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.
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?
Originally Aired: 04/01/12
Too often problems are not solved, solutions are not found or implemented, and money, lives and moments of opportunity are wasted.
CONNIE RICE has taken on school and bus systems, Death Row, the states of Mississippi and California, and the LAPD – and won. Not just in court but also on the streets and in prisons, where she has spearheaded campaigns to reduce gang violence. She has long been dedicated, in her words, to finishing what Martin Luther King Jr started, and she pursues that aim with a focused passion, intelligence, and commitment.
Too often we oppose each other rather than looking for every opportunity to align to solve a problem. Rice sues a model of law enforcement that dominated Los Angeles for decades. In response, the model begins to shift. She then works with — and finally — within LA Law Enforcement. The model shifts some more. Such movement calls for the right sequence of opposition and cooperation, the strategic use of the tools available, and the ability of both sides to shift from litigation to collaboration.
Q&A: RICHARD WILKINSON & KATE PICKETT, Authors – The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do BetterWritten on March 2nd, 2014
Originally Aired: 01/31/10
RICHARD WILKINSON & KATE PICKETT authors of an important new book: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
In the UK, the Guardian says The Spirit Level “might be the most important book of the year, and The New Statesman named it one of the top ten books of the past decade.
Based on thirty years’ research, The Spirit Level shows that unequal societies are bad for the well-off as well as the poor, when it comes to health and social problems, child well being, life expectancy, infant mortality, obesity, educational scores, drop out rates, illegal drug use, mental illness, homicide, incarceration, CO2 emissions, recycling, social mobility, innovation, and levels of trust.
The good news: If all these ills are related to one measure – income inequality, then, decreasing inequality should be the central goal of our politics because we can be confident that it works.
RICHARD WILKINSON has played a leading role in international research on inequality. He studied economic history at the London School of Economics before training in epidemiology, and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School and Honorary Professor at University College London.
KATE PICKETT is a senior lecturer at the University of York and a National Institute for Health Research Career Scientist. She studied physical anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell and epidemiology at Berkeley before spending four years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago.
Free Forum Q&A: TERRENCE McNALLY Turning the tables, my turn to answer Qs interviewed by Sara DavidsonWritten on February 4th, 2014
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.