Monthly Archives: July 2005

Real Beauty

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Be honest, is Beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Our idea of Beauty changes with the times. It is reflected all around us in the culture and nowhere more so than in advertising.

These days, ads that feature women show them young, wrinkle free and sometimes as skinny as a stick. So imagine the surprise at the latest ad campaign by Dove, makers of soap, shampoos, lotions and the like.

The marketing blitz is called “Real Women, Real Curves.” The photos feature a group of full-figured women in their underwear looking perfectly happy just the way they are. But is the nation ready to re-define a good-looking woman?


Dr. Nancy Betcoff, Harvard Medical School psychologist

Julia Savacool, Marie Claire News Editor


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Rewriting the definition of Endangered Species. Republicans are proposing legislation to narrow the scope of an act that say is outdated. Environmental advocates say they are taking a wrecking ball to one of the most effective laws used to protect wildlife.



Rewriting the Definition of Endangered Species

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The Endangered Species Act has been controversial since the day it was introduced. It has a laudable goal — the protection of plants and animals before they disappear from the face of the earth.

But the pursuit of that goal has made enemies of more than a few farmers, ranchers and developers and others. They say the rules protecting habitat are so stringent they can’t make a living off their land and they’re not fairly compensated for the loss. Supporters of the Endangered Species Act counter that our human footprint on the land is getting bigger every day and that sprawl and greed, if unchecked, will mean certain extinction for many species.

There are roughly 1,200 hundred species currently protected under the act. The Connection examines what is in store for them when the Act comes up for re-authorization and possible revision this year.


Owen Squires, Rocky Mountain Regional Director for Pulp and Paper Workers Resources Council

Michael Bean, Chairman of the Wildlife Program for Environmental Defense ni Washington DC, TBD.

The Poet Richard Wilbur

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Richard Wilbur has lived his life waiting for poems to happen. “That’s how it always works,” he says. “I don’t put my head down and try to write. I always wait for something to gather at the back of my mind.” His new book — Collected Poems — captures 60 years of a life spent waiting and writing. Wilbur published his first book of poems in 1947 — and throughout the fifties was considered one of America’s leading poetic voices. During the 1960 and 70s, Wilbur’s formal style was overwhelmed by the raging free verse of poets like Plath and Ginsberg. But he continued to write and today he says, at age 84 he has shaken off the shadows of his earlier influences and found a voice that is more direct, and more his own. Richard Wilbur brings us poems that praise.


Poet Richard Wilbur

Karl Rove in the Crosshairs

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The grand jury investigation over the leak of a CIA officer’s identity has Washington in a lather. Karl Rove, the President’s chief political advisor and consigliore, has been linked to the leak and now finds himself in the crosshairs of democratic politicians and pundits hoping to run him out of town on a rail. What began as a secret investigation has blossomed into a front page political shouting match. Some say Rove committed a serious breach of national security, and either broke the law, or came too close for comfort. Defenders say this is just more Washington theatre; a summer scandal that will fizzle out once the cicadas come to town. Secrets, lies, and the inner workings of a Washington scandal.


Timothy Noah writes the “Chatterbox” column for Slate

John Fund is an editor for The Wall Street Journal

Victoria Toensing is an attorney and former Justice Department official. She helped author the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act

Rep. Rush Holt (R-NC)

Border Battles

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There are already 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. — and more are arriving each day. The border with Mexico is a dangerous and expensive obstacle course that hundreds of thousands of immigrants navigate each year despite the billions of dollars that are spent to stop them.

Today, Washington is divided over what to do about that, and competing bills are being introduced to fix the problem. One side calls for more money to be spent to seal that border and for greater enforcement of deportation laws. The other wants to change the existing laws to make it easier on immigrants who are already in the United States.

Everyone agrees something needs to be done — and some are beginning to admit that both approaches may be needed to solve the problem. Papers please.


Rep. James Kolbe (R-AZ)

Rep. Thomas Tancredo (R-Col)

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director for the Center for Immigration Studies

Mayor Ray Borane, Douglas, AZ

Exploring "Londonistan"

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London is known as the city in Europe with a heart for radicals. Karl Marx was one of the more famous dissidents to take up residence there after he was expelled from Paris in 1849.

More recently, London has extended the same tolerance to Muslim immigrants who have moved to the city in great numbers. But in the wake of last week’s bomb attacks and the knowledge that four of the alleged suicide bombers were British-born Muslim citizens, this long tradition of openness is now being questioned.

Some are blaming the British government and its lax immigration policies for creating “Londonistan,” a safe haven where Islamic radicals have been ignored and allowed to organized. As the winds shift, many Muslims and Arab citizens are now worried that the city that once took them in, may turn against them..


Michael Goldfarb, London based correspondent for the WBUR documentary unit Inside/Out

Mahmud al-Rashid, publisher of Emel Magazine

That Haunting Picture of the Green-Eyed Afghan Girl

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The photographer Steve McCurry disguised himself in Pashtun clothing, and headed into the mountains of eastern Afghanistan in the late 1970s at a time when the Afghan war with the Russians was fierce and dangerous.

He wasn’t sure at the time if he was doing the right thing; he was certainly not to know that it was the start of such an illustrious career as a photojournalist. His photographs of faces from the front line and portraits of ordinary people in war zones have become the trademark of his work.

For the past 25 years, McCurry has spent most of his time on the road, and always in search of those perfect shots. He found one at a refugee camp in Pakistan and his haunting image of the 12-year-old green-eyed girl is now among the most recognized photographs in the world.


Steve McCurry, photographer;

Returning to Space

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Final preparations are underway for the launch of the first U.S. space shuttle mission in more than two years. Engineers and managers at NASA have painstakingly picked over every detail of the shuttle Discovery, hoping to avoid an explosion like the one that claimed the lives of the seven Columbia astronauts in the winter of 2003.

But that accident got a lot of people thinking: should NASA be risking the lives of its astronauts for what often amounts to little more than delivery runs to an out-of-date space station?

President Bush has talked about the glory of manned space flight to the moon and on to Mars, but some wonder if that would be pushing NASA too far too fast. The shuttles return to space; and NASA searches for its mission.


Kelly Beatty, Executive editor Sky & Telescope Magazine

Joe Rothenberg, former NASA space flight administrator

Alex Roland, former NASA historian;

Jefferson's Garden

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Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia also liked to dig around in the dirt.

In his garden at Monticello, Jefferson had 170 different types of fruit, 330 different vegetables, countless flowers and a grove of meticulously selected trees. What’s more he kept careful and detailed notes of what was planted.

Peter Hatch is Director of Grounds and Gardens at Monticello, he is also the author of many books and articles on maintaining Jefferson’s gardens. Mr. Hatch joins the Connection to talk about Jefferson’s gardening legacy, what the former president’s botanical inclinations tell us about the man and about life in America at the turn of another century.


Peter J. Hatch, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello and author of “The Gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello” and “The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello.”