Psychologist and Mole Jan Haaken and attorney Mike Snedeker discuss the case of Mohamed Mohamud. They consider the legal meanings of entrapment and the history of government use of entrapment in child pornography cases in the 1980s. Despite the wide public recognition of the extraordinary manipulation and pressure placed on the defendant by the FBI, the government typically wins such cases. Arguably, of the 150 recent prosecutions for terrorism charges, only three were pre-existing terrorist cells; most of the cases involved "equipment malfunction" as seen in the Mohamud case. Mike suggests that this manufacturing of cases serves to maintain the budget of the FBI rather than to keep America safe.
Alan Wieder discusses the boycott of a standardized test by the teachers at Garfield HS in Seattle. He points out the many problems with standardized tests and the ways they are (mis)used, and notes the widespread and increasing support for the boycott.
Tom Becker hosts this episode featuring the music of the late Portland bluesman Paul deLay and segments on possibilites for local and democratic control of sustainable energy sources, the mistake of valuing economic "growth," the role of entrapment in the government's war on terrorism, and the brave solidarity of Seattle teachers boycotting standardized testing.
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Bill Resnick talks with economist David Weiman about the political forces encouraging the growth and maintaining of prisons and punitive policing in the USA. They consider not only media influence and legislators desire to keep jobs in their areas but also the fear-enhancing effects of social isolation and division and the correlation between inequality and incarceration. They discuss the impact of widely available guns and lobbying in support of gun rights. They consider the role of mental health professionals, the use of psychoactive drugs, and the likelihood that mental illness is a consequence of incarceration rather than a cause of crime.
Alan Wieder talks with local singer-songwriter-activist David Rovics about his work, about living in Oregon, where the police have killed more black men per capita than anywhere else, about releasing songs online for free download, and about his new online book Have Guitar Will Travel.
Alan Wieder hosts this episode, featuring music from David Rovics as well as an interview with him, a discussion of the economics and politics of mass incarceration, a review of a recent comic novel, and a commentary on the ideology of austerity.
Bill Resnick talks with Robert McChesney about his recent book Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy and the issues it addresses. They discuss how media that began with great possibilities for democratization have been taken over by large corporations, and the ways that unregulated monopoly leads to worsening infrastructure. They consider the importance of net neutrality, the crisis in journalism, and the need for journalism to be treated as a public good. McChesney points to FreePress as one organization working on these issues.