Archive 13: 2020

Shows Available from Pirate Television

Pirate Television is a weekly 58 min television program
nationally syndicated on Free Speech TV.  In addition it is broadcast on several  Public Access stations in the US.  Pirate TV challenges the Media Blockade by bringing you alternative information and independent programming that is unavailable on the Corporate Sponsor-Ship.  The show features talks, interviews and documentaries.  The purpose of Pirate TV is to put back what corporate media filter out.

These links are to the online version of these programs which are usually longer than the broadcast versions. Some of the material seen on Pirate TV is obtained from other sources but most of it is locally produced and owned by us.  We are offering to sell copies of this material to support the operation.  If you would like to support the Pirate Television project you can obtain a copy of any of these discs for a $20 donation (includes postage) in advance.  To obtain videotapes or DVDs, contact us first by email:


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Shows are listed in reverse chronological order:

Bill Fletcher Jr.: Post-Election Reckoning, TRT 1 14  recorded 11/13/20
Bill Fletcher Jr.: Post-Election Reckoning, Monday 12/21/20 PST, Premiers on YouTube 2pm 12/17

The 2020 Presidential election was historic.  What are the factors that we need to look at in determining what our work should be now and in the future?  This election was about racism, seeking revenge under Trump's "Make America Great Again."  What does this election tell us about our electoral system, about the Democratic Party?

Join us to hear and discuss with political commentator, author and long time leftist and trade unionist Bill Fletcher, Jr. as we analyze this past election and what it means for our organizing work and strategy.  We suggest you read "Post-Election Reckoning: New Hypothesis for the Road Ahead by Carl Davidson and Bill Fletcher, Jr.”

A noted labor historian, organizer, author, and trade unionist, Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with Institute for Policy Studies, a former senior staff member with the AFL-CIO, and the executive editor of Global African Worker.

Thanks to:
Legacy of Equality and Leadership Organization (LELO)
American Federation of Teachers, WA (AFT WA)
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Covid-19 Community Response Alliance (CRA)
El Comité
MLK County Labor Council (MLK Labor)
SEIU 1199 NW Health Care Worker’s Union
Recorded 11/13/20

Becoming a Democracy, TRT :59  recorded 12/3/20
Becoming a Democracy, Monday 12/14/20 PST, Premiers on Youtube 2pm 12/10

This should be the last American election that works against the people. Kristin Eberhard, Director of the Democracy Program at Sightline Institute, has thoughtfully researched how the US election system is unjust, poorly designed, or broken, and walks you through 10 big but practical ideas for making our elections free, fair, and secure. Becoming a Democracy: How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Our Elections is a field guide to the most viable upgrades for our elections, so that America can truly be governed by and for the people.

Kristin Eberhard is Sightline Institute’s director of climate and democracy policy. She researches, writes about, and speaks about climate change policy and elections systems and democracy reform, with particular expertise on Vote By Mail and proportional representation. Before joining Sightline, Kristin taught courses on climate change and energy law at Stanford Law School and UCLA School of Law. Kristin graduated with honors from Stanford University, cum laude from Duke University School of Law, and earned a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Eberhard lives in Oregon, an all-Vote By Mail state.

Donate $35 or more to Fix Democracy First & receive a FREE copy of "Becoming a Democracy" by Kristin Eberhard. Donate here to receive your FREE copy: https://www.fixdemocracyfirst.org/donate-book-fundraiser

Thanks to Fix Democracy First and the Sightline Institute, recorded 12/3/20
Fix Democracy First - https://www.fixdemocracyfirst.org/
Sightline Institute - https://www.sightline.org/

For CUBA, International Concert Against the Blockade, TRT :58  recorded 11/20/20
For CUBA, International Concert Against the Blockade part 1, Monday 11/30/20 part 2 12/7/20 8pm PST on FStv one time only

Because the Cuban people had the audacity to rise up and overthrow the murderous US puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and,
Because the Cuban people defeated the US "Bay of Pigs" invasion and coup attempt in 1961 and,
Because Fidel Castro survived 638 assassination attempts by the CIA and,
Because the Cuban revolution survived a many decades long campaign of terrorist attacks and covert operations carried out by the CIA known as Operation Mongoose and,
Most importantly, because the Cuban people steadfastly continue to provide a shining example to the rest of Latin America and the United States of a government that takes care of its people as opposed to the 1%, contrary to the neoliberal paradigm imposed on US client states throughout the region, the US empire, contrary to international law and the will of the people in the US and the world has maintained a brutal economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba for 80 years.

Sponsored by the Organizing Committee of the International Conference for the Normalization of Relations between the United States and Cuba, musicians and poets from Cuba, the United States and Canada joined together in a historic virtual concert on Nov 13, 2020 to demand the end of the blockade the total normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.

Pirate TV has obtained permission to broadcast this fantastic concert one time only on Free Speech TV. The concert will be broadcast in two parts on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7th in the normal Pirate TV time slot. This is 8pm pst and 11pm est.

This concert kicked off a weekend of workshops and organizing. I have posted the links to the workshops below.

Watch FStv on Direct, Dish, and Link TV as well as many local Public Access Stations. You can also watch it online at www.freespeech.org.

Work Shops:

Session 1: "After the US Elections: For Normalization" https://www.facebook.com/1380547238836761/videos/378128600199687

Session 2: "Saving Lives Campaign"

Session 3: "Let's Build unstoppable international momentum to #unblockCuba2021"https://www.facebook.com/1380547238836761/videos/688066375177963 

Thanks to the Organizing Committee of the International Conference for the Normalization of Relations between the United States and Cuba

Zarna Joshi: Italians Are White, TRT :58  recorded 11/9/20
Zarna Joshi: Italians Are White, Monday 11/16/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 11/12 2pm on YouTube

Because of the ongoing Black Lives Matter uprisings brought about by seemingly endless police killings in conjunction with the reign of Donald Trump, white supremacy in the US is once again in high relief. Deconstructing myths of US history that we have all been taught or absorbed is suddenly in vogue and more timely, relevant, and essential than ever. An openly white supremacist President just got over 70 million votes. When we say "American exceptionalism" aren't we really talking about "white American exceptionalism"? Where did this idea that some people are exceptional come from, anyway? And what is "white"?

Understanding the truth about what we do know and and filling in the gaping holes of what we don't know about the last 500 years since Europeans first set foot on this continent is hardly enough to comprehend how we got here. Most people don't even comprehend that the United States is an empire.

Ancient Rome set the standard for empires, ours, as well as all empires since. Not to understand this is not to understand ourselves. As writer and activist Zarna Joshi wrote, "So many tactics and ideas of colonization such as building walls, extracting resources, enslaving natives, destroying the environment, committing genocide, demonizing indigenous peoples, “civilizing” indigenous peoples, “saving” indigenous people, using religion to control, cultural appropriation, institutional rape culture, institutional pedophilia, legalized looting, infinite growth, wars for more wars, authoritarian governments, assimilation, whitewashing their own crimes, portraying themselves as victims, gaslighting real victims, and on and on — all these tactics come from the Italians and their Roman ancestors." Join us as we take a deep dive into the awful truth of our ancient history.

This discussion is based on the article of the same name: https://zarnajoshi.medium.com/italians-are-white-8330a2ee0e7
Recorded 11/9/20

U.S.-U.K. Trade Pact: Another Corporate Power Grab, TRT :58  recorded 10/24/20
U.S.- U.K. Trade Pact: Another Corporate Power Grab, Monday 11/2/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 10/29 2pm on YouTube

Extreme wealth sectors around the globe know that in order to maintain their grip on power, they need to thwart democracy in every way possible.  They fear the will of the people.  As we witness a naked right-wing power grab in the US with the last minute appointment by brute force of a corporatist extremist Supreme Court Justice and the in-your-face attempts to steal the elections, the Trump administration and the right-wing Tory government in the UK are rushing forward with another corporate power grab by negotiating a toxic trade deal in secret in the midst of a world wide pandemic.

As those of us who took part in the shut down of the Seattle WTO ministerial 20 years ago know, these trade deals have very little to do with trade and everything to do with establishing investor rights.  All the while limiting the rights of the population.  They are blatant attempts to circumvent the constitution and hard won protections from corporate pillage by going around the government and rendering democracy meaningless.

As in the WTO and NAFTA, this agreement contains an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) court.  This allows foreign investors to sue governments for measures that harm their profits.  Historically, ISDS has been used by companies to challenge environmental policies, health regulations and other legal rights.  For instance, a Swedish energy firm sued Germany for introducing policies designed to curb water pollution and carbon emissions.  A US tobacco giant sued Australia for attempting to introduce plain-cigarette packaging legislation - a policy designed to protect public health.  A French multinational sued Egypt for increasing its national minimum wage.  Both British and American administrations are aware that ISDS is politically toxic.  This is why these agreements are negotiated in secret.

Although we were able to stop the WTO in Seattle and with the help of world-wide mobilizing, largely blunt multilateral trade agreement initiatives, elite power sectors have turned to smaller unilateral agreements negotiated in secret that they hope to slip under the radar in order to accomplish their agenda.  This week people all over the UK rose up in demonstrations to expose and stop such a trade pact with the US. Simultaneously, US citizens who were aware of it were doing the same.

Unless we stop this toxic trade deal, we could face:

- The British National Health Service being opened up permanently to American healthcare companies.  Such language would make it harder for US citizens to institute Medicare for All.
- Chlorinated chicken, hormone–laced beef and lower food standards, which Americans already suffer from.
- Forced deregulation of environmental laws, rights at work and rights to data privacy.
- New rules that make it impossible to take effective action on the climate crisis.
- Watered down Internet freedoms and digital privacy rights.

British citizens have made their voices heard and will continue in the struggle.  Now, its time to step up the pressure in the US.
Recorded 10/24/20

Day of action supported by Another Europe is Possible, Compassion in World Farming, Global Justice Now, Keep Our NHS Public, Open Rights Group, the Stop Trump Coalition, SumOfUs, Traidcraft Exchange, War on Want and We Own It.

The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition, TRT 1:21  recorded 9/23/20
The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition, Monday 10/12/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 10/8 2pm on YouTube

Debtors have been mocked, scolded and lied to for decades. We have been told that it is perfectly normal to go into debt to get medical care, to go to school, or even to pay for our own incarceration. We’ve been told there is no way to change an economy that pushes the majority of people into debt while a small minority hoard wealth and power.

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed that mass indebtedness and extreme inequality are a political choice. In the early days of the crisis, elected officials drew up plans to spend trillions of dollars. The only question was: where would the money go and who would benefit from the bailout?

The truth is that there has never been a lack of money for things like housing, education and health care. Millions of people never needed to be forced into debt for those things in the first place.

Armed with this knowledge, a militant debtors movement has the potential to rewrite the contract and assure that no one has to mortgage their future to survive.

Debtors of the World Must Unite.

As isolated individuals, debtors have little influence. But as a bloc, we can leverage our debts and devise new tactics to challenge the corporate creditor class and help win reparative, universal public goods.

Individually, our debts overwhelm us. But together, our debts can make us powerful. And it works! The debt collective has succeeded in negotiating away the debt of thousands and crafts landmark legislation. If you are in debt, you need to join the Debt Collective. And once you watch this and want to find out more, you can download the book "Can't Pay Won't Pay" 40% off for a limited time courtesy of Haymarket Books and the Debt Collective.

Join the Debt Collective: https://debtcollective.org/
Get the book: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1520-can-t-pay-won-t-pay


Astra Taylor is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director, most recently, of "What Is Democracy?" and the author of Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone and the American Book Award winning The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She is co-founder of the Debt Collective, a union for debtors, and contributed the foreword to the group’s new book, Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition.

Hannah Appel is a Professor of Anthropology and Global Studies at UCLA and a political organizer. She is the author, most recently, of The Licit Life of Capitalism: US Oil in Equatorial Guinea, and serves as the Associate Director of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, where she leads the Future of Finance research stream. She is co-founder of the Debt Collective, a union for debtors, and a writers bloc member for Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition.

Chenjerai Kumanyika is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Media at Rutgers University who also commits acts of podcasting and organizing. His research and teaching focus on power, race , and promotional culture in the cultural and creative industries. In addition to being a proud Moth storyteller, Chenjerai Co-created and Co-hosted Gimlet Media’s Peabody award-winning Uncivil podcast and co-hosts on Scene on Radio’s widely influential seasons on “Seeing White,” and the history of American democracy. His writing appears in a variety of scholarly and journalistic outlets. Chenjerai organizes with 215 People's Alliance, the Media, Inequality, & Change Center, Philadelphia Debt Collective and continues to serve on Street Poets' board.

Thanks to Haymarket Books and the Debt Collective. Recorded 9/23/20

Media and Democracy: Time for a Reset, TRT 1:22  recorded 10/24/20
Media and Democracy: Time for a Reset, Monday 10/5/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 10/4 2pm on YouTube

In the struggle to create more democracy, we cannot overlook the powerful influence of corporate media and the lack of media literacy in general in the United States.edia literacy in general in the United States. This is a situation that was always a problem but with the rise of social media, it is clearly getting worse. A large part of media literacy is basic critical thinking. Another skill that seems to be on the wane. Join us and a panel of journalists, media academics, and teachers discuss the problem and what to do about it.

Panelist Bios:
Dr. John S. Caputo is Professor Emeritus and Walter Ong, S.J. Scholar and founder of the Master’s Program in Communication and Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. He is the author of seven books, a lecturer and consultant. He is the founding member of the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

Dr. Denis Muller is a journalist, broadcaster and academic. He worked as a newspaper journalist for 27 years and is currently a weekly commentator on media issues for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. One of his recent articles is “Media have helped create a crisis of democracy - now they must play a vital role in its revival.” 

Dr. Carolyn Cunningham is an Associate Professor of Communication and Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. She serves on the Board and co-directs the media literacy center at Gonzaga (NWARM). She researches areas including girls and video games, women and leadership, and media literacy. She is currently working on a book project related to girls and climate change activism.

Sandra Williams is an activist, lecturer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, with an extensive background addressing issues of discrimination, equity, and social justice. She is the Publisher and Editor of The Black Lens, an independent community publication, based in Spokane, Washington. Black Lens News - http://blacklensnews.com/

Frank W. Baker is a media literacy education trainer. He has conducted hundreds of workshops with teachers in 20+ years. In 2019, he was a recipient of a UNESCO Global Media & Information Literacy award for his lifelong work in media literacy. He operates the Media Literacy Clearinghouse resource website [https://frankwbaker.com/mlc/], has authored four books and blogs at Middleweb.com.

About Fix Democracy First: The mission is to achieve fair elections and government policies that reflect the will of the people, not the power of money. The focus is on reforms intended to strengthen democracy in Washington State and nationally, such as campaign finance reform, public funding of elections, ranked choice voting, reversing Citizens United, expanding voting access, and increasing civic participation. See: FixDemocracyFirst.org
Recorded 9/18/20

Lawrence Lessig: The Strategy of Reform, TRT 1:26  recorded 9/18/20
Lawrence Lessig: The Strategy of Reform, Monday 9/28/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 9/24 2pm on YouTube

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, a prolific author, tireless democracy activist, and frequent guest on Pirate TV gave this talk to Fix Democracy First.  In this talk he outlines his plan for how to fix our broken voting system in the United States and get money out of politics.  He points out that things may not be as bleak as they may seem as lots of people are on the same page and lots of progress has already been made.

One such reform is the Democracy Voucher initiative passed in Seattle in 2015 with the help of Fix Democracy First.  Rolled out in 2017, the program gives every Seattle voter 4 $25 coupons to contribute to whatever local candidates they want and is already considered a great success. An excellent way to publically fund elections, I didn’t realize until I saw this that this was actually his idea.  It’s on the ballot in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas, in November.  Professor Lessig outlines many other such reforms spreading all over the US.  He points out that if we can get through this dark period over the next few months, things are looking up for the future, and explains why.  

About Lawrence Lessig:  He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to Harvard, he taught at Stanford Law School, where he founded the Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Lessig is the founder of Equal Citizens and a founding board member of Creative Commons and serves on the Scientific Board of AXA Research Fund. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, he has received numerous awards including a Webby, the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Scientific American 50 Award, and Fastcase 50 Award.

Cited by The New Yorker as “the most important thinker on intellectual property in the Internet era,” Lessig has focused much of his career on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. His current work addresses “institutional corruption”—relationships which, while legal, weaken public trust in an institution—especially as that affects democracy.

His books include: They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy (November 2019), Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution (May 2019), America, Compromised (2018), Republic, Lost v2 (2015), Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It (2011), Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (2008), Code v2 (2006), The Future of Ideas (2001), and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999).

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge University, and a JD from Yale.

About Fix Democracy First: The mission is to achieve fair elections and government policies that reflect the will of the people, not the power of money.  The focus is on reforms intended to strengthen democracy in Washington State and nationally, such as campaign finance reform, public funding of elections, ranked choice voting, reversing Citizens United, expanding voting access, and increasing civic participation.

This event was part of a fundraiser.  Fix Democracy First is a very effective grassroots organization, which has a footprint that goes far beyond Washington State.  They helped pass Democracy Vouchers and 20 other democracy reform measures since 2017, collected more than 330K signatures to pass I-735 to reverse Citizen's United, and registered more than 3000 voters in the past two years.  If you have some extra cash or time why not pitch in?  Or maybe even, start a sister organization in your state!  See: FixDemocracyFirst.org

Recorded 9/18/20

Cuban Trained Doctors - Confronting COVID-19, TRT :58  recorded 9/8/20
Cuban Trained Doctors – Confronting COVID-19, Monday 9/14/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 9/13 1pm on YouTube

Hear from Cuban trained doctors in the United States how Cuba minimized the spread of COVID-19.  Cuba , with a population of over 11.3 million has suffered only 94 deaths from COVID-19 - about 8 per million. The US has a population of 331 million and 178,500 people have died from COVID-19  - 540 per million. Cuban doctors and nurses have been on the frontline against the virus in numerous countries around the world including US citizens trained at ELAM .

  Since 2000 the Latin American School of Medicine ( ELAM ) in Havana , Cuba has provided medical training for 29,000 doctors from 104 countries around the world. Many of them were provided full scholarships from the Cuban government including 196 graduates from medically underserved communities in the US .

  Since 1960 Cuba has sent 500,000 of its own health personnel around the world to provide long term and emergency healthcare in 164 countries – going to places where doctors were either non-existent or in short supply.

  On August 29th 2005 Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans . Cuba offered to send an emergency medical brigade of 1500 health professionals to the city. The government of George W Bush ignored the offer. The brigade went to the mountains of Pakistan instead in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. They were named the Henry Reeve Brigade in honor of a young US citizen who fought and died alongside Cubans in their revolutionary struggle for independence from Spain in the 19th century.

  During the COVID-19 crisis Cuba has sent 38 emergency medical brigades to 31 countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and even Italy and Andorra in Europe. Cuba is willing to send its own doctors and specialists to the US but again none have been requested.

Dr. Agyeiwa Weathers graduated this year from ELAM , becoming the first doctor in her family.

Dr Emily Brown is a 2017 ELAM graduate. She is currently in her final year of residency at UMass Family Medicine - Fitchburg , where she serves an underserved population as a primary care physician in training.

Dr. Abraham Vela is a 2016 ELAM graduate. He is currently in his third year of a family medicine residency in Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California .

Moderators Dr. Melissa Barber and Dr. Samira Addrey discuss ELAM , and how young people from economically deprived neighborhoods and communities of color can apply for a full scholarship from the Cuban government to train there.

Dr. Samira Mifatou Addrey graduated summa cum laude from the Latin American School of Medicine, class of 2020.

Dr. Melissa Barber is a 2007 ELAM graduate. She is author of the recently published book "Thirty Days of Thanks: A Journey Toward Healing and Deliverance" and is a co-researcher of the COVID-19 Community Pesquisa Project. She has served as the IFCO/ELAM Scholarship Program coordinator for the past 10 years.
Recorded 9/8/20
See Also: https://ifconews.org/

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou and Lisa Fithian: Militant Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training, TRT :58  recorded 7/29/20
Rev. Osagyefo Sekou and Lisa Fithian: Militant Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training , Monday 8/14/20 8pm PST on FStv

Join us in the park for as we sit in on a militant nonviolent civil disobedience training with Rev. Osagyefo Sekou. You will be needing it soon. We learn how to dodge bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, protect yourself from batons and what to do if you are arrested. After this we go a little deeper into mass resistance theory with a segment from Lisa Fithian’s training session given last November 30th at the WTO Plus 30 event at Seattle Town Hall. 

The noted activist, theologian, author, documentary filmmaker, and musician, Rev Osagyefo Sekou is the leader of an awesome R&B Gospel band called Rev. Sekou & the Holy Ghost. He has 3 albums, “The Revolution Has Come”- 2016, "In Times Like These” - 2017, and a new live album, “When We Fight We Win”. Rev. Sekou has written two collections of essays. "Urbansouls: Meditations on Youth, Hip Hop, and Religion" and "Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy". He is the author of the forthcoming "Riot Music: Race, Hip Hop and the Meaning of the London Riots 2011".

Rev. Sekou was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute at the time of Michael Brown Jr.’s killing, and traveled to Ferguson in mid-August 2014 on behalf of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (the country’s oldest interfaith peace organization) to organize alongside local and national groups. 

Lisa Fithian is an anti-racist organizer who has worked for justice since the 1970s. Using creative, strategic nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, she has won many battles and trained tens of thousands of activists while participating in a range of movements and mobilizations, including Occupy Wall Street, anti-WTO and corporate globalization protests all over the world, the climate justice movement, and more. Described by Mother Jones as “the nation’s best-known protest consultant,” Fithian has been involved in nearly every major protest event for the past four decades. Recorded 7/29/20

S Brian Willson: Please Don't Thank Me for My Service, TRT 1:56  recorded 7/23/20
S Brian Willson: Please Don't Thank Me for My Service, Monday 8/3/20 8pm PST on FStv, Premieres 7/30 8pm on YouTube

As often stated by the renowned social critic, Noam Chomsky, the US population is the most highly indoctrinated on earth. S. Brian Willson joins us from his home in Nicaragua to discuss current events through the lens of white exceptionalism and privilege. Recently he wrote: “The "Trump cult" is really a revelation of the cult of the white exceptionalism that has permeated our society since the 1600s (City on the Hill). Trump is a caricature, or avatar for who we really are…”

Born July 4, 1941, the U.S. American Vietnam veteran, author, peace activist, and trained attorney, became a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace after he witnessed massacres of entire villages by US and South Vietnamese air strikes. This, he says, caused an “epiphany” which “exploded in my head and heart, toward suicide ideation…” He came to question everything he had ever been taught and to explore the depths of American cultural mythology through the forced unraveling of his own conditioning. “U.S. policies and practices have been conducted with such a double standard and in such a self-serving manner, and with such insensitive and brutal ferocity, as to be virtually beyond comprehension to most residents within the United States of America.” As a trained lawyer and writer, he has documented U.S. imperil foreign policy in nearly two dozen countries.

Willson became famous in 1987 when while engaged in a protest against the shipping of U.S. weapons to Central America in the context of the Contra wars, he and other members of a Veterans Peace Action Team blocked railroad tracks at the Concord, California Naval Weapons Station. An approaching train did not stop, and struck the veterans. Willson was hit, ultimately losing both legs below the knee while suffering a severe skull fracture with loss of his right frontal lobe.

Three days after Willson lost his legs over 10,000 people gathered for a non-violent protest in his support and against arms shipments to Central America. For years after the incident, anti-war protesters maintained a 24-hour-a-day vigil at the weapons depot.

In 1988, a documentary, "The Healing of Brian Willson" was produced by Idanha Films. In 2016, a documentary, "Paying the Price For Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson (and other activists)" was produced and directed by filmmaker Bo Boudart. He has written three books: “On Third World Legs”, 1992, “Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson” 2011, and “Don't Thank Me For My Service: My Vietnam Awakening to the Long History of U.S. Lies” was published in 2018.

Join us for a deep dive into the American psyche that is revealed in the context of now. This discussion will be broadcast in two parts. The second part also contains a talk by Willson in Eugene, Oregon 2016 on the occasion of the “Paying the Price For Peace” film release.

Both parts are contained in this Youtube post.

Look for S Brian Willson on FaceBook. Recorded 7/23/20

Daniel Newman: UNRIG: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, TRT :58  recorded 7/7/20
Daniel Newman: UNRIG: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, Monday 7/13/20 8pm PST

Despite our immense political divisions, Americans are nearly united in our belief that something is wrong with our government: It works for the wealthy and powerful, but not for anyone else. Fix Democracy First along with the League of Women Voters hosted the book launch of UNRIG: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy where author Daniel Newman, talked about and showed key parts of the graphic novel.

In the book Newman, a noted democracy reform leader and artist George O’Connor expose the twisted roots of our broken democracy and highlight the heroic efforts of those unrigging the system to return power to We the People. They take readers behind the scene- from the sweaty cubicles where senators dial corporate CEOs for dollars, to lavish retreats where billionaires boost their favored candidates, to the map rooms where lawmakers scheme to handpick their voters. Unrig highlights surprising solutions that limit the influence of big money and redraw the lines of political power.

In this video, Newman talks about the story of the game-changing fight to rid George Mason University of corrupting Koch influence tracking two heroes: former GMU student Samantha (Sam) Parsons, a co-founder of UnKoch My Campus and its Director of Campaigns, and Professor Bethany Letiecq, the courageous president of GMU’s AAUP chapter. See also: Pirate TV- Nancy MacLean: The Origins of Today’s Radical Right, and her book: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Rights Stealth Plan for America.

AUTHOR: Daniel G. Newman is a national expert on government accountability and money in politics. He is president and co-founder of MapLight, a nonpartisan nonprofit that promotes transparency and political reform. He led a ballot measure campaign establishing public funding of elections in Berkeley, CA.

SPECIAL GUEST: Estevan Muñoz-Howard is the Program Officer for Money in Politics Reform at the Piper Fund. He helped to lead the successful 2015 Honest Elections Seattle campaign—a historic initiative to implement the Democracy Voucher Program.
Unrig the Book - https://www.unrigbook.com
Fix Democracy First - https://www.fixdemocracyfirst.org/
Donate $35 for more to Fix Democracy First and receive a FREE copy of Unrig. Donate here: https://www.fixdemocracyfirst.org/donate-book-fundraiser
LWV of Seattle-King County - https://www.seattlelwv.org/
The Piper/Proteus Fund - https://www.proteusfund.org/piper

Fix Democracy First is a non-profit in the state of Washington fighting to improve our Democratic processes. They have been running initiatives and projects in support of public financing of campaigns, fair elections, overturning Citizen’s United, protecting voting rights and other similar efforts for almost two decades and have recently merged with WAmend and continue to work very closely with allies, partners, and volunteers towards the common goal of getting money out of politics.

Recorded 7/7/20

Greg Palast: How the 2020 Election Was Stolen, TRT 1:08  recorded 6/27/18
Greg Palast: How the 2020 Election Was Stolen (and how to steal it back), Monday 7/6/20 8pm PST

Investigative Journalist Greg Palast has been on the trail of election thieves since he exposed the theft of the 2000 US presidential election in Florida (Guardian, BBC, The Nation, Harper's). I asked him at the time, “If the Republicans are rigging all these elections, why don’t the Democrats expose it?” He said, “Because they do it too.” Now its 20 years later and nothing has changed. In his new book, out July14th- “How Trump Stole 2020”, Greg lays out the case that the Republicans already have the 2020 election in the snatch bag. What can we do about it? Tune in to my interview and find out. Then buy 20 copies of the book and give it to all your friends!

Here’s what you didn’t know:

“In 2016, no fewer than 5,872,857 ballots were cast—and never counted. 
Does it matter? In Detroit, 75,355 ballots were never counted because of 87 broken scanning machines. And Trump supposedly won Michigan by 10,700 votes — really?

And, no fewer than 1,982.071 legal voters were denied the right to vote. Told to get the hell out of the polling station. Can you guess their color?

Add it up. That's at least 7,854,928 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.

So God Bless America. By the way, these numbers are from the raw data supplied to me by the US Elections Assistance Commission.

So: Trump wasn’t elected by voters but by voter-vanishing trickery.
It's official. It's in your face. It's sick. It's unreported.” -Greg Palast

Greg Palast has been called the “most important investigative reporter of our time — up there with Woodward and Bernstein” (The Guardian). Palast has broken front-page stories for BBC Television Newsnight, The Guardian, Nation Magazine and now Rolling Stone Magazine

He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and the highly acclaimed Vultures' Picnic, named Book of the Year 2012 on BBC Newsnight Review.

He also made a documentary: “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits”.

See also: www.gregpalast.com and sign up for updates
Recorded 6/27/20

Danny Grover and Ambassador Cabañas: COVID, Cuba and Saving Lives, TRT :58  recorded 6/16/18
Danny Glover and Ambassador Cabañas: COVID, Cuba and Saving Lives, Monday 6/29/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

On June 16, 2020, renowned actor, director, producer, and activist Danny Glover had a one-on-one with Cuban Ambassador to the US Jose Ramon Cabañas. The US activist is one of the world-renowned figures who support a worldwide campaign to grant the Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Situations of Disasters and Serious Epidemics. 

This online discussion was part of the US-Cuba Normalization Committee's Saving Lives Campaign. At the webinar organized by Cuba solidarity networks in the United States and Canada, the actor pointed out that the Caribbean island's response to the Covid-19 pandemic of sending medical brigades to more than a score of countries, was started 60 years ago.

Due to government incompetence and mismanagement in the United States, the Corona virus is spiraling out of control and now along with Brazil has the highest death rate in the world. Cuba on the other hand has managed to bring the infection rate down to only two new cases as of this date [June 26]. Glover made note of the work of the Latin American School of Medicine [ELAN] in Havana, the largest medical school in the world, which trains doctors for needy countries including the United States for free.

Cabañas talked about the great challenge posed by the US-imposed blockade against Cuba, which not only affects the people, but also US citizens, and highlighted the potentialities of collaboration between the two countries if that obstacle did not exist. Both Glover and Cabañas referred to the possibility of building a better future if the nations work together, and Glover noted the importance that citizens build the international solidarity necessary to save humankind.

Thanks to the US-Cuba Normalization Committee. Co-sponsors include the National Network on Cuba, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Minnesota Cuba Committee, and CODEPINK: Women For Peace
See Also: US-Cuba Normalization Committee www.us-cubanormalization.org/

Rick Spinrad, PhD: We Are All Scientists, TRT :47  recorded 3/1/18
Rick Spinrad, PhD: We Are All Scientists, Monday 6/22/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Recently, at the instigation of the Trump White House, hundreds of armed, white vigilantes turned out to defend their small towns from “Antifa invasions”. Of course, the busloads of black bloc “terrorists” never showed up. Duped again, will they ever learn? These are likely the same ilk that invaded state houses with their guns to demand an end to the coronavirus shutdown.  And they don’t believe they need to wear masks or socially isolate -another hoax perpetrated by Trump and his billionaire funders. All the while the pandemic spirals out of control especially in states controlled by Republicans, thus ensuring that their economies may never open again since if they do, they will have to shut right back down again as the infection rate shoots up. In short: morons –the Republican base or as Karl Rove famously called them- “useful idiots.” Republicans couldn’t get elected without them. Closer observation might reveal that most of them don’t believe in climate change either. In other words, they don’t believe in science.

If you think the US population has been getting dumber over the past 50 years, you would be right. Although this may be due to a number of environmental factors, part of it in the US was deliberate and planned. After the 60’s rebellions, it seems the ruling oligarchy decided that a well educated middle-class wasn’t in their best interest.

Therefore, I decided to pull out this keynote talk given at the 36th Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) by Dr. Richard W. Spinrad. In this talk Dr. Spinrad gives a brief history of science and science teaching in the US, elaborates on the decreasing role that science plays in environmental policy decisions in the Trump administration, and talks about the role of citizens in science.

Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad is a Professor of Oceanography at Oregon State University (OSU) and President-Elect of the Marine Technology Society (MTS). In 2016 he retired as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014. 
Among his accomplishments, Dr. Spinrad was a co-lead of the White House Committee that developed the nation’s first set of ocean research priorities and oversaw the revamping of NOAA’s research enterprise. 
Dr. Spinrad served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission from 2005-2009.
He is the recipient of Presidential Rank Awards from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. 

Recorded at the University of Oregon School of Law 3/1/18 by Pirate TV Contributor Todd Boyle

Bill Fletcher Jr: Race and Labor- A More Just Economy, TRT 1:25  recorded 2/21/18
Bill Fletcher Jr: Race and Labor- A More Just Economy, Monday 6/15/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

In this talk, acclaimed labor educator and writer Bill Fletcher Jr. enlightens us with some little known history of how racism has been used since Europeans first came to the western world to control the working class. This analysis illuminates precisely why Capitalism cannot exist without racism. Contrary to what many may think, the concept of “white” which did not previously exist was invented for this purpose, and did not necessarily refer to skin color. The first Africans were brought over as indentured servants and became chattel slaves only later as the American caste system evolved.

This explains why organized labor needs to develop a robust counter narrative to that offered by right-wing populism [which it hasn’t so far] if it is to make any headway against the divide and rule strategy of the “owners” [Gore Vidal]. The labor movement must integrate racial justice into every area of organizing if it wishes to regain its role as a relevant agent of social and economic justice.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. became an activist at age 13, participating in the Black Panther Party and organizing rallies and events. He is Executive Editor of BlackCommentator.com and a leader of Democratic Socialists of America. Fletcher is co-founder of the Center for Labor Renewal and is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum. He is the co-author of Solidarity Divided, which analyzes the crisis in organized labor in the US.

Thanks to the University of Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion, UO Portland, UO Labor Education and Research Center, Oregon Tradeswomen, UO Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, United Academics of the University of Oregon, and SEIU Local 503

Recorded February 21, 2018 by Pirate TV contributor Todd Boyle
All views are those of the speaker and not necessarily those of the sponsors.

The Fight to Tax Amazon, TRT :58  recorded 5/28/20
The Fight to Tax Amazon, Monday 6/8/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

While ¾ of working class people in Seattle have experienced job loss since March 13th, exasperating the housing crisis which has people living in tents and RVs everywhere, the wealth of the world’s richest man, Amazon founder and chair Jeff Bezos has increased from $113B to $147B in the same period. That’s $34 Billion in two months. What’s worse, the housing crisis in Seattle is largely due to him. Because of the Amazon tech-boom a thousand people per week were moving in, making an already bad traffic situation impossible and doubling the cost of housing. This made many long time residents refugees and many more homeless.

After destroying a perfectly good city, Bezos who never believed in paying taxes, organized a PR campaign with other large businesses and hired signature gatherers to stop a small tax passed by the City Council of a paltry $275 per employee per year. Under pressure generated by the so-called “jobs tax” propaganda, the Council retreated from the plan designed to help create affordable housing and offset some of the damage. 

All that is changing. Due to pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, voters in metropolitan Portland, Oregon, Seattle’s sister city to the south just approved an income tax on high-income earners and large businesses to put money into services for the homeless. Seattle, home to the richest men in the world may soon do the same. Led by “militant socialist” [Seattle PI] Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Councilmember Tammy Morales, a Tax Amazon ballot initiative and corresponding legislation to fund emergency COVID relief for workers, as well as a massive expansion of green jobs and social housing is in the works.

This show is from a Town Hall organized on Zoom May 28th which features Councilmember Sawant and John Burbank Founder of the Economic Opportunity Institute and includes several other panelists. It explains why it’s about time we start taxing the rich.

Read the proposed resolution here: https://tinyurl.com/TAresolution3h.

Letters from Palestine in the Time of the Virusl, TRT :58  recorded 5/9/20
Edward Mast and Hanna Eady: Letters from Palestine in the Time of the Virus, Monday 6/1/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Seattle based playwrights Edward Mast and Hanna Eady created a play about the fears and resilience of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as they meet the threat of Covid 19.

Presented by Seattle's Dunya Productions, the play features local Seattle actors and other community members reading from writings, words and quotations by Palestinians living under the double threat of corona virus and ongoing Israeli occupation and violence. Due to the Corona virus, the play was performed live on Zoom May 9, 2020.

This program opens with an interview I did with the playwrights where we talked about their history in theater and activism for Palestine followed by the play and commentary by Palestinian-American journalist Ramzy Baroud.

Dunya Productions, Salaam Cultural Museum and Donkeysaddle Projects are working with organizers on the ground in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank to distribute packages of food and necessities to families in dire need, including families of those in quarantine during the pandemic.100% of funds donated will directly go towards vital provisions.

If you would like to donate, go to http://www.scmmedicalmissions.org/food-aid-palestine/

Look for Dunya Productions Seattle on FaceBook or go to dunyaproductionsea.wixsite.com/seattle

Sanctions Kill, TRT 1:56  recorded 5/9/20
Sanctions Kill, Monday 5/18/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

The US has imposed economic sanctions against 39 countries.  In many cases, this denies them access to medicine and medical equipment as well as access to world markets for food and other necessities.  During the coronavirus crisis the US, with the highest death count in the world, has upped the sanctions against countries like Iran and Venezuela, and has tried to weaponize COVID-19 to bring down governments that will not follow the dictates of Washington and Wall Street.  The UN has asked that sanctions be loosened during this crisis but the US has done the opposite.  Many US allies have broken with them and sent medical aid to some of these countries.  Now is an important time for the people in the US to come out strongly against these sanctions, which are simply war by other means. US Sanctions during COVID-19 Pandemic are a global threat.

This video of a webinar that occurred May 9th 2020 features government representatives of several countries under harsh US imposed sanctions.  The speakers include:

Cuba — Ana Silvia Rodriguez Abascal, Charge des Affaires of the Cuban Mission to the UN

Zimbabwe — Omowale Clay, December 12th Movement, long time black liberation activist, targeted by FBI in 1984 political show trial known as NY 8

Nicaragua — Francisco O Campbell, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S.

Syria — Dr. Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations

Venezuela — Carlos J. Ron Martinez, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

Iran -  Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Ambassador to the United Nations

Thanks to The United National Antiwar Coalition and other members of the  Sanctions Kill Coalition including:
Vererans for Peace
US Peace Council
December 12th Movement
Alliance for Global Justice
Intereligious Foundation for Community Organization / Pastors for Peace
Popular Risistance
International Action Center
Black Alliance for Peace

For more information on the Sanctions Kill Coalition: https://sanctionskill.org

Cornell West: What It Means to Be Human, TRT :58  recorded 4/26/20
Cornel West: What It Means to Be Human, Monday 5/11/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

This talk is an edited for Free Speech TV version of the Collins Distinguished Speakers' Lecture given April 26, 2019 at the University of Oregon titled "Race Matters...A Timely Discussion on the Fabric of America.

"The increase of racist incidents in Baltimore, Ferguson, Charlottesville and nationwide, alongside movements such as Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock, has made the need for conversations on race in the United States today one of continued urgency.

Dr. Cornel West published the book ‘Race Matters’ in 1993 following the Los Angeles riots, which examined the crisis of black leadership in the United States. “We need to take a critical look at ‘We the People’ through the lens of these complicated issues and make connections about the deep questions of quality of life in this country,” he said.

Cornel West is currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Harvard Divinity School and the Department of African and African American Studies. He is an ardent political activist, a keen social critic, and a prolific writer. Author of 20 books, his publications include Race Matters (1993); The Future of the Race (1996), written with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; and The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto (2014), written with Tavis Smiley.

Thanks to the Collins Fund
Camera by Pirate TV contributor, Todd Boyle

Art Wolfe and Dr. Samuel Wasser: Saving the Wild Elephants, TRT 1:09  recorded 1/29/20
Art Wolfe and Dr. Samuel Wasser: Saving the Wild Elephants , Monday 5/4/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Legendary for their size and intelligence, elephants are one of the most charismatic of megafauna. That they are under siege from poachers is no secret, and the rapidity of their declining numbers is horrifying. However, amidst the steady stream of bad news, photographer Art Wolfe and author Dr. Samuel Wasser offer hope that all is not lost.

Wolfe and Wasser make their way to Town Hall with inspiring accounts from their book Wild Elephants: Conservation in the Age of Extinction. Through stunning visuals and groundbreaking research, Wolfe and Wasser show how global education about these gentle giants seems to be succeeding, and recent government crackdowns are lowering the price of ivory and discouraging poachers. Join Wolfe and Wasser to celebrate local and government initiatives that are rising to preserve the natural heritage of elephant population, and learn what we can do to safeguard the survival of this magnificent species.

Art Wolfe is an award-winning photographer who has worked on every continent and in hundreds of locations over his forty-year career. His stunning images interpret and record the world’s fast-disappearing natural treasures.

Dr. Samuel Wasser has participated in conservation programs around the world and is acknowledged worldwide as a pioneer of noninvasive wildlife monitoring methods. He is the director of the Center for Conservation Biology and holds the endowed chair in Conservation Biology at the University of Washington .

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle
Recorded 1/29/20

Fadhel Kaboub: Modern Monetary Theory and the Progressive Agenda, TRT :58  recorded 2/13/20
Fadhel Kaboub: Modern Monetary Theory and the Progressive Agenda , Monday 4/27/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

A preeminent scholar on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), economics professor Fadhel Kaboub explains how a country like the United States can implement a Green New Deal program without causing inflation or bankrupting the country.  It illustrates that we can create millions of good paying jobs to build resilience to climate change, address inequality, and strengthen the democratic process.  Although, MMT is called a ‘theory’, it is actually a framework for understanding how governments like the United States that control their own currencies spend money into existence.

As Professor Kaboub explains, this was the case even before the US went off the gold standard.  It is how we funded WWII and the New Deal, NASA's Apollo program, the trillions spent since the 2008 crash propping up the banking system in so called “quantitative easing”, and the money the Federal Government is dishing out at this very moment to keep the economy from crashing with the COVID-19 stimulus package and CARES Act.  Nobody seems to be asking, “Where’s all this money coming from?”  Yet as soon as you start talking about policies like Medicare for All, Free Education, or a Green New Deal, that’s the first thing that always come up.  You’ve been chumped!

Fadhel Kaboub, is Associate Professor of Economics at Denison University, and President of Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity.  He gave this talk at the annual conference of the Ohio Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (OAFCS) in Columbus, Ohio (February 13, 2020).

NIck Buccola: The Great Debate- Baldwin, Buckley, and Race in America, TRT 1:23  recorded 2/20/20
NIck Buccola: The Great Debate- Baldwin, Buckley, and Race in America, Monday 4/20/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd in Cambridge, England gathered to witness a televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America’s most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was “the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro.” Drawing from his book The Fire Is Upon Us, political scientist Nicholas Buccola brings us the full story of this historic debate, outlining the radically different paths of Baldwin and Buckley, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate America’s racial divide today. Buccola delves into the conversation between these two men as a remarkable story of race and the American dream—an unforgettable confrontation that pitted Baldwin’s call for a moral revolution in race relations against Buckley’s unabashed elitism and implicit commitment to white supremacy. Sit in for an exploration of this pivotal debate, and follow the deep roots and lasting legacy of a conflict that continues to haunt our politics.

Nicholas Buccola is the author of The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass and the editor of The Essential Douglass and Abraham Lincoln and Liberal Democracy. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and many other publications. He is the Elizabeth and Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle & Third Place Books
Recorded 2/20/20
Watch entire debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFeoS41xe7w

Peggy Orenstein: Boys and Sex, TRT 1:01  recorded 1/20/20
Peggy Orenstein: Boys and Sex, Monday 4/6/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

I first became aware of Peggy Orenstein in 2012 when I taped her talk about her book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter".  This was a big hit on Free Speech TV.  They played it repeatedly.  It also hit the spot with me as I was raising a young daughter at the time.  As anyone who has raised daughters can’t help but know, Cinderella is going to eat your daughter and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Your little “princess” is going to get that Barbie house and all the furnishings or suffer social ostracism.  Who would allow that?

See: Peggy Orenstein: A New Generation of Girlie-Girls:

Continuing on in her investigation of the role of the ubiquitous marketing machine in shaping our daughters’ identities and futures, her next best-seller, Girls & Sex broke ground, shattered taboos, and launched conversations about young women’s right to pleasure and agency in sexual encounters.  As she explains, this prompted calls from her audience- “What about the boys?”

And so be it.  Orenstein gave this talk at Town Hall Seattle with insight from her latest book, Boys & Sex to examine how young men understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy.  She outlines how boys are subject to the same cultural forces as girls—steeped in the same distorted media images and binary stereotypes of female sexiness and toxic masculinity—which equally affect how they navigate sexual and emotional relationships.  Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, she dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein unravels the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle and Elliot Bay Books
Recorded 1/20/20

Karen Sherman: After the Genocide, TRT 1:04  recorded 2/20/20
Karen Sherman: After the Genocide, Monday 3/30/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

After a twenty-five-year career spent fighting for women’s rights around the globe, author Karen Sherman moved to Rwanda with her three sons to oversee the construction of a first-of-its-kind women’s opportunity center. Sherman makes her way to Town Hall to tell the story of valiant women who survived the Rwandan genocide with insight from her book Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere. In conversation with physician and volunteer Dr. Rosita Van Coevorden, Sherman recounts her year-long journey to better the lives of women survivors, highlighting the grit and determination they poured into building lives and raising families despite the brutal challenges of war, genocide, and inequality. Sherman shares how the strength of these women helped her confront corrupt officials, navigate conflict zones, face trauma in her own past, and renew her commitment to her family. Listen in as Sherman and Van Coevorden delve into the struggles of women everywhere—striving to balance work and family, fighting for real options and choices, trying to make their voices heard.

Karen Sherman has spent her life advocating for women in war-torn and transitional countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Kosovo, and the former Soviet Union. Sherman serves as President of the Akilah Institute, Rwanda’s only women’s college, and was a senior executive at Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war to rebuild their lives.

Dr. Rosita van Coevorden is a retired physician, entrepreneur, and active community volunteer in women’s and children’s causes. She is the Founder and Co-Chair of Vital Voices Northwest Council and serves as a director of Vital Voices Global Partnership, Art of Hope, and Kindering Center. She currently serves as the ED of DSC of Puget Sound, a non-profit providing programs and services to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle And Third Place Books
Recorded 2/20/20

Rob Larson: Bit Tyrants, TRT 1:03  recorded 3/9/20
Rob Larson: Bit Tyrants, Monday 3/23/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

If the stories they tell about themselves are to be believed, all of the tech giants—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon—were built from the ground up through hard work, a few good ideas, and the entrepreneurial daring to seize opportunity. But economist and author Rob Larson aims to set the record straight. With searing wit from his new book Bit Tyrants: The Political Economy of Silicon Valley, Larson provides an urgent corrective to this narrative of Silicon Valley corporate benevolence. Larson skewers the official histories that celebrate the innovative genius of Steve Jobs, liberal commentators who fall over themselves to laud Bill Gates’ selfless philanthropy, and politicians who will tell us to listen to Mark Zuckerberg for advice on how to protect our democracy from foreign influence. Larson provides us with maps to all the shallow graves, skeleton-filled closets, and invective laced emails Big Tech left behind on its ascent to power. He offers us the tools to crack the code of the economic dynamics that allowed these companies to become near-monopolies. Join Larson for a blistering commentary on Big Tech and a call for digital socialism that urges us towards a viral movement for online revolution.

Rob Larson teaches Economics at Tacoma Community College in Washington. He is active with Occupy Tacoma and Jobs with Justice, and writes regularly for Dollars and Sense and Z Magazine. He is the author of Bleakonomics: A Heartwarming Introduction to Financial Catastrophe, the Jobs Crisis and Environmental Destruction, and Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle & Elliott Bay Bookstore, recorded 3/9/20

Robert Trebor: The Haircut Who Would Be King, TRT :58  recorded 2/29/20
Robert Trebor: The Haircut Who Would Be King, Monday 3/16/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

A movie and TV star, Robert Trebor reads from his book THE HAIRCUT WHO WOULD BE KING, a satire about the Donald J. Trump presidency.  The discussion of what compelled him leads into revelations of the actual history and personality of the Donald, and Trevor's conclusion that laughter and ridicule may be good medicine in the face of the current absurdity.

Robert Trebor, is an accomplished character actor widely recognized for playing a fictional salesman, Salmoneus, in the cult hit series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", "Xena: Warrior Princess", and a real-life serial killer, David Berkowitz, a/k/a the Son of Sam, in the movie "Out of Darkness" opposite Martin Sheen.

Thanks to Barnes & Noble, Northgate
Recorded 2/29/20

Free Speech TV Schedule:
Two shows alternate throughout the week:

3/9/20 E.J. Dionne: Can Progressives and Moderates Unite?
Dennis Kucinich and Joe Dobner: The Fight For Public Power

3/16/20 Robert Trebor: The Haircut Who Would Be King
E.J. Dionne: Can Progressives and Moderates Unite?

Check the FStv website for show times.

E.J. Dionne: Can Progressives and Moderates Unite?, TRT :58  recorded 2/26/20
E.J. Dionne: Can Progressives and Moderates Unite?, Monday 3/9/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Broad and principled opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency has drawn millions of previously disengaged citizens to the public square and to the ballot boxes. Journalist E.J. Dionne steps up to Town Hall’s stage to comment on this inspired and growing activism for social and political change—an outpouring of engagement which hasn’t been seen since the days of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and the Progressive and Civil Rights movements. He draws from his book Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country to call for a shared commitment to decency and a politics focused on freedom, fairness, and the future. 

In conversation with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds, Dionne cautions that if progressives and moderates are unable or unwilling to overcome their differences, they could not only enable Trump to prevail again but also squander an occasion for launching a new era of reform. Offering a unifying model for furthering progress, Dionne encourages progressives and moderates to explore common ground and expand the unity that brought about Democrat victories in the 2018 elections. Breaking through the partisan noise and cutting against conventional wisdom to provide a realistic look at political possibilities, Dionne offers us a strategy for progressives and moderates to think more clearly and accept the responsibilities that history now imposes on them.

E.J. Dionne writes about politics in a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. He is also a government professor at Georgetown University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a frequent commentator on politics for NPR and MSNBC.

Ross Reynolds is the Executive Producer of Community Engagement at KUOW. He creates community conversations such as the Ask A events, and occasionally produces arts and news features.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle Recorded 2/26/2020

Dennis Kucinich and Joe Dobner: The Fight For Public Power, TRT 1:27  recorded 2/5/20
Dennis Kucinich and Joe Dobner: The Fight For Public Power, Monday 3/2/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

De-privatizing Public Utilities 

Two counties in Washington State are engaged in a struggle to convert their private, for-profit energy utilities into public utilities that would provide cleaner energy, safer infrastructure and be accountable to the people. Residents in East King County are fed up with Puget Sound Energy, which provides the dirtiest energy in the state and is deeply invested in deadly fossil fuels. Native tribes and residents have united in a fight to stop the construction of PSE’s liquid natural gas plant in Tacoma and dangerous coal trains traveling from Montana coalfields. Many people in this area are doing their part by buying electric cars, but when 56% of their energy comes from coal, it defeats the purpose. Meanwhile, the publicly owned utilities in the state provide clean, renewable energy and better service. 

Dennis Kucinich, the former mayor, congressman and presidential candidate visited Washington to support and advise activists on how to establish their own Public Utility District. They are organizing an initiative campaign that will take investment firms that put profit over climate and the public interest out of the loop. Dennis Kucinich fought successfully to save Cleveland’s public municipal electrical utility when he was the young mayor in the late 70’s. He stood firm against the big banks, which threatened to cut off credit and bankrupt the city if he blocked the sale. The ratepayers responded by organizing an initiative campaign that stopped the privatization and the banks duly bankrupted Cleveland. A little known fact is that Kucinich survived two assassination attempts.

The fight to wrest back control of energy is not going to be easy. Kucinich noted that PSE reports making between 6.5 to 10 percent returns on their investments. “ Public utilities are cash cows. In this case, you’re the ones getting milked,” he quipped. Kucinich estimated that over the course of about 15 years, preserving Cleveland's public utility saved Cleveland hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Join us and learn how we can win.

Thanks to East King Co. Public Utility District campaign & Bibi Restaurant. Recorded 2/5/20

Host Linda Boyd Introduction - 0

Sara Papanikolaou --02:04
A founding member of 350 Eastside, identified Puget Sound Energy as a huge source of greenhouse gas in our own backyard. She said, “it is utterly unacceptable, in 2020, for our local utility to have 56 percent fossil fuel based power generation. It is unacceptable for our local utility to continue to build out fracked gas infrastructure that locks us into decades of emissions and the worst effects of global warming. PSE's recently built North Seattle Lateral Upgrade Fracked gas pipeline expansion in South Snohomish County is raising our statewide greenhouse gas emissions 5% annually.”

Joe Dabner Presentation 9:05
An organizer for EKC-PUD, described the transformation of Puget Sound Power and Light, which generated power using about 50-50 coal and hydro-power. After the purchase of the Washington Energy Company, Puget Sound Power changed its name to Puget Sound Energy, and became heavily invested in gas plants. Even after increasingly dire IPCC reports on Global Warming, PSE still intends to continue to burn coal as long as they can. 
Dobner said that since we can’t afford to wait until 2040 to curtail emissions from burning gas. Since PSE continues to invest in carbon-based energy, we need to get ourselves out of PSE by forming a public utility district. Dobner laid out the initiative process and organizational steps necessary to put the EKC-PUD on the 2020 ballot.

Cong. Dennis Kucinich -35:48
Former U.S. Representative from Ohio, 53rd mayor of Cleveland, candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008

State Rep. Maralyn Chase -1:15:20
The former Washington State Senator talks about how she tried to stop foreign investors from acquiring PSE and why it is important to get good commissioners to run PUD’s. She elaborates on how even if you have a PUD, it can still become a captured agency. This happened in the case of SNOPUD- Snohomish County Public Utility District.

Thanks to the East King County Public Utilities District Campaign

Josephine Ensign: Catching Homelessness: Stories Matter, TRT 1:09  recorded 1/26/20
Josephine Ensign: Catching Homelessness: Stories Matter, Monday 2/24/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

At the beginning of the homelessness epidemic in the 1980s, Josephine Ensign was a young, white, Southern, Christian wife, mother, and nurse running a medical clinic for the homeless in the heart of the South. Through her work and intense relationships with patients and co-workers, her worldview was shattered after losing her job, family, and house—and she became homeless herself. Ensign joins us decades later to tell her story through her book Catching Homelessness: A Nurse’s Story of Falling Through the Safety Net. With intense empathy and deep human perspective, she highlights the ways her experience of being homeless reconstituted her life with altered views on homelessness and on the healthcare system. Ensign provides a piercing firsthand look at the homelessness industry, nursing, and our country’s health care safety net. Join Ensign as she reflects on how her understanding of homelessness has changed her work, perspective, and life experiences—and changed her.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle and the League of Women Voters, recorded 1/26/20

William Wheeler: El Salvador’s World of Violence, TRT 1:14  recorded 1/21/20
William Wheeler: El Salvador’s World of Violence, Monday 2/17/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

El Salvador is in the news again this week as armed police and troops stormed the parliament. This came less than a week after Human Rights Watch issued a scathing report that found that more than 200 refugees and asylum seekers the United States has sent back to El Salvador have been killed or seriously abused - including sexually assaulted and tortured.

To take a closer look at the horror show wrought by three decades of US foreign policy in Central America is award-winning journalist and producer William Wheeler, reading from his first book, "State of War: MS-13 and El Salvador’s World of Violence". 

Thanks to Elliott Bay Bookstore, recorded 1/21/20

Diane Ravitch with Jesse Hagopian: The Fight to Save America’s Public Schools, TRT 1:13  recorded 2/4/20
Diane Ravitch with Jesse Hagopian: The Fight to Save America’s Public Schools, Monday 2/10/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

According to Diane Ravitch, citizens across America are successfully fighting to stop corporations from privatizing our nation’s public schools. Ravitch joins us with insight from her book Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance To Privatization And The Fight To Save America’s Public Schools. She highlights how parents, teachers, activists, bloggers, religious leaders, and others are stepping forward to fight against the disruption of one of America’s most fundamental public institutions. Ravitch identifies corporate interests, political voices, and economic disruptors who believe America’s schools should be run like businesses, modeling the structure of our schools on a gig economy in which students are treated like customers or products and teachers are incentivized with threats and bonuses. Join Ravitch to learn about the nationwide story of brave individuals who, spurred on by the power of ideas and passion, are fighting back to successfully keep their public schools alive.

Diane Ravitch is a research professor of education at New York University and the author of eleven books, including The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn and Reign of Error: The Hoax Of The Privatization Movement And The Danger To America’s Public Schools.

Jesse Hagopian teaches Ethnic Studies and is the co-adviser to the Black Student Union at Garfield High School. He is an editor for the social justice periodical Rethinking Schools and is the co-editor of the book Teaching for Black Lives.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle, recorded 2/4/20

Frank: Putting Peer Pressure to Work to Save the Planet, TRT 1:15  recorded 1/20/20
Robert Frank: Putting Peer Pressure to Work to Save the Planet, Monday 2/3/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street—our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Author Robert Frank joins us with insight from his book Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work, identifying ways to unlock the latent power of social context—perhaps even on a level that could save the planet.

Frank draws our attention to the threat of a changing climate, asserting that robust measures to curb greenhouse gases could help us curtail droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. He draws our attention to new research that shows how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so. Frank explains how altering our social context could help us redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. Join Frank to learn how fostering more supportive social environments could lead individuals everywhere to make choices that benefit everyone.

Robert H. Frank is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Economics at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1972 and where he currently holds a joint appointment in the department of economics and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. He has published on a variety of subjects, including price and wage discrimination, public utility pricing, the measurement of unemployment spell lengths, and the distributional consequences of direct foreign investment.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle and Third Place Books
Recorded 1/20/20

Samuel Woolley: The Reality Game, TRT 1:10  recorded 1/9/20
Samuel Woolley: The Reality Game, Monday 1/20/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Despite Samuel Woolley’s warnings as early as 2013, the problem of online disinformation stormed our political process in 2016 and has only worsened since. Woolley shares urgent perspectives from his book The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth. He cautions that technology may soon play an even deeper role in the rise of disinformation—with human-like automated voice systems, machine learning, “deepfake” AI-edited videos and images, interactive memes, virtual reality, and more. Information literacy is an essential ingredient in a healthy democracy, and Woolley shows how the breakneck rate of technological change is making it nearly impossible. Woolley argues for a new culture of invention, one built around accountability and transparency. Sit in for a treatise on preventing technological manipulation in our future, and a call for us to use our new tools not to control people but to empower them.

Samuel Woolley is a writer and researcher with a focus on emerging media technologies, propaganda and politics. He is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas-Austin. Woolley’s work looks at how automation, algorithms and AI are leveraged for both democracy and control.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle and Elliott Bay Books. Recorded 1/9/20

Michael Lerner: A Political Manifesto to Heal the World, TRT 1:28  recorded 12/12/19
Michael Lerner: A Political Manifesto to Heal the World, Monday 1/13/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

Many liberals and progressives yearn for coherent alternatives to capitalism, but previous visions of socialism do not necessarily account for anything beyond material benefits. Social theorist and psychotherapist Rabbi Michael Lerner talks about his strategy for a new socialism built on love, kindness, and compassion for one another. Drawing from his book “Revolutionary Love”, Lerner proposes a method to replace what he terms the “capitalist globalization of selfishness” with a globalization of generosity, prophetic empathy, and environmental sanity.

Lerner challenges liberal and progressive forces to move beyond politics and build a movement that can reverse the environmental destructiveness and social injustice caused by wanton pursuit of profit. Revisiting the hidden injuries of class, Lerner shows that much of the suffering in our society- including most of its addictions and the growing embrace of right-wing nationalism and reactionary versions of fundamentalism- is driven by frustrated needs for community, love, respect, and connection to a higher purpose in life. Yet these needs are too often missing from liberal discourse. Lerner contends that even if progressive programs are smartly constructed, they cannot be achieved unless they speak to the heart and address the pain so many people experience. Join Lerner to explore his idea of a “Caring Society” and develop the courage to stop listening to those who tell us that fundamental social transformation is unrealistic.

Rabbi Michael Lerner is the editor of Tikkun magazine. He is the author of eleven books, including two national bestsellers, “Jewish Renewal” and “The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right”. Lerner, who has PhDs in philosophy and social and clinical psychology, was chosen for the 2019 Humanitarian Award by the International Association of Sufism. He has also received Morehouse College’s King-Gandhi Award for his work for peace and nonviolence.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle & University Book Store. Recorded 12/12/19

Joshua Douglas: How to Take Back Our Elections, TRT :58  recorded 7/2/19
Joshua Douglas: How to Take Back Our Elections
, Monday 1/6/20 8pm, Thurs. 1pm, Sat. Morning 12am on SCM

In contrast to the anxiety surrounding our voting system, with stories about voter suppression and manipulation, there are actually quite a few positive initiatives toward voting rights reform. Professor Joshua A. Douglas, an expert on our electoral system, examines these encouraging developments in this talk discussing his new book "Vote for Us: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting". We learn how regular Americans are working to take back their democracy, one community at a time.

Told through the narratives of those working on positive voting rights reforms, Douglas gives examples of citizen activists expanding voter eligibility, easing voter registration rules, making voting more convenient, enhancing accessibility at the polls, providing voters with more choices, finding ways to comply with voter ID rules, giving redistricting back to the voters, pushing back on big money through local and state efforts, using journalism to make the system more accountable, and improving civics education. At the end of his book, Professor Douglas includes an appendix that lists organizations all over the country working on these efforts.

Professor Douglas gives anyone fed up with our current political environment the ideas and tools necessary to affect change in their own communities.

Thanks to the League of Women Voters WA, Fix Democracy First & Third Place Books. Recorded 7/2/19