Commonwealth Club of California Podcast show

Commonwealth Club of California Podcast

Summary: The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's largest public affairs forum. The nonpartisan and nonprofit Club produces and distributes programs featuring diverse viewpoints from thought leaders on important topics. The Club's weekly radio broadcast — the oldest in the U.S., since 1924 — is carried on hundreds of stations. Our website features audio and video of our programs. This podcast feed is usually updated multiple times each week.

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 Mai Khoi and the Art of Creative Dissent | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

She's been called Vietnam's Lady Gaga—a talented, outspoken artist promoting freedom of expression. Join us for an online discussion with an artist who has crafted creative ways to promote freedom. Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese artist and activist. At the age of 12 she wrote her first song and joined her father's wedding band the same year. She rose to stardom in 2010 after winning the Vietnam Television song and album of the year awards. Several years later she became increasingly uncomfortable having to submit her work to government censors and started the avant-garde dissident trio Mai Khoi Chém Gió. Working at the interface of art and activism Mai Khoi has developed her most unique art form to date. Her new sound is an emotionally charged fusion of free jazz and ethnic Vietnamese music, with her most political, yet personal, song lyrics ever. Today she leads efforts to promote freedom of artistic expression in Vietnam, for which she was awarded the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. Her activism has, however, come at a high price. She has had her concerts raided, been evicted from her house, and been detained and interrogated by the police. Mai Khoi is artist in residence at SHIM NYC and an Artist Protection Fund fellow. NOTES In partnership with the Vietnamese American Roundtable

 Gershom Gorenberg: War of Shadows | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Gershom Gorenberg joins us live from Jerusalem to discuss the topic of his latest book, War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East, with Robert Rosenthal, a former Middle East/Africa journalist and former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. At the center of Gorenberg's exciting intrigue—which has lessons for today's intelligence and cybersecurity—are the code breakers at Bletchley Park, who helped solve the Enigma cipher and foiled Rommel's bid to to conquer the Middle East. Gorenberg, a columnist for The Washington Post, has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, Haaretz, and other media outlets. He teaches a workshop on writing history at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. MLF ORGANIZER Celia Menczel NOTES MLF: Middle East

 Tyler Stovall: White Freedom | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Dr. Tyler Stovall's White Freedom explores the intertwined histories of racism and freedom in France and the United States, the two leading nations that have claimed liberty as the heart of their national identities. Stovall examines how French and American thinkers defined freedom in racial terms and conceived of liberty as an aspect and privilege of whiteness. He also discusses how the Statue of Liberty―a gift from France to the United States and perhaps the most famous symbol of freedom on Earth―promised both freedom and whiteness to European immigrants. The era of the Enlightenment, which gave rise to our modern conceptions of freedom and democracy, was also the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. America, founded on the principle of liberty, was also built on African slavery, Native American genocide, and systematic racial discrimination. Stovall traces the complex relationship between freedom and race from the Age of Revolution to today, challenging the notion that racism is somehow a paradox or contradiction within the democratic tradition, and demonstrating how white identity is intrinsic to Western ideas about liberty. Throughout the history of modern Western liberal democracy, freedom has long been white freedom. Stovall provides an important perspective on the inherent racism behind our most cherished beliefs about freedom, liberty, and human rights. MLF ORGANIZER George Hammond NOTES MLF: Humanities

 Michael Boskin and Laura Tyson: Bank of America Annual Economic Forecast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

With the Biden administration taking office, COVID rampant, vaccine disbursement beginning, and businesses and individual Americans reeling from financial burdens, what is the outlook for the economy in 2021? Join us for a lively and important discussion on where the U.S. and global economies are headed and what should be done to keep them on track. Michael J. Boskin is T. M. Friedman Professor of Economics and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served as chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 1989 to 1993. The independent Council for Excellence in Government rated Dr. Boskin’s CEA one of the five most respected agencies (out of 100) in the federal government. He chaired the highly influential blue-ribbon Commission on the Consumer Price Index, whose report has transformed the way government statistical agencies around the world measure inflation, GDP and productivity. Laura D’Andrea Tyson is an influential scholar of economics and public policy and an expert on trade and competitiveness who has also served as a presidential adviser. She is a distinguished professor of the Graduate School at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. She also chairs the Board of Trustees at UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies, which aims to develop solutions to global poverty. She is the former faculty director of the Berkeley Haas Institute for Business and Social Impact, which she launched in 2013. She served as interim dean of the Haas School from July to December 2018, and served previously as dean from 1998 to 2001. Dr. Tyson was a member of President Clinton’s cabinet between 1993 and 1996. She served as chair of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995 and as director of the White House National Economic Council from 1995 to 1996. She was the first woman to serve in those positions. This event is underwritten by Bank of America.

 NBA’s Kevin Love: Championing Mental Health for Everyone | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

On the surface, it would appear that the Cleveland Cavaliers' star forward Kevin Love has much success in his life. He is a five-time All-Star and won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.He was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. national team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. But Kevin Love has also suffered from depression and anxiety for years. He was one of the first NBA players to openly discuss mental health challenges. He first made headlines in March 2018, when he admitted that he had suffered a panic attack during a game that year. He subsequently said that he had always viewed talking about mental health as a “form of weakness that could derail my success in sports.” Yet he has gone on to talk about how he has changed his attitude toward mental health, believing that sharing helps others. In 2018, he established the Kevin Love Fund to provide tools and help for people to improve their physical and emotional well-being, with the goal of assisting more than a billion people over the next 5 years. Come for a candid and heartfelt conversation with Kevin Love about how depression impacts not only high performers but a wide range of people across age groups and professions, especially during the COVID-era, and what can be done to create more support for those in need.

 After the Capitol Siege: The Need for Civics Education | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Just two weeks after the Capitol attack that resulted in five deaths, delayed the official counting of the Electoral College votes, and led to the second impeachment of a president of the United States for the first time in American history, a new president has been inaugurated in a Washington, D.C. that was on near lockdown due to the threat of domestic terrorism. Education leaders, civic advocates and public officials recognize that one of the most important ways the country can respond to this challenging moment is through an embrace of civics education, along with a significant boost in efforts that enable all U.S. citizens to understand the civic structures of the country, as well as the roles and responsibilities of its citizens and its elected officials. Just days after the Capitol attack, the Washington, D.C.-based The Hill published a powerful editorial about the urgent need for a renewed push for civics education. In it, Lauren Leader and Mark K. Updegrove noted, . . . Like the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that pulled the U.S. directly into World War II, the siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by a violent mob will be remembered as a “day which will live in infamy.” Much will be written about the circumstances that led to the desecration of the Capitol….but as we move forward, it’s just as urgent to consider how we can build the foundations of a more unified nation with a deeper common understanding of what it really means to be American. . . . Part of the answer lies in civics education." Please join us for a special program as Leader and Updegrove are joined by the heads of iCivics, Louise Dube, and Generation Citizen, Elizabeth Clay Roy, to discuss why an urgent call to action for civics education is so important for the country. NOTES The program is part of The Commonwealth Club's "Creating Citizens" initiative, created with generous support from the Koret Foundation and others.

 A Healthy Society Series: Communicating Science (in a Science-Skeptical World) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

As a driver of global health, prosperity and planetary sustainability, science pervades all realms of human activity. The COVID pandemic of the past year and the prospect of its eventual resolution have put science (and scientists) at the forefront of an international cultural conversation. Yet communicating facts and credible research is a tricky task in a world awash in social media, anti-scientific agendas, political forces and biases of every kind. MLF ORGANIZER Robert Lee Kilpatrick NOTES MLF: Health & Medicine

 Making the Case: A Unique Portrait of a Supreme Court Justice | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told filmmaker Jennifer Callahan, "If I left the house without a bag, I’d go right back inside to get it." In "Making the Case," the late justice shares her thoughts—not on the law, but on daily objects from her own life, on some of her handbags. The film enables the viewer to get to know the great RBG in a most relatable way. Join us for an unexpected look into the thinking of a legal legend. Please note: This is not a screening of the short film "Making the Case."

 Rep. Eric Swalwell: The Siege on Capitol Hill | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Since the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill, Representative Eric Swalwell has been outspoken about the action he believes Congress should take to curb further assaults on our democracy, emphasizing the need for the president’s resignation or impeachment. The representative from California’s 15th district does not shy away from voicing his opinion on the important issues, and in this time of great uncertainty, Rep. Swalwell maintains his support for direct action against those who perpetrated the attack on himself and fellow members of Congress. As the House of Representative introduces articles of impeachment against President Trump, join Rep. Swalwell at INFORUM to hear about what it was like inside Capitol Hill on January 6, his hopes for the Biden administration, and what he expects for a post-Trump political landscape.

 Journalist Annie Jacobsen: Biometrics and the Surveillance State | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Journalist Annie Jacobsen is well known for her best sellers The Pentagon's Brain, Area 51 and Operation Paperclip. In her latest book, First Platoon, she investigates "warfare, good and evil in the age of biometrics, the technology that would allow the government to identify anyone, anywhere, at any time." Come for a discussion about the Pentagon's abilities to utilize iris scans, fingerprint scans, voice patterning, detection by odor, gait, and more to track human patterns, as well as the ethical questions raised by what Ms. Jacobsen calls "a burgeoning surveillance state." This is a story that starts off close and goes very big. The initial part of the story might sound familiar at first: It is about a platoon of mostly 19-year-old boys sent to Afghanistan, and an experience that ends abruptly in catastrophe. Their part of the story folds into the next: Inexorably linked to those soldiers and never comprehensively reported before is the U.S. Department of Defense’s quest to build the world’s most powerful biometrics database, with the power to identify, monitor, catalogue, and police people all over the world. Based on hundreds of formerly classified documents, FOIA requests, and exclusive interviews, First Platoon is an investigative exposé by a master chronicler of government secrets. Jacobsen reveals a post–9/11 Pentagon whose identification machines have grown more capable than the humans who must make sense of them. She says it's a Pentagon so powerful it can cover up its own internal mistakes in pursuit of endless wars; and people are at its mercy, in the last moments before a fundamental change so complete it might be impossible to take back. Annie Jacobsen is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–finalist in history The Pentagon’s Brain, the New York Times bestsellers Area 51 and Operation Paperclip, and other books. She was a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.

 The New Corporation: Creating an Economic System That Works for All | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

How do we find our way to a society focused on the common good instead of greed and selfishness? Does our “socially responsible” corporation structure allow us to have other values besides profit? Our panel—Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbot, Elizabeth Davis and Kevin McGarry—will guide us to examine these issues. Joel Bakan’s book “the New Corporation” and Jennifer Abbot and Joel’s film by the same name, calls out what they call the corporate takeover of society. From gatherings of corporate elites in Davos, to climate change and spiraling inequality, the rise of authoritarian leaders to COVID and racial injustice, our panel of media activists and academics looks at corporations’ devastating power and the systemic changes required. Countering this is a groundswell of resistance worldwide as people take to the streets in pursuit of justice and the planet’s future. The members of our panel examine how a “just recovery” means addressing the three crises: climate, COVID and capitalism. The panel will look beyond the old corporate mentality and guide people toward a reimagining of democracy, collective action, structural equality and how people can get involved. MLF ORGANIZER Elizabeth Carney NOTES MLF: Business & Leadership

 Fast, Fair and Clean: The New Energy Transition | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Hopes and expectations are high for President Biden’s first weeks in office. His recovery plans promise to take on COVID-19, a battered economy, and a rapid clean energy transition in a way that doesn’t leave communities behind. But Navajo Nation, which until recently was home to the largest coal-fired power plant in the U.S., has been left out of economic and energy plans for a long time. “The community that has been the provider is the one that has the most homes that don't have access to electricity,” notes Wahleah Johns, Co-Founder and Director of Native Renewables. Can the incoming administration improve energy access for all Americans while phasing out fossil fuels?

 Operation Moonglow | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Discover the political history behind the Apollo program. Ever since July 1969, Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon has represented the pinnacle of American space exploration and a grand scientific achievement. Yet Teasel Muir-Harmony argues its primary purpose wasn't advancing science. Rather, it was part of a political strategy to build a global coalition of "freedom" against "tyranny." Starting with JFK's 1961 decision to send astronauts to the Moon, Project Apollo was central to American foreign policy. From that perspective, the critical event did not just take place on the lunar surface; it took place in homes, public squares, palaces, and schools around the world, as Apollo captured global attention like never before. In the Moon landing's afterglow, the Apollo astronauts and President Richard Nixon traveled the world to amplify the sense of participation and global unity shared by the billions who had followed the flight. Drawing on a rich array of untapped archives and firsthand interviews with Apollo astronauts, Muir-Harmony paints a riveting picture of the intersection of spaceflight, geopolitics, propaganda, and diplomacy during the Cold War. NOTES MLF: Humanities

 Run to Win: EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

As the president of the Democratic political action committee EMILY’s List since 2010, Stephanie Schriock has led the charge to elect female Democratic candidates across America. In the 2018 midterm elections, under Schriock’s leadership, EMILY’s List ran female candidates who flipped enough seats to win a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. In her new book with Christina Reynolds, Run to Win: Lessons in Leadership for Women Changing the World, Schriock provides guidance for women looking to break into male-dominated spaces, whether that be in politics or otherwise. Join Schriock at INFORUM to learn more about how women can become changemakers in their communities, whether it's at the local, state or federal level.

 Pandemic19: Behind the Scenes with Frontline Doctors | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Learn about the making of a timely new documentary that reveals a side of the coronavirus pandemic often unseen by most people. Pandemic19 is a short documentary film that captures the story of three doctors in the United States fighting COVID-19 from pre-to-post surge, told through their own reflective, humanizing voices, while the chaos of the pandemic spreads outside the frame of their video confessions. Pandemic19 sidesteps the salacious news headlines by focusing on the personal video journals of three doctors as they prepare for the “calm before the storm” and share their direct experiences with COVID-19 patients. As the days unfold, the doctors check-in and record their changing impressions: fears, hopes, challenges, and triumphs—laying bare their unfiltered and subjective feelings. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Virginia Brady and Pandemic19 directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsure Rollins.


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