S1 E19: Drones, Kansas & Afghanistan: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S1 E19: Drones, Kansas & Afghanistan: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Visit to New York

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech at Madison Square Garden and appeared at the Global Citizen concert in Central Park.
  • Modi made a notable reference to Star Wars and Wolverine during his concert appearance, despite his previous ban from entering the United States.

Protests in Ferguson, Missouri

  • The protests in Ferguson continued for the fifth week, with criticism directed towards Police Chief Tom Jackson's handling of the situation.
  • Concerns were raised about the Ferguson Police Department's choice of PR expert, De'Sha James, who had previously shot and killed an unarmed man.

Afghan President Hamed Karzai's Farewell Speech

  • President Hamed Karzai delivered a farewell speech thanking various countries for their assistance in rebuilding Afghanistan, but notably omitted the United States.
  • Karzai's speech included warnings about the United States and criticism of the American mission in Afghanistan, leading to a humorous response from John Oliver involving Yelp reviews of Karzai's brother's restaurant.

Drone Strikes in Warfare

  • The use of drones in warfare, particularly in Yemen and Pakistan, was discussed, highlighting the lack of media coverage and public awareness surrounding drone strikes.
  • Concerns were raised about the transparency and accountability of drone strikes, as the decision-making process is unclear and has loopholes.
  • The definition of an imminent threat is vague, allowing for strikes based on potential future attacks rather than immediate ones.
  • Civilian casualties are often not accurately counted, with the CIA sometimes classifying able-bodied males of military age as militants unless proven innocent.
  • Drone strikes have a significant psychological impact on people living in areas where they are frequently used, causing fear and anxiety.
  • The legality and broader consequences of drone strikes are not fully understood, and there is a lack of clear answers about the authorization and justification process.

Mark Cuban's Favorite Book and Ayn Rand's Controversial Views

  • Mark Cuban's favorite book is "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, and he even named his yacht after it.
  • Ayn Rand is known for her strong advocacy of capitalism and individualism, but she also held controversial views on abortion, religion, and Native Americans.
  • Despite her controversial views, Rand remains a popular figure among conservatives.

Kansas' Financial Difficulties and Unexpected Source of Revenue

  • The state of Kansas is facing financial difficulties, including budget shortfalls and underfunded schools.
  • Kansas is set to profit from an unexpected source: an auction of adult toys from a chain of sex toy stores that failed to pay taxes.
  • The state needs to raise around $160,000 from the auction to cover its budget shortfall, and John Oliver encourages Kansans to overspend on the items to support education.

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