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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Muslims and refugees; Lincoln's world view

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 18, 2015 11:43 AM
refugees in France.jpg

In this Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 photo migrants wash their hands and items at a station for fresh water inside France's biggest refugee camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, November 18, 2015:

The President of France, Francois Holland, declared war on ISIS this week after the terrorist attacks that rocked Paris Friday night, killing 129 and wounding another 350.

One of the first acts Holland took immediately after the violence was to order France's borders closed.  This comes at a time when thousands of refugees are making their way into Europe to escape the civil war in Syria.  It's been reported that one of the terrorists arrived in France as a refugee.

Even before the attacks, many French were not happy about the large Muslim population in France.  That has been exasperated now.

On Wednesday's Smart Talk, we'll discuss politics in France as it relates to immigration, asylum, Islam and foreign policy.  Our guest is Dr. Juliette Tolay, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Penn State Harrisburg.


Dr. Juliette Tolay

Meanwhile in the United States, many of the nation's governors have vowed to block Syrian refugees from coming into their states without a thorough vetting process.  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is not one of them.

Government affairs attorney Jim Schultz, who was the former counsel to Gov. Tom Corbett, has an opinion on the powers of states in stopping refugees.

Lincoln in the atlantic world cover.jpg

Also, Thursday is the 152nd anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  In what arguably is the greatest speech in American history, almost everyone views Lincoln's words in the context of the Civil War, what Lincoln believed the nation's founders were saying in the Declaration of Independence, and the United States as a republic. 

Louise Stevenson, author of the new book Lincoln in the Atlantic World joins us to talk about Lincoln's world view.   She also is a professor of history and American studies at Franklin and Marshall College.


Louise Stevenson

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-11-18 09:54

    Sharon emails

    In regard to your program this morning: It's irrational to block refugees from coming to America, and it won't make us safer. Many of the ISIS attackers came from Belgium. They could come to America easily as tourists. Are we going to block all tourists? Why not build a wall around the entire country and then put every Muslim in internment camps? The reactionary response of Republicans and of governors who wish to block Syrians is a dangerous slippery slope. Have we learned nothing from history?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-11-18 09:55

    David in Lancaster emails:

    I have always thought that true leaders were supposed to help us overcome our fears and other base emotions to become a better, more noble people. I thought they were the ones who inspired us to do the right thing even if it was at our own peril. I thought they helped us be brave even when we were terrified. But not today. Today, even those whom we have elected to lead us, and those who would become President, have shown themselves to be unable to overcome their own fear and so, unworthy of leading us.