Blog Of The Nation
January 13th show
'The Longest War'
In the nearly ten years since the terror attacks on 9/11, the United States has launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, entered bitter debates over interrogation techniques and renditions, and seen the spread of terrorist networks linked to al-Qaida around the globe. Osama bin Laden remains on the run and America's war on terror continues with no clear end in sight. Peter Bergen has been covering al-Qaida and the war on terror for the past decade. In his latest book he gives a comprehensive account of the development of al-Qaida and the United States' response to the terrorist organization. Bergen talks with host Neal Conan about his new book, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda", and the strategic missteps on both sides.
When Autocorrect Goes Wrong
"Smart" phones can be anything but when it comes to spelling -- changing "boardgames" to "bisexuals," "fever" to feces" and "Disney" to "divorce." The autocorrect feature that's common on computers and smartphones can sometimes make you look pretty dumb. Ben Zimmer, the "On Language" columnist for The New York Times Magazine, joins host Neal Conan to talk about the sometimes hilarious, shocking, and embarrassing messages that were sent after autocorrect went very, very wrong.
The Rules of Unemployment
The Labor Department announced today that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week jumped to the highest level since late October. If you've never been unemployed, it's difficult to understand the process of navigating the many rules and regulations of the unemployment office, while continuing to look for work. Host Neal Conan talks with Andrew Stettner, the director of the National Employment Law Project and with Josh McKenna, Interim Benefits Bureau Chief for the Idaho Department of Labor, about some of the common misconceptions about unemployment insurance and the process of getting the benefits.
Losing Our Best Military
The military dedicates countless resources to recruit and train the best people. But many top officers abandon the armed forces before putting in their 20 years, according to former Air Force officer Tim Kane. And he says it's not just the money. The private sector is lucrative, but Kane argues that the military is too bureaucratic and doesn't value merit or independent thinking. Tim Kane joins host Neal Conan to explain why the best officers are leaving and how this harms national security. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.