Bill and Brad discuss Ewan McColl, the radical folk-singer/song-writer from England and the impact of his ballads on raising political awareness around the world. Before that, Brad reflects on the last three years he's been doing these segments with the Old Mole and the importance of KBOO in general.
Joe and Denise discuss Terrence Malick's 2011 film about life, the universe and 1950s. They touch on the tragedy of autonomy, the naturalization of market competition in American psycho-spiritual life, and the contradiction between the American Dream and the reality of American nightmares.
Robert Weissman points out it is still possible for government-owned companies like GM to be directed toward producing public goods, like mass-transit. Rob also suggests that there's no reason the government couldn't operate a publically-owned bank through Citi-group and not rip people off or use other predatory practices. If anything, this would, like unions, put pressure on the private sector to change. Then there is how the government could encourage sustainable development by investing in key industries for the public good (like green energy, high-speed rail and others). Rob points out how Texas is one of the leading producers of wind-power because of State-level investment.
When we anthropomorphize nation-states and endow them with unmitigated self-expression we have a succinct definition of American exceptionalism, which is one part nationalism and another chauvanistic individualism. Tom Becker reads an article from Alter-Net that explores the history of national exceptionalism and how its American variant is, well, exceptional among them.
Recently a report by US Catholic Bishops charges the 1960s with corrupting priests - among other things, because of promoting sexual freedom. Thomas Doyle, a Catholic Priest rejects this, pointing out it was a global problem, and relates his experience within the Church before and during when the media began to expose sex-abuse in the Church. Doyle tried to engage the Church when abuse cases started to penetrate the media in the 1970s, advising them on addressing and preventing abuse, but was ignored. So, he went on to expose this abuse. Doyle draws a picture of Bishops ignoring sociopathology in order protect their image and the image of the Church.
Last week Bill and Tom talked about sex-abuse in the Church, resistance to dealing with it by leadership. When Bill asks Tom what he'd do if he was Pope, Tom says he'd get rid of the monarchial form of the Church. Tom describes the way that the monarchies of the past constrained the way the Church developed. People are tired of the hierarchy, which insulates the sex-abuse, but the Church remains officially terrified by democracy and liberation theology.
Bill and Jane talk about the relationship between welfare and the working-poor, paying special attention to working-mothers in Jane's research. Jane says she and her colleagues have wanted to know how the relationship between government, families and business has changed to affect the division of labor she and feminists call "social reproduction" - basically getting people into the next generation. She laments that a lot of people in government today seem to think that tax-payers arrive on the scene fully developed and ready to work. Jane hopes to dislodge that assumption and show that children and adults need many things - like healthcare, childcare and the flexibility to take care of personal crises - secured by their community to flourish individually.