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Depression Isn’t Just a Global Epidemic. It’s a Silent One.

By | December 12, 2017

Depression is still the illness that dares not speak its name. Taboos persist. Social stigmas endure. Many confounding mysteries remain about exactly what causes depression and how best to treat it—even though it affects tens of millions of people worldwide, and even as the number of suicides globally has soared to 1 million.
Those painful realities formed the backdrop to a Zócalo/UCLA event titled “How Can …

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Barack Obama Had an ‘Iron Will’ to Succeed—but What Was at His Core?

By | December 7, 2017

Historian David J. Garrow acknowledges that he’s “cynical” about Barack Obama, a conclusion that he reached while conducting 1,000 interviews and spending nine years researching the formation and political rise of America’s 44th president.
Garrow shared some of his reasons for what he called his “huge disappointment” with the Obama presidency at a Zócalo/KCRW “Critical Thinking with Warren Olney” event, “How Did Barack Obama Create Himself?”.
Hosted …

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Hawaii Isn’t So Beautiful at the Ballot Box

By | November 30, 2017

During Hawaii’s early days as an American state, the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye would boast about its high voter participation rate.
But since that mid-20th-century high watermark, Hawaii has fallen behind the mainland in measures of civic participation and engagement. Its voters ranked dead last among the 50 states in the 2016 presidential election, and, despite its reputation as a warm, personable place, …

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China Soon Could Dominate the Global Economy—but Leading It Will Be Tougher

By | November 17, 2017

For China, pursuing global economic leadership is not just a goal. It’s an imperative.
That was the message from panelists at a Zòcalo/UCLA Anderson School of Management event, “Is China Prepared to Lead the Global Economy?” at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles.
China is seeking global economic leadership, panelists said, as Chinese President Xi Jinping made clear at the recently …

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Before Going to War in North Korea, Try Understanding the Place First

By | October 25, 2017

With schoolyard taunts hurtling between Washington and Pyongyang, and fears of nuclear Armageddon escalating from Seoul to Tokyo to Los Angeles, the once-unthinkable idea of a military showdown between North Korea and the United States has become frighteningly plausible.
On an October evening when many Angelenos were pondering the opening game of the World Series rather than end-of-the-world scenarios, a Zócalo/UCLA panel discussion explored the question, …

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California’s Housing Crisis Is a Nasty Intersection of the State’s Worst Problems

By | October 13, 2017

California’s sky-high housing prices haven’t just made it hard to find and afford a place to live. They’ve put pressures on the economy, the environment, transportation, and health that threaten the California dream itself, said panelists at a Zócalo/AARP event at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Los Angeles.
The event—entitled “Are Housing Prices Destroying the California Dream?”—brought together a scholar, a politician, …

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Can Colleges Teach America What Consensual Sex Looks Like?

By | October 12, 2017

American college campuses, after considerable struggle, are succeeding in drawing a clearer line between consensual and non-consensual sex. But it’s far from clear when the rest of society will follow suit and adopt a similar standard.
That was the message of a Zócalo lecture entitled, “Are College Campuses Rewriting the Rules of Sex in America?” by journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis, contributing editor at The New York Times …

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It’s Hard to Be an American Traitor, Even If You Try

By | October 11, 2017

Why is it so hard to commit treason in the United States?
The short answer—offered at the debut of a Zócalo/KCRW event series, “Critical Thinking with Warren Olney”—amounted to this: America was founded by traitors.
“The American Revolution was a massive act of treason against the British government,” said UC Davis legal scholar Carlton F.W. Larson, who is working on a book about treason. And even before the …

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The Two-Party System Is Not Working—And Not Going Anywhere

By | August 11, 2017

The bad news for Republicans is that their party is dead. The “good” news for the party of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, and Donald Trump is that the Democratic Party also is dead—or maybe even deader.
That was the big takeaway from an August 10th Zócalo panel discussion at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown L.A.’s Little Tokyo district. Titled …

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As Trump’s Policies Harm Immigrants, How Can Local Efforts Best Help?

By | August 10, 2017

Even by the tumultuous measure of Donald Trump’s first months in the White House, none of the new president’s policies or rhetorical outbursts has been more bitterly divisive than his stand on immigration.
Trump’s travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim nations, his eagerness to deport undocumented immigrants who don’t have serious criminal records, his slurring of Mexican migrants as drug dealers and rapists, and his promise to …