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: 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
Birmingham Author's JFK Assassination Book Inspires Play
From UAB to White House Intern
Carsen On Capitol Journal
INTERVIEW: Terrorism Expert Randall Law
INTERVIEW: State Schools Chief Of Staff On Decrease In Per-Pupil Spending
INTERVIEW: Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends are Black
Eric Essix Evolution
INTERVIEW: Craig Witherspoon Reacts To Failing Schools List
Montgomery and Life are like High School
Carsen Talks "AAA" And More On Capitol Journal
John Archibald: Unrest at the Jefferson County Commission
Hostess to the Civil Rights Movement
John Archibald: Why Jeffco Is Paying Attorney $393K To Do Nothing
Diane McWhorter on Civil Rights 50th Anniversary
John Archibald: Old Questions about Airport Death and New Questions about Auburn Football
John Archibald: Still Too Many Questions About Airport Tragedy

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