FROM Margaret Talbot
Tradition of Marriage on Trial in a Federal Courtroom In a San Francisco federal court this week, a witness testified on tape that, if California’s ban on same-sex marriage is repealed, “children would suddenly find homosexuality irresistible.” The lawyers who want the ban overturned really wanted the judge to hear that. Is same-sex marriage banned because of ancient tradition or because of discrimination against gays and lesbians? What’s it like for gay and lesbian parents, and their children, to have their legitimacy challenged in such a public forum? Are the courts being asked to rule on broad social issues rather than questions of Constitutional law?
On Trial in a Federal Courtroom: The Tradition of Marriage The US Supreme Court says the trial on Proposition 8 , California's same-sex marriage ban cannot be televised . Is that a clue as to how the case might finally be decided? Is same-sex marriage banned because of ancient tradition or because of discrimination against gays and lesbians? What's it like for gay and lesbian parents, and their children, to have their legitimacy challenged in such a public forum? Are the courts being asked to rule on broad social issues rather than questions of Constitutional law?
Brain-Booster Drugs "Every era…has its own defining drug." In the 60's, LSD and other banned substances were supposed to expand the mind. Now, just as athletes use steroids to make them more competitive, college students and white collar workers turning to so-called "neuroenhancers" -- prescription drugs that are being used for purposes different from those approved by the manufacturer of the FDA, to speed up their minds. That's according to Margaret Talbot in the current issue of New Yorker magazine.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.