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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Examining the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young Nigerian man who tried set off an explosion on a plane from Amsterdam as it approached Detroit on Christmas day, Clayton Morgareidge suggests that terrorist acts can result from the frustration of the democratic desire for solidarity. For the text of this commentary and links to sources, go here.
Alain Badiou enunciates the communist hypothesis: The subordination of labor to a dominant class, (whether it be a class of capitalists or a class of party bureaucrats) is not inevitable. If so, then the existence of a coercive state, with the violent policing we heard about at the beginning of this show, is not inevitable either. Here is the Old Mole’s Frann Michel making the case for this hypothesis, and for the courage to weather the hard times of struggle. You can read the text and find her sources here.
Dianne Feeley is a retired auto worker who writes about the industry and the United Auto Workers Union. She talks with Denise Morris about the future of the industry and the situation of the workers today. You can read an essay of hers here.
Brooke Jacobson comments on the current film about a high-flying guy who fires people for a living. Some of the actors are real people recently laid off.
Why is violence such a feature of police work? Kristian Williams is the author of two books on this topic, including Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Williams examines the populations most often subjected to police abuse and the forms that abuse takes, delving into the role of police brutality in repressing political dissent and in preserving existing structures of inequality. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. On next week's Old Mole (Jan. 4), the conversation will continue, focusing on what police work would be like in a better world.
Our book mole Larry Bowlden takes up Jeffrey Eugenides's Pulitzer Prize novel Middlesex. It is about gender ambiguity, immigration, working in the auto industry in Detroit, and family history. You can read more of Larry's reviews here.
Denise Morris hosts this show which features discussions of police brutality, the auto industry, Jeffrey Eugenides novel Middlesex, and the movie "Up In the Air."
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The Senate has just passed a healthcare bill. Is it worth our support? Dr. Paul Gorman, a physician at OHSU and member of Physicians for a National Health Program talks with Laurie Mercier about what's been lost in the legislative process, and what it will take to get back on the road to real universal coverage.
Continuing their discussion of how the military uses the label "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome," attorney Mike Snedeker and the Old Mole's Jan Haaken discuss how it diverts attention from policies of militarism and focuses instead on individuals.