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Living On $2 A Day: An Interview With Economist Jonathan Morduch

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Jun 21st, 2009 at 08:45:48 PM EST

Photobucket The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

According to the World Bank, almost forty percent of humanity lives on a daily income of less than two dollars per day. Another 1.1 billion scrape by on less than one dollar per day.

How can anyone possibly survive or raise a family with such a meager income? In New York City, two dollars per day won't even cover my daily Brooklyn/Manhattan round-trip subway commute. Yet billions of low skilled people put food on the table, educate their children, grapple with unexpected emergencies and even save money.

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Shari'a and The Muslim World: An Interview With Author Noah Feldman

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 04:29:17 PM EST

Photobucket The topic below was originally posted on my blog yesterday when the interview took place.

Shari'a is a code of law based on the Koran. In the Muslim world, many want to replace corrupt autocratic regimes with the Shari'a and establish traditional Islamic states. Western countries regard the Shari'a as a threat. Islamic parties are winning elections on it. Militants have used the Shari'a to justify acts of terrorism. Meanwhile, secular minded people find their most severe provisions repugnant.

In his latest book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (Princeton University Press), Noah Feldman tells the story behind the populist movement in the Muslim world to establish the Shari'a. Feldman addresses questions about why the Shari'a is popular in spite of its harsh code and whether the Islamic state can succeed.

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The Industrial Revolution Unplugged: An Interview With Author Gregory Clark

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 at 03:27:46 AM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.

Our current world of globalization, technological advancement and the widening schism between rich and poor stems from the Industrial Revolution. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution is arguably the most important historical watershed in human history. So why did it happen in eighteenth-century England? Furthermore, how come the unprecedented economic growth it produced only served to make parts of the world even poorer?

An excellent interview and a new, controversial view of economic history — promoted by Migeru

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Replacing the Empire Culture: A Podcast Interview With Author David Korten

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Aug 12th, 2007 at 08:11:38 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.

"There is a culture war in America, but it is not between liberals and conservatives, who in fact share a great many core values - including a commitment to children, family, community, personal responsibility and democracy. It is between the lower and higher orders of our human nature. It is between an imperial politics of individual greed and power and a democratic politics based on principle and the common good. It is between Power Seekers at the extreme political fringes who remain imprisoned in an Imperial Consciousness and the realists of the political mainstream who truly want to solve the problems that beset us all."

David Korten wrote those provocative words in his book, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community published last year by Berrett-Kohler.

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History and Hezbollah: A Podcast Interview With Augustus Richard Norton

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Jul 8th, 2007 at 05:33:46 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance and the Peace Tree.

Trying to make sense of tribal politics in the Middle East can't be done with simple bumper sticker slogans. The history, entangling relationships, religious dimension, shifting alliances, geography and multiple cultures are a Byzantine maze of complexity. Specifically, the Muslim world is often regarded by people in the west, especially Americans, as a large bowl of alphabet soup. As a result, policy makers who look for quick and easy fixes by force in the region overreach and miscalculate.

One tragic example of miscalculation and overreach is Lebanon. Once regarded as the "jewel" of the Middle East, Lebanon endured a brutal civil from 1975 to 1990. Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Syria and Israel, this small country the size of Connecticut has flummoxed leaders in Jerusalem and Washington for two decades.

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Building A New Paradigm: A Podcast Interview With Riane Eisler

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun May 6th, 2007 at 08:54:28 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal and crossposted at the Independent Bloggers Alliance.

Adam Smith published the Inquiry Into the Nature and Cases of the Wealth of Nations in 1776 and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels released The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Both publications advocated for economic models, capitalism and socialism respectively, that promised to advance the human condition. Although both paradigms made important contributions during the industrialization era, neither capitalism nor socialism appears equipped to guide humanity in a post-industrial information age economy.

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Crusading For Justice & Peace: A Podcast Interview With Activist Marisa Handler

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Mar 18th, 2007 at 02:43:08 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Marisa Handler lived in South Africa until she was twelve. Both her parents are Jewish liberals and they actively opposed South Africa's racist apartheid system. Their values heavily influenced Handler during her formative years. Perhaps she was destined to become an activist as early as nine years old while attending Camps Bay Primary School in Cape Town.

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Does Anyone Care About America's Prison Industrial Complex?

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 03:20:20 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal. I decided to crosspost this here because I'm curious about the experience and perspective of Europeans regarding this issue. Do Europeans have a prison industrial complex in any of their countries and what are the politics?

Citizens across the political spectrum are preoccupied by numerous high stakes issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, corruption, corporatist greed, genocide, global warming and healthcare to name a few. There is also the ongoing rule of an administration subverting the Constitution and undermining our democracy. As a result, some topics of importance have dropped off our radar screens. One subject meriting renewed scrutiny is the prison industrial complex.

The prison industrial complex are entities or organizations that have a stake in construction of correctional facilities, such as prison guard unions, construction companies and vendors specializing in surveillance technology. Just as sectors in the military industrial complex are more concerned with profit than national security, players inside the prison industrial complex are more concerned about making money than actually rehabilitating criminals or reducing crime rates.

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The Mixed Legacy of Gerald R. Ford

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Wed Dec 27th, 2006 at 02:51:04 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Gerald R. Ford, a man fate placed on a stage far bigger than his modest persona suggested he belonged is dead at 93. In August 1974 he was appointed America's 38th president when Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace because of the Watergate scandal. Had he not resigned Nixon surely would've been impeached in the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate.

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Reminiscing About the Future: Al Gore's Announcement Speech

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Wed Dec 27th, 2006 at 12:38:17 AM EST

The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Working through whom to support for president in 2008 has been cathartic for me. Typically I try candidates on for size by writing hypothetical speeches in their voice and occasionally post the results. I did this with Russ Feingold several months ago and liked how it felt but alas he isn't running. Recently I did the same for Barack Obama and enjoyed the challenge but it required writing in heavy religious overtones and felt uncomfortable. As I review the prospective field in the Democratic Party I neither see nor feel a president among Joe Biden, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Tom Vilsak.

Each has merits and flaws. From my vantage point however, the right candidate must combine maturity, gravitas, experience, intellect, authenticity, foresight and desire to serve a cause bigger than themselves. Al Gore has flaws of his own but is best suited for the job. We don't need a nominee who sticks their finger to the wind and follows the politics of expediency. Now is also not the time to nominate a pretty face or sound bite machine with a glass jaw. The real question is will Gore run? So I decided to compose a hypothetical announcement speech in Gore's voice and try him on for size. Looking at 2008 I like how Gore fits.

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Democracy's Mr. Fix It: A Podcast Interview With Author Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Fri Dec 22nd, 2006 at 09:17:02 PM EST

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal. I'm interested in the European perspective regarding this topic because your democracies appear to have more viable political parties than America's historical two party dominance. Do left of center Europeans agree with Hirschhorn's diagnosis of American democracy and his proposed solutions?

Across the political divide Americans understand our democracy has stopped working for them - unless they happen to be comfortably wealthy. Prostitutes are held in higher esteem then today's politicians because at least they're providing a service. Our elected leaders appear to only service themselves and their cronies as Hurricane Katrina exposed to our national shame in 2005.

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Thinking of John Lennon

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sat Dec 9th, 2006 at 05:39:19 AM EST

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The diary below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal and adapted for European Tribune.

Allow me to digress from the usual politics and current events topics of my blog writing to acknowledge the anniversary of John Lennon's death. I was only eleven in 1980 and watching Monday Night Football when Howard Cosell delivered the news. I had recently learned all the lyrics to the Beatles, Rubber Soul album and was especially moved by the lyrics to "In My Life."

Personally I've never been a great believer in icons. Lennon himself delivers a stirring rebuke to the myth of icons with his classic composition God early in his solo career. Yet Lennon to me was different. Lennon was an artistic genius and international statesman.

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

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Bob Higgins Returns

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 04:18:07 PM EST

The diary below was orginally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal and adapted for European Tribune.

The progressive blogosphere resembles an extended family. It's remarkable how we interact and become acquainted with personalities from around the globe. Between blogrolls and soapblox community sites we come across so many and relationships form. Yet even as we bond over shared values it's easy to forget that behind our cocksure Internet personas reside flesh and blood human beings.

One such blogger is Bob Higgins. Bob's Worldwide Sawdust  blog was surging as of late August. He had established a niche as a poignant and irreverent voice championing working people, justice and peace. There is a lot of talent in the blogosphere but for me Bob is a cut above. Bob is a rare gem that can make you laugh and think simultaneously.

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Wanted: An Atheist Candidate For President

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 08:50:18 PM EST

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The diary below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal. I cross posted it here because I was curious as to what the European perspective might be.

I was raised Jewish but my personal beliefs are agnostic. I'm not so arrogant to reject the concept of a higher power. I don't claim to know what the divine truth is and reserve the right to have a deathbed conversion when I reach old age.

For the time being I'm inclined to believe a higher power is really a more evolved life form that doesn't respond to prayer or monitor my personal morality meter. In my opinion John Lennon put it best:

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

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Tears For the Once and Future King

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 11:16:38 PM EST

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The diary below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal

Saturday night I saw Emilio Estevez's movie "Bobby" at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema. The movie timed with Robert Kennedy's 81st birthday on November 20th has focused attention on his life, values and the times he lived. Also one can't help but compare the turbulence RFK tried to heal with our lives today.

The movie itself is effective because the focus is not on Kennedy specifically. Instead it captures the sensibilities of numerous intersecting characters at the Ambassador Hotel that fateful day. Hence the movie provides viewers with a snapshot of our country at that time and closes with a sentimental montage of RFK footage. I was teary eyed along with the other patrons.

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Inside John McCain's Brain (satire)

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sat Nov 25th, 2006 at 12:50:45 PM EST

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The diary below was originally posted on my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Anyone have the feeling John McCain's political star is declining but nobody has caught on yet? Certainly not the mainstream media or the Republican Party establishment. So I thought I would have some satirical fun and take a peak between his ears.

This is my time. I'll be damned if that crew of chickenhawks in the White House is going to screw it up for me. If I had my way, 4 million troops would land in Iraq tomorrow. What's the big deal? Bunch of sissies in that White House!

I'm older than dirt and nobody is going to stop me. Who else in the Republican Party can pander to conservative nuts but still appeal to the vital center of bipartisanship?



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Capitalism's Redeemer: A Podcast Interview With Author Peter Barnes

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Nov 12th, 2006 at 05:12:02 PM EST

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The diary below was originally posted earlier today in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Is capitalism salvageable? Can it be a vehicle for improving the human condition? Is it possible for free markets to preserve our environment and adapt to the realities of global warming? Or is capitalism an instrument of profit for a few and nothing more? Can government regulation effectively balance the public interest with corporate power? Peter Barnes, the author of <u>Capitalism 3.0: A Guide To Reclaiming the Commons</u> (Berrett-Kohler Publications, Inc.) has pondered such questions for three decades. CLICK HERE to download his book for free in PDF format.

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Reminiscing About the Future: Barack Obama's Inauguration Speech

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Mon Oct 23rd, 2006 at 01:47:51 AM EST

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The diary below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal

Truthfully I'm not sure how I feel about Barak Obama. His charisma, intelligence and life story definitely intrigue me. I appreciated his firm unwavering opposition to the Iraq war from the onset. Too many Democrats did not share his resoluteness. But there are moments when he sounds too willing to castigate secularists for being "hostile" to religion and ready to compromise core progressive values. It also remains to be seen whether he can withstand the intense scrutiny and gold fish bowl of presidential politics. So, while Obama intrigues me I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet. But for whatever its worth I thought I'd have some fun and try writing a hypothetical inaugural speech in his voice.

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FDR and the Holocaust: A Podcast Interview With Author Robert N. Rosen

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 08:54:54 PM EST

The diary below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal on October 14th.

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FDR was singularly responsible for defeating Nazi Germany's brutal anti-Semitic regime. Yet sixty-one years after his death, FDR's legacy is entwined with allegations he was anti-Semitic and disinterested in the Holocaust.

As a liberal Jewish American I was always conditioned to regard FDR with an asterisk. Many times I've heard my predominantly liberal family say, "FDR was a great President, but ..." And they proceed to indict him for being unsympathetic to European Jewry during the Holocaust. In particular, FDR's critics cite the SS St. Louis, which arrived in Havana Harbor on May 27, 1939 with 936 European Jews seeking asylum, but were turned away. There was also FDR's failure to fire Breckinridge Long. While serving in FDR's State Department, Long obstructed and delayed visas, causing the deaths of Jews desperate to escape Europe.

Read more... (14 comments, 549 words in story)

Talk Radio's Middle Class Champion: A Podcast Interview With Thom Hartmann

by Intrepid Liberal Journal Sun Sep 24th, 2006 at 06:58:36 AM EST

The diary below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal on Saturday, September 23rd when the interview took place.

Thom Hartmann is a dynamic voice for the aggrieved middle class. After one commercial break on a recent broadcast, the national radio host proudly declared,

"Welcome back to the Thom Hartman show where our talking points come from Jefferson and Madison, not some right wing think tank."

He then asks, "Will the next election be hacked?" as he promotes Bobby Kennedy, Jr.'s article in Rolling Stone magazine that examines fraudulent vote counting to the benefit of Republican candidates.

Talkers Magazine noted,

"There's a buzz growing around nationally syndicated talk show host Thom Hartmann, whose nationally syndicated daily program is drawing high marks by those who are on the lookout for talk radio's `Great Liberal Hope.'"

Read more... (1 comment, 421 words in story)
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