December 22 - North Korea Loses the Internet as the U.N. Security Council Debates Their Human Rights; Having Looted the Russian Econmoy Putin Does Not Have a Clue How to Fix It; More Americans Are Turned Off From Voting As More Money Pours into Politics

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Part 1

We begin with the apparent retaliation by the United States against North Korea with a cyber attack that has shut down the Internet in North Korea rendering it completely dark and disconnected from the worldwide web. Charles Armstrong, a professor of History and the Director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University and the author of “Tyranny of the Week: North Korea and the World, 1950 – 1990” joins us to discuss the latest threats from North Korea and the world’s first official cyber war in response to North Korea’s cyber attack on the Japanese Sony Corporation’s motion picture studios here in Los Angeles.

charles armstong

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Part 2

Then we discuss the worsening economic outlook for Russia as its economy and currency continues its spiral into recession with no clear sense that the reality of sanctions, falling oil prices and global isolation are intruding on Russia’s new czar Vladimir Putin and the coterie of “siloviki” (his former KGB cronies turned oligarchs) surrounding Putin. Economist Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics who worked as a Swedish diplomat in Moscow, joins us to look into whether those who have looted Russia have a clue how to avert the downward slide of a resource dependent economy.

anders aslung

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the shocking malaise in American politics expressed by the record-low turnout of 36% of eligible voters in the last election, and assess whether the disgust Americans feel towards Republican and Democratic politicians will lead to the disintegration of our political system as more and more citizens abdicate the democratic process while more and more money pours into politics from well-funded special interests. Thomas Ferguson, a professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts and the author of “Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Part Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems” joins us to discuss his new article at Alternet “Americans are Sick to Death of Both Parties: Why Our Politics Is in Worse Shape Than We Thought”.

thomas ferguson

 

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