March 30 - The P5+1 Talks with Iran at the Brink; HBO's Meticulous and Devastating Expose of Scientology; Indiana's "Religious Freedom" Law Backfires

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We begin with critical phase that the P5+1 talks with Iran are in, hours before the deadline elapses, and speak with Joseph Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund and author of “Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons”. We discuss his article at The Huffington Post “How to Know the Iran Deal is a Good Deal” and Senator McCain’s recent Senate speech calling on Israel to “go rogue” and start a war with Iran to prevent Obama’s deal with Iran from happening.

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Then we discuss the HBO documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” that just aired with a shocking expose of this pseudo religion that is revealed as a ruthless money-making operation which fleeces its followers while enslaving them, and makes billions in tax-exempt profits that are at the disposal of the cult’s secretive and sadistic leader David Miscavige. John Sweeney, an investigative journalist with the BBC’s flagship TV program Panorama, and author of “The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology”, joins us.

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Then finally we speak with Professor Marjorie Hershey, who teaches Political Science at Indiana State University and is the author of “Party Politics in America”. We discuss how Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s so-called “Religious Freedom” law has backfired, with his efforts to curry favor with the religious right for a possible White House run blowing up in his face.

 

 

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March 29 - Senator Sanders on the Republican Budget; A Hidden Motive Behind Saudi Intervention in Yemen; A Pilot on How to Prevent Future Germanwings Crashes

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We begin with Senator Bernie Sanders, the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history who is the ranking member of the Senate budget comittee, and discuss the Republican budget which passed the Senate on a party line vote that repeals the Affordable Care Act, throws extra money at the Pentagon and repeals the estate tax even though only 3,700 estates valued at over $5.43 million, or $11 million for a couple, are subject to the tax which means the richest 0.12% will now pay no estate tax.  We also discuss a number of issues including the 2016 Democratic presidential primary debates that so far look more like a monologue than a dialogue. 

 

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Then we speak with Lina Khatib, the Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut about a possible hidden motive behind Saudi intervention in Yemen that might result in a military occupation of the south of the country to secure the port of Aden and its oil terminals so that Saudi oil could be piped directly to Asian customers from terminals on the Indian Ocean, thus bypassing the Gulf and the Iranian-dominated Straights of Hormuz.

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Then finally we speak with an instrument-rated pilot and author of “Free Flight: From Airline Hell to a New Age of Travel”.  Award-winning author and national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows, joins us to discuss his article in The Atlantic “Could the Germanwings Crash Have Been Avoided?

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March 26 - An Active Airline Pilot on the Germanwings Air Crash; An Aviation Safety Expert on the Downsizing of the Airline Pilot Profession; Outside Forces Escalate the Civil War in Yemen; "Why Yemen Has Come Undone"

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We begin with the Germanwings A320 airliner that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps killing all 150 aboard, a tragedy that now appears to have been caused by the co-pilot who apparently locked the pilot out of the cockpit then deliberately downed the aircraft. An active airline pilot, Patrick Smith, the author of “Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections”, joins us to discuss why and how this crash happened and what can be done to prevent future incidents like this.

 

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Then we speak with David Gleave, a Chief Investigator for Aviation Safety Investigations and an expert with the Transport Research Group at Loughborough University in the U.K.  He joins us to discuss at least eight other similar incidents involving commercial aircraft and the downsizing of the profession of airline pilots who have become little more than aerial bus drivers today, many carrying huge debt from flying school, that with their low salaries, barely adds up to a living wage.

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Then we look into the escalation of the civil war in Yemen with the introduction of outside forces as Saudi Arabia threatens a land invasion and airstrikes are underway by warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Jordan and Morocco, and naval help from Pakistan and Egypt is arriving off the port of Aden. Charles Schmitz, the former President of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies and a Professor of Geography at Towson University joins us to discuss the worsening situation.

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Then Jack Goldstone joins us. He is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars and a Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University who has an article at CNN “Why Yemen has come undone”. We discuss the failed U.S. policy of drone-bombing Yemen from the air while ignoring social instability on the ground in a fragile state about to fail that has the youngest and fastest growing population in the region and is running out of oil and water.  

 

 

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March 25 - The Hidden History of U.S.-Afghan Relations; Behind the Routing of Boko Haram; "The Real Cost of Coal"

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We begin with the just-concluded State Visit by Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and the country’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, and look into the hidden history of U.S.- Afghan relations prior to America’s longest war that may or may not be concluding soon. Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon and is the author of “Between the Graves: America, Afghanistan and the Politics of Intervention”, joins us to discuss how the real victims in the country called “the graveyard of empires” are not so much the foreign invaders but the Afghan people.

 

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Then we speak with Ambassador John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies and the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, about recent military reversals that have driven Boko Harum out of much of the territory in the north that they had occupied, which is suddenly happening a week ahead of an election after four years of paralysis by the government of Goodluck Jonathan. We look into the fate of hundreds who have been kidnapped and the role of South African mercenaries in routing Boko Harum.

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Then finally we speak with James Stock, a Professor of Political Economy at Harvard and a member of the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He previously served as a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and has an op-ed at The New York Times, “The Real Cost of Coal” that reveals how 40% of coal is mined from public lands but the taxpayer gets little back in terms of royalties and nothing in terms of compensation for the effects of climate change caused by CO 2 from burning coal.

 

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March 24 - Ending America's Longest War; The Latest Israeli Spying on the U.S.; Netanyahu's Apology and Israel's Denial

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We begin with the White House meeting with President Obama and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and the announcement that the U.S. will keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan throughout this year into 2016, delaying previous plans for a gradual withdrawal. Thomas Barfield, a professor of Anthropology at Boston University and the President of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies and author of “Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History”, joins us to discuss ending America’s longest war and the mob killing of a mentally ill young Afghan woman on false charges that she burned a Koran.

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Then we speak with Avner Cohen, a Professor of Nonproliferation Studies and a Senior Fellow with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey. He is the author of “The Worst-kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb” and we discuss the history of Israel’s spying on the U.S. and the Wall Street Journal article that charges Israel spied on the on-going secret talks between the U.S. and Iran and shared a “doctored” version of that intel with the Republican Congress to undermine Obama’s diplomacy.

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Then finally we speak with Lisa Goldman, the director of the Israel-Palestine Initiative at the New America Foundation about Netanyahu’s apology to the Israeli Arabs and Israel’s denial that it spied on the U.S.- Iran talks and passed on exaggerated negative negotiating details to the Republican Congress.

 

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