Why Debate Taboos?
“Debating Taboos” – Ralph Nader’s latest brainchild – is a series of substantive debates that aims to bring attention to civic issues so controversial or taboo they have rarely, if ever, addressed in the media, legislative bodies or the electoral arena.
Each debate will feature prominent public advocates who will take opposing viewpoints, and a knowledgeable and nimble moderator to keep the pace quick and substantive. No clinching, no evasion, no wheel spinning.
These debates should propel taboo subjects into the public dialogue and even into the political process. Perhaps even the two major parties – who have long marginalized or ignored taboo topics all together – will take note.
A debate series by Ralph Nader & the Center for Study of Responsive Law
What are the Pitfalls and Benefits of Ballistic Missile Defense?
Friday, April 12, 2013
1530 P St. NW
The debate, will be held at the Carnegie Institution of Washington building. It addresses a taboo subject in electoral, political and mass media arenas. Two debaters will speak on the benefits of missile defense, and two debaters will present the pitfalls of missile defense.
- James Woolsey, chair of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Rebeccah Heinrichs, of The Heritage Foundation, will argue for the benefits of missile defense.
- MIT Professor Ted Postol and Kingston Reif, Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, will address the drawbacks of using missile defense.
- The moderator will be Desmond Butler of The Associated Press.
A complimentary light lunch will be held following the debate.
To attend, RSVP to info(@)csrl.org.
Join us on Friday, April 12 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. for a lively debate on the pitfalls and benefits of ballistic missile defense.
The debate will feature five participants – four debaters and one moderator – arguing the intricacies of domestic ballistic missile defense.
Debaters will be:
- Ted Postol of MIT arguing the pitfalls of ballistic missile defense.
- Kingston Reif of the Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Non-Proliferation arguing the pitfalls alongside Postol.
- James “Jim” Woolsey former CIA director and Chairman of Woolsey Partners LLC and Venture Partner with Lux Capital arguing the benefits of ballistic defense.
- Rebeccah Heinrichs of The Heritage Foundation’s Visiting Fellows Program will join Woolsey arguing the benefits of the use of ballistic missile defense.
- Desmond Butler of the Associated Press acting as moderator
Stay tuned for more information on the debate. To register to attend this free debate, please send an email to info(@)csrl.org. Debate will be held at 1530 P ST NW, Washington, DC 20005.
(C1 = CSPAN 1, C2 = CSPAN 2)
Jul 6, 2012 10:41 (C2)
Jul 6, 2012 12:06 (C2)
Jul 7, 2012 06:06 (C3)
Jul 8, 2012 16:05 (C1)
Jul 10, 2012 04:01 (C2)
Click here to see the debate.
Arab American Institute video from June 21 debate on Anti-Semitism
Ralph Nader, Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace Invite you to the fourth debate in the “Debating Taboos” series.
June 21, 2012; 12 p.m.
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street NW
Open to the public
The event features a debate on the question:
Is there a double standard in the response to anti-Semitism against
Arab-Americans compared with the response to anti-Semitism against
The question is a reflection by many Arab-Americans and others that the
variety of bigotry against them is treated too lightly by society – from
Hollywood to Washington, D.C.
Jack Shaheen, author of “Reel Bad Arabs” and Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
James Zogby, founder and president, Arab American Institute and author of “Arab Voices.”
Kenneth Marcus, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and former Staff Director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Josef Olmert, Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina and author of the book “Unraveling the Knot: Between Arab and Jew.”
Patrick Sloyan, former Newsday reporter and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism.
For Immediate Release: Nov. 3, 2011
Who: Ralph Nader; Center for Study of Responsive Law
When: Friday, November 18, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
What: Bush/Obama: War Crimes or Lawful Wars?
Where: 1530 P St NW, Washington, DC – Carnegie Institution building
Contact: Katherine Raymond, 202-387-8030, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C.) – On Friday, November 18, Ralph Nader and the Center for Study of Responsive Law will host a public debate on the subject: Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s actions: war crimes or lawful wars?
Debaters arguing for the proposition that Bush and Obama engaged in war crimes
Bruce Fein is an attorney and constitutional scholar, and has consulted foreign nations on matters ranging from constitutional revision to telecommunications and cable regulation, and human rights. He appears regularly on national and international television, cable, and radio programs as an expert in foreign affairs, terrorism, national security, and has testified over 200 times before Congressional committees. .
Lt. Colonel Tony Shaffer is a highly experienced U.S. Army intelligence officer, and is nationally known as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for intelligence collection and policy, terrorism, data mining, situational awareness and adaptive/disruptive technologies. He is also a senior advisor to multiple organizations on terrorism and counterinsurgency issues and a member of the US Nuclear Strategy Forum.
Debaters arguing against the proposition that Bush and Obama engaged in war crimes
David B. Rivkin is a member of Baker & Hostetler Law Firm’s litigation, international and environmental groups and co-chairs the firm’s appellate and major motions team. He served in the White House Counsel’s office and the Department of Justice under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Prior to embarking on a legal career, Mr. Rivkin worked as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues, and served as a defense consultant to numerous government agencies and Washington think tanks.
Lee Casey a partner at Baker & Hostetler, focuses on federal environmental, constitutional and international law and Alien Tort Statute issues. He served in the Department of Justice under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He also advises clients on compliance issues under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. trade sanctions regimes, and federal ethics requirements. Mr. Casey’s practice includes federal, district and appellate court litigation, as well as matters before federal agencies. From 2004 through 2007 he served as a member of the United Nations Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues. He also is a nationally recognized legal commentator.
Stuart S. Taylor is a lawyer, author and freelance journalist focusing on legal and policy issues, a “National Journal” contributing editor, and a Brookings Institution nonresident fellow. He has written many columns on this issue and has co-authored a piece titled “Looking Forward, Not Backward: Refining American Interrogation Law” through the Brookings Institution.
The event is free and open to the public. Please join us and invite your colleagues and friends to attend. The Debating Taboos series brings public attention and analyses to “taboo” topics. This is the third debate in the series.
A complimentary light lunch will follow the event.
For those of you anxiously waiting the airing of the two debates on taboo topics, here is C-SPAN’s plan for airing them:
Monday 8/8 at 6pm on C-SPAN – Discussion of mandatory voting (from June 27)
Tuesday 8/9 at 6pm on C-SPAN – Discussion of securities transaction tax (From July 8 )
Securities Transaction Tax: Bring it back or leave it out?
Friday, July 8, 2011, 11:30 a.m.1530 P St, NW, Washington, DC 20005
A financial transaction tax is a small tax placed on a specific type (or types) of financial transactions. The way it is often discussed is a small tax on each trade of stocks, derivatives, currency, and other financial instruments.
Moderator, Dean Baker – Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He’s worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.
Moderator, Gus Sauter – George U. “Gus” Sauter is the chief investment officer of Vanguard Group. Sauter has been a trust investment officer with First Bancorp of Ohio (formerly The First National Bank of Ohio).
Robert Pollin, arguing for the tax – Professor at UMass (Amherst), Robert Pollin’s research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the U.S. and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the U.S. Pollin’s main research center is the Political Economy Research Institute.
Jim Angel, arguing against the tax - Professor James “Jim” Angel at Georgetown University has worked at BARRA (now part of Morgan Stanley) where he developed equity risk models. He has also been chairman of the Nasdaq Economic Advisory Board and a member of the OTC Bulletin Board Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the DirectEdge stock exchanges.
Good Day! My name is Ralph Nader. Today marks the first debate—Mandatory Voting: Patriotic or Undemocratic—in a forthcoming series of debates, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, on subjects rendered taboo in political, electoral and main media arenas of our country. The second debate will be on July 8, 2011 with the topic being a Wall Street securities transaction tax.
Information is the currency of democracy. Subjects that are treated as taboo contradict the open debate and discussion necessary to motivate the citizenry toward higher expectations for their society and themselves. That is what a deliberative, democratic society is about.
Anthropologists have documented taboos in all cultures. Whenever taboos’ on significant subjects are pierced the matter closed out by the taboo is opened up for examination and the possibility of change.