Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with local, regional and national experts, activists and policy makers about climate change, food policy, land use, salmon restoration, forest management and all the other things that matter in our environment.
Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein
Robert Johnson and "Too Big To Bail: the 'Paulson Put', Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown"
In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations of corporate greed. How do we go beyond the angry mob mentality? Guest Rob Johnson, who co-wrote "Too Big to Bail: The 'Paulson Put,' Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown" with Thomas Ferguson, provides a larger context for understanding the current financial crisis and analyzing the knee-jerk responses that currently rule in the mass media.
Robert Johnson was formerly a managing director at Soros Funds Management and chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee. You can read a recent article by Johnson and Ferguson at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090309/ferguson_johnson?rel=hp_picks
Hosted by Barbara Bernstein.
Bob Sallinger is the Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland where he has worked since 1992. His current responsibilities include managing the Audubon Statewide Important Bird Area in Oregon, recovery of imperiled species, promoting wildlife conservation in the Portland Metropolitan Region, and overseeing the Society's wildlife rehabilitation center. He has a particular interest in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife and promoting wildlife stewardship in urban ecosystems. His favorite pastime rappelling off Portland area bridges to monitor the region's growing population of bridge nesting peregrine falcons. Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Livable Future and the East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, two children, a dog, a cat (indoor!) and a couple of chickens (outdoor).
Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein
Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein
The Bush administration is now history but its legacy continues to tear the world apart. Senator Patrick Leahy wants to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commision, modeled after ones in South Africa and Latin America - to probe the potentially criminal actions of this administration but many people are calling for stronger measures to hold these culprits accountable for the pain and destruction they have caused. A couple weeks ago comedian Bill Maher suggested executing a couple bankers who "poisoned our financial markets with tainted investments" as a warning to other greedy financial captains. A more serious proposal has been offered in an commentary for New American Media by today's Locus Focus guest Roberto Cintli Rodriguez. He says that we need to seek not just truth and reconciliation, but also justice.
Roberto Rodriguez has been writing the syndicated Column of the Americas, distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, since 1994. He began his journalism and writing career at La Gente newspaper at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972. Since 1990, he has been a senior writer with Black Issues in Higher Education. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, the electronic books: The X in La Raza and Codex Tamanchuan: On Becoming Human. He wrote for several publications, including Lowrider magazine, the Eastside Sun in Los Angeles and La Opinion, the nation's largest Spanish-language daily.
Before becoming syndicated, he also published columns in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today. In 1984, he wrote Assault With A Deadly Weapon, a book on police brutality. In 1986, he was honored by the California Chicano News Media Association for his defense of the First Amendment, as a result of his triumph in two police brutality trials stemming from a vicious assault by L.A. County Sheriff's officers in 1979. In 1997, Assault With a Deadly Weapon and his book On the Wrong Side of the Law were published under one title: Justice: A Question Of Race (Bilingual Review Press).
Thirty years ago this country's nuclear program came to a halt after the disasterous accident and meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in Pennsylvania. Since then we are still debating how to safely store in perpetuity countless tons of high level radioactive waste that is the legacy of this program that once promised "energy too cheap to meter," but resulted in massive cost-overuns and environmental hazards. So why has the nuclear option returned to the table as we look for alternatives to carbon emitting climate changing fossil fuels? What forgotten lessons of the 1970s do we need to remember? Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, for a discussion about why nuclear power is no better an idea now than it was thirty years. We also talk about who is promoting nuclear power and why.
Arjun Makhijani is President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, specializing in nuclear fusion.A recognized authority on energy issues and nuclear issues in particular, Dr. Makhijani is the author and co-author of numerous reports and books on topics such as nuclear defense systems, radioactive waste storage and disposal, nuclear testing, disposition of fissile materials, energy efficiency, and ozone depletion. He is the principal editor of Nuclear Wastelands: a Global Guide to Nuclear Weapons Production and Its Health and Environmental Effects, published by MIT Press in July 1995, and subsequently nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Dr. Makhijani has served as a consultant to numerous organizations including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and several agencies of the United Nations.
Pratap Chatterjee (CorpWatch) talks about why the privatized, outsourced military Barack Obama has inherited from the Bush administration will prove a done deal. Pratap Chatterjee's article, "The Military's Expanding Waistline, What Will Obama Do with KBR?," appears at http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175036.
Pratap Chatterjee is an investigative journalist and producer and the program, director/managing editor of Corpwatch. He is the author of Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation and The Earth Brokers. He hosted a weekly radio show on Berkeley station KPFA, was a global environment editor for InterPress Service, and wrote for the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the Independent of London. He has won five Project Censored awards as well as a Silver Reel from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for his work in Afghanistan, and the best business story award from the National Newspaper Association (U.S.), among others. He has appeared as a commentator on numerous radio and television shows ranging from BBC World Service, CNN International, Democracy Now!, Fox, and MSNBC. The winner of a Lannan Cultural Freedom Award in 2006, he lives in Oakland, California.
Required reading for today's broadcast: EconomicMeltDownFunnies.org...
President Obama has just signed a 787 billion dollar stimulus package into law. So what does it all mean and what can we hope for? Locus Focus Resident Economist Chuck Collins joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to discuss the political and psychological implications - as well as economic - of the struggle to get this package enacted. Is it big enough to really have any impact? What else is needed to turn the economy around?
Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy (IPS) and directs IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity (New Press, 2005). He coordinates a national effort to preserve the federal estate tax, our nation’s only tax on inherited wealth. He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr., Wealth and Our Commonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes.
In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. In 1997, he co-founded Responsible Wealth, a project of UFE to bring together business leaders and investors to publicly speak out against economic policies and corporate practices that worsen economic inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.
This week the news is about Obama's economic stimulus package passing the Senate and about to be enacted into law.
Last week it was about Tom Daschel, Obama's nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services, having to withdraw his name because of his problems with the IRS. So what are the connections between economic stimulus and health care? Barbara Dudley, a regular guest on Locus Focus, joins host Barbara Bernstein, in a discussion about these issues. . .and more.
Barbara Dudley is an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University. She is also co-chair of the Oregon Working Families Party, and a partner in Bethel Heights Vineyard in Polk County. She formerly served as President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, and Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns of the national AFL‑CIO.
Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with John Cavanagh with the Institute for Policy Studies about the ins and outs of Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. What is progressive about the proposal, where could it go further and why does it upset the Republicans so much?
John Cavanagh has been Director of the Institute for Policy Studies since 1998. The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is the nation’s oldest multi-issue progressive think tank. Since 1963, the Institute has worked with social movements to forge viable and sustainable policies to promote democracy, justice, human rights, and diversity. John oversees IPS’s programs, outreach, and organizational development. John holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a MA from Princeton University. He worked as an international economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1978-1981) and the World Health Organization (1981-1982). He directed IPS’s Global Economy Project from 1983-1997. John is the co-author of 10 books and numerous articles on the global economy. His recent publications include: Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order (with Richard J. Barnet), Simon & Schuster, 1994, and A Field Guide to the Global Economy (with Sarah Anderson and Thea Lee), New Press, 2000.
The Sellwood Bridge is in desperate need of repair or replacement. After a long process, a final decision is due soon on a new bridge's alignment and design. In recent weeks this process has become contentious because two groups are being pitted against one another.
A group of condo owners who live on either side of the bridge have been aggressively supporting an alignment that would move the bridge a block or more north, saving their property from demolition but having major impacts on other parts of the neighborhood.
This week we talk with a group of Sellwood neighbors who are opposed to this plan and have organized a grassroots movement to rebuild the bridge in its current alignment. We look at the sustainability and livability issues of where the new Sellwood Bridge is built.
Heather Nelson Koch is an environmental planner who has spent her career using planning, design and policy to protect and enhance built and natural environments. With a focus on community participation in planning processes, Ms. Koch has planned and implemented a variety of projects, from urban creek restoration and urban greenway projects to long-range campus plans. Her interests and involvement have ranged from hands-on, site-specific ecological design and construction to regional policy initiatives striving to foster sustainable communities. Ms. Koch and her family live in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, where they enjoy the local riverfront park, the pedestrian/bicycle corridor and the ability to make most of their journeys on foot or by bike. At this time, she is also working as a volunteer and organizer alongside hundreds of neighbors to protect shared community resources as the development process for the proposed Sellwood Bridge redevelopment moves forward.
Eric Miller is a Sellwood/Moreland community organizer, public health physical therapist and current stay-at-home Dad. He co-founded the Sellwood Playgroup Association, an affiliation of 6 playgroups in the neighborhood that provide community and fellowship to families with children aged 0-5. He became active in the Sellwood Bridge project late last year following an accident at the intersection of SE Tacoma and 13th Avenue between a 4-yr-old bicyclist and a truck. Which bridge designs are chosen have a direct impact on the health, safety and welfare of our children and families who must cross Tacoma to go to school and church, and of those who use the Spokane gateway to access Oaks Bottom, Sellwood Riverfront Park, and one of the few natural beaches on the Willamette that exist in urban Portland. He is an advocate for the community's overall well-being.