Thursday, March 22, 2012

Patt Morrison for Friday, March 23, 2012


Friday, March 23, 2012

1-3 p.m.




1:06 – 1:30: OPEN


1:30 – 1:58:30

“Game on!” for the southern part of the Keystone Pipeline, anyway
In visiting the swing states of Nevada, New Mexico, and Oklahoma this week, President Obama delivered one overall message: when it comes to exploring energy resources, his answer will be “all of the above.” Besides talking about solar energy and domestic gas production, the president made it clear that the Keystone Pipeline – a proposed pathway for Canadian crude oil to be delivered to multiple U.S. destinations – is still very much on the table. The president promised that he would expedite the federal permitting process for the southern part of the line, which extends from Cushing, OK, to the Gulf of Mexico. In January, President Obama denied approval for the northern segment of the pipeline, a decision which environmentalists hoped might indicate a policy shift, but the president’s newest words on the subject leave many to feel that the victory was short-lived. Democrats and Republicans alike decry President Obama’s newest announcement as pandering; Republicans because it won’t shorten the timeline for the southern part of the pipeline and has a smaller overall effect than his initial denial, Democrats because they’re worried the president might lose support from his base by backing policies not in the environment’s best interest. Environmentalists and Republicans seem to be in agreement on one thing: it’s all for the sake of bettering the president’s image when it comes to rising gas prices. Do you think the president has been consistent in his approach to the United States’ energy strategy?  To the environment?  Will this latest “energy tour” hurt him or help him at the polls?


Noah Greenwald, program director, Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity


Marty Durbin, executive vice president, American Petroleum Institute


2:06 – 2:30
Life of illusion - Sam Harris challenges the concept of free will
Author, ardent atheist, and neuroscientist Sam Harris first rattled philosophical cages with his 2004 book, “The End of Faith,” in which he both disputed the existence of God and posited that religion has done as much harm as good over the course human history. Harris’ ideas are radical to many, but he is not one to shy away from the controversy. His subsequent books, articles, lectures and media appearances have made him a major figure in the world of reason and scientific thought. In his new book, “Free Will,” Harris is back with an indictment of another commonly held assumption – the belief that individuals have any choice over their thoughts… and their actions that follow. Harris argues that the concept of free will is an illusion created by our neurological processes and environment – that human behavior is governed by “the unconscious origins of our conscious minds.” How can our ability to choose our destinies be proved – or disproved? Can you choose what you think about free will?

Sam Harris,
neuroscientist and author of “Free Will” (Free Press – 2012) as well as “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith”

2:30 – 2:50

Cash-strapped California courts might mean justice delayed

California’s shrinking budget is wreaking havoc on its judicial system, at a time when economic woes have led to an even greater need.  As evictions, child support modifications and debt collections continue to clog the dockets, courtrooms are closing their doors, or struggling with diminished staff and reduced hours.  Rural counties and fast-growing areas such as the Inland Empire are especially hard-hit.  This week, in her first State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature since taking office last year, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye warned that the situation was dire. “We are already seeing worrisome and potentially dangerous delays in the resolution of cases,” she added.  And if that isn’t bad enough, she went on, the number of suspensions and expulsions in California schools could potentially lead to greater strain on its juvenile justice system. While Superior Court filings have increased by 20 percent over the past decade, the judicial branch has seen its budget cut by nearly a quarter since 2008.  California’s court system has a budget of $3.1 billion for the state’s 58 counties, courts of appeal and the Supreme Court.  Cantil-Sakauye has asked the Legislature to restore some $100 million in state funding and to increase court user fees – but with California’s budget already squeezed dry, is there anything left for this rainy day?



TBD, Los Angeles Superior Court

Michael Nash, judge, Los Angeles County Juvenile Court


2:50:00 – 2:58:30

The hunt for Amelia Earhart’s long lost Lockheed continues

One of the greatest mysteries of modern American history centers on aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Though she disappeared somewhere over the South Pacific on July 2, 1937, there is still much interest and speculation surrounding the fate of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. To this day, neither body has been found, nor has the wreckage of her Lockheed Model 10 Electra. But even after 75 years, evidence is still being discovered – new analysis of an old photo showing part of her plane has allowed researchers to narrow their search area from tens of thousands of square miles to a much smaller area. Armed with this information and led by an expert team of researchers (including Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic and the Bismarck), The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will conduct a search of the Republic of Kiribati’s Nikumaroro island scheduled to begin in July. So could this new piece of evidence finally put an end to the search? Might we finally have some conclusion to the Earhart mystery?



Ric Gillespie, Executive Director, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR)








Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278 @Patt_Morrison


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