Monthly Archives: August 2001

Why Lawsuits are Good for America

Listen / Download

Lawsuits are as American apple pie. Where else in the world can you hold someone liable for your accidents, errors, and general ineptitude? Go ahead, spill a cup of scalding hot coffee on yourself; you can sue for at least a million.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is. The court of public opinion long ago ruled that lawyers are the spawn of Satan and plaintiffs are nothing more than opportunists looking to penalize others for their misfortunes: hence, the corporate and conservative appeal for tort reform.

Others argue against the myth of monster lawsuits. They say the civil jury system is a great gift of our founding fathers, representing democracy at its best. In this view, our litigious nation prospers as a result of, not in spite of, lawsuits.


Carl T. Bogus, Associate Professor at Roger Williams School of Law and author of “Why Lawsuits are Good for America”;
Jack H. Olender, Esq., Plaintiff’s Attorney and Past President of the Washington D.C. Bar;
Joseph Montedonico, Esq., Defense Attorney.

Faith In Government

Listen / Download

Our dollars say “In God we trust,” but our founders urged us to keep church and state separate. The Constitution’s first amendment not only seeks to protect government from the intrusion of religion, but religion from intrusion of government.

How does that square with President Bush’s faith-based initiative, which would divert federal dollars to church-based social programs? The President hopes to empower the armies of compassion to fight poverty and a host of other social ills.

Can churches accept Caesar’s salt, without doing Caesar’s bidding? Can they become secular agents and still be the state’s conscience?


Rev. Eugene Rivers, head of the Ten-Point Coalition in Boston;
Rabbi Jack Moline, Interfaith Alliance

Dr. Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

America On The Sidelines

Listen / Download

The United States is becoming a picky eater when it comes to foreign policy. Back to the kitchen have gone international agreements on global warming, missile defense, and biological warfare, among others.

The Bush administration calls this “a la carte multilateralism.” We’re ordering what we want, when we want it, to satisfy American appetites and interests. It’s the lonely right of a superpower, or the dangerous game of a bully.

The White House argues that thinking globally means more than diplomatic signing on the dotted line. For this President Bush’s critics at home and abroad have dubbed him a Texas two-steppin’ isolationist and “Mr. Nyet,” a nickname once reserved for a Soviet diplomat famous for saying ‘no.’


Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law at Yale University;
Stephen Walt, professor of International Affairs at Harvard’s JFK School of Government;
Francois Heisbourg, Foundation pour Researche Strategique