Monday, August 14, 2017

China's Stranglehold on Our Technology

Most of you woke up this morning hearing bellicose talk about the possibility of a trade war with China. What we don’t hear is that virtually all of the technology we depend on, from the phones in our pockets to the fighters, carriers and missiles that keep us safe, are all totally dependent on what's called rare earth minerals. Without them we become technologically paralyzed. And the funny thing is, that right now, we have no other alternative other than to get them from China.

How did this happen? Does it matter, and are we going to do anything about it? Geologist and journalist Victoria Bruce explains in Sellout: How Washington Gave Away America's Technological Soul, and One Man's Fight to Bring It Home.

My WhoWhatWhy.org conversation with Victoria Bruce:




Saturday, August 5, 2017

Why Are We Looking Back at Vietnam?

Coming up next month, Ken Burns’ powerful documentary about the Vietnam war will be in living rooms across America. It makes you wonder why now, 42 years after the fall of Saigon, we are once again looking back at the tragedy that was the Vietnam war.

As part of this look back, it’s imperative to look at one of the seminal works of that war, A Rumor of War: By Philip Caputo. Upon its original publication in 1977, it gave Americans its first and perhaps deepest insight into what it was like for young men to fight in that war. It also helped us to understand, as much as we could at the time, the war itself.

Many have argued that the Vietnam war, more than any other modern event, shattered the innocence of America. Philip Caputo’s book, A Rumor of War, just republished in The Classic Vietnam Memoir (40th Anniversary Edition), showed us how it also shattered the innocence of those that fought in it.

My conversation with Philip Caputo: