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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What's it like to be a woman in the construction trades? Johnanna Brenner talks with an electrician and a steam fitter about about the challenges facing women trying to break into and stay in the construction trades. They discuss how women support each other to meet those challenges, about efforts to make unions more democratic, inclusive, and activist, and why that is important to women and people of color working in the trades.
All three -- Amy Sprengelmeyer, Lisa Serrano and Johanna herself -- are members of Portland Cross Trade Solidarity which is holding a fund raiser this Saturday, March 13 at the Musician's Hall. It's purpose is to help send a delegation of building trades workers to the Labor Notes Conference in Detroit. For more information, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 503-234-2306. Portland Cross Trade Solidarity is also on Facebook.
Bill Resnick provides us with an overview of the issues in the Healthcare Debate: the cruel and glaring failures in the current healthcare system, the advantages of singlepayer (Medicare for All), and whether the current proposals from Obama and the Congress are worth supporting in spite of their limitations.
A successful government-run medical system is already up and running right here in the USA. Tom Becker reads an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof.
Shutter Island is a film about madness and sanity, the power of psychiatry, and paranoia about government. Hear why our Movie Moles Jan Haaken and Jimena Alvarado call it "bulimic film-making."
Is the healthcare proposal coming from Obama and the Congress worthy of support or rejection? Does it lay the groundwork for continuing on to real universal healthcare, or does it block the path? Kathleen Stoll, Director of Health Policy at Families USA, lays out the real improvements coming out of DC. A report, "At a Crossroads: Is Health Coverage Ahead for America?" is available here (PDF).
Hosted by Bill Resnick, this show focuses on the healthcare debate, Shutter Island, a movie about mental health (among other things), and features the music of the late Alistair Hulett.
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An "incendiary mix of punk rock, Celtic folk music, and anti-imperialist, working-class, left-wing politics" ---that's how our radical musicologist Brad Duncan describes Alistair Hulett and Roaring Jack, the band he formed. This segment contains excerpts of his songs and a discussion of his life and music with Brad and the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. Hulett died in January. Here's an obituary with several video clips.
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 really went on between black women slaves and their mistresses on the plantations? Thavolia Glymph, author of the prizewinning book Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household, talks with the Old Mole's Laurie Mercier about how black women's struggles--before, during, and after the Civil War--shaped the long civil rights movement and can inspire and inform us today in struggles for social justice.