August 19 - Regulating the Unique Life and Death Power of Police Who Have a License to Kill; The Author of "Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of an American City; Turf Battles Among Police on the Tenth Day of Protest in Ferguson

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We begin with an historical perspective on race riots in America going back to the 1960’s where invariably the spark that ignites the protests was the killing of a black man by a white policeman. James Meyerson, who served as an Assistant General Counsel of the NAACP and who now maintains a civil rights trial and appellate practice with a longstanding focus on law enforcement misconduct, joins us. We will discuss his article in The Huffington Post “What Is the Kerner Commission and Why It Should be Revisited in Light of Ferguson” and the need for a similar high-level inquiry like the 1968 Kerner Commission today to curtail the life and death power of local police and hold them accountable for the abuse of the unique power they have with a license to kill.

 

james meyerson

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Then we look into the changing demographics of St. Louis with Colin Gordon, a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Iowa and author of “Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of an American City” which is also an interactive digital mapping project on the web at Mapping Decline. He joins us to discuss his research that shows racial and economic stress building for years is the tinder fueling the anger and frustration that has exploded in Ferguson.

gordon

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Then finally, we will speak with Garrett Duncan, a Professor of African American Studies at the University of Washington in St. Louis about the extent to which outside troublemakers from as far as New York and California are fanning the flames in Ferguson and the turf battles amongst the various Federal, State and local police who have been unable to quell ten days of protests and looting, as well as the need for adult supervision to take charge of the situation and conduct a swift and credible inquiry that results in accountability and justice.

duncan

 

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August 18 - The Need for a Credible Inquiry and Justice in Ferguson, Missouri; There is a "There" There in the Indictment of Rick Perry; The Fate of the African Elephant Reaches a Tipping Point

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We begin with the on-going racially-charged situation in the divided city of St. Louis where the National Guard has been deployed following a week of protests and looting provoked by the shooting of an unarmed young black man by a white policeman who shot Michael Brown six times until he was dead. An expert on distressed suburbs and economic segregation among municipalities, Todd Swanstrom, a professor in Community Collaboration and Public Policy at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, joins us to discuss how the rapid change in Ferguson from a majority white to a majority black community, as well as poverty and unemployment factor into this tense confrontation between angry residents and defiant local police, as the need for a credible inquiry and for justice to be served grows more urgent.  

todd swanstrom

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Then we examine the case of State of Texas versus James Richard “Rick” Perry, and look into the role of the Travis County DA’s office that contains the Public Integrity Unit that the governor is trying to defund. Forrest Wilder, associate editor of the Texas Observer, who writes the “Forrest for the Trees” blog, joins us to discuss his latest article at the Texas Observer, “What the Pundits Don’t Get About the Rick Perry’s Indictment” and how there may be more of a “there” there than the national press is reporting in terms of Governor Perry’s legal jeopardy.

forest wilder

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Then finally, with the fate of the African elephant reaching the tipping point where more are being killed by poachers than are being born in the wild, we speak with George Wittemyer, a professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology who is the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board to Save the Elephants in Africa. We discuss his new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that finds 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers in the last three years, with Central Africa, the hardest hit, seeing a 64% decline in its elephant population in the last decade.

george wittemyer

 

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August 17 - The Militarization of America's Police Forces; Obama on a Tightrope as Critics Pile On; Will Republican Big Bucks Backfire?

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We begin with the continuing protests and looting in Ferguson, Missouri in spite of an intervention by the Governor and the deployment of a more community-friendly less militarized State Police force. Elizabeth Beavers, the Legislative Associate for Militarism and Civil Liberties at the Friends Committee on National Legislation joins us to discuss her recent article in the New York Times “Get the Military off Main Street” and the lobbying efforts of she and her colleagues for the past year on Capitol Hill to block the Pentagon’s hand-out of surplus military weapons and hardware to police forces across the country known as the 1033 program that has resulted in the streets of Ferguson looking like a war zone.

elizabeth beavers

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Then, with President Obama curtailing his vacation to deal with the volatile situations in Ukraine and Iraq, as a joint U.S. and Kurdish military operation to retake the Mosul dam is underway, we will discuss the precarious decision-making situation the president is in with the possibility of the Islamic State retaliating by unleashing a monstrous and catastrophic tidal wave across Iraq that will flood the country and plunge it into darkness.Dr. Stephen Walt, a Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University joins us to discuss his article at Foreign Policy “Double Diss” and the upside and the downside for the president at a time when his foreign policy in not just being criticized by Republicans, but is being second-guessed by one of its architects, the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

stephen walt

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Then finally we speak with Darrell West, the Vice President of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of the forthcoming book, “Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust”. He joins us to discuss his recent article in USA Today “Republican Big Bucks Backfire” that suggests much of the massive and unprecedented campaign spending by plutocrats to elect Republicans to do their political bidding might reverse itself and over time go to Democrats, as these conservative donors age and their liberal children inherit their fortunes.

stephen walt

 

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August 14 - Structural Racism at Play in Ferguson, Missouri; Hillary Trashes Obama then "Hugs" the Rift Away; A Leading Expert on the Kurds

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We begin with the continuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white policeman, that have escalated with the police targeting reporters and TV crews to the point a new police force has been called in to replace the local one. Bree Carlson, the director of the Structural Racism Program for National People’s Action, a network of community organizations across the U.S, that uses direct action community organizing to advance racial and economic justice, joins us to discuss the deeper structural racial and economic issues at play beyond the headline of another young black man gunned down by a white policeman.

AUDIO

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Then we analyze the recent remarks by Hillary Clinton criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy and whether her promise of “hugging it out” at a Martha’s Vineyard birthday party will be sufficient to heal the rift at a time when the President is facing enormous foreign policy challenges with Russia in Ukraine and the Islamic State in Iraq. Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at The National Interest and the author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons” joins us to discuss recent efforts by Hillary Clinton to position herself with a more hawkish foreign policy to shore up her right flank as she prepares to run for the presidency in 2016.

JACOB

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Then finally we speak with Edmund Ghareeb, an internationally recognized expert on the Kurds and Iraq who was the first Mustafa Barzani Scholar of Global Kurdish Studies at the Center for Global Peace at American University. We discuss the increasing humanitarian and military response to I.S. attacks on the Kurdish enclave in the north of Iraq and whether the resignation of Prime Minister Maliki will lead to a more unified Iraq as Britain agrees to directly arm the Kurds and the U.S. is rumored to be preparing a robust military response to I.S. beyond protecting the Kurds that involves targeting and destroying I.S. leadership and forces.

 

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August 13 - From the Arab Awakening to a Terrorist Army and the Movement for Death; The Shake-Up of Brazil's Electoral Landscape; Calls for Justice Following the Shooting of an Unarmed Black Teenager by a White Policeman

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We begin with the new phenomenon of a terrorist army and an even more extreme version of terrorism than Al Qaeda’s brand in the form of the Islamic State that has planted its black flag in the heart of the Middle East. One of the world’s leading experts on terrorism, Richard Barrett, a director of the Soufan Group who sits on the board of the International Center for Counter Terrorism in The Hague and the Center on Global Terrorism Cooperation in Washington, joins us. We discuss the growing appeal of the I.S. movement whose vision of a future for the Middle East is the antithesis of the Arab spring or the Arab Awakening, and try to determine what could be done to encourage a movement for life and counter this movement for death.

richard barret

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Then with the plane crash that killed the leader of Brazil’s Socialist Party and six other people, we look into the shaken political landscape ahead of Brazil’s October elections with Paulo Sotero, the director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the former Washington Correspondent for Estado de Sao Paulo, a leading daily Brazilian newspaper. We discuss the likelihood that the front-runner President Dilma Rousseff will have to face a run-off, possibly against another woman Marina Silva, the late Eduardo Campos’s vice-presidential candidate, who is of African descent and grew up poor and uneducated to become a prominent environmentalist and a charismatic evangelist who came in second in the last election.

paulo sotero

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Then finally we speak with Brian Levin, a criminologist, civil rights attorney, professor of criminal justice and a former New York City Police Officer, about the killing of an unarmed African-American teenager by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked riots and looting and continuing protests against police brutality by a predominately white police force that serves a predominately black neighborhood. We discuss the eyewitness reports that suggest the teenager had his hands up and was not resisting arrest when he was shot several times and President Obama’s call for calm as well as the Attorney General’s statement that the shooting “deserves a fulsome review”.

brian levin

 

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