Monday, March 23, 2009
The economy is in the tank and many large financial investors are begging for a bail out. But where do hedge funds stand? They were supposed to act as insurance for the investors -- to hedge a positive bet with a negative one. Bethany McLean discusses the role hedge funds played in the financial crisis in the April issue of Vanity Fair. She'll talk about that article, "Over the Hedge," and how other fund-related crises, such as Bernie Madoff's, continue to affect the wily world of hedge funds. Then, thirty years ago, Human Rights Watch was created to help Soviet citizen groups monitor government compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Accords. Now, HRW is one of the world’s most respected non-governmental organizations working to defend and protect human rights. Bob talks with executive director Kenneth Roth about his organization's history, successes, failures and future.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
In the classroom and in a new book, Revenge of the Women's Studies Professor, Bonnie Morris tries to convince her audience that even though she teaches women's history, she's NOT a "feminazi." That term was coined in the early 90s by a well-known conservative talk show host, but the name stuck. Even in 2009 Morris says most students at George Washington University where she teaches will not take a woman's studies class due to the lingering stigma. Morris will share insightful and humorous stories -- and maybe just a little bit of women's history -- in a chat about academic sexism.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
When the US Military deposed Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis celebrated the brutal regime's downfall. However, the ensuing power vacuum created an environment of instability where kidnappings, suicide bombings and sectarian killings became commonplace, forcing millions of Iraqis to flee for their safety. Iraqi refugees have first sought refuge in neighboring countries like Jordan and Syria, then, they register with the UN in the hopes of being relocated to a safe location, sometimes halfway around the world. Charlottesville, Virginia is the new hometown of one Iraqi woman, “Leila,” and part of her family. This Iraqi family, just like millions of others, has been profoundly impacted by violence. Today, they are working to build a new life in Virginia while struggling to bring more family members out of danger and to the United States. Through their own words, we'll hear the story of this courageous family, and from dedicated officials of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) we'll learn about the process of, and the politics around, refugee resettlement in the United States. The Bob Edwards Show presents an original radio documentary: Iraqi Refugees in America.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Canada sits atop one-third of the world's oil and supplies more of it to the U.S. than Saudi Arabia, but the liquid has to be extracted from the tar sands in the ground. In his book, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk describes how the oil sands burn more carbon than conventional oil, destroy forests, poison the water supply, and drain the river that feeds Canada's largest watershed. Next, 2009 marks 25 years since the publication of Sandra Cisneros' seminal work The House on Mango Street. This slim book of vignettes about a young Latina girl has become one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed books of the 20th century. Then, a look at the world of film with our resident entertainment critic David Kipen.
Friday, March 20, 2009
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk live about the latest news from the capital and beyond. Then, bioethicist Peter Singer talks about his new book The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. Singer has written more than thirty books, many of which have triggered debates on ethics. His 1975 book, Animal Liberation, is often referred to as the founding doctrine of the animal rights movement.