Patt Morrison for March 1, 2010

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With the epicenters of diplomatic relations in New York, Washington D.C. and abroad, it’s rare that L.A. has a chance to receive an international leader of significant stature. This week marks one of those rare occurrences, when United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon comes to L.A. to receive the UCLA Medal and deliver a speech on the power of citizens everywhere to get involved in addressing the world’s problems. The problems of which the Secretary-General will speak are large, complicated and numerous, from continuing to build a functioning government in Afghanistan to organizing international action against a possible nuclear-armed Iran. From these points of conflict to making progress on global action to stem climate change, Patt sits down with Secretary-General Ban for a look at the man with so many burdens resting on his Blue Helmet.
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America: The Owner’s Manual

Why would you teach someone to swim by having them read a book on swimming? So then why is it ok to teach students politics by reading in a classroom? Politics is not a spectator sport. The former Senator from Florida Bob Graham believes that there is no substitution for real world experience, especially in politics. He believes that students should expand on their classroom learning about the political system: he encourages them to hit the court and actually play the game. If students work on an issue they care about, politics will become a meaningful and positive experience. This short, how-to guide takes students out of theoretical discussions of policy and into a world where they can affect change. That sounds like a politically correct theory. That’s an idea that’s not off the deep end.
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Assessing Afghanistan with Adam Schiff

It’s Day 17 of the largest allied offensive in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001 — over 15,000 U.S., NATO, and Afghan troops working to secure Marjah, the opium-smuggling Taliban stronghold. In addition to the Marjah surge, General Stanley McChrystal continues to push his counterinsurgency strategy—holding fire to protect civilians, training Afghans to defend their own country and imbuing local government with the power to maintain stability. And, with the recent capture in Pakistan of the Taliban’s top military commander, there’s new hope for a sea change. After so much rancor over how long to stay and what strategy to pursue, are we finally on the right track? Patt checks in with local Congressman Adam Schiff, who’s just arrived back from the Afghan frontlines.
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Why We Make Mistakes

Humans are flawed – We search for our cell phone while talking on it, look at our watches and immediately forget the time and even eat entire bags of bugles just because they are there. Why? Patt gets answers from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of, “Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average.”
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