"America does not negotiate with terrorists." But are we sure we should keep it that way? Last year there were nearly nine thousand international terrorist abductions. The US refuses to pay ransoms, holding that it would only fuel more kidnappings. Other countries pay-up to free their citizens taken hostage. Statistics tell the grim result: according to New America, "since 2001, American hostages taken captive by terrorist, militant, and pirate groups have been more than twice as likely to remain in captivity, die in captivity, or be murdered by their captors as the average Western hostage."
Joel Simon has spent nearly two decades with the Committee to Protect Journalists, working on dozens of hostage cases. His new book We Want to Negotiate is an exploration of the ethical, legal, and strategic considerations of a bedeviling question: should governments pay ransom to terrorists?
Join KLF's journalist in residence Angie Coiro as she hosts Joel Simon for this important conversation, in another installment of our This Is Now news and culture conversation series.
Everybody dies. And we all know that - at least, intellectually. But how realistically do we approach our own ends?
Statistically, it's a mixed bag. More elderly and hospitalized people have Do Not Resuscitate orders in place than ever before. But most American adults don't have a will ready. A third don't carry life insurance. Only one in five has told their friends and family how they'd like their own death dealt with.
Our next This Is Now evening event is all about death in America. What does a "good death" look like? How helpful can we expect the medical profession to be when the time comes - for example, respecting that DNR order, or talking frankly with us about what's ahead? What can hospice offer a client and their family - and who's lucky enough to have access to that?
Joining Angie to probe that ever-intimidating topic are: Dr. Ruchika Mishra, Senior Bioethicist with the Program in Medicine and Human Values at Sutter Health Bay Area, and Chris Taich, Director of Bereavement Services at Pathways Home Health and Hospice.
From the “Tiger Mother” to Take-Out Chinese, Asian-American culture is so deeply entrenched in our understanding of the American fabric, we sometimes don’t know we’re talking about it when we’re talking about.
Collecting a decade’s worth of essays, from his award-winning analysis of the Virginia Tech murderer to his cult classic looks at mandarin zombies, pickup artists, and immigrant strivers, Wesley Yang’s highly anticipated new book, The Souls of Yellow Folk is a watershed of engaging and provocative new perspectives on what it truly means to have and hold an American Dream.
Join journalist and radio host Angie Coiro as she sits down with one of the most inspiring new essayists of our time.
Women get told to smile - a lot. Research shows that a neutral expression is perceived on a man's face as neutral, but as angry or negative on a woman. And all kinds of ugly words are reserved for woman who show anger.
Where others see female anger as something to fear or reject, Soraya Chemaly sees strength, even opportunity. With the Women's Media Center Speech Project, and as organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, she's pushed for wider exposure of women's voices, and worked to curb online abuse. Now, she's encouraging women to embrace their rightful anger. In her new book Rage Becomes Her, Chemaly links patriarchy and misogyny to the traditional repression of women's full range of emotion. She goes beyond simple rejection of "Smile, honey!" to an embrace of anger as a personally and politically transformative tool.
Soraya Chemaly joins Angie Coiro on stage for This is Now, in a provocative conversation about a downright dangerous idea.
Populism. Nationalism. Identity politics. What links these phenomena, and why have they moved to the fore in our fractious cultural conversations?
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama sees them as natural needs gone haywire: the human demand for respect, weaponized to pit one insular group against another. In this shattered landscape Fukuyama sees the undermining of democracy itself. The populist cry isn't a demand for solely economic solutions, but for identity, Fukuyama says; we must begin to shape identity in a way that supports democracy.
Francis Fukuyama made his mark with his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man. Since then he's undergone his own identity transition. No longer a supporter of neoconservativism, he supported Barack Obama for President. His conversation with Angie Coiro for This is Now will interweave his own journey with the changes he's urging for America and the world.
“As advocate for the forgotten and the ignored, Mary Robinson has not only shone a light on human suffering, but illuminated a better future for our world.”
Holding the arm of her first grandchild, something occurred to Mary Robinson. Before his fiftieth birthday, nine billion people would share the planet with him. What kind of planet would it be?
In an instant, the faceless, shadowy menace of climate change became real. One of the most important voices on the International stage, Mary Robinson -- the former president of Ireland and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights -- bound herself to a single mission: to leave her grandson the best possible world.
Her work has been transformative. She founded the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice. She served in two capacities as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. She continues today to be one of the most dynamic climate activists in the world. From Mongolia to East Biloxi, Robinson’s work has touched lives the world over, reifying the countless local and international efforts for green, sustainable energy and combatting the tangled, nefarious web of hazards to our planet's future.
Award-winning journalist and radio host, Angie Coiro, sits down for a special This is Now with Mary Robinson.
Chris Hedges hasn't given up on America. That may not be the immediate impression from his reporting, nor from his books, where he describes "the opioid crisis, the retreat into gambling to cope with economic distress, the pornification of culture, the rise of magical thinking, the celebration of sadism, hate, and plagues of suicides." But grasping the unvarnished reality is essential to fixing everything that's gone wrong both nationally and worldwide. Hedges' work, from his contribution to the New York Time's 2002 Pulitzer Prize to his most recent book America: The Farewell Tour urges us not to compromise as we assess today's political and societal realities. And he says that neither mainstream political party addresses our systemic problems - nor can they, until our country's "corporate coup d’état" is reversed.
Chris Hedges served as a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. His bestselling books include American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacyand the Triumph of Spectacle, and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. Hedges is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute and writes an online column for the web site Truthdig.
A strange thing is happening to the American diet: the consumption of both meat and meat alternatives is rising. Americans are more aware of the climate and environmental damage industrial meat production inflicts on the planet. That's why old, established protein sources have been joined by pea proteins, whey products, and other new alternatives. But we still keep eating meat.
KLF's This Is Now with Angie Coiro series is looking at the future of meat in America. Impossible Foods in Redwood City wants to replace animal meat in the food change by by 2035. Rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman sees new attitudes toward beef and fowl, emphasizing local, non-industrial production and seasonal consumption. Will the market support one of those visions? Both? And what else will factor into the future of meat?
Nicolette Hahn Niman and Rebekah Moses are our guests. Nicolette and her husband Bill Niman recently sold their company BN Ranch to Blue Apron. She's an in-demand speaker on the problems of industrialized food production, a writer, and - surprise! - a vegetarian.
Rebekah Moses will join us as well. She leads sustainability and agriculture at Impossible Foods, working to develop plant-based meat and dairy for a more sustainable and secure food system.
And your questions and comments, as always, will be part of the discussion. Join us at 7:30 pm - which leaves you plenty of time to have dinner first, with or without meat.
As internet use grew wider and social media sites proliferated, quiet but urgent voices began to warn that we were giving too much of ourselves away. But the exchange of privacy for free goodies seemed fair enough to most - or at least the skyrocketing growth of Facebook and its counterparts indicated.
The parallel explosion of public surveillance cameras and law enforcement license plate readers was greeted with more or less the same collective shrug. They make us safer. Most of us have nothing to hide.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has finally given pause to even to the most indifferent. What is our information being used for, and who's paying for it? How has our identifying data gone from buying cheerful digital farm animals to swaying world events? Is it too late to put on the brakes?
Join us for an evening of our ongoing series This Is Now with Angie Coiro, featuring Ars Technica journalist Cyrus Farivar, author of Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech. Knowledge of new tech and the efforts to protect consumers from its rougher edges will definitely make it worth your time.
We’re saturated in advertising. Online, on billboards, flashing on sidewalks – iSpace in Japan plans to project ads on the moon by 2020.
But advertising is no longer a robust industry. Consumer distrust and ad-killing technology have frayed it into hostile camps with uncertain futures. Still: if you’re not in the business, why should you care?
Because, Ken Auletta says: no advertising means no media.
Auletta adds to his long career as a savvy observer of American business and communication with Frenemies: The Epic Destruction of the Advertising Industry (And Why This Matters). Auletta is uniquely positioned to probe this latest turn in a key industry. He’s penned the "Annals of Communications" column for The New Yorker since 1992; he’s profiled the greatest influencers of media both traditional and digital, including Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, and Ted Turner.
Ken Auletta joins KLF’s journalist in residence Angie Coiro for her This Is Now series, for an evening of wide-ranging conversation about media, advertising, and its role in the life of us all.
Ken Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where he became a daily devotee of the quiz show Jeopardy! In 2004, he successfully auditioned for a spot on the show and went on an unprecedented seventy-four game victory streak worth $2.52 million. Jennings’s book Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as were his follow-up books Maphead and Because I Said So! He is also the author of Planet Funny. Jennings lives in Seattle with his wife Mindy and two children.
From John Stewart to Donald Trump, Chaucer to Sumerian Tablets, fart jokes to Cable TV “zingers,” Ken Jennings lends his signature wit and whizzing, encyclopedic perspective to the history of humor and how it came to dominate our modern world. Today, an unprecedented number of people get their news from comedy shows. Newspapers race to find the catchiest headline with an avidity that forgets the need to inform. In our democracy, showmanship has replaced good-nature debate. Jennings looks at the foundations of these current manifestations and what this says for where we might be headed.
Online and in real space, the #MeToo movement has raised awareness of gender inequality - from subtle harassment to sexual predation - to unprecedented levels of discussion. Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein have disappeared in shatteringly public falls. Politicians have been forced from office. Bill Cosby has been convicted.
What effect has all this had on the least visible Americans - and can they, too, get justice? Bernice Yeung contributed to a groundbreaking collaboration between the Center for Public Investigation and numerous public media agencies. The resulting exposés, Rape in the Fields and Rape on the Night Shift, won numerous journalism awards. Bernice's new book, In a Day's Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America's Most Vulnerable Workers, takes the exploration even further. In our This Is Now with Angie Coiro event, we'll probe how much - if any - of the high-profile power of #MeToo might trickle down to these hidden corners of American life. Bernice will be joined by Jennifer Reisch, the Legal Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a national non-profit legal organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls through litigation, direct services, legislative advocacy, and community education and outreach.
When does a dream factory dream too big? And when everyone wakes up, what's the damage?
The acclaim for Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes went well beyond the borders of tech. Theranos, she said, would revolutionize blood testing, making it simpler, faster, and cheaper. Those claims boosted her onto the covers of Forbes and Fortune magazine; Inc.dubbed her "The Next Steve Jobs".
In 2015, John Carreyrou of the Wall Street Journal pointed out the gulf between the company's promises and its actual results. Scrutiny by the SEC, FDA, and other federal and state agencies led to fraud allegations; lab work was suspended and lawsuits filed. When the dust settled, the big question remained: how did a framework of fantasy with so little substance hoodwink investors and the public? How does what we want to believe play out in the world of real money and real science? And if this is all a cautionary tale, what cautions does it leave us with?
Carreyrou's reporting on Theranos netted him a George Polk award. His subsequent book is being filmed with Jennifer Lawrence. John Carreyrou joins the Literary Foundation's journalist-in-residence for This Is Now with Angie Coiro, our ongoing politics and culture series.
James Hatch served with the Navy SEALs, where he rose to the rank of special ops Senior Chief. He fought in 150 missions, including service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned four Bronze Stars with Valor. But it was when he broke into tears over the death of a service dog by enemy fire that he came to national attention.
Hatch was testifying in the trial of Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan, then was captured by the Taliban. As he joined the dragnet to find the missing soldier, Hatch said later, he knew Americans would be killed or hurt. He turned out to be one of them. Sprayed with the same AK-47 fire that took down the service dog at his side, Hatch swirled into a maelstrom of pain, surgeries, amputation, and alcoholism. He found his way back with hard work, love of friends and family, and - fittingly enough - by founding a charity to care for retired service dogs.
James Hatch tells his story of his struggle and recovery in Touching the Dragon, And Other Techniques for Surviving Life's Wars. Anderson Cooper says it "reveals with such honesty and openness, the 'second war' that Jimmy and other special operators must fight when they come back to a society that seems so alien to them, a society completely divorced from the purity of combat." Join Angie Coiro for another This Is Now conversation with this very special guest.
Admit it: in this new world of bilious political warfare, you've said at least one thing you regret. Incivility is catching.
Long-time political commentator Sally Kohn found herself doing the same thing. She stopped to wonder: where does civic ugliness come from - and what does it cost? When we're all emotionally invested in our points of view, can it be stemmed?
She took on a worldwide trek to find out. She's talked to scientists and researches, terrorists, trolls, and hate groups. She has success stories of people who walked away from hate. From all those avenues, she derives workable steps to getting ahead of the damage incivility can wreak.
Sally Kohn is a familiar face from Fox and CNN. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, New York Magazine, USA Today, and Time. She also works as a communications consultant and was previously a campaign strategist for the Center for Community Change, a fellow at the Ford Foundation, and a strategic advisor to the Social Justice Infrastructure Funders, as well as a fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian task Force Policy Institute. She joins our in-house journalist for an evening installment of This Is Now with Angie Coiro.
“Sick of the anger, division and hate in our world? Sally Kohn’s book is uplifting, funny, and full of inspiring solutions.” —Van Jones
Leslie Jamison is the author of the essay collection The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestseller. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and Harper's, among others, and she is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review.
With comparisons to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, Jamison has turned the traditional addiction narrative on its head in this deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and journalistic reportage. Join us for an evening on addiction and learn more about the writers whose work was shaped by alcohlism and substance dependence, including Raymond Carver, David Foster Wallace, and others.
"Leslie Jamison has written an honest and important book. It will be important to recovering alcoholics who wonder if there really is life after booze, and I think it will be important to writers and critics, because she weaves her story of recovery into those of other artists"... "The most important thematic thread may be its insistence that the talented artist who needs booze or drugs to support his work and withstand his own vision does not, in fact, exist. All in all, vivid writing and required reading." ―Stephen King
Blogger and essayist Morgan Jerkins boldly takes on the most incendiary of topics: the stew of racism, misogyny, and white-dominated feminism that sidelines black women from American discourse and influence. Her new book This Will Be My Undoing tallies the cost to us all of objectifying and silencing black women. Lauded by no less a voice than Roxane Gay, Jerkins' essays are a fearless tapestry of observation and personal experience.
In an evening with Angie Coiro, host of KLF's This Is Now series, Morgan Jerkins examines what it means to walk through America as a black woman today.
Morgan Jerkins is a writer and contributing editor at Catapult.co, where she write the essay series To Be Seen and Unseen. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Elle, Rolling Stone, and BuzzFeed. This Will Be My Undoing is her first book.
“Natural selection wants to kill us all - all the time; ultimately, you can’t defeat it.” - Michael Shermer.
Legendary skeptic Michael Shermer takes us on a historic and futuristic tour of our obsession with mortality from Dante to singularists, transhumanists, cryonicists, and extropians.
He'll take us into the labs and hallways where minds are frozen, preserved and uploaded; he takes us through the alleyways of history where the afterlife has defined epochs and cultures across the globe; and he unravels the psychological web of how and why humankind has always been obsessed with mortality.
His new book Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia details the lifelong skeptic's thoughtful, wide-ranging probe into what happens after we die, with respect and humor. Acknowledging the intuitive human rejection of nothingness, Heavens on Earth explores the natural efforts to fill in that blank - with religion, science, and personal impressions.
Join us for this latest installment of This Is Now, as Angie explores life, the universe, and everything - including new strains of American atheist culture - with the man Neil DeGrasse Tyson calls "a beacon of reason in an ocean of irrationality.”
The October fires in the North Bay yielded grim, astounding numbers: 250 blazes across 6 counties, including 21 major wildfires; 243,000 acres and 8900 buildings burned; 43 people dead. The Tubbs fire was the most destructive inferno in California history.
Dry seasons in the West are getting drier and longer, even as residential areas push further into the wilderness. Since 1985, acreage burned in Western states has doubled.
What's the science behind these growing conflagrations? Is firefighting technology ready for the challenge? What should we expect in decades to come - and how much control will we have?
Nature writer Gary Ferguson joins Angie Coiro for another installment of her This Is Now interview series. They'll touch on all these aspects of wildfire, from climate change to fuel sources and long-term challenges. Ferguson's book Land On Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West is the latest of his more than twenty non-fiction books, including Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone, The Great Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind, and most recently the memoir The Carry Home. Among his literary awards are the Montana Book of the Year kudo for Decade of the Wolf, and the Society of American Travel Writers award for The Sylvan Path.
SORRY - THS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!
With An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore brought the climate crisis into the living rooms of nearly every American. Over ten years later, the Nobel Laureate returns with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, an uplifting narrative of what change in action looks like across the globe and how every person can play their part.
From hurricanes to forest fires to a rapidly melting Arctic, Gores reinvigorated call to action has been heralded for its important role in the movement to stabilize our climate and rescue our planet for our children and generations to come.
Join one of the worlds greatest environmental heroes as he connects the dots between natural disasters, flooding, and health risks like infectious diseases. Listen as he tells the stories of change-makers across the globe and presents the alarming facts and conclusive evidence that demonstrate the real effects the climate crisis is having and will continue to have on our planet.
Join us for this extraordinary evening with former Vice President Al Gore.
NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO SIGNING LINE
A limited number of signed books will be available for purchase on first come first serve basis to all ticket holders.
$50.00 -- Admit one includes pre-signed copy of "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power"
$25.00 -- Admit one; does not include book
$15.00 -- Admit one; no book; must show student ID
What does a spy look like? Where would a spy even, well, spy?
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden exposes the new front-lines of the global spy-game: college campuses.
As the worlds super-powers have pivoted toward knowledge-based economies (the production of proprietary technologies, new-age warfare, and the science of nuclear weapons), spies have learned to train their eye on a new target. Goldens extensive research reveals startling insights into how this change in focus has transformed college classrooms into breeding grounds for espionage, technological theft, and even defection.
Award-winning journalist Angie Coiro sits down with Golden for an hour to expose what spies today really look like and what secrets countries like the United States, China, Iran, and more are desperate to keep secret.
Show me your teeth, and I will tell you who you are.
Millions of Americans, young and old, suffer from chronic toothaches they have no choice but to live with day in and day out. Veteran health journalist Mary Otto joins Angie Coiro for an evening addressing the appalling links tying dental hygiene to a person's job prospects, social mobility, and education.
Going back to the moment when dental health was first separated from mainstream medicine, Otto's groundbreaking new book, Teeth, is a much-needed polemic of a system that has profited heavily off of bleach-clean Hollywood smiles and the mass-exclusion of low-income patients and Medicaid recipients.
What Otto finds in this unprecedented look at the world of dentistry is a broken healthcare system where those with means receive the highest level of treatment while those without receive nothing sometimes at the expense of life-threatening illness. Get your seat today for this important evening.
Mary Otto will be introduced by Dr. Bonnie Jue of the nonprofit Sonrisas Dental Health (San Mateo/Half Moon Bay).