On Shifting Ground

From the outside, Mexico's drug war looks like any other civil war, with assassinations of police chiefs, mass graves, car bombs, beheadings and paramilitary death-squads. Despite the military aid and billions of dollars thrown at the problem south of the Rio Grande by the US, there have been over 30,000 murders since 2006 and seemingly no decrease in the violence. Journalist Ioan Grillo has spent over ten years reporting from the front line of the drug war in Mexico. He has interviewed cartel insiders as well as government and security officials in the hopes of finding who these mysterious figures are who are tearing Mexico apart. Join the World Affairs Council in welcoming Ioan Grillo as he gives a portrait of Mexico's drug cartels, how they have transformed in the last decade and how deep US involvement really goes.

Direct download: 10_26_11_Ioan_Grillo.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

The founders of economic theory have taught us that an unfettered market system will produce optimal results. But what if competing market forces do more social harm than good? Robert Frank argues that our economic system has more to learn from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution than Adam Smith's invisible hand. Frank will discuss his theory of evolutionary economics, and propose changes in US economic policies that would benefit the rich, poor and middle class alike.

Direct download: 10_08_11_Robert_Frank.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:37am PDT

Long before the attacks of September 11, 2001 the rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution have been challenged by legal compromises made in the name of national security. The result is a system that undermines the criminal justice system’s fairness, enhances the executive branch’s power over citizens and immigrants, and impairs the debate and protest essential in a constitutional democracy. Join the Council in welcoming Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist David Shipler who will discuss how our rights to privacy and justice have been undermined and what we have lost in the process. He will also examine the historical expansion and contraction of fundamental liberties in America, the places where the civil liberties we take for granted have eroded and how much we stand to regain by protesting the recent departures from the Bill of Rights.

Direct download: 3_7_12_David_Shipler.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:29am PDT

Exploring the Internal Implications of U.S. Debt

Direct download: 10_13_11_Michael_Boskin.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Every year half a billion people are infected with malaria and millions die from this easily treatable disease. TIME magazine’s Africa Bureau Chief Alex Perry spent two years on the front line of the campaign to eradicate the disease that has devastated human populations for thousands of years. From the office of the UN Special Envoy for Malaria and the White House to the most malaria ravaged towns on Earth, Perry will give a portrait of modern Africa and tell of how the fight against malaria is revolutionizing foreign aid and development.

Direct download: 10_12_11_Alex_Perry.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Thanks to the internet, we now live in public. With more than 750 million people (and half of all Americans) on Facebook, and over 100 million Tweets echoing daily from Tahrir Square to the Mall of America, our personal lives are now shared globally; but is this new openness a positive change? Jeff Jarvis, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at New York’s City University, will examine the tension between privacy and openness and how it is transforming our communities, identities, businesses and the way we live. Should we embrace technological advancements for creating a more efficient and connected world, or fear that our increasing dependence on this invisible network may be to our detriment?

Direct download: 10_11_11_Jeff_Jarvis.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

The growing European sovereign debt crisis has many looking to Germany, the largest economy in the euro area and the fifth largest in the world, for a solution. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has affirmed that it is Germany’s duty to contribute to securing the euro’s future, but how far is Germany willing to go to defend the common currency? Is the European Union on the brink of implosion or will the debt crisis and other challenges of the globalized world deepen European integration? Join the World Affairs Council and the American Council on Germany for a talk with German Deputy Foreign Secretary Werner Hoyer, who will discuss the outlook for economic growth within the euro zone, Germany’s perspective on what is needed to achieve positive results and why the transatlantic partnership is indispensable for Europe, Germany and the West in an increasingly globalized world.

Direct download: 10-06-11_Werner_Hoyer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Throughout history the battlefield upon which wars are fought has evolved with the weaponry and the spoils sought. Join Dr. Joel Brenner, former head of counterintelligence for the National Security Agency as he describes the next generation of war: battles waged on our databases with serious repercussions not just for governments and corporations but for individuals as well. Today electronic attacks and information theft are easier than ever, as events such as the WikiLeaks release of State Department files have demonstrated, but it is unclear how dangerous the situation has really become. Drawing on his years of experience at the top of the US Counterintelligence system, Dr. Brenner will discuss how our government and corporations are not equipped to stop wholesale theft of the secret information on which our national and economic security is based and how to effectively secure our virtual borders against these new threats

Direct download: 10_05_11_Joel_Brenner.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

What will the world look like when we finally burn the last drop of petroleum and shovel-full of coal? Will we be at a standstill or will we devise a way to continue living in the way our energy and fuel thirsty societies have become accustom? Join Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin as he takes us several centuries in the future, not to a desolate future-scape but to a world that very much resembles our own: a world where there are still shopping malls and soccer moms, where people still ride in cars and airplanes, but without any of today’s conventional energy sources. Dr. Laughlin will show how solving the energy crisis is just a matter of clever engineering, and that while the world may be a bit warmer in the future, life will go on and the price of electricity will actually be less than it is today.

Direct download: 10_03_11_Robert_Laughlin.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT