Monthly Archives: September 2014

This American Life: Inside the New York Fed

The most recent episode of This American Life provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the New York Federal Reserve.

Here is a description of the podcast from the TAL website:

An unprecedented look inside one of the most powerful, secretive institutions in the country. The NY Federal Reserve is supposed to monitor big banks. But when Carmen Segarra was hired, what she witnessed inside the Fed was so alarming that she got a tiny recorder and started secretly taping. ProPublica’s print version.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The End of Privacy?

That was the topic being discussed on the Ted Radio Hour.

Here is a description from the podcast:

In this hour, TED speakers explore our changing notions of privacy, the consequences, and whether privacy will soon be a relic of the past.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“How Police Interrogation Works”

Recently, the popular Stuff You Should Know podcast was titled: “How Police Interrogation Works.”

Here is a summary from the SYSK website:

Every year, police across the U.S. get thousands of criminals to confess to their crimes. The trouble is, the procedure that almost all departments use is grounded in bad science and can produce false confessions. Learn about ways of making you talk.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

60 Minutes on ISIS

This Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted two segments to ISIS.  The first chronicled ISIS from the ground in Iraq.  Here how that segment began:

Today, America’s top military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said the U.S. and its allies will attack ISIS from many directions. “We want them to wake up every day realizing they’re being squeezed,” he said. American pilots have hit the Islamic extremist group in Iraq nearly 200 times now, and soon the U.S. will be bombing ISIS in Syria.

America was drawn back into war when ISIS began to overrun part of northern Iraq called Kurdistan. Kurdistan is semi-autonomous with its own military called the Peshmerga. With American air support, the Peshmerga are holding a tense front line against ISIS.

Earlier this month, we started our reporting on that front line to explain ISIS; what it is, where it came from and how it blitzed through two countries. In June, the leader of ISIS declared himself ruler of a new nation, which he calls The Islamic State.

The second segment discussed the “repercussions” of ISIS with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and King Abdullah II of Jordan.  Here is how that segment began:

President Obama’s plan hinges on arming and training moderate Syrian militias to defeat ISIS. The president has been criticized for not doing that sooner. You’re about to hear from two men who saw the threat early, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Jordan is a moderate, American ally, nearly surrounded by war, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its west, Syria to its north and Iraq to the east.

Today we spoke to King Abdullah in New York before this month’s U.N. General Assembly meeting. For hundreds of years, his family ruled the holiest shrines in Islam. And the king was nearly at a loss for words today when we asked him about the head of ISIS, who claims to lead all Muslims.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Should We “Embrace The Common Core”?

That was the question being debated on the most recent episode on the Intelligence Squared podcast.

Moderated by ABC News’ John Donvan, the debate featured Carmel Marin (American Progress) and Michael Petrilli (Fordham Institute) who argued for the motion; and Carol Burris (South Side High School Principal) and Frederick Hess (American Enterprise Institute)who argued against the motion.

Here is description of the debate:

In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts and graduating high school without the necessary skills for college and the workforce. But is this the reform we’ve been looking for? Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? Or will the Common Core raise the bar and improve the quality of our children’s education?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fareed Zakaria on “How to defeat ISIS”

Last weekend, Fareed Zarakia began his CNN show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, by discussing President Obama’s speech on ISIS.  Zakaria provided his “take” on “how to defeat ISIS.”

Here is a description of the segment from the CNN website:

President Obama’s speech Wednesday night outlined a tough, measured strategy to confront ISIS. But let’s make sure in the execution of this strategy that the U.S. learns something from the 13 years since September 11, 2001 and the war against al Qaeda.

Here are a few lessons to think about:

One – Don’t always take the bait. The United States has to act against this terror group. But it should do so at a time and manner of its choosing rather than jumping when ISIS wants it to jump.

Lesson two: Don’t overestimate the enemy. ISIS is a formidable foe, but the counterforces to it have only just begun…While ISIS is much more sophisticated than al Qaeda in its operations and technology, it has one major, inherent weakness. Al Qaeda was an organization that was pan-Islamic, trying to appeal to all Muslims. This group is a distinctly sectarian organization. ISIS is anti-Shiite as well as deeply hostile to Kurds, Christians and many other inhabitants in the Middle East. This means that it has large numbers of foes in the region who will fight against it, not because the United States wants them to but in their own interests.

Lesson number three: Remember politics. The Obama administration has mapped out a smart strategy in Iraq, pressing the Baghdad government to include more Sunnis. But that is yet to happen – the Shiite parties have dragged their feet over any major concessions to the Sunnis. This is a crucial issue because if the United States is seen as defending two non-Sunni regimes – Iraq and Syria – against a Sunni uprising, it will not win.

Watch the video for the full Take, or read the WaPo column

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The History and Legal Significance of the Signature

Recently, the Planet Money podcast devoted an episode to the signature.

Here is a description of the podcast from NPR websites:

Some people write a squiggle. Others just write an initial. One person draws a dude surfing.

Today on the show: the signature. It’s supposed to say, “This is me.” But where did the idea come from? And why are we still using it? We consult a rabbi, a lawyer and a credit card executive.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized