JES Global Summit: Web Exclusive!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 1:55 PM
JES Global Summit: Web Exclusive! by Jay Stevens
B. Toy

Cover art by B. Toy. Left to Right: Rev. Barry Lynn, Robert Kirshner, Norm Ornstein, Barry Casselman, David Brooks, Karl Rove, Ira Byock.

Here's your complete guide to the world-class speakers the Jefferson Educational Society has assembled for this year's Global Summit. For more information, visit or call 459.8000.

David Brooks

Tuesday, November 13  7:30 p.m.

"On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now: The More Things Changes The More They Stay the Same "

Brooks is a regular columnist for The New York Times, political analyst for PBS' "News Hour" and NPR's "All Things Considered," and author of several books including "Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There" and "The Social Animal: How We Live (And Always Have) in the Future Tense." He's written for the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker among other noted periodicals, but got his start as a Chicago police reporter. Brooks is the voice of the center-right in politics, and often wrestles with sociology, the American way of life, culture, and the future of the country.


Rev. Barry Lynn

Wednesday, November 14 12:00 p.m.

"A New Definition of Religious Freedom: The Fraud of Fundamentalism"

Lynn is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the host of "Culture Shocks," and a long critic of the rising political power of the religious right and an advocate for preserving religious freedom through the separation of church and state. Lynn was born in Harrisburg and raised in Bethlehem, Pa.


Karl Rove

Wednesday, November 14 7:30 p.m.

"The Future of the Republican Party"

Currently working as a political analyst and op-ed columnist, Rove was the former chief adviser and Whitehouse Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. Born on Christmas Day in 1950, Rove has been a gift to the Republican Party as its architect of its recent strategy, and electoral successes. Nicked named "Boy Genius" and "Turd Blossom" by Bush, Rove in 1970 stole the campaign letterhead of Democrat Alan Dixon, then running for state treasurer in Illinois, and sent out invitations to homeless Chicagoans offering "free beer, free food, girls, and a good time" at Dixon's headquarters.

What his critics say: "John Gibson of Fox News says that Karl Rove should be given a medal. I agree: Mr. Rove should receive a medal from the American Political Science Association for his pioneering discoveries about modern American politics. The medal can, if necessary, be delivered to his prison cell."  -- Paul Krugman


Norm Ornstein

Thursday, November 15  12:00 p.m.

"Where Do We Go From Here: Picking Up The Policy Pieces In A Dysfunctional Political System"

Ornstein is the preeminent observer of American politics, writing a weekly column, "Congress Inside Out," for Roll Call, the online newspaper for Washington D.C. insiders, and co-directed the conservative American Enterprise Institute's election reform project. Ornstein has written or co-authored a number of books critical of the nation's political partisanship and Congressional obstructionism, including "The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America" and "Even Worse Than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism." Ornstein is a friend of Minnesota Senator Al Franken and appeared in Franken's 1999 political satire, "Why Not Me?" as campaign manager for a fictitious Franken presidential run.

What his critics say: “I know Norm Ornstein and [co-author of 'It's Even Worse Than It Looks'] Tom Mann. They are ultra, ultra liberals.” -- Mitch McConnell


Robert Kirshner

Thursday, November 15  7:30 p.m.

"The Runaway Universe: Einstein's Blunder Undone"

Kirshner is the Harvard College Professor of Astronomy and Clowes Professor of Science at Harvard University, and a contributing researcher to the 2011 Nobel-winning team that discovered the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating. Kirshner's book, "The Extravagant Universe," is a gripping account of the discovery. More astounding still is that the Harvard astronomer is likely the only person in Boston that likes the former manager of the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine.

What his critics say: "Do you think you're smarter than Einstein?" -- Robert Kirshner's mother.


Ira Byock

Friday, November 16 12:00 p.m.

Dying Well In America: Giving And Getting The Best Care Possible Through The End Of Life

A doctor of medicine, Byock is the Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Byock also helped found a hospice-care program for the indigent in Fresno, California, and the Missoula Demonstration Project in Montana that researched the experience of dying people and their families in an effort to improve palliative care nationwide. Byock also wrote books on palliative care -- "Dying Well" and "The Four Things that Matter Most" -- that are used in counseling patients and families to navigate end-of-life care, and his most recent book -- "The Best Care Possible" -- is an argument for transforming the nation's healthcare system to deal with a crisis in end-of-life care.


Barry Casselman

Friday, November 16  7:30pm

The Votes Are In: What's Next For American Politics?

Local boy makes good: Erie's Barry Casselman -- now in Minnesota -- writes a blog as "The Prairie Editor" on presidential and national politics. He's written for publications like "The Weekly Standard," "Politico," The Washington Examiner, Roll Call, and, appeared as political analyst for several local radio stations, and authored "North Star Rising," about important Minnesota political figures. Casselman also attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop and is a fiction-writer and playwright, and published two collections of poetry, entitled, "Rippling Water Sleeve" and "Equilibrium Fingers."

Erie Reader: Vol. 4, No. 22
Now Available — Pick It Up Today


Veteran metal band GWAR gives Pet Shop Boy's "West End Girls" a heavy dose of rawk while offering up a nice tribute to fallen friends.

A Pa. Supreme Court Justice and a Canadian radio host have very little in common, except that their sexcapades may spell the end of otherwise celebrated careers. 

The Allman Brothers Band ends a 45 year run on a perfect note. 

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble and Australia is stepping up to save it. In the meantime, oil prices continue to drop, and Tom Wolf swings through Erie on the last leg of his campaign trail. It's humpday, and there's news to be read, people. 

A comprehensive list of the Jefferson Educational Society's Global Summit VI, including: the skinny, why it should be on your radar, and why we think it's worth seeing. 


A comprehensive list of the Jefferson Educational Society's Global Summit VI, including: the skinny, why it should be on your radar, and why we think it's worth seeing. 

Celebrating a definitive Erie Great: “Easy” Essie Hollis.

Here are a several low-profile, multiplayer video games that deserve to be on your list, according to our gaming expert. 

New Orleans' Crescent City Farmers Marketplace and what Erie could learn from it. 

Frontman Zac Little of the indie folk rockers talks about the band’s latest album, breaking wooden stomp boxes, and NPR Tiny Desk Concerts. 

Will we see a change in voter turnouts come Nov. 4 elections?

More than just an EDM artist, NatasK exhibits a fresh and welcomed sense of where electronic music is headed.

A plethora of reasons why Gov. Tom Corbott is simply the worst governor ever. 

Make no mistake about it – these guys rock first and foremost, especially on this album’s standouts, the anthemic “Obey the Beard,” as well as “Dogs Like Socks,” which explores the complexities of canine/hosiery relations.

It's news, but it's weird. It's... News of the Weird!