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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Barack Obama is the first US president to have been a community organizer. What does this suggest about how he tries to govern and how successful he might be? Geoffrey Kurtz has written about this, and here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about his observations. Kurtz is professor of Politics at Manhatten Community College.
The Hurt Locker follows a US military bomb squad in Iraq as they face harrowing situations. Our Movie Moles Frann Michel and Jan Haaken discuss how the film works to position its viewers on the side of the US occupation, and they ask Can there really be an anti-war film? The Hurt Locker will be shown at the Hollwood Theater in Portland on Monday, July 20 followed by a discussion with the director Kathryn Bigelow. This is a benefit for the Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival. More information here. You will want to listen to the Moles' review first.
Hosted by Laurie Mercier (pictured here) and featuring music by activist folk-singer Anne Feeney, this program discusses what Obama's experience as a community organizer might mean for him as President; the role of science in the law; Hurt Locker, the movie about defusing bombs in Iraq; and the bad job the mainstream press is doing on the military coup in Honduras.
Anne Feeney will be here in Portland on Saturday, July 18 with her Sing Out for Single Payer Road Show. For details go here.
For information about our theme music and our graphics, go to our main page, where you'll also find links to our Facebook page and our Twitter account.
To hear this program in its entirety, use the play button above. To hear individual pieces and for more information about the issues, follow the links below:
The Old Mole's Laurie Mercier exposes the lies and half-truths that have been passing for news coverage on the military coup in Honduras. She cites this article by Stephen Zunes, as well as this report by Sandra Cuffe, the website of School of the Americas Watch, and reports from PCASC (Portland Central America Solidarity Committee).
What is the role of science in sending people to prison? What if the science is bunk? Attorney Mike Snedeker talks with the Old Mole's Jan Haaken about how science can lead to justice and injustice in the wake of the recent Supreme Court Decision calling for the cross-examination of scientific experts, as well as a case currently under review in Oregon.
Tom Becker (pictured here) is our host as we hear about the history of gangs, the movie version of John Dillinger (Public Enemies), the political agitation that founded the US of A, and the power grab built into the House-passed energy bill. Tom also plays selections from Bob Dylan's new blues album as a follow-up on the KBOO-sponsored Portland Blues Festival.
To hear the whole show, use the play button above. To hear individual pieces, follow the links below.
(Our new graphic lettering is by Charlie Ertola)
The origins and development of gangs is more complex than the stereotypes of them. John Hagedorn has studied and hung out with gangs all over the world and written several books about them. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about why there are gangs and how they sometimes morph into very different forms. Hagedorn's work with gangs can be seen on his website GangResearch.net where you can find links to YouTube videos, podcasts, and Hagedorn's writings.
1930s era gangster John Dillinger (pictured here) is played by Johnny Depp in the new film Public Enemies. Movie Moles Jan Haaken and Frann Michel give us their nuanced review of the political and moral issues this blockbuster raises.
The energy bill just passed by the House of Representatives puts the future energy policy of the US in exactly the wrong hands. Bill Resnick explains why.