BTS 10/9/06: North Korea; King/Drew Crisis; Pension Shock

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On tonight’s Beneath The Surface we look at the political fall-out and limited options after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test early today. Bruce Cumings, a Korea specialist, says there is no military solution to the North Korean problem nor will sanctions work, since North Korea has been under virtual sanctions since 1950. He joins us to discuss the ramifications of North Korea becoming a nuclear weapons state.

We then look at the continuing crisis at King-Drew Hospital in Los Angeles, which faces a crippling loss of federal funding after the Los Angeles County-owned hospital failed a crucial inspection last month. The county Board of Supervisors has agreed in principle to dramatically reduce beds and services at King/Drew and put it under the management of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Residents have actively opposed this proposal – and we’ll have Earl Ofari Hutchison and Erin Aubry Kaplan join us to discuss the situation.

And finally, on tonight’s BTS we talk to Robin Blackburn, whose analysis of financial engineering and grey capitalism describes modern corporate strategy and techniques in this era – his latest book, Age Shock explores solutions to the crisis of pension financing.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Bruce Cumings is a historian and professor at the University of Chicago, specializing in modern Korean history and contemporary international relations in East Asia. His books include The Origins of the Korean War (Princeton University Press), Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History (Norton), Parallax Visions: American-East Asian Relations at the End of the Century (Duke University Press), and North Korea: Another Country (New Press).

2. Earl Ofari Hutchison is a noted author of nine books about the African American experience in America. His numerous published articles appear in newspapers and magazines across the country as well as some of the most popular web sites on the Internet. He is a radio host and TV commentator. He has received numerous awards for his writings. He is President of the National Alliance for Positive Action and the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable.

3. Erin Aubry Kaplan is a weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, the first African American in the paper's history to hold the position. Kaplan was an original staff writer for New Times Los Angeles in 1996, then became a staff writer of the LA Weekly where she wrote the "Cakewalk" column.

4. Robin Blackburn is a distinguished professor in the graduate faculty of the New School University in New York and a founding member and former editor of New Left Review. He is the author of Banking on Death: Or, Investing in Life: The History and Future of Pensions, The Making of New World Slavery, and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery (Verso), plus 1968 (Nation Books), The Imperial Presidency (Constellations), and Cuba Under the Hammer (New Left Review).