Intelligence Squared U.S.

February 10-13, 2 p.m.

John Donvan

Modelled on the British program Intelligence Squared, IQ2US is an Oxford-style debate that is provocative, intellectually rich, humorous, and dramatic. For each debate a motion is proposed. Then, two panelists argue for the motion and two argue against it, with a moderator controlling the proceedings. After the formal arguments, the debate is thrown open to the floor for questions, triggering a lively interchange among the speakers and audience members. Each side attempts to persuade the audience to vote their way. This adversarial context is electric, adding drama and excitement to the proceedings. The live audience will vote on the motion both before and after hearing the arguments, so there is a clear measure of how far people have actually been swayed. Those votes are tallied during the evening and announced at the end with a clear side winning.

Monday, February 10
Is the affordable care act beyond rescue?

With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato's inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines? The debaters are Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Jonathan Chait, Megan McArdle, and Dr. Douglas Kamerow.

Tuesday, February 11
Does Domestic Spying Keep Us Safe?

The NSA collects data on billions of phone calls and internet communications per day. Are these surveillance programs legal? Do they keep us safe? What tradeoffs are we willing to make between security and privacy? As Benjamin Franklin might have asked, "Are we giving up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, and thus deserving of neither?"The debaters are Stewart Baker, David Cole, Richard Falkenrath, and Michael German.

Wednesday, February 12
Has the constitutional right to bear arms outlived its usefulness?

Recent mass shooting tragedies have renewed the national debate over the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership and homicide rates are higher in the U.S. than in any other developed nation, but gun violence has decreased over the last two decades even as gun ownership may be increasing. Over 200 years have passed since James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, the country has changed, and so have its guns. Is the right to bear arms now at odds with the common good, or is it as necessary today as it was in 1789? The debaters are Alan Dershowitz, David Kopel, Sanford Levinson, and Eugene Volokh.

Thursday, February 13
Do Red States Have a Better Future?

While gridlock and division in Washington make it difficult for either party or ideology to set the policy agenda, single-party government prevails in three-quarters of the states. In 24 states Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, and in 13 states Democrats enjoy one-party control. Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out? The debaters are Hugh Hewitt, Gray Davis, Stephen Moore, and Michael Lind.


WBHM Interviews

INTERVIEW: Trisha Powell Crain On Alabama's Low NAEP Ranks
INTERVIEWS With "Make Them Listen" Anti-Illegal-Immigration Protesters
Interview: Nick Patterson, Author of "Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement"
INTERVIEW: New Jefferson County Schools Chief Craig Pouncey
Life After Prison: Interview With Robin, Student And Tutwiler Inmate
Interview: U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance on Alabama's Heroin Problem
Interview: Reporter Alex Walsh on Alabama's Prison Budget
"Coming Back With Wes Moore" Explores the Struggles of Returning Combat Veterans
Interview: Mark Crosswhite, Alabama Power's New CEO
INTERVIEW: James Willig On The "Gamification" Of Medical Education
AL.com, WBHM Event Yields Frank Talk On Hoover School Bus Fees
INTERVIEW: Rick Vest, Counseling Coordinator Of Two-Year College For Prisoners
Interview: Dr. Edward O. Wilson, Biologist and Alabama Native
Tornado Slams Small Alabama Town
Interview: Reporter Brian Lawson Discusses Inmate Healthcare
Interview: Birmingham Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson
INTERVIEW: Arnold Shober On The Importance Of School Board Leadership
Folk Singer Willie Watson Brings Classic Folk and Blues to Birmingham
Going Natural: It's Not Just a Hairstyle, It's a Lifestyle
Birmingham Native Callie Courter's New Album 'Love is for the Brave'
Interview: Reporter Kelsey Stein on Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women
Interview: Michael Saag, M.D., Discusses His New Book
Sustainability: Birmingham Mayor William Bell
SUSTAINABILITY: Grant Brigham Of Jones Valley Teaching Farm
INTERVIEW: AdvancED CEO Mark Elgart
INTERVIEW: Anne-Marie Slaughter
INTERVIEW: Controversial Comedian (And More) Bill Maher
INTERVIEW: Alabama Teacher Of The Year Alison Grizzle
INTERVIEW: Hoover School Bus Supporter Trisha Powell Crain

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