The Flaming Sword of Justice, with Ben Wikler

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Syndication

92 years of life can give you some perspective. Especially if you spend seven-odd decades in service of others, as a diplomat and peacebuilder working on five continents. 

Today, we interview Ambassador John W. McDonald, co-founder and chair of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, about his extraordinary journey: from his far-flung childhood in a military family to his arrival as a young foreign service officer in postwar Germany in 1947; from the Berlin airlift to the nerve center of the Marshall Plan; from camel caravans through snow-choked Afghanistan to jungle airports in Bolivia. 

Our guest built a railroad from Turkey to Tehran, helped run United Nations agencies and create new ones—and then, at age 70, after a 40-year career in government, with no resources except a co-founder and a dream, created a new organization that is helping citizens build peace from Cyprus to Kashmir.

Oh, and we should mention: he has a personal connection to the show. You know our host, Ben Wikler? He's John McDonald's grandson.

As you hear Ambassador McDonald share stories and lessons from his long and world-spanning life, you'll catch the intensity of his optimism, his enthusiasm—and you'll see why he's so hopeful about where the world is going next.

Direct download: Sword_2013_07_25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10pm EST

What happened to the Minutemen? 

A refresher: the Minutemen were the group that whipped up American conservatives into hysterics around the supposed issue of "border security" a few years back. They called themselves "a citizens' Neighborhood Watch on our border," and organized press stunts in which armed white people would tromp around the border with Mexico and argue that they weren't racist. 

You don't hear from them so much anymore. Partly, that's because their positions—and many of their former members—moved on to the Tea Party. But partly that's because of the story you'll hear in this episode. A story of cold-blooded murder.

The journalist David Neiwert researched the tale for his new book, And Hell Followed With HerAnd he joined us at the Netroots Nation conference in San Jose to tell the story on-air.

If you want to understand the politics and the personalities of the hardcore right-wing end of the U.S. immigration debate—or if you just like a rivetingly blood-soaked story of zealotry, xenophobia, and bad ideas gone even worse, don't miss this episode of The Flaming Sword of Justice.

Direct download: 63__Minutemen_Murders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EST

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