Iven Hale comments on the torture of isolation and incarceration, the recent Senate hearings on solitary confinement, Dostoevsky, Alcatraz as a tourist attraction, her work with high-risk felons on parole and probation, and the need for prison abolition because prison creates crime.
Tom Becker reads from Robert Reich's recent essay The Wall Street Scandal of All Scandals about the LIBOR ("London interbank offered rate") scandal, in which bankers fixed interest rates in order to siphon trillions of dollars from ordinary people.
Bill Resnick talks with educator, actor, and activist Brian Jones about how the boy billionaires try to narrow education to the standardized and quantifiable, instead of expanding it to meet the curiosity of each individual child. Jones will also speak on Real vs. Phony Education Reform on Friday, January 11 at 5pm at 5431 Northeast 20th Avenue in Portland.
Laurie Mercier talks with Stefanie Penn Spear of the environmental news website Ecowatch.org about the big stories of the past year. These include increasing recognition of human-caused climate change, toxins in consumer products, the dangers of fracking (including mining for sand, earthquakes, use and contamination of water with radioactivity and toxic chemicals) as well as more positive news about tax credits for wind farms, sustainable agriculture, and communities moving to100% renewable energy.
Movie Moles Denise Morris and Jan Haaken revisit Michael Moore's 2002 Bowling for Columbine in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown. They discuss the film's debunking of conventional explanations and its exploration of the multiple factors involved in such incidents, including fears of one's fellow citizens, racism, and militarism. They also consider the misleading resort to stories of mental illness in current debates, when people with mental illness are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.
Bill Resnick interviews Jacob Devaney about Idle No More, started by four indigenous Canadian women in resistance to government and corporate attempts to take land and rights from first nations people to pursue tar sands exploitation and other planet-destroying projects. Bill and Jacob discuss Idle No More as among the global movements against cultures of domination and for grassroots participatory democracy.
Joseph DeFilippis, a founder of Queers for Economic Justice and drafter of the Beyond Same-Sex Marriage Statement, talks with Bill Resnick about the limits of the marriage-equality movement and what comes next. He notes the inadequacy of marriage as a legal frame for diverse families; the benefits of civil unions and domestic partnerships for straight as well as queer families and the loss of these options as same-sex marriage laws pass; and the problem of linking so many legal rights to marriage. 18:31 minutes (8.48 MB)
Bill Resnick reviews the players in current events, including the fundamentalist ISIS and secular Baathists, united for the moment against the corrupt Maliki government, but unlikely to remain united; he considers the questions of regional partition and resource control; and he touches on the seeming futility of Western left activism on this in the short term, and the importance of pursuing the long term struggle for global social change.
9:58 minutes (4.57 MB)
They discuss the value of arts education in schools, the importance of physical movement to learning, the connections between embodied movement and history, and the possibilities for fostering better communication and connections between African-American youth and immigrant African communities.
7:31 minutes (3.44 MB)
Movie Mole Jan Haaken talks with Mimi Schippers about feminist controversies over the film Gone Girl, a thriller directed by David Fincher and based on the global bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, who also adapted the story for the screen. Mimi teaches sociology at Tulane University, writes about gender and popular culture, and is a regular blogger. For other interesting feminist criticism and dialogue, check out her blog site at http://www.marxindrag.com/Marxindrag/Blog/Blog.html 13:43 minutes (6.28 MB)
Bill Resnick talks with Drew Spencer of FairVote.org about Measure 90, on the November 2014 ballot, that would undermine an already dysfunctional election system. They also discuss the changes required in election procedure-- rank choice voting and proportional representation-- that would democratize elections. 14:27 minutes (6.62 MB)
Bill Resnick reads from Horace Campbell in Counterpunch on "Ebola, the African Union, and Bioeconomic Warfare," and summarizes and comments on other accounts of the Ebola Crisis. He concentrates on the neo-liberal defunding of public health agencies and the exploitation of the Ebola crisis by the right wing that blames the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress for not properly responding. The right intends this attack on Obama to influence voters to vote Republican. 7:41 minutes (3.52 MB)
Jan Haaken and Mike Snedeker talk the Left and the Law with a discussion of the new documentary Citizenfour. Filmmaker Laura Poitras intimately documents whistleblower Edward Snowden’s efforts to expose the intrusive post-9/11 US eavesdropping industry. Jan recommends David Price's discussion of "The New Surveillance Normal" in Monthly Review, about the commercial as well as political motives for widespread surveillance.
[Image by EFF designer Hugh D'Andrade from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NSA-square.jpg]