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

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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.

Q&A: BRUCE LIPTON, Ph.D., and STEVE BHAERMAN (comic), Co Author – SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION

Written on February 15th, 2015
  Originally 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: ROBERT WRIGHT, Author and Blogger

Written on December 30th, 2014
  Recorded 06/05/09 Christianity, Judaism and Islam are both peaceful and violent. Robert Wright discusses what circumstances bring out the best and worst in religion. Is religion a force for good or ill? This question has been more energetically debated over the last few years, globally, due to the West's confrontation with radical Islam, and in the U.S., to the political emergence and activism of evangelical Christians. This was brought to a head with the misadventures of George W. Bush, from Teri Schiavo to Bagdhad. Robert Wright takes on big questions, and he's taken this one on in his new book, The Evolution of God. He follows the changing moods of God as reflected in ancient Scripture, to see what circumstances brought out the best and worst in religions. According to Wright, "The moral of the story is simple: When people see their interests threatened by another group, this perception brings out the most belligerent parts of their religion. Such circumstances are good news for violent extremists and bad news for moderates. What Obama is trying to do -- make Palestinians feel less threatened, and make Muslims generally feel more respected -- may now, as it did in ancient times, bring out the tolerant side of a religion." Wright is a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, and founder and editor of www.bloggingheads.tv His books include: Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information; The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life; and Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. www.meaningoflife.tv and www.bloggingheads.tv.

Q&A: LESTER BROWN – FULL PLANET, EMPTY PLATES

Written on December 25th, 2014
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Aired: 12/23/12

Recorded: 10/17/12

When gas prices were at or near record highs a few months ago in the US, that got people’s attention. What about food prices? Have you noticed them rising? Are you making different choices in the supermarket? If not, it might be because of two things.
One, in America so much of our food is processed, packaged and marketed, that raw commodity prices make up only a fraction of the price of the food we buy. In other countries, especially the less developed ones, an increase in the price of rice or corn can have a major effect on how much a family can afford to eat. Two, Americans spend only 9% percent of their income on food, while millions around the world spend 50-70%. Millions of households now routinely schedule foodless days each week-days when they will not eat at all. A recent survey by Save the Children shows that 14% of families in Peru now have foodless days. India, 24%. Nigeria, 27%.

In his newest book, FULL PLANET, EMPTY PLATES, LESTER BROWN writes,
“The U.S. Great Drought of 2012 has raised corn prices to the highest level in history. The world price of food, which has already doubled over the last decade, is slated to climb higher, ushering in a new wave of food unrest. This year’s corn crop shortfall will accelerate the transition from the era of abundance and surpluses to an era of chronic scarcity. As food prices climb, the worldwide competition for control of land and water is intensifying. In this new world, access to food is replacing access to oil as an overriding concern of governments. Food is the new oil, land is the new gold. Welcome to the new geopolitics of food.”

 

www.earth-policy.org

 

 

Q&A w/ JEREMY SCAHILL (#5 NYTimes Best-seller) DIRTY WARS: The World is a Battlefield

Written on July 30th, 2014
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Aired: 05/05/13

In JEREMY SCAHILL’S new best-seller, DIRTY WARS, what begins as an investigation into a US night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly transforms into a high-stakes global investigation into the rise of Joint Special Operations Command, the most secret and elite fighting force in U.S. history. In military jargon, JSOC teams “find, fix and finish” their targets, who are selected through a secret process. No target is off limits for the “kill list,” including U.S. citizens.

It’s the unbounded, unending War on Terror: all bets are off, and almost anything goes. We have fundamentally changed the rules of the game and the rules of engagement. Today drone strikes, night raids, and U.S. government-condoned torture occur, generating unprecedented civilian casualties.

DIRTY WARS reveals covert operations unknown to the public and carried out across the globe by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress, raising questions about freedom and democracy, war and justice, morality and politics. No matter how little you know about these actions, they are being done in your name,

DIRTY WARS is also a documentary which opens in theaters June 7th.