Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Ivory Tower Half Hour: Detroit’s Bankruptcy and Syracuse’s Murder Rate


Hosted by David Rubin, Dean of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, this powerhouse panel of Bob Spitzer (SUNY Cortland), Tim Byrnes (Colgate University), Bob Greene (Cazenovia College), Tara Ross (Onondaga County Community College), and Kristi Andersen (Syracuse University) discuss the new face of the Detroit’s bankruptcy and Syracuse’s murder rate (although unfortunately the panel does not discuss Syracuse Truce).

Here is a description of the program:

 The panelists examine the challenge of bankruptcy facing Detroit—and perhaps Syracuse at some point down the road. They debate who was responsible for the fiscal problems and how best to dig out. Then the panelists offer advice to the Syracuse Chief of Police and the Mayor on how to combat the murder rate in the city, which is the highest for any city in the state.


This video runs approximately 27 minutes.


Leave a comment

July 31, 2013 · 10:47 am

Inmate and Corrections Officer: Bridging the Gap

Recently, this American Life recorded an conversation between an inmate and a corrections officer. The conversation covered many issue that are central to prison reform and provides a glimpse into prison dynamics

Leave a comment

July 29, 2013 · 8:40 pm

“What Happened To Detroit’s Big Plans?”

That was the title of the most recent episode of the Planet Money podcast.  In the wake of Detroit’s bankruptcy, the Planet Money team explores why no “silver bullet” has been able to solve MoTown’s woes.  

Here is a description of the show: 

In the last 50 years, there have been many plans to save Detroit. People use words like “renaissance,” “revival,” and “catalyst” to describe them.

On today’s show, we visit the places these plans were meant to change, and we talk to an urban planner about why these grand dreams didn’t turn out the way the city hoped.

Leave a comment

July 28, 2013 · 9:38 pm

Bioethicist and Her Quadriplegic Husband

Recently, Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross interviewed bioethicists Margaret Battin. Battin, a right to die advocate, now navigates the intersection between theory and practice has she attends to her quadriplegic husband.

Here is a description of the interview:

After writing books and essays about end-of-life issues, and advocating for the right to die, bioethicist Margaret Battin is wrestling with the issue in her own family. Her husband, Brooke Hopkins, an English professor at the University of Utah, where she also teaches, broke his neck in a bicycle accident in 2008, leaving him with quadriplegia and dependent on life support technology. In order to breathe, he requires a ventilator some of the time and a diaphragmatic pacer all the time. He receives his nutrition through a feeding tube.

Hopkins’ living will gives him the right to decline this technology, and although he’s chosen to keep living, there have been times he’s told his wife he wants to die, and she’s had to decide how literally to interpret his words.

In her academic life, Battin has also had to reflect on the positions she’s taken in the past to see if she still believes in them. She and her husband are in their early 70s. She’s a distinguished professor of philosophy and still teaches full time. When Hopkins is doing well, and not suffering from one of the many infections that have plagued him since the accident, he’s able to do some teaching from his home, talk with friends who come to visit, go in his wheelchair on walks with his wife and even occasionally get taken to a concert or museum.

Battin and Hopkins were profiled in the cover story of last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. Battin tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross about what happened right after the accident, and the responsibility of deciding if someone is genuine in their wish to die.

Leave a comment

July 27, 2013 · 7:58 pm

Orange is the New Black

Recently, Netflix release its original series “Orange is the New Black.” This engaging comedy-drama is about a federal woman’s prison. The show discusses many issues that are central to sentencing and prison reform.

Leave a comment

July 26, 2013 · 8:04 pm

Planet Money: “Schoolhouse Rock Is A Lie”

NPR’s Planet Money podcast recently reran an episode titled: “School House Rock Is A Lie (Or, How The Filibuster Ate Washington.)” As the Senate debates filabuster reform, this entertaining story is worth a listen.

Here is a description of the podcast:

On our show today, we tell you everything you need to know about the filibuster, including:

  • What Schoolhouse Rock didn’t tell us
  • Why Aaron Burr and Jimmy Stewart are the two great villains in filibuster history
  • How Senators can now filibuster bills without having to talk for hours on end


Leave a comment

July 24, 2013 · 8:31 pm

Malcolm Gladwell: College Football Should Be Banned

Sunday on Fareed Zakaria GPS, Fareed interviewed author Malcolm Gladwell about his campaign to ban college football.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

You compare football to dog fighting. Why?
Yes, I did a piece for The New Yorker a couple of years ago where I said it. This was at the time when, remember, Michael Vick, was convicted of dog fighting. And to me, that was such a kind of, and the whole world got up in arms about this. How could he use dogs in a violent manner, in a way that compromised their health and integrity?
And I was just struck at the time by the unbelievable hypocrisy of people in football, for goodness sake, getting up in arms about someone who chose to fight dogs, to pit one dog against each other.
In what way is dog fighting any different from football on a certain level, right? I mean you take a young, vulnerable dog who was made vulnerable because of his allegiance to the owner and you ask him to engage in serious sustained physical combat with another dog under the control of another owner, right?
Well, what’s football? We take young boys, essentially, and we have them repeatedly, over the course of the season, smash each other in the head, with known neurological consequences.
And why do they do that? Out of an allegiance to their owners and their coaches and a feeling they’re participating in some grand American spectacle.
They’re the same thing. And the idea that as a culture we would be absolutely quick and sure about coming to the moral boiling point over the notion that you would do this to dogs and yet completely blind to the notion you would do this to young men is, to my mind, astonishing.
I mean there’s a certain point where I just said, you know, we have to say enough is enough.

Leave a comment

July 23, 2013 · 11:34 pm