Saturday, March 16, 2019

In times of universal deceit

GUEST: Dr. Colin S. Cavell, professor of Political Science at Bluefield State College in West Virginia, and former professor at the University of Bahrain, talks about U.S. hegemony and how talk of democracy often camouflages the empire's efforts at regime change and world domination.

Mainstream media in the U.S. never describes the empire in terms of wars for profit and dominance. More sophisticated publications like The New York Times and the New Yorker, always make U.S. invasions more complicated than they really are. It becomes about demonizing foreign leaders and exaggerating the supposed suffering of Third World peoples under their oppression. The more details the better.

What is desperately needed is an unfettered look at what the world's most powerful military has been doing since the Second World War. For the U.S. military, that war never really ended. Nor did the incalculable profits from war making. We have thrown our high tech killing machine into country after country, murdering millions in the process. America's war against the rest of the world started in Korea in 1948, and except for a brief hiatus after Vietnam, continues to this day. Venezuela is next on our list. 

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” - George Orwell

Continuing the extermination of Native Americans

GUEST: Eli Kassirer, back from the Buffalo Field Campaign protecting the last wild Bison, talks about animal rights, conservation and his adventures protecting the buffalo.
Buffalo Field Campaign

This year, Eli was involved with more than following the migration of buffalo from dawn to dusk. He attended some rallies designed to build momentum for the preservation of the original American bison.

A few miles away one can find herds of hybrid animals raised for meat. But the varieties of these animals do not carry a significant amount of bison DNA to counterbalance the extermination of the bison species.

Ending the hunting of the original bison is the only way that we can insure this species will survive. It is inconceivable that white Americans are still slaughtering the bison, so important to native American culture. Or maybe it is not so surprising. Genocide often is more subtile than the murdering of those who are different. It is often the erasure of their culture and traditions. By erasing the buffalo, we continue the extermination of Native Americans. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Bleeding in the street or incarcerated in our prison systems

February 28

GUEST: Sabrina Terry, author and researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies, Senior Strategist with the Economic Policy Project at UnidosUS, and former Manager at the NAACP Economic Department, talks about a new report she coauthored, Dreams Deferred: How Enriching the 1% Widens the Racial Wealth Divide.
The Racial Divide

My talk with Sabrina Terry was enlightening. I had not realized how great the wealth gap in the U.S. was when it comes to the color of one's skin.

Approaching zero not worth is more than uncomfortable; it is deadly. Black family members die more often than white family members do, from newborns to senior citizens. Every measure of mortality shows us that not being able to afford healthcare is a death sentence for at least some Black family members.

Access to education is another advantage denied Black families. Decent housing is another, as is access to a fair criminal justice system. In fact, the system punishes African Americans in every conceivable way. And because the very rich (and very white) elites have taken so much from the rest of society, Black people, at the bottom already, have lost so much more than poor whites. So is this slavery in another guise? Are the nation's police forces little more than slave catching militias that roamed the countryside in the antebellum south? The results on Blacks seem to be about the same; they lie bleeding in the street or incarcerated in our prison systems.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Doomed to reenact a genocide

February 21

GUEST: Lama, a 14-year-old student from Gaza City who testified recently at a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, talks about what she has endured as a child living in Gaza and what her vision of peace would be.

14-Year-Old Lama From Gaza Gives A Speech Before Congress

Lama is a natural when it comes to presenting her point of view. She is a writer who thinks about images, and she is bright enough to be able to do that in a second language as well.

Perhaps her most moving story was her plan to start a dairy farm in Gaza. The sheer impossibility of such a thing doesn't really stop her dream. We as adults know that the Israelis will only crush anything that the Palestinians try to do for themselves. The IDF destroys all sorts of farmland in Gaza and the West Bank. But a dairy farm? Why, they would shoot the cows and blow up the barns.

So it is not the dairy farm that is so moving. It is who it would feed: her friends and relatives who don't get enough to eat, much less milk, cream and butter. Lama would feed Palestinian children because she knows just how desperately they need it. It breaks one's heart; there is no getting around it.

Why does Israel create such misery in children? It seems as if two thousand years of discrimination has been condensed into one murderous state, doomed to reenact a genocide, but playing a different role this time. The role of murderer.

What is our excuse, living here in the "land of the free"?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The troglodyte in the White House

February 14

GUEST: Arjun Singh Sethi, Sikh American civil and political rights writer, human rights lawyer, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, talks about his newly published book, American Hate: Survivors Speak Out.

Arjun Singh Sethi discusses his book 

Arjun Sethi has selected some fascinating stores of racial, ethnic, and gender hatred in America. Why is it that some people feel impelled to make others suffer? It is such mindless cruelty, whether the victims are Jewish, Sikh, African American, Southeast Asian, or gay. 

We talked about Trump being only the most recent politician who has come to power by spreading hate. We know how fascists have always achieved control, by victimizing the less powerful and different. Trump gives other haters in society the permission they need, and the result is an upsurgance in violent acts committed.

Perhaps the "melting pot" approached has not worked very well for us. In a society that is so diverse, there will always be immoral people willing to profit from hate. Arjun Sethi shows us one way to resist, and all the stories he offers have this redeeming feature. The victims all fight back in some way, and are able to achieve some satisfaction from doing so.

What if all the oppressed groups in the U.S. joined forces and really fought back? It must be a troubling thought to our white, male troglodyte in the White House. No wonder he obsesses about building a wall. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Begging forgiveness

February 7

GUEST: Manar Wahhab, cofounder and educational director of House of Hope, and seasoned art and music therapist for children experiencing toxic stress and trauma, talks about her work in helping women and children cope with the violence of Israeli occupation.
Supporting House of Hope

Manar has the spirit to succeed. She is traveling in America trying to raise money for her school in the West Bank. Help her out if you can; the link is right above.

I wanted the interview to give listeners a sense of how hard life is in occupied Palestine. Manar's message was somewhat different in that she stressed the hope and resilience of the Palestinian People.  Are they the same thing?

Maybe the audience is different. Listeners in the U.S. don't know about Palestine, and can't image the privation, oppression and suffering that the Israeli soldiers and settlers bring to this occupied people. Manar's audience is the children of the West Bank. She doesn't want them to give up their identity, or to grow up consumed by hatred of the oppressor. She wants them to have normal lives in the chaos that is apartheid Israel.

What Black family in our country doesn't want a life for their children free from the racism of Jim Crow? That is part of the resistance, to hold onto a sense of dignity and purpose despite the slow ethnic cleansing that is crushing their lives.

Manar's story of hurting her leg while waiting for hours at a checkpoint was the closest she came to questioning the cruelty of the walls and barbed wire surrounding her life. All she wanted to do was go to her Waldorf education class in Jerusalem. She just wanted to learn how to be a better teacher to the kids she obviously cares so much about.

Why does America support this fifty year occupation? Have we no shame for what is being done with our weaponry and our money? Or are we in the end going to beg forgiveness by saying that we didn't know? 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

What if a people's democracy ever spread

There is nothing that the Western democracies hate more in the Third World than democratically elected presidents who aren't neoliberal capitalists. That's because most of our Western leaders are voted in by money rather than by people. How dare Venezuela's president Maduro champion his people's interests rather than the corporate bottom line? 

In fact, corporate controlled democracies have a longtime love affair with the worst dictators that the CIA and MI6 can come up with. Whether it be the Shah in Iran, Pinochet in Chili, Montt in Guatemala, or more recently Salman in Saudi Arabia, or Morsi in Egypt, the standard for Third World Countries is always the same. If they screw their own people and make Western billionaires even richer in the process, why they are just fine. But once a Third World leader claims profits for the people, be it from oil, gas, coal, or copper, it is time for a coup. Or a full scale invasion if that doesn't work. 

The Spanish Empire peddled Christianity and the British Empire claimed to be spreading "civilization" to justify colonial conquests. More recently The American Empire has been saving humanity from "weapons of mass destruction," "drug kingpins," and even Muslim misogynists. The game of saving humanity to exploit it is as old as Columbus' "discovery" of the New World. 

The rich elites have always demand the overthrow of progressive leaders in developing countries, no matter how fairly elected. What if a people's democracy ever spread to the First World?