September 22 - The Crisis on Turkey's Southern Border; An Update on the U.N. Summit on Climate Change; The Koch Brothers Fund "Economic Freedom" Courses on U.S. Campuses

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We begin with the refugee crisis on Turkey’s southern border with Syria where local Kurdish families are fleeing from an offensive by the Islamic State or ISIL.Asli Bali, a professor at the UCLA School of Law where she teaches International Law, International Human Rights and the Laws of War, joins us to discuss whether Turkey will adopt a more aggressive posture towards ISIL now that Turkey’s diplomats held hostage by the Islamic State have been released, and how Turkey will cope with the influx of 130,000 refugees in recent day, on top of the more than 200,000 Syrians refugees already living in camps on the border.

 

 

asli bali
 

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Then we get an update on the U.N. climate summit underway in New York and speak with Cleo Paskal, who is a Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy, NATO and the OSCE. She is the author of “Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map” and has been engaged in climate diplomacy in the Pacific on behalf of endangered island nations facing extinction from rising sea levels. We will discuss why the first and third biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and India, are not sending their heads of state to the summit which President Obama will address on Tuesday.

cleo paskal

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Then finally, we examine how the Koch Brothers are radically increasing their donations to American universities, in particular targeting economics departments with grants to hire professors who share the Koch’s libertarian philosophy and will teach courses in “economic freedom”.Connor Gibson, a member of Greenpeace’s Investigations team who is the co-author of Greenpeace’s new report “Koch Pollution on Campus: Academic Freedom under Assault from Charles Koch’s $50 Million Campaign to Infiltrate Higher Education,” joins us to discuss how Koch investments in universities have skyrocketed from just seven universities in 2005 to 254 today.

connor gibson

 

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September 21 - The Looming Threat of Climate Change; An Organizer of the People's Climate March; "Can Obama Save Himself?"

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We begin with the global demonstrations in the people's climate march ahead of Tuesday’s U.N. summit on climate change titled “Catalyzing Action”, and speak with Daphne Wysham, a Climate Policy Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Economy about the dire nature of the threat of global warming to the planet and the tragically inadequate and pathetically small steps taken so far by the major polluters, the U.S. and China, to address a crisis that the U.N. is taking up. We discuss what measures can be taken to mitigate the impact of climate change, assuming that some collective action is taken before it is too late to stop the rise of sea levels as the world is now on track to more than double the current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by the end of the century.  

daphne

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Then we go to the demonstrations in New York to speak with one of the organizers of this weekend’s global demonstrations, Jamie Henn, the co-founder with Bill McKibben of 350.org, and get an assessment of today’s activities in the people's climate march around the world and what is planned for Monday as world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York for Tuesday’s summit.

jamie henn

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Then finally we look into the state of national insecurity as national attention has shifted from political gridlock and obstruction in the face of domestic challenges, to foreign policy and a possible third war in Iraq in response to the beheading of two Americans. David Rothkopf, the CEO and Editor of Foreign Policy magazine and author of the forthcoming book “National Insecurity” joins us to discuss the growing criticism of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy and the cover article in the current issue of Foreign Policy by David Rothkopf, “Can Obama Save Himself?”

 

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September 18 - Arming Ukraine when a Peace Settlement is the Only Way Out; The British Prime Minister's Ineptitude; Ebola Now a Global Threat

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We begin with the Ukrainian president’s appearance before a joint session of Congress where he made a plea for U.S. military hardware over and above the non-lethal assistance Ukraine is getting, stating that “one can not win a war with blankets”. Robert English, a Professor of International Relations at USC who formerly worked as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Committee for National Security, joins us to discuss the possibility that Ukraine’s Petro Poreshenko is courting the more hawkish Congress to put pressure on Obama to arm the Ukrainians at a point where there is a stalemate that is inviting a diplomatic settlement.

 

robert english

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Then, as Scots go to the polls in record numbers, we  look at the political ineptitude of British Prime Minister David Cameron who has missed signals at every turn that the up-or-down referendum he decided on could blow up in his face as his complacent ministers ignored warnings from civil service professionals that the “No” vote was not a sure thing and that the United Kingdom could soon be split in half. James Cronina professor of history at Boston College and an associate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University where he chairs the British Study Group, joins us to discuss Cameron’s self-inflicted political wounds as his action threaten to take the “Great” out of Great Britain.

cronin

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Then finally we examine the out-of-control outbreak of Ebola in West Africa which the U.N. Security Council has called a threat to global security. Gregory Koblentz, a Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University and a member of the Scientist Working Group on Chemical and Biological Weapons at the Center for Arms Control and author of “Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security”, joins us to discuss the role of the Pentagon in combating Ebola in Liberia and the virulence of Ebola that was weaponized as a biological weapon in the former Soviet Union.

gregory koblentz

 

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September 17 - The House Republican Follies on Capitol Hill; Comparing Spending on Climate Security and the Military; James Bamford on his Three Days in Moscow with Edward Snowden

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We begin with a new low in the theater of the absurd that has become the trademark of the House Republicans on Capitol Hill as two hearings begin, one the umpteenth investigation into Benghazi and the other even more farcical, a hearing chaired by global warming denier Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas aimed at criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to curb global warming CO2 pollution from power plants. Norman Ornstein, who write a weekly column for Roll Call, “Congress Inside Out”, and is the author with Thomas Mann of the recent best-seller “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism”, joins us to discuss how far the Republicans have gone off the rails since President Nixon founded to EPA and President Theodore Roosevelt established the Republican Party as the stewards of the environment.

 

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Then we look into a new study “Combat Versus Climate: The Military and Climate Security Budgets”, and speak with its co-author Miriam Pemberton, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies where she directs the Peace Economy Transitions Project. We discuss the modest increase in the Pentagon’s climate security budget from 1% in 2008 to 4% in 2013, which pales in comparison to China, which allocated nearly as much to climate change - $162 billion in 2013 as it did for its military forces - $188.5 billion.

 

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Then finally, we speak with James Bamford, the author of “The Shadow Factory: Inside the Ultra-Secret NSA, From 9/11 to Spying on America”. He is an investigative journalist specializing in national security issues who writes for Wired Magazine and spent three days in Moscow this summer with Edward Snowden, the fugitive former NSA contractor living in exile in Russia. We discuss what Snowden told him about the activities of his former employer and James Bamford’s article at the New York Times, “Israel’s NSA Scandal”.

james bamford

 

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September 16 - Last Minute Sweetener for a "No Vote" in Scotland; Another Suicidal Referendum that Will Diminish the U.K. Further; Iraq War III: The Next Big Meal Ticket for Military Contractors

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We begin with an apparent outbreak of panic inside David Cameron’s ruling conservative government in the U.K. as Thursday’s referendum on Scottish independence comes down to the wire with Cameron throwing sweetener after sweetener into the mix to lure Scottish voters away from a “Yes” vote. Polly Toynbee, a columnist for the U.K. Guardian and a former BBC Social Affairs Editor and Associate Editor of The Independent, joins us to discuss last-minute efforts by a Tory government that is deeply unpopular in Scotland, to persuade Scottish voters that they are better off with Britain.

 

polly

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Then we look further into the fateful vote in Scotland that has tremendous geopolitical implications for the future of the U.K. which will be diminished further if the Scots vote “Yes” because the opposition Labor Party will lose 40 seats to Scotland and will therefore be unlikely to win the next election in Britain, allowing the Tories to proceed with a suicidal referendum Cameron has promised for Britain to leave the E.U., further diminishing the U.K. into irrelevance. One of the world’s leading analysts of popular culture, media and their connections to everyday life, Toby Miller, joins us from the U.K. to discuss the political failures that have led to a resurgence of nationalism.

 
toby miller

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Then finally, following testimony by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs before the Senate Armed Services Committee where General Dempsey said that under certain conditions American boots on the ground might be required in Iraq, we will speak with William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and author of “Lessons From Iraq: Avoiding the Next War”. We discuss the likelihood that a third U.S. war in Iraq will be the next big meal ticket for military contractors.

william hartung

 

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