Frann Michel's blog

MLK's Legacy


Audio here.

These days, everybody wants a piece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Glen Beck invoked King's legacy to promote his own rally, claiming the tea party was fighting the same fight as King. And last week, the general counsel of the Department of Defense (as it's euphemistically called), claimed that despite King's opposition to the war in Vietnam, he would support America's military actions today. As the editors at Common Dreams point out, this suggests the DoD is operating in some alternate reality.

a revolution in happiness?

Audio here

The other day, in line at the grocery store, I noticed that the cover of Real Simple magazine's January issue invited me to "be happier this year." I can't tell you about the "9 surprising strategies to get you there," because I was pretty sure that spending $4.99 on the magazine was not one of them.

Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers


Denise Morris and I reviewed The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. This documentary, released last year to theaters and this year on DVD, also played on PBS in October , and is available streaming on Netflix, and you can put a hold on one of the several copies available through the Multnomah County library.

scope and grope


Today the well-read red is as obsessed as any rabid tea-bagger about the transportation security administration's invasive new screening procedures for airline passengers. In a weird convergence of left and right, huge numbers of Americans turn out to be averse to having strangers subject them to radiation, take naked pictures of them, or touch their junk.

Election 2010

For the Old Mole Variety Hour 8 November 2010.

What to make of last week's midterm elections? Well that's a big question, but the big story has been the shift of the US Congress to Republican control and the GOP gaining ground in the Senate. Then there's the question of the vaunted year of the woman, which turned out to be a bust, so to speak, and the increase in the influence of Latino voters. Closer to home, Oregon voters passed an increase in mandatory minimum sentences for repeat DUI and sexual offenses, and, more locally, defeated a measure to fund upgrades to Tri-met bus service.



For the Old Mole Variety Hour, 1 November 2010.    This past weekend in Washington, DC, saw Jon Stewart's Million Moderate March to Restore Sanity, and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Keep Fear Alive.

ethnic studies week


For the Old Mole Variety Hour September 27, 2010

flooding in Pakistan


For the Old Mole Variety Hour August 23, 2010.

The well-read red has been reading about the floods in Pakistan, which UN officials have called the worst disaster in decades. But as is usual these days, this purportedly natural disaster has some very human causes, and the politics of global and governmental response suggest there will be more suffering to come.

Imagining the (climate) future


Imagining the future of the climate: Old Mole Variety Hour July 19, 2010: Today's show is about climate change and science fiction, and science fiction about climate change, but it is not about the illusion that climate change is itself science fiction.

Toy Story 3


Jan Haaken and I reviewed Toy Story 3 on the Old Mole Variety Hour July 5, 2010: a story of job loss and collective solidarity.

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