Monthly Archives: October 2003

The Preacher's Son

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Wyclef Jean’s father, a Haitian minister living in Newark, New Jersey, taught him to reach for the American Dream. “Baby,” he said, “you can be anything that you wanna be.” Wyclef was born in Croix des Bouquets in Haiti. He came to America at age nine, speaking not a word of English.

What he wanted to be was a musician. So in the early 90’s, together with two high school friends they pulled together a band — they called themselves the Fugees….it’s a word that comes from ref-fugees.

Two Grammy awards later he launched a solo career with the disc “Carnival” — an explosion of talent, wit, style and virtuosity. His latest album, though, is all about simplicity and the craft of making songs.


Wyclef Jean, Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and producer.

Blowing the Airport-Security Whistle

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No one is disputing that a 20-year-old college student smuggled box cutters, bleach and matches onto commercial flights. What is in dispute is whether he deserves praise or a jail sentence.

The student said what he did was “an act of civil disobedience with the aim of improving public safety for the air-traveling public.” The federal prosecutor calls it a crime.

Civil disobedience has an honorable place in American history, when it comes to looking back on past battles over civil rights. But does it fit as a challenge to homeland security? What it means to break a law — and risk lives — in the name of public safety.


Louis Clark, executive director, Government Accountability Project

Douglas R. Laird, former security chief, Northwest Airlines, now aviation industry consultant

Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), senior member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security.

Kanan Makiya

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After decades of documenting and decrying the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein, Kanan Makiya is finally getting what he’s wanted. The Iraqi leader is gone, and Makiya is back in Baghdad helping draft a new constitution for his homeland.

In the lead-up to the war, Makiya helped pen a “blueprint” for a post-Saddam Iraq that became part of the Bush Administration’s war plan. He was an optimist then — someone who believed that the Iraqi people should be liberated — regardless of what argument was used, the cruelty of the leader, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist — and he is an optimist today. He is one of the leading figures in Iraq’s reconstruction; trying to grow democracy in a country that has no memory of that.


Kanan Makiya, author of the “blueprint for democracy” for post-Saddam Iraq and the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University

A Palestinian Perspective

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For news consumers in the U.S. it was yet another busy week in the Mideast. It was a little bit of everything; an Israeli raid in Gaza left eight dead and 70 injured Palestinians, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurea urged the U.S. once again to revive the road map, Israel vowed to keep building the “security wall'” despite U.N. condemnation, and militants executed two of their own fro collaborating with Israel.

But for some people in the region these headlines can carry a world of difference. As part of our effort to bring you the voices of the people behind this conflict, today we’ll speak with Palestinians who are living in the West Bank and hear their thoughts on suicide bombs, the possibility of peace, and what it means to stick to the land.


Saed Andoni, a Bethlehem based TV producer and film editor

Mohammad Ghazal, engineering professor at Al Najah University in Nablus, and a member of Hamas’s political leadership.

B is for Babar

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For more than 70 years, Babar, the adventuresome French elephant, has reigned supreme. Although he is known to generations as “King of the Elephants,” the original “Story of Babar” was based on a bedtime tale, which the wife of Jean de Brunhoff told their two young children.

Just as stories are passed on from parent to child, so did the legacy of Babar, from father to son, after Jean’s untimely death in the mid thirties. Since the 1940s, his son Laurent has penned over 30 Babar books, making it one of the most popular children’s books series. This hour, we invite you to gather around and get comfortable as we trace the story of the first elephant to wear shoes with spats Author Laurent de Brunhoff and the best of Babar.


Laurent de Brunhoff, author “Babar’s Museum of Art.”;
Perri Klass, President and Medical Director, “Reach out and read,”

Extreme Drinking

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Drinking at college is a time-honored tradition. Like pulling an all-nighter. Cramming for a final. Or cutting class when spring warms the air. But today drinking habits are changing.

College students are drinking more than in the past, they are doing it more often and they’re doing it to get drunk. The result is more accidents, fatal ones, sexual assault, vandalism, riots, deaths, and lawsuits that inevitably follow. This month alone several riots, fueled by alcohol, broke out at universities, one in Massachusetts, another in Minnesota. And at least three students have died from alcohol poisoning. The latest a 19-year-old in Louisiana who downed a fifth of rum in just a few hours. You’ve heard of extreme sports. This is extreme drinking.


Jim Clayton , co-coordinator Stepping Up program at University of Iowa

Armando Sanchez-Aballi of the Beer Industry of Florida

Myron Medcalf, student at Minnesota State University.

Of Moths and Myth

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The writer Vladimir Nabokov once observed that “It is astounding how little the ordinary person notices about butterflies.” Just imagine being a moth. Even though some 90 percent of insects known as lepidoptera are not butterflies, they’re the ones that get all the glory. Puccini, after all, didn’t write “Madame Moth,” and we don’t protect our favorite woolens with “butterflies-balls.”

None of this literary and historic prejudice bothers the printmaker Joseph Scheer. His high-resolution scans of moths reveal tapestries of color, texture and detail you just don’t expect from a bug. Furry and deep vermillion, translucent and lime green. And flying, finally, into the spotlight.


Joseph Scheer, professor of print media, Alfred University’s School of Art and Design, co-founder, Institute of Electronic Arts, and artist, “Night Visions: The Secret Designs of Moths”

Theodore Sargent, professor emeritus of Behavioral Ecology, University of Massachusetts, and author, “Legion of Night: The Underwing Moths”

Richard Lewington, illustrator, most recently, of “Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland”

Arab Development

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If you were to ask people in Arab countries what’s wrong with their world, you’d hear a lot about how they see themselves as victims of external forces like colonialism, Zionism and imperialism. Small wonder they take that view. It’s what they read. It’s what they’re taught. A new report says the Arab world is stagnating under a self-imposed yoke of intellectual and political repression.

The findings come on the heels of last year’s United Nations study which stated that Arab countries lack freedom, empowerment for women and access to knowledge and that the blame rests largely with them. In this sequel, the U.N. charges that these deficits have become worse since 9/11 and the war in Iraq.


Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States of the United Nations Development Program and former Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan

Omar al-Issawi, reporter and producer, Al Jazeera Satellite Channel.

"Us" and "Them"

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David Cole says for most of its history, America has had the Bill of Rights wrong. Cole argues that for the founding fathers it was an expression of human rights, one that was intended to apply to all persons. But instead, he says, it has been misinterpreted as a feature of citizenship for Americans alone, and Cole thinks this is wrong.

Free movement, speech, and worship extend to a person, not a passport, he says, and therefore should apply to everyone regardless of whether they hail from Toledo or Tehran. Critics of Cole’s say he favors rights at the expense of reality. When fighting the war on terror, a country, they argue, must be able to refuse rights and privileges to those who aren’t yet members of the club in the name of security. David Cole on the lines between “Us” and “Them.”


David Cole, Professor of Law at the Georgetown Law Center and author of “Enemy Aliens”

Jan Ting, Professor at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University