The buzz of the week: security vs freedom in an age of terrorism

The buzz-theme of the week appears to be the delicate legal balance between national security and personal liberties. Three important events address the topic. Nov. 16 Hudson Institute president Herb London returned to Indianapolis to debate ACLU president Nadine Strossen.

Nov. 17 IU-Indianapolis Law Professor William Bradford talks to the Indiana Council on World Affairs about the implications for international law and security of the reelection of president Bush.

And on Friday Scott Bates, senior policy advisor to the US House Select committee on Homeland Security (and IU Law prof) talks about the war on terrorism, failed states, and civil liberties at home and abroad.

Residents of Central Indiana will have no excuse for being ill-informed about this most crucial of issues! Add to this visitors to Indianapolis by authors of two of the best and most important books to come out in years: Jason deParle (welfare reform) and Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran) ... it's a busy week.

As always, tell me about any events that should be publicized, and let me know what you think about the site in general: See you at these events (I hope),


Nov. 16: Indiana Educational Technology Summit: Teaching & Learning in the Digital Age

Nov. 16: "Seven Deadly Sins of Exporting"

Nov. 16: "Balancing Civil Liberties and National Security in an Age of Terror"

Nov. 17: US Dependence on foreign oil

Nov. 17: Why reading really matters: A discussion with Azar Nafisi

Nov. 17: New forms of war, international, and the foreign policy of the next Bush Administration

Nov. 18: The country's best reporter on welfare reform reports on welfare reform

Nov. 18: IU Symposium on nuclear proliferation in Asia

Nov. 19: How to handle (and how not to handle) nukes

Nov. 19: The week's third helping of security vs liberties!

Nov. 19: Using a visit by a Thai journalist to reform political reporting in Indiana?

Nov. 19: A discussion of the Kurdish Question in Bloomington (scroll down for info)

Nov. 22: The Bulen Symposium

Dec. 6: Discussion about Street Saints with Barbara Elliott

can a discussion of investigative journalism with a Thai reporter lead to comething bigger in Indianapolis?

Friday, November 19, 4:00 PM
A discussion of political reporting in Thailand, and perhaps brainstorming for improving the coverage of politics in the US
Sagamore Institute, 5395 Emerson Way

This is an invitation to IndyBuzz readers. I'd like to invite you to an informal discussion about investigative journalism and politics with a reporter from a Thai business newspaper. Sanoh Sukcharoen will be at the Sagamore Institute this Friday, Nov 19, at 4:00 PM. He is in the US as part of the State Department's International Visitor's Program. He wants to learn about the political, commercial, and ethical aspects of journalism in the US, especially outside the major cities. Below you can read some information about his program's objectives to give you a sense of what he hopes to accomplish while in the US. These are always interesting meetings for the international visitors, when they come to Sagamore (nee Hudson) Institute they get to talk to people who both know a lot about the particularities of their countries and a lot about specifics in US politics. They are good meetings for the American participants too since it provides us a chance to think about our own circumstances viewed through the eyes of an outsider.

I have an ulterior motive in convening this meeting on Friday. As you know, criticisms of the coverage in the news of local, national, and international politics are becoming increasingly loud. In the coming months, I hope we can have a series of wider discussions about what can be done -- about what we can do -- to improve the coverage of politics. Talking with our Thai visitor should be an excellent to launch (or at least prepare the launch of) those discussions. If you will be able to come to Sagamore for this discussion, please let me know by calling me (John Clark) at 317-549-4159, or e-mail me at (This is also part of a tradition of relaxed brainstorming at the mansion Friday afternoons, and I need to make sure we have enough lubrication.) If there is anyone you think would like to be part of this conversation, please let me know and I will send them an invitation. And please feel free to make any suggestions about the larger discussions of the news and politics. Thanks, and I hope to see you Friday at 4:00.

This is what our Thai visitor hopes to accomplish Friday:

Program Objectives

To enhance Sanoh's skills and knowledge in investigative reporting, standards including free and responsible press, especially from U.S. experts, and to acquaint him with investigative reporting in American journalism circles, especially in small U.S. towns.

To expose Mr. Sanoh to investigative journalism practices, particularly with organizations having limited circulation.

To analyze the effects of political, commercial and editorial pressures on the accurate portrayal of news events.

To access current strategies to protect press freedoms including professional ethics, accountable investigation techniques and independence from special interest groups that could impede editorial freedom, staunch political tolerance or reduce economic viability.

To examine models of ethical practices in the "Marketplace of Ideas" that fosters trust between political entities, promotes economic prosperity and independence from conflicts of interest and the conundrums of public vs. private interests.

While in the United State, Mr. Sanoh SUKCHAROEN, will explore the following topics:

  • journalism education in the U.S.
  • the use of technology to speed up the news cycle and distribution
  • the use of technology to develop investigative journalism methodologies
  • investigative journalism in a small community
  • a discussion with Federal State or local investigative
  • authorities on investigative journalism
  • international drug trafficking
  • U.S. foreign policy support for democratization

Indiana Educational Technology Summit: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Tuesday, Nov. 16 9:30 AM -- 3:00 PM
Indiana Educational Technology Summit: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age
9100 Keystone Crossing, Suite 100A

Smith Weaver Smith presents an important discussion among major policyshapers and stakeholders in education. K-12 educators face increasing demands for student performance, accountability, and new methods of tracking each student’s progress as well as informing the public about the schools’ and districts’ performance. Nevertheless, there are various constraints of information, understanding, resources, and professional development that may interfere with these upgraded mandates. This event’s purpose is to engage educational, business, and government leaders to learn, share, discuss, and recommend ideas for how Indiana and its schools can best invest in educational technologies to advance pre-K through 12 educational goals. Speakers, presentations, and panels will provide an informational context. Participants, in interactive focus groups, will jointly prepare a set of policy and practice statements to improve their mutual understanding of how schools can acquire and implement educational technologies to meet the needs of 21st century learners. These policy recommendations will be disseminated to the Indiana General Assembly and other stakeholders. Educational attendees will include Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, and School Board Members. Business attendees will include representatives of technology companies and others interested in workforce development, educational technology, and economic development in Indiana. Members of the Indiana General Assembly are also invited to participate.

Keynote speaker will be Marc Prensky, an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and designer in the critical areas of education and learning. He is the author of Digital Game-Based Learning (McGraw-Hill, 2001), the founder and CEO of Games2train (whose clients include IBM, Nokia, Pfizer, and the US Department of Defense) and creator of the sites and He has created over 50 software games for learning, including the world’s first fast-action videogame-based training tools and world-wide, multi-player, multi-team on-line competitions. He has also taught at all levels. He has been featured in articles in The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal, has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and the BBC, and was named as one of training’s top 10 “visionaries” by Training magazine. He holds graduate degrees from Yale (Teaching) and Harvard (MBA).

The week's third helping of security vs liberties!

Friday, November 19, 1:00 PM
“The War on Terror, Failed States, and Human Rights in the US and Abroad” — An insider’s perspective by IU Law prof Scott Bates
Room 259 Law School Building, IU-Indianapolis

You may feel that the Nov 16 debate over security vs liberty between Hudson Institute's Herb London and ACLU head Nadine Strossen, or Nov 17 the lecture to the Indiana Council on World Affairs by IU-Indianapolis law professor William Bradford is just not enough. Don't despair! Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis Adjunct Professor Scott Bates will offer an insider's perspective on human rights and anti-terrorism law around the globe during a special presentation on Friday, November 19. Bates will discuss “War on Terror, Failed States and Human Rights in the U.S. & Abroad” from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Room 259 of the law school building. His lunch-hour presentation highlights the war against terrorism, rights of detainees, war crimes, failed states and how these affect human rights and civil rights. Bates is currently senior policy advisor for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Homeland Security. The event is co-sponsored by these law school organizations: Amnesty International Student Chapter, Equal Justice Works, National Security Law Society, Indiana Civil Liberties Union, the International Law Society, and the Program in International Human Rights Law. Lunch is provided. Please RSVP by November 17. For additional information, and to RSVP, please contact Chalanta Shockley at or 317/274-1917.

The best reporter on welfare reform reports on welfare reform

Thursday, November 18, 1:30-6:00 PM
Implications of welfare reform for the working poor: A conference organized by the Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, featuring Jason deParle
Westin Hotel, downtown Indianapolis

In the 1990s it became clear that the focal point in the universe of welfare policy reform was the state of Wisconsin. New York Times reporter Jason deParle basically took up residence in Milwaukee and Madison to cover what was to become the biggest story in US social policy since the Great Society of LBJ, perhaps since FDR’s New Deal. Although Jason came to Wisconsin critical, even hostile, to the changes being discussed by Gov. Tommy Thompson and others (Democrats as well as Republicans), his reporting was always balanced and insightful. His long awaited book, American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare, meets all expectations. Jason balances penetrating analyses of the national and state-level players with eloquent portraits of those whose lives were most shaken by the reforms. Sympathetic without being sentimental, a tough stance to take. Jason will be the keynote speaker for the Indianapolis Fall Forum of the Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. As though the event needs more … also featured will be Charles Warren, co-author of ICHHI’s recent report, The Status of Working Families in Indiana 2004; and ICHHI’s legislative representative Lisa Travis. Registration for the conference costs $20. The deadline has been extended, but you should reserve a space as soon as possible by downloading a registration form and by contacting Lisa Travis at 317-636-8819 or at

Nuclear Insecurity in Asia

Thursday, November 18 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Nuclear Proliferation in Asia — An IU symposium
Bloomington campus, IMU: Persimmon Room

What a timely topic, and what a first-rate crew IU has for this symposium! The symposium is open to students, faculty, staff, and members of the Bloomington and Indianapolis communities. Following opening remarks by Peter Scoblic, the Executive Editor of the New Republic, the first part of this half-day event will look at the historical antecedents of the nuclear situation in India, Pakistan, China, and North Korea with a panel moderated by Patrick O’Meara and panelists Mike Robinson, Sumit Ganguly, and Robert Ross. The second panel of the day will look at the contemporary nuclear situation in these countries with an eye toward the future. This panel will be moderated by Jeffrey Wasserstrom with panelists Jacques Fuqua, Dinshaw Mistry and Yu Bin. Rebecca MacKinnon, former Bureau Chief of CNN in Beijing and Tokyo will provide remarks as well.
Friday November 19, 5:30 p.m.
Iron Fist, Velvet Glove: The Right Way to Stop Proliferation— A discussion with Peter Scoblic
Jordan Hall Room A100, IU Bloomington campus.

The Indiana University India Studies Program will present a lecture by Peter Scoblic, executive editor of The New Republic. His talk will be titled, "Iron Fist, Velvet Glove: The Right Way to Stop Proliferation." Scoblic joined The New Republic as managing editor in June 2003. Previously, he was a fellow at the New America Foundation, and before that he served as the editor of Arms Control Today, a magazine covering efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor. He is an honors graduate of Brown University, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Brown Journal of World Affairs.

Faith-based responses to social crises

Wednesday December 8, 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Street Saints: Renewing America’s Cities: A breakfast and book discussion with Sagamore associate fellow Barbara Elliott
Sagamore Institute, 5395 Emerson Way Indianapolis

The product of eight years of hands-on experience with grassroots practitioners and more than 300 interviews, Barbara Elliott’s Street Saints details how people of faith are working to change lives in neighborhoods, communities, and cities throughout the United States. These unsung heroes range from grade school dropouts to PhDs, from former prostitutes to business executives, from ex-gang members to preachers. They are black, white, Latino, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian. But the convictions of this diverse group transcend denominational, racial, cultural, and political boundaries; street saints share a commitment to helping others turn their lives around. Street Saints profiles these motivated people, the programs they are running, the lives they are changing, and the communities they are renewing. It chronicles their practices, their track records and their successes. Elliott is the founder of the Center for Renewal in Houston, which serves faith-based organizations, particularly those working in the inner city. President George W. Bush presented her with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human rights in 2001, honoring her work with refugees and the poor. A former international correspondent for PBS, she is the author of Candles Behind the Wall: Heroes of the Peaceful Revolution that Shattered Communism, and scores of articles on civic renewal. She is a philanthropic advisor with the Legacy Group and an Associate Fellow with the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research.

Please respond (acceptances only) by December 3 to Maureen Lee at (317) 549-4111 or There will be a charge of $20 for this event. Copies of Elliott’s book will also be available for purchase.

Who said trade was a sin?

Tuesday November 16, 6:15 PM
“The Seven Deadly Sins of Exporting,” A talk by Mark Cooper, director of the Indiana office of the US Department of Commerce
Dinner with the World Trade Club of Indiana
Hyatt Regency Hotel, One South Capital, Indianapolis

Mark Cooper has been an essential part of the international business scene in Indiana for years. He is particularly experienced in the field of medical devices and emerging markets. It should be an enlightening discussion for anyone interested in the ways the state can take advantage of the globalized economy. Cost for dinner is $30 for World Trade Club members, $35 for nonmembers, $20 for students. For more information, visit the WTC’s website.

Don't drive to this event in an SUV

Wednesday November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
“US Dependence on Foreign Oil”: Jack Miller, Past President of the Hoosier Environmental Council and freelance journalist
North United Methodist Church (38th and Meridian)
This is the last in the Mid-North Shepherd Center’s “Domestic Decisions 2004” Program. Americans consume nearly 20 million barrels of oil a day … a quarter of global production. These same Americans drive 218 million vehicles three trillion miles every year. The costs are enormous in air pollution, health effects, national security, and global warming. Are there safer, cleaner, and cheaper alternatives? What will it take to implement them?

Looking at International Law through the lens of Bush v. 2.1

Wednesday, November 17 6:30 PM
“New Forms of War, International Law, and the Foreign Policy of the Next Bush Administration” — Prof. William Bradford of IU-Indianapolis Law School.
Indiana Council on World Affairs: Butler University, Johnson Room in Robertson Hall

What will be the implications of the reelection of President Bush for American foreign policy and international law? Will relations with the United Nations get warmer? In the war with terrorists, how will the US comply with international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions, which were designed to deal with a very different type of war? What causes the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, and how can we prevent them from being repeated elsewhere? Answering these and other questions is Prof. William Bradford, one of the country’s leading experts on what may be the most important legal issues facing us today: national security and foreign relations law, and the law governing war and international conflicts. Because he defends the legitimacy under international law of the Bush Administration’s notion of preventive war, you might think Prof. Bradford is a particularly articulate and thoughtful conservative legal scholar. Prof. Bradford served in the US Army from 1990 to 2001, including as legal advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Gen Shalikashvili. He is the author of The Laws of Armed Conflict and Transnational Security in the Age of Terror, the first casebook of military law. Recent articles Prof. Bradford has written provide legal justification for the Bush Administration’s doctrine of preemptive war; examine American Indians’ claims for reparations; and propose a new post-9/11 framework for the law governing war. One of fewer than fifteen tenured law professors in the US, he was recently appointed United Nations Ambassador from the Miami tribe of Indiana. Don’t miss this important event. Go to the ICWA’s website for information about how to register.

Political Junkies -- Get your fix at the Bulen Symposium

Monday November 22, 8:30 AM -4:30 PM
“2004: What Happened and Where Are We Headed?” The Sixth Annual Bulen Symposium on American Politics
IUPUI University Place Conference Center Auditorium

For local political junkies, the event of the year is the Bulen Symposium, a day long wonkathon of insiders’ baseball and critical analysis. National superstars attending this year’s Symposium include Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Clarence Page; Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate and the country’s leading analyst of voter turnout and political participation; and Fox News Channel’s chief political correspondent Carl Cameron. In addition, panels of local experts will discuss TV ads, gerrymandering and noncompetitive elections, and Unigov II. Register and find out more details by going to the Symposium website.

Neighborhoods, Crime, and Drugs

Wednesday November 10, 11:00 AM — 12:30 PM
“Neighborhood Crime and Drugs”: Christopher Lowenkamp, Assistant Director of the Corrections Institute, University of Cincinnati

North United Methodist Church, 38th and Meridian

Another in the Mid-North Shepherd’s Center’s splendid “Domestic Decisions 2004” series. The reality of crime is far more complicated than it is usually portrayed. Its roots must be addressed at the community level as well as more broadly, with preventive measures taking the lead over building more prisons. What are the prevention models we need to consider? For more information about the Domestic Decisions 2004 series, phone 317-924-0959, or e-mail

Kurdish Question

Friday, November 19, 7:30-9:00 PM
"The Kurdish Question: Whose Question, Whose Answers? The Kurdish Movement Seen by the Kurds and by their Neighbors"

Third Annual Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecture in Arabic and Islamic Studies
IU-Bloomington: Ballantine Hall room 103

This should be a fascinating lecture by one of Europe's foremost experts on the Kurds, Prof. Martin van Bruinessen of the University of Utrecht. A reception at the University Club will follow.

Reading as though Reading Really Matters

Wednesday November 17, 7:30 PM
A conversation with Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
Reilly Room, Atherton Union, Butler University

The next in Butler University’s Visiting Writers series is a great one. No one has shaped the way I read lately more than Azar Nafisi. Her best-selling book, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, is usually seen as an indictment of the theo-totalitarian regime in Iran, and in particular the damage it does to women and free-thinkers. It is that, but it’s much more. The despots in Iran have good reason to fear the Western writers Nafisi read in secret with her students — Nabokov, Fitzgerald, Henry James, Jane Austen. Their books really do attack the bases of repressive power, they really are subversive in a deep and fundamental way. That is how the writers of the books intended them to be read, not as light entertainment, definitely not as part of a checklist of Great Novels that must be read by high school students. These books are supposed to be dangerous, and after reading Nafisi you will understand why. The evening I finished Reading Lolita, I had to actually read Lolita … and it was a very different novel than the Lolita I read 20 years ago. So was Gatsby. Thanks to Nafisi, Pride and Prejudice is now my bedtime reading, and it is indeed a more disturbing and exhilarating book than I remember. Azar Nafisi is now the director of the Dialogue Project, an initiative at Johns Hopkins to promote democracy and human rights in the Muslim world. I wonder if her American students make her long for her students in Tehran, who understood that reading really matters.

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IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

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