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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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.
Perhaps as an antidote to what might seem the pessimism of Chris Hedges in the preceding segment of today's Old Mole, Bill Resnick reads a message of reasoned optimism from the recently deceased Howard Zinn. It comes from a 2004 piece in The Nation, "The Optimism of Uncertainty."
Celebrating Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of 17 African countries that achieved their independence in 1960, the 20th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films begins on February 5 and continues through March 6. P.C. Peri is a member of the planning committee and of Flying Focus Video, and talks with the Old Mole's Jan Haaken about the festival and several of the films being shown.
As the festival's website points out, "The feature and documentary films that we show, the majority of which were made by African directors, celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose Africa’s failures, and reveal the possibilities for a more hopeful future. They show us pictures of Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa that is packaged primarily for western viewers. The films represent African concerns that are political, historical, and social. This year’s films cover a wide range of themes and topics, including African identity, liberation, emigration, displacement, dictatorship, racism and war, issues of trauma, conflict and reconciliation, peace, truth, justice, forgiveness, and the position of women."
Hosted by Bill Resnick, this program features an on-the-ground report from Haiti. In addition, we hear from Howie Hawkins, Green Party Candidate for Mayor of Syracuse about public, locally generated power; from PC Peri of Flying Focus Video about the 20th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films; from Chris Hedges (read by Tom Becker) about our fictional democracy; and from the late Howard Zinn (read by Bill Resnick) about why we should still be optimistic in uncertain times.
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Live from Haiti, Kevin Pina talks by cell phone with the Old Mole's Laurie Mercier about the recent history of Haiti and US role in suppressing Aristide and popular democratic movements, as well as about the US militarization of current aid efforts and its cost in human lives. Pina is a journalist, activist and filmmaker, who knows Haiti intimately. (The accompanying photo shows him in journalistic action in Haiti.)
You can see more from him in this video interview. Pina recommends the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund as the best place to contribute directly to the Haitian people. For more background, check out the Haiti Information Project; Pina's film We Must Kill the Bandits; his article in World Press; and Naomi Klein on disaster capitalism in Haiti.
Howie Hawkins as the Green Party candidate took 41% of the vote for mayor of Syracuse, New York last November. One of his main issues is public utilities and generating green energy locally, and he talks about the politics of that in this conversation with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick.
The recent Supreme Court decision granting rights of free speech to corporations merely reveals what was already true: that democracy is merely a useful fiction and we are already ruled by corporations. This is the argument Chris Hedges makes in a piece on Truthdig, read here by Tom Becker.
Why did Ted Kennedy's Senate seat go to a Republican? What does this mean for Obama and his agenda? Massachussetts political scientist John Berg talks with our Bill Resnick about it all.
Two documentary films made in recent years about Haiti help us to understand the current crisis following the earthquake. Movie Moles Jan Haaken and Frann Michel discuss what can be learned from Aristide and the Endless Revolution and The Agronomist. The second of these revolves around the historical and ongoing importance of community supported radio in Haiti, and makes clear why you should support KBOO (please click on the tip jar at the top of this page if you haven't donated yet in this fund drive!)
Does last week's Supreme Court decision permitting corporations to promote candidates for office, on the grounds of their right to "free speech," hand over our government to corporations? Clayton Morgareidge reviews some of what the left press has to say on the topic. You can read his comments and find his sources here.