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The Source: The Missions 'World Heritage' Status Under Threat | Freedom Of Speech Evolves

Eileen Pace
TPR News

In the first segment:

In late October the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to admit Palestine as a member state. The U.S., which has long opposed recognition, promptly stopped paying dues and subsequently lost its voting rights in the organization.  

UNESCO overseas the designation of World Heritage Sites, which San Antonio and Bexar County are seeking for its Missions National Historic Park. The designation could mean over a thousand jobs and up to $100 million dollars in economic impact according to a Bexar County study.  

The loss of a U.S. vote has many people worried Texas will miss its chance to secure the sought-after designation.

Suzanne Dixon, Texas director for the National Parks Conservation Association, questions the politics involved, calling for the immediate resumption of U.S. involvement in UNESCO.

San Antonio Congressman Joaquín Castro has requested funds to get the U.S. back in good standing with the agency. He joins us to talk about his efforts and the tricky diplomatic arena in which it takes place.

And also joining us is Dr. Sedef Doganer, architecture professor at UTSA, who has studied the cultural and economic impact of the Franciscan Missions.

In the second segment:


Today we tend to think of our right to free speech as an immovable, unshakeable, unevolving aspect of American society. In his new book "The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind--And Changed Free Speech In America," law professor Thomas Healy argues how historically free speech has waxed and waned -- it meant something very different in the WWI era.

Ironically, it was Oliver Wendell Holmes, a lifelong skeptic of individual rights, who would confirm free political speech as a cornerstone of American life. We talk with Healy and take your calls.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive