- Big picture: what's it going to take to return America to the sane, labor based economic policies that have saved Europe from the second Republican great depression?
- Big picture: was Colin Powell right, "if you break it, you own it?" Afghanistan.
- What are we doing in Afghanistan and why?
- What should we be doing in Afghanistan and why?
- Big picture: how can we heal America and preserve the constitution?
- Oath keepers...should liberals be joining their cause?
- Bumper Music:
- We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover, from "Annie".
- Magick, Ryan Adams (video).
- The Ballad Of Gilligan's Isle, The Remotes.
- You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
- Season Of The Witch, Donovan.
- World Hold On, Bob Sinclar (video).
- The X-Files (Theme), The TV Theme Players.
- Democracy, Leonard Cohen.
- Today's newsletter has details of today's guests and links to the major stories and alerts that Thom covered in the show, plus lots more. If you haven't signed up for the free newsletter yet, please do. If you missed today's newsletter, it is in the archive.
- Quote: September 1929 - "There is no cause to worry. The high tide of prosperity will continue." ---Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury.
- Article: Eurozone feels benefit of short-time work schemes by Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt .
"More than a few continental Europeans will have given thanks in the past year for rigid, sclerotic labour markets doped-up with government subsidies. Unemployment numbers tomorrow, while undoubtedly grim, will show eurozone joblessness has risen far less during the crisis than in the US."
- Article: More Schools, Not Troops by Nicholas D. Kristof.
"Dispatching more troops to Afghanistan would be a monumental bet and probably a bad one, most likely a waste of lives and resources that might simply empower the Taliban. In particular, one of the most compelling arguments against more troops rests on this stunning trade-off: For the cost of a single additional soldier stationed in Afghanistan for one year, we could build roughly 20 schools there.
It’s hard to do the calculation precisely, but for the cost of 40,000 troops over a few years — well, we could just about turn every Afghan into a Ph.D.
The hawks respond: It’s naïve to think that you can sprinkle a bit of education on a war-torn society. It’s impossible to build schools now because the Taliban will blow them up.
In fact, it’s still quite possible to operate schools in Afghanistan — particularly when there’s a strong “buy-in” from the local community.
Greg Mortenson, author of “Three Cups of Tea,” has now built 39 schools in Afghanistan and 92 in Pakistan — and not one has been burned down or closed. The aid organization CARE has 295 schools educating 50,000 girls in Afghanistan, and not a single one has been closed or burned by the Taliban. The Afghan Institute of Learning, another aid group, has 32 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with none closed by the Taliban (although local communities have temporarily suspended three for security reasons)."
- Book: The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in an Age of Terror by Dina Temple-Raston.
"September 9, 2002 was supposed to be the most important day of twenty-one-year-old Mukhtar al-Bakri's short life. His wedding in Bahrain had been an elaborate affair—something outsized from what the al-Bakri family could ever afford. Attendants wore flowing white gowns and long Arabian headscarves. The bride wore a modest white veil. Music played. Plates piled high with food. There were dutiful prayers to Allah. It marked a new start for him. A new, better phase of his life. "Goodbye," al-Bakri told a friend over the phone just before his wedding. "You won't be hearing from me again." Why he sounded so fatalistic just before what should have been a joyous occasion is unclear. Maybe, like many people his age, he was being overly dramatic as one phase of his life closed and another began. He said later he just meant that he was going to drop out of sight for a while, that he would stay in Bahrain and try his hand at being a dutiful husband. His friends in Lackwanna who received the phone call were alarmed. They thought the message sounded like a suicide farewell. They compared notes amongst themselves and asked "What could Mukhtar have gotten himself into?"
When al-Bakri's friends started calling each other, asking what he was up to, that rattled people like Special Agent Edward Needham in the FBI's Buffalo field office, who believed Mukhtar al-Bakri had just provided the signature farewell of a suicide bomber. There would be some question later as to whether a dramatic chain of events was ignited by a misunderstanding and the static of miscommunication. But one could hardly blame agents for raising an alarm. As the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks closed in, Americans were on high alert. The so-called chatter, the coded communications among known and suspected terrorists, was at a fever pitch. It appeared America's enemies were gearing up for something. Al-Bakri's phone call clicked neatly into a pattern of events. The military went on Delta Alert—its highest state of readiness— shortly after the intercept. Mukhtar al-Bakri, for his part, had no idea what his phone call and his "big wedding" had wrought."