14 March 2012


I can't begin to describe how gratifying it is to have the thoughtful interviews and commentary of Bill Moyers back on PBS and NPR.  Moyers & Company made its debut in mid-January, and since then has consistently offered provocative and insightful information and opinions.  Here are two recent cases in point, each featuring the video and a transcript ~

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism ~ the former budget director for President Reagan "shares details how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who's really in charge.... money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy.  As a result, we have neither capitalism nor democracy.  We have crony capitalism".  

Gretchen Morgenson on Corporate Clout in Washington ~ the Pulitzer Prize-winning NYTimes journalist (see image above) bluntly explains "how money and political clout enable industries to escape regulation and ensure high compensation for executives at the top".  She singles out Wall Street and the banking industry, along with the SEC and the Federal Reserve, for particular attention as examples of what can only be labeled graft and corruption in the mortgage industry.

All of Moyers' guests are articulate, well-informed, and candid.  It happens that they voice perceptions that I've expressed for years.  How refreshing to discover that one's views are actually reaching a national audience, through the auspices of a host whose integrity and devotion to the common good are unquestioned.  Bill Moyers is to Rush Limbaugh as Shakespeare is to pornography.

I would also like to recommend a very moving, troubling movie available on DVD ~ The Whistleblower is inspired by the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a midwestern police officer who volunteered to become part of the UN International Police in post-war Bosnia.  Without giving too much away, she discovered that amid the still-simmering sectarian resentments and lingering violence, human trafficking in sex slaves was rampant.  The trafficking conspiracy was layers deep, and it became harder to know whom to trust in trying to end it all.  Rachel Weiss gives a luminous performance in the lead role.  The subject matter is unsavory, but also very real, and it continues to this day in certain corners of the globe.  Knowledge is power.

Finally, from my Chicago friend Bill, an utterly charming video called The Power of Introverts.  Like all TED presentations, Susan Cain's is engaging, evocative, and opens up one's own imagination to new possibilities.

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