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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Movie Moles Jan Haaken and Laurie Mercier review and fact-check the current film Frost/Nixon. They review the real history of the famous interviews, and ask whether getting public officials to confess their crimes is as important as seeing what's wrong with the structures that give them their power.
To hear the real deal (the Nixon tapes), try the following sites:
The Old Mole's Jan Haaken interviews Portland Peace activists from Americans United for Palestinian Rights and Portland Peaceful Response. They take down the Israeli arguments for the attacks piece by piece. For more about boycotting local supporters of the destruction, contact pdxboycottisrael [at] riseup [dot] net.
Raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2010! That's the proposal of well-known author and activist Holly Sklar and Let Justice Roll. Holly talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about the gap between the minimum wage and a living wage, and why raising the minimum is good for the economy and good for business.
The Earth Stood Still back in 1951 -- a different world and yet very much the same. Our Movie Moles, Frann Michel and Denise Morris tell us why the old movie has more to say about war and peace than the version currently playing in theaters. Here's another review comparing the new (2008) and the old versions. Here's the 1951 screenplay by Edmund North, the earlier short story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates, and a treatment for a proposed sequel by Ray Bradbury.
Bill Resnick hosts this edition of the show which deals with the crisis in Gaza, a 1951 Sci-Fi movie about war and peace, and why the minimum wage needs raising in the current economic crisis. Resnick also plays music by Palestinian and Israeli musican exiles from the album Exile, a fusion of jazz and Middle Eastern music. Quoting from a review at KlezmerShack, "It is also disquieting, and will be especially disquieting to many given the current situation in Israel. To realize that the quiet, moving ballad, "Jenin" is a transposition of a Yiddish folk song about a Russian town in which a pogrom was carried about is not a quiet thing, especially in the light of recent history of Jenin (and myths about same)."
You can hear the whole Mole (which includes the music) by clicking on the arrow above. Or hear separate pieces (and find much more information) by following their links below:
Uri Avineri, former Israeli Cabinet member and Israeli peace activist, argues against the current attacks on Gaza in this piece called "Molten Lead," read here by Jan Haaken. The printed text is here.
Foreclosures. Unemployment. Poverty. At least a third of the nation ill-housed or un-housed. What to do? Chester Hartman has written widely on housing issues, and he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. Hartman, an urban planner and author, is Director of Research of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council in Washington, DC.
"ISRAEL’s war in Gaza is an act of political insanity. It is the product of a deeply disturbed society, able neither to curb its military arrogance nor calm its profound paranoia. The consequences are likely to be painful for Israel’s long-term prospects." So argues a leading British writer on the middle east, Patrick Seale, in this essay read here by Tom Becker. You can find it in print at the Saudi Gazette.
Neo-liberalism has been discredited by the current economic crisis. What will replace it? Walden Bello argues that it will be "Global Social Democracy" -- in some ways better than the failed ideas that got us into this mess, but it's still as undemocratic as capitalism has always been. Bill Resnick reads from Bello's essay, which you can find on line here.