Sunday Radio Matinee

Intelligence Squared U.S.: Tech & Privacy

Jul 9, 2017
John Donvan, host and moderator of Intelligence Squared U.S. debates.

Do you have a secret that no one else knows?  What about Apple, Google, Facebook, Verizon, or Uber?  Are you sure they don’t know your secret?  Digital data – emails, text messages, phone records, location records, web searches – contain traces of almost every secret.  They also contain traces of almost every crime.

John Donvan, host of Intelligence Squared U.S.
Intelligence Squared U.S.

Imagine getting a check from the government every month: $600 guaranteed. It’s happening in Finland, where a pilot program is being launched to test what’s known as a “universal basic income.” As technology transforms the workplace, jobs and income will become less reliable. The idea is that a universal basic income could serve as a tool to combat poverty and uncertainty in a changing society, and provide a cushion that empowers workers, giving them latitude to take risks in the job market.

IQ2US - "Charter Schools Are Overrated" debate
IQ2 US / Intelligence Squared U.S.

In the 25 years since Minnesota passed the first charter school law, these publicly funded but privately operated schools have become a highly sought-after alternative to traditional public education. Many charter schools boast of high test scores, strict academic expectations, and high graduation rates. Opponents argue that charters, which are subject to fewer regulations and less oversight, lack accountability, and take much-needed resources from public schools.

The View From Room 205

Feb 26, 2017

The View from Room 205 is a one-hour documentary that takes an unflinching look at the intersection of poverty and education in this country. It tells the story of a fourth grade classroom at William Penn Elementary, a public school in one of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side. The documentary weaves together human stories in the school, from the children to their teacher to the principal, and pulls back to explain the big picture.

IQ2 U.S."The Special U.S.-Saudi Relationship Has Outlived Its Usefulness" (Debate)
IQ2 U.S.

Over 70 years ago, in 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia met onboard the USS Quincy. A close relationship between the two countries has been maintained ever since, with oil and military and intelligence cooperation at its foundation. But the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. shale revolution, human rights concerns, and diverging interests in the Middle East, have all put strains on this relationship. And with the election of Donald Trump, it faces even more uncertainty.

IQ2 U.S."Policing Is Racially Biased" (Debate)
IQ2 U.S.

In 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a wave of protests and sparked a movement targeting racial disparities in criminal justice. Since then, there have been other controversial deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement that have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice, to Philando Castile.

IQ2 U.S."Policing Is Racially Biased" (Debate)
IQ2 U.S.

In 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a wave of protests and sparked a movement targeting racial disparities in criminal justice. Since then, there have been other controversial deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement that have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice, to Philando Castile.

IQ2 U.S. - Should We Give Undocumented Immigrants A Path To Citizenship?
IQ2 U.S.

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and the question of what to do with them has sparked years of fierce debate, but no significant action.  

In 2013, the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” managed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, only to get it dropped by the House.  And in 2016, a deadlocked Supreme Court decision stalled President Obama’s executive actions, DACA and DAPA, which were designed to prevent the deportation of some 5 million people.  

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

Nov 27, 2016
American Public Media

Two days after Nora McInerny's husband Aaron died, she celebrated Thanksgiving with her family. Well...maybe not "celebrated". Actually, why would you do that? Try to be normal when clearly everything isn't? But every year, millions of people do the same thing during the holidays. This new special, Terrible, Thanks For Asking will feature conversations with Lucy Kalinithi and Amber Tozer, and some of the women of the Hot Young Widows Club on the challenges of dealing with trauma and loss during this sensitive season.

Some of Delta 187 Rakassans
Adam Piore /

All wars are the same, it is said; only the scenery changes. And the repercussions are pretty much the same too.

Greg Mashburn, Oklahoma District 21 District Attorney (left), and Kris Steele, Executive Director of The Education and Employment Ministry (right), debate State Questions 780 & 781 during an October 18, 2016 Oklahoma Watch-Out forum in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Watch

State Questions 780 and 781 propose making significant changes to Oklahoma’s criminal justice system in an effort to lower the state’s incarceration rates. SQ 780 proposes to change the classification of certain drug possession and property crimes from felony to misdemeanor offenses. SQ 781 would create the County Community Safety Investment Fund to hold and redistribute any savings achieved by incarcerating fewer people for drug possession or nonviolent crimes — the intent of

Intelligence Squared U.S. "Blame Big Pharma" debate poster

Health care costs in the U.S. are some 18 percent of GNP, nearly double what other rich countries spend. We read of drug therapies that cost $100,000 a year or more, and of drug price increases that are six times the rate of inflation, on average, and often much more when mergers reduce competition in the industry. Is this a major driver of excessive health care costs? Or is it a by-product of the huge costs of getting new drugs approved? Has big pharma delivered drugs that reduce the need for costly surgeries, which extend life and improve its quality?

Ken Rudin/PRX

In 1960, the first televised presidential debates were held between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, giving voters a unique opportunity to see the two candidates up close. Since 1976, all the major party nominees for president have participated in televised debates. The issues ranged from domestic concerns to foreign policy. But these debates are also remembered to many dramatic moments and memorable gaffes that have often helped decide the outcome of the elections.

State Question 779 is among the more hotly debated initiatives on the November 8 Oklahoma ballot.  The 'vote-yes' campaign is championed by University of Oklahoma President and former U.S. Sen. David Boren. Many educators have joined Boren in support of the proposal, citing low teacher pay and difficulty in attracting educators to the state. 

IQ2 U.S. "The EPA Has Gone Too Far" debate graphic
Intelligence Squared U.S. / Intelligence Squared U.S.

Reducing carbon emissions is clearly good for the environment but often imposes substantial costs.  The costs are most obvious when coal companies go bankrupt, but can affect everyone indirectly through higher energy costs, slower economic growth, reduced employment, and lower business profits.   Has the Environmental Protection Agency considered the costs and benefits of its regulatory mandates fairly and appropriately?

State Question 792 is among several ballot initiatives Oklahoma voters will decide in November. If approved, the measure would revise the laws governing alcoholic beverage sales in the state. In a recent Oklahoma Watch public forumState Sen.

Futurework: How Technology Will Redefine the Culture of Work
IEEE Spectrum Magazine

Technological advances have put us on the edge of a new industrial revolution. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and Susan Hassler, Editor-In-Chief of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, are joined by engineers, scientists, and futurists from MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, Rice Univ., and the Institute for the Future to give listeners insights into how technology will redefine work in the not too distant future.

Image of the noted UT tower where Charles Whitman rained down bullets on his fellow students fifty years ago.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

The Texas Standard oral history, “Out of the Blue: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting,” features selections from more than 100 exclusive, first-person accounts of the UT Tower shooting to paint a broad picture of the events that took place 50 years ago. Many of these eyewitness stories have not been shared publicly until now. 

America Abroad: Tibet

May 15, 2016
An exile Tibetan prays during an event to mark the 57th anniversary of the March 10, 1959, Tibetan Uprising Day, in Dharmsala, India, Thursday, March 10, 2016.

The Dalai Lama's 80th birthday has been a cause for celebration but also consternation for Tibetans at home and in the diaspora. Now, as he grows older, doubt hovers in the air as to who will carry on the struggle when he's gone.

Melyssa Rodiguez shares her story.
Jason Falchook/The Moth

This week's Sunday Radio Matinee feature is a special Mother's Day edition of The Moth Radio Hour. A mother helps her daughter get her first contact lenses, an unwanted parental intervention at a school concert, a new mother in Zambia awaits test results, a life or death bee sting and a teenage mother who couldn't be happier to welcome her child to the world. Join The Moth's Artistic Director Catherine Burns for an hour of stories by, for and about Mom!