Archive 14: 2020

Shows Available from Pirate Television

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Shows are listed in reverse chronological order:

Randy Mandell: Green Economics for a New Era, TRT 1:24  recorded 1/18/21
Randy Mandell: Green Economics for a New Era, Monday 1/25/21 PST, Premiers on YouTube 2pm 1/21

Conservative politicians always cry bloody tears about the deficit every time discussions of policies that help the 99% such as a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free collage tuition, or a government jobs guarantee, come up.  But for some strange reason, when it’s time to pass $700 billion defense bills or legislation that subsidizes the filthy rich such as multi trillion dollar bank and wall street bail outs or massive tax give-aways, the question of how we are going to pay for it is never mentioned. Why is that?

Regular viewers already know the answer. This is because Randy Mandell and other experts such as Professor Fadhel Kaboub have explained it to us.  Worry about the deficit is a ruse. Congress creates money when it appropriates spending. This money doesn’t come from taxes, it’s not “borrowed” and it doesn’t have to be paid back. Taxes regulate the money supply and (theoretically) control wealth disparity.

Modern Monetary Theory explains how monetary policy actually works.  The United States came off the gold standard in 1971. Since then, we have used “modern money” which offers substantial new options that have been poorly understood by members of Congress and the media. It’s up to us to educate ourselves and our politicians and to challenge them when they persist in repeating outdated and misleading information about our money system.

However, things are looking up.  Economist/author Stephanie Kelton was the chief economic advisor to Bernie Sanders and her and Professor Kaboub have been advising the Justice Democrats and the Progressive Caucus.  In the midst of the Covid pandemic, the economic emergency, and the looming climate emergency, MMT provides the best approach to a combined effective response to all these urgent issues.

This week, thanks to our friends at the Backbone Campaign, Randy is going to give us an update.

Randy Mandell is a longtime environmental and social justice activist. He currently works on expanding our understanding of public money as an essential tool to achieving a Green New Deal, a Jobs Guarantee, and other key progressive policy objectives.

Recorded 1/18/21

Lisa Fithian: Collective Decision Making, TRT :58  recorded 11/18/20
Lisa Fithian: Collective Decision Making, Monday 1/18/21 PST, Premiers on YouTube 2pm 1/16

So we’ve heard repeated ad nauseam all our lives that the United States is the “world’s greatest democracy” or the “gold standard” of democracies.  But, how democratic is it?  In spite of this constant refrain, it is increasingly clear that compared to other modern democracies, the US electoral system is the laughing stock of the world.

The US majority rule/winner take all system doesn’t even succeed in creating majority rule.  Even if it did, how many people actually believe that it creates democracy or “rule by the people”?   We know that so-called "representative democracy" doesn't represent us.  Granted, the US political system is about as corrupt as can be, but a winner take all system at best only represents the faction that wins the most votes.

So as activists and organizers who think outside the box, there must be better group decision-making structures than mimicking the government.  If you were going to organize a direct action movement say, like Extinction Rebellion, what would be the most efficient way to organize it in order to come to the best decisions, make sure everybody’s voices are heard, keep everyone highly motivated and promote the greatest cohesion?

Humans use various forms of consensus decision making all the time and have been doing it for eons.  There is a surprising amount of knowledge and experience with this within the peace and justice movement.  Mother Jones described Lisa Fithian as “the nation’s best-known protest consultant”.  She might be the person we would want to ask.

Lisa Fithian is the author of, “Shut It Down: Stories from a Fierce, Loving Resistance”.

Thanks to Extinction Rebellion Kentucky - XR National Restructuring Working Group. https://www.facebook.com/XRebelKY/

Recorded 11/18/20

The Venezuelan Election, a blow to US Imperialism, TRT 1:21  recorded 12/21/20
The Venezuelan Election, a blow to US Imperialism, Monday 1/11/21 PST, Premiers on YouTube 2pm 1/7

If you listen to the US administration and the lapdog corporate press, Venezuela is a failed state and President Nicholas Madero, who was elected by overwhelming margins is a dictator.  And what’s more, Juan Guaidó a man with no power or popular support whom most Venezuelans have scarcely heard of, is the legitimate president!  Well, if you can swallow that, I guess you could swallow that the US, a country where the people voted one way and someone else who didn’t win the popular vote was installed as president twice in the last 20 years somehow has a right to criticize other country’s electoral systems.  Especially when their elections pass muster with international election observers and ours don’t.

Parliamentary elections were held in Venezuela on 6 December 2020. The US vehemently opposed the elections. There were election observers from all over the world. The United National Antiwar Coalition recently convened a panel of some of these observers and journalists whom we are going to hear from. There was no closing of polls or elimination of drop boxes at the last minute, no vote caging or purging, no gerrymandering, the voting machines are not owned by corporations with a conflict of interest, the political system is not a two party duopoly where the candidates and parties are owned outright by big business, and most importantly, no electoral collage to overturn the will of the people.  It’s a dictatorship alright…

Speakers include: Margaret Flowers, Vijay Prashad, Bahman Azad and Zoe PC.

Margaret Flowers- Pediatrician advocate for Medicare for All, Director of Popular Resistance, 2016 Green Party US Senate candidate in Maryland, leader in UNAC and the Sanctions Kill Coalition.

Vijay Prashad- Indian historian, author of over 20 books, executive-director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, his most recent book is ‘Washington Bullets’.

Zoe PC- Journalist with Peoples Dispatch, reports on people’s movements in Latin America.  She is also associated with Congreso de los Pueblos in Colombia.

Bahman (Faraz) Azad- Professor of Economics and Sociology at Berkeley College in New Jersey, exec. dir., U.S. Peace Council, represents the World Peace Council at the United Nations, author of ‘Heroic Struggle, Bitter Defeat’.

Thanks to the United National Antiwar Coalition

Recorded 12/21/20

Shirley Ann Higuchi: Setsuko's Secret, TRT :58  recorded 11/22/20
Shirley Ann Higuchi: Setsuko's Secret , Monday 1/4/21 PST, Premiers on YouTube 2pm 12/31

Author Shirley Ann Higuchi, J.D., chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, uncovers her family’s past and embarks on a transformational journey as she learns about the Japanese American incarceration during World War II and what happened to her family and those of other former incarcerees, a story that she tells in her book, Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration. This story involves the founding of a museum at the Heart Mountain site, and an annual pilgrimage. 

Shirley Ann Higuchi and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation were also the instigators of the lawsuit and public outcry which halted the sale and dispersal of the Allen Hendershott Eaton collection (of art created by Japanese Americans during their incarceration). She is joined by Darrell Kunitomi and Aura Newlin, who are also descendants of former incarcerees at Heart Mountain. They discuss the book, the multigenerational effects of trauma and the incarceration’s relevance to contemporary issues of racism and identity in America. Tom Ikeda, Founding Executive Director of Densho based in Seattle, Washington will moderate the discussion. 

This program is presented in partnership with Densho and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and Puyallup Valley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League are sponsors of the program. 

Thanks to Elliott Bay Books and Seattle Public Library
Recorded 11/22/20