July 2nd, 2016
On this day, upon which we celebrate the birth of the “American Experiment,” it’s important to remember that it was not preordained.
In spite of today's overheated patriotic rhetoric, the revolution, the victory of the Continental Army, the success of Washington and the country that followed, could have easily gone another direction. There were many times when the revolution might have failed. (Given the state of our politics today, that may not have been such a bad idea)
Just as important and just as surprising are that there are still so many untold stories from that effort. Stories that, particularly on this day, prove instructive, informative and most of all inspirational.
My conversation with Patrick O'Donnell:
December 21st, 2015
Think about the real divisive issues today, both at home and in the wider world. Radical Islamic faith tearing apart the Middle East. The faith that drives suicide bombers to the far corners of the planet, and at home, divisions about abortion, marriage, and end of life issues.
At a time when the focus both home and abroad should be on the global economy, health, energy, science, hunger, ending territorial disputes and ending regional conflicts, time and again, the conflict turns back to religion.
Islamists, the Religious Right, all seem allied to restrict rather than enhance individual rights. And we know from history that such efforts always are the foundation of greater conflict and sometimes revolution.
So how has a global society do we balance religious freedom w
ith freedom from religion. That answer today seems impossible.
All of that bring us back to atheism and why it’s so hard for atheists to get their message heard.
My conversation with David Silverman:
December 6th, 2013
Nelson Mandela stands as one of our greatest symbols of the struggle for freedom. His shadow will always infuse the politics and culture of South Africa. Yet almost one half the county is under 25 and doesn’t know or remember their nation in anything but it’s post apartheid period.
How does and will this disconnect shape the future of the country? How can it deal with its historical context and at the same time, the seemingly mundane issues health, welfare, justice and jobs.
My conversation with Douglas Foster:
December 4th, 2013
Most of us, over a certain age, remember when getting on a transcontinental or international flight was glamorous. We dressed to travel. Strong pilots and beautiful stewardess framed the wonders of the journey. The glamour of air travel imbued us with a sense of freedom and possibility.
How many women were inspired by the glamour of the Charlie Girl commercial to believe that having it all was possible and the holy grail?
During the depression and war years, the glamour of Joan Crawford inspired a generation to believe in social mobility.
And of course, as we just re experienced, the glamour of the Kennedy’s and Camelot, has remained frozen in time, in our collective consciousness.
All are examples of the power of glamour to shape society, define the culture and motivate each of us.
My conversation with Virginia Postrel: