Christopher Lydon julkinen
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Mark Blyth, the people’s economist, to the rescue. We’ve got tribulations of money and power to be decoded, in what can feel like wartime. Sanctions or penalties for the warfare make economic waves, too. Inflation spiking, recession coming. China rising, as always, and now our mortgage rates heading up sharply; the world economy in complex transiti…
 
Four months into the war in Ukraine, 20 weeks of radio talk about it, feels like time for a deep breath: an hour to look hard at a painful stalemate, a poisonous war that bodes hunger, maybe famine, surely economic wreckage, on top of grotesque pain and death and the smashing of Ukraine itself. “Painful stalemate” can be translated as ripe for reso…
 
Between the US and China, you can feel that the chill is on among the chieftains, spoiling for a fight over Taiwan or trade or just top billing. But what about the people? Two peoples bound by resentments and admiration, both deep-seated and heartfelt, and under it all, some natural affinities in hard work and competitive play – remember: ping-pong…
 
The United States and China are both working on something like a separation agreement. It’s the end of something like a marriage over the last 50 years—it produced vast wealth, but something less than democracy or happiness. Hostility, danger, even something like warfare are in the air. The hardest words are not spoken on the record, but the word “…
 
A moral philosopher and a walking trove of literature’s wisdom walk into a radio conversation together. The question for one hour is the bleak time we’re all living in, this sea of troubles we don’t have a name for. The violence is shocking: the war far away, the shots close to home; the spectacle of kids, like ours, running for their lives. The pa…
 
Memorial Day can feel different every year, bittersweet at its best. It’s been the last Monday in May since 1868, first as Decoration Day, for marking the graves of our Civil War dead—lest Americans forget, it was said, those who had paid the price of a free and undivided republic. Again this year it is a somber day of reflection: 22 years into a y…
 
George Orwell said, “It’s so easy to be witty about the British Empire.” As in the throwaway line that English people had conquered the world in a fit of absentmindedness. No big deal. But that empire was no joke. Boris Johnson, in the Prime Minister’s office today, says he can’t forget that his nation over the last 200 years “has directed the inva…
 
On the famous clock-face of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the time now is 100 seconds before midnight. Meaning: humankind is closer to nuclear doomsday than it’s ever been. But it’s worse than that: those educated alarmists at the Bulletin advanced the second-hand on their clock before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. It’s a fiasco no…
 
It’s Iran, again, at the center of a tricky, dangerous puzzle. Four years after Donald Trump broke out of the nuclear ban agreement, Iran is just days or weeks away from having enough enriched uranium to build a bomb—a bomb it doesn’t seem to want. At the same time the talks in Vienna to restore the ban on Iran’s bomb works are drifting downward, t…
 
Try this, to get a fresh grip on the war in Ukraine, and its effects still to come: we’ve got a food war in the breadbasket of the world, on the vast Eurasian prairie that’s been feeding Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa for ten thousand years. It’s the last in a long line of historic bread wars – remember Marie Antoinette’s quip in the Fre…
 
We are encouraged to believe, we Americans, that if anything good for the world comes out of the war in Ukraine, it will be that “the US is back,” not shooting but supporting, maybe midwifing a new birth of freedom. The indispensable nation again. What does it tell you that most of the world doesn’t see it that way? We like to say that the cause go…
 
Twenty questions this hour on the war in Ukraine. For starters: will the war end in April? May? Maybe June? Who gets to announce the good news? An essay question: Can a war look more grotesquely cruel week to week, and look at the same time like a war without end? Can you have a war without a winner? Assume Putin and Company have lost this war in h…
 
We’re engulfed by war, rumors of war, videos of war, crimes of war—are we looking at ‘end times’ approaching? Or just the dead end of the forever wars? Our conversation this hour is about the seven-year war in Yemen. Our Yemeni guest sets it in the Ukraine context this way: “Yemen,” she says, “is the war we can stop.” It is called the worst humanit…
 
The war questions are back, you notice—in everyday America: the talk of risk, the chance of ruin, the push and pull of righteousness, restraint; and all that history in our heads. Who gets it right about the moral stakes between war and peace, the plain people’s interest in the so-called strategic national interests? The point of reflection this ho…
 
When Bill McKibben looks at the war in Ukraine, what he sees is a chapter, maybe the very last one, in the chronicle of a planet that we humans are burning unto our own extinction. To the environmentalist’s eye, oil power is the universal villain, hiding in every savage scene from Ukraine. “Oil is Putin’s weapon,” as McKibben puts it: it’s the foss…
 
Big lessons out of the war in Ukraine about “how the world really works” are showing up on the ground, not in theory class. They’re what you can learn just by watching. Example: it’s almost a rule now that invasions don’t work—not Putin’s in next-door Ukraine any more than Americans landing on faraway Afghanistan or Iraq. Second, that economic sanc…
 
Sobering questions: how could this unmerciful war in Ukraine go nuclear? If Russia’s barbaric smashing of cities and civilians finally pushes the US and NATO (past just sympathy) to “doing something”—with their own troops or aircraft—we would suddenly see the two nuclear giants, drawing guns and poised to fire on each other. Could Putin risk it? Co…
 
It’s banks against tanks in the Ukraine war that’s now about everything: about the courage of Kyiv, about hope holding on in a horror show, kids in the roaring hell of it. Columns of refugees heading out of Ukraine, and a forty-mile convoy of invading Russian armor on the way in. Somewhere behind the cellphone videos of this ferocious war, there’s …
 
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