Episode Archive for March 2015

Realpolitik and America’s Conflict with Iran, with Joint Chiefs of Staff Advisor David Crist

March 30, 2015

Negotiations between Iran and the U.S., in concert with Germany and the United Nations Security Council, are set to result in an agreement on March 31, 2015 regarding Iran’s nuclear program, potentially restricting Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Senior Historian for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and adviser to senior government officials on Iranian issues, David Crist, joins host Josh Zepps to discuss how the past several decades have lead up to this decision, and what it will mean for the future.

Though no one can say for certain what will be decided on March 31,…

Johann Hari: The Falsehoods of Addiction and The War on Drugs

March 23, 2015

Billions of dollars are funneled into federal drug programs to keep our children away from drugs and our cities safe from crime and economic turmoil. Our guest this week, journalist and author Johann Hari, has spent the last several years traveling and researching the war on drugs for his new book Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, to find out if federal programs are as effective and righteous as we are often led to believe.

Hari talks to host Josh Zepps about how he discovered the troubling beginnings of drug…

The World Human Extinction Will Leave Behind, with Michael Tennesen

March 16, 2015

As climate change progresses and takes its toll on the planet, the life forms we share it with continue to evolve and adapt. Some species thrive while many face imminent extinction. What we often fail to realize as humans is that the world will continue to exist long after we’re unable to live on it.

Our guest this week is science journalist Michael Tennesen, author of The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man. Tennesen explores the environmental impact climate change is having on the ecosystem, and discusses how its impact on the…

Eli Lake: How Islamic is “Islamic Extremism”?

March 09, 2015

This week on Point of Inquiry, Josh Zepps talks to Eli Lake, a journalist with extensive experience covering international intelligence, diplomacy, and the recent conflicts in the Muslim world. With the Islamic State now eclipsing Al Qaeda as a prime flashpoint for terrorism, discussing and defining the ideology behind the violence is fraught with tension, as evidenced by the uproar over President Obama’s recent refusal to characterize “violent extremism” as “Islamic.”

Why do new recruits flock to the Islamic State? What are its real-world political goals? What are the dividing lines between the various strains of Islamic…

False Memories Creating False Criminals, with Dr. Julia Shaw

March 02, 2015

Memory is remarkably fallible, as we often frustrate ourselves with how certain we are about where we left our car keys only to realize how entirely wrong we were. But could it be that our memories are so easily corrupted that we could be led to believe we’ve committed crimes that never happened? (And while we’re at it, could Brian Williams have sincerely believed that he had been under attack in that helicopter?)

This week on Point of Inquiry, Lindsay Beyerstein talks to Dr. Julia Shaw, a forensic psychology lecturer and false memory researcher. Dr. Shaw recently…