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Public Policy and the Federal Budget [electronic resource]

Leslie Martin's ninth-graders create, present, revise, and defend a federal budget. After assuming the roles of the President and his or her advisors to create a federal budget, students are introduced to the actual 2001 federal budget, and in a whole-class discussion, discuss some key concepts involved in creating it. Next, students return to cooperative learning groups, revise their budgets based on what they learned, present their revised budgets, and simulate a Congressional hearing. Highlights the integration of teacher-directed instruction with small-group work.

Rise of the Machines [electronic resource]: Will Civilian Drones Reshape American Life?

As America's military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan winds down, many drones are coming home for use in border protection and municipal law enforcement. But domestic drone deployment is proliferating in other ways, too-in fact, anyone with a few hundred dollars can buy a sophisticated, unmanned aerial vehicle over the counter. Some operators are defying the law and flying their drones for commercial purposes-be they journalists following a story, real estate agents selling a house, or paparazzi chasing celebrities. This program examines the issue and explains how a congressional order could lead to tens of thousands of drones taking off legally into an already crowded sky, competing for space with domestic aviation. It's a regulator's nightmare-but some of its staunchest opponen [...]

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Paddy Ashdown - the Global Power Shift

Paddy Ashdown claims that we are living in a moment in history where power is changing in ways it never has before. In a spellbinding TEDTalk he outlines the three major global shifts that he sees coming. Ashdown is a former member of the British Parliament and a diplomat with a lifelong commitment to international cooperation.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: David R. Dow - Lessons From Death Row Inmates

What happens before a murder? In looking for ways to reduce death penalty cases, David R. Dow realized that a surprising number of death row inmates have had similar biographies. In this TEDTalk he proposes a bold plan - one that prevents murders in the first place. Death penalty lawyer David R. Dow has defended more than 100 death row inmates in 20 years.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Who's Widening America's Digital Divide?

America has a wide digital divide: high-speed Internet access is available only to those who can afford it, at prices much higher and speeds much slower in the U.S. than they are around the world. But that doesn't have to be the case, says Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology, and innovation and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Crawford joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest. As a result, says Crawford, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Trading Democracy for "Security

The violent Boston rampage triggered a government response that, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, adds a new dimension to troubling questions about government secrecy, overreach, and what we sacrifice in the name of national security. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Greenwald joins Bill to peel back layers that reveal what the Boston bombings and drone attacks have in common and how secrecy leads to abuse of government power. Also on the show, political scholars Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann tell Bill that Congress' failure to make progress on gun control-despite support for background checks from 90 percent of the American public-is symptomatic of a legislative branch reduced to dysfunction, partisan ravings, and obstruction.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: The Sandy Hook Promise

The grief of Francine and David Wheeler, whose son Ben was killed in the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has led them to the Sandy Hook Promise, a nationwide group founded by Newtown, Connecticut, friends and neighbors to heal the hurt and find new ways to talk about and campaign against the scourge of gun violence. One of their allies is folksinger/activist Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame), who joined with the Wheelers and others in a concert of harmony, resilience, and solidarity. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Francine Wheeler and Peter Yarrow discuss with Bill the power of music to create change and their mission to protect people from gun violence. Later, the conversation continues as David Wheeler joins his wife to talk about what can be done and if th [...]

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: The Toxic Politics of Science

When industries release chemicals into the environment, putting profits before public health, children are the first to suffer-and nowhere is this more troubling than in the ongoing story of lead poisoning. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill talks with David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, public health historians who've been taking on the chemical industry for decades despite industry efforts to undermine them. Bill is then joined by the heads of two independent government watchdog groups: Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics and, and Danielle Brian, who runs POGO, the Project on Government Oversight. They talk with Bill about their efforts to scrutinize who's giving money, who's receiving it, and, most importantly, what's exp [...]

Affordable Care Act [electronic resource]: The Supreme Court Ruling

Beyond the political response, there were many other voices reacting to the June 2012 Supreme Court's health care ruling. NewsHour correspondent Betty Ann Bowser reports from the highly-charged scene just outside the Supreme Court.

At ADA Anniversary, Disabled Workers Still Struggle More With Unemployment [electronic resource]

Twenty-two years after George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law questions remain on whether the law prevents hiring discrimination of disabled workers. NewsHour's Judy Woodruff talks to U.S. Business Leadership Network's Jill Houghton and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) about efforts to employ more disabled people.

Guns [electronic resource]: An American Way of Life and Death

The U.S. leads the world in firearm-related deaths, while next-door-neighbor Canada has significantly fewer. Why? In this program, filmed in the wake of the hate-motivated shootings at Los Angeles' North Valley Jewish Community Center, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel looks at America's love-hate relationship with guns, contrasting it with Canadian attitudes and policies. Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper and Vancouver Deputy Chief Constable Gary Greer share their points of view on the right of gun ownership, reasons for purchasing guns, types of guns considered legal, background checks, and other topics.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: How People Power Generates Change

With our democracy threatened more than ever by plutocrats and the politicians in their pockets, the antidote to organized money is organized people. Across the country, individuals are banding together and demanding change-and often delivering it. This edition of Moyers & Company introduces viewers to three grassroots organizers leading the way. First up: Marshall Ganz, a social movement legend associated with Mississippi's Freedom Summer of 1964, the United Farm Workers' Cesar Chavez, and Barack Obama's historic 2008 presidential campaign. Later on the show, the spotlight shifts to economic equality advocates Rachel LaForest, executive director of Right to the City, and Madeline Janis, cofounder and national policy director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.

Breaking the Taboo [electronic resource]: Have We Lost the War on Drugs?

The war on drugs has been raging for more than 40 years. Over a trillion dollars has been spent, millions of people imprisoned, and countless thousands killed. And the result? Drugs are cheaper and more prevalent than ever before, and in a growing number of countries drug cartels are a major threat to national security. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this documentary examines the UN-sanctioned war on drugs, charting its origins and its devastating impact on countries such as the U.S., Colombia, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil. The film features prominent statesmen including former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and César Gaviria of Colombia, who press for the urgent need to break the political taboo and support drug liberalization, per the conclusions of the 2011 Global Commission on [...]

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Going to Jail for Justice

During the closing weeks of the Bush White House, environmental activist Tim DeChristopher protested the auction of drilling rights to publicly owned Utah wilderness. After disrupting the proceedings by taking part in the bidding-a unique form of dissent-he was arrested for criminal fraud, found guilty, and sentenced to two years in federal prison. In this edition of Moyers & Company, DeChristopher joins Bill to talk about the necessity of civil disobedience in the fight for justice, how his jury was ordered to place the strict letter of the law over moral conscience, and the future of the environmental movement. DeChristopher is cofounder of the grassroots environmental group Peaceful Uprising.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Big Brother's Prying Eyes

Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What does such intrusiveness mean to our sense of privacy and to our cherished principles of democracy? In this edition of Moyers & Company, Lawrence Lessig-director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and founder of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society-joins Bill to examine the implications of governmental spying on phone calls and Internet activity and to discuss Edward Snowden's role in leaking information about it. In addition, Lessig decries a pervasive "dependence corruption" in our government and politics and outlines a radical approach to the problem that uses Big Money itself to reform Big Money-powered corruption.

The Great Health Care Debate [electronic resource]

This program with Bill Moyers examines the role of the media and special interest groups in the demise of national health care reform. More than

Plunder [electronic resource]: The Crime of Our Time

In this eye-opening documentary, investigative journalist Danny Schechter traces the connection between corporate wrongdoing, the 2007 housing market crash, and the economic catastrophe that followed the crash. From the mysterious collapse of Bear Stearns, an 85-year-old investment firm that went under in a week, to the shadowy world of trillion-dollar hedge funds, Schechter argues that criminal activity on the part of major financial institutions led to massive foreclosures and contributed to economic devastation worldwide. Interviewing industry insiders, bankers, economists, and journalists, including convicted white-collar criminal Sam Antar and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Schechter also examines the media's complicity in not warning the public, and the failure of [...]

North/South [electronic resource]

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States, and Mexico was supposed to protect the environment, create high-wage U.S. jobs, and raise the living standards of all three countries. The downside is the loss of over half a million U.S. jobs when companies moved jobs to cheaper labor markets, and the near destruction of the Mexican farming industry due to government subsidized produce from the U.S. entering the Mexican market, and a dysfunctional public administration in Canada. This episode looks at the costs of the agreement on the environment, civil liberties, labor and health. Also featured is a Sarajevo "Video Diary," a report on the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka, and human rights abuses against illegal immigrants at the U.S./Mexico border.

Global Institutions and Human Rights [electronic resource]

Global institutions - also known as intergovernmental organizations - helped promote political, economic, and legal stability in the midst of the Cold War. This episode examines the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and NATO, and their roles in a post-Cold War world. The roles of the World Bank and the IMF have been particularly controversial for the impact their actions have on the live of ordinary citizens such as in Mexico, and that situation is examined. Also featured is an interview with UN Assistant Secretary General Alvaro De Soto.

War on Drugs and Human Rights [electronic resource]

Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs in 1971 and dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies. The 1980s saw a 126% increase in arrests for drug offenses. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, drug related prison population among African-Americans has increase by 27%, Latinos by 7%, and Caucasians by 15%. This episode examines the impact of the "Drug War" on the rights of individuals, minorities, and the judicial system. President Clinton's "Drug Czar," General Barry McCaffrey, discusses his views on drug policy and the state of the drug war. Also, an interview with the publisher of Prison Life magazine - a former drug pusher and undercover DEA agent, now an advocate for prisoners convicted in the "War of Drugs".