Old Mole Variety Hour


The Old Mole burrows down to the roots of the great issues of our time – the struggles of ordinary people for democratic and sustainable ways of life.  The Mole goes where corporate media fear to tread, supporting grassroots challenges to top-down authority and giving voice to movements that shake the foundations of an unjust society.  The Moles' perspective is democratic, broadly socialist, and feminist.  (We count Karl Marx as a friend).

Here is why we call this show "The Old Mole"

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 Our theme "Mole in the Ground" is by Bascom Lamar Lunsford  (1924), somtimes blended with a newer versions, like the one  by dj/rupture, sung by Sindhu Zagoren.  It's on the album Special Gunpowder

Our graphic lettering is  by Charlie Ertola. Host portraits by Clayton Morgareidge.

For individual segments and information about episodes, click the "audio" tab.

You can leave comments for the Moles at  oldmolevarietyhour@gmail.com or by clicking on the comment section for any of our audio pieces.  


Episode Archive

Old Mole Variety Hour for November 5

Air date: 
Mon, 11/04/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
National Security, unions on Star Trek, "Hope Springs", and prison hunger strikes
Old Mole Banner Logo
Joe Clement hosts this episode of the Old Mole which will include:
  • The Left and the Law with Mike Snedeker and Jan Haaken follow up on the hunger strikes in California prisons;
  • Movie Moles Denise Morris and Jan Haaken discuss the film Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple in marriage counseling;
  • Joe Clement will talk with a local sci-fi buff and radical activist about the "union episode" on Star Trek Deep Nine;
  • Bill Resnick interviews a scholar/activist about the national security State.

Old Mole Special on Climate Change and Other Crucial Environmental Issues

Air date: 
Mon, 10/21/2013 - 8:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
How to support movements to stop climate change and win other environmental struggles
Celebrate Membership Drive by tuning in to an Old Mole climate change special: Mark Herstsgaard on the threat of climate change and also the many reasons for hope including the growth of our movements; Mark Jacobson on how, if we mobilize our resources, we can eliminate fossil fuel burning for energy within 15 years; John Ferrell on the great superiority of local democratically run decentralized sun and wind power production; and also an Old Mole Roundtable on strategy for winning, on climate change and other critical environmental struggles." Image from Wikipedia: This time series, based on satellite data, shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. The September 2010 extent was the third lowest in the satellite record.

Old Mole Variety Hour for September 30

Air date: 
Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Syria, ObamaCare, government shutdown, food stamps, and more

Old Mole logo

This episode of the Old Mole will be hosted by Clayton Morgareidge and will give you incisive and critical commentary on Syria, Obamacare, the impending government shutdown, food stamps and class, and more.

Old Mole Variety Hour on 09/23/13

Air date: 
Mon, 09/23/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
A program of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist point of view.
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Old Mole Variety Hour on 09/16/13

Air date: 
Mon, 09/16/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
A program of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist point of view.
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Bill Resnick speaks with Paula Rabinowitz, who just competed a 4 volume series on clothes and accessories, how people use them to create identities, identify selves, resist subordination, and generally communicate. They examine the 20th century, beginning with the use of hats and purses to signal and fight for the liberated (somewhat) woman. They conclude with today’s masquerade, way beyond accessories for the middle class, as people experiment with materials to construct themselves, and what that could come to mean when strong commitments and clear political choices become necessary when both a left and fascists forces contest for power. 


Revolution and Religion

program date: 
Mon, 01/18/2016
Joe Clement presents an audio-montage of music, reading, commentary, and other spoken word clips on the theme of religion and revolution. In addition to readings from Karl Marx, Slavoj Žižek , and John Steinbeck, audio clips include: the opening sequence of the 1979 documentary, Wobblies; Utah Phillips on "voluntary combinations"; This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, playing "Preacher and the Slave"; Paul Robeson singing "Joe Hill"; Woody Guthrie singing and playing a song about Jesus Christ.

Abortion Rights Movement Today

program date: 
Mon, 01/18/2016
Jan Haaken interviews Carole Joffe., professor at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and author of path-breaking books on the abortion rights movement and anti-choice politics. She gives her take on the State of the Abortion Rights movement (playing on Obama's talk to the nation on Tuesday), including a recent wave of creative organizing among young people--and groups like All Above All

The Old Mole Variety Hour for January 18, 2016

program date: 
Mon, 01/18/2016

Joe Clement hosts this Martin Luther King Day edition of the Old Mole, and we hear

1.  Bill Resnick talks with educator Jesse Hagopian about teaching the radical MLK instead of the sanitized version celebrated in the mainstream.

2.  Joe Clement presents an audio-montage about religion and revolution.

3.  Jan Haaken inverviews Professor Carol Joffe about where the abortion rights movement stands today.

You can hear the whole show by clicking on the play button below. To hear individual segments, follow the links above. Please look for us and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or write to us at OldMoleVarietyHour@gmail.com.  

China's Eco Apocalypse

program date: 
Mon, 01/11/2016

Bill Resnick talks with China scholar Richard Smith regarding China's economic and environmental problems. Smith's writing is available on Truthout , including his article on China's Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse. They discuss the recent crisis in China's economy, and Smith notes the coexistence of capitalist enterprises the larger state sector, and how China has the worst of both market and bureaucratic economies: as a bureaucratic collectivist capitalist economy, China faces structural pressures to keep the economy going despite drastic consequences for the environment, and despite environmental laws. Having built an economy on superexploitation or "police state capitalism," the government has more recently made concessions to the massive protests by workers in the last ten years, propping up a system of overproduction to maintain employment and raise wages. Producing things they dont need--whether junk for export or ghost cities --energy is expended to keep the extractive economy (rather than life) going on. Although China is the world's largest producer of solar panels, it lacks the grid to put renewable energy to wide use.

[image via wikimedia]

Portland Anti-war Activism

program date: 
Mon, 01/11/2016

Desiree Hellegers interviews John Linder on the history of Portland anti-war activism since the first Gulf War.

Desiree mentions the Rally and March w/ Portland Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group and Portland Peaceful Response Coalition on Friday, January 15, 2016, 4:30-6:00 PM at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway, to demand an End to 25 Years of Killing: US Out of Iraq.

Linder reminisces about organizing in Portland against the first Gulf War in 1991, holding vigils at Pioneer Courthouse Square, building momentum, and organizing with a wide variety of concerned Portlanders. He notes the legacy of that organizing in the founding of various groups, including Portland Peace and Justice Works, and in the greater sophistication of local organizing against the second Gulf War in 2003. The legacy of the first Gulf War itself lies in the USA's ongoing military presence and the blowback against it.

[image via wikipedia]

Occupy Malheur Psychology

program date: 
Mon, 01/11/2016

Jan Haaken and Tod Sloan discuss the occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They consider the largely progressive history of occupation, often as a response to exhaustion of other attempts at redress, and usually entailing personal risk, as in occupations of segregated lunch counters, or the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee by American Indian Movement activists. They note the potential overlap in outlook or rhetoric between some left and right perspectives on the value of the local, but that the underlying issues in the Malheur case have to do with narrow material interests, often coming down to the desire to privatize public lands. Jan comments on the traditionally conservative perspectives of ranchers (as opposed to dairy farmers), who are more distant from their animals and land, and can seem to deny their actual dependence on government subsidies and regulations. Similar observations apply to the incident involving gold miners last year in southern Oregon. Todd notes the Malheur occupation raises and faces similar struggles to the Occupy (Wall St) movement--who will speak for the group, how will occupiers be fed. Jan notes that soliciting material aid is also a way of declaring dedication and locating political support. They conclude with the importance of how to name the Malheur occupation and the grounds on which to critique it.

[image via wikipedia]

The Old Mole Variety Hour for January 11, 2016

program date: 
Mon, 01/11/2016
Old Mole Variety Hour
Tom hosts this episode, with music by Bob Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival, and discussions of China, Malheur, and Portland. Like us on Facebook!  To listen to the whole show, use the play or download buttons below.  To hear individual segments and find out more, follow the links:

Bill Resnick talks with China scholar Richard Smith about China's economic and environmental problems
Desiree Hellegers interviews John Linder on the history of Portland anti-war activism since the first Gulf War.

Jan Haaken and Tod Sloan discuss the occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Images: our host, Tom Becker, by Clayton Morgareidge, and A statue of Elephants in the North Park Blocks of Portland, Oregon. The placard reads: The young elephant standing peacefully on his father's back symbolizes safe and prosperous offspring. A replica of a wine pitcher from the late Shang Dynasty (circa 1200-1100 BC) this sculpture is about sixteen times larger than the original. The elaborate surface decoration features cloud-shaped curves and birds and animals from ancient Chinese mythology. Da Tung may be translated as "universal peace" or "large bronze". Xi'am Bao Bao means "baby elephant". A gift to the City of Portland from Mr. Hou Baozhu of Xi'an China as a gesture of goodwill and evidence of his belief in the importance of cultural exchanges.
  • Title: omjan112016
  • Length: 51:44 minutes (23.69 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

Movie Moles: "Carol"

program date: 
Wed, 01/06/2016
Movie Moles Frann Michel and Denise Morris review Carol, the latest feature from director Todd Haynes (perhaps best known for the Douglas Sirk homage Far From Heaven); Carol is  currently playing in Portland at the Hollywood Theatre.
Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, is based on the 1952 novel originally titled The Price of Salt, written by Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley  Like  Highsmith's Ripley novels, The Price of Salt was unusual for its day in allowing the protagonist to escape the typical fate of literary characters who violate the conventions and rules of bourgeois life.  This film has gotten almost universal praise from critics and viewers, and it's well worth seeing.

Portland's Climate Action Plan, Part 2

program date: 
Mon, 01/04/2016
This is Part 2 of Bill Resnick's interview with Mike Houck and Caitlin Lovell about the latest version of the Portland Climate Action Plan, approved earlier this year by the city council. The plan is very comprehensive, dealing with  the many sources of greenhouse gas pollution and what can be done to reduce each. 
The first half (available here), played last week, explored:
- Incenting local sun and wind installations and rid the planet of fossil fuel energy
- Encouraging energy efficiency in all buildings
- Integrating nature into the city to encourage walking and cool the city
- How saving the cities saves the countryside 
- Job creation
This second half covers….
- The need for local initiative and local competent planning
- The need for very large reconstruction of the productive apparatus and changes of ways of life that will require diverting resources from the military and other wasteful projects.

Ten Good Things in 2015

program date: 
Mon, 01/04/2016
Looking back at 2015, Medea Benjamin found ten good things to celebrate -- ten wins for the left. Tom Becker reads from her piece in Huffington Post


Avatar's Jake Sully is ---- Tarzan - - -


A great review I've seen on Avatar (and how the soldier will save the people):


There is a link from there that exposes Cameron's plot as a mirror of Pocahontas, amazing parallel!      http://failblog.org/2010/01/10/avatar-plot-fail/


Since watching Avatar, I have viewed older videos on DVD and would rate that ahead of Avatar.






commentary transcripts

It's convenient to have the Old Mole audio files available.
Even more useful for some of us would be transcripts of the commentaries (Clayton Morgareidge). Written material allows a person a chance to review, consider, digest and refer to mentioned references & thinkers. The "Well Read Red" commentary from 4 Aug 08 is a good example of a piece I'd like to read at my own pace.


We will see to it that this happens whenever there is a prepared text. Thanks for the suggestion. Clayton Morgareidge The Old Mole Variety Hour

These folks are so profound

These folks are so profound and fascinating, especially the Resnick guy. Wow!


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