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Jamestown and Virginia: England and America

Recorded in 2007 by the Center for New Thinking.

In the face of Spanish Catholic success the English Protestants were determined to create their own English empire in North America. Several attempts had already failed when the Virginia Company was able to found a small vulnerable settlement on a swampy island near the mouth of the James River. Both the town and the river bore the name of an English king with high political pretensions. Out of this iffy adventure emerged a viable English colony. Good management was not the cause. A noxious weed called tobacco and African slaves were the winning formula.

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Journey to Cuba: Castro and Survival

Recorded by the Center for New Thinking in 2005.

Before his death in 2007, Sherwin Wine journeyed to Cuba. He visited the Cuban interior. He talked to people who still love Castro and those who still hate him. He observed the overwhelming poverty and shabbiness of this provocative island. He also saw new development and new investment. He asked the question everybody asks. In the face of the overwhelming hostility of the United States, with its boycotts and embargos – and with the disappearance of the Soviet Union, its chief ally, how does the Castro regime manage to survive?

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The God Delusion: Richard Dawkins and Militant Atheism

Recorded 2006 by the Center for New Thinking.

A preeminent scientist – and the world’s most prominent atheist – asserts that a belief in God is irrational and that religion is harmful. Richard Dawkins eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He maintains that religion fuels war, ferments bigotry and abuses children. He also asserts that atheism is superior to religion, providing a clearer truer appreciation of the universe’s wonders than any faith could ever muster.

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Cartoons of Mohammed: Freedom in Islam

Recorded 2005 by the Center for New Thinking.

The Muslim world is in an anti-Western furor that does not seem to be abating. A Danish newspaper published a series of cartoons featuring Mohammad, and by implication, Islam in an unflattering way. When irate Muslims protest, other European newspapers in France, Spain and Germany reprinted them as a defiant defense of press freedom. Provocateurs in the Muslim world used this defiance to mobilize riotous mobs, burning down embassies. At issue is the future of media freedom in the Western world. Will the Muslim now proceed to censor us?

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Capital Punishment: Execution in the Era of Timothy McVeigh

Recorded October 1997 by the Center for New Thinking.

Michigan was the first political authority in the modern world to outlaw capital punishment. But the outrageous crime of Timothy McVeigh has raised again the question whether this prohibition is indeed immoral. Is executing anybody beneath the dignity of any ethical government? Or are there some crimes so horrible that allowing the criminal to live fails to give full expression to the moral outrage of a wounded society? Is vengeance always immoral and unjust? The Oklahoma City bombing makes us confront the issue.

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Bill and Hillary: Love, Hate and Opportunism (1999)

Recorded on 11-2-1999 by the Center for New Thinking.

Do Bill and Hillary really love each other? Or are they rank opportunists whose ambitions for power are disguised by sweet talk? Sex scandals and impeachment have made their public devotion less than credible. What is the real story behind the faces? Is there passion and disgust, love and hate? What have people who really know said about their relationship?

 

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