by society in general isn’t delivering, this is a good time to ask some basic questions. It’s also a good time to do so because we know more than we ever have about what science can tell us about happiness. And we have access to more diverse models and worldviews than ever before.What’s getting lost in your daily shuffle? What toll is stress taking on your body?  How could you lead a fuller, happier life?

Teaching in Los Angeles at one of the nation’s largest inner-city grade schools, Hobart Elementary, RAFE ESQUITH leads fifth graders through an uncompromising curriculum of English, mathematics, geography and literature. At the end of the semester, every student performs in a full-length Shakespeare play. Despite language barriers and poverty, many of these Hobart Shakespeareans move on to attend outstanding colleges.



Written on May 22nd, 2015




Originally aired September 2010

You startle awake to a rude alarm clock. Nothing you’d rather do than sleep a bit more. Coffee gets you going enough to make it out the door. On your morning commute you zone out, oblivious to radio reports of weather disasters or war casualties. At work, juggling your cell phone, landline, and email, you speak to countless faceless people without leaving your desk. You grab lunch over a pile of paperwork. Driving home, you look up to notice what must have been a beautiful sunset. At day’s end, you’re back where you started.

What’s getting lost in your daily shuffle? What toll is stress taking on your body? How could you lead a fuller, happier life?

JON KABAT-ZINN says the answer may be “living life moment by moment as if it really mattered.” He believes that by practicing mindfulness, we can literally and metaphorically come to our senses – as individuals and as a society. And there’s growing scientific evidence to back him up. TRUDY GOODMAN has done a lot to make that practice accessible here in LA, with the InsightLA center in Santa Monica.

John Kabat-Zinn

Free Forum Q&A – 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 UNIVERSE

Written on April 9th, 2015





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.