Who are you?

Question: Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

Jim Woolsey: I had a very happy childhood.  I was an only child.  My father was a lawyer, my mother a housewife.  My grandmother lived with us, so I had three adults basically in one way or another helping me get through life.  Tulsa had an excellent public school system at the time.  Opportunities for women in the 1950s were not so substantial outside being a secretary, a nurse, or a teacher.  And a lot of very bright and able woman who would be in other jobs today were teachers in the United States during that era.  And the grade school, and junior high school, and high school I went to had a marvelous cadre of teachers.  High school English teachers well versed in the classics, that sort of thing.  And Tulsa was a lovely place to grow up.  I still call myself an Okie.  My mother told me when I was about 15 . . .  I had just read “Grapes of Wrath”, and I said something about really proud to be an Okie.  And she said, “Well Jim the Okie’s were the really poor folks who migrated to California.”  I said, “I know, but Tom Jones was one.  If he’s an Okie I’m an Okie.”

Recorded on: 7/2/07 

Much to his mother's chagrin, Jim Woolsey says he's an Okie.

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

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  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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