Illustration by Golden Cosmos

James Comey Makes His Case to America

The former F.B.I. Director James Comey aimed to be above politics, but in the 2016 election he stepped directly into it. In his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey makes the case to America that he handled the F.B.I. investigations into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and Donald Trump’s campaign correctly, regardless of the consequences. Even after being fired by President Trump, the former F.B.I Director says he feels sorry for the President. Trump “has an emptiness inside of him, and a hunger for affirmation, that I’ve never seen in an adult,” Comey says. “He lacks external reference points. Instead of making hard decisions by calling upon a religious tradition, or logic, or tradition or history, it’s all, ‘what will fill this hole?’ ” As a result, Comey says, “The President poses significant threats to the rule of law,” and he chides Congressional Republicans for going along with the President’s aberrations. “What,” he rhetorically asks Mitch McConnell and others, “are you going to tell your grandchildren?” David Remnick’s interview with James Comey was taped live at New York’s Town Hall on April 19, 2018.

The New Yorker Radio Hour

Supplements and Safety

supplements_and_safety_1It’s estimated there are 85,000 dietary supplements for sale in the United States today. You might assume that some government agency has approved them before allowing them onto the market. Though the FDA does not do any review of dietary supplements before they come onto the market.

“It almost takes a sacrificial lamb to die of liver injury or some other injury before the Food and Drug Administration can take any action” – Herbert Bonkovsky, M.D.

People with health problems may need additional nutrients. But for most Americans, researchers don’t know for sure whether extra doses really help — and caution that in some cases, they might hurt. It’s incredibly hard to quantify the current problem, how much harm are supplements are doing. There’s no effective system to detect the harm.

It wasn’t until a major league pitcher, 23-year-old Steve Bechler died after taking a weight loss supplements containing an ingredient called ephedra, that sales were halted. By then, more than 160 deaths had been linked to the supplement. In another instance, the FDA has linked dietary supplement OxyElite Pro to more than 70 cases of liver damage. Are you safe?


The Trumpian Side of Pope Francis

As a conservative columnist at the New York Times, Ross Douthat fills the post once held by no less a figure than William Kristol. A devout Catholic, Douthat opposes the progressive direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church—to prioritize caring for poor people and migrants over opposing abortion and the culture of sexual revolution—even though he acknowledges to David Remnick that this puts him at odds with the Church’s emphasis on mercy. In his new book, “To Change the Church: Pope Francis of the Future of Catholicism,” Douthat provocatively compares Francis to Donald Trump, painting him as a disruptive figure who is determined to bring change fast and damn the consequences.

The New Yorker: Politics and More


Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s Hardest Year, and What Comes Next

Has Facebook become too big to manage, and too dangerous when it fails? Should the social infrastructure of the global community be managed by a corporation headquartered in Northern California? What’s Zuckerberg’s reply to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who says the social media giant’s business model is at odds with its users’ interests? And how has all this changed Zuckerberg’s ambitions for Facebook’s future, and confidence in its mission?

Mark Zuckerberg has long held that the company’s mission is to make the world more open and connected — with the assumption being that a more open and connected world is a better world. But a more open world can make it easier for governments to undermine each other’s elections from afar; a more connected world can make it easier to spread hatred and incite violence.

The Ezra Klein Show

The Madhouse Effect

In this episode, Clay and Grant sit down with renowned Climate Scientist Michael Mann to discuss his new book The Madhouse Effect. The conversation covers not only the book but how do we engage with those with differing viewpoints? How do we find common ground?

Dr. Mann is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published three books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and most recently, The Madhouse Effect.

The Prism Podcast

Utopias in History and an Environmental Disaster

Ideas of opening of all boarders, universal basic income and 15 hour workweek apparently have a remarkable history. Writer and thinker Rutger Bregman in his book Utopia for Realists reasons that the time has come to propose them again. He is our guest in this episode. Meanwhile, BBC radio producer Julian May talks about the aftermath of the Torrey Canyon disaster, when a huge oil tanker ran aground in 1967.

Episode’s first set of adverts end at 2:30

History extra

The American Bombs Falling on Yemen

On the afternoon of 8 October 2016 the US and UK backed Saudis bombed a funeral gathering in Sana’a, Yemen.  The mayor of Sana’a, Abdulqader Hilal al-Dabab, was killed, and the country lost a bright hope for peace. Hilal was a politician with a long record of mediating disputes in a notoriously fractious and dangerous country. Nicolas Niarchos talks with Hilal’s son about his father’s fate and what it says about the country’s future.

Saudis are spending somewhere around 5 billion dollars a month on war in Yemen, and much of that ends up in the United States of America – in the hands of American defense contractors or British defense contractors in London.

Bear in mind that Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world. Over 8 million Yemenis are on the brink of starving. It has over 1 million suspected cholera cases. That is the largest cholera outbreak on record in modern history. During the three years of war the richest countries in the world are bombing the poorest country.

The New Yorker

Malcolm Gladwell (left) and Dave Reid coming into the finish at an Ontario school race in 1978. Malcolm Gladwell (left) and Dave Reid coming into the finish at an Ontario school race in 1978.

Malcolm Gladwell Argues for Mediocrity

Malcolm Gladwell in a conversation on running fast, satire as a weapon, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden, Harvard’s under-theorized endowment, why early childhood intervention is overrated, long-distance running, and Malcolm’s happy risk-averse career going from one “fur-lined rat hole to the next.”

Conversations with Tyler

Guano Mania

In 2014, President Obama closed 490,000 square miles of largely undisturbed ocean to commercial fishing and underwater mining, and expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, making it the largest marine preserve in the world at the time.
The preserve is nowhere near the mainland United States nor is it all in close range to Hawaii. Still, President Obama was able to protect this piece of ocean in the name of the United States.
To understand how the U.S. has jurisdiction over these waters in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, one has to look back to the 19th Century when, for a brief period, the U.S. scoured the oceans looking for rock islands covered in guano. That is: seabird poop.

99% Invisible | 6th December 2016