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Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society

By Thomas Sowell
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Tag: Robert Scheer

When China Rules the World

China will soon become “the most powerful and influential country in the world,” says celebrated journalist Martin Jacques. But to what end?

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obama’s Nobel Speech; Blackwater + CIA; Bank Bonuses

Was Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech just idle wordplay or something more “muscular”? “Left, Right & Center” regular Tony Blankley thinks it was tantamount to a “triumph of belief in words over actions” and even invokes deconstructionism (eek!) in his analysis. Is the CIA in bed with Blackwater? And are big banks really cracking down on egregious executive bonuses?

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obama’s Undoing?; Tiger’s Foul Play

So, President Obama finally announced his long-awaited decision to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Will it be his undoing? At least on this week’s “Left, Right & Center,” opinions on left and right converge, although for different reasons. And how about the latest unemployment figures—what, only 11,000 jobs lost? We’re doing less-worse than ever, but are we doing better? And is there any reason to take Tiger Woods to task for his alleged infidelities? 

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Here We Go Again

After 30 years of failure, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief, the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: America the Ungovernable?

On this Black Friday edition of “Left, Right & Center,” regulars Robert Scheer, Tony Blankley, Matt Miller and Arianna Huffington get philosophical, trotting out the likes of Karl Marx and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel to get a read on the timely and fundamental question of whether it’s truly possible to govern the people of the United States under the “of, by and for” setup.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE


DemocracyNow

Throw the Money Changers Out of the Temple

Wall Street profits are an obscene affront to Scripture, as Robert Scheer details in an interview with Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now!”

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Alex Brandon

Who Are You and What Have You Done With the Community Organizer We Elected President?

What’s up with Barack Obama? Finally someone has a good idea about how to deal with Wall Street and the White House condemns it. 

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: 9/11 Trial; Obama’s Afghani-Standoff

Does the planned trial of the five alleged 9/11 plotters (including oft-referenced “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) represent a partisan issue? “Left, Right & Center” mainstay Tony Blankley thinks so, but his left-leaning counterpart, Robert Scheer, begs to differ on this week’s show. Also: What’s with all the deliberation about Afghanistan?

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Herbert Knosowski

Gorbachev’s Sermon on the Mount

Mikhail Gorbachev is not honored enough for the example he set. His past practices and recent cautions about Afghanistan should be heeded by Barack Obama.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Spending for America; Clinton’s Pakistan Gamble

Consumer spending drives the real economy, and it has taken a plunge. Did we save the banks at the expense of the people? Also this week: The health care reform bill finally appears on the scene, and Hillary Clinton attempts a precarious balancing act in Pakistan—are either of these developments successful?

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Lieberman
AP / Douglas Healey

Lieberman Twists the Knife

Is there a more hypocritical figure in American politics than Joe Lieberman? The Connecticut senator declared Tuesday that he would support a filibuster of any health care reform bill that has a public option—even the version with the “trigger” compromise accepted by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe—because it might cost money.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Public Option Redux; Obama vs. Fox; Bonus Bust

Well, that public option idea keeps creeping back to the table as Congress debates the health care conundrum, but will it stick around? Does the federal government have the right to limit executive bonuses when taxpayers hold a majority interest in the company? And is President Obama wasting his time by tangling with Fox News? So many questions this week!

Posted on Oct 23, 2009 READ MORE



Where Have All the Ramparts Gone?

Peter Richardson’s new book about the groundbreaking Ramparts magazine says the rag changed America. Truthdig arts and culture editor Kasia Anderson asks the author and former Ramparts Editor Robert Scheer, Truthdig’s editor-in-chief, why the magazine’s impact isn’t better remembered and what will take its place.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



Where Have All the Ramparts Gone?

Peter Richardson’s new book about the groundbreaking Ramparts Magazine says the rag changed America. Truthdig arts and culture editor Kasia Anderson asks the author and former Ramparts Editor Robert Scheer, Truthdig’s editor-in-chief, why its impact isn’t better remembered, and what will take its place.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Health Care Reform Survives?; Wall Street Revives

Wall Street got a boost, as if it needed one, from the Dow’s rise past 10,000 this week—but let’s not confuse that with economic stability. Consider the unemployment rate and the ballooning federal budget deficit, as Arianna Huffington, Bob Scheer, Tony Blankley and Matt Miller do on this week’s “Left, Right and Center.” Just don’t ask Arianna about “Balloon Boy.”

Posted on Oct 16, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner
AP / Gerald Herbert

Public Health Before Wall Street Wealth

There is an odd disconnect between the furious public debate over health care reform, with its emphasis on the cost of an increased government role, and the nonexistent discussion about the far more expensive and largely secretive government program to bail out Wall Street.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Nobel Surprise; the Dollar’s Down

President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize caused a ruckus round the globe, drawing a wide range of reactions. The big question: Did he deserve it? On this week’s show, “Left, Right & Center” co-hosts Robert Scheer, Tony Blankley, Matt Miller and Arianna Huffington mull this one over, along with the value of the dollar and the ongoing saga that is health care reform.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan landscape
Flickr / U.S. Army

A War of Absurdity

There is no indication that any of the contending forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, are interested in bringing al-Qaida back. On the contrary, all the available evidence indicates that the Arab fighters are unwelcome and that it is their isolation from their former patrons that has led to their demise. 

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Jobs, Health, War, Sex!

That last bit in the headline isn’t just to get your attention—there are a few valid reasons for its inclusion among this week’s “LRC” topics (paging Roman Polanski ... or was that David Letterman?). However, more substantial fare precedes that part of the discussion, including talk of unemployment, Wall Street’s most wanted, and Obama’s growing Afghanistan problem.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


editorial roundtable

Editors’ Round Table: Moore’s Manifesto, Green Gadgetry and Czar Craziness

Truthdig editors Robert Scheer, Peter Scheer and Kasia Anderson unchain themselves from their laptops long enough to weigh in about the week’s news, Michael Moore’s economic epic and a new phone made partly from corn. If that’s not eclectic, we don’t know what is.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE


Obama at G-20 summit
AP / Charles Dharapak

Exorcising America’s Diplomatic Demons

Communism once was, as the Islamic terrorist threat is today, presented as an undifferentiated revolutionary impulse that could never be diplomatically accommodated without sacrificing our own security or, indeed, our freedom. The various communist nations and movements, like those currently led by a polyglot collection of Islamist radicals, were stripped of any complexity, be it in their national identity or ideology. 

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Truthdig editors

Truthdig’s Editorial Roundtable

Truthdig editors Robert Scheer, Peter Scheer and Kasia Anderson give their takes on their picks from the week’s crop of news stories, including the rise of radical rhetoric on the right, Obama’s so-called socialism (for Wall Street) and how to shop for new planets to call our future home.

Posted on Sep 19, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Baucus, Beck, Missiles and Money

Russia might be pleased with President Obama’s decision to nix Bush’s missile shield plans, but how about Eastern Europe? Meanwhile, Sen. Max Baucus’ health care reform plan foundered, and Obama made a play to get through to the powers on Wall Street. All this—plus the Glenn Becking of American political discourse—is part of this week’s discussion on “Left, Right & Center.”

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP / Charles Dharapak

Obama’s Presidency Isn’t Too Big to Fail

A president has only so much capital to expend, both in tax dollars and public tolerance, and Barack Obama is dangerously overdrawn. He has tried to have it all on three fronts, and his administration is in serious danger of going bankrupt.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Whither Obamacare?; Pelosi Says No on Afghanistan; 9/11 Remembered

It was a big week in political news, what with the kerfuffle about Obama’s education speech and then the hubbub over ... Obama’s health care speech. Anyone see a pattern?  “Left, Right & Center” regulars Robert Scheer, Arianna Huffington and Tony Blankley just might.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. soldier in Afghanistan
AP / Alex Brandon

A 9/11 Reality Check

What if eight years ago the World Trade Center had been leveled by a small nuclear bomb that took out most of lower Manhattan as well? How many millions of innocent civilians would we have killed in retaliation?

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Jobless Labor Day, Afghan Plans, Obamacare

President Obama’s got a lot of work to do to convince “Left, Right & Center” regulars Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley and Robert Scheer that he’s going to make good on his promise of “change” when it comes to bettering Americans’ health care options, the economy, the job market and that whole war thing he’s got going on in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Obama’s Meaningless War

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Afghan Investigation, Kennedy Consideration, Health Care Prognostication

Not surprisingly, “Left, Right & Center” co-hosts Arianna Huffington, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley harbor some differing viewpoints when it comes to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s legacy, as well as whether Congress should push through a health care reform plan to “win one for Ted.”

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Kennedy
AP / Charles Dharapak

Remembering the Real Deal

The light has gone out, and with it that infectious warm laugh and intensely progressive commitment of the best of the Kennedys. Not, at this point, to take anything away from the memory of his siblings—Bobby, whom I also got to know, was pretty terrific in his last years—but Sen. Ted Kennedy was the real deal.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Gramm
AP / Dean Cox

UBS Money Laundering: What Did Phil Gramm Know?

In recent days yet another wealthy private customer of the Swiss-based banking conglomerate UBS admitted to criminal fraud in a growing parade of perp walks that could extend into the thousands. It is a case that threatens to ensnare former Sen. Phil Gramm, the Texas Republican who is vice chairman of UBS’ investment banking business.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Return of Big Government?

President Obama is gambling on America’s readiness to embrace a larger, more comprehensive form of government, but will it take? “Recovering Republican” Arianna Huffington argues that the system Obama favors is currently working best for oligarchs, not those losing their homes or worried about their health care, while Tony Blankley thinks Big Pharma is pitching camp in the White House.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


banking hearing
AP / Susan Walsh

Letting the Banking Rats Out of the Bag

“Was there some sort of ghost that performed these actions?” New York federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff demanded to know Monday in rejecting a deal that would let Bank of America off the hook in yet another banker bonus scandal.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Big-Dog Diplomacy, Sotomayor and Health Care

Diplomacy by former President Bill Clinton that brought home two journalists from North Korea offers a moment to reflect on the anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear attack. Sonia Sotomayor’s been confirmed, but not until after there was a dramatic display of partisan ideology. Plus, is the disruption of health care town halls real or orchestrated?

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Bonuses, Blue Dogs and Beer

This week’s show covers flagrant shenanigans in the financial world—could it be that Tony Blankley makes a move toward the left? Meanwhile, lefty Robert Scheer is the surprising deficit hawk in the mix, and Arianna Huffington and Matt Miller clash over whether the absence of a strong public provision in Congress’ emerging health plan represents a betrayal of the American people. Also: beer!

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE


China visit
AP / Gerald Herbert

The Chinese Come Calling

What a hoot. The Chinese Communists invaded Washington on Monday demanding not that we sacrifice our freedoms but rather that we balance our budget. Creditors get to make that kind of call. And the Marxists of Beijing, who have turned out to be the world’s most prudent bankers, are worried about their assets invested in our banana republic. 

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


F-22
DoD / Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald, USAF

Deep-Sixing the F-22

I’ll believe it when it finally happens. But the news that Congress might actually stop production of a high-tech, job-generating and, most of all, high-profit weapons system because it fills no legitimate national security function is a considerable victory for President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, as well as for logic.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Vetting Sotomayor, Sizing Up the GOP

This week’s show includes two Republicans filling in for Tony Blankley—Mike Murphy and John Henke—making this episode more like “Left, Right, Right & Center,” if you will. Robert Scheer joins them to weigh in about the Sotomayor hearings, the future of the GOP and what to do about the health care conundrum, among other lively topics.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


PBS

McNamara’s Vietnam in 1995

As we remember the late Robert McNamara, we can look back to the publication of his 1995 memoir, “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam,” to see the conversations that surrounded McNamara’s take on the Vietnam War. Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer appears in a round-table discussion alongside former Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Health Care, Unions and the State of the U.S.

It’s the Bob and Matt Show! Robert Scheer and Matt Miller discuss the prospects of a public health care system now that the Democrats hold a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and then they move on to examine the impact of unions on education and health care. Tune in to hear Friday’s special summer show of “Left, Right & Center.”

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


McNamara and Johnson
AP photo

McNamara’s Evil Lives On

It was the stark evil Robert McNamara perpetrated as secretary of defense that must indelibly frame our memory of him. To not speak out fully because of respect for the deceased would be to mock the memory of the millions he caused to be maimed and killed in a war that he later freely admitted never made any sense.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / John Rous

Remembering McNamara

Once again we were in a briefing on body counts, and he was in charge with the latest figures, and once again, any personal responsibility for the deaths seemed to elude him. Finally one understands the desperate shrillness of the anti-war movement, as an attempt to tug at the arm if not the inaccessible soul of this impervious man.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Robert McNamara Dies

Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara died Monday at the age of 93. McNamara was considered to be the leading architect of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, sometimes referred to as “McNamara’s War,” which left more than 58,000 U.S. troops and 3 million Vietnamese military and civilians dead.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Econorama

For the holiday weekend, the “Left, Right & Center” squad takes a good, hard look at the state of the economy: How did we get here? Who’s to blame? Can it be fixed? Argument, and even entertainment, ensues as Robert Scheer, Arianna Huffington, Matt Miller and Tony Blankley do their best to make sense of it all.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

LRC: Iran on the Brink, Financial Regs, Health Care Snag

This week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center” takes a look at the doings in Iran and U.S. involvement there, with Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer recalling his interview of a CIA agent who said he organized the 1953 coup in that country. Other topics include two hot issues on the domestic side—U.S. regulatory proposals and health care.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

LRC: Iran, Big Bank Payback, Reregulation and Health Care

This week on “Left, Right and Center” the gang tackles three big questions: What do today’s Iranian elections mean in the polarized theocracy? What’s going on in the banking world and with the alleged TARP paybacks? And finally, given the partisan divide, will public health care ever become a viable option in the U.S.? Tune in to find out.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Investigating California’s Crisis

This week on Al Jazeera’s “Fault Lines,” Avi Lewis investigates the political causes, the human impact and the global economic repercussions of California’s budgetary crisis. Check out this great report, which features Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Is Torture a Partisan Issue?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been reasserting himself, for good or ill, in the public sphere this week. President Obama was ready with his own take on torture, aka “extreme interrogation” methods. Is this a media-enabled setup or a legitimate face-off between executive powers past and present?

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE


BlackRock HQ
AP photo / Mark Lennihan

Our Loss Is BlackRock’s Gain

How much do you know about BlackRock and the hedge funds they manage? Better bone up fast, now that the folks at BlackRock are calling the shots in the government’s trillion-dollar bailout program. BlackRock execs are now directing key elements of the government program at a time when they stand to reap great profits from the fallout of a problem they helped create. 

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner Obama Summers
AP photo / Evan Vucci

The Clinton Bubble

Has Timothy Geithner ever had lunch with a non-megamillionaire who has lost his job or home because of the banking meltdown? I ask that question after reading the list of the treasury secretary’s luncheon dates when he was head of the New York Federal Reserve, a list that the government was forced to provide in response to a lawsuit.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


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