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Archive for January 2013

And we thought the Libya war was tucked neatly away. It seems all those weapons, loosed from the old Qadaffi regime, are now set loose in the desert nation of Mali, a former French colony. French forces are on the ground and in the air, fighting against, well who? Conn Halinan of Foreign Policy in Focus, sheds much needed light on this confusing and exceedingly dangerous situation. A Pandora's Box has been opened in northern Africa, and the likely beneficiaries are the Chinese, but not France or the US. Does the word Quagmire sound familiar?

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The belief that the Second Amendment guarantees every individual the right to possess and carry any sort of gun anywhere is exceptionally recent. Guest on this show is Alternet senior fellow Stephen Rosenfeld, who has written a series of articles revealing history that is very inconvenient to the 2013 leadership of the NRA. He reveals that gun rights and gun control have existed side by side steadily since America's founding. And he also shows that the NRA leadership itself favored reasonable gun regulations until an internal coup in 1977. This is a fascinating history, which should be very useful to move us forward.

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Buying food at the supermarket is like flicking the switch to turn on the power: we don't see it but it has a lot of impact on the environment, and on human health. Guest on this show is Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder of a new think tank called Foodtank.com. She has 13 specific suggestions as to how to create a future which is better for the earth and human health. It'll take some focus, but appropriate changes have already started.

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Very few of us have heard of the US-Dakota War. It happened 150 years ago and ended with 38 Indians being hanged on December 26, 1862. Then it was erased from memory, for whites but not for the Dakota who stayed away from the scene of the horror, Mankato, Minnesota. But on December 26, 2012 a new monument was erected in a moving dedication ceremony. Mankato's Bud Lawrence got the ball rolling for reconciliation  back in 1972 tells us about the war, the tragedy, and the hope.

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Most economists recognize the "fiscal cliff" as an invented crisis. High unemployment is the real problem, yet where is the political pressure on this? Today's guest is Robert Pollin, professor of economics at UMAss Amherst and founding co-director of its hgily regarded Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). In his new book Back to Full Employment, Pollin argues our current preoccupation with the fiscal cliff is all wrong, and that our real national security requres a new focus on federal stimulation of  job growth. Let's do what works!

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