September 24 - The Pope Confronts Politics Head-On; The Chinese Leader's Staged Visit; Unbridled Capitalism Run Amok

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the Pope’s address to the joint session of Congress and speak with best-selling author James Carroll, a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University who is a former priest and anti-war activist who has been a civil rights worker and a community organizer and is the author of “Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age” now out in a new paperback edition. We discuss his recent article in The New Yorker “What to Make of Pope Francis Now” and the Pope’s head on confrontation of thorny political issues bubbling over in the presidential primaries, as well as the pontiff’s belief that, quoting him, the church’s “structural and organizational reforms are secondary…the first reform must be the attitude”.  

Part 2

Then we look into the kick-off of the state visit by China’s leader Xi Jinping who is visiting the west coast where in Seattle he pledged that his country would take action on cybercrime, while cracking jokes about the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” and the Netflix TV hit “House of Cards” that portrays a venal power hungry U.S, president, a series that ironically is the most popular illegally downloaded show in China. One of the world’s foremost experts on China’s language, culture and people, Perry Link joins us. We discuss how much this state visit is part of an orchestrated propaganda campaign underway in China to bolster and burnish the image of Xi as a world leader and a cuddly big daddy figure.


Part 3

Then finally we speak with Amatai Etzioni, University Professor and Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University, about the recent evidence of unbridled capitalism that Pope Francis has warned about. We discuss Amatai Etzioni’s article at The Huffington Post “Unbridled Capitalism: New Evidence”, as well as.the sentencing of a Peanut Executive whose product killed nine people and sickened 714 others, and today’s resignation of the CEO of Volkswagen because the company deliberately and systemically cheated consumers and the taxpayer, along with the recent expose of Johnson & Johnson’s marketing of a drug they knew caused strokes and abnormal breast development in boys.