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Archive for March 2015

In the face of many wars, the big powers are trying to steer small nations to create their own version of peace. That was the Congress of Vienna 200 years ago and there’s a lot of deja vu, and still a great deal to learn. The Austrian aristocrats threw an incredibly lavish, nearly year long party and peace deals were worked out. Many similar dynamics are at work today, including Ukraine and ISIS. Historian Mark Jarrett fills us in.

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Generally it seems that people’s eyes glaze over when the subject is the federal budget.  This years it’s different. The Republicans are now in control of both the House and the Senate. Their PR machine is calling it "A balanced budget for a stronger America" but the truth is, as discussed herein, it has the potential to hurt a lot of Americans and our economy in general. But we are hardly powerless, as they want us to believe. OurFuture.org's Isaiah J. Poole provides useful clarification for us all.

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At the depths of the first world war in 1915, about 1200 women from around the world met at The Hague to try to bring an end to that blood drenched disaster. As they celebrate their centennial, there's much to learn from the past that remains in today's news, many crucial topics needing attention. Guest on this Keeping Democracy Alive is Robin Lloyd who created a play about her grandmother in 1915 and who remains active on WILPF. Can the inclusion of women in peace negotiations make a unique and crucial difference? Listen in.

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It used to be that when the word "Extremist" came up, the John Birch Society was the first thing you'd think of. Claire Conner was raised by two national leaders of the Birch Society. Her new book is "Wrapped in the Flag," and she is a dedicated fighter for her country, trying desperately to make Americans realize that the John Birch Society is alive and well, and as she puts it, extremely dangerous. More so now than ever because today it's called the Republican Party.

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It's very difficult and painful to let go of a dream. For many decades, American Jews have based their identity as Jews on the State of Israel. On this show, Alice Rothchild bravely explores the difficulties Jewish Americans are having with the stark realities of so much injustice and racism in the State of Israel. And rabbis are in the difficult position of either standing by Israel and protecting one's job, or speaking out for traditional Jewish ethics and justice. But knowledge is powerful and can set you free, as challenging as it often is to face reality.

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