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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Joe Clement hosts this Old Mole Variety Hour and we hear:
- Bill Resnick talk with Kristin Swenson about lifestyle drugs and the neoliberal family.
- Joe summarizes and reads from David Graeber's "On The Phenomena of BS Jobs"
- Frann Michel brings us a Well-read Red about labor and overthrowing the wage-system.
- Our Left and the Law duo discuss Chelsea Manning's conviction and the question of "insanity" in military court cases.
We hear clips of the uncut version of Solidarity Forever as sung by Utah Phillips throughout the show.
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual segments, follow the links above.
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- Title: OMVHLaborDay2013
- Length: 59:49 minutes (54.76 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Tom Becker hosts this episode of the Old Mole, which addresses popular deceptions and misconceptions about Social Security, money in politics, safety and policing, and climate change.
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Bill Resnick talks with Max Richtman, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare , who clarifies that Social Security is an earned benefit, and the program is not broke or breaking. The current program can continue paying full benefits for twenty years; and with a slight adjustment of the payroll cap, it can continue long after that. (Currently, only the first $113,000 of income is taxed, no matter whether someone's total income is $113,000 or $113,000,000). Half of all Social Security beneficiaries rely on the program for 90 % of their income, though the average benefit is only about $13,000 per year. Bill and Max discuss how chained CPI would reduce benefits. Richtman argues that Social Security needs to be expanded and the benefits increased.
Clayton Morgareidge reads from and comments on David Graeber's The Democracy Project, which argues that our whole political system functions by bribery, and that the corruption of government entails the corruption of language through euphemism. For instance, rape, torture, and murder are now "human rights violations"; bribery of public officials is "lobbying"; soliciting bribes is "fundraising."
Movie Moles Denise Morris and Jan Haaken discuss Fruitvale Station, the dramatization of Oscar Grant's killing by Bay Area Rapid Transit guard Johannes Mehserle on New Years Eve 2008. They discuss some of the complexities of fictional films about real events, and suggest that director Ryan Coogler's film overcompensates for the otherwise negative portrayals of young Black men in mainstream media. They also consider the contrast between community intervention to defuse tense situations and the tendency of police to escalate violence, as well as the irony of appealing to the criminal injustice system for redress of grievances.
Terracide: the knowing destruction of the planet earth in the pursuit of profit. Tom Becker reads from Tom Engelhardt's essay on the fossil fuel industry as the biggest criminal enterprise in history.
George Katsiaficas has written widely about people's liberation movements around the world, many of them unreported in our media. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about the "Eros Effect" -- the desire for freedom that constantly asserts itself in uprisings everywhere, from the Paris Commune to the Occupy Movement. Katsiaficas is the author of many books, including Asia's Unknown Uprisings; and the article "Popular Movements Around the World: A New Stage of Insurgency."
Movie Moles Frann Michel and Iven Hale take a critical, yet appreciative, look at "Orange is the New Black," the Netflix series that has just finished its first season. They point out its failures to fully represent prison life, while finding much to admire in the show. For a summary of Frann's and Iven's review, and links to other critical reviews, check out Frann Michel's blog.
Claire Connor has described her political journey in Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right. In Portland on a speaking tour, Old Mole contributor Paul Roland talked with her about the right wing's domination of the corporate media and the rise of community radio like KBOO to counteract it.
This piece concludes with words from Elvis Costello about the control of commercial radio by "fools" and a request to you to vote in the upcoming KBOO board election. Details are on this page.
Jane Smiley's 2010 novel Private Life: Marriage Can Sometimes Be the Lonliest Place takes the life of Margaret from 1883 to 1942, revealing in one "private life" the larger world in which it is lived. Larry Bowlden reviews this work of a major American writer. More of Larry's reviews are here.