October 29, 2015

At the risk of seeming ridiculous

GUEST: Cornell West speaking at Marist College plus Jewish Voice for Peace explaining the Israel/Palestine conflict. Two perspective on state supported racism. Due to a technical problem, Bassem Tamimi's interview will be played next week.

I am glad I got a chance to record and play part of Cornell West's talk. He combines an honest look at state supported racism in America, with a call to join the resistance. It spoke to me, as it did to so many others in the large audience. We become something better when we oppose racism; we act on feelings of love. 

Love has a lot to do with revolutionary change, of course. We want a better world for all its people, and when working and sacrificing for that goal, we get a shot of that nectar of the gods. Love isn't rational, at least by the measurements of philosophy or science. You can't buy it, because it is all about giving of yourself. 
“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."                                                                    -Ernesto Che Guevara              

October 22, 2015

The "privilege" of doing the right thing

GUEST: Noga Kadman, Israeli human rights researcher and author of “Erased from Space and Consciousness,” talks about how Palestinian villages were depopulated in 1948 and then erased from the memory of the Israeli people.
ALSO: Gideon Levy in Greenburgh, NY

Noga's matter of fact approach contrasted nicely with the starling material she has collected. Of course there was massive ethnic cleansing, and here are the towns and cities. Yes, it included massacres of fleeing Palestinians. It's all documented.

What about the "land without a people" Americans keep hearing about. Noga said that nobody in Israel talks about that anymore. Now the narrative is purely how necessary the ethnic cleansing was to create a Jewish theocracy. 

Is it sustainable? Noga doesn't speculate too much. She shows what the history was and presents it as a way to recover Israel's humanity. The Nakba must be admitted before any understanding between Israelis and Palestinians can ever happen. And of course, there never will be any peace for either group until the fall of Israeli apartheid. 

Maybe the only the way to change Israel's oppression of the Palestinians is to convince enough American people to take a stand against war crimes and murder being done in their name. Congress is flush with Zionist money. There has to be some other way to make them pay a price for selling out to the Israeli lobby. Eventually, it has to become an issue when they run for office. "Paid for by the Zionists" must become a label that begins to hurt them in their campaigns. 

Hey, "The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice." MLK was part of that arc, and we all get our chance to struggle for justice. We all are given that momentous gift, the "privilege" of doing the right thing.

October 15, 2015

Free ourselves of their imposed reality

GUEST: Charles Eisenstein, teacher, speaker, and author of "Sacred Economics" talks about money, cultural evolution and the illegitimacy of debt.

Reading Charles Eisenstein can make you uncomfortable. All the things you thought you knew about economics turn out to be not only negotiable but also dependent on community consensus. As he says, the zeros in some bank account somewhere don't have to mean very much.

And since so much of our governmental system is like that, there is room to challenge how everything is supposed to work. Maybe student debt should be bought up by the government and either forgiven or stripped of interest obligations. Maybe countries whose military dictatorships took on huge debts, shouldn't have to pay those "odious" debts back. 

Maybe to save our planet, we will have to stop monetizing every exchange of services and reverse the growth of material consumption. We don't need iPhones and Facebook to have supportive relationships. In fact, technology is often an obstacle to genuine human interaction. We pay dearly to isolate ourselves from what we so desperately need.

The dominance of the ruling class seems immutable, until we begin to free ourselves of their imposed reality. Thank you, Charles Eisenstein, for helping us look for new solutions.

October 8, 2015

The real terrorists are the mega-corporations

GUEST: Kathy Stevens, founder and president of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, talks about the 110-acre haven for horses and farmed animals rescued from cruelty and neglect.

Kathy came to our studio for the interview. She is passionate about what she does, answering the phone at any time of day or night and saving animals from abuse by their owners.

We discussed the links between respecting animal and human life. Maybe one needs a level of empathy to see oneself in another living being. Is that the same type of awareness that enables one to treat different races and ethnic groups with respect, and love.

Animal based agriculture, according to Kathy, is an important component of climate change. But the giant farming and chemical industries want to obscure the fact that eating less meat would greatly reduce greenhouse gasses.

What we were able to agree on is that demonstrators who do civil disobedience against huge factory farms are not "terrorists," as they have been accused of being. The the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is an unconstitutional attack on free speech, pushed through Congress by multimillion dollar corporate lobbyists.

Of course, the real terrorists are the mega-corporations that are ruining the planet and endangering all life on earth. Keep up the good work, Kathy. You have given us a lot to think about. 

October 3, 2015

It is a state secret

GUEST: David Vine, assistant professor of anthropology at American University and author of the newly published "Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World" talks about his research into the over 800 military bases beyond our nation's shores.

We had such an interesting discussion with David Vine. The facts about the empire have been there since our victory in World War II. It is just that nobody important besides President Eisenhower ever referred to it.

I never got around to asking David about the difference between the British Empire and the American one. The British people were proud of their military occupations and bragged about bringing civilization to a backward Third World. Of course, Americans talk about bringing democracy to all the countries the US has attacked and devastated, so maybe that is the equivalent.

Gandhi famously responded to a question about Western civilization by stating that "it would be a very good idea." The British occupation of India had led to at least four major famines that killed millions. Perhaps the same answer can be give to a query about American democracy. In "spreading democracy" around the world, our country has killed millions of people with high tech weaponry. Moreover, the US has a long track record of overthrowing democratically elected leaders and setting up pro-American dictators. Our CIA then trains and furnishes lists to state run death squads that, in turn, murder tens of thousands more. Hundreds of thousands in Guatemala and Indonesia.

Want to learn about this? Read what the major US media is saying about Honduras. Then read alternative media from the rest of the world to familiarize yourself with the daily killings of journalists and labor leaders. Far from nurturing democracy in the Third World, out country spreads terror, led by our own secretive Storm Troopers, the CIA.

It is a system based on corporate greed, and an amoral use of whatever killing machines are most effective. US supported death squads or little silver drones, it doesn't matter. Ours is an empire based on exploitation and death.

No political leader wants to talk about this. Not even Bernie Sanders, the "socialist" running for president. Our newspaper of record has a long history of applauding every American invasion and overthrow planned in the Pentagon. It's no wonder that Americans have never considered their empire. It is a state secret.