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).
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Here is a review and appreciation of Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk's latest novel The Museum of Innocence. The reviewer is Josh Erdahl, and the novel is a story of class, culture and personal struggle in a changing society.
Will the transition to Clean Energy lead to decentralized, worker and community controlled energy production? Or will it be centralized under corporate and state control and promote high usage and consumerism? John Farrell works with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance which supports environmentally sound and equitable community development. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about many communities, including some in the US, are building ways in which families and communities can produce energy locally and cut back on their consumption. You can find an article by Farrell here.
"The best living writer anywhere," is how our Book Mole Larry Bowlden describes Alice Munro. Here is Larry reviewing her most recent book of stories. Larry's past reviews are here.
What is wage slavery? Why are even well-paid workers nevertheless slaves? Could work be abolished? What is the real value of work? These are the questions pondered by Old Moles Clayton Morgareidge and Frann Michel, and Poet Marge Piercy in this portmanteau segment with musical breaks by Thelonious Monk and Stephan Grapelli. The image here is a Mural at the Frederick Douglass Library/ University of Maryland by Mike Alewitz, "The Creation of Wealth." And you can find Frann's text and her sources by clicking here.
Employers often fail to pay the wages workers have earned: they commit wage theft, affecting millions of American workers. Kim Bobo is the author of Wage Theft in America, and in this interview she talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about the many ways this happens, why companies get away with it, and what we can do about it.
Bobo will be speaking at an event for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon this Thursday evening at the Friends' Meeting House, SE 43d and Stark; and on the topic of wage theft at SEIU Local 503, SE Foster and 64th Avenue on Friday evening.
Having returned from Haiti just before the Earthquake, human rights activist Stuart Hammond has a good idea of the impact that the earthquake and the incursion of military personnel is having on the political climate. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Laurie Mercier about the various NGOs working in Haiti and which ones we should support in KBOO's February 18 all-day Fundraiser, as well as Haiti's recent history with the US and Canada. Hammond himself is with the Canada-Haiti Action Network.
The Old Mole's Bill Resnick surveys a wide range of progressive writers and media for their take on the Obama presidency so far, covering regulatory agencies, finance reform, and foreign policy. It's not all bad. Bill asks whether he could have been all that progressives wanted him to be without being destroyed by the establishment.
Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this show begins with several discussions of work: how its wages are stolen, why it can be called slavery, whether work is necessary, and the value of "real" work. In the second half of the program, we hear from a human rights activist just returned from Haiti, and Bill Resnick provides an assessment of the Obama presidency and its limitations.
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Another in the Old Mole's series The Left and the Law, this conversation with appellate attorney Mike Snedeker and psychologist Jan Haaken takes up two recent issues. First, the right-wing radio ad campaign against the early release of some inmates because of the state budget shortfall. But does longer incarceration do any good? Why do we spend so much on prisons and so little on education? Second, the recent conviction of a Church of Christ family for trusting to faith healing rather than medical attention for their dying son: what right does the state have to regulate the way parents care for their children?
Angele Theard is a Portland anesthesiologist and second generation Haitian just back from ten days in Haiti administering to the pain of injured people. In this interview, she talks with Thabiti Lewis about her work and the problems of getting needed aid to the people. Dr. Theard was part of a group working with Medical Teams International of Oregon.