Tag Archives: Politics and Activism

The Scholars’ Circle & Insighters Radio- Feb. 10th, 2013

For this Valentine’s week:

First, we look at the global advances for marriage equality, just in time for the landmark Supreme Court cases. [ dur. 15  mins. ]

  • Jenny Pizer is Senior Counsel and Director of Law and Public Policy at Lambda Legal.

Then, they may have been some of the world’s greatest thinkers but they were also great failures at love.[ dur. 12 mins. ]

  • Andrew Shaffer is the author of, “Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love,” and “Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors.”

Finally, on the Scholars’ Circle, what is love? Is it emotional? Biological? Can it be summarized by rational decision? How does it play out in society? [  dur. 28 mins. ]

  • Simon May is a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Kings College, London. His books include, “Love: A History” and “Nietzsche’s Ethics and his War on Morality’.”
  • Bennett W. Helm is a Professor of Philosophy at Franklin & Marshall College. His books include, “Love, Friendship, and the Self: Intimate Identification and the Sociality of Persons,” and “Emotional Reason: Deliberation, Motivation, and the Nature of Value.”
  • Dr. Robert Epstein is Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. He is currently working on a book called “Making Love: How People Learn To Love, and How You Can Too,” which is based on his research on how love emerges over time in arranged marriages. He is also the author of, “Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence,” and “Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays.”

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The Scholars’ Circle & Insighters Radio- Feb. 3rd, 2013

Can the Lord of the Rings trilogy act as a means to understand complex politics and international relations? Our guest says, indeed, it can. [ dur. 30 mins. ]

  • Patrick James, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California. He is the author of, “The International Relations of Middle-earth: Learning from The Lord of the Rings.”

Then, on the Scholars’ Circle, we look at deception and lying. Some scholars say that deception is ubiquitous and normal in all human interactions, that lying is useful and possibly even biological. Others suggest that there is a cost to lying even for white lies. What is the truth about lying? [ dur. 28 mins. ]

  • Sissela Bok is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and formerly a Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University. Her many books include the seminal, “Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life,” “Secrets: on the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation,” and “A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War.”
  • David Livingstone Smith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of several books including, “Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind,” “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others,” and “Hidden Conversations: An Introduction to Communicative Psychoanalysis.”
  • Charles V. Ford, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama. His books include “Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!: The Psychology of Deceit.”

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The Scholars’ Circle & Insighters Radio- Jan. 27th, 2013

Much of the mass media has fixated on whether the film Zero Dark Thirty glorified torture. Academy Award-winning director Katherine Bigelow has been forced by critics to explain her use of graphic, detailed torture scenes in her new film, which dramatizes the hunt and assassination of Osama Bin Laden. But while headlines and talk shows focus on Bigelow and her film, less has been said about two new reports detailing extensive torture, or about the realities of torture.

We are joined by filmmaker Murad Aldin Amayreh discussing his most recent documentary, “The Tortured: Stories of Survival.” And, Hector Aristizabal, one of the interviewees in the film who was tortured in Colombia. Also joining the conversation: Pamela Merchant is Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability. Gerald Gray is a social worker and psychotherapist who works with torture victims and who has initiated numerous institutes to assist them (including the Center for Justice and Accountability). Pamela Merchant is Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability. Stephen Rohde is a constitutional lawyer, founder and Chair of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, Chair of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a Vice President of Death Penalty Focus, and author of AMERICAN WORDS OF FREEDOM, and FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY. [ dur. 29 mins. ]

Then, on the Scholars’ Circle, President Obama has announced that a decade of war is now ending, our panel argues that warring is a relatively new phenomenon in human societies and that human beings are not warlike by nature. [ dur. 27 mins. ]

Douglas P. Fry, Dir of Peace, Mediation & Conflict Research at Abo Akademi Univ. Finland.  Author of Beyond War : The Human Potential for Peace.

Darcia Narvaez, Prof. of Phycology, Univ. of Minnesota. Co-author of Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy.

Brian Ferguson, Prof. of  Anthropology , Rutgers Univ. .  Co-author of  War in the Tribal Zone: Expanding States and Indigenous Warfare.

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The Scholars’ circle & Insighters Radio- Jan. 20th, 2013

In this hour, can a breakthrough in DNA snipping lead to curing AIDS and other diseases?

  • Jennifer A. Doudna is Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at UC, Berkeley. She is the author of numerous publications including, “RNA-programmed genome editing in human cells”, “A Programmable Dual-RNA-Guided DNA Endonuclease in Adaptive Bacterial Immunity” and “RNA-Guided Human Genome Engineering via Cas9.”

Then, the Postal Service is in dire straits. What is the future of US mail?

  • A. Lee Fritschler is a Professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is the co-author of numerous publications and books including, “Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities” ,  and “Smoking and Politics: Bureaucracy Centered Policy Making, Sixth edition”.

Finally, on the Scholars’ Circle, how will the Obama Administrations proposals to address gun violence fare with the congress and the supreme court?

  • David S. Law is Professor of Law and Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, and currently Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He is author of numerous publications and co-author with Mila Versteeg of, “The Declining Influence of the US Constitution” and “The Evolution and Ideology of Global Constitutionalism”.
  • Sanford Levinson holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law and is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of numerous publications and books including, “Wrestling With Diversity” and most recently, “Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It)”.
  • Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding dean and distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science. He is the author numerous books most  recently, “The Conservative Assault on the Constitution”, “Enhancing Government: Federalism for the 21st Century” and “Interpreting the Constitution”.

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The Scholars’ circle & Insighters Radio- Jan. 13th, 2013

First, we look at post-earthquake reconstruction, disaster relief and the role of NGO’s in Haiti. We also take a deeper look at the critical role of the Haitian Diaspora.

  • Jonathan Katz, Journalist and author of The Big Truck That Went By;
  • Manolia Charlotin, executive editor of The Haitian Times;

Then, on the Scholars Circle, we examine the politics of the US Constitution, its effect on political institutions and the political process, and ask whether it should be revised or amended. Also, includes comparative analysis with other constitutions.

  • David S. Law, Prof. Law and Political Science, Washington Univ. in St. Louis;
  • Sanford Levinson, Prof. of Law, Univ. of Texas School of Law; Author: Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Prof. Constitutional Law, Georgetown University; Author: On Constitutional Disobedience ( in alienable Rights )

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The Scholars’ circle & Insighters Radio- Jan. 6th, 2013

Last year brought many vital issues out into the open. Storms such as Hurricane Sandy for example heightened awareness of climate change. What might we see develop in 2013?

  • Sarah Von Gelder, Yes Magazine;

Then we spend the rest of the hour discussing a disturbing trend of increasing numbers of school children being conditioned for the criminal justice system, often referred to, as the school to prison-pipeline. What might it mean for society? And how should this situation be addressed?

  • Dr. Kim Socha, Regional Dir., Save the Kids;
  • Jon Vang ,  mentor , community activist.
  • Prof. Anthony Nocella, Dispute resolution, Hamline Univ;
  • Daniel Losen, Dir., of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies, UCLA;
  • Prof. Damien Schnyder, African studies, Scripps College

The Insighters Radio- Dec. 23rd, 2012

In this hour, Why did soldiers on the front line of one of the deadliest wars lay down their arms and play soccer with the very men they were supposed to kill? We’ll revisit the so-called Christmas truce of 1914. [ Dur. 25 mins ]

  • Prof. Stanley Weintraub, Professor Emeritus Penn State University, historian. Author of  Story of World War 1 Christmas Truce & Pearl Harbor Christmas , World at War Dec 1941.

Then, religion, politics and the so-called God gap. We’ll explore how religion unites and divides us. With authors of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.” [ Dur. 15 mins. ]

  • Prof. David Campbell, Political Science, Univ. of Notre Dame;
  • Robert Putnam, Public Policy, Harvard;

Finally, in the midst of so much bad news, what in the world is getting better? We’ll explore the widespread improvements in the world. [ Dur. 18 mins. ]

  • Charles Kenney, Sr. Fellow, Center for Global Development. Author of  Getting Better, Why Global Development is Succeeding And How We Can Improve the World Even More .

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The Scholars’ Circle & Insighters Radio- Dec. 16th, 2012

First, a look inside the secret world of spying and intelligence agencies. A discussion with Glenn Carle, former CIA agent and author of the book, The Interrogator, An Education. [ Dur. 28 mins. ]

Then, on the Scholars’ Circle, how might the power of ideas shape countries and international power structures.

  • Liz Borgwardt, Prof. at Univ. of Chicago & Washington University, author of New Deal for the World, America’s Vision for Human Rights;
  • Christopher McKnight Nichols, fellow at Univ. Of Penn and prof. of history oregon state university and author of Promise and Peril , America at Dawn of a Global Age;
  • Tim Lynch, Prof. Political Sciences Univ. of Melbourne. Turf war, Clinton Administration and Northern Ireland;/li>

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The Scholars’ Circle & Insighters Radio- Dec. 9th, 2012

First, what were the factors that led to Western dominance of the world and how are they changing the world. We are joined by Ian Morris, author of, “Why the West Rules For Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal About the Future.” [ Dur. 28 mins. ]

  • Ian Morris is Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University.

Then, the effect of war on laws, society, governance, and democracy itself. How are these affected, as the lines of war-time are increasingly blurred? [ Dur. 27 mins. ]

We are joined by three experts:

  • Mary Dudziak is Professor of Law, History, and Political Science at the University of Southern California. She is the author of, “War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences.”
  • Patrick James is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California. He is the author of numerous publications including, “Constitutional Politics in Canada After the Charter: Liberalism, Communitarianism, and Systemism,” “A New Quest for International Peace: Civil-Military Dynamics, Political Communications and Democracy,” and “Religion, Identity and Global Governance: Theory, Evidence and Practice.”
  • Christopher McKnight Nichols is Professor of History at Oregon State University. Previously he was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in U.S. History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of, “Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age.”

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The Scholars’ Circle & Insighters Radio- Dec. 2nd, 2012

First we explore the politics of Palestine in relation to the region and in light of its new status of statehood. We began a discussion with Mark Perry about the politics of Palestine and statehood. We continue now to make sense of the new dynamics inside and outside of Palestine. Author of  Talking with Terrorists: Why America must engage with its enimies. [ Dur. 16 mins. ]

Finally on Scholars’ Circle: With more than 130 votes in the United Nations, Palestine has attained statehood, a move that is thought to empower President Mahmood Abbas’s position both inside Palestine and in future legal battles with its neighbor, Israel. This change in status along with other developments within Palestine and the region may have more ripple effects.

  • Ervin Staub, Prof. of Phycology, University of Massachusetts , Amherst. Author or  Roots of Evil : Origins of  Genocide and other Group Violence.
  • Sami Adwan, Prof. of Education, Bethlehem University , Editor of Peace Research Institute in Middle East and Author of Side by Side: Parallel history of Israel-Palestine
  • Sarai Aharoni, Prof. of Political Science, Hebrew University,  Jerusalem.

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